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31()11t Jai Baba Folks,

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Today we will talk about Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm isjl’nspIratIonat. Enthusiasm is INFECTIOUS! And we are hoping to INFECT cAll of you! Hill (Norfolk, Virginia) and I met up again at Amartithi. J(athy She has often come to the L.A. Sahavas and always stayed at my home helping me pack up all the books and other items at the Bookstore, getting ready for our Sahavas, and then to reassemble the Bookstore back at the Center upon our return to the city (We take the Bookstore up to the cabins in the mountains.) Kathywas the perfect person to be in India thisJanuary. She had read the January LampPost and was very excited to visit the Meher English School and check it out. So I took her along and saw to my amazement, as Stella (the school principal) started talking to us and giving us some facts and figures, that Kathy had whipped out a pad and pen and started writing it all down. “You’re hired!” I told her, “and would you like to write the Amartithi article?” So we now have a new staff member. Welcome aboard Kathy! We both came back from that meeting with Stella fired up with enthusiasm and the desire to do something for the school. Being an excellent web searcher and experienced find raiser for non profit corporations, Kathy knew right where to go, finding out all sorts of things that you will read about in this issue. There is so much that can be done at that school, and so much that Stella, working with the Trust, has already accomplished. She tells us that next year they will be accepting 100 more children, and Stella will make sure that a goodly percentage will be girls. In a recent email, Stella tells me: “This sumrnerlhaveplannedshort coursesfor the children. We will have basket weavingfor the girls, and boys will be taught agricultural skills such as grafting, pruning etc. Sofar we do not have a budgetftr this, butlhavefriends who help with some materialsfor the work. Ev eiy summer I make sure that I have some short courses running. It is, of course, with the intention ofkeeping the children in the school environ— ment rather than letting them mix with all the problems and vices in the villages. These courses help them to spend time gainfully and to also learn a trade. Now that we have the basketball court we have no trouble in getting them to come to school. Even though it isplaying on the rough dirt andstones, they love it! Anyway we are hoping andtrusting Baba completelyfârHis generous andpersonal supervision and Divine intervention at Meher School.” Read on, don’t miss a page! I think you will find it a rewarding experience, and we are hoping you will catch our enthusiasm. You may notice this issue is the largest we have ever put out —60 pages. The postage will kill us, but there were so many wonderfttl things to write about so many exciting happenings we wanted to share with you all, that wejust had to expand to the 60 pages. Even so, we had to cut many ofthe articles that had been submitted. Our apologies ifyours was one of them. The January issue is when we ask for your help in covering the costs of producing this magazine. We have a readership of almost 2000 ifyou count how many people actually read each issue, but we only mail it out to about 1000. In response to our request for your yearly donation, we received some very generous donations with heart warming letters telling us how much the magazine means to you, and how happy you are that it exists to keep you in touch with the Baba family around the world. But alas, we only received about 300 responses, so if you are one of the people who just never quite got around to putting your —

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check in the envelope that came with the magazine, now would be a wonderful time to catch up; unless, of course, the $15 a year is a financial hardship for you, then we are happy to send it out free someone else will cover for you. But we do need to know that you want to continue receiving it or not, as the case may be. This beautiftil 4’ x 4’ painting is by Lynn Ott. One ofour readers bought it from the Ott’s some years ago and recently decided she wanted to share it with more people than could ever see it in her home. To that end, she asked me if I thought Meherabode would like to display it on our walls. Would we ever! It looks magnificent in our new very large meeting hail. Wishing to make this incred ibly generous gift anonymously, we thank her from the bottom of our hearts. —

Up to the very day this issue went to print, Kavita, Jonathan, Tanya and two other researchers spent days scouring old phone directories, maps, libraries, historic and social club records as well as hours on the phone to find the sites Baba visited in England that to our knowledge had not been previously identified. During this time, we found a few errors in the written materials that were used for the creation of the article which starts on pg 30 “Love Calls Me to the West.” These have been corrected in the article. However, the work isn’t over; there were some sites that have not been located or may no longer exist. Research will contine and we will keep you informed in subsequent issues, ifthere are any changes or new additions to the list of Baba sites in England. While visiting Baba sites that are private residences, please respect their privacy and only view the home from the road or sidewalk. Enjoy your read! In His love, Dma


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£üi

a Genie;’ o/&u/J.ern Ga1/ornia 7 }Jua/ar JKeJer a

&ier,..1imj..:ksr features

efcome.. Love .Street £amp2ost is dedicated with love to llelier EI3aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to 7 ‘4vcttar .. a sense of community among all 2Iis lovers by providing a place for ll the members of tire Ei3aba family are 4 sharing 21is remembrance. ç..’ of Cove. to this feast to invited contribute 7he

E our stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor arc all actively solicited. We seek expressions of aba’s message ofiove and 7ruth.

Submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love &rect £amjf.Post Baba Center of Southern California Avatar Meher 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737

website: www.meherabode.org email: Bababook@pacbell.net Deadlines:

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THE 34TH AMARITm

Opening Speech: Bhau Kalehurip4; Picture This:Nadine Edelmanp4, Observations, Kathy Hillp5 Our Gal in Meherabad

Various contributors 13 14 Judy Stephens

A Special Occasion.

Janetfudson

15

A Chicago Buiin Meherabad

Dma Snow

16

Heart Chronicles Gjft

Kathy Hill

18

A SpecialDay at School

Dma Snow

21

Time to Help the Trust

Kathy Hill

22

You give Blood, IGive Love

BalNatu

24

Heart Talk

the TrustArchives

25

Babac Birthday atMeherabad

JuniperLesnick

26

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHEiBAD

..

BABs BIRTHDAY AT MEHEnBoDE

Various contributors 27

MEHER BABA AND THE WORLD UNREST

Bhau Kalchuri

29

Jonathan Bader

30

Meher Sruti

55

Don Stevens

56

COVER STORY:

for the January issue: April issue: J uly issue: October issue:

November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

MEHER BABA IN ENGLAND

Love calls me to the West THE MIicLE THAT 15 LIFE MEHER BABA FILMs OF THE

Love Street bookstore:

departments

Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9am to 4pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

email: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or wwwMeherBabaBooks.com

Credits:

6o’s

FRoM THE EDITOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

THE L0vESTREET BOOKSTORE

Reveiws PAS5ING5

Dma Snow Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden and Thomas Hart Charles Gibson Barbara Roberts Pris Haffenden, Harry Thomas, and Charles Gibson Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. cover: Photo ofBaba in London, 1932, Imai Studio, copyright Martin and Christine Cook.

editor: design and layout: proofreader: research assistant: distribution: mailing list information:

2 Dma Snow Various contributors 28 45 Dma Snow Various contributors 46 52

Dick Durnan, p52; Tadaaki Timura, p53; Charmian Duce Knowles, p54 WoRLD WIDE MEETINGS

Various contributors 59

thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the lI4e1ier EBaba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts ofall Love Street £amjJ..Lost readers.

The Love Street .LampJPosr is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern _/]ll words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofihe copyright holders California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Peipetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahrnednagai; India, and © Lawrence Reiter. © AMBPPCT India Unauthorizedduplication isprohibitedhy law.

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c 34th /:ithi3

3’ 2003

7’Iie Clictirmcrn of the i3octrd’s Welcome ,/1ddress for the 34th .J1mctrtithi EBhait 2<ctlcIiuri ur dearest dear ones ofBeloved Avatar Meher Baba, behalfofMeherazad Mandali and the Board ofTrustees of Avatar Meher Baba RP.C. Trust, I feel very, very happy to welcome you all, the dear ones of the Beloved, for the 34th Amartithi anniversary of Beloved Baba. I feel very very happy to see you all here to attend the various programs arranged for Amartithi. Amartithi is a very special occasion when Beloved Baba becomes more and more active to serve the Wine from His Wine Shop, which He has opened on 31st January, 1969. For those who have come here today, He will not only serve the Wine but also create the thirst to drink it. I rememb er one incident: When Padri, one of the Mandali, was called to Meherazad from Meherabad, he came the 15 miles on bicycle, and he had back pain. Therefore, he was sitting in Mandali Hall taking support of the wall. Baba started the talk on the 1969 Darshan Program. He said, “The programs will be at Guruprasad, Pune, and one day, the pilgrims will come to Meherabad to take darshan of My Samadhi.” And He asked Padri, “What ar rangement are you going to make for the pilgrims who will come from Guruprasad, Pune?” Padri said, “Baba, we are now old. Please, close Your shop.” Baba said, “What are you saying? I have not yet openedthe Shop, and you are asking Me to close the Shop? How can I close the Shop when I have not yet opened it?” So, He opened the Shop when He completed His Universal Work on 31st January, 1969. Now, as the Shop is open, He is distributing the Wine to those who come here to drink the Wine. This Shop will remain open for a ver very long time. He will go on distributing the Wine to all those who will come here to drink. It is not that He does not distribute the Wine to those who come at other times, but this is a very special occasion, when He sees many of His lovers and feels very, very happy to just go on dis-tributing the Wine continuously, day and night. This distribution will go on and on because He has opened His Shop for this purpose. The shop is Infinite, and therefore, it will be always full, and it will never become empty His dear ones have to keep their hearts open to receive as much Wine as they can drink, and the Beloved will definitely give them more than they deserve! He is the most Compassionate Father, and we are His

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mischievous children. There is only one way to lessen our mischief and that is the Wine. And therefore, knowwell, approach Him without any hesitation and ask wholeheartedly, “Oh Beloved, give me Your sweet Wine. Create thirst in me so that I may drink more and more, so that I will be free from all mischief and surrender my life to You.” The Beloved will be very, very happy to give each one more and more! Forget the world during the time you are here andjust have the Beloved in your hearts. Attend the programs in His remembrance and feel He alone Exists. We salute your love for the Beloved, Who is everything for us. Whatever exists besides Him is nothing but Iilusion. Beloved Avatar Meher Baba IC Jai!

2’Iadine Edelmcrn Picture This: You’re walking up Meherabad hill on January 31st, exactly 34 years after Meher Baba has dropped his body. It’s about 10:00 am, and you want to be sure to get up to the Samadhi in plenty of time for the fifteen-minute silence that begins at noon, commemorating the time of Meher Baba’s passing. As you’re on your way up, you take a minute to look around you, amazed and astonished that this small ashram has become a city overnight. You are probably one in 300 people not native to this country; however, this does not keep you from feeling completely at home. You hardly notice the extreme conditions of heat and dust because you are so overwhelmed, just trying every second to absorb this unbelievable experience. By the time you get to the top, it’s about 10:30. You recognize that you have plenty oftime before you need to claim your spot for the silence, so you decide to take a walk around the top of the hill. You go look at all of the stalls selling Baba souvenirs; they have such an Indian flavor it makes you smile. You decide to purchase a few things, just as a memory of this incredible event. You pass by all of the food stalls, deciding to be safe rather than sorry, and so you continue walking. In the time it has taken you to look around, the hill has become increasingly more crowded. There are people everywhere you look, and it’s hard to comprehend that you’re all there for the same reason: to celebrate God on this day ofAmartithi, which literally means “eternal date”. It is now about 11:30, and you decide that you need to go claim your space for the silence. As you get closer to the Samadhi, you


realize that about 10,000 others have had the same idea as you. You find a place and sit, taking up as little space as possible, because that’s all that is available. You look around and realize that there are no longer spaces not occupied by bodies. You’re still trying to absorb the experience, but realize that you will be attempting to absorb this long after this overnight city has returned to its normal state. At about 11:50, the crowd breaks into song, singing “Meher Baba, Meher Baba” over and over again. You’re consumed with His presence and the energy that is floating without around. The singing gets faster and faster and then nothing. complete silence! You’re surrounded by warning tens of thousands of people, but you could hear a pin drop in the crowd. You’re shocked and touched and overwhelmed all at the same time. You feel exceptionally fortunate to be a part of this, and know that this is an experience you will never forget. You feel your heart beating in your chest, and begin to remember Him; you think about Meher Baba: all that He is, all that He does, and all that He wants you to be. You think about His life, and His lovers, and you begin to get a glimpse of understanding of how lucky you are, to be here, now, with Him. Before you realize that fifteen minutes have passed, the crowd breaks out in a celebratory “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” And then it’s the silence has so quickly disappeared. You look around, over and find it alriost hard to believe that just seconds ago you were sitting among these masses in silence. Although Amartithi continues for another day and a half you know you’ve had your moment. You’ve been at the climax, experienced the phenomenon. And you just keep taking His name, Meher Baba, Meher Baba, Meher Baba. Thank you. —

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Observations:

/4 J&opk-Watching Journa1 }irginia 2<ctthy 2/ill, 7 hursday January 24. Throngs are arriving as I finally get to Meherabad after a 17-year absence. More than 200 Western pilgrims (largely from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand) are expected to flow in by Friday next week (Amartithi), plus somethinglike 30,000 Easterners (mostly from India, Pakistan and the Mid East). I’m so thrilled to be back in India, love the way it smells and feels, thrive on the sights and sounds, impressed that now there are limited-access multi-lane toll roads, pay phones (“STD” is what the sign says) and cyber cafés. The last time I was here was 1986 (before that, 1969- they call me the 17-year locust) and the changes are massive, mind-boggling, and moving. Everything has grown exponentially, including the city of Ahmednagar, encroaching on Meherabad, and the villages of Meherabad and Arangaon are now hives of activity with flocks of goats, fat cows and bullocks, well-to-do farmers, and lots more fill-year and part-year Western residents. Everyone at every level of society seems much more prosperous than before. The beggars in the streets of Mumbai have gold jewelry! Moved into the Pilgrim Center (universally known as “the PC”), hustled up the hill just in time for Arti. I find the tombs of Mehera and Mani extremely moving; in 1986, memorably, I had tea with Mehera and a chat with Mani. When I exit the Samadhi,

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the attendant gives me prasad and whispers “Welcome home,” and I burst into tears. Thanks, Baba, for getting me back here. January 25. Preparations for Amartithi are in full swing. The pandals (cloth shelters) are going up all over the hill, in a rainbow of deep brilliant colors, filling the whole hillside from the amphi theater to the Samadhi, and they are very elaborate, with big ruffles hanging down, scallop edged panels, sequins, rosettes, paisleys and florals. No one does more interesting things with cloth and color than the Indians. Near the bottom ofthe hill to the left ofthe path, opposite the old post office site, a large area has been cleared and equipped with light poles a food tent for the Easterners will be installed here and staffed by the PC kitchen crew, a huge undertaking with these multitudes. Today some two hundred or so of us were treated to an amazing and delicious feast of Persian dishes in Hostel C for luncheon, hosted by Shirin Vahidi and her family in memory of Khodabakhsh Mehraeen , her brother in lawwho died at Amartithi last year as he had wished to do. [The story of this amazing event was written up in the April 2002 LSLP.] J anuary 26. Pandal-wallas are working long hours joining the long panels together, with a sewing machine set up on the sabha mandap (the raised stone platform near the Samadhi, near Baba’s Cabin; it used to serve as the Amartithi stage). The dogs have found these large bags and bundles ofcloth nice places to loll. Most pandals are supported by a framework of 12-foot-long rough-cut wooden poles lashed together with rope, set into the dust ten feet apart, and the crews who assemble them scurry up and around this structure like squirrels. Everywhere there is evidence ofpreparations proceeding at a steady, but increasing, pace. At the Meher Darbar cyber café it is both cheap and easy to check my e-mail or call home, and a copy ofln God’s Hand printed in India costs a mere 275 rupees (about $5.60,). J anuary 27. Residents are circulating sign-up sheets among the swelling numbers ofWestern pilgrims so we may take advantage ofopportunities to help in various ways. There are Samadhi atten dants, stage hands and sound crew, for instance, plus opportunities to perform. Most ofus sign up for at least one duty and some for several. Debbie Nordeen is recruiting, organizing and rehearsing the Ocean ofLove Chorus, assuring even the most tone-deaf nonsingers among us (I count myself in this group) that she can get us all singing on key. A small, dedicated crew is arranging confi dently to feed, house, and entertain the multitudes for several days including the old, the young, the sick, and the infirm, a task of amazing complexity and scope. I am impressed by the dedication and tireless good humor these undaunted volunteers (residents and pilgrims alike) bring to their monumental task. January 28. Today we all vacated the PC so it may be used to house “special needs” pilgrims. Western women moved into the isolation quarters near the hospital in Lower Meherabad, and men are quartered nearby and on our roof. The price of food and lodging has risen for the interim to a laughable $4 per day from the insignificant$2.50 the PC usually charges. Regular PC meals continue in a nearby tent, and Alan’s staffhave set up a very popular snack bar, where we can purchase soft drinks, chocolate cake, carrot cake, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, popcorn and other familiar delights for a small fee between meals and into the evening. We put funds on deposit and draw against it; most plunk down 200 rupees ($4) and have credit left over when the operation shuts down the following week. The snacks are fantastic, including Alan’s gooey Boston cream pie that takes me back to 1958. I like the regular -

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food, too, with its generous mix ofEastern and Western vegetarian dishes, especially bhakri (millet bread). On the other hand, I would probably like any food that was set before me three times a day (plus teatime) with no effort demanded on my part. Near the food tent and at several other spots there’s a cleverly arranged group ofhand washing sinks fed by a strategic water pipe. I understand the Trust is trucking in huge amounts ofwater at great expense as the crowd of pilgrims swells each day. Debbie’s Ocean ofLove Chorus has a different set ofparticipants every time it practices, but a guy named Kim Paterson from New Zealand is contributing heart-rending trumpet solos that bring tears to my eyes and glues the group together. J anuary 29. A large area downhill from the Samadhi is now taken up by the queue barriers that lead the line winding back and forth, from an entrance gate to the Samadhi. When registering for Amartithi, every pilgrim is issued a number from 1 to 27, stamped on an Amartithi badge, and large number placards will be on display in several locations including the stage. When you see your number, you may enter the queue, and arrive at the door of the Samadhi within the hour. When your number is next, you may sit in a nearby staging area. Ifyou miss your number and the one after it, you must apply for a new number. After you emerge from the tomb, your number is clipped offyour badge. Many of the Eastern pilgrims are only in Meherabad for a few hours, taking chartered buses from all over India, leaving the same day they arrive. A resident told me that last year as the final mmutes ofthe Eternal Day ticked away, a young mother appeared very agitated as it looked like she might not get into the tomb before midnight. At the last possible moment she tossed her infant to a startled tomb attendant “like a football,” and stepped over the threshold, managing to just make it in time. J anuary 30. The pandals are complete now, and a broad area in front of the stage is free of poles for a clear view, with steel scaf folding supporting ruby-red pandal panels with scalloped yellow ruffles hanging in curving waves. The covered area has a gentle slope up toward the tomb, so every seat has a view ofthe big stage. Vendors have taken their places in the big “shopping mall” just outside the water tank enclosure, each tented booth in the long rows offering books or buttons or clothing or some other thing featuring Baba’s words or image. I bought many goodies includ ing ayurvedic Meher Tooth Powder, its label promising “cleans the teeth, stops bad breath, tooth ache, tooth decay, cavity sore mouth swelling gums, pus and blood in teeth. Strengthens the teeth.” (This sovereign remedy was 14 rupees, about 30 cents for 50 grams, and tastes OK.) An ambitious performance schedule has been posted, with a new act starting every five minutes what a nightmare for the stage crew and sound techs, organizing the chairs and microphones, hustling performers on and off. Most sing and play bhajans, with a sprinkling of dancers, and a Westerner about every two hours. The program commenced at 3 PM with the Master’s Prayer recited by the Ahmednagar Center, then act after act proceeds until suppertime. Trains are stopping and unloading pilgrims fairly often, and buses keep coming. The crowd is visibly swelling every minute. Huge square cloth-covered wooden arches have been erected over the road, one at the foot of the Samadhi path and another closer to town, proclaiming Avatar Meher Baba’s Amartithi. The barriers by the railway tracks have come down so vehicles can take the direct route up and down the hill, and a traffic jam is formed at the crossing whenever a train whistles by. 6 —

The backdrop for the stage is a big rainbow on a sky-blue background, with clouds and birds floating around. Catherine Cox created this beautiful vision a few years ago and it is in place every Amartithi. In the foreground is a pink-coated Baba, back to the audience, beaming widely over His shoulder at us as He directs the music with both hands, pigtail floating. I bought a tee shirt with the same design for 120 rupees (around $2.40). Crowds are getting thicker everywhere. People are camping out all over the Hill. They brush their teeth with twigs from the neem trees. Most evenings, there is a group ofyoung men from two different towns in Iran, plus one from the West, who sing and dance and play Persian drums called ‘daafts’ which are like huge tambourines. Their music is so moving that soon a dozen pilgrims are whirling like dervishes. It’s hard to believe these guys just met each other. Debbie has asked her choristers to give up their sheet music, her international orchestra has added a banjo and a fiddle, and chorus rehearsals bring me to my feet, clapping.

2januin,j 31 9 am Rickshaws are doing a brisk business between our Amartithi quarters, Meher Darbar cyber cafe, and the top of the hill. There are long lines for the ladies’ toilets, but none for the men’s, so Jane Brown and I set an example for some sari-clad moms who follow us in breaking this taboo. Early birds lit the Dhuni, using a formal queue, at 7.00 this morning, following Arti at the Samadhi at 6:00. Performers began appearing on the main stage at 8:00 am. The shopping area is still thronged when I find a place to sit in the middle ofthe multitudes. The area under the pandals is paved with tarps, which were only a little dusty, not bad to sit on, and there were some chairs for those who find sitting on the ground impos sible. I wish I were dressed in khaki, which is approximately the color ofthe dust here, rather than in white trousers, a big mistake. The sari-clad beauties all around me look as neat as the proverbial bandbox, and they probably slept on the hostel floor last night. My neighbor is a Mr. Mulkar from Nagpur who touched Baba’s feet at the East-West Gathering in 1962 and at an Eastern darshan in 1961. I sit close to the soundboard enclosure where the comments from the technicians remind me ofWoodstock. The “Stage Nazis” had to be ruthless in moving performers around, but managed to keep the program from running late yesterday. There is a row of dignitaries on stage, and I recognize Bhau Khalchuri, but I’m too far away to identify many ofthe others without binoculars. One is Sue Biddu, a wonderfttl Englishlady, and one is Kennedy McIntosh, a very tall American. I wonder ifthey will ask everyone to turn offcell phones before the grand silence? 10:30 am Standing room only and it’s shrinking fast. Everyone is wearing their best bib and tucker, and little girls in ruffled party dresses looklike walking wedding cakes. In their lacy petticoats and satin sashes they’d fit in fine at a Nashville birthdaypart except their silver ankle bracelets might set them apart. They stare at me and I stare back.WeJai Baba each other alot. Everyone smiles at everyone. We have been warned to be alert for pickpockets but it is difficult to sustain any suspicion in this friendly, lighthearted crowd. 10:55 am The PA system is not very clear at the moment so I’m not sure what I’m looking at, but it would appear as if a boxing match was about to take place. .between Bhau, five foot six or thereabouts and the unmistakable six-foot-seven Kennedy McIntosh, who played for a pro basketball team, the Chicago Bulls, in the seventies??!! Bhau stands at the ready, gloves up, not even bothering .


to dance around sparring. Bhauji lands a knockout punch on the first try and Kennedy goes down like a giant Sequoia! I assume this is a rematch of the boxing event in which Bhauji triumphed on his last trip to California. All cheer heartily for Bhauji, who looks hale and hearty as he takes a winner’s stance. Then he delivers his opening address. It recalls Baba’s words to Padri in 1969: “I have not yet opened the wine shop” when plans were afoot for the Great Darshan. He reminds us, “Forget the world for the time you are here and just have the Beloved in your hearts.” 11:05 am The welcome address is repeated in Hindi. My neighbor speaks English, Hindi, Marathi and Bengali and is identifying all the dignitaries on stage for me. A Telugu-language performer, he used to show each composition to Baba before performing it. He recently spent ten years bedridden but through some miracle is now walking about and merely using a cane. 11:10 am Address repeated in Telugu. The crowd has been growing denser and denser every minute, compacting into the pandal-covered area until not one more body will fit, filling the pathways between groups, standees on the edges drawing closer. Many late arrivals have been shopping and carry new burlap “Don’t Worry Be Happy” tote bags, the bazaar’s bestseller. One offering very popular with small boys is a white visor emblazoned with a red “JAY BABA.” [Sic] Bright sunshine on a row of women in brilliant-colored saris makes me think of a new box of crayons. 11:20 am Bhauji is addressing us in English about how we may live the Work Phase of the New Life without Baba’s physi cal presence. I apply insect repellent to discourage some flies. It is HOT and thousands of us are packed into a large space that has become quite small. Everyone is smiling. I don’t remember the crowds atWoodstock being quite this happy. I wonder why so many Indians are wearing sweaters, ski hats and warm jackets. Does this insulate them from the heat? I am getting squirmy from sitting in this cramped position but the 70-year-old on my right and other Indians are perfectly comfortable. A woman on my left nodded off for a few moments with a toddler playing quietly in her lap. (Note to self: next time bring a fat cushion to sit on, or practice yoga for several months first.) At this distance, Bhauji in his white dress shirt, dark pants, vest, necktie and dark glasses looks like a movie star. 11:45 am Darshan at the tomb is suspended. I note palpably growing tension and excitement. A group of women in colorful saris has taken the stage with Ward Parks on guitar and someone on harmonium. Stage right a group of men are singing in coun terpoint. There’s a drummer and something thatjingles like small cymbals. Their song in Hindi is full ofjoy. A woman sitting near blackjack? It beeps softly. me is playing an electronic game Beguine” is playing over the “Begin the of A tape 11:55 am Hutch Hutchinson. Is that Baba’s favorite, featuring loudspeakers, a beedie? Darshan token smoking is or someone I smell, incense friend across the tent new I now. spot a in queue ten is number I have just learned: gently gesture new wonderful trade this and we eye contact. “My making while heart twice hand on your tap your much more loving So translation. is my your heart” speaks to heart than a wave, a salute, or a “Hello.” 11:58 am “Begin the Beguine” ends and we are all chanting MEHER BABA, MEHER BABA with great enthusiasm. This is the language we all speak! A guitar and violin guide us into faster and faster tempos, drum and harmonium rushing along. Sue Biddu, looking elegant on stage next to Bhauji, is clapping her hands over —

her head and we are all singing as fast as we can. The sound of 30,000 voices raised in His love brings a tear to my eye. Noon With a big KI JAI! the chant ends and an astounding silence takes over. It seems even the birds stop singing. There is no just relaxed, happy nervousness or self-consciousness I can see faces, turned toward Baba’s image on the stage. Some heads are bowed and the stillness is palpable. I do not see one fidgety child, though some infants are babbling quietly (another universal language) and there are a lot of coughs. I notice one man has nodded off and begun to snore very softly. 12:15pm Fifteen minutes pass very quickly. We shout “AVA TAR MEHER BABA KI JAI” together in a roar with many repetitions. People rise and stretch. Alan Wagner declaims the three prayers in English, then they are repeated in several other languages. A man sings the Master’s Prayer in Telugu. The darshan queue resumes its forward motion. The flower-sellers are doing a brisk business. Many ofthe people standing or milling around carry nosegays ofred roses, white tuberoses, marigolds, sprays offlame-colored gladioli, and other blooms to place on the tomb. 12:30pm Dr. Anne recites the prayers in French. Susan MacDonald, a lovelyyoung Korean-American woman gives the Master’s Prayer in Korean for the first time ever; she has just completed the translation and is apparently Meherabad’s first Korean pilgrim. Her cream-colored sari is perfectly draped, with the decorative scarlet and gold end panel thrown over her head and back like a shawl, precisely centered over her spine. First it breaks my heart to see women in gorgeous silk saris sitting in this dirt, then I realize that when they stand up and brush off, they get cleaner than I can get in my cotton clothes. 12:44pm My interpreter has departed so I’m not sure what other languages are represented among the speakers on stage, who continue reciting prayers. 12:54pm Prayers continue and I head for a cold mango drink in the bazaar area. In the parking lot nearby, a Sumo (equivalent to a SUV) reverses and its back-up alarm plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” There’s a fire truck borrowed from Ahmednagar here, which periodically damps down the dust. A line of three-wheeled motorcycle rickshaws, my most favored mode of transportation, beckons so I head back down the hill for lunch. 1:15 pm I notice several ambulances stationed at strategic spots, and as I walk past I peer in their windows. I suspect that the pilgrim-season population ofMeherabad-Arangaon has grown enough to warrant an ambulance of its own. Both units have two attendants. The small one is a microvan, smaller than a VW bus, with bucket seats in the front and no ac cess from the driver’s area to the back, which contains a stretcher. There is no other equipment I can see, just a stretcher. The larger ambulance is the size ofa small American van with a similar layout, but it features two cots in the back plus a compartment marked with a red cross that might contain a small first aid kit. It’s at least forty years since ambulances in America were bor rowed hearses manned by untrained drivers! The ambulances serv ing my neighborhood are Mobile Intensive Care Units, equipped with thousand-dollar defibrillators and cupboards full of oxygen tanks, emergency drugs, splints, bandages, intravenous supplies and communications equipment, manned by top-level paramedics who train constantly on the latest protocols. This time the culture shock makes me sad and discouraged. I think of how many American —

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hospitals are staffed by doctors from India and Pakistan and wonder what can be done. I wonder how much it would cost to outfit a Meherabad ambulance. my mind wanders. .how about if individual Baba Centers across America (and in Australia and Europe) decide to get together and purchase one major item for the ambulance? Surely each group could raise $1000 between all its members? Hmmm... I stay in lower Meherabad for lunch, a short rest, and a visit with friends at teatime. 4:43 pm I’ve rejoined the crowd under the pandal. Darshan Number 13 is up. Bhauji and Sue are still on stage, sitting poised and attentive, hour after hour, like royalty Performances continue. There wasjust a dance by a couple in beautiful costumes. The crowd has thinned enough that I was able to find a chair to sit in, near the sound technicians’ enclosure, so I am much more comfortable but still wishing for binoculars. People watching: A village man is wearing a diaphanous white dhoti over striped boxers. Everyone is carefully stepping around a toddler sleeping with his head downhill and he’s not the only one napping. Many families appear tired and dusty but few are “garlic faced.” Baba’s command to be cheerful is being widely observed. 5:20 pm Darshan token 14 is up. At last, the act I’ve been waiting for: the Ocean of Love Chorus takes the stage. Debbie Nordeen is the kind ofvoice teacher who thinks anyone can learn to sing, and ifyou think you are the exception to this rule, she will prove otherwise fo you in very short order. She proves it to me with this heart-rending performance. She transformed a ragtag group of singers,non-singers and musicians into a tight choral group with an International Ocean Orchestra. I wonder if there has ever been another performance featuring fiddle, banjo, guitar, trumpet and daaft. Debbie starts by reminding us that on December 23, 1968, 39 days before dropping the body, Baba declared, “I am not this body, I am the infinite Ocean of Love.” Then Kim’s first trumpet solo comes in, and then the singing, with parts performed by the men in the group, the women, both, and even the audience. Whispers and shouts. Throughout, there are more virtuoso trumpet solos, with Kim’s love for Baba shining though every note, and the whole orchestra contributes additional solos, plus rhythm and vibrance, meter and tune. What else can I say but “OH WOW!” I find it incredibly moving. Tears on my face again. 6:00pm Darshan number 16 is up. I spot two women in Army uniforms: khaki-colored saris with a broad black edge, khaki cholis with striped black shoulder boards of rank. The pandal is still packed, but it’s possible to find a good seat if you keep looking. I’m not planning to give up my chair until time for my Samadhi duty at 8 o’clock. I wonder how I could be coated in dust from top to toe while all the Easterners around me appear so clean. 6:21 pm I spot Dma down in front preparing to videotape the Meher English School performance. Last night in one of the isolation rooms, she caught on video a very special performance by J ane Brown oflshtiake, a song written by Baba, words and music discovered decades later in the pocket of His famous Kamli coat. It was an honor to be present. Dma told me later she was planning on making this Amartithi documentary available to the general public (through the Love Street Bookstore.) 6:30pm 160-plus children ofMeher English School take the stage in long rows in their crisp white and purple uniforms, and . .

