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Editor’s !Report Jai Baba folks, ur cover story this issue is the New Life of Meher Baba. It was quite a radical thing for Him to do but then weren’t most of the things the GodMan did? Hopefully our stories here will help you get a greater understanding of this extremely important event; or as much as we mere mortals can ever hope to understand anything the Avatar does. Mehera, Mani Goher and Meheru were the women chosen to accompany Baba on this most arduous of journeys. In the fabulous new book Mehera-Mehei; The Divine Romance, the New Life is covered extensively. In the book Thies ofthe New Lift, Eruch tells us: ‘Every evening when we would partcompany wit-h Baba, the companions and Baba wouldjoin in this little praye; composed by Baba:”

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Thday haspassedas it hadto pass, Yesterdaypassed offsomehow, And who caresfor thefuture, for tomorrow too wilipass.

Eruch said it was a life of complete helplessness and hopelessness, without caring for what would happen. Who cares for the future? That’s how we parted at night, and it gave us a feeling of great and real freedom.” Now if only we could live our lives that way. but then it wouldn’t be very practical, would it? And Baba did want us to be . .

practical, all the while thinking of Him and gwing our all to Him. “Live in the world, but be not of it.” I would very much have liked you to receive this issue of your magazine before October 16t1, which was the date in 1949 when Meher Baba and His companions set out on the New Life. That way you could have spent the day in deep thoughts (or at least have given it passing consideration as you go through your busy day,) but events conspired to see that there was no possibility of that! Definitely the Hand of the Master at work here: we have four main staff members on this LampPost—two of them each lost a brother within a day of each other, and Kathy Hill had to rush her brother to the emergency room with anaphylactic shock. By Baba’s Grace, he recovered. For 50 year old Michael, Tom Hart’s brother, that was not his destiny. Michael was murdered, and quite apart from the grieving 11 Hart process, Tom has had 8/10/53 8/27/03 to spend time at the arraignment and sentencing and deal with other family matters, such as having his wife undergo major surgery with a very difficult recovers looking after their two babies, and doing his daytime job. It was Tom’s turn to do the final layout of the magazine this time. Usually, when I am finished choosing the stories, articles and such and have edited them, I e-mail them on to Pris Haffenden, who gives them another going over and -

then formats them all with InDesign. When that is finished she burns them on a CD and sends it upstate to Tom or Cherie. But Tom Russell, Pris’ 62-year-old brother passed on instantly due to an aneurysm ( and his mission here on earth having been completed). She flew out to be at his funeral. Further delay for the magazine. As we were about to go to press we received the e-mail from Dr. Goher—Baba had called another of His inner circle home. We then realized why we couldn’t get the magazine in on time-Baba wanted us to be able to give you the news of Bal Natu’s passing in a timely manner. But that was not to be. Two weeks later: Baba is certainly paying great a deal of attention to our dear Tom: he just saw to it that half ofTom’s department at his computer related job got laid off including Tom. Then I heard that the blessings continue to flow: Tom got in a car accident as someone slid into him on the freeway in the rain! I pray Baba never loves me that much! Hopefully you will receive this before December! Please excuse any typos you may notice. We simply did not have the time for a final read through. We are now at work on a special commemorative issue in January for Bal. In His love, Dma

BookstOre Fas mcny fOCi&y 1 Speij acot Bookstore Report

Street rtu Love

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JJczIar 7 TCeJer

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1/ornth 0 Cen/er o/&uL/errn a

Love &reerLarnp1?osr features

2e/come.. Love Street £amp2ost is dedicated with love to —4vatar Jlleher i3aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all 2/is lovers bj providing a place for sharing 2/is remembrance. Jlll members of the Ei3aba familj are invited to contribute to this feast of ,.Cove.

BAL NATu RETURNS HOME

VARious CONTRIBUTORS 4

MOHAMMED THE MAST AFTER 63 YEARS

SILENCE BREAK?

Submissions, subscriptions, donations: ,Love Street £arnFJ2osr Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520

JERRY WATSON

21 22

DIVINE WINE STUDIOS VIDEO COLLECTION ANGELA CHEN

23

PETER NORDEEN

27

GR0UNDBREAKING AT MEHERAzAD

SHELLEY MARRICH

29

MEHER BABA’S “NEW LIFE”

FRANK BL0ISE

31

MEHER BABA AT WORK IN NEW YORK

) our stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message of,Cove and 7rutlt.

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ERIc NADEL, INTERVIEWED BY WARD PARKS

JANUARY 1ST 2004

GOD IN HUMAN FORM

THE FILM

BABA IN THE MOUNTAINS A

LOS ANGELES LOVE STORY

A BABA HOME NEEDS A BABA LOVER

KATHY HILL

38

OCTOBER WOODS

45

CELEBRATING MEHER BABA AT MEHER MOUNT MARGARET MAGNUS

46

2 14 18 24 28 44 49 53 55

323-731-3737

website: www.meherabode.org e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net

departments

Deadlines: for the January issue: April issue:

J uly issue: October issue:

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

EDITOR’S REPORT BOOKSTORE REPORT (AND HOLIDAY GUIDE) REVI EWS

Love Street bookstore:

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD

Dma Snow (at the addresses above)

OUR GAL IN MEHERABAD

JUDY STEPHENS

310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax

JAI BABA FROM MEHERAB0DE

JOHN PAGE

e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore. corn or wwwMeherBabaBooks.corn

PASSINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS MEETINGS

Credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout:

Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, and Thomas Hart

proofreader: Avatar Meher Baba research assistant:

Barbara Roberts

thank you

distribution: Pris Haffenden, Charles Gibson, and Dma Snow Pris Haffenden

mailing list information:

3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779

Please call with address corrections or questions. cover: Photo ofManonash cave by Dma Snow back cover: Christmas poem by Francis Brabazon, courtesy of the

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz 1/leher Baba pictures we have used 7 ations that own the copyrights to the J joy love to the hearts of all Love Street bring and issue to throughout this ,t: amp2ost readers.

Avatar’s Abode Tnist.

,LovcStrcctiarnjE2ost’is published quarterly, injanuary, April,JuIy, and October.

All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. Au quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPC1 India

All words, images andgraphics in thispziblication areproperzv oft/se copyright holders

and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai India, and © Lawrence Reitei Unau thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.

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ikI 4 2’Iatu Returns 2 iome O

October 7, 2003 at 1:20a.m., Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s very dear Bal Natu was finally called to his Beloved and peacefully passed Home. Balaji passed away at Meherazad due to complications from his recent surgery He will be cremated at Meherabad today at 11a.m. Our dear friend ofThe Friend will be deeply missed, and the glimpses he gave ofhis heart’s continual conversation with his Beloved Awakener will continue to light up the hearts of the multitude of Baba-lovers from East and West whose lives he touched. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! —

Dr. Goher Irani

toBal i sing your praises elder brother as one who has loved so well shined so brightly through trials and doubts reaching the prize of a lover’s journey: total surrender Katie Rose

Dmpressions

3tigre ‘Davis rained suddenly on the evening of the 6th. Everyone had expected Bal to die that day, and he had been unconscious all throughout the day... My plane had just touched the ground [in Mumbai] at 1:19am, and I was admir— ing how the airplane runway lights looked like brilliant magenta and indigo flowers at the time. I later heard Bal passed away at 1:20am. I went to the Samadhi first and bowed quickly at the threshold, and then arrived to Meherazad at around 8:20 in the morning... Bal’s body was laid out at Baba’s feet in Mandali Hall. He had a smile on his face, and his eyes were half open and were illu mined withlightjust as they had been when I saw him last. The coloring of the face was good—in fact, I thought he looked much improved since times I’d seen him while he

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was alive. There was a peaceftil, warm feeling in the hail. The women mandali entered, and together everyone said the prayers, sang arti, and placed flowers on Bal’s body. At nine o’clock, his body was taken in the Swanee to Meherabad, where it was first placed at the feet of Beloved Baba in the Samadhi. His family members and close friends placed a garland first on the marble, and then on Bal’s body. Then everyone gath ered, probably around 60-75 pilgrims and residents, and recited and sang the prayers and artis again. Then the body was placed on the Sabha Mandap, and people stood in a queue to pay their respects. For me, it was when his body was inside the Samadhi that everything made the most sense. .when we were all standing outside, saying the prayers, and Bal’s body was lengthways at Baba’s feet, perfectly symmetrical—everything felt like it was in the right place. Bal was with Baba, his body was in the Samadhi; it was just him and Baba, alone. What had always been in .

his heart was now manifested for all of us to see and feel. The Swanee then conveyed the body to Meherabad mandali hall. One side of the room was filled with musicians. Easterners and westerners collaborated on a beautiful rendition of “Aisa koi”—Ashok singing a Hindi couplet, followed by Ted and Ward singing an English verse. The guitars and harmonium and tablas and bells—and ev eryone in the hail singing the refrains—came together for what I felt was REAL music, and a perfectly fitting tribute to Bal. And over and over, the song conveyed, “In this world, no work is greater than repeating the name ofGod...Go on repeating His name.” The stretcher holding Bal’s body was then carried to the pyre, with the crowd offriends walking along beside him.


3rom Ei3al 2slatu j3ctrtana ‘J2eel!

“7:Iictt man is 73ctl 2iJatu’’ irginia 5har Wiseman, }7 en I climbed that Hill, in June of 1998 for the very first time, there was a car at its summit. Next to the car, was a man, waving enthusiastically. We were abouthaffivayup the Hill, andl turned to Sky and said, “Who is that man waving to us?” Sky said, “That man is Bal Natu.” Before we reached the top, and I bowed down to the Beloved, sealing my destiny with Him forevermore, the car had vanished, the tender man had disappeared. We found out later, on this pilgrimage, that Bal had been driven up to the Samadhi, “Timeless One Meher Baba,”before his departure to Poona. I never did get to meethim,but the image ofthe man on the Hill was forever engraved in my heart. Over the past few days, I have seen him waying, that sweet, darling man, saying “Hello, and goodbye, and...I am with my Beloved, I am so very happy.”

3:or Bl My darling Balaji, You knew we would never meet, and yet, you knew we would. My heart has held you, and our Beloved, the Timeless One sealed it with a kiss, a glance, and a Wave. The Ocean has beckoned you, and in the night sky I see a briffiance tonight that is only witnessed on these very rare occasions:

ne time during a darshan program in the Mandali’s room at Guru Prasad, a gentleman who was interested in spirituality happened to be passing by. He saw people entering the mansion and inquiring, found out that Meher Baba was giving darshan. Although he was not a Baba follower he decided to attend. He entered and met Baba, and when the crowd thinned out, he stayed. An informal discussion began with some remaining Baba lovers, and the gentleman emboldened himself to address Baba, especially to express his complaints about the lack ofcivic spirit ofmost people. With great earnestness he decried the lack of social consciousness of others. “People just don’t seem to see or work for the common good. They never think of anyone else,” he exclaimed. Baba looked sympathetic and listened to him patiently. He encouraged the man by gesturing, “Oh, really? What do you mean?” “Well, today for example, I was in a hurry and some thoughtless fool had simply thrown his banana peel into the road, instead ofdisposing ofit properly. I didn’t see it and I slipped on it,” the man replied. Baba considered this matter with His ftill attention and conveyed with a smile and a slight twinkle in His eye, “You’re right. That is a problem. So from now on, what you should do is, anytime you see a banana peel in the street,” and then Baba snapped to gesture, “you should pick it up and dispose of it properly. That will be a service to the people.” The man was happy that Baba had addressed his concern. This is how Baba would stoop to the level of those who met Him and make them feel comfortable without belittling their thoughts or views. It is said that the easiest thing in life is to give advice to others and the most difficult is to follow the advice ourselves.

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When a Wave is consumed by the Ocean. —Shar Wiseman

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The LAvatctJ s EI1umor 1 Bal 2atu “

The humor ofthe Divine love-game is that the One who is sought is Hirnseif the seeke: Before I met My Beloved in Union, I lost everything—ego, mind, and lower consciousness—but thank God, I did not lose My sense of hurnoi: That is why I appear amongst you. on your level. .1 can automatically adapt Mysef to all kinds of people and meet them where they are.” .

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—Meher Baba ith God’s grace, I had the great good fortune to meet Avatar Meher Baba in person in November 1944. At the very first sight, I found His presence to be so fill oflove and so overpowering that all specula tion about His spiritual status, whether He was a saint or a God-realized person, became irrelevant. I did not immediately accept Him as the Avatar—Formless God descended into hu man form. But in a most natural manner my feelings about His status progressed through a series of changes: I went from regarding Him as a good man to taking Him to be a great man. Then I came to recognize Him as a true saint, and still later, as a Perfect Master. In the end, thanks to Meher Baba’s unconditional compas sion and patience, my heart was awakened to His true status as the Avatar, and I accepted Him as the Ancient One. When God comes amongst humanity, on this earth as the Avatar, Infinite Consciousness manifests with an S


express purpose—to quicken the spirit of gestured, “Kiss Me, then go.” At the time, I the whole creation. So Meher Baba’s Ava never imagined that He would soon veil His taric life is the “active functioning” of body from our sight, but Baba knew and, in Formless God through finite human form. His loving compassion, He saw to it that my The joy and bliss experienced in Meher last farewell should be sealed with a kiss. Baba’s physical presence will ever remain That touch of my lips on the Avatar’s indescribable. How can one explain the cheek became the everlasting wellspring presence that is at once overpowering, and of my love for Him. In later years, when yet not the least oppressive or domineer- I went through some physically and ing? In Baba’s profound purity the whole emotionally trying times, that kiss burden of self-identification seemed to fall tamed me and helped nourish my everaway, and the mental mechanism of assessincreasing trust in Him as the Ancient ‘ ment and comparison ‘1:. was stilled. The result was a feeling of lightness and trust in Him. Whenever I used to gaze upon Baba’s face, it would sometimes appear that the entire drama of humanity, with all its joys and woes, was being expressed through its features. Along with the bliss that He radi ated, there was a sense of detachment, and I when He was visibly suffering, there was an expression of compas sion. In my innerjourney with Baba, through all the changes in my life, my longing to be in His physical pres ence became more and more intense In July 1948, through a jF letter written under ‘ Baba’s direction, I One. Such is the grace of the Avatar! was permitted to visit Him during school vacations or whenever I was granted leave, In the last week ofJanuary 1969, I received provided I was also free from any family a postcard from Meherazad conveying Beloved Baba’s love on my birthday. There responsibilities. Many times I took advan tage of this blessed opportunity to be with was a casual mention that Baba’s health was not at all good, but I did not ever dream Baba, and yet, somehow, I took this privi that He was seriously ill. I was still looking lege for granted and did not realize its deep significance or regard it with the profound forward to being with Baba again in Pune during my summer school break in Aprilgratitude with which I should have. Mylast staywith Baba was at Meherazad in May. But Baba suddenly passed away from November 1968. Before leaving, I folded my our sight, and His body was lowered into hands to Baba, who was sitting in His chair the crypt at Meherabad and covered with a wooden case. This opened a totally new in the corner ofMandall Hall, and asked His chapter in my relationship with Him. permission to go. Baba nodded His consent and raised His right hand in a gesture that After the crypt in which Baba’s physical meant, “Be happy.” As I reached the door, form rests was sealed, the structure covering however, Baba called me back, and with a it was referred to by many of His lovers as tender intimate smile, He looked at me and the Tomb, and by some of His Hindu by6 •:

ers as the Samadhi. The use ofthese words saddened me. Samadhi is a word that has numerous meanings in Indian languages, usually de noting a trance or a state ofdeep absorption in which the individual is oblivious to his or her external surroundings. Deep sleep is sometimes evenjokingby referred to as it “going into samadhi.” Samadhi also generally refers to the place where a loved one has been buried, or to the shrine where someone’s memory is honored and where, perhaps, r. their ashes have been interred. It did not seem to me that this word was appropriate to Baba’s state in any of these meanings, because Baba could not be said to have slipped off into some final trance or ceased to ex ist His universal spiritual work, I believe, contin ues unimpeded from the top of Meherabad Hill. Yet, as uncomfort able as I was with the word Samadhi, “Tomb” seemed even more objec tionable. Literally, a tomb is a place where someone who has died is buried, and Meher Baba, to me, is alive and active as the Avatar of the Age. How, then, can the place where the body that housed Reality is be called a tomb? I did not accept that Meher Baba had “died” in the usual sense of the word. I had read an expression that seemed far more apt—Meher Baba, for His own spiritual reasons, had chosen “to put a veil” over His physical body. I recalled a statement Meher Baba had made in the ‘30s: “I am not limited to this form. I use it bike a garment to make Myself visible to you, and I communicate with you. I am Infinite Consciousness.” So when talking with pilgrims visiting Meherabad, I would go to greatlengths to avoid using either ofthe words “Tomb” or “Sama dhi” and would instead say things like, “Have you been up the Hill? Have you offered your

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homage to Baba?” No one suspected that I was deliberately avoiding the use of the word “Tomb.” This went on for quite some time until finally Baba had pity on me and used His supreme sense of humor to pull me out of my hesitation to use this word. I can best relate the change that transpired within me during the early ‘70s by putting it in the form of a dialogue with Baba. However, I want to make it very clear that what follows is not based on a vision of Meher Baba or an actual conversation I had with Him. This is just a way of sharing my thoughts and feelings on this subject. “Baba,” I complained, “why do You allow people to use the word ‘Tomb’ for the place where You are so alive? It is the place from which Your work is being carried out most naturally as ordained by You.” And I felt Baba asking me in turn, “What’s wrong with the word ‘Tomb’?” “What’s wrong with it! What’s rightwith it? I don’t think a worse or more misrepresenta tive word could be suggested! Are You not so alive, so active here in dispensing Your unbinding love? So how can this place be called the Tomb?” “All right! If you don’t like the word ‘Tomb’, what other word can you suggest that would be better?” “The Center of centers! The Source of Sahaj Samadhi!” I answered, wondering how these words came to me! I felt You chuckle deep within me at my ofthand reply. “Big words and big ideas, but rather clumsy!” You continued, “Don’t you understand that the use of this particular word is one of My ways of simultaneously concealing and re veiling My divinity to those who visit Me here?” I remained silent for a while. You said, “Tell Me, were you not present when the English newspaper was read out to me?” “Yes.” “Do you not read the newspaper now?” “Sometimes,” I replied, wondering at the question. “Then you must have come across phrases like, ‘The UNO [United Nations Organiza lion] has decided such and such (This is an acronym used by the Indian English dailies.) And I recalled that when a newspaper was read aloud to Baba by one of the mandali, UNO would be pronounced as “you know.” “You understand that ‘UNO’ doesn’t mean ‘you know,” You continued. “It means the United Nations Organization.” “Yes, right,” I agreed. “In the same way, ‘Tomb’ is not just a word; it’s an acronym—T.O.M.B.” . . .

It was no trouble for me to recognize the last two letters of the acronym as standing for “Meher Baba,” but what about the first two letters, T and 0? Then in a flash it came to me: T.O.! Timeless One! “Timeless One Meher Baba!” I exclaimed. I felt Meher Baba’s charming smile, indicating that I had guessed correctly, yet I asked, “You’re not just humoring me, are You, Baba?” “Why should I? Go inside the Tomb and see for yourself!” I did so and was immediately struck by the first words, shining with gold leaf, engraved at the top ofthe white marble slab: “Eternal Beloved Avatar Meher Baba.”That is—”Time less One Meher Baba.” I felt that I had received the answer to my question. Avatar Meher Baba’s methods in reaching the hearts of His lovers and cleansing even their smallest doubts about Him are matchless. His responses to the needs ofHis dear ones are offered in the most personal way so that they can be wholeheartedly accepted. He is able to do this owing to His infinite sense of humor. I now use the word “Tomb” in conversation, but with what a difference! Meher Baba, the Timeless Avatar, is ever-present there. (1) Three Incredible Weeks with Meher Baba, pp. 25-27; The Samadhi, Star oflnfinity, pp. 17-23; ©1997 Sheriar Foundation

I Photo by Charles Gibson

She writes.] which he acmfrom surgery obstruction second bowel al had to go to the hospital for a attack. On heart suffered a he hospital in the ally recovered. But due to complications appeared to be in Bal 6th, October Throughout the 5th we took him home to Meherazad. to pass, coming finally his heart was with all for a deep sleep. What Bal had been longing hours early Him.” In the live see to I only now can on that his eyes go inward so that, “from We him. around gathered few friends with time a last ofthe 7th, he opened his eyes for the out ifBal pouring was was as more. It once “with” us felt it was a gift from Baba to feel Bal time, at the seeing have been he must else into what love from his eyes, giving us a window beyond the room and us in it. Within minutes, at 1:20 a.m., as we were quietly repeating Baba’s name, Bal peacefully stopped breathing and passed Home to His Beloved. He lay in state in the Mandali Hall before Baba’s chair,where for so many years Bal would regale pilgrims with stories of his times with Baba. He actually looked very very beautiful and his eyes partially opened again and were sparkling. It was amazing to see him, he was even smiling. Baba had told him that this life would be his last, that he would receive liberation from the rounds ofbirth and death and there was a very palpable feeling ofjoy in the hail and during his ftmeral and cremation.

[Ed. note: Amber Mahier has been Balc helperfor a number ofyears now.

B

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7’kharnmed the J1ast ftcr 63 )Jectrs _/1ii 3iitcivicii’ iviiIi Eric 2’Iadcl by 1Vcird 52mks, August of 1936, Kaikhushru Pleader one of Meher Baba’s mandali, found a mast on the streets ofBombay and brought him back to Rahuri, where Baba had re cently established His first ashram for the mad and the God-intoxicated. Mohammed, as this young man was called among the community of Bombay Muslims on whose shore the whim of divine intoxication had washed him up, proved to be, in the words ofWilliam Donkin, very much a “problem mast, entangled in the brambles of the spiritual path.” For as Baba subsequently explained, he was at this time caught between the third and fourth planes of consciousness in a particularly difficult hairat or state of enchantment from which it is almost impossible to extricate oneselfwithout the help ofa Master. The sublimities and sensitivities of this condition no doubt help to account for his behaviour, which, again to use Donkin’s word, was “grotesque” even by mast standards. Thus, in Rahuri, Mohammed would sit near the door to the ashram and pour torrents of vituperation and abuse at anyone who approached him; at other times, for hours together, he would scratch and pick in the dust, looking for what he called “deesh.” (Mohammed’s hunched and stooped form today attests to this life-long habit of his.) Yet “however contumacious and dif ficult he may have been towards everyone else, he really seemed to adore Baba, and long for his daily visits. Every day when Baba came, it was as ifa flame were kindled in the depths ofMohammed’s being, that for a moment lit up the dark and tangled ways...”(Wayfarers, p. ). 48 In this fashion, Mohammed took his place among that original group of masts through whom Baba’s fifteen-year phase of sustained and concentrated mast work was inaugurated. Today, more than 63 years later, when all the other masts and saints and spiritually advanced souls whom Baba contacted have long since disappeared from the scene, Mohammed is still among us, living at Lower Meherabad as the ashram’s longest-term permanent resident and (pre sumably) carrying on with his work there.

In

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All of this suggests a very unique connection with the Avatar and His work. Indeed, as a wali of the fifth plane, Mohammed carries the further distinction of being the only current ashramite whom we know to be spiritually advanced. He is, beyond this, a man ofgreat destiny, for Baba said ofhim that he would become a Perfect Master in several more lifetimes. One would hardly guess such rare dis tinction to see Mohammed today, who, with his bent form and slow shuffle, looks like nothing quite so much as a Maharash trian version of”E.T.” Over the years the irritability and jalali fieriness have subsided, and he has become more obviously childlike, both in appearance and manner. Yet even a superficial observer could not help being struck by his eyes, and the ancient feeling that saturates his atmosphere and ambience continues, as it has always done, to command a sense of respect and even awe. Who is this remarkable man? Apart from whatWilliam Donkin recorded in his magnificent book fifty years ago, what do we know about him? Where does he come from, and how did he become as he is? On a hot summer’s morning not long ago I put these questions to Eric Nadel, a resident ofMeherabad since the mid-1970s who lives in the room next door to “Mo,” as he calls him, and who is intimately involved in the mast’s personal care. Fluent in Marathi, which is Moham med’s mother tongue, Erico is adept in the art ofmast-wheedling, through the practice of which he has, over the years, gleaned much information about the great man’s youth and earlier life. What follows, then, are a few pickings from Erico’s biographical treasure-hoard. Since “mastology” (or the study of masts) is very much an infant science, these details are particularly interesting, since they il luminate, from an advanced mast’s own point ofview, how he came to inhabit the world ofhigher awareness which is his true domain and field of action at the present time. “Don’t think,” Erico began, “that Mo told us about himself directly and all in one sitting. At the beginning it was very difficult for him to recall anything from his

earlier life, because his mind is functioning in a completely different fashion now than it was when he had these experiences. Also, the mind ofany mast fttnctions slowly: that is one ofits characteristics.” As Baba Himself explained: Mind stopped is God. Mind working, is man. Mind slowed down, is mast. Mind working fast, is mad. In certain respects, Mo—like other masts—is quite childlike, and the process of inducing him to recall and reminisce requires patience, a certain kind of charm, and a talent in attuning oneself to the rhythm ofhis consciousness. “I would ask him a question,” Erico said, “and have one of the Marathi-speak ing servants repeat the question, gently nagging him; and then I would ask him again. He would answer us—in Marathi, of course— saying, ‘I’m recollecting, I’m re calling.’ After this had gone on for a while, he would say, ‘Shall I tell you? Shall I tell you?’ And we would say, ‘Yes, please tell us!’ This would repeat several times: ‘Shall I tell you?’ ‘Yes, tell us!’ Finally he would say, ‘I’m telling you!’ and he would begin to come out with his answer. Once he had gotten going, he would not only answer our questions but sometimes would volunteer his own reminiscences. “For example, he might say, ‘Shall I tell you? Shall I tell you? In my village the houses are made ofleaves and grass.’ “By encouraging him in this way to re call his early childhood and describe it to us, we learned that he had been the youngest in an extended family of 14 children. Thus he was called ‘Nana Bhau,’ which means ‘little brother.’ Knowing this became very useful to us. It made it easy for us to encourage him to eat or drink water or sit outside or exercise. We would just say to him, ‘Nana Bhau, come and have your milk.’ He gets immense pleasure from this.” In fact, Mohammed’s “real” name—the name given to him by his parents—was Tu karam Lakshman Chavan. Thus, despite the sobriquet “Mohammed” given to him later, he was by birth a Hindu and not a Muslim at all. He grew up in Ratnagiri, a small coastal town in southern Maharashtra not far from


the Goan border. His father was a potter, and he still remembers some of the rudi ments of pot-making taught to him as a boy. “After the wheels of memory had been greased a bit by several sessions of recol lection,” Erico went on, “I asked him how he became a mast. The actual word that I used was ‘deva’ (or ‘god’): ‘How did you become a deva?’ For the third plane (from which station Mohammed began his spintualjourney in this lifetime) is the abode of devas, and he used to see them there. “When I asked him this, Mo snapped his fingers, as if to imply that it happened very quickly: ‘Just like that!’ “I asked where he was at the time. He told us that he was at home in his house. His wife and two children were sleeping. “I asked him what was the time of day. He answered, ‘Early in the morning.’ Haying just woken from sleep, he stood up to tie on the red piece of cloth he used as underwear. When he finished tying on his underwear, he told us, he became a deva. “What did you do then?’ I asked him. Mo replied with animation, ‘I put up my arms like this!’—and he raised both arms above his head. “How long did you do that for?” “About ten days, two weeks.” “And then what did you do?” “I put on my shoes and I went to Bombay’ “Why did you go to Bombay?” I asked him. And here Mo told me (these are the words in Marathi): ‘Pushkal dalinder bawaji ahay tita,’ which means, roughly, ‘There are many unkempt respectable old men there.’ The literal sense of these words was eas ily enough understood, but it seemed that there was something more to be grasped than this. What made this answer espe cially confusing was that Mo uses the word ‘bawaji’ to refer to old Pansi gentlemen. Why would the presence of old, unkempt, respectable Parsi gentlemen be something that would attract him to Bombay? “Puzzling this over for a few days, sud denly I realized what Mo was saying. He was not talking about unkempt Parsis or unkempt old men in Bombay. What he meant was that there were plenty of masts there. And when I asked him questions to this effect later, he gave answers that confirmed this interpretation.” So Mohammedleft his home and family and took up residence in Bombay. During this period, as William Donkin recorded, .

