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3rom the Editor ai Baba and apologies to all those who have been wondering where your 3’’ quarter magazine was. Even though Baba brought me relief—I think my heart was about to explode with the stress and He had to take matters into His own hands as He still has more work for me—He brought me Kathy Hill to take over the Love Street Bookstore. When that became known, friends kept asking “So what are you doing with all your free time now?” HA! I have so little time that I couldn’t get the 3 quarter issue out—it is combined with this one. I figure the reading ofit will definitely take you into the New Year, but be sure to start offwith our first article, written by Kathy, on the Bookstore. That way you can get your holiday gift shopping order to her in time to get it back. And don’t think her suggestions are only for the Baba by ers on your list. Kathy has expanded our inventory and brought in items that will appeal to those ofdifferent faiths. Pass the magazine around to friends and family and happy shopping! Shar Wiseman spent the last 12 years of her life, pretty much all day every day, in devotion to Baba, painting His portraits, pouring out her love for the Beloved in a prodigious amount of poems, writing articles about Him, caring for the Baba in every animal and person she came across, and loving the man Baba had sent to rescue her from the hell in which she was living. She was so well known to well over a thousand people around the globe through her moderating ofthe Baba listserv that it seemed to many that she was a personal friend, even if they had never met face to face or had an actual live conversation. We all knew her so well by her writings and 99% of us had no idea she was allingfrail, yes, but fatally ailing?—Never! We were stunned to hear of her passing! The emails came pouring in and we at the LampPost realised we needed to do something extra to honor this very special woman. You will read her amazing story of how she came to Baba, and then her life and artistic output thereafter in this issue. Shar—we miss you! Errata: On many pages (but not all) of our Baba in Hollywood story in the 2’’ Qiarter issue, the word “America” ap peared in lower case, often (but not always)

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run together with the word preceding it. This apparently resulted from a software bug that activated after articles were ed ited, proofread, and placed. Additionally, a paragraph about AdiJr. and Boris Karboff was out of position and Gary Cooper’s name was inserted. We have no idea why Baba chose to visit that issue with such annoying gremlins, but we apologize for not catching them before we went to print. We will try a little harder in the future to take that last long look more carefully. Our Announcements section is chocka—bbockwith must-read information, so be sure to check it out. Ifyou are planning a pilgrimage, Kathy has written a ‘Know Before You Go’ page that will be an invaluable help to you, especially for first-timers. Happy reading! In His love,

To the Editor: It was interesting to read about Baba’s seven-colored flag in the last LampPost. It reminded me of an exchange of letters I had with Mani in 1989 about the flag’s colors. I wrote to her because I was hoping we could pass on to posterity an accurate sense ofthe actual colors in Baba’s flag. By 1989, there were standardized swatches of colors available that were used in the printing industry. I offered to send Mani a book ofsuch colors ifshe would identify the ones that should be used in Baba’s flag.

Mani wrote back: Ahmednagar, 16 November ‘89 Dear Duncan, JAI BABA! Your letter lovingly received, just at a time when we’ve been specially remembering Beloved Baba’s dear Bay Area bunch. Surely His Name on the lips of you all saved San Francisco from an even greater shaking! About the colours in Baba’s flag, I’ll tell you what I know Duncan, and you can take it from there. Baba said that blue should be at the top ofthe flag, red at the bottom, and in all there should be seven colours representing the seven planes ofconsciousness. I cannot recall the original shades of the Flag colours. Year after year the shades in Baba Flags appeared to vary according to the limited selection ofthe right shades offabric available in shops. Moreover some ofthe colours in the flags flying atop would fade in the sun and wind, and so it is not easy to trace back to the original shades. [More ofletter omitted] This brings much love to you and dears Charmian and Mary Please tell Charmian I’ve passed on her letter to Meheru. With a united AVATAR MEHER BABA ki JAI from Meherazad family, Mani. After receiving Mani’s letter, I felt the subject wasn’t worth pursuing, and that maybe the situation was just as Baba wanted it. He didn’t want calcified rites, rituals and ceremonies, and perhaps He didn’t want dogmatic requirements about the colors in His flag, either. I know this note doesn’t advance our knowledge very much, but I thought you might find it interesting nevertheless. Duncan Knowles, Walnut Creek


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Love StreerLampJ2osr EATURES:

4p’elcome to Love Street Cove Street £ampJ ost is dedicated with love to Avatar 2 Meher Baba. Itsprimarypurpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among allHis lovers byproviding aplacefor sharing His remembrance.

All members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this frast of Love. Love Street £amp.Post is mailed (approximately) eachJanuary, April, July, and October. SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Hawaii Calls Bhau Takes A Trip to Oz Interview with Ward Parks

80 88 91

GodOnLine2 Mariposa, A Great Place to Live 92 Discourses, Copyright and the Preservation ofMeher Baba’s Words 93

Sending you the magazine costs us $20 per person per year domestic; $30 overseas. Subscription is by donation only, and we can publish only by the generosity ofyour donations. Please send your checks to:

Love Street £ampPost c/o Avatar Meher Baba Center

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OVER STORY:

,

The Christ Comes to Hollywood Part2

1214 South Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520

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SUBMISSIONS: We seek expressions of Baba’s message of love and truth. Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited, but in digital format only (email please). November 1st, February 1st, May 1st, August 1st for the issue printed in thefoiowing quarter (November 1 deadline for First Qiiarter issue). DEADLINES:

SEND T0

Bababook@pacbell.net. If necessary to mail a disk

(please no hand or typewritten manuscripts), send to Editor, address above. STAFF: Editor in Chiefi Avatar Meher Baba Managing Editor: Dma Snow Gibson Assistant Editors: Becci Robbins, Kathy Hill, Noreen O’Brien Design and Layout: Pris Haffenden & Cherie Plumlee Hollywood & Passings: Cherie Plumlee Assembly and pre-ffight: Tom Hart Printing & Distribution: Ray Madani Circulation: Pris Haffenden Please notify Pris, our Mailing List Walli, ofyour address change at the above address or by email: Stillyetmore.more@verizon.net

For information regarding our Center please go to: meherabode.org lovestreetbookstore.com or meherbababooks.com

Editor’s Page Bookstore Report Reviews Announcements Passings PoetryPage What’s Happening at Meherabad What’s Happening at Meherabode Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings

2 4 8 17 23 47 62 74 95

RED ITS:

, Front cover : Painting by Shar Wiseman.

HANK YOU

one Street £ampost ispublished by theAvatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljfornia. We extend our hearz/èlt appreciation to all owners ofcopyrights to the Meher Baba p ictures we have used to bringjoy and love to the hearts ofall Love Sfr.CampJost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba PerpetualPublic Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai India. Other contents © Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern Caljfornia. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.


7he oye &reet E13o kstore: Entering a Rew Era A

hem, Ahem, here I am, I’m Kathy, and I am not Dma, though expectatmons of dealing wmth her for all transactions remamn very hmgh. I am struggling to step into very, very fine shoes and hoping Baba will hold my hand through this transition. Most Love Street LampPost readers are long familiar with the on-line Love Street Bookstore—www.love streetbookstore com—(or our Los Angeles retail store) built by Dma, normally stocking over 800 items, includ ing books, clothing, posters, photographs, jewelr sculpture, textiles and gifts from India. We know we are not the sole source for much ofour inventory so we strive to be the best source, with the highest standards ofservice, a comprehensive book list, and a wide variety ofchoices, at the best possible prices. Ofcourse we are a nonprofit, staffed by a handful ofvolunteers from the Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California, to support its center, Meherabode. (Some day i.e. ! Under my management the store is barely breaking even!) Exciting news—Soon: When you go to lovestreetbookstore.com or meherbaba books.com, you will find a vastly different experience. Our comprehensive web page upgrade and redesign will include features to make ordering much easier, such as shopping carts and credit card acceptance. Now walk over to your computer and bookmark the site right now! And while you are at it, put me in your address book: bookstore@ meherabode.org. Or leave a message for me at 323.730.5281 anytime. Office hours are Wednesday through Friday noon to seven PM Pacific, so please be patient waiting for a reply and place orders early in the week. Streamlined functioning isjust the first phase of a number of anticipated changes. We want to become the Amazon.com of Baba retailers, with Wish Lists, customer reviews (sharpen your pencil!), “peeks inside,” and music downloads or samples. Realizing these ambitions will take time, but the newweb page should help you order with greater ease right from the beginning. This leads to new technical hurdles—like a .

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way to get changes posted on the web page promptly—which we are currently taking a run at. Right now, during transition, the contents of the store and of the web page are far from a perfect match, sorry Working on it. Butlook at all the photographs: They are there, they are numbered, and pricing is standardized. Progress! Once you place your order, if we have items in stock, your order will ship on the following Friday. Ifitems are not in stock— and I am still getting the hang of how long it takes to order from various vendors, and what quantities are appropriate, so we do run out of things—we will ship what we can on Friday, and let you know about the rest. We compare costs of shipping every order with every possible shipper FedEx, DHL, UPS and the Postal Service, and choose the most economical and efficient way—for most orders, this usually means Postal Service, and economical Media Mail. Michalene Seiler usually comes to the Mail Order Office at Meherabode (the MOO) on Thursdays to help package orders. Pris Haffenden handles the web page and Dma manages deliveries, and between the four of us, the work gets done. Other volunteers arrive to pitch in (thanks, Tom Troccoli) when I pray hard enough for rescue. (Tom said, “Every time I pray to Baba, I get the same response, ‘Go help Kathy!”) We are also updating our software for invoicing and backordering, which again, should make it easier for you to get what you want right away and hopefully will lead to fewer errors. Again, the process ofsystem change takes time and we are proceeding with caution. It is our hope that the up-

grades will allow for smooth growth and faster service, with high accuracy and the best possible experience for our treasured customers. All this will take some getting used to. We also hope to have a role as a wholesale source for other Meher Baba retailers and we are dipping our toes into the world ofDVD distribu tion. We already publish some titles ourselves, such as Heart Chronicles. Another new area of focus is increasing our support for the wide and deep community of Baba’s creative artists. Although we do not have enough space to stock many of these treasures here in Los Angeles, where every inch available is now devoted to the retail store/warehouse, we can promote on the web, develop links— and they can ship directlyto you. (Attention artists, sculptors, musicians and other Baba artisans: Feel free to send me photographs ofyour work, with a price list. We are always looking for new inventory: bookstore@ meherabode.org. Let’s discuss how to work together.) We have had some hiccups—we had to close for two weeks due to moving everything to the Silence Day Sahavas, followed by rental of our premises to a television show—and we are sincerely sorry for the delays in shipping that this and other issues have caused. (Ifyou watched “Beauty and the Geek,” you saw a bronze life-size smiling Baba head and God Speaks on their bookshelves!) No doubt Baba will throw other roadblocks in our path in the future, doesnt He always? But we pledge to try our best to fill your orders promptly without error. I am most grateful that so many customers have been patient with my learning curve as I struggle to meet the high standards set by Dma over all these years—I still tend to make stupid mistakes on a regular basis! And Dma has let me lean on her hard as I gradually become familiar with the routines. (Does she look lopsided yet?) If you are spending over $25 on mer chandise, remind me to send you a free Don’t Worry Be Happy license plate holder.


No here are the new items that we find especially tasty In the book department: . Avataric Advents, 310 pg. by James H. McGrew detailing everything Meher Baba had to say about all His various incarnations. (Review in this issue.) One customer who is new to Baba has found this to be an excellent gift for friends and family who think he has fallen in with a cult, and has bought nine copies to give away so far. $24 hard cover or $15 soft. . Dark Night ofthe Soulis available again, back by popular demand, the inspiring words ofSt.John ofthe Cross that reveal why he was so dear to Meher Baba. The “dark night” is not some period ofsuffer— ing and pain, but the lovely stillness you achieve when your house is fully in order and you step forward into illumination. . 7 Only$ . Little Flowers ofSt. Francis, the classic work, again in stock, also $7. A col lection oftales ofthe Poor One of Assisi—his sermon to the birds, the story of the wolf of Gubbio, the exploits of Brother Giles and BrotherJuniper, and more. . Also in prose, a few ofour many mem oirs have readers coming back to buy copies for friends: As Only God Can Love by Darwin Shaw ($45 hard cover $35 soft), Spread My Love by Charmian Duce Knowles ($20) and especially He Gives the Ocean by Najoo Kotwal ($25). The last mentioned is flying off the shelves, as folks cath put it down: well-written and amusing tales of life with Baba for an Indian family, it has become a Baba Blockbuster Bestseller! Every comment I have heard about these three books has been positive or glowing, nothing less. Love Street always stocks the classics. Think of us for God Speaks, Discourses, Wayfarers, all your old favorites and the bulwarks ofthe Baba literature. Keep in mind, manytitles go out ofprint after their initial press run and will never be available again. There are a few Love Street stalwarts who have standing orders for us to set aside every new book and movie to ship each quarter with their Love Street LampPost. Those are the Baba libraries of the future. We’re thinking of starting a book club for customers who wish to receive automatically, on approval, a copy of each new book. Ifthe idea appeals to you, email me at bookstore@meherabode.org. To expand and update our poetry de

partment, we have added some new titles and found some old favorites for you: . Poems ofHafiz, 202 ghazals translated by Reza Ordoubadian, who was born in Iran. Well-read in Persian and English literature and teaching English literature at an American university he has the perfect translator’s résumé. He understands the nuances ofHafiz’s thoughts, and that they are as relevant and uni versal today as ever. In these ghazals, Hafiz is accessible in an authentic and faithfiilversion for English readers. I had a Persian bilingual friend with an eye for detail read the book before ordering; he was most enthusiastic and quibbled little about the level of accuracy. “Ladinsky captures the poetry this guy captures the meaning.” 278 pages, paperback, $22. . Dramatic and conversational in rhythm and tone and rich in striking, unusual imagery, Metaphysical Poetry is an anthology that includes such irresistible masterpieces as “Death, Be Not Proud”, byJohn Donne; Andrew Marvell’s “To His CoyMistress”, andworks by George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Richard Crashaw, Francis Quarles, Thomas Traherne, and others. 224 pages, paperback, $7. . How long have we been waiting? Two books by Francis Brabazon long considered among his best are finally available again, In DustlSing ($11) and The Wordat WorldcEnd. ($15.) If you like Francis’s work (Baba called him “a modern Haflz,”) these books should be in your library. “This book (The Word at Worldc End) couples unparalleled imagery with a stunning honesty as the author turns his penetrating gaze to the art, the religion and the everyday life of man on this planet today.” (Rick Chapman.) . Rounding out the poetry department, see Kendra’s glowing review of Dick Holmes’s work Reczesfor Gratitude. ($20.) Dan Ladinsky says, “I think God might give me one of the biggest okay winks He winked in a while—maybe even in the last 13 million years—if I stole some of these beautiful, lively, significant poems by Dick Holmes and slipped them into the next printing of one of the best-selling poetry books— spiritual anthologies—in America today, called Love Poemsfrom God. Yep, cause there is some wonderfiil, tasty light here, fermented perfect. So drink, quench the thirst in you.”

In the film department: . Celebrate Mehera’s life with Happy Birthday Dearest Mehera, a new film by Kacy Cook that features never-seen film footage and an artful, stunning produc tion with wonderful music. A must-have DVD, 35 minutes, $20. . We expect soon Babac Birthday, $22, a one-hour documentary with music by Christopher Gordon on how young people find true and lasting values in today’s world. Written and directed by Peter Sumner, go to http://one.revver. comJwatchJ33Ol48/flv/ affiliate/28625 for a preview. Luke Sumner, a young Aussie, journeys to India in search of spiritual meaning. We follow Luke to Meherabad where he has been cast as lead in the birthday play, Majnun and Leila. Along the waywe see the bustling culture oflndia, the Pilgrim’s Centre in Meherabad, and many special places of pilgrimage. . Robert Fredericks has just completed a feature DVD about Upasni Maharaj’s discourses, Be As It May, that has been very well received. $20. [see article on ‘The Making Of. in the Reviews section.] . Clearance price: All VHS videos are on sale at our cost; email me for the list as we run out of a few titles every week. Wide variety of titles as I write and a few are $10 or less. We hope to restock some with DVDs, but as with so many items made for Baba, some titles will be out ofprint forever. Still available from last Amartithi, we have a wealth of textiles: . Wall hangings, tablecloths, runners, pil low covers, and bedspreads with lovely embroidery in many sizes and colors, at prices from $10 to $94; email for detailed list, or let me know what you are shopping for. Of special interest are pillow covers appliquéd with brightly colored scenes of Arangaon village life by the women of the Sophia Meher Foundation, only $12, good fit for the small square throw pillows now on your couch. . Baba’s flag-striped bags, flags, “wall pockets” (for mail or bills or clutter) and wind socks for $8 apiece in silky cloth, bright flag colors. Also one rainbow kite, nylon, with string, $20. . Ball caps that say “Don’t Worry Be Happy” or “Meherabad” are only $5. . Summery embroidered kurtas in voile ($12) or crepe ($14), one size fits all, . .‘

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many colors and tie-dye. MS Irani signature T-shirts in a wealth ofcrayon colors in S to XXXL for only $11. . Bags bags bags! Embroidered flapped handbags $16, beaded velvet pouches $12, log cabin quilted totes hand made by the women working for the Prithvi Foundation $12, and going fast. . Long belts or guitar strap or yoga bands braided from silkylittle ribbons in Baba’s flag colors, $8. In our jewelry case, great stocking stuffers: . Special lockets are now in stock; see pictures on the web page; Indian light silver with chain included, three designs at $8 or $10 for a triple. . Small reliefs of Baba’s head and shoalders, white or hand-painted pins about 2” tall, wear instead of the old metal buttons, $4. . At the opposite end ofthejewelry spectrum, Mastery in Servitude colophon pendants in solid gold ($350) or silver ($80) from Radiant Heart; nice silver chains are $29. For music lovers: . Bricks in the Wall by perennial favorite Margaret Bernstein on flute and vocals, $20, includes a music DVD to watch, and proceeds benefit battered women. . A limited supply ofTuck & Patti CDs Chocolate Moment won’t last long at $12. . When Mischa Rutenberg performed at Meherabode recently we had a run on his latest CD, Winds ofGrace, $15. . Jim Meyer wowed us at our Silence Day Sahavas and I notice we keep reordering .

his double CD Om Namo, $20, consid ered to be a recipe for instant serenlty . Attention bargain hunters: All cassette tapes are on clearance below cost, $5 each, and our (used) demo tapes played in the store, 2 for $5. See the web page; give me a shopping list, stock going fast. . Don’t know why we have not sold all the Michael Da Costa CDs, only $10—when he came to Sahavas a few years ago the joint was jumping—he has an ear for melody and an engaging sense ofhumor plus thoughtful lyrics, a great combination. Titles are on the web or let me pick one for you and ifyou are not pleased I will give back your money and you can keep the CD. See review of his newly revised paean to divine love, FrailLove Tokens. We stock it as a small book, $6, or as performed on a CD, $10. I love all his work, engaging my heart, my mind, and my sense ofhumor, all at once. He would have had Baba laughing out loud! Sculptures byjurgis Sapkus: . Plaster casts ofBaba’s right hand ($55), footprints ($55) andfeet ($110, painted bronze) are all in stock. . Little busts of Baba, about 6 inches tall, bronzed or white porcelain, only $35. Only a couple are left, because he wants to do the next batch in bronze, so act fast. Photographs, Posters, Calendars and Note Cards: . Remember the old sepia “Don’t Worry Be Happy” poster from the sixties? It’s back in black and white, and it’s only $7! . We have so many posters. They are beautiful images ofthe Beloved, suitable for framing. Plus the famous “wedding cake” (Rano Gayley’s Ten Circles chart painted to Baba’s express and exacting specifications,) and the Theme of Creation from God Speaks, the Mastery in Servitude colophon in 8 x 10 format in color, large pencil drawing prints by Diana LePage and art prints of Hafez’s garden by Laurie Blum. Look at that wall in your house or office that needs a little something, and then go to our web page for the perfect solution. . So many photos, we finally got them scanned and numbered for the web page. If you have a favorite image of Meher Baba, we probably have it in several sizes, and possibly in sepia, maybe handcolored. Keep an eye on the web page for . .

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all the details, as we have numbered each image, to make ordering as simple and clear as possible. Email me with your request, with second and third choices. We have tried to standardize the pric ing by size, to make ordering as easy as possible, but there is a wide variety in the quality of the printing, the paper and the color, from various vendors, so if you are not totally pleased, as with everything else we sell, please return for a ftill refund. . Pocketsize pictures ofBaba and/or Mehera, laminated, in color, many choices, $1 each. Decks of2l business card-sized colored cardboard Baba cards from India, $5. Do you need extra copies of the Universal Message, the 1969 Repen tance Prayer folder, or other handouts? Please just let me know. . We had problems getting more photos ofthat beautiful painting of “The Lord ofthe Universes” by Marius featured on the 4th Quarter 2006 LampPost cover but it is now back in stock, sorry if you have been waiting. Call me. . Ofcourse we have the 2008 Baba calen dar, $10, or ifyou buy 10 pay only $8.50 each. We also stock two Rumi and one Hafiz wall calendars, with Ladinsky verses, full color, $14, each page suitable for framing. . If you like the Persian Miniature art on the Hafiz calendars, order some matching note cards, $3 each, six for $15. There are seven different designs, blank inside. . Brand new! Soon arriving, beautiflil new environmentally-friendly note cards, blank inside, originals based on old Persian rugs and mosaics, made by a Farsi speaking friend to benefit a nonprofit ecovillage, they are sized to fit a standard small bill-paying sized envelope. Wrap one around a note to a friend, and then let the friend do the same, recycling the beautiful card as it moves around your circle oflove. $5 each, and meant to be reused many times. Recycled paper and nontoxic ink. REALLY REALLY NEW ARRIVALS! Review copies arrived at Love Streetjust before this issue went to press. More details are at petecaswell.co.uk. Soon Love Street will be stocking the following: 1. Living With God by Pete Caswell. Subtitled “Inspirational Intuition,” soft cover, 79 pg., brief, humorous, engaging essays draw you in to “living without the mind.” When you don’t have the time or at-


tention to dive deep into Baba’s discourses, try a short take from this book instead ($11). 2. Photos of India by Pete Caswell, soft cover. About 70 8-1/2 x 11 inch pages of fabulous fullcolor pho tographs of special Baba places, includ ing Mehera’s porch, the Samadhi, the Jhopdi, the Dhuni... plus a few Baba paintings as a bonus. You mightwant to get two copies so you can frame both sides ofeach page! ($25) 3. Mind Cracker by Pete Caswell, soft cover, 83 PETE CASwELL pages. Poetry with a theme ofspiritual riddles. Sample: “Possessions: I thought I had! Everything yat6:1:**: a in life!But when I died!I realised!I had acquired! iI;r1fs 1 2 Nothing at aD But my own! Self”Theywifl make you think... and laugh ($11 Black-and-white, $26 in color with Baba pictures). 4. Light SpiritEssences by Patricia Cas well, soft cover, about 70 pages, all in full colorwith text in front ofgor geous images of the plants. Those famil iar with the Bach Flower Essences and their action on the subtle body and the spiritual life .

will be interested in this comprehensive Reference Guide to 29 essences from sources in India, including “Samadhi Neem,” Bean Tree, Red Hibiscus, Jasmine and Frangipani. Includes affirmations and practices to enhance the effect of the es sences, all directed at those trying to tread a spiritual path ($26). Available January—pre order now! While The World Slept— Bhau’s stories of life with Baba when he was the Night Watchman. Ask me about new mugs: there is lovely art by Christina Arasmo to go with the “When mind soars” quotation and I am trying to get new coffee mugs that show it off not sure I will have them for holiday shipment, so check the web site often. Also, I will be in India for the annual Arnartithi bazaar, so checkwith me in late February for fresh ar rivals from all our Indian vendors. Remem ber, from mid-January to mid-February I will not be able to ship orders due to this annual buying trip. Anyone waiting for any backordered item to arrive, please reorder, as due to my personal incompetence, I have lost track. A word about shipping: When we ship Media Mail, we expect it to take a week or two. Ifyou need something faster please tell me to ship Priority IfMedia Mail does not get to you in three weeks (it can be erratic), just call, and we will ship the whole order again; then refuse delivery on the second shipment to reach you. I have had terrible luck with UPS and FedEx and found that the Postal Service is normally going to give us best value. Adele Wolkin asked me to remind everyone that by supporting Love Street Bookstore you provide critical support for Meherabode, the center for the AIVIBCSC. The big changes this year (moving out of Dma’s house, for instance) have been expensive, so your patronage is vastly ap preciated and more necessary than ever Thanks for your patience, and your orders! —Kathy Hill, novice manager

iU 1 On &J forMary LloydDuga 1951 —2007

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these 3 A year ago, we stones v2t st t scattering the ashes ofone ofour *tMi Beloved s dear ones 4 And as wc chinbed higher, a breeztjittea 7” your cnmson scarf 4 till it became a tongue offlame You Wi?r, as alive as fire your hair blazing red in the Indian sun, pasiopate with poems andprayer.

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dge alone up the same earth 9 i$;I t and scitjkmvying a sniall papier-mache box your friends have given me. The handfuls ofdust I sneak from it snake over the ridge like smoke signals white and silver drift$% oise rock ingoqpjturqu and I wish I could translate the messages -

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tnis was e cage tnat nouse your sj 1: exuberance: this ash thatonce win spine and bone and smile, the dakce ofyour hearii liveliness. I scatter you like seed while a green parrot circles the hilfr summit and a gulmohur tree, buming with blossom, reminds me ofyour presence. ..

*

DYO

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You have granted me this ritual as writing is allowed punctuation: 1&; the illusory comfort ofa full-stop or semicolon, when reaDy there is no such thing as an ending;.

.;,N

only your fiery spirit rising to be ivith His, only your red wing, ascended now and : soaring. fl% ..

And I wonder ifall this began here that

day a year ago: whether some feathered being from that ‘ other world mistook you for one ofits own kind, bmshing against

ii and imparting such a glimpse ofParadise, such unutterable freedom) you were impossibly homesick for where youcamefrom.

yoursingoffiame

Was that when your spirit sensed itno longer cared for life or selfor ego? * Was that when you became newly impa tient as am now— to go? ;øO When yOil’were secretly unable to bear the separation; reckless for bliss? Surely it was here, on Seclusion Hill,$f1 when your soul decided it could bear this beautiful deception ofa world no longer, and opted to be more billy His.

:.

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© Rosie Jackson Meherabad India L October 2007 7


Yieviews ED emystifying EDecith hligIits of a 7ctlk by 3ilis 3rederick 0 .21i :BLI 2<endra Crossen i3urroughs, J4/4jrtle i3 each dele Wolkin is visiting Myrtle Beach rom L.A., as she does every April near her birthday, and on April 10, 2007, she shared with some friends a DVD of a talk given by Filis Frederick at the 1985 L.A. Sahavas. Adele and Filis were close friends, and Baba recognized their soul connection by calling them collectively “Filadele.” Filis died in 1987. I shouldn’t use that word, though, because in the talk Filis said quite firmly “no human being has ever died.” Filis thinks ofdeath as a transformational event, “passing through the golden door.” Life is one unbroken continuit and the “real death,” according to Baba, is the cessation of desires (Discourses, 1987 ed., “Selfishness,” p. 13). About Fills, Adele commented that in the ‘60s and ‘70s she had played the role of “mother of the hippies,” counseling a generation of Baba—lovers, and that she had had psychic gifts, which, however, was something that Baba never encour aged, and Filis herselfpointed out several times in her talk that it was not something to be pursued. In taking notes I tried to get Filis’s exact words down, but as this was not fully possible, this article will be a summary of her comments, and sometimes I have changed the sequence of her remarks to order them more logically. I want to emphasize that it was not always possible to tell from Fills’s remarks which things are directly from what Baba has taught about death and which were gathered by Fills from other sources, such as near-death research, other metaphysical literature, and her own experiences or intuitions. So I am not sure we can take this talk as a definitive version of Baba’s teaching in every detail, though it certainly is helpful in terms of general principles. Occasionally I have added comments from my own research. (For a collection of quotes from Baba about death, see members.aol.com/ markarl /LifeEternaildead.html.)

8

Lakhs of Lives As she looked around at her audience, Fills began with a comment about how Baba draws us together through links—

Side” is not quite accurate, since the worlds are interpenetrating. Most of us can’t see the Other Side, but it’s right here. There are people without gross bodies who attend Baba meetings! They can see us, but we can’t see them. (Apparently Fills was able to see them. And at the 1969 Darshan, I recall Fiis telling us she saw Baba in his “light body” moving among us as we sat in Guruprasad Hall.)

What Happens After Dropping the Body

links of love. I am sure many watching the DVD together felt it too. Fiis then wondered aloud what need there was for her to tell us anything about death (the topic had been suggested by the Sahavas committee), since we have all experienced life after death many times—”eight million four hundred thousand, to be exact.” (This figure, referred to in India as “84 lakhs,” is the number oflives and deaths Baba said were necessary before God-realization. It is a traditional number in Indian philosophy for the amount ofbirths necessary to attain human form. But Baba in God Speaks refers to 84 lakhs of human reincarnations, as well as “50 crores of sleeps ofdeath,” or pre-human forms. A crore is 100 million. You do the math!) Fills had studied all the major religions before meeting Baba and was especially drawn to Buddhism, which she said has the most realistic approach to death. Especially inTibetan Buddhism, the prac titioner is encouraged to act intentionally in the after-death state, in order to move through the experience skillfully and choose the next incarnation wisely. Our life in the gross world is in a sense just half of our lives, since the time we spend “on the Other Side” is also impor tant, Filis believes. The phrase “Other

Filis spoke of what happens to the “average person” after they drop the body. She quoted from the Bible: “The silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl is broken” (Eccles. 12:6). The silver cord is the connecting thread between the gross and subtle, and when that cord is severed is the moment of death, Fills said. Unless the patient is heavily medicated, they will lose consciousness for a short time, then regain it and see and hear as before; the senses oftaste and smell are gone. Ifyou’re in bed, for example, you will see where your dead physical form is lying, and ifyou don’t know much about what to expect, you will likely stay with that view, not knowing where to go or what to do. You may see grieving relatives and emergency staff at your bedside, and you will remain as iftransfixed by this sight until someone from the Other Side helps you move away from that perceptual fixation. Functioning with limited senses and looking down at yourself (not the dead body in the bed, but your own form), you may feel as ifyou still have a physical body, but actually it is merely an image projected by the subtle body. This partly explains why many people do not realize that they have died, which can become a problem. Again, if a friend or helper tells you, “Come with me,” or urges you to move on, that will help you. Now, how do you accomplish the act of moving on, away from the scene of death? You can no longer move by physical


locomotion. Now you move by imagining being somewhere else. You think ofit, and instantly you are there. This accounts for the fact that many people naturally think oftheir home or loved ones, and the ethe real body is suddenly there and may even be perceived by the living at that location. Ifyou think ofMeher Baba’s Tomb-Shrine at that moment, you are thus likely to go there. If you don’t know to do this, you may simply linger in the place where you died, whether the hospital or an accident or suicide scene, or wherever, and you may be bewildered and crying out for help. This is why it’s important that we pray for someone who has died, especially ifby suicide. Our prayers will help bring helpers quickly from the Other Side to assist the person, who is unable to proceed because they don’t know the secret of locomotion in the disincarnate state. Where do you go, once you have begun to move on? In the Bible, Jesus speaks of the “many mansions” that God has prepared: There are many possible desti nations. If you have a strong connection to others, whether a connection of love and friendship or hate and resentment, you will be drawn to those people, and if they have been on the Other Side for a while, they will have created a subtle environment around them, out of their own thoughts. Unless you are on the subtle planes, you will be using your subtle body indirectly to build environments in the semi-subtle (or astral) world. For example, using semi-subtle energy, you may think of a structure and it will automatically be created as a thought-form. Some may create very beautiful environments, while others create dismal settings, according to their habitual mind states. If a slum hotel where alcoholics congregate is all that someone knows, for example, that will be what he creates, and if you are drawn to him, that’s what you will perceive as well. That’s why the creative ability to project is very important, so that you create your own environment—otherwise you may end up in someone else’s seedy “dollar-anight room.” These are very exact worlds determined by the vibrational plane you operated on while alive in the gross world; you cannot go anywhere else, as that’s all you know. In telling this, Filis implied that the mental habits we cultivate in life are very signifi cant, and ifwe make an effort to practice positive thoughts, this may make all the difference in the after-death experience.

Many may be disappointed, Fills said. For instance, a minister who expected to be escorted to the Pearly Gates or the courtyard of the Lord may see nothing more than his usual church parish, since he goes wherever his vibration allows him to go (as well as the vibration ofthe people who care about him). Filis also gave the example of fundamentalist believers who fully expect to lie in their graves until the sounding of the “last trumpet” ofthe final resurrection of souls, as foretold in the Bible, and so they will experience exactly that, not realizing that they can and should move on to the next phase of their journey. Filis once listened to a tape ofa séance, and when one spirit was asked what it was like on the Other Side, the reply was: “Nothing matters but love.” If you’re a negative person by temperament, you’ll be drawn to negative, depressed people. Drug and alcohol abuse can especially affect this experience, attuning you to perceive the astral hell state. So in that sense, the orthodox teachings are right: we go where we deserve byvirtue ofour own mind-set, and people are sorted out after death into different groups according to their feeling and vibrational nature. When spirits send messages from the Other Side via mediums and channelers, they often give conflicting information, and that’s because they don’t really know the truth; they only know what they have been conditioned to believe. Fills urged us not to “be a dummy”—we should learn and impress the truth into our subconscious by studying Baba’s words, especially in God Speaks. If God Speaks is too demanding, one can at least study the shorter descrip tion of “The Divine Theme” that Baba provided. Fills said that once Baba asked them to meditate on it for 40 days. They first read it aloud, then thought about it mentally. Ifwe impress this understanding of the Divine Theme into our subcon scious, then this is what we will carry with us, in seed form, when we pass over. For the details: see The Divine Truths (for meditation through reading): The Journey ofihe Soul to the Oversoul, in Dis courses (1987), pp. 222-227 (in the 1967 ed., vol. 2, p. 138ff); see also The Divine Theme, in the supplement to God Speaks (2nd ed.), pp. 234-239; in the Indian edi tion, pp. 220-224. [There is also a film on the subject by Tim Thelen, available on DVD, at Love Street called The Theme ofCreation: An Exploration ofMeher Baba’s “God Speaks,”]

Rest, Recovery, Recall, and Regrouping After the shock of dropping the body, there is a need for a place for rest and recovery. Filis spoke ofthe “law of recall,” meaning that one must undergo a life review rather like an instant replay. In this rest period you look at the lifetime you just lived and you may have guidance to see why you did the things you did. You will see both the low and the high points of your life, and there may be much remorse for things you did to hurt others, while there will also be joy in the love that you shared. This is what Baba means when he speaks in the Discourses of the temporary hell and heaven states. Filis added that all these impressions, or sanskaras, that you are experiencing are in the ego-mind, not the subtle body. Intuition and conscience are built up over many lives. We learn the hard way, by hurting someone and then experiencing the result of it ourselves—knowing what that pain felt like for the other. Whatever suffering you have caused, you will have to go through also. Then when you return, you will be more merciful. “It’s a long journey. We are very obtuse.” Sometimes, if someone is advanced, they may review past lives—not just the most recent incarnation—but this would be rare. It’s not necessary to know our past lives. When you make jam, you cook a lot of fruit down to get the essence—that’s what we get to work with, the essence of our past lives, and there’s no need to go over the details. In some cases, though, Filis felt that past-life regression could be therapeutic if done very carefully by an expert. If the therapist is not expert, the process may stir up problems that they cannot handle. In general, fooling around with the occult is highly inadvisable. Baba has specifically said not to use divination methods, pendulums, Tarot cards, and the like. Fills emphasized the difficulties of being psychic—the fact that you may foresee something dire but be unable to change it. Our focus should be right here and now, on Meher Baba. After a while the sanskaras start to re form into new groupings, determined by the law of opposites. To give an extreme example (which would not be typical of most people but which makes it easier to make a point), someone who had been very poor may begin to amass impressions leading to a subsequent life ofwealth, or a person who experienced much illness may begin re-forming sanskaras so as to 9


enter a life of health—or vice versa. This rearranging enables us to identify with the opposite of what we have already experienced. Thus we will also change from male to female incarnations at some stages. Fills commented that sometimes the gender transition does not completely go through, resulting in identification with the opposite sex of one’s own body. The sanskaras regroup because within each life we can only work out a certain number of the sanskaras available for expression. Say you have a latent talent for dance or voice; it will have to wait for the appropriate lifetime to emerge and be expressed.The seeds ofthose impressions start vibrating and wanting to express themselves. In the semi-subtle world, al though you can experience what you want to experience by merely thinking of it, this experience is nonetheless nebulous; it doesn’t have the “push” ofgross life. Therefore the sanskaras are seeking expression in an actual gross lifetime. Complications ofAddiction and Suicide Addictions planted in the seed-mind can be critical in their effect on the tran sition of death, Fiis said—even cigarette addiction. If you pass over with cravings for drugs, you may be still addicted on the Other Side. For this reason, she expressed concern about the use ofpain medications and sedatives for patients in the hospital. She said that in Bhau Kalchuri’s book The Nothing andtheEverything, Baba describes how a suicide or addicted person will hang around the lower areas of the astral plane, which is linked to the gross plane. The addicted deceased will be drawn to living people who are similarly addicted and will attempt to satisfy their cravings through that living person’s indulgences. Baba goes into detail about why it is such a mistake to commit suicide. In effect, you’ve chopped off your karma prematurely. Normally, you drop your body naturally at the point when the particular bundle of sanskaras you’ve chosen to work through in this lifetime has been exhausted. When your sanskaras for that lifetime are finished, your body will simply drop, even if there’s no apparent medical reason for it. One time at work, when Filis was employed as a toy designer for Mattel, she ran into her boss, a healthy man in his forties, and to her shock she could see no aura around him at all; since the aura reveals the colors ofthe sanskaras, this was equivalent to seeing a corpse, whose sanskaras were I0

all used up. This made her feel sick and restless, for there was nothing she could do about it. The man went to watch an experimental demonstration of a gasless engine; there was an accidental explosion, and a piece of metal struck his heart and killed him. Another time, Fiiis looked at her brother at Thanksgiving time. She was talking to him, but “there was noth rng there”; there was no life in his eyes. His sanskaras were gone and she knew he would die soon, which he did. In suicide, you drop your body, but the sanskaras have not yet exhausted themselves, and therefore you cannot move on to the semi-subtle sphere where you can create environments and occupations; you can go neither forward nor back. If you were supposed to have lived 30 more years, you still have to live out those remaining impressions somehow. You may attempt to do it through some living person who is doing the things that you were supposed to be doing. The clear implication is that this is not good for either the deceased person or the one they are trying to vicariously live through. Because the gross body provides insulation against extremes of emotional stress, Filis said, now you are vulnerable to increased stress. You can’t even escape in sleep but are always awake. To avoid this predicament, don’t commit suicide! Filis said she’d been suicidal herself in the past. Ifyou are suicidal, call for Baba’s help, or ask for someone else’s help. And if someone threatens suicide, do something about it. Don’t believe the myth that a person who threatens suicide won’t actu ally carry it out; they do. When someone does commit suicide, Baba’s grace can still help. Ifyou love Baba, He will come and shorten this difficult period. “Coming to Baba” after Death Will we see Baba after we die? Will He be waiting for us on the Other Side? Baba-lovers who have clinically died have described the classic near-death experience ofmoving through the dark tunnel, which Filis said was related to the stretching of the silver cord between the subtle and gross realms. Near-death experiencers have seen Baba at the end of the tunnel, gesturing to them to go back, as it was not their time and they still had to finish out their karma. With faith in Baba, He will shorten the hell state and give us more ofthe bliss state. Filis also feels that we may reincarnate more quickly with faith in Baba; it was

speculated that many ofus here today had died in previous lives in World War II. Baba has said that “those who die thinking ofme come to me” and especially that repeating His name at the moment of death was important. In researching this notion, I see that Baba told Charles Purdom: “To come to me means Libera tion, experiencing me as I am. No more bondage ofbirths and deaths. But it does not mean the state of a Perfect Master, of Perfection. That is only to be attained in the gross body. So ifyou are not blessed with this state of Perfection, at least you can have Liberation. If you just take my name,just at the moment of dropping your body, you will come to me. Yes, anyone.” When informed of His lovers’ deaths, Baba often sent telegrams to the effect that “So-and-so has come to me.” However, Filis mentioned that Mani explained that to “come to Baba” could mean different things depending on the circumstances. Sometimes it may just mean remaining in a long state of bliss before rebirth, or being reborn in a Baba family. Baba reminded us that unless we start practicing now, we wouldn’t remember to say His name at the time of death. Any Avatar’s name or God’s name would be also good, Filis said, but Meher Baba’s name is the most powerful. It would seem crucial that taking His name occur precisely at the moment of death. What if one falls unconscious? Fills pointed out that people have been heard to repeat Baba’s name even when in a coma. Yet to “escape the rat maze” takes real skill. It is good if the people around you are repeating Baba’s name while you are dy ing. Fiis’s mother did not believe in Baba (though she had met Him), and when she was dying, Fiis sat by and said His name under her breath. Questions & Answers On the question ofwhat to do with the body of someone who has died, Fills said it was best to do nothing for three days, since Baba had said that it takes that time for the soul to detach from the gross form. Filis remarked that Baba had said burial was the best choice. I found this surprising, especially since most Baba-lovers seem to choose cremation. I see in Lord Meher that in the case of the mandali, they or their families were permitted to choose the manner ofdisposal, and in the absence of a preference Baba chose cremation for some ofthem (see vol. 13: 4629). Therefore I am not completely convinced by


Filis’s statement. In Pascal Kaplan’s book Understanding Death, Murshida Duce is quoted as saying she is uncertain what Baba had said about it but thought He may have leaned toward burial. (It seems that Masters are typically buried rather than cremated in India. Islamic tradition calls for burial, as do Christianity and Judaism, owing to a belief in physical resurrection at the end of time.) On the appearance ofa discarnate person (in an apparition or to the person hirnl herself): Filis said that initially someone on the Other Side looks as they did at their age at the time of death, but eventually they go back to their “prime youth image.” She would see her mother and grandfather as young. Fills commented at one point that the question oftime in the afterlife is jffr, because it’s not the same time scale as here. We can’t say how long it takes from death until the next life. A child who dies sees him or herself as having a small body, but children have helpers who assist them in growing and learning on the Other Side, where they undergo a period of learning with other children of the same age. In time they actually develop a more mature appearance (meaning that the soul begins to think of itself as bigger and older). The question arose of whether a Baba-lover’s parents and children would be Baba-lovers in their next lives even if they hadn’t been in the present. Filis thought that because they heard about Baba through us, eventually in the future they would come to Baba, having formed the link.That’s why it’s important for them to hear His name from us. One questioner expressed anxiety that they should recognize Baba as soon as possible when they return in the next incarnation. Filis said the more you im press Baba into your subconscious, the better. Thinking about Him, loving Him, repeating His name will cause us to be born into a Baba family, or perhaps we will meet our fellow Baba-lovers as teachers or playmates. “Ifyou love Baba now, it’s going to flower again.”

:ci:

on Delia rDe Leon Pete 7ownshend, Twickenham, Cnjland 3anuary, 1990

eher Baba influenced the spiritual yes ofmany thousands ofpeople. He achieved this in various ways, but as far as I can tell He worked most powerfully—and poignantly—through the quietly demonstra tive love ofHis followers. Delia DeLeon was a follower of long standing when she influenced me and oth ers who looked for spiritual truth during the ‘60s. It appeared that apart from her love for Him—her spiritual Master—she possessed and wanted nothing. He was her obsession. He was her absolute and singular focus. As I enjoyed a wonderful family and successful career when I first heard about Meher Baba, such total devotion was impossible for me, but Delia DeLeon became an example and inspiration to me. At times she seemed almost seffish in her driving commitment.As a composer I tried in vain to echo the endless love song thatwas her life, and felt embarrassed whenever she became impatient with me. It seems that it was Delia who Meher Baba chided with “Don’t worry; be happy.” Perhaps there are others who worry as much as she, but I doubt it. Her passion, constanc meticulousness, and enor mous anxiety have all blended to produce an endearing eccentricity that enriched my life. This has been possible because her tendency to worry—winch she enjoys sharing with her helpers as much as possible—has always been tempered with the most extraordinary and mischievous sense of humor. Through Deliallearned that MeherBaba calls first to the heart, then He tickles under the chin. It seemed this simple: let Delia do all theworrying! IfI hadlooked more closely at the tribulations and exukations of Delia’s life I would havebeen prepared for the deluge ofjoy and suffering that followed when later I properly opened my heart and made naive and impudent demands of Meher Baba as my own Master: the disciple does not choose, but is chosen. Meher Baba is the personification ofpure love at a magnitude and power unimagined since the advent of Jesus. Reading Delia’s story; The Ocean OfLove, so carefully told here, is like watching a tiny paper boat being swept away by the force of a massive hurricane. From the Introduction, The Ocean OfLove © 1991 Meher Baba Association, London. Soft covei, $10.

Avatctric ç./ldvents: J4eh 73aba’s Eerspective on the rDescent of 9od on Earth By 3ames t. Jfrlc9ew Revieived by Dan Sanders, Arizona It may be compared to a hospital, where the sick complain ofthirst at different times. The doctor willprescribe tea or coffee in the morning to those who complain in the morning, water orfruit juice in the after— noon, buttermilk in the eveningand hot milk before sleep. The doctor is the same and the complaint is the same, but the thirst is quenched jm U. M(.ew in dff’rent ways according to the different condi tions at djfferent times. —LordMeher, page 1882

AW!TARIC ADVENTS

r the first time, Meher Baba’s insights and revelations about the nature ofthe Avatar and the known Avatars throughout history have been compiled into one volume. As explained in the introduction by Rick Chapman, McGrew actually met Meher Baba in 1966, one ofthe rare seekers permitted to do so during Baba’s final years of seclusion and universal work. Through Meher Baba, a tremendous new understanding of the great world prophets and the faiths they inspired is now possible. McGrew has taken the wisdom and teachings Meher Baba gave the world on this matter, and organized it into one condensed form with this book. The author is very thorough about citing sources from a wide variety ofworks (both Meher Baba books and many other histor ical spiritual volumes). Interestingly, after an initial chapter discussing the Avatar Himselfand the themes that characterize every Incarnation ofGod in human form, McGrew chooses to present each advent by going backwards through time—starting with Meher Baba, then Muhammad the Prophet, thenJesus, Buddha, Krishna, Rama, and Zarathustra. Finally after almost 300 pages, he leaps forward 700 years into our future with a short chapter ‘I


about what Baba said concerning “The Next Avatar.” Although McGrew uses Meher Baba’s explanations to illustrate how all the major world prophets are connected, he does not shy away from acknowledging their differences. For example, Avatars such as Jesus and Baba himselfplaced emphasis on the personal side ofGod, whereas Buddha and Muhammad focused on the impersonal. But these apparent conflicts are resolved through Baba’s teachings by observing how they are merely different facets ofthe same diamond, or “beads on one string.” Additionally the author boldly states the most controversial details that Meher Baba revealed about the lives of Avatars such as Jesus Christ. Also discussed is what Baba explained as the Avatar’s divine mistakes. In every advent, the Avatar makes one great mistake—on purpose! By examining these errors, or seeming errors, it helps one to understand the apparent differences between the major world religions. Finally, and happily, McGrew is careful not to ignore the theme of the Avatar’s divine sense of humor down through the ages. After all, the author asks, ifGod did not have a sense ofhumor, then how could we? 308 pages, paperback $15, hard cover $24. [Editor’s Note: Some are finding this the perfect gift for friends and relations who think we have joined a dangerous cult!]

