Love Street Lamp Post 1st Qtr 2010

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'cove Street''campr:Eost'

AVATAR MEHER BABA and "AVATAR" "the Movie The Corm ection?

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Charmian DuceKnouiles tookthis delightfulphoto ill 1952 011 theMeherSpiritual Center (Myrtle Beach) befare thegroup left to drive across country to MeberMount ill California. Charmian had bought the bUlllly because she thought "the girls"from India wouldmjoy havillg it toplay with. - From theArchives ofSufismReoriented. 2


,.Cove Street ,.Camprgost ::features: Haidee Cooke, Artist Extraordinaire .5 What's Happening at Meherabad 9 Might This Be... ?!............•..............................•........ .18 Beads on One String Pilgrimage - 8/20/10 19 Space Brothers to the Rescue 26 40 Days at Meherana! 29 What's Happening at Meherabode 32 Mohammed the MastAfter63 Years 40 How Baba Revealed Himselfto Me .43 Tourists Flockto'JesusTomb' in Kashmir ..45 TheGhazalandthe~wwalExplained .49 Why Baba's Words 51 The Case ofthe Singing Dog 54 Advice (sort of) for Newcomers .55 Avatar Meher Baba 56

<Welcome to ,Cove Street Love ...':.trecl Lalll/ITost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meber Baba. Its primarypurpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among all His lovers by providing a place for shm'ing His remembrance.

Cover Stony

AVATAR MEHER BABA and "AVAT AR." the Movie The Connection?

20 fD eparlmcnls: Editor's Page Announcements Poetry Kid's Corner Bookstore Report Reviews Know Before You Go Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings Passings

4 37 48 57 .59 63 73 74 75

Credits: For Information about Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California please visit our website , We fearure a calendar of our events and welcome you to our home at Meherabode. TIle Mcher Baba Bookstore provides the largest collection of books b)' and about Meher Baba and His Teachings. Please visit us at hnp.;lL and navigate your way around our archived materials, featured books and music; you can also select your favorite image ofBelovcd Meher Baba, and become a 'Meherabode Angel' to receive hooks throughout the year for becoming a donor. We have a Payf'al Account for your convenience .

"Photo ofMeher Baba used in digital composition courtesyofMani S. Irani Collection,Meberabad.." Myrtle Beachphoto by Greg Butler. Back cover features artwork by tbe late Fiona Popouiicz:

Staff: Editor in Chief: Avatar Meher Baba Managing Editor: Dina Snow Gibson Contributing Editor: Kendra Crossen Design & Layout Tom Hart Assembly and pre-flight: Tom Hart Printing & Distribution: Ray Madani Permission has been given the LSLP for the articles we used taken from the

Streel .LampPost ispublished and copyrightedby the Avatar Meber Baba Center ofSouthern California.


Pune Mirror, the BBC, South Asia Tribune. Times oflndia, Associated Press and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

v4 ~essage[from the 'Board of fDiredors newsletter into a global presence and are to be commended. Due to some questions about copyright law, editorial content, and other concerns that needed clarification, the Board of Directors was unable to distribute the magazine. We are pleased that we recently found sufficient resolution and the magazine was finally delivered to AMBCSC; you now have the printed magazine in your possession.


he Love Street Lamp Post (LSLP) has been devoted to sharing information about Avatar Meher Baba's Life and Teachings for nearly 30 years. Our mission has been to contribute to a sense of spiritual community, in remembrance of Avatar l\ileher Haha.

Vie recognize that it is all of you, the readers of the magazine, who have been the pillars of its existence. You have sustained the magazine through donations, shared articles, and your readership. The Board of Directors of AMBCSC offers our apology to all of you for the delay in sending you the LSLP; thankfully, we are able to place it in your hands now. The Love Street Lamp Post was started by Greg Dunn, the original editor; Greg was ably assisted by his wife, Gay. The magazine began as a local newsletter for the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California in 1987. Editors who succeeded Greg were Christina Riley, David McNeely, and Dina Gibson. Thanks to Dina's enthusiasm and focus, the LSLP expanded into an international magazine with people contributing to the contents of the magazine from around the world. VVe want to thank Dina and the LSLP staff ofPris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, Tom Hart, Ray Madani, and all those who assisted in various tasks, for their heart-felt service and dedication to the Love Street Lamp Post over the years. Collaborative efforts nurtured a local

For all of you who have been supporters and donors to the LSLP, we want to thank you! Your love offerings were the source of publishing the LSLP, ensuring it was distributed world-wide. Please know all donations from last year, and additional funds, were used to print and publish this issue you now have and paid for needed corrective measures and postage. We want to take the time to clear up some misinformation regarding your love donations to AIvIBCSC for the LSLE 'rVe have reviewed several years records and cannot find any donations marked for the LSLP that were deposited into our General Fund. VVe were diligent in our duty to those who contributed our of their love for Meher Baba to make sure contributions to the LSLP were used as directed by the donor. Dina Gibson has launched a new magazine, Love Street Breezes, as an independent venture. Ifyou would like to find out more about her publication you may contact her at 310-837-6419 or by email We wish Dina and all those working on this new project much success.

become a Meherabode "Angel".VVe have beautiful pendants with Baha's image. There is much being offered from our Archives: CD's and DVD's featuring talks of Eruch, Mani, Mehera, Bhau, Filis Frederick, Dr. Goher, 'KT', Meheru, Adele Wolkin and others. Intimate talks and discussions with His close ones offer so much insight into His Teachings and His Love. Plus, you can join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or just browse the largest inventory, worldwide, of books by and about the Avatar of the Age. vVe feature several books penned by Meher Baba written in other languages, including Farsi, French, and Spanish . In His Love and Service, The Board of Directors, Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California email: Please connect with AlvIBCSC Facebook.comlAMBCSC


for qui,' Dome-s-a piau

devotionand darsban at HISChair

We look forward to sharing with you the ongoing efforts of AMBCSC to communicate Meher Babas Messages of Love and Truth. When you are in the Southern California area, please visit His Home, Meherabode. What's Happening at Meherabode? We have much to share!

MEHER BAHA BOOKSTORE: Please visit our new bookstore website, Discover how you can join the book club, or I

2-laidee Cooke, ~rtist txtraordinaire rninaBibson earlier, the Pilgrim Center (which hand. What an artist's eye she has. is now used as living quarters for The following article was featured in some of the residents and the gen- a Sunday supplement of an East Coast eral registration office; health per- magazine. When she was an art student at Kutzmitting, Bhauji still gives his talks town University, Haidee Cooke's teachers in the main dining hall too.) On my last visit there when my would ask her to put up her work for the admiration and curiosity moved other students to see. Then, she says, they me to make enquiries as to who would tell their students, "That's exactly was responsible for these beautiful what I don't want you all to do." "I see now," she says," that it was good benches, I was told the artist was in residence and if I liked I could for me. I didn't stick to the norm. I was so go to her atelier and watch her used to being out of whack, that I never create these masterpieces. I had to tried to please, because I couldn't." chuckle when I found her 'atelier' It was during this time that a spiriwas the bicycle storage r - -l7"":-....;;;:;:;;;;;f"_ -':In!!liill:=......---~~.., shed at the end of the bus sheds in the parking lot! But how fascinating it was to see her at work! Haidee explained the process to me and then let me watch as she worked on her latest commission from Ted - decorating the benches to go in the gardens outside the men's and women's quarters. To start her works of art on the







hose of us who have had the good fortune to stay at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat in Meherabad have no doubt spent many a delightful hour sitting outside the main dining hall on the patio beside the 'Welcome to My World' tile wall. And while sitting there in friendly conversation or quiet contemplation you must surely have noted and admired the exquisite art work on the stone benches. It took me two or three visits to the MPR before I finally met up with the very talented artist who created these benches. Haidee had been commissioned by Ted Judson, the architect who designed the magnificent Meher Pilgrim Retreat and also, many years






benches, or indeed any piece of stone, cement, marble or granite, Haidee first paints the outline of the wonderful swirls, circles and patterns she is creating. She does this all freehand while she squats beside the slab upon which she is working. I was amazed that the circles and swirls were so incredibly even and round, as though she had used a compass to make them so perfect, but it was all done free-

tual transformation caused a radical change in Haidee's work. A fellow student, Michael Cooke, who was later to become her husband, introduced her to the work of Me her Baba, an Indian spiritual leader, whose stated purpose was not to teach, but to awaken the love of God in his disciples' hearts. She was so strongly affected, that "it made me go through a change. Up to that point I used to paint realistic. But I couldn't do realistic anymore. I started doing dots. I thought, 'I'm going crazy.'And then came these waves of pink. I'd call them energy; everything was energy. People would say, 'What is that you're doing, Haidee?' 'O h,' I used to say, 'it's all energy.''' Today, her paintings are of beings she calls the "coconut men" in swirls and spirals, done in layered and textured gold acrylic paint on huge pieces of shimmering white moire and brilliantly blue silk. She prefers silk to canvas because, "It's more delicate; it's more translucent."