Mohammed was much pursued by number bettors who gambled on the “day-to-day fluctuations of cotton prices” and who, for this purpose, would pester men perceived as spiritually advanced for profitable hints and tips. At the time Pleader found him, Mohammed was living in the streets ofthe city sleeping under a small stall at night, and providing tips to these cotton speculators in exchange for meals. “It seems that one ofhis problems when he became a mast,” said Enico, “is that he no longer knew exactly how to get food to eat.” In fact, Pleader gave Mohammed the first good meal that he had had for years. “Mo told us that, when he met Baba in Rahuni for the first time, he didn’t necognize Him, but he nonetheless wanted to embrace Baba, and Baba wanted to embrace him. They did embrace, Mo says, and they both were very, very happy. And after some days, Mo recognized who Baba was: ‘Dharma cha Dada,’ that is, ‘the Elder Brother of the ancient faith of mankind.” All these recollections derive from the earlier years of Mohammed’s life, in the ‘20s and ‘30s. But occasionally Mohammed has alluded to experiences from a previous lifetime—presumably the most recent incarnation before this current one—in which foundations for his present career as a mast appear to have been laid. His name in that lifetime was Vithoba, and as the priest in a Hindu temple, he spent much time worshipping a statue of the temple’s presiding deity. Gradually the intensity of his devotion increased, until at length he wandered off into the jungle and spent the remainder of his life there, inwardly absorbed. It was at this time, one presumes, that he became a mast and entered into the spiritual path. “So now today,” says Enico, “we have a delightful ‘Nana Bhau’ (Little Brother) sitting on his chair on the back veranda of a 1948 bungalow at Lower Meherabad. He doesn’t appear to be doing much, but when I ask him casually, ‘What are you doing?’ sometimes he’ll reply, ‘Danda chaloo hay,’ which means, ‘I am practising my profes sion. This narration completed, Enico and I paid a visit to the grand old man himself, who was seated in his chair in the back veranda near the door to Mandali Hall. After the appropriate pourparlers, Enico asked him, in Marathi, of course, “Do you hear Dada’s voice?”

Mohammed answered in the affirma tive. “What does Dada’s voice sound like?” In reply, Mohammed made a sound something like “hu” or “hun” as one would say if one were to nasalize “Hoo,” the Islamic name for God. As a wali of the fifth plane, of course, Mohammed has attained to a station where he can actually hear the Word of God, the Primal Sound, the Nada Brahmin that upholds and sustains creation. Does he hear Dada’s voice all the time? I hear it in the morning, Mohammed replied. “Do you hear it at night also?” “No. And on this note our conversation came to a close. Mohammed the mast is now in the neighbourhood of 87 or 88 years old. During Amartithi some eight or nine years ago he became so ill that a grave was dug for him in the men’s cemetery in Lower Meherabad. The grave is still unoccupied, serving as a catchment pit for “dead balls” that fly over the hedge in the course of lateafternoon volleyball games at the Pilgrim Centre, while Mohammed himselfcan still be found “practising his profession” on the veranda ofMandali Hall. As the years pass and the life of the Avatar of the Age gradually passes out of first-hand memory into the realm of history and written record, Mohammed the mast is one of the last living reminders of one of the most significant phases and aspects of Beloved Baba’s work. What Baba was really doing with the masts, no one can tell. Even if someone could tell, that vast majority of us locked in the plane of gross consciousness could never understand. Whatever that game may have been, Mohammed the mast appears to have been one of Baba’s first-string players. Through the ages to come, his name and memory will be cherished as one of the beloved children ofthe Eternal Beloved of all mankind.

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’4 4j Jkiohctmmed Experience nne Ei3arker, 7exas 1980 on my first trip to India, I was staying at Meherabad. At that time pilgrims were only allowed to stay for five days in the old buildings. The lovely Pilgrim Center had not been completed. For the first three days I had a migraine headache and stayed in my cabin where, I was told, Meher Baba had stayed many times. Sheryl Chapman was very kind and acted as a mentor to me, a first-time pilgrim. She told me that I really must go meet Mohammed. I had only a vague understanding of who Mohammed was. Feeling like a spiritual tourist wandering around the property ticking offmust-see points ofinterest, I decided rather nonchalantly that this was the morning to go see Mohammed. As I started to walk towards the Old Mandali Hall, I was suddenly gripped by a sense of terror for no apparent reason. I was so terrified that I literally could not move! I wondered if I was afraid of Mohammed. I reasoned that as a fifth plane mast he knew my past lives, fitture lives and all my sins committed in this lifetime. I told myself to get a grip and think of the worst-case scenario. He could kill me if he wanted, but surely Baba would not approve of Mohammed killing pilgrims. What would be the next worst scenario? He was known for picking up rocks. Perhaps he would throw one at me and blind me. I could live with being blind, ifthat was what Baba wanted. Somehow I knew that Meher Baba did not want me to give up and return to my cabin. Still frozen with fear and taking Baba’s name, I leaned over and lifted one knee and then the other to continue walking toward Mandali Hall. As I approached the corner of the building, I had another anxious thought. What was the protocol for meeting a fifth plane mast? Should I shake his hand, prostrate myselfon the floor kneel before him or just what? Desperately, I looked around for

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him through thought. I said to him that Meher Baba must love him very much to have given him this beautiflul, peaceftul view to see every day. Then came the truly amazing IIIbp part. I began to experience a : state of reality in which there was no such thing as time. I ‘saw’ that the molecules in the , air were reincarnating into higher forms such as the soil, the soil becoming plants and trees, the plants moving on to become worms and insects, the insects moving to become more advanced animals such as the oxen, and the oxen progressing to become human. AU ofthis was happening at once, and time did not exist in this constantly shifting, lovingly designed system. Hold on, I thought, I don’t usually think this way! What’s happening to me, as I plummeted back to normal consciousness? Then I realized that Mohammed had given me the beautiful gift of that insight. A glimpse ofwhat was truly exquisite before me, and what was part of his constant state. Even today I still wonder about that experience and what to glean from it. Certainly to recognize and face my many fears is one part. To know that worries are futile since God compassionately oversees the spiritual progress of all beings in His universe. Though purely an intuition on my part, I think that Mohammed, under orders from Meher Baba, acted as a sort of‘chargeman’ for Meherabad and perhaps farther. It was his wish to remain in a state of surprising obscurity partly hidden from the pilgrims’ notice. However, I feel that he manipulated the circumstances of everyone’s visit to give each what he or she needed whether pleasant or not. Who better than Mohammed to see us in our true spiritual setting? .

someone to ask this very important question. No one was in sight. I decided to go ahead, and hope someone would be present to act as a go-between. As I fearfully rounded the corner I saw a wizened old man sitting hunched over in a chair all alone. I approached him and said, “Jai Baba.” I walked past him to sit a few chairs over. I was afraid to look at him other than a few quick peeks. Every time he would slowly start to swing his head to look at me, I would avert my gaze as though I were at a bus stop waiting for the bus and in no way interested in him. As I looked at the vista in front of us, I was delighted by its beauty There were sunlit trees filled with bright-colored parrots, Padre’s garden, and in the distance a farmer plowing a field with a team of oxen. Sensing that Mohammed could read

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Jlfriohctmmcd’s Dmli Debjani Ray, JJIleiterabad [This write-up is basedon two interviews, the secondone was in Marathi, andthe translatorwas SisterLaxmi Kamble. The majority ofthe stories camefrom thefirst interview since the second in— tei-view was mostly a repetition and clarjfication ofthefirstone. ThequotesareallKamalc exceptfor the one inparagraph 10 whith begins with: “(He would) shout fhe won’t eat. That one cainefrom Sister Laxmic transla tion. lam verygratefulto both Kamaland Sister Laxmi who came late in the day after their work hours to do the interview.] ..“

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all, slim, with deep, slow-moving eyes, and a serene smile (a bit sad now with Mohammed’s passing), Kamal Narayan Gadhay has spent more than 13 years looking after Mohammed. Calmly, she asserts that after his death she got the feeling that he is calling her and tafldng with her. Bodily, he may not be around, but he is not somewhere “out there”, he is right there with her. Ofthis, she is certain. When Kamalbegan taking care ofMoham med, he named her Imli (tamarind) due to her tall, slim design and her dark complexion. The name was so suiting that it quickly caught on and no most people in Meherabad call her Imli. “He liked mxii. Everyday. Imli,you coming? Imh,you eating? Imli,you good. Everyday saying Imh. I like it. I coming. Happy. Moham med sometimes angry Say, “Go out!’ But I like it. I say, ‘Okay, I going, (you are) angry I not coming.’ He likes everyday I working. I like everyday working with Mohammed and I am happy. And everything but this time, my mind is not good. Mohammed, Mohammed, I feeling inside. It hurts.” Similarly, Mohammed enjoyed giving spe cial names to everyone. Alan Wagner’s name was Bara Coatia (12 coats), Erico Nadel’s name was Wastaji (instead of Gustadji, which everyone else called him,) which means someone with whom one has a close connection. Heather Nadel’s is Hazrabai, Ja net Judson’s Janabai, and Ted Judson’s name, Jay Singh! Once in the terrible summer heat, Bif Soper was supplying Mohammed with green coconut whose water is very refreshing and so he named Bif Naruwalla (Coconut Walla). James Fulgenzi, who would carry a stick for killing snakes, he called Katiwafla (stick walla). Gabe Mednik was frrst named Dariwalla (due to his goatee) but for the last 2 years, Mohammedbegan calling him Patil (big boss). Everyday, Mohammed would say, ‘Patil . .

is coming. PalM is coming. Patil gives massage.’ Only Bhauji remained Bhauji it seems. When Imliwould ask about Baba, Moham med would say, ‘Dada (Mohammed’s name for Baba) looking white. Dada dress white. Dada fast-walking and good-walking. Dada’s face happy all the time.’ Sometimes, when Mohammed was sitting quietly, Imii would ask him ifhe is looking at Baba. He would reply yes. If she asked him if he was talking with Baba, Mohammed would reply yes. That he is tailting with Baba all the time. Her relationship with Mohammed was like mother and child. Hewas very simple. It didn’t matter to her ifsometimes Mohammed didn’t eat his lunch until very late, or if she was still working late in the evening. Whether there were marriages or deaths in her family, or any social occasion, she would miss those also,just to be with Mohammed. “Go home, no timing. But I no problem. I like everyday, dayand night, here Mohammed. Looking, Mohammed working. I like no go home. I like here.” She felt that Mohammed needed her. The rare time that she was ill and someone else had to take care of Mohammed, he would complain. ‘Where were you? Why did you not come? My stomach was not full yester day.’ Mohammed would ask her each night if she was going to come back the next morning. He would askagain and again.Thenwhen she replied that she’d be coming not 1 % or 10 %, but 100 % he would be happy! Even though in later years, Mohammed became calmer, he still spent a long time in the morning washing his mouth. Sometimes he didn’t want sugar in his tea. At other times he would ask for more and more sugar. Sometimes he’d say no milk, and sometimes he’d complain that there’s not enough milk. Sometimes, not enough salt in his dal. Sometimes too much. His preferences were always changing and it took along time to get him to eat. Ifhe wanted to be outside, he’d say, “Outside”, but ifhe didn’t want it, he’d make excuses such as. the sun is too hot, or the floor is too hard. He’d refuse to go walking. “(He would) shout if he won’t eat. (Imli) will say, ‘I will not come tomorrow ifyou won’t eat.’ Then after some time he’ll say, ‘No, no. You come and I will eat. I won’t be angry’ He used to say, ‘I have ftill stomach, why should I be angry? Enough for me.” Those rare times when she was ill, she’d wonder in the night, ‘how could she come to . .

work ifshe was feeling sick?’ She would think of him and in the morning, she’d always be well again. One time, when she was very ill, she had a dream in which Mohammed was sweetly stroking her face and her head and he was smiling and laughing. She awoke the next morning frill oflife. “Special (story), my boys school, I talk to Mohammed. ‘Good results? Good exams?’ Mohammed says, ‘Yes.’ And everyday, first class yes. Everytime, my problem solved. Many times. Sometimes, I talk, sometimes I no talk, only thinking. But Mohammed understands my problem and my problem solved many times. Yes, many times. Many people, I talking. Many people coming, saying my problem. I come to Mohammed, that woman, that man’s problem. Mohammed says, ‘Yes, problem solved.” Although Mohammed sometimes told the villagers (and everyone else) to go, most of the time, he would smile and bless them. There are endless stories of how he helped so many people. Many came just to look at him, or to spend time with him. He had that personality He was loveable, like a child. When Kamal first came to work for Mohammed, there was terrible poverty. Her husband was a drunkard and a gambler and he would not look after household affairs. Though she never mentioned her situation to Mohammed, one day he saw her crying and he told her not to cr He touched her head and said that he would give her his blessings. Since then, her husband improved his ways, he began to come to visit Mohammed, as did her children, her mother everyone and the times ofpoverty have passed. “One time, I’m coming in the morning and Mohammed say, ‘Imli come here.’ He says, ‘Your farm very good.’ I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Yes, your farm very good.’ I said, ‘You walk?’ He said, ‘Yes, at night I gone walking. (He demonstrates with hand behind his back and walking) and your farm looking. And good farm, good millet.’ Mohammed says, ‘5 quintal.’ At that time, 5 ‘/2 quintal millet! I remember. I very happy.” “I like Mohammed. Mohammed good to me. Baba is good to me. Children like Mohammed. No my children old (grown up), married, school, working. Mummy and small children. I like. I like it good. Same (meaning her relationship with Mohammed was like that), I like small children. Taking care of small children.” II


‘Mohammedgave this drawing to HarnidSabri in 1999”

Photos by BfSoperor theAMBPPC7 except where indicated.


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i3ookstore Report (and 2Io1idiy jui&) ijiiit-i SI1ollJ

Jai Baba folks, he October issue is the one where we make suggestions for your Christmas! Hanukah gift giving. (Also birthday—if you are unfortunate enough, like my son, to have been born at Christmas!). 9ii I Remember if you will be sending your gift to a loved one in another I State, make it easy on yourself and get us to ship it direct for k you. For two or three dollars ex tra (per package, T

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send in the mail. Cherie Plumlee, the very creative lady who has been alternating with Tom Hart on the beautiful layout of the LampPost, has designed the four pictured here. Each card, with envelope, is $3.

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depending on the size) we will do a very special gift-wrap job for you—appropriate paper with ribbons and bows. We also have a lovely selection of Holi day season Baba cards to go along with the gift, or for you to buy quantities of them to

Cherie calls this card MeherBabal Grace. The thought came to her after reading the Hafiz poem about the Master’s Curl, a priceless treasure, a hair offthe head ofthe GodMan. The heron wins this priceless treasure, but his Beloved must exact a price’ and takes a wing feather as ‘payment’. But the heron wins on both counts, he gets the Beloved’s hair and also is ‘lightened’ by the Godman’s relieving him of a feather. As you can see by the lengthy Review sec tion we do have a lot ofnew items. However this is the issue where I tell you not only what have been the best sellers for the past year, but where I go out on a limb and predict which items are going to be the most eagerly desired when your special person unwraps the gift you have chosen. Hands down the runaway bestseller of the year, and, I will venture to say, the decade, is the magnificent three volume hardbound, boxed set of Mehera/Meher—The Divine Romance. This book, twenty years in the making, has been written MEHERA-MEHER by David Fenster ADWifle’ROfltaflcV (Bhau Kaichuri’s VLtJME son-in-law). Da vid interviewed Mehera for over a decade, recording all their conversa tions. The other women Mandali also had a lot of •DAVH) ENSIR input. The con-

versations flow, and it all has such immediacy to it, you can almost imagine yourself as a fly on the wall in their home in Meherazad. Lord Meher, put together from different sources by Bhau Kalchuri, and edited by David, is the nuts and bolts story ofwhere Baba went, with whom, when and why. Mehera!Meher puts the romance in the story the feelings, the love, the woman’s touch, and I can guarantee you it will not just be the women who are hungry to read the stories! After David put the final finishing touches on the book (and I’ll bet he thought that day would never come!) he sent the manuscript to Ed Legum (Atlanta, Georgia) to work his magic on the layout. It was then printed in India under Balaji of Hyderabad’s eagle eye. For all the pre orders I had waiting for months, it seemed the day would never come when the huge shipment would arrive on our shores. Finally the great day came & I had over 100 orders to ship out—pronto! For those of you who don’t have it I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful or desired gift this Decem ber—or indeed, anytime. The price is almost as wonderftui as the book! There are 1778 pages in all, and each book, with a black cloth (hardbound) cover has a gorgeous colored photo on the front cover, each one showing so clearly the Divine Love radiating between Mehera and her Beloved. These three books are placed in a matching container with the end open to display the books beautifully on your shelf A]l ofthis—for only $77. —


A very popular book released last year is Francis Brabazon—Poet ofthe Silent Word. The title says it all. Written by Ross Keating, a fellow Australian who knew Francis well, it is notjust a very interesting biography, but delves into, in a most scholarly but nonethe-less eminently readable way, the art of Francis Brabazon and his eternal quest for Truth and Beauty It also covers the ten years Francis spent with Baba as one ofHis close Mandali members. Paperback, $25. Baba told Francis to write a book about his time with Baba in May of1956 in India. The result—Stay With God—pleased Baba so much He had it read to Him three times stating that it gave life to His own book God Speaks and said: “My love will touch the hearts of all who read it as no book has ever done.” According to Mani, He also said that everyone should own two copies, one for themselves and one to give to a friend. [Sounds like a sales pitch to me, but who am I to argue with God’s little sister?!] Paperback, $14, For all you Danny Ladinsky fans out there—If you don’t already have it, here is the book to make loud hints about: Love Poemsfrom God. We have four books of Danny’s translations of Hafiz, each one a gem. This time out, Danny strays much farther than Hafiz, and renders his magic with love poems from many of the famous spiritual writers and saints throughout the ages. Danny tells me that one of the most amazing aspects of the book is this: “After asking me which poet-saints I was going to use, Eruch gave me the title for this book (nearly four years ago, my last time in India). Three times within the book Baba’s name is used, and twice we quote Baba—at what I felt were very key, vital moments.” Paperback, $15. Laura Killmaster and Danny have de signed a very beautiful Hafiz Calendar for 2004. It is a wall hanging one, full color,

with each month illustrated by an Indian or Persian painting. On the page is one of Danny’s translations of Hafiz wonderftii love poems. The calendar sells for $12. Creating the calendar wasn’t enough for Laura; she also turned her hand to making greeting cards with the same Hafiz couplets and gorgeous paintings. For six cards and envelopes, each one different, the price is $12. Golden Thread—MeherBaba, ChapelHill, 196 7 is an absolutely delightfttl book that Barbara Scott of Chapel Hill has written about the experiences she & her cohorts had in the 60s coming to Baba.The content matter is great, fascinating, fttnny & enlightening. But what makes it such a joy to read is the way Barbara strings words together! I love the way she writes—her wonderful use oflanguage I find thrilling. It makes it hard to put the book down. Paperback $12. The ever-popular peripatetic octogenar ian, Don Stevens, has just released a new book that is flying off the shelves: Meher Babac Word and the Three Bridges. Don is once again on a world tour and this book contains the substance of his new seminar, on this occasion given in London, but now being held all over the United States. $7 If you are looking for a book that will present beautifully as a gift, then let me suggest a few ‘coffee table’ books, all hardbound, and all, except for the first mentioned, in full color. First, the most spectacular, God in Human Form, a photo book, similar to Love Personflec4 200 pages of stunfling photos of our Beloved. High quality, heavy weight glossy paper, $100. Dreaming ofthe Beloved is also an art book—paintings by Wodin—and tells us the important dreams Mani says Baba was sending her accompanied by the whimsi cal illustrative interpretations ofWodin. A beautiftil book, $22. The Golden Goose King is a Buddhist fable with beautiful fttll-page illustrations and story byjudith Ernst. For children and also the not so young. $20. Poetiy ofRoses is just that. Gorgeous photos of roses, grown, cut, arranged and photographed by Carolyn Parker who also —

chose the poems, one on each page opposing the photos ofthe roses. She has made some wonderful choices, from English, Persian and American poets. The book is dedicated to Baba. $20. Because ofLove is on sale at $20—originally $40, so this cannot be passedup.Itis ‘F BFC\SE •\‘F : iano ayiey 5 story of life in the Ashram ‘ :: at Meherabad •}: t and elsewhere with Baba. It contains page after page of % her exquisite pencil por traits of Baba and also great detail about the painting Baba made her do—and reftised to give any explanation of—the Ten Circles Chart (which incidentally, we sell, 11x17 for only $10). Until the end ofDecember only, we will be selling Mehera’s life story told in her own words, with photos from her private album, for $20. Having known Mehera, I can hear her sweetness and innocence shining through every word. For those of you who never had the privilege ofmeeting her it will be a wonderful introduction. Normally this book, Mehera, is $35. Buy it for Christmas for only $20. The Illuminated Rumi—translations by Coleman Barks, is a most unusual book, in that it has these great Rumi poems but they have on the opposing pages & indeed sometimes all around the words, not Persian miniatures as I would have expected, but most unusual artwork. One Baba lover bought 6 ofthem she was so taken with the beauty ofit all. $30. Meditations in Colons (I’m running out of superlatives here!) a collection of paintings that Sharon Muir made around Meherabad and Meherazad a year or two ago. Each page, 30 of them, is a frameable work MEDITATIONS IN GL R ofart (ifyou can bear to cut it out) with great vivid splashes of color—greens, blues, purples— fabulous!! A great reminder of the place we like to call Home! $25 -

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In Godc Hand actually is! Recently dis covered pages of Baba’s own handwriting teffing details about the cosmos. It’s right over my head, but I love to just look at the beautifully produced book and see His writing flowing across the page. $30. Last but certainly not least is Appointment. Ail the books I have mentioned here are photos or paintings, illustrations or graphics. Au could definitely be called ‘art books’.This one contains the story I first heard as a child from Francis Brabazon, who told us it was from Tales of the Desert Masters, a centuries old Sufi tale. The frill-page paintings are by Roger Essley, and the tale tells us (most poetically) that when our time is up—it’s up! One Baba lover has ordered 60 of these books, signed by the artist! Oh, I forgot to mention, Roger painted Baba’s face as the Persian master. $15. On to Video and DVD It does not take a great Seer to predict that the best selling item in this division will be thejust released God in Human Form—the Film. Baba inspired Peter Nordeen to create a biography of the Avatar’s life. Now this has been done before, in fact we have two such biographies, Meher Baba TheAwakener, created & filmed by Tim Thelen for PBS (Public Television) with yours truly doing the narration, $30, and also ThiefofHearts, made in India by Alok Nagpal and Nivedita Sharma, $30. However, the pre-release ex citement surrounding the Nordeen film has caused me to order three times the amount of stock I normally would for a new release. It has been shown in public to great acclaim in North Carolina, and also at the Youth Sahavas at Meher Spiritual center causing one teenager to say, “Well I was brought up as a Baba lover, but now I know so much more about Him!” As Winnie Barrett says in her review of the film: “. . . it addresses questions often asked by those new to Him of His rela tionship with His beloved Mehera, His au tomobile collisions, and issues surrounding His silence. Au are approached in a natural, straightforward way. The beauty ofthis film lies in its simplicity of format, succinctness of presentation, comprehensiveness of i6

scope, and the depth of understanding of the significance ofMeher Baba’s advent and mission. It brings together the talents ofBob Fredericks, the film editor, and a number of Baba-lovers to create a powerful means of sharing Baba’s name and message with others. The ifim is available in video (NTSC only) for $30.00 and DVD for $24.00. Also proving very popular is the latest in the Witness Series of the biography of our dearest Eruch. We have recently received Volumes three and four of Becoming His, the fascinating and detailed stories Eruch (and his sister) tell of his (their) life growing up with Baba. Also released at the same time was the delightful volume one of Katie Irani’s life with Baba—and it really is her whole life! Baba put His mark on her when she was a small child. It is titled His Will— His Pleasure, Destined to Serve Him. Sold separately these videos would be $50 each, however if all three are bought together we can offer you a substantial discount—$ 110 for all three. The best selling videos of the past year were the three that Don Stevens shot at the request & direction of Baba, Mehera and Mani. Don tells us ‘ that at first he took shots of various oc ; A ‘ casions and locations .