3rctil Love 7okcns by J44icIwcl cDa Costa Brian 7iiorne,

Cngland

has recently published a ichael slightly revised edition of his re markable poetic meditation on love, Frail Love Tokens. This memorable work has been part of my emotional, spiritual and psychological context for so long I was in —

i+ail Love Tokens

danger offorgetting its immense power. I have sat at Michael’s feet in many different places with diverse groups, sometimes a 12

dozen, sometimes hundreds—and never has Frail Love Tokens failed to elicit the kind of response that, for some of his lis teners at least, has been life-changing. The finely-honed work draws on all aspects ofhis phenomenal creative ability. In it we find the poet, the philosopher, the spiritual seeker and the therapist. They speakwith a united voice but at times they break into polyphonic song. Those who have heard Michael perform Frail Love Tokens will have experienced this capti vating work in its most richly expressive form, but for new readers, there will be the exquisite pleasure of encountering for the first time a work that penetrates the soul and makes reading in solitude an act of communion. Revised Edition available as a spoken word CD from Love Street Bookstore for $10, or as a small paperback, $6.

!:Recipes for 9ratitude: EJ2oems by Dick ..7tolmes

a tragic poet with large, sad eyes, the next he is a goofy juggler of words or a wise logician that you can’t argue with: You love nature. Everything is nature. Therefore—admit it—you love everything. Would you buy a used poem from this man? I guarantee it. And here’s another wonderftil example: I SatAtThe Bar All night long Isat at Rurnic bar pleading with the bartender tofill my glass, but hejust kept ignoring me. ‘Bartender!”Ishouted, exasperatecL “Why wontyoufill my glass?” Finally, as thefirst rays ofthe new day began to lighten the window, the bartender stopped infront ofme and lookedstraight at me. ‘How can Ifillyour glass when it alreadyfull to the brim?” ‘Full? Itc empty!” Full ofthe emptiness ofmeaningless desire. Emptyyourglass ofthat andl’llfill it with the wine ofyour heart ofhearts.”

Paperback, 344 pages, $20.

.2<endra Crossen EBurroughs, fr4jrtle EJ3eacIi 7 J an a man who writes a poem beginning with the words “Edna, your DNA is in the Vedas” be bad? Ofcourse not. Dick Holmes is a walking smiley face of goodness. His poems—all 400-plus of them!—will make you toss back a quaff of the Ocean, play baseball with the Buddha, think about odd or profound things that never occurred to you, and reach for a pencil because you feel as if you could write a poem too, he makes it appear so effortless. This could be deceptive, because Dick seems to know a lot, the result of “tons of personal research,” often while riding his bicycle or communing with nature. He knows when what he had for dinner sounds like a poem, how to woo a gal named Myrtle, and that the Perfect Poem is Meher Baba. One moment he is

C

Thken at Meher Spiritual Centei 1952


7he J1I/Iaking of the 3film: “73e As Dt J1/tcty” rDiscourses of LIpctsni J I/tcthctra’j 1 Y?obert fred&cks, Jlleherabad October 2003, I was sitting in the “Spiritual Academy” at Meherabad, relaxing before starting a new day of various computer related duties. I brought my morning chai into the Academy and browsed thru the books on the bookshelves there, looking for something to read while drinking the spiced Indian tea. As my eyes rolled over the titles of the books I saw an old friend there: The Thiks ofSadguru Upasni-Baba Maharaj. That is how the movie BeAsltMaywas conceived. I picked up Upasni’s Talks, and started to ffip thru the pages looking for one to read. Upasni’s Discourses are so fill ofgems, that on any page one opens, one finds a new marvel, a new brilliant line of reasoning, and a new exposition ofthe sublime nature ofspiritual life. I had read these Discourses many times before, but this time, as I read, the thought came zooming in like a lightening bolt. 7 have to make aflim on these.” Now if you have ever read the Talks of Upasni Mahara], the film version, does not immediately spring to mind.They are dense and obtuse and ftill ofwinding reasoning on difficult themes. On top ofthat, there is no known footage ofUpasni Maharaj—many photos—but no film. Howwould I do this? I didn’t kno but I had to do it. I knew I had to do it. In February 2004, on Meher Baba’s Birthday, Allen Wagner and Heather Nadel were going to present the life story ofUpasni Maharaj at the Music and Arts Demonstration Center (Hostel A) in Meherabad. I reasoned that if I could make this film in 4 months I could augment the play on Upasni’s life with a film on his Dis courses and show it on the same week. But that was not to be. It took me over 3 years to make this film. Ofcourse, I was engaged at the same time with other projects, yet it was a tremendous artistic effort on my part that pushed me further as an editor than I had pushed myself before. The preproduction process went like this: first read all the Discourses, select which ones to make into a film, find a nar rator, then set the narration to music, then

I

find images to accompany the narration. The process seemed simple enough, but who would narrate. Who would be the voice of Upasni Maharaj? Peter Nordeen was in Meherabad at the time and sug gested I tryjim Lyons out for the part.Jim’s voice is deep and resonant; it cuts across all superficial timbres that many voices carry I asked Jim if he would try it. He said he

would. I gave him the script. Two days later we crowded into a tiny room not built for recording, trying to drown out all the outside noises and in between shouting kids and motorcycle engines, I captured his performance. In my opinion, as someone who has listened to his narration over and over, each time I hear it, I find more nuance to his presentation.To me,Jim caught what Upasni wanted to convey and delivered it. Not only that, but the authority ofhis voice seems to match the power and majesty of Upasni’s austere and powerful nature. Then I needed music. I wanted to put it to songs as well as music, and as I listened to a couple of songs that my friend John Murphy recently recorded, they seemed to carry the same themes as a couple of the

Discourses I selected to work with. For example, the Discourse I entitled “Noth ing” worked well with the refrain to John’s song: “It’s alijust life, living consciousness.” I continued with the next eight discourses, using different music, sometimes making it myself but more often usingJohn’s, who even wrote songs at my request specifically for a particular Discourse. Each Discourse has its own story behind it, but the one story that sticks out the most is when I enlisted a master sculptor from Pune to sculpt Upasni’s bust while I filmed him. How that came about was so novel that at that point, I suspected that some unseen guiding hand was interested in this project and was providing a little help. In less then two hours, Saurash P Raut sculpted Upasni’s bust while I filmed him, and I had the last bit offootage that I needed to start the editing process. After editing the music, footage, and narration together to make the nine sepa rate videos that contained the Discourses, I pondered on how to thread these together. What would be the glue that made them into a whole complete work? Different ideas came and went, but one stuck; to insert Upasni’s life story between each Discourse, gradually building up his life story with a relevant Discourse after each major phase of his life. I went to Pune where I often went when I need to concentrate on one specific task, and sat at a café for two days and wrote Upasni’s biography into script form. Then I needed another narrator, and this time I knew exactly who I wanted—Mr. Bhujor Bode. As a boy, Mr. Bode sat on Upasni’s lap because his mother was a devotee and regular visitor to the ashram. Bhujor also visited Upasni as a college student shortly before Upasni’s death in 1941. He was a life long devotee ofGodavari Mai, and used to drive Godavari Mai to see Meher Baba at Guruprasad. He was the ChiefCivll Engi neer ofPune and helped with the arrangements of the East West gathering, and he designed and built many ofthe buildings at Sakori. It seemed to me that Mr. Bode was well qualified for the job! And as fortune

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would have it, Mr. Bode happened to come to the Meher Pilgrim Center at Meherabad for a stay just at the same time my script was finished and he agreed to narrate it. Coincidence? I think not. After having set the microphones up and switching on the equipment to record him, Mr. Bode stopped me and said. “Before I do this, first tell me why you want me to narrate this in English?” I replied “Because you knew Upasni and because you have a beautiful English accent.” He smiled and then agreed to record the narration, which in my opirnon adds such a distinguished element and beauty to the film. After haymg collected all the various parts I needed, I spent another year re-editing until I felt satisfied with the film. The first person to see the completed work was my friend and Baba contact, the late Mike Leever ofDetroit. While watching it, he replied that heloved it, and that he wished to help financiallywith the produc tion. Unfortunately,just a few months after Mike saw this video, he contacted a virus known as histioplasmosis which eventually attacked his liver and he passed away in early January 2006,just a week prior to the film’s Meherabad Premiere. The next time it was shown at Meherahad, Jim Lyons, the voice of Upasni Maharaj, was in the audience and was able to receive the acclaim he was due for his performance. Several months later, Jim passed away from a heart attack at his home in Myrtle Beach. I am very much pleased that his majestic voice will continue to be heard for many years to come through this film. There were some who watched the film and admired it, and some who watched it and did not. I was very humbled when Sam Kerawala stopped me the day after its Meherabad premiere and simply smiled and said: “Thankyou foryour film, I thoroughly enjoyed it.” However, after some more criti cism, I resolved that the one person whose opinion really mattered to me was Mr. Bodes’. Determined to have his opinion, I arranged to show it to him at the Meher Baba Pune Center, which he designed and helped construct. We sat up on the first floor dorm, and as he watched the film on my laptop with headphones, I nervously waited for him to finish the one-hour ifim. When he did, he took his headphones off turned to me and exclaimed; “Beautiftil. You have presented it correctly from beginning to end.” There was now only one remaining ‘4

journey to be made before its publication, and thatwas to Upasni’s ashram in Sakori. I have written up the long version ofthat adventure on mywebsite which can be read by visitingwwwtechnobaba.com, but in brief I entered the ashram and told the first person whom I encountered: “I have made a film on Upasni Maharaj and I have come to seek your blessings for showing it.” I was initially going to ask for copyright permission, but in India to seek the blessings seemed to be more significant. That individual then took me to the Director ofthe ashram and before I knew it, I was sitting with the Director and his family watching the video. I could see an excitement come over them, and although he only had time to watch the first 30 minutes, he was pleased and expressed a wish to translate it into Marathi and Hindi and have it available for the pilgrims who come to Sakori. I happily consented to his wish and then after gratefully and humbly taking Upasni Maharaj’s Darshan at his Samadhi, returned to Meherabad. Now the DVI) is available to those who are curious to see it. I hope that it can bring them a feeling ofspending some time with Upasni, as it does for me. I like to think, after having watched it, that together with the talents of John Murphy, Jim Lyons, Sarush P Rant, Lisa Nelson, Jedd Tyler, Richard Slavich, Kitty Knight and others, that I have presented the viewer with a sense of being with Upasni Maharaj, seeing his photos, listening to his words, and hearing the sublime thought that runs throughout his “Talks”. IEditor’s note. To read more about Upasni, go to these websites: http.//trustmehe, com/files/five/upasni. htm http.//www.shreeswami. org/shri-upasani baba-maharaj.htm]

2qo War 3or 6igkt :2-1undred )3ectrs J44eIier

cience must arise, as it plays a great part in the present war. Science can be put to good use, and science can be put to bad use. Chloroform can be used for operations, for healing. But robbers also use it on their victims to steal things. In war, science is used for destruction. But destruction ultimately means renewal and improvement. What happened when they burned London during the Black Plague? They rebuilt it later, and it was better than before. So when the world is destroyed, a new and better world must spring up from the ashes. There will be chaos and destruction all over the universe; but after that, there will be no war for eight hundred years. Therefore, isn’t all this present misery worth that long period of happiness? Those who die in this warwill be reborn to enjoy the new world and peace. Now they want power and possessions and hate each other. How can it all end? In only one way! They must get sick ofit all—sick ofwantmg, sick ofhating, sick of fighting! Suppose you like milk, and you drink and drink it so excessively that eventu ally you get sick of it. Then what do you do? You stop drinking milk. In the same way, hate, greed, anger and so forth will reach such a height that everyone will be simply sick of it all. And then what will the alternative be? To stop hating and to love, to stop wanting and to give, to stop fighting and to be at peace. The world of the fliture will be very marvelous!

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LordMeher, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 7 & 8, p. 2621 ©1995 AMBPPCT

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1is 1leasure 2 rKatie Drani: .21is Will, 1 &ograms I, 2, & 3—2kw Witness &ries

7YDs, !Released by 9ateway J4lediaworks

!&viewed by J’l4arilyn JIVtc9ivney, WasIiington DC n this three DVD set of one-hour meetings, Katie Irani quietlytells intimate stones ofand reflections on her first twenty-five years in the company ofMeher Baba, starting from the time she was three-years-old. In 1923 en route to Iran on His first journey outside of India, Meher Baba brought his disciples to Quetta, a miiitat-yr outpost on the border ofAfghani stan and what was then India, but now is Pakistan. Here Meher Baba stayed in the home ofRustom and Khorshed Irani and their seven children. Among the children were three-year-old Katie and her seven-year-old sister Goher. In this first DVD entitled Destined to Serve Him (previously available on VHS), Katie tells us that Baba once asked her mother how many children she had. When she answered that she had seven children, Baba told her that she had only five children. The other two children, Baba said, belonged to God and would serve Him all their lives. We learn about her family’s devo lion to Baba and his devotion to them, his mán3r visits to Quetta to see them and his several invitations to Khorshed, Katie’s mother, to take Katie into His ashram from the time she was eleven years old until she was eighteen when Khorshed finally gave her consent, and Katiejoined Meher Baba atlast on the first stop ofthe first Blue Bus Tour in December 1938. In the second DVD,JoiningMeher Baba on the Blue Bus Thurs, Katie tells us how she came to live with Baba and what life was like for a young girl who was eager to obey and serve Meher Baba, but who did not know as yet what obedience to Baba was nor how to do it. “More than love, Baba wanted obedi ence. You have to give up. You must bow down to His wishes.” She tells us of the times she unknowingly failed to obey and was chastised by Baba as he trained her in obedience, how she begged His forgiveness for her oversight, and how He forgave her and she tried her best not to make the same mistake again. Shortly after shejoined Baba on the first

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Blue Bus Tour, Baba assigned eighteen-yearold Katie and Eruch’s teenaged sister Manu thejob of cooking for the forty members of the tour. Baba’s regular cook, Naja, was then bedridden and could not manage the cooking. But neither Katie nor Manu had ever ‘

Photo byJohn Page

cooked before. There were no proper cooking vessels, and meals had to be prepared over wood fires. Katie and Manu learned to cook”on thejob”withlots offeedback from Baba and from others. Baba wanted meals served on time when the bus came to a rest stop. So Katie and Manu found themselves cooking in the earliest hours ofthe morning before their departure time at four or five in the morning and holding hot pots ofcooked dal and rice on their laps as the bus wended its way to the next stop when Baba would call for lunch. No matter how hard Katie tried to obey Baba, mishaps occurred, such as the time the dal and milk went sour and

Baba had them throw it away. Life on the Blue Bus Tours taught Katie flexibility and an appreciation of the pected. Each traveler had to carry in her bedroll a good sari or dress because traveling with Baba brought occasions for them to act as both beggars and princesses. Once they were invited by a rani (queen) to attend a garden party So with a little water and hand pressing, a wrinkled sari or dress stored in a bedroll quickly turned into a smart ouffit for a well dressed young woman. “Being with a king, you had to be prepared for whatever He wanted.” In the third DVD of the series, Storiesfrom the Blue Bus Years. On the roadandatMeherabac4 Katie continues her stories about life in the women’s ashram as “a miniature world where Baba did His work.” She reflects that Baba often asked the women to do things that seemed to anticipate actual world events, such as dividing the women into groups, partitioning rooms, and asking the women to re frairi from speaking to those outside their small group. She implies that the division of the women during a Blue Bus Tour stop in Lahore foreshadowed the partition of Pakistan from India. Katie also tells about the time Baba asked Maui to write a pantomime, and He cast Katie as Mussolini, Rano as Chamberlain, and Maui as Hitler. Katie tells us that life on the Blue Bus and at Upper Meherabad was so fhll that there was “no time for anything else, only to please Baba.” She talks about the menagerie ofanimals the women cared for, the songs they sang for Baba, the ways in which Baba demonstrated to each of them how much He loved her. Throughout these three hour-long meetings, Katie tells us how through Baba’s training she came to be the person we see in the video. As a girl, she was tall for her age and terribly shy. Baba instructed everyone in her extended family to tell her, “Baba says you must not stoop.” Over time, she began to stand up straight. In the photo montage of Katie that opens the ftrst DVD, Katie appears tall and regal in bearing. Through ‘5


self-effacing, and spontane ous. Viewers may think that Katie is answering the very questions they would like to pose. From the outset, Katie lets us know that she has never felt important or special. “It was His will, His pleasure. .We can’t say that we were the chosen ones. .He alone does His own work in His own way.” When we watch this ani mated, elegant, beautiful woman reveal her deepest failures and most soaring moments of happiness in His company, we find a model of how we might approach God in our own lives. Wendell Brustman sums up the inspiration for the Witness Series as follows: The completed produc tions have laid the founda tion for a perpetual real presence of Meher Baba and His message oflove and truth each time the video is viewed by the sincere lover ofGod.Thus there is no loss for the latter-day lover of Meher Baba who did not meet these disciples of the Avatar in the flesh: the flavor of the Divine Beloved as man has been preserved in video form to be savored by all new seekers for the Ages. Thankyou,Wendell, for theWitness Series, marvelous livinggifts to posterity $35 ea. .

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Photo byJohn Page

skits that Baba cast and asked Mani to write and direct to entertain Him and Mehera when He returned from His “mast work,” Katie lost her shyness. In these hour-long meetings, Katie is vivacious, open, direct, humble, and unguarded, as far from shy as one could imagine. Perhaps most revealing to me in these three hours in Katie’s presence is the de lightfiil way she recalls the difficulties and privations of life in Meher Baba’s ashram both at Meherabad and on the Blue Bus tours. Katie recalls the discomforts of those years as “fun altogether now that we think of it” and as “amusing episodes.” Katie shows us that living life in alignment with “His ;ii i-i;

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sure happiness. Keeping company with Katie makes me want to approach my life lightly, too. From the opening images of the first DVD through the close ofthe third DVD, Katie Iram keeps the viewer in thrall with the freshness and immediacy ofthe story of her life with Meher Baba. Katie looks directlyrnto the camera as she speaks, allowing viewers to feel that she is sitting directly in front of them. Her storytelling is intimate, ‘

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7:Iw 2<iss and Other Stories Jieviewed by Paul Cook, Seattle

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ucson composer and keyboardist Karl Moeller has put together a diverse and delightftul collection ofinstrumentals, in most cases inspired by the life ofMeher Baba. Nearly every work on this disc was written by Moeller, except for Cole Por ter’s “Begin the Beguine,” an old favorite much loved by Meher Baba, and an instrumental version ofBaba’s own “Gujerati Arti”. Chuck Wilson and Karl co-wrote “Heartland”, a heart-warming workfordobro The jçjss and guitar. j,_ The songs here range in temperament, depending on the instru ments used (folk piano, harp, English horn, etc.)—and the manner in which Moeller orchestrates them. The standouts on this disc begin with “Conversation in G” which is a moody paean using the English horn, to “The Kiss”, a clear terpiece of three simple themes on solo piano that weave in and out and never seem to tire of their own beauty. “Time Room” is a solemn, quiet work that has enormous power for all its understatement (with the piano used to create the sounds of a vibraphone). More meditative are ‘Gujerati Arti’ and ‘Trio’, both of which conjure moods that you’re not likely to find on your average New Age album. (These last two were included in Divine Sport Productions’ video Meher Baba, the Awakener.) CD $10.


nnouncemens 4 L/ JLlan )3our Amartithi J2ilgrimage Ear4j

J4’lelier 7fr1edia Center cit J44eIier 2ilgrim Center

11 are heartily welcome to attend vatar Meher Baba’s thirty-ninth Amartithi event on Meherabad Hill. This gathering is attended by more than 10,000 visitors from 30 January to 1 February of each year. A program of song, dance, and film continues all day and through much of the night on the stage near Meher Baba’s Tomb. The climax takes place when, for fifteen minutes, the assembled crowd keeps silence for fifteen minutes in honor ofthe physical passing ofthe Avatar ofthe Age at 12:15 p.m. on 3lstJanuary 1969. Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Westerners who would like to stay at Meherabad dur ing Amartithi should make reservations before 15 December. Performing. Pilgrims having programs to present for Amartithi should write to Mehernath B. Kaichuri before 31st De cember and confirm with him upon arrival at Meherabad. Camping. Pilgrims may stay free at the Meherabad Estate from 8:00 AM of the 30th to noon ofthe 1st. Do not arrive before 8:00 am., on the 30th, and leave by 12 noon on the 1st. Separate areas are arranged, and men and women should not visit, enter, or rest in each others quarters, by Beloved Baba’s wish. Bring warm clothes, blankets, bedding, mattress, and flashlights. Water. Use water very sparingly. Hot water for bathing will be provided from 11:00 PM 30th to 7:00 AM 31st. Food. Stalls will be selling light refreshments and meals at Lower Meherabad, New Site and Upper Meherabad till early afternoon on the 1st. Darshan. After collecting a token, feel free to move about until the number on your token is announced, then join the queue. Ifyour number and the next higher number have passed, you miss your turn. Please take the least time possible for dar shan, and take darshan only once. Samadhi. While in the vicinity of the Samadhi, please do your utmost to maintain the sanctity ofthe Tomb-Shrine. [That means Silence!]

Debbie 2’Jordeen, Ate1iercthad

—VS. Kalchuri, AMBPPCT Chairman.

xciting News! Keeping in mind the objectives of providing more educa tional opportunities for pilgrims and visitors to focus on Baba’s life and work while on pilgrimage to Meherabad, a new ‘Meher Media Center’ is opening in the Meher Pilgrim Center. What and Where: The Media Center Study and Research Room, for viewing of multi-media, CD-ROMs, and scanned materials at computer stations will be es tablished in the former women’s dorm. This quiet media viewing and data base usage room will be set up with areas for four to five people to view the collection on computers. There will also be four to five more study spaces for people to workwith their own laptop computers or old-fashioned notebooks with paper and pen! The computers are for viewing, listening and reference study only, with headphones for quiet. Copying of the collection will not be possible. The former men’s dorm will be the Media Center Multi-purpose Room, where power point presentations, DVDs, slide shows, and other media can be viewed by small groups. There will be regularly scheduled viewings of Baba and mandali videos and DVDs in a variety oflanguages. This room may also be checked out for small group discussions and meetings on Baba’s life and work, i.e. Discourse meetings, etc. When: Video showings have already begun in the Media Center Multi-purpose Room. The goal is to begin setting up the MediaCenterSmdyandResearch Room in November 2007. Currently the collection is being prepared and equipment and materials are being lined up. Materials Needed: The start-up budget allows for one computer and one projec tor. The goal is to eventually have 5-6 computers in the Media Center. For now the Media Center is happy to receive donated equipment in good working condition such as laptop computers and other media viewing/sound equipment. A lot depends on how many volunteers are available to see to the proper running ofthe Center. Please contact project coordinator, Debbie Nor-

deen, for more detailed information about how to donate equipment and materials. Donated equipment and digital materials are welcome. First Priority: Baba’s works in a variety oftranslated languages are needed in digital format. Compiling digital materials in nu merous languages ofBaba’s translated works is the highest priority. Pilgrims from around the world are arriving. Meherabad had unex pected pilgrims from Iran, China and Russia last season, as well as other countries. How wonderflil it will be to offer these seekers information in their mother tongues. Contact Us: Babalovers and Baba groups can help in the success of this new Media Center of His remembrance. Please share your ideas and information with us. We’d love to hear from you if you wish to help establish, contribute materials to, maintain, or volunteer to work at this new Media Center. What a wonderful new venue for Baba’s remembrance! Debbie Nordeen, project coordinator mediacenter@mail. ambppct.org or nordeeni@bellsouth.net

7rust Embraces Cditorial J2rincip!es ver the last two years, the Avatar Meher Baba Trust has embraced certain principles regarding the editing of Meher Baba’s words.A fundamental distinction concerns publication: material that was published by Meher Baba under His own name during His lifetime calls for different treatment than unpublished material does. Baba’s published words. Books, sages, sayings, etc., that were published during Baba’s lifetime should be left essen tially untouched, for ifwhat Baba publicly gave forth to the world continues to be editorially tampered with, eventually it will be altered beyond recognition. Surely Baba’s words should be accorded as much respect as the words of other authors are. If; in publishing a book or message, Baba put His name on it, then it is His, whatever

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process led to its creation, and its primary text needs to be preserved intact.The Trust does allow, nonetheless, for alterations in the areas of spelling, punctuation, and capitahzation, for posterity ought not to be bound to these kinds of minor errors and inconsistencies in the original printings. Nonetheless, such editing should be exceedingly sparse and constrained, and all changes, howsoever small, should be duly recorded and made publically available, preferable within the edition itself Baba’s unpublished words. Unpub lished material, by contrast, often requires more extensive editing, if it is to be made accessible to general readers. The manu script that served as the source for Infinite Intelligence, for example, is often almost unreadable in its raw form. Another major repository of Baba’s words are the reminiscences ofBaba’s mandali and other lovers ofHis, many ofwhom have recalled what Baba said on various occasions. Such records clearly need to be compiled, com pared, and edited before they are ready for presentation to the world. In this connection the Trust takes guidance from a comment Meher Baba made in 1927 regarding the editing ofHis words (The CombinedDiary, Vol. II, folio 355): No, it is not advisable to send my notes and lecturesfor composition to anyone who is awayfrom me. The writer must be here My explanations to ensure correctness. may be re-composed in stylish andforceful language, but the spirit and meaning must remain unchanged Such a writer will come in the course oftime. When unpublished material is edited for publication, the Trust is committed to preserving the original sources and mak ing them available in some form. These sources will always remain the “authori tative texts” from which new published versions can be prepared when the need for this becomes apparent. .

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J44eIicr i3ctbtt }1udio Books Rew Website here’s a brand new Meher Baba web site that has Don Stevens reading Dis courses & Listen Humanity Baba’s words and Don Stevens’ voice—It is so clear one feels like one is being spoon fed by Mother Nature! There’s lots more goodies on this new Meher Media site http://mehermedia.com Directly to audio here http://meherme dia.comlaudio.html

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73abct !Rctdio aba Radio has been enhanced and new content is in planning stages. After several technical issues, Baba Radio has moved. To listen to the live broadcast, visit http://wwwBabaRadio.org. There are panded playlists featuring musicwritten and performed by Meher Baba’s followers. Baba Radio also hosts the “Welcome to My World” talk show hosted by Steve Klein. All Welcome to My World shows are archived and available for streaming at http://www.BabaRadio.org. If you have content that you want to share please contact BabaRadio@gmail.com. If you have ideas for the welcome to My World show please email Steve at BabaRadio@gmail.com. If you are interested in streaming events (au dio or video or both) from your area, that is encouraged. Ifyou are interested and have some computer skills, please contact Joe Stewart at BabaRadio@gmail.com.

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j3Iiau &ngs ave you composed a song or songs usingwords by Bhau Kalchuri (songs, poems, ghazals, artis)? The time has come to complete and publish the Bhau Kalchuri English Ghazal And Songbook! We hope 1 include Bhau’s words set that the book wi] to music by Jim Meyer, Janet Luck, Billy Goodrum, Heather Nadel, Kim Witkowski, J eannie Nordeen Felkno; Ward Parks, Da vid Miottke, Scott Makeig, Janice Rieman, GabriellaTal, Bobbi Bernstein and unknown others. All are welcome we would like for this collection to be truly comprehensive. If you have songs to submit or require further information, please contact as soon as pos sible: Janice Rieman and Ann O’Neil at bhausongbook@gmail.com We also need help from peoplewho can help others notate their song melodies, or from those who know music notation programs such as Sibelius or Photoscore 5 by Neuratron. Ifyou have these skills or programs and would like to volunteer your service for the publishing project, please write to us.

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J3ctba JPortrctits atie Rose ofArizona is a Baba artist who has painted some really lovely portraits of our Beloved. You can view them at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ katierose7/. Also, there is a site for mugs, shirts, keychains and notecards from the Baba portraits: http://www.zazzle. comlrosie7.

J44elierabad Ambulctnce: LIrjent 2?ecjuest for EDoncttions! Anne (Meherabad Hospital) has for a long time expressed a strong need for an ambulance to be stationed at Meherabad for emergency transportation ofpilgrims, villagers, and residents. Over the years there have been many instances when an ambulance was needed, but none was available. So often, the dif ference in life and death, or the ultimate outcome ofa severe injury, results directly from the time it takes to transport a patient to a medical facilit and from the skilled emergency care available en route. With the ever-increasing number of pilgrims visiting Meherabad, the need for this vehicle is more and more critical. The Trust’s purchase of an ambulance is on their agenda, but funds need to be supplemented with donations before this all-important health care tool becomes a realit) The Avatar Meher Baba Foundation Inc., in the USA has kindly agreed to be a collection point for donations made to this cause. The Foundation will be responsible for wiring contributions to the AMBP PCT for purchase ofthe ambulance. A donation of even $10 or $20 from each Baba lover would go a long ways torards funding this much needed project!! Remember, it could be a pilgrim you love who experiences a health emergency at Meherabad and requires transportation. Thank you and Jai Baba! Further information on this project and instructions on how to make donations can be obtained by contacting Charlie Gard’ner at (706) 546-6492, or arangaon@ aol.com.

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Commemoration Projramme of 5 oth .Anniversarj Of Be!oved 73abds 958 Jlfrlehercthad &thctvcis lease note that information clarifring rules for accommodation has been updated since the last notice. This is to announce that Avatar Meher Baba Trust will be commemorating the 50th Anni versary of 1958 Sahavas which Beloved Baba gave to His lovers at Meherabad between 15th February and 26th Febru ary1958.

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The Commemoration Programme will be at Meherabad from 15th to 17th Feb ruary 2008. The programme will include short speeches by 1958 Sahavas participants, Bhajans that were sung during 1958 Sahavas, a short skit and play based on the deliberations of that Sahavas, Burra Katha and a special film show on 1958 Sahavas. 1958 Sahavas posters will be exhibited during the programme. All Baba lovers who are interested in participating in the February 2008 Commemoration Programme should positively reserve their lodging accom modation in Meherabad well before 31st January 2008. Also please note that the Commemo ration Programme dates fall between Beloved Baba’s 39th Amartithi and 114th Birthday. Accommodation at Hostel D is not available to pilgrims up to 5th February. As such, the participants who come for Amartithi should not expect to continue their stay at Hostel D. It was also Beloved Baba’s wish that His lovers should celebrate His Birthday at their own centres. It is therefore advisable that participants arrive at Meherabad by 14th February and leave Meherabad as soon as possible after conclusion of the programme on 17th February, so that they can celebrate His Birthday at their respective centres. This applies to accommodation at Hostel D, Hostel C, and any other accommodation at Lower Meherabad. These rules do not apply to accommodation at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Pilgrims desiring to extend their stay at Meher Pilgrim Retreat should send their requests for accommodation to Pilgrim Reservations. As always, reserva tions for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat must be made six weeks in advance. Kindly send us copies of 1958 Sa havas photos if you have any. These photographs may be included in the film for the occasion or displayed during the programme. As there will be time constraints on all three days of the programme, lastminute request for speeches, Bhajans and accommodation will not be entertained. Therefore, you are requested to note the stipulated dates carefully. Jal P. Dastoor, Shridhar Kelkar, Ra mesh Jangale, Organizing Trustees, Avatar Meher Baba Trust V. S. Kaichuri Chairman Avatar Meher Baba Trust

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he internet is a boon for Baba-Lovers concerned about the environment: get timely news from a wealth ofwebsites without the carbon footprint of trees for paper or oil for transportation. Now a beautiful new on-line magazine has joined the cyberspace Baba community OmPoint, an international circular, made its debut in September. Nineteen pages of articles, reviews, announcements and Baba art in a lovely format, with some contributors’ names you may not find fa miliar—new voices heard from! The next issue willbe on the theme ofmental health issues/spirituality To submit work or to subscribe, email Laurent@ompoint.com. There are two links for you to read the newsletter (which is in PDF format): http://www.ompoint.com/download. htm (our web page where we will continue to post issues as we create them) http://www.ompoint.comlOmPoint_Cir cularl.pdf(a direct link to this first issue) You can download it from our OmPoint web site by following eitherlink, and print it out on your side ifyou wish, orjust read it on-line. We are making it primarily electronic to save trees, and postage. We will be sending a few printed copies out to those who can’t reach the internet.

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help our readers familiarize themselves with the many useful features ofthe Trust Website, Trust Talk will from time to time highlight specific content and provide updates on new features, such as the recently added Copyright and Fair Use and FAQon Copyright and Fair Use which are described below: Copyright and Fair Use/FAQ[Fre quently Asked Questions] The Trust occasionally gets letters containing requests for permission to use various works to which the Trust holds copyright. Ifyou are thinking about using excerpts from Baba’s works, photographs or films of Baba, or you are planning to translate Baba’s work into another language, now there is a place where you will most likely be able to find the answer to your copyright questions without having to go through the time-consuming process ofwriting to the Trust. Point your browser to: http://www. ambppct.org/meherbabalcopyright/ Copyrt.pdf. There you will find a Use

and Copyright Statement that explains copyrightlaw in plain, easy-to-understand language. Ifyou have a specific question, e.g., How do I identify the copyright holder? How long does copyright last? What is fair use? Which works are in the public domain? Who holds the copyright to a translation?—these and many other commonly asked questions are answered in the FAQ So before you begin your work, check out the Trust website and find the answers to your copyright questions in a fast, easy way!

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friend (who used to write regularly on the listserve under the pen name of ‘emma camp’) loaned me her October issue ofBon Appetit and said I might want to let the listserve know that Alan Wagner was mentioned in it. For those of us who have not been to India, Alan is the head chef at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. For those who have been, he obviously needs no introduction. The article is titled “My India—Dish by Dish” and is written by Susan Feniger. She mentions Alan by first name only, but notes that he oversees food preparation for an ashram near Ahmednagar and has lived in India for 30 years in a house only three minutes away from the ashram. ‘Emma’ said she knew it was Alan immediately and thought the listserv [and our readers] would be delighted to know that Alan had been highlighted in such a distinguished food publication. Alan’s recipe for Yogurt Braised Chicken is included in the article. So, for your reading and dining pleasure and without any further ado: Bon Appetit October 2007 Issue, the article begins on page 142.

J44elierctbode Listening Library audiophiles! The Meherabode audio libraryhas been upgraded with a new media player that has better sound quality and loads the talks more quickly than the original system that was used. We’ve added more speakers, musicans and poets, too. Tune in to http://www. meherabode.org/library and enjoy a treat! Have a cup of tea listening to Filis one afternoon, then an inspiring talk of Darwin’s. .plus much more!

fjey

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J4lessage from . lugIiie 2 J44ctcDonctld bout 73aba’s ‘13irtIiday P1ays at J4/lelierazad

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have finally finished the Milarepa Play DVD (Feb 25th, 2007), it is edited from multiple cameras and featuring some professional actors and a cast of meteorites. Full of safe Black Magic! It is the story of Milarepa (from Tibet) called Banner of Victory. First done in 1985, now redone on the big stage. Also included are scenes from preparation and makeup before the show and the choir and qawwali perfor mances. Plus the cast and crew list and the original cast and crew (archives!) Available DVDs Babac 100th Birthday Spectacle 1994 (Mani helped create this); ThisMan David ( from the screenplay that Baba commis sioned) 1996; 10 States ofGod (from God Speaks) 2003; Upasni2004; SaiBaba 2005; Leila andMajnun 2006; Miscellaneous fun DVDs: Meherac 100th celebration atMeherazad 2007; Bhau Soap Opera 2006; Christmas 1 991 with Mani Jokes; Meherwan Mer chant Thlk. As before, I make no money on this project. To get one you pay a sliding scale, whatever you can afford. I recommend people pay $20, which includes 1st class postage to USA and most places abroad. You can pay by check, PayPal, or charge card (see below). Special option this year is a “simple” copy,just the DVD in a small plastic case, i.e. without the standard DVD case and color cover. Deduct 7 for this option. No money is made; this project operates at a loss (usually) due to hardware, software, media and tape costs. Any extra money supports the project. Free copies are given to certain places, like Meherazad for the women mandali. When in India I make copies, both VCD and DVDs and sell them at Indian break-even prices Note: You can save on postage if you order several at once (i.e. Milarepa plus one ofthe old ones, orjust old ones, etc). Add some miscellaneous DVDs that are fun to watch—add only an extra $5—since I put these in the same DVD case in the 2nd position. See below for available DVDs. For example, for $25 you get one Milarepa DVB plus one you select from the “fin” section. New this year is a dual DVD,

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Upasni and Sai Baba combined. For $25 you get both DVDs in one DVD case. Yes, of course you can pay more. There is no limit! See below on how any extra money ( rare) is used. To Get One: 1) Send me your mailing address 2) Send money by a) Check or cash b) Pay Pal(personal to personal via themagic beard@gmail.com) c) Credit Card (via PayPal using email address hughbiz@ gmail.com) (c costs me more so I prefer a or b.) I will send without waiting for money. My address is Hugh Macdonald 300 Yale Road Menlo Park, CA 94025 Phone 650-328-6783 Quality: Early plays were shot in Hi-8. Newer ones in DVD. Both are better than VHS tapes they are basically DVD quality but not fully professional. The last one used a pro camera in widescreen format and pro audio. However, as the theater has few theater lights (and little power anyway) the lighting is low level, this makes the image a bit grainy, especially in the earlier plays. Depending on the year, the audio may have the room echo included. The newer ones have audio taken directly off the mixer board and are very clear and clean. Dropped lines or mistakes from the plays have been edited/fixed if possible to keep the story correct. Early plays were shot with only one camera. Later plays have two or more cameras that allow for intercutting to improve visual interest and storyline. Occasionally, a special effect comes from the camera at low light settings or slow motion or from fading between cameras that enhances the feeling. --

cDrvc.D Archive 1roject he Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, in concert with The Oral HistoryArchive Project presents the most comprehensive DVD collection available. The AMBCSC is a non-profit organization. It is sustained solely on financial offerings and volunteer crews. To keep the ember of Meher Baba’s Advent glowing and freshly confident in the archive act ofwork, sacrifice, and service, The Oral History Archive Project Initia tive can only thrive with your donations. To maintain, preserve, and house the thousands ofaudio and video tapes, publi cations, rare manuscripts, and signed print media the AMBCSC & Oral History

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Archive Project actively solicit donations so this Avataric work can continue! As Meheru would comment, “Don’t let Baba do all the work!” The Archival DVD Library Over the years our Los Angeles Baba Center has hosted numerous outstanding guests and speakers whose talks on Meher Baba and aspects of life with Him have been captured on video. These talks, many which date back to the 1980s, have been restored to the best possible condition, preserved in archival format, and are now available to the public on DVD. A list of D’S.TDs is published at http://meherbabaar chives.blogspot.com/ The official archive site is presentlyunder construction. Check out MeherBabaLibrary.com Archival work is a vitally important function for documenting and preserving this Avataric advent of Meher Baba. In order to help find future projects, we ask that you send a donation for each DVD. An entrylevel suggested donation for each oralhistory DVD documentaryis $35.00. We do encourage larger donations from those whose allowances, by His Grace and Compassion, are generously plump. This will keep the archive collective extremely busy producing future DVD documen tary advent flavored releases. The honor system is in place that none of the DVDs from this collection should be copied for distribution to others. And for those, by the Ancient One’s playftilly designed leela, whose allowances are running slim, we will be accommodating. Let us know. We will make a special consideration so that you may enjoy our Ancient One scented DVDs. Please make your check for a donation payable to “AIVIBCSC”. In the message area ofthe check please state ‘for Archives Only’ and send to: Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California Attn: Kanji Miyao, Treasurer 1214 5. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019 Ifyou have further questions, please contact meherbabalibrary@sbcglobal.net

2z1ear Bhau on the Web Every Week! very Sunday at 5 PM local time at Ahmednagar, Bhau speaks to lovers all over the world via the Internet. This is 730 AM in New York, 430 AM in Califor ma, 1230 PM in London. (For other time

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zones, go to timeanddate.com/worldclock/ converter.) Please practice following the instructions when the chat is not in progress. You must have cookies enabled. To view the video stream, just to observe, you need a connection ofat least 148kbps and Windows Media Player. Go to http:// www.ambppct.org/events/bhaulive2007. Speakers ready? Click on “listen to Bhau live” at the right time, and you will see the live image and hear Bhau talking. If you wish to participate, go to wwwjaiBaba. com and look for Featured Areas on the far left; click on “JaiBaba Chat.” Follow the instructions on the Welcome To The Bhau Chats page. [Nickname]: Type a name that you want to be known as (“Jack in Nairobi”). [Text Color]: Choose a color for your messages or leave black, but do not pick blue. (Clicking on “remember settings” will make all this automatic next time.) [Join Chat]: Click and you are in. Click [Refresh] frequently to maintain your presence. To post a message, type in the box beneath [Help] [Refresh Mes sages], then click [Update]. You are wel come to join or leave at any time. Kindly refrain from sending private messages and from unruly behavior. Transcripts are at JaiBaba.com.

2007 L&M13CSC

.2ioliday Y?emembrctnce Dn 13abct: 0UC 7 t 4 1 L/

ofj.ove 3oundcttion

Lynne CjJemj vatar Meher Baba’s life was one of perfect love and service. While celebrating the holiday season, we make time for remembering those who are less fortunate. Being ofservice to others is one way we try to follow Him. This year your AMBCSC Service Committee has chosen as your beneficiary the nonprofit A Touch of Love Founda tion which serves all over the world in a loving and personal way. (See atouchofiove.org.) The Foundation was created by our own Center members, Wayne and Vickie Galler. Touch of Love (TOL) funds a tsunami-affected children’s relief program in Southern India, with a clinic and nursery school, and supports self-help projects in impoverished areas ofGhana and Argentina.

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Close to home, TOL helps nonprofits in Southern California meet the needs of impoverished children in homeless shelters and foster homes. No member ofTOL in the United States has ever been paid for their time or work. Locally, your tax-de ductible dollars will help “Kid’s Corner,” a tutoring project for which TOL provides snacks, school supplies and backpacks. Baba often worked through personal connections. A chain in our Beloved’s love is created when we share from our mdividual connections to Baba, which then flow to Wayne and Vickie’s connections. Links of Baba’s love are created and flow to others in this very personal way. Four ways to give: Drop cash or check to “Touch of Love” into the TOL donation box at the Center. Mail that check to Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Email bookstore@meherabode.org or call 323.730.5281 with credit card data and instructions. Make your donation at the Bookstore. Thank you! Every contribution is very much appreciated. Receipt on request. I am always with you and I am not away from you. I was, am and will remain eternally with you, and it is for promoting this realization that I have severed external contact. This will enable all persons to realize Truth by being bound to each other with internal links. Avatar Meher Baba (LordMeher, p. 4562, last message on His alphabet board)

L7frt3od ay Mohier sent us notification of this delightful Alice Cooper song (never thought I’d say that!) appearing on youtube, courtesy of the ever brilliant Bob Fredericks of Meherabad. The song is My God to which Bob has given us an everchanging selection of photos of our God! http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aWKnkAE54eU

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¶lrogram at Jll4elierabad

12 Step

might seem hard to believe it neces sary, but there is now a 12 step meeting available at Meherabad. Ifyou are in a 12 step program and planning a pilgrimage you can email me in advance and I will be happy to share the details. joe2baba@ excite.com

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There are notices posted at upper and lower Meherabad. My phone # in India is 91- 241-2548919.

Women .Ancient and JlVlodern London r:Daily Sketch April 13, 1932 hii Meher Baba, the “Messiah” sat on a revolving chair in a studio in Kens ington. Mr. EdwardMerrett, the sculptor placed, with infinite exactness, a piece of clay the size of a peanut on the clay bust before him. “Keep it up” he said, “now look up to the roof” The “Messiah” was sitting for his portrait, a rare excursion for this mystic, to whom Gandhi made a pilgrimage and who is still labouring under his seven-year vow of silence. His shockofblackhair stood out from his head like the wings ofan Assyrian God, his sharp, beak-like nose pointed skywards, his clear-cut features in sharp silhouette. Sitting there, but for his flowing white robes and new brogues, he might have been another D’Artagnan. And, without breaking his vow, we were able to carry on a long discussion (by means of his board) on women—ancient and modern. “They say” I began, “thatwoman is a drag on man in his attainment ofdivine grace. All the saints you see...” But the prophet broke in, “Ah, no, woman can play an important part in the development ofdivine grace. She is man’s equal. So long as she is true to herself all will be well. But when once she surrenders to her sur roundings, you understand, the function of marriage falls. It is then you have divorces.” “Then the vow of celibacy which the saints undertook..?” “It is unimportant. Some men marry, others may remain single, but a man is not spiritually more backward because he has married. “A woman by her love can inspire him to know the truth. But she must develop love and not lust. This is the key to happiness.” Andjust then Mr. Merrett tookup a piece of clay again, and once more the “Messiah” looked heavenwards through the skylight.

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The Best OfThe Glow, ed. Naosherwan Anzar, pp. 128-129 © 1984

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2<now Ikfore )3ou9o—’13uç9O!

THELIsT meneTacHD Rainwear(June—Qct.) Coat, gloves, scarf, hat (Nov—Feb.) Jacket,shawlorsweater SuthatasseS,sunsaeHi Theechangeslightwght layerable, conservative clothing Extra socks & undies Pajamas8dightmbotshavd Two pairs comfortable broken-in walking shoes, easy off&on Flashlight, batteries Adapter(220V5A,3large round pins in a triangle) Toilebagtthangomhook Pillowi±rouareparticalar Ear plugs Camera,dustproofcase batteries, film or memory DEETinsectrepellent Toilet paper & tissues Traveltowel,face cloth Diarytape,artsupplies, stationery Anti-infiammatories, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, a few pills to treat diarrhea, strains, heartburn, insomnia, colds Mo1ninien+ 1 Arnica or Traumeel Hand disinfectant, moisturizer

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PILGRIMAGE PLANNER FOR WESTERNERS

PlAN: Money, passport, air reservation, visa, room at MPR. BUDGET: Plan two weeks for about $1500 including US airfare; staying longer costs less than $100/week, so stay longer. PHOTOS from drug store: 2 for passport, 2 for Visa, 2 for MPR. PASSPORT: Valid 6 months past stay. Applications http://travel. state.gov/passport/forms. May take 3-4 months! Send photos, birth certificate, $97 plus mailing.

dates/times, nationality. ON To MEHElBAD: Arrange a safe 6-hour ride with Pathan: pathan13@yahoo.com. tel. 011+91.982.324.7022 or 241.232.5022, meherbabatours.com. CARRY-ON: Documents, books, snacks, amusements, prescriptions, anything non-replaceable. Nothing sharp. Read fine print on ticket for airline rules! BEA”MuLE.” Ask Listserv, PRO & Dma what needs transporting.