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perform “Welcome To My World” with hand gestures. Charles Gibson, Ward Parks and Sue Biddu help out, and they all sing from the heart. 7:00 pm Remarkable performance of “Baba Hu” by a large chorus. Much of the audience is clapping and singing, along with most of the dignitaries on stage. If an invading army sang “Baba Hu” as they came over the ridge to confront the enemy on the field of battle, I swear the opposition would just drop their weapons and sing along. 7:30pm I report to the Samadhi for my scheduled volunteer shift and sit on the warm-up bench observing the various team tasks. At least one (I can’t quite see) worker must be inside the tomb to tap shoulders and keep the line moving. Two are stationed where the queue flows into the shelter, to clip the thorns offthe roses and collect purses and packages on a table while making sure shoes have been removed. Two distribute prasad: Less for the prosperous, as much as a child can grasp, and most for the obviously poor. One keeps the prasad containers filled from a large supply nearby, and many pilgrims bring many more bags of candies. One near the door and one farther away keep the line moving. One guards the exit to keep people from sneaking in. A supervisor assigns each of us to one of these posts, then every twenty minutes or so shifts us around so we don’t get bored, and stay fresh. Many pilgrims appear to be enjoying their first visit, or their first for a very long time. Some carry bags of prasad in and out of the tomb. The line moves at a fairly brisk pace without seeming rushed. Atleast twice an hour the queue is briefly halted so a pile of flowers may be removed by four people lifting the corners of a large cloth. To me the pile looks as big as a haystack, and I realize I am starting to get tired. My favorite assignment is distributing prasad even those who found and saying “jai Baba” to small children my appearance (short, wide, red-haired white woman) frightening. Or maybe they are just tired too. 10:00pm My shift is over and I proceed to the parking lot, wait a while until a rickshaw is available, and make my way back to my bed in the isolation quarters, with a euphoric combination ofexhaustion, happiness, exhilaration, family feeling, and unmiti gated joy. —

3ebriuinj I Performances continue on the hill today, and the pace is more relaxed, the atmosphere less intense, the crowd a lot thinner. All the bhajans, though, with up to five performed in every half hour, are all starting to sound the same to my Western ear, and they all seem to take longer than their allotted five minutes. There are some beautiful Eastern dances to recorded music, and then the Persian drum group takes the stage for a dance in which some performers are seated (but nevertheless very active). It is intense and energetic, with the daafts making a deep resonant sound mellowed by the higher pitch oflittle metal rings rattling around the inner rim, like an Irish bodhran crossed with a tambourine. Picture seven extremely attractive and mostly youthful men in long white kurta-pyjamas, kneeling in three rows (three-one-three) on stage, and off to one side two tabla players in blue who fade into the background. The stage crew careftilly sets up microphones and the chant-like song begins. The lead singer is the center man in the back row ofthree drummers. As the chant intensifies, the performers sway their bodies faster in time to the quickening beat. The three singers in the front row place their hands down on the stage in front ofthem, and lean II


forward, and sway back and forth from the hips, their forelocks al organized. I was surrounded by thousands of pilgrims from India most sweeping the floor. Their heads hang loose like fruit on a vine. and other countries. At first they are all swaying in time to the music, but independently The celebrations kept everyone engaged in remembrance of of each other, but then they shift slightly to move in unison. Beloved Baba. The programs went on continuously, day and night, The intensitybuilds and suddenly they shout!The lead shifts to a and still, nobody wanted to leave. People did not get tired; they all different singer. How can we all keep from leaping up to dance like were absorbed in the Beloved. dervishes? The group ends with a wild shout ofMEHER BABA! Now, as the celebrations are over, how tired they are! The crowd goes wild. Maybe it was more than one song I fell Nevertheless, there is one thing: even if the pilgrims feel tired, into some sort of trance. When it ended, I felt like I should be out they do not stop talking. They go on telling others how they felt ofbreath. Apparently, the translation of the lyric is “Meher Baba during Amartithi and how they participated in different prois the truth.” grams. A nice change of pace after the daaft singers is an American This Amartithi was really very powerful. Everyone enjoyed it with a guitar who sings a tender ballad with the chorus, “I must to the fullest extent, but not to the extent that they would not feel do my best to lay it down and let my father take over.” One of the hungry for a year. This hunger is such that they did not feel satis verses has the line, “We have a chance to dance in the fire of the fled eating only once. They ate illusory food, and that’s why they Avatar.”Then Harry and Sharon Muir perform one ofmy all-time felt hungry the next day. They would feel more and more hunger favorite songs, “Give Yourselfto Love” by Kate Wolf and every note every day, and thus may repeat their visits many times during the is dripping with sweetness. Harry tells me he knew Kate, and sang year. Only the fortunate ones eat once and then never eat again. this at her fhneral, so no wonder it is so hearifelt. I hope someone These fortunate ones drink the whole Ocean, and therefore, hunger will play it at my funeral too. cannot touch them. That is the end of hunger. Back by popular demand, the daaft group! This time the lead So there is a difference between hunger and thirst. Hunger is singer sits in front, and they chant the Names of God. I am once in the gross sphere. Drinking is different. Drinking is in the gross, again entranced. The chorus is a deep shout of”HU!” which sounds subtle and mental spheres. You cannot satisfy either hunger or drink a little like barking dogs. One man rises to his feet, takes the front unless the whole Ocean is drunk. And when someone drinks the stage center spot, and dances with one arm held high, rhythmically whole Ocean, then afterwards there is nothing to drink. circling in place. If you get a single drop, however, you feel more thirsty Afterthoughts three weeks later. Well, huge gatherings of Beloved Baba’s Wineshop remains open all the time, and when devotees are not my favorite kind of party but this experience He sees that thousands ofpeople have come to Him, He becomes has been one ofjoy and wonder for me. There was never a hint really very, very active. But during Amartithi, He remains infinitely of that supercilious badgering tone that event staff often use with active and goes on distributing His Wine day and night without attendees; all 700 volunteers who put this extravaganza together getting tired. It is His pleasure to make His lovers drink more and apparently put their egos someplace else when I was around, for I more. And He goes on creating thirst in them. During Amartithi, found the staffers cheerful, tireless, smiling, prepared, and always pilgrims become so drunk that they sing, they dance, they do dif eager to help. All the mechanics that are supposed to be behind the ferent things, and yet they remain natural. They don’t show what scenes, such as the communications network, the shift changes, the is happening internally, and at the same time, they also become illnesses and emergencies, and so forth, stayed out of sight, even very active. to my practiced eye (I organize much smaller events for hundreds 800 volunteers were doing different types ofwork and helping of people, sometimes). His lovers go to the Wineshop, where the Wine Server was dis Once Bhauji told us a story about being assigned with one other tributing His wine without any charge. This Wine is not available Mandali member to clean the toilets for one of the early mass anywhere, unlike country liquor, which is available everywhere if gatherings. They not only managed to do so, but in fact did so after you pay the price. And the intoxication from country liquor is each use, while hiding and remaining invisible to the users! I always just momentary, but the intoxication of this Wine is very, very thought that was a great example ofselfless service, doing your job, permanent. Everyone wants to have more and more intoxication, doing it better than necessar and doing it utterly unnoticed. I guess and this enjoyment is never lost. On the contrary one longs for the staffhas heard this story too, and taken to heart, because they it more and more, and this longing creates pain. But this pain is took on an impossible event-management task and made it look like itching. When you have itching, you scratch. This scratching easy- made it look like no one was working! (Although there were causes pain, but you enjoy it. folks in color-coded bandannas here and there, in charge of things The same thing happens ifyou have only a drop ofthis Wine. like security and parking, even they looked like they were having You go on scratching and scratching to have more and more Wine fin.) I’d bet money that the core organizers are already holding the and thus have more and more pain. first committee meetings to plan the 35th Arnartithi celebration, I am very happy to inform that you I am very, very well and and my hat is offto every one of them. strong. On 31st January at Meherabad, I had a boxing match on the stage with Kennedy. He is 6’9” tall and very young and very strong. Boxing gloves were not available, so the match was held without gloves. Actually, Beloved Baba helped me when Kennedy 3rd 3ebmanj came onto the stage. You’ll be surprised to know that with one came back here on the night of 1st February after completing punch, I knocked down dear Kennedy. So now you can imagine the Amartithi celebrations in Meherabad. It was really a how strong I must be. very good Amartithi, ftill of love for the Beloved, and very well —

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LA Letter 3om A4chem Meherazad , February 2003 My dear, dear Baba family, want to thankyou all for the love and good wishes that have come to me from all of you. Your love and support have meant a great deal to me and helped me so much. I knew the heart surgery would be very critical and that Baba had to be with me every step of the way. I would like to share with you the following notes that I wrote before going into the hospital. “I know that Avatar Meher Baba is tak ing care of me as He has always done, and I face the forthcoming surgery as calmly and bravely as is possible for me. Ifit is my destiny to survive and serve Him ftirther in this life I shall be most happy and honoured to do so, with a focused desire to complete whatl have begun ofmylife storywith Him, as well as to tie up any other loose ends. “As I look back on my life, I wish to say that Beloved Meher Baba has always been there, the leading light that guided me. So compassionately and lovingly He allowed me to be in His wondrous company and closely associated with His two closest women mandali, His beloved Mehera and His sister Mani. What an honour andjoy it was; what greater gift could He have given me in life than He already has, of staying with them and serving Him.” On my departure from Meherazad I took along with me the heartfelt wishes of all the Meherazad family for my successful return. I thought often of them all, espe cially Goher who was constantly praying to Baba to keep His nazar on me, and also on the doctors, that He might guide their hands as ifHe Himselfwere performing the surgery. I was deeply touched by Bhau, who frequently took time out ofhis busy schedule to phone and convey his loving greetings and to inquire about my progress.

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This surgery was a great challenge for me, for I had to make the decision about it without Baba’s direct guidance such as He gave when He was here with us. Yet when I look back I realize how near He was to me, guiding me all along. One most obvi ous instance was when we arrived in Poona that first day to settle down in Pumpkin House. For me this is a haven ofpeace fified with Baba’s Presence, always so kindly and graciously offered for our use by Dara and Amrit. On my arrival I met Dr. Rao, my cardiologist. I felt the need for a final confirmation from him that indeed there was no other viable option but surgery. Only then did I make up my mind to go through with it. A little later I was resting in bed, without thinking except ofBaba, when these words came to me as from Him: “Idare not care notfor those I love, Though Iletyou stumble and letyoufall, Itake care ofyou one and all.” When I was leaving the hospital, having received my discharge from the main doc tors, I did not feel I was saying good-bye to members of an institution where the doc tors and nurses just used their expertise in

Beloved Baba, “May we be worthy of Your beautiful love for us.” AVATAR MEHER BABA KI-JAI Ever in His Love, Meheru

2iectltli LIpdatc on ‘i3a1 2q citit .SIielle1J J1l/lctrrich Meherazad 18 February 2003

loving Jai Baba from Meherazad, where all are cleaning and decorating in preparation for Beloved Baba’s upcoming Birthday. The mandali and Meherazad resi dents feel especially grateful this year that by Baba’s grace both Meheru and Bal Natu will be celebrating His Birthday at home. On 7th February, Balaji returned from the Poona hospital to a warm welcome from all his Meherazad family. Especially touching for all was Bal’s visit to Baba’s room for darshan several days after his return, a true homecoming. Although Bal has been hampered in his recovery by an infection he contracted in the hospital, he is very slowly gaining strength, taking longer walks, visiting Mandali Hall for prayers in the morning, eating well and even gaining weight! Bal felt well enough on Tuesday to greet pilgrims in his room, an unexpected and heartwarming occasion for them as well as himself! Hopefully before too long, Balaji will be able to resume more of his normal routine. He continues to be thankful to all his “Baba friends” for their love and support during his illness.

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a clinical manner. I came to regard them as warm-hearted friends who really cared for the well-being oftheir patients. I felt Baba had chosen for me the right hospital and with such a perfect set-up. Later when I learned all the details ofwhat I had undergone from the lovely crew that was taking care ofme, I knew for certain I was in Baba’s care every step of the way. It is wonderful to be back in Meherazad, and I was most thankful to be able to go to Meherabad for the Amartithi darshan. So often I remember Mehera’s words to


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7th 3ebay Jai Meher Baba to you all! ith Amartithi over and everyone back to their regular schedules here at Meherabad, we in the Meher Pilgrim Center also returned to our weekly scheduling of events. I do not know if I have ever listed our normal weekly programs at the MPC. Usu ally on Monday and Friday, Bhau gives a talk during teatime. Tuesday evening at 9: 00 pm, a video is shown ofthe Mandali—we have a nice selection! Wednesday and Satur day mornings there is a Historic tour ofMe herabad. Wednesday afternoon, at teatime, Sam Kerawala shares some ofhis stories of being with Baba, often mixing in Rumi and Hafiz stories. Thursday afternoons there is often a tour ofthe newArchive building. Friday evenings at 9:00 pm, Peter Booth shows a Baba movie. So, you can see the weekly events give the pilgrims lots of opportunity to share in ourlife here. When we have a guest speaker we try to have it on a day where there are not other events taking place. There is also a daily volleyball game in the late afternoon, on a court that lies to one side ofthe front ofthe MPC. For those who like a quieter exercise, a yoga class is led by one ofthe residents at 5:30 pm most afternoons in our Physical Education building (better known as Hostel-B). Dear Bal Natu has returned home to Meherazad. Bal has been in Pune for many weeks and is now well enough to be home. I do not know when he will be able to once again sit in Mandali Hall and share stories. It is enough just to have him back again. t1t 3ebruary 1113 Ahmednagar Scout and Guide District Organization spent four days at Meherabad. This organization is similar to the boy and girl scouts ofAmerica. One thousand boys and 500 girls, plus 150 teachers camped at our New Site (used for Amartithi). The children had tents and they had to provide their own food. The Trust provided electricity and water, as well as food for the teachers. Medical care was given by Dr. Venkat and the stafffrom the Meher Health Clinic. The District Organization arranged cultural programs, and performances were given by the students. Zilpelwar and Anna Kandala, from Meherabad, gave talks of Baba. On

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Thursday the students came to the Samadhi to take darshan. The last day of the outing the Trust served lunch to everyone. Government offi cials from the State and City attended some of the programs. There was also an official from the Parliament of India in Delhi.

th 15 We had a concert in the theater at teatime. Normally a concert is not possible in the theater this close to the Baba birthday play. The stage is used for rehearsals. However, the concert was an opportunity to test the sound system. ‘Jeannie and friends’ was the name of the concert. Jeannie Felknor has one ofthe most beautiful voices I have ever heard. She had thirteen performers on stage with her. Plus, she had as a surprise guest, the three Iranian daaft players. A bit ofhumor was added when, between one of the performances, Hugh McDonald rides his bicycle behind the singers while ringing his bell. Right on his heels was Kennedy McIntosh dribbling a basketball across the stage. When they passed behind the far curtain, they turned around and crossed the staged once again. Now Kennedy is 6’7” and an ex NBA basketball player. The audience had a good laugh!

8th 3ebaj 1 Most of the Iranians have left. Zahra and Arjang left this evening after Arti for Iran. I mention these two because one day we were talking when I was on duty in the MPC.Theywere telling me some incredible stories ofhow Baba is working in Iran. Arjang has a business acquaintance whose wife heard about Baba from Arjang. The wife was interested and wanted to come here last Amartithi. The husband had no interest to come, so they stayed home. They are Muslims and one time when they had gone on pilgrimage to Mecca, the Haj, the wife had a divine experience there.

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Aloba called Arjang and Zahra here to Meherabad when he was in the hospital, and he gave them some prasad to take back to Iran. When Aloba died they were with him at the hospital and then returned to Iran after Aloba was buried. One day soon after that, Arjang stopped by the business acquaintance’s home, to leave some of the prasad Aloba gave him. Arjang put two pieces ofprasad in a small, clear, see through bag; he decided also to include a picture ofBaba. When he reached the home the husband answered the door and Arjang told the husband the prasad was for his wife. Arjang told me he did not know why, but all ofa sudden he told the husband to be careful, this was notjust candy, it was something very powerfhl. The wife was in another part of the house, so the husband asked Arjang to wait. Well, the minutes keep passing; Arjang had only planned to drop off the prasad and go on his way. He did not know what was taking so long. Ten minutes pass before the husband returns. The husband looked as if he was in shock. He kept repeating, “I don’t understand”. When the husband was able to get himself together he explained what had taken so long. He said he gave the bag to his wife and when she opened it, something incredible happened. The wife began to weep. And when she looked at Baba’s photo she kept saying, “I know Him! I know Him!” She was finally able to tell her husband, after some minutes of weeping, that Baba was the one she experienced when she went to the Ha]! This Amartithi that same couple came here with the other Iranians. The husband was so moved by his wife’s experience he also wanted to come with her this year. Such is the force of our Beloved Baba’s eternal love.


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9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 14th, a very special occasion, the groundbreaking for the Meherazad Archive Building, took place at Meherazad: special because it had the fragrance of Baba’s Presence; special because the building will contain precious items ofBaba’s; special because of the care with which Meheru, as head of the Archives, Museum and Research Cornmittee of Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C. Trust, planned and pre pared for it despite her health; special because the contractor, Mr. Joshi insisted it be on a Thursday or Guruwar (Guru’s Day), the most auspicious day ofthe week to begin something; and special because this will be the last building constructed in the core of Meherazad. As the many attending gathered on the site in the rose garden behind the Record Room (where Bal Natu works), the atmo sphere was ofintimacy and care, the unmis takable stamp ofa Mandali member’s hand. For some time Meheru had been thinking ofhow best to arrange this occasion what about shelter from the sun for everyone? The right snack to share afterwards, of course a cup of tea with it to perk us up? And most important, how to honour Baba’s photo presiding over the groundbreaking? In the women Mandali’s ashram with Baba, Meheru would make impossible, impromptu structures at high speed with

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all gathered recited Baba’s Prayers. As Mr. Joshi (the contractor and an experienced groundbreaker) directed, Meheru broke a coconut, sprinkled symbolic coloured powders on the ground and swung a little pick to break the earth to a resounding “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” Other members of the AMRC--Bhauji (who appointed a substitute), Meherwan Jessawala and Mistry followed. Then other helpers and guests came forward to take their turn, until all felt the ground-breaking had been thoroughly accomplished and it was time to enjoy the treats so lovingly offered and so eagerly relished. As people left afterwards to attend to their various responsibilities, the unanimous feeling was that if a groundbreaking could be perfect, then this was it. And so began the “little sister” of Manzil-e-Meher at Meherabad. Its purposes are to further safeguard Baba’s things in the care of the Trust, to keep some of Baba’s personal items especially associated with Meherazad safely at Meherazad, and to provide a place for caring for the many household items that will remain where they are now in Baba’s Home. While the main focus of the building will be storage and preservation work, the ultimate goal will be to share these precious items that provide a link to the Avatar’s advent with present and future generations as they become drawn into the orbit ofMeher Baba’s Photos byJuniperLesnik love. :

:

almost no materials during their travels all over India with Baba. She again demonstrated this skill on the Tuesday before the occasion by directing inexperienced helpers to erect assorted poles for the pandal (a tent without sides), and the next day by supervis ing thejigsaw-puzzle task oftying onto the poles whatever covers could be unearthed. Meheru commandeered a charming little wooden structure with a small roof to hold Baba’s photo, so that His image wouldn’t be in the sun. This was thoroughly scrubbed, lined with colourftil cloths and in the early morning ofthe 14th decorated with strings ofvibrant orange marigolds, fragrant tuberroses and red roses transforming it into a miniature mandir (temple) to receive Baba’s photo inside for garlanding. At 9.30 sharp Bhauji arrived from Meher Nazar, and Dr Goher in her ‘Duckie’ (motorized chair), all the Mandali, trustees, residents and those who have been particularly connected to archive work, assembled under the pandal to begin. The groundbreaking ceremonywas to askfor Beloved Baba’s blessing and help for this undertaking and to ask the earth’s forgiveness for disturbing and placing a heavy struc litre on it. In the tranquility ofthe sanctified setting ofMeherazad with Seclusion Hill in the background, Meheru, Bhauji and members ofthe Archives, Museum and Research Committee garlanded Beloved Baba’s photo resting in the gay “mandir” and

Is


A Chicago 73u11 in J1I4eherabad r7jiiici .Siiow,

rom 1971 to 1975 Kennedy McIntosh, just six foot seven, played ‘small forward’ for the Chicago Bulls. He was headed for a verypromising career in the NBA (National Basketball Association) when a pre-season knee injury forced him into early retirement in 1975. So how does a Bull get to Meherabad you ask? Heaven knows there are hundreds of bulls on the dusty roads of the villages around Meherabad, but we are talking a Chicago Bull! Kennedy has been a spiritual seeker most of his adult life, and when he heard about Avatar Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual Master, he realized he had found what he had been searching for. So while keeping in close touch with the Bulls, bas ketball and the NBA in general, Kennedy traveled to the various Centers for Meher Baba around America, finally settling in Los Angeles. During a pilgrimage, a few years ago, to Meherabad to visit the Tomb Shrine ofMeher Baba, who dropped the body in 1969, Kennedy met the woman he was destined to marry—two weeks later! Prasava was also a follower ofMeher Baba and the two decided to live there and donate their time and services to helping the ashram and the local villagers in any way they could.

California

Before He passed on, Meher Baba es tablished a Trust to fund the ashram, a hospital, health din ics, veterinary clinics, and a school; all of which were open to the general public, regardless of race, religion, caste, creed or ability to pay. AU of these are funded by donations. As Meher Baba’s followers around the world probably number no more than a million, with three quarters of them being in India, it is always a struggle to keep the facilities open and operating. While there in January, I visited the Meher English School. I had seen it last year and was extremely im pressed with the changes the new principal had instituted over the past four years. All the students were well dressed in crisp clean uniforms, shoes on their feet, and were well fed. Some of the children were brought in Trust funded buses from villages many miles away. If not for these buses they would have no schooling at all. The Meher Eng lish School goes from kindergarten th to 10 grade. Tuition is 300 rupees a year. That is S6. That is not a typo—six dollars per year! Yet some of the families from im poverished viilages cannot even afford that—so the Trust steps in and gives the student a scholarship. Thanks to donations from people around

the world, the school now has a computer room with 20 computers. The Science Lab stands empty—awaiting donations to help put the necessary equipment in to make it fttnctional. Stella Manuel, the Indian lady with the surprising name, has, with the help of the Trust, done wonders with the school. It was judged the cleanest (in India this counts for a lot!) in the whole State of Maharashtra. They have the state champion ping pong player in the school, even tho they have no ping pong table. Mohsin Shaikh practiced on desks pushed together. We would love to get a Ping Pong table, bats and balls for the school! How much could that cost? A few hundred dollars! Stella’s latest idea was for a basketball court. Most children had never seen a court, but they do have television. Even in the poorest of the villages, someone has a set, around which their neighbors crowd to watch the games broadcast from the States. Stella mentioned her idea to one of the English ladies who volunteers her time and energy to the school, teaching the children conversational English. (The children are taught three languages, Marathi, the language of their state, Hindi, the most widely used of the Indian languages, and English.) Susie thought it an excellent idea and donated sufficient funds to have a court bulldozed out of the rough scrub behind


In 1996 Kennedy was inducted into the University ofMichigani Hall ofFame. He was EMUi all time leading scorer with 2,2l9points and all time leading rebounder with 1426 rebounds. He waspickedby the Bulls immediately upon graduation.

the school. Lines were painted in the dirt and regulation hoops set at either end. The children love it! Both boys and girls come early in the morning and stay late after schooljust to have a go on the court. Stella says they would play by flashlight if she let them—such is their enthusiasm. She has also found it is a good way to get the very best ofbehavior from her students: if they misbehave, it is ‘no basketball for two days!’ A fate worse than death to these children! Living in Los Angeles myself, I knew Kennedy before he moved to India; we both served on the Board ofDirectors for the Ava tar Meher Baba Center in Los Angeles. So when I saw him in Meherabad this January I asked ifhe had seen the Basketball court at the school. He had, he told me, and had offered his services as a coach, although he was a little reticent about that, modestly demurring, as they already had a coach, their P.E. teacher. However when we went over for the photo shoot, re found that there were many tricks of the trade a pro knows that a P.E. teacher would not: how to turn the ball so the seam is running across the ball correctly, before shooting, how to shoot one-handed with the other extended for balance, how to

dribble while hiding the ball behind and through the legs, and so on. Both the children and Kennedy enjoyed that first session so much he is now a very ftequent visitor. But Kennedy is very concerned about the surface of the court—hard dirt with sharp stones throughout! It’s an ‘anide turner’ he says, serious injuries could result, and playing barefoot or with regular school shoes—that’s a definite no-no! The court needs to be paved, the children need good sports sneakers, and they need shorts and jerseys to play in. As you see them in these photos, that is how they play. Nothing can dim their enthusiasm, especially now that they have a pro teaching them the inside tricks of the trade! We came back from that first session on the court fired up with enthusiasm to get them everything they needed. My assistant, Kathy Hill, installed herself in the nearest Cyber Café (they really do have one this far out in the barren area, mostly for the pilgrims from the nearby ashram) and surfed the web for the next few hours. We found it would cost around

$7000 to cement the basketball court, the volleyball court behind it (there are as yet, no nets or volleyballs) and the quadrangle in the center ofthe four-sided school buildings. The latter is what the children from all grades play on, again with sharp stones embedded and sticking up at odd angles, sit, and eat their lunch on. But as Kennedy says, a cement playing court is no good as there would be many ruined knees, not to mention scraped knees! So Kathy then researched surfaces for outdoor courts and found that there are various kinds, many portable that can be laid in squares, from a company that provides tracks and surfaces for Olympic events. All surfaces we found started off with a surface of concrete, so we know that is a starting point. Novasports has an office in New Delhi that manufactures a surface specifically for basketball courts that would cost only about $1500. We will be approaching Nike, Adidas, the NBA, and any related large corporations that might like to earn major PR points for themselves by adopting this Meher English School in the middle of an extremely poor region ofthe Deccan in India. The Trust is doing all it can, but has so many projects to support, and as I said, can function only on 2001 donations, which, since September alarmingly. Help needed is have fallen off from the outside.