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herabad, but then Baba had his own additional ideas The F result was that two ft films were shot in ri) 1960 and 1962 that I 960 : were half scenarios planned by Mehera and Mani, and halfdirected by Baba. In the parts that Baba planned in detail, He asked Don specifically to go and visit various places in India and to film certain spots that He carefully described. Several were in Satara and nearby Mahabaleshwar where B aba had stayed with the Mandali, and included the places p where Baba did im portant work with a number ofthe masts : who were brought , in for Baba’s work. There were also particular houses Mehr Biba Baba wanted to have % -j photographed, since 1962 He said they would

be demolished in the near future. Years later Eruch explained to Don that the places Baba sent Don to film, were key spots on Baba’s travels which He had visited repeatedly, especially during His mast work. Then in 1969 when Baba dropped His body and orchestrated His own entombment, with Mehera, Mani and Eruch providing all the technical help, a third film was added to the small and vital family of Irani generated gems. In talking about these videos, Don gives this caveat: “I want to make a very impor tant point here—the films are unedited. I filmed what Baba and Mani told me to film, and when I got the films back from Kodak I simply spliced them together in the sequence in which they had told me to take them. I could not bear to cut off a single frame even if in some cases, it had the Kodak perforations on the frame! Baba is a Master in all things and He knew ex actlywhat He wanted to do and that is why I have never retouched any of these films and I do not want anyone to start doing it at this late date.” MeherBabaAtHome, l96Oand TheLast Darshan are both 40 minutes each. Meher Baba at Home, 1962 is 90 minutes as Don has a detailed explanation of all Baba had told him to film in the preceding hour. Ifyou are buying all three, the price is $30 each, $90 total. Ifyou are buying them separately, Meher Baba at Home 1962 is $45, the other two $30 each. Do&t Forget the 2004 Baba Calendars This year they are very elegantly printed on a soft ivory paper with photos and quotes in sepia. Price is $10.50 each or $8.50 for 10 or more. Ifyou would like me to send them to your friends we can do that for you too. In the Audio department we have oh so many to recommend: The best selling CD of the past few months has been RoughAround the Edges by Charles Gibson, a wonderftul singer-songwriter-guitarist, not to mention Chiropractor-to-the-Mandali. Charles has assembled a very eclectic collection of songs on this CD, some his own compositions, and some by other songwriters upon which Charles sets his own very distinctive mark. His style is actually hard to describe, as he can sing down and dirty boogie & blues,


growling with the best of them, hard rock (yet spiritual!) and soft beautiful ballads. Everywhere he performs he is asked to play NothingLess Than Everything, the first track on Rough Around the Edges that has an incredibly poignant sound to it.The CD closes with a haunting rendition of Woodlands Improvisation with Charles on woodland flute and Leif Rego on guitar. $15. Also highly recommended is the latest fromJim Meyer—Ways toAttain the Supreme Reality. Baba gave the words to Malcolm Schloss in the 50’s, told him to make them into poetry and then 30 or so years later, Jim set them to music and what a triumph it is! For $18 you get not only more than an hour of great music, but also the book with all the words, and since the original book has been out of print for over 10 years, this is the only place you can read Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality. Mischa Rutenberg, the prolific singersongwriter from Walnut Creek gave us Love andDevotion a few months back. This one is my favourite ofthe six ofhis CDs we carry, especially the song My Heart is Set and also WhateverMyMasterDoes (the song he made ofthe famous three quotes ofHafiz. Divine Theme has some really moving lyrics. All in all, a lovely CD—’two thumbs up’! $14. Naosherwan Anzar gave us a very beauti ful, not to mention unusual CD: it is titled “

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The BelovedSings ofLove, yet has no singing! It is the spoken word—words Baba Himself penned under the name Huma. Naosher wan speaks them in Hindi and then Cecilia Kirtland reads them in English. Behind all the readings is beautiflil Indian music by the famous composer Jasi Uttal. A wonderfully meditative sound. $15. Raphael Rudd’s Concertfor the Sufis, a wonderful live concert given in Walnut Creek, a CD for only $10. Two more of his

Raphael Rudd

CDs are made with Pete Townshend, the first is Awakening, a double set for $25. The CD released on October 16t1 200 1—Baba’s New Life—features the ‘lost concert’ with Pete. It was a private, invitation only concert, given at the London Baba Center in 1978. It features Raphael’s solos, and Pete singing his own compositions that were commercially released but were really written to Baba. An absolutely great CD, The Oceanic Concerts. $15.

Bob Een has an amazing voice that can suddenly shock you with Tibetan throat singing (in which you can hear bell like tones cascading behind the main note he is holding.) Accompanied by his marvelous cello playing and utterly original compositions, his latest CD Your Lift is Not Your Own is a must for the person who really appreciates getting deep into the listening experience. A NewYork critic once wrote that Bob Een does for the cello whatjimi Hendrix did for the guitar. $12. Ifyou have a teenager who is into Baba or whom you would like to be into Baba, I suggest you buy them Avatar Meher Baba DiJai. This is a new CD from Bob Freder icks, similar to, but better than, the Techno Baba he released a few years ago. It consists of synthesized dance music in between the very distinct voice clips of the Mandali saying things profound. That may sound a little strange—but let me tell you, when it was played in the food tent after hours at Amartithi, it wasn’t just the teenagers who turned into whirling dervishes on the dance floor! $12.

Ifyou are looking for contemplative music, you can’t do better thanjudith Shotwell’s No StringsAttached. Beautiful voice, beautiful harp, beautiful songs. There are some days when I will play it continuously the entire day. A very eclectic choice of songs—some Artis, some Brabazon ghazals, all wonderful. $15. Other CDs worthy of being singled out—but due to lack of space I can’t wax too rhapsodical about them: Jamie Newell’s latest The Songs ofHafiz. Incredibly powerfbi songs, $17. Billy Goodrum’s eponymous CD with songs he has written for many a film, plus some beautiful Baba songs. $12. The 1 999 Sahavas Concert features a solo by each ofthe professional musicians based here in L.A. $16. Mehera the DivineRemem berer songs sung by Raine Eastman-Gannett that she had either sung to Mehera, being Mehera’s favorites, or ones she had com posed to Mehera, $14. This touches only briefly on all that the Love Street Bookstore has available for you. For more videos, books, CDs, posters as well as everything else, go to our website www.lovestreetbookstore.com or ask me to send you a catalog ifyou don’t already have one—November 2001 edition. Call or email me ifyou need more infor mation or need suggestions for a gift or have any questions. 310 837 6419, 9 to 5 weekdays, or email me at Bababooks@pacbell.net. I will be leaving for Australia to visit my new granddaughter (and her parents) December 22I. Please get your orders in to me by the th 15 December at the latest! In His love and service, Dma

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have not received quotes on the manufactur ing of them as yet. We do know that we will be selling them in sets offour or five at a time, so there is no need to get all 18 at once. We are definitely hoping to have them available for Christmas.

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Winnie Barrett, North Carolina eherBabalitaftrewithinPeterNordeen and the creative urge overtook him. For this we can be eternally grateftil, for the result is truly inspired—a masterpiece. This introductory video is a compelling synthesis of the most lovely (;od in ibmian Forni footage and photos of our Beloved, shown chronologi cally from toddlerhood to grave, with sometimes haunting, sometimes ecstatic, musical background and an ariflilly writThe Lff ten and masterfttlly Aaai 11ier Rahi delivered narration depicting Meher Baba’s life and work. The film addresses questions often asked by those new to Him ofHis relationship with His beloved Mehera, His automobile colli sions, and issues surrounding His silence. AU are approached in a natural, straighiforward way. The beauty ofthis film lies in its simplic ity of format, succinctness of presentation, comprehensiveness of scope, and the depth ofunderstanding ofthe significance ofMeher Baba’s advent and mission. It brings together the talents ofBob Fredericks, the film editor and a number ofBaba-lovers to create a powerftil means ofsharing Baba’s name and mes sage with others. As a recent youth sahavasee reported to his mother, after seeing the film, “I found out so many things about Baba’s life that I never knew before. I loved this ifim!” I’d say you can’t do better than that. The ifim is available in video (VHS only) for $30.00 and DVD for $24.00. See also, page 27, for ‘how it came about.’

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Pam Topley, Meherabad ne evening during my second visit to Meherabad, a group ofus were gathered on the verandah ofthe Pilgrim Centre talking about the Baba books we had read. I was try-

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ing to keep a low profile, for being very new to Baba and not having much time to read at home, my knowledge ofBaba books was very limited; one might say confined to one or two books. The one that had brought me to Baba was the Discourses, and I had only to read the back cover ofthat to be totally hooked!! One youngster said that reading was difficult because she was dyslexic, at which point one or two othersjoined in, voicing the same or even more severe problems. I responded “OK but there surely are tapes available.” The answer was ‘apparently not.’ The morning ofmy departure arrived and had I decided to come back to stay at Mehe rabad on a more permanent basis. Word gets around fast, so whenJanetJudson saw me she asked what project would I like to do ifl was able.Without thinking at all or remembering the previous conversations I said, “I would record the Discourses for the blind and dys lexic.” So that is how these came about. They were never intended to be a studio production and do not claim to be perfect recordings, but as Dara says .they are read from the heart by Meher Baba lovers from many parts of the world for Meher Baba’s friends and all who enjoy listening to the written word.” Over 30 people helped with the reading of it, including Meheru, Bal Natu, Charles Gibson, Charlie Gardner, Gusi Carpenter, NanWicker Aude Gotto, Adair Adams, Dr. Anne and Mary Lloyd Dugan. Atleast eight nationalities are represented here: Indian, Iraman, Lebanese, Australian, New Zealand, British, American and French. There will be 18 discs in all and at the moment (Septem ber) we are looking into having them made in India or the U.S. We cannot give you a price on them, as we “..

e are fortunate to have three beautiful new videos from Wendell Brustman’s Witness Series. Meher Baba’s presence flows like a river through these stories of two people whose lives were completely devoted to Him. Two videos are of Eruch Jessawala and one is of Katie Tram The Eruch WITNESS 44 viaeos continue tne SERIES series Becoming His, for which Wendell released two titles last year. The Jessawalas J oin Meher Baba, Bringing Their Son Eruch 4 f The videos of Eruch relate his personal story ofcoming to Baba, alongside the story of his family. Eruch’s mother, Gaimai was the first one to come to Baba. She and Eruch’s sister, Manu, help tell the tale. The first video begins with Eruch speaking of a photograph of Baba that Baba had given to Gaimai in the 1920s. Eruch says that the photograph subsequently came to hold Baba’s very presence for Gaimai. He remarks that ifwe have established Him in our hearts, these things not only hold His presence but actually begin to live. The sto ries in these marvelous videos overflow with Baba’s living presence in the same way. Eruch’s sister Manu recalls both humorous and serious moments in the odyssey of the Jessawala family. Baba once asked Eruch’s mother to give to Him her eightyear old son Eruch. Gaimai immediately agreed, to the consternation of Eruch’s fa ther who didn’t share her devotion for Baba. Baba let Eruch stay with his parents. With subtlety and patience, over time, Baba won

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over Eruch’s father and prepared the family for a life in His service. Eruchjoined Meher Baba at Meherabad in 1938, when he was 21 years old. He was happy to serve Baba, but did not yet accept Him as God. Since Eruch did not initially feel like a devotee, he saw himself as an observer. “I was there because He called me,” Eruch says simply. He speaks of the process of learning Baba’s ways by watching people who were touched by Baba and seeing how Baba’s love and compassion wrought transformations in their lives. Eruch describes how his own aspiration developed to try to understand what Baba wants, as we all strive to do now. His story ofthis process is a powerfid example of how one learns to answer Beloved Baba’s call more and more ftilly in everyday life. Katie Irani Learns to Serve “His Will, His Pleasure” Katie Irani’s recollections are simply delicious. Katie met Meher Baba when she was three, when He visited her home in Quetta (now in Pakistan) in the 1920’s. Baba paid special attention to the two little girls Katie and Goher. Katie describes games with Him, the Avatar, Who was “so loving, so entertaming.” Even amid the games, she sensed that He was all-knowing. Reminiscences of Baba’s visits throughout her childhood form much ofthis program. Katie was enchanted by the beautiful man who could be a child among children. Baba once asked their mother how many children she had. On hearing the answer of seven, Baba told her she really had five, because two were God’s children—His. My favorite story is ofBaba encouraging Katie to study music, and how she persisted despite family teasing. Following His guid ance, she developed a musical talent that she could then use to please and praise Him. I also loved her story of causing a family uproar, as a four-year-old, when she delib erately told relatives who did not approve of Meher Baba that she had been to His birthday party! Told with Katie’s shywarmth, the anecdotes reflect Baba’s mischievous charm, and a lifetime of devotion resonates in her words. The video ends with her beautiful singing, expressing her great gratitude for a joyous life with Meher Baba. These three videos are rare treats, an inside look at two mandali members who were privileged to grow up with Meher Baba, and whose stories offer a view of Baba’s preparation of His close disciples. Wendell Brustman’s footage, recorded in India in 1986, was edited by Sufism Reoriented to produce these programs. When

you need spiritual renewal but can’t afford a ticket to India, pop one of these into the VCR and enjoy these sweet reminiscences of Beloved Meher Baba.

LA A4ira±ie Will 21ever c.2uencli )3our ‘Thirst (

n A Mirage Will Never Quench Your Thirst, LaurentWeichberger has pulled together all of Meher Baba’s quotes on the spiritual implications of using drugs of any kind including the fill collection ofquotes by Baba from the original God in A Pill. With several first person accounts by former users as well as sources of additional information, this new booklet will be an invaluable source of inspi ration for those who need help in understanding the spiritual truth about the effects ofusing drugs.” Sheriar Books. Quoting from the text: “All so-called spiritual experiences gener ated by taking ‘mind changing’ drugs such as LSD, mescaline, and psiocybin are superficial and add enormously to one’s addiction to the deceptions ofillusion which is but the shadow of ReaUty” —Avatar Meher Baba .

Regarding this book,we have quotes from the three Boston Baba Boys, Rick, Robert and Allan: Allan Cohen: “This book is a rich com pilation of wise counsel and authoritative opinion on the relationship of psychoactive chemicals to human health, learning and spiritual development.” Rick Chapman: “The simple fact that Laurent Weichberger has been inspired to bring together and publish this comprehen sive account of Meher Baba’s statements concerning drug use speaks volumes in itselE the urge to create this book and to make its message available to the public today bears testimony to the great and urgent need for it, as much now as when Meher Baba ftrst made his definitive views about drug use public.” Robert Dreyfiiss: “Meher Baba helps one to, however hesitantly, begin to take the path of sanity by awakening deeper values based in Reality”

2.Iew from Sufism Reoriented Bill Bodman, Walnut Creek, California

God Speaks—the Musicall

( song, dance and comedy) “A light-hearted look at Meher Baba’s great book!” From the Whim to the Spintual Hierarchy, themes of God Speaks are gently spoofed in this fast-paced theatrical production written by the composer of the American Anti, Henry Mindlin (who is also one of the performers). This is an easy way to cruise through the Divine Theme. Each song illustrates some stage of the journey, in a mosaic of inspired nuttiness. A troupe of more than 20 singers, actors and dancers from Sufism Reoriented use the rhythms ofWestern swing, jazz, pop and even rap to explore the humorous aspects of evolution, reincarnation and involution, all in the spirit ofGod’s Divine Comedy. Available as DVD orvideotape. 90 minutes. Price $27.00. Also available as CD with libretto for $20.00.

MeherBabacLfe in Song

( a series of theatrical programs in process) During the years 1971 through 1981, Ivy Oneita Duce, Murshida of Sufism Reoriented, produced seven musical plays dramatizing episodes in the life of Avatar Meher Baba. These celebrations were a central part of her work, and nearly all of her students participated in producing these plays. People came from all over the world to see these remarkable plays and to enjoy the tremendous force of Meher Baba’s presence on these occasions. Meher Babai Lfr in Song, Part 1 presents a selection of songs and scenes from two plays: Merwan takes as its theme Meher Baba’s unveiling by the five Perfect Masters. Manzil-e-Meem (the name of Baba’s first ashram) highlights Baba’s early work with His first group ofdisciples in the 1920s. This performance was presented at the Sufi Center in Walnut Creek, California in celebration ofMeher Baba’s birthday, 2002. Available as DVD orvideotape. 100 minutes. $27.00. Also available as CD for $15.00 MeherBabaiLft in Song, Part2 presents a selection ofsongs and scenes from two plays: The Prem Ashram tells the lively story of the “school oflove” Meher Baba created for children in India in the 1920s. The Mast Tours explores Baba’s work in the 1940s


with “masts”, spiritually intoxicated souls overwhelmed by their love for God. This performance was presented at the Sufi Cen ter inWafriut Creek, California in celebration ofMeher Baba’s birthday, 2003. Available as DVD or videotape. 120 minutes. $27.00. Also available as CD for $15.00.

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‘Dust 3 Sing

CD from David ,7frIiotke

Sue Jamison, Berkeley aving spent my formative Baba years in Francis Brabazon’s company, I am unapologetically biased in my love and praise for any of his Love poems, prose or plays dedicated to our Beloved, but ifyou do not have In Dust I Sing on your bookshelf or by your bed, I suggest that you immedi ately place an order with the Love Street Bookstore! This magnificent work, In Dust I Sing, is a collection of poems based on the Persian ghazal that Francis formed and shaped while living with Baba in India. The ghazals of Hafiz and his successors were the

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only poetry that Meher Baba really enjoyed. Baba was very pleased with Francis’ idea ofan English ghazal and encouraged Francis by the blessing of His embrace, and every embrace contained the seed for the next piece. In the years that followed, Baba had them all re read to Him many times. These poems truly epitomize the relationship of the Lover and the Beloved. Eleven ghazals from this book form the greater part ofDavid Miotke’s long awaited new CD also titled In Dust I Sing. Included in this collection are three songs from Francis’ book TheEast—West Gathering* and one ghazal by Bhau Kaichuri. When David visited Avatar’s Abode in 1981 and sang for Francis, he commented, “At last, a singer I can hear!” If you ever

heard David sing you will understand what Francis meant! A classically trained pianist and singer, David accompanies himself on piano which adds to the intensity and interpretation of every piece on this excellently recorded and produced CD. Besides his classical background David was a founding member of the 60’s rock group H.P Lovecraft, so listen for the influence ofrock, opera, honky-tonk, jazz, blues among other styles as David’s im provisational style and powerfid tenor voice carnes us along through these beautiftil words by Francis. TheEast- West Gathering, written by Francis, was his song-story of an event unique in history In 1962, at Guruprasad, in Poona, Meher Baba brought 5,000 people together from many parts of the world in the name of Love and Truth. David set TheEast—West Gatheringbookto music and initially recorded it with the Chi cago Baba Group in 1972. Kitty Elizabeth and Margaretloved to hear it performed. The narration and songs on this CD excerpted from the book will give you a small glimpse ofhow it must have felt to be in the presence of God Man for seven extraordinary days. (Pick up your phone and order TheEast- West Gathering ifyou do not have it either.) Bhau’s ghazal “Give Me Wine” is given the same powerfid rendering, as David’s voice and piano urge the Master Vintner to pour that wine to end the pain of waiting. With this CD Davidjoins the illustrious ranks of those who have beautiftilly interpreted Francis Brabazon’s ghazals in music and song. May there be more and more and still yet more to please the Beloved, “the pulse of whose poetry is the expanding universe and the Melodies of it are the yearnings of all hearts.”—Francis Brabazon. 1* Both ofthese wondeful books are temporarily unavailable, and have beenfor 8 years. Hopçfiilly one day soon MeherBaba Information in Berkeley may be able to release them.]

J71/Ieher 13abds Word and 2tis Three E13ridges New 13ook by Don Stevens Laurent Weichberger London have spent the last year studying this man, Don Stevens, his life and work, his relationships, and more importantly his rela tionship with Meher Baba. Don is one ofthe fewpeople aboutwhom I can wholeheartedly

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say everything about his life is a dedication to Baba as the “Living Master.” He proceeds with child-like simplicity at times, and then can suddenly switch into high-powered busi ness mode, based on decades of a career as Research Chemist and then Vice President at Chevron Oil company. Meher Baba has said so many things directly about him that I couldn’t possibly attempt to enumerate them here. Suffice it to say, Baba declared in more ways than one, “Don Stevens is My Man,” and revealed on more than one occasion that Don was in fact one ofhis Mandali. This new volume, Meher Babac Word and His Three Bridges, is the clear reflection of Baba’s Man Don, and it is jam packed with deep shar ing, emotionally aAaAS charged issues )riceless stories, antastic ideas, contemplative questions, and much more. 111 entire book is based on the transcript ofa two LWN 5 day seminar that he presented to more than thirty Baba-followers in London during May2003. Don makes it a point to invite everyone’s vision, everyone’s experience, and he repeatedly opens the floor for all to participate and interact (even when it is not comfortable to do so). This is one ofthe hallmarks ofwhat he appears to be pushing as an agenda for the New Humanit and this process adds depth to the format of the book. There are so many intense themes running through his ongoing work for Baba that we shared during the seminar, but a few stand out more clearly in contrast to the rest. No doubt the concept of”balancing the head and the heart” will be looked upon as pivotal to the progress ofthe spiritual seeker, even if it is initially met with resistance. Many of the issues raised are so intricate and huge that it is abundantly clear we only managed to scratch the surface. Some of them are potentially explosive, but at least the issues are no longer being hidden, and labeled unspeakable. We could go on for two weeks, two months, even two years or more with many ofthe topics he had typed up in his presentation outline. Another theme that was brought to light is the extraordinarily hot potato, the “Judas factor” which will doubtless be debated, at least in Baba circles, for the next two centu ries at least. This issue had previously been

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labeled “untouchable in public,” and yet he is so passionate these days, it is trulyinspiring. I tell him he is a late bloomer, because it seems to me that this, right now, is the best of Don Stevens. It is as ifhe is only now harvesting the fruits of five decades in Baba’s service, and moreover he is eager to share these fruits vith au.

he Eight &rts of i: overs of9od A2kwCDby :Raine Eastman-9ctnnctt Reviewed by Debbi Stone, California have been listening to “The 8 Sorts of Lovers of God” by Raine as I drive to work, and I must say it’s been a lovely respite from the stresses of freeway driving. Raine has taken “The Eight Sorts of Lovers” from The East West Gathering by Francis

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Brabazon and given it beautiful exotic musi cal and rhythmic treatment. The setting is whimsical. .an ancient court with trouba dours dancing in to sing and entertain the King--our King ofKings, Meher Baba. There is a description ofeach type oflover followed by music which seems to fit perfectly. I felt I could identifi with each lover as they were described. Raine told me many ofthe melo dies came from Francis Brabazon as well as the lyrics. This is very enjoyable listening for a]l ages. Highly recommended! .

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3 erry Watson, J4lelterabad

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he following is a brief, unusual incident that occurred sometime in the late 1950’s, which I have personally heard the late Dr. Hoshang Barucha narrate a number oftimes over the years. Dr. Barucha had the good fortune of being able to stay with Baba at Meherazad for weeks at a time. He was considered one of the close ones and was allowed the enviable privilege ofbeing able to visit Baba whenever free time allowed. His attentiveness to detail, his unwavering loyalty and obedience to Baba’s wishes and the latitude Baba had given him to periodically stay at Meherazad and Guruprasad in Pune characterized his relationship as one who was a mandali member. The interesting thing is, Hoshang also had an intriguing tendency to ask Baba relatively obscure questions related to Baba’s spiritual work which amazingly enough Baba would often answer. For whatever reason, Baba had a warm, soft corner of His heart for Barucha and often indulged him by answering these innocent questions. Two of the queries that I am aware of: the names of the present five Perfect Masters (circa 1950’s), and identifying the names of those that were in Baba’s inner circle of 120. Both lists were written down and handed to Hoshang with the explicit order that it not be revealed to anyone else. This might provide a little background to the nature of Dr. Hoshang Barucha’s unique relationship to Baba. It was at the end of one of his visits to Meherazad that Baba asked him to travel to Pune instead of his usual routine of journeying directly back to his hometown of Navsari. He was instructed to sit in Babajan’s tomb for one hour and then go directly home from there. No explanations were given. Hoshang obediently carried out Baba’s orders precisely as asked. As Hoshang describes it, the experience he

had as he settled into a comfortable crossed legged position in Babajan’s tomb, was that he immediately lost all awareness of his surroundings and went into an altered state of consciousness. In that state he clearly and distinctly heard the words “I \‘VILL BREAK MY SILENCE ON JANUARY FIRST.” After a certain length of time

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he began to regain consciousness of his surroundings again. Upon glancing down at his watch to check the time, he discovered to his astonishment that exactly one hour had passed. Thereupon he left immediately, taking the next available train back to Navsari. No year was ever mentioned and Hoshang never took it upon himself to ask Baba the meaning ofthe experience. It was one of those inexplicable mysteries that one has no rational explanation for. But does it mean we shall approach each New Year’s Day with a certain eagerness and anticipation? .Perhaps. . .