Pilgrims are based on Baba’s directives & should be honored at all times. Do not travel alone at night. ( For women this means sunset). Maintain silence in & around the Tomb. No shoes in the Samadhi & some other places; look for signs. Limit contact with local people ( drivers, shopkeepers, tailors, hotel staff, army) to business matters. Do not sell anything to anyone. Do not cash money with anyone. Ignore beggars & people shouting “Jai Baba” or asking your FLIGHTS: ,r_ HLTHTJPs:Rllprescrptions to last beyondarrivalhcime; 1 name. Do not approach, Seek cheap charter flights in keep in carry-on. No ‘shota. “Mostpeaple ‘who take cholera vaccine feed or touch animals. Lock valuables in Registration publications at get no benftt but suffer side cifficts! (Toprevent cholera, eat in Office or an MPR closet or Asian groceries the MPR or the B7 or ‘boilit, cook i6peel it orforget it. ‘) Daily leave home. Do not leave or via agents garlic andRifOr t’wo weeks before departure. and after arriving. belongings unattended. specializing in mayprevent mosquito bites; use DEETrepellen% tuck mosquito Use auto-rickshaw fixed India; web search netting arc’undbeeL Pay attention to drinking water; disinfict I rates. Do not tip. Do not “cheap flight to hands often. Check health insurance. Consider travel insurance. photograph military sites or Mumbai.” Bad Allow time afteryouget home to readjust, Ifnot welI dontgo! equipment or enter military connections may areas. Unmarried couples do mean empty seats not share a room in a hotel (stretch out); WeAR a Baba button. or elsewhere. Do not hold hands, mileage upgrade to first class lie-flat Lewre AT HOME: shorts, low kiss, embrace or express affection seat? Refuel in favorite city: make necklines, tight or sheer garments, in public. Anyone not entirely free 24-hour layover to break trip. 20 to valuables, cell phones, worries. of illicit substances will not be 30 hours flying. IN AHMEDNAGAR: Meher accommodated. Ifyou normally take VISA: http://www.travisa.com/ Compound, Trust, Meher Baba a prescription here, take it there, Instructions/indiainst.htm, fee, Centre (devotional music Saturday especially psychiatric! Don’t pocket application, passport, air reservations. evenings), Meher Nazar Books, chunks of Seclusion Hill, soon to be $65 for six months, $155 for ten shopping, restaurants. called Seclusion Pit. When you leave years. Allow 2 weeks minimum. IN MEHEuBAD & Meherabad, go straight home. TIME: New York 6 AM is 4:30 PM Seclusion Hill is eroding; use care. CULTURE SHOCK: Greeting—fold in Meherabad. 9 PM in LA is 10:30 Baba’s Room; Blue Bus; Jhopdi, hands & tilt head forward: Namaste. AM there. Rahuri Cabin, Cage Room, Table Many Indians are vegetarian & do JET LAG: Wake one hour at a House for meditation & prayer. not drink alcohol. Women dress time closer to India time over weeks Baba’s bicycle in the museum; tour modestly, even on beaches. Rapidly before arrival. Extra rest, extra water, archives. Sit in the Samadhi. History growing educated classes speak alcohol/caffeine on the flight to stay tour. Jam sessions, volleyball games, English. You will see extreme poverty. on that schedule. walking trails, gardens &verandahs, Most toilets require you to squat. Be MPR: No kids under 7. Six weeks library. Volunteer opportunities. prepared to enjoy sensory overload. before arrival request reservations Master technique for washing AmuvAL IN MEHEuBAD: Register for up to one week, then as available. laundry, hair, body with two buckets at the Pilgrim Office, hit the white (Note holidays.) Pilgrim Reservation ofwater. Motor rickshaw to bazaar rock trail, pay respects at the Tomb: Office: pimco@ambppct.org or or Meher Tailor. At Meher Darbar phone 91.241.254.8733. Cite: phone calls to US are Rs. 8/minute; home address, phone, short personal check your email. Eat ice cream at introduction, names, birthdates, The Blue Tank (BT) Café. gender, exact arrival & departure WuT NoT TO Do: Rules for

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knife, nail clipper Sniitaiysupplieshavinear Travel alarm, iPod Shamooosoandeodomnt dental gear, fol-wraped wipes Contactlenslàtsnaresnea Copiesofprescriptions Supplements Herbalteaorinstantcoffee Sandwich-sizezipbags

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Snacks,raisinsortrailmix Dust mask Pegs,soappiarkeifoiiauridiy Iihoukinbag(mentoo) Books,toys,gamesforkids Col1ala3uffldDagmpty Instrumentorsheetmusic Wholpicmsiakeanicfl Childierfrlothing&tr 1

M)elcome home!

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Hot and Dry j{,

Rickshaws, laundiy, inteinet, gfls, garlands, snacks, tours, incidentals: $5-JO/day? Can Ifind a travel buddy on the Listserv or invite afriend?

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Book car and driver Mumbai to Meherabad (Pathan)

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40 Rupees craicrslist.com Mail, pets, house, plants, yard arranfeenents

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Firm up mule duty 3-4W/eks: Applyfor Visa

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Sarnadhi openfrom 6:30AM to 8 PM wjth 4 Arti at 7:OOAiw &PM. Meherazad bus on Tuesday, Thursday &Sunday.

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Warm and Dry

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Check Trust and Welcome Home websites Pack bags, stop Check cisdit cards mail, pay bills for exchange rates &ATMfees; buy travelers checks

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Break journey in Paris?

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1ctssings: Lives Lived in 2 1is Love 5karon JRuth

Wiseman

March 2, 1958 July 23, 2007 -

Sky Wiseman,

ForHe has the ability the Divine right to invade her soul and see Himsef in the recesses in actions inpromise in prayer in remembrance and in song.

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his afternoon, my beloved wife Sharon, whom all knew as “Shar” ( pron. Share) passed away peacefully in New Bern, North Carolina. She had numerous complications re sulting from gastrointestinal problems and a complete loss ofcirculation in her legs. She battled hard for more than 48 hours before passing away at 3:45 pm eastern time. She was focused on Beloved Avatar Meher Baba silently repeating His name at her last breath. Shar was the faithffil listserv quotewalli for some ten years, intuitively gleaning the Baba literature forjust the right daily quote for the listserv and the website ava tarmeherbaba.org. She was a beautiftil poet and painter, blossoming in her creativity after coming into Beloved Baba’s orbit in 1995. She wrote numerous articles and reviews for the Love Street LampPost and Glow International magazines. She was very quiet and unassuming. She was an inspiration to all, and for me, her husband, the most caring, sweet, kind, loving person I have ever met. She was a fantastic Mom to my daughters Michelle and Katie, as well as her menagerie ofdogs, cats, turtles, birds and rabbits. She was a great sister to her four older brothers, and her mother and father loved her dearly. How blessed Shar and I have been to spend 12 loving years together as husband and wife, growing in love for each other and Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. How deeply grateful I am to Baba for allowing me to be a partner to such a special soul. She is soaring with the Beloved now, and I am so happy for her. I must find a way to move forward day by day to rebuild a life that has been so deeply connected in everywaywith Shar’s life, and our love for each other and Beloved Baba. By Beloved

It is in thatplace where He longsfor her return. It is in thatplace where He waits by the edge ofa shimmeringpool ofblue for the Rendezvous ofthe ages and her imminent drowning. Painting byTricia Migdoll

Baba’s Grace I will do my best to honor and cherish this precious love. I pray that He allows me to reunite with her in Him in His own time. All my thanks to our Baba family and friends, and the kind citizens of Oriental, North Carolina for the outpouring of love they have showered on Shar and I. And also to the staff of Craven Regional Medical Center for their compassion and valiant attempts to keep Shar with us. We are forever grateful. (Onjuly 27th Shar was buried at Southeastern Memorial Gardens in Myrtle Beach, very near the Center and other Baba lovers: Darwin, Jean and Leatrice Shaw, Filis Frederick, Virginia and Rafael Rudd,John Bass and others. May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, Highest ofthe High, be praised! Jai Meher Baba!)

Awaiting The Rendezvous Shar Wiseman Although her eyes appear to be green orhazel, oreven chestnut Only by Him is the hue ofSky blue Truly witnessed

ATime to Rise in Love [Originally published in The Glow International. Used by permission.] Shar Wiseman took the ultimate step —she decided to reach out to the Beloved. This is her incredible story ofcourage and conviction. th July 12 1995.

he room is dark, save the glow from the computer screen and a small brass lamp on the table.The office door is locked from the inside, an attempt to lock out the terror I feel in my heart. The surroundings resemble a dungeon, boxes stacked high on every side, but you can still see the teddy bear border I put on the pegboard on the wall, dressed up with some pink ribbons, made years ago in a more innocent time. The boxes contain fragments ofa happier life, things I can’t bring myself to throw away, I hold on to them like I hold on to the dream of escape. This is where I live, where I work, where I cry. I hear someone entering the front door, and my heart sinks. His dinner is on the counter, his lunch is already made for the next day, there is no reason to leave the safety of my little room. Later that night, I hear footsteps in the hallway, and my body shakes in terror. The footsteps pass

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my door, and I hear the bedroom door shut. He has gone to bed. This was a lucky day. A feeling ofrelieffloods through me, the hours oftension and dread are over, if only for a little while. Like his friend told me recently, he is a time bomb waiting to go off. The friend has no idea how many times that time bomb has aireadygone off, and how the drone ofits ticking pounds in my head every minute of my life. I can’t adequately explain the loneli ness and terror and shame of living with an abusive man. The verbal assaults are dehumanizing, the disgust you are greeted with in everything you try to do, the guilt you feel in your inadequacy to make the marriage work, the terror of setting him offinto a rage. And it is allyour fault! You know this because you have been told so many times. You go to great lengths to hide it. No one knows but you, and even the knowledge within yourself is hidden. In my little sanctuary of an office, in an attempt to dissuade the loneliness, I sign onto America Online on the computer. A network ofpeople, converging in a single space through telegraph lines, seems to alleviate the suffering for a while. In an empty dark room, I have the illusion of being surrounded by people—safe people. Some of these people send me messages, trying to get me to talk to them. They don’t realize that each message I get helps me to feel secure, even if I don’t respond. Several ofthese messages come and go and I’m not alone. The room is filled with nice people saying hello. And that is enough. Just knowing they are there. A new message flashes on the screen, no different from the rest, but for some unknown reason I am compelled to answer. The message says simply “Hello from Montana.” Mustering up some courage I came up with a remarkably creative reply; “Hello,” I typed. The message is from Sky. We talk—type—to each other for eight hours that night. He tells me about Meher Baba. It is difficult to explain the transformation that is occurring as I listen to Sky. It is like being in a deep dark pit, and seeing a light way off in the distance, drawing nearer and nearer. As morning breaks into sunlight, and we talk into the day, the time comes for us to say goodbye. We plan to meet again that night, but I fear when the connection ends, and the computer screen goes dark, I will be back in that pit again. Instead, after saying goodbye, I lean back in my chair and close my eyes, and my body 24

is filled with an incredible warmth and love that I have never experienced before. I feel someone touch my face as ifmy chin is being held lovingly in someone’s hand. Now, this is more than a little spooky! The room is empty The house is empty I am convinced that Sky has magical powers. I’m not going to say anything to him about it though. If I am wrong, it might scare him away. That night, we meet (on the keyboard) at the scheduled place and time. I can hardly believe that he is there. I thought this might have all been a dream. And besides, it’s a little scary too, because I’ve never known anyone that could reach out through a computer screen and touch your face—this is one powerftui dude, and I’m not sure what else he might be capable of! This goes on for a couple more nights, but that face thing is nagging at me. I know that he knows that he did it, and he isn’t bringing it up. Finally, on our third computer meeting, I bring it up. “Sky, do you remember the first night we were talking and when we said goodbye? Did you touch my face that night?” “Someone touched your face?” he asks. “Yes, someone held my chin, so gently in their hands. Was that you?” Nonchalantly, he says, “Oh no, that wasn’t me. That was Baba.” I didn’t expect that! It takes a few moments for it to sink in. It was Meher Baba. I had been touched by the Master? The God-Man that I had heard so much about over the past few nights?! That was all it took. I decided I was leaving Southern California. But how? I have no money, a broken car, a violent, vindictive husband and seven animals. I can’t leave the animals. They won’t be safe if I leave. How can I ever get out of here? I am still in a dangerous situation, but I don’t seem to mind anymore. A force that is greater than anything I could have imagined is propelling me. The next night, while Sky and I are talking, I fall asleep—nothing to do with the conversa tion, just utter exhaustion. I’m typing on the keyboard, and all ofa sudden my head crashes down on top of it with full force. My forehead is bleeding, and there is now a scar between my eyebrows. Little did I know this was Meher Baba’s work, again. The next day, I receive a credit card in the mail, in my name. It seemingly appears out of thin air. I promptly call the airline and make a reservation on the flight to Billings, Montana that Tuesday, just six days after hearing about Meher Baba. Love was drawing me there. I tell the

airlines about the animals, and they tell me I will need to get health certificates for the dogs to be allowed on the flight. It is Monday evening, and the veterinarian’s office is closed. I call around and find a veterinarian a distance away, who is open all night and is licensed to issue health certificates. Making a hurried excuse to get out ofthe house, I pack the dogs in the car and we head south to find the vet. I promptly getlost.This area of Orange County is very dark and I have no idea where I am. I pull off the freeway into a business district. Being way after regular business hours, the entire area is dark and deserted.There is not a gas station in sight. Nothing but warehouses. I drive around for a while and then give up and try to find the freeway on-ramp. All I see is more warehouses. I break down in tears, out of sheer frustration. Just then, I spot a cross on top of one of the warehouses. I drive over that way, and I see the door is part way open. What in the world is a church doing in the centre ofall these warehouses? I park the car and slowly open the door. Inside, there is a man sitting on some steps, playing a guitar. He is very nice, and he tells me how to get back on the freeway and on to the veterinarian’s office. I thank him, go back out to the car and drive away. It wouldn’t surprise me if I went back to the same spot, there would be nothing there but a deserted warehouse. With the animals approved for flight, I head back to the house. This will be the last night I spend there. Meher Baba is bringing me to Montana to be with Him and Sky. While Sky and I talk over the computer that last night, a tremendous lightning storm hits Montana and Sky has to sign offthe computer. Lightning storms are normal occurrences in Montana, but not Southern California. About an hour later, Southern Califor ma is hit with the most amazing lightning storm—the first I have ever seen and I have lived here all my life! I stand outside in the yard and stare up at the sky for hours as Meher Baba plays in the sky It seems to be a seal of approval on the pact Sky and I have made and the plans for me to leave here. Meher Baba is linking our hearts together in His love. The next morning is the big day. I sneak out of the house early, before the sun comes up, with the animals packed into the car, the turtles in a basket with a lid, and everything else that would fit into the car.


c244 when inspiid with:lovt; kads to higher realms Love art, and thà,t art wiiiopen for you tjw inner life When you paint, ioi forget everything except your object WIwn I you are so much engrossed jfl jt yo are lost in itiand : : when you are lost in it, your ego dirninishes, love infinite appears; and when love is created, 9od is attamed. So you see how art :

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Shar in India

I have to nurse the car all the way to the airport, stopping at various gas stations and adding oil, praying to Meher Baba that it will get me to the airport in one piece. It sputters and diesjust as I pull into the parking space in the lot. I am running late due to all the gas station stops, and I run into the airport and grab a skycap to help me get to the ticket booth. Much of my belongings are just thrown into the car haphazardly, and the skycap rounds up some boxes and helps me pack things while I run to the ticket agent window. If I miss the plane, and my husband wakes up and finds me and the animals gone, he may put two and two together, and figure out that I have left. That would really be dangerous. I explain this all to the ticket agent, and she is sympathetic to my plight. She calls the pilot and they hold the plane. The dogs are packed into Sky Kennels and everything is sent on an express cart to the plane. I run to the gate, and am ushered onto the plane. It taxies to the runway as I take my seat. th, The plane lands in Montana,July 18 six days after Sky and I started ‘talking’. I cannot believe the beauty before my eyes. This is the most magical place I have ever seen. I find out later that Billings is nicknamed “The Magic City”. How very appropriate. I walk into the terminal to find Sk not knowing what he looks like. I had sent him a picture ofme, and he had received it that morning. But I have no idea what he looks like. It is no problem at all finding him. He is the one with Meher Baba’s Love in his eyes. I know him instantly. We walk to each other, and

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infinite: ,:.:Bod.

Meher ]3aba

embrace. I am home. With Sky driving me to his house, The White Horse Bungalow, I fall in love with the quiet country road that leads us there. The mountains and rim rocks of Montana are breathtaking, and the sky looks like something out of a dream. When we get to his house, Sky shows me a video of Meher Baba. The graceful movements of Baba captivate me. The movie switches over to a darshan programme, and as each lover approaches Baba, I see Him reach out and hold their face lovingly in His hands. The same feeling envelops me that I experienced only days before. My Beloved had brought me home. Later that night, I am haying trouble sleeping. Thinking of Meher Baba and Sky—the two of them literally rescuing me, and finally being safe for the first time in eight years, is more than I can handle. I get up and decide to look through Sky’s library. He has literally thousands of books, and I pick one at random. I crawl under the dining room table with a flashlight and begin reading. In the meantime, Sky discovers that I am missing and thinks that this has all been too much and that I have decided to leave. He finds me under the table, and quite perplexed asks me

what I am doing under there. I really have no idea why I am reading a book under a table. I have never done this before. He asks me what book I am reading, and I look at the cover. It says God Speaks. Everything I read that night I understood with perfect clarity I have not been able to understand a word ofit since, however. The significance ofbeing under the table reading that book never occurred to us until our trip to India together, three years later. Meher Baba had written parts of this book in the Table House. The day after arriving in Montana, I meet with a lawyer and file for divorce. I rent a house on the South side of Billings, and name it Meher’s Menagerie, for all the animals that Meher Baba has safely brought to Montana with me. Sky and I begin planning our wedding. We hope to th, get married on Friday, October 27 1995, and have made arrangements with a little chapel up in Red Lodge, Montana. The only problem is my ex-husband is refusing to sign the divorce papers, and holding up the finalization process.Then on Thursday night, we receive a phone call from the lawyer. Meher Baba has turned the key. The divorce papers are signed, and we can pick them up and file them first thing in the morning. At 9AM we head downtown and take care ofthe divorce, and by 2 PM we are in Red Lodge, being married in a ceremony designed with Love by our Beloved Baba. Our hearts are joined as one, in Love for each other, and our Lord Meher, in a love story written by the Divine Matchmaker Himself. And they sayMeher Baba doesn’t perform miracles! Since laying eyes on our Beloved’s pictures five years ago, I began at once sketching drawings of Meher Baba, but had no art training whatsoever. Less than a year ago, I began taking watercolor classes at Montana State University Meher Baba says, “Art, when inspired with love, leads to higher realms. Love art, and that art will open for you the inner life. When you paint, you forget everything except your object. When you are so much engrossed in it, you are lost in it; and when you are lost in it, your ego diminishes, love infinite appears; and when love is created, God is attained. So you see how art can lead one to find infinite God.” I am so grateful to Beloved Baba for finding me, and for showing me what life can be like. I live every day with the joy ofHis Love overflowing in my heart, and 25


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Sky and Shar in Meherabad

each sunrise brings with it the radiance of His compassion. Thank You, Beloved Baba, for the gift ofYour Love.

Remembrances from the Baba List Serv Beth Glasser, Virginia Shar and I met for the first time in a French restaurant in Fredericksburg. She and Skyhadjust moved there and Mariah Robinson, for whom I work, met with us and took us all out to dinner. The food was great, Fredericksburg was a new experience for me, and Sky and Shar were delightflu. It was a fhn evening and it began my friendship with Shar. I had the pleasure of Shar’s company many more times. When Etzion came to stay with her and Sky, and also at King’s Dominion with her adventuresome and tireless stepdaughters, who went on rides that were too scary for me, but not for Shar! She visited often, stayed for afternoon tea, came for dinner and spent the night a few times. I got to know her even better during those visits. Shar was totally engrossed in Meher Baba and it seemed to me that every aspect ofher being reflected her deep and abiding belief that her life was worthwhile mainly because her connectedness to Meher Baba made it so. I read the Meher Baba List serve almost daily but I never post. But I really wanted to write the list serve because of Shar, and all the time and effort she put into the list serve. I really liked her a lot. She was vibrant and often playftully childlike. I had the thought that she was one of those rare women who would never tire, never grow old. I had spoken with her by telephone just a few weeks ago and that recent physical contact made her death even more shocking. She and I had shared a deep love for animals and, when she lived in Fred26

ericksburg, I visited her and was introduced to every member of her amazing menagerie of household pets. I will never forget the turtles in the bathtub! She was a sensitive and tenderhearted caretaker, as Sky said. She was soft-spoken, undemanding, generous and protective ofthose she loved. And she had a great sense of humor! Someone posted that her quotes were unvaryingly fine and uncannily timely. I found this to be true also and I always felt that it was because her connection to Meher Baba was what she relied on, when choos ing what she would post each day. She wanted to be Meher Baba’s instrument on the list serve and tried to keep ego and vanity out of the things she posted. Her posts were something I looked forward to daily. I will miss them and I will miss her. My condolences to Sky and his family and to all who loved her.

Etzion Becker Israel Shar did most important work for the Beloved by keeping His Window of presentation for the world [the Meher Baba List serv] clean and respectful. I have watched over this for a long time, supporting her and Eric [Solibakke] with this often ungrateful, tedious work, ofbringing some ofus in this communitybackto their senses. Those who participated in the old, unmoderated list, remember well the insane times, of no respect or emotional control from various ones, who deem freedom as some kind of free-for-all, where they can lash their tongues as they please. Freedom with the Avatar and the Perfect Master is Control, Control, and Control, and those who don’t understand this, waste their life span. Sharon did a very good job in this respect, and her work helped greatly to shape, at last, this window of presentation of the Baba community to the world, as a sound, respectful arena. I trust it will stay like this, and I hope others will step in and help Eric. It is another wonderful op portunity of serving the Beloved. And those who do their best to serve their Beloved, will have more opportunities of serving Him, which is its own reward. So, I think we can envy her lot.

Dick Noe, Virginia I had the great good fortune of spending two extended periods of time with Shar and Sky in Meherabad at Meher-Raj Cottage in 2005 and 06. Shar, I believe you are truly one ofBaba’s beautifulpeople and hope you are with Him embraced in His love. Sky is right when he says you were quiet and unassuming. This is Meher Baba’s beauty shining through. I will miss you. I feel fortunate to have known you this time with Baba and hope to see you when we meet again.

Ioe Stewart, New York Dearest Shar, How fortunate you are to be in the arms of your Beloved. I will sorely miss your urgent emails and phone calls when the Listserv mail was delayed. You provided inspirational quotes perfectly selected for each occasion, keeping us fo cused on Baba. Baba’s Shar! I remember well how Baba orchestrated the coming together ofyou and Sky It is a beautiful love story. Thank you for the wonderful years of service you provided. Sky, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thankyou for sharing beautiftul Shar with us all. Some lucky young Baba couple will be blessed to have her born into their life-in a while!

Dhonna andKen Neunzig, New York Dear Sky My heart goes out to you brother in this time of transition, Your lovely Shar was such a gift from Baba to the Baba community. As Dhonna and I had the opportunity to get to know you both over the last few years, I hope you won’t mind me sharing some memories of her. Can it be only 3 months ago we greeted her on her return from her more than six months in India at your charming Oriental, NC home; never dreaming it would be our


last meeting. As couples we had somewhat parallel stories, both you and I with two daughters each, meeting our destined life partners later in life 12 years ago, both Dhonna and Shar coming to Baba via our relationships with them, and both women, sterling examples ofreal love to us. I remember when first meeting Shar at a Northeast Meher Baba Gathering she had driven up from Virginia to attend, her quiet nature apparent from the first. Then meeting you both injanuary 2004, stopping at your house where Shar provided such a lovely brunch. I still remember it. It was then Dhonna and I first met your so loved menagerie and saw Sha?s beautiftul Baba inspired art. Then a year later we shared a house in India for a month or so, and I began to ap preciate Shar’s loving nature more deeply and saw how quietly dedicated she was to the Baba online community and the far greater time and effort than was appar ent to readers she put into it, for instance biking to the Darbar with her computer so often. It was then too I sensed her health was not always the best though she never complained, or even spoke of it. As manywill remember after Dhonna’s heart surgery in Dec. of 2005, you both shared your home with us, it serving as a warm Baba filled retreat for us to recuperate, before you two again soaked up the divine presence at Meherabad. Again this past winter we were privileged to care for your Baba heart and art filled new home and pets in Oriental, allowing us to spend some wonderful times at

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Welcome to my World by Shar

the Meher Center, I only wish we had had more time with the two of you! How multi-tal ented Shar was this life, in her art, her unique portraits of Meher Baba, and writings. It seems clear, though com ing to Baba relatively recently her connec tion to Meher Baba, and love for Him was Shar and her painting “The Kaliyuga Cowboy” not new. You know Sky, what a gem Shar was, and how in this Baba group was ever present and she quietly gave so much to this online evident. I instantly felt love for her. Truly group despite sometime public and, more she will be missed. Feeling her watching us often than I imagine we know, private now. Jai Meher Baba, Always in His love. harassment from some (misinformed, misguided?) souls. A Dream ofBaba Remembering Shar now I am just Sharon Wiseman recaffing, years ago when she seemed mo I’ve been going to sleep listening to mentarily frustrated with the load of her Raine’s CD Mehera: The Divine Remem Baba list work, saying to her something berer for the past week. Last night I had like “You know you don’t have to do this a dream: the rest ofyour life” whereupon she gave I was a child, in a room with a group me the strangest very intense look. It is of other children. We were making a paonly now I am grasping that look, and the per crown for Baba, and coloring it with level ofher commitment and deep feeling crayons. hung strings from the points We for that Baba service. Perhaps she knew on the crown where we placed the symbols in some way, that yes, in fact, she did not of all the religions of the world. “have to”, but in her love and desire to Baba was seated on a golden throne, serve Baba, did wish to do this Baba work beautiftil a inlaid golden throne with an for the rest ofher life. Although Baba tried emerald green cushion, high back to it, and tested her in many ways, I’d say she scrolled and etched, beautiful. so Baba was passed with flying colors. So it seems to dressed in His flowing white sadra, but the me as I believe Eruch would say, she has brilliancy of the white was breathtaking. won the race! He was about the age He is in the painting You know, not knowing Shar was ill, I in the Samadhi. had the urge to call and see how you were We finished the crown, and presented it both doing just a day or so ago and I am to Beloved Baba. We all waltzed into the both tearful and yet happy, to feel that in forest He was seated. He allowed us where going to Baba a little of the bliss Shar is to place it on His dear head. He lowered now in, touched me and brought her to His head that so we could reach it. He my thoughts. was happy with so the crown. He raised I can not neglect to mention Shar’s His head, and wiggle-waggled it, and the lovely style, sweet voice, gentle laugh and symbolsjostled around as He You moved. smile. We shall remember and be inspired wouldn’t believe that smile on His face! by her Sky; and share in your great loss. We all began dancing around Him on Eve Haslam His gold and emerald chair, in a circle. Dearest Sky, I am so sorry. I did not Birds circled around Him too, as we danced. It was a full moon. His eyes were have the honor ofknowing Shar. But when so bright and happy. The chair and the I joined this group, [the Baba list serv] I crown glistened in the moonlight. We had exchanged many offline emails with her and found her to be very loving and were all carrying flowers, like little forest nymphs, dropping the petals as we danced deliberate. Her attention to details and her around Him. compassion rnjust how much she invested 27


When I awoke, this song was still playrng in my head from the night before:

we bear the thunder of His Name all around and thepower ofGod is unfrrled

Th the Glory ofLove Now we are out in the open in the strong unshaded Sun. The wings ofgoodfortuneprotect us for the love ofour Beloved One ...(chorus)

Lyrics by Mani: Th theglory ofLove, to theglory ofLove let allhearts sing to theglory ofLove. To theglory ofLove letailbearts sing Happy Birthday Mehera, Queen of Meher King. Gentle breath ofHis mercy, song ofHis Silencepure, beat ofHis universal Heart help us to love Him more, ever more... (chorus) To reflect, dear Mehera, your supremejoy we learnfrom theflowers and trees, andfrom the birds in your Meherazadgarden who sing with every breeze. --“-.

Today we celebrateyour ecstasy bornfrom Separationcpain Beloved and beloved now are one —Earths immeasurable gain! Wildflowers we saw like carpets unrolled when your Reunion gftpoured down; Rain-streams danced round Seclusion Hill with Nature in emeraldgreen gown... (chorus)

Bless us sweet Mehera, that we be with Him Every step ofour remaining way. In all that we do andsay and think may we remember Him night and day.

Because Love sublime was made complete when He welcomedyou to His world, .

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The Day I Realized ThatJesus Was Also God In Human Form Sharon Wiseman

astoday—December 15, 2001 ‘!

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5 a child, I had no connection with Jesus. I never felt the closeness of that previous Avatar, no heart connection whatsoever. I gave up, way back then, until Baba found me six and a halfyears ago. From that day, when Baba came into mylife, Ijust took His word for it, that Jesus was also God. Today, Iwalked into the National Gallery ofArt, in Washington, DC. I hadn’t been in a museum ofthis caliber for probably 20 years.There was an ex hibit—Women ofTruth—paintings of beautifuiwomen in the 17th and 18th centuries, I walked the ground fioor saw some paintings, drawings, noth ing that really impressed me much. I walked back to the desk, and asked if there was a map ofthe museum. Yes, there was, and the Women of Truth were on the Main Floor. I found the elevator and took it. Quite an ancient elevator it was. I found the Women ofTruth, and then... I walked into heaven itself There were paintings ofBaba asJe sus in these small, intimate rooms that snaked around into each other. I just

followed my feet and my heart, and wove through them all—l3th to 15th century Italian paintings ofour Lord—15 galler ies of them! Then 16th century Italian and Spanish, then 17th and 18th century Italian, Spanish and French... then 15th to 16th centuryDutch and German. Each room brought a new delight. Before I even got through the Italian section, I broke down into tears. I said out loud, “Oh my God..Baba is Jesus!” Just then my cell phone rang. It was Sky, calling from hisjob at USAID. I was supposed to meet him at his office, but the museum captivated me. I answered the phone in deep guttural sobs. The kind gentleman (security) who works in that Italian room came over and asked ifl was all right. I could only squeak out, “He is so beautiful,” The kind man said, “If you need any assistance, pleasejust let me know.” I told Sky I thought that I probably shouldn’t talk in that room. It seemed so sacred, more than like talking in a library...this was like talking in the Samadhi. Sky said he would meet me there, at the museum. What time did it close?

My battery was mnning low and I had to let Sky know where ix meet me, but it took me 20 minutes to find the exit, and by the time I got outside, Sky had left work. I ran back inside the museum, and tried to find the same room. I found a man, and asked him where the Icon paintings were. He asked, “You mean the oldestpaintings ofHim?”When he said that...this is hard to explain,but he said “Him” with a capital “H”. I said, “Yes, the paintings of ; Him.” He directed me back to my little room.. .the museum closed in 10 minutes. I got back up there, and my heartjust ached to stay forever. Forever gazing at His face. On the way out, I saw the kind man again...he smiled so knowingly, I don’t think that many people break down in that room, but this man knew. He knew the depth ofmy understanding, I could feel it. Our hearts crossed and his eyes spoke volumes. We both knew that was Go&s room.

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Tern Zee, Texas Shar and I corresponded a few times and truly linked with each other in the fact that we were both ‘in love’ with Baba. With Baba somehow there is no jealousy when one finds another who is ‘in love’ with Him. She was traveling to India on one oc casion and I asked her to take my name in the Samadhi. Not only did she follow my wishes, but she ordered flowers and placed them ‘from me’ to Him during a visit to the Samadhi. I received a telegram from Meherabad saying they had been placed in my name! Yet we had never met! The telegram is one ofmy most treasured items. She posted a couple of stories, one of them mine, from The Heart Chronicles just a week before she passed. We cor responded. And a week later I read that she had passed. Truly a jewel, dropped in the ocean.

In Memoriam Sharon Wiseman by Michael Mathias Poet ofthe Fire Every day I have tea with your words Every day you throw open The Window of God. You take this Poet with you every Amartithi The scents and luminosities of Meherazad Stun me with Baba’s New Life The Eleven dimensions of Space and Time. Now join me, 0 Swan of God, And give this Poet, to sip Your new tea of infinity Not only on Baba Honeymoons But every moment of my daily life Sharon Wiseman You are the wisest skyman, the wise Voice Rising forever within me To reveal the window of God.

A Letter to Sky Wallis Meadows, North Carolina There are no words to tell you how my heart aches for you, while at the same time rejoices that Shar is free. I had looked forward for a year to meeting both of you since you moved to this part of the

world. It felt like a real Baba blessing that someone who loved Baba so much was in this part of the state. The only problem was that we never knew where you two were at any given time. When Shar wrote of the events in India, I thought that she was there all the time. I wanted her to be here long enough to meet her, because she has been so seemingly close in personal notes and in the reports from India. Just three weeks ago she subscribed me to Baba Quotes and Tavern-Talk when I kept seerng references to those sites on this list. And in personal exchanges between us on the computer, she seemed like a friend I just had not seen in a long time, one I looked forward eagerly to meeting again. Shar was a constant, like a beacon of light on this list and in the Love Street LampPost to keep us informed and excited, and constantly reminded of Baba’s love and companionship in our lives. Her words, her enthusiasm, her clarity in describing the life at Meherabad kept me always delighted to see her name at the top of an article or on the header of any message. Like all of us, I have experienced the passing of a deeply loved family member. There is always the sorrow that that one will not be near and seen again this lifetime, and for many fortunate ones, the realization that though that form is ‘gone’ for the time being, the love and joy of having that one for the time allotted was completed so perfectly that the absence of that one seldom brings pain, but immense gratitude. I have followed the story ofhow you and Shar became a couple in love and in Baba from the first time it was written. That story alone is worth our attention and admiration, but then it was followed by such a blossoming of consciousness that spread to all the Baba community privileged to know ofyou two. Besides the personal storywe have been blessed to share from you and Shar, the story ofyour devotion to Baba has had an enormous impact on me, and I dare say hundreds of other people who have read and seen it. Your lives together have been an influence the like ofwhich you probably never imagined. That’s not what you were concentrating upon; you were concentrat ing upon and sharing Baba. That sharing has enriched the lives of many of us who were influenced toward looking for Baba everywhere, as you did. The details of the daily, small working out of Baba’s mercy in your life and Shar’s, brought hope and happiness in the reading and discussion

they generated. Personally, I have felt blessed to have had access to the many written accounts that you and Shar have given us. In the last few days I have thought of you constantly, thinking of the beauty of Shar being laid to rest near the Center, thinking ofyour daughters having the support ofthe people at the Center, thinking of how you are feeling, thinking of the stunning news of Shar’s passing when I thought she would be part of the Baba list for years and years, thinking of the magnificent courage you have shown by sharing with us the happenings ofthe last week, and the generosity of your posting Shar’s poems. This is the only way I know of now to express my gratitude to you, and my concern for you in what is a most difficult passage. Gratitude because you share with us so openly the wonderful poems Shar wrote, concern because I know how hard it is to remain centered while all this is so new. I can honestly tell you that, though I have not had the pleasure of meeting either ofyou in this lifetime, knowing you through writing and reading I consider one of the greatest blessings of my life. Please know that I send my heartfelt love and understanding. I will keep you in my heart, and in my prayers to Baba for your well being. Thank you for all you have done and shared with the Baba com munity. It’s amazing how much I will miss Shar and all she gave us, and I never even got to meet her. Please don’t let us miss you. Keep on keeping on. Baba is there every step of the way. He promised.

Thank Youfrom Sky Jai Beloved Baba to all... I want to thank everyone everywhere for so many loving messages and remem brances of Baba’s dear Shar. I am trying to answer so many hundreds of heart warming emails pouring out love for Shar and helping me in this time ofmissing her physical presence so much. It will take a little time for me to answer you all, but please know how deeply your heartfelt words are appreciated. If somehow I miss you, please know that your kindness is very much appreciated. There are no words... Yesterday we laid dear Shar’s sweet form to rest very near His Meher Center. These were very lovely and poignant mo ments with Baba, Shar, me and my daugh ters Michelle and Katie. My daughters 29


and rainstorms and snowstorms at poignant moments of our life with Him. I watched the Rainbow all the way back to the Center path where it faded slowlywith the sunlight beneath the white foam ofHis Sea. He is Infinitely Compassionate.

A Nightfor Remembering Shar Brian Darnell,

Sky and Shar

are staying on the Center for the Youth Sahavas and how compassionate Baba is that they were here in Myrtle Beach from Washington State. They have been embraced by the Baba youth ofthe world. Katie even brought her two best friends from Spokane with her to the Sahavas, introducing them to the Beloved, so she had their love as well. While this gathering was taking place I went to the gateway to get a phone number of a friend. When I entered the caretaker said, “You can go on Center.” I said, “Really?” Because with the Youth Sahavas ongoing, visiting times are quite limited right now and there is no evening visiting. But there was a note at the desk saying if Sky wants to go on Center he may do so. Wow! So I said, yes, I think I’ll drive to the Beach and take a walk. I was also given a card from Tom and Cathy Riley, dear friends ofShar and me, and my daughters. I put the card in my pocket and drove to the Beach. .the Ocean of Love. I walked the mile long stretch of Baba’s Beach at sunset. .1 was all alone. Mag nificent clouds were rising out of the sea and off to the west the sky was showing soft oranges and blues. A gentle mist was falling. I stopped on the way back and took out the card from Tom and Cathy. A classic painting by Tom with Baba and a lover ofHis climbing a rocky slope with a raging river below. The scene seems to be oflreland... Tom often paints Baba in lovely Irish scenes. The pilgrim is waving goodbye. This is such a powerful image. I folded the card back into my pocket with a smile and a tear. Then I turned and looked out over the green sea. Rising out ofthe clouds and moving in and out of the mist was a fabulous Baba Rainbow. Baba has so often sent Shar and me rainbows .

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Georgia

A celebration of the life of ‘Shar’ Wiseman, who flew to Baba’s arms on July 23, 2007, was held at the home of Jerry Edwards, on July 31st in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It served as a remem brance and a celebration of the life of a poet, painter, essayist, wife, sister, step— mother friend and lover of God. A large number of people paid their respects, a testament to the numerous lives touched by a shywoman who in her life often tried to avoid being the center of attention. Arriving guests were entertained by flutist Ambika Sharan, accompanied on guitar by Jerry Edwards. On display in J erry’s home were several of Shar’s beautiful paintings, including Welcome to my World—with Babajuggling the moon and earth and the painting (untitled) of Baba with a cobra. Shar’s husband, Sky hosted the memorial. His presence conveyed an infectious sense oflove, respect, humor and joy. The event opened with the Prayers, after which Jane Brown led the group in the Gujerati Arti. Buzz Conner performed ‘Surrender’ and ‘Open up the Door’. Sky sang an adaptation of a Bob Dylan tune entitled ‘A Song for Baba’—one of Shar’s favorites, with the last verse reading, “I’m leavin’ tomorrow, but I wish I could stay I right here beside you forever some day I the very last thing that I’d like to do I is to thank you, for these sweet precious moments with you.” Others performing music at the ceremony were, Bobbie Ber nstein, accompanied by Laura Crabtree (‘MeherabadlMeherazad’, ‘Begin the Beguine’, ‘Walk that Extra Mile’), Jerry Edwards CAU Day, All Night Meher Baba’, “When the Saints go Marchin’ In), Judy Schoeck (‘Pilgrim’),Beverly Smith and Brian Darnell (‘Tonight’, ‘Evensong’, ‘Not Just Roses’, ‘Lovely Meherabad’) and Charlie Gardner (‘Everything’, ‘Now When I Even Hear Love’s Name’). Shar’s poetry interspersed the songs, read by Shar

and Sky’s daughters—Katie and Michelle. Fellow poet, Jack Burke (Ambrose), read one of his insightful poems and Dick Noe shared some of Shar’s humorous and perceptive essays on life in Meherabad and life in general with Meher Baba. The program ended with Sky performing the song ‘Ten Miffion Miles’, but the music, laughter and conversation lingered into the night, many people not wanting to let go of the atmosphere of love and celebration that pervaded the evening.

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:2-1ees Kendra Crossen Burroughs, Myrtle Beach the steamy, rainy afternoon of August 26, a crowd gathered atJerry Edwards’ home in Briarcliffe Acres (next to Meher Center) to celebrate the life of Hermes Reiter, who died on Thursday, August 23, in Myrtle Beach. Hermes was remembered by his friends as a man who devoted his life to “the pursuit ofthe face of God.” As the photographer entrusted by the mandali with the copyright for Baba’s photographs, Hermes preserved the precious negatives they gave him and collected many additional ones, making Baba’s photos available to Baba lovers, notably through several stunning and important books; two photo collections: Love Personified and God in Human Form; the 20-volume biography of Meher Baba by Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher, which Hermes painstakingly edited and published under the imprint MANifes tation, Inc., truly an amazing life’s work in itself. He also published several other major works, including Bhau’s The Noth ing and the Everything and Avatar ofthe Age Meher Baba Manfèsting, as well as Bhau’s poetry collections Meher Sarod and Meher Roshani. Scott O’Neil started off the tribute by announcing that he had come not only to honor Hermes but to not irritate or piss him off since Hermes was a very particular person and would want us to keep things as short and sweet as possible. After we had all stood and recited the Master’s Prayer, Scott described Hermes as one of the most diligent of all workers for Meher Baba. The mandali had a good eye for talent and recognized this in Hermes in the early 1970s. The words of Dr. Goher from a 1973 letter were read out, thanking Hermes for his “unique service to posterity” and saying that through his photographic work he merited the credit for making humanity aware of the “ana tomical framework” of the Avatar of the Age and, more important, the depth of Baba’s physical suffering. Mani in 1973 wrote to Hermes that “your deep understanding comes from the depth of your love for Baba, which touches our hearts.”

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And Bhau’s message following notification ofHermes’s passing expressed a conviction that “Hermes will have the taste of Divine Wine now.” Hermes was born in Pitts burgh, Pennsylvania, in 1946 and moved to Los Angeles with his father when young. His father died when Hermes was 17, and he moved back to Pittsburgh to live with his aunts. He was a highly rebellious but brilliant young man—a brilliance, said Scott, that helped him “get into trouble faster.” But his life only truly began when he came to Meher Baba in the late 1960s. From then on his life’s path in the service ofMeher Baba was set. All he cared about was Baba’s work, and he would talk about nothing but Baba and the Perfect Masters. He would call Scott up late at night to quote one sentence from Upasni Maharaj. Scott said he would have no idea what Hermes was talking about and would go right back to sleep. Hermes was an encyclopedia of knowl edge, whether of Baba and the spintual path, or ofbaseball and sports. These things—plus his daughter, Mehera—were his whole life. “And Mehera figured so prominently, I can’t tell you,” Scott said with feeling. Hermes didn’t have any possessions—apart from a few pieces of furniture—that didn’t have to do with Baba. Hermes’ love for his wife (and the mother of their daughter), Lindesay W. Reiter (who passed away on June 15, 2007), should not go unnoticed, Scott said. Even though they had been divorced for many years, he never referred to her as his “ex-wife” but always as his wife. Everyone knows that Hermes was dif ficult to deal with. But there were many

other words that came more readily to Scott to describe him: Fearless. Straightforward. Square deal. Loving. Dutiful. Highly organized. Forthright. Curious. Perceptive. “Square deal.” That means that in his interactions with people, everything had to be square and fair; he wanted to be sure you got what you expected and that he didn’t leave any obligation unfulfilled. “Fearless.” One time Scott and Hermes were hitchhiking after their car broke down and they were kidnapped and held at knifepoint.The man kept them hostage for four hours and said he didn’t care if he killed them because he’d been in Vietnam and was going to hell anyway. Hermes whipped out a 5x7 photo of Baba. Scott said it was the craziest thing he’d ever seen, Hermes talking about Baba to a guy who had a knife at their throat. Hermes liked to drink, which didn’t help his health much. Even with drinking, he did things in an organized way, carefully planning when he was going to drink—which was often—but never putting anyone else at risk, never driving while under the influence. Hermes had one toast he liked to use, and it went like this: “Meher Baba!” John Dietz added to Scott’s comments that he’d known Hermes all his adult life and was amazed by him. Hermes was the first genuine seeker he’d ever encountered. He regarded Hermes as part ofthe Mani festation—along with Baba’s Circle comes this inscrutable Lawrence Reiter character, it’s part ofthe program. It was not easy to get along with Hermes, but he was undeniably in love with the Truth, with the Masters, and with the images of the Masters. John said, “They say the eyes are the windows of the soul—in Hermes’s case it was his refrigerator door”: there was nothing there but pictures ofthe Master and pictures of his daughter, Mehera, and mementos of his friendships. He spent his entire life in pursuit ofthe face of God. Interspersed with Scott’s and John’s remarks were songs sung by the inimitable Jerry Edwards, including “The Ancient One Blues,” Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World,” and “Saint James Infirmary Blues,” the traditional New Orleans fu neral song.

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By Hermes’s wish, two prayers were read out: the Christian Prayer (which Baba had read out as part of a special multi— faith “prayer meeting” on September 17, 1954; see Lord Meher Vol. 13: 445 1-52) and the 101 Names of God, the ancient Persian prayer that Baba gave out and which Hermes had posted (in English) next to his chair in his office. Meher Baba asserted that if someone of any religion repeats these names, no other prayer needs to be said. Ana Assadourian said that Hermes was an authentic human being, with a great heart and a great mind, and that his passing was a great loss for the world. Gary Assadourian read out Hermes’s words from the preface to volume 6 of Lord Meher, The Beloveds Street, reproduced below. But I can end this account of Hermes’s memorial in no better way than by repeating the memorable line tossed off by Jerry Edwards: “Put on his marker: ‘He was with Baba and he went out cool!”

7;Jte 73eloved’s Street “Although the moments are rare, no doubt the most wonderful feeling in life is feeling that one is at the exact right place at the exact right time, and doing the exact right thing. There and then, God is as close as God can be to one, and one experiences that feeling of

being connected with, and in harmony with, everything and everyone in the world. It is mysterious, that feeling that God is with one, that God has led one to this very moment where one can sense destiny and fate. It re mains mysterious, but that all one has gone through, although inexplicable at times, was necessary for this moment to be experienced, and all the past experiences are proven worthwhile, and one knows that God has one ex actly where one is meant to be. Such moments have come and gone in this work, and such moments will manifest again.These are aspects ofHim, mani festing. These moments are most vital to one’s relationship with God, with the world, with the meaning of what one does, and one’s connection with other beings. Moments as described urged me to come back to this work. One time in Poona, inwardly I was urged to go to Alandi, the tomb and shrine of Sadguru Dnyaneshawar to bow to his dnyan, divine knowledge of “the Supreme Interpreter of the Gita.” I am indebted to Dnyaneshawar. On another occasion I inwardly reached out to the mast, Mohammed, and wrote his caretaker that this would be the opportune time to reveal how he came to Meher Baba. As my letter was

in the mail to India, the mast began narrating to his caretaker fragments ofhis life. During a period of turmoil, I unexpectedly was seized by one of the ocean’s most violent currents—the Lord’s hand held me in His fist and squeezed all life out of me. While I was leaving my body, I saw the original chaos; sea and sky became one in an effulgence, and I beheld what must be Genesis. I can only imagine now how great the God Realized beings are who have swallowed the ocean. Later in a state ofdiscouragement over complet ing this work, the Lord with a smile and in good humor revealed His wish for me in the form of a poem that He wrote many years ago to Ghani Munsiff: ‘He swears by everything he holds dear and near that he willstay here without the summerfrar not askingfor beer andfinish this book or out he’ll clear!” c

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things to accomplish so much for us: the pictures (one of which has Hermes, I met you in 1970 when been my constant companion for When Miami. in staying were you 30 years), The Nothing and about story incredible the me you told (10% of the Book of Everything the Baba, Meher came to you of how Meher Baba LordMehet, This Age), the than impressed by more I was Explana The Buddha Manfèsting, seeking, your spiritual of dedication poetry and Bhau’s Universe ofthe tion of discipline rigorous the including You Meher Baba). with (collaborated I felt that you orders. ascetic Catholic our and our bookshelves filled have little in many lives had already lived One. of the remembrance walls with more than two decades. After all, what would we would know Kitty Davy once told me that Jr ofthe Mischievous Chicken without had through your picture work you Ursula Reinhart Photo Hermes and Lynn Ott you? attained a knowledge ofMeher Baba’s You have been the editor and amanu life that was unmatched. I have long been over there soaking it up and laughing, you ensis, putting the work of Bhau—Baba’s very hungry for such things and in you exclaimed, “It’s a party!” I found a kinsman. Surely being in your And it was the best kind of conviviality, J ohn—into strong, clear English, Baba’s little home in those early days was to be though probably not well understood by language of God Speaks. I saw the original Workingboxwalla translated manuscripts the world’s standards of party giving. In surrounded not only by images and stories in the early 1970’s, a labor of love and fact, I have often thought about how you but also by a wonder-filled atmosphere. I remember once when Lyn Ott and I were generously sacrificed the material side of beauty, but yet needing your dedicated iS’.