‘7


‘The 21c:irt CIironic1cs’9ift 3or J4/kher English 5chooi

January

24,2003.Afewyears agoagroup

of Baba Listserv members collaborated over the Internet to produce a volume of “How I Came to Baba” stories, titled The Heart C’hronicles. Dma and I were actively involved in the project, which has now earned $1000 for the Trust through sales by the Love Street Bookstore. The Trust will let us earmark the donation for the school, and Dma will present the check to Trust Chair Bhau Khalchuri, in a few days. Todaywe hope to identify a specific project that the donation will ftind. The sagging economy and a number ofother factors have Trust budgets stretched thin. We hope to subsidize something that is a high priority the school that would not otherwise be realized soon. The principal, Stella Manuel, whom you read about in the last issue, is giving Dma and me a tour this morning. Meher English School is operated by the Trust and serves 500 children from kindergarten to the tenth standard (grade), drawing children from villages as distant as 85 kilometers away. Tuition is only 300 rupees a year, about six dollars US, and enrollment is growing. Many students are on scholarship, and all wear crisply pressed uniforms these are bright purple for the upper levels and red for the lower school. Since many children single-parent homes, most pur chase their uniforms with small monthly installments. The main entrance is an arched pas sageway featuring pictures of Meher Baba and quotations, and the benches here are where parents and others wait to meet with the staff Stella tells us that some time back she complained to the police when her bus driver was attacked and injured, and the officers who responded liked these quotes, and they have since become Baba lovers! The school buildings form a hollow square around a dusty compound ofpacked dirt and gravel. The compound is edged with tropical plants, each one drip watered automaticallyby its own inverted plastic wa ter bottle, recycled from the Pilgrim Center trash. The children sit in the dust here twice day to eat meals brought from home, and play here during recess. Stella tells us that some of the children can bring only plain but each group shares everything, so all well. This compound looks to us like a candidate for an artificial turf cover-

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ing, along with the basketball court more this later. Today many of the older children are marching around the compound in ranks ofthree, with an instructor shouting “Left! Right! Left! Right!” as they swing their arms stifflyforward and back and takelong rhyth strides. The children are practicing for Stella tells us. An Army band will be here for a ceremony on Febru ary 3rd. Stella said many ofthe children are interested in military careers, and the 12 graduates who have entered so far are dowell. The army camp that shares a long boundary with the school and the Pilgrim Center is a vehicle testing center. Stella tells us that under the Indian system, your education is finished unless you pass tenth standard, and some children take several extra years to complete tenthstandard work and pass the exams. Once this hurdle they are eligible for college, which offers the 11th and 12th standards, followed by three years of university work. The less academically inclined seek trade school admission. The graduates of Meher English School normally go on to further studies at nearby Ahmednagar College, where most qualify for generous scholarships. Some tenth-standard students are old enough to have mustaches, and look out of place with so many younger peers. Stella’s lovely daughter Fiona recently graduated college with distinction and at age 19 is the second grade teacher. Stella feels that “Education is sacred,” and this was evident everywhere. So many the children come from single-parent homes that do not want to take care of daughters. She is especially concerned with keeping her young charges safe from a life ofprostitution. She is also inaugurat keep them involved. Stella holds classes seven days a week for the oldest students, worried they will fall in with companions who spend their time at the less-than-wholesome movies, or gam bling. Many of Stella’s efforts are directed attendance and retention, and rising test scores reflect her success. Among her recent initiatives: Preventive Health Care. The school now holds clinics for routine vaccinations because so many children were forced to drop out due illness: 50% at times.

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Athletics. Sports are a big way to hold the children’s attention. One youth rose to the national level in table tennis even though the school has no ping-pong table the boy practiced by pushing desks together! The cricket pitch and soccer field are on a hilly terrain of sharp weeds and prickly bushes. But since the new basketball hoops went up, many of the boys are coming to school early, staying later, and missing fewer days. The court is hard-packed dirt and sharp gravel, but the children play barefooted with enthusiasm. “Some have never played with a ball before,” Stella says. “More than the computers, basketball excites them. They’d play by flashlight at night if we let them.” She warns children, “Do your work and behave or no basketball for a week!” and they do their work and behave. But the court is what Kennedy McIntosh, ex-NBA player, calls “ankle-turning” hard on the feet and legs, to say nothing ofhow difficult it is to dribble on uneven gravel. None of the children have sneakers. Transportation. New flat bench seats for the bus are a high priority. Ofthe 500 stu dents enrolled, 450 must ride the bus from distant villages. Those who can afford the transportation fee pay 110 rupees a month, about $2.20, and the Trust grants scholarships to those who can’t pay. Stella shows us her two buses with pride there is the old bus, the new bus, plus one they rent, and two Matadors, small vans. The new (gently used) bus has deluxe seating, unfortunately bucket seats on each side of the aisle are molded to seat two adults, but wide enough to seat three or even four children, and this capacity is needed, so some children ride perched uncomfortably on the crack and the others are riding at an angle, one haunch up on a high edge, as you can see in the photo, not a comfortable ride on bumpy, jarring Indian roads and lanes. We were joined by representatives from the Trust, and shown in the picture (left to right) are Mehernath Khalchuri, Vice President; Stella Manuel, Principal; and J. K. Rangole, Treasurer. With great pride they ushered us into the new computer lab and the science lab, which are “far supe nor to anything in the entire Ahmednagar district,” and offered free, whereas the city schools charge each child extra for computer instruction. At first glance the lab seems well-equipped, with 20 computers donated —


informal booster organization going to determine the school’s extracur ricular needs and do what we can to help meet them. We’re interested in pairing up with Boys and Girls Clubs or Scout groups here in the states that might “adopt” a sister group in India. We feel certain the readers ofLSLP will have the right contacts and jump in to help. Do any of your friends work in High Places in major corporations? Let’s hear from you if you have any ideas. Ultimately all agreed the Heart The schoolgirls on the new bus withfour crammed into 2 seats. Chronicles check for $1,000 will buy the bus seats, and increase the by one Canadian lover, and on the screen of children the school can trans— number savers all around the room one sees beauti is obviously the most urgent which port, flu smiling images ofBaba. Along with six a better surface for the think We need. PCs donated by the same Canadian lover would be another wor court basketball there is an ancient electric typewriter and an search revealed internet An project. thy even older mimeograph machine (or someat the something There’s options. dozen a thing like it) that makes copies from typed stencils. They pray that Baba will provide an office copier one day soon. Stella is forming an informal alumni association by tracking down students who were her seniors five years ago, when she first started working at the Meher English School, who have now started their careers. Her idea is to ask them to give back to their old school in whatever way is appropriate have an electrician install some outlets, have an accountant come in on a Saturday and tutor mathematics, and so forth. Her goal is to nurture the doctors, veterinarians, lawyers and accountants who will one day be the stalwarts of Meherabad operations and the Trust’s pillars in the future. Not to be outdone, Dma and I would like to get an

Novasports.com website called “the world’s best all-weather sports surface” that can be applied over a concrete base. Nova has an office in New Delhi, Harrison Industries, and their sales department quoted only $1500 for a basic installation. The concrete underwe passed a lay would cost about $5000 concrete factory on the road to Meherazad and several of the Meherabad residents are eager to work on this. If someone would like to follow up with this project, email me at bthi11777@yahoo.com for the phone numbers. Before leaving, we visited the arts and crafts area where children learn vocational skills such as making clothes. Neatly lettered Baba posters are on display. Our favorite was this quote: —

Liqo amount of prayer or meditation can do wlictt helping others can do.

Current stage of construction ofthe new pilgrim buildings at Meherabad Read the complete story onpage 22.

‘9


4:i.:1

Dina &tow•• ebruary 3rd was a very special and exciting day F at the Meher English School,

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not just for the students but for all concerned. The chil dren had been drilling for weeks and today the Army band was there to play the bagpipes as the senior stu dents marched around the quad. Bhauji, looking very regal, stood at attention on the dais and returned the salutes very smartly as they all gave him the Eyes Right! Stella Manuel, the principal, was beamingwith pride at her stu dents, and a number ofpeople from the Pilgrim Center had come to witness the festivities. Stella addressed the students, Bhauji gave a speech and then on behalfofthe Los Angeles Meher Baba Center and the Love Street Bookstore I presented Bhauji, as Chairman ofthe Trust, with a check for $1000 to be spent where most needed for the schooL [See related article.] After the march by, Bhau wanted to visit the classrooms and meetwith the children.We thought he wouldjust enter one or two as he had been standing for some time. To the astonishment of all concerned, the Chairman not only entered every single classroom, but hugged every child in the school and gave them prasad. We were utterly astounded at his endurance! It would seem with Baba on your side you can accomplish amazing things. All the little ones got their hug and candy, but for the senior students Bhau stayed talking to the individual classes. He was asking some very tricky questions of the students, that left most ofthem, including all the adults thatwere following him around, at a loss for the answers. Stella tells us: The March Past (March in Review), along with the army band, was to recruit the boys who have a liking for the army and are inclined to join. This gives an opportunity and an opening for those boys. The ones who do well are picked by the officer in charge and are given ftirther training. This is the first time that our children got to perform with the army band. The intention was more for the girls because we do have some girls who are hard working and out going and are looking forward for a chance in the army. Ifthings work well we will be having two of our girls being recruited for the same. I believe the 3rd of Febru arywas a very special day for the staffand the students of Meher English School and I call it The Great Embrace Day” The children were extremely happy to have Bhauji for the function. Thanks to the generous donations to the LampPost from our readers,we were able to payBalaji ofHyderabad $500 to

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Top Eyes Right’ Bhau Kalchui z returns the salute middle flanked by Sue Biddu and Lynwood Sawier Bhau distrzbuu’sprasad Bottom zwth hzs son Mehernath and Sue looking on Bhaupiesents a t icky algebi a equatzon ti one ofthe guls

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print 500 magazines so that each and every child would have a copy of the J anuary issue to take home and show their parents. For many ofthe children from the outlying poorer villages, it was the first time they had ever seen a magazine, let alone one that had their photo in it!

I

Photos clockwisefrom top, Mehernath Ka/churi, Stella Manuel, andMi: Rangole in front ofMe/er School; Stella with the Maharashtra state PingPong Champion 14 year oldMohsin Shaikh; the childrenpeiformed two songs atAmartithi; and thanks to yourgenerous contributions, eveiybody receiveda copy ofthe Love Street LampPost; Sabina Pangarkar happily receives an embracefrom one of Babac own.


2<atIiy .2-till,

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Dt’s tune to help tie 7rust.

K, I admit it: I have been ignoring polite invitations from my trust—wallas for years. I always think that I’ll have some bucks together by the end of the year or by tax time or by Baba’s birthday. .1 am very inventive about my excuses. But, though I have indulged in small annual gifts to other charities, somehow I have always been able to ignore the Trust. No more! On my recent visit to India, my eyes were finally opened. In my mind, this is an emergency! Why. To keep the Development Plan on track the Trust needed almost a million and a half dollars in new contributions over the next three years. However, because of the world-wide economic slow-down, the Trust also plans on slowing down its own pace of development. Their new goal is to try to open the new pilgrim centre, Meher Pilgrim Retreat byjune 2006. But even that is uncertain unless donations keep coming. Because the Trust has chosen to focus on completing the new pilgrim centre in three years, many other projects in the Development Plan have been delayed until afterwards. Of course if more donations are received than what is neces sary to complete Meher Pilgrim Retreat, then they can continue with other much needed projects like new Staff Quarters for Volun teers and for the moving of the Registration Office to a new building at Meherabad as well as completing the future Amartithi Site for 4000 pilgrims. Also for your information, because the interest rates keep going down in India, the Trust will have to start using its principal to fund the day to day operating expenses plus other projects. This is a matter of great concern to them. Where does the money go? The Trust makes up the difference in lodging fees and the actual cost of accommodating pilgrims, so they spend money on every visitor. The Trust offers scholarships for Meher English School tuition, uniforms and transportation. Trustees are trying hard to buy up the land near the Samadhi, to protect its environment. They plant trees all over the hills near the Samadhi, and keep them alive by mulching and watering. Expenses to operate the Trust Estate keep increasing. The Medical and Educational activities of the Trust are basi cally given free of charge. Who.WE can do it. Here’s howYOU can help. Instead ofwriting a check for whatever you can spare this week, ask your family or

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your Baba group to commit to a specific project. (There’s something for everyone on theWish List,from $83 to $319,000.) Some of the items on the Wish List concern the Development Plan and some items concern the Corpus of the Trust. For those items concerning the Development Plan, if you wish a tax deduction, then you can donate to the Development Plan through specific Baba centers and organizations. You can mention that you want your donation to be used specifically for the item of your choice. Ifyou do not want a tax deduction, then you can send your donation to your Trustwalla or directly to the Trust, again mentioning how you want your donation to be used for a specific item. For those items concerning the Corpus of the Trust, you can say the same thing as ifyou do not want a tax deduction. When. Set yourself a deadline down the road when you will send in the money. Now apply your creativity to working out how to come up with it. q:[ow. Fundraisers can be a fttn way for members ofyour group to pull together: a silent auction, a bake sale, a garage sale— these are easy events for very small groups to manage. Look at your community: my city has festivals at which nonprofit groups earn money by pumping beer! Wouldn’t it be nice if a group of chiropractors bought the ECG machine? Would your community theater donate the gate from a performance to the Meherabad Music and Art Center’s furnishings? Would a change can on the counter at your health-food co-op bring in bucks for a water purifier? Would your child’s scout troop hold a car wash so Indian children could have a decent playground? There are more personal ways of ftthill ing the commitment. Ifyou pay offyour car loan or mortgage, can you continue writing that check every month but put it into the “Trust Piggybank” on your kitchen counter? Can you buy a cheaper brand of gasoline? What if everyone in your family empties their pocket change into that piggybank every night? Could you commit your new raise or your annual bonus? What if you decide not to buy a new winter coat or take a cruise vacation after all? Do you really need to upgrade to a DSL line or a digital TV? Have you thought about tithing donat ing 5% of your income? Small groups all over the country have earned $75,000 and —

up in a short time by publishing and selling nude calendars with local garden club members, firefighters or senior citizens as models (with the more personal parts of the landscape discreetly screened by plants or props, ofcourse!). Maybe you know how to write grants or have a generous grandmother who wants to treat you to something special this year... Perhaps a little brainstorming like this could be shared on the Listserv so the best ideas rise to the surface. To submit ftmds, go through any ofthe eight Baba Organizations set up for receiving tax deductible donations (the Los Angeles Center being one ofthem) making sure they know the finds are for the Trust or e-mail TrustPlan@ambppct.org for instructions. Regarding the projects that are not under the Development Plan, you may write your donation letter giving instructions to the Trust stating your donation is to be specified for “such and such project or for any other corpus project ofthe Trust.” This will give the Trust the latitude to use your loving donation for another project in case your project has already been fbnded. What. On the next page is the Trust’s “Wish List.” Beyond salaries, utilities and upkeep items, are two charts which show the financial requirements for the Trust this year. One regards the Development Plan and the second chart is for projects not under the Development Plan. Now don’t you think it is so much more exciting, personal, rewarding and ftulfilling to know exactly what you are donating to? How about if a doctor says “Hmmm, for a donation of only $843 I can provide the hospitalwith an electrocardiograph and an electronic stethoscope!” Perhaps an actor who is doing well in television mightlike to see that the beautiflil Music and Art Center get proper electrification —just $6,771; you get the idea. Pick what appeals to you most and go for it! Make it a family project! Get your Baba Center involved. Perhaps one of the larger Centers could furnish the ambu lance with the necessary equipment. The list is endless, the ideas are in your brain. Get enthused and go for it! —

‘ACw the time has comeforyou to offer allyour services in my mission of helping humanity tread the spiritual path and realize God. Meher Baba “

Please do what you can for Baba’s Cause.


¶2rojects under Development Plan 2003-2004 Infrastructure Roads Electrification of Education Site and Retreat Sewage System Water Storage Tank (44,000 gallons)

$53,191 $11,702

$2,128 $17,021

Pilgrim Education 53, 191

Archive Building: Furnishings

Pilgrim Facilities Pilgrim Education Site (Amartithi Site) Construction of new Meher Pilgrim Retreat

$21,277 $318,149

Community Education School playground

5,255

$481,914

Thtal

J.Projeds other than Development ¶llan 2003-04 Items in 2003 Budget Meherabad and Meher Nazar Office Meherabad office ftirnishings Purchase of computer components Water cooler and 3 purifiers

Dollars $5,319 $1,064 $425

Medical Facilities 2 computers

Ventilator You Give Blood continuedfrorn page 23 . .

something?”Dana replied with surprise, “Yes. I did.”The policeman inquired, “Was it a black backpack with a plane ticket and American money inside?” Dana was shocked and said, “How did you know?” “Someone turned it in late last night and I have it at my station across town. I was just coming here to pick something up, but I saw you sitting there and noticed you are the same people who were in a photo that we found in the bag.” Dana and Erica could hardly believe it. Along with the policeman they piled into a rickshaw and rode over to the other station. In the rickshaw the policeman told them the story of how the driver had found the bag later that night in the back of his rickshaw and had driven around looking for Dana. After some time of searching, he brought it in to the police station. The policeman then explained, “I found a photo of you two in the bag and I posted it at the Ger man Bakery, hoping that you would find it. That is how I recognized you in the office just now.” The policeman then paused and asked, “Where do you stay?” Dana said, “We stay in Ahmednagar at Meher Baba’s place.”

$2004 $851

Oxygen tanks and regulators Electrocardiograph Electronic Stethoscope

$851

$447 $396

Pilgrim Facilities Furniture, fixtures, boilers Staff quarters furnishings and fixtures Pilgrim Center computers Children’s games cabinet Equipment cupboard Plastic chairs for outside tables 2-line telephone

$6,915

$2,128

$1,404 $208

$104 $104 $83

Community Education Music and Art Center Electrification Film project Music and Art Center furnishings and equip.

$6,771

$4,255 $629

$33,958

Total

7otcds by Depctrtment (percentages) Medical Facilities Community Education Meherabad & Nazar Offices Pilgrim Education Infrastucture Pilgrim Facilities

“Oh, yes. I saw a photo of Meher Baba in your bag also.” Once they reached the other station the policeman brought out the bag and asked Dana to check that everything was still there. Dana was so amazed to see his bag in front of him, which he thought was gone forever. As he looked through the entire bag, not one thing was missing. To his amazement in each pocket and section of the bag was a photo of Baba looking right up at him. Erica then looked down at her watch and realized that Dana had only one hour before he was supposed to board the shuttle bus to Mumbai to catch his plane. Dana signed for the bag while Erica called the airline office in Delhi to tell them they had found the ticket. They thanked the policemen, and then left a card for the rickshaw driver with a Baba photo and some money for all the trouble and his honesty Dana and Ericajumped into yet another rickshaw to race across town to gather the rest of Dana’s luggage. After loading up Dana’s things and making sure everything was securely there, they headed toward the shuttle bus. As they pulled up to the travel

.89 3.08 1.32

10.31 16.29 68.11

office, the shuttle was already there and ready to go. Dana piled his bags inside and jumped aboard. There wasn’t even a minute to waste. It was all Baba’s perfect timing, minute by minute. Dana waved out the window and yelled, “Avatar Meher Baba KiJai!” Continuedfrornpage 44 City of London UKTourist Guide Page: this

site includes City of London hotels, pubs, restaurants, night clubs, London weather, maps ofhow to get around in London. What there is to see and what is happening in the city: www.hotels-london--hotel.com/ London subway, for Travelcards in and around London: www.galactic-guicle.com/articles/ 6R103.html Railway to Challacombe: the nearest sta tion to Challacombe is Barnstaple. Go to www.rail.co.uk/, click on travel planner and type in Waterloo or London Victoria for the departure station and Barnstaple for arrival sta tion. Challacombe site:www.applegate.co.uk/ exmoor/chall.htm Online photos of London: (almost like being there!)wwwfreefoto.com!pictures/uklondonl westend/index.asp?i=1

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friend relayed the following story to me recently and I wish to share it with others, as it is an amazing tale ofthe lengths to which Beloved Baba goes to take care of His lovers. It is also a reminder to us that Baba wants His lovers to be practical and careful in their lives in the world, and yet live by surrendering all at His feet. Dana Brook left Meherabad on the 16th of December to return to the United States after a six-month stay in India. It just so happened that Baba’s dear Meheru was going into heart surgery in a few days and needed B positive blood. Dana had the same blood type and went to Pune early to give blood before heading to Mumbai to board a plane. After giving blood atJehangir Hospital, Dana and his friend Erica Hogdin went to book his seat in a shuttle to Mumbai the following day. As they pulled up to the travel agent’s office the rickshaw driver stated the price of the fare, which seemed too high, and Dana protested. Suddenly the rickshaw driver jumped out and went up to another rickshaw parked ahead of them to check the meter card. Dana also jumped out to check that the rate was correct and agree on a fair price. He then paid the driver and they walked away. Fifteen minutes later, Dana left the travel office and got into another rickshaw to go across town. As soon as the rickshaw took off, Dana realized that in the flurry of argu ing over the fare, he had left his backpack with his plane ticket, money, walk-man and other things in the first rickshaw. Dana stopped the rickshaw, quickly got out and raced back down the street to see if the rickshaw was still there. After Dana and Erica walked up and down the street for 30 minutes looking for the rickshaw driver, they gave up and realized that he must have already left the area. So they decided to go to the part of town where they had been picked up and look for the rickshaw driver there. Again they walked up and down the streets and alleys and had no luck in finding the driver. After returning to his hotel room, Dana looked through his other bags to find out what was actually in the missing backpack. Indeed his plane ticket was missing and $250 U.S. dollars. Fortunately, he did have 24

1

a Xerox copy of his ticket and his passport was still with him. At this point Dana began to feel worried and panicked. His mind was beginning to blur. Not knowing what to do next, Dana pulled out two photos of Baba, stood them on the windowsill and he and Erica said Baba’s prayers and arti. They both took a deep breath and began to think about what they should do next. There was less than twenty—four hours until Dana’s departure from Pune to go to the Mumbai airport, and he only had a photocopy of his plane ticket and little money. Erica decided to call Pat Sumner, who works in the Pilgrim Reservation Office, and ask her what one can do when you lose your plane ticket. She reached Pat on her cell phone and explained the situation. Pat was also in Pune and immediately asked, “Where are you? Bring me the copy of the ticket right away!” As it turned out, Pat was in the same building, just one floor down! They ran down the stairs with the copy of the ticket to meet Pat. Pat got on the phone right away and tried to find out where the closest China Airlines office was located. Each number that they tried would not connect. By this point it was 6 o’clock and most offices were closed. Dana decided to walk around a little more to see if he could find the rickshaw driver, and then start calling the airline offices in the morning. After a long night of little sleep Dana awoke and called the China Airlines num ber. The travel agent told him that the only China Airlines office is in Delhi and gave him that number. He called Delhi and they

told him he had to fax the copy ofhis ticket. Then they would send him forms to fill out to re-issue his ticket. Once these forms were filled out he had to send them along with a police report and $50 U.S. dollars to Delhi by courier. They would then return an au thorization for him to fly without his ticket. However, Dana was now down to six hours left before he had to leave for the airport in Mumbai. Dana went to a shop to fax his ticket, only to find that the electricity was out and would not come on for another hour and a half How was it going to be possible to fax all these pages, fill out the forms, go to the police station, send everything to Delhi and get an authorization in only six hours? Dana was at a loss for what to do and began repeating Baba’s name under his breath. Af ter searching other shops he finally found a shop, which had a generator, so he was able to fax the forms to Delhi. The next step was to go to the police station to file a report. Dana and his friend were directed to the police station on Bund Garden Road, right across from Sasoon Hospital where Baba was born. They went into the first office they came to, which had shelves on each wall overflowing with dusty fries. They asked where they could file a lost item report and the man pointed them in a vague direction down the hail without saying a word. After going in several offices and asking many people, they reached the last office where a kind man told them to have a seat. They sat down exhausted, and Dana explained that he hadlost his bag with his ticket for a flight that very evening and some money. The man told Dana he was in the wrong place and would have to go to another station to file the report. Dana then inquired where his bag would be ifthe rickshaw driver was to turn it in. The policeman turned to Dana and sadly exclaimed, “We would have received a message ofa lost bag ifit had been turned in. But I really doubt if this driver would turn in your bag.” J ust then, another policeman entered the office and looked down at Dana and Erica as they sat on the bench with defeated looks on their faces. He looked at them a moment, as if trying to remember something, and then asked, “Did you lose continued onpage 24


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3etween 73eloved EBaba and 211s Dcar Ones ,i: etters 7 30th November 1958, referring to letters Baba had permitted His byers to write to Him, Baba questioned Adi Senior, His secretary about the care of His correspondence: “Do you keep all the office records in steel trunks or almirahs (cupboards)? As a precaution against insects and fire, you must do this. The importance and significance of these records is such that you can hardly imagine today.” More than four decades later, as we engage in the vast and meticulous work of rehousing, cataloguing, scanning and caring for Beloved Baba’s correspondence, from time to time there is a glimpse ofwhat Baba must have been talking about. Although the completion of this archival work will take many more years, we would like to share some of these priceless treasures with you. The better below is the first in a group of those which Meher Baba wrote to Wil ham Donkin between 1936 and 1952. One of Meher Baba’s close Western dis ciples, Donkin first met Baba in London in 1933. During the period of the first five betters Donkin, as directed by Baba, was completing his medical studies in the hope and expectation that, when he was done, he would join Baba permanently as one of His resident mandali. And this did happen: in 1939 Donkin joined Baba in India and remained with Him until his death in August of 1969. These wonderful letters show something of Beloved Baba’s ways in drawing one of His mandali into an ever-closer relationship with Him. “Heart Talk” will present an ongoing series of such betters, to be sent out twice a month on Tavern Talk*.

O

Rahuri, 19 Sept.1936 My dear Donkin, I am very happy to read your better. I know your feeling and love. Baba’s mission is to awaken Love, and nothing makes Baba so happy as Love and its expression. Yes, my dear you do belong to me and are mine—one ofmy dearest ones ofthe Western group. That is why you feeb as you do, so sure that Baba is the Divine Selfyou seek and to whom you wish to give yourself up. And to take care ofthose who have thus surrendered themselves unto him is Baba’s work.

Your desire to come to India with the other dear ones of the group is appreciable, and I would love to have you as one of my dearest, but the plan of the coming of my dear ones is not yet fixed. It will be, prob abby next month, when I will bet you know, either direct or thru dearWill or Kitty what you should do. But, rest assured, my dear Donkin, that I love and you belong to me, wherever I am wherever you are. I am so glad you are trying to help my dearWill at the office, and this is but a small beginning ofwhat I want you to do for my work, in future, in the capacity for which you are being at present trained. Your desire to serve me and my Cause in your own capacities has made me very happy. Let that desire growwith yourbove and devo tion, side by side with your studies. AU my love, sd/- M.S. Irani C/o M.S. Irani Meherabad, 16th Sept. 1938 Ahmednagar Dear Donkin, I have by Me many betters ofyours written as I asked weekly. Although for the past few weeks I have had no time to answer them, still you have done as I asked and continued writing. You are on the right road! Do not worry about the state of your mind or try to curb the unpleasant thoughts imaginary or otherwise, that so incessantly project themselves, but do not give ex pression to them. This you must learn to controb. Next to loving Me with all your heart, mind and soul comes, in importance this lesson ofcontrol. It is no fault of yours, that you have certain things in your nature to control, whether they be moods or acts ofweakness. These are in part due to your sanskaras which must work themselves out. So above all do not brood or worry over them. Let them come and go, but attach no importance to them. Keep your whole being one-pointed. To love, work and obey Me as your Master. This is a life work and demands your whole being. You write in every letter how you bong to come out and stay with Me and share my work. Dear boy, your longing is in part due to the desire I have to have you with Me. The work each day is being prepared for you and will await you here, just so soon as you are capabbe and ready to handle it. All who

work for Me must have besides the love, also the capacity and ability and I watch each one ofyou to see the highest and best that each is capable of and entrust to you, under my direction that special work. But first prepare yoursebf to the fullest with the knowbedge that can be yours with hard work. So many wonder why I do not perform physical miracles and heal the sick in this way. No, I make use of every effort capable ofbeing made by man, through the knowl edge that can be his and which God gives to all who seek and work for it. I can turn the key, but only do so if it is for l\’Iy work. But remember, above all science and book knowbedge comes what you say in the desire to serve you your last better and to be ready to do as you say. Work is in full swing at the Mad Ashram with over 40 mad. In a month’s time they a thing never will give a performance heard of before. The Mendbi [Mandabi] are working to their utmost to make this performance as perfect as possible. Can you imagine the rehearsals? One repeats his line half way and then asks to go to the toilet. Another gets up to sing his song and in the middle stops to say something that has come into his mind. Another should bbess one of the others in the course of the story, but refuses to, because he says the other is bad! I spend two hours daily with them all, while practice is going on. Up here the hospital is in readiness to open on the 1st of October. Patients have already been arriving. Before you come it will need rebuibding to accommodate all. May be we shall have a few mad here when you come! Be looking after Febu [Falu] and giving him a good time occasionally. All meet together when time permits and talk about your “dearest old peach”. Kitty showed me Miss Codd’s better. I am glad she is forwarding My better, written by Kitty to the rightftil owner of it. Give my love to Tom when next you meet. Love —

©2003, AMBPPCT All Rights Reserved. *

See back page for how you can sign up for

Tavern Talk. 25


J1’kher Ei3abds 13irthdaj at J44ehernbad 3ebrury 25, 2003

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I feel very, very happy to offer the fol lowing prayer to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba for His 109th Birthday: ay Beloved Avatar Meher Baba touch the hearts ofthose who celebrate His Birthday, so that they maylong and long to experience the secret of births and deaths in His love. May Beloved Baba touch the hearts of His dear ones with a Ray ofHis Divine Sun, so that they maylong and long to know and experience that the Divine Sun shines eter nally. And whether He is in physical form or not, He cannot stop shining even for a moment. And in fact, there is no past and no fttture for Him. He always remains in the everlasting Present. Mayyou all enjoy the celebration of His Birthday and may you feel His active Pres ence during your celebrations. With afilove andJai Baba to all you dear ones ofthe Beloved, In His love and service, Bhau

M

YJour birthday begins with bells. We rise in the dark, the morning already a song, our name, as always, humming at the heart of everything.