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_-/1itgust 2003 is with great joy that Meher Baba I House announces a partnership with Divine Wine Studios to make videos of guest speakers and Baba events available to the community Footage is only lightly edited in order to preserve the live quality ofthe event.

9itest .5peakers he following presentations by some of T the best Baba speakers around today are now available! Each in their own way makes Meher Baba’s love and life more real to the viewer while giving amusing and illuminating insights about how the Master works. Most tapes are two hours in length and $20 each. Devana Browns careffilly prepared talk, “The Slave’s Apprentice: Memories of Life With Eruch,” given at Baba House during her first trip back to the US in 20 years, reflects her rigorous training under “Baba’s Peter,” who taught her many lessons about thorough attention to detail. Devana’s first-hand stories about Eruch and the other mandali members provide fresh insights into the ways that Meher Baba works with His intimate ones, and the effect of that work after a lifetime of surrender. Speaker

Rustom and Sohrab Irani, “Meher Baba’s Twin Nephews,” deliver stories and music with the same gusto with which they performed for Baba. Hilarious anecdotes, such as the impersonation of Ann Conlon, are recounted so much enthusiasm that it feels as if we are there in Guruprasad enjoying Baba’s laughter ourselves. Judge Henry Kashouty dramatically exhorts us about “Working for the Lord,” a process of surrendering to Meher Baba’s will. Providing a context for his talk, Henry tells amusing moments from his 1952 meeting with Baba in Myrtle Beach. Irwin Luck, well known for his work with Meher Baba film footage, regales the crowd with the story of a young man’s journey to God, and the grace and love he found in the company of the “Lord of Hearts.” Dma Snow, best known for her

Title

Minutes

Date

Devana Brown

The Slave’s Apprentice: Memories of Life with Eruch

11 1 mm

08/10/02

Rustom and Sohrab Tram

Rustorn and Sohrab Irani: Meher Baba’s Twin Nephews

101 mm

09/21/02

Henry Kashouty

Working for the Lord

96 mm

9/28/02

Irwin Luck

Meher Baba: Lord ofHearts

120 mm

10/26/02

Dma Snow

Life Under His Thumb

116 mm

11/09/02

Allan Cohen

Creativity in the Dream

120 mm

03/08/03

Julia Margaret Brigham

The Little Seed that Baba Finally Sprouted

108 nun

04/05/03

Bili Eaton

Amazing Love

106 mm

7/19/03

Videos in Progress: (will be ready soon) Speaker

Title

Bhau Kalchuri

Bhau in NY in 2002 and 2003

Ella Marks and Tex Hightower

Baba’s Dancers

John Fornieri

St Francis and the Wolf: in puppets

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Date 06/02, 6/03 02/01/03 11/02

Collection

ferocious dedication to the “Love Street LampPost” and the Love Street Bookstore, tells a tale of the lost sheep who having met Baba in 1956, goes through one adventure after another, until she finally realizes that no matter what she does, she cannot leave Meher Baba’s fold. Mani told her she saw Baba place His thumb over her, Dma’s, face in a photo she, Mani, was looking at. An engaging and engrossing story never before told in its entirety: Dma’s own aptly titled “Life Under His Thumb!” Dr. Allan Cohens talk on “Creativity in the Dream,” intensely funny as well as profound, is destined to be a classic. You’ll be holding your sides as you laugh along with this master storyteller sharing how Baba weaned him away from psychedelic drugs, and set him on a lifetime path of study and service. Excellent for people just finding out about Baba, as well as seasoned Baba lovers. Julia Margaret Brigham, “The Little Seed that Baba Finally Sprouted,” tells an unforgettable story of coming to Meher Baba over a fifty-year period. Juiia Margaret traces the “coincidences” that kindled the conviction of Baba’s Avatarhood in her heart, from the time when, as the elder daughter of Dr. Ned Burleson, she met Baba while he was in the clinic in Prague in 1952, to the 50t Anniversary of that car “accident” in 2002. This timeless tale will inspire and nourish your faith. Bffi Eaton, author of “A Love so Amazing,” at age 90, looks back on a half-century of “Amazing Love,” offering advice on how to remember and love Meher Baba. She candidly recounts the story of her first meeting with Baba and other stories from her life in Him.


7Vkhcr aba cit Work in Rew )ork LI J1ngela Chen, 2sfew Eork 3 LA

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he energy, vitality and creativity of New York Baba lovers are just starting to be reawakened in a new wave of Meher Baba’s love! Meher Baba visited Manhattan on seven separate occasions, more than any other place in North America, rivaled in the West only by England. These visits without doubt indicate that this place is important to His work. New York Baba lovers have been gathering to remember Him regularly since the early 1930s. Meher Baba House, NewYork, inherits the legacy of many strong and dynamic Baba workers: Fred and Ella Winterfeld, J ohn Bass, Dr. Harry Kenmore, Adele Wolkin, and even to some extent, Ivy Duce, just to name a few! In the past two years, Meher Baba House has experienced a whirlwind of activity, starting with a glossy 8-page newsletter, now mailed out to about 650 homes throughout the US and interna tionally. Filled with photos ofour commu nity, articles of interest to all Baba lovers and a centerfold of our events page, it is welcomed every two months as a cheerful reminder of Baba’s presence in our lives. We now meet every weekend, with monthly study meetings, guest speakers, music nights, movie nights and celebrations. In addition, we started a Community Direc tory, in which all Baba lovers are welcome to participate.

OUT 7}ision

B

ut all of this is just a start: our vision is to own a permanent Center for Meher Baba in Manhattan, dedicated to love, service and the beauty ofthe human heart. Above all, we shall be a Center dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba’s living example of love and service, a place vibrant with life, creativity, and love. We shall have a complete library of works by and about the Master, an archive of artifacts, and a bookstore open to all. Service projects will include compassionate and innovative ways to help our own community and the community around us. We envision an arts center with performances and teaching of music, dance, theater, visual and writing

arts. We will be fully equipped with sound and video recording studios and practice rooms. We even envision a “weilness center for the soul” with therapies, retreats and exercises that promote health and weilness in ourselves in order to promote weilness and happiness in others.

r:.Elan of ,.}lction eedless to say, this is an ambitious project! Still, Rome was not built overnight, and indeed the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Dubbed the Home for Baba House proj ect, we have been meeting as a community once a quarter to create and refine our vision and brainstorm fundraising ideas. In September, we will invite Allan Cohen as a guest speaker. Fundraising has already started. Gen erous members of our community have contributed directly to our Home for Baba House Fund, while others have contrib uted time and artistic talent. One joyful Sunday a month, several of us gather to make by hand, various Baba goods, such as bookmarks, key chains, magnets, pendants, alphabet boards and others, for sale through our own meetings, and through the Love Street Bookstore, Sheriar Books and through our website. If you have a retail outlet through which we could sell our handmade Baba crafts, please visit our website (www.meh erbabahouse.org): you would be helping a good cause!

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Divine Wine &udios

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he privately funded Divine Wine Studios has recently been formed to help raise funds for Meher Baba House. Through an agreement signed with Meher Baba House, Divine Wine Studios is making videotapes of Meher Baba House guests and events available to the public at low cost. So far, eight videos are now available through the Love Street Bookstore*, Sheriar Books and online at www. divinewinestudios net. Recent acquisitions also include a heat press! This piece of equipment gives us the ability to customize high-quality full-color mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and

other specially-coated items with digital images: scanned photos or drawings of Meher Baba, or ofthe mandali, or indeed of ourselves, our dear ones and even our pets. Proceeds generated from the sale of these products will specifically benefit Meher Baba House’s Home for Baba House Fund. If you want to personalize a gift, or commemorate a special occasion for yourself or an organization you represent, please consider using our friendly and prompt services. Pricing is reasonable and discounts are available for multiple orders. Order now ifyou want Christmas delivery: we are likely to get a lot of orders! See our website for further information about Baba videos and customized items www.divinewinestudios.net or call Angela at (914) 779-2892.

Community &zpport e welcome contributions of all kinds from the worldwide Meher Baba community, be they simple words of encouragement, prayers, advice and creative ideas, or donations of time or money. We are a tax-deductible religious corporation. Funds marked “Home for Baba House” will be used only for the creation of our Center for Meher Baba. For more information about Meher Baba House activities and ways in which you might participate, please visit our website at www.meherbabahouse.org, call (212) 971-1050 and leave a message, or contact Angela Chen at 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708. *Ed Note: see the Bookstore report for videos currently available for sale at $18 each.

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Witctt’s 2iappening at A’tehernbctd? j3Iictu is EI3ack! July 31 2003 esterday I arrived in Ahmednagar... I am very happy to inform everyone that my return trip to India was really comfortable and safe, and I do not feel tired. I am now strong, and as always, I’ve already started my Trust work. It is Beloved Baba Who wishes me to visit the West, and I have to obey. It is really a great thing for me that I feel it my responsibility to see Beloved Baba’s dear ones. This time, wherever I went in the West, I felt a new wave of Beloved Baba’s love. It is amazing how He is bringing people closer and closer to Him. Nobody knows how close they have come. Our Beloved is really very, very great. His compassion is unfathomable. Apparently, everyone appears different, but internally, everyone is just the same. The Beloved is working very very hard to create these feelings of Oneness in them. We cannot fathom what He does for us, and how He suffers. One life is nothing. It requires thousands and thousands of lives to come closer to Him and recognize Him. What a gift Beloved Baba is giving us that we have at least recognized Him, and we are trying to follow His Wish! Beloved Baba is reallyworking infinitely hard to clean the world. On one side, there is a lot of destruction. People are always feeling fearful. And there is another side, which is very small, where construction is going on. Destruction is easy, but construction is very difficult and creates infinitely hard work, which the Beloved is doing. Destruction will increase, and it will go on increasing. So also will construction go on increasing, but it will not be very big. When His Manifestation takes place, there will be construction all over the world, and destruction will be stopped. This destruction will wipe out the binding impressions of the world. Those who have come to Him up until now are included in the little part of the world which is already constructed and which will go on increasing. How fortunate are they who have come to Him now! The rest of the world will come afterwards. But it is definite: this time, the whole 24

world will recognize Him, and the Sun will remain smiling. I stayed one day in Bombay (the 29th July), to give a talk at the Bombay Centre after so many years. Though it was not a meeting day, many Baba lovers attended the program. I felt joy that so many came. Because terrorists had blown up bus in Bombay on the 28th, killing a several innocent people, political leaders had declared a bandh [general strike] throughout the entire city for the 30th. No one was to travel on the roads except for police and emergency vehicles. If anyone else did, their automobiles would be stoned or burnt. But one Baba lover in Bombay, Ra], who is a police commissioner, arranged for an escort out of the city A police jeep accompanied us safely to the outskirts of Bombay. Except for one or two police cars and ambulances, there were no other vehicles on the roads! From there, I went directly to Meherabad. I quietly prayed at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi for all you dear ones. First I knelt down, but then thought it better to stand. So I stood as I read out to Baba the names of the entire dear ones who signed the sheets at my programs in the West. Though some signatures were not clear, I tried my best to read them. Even if I could not, still I prayed for those who had signed. I also prayed for those dear ones who wanted to see me during my Tour but could not meet me. My prayer to Beloved Baba is always is that He gives His lovers whatever they really need. And whatever is unnecessary or not required, even if they want it, He should not give it to them. Everyone needs to recognize Him, and in order to recognize Him, we don’t need anything but His love. I remained so engrossed that my head was not working while I was praying for everyone. And when I emerged from the Samadhi, my mind had become completely blank. I had remained standing for over two hours, and therefore, today my legs have become very stiff. Still, it was a very joyful day for me. This is my dut to pray to the Beloved for every one of His dear ones. I feel happy that I offered them all to

Beloved Baba and thus completed the duty of my tour. Once,I didthis,Ifeltfree. I was very, very happy to hear that the sun is shining in America. The sun is not only shining here, but it is very, very hot and humid. This is now the end ofJuly, and there is no sign of rain. There were good rains in Bombay and elsewhere in India, but not in Poona or the villages around Ahmednagar. There is no drinking water in Arangaon, and the villagers come to Meherabad for it. The village gets water from eight tankers, which make a single trip each day, but it is not sufficient. The river has dried, and therefore they cannot wash their clothes or take baths. Such is the situation is there. Fortunately, Meherabad got the pipeline on time. Otherwise, we would have had to vacate. Meherazad, too, is getting its water from tankers. Perhaps in August it may rain, but nothing can be said. It will be a difficult year. When we need rain, clouds have to come. Then it rains. So also, when we need something strong internally, outward clouds will come. They are a sign of rain. Therefore, do not worry. The clouds and the rain are in the hands of the Beloved and are only a passing show. The clouds approach in order to make you scared, but remain fearless, and everything will be all right. You will feel the effect ofthe rain, but there will be no effect from the clouds. I arrived in Ahmednagar yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. and met the office staff. This afternoon, they brought a stack of paperwork to the office. Already, a lot ofwork is pending for me. I am really very, very thankful to all you dear ones in the West. How lovingly you treated me, and how much trouble you took! It is unforgettable! I really had a nice time with you all, and I was very, very happy to see many people so energetically doing Beloved Baba’s work. You are serving His cause wholeheartedly, lovingly and sincerely. With all love and Jai Baba to you, In His love and service, Bhau


on SARS from Dr. 9us

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J44elierabctd EOunLI Adult &thctvas 2003

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he SARS epidemic is no longer a cause of concern to International travelers. There are no travel alerts or advisories for any countries (as per the World Health Organization and CDC USA) as of July 15, 2003. Travelers coming to Meherabad do not need to take any of the precautions related to SARS that were previously advised by the Trust’s Medical Staff. -

EDrama cit J l4elierabad 7 Ward Parks, 12 July 2003

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the Maharashtrian summer yields to the first flush of the monsoon rains, Baba’s Trust begins another pilgrim season, the thirty-fifth since Meher Baba removed the veil of the external form and established Himself as the true object of pilgrimage within each lover’s heart. In recent years one ofthe activities of the Trust that has been flourishing and bearing profuse blossoms has been dramatic and musical performances in the Meherabad theater (the Music and Arts Centre). Plays are being staged almost every month, most of them brought to Meherabad by Baba groups from throughout India and around the world. In addition, visiting pilgrims often take advantage of the opportunity of their stay at Meherabad to offer their love to the Beloved through song, dance, or other artistic mediums. Several such concerts usually take place in the course of each month. In this coming 2003-04 pilgrim season, the Meherabad theater remains available to Baba’s lovers from around the world as a facility for their expression of love for Him. Those with interests along these lines are encouraged to contact Alan Wagner by letter or e-mail (Alan@ambppct.org). Particularly ifyou have in mind to put on a play, bookings need to be made sufficiently in advance so that proper arrangements can be made. With Beloved Baba’s grace, this coming year will provide us all with another golden harvest in the on-going cultivation of His remembrance and praise.

Amber Mahier (

et my life become a garland for the King” goes the Baba song, and like beads on one string, at this year’s Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas, we did come together in Baba’s Love and form one garland. In fact, both the volunteer training as well as the main Sahavas began with the making of one large garland formed by each person adding a rose to a long string to offer to Baba’s photo in the Hostel C meeting bay. What to say about Meher Baba’s Sahavas? At one of the group discussions, a participant commented that when asked about the Sahavas, they tell people that it is an event where a group of individuals come together and become one family. That was certainly the case for me. After seven glorious days of fin in the sun, service projects, mandali visits and lively dinner talks, I felt that all 70 of the participants were members ofmy extended family. Now when I see one ofthem around Meherabad, not only does it mean that for example, I now know an Andhraite (someone from the state of Andhra in the south of India, a place Baba visited many times) but that I love an Andhraite as my sister and can sing the chorus of a Baba song in her regional language! Each year the Meherabad Sahavas brings together a diverse group of participants. At this year’s event there was a group of Bombay Parsis, some Lucknow dholak (drum) players, Maharastrianbhajan singers, two lovely girls from North India, a group of Andhraites, a few university students from the East and West coasts of the States and the Western residents (one Aussie, one Brit and six Yanks), one very special attendee from Paris and a 4 month old baby girl. It was a real mix and we had a lot of fun! The variety ofbeads on Baba’s one string could especially be seen on the “Baba’s Toddy Shop” night when we performed songs and well-costumed skits for each other. For example, one of our ‘3rd timers’ directed a humorous skit that included scenes from the Mahabarata, and another gave a look into the modern life of young urban Parsis. There were Indian devotional songs dating back to the 1600’s and a hip

Indian Folk/Bollywood dance sequence. The song writing workshop attendees performed their original composition, complete with classical guitar and vocal harmony. The chorus of their song was so appropriate to the theme of the evening: “I am the King, the Ancient One. I am the sweet, the sweet, sweet wine.” Although there were very distinct differences between people’s cultural background, the focus on our Beloved was the same and our love of laughter was contagious. Baba spoke highly of the opportunity afforded by gatherings in His company, He instructed His dear ones during one of His Meherabad Sahavases, “I am the Ocean of Love. Draw as much of this love as possible. Make the most of this opportunity. It rests with you to draw as much love as possible out of the Ocean.” This year, one Easterner commented that when he was with his fellow Sahavasees working in service and playing music together, he felt as if they were drawing energy, enthusiasm, and ability to serve, directly from Baba’s Ocean of Love, that it was indeed more available to them during this intimate Sahavas period. One of the reasons this year’s Sahavas felt so special was that a few of Baba’s intimate mandali, despite their various health problems, came to Meherabad to take part in the gathering. Meheru spoke of Baba’s Beloved Mehera and her unique love for Baba. In tribute to Mohammad the Mast, Meheru also narrated a slide show depicting Baba’s special love for His “beloved children”, the masts. Under the tin shed on Meherabad Hill, Katie sang songs of Huma and humorously brought back to life images of how the women, in frill costume, would perform skits for Baba to lighten His mood. Meherwan Jessawala regaled us with stories ofhis family joining Baba when he was just a kid, and later over lunch, humorous anecdotes of Eruch’s obedience to Baba that were really no joke! Also, on the first day of Sahavas, two members of His extended Jessawala Kerawala-Satha family, Sam and Roshan Kerawala, came for a “tea talk”. Another special guest was Pratap Ahir, who along with his son, Swaroop, performed bhajans that he had played for Baba many times. Each year the Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas offers the opportunity for participants to give back to the wider community through service projects. This year, before the service projects began, the volunteers came up with a list of qualities 25


they would like to bring to the day’s event. Humiity enthusiasm, poise, and focus on Baba were some of the keys, and it was plain to see that this is one area where we could really shine as a group. What can be more fin than say, planting trees together to make a common space beautiful and thereby contributing to Meherabad? The participants complained there weren’t enough of these activities! Don’t worry next year we’ll plan more! Another service project was the Bhandara (a large feast offered freely in the love of God) program held at Hostel D for the Meherabad workers and general community. (Bhandara is a term used by Baba when He fed thousands of people who had come for His darshan in Wadia Park in 1954. Baba Himself ate a few morsels sitting on the ground amongst the crowd.) The lunch was delicious, but it wasn’t until the end of our Bhandara program that the real love feast began for me. One exceptional singer from Daryapur ( a small town in Western Maharashtra) accompanied by a Bombay harmonium player and some guitar players sang Marathi songs especially for the village women who had been making the puns for the lunch and had missed the main entertainment. The women were clearly touched by the gesture. In addition to all this enjoyable service, participants enjoyed themselves in the Hostel A Art Bay by making hand crafted t-shirt designs and homemade book covers, embroidening quilt squares for a Samadhi cover, painting tiles for the new pilgrim center and much more. The Meherabad Sahavas has been such a hit among young Indians that one of the volunteers helped organize a similar event last winter at her center in Delhi. A group of Meherabad residents went up to attend the program and loved it. It’s wonderfttl to see that the Sahavas spirit is catching. What more can I say, we lived together in the house ofour Father as one family it was a delight!

CORRECTION PILGRIMS PLEASE NOTE

A

bout Sam Kerawalla’s B&B, described in the April issue:

Our reporter was somehow misled about the arrangements at Sam and Roshan’s guest house near the PC. Please do not contact the Pilgrim Reservation Center or PC to arrange your stay there; contact Sam directly at +91241-2548755. To further clanify the following is the wording from the information sheet sent to all pilgrims: “Pilgrims coming from outside India are asked not to bring children under age 7, following a directive once given by Baba” and also: “Unmarried couples should honor Meher Baba’s wish by not sharing a room in a hotel or elsewhere in Ahmednagar.” We are very sorry for the misinformation published in the April issue and regret any confttsion we have caused.

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“Groundbreaking” Continuedfrom Page 29

ing) to break the ground for both sites. At the clinic site Meheru shared the fol lowing words with all gathered there: “Today we are on this joyous occasion all gathered here for the bhoomipuja ofthe new Meher Free Dispensary. It is in the name of our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, and the love He has for each one, that His wish to care for the health of the poor will be ex pressed, in the service that will be carried out here. “Dr. Goher began this work and, in her loving way, has over many years continued it, as long as she was able to do so. First she was the only medical person, with Mani and Eruch as her helpers, and then, with the help ofBaba lovers who came, often ‘cycling here from Meherabad and ‘Nagar did she do this work. Later, as it expanded, doctors and nurses and other workers were employed, along with the volunteers. “For more than two years the plan for this new building has been in progress. We pray that Dr. Goher will be here with us not only to see its completion but to see the work and service being carried out according to the way Beloved Baba would wish, wholeheart edly, lovingly, honestly and faithftilly. Not only should the staff fu1f]1 the duties for which they have been hired, but they should go that extra mile to fulfill the commitment to Baba, who has given them the good fortune to be in His service, and honor the gift of seva.That is the service pleasing to Baba.” With a hearty Avatar Meher Baba ki J ai!the celebrants returned to Meherazad for delicious hot chai, savory bhajias and po tato vadas, and sweetjelaibies served on the men’s verandah in an atmosphere so light and happy many were reminded of earlier celebrations at Meherazad for Beloved Baba’s birthday. With Baba’s grace and ample rainfall, the new dispensary will be open to receive patients two years from now!

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M BABA! 1 J —Shelley Marnich in correspondence for Meherazad Tavern Talk. Tavern Talk is the electronic newsletter for the Avatar Meher Baba Trust.

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26 i.:.


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fter some conversation a few years ago, Lindesay Reiter and I began obsessing about the need for a comprehensive videoifim of Baba’s life and work. Though many films have been done through the years, they seemed to be more focused on either a particular subject or viewpoint, or a particular time in Baba’s life, often due to available film footage. For those of us who have had the great opportunity to spend time with those who spent so much time with Him, we have enjoyed imbibing Baba’s life in little bits and pieces, here and there from time to time. But with the responsibilities of every day life in this day and age ofattention deficit disorder, it is easy to forget the details of all the little pictures that add up to the big picture. It is as ifmany ofus often look closely at some part of the story; but fail to step back and look at the huge beautiful mural and masterpiece that is Meher Baba’s life and work. The day we arrived in India about a year and a half ago, the Trust received a letter from some of the Andhra Baba-lovers concerning an opportunity to present a twenty minute introductory segment about Meher Baba for Indian television in the Telugu language. They had no idea how to proceed regarding script and presentation and were asking for assistance. As the letter was passed from one qualified person to another, each of whom had their reasons for not getting involved, it eventually was directed to me. Being a plumber I understand the flow of things, and so in the tradition of the col— lege ofMeher Baba I was the right person for the job. After reading the letter I was sure that Baba’s life and work could not be fairly represented in that limited time, but I thought that it would be fun to at least make an attempt. The only person with some training in film making there was Laurel Beymer so I asked her if she could just help me for a few hours to get started. In 8 10 hours we came up with a script for an English speaking Indian audience that read exactly 24 minutes, but nothing ever happened with Indian television. Debbie (my wife) and I left India soon after and didn’t do much with the script until we returned to Meherabad the next year—last December 2002. On our return to India, due to severe —

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back trouble, I had to spend a lot of time in a horizontal position, so to occupy myself I decided to look at the script again and fifi in what I had considered to be just an ex panded outline. I thought it was important to abandon the time element, and with the conviction that Baba’s life is most interesting and dynamic, why not let the Silent One speak for Himself? I wanted to present Baba’s life and work on His own terms, and in His own words as much as possible. The challenge was what

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to include in a comprehensive biographical introduction without overwhelming the first time viewer with too much information. Kebi and Ralph (Brown) came and stayed with us during Amartithi, so I decided to take advantage of Ralph’s skills. (He is related to screen writers as you may know, which makes him more qualified than I to determine what is a decent script.) Over the next week Ralph and I worked over the script, editing details. A few days after Kebi and Ralph left, my sister Jeanne and her husband Bruce Felknor arrived for their stay through Baba’s Birthday. Since I had remodeled a kitchen for them a few years ago, I decided to take advantage of any possible feeling of obligation my brotherin-law may still have had and asked him to do the narration for the ifim. John Gunn, an excellent sound engineer, who spends half the year living in India with his wife, Carol, agreed to record the narration after

I told him it would probably take less than an hour. We finished recording the narra tion two hours before Bruce and Jeanne left Meherabad. After John was sucked into the project, he agreed to also record some music, and was able to get the beauti ful recording you will hear of Rustom and Sohrab (Baba’s nephews) singing Mehera’s favorite Huma ghazal. Mahmoud Arjang was able to persuade Farid Farjad’s people to allow us to use the violinist’s beautiful Persian music at no cost. For some of the other pieces ofmusic I decided to recruit two other brothers-in-law, Dave D’Angelo and Mark Falchook, both professional musicians. ( I had remodeled a bathroom for Dave and Denise a few years ago and decided to take advantage again.) Debbie wrote out the ar rangements and they were able to record five songs in one morning at Phil Ludwig’s New Jersey studio. In Colorado Richard Slavich and Kitty Knight recorded a beautiful cello duet of”Begin the Beguine” specifically for the end ofthe film. To accomplish the film editing, we needed somebody with the combination of technical skills, a good eye for the work, and a fine artistic sense. Bob Fredericks agreed to do thejob, putting in months of excellent work for this labor oflove. Our goal was to properly blend the three elements so that with the narration as the foundation and the music as the fusion, the intellectual mind of the viewer could be disarmed to allow the heart to absorb the images ofGod in human form. It will appear that great time and ef fort was taken to synchronize Baba’s images with narration and music, but we were often astounded by the way the elements would perfectly come together. We have made our best efforts in providing photographs and footage to correspond with the different periods of Baba’s life, but in some cases it was not possible. We hope that everyone will enjoy seeing the film at least halfas much as we enjoyed making it—and that’s a plenty!