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word byword endeavor to bring it to life for us and posterity The Treasure foretold to you at Tajuddin’s tomb through your hands has become our Wealth. Now that you’re with your Beloved and His Entourage, you are in your Element. Your life was about nothing but “love for God,” which is Everything. I can’t dare even imagine what it must be like: the “essence” of the pictures and the words, the Splendor ofveils removed and Lord Meher Manifesting. Meanwhile the fruits of your work for Him are all around me. As Mansari would say, “Thank you, Baba, for everything.”

Stan Zagata, Westland, MI I met Hermes in India in 1973, and he told me the following story: at some time the mast Mohamed said to Hermes ‘I am on fire and want to burn you up. (Meaning his mind.) Hermes said, “No, I have service and work to do for Meher Baba.” The Mast nodded and let out a chuckle. Dear brother, friend, I am in humble awe ofyour sacrifice and service. Very early on in our friendship, I asked him if he had direc tion, in his way ofworking, from Meher; he told me ‘he felt Baba grab him by the back ofthe neck’ a gesture ofdiscipline by His Father. My tears are because you filled my heart’s link to the Beloved. Steven Thyloi, Houston, TX Dearest Hermes, your loss is felt ‘Deep in the Heart ofTexas’. We bow with all humility and gratitude to your labor of love and service to Beloved Avatar of the Age Meher Baba. May His pleasure win you His eternal embrace and Highest Blessings. Fred Stankus, LosAngeles, CA I met Hermes in India in the early 70’s and a few years later I heard he was searching throughout India for people who had photos ofBeloved Baba, and he traveled all across India with a camera that takes photos of a photo, and that was the start—a treasure house, that led to Lord Meher and more. Each time I would see a new edition of Lord Meher come out I would cheer for you my brother. What an epic achievement for the Ages, by a wild, bright, determined soul, who perhaps tapped into one ofthe mystical ‘help-lines’ from the subtle plane or somewhere, in *

(digital collage with Baba constructed by Hermes himself)

I remember when we all went with Adi to the Seaquarium andjust as we arrived the muzak piped in “Begin the Beguine”, and then we watched the dolphins performing for Adi; and then seeing you in India as you were going to all the tombs ofthe 5 perfect masters to find those priceless photos ofBeloved Baba. I miss you!

the Universe. Much Love and Joy to you dear Hermes.

JeffCraddock, Silver Spring, MD Hermes, my dear old friend, you were one of a kind. The work you did for our Beloved will be an inspiration for untold number ofHis lovers as the years pass. You gave everything in His service and now you can finally rest in His embrace. Dan Sparks, Oklahoma City My sincere and heartfelt love and support to those whose hearts are feeling a loss since Hermes left this world. My congratulations to and admiration for a fellow traveler who has finished the race and left behind a fragrance befitting a fortunate slave ofthe Divine Beloved. May I remember Hermes’ example of devoted service whenever I look at any ofthe thousands ofphotos he helped to preserve and make available. Well done, brother. Nancy Sassei, Mountain View,AR There was never any distance between Baba and Hermes. He was an unforget table Baba lover. Hermes can now toss back a few with the King of All Hearts and bask in His Divine Wine. Thanks for all you did for all of us and for those to come. Dorothy Weiss, Miami, FL Dearest Hermes may you forever rest in Beloved Baba’s Arms. I will miss your smile, and hearing you talk about Baba. I met you at the Stephens’ meeting on Key Biscayne 1971 and would give you rides home over the causeway to your modest apt in Miami, and was amazed at all the beautiful photos of Baba you would sell to me for one or two dollars! We would sit and have a cup of tea and you would talk about the Beloved, it was so special to me.

Max Re/ Walnut Creek, CA Hermes, you have been an inspiration to me for more than three decades. I feel you were an ‘anchor’ for Meher Baba, and your passing feels in some way like ‘the end of an era’. You will of course live on through your peerless work. I don’t think of you so much as one of ‘my generation’, as one of His, for all time, one of the ‘atlases’ on whose shoulders His Work has bal anced, and who indeed gave his life to give that Work such a place. Well done! Ursula Reinhart, Walnut Creek, CA A dear friend over more than 30 years, I will miss his laugh and his passion. The Baba World is richer with the im ages Hermes has given us ofhis Beloved. I will miss him greatly and I wish Baba’s Love and Strength to his daughter Mehera Kathy Hill, LosAngeles, CA For manyyears my onlyworldly contact with Baba, Baba-lovers, Baba anything was one beautiftil Hermes photo. It helped me maintain contact through remembrance. Hermes’ tireless efforts to seek and pre serve our Beloved’s image have made a vast difference to so many lovers. I am grateful. Deborah Burns, Asheville, NC Hermes was always so very kind to me. I will never forget buying my first picture ofMeher Baba from him. Years later when I was going through a particularly rough time Hermes sent me a picture of Baba when I wasn’t even expecting it. I will miss him but know that he is wrapped in Baba’s Love. Rena Turner—Stevens, Murrells Inlet, SC Hermes, This world will never be the same. Your relentless work in the teachings and word of Meher Baba will never be forgotten and will be cherished forever. Anytime you were around, you made the atmosphere interesting as well as a learning experience. I will always remember your inspiring smile, your advice and the warmth you brought with you wherever ‘

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you were. The unexpected visits will al ways be in my heart and my memories. Thank you for being who you were, you were always an inspiration, through your smile, your stories, and now your memory.

Stephan Pietrowski, Staunton, 1 Hermes was a great friend to me in 1970. He is truly a brilliant, unusual thinker and preceiver of our Universe. Thank you my friend for your friendship, your wild genius, that ecstatic grin and laugh and all of your work for Beloved Meher Baba. Stephen Langley, Baton Rouge, Lii I remember Hermes fondly and especially vividly from my first visit to the Center in ‘75. He was a true worker and lover of our Beloved Baba and worked tirelessly -

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John Mjac, Tucson,AZ What a character! II loved your goofr grin and iconoclastic personality4 No one else could have accomplished your remarkable work. I look forward to seeing you next time! ‘

Marta F/ores, Santa Barbara, CA

You wild lover of God, Hermes! Thru all our years as friends, caught in our Beloved’s love net, you were a constant source ofinspiration and entertainment. In our last visit together you shared your home, your Baba treasuresand rl: loving

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Art: Diane Cobb. Image: courtesy ofthe Photo Archives of Sufism Reoriented. for Him and us in giving the world Baba’s photos and Lord Meher. For us who never met Baba, our experience of Him has been immeasurably enriched through Hermes’ work and giving. Thank you, Baba for Hermes and thankyou, Hermes.

Owen Coopei Washington, DC Hermes, what fun we had together so many years ago. Such a brilliant, serious and extraordinarily devoted soul beneath that wild veneer. I am picturing you blissfilly snuggled up to your dearest Beloved. Thank you for a life of service so very well lived.

heart. The breathtaking photo of Baba from your personal collection, you let me steal away with, will always remind me of the generous heart in the man, Hermes, I am blessed to call my friend. Till we meet again, keep laughing your crazylaugh and give Baba a kiss for me.

Jim Migdoll, Australia Some ofthe best memories I have ofmy stays at Meher Center over the years, are the many, many hours I spent pouring over Baba’s photos at Hermes home, and then buying all I could possibly afford. Also sharing His BabaTreasures and his ‘person’ another treasure! What a guy. May our Beloved give you a glimpse and a hug. . . .

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Michael Stiek, Denver, CO As a professional photographer who worked with Lawrence on a nascent project involving archivally photographing Meher Baba’s Mandali in India and the U.S. in 1989, I am deeply indebted to how much he infused my work with his love of Baba and guided my vision in keeping true to the purpose of honoring Baba with these images. Denagh Patrick, Walnut Creek, CA I know that Baba is with you Dear Hermes! So many things I want to thank you for. For sharing His beautiful im ages with the world and making them available to all, and personally, for letting me embrace the relics that you had of our Beloved! Thank you, dear friend! Until we meet again! MichaelMathias, CA


Many years ago Hermes took me to his print shop in Myrtle Beach and placed a copy of Volume One of Lord Metier in my hand. “There it is. Lyn Ott and I have been in touch with Bhau by telephone and cable. Michael, I had to be specially trained by the mandali to do this work. Bhau needed to test my sincerity He deliberately placed testing blocks in my way. So I had to go to India, and buy the copyrights from Bhau. “Then I went to Eruch and told him, ‘I don’t know how I can afford to rent a print shop. And where will I get a printing press large enough to run off25 volumes?’ “Then Eruch told me that he would personally train me to do this special work for Baba. I spent a year with Eruch. He taught me to concentrate on the Light of Baba and project it into the printing of LordMeher these exercises on focusing the Light went on for hours, sometimes all day long. I had to promise Eruch, Bhau and the mandali that I was absolutely sincere and would never use LordMeher for personal gain, but always to serve humanity. “Michael, the mandali are completely in charge of Lord Meher it is my destiny to have been lucky enough to be chosen as its publisher. Baba sends me what I need. Last week someone gave me this printing press for half price. I never know in advance where my office rent is coming from. I have thought ofsleeping in my office to save the rent money. “Do you see these photos ofBaba’s five Perfect Masters? I had to go to Sakori and to each village where the Perfect Masters lived to get just the right photos. Eruch and Bhau wanted the Energy ofBaba to be in each photo. I learned how to work with the Light under the mandali’s direc tion, Michael. “Being a poet for Baba means working within the Light of Meher Baba. The Poem of Fire you wrote is hundred years ahead of its time. Lyn Ott and I both know that it is meant not for Baba lovers alone, but for the whole world, and you must let only the Light ofBaba guide it and direct it until Baba gives the signal for it to be born in His Light! Every word must be created in His Light.”

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When Ibebold Thypeertessface, beaming with love, 0 Lord, Whatftar have Iofearthly woe or ofthefrownofsorrow? .ifls tbefirst ray oftbe da’wning

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When on Thy love and grace Iponder, in my beart deepest depths, Tears ofjoy stream down my cheek beyond restraining. Hail, Gracious Lord! Hai4 Gracious One! Isballproclaim Thy love. May my life-breath departfrom me as I perform Thy works! —Anonymous

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Lindescig cW. 9ieiter March 1, 1945—June 13, 2007 indesay W. Reiter, a longtime resi dent of the Grand Strand as well as Ahmednagar India, died peacefti]Iy today at her home in Myrtle Beach following a long illness. Lindesay was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has one daughter, Mehera Reiter of San Francisco. Mehera was with her mother during the final period ofher illness, caring for her with great love, compassion, as well as a wonderfttl touch of humor. Lindesay received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968. She also received a Master’s degree in library science there. Subsequent to living and working in India she returned to the U.S. to earn her physician’s assistantship degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She worked in medicine in this country as well as in India for an extended period oftime in both the 1970’s and 1980’s. Lindesay was known by many in the worldwide community of followers of Avatar Meher Baba as an extraordinarily devoted follower of the Master. Her life attested to an especially fearless capacity to love and to serve; a zany sense ofhumor, unquenchable curiosity, tremendous intelligence, a rare depth of friendship, and a great love for animals. For several years in the 1970’s she lived in Meher Baba’s home in India, running

for several years in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Those close to her feel that Lindesay’s dearest wish would be for her life to inspire others to remember that God is the Best Friend, and that we can al ways draw into closer relationship with the inner truth of His Presence in our lives. Although Lindesay’s personality was so loved and her accomplishments were many, Avatar Meher Baba was the focus and Beloved in her life. Lindesay was a rare soul who, delighting in the many details of life, lived what she believed, and by whom many others have been inspired and will continue to be inspired to bring their lives into greater attunement with the Truth. Excerpted from The Sun News Myrtle Beach, SC on 6/15/2007

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a medical clinic for villagers there, and later, in recent years, despite increasing ill health, serving as a painstaking helper in archival work in India as well as assisting in compiling and writing the first draft of an important biography of one of his early disciples. Lindesay also served in her profes sional capacity as a Physician’s Assistant as the medical director of the Friendship House Clinic in downtown Myrtle Beach

Lindesay andMehera

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Photo Dana Ferry, 2006

L-)I4I Carelessness, 2E1is 2<indness by Lindsay Reiter

[ Taken from Showers of Grace] When I left for India from Myrtle Beach in 1973, I was scared stiff of trayeling all that distance by myself. Being aware of my scatter-brained nature, I had planned for every eventuality and had filled several little notebooks with detailed instructions to myselfon what to do at each and every stage of the journey. I was careful to keep all my money and documents safe—attaching them to the inside of my jacket with a huge safety pin. Although I was determined to visit Meher Baba’s home in India, I had faint confidence in myselfthat I would actually be able to get myselfthere. Now I wish I had put my confidence in Baba, as Baba is all the time at the back of everything we do, taking care of us even though we don’t know it. The trip went well, almost as if Baba rolled out the red carpet for me, with people to aid and assist me at every step. Finally I reached Bombay and, with the help of an Air India lady whose sister was a Baba-lover, I was in a taxi heading through Bombay in the middle of the night for Nargis’ house. When I reached there, I was proud ofmyselffor executing


the journey so well. I didn’t think to give Baba the credit for His care for me on the journey. He soon gave me the opportunity to remember Him, however, because the next morning I had a surprise: I discovered that in spite ofmy precautions I had managed to leave my bag containing my passport, as well as my traveler’s checks and one thousand rupees in cash, in the taxi! After the obligatory visits to the police and the bank, I traveled on to Ahmed nagar, trying to forget the whole thing. I was terribly embarrassed and ashamed of myself. When I arrived in Ahmednagar, everyone there knew me as the girl who had left her money and passport on the taxi seat! But then, hard to believe what happened: two weeks later, Adi K. Irani received a telephone call from Nargis. The taxi driver had come to her house, apologizing for the delay (he hadn’t been able to find her house). He returned the passport, the traveler’s checks, and the one thousand rupees intact! Everyone was amazed, especially me. I was so touched to see the lengths to which Beloved Baba goes to care for His foolish lovers. I felt as if the whole drama had been arranged by Him to express His love for me. A few years later, in 1975, through a similar incident, Baba showed me once more that He is always there, taking care ofus even when we are careless ourselves. I had planned a trip to Hamirpur for the Mela (gathering) with two friends. We left from our house in a rickshaw at night to catch the train to the north of India. As we were all jammed into the small rickshaw with many bags, I put one of my bags in the front with the driver. When we got down at the station, I forgot my bag in front and the driver drove off. It wasn’t until the last minute, when the train was ready to leave that I discovered I was missing the bag with my passport and all my money for the journey! My friends left on the train and I re turned alone to Adi’s office to confess my foolishness and to see what could be done, although I hadn’t much hope of recovering anything. At length, after several days, the rickshaw driver was found, but he denied any knowledge of a bag and said it must have fallen out on the road. But still Baba was there, taking care of me. Amazingly, after a few more days, the driver showed up with my bag with passport and money, not a rupee miss-

ing! Again Baba had saved me even though I had not learned my lesson to be more alert and careftul. After this incident had died down, Eruch put it to me, “Why do you give Baba so much trouble?” Then I began to become more determined not to give Him so many headaches with losing my passports and money. But, on the other hand, my carelessness provided me with the opportunity to experience Baba’s loving kindness. Showers ofGrace, Compiled by Bal Natu, pp. 71-73, Copyright 1984 Bal Natu

What 3 . lope 2 Won’t 7:a& Heather Nadel, Meherabad [Heather was in Myrtle Beach for Lindesayc memorial service and wrote this to be read to her friends.]

Lindesay behindBabac Bed

As I was trying to think of something to say about our friend for this memorial, I came up with lots of descriptions of Lindesay. I thought about her humility her generosity her courage, her scrappiness, her love for life. I thought of her relentless curiosity and her trueness to her own self about her ironclad hold on Beloved Meher Baba’s daaman and the faithfulness of her heart for Him. I thought, where to start and where to end talking about Lindesay? But suddenly these musings were chased by her disgusted voice drawling in my ear, “Heather Nadel, that’s a load of horse hockey.” And I fervently thought, “I hope that doesn’t fade. I hope I don’t forget ‘horse hockey’!” I also hope I don’t revert to saying, “It’s time to get into bed” instead of “It’s time to get into the bed.” The first time I heard her say that, 33 years ago, I wondered, “The bed? Which particular bed does she mean?” But “the bed” has crept its ugly way right into my vocabulary. Lindesay did that to you. “You rumpus” also seems a permanent resident in my head, as does “Hallelujah!” And I’ve found that “what’s-his-name” really is quite a useful term ifyou think about it.

Photo Mehera J. Irani

I hope over time I don’t lose this deep sense of familiarity with Al-Jazeera, se quins, sparidy braid, the Marsh Arabs, children’s books, and the color orange. And God forbid I forget that a cup of ginger tea is undrinkable without four heaping tablespoons ofwhite sugar. Because ofour friend, I’ve gotten into a habit that’s too deep to go now, a habit I hate, ofcaffing people perfectlywell known to me by their first AND last names. Her bellicose voice goes on shouting at me over an imaginary phone, “Heather Nadel? This is Lindesay. Now listen here...” In my imagination, her one eye still glares at me with lessons I have failed. So from now on, I must never pass a camel on the road without at least three backward glances; perhaps I should even stop the car. I must honor libraries and cats and clipper ships with due reverence, eat a least three dates a day, and AT ALL COSTS keep the damn birdfeeder filled! Dropping down deeper, I pray that the door never closes on the inner world we two could walk right into if we stopped squabbling andjust lay around on the bed long enough, a world ofBaba and darling Mehera amidst the flowers and memories of Meherazad, a world so intimate, so 37


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kindness was an ongoing lesson for me which always touched my heart. We trayeled to Pune many times, plus Bombay and Nepal once; The way she talked to all shopkeepers, rickshaw-wallas, hotel staff etc. was inspiring—she cared about them—asked about their families, was always gentle, even iftheywere unkind or abrupt. All the servants, workers and ba zaarwallas at Meherabad really loved her. One Bazaarwalla told me, with rever ence in his voice, that every time he saw her, almost daily, she would make him laugh. How many of us could do that? Or would take the time to do it! One resident mentioned that what she loved about Lindesay was that she ____jPhoto Dana Ferry was “Natural, and had no vanity; if she wanted to say something bluntly—she gentle, so easy, so sweet, so divinely light, just said it—but in the same way a child is that you never wanted to leave. And I hope blunt, without malice or intent to harm.” I’ll stilllook at Beloved Baba’s photographs through her eye, with a magnifying glass, to catch every detail ofthe arching sweep of His glorious, scimitar-like eyebrows. Lindesay was one of the great warriors of our generation. I think we all pray to hang on with such unshakable faith to Baba through whatever fires we have to face, until the end. I hope when I think of her last days, I think of her head turned towards His picture day and night, as if to never let Him out ofher sight. And when I miss her down the line, I hope I remember the feeling of complete and surpassing peace in Beloved Baba’s tomb on the day she passed away, a peace that seemed stillness itself, the cessation ofall her suffering. And let me remember the light, that for two days after seemed just under the surface of everything here, as ifit slipped into this world through the door He opened from the other side to let her in. As Eruch would say, “She has won the race!” Yes, I can picture it: on a camel, Lindesay and her birthday camel. Photo Adair 2007 the sword of her righteous courage and ferocious love for Beloved Avatar Meher Lindesay loved cats and camels. She Baba raised high. had a deep connection with the Muslim Janaki, Meherabad world—read and studied the culture and poetry—learned to write a little Arabic. To me Lindesay was an extremely fasci She always had a Baba “project” going: nating lady and very, very kind. Every time she made many quilts and cloths for Baba’s I was with her I learned something—she Samadhi, Baba’s gaadi, Mehera’s bed, was full of worldly knowledge—and al Mehera’s shrine; She framed hundreds of ways ready to talk ofher internal insights Baba photos in a very distinctive way using regarding Baba and her life with Him; always open to hearing the insights of fabric and decorative trim; she spent years working on a huge cloth on which the 101 others. Names ofGod were hand embroidered in Her room at Meherabad was filled English by various Baba lovers in different with Baba quotes and hand written countries; it now hangs in the new M. P. R. insights regarding life with Baba. Her

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Lindesay did not dwell on the past or negatives, she was cheerful, internally strong, very independent, exceptionally cu rious about everything her heart was very loyal to her friends and she trusted Baba. —

Mimi Davenport, Walnut Creek, CA Lindesay—I don’t want to let you go, but you belong to Baba, always have. You’re a mountain goat, long curly horns, quick, agile legs and hooves, always jumping to a higher crag. And now you’ve jumped where I can’t go, not yet anyway. One of many things I remember about you is your tough, unstoppable humor. In Myrtle Beach one summer, remem ber we were walking along the beach and I was complaining ofwriter’s block “I just can’t write. I just can’t write,” I was saying. And you said, “Of course you can write. Your hand’s not broken is it?” And remember when my husband Mark and I came to Myrtle Beach to visit? Your latest operation had left you without an eye. And you looked at Mark and said, “Well, I’m finally glad to have laid eyes on you, or I should say “laid eye on you.” I remember you happy, sad, down, up, but never defeated. You’re a fighter, and it makes me tougher just to think about you. Thank you for your continuing friendship.

Nothing ButA Traveler Sharon Wiseman You may have noticed the heap of colored rags outside Your window strewn carelessly notfolded nor mended because desires are whatyou askedfor and to comply with Your request, I was in a hurry to undress. They are nothing but a traveler on her way Home. My begging bowl has turned inside out and tears ofagespast sound a methodical ting, ting, ting before cascadingfrom its tarnished copper rim. What I hold in my hands resembles the House ofmy Lord and whomever thought that Dome could contain You had better go back to architecture school.


Bili eaton Returns to 73ctbct January 5, 1913—March 20, 2007

Bili, who lived in New York City andwas an active member ofthe Center therefor many years, passed on at the age of94. Bili met Meher Baba in the early ‘SOs. She was in frequent com munication with Babac sister Mani, andservedMani by retyping her letters and distributing them to His lovers throughout the UnitedStates, before they were even called ‘the Family Letters.’ She was a popular speaker at various Centers and gave a wonderful talk at the 1981 Los Angeles Sahavas [seefol lowing article.] She also wrote a beautjfulbook about her experiences afterfalling under the spell ofthe Avatar—A Love So Amaz ing. This book, a deligh’ful read, details the many times she spent with Baba, His affect on her and how it altered her ljfe. [Availablefrom the Love Street Bookstore, $9]

A/Iy j.ast &tnskara Bili Eaton’s talk at Silence Day Sahavas, Pilgrim Pines Camp California, 1981 (transcribed by Ben Leet, California, and edited for publication by Love Street LampPost). suppose many of you are wondering what my last sanskara is. Baba had said that the greater love draws you away from the lesser love. And in the end this longing drowns one in the unfathomable ocean ofthe Infinite. So you see, He has to be my last sanskara. So what am I talking about? Baba. It took eleven years for Baba to hook me. He’s the divine fisherman. Actually, you know, Baba claimed never to have performed a miracle. To many people a miracle is raising the dead, or something just as mind-boggling. Baba performed miracles, but not in that sense, that I know about. He performed miracles in a very behind-the-scenes, subtle, everyday way. It didn’t register until you looked back over the years and realized that all along He was performing miracles. He had to. He had to be divine to have done it, to make the flow of time fit into the events so exactly. I began as a dancing teacher at Arthur

I

Bili Eaton

Murray [popular chain ofballroom dance studios—Ed.], way back in 1941. When I was there I was having a great time. I had no idea of spirituality I was an atheist. And I turned many people, I think, from God, with my arguments and sarcasm. I was having a grand time. This was during the war years. I had a lot of boyfriends because at the studio we attracted lots of men on leave. We’d go out on dates and go to night clubs. We drank, danced, and smoked. We did all sorts of things. And that’s all life was about. It was a butterfly time oflife. I had nothing else in my head. That was me. For some reason I don’t know, I guess I thought there must be some underlying solution because I kept going to different churches, wondering about them. A friend of mine was a very devout Catholic, and there have been many Catholics who have been important to mylife. She said, “Why don’t you go to my church. I’m sure you’ll find some interest in it.” So I went to her church for about a year, and I made novenas and everything, the whole bit. But when I got through I thought, well, it had something, but it wasn’t enough for me. So then I went to other churches, and finally back to my own church for a whole year. I went to everything. Well, they all had

something, but it wasn’t enough to me to devote myself to. So I thought, “To heck with it. Who cares? I’mjust going to have a good time.” I was having a great time until there was a strike at Arthur Murray. And we were all out picketing. My husband, who happened to be a pupil of mine, and finally became a teacher there himseIf found another studio about a block away. At that studio we rented space so that we could take our pupils and teach them in order to keep on living and keep our pupils dancing until the strike was over. Well, while I was there I was vaguely aware that the owner was interested in religion of some type. Baba made scaf foldings, and he tore them down when theywere ofno use anymore. I was looking for anotherjob. I’m through with the dancers, I thought, it’s no way to make a living, although I loved it. I thought I’d have to give it up because once you go on strike you can’t get ajob anywhere, another studio wouldn’t have you. I was offered a job at a slenderizing salon. At the same time the managers at the other studio had discussed me with the board ofdirectors, and decided they’d ask me to become the manager. When they asked me, I had the offer from the salon job, and I didn’t know which one to take. They had offered me a certain percentage ofthe gross ifl would take the job. A girl who was one of the teachers there and a devout Catholic asked me to lunch one day. During the luncheon she said, “The rest of the teachers and I would like you to take the job. Would you be willing to come be the manager? It’s not just the management, but we too would like you to be our manager.” I said, “Well, I don’t know. I have this other job offer, I don’t know which one to take.” And she said, “Well, why don’t you try praying?” And I went “Uh uh!! Pray! Are you crazy? I wouldn’t. I don’t believe in God. What do you think? I wouldn’t do such a thing.” She said, “What would you do if you had no job, no family, no friends, no hus band, no health, no anything?” That shook me a little, but I didn’t

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show it. I said, “I’ll let you know. I’ll let you know tomorrow or the next day.” I went home, and I thought, “Hmm? What would I do? That’s strange. What would I do?” I tried to make a deal with God, if there was a God. I said, “OK, if You really exist, then do this, show me. If by tomorrow morning at nine o’clock, the people at this studio give me what I ask for. I had told them I didn’t want just a percentage ofthe gross, I wanted a base salaryplus a higher percentage ofthe gross. I never thought they’d do it. It was a poor studio, and they didn’t have much money. At that time they couldn’t advertise, they didnt have money for anything. “I will do it, God, ifyou have them call me, and they give me what I ask for.” I went to bed and didn’t think more of it. The next morning ten minutes after nine the phone rang, and it was the direc tor of the studio, and she said, “We have decided to give you what you want.” So I accepted, and I thought, it’s not because I believe in God, that’s a coincidence. I just had to make a dealwith myself. I thought, oh, all right, I said I’d do it, and I’m going to do it. While I was at the studio one day there was a book on the desk called The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Trowell. Well, that impressed me because it sounded intellectual, and I thought it might be worth reading. So I asked if I could read it, and was told, “Sure.” They didn’t dare talk to me about their religion because they knew how I felt; I was very turned off by any discussion about God or religion. I picked up the book and read, and the world changed. It was different after I closed it because it was saying, in effect, what Christian Science says, the mind ofman is supreme, it can do anything. It can bring up the God aspect, the personal God. You can be healthy, wealthy and wisejust by your mind, if you concentrate you get what you want. This is great. And I read everything about that. I took a two-year college course! I really went gung-ho on the whole thing. And then one day I went up to a camp where these people were having something like Sahavas in a beautiful place in the woods, near Lake Winnipesaukee [New Hampshire]. The leaders of this movement were trying to bring this thought into Christian churches. It was the Coun cii of Church of Christ in the United States. While I was up there I saw a girl sitting on the beach. I was tremendously . . .“

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attracted to her, and she to me, like two magnets. Her name was LouiseJames. We discussed this religious science thing that we were involved in. I said, “You know, you can do little things with the mind,” and I demonstrated this, “but you can’t do anything big. What we need is power.” And she said, “I agree with you. What we need is power. How do we get this power?” “Well, the thing is to get a bunch of people because a bunch ofminds can make more power. People with the same idea could generate a lot ofpower when we get them together. This is what we need.” She said, “When we go back to New York, I have a friend, Mr. Frederick, a very intelligent man. He knows loads ofpeople. Maybe through him we can meet people of like mind, and get together and really generate this power.” We went back to New York and had Mental Science meetings at LouiseJames’ apartment every two weeks for about a year. Mr. Frederick came, and he was very intellectual. He was ex-editor of Printers’ Ink, an advertisers’ magazine. He was a gourmet cook, which was up my alley because I love good food. And he would give a talk and later on cook something delicious. We’d listen to his talk, we’d eat his food, and have a nice time. Period. That was it. Nothing came out of it. One day Mr. Frederick said, “You kno I have a daughter who follows an Eastern master. Now I don’t go for this master, and I don’t believe in his religion or philosophy, or whatever it is, but he’s done my daugh ter an awftil lot ofgood. You must be tired oflistening to me all the time. Why don’t we have her come and talk to you?” We said, “Great! Fine!” It was Filis, of course, who came. Actually, this was a scaffolding. The dance studio was a scaffolding, too, because that folded soon after. My Arthur Murray Studio folded after the strike. This was the third scaf folding—gone. I didn’t realize it at the time. I thought thesejustwere events that happen in one’s life. But then looking back you see the pattern. The meeting was held in a different place. How? Why? I don’t know. A huge apartment on 47th Street on the East Side. I don’t knowwho the people were or anything. Some people played the grand piano, some people sang. Others gave talks, some read their own poetryc It was a very intellectual evening. And then Filis came. They put a cushion on the floor and Fills came and sat

there, very simply. As they say in the Bible, “She opened her mouth and spake.” And she talked about Meher Baba. Now, at that time, of course, Baba had not declared himself as the Highest of the High. She spoke of Baba as a perfect master, which to me was a maestro, a master of some kind. But I loved the way she spoke. It was simple, direct. And she gave answers to questions which no priest or rabbi or anybody I ever questioned ever gave—most of them got stuck on the question, and said “Well, we just have to believe.” Well, I was not just going to believe because I had to believe. That’s no good! I was quite a skeptic. I still am, as a matter offact. And everythingwas difficult for me to accept. I have to know. I have to know, or I won’t take it. She answered questions like —Why do experimental animals have to suffer? Why are there wars? Why do people suf fer? Why were the Jews suffering in Ger many? All these things. And some people were angry and became very abusive, as a matter of fact. Filis wasn’t abusive or angry back. She was very calm, and just talked easily, you know. That impressed me. I said, I’ve got to know more. It was still intellectual, but, you know, she did impress me. So at the end of the meeting Filis said, “We’re having Baba meetings at the Winterfeldts’ home, and ifyou leave your name, phone number and address I will get in touch with you and let you know where and when.” I left mine, and Louise left hers. A couple of weeks later I got a notice. It was an evening about Meher Baba, the Monday night group but at a hotel. I got all excited. I picked up the phone and called Louise and said, “Louise, let’s go. Here we are. These people have got in touch...” “Oh, I got one too,” she said. I said, “Well, let’s go.” She said, “No. It’s just another weirdo group they have on 57th Street.” I said, “Oh, all right. Who wants to go to a weirdo group?” Well, we were still having a grand time. But by now, things were beginning to come down heavy The boom was lowering. My father had a cerebral hemorrhage; my mother developed cancer. My marriage was breaking up. Myjob wasn’t that good. My health was going. I thought I didn’t have long to live. I was getting to that point where I was in that spot that friend


of mine, that teacher, had said, “What would you do if you didn’t have friends, and a family, didn’t have ajob, didn’t have health?” The very thing she had said. You see how Baba uses people? I got another call, another note from Fills, saying there was a meeting. I called Louise again, and she said, “No. No. I went there.” I thought it was a betrayal in a way, to go without me. “I went there,” she said, “and I saw a picture of Him on the wall.” She said, “And you know? He’s going bald. If He can’t save his own hair...?” I thought, “You know, she’s right.” Well, another couple ofweeks went by. Again I got a notice. And I found out later that people wanted to take my name off the list. But Fills resisted. And I’m glad she did. What would have happened if she hadn’t, you know? Well, finally the third notice. I called Louise. I said, “Louise, I’ve got another notice to go, and I want to go.” She said, “No, no And I said, “Well, I’m going.” She said, “AU right, I’ll go with you.” So we went. That night we went to Longshore and had dinner. Then we stopped off at the Winterfeldts’ and rang the bell. A person whom I shall not name came to the door and said, “Who are you? This is for special people, notjust anybody can get in here!” I was very hot-tempered, which I still am, unfortunately, and I blew up and said, “Well, I’ve been thrown out ofbetter places than this. Louise, let’s go.” Louise said “No.” She was very stubborn. “I’m staying.” Just then Fred Winterfeldt came to the door, and he was very sweet. “Oh, do come in.” He was just as nice. I was mollified, and I went in. First thing I did was go right to the picture on the wall. There was a picture of Baba sitting in a tree with His arm on his knee, and I looked at it, and I liked Him right away. Still I didn’t know who He was. But I liked Him. And I thought Louise was crazy; she didn’t know what she was talking about. Fred Winterfeldt was very nice. I must have bored the devil out of him because here I had to tell him all my troubles at home, my mother, my father, my this, my that, and he listened and he listened, and was very sweet. And I went back again. I went two or three times, I think. Then I told my boyfriend, one ofmy big flames, about it, ...“

and he became interested, too. Well, by then I still didn’t know who Baba was. Spiritually, I was very low. I didn’t know, I thought that, while there is nothing personal about it, everything is electricity all around us. What keeps us alive is electricity.This electricitywhen we die goes out to a big reservoir ofelectricity and that’s the end of us. Individually we do not exist after death. Then new souls come after us. That was my concept at the time. Also, someone told me that to have a spiritual experience was to see a blue light. Well, I thought, I have to see a blue light somehow. Then I began to read a few books from India, but there were no books about spiritualit there were books on yoga. I thought when I heard about Baba, “Oh, a perfect master, He’s a master in yoga. And He’s the one who’s going to teach me how to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.” And I could get anything I want. He’s the master. I realized by then that I couldn’t do anything myself. I knew that all the things I was doing, I wasn’t getting anywhere. So, He was going to be the one to show me, because I had to have a guide ofsome kind. At least that was a little thought, because I didn’t know what I was doing. Filis said at that time that Baba was going to come to the United States. Now we got the Discourses at that time only because I went to the public library and copied them down in shorthand and then went home and typed it up. I made several copies to distribute to everybody. So we read the Discourses that way. The only set of Discourses was the set Filis had, and they had those at the Monday night group, where they read them. We accepted everything except the discourse on sex. This we couldn’t buy. We accepted everything else. Well, Baba was coming. We heard that He was going to be in Myrtle Beach in May of 1952. Louise and the man from the studio, the treasurer ofthe studio, had become interested. This boyfriend and I decided we’d drive down but it worked out, for one reason or another, we just couldn’t make it by car. So I asked ifHe was coming to New York. No, no, He has no schedule to come to New York. He’s not coming to New York. I said, “I’m sure He’s coming to New York.” Well, it turned out that He did come. That was when He had the car crash, you know, and came back to the Center. In July He did come to New York and it was

decided that groups could go in and see Baba. We were told we were not to ask Him any questions. We were just to go by Ivy Duce, and pass on, like looking at the crownjewels, and that’s all. I said that was all right. But by then I was getting so involved with this new flame of mine, Philip, I was beginning to cool down. I didn’t care ifl met Him or not. Maya was having sway over me again. I was off on another path. However, in a way, this flame of mine sort of helped me to get to Baba because I said to Philip, “Do you actually want to go and see him?” And he said, “Yeah, I do, I want to see him.” So I said, “AU right, I’ll call Ivy Duce.” Baba would come to Ivy Duce’s apartment on West 67th Street, I think it was the Beaux Arts buiding. He’d be there and we’d meet Him. We’d go with the Monday night group. But Filis couldn’t make it and my friend Philip couldn’t make it. He had to go on a business trip to Texas, and he had to take an earlier plane. So I called Ivy Duce, thinking I wasn’t really interested, so maybe she’d say we couldn’t make it because we couldn’t come with the Monday night group. But she said, “Oh, yes, I’ll put you in an hour earlier, you both can come in earlier.” Well, the day came when we were to meet Baba. It was a hot day, over 100 de grees. In those days people used to dress more elegantly. Very few people went around like we do today, casually dressed. I had long blackleather gloves on up to here. The kind of life we led demanded that kind ofdress. It was so hot, with tall black leather gloves, but that’s how it was. The minute I stepped on the threshold an actual physical shock came from my feet right to my head. Went zzzzooooomm!! Boom! Like that. I went in first and Philip right after me. Baba was alone, I don’t remember seeing anybody else. They tell me the mandali were with Him. Baba was reclining in a long white sadra, halfreclining on the sofa. I turned His way. I looked at Him. He looked at me. And the love came out just like a big wave. Went ssssssshh bang!! Right over me, high. It went right over me. And I was confused, ‘cause I wasn’t expecting anything like this. He looked at me. Just bing! But He didn’t know me. Why should He be so...? He looked like He knew me! He really had an appointment with me. Why me? It . .

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was confusing. I was a little bit upset. The ftinny part about it is, it sounds blasphe mous to say it, but, that look on His face, that ecstasy, the way he turned his head reminded me of a dog I had that was so happy to see me when I was absent for a while, she’d stand and turn her head to one side. She couldn’t move. She’d wag her tail. She would shake all over, in joy to see me again. I think Baba did that on purpose. He knew that He could capture my heart. He strikes right where you’re tenderest. See? Try to imitate my dog! It And I was crushed. I couldn’t seemed like centuries. I couldn’t think anymore. But all this happened in a short time and someone pushed me from behind, and I had to go forward. I didn’t expect to shake hands with Him. But He put out His hand. And here I had these long black gloves on. I didn’t have time to take one off. I was so embarrassed. I had to shake hands with the glove on. I later lost that glove. And in the meantime I thought, well, ifwe have to say good-bye then I’ll have to shake hands again, so I stopped struggling with those gloves. There was a low stool next to Him, and I sat just to His right, and Philip next to me. And Baba spelled out, He was using the board and He said, “I know them, but they don’t know me.” And then He said something else, about the work we would do for Him, or something. I don’t remember. Maya was holding us up. I don’t know, I just caught flashes of what He was saying. And then I had to look at Him, and He looked deep down into my eyes. And I felt Him go right down—down—down. And something inside of me was like a wild stirred with fear. I don’t know animal what it was. I canjust attempt to describe it—the look. But it went down to my roots. And then He looked away, and He turned to Philip and said, “I had an uncle that looked like you.” And that made me so jealous all of a sudden. After all, you know, I didn’t know what Baba was. I was in love with Philip, not Him. And here I was jealous. And I was shell-shocked. And I thought, “Baba loves him, He doesn’t love me. Him He wants, not me.” All this. And then all of a sudden these terrible sex thoughts came into my mind. Where they came from I don’t know. Oh! it was just awfril—awful! What am I thinking? How did this happen? You know? It was awful! .

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And then Baba dismissed us. We got up again, and Baba put out His hand again. By this time I had taken the gloves off. We shook hands again. We went out. We went down to the street. It was boiling. It was like stepping onto a hot frying pan, to step onto that pavement. It was so warm, and all ofa sudden I began to shiver. I had goose bumps all over me, I was so cold. My teeth were chattering. I was shaking from head to foot. Philip says, “What’s the matter?” And I say, “I don’t know, but I feel so cold.” And again he said, Copyright permission Raju Panday “What’s the matter?” Well, he had a very sensitive stomach, and he said, “Oh, my And Philip looks at me, “What’s the God! It’s affected my stomach.” matter with you?” why He said, “You know, why don’t boo-ooo-ooo-ooo.” “I don’t know don’t we get a drink?” People began to look at us, and they At that time we thought of those thought that either Philip was mistreatthings. We didn’t think we’d just met ing me, or I’m crazy, or something. And God, or anything, you know. Baba was a I said, “Let’s get out of here.” I couldn’t yogi, a master of yoga, or something, in stand it. Well, we had to go to the airport my mind. So he said, “We need a drink.” anyway, so we took a cab and I saw him So we got into a cab and we went down offon the plane. to the Commodore Hotel. We had hot He told me later that on the plane, he whiskey sours and watched the baseball happened to look out the window and game on TV. That was the kind of people he saw Baba sitting on a cloud. He said that Baba had to work with. You think it “I thought I was crazy. I rubbed my eyes was easy? It wasn’t. You know, you people and looked away, and looked again, and come to Baba, many of you. How many He was still there. Baba was there until ofyou here have met Baba? Well, you see, the sun set.” you people come to Baba, and you all look By myself I didn’t have any, I don’t.... full of love. You caught fire immediately. Well, I was beginning to get psychic expe Baba had to use a blow torch on me. I riences, but Baba took that all away from think you’re closer to Him than I was. I me. Every day for about a month after that, was so foreign, in a way. But anyway, we it seemed like a long, long time, I burst no watched baseball on TV. I have to tell you out crying. Walking in the streets that when my mother died I had never reason. People around, you know. I wasn’t cried in my life. I wasn’t a crier. So I didn’t feeling anything, just plain blubbering in even cry when my mother died. And here the streets. And you know, that’s terrible, I am watching TV, and for no reason, I crying in front of a bunch of people. To didn’t feel anything, nothing, I began to this day I hate to cry. I can’t even get too cry. But notjust crying, I was sobbing out deep into Baba even today. IfI do, I cry! loud. Really crying. And this I don’t want to do, you know. I .

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hate crying of any kind. But this kept on every day, and it was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me. It took me six months to realize who Baba was. I won’t go through all the interim. But one day, about six months after we met Baba, I was having dinner with Philip. Philip said to me, “Do you know who Baba is?” I said, “Well, I’m beginning to sus pect.” He said, “Who do you think He is?” And I said, “You tell me.” He said, “No, I asked you first.” I said, “I think He was Jesus before.” He said, “So do I.” I said, “Yeah, and Buddha, and all those others.” “Yeah, yeah Well, I don’t like it.” “I don’t like it either.” He said, “I’m scared.” And he looked scared, his eyebrows shot up. “You know,” I said, “Jesus’ disciples were thrown to the lions.” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “I don’t want to be thrown to any lions.” I’m no heroine. I didn’t think I could face the lions. He said, “What are we going to do?” I said, “What can we do? You can’t just unknow what you know.” Then He had a hook in us. We were in love with Him. You couldn’t back out. I think this was our surrender. We decided, for better or for worse, we’re in. What could we do? But we didn’t like it. We weren’t very brave about it, actually. We weren’t very brave. That was the six months after. I forgot to tell you about Louise and Mr. Frederick. Louise, to show you the scaffoldings that go down, the people who go out of your life, I called Louise. She met Baba the day before I did, and I called her to try to get in touch with her. I saw her once after that. Then I called her apartment and she was not there; disap peared, gone. I’ve never been able to get in touch with her since. Completely out ofmy life! And then, about two years after I met Baba, I was invited to the Winterfeldts’ house for dinner, and who should be sitting next to me but Mr. Frederick. He turned and looked at me, and I looked at him, and he said, “Aren’t you Louise’s friend?” I said, “Yeah. You’re Mr. Frederick, Filis’s father.” And he said, “What happened to that .

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group?” I said, “That’s right! I hadn’t thought of it. I never thought of that group. It went right out of my head. We never met again. I don’t know what had happened to them.” And this was the first time I’d seen Mr. Frederick since then. He said, “What happened to Louise?” I said, “I don’t know. She’s gone. I couldn’t trace her.” So there was a whole group that had been going on for years: gone, vanished, the people, gone. It seemed I had been going over bridges and they were being burned after me. And there was no turning back. But I didn’t realize that at the time. It’s only as I looked back that I realized and thought to write about it. We haven’t got much more time, and I wanted to cover some more things. I want to bring you Baba’s love. No I’ll try to get the next points in as quick as possible. We met Baba again in 1956. We went down to Myrtle Beach, and Baba used to have me do a lot ofpublishing and editing and correcting ofmanuscripts, and so on. After that I got into editing and publishing. It was very strange. Well, to go back to the Center. I loved sunbathing at that time. Baba had dismissed us before lunch. He said we could do what we wanted. I actually didn’t understand Baba at that time because when Baba says, “You’re free to do what you want,” you still have to be ready for Baba. So I took Him at His word, and I said to Adele and a few others, “I’m going sunbathing.” And offl decided to go. Then one of the mandali came to me and said, “Baba wants you to type this manuscript.” I said, “Where can I type it?” “There’s a little cabin in the woods where you can type it.” So I went off to this little cabin, just the size of a little out-house, it was so small. Here I was. I typed it for a couple of hours. Nobody saw me. I got through typing, I was gathering my papers, I was leaving, who should come along but Adi. He says, “Bili! Where have you been? Baba’s been looking for you all over. He’s been sending people to the beach looking for you. And everybody’s upset.” “I’ve been typing. Baba gave me some typing to do.” “You’d better come right away. Baba’s at the Guest House. Everybody’s upset.”

I said to myself right away, I knew I was typing. Baba must have known I was typing. So I knew Baba was up to something. I walked along behind Adi. Who should come along -but Meherjee. Meherjee has a temper; he was red in the face. “Bili! Where have you been? Baba’s sent everyone to the beach with the station wagon. And he’s threatened to go back to India because nobody loves him. And everybody’s mad at you.” I kept going. So, this is something. I was kind of curious by then what was going on. We go along; along comes Eruch. He repeats the same formula all over again. I repeat the same, “Well, I’ve been here. Baba asked me to type.” We go along all four of us. We get to the Guest House. Baba was sitting. I think many of you remember the Guest House. It’s got this big verandah, and there’s a door that goes into the living room and then there was a sofa. And Baba was sitting cross-legged with a pink coat and a white sadra on the sofa looking as happy as a birthday cake. And everyone is sitting around like the Last Judgment, all solemn. And I look at Margaret, and I see Baba’s eyes flash to Margaret and then to me. It was just a flash, but I caught it. And then Baba looks at me and ges tures, so I come and sit next to Baba. Not a word about the beach, nothing. And I spent the afternoon with Baba, sitting next to Him on the sofa. But what He was saying was, “Keep yourself always in readiness, even if I say you’re free. Be ready, because you may not always have Me. Be alert, always.” And that was a lesson for them and for me. So I knew what was going on. He knew, and I knew that He knew what I knew. Baba could, you could understand what He meant without saying anything. But He knew what you wanted to know. Then that afternoon, I’m at the Guest House and Margaret Craske [first bal let mistress of American Ballet Theatre, when it was called Ballet Theatre—Ed.] stayed with Baba at the Guest House for a while. I left and a little while later Margaret left the Guest House, and she came to me and says, “Bili, I have some bad news for you.” I thought, “Oh, Baba is going to send me away. “Oh.” I said, “What is it?” She said, “Baba says we should see more of each other.” 43


I was wondering, “What have I lost?” We didn’t see a lot of each other, and I liked Margaret, you know. So this is great! Margaret and I looked at each other, and we smiled. That was fine. Then much later, Baba went to Mar— garet, I think it’s 1958, two years later. He said to Margaret, “Can Bili be one of My dancers?” Margaret said, “Yes, if she wants to.” And apparently Baba told this to the dancers, but Margaret never told me. I had left the Monday night group. I wasn’t a group person. I didn’t like to go from group to group. I liked to be on my own. But someone used to say to me once in a while, “Well, you’re one of Baba’s dancers.” I said, “No, you’ve got it all wrong. Baba said Margaret and I should see more of each other. I’m not one of the dancers.” So, I was more or less on my own. Time would go by and he’d say, “You’re in the dancers’ group.” “No, I’m not. You’ve got it all wrong.” I kept saying this and saying this, over and over. In the meantime, in 1958, I went to the Ballet Theatre, unintentionally. I wanted to take modern dancing because I wanted to strengthen my back. I have a bad back, my right sacroiliac was bothering me. So I thought modern dancing would help. This friend said she’d like to go with me, but she wanted to go to Ballet Theatre. She wanted to take ballet. “No,” I said, “I can’t do ballet, not at my age.” She said, “Oh no, we can have classes and go back to Ballet Theatre.” I said, “All right, I’ll try it.” So we went to Ballet Theatre. I stayed for ten years. She left. It was at the Ballet Theatre that I met people who came to Baba through me. I didn’t know that I was part of the dancers’ group. It was after Baba dropped his body in 1969 that I found out from Margaret that I was one of Baba’s danc ers. I said, “Margaret, why do the dancers always say that I’m one ofthe group, when all Baba said was that I should see you more often?” She said, “Oh, He did say that.” I said, “When did He say that?” “He said that after.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” “I did.” And I never knew. So you see, once you give yourself to Baba He runs your life, whether you know it or not. He puts

you where He wants you to be. And that’s that. I wanted to show you how Baba re ally does love you, and how He runs your life. And ifyou look back, you see that it’s so, ifyou’ve surrendered to Him. “Love is its own excuse for being.”— Meher Baba

One Who 3o1!ows Ben Leet, Berkeley, CA (From a story told by Bili Eaton) urs is the most intimate of relationships, not even a shadow should come between us.” So he told one of his followers, and leaned his ear closer so that she could whisper into it. She wanted to kiss it. So intimate a gesture. Here was God, busy with the universe and creation, cocking his ear close to her lips so that she could whisper a small disclosure about an earlier answer that was not ac curate. Her clarification was not necessary and almost evaporated at his tender re ception. Another time while sitting alone in the boathouse at night, thinking about a man who was always pleasing Baba, watching the beautyofthelakeunder moonlight’s spell— who should walk in, alone, but Baba. They sat quietly for a while, till she mentioned her thought, and he agreed, she not knowing which shone brighter, the moon or his eyes. And three or four other times alone with Baba: In a hotel corridor, where she said, “I guess I must have some good karma, I always find myself alone with you.” Once at Meher Mount while he tried on an assortment ofhats. And at the Holiday Lodge where, out of perplexion, she asked if He were her master, or if she was “on loan from another master?” Eruch entered in time to translate as Baba stoodup,looked majesticbefore her and said, “I am not onlyyour master I am your God.” What do we make of such stories? Are they simply true, or fathomless or what? What good luck she had, Yet he says to everyone: “Ours is the most intimate of relationships, not even a shadow should come between us.”