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Juniper Lesnik, Meherabad Baba’s 109th Birthday was graced here at Meherabad with a humor and tenderness that transfused the atmosphere with a generous dose of His The day began with a 5 am arti at His Samadhi. In preparation, the hill had been decorated with birthday razzle dazzle, the Samadhi itself strewn with ornaments reminiscent of Christmas. The saying of the prayers was preceded by five minutes ofsinging His name, followed by 7 unified “Avatar Meher Baba Kijais!” After singing His arti, people gathered in more while others coiled into a darshan line, moving closer to His threshold as they waited for the first light. Right before the sun began to color the sky there began

]Jeher sweetness.

song, 26

Baba’s Birthday Play. The afternoon festivi ties were kicked off at four, with tea and chocolate cake and ice cream. The play this Meherabad’s first ever revival: the resurrection ofa comedywritten by Heather Nadel and Alan Wagner and performed for the mandali at Meherazad in 1979: Eveiy t.hingYouAlways WantedtoKnow about the Ten States of God but Were Afraid to Ask. Based on chapter 9 of God Speaks, the script personifies each of the States of God, as explained in Meher Baba’s chart. The 2003 production reflected the full glory of Meherabad’s current theatric capabili ties. This included exquisitely painted sets, costumes frill ofglitter and flair Alan’s usual energetic direction, the enthusiastic acting of a hilarious cast, Ward Park’s inspired composing, and Debbie Nordeen’s awesome choral direction. but that’s not all! This year marked another dramatic first for the Baba’s birthday play tradition: computer projection! Using the combined skill ofBob Frederick’s flash animation and the technical wizardry of the newly donated film this production was greatly enhanced by a colorful fill-screen illustration that depicted each state of God, building the chart as the play progressed. Despite the usual electrical hiccups, the playwas greatly entertaining and the theater was filled with the laughter ofappreciation and enjoyment. Alan noted that this was the most harmoni ous production process he’d ever been a part ofand that he felt it heralded the beginning of a prolific and energetic phase in the ar tistic life of Meherabad. As the day drifted back into darkness, a sweetness lingered. And it wasn’t just the chocolate cake. The opportunity to come together and celebrate His birth had released a fragrance in the air, a buoyancy that uplifted us all into the undying atmo sphere ofHis Love. At day’s end, there was still the whisper in the air: little darling, it’s all right.” Even on His own Birthday, He tends to our hearts with the transcendent joy that He is. ..

projector,

a beautiftil version of the old Beatles tune “Here comes the Sun.” Together, voices “Here comes the sun, little sweetly darling, here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right...” It soundedlike a lullaby. As is so often the case with songs sung at His Sama dhi, it feltlike us singing to Him singing to The feeling ofcomfort that flowed from repeating those words, captures something ofwhat it feltlike to be standing at His door on the day ofHis birth: Whatever state the world seems to be in, the sun continues to rise, He continues to hold us close, and it all of it, the whole wonderful chaotic world, all right. And beyond that, the entire morning was a glorious reminder ofthe gift He gave in coming to live a life among us, the gift of the Beloved. By His Grace, both Meheru and Bhauji were able to come to Meherabad to watch

sang

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is,

“...

4ll talk about thepath and the goal

is as a lantern carried by a blind man. A blind man needs a staffin his hand: The seeker needs his hand in God-Man’s.” 82 FarnilyLetters, 1965, Meher Baba, p. 9 l 2


i1 : “The Story f t Wnnderer” or our Babac Birthday

celebration we were reated to a play written by Jurgis Sapkus entitled “The Story ofa Wanderer.” It is about a seeker who gets enticedfrom thepath by the Devil and loses his way, eventually leading him to Meherazad and his ulti— mate salvation. Everyone hada wonderfultime! We all agreed that we need more of this type ofprogram.

Shani Vèrchithpiays the seductive siren who leads men astray!

Gcoig’

‘Nick Manifsto’ G’rdes

Bob Eenprovided wondefu11y atmospheric music on his cello. He also heiped with musical composition

The Fabulous Baba Birthday Cake

The Wanderci; Glenn ‘Sou’ful Seeker’ Russ

I

Juigis Sapkus —Announcei svzgei playi !ght

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Anuouncertents 44:eherbi4 )joung 4uit 5akcivas “Sahavas is the intimacy ofgive and take oflove. .Drink deep at this fountain of love, but do not lose consciousness! Ifyou can but taste even a drop ofthis love—what a wonderftil expe rience it will be!”—Meher Baba Dear Lovers ofBeloved Baba, Jai Meher Baba! All young adult Baba lovers are invited to participate in the Young. Adult Sahavas held at Meherabad, India fromJune 25th toJuly21 2003. The Sahavas is open to young aJ from around the world between th ages of 19 and 30. This year’s Saha vas promises to be an exciting eve’ and will have a special emphasis oi the celebration ofMeher Baba’s love through: Sharing, (such as discussions and guest speakers); Creative expres sion, (such as art and music); Service at Me— herabad. For more information or to receive an application form, please write to: Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust King’s Road, Post Bag #31 Ahmednagar MS 414001 India Email: Sahavas@ambppct.org

$ 1 r1.jo. L)1:IO1C EB:n jj 2Jorn the Wor1d Thearctnad 2ttirt

to James’ first daughter—Genevieve, on th 5 She was born in Ahmednagar J anuary at Aatrey-Patil Hospital. A hearty Jai Baba and welcome to His world!

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;4’icIierabad Yearning to plan your next pilgrimage? Don’t wait until your youngest is seven and eligible to stay at the PC before you hit the road to Meherabad. The whole family may stay together at Sam and Roshan Kerawalla’s B&B, Huma House, located close to Hostel D in the PC’s back yard. Four simple two-bed rooms go for 500 rupees a night each, and a four-bed room is available for twice that. All have private baths and daily maid service is included. Eat at the PC or take advantage of simple cooking facilities and a washing machine. Couples may share a room. Stair climbing required; no telephones or television. Reserve through the PC. Roshan’s mother was Eruch’s father’s sister; Sam’s mother was Eruch’s mother’s sister. 28

Iew (jJ. S.cuip:tres How would you like to have a Baba sculpture of your own, one you could hold, touch and turn in the light to catch every tiny detail and expression? Marianne Principe of Chapel Hill, NC has completed seven different Baba and Baba related sculptures that she casts herself in cold-cast bronze that are ofintricate detail and varied subject matter. They are incredibly life-like, durable and inexpensive, ranging from palm-sized reliefs to three dimensional table top pieces, from Baba’s face to Mehera on a stallion. www.sculpturenow.com

.—

Tom Hart, Love Street LampPost staff member and his lovely Thai wife Jai have another beautiflil baby girl.Thearanad Amethyst Hart was born at 11:19am January 19t1 2003. She weighed in at 6lbs l3oz,and 20.5in long. Her Thai name Thearanad means “smart girl”, but she will be called by her middle name—Ame, (sounds like Amy) for short. She is seen here with her big sister Wasitee Pearl, who is now almost four years old. Wasitee means “beautiful girl.” 9ciicvievc

7}ideotapc Lending Library

Cox

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James Cox, man about Meherabad, married a lovely Indian lass in 2001. Priti gave birth

The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California officially announces the opening ofthe Video Lending Library beginning April 15, 2003. The Lending Library is a unique collection of talks re corded in Mandali Hall given by Meher Baba’s Mandali, talks given by guests of the Los Angeles Sahavas and personal stories of individuals who met Meher Baba. The VHS videotapes are available by mail order rental onlyto Lending Library members within the United States. The Lending Library collection is extensive and ers several decades. Please download a complete Lending Library List along with the membership and order form from www.meherbabalibrarv.com. Your may contact the Lending Library via email at info@meherbabalibrary.com. Ifyou do not have access to the Internet, please write to: Lending Library c/o A]VIBCSC 1214 5. Van Ness Ave. Los Angeles CA 90019-3520. Atten tion LL Walla. A complete package of the library list and forms will be mailed upon your request.

I


13•aba and tie Worid nltnrest j31 a t u 2<cilchuri We mustfind what really exists. Yet because we deal with nonexis tence all the time, sometimes we suffer, and sometimes we are happy. But this happens in the domain of nonexistence ( Illusion). In order to know nonexis tence as nonexistence, we have to take shelter under God and follow Him in the form of the Avatar or through the Perfect Masters. So nonexistence creates all this trouble. Onlywhen the trouble becomes unbearable, do we then pay attention to .4 Real Existence. i. On 11th September, 2001, when the hijackers caused the tragedies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, what happened? Everybody remembered God. “Oh God!” they said. AU over, people started prayers in different churches and temples. Who had asked them to do this? Existence Himselfprompted them to do so, but it was for the time being. I did not witness the WorldTrade Center being destroyed, but I saw it on television. It was really very moving to see. I am sorry for all those who are still missing and are presumed dead. May Beloved Baba grant them peace. As I saw it on television, I remembered what Beloved Baba had said in, I think, 1956 or 1958. He was going around New York City by car, and Eruch was observing the tall buildings from a distance. Baba looked at him and said, “These buildings will fall down like a pack of cards.” And thus it has happened. The demons are becoming stronger and stronger, and now they are called terrorists. We don’t know what these terrorists will do, so it is good that we are with the Highest of the High. Therefore, we should not worry about such situations, though our hearts ache to see such situations. The world is nothing but a zero, but a very big zero, and we have to know this zero as zero! When we are in sound sleep, we forget this zero, we forget our body; we forget everything. Still we breathe, because God exists. But when we wake up, again the zero comes before our eyes. Ifwe maintain consciousness, as in sound sleep when we forget everything, then our goal is achieved. :.

IExtractsfrom emails between November 2001 andJanuary 2002] ou see how America is feeling scared, and India, too, because the Parliament of India was attacked on 13th, December, 2001. The tension between Pakistan and India is not lessening, but increasing. Presi— dent Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are putting pressure on Pakistan for the first time, and still the tension is increasing. Let us see what happens. When Ram had come down on earth, He was opposed by Ravana, who was depicted with 10 heads. Because only India knew about Ravana, but the whole world knows about Osama Bin Laden, the latter will be depicted with 1,000 heads. He will create unimaginable trouble. It will not be easy to bring him under control, but it will happen. It will take time, but it will happen. Beloved Baba has said that Maya will reach the zenith, and then He will throw a Spiritual Bomb. At that time, His Univer sal Manifestation will be also at the zenith, and a New Humanity which will have the awareness of God, will emerge. The pull of Illusion will become weak, and the pull towards Divinitywill become strong. This will happen when Beloved Baba Manifests. When God comes down on earth in human form, He has to deal with all the devils, and He has to suffer and suffer. But the role of these demons is also important. And what is the role they play? They do not exist, and yet they appear as ifthey do exist. Therefore, what is our duty?

We will see only God, and not this zero, because this zero does not exist. You are so fortunate that you have come to that One who will make you experience, one day, the secret ofthis zero. Beloved Baba is our compassionate fa ther, and we are all His children. But these mischievous children are troubling the innocent children. This is because of the Divine Will; people are not following the DivineWish. Beloved Baba’s Manifestation will give awareness to people so that they may follow the Divine Wish, and we have to wait and see. God is infinite, and therefore, His shadow is also infinite. And this shadow has different aspects. When you talk about any aspect, it should be small, but ifyou talk about the original, it must be capitalized. Just like Bin Laden. His Work is capitalized, but those who work in his organization are not capitalized. They represent the dif ferent aspects of his work in Illusion. Bin Laden thinks he is very powerful. Terrorists are one aspect of destruction, and earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts, and wars, are another. People may die natural and unnatural deaths. It is a must, but it will take time. This Satan, Bin Laden, is enjoying and enjoying. He has a big organization, and all over the world there are so many branches under this big organization. It is the force of Illusion. When the tragedy took place on 11th September, people remembered God in a very natural way, though it was only tem porary. But when Beloved Baba’s Universal Manifestation takes place, their awakening will not be for the time being, but will be lasting. People will remember God not only temporarily, but constantly. They will not follow Illusion, but they will follow God, and there will be peace. At that time, all these demons will be destroyed. Bin Laden (Satan) will remain bowed down at His feet, as will all the people in his organization. And then the Divine Breeze will blow. Beloved Baba forgives everyone, and because of His forgiveness the world is sustained. He even forgives demons, but I will not go into details; otherwise there will be no end to their mischief. 29


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IBe/ow are the site names, address/street, distric4 web site favail— able, tube station (TS,) closest to itfollowed by the month &year Baba visited An asterisk (,) means the address is valid but site not recently visited and current occipancy ofsite not known.] Victoria Station, Victoria Street (wwwthetube.com/content/ faq/lines/Victoria.asp). Regentc Park Zoo, Marylebone, TS: Camden Town or Baker Street and a bus; (www.tourist-information-uk.com/london zoo.htm); Sept ‘31, Apr ‘32, May ‘32. Hyde Park, Baba walked through several times during His early trips to England. WestminsterAbbeyand Tomb ofthe Unknown Soldier Victo na Street, TS: Westminster/St. James Park, (www.westminster abbey.org/); Sep ‘31. Hampton Court, Palace ofHenry VII1 Hampton Ct Wy, TS: from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court Station (www.hamptoncourt.org.uk/); Apr ‘32. British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbur TS: Hol born, (www.british-museum.ac.uk/); Apr ‘32. National Gallery, Pall Mall East, St.James, TS: Charing Cross or Leicester Sqaure, (www.nationalgallerorg.uk!); May ‘32. House ofCommons Whitehall Westminster, TS: Westminster, (www.parliament.uk); Sep ‘31, May ‘32. Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, TS: St. James Park, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner or Green Park, Baba was driven past; Sep ‘31. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Knightsbridge, TS: Knightsbridge or S. Kensington, (www.royalalberthall.com/); Apr ‘32. Kew Gardens, Surry and Wakehurst Place, West Sussex, TS: Kew Gardens, (www.rbgkew.org.uk/); Apr ‘32. Victoria andAlbert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kens ington, TS: S. Kensington, (www.vam.ac.uk/); Sep ‘31. Trafalgar Square, north end ofWhitehall; TS: Charing Cross (www.glasssteelandstone.com/UKlEngland/LondonTrafal garSquare.html);Sep ‘31. Piccadilly Circus, Piccadilly, Soho, TS: Piccadilly Circus, (www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/a1abaster/A112483); Sep ‘31. Chinatown, Lisle and Gerrard Streets, Soho; TS: Leicester Square; Apr ‘32. *Q Theatre formerly located at the foot of Kew Bridge in London, TS: Kew Bridge, 1932, ‘33, ‘34, ‘52, ‘56. *Queens Hall, Langham Place, now BBC and St. George’s Hotel, TS: Oxford Circus, Sep ‘31. The LyricHammersmith Theatre, King Street, TS: Hammersmith; Apr ‘32. Coliseum Theatre, St Martin’s Lane near Trafalgar Square, TS: Leicester Square or Charing Cross, (www.fsz.bme.hu/ opera/eno.html); Apr ‘32. The Globe Theatre [now The Gielgud Theatre], Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, (www.1st4londontheatre.co.uk/theatres/ gielgud.shtnil), TS: Piccadilly or Oxford Circus; Oct ‘33. The Prince ofWales Theatre, Corner of Coventry Street and Whitcomb Street, TS: Piccadilly Circus; Oct, ‘33.

TheFellowship Club, 46 Lancaster Gate, 5th floor Paddington, TS: Paddington or Lancaster Gate, (www.bfc.org.tr/britain/); May ‘32. Knightsbridge Hotel 10 & 12 Beaufort Gardens, Brompton, TS: Knightsbridge; Dec ‘32. *Kohinoor Restaurant, 48 Rupert St, TS: Piccadilly; Jun ‘34. *Hygeia House, 37 Warrington Crescent,a vegetarian hotel, TS: Maida Vale Station; Oct ‘33, Nov ‘34, Nov ‘36. Star & Garter Hotel (now The Petersham Hotel), Nightingale Lane, Richmond, Surrey (www.interamerika.com/ PetershamHotel.htm); Oct ‘34. Rubens Hotel (now The Ruben’s at the Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Rd., TS: Victoria, (www.rubenshotel.com/); Jul-Aug ‘52, Jul ‘56. Charing Cross Hotel Room 46, The Strand, TS: Charing Cross, (www.thistlehotels.com/main/hotel/thistlecharingcross); Jul ‘56. *Craske_Ryan SchoolofBallet, 26 West St, Shaftesbury, Wi, TS: Tottenham; Oct ‘31 *The Davy home, 32 Russell Road, Kensington, TS: Sheph ard’s Bush/Olympia; Sep ‘31, Apr 32. *Kim Thlhurst home, 15 Compayne Gardens, S. Hampstead, TS: between West Hampstead and the Finchley Road Sta tions; Apr ‘32, Oct ‘33; Penbury Grove, between Haslemere and Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire on B474; Apr ‘32. brotherJackcflat, 61 Compagne Gardens (lent for duration ofBaba’s visit), TS: between West Hampstead and Finchley Road Station; Jun-Jul ‘34. Adam andEve Mews, (studio of Sculptor Edward Merrett), Kensington, TS: Kensington High Street; Apr ‘32. *Imai Studio (Imai Kinye) 83 Ebury St, TS: Sloan Square; Sep ‘31. *willandMary Backett, 20 miles from London to Old Oak Cottage in Halstead, on a hilljustbehind Knockholt Station, near Sevenoaks, Kent; Oct ‘33,July ‘34. *Countess Phalen home, 23 Jubilee Place, Chelsea, TS: Sloane Square; Oct ‘33, Jun, ‘34 *American Embassy, 4 Grosvenor Gardens, (offBeeston) SW1, TS: Victoria Oct, ‘31 *Persian Consulate, 10 and ii Prince’s Gate; TS: S. Kensing ton, then bus to Knightsbridge; Sep ‘31. Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, Bow, TS: Bromley-by-Bow, (.peacenow.org.umemoris/londoc_mem kingsley.htmi); Sep ‘31. *offices ofthe CircleEditorial Committee, 50 Charing Cross, TS: Charing Cross;Jun ‘34. *Thomas Cooke TravelAgency, 21 High Street, Kensington, TS: Kensington; Oct ‘31. Paramount Film Studios, School Road, North Acton, TS: North Acton; now the Pilot Industrial Center; Apr ‘32. East Challacombe, farmhouse 1 .5 miles east of the village of Combe Martin, Devonshire coast. Contact London Baba Association for directions. Dover E.Folkestone, Boat-Train Docks Southhampton, Boat Docks

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11 ‘2:ove CctiIs .Aie to the Vest )1y 3oncitIiaii i3ader and Siciff [This summary ofMeher Babacjourneys in England will hopefully provide a usefulguide toplaces He visitedandaglirnpse ofsome ofthe key events. Visitors to Englandinterestedinfollowing in Babacfootsteps are encouraged to contact the Meher Baba Association, 228 Hamrnersmith Grove, London W6 7HGfor information. 0208 743 4408.]

Enroute to England

On August 22nd, 1931, a weekbefore leaving for England,Jam shed Mehta had informed Baba of the rumor that Gandhi might attend the upcoming Round Table Conference on Indian indepen dence in London, but that he was still undecided. Baba remarked, ‘[f Igo to England, Iwilltake Gandhi with me”. iisit to England 3irst 7 He repeated the same thing the following i. day. About this time Baba inexplicably September 12 to October 3, 1931 ordered Chanji to change their reserva JI4aking J2reparations 5 to the 5.5. Rajputana. This required considerable effort as Chanji had already eherBabamade tenvisits to England booked their passage on a different ship. in all eight in the 1930s and two : Chanji andJamshed didn’t understand the in the 1950s. He first arrived in England on September 12th, 1931 at Folkestone, :• reason for the change until later when it -3 announced that Gandhi had decided but external preparations for this visit t the last minute to attend the conferhad begun some three years earlier. In the and would travel on the Rajputana. spring of1928 Baba had sent Rustom Irani While preparing for the trip, Chanji also to London to find students who would encountered difficulties obtaining Baba’s come to India to represent the West in passport because Baba did not want to Baba’s School of Universal Brotherhood, His fl name and the British authorities which He was then planning. Although not would issue a passport without His the school never materialized for a num signature. On August 25th Baba finally ber ofreasons, Rustom’s visit proved most in the sign Commissioners consented to valuable. In London he met Meredith remarking, in Karachi, Office “The British Starr, who was drawn to Baba and would me to sign its own overnment is compelling serve as the link to many in England who end of the warrant. will be This the death later became Baba’s principle Western Empire’ British disciples. Shortly after meeting Rustom, Baba at last sailed for England from Meredith and his wife Margaret traveled Bombay on August 29th, 1931 accompa to India and spent nearly 6 months at Agha Au and Rustom. No :1 Chanji, by Baba’s Toka ashram. In December 1928 : : off Le saw because His departure Him Baba sent them back to England with orkept been secret. Ironically, mostly _j ders to establish a suitable retreat where had hundreds ofpeople come to the dock Baba could staywhen He visited the West. bid Gandhi. farewell During the voy to ) In 1929 Meredith established a spiritual in His cabin, Baba stayed but remarked age retreat dedicated to Baba at a secluded that He than to meet once wanted e farmhouse on the English coast, known .1 end trip of Gandhi Gandhi. Near the the locally as East Challacombe, outside the come Baba after a to visit he received did village of Combe Martin in Devonshire, him from to Jamshed Mehta urging cable several hundred miles southwest of Lon er the next few days they contact Baba don. several conversations on both had long In the spring of1931 Herbert Davy and i political topics recorded spiritual and his sister Kittylearned ofthe retreat seemChanji in detail (Lord by Meher, vol. 4, ingly by chance while they were looking very happy Baba was pagesl385-1403). for a quietplace to stayfor Eastervacation. him meet and to read Gandhi allowed to The day after Herbert arrived, Margaret special writportion had April1932 ofthe book He England, a Craske, who ran a ballet school in Lonin but ten that He a metal suitcase, carried don also came to stay. Onjuly 17th, during read, before since. Gandhi not anyone or had allowed to which He Kitty and Herbert’s second visit to the retreat, Meredith received a cable from Baba who was then in Karachi: “Love calls Me to the West. was deeply impressed with Baba and made Him promise they would Make preparations. Baba had greatly accelerated His schedule, as see each other in England. He had not been expected for at least two more years.

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The Rajputana arrived in Marseilles in the early hours of Sep tember 1 but Baba didn’t disembark until 8 a.m. Meredith and Herbert Davy met Him. The irony was huge crowds had gathered there to welcome Gandhi, but people were unaware ofBaba’s pres ence. The travelers rested at the Hotel Geneva, then entrained for London in the early afternoon.

row were brushed aside. It was an extraordinary experience. It had the qua/ities ofPure Love that seemed to be Babac mostprecious gft’ Baba’s silent work of awakening the Western heart had begun in earnest. Many found themselves crying inexplicably in His pres ence. One so affected was Thomas Watson, an American who had collaborated with Alexander Graham Bell on the invention of the telephone. Once, as Baba climbed the staircase to His room He .t:ondon paused and placed His hand on Watson’s head. Watson was im Baba’s small group continued via Boulogne, arriving in England mediately overcome and began weeping like a child. Chanji took at Folkestone on September 12th, 1931. Our Beloved had set foot him into the library where he continued to cry uncontrollably for on English soil for the first time. Gandhi had been on the same 15 minutes. LaterWatson told him, ‘[n my seventy-eightyears of/fr, boat-train until Folkestone, but now traveled on to London secretly today is thefirst time Ihave experienced what divine /ove is. Ihave come by car. Baba however, continued by train to Victoria station where to rea/ize this withjust a touchfrom Meher Baba’ He was met by Kitty Davy and Dick and Audrey Ince. The train This powerftil awakening was repeated over and over during the was late and the weather cold and gloomy. Kitty later wrote, ‘[t so ensuing days as heart after heart drank the unexpected wine ofBaba’s happened that on thisparticular day and on the same boatfrom India presence. Kitty recalls Baba calling her into His room one day. “I were arriving Gandhi, his secretary, andassociates, so that thep/a zforms fe/t at that moment comp/ete /ovefor Baba andfor thefirst time in my were crowded with sightseers; andyet one greater than Gandhi was ar /;fe experienced that ecstasy ofdivine /ove that the mystics experience. I riving, but none knew had never expected to capture something oftheir great moments. I don From Victoria station Baba was taken by taxi to the home of think I said much, but I wept a lot. At this point Baba sentfor Zilla, Kitty and Herbert Davy’s parents, at 32 Russell Road, Kensington. who naturally asked me why I was dying. Baba asked me to tell hei I The streets were lined with crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of said it was because I was so happy.” Gandhi, but the British authorities had quietly changed the route to During this time Baba drew together many who would form the avoid a demonstration. So, incredibly, as Baba’s car wound through core ofHis western disciples. Some ofthose present at East Challa the streets, there were thousands of people who unknowingly combe included Kitty Davy Herbert Dav Margaret Craske, Mabel received God’s darshan. Enroute to the Davy home they passed Ryan, Kim Tolhurst, Tom Sharpley, Charles Purdom, Esther and Buckingham Palace, government buildings, Constitutional Hill Charles Ross, Audrey Ince, Mio Shattuck, Ann Powell, Mrs. Hel and Hyde Park. mer, Enid Corfe, Dorothy Cousins, and Kitty’s niece, Zilla Cluse. Margaret Craske, in accordance with Baba’s phoned instructions, On September 15th Baba revealed for the first time that He was met Baba at the door. Margaret later commented, There at the the Avatar ofthe Age the same Ancient One who comes age after bottom ofthe steps stood the most appea/ingfigure that one cou/d ever age. This had not been revealed even in India. Lord Meher notes hope to see. No sign ofpowe Just a vision ofgent/eness, grace and /ove that Baba’s Indian devotees were still referring to Him as a Perfect that touched the heart immeasurab/y. He came up the steps, gave me a Master. Shortly after this incredible revelation Watson invited Baba p assingg/ance, and accompanied by Meredith, Chanji, and others, went to come to America. Although He at first declined, Watson persisted, up to His room. “Baba stayed in Kitty’s room on the top floor. He later and Baba eventually agreed. commented to Margaret, [t was your /ove that brought me.” Many A week later just before returning to London, Baba received a came that day for Baba’s darshan. cable from India informing Him that Babajan one of the five east Challacombe Perfect Masters who had precipitated His advent had died in The next day Baba was driven in a rented limo 230 miles Pune on September2lst.The news seemed to strengthen His resolve southwest to the retreat at East Challacombe where He stayed for to go to America. 10 days. They traveled via the Great West Road (the A4) through 9.?etum to London Slough, Reading, Newbury, Marlborough, Chippenham, Bath, On September 24th Baba returned to the Davy’s house in Wells, Glastonbury (where the Holy Grail is purported to be bur London. The following day He was taken on a sightseeing trip, ied), Bridgewater Taunton and South Molton. Along the way Baba visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, the zoo in Regents Park, covered Himselfwith a turban and carpet because He was doing Westminster Abby and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Baba His inner work, as He later explained. Those with Him noticed His remarked at Westminster and at the Tomb ofthe Unknown Soldier fingers working rapidly. that those buried there were fortunate that He had come there. The retreat that Meredith and Margaret Starr had established Baba and the Indian Mandali were intrigued by the network of there was situated several miles outside the village ofCombe Martin subways, and traveled on the underground to Liverpool, Oxford at a secluded farmhouse known as East Challacombe, reachable only Circus, Shepards Bush and Piccadilly. They also attended a classi after a walk of 1.5 miles. Meredith had set a strict schedule that cal concert at Queens Hall. The next day Baba went to see the play included cold baths, vegetarian food and daily periods of meditation the “White Horse Inn” at the London Coliseum. Delia De Leon, and silence. For His own reasons Baba allowed Meredith, for the an actress, was introduced to Baba and thereafter came everyday to time being, to set this rather dry and rigid routine. Still, in countsee Him. Quentin Todd, an American actor also met Baba during less ways Baba revealed His authority and took every opportunity this period and was deeply drawn to Him. to draw His dear ones closer with His irresistible love. Baba gave Two days later Baba went to the Persian Consulate, visited talks, they played games and music, took walks over the hills, made Meredith’s mother, and went to Margaret Craske’s dance studio. excursions to the beach and a nearby cave. One who was present He also attended a play, Daddy Long Legs, but was inattentive, as wrote, Tenderness, compassion, radiance and/ovefiowedfrom Him and He appeared to be working inwardly. The next day many Londoners /ovefiowed towards Him. Time andp/ace disso/ved, thoughts oftomor ‘ . .