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Our9a1 in Jl4ehcrabad y 1 13111

.‘tcpIiciis

IJudy took a break, as do many ofthe Western Residents, over the hot summer months, and came back to the States to spend time with her family. She resumed her diary in August.] 3 .August Meher Baba to you all! Whatjoy it is for me to once again share life in Meherabad with you! I returned from my three—month visit to the States a week ago Sunday. What a feast it was for my eyes and heart, to see Beloved Baba’s flag flying above the tower on Meherabad Hill: knowing, I am home! There has been very little monsoon rain. However, there has been enough so things are not brown. Meherabad has many trees and flower bushes. It all looked so precious to me. My eyes just feasted on everything. As soon as I dropped offmyluggage, greeted my dog Foundy, I joyfully walked up the hill to see my Beloved Baba. I said hi, and let Him know how happy I was to be back once again! Sometimes I feel like a whirling dervish—wanting to spin around and around saying, ‘I’m home, I’m home!’ When I came down the hill, I went to Mohammed the Mast’s grave to pay my respects. There is only a pile of dirt on top of it. A permanent cover will be made after a year has passed. It will take some time to become used to not seeing him on the yerandah of Meherabad Mandali Hall. How hard it must be for those dear ones who have cared for him these many years.

Jai

4 ..August I noticed some activity over at the men Mandali’s graves. It has been a year since Aloba has gone to Baba, so a permanent cover for his grave was being made. It will take a few days to complete. On all the graves of the men Mandali there is a heart shape made marble. It is affixed to the center ofthe top ofeach grave.

8 .}1iigust On my way down from the hill I see several of the Meherabad workers painting a pedestrian crossing from the Dhuni to the other side ofthe street. The new road is complete and we needed a white crossing. Another one will be the pilgrim path by the Saint’s tomb. I noticed the workers had on brown uniforms. They told me that all the 28

workers now have these uniforms. They showed me their individual, official badges that have the Trust name and the worker’s name and picture on it. It was rather sweet to see, the workers were so proud of their new uniforms and badges.

9 August The cataract surgery project resumed with a camp this weekend. In this project, surgery with intra ocular lens implant is done free of charge on about twenty patients, six times a year. Patients are admitted on Saturday afternoon, operated on Sunday and discharged on Monday. 10

August

We have two professional dancers from Europe here, Lennard Louissy and his wife Gabriella Koutchoumowa. It was a Mehe razad day and they gave a performance in Mandali Hall. In the afternoon, Ted judson gave a tour of the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat to we who work at the present Meher Pilgrim Center. So much has been done since I went to the States. The walls are up on the upper floor office space, as well as the walls on the men’s side.The foundation from the office wing to the dining hall is complete. The dining hail foundation however is still being laid. The place seemed to come alive as it was shown by its creator, architect Ted Judson. 11

In the morning I went to Arti. Roshan Kerawala had returned from Pune. She sang the song Baba taught her. Baba said when He was Zoroaster He used to sing that song on a mountaintop to God. It is powerftil! During this month I have been amazed

that there have been days when we have had only nineteen pilgrims in the MPC! Now, for those ofyou who have been coming here for years, you know that is astounding during the month of August. Normally, we would easily have 60 or 70 pilgrims, many of them from overseas. We do have large numbers on weekends and for Dhuni, but they are our Indian pilgrims who only stay for short periods of time. Some interesting things are going on near Meherabad. Half way from the train station to Meherabad a new railroad is being laid that crosses the road and heads to a city called Sholapur. Also, the State ofMaharas tra (where we live), is considering putting a major highway through Ahmednagar to Sholapur. This highway would be like the new one from Pune to Mumbai. It would also pass by Meherabad. There is a school in Ahmednagar, called Jankibai Aptae (founder of the school) Institute for the Deaf. They wished to take Baba’s darshan at His Samadhi. They requested permission from the Trust to also have their lunch at our Theater. The Trust sent two buses to pick them up. There were around 125 students and staff So, after they all took darshan at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi they sat on the verandah of the Theater for their lunch.

i8 .August Bhau came to the MPC to give a talk at teatime. It was the first time Bhau has given a talk since he returned from his travels overseas. When he returned he got sick and the doctor told Bhau he had to rest. So, we were all glad to have Bhau back on his feet and sharing his Baba stories. 19 /lugust This was the seventh anniversary of Mani’s going to Baba. It is hard to believe it has already been seven years. To me Mani was always magical. Another Resident re called that Mani had said she wanted to be remembered as ‘perky’. Her shrine was covered with a soft, satin cloth that has se quins and beads sewn all around the border. It is quite beautiful, and a lot of love has gone into the making of it. The morning flowers were arranged especially beautifully. Lots of garlands were placed on her shrine throughout the day.


20 .J1iigust

Sam Kerawala came to the MPC at teatime to share his many stories. Sam always has a fascinating mixture of Baba, Rumi, and Hafiz stories, as well as other Saints. He has a special way of telling a story that seems ancient to me, as if this is the way stories were told. 21

.../lngust

Bhau had requested all Residents to attend a special program that was to take place at the Ahmednagar Baba Center. Bhau had written the book ‘The Spiritual Training Programme’ at the request of some of the Residents. Beloved Baba has made Spiritual Training an object of His Trust Deed. So Bhau wrote down what this means. The meeting lasted almost ninety minutes. It was attended by the Trustees, Residents, other volunteer workers and some of the Trust Compound staff. At the end of Bhau’s talk he passed out this book to each person. I videoed his talk, and in time it will be made available from the Los Angeles Baba Center. When I got home I began to read the book. I jumped ahead to one part that I wanted to know about right away. What ex actly is the ‘Spiritual Training Programme’? My heart soared with joy when I read “it is

for those followers of Avatar Meher Baba who wish to live the New Life with the intent of effacing their false self under the Mastery in Servitude by flulfiuing the objects ofthe Trust Deed.” And then I read the part where it said we were living the Labor Phase ofthe New Life. One ofthe aches of my heart is wanting to have gone on the New Life with Beloved Baba. To read in the book we are actually living the Labor Phase, to read we are actu ally doing something Baba had set forth for us, is just stunning to me. My heart wants to weep with gratitude. 23

Aitgust

Rain! We had some rain! I was on duty at the MPC, and I had lunch there because it was raining too hard to leave. What a lovely sight and sound! 25 ..J!iignst

Our dear Bhau came to the MPC to share more of his talks. I always look forward to seeing Bhau come walking into the MPC. 27

..Jlugust

This day is a special festival called Pola. It is the day when all India honors the bullock. The bullocks have the day off from working in the fields, pulling carts, or any

other kind ofwork. Their bodies are painted lovely colors and their horns are decorated with painted designs. Festive bells and other pretty hanging objects are tied to the horns. Then the bullock is paraded through the vil lage or neighborhood for all to admire.

4 September There is a special project ongoing close by Savage’s Kitchen, a kiln has been set up to bake the tiles that will be placed on a special wall ofthe new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Ted Judson, the architect, said the wall will be about 12 feet high and 20 feetlong and situated between the dining hall and the kitchen to cut down on the noise from the workers who are cooking. The wall is called ‘Welcome to my World.’ Baba Lovers from around the world are participating by painting special tiles. Mehera Kleiner and Jessica Craft are facilitating tile painting workshops here at Meherabad this pilgrim season. The tiles pilgrims and Residents make will be fired in the new Meherabad kiln, and will be placed on the tile wall. For those ofyou who wish to make tiles in your own country and have them sent here for the ‘tile wall’, you may email Dot Lesnick and she will give you all the information. This ‘tile wall’ is going to be awesome! Dot’s email address: dlesnik@aol.com

9roundbrectking for the 2Iew JI4eIier 3ree Dispensary Ei3ui1ding at ,J4eherazad Meherazad, September 7, 2003 Jai Beloved Baba! 31st, 1969, the lives of Meher Baba’s Mandali were changed QnJanuary forever. Baba had left behind a precious group ofmen and women who had, for most of their lives, surrendered themselves totally in service to Him and His “Work”. They felt lost after returning from the ‘69 Darshan at Guruprasad and wondered how to fill the vacuum Baba’s physical absence created. Goher was especially at loose ends. Out of concern for her, Mehera reminded Goher that Baba had always wanted a free dispensary to help the poor. And Mani and Eruch felt that using her medical training for others in need would distract Goher from her grief. So they encouraged and helped her start the small Meherazad dispensary which was first located in room #3 next to Mandali Hall, and eventually shifted to Kaka Baria’s old room at the east end of the

men’s verandah. Mani and Eruch were actu ally Goher’s first assistants in the clinic trained by her to give injections and dress wounds! As years passed and the numbers of both patients and pilgrims sitting on the Mehe razad verandah increased, Goher felt it was time to shift the dispensary to a separate location. On Valentine’s Day February 14, 1978, the present Meher Free Dispensary Meherazad (so-named by Dr. Goher), officially opened its doors to serve the hundreds of patients who, to this day, come to the clinic each week from over 60 villages in the surrounding area. Many ofthose attending are so poor that without MFD’s com pletely free medical care, they would go without any help at all. Three years ago Meher Free Dispensary once again began to experience growing pains with more patients attending each day than the facility and staff could handle. So at Dr. Goher’s request a new and larger -

clinic was designed by Ted Judson. On Fri day morning at 10:15 am on September 5th, 2003, over a hundred people joined Dr. Gohei the mandali and MFD medical staff to celebrate the ground-breaking at sites for the new Meher Free Dispensary and nearby staffquarters. Both buildings will be located about 3/4 mile from Meherazad with a breathtaking view of Seclusion Hill on the horizon. At both sites Baba’s beautiftil photo was garlanded by Goher and the women mandali as it was displayed (appropriately) hanging on an IV pole! After saying the Beloved God prayer and offering flowers to Baba, the traditional coconuts were broken by Bhauji and sweets were distributed to all by the building contractor. The Trustees, medical staff contractors and much to our great astonishment even Bal Natu, wielded the pick ax in the tradition of”bhoomipu— ja” (the Hindu ceremony of dedication to God at the ground-breaking ofa new build-

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Continued on Page 26 29


‘sonti of the 2ew Life _Cistcii to the silcnt words of J4leIicr i3aba; the life of all lovers of9od is in these words. Eou who are serious to follow the 2 ’Iew Life 1Vill renounce your ephemeral existence. M)e have takcii to this life in which we rely only upon 9od; our will is strcnqthciied by our oat!,. We merrily sing the song

of

hopelessness; We invite all calamities and

difficulties. We neither wail over lost hopes, nor complain about promises, or covet honor, or shun disgrace. i3ack-biting is eiided and we do not fear anyone; This is the tenor of our

24cm Life. 24o confusion in are

the mind now, neither are any ties left-, J?ride, aiigc lust and greed

slouglicd off 2 ’Io religion for any of us,

nor care for

physical and mentzl aims. 7he

s lieiklt and the EBralimin are now in the same boat. 7_ here

is for us

all iio small or great. 2’Ieither disciple, master, nor 5odliood exist.

J3rotlierliiiess is the link, and our common enjogmeilt of suffering.

7•his world or the next, hell or heaven, we are no longer concerned with. $Iiaktis and siddhis, occultism and miracles, we are no longer plagued with. 4ll false impressions have been purged from the mind; now we live with the active present. r:Dear ones, take seriously the words of l aba. ‘‘4itliougli now 3 am on the same lercl 3 with you, Ed all orders from me, good, had, or extraordinary, Eon should carry out immediately, leavinq the result tojod. Even ifthe heavens fall, do not letgo the hand of7rutli;Let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy the garden of your life; you beautify it by contentment and selfsufficiency.

Even though your heart be cut to bits, let a smile be on your lips. 2lcre 3 divulge to you a truth: 2lidden in your empty hands is treasure untold; your beggarly life is the

envy of kings. “od exists indeed, and true are the ropltds, Every cycle has an Avatar, and every moment a mali. 3or us, however, it is only hopelessness and helplessness, how else can :i describe to you what our ew Life is?”

A translation ofthe song composed by Dr. Ghani 31 October 1949

ut this .2’Iew ..Cifc is endless, and cveiz after iity I.1Il!JsIcal ticath ivill be kept alive by thosc who livc tlic life ofconipk’tc relIlLuciation offalsdwod, lics, Iuitrcd, anger, grccd and llLSt, and who, to cicconiplish all this, do 110 lustful actions, do no harm to anyonc, do no backbitiizq, do not seck material possessions or poivci who accept no Itornajc, neither covet honor, nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and iiothing; b those it;ho rely wholly and solely on 9od, and nilw 1oziçiod purely for the sake of lOVflLfj, WhO believe in the iovers ofjod and in the rcalitiI of lI4anifcstation, and yet do not pcct any spiritual or mathal reward, who do not let qo the hand of 7ruth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent clwcrfrmucss, and qivc no importance to castL; creed and religious ceremonies. 7;ltis Life will live l,y itself etenially, even if there is no one to live it. -M€her Baba

¶B


J4leher EBabds 2’Iew Life” Compiled and Written by 3rank Ei3loise, 2Iew 3ersey ithough the span ofthe New Life is relatively short, Baba was remarkably active during this period. Much more happened j 1 than can be covered in this ar tide, both from the standpoint of Baba’s actions in the gross world and from the standpoint of His spiritual work. I have tried to ,. give a representative picture of the New Life by selecting several key episodes from the many that have been recorded by those who witnessed them. The first hints of what would become known as “The New Life” appeared in early 1949, when Baba began making references to a criti cal turning point in His work. On J anuary 1st, He issued a circular stating, “The year 1949 marks an artificial end to an artificial beginfling, and the Real Beginning to the Real End!” 1 As time went on, His remarks became more striking. “Ninety percent of the mandali will have to leave me and only ten percent will remain with me. In 1949, I have no trust left in anyone, including myseW All are pardoned by me, and God will also pardon me, but henceforth no pardon 2 is possible.” Early in August 1949, Baba informed the mandali that He would be coming to Meherabad to discuss and decide about their fttture. At these meetings He began making plans for the disposal ofHis properties. He also made provisions for those who would not be able to remain with Him in the future and for the families that had been dependent on Him. During a meeting with the men mandali Baba stated, “I will allow only such persons to remain with and near me who are in ev ery respect completely ready on their own responsibility to fulfill and carry out the conditions I may lay down during these few days for that purpose. I will be beyond 3 the reach of all others.” At a subsequent meeting, Baba had Ghani read out this prayer, “May God help Baba to definitely take this step, which He is taking, to give up everything and to go away irrevocably, so that from October when He enters the New Life, there will 4 This was the first be no turning back.”

A

“By words and deeds, you should sincerely and seriously avoid giving the impression that Baba is God, Master, Sadguru or the Avatar. I will be Master in one respect alone in de manding implicit obedience. In all other respects treat me as a friend; you should be quite free in your behavior with me. But the treatment should not smack of rudeness or impudence. Barring this, indulge in fun, be merry, crack jokes, laugh—nothing will please me more. “The most important thing that will carry you safely through with me is not to be moody.Try to be happy and cheerftul. Ifat times your mood is spoiled and you get angry, try never to express it, directly or indirectly. All this is the play ofthe mind, and conscientious 6 efforts will make it adapt itself” Baba organized the New Life into three stages. He described the stages as follows: “Take the analogy of a building for ex plaining the New Life.The first stage, which is of help and training, is like determining what type ofmaterial—bricks, mortar, lime, stone, mud, et cetera—is to be utilized for the building. This stage is devoted mostly to labor. “The second stage has two parts—one of training and the other ofpracticing. Here the training will be for begging, the langoti life and labor; and the practicing will be actually in the matter ofgoing out begging wearing a kafni, in leading a langoti life, as well as in actually working in the labor phase. “This langoti, labor and begging will be tantamount to collecting the material like bricks, mortar, wood, et cetera, for the building and laying the foundation thereof. When thelast stone ofthe foundation is laid, it will correspond to complete and perfect renunciation. “The third stage will mean the construc tion of the super-structure—which will be the Real Life—ofthe building. This life has a beginning but no end. “It has already been explained before that the training and practicing period will be characterized by ordinary and normal situations and circumstances. Therefore, .

Meher Baba—October 16, 1950

time that a prayer of help was offered to God by Meher Baba. At this meeting Baba remarked, “Those who want to come with me should consider themselves as already dead. Just as a corpse has no connection or concern with anything material, does not ask questions and does not want anything, in like manner those accompanying me will have to be with me as corpses. ..I am going to see who wants to die for no particular reason 5 by going with me!” Thus began the New Life ofMeher Baba and his companions. Out ofthose who were given the option to choose between going on the New Life and remaining in the Old Life, it was finally decided, for reasons and circumstances particular to each individual, that four women and sixteen men would accompany Baba on his New Life travels. Baba had strict condi tions drafted for those who wouldjoin him, and a training period commenced. Although Baba’s role was to be as a companion among companions, He bought home to them the need for implicit obedience. Baba said: “We are all on an equal footing from now on. For us all, henceforth, there is no spiritu ality, no Master, no disciple, no miracles, no key-turning business, no hopes, no thoughts ofbenefits or ofprivations. Lookupon me as a friend who will help and advise you until the end of December.

3’


the langoti, labor and begging period for our purposes, culminating in the laying of the last stone of the foundation—which is complete and perfect renunciation—will be considered normal and ordinary irrespective ofwhat the world may think of it. “The third stage of actuallyliving inside the building—after complete renunciation has been achieved—will consist ofabnormal and extraordinary situations and circum stances. The ordinary and normal situations and circumstances will also be there. But it is the abnormal and extraordinary situations that will make you enjoy the sufferings. “I cannot say more. The life of this stage will bring in the endless end!” 7 In an interview with Naosherwan Anzar, EruchJessawala described the conditions of the New Life travels: “Primarily we had absolutely no shelter over our heads, our food was inadequate and we walked in the rain and under the burning sun, and we were exposed to the elements including the bitter cold ofwinter. Also, the companions who had never done menialjobs were required to perform them cheerfttlly and they were accomplished ungrudgingly. Moreover we had a moral responsibility to look after the women, and then there was the fear that Baba would send us back if we showed any emotion or broke orders. “It is indeed impossible for those who have not been through the New Life to com prehend the tremendous suffering each one had to undergo, but this suffering was nul lified largely by Baba’s soothing presence.” 8 The training camp was held at Belgaum, a place south of Poona. After this program was completed, Baba and the companions headed north. On average they walked ten to fifteen miles per day. They would camp in orchards, or mango groves, or even in open fields, depending on where they were when it became dark. Then, under Baba’s instructions the companions would fan out into the surrounding area and beg for food. An example of the begging experience was given by Eruch: “My duty was to be with Baba all the time, and so when we started on the road each morning I was to walk by Baba’s side, followed by the four women, then the rest ofthe mandali. “Baba would start off in the early hours ofthe morning. It was beautiftil at that time and I felt as ifl were the only free person in the whole world. Nothing mattered to me except to be by the side of the God-man, whom we were not to think of as the Godman, but as our companion. It was a real 32

delight. In the distance Baba would point to smoke settling, as it does early in the morning. Baba would point to the horizon and say, ‘look now, there is a fire there, and breakfast is being prepared for us.’ Then he would stop and ask me to cross the fields and beg something for breakfast. I would leave Baba’s side and rush through the open fields—often a long distance away. “Baba’s instructions were that after reaching the village and having begged for food, I was again to join Him at some distance along the road, because Baba wouldn’t stop the journey for the sake of my begging. He would go on ahead and I had to catch up with Him. You can imagine the speed with which I had to go and my concentration on begging for food for Baba and the women. Meanwhile the men who continued to fol low Baba had their duties to do as well, and if the chance came they too would beg.” 9 The New Life companions passed through Poona and arrived in Bombay, where they boarded a train to Benares. Soon after their arrival, Baba instructed the companions to wash their feet. Then, without warning or explanation, He touched their feet with both hands and uplifted His hands to His forehead. At this time Baba’s workwas ofgross plane consciousness; Baba was playing the part of a devotee. “During this phase of the New Life, Baba completely turned from a Master to a devotee, and His divine and human consciousness fully manifested that role perfectly—complete in every aspect.” ° After 1 touching the companion’s feet, Baba had Dr. Ghani read the following prayer: “Today the 24th December is a very significant day for me in the New Life. I ask the most merciful God to forgive me and my companions for any shortcomings and any conscious and unconscious mistakes done singly or wholly or towards each other, or personally or impersonally, relating to the conditions or otherwise, as also for any lusts angry greedy or ‘old life thoughts or desires. ‘I ask God to give fill strength to me and to my companions to stick to the oaths and to the conditions hundred percent, because He-the AU-Knowing-knows that from 1st ofJanuary 1950, there has to be no compro mise whatsoever for me and my companions in relation to our oaths and conditions. ‘I forgive you, my companions, and ask you all to forgive me and I ask God to forgive us all, not merelybywayofceremony, but as a whole-hearted pardon.’ “While this prayer was being read, the ‘

atmosphere, one could feel, had undergone a change. Baba himselfbecame very serene and composed and the glow on His face was that ofone on thejudgment set, overflowing with love, kindness and mercy. He seemed to be thejudge, the crime and culprit rolled into one moment of Eternity. After asking Ghani to translate the prayer in Hindustani for those who did not know English, Baba had Ghani read the prayer over and over again a number of times. AU through He listened to the prayer in rapt attention and then, making a gesture of forgiveness, brought the invocations to an end.” 1 The time spent in Benares, which was to last more than forty days, would be the longest stop on their journey. During this stay, Baba, throughAdi, Babadas and Eruch, contacted two local doctors, Dr. Nath, Dr. Khare, and their families with highly Unusual requests for provisions. “How much the two families were drawn into Baba’s orbit of influence can be imag med from these facts. Within a few days of settling down in Benares, Dr. Nath and Dr. Khare were asked to procure a camel-cart, a camel, two cows and two donkeys against a sum of Rs.1700. The deficit, if any over the deal, was to be made good by them in the form ofbhiksha. These two families carned out the wishes of Baba very sincerely and wholeheartedly, in spite of the limita tions of normal time plus hurry from Baba. Khare’s family went to the length of giving Baba a fine white horse, when they learned that Baba would accept it in bhiksha. This bhiksha question must be understood neces sarily in its proper context. The New Life of Baba and His companions is governed by conditions and oaths, wherein, amongst other things, one chief condition is that money is not to be touched. The begging of food had its limitations and bindings as will be clarified later. Therefore any offer of service to Baba and His companions from any individual or individuals, must satisfy the conditions of begging and must be offered as Bhiksha.” 2 Next, the companions traveled to Sar nath. In a subterranean passage at the Sar nath ruins, Baba had the men read a prayer He had written. They were instructed to read it silently, dressed only in langoti. It was at this same place that Gautum Buddha preached His first sermon of initiation to His followers. From Sarnath they proceeded to Jaunpur on their way to Dehra Dun and Hardwar. This marked the beginning of what Baba called the “gypsy life.” Baba led the way


on foot with the four women and Eruch, followed later by the whole caravan. The caravan now consisted of a white horse led by Donkin, the caravan itself pulled by a black English bull, a camel cart, a bullock cart, two cows, a calf, and two donkeys. “Passers-by were curious about this strange group of travelers. They asked the companions about their caste and sect, and where they were heading. When told the caravan was proceeding to Hardwar, they bowed in respect. For the first time in thirtysixyears, the Kumbha Mela was to be held in Hardwar, and the caravan’s destination made people think the companions were some sort 13 of monks, and the women nuns.” Their travels took them through nu merous villages and cities on the way to Dehra Dun. By the time they had reached Dehra Dun most of the animals and carts had been disposed of. During this journey Baba at times traveled by train, presumably to expedite the many contacts He was to make along the way. These were years of great turmoil in India. It was the time of partition and there were many riots and disturbances. The movements of the trains were completely disorganized. The Kumbha Mela is a great pilgrimage, all the sadhus in India feel compelled to attend. About His Kumbha Mela work Baba said: “My work has no real connection either with the Kumbha (sacred ancient tradition) or its Mela (festival). I only want to contact as many saints, sadhus and mahatmas as pos sible, and take their darshan. The Kumbha Mela has afforded me this opportunity and 14 I am taking advantage of it.” Baba contacted thousands of sadhus in Hardwar and the surrounding area. On the holy day ofRamnavni alone, Baba contacted four hundred and seventy-two sadhus and mahatmas. “As He would come across them, Baba would place His head on their feet, even stopping them on the main road, which was crowded with all sorts of traffic and mobs of people. Some sadhus were found sitting under the shade of trees, some on the banks ofthe Ganges River. Some Baba even contacted as they were bathing in the river. At one point there was a scuffle among the sadhus on the stone steps on the ghats leading down to the river, but Baba ignored beingjostled by the crowds and pushed His waythrough the mass ofnaked sadhus—get ting dirtied by their bodies’ ash and soaked by the Ganges. Such hardships He bore for the sake of this work.