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Poems Th Avatar Meher Baba, p. 43

© 1985 Manifestation, Inc.

J’ 73aba ¶lerviz! Heather Nadel, Meherabad eople who’ve visited Meherabad and Meherazad often talk about their times in Baba’s Tomb, in Baba’s Room, and moments with the mandali in Mandali Hall or on Mehera’s porch. But often too, people remember stories, conversations, snatches of time they’ve had with Baba lovers they met here who grew up near Baba, following His direct orders while living in the world. Ifyou’ve been to evening Arti in recent years, perhaps you’ve sat by the Cabin afterwards and met one of these lucky lovers, Perviz Kelkar, wife of Shridhar (a trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust) and an old-time Baba-lover privileged to have spent all her life in Baba’s love and contact. Dear Perviz went to Baba this past Saturday, September 29th, in a Bombay hospital; she passed away from an unex plained fever complicated by septicemia. She leaves behind her husband, son Meherman and daughter Mani, and will be very much missed by her family and by her wider Baba-family in Bombay and Meherabad for her straight-forward, whole-hearted love for Baba, her humor and her generous, loving heart. Blessed to have been born, in 1933, to Dma and Navalsha Talati, two people who were very close to our Beloved from the early days ofHis Advent, Perviz grew up with Baba as the focus of all their family life. With His permission she married Shridhar in 1966, who came to Baba through her, and when he moved to Meherabad in 1997 and later became a trustee, she split her time between Meherabad and Mumbai, where their grown children lived. In one of the most interesting and touching sections of Bill LePage’s book

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The Divine Humanity ofMeher Baba,

Perviz tells the marvelous story of her family’s long association with Baba. It casts an illuminating light on what it was like to grow up close to the Sun, as Perviz was so lucky to do. JAI BABA, dear Perviz! We’ll miss you!


3:7<. Yicrngole9oes to 73ctba Irene Holt, Meherabad Saturday night, September 15, Avatar Meher Baba Trustee J.K. Rangole, long time lover of Baba, passed into his Beloved’s arms in an Ahmednagar hospital, following a series of three heart attacks. His funeral and cremation at Me— herabad the next day was well attended by Meherabad, Meherazad and Ahmednagar Baba lovers. Rangole was 81 years old. He had resided in the Trust compound, a very quiet presence but also very active in Trust and Ahmednagar Baba Centre activities. Rangole was from a Maharashtran village in the Sholapur district. He first came into Baba’s contact in 1948 when still a student. During the next seven or eight years he would come frequently to Ahmednagar along with a few colleagues to have Baba’s darshan. Adi K. Irani’s mother Gulmai took an interest in the young man, commenting to Adi that he was a good fellow, without parents or relatives, and it would be good to have him stay on in Baba’s orbit. Taking Baba’s

permission, Adi invited Rangole in 1956 to stay at Kushroo Quarters, known now as Meher Nazar, the Trust compound. He stayed there for the rest of his life, giving his all to Baba’s cause. Baba designated Rangole as lifelong Secretary of the Avatar Meher Baba Ah mednagar Centre when it was inaugurated in 1962. In that role he arranged many programmes dedicated to Baba over the years. Many also knew Rangole as the one in charge of the schedule of musical offerings every Amartithi, assigning the dozens of 5 or 10-minute time slots for Baba performers from all over India and the world. Rangole was named a Trustee for the Trust in 1989. He oversaw the Scholarship program ofdonations for local school children. He was also a member of the Board ofMeher English School. Another area of Baba work he handled for many years was Trust-sponsored transportation during Amartithi, consisting of the rental ofbuses from the State Transport depart-

Steve Sanders, LosAngeles

July 16, 1945—September 18, 2007

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ment, where Rangole had worked as a cashier until his retirement. Mehernath Kalchuri remembers this storywhich Rangole had told him: During Baba’s time Rangole used to talk rather forcefully with people about the folly of following bogus saints. Wishing his friends and acquaintances to focus solely on the Avatar and not on false saints and masters, he would speak against them and upset the people he talked to. Some would complain to Baba about Rangol&s vehement remarks. One day Baba called Rangole to Him about this subject, and told him that he could speak his mind, but he must do so softly, not too strongly. Speak softly and never hurt someone’s feelings, because often these people have innocent faith and it is good to honor that, Baba said. I believe all who knew him would agree that Rangole was known for his gentle, sweet nature. He must have taken Baba’s instruction into his heart and made it his life.

7rish Shannon

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rish Shannon, of Santa Monica and a member ofthe Los Angeles Meher Baba community, passed away Tuesday morning in her sleep, finally succumbing in her battle with cancer that she had fought valiantly for the past 18 years. Thankfully she did not suffer great pain. In her last sustained moments of consciousness on Sunday, she visited with Adele Wolkin, my wife Tracey and myself Her thoughts were focused on herjourney to the spirit life, on her heart’s star—Meher Baba. Trish was surrounded by an incredibly loving and spiritual circle offriends and family in her last days, who ushered her peaceflilly out ofthis world. Trish was a true practitioner ofDharma Yoga. The world was certainly a better place for her passing through it. We will miss her, but know that she now joins Baba to do as He wills, and to do His work in another form.

Adele Wolkin, LosAngeles Trish came from an Irish-Italian and Lithuanian background. Born in Chi cago, she was raised in suburban Detroit,

Patricia “Trish” Shannon

Michigan; graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University ofMichigan in 1967, and earned a Masters of Education from Oakland University She was an “English as Second Language” (ESL) teacher for 25 years for local public schools, and wrote a nationally recognized ESL text. In 1979,

Trish left Detroit to become a resident of Los Angeles. Shejoined our Avatar Meher Baba Center here in the 1980s. Trish had a lifelong interest in world cultures and in their holistic approaches to healing and nutrition. She retired early to pursue personal medical research, determined to beat her cancer without a mastectomy. She was actively involved in not just our Center, but also Sun Do Mountain Taoist Breathing Meditation, with Oj energy practice. I first met Trish at our meetings in Santa Monica around the time I moved to my current address. We had worked together at one ofthe ffindraisers but I did not know her well. One day I was home, in the new apartment, struggling to sort everything out, when very unexpectedly, Trish called to say she would stop by. To my delight, relief and upliftment, she arrived with her friend Tracey Sanders. I was truly awed by their entrance, as they were carrying a towering seven-foot-tall, seven-shelved wooden storage unit! In addition, they carried in two packages

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of dishes that I vitally needed. Such true seffiessness to help a virtually new friend in Meher Baba! She was determined to have me comfortably settled. Her actions were totally from the heart. Another time, our late brother in Baba, Richard Nimmler, fell ill with cancer and moved to the Kelley Clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. One day I mentioned that I would like to visit him. Trish spontaneously agreed, and soon drove us to Tijuana! It was this beautiful love-in-action attitude that she carried into her relationships, and which brings to mind the words of The Divine Friend when He tells us “To love God is to love our fellow beings. Ifwe feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God.” I was always impressed with her excellent research skills; with the determination that characterized so many ofher pursuits, she was focused to the end on adding to the knowledge of thyroid pathology and may have been ahead of her time on this path. She shared her knowledge freely, as a truly caring educator. We all recognize Trish for her long, loving, generous service to Baba, often in a private and personal way, behind the scenes. For instance, she was a wonder-

ful gardener and helped to create floral beauty on Meherabode grounds. Until recently, she helped with every Bookstore inventory and ensured the success of every yard sale, the sort of capable and well-organized worker every organization treasures. Her selflessness is what I shall always re member. She is survived by her three sisters, a brother, six nieces and a nephew. She requested any memorial donations should be made to the Sun Do Mountain Taoist Breathing Meditation Center (www.Sundo.org); the Avatar Meher Baba Center of SoCal (www. meherabode.org), or the Little Traverse Conservancy (www.landtrust.org/Dona Photos ofMeher Baba above and below courtesy of the MSI Collection, Meherabad, India tions/memorialpaychoice TABLE.htm). ....Supreme moral courage can oni come with supreme confidence in oneself and the J4’laster. 7o love the world and serve it in the ways of the t llasters is no game for the weak and faint-hearted. 7

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Meher Miniaturesfor Daily Living, compiled by William C. Bodman. 1978, Sufism Reoriented, Walnut Creek, CA

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JPoetry ‘Page

IMustAlso

Babac Beach

Iflsee beauty in theglory ofaforest glen in the hawk determined inflight the brilliance ofthe sun glistening against thefallen snow

As Iclasp the sheilfound on Babac Beach that hangs on a necklace around my neck, I close my eyes and implore Him, “Please Baba, take me back, justfor a moment, afleeting moment. Let meftel the waves ofYour Love, the crash ofthe surf the hot sand between my toes and the sand crabs wiggling beneath myjèet. Hold me Baba and let my heart race up to meet Yours in the glowing Sun.”

Dying By Loving I’ve heard tell ofpilgrims returning fromyourHome remaining on apink cloudfor a time, drenched in happiness andjoy in knowing You. Why then, my Beloved, can I do nothing but weep in this cavern ofseparationc longing

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Jo honor::the nrodinous amount of Shisernanwroteher 9 devoteour entre Poetry page herfor this issue ...

Iflsee beauty in the blades ofgreen moist grass a vast meadow where bear cubsfrolic and crimson wildflowers grow I must also see beauty in the carnage ofwar in the warm blood ofthose that risk their lives and in the children who had no choice My Master knows best and in every leafthat turns His breath is the current IfI love Him with all my heart and soul for me to question His Will is sheerfolly Death is a release His Will is law and with my hand in His we shall walk through this world His world into the next.

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Lfttimes She sees a stone skipping along a cool mountain pool ofshimmering gold, a glistening, glittering sphere ofantiquity. Each time it touches the brilliant water a l,/ètime reverberates upon the stillness, the calm. A man-child drenched in uncertainty, the rzpples circle so much. notyet experienced the boy dressed in a blue suit with short trousers and a starched white collar eyes as bright as sau— cers in a library dimly lit. With the nextski)5 thepuddles waltz and she is a ballerina, an ice dancer in the splendour ofthe waterc depths and heights herpartner has notyet revealed His true identity.

Tears ofdeprivationfiow daily on the wrong soil. You have created a desperation, a thirst that cannot be quenched without Your immediate Presence.

Another and then yet another skz ofthepebbles dance and she witnesses the agelessness ofa woman wrinkled and knowing, bent and broken, but knowing what?

In Your Heartc Knowing, lawoke this morning with the grace ofYour arms wrapped tightly around me. We held each otherfor hours in the soft light, andl thought “This is Peacefulness, this is Bliss, this is Death.”

Knowing the ages have taken her to this space in time, this epic accumulation ofthousands and thousands oflives, the dream ofthe sages, the dream of God

Andyou whispered gently, “This is Dying by Loving.”

Thnight, My Arti Is Silence Wherever myfeetfall I know that space was created by You. Wherever my heart takes me, I know it is You who leads me. When Itry to put myfeelings into words a single tearfalls upon holy ground When a breath consumes me and none escapes my lips my Beloved is pleased Thnight, myArti is Silence.

What Brings Happiness What brings happiness is watching something grow. What brings happiness is seeing leavesfall and then sprout once again in the spring. What brings happiness is sometimes despair. What brings happiness is whatpleases my Lord. Hadlno one with which to communicate save my Lord I would be happy. Hadlmillions ofHis souls with which to converse Iwouldbe happy because in them, He abides. What brings happiness is that whichpleases my Lord

The sand dustpebble, the drop ofthe beginingless beginning has begun its descent into the shoreless Ocean ofbliss and she cannot escape the excruciating enfoldment, the crashing ofwaves upon waves and lives into lives, andyet she sees the inevitable the involution, torturous intoxicating rapturous. —

The drop has descended upon the floating leaf ofihe lotus sofamiliai intensely personal. the naked soiledJèet ofthe man-child, the destiny ofa soulc longing for God,for Seif The raft was constructed ages ago by my Beloved and Ifind mysef riding in harmony within the womb of God 47


Christ Comes to 4IOLLYWöO& 2hZ

Compilation and Commentary

by Ed Flanagan, LosAngeles. CA

Baba lovers working for Him, concentrating on Him, learning to try to please Him and accepting constant changes of plans, failures and disappointments, but also obviously enjoying the thrill of constant letters, cables and messages from the new-found Beloved far away in India. At this point, Baba requested that Karl Voll moeller find an independent producer in the West. Baba promised to come and aid in explaining details about the film. His scenario was based on the theme of reincarna tion. Baba cabled back to Norma on March 13: “Tell Karl to write two scenarios, one wholly for me and one for producers, using in both hroughout March, his superb imagination. My April and May 1934, coming in April depends if telegrams were sent back and scenario will be definitely forth about a second visit to ready. Otherwise cannot the West, as well as checking come. Must book passage progress on the film Baba immediately.” [1861] Shortly wished to be made. Norma after, the Master spent ten Matchabelli had cabled Baba days giving instructions to from Paris that her first Adi K. Irani about the drawhusband, screenwriter Karl ing of a chart on evolution Vollmoeller, was willing to to illustrate and assist the work on the script for Baba’s screenwriters in their work film. Also, the accomplished for the film to be made in writer-director of stage and the West. On May 23, Baba film, Alexander Markey, began dictating for the first was brought on board. Baba time theTheme of Creation accepted his treatment for Meher Baba in LosAngeles, California, December 1934 -Janua7y 1935 in Meherabad. the film adaptation of Voll On November 15, 1934, Baba, Kaka Baria, Chanji, Adi Sr. moeller’s story, ThisMan David, after Greta Garbo’s closest com and brotherJal boarded the 5.5. Tuscania from Bombay, setting parnon, Mercedes D’Acosta, had written the synopsis. [2043] sail for Europe. During their five-day stay in London, Quentin In a letter dated April 1934, Baba wrote, “I am preparing a Tod promised Baba that he would assist Margaret Craske with detailed Chart with illustrations explaining all details about the the film’s spirit dances. Originally, Margaret andTod were to have Creation, Evolution, Reincarnation, the Planes, Illumination and accompanied Baba to Hollywood to choreograph these dance Realization for the film, which will be a guide and of considerable sequences, but now Tod was unsure if he could go since he was help to those who handle this work of production, even in My about to open in a new show. absence, giving them ideas to work out other details connected with Norma Matchabelli had cabled from New York that Baba’s this.” He added that the group should not think that by His work presence there was essential to the film projects. Some months on the Chart, He was postponing His coming to the West. earlier, she had contacted the director Gabriel Pascal in Paris to Whatever it meant for the fhture of “spiritual” film making, discuss Baba’s film project. Baba had seen one of Pascal’s films of the “new” effect—it kept group one obvious project had the

[Lord ofthe Universes is the title of a recently complet ed but as yet unpublished book on the life and teachings ofAvatar Meher Baba, drawn from many sources with commentary by Ed Flanagan. Here, in slightly altered form, is Chapter seven, Christ Comes to Hollywood. Unless otherwise noted, numbers after paragraphs refer to pages in LordMeher, the main source material.] In our last issue Baba had decided—for technical rea— sons—not to make Hisfilm ofreincarnation and spintual matters in India, but to try to get itfinanced and filmed in Hollywood

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I

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in London and liked his work, so the director was brought on board. However, Pascal soon had misgiv ings and ended up having to chase Baba all over Europe. Although at first he had been interested in the venture as proposed to him in Paris by Norma, after meeting a couple oftimes with her and some of the other women involved, he became more than a little frustrated. A true genius and impatient, he found he could make no headwaywith these Gabriel Pascal women. Norma had been cabling him frequently about the financial backing and other details of the scenario and script and now he was blaming Baba for the constant misunderstandings. He was so frustrated that, when he heard Baba would be in Paris, Pascal became determined to see Baba and tell Him it was all a total waste of time. However, Pascal missed meeting Baba in Paris by one day and Baba left for Switzerland, where Pascal followed him; however, by the time he caught up with Baba, he felt that Baba was giving him the runaround and wasting his time on the entire project. Baba was not even in the house when Pascal arrived and this upset him even more. A phone message then came, instructing Elizabeth to give Pascal a choice peach to eat and to tell him that Baba would be coming soon. This seemingly innocuous gesture had a profound effect upon the man, who later confided that his mother used to save him the best peaches, his favorite fruit. After some while, Baba showed up and called for Pascal. As he entered Baba’s room for his interview, Baba gently smiled and Pascal’s anger melted away. He could only meekly ask Baba, “What do you wish me to do?” Baba had him sit near him, touched his hand and inquired about his work. Now in a peaceftul mood, Pascal told Baba how he had wanted to bring out the expressions ofinner feelings and the deepest being ofman by portraying the spiritual side oflife in a way that had never been done before. Baba remarked, “I saw one ofyour films in London, and noticed how subtlyyou combined humor and pathos. I fully enjoyed it and have often indicated that you are the man to produce my film. You have very deep past connections with me and will work for me in the future, particularly through motion pictures.That is why I myselfhave drawn you to me. You are my Phoenix. [1890] Baba also referred to Pascal as his “Black Panther”! After being with Baba, Gabriel Pascal left feeling happier than he had ever been in his life. “It was all wonderful, wonderful—too wonderful for words,” he later recalled. “I had come like a lion but returned like a lamb!” Discussions about the film project with Pascal and Karl Voll moeller, who had recently arrived, went on continuously for the next three days. Vollmoeller had written a rough draft of a story about seven passengers in an airplane whose pilot represented the Master. Pascal suggested that Baba’s hand be photographed and shown in the film as a special effect, and Baba agreed to this. [1890] Pascal said, “Anything Baba wishes me to do, I will do. I shall make this film. It will be my life’s supreme task. I won’t need a script—I’ll go out with my crew one day into thejungle and we’ll begin shooting. It will be improvised on the spot. I shall show how God lives with men!” Finally finishing His work for war preparations in Europe,

and bringing his film ideas closer to fruition, Baba and his party left England on December 5, boarding the S.S. Majestic, the largest ship in the world at that time. Although Baba was given a splendid stateroom on the B deck, He seldom went out on the ship’s deck in the cold winter weather. Nearing America, Baba made it clear that he did not wish to meet any outsiders while in New York—no new persons, no interviews and no publicity. But Norma Matchabelli had already informed certain people about the Master’s arrival and also intended to publicize his visit. She cabled this to Baba on the ship and Baba cabled back, instructing her to cancel everything and that he would not even grant interviews. When the ship docked in NewYork on December 12, 1934 a group ofnewspaper reporters and photographers tried to invade Baba’s cabin, but he would not meet them and instructed Chanji to send them away. [1926] As often happened with Baba’s arrivals in foreign countries, there was delay in their disembarkation, mostly due to immigra tion officers’ suspicions around His silence. After a long wait, the

,..

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.L

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The S.S. Majestic

press gave up and dispersed. When they finally cleared customs Baba was taken to the Hotel Shelton on Lexington Avenue where Norma had arranged for Baba to stay. A meeting concerning the film work took place that day between Baba, Norma, Gabriel Pascal and Karl Vollmoeller. An agreement between the latter two seemed difficult to arrive at. Vollmoeller, the principal screenwriter, wanted the scenario prepared in New York, and Pascal, the director, preferred Hol lywood. Vollmoeller had his offices in New York and Pascal’s were in Hollywood; hence, the conflict. Trying to reconcile the two men’s differences and to get them to work together, Baba instructed, “Both ofyou should fly to Hollywood and meet me there. I will be coming by train later.” Both men consented to do so and left soon afterward. [1929] Tallulah Bankhead was in New York and dropped by the Stokes’ residence in Greenwich Village to see Baba while he was conducting meetings there. After three days in New York, on December 15, Baba and the group took a train westward across America on the Santa Fe Railway, headed for California. Besides the mandali Chanji, Kaka Baria, Adi Sr. and Jal, accompanying him were Elizabeth, Norma, Minta, Nadine, Rano, Nonny and Ruano. During the three and a halfdayjourney to Los Angeles, the train halted in Chicago, Illinois; Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baba was headed for Hol lywood and occupied himself by reviewing the film scripts and discussing the variations in plots and characters. When they arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the train delayed leaving the station and suddenly Baba spelled out on his

49


palm “Indian.” He bolted out of the train with Ruano Bogislav. The men mandali were quick to follo as Baba walked rap-

ing the film work he had come for to be disrupted. During Baba’s three-week stay, daily meetings were held with Norma, Elizabeth, Voilmoeller and his assistant named Drake, Pas ,j rmIb ‘ cal and his friend Hy (John) ‘D c:: Kraft to discuss the films. Baba explained to them in detail the theme of creation, reincarnation, the planes and God-Realization. Baba’s ideas were quite novel revelations for these men and they found it difficult to portray everything in the way Baba wished. Initially, Kraft was skeptical about Baba, but after their first meeting he came away shaken. He described to Pascal, “There was a tremendous power ema nating from that man!” Kraft found it impossible to say no to Baba and was engaged to col laborate on a script. There were two separate film stories: one by Volimoeller, entitled This Man David; the other by Kraft and his associates, entitled idly a couple of blocks and turned down How itAll Happened. The idea about the a side street as though he knew exactly airplane, its passengers and pilot had been where he was going. Baba stopped when discarded for the time being. [1937] he noticed two Native Americans standing When the time came to leave for India on the corner, one of whom was selling with Baba and Gabriel, Kraft shook himtrinkets, and he walked away as soon as selfawake from the “Eastern maze,” reftis Baba approached. The other, a tall, fat man ing to go. Baba had met with other people with a red bandanna tied around his head, in the film industry from several studios, remained facing Baba. Their eyes met, but but none thought they could create a film no word was spoken. Baba then walked about spirituality that would interest an quicidyback to the station and boarded the audience. Just the same, Baba made an train. Back on the train, Ruano narrated impression on many of these individuals the incident to the others and Baba said and He received multiple invitations to that the Indian was one ofHis “agents”— their homes. the “direct agent in charge of America.” As Baba revisited Paramount, Univer Baba later explained that he was an agent sal, Fox and Warner Brothers studios, He of the fourth plane—one of four in the was continually meeting celebrities, some world with miraculous powers. [1934] for the second or third time, including The train continued westward for actor Will Rogers, whose famous saying Baba’s second visit to Hollywood, arriving was, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” and in Pasadena on December 18, 1934. Baba movie director EricJoseph Von Sternberg. was delighted to be back in California One day Baba was giving darshan and and was driven with his group to a rented discourses to the celebrities, including house at 1840 Camino Palmero in West Maurice Chevalier, who had met Baba six Hollywood where they were to stay for a months earlier. Chevalier was so moved month. by Baba’s touch and embrace he wanted After a lapse of two and a half years, to meet Him again and again and wanted Baba had returned to Hollywood; but now to go to India to staywith Baba. Baba was his presence was an absolute secret. His photographed with actress Alice Faye and address was not publicized in the newssaw several films during this time, one of papers because this would have aroused which was Imitation ofL/è at the Pantages many people seeking to meet him, caus Theater on Hollywood Boulevard near •

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Vine Street. Baba and his group often took walks in the evenings along Hollywood Boulevard. One ofthe women recollected that the sunsets were fabulous, but hard to enjoy as Baba walked so fast they had to run to keep up with him. [1937] On one occasion, Norma telephoned an old friend, Mercedes D’Acosta, a movie screenwriter. Norma wanted D’Acosta to meet Baba, but she had been in a severe depression and so reftised. Norma finally convinced her friend, and upon seeing Baba, D’Acosta felt “overwhelming warmth radiating from him.” She rushed into his embrace and asked, “Who are you?” Baba gestured, “I am you.” Then sud denly he spelled out on his board, “Go and bring me your revolver.” Mercedes was amazed, for she had told no one about the gun in her glove compartment. She later recounted, “When I left the hospital some weeks earlier I was in bad shape. Having no job, I was unoccupied and very much alone. The unhappy ‘spells’ I used to have began to attack me again. I resurrected my revolver and went up to the hills and shot at targets that hung on trees. As I held it in my hand I felt again the old sense that it was a way ofescape.”[Awakener, Vol 18, no. 1, p. 15, and LM 1940] She went to the car and returned with the revolver, handing it to Baba. He took the bullets out one by one and handed the gun back to her. Baba then consoled her, “Suicide is not the solution. It only entails rebirth with the same problems all over again. The only solution is God-Realization—to see God in everything. Everything is easy then. Promise me that you will put this revolver away and never again think of suicide.” Feeling His compassion, Mercedes promised. She then told Baba about her friend Greta Garbo whom she loved dearly. Baba commented, “You both were hus band and wife in a past life in Italy. That is why there is such love between you.” Mercedes said, “This explains why Greta said when she first met me, ‘Oh, I have been looking for you.’ Baba added, “She was a yogi in a previ ous life and died suddenly. She has latent yogic powers in her in this life, too, but no spiritual elevation. She both suffers and enjoys simultaneously. She will be in the pangs ofsuch agony one day that she may commit suicide. She needs my contact. If she sees me, all this will change.”


Mercedes de Acosta

Karl Volimoeller

Alice Faye

for several weeks and when she returned Mercedes was happy meeting Baba and presented Him with a phonograph. Baba she found that her cook had transformed into a mild angelic creature, meek as a sent her a handkerchief as a New Year’s gift and directed her never to give it away. lamb. Puzzled by this, she finally de manded to know what had produced this She said that she would always sleep with change. The cook explained, “I know you it under her pillow. [1940] Mercedes then invited Baba to tea at will find it hard to believe, but while you her house. Baba usually declined most were away, I woke up one night to find my room flooded with light, and the Master invitations but, for her He consented. The following day the group arrived who came to tea entered my room. I got up out ofbed and touched him and, I swear I at Mercedes’ house by car. As soon as He felt his robe in my hands. For some reason entered the beautiful home, Baba marched that I cannot explain, I have not felt angry straight up to the top floor and proceeded since.” [1941] to open every closet and cupboard in the As the film work developed, Mercedes house, ending up in the kitchen. There stood the cook, a woman with an obviously agreed later to work for Baba by writing irritable disposition whom Mercedes kept the story continuity for a film in collabora tion with Garrett Fort, Jean and Malcolm on only because she was so good at her Schloss’ friend. Garrett Fort was a welljob. Beaming with a smile, Baba gently known screenwriter who worked on such patted the cook on the shoulder and then famous Hollywood films as Dracula, Fransat down for tea. kenstein, ThelnvisibleMan and TheLosiPa As Baba was ready to depart, Mercedes trol. Fort had been interested in spirituality and her friends assembled on the porch since childhood and, having Meher Baba’s while the cook peered through the screen contact during this period, he subsequently door. Baba suddenly went back up the came to love the master deeply. [An article steps, shook the cook’s hand and returned to the car. On the way back, Baba ordered on Fort was in the last issue.] In one of his stories, Vollmoeller had the driver to circle Greta Garbo’s house written that a husband and wife achieve three times. [1941] God-Realization together. On January Reflecting on Garbo’s missed opportu 1st, 1935, Baba tookVollmoeller aside and nity in meeting Him, Baba said she would pointed out that this could never happen. have difficulty balancing her inner psychic and spiritual needs and the demands of He explained, “No two souls united in a very public life, both onscreen and off; wedlock can be Realized together simul that He wanted to save her that difficulty taneously—never does it happen.” Vollmoeller asked Baba why this was and that she needed only one minute in The Master elaborated, drawing a so. necessary the and presence His physical “Because in the chain of births diagram: When she done. been work would have each opposite sex changes deaths, and His during party dinner had canceled the ly; that is, male becomes simultaneous simply He in 1932, first Hollywood visit becomes male.” Baba female and female, just it “Well, spelled out on the board, line denoting the vertical curving drew a history, rest is wasn’t meant to be.” The forms to il female and of male changing her house though by being driven around reincarnate souls “Two point. his lustrate three times, Baba may have saved her from for sex a number their changing together a worse fate. at that apart drift they until lifetimes A few days later, Mercedes went away of

Will Rogers

Constance Collier

certain point nearest to Realization.” Baba concluded, “The secrets of life are absolutely unintelligible to the human mind. That is why they are never revealed as they are, but in different methods and shapes. “Love, real and divine, does not evolve, nor is it realized from temporal love. They are both quite different. Human or temporal love at its best cannot be compared to divine love even in its beginning stage.” Baba Himself then dictated to Voll moeller the details ofhow the God-Realization scene should be portrayed on the screen and also gave instructions for a spirit dance and resurrection scene to be shown after the character dies. He specified, “The scene will have seven different movements accompanied by seven different musical themes with seven different colors in the background.” Margaret Craske, Quentin Tod and others were working on the cho reography for this. On Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas in 1934, Baba and His party sojourned at a beach colony in the town of Oceano, near Pismo Beach, up the coast from Los Angeles. It was the same place He had exiled Meredith Starr and his wife Margaret to on His first visit to Hollywood in 1932. Although Starr’s visitwas intended to be only a weekend, he ended up staying the entire summer and turned “The Dunes” into an ashram. Everyone took up medita tion. Now Baba himself was spending a day and a night there among a group of bohemians, artists and spiritual seekers who had come to know of Him through Starr. Their colonyhad been established in 1920s, and denizens were known as Dunites. [The Glow, Feb. 2005, p 7. Seepage l3forthe story ofthe Dunites.-Ed] William Huribut, another well-known screenplay writer who wrote Imitation of Lfè, came to see Baba onjanuary 4th. He found it difficult to articulate his question SI


of how he could live in the world, attend to his job and be spiritual at the same time. Baba understood what he meant, clarifying, “You mean spirituality made practical...” “Yes, that is exactly it,” Hurlbut inter— rupted. Baba assured him, “It is very easy, very simple. Its very simplicity makes it very difficult.” “Is it really? How strange!” Hurlbut said. “People’s ideas about God and spintuality are so far-fetched, fantastic and funny!” Baba replied, “Names and terms do not matter. It is the feeling that counts.” “What then should I do to feel and get a glimpse of it if I do not go deeper into it?” Hunibut asked. Baba explained, “For a man of your position in life, it is all right in a civilized country ofmodern ideals and age, to live as you do always keeping your mind toward higher aspirations.To speakfrankly,you are spiritual without being conscious of it.” William Hunibut questioned if Baba really meant it. Baba reassured him, “Yes. I know you are really more spiritual than you yourself know, and there is still much more you could do. I will explain it to you.” Baba then gave him instructions to concentrate on a particular thought for a number of minutes every day. Constance Collier, a Hollywood movie actress and drama teacher, came to see Baba at the house on Camino Palmero on January 6th. She said to him, “I have hundreds offniends, but not one could be called a true one. I feel so alone.” Baba gestured to her, “I am your friend—a real one.” “Yes, I believe you are. I do not feel alone since I have known you. Please remember me,” she asked. “I am in you all the time,” Baba assured her. Tullio Carminati, another screen actor, came to see Baba that evening. He had performed on stage with Norma years before and, although she was now older, he remarked to Norma, “Why, you look so much better than you did before. It is re ally something quite different, something divine. I can clearly see it.” Pointing to Baba, Norma replied, “It is his divinity that you see in me.Just look at him and see for yourself.” [1943-44] After weeks of discussions about His film project with various members of the Hollywood scene, Baba expressed His

intent to return to India. All involved were shocked and pleaded with Him to stay, saying that His presence was necessary to “inspire and guide us at every stage.” Baba replied, “This picture may take months or even a year or more to produce, and I cannot stay here indefinitely. I have to see to my work, es pecially in the East and more particularly in India. This film project is a side-work, although it is important. That is why I came over all this distance in response to your requests and repeated cables to work with you and bring it to this practical stage. “You work out the making of the film now as instructed, adhering mainly to the points and spiritual theme I have dictated. And wherever I am, Baba with Ruano andAdi Kin LosAngeles. I will always guide and help you internally. This is my work, and never made, and Gabriel was stranded in my guiding spirit will always enable you India. A more realistic man would have to tackle the difficult issues that may arise despaired, but Gabriel welcomed the in this. So do not worry at all and proceed opportunity. He put on pilgrim garb and with it, everyone in cooperation, and each accompanied Baba along the dusty roads in his or her individual way. Remember, I of India, visiting the holy places. The am always with you.” [1940-1944] Gabriel pilgrimage in India and then his stay in Pascal left Hollywood to travel with Baba Baba’s ashram was an experience Gabriel to India. remembered with nostalgia. Both Pascal and Markey nursed a “For the first time in my life I was re lifelong ambition to film Baba’s life. The ally free,” he told me. “I was poor and my Slippers of a Perfect Master was Pascal’s poverty was pure, as I desired nothing.” title. Both, curiously, postponed this In time desires returned, and about major opus until they had made a film of a year later Gabriel reappeared in the Gandhi’s life—better box office in those Western world, though he never gave up days. Both failed to film Baba (though the thought that one day he would return Markey did make his film of Gandhi, in to India and become a monk. His farewell India). Perhaps more sadly in the eyes of gift from Baba was a pair ofsandals, once history, neither one ever shot one frame of worn by the master himself. The sandals documentary on the world’s most incred and a small weather-beaten suitcase were ible—and photogenic—Cosmic Hero. the only luggage Gabriel had when he [Awakener, Vol. 18, No. 1, p 1] That was was put ashore in San Francisco by a sea left to a filmmaker who was not even a captain he had befriended in Bombay. Baba lover, Louis Van Gasteren, a Dutch Gabriel went to the St. Francis Hotel, documentanian who was interviewing inwhere he knew the Italian manager. It took fluential people around the world for their some time for the manager to recognize views on drugs. Having heard the Indian his old customer in the bearded Hindu. Master Meher Baba was very much against Gabriel, as always, chose the best room. the use ofdrugs, he made arrangements to As a man of intuition, Gabriel sensed go to India with his film crew and meet that soon a great change was to come in with Him. See boxfor more details on this his life but where and how? He decided film. -Ed to try Hollywood again. The various films that Pascal and The manager ofthe hotel was firm. GaMarkey wanted to make, were of course, bniel must leave his one and only suitcase


my Phoenix, and you will work for in lieu of unpaid bills. He offered me in the future, particularly through Baba’s sandals in settlement. motion pictures.” IfPascalhad taken “You have to realize,” Gabriel birth again immediately after his said, “That those sandals are worth passing, as Baba said often happens miffions of dollars. They belonged after being in His personal contact, to a seer in India. I tell you they will he’d probably be in his early fifties bring luck and you are fortunate to now, and carrying over impressions have them for my stinky little hotel from his last life, most likely “in the bill.” And as he talked, his dark eyes biz,” as the saying goes. above his beard vibrated with the Alexander Markey, the screenpower of the yogis. writer who did the treatment for This Overwhelmed by the magic sanMan Davic4 had not been in touch dais, the manager, being Italian and with Baba or any ofHis lovers since superstitious, let Gabriel go. their first meeting in London. MarWhen, years later, Gabriel came key’s intention was to write a play back to the St. Francis with plenty and he made a last-minute decision of money to collect his sandals, the to go to Cannes to begin the writing. manager was no longer there. Having When he arrived there, he received a become a multimillionaire sharetelegram that had been forwarded to holder in a big company, he kept him from London stating that Methe lucky sandals in a safe deposit her Baba was on His way to Cannes box. He refused Gabriel’s money and would like to meet Markey but permitted him to see the sandals there. Markey was amazed. Such once more. The butler brought them I coincidences only further strengthin. The worn, cowhide sandals, the ened his love and faith in the master. work of an Indian village cobbler, When they met in Cannes, they had were lying on a solid gold platter. F long discussions about more possible [Awakener, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 16.] film projects, which the Universal Pascal had come into contact Filmmaker pretended were essential with Baba once more, in July 1952 Baba with Chummy. Nonny looks on. to his purposes. “However, Baba in Scarsdale, New York, while Baba was recuperating from His auto accident somewhat tragic note as he left the world later indicated that the real reason why that had occurred weeks earlier in Prague, heartbroken and penniless. But to the end, he showed so much interest in producing a movie was to draw Markey and others, Oklahoma. Once again, the film was he remained Baba’s. such as Gabriel Pascal and Garrett Fort, to discus sed. Meanwhile, however, Pascal Some years ago, I wrote a letter to his embarked on a brief and hectic career in widow, Valerie, after reading her book him and to give them his spiritual contact. the industryc Dynamic and a true genius, about Shaw and Pascal’s tumultuous rela The actual movie was not essential to the he lacked self-discipline. He was the only tionship, TheDevilandhis Discipk, the title Master’s work.” [2215] Perhaps he was keeping them in the director that George Bernard Shaw—who a take-offon one ofShaw’s most renowned also considered him a genius—trusted plays, The Devilc Disciple. However I got wings for something else later on, as with his material, like Pygmalion, which no response. Baba had told Pascal, “You are Baba disclosed to Markey. “Someday the themes we are discussing Pascal brought to the stage, now will form the basis although he died before of an entirely new trend bringing the musical version in motion pictures.” [2215] to Broadway. Ten years after perhaps, someday in a And death, property his Pascal’s life, these very souls future and in was worth millions, the ones to pull the be will 1964 Hollywood brought off. adventures it to the screen as My Fair of these projects, One Lady, directed by George scenario on amazing an Cukor. [The God-Man, p. traced three reincarnation, 126-7.] weaved in an out that lives Pascal loved Baba proout playing with each other foundly and he suffered repercussions karmic their much because of his erratic over a span of countless nature and, without losing centuries. And though none his inner contact with Baba, ofBaba’s film projects were externally he drifted away. ever brought to the silver His finale in New York was screen, we still have the pitiftil, ending in 1954 on a L to R.Adi K, Kaka with Chummy, Baba, Chanji andBrotherJal. •

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Hollywood, December 1934 —January 1935. Standing. BrotherJal, Minta, unidentjfted, Meher Baba, Norma, Nadine, Elizabeth, Rano andAdi K SeatedJean Adriel, Nonny and Ruano.

complete synopsis of this final film proposal tucked away in the archives. Perhaps we’ll bring it out when Baba’s “Phoenix” returns. It’s strange that none of these scripts have survived. Those involved at the time had invested in shares in the film. Years later, while out driving in India, Elizabeth Patterson asked Margaret Craske what she had done with her shares. “I burned them,” Margaret replied. Elizabeth was so shocked she almost drove into a ditch. Still, Baba’s ideas were a revelation for these movie executives. Among those deeply impressed by Baba’s divine persona]it)r were Cecil B. De Mile and his wife. De Mile claimed that their meetings in the 1930s had had a profound impact on his life.Twentyyears later, in the 1950s, he and Baba sent messages back and forth over DeMille’s movie The Ten Commandments.

Baba had seen the ftlm with His men and liked it very much. That evening He called Mehera and the rest ofthe women, saying that it was an excellent movie and that Moses had indeed heard the voice of God on Mt. Sinai and was given the Ten Commandments. Baba said that when Moses saw the Light of God, the Divine Noor, as described by the burning bush, he was so overpowered he instantly lost consciousness. Thkenfrom a kiter Mehera

wrote February 5, 1956, to Ella Winter-

frldt.-EcL They failed to show that in the film, Baba said, as well as the part where Moses struck the rock with his rod and fresh water flowed to quench the thirst of the desert wanderers. Baba also explained that this scene in Moses’ life was a foreshadowing ofJesus, who would complete Moses’ work. He said that the tablets were merely symbols, that the real commandments are engraved in every human heart. Two days later, Baba sent the women to see the movie. DeMille had a productive, albeit controversial career in Hollywood. He was touched that Baba had remembered him after all those years. He followed up with a letter referring to Baba as a “venerable religious leader” and thanking him for his “silent, prayerful work and prophetic leadership to the film industry” [Gfi of God,p. 159] A couple ofycars later, Baba was in Los Angeles and was asked by aJewish disciple how he could best serve Him. Baba gave him an idea of how difficult it was to fol low Him saying, “I want your body, mind and possessions,” and then added, “My love brought you here. “Moses and Peter served me imperfectly, and you will too. They doubted and denied me, and you will doubt and deny me. Although . .“

Moses prepared the way for Jesus, he did not control his anger, and Peter literally denied his Master.” [4448] Baba also revealed that he had been Abraham. I asked EruchJessawala, Baba’s “St. Peter” in this advent, about this once. Eruch said that a number of Zoroastri ans were among the early followers of Abraham. They recognized Abraham as the Prophet Zarathustra returned, and called him “Zoroaster.” Because of this, some historians believe there were two or more Zarathustras. [Stay With Goa’ p. 156., How a Master Works, p. 435,Ancient One, p. 212.] Hollywood found it difficult to portray things in the way Baba wished. Blending the material aspects of production with spiritual themes that audiences would find appealing was a challenge to pre digitalized Hollywood. But I believe the future will recognize that Meher Baba’s days in Hollywood were not only enormously productive, but are not only far from over but have yet to begin. His visits during the 1930s to MGM, Paramount, Universal, Fox, RKO and Warner Brothers were just more cable laying, which has already shown remarkable results, and will continue to yield even more in the near fliture—and for ages to come. In 1974, Adi K. Irani, a mandali


member and Baba’s secretary during the time of the 1934 -1935 film discussions in Hollywood, was at Pete Townshend’s complex in London and said: “I was asked to discuss the film with the scenario writers and producers. We discussed and discussed and they could not agree on anything at all. They felt the entire material was such a heavy thing that they told me in a particularly strong manner that there was enough material to produce ten different films. They started fighting over every word—Maya—no Maya, etc., words suggested byBaba Himself And we all learned two words from them—Box Office! They only thought of box office appeal.The theme was such they didn’t want it at all. “I really got a little fed up and I told Baba it wasn’t possible. We’d never get it produced. The theme by then had been so diluted, so simplified by them that it had lost its aroma, it had lost its theme, it would become some mere box office story and that’s what I knew of Hollywood during our month’s stay. The film project was entirely given up; that was in 1934-5.” The actual dates were December 1 8, 1 934, to January 7, 1935. -Eel Now just see how things happen in this amazing world. Here is a footnote to this story that involved me. Fifteen years after Meher Baba finished his work in Hollywood, MGM produced a movie, TheNext Voice You Hear. It was 1950, dur ing the Cold War, a time of great unrest throughout the world. Directed by William Weilman, the movie starredjames Whitmore and Nancy Davis, a woman who was just two years away from marrying a remarkable man who would reach out to the president of the USSR and challenge him to “tear down that wall” [Ronald Reagan], an event that not only happened, but exactly coincided with Baba’s beloved Mehera’s dropping her body. The movie’s premise was God deliv ering His urgent message to humanity by “breaking His silence on the radio.” It was one of the first of the famous MGM “message movies” of the early 1950s, spearheaded by Dore Schary, then production chiefat Metro. Schary toppled Louis B. Mayer from MGM during the tumultuous early days of television when he insisted that the studio needed to put less emphasis on its musical genre and fo cus on more relevant—message pictures. Whether Schary or any of his produc tion team ever met Baba in the early days, . . .

we will never know; however he wrote a fascinating book, TheNext 14,ice You Hear. This was the case history ofthe eponymous movie from inception through screenplay development, from casting and pre-produc tion to post, and then to its sneak preview on a rainy Fridayevening with the “smell of wet wool” in a Glendale movie house, just before the final studio cut and its public release in theaters nationwide. I read this book when I was sixteen, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. It inflamed me, changed my life—not about God—but about what I reallywanted to do with my life, which was to become a great movie producer and director. This book was part of my passage to adulthood. I fired off a letter full of young, virgin enthusiasm to Mr. Schary, who had so inspired me. He floored me by inviting me out the following summer as a guest of MGM to see firsthand how movies were made. It was the beginning of some wild fantasies—maybe they’d hire me. For years, I saved the clothes I wore to MGM, like a bridegroom might save his mx. That was just the beginning of a long chain of events that would eventually bring me to the Master. The Next Voice You Hear received a Golden Globe nomi nation in 1950 for Best Film in the ‘Promot ing International Understanding’ category. One’s chances of catching this movie on televi non are about as rare as an archangel taking hu man form. The perfor mances and the story’s characters may be a bit corny by today’s standards, but comments by individuals on Internet Movie Database (www. imdb.com/) run like this: “Much loved to be so rarely seen.” “This movie is about the rela tionship between God and humanity” “Would this be a movie about the Second Coming as seen through the eyes of those who created this film so many decades ago?” “A tenderhearted, wise movie a wonderful job in getting . .

across this wonderful news.” The Next Voice You Hear is not only never shown, but I have yet to see it, even way back then. I only read about it in a book. In looking back, Meher Baba was like a couple offrames slipped subliminally into the film ofhumanity’s collective consciousness known as Hollywood, as though we know and felt we saw something, but we’re not quite sure what. A final note of irony is that while attending St. Vincent’s High School in 191 1, young Merwan wrote and laboriously typed in English a 200-page scenario and mailed it overseas to Universal Studios in Hollywood. Even before He knew that the film known as The Universe emanated from Him as the great producer, He was onto Hollywood. He never received a reply from Universal. For those who think that Baba’s mes

sage to Hollywood had fallen on deaf ears, the American Film Institute’s (AFI) telecast ofAmerica’s most inspiring mov ies, aired in 2006 on CBS as lOOYears, 100 Cheers, has definitely proved otherwise. It clearly shows how the films of the 1930s have deeply moved and inspired human beings. Excerpts from the 100 films de picted lives of characters with vision and

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conviction, who sometimes faced the worst adversity and were often forced to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. Many ofthese films helped burst chains of bondage and incited movement toward the higher good in American histor as well as providing us the metaphor for America itself: “Ifyou build it, He will come.” In first place was Frank Capra’s film, Itc a WonderfulLjjè, showing not in terms of box office or weekend grosses, but in the people around us, offering hope for

humanity, that “everyone is first and no one is second.” The AFT Web site states, “Whether these movies ended happily or not, they are ultimately triumphant—ifil ing audiences all over the world with promise and empowering them with the true spirit of human potential.” These films were America’s real ambas sadors around the world, inspiring ideals not only exclusively American, but also encompassing values and goals that an en-

tire planet wanted to emulate.They closely represent what Meher Baba’s original vision for Hollywood embodied. For those interested in seeing how the motion picture industry viewed and judged its own work regarding inspiring films, there is the list at the end of this article on page 58. List of inspiringfilms continued frompage 56. Th Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Rocky (1976), The Grapes of Wrath (1940),

3 Am )3our 3riend 3from Dndia JalS. Irani [Thefollowing three stories by Adi were all takenfrom the special edition of “The Awakener Magazine” titled ‘Meher Baba in Hollywood”, Volume XVIII, Filis Frederick Editor, © 1978 by The Uni versal Spiritual League in America, Inc. Currently available at the Love Street Bookstore $5]

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mong those eager to meet Baba was Greta Garbo, who heard of Him through Mercedes d’Acosta, a close friend, but she was not lucky enough to meet Him physically. Even though Baba stayed in Hollywood for a short period, His love and mes sages spread very rapidly in many studios. Theywere eagerly awaiting His visit to the studios, to seek His blessings, hear Him give divine discourses and embrace God in His physical, human form. They also were eager to act in His long-awaited spiritual movie picture, which would show how the world is all maya, false illusion. Manyyears ago, Baba and myselfsaw the movie The Kid in Poona. Marie Dressler, Charles Chaplin andJackie Coogan were acting in that picture. We liked it very much. Chaplin and Dressier were the topmost comedians in the world. Marie was a Baba lover. She loved Baba very much, but we had not met. So once she invited us to the studio for tea. I went with Marie Dressier

Norma Matchabelli, Nadine Tolstoy and others. She was very happy to receive us. She served us tea, then turned and looked at me and said, “Are you an Indian?” I said yes. Then I said to her, “Are you a Negress?” She said “yes, why?” I made her laugh loudly for three minutes by saying that a Negress in Poona frowned on her husband for days. Then like a burst of sunshine from a cloudy sky she smiled. The husband said, “Do you mean you forgive me now, honey, the way you smile?” The Negress said, “No, you rascal, I am just resting my face.” After enjoying thejoke, Marie Dressler asked Norma who I was. She said, sur prising her, I was Baba’s younger brother. Marie lifted me up, hugged me with kisses and said to Norma that I was the most tal ented humorist in the world. She laughed so much, and then I talked of Baba with her for a long time and it made her come closer to Baba. I was going to help produce Baba’s spiritual movie, with Gabriel Pascal to direct it, and Francis Lederer and Tulio Carmanati to act in it. It was composed by Baba Himself, and would have awak ened the world from their dreams and illusions. I spent the fullest, happiest days with Baba in Hollywood, visiting the studios and the famous stars, mixing with them freely and lovingly as if they all belonged to Baba eternally. Baba had planned all this for His work. One day some ofthem came to see Baba but unfortunately He was in seclusion that day and would not see anybody. The visi tors were sad and disheartened to hear He would not see them. I asked Baba, “Please embrace them and bless them and let them

sit near You. Their lives are so unnatural, like dream into dream, illusion into illusion. They are like frogs in the well of illusion, crawling the walls to get out, but falling down again, and again. It’s up to you, Baba, to pick them out of the well and bring them into the open to feel and realize your divinity to get awakened from all the mess ofillusion.” Baba, the Ocean ofLove and mercy, met them; they left with His Love shining in their faces and hearts. Once, I was in the Waldorf Hotel in New York along with a Baba lover, on the 34th floor. Nearby, about 200 men and women were enjoying a gay party in a big hall, dancing, singing, enjoying the delicious food. I had an urge to talk to them about Baba. I took Baba’s name and addressed them as my loving brothers and sisters. I said, “I would like to speak a few words to you. I am your friend from India. We are like one big family of God, temporarily separated. I am so happy to see you all at this moment enjoying life at its best and most happy mood dancing, singing, enjoying delicious food, but supposing at this moment a bomb falls here or an earthquake takes place. In a split second you become ash. The ash will never know it was enjoying life, happiness, friends. If you know this can happen any day, any moment, why miss the opportunity, while you still have the body God has given you, to love God, to love Baba, to come closer to Him and to realize that life is beyond all this? “Every second you have the body, as a medium to realize God; take that second as ifit were a hundred years. All the delicious food you enjoyed so much becomes shit the next morning because it is all illusion.” —


Everyone listened to me in dead silence, nen cheered me and thanked me for the beneficial talk and advice. They requested that I come the next day for more talks, but I did not go back. A few years ago, Irwin and Edward Luck visited India to tape and film Baba lovers. They filmed and taped myself and my younger brother, Behram, reminiscing on our experiences with beloved Baba. Alter that I took them in a special taxi to the Government hospital for lepers, some 10 miles from Poona. About 200 lepers, both men and women, are inmates there. I hugged and embraced each and ev eryone of them; they were surprised and dumbfounded, because not even their nearest relatives, who had no leprosy, would embrace them. I embraced them for two days; I was not embracing the lepers, I was embracing Baba two hundred times, as I see Baba in every human form.The Luckbrothers have this on film which they have shown on their return to the U.S. Everyone should see that ifim to understand that all is illusion. I saw Baba in all the lepers; and I have not been the least affected up to now. We call this one of the miracles of Baba, but Baba says ‘I never perform any miracle, everything is illusion, even a miracle is illusion. So how can I perform this miracle that is illusion. My miracle is to awaken you from this illusion. Love Me more and more; come closer to Me and merge into My Ocean of love and bliss eternally.” Many ofmy talks on Baba, our Com passionate Father and Mother, were inspired by my being with the famous film stars and visiting the Hollywood studios, as Baba gave me the chance and the cour age, to tell the truth ofBaba’s own creation, to the Hollywood world.