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i3aba 5ites in England [Two years ago, in anticzpation oftheprinting ofthis article, we asked Pamela Thpley and Kavita Mulrajani (England) tofind the Baba sites which remain today as Baba may have seen them during His visits to England andphotograph them, fpossible, for our readers. Many ofthem are below. Thephotographs ofEast hallacoinhe onpage 38 werephotographedhyJim Peterson in 1997.]

Lft: Kingsley Hall, rĂ&#x2DC;t: The meeting hail where Meher Baba and Ghandi met and talked. Pamela noticed that the room seemed charged with a special energy. On thefiat roofofthe building are several little rooms one ofwhich Gandhi stayed in during his visit. It is kept as it was with a library ofGandhic books in the next room. Note the bust ofGandhi center stage.

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I Clockwisefrom top left Meher Babaposingfor sculptor Merrett in his studio in Kensington. National Gallery with St. Martinc ofthe Field in the background Trafalgar Square. Map ofthe Theatre district in Soho. The British Museum. The Gallery, St. Martinc, Trafalgar Square, and the British Museum are all unchangedsince Babacfirst visit.

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from Paramount Studio who were waiting for Him at Victoria Station. On the way they stopped at a teahouse that was set back from the road. Baba once again stayed at the Davy home, .IE: 32 Russell Road, but two of the Mandali had to sleep at the ‘l Fellowship Club due to a lack of space. Unlike Baba’s first trip, which had for the most part been a low-keyvisit to contact those who would become His Western disciples, this second visit received considerable attention from the media. The day after His arrival Baba finally consented to an interview with Paramount Studios, who filmed Him that afternoon in the garden of the Davy home. Charles Purdom read the message aloud from the alphabet board as Baba dic tated it (LordMeher vol 5, pg. 1554). The following day Baba _J gave an interview to James Douglas of the London Sunday Express, who had prepared many trick questions aimed at : tripping Baba up. Douglas instead was deeply affected by the meeting, repeatedly asking Baba what the source ofthe power was that Douglas perceived surrounding Baba. (Lord Meher vol 5 pg. 1557-1564). His subsequent article was very favorable and sparked much interest in Baba. Douglas later said ‘I melted under His enchantment in spite ofmy caution. Over the course ofthe next several weeks a number ofnewspaper articles about Baba appeared, increasing public awareness ofHim. He Resting in the Davy home, April1932 appeared on the cover in 1932 in the Daily Mirror on 9th April came to see Him, including poets, scientists, politicians, musicians, and in the Daily Sketch on 11th April.That evening Baba went to and others. On September 30th Baba visited the studio of the Japa the QTheatre to see Delia’s sister Minta in a play. The following day, April 10th, a children’s partywas organized at nese photographer Imai who made six beautiftil portraits of Baba. The following day He visited the London zoo and the Piccadilly the Davy house, during which Baba played games with the youngsters, like tiddley-winks. Some ofthe Mandali played Indian music Theatre to see the play “Folly to be Wise.” On Oct 2nd Baba traveled by taxi to the American Consulate, and once Baba played the drum. In the evening He was driven to to Margaret Craske’s dance studio to watch a ballet lesson, and to Hampton Court to see the palace ofHenryVlll.Yet despite all the a home for the needy as He had promised Kitty’s mother Helena. activity there were also some quieter, more intimate moments with Afterwards Baba remarked “Ofallthe thingslhave done in the West, I Baba. Kim Tolhurst recalls being with Baba at the Davy house: 7 have enjoyedmy visit to the homefor the needy the most”. That evening, can remember one or two occasions where Baba was seated and we were as Gandhi could not get away to see Baba, Baba agreed to visit all sitting around Him in peifect silence. There was such afiow oflove; him at Kingsley Hall Community Center, Powis Road, Bow, in the it was almost as f the air were vibrating. You could almost touch it. working class neighborhood ofthe East End. Chanji recorded their Wonderful, wonderful times!” In the afternoon of April 1 lth Baba went to the studio of the conversation in detail. (LordMeher, vol 4, 1446-1451). On October 3rd, the day after visiting Gandhi, Baba left London sculptor Edward Merrett at 36 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington. at 9:30 a.m. departing from Victoria station, having stopped enroute It was the first time Baba had consented to be sculpted. Merrett at Cook’s Travel Agency. Baba’s party offive took a ferry from Dover asked if he could also make a mold of Baba’s right hand, to which to Calais where they boarded the Orient Express for Istanbul. 5ev- Baba agreed, (the bust was sent to India in the beginning of 1934 eral weeks later on October 27th Baba sailed for America, leaving but later broke, Lord Meher footnote vol. 5). The next day Baba from Genoa, Italy. However even as Baba continued His travels, went to the home of Maud Foulds, who had suffered all her life love letters and cables continually flew back and forth between with debilitating asthma and had met Baba in 1931. She recalled Baba and His English disciples, easing a little the sharp pain they the night after her first meeting with Baba the previous year: “That night when Igot home and went to bed, I was awakened out ofa deep felt in His absence. sleep by a strong, indescribably beautfiil eastern perfume in my room. I )isit to England, April 7 2 7, 1932 &cond 7 sat on thefloor andexperienced thepresence ofMeher Baba. Ican describe t: ondon it as an almostfrightening sense ofpower in the room. It seemed that the After visiting the United States, Baba returned to India, but soon hands ofa surgeon were operating on my lungs, spine and otherparts of had planned a second visit to see His dear ones in England. On my body. Allthe timelwas conscious ofthe terrficpower in its greatness, March 24, 1932, Baba left Bombay on the Italian ship Conte Rosso which had got inside my bones and tissues, changing my body as I sat with Chanji, Beheram (Baba’s brother), Ghani, AdiJr., Adi Sr., and there. “The day after this occurred she started to tell Baba about it, Kaka Baria. Twelve days later, on April 4th, Baba’s ship docked at but He stopped her acknowledging that He knew He had helped Venice. The group entrained for England two days later. According her. Her condition greatly improved after that. to Kitty’s account, she, her brother Ernest, and Quentin Todd, met Baba returned to Merrett’s studio on April 13th for the final Baba at Folkestone on April 7th. Baba changed His plans to come sitting, and then went on to visit Purdom’s office where He gave into Dover at the last minute (LoveAlone Prevails, pg 40-41). Baba Purdom instructions to write His biography. The book, entitled The traveled on to London by car as He wanted to avoid a ftlm crew PerfectMaster, was one ofthe first books about Baba published in .

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the West and would serve as an important link to Baba for many Meredith Starr came early the next morning, April 16th, to discuss Westerners. The group then drove to Buckinghamshire (Lord preparations for the upcoming visit to the retreat, then returned to Meher incorrectly says Hampstead) where Kim Toffiurst’s family East Challacombe. Later that afternoon most of the Mandali left had a country house, Penbury Grove. The 15-bedroom house is for East Challacombe ahead ofBaba. In the evening Baba went to set on beautiftil, secluded grounds, in the village of Penn, between a theatre to see a comedy by Ralph Lynn. Haslemere and Beaconsfield. Baba liked the spot very much and remarked, ‘7 intend to make this one ofmy centers in England. With East Chcillacombe Baba left early on the morning ofApril 17th for the retreat, ac me here, it will be heaven on earth”. companied by Adi Sr., Kitty Zilla, Kim, Delia, Margaret, Minta, Kitty later wrote: 7-low Baba loved the magnficentgrounds, both Mabel, Stephanie, and Quentin. When He arrived, several reporters cultivated and wooded. We alljoined in apropergame offootball, with were waiting at the gate for Him. Baba dictated a message and al Babac side always winning. We also ran races. At times Baba was quiet lowed photographs. Over the course ofHis one-week stay numerous and thoughfitl, as though theplace brought memories to Him. Perhaps articles about Him appeared in the local newspapers. He was makingplansfor thefuture. We entered the magnificent house A large stone bungalow had been constructed at the retreat since and ballroom. T1’ all sat down on thefloor (‘the house was unfurnishec Baba’s first visit, but there was still insufficient space on the property readyfor renting) and ate radishes andpotato chips and cakes. After tea everrone. to hold Tents had been erected next to the bungalow, but we exploredthe house andplayedhide-and-seek up anddown the many some had to stay another at farmhouse on the property and even stairs andpassages. Baba hidandwe hadtofindHim. Then came the hour in town. As before, to depart. A tiredbut Meredith instituted happyparty returned a rigid schedule of to Russell Road that meditation, silence, night. (Lord Meand interviews from her implies Baba dawn to dusk and spent the night continued to imag but it doesn’t seem me himself Baba’s likely). chief disciple, giving Several days later, orders even to Baba’s on April 15th, ParaIndian Mandali. mount studios sent Baba had instructed a car to take Baba them beforehand to to their Willesden put up with whatever studio (now Acton) Meredith did or said. so Baba could view Baba exempted some the film they had from meditation and taken ofHim in the did require not veg garden at the Davy’s etarian meals. home. Afterwards Baba patiently Baba sent word to Meher Baba with His 14stern andEastern disc4iles at East Challacombe, April, 1932 tolerated Meredith’s the manager that He behavior and showered His love and humor on all despite these was pleased with the newsreel. It was later distributed worldwide and conditions. Once during meditation a hour Baba looked out a many saw Baba and heard His message. Kitty recalls that the next window and spotted Quentin meditating in the garden with his day they aU went to the Plaza Theatre to see it and other features. Margaret Hickman notes that till 1963 the Paramount Sound News back to Baba. Mischievously Baba picked up some sugar cubes and Laboratories were on School Road, NW1O, (near North Acton Sta- threw them at intervals, hitting Quentin squarely in the back each tion) but were named the Kinematograph Laboratories, Ltd. Today time. At first Quentin tried to ignore the assaults and contained his rising annoyance, but finally spun around with an angry face to the area is occupied by the Pilot Industrial Center. In London, Baba attended films and performances on other oc- see who had been pestering him. Upon seeing Baba and the others casions as well. One evening they went to the Lyric Hammersmith laughing from the window he began laughing as well, then got up Theatre to see the play “Derby Day”. Another evening theywent to and Joined Baba. recalls special times when theywalked in the hills with Baba the Albert Hall to see a ballet featuring vignettes ofEnglish history or went to the beach to see a cave. But Baba was often kept busy that Quentin and Margaret had choreographed. During the perforwith private interviews in His room in accordance with Meredith’s mance Baba told them He wanted to shake hands with Deirdre, the schedule and couldn’t interact as freely with His dear ones as He Irish lead dancer, but she mustn’t know who He was. Margaret and woJild have liked. The weather was unseasonably cold and on April Quentin had to concoct a ruse to pull this off. Also during this visit 18th Baba remarked, 7do not like the weather here at all. Jam bored Baba went to Kew Gardens where theyhad a picnic, to the London andftd up. It is continual a bondage and there is nofreedom. Meetings Zoo, and the British Museum, where He literally raced through the and interviews aregoing on the whole day, and it is bitter cold Somehow, exhibits in only 15 minutes. Baba and His companions again rode we to have carry Because on. ofpoor weather and other conditions the London subway. Baba decided to to go Switzerland for a nine-day vacation. Although there is some confttsion on the dates, it appears that on April 15th Baba went to stay at Kim Tolhurst’s home in Hampstead (15 Compayne Gardens) with Kitty Zilla and two ofthe Mandali. ::;.;

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i3ctck Dn London

dian disciples who had turned against Baba because He would not perform miracles for him. Baba told the Mandali not to worry about the article in the least. ‘1t is an aspect ofrny game andl am happy to face this situation. This opposition has been deliberately createdby me to give a greaterforce andeffect to my work in the West andto the spiritual earthquake and upheaval that is to takeplace. Baba refused to allow anyone to publicly respond to the article. In light of the negative publicity Kitty’s parents had written to Kitty in Switzerland and said that Baba could not to stay at their home unless He publicly repudiated the article. Kitty and Margaret therefore had to return to London several days before Baba to ar range alternate accommodations. Because they were a mixed group ofEasterners andWesterners theyhad some difficultyfinding a place Third 7iisit to England, May 9 to May 14, 1932 but eventuafly arranged to stay on the fifth floor of the Fellowship Club, 46 Lancaster Gate. London Despite the publicity many people still came to see Baba. Kitty returned England Lugano, to Baba leaving for Two weeks after it was very hectic and rushed. Because there were so many recalls He arrived Dover in just 6 days. which lasted for His third visit, she had to continually run up and down the stairs with visitors, there pm. arriving at London, 3:30 on to on May 9th and traveled questions and messages. One visitor was Rom Landau, an Italian warm. During Baba’s completely was not However the welcome journalist. Baba granted him an interview’ an account ofwhich he Baba had met years author who Brunton, an short absence Paul later in his book, God Is My Adventure. A portion of the included articles Baba in some unpleasant about written had in India, before Baba dictated to Landau included the following ‘it message that information had received he erroneous based on London press the supreme is all will. my Eve;ything is because I will it to be. Nothing is one Dastur of His Inwas that Baba explained Kj. Dastur. from

Baba returned to London on April 24th. Kitty writes that they had a lovely trip up, stopping enroute for a meal; however Baba’s car broke down twice and they were late returning. He told them that they were not to return to East Chaflacombe unless by His order or they were with Baba. Baba never again went to the retreat. In London, on April 26th a few people put on a humorous play for Baba. Later that day He went with a group of 20 to see Chi natown, but did not stay long. The following day, April 27th, Baba departed from Victoria Station for Lugano, Switzerland with Adi Jr., Beheram, Chanji, Ghani, Kaka Baria, Adi Sr., Kitty Minta, Kim and Delia.

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During this visit an Indian studying for his doctorate in Philosophy, C. D. Deshmukh, saw Baba’s photograph in the newspaper and recognized Him as the same one who had appeared to him in a dream four months earlier. He had dreamt that Baba was standing in front of him telling him that he was closely connected to Baba and that he was a good man. Deshmukh hesitated to accept this and Baba asked, “Are you not?” Deshmukh replied, “Good or bad, please take me up into you”. Baba immediately responded with a wave oflove and light. Deshmukh later recalled, 4s I looked at the p hotograph, Ifound in His eyesjust that assurance ofdivine guidance which I had been lookingfor. The expression in His eyes brought to me the tidings ofTruthfrom thatfar-offlandunseen, where there is thefinal Realization ofthe Eternal andlnfinite Source and Goal oflfe. Later, on December 8th during his first meeting with Baba, Baba asked him the meaning ofphiosophy. Deshmukh said, “It is a science which reveals the hidden Reality. Baba teasingly replied, “Th me, Philosophy is that which makes a simple thing dcult.” Some in the group were given the task oftrying to find the “ideal” or “perfect boy” who would be suitable for Baba’s work. Several boys were brought to Baba, but one especially felt drawn and stayed for three days. One day the lad told Vishnu that he wanted to stay with Meher Baba at the London Zoo in 1932 Baba always. When Vishnu asked why, he replied, ‘He is so very beyond my knowledge. lam in everything. For me, there is no time and kind I have never seen such a man. Ifeel like gazing at Himforever.” space, it is I who give them their relative existence. Isee thepast and the Another contact Baba made was with Christine McNaughton, a Scottish waitress who often brought meals to Baba’s room. future as clearly and vividly asyou see the material things about you”. young Baba indicated that she was a very good soul, and told Norma that on one occasion Baba went to tea at Meredith’s mother’s house Christine had been her daughter in a previous life. During this visit in Hampstead, and then went again to Margaret and Mabel’s dance Baba said He wanted some of the Western group to come to India studio where He watched a ballet class. Another time Baba visited the following year. When Baba later called these dear ones to be the National Gallery and the zoo. Kitty notes that Baba went to with Him in India He insisted they bring Christine along. cinemas and also visited Margaret and Mabel’s apartment. Sadly, neither Meredith nor his wife Margaret came to see Baba on May 12th Baba accompanied the group to the House of in London, nor did Baba travel again to East Challacombe. Meredith Commons. Kitty related, [t was not easy to persuade Baba to go, as still felt upset with Baba for not breaking His silence in Hollywood it meant theparty would be separated, since only haforfewer couldgo. six months earlier as He had promised. That event had been widely Eightp. m. came, then 9 p.m. and still Baba hesitated. At last, we left publicized and Meredith felt let down when Baba postponed it. by taxi. It was a wonderful evening. We arrived at the entrance to the Externally His connection with Meredith appeared broken and House ofCommons and thepoliceman looked at us as we entered the big the retreat was eventually sold in 1934. Yet who can say what lay in hall. Parliament was sitting, and as the gallery wasfull, we sat down store for one who played such an important role in linking Baba to to wait our turn. Baba became restless and said that we wouldgo, but just at that moment the policeman in charge said there was room for so many members of His circle? On December 14th Babaleft London for Zurich accompanied by three, so three went in. Baba signed His name in the visitors book and Norma, Elizabeth, Enid and Quentin, and the Indian Mandali. said this was thefirst time He hadsignedHis name in or been in such a building. Margaret Hickman mentions in her book Meher Babac 3ifth 7iisit to Engicind, October 9 22, 1933 Visits to Englandthat recent efforts to find the original ledger have aba, Chanji, Adi Jr., and Kaka disembarked in Venice on been unsuccessful. th, October 6 and after a brief tour of the city took the train to Kitty says that Baba dined at an Indian restaurant on May 13th. via Milan Dover and Paris. Elizabeth met Baba in Dover at 2 pm Then early on May 14th Baba left from Southampton for America th 9 on October and drove Him and several others of the group to accompanied by Quentin, Meredith and Margaret Starr, and the London, while the remainder of the party continued by train to Indian Mandali. From there He continued His westward trip around Victoria Station. During this visit Baba and the Mandali stayed at the world arriving back in India a month later. Hygeia House, 37 Warrington Crescent, a vegetarian hotel. 3ourth 7 iisit to England, December 6 -14, 1932 The day after His arrival Baba had lunch at Stephanie Haggard’s Babaleft Bombay on November 21st, 1932 aboard the Conte 14’rdi house, where He met with the spiritual writer Dorothy Greenside. accompanied byjal and AdiJr. (Baba’s brothers), Vishnu, and Kaka Mrs. Greenside had been depressed because she had lost her inBaria. Elizabeth Patterson, Norma Matchabelli, Nadine Tolstoy and spiration to write, but Baba reassured her that through His help Quentin Todd met him in Venice on December 2nd. The group she would regain it and would help humanity much in the future went by train to Milan arriving there on December 4th. through her writing. He also spoke with Kitty’s brother Herbert, who was upset that Baba had not broken His silence as He had i:ondon The group left Milan and continued on to London, arriving on earlier promised. Baba replied that He was beyond all principles, laws and promises because the infinite cannot be bound by anything December 6th, where Baba stayed at the Knightsbridge Hotel. finite and that He was indifferent to criticism or slander in this “

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regard. “lam the Truth. No amount ofvoluminouspraise willraise me highei nor can any caiing criticism pull me down. I am what I am and will ever be so. Whatever I do, I dofor my work, which encompasses andsees to the we(fare ofall.” The following day, October 11, Baba gave private interviews to a number ofpeople, including Lt. Commander A. B. B. James who was so worried over the continuing ill health ofhis child that he was nearly suicidal. He felt greatly comforted when Baba told him his childwould recoverwithin 6 months.Jameslater drove Baba through Regent’s Park. In the evening Baba went to the QTheatre and greatly enjoyed the entertaining dances and humorous skits that had been prepared during His absence by His English lovers in accordance with Baba’s order. On October 13th Baba gave an interview to Henry Strutton, editor of the Occult Review and many others. He also visited with Mrs. Vincent Scott, the daughter ofAnnie Besant, the English theosophist who had been president ofthe Indian National Congress and was a follower of Krishnamurti. Later that afternoon Baba again returned to the Qtheatre to see a variety show. It was during this visit to England that William Donkin met Baba. Donkin was a medical student and had just returned from a six month trip through the Sahara. Baba invited Donkin tojoin Him and mentioned He would need a surgeon for the medical clinic He was planning to open in India. Donkin replied that he was greatly interested in surgery and Baba encouraged him to pursue it. As Donkin turned to leave he placed his hand on the doorknob and got a profound inner shock, saying later that he knew with certainty at that moment that Baba was indeed God in human form. Over the ensuing weeks Donkin had divine experiences and saw Baba everywhere. Once again Baba had thrown His snare around the heart ofone who was to become one ofHis Mandali. Six years later he joined Baba permanently in India. Later on under Baba’s order he wrote The Wayfarers, the detailed chronicle of Baba’s unique work with spiritually intoxicated masts. th Baba went to an Indian Restaurant for lunch On October 16 with 22 people, then went for a ride to Kim Tolhurst’s house. Later, while out walking around London with Baba and others, Kim became very upset for some reason and took off in a taxi by herself. The group followed her to Piccadilly Circus in another taxi where they saw her enter a Scottish Tea Shop. Despite Baba’s order she would not come out. Baba had no choice but to leave her there, but He commented that Kim would not see Him again in this life. She never did. Still, though her outward connection with Baba appeared broken, she was indeed very dear to Him and none can know by what inner links her heart remained connected 2 to the Beloved. In the evening Baba went to dinner at the home ofthe Countess Phalen, 23 Jubilee Place, accompanied by others. The Countess had invited 15 ofher friends to meet Baba, mostly Russian royalty. The following day, October 17t1, Baba spent with His close ones. He revealed that He was in a rare state of”beingpulledfrom the highest to the lowest leve?’, which was causing Him great suf fering. He also mentioned His interest in going to Spain for the sake of His work before returning to India. In the evening Baba attended a vaudeville show at the Prince ofWales Theatre. Though the performance was somewhat bawdy Baba wanted to attend in order to establish contact with the person who had invited Him. Baba saw one dance and then left. th On October 18 He metwith a fewvisitors and in the afternoon went to the studio of Charles Shalimar. In the evening they visited Margaret and Mabel’s dance studio. Baba met Nonny Gayley and 40

her daughter Rano ofNew York who was destined to become one of the members of His circle. Mother and daughter had come to England to see Baba after He cancelled His trip to America. Rano later described her first meeting with Baba at Hygeia House. “I stepped into the room and everything aroundfaded. All I saw was one whose beauty ofexpression dfied descrztion and who looked at me with such gentleness and kindness that it imprinted itsef indelibly on my memory. I knew then that, were I never to see Meher Baba again, I had received something that would remain with mefor always. Ihad never seen anyone so beautiful in my lfr. Ifelt that Baba was the embodiment ofeveiything. He had that love and compassion which is indescribable. Th this day, I do not know who else was in the room. There were only hazyfigures, but clearly in their midst was Meher Baba with the most beautiful expression Ihad ever seen. Sweetness, love everything that was beautiful— was there in Hisface. Istood, staring at him until someonefinally removed mefrom the room.” After the meeting Baba invited Ruano and Rano to stay with Him at Hygeia House beginning the following day. This was a foreshadowing ofRano’s fttture, for she would later staywith Baba permanently in India as one ofthe resident Mandali. The next day an incident occurred which reveals the Master’s loving response to the unspoken longing ofHis lovers. Two of His dear ones, Will and Mary Backett, had hoped Baba would come to their home but were too shy to bring up the subject. On October t1 19 Baba unexpectedly announced that the following day they would all go to the Backett’s home for tea. This made the couple extremely happy, but precipitated another worry. Baba’s group totaled 22 people, but the Backett’s home was small. In fact they only had 3-4 chairs and a few tea cups. They worried all night about how everyone would be accommodated. In the morning of October t1 20 Baba surprisingly announced We are allgoing to tea at Will and Maiyc today. Everyone should bring a cup and saucei and should sit on thefloor when we get there”. Without a word of discussion Baba had ftiifthled their heart’s desire and solved all their difficulties. Baba and the group traveled the 20 miles to Old Oak Cottage in Halstead, near Seven Oaks, Kent. As Baba walked through each room He repeatedly spelled out on His alphabet board, “This is My house”. He then returned to London. In her guide to places that Baba visited in England Margaret Hickman notes that recent ef forts to locate the residence have so far been unsuccessful because local housing records do not go back to 1933. st On October 21 Baba visited the nursing home where Akbars Hyderi’s son was recuperating from leg surgery. The family had met Baba a few weeks earlier aboard the Conte Verde when Baba was enroute to England. Baba then visited the homes of several lovers on the return trip to Hygeia House. That evening Ivor Novello, a leading figure in musical theatre, invited Baba to attend the comedy The Proscenium he was starring in at the Globe Theatre. Baba was given box seats usually reserved for royalty. At the end of the performance the entire cast, while on stage, turned and bowed directly to Baba and Ivor came into Baba’s box for an embrace. nd Baba had individual and group meetings and On October 22 also met with entire staff of Hygeia House who had been greatly impressed with Him. They even waved goodbye from the windows of the hotel as Baba departed for Victoria Station. About thirty people gathered at the station to see Him off Anita, Norma, Minta, Herbert and Quentin were accompanying Baba on to Spain. Tom Sharpley traveled with them as far as Dover, where they boarded the ferry for Calais. —


Sixth 7 iisit to England, June 26 —July 5, 1934 th aba sailed onjune 9 from Bombay aboard the S.S. Mongolia with Chanji, Kaka and AdiJr., arriving 2 weeks later in Marth, seilles onjune 22. They left Paris onjune 26 traveling by train via Calais and Dover to London, where they arrived the same day. During this visit to England Baba stayed at the flat at 61 Com payne Gardens, Hampstead which had been lent them for the dura tion ofBaba’s stayby Delia’s brotherJack. Kitty Elizabeth, Norma, Margaret, and Mabel Ryan also stayed there. Chanji, Kaka, Adi, and Quentin stayed at Margaret Craske’s apartment, though they continually attended to Baba throughout the visit. Delia’s mother was then staying with her aunt and grandmother at the Star and Garter Hotel in Richmond (now the Petersham Hotel). Baba promised to see her, so Minta drove Delia and Baba over, and He had tea with them in their private sitting room overlooking the river. Two days later the Circle Productions Corporation was formed in London to raise money for Baba’s film project that was to depict the theme ofcreation. Baba had discussed the project atlength with Karl Voilmoeller a few days earlier during His stay in Paris. Voll moeller, the German writer and artist, had prepared a preliminary fllmscript for the project. In Paris Baba had shown him a chart and given him additional points, then asked him to write a new script based on these ftsrther explanations. While in London, Baba described the purpose of the film: “Theflim will attually demonstrate thepurpose ofcreation, evolution, reincarnation, illumination andRealization, the wholeprocess ofinner and outerprogression up to thepoint ofthefu(fillment ofall life, which is the union with God. Thefacts sofar as real experience, no human being has any real conception of but a God-Conscious Perfect Master sees and experiences it all every moment. “The entire process will be portrayed and depicted as vividly as possible, and thefilm will bepersonally supervised by me. The role of reincarnation and the seven planes will be shown by means ofcharts, animation and ]ecial effectsphotography. Aperfi’ct understanding of what death is willbegiven to man and once he realizes it, he will never fear the inevitable death that all have to undergo. “Thefilm will aid in the uplftment ofall humanity by illustrat ing the realpurpose ofl/è union with God. It willportray man tranformation ofconsciousness infu(fllling thispurpose. Thefilm will show topeople what ljfe truly is, its goal, the mechanics ofthe universe, the nature ofGod, and lastly, how the inherentspiritualljfe ascends the divine ladder towards its source.” There were many discussions with Baba about the film which He said would be made one day. William Donkin was with Baba for most of His visit, and Charles Purdom met with Baba to discuss the book he was writing on Baba’s life and message entitled The PerfrctMaster. On the th evening ofJune 29 the Countess Kitty Phalen hosted a reception at her home that was attended by about 15 people. At the reception Baba touched on a broad range of subjects in response to ques tions raised by those present. He gave a detailed explanation as to why the Avatar sometimes marries and sometimes does not and described the different ways in which the Avatar works. He also gave explanations on the Avatar’s circle, science, art, dance, war, law, medicine, and other topics. He helped those listening understand the ways in which different occupations express different divine qualities and how one’s work can bring the soul closer to God when done with heart, love, and remembrance ofGod (LordMeher 6/7, page 1881-1885).