“This continuous strain—incessant bending down to take darshan of holy men one after another until it numbered into the thousands, paying obeisance with bent head, or laying His forehead on their feet, or touching their feetwith His hands, and trekking mile after mile in search ofevery sadhu, mahatma and saint worthy ofthe name, and living only on one meal of rice and dal per day—finally punished Him with a severe strain on His health. Baba looked worn out, but He was determined to finish this work at any cost, because, as He indicated, He ‘derived a great joy from it.’ On March 30th, high winds were blowing down from the Himalayas and the freezing morning was piercing. Because ofthe dew, everything was damp and walking was treacherous in the wet grass and rock. Baba had a severe backache, and it was obvious to the men that the labors of His work were hurting His body. Nevertheless, at the crack of dawn, He started for Hardwar with the four cornpanions. There Baba had to walk back and forth on both sides of the road to make the continuous contacts amidst heavy traffic of motor vehicles and multitudes of pilgrims. Searching through the ashrams and camps ofsaints, sadhus and mahatmas, peering into every secluded place and recess, He found and contacted nine hundred and twenty-one more such men, bringing the total to five thousand nine hundred and three. During this phase, Baba was not repeating contact with any holy man; He would contact a saint, sadhu, mahatma, ascetic or hermit only once. As the day wore on, Baba became terribly exhausted, and returned to Motichur at a slow gait with heavy steps. “Despite the crushing fatigue, Baba contacted five hundred and thirty-two sadhus and anchorites in Hardwar the next day, March 31st 195O.” In an interview with Don Stevens, Mehera recounted the physical suffering which Baba endured during this period. “When Baba went to Motichur later and did His work contacting sadhus, He caught a serious infection. Motichur is some miles away from where we stayed, which was not in Dehra Dun proper but about five miles out of Dehra Dun. Every morning Baba would get up and get ready to contact the sadhus in Motichur, and perhaps through Baba’s working He caught an infection and got congestion of the eyes [conjunctivitis]. Baba was in great discomfort then. It was very serious. Baba’s eyes were very red. Goher took Baba to a doctor but He gave Baba some kind ofmedicine which made His eyes

worse.’ Mehru added: ‘Penicillin ointment. Baba got a very bad reaction from that, mak ing His eyes even worse than they had been. It was really. .you couldn’t see Baba without tears coming to your eyes, just seeing the 16 state His eyes were in at the time.” As of April 1st, Baba had contacted six thousand six hundred and ninety-seven sadhus and mahatmas. Pendu kept an exact account. Baba was getting noticeably weaker. His continual bowing down and rising was pushing His state ofexhaustion to a point of collapse. The companions were at a loss as to what they could do to protect His body. The next day, the date of the lunar eclipse, Baba contacted another two thousand nine hundred and sixty-five. Among them were the great ascetics and hermits of the most austere type; it was these that Baba desired to contact. Bowing down, Baba took darshan ofone ascetic or hermit after another. Baba led the men, covering about twenty-five miles for these contacts on both sides of the Ganges. It took eleven hours for Him to finish and He was so fatigued that He could no longer stand up. As Eruch recalled: “The New Life had a definite pattern, you may call it. Whatever it was, for two and a halfyears it was a new life that we led with Baba. Baba then brought us back to Meherazad in the Manonash phase. Whatever pattern He set, we started it with that training camp at Belgaum, as I told you. Then we started regularly a wandering life .

in which we wandered from place to place

without caring for shelter or food or anything of the sort. At the same time there was strict adherence to discipline, mind you. Then we were made to reach Dehra Dun, the destination as I told you. I always call that the destination. Baba had a destination in mind, so this very fact shows that it was notjust a matter ofwandering aimlessly. We

were not merely wanderers. We ‘wandered’ to our destination. There was a setting out and a destination. Those who want to lead this New Life must bear all these principles in mind. “After the destination was reached Baba divided all the companions into different groups which were given definite duties. One companion was to do gardening. Another was to open a clinic. Another was to be a night watchman because he was very healthy. Another group was sent out to Delhi to establish a business called the New Life ghee business, and in this Baba utilized the services ofthat very person who had brought all the provisions to us at Dehra Dun and

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was a cream contractor.” 7 Starting in July, Satara became the next headquarters of the New Life. Here Baba worked with the mast Au Shah. As instructed, other masts were brought to Satara. Baba’s eyes continued to trouble Him. “The strain of the work done at the Kumbha Mela had apparently aggravated the infection. There was no permanent improvement from the treatment given in Dehra Dun. One day, Eruch took him to a physician in Satara, who examined Baba and noticed tiny crystals that had formed in His eyes. After these crystals were removed, Baba’s eyes gradually improved. It was ironic that highly qualified specialists had been un able to do anything for Baba, whereas this humble doctor in the obscure town of Satara cured Him.” 8 Baba continued His work with the masts with special attention given to Chacha, the seventh plane mast brought to Baba by Baidul. Baba said that Chacha alone was worth a hundred masts. “Baba began working separately with Chacha and Au Shah, always alone in se clusion, for fixed hours every day. He would feed and care for both of them by Himself and spend most of the day with these two great souls.” 9 “Baba left Satara for Poona by car on August 9th, 1947, with Eruch, Adi Sr. and brotherJal. Baidul had taken Au Shah back to Meherabad and met them in Poona the following day. From there they visited the towns of Sangamner, Kopargaon, Aurang abad, Yeola, Jalna, Hyderabad, Sholapur, Barsi and other places for mast work—much ofit in pouring rain.” 0 Baba and the New Life companions’

travels continued at a whirlwind pace. They traveled throughout the entire country They went to Bihar and Nepal in the north, Calcutta in the east, Hyderabad and Madras in the south, and Bombay in the west. Toward the end ofthe New Life period, while He was staying in a bungalow in Hy derabad, Baba asked the men to find a cave nearby. One day when some of the com panions were in the market in Hyderabad, they came to know of a person who was manufacturing bamboo mats. They asked him whether he knew of any cave nearby which was easy to reach and where they could stop for some days. He said he did, and that he would accompany them. The next day Pendu and Eruch accompanied him to the cave. When they saw it they approved of it at once. The only problem was that there was no water on the hill except for a stagnant pool. It was very dirty and they didn’t know if Baba would like it. Eruch recalled: “We asked the man to make preparations for us, and we were very happy. There was also a shrine there to a certain saint, a wall. The peculiarity ofthe shrine was that there was no roofor shade over the tomb although the wall is much revered in that area. Thousands believe in him. Later we found out that some time before they had decided to build a shade over the shrine. They tried their best several times, but within a few days it was always blown off. Finally they gave up trying to provide any shelter over the tomb of the wali. “We took Baba there for inspection, and Baba liked the spot and ordered us to proceed further with the work. He gave certain instructions about a separate room that he needed there.” “Baba liked the cave also, but the cave didn’t need any provision for rooms. Itwas a good cave f:r Baba’s use just as it twas. “A day was then ‘d for us ) cart all our small pieces of luggage there. We were to stay for some One ofBabac requirernentsfor the location ofthe cave was that it have days, and two sainti shrines nearby. from there :

Don Stevens entering the cave

Baba told us we would walk all the distance to wherever we were next to go when his work was finished.

t this cave,

he said, he would skirt the work of7I4anonash n

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“We prepared ourselves, and the day came when we had to transfer the bags. In the luggage, packed in a trunk, were the five emblems [models] made of soft white stone which I spoke ofearlier: the Christian church, the Buddhist temple, the fire-urn of

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Inside the cave, looking to the entrance


it started moving. I

thought that somehow I would be able to stop it. I tried to cling to it as it gathered momen tum down the slope. I ran after the car like a mad man, trying to clutch something to hold onto it, but there was no room, not even a footboard. The windows were all rolled up, so I had no way to steer the car or to try to get in Babac requirernentfor the location was that it be near two bodies ofwater to do the Zoroastrians, the Muslim mosque and something. I just tried the Hindu temple. as if to caress the car “These were Baba’s ‘toys’ to play with as as I ran beside it...I had He started His Manonash work. We did locked the doors, and I not know what He wanted to do with these had no way to unlock things, but He wanted us to carry them to them now, because it the hill. I packed them, and Gustadji, Baidul, was already going at Pendu and I were to take the luggage there. 10 to 15 miles an hour Then I had to take the car back to Baba. and gathering speed. The next day Don (Donkin) was to drive There were toddy palms us back to the spot with Baba, and work about-like date palms. :

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They often grow very tall, but sometimes they tend towards the earth in a sloping fashion. You won’t believe it, but the car jumped over many of these trees, and it -_z over rocks like a horse, I tell you! By now all the mandali were down there, just watching. They were dazed.They didth know --

No mistaking the location ofthe cave. All the surrounding rocks have directional arrows

would then start. “When we arrived all together near the hill I parked the car in a spot suitable to stop and park a car. The other mandali started ahead to inspect the place and see whether the work was finished so that we could take the luggage up later. When I had stopped the car some urchins gathered around and started asking questions. It was for this rea son I had to be particularly careful, and so I locked all the doors. “In the meantime the mandali had not gone even halfway up the hill, and I started to follow them. Then, all ofa sudden, when I was about ten yards away from the car,

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Agra. They were made in Agra, by the way, in the north, near Delhi. [The models had been made] to special specifications given by Baba. Many things had been done to get them just right, you see, and I was very afraid for them. I thought that all of them had certainly been smashed by now. But, what do I find after the car had taken a run of about three quarters of a mile? It went into a paddy field, and there it got stuck. It was a miracle, I should say. Slowly, I got my breath back, walked down to the car and then opened the door. I thought that the oil pump and everything must have been broken, and Baba had asked me to bring

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the car back to take Him to the cave early next morning with Donkin. I did not know what to do. Sitting down in the driver’s seat I tried the engine. It started, but at once it began making a very peculiar noise, in fact a frightftd noise. I said, ‘It’s all broken.’ So I just kept quiet, full of desperation. You see, I was frightened, really frightened. “In the meantime we were expecting a truckload offuel to be delivered for our use. You know the type called ‘faggots’? We had to have a fire there so we had ordered some 22 wood for fire.”

what to do. For the first time in my life, and I hope it will be the last, I was really frightened. I was not worried about the car or our luggage. There was no luggage, practically, but I was very worried about those models. Baba had told me especially to be very, very careful of them, because only r after long delay had we Inside the cave,from left to right: Marfr Succof Bob Fredricks, Gopal Di: finally gotten them from Vènkataswarny, Balaji & Don Stevens

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When the truckload of wood arrived, Eruch asked the driver to help him tow the car out of the paddy 1.b field. They towed it to level ground. Eruch looked under the car to assess the damage. Mud and straw had lodged into the engine compart ment. Eruch cleaned out the debris as best he could. I He again tried the engine, this time it started. There was nothing mechanically wrong with the car. Moreover, it didn’t have as much as a scratch on it. Eruch un locked the car and removed the trunk containing the models. To his amazement, they had not been cracked or damaged in any way. :• When Eruch arrived with , ; the models, Baba asked why *4 I 1-” he was late. Had anything happened? Was everything all right? Baba was amused to hear about the incident and had a good chuckle. % % The next day Manonash p. . work started. Now that hill where the cave is located is I in an area called Khojagudda where eunuchs were kept Adi K Irani (.fMeher Baba,foiowedby Gustadji, go begging on the New Lift in Benares, India—i 949 during the Mogul regime. It 9 Tales from the New Life. ©1976, AMBP was a beautiful place, with a “Ceremonies, rites and rituals of all re palm grove. Baba asked Eruch to place the ligions in the world are hereby consumed PCT, p. 29 10 Lord Meher, ©1979-1985 Lawrence Reiter, models on a ledge of stone inside the cave in flames.” and leave. The five models representing the Baba ordered a pit to be dug behind the p. 3492 11 The New Life ofAvatar Meher Baba, ©Adi five major world religions, the Buddhist cabin and filled with firewood. At sunset, on temple; the Muslim mosque; the Hindu January 31, 1952, Baba called for the men k. Irani, p. 6 12 Ibid. p. temple; the Christian church; and the fire companions and lit a dhuni fire in the pit. 4 13 Lord Meher, ©1979-1985 Lawrence Reiter, holder or urn ofthe Zoroastrians, were cen Baba then removed the slip of paper from tral to Baba’s manonash work. He sat alone His pocket and had Eruch read out the lines 3513 p. 14 Ibid. p. inside with them from 8 pm to 3 am, as the forcefully. Baba then tore up the paper and 3576 15 Ibid. p.p. 3577-3578 companions kept watch outside. Baba con- tossed it in the fire.This marked the conclu cluded His work there with this message: sion of Manonash and the endless end of 16 Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba. “I am well and my work in the cave has the New Life. ©Adi k. Irani, pp. 165-166 17 Ibid. pp. 120-121 been one hundred percent successftil. Today 18 Lord Meher, ©1979-1985 Lawrence Reiter, I will start on a foot journey to Mehrazad 1 Lord Meher, ©1979-1985 Lawrence Reiter, via Aurangabad.” 23 7 l 36 p. 19 Ibid, p. When Baba returned to Meherazad, he p. 75 l 3 3381 2 20 Ibid. p. called for the models to be placed on a shelf Ibid. 3185 21 Annihilation of the Mind (self). -Vedanta. inside the cabin that had been brought down 3 Ibid. p. 3383 from seclusion hill to the porch in front of 4 Ibid. p. Sufi: the final fana. 3393 5 Ibid.p.3397 22 Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba Mandali Hall. Baba used the cabin for a period of intense seclusion, which lasted 6 Ibid. p. ©Adi k. Irani, pp. 10-12 3442 2 Lord Meher, ©1979-1985 Lawrence Reiter, for eight days. During this seclusion, Baba 7 Ibid. p. 3483 had Eruch write these words on a small 8 The Ancient One, ©1985 by Naosherwan p. 3731 piece of paper: Anzar, p.Sl 36

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T/ic building in MahabaleshzL’ar in which Baba gave the New Lif Sermon (‘Love & Knou’ledge, below). These had been the stables on the estate ofthe Aga Khan, at whose invitation Baba had staved

Salk1 &cks 3Qrgivcness aba asked God’s forgiveness for not being able to live the New Life, adopted last October 16th, 1949, as He wanted. He Himself forgave all the New Life companions for not being able to live up to the New Life conditions as He wanted and, in turn, asked the companions to forgive Him, which the3r did.

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Donkin then read Baba’s Sermon:

Love Sr 3<nowkdge eingjust now in the Old Life for these few hours, I will tell you what I feel to be the established divine facts: Essentially, we are all One. The feeling ofour being otherwise is due to ignorance. Soul desires consciousness to know itself; but in its progress toward this Goal, which it cannot realize independently of creation, it must undergo the experience which it gathers as the individualized ego, and which is all imagination. Thus, it is faced at the outset with ignorance instead of Knowledge.

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Dual forms and illusionary creations are the outcome of ignorance: birth and death, happiness and nilser virtue and sin, good and bad all are equally the manifestation of this same ignorance. Ybu were never born and will never die; you never suffered and will never suffer; you ever were and ever will be, as separateness exists only in imagination. —

Soul undergoes experience through innumerable forms such as being king and beggar, rich and poo; tall and short, strong and weak, beautiful and ugl of killing and being killed. All these experiences must transpire as long as the Soul though it is One in reality and undivided imagines separateness in itself When Soul is bereft of the impressions of these illusionary experiences, it becomes naked as in its origin, to become now filly conscious of its unity with the Oversoul which is One, Indivisible, Real and Infinite. —

The Soul becomes free of the binding of impressions through various paths. And Love is the most important of these paths leading to the Realization ofGod. Through this love, the Soul becomes entirely absorbed in God, ultimately forgetting itselfcompletely. It is then that, all ofa sudden, Knowledge comes as swiftly as the lightning bolt which burns to ashes all that it falls upon. This Knowledge uproots illusions, doubts and worries, and apparent sufferings are instantaneously replaced by everlasting peace and eternal bliss, which is the Goal of all existence. The Soul now free from its illusions, realizes its original Unity of Being. Let us not hope, because this Knowledge is beyond hoping and wanting. Let us not reason, because this Knowledge cannot be coinprehended or thought of Let us not doubt, because this Knowledge is the certainty ofcertainties. Let us notlive the life ofthe senses, because the lust; greed3; false and impure mind cannot reach this Knowledge. Let us love God as the Soul of our souls, and in the height of this Love lies this Knowledge. The divinely Perfect Ones can bestow this Knowledge on anyone thc’ like, and whenever they like. Maywe all gain this Knowledge soon.


J3aba in the JVlountctins— I._1L1

ngeles Love Story 4 Los )irqiiiia 2<t1tIi!_I Zi-lill, 2’4IL)rft)lk, 7

ince I live on the “right coast” I can’t get of this type. But the L. A. group takes it all to the Los Angeles Baba center’s annual a little farther, gives it a special spin. For Silence Day Sahavas every year, but I never example, since many members are part of regret spending the time or the money to the worldwide entertainment industry cen travel three thousand miles to the “Lunatic tered in Hollywood, a professional audioAsylum” (Bhauji’s term for L. A.), and have video studio sets up its equipment in the done so long enough to see small children meeting hall to provide top-quality sound become young adults, and often enough amplification and tape all proceedings for to form lasting friendships. I always reap posterity These tapes will join the lending tremendous rewards. Let me describe this library ofMeherabode when duplicates can year’s conclave for you. be made, and someone responsible to handle Planning and preparations for an event of the shipping & receiving of the videos can this magnitude (200 to 300 participants) go be found. on year-round. Sahavas committee workers Furthermore, since the Los Angeles must serve sefflessly and overcome countless Baba Center, whose home is known as hurdles. Have they enough money? Enough food? Did enough raffle tickets sell to pay for the Sweepstakes winner’s ticket to India? Were registration packets mailed in time? Will Bhau come? Special guests must commit, a serious fundraising effort demands many manhours, exacting standards apply to written materials, mailings and announcements; committees must , meet to arrange child care, health *‘, care, the housing and feeding of I about three hundred sahavasees, — ,t and to organize a varied program of talks, workshops, performances It v_’aS (1(!t to havL’ Gigi ] 1iccsL’n /‘ack iii the 3 and entertainment for each age group. As with many such endeavors, 90% Meherabode, sponsors that remarkable ofthe work fails on the shoulders of 10% of Love Street Bookstore, managed by Dma the workers. Snow and featuring over 900 different items, I guess that part is the same for any event a large truckload ofbooks, bumper stickers, bangles, Baba buttons, L boxes, bags, back issues of the Love Street LampPost, baby clothes, and various other mer chandise, must make the 100-mile trek into the mountains. Its packing, ;•. unpacking, shelving, arranging display and L organization require a •i fairly massive effort for the lucky few tasked withthisproject,among . whom I am one (thank The Thddy ‘r lS a greatplace/àr .stohangout.At this session, you Baba). The process Charles Gibson, Scott Mak€ig and Ron Greensteinjarn on of transforming a large 38

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arts-and-crafts room into a full-fledged retail outlet always has a very attractive and popular outcome. Our truck also carried components ofthe Chai BabaToddy Shop, a Fred Stankus/Gigi Dreissen operation, which featuresjunk food of massive proportions from rugala to ice cream, delicious, nutritious (no that is not an oxymoron!) gourmet sausages, hot homemade chai (first cup free), hot dogs and even hot samosas with assorted chutneys. This popular hangout tends to attract any unoc cupied musicians; informaljam sessions here are as much an attraction as the international menu, served until midnight each night. th This year marks the event’s 29 and its 27t1 at the Pilgrim Pines location, a United Methodcamp above Oak Glen, near ucaipa, on the outskirts of San _ernardino, a major city north of Los Angeles. This is not wilderness camping. Pilgrim Pines, perched on the slope of a mountain in a large orest, has many comforts: a scattenng ofcabins with double bunks, shower houses, large dining hail and kitchen, office and infirmary, volleyball courts, playing fields and __t areas, swimming pooi, ropes course, hiking trails, fire pit, and a large hail with a big stage. New to camp this year: a meditation labyrinth. Camp staff accustomed to accommodating this group, knows our proclivities: among sahavasees one finds all age groups, all food preferences, several disabilities and health concerns. They like us. We like them. A good fit. This year they needed us to va cate our cabins by eight in the morning on the last day, so they might prepare for the following group. This urgent directive became a runningjoke later during the Bobby Manonash Show, as characters appeared on stage bearing suitcases. A very nice touch this year was a sign at the Pilgrim Pines driveway just exactly like the one in Meherabad, only this one read “SAHAVAS/WAY UP” instead of “SAMADHI/WAY UP,” The crisp mountain air feels hot in the daytime and chilly at night. I’m told sometimes it rains here and the big gully behind -

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im & DoloresJohnson” (Billy & Pam Goodrum) challenge the Haffendens toaplay off

The StillYet More Chamber Players (Pris & chris Haffenden keep an eye on the challengen

the meeting hail is a flash-flood hazard, but I always find the climate very dry and force myself to keep drinking water. The steepsided rocky riverbed is usually where I spot California brown bears, the ones on the state flag. They smell the food in the dumpsters, food which we are careful to keep out of our cabins. (Last year they came right into three cabins soon after we left.) The night we arrived, Dma spotted one just outside the women’s toilets. This idyllic setting suits us as well. So the set-up crew leaves the smog ofthe lowland basin to break out into the hills on Wednesday, a day ahead of the guests, and sweeps the stage, assembles the bookstore, raises the pandal above the toddy shop, tests the microphones, connects countless cables, finalizes registration packets. Long into the night the volunteers are busier than the elves in Santa’s workshop. I can hear some other group chanting in a drum circle down the hill as I carry messages around the camp. When we finally hit the sack I yearn for mosquito netting but find insect repellent is effective against the biters who got past

theme for the event. This year we have the the screens. By the time guests start puffing in late famous “Ancient One” photo with this ex cerpt from the Universal Message: Thursday morning, most preparations are complete. Carload after carload disgorges sleeping bags and guitars and luggage and families from near and far. Some bring tents and camp out, but most settle into cabins. Car pools and shuttle buses run back and forth to the Ontario airport all day and traffic peaks before we gather for dinner at 6 PM. Every day, visitors show up Last Sahavas Bhau displaved his musical abilities on the triangle, this who can only attend year—the harmonica! part of the event, even though it is a long drive 4ll this world confusion and chaos was into back country, and they are not just on inevitable and no one is to blame. What had to the way to someplace else. The presence of happen has happened; and what has to happen these short-timers speaks to the high quality willhappen. There was and is no way out except of the Sahavas experience. through my coming inyour midst. Ihadto come, Shrieks of greeting tell us old friends andlhave come. lam theAncient One.” have reconnected. New Sahvasees always experience a warm wel friendships forged here come, a wide array of choices of activities, can last a long time, a great setting, a vibe of love and comradeand I enjoy meeting ship, and Baba’s almost palpable presence people in person whom among us. J have connected with This year as usual we start offThursday’s in cyberspace previ schedule with an orientation meeting to dis _7 Sahavas resembles cuss danger: bears, forest fire, flash flood, and Meherabad and Myrtle a new rule this year that we must all wash our Beach in that respect. hands carefhllybefore meals. We sing a verse The registration of”Row row row your boat” together because packet always contains this tune lasts the correct amount of time a nicely enlarged black for effective germ removal. (Later I discover and white photo of that reciting the “Beloved God” prayer takes Baba with an appropri me the exact same number of seconds, and ate quotation to set the a Kalchuri! I changed my tune.) Each cabin is sched .

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ment. Lois understood _t a child in a Baba family can feel isolated if all his friends attend 4 irch on Sunday. No Longer children, these MMs maintain close to each other and to Baba. Their program became an international movement, spawning an East-West gathering of in India and Youth teens Sahavases in Australia --‘ci Myrtle Beach. Feisty Maestro Kaichuri—Black Belt—takes on 12 robust men! Are the Miniatures tomorrow’s Baba-com uled to assist with serving the family-style munity pillars? Maybe tomorrow is already meals and bussing the tables and our leaders urge us not to shirk this duty Everything else is optional. Lois Jones invented the Meher Miniatures group almost thirty years ago, providing an informal program of activities for youthful sahavasees. Not only did she offerjunk food and a parent-free zone, she encouraged the kids to strut their stuffin talent shows and panel discussions in this non-criti cal, friendly environ..

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At theAdult Thlent Show, Steve Shev plays ‘Begin the Beguine”on his balalaika 40

here. Lois announced the appointment of her successor, and the change of command took place during orientation. Mitchell Rose then took the stage and soon had one side of the hail competing against the other in a modified game of cha rades, with a volunteer for each team taking turns reading out Baba quotes using only an alphabet board and body English while a stopwatch determined the winner. Once the competitive spirit engaged, guerrilla tactics followed, with the losing team, out of turn, calling out random words (“Infinity! Godhood! Sheriarji!”) with enthusiasm, but the winners won by a mile. With our first dinner together (and I think the staff does a great job with the food), the regular daily Sahavas routine kicks in. Arti begins at 7 PM, then a talk by Bhauji drew most grownups, while Meher Minia tures and children convened separately. When Bhauji finished, the room filled again with an audience eager to see the famous Bobby Manonash Show. Its parody

Pivfessor Mitthell Rose leading Laugh Lessons

of the old Johnny Carson television show was probably lost on the younger set, but it offered prime entertainment for all. Bobby Manonash (JeffMaguire) hosted guests including musicians Chris and Pris Haffenden for a battle of guitar-and-woodwind duos ( against the ridiculous competition of some unknown weirdoes from New York—so they said!) and Mr. Kalchuri (who successftilly battled a dozen stalwart and aggressive thugs), while his sidekick, Ed McMaya (Fred

CeceliaAdams (originallyfrom the Phillzppines) charmed us with a sensualyet elegantly beautful, Hawaiian dance


Young Musical Guest Steve Sadono gave a brilliant p eiforrnance ofLiszts B Minor Sonata

Stankus), provided a foil for his banter and read a commercial for a mind-annihilating pill. The product proved so effective that Ed

4

Brian Dolan, another Musical Guest, was very impressive with one ofhis own compositions

was locked into a frozen mindless state with blank gaze and immobile limbs until once again Mitchell Rose took the stage. Mr. Rose taught a “Laughter Class” for the audience, instructing us in specific ways to laugh (a high pitched titter, a deep “HUH” and so forth), each signaled by his appropriate hand gestures. He then proceeded to direct us, like a conductor with an orchestra, in a symphony oflaughter. The resultant cacophony was so pants-wettingly funny it awakened even Ed McMaya from his mast-like state. What better way to celebrate Baba than with gales of laughter?