The coconut men evolved from drawings she used to do of lush tropical landscapes; their scales mimic the patterns on the trunks of coconut trees. Chakras, or centers, focusing on the head, heart, throat and other parts of the body are often highlighted in some way. Haidee says "the coconut is a symbol of complete surrender of body, mind, energy and soul to the will of God, the beloved." She works only in gold paint as a result


of another artistic and spiritual transformation that came years after the first. "I remember it was a winter night, and I was lying in my little room. It was nothing out of the ordinary, and I had this experience. My eyes were open - I wasn't sleeping. I'm not the type of person to see visions. All of a sudden I felt this tremendous, beautiful love. I felt like the life in me was gold, I felt the gold in my veins. It was an experience. And I never told any-

body, not even Michael. I've used gold ever since. I never used anything else after that." Though her work and her explanations are far from mainstream, Haidee is one of the most downto-earth people you'll ever meet. She bubbles, she's fun, and she loves to dance. Haidee spent the first few years of her life in a small town in the Dominican Republic, where her father was a doctor. Today she lives with her husband, Michael, and IS-year-old son, Orion, in a house she and Michael built themselves, deep in the woods in Paradise Township. When Haidee paints, she spreads the silk on the floor,and kneels over the painting, as if crouched in prayer. "When I'm painting, it's this single God focus. It 's like a happy baby.It's a beautiful feeling; it's addictive." To loosen up from long periods of • crouching over her paintings, she dances. Hers is the dance of the coconut men, a sinuous, wavy dance, with echoes of India and the Middle East. Painting and dancing, she envisions a show that combines the two. "I don't like it when you go somewhere, and you have painting, painting, painting. I don't like formal 'openings'; they're stiff. I don't like the feeling of this social discomfort. I wouldn't want anyone to feel like that with my art. "My paintings have actually come out of movement, because the coconut man came when

I was dancing. So when I am painting, I feel the music, and I see movement. And also there's a message that comes with the coconut man about the new humanity and about us coming into our real oneness, our brotherhood. "When I paint, I see images of dance pieces. I see the whole thing; I even see the hats." And, after years of secluded painting, Haidee is ready to show her work. "It's like my precious child. I didn't want to show it before its time." Haidee signs her pieces, "An Olea Anarna," a name that came to her at a workshop on finding your angelic name. "Somehow I can't relate to my own, Haidee, but I didn't like this one either. Yet it was the only thing that just kept coming up, coming up, and I

didn't question it. Then I got to like it." It was years after she got the name that she began to see a meaning in it, and she now sees Olea as a feminine version of the Spanish word for wave,ola, and Anama, she relates to a Sanskrit word meaning the nameless substance of God. Lately Haidee has been thinking about meaning, and she has been going on retreats to the Meher Baba Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "I go there, because that place has magic, and I need it now. It's this magic that nurtures me. Youjust cannot believe that there's any place on Earth like that. It's so peaceful, and ....._ _ .. human.' Spirituality means being perfectly then the vegetation has a human. It's all about daring to have that magical quality. "What is spirituality? Baba says, 'Spiri- human experience." As she paints, dances and goes on retuality is that which makes a man more


treat, Haidee thinks a lot about the meaning of her work. Explaining the paintings, she writes, "The golden wave brings about a transformation so complete, it births a new creation, a new humanity. As we speak, this luminous wave is creating new spirals of happiness, harmony and creativity, so that the universe can vibrate in spiritual unity, and wisdom comes to reign. In the new


"It's not a matter of reading about humanity, brotherhood will be a practical reality - humanity will be one family. The it or having faith. This is my misnew humanity is what is being awakened sion. I was born for it, and our children will live it. You can feel it coming." in us, what we are becoming." And these are not abstract ideas to Editor's note: And now Haidee lives in Haidee Cooke. Meherabad and does her magical creations for the pleasure of His lovers. She has also been commissioned to do pieces for other residents in Meherabad.

CWhat's 2iappening at ~eherabad

The familyfrom the Pumpkin Housefor Children. led by their 'Mummy' Stella Manuel. treats the p ilgrims and Mandali to a wonderful Christmas show in the Meberabad Theatre.

Symbolism In c..JJ1eher r.Baba Love (j)ynasties,



r:Pralaya ::Reservation

i.Jl1alladi :Rama:Roo

A reader sent us this article that appeared in window on the right and a roof above.Me- along with them returned home three days her Baba used to spend long hours inside later. How I reached the place and how I the South Asian Tribune


ew Delhi: Today is February 7, 2010. It was on this day in 1969 the physical body of Meher Baba was interned in the tomb atop Meherabad hill. That day also marked the birthday of the Avatar according to the Parsi calendar. What a symbolism it was? Births and deaths are an illusory phenomenon. And for the Avatar there is no birth; there is no death; he remains eternal. The tomb shrine came to be in the twenties. For the Meherabad residents of the day, as Bhau Kalchuri points out in his magnum opus, Lord Meber, it was just a pit room - a room with a pit in the centre, a

the pit. Over the next couple of decades, the pit room's significance became a matter of public knowledge. And there were occasions when Baba 'conducted' his lovers to the tomb and even asked a lucky one or two to stay inside the pit. My mother and my two kid brothers were at Meherabad along with our younger sister as Babas body, that had been lying in the pit, disappeared from public view. How lucky they were!They were able to have the last mass darshan. I still, even at this distance of time, find it difficult to resist the temptation to feel envy of them. You see, I reached the Hill by Feb 2 night along with a group of Baba lovers from Guntur and

survived the biting cold in the night with no warm clothes, and with no thick blanket, is a story for some other day.This journey marked my life'sjourney, awayfrom the protective care of my parents. It may be amusing to read what I am going to say. Father never allowed me to venture out of our village to Guntur, the district headquarters town (distance some 30 km). Not even to see a district level science exhibition, lest this 19 year old could get lost in the mad, mad world. Yet, here I was boarding a bus for Meherabad, some 700 km away, all alone. Those days there were no cellular phones. Telephones were also not ubiquitous. You simply booked a


their chairs. Some of them "'~;"1.11 climb the stage and meet ~~;;.j Bhauji. Again the Master of Ceremonies announces 'Bhauji wants all the members of the Kalchuri dynasty to come on the stage'. Some

r call and waited for the phone connection to materialise. For this luxury, one had to visit the telegraph office. So, I did the next best thing: sent a cable to father suggesting that he and mother should rush to Meherabad. In a way, the journey marked the begin ning of my love with newspapers. I was not new to newspapers. Whatever be the pressures on his purse, father always ensured that I would get my three-four newspapers and a couple of magazines. Andhra Pradesh did not have a proper delivery system in the fifties and sixties. My 'quota' came by post. Probably, father could not have visualised that newspapers would become my addiction and a source of living. Not even 1. Welcome Ram Singh Kalchuri All these events of the past came flooding back as Bhau Kalchuri, Chairman, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, (AMBPPCT), called me to the Amartithi stage on Jan 31. I was sitting in the third row of the audience . As he came to the stage, he spotted me. And as is his wont, he made a symbolic twisting of his non-existent mustache, 'muche', I responded in the only way he expects me - twisting my long luxurious 'muche', There are Baba lovers, and Baba lovers who sport muche. But it is my good fortune that I could catch Bhau 's attention three years ago during an internet chat session at the Trust Office . To our surprise and to our acute discomfiture, Bhauji showcased me IO