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th On June 30 Krishna Veer, the proprietor of an Indian restau rant in London, the Kohinor Hotel, invited Baba to a luncheon reception. Baba attended with about 30 people. Following the meal Baba wished to visit Bill and Nellie Precey’s mother who lived in the East End ofLondon and had had surgery the daybefore. Mrs. H. Ford, who had recently met Baba, drove Him much ofthe way in her Rolls Royce. However, Baba had to walk the last stretch to the house at 16 Lockyer Street, Long Lane, because the oversized car would not fit through the narrow lanes in this poor district of London and had to be parked. The ill woman was extremely moved that Baba had come to see her. Baba told her, “I love to be among such good souls, howeverpooi Poverty is no sin. Because ofyour p overty, you are all the more dear to me. This is why I have come here today. Afterwards Mrs. Ford bought ice cream for several children outside the house who were crowded around an ice cream vendor. Baba was delighted with the situation and embraced some of the children. Later Baba attended a reception ofabout 50 people at the offices of the Circle Editorial Committee at Charing Cross, which was rd working to publish Baba’s discourses in English. On July 3 He returned to Will and Mary Backett’s home in Haistead where He had visited the year before and met Winifred Forster there. The following day Baba ate lunch again at Krishna Veer’s restaurant, the Kohinoor Hotel. Kitty recalls at one point during this visit how she walked with Baba through the big iron gates at the top of Richmond Hill and pointed out the Veterans Hospital to Him. They then walked through a park towards Kew Gardens. On July 5, Mrs. Ford again drove Baba and the Mandali in her Rolls Royce to Dover while others in the party went by train, joining Baba there. Baba and His party made the channel crossing to Ostend. “

&venth 7 .}isit to England, Nov 29

Dec 5, 1934

abaleft Bombay on November 15, 1934 aboard the 5.5. Tuscania accompanied by Kaka, Chanji, Adi Sr. and Jal. They arrived at Victoria Station in London November 29 at 7 pm. Coincidently it was the wedding day of the Duke and Duchess of Kent and there were crowds everywhere celebrating the event. The party stayed again at Hygeia House where Baba had resided during His October 1933 visit. After settling into His room Baba went out and moved among the crowds and watched a parade as it passed by Buckingham Palace. He then walked through Hyde Park to the West End. Most of this visit was occupied with making arrangements for His upcoming trip to America, including a trainjourney from New York to California, and He had little time for interviews. However on December 1, Baba did attend a reception of 70 people at the offices of the Circle Editorial Committee, and on one occasion went to see the film “The Iron Duke”. At one point during His visit Charles Purdom and Walter Mertens, who had arrived from Switzerland with his wife Hedi, asked Baba several questions. In response to a question on knowl edge, Baba said, “Man has allthe nourishment to make him strong, but out ofignorance, he is eating things that do not make him strong, butfat! This metaphor contains all the teachings ofthe world What is lacking is the knowledge ofthe hear?’. When asked to explain the difference between lust and love, Baba replied, “Lust is nothing else but the desirefor sefhappiness. Love is the desirefor the happiness ofothers.” To the question ofhow best to increase love Baba responded, “By thinking more ofthe suffering ofothers instead ofyour own string. This is the shortest way.”

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Baba and His Indian disciples left London by train on the morning ofDecember 5t1 for Southhampton accompanied by Kitty Walter and Hedi Mertens, Delia,Tom, Will and Mary Backett, and Margaret. Baba and those traveling with Him sailed for America aboard the Majestic, which at the time was the largest ship in the world. Baba had a large stateroom with an attached bath for His personal use on B deck.

}isit to England, November 4 6, 1936 Eighth 7 n this trip Baba traveled via the Orient Express from Istan bul for Paris, continuing on to London, where they arrived th November 4 Baba again stayed at the Hygeia House where He conducted private interviews with His close English and American disciples. The primary focus ofthis visit seemed to be preparations for their upcoming stay at the recently established Nasik ashram in India. In fact the following month 15 of Baba’s western disciples did travel to India for an extended stay at the ashram under Baba’s guidance. One evening Baba went to see Gary Cooper in the ftlm “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and afterwards praised it as an example ofhow mo tion pictures can both entertain and uplift consciousness. During this visit Baba met with Alexander Markey, an American ftlm writer and director. Prior to Baba’s England visit Elizabeth and Norma had cabled Him from America that Markey might be one to help with Baba’s ftlm project on the theme of Creation. When Baba received the message He had cabled back, “Markey is the man”, and suspended other efforts to find a screenwriter for the project. Interestingly a string ofcoincidences had brought Markey to London in November of 1936 to work on a new film, which was unexpectedly cancelled shortly after his arrival. shortly after he received word that Baba was in England for a briefvisit and wanted to meet with him. It was only then that Markey understood the meaning ofthe coincidences that had brought him to London. He met Baba at Hygeia House to discuss the project and afterwards recalled that he felt he had been “in thepresence ofthe most sublime embodiment ofpurity in humanform I had ever beheld. I knew and experienced having at last met the one who I had been searchingfor.” One day Baba had tea at the apartment of one of the group when suddenly His face took a grave look as though in great pain. He then said, “Ifyou knew the agony which thousands are undergoing this moment in Spain you would understand mypain.” At that mo ment civil war was raging in Spain, where Baba had been 3 years before. Also during this visit, Baba’s unpublished handwritten docu ment (The Book) describing the inner planes and other previously undisclosed spiritual secrets, was quietly returned to him from safekeeping in America. This document, as far as can be ascertained, has not been read by anyone, except Gandhi who was permitted by Baba to read a few pages in 1931. When Baba returned to India the document was stored in a bank vault in Bombay for the next 21 years. Its current whereabouts are publicly unknown. On November 6 Baba departed from Victoria train station for Switzerland. It would be fifteen long years before He would return to England, though many ofHis Western disciples would have the opportunity to live closely with Him in India for varying periods. -

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’Iinth 7iisit to Cngland,July 31 —August 6, 1952 2 n the years since His last visit to England dozens ofcountries had passed through the crucible ofWorld War II and had begun the slow process ofrebuilding. During this period Baba had undertaken the extensive and exhausting mast tours, traveling the length and

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breadth oflndia in His work to contact these special advanced souls. Some ofHis close western disciples had also had the opportunity of living and traveling with Him in India for an extended period. On April 18t1, 1952, Baba left Bombay via a TWA flight for America to visit His lovers there and to inaugurate His universal spiritual center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which had just been established in accordance with His instructions. He was ac companied on the trip by Mehera, Mani, Meheru, Goher Rano and Kitty Two days later Adi Sr., Sarosh, Meherjee, Gustadji, and Nilu flew to NewYork tojoin them. Baba visited with many in New York and Myrtle Beach before heading to California by car. While enroute to California Baba was involved in a serious automobile th He seriously injured accident near Prague, Oklahoma on May 24 the left side ofHis body from head to foot. Mehera and Elizabeth were also hurt. Two bones in Baba’s left leg were broken, His left arm was broken near the shoulder, as was the septum ofHis nose. His upper gums were also bleeding. The accident seemed to fulfUl Baba’s words that America wanted His blood. [Detailedarticle in the July 2002 issue ofthe LoveStreet LampPostJ. Following the accident they received immediate medical treatment in Prague and stayed at th the clinic for 12 days. From June 5 they recuperated for a period ofeightweeks in Myrtle Beach. Onjuly 3Ot1 Baba and the women mandali boarded a Pan Am ffight to London from NewYork. Baba’s leg was still in a cast. The men mandali boarded a later flight. Baba arrived at the London airport July 31st, 1952, where He was met by Will and Mary Backett, Delia, and Don Donkin, who took Him to the Rubens Hotel. st On August 1 Baba was taken by Dr. Goher and Dr. Donkin to see the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Reginald Watson-Jones who removed Baba’s leg cast and replaced it with an elastic wrap. Mehera also saw a plastic surgeon while in London for the wound she had sustained to her forehead in the Oklahoma accident. Prior to the accident Delia had booked several shows in London so Baba and the women Mandali could enjoy some entertainment during their stay. As Baba did not want the women to be disappointed, despite His serious and painflil injuries He insisted on attending all the performances. These included South Pacific, Rose Marie on ice, a horse show, the circus and another visit to QTheatre to see Richard Attenborough in a comedy. st because their The men Mandali arrived at 2 am on August 1 flight had been delayed in Newfoundland by engine trouble. The delay created a great deal ofconfttsion as the Mandali were not met at the airport and did not know where Baba was staying. Finally they located Baba after considerable effort. nd rd Baba met with nearly 200 people who On August 2 and 3 came for His darshan. Will had arranged for interviews to be given in the mornings in room 46 of Charing Cross Hotel. One woman described her experience. .“The minutelsaw Him, Ireceiveda shock, as jflhadsteppedon a live wire. Itseemedtofiash through every nerve in my body. As soon as Baba saw us he smiledsuch a heavenly smile. It is indescribable. All I can say is, no one ever looked at me with such love or smiled at me like that. He turned his head slightly to the side as funable to contain hisjoy. Why should he have been so delighted to see us Why me These questions go round and round in your headfor a long time afleryou meet him, as they are still doing in me. This love thatpours out is tangible, like a wave, but, unlike a wave, itpulls you like a magnet. Baba is all love, tangible love, and love beyond mypoor brain tofathom. These moments are like eternities. Moments with Baba are all too short, but so many emotions and thoughts are crowded into them they extend into iifinity.” .

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Fred Marks also met Baba at this time. He recalls, “Although I satface toface with him, Iknew, because ofthe veil, Ididiwthave even a glimpse ofhim as he really is. Ifelt irresistibly drawn to him, as an ironfihing is drawn to a magnet. Th see, know orjèel Baba is the end ofall human questing. In him, there can be nothing more to be desired, neither is there anything which is outside ofhim.” Another couple who met Baba for the first time outwardly that day were Dorothy Hopkinson and her husband Thomas. Dorothy had had an extraordinary experience some nine years earlier in 1943. While undergoing psychotherapy she had begun to have experiences in which a man, whom she called “her Persian prince”, appeared to her and imparted esoteric teachings. She confided to her therapist about the visitations but they argued when he tried to convince her it was all a fabrication. Upon returning home from the therapist with a severe migraine, her husband spontaneously brought her a book from the library thinking it would cheer her up. When she saw the title The Peifect Master by Charles Purdom, she threw the book on the floor feeling that she did not want to read any more “philosophy,” though it had long been her favorite subject. The book fell open to the photograph ofBaba at the front and her husband picked it up and handed it to her. As soon as she looked at the picture ofBaba she immediately recognized him as the Persian prince who had been talking to her inwardl 3 As she read the book she knew the experience and teachings she had received

had been real. She afterward corresponded with Baba byletter, but this occasion was her first opportunity to meet Him. During the evenings Baba visited several cinemas. Kitty notes that one day during Baba’s stay the women visited Madame Tussaud’s famous wax museum, went to Delia’s apartment and afterwards for a walk in Kew Gardens. Kitty also recalls that a few weeks earlier Baba had asked her if she would return to America following the London trip to help Elizabeth manage the Myrtle Beach Center in South Carolina. Though it must have been difficult for Kitty to be physically apart from Baba after having spent the past 15 years with Him in India, it is a testament to her obedience and love for Baba that she did not hesitate to carry out these orders. Baba wanted her to remain in London for 5 days after He left to visit her brother Herbert whom she had not seen in 15 years, then travel to Montreal to visit her mother who she had not seen in 25 years. Afterwards she was to join Elizabeth. On August 5 Baba and Mehera were driven to the airport by Charmian Duce, Ivy’s daughter. Donkin, Sarosh, and Adi followed in a second car, while Rano, Delia, Meheru, and Mani followed in a taxi. Delia and Charmian accompanied Baba and the eastern Mandali to Switzerland.

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7cnth and £ctst 7)isit to England,July 1 7 19, 1956 —

aba departed India at midnight July 16 for what would prove to be His last trip to England. He left from Bombay’s Santa Cruz Airport aboard Air India flight 103 accompanied by Eruch, Nilu, Adi and Meherjee. The ffight was the beginning of a mara thon 30,000 mile world tour that would take Him to parts of five continents within 30 days before returning to India in mid-August. Enroute to England the flight stopped briefly in Damascus, Beirut, Zurich, and Paris before arriving at the London Airport at 8:15 on the evening ofJuly 17th. In Zurich Baba had been joined by Irene Billo, Hedi Mertens and Max Haeffiger. The group was met in London by Will and Mary Backett, Charles Purdom, Delia, Minta, and her husband Glynn Barton. They were taken in four cars to the Rubens Hotel on Buckingham Palace Road where Baba had stayed during His visit four years earlier. The next day Baba held private interviews. One of these was Mollie Eve who had met Baba on an earlier visit and this time brought her whole family. She recalls, “I must have closed my eyes. I don know why butldid. Ifelt Babac handsjust around myface He hadbeautful, beautiful, hands. They werejust so soft. It is something I shall neverforget. I often think ofit. I can stilifeel those hands.” Baba also met with the English group to resolve some differences that had arisen among His Western disciples. In the afternoon in the great hail ofthe Rubens Hotel, He met more than 120 people who had come for His loving darshan. Baba’s remarkable ability to silently reach the heart also sometimes drew apparent strangers. A young lady and her boyfriend who were passing the hotel noticed the queue that had formed to meet Baba. They inexplicably joined the line despite not knowing the first thing about Baba. When their turn came Baba greeted them, and the girl suddenly knelt down in front of Him and began to weep. Her boyfriend likewise knelt. Baba patted them and made them sit beside Him on the floor throughout the remainder of the darshan program. Another visitor to the hotel that afternoon was Madam Ida Polli who had also been unexpectedly drawn to Baba years earlier during His first visit to England. One morning in the fall of 1931, while working at an antique shop in the London district of Seven Dials, she had had a vision of a man’s face with tears in His eyes that she took to be Jesus. She was quite startled at this sight, but as she raised her hands to her face the vision disappeared. At that moment looking out the shop window she saw the man whose face she had seen in the vision. It was Baba on the opposite sidewalk taking a walk with a group of His Indian disciples. How unexplainable are His ways of drawing those who are ready! Later that evening another reception was held at the hotel at which Baba met 175 people who had come to see Him. At one point during the evening Baba explained the significance of prasad and the importance of praying from the heart. .pravfrom the heart by givingyourselves. Just saying the words or being still, unless you are givingyourselves, is useless. It is theprayer ofyour heart, the giving of your heart that counts. Thosepravers are answered. Jesus meant, you do notpray, you do not ask, because you do not realiv ask with ALL your being. Afterwards Charles Purdom read out Baba’s message “How Does One Work For Baba?” in which He reminds His dear ones that it is useless to work for Baba while harboring grudges or ill feelings towards one another. The next day Baba resolved the dispute within the London group and each was given a copy ofBaba’s message on Work. Will Backett recalled, “Babac intense animation, eloquentgestures and commanding glances, when dictating His words by signs, solved all our problems.” 44

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Charles Davy, a reporter who was very drawn to Baba, expressed since surprise that Baba should ask him so often ifhe loved Him being God Baba already knew everything. Baba replied, “It is my delight to hearfrom my lovers that they love me. There is no doubt that Iknow everything, yetlask. Ifrel delighted when my lovers say, ‘Baba, Iloveyou very much. ‘Asfor example, in everyday ljfe one comes across a loving couple. Each loves the other very much andeach knows it, and yet the husband or the wife would very often ask, ‘Dearest, doyou love me’ Invariably the obvious answer wouldbe, ‘Iloveyou very much. ‘It is my pleasure to ask and my delight to hearfrom my lovers their often repeated answe; ‘Baba, Iloveyou very much.” In the afternoon oftheJuly 19t1 there was a tea for His close ones at Minta’s house. Upon returning to the hotel, Baba told His dear ones, “This is my last visitto London;you willhave no such opportunity again. You do not know howfortunateyou are. So livefor me and work for me wholeheartedly.” Baba embraced each one and then left for the airport at 6:30 pm. Anita Vieillard, Mary Backett, and Delia rode in the car with Baba and Eruch. Baba gave them instructions not to tarry at the airport once He had gone through customs. He boarded Pam Am Flight 71 which departed England at 9:30 pm for New York City leaving many of His lovers in tears. During His ten visits the Awakener of Hearts had stayed in England a total of 102 calendar days since first setting foot in Fol kestone in September of1931. During these powerful and matchless visits Baba had drawn many of His Western circle members to Him, along with hundreds ofothers from every walk oflife. He renewed His ancient work of stirring the hearts of men and women with His divine presence and quickening the fire of their longing for God as only the Beloved can do. Though He did not return to England again during this advent He had planted countless seeds of love in countless hearts, and established that inner link of longing and remembrance in His lovers’ hearts which will one day draw Him back. —

1 D elia’s book Ocean ofLove, relates that when the group was sent to look for Kim, they found her in a church weeping at the foot of the altar. “We did not know it then, but this was the last time she was to be with Baba, for the promise He had made to Desmond to help their marriage meant that after this she drifted away.”

‘N:ote: The author of this article owes a considerable debt to the following published materials containing accounts of Baba’s travels to England. Anyone interested in learning more is encourage to read: LordMeher, Vol. 4, 1929-1932 and LordMeher, Vol. 5, 19321934 by Bhau Kalchuri LoveAlone Prevails, by Kitty Davy Dancing With Love, by Margaret Craske Still Dancing With Love, by Margaret Craske Meher Babac Visits to England, 1st edition compiled by Margaret Hickman Ocean ofLove, by Delia DeLeon Other Information: Excellent maps: The Premier Map ofLondon, A-Z, New Edition; Richmond Upon Thames and Kingston Upon Thames StreetA-Z Atlas. Meher Baba Association, England, www.meherbaba.co.uk/ contacts.htm London Underground Tube Maps, travel information in and around London : www.bbc.co.uk/london/traveiidownloads/map_ downloads.shtml More information continue on page 23


We1comc to the Jve &reet i3ookstore 3tii

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ne ofthese days I must learn not to go overboard with my purchases during Amartithi! It’s just that there are so many lovely things that I know would delight the eye ofall who enter Love Street, I can’t help myself This year I had two huge suitcases each filled to 701b capacitybefore Amartithi even started! Anil of Meher Tailors, has, under our patronage, expanded his shop and travels regularly to Rajasthan to purchase new goodies for us all. Needless to say I spent quite a good deal of money there, skirts, dresses, jackets, bedspreads, place mats with matching napkins, cushion coyers and so on. The Mehera Mirror Works we told you about last issue are restocked, plenty of vibrantly colored embroideries to be used as table cloths, runners, and wraps. In the book department, unfortunately many of the small compilations of Baba’s words are out ofprint: Twenty Years With

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Meher Baba, Meher Baba on God Realization, and so many ofthe other wonderfttl little books. I was also very disappointed to find two favorites by Bal Natu are out of print: Showers of Grace and When He Thkes Over. However I did stock up on the beautiful 17 x 21 very high quality printed photos of the Beloved. Amazingl these sell for only $12. I also bought many of the little trinkets, too numerous and varied to mention or put on our website; key chains, pendants, necklaces, (some of sandal wood beads, highly scented) etc that range in price from $1 to $10. I was only able to get 12 of the good quality pendents with Baba set in silver. But we should have more of them in by Christmas. Many of you have inquired about the Baba books on a CD-Rom project that was started a few years ago. There were many people industriously scanning in, and some were actually typing (or keying) in the various books page by page! Well I have just received an update from Michael Ivey, the instigator and guiding light behind the whole idea. He tells me: “I had essen tially finished it, but ran into the problem of cross-platform compatibility (whether it would work on both Macs and PCs). It blind-sided me since I was led to believe that such a problem was not a problem about a year ago. So now I’m having the

entire thing re-cast into the web-language ofHTML so that all 12 ofthe books on the first edition will be available to both Macs and PCs. My tech guy works frill time and goes to school as well, so progress is slow. So far so good though, I may have a CD with the principle 12 works on it by this summer.” Also along those lines, if you haven’t already heard, the entire Lord Meher 20 volume biography is available on line. Go to www.lordmeher.org. One of the great things about it, besides actually being there to read if you can’t afford the $840 to buy the entire set, is that you can do a search for a certain word or phrase and it will bring up all the things Baba said about that particular subject. To get it all on line was a mammoth undertaking done with love by many hands. It took over a year to complete the task. Here is the story of how it all came about: Hermes, the publisher and final editor of Bhau Kalchuri’s accounting ofthe Beloved’s life, started this whole process with a vision of a text that could be searchable online. Bhau was very enthusiastic about the project and gave it all encouragement. The volun teers worked from Hermes’s old texts, which were sometimes close to the printed version and sometimes rather far from it, and were all delivered in a Macintosh word processor format (Word Perfect 4 for the Mac) that has not been supported for manyyears. Fortunately software was found that did the translation almost correctly, and that gave some (systematically defective) Microsoft Word ifies. Some computer programs were written and some Word Macros that eventually gave html pages, and then things like hard hyphens and hard carriage returns that Hermes had to use because of limitations in his publishing software were hand-edited out. That gave them a basic text. Then there were 100 pages (in fine print) of corrections and suggestions to be incorporated. The Mandali and others had discovered many of these during the years since the publication ofthe text versions. The changes had been accumulated in India, and also incorporated were suggestions and changes from Duncan Knowles, who had carefully researched the day by day events in America in the 1950s, aided by his wife, the late Charmian Duce Knowles’ recollections of the events and using some of the archival materials from

Sufism Reoriented. In the course ofthis, we went through all 6,700 pages, looking for errors and discrepancies between the text and the printed version. In some volumes, there were a number of these, and it is not clear what ofthem were edited out. As readers go through the materials, if they spot typos or formatting errors, we’d be happy to hear from them. However, we caution the readers that in addition to malapropos they should expect to find substantive changes, which are actually intended, as previously noted. If you have the eagle eye and spot such an error, please email Keith Gunn at keithgunn@mehermail.com. In the music department we have two new CDs to tell you about. Both of them have been getting very extensive play over and over in my house. Rough Around the Edges by Charles Gibson has a review by Billy Goodrum (our musical guest for the upcoming July fourth Sahavas) in our re view section. Before and after Amartithi, Charles, who has been chiropractor to the Mandali and the pilgrims for the past two years, could be found sitting on the PC yerandah or the food tent playing his guitar and singing surrounded by an enthusias tic crowd. I particularly remember one ses sion where we were all in the food tent and he played for eight straight hours! He plays many ofhis own Baba compositions, does a great cover ofJamie Newell’s 0 Bartender, and then along with Suzie limura and Nan Wicker, they would sing their way through the extensive Baba songbook Nan had put together. We have Carol Verner of Chapel Hill to thank for this CD. The folks on the East Coast had been listening to Charles for some time, and when she found out he was leaving to go live in India she talked him into making a CD so they would not suffer withdrawal symptoms. There are some great ballads, blues, gospel, a humorous song, and then it closes with a beautiful guitar and flute instrumental. Charles tells me “It’s a Native American Woodlands flute, like the ones used by the Cherokee for courting their intended lovers/wives. The young man would sit outside the home of the targeted girl and play from his heart. He would play his love and his longing to be with her. It seemed an ideal instrument to play on an album dedicated to Baba’s Love, and to His lovers.” $15 —

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Since Mischa Rutenberg’s new , t CD Love and Devotion has only just been released we did not have time to get an “official” review, Mischa had sent us some thoughts he .‘ had on composition of the songs, . . . ( to be found in the Reviews sec tion). He has an incredibly mellifluous voice, the kind that makes you melt with love for our Beloved. Divine Theme is just such a song. I found the lyrics really moving, a song to get lost in, and then find yourself in Him. I’m trying to write here, but with that song playing Ijust have to stop I would like to close this issue of typing and get lost in Baba’s eyes, the Bookstore report with a favorT that are gazing from the painting ite poem from Danny Ladinsky s 1’ on the wall opposite my desk! I latest best seller (literally in the j b also love Whatever My Master ‘4 world) Love Poemsfi om . . outside .::..:..::i*;.x. Does, the song he made of Baba’s s men rianz ana L’anny i nose oa favorite Hafiz quote: “Befitting a sure have a way with words! PaYou think this card looks beautiful? Wait fortunate slave, carry out each and perback, $15 till you see the real thing in all its glori every command of the Master” Mischa sings the words after Victor Seckeler, with ous color! Cherie Plumlee created it as a WhyAren’t We Screaming Drunks? his honeyed tones, speaks them. The song Valentine’s Day card for her friends, but I The sun once glimpsed God’s true nature said it was too beautiflil not to be shared titled My Heart is Set has a somewhat is now available, it every one else. So with And has never been the same. Middle Eastern sound to it and takes me photo with color are of her as all creations, Thus that radiant sphere back to the days when I was a belly dancer mounted on high quality fold over card, in Beirut. It was all I could do to stay typ Constantlypours its energy matching envelope and tucked in a cello ing at my computer! Then there is the title Upon this earth for safekeeping. Each card is $3. bag song, which has a nice easy beat to dance to. As does Hefivm behind I found the video InAnotherLft—Re I think Love and Devotion is my favorite The veil. of all of Mischa’s CDs, and we have six of incarnation in America to be very interesting. Having what Eruch called ‘congenital With a wonderful God like that them. So ifyou love this one, know that we from I was raised childhood felicity’, have five others. It is $14. Why isn’t everyone a screaming drunk? knowing about reincarnation, but millions Naosherwan Anzar ofBeloved Archives Hafizcguess is this: are not. Once you have accepted Meher (Editor and producer of the Glow maga Any thought thatyou are better or less zine) has released a very beautiful and most Baba as the Avatar you pretty much have Than another man unusual CD. It is titled Beloved Sings of to swallow that one too, but how about all Quickly I’ll your friends who think you are crazy? This Love, but it has no singing. I know Breaks the wine bet you thought an amazing tape recording video, scholarly and authoritative, might be Glass. an excellent loaner to start someone off on had been found made in the ‘20’s with Baba’s the spiritual path. Once they can accept that voice on it! Sorry. Naosherwan has used this is merely one of millions oflives they some of Baba’s early ghazals (which were have lived, then maybe they will be ready always written to be sung) written under the hear to Christ has come and gone again! pen name ofHuma that are in his extensive 1Rough .Around the Edges, mins. 60 $25 archive collection. On the CD he is reading by Charles jibson The word is out about Mehera/Mehei; them in Hindi followed by Cecilia Kirtland Billy Goodrum, California the Divine Romance. I keep getting orders reading the English translation. Behind all Dma came back from India last month the reading is beautiful Indian sounding for it. We don’t have it in stock yet; in fact raving about a new singer she had heard in It has this. read is the printers as you it at music by the famous composer Jai Uttal. Charles Gibson—and how Meherabad— Fenster, David both because been delayed Beautiful words—how could they not be?! giving captivating performances he was designer, Ed Legum, the and the author, It is also wonderfully meditative! $15 Amartithi. Marathon perfor throughout They possible. very quality the best wanted As ofpress time the new book by ex-Los PC and environs, tent, in the food mances in the they wanted exact paper find couldn’t Angelino Baba lover Judith Ernst, Song of on end. I had me. hours she informed the US. from so had to be it imported India Songs, reviewed in this issue, has not my curiosity music and Charles’ never heard in Los arrival time of The latest estimated in reached me, but I am sure I will have it She me a copy gave aroused. was thoroughly is around August. Angeles by the time you read the review and besiege me to did forewarn listen but CD to ofthis me with orders! It is hardbound, $21 46 ..

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that it didn’t measure up to his live performanc es. Well, if the CD is any indica tion, hearing him live must certainly live up to Dma’s billing and then some. The first thing that struck me was that the music was very well recorded. The guitar sounds great and the vocals are nice and clean with a nice blend and balance between the two. The second thing that struck me was the soulftil quality of Charles’ voice. He puts a lot of himself into his singing. The third thing I noticed was that he is a really good guitar player and his playing compliments the songs and his voice very well. Rough around the edges? Well, yes and no. On the second song, Metaphysical Boogie, he makes no effort to smooth out the rough edges of this bluesy song and kicks it into high gear with his guttural singing. I thought of Bhau and how he always admonishes us to read his guzzles aloud with “full force”. Charles definitely puts full force into this one. On the next song he shifts seamlessly into a smoother, more melodic style. Throughout the CD he mixes up the tempos and styles, sometimes leaning more towards the blues and other times more towards country and folk. It all works nicely and I really enjoyed his version ofThere’s a Heartache Following Me. Towards the end ofthe CD he plays I’m Saved, a traditional gospel song with a country flare. Next is another raw acoustic blues in The Avataric Proclamation Blues. The closing piece is Woodlands Improvisation #1. On this final piece Charles plays woodland flute with Leif Rego playing guitar. The result is a haunting and meditative improvisation between the two of them. In the liner notes to the CD Charles issues a disclaimer that the music was re corded “live” and that any mistakes in the singing or playing were not doctored up by overdubs and engineering. I found this to be part ofthe charm ofthe recording and it gives it a very human and honest feel. I enjoyed listening to Charles’ Love for Baba expressed through this heartfelt music.