Billy and the kids

The whole show maintamed a fine level of mirth throughout, with originality and little reminders of Whose presence we were in. Except for revelers in the toddy shop, bunks started to fill with tired Sahavasees around ten and most cabins quieted by eleven. (Earplugs are popular acces sories— thoughtfully Musical GuestJosh Lee dazzled us with hisJazz inteiretations made available in the OnThursday, the weather sparkled, again Love Street Bookstore— since most cabins but the altitude (4,500 feet) caused brilliant, contain at least one snorer.) The stars swirled of breath as I hurried upshortness little a around in unbelievable multitudes. hill to get to 8 am breakfast. Registration of new arrivals continued all day. The crew decorating the main stage used yards and yards of rainbow-hued silky stuff like the wings ofa huge butterfly, and pots and pots of blooming plants, plus a sparidy golden garland around Baba’s six-foot tall central portrait. This fill day ofactivities included an op for everyone to create an original portunity i work ofart by painting a design on a ceramic tile for use in the new Pilgrim Center. This I project has been described elsewhere and I found it great fun. However, I did not at first understand that a disconcerting characteristic of the ceramic dyes we use as paint is that these do not take on their final color until they are fired. At the painting stage they seem pale shadows oftheir future selves. One has to employ much imagina tion, and take on faith the representation of the ultimate hue made by the project managers. I have no clue what my Seclu sion Hill landscape will look like when it Mia Campagna charmedus with an amazingly mature operatic aria,followed by a torchy ballad comes out of the kiln, but I greatly enjoyed

4’


The rousing Grand Finale,fraturing all ofthe musicalguests, had the crowd on z’heirfeet, dancing with gay abandon

Meher Miniatures—al/grown up—brought tears to LoisJones’ eyes with their heartfelt thanksfor heryears ofservice

Rustorn & Sohrab Irani, Babai nephews, give a talk at the Sahavas

making it anyway. There were speakers and activities all day, and some folks found their way to the medi tation maze or the pooi. A constant flow of customers kept the bookstore hopping. On Friday I was finally able to hear Rustom and Sohrab Irani, Baba’s brother

Behram’s twin sons, tell that famous story about how one of them dressed up as Ann Conlon and fooled most of the Mandali back in the sixties. Their tales fascinated me; Baba had a hand in every facet of their early lives, from the moment of their birth, naming them by telegram and then visiting the hospital ) point out which ras which. As they ()t older Baba made them wear nametags so they could be told apart. To quote: “I am God in human form, I know ev rything, but I don’t w which one is Rustom and which one is Sohrab.” Ofzn required to tell okes and perform :.i to entertain BabaatGuruprasad Some tiles were breathtaking works ofart—all werepaintedfrorn the heart while young, they

I

I

v1

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remain skilled performers and spellbinding tellers ofdelightfül tales. Lunch was served outdoors on Friday and Saturday, and we seated ourselves on the low stone wall circling the asphalt vol leyball court. Talent shows for adults and youth were loaded with marvels, this year featuring an authentic Polynesian folk dance, the magic ofHugh MacDonald, a poem by Rumi recited in Farsi, music performed by Karl Moeller, Charles Gibson, Steve She Ron Greenstein and others, even an original ghazal by Irma Sheppard. Bhau’s daughter, Sheila Fenster, spoke movingly of her childhood with Baba (playing pranks on Padri, friendship with Doctor Donkin.) Bhau’s presentations continued, mostly to packed rooms. Esfandiar Vesali often gathered little groups around him to talk about his Prem Ashram days. Musical performances met a high standard; I especiallyfound Mia Campagna’s sets enjoyable. She was able to get this confirmed opera-phobe enjoying her arias, and her rock and roll was rollicking too. I wished Billy


Goodrum could have appeared more. Toward the end of our most enjoyable mountain sojourn, Adele Wolkin took the stage and reminded us ofLoisJones’ earlier announcement of the change of command for Meher Miniatures programs. Adele asked us to consider the decades of service that Lois contributed to build the Meher Miniatures, and invited participants up on stage to reminisce. Some are in their thirties now. All offered moving comments about the positive influence, the lasting friendships, the rich opportunities, the accepting atmosphere, and even the junk food. They struck me as empowered, confident and easy-going folks who knew they had been blessed by this experience. One of the final items on the agenda is the drawing (by Rustom and Sohrab) of the Fly-to-India Sweepstakes winner. This year the lucky traveler is Alicia Carter, a relative newcomer to Baba (a fewyears) from Berke ley, near San Francisco. Her friend Louise Barrie told her if she came to Sahavas, she would win the trip! But I spoke with Louise, who denies having a special pipeline to Baba’s universal mind, and says she was merely trying to entice Alicia to attend. My favorite part ofSahavas is always the Dhuni held on the last night. We watch the movie “Parvardigar” together, then maintain silence as we walk down the hill to a fire pit. Silence continues as we take our seats on circular benches, then a special guest throws in the first stick. We sing the artis, recite the prayers, then we sing all the old songs, from “Begin the Beguine” to “The Manonash Calypso” long into the night. The countless stars overhead decorate the spectacular mountain scenery and Baba’s embrace warms us as we prepare to say goodbye for another year. I can’t wait to go to the next one. Did they set the dates yet?

J V 1 knnwhu1e, EB&k at the 2?anch... After the &tluivcts, we were graced with 13lutu’s presence for another week. Lucky us! ç.After Ei31tau left, we had our annual ¶Picnic here at A’l eherabode. 3un, games, friendship and good food.

% :4%\

We all shot baskets with Kennedy McIntosh, our residentpro Below: Steve Beriy & Rob Thornbuin in a mean game ofpingpong

I EJfyou wmt to know anjthtng of 1 then catch 9od and to reach Shim

hold of cBaba:s diamaii. ou carc for9od and care for 11 Jf ,Iove and tfyou have the desire for Ltrnon ivith9od 1 then the ou1 solu hon is to catch hold of 3nba

s ;%

43


fli

EBabn from

4e:oe!

3ohn J2age .Secretary We have a lot ofnew things going on at Meherabode: the end of June we had a much publicized Community Building Day. All of Baba’s lovers in the Southern California area were invited to attend. The day was modeled after a similar successful event at Meherabad earlier in the year. The idea was to get everyone to come and participate—to listen to others and share oneself. All were free to say just about anything about the Center— doubts, disappointments, hopes, dreams, joy—whatever moved one. More than 60 people attended and shared intimately. One of the key components of our Center’s Community Building effort was the Questionnaire that was passed out to all attendees. It was later mailed out to Baba’s lovers in Southern California who had been unable to attend. The results of the Questionnaire were tabulated and a report was made to the Center’s Board in J uly. The report was also posted on our Center’s Internet Message Board. You can read the report on line or download a copy in pdf format (see below for url). One of the key points people made in response to the Questionnaire was that they wanted meetings on Saturday instead of Sunday. So, beginning in

A

October our meetings will move to Saturday night. Check our Message Board for up-to-the-minute details. We have a new Internet Message Board available for use by Baba’s lovers all over the world. Go to: http://pub99.ezboard.com/ bmeherabode From there you can navigate to different areas of interest. For the most part, our Meherabode Message Board has become a place for freely posting announcements about Center events and activities. It has yet to evolve into a true discussion board with lively dialog, sharing of interests, Baba-related personal stories and such. Unlike a static web site—this is interactive and you can post things without requiring someone’s permission— or knowing html coding! Anyone can post items to the Message Board. You merely need to sign in and become a member. It’s free—and then you can post. You needn’t sign in and register, however, as a free member to read. One of the most wonderful outcomes of our Community Building Day was the formation of a monthly volunteer work group, entitled, “Labor of Love.” For the rest of the year they will be meeting on the first Saturday of the month. You can find more detailed information on our Meherabode Message Board. Another “something new” at our Center is our eTree. This supplements ( and for some replaces) our old Phone Tree. People who wish timely updates and the occasional urgent message can get them via email rather than via phone. You can sign up by sending a request to: meherabode@mehermontessori. org

WiU mid Worry (I’juaiity implies scparatcness. Separateness causes fear. ear makes womj. Li

7_lIe way of Oneness is the way to happiness; the way of manyness is the way to fllomJ.

3 am the one who has no second So 3 am eteriially happy.

Eou are separats from your Selj so you always womj.

7•o you, what you see is absolutely real; fri me it is absolutely false. 3 alone am 2?eal and my will governs the cosmic illusion. 3t is the truth ivheii 3 say that the waves do not roll and the leaves do not move without my will. lie moment the intensity ofyour faith iii my will reaches its height you say goodbye to womj forewr. 7lien, all that you suffered and enjoyed in the pasi together with all that you may experience in the future, will be to you oving and spontaneous expression of my will; the most 1 and iiothing will aer be able to cause you womj again. ‘-1W

and more iii the resent itihiicli is ever beautiful and stretches away beyond the limits of the past and the future. :If at all you must worry, it be let how to remember me constantly. 7his is worthwhile worry it because will bring about the end of womj. Live more

7liink of me more and more, and all your worries will disappear iiito the nothing they really are. will A4y works out to awaken you to this. “The Eveiything and the Nothing” by Meher Baba, page 62. Copyright 19o3, Meher House

Publications, Australia.


A j3flbtT 2tome fNeeds 1 A Baba Lover October vVoods, Oregon moved to Myrtle Beach about six months after my husband died, my friend and matron of honor, Faith Knox, preceding my move by three months. We did what we could to settle in—two widows, two friends in Baba. Faith surprised me by buying a little brick home right away, then I found the retirement condo of my dreams (with an award winning swimming pool) about two months later, with other Baba lovers in the same complex. The neighborhood is directly across from the Center on Kings Highway. I named the condo, “Nazar’s Nest” and every item in it was purposely placed and agreed upon with Baba—if it didn’t fall off the wafl, Baba liked it! During this time of settling in, I was able to make my first and only pilgrimage to India. One of the most ecstatic moments there came shortly after an hour’s repetition of Baba’s name with Mohammed the mast. I knew we had com municated with one another very well (he’d chased two other women pilgrims off the porch that morning) while facing each other for an hour our eyes upon one another. Little did I know how important those moments with Mohammed would be. Skipping many details, I will say that upon returning home, something was mak ing its presence known in my bedroom. I asked Faith to stay over with me one night and she said she saw an emaciated ghost figure hovering over me as I slept. A few nights later, I felt the presence of this being and I opened my eyes to look at the face of Mohammed, whose picture I had enshrined on mywall. I silently called his name for help and turned over in my bed to thank him but he was all bent over backside pulling a foglike figure by its ear out the bedroom door. When Bhauji came to Myrtle Beach shortly thereafter, he had heard about my plight with the ghostly thing and Mohammed’s rescue through Katie Irani, with whom I’d shared my story. During his first evening’s talk at the Center, Bhau mentioned that Mohammed was the chargeman of all thought and could read the mind of anyone who called on him, and, as a fifth plane saint, could bi-locate! I admit to being stunned. Then, I received a call from Anita Deni son and she said Bhau wanted to come to my home right then! So of course I made him welcome and gave him a “tour” of the

I

condo. He saw the exquisite painting of Mehera praying and one of Katie Irani that presided over the household—paintings by Charlie Mills. Bhau said theywere beautiftil and his face lit up. Then I explained about all the gold beveled mirrors hanging on the living room wall. They were the result of a repeated dream sequence occurring two years earlier. I was married at the time and told my husband that the long hallway to the bedrooms was a perfect gallery space for art. Ira said to hang what I wanted. That night, same dream sequence, but this time, Mehera came to me and said, “What about me?” and I thought, “Ofcourse! I need representations ofthe feminine face ofGod!” and decided to insert pictures ofMehera between those of Baba. Third night, same dream sequence: a little wrinkled up man in a bright shirt came to me and said, “What about me?” and I awoke with the thought, “Of course! I need to include the elderly, and babies, and people ofcolor and people with disabiities...and oh, there wasn’t room for all the possibilities!” So I discussed my conundrum to Ira at breakfast and he said with a gentle smile, “Well, you sure put yourself in a fix; I can’t make the wall any bigger.” And I said, “Ira, this is serious; what shall I do?” And Ira looked at me with all the patience ofhis Cherokee heritage calming a pup and said quietly, ‘Ask Baba.” And so, that night before climbing into bed, I got on my knees and asked—nay, begged—Baba to turn the key and unlock the solution for me. Next morning when I awoke, I flew out of bed jumping with excitement into the kitchenette (where all our important conversations took place) and said, “Guess what? Baba turned the key! I’m going to hang mirrors!” And Ira looked at me like I had just arrived from another planet and repeated, “Mirrors?” And I said, “Yes! Baba said if I didn’t see Him when I looked into the mirror each day, and if I didn’t see Him in my neighbor’s face, and if I didn’t see Him when I looked at the poor, the starving, the young and the old, that I had missed His message entirely.” “Yep,” Ira said, “we’re hanging mirrors.” Bhauji liked my story and liked the mir rors and said, “Now how about a look at your bedroom?” And I took him, with entourage, into the master suite. He saw large photos of Mehera and Baba over the fireplace and pictures of some of the mandali (which I

called my”shadowbox shrines”), and pointed out the leopard spots against the silk roses of the background for his photo shrine, as he wore spotted leopard suspenders in the picture. He really appreciated the thoughtftil detail and said, “October, there is no ghost here but the holy.” And then he embraced me, held me, and looked into my eyes so sweetly before thanking me for showing him such hospitality My medical condition has called me back to the Oregon doctors and a likely protracted—maybe permanent—stay. And so “Nazar’s Nest” is up for sale. It is a sec ond floor condo with a deck that looks out over two mature magnolia trees and one cedar. There’s greenway to walk barefoot to the pool about a block’s walk on the grass. There are two bedrooms, and two baths. And two very large walk-in closets. There is a new washer and dryer in the hallway closet covered in floor length mirrors on bi fold doors. Two phone lines and cable. The bathrooms and kitchen are filly upgraded with new surfaces and appliances. I’m asking $74,500 and need to tell you the place needs a new heat pump. A very spirituallybeautiftil woman by the name ofAnne Smith is the realtor showing the Nest. She is not a conscious Baba lover but she is conscious of stewardship of the land and all that is holy. Please contact her at Chicora Realty (Chicora is the name of the Native American people andland there.) Office number is 888-272-8700 x135 Fax: 1-843-272-3634. Cell: 1-843-902-2748. E-mail: annesmith@chicora.net.


I4ount Celebrating JA/Ieher Bnba at J4kher 7 ._.A’larqtiict

it-igi, us,

Loiiq ¶i3eacli Califorii hi

Memorial to Agnes Baron

The sign that greets visitors to Meher Mount

his 1956 visit to Meher Mount

in Ojai, California, Avatar Meher Baba fuñng said, “I love Meher Mount very much and feel happy here. This land is very old, I have been here before.” On Saturday,August2,2003, more than 60 people gathered at Meher Mount to celebrate the 47th anniversary ofAvatar Meher Baba’s visit. The mood wasjoyfiil and many remarked Baba’s love in the air. Special guests included Esfandiar Vesali, Adele Woilcin and Darwin Shaw (via audio Mi. Vesali, a student in Meher Baba’s Prem Ashram, had a straighfforward message

on feeling tape).

for those who attended,”Love Baba.” He also talked about his lifetime ofinner work of fo cusing on Meher Baba and loving Him more and more. Darwin Sha who visited Meher Mount with Baba in 1956, graciously recorded his and Jeanne Shaw’s memories of their time at Meher Mount with Meher Baba. These memories will be part of his soon-to-bepublished book on his life with Meher Baba. Darwin Shaw also said he was sure that Baba had left a “fountain of invisible energy” at Meher Mount. Adele Wolkin was also one of those dis ciples who visited with Meher Baba, and she

.

.

, .

‘ii

.

\;

.

Billy Goodrumprovides some tunes

I :iJ L

The chimney is all that remains ofthL’ house L’hc’1L’ Baba was—it was destroyed by fire.

shared her remembrances. She stressed how playftil and relaxed Baba was atMeher Mount compared to His outlook in Los Angeles in the previous days. She recounted intimate and humorous incidents as well as describing Baba’s tour of the property guided by Agnes Baron and His sitting alone for a while under the great live oak Agnes had named “Baba’s Tree.” She read a quote from a 1956 letter written by Adi K. Irani, Baba’s secretary to Agnes Baron, in which Adi quoted Baba as saying, ‘Anything you (Agnes) say about Meher Mount is OK.” Ed Flanagan read the accounts of Baba’s Meher Mount as described by Filis visit Frederick in Bhau Kaichuri’s in Lord Meher,

to

Ba/’ai I)ec’


The main house

Raine Eastman-Gannett

Volume Thirteen and Fourteen. Agnes Baron, who lived at Meher Mount from 1946 until her death at age 87 on July 3, 1994, was remembered by several people in the group. Baba directedAgnes, also known as Agni, after the Hindu goddess ofifre, to take care ofMeher Mount for Him. In the book by Jean Adriel, Avatar, she says ofMeher Mount: “In anticipation of his coming again to America a Center has been established for him at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and on the West coast, in the upper Ojai Valley, a beautiftil place, Meher Mount, awaits him.” Agnes, along with Jean Adriel and several other followers identified the property that came to be known as Meher Mount in 1946. They purchased it and moved there the same year. Gradually, the others left, and by 1952, only Agnes lived at Meher Mount fill time. Itwas noted that Meher Mountwas Baba’s intended destination 51 years agowhen He left Myrtle Beach on the cross-country car trip in which He suffered the tremendous coffision near Prague, Oklahoma. Five of the Mandali, Adi, Meherjee, Donkin, Gustadji and Nilu, had arrived at Meher Mount to help Agnes Baron prepare for Baba’s arrival. They

The beautjful VieWfrOfl2 Babac tree

were having tea after their long journey when word came ofBaba’s injuries from the coffision. Dr. Donkin flewback, and the others drove to Oklahoma immediately.

Sam Ervin. Above him is aphoto ofBaba being shown aroundMeher Mount byAgnes Baron

This is the tree under which Baba sat when he came to Meher Mount

47


.

They have these marvelous hurnrningbirdfreders all over the property.

At the Baba Tree, the group said Baba’s three prayers and afterward Dr. Mahmoud Ajang sang the Persian Arti. Sam Ervin, master of ceremonies and member of the Meher Mount Board of Directors, read his poem, “Meher Baba, the Tree andThe Hawk.” On hand to join in the musical festivities were Raine Eastman and Charles Gibson. The day ended with music and singing led by Billy Goodrum accompanied by Mia Campagna,Josh Lee, Deborah Ashe and Annabel Goodrum. Caretakers, Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold, who have been lovingly tending Meher Mount since April, 2002 spoke about the special Meher Mount exhibit at the Ojai Val ley Museum as part of the “Essence of Ojai.” The exhibit, which runs through December 15, 2003, highlights Meher Baba, Meher Mount and Agnes Baron. After the program on Meher Mount, many people attended a special opening of the Ojai Valley Museum for the Meher Baba group. J oin us for the third annual celebration of Meher Baba’s Anniversary Next year, it will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2004. The celebrations will always be on the ftrst Saturday in August. Be sure to mark your Baba calendars! Meher Mount always welcomes groups and individuals. Please contact RayJohnston or Elizabeth Arnold at: Meher Mount 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road Ojai, California 93023 Telephone: (805) 640-0000 E-mail: onenessworldwide@aol.com Website: wwcmehermount.org 64 (3

48

)

Esfandiar Vèsali gave a wondeiful talk—Efindiar was a boy in Meher Babac Prern Ashram

loney for 4 oiuntcers Raise J }7 eeds.

/t7:

: :

7j4jj J 14.ount 1

hroughout its history Meher Mount’s minimal infrastructure has been patched and re-patched. However Meher Mount can no longer support the levels ofuse desired by more and more people seeking to connect with significance in this special place. It is time to build an infrastructure that goes beyond piecemeal and temporary Meher Mount is blessed with a productive well, but the water quality is terrible. It has high levels of sulfur, manganese, iron and other chemicals and minerals. In the 57-year history of Meher Mount, the water system has never produced drinkable water. This situation continually creates great hardship for the caretakers and inconvenience and limitations for visitors. Ongoing weed abatement is the second issue. Mowing around the buildings and the path to the Baba tree and other important paths must be done year round, especially during the rainy season. Continual weed abatement is critical for making Meher Mount welcoming and usable by visitors and for reducing the danger of fire, rattlesnakes and other problems. Finally, many have expressed a desire to stay overnight. Accommodations are limited. One short-term option is to create a tent pad near the facilities but with sufficient privacy for all. To address these issues, Meher Mount has launched a “Weeds ‘n’ Water” fund-raising drive to purchase a water treatment system to provide potable water, to purchase an industrial quality mower and to build a tent pad. Many people believe the potential ofMeher Mount is yet to be realized. However for the hundreds of people who have intentionally and unintentionally found their way to the top of Sulphur Mountain, it ftilfills its potential every day. Meher Mount is a place ofbeauty. It’s a place ofrefuge. It’s place ofwork, meditation, and losing oneself in service. Most of all, it’s a place where the Avatar of the Age walked, rested and worked. Meher Mount carries a special feeling and significance because of His presence. Please help support this Baba treasure. Learn more about the Weeds ‘n’ Water fuind raising by calling Sam Ervin or Margaret Magnus at 562-498-0883. Or you can send your donations to: Meher Mount Inc. Weeds ‘n’ Water 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road, Ojai California, 93023-9374

T

3


¶J2ctssinis 7;wo Lovers from J 1/lelbourne, /lustralict, 9o to ‘i3aba 7 Ethel °vVoodford Craig Woodford, ..A4elbottrne, ulustralia thel was born in Melbourne August 1907. After her marriage and the birth of her three children she was introduced into the Sufi group headed by Francis Brabazon. After the group learned ofMeher Baba, Ena Lemon went to India with some friends and asked Baba directly if He would honour them with a visit. So in 1956 when the Avatar did indeed travel to Australia Ethel met Baba for the first time. She was also able to travel to Queensland to see Him again in 1958. Ethel developed Alzheimer’s during the nineties and passed on to Baba last August at the age of 96. Following are her recollections of her time with her Beloved. My two sons Robert and Craig with daughter Jean met Baba at Denis and Joan O’Brien’s home in 1956. I am pretty vague about the generalities ofthe occasion but what impressed me personally was that Baba gave me the opportunity to sit at his feet on a tiny stool. He placed his hands on my head and ifl had a thought at that moment it was that “Baba is blessing me.” The next thing I remember was Eruch saying, “Baba says you may leave now.” What went on in between was a totally indescribable experience. I felt that I had been some-where delightful and would love to stay forever. However back to the mundane I came with a rush! I thought of myself as rather shy, I tried never to show excessive emotion under any circumstanc es—preserve, as it were, the stiff upper lip of my British ancestry Therefore, imagine my shock ifyou can, when on my return to “consciousness” (for want of a better word) I realized I had my head on Baba’s lap and was clasping Him tightly round the knees! He was so frail that I felt I must be hurting Him but His smile was just as warm and understanding as I left the room as when I entered it. Baba had stated on that occasion that He would be visiting Australia in 1958 but He wanted only those people who were

E

prepared to obey Him 100% to be there, so I felt myselfa candidate. When I arrived at Avatars Abode the first person I remember seeing was Francis, at his most pricidish. I had evidently not addressed myletter prop-

[.

Ethel Woodford & Betty Hall

erly so was given a lecture on the need for perfection in all we do. One day when giving a discourse on obedience, Baba asked several people if they would be prepared to kill a loved one if asked. Most answered in the affirmative; a few negatively, ofwhom I was one. I was sitting next to Clarice Adams when He pointed to me, but I tried to pretend that I thought he was pointing to some one behind me, so cringed down as far as I could in my seat hoping to make myself invisible I suppose, but He pointed to me a second and third time. Eventually Clarice said, “You will have to stand up” which I reluctantly did, and He asked “Would you kill your children if I asked?” Of course I answered “No.” He softened the situation by saying “God would never ask anyone to do anything one was unable to do.” Later in the day He asked me ifl would like to obey him. When I answered in the affirmative, I think He said He would help me. On the same day he gave an audience to the ladies only. He

gave each of us a gift from Mehera; mine was a bracelet and some strands of Baba’s hair. During this time He asked me “How is your son?” I wondered why he asked this for my son Craig and daughter Jean were with me. After the third time, one ofthe disciples, I think it was Francis, came over and asked me ill had another son? I admitted that I had and remembered that Robert had driven us to the O’Brien’s two years before but had only stayed a short time before going back to work, so I was not aware that Baba knew of him. Babajust smiled and made the sign ofperfection. I was eager to attend the Sahavas in Queensland but as my husband was an atheist and very anti Baba, and also managed all the finances at our house I thought that there was little hope. However I thought it was worth asking him for the amount that would take Jean and me. To my amazement he reluctantly agreed. However what was more disturbing was that Baba gave me an envelope to give to my husband containing the exact amount he had given me to defray our expenses! As my husband was a very proud man I felt it was going to be more difficult to give him the money from Baba, than ask him for it in the first place, but to my astonishment he took the moneywithout a word and did not mention anything about it for the rest of his life. Such are the ways ofthe Lord.