and Vani on the Internet. And introduced us as members of the extended Kalchuri Dynasty. Soon I became his Ram Singh Kalchuri 'You are coming to Amartithi', he said during one of my visits to the Trust office in June. It was not a command. It was a simple expression of an expectation. 'Sit in the front row. I will introduce you to every body'. Bhauji pulls your leg, takes a dig at you and even upbraids you, all laced with humour. But there is an undercurrent of seriousness in whatever he says. One can catch the seriousness if one is alert. Otherwise one is prone to take his remarks as a joke. And commit the mistake of ignoring the remark. Even forgetting it. Like for instance, his repeated references to what Baba had said in the fifties about one fourth and three-fourths worlds being destroyed. About it a little while later. So I was there amongst the audience in the enclosure close to the Amartithi stage. I was feeling a bit sleepy though. Vani and Sheela were also in the audience, seated cross legged outside the enclosure. While fighting to keep sleep at bay, I noticed commotion in the front row. Bhauji's relatives came from his native place near Nagpur. Some of them are elderly, some in the middle age bracket. Soon came a word from the stage: Bhau wants the Kalchuri dynasty to come on stage. The family members get up from

lli~~ more members go up the stairs. Dynasty on Stage: Mystery Deepened From my chair I could see Bhauji was receiving every one of the Kalchuri dynasty, for some a shake hand, for some a hug, for a few a pat on the shoulder or a kiss on the cheeks. All this must be a great strain on his body. Remember Bhauji has had 21 operations. He cannot stand comfortably. And he needs constant 'medication'. I began to wonder about what a stam. -1. ina Baba has given Bhauji. Disturbing my reverie came one more announcement, not once, but twice in quick succession- a call to the Kalchuri dynasty to come on stage. There was an element of restlessness in the air. And the way Bhauji was looking made me feel he wanted me to join the family on stage. Does he really want me on the stage? Just because he 'elevated' me to the dynasty, should I go on the stage when it is a purely Kalchuri family gathering? Will it be fair for me to go on the stage? What will others think of me? Will they dub me a mad cap? I was confused. I didn't know what to do, frankly. In helplessness, I looked unto Bhauji, silently asked: 'Shall I also come'. He understood my dilemma and signaled "Don't worry. Don't come". It is Bhauji's greatness that he referred to my dilemma when he took the mike a short while later. Conveying that he has pardoned my 'indecision', he told the huge gathering ofBaba lovers, 'I wanted him to come. But he felt that he could not as he is an ordinary person, not a member of the dynasty. I understand .. .' His words had a soothing effect on me. By then, all dynasty members returned to their chairs. And stood up twice in their chairs on the left side of the enclosure. One of them, who is a regular at the Hostel D, signaled that I should twist my 'm uche', I obliged him as I stood up in my seat on the right side of the enclosure. What about him? You see, this member of the Kalchuri

dynasty may have the royal blood in his veins but he has no 'muche'I Next Day, Feb 1, Vani and I met Bhauji as he arrived at the Amartithi stage. He did not look at me. Nor did he accept my greetings. He only spoke to Vani. ''Yesterday, I called him (that is me) ... I wanted to introduce him to every one. He did not come", Bhauji told her. She replied : 'You know, Bhauji, Rao is always like this. A bit hesitant to do any thing. I remonstrated with him. Today you call him. He will come (to the stage)'. I was amused at the conversation - Bhauji complaining; Vani explaining. What a scene it was to watch. More about it some other day. I did not expect a call from the stage. But it came when Bhauji was addressing, rather midway through his address. This time I went up; stood like a disciplined soldier; answered the two or three questions put to me. I wanted to return to my seat. But stopped in my stride as Bhau said "Where are you going? Remain here". A while later, Dhake, the master of Amartithi ceremonies, made me sit by his side. More or less the same sequence of events followed at the Volunteers meeting held later at the Hostel

-D. One Comment-One Advice For those wondering about the Kalchuri dynasty mystery, I offer only one comment. And one piece of advice. My comment: Bhauji is not one who speaks flippantly. My advice: Go to the Internet. View the web cast of the function. Listen to each word with attention. Play the web cast for a second time. The winter frost will melt away. For those of you who don't have the luxury of accessing the Web cast, well, here is my note to put issues in perspective. To be on the safe side, I placed before Bhauji my interpretation and asked him whether I was right or off the track. I sought an early reply because of the deadline to this column. Like always Bhauji was generous. "I can understand why you want early reply. Just see, though I am busy, still very busy, I am giving you reply", he wrote in his e-mail response in less than 24-hours. And added: "I permit you to write about my Amartithi speech in your new colum. Whatever you understand, it is 100% right. You understood perfectly well". Now what is my interpretation? If you notice - rather listen, Bhauji draws your attention to the fact that Kalchuris were great rulers in Rajasthan, Western India. Artifacts oftheir period are on display at an

archaeological museum in Jabalpur, which incidentally is an important Baba centre in today's Madhya Pradesh. This historical fact cannot be wished away.The advent of British colonial rule saw the decline of the Kalchuri rule. Over time, they lost their kingdom and were left with barren land and some forest tracts. Most families of the dynasty migrated to Central India, and finally settled near Nagpur, where Bhauji was born. Dynasty Demystified According to Bhauji, initially the dynasty members tried their hand at business. 'Honesty is not a virtue for business. So they failed'. It was then they thought of education as a means for livelihood. Bhauji was among the early beneficiaries of the decision. What is so great in this story? There are many more such families big and small in India, you may ask. The key to your question is in Bhauji's Amartithi speech and the questions he asked me on stage. Play the web cast. You will know for sure. What did Bhauji ask ofme? He asked: "Where are the members ofthe dynasty today. What are they doing? What are you doing for a living?" For me, these questions sounded very innocuous as I heard Bhau. So I replied in a matter offact manner:"Oh! Dynasty members have come to Baba, and are working for Baba (You see, my reference is to Bhauji himself. I thought it was indeed a clever reply). For my living I work on computers and Internet. (This is true. He knows). Hearing this, Bhauji remarked: "See, he is from Kalchuri dynasty. But today what he is? He is making a living on computers". Some one from the audience (at the volunteers meeting) asked: "What were the volunteers like during the first Sahavas?"To me the question appeared as an attempt to divert Bhauji's attention. He, however, ignored the questioner and went on to speak about the Kalchuri dynasty. Analogy, a Metaphor What did he say? He said (in Hindi): "Change is the norm of life. Everything keeps changing. (Pointing towards me) He is from the Kalchuri dynasty but now he has become an editor. Others (of the Kalchuri dynasty) are doing different things. No dynasty. God alone is there. He is permanent. All others change. Change is in illusion. So remember Him, Baba, the Avatar. He has come to us in human form." By now the reader must have appreciated the symbolism in Bhau's speech, to which I made a reference at the very outset. Let me

elaborate. His audience is mostly made up of people from rural Maharashtra and rural Uttar Pradesh, who saw royals and feudalism first hand and have experienced the change that has come about in democratic India. The Iranians who have come in large numbers also are in a position to know the truism Bhauji was referring to. What about the large group ofBaba lovers from Andhra Pradesh? Well, they have some difficulty to appreciate the metaphor Bhauji is using . Firstly coastal districts and Rayalaseema regions-from where bulk of Telugu speaking Baba lovers come-enjoyed the fruits of British rule . It means better communications, better education and simply better living when compared to say a place like Hamirpur belt. Secondly because for most people from coastal and Andhra and Rayalaseema, feudalism and royals are text book stories, and celluloid scenes. A look at the women section of the volunteers' meeting made this very clear. Bhau spotted a couple of women who had pulled the 'pallu' of their saree over their heads virtually making their face invisible. Ghunghat, as it is called, is a custom observed in Hamirpur and also across UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra even today. It is a custom. So they are doing it. Such customs are not practiced in coastal Andhra for instance. Baba during his Hamirpur visits sowed the seeds of change in custom. He even had a special sahavas when women were allowed to sit on chairs and eat food on tables. The fruits of Baba's seed we are seeing today with women largely adapting to the changing times. In short, what is Bhauji us telling with the analogy of the Kalchuri dynasty? He is saying: Dynasties come and go. Kingdoms come and go. In fact, the dynasties and kingdoms and kings and queens have gone with the winds of change . Kings are replaced by Ministers and officers. Don't run after them. They too are not permanent. They too don't last long. The only one permanent is God- the Paratpara Parabrhamma. He is always there. He has come to you as Avatar Meher Baba. Follow Him. Love Him as He should be loved. He will give you the universal push, for you and many like you who love God. No TV Evangelism I, for one, believe Bhauji has been driving this message for a while, if memory serves me, for over three years. He is not a Television evangelist. There is no need for him to be one either. As the 'night watchman' of Baba and as the biographer ofBaba, Bhauji II