Very satisf5iing and a nice choice of material. A great listen for anyone but especially fans offine acoustic guitar music.

rflie Songs of .A/kher i3aba Naosherwan Anzar, NewJersey Since the 14th Cenmry : Urdu ye rs e in India has adopted the ghazalas an Bekve( expression of 1!1j itt LOVC : : the highest ideals of man. The word ‘ghazal’ means the agonized cry of the gazelle when it is cornered after the chase.The ghazal has had many faithful adherents because its content emerges es sentiallyfrom the depths ofhuman longing, the yearning ofthe lover to be merged in the Beloved. It was, therefore, in this form that Merwan Sheriar Irani, later to be known as Meher Baba, sang and wrote in the years He dedicated to the service ofSadguru Upasani Maharaj. “It took me seven years of acute struggle under Maharaj ‘s active guidance to return completely to, and become estab lished in, normal human consciousness of the illusion of duality, while yet experienc ing continuously my super-consciousness”. Those “seven years of acute struggle that Meher Baba describes, were expressed at times in ghazals under the pseudonym of ‘HUMA a phoenix. It was in these years that Huma sang ecstatically to His Beloved songs of anguish, of love, and of complete surrender. Huma echoed in His ghazals the outpourings of every aspirant longing for oneness with God. “Loving God only for love of God.” The ghazal in Urdu poetry is a prototype of the classical Persian ghazal, but Huma did not conform to its original parapher nalia of metaphors, prosody and formal structure. He very deftly used a mixture of three languages, classical Persian, popular Urdu and Gujarati. In those early years Huma was the aspirant, the true lovei but he was also the momin (the Perfect Man), and it is in this role that at the end of each ghazal He gives a parting message ‘God is within you.’ Ghazals are always sung, and Huma sang them in a mellifluous voice. In the ‘20’s and ‘30’s these ghazals were sung by women disciples in Meher Baba’s ashram on Meherabad Hill. There are some disciples, living today, both among the men and women Mandali, who have •

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in fact heard Meher Baba sing these very ghazals and charm His audience with His perfect voice. He wrote over forty ghazals under the name of Huma. These she’rs are only a few gems which I have pulled out of the treasure-chest of ghazals that Meher Baba has given to posterity. In 1966 at Guruprasad in Pune, I had the rare distinction of singing a ghazal to Meher Baba. From time to time qawwals and ghazal singers entertained the Beloved with songs oflove and devotion. He would often stop the singer and give an insight and a fresh perspective to certain she’rs. On this one occasion when I sang to Meher Baba, He picked out the word ‘visal (union). He said “Visal is all that matters to one who loves Baba. One who aspires to be merged in Baba, to have union with Him, must love Him and think of Him all the time.” There are some who will listen to these ‘songs’ and sing them. To all those in tune with Meher Baba’s divinity happy singing. The ten tracks on this CD are read in Hin dustani by Naosherwan Anzar; in English by Cecilia Kirtland. The background music is by the celebrated music composer, Jai Uttal. This superb production has been recorded, engineered and mixed by Philip Ludwig at Seclusion Hill Music. The slip-in insert features an essay on the Songs of Meher Baba; His technique of writings ghazals, the content and nature of His ghazals and a brief history of the origin of ghazals. All proceeds from the sale of this album will go towards archival preservation at Beloved Archives. $15 ‘

EJn .}1notIwr Life A Video on Reincarnation Producedfor TV by Steve Sakellarios, Georgia. Start talking to people, reassure them that you won’t laugh at them, and you will find an amazing number have had experi ences ofpast-life memorc InAnother Lfr first examines the scientific research being done on the subject, and then explores the primary ways Americans have been encountering reincarnation: comments made to parents by their young children; sponta neous “flashback” memories triggered by a seemingly innocuous event; hypnotherapy, “past-life therapy” and workshops; and the introduction of ideas about reincar nation by Eastern spiritual teachers. The producer, Stephen Sakellarios, has studied reincarnation from the viewpoint of Eastern philosophy for over 30 years, and from the viewpoint of Western studies for the five 47


years the project was in progress. All the cases are genuine to the best ofhis ability to judge; and the information presented is the most accurate presently available. Whenever possible first-hand testimony is used, from Tom Shroder, editor for the Washington Post who personally traveled with Dr. Ian Stevenson, the foremost scientific researcher into reincarnation, to personal accounts of spontaneous past-life memory “flashback” experiences. Dr. Robert Almeder, professor of philosophy at Georgia State University is interviewed about the philosophical implications of Dr. Stevenson’s work. Next, author Carol Bowman discusses her research into the phenomenon ofAmerican children describ ing past-life memories to their parents, and first-hand testimony is given by a parent who experienced it. Next is a visit with Dr. Roger Woolger, a past-life therapist who uses Gestalt and psychodrama techniques to access the memories. His interview is followed by an excerpt from an actual session. Examples are then given ofpeople who have had pastlife memories in a workshop setting. One, a participant in one ofDr. Woolger’s workshops (as told by Dr. Woolger), was able to verify historical facts associated with the memories. The second entered a workshop as a skeptic, and emerged a believer. The ‘con’ viewpoint is represented by skeptic Ron Lehr, as part of the American ideological landscape. Unlike previous shows on reincarnation, however, there is no attempt to debunk every case presented. Finally, two examples are given of Eastern spiritual teachers bringing ideas about reincarna tion to the West. Swami Yogeshananda, a swami of the Ramakrishna Order, is in the direct line ofdiscipleship from Swami Vive kananda, who spoke at the World Congress of Religions at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and subsequently went on a two-year speaking tour in America. Don Stevens is a direct disciple ofMeher Baba and co-editor of Meher Baba’s book, God Speaks. Don, who has an engineering background and was initially skeptical about reincarnation, describes how he gradually accepted the idea through his contact with Meher Baba. He also gives a synopsis of Meher Baba’s teachings on the subject. ‘..

E13ecoming ;1is— 3 7:hejessawalas3oin .7I/Ieher EBaba Eruch’s mother and father have their story told by Eruch, mother Gaimai hersell, and sister Manu. Baba asks them “Why have you thrown me out of your house?” It is an early drama centering on a loaned photo of Baba. Other tales follow, with Upasni and Babajan figuring in. Eruch’s first two lessons in 1938 close this family portrait. Filmed in 1986. 53 mm. S50

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Eruch exhibits his character as the obe dient observer recounting in his humorous, matter-of-fact way, stories of saving from suicide a man humiliated for being honest; ofhow he came to go on the Blue Bus tours, get married yet remain with Baba, and more, in life up to the end of the mast tours just before beginning The New Life. 57 mm. $5OBuy the two of them for only $80

Instead of asking one of my kind and gifted friends to write a review of my new CD Love andDevotion I decided to write some background material ofthe songs. Alter all, we don’t expect anything but glowing praise from our friends do we? This new birthday offering includes many songs that were being sung in Mandali Hall at the time that Aloba slipped away. One ofthese, Meher Baba’s Leela felt particularly poignant to sing at that special moment. It’s refrain is a reminder that we are all a part of Meher Baba’s divine game and in His hands. Alter the concert many people asked me about the songs, but Meheru and Bal Natu in particular asked for copies of the lyrics. It made me think about the diverse sources these lyrics come from and how these songs get birthed. Here is a partial background for this collection. Mani’s amusing and touching stories about life with Baba often stimulated song responses from visiting pilgrims. In 1996 I heard Mani tell a story about a mango tree which had us weak with laughter and longing. (Laughter and Longing...good title for my next CD...thankYou Baba) So,the next afternoon a group of us were singing this song on the Pilgrim Center porch. A couple of these songs feature lyrics by Baba’s dear poet Francis Brabazon. His tender expressions of loving remembrance and adoration are a privileged gift to sing. A lyric that can’t be improved. Baba’s own translation ofHafiz provided the lyric for yet another song. These are cou plets we are all familiar with since they were Baba’s favorites. They begin “Befitting a fortunate slave. Victor Seckeler performed a beautiful reading of these words that are also sung. Murshida Carol Connor is a highly skilled and gifted poet. One of her poems

2-Iis Will—21is lleasure 1: Destined to &rve 2z1im Katie Irani, 4 years younger than her sister Goher, grew up in a household in Quetta, a favorite stop for Meher Baba on His way to Persia. At age three in 1923 she recounts, the two sisters had already been chosen to serve Him. During the next 15 years Katie learned obedience in practical detail. At age 1 1, bringing Baba a fruit bowl from mother, she at first would not eat a plum He held out to her. It was her first lesson never to refuse anything He gave her. The Quetta quake of 1931 led the family to move to Ahmednagar. The change was difficult for Katie, except that Baba was now close by, and she could see a new Western movie every second day at the Sarosh Theater. Under Baba’s tutelage, she took singing lessons and learned the harmonium, slowly overcoming her shyness by performing. Her mother several times blocked requests from Baba for Katie tojoin Him but then in 1936 when she became very ill, Katie was there to see her through. The video ends with Katie singing a Baba-taught love-fified song in Persian which is subtitled on screen with an English translation Filmed at Meherazad in 1986. 57 mm. $50 All these videos are available in PAL in Australia and the UK.

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Continued onpage 51

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49


eort on (i.:eflj .o1den 3ubi1cc Ceiebrcaioris aiioj

SctIii, Sccrdary, /1z’atar Jl”lcIicr Ei3aba Cciitrc,

vatar Meher Baba’s visits to Delhi were numerous as He passed through the capital city time and again during his visits to other parts of the country. However, the only time that Beloved Baba gave His public darshan to a few lucky lovers of God, was from the first to the third ofDecember 1952. During this visit, He stayed incognito at the residence ofShriW.D. Kain at 16 President Estate maintaining His usual silence. He addressed students at Delhi University Campus and impressed them considerably with His views on discipline, truth and devotion to dutyc He also addressed a public meeting on the banks of Yamuna River where He ‘spoke’ on the importance of love for God in any form. Thus, it can be said that Avatar Meher Baba sowed the seeds of His Love during this visit. These seeds were careftilly nurtured by Baba Himselfover the years and have now grown into a fill-fledged “Dnyan Vriskha” offering its luxuriant Divine Shade to Baba Lovers at the Delhi Centre. It was felt therefore, that the Golden Jubilee Cel ebrations of Beloved Baba’s visit to Delhi Centre be celebrated in a grand manner, on an international basis so that Baba lovers all over the globe derive joy, peace and inspira tion from the “Dnyan Vriskha”. With this backdrop, the preparations gth commenced in real earnest as early as 2 April 2002 when itwas decided in an Execu tive Committee Meeting to evolve a provi sional plan in connection with the prepara tions for the Goldenjubilee Celebration and appoint Dr. G.S.N. Moorty as the Chief Coordinator and Programme Convener. The administrative details that needed to be tied up were enormous. Aspects which were criti cal to our functioning included obtaining sanctions for the Sirifort Auditorium, recep tion ofBaba Lovers at Railway Stations/Bus stands/Airport, accommodation for almost 1000 Baba Lovers inside the Centre prem ises, pandal erection for them, creation ofhot water facilities for everyone besides ablution, bathing and sleeping facilities. It was also to be ensured that separate toilets for ladies under female volunteers functioned properly. We also organized the event to be telecast on TV Aastha Channel for the benefit of Baba Lovers throughout India. Their team also went to Meherabad to record Bhauji’s message to all Baba lovers.

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The final coordination meeting before t1 the mega event was held on 30 Novem ber to coordinate and apportion duties of organizers, coordinators and 20 volunteers. Though the duties seem very mundane— sounding of morning bells, ablutions dut heating water for bathing, serving of bed tea and breakfast, they were arranged by the Centre and were found extremely useftil for such a large gathering. Therefore a team of almost 20 volunteers was carefttlly selected to work round the clock. Guests, partici pants and visitors started pouring in from th 29 November onwards. It was generally agreed that the taste buds of all Baba lovers must be kept in mind before deciding the bill offare. We knew they would be coming from disparate and diverse cultural backgrounds, so to make the food palatable, a mixed blend of North-South and semi continental cuisine was planned. We felt that such effects promote national integration, even in a small measure. Selfhelp service with volunteer support thrown in at the counters we found was the right answer for this gathering. Mineral water for each Baba Lover was also ensured. It was decided to take the best health and sanita tion arrangements so that not one single case of infection or indigestion occurs in this gathering. On the first ofDecember, Avatar Meher Baba Delhi Centre at 50-A, Tughlakabad Institutional Area wore a festive look, with the building beautifully decorated with flowers and lights. An equally well decorated pandal had been erected on the adjoining vacant plot to house almost 800 pilgrims from various parts of the country. Placards were placed to depict the area from which each contingent came. Women pilgrims were accommodated inside the Centre building, wherein there was not an inch of vacant space, as even the Satsang Hall, mezzanine, top floor and basement were ftslly utilized. A11 reception arrangements were fully computerized and also included the issue of entry/ security passes. Transport to Sinfort Auditorium and back, the stay within the Centre and details of various groups including names of every participant were also computerized. Stage management by volunteers was so thorough that each vol

unteer knew exactly where each Baba lover had to go. The badges were neatly stacked and kept ready for issue. Newly arrived Baba lovers were first served piping hot tea and snacks before being directed to their “action stations” along with mattresses, blankets, pil low and mineral water bottles branded with individual’s name. Even those who arrived at odd hours of the night were properly received and disposed offby the volunteers who worked round the clock without any respite whatsoever. Kudos to the organizers for their great devotion to a Baba cause. The day commenced with the flag hoisting at the Baba Centre by Sri Venkoba Rao, President, AJVIBUSC, Byramangla, Karna taka at 8:30 AJVI, to formally announce the opening of the Golden Jubilee Celebra tions. After breakfast, volunteers directed each Baba lover by their badge numbers to their respective seats in the 15 hired luxury coaches. Nearly 1300 of His lovers assem bled near Gargi College Gate for the “Meher Shobha Yatra” to the Sinifort Auditorium at 9:30 A]\1. Taking care not to disturb the traffic arrangements and maintaining a very peaceftil and dignified profile, this proces sion displaying Baba’s photograph very prominently, wended its way to the Sinifort Auditorium. Baba’s prasad in the form of “rewanis” was most welcome enroute. Some were carrying Baba slogans and sayings on banners, which caught the attention of the media and all passersby. On arrival at Sinifort Auditorum at ap proximately 10:15 A2v1 Baba’s picture was placed on the sofa for everyone to take Darshan. The lamp lighting ceremony took place and the chief guest, Prof. J.S. Rathore, an eminent Baba lover, lit the lamp to open the first day’s proceedings. A recorded video telecast ofBhauji’s inspiring message was first shown for 20 minutes on the Aastha television channel for Baba lovers attending and also for those in their homes. Welcome address by President Shri Pratap Meher, and welcome song by Delhi Centre followed. Prof. J.S. Rathore addressed all Baba Lovers in his very clear and effective language. Sweet bhajans by Delhi Centre, Smt. Mira Kale from Jabalpur, Sri Pratap G Ahir and Sri Kishore Mistry from Bom bay, Sri Manik Ubale from Nagpur and by Sri Madhusudan and Smt. Subhadraji


followed. Baba prayers and artis concluded the morning’s session before lunch. After lunch a one act play Manbawara’ directed by Dr. Nitin More from Pune concluded the first session. Evening session also had lovely bhajans from participants from other Cen tres, viz. Sri Rajendra Meher from Jhansi, Smt. Hema Shirdonkar, Smt. Mira Kale and speeches by well known figures such as Shri T.K. Ramanujam and bhajans by Shri C.Y. Chintamani, Sri Baburao Nakhale from Arvi and Smt. Nandini Mathur from Lucknow followed. Prayer and arti followed by dinner closed the proceedings for the day. It was noticed that the food was of exceptionally high standard catering to everyone’s taste buds. Baba’s role in His prasad was amply evident. The second day began once again at Sirifort Auditorium with the Chief Guest, Sri Gokaran Srivastava lighting the lamp to commence the proceedings. Bhajans by Smt. Usha Bhaskar from Ahmednagar and Smt. Lata Deo preceded the opening ceremony. Bhajans by Dehradun Centre and Shri Madhusudan and Subhadraji also stole the show. A discourse by Dr. G.S.N. Moorty, was also well received by the audience. Bhajans by Smt. Chitravilas Gokhle from Indore and by Kadiri, Bombay and Guntur centres were melodious and well sung. Speeches byDr. D.R. Gadekar and Prof A.K. Hazra concluded the proceedings before lunch. After lunch the visit to Qutab Minar, (which is one ofthe places visited by Beloved Baba in 1952) was organized in the buses and Baba lovers got the opportunity to visit this historic monument also. Evening session saw a full house again. Baba lovers were happily seated on the floor and on the stairs inside the auditorium. The auditorium has the capacity of 400 seats only. Baba stalls inside the foyers functioned during off hours, very well, carrying Baba’s books and literature, Baba lockets and other Baba trinkets and Baba photos. Our ladies and gentlemen from the fourth estate found some Baba lovers also rehearsing for the next day’s one act plays. Besides this, they noticed that enthusiasm and camaraderie ran very high in the minds ofall Babalovers. “Eshwar Ek Khoj” by Smt Nalini Mathur of Bombay was extremelywell presented to the audience in this session. The last day of the celebrations provided the grand finale to the proceedings. Bhajans by Dr. Ajit B. Soni from Navasari, Sri Baburao Nakhale, Sri Sudhakar and Smt. Mridu Tripathi from Lucknow and Kanpur, Hamirpur, Andhra, Maharastra, ‘

Pune Centres and the speech by Chief Guests, Prof. A.K. Hazra and Dr. Gauri Shaknar Dubey and Dr. R.S. Gaur were the highlights. “Samarpan”, a one-act play, was presented by Dr. Nitin More ofPune; it depicted Baba’s life very well. The evening’s performances included bhajans, songs and speeches from various centres. In addition, a one-act play “Rehnuma” by Delhi Centre (under the guidance ofSri Madhusudan and Smt. Subhadra Ji) was most apt and well presented. This was followed by a Meher Dance and Baba Ru song that brought all Baba lovers in the audience together. The whole auditorium shook as they clapped and sang the song in full participation with those on the stage. Prasad was distributed later in golden tissue cloth. Everyone enjoyed the whole show under the Divine Love of Baba. Beloved Baba, it is evident, was pres ent everywhere, in everything, every time, and most specifically in the hearts and minds of all Baba lovers. A deep sense of involvement and the enthusiasm displayed by all Baba lovers is what can contribute to this Baba phenomenon. That the Golden Jubilee Celebration went offextremely well is also Baba’s blessing and desire, which ensures that no slip ups take place when Baba lovers meet in His Love. To commemorate this momentous oc casion, a souvenir has been released on 3’ December 2002. This souvenir has been gleaned from voluminous accounts of Baba’s visit to Delhi available with Delhi Baba Lovers and the most authentic information of the Avataric events from ‘Lord Meher’ rd during 1st to 3 December 2002. We are indebted to Shri V.5. Kalchuri (respected Bhauji) Chairman, Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust for allowing us to quote extensively from his magnificent document, Lord Meher authored by him.

Reviews continuedfrorn page 48

became the lyrics for the song called Divine Theme. It is a stunning and transporting, epic poem that still manages to be completely intimate. Mehera was particularly fond of Richard Dean’s poetry. I share this appreciation in a most heartfelt and grateful way. I am deeply indebted to Richard for his inspired work which he generously allows me to use throughout my songbook. So as I walk along this path with com panions, we talk about and delight in our Beloved. We sing His praises and long for another glimpse ofHis radiant face. Some-

times we cry, sometimes we laugh. Drinkrng His wine we get reflective or maybe we kick our shoes offwith abandon and dance. Here is a collection of songs for all these moods which are a part of our life of Love and Devotion for Meher Baba. p.s. I hope you buy and enjoy this CD. Mischa Charmian Knowles continuedfrom page 51

to share with many Baba lovers her experi ence of this signal event of Baba’s work in America. Manywho have had the pleasure ofmeeting Charmian have felt the special sparkle of Meher Baba’s love in the warmth, generos ity and compassion that radiated from her. Charmian was a delightful companion to all who sought her out, some with special needs. She was a tireless, welcoming conversationalist and friend, living fully Baba’s message oflove and compassion. Charmian ftulf]led well Baba’s order that she serve Him by spreading His love wherever she went! Charmian leaves a rich legacy of her experiences with Baba. She was interviewed on film for several days byWendell Brustman in the mid-1980s. These recollections have been edited togetherwith the many films she took of Baba, in a series of seven delightful videotapes Charmian also recently completed her memoirs, which will soon be published by Sufism Reoriented. A memorial service for Charmian was held at the Sufi Center in Walnut Creek. Charmian is survived by her husband Duncan Knowles, sons Mark and Michael Cor rinet, her daughter Ivy Mary Knowles and stepdaughter Stacey Ahrens. .

Clictrmian cind 3rnncis Raine Eastman Gannett tells us that on recently receiving a card from Charmian, who had loved her concert at the Sufi Center in November 2000, she included this delightful story. “Dear Francis! He and I were good friends and I can’t tell you how often we sat up over our coffee cups in Murshida’s kitchen, arguing one or another ofthe many unsolvable questions one could formulate about Meher Baba’s ideas and discourses. I have treasured those evenings. “Our last exchange was at Guruprasad as we stood near each other, as one person after another came forward to Baba prostrating themselves at His feet Francis would mut ter, “Another one for India; another one for India.” I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and said, Francis for heavens sake what “

Continued on page 51 SI


¶JLnssings ;jcJ November 25, 1944 December 10, 2002 Tom Rzype, New York —

ick Duman was an enigma, a true ec centric. How is it that this brilliant man, so sure and true to himseIf, had such a difficult relationship with much of the world? This was how he coped with trying to live a life dedicated to God, to Avatar Meher Baba. Many beings that are serious about ‘leaving the world’ are in inner tur moil and function unconventionally. People often isolate themselves in order to devote their attention to their inner habit patterns. Worldly and personal concerns are in a constant state offiux; theywaver as the struggle to wear away attachments keeps one on the edge, in constant vigil. One committed to this most courageous profession must be fIled with love. It is the only way to put up with being torn from worldly convention. Dick Duman was my Baba contact twenty-eight years ago. I think of him almost daily, despite being out of touch with him. He is a large part of my spiritual foundation and my own desire to remember Baba and maintain vigil over my self It is enormously important to develop a trust in Baba and in the laws and mechanics of how the universe fttnctions. If one does not feel safe and confident it is difficult to carry on; it is easy to lapse into habit. Knowledge of karma, sanskaras, God’s omnipotence and Love must be firm as one travels the road of Remembrance of God moment to mo ment. Telling the truth to yourself, being true to the way you are manifesting in the moment, no matter what others think of you, requires firm conviction in God’s love and acceptance. Dick understood what was important, he tried his best to remember it every moment, he lived for himself and in this way was honest with God. Dick was a mystic, he was a genius, a poet, a writer, a voracious reader, a lover of the world, a craftsman of humor, and he probably had a photographic memory. One of Baba’s gifts to him was his parrots and he loved them like a mother and a father. In turn, the birds loved, supported and distracted himjust enough, giving him respite from his inner work. Dick was a thirsty seW-educated expert in several areas, always reaching for the most knowledgeable people in the entire world. His work

D

52

on the Hopi’s, the Anasazi Indians and the Southwest are scholarly and leading edge. Attachment to the world, including his own, made him laugh, but he was fiercely loyal and generous to me. Because he tried to remain true to himse1f, Dick exhibited idiosyncratic and seemingly contradictory behavior. Inwardly he was acutely aware, his social standing never a consideration, as his life was dedicated to the process of wearing away sanskaras as he understood it. This profound commitment has been his challenge and legacy to me. Indeed Dick learned from the best,Joseph Harb and Don Stevens were two ofhis teachers. My last contact with Dick was a page of quotes that he sent me. It had been about a year since the last time I’d written to him and, as usual, he wrote back immediately a rich, loving, ftmnny letter. He wrote great letters, I have saved them all.

From Dma I agree with Tom about Dick’s letter writing propensity. It was prodigious! I would get at least one letter a week, fascinating stuff. He wrote ar tides for the LampPost and was one of its most devoted readers, donating $2000 to the magazine. I had his latest letter on my desk waiting to be replied to when the news came in ofhis passing. I shall miss him as will his beloved parrots some of whom he had had for 30 years. His exit visa was stamped ‘acute pneu monia’. He leaves his daughter Mehera and many loving friends. —

Continuedfrornpage 53

Then, deep within, I heard, “See, see. .look. .look. There was a brief mo ment where I was responding internally to these words and then I saw where I was, where Tadaaki was, what he was doing. He was at the feet of the Lord God. He was dying in a bed within wheeling distance of His Abode. He loved more than anything to recite His prayers. He kissed His sandals with such exquisite grace it would make me tingle from head to foot. He had survived to be present at His Youth Sahavas, loving the Lord ofCreation, surrounded by Baba’s pre cious children. He loved Lord Meher Baba with all his heart and soul and Meher Baba is God; I saw the enormity of all this. And then I heard in my heart, “See how much he loves Me and see how much I love him. Now, I want you to remember this when you feel sad. I want you to remember how much I love him.” I felt that the Youth Sahavas had been created entirely for him and he had survived that long, specifically to attend it. For, Beloved Baba did great things forTadaaki and you all at that gathering. Tadaaki was able, through Baba’s wish for him, to express his love and faith. How can I ever thank those ofyou who work so tirelessly to carry out Baba’s wish for His children in creating the Youth Sa havas. It was a turning point for Tadaaki, who continued for the next two months until he died, to come closer and closer to His Master. His suffering, so unbearable, and death, was a testimony to Beloved Baba’s promise that whosoever holds onto His daaman, fac ing all calamities and hardships with 100% cheerfulness, comes to Him. Tadaaki flew to Baba’s waiting arms. How could it be otherwise? May this year’s Youth Sahavas bring you all together in His love so that you may return to the world ever-brighter, everstronger, to face whatever problems you may have, that He, Himself has given you, to bring you closer and closer to Him. MayTadaaki’s strength and courage and unmovable faith be a shining example to you all. In His Love, Suzie .

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Charmian continuedfrompg 51

are you saying!” He replied, “When they fall at Baba’s feet fully prostrated they will be born in India next time.”... “I have many of these stories and we must have tea sometime and share more of them. Thank You Dear for a lovely evening, All my Love Charmian”


1..flU.I:iS i:.flSt 7 .