1 J-1ali 1ktt 3iin

JI4igdoll, 2YW Australia

etty Hall, bornJune 10, 1914, widow of Oswald, one of Baba’s first Australian lovers, passed away on August 19. When Tricia and I moved to Australia in 1982 it wasn’tlong before we connected with Oz and Bet. Even though a frill generation separated us, we became the best ofbuddies. I don’t think any ofus really noticed the age difference because the Rock ofAges was our meeting ground! Such powerftil memories ofour times together: Betty’s laugh always herlaugh! From

B

49


a girlish giggle to a real belly laugh. Ozzie and I with our male intellects battling. Tncia and Betty engaged in girl talk! The best red wines from Ozzie’s cellar always flowing. Ozzie’s stories about the early days as Francis Brabazon’s good buddy, Baba quotes and anecdotes. And it all always revolved around Baba. The mysterious quality that sticks in my mind about Betty is what I would call a Spiritual emotion involving her relationship with Baba. I’ve noticed this quality in another ofBaba’s older female Australian lovers. It was an inability to intellectualise about Baba; indeed to even speak of Him. You could feel a soul-deep emotional rumbling going on, but words just didn’t work. Sometimes her eyes would well with tears when she attempted to speak of Baba. She was indeed focused on our Beloved. A few years ago Betty went into a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. A friend told us that although she didn’t remember Oz, with whom she had spent most of her life, she never forgot Baba. A most touching and fitting end was when Betty called her niece the night before she passed away, and asked her to read over the phone the Master’s Prayer and Prayer of Repentance! Here’s hoping we all get the chance to re member Him at the end.

sharp angle turn, and made a beeline straight for me! In that moment He gave me convic tion that He was God, and I knew that I had found what I was looking for.” Joyce died as she had lived, at her own time and on her own terms. On September 9th at approximately 9:30 pm Joyce quietly passed on of natural causes at her home in Hollywood, California. Hers was a life ofpointed and fixed devo tion to please her Beloved. She is survived by her husband Kenneth Alton and her three sons; Romney Meyran, Kenneth Miles and Richard Stermer. I love with a love thatc as wide as the world And rides on the wind like afiag unfurled. Here is a cup oftowing with wine. Is there no great soul that dares to dine On thefinerfare ofthe spirit Transcending ages oflimitedgloom With limitless light descending. —J oyce Romney Stermer

When the Mandali received word of passing, Amber, on behalf of Bal oyce’s J sent the following: I just received the email about Joyce’s joining Baba and immediately picked a flower from the Meherazad garden to place at Baba’s feet in Mandali Hall and a few of us joined together in the Beloved God prayer and remembered fondly our darling J oyce. Bal Natu and I also offered a flower to Baba’s portrait in his room in memory of darlingJoyce. I will be offering a garland this evening at the Samadhi for her. I remember my last meeting with Joyce before I moved to India. She was her usual gentle, loving self, showing such sincere interest in what my plans were and with her beautiful blue eyes gazing deep into mine, asking me how I was. I always felt immensely cared for by her deep felt, heart questions. She will be missed! Thank you J oyce for all the love you showered on me through the years! Richard’s message was shared with the Meherazad mandali. Bal sends the following message: “My salutations to Joyce’s love for Baba. May Baba give you the courage to bear the precious loss of dear Joyce.”

3:dice /lIirens LAthens 73nnner-21erald, 7itesday, Aitg. 1956 Joyce met Meher Baba in Hollywood at the Roosevelt Hotel. “He didn’t turn, He didn’t meander, He veered, made a

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ofArnold and Roberta Schoenbrun. Felice was an RN and former medical practice manager. She was an avid horsewoman and loved animals ofall kinds. She was a follower of Avatar Meher Baba. In addition to her parents, Felice leaves behind her husband, Bob, two daughters, Jenna and Alana, and a sister, Jan. All her family love hen and miss her.

,.Anita J2utctlik Winger .Augitst i8, 1928 &ptember 2, 2003 -

J44ichael Leever, JJI/lichigan 1952 Anita heard of Meher Baba from the late John Bass and was part of the Monday Night group at Fred & Ella Winderfeldt’s home in New York. During this period she helped read the Discourses to Dr. Kenmore. Later she married and moved to Midland, Michigan with herlate husband Ernie Putalik. July, 1956 Anita was invited and went to meet Meher Baba at the Delmonico Hotel in New York. Fortunately, during Easter, Anita, husband Bob, son Greg and his wife Mary, and son Steve stayed in Myrtle Beach and she was able to give her touching account on tape at The Meher Spirtual Center with her dear friends, Adele Wolkin and Phylis Ott. In 1970 I was given Anita’s address and I wrote to her about getting together. Here is part ofher response. She wrote: “Even to Baba I wrote that if I were forced to admit it—and if “Reality” had first and seconds, Baba was second only to Jesus Christ!!! I can almost hear His chuckle in the letter He wrote to us. He told us that when I loveJesus I also love Baba!! It is the same. He then told me to remember that God is equally available to all, depending on the quality ofour love. So—he put aside my conflicts and opened the way to love!” Anita also mentioned in her letter that Baba gave messages to Greg and Steve. Her selfless service included bringing the Catholic Church and Baba together and having a support group working with the mentally ill. I will miss Anita and I am cheering her on!!! AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!!!!

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atkinsville FeliceJoyAhrens, age 42, died on Saturday, August 16, 2003. She was born November 25, 1960, daughter

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.Sunita Swaroop November 3 1958 October 4 2003 1eredit1t J4loon, 2lawaii 7 J —

unita Swaroop was born November 3, 1958 in northern India. Her mother died in childbirth when Sunita was 2 years old and she went to live with her grandfather as her father had received a scholarship to Stanford and left for California. Sunita’s grandfather was the Sufi Master Irma Tweedie writes of being trained by in her bookThe Chasm of Fire. Sunita loved her grandparents and from her earliest days absorbed a life of spiritual reverence. When she was 10 years old she came to America to live with her father and step— mother, learned English, which she spoke with no trace of accent, and continued her education through college in accounting and worked as a CPA and financial manager. She married Rob Hi]lbun seven years ago and moved to Maui, commuting for several years to her clients in LA at tax time. I came to know Sunita when she attended one ofmy classes in dream interpretation four years ago and we became friends as she continued in a weekly dream circle with other women, all shar ing their inner journeys as revealed through dreams and life experience. Sunita’s inner life was rich with the wonder ofspiritual truth, inspiring all of us with the beauty of her graced gifts. Sunita also produced a monthly television show in which I shared my knowl edge ofthe inner life and thejourney all make to spiritual and psychological maturity She died October 4, 2003 at 2:30 am in the hos pital ofa pulmonary embolism,leaving us for Baba’s arms. Sunita had hoped to travel with me to Alimednagar this November for her firstvisit to Baba’s Samadhi. A dream she had three weeks before her death is significant in hindsight: “In this house where I live it feels as ifit is time to go. I look around and see the books I had been reading are reduced to a very small size, like 4 by 4; it doesn’t matter I am leaving anyway. I think my familylives there too but there are no goodbyes. (Sunita never became conscious to say goodbye) I am now under a huge tent where something is going to take place. I am one ofmany. There is something narrow, like a bed but with a covering of something over it. The people surround it and say that is the bed

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where Meher Babalay down for thelast time before entering the higher world and leav ing his body behind. I look at it, thinking to myself I want to lie in it. There are too many people so I go to another area but will come back when there are less people later. I see a man dressed in ochre colors, his shoulders down. We recognize each other for we had known each other before. He immediately tells me that he is on a holy path and that he is a yogi who is not to talk to women. I say to him, ‘You are not a Yogi, You are much more than that!’ I walk away, I look around, I am feeling very tired...I wUl walk back to Baba’s bed for a good sleep.” As she described the bed and covering to me from her dream it was the stretcher Baba’s body had been carried on and where He rested before entombment. Have a beautiful journey Sunita and come back to us when you are ready with all your truths

that he was some retired military officer. Even after learning his name, most of us would have been in the dark about who he was. Onlyvoracious readers ofBaba literature would have known that this gentleman had been resident mandali in the 1940s a night watchman for Baba prior to Bhau Kalchuri’s time as night watchman. However Krishna felt some obligation to share his stories with us, and to that end he first attempted to convey the stories through Rama Rao, a Meherabad resident who speaks an enor mous number of Indian languages as well as English. This translation business was wearing on Krishnaji, as we came to call him. He wanted to get the message out in his own way, while the translator digressed to a degree that was unacceptable to him. But through this im perfect channel we heard his stories. Krishnaji was first brought to the ashram in October 1939. Lord Meher has his age as 22 at that time, so he would have been about 86 at the time of his death. He had been of great use to Baba because he spoke the south Indian languages (he was from Malabar in Kerala) and he was Baba’s chosen interpreter when Baba toured through south India in search of the great masts of that region. Krishnaji used to roll up his left sleeve to show a malformed bicep It almost appeared as if the center of the muscle had been withered or shriveled, leaving the top and the bottom of the muscle intact. j This particular story appears in Lord Meher, but approximately here is what he told us. In August of 1940, Baba secluded himselfin a compound in Upper Meherabad that can still be seen todayby special appointment. The compound contains a cage room. Krishna’s job was to take meals to Baba, but he was instructed not on any account to see Baba. Baba would retire into the cage room, and only then ring the bell calling Krishnaji to bring His food. Later Baba would ring a bell again to tell Krishnaji to remove the empty dishes. One afternoon, at a time when Krishnaji had not in the past been summoned, the bell rang, and Krishnaji obediently entered the compound. Imagine Krishnaji’s surprise whenhebeheldBababefore him, emitting the light of”a hundred suns.” Krishnaji swooned, losing consciousness. Baba grabbed his left bicep so forceftilly that it tore the muscle and the enormous pain brought Krishnaji back to consciousness. Baba signed to him, —

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SKrishna 2Iair

9 oes 2lome 2<eithunn, California

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rishna Nair, known to many as Krishnaji, died this year on October 1st, almost 64 years after he met his Beloved Meher Baba. At the time of his death, he was away from Meherabad, in southern India. Westerners visiting Meherabad within the last ten years may have noticed him, a lone figure often observed striding up to the Samadhi for evening arti. Dressed well, carrying a riding crop or short stick, mustached, elegant and handsome, in his (it seemed) sixties or early seventies, he spoke little English and was not easily approached by us for that reason. His bearing, his carriage, was almost mffitar and one could have been excused for supposing

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“Do you want to burn, to go blind, to die? Why did you come here?”Through his tears, Krishnaji explained that the bell had rung, and he hadjust been doing his duty. Though it is not in Lord Meher Krishna gave the explanation that he believed a mischievous spirit had rung the bell, and he noted that Baba was amused when He forgave Krishnaji for disturbing Him. There are lots of stories, including one in which Krishna bet Baba that Krishna would never marry (since, at the time, he hated and feared women). The stories are in Lord Meher and you can search for “Nair” online at www.lordmeher.org to find them. Krishna was a charming person, and it’s a shame that visitors will not again be able to attend one ofthe soirees at which he used to hold forth. But that’s Baba’s way for us now. As each mandali member passes, itjust gives us more opportunity to redouble our efforts to concentrate on Beloved Baba Himself

.2&ishna Rair i3hau 2<alclturi claimed [circa August 1953] that the mandali’s quarters (at 101 Rajpur Road) housed an “evil spirit.” It was thought to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who had committed suicide there years ago. Krishna Nair wanted a room to himself because after doing his nightwatch duty he needed to rest for some time during the morning. But Baba did not allow him a separate room for fear the ghost would kill him. To get rid of the spirit, Nilu suggested, “Chilies and hair should be burned over charcoal and the smoke should be spread throughout the bungalow” Baba accepted his suggestion and told him to put the burning coals in a small stove and carry it around the house seven times, chanting: “Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!” Nilu did accordingly, but due to the burning chilies, his eyes teared and he was coughing as he was uttering: “Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!” Baba was very much amused by the ridiculousness of his plight. During Krishna’s nightwatch, Baba ordered him to remain outside, and not to enter his room. Krishna never saw the spirit, but he did hear a woman laughing. He asked Baba ifhe could come inside when he heard the laughter. Baba stated, “No, and do not sit outside either. Go in the next room and close the door. Dont come out until I clap; otherwise, something terrible will happen. If you come inside when the ghost is laughing,

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it will kill you.” Krishna went into the nearby

room and locked the door. He sat there for an hour and a quarter before he heard Baba clap. When he came to Baba’s room, Baba was washing his face. Baba told him to sit down and he commented, “The work is finished.” Nothing was heard ofthe ghost again. LordMehei Vol. 11 & 12, p. 4210 © Lawrence Reiter

IaTcicL JI/Ieye(Domanick IL 7 1923-2003

3im leyer y mother first heard about Meher Baba in 1967, shortly after I did. She was a remarkably gentle and childlike person who enjoyed good company, laughter, parties, travel and animals. She visited the Meher Center many times, was a favorite of Laura Delavigne, Kitty Davy and Edith Bradbury, and always encouraged me to sing and become famous, “just like that Peter Townshend guy.” She traveled to India in 1975,bowed down at Beloved Baba’s Tomb, and endeared herself to Mehera and Mani and especially Mansari. Mom was 5’-lO” and Mansari wasn’t—the two ofthem together was the long and short of it. Marcia loved the unusual and varied experiences of life—shortly after she left Meherabad for Delhi (and an elephant ride) Sidhu died and was creamated—at the cer emony Eruch started chuckling and turned to me and said, “I was just thinking how your Mom just missed an authentic Indian cremation.” She didn’t miss much on that trip—gettrng Meherjee to take her to an authentic Zoroastrian wedding, going swimming with Heather Nadel in Bombay, seeing wild monkeys on Elphanta Island, hanging out with the Sufis at Vioos and making friends wherever she went. A registered nurse since 1945, Marcia was the daughter of Rabbi Max Meyer—one of America’s first Reformed rabbis. She was al ways the rebel—animal rights activist—and ball of laughs and fin until Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Father Time slowed her down—Baba released her from her suffering on Sept. 25th. She is survived byher husbandAndy sister Ruth, sonsJim and David, adopted daughters Debbie and Karen, daughter-in-law Emily and grandchildren Andrew James and Jack. Baba!

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EBone andreally dies

deaths are illusory jshenomena. when one is horn to live injod the EternaL Who is beyond hirth and death. irdis

Dfyau wish t live peipetually. then cravefor the death c,f yaur deceptive self at the hands af c4xnplete surrenderance t cMe 70 cmp1etd surrenderto J4y ‘WU1 your heart mustbepurcauclyour mkidauptyofaflthougkts .Afl thosciiiIw surrender themselves in love to .Jlle will see, ore and realize the reality bdtind my form 4 a Spiritual advancement is a succession of one render after anothet untlithegoal ofthe final surrender ofihe separate aja-life is achicvesL 7?w last surrender is the coniplek surrender, equivalent to the attainment 4truth.

71w J1scending Soul 3&da mhiuvlandkeemeapian4

3 died as animaland3was mark 1 q )3ctonecmom3shalldkas man, tosoarnth arjds blest; al1erceptoddothpcrisk WJwn31nwesked myanqdsouI. 3sludbecomenihatno w/w;ice4d Oh, 2mdaims inol!Jankmes, To2Thn we shall rclwn —3alaiuddin 2?umi


Avatctr L?I/iekcr ‘Baba 7rust .J1nnouncement

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eher Baba Himselfcreated the Ava tar Meher Baba Trust and signed its Trust Deed in 1959. Since He dropped His body, the Trust has functioned to provide for its Beneficiaries, provide charitable services to local residents, and procure land and de velop facilities for pilgrims. In the past few years both the scope and pace of activities have accelerated dramatically as would be expected as the Trust development plans flower into fttllness with His Manifestation. Meherabad means Meher Flourishing. With all the increase in activities, Lovedonations can be made to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in one of two ways. Firstly, Love-donations for the Beneficiaries named by Beloved Baba continue in the same fashion as has existed for the past several decades. Donations are sent to the Trustwalli and are not tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to: “Friends ofMeher Baba Trust” and sent to: Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The other method, which is tax-deductible,* was more recently introduced to assist in the development of the Trust’s Five Year Plan. Property acquisition and the construc tion ofnew buildings at Meherabad are key projects to prepare for the increasing number ofpilgrims. To make a tax-deductible dona tion, please make your check payable to: “Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal.” and note it is for the “Five Year Plan.” Send to Kanji Miyao, Treasurer, Ava tar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal., 1214 S. Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520. Please refer to the “In His Service” newsletter for updates. Jai Baba! *The Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal. is one of several Qualified Tax-Ex empt Organizations recognized by the IRS to make grants to the Avatar Meher Baba Public Perpetual Charitable Trust. *

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21ew! _/4 ‘Vebsite for the 7rust!

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he Avatar Meher Baba Trust plans to launch its web site on the Internet this fall. Intended both for the general public and the worldwide community of Meher Baba’s followers, the Trust web site provides extensive information about Avatar Meher Baba Himself as well as about the Trust and its activities. The site is a large one, with more than 100 web pages, several hundred photographs, and many presentations on various subjects. It can be accessed here: rmeherhihc

or www.avatarmeherbabatrust.org The original stimulus for creating a Trust web site came four years ago from Baba byers from abroad, and ever since that time, the site’s development has been an international collaborative effort, drawing on the talents, technical skills, and enthusiasm ofBaba boyers from all around the globe. The site was designed by Sheila Krynski in close com munication with the workers from the Trust and programmed by Christina Arasmo. It is being hosted by Diyinenet Inc. courtesy of J oe Stewart. Since at the time that the Trust Deed was written the internet had not yet come into existence, obviously no allusions to web sites appear in its text. Yet the Deed is emphatic in charging the Trust with the task of disseminating the Avatar’s message to the world through all available media. At present there are several dozen web sites dedicated to Meher Baba, some sponsored by major Baba centres and organizations around the world, others by individuals. While no doubt the greater internet today is inhabited by many influences, spiritual as well as mayavic, it promises to provide an important channel for the out-flow of the God-Man’s light and truth to a humanity that is starved for it. The Trust expects that its web site will continue to mature and evolve into a rich resource available to Baba lovers and the general public 24 hours a day anywhere in the world. In the near future the Trust hopes to make available selected materials from its archives. Those who would like to keep in touch with current events in the life

ofthe Trust can do so through news stories, photos, and, as technical capabilities allow, audio-visual clips from recent programmes and talks at Meherabad and Meherazad.

An Overview ofthe Web Site

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he most important focus of the web site, ofcourse, is Meher Baba Himself The Trust web site includes a 2000-word biographical introduction that reviews the story of His life and presents some of the basic elements of His message to mankind. Baba’s major books and major books about Him are briefly described; and some fifteen shorter messages (such as “The Highest of the High” and “The Universal Message”) can be read in their entirety. In another section viewers can enjoy a gallery of pho tographs, organized by decade, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Elsewhere in the web site visitors can learn about the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and the legacy that it caretakes at Meherabad and Meherazad. A virtual tour provides historical information and photographs relating to some of the major sites such as the Samadhi, or the Dhuni, or the Old Dharamshala. Practical information re bating to travel, accommodation, and pilgrim life will be ofhelp particularly to newcomers. The web site also introduces major Trust activities the seasonal calendar of major events and celebrations, programmes in the Music and Arts Centre and elsewhere, the on-going archival effort, the medical and educational services, and the Development Plan. Some of the sub-sections contain a wealth ofinformation for those who would like to dig deeply; a brief history of the creation of the Trust, for example, contains a link where one can read the entire Trust Deed. A section on “Events and News” will be of particular interest to those who would like to keep current with what’s happening at Meherabad and Meherazad. Various notices and news stories will appear here. In this section too one can access the archives of this newsletter (In His Service) and Tavern Talk. —

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A4ake )3our J2lans 21ow for .Avcttar JVIther EI3ctbct’s 35th AmartitIii What: Commemoration of the “eternal date” when Avatar Meher Baba dropped His physical body, 31 January, 1969. When: 30 January, 2004 1 February 2004 Where: Meherabad. th ( Meherazad will remain closed from 27 th 5 Meherazad February. anuary through J will reopen for pilgrims Thursday, 6th Feb ruary) Activities: Darshan at Samadhi, continu ously throughout the 48-hour period. Silence observance for 15minute period on 3 1 st January Prayers and arti. Welcome address and talk about Trust activities. Sharing of bhajans, music, dance, drama. Films ofAvatar Meher Baba.

Reservations, Avatar Meher Baba Trust, King’s Road, Post Bag 31, Ahmednagar MS, 414001, India. Or by email send to pimco@ambppct.org. Reservation requests should be sent six weeks prior to arrival, as usual. A1I payment for this accommoda tion is done after arrival in Ahmednagar; payment should not be sent in advance. Contact Pilgrim Reservations for ftirther information.

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Accommodation: The Trust will arrange accommodation and meals for upwards of 10,000 pilgrims, mostly from India, on the Meherabad es tate during the Amartithi days, from 30th J anuary afternoon to Pt February noon. A circular of information with complete de tails pertinent to accommodation for Indian pilgrims is being distributed by the Trust to groups around the world. Arrangement for Pilgrims from Abroad: Ordinary pilgrim accommodation and catering are closed for several days before and after Amartithi. However, an ar rangement for accommodation and meals at Meherabad is made for pilgrims from abroad so that they need not seek outside accommodation during the days the Pilgrim Centre and other buildings are closed. Mattresses on the floor, with bedding but without mosquito nets, are provided in various rooms in the buildings of outer Meherabad. Several pilgrims share space together, divided into women’s and men’s quarters. Vegetarian meals are served in a dining tent. The daily activities require quite a bit of walking. Flashlights, sun-hats and portable water containers are a must. To reserve this accommodation, non-Indian pilgrims should send complete details of their arrival and departure to Pilgrim

l1pdate on the 3ilrn I/Ieher EBaba. Avatar ofthe ..%ge 7 J EJrwin Luck, JLroject Director ll those who have donated S 100.00 or more to the Meher Baba Film Project and are expecting the gift ofthe limited first edition VT-IS tape of the complete theater version of the movie: Meher Baba Avatar of the Age (lhr 20mm) will receive it just before the Xmas and Hannukah holidays. A certificate of authenticity will also ac company the video certifying that this is the first edition release of the movie. The scheduled release and shipping date is De cember 1, 2003. This movie on video is not the general release to the public but a special flindraiser, therefore it can’t be purchased anywhere at this time. The general release of the movie to the public won’t occur until after it has completed its theater presentations. Ifyou are not on the list ofpersons that will be receiving this first limited edition video (including the movie poster) and you would like to get this movie then there is still time to do so. All donation checks for $100.00 should be made out to: Oceanpower Film Distributor Inc. note: ( a not for profit tax exempt corp.) Anyone who would like to support the film project with any amount less than 100.00 will receive a special gift of the movie poster. Mailing address Oceanpower Film Distributor Inc. 1130 WaterwayLane Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 Phone: 843-272-8524 then press 2 E-Mail: OPFDl@yahoo.com Movie Website: www.AvatarOfTheAge.com

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en I showed up at the Company Christmas party on Christopher’s arm, I could hear the horrified whispers: “He’s young enough to be her son!” I did not enlighten them. In 1990 Christopher felt his destiny lay in Australia and so he moved Down Under. Baba had him wait 10 years before he met the Light of his Life the Fair Helen. They married and unto them was born the delightftul laughing little baby above. July 19th Tabitha Lee (a fourth generation Baba lover surely born with ‘congenital felicity’ as Eruch would say) blessed the lives of Helen & Christopher Leigh Franklin. They all live very happily in Brisbane, Australia, and my eldest son Michael and I will be spending Christmas with them. —

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Chris &Helen on their wedding day “-1

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Welcome 7:o Our ‘World


WoRLDwIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS he following is information about the various

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

MONTANA

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

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DoMESTIC ARIZONA

Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 3562 East Third Street, Tucson, AZ 85716 e—mail: ihs22@theriver.com

NORTH CAROLINA

Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 e-mail: winkiebai@mac.com Sheldon Herman, phone: 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408, e-mail: bikewalla@gbronline.com Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Ashe ville, NC 28803 e-mail: nordeens@msn.com

NoRTHERN CALIFORNIA (EL CERRIT0)

Call for information regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259 e-mail: Benleet@earthlink.net The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito, CA 94530-293 1 www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org

TExAS Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches,TX 75965 e-mail: rockbl@yahoo.com

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (SACRAMENTO)

Meetings first Friday of the month at 7 p.m. Marilyn Buehler 916-925-4451 e-mail: premsay@jps.net www.premsay.com/MeherBaba SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (Los ANGELES)

Meetings are Saturday evenings 7-9 p.m. held in our center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 UustEastofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Streei) The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at www.Meherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public. COLORADO

Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact p ersonfor Clorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyomin,g andArizona.) Barbara A. Roberts, Phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 800335543 (suburb of Denver) e-mail: babara@fone.net FLORIDA (TAMPA BAY)

Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker, M.D., Clearwater, FL 727-536-9282 HAWAII (MAUI)

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

NEW YORK

Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org www.MeherBabaHouse.org

HAWAII (M0LAKAI)

Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham” Phone: 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383 Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363 e-mail: salapa@aloha.net 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729 mail: P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757 MAINE

Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1 p.m. with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, work: 207-594-0909 home: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends. P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 e-mail: publisher@sevencoinpress.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-354-7005 P.O. Box 42, Rockland, ME O4841ompoint@yahoo.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-594-6391 P.O. Box 108, Rockland, ME 04841 e-mail: kenlux@aol.com NEW HAMPSHIRE

Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668 e-mail: mceliz2001@yahoo.com

M ASSACHUSETTS Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge) Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle e-mail: lpgp@verizon.net NEW MEXICO

Robert Reser and Edle Andersen Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in our home 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone 505983-662 1 robertreser@yahoo.com

NY

NJ

PENNSYLVANIA

(TRI-STATE AREA)

Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 e-mail: thloise@earthlink.net WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeimages.com/MeherBaba

INTERNATIONAL. ISRAEL

Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road,Jerusalem, Israel 93513 e-mail: myb@netvision.net.il MEXICO

Rafael Villafane Phone from US: 01152555295-05 12 Cell from US: 01152555502-7225 E-mail is best as I travel alot: raal@royerlabs.com We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 p.m. No particular meeting day, people on the list are contacted prior to any meeting, e-mail addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so e-mail me if you will be in those areas.

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AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

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

LOS ANGELES, CA

Address Service Requested

PERMIT #3 I 394

DATED

MATERIAL

PLEASE

EXPEDITE

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Love Street Lamp Post 4th Qtr 2003