J4lcturice Chevalier JalS. Irani arties were given by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks at Pickfair, Bev erly Hills. Mary met Baba sev Maurice Chevalier eral times and spent time with Him enjoying His love and bliss. If Baba would have stayed a little longer in Hol

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lywood, I believe the whole town would have become a holy city ofBaba lovers. Another time when I was on the porch ofMalcolm’s house, and Baba was busy giving darshan and discourses to the movie celebrities, and instructions about His movie project, I met the French ac tor, Maurice Chevalier. He met Baba and was so moved by His touch and embrace, he wanted to meet Him again and again and even wanted to come to India to stay with Baba. He looked so radiant with Baba’s love shining on his face, he seemed a changed man. I had seen one of his films and I liked it. I thought it was hilarious. He was happy to meet me and asked me to go with him for tea. We took a taxi and on the way my eye fell on the meter; it was running awfully fast and the money was going up. Maurice told me not to worry. “Is there any meter problem in India which makes you worry?” he asked. Right away I told him of a humorous incident which took place in Bombay. A newly-married couple were strolling near the seashore. Suddenly a boatman approached and asked if they would like to see where St. Peter walked on the water. “It’s about one mile from here,” he said. The couple were excited at seeing such a miracle. So they jumped in the boat; the man rowed them out a mile and showed the exact spot where St. Peter walked on water 1,000 feet deep. When theylanded on shore the couple thanked the boatman, garlanded him, took his autograph and his picture, and praised him highly; then they said, “Tell us your charges as a guide for showing us where St. Peter walked on water.” “Ten dollars apiece,” the boatman replied. “What?! No wonder Peter walked!” the couple shouted. Maurice laughed aloud. He picked me up and hugged me for a moment and said, “Jal, the way you tell it really made me burst with laughter as never before! You can make even an animal laugh! Or Buster Keaton, whom they say never laughed. You talk beautiftilly and impressively of Baba in a way that makes people love Baba and come closer to Him.” Then Baba called me, and I had to go with Him. I never saw Maurice again. He had even invited me to his studio to introduce me to his friends and have me talk ofBaba to enlighten them.

Boris 2<arloff Jal S. Irani often re member that memorable and unforgettable year 1934, being with Baba in Hollywood, when many fa mous film stars Boris Karloff were fortunate to meet Baba. Being with Him, experi encing His physical touch and embrace changed their lives. Many of them met Baba in 1932, such as Charles Laughton, Gary Cooper, Tallulah Bankhead, Lewis Stone, Tom Mix, Boris Karloff Marie Dressler, John Gilbert and others. Many ofthese stars were filled withjoy and happiness at the prospect that God in human form would visit their studios, bless them and see them act. We were staying with Jean and Mal colm Schloss in Hollywood. Many stars from Beverly Hills would come and meet Him and go back home carrying His love. Baba was busy meeting with stars, writers, directors, discussing with them His forthcoming unique and fantastic spiritual movie. One day I went out on the porch for some fresh air. Boris Karloff who acted in the Frankenstein film, was very happy to meet me, Baba’s younger brother. He smiled, embraced and hugged me with love. He told me how fortunate he was to embrace Baba physically and have His blessings. He said he felt a changed man, that he had taken a new birth, and that he loved Baba very much. He asked me if I was married and I replied, “Yes only to Baba eternally.” I knew he was never happy in his horror films. Now I never praise Baba directly. Instead with my well-known sense ofhumor, I make people laugh and be happy with my humorous jokes. Then I talk of Baba, which goes deep in the mind and makes them happy to listen most lovingly. Boris told me he had been acting in horror films for many years which was his destiny. He said he did not feel his life was a natural, normal one, that nobody made him happy with humorous talks or sweet discourses. But since meeting Baba and getting His embrace, he felt his life had changed considerably and now he felt all was illusion, false maya.

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He asked me why I am not married. I felt I should explain it in a humorous way to make him happy. I told him that when I was staying in Poona, a newly married couple were staying next to my room. They were quarreling the whole night, throwing and smashing dishes at each other. I could not sleep all night because of their racket. The next morning I enquired from the husband, “Who won the fight last night?” He was surprised at my question and asked, “What do you mean, who won the fight last night, the first night of our marriage? She came crawling on her knees to my bedside.” “Did she say forgive me, I’m so sorry?”, I asked. “0, no, she said, ‘Come out from under the bed, you big coward!” Boris could not control his laughter. He lifted me up, hugged me and said, “This is the first time in my life I am laughing naturally. Jal, you are a genius, making us telling beautiful happy with laughter stories ofBaba’s divinitywhich enters deep into our heart and mind.”Then after a few minutes Baba called me to Him; I never saw Boris again. I would explain to whomever I met that Baba is the resident and inner moti vator of every heart, God in human form the divine surgeon who, by His Grace and Compassion, removes the mind and heart of illusion and replaces them with the divine heart and mind. He makes you jump out of the well of illusion, maya, falsehood, to merge into His Ocean of love and bliss eternally. .

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Breaking Away (1979), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Apollo 13 (1995), Hoosiers (1986), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Miracle Worker (1962), Norma Rae (1979), One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975), The Diary ofAnne Frank (1959), The Right Stuff (1983), Philadelphia (1993), In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Pride ofthe Yankees (1942), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), National Velvet (1944), Sullivanc Travels (1941), The WizardofOz (1939), High Noon (1952), Field of Dreams (1989), Gandhi (1982), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Glory (1989), Casablanca (1942), City Lights (1931), All the Pres ident Men (1976), Guess Whos Coming to Dinner (1967), On the Waterfront (1954), Forrest Gump (1994), Pinocchio (1940), Star Wars (1977), Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Sound ofMusic (1965), 12

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Angry Men (1957), Gone with the Wind (1939), Spartacus (1960), On Golden Pond (1981), Lilies ofthe Field (1963), 2001:A Space Odyssey (1968), TheAfrican Queen (1951), MeetJohn Doe (1941), Seabiscuit (2003), Dead Poets Society (1989), Shane (1953), Rudy (1993), The Dftant Ones (1958), Ben-Hur (1959), Sergeant York (1941), Dances with Wolves (1990), The Killing Fields (1984), Sounder (1972), Braveheart (1995), Rain Man (1988), TheBlack Stallion (1979),ARaisin in the Sun (1961), Silkwood(1983), TheDay the Earth Stood Still(1951),An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), The Spirit ofSt. Louis (1957), Coal Minerc Daughter (1980), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Dark Victory (1939), Erin Brockovich (2000), Gunga Din (1939), The Verdict (1982), Birdman ofAlcatraz (1962), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Ten Commandments (1956), Babe (1995), Boys Town (1938), Fiddler on the Roof(1971), Mi Deeds Goes to Town (1936), StandandDeliver (1988), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), HaroldandMaude (1972), HotelRwanda (2004), The Paper Chase (1973), A Beautful Mind (2001), Captains Courageous (1937), Places in the Heart (1984), SearchingForBobby Fischer (1993), Madame Curie (1943), The Karate Kid (1984), Chariots ofFire (1981) Frank Capra (1897-1991), who was already in the prime ofhis directing career when Baba was in Hollywood, and Steven Spielberg, born in 1946, (possibly a ‘30s Hollywood crossover from his most recent life,) each had six inspiring movies, leading all other directors. Whether Capra had physical contact with Baba is unknown. But whether Hollywood realized it or not,

it just might have received the push He intended to give it. Capra’s films are Mi Deeds Goes To Thwn (‘36), You Cant Thke It With You (‘38), Mi Smith Goes To Washington (‘39), MeetJohn Doe (‘41) ItsA WonderfulLfè (‘46) and Pocketful OfMiracles (‘61). Spielberg directed Close Encounters of The Third Kind (‘77), E. T The ExtraTerrestrial (‘82), The Color Purple (‘85), Schindlerc List (‘93), Amistad (‘97) and Saving Private Ryan (‘98). Real life people and events inspired over one third ofthese movies. In addition, the year 1939, four years after Meher Baba completed His work in Hollywood, was the most represented year, with 12 inspir ing films. Baba himselfsaw many of these films during the 1930s, 40s and SOs. He once said to a well-known movie director, “If you read God Speaks, you will have a wider view ofthe spiritual panorama ofthe Divine Drama, which reveals the secret of Creation. The entire Creation is a ‘game of love’ or ‘Leela’, which God enjoys at His own cost. “In the motion picture industry you should also introduce the spiritual truths, but do so gradually—this is the need ofthe time. If you become successful in this, it will be profitable both ways to you—materially and spiritually. While directing or producing such films, however, keep always in your mind that, except God, everything is illusion.Then the ‘works’ will not bind you, and the heart will become more and more pure and able to reveal God’s Treasure.” [TheAwakenerMagazine, Vol. 18, no.1, p 40.] [Photos ofthe actors usedfor the Holly— wood article arefound at www. Wiki pedia. com, http.//silentladies. com, and http://www. imdb. corn]


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[Ihadheardmanytzmes, especzallysgfr3pryztzng4ctzrçfrom : Soldiers—dont MurshzdMacKze, how much Baba lovedthzs movie One ofour give yourselves to readers subinitiéda transrn)t ofthefinalwords ofthefilm—I brutes, men who was astonished lt was as though Baba Himse(fwas speaking! : despise you and 1 Phave reprintedithere, butfirst readwhatwefoundin Lord enslaveou—W’ Mther Vblseven, page 2665.—Ed] regimentyourlives, jellyouwhatto do, On February 1$th 1941 while in Delhi, Baba and the what and to think men went to see the new Charlie Chaplin movie, The Great -to feel, who Dictatoi. Baba likedthe movie imthñsèly’ 7tis the onlyfllm dnll diet you, you, Iwouldhave likedto see seven tinüs, “he remarked HebddZ you as cattle, a letter written to theMeherabadmandali, instructing that r as cannon fodder everyone shouldsee the movie, andany number oftimes they Dor?t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine liked andhefis;theraddedthatthose who hadbeenforbidden to seefilms under the current restrictions were allowed to sEe men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not : machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love:” only this movie when it came to their area. he Jewish Barber (Charlie Chaplin’s character): “I don’t ofhumanity in your hearts. You don’t hate—only the unloved .: and the unnatural. Soldiers—don’t want to be an Emperor—than not fnybusiness—I doth hate, Only the unloved fight liberty fight for slavery, for want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone of Saint Luke it is written “the In seventeenth the chapter ifpossible,Jew, gentile, black man, white. We allwant to help kingdom ofGod is within man” —not one man, nor a group one another, human beings are like that. in all men—in you, the people. ofmen—but We all want to live by each othe?s happiness, not by each other’s miseryWe don’twant to hate and despise one another. You the people have the power, the power to create maIn this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich chines, the power to create happiness. You the people have and can provide for everyone. the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s The way oflife can be free and beautiflil. use that power—let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, But we have lost the way. a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will Greed has poisoned men’s souls has barricaded the world give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. these things, brutes have risen to powe; but they lie. They do We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themmachinerythat gives abundance has left us in want Our knowl selves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil edge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with, think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intoler need humaffity more than cleverness we need kindness and ance. Let us fight for a world ofreason, a world where science gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. will be lost. Soldier—in the name ofdemocracy, let us all unite! The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer to— Lookup! Lookup! The clouds are lifting—the sun is breakgether. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the ing through.We are coming out ofthe darkness into the light. goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions men will rise above their hate and brutality throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women The soul of man has been given wings—and at last he is and little children, victims ofa system that makes men torture to fly. He is flying into the rainbow—into the light beginning and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I ofhope—into rhe future, that glorious future that belongs to say ‘Do not despair.” you, to me and to all ofus. Look up. Look up.” The misery that is now upon us is but the passing ofgreed, The 1940fi1rn The Great Dictator, written and directed the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: by Charlie Chaplin, was shot larg4y at the Chaplin Studios the hate ofmen will pass and dictators die and the power they locations aroundLosAngeles. It was nominatedfor andother took from the people, will return to the people, and so long as AcademyAwardsfor Best Picture andBestActor (Chaplin). men die [now) liberty will never perish... ‘;‘

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13rillictnt 3,film of 7V1eIier Baba Compiled by Ed Flannaganfrom Lord Meher*

Van Gasteren, a re nowned feature and doc umentary filmmaker flew in from Amsterdam with his crew, among whom was cameraman Jan deBonte, who would later achieve Hollywood fame as an acclaimed cinematographer. Rounding out the crew wereJok’e Meerman and soundman Peter Brugman. Van Gasteren’s purpose was “to com municate the fact ofMeher Baba” to the world via the media offilm, and it was the first and only time Baba was briffiantly captured on 35mm color film. The images ofBaba are beauti flil and striking, giving an intimate closeup of the Avatar both in Meherabad and Meherazad. Eruch interpreted Baba’s hand gestures as he shared a series of mes sages after washing the feet and bowing down to seven lepers. Before starting, he stated, “Lepers are beautiful souls in ugly cages. By bowing down to the lepers, I am bowing down to myself I am in them, I am everything and everyone.” After Baba finished his work with the seven lepers, Van Gasteren requested him to sit in the garden to film a few more scenes. Baba acceded and was filmed against a bougainvillea bush and then behind Meherazad near a dry gully. A chair for Baba was kept under the shade oftwo babul trees with his Seclusion Hill in the background and shepherds in the distance. As Van Gasteren offered Baba a branch of bougainvillea, he began his questioning of the Avatar. Seated in the open rural countryside, Baba looked more lustrous than the mandali had seen him in years. His smile was beatific.The following dialogue took place as Van Gasteren asked, “Baba, tell me who you are?” Baba’s reply was poignant: “I am the Ancient One who, for the salvation of the universe, has taken human form. I am God in human form. My experience of Godhood is continuous, without a break. But there are those who call themselves God incarnate, and say that they experience God-Realization, when they do not. They are hypocrites! Better than them are those

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One who is on the path sees God in everything and everywhere. This conviction through sight is greater than conviction through intellect. The third type of conviction is through becoming One with God. That is the real convic tion, the realization of God. One who has realized God knows that He alone IS. He has the real and continuous experience of infinite knowledge, power and bliss. “The difference between this real experience ofGod-Realization and the false experiences obtained through taking drugs is that the former is a continuous experience without a break, whereas experiences gotten through drugs are not continuous. Drug experiences are false and harmiful, physically, mentally and spiritually. When I break my silence, I say that the world will come to know what God is. God IS because you are; you are because God IS. But that experience only one in a million can have.” An Indian fllmmaker,Jagat Mural, who was simultaneously shooting in 35mm black and white, asked “What is your message to mankind?” “My message is that the goal of life is the Realization of God. AU else is a dream.” “How can a man become one with God?” Murari asked. “I have explained: through love. That love is a gift of God by the grace of the Perfect Masters.” Van Gasteren then asked, “Do you think that the experience of watching a film is also a form of meditation?” Eruch was interpreting Baba’s gestures and speaking for him: “Baba will tell you about it. First, one important point is that this is the forty-third year of my silence. It is a continuous silence, without any break. Almost every year, I tell my followers that next year I will break my silence. And yet, I continue to be silent.... “It is like the doctor who knows that it will take a month to cure his patient. Yet, when he sees the patient, he wants to comfort him, so he says, ‘Don’t worry. After seven days you’ll be all right.’ Every week the doctor repeats this, and in due ...

A stillframefrom the video Beyond Words.

who have not realized God, and who do not say that they are God.... “In India, since ages there are those who use drugs such as ganja, marijuana, hemp juice, hashish and opium. They feel uplifted when they take these drugs; they see colors and sights. They feel, through their hallu cinations, that they have reached the Goal. In the end they go crazy, theybecome mad. That false experience is not continuous; there is a break in their experience. Only real experience is continuous.” “How can one find oneself, and therefore God?” Van Gasteren asked. “The aim oflife is to love God, and the goal of life is to become One with God. And to realize God, one must have love. There are two kinds of love, one love is the worldly love, one loves his wife, his children, and the world. The other kind of love is divine love, and that can be had only by complete renunciation of the whole world. But this does not mean that you leave your family, children and your worldly responsibilities. Not outward, but mental renunciation is ofimportance, and that can only be had by the grace of the Perfect Master. Is it clear to you? “There are three kinds of conviction: The first kind is called intellectual convic tion, conviction through the intellect. That means that through a definite understanding, through reading, that God exists. The second type ofconviction is through sight. *By Bhau Kaichuri @AMBPPCT


time the patient does get well. So I tell my devotees and the world that I will be speaking next year or sometime after next year, and yet I continue my silence. But now, positively, I am going to break my silence very soon, because the time for the ‘cure’ is coming. And the patients are also getting impatient for the cure.” About those who would eventually see the film, Baba commented: “The film world has magnificent scope to tell the world about spiritual things they should know. Those who see films forget themselves and put their hearts and minds into the show. They forget their worries and the world. The most important thing is to forget oneself and realize God.” A message from Baba was read out specifically for Van Gasteren: “I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice, the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak. My outward silence is not a spiritual exercise; it has been undertaken and maintained solely for the good of the world. God has been everlastinglyworking in silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those who experience his infinite silence. My message to you, Louis, is that you had the good fortune offilming me and the re suit ofthis opportunity is tremendous. You have helped me in my universal work.” Baba was in a happy, communicative mood. Love was shining from his eyes and there was an exceptional splendor in his expression. After the filming, Baba returned to the main house and Van Gasteren and his assistants prepared to depart. Before leaving, Baba remarked to him, “Love me more and more until one day you will know who I am.” In the afternoon, Baba had the seven lepers gathered again, presenting them with new white sheets and blankets and laying his head on their feet. Baba’s brother Beheram had also come from Poona that day and took photographs. Thus ended Meher Baba’s last workwith lepers, thereafter he held no more such events. Dur ing this last function, Baba would often signify: “The incomparable Atma (Soul) dwells in these ugly bodies!” Before leaving Ahmednagar, Van Gasteren was taken to Meherabad, where he did some additional filming. Later it began raining heavily. It seemed to those present that Baba had held up the rains until Van Gasteren had finished his work. The next morning, Baba commented on the film

crew’s efficien cy, “Louis and ( his men know ,c their job. I felt happy with Louis, not only because he is an artist, but also because he has a good heart. He was impressed very much by mylove, as were his assistants. Louis is a ge nius in his art. Because of this, and because of his love for me, I cooperated one hundred percent and he made the most of this oppor mnit” Referring to esus’ J sermon in the NewTesta ment and the filming done under the ba bul trees, Baba added: “To me, Courtesy MSI Collection itwas again like Meher Baba in Meherazad with Mastan giving the Ser mon on the Mount. In the two days that Louis spent here and at Meherabad, I could see that he came to understand a bit about me, and he expressed his love for me by speech and action. I know that he will try his best to have the film shown all over the world. He worked at it with all his heart and I cooperated with all my heart. So, this must bear good results.” [6530-4] For thirty years Louis Van Gasteren held on to this footage, hoping one day to incorporate it into a feature film that he had been planning for many years, Theres No Planefor Zabreb. Due to insurmount able difficulties and delays the film was t7frk1w;r Baba never made and much of the footage still remains unseen by the public. In the mid 90s Van Gasteren was prevailed upon to finally release 28 minutes of exquisite footage to Sheriar Foundation who made a videocassette of this interview entitled Beyond Words. And that it is—such clarity, such quality, and breath taking views of our Beloved! The video is available in the Love Street Bookstore. ‘-

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-tn, 7,)olunteer, J1V1e1er .2lospitctl, JVlelierctbad 1 Cctrctn St. 3o Editors note: Caran sent us this article eons ago and it got buried Apologies to all it is still reflective ofwhat is an ongoing happening at Meherabad —

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he weekend of Sept. 25—27th, 2005, will be forever memorable for 15 patients at Meher Hospital, because they came away with the gift of sight. I was there to witness the miracle, and I was just as awed by the process of what took place as by the ultimate result for these people, who had come to “Cataract Camp” with limited or absent sight in one or both eyes. As long ago as 1926 Meher Baba was offering cataract surgery at Meherabad. For years we’ve heard and read about Beloved Baba’s directive to provide free medi cal services through various dispensaries and clinics at Meherabad and Meherazad to those unable to pay. During this weekend, I was fortunate to be a part of the team of caring doctors, nurses, assistants, and volunteers who offer their hands and hearts for the Master Physician to serve these patients. As I waited on the verandah ofthe hos pital, I tried to imagine what it might be like to be a villager from Arangaon, going through the pain of gradually losing eyesight in a world where there had been no hope, few or absent options for help, and no money to pay—then to learn about the possibility of restored or improved sight, to be selected for surgery at the hospital, and to come there, where helpers believe in caring for patients and meeting their needs with kindness, respect and compassion. (A donation to the Trust of only 800 rupees, less than 20 US dollars, will pay for one cataract surgery. Donations can be desig nated “for cataract surgical cost.”) Saturday about 4 PM as I am waiting with patients as they gather on the porch leading into the hospital, I see anxiety and hope in many faces. The door opens first for Najoo’s welcome, a bright smile and a “Jai Baba.” She gives a rundown of preparations for surgery and what to expect. Patients are quiet, waiting. As I watch, admission is simple. 62

Consents are signed with a purple ink thumbprint since so few can write their names. Dormitory-style wards with beds and tables await occupants, who sigh as they lie down in soft white hospital clothing. These men and women are elderly, save one or two. Some are deafas well as blind and show their fear of being led to unfamiliar bed and toilet with hesitant, feeling-their-way steps. One of my jobs is to put a piece of tape on each forehead over the eye that will be operated upon as I go around with Dr. Anne and Laxmi, the nurse. Another is to put Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower remedy, in the water bottle beside the bed ofeach patient. The drama for each unfolds as tests are done to determine whether this one or that one is healthy enough for surgery. Disqualifiers include high or low blood pressure, diabetes, steroid medicine in the bloodstream. One man who is deaf and blind has a heart condition. Another has a blackened toe and an unhealed leg wound, which raise suspicion ofhigh blood sugar. He receives an antibiotic and a dressing on the wound right away. On a late evening visit by the surgeon, this was identified as an arrested case of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). How was this concluded? He had part ofan eyebrow and some cartilage around his ear missing, the old wounds healed. He is approved for surgery, and relief sweeps across his face. I am amazed to see ravages of a disease which before discovery of a curative medicine would have condemned this man to shunning, despair, and likely early death. Meals are delicious, served in bed by the staff and me. We look after our patients fastidiously and caringly, enjoying serving those who rarely get to experience being served, especially the women who work hard labor, and after their long workday, go home to care for their families in a village where carrying water to use for cooking or washing is a major hardship in itself. Each patient is given medicine and falls asleep anticipating surgery in the morning, hearing Baba’s arti sung by the staff. I “Aadi sachaytana, Shanti nikaytana am humming this all the way back to my

room and as I fall asleep myself When I arrive at the hospital for my shift Sunday, many familiar faces are sporting white bandages over one eye. Surgeries have been going on since early morning, and still, two patients at a time are being ushered into the operating room. One patient was able to describe the ex perience to me: “I was given an injection for the eye, that was a local anesthetic. I could feel the steady hands of the doctor working on the eye in circular motions, but there was no pain. Very quickly it was over. Amazing!” I am soon aware that something is wrong in the men’s ward. One man sits rigid in his bed. The expression on his face is fathomless. I learn from Ranjina and Shiripa, two of the nurse assistants, that he is extremely angry and sad because he is unable to have the operation. It is his second time coming and second time being refused—this time because of his heart condition. Later, I hear him crying softly on the verandah as the staff try to comfort him and he waits for his family to take him home. My heart aches for him, and for the doctor, who had to give him the disappointing news. Everypatient does not have a healing experience, but there is still hope that he can return after fttrther treatment. My work is easy this afternoon because all the patients spend a quiet time sleeping. I watch them carefully because as soon as anyone gets up to go to the toilet, one of us must be there to prevent a jolt that might cause damage to the delicate eye that has been stitched. All ofus await the coming of Monday morning when the bandages come off. What it must be like to anticipate being able to see as the eye heals. Later, there is much more talk amongst the patients as visitors come and the tension ofsurgery is over. By now they are sharing experiences with each other and developing camaraderie. On Monday morning, I jump off my bicycle and enter just as the doctors come to examine each patient. As Najoo and Laxmi remove bandages, I can see faces break into smiles. Patients are asked to


identify how many fingers the surgeon is holding above their heads. Some can, others cannot see the fingers. I learn from Dr. Anne that an air bubble is sometimes put in the eye to keep the cornea form collapsing inward, so some patients must wait for their vision to clear as the air gradually disappears. Many, however, experience the immediate miracle ofbeing able to see a beautifhl world that had been only remembered from the past. Myjoy and

excitement for them are hard to contain. As I leave the hospital with the patients, they are clad in dark glasses and laden with eye drops and instructions for care and follow-up. I am still humming the strains ofthe same lovely arti, which we all have sung together as a closing for the camp. That arti with its haunting melodywill always remind me ofthe gift of sight that our Beloved gives, here at His home in Meherabad.

.Bemembering 73abds Silence ttrmilkt &9okaran Shrivastava, J4/lchercthad

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his year for Silence Day over 1,000 pilgrims gathered at uttered words, “Yaad Rakh.” This utterance was misunderstood Meherabad, and about 500 attended a Silence Day Program by many as ifBaba had broken His Silence. th on 11 July organized by the Trust. Large groups ofBaba lovers Bhauji pointed out that Baba lovers all over the world should th th always converge on the Samadhi between 9 and 12 July in tryto observe silence from the midnight of9thJuly to the midnight remembrance of Silence Day on the 10th. The Trust normally oflothJuly as per Baba’s orders. But ifsomeone’s silence is broken, arranges to show Baba films on Silence Day, but the other days one should not feellet down or dejected. It is quite natural. Bhauji have traditionally had no organized activities. The Library Corn- himself accidentally broke his silence this year due to an impulse mittee has been producing events over the years with the aim of to listen to some Urdu couplets. enhancing Baba lovers’ awareness ofrnajor aspects ofBaba’s work. Baba initially started His silence for a duration ofone year, but This year they organized a program to apprise the large group years went by and there was no end to it, to the anxiety of the about Baba’s silence. Mandali. In the early days someone reported to Baba that Gandhi The morning commenced with garlanding of Baba’s portrait was heading towards Meherabad on his morning walk and there by Bhau accompanied by Shri Khosro was a possibility that Mahatma Gandhi Namiranian from Iran, who is one was coming. Baba commented that if of the few surviving Prern Ashram Gandhi came to meet Him that day “boys.” Jal P. Dastoor welcomed the then Baba would have to break His pilgrims and gave a brief introduction Silence! Surprisingly Gandhi turned which was translated into Telugu and back to Ahmednagar from midway, English. when one ofhis companions told Gan Bhauji gave a detailed description in dhi that Baba was a disciple of Upasni Hindi ofevents connected with Baba’s Maharaj. Gandhiji had had a very bad silence. Some of the most interesting experience with Upasni. highlights are not well known. After Madhavrao Zilpeiwar presented lOthJuly 1925 He would write on a pile a short summary of Bhauji’s talk in of slates, which someone had to carry Telugu and English. Pratap Ahir sang wherever Baba went, inconveniently, two Bhajans before the conclusion of then came pointing out letters on the morning session. The afternoon newspaper headlines to coin words. session resumed with special Bhajans This was cumbersome and tedious, so related to Baba’s silence. Meher Veena someone printed A to Z and 0 to 9 on a and her Bombay Baba Centre pre board. This famous alphabet board was sented a Bhajan which was the last used until 7th October 1954.Through it song composed and sung by Baba He dictated Discourses and God Speaks, Himseifbefore the onset ofHis silence. and conversation. After discarding the I: The Ahmednagar Meher Baba Centre board, there was no medium for cornpresented bhajans on Baba’s silence, munication, and the Mandali had to pass through a very painful including one by a Pakistani poet, Saheb Azmi, MeherBaba Kutabe phase ofjust sitting in the company of Baba. They felt bored in Alam, which had earned the praise of Baba in 1958. Bombay this silent atmosphere. After a few days, Baba started using His Meher Baba Centre put on a well-received play, My Divine Sense unique gestures to communicate. Baba started by writing in air, ofHumor Mehernosh Mehta in the lead role of Meher Baba like children do. Eruch was the first to decipher these airborne described how the Avatar suffers tremendously for the sake of signals but even newcomers never felt that Baba was observing humanity but the divine sense of humor of each Avatar sustains silence.Through early air-writing, Baba gave the prayer Satchidan the Him during His universal suffering. andParamanand, MeherBaba Vidyanand. In 1958, Baba invited a During Bhauji’s talk, the attention of the organizers was group for a special meeting on lOthJuly and theywere asked not drawn to the fact that in July 1958 Baba organized a special to observe silence. Baba’s universal message and Baba’s wishes Silence Day meeting at Meherabad. For the 50t1 anniversary of were given to His lovers that day. During the night of 30-31st that occasion, next year, they will organize special programs to January 1969 Baba thrice told Bhau to remember that Baba was honor the day when Baba released the Universal Message and not that body. Once Baba told this in a feeble voice, and actually gave out His Wish.

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‘73elieve .A/k One .2lundred 1ercent Davana

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blue. Not a single dark cloud marred the by opening her heart. framed photograph ofMeher Baba “Well,” began Katie, “for me, the New tranquility ofthat bright sunny morning. in profile hangs on the whiteLife began on the 15th ofOctober. I was washed wall outside Mandali Hall, The crowd at Meherazad that day was sent to Bombay. I never liked Bombay small, as several hundred pilgrims were Meherazad. In this photo, Baba’s gaze and I thought to myself Oh my God, the taking part in the New Life walk from is hauntingly beautiful, holding one’s worst place I could ever be in. But I had the Trust Office in Ahmednagar to Meeyes for a moment in a timeless eternity, to say, Yes Baba. Finished. I could never herabad. But the lack of huge numbers without past or future. refuse Baba anything. of course there are many “Baba told us, ‘You will wonderful photographs of Baba that adorn those veran This New Ljfe is endless, and even after my physical never see Me again, you will dah walls, but there is somedeath will be kept aiive by those who live the life of have no contact with Me, you will not write to My compan thing about this particular complete renunciation offalsehood, lies, hatred, angei, ions or have any connection photograph that quickens the greed and lust, and who, to accomplish all this, do no with them. I am sending you heart and gives pause to the lusfulactions, do no harm to anyone, do z backbiting, all away, but you are still under mind. Or perhaps it is the un fathomable import of Baba’s do not seek materialpossessions orpower, who accept My wings. I am there with you message from the New Life no homage, neither covet honor, norshun disgrace, and always, but you will never see me again.’ When Baba said printed below the photograph ear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and this, I thought to myself, how that adds dramatically to the solely on God, and who love Godpurelyfor the sake is it possible? Baba will see us effect, stating that this New ofloving, who believe in the lovers ofGod and in the sometime, surely. life will live on eternally even “We women were in the if there is no one to live it. reality ofManfestation, and yet do not expect any East Room when Baba made Or maybe this musing spiritualormaterialreward, who do notletgo the hand this announcement and I re is merely a reflection of the ofTruth, and who, without being zpset by ca/amities, member how He turned His atmosphere prevailing at bravely and wholeheartedlyface allhardships with one head sharply towards me. Meherazad during these past hundredpercent cheerfit/ness, andgive no importance ‘One hundred per cent, you days leading up to the anniversary of the New Life to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. This New Life must believe Me that I will and the days following it, for will live by itselfeternally, even fthere is no one to never see you again.’ I replied, ‘Yes, Baba,’ and He repeated, it stands in stark contrast to live it. ‘I am notjust saying this, I am that very early morning on serious. You will never see Me 16th October, 1949 when again.’ I was thinking to myBaba, Mehera, Mani, Meheru at Meherazad allowed an intimacy to self, how could I be in Bombay without and Dr. Goher, along with Kaka and unfold between pilgrims and mandali. Baba, without connection, never to see Eruch, drove away from Meherazad Today there are few individuals alive Him again? Baba said, ‘You have to go “never to return.” who were witnesses to Baba’s New Life, On that fateful day, a drizzle of rain let alone participants in it. Unlike in very happily, stay there happily, don’t cry and don’t think of anything. Just do dampened the pre—dawn air. Monsoon earlier years when Eruch would be tellas I tell you.’ rains had drenched Meherazad and ing stories of the New Life travels in “You know, until I sat in the car and Meherabad the night before, adding to the Mandali Hall, while Mehera, Mani, Baba waved us goodbye on the 15th of the drama oftheir departure. Dr. Goher Meheru and Dr. Goher would be shar October from Lower Meherabad, in my was unable to close the door of Baba’s ing with pilgrims tales of the New Life room because the intense humidity had from the women companions’ point of mind I thought, this is a bad dream. It can’t be true. Until we reached Bombay caused the wooden door to swell. So, as if view, this year the stories took a different and I was climbing the steps to Arnavaz’s in a final symbolic gesture ofturning the turn because they were narrated by those doorway. So for me, the New Life began last page of the old life and closing the close ones who had to live the New Life on 15th October 1949.” book forever, Eruch had to give the door without Baba’s companionship. On the other side of Meherazad, in a mighty shove to shut it. It gives one On Mehera’s verandah, Katie Irani the Mandali Hall, where Meherwan thought: perhaps even nature, perhaps of what the pilgrims with stories regaled and Manu Jessawala were recounting even the inanimate, didn’t want to say it was like to have to live the New Life their experiences of the New Life, the goodbye to the old life without giving in the world, obeying Baba’s orders while intensity was no less, for it is one thing vent to a last sigh. working for the Japanese Consulate. to obey Baba and remain cheerful in His But for those of us witnessing the When a pilgrim asked Katie what it was presence, it is another to remain cheerful 58th anniversary of the New Life day, like during the New Life, she responded while obeying His orders without His the skies over Meherazad were a brilliant

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physical presence. “Did you seriously think you wouldn’t see Baba again?” asked a pilgrim. “Yes,” replied Manu Jessawala without hesitation. “Baba was very strict about it. He told us, ‘Don’t think I am joking with you. You will never see Me again.’ I remember coming out of the East Room after the women’s meeting was over and having tears in my eyes. Baba saw me. He said, ‘What are you crying for? Didn’t you promise you would be happy? I want you to go home with a big wa termelon smile.” “The New Life lasted two and a half years, but you thought it would be forever,” said another pilgrim. “How did you feel about it, I mean what were your feelings about never seeing Baba again?” Manu smiled, then answered, “In our hearts we were all the time crying, but we had to keep smiling.” Meherwan re called, “Baba had dropped a big bombshell and it sent shock waves throughout the Baba world. It was a profound situation for His old life followers. “He came to Bindra House for a farewell visit, to greet the family and meet each one ofus. He consoled us and tried to comfort us all. He told us to remain resigned to His Will and carry out our duties and responsibilities entrusted to us. He told me that Eruch would be looking after Him and He wanted me to look after the family. I think Baba wanted to be assured ofEruch’s undivid ed attention during the New Life. Baba said to us that even ifone ofyou were to see Me or the companions, you should turn your face away. So all the time we had to be very careful of His orders and

I recall one time during the New Life when I did have a fleeting glimpse of Baba and the companions” “Did you feel happy to see Baba?” asked a pilgrim. “No, I felt frightened.”

Meherwan continued, “It was early in the morning and I had gone out to do the marketing for the family. Behind the big enclosed vegetable market, there were many hawkers who would also sell vegetables, but at a cheaper rate and, so, I would go to these hawkers to buy our vegetables. I remember glancing up from my shopping and looking down the little lane that ran behind the market and seeing Baba. He was all wrapped up, with a shawl around His face, incognito, and He was walking very fast down the lane, surrounded by the companions. From the distance, I saw this mastani, almost naked, sitting totally absorbed on a garbage heap. He must have gone there

to contact her. But I got such a shock at seeing Baba. You see, the injunction was so strict, that rather than feel happiness at seeing Him, my natural reaction was to feel sad. The impact of His instruc tions was such that Ijust turned my back and ran inside the market. For us, to obey His Wish was our pleasure.” The bell rang, sig naling the time to de part from Meherazad. The verandah filled with pilgrims, grabbing their backpacks, bottles of water and purses before heading for the bus to take them back to Mehe rabad. But in the midst of all the goodbyes, a young pilgrim stood before that framed photograph hanging just outside Mandali Hall reading the New Life message printed below it. Why did Baba take it upon Himself to live the New Life? Why is that Life eternal? Who can say, but God? But maybe in remem bering Him, in hearing these stories of obedi ence in action, our hearts will be stirred to greater heights of longing and a deeper understanding of what it means to live in the lane oflove. The day is over, but the New Life lives on eternally.


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oanie Agin of Myrtle Beach tells us of a dream she had last Thanksgiving ay: Baba was talking to her and the dream was so vivid that when she awoke she was able to write it all down. Joanie understood Baba to mean her to share this dream with all of His lovers—like a love letter from our Beloved: My Dear Joanie, This being Thanksgiving Day I wanted you to be aware of how 1—Baba—have been giving my thanks to God for my most beloved ones who have strived unceasingly to remember Me, to Love Me! God knows how difficult this is, especially when things do not go the way they would like them to go. Especially when they are in pain or are finding it hard, hard to live in the gross world and to support themselves financially, tell them to just keep trying—yet feeling totally helpless and hopeless! Longing for love, lasting love, real love!! Yet experiencing, ever experiencing, separateness—loneliness!! Yet despite all these thorns, these very special Beloveds of Mine do not give up! They keep persisting because of their great faith and trust and love for Me—Baba!! And this is why I, Baba am giving my thanks today to God for the unceasing pleasure these Beloveds give Me. They have no idea how blessed and beloved they are to Me!! I, Baba, Thank thee My Lord— on this Thanksgiving Day—for each and every one of My True Lovers!!!

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18 September e’ve completed the first third of our pilgrim season. Rains have been erratic, surely enough to keep the hills green but less than we’d like for the water table. Silence Day in July was our first big event and it was beautiful to share the day together with a thousand other pilgrims at His abode. The tiny Jhopdi where Baba stayed in 1925 was open for the continual stream ofpilgrims taking the opportunity to enter and lay their heads at the source of Silence. On August 19th we gathered for midmorning Arti in honor ofMani’s passing into her God-Brother’s embrace in 1996. Meheru came from Meherazad and we all enjoyed the various musical and de votional offerings. Many were favorites ofMani’s, or songs she had composed for Baba. Most were songs we could all join in on. There was a very pleasant, happy feeling of love. Remembrance of Baba and His darling, effervescent sister kept our hearts buoyed. I observed two young boys in the line for darshan reaching to the basket of flowers to pick something for Baba. There were almost none left and the boys were choosing carefially. I saw the one boy reach gingerly for the tiniest bud of pink rose and hold it gently between two small fingers. It was barely a half inch long, but perfect in its unopened form. The boy’s face was filled with joy as he appreciated the delicate beauty ofthis last rose in the basket. He seemed to know it was the perfect offering for Baba. For me, I thought ofMani immediately. How she would have appreciated in this simple act the happiness and devotion of this young lover of God.

Ongoing activities appearing on the weekly schedule include the usual bus trips from Meherabad to Meherazad three days a week and to the Trust compound, Ahmednagar on three additional days. The Music and Arts Centre hosts a Wednes day afternoon film showing, a Saturday performance and art show and a Thursday afternoonjam session. The old MPC dining hail is the venue for two weekly talks by Bhau. An historical tour ofMeherabad originates at MPC once a week and tours ofthe Archives building are also arranged weekly ifpeople are interested. A somewhat new routine is “Meher abad Mornings” on Monday and Friday, also in the old dining hail: sharing stories oflife with Baba, usuallywith guest speakers, and screening videos of the mandali. This new event is gradually becoming popular. Speakers have included regular favorites such as Sam Kerawalla, and visi tors such as Don Stevens and Professor Hazra from Jabalpur. Last Wednesday at sunset, beneath a few sprinkles of rain, we lit the Dhuni at Meherabad, at that precious spot inaugu rated byBaba in 1925. Eachlover awaited his or her turn to drop that little sandalwood stick, asking Him to burn away just a little more. The clouds broke enough to show a red sky above the Samadhi as we huddled under a few umbrellas and sang Arti together. At the heart of active Meherabad of course, is our Beloved’s Samadhi, always available, ever beyond time and place, that refuge both personal and universal—the source from which the air ofHis Presence emanates and surrounds us in folds of allaccepting love.