knows first hand what he says is true. He is a good story teller cut in the mould of a grand father who keeps telling stories to the grandchild. Grand fathers always make rambling narratives, because they are not TV anchors. For them, what matters is the content and not the style. For them, the audiences are not intellectual giants, but tender tiny tots in their formative age who are ever willing to listen and learn. For this audience, there is no need to tell the moral of a story bluntly like in a detergent advertisement. These audiences are receptive to the same story told again and again and are quick to capture the nuances. They are not argumentative but are intelligent. Fathers, who have graduated to grandfather-hood, know this truism. Now about the one/fourth and three/fourth, Bhauji keeps referring to these days. And in fact spoke about at the Amartithi 2010 and Volunteers Meeting 2010. Let me point out that this is not a new theme that has been popping up in Bhauji's speeches. It made its appearance for the first time in the emails that came from Bhauji in what I call the 'Yadrakh' series of emails.Yes, it is, however, only these past few months that Bhauji is making pointed reference to the one-fourth and three-fourth worlds both in his public addresses and internet chats. And every time he makes this reference, he concludes with the observation: 'Baba lovers have no reason to worry'. When I heard Bhauji at the volunteers' meeting and later while discussing the subject with noted Baba lovers Balakrishna Meher, a Hyderabad based air force officer, and Sanyasiraju, Vizianagarm based singer and composer, I began to wonder what could be the latent message. Is Bhauji referring to Pralaya? And as Balakrishna remarks, is Bhauji giving a subtle hint? No Worries, Seat Reserved "Seats of Baba lovers are reserved in the ship. They must keep looking straight when seated in the ship", says Bhauji while drawing your attention to a circular from Baba disseminated in the '50s. When it was issued, the circular caused a major commotion amongst Baba lovers. But over the I2

years, the circular and its contents were forgotten. Till Bhauji resurrected them in his own understated way. As Vani says, while talking of Baba and of what Bhauji says, we should not think through out head but speak through the heart. So, I placed my doubts before Bhauji. He replied thus: "Yes, you can interpret as Pralaya. This is Pralaya - partial, not Mahapralaya. Mahapralaya means the whole Creation is submerged in the Divine Ocean for a long time, and God in the form of the Avatar takes rest. When the force of illusion increases and increases, at that time Mahapralaya takes place. This one quarter and three quarters will be partial-pralaya-not Mahapralaya. As this is pralaya, not Mahapralaya, the one quarter will be saved, and they will tum towards the Truth. They will not see this side or that side, but straight towards God, who is carrying the ship, in the form of Meher Baba. Not only Baba lovers, but God-loving people, they are all Baba lovers. The ship is the simile which indicates the reason why they will not look this side or that side, but straight towards God in form of Baba. It is a long thing to make this point very, very clear, but this is sufficient. I was really cautioning Baba lovers that they should focus towards Baba, because He is in form as the Avatar. You are right, and you did the right thing, and that's why you have good mustache

and you look like you are from Kalchuri dynasty". I rest my case. http://southasiantribune.comlsymbolism-inmeber-baba-loue/ .

~ III. ::.:'






...Jesus's Tomb'cant.from p. 47: Late Breaking News:

Holy rowin Kashmir over 'Jesus tomb' Visit this URL for complete article: http://www.atimes.comlatimes/South_Asia/ LE22DjV3.html


uslims in Indian-administered Kashmir are not happy with an influx of tourists and conspiracy theorists to a shrine in Srinagar that is claimed by some to hold the remains ofJesus Christ. While an American author wants DNA tests carried out, the tomb's caretaker says he won't let "crazy" researchers "desecrate" a tomb that Muslims insist houses a Sufi saint. - Hamon Mirani (May 21, '10)

7he Bennan fBakery 7aroeted by 7errorists my i}ija !ÂŁuro/'it, ~ssociated !ÂŁress CWriter


une February isÂť. Indian investigators examined security camera footage Monday as they tried to identify who planted a deadly bomb in a bakery popular with foreigners. [and many Baba lovers.] No one has claimed responsibility for the attack Saturday night that killed nine people in the city of Pune, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Mumbai. Suspicions, however, quickly fell on Islamic militant groups blamed for past attacks, including the 2008 massacre of166 people in Mumbai, the country's financial hub. "As of now I will not be able to confirm or rule out any group," Pune Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said, adding that he had formed four teams to probe different aspects of the attack. "We are investigating from all angles ." Officials said one or two people posing as customers left a backpack containing a bomb in the German Bakery. In addition to the nine deaths, 60 people were wounded. While the restaurant did not have security cameras, police were examining video shot by cameras installed at a hotel across the street, police said. On Monday, police showed the footage to bakery workers who had spotted the abandoned backpack before it exploded, a police officer said, speaking on condition of because he was not authorized to talk to reporters about

an ongoing investigation. The bombing was India's first major terrorist attack since the Mumbai siege and came just a day after India and Pakistan scheduled their first formal dialogue since New Delhi suspended wide-ranging peace talks in the aftermath of the Mumbai attack. Security forces have been put on high alert at airports, train stations and markets across India, and Hindu nationalists have blamed Pakistan and demanded the talks be canceled.

Editor's note: On a note topilgrims traveling to our Beloved's Samadbi, just be extra alert not only while traveling, but also in Meberabad. The detectives visited the Meber Pilgrim Retreat and told the residents and other workers at the MPR, be on the look out for knapsacks or cases left standing by themselves. I guess we should just keep in mind the words with which Baba had consoled one of His lovers many years ago "No amount of medical intervention or lack thereof will change your appointed time ofcoming to me". And what better place to go to Him than when you are right there? All we can do is to hold Him in our hearts and minds - constantly.

The German Bakery aswe knew it.

2iow J CWill ~iss

the Bennan fBakery! Sky CWisemall, JWe1lerabad

'l J{ ]hen I'm in Pune I always spend a few

VV hours each morning in the German Bakery.I walk down from the Surya Villa at about 6 a.m. and stay 'til about 9 a.m. Then I go back to the Surya Villa and have a bowl of fruit and more coffee. This area of Pune is forever changed now; Wow, I will miss it so much. I hope they rebuild the German Bakery. In many ways it was a strange place with a bizarre vibe. But for some reason after months in Meherabad I always found it a place where Baba seemed to help me synthesize all the lessons He had been giving me in His Meherabad Fire. The day before the bombing I was there in Pune and at the German Bakery as usual. Many Baba lovers had been in the German Bakery or had close brushes with the place on the day ofthe bombing. I myselfhad gone to Pune with the idea of staying a few days, but I forgot my computer power cord and my mouse and all my nice shirts back in Meherabad. And besides that, the Dhuni was that night. So I decided Baba wanted me to go back home to Meherabad more or less against my own wishes. The German Bakery is a place that has captured my heart. This is a sad time for all who love the place and its denizens. I worry about the Tibetan waiters who are always so nice to me. I can picture the faces ofa lot of regulars I've come to recognize. I hope to see them again. It is a unique place and it is hard to believe that the rustic wood slab table where I like to sit is not there anymore. And what repercussions this event is having here in Meherabad where now our entrance to the Meher Pilgrim Retreat is much more tightly controlled, packages are now not allowed in the dining hall, and for the first time ever the other night bags had to be checked in lockers at His Samadhi. And there were armed guards patrolling the periphery of His Silence on the night after the bombing. But they were not in evidence last night. I feel happy that they were not. The question seems to be how tightly to tie one's camel. But I realize that there are no simple answers to this question for those in charge ofour safety,who must make difficult, practical, worldly decisions everyday as they try their best always to please the Beloved, and care for His Samadhi and the pilgrims and the surrounding environs in this Sacred Land where He has trod. I3