S:thavas Sitzie Dimura, ..Jlustralia, 2 3anuary 2003

T

the dear youth and volunteers and organizers of the Australia Youth Sahavas, 2003, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! A year has now passed since our beautiful, beloved Tadaaki was with us, sharing his love for his Beloved. I know that those ofyou who attended last year’s Sahavas have many touching memories of his presence amongst us. We all know what incredible physical hardship he was enduring at the time and yet he never indicated once, how deeply he was suffering. The effort that was required by him to make it to each and every Arti, necessitating that he rise an hour beforehand so as to be punctual, was a testimony to his one-pointed devotion to Beloved Baba. There is one story I would like to share with you. Tadaaki took a very, very long time to die. Four months before the Youth Sahavas, the doctors were shaking their heads in bewilderment that he was still alive. When he was in hospital in August having his neurosurgical operation, he made three wishes: 1. To go to Meherabad at Christmas 2001 2. To attend the Australian Youth Sahavas in January 2002, and 3. To attend the Myrtle Beach Youth Sahavas in July 2002. Only one wish came true, the second, and I firmlybelieve that onlybyBaba’s grace did this happen. Right up until the Sahavas, Tadaaki was spending 22 hours a day on his back in bed, (he only sat for meals), but, during the Saha vas he managed to participate in quite a few activities, albeit in his wheelchair orlying on a couch or lying on cushions in Baba’s room. He made it to Arti twice a day; he partici pated in some games; he made a rainbow lantern with Owen and Jim; he attended the Dhuni and all the meals; he wrote Baba love letters to put in the mailbags; he made a card for the Mandali. It was no ordinary feat that he could accomplish this, so how was it possible? I had in my possession some Dhuni ash that had kindly been sent to me from Me-

heru. It was from Baba’s ‘54 Dhuni. One likes to be sparing with such a treasure and so I had only used it once or twice but the first morning ofthe Sahavas,just as we were leaving for morning Arti, I was prompted to put some on his head. Tadaaki had a large growth on his head. It was caused by brain fluid leaking through a hole in his skull where the shunt had been inserted. It

could participate in the Youth Sahavas. See Baba’s mercy. There is another incident that I would like to share. Remember the Dhuni. We all filed after Tadaaki from Baba’s room, each ofus holdrng candles, around the frangipani tree, over to the Dhuni. One by one we placed our candles in front of the life-size cardboard cut-out ofBaba then sat on blankets on ‘ the grass. The Dhuni fire was lit and for a long time nobody moved. There was complete silence. Tadaaki went first, then slowly each, in his own time, placed their stick in the fire. There was no hurry It was all very, very natural. Songs were being sung. At some point, Tadaaki called me to him and had me kneel beside him. With his one functioning arm, (his left side was completely paralyzed), he began to : .: massage my neck and head. I remember his fingers on my neck, how weak they : were, but the love that he was pouring into me was so very strong. I could see many ofyou crying, deeply moved by his action of selfless love. And that is when Baba poured His love into each of us. For me and I know for many of you, it was a defining moment. In that moment, Baba became alive in our hearts and we were all bathed in His glorious, Divine Presence. After the Dhuni, I took Tadaaki back to bed and Diana kindly offered to sit with him so that I could go to Baba’s room and watch the film, “The Human Side of God.”This movie, or should I say, the CD soundtrack, played a huge part in the last months ofTadaaki’s life. He must have lis tened to it more than a thousand times. Way back in September 2001, when his condition was critical and we were told he wouldn’t last more than a couple of weeks, he asked me to put the CD on to repeat through the night. Miraculously, he lived on till March 14th and every night and often during the day, he listened to the words of God. So, I was sitting at the back of Baba’s room watching this movie, the words of which I practically knew by heart, when momentarily Baba looked straight at the camera. I was looking right into His eyes, and I had the thought “Baba’s eyes look into Eternity.” Then, there was a shot of Baba giving darshan. He was standing, His arms stretched up over His head, His palms facing the crowd moving back and forth, and I thought, “Baba’s hands are constantly bestowing blessings.” :

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was as hard as a rock. Basically, it was there because the shunt was not working, thereby causing enormous pressure in his head. He had told me that it felt like his head was going to explode and he had a constant headache because of it. That first morning, as Bill, Michael and I were pushing and pulling him up the hill, I happened to notice that the lump had shrunk. Then I forgot about it. The second morning, again I put the Dhuni ash on the lump and again going up the hill I saw that it had drained. But I still didn’t think anything of it. The third morning exactly the same thing happened and instantly I exclaimed with wonder and excitement, “It’s the Dhuni ash!” It was Baba’s little miracle. The Dhuni ash was causing the shunt to work, thereby draining fluid from his brain and releasing the pressure in his head. At no other time during his 7 1/2 months of dying did this happen. It only happened for those five days and that is why Tadaaki

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Chctrrnictn Ducc 2<nowIcs harmian Duce Knowles completed her during which details of the Sufi Charter most beautiful films of Baba ever made. work for Meher Baba and passed away were discussed. Then the Duces returned Charmian traveled with Baba’s party from peaceftilly on February 28, inWalnut Creek, to their home in New York City. But sud New York to Myrtle Beach and then on to CA, following a briefillness. She was 73. denly theywere summoned by Baba to come Los Angeles and San Francisco, filming all Charmian first met Meher Baba at to His bedside in Prague, Oklahoma, where the major events ofthis two week American Meherazad in January 1948. She was 18 Baba had just sustained His long-heralded tour. years oldand had accompanied her mother American accident. Charmian helped Baba’s Then in 1958 for Baba’s last visit to the Murshida Ivy 0. Duce, to India. As Charmentourage at Prague in manyways, especially United States, Charmian and her camera ian put it, she were also on hoped to protect hand. Charmher from ‘some ian filmed many swami’. Both of the memoCharmian and rable and happy her mother were events ofthe sa Sufi students of havas at Myrtle Murshida Rabia Beach. Martin, who had Charmy last told them about saw Baba at Meher Baba. the East-West Charmian and Gathering in her mother had 1962. At her corresponded last contact with Baba since with Baba, 1945. Baba looked at When Rabia Charmian with — Martin passed great compas Murshida ivy Duce, Meher Baba and Charmian at the Delmonico Hotel in M Sunday,July 22,1 956. on, naming Ivy sion. The Duce her successor as Murshida ofthe Su doing the bloodstained laundry at a local person reading His alphabet board said, fis in America in 1947, almost immediately laundromat for all the injured. This assign“Charmian, Baba wants you to know one Murshida Duce arranged to travel to India ment led to warm contacts with the people thing.” Baba said: “I want you to know that to meet Meher Baba, to ask Him to take of Prague, who were most solicitous of the you and Ivy have really done something for charge of the work of Sufism in America. strangers from “the accident.” Baba then Me in this lifetime.”Then Baba paused, and Charmian accompanied her, filled with sent Charmian and her mother to the West with a bright twinkle in His eye continued: reservations about this Indian mystic she Coast to carry Baba’s greetings to those who “But you’ll never know what it was!” had never met. were awaiting His arrival, which had been Charmy returned to India for the Great They spent five days at Meherazad in canceled by the accident, and to assure all Darshan in April of 1969, where she had January of 1948. During their first memothat the accident was His Will. A month a warm reunion with the women Mandali. rable meeting, Baba looked at Charmian and after Charmian returned to NewYork, Baba At that time, she introduced a new friend to spelled out on His alphabet board the word again called her to Myrtle Beach, where He Mehera. The friend was Duncan Knowles, “innocent”. Charmian dissolved in a flood was recuperating. and with Mehera’s blessing, Charmian oftears, all doubts erased, and henceforward Charmian accompanied Baba from Myr and Duncan were married in the fall of was a lifelong devotee. At that meeting Baba iie Beach to NewYork,where Baba stayed in 1969. Their daughter Ivy Mehera Mary told Charmian that she and Murshida had the suburb ofScarsdale. She drove Baba into was born in 1970. Charmian also had two been with Him “since ages.” He went on Manhattan frequently, where Baba gave dar sons, Mark and Michael, from a previous to tell Charmian that He had drawn her shan to several groups in the Duces’ apartmarriage. Meher Baba called these two His to Him so that she could “spread His love ment on West 67th Street. She also took “godchildren.” wherever she went”. (Accounts of this first Mehera and the women Mandali on outings In recent years, Charmian had the meeting can be found in LordMehei; Vol at Baba’s request. At the end ofJuly 1952, pleasure of responding to invitations from ume IX and in Murshida Duce’s book, How Baba invited Charmian to accompany Him many Baba groups to share stories of her a Master Works.) and the women mandali on a three week life with Baba. She was a guest speaker at Charmian next saw Meher Baba at the trip to England and Switzerland, where she the Southeast Gathering, in Myrtle Beach, opening ofthe Myrtle Beach Center in May again served as a companion and chauffeur. in Los Angeles and finally in Prague, Okla 1952, along with Murshida and one ofMur Charmian rented a small movie camera and homa in 2002, on the occasion of the 50th shida’s Sufi students from Australia, Francis filmed some of these events. anniversary of Baba’s accident. She espe Brabazon. During this visit to America, Baba At Baba’s request Charmian also shot cially enjoyed returning to the town that so began the process ofreorienting Sufism, and more ifim footage of His 1956 tour of the welcomed the people from “the accident”, Charmian attended many of the meetings United States. This resulted in one of the Continued onpage 51

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...;ii.iic1;i. 97i.t.i.t 97W LA! Jlleher .Smti, Ryderabad ...

otherhood is one ofthe most pleasur able experiences in one’s life. Naturally, I and my husband were thrilled when it was confirmed that we would soon have a little one with us. But the joy of seeing the child was not to come very easily. The pregnancy was diagnosed as a ‘precious’ one implying that I had to stay confined within the four walls ofour house for the rest ofthe nine months! We took all the required precautions, and time really flew. At the end of seven months, complications developed, and our doctor declared an emergency. The child had to be delivered im mediately and the chances of its survival were put at 30:70. She informed us that there were excellent facilities for neonatal (babies aged less than a month) care, and re ferred us to the Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad. This was on June 27, 2000. There was a lot ofactivityin the operation theatre. A state-of-the art ICU ambulance arrived to transport the baby from the place ofbirth at Koti to the Rainbow Hospital. It had numerous gadgets and three computer monitors attached to a small incubator that had an inbuilt oxygen and temperature controller. I clutched a photograph of Meher Baba, and cried my heart out that all should be well before passing out under the influence of anesthesia. When I regained consciousness, I was informed that a baby boy weighing 1.52 kg was born and he was doing well. I heaved a sigh ofreliefand thanked God! The babywas transported in ten minutes to Rainbow where a team ofnurses was waiting to plug his little frame with sophisticated gadgets. Unfortunately, this was not the end; it was just another beginning. His lungs were not fttlly formed and he was put on ventila tion (forced oxygen) for a few days. Our son was fighting a seesaw battle for his life, and we were nervous wrecks by this time. Each passing day saw him fighting new complica tions that challenged his will to survive. We prayed Baba every minute and thought our prayers would be answered. But in the back our mind was what Baba does is for the best

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and hence we were prepared for the worst, but prayed against it. Finally, he started breathing without help. He was to be kept under observation and dis charged only when his weight touched 1.80

kg the “threshold” weight. His weight dropped to 1.28 kg, but we were assured that this was normal. It was now close to 45 days in this hospi tal, and his health was improving. The mood was definitely upbeat, but, as fate would have it,just two days before we thought he would be discharged, he developed a hernia and had to be operated on. We reached a stage of a complete breakdown. The operation was a success, but the hernia had created an infection that entered the blood stream. Our baby stopped breathing for a while. Remedial measures were imme diately taken, and he was given high-powered antibiotics and put on the ventilator again. The senior doctors were present round the clock to attend to him. For the first time, I saw tears in my husband’s eyes. We prayed, but yet were angry with Baba for all that he was doing to our little child. Why only us, we questioned. The Doctors almost gave up and said only a miracle could help. The baby did not have the energy to fight the infection. We were asked to leave the hospital and go home leaving the baby in the hospitals care since there was nothing we could do but wait for the inevitable. We returned home leaving the baby in the hospital at around 7 pm.We were numb and were crying. Then my husband —

tells me he had a dream of sorts: It was a daylight dream. I (my husband) fell on the bed and closed my eyes. If at all anybody could help it could only be Baba. I could see the prayer emanating from the depth ofmy heart calling for HIS intervention in a state of complete desperation and surrenderance. I had a vision. I could see Baba, in His pink coat and dhoti entering the place where all the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit of the hospital are, along with Eruch. (I with my moist eyes am looking into this place from outside through a glass window). Baba goes near my son’s incubator, looks at my son and looks at me staring from the Window and gestures to me in a very loving and reassur ing way “Don’t Worr I am there, I will take care ofhim. He is under my observation and shelter everything will just be fine”. And my 2-minute dream breaks. My husband narrated this to me immedi ately and told me that Baba has assured me that He will take care and that everything will be fine. We needed to believe this since this was the only thing that we could do. We had a disturbed sleep that night. Come the next morning, we called the hospital and were told that my son has shown improvement. Thankfttlly, Baba answered our prayers, and by a miracle, our son sur vived the toughest and most fearsome battle ofhis life. After a long time, the smiles came back to our faces. It was a miraculous recov ery. He put on weight from that day onwards and was discharged in a week’s time. My son, whom we named Meher Sharan ( under the shelter and care of Meher Baba) is doing well now. He is as normal as any other child. The doctors were truly amazed at his recovery something that defied medical science. He is 2 and halfyears old. Baba’s quote below prompted me to narrate the above. We have seen His words come true.

When you leave everything to him in complete surrendercince, 2/c is always there to take care of you. 55


ie J44eIwr 7

3iirs of the .ixties. Don Stevcns, 3rctnce

took me several decades to realize that the three ifims which Meher Baba, Mehera and Mani planned in their entirety in the 1960s is a key example of the foresight Meher Baba exercised for His future devo tees. I had already grown accustomed to this forward planning for various of His writings. The most clear example of this had been Baba’s explanation to me that He had given out so many Discourses on meditation in preparation for the day when the Path ofLove to Realization would gradually become inaccesible to many who were searching for the Truth, at which point meditation, which Baba explained is the greatest of the secondary approaches, would be used by the majority of seekers. Now I, who had been asked to push the starter button of the movie camera for the film of the scenarios so minutely prepared by these three incomparable collaborators, was finally to realize that Baba’s foresight for his ftiture lovers was not restricted to words, but encompassed photography as well. True, Baba had allowed many photos and even motion pictures of Him to be taken over the course ofthe years, but these three films represented a considerable departure from past procedures. Now it was the One, with the two women who always stood at His side, who accomplished the totality ofthe planning. Is this what Baba had refered to when when he commented one day that in the fttture by simply looking at an image of the Avatar the one who gazed thus on His features for the first time would be smitten with deep love and thus form his inner link of love with the One? I do not know, ofcourse, but my instincts push me to feel that it is likely that in these films the Beloved has left for us and future generations a treasury comparable to that which He embodied in His great work of God Speaks. The origin ofthe first film in 1960 had such an unpretentious beginning as Mani slipping around the corner by Mandali Hall and showing her smiling face to us at the open door ofEruch’s hut. Everyone who has known Mani recalls easily that her charm and good humor were such that it took a few moments after a conversation started with her, before one surfaced from the warming lull ofher smile in order to concentrate on

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the words she was speaking. So it was on this occasion, and her tone of excitement was so great that I did a double-take and had to ask her to repeat what she had just said. In fact, it was a strange story, and I found myself oddly disoriented. The gist was that she felt Don seemed to have some unexpected ability to get Baba to allow him to shoot motion pictures of Baba. In later years Baba had resisted this, and noting this exception for Don, these two women who could literally charm a sparrow off its twig had decided to ride on Don’s coat-tails to get some scenes of Baba’s home-life they had failed to register until now. Frankly, I was completely unaware of this strange charm I had developed. In fact the only adventure I had dared in this direction was to ask Baba if I could take a few shots in the mid-fifties when Baba invited me for a visit. Andy Muir of the Washingon D.C. Sufis had threatened as I left America to chop our friendship ifl didn’t take his little Brownie 8 mm. and get some shots ofBaba. After this had worked out so beautifully I bought one too, and continued the proce dure on successive visits, while not even thinking to ask if it was allowed. Nothing ever escaped Mani’s eagle eyes, and the result was that she and Mehera had been working for days before my arrival and finagled an agreement out of Baba for a series of scenarios that Don was to film during his visit. But that was only half the story. Baba started at once on me in my free time from the ladies’ ideas, and Baba got Dr. Donkin into a Baba-Donkin counterpart of planning shots Baba wanted filmed. These were principally locales closely associated with Baba’s many travels throughout India, as well as homes He and the Mandali had used at various times. The odd thing was that apparently neither Mehera nor Mani

even realized that Baba was planning His own epic, independent of their ideas. This rather major playing out ofthe two separate acts was repeated in even more dra matic fashion in early 1962. The result was a series ofdramas so unexpected that, when we decided recently the time had come to release a carefully finished version of these two films plus the Entombment work, I decided to include my own drama as well. Especially in the 1962 duet the background events were often so gripping and unbelievable, plus downright exciting, that I knew I must tell the Don Stevens viewing of what went on behind the scenes. The result is a Don commentary longer than the Baba-Mehera-Mani original epic. I had to do it, and I think you will see why. As the new millenium dawned two years ago, it became clear that these three films which have been around almost as long as has God Speaks, must find their defined version. John Barker on his digital camera and Bruce Milburn with his companion’s smile and early memories, joined me for commentary shots. Then Philippe Joucla with his incredible prowess in computers and patience, and Rafael Villafañe with his own incredible capacities for understatement and musical capabilities inherited as a budding rock star in Mexico, joined the caravan. After endless hours together and exchanging e-mail reflections, my initial great admiration for these two stars transmuted into a feeling of simple awe. How could they do it? Baba, you really do choose them! I let both of them tell you their stories. But don’t expect them to tell you what I saw them do with these epics that Baba, Mehera and Mani entrusted into our hands.

2hilippe 3oucla When Don Stevens asked me to help him edit Meher Baba’s films a few years ago, I was a little surprised, as I had never seen myself as a video or sound expert of any kind, having mostly studied literature at university, and being a self-taught videosound-computer user. I had not heard of Don’s films before either, but soon I found myselfwriting e-mails to various people to find out which copies of which films had been made, in what format, the kind of tape that had been used to transfer the film into


digital, and so on for several months before I had all the appropriate video versions to start the work. The first time I actually started to watch the videos I had quite a shock, especially seeing Baba’s entombment. I have not known Baba in the flesh and I had no idea his fitneral had been filmed in such a vivid manner. I was also particularly impressed by the amazing tales and recollections from Don in the voice dubbing that was performed later in London with Bruce Milburn. As I could not do any ofthe editing work on my own, the only chance I had to work was when Don came over for our group meetings in Arradon, a small town in Brit tany (France), and this would only be for a few hours. Before each editing session with Don started, I had to borrow video equipment from my university and spend hours shoveling up heaps of VCRs and cables; carrying, connecting, disconnecting; and piling up the various devices that were necessar As all this went on for quite a while, it occurred to me I riight one day enter the Guinness Book of Records for the longest time ever spent on all fours under a desk trying to figure out which cable went where. Anyway, I was soon rewarded with the magic of watching videos that were shot in the sixties in India synchronized with sound recorded in London in 2001, mixed with music from various parts ofthe world, some ofwhich I recorded live with my wife Christine doing her solo part in a requiem. The sound part was quite challenging, as we were asked to share our views on which tracks should be selected and what was most suitable for various parts of the films. The adjusting of sound levels and the mixing and synchronization operations were performed on a computer and this indeed gave me a chance to learn a lot about the power of professional sound editing software I had never fathomed before. As I realized Don had very limited time and every new thing he asked from me involved using functions I hadn’t even known existed, I was really thrilled to discover new “wiz ards tricks” which instantly turned miscel laneous material into one coherent lot. As this went on I would occasionally create a VHS tape for Don to show somewhere around the world and wait for comments from people who had actually known Baba. Then we would make changes in the film accordingly, and each time I felt sorry the tape I had given Don had been ofsuch poor quality, but in that phase of the editing it didn’t seem to matter much.

As I was starting to think we would never see the end ofthe whole process, Don said one day that we were making good progress, and then, a bit later, to my utter amazement, Don announced that our work was nearly done and all I had to do was make one final copy and send our work to Rafael Villafañe in Mexico. The end of the story was quite hectic, what with the CDs being lost by the Post Office between France and Mexico, and my spending time re-recording the whole film to catch a plane at the very last possible mo ment, due to an error in connections in the backup process. But in the end I was thrilled to hear everything had been settled and soon the whole worldwould be able to watch those invaluable and breath-taking films.

:Rctfael 7iillafane I will try to be brief. Before anything I must thank Martin and Christine Cook who quietly contributed much help and expertise, as well as long hours of work on this project. Martin took care of the final compilation, editing and captioning in a post facility in Pune, after which I was sent Beta SP PAL tapes to Mexico, where I then spotted and mixed the audio ifies I was sent by Philippe Joucla. The first problem we recognized was when Martin and I saw VHS tapes of the material earlier this year in India. It seems those were meant to be the video masters from which the other copies were to be made. Martin immediately suggested that it would be good to secure as close to the original footage as possible generation wise, especially when referring to Baba’s image for quality’s sake, as dubbing copies from a VITS tape would result in even further degradation of Baba’s image. Don quickly accepted this suggestion and was able to forward Beta SP transfers ofthe footage, which raised the visual quality appreciably. We then showed the ‘pilot’ VHS tapes at Meherazad to various Mandali and staff members, at different times for their com ments, corrections and suggestions. After gathering their input and suggestions written down in log-form by Christine Cook, the next step was to add some captioning and some simple editing. This, Martin did in a Pune post production facility as I mentioned earlier. WARNING: the following discussion is largely technical in nature, so it could be found extremely boring by those not interested in this type of thing.

The tapes were then sent to Mexico in PAL format. In order to work on them, we had to have them converted to NTSC, the video standard for the Americas. The first hurdle was in the 1962 film this film lasted a little over one hour. Though it was in a 90 minute NTSC PAL tape, it did not fit on the destination 90 minute NTSC tape, as the tape runs faster in NTSC format (il logical but true). After much deliberation between Martin, Don, Dma Snow and myself, it was decided to split the movie into two NTSC tapes for the audio work and dub both ‘halves’ together later, while doing the VHS transfers. This route was decided upon because, though it would be a more cornplicated procedure, ifwe did the transfer in DV cam (there are longer than 90 mm. tapes in this format), we would lose some video resolution; and ifwe transferred it to Digital Betacam (longer tapes are also available in this format), though no resolution would be lost, the expense didn’t seem worth the while, as no resolution would be gained. So, we decided to keep the film in two separate ‘halves’ in Beta SP format. The next hurdle was with the audio itself. I was sent the audio sources in CDs made from the original sources. Many of the songs that came in were noisy, and had analog and/or digital distortion. Without going into a lengthy discussion of analog vs. digital audio, suffice to say that analog distortion can at times not only be bearable, but even desirable for certain applications, but digital distortion is very offensive to the ear a buzz saw-like noise with clicks and pops. -

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As for Don’s commentary, the ambient noise which was extremely loud, accompa nied by the sound of large vehicles penodically driving by, made for, shall we say, a challenging environment within which to mix the sound. This said, it was now time to transfer the movies into Quicktime ifies (a compressed video format, suitable for viewing movies in computers), and the audio files into an audio format suitable for working in Protools (a digital audio mixing and editing program). In digital audio as well as in digital video, there are tools called ‘plug-ins,’ which would be the equivalent to analog outboard effects which are very useful when manipulating audio in my case, equalizers, compressors, limiters, dessers, etc. New in the Pnotools environment are a set ofplug-ins called ‘the Restoration Bundle’, which thank Baba, was released shortly before I got this assignment. Within these tools are found plug-ins such as ‘declicker’, ‘decrackler’, and denoiser’. Well, folks, I’m here to say miracles DO exist. Ifit weren’t for these life saving tools, I frankly don’t know how thisjob could have been done in this amount oftime, or in any amount oftime, for that matter; the ‘before and after’ comparisons are truly amazing. The next ‘small stone’ was the time factor. With the delays of getting beta SP tapes to India, doing the extra editing in order to make the films closer to what the mandali would deem accurate, and sending the tapes to Mexico, it was almost Decem ber and Don needed these films ready for the Christmas season! Three films in about three weeks?! Iftime doesn’t exist, now was the perfect opportunity to prove it! Here is where it got scary: In order to ‘save time’, I asked a friend to have the movies transferred to QT ftles in Mexico City, as I was in Cancun, and would be doing the work on my Protools rig in my hotel room. I figured this would save me the time of renting a Beta SP machine in Cancun and doing the transfer myself Well it took these people over a week to get two of the three film ifies to me. So, I started with the first two movies hoping to get the third one by the time I’d finished the first two. Wrong again. Right about then I remember reading something that came in the Baba listserv about ‘doing Baba’s work personally’ (i.e. NOT delegating work to others). Ok, Baba. I was in such a frantic state that I could hardly raise hell (which is my nature), got a plane to Mexico City, did the audio transfers -

onto the first two ftlms and sent them off to US/UK in their respective NTSC and PAL formats and flew back to Cancun. Finally the third QT file of the movie arrived in Cancun; I quickly unwrapped the DVD, placed it in the computer, and the computer said the file was CORRUPT. Long story short: finally got a correct QT version of the 1962 film and was able to work on it finished the audio for the ftlm flew to Mexico City went to the post studio, transferred the first half of the ‘62 film. All was fine, and just when all seemed as though it was going smoothly... when we started to transfer the second half of the audio onto the film, we discovered these !@#$%“!@# guys had sent the QT file ofthe first halfofthe film in 29.9 drop frame and the 2nd half of the film in 29.9 non drop!!! This means that the 2nd halfofthe film wouldn’t synchronize as it was all being transferred onto a 29.9 drop frame Digital Betacam tape.* (Drop and non-drop frame refers to time rates at which a film is rolling ‘drop frame’ meaning that one frame is literally ‘dropped’ every so many seconds, so it can ‘fit’ in the desired time span say 29.9 frames a second).What does this mean in lay terms? Don’s commentary section would look like a Godzilla movie dubbed into English; the sound of Don’s words would have little or nothing to do with the movements of his mouth on film! I knew then I was in serious trouble. It was already December and these films were needed yesterday! What to do? One of the very capable techs there suggested: “Why don’t we try to ‘fly it in’ and cross our fingers?” ‘Flying something in’ in audio means manually synching it as they used to in the old days, in trial and error fashion till the thing sounded and looked right. I have no idea why he would suggest that; they had never tried it before with digital machines, and it was at least apparently technically impossible. Well, we gulped air and tried it. Fortu nately this happened in the latter part of the ‘62 film which is Don’s commentary, so it was easy to see if Don’s commentary synced or not, with Don’s lips. They started it off and to our collective utter surprise, the thing synced perfectly from beginning to end absolutely no slipping at all! After this ordeal, the head engineer at the facility said: “Rafael, you know you are very lucky In the previous version of Proto ols this would not have been possible at all.” —

Of course, they had just changed Protools versions a few days before. This is a condensed version ofwhat happened. I guess the most amazing part of it all was seeing Baba’s image time and again, while concentrating on and hearing Don’s commentary, making sure all sounded as good as possible and was in sync. At times it all seemed very ‘technical’, and at times that atmosphere was pierced by Baba’s Presence, or remembrance whatever one wishes to call it. It was amazing. I have to add that it was not easy to see Baba’s image after dropping His body, over and over again in the Great Darshan film; and to repeatedly see the pain reflected on Mehera’s face was also not easy. Different people were brought into this project and it was beautiftil to see the expressions on some ofthese people’s faces as something ‘clicked’ while seeing Baba’s image, while to others it was of course just another day’s work. I am very thankful for the opportunity to do this work. It was frantic, frightening and very stressful, and I was just sitting in a chair doing something I like doing! I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be under Baba’s direct orders to do seemingly impossible tasks for 40 years as par for the course events ofevery day living, as His close ones were asked to do time and time again. *** It was finally decided to transfer the ‘62 film onto one Digital Betacam tape, as it seemed impractical to do dubs with two Beta SP tapes in the US in NTSC format, and in England in PAL format. This way the dubs could be done in one pass while maintaining good visual quality. —

Don As the last touches in the editing of the final version ofthe three films were coming to an end, a separate and very major work was being set up in Ahmednagar between the Trust and several individuals deeply interested in the need for translation and publishing into Indian tongues of various ofBaba’s writings. After this was given the blessings ofthe Trust by Bhau, the thought occurred to us that nothing could be more appropriate than for the entire proceeds ofthe three 1960s films to be passed over to the translation and publishing project. What could be a happier combination than that Baba’s own films be one ofthe principal resources for this very much needed activity? Bhau also for the Trust gave the green light for this wonderftul goal to be set up. Let us all be part of Baba’s double project in one fashion and another!


Wor!dwide A4eherEBabnAfIeetings 2’ew

T

he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. If your local data is not included please send it to me, and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma

‘Domestic

2”Jortli Carolina Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 email: winkiebai@mac.com

LArizon Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 3562 East Third Street, Tucson, AZ 85716 email: ihs22@theriver.com or Laurent Weichberger, cell: 928-600-1820 7 East Aspen Avenue, #11, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 email: ArizonaBaba@yadrakh.org

Sheldon Herman, phone: 336 288 8090 or 336 235 2730 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408 email: bikewalla@gbronline.com Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Asheville, NC 28803 email: nordeens@msn.com

2”Iorthern California Ei3erkeley Call for information re meeting times and places: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259. email: Benleet@earthlink.net

Sacramento Meetings occasional Sunday mornings at vanous homes. Discourse meeting first Monday of the month at 7:00 pm. Marilyn Buehler 9 1 6-925 -445 1 ; email: pnemsay@jps net; www.premsay.com/MeherBaba .

Southern California

-1:as 2tawaii

Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 email: drmoon@upcountry.net or mm@dreamcircle.org 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA

,i: cJlngeles

JVIaine

Meetings every Sunday at 4 pm held in our Cen ten “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737 1214 South Van Ness Aye, Los Angeles, CA 90019 (Just East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center ofLos Angeles now has its own web site at www.Meherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public.

Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1pm with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, home: 207-594-0909, work: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 email: publisher@sevencoinpress.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-594-2280 P0 Box 42, Rockland, ME 04841 ompoint@ythoo.com or ompoint@midcoast.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-786-4300 P0 Box 1096 , Auburn, ME 04211 email: kenlux@aol.com

Colorado Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 pm at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact person for Clomdo, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.) Barbara A. Roberts, phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 ( suburb of Denver) email: babara@fone.net

3lorida 7 ampa E13ay Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker, M.D., Clearwater, FL, (727) 536-9282

)3ork

Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 email: info@MeherBabaHouse.org http://www.MeherBabaHouse.org

1/lassachusctts 7 J Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge). Michael Siegell Phone: 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle email: lpgp@verizon.net LAtontana

Andy Shott, phone: 406-549-5949 336 Connell, Missoula, MT 59801

Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75965 email: rockbl@yahoo.com 7ri-&atc .Jlrea

Philadelphia PA and surrounding tn-state area. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 pm. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 email: fbloise@earthlink.net

Washington, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings; www.lifeitnages.com/MeherBaba

Dnterncttionctl Dsrael Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road J erusalem, Israel 93513 email: myb@netvision.net.il LYl4CXCO Rafael Villafane Home, dialed from US: 01152555295-05 12 Cell, dialed from US: 01152555502-7225 Email is best as I travel alot: raal@royerlabs.com We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 prn. No particular day, people on the list are contacted prior to the meeting, email addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so email me ifyou will be in those areas.

To subscribe to tavern talk on your computer send an email to: Listserv@ambppct.org include in the text ofyour message the words: “subscribe tavern-talk.”

59


.A’kJier EBaba’s Love

S

.

A1 am Dram here dwells in a desolate couthjsidt on a far off lovely hill, Dts head turned up to the wide Ci3lue sky, LA bellow daffodil

45 it sways with joy in the gentle c._/ i3reeze, EJt sings a song or two, Which hold the sweetest words On Earth Oh 13aba, 3, too, love jou.

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE

LOS ANGELES, CA 9001 9-3520

Address Service Requested

!

,4round a pink rose in my garden 21overs a bumble bee to rose it dances wild in sl’teerest Ecstasg Jt whispers to the flowers all 2<isstng the shining dew 5ajs words that every flower knows, Oh Ei3aba Loves me too

Poems to Avatar Meher Baba, p. 89, copyright 1985 Manifestation Inc.

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

LOS ANGELES, CA PERMIT #3 1394

DATED

MATERIAL

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Profile for ANCIENT ONE

Love Street Lamp Post 2nd Qtr 2003  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

Love Street Lamp Post 2nd Qtr 2003  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

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