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J44eherctbctd Dictrg 3udj Stephens This is a condensed version. For a much more detailed accounting ofday to day lift, Meherabad Diaries are back on the Internet at avatarmeherbaba. org/judys/index. html —Ei une. I have been back in Meherabad two weeks now and oh, what relief it is or a thirsty soul to enter His tomb! It is as if every atom of my being feels it can now let go,just be! Therejust simply isn’t anything like being with God! In the next couple of days I noticed several changes at Meherabad. One was a tall fence surrounding the cremation area near the old Meher Pilgrim Center. I asked one ofthe residents about it. I was told it was to protect the area. It seems the nice, clean area is used at night for a bathroom, and when it is time for a cremation, the area has to be cleaned up. The other two major changes were up on Meherabad Hill. The most beautiful of the changes was the completely new painting of the Samadhi dome. I saw Ted [Judson] up the hill, and he said it is the most beautiful he has every seen in all the years he has lived at Meherabad. The round rim at the base of the dome is painted in two colors, one being gold. Each ofthe religious structures on the four corners has detailed colors. So pleasing to the eyes! The other change is the ‘viewing cor ridor’. There are to be five ‘viewing corndons’ that allow unobstructed view to the Samadhi from fan away. That means not even trees to block the view. The first one is from the ‘New Site’ to the Samadhi. It is wide like a road. It is an amazing feeling to see pant ofHis ftiture pilgrim’s approach. It is almost like looking into the future. I have been told that the area between the ‘viewing corridors’ will be leveled and large trees for shade will be planted. Now there are fruit trees around the Samadhi (which no one has ever seen fruit on, because oth ers remove them unseen). These trees will give His lovers reieffrom the intense heat of the sun in the friture. 15 June. This was opening day at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. There were 20 expected arrivals. l7June. I went to the Samadhi by 8:30 AM to clean. It is such a privilege and I

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am grateful to be able to share in this op portunity ofcleaning His Samadhi. After cleaning, I went to visitJaloo. She lives in the compound ofthe ‘cage room’, directly behind the Samadhi. She has been living there since Baba’s New Life. Her sister, who had also been living there, died just a few months ago. One of the residents usually reads to her, but this resident is in the States, so I took up the opportunity to read to Jaloo. When her sister was ill, I would have a rotation night once a week to sleep up there. 20 June. At teatime, I hear Bhau had returned and was at the Samadhi. I will be so happy to see our Bhauji once again. He had been in Australia giving talks. In the afternoon there was a big storm with lots oflightening and thunder. 23 June. On my way up the hill, I noticed the gully in front of Hostel-C and Hostel-B was almost full to the top with rainwater. There must have been a zillion frogs crocking there. I got up the hill by 5:30 AIVI and I was waiting outside the Samadhi to take Darshan when I heard a frog. I looked around and saw the drainpipe near the women Mandali’s shrines. From inside this drain was coming the echo sound ofa frog croaking. He sounded fhnny because of the echo. 24 June. I was up the hill by 5:30 am. On the way up I passed the gullies in front ofHostel C and B. The level ofwater was

higher than the day before because of the rain last night. 27 June. I had a rickshaw pick me up at 8:30 AM to go to the Retreat. It is so pleasant walking in our Reception Office in the morning; all the plants give it a very inviting and warm feeling. Cases ofChikungunya have surfaced in Arangaon village. So, once again everyone who has not had it will have to be extra careful.This means using mosquito repellent and using the mosquito net. Since I already got Chikungunya, I cannot get it again. However, I still get relapses—as do all the others I have talked to who got it last year. The relapses are for a short du ration and usually not severe. Sometimes my knee feels wobbly and I feel heavy and tired. I then take the homeopathic medicine I was given to help me. We had a good downpour during the day. Ifthis monsoon keeps up like this we will have a good supply of well water. In the afternoon, the bus left the Retreat at 3:30 pm to take pilgrims to the theatre for a Baba film. Tea and snack was served at 4:00 andthe movie at4:30 pm. The bus left the Retreat at 3:30 pm to go to the MPC. Tea and cake was served at 4:00 pm. At 4:30 pm Harry & Sharon Muir gave a concert. For any of you who have been here for any length oftime, you no doubt have heard them perform. They are wonderful musicians. 1 July. Good rain. Everything around here is green, green, green. Plants and bushes thrive in the monsoon. With the new month of July comes the opening of Meherazad’s new pilgrim season. One young Indian girl sang in a lovelyvoice. Alittle girl ofmaybe four sang the Gujarati Arti. 2.July. ShowedTedJudson a drawing of thejungle gym for the Retreat playground that Suzie limura and I designed.Ted sug gested a welder. 4.July. Walking between the Lobby and the Reception Office is like going through a wind tunnel. About twenty pilgrims annived today. Bhau came for his first regular Wednesday afternoon chat with the resi dents and volunteer workers. 7.July.When I got to the old MPC, no one was waiting for the Historical Tour. 67


Ever since we moved up the hill this has been happening. I realized something needed to be changed. There was an 0707-07 party at the Muirs’. They started this annual event on 02-02-02. 8 July. Every year, just before Silence Day, we do a through cleaning of the Jhopdi and Table House. The underside of the metal covering is swept; all the wooden posts are wiped with a damp cloth. We also polish the window frame and door. Women from Archives cleaned the underside of the roof and beams and Mariko, Joseph, and I cleaned the Table House itself its screen door was opened for annual inside cleaning. After lunch I helped the receptionist with the expected 60 arrivals, for which deluge we had set up special arrangements. 9 July. Around 7:30 AM I learned I had 55 expected arrivals. Eeeek! I did not have any help but was able to arrange some. We were also giving out tickets to the Baba movie on Silence Day. There was a “Me herabad Morning” at the MPC. This is a new event. At 10:30 AM Mondays a video may be shown, or Baba lovers may offer their stories of coming to Baba. Fridays, Sam & Roshan Kerawala share tales. 10 July. Silence Day. I woke to my note “Silent” taped to my dresser. At the Samadhi, there was no morning cleaning. Also no Arti. The line for darshan was very long. With over 1,000 pilgrims here, the line stayed this way all day. I went to the Jhopdi to take darshan where He began His silence. There was a short line. Next to the open door was a basket with flowers. Above the door was a “turin” of flowers. Inside the Jhopdi the little stool with Baba’s photo on it was piled high with flowers. The two windowsills were covered with flowers. There were two showings of a Baba film. On the way up the hill, I passed a sweet old Baba lover from Iran who had been in the Prem Ashram. I said “Jai B—” and caught myself Darn! Well, once again I did not make it through the day without saying a word. I have been a Baba lover for 40 years, and I am ashamed to say I have seldom made it through a Silence Day without saying something—to my dog, my children when theywere small, or whatever. Dana Field used to put masking tape across his mouth to make sure he did not speak! Maybe I should consider doing the same? At the Samadhi, there were several kinds of Prasad on a table outside the portico, near Mehera’s shrine. 11 July. Yesterday’s flowers from the

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Jhopdi and Table House were collected and put under trees. We had around 160 pilgrims; mostwould stayuntil after Dhuni on the 12th. An 82nd Anniversary Com memoration Program for Beloved Baba’s Silence Day was at the Music and Arts Center. There was garlanding of Baba’s photo, a welcome speech, introduction, bhajans, and then Bhauji’s SpecialTalk on Baba’s Silence, in Hindi. From 4 PM to 6, bhajans &group songs, then a short speech followed byThe Divine Sense ofHumour, a short play by the Bombay Centre. 12 July. Evening Arti was at 5 PM. The Dhuni was lit at 6:45. There are still hundreds of pilgrims here from Silence Day but Jal Dastoor is able to have this number of pilgrims take their darshan at the Dhuni quickly.The singing during this time is quite lively. 13 July. Weather has been beautiftil. The wind feels cool and refreshing. Sometimes it rains, but the heavy monsoon rain lasted only for a short while. There are still weeks ofthe monsoon so it is likely we rain. There was a prowill get more heavy and Arts. Two videos were gram at Music shown from the Ahmednagar group. l8July. I had four arrivals from Shivpu ri, Andra Pradesh. They had an album with pictures of the last Baba’s birthday celebration. The population of Shivpuri is 75,000 and over 7,000 are Baba lovers! For the birthday they have a procession down a main street. All the religious leaders of the city are invited and Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists march in the parade. Cars have Baba’s photo on top decorated with colorftii streamers and garlands. I would like something like this for our New Life Walk on 16th October when we walk from the Trust Office to the Samadhi. 21 July. TedJudson gave a rare concert in the MPC Dining Hall. Ted and Jeff sang. I used the new Sony camcorder I brought back from the Los Angeles Baba Center. 23 July. I went to renew my driver’s license. The RTO here is more and more like the DMV in the States. Elec tronic signature and thumbprint, amaz ing! Meanwhile, it is the time of year where the shepherds take their sheep past Meherabad. They camp on the side of the road. Their sheep are gathered in a circle, and their horses are hobbled. The InternationalYoung Adult Sahavas started with around 90 participants. They have a colorful pandal across the front of Hostel C to give shade.

26 July. Thunder and rain in the morning. Went to visit Bhauji, who was upset that many of the residents did not attend his Wednesday talk. He said we are here for spiritual training so that was not okay. 27 July. Days have been very muggy, humid. Sitting under a fan in Reception is most comfortable. Young Adult Sahavas closing ceremony in the morning. Many participants came to the Retreat for lunch. The Dining Hall was humming with energy! 28 July. Next to the gaadi, on the dung floor, was a large rangoli (like sand painting) by one of the Sahavas participants. There was a family from Iran for the Historic Tour. The father was so overwhelmed by the energy ofMeherabad that he often wept. It was humbling. Meher Hospital had Cataract Camp for Eye Surgery this weekend. The patients’ families check in in the afternoon. Surgery will be Sunday, and they go home Monday. 29 July. I went to the Blue Tank (B.T. Café) and had a beef burger! Deena is getting beef from Pune and cutting and pounding the beef herself 30 July. Dr. Anne said Jal Dastoor would be discharged from the hospital today. Jal had surgery recently. A new sign in front of the hospital says “Meher Hospital.”There is a white arrow pointing to it, and in the arrow is a red cross. 4 August. Dolly Dastoor saidjal is doing well, but was not yet able to walk up the hill to the Samadhi. 5 August. On the way to Meherazad, on the Aurangabad road, I noticed many windmills along the tops offar hills.These have not been there verylong. Another big change is that the road is being widened to become a four-lane highway. 6 August. I love this cool, breezy, freshing weather. We expect 64 arrivals on the 11th; a group of5O is coming from Mumbai for Dhuni. 7 August. It was drizzling lightly most of the day. I needed an umbrella going up the hill. It was also very windy and I had to hold tight to it. Several people brought special Prasad for Arti. 8 August. Very windy and cloudy. At the Retreat, the wind is so strong stuff kept blowing offthe desk. New trees have been planted around the inside fence of the cremation site. Once the trees grow, the shade will be welcome. At the old MPC, in room W2, next to the bathroom, a metal trough with a sink is being built


for a photographic dark room. 9 August. Day trip to Pune: Stopped at the Guruprasad memorial; went to the Bund Garden Park to the tree Babajan sat under. After paying our respects, went to the Pateleshwar Caves, right beside the J ungle Maharaj Temple. The Caves were where Baba went during the first nine months after Babajan kissed him on the forehead. Baba said all the Avatars had been to that place. At Sassoon Hospital, we went into the room where Beloved Baba was born. I was very deeply touched. We went to Baba’s “pumpkin” house and into His room, then to Babajan’s tomb. I tell you, we were all feeling as if we were immersed in a sea of absolute wonder. 11 August. I was up the hillbefore 5:30 AM. When the doors to the Samadhi are opened everyone says “Avatar Meher Baba KiJai” until they are completely open and latched with the hooks. We then go in and remove the top cloth holding the garlands. Under the top cloth are two or three extra cloths, to protect the marble. Each cloth is removed saying Baba’s name. There were almost 80 arrivals. 12 August. Evening Arti was at 5:30 PM and Dhuni was lit at 6:45. There were around two hundred people so pilgrims had to take darshan at the Dhuni two or three at a time. 15 August. India’s Independence Day. Our permanent workers are allowed to take a holiday. On the main road in front ofthe old MPC, the annual horse-drawn tonga races start at noon and last about an hour. They are quite lively. Riders on mo torcycles, alongside the tongas, blast their horns and yell during the whole race. 19 August. This was the anniversary of Mani’s going to Baba. Dolly Dastoor set out to change the covers of the stretcher and pillow, as well as the curtains and shelf cloth, in Baba’s Cabin. The glass cover that protects the stretcher is heavy. We have to scoot it inch by inch and when it is far enough away from the wall, we lift it on its side. Then we clean the underside of the glass and wipe the stretcher before covering it with the new cloth. A special Arti was at the Samadhi at 10 AM with Meheru present. We rarely have a special Arti anymore. The Samadhi portico was crowded with pilgrims. When Meheru arrived, we walked to the Samadhi with her. A number ofwomen went into the Samadhi to help lay some of the garlands. Meheru and a few stayed inside the Samadhi during Arti. Some of the songs were ones Mani

had written. When Arti was over, we went to Mehera’s shrine and Meheru laid another garland. From there we went to Mani’s shrine. The flagstones were so hot we were barely able to stand. Meheru put a garland on Khorshed’s shrine after putting one on Mani’s. We next went inside Baba’s Cabin Room. Meheru needed a tall person to help put one on Baba’s photo above the stretcher. Next, we all went to the gaadi, under the tin shed. Meheru put a garland on Baba’s photo and one on the gaadi. Meheru then went with Ted judson towards one corner ofthe compound. The large water tankjust the other side of the stone rear wall was the object of discussion. It seems the tank will have an upper and lower floor built. Now it is just a tank on pillars. It will be divided into four rooms for storage. There isn’t really much stor age space on the hill, and this will serve the purpose. The water sump, that was never used, will be removed. Meheru then returned to Meherazad. 20 August. On the new road to the Retreat, there is a stretch that was never paved, because ofa land dispute. The dis pute has been resolved and work on the road has been going on since June. Now it is getting close to being ready to pave. It rained during the day. It stopped raining long enough for me to say goodbye to a sweet family from France. 26 August. It was a cloudy morning when I went to Meherazad. The road construction to widen the highway covered several miles, and trees had been planted, with a measured spacing, along some sec tions. At Meherazad, Meheru and Katie were on the porch. It is always a pleasure to see them. Kokila played a beautiffil tune on her violin; she can certainly make the music come alive. The other performer was Cathy Haas Riley who sang two songs, and a guitar accompanied one. Peter Booth showed GodAlone Exists. The film is about the poem/song that Baba dictated in a rhyme to Bhauji. Baba told Bhau not to change one single word of the poem. Baba said in the future, this poem would be sung in every house in the world. The music and singing in the film are by Jim Meyer. The whole thing is so powerful. I was just blown away! The impact of the film is tremendous! Don Stevens had a God Speaks discussion in the Retreat Music Room. Much of the conversation was about intuition. In the evening there was a huge storm, with lots of lightning, thunder, and pouring rain.

28 August. I passed by the hostels and saw the gu]iies in front ofthem were ftill of water, almost up to the dirt road. You can always tell ifwe have had a good amount ofrain by the water collected in the guffies. When we passed the MPC I heard the sound ofhorses. As we reached the main road, I saw tongas and horses all around. Tonga races would start at noon. I was told it was Raksha Bandhan, the day when a girl gives her brother a very fancy string bracelet, as a blessing. A brother who ac cepts and wears it has to give her protec tion. When she was alittle girl, Mani made one and gave it to her GodBrother. One of the items on the agenda of our meeting today was to have another bookcase made for the Retreat lobby for magazines like the Glow, Love Street LampPost, etc. Another item was where to put a life-size bronze cast of Baba’s head, the work of artist Jurgis Sapkus of Los Angeles. 29 August. One of the pilgrims came to tell me about an article in yesterday’s Indian Times newspaper. The front-page item was about a top Bollywood actor named Salman Khan, who is in jail for hunting an endangered animal. It went on to report he reads God Speaks for comfort! A 17th August article in their ‘Speaking Tree’ section, which features religious writings, was a discourse by Avatar Meher Baba, “Detach Your Service From Expectation.” 4 September. At lunchtime, I walked to the B.T. Café. As I was getting ready to go home, I heard a lot ofhollering and honking of horns. I recognized this sound! It is usually associated with the Tonga horse races. I saw the kitchen women going out to the verandah. I also rushed out to the verandah. Sure enough, down the road I saw a lot of motorcycle headlights on, heard their horns honking, and listened to the wild yelling ofthe men on the motorcycles. The men are usually two or three to a bike, none wear a helmet, and they are racing together, alongside the horse Tonga. It is an unbelievably wild scene! When it is raining, we remove all the flowers from the women’s shrines. Some ofthe flowers can cause a stain on the marble. We also close the outside glass windows of the Samadhi. The inner wooden doors are kept opened so you can see inside. As I was opening one ofthe inner wooden window shutters inside the Samadhi, I noticed the mud packing from white ants. The White ants can destroy anything wooden in no 69


time flat. I was surprised this happened in the Samadhi, as it is cleaned daily. When one of those responsible for the care of the Samadhi arrived, I quickly showed it to him. He said it would be taken care of after Arti. 5 September. On the way up the hill, I had to be so careftil because of the mud from the heavy rain last night. I was up the hill by 5:20 AM. I wanted to be sure to be there when the Samadhi doors were opened. I really like being there at that time. When the doors are opened, we go inside and remove the garlands and extra cloths. Next, we place the temporary cloth on the marble until cleaning time. After cleaning Mehera’s shrine, I put flowers in Baba’s Cabin Room. I went to the Ghadi to also put flowers, but it was still being made ready for the day. I left some flowers and went back to the Samadhi. I saw Indira. Indira was the supervisor to clean the Samadhi on that morning. I asked her ifTed was informed about the white ant mud stuff She said the ants were removed and the mud would be soon. With the Samadhi, everything needs to be careftilly handled to avoid any damage. It is the treasure of the world, where God’s body is resting. 8 September. I went to the MPC at 10:00 AM to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. There was a group from Rus sia waiting. At the end ofthe Tour I finish at the museum up the hill. There was a woman and her son from Korea also wanting to see the museum. In the afternoon at 4:00 pm, tea and a snack were served on the verandah ofthe Music and Arts Cen ter. Then at 4:30 pm a film “Riding Solo To The Top Of The World’ was shown. The director, a Baba lover from Mumbai, gave a brief talk before the film. 10 September. I was at the Retreat by 9:00 am for my Reception Office duty. I had nine expected arrivals and we only had 23 pilgrims at the Retreat. In the morning at the MPC, one ofthe pilgrims, Caroline Ball, shared her story ofbeing part of the creation of the “Heartland Center” in Prague, Oklahoma. This Center is located close to where Baba had his automobile accident in America. In the afternoon, Bhauji came to Meherabad and gave a talk in Hindi to the National Cadets Corp, in our Music and Arts Center. His normal talk at the Meher Pilgrim Center was cancelled. I stopped at old Mandali Hall and sat on a bench, hoping the rain would let up. 70

It was pouring so hard everywhere that the water was making little rivers. After ten minutes ofwaiting, it became clear to me that the rain had no intention of letting up. So, taking a big breath, opening my umbrella, I tried to find a good place to start walking. Since there was no area where there wasn’t a puddle, I just stepped in one and kept going. I got to the Sama dhi with the upper part ofme dry, and the lower part ofme wet. It continued to rain through most of the Arti. Then by the time I was walking back down the hill, the rain had stopped. At night another huge storm came with lightening, thunder and pouring rain.

7;Iie 21eig1tt and DeptIi of Doin±j EBaba Work: Comments L/4fteT the ...Alundia .7Vteher Center’s Convention JlVkherstan, .2<owur 3ebman.j 28, 1963 ...Adi 2<. :Jrctni

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his convention, the first of its kind, was an occasion for all-India Baba workers to come together and express their views on how one can best work for Meher Baba. Many speeches were given, but very little was expressed by way of actual difficulties experienced during the course of the work being done. The dif ferent methods that were proposed have their value, often depending upon how practical they are in the immediate ftsture. For instance, the greater the possibility of an early materialization of a proposition, the greater its value; and the longer it takes to materialize, the lesser its value. A bril liant proposition may be less practical and a mediocre one more practical. Of course this should not deter one from planning an elaborate and expensive course of action. But it should not be done like having the cart before the horse. The means for the work should be planned out first, just as the foundation ofa building is laid before its superstructure is built. We have often heard Baba indicate that there will be comparatively little struggle for work after His Manifestation. The work done before His Manifestation is of greater import. The sooner the work is done, the better it is. So we should be practical in getting work done. It reminds

me of what Baba has “said” concerning something much higher: “The greater the struggle before God-realization, the greater the power after it.” While doing Baba-work, a worker needs to develop a twofold quality of nature. One pertains to his relationship with Baba, and the other to his attitude toward others. Love for Baba and faith in Him is basic, but this is not enough. This can qualify him only for work and evoke an urge to do the work. To be fully successftil requires an adjustment toward others a sympathetic understanding and a harmonious working out ofaims and objectives. A brilliant lover may be a poor worker and a poor lover may be a brilliant worker. With the height of love for Baba there should be the depth of understanding for others. The best worker is he who is able to evoke love for Baba in others. To express one’s love for Baba is easy because it im plies one’s own worthiness to work. To try to evoke love in others shows humility in a worker and the worthiness ofthe others’ love for Baba. It is like a good writer who, instead of expressing his own emotions, is able to evoke emotions in his readers. A worker having the authority to work should not be authoritative. He should be pleasingly firm, loving and accommodat ing. When it comes to a conffict between a worker’s authority and a prospective lover’s preconception or bias ofunderstanding of a situation or argument, it is preferable to lose cognizance, for the moment, of one’s authority than to lose the enthusiasm and love of a prospective lover. —

Just to Love Him, pp. 42-43 © 1985 AMBPPCT

..“To love God oneha to keep Hi4present and never be absent from Him.This means that while doing all duties, while thinking all thoughts and speaking all words, we have always to have His remembrance, remembering Him as the background to everyone and everything. This means in every little thing, good or bad both, we should remember Him and then all responsibility rests with Him.” Surrendering to Him, Pg. 83


7he EBlue 7:ank Yiestcturctnt Dma Snow Gibson

Mangle, Rekha, Kavits andLata

nly the name has been changed—as they used to say in Dragnet—to protect the innocent. We wrote about this newcomer to the Meherabad scene in our fourth quarter issue 2006. Itwas then calledThe Banyan Tree Café, and what terrific food you could get there. That hasn’t changed, if anything it has got even better, with a larger choice on the menu.

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When the restaurant needed a new name, they looked no farther than the big blue tank on their rooftop. Owned by Westerners and Indians with a wonderftil staffin the kitchen, they are whistle clean, food is thoroughlywashed, not to mention delicious and highly recommended. Their mango smoothies are incredible, and incredibly addictive! And the prices are unbelievable dinner for two includes —

soup, salad, main course, desert, and chai or coffee for under $10! It is set back off the main road that heads towards ‘Nagar less than haifa mile from the old Pilgrim Center. You can go do your emailing at the Meher Dabar Cyber Café, then cross the road a short walk up and have a wonderfttl breakfast, lunch or early dinner. The restaurant closes at 5 PM.

Don Stevens with companion Sevn dining alfresco

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&ellct J44ctnuel JReceives 1?restigious LAward for ‘Ei2umpkin b1ouse Orphanage 15th July 2007 the Pumpkin House was given an award on the state level for their work with children. They were selected from around 78 organizaations in the state of Maharashtra. Mrs. Stella and Mr. Manuel Pillai received the award and were congratu lated in the programme held in the city of Ahmednagar. The event was also covered by the local newspapers and the TV news before and after the award.

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Stella & her husbandManuel receiving the Award

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Reza & Kiran happily model the beautfiil clothes given them by the Parenfamily ofLos Angeles

The children are veiyproud oftheir ‘Mummy” and “Daddy” 72


3irst 1rithvi 9rctducttion! uccessful completion of basic training at community level. Most are women with these stirring votes of support it was the for 21 Community Representatives little education, including several widows, turn of the Prithvi team to speak. Meena CRs), four Supervisor/Counselors, and some HIV positive; they include young Salunke, representing Prithvi’s villagerfour Kshipra Trainers was celebrated on men completing their formal education, management team, explained their role 15 August, one ofthe proudest and most drivers, and farmers. It’s a challenge to as trouble-shooters and givers of support, exciting days in Prithvi’s history. It was translate this idea into concrete action in guidance and information. Nazneen the first major event held at Gurdev Farm, each village. Sayyad, speaking for Kshipra trainers, said developing site of the Prithvi Institute of Supervisor/Counselors, the first batch “Beforejoining Prithvi I had no experience Rural Empowerment. of trainees, began training in December of anything outside the home, but now I Prithvi manager Suwarna Pawar noted, 2005. Their role is to work in their villages travel to other villages and take pride in “Prithvi’s path is empowerment of the to support CRs in their development. training women.” Then graduates received people, which is a long, slow and important Kshipra Trainers train village women certificates, identity cards and bags with process. Prithvi is not taking government in sewing, to make beautiftil high-quality the Prithvi logo from the hands of chief finding, relying instead on support from products which Prithvi then markets. Enguests Bali Brahmbhatt, popular singer of village and other contributors, as well thusiasm is high among trainees, for it is Bollywood and international music fame, as industrial partnerand Swaroop Anand,* ships.” a handsome young enWhile the CRs tertainer. Winners of were taking their “final awards for Best Vil exam”—planning, de lage Project and Best veloping, executing and Village Team were evaluating a program celebrated with great in their village on their enthusiasm. own initiative—the Finally Bali talked Kshipra trainers were of how surprised and busy sewing Prithvi letimpressed he was by ter holders to give as the dedication and gifts to guests; a viicommitment of the lage tailor sewed Prithvi Prithvi team, so inbags to be given to all spired that he wanted the graduates; and the to sing, and Swaroop Core Team, the heart joined him for a spir of Prithvi, was busy ited concert, getting planning, inviting and the entire audience managing it all. The laughing and danc graduates invested their ing. To have celebrities Sharmila Shaligram, Prithvi Founder and Presiden4 right, andAnn Speirs, Directoi, left own money in matchseen often on televi ing saris and men’s shirts and pants—a a chance to make independent money sion come to the village was the thrill of measure of how important the event was and develop their skills. Training includes a lifetime. to them. The front ofthe farm was graced communication and mobilization, as well For Sharmila Shaligram, Prithvi with a huge, colorful pandal (awning). In as sewing. Founder and President, and Ann Speirs, the dung-floored teaching area a brilliant The big day began with a cultural Director, HIV Projects, this day celebrated display of Kshipra bags and quilts were program. New CRs performed several the results ofthree years ofdedicated and hung and windsocks fluttered from trees. original songs, then graduates performed challenging work to make a dream become Everything had labels so people could a series ofstreet plays including one about a practical realit as more and more people understand what we were doing. We wel violence against women, a common village understand what Prithvi is trying to do corned families of the graduates, village issue, which evoked a thoughtful audience and lend their love, support and expertise dignitaries, press, and special guests. response. No one had taken the stage prior to make it happen. Prithvi is developing villagers to hold *http ://www.swaroopanand.com/ to joining Prithvi. Now they take to the positions of responsibility within the orlimelight like professionals and the audi[Every Arnartithi, the Prithvi women ganization. Community Representatives ence thoroughly enjoyed the show! have a stall displaying their beautful prod(CRs) were recruited in August 2006 from Honored dignitaries’ speeches were all ucts, many ofwhich we now sell in the Love Ahmednagar District. Their mandate is spoken from the heart and recognized the Street Bookstore] to “take the pulse” of their village and importance ofthis event, striving to put it develop projects to initiate empowerment into Marathi, English and Hindi. After

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WIiat’s 2 1appening cit J I/teherctbode 1 LAnnuct!

Dinner I Auction

1. The annualfrndraiser at broughtin $5,000. Fred Stankus was, as always, our expertAuc tioneei LoisJones andKathy Hill discuss the many treasures in the SilentAuction. Which to bid on? 2. Glenn Russ andRosie Choi are tempted by the beautfulportrait donated to us by artist Shaheen Khursandi ofMyrtle Beach. 3. Thefood table was loaded with a sumptuous repast. Desserts were p ar excellence!

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4. Bob Eenprovidedhis magical celloplaying and singingfor our further entertainment. 5. Cynthia Troccoli watches while her daughter Daisy avails hersefof the latest computer equipment in the Children Room.

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We have had some excellentguests thesepast six months, each giving us more knowledge ofour Beloved, and much to think about.

Betty Lowman tells the stories ofthe Dunnites. [more about them in our next issue]

Chris and Christine Pearson, the keepers ofMeherana, told us how Meherana evolvedfrom “Bhaustock”, a Woodstock-like gathering on theirproperty in Marzosa manyyears ago.

Farhad Shafa and Mischa Rutemberg, always a welcome duo, entertained us with stories and song.

The Don comes to town!Adele Wolkin asks the questions andDonc sidekick Sevn is there to help with the answers.

Itc so djfficult to know what to do about charitable donations. Should I only donate to the Trust? Th my local Baba Center? Th the causes near and dear to my heart, like animal rescue and the environment What wouldBaba want me to dol It became obvious, listening to Wayne Galler describe how A Touch Of Love Foundation operates, that this cause is, indeed, among the very worthiest. It meets all my criteria: Tightly screened beneficiaries. Volunteer staffi, no big salaries. All to foster se(f—sufficiency. Orphans and dalits (untouchables). Health care, nutrition, and educationforkids teetering n the very edge ofsurvival. lam broke, but that was such a very easy check to write. Infuture, the LampPost will be bringingyou images of children around the world whomyou can zdopt for $16 a month. You will not be sony. See http.//www. atouchoflove. org/for details.

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Silence Day Scthavcts Pilgrim J ines, California 2

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. 7.

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Naosherwan Anzar hadfascinating tales ofgrowing up with Baba. Meherwanâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Rhoda EJirnmy Mistryc sonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;also grew up with Baba and had endless tales to tell. His wfr Zenobia accompanied him. MusicalguestJim Meyei Musicalguest Charles Gibson. This is the last time we willsee this sign. After 3Oyears at Pilgrim Pines in the San Bernardino mountains, we are moving our Sahavas venue to Santa Barbara. Seeyou there in 2008! For 30years Chris Pearson has been ourprecision sound man. Thank you Chris! Linda Zavala and Steve Berry check in the guests at the registration table.


L: Kathy brings the boxes to Charles and he loads the 24-foot truck. Kâ&#x20AC;˘ Bringing the Love Street Bookstorefrom Meherabode is a massivejob and takes many helpers. Even ourguestspitch in and lend a hand! Meherwan and Harry Thomas roll out one ofthe CD racks.

LAnd the winner is.. .Renee Bussanich. It is especially thrillingfor us when the winner ofour Fly to India sweepstakes is actually in the audience! Golnaz holds the bowl. Below L: Under the imprint ofBelovedArchives, Naosherwan has published many books, so Kathy held a book signing in the Bookstore.

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Below In herfirst Sahavas as Bookstore manageT Kathy does a greatjob!

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1.

Naosherwan Anzar L., with his wjfè Mahrukh, R. andMahoo Ghorbani, Sahavas committee member in the middle.

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All ofthe Sahavas Guests, L to KJim Meyer, Charles Gibson, Meherwan Mistry, Adele Wolkin andNaosherwan Anzar.

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Thgether again—with Mia allgrown up—the Campagnas rock thejoint!

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Michael accompanies Charles on “The Rose”

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fI:lctwctii Calls! J4/teher rDhctm ,/lwctits )3ou i:inda 2avala,, Los .Angeles you haven’t been to Moloka’i in the island chain of Hawaii, you are in for a Baba treat. MeherDham awaits you. Beloved Baba planted His seed of Divine Love in Hawaii during His several visits in the 1930’s to Honolulu, Oahu. When Stan Alapa, a native Hawaiian, heard about Meher Baba through Allan Cohen and shortly after attended the Great Darshan in 1969, he knew he was forever Baba’s. His lovely wife Shirley also came into Baba’s orbit later on. Together they have dedicated their lives to Baba’s service. They moved to Moloka’i in 1976 and leased a five acre property which was converted from a farm to private gardened lands with two separate living quarters. Now that Stan has gone to Baba, Shirley takes care of the property herself. Bhau Kaichuri, one of Baba’s Mandali and Chairman of the Trust in India, visiting in 1999, dedicating the land and buildings to Beloved Baba and named it MeherDham. I recently visited Shirley in Molokai, while my husband Mario and I were on a

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video shoot creating fitness DVDs on the gorgeous beaches there. The purpose of this article is to tell of Shirley’s loving ef forts, even with slender means, to maintain this island outpost. She carries on enthu siastically in His service, even though she has much need ofloving hands to help her do the raking, mowing, weeding, hauling and planting at this lovely spot.

Meher Dham

She maintains a separate apartment, fully equipped with kitchen, two beds, etc. , which she allows B aba’s lovers to use and will accept donations to support His work. The apartment overlooks all the beautiful trees and grounds and is very serene. If you are coming to Moloka’i just to visit, you can arrange to stay there instead ofa hotel and see the island, or if you would like to help her with the gardening she will negotiate a work! stay arrangement with you depending on your length of stay. MeherDham is anchored by their Baba room with one of Baba’s chairs, given to Stan by Ramakrishnan of the Pune Center in India. They have adorned this lovely room with much memorabilia and the sweet natural scent of Baba’s essence still emanates from His chair. It’s a great place to concen trate on one’s inner conversation with the Beloved and relax into His loving embrace. One can hear the Hawaiian trade winds outside rushing through the trees and hear the twittering of many different bird friends just outside.Time seems to stop and the world of illusion

quickly fades away. Tempted? Well here’s how to get there: Moloka’i is one ofthe smaller islands just north of Maui and Lanai. It is the least developed of all the islands and as the locals say, the most “Hawaiian”. There are lovely hiking trails, places to kayak and some of the most beautiful beaches in all of the islands. Maui and Lanai are just a ferry ride away and they travel between the islands twice a day. Take a plane to’ Honolulu on Oahu or to Maui. Then take a commuter flight to Moloka’i. There are two rental car agencies on the island. I suggest the one at the airport. MeherDham is between the airport and the main town ofKaunakakai (pro nounced: cow-na-ka id) which is seven miles from Shirley. The town has its own charm and reminds me of a town out of the Old West or somewhere in the Australian outback. There are several stores for groceries and supplies. The Hawaiian people are very friendly and some of the best beaches in Hawaii are nearby. Shirley will be happy to help you with travel tips. She still works in her hair salon and the real estate office, but as always, will spend time for Baba and His lovers. Come to Moloka’i to enjoy the lovely atmosphere of MeherDham and a taste of Meher Baba’s spirit in Hawaii. As Shirley is often heard to say, “A hui hou” which means “until we meet again”. Shirley Alapa: email: salapa@aloha.net Telephone: Home: (808) 567-6383, Office: (808) 567- 6074. Access to MeherDham’s or Shirley Alapa’s address via Mapquest is still a work in progress. Just email for directions and requirements for your stay. Please contact her several weeks prior to your intended visit. Aloha!

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73hctu 7ctkes .}1 7 rip to Oz Lynwood Sawyer (S1tiva) Editorc note. No, he didn’t meet up with The Tin Man, the StrawMan orthe Cowardiy Lion, Bhau went Down Underfor a nation wide tour ofOZ [as weAustralians affiction ately call our country.] He started offin Perth and then traveled to Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane,finishing his tour at the magnjficent Avatar’s Abode. Our report is written by nu merous people along the way. We start off in India with Lynwood 4th May 2007 itchari is a popular Indian dish. In the orth, it consists ofrice and dal stirred together; in the south, tapioca, potatoes, etc. Kitchari means “mixture,” and colloquially often refers to people who speak ajumble of languages simultaneously, none ofthem cor rectly, e.g., slamming and stewing together words from Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, etc. Consider this report “kitchari,” part essay, part diary Ahmednagar. Preparations to leave were the usuallast-minute whirlwind moistened by poignancy—Bhau signing off on the final tax statements and insuring the proper operation ofthe Trust in his absence, those staying behind packing up everything not needed for two months and sealing it against the dust that insinuates itself into everything. (When clothes are washed in the Trust Compound and hung out to dr which only takes a matter of minutes, as the temperature is often 110’ F [43’C], the dust permeates every fiber and is baked in. When you put on your undershirt, it feels as ifyou are wearing bricks!) Although staffwas tearful and weeping as we left the compound, the sorrow of the farewell was tempered by the fact that Mehernath and Mother Raj accompanied Bhau and his tour team Jatin (Bhau’s grandson), Freeman, Paul Comar and myself as far as Mumbai. Mumbai. As the sun was setting, there was a lovely meeting at the Bombay Center with all the stalwarts in attendance and Hoshang Dadachanji hosting. Pratap and his son provided musical accompaniment. Unfortunately for us Westerners, Bhau gave his talk in Hindi, so we could only understand two words the entire evening, “Bab? and “Parvardigar.” But the love and sense ofBaba’s presence that permeated the program were inteffigible in any language. At the airport the following morning, we 8o

said goodbye to Mehernath and a weeping Mother Raj as they bid farewell to their youngest son,Jatin, on his first trip overseas. We flew to Singapore, everyone but me in business class. Bhau had a most relaxing trip, thoroughly doted on by the hostesses. Singapore. We had been booked into the hotel in Terminal 2, but it was under renovation without any notification, so we had to shuttle over to Terminal 1. He was in the mood for some nice fish, but I discovered all the nice restaurants were in Terminal 2. Only a food court was inTerminal 1. There was, however a sushi stand.The disbelieving and thoroughly appalled sushi chefwas at last convinced to boil some salmon and tuna for Bhau, which he ate with relish, though he still thought it hadn’t been cooked enough! No trip would be complete unless Maya did her best to disrupt things, and naturally, on Tuesday morning, after we had cleared the lengthy security screening, our plane had some sort of mechanical failure, and we had to switch gates; the new gate was a 15-minute walk in a different wing. Fortunately, a cheerftil attendant wheeled Bhau to the new gate, where once again we went through the security screening. Perth. After all the tamasha [distur bance] to secure Bhau’s Australian visa, the passage through customs and immigration was anticlimactic. The whole process could not have taken more than 10 minutes and would have taken less had I not forgotten that I had a package of contraband dates, in violation ofAustralian agricultural quar antine. The officials were cheerful, helpful and laid back, and our smooth entry seemed to presage the upbeat tone for the tour to come. A mixture of the Perth and Avatar’s Abode contingents were there to welcome Bhau to his first and finalvisit to Perth. The daywas autumnally cool, invigorating in the aftermath ofa mistyrain desperately needed in this drought-stricken land. Once in the parkinglot, we had the standard reaction of everyone who comes from India (popula tion over one bi]lion) to Western Australia (population one and a halfmiilion, in an area more than three and a haiftimes the size of Texas), “Where is everybody?” Bhau was in good spirits, the two-five hour ffights prov— ing far less taxing than the usual nine-hour ffights to the West. As the local Baba lovers lived an hour or

more from the cit they had rented a nice house in an area called Cottesloe Beach. Mixed in with gum trees and bottlebrush bushes and towering Norfolk Island pines and olive trees laden with ripening fruit, were copper beeches and London plane trees that had already started turning. Flocks of Australian magpies bounced around on the lawn. The ocean was visible from the upstairs balcony. The moon was full. Bhau wrote to his MotherT: “There are not many Baba lovers in Perth, but our bungalow is very big. We are eating and sleeping. No other work. If we get some emails, we reply immediately. We are happy. No work. Now we arejust following the saying, ‘Eat well, sleep well and enjoy!” For over a year, Bhau has been suffering some sort of nasal congestion, a low-grade cold or allergy, aggravated by the dust and diesel fumes of the truckyardbehind theTrust Compound. He continued to sniffle and cough when he reached Australia, but every day his symp toms seem to be lessening, though they are worse at night. His sciatica is troubling him. He has difficulty walking, and it is painful for us to witness the difficulty he has lifting his legs into the car when we go anywhere. Paul Junior was a first class moviewalla and managed to obtain many spiritual Indian DVDs. We watched a 1940 film about a Dnyaneshwar, one ofBaba’s favorite advanced souls. The film was in Marathi, subtitled in English. It was very well ed ited, well written, well acted and devoid of most ofthe kitsch that makes many Indian movies cloying. As Bhau was enjoying the movie,Wendy and her instructor Leoni gave a complete massage, one working on each side. Over the course ofcountless surgeries, hospitalizations and daily finger pricks to check his blood sugar, Bhau has been poked, prodded and punctured so much he has de veloped a deep aversion to needles, even to the extent that he no longer likes to receive acupuncture treatments. That night, as he was about to go to bed, I reminded Bhau of a Shiatsu treatment the following day. “It’s a form of Chinese medicine,” I explained. He took this in, drowsing, as Freeman mas saged his feet, and after 10 or 15 minutes, he opened his eyes and asked very slowly, and with more than a touch of apprehension, asked, “So what exactly does this ‘zoo of


shots’ consist of?” I assured him it was just a massage and that no needles were involved. The Shiatsu practitioner, Danny Byrne, only recently heard about Baba and was extremely excited to read in the newspaper that one of Meher Baba’s closest disciples was coming, and so, less than three months after ftrst hearing Baba’s name, he was giving Bhau a shiatsu treatment, and again Bhau enjoyed and enjoyed. At the Kalungah-Myah Family Center in Kardinyia, following a screening of Peter Nordeen’s film, YouAlone Exist, and a rous ing song by Big Daddy (Gabriel Lee, Paul Jurnor and Julie’s son), Bhau gave a talk to a standing-room-only mixture ofold Baba lovers, new Baba lovers, their children and others who had onlyrecently heard ofBaba. Bhau gave a briefhistory ofhow his dreams ofShirdi Sai Baba (though he did not know who the old man was) guided him to Baba, how he met Baba and how Shirdi Sai Baba disappeared from his dreams once the perfect master’s duty had been accomplished. The food has been delicious, most ofthe ingredients grown locally and often organi cally. As ajoke, we told our hosts that we’d heard that eating kangaroo puts spring into your step and we were wondering ifwe could obtain some to increase Bhau’s spryness. As it turns out, some Australians really DO eat kangaroo meat, and we hastily had to tell everyone thatwe werejustjoking.They also informed us that kangaroos box, so if Bhau cannot find a suitable sparring partner in Avatar’s Abode for his boxing match, he will box with a kangaroo! As Australian Rules Boxing are very similar to Australian Rules Football, the loser will get eaten! Again, we are just joking! Today about 25 people came to Broome Street for an intimate talk with Bhau. Just as everyone was settling in nicely, a muchneeded downpour began, which tapered off as everyone was leaving. Bhau was in good form and told the story ofthe Mischievous Chicken, the story ofthree prayers and the necessity ofpuffing the prayers into action. And then it was time for dinner abundant quantities of chicken curry basmati rice, dhai, and kir [an Indian sweet]. As Bhau was savoring it with local Baba lovers and chil dren, he observed, “With all this wonderful Indian food, surrounded by my grandchild, my office team, Mother S and the Australian Baba lovers who spend so much time at Meherabad and arranged for my visa, I feel as ill have never left India.”

73hau Coming to Berth was an 1istoric Event 2 . 3ulie £ee-lfr1orris ever before had one ofMeher Baba’s mandali stepped foot in this, the largest landmass of all seven states of Australia. The Baba group here is very small and we knew that Bhau would like to meet lots of people. We arranged two public meetings and also gatherings at the house in which Bhau was staying. Then we set about inviting all our family

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came in response to the advertisements. Our hearts were overflowing with grati tude to our Beloved Lord Meher Baba as we watched the hearts of everyone open in response to Baba’s love that was flowing through Bhau in abundance. Nature too responded to this new open heartedness—the rains fell and the long drought was broken.

Not only the Perthites (Western Australia) were there to greet Bhau on his arrival in OZ, but many from Sydney and Queensland as well. Lots offamiliarfaces in this group!

and friends, every one ofthem non Baba Lovers. Our group felt that this was a once in a many lifetimes chance that our dear ones would have to come in contact with, and be physically touched by, one of the GodMan’s mandali. To our amazement almost all of those invited came, as well as many others who

The love fragrance ofthat special time when Beloved Baba sent His Bhau to this land is still very much here and we all live with that fragrance in our hearts. Bhau’s complete one pointed focus on Baba serves as a beacon for us all—to live to please Baba by following His Wish.

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his time with Bhau has been magi cal. As always dear Bhau has extended himself to all, very by ingby, with words of Baba, healing our hearts and minds. He has set aglow many a new heart on the path to Baba. There has been a new wave of B aba lovers awakening in Melbourne that without Bhau’s presence, may not have happened. We know through Baba, Next stop was Melbourne (Victoria, the Southern state). that when a pupil Suzi, Freeman and Paul shepherd Mr. Incognito through the streets. is ready the Master will find a way ofbringing them to Him. ofour Beloved. Thank you Bhau for being that loving The loving company Bhau has arrived instrument of Baba. Thank you for grac with have shown us the unconditional ing us with Baba’s presence in your love and loving way of serving Baba without

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Can there he any doubt Bhau had a great time Down Under7 Here with Chris and Robert in Melbourne 82

complaint, cour teously caring for everyone, despite all the challenges that have came in their path. So all who came to see and hear Bhau talk could feel Beloved Baba’s seed of love planted in their hearts—for new and oldbovers alike. All I can say is, I felt very privileged to be a witness to all this happening and so much love unconditionally shared amongst all that participated in this loving Baba journey, through Bhau’s presence here in Melbourne.

To love God one has to keep Him present and never be absent from Him. This means that while doing all duties, while thinking all thoughts and speaking all words, we have always to have His re membrance, remembering Him as the background to everyone and everything. This means in every little thing, good or bad both, we should remember Him and then all responsibility rests with Him. “The trouble with you is that you don’t leave it everything entirely to Me. If you have one-hundred per cent faith in Me and leave it entirely to Me, the burden will automatically fall on My shoulders and the pres sure ofthe burden on My shoulders would make Me remember in spite ofthe pressure ofMy universal work, with which I’m engrossed. —Meher Baba


‘Zi3Irnu SXalcliuri in Sydney by McFerrin, the song’s title was taken from a famous quote Final Australian Visit by Mr. Avatar Meby Bhau Kaichuri, Avatar Meher her Baba who Baba’s Biographer and Close simply wanted Disciple. Public address held at to convey, “Do your best, then Sydney Sai Temple. don’t worry, be Partha Mukherjee happy and I will r. Kaichuri brings a message of love, help you.” truth and peace in his Sydney talks. Zoroastrian At the age of 81, it is his final Australian by birth in Pune visit and he talked about Avatar Meher India, Meher Baba’s main message, “The goal ofLife is Baba (1894to be one with God”. “All religions are 1969) attracted beads on the same string”. “Fill your a dedicated Juggler George Gevini entertains Bhau and the crowd in heart with Universal Love and Brotherworldwide fol aprivate meeting held at the home ofthe Borthwickc. hood.” lowing from all re In the past 80 years Meher Baba’s mes nance. The Avatar descends on this earth ligious traditions with his message of love sage has widely influenced many people every 700 to 1400 years to give a push to and service to all ofhumanity. He said, “I across different races, class, creeds and mankind to progress in their real journey intend to bring together all the religions religions in the science, entertainment and ofbeing one with God. These five Perfect like beads on one string, revitalising them wider spheres. Avatar Meher Baba was a Masters are responsible for bringing down for individual and collective needs.” guide to Mahatma Ghandi, Hollywood God almighty as the Avatar and they all The public address ofBhau Kalchuri in film stars and many others. Even parts of Sydney revealed some secrets of spiritual come in close proximity when the Avatar Pete Townsend’s 1969 rock-opera Tommy descends. Each one has to contribute a governance of this world. He explained were inspired by Meher Baba. special attribute towards the human form that Avatar Meher Baba revealed to The 1989 Grammy Award winning of the Avatar in the early formative years mankind that at any point in time there ‘Best Song of the Year’, Dont Worry Be to realize his full potency as “God-Man”. are five perfect masters in this world, inHappy captured the imagination of many That is why all the five perfect masters had cognito, and they are all dispersed across people around the world. Written by Bobbeen in close proximity (in Maharashtra, the world for the universal spiritual gover India) at that Avataric age. Sai Baba of Shirdi, being the head (Qutub-E-Irshad) ofall the perfect masters, gave him infinite power, while Hazrat Babajan ofPune gave him infinite bliss and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori gave him infinite knowledge. Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur and Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon played a role in bringing him into creation and in a human form. They all had to be in close proximity to the young Avatar for Him to come in contact with them early in life and realize His full potential to be God as Man. People in Sydney listened with rapt attention to this visiting octogenarian Bhau Kalchuri and the many stories and events that he has witnessed while being with the Avatar. Meher Baba’s followers are simply known as ‘Baba lovers’, following no rites, rituals, ceremonies or specific religious du ties. Meher Baba never built any temples, The story behind this cutephoto was that since Bhau is most comfortable in churches or places ofworship as He said hispajamas, once a week was declaredjammies Day!. Keeping Bhau company are “Develop your love for God through the L-R Shiva, John andJeanette Isaacs-Young, Suzi limura and MichaelLePage

The headline ofthe IndusNews [a newsmagazinefor Indians living in Australia] read

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belief and practice of your own faith and keep remembering me always I will help you to achieve your goal”. “I belong to no religion as all religions belong to me.” Bhau Kaichuri has been a close disciple of Meher Baba since 1952. The author of more than 25 published books about Meher Baba, he is a natural storyteller. An intelligent man with a gentle nature, he speaks with a warmth and wit about Meher Baba’s message of divine love and truth. Mr. Kalchuri is not a guru or a swami but a much beloved figure and role model. The function was simply mesmerising. The power and presence of the Divine was so powerful that people’s hearts were filled withjoy and peace. Long before the actual program time of 5:30 PM, people started pouring in. By 5 PM the hall was full. When Bhau arrived at 5:20 the temple hall was jam-packed. A big screen projec tion ofthe program was set upjust outside the main hall with comfortable sitting ar rangements for people who could not get a place to sit inside. The gathering swelled as people came from all corners of Sydney. ManyWesterners and Indians came from the outer lying suburbs ofgreater Sydney (NSW) in pursuit of truth and love for spiritual knowledge by the blessings of the divine Avatar Meher Baba and Shirdi Sai Baba. Over 500 people came! The Live skypecast audio broadcasting was also supplemented with video web casting worldwide and several hundreds of listeners logged in from the US, UK, Russia, India, Brisbane, Perth etc and many asked on line questions. At the end ofthe program Bhau spoke to several audience members one on one and answered their questions. He also signed many books that the audience brought from the bookstall and wanted Bhauji to sign. The mahaprasad was sumptuous and turned out to be a real feast as many brought home cooked food and sweets with all their love and devotion to add to the already organised feast. Many Western (Australian) first time participants expressed that they felt some strong presence of peace and energy and would like to know more about Avatar Meher Baba and also come to the Sai temple more often. “All are welcome in divine love and universal brotherhood” was Bhauji’s message from Avatar Meher Baba’s teachings. . . .