"7here is 2-Jo ~ay of Savino One's Eoo Except by 'cove. (Boethe) II

BanJ 2<leiner, Jl1elterabad


art 1. "Who Are You? Who, Who? [Lyrics by Pete Townshend] Oh Baba, you're so fine, You're so fine, YOU THINK that you can blow my mind, Hey Baba! Hey Baba!" On February 13,2010 at approximately 7:00 p.m. Mehera, Pia and I were driving to register in our hotel in the Koregaon Park area of Pune. On February 13, 2010 at approximately 7:15 p.m. a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in the Koregaon Park area of Pune. A big reason that we make these trips out of Meherabad to Pune is to give Pia a little getaway. Being a daughter of Meherabad is somewhat akin to continuously having access to the chicken soup for the soul, but sometimes fiveyear-old girls just wanna have fun. But let's get back to our car in Pune. Mehera was getting a bit irritated with me because I was insisting that all of us should first drive to our hotel to register and drop off our bags before going out. Mehera was of the opinion that it would be a better use of time if only I went off with the car to deal with the hotel and that she and Pia could go by rickshaw and get a head start on the fun stuff. Mehera's plan was that she and Pia would go to the German Bakery for a snack and to the Bund Garden fairground where in the evenings they have horsie rides, slides and merry-go-rounds. In her plan, I would meet up with them later, after finishing the hotel stuff. But, Mehera saw that I was insistent on us staying together, and not wanting to turn an irritation into a quarrel, Mehera agreed to have everybody go to the hotel first. At the hotel we were in the process of xeroxing our passports and completing all the formalities that foreigners must comply with, when a call came in telling us that a bomb just exploded at the German Bakery. 17 people died from the blast and over 50 people were seriously injured. Now a guy like me can have a panic attack if I lose my keys. But the shock that recoiled from the fact that terrorism almost put its hand on my family and me, made me completely numb. The only way that I would describe that state, is that the mind and feelings are shut off. Also, in that state there is an observer who watch-


es everything that is going on, including the actions performed by me, but the observer is not identifying with any actions or with any sense of "I, me or mine". In short, there was a moment there where the usual "me" that I identify with was no longer in the driver's seat. But, as we all have sadly come to know, all things must pass. We cannot hold a moment, the moment holds us. It seems like everything except "Existence Infinite and Eternal" (GOD) is destined to either chase after the thrill ofvictory or to try to run away from the agony of defeat. But as is my habit, I digress. After I started becoming un-numbed, waves of gratefulness started coming over me along with feelings of sadness and guilt about the people who did not make it. Survivor guilt is a package that I was born with. My father survived the Holocaust and my mother survived the siege of Stalingrad. They were both torn between whether to celebrate the fact that they were saved or whether to mourn the loss of loved ones and community members who lost their lives through seemingly senseless world events. A brush or a close call with a potential tragedy seems to have a way of giving us a temporary "awakening" or at least a reminder as to how temporal this life really is. Mehera and I both felt a need to call people close to us and share the news of the event and communicate to people that we love them and that we are honored to share a slice of life with them. Of course

be termed as "being saved". I definitely could identify in myself the need to have or to construct a belief system in which there is a "Savior" who has the power to change events in the Universe in order to rescue me and my loved ones from harm and danger. And I kept asking myself if there is a Savior, why in the world would he want to save me? In no uncertain terms Baba told us, that, "To each one I appear to be what he thinks that I am." Therefore, whether we choose to think that Baba is our "Savior" or whether we choose to think that Baba is "Not a Savior", we would be right. Part 2. Who Am I? "Oh Baba, you're so fine, You're so fine, I think that YOU actually CAN blow my mind, Hey Baba! Hey Baba!" Cosmology: In metaphysics, it is the study of being and knowing. Because inquiring minds are asking if there is anybody out there who can actually save us. And if the answer is yes, than does that "power" ever exercise its power to save a wretch like me? "Who am I?" (This original whim can also be called the first "WORD uttered by God: "WHO AM I?" -God Speaks) "W ho am I?" is the most original question. And, "I am God" is the only right answer. But right now, in this moment, is it the Eternal Soul, (the essence of our being), or is it our ego-mind (the sanskaric casing) that is doing the asking? Who is it that is living this moment within us, for us or through us?

it also feels good if some- ~~~ir--:;;;ii;::=t:5riJ=~~~~~E one tells you that they love ~ you too and that you have iiiiifi&~iii an important place in their hearts. Since almost all of our friends are Baba lovers, the major theme that almost everybody wanted to convey to us, was how Baba had "saved us". Of course, in that moment, we agreed with everybody and profusely kept on repeating, "Thank you, Baba."But privately I started asking myself whether what happened The aftermath actually empirically can

The Soul is Existence Infinite and Eternal. The Soul is beyond space and time. While contained in the prison of Time and Space the Soul is only a witness. It witnesses what is happening in the gross, subtle and mental worlds and what is being done in those worlds by gross, subtle and mental bodies. The Soul does not participate in the illusion of life. And the purpose of the creation, as we have been told, is for creation to be a factory to create the consciousness necessary for the Soul to come to know that ''All souls (atmas) were, are and will be in the OverSoul (Paramatma)." (First sentence of God Speaks) When consciousness is complete, as it is in the human form, the stage is set for the Soul to answer that most original question. But unfortunately, in the process of manufacturing consciousness for the unconscious Soul, a by-product of sanskaras is also created . When fully developed, this sanskaric by-product (false self) not only has the capability to create a separate "ego-mind" entity but also has the capacity to compel consciousness to identify with itself, (the ego-mind) and not with the Soul. So, the ego-mind which served the purpose of being a sort of"witness protection program" for the Soul and a holding pen for the growing consciousness during the evolution process, now in human form is unwilling to retire and get out of the way in order to allow the Soul to use the fully developed consciousness to experience itself as Existence Infinite and Eternal. Therefore, one can take a point of view that this newly minted and most precious commodity called consciousness which was only created for the Soul to have the ability to know itself was essentially carjacked by the ego-mind. And the irony is that this ego-mind was a vehicle specifically created to deliver the Soul to the Promised Land. So, this ego-mind, which pledged to serve and protect the Soul, possibly decided that it could have more fun by going rogue. But fans of the Soul can rest assured that in the Big Plan no Soul is ever left behind. But even though we know that the ending will eventually turn out good, nonetheless, like all probing minds, we want to know how the Illusionist is going to save the Soul? There is a Magician's Code, that states that, "I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician." The word "magic" is itself derived from the

Gary,Pia. and Mebera

word "Magi", which not only has ties to the "Jesus Saves" story but also can refer to anyone who is a follower of Zoroaster. Well, the big deal or the fresh Quaker Oats of this Avataric Advent is that our Zoroastrian illusionist, Meher Baba, told us how He came to play the Lover and Beloved game with the ego-mind. And He revealed to us that how, in the moment of blissful union, the ego-mind releases the Soul that it has kept as a captive audience in its prison of sanskaric false identification. And then in a moment that is both in and out ofTime and Space, POOF,just like that, the Soul disappears, not just from the stage or body but from all of creation, forever. "Once the soul is freed of illusion, Illusion does not merely cease to exist, but is then found never to have existed at all." (God Speaks) The Illusion is the illusion that the Illusionist creates. But before we blame the ego-mind for the game that it plays, we must accept the design of this game as something that was part of the original divine plan (or whim). It's as though Baba, the Divine Conscious aspect of God, and also that aspect which is connected with the divine imagination of God (creation), wants to not only play the role of the shepherd for each Soul that goes through life, but also wants to play the role of helper (or Savior) in each Soul's jailbreak. Eruch would tell us that Baba used to

say that, "The body is just the excreta of the Soul." And Eruch also used to say that, "The only thing that is standing in the way of God realizing Himself in you, is you. It is only after you get out of the way that God can experience Himself to be who He always is." Eruch also used to wear a t-shirt that said, "God, save me from your lovers." But the bottom line question is: If there is a possibility of being saved, do we need saving from events or others, or from ourselves? Part 3: "I tell you all, with my Divine Authority, that you and I are not "WE," but "ONE.""[Meher Baba's Call] "Oh Baba, you're so fine, You're so fine, GO AHEAD and blow my mind, Hey Baba! Hey Baba!" The Ego-mind sent a message to the Master asking for an appointment to have a talk. The Master agreed to have a meeting. The transcript of that meeting is reproduced here. MB: denotes Master-Blaster. ME: denotes Mind-ego MB : Welcome. You wanted to meet with me. What's on your mind? ME: Well, this is not an easy thing to say, but I sort of thought that we had a deal. MB :What is the nature of the deal that you thought that we had? ME: Originally, it seemed like you needed to connect with someone who was really able to love you, and we needed to


to lose everything. But I have an unfair advantage in this contest. ME: And what may that be? MB: I created you. And when I created you it was solely for the purpose of transporting my soul. The deal that we made was that upon completion of the soul's journey your services would be permanently terminated. But what gives me the advan':.. ~-.. Policeinspecting the GermanBaker)'bombingin Pune. tage that I spoke of, is that I can pull the soul out of connect to someone who was really able your body at any time. The problem for to save us. Since neither of us was really you is that your body cannot live without able to do that for the other, we made a a soul, since the soul is what gives life to compromise in which we agreed to pre- your life. On the other hand, the soul does tend to love you and you agreed to pre- not depend on any body since it is Existend to save us. tence Infinite and Eternal. For eternity we have maintained that ME: Okay, so you can pull the plug on status quo and it seemed that everything me at anytime. Then where is this equal was working pretty well. But now, in your battle that you are bragging about? So, baMaster-Blaster Advent, you are really sically you're telling me that you used me shaking things up. I read your books and as a vehicle and than decided to pay no it seems like you are saying that you want mind to me. I don't know where you come to blow my mind. from, but where I come from we don't like And you very well know that if you to be used. MB: I hear your pain. I will tell you blow my mind that will kill me. Not kill me in those 'pretend to kill me' ways in about the equal battle in a minute. I Am which I have already died more than 8 Existence Infinite and Eternal. That is million times. You very well know that if where I come from. In my non-dual state you unplug my mind, that will really kill there is no question of using anybody me. Not like a change of uniforms when since I am all that ever was, ever is and I leave one physical body for another. ever will be. One needs something other You're talking about kissing me goodbye! than one's self if one was going to use Nobody is going to sign up for this deal them . And since you brought up where after they read the fine print. You want to you come from, please allow me tell you take my very existence and I get nothing?! where you come from, if you don't mind. Is that your deal? ME: Why should I mind? You are Truth MB: I appreciate how you were able to personified. Whatever you tell me might sum up the past, the present and the fu- hurt me, but nonetheless it will be true. I ture of our relationship in a very succinct know that in the past I used to prefer the manner. I agree that the "love-save"trade- out of sight out of mind approach towards off that we originally tried out, never re- truth, but I think that I have graduated to ally worked as well as we both hoped that a place where I would rather hate myself it would. But it was always only a tem- for who I really am, than to love myself porary truce. So, it is time now for both for who I am really not. MB: That is the essence of right thinkof us to up the ante and start to play for keeps. We both have something that we ing. And that is what makes you ready will fight to the death to protect. You will to hear the truth about yourselÂŁ You are wage the ultimate fight for your beloved a projection of my infinite imagination. mind and likewise I will stake everything I needed you because I needed someone in the fight for my beloved soul. other than myself to help deliver the Soul It is an equal battle, since for you to lose to the promised land of infinite conyour mind would mean losing everything sciousness. Although you come out of me, and for me to lose my soul would also be my imagination that is, you do not come



out of my reality. You were born to deliver the drop back to the ocean. You are almost there . The fact that I am talking to you is a sign of how close you are to the goal. I know that it is deflating to think of oneself as a figment of some one else's imagination. You may think that I am callous and indifferent towards you, but I have watched every step of the journey that you and my soul have gone on. And I must tell you that in the process I have fallen in love with you. Really, I have. Now I promise you that I will love you in a way that in all the eternity of time you have never been loved before. I promise to love you in a way that will melt you heart and satisfy your mind. In the absolute beginning when you asked me for life, I told you that "living is dying by loving". Now I promise to engulf you with the kind of love, that to your mind, is beyond imagination and conception. Throughout your life, through the ages and the yugas, you have been searching for something that is truly worth dying for. In finding me, you have found that which is worth living for and that which is worth dying for. You used to think that I was going to be the one who was always going to save you. But actually you are the one who was always saving me. You are "the illusion that sustains reality". Nonetheless, if anyone thinks that I ever saved you in the past, it was only because both of us were only waiting for this moment to arrive. Now is the time for our embrace. Come to me, willingly and without fear. I will blow your mind via the completeness of my love. I love you. ME: I love you too. I am all yours. And I now see that you have always been mine. Embrace me my Beloved. There is no more longing for saving.There is only the longing for your love. I see now that you were always saving me just for this moment, which puts an end to all moments. Be gentle with me.


'[he 3ina1 v4ccount " J( Then the goal of life is attained,

V V one achieves the reparation of all wrongs, the healing of all wounds, the righting of all failures, the sweetening of all sufferings, the relaxation of all strivings, the harmonizing of all strife, the

unraveling of all enigmas, and the real and

full meaning of all life-past, present and future. (Meher Baba-Life At It's Best) "In the eternity of existence there is no time. There is no past and no future, only the everlasting present. Therefore, in eternity nothing has ever happened and nothing will ever happen. Everything is happening in the unending NOW, if there is anything happening at all; because all that has apparently happened, all that is apparently happening and all that will ever apparently happen in the illusory cosmic universe is all that which God has already dreamt the moment His own original infinite whim surged as "WHO AM I?" So, really speaking nothing has happened and nothing will ever happen. (Meher Baba-God Speaks)

Painting by Katie Rose

~eher ~aba 3peaks' "9111 waspart ojan unfoldingglobalplanfor nies. Around 50,000 people of different spiritual awakening,"saysIndian Proftssor. nationalities worked there and on 9/11, as 12 December 2009 Asian Tribune he terrorist attacks on New York's iconic twin towers of World Trade Centre in September 2001 were part of unfolding Avataric Divine Plan for global awakening and resurrection', says a leading Indian academic. Prof Jagadambi S. Rathore adds: "I reflected on 9/11 deeply. I am convinced that suffering of this magnitude had an Avatar Meher Baba connection. It marked the unfolding of an Avataric Divine Plan". Rathore is an authority on Meher Baba's divine message. A scientist by training and temperament, and an academic by profession, he is heading the Meher Spiritual University, which is a first of its kind virtual university.


http://www.meherspiritualuniversity. org Elaborating on his interpretation of the terrorist attack that shook the world, the professor speaks about a visit of Meher Baba to Wall Street during his maiden visit to the United States in 1931. "No one was told the purpose of the visit. The great spiritual significance of Babas brief visit to Wall Street is now becoming clear." Wall Street in New York is the financial capital of USA. World Trade Center with its twin towers was the symbolic heart of Wall Street. It housed numerous international and American investment banks, brokerages law firms and service compa-

hijacked jets crashed into the towers, the edifice came down in a stroke, taking the lives of the innocents. It was the image of a bubble pricked by a needle, Prof Rathore, who has authored Shore to Shoreless", avers. That day, September 11, 2001, he was in Bhopal, a central India city visited by Meher Baba many times. As the sun was setting, he and his colleagues were getting ready to leave for Ahmednagar to participate the next day in the lighting of sacred fire at Meherabad. The practice of lighting fire, Dhuni, as it is called, on the 12th day of every month goes back many years. Meher Baba Himself had lighted the first sacred fire at Meherabad. A news update on the TV drew their attention. "As I saw a jet airliner hit one of the buildings of World Trade Center and its top engulfed by fire and smoke, the great spiritual significance of the tragedy struck me," Prof Rathore said in an e-mail interVIew. At 2pm on November 6, 1931 Meher Baba sailed into New York harbor on board the S.S. Roma. Reaching there Meher Baba repeated His statement which He had made earlier before commencing His mystic silence on July 10, 1925: "I have come not to teach, but to awaken. " Before leaving the Big Apple, Baba wished to be driven around Wall Street. Jean Adriel drove Him in a car around the

place dotted with high rise buildings. It was a Saturday and the streets were virtually deserted. Jean was thinking to herself, "How ephemeral and unreal is this money madness." The next moment, pointing to the skyscrapers, Baba smiled at her and gestured, "It is all a bubble, so easy to prickl" Says Prof Rathore: "Babas words were significant. What had happened on Sept 11, 2001 aptly fits the image of a bubble pricked by a needle." 1931 was the year when Avatar Meher Baba, along with three companions, made His very first tour of the West. On September 11, 1931, Baba put His feet on European soil at Marseilles at Sam. Two days later on 13 September, an American scientist Thomas Watson and his wife met Baba and on the 15th they invited Him to their country, saying, "America is the country for a great spiritual worker like you. You must go there." Thomas offered to make arrangements for Meher Babas visit. "If you permit me, I shall make all the necessary arrangements for you and your group to visit New York. On behalf of the American people, I extend my heartiest invitation to you to come to the United States." Meher Baba accepted the invitation, because in the unfolding of His Divine Plan, "America has a major role to play." In an interview with British journalist Paul Brunton (November 23, 1930), Meher Baba said: "I shall change the history of the whole world. As Jesus came to impart spiri tuality to a materialistic age, so I have come to impart a spiritual push to present-day mankind. America has a tremendous future and will become a spiritually-minded nation. America is destined to lead the world spiri tually." Brunton conducted the interview when Meher Baba was living in a cave dug by His followers atop Meherabad hill. It was called Panchvati cave. After Baba completed His work from the cave, Panchvati was pulled down. Today a plaque stands at the place. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Asian Tribune. "Shore to Shoreless available in the Love Street Bookstore. $14


~i9ht 'Chis fBe ~eher

fBaba's Samadhi in 2040?!

A reader sent me this from the Pune Times is the second richest in India. On holiMirror days and weekends, the number goes up to five lakh [500,000]and during festivals, it exceeds eight lakh. Though most devotees are from Maharashtra and Andhra ow Pradesh, a large number come from other parts of India. In recent years, the shrine has been attracting devotees from abroad. By Santosh Andhale ,July 27, 2009 Shrine trustees said that most devotees, n a year's time, the trust managing the Sai Baba shrine plans to have a spiritual especially the young, were interested to theme park like the one in Singapore at a know more about the life of the saint. For cost of Rs 50 crores [500 million rupees, their benefit, the trust came up with the plan of a park with laser shows that could aprox. $11,000] The Shri Sai Baba Sansthan which relate the story of the saint's life through manages the Sai Baba shrine at Shirdi, is the medium of light and water fountains. planning a 25-acre spiritual theme park at The trust said that two 40-minute shows a cost of Rs 50 crore and is looking for could be shown in the park for devotees, international firms with expertise in cre- which will be located about a kilometer ating theme parks like Sentosa Island in away from the temple . Singapore for the project. The trust has already asked companies On a normal day, over one lakh interested in the project to submit their [100,000] people visit the shrine, which 'expression of interest' document. The

spiritual theme park is expected to be ready in a year. "W e have already made a provision of Rs 50 crore for the project. Entry into the park will be free. We are modeling the show on the lines of the one at Sentosa Island in Singapore," said Jayant Sasane, chairman of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan. Several new facilities have been planned for Sai devotees. An airport is on the cards and one can now get darshan passes from Sansthan's Mumbai office, which means no waiting in a long queue at the temple. There will also be an 18-storey Sai Tower built in place of its office at Dadar, where devotees will get Sai Baba-related material. Outstation devotees can stay here before their journey to Shirdi.

"Xaylor Fautner was, like, even more hot than I thought he would be!"Jennifer sighed dreamily, "He is, like, to die for!""Well I'm glad you enjoyed Bilight Jennifer, but The Attack ofthe Humans was even scarier than I thought it would be!" Zax exclaimed, his voiceshaking. Klaxrolled her eyes"Oh come on Zax, it wasn't that scary!" Before Zax could respond Jennifer cried out, "OMG! someone was in our house!!!" Klax and Zax looked to where she was pointing and saw the partly eaten cheeseburgers. "Look Klax, someone took a bite out of yours, and mine too!" Zax shouted. ''And someone ate mine all up!"Jennifer pouted. "D on't worry honey it's not such a big deal, we can order takeout." Klax soothed. "B-b-but what about the intruder?" Zax stammered. "What if it's ... a human!" "Oh don't be silly!" Klax reprimanded, "It's probably just a lost baby creature looking for a snack. I'm sure its long gone by now." Comforted but not entirely reassured, Zax stepped into the living room but ran out screaming."Oh dad, is this one of your pranks?" Jennifer asked nervously. "No Jennifer, someone was in the living room too, and whoever or whatever it was, it broke your chair!""Oh why is it always my stuffi''' Jennifer complained. "Now, now. Like I said you guys,whatever it was it is probably gone now" Klax said, sounding worried for the first time. She went into the living room

and upon further inspection reported nothingwas there. "Like I said, it's probably gone now. Let's go upstairs and take a short nap in our pods. It's been an exciting couple of hours." Zax and Jennifer agreed and they all went upstairs. "H ey someone's been sleeping in my pod. The dream monitor said they were scared and woke up." Zax chuckled "Well no wonder, it was set on nightmare!" "Someone's been sleeping in my pod too!" Klax pointed out. "The dream monitor said they woke up disgusted." Klax chuckled again "I would be too; it was set to unicorns." Suddenly Jennifer shrieked. "Someone been sleeping in my pod and they're still there!" Zax looked over and screamed as if being attacked. "It's a human. Don't look into its eyes!" Hearing this Charlotte woke up and screamed even louder. She ran out of the house, grabbing some exotic samples for Ms. Wilson as she went. Charlotte hopped into her spaceship, set a course for Earth and the alien family never saw her again.

,Laser Show ,Like One at Sentosa 2V in Shirdi


Kids' Comer cant.from page57

of the chair exclaiming,"Wow that chair is waaay too soft!"She walked over to the third chair, which she thought was just right, until she broke it. "O ops" Charlotte whispered guiltily as she backed away"I hope the aliens won't be mad." At the thought of hostile aliens Charlotte turned around and ran up the stairs. She slammed the door behind her as she looked at her new surroundings. It appeared that she was in a bedroom, if you can call floating pods beds that is. There were three pods, one pink and flowery, one all back, and one all purple. Charlotte was very tired at this point so she decided to take a nap in one of the pods. In each pod she noticed a strange floating bubble-like device on the door of the 'beds'. (It was a dream monitor). First she tried the black pod. She fell asleep, but dreamed about monsters and freakyclowns.Charlotte woke up scared out of her wits. She moved on to the pink flowery pod. She fell asleep, but this time she dreamed about unicorns, flowers, and gumdrops. Charlotte woke up disgusted and moved on to the purple bed. She fell asleep and dreamed of Ms . Wilson congratulating her on her wonderful journey to Mars and all the scientific evidence she had collected. Charlotte slept peacefullyand therefore did not hear the three aliens come home.


THE END The moral of the story is: Don't break and enter a house, especially if you're on a different planet and if you called for back up, it would take them three years to get where you are!

(jJeads on One StritlfJ r:Eilgrimage

CatchinfJ r:Erasad



he 'Beads on One String' pilgrimage is becoming an established journey through India, following the trail that Don Stevens and other pilgrims have taken since it started in 2004. The pilgrimage includesvisits to spiritual sites in India that are sacred to the traditions of Hinduism, the Jains, Buddhism and Islam. What follows is a description of the 2010 pilgrimage, with the understanding that there may be slight adjustments in the final itinerary. The intention of the pilgrimage is to experience the common thread ofthe Oneness of God which permeates the diverse paths to the Divine. This pilgrimage is also intended to involve people ofall faiths who have a sincerewish to join, in companionship, and who long for the resolution ofthe terrible religious conflict that is so prevalent today. The next pilgrimage is planned for August 4-20,2010. Delhi is the starting point of this journey, where the group will stay for 2 nights. Pilgrims will visit the Qgtub Minar, a magnificent tower of red sandstone and marble, inscribed with versesfrom the Koran, originally built in the 13th C. as a minaret to exclaim the faith of Islam in northern India. The tomb of Mahatma Ghandi, one of the most important political and spiritual figures ofthe 20th centaury, will also be visited. From Delhi the group will travel by train to the medieval town of Ajmer in Rajastan, to the dargah of the great Sufi Master Mu'innnudin Chisti. This is the tomb/shrine of The Qgtub-e-Irshad (axis or hub of the spiritual hierarchy) of his time who was responsible for bringing Sufism to India in the 12thC. This shrine welcomes all faiths. The group will then travel onwards to Mount Abu, once a hill station of the British Raj, beautiful and cool, with an ancient Hindu and Jain history.A road from the town winds upwards, past an ancient Hindu temple set into the natural rock of the Dilwara Jain Temple complex.The Vimal VashiTemple is the focus here; exquisitely carved from luminescent white marble, it is dedicated to the first Jain T rrthanker or Guide, Ardinath, and a sacred place ofworship. After spending two nights in Mt, Abu the journey will continue to Mahabaleshwar, high in the Western Ghats. We will stay for two nights and visit several important places, including the impressive 16th C. Pratapghar

Fort of Shivaji which overlooks the town of Satara.This fort, magnificent in its ruins, was where this great spiritual warrior king finally stopped the flow ofIslam to the Hindu south. Meher Baba often visited this area with his eastern and western devotees, and Kitty Davy in her book 'Love Alone Prevails' remembered 'It is a beautiful spot. A mass ofwoods, valleys and hills.' The pilgrims will also visit the cave, known as the Panchgani Cave, which Meher Baba had constructed for His meditation and seclusionwork. Following Mahabaleshwar, the group will travel to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, an important centre of Hindu and Islamic culture. This is where Meher Baba completed His New Life phase in the Manonash Cave, located in the rock of the surrounding hills. The group will visit this important site and stay in the Meher Baba Centre situated in the Jubilee Hills region. This beautiful and tranquil place is built on the curious rock formations that surround the whole area. From here the group will visit Aurangabad and the Ellora Caves, famous for the numerous Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Temples carved from the living rock. The Lonely Planet Guide states that; , India's three great religions and their coexistence at one site indicates a lengthy period of Religious tolerance...The Masterpiece is the astonishing Kailasa Temple and is the world 's largest monolithic sculpture.'The group will share a meditation in the KailashTemple which Meher Baba instructed Don to visit and to film. We will also discoverthe simple beauty ofthe Buddhist andJain caves,particularly Cave 10, Viswakarma, where an enormous statue of the Buddha sits in silent meditation . As Don Stevens writes of the visit in 2009- 'The entire Ellora Caves complex has an intense atmosphere of charged presence and one feels that one can pause anywhere at any time and begin any type of observance of one's personal devotion and search for the Truth.' Following the day at Ellora, the group will visit the neighboring Valley of the Saints which contains the tomb of the perfect master Zar Zari Barkash and the cave of Sai Baba, one of the five perfect masters who brought Meher Baba to earth as the Avatar. After a second night in Aurangabad, the cent. p.31

Computer montage Š2009 Cherie Plumlee ( with photo(s) of Baba courtesy ofMSI Collection, Meherabad, Ind ia.

Michael Da Costa, England ow much Prasad did Meher Baba give out in this advent, I wonder? Many thousands of souls would travel great distances to receive a smile or a hug, and leave contented, munching on a banana or some candy,given by their Beloved Lord. In smaller intimate groups He would sometimes play with them by throwing the Prasad, looking one way and then throwing it to someone sitting in the other direction, much to everyone's amusement. Whatever Baba did usually had layers of meaning and significancewhich the ordinary mind can rarely fathom, but in His compassion He did at least explain that Prasad creates a link between Himself and each lover as a gift from God to man, and that the real Prasad was not the candy or the fruit, but the inestimable gift of Baba's divine Love with which they were infused. Although we shall have to wait 700 years before we shall be able to receivePrasad from Meher Baba's own hand, I believe that we still have the opportunity to play the game of catching- His-Prasad, the real Prasad, His divine Love. This Prasad is available at all times to one and all, and Baba is forever on the look-out for any sincere soul who is ready to receive it. And so His divine Game continues eternally, and we have to be constantly vigilant,ever at the ready to catch it ifit comes our way. It might sometimes seem that Baba is looking in a different direction, but more likelyit is our attention which has strayed; so it is up to us to stay on our toes and keep focussed on Him at all times. Ifwe don't, when His Love-Prasad comes flying through the air in our direction we might see it too late cant.p. 31


::Avatar" Comes to ~1:Irtle (j3each Part One Kenneth Lux, Myrtle Beach n December 16,2009, the film "Avatar" opened in the cinema complex at the Myrtle Beach Mall, right across Highway 17 from the Meher Spiritual Center in South Carolina. Immediately I felt that this was significant. I knew that many Baba-lovers here might discount the importance of this event, seeing this action film as "not spiritual," having nothing to do with Baba, and viewing it merely as another Hollywood production. But I thought that such a reaction would miss the most special nature of this occurrence. When the Meher Center was established in 1944, it's safe to say that almost no one in this country had ever heard the word 'Avatar." In the glossary of Infin ite Intelligence, a recently discovered and published book by Meher Baba, the definition of this word is given as follows: "Avatar (adj. Avataric) (in Discourses and God Speaks): The total manifestation of God in human form on earth, as the eternal living Perfect Master; the direct descent of Reality into illusion; the Savior, the Highest of the High, the Ancient One. Also called the God-Man, the Messiah, the Buddha, the Christ, the Rasool, the Sahebe-Zaman, Language-(from Sanskrit) Indian: avatar: a descent or alighting; the descent of a god on earth; the incarnation of Vishnu. Derived from the Sanskrit verb auatarna, to descend." Then somehow, through a process that would make an interesting academic study (if it has not been done already), the word has slowly come into the culture. First, I believe, the word entered in literary contexts in which certain figures were said to be avatars of something. An example of this would be a statement that "Agatha Christie is an avatar of mystery writers."Then the word branched out into other contexts and uses. There is a spiritual training that people can sign up for in which they become "avatars," and this movement has a journal called "Avatar." More recently, computer games were developed in which players can choose a figure to represent them in the game, and this figure is called their avatar. A similar device appears in online chats and other



Internet uses. Now with this movie, which Route 17, and to the entrance of the Meis heading to be the biggest moneymaker her Center. As he did this, I found myself of all time, the word 'Avatar" is spread bothered by the designation "3D" after the around all over the country and the world. word "Avatar." Somehow it seemed a little And so it has come to Myrtle Beach, play- too "media-centric" and took away from ing in the Myrtle Beach Mall, with the the plain majesty of the word 'Avatar." marquee reading 'Avatar" directly across But then, a few days later, I attended the highway from the Meher Center. one of Adele Wolkin's informal talks in Now let us remember the sadness that the Original Kitchen at the Center. At one some of us felt when we heard that in the point she said, 'As good as the paintings of past Elizabeth Patterson had sold off land Baba are, I prefer photographs. In the phoacross the highway that belonged to the tographs Baba sometimes can come out of Center to a corporation, and that sale led the picture in 3D." OK, Baba, I get it. And to the building of a mall on that site. The then I thought that the Avatar could be reason for her doing this, of course, was understood as abstract God appearing on that this money would become part of the earth in 3D. But as far as the film itself Meher Center endowment. And so the goes, it still seemed to me that on the level mall was built, first called the Briarcliffe ofits content it had little or nothing to do Mall, then changed to Colonial Mall, and with the idea ofAvatar as we know it. But then I spoke to Richie Blum, who takes most recently to Myrtle Beach Mall. But with this event of the movie play- over at this point. ing directly across from the Center, these Part Two two phenomena come together in a most interesting way.The mall being there, built on what was 300 acres of natural wood- Richard Blum, Myrtle Beach he film "Avatar" is considered by land and once part of the Center, becomes many as the most important movie of the setting for this word 'A vatar" now being displayed high on the marquee for all the decade in terms of advancing the techon the highway to see, and if approaching nology of filmmaking. James Cameron, drivers glance across the road, there they the director, created new technologies in can see the entrance to the Center (and order to make the movie, which resulted in coincidentally, this gated entryway was the most expensive film ever shot. As we moved several years ago, making it even have seen, the movie is also very important more visible to motorists heading out from a spiritual point of view, because of of the mall). So what the Center is, the the use of the word 'Avatar." As I see it, Home in the West of the Avatar of the the word 'Avatar" has three distinct meanAge , is now labeled for a period of time in ings in relationship to the content and crebig marquee letters . We might even imag- ation of the film. The first meaning refers to the title and ine in a fanciful way that the reason for the mall's coming into existence and the word how the term is used inside the body of 'Avatar" moving into a prominent place in our culture is so that this confluence could happen, and who knows where this may eventually lead? And so Greg Butler, while I looked on, took his video camera out into the mall and under the marquee and panned from the word "Avatar" on it, across L:.o_ .................._ _



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the film. The story takes place 150 years into the future, when science has progressed to the point where it can create artificial,genetically engineered life.An avatar is a genetically bred test-tube creature who contains a hybrid of human DNA with the DNA of the humanoids living on a distant planet called Pandora. The humanoids, called Na'vi, are 10 feet tall, bluish in color, and have a tail. In most other respects they are like humans from Earth. When it is "born," a test-tube-bred avatar looks just like a Na'vi humanoid of Pandora, but it has no mind ofits own. Its body is simply an empty vessel.It requires an Earth-born human to enter into the body and control it. To do this, a human controller lies inside an MRI-like machine. When it is turned on, the human driver loses consciousness of his own body, and his consciousness enters the body of the avatar. Living inside the avatar, the human is able to breathe the air of Pandora, move, run, talk through

his avatar-basically do everything that a Na'vi of Pandora can do. The human's consciousness remains inside the avatar until his avatar goes to sleep. Then the human wakes up in his body back inside the MRIlike machine. The second meaning of the term "Avatar" relates to the fact that the hero,Jake, ends up becoming a savior to the Na'vi race of humanoids. Their planet is being invaded by