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Clischa Dsactcs-’j3oung e gathered together to try and write about our experience on tour with Bhau Kalchuri, and found it difficult to

to and from the toilet each night when he’d wake. Bhauji was really very good indeed.” .

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know what to write. I wrote a paragraph that looked more like Zen poetry and gave up hope. Then my friend Jacob, who was one of the night-watchmen of The Night-Watchman, threw me a few dot points by email the next afternoon, summarising his experience on tour with Bhau, asking me to “weave them cohesively together like spiderwoman.” The last dot point was this: “The fra grance ofBaba’s love seemed to linger wherever Bhauji went, and it is hard to keep from weeping when I remember walking Bhauji Bhau with Ray Kerkhove,

That really says it all for me, too. How can something so mundane—for Jacob walking an old man to the toilet in the middle of the night, for me taking dictation first thing every morning on a laptop, or helping make chai—bring such deep gratitude? In a popular Aus— tralian film The Castle, the lead character tries to explain to his family what’s so spe cial about his favourite holi day spot “It’s, it’s. just the VIBE” he says, and is stuck for anything more to say. Or perhaps that’s just because he has said it all. Paul Comar and Ros Hayes . .


Joanna Bruford, her brother Bernard andMichaelLe Page, aiofwhom, asyoungsters, were with Baba at theAbode duringHis 1958 visit.

Bhau greets nonagenarianjoyce Bird, author ofSearch for the Truth

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13ack 7 1ome /lgain Cxcerpts from Beloved Avatar Meher Baba! ume: I am happy to inform you that I reached Ahmednagar safely and without any trouble. Before my tour was arranged, I’d been feeling, “I won’t be able to visit anywhere overseas.” Yet I also felt that it was Beloved Baba’s wish for me to visit Australia, and indeed, He gave the strength to do so. Though my health was not so good, I did not worry much about it and did not feel any strain. I should tell you honestly and sincerely that the tour went offvery well and very joyfully. All the dear ones there were happy to see me, and I was really happy to meet them. Everywhere I realized how much trouble they passed through. So I thank all who took care of me: MotherJ (Julie),who everywhere was cooking, Mother J Squared (Jeanette), who did all the administrative work, Mother S (Suzi),who throughout the tour took personal care of me. Jatin [ Bhau’s grandson] was vis iting different universities and places of recreation. Mummy C (Charmaine) was also preparing food for so many people in Avatar’s Abode. Freeman was in charge of my personal things, as well as eating and farting. Other Baba lovers took care of one thing or another. The Bothwings (John and Wendy) from Sydneywere very very silent, though theywere taking care of accommodations and the kitchen, and not only that, they both were cooking along with the others! There were nice arrangements for mas sages, and everywhere I was treated like a Maharajah. A new thing happened in Australia, which had not taken place in any other country, even in America: video web casts ofsome ofmy talks and Internet chats. These chats set an example for oth ers, and I have been receiving letters from people in different countries appreciating both the chats and the web casts. Everyone in Australia was brokenhearted when I left, and many people came to the airport in Brisbane. They were

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feeling much the impending separation as they waited for me in the lobby. When we were departing, they all went to the upper level, where they were waving and waving. This does not happen in other countries, as elsewhere there are a lot of restrictions. I felt very happy in Australia because, re ally speaking, there were no restrictions. The only irritation was that the security screeners took my toothpaste and my scis sors. Both these items are very useful, and perhaps the screeners will be able to make

use ofthem. The plane landed in Mumbai at 10:30 AM but took time to reach the gate. Other than the fact that I had no toothpaste and no scissors, my re-entry into India went smoothly. My MotherT had come from Ahmed nagar to receive me. Her name is Toktam, an Iranian name, because she is from Iran. She speaks English very well and knows how to use computers. She was in the Trust Compound during my absence, emailing and taking care ofdifferent administrative details. You’ll be amazed to hear that she kept awake on a bench the whole night, neither sleeping nor eating. Then she came to the airport at 10:00 AM, where she was waiting and waiting at the gate. She met me with suchjoy that I cannot describe it. I did not know that the whole night she was keeping awake and not eating. Mother Raj and Mehernath [daughterin-law and son] also came to the airport, and we all spent the night in the Leela

Hotel. The next day, we left Mumbai for Ahmednagar, and four hours later, dear Paul Comar (whom I have nicknamed “Kumar,” or “Prince”) left for Paris. We prayed at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi for all you dear ones, as ifyou were present before Him, and He was appearing very, very happy and cheerful. I felt as if He were giving His loving embrace and His kiss to everyone. When I offered the lists ofall the dear ones from Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Avatar’s Abode to Beloved Baba, I also remembered all those whom I could not see this year. Ev eryone was included in my prayer; no one was left out. We circled the tombs of the lady Mandali, praying for all you dear ones, and then went to the Cabin, where Baba had been keeping seclusion in 1935. There again we prayed foryou. Back in ‘35 Baidul had been keeping watch at the Cabin. When his food came, what happened? He started smelling some type of odor. He could not make from where it was originating. Then Baba started His mast tours. When Baidul would approach masts, he would receive the same smell. He did not know the planes, but he could recognize masts. When Baba sent him to different places to find masts, he would literally sniff them out. Then Baba would go and contact the masts that Baidul had found. Another incident also took place at the Cabin. There was a woman who was very devoted to Baba and who had been living with Him for along time. She would bring orangejuice to Baba, and Baba had ordered her not to look into the Cabin when the door was closed. Once, when she brought the juice, she found the door slightly ajar. She saw Baba all alone, working. When she came down from the Cabin, she found that she had become blind! At the time, nobody was allowed tell Baba anything,


so He was not informed. When He came out ofseclusion, Gulmai (Adi K’s mother) was weeping and weeping before Baba for the sake of that woman. Baba called her and put His hand on the woman’s eyes. The woman’s sight was restored, and she started seeing things clearly. The reason that I mention these epi sodes is to remind you that when you visit Baba’s Cabin, you should know that Baba is also present there. You should not make any noise inside or nearby. Then we went to the Tin Shed, where Beloved Baba’s gaadi [couchlbed] is kept as it was, in its original state. There He would sit with the Eastern and Western women Mandali and talk about the war.This shows that He was dealing with the Second World War. He will also deal with the Third World War, because He declared in 1954 that threequarters’ of the world will be destroyed. Let us see what happens. There, too, we prayed. At the moment, there are only around 20 pilgrims at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat and most came to greet me. I told them about the impor tance of Baba’s Samadhi, His Cabin and His Gaadi. We then left for Ahmednagar. Mother C, Mom, all the Trust Office staff and the Compound residents were there to greet us. Afterwards, many came from Ahmednagar Centre. The next morning, I saw Mother C Janice) before me. So much work, so ( many emails accumulated in my absence, but I felt compelled to complete the emails and the other work. I found that the Trust is thattare garu [empty pockets]. Demands for many purposes are coming from Meherabad. Everyone wants to have something from the Trust separate from Development Plan. But The Trust did not receive any donations—I think this generally happens in the summer. Now that I have returned, donations may come. I don’t know. What to do and what not to do? How to fulfill everyone’s demands? Sunday morning (24th June), I went to Meherazad. First, I went to Mandali Hall, and standing in front of Beloved Baba’s chair, I offered the prayers for you dear ones. Then I went into His bedroom and did the same. Afterwards, I met the lady Mandali and Meherazad residents and gave them the report of my Austra lian tour. Finally, on 12th July, I will again say prayers for you all at Baba’s Samadhi and afterwards at the Dhuni. Only then will I consider my tour over.

othing t on the Everjthing and the fA 3rcincis i3rctbazon en the discussion ofphilosophy re ally becomes serious it ends up in an enunciation ofthe divine truths by one man, with the rest listening. When such enuncia tion is an expression ofthe compassion of one who has passed through suffering, the greatest possible suffering, it is the highest poetry, irrespective of it being in verse or prose. Meher Baba’s God Speak is the preme epic; but in epic poetry—the slow unfolding of a grand theme—every word has its weight, and a few words skimmed ove; or not felt in their fullness, throws out the balance ofa whole passage, and so to the majority ofus, used as we are to newspaper and magazine reading where one word in six is enough to grasp the content, God Speaks is a “difficult” book. His new book, The EverythingandtheNothing,is a collection of pure lyrical utterances—on the everythingness ofthe Everything, and the nothingness ofthe Nothing which is the shadow of the Everything. This does not mean that the Nothing is nothing at all; it is something distinctly to be reckoned with, but not given importance. For it is our giving importance to Nothing, our honoring it as really something, which prevents our experiencing ourselves as Everything —that Everything which created innumerable little nothings (you and me, dear heart) out ofbig Nothing

so that it, the Everything which is nothing but Love, could experience itselfas Beloved and Lover. Love, the Everything, not only created innumerable little nothings (you and me, dear heart), but also created the universes which are nothing but a setting for lovemaking—a place in which the Beloved could hide, and the Lover could wander seeking the Beloved, mountains and hills for the Beloved to leap and skip upon ( see Solomon) , and a vale for the Lover to practice singing (see Hafiz). Love is noth ing unless it includes everything—which it seldom does. That is probably why lover’s speech is called “sweet nothings,” nothings about something that is everything to them and nothing to anybody else. Everything is the SelfofNothing, and Nothing is the shadow of Everything—which is what makes the love-game so complicated and so fascinating. The Beloved knows the conclu sion of the affair at its beginning, but the poor Lover is always in the position of He loves me, He loves me not. The Beloved is the very Selfofthe Lover but the Lover patiently weaves a net of separation in which to catch desire and sleeplessness. The Everything and the Nothing, by Meher Baba.

lelpless 3eel 2slot 2 J4leIier J3aba fyou have realized God within you and you know that God is all-powerful, then you must be also all-powerful. Why do you then feel helpless? I remain the same Eternal One and am in all; therefore, you all are God; and yet you feel so helpless. Why is this? It is because there is a kind of veil that veils you from God. You yourself are the veil, and it is not possible for you to lift it—this veil which is yourself Your eyes, which are quite small, see a vast panorama and all the objects contained in it, but they cannot see themselves. So, when the mirror ofMy Grace descends, your own True Selfis revealed in an instant. You must drown yourself completely in the Ocean of My Love; then you will find My Grace there. Meher Baba Calling

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EJnterview with Wctrd Pctrks on Dnflnite Dntelligence Problems Upon Problems Dma Snow Gibson [In thefirst quarter2007 issue we published an article by Dan andJed Tyler titled “Prob lems With Infinite Intelligence. Well, it causedproblerns. When larrived in Indiafor Amartithi, Iwas taken to task by numerous peopleforprinting it! When I did ventureforthfrom my room andlimp up to the dining room lusually chose to sit alone as Iwasn’t really upfor conversa tion; however a number ofpeople sat down with the intent ofpointing out the errors in the article. Now the LampPost does not shy awayfrom controversial subjects fwefeel a validpoint has been raised, and not having read Infinite Intelligence I was not aware that some ofthepoints raised in the article werejust not true. No one questioned our right topublish the article, but were anxiousfor our readers to notget the wrong impression. It waspointedout that the Tylerssaidthat the Trusthas made available to thepublic only a highly editedversion ofthe text while denying access to the original manuscript. I was overwhelmed with examples to the contrary. So, in my desire to set the record straight, I asked Ward Parks—who was a member of the Trust editing team in Meherazad—fhe would be amenable to answering some ques tions andgiving us some explanations. He graciously acceded and the following article is what resulted I do hope I covered a lot ofquestions our readers had been asking too.] Authorship Editor: Infinite Intelligence is a monu mental work. Since there was no clear documentation that Meher Baba authored the book, how did the Trust editors arrive at that conclusion? Parks: It is true that the manuscript itselfis unsigned, and there is nothing within the manuscript that explicitly attributes it to Meher Baba. So it’s perfectly reasonable to raise the question, “What basis do you have for asserting that Meher Baba was the author oflnfinite Intelligence?” To start answering your question, please know that attributing the manuscript to Baba was not done arbitrarily. This question is “

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dealt with at length, and quite explicitly, within the book itself Indeed, we have raised the question on the hardcover book’s very front flyleaf, which explicitly asks, “What is the evidence for Meher Baba’s authorship?” The problem of authorship is most directly addressed in the section of the “Essay” entitled “Authorship and Date of Composition” [pp. 523-30]. But there is much other material in the book that is quite pertinent. For example, the section of the Essay on the manuscript itself its discovery and characteristics [pp. 495-509], bears on this question. Also, Appendix 6 [pp. 596-609], which gives selected quotations from the Combined Diary and Meher Message, has a lot of relevant evidence. May I offer a few sentences from the Introduction? It says, “...The editors of this volume, as well as other readers who have closely studied the manuscript, agree unanimously that the ultimate source and author must have been Meher Baba, whatever mediums and channels may have been involved in the recording and transcription process. For no one else connected with Meher Baba’s early ashrams composed material even remotely of this kind. This supposition is corroborated by the fact that several folios from the second segment of the manuscript in Notebook II reproduce a portion ofBaba’s handwritten text published in In God’sHancL A fuller discussion of all these questions of manuscript and authorship appears later in this book. But to state in brief one feels confident in asserting that Meher Baba gave out the basic contents of the two notebooks, probably through dictation with chalk on slate that was subsequently written up by His mandali (His ‘companions’ or disciples). In the course of this ‘writing up,’ these disciples most likely contributed to the manuscript’s prose style and form of presentation.” Editor: Have you discovered more substantiation besides what is in the book? Parks: There is much, much more evidence in support of Meher Baba’s authorship. It would take me many pages to write it up. Perhaps in the fiiture, if the LampPost is interested, I could draft

something more substantial on this point. Editor: We would definitely be interested. WhyWas Editing Needed? Editor: On another point, the Trust and your team did significant editing on the raw manuscript. Since it originated from Meher Baba’s dictation, and Baba is no longer here to review it, why did you conclude that you needed to do that? Parks: The editing team came to the conclusion that the manuscript we were working from was a dense jungle thicket that only a tiny minority could find their way through. Even edited, it is a difficult work. But unedited, the content would have remained inaccessible to many readers. The Trust team felt that Baba came for everyone, and the messages that He gave were for everyone, all humanity So the manuscript was edited to make it broadly accessible, just as the Discourses and God Speaks and His other books are. Authority for Editing Editor: By what authority do you feel that raw, unpublished material by Meher Baba can be edited? Parks: As it happens, the Combined Diary records an explicit statement from Baba Himselfon this very point. Dated 7 August 1927, this passage was reproduced in Infinite Intelligence [p. 604] and discussed in a major way elsewhere in the book. This passage from the Diary has been published in facsimile through “Tavern Talk,” the Trust’s listserv. The relevant passage reads thus: “No, it is not advisable to send my notes and lectures for composition to anyone who is away from me. The writer must be here to ensure correctness. For example, [ K. J. Dastoor] took note of certain ex planations [of mine] in writing the other day, yet while putting the same in his own language he made a mess ofit all. My planations may be re-composed in stylish and forcefril language, but the spirit and meaning must remain unchanged...” What is said in this passage was borne out by Baba’s practice throughout His entire lifetime. He always had His points —


There has never been a Baba book to date and dictations thoroughly edited before publication. We edited Infinite Intelligence that has even approached Infinite Intelligence in its transparency on questions of because, to us, this appears to be what He editorship. The fact that all this material would have wanted. Baba’s own example included within the covers ofthe book was we and precedents guided us. We believed guarantees that posterity will never itself were following the precedent and practice on the status ofthe book’s pri deceived be that Baba Himself had established. This ofthe book will always Readers text. mary the was not some deviant perversion that book’s text has been edited, the that know Trust invented. Itwas Baba’s own standard according to what and principles, what by operating procedure. is explained in ofthis because all rationale, Now it is true that the editing that detail. greatest the Baba Himself got done has to be distin Access to Original Material? guished from the editing done after He has What did you do to overcome Editor: dropped His body. The Trust’s editorial that you were denying the suspicion the policy recognizes this point. “the real deal” the actual access to reader Trust Editing Policy How does the public get material? source Editor: Would you elaborate on this? to it? access What is the Trust’s policy? Parks: It has been the intention of the Parks: Sure. That policy was explained from the very outset of this project Trust ismost explicitly in the summer 2006 1998 to make the manuscript ftilly availin sue of the Trust newsletter. You might public. We said this repeatedly the able to the want to republish that short piece in conversations to many people. personal in LampPost. It is a very important policy have said this in articles I sure I must I’m statement from the Trust and of much time to time, though I don’t from wrote interest to Baba lovers concerned with hand at the moment. on all ofthem the have the editing of Baba’s words. In brief, intention was anthis that know I do But Trust distinguishes between material that 2006 issue of the January the in nounced Baba published during His own lifetime which came out 2], newsletter Trust [p. and material that He did not. When the book in the of release after the Baba Himself oversaw the editing and just article in the That November. preceding publication of a literary item, it should be the following with closes newsletter Trust left alone without further editing, except, sentences: possibly, in areas of spelling, punctuation, two Within the next twelve months, the and capitalization. Material unpublished in Meher Baba’s lifetime, by contrast, Trust Archives plans to publish on the Trust web site a digital facsimile of the can be edited under the authority of the entire original “Intelligence Notebooks” legitimate copyright holder. In these cases, manuscript. As the closest record of what however, the original manuscript will al Meher Baba Himself actually composed, ways remain the authoritative text to which that manuscript will always remain the subsequent generations can return for the creation ofnew and improved editions. A primary text and authority from which edited versions are derived and to which key point is that the various edited texts cannot carry any special authority. They they ultimately refer. The same intention was stated within do not bear Baba’s seal, as do editions Infinitelntelligence itself The Supplement prepared during His lifetime. ofthat book opens with a 92-page “Essay” Editing Acknowledged? that gives a huge amount of information Editor: Do you feel the book makes about the original manuscript, questions it clear that the presentation of Baba’s of authorship, editorship, and many other content has been edited a lot? things. The opening section ofthat Essay Parks: Infinite Intelligence is extremely closes this way: up front about all of this. The Introduc The editors hope that the manuscript tion makes it clear that the manuscript was extensively edited. And in the Essay in will in due course be made more widely ac the back ofthe book, “Editorial Practice” cessible in some format to those interested in it, through facsimile print publication, receives a fhlI sixteen pages of treatment digital reproduction in compact disc or [pp. 531-46]! The first five pages of this internet mediums, and in other ways. Bediscuss “The Necessity of Editing”; the cause of its direct relationship to Meher next section goes into “The Editorial Revi Baba’s own act of literary composition, sion ofProse Style”; and we conclude with the manuscript will always remain the “Editorial Conventions and Apparatus.” —

primary text and authority, while editions that present it to the public will stand as secondary texts and derivatives. I think our motive is crystal clear. And in fiilfillment ofthe Trust’s promise in the newsletter, injanuary 2007 the Trust published the entire facsimile of the original manuscript on its web site [in the Online Library section]. The only reason the manuscript was not released sooner was because we were waiting for the Trust Archives web site to complete a very beautiftil archival section, and it had been our inten tion to release the manuscript there. But as so often happens—especially in India —in work involving the Internet and web site design, the preparation ofthis section of the web site has been delayed because oftechnical complications. In view of that, we decided to release the manuscript as it is, in a rough and much less user-friendly form. We had been hoping to release it under a better presentation, but by no stretch of the imagination has the Trust been withholding the manuscript as part of an attempt to maintain a “monopoly of knowledge.” Just to add to that point, take a look at the book’s endnotes [pp. 661-82]. These consist of extremely detailed comments on the editing of the book as it relates to the manuscript. For typical examples, look at endnotes 5 and 6 on pages 665-66. It would have been inane to incorporate endnotes such as these ifwe had intended to withhold the original manuscript. The web site also provides, along with the manuscript itself a concordance that correlates page numbers in the manuscript with page numbers in the book. We hope this toolwi]1 be immenselyuseftilto people who want to go back and forth between the book and the manuscript. That’s why we went to the labor of creating it. The Trust is also considering other forms ofpublication ofthe manuscript. We might choose to release it as a DVD and possibly as a comparatively inexpensive printed facsimile. Obviously factors ofcost and market demand have to be taken into consideration here. Scholarly Apparatus Editor: There is large scholarly ap paratus in the published book. What was the rationale for adding it? Ward: It’s true there is a large “ap paratus” in the book. The main text has chapter titles, division into sections, section summaries, and sidebars. The supplement has a 92-page Essay, seven 89


appendixes, a 40-page section on “Notes on the Figures,” detailed textual endnotes, a guide to pronunciation, a very extensive glossary, and an index. The rationale for all this material is clearly explained within the book itself Most Baba lovers are not philosophers or textual scholars. The divisions into sec tions, the summaries, and the sidebars are intended to make the reading ofthe book easier for everyone. And in fact, over the last year, a great many people have com mented on how helpfiil this material was. And what is wrong with this? There are so many Baba lovers who have gained tre mendously from Discourses and God Speaks despite their not being scholarly types. We were simply trying to make Infinite Intelligence accessible to everyone. As editors, we also wanted to be as transparent as possible about our own role and the relationship between the edited text and the original manuscript. That is much of what the Supplement is about. The Supplement contains all kinds of detailed information that it would take years ofwork for readers to ferret out for themselves. It provides all the evidence that we could assemble regarding the manuscript’s authorship and many other questions. It is very exphcit and detailed regarding our own editorial work. Indeed, this is what “transparency” means.” Transparency” does not happen by itself It needs a structure, an apparatus. And the fundamental drive in creating that apparatus was to be transparent. One example is the drawings in Infi nite Intelligence. Although we made the decision to redraw the book’s figures to bring a clear and consistent visual hand to the book, we also included the original figures from the manuscript in a full-color facsimile. They show up in the section “Notes on the Figures” [pp. 618-59]. We did this precisely so that people skeptically disposed towards the redrawn figures could go back to the originals. To take another example of this, look in the glossary. There at the end of most items you’ll find a list of numbers. What are those numbers? They are the numbers ofthe pages in which the word in question occurs. 1f on your own, you wanted to check the accuracy of one of our glossary entries, it would take you hours ten hours, maybe to go through the entire book to find every occurrence ofthat particular word. But with this feature of the glossary, it might take five minutes. The —

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very purpose of this glossary feature is to make it easier for readers to check up on the glossary! It is a transparency feature. Editor:Ward, thankyou.This has been insightful. Parks: You’re welcome.

9:our Stages 7;o CverjtIiing— LA’tdieT ¶Ba:ba on

God was God and never anything other than God. The God-Man, C. B. Purdom, p. 283 © 1971 Meher Spiritual Center, Inc. [ For a greater understanding ofthis im portant declaration, Love Street Bookstore carries The Final Declaration DVD made when Bhau Kalchuri spoke on this subject at the Sufi Center in Walnut Creek, $12.]

2/is [inal Dcclaration th 30

1954: IfI am what I am, it is all the more september natural for you not to be able to understand all that I wish to express, and why I say all that I say. It has been going on like this for thousands ofthousands ofyears. IfI am the Highest ofthe High I knowwhyJesus was crucified, and why Muhammad was stoned. For all the so-called good and bad things said about them by the so-called good and bad world, people understand next to noth ing about Christ and Muhammad, about Ram and Krishna, Zoroaster and Buddha, and about all the things they said and did. Sometimes I cannot help asking myself about the things I do and say, and about the things I deliberately avoid and easily forget. At the last meeting in Meherabad I gave my final declaration and yet itwas followed by a clarification, a confirmation and lastlyby the decision. Until the other dayl had not given it a thought; then, while taking a rest I asked myselfwhy did I give out the Declaration? Who asked me for a Clarification? Where was the need to issue a Confirmation and what made me give the Decision? I was satisfied that all had been inevitably necessary Throughout time, in accordance with the common law of nature, there are four stages to everything. Therefore the day I had announced my Declaration, I knew the decision inherent therein would have to be worked out by me through the stages thatwould follow.Thus my declaration was in fact my decision, but for the declaration to be manifested as the decision, it had to pass through the intermediary stages of clarification and conftrmation. The initia tive of all initiatives, the foremost lahars or spontaneous urge on the part of God to ask Himself “Who am I?” was God’s declaration; creation was then necessary for its clarification; the evolution of perfect consciousness in man is its confirmation and involution—the transformation of human consciousness into God-consciousness-— concludes in the decision that throughout,

Dnflnite Dndividuality L.Asserts Dndivisible Oneness Mther Baba

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here is no scope for separateness in the vastness of the Infinite Ocean of Indivisible Oneness. How then can there be any room for individuality in indivisibility? In the indivisible unlimited Ocean ofReality how can there be scope for each drop that has fully awakened to Realityto individually proclaim: I am the Ocean! The moment the drop has been stirred to consciousness, it isolates itselfinto a separate entity and acquires an individuality a false I-AM-ness. This awakened ‘I’ is enveloped in falseness that grows with every step of its increased consciousness in proportion to its field ofimpressions and expression. This falseness that at first helps the drop to estab lish individuality in the indivisible Ocean, becomes the perpetual hindrance that keeps the drop from knowing itselfas the Ocean. The ‘I’ has to get rid ofthe falseness before it can realize who it is in reality At the end ofthe journey, when at long last the Goal is reached by the grace of the Perfect Master, this falseness is entirely removed and the ‘I’ alone remains with its supreme Self-knowledge saying, My falseness is gone, I am God! Thus, when each individual drop sheds its false awareness of being other than the Ocean, it proclaims itself as the Infinite Indivisible Ocean. At the instant its falseness, its very own falseness is removed, the drop asserts its Infinite Individua1ity It then consciously and continuously experiences itself for all time as being without a sec ond: the Alniighty, Infinite and indivisible Paramatma. This is the I-am-God state. This is how every Atma, from the instant its consciousness is unburdened of falseness ( i.e., impressions) for all time, asserts itselfas the Pararnatma, God Absolute. The EverythingAnd The Nothing, pp. 93-94 © AMBPPCT


9od On I::ine Dina Snow 9ibson Caller ID od works in mys terious ways, doesn’t He? On a Saturday night 5everal weeks ago, a pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 pm, but his wife didn’t answer the phone. The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry way. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, on the phone that he’d used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about. Then the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.” The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he’d intended to call his wife. The man said, “That’s OK. Let me tell you my story You see, I was planning to com mit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God ifyou’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’ At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God.’ I was afraid to answer!” The reason it showed on the man’s caller ID that the call came from “Almighty God” is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!! A friend sent me that interesting little srnppet, which is very similar to what happened to me. When I got a fax machine for the Bookstore work, I was able to get the special number 310 839 BABA (2222). I made all my work-related calls on this phone. Now because the Bookstore paid

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the bill on the machine, it is under the name ofMeher Baba Center and is sent to the Center. A few years back I was making some calls to people who had invoices that had not been paid in months. On one of the calls, after the phone had rung quite a few times, it was picked up and a tremulous voice said in whispery tones “h-h-h-ullo?” I apologized for disturbing her and cheerily said “Hi!This is Dma from the Love Street Bookstore.” I was about to tell herwhyl had called when I heard a huge sigh of relief Asking her ifeverything was alright she told me that she had been going through a very bad time and had begged Baba to give her a sign—anything——to let her know He was still there and caring for her. At that moment the phone rang with my call and it was only then that I found out my caller ID comes through as ‘Meher Baba’ so you can imagine her shock! I felt very privileged that Baba had used me in some small way to show this woman that He did, indeed, still care for her and was watching over her. The following is one ofthe many reasons I loved my job as Love Street Bookstore manager and, it seemed, liaison to the world in general, regarding all things Meher Baba.I received this email a while back: Hi I wonder if you can help me. This is rather a strange request... I wonder ifyou have an email address or a URL where I can perhaps contact Billy

Goodrum? You see, I’m planning to propose to my girlfriend next year and it involves one of Billy’s songs (“We should always be together”). We both love the song and, during a holiday, I’ve arranged to get on stage with a local band in one of our favourite bars, and I’m going to play/sing it to her before proposing. She doesn’t even know I can play the guitar (well, actually I can’t very well, but have put a fair bit ofpractice in). Sentimental, I know but hey, I’m only likely to do this once in my life! I’d just like to let Billy know what I’m planning and perhaps to have his blessing. I’d also like to order his CD from you. I’m in the UK. Anyway, I hope I’m not troubling you with this request. Ifyou can help in any way, I’d be most grateful. Thanks and regards, Mark (Mackenzie) I happily passed this message on to Billy and he responded: Hi Mark, I am incredibly touched that you are going to use my song to propose to your girlfriend. I consider it an honor. As a songwriter I am most happywhen my songs have a life and become part ofother people’s lives. It sounds like it will be a very special proposal. You are going to great effort to get it all together, but like you said, it’s a once in a lifetime event. I’m so happy that my song will be part of it and will become part of your family history. Like one day when you tell your kids how you proposed to their Mum and got onstage and... I wish you andyour girlfriend along and happy life together. Allthe Best, Billy

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hinking of making a change in your life? Looking for an affordable commu nity with other Baba lovers? Moving to Mariposa may be for you. Mariposa, in the center 9TecLt 4 L/ of California, is an unincor porated community, seat of Mariposa County As its Meher ,Chstine earson, Baba retreat center, Meherana, develops, the Baba community will grow. We invite you to explore the riches oflife in this beautiful setting. Mariposa, nestled into the Sierra Nevada mountains, fea tures stunning natural beauty. One of the most lovely wild places on Earth is at our doorstep, Yosemite National Park. Stunning but less well-known areas offer a vast wilderness for camping, hiking, fishing and recreation. Meherana’s surroundings offer great diversity offlora and fauna. Reduce the stress of your days further with uncomplicated pursuits like gardening and walking, or drinking in the lovely mountain vistas. Meherana always welcomes volunteers, if you think “seffless service” is a role to take seriously. Grounds work, gardening, administrative duties, cooking and preparing for group gatherings, planning activities, archives organization and many more opportunities for all talents and temperaments are available for those who feel inspired to help. Winter here features snow in the higher elevations; spring gives us meadows full of wildflowers; summer is warm and dry, great for our gardens; and autumn, with deep blue skies, has a crisp tang to the air and brilliant fall colors in the forest. You can garden year-round and even grow fruit trees. Elevationvaries from around 1,500 feet to 4,500 feet. Mariposa has a quaint village atmosphere for easy access to stores, restaurants, post office, and other essentials. Our really great health food store has a café, or stroll to small lovely shops and restaurants, even a farmers’ market for local produce. No traffic jams! Ample parking! Do you have kids? Our safe, community-based schools were awarded the California Distinguished Schools award. Mariposa has a large and active arts community. We have our own symphony orchestra, which sells out all performances. There are many small businesses in Mariposa County and no big polluting industries. The main

employers are the County, the School District and Yosemite’s concessionaires and National Park Service. “Rural home enterprise” is encouraged: no fees, county taxes, inspections or to Live licenses. Medical practitioners, mechanics, artists, contractors and telecommuting services of lriposa, Calif all sorts are scattered across the countryside. Real estate prices in Manposa are significantly more affordable than in metropolitan areas in California. A 5-acre site with a three-bedroom house might range from $150,000 to $350,000. Undeveloped land is available, even parcels of 40 acres or more. A few developments with lakes and other amenities offer smaller lots. Mariposa has homes on standard city lots and a very affordable and nice mobile home park. (Check out www.maniposabor.com) Rentals are reasonable too. Our lower cost ofliving makes Maniposa County an attractive retirement spot. You could sell a home in Los Angeles, purchase property here for a fraction ofthe cost, and live offthe difference. Insurance rates are lower too. A modest retirement income can meet the cost of a simple lifestyle here. Mariposa and nearby Oakhurst have general practitioners, dentists, chiropractors and optometrists, but few specialists. We have our own acupuncturist and Chi nese herbalist, Jacko Caraco. Specialized medical services are in Merced, 35 miles away, or Fresno, 60 miles away, a major metropolitan area. Delightfully, no major shopping malls or national franchises are in Mariposa, but our shops, services and grocery store are more than adequate for daily needs. Oakhurst, about 20 miles away, has most city amenities; Merced, 35 miles away, is a good-size city and home ofthe newest University of California campus. Fresno has the nearest major airport;. Merced has a small airport and Mariposa has one for private planes. Amtrak has a train depot in Merced, and bus service to Mariposa runs several times a day. We hope to see you soon at Meherana! If interested, please call 209.966.5078 or e-mail ccpearson@ sti.net. Weekend visitors are welcome to camp at Meherana. For accommo dations in Maniposa, visit http://www. meherana.org/.

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“Discourses’ Copyrightand the Presewation of J44eher Ei3aba’s Words Ward J2arks, Jfrtehercthad eher Baba’s Discourses has long been recognized as an incomparable guidebook in practical spirituality Eluci dating difficult topics with an elegant sim plicity, through these seventy-some short essays Meher Baba sheds the clear light of a higher spirituality on the problems of daily life. Since first publication more than haifa century ago, interest in Discourses has naturally centered on content. But over the last two or three years a significant debate has arisen concerning the relative merits ofvarious editions. A ftirther complication erupted earlythis yearwith the release ofan unauthorized publication ofDiscourses—in direct violation of copyright law as well as the arrangements that Baba Himself put in place regarding the management of His literary works. In response to these developments, the Trust as copyright holder for Discourses has arrived at several major decisions. These decisions are closely interwoven with two significant strands in the history of Meher Baba’s advent—one involving His arrangements for the copyrights of His literary works, and the other concerrnng the history ofDiscourses through a series ofeditions. Some briefbackground in each ofthese two areas is given below. Baba’s Copyright Arrangements. Though Meher Baba as Avatar could have placed His literary works in the public domain, that was not His choice. To the contrary the provisions for copyright that He made were detailed and definitive. The crucial document relating to Meher Baba’s copyrights is His Last Will and Testament, executed by Him at Guruprasad on 17th June 1967. In His Will, copyright receives more attention than any other topic; three of the seven numbered clauses have to do with it. A decade earlier, on 4th February 1956, Meher Baba had granted to His secretary Adi K. Irani the management of most of His copyrights. Indeed, Baba explicitly gave Adi the prerogative to “use, control and exploit” Baba’s copyrights for his (Adi’s) own personal benefit for the remainder ofhis lifetime, on condition that these copyrights revert to Baba or His legal representatives after Adi’s death. In His Will, Baba confirmed these arrangements,

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further specifring that, on Adi’s demise, the copyrights should become property of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, which had been created eight years earlier and whose Deed Baba had signed on 6th April 1959. At the same time, Baba confirmed His prior gift of the copyrights of certain major works to Sufism Reoriented in the United States. Some sincere persons might reasonably enough assume that the words of the Avatar, an imperishable gift from God to humanit transcend all ownership. In a deeper philosophical sense, no doubt this is true. Yet on a practical plane an author’s literaryworks, like anything else, need to be protected ifthey are to endure for posterity intact and un-tampered with. Just as He did for His Samadhi on Meherabad Hill and other parts of His Avataric legacy, Baba made clear His wishes for the ftiture management of His books and messages. Indeed, He finalized these arrangements as one ofthe late acts in His Advent, less than two years before dropping His body. History ofthe Discourses. Meher Baba’s Discourses presents distinct challenges for the Trust as copyright holder, since, dur ing Baba’s own lifetime, the content was published in several different editions. A briefhistory is this: Originally these short essays were dictated by Baba and written up by His disciple CD. Deshmukh for publication in The Meher Baba Journal a periodical issued monthly between 1938 and 1942.This group oforiginal discourses, with the addition of a few more, was subsequently published by Adi K. Irani in a five-volume set between 1941 and 1954, titled Discourses. Subsequently, Charles Purdom,with Baba’s approval, re-edited the collection with a view toward publishing it in Great Britain. Purdom’s version, which tried to simplify and reduce the style while leaving the idea content intact, was released by Victor Gollancz in 1955 under the title God to Man and Man to God During one of Don Stevens’ visits to Meherazad in the 1960s, Baba asked him to undertake another re-editing of thefive-volume set. This effort fructified in what is called the sixth edition, three green volumes, titled Discourses, edited by Don Stevens and Ivy

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Duce and published by Sufism Reoriented in 1967. Finally, Discourses was edited one last time, by Eruch Jessawala, Bal Natu, and Flagg Kris. This led to the publication of the seventh edition, one volume titled Discourses, by Sheriar Foundation in 1987. All ofthese editions have been in print for various spans oftime, and so far as we kno Meher Baba never indicated that any of them should be suppressed. Nonetheless, over the last twenty years the seventh edi tion has become the general standard. The debate that has arisen recently lies between proponents of this seventh edition and proponents ofthe sixth. Trust policy regarding Discourses. Since these questions were brought to its attention two years ago, the Trust has studied the matter closely and arrived at the following determinations. In the management of its copyrights, the Trust’s role is to serve as a custodian of works of Meher Baba’s authorship in its possession. This role requires that the Trust refuse to permit further editorial revision of literary works that Meher Baba published under His name during His lifetime. No respon sible literary editor would contemplate the rewriting of Shakespeare’s plays, any more that a museum curator would countenance the repainting and artistic “improvement” of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. If such respect is accorded to the productions of ordinary human authorship and artistry, surely this protection should be extended to the literary creations of the Avatar of the Age. The case of Discourses is unusual, in that Meher Baba had the book re-edited and reissued several times with His express approval. It is true that the preparation of the seventh edition was carried out after He dropped His body.Yet one ofits editors was EruchJessawala, who played a most unique and extraordinary role in the articulation of Meher Baba’s silence into speech. Further, it seems Baba once indicated to His sister Mani that the Discourses could be edited again, and Eruch may have been responding to this directive. The Trust has decided that editions ofthe Discourses published during Meher Baba’s lifetime, as well as the seventh edition as a special case, are in principle

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eligible for republication. The decision as to which editions will be made available at any given time will be governed by practi cal considerations—such as the expense of publication, public demand, and other such factors. But in principle, the selection between editions will be left to Meher Baba’s lovers and to posterity Many Baba lovers have studied and meditated on the Discourses for years together. They read not just with their minds but with their hearts also, and beyond reading, they tryto put His words into action. Such persons should be free to select whichever edition they find to be most touching and illuminating. In determining which edition ofDiscourses is the best one, the lovers of God will be the Supreme Court. The Controversy. Early in 2006, two American Baba lovers released an unau thorized publication ofthe sixth edition of Meher Baba’s Discourses. Even though this reprinting bears a Trust copyright notice, Baba’s Trust was not informed prior to the republication, and its permission was never secured. This illegal, pirate edition should not be sold. A faithful republication of the original sixth edition, first published by Sufism Reoriented as a three-volume set in 1967, is now available. Afourth volume has been added which contains a history of the Discourses, nine Appendixes, an extensive glossary and index, 904 pages in all. The set is available at Love Street for $25.

LAIy

Work

J’Pleher i3aba ovember 1962: Baba gave those pres ent a stern rebuke, which might also have been directed towards the world in general. “I had to give you a message on Thurs day because you expected one; and the theme ofthe message was on your being my children, because despite much talk about a Baba-family there is more a semblance than a reality ofkinship among you who are the children of One Father. True children of One Father do not greet one another with smiles and embraces and at the same time harbour gmdges and ill-feeling, but have an active concern in their hearts for the wellbeing of one another and make sacrifices

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for that well-being. If you make me your real Father, all differences and contentions between you, and all personal problems in connection with your lives, will become dissolved in the Ocean of my Love.... “Unless there is a brotherly feeling in your hearts, all the words that you speak or print in my name are hollow; all the miles that you travel in My cause are zero; all orgamsations for my work are but an ap pearance ofactivity; all buildings to contain me are empty places and all statues that you make to embody me are ofsomeone else. “I have been patient and indulgent because you have been very young chil dren in my love, and children must have some sort of games to play. But now you are older and are beginning to realise that there is a greater work ahead of you than what you have been doing. And you have been searching your minds and hearts as to what this work might be. It is not a dif ferent work it is the same work done in a different way. “And that way is the way of effacement, which means the more you work for me the less important you feel in yourself You must always remember that I alone do my work. I allow you to work for me so that you have the opportunity to use your tal ent and capacities selflessly and so draw closer to me. “When you put my work before yourself the work will go right, though not neces sarily smoothly. And when the work does not go right it means you have put yourself between it and its accomplishment. “The way ofMy work is the way of ef facement, which is the way ofstrength, not of weakness, and through it you become mature in my love.” From Much Silence, page 127-128 ByTom and Dorothy Hopkinson © Meher Baba Spiritual League Ltd. 1974 . . .

Wken 3 Woke 7,4 This .A4orning... 2<arl J44oeller, Arizona awoke this morning thinking of the three-legged dog. Wouldn’t that be a good opening for a novel? Anyway, about 10 years ago I composed the music for Divine Sport Productions’ Meher Baba, The Awakener video*. I spent

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about a year with the footage, watching the pictures, both still and moving, and listening to Dma Snow’s narration. I synced my music studio to the videotape and composed many, many more music cues— mirnature compositions ranging from three seconds to two minutes—than appeared in the final edit. One of the ‘clips’ was Charles Purdom interviewing Baba in a park in Britain on April 8 1932. Though I clearly wasth putting music down behind this part of the video, nonetheless I saw it literally dozens of times. Charles-reading-for-Baba said, “My object in coming to the West is not with the intention ofestablishing new creeds or spiritual societies and organizations. I see the structure ofall the great religions ofthe world toppling. The West is more inclined towards the material side ofthings. I intend to bring together all religions and cults like beads on one string and revitalize them for individual and collective needs. This is My mission to the West.” After a moment, in the background, two things happen. On the left side, a plump lady appears on the sidewalk, and then sud denly bolts offscreen. I always wondered if she remembered she hadn’t turned the gas off or whether someone in the ifim crew waved her away. Almost immediately, around when Baba says “I see the structure of all the great religions ofthe world toppling,” a dog ap pears from the right side ofthe screen, over Charles’ shoulder headedleft behind Baba. This dog has three legs. Knowing that with Baba nothing is by chance, from time to time it occurs to me to wonder what did the three-legged dog represent? Baba—or verbally, Charles—was talking about the ‘great religions toppling’. In what way, then, is modern Christianity, or Hinduism, or Islam, like a three-legged dog? It has the word, but not the spirit? It has the message, but not a living Avatar? It can get around in a fashion, be petted, eat, bark, but it’s still not a WHOLE dog. Anyway, I awoke this morning thinking about that long-dead three-legged dog. *Available now in DVDformatfrom theLove Street Bookstore.


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UNITED STATES

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ARIZONA

Tucson—Irma Sheppard: 520-3211566, ihs222@theriver.com. Flagstaff—AMB Lovers of Northern Arizona: 928-774-8305, laurent@ ompoint.com.

JI4 any leetings J V 1

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles—Sundays, 11 AM to 1 PM, at Meherabode: 323-731-3737, 1214 S. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 just east ofihe intersection ofArlington and 12th Stree1 Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal. news and announcements, www.Meherabode.org. Ojai—Meher Mount: 805-640-0000, RayJohnston & Elizabeth Arnold, mehermount@sbcglobal.net. San Francisco Bay—Information: 510845-4339 or Ben Leet: 510-351-8259, Benleet@earthlink.net. No. California Avatar Meher Baba Center, 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931, www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org. Sacramento—Marilyn Buehler: 916-812-9496, info@premsay.com, www.premsay.comlMeherB aba. COLORADO & SoUTHwEsT Denver—Sundays at 7 pm at homes in the Metro area. For Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona info, contact Barbara A. Roberts, 303238-4649, babara@fone.net. FLORIDA

TampalClearwater—Jane Paladino, 813962-8629;Tom Decker, 727-536-9282. Deiray Beach—Mickey and Wendy Karger, 561-638-3114. GEORGIA

Atlanta/Athens —Contact Ed Legum, 770-552-8980, ed@hownet.com. HAWAII

Maui—Meredith Moon, 1940 Olinda Rd, Makawao, HI. 96768; Mail: P0 Box 1269, Makawao, HI. 96768 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556, Fax 808-573-1189; meredithmoonl@mac. com; mmoonphd@hawaii.rr.com. Molokai—Shirley Alapa, 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383, fax: 808-567-6363, message: 808-567-6363; salapa@aloha.net. ILLINOIS

Chicago —Meher Baba Information Center Carol Kovalevych 312-633-0696 amk@alishya.com. LOU ISIANA

New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center monthly meeting and film program; Joe Burke 601-278-6245, burkeno@aol.com.

NORTH CAROLINA

Asheville—Winnie Barrett, 828-2747154, win1debai@charter.net. Peter and Debbie Nordeen—nordeeni@ bellsouth.net. Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336288-8090 or 336-235-2730, bikewalla@ gmail.com. Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh—Carol Verner, 919-933-3550; carolverner@ nc.rr. com. OKLAHOMA

Prague—Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, retreat and Baba’s accident site. 405-567-4774. ambchc@charter.net, www.heartland.meherbaba.org. TEXAS

Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-560-2631, rockbl@yahoo.com. WASHINGTON, D.C.

Pamela Butler-Stone, 202-946-0236, Friday and Saturday meetings, www. lifeimages. com/MeherBaba. WASHINGTON STATE

MAI NE

Midcoast—Our meetings happen and are planned spontaneously and irregularly by the Maine Baba regulars. Contact Noreen O’Brien 207-273-3173, ompoint@tds.net; Ken Lax 207-594-6391, kenlux@midcoast.com; Daniel/Carolyn Montague 207-594-4115. MASSACHUSETTS

Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center, Michael Siegell 617-864-3997. MISSISSIPPI

Jackson—Peter Rippa, 601-355-8959 MONTANA

Missoula—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949. Emigrant—Anne Haug, 406-333-4582. NEW HAMPSHIRE

Liz Miller 603-749-3668, mceliz200l@ yahoo.com. NEW MEXICO

Santa Fe—last Thursday ofthe month at 7 PM in home ofRobert Reser and Edle Andersen, 505-983-6621; robertreser@yahoo.com. NEVADA

Las Vegas —Dick and Carol Mannis host, 702-326-1701, rkmannis@aol.com.

Seattle—Fridays at 8 PM and for special events. Info: Cynthia Barrientos, 206713-9905, cybar7@comcast.net. <.________INTERNATIONAL

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ENGLAND

London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, www. meherbaba.co.uk. FRANCE

Marseille: C. Dallemagne, 4 91 39 02. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 4 94 41 39 02. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 2 97 46 13 19. Connerre: Andre Grimard, 2 43 89 01 94. Paris: Claude Longuet, 1 44 59 30 06. ISRAEL

Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, babalove@ netvision. net.il.

M EXI CO Mexico City, Cancun, Acapulco— meetings about every month at 7 PM, Rafael Villafane, email preferred: raal@ royerlabs.com. From US: 011 52 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225.

NEW YORK CITY AREA

Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, 212-971-1050, MeherBabaHouse.org. Metro—biweekly meetings Saturdays at 4 PM, Frank Bloise, 856-696-4374, fbloise@earthlink.net. 95


I/Ictsses 1 i3hctu Addresses the J

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While in Melbourne, Bhau was interviewed by Phil Kafcaloudes on the “Breakfast Club Show.” It is broadcast throughout Australia and Southeast Asia (India, China etc.) with a listenership of two billion people! Bhau handled it like a pro.

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

PAID LOS ANGELES, CA

Address Service Requested

PERMIT #3 I 394

DATED

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Love Street Lamp Post 3rd-4th Qtr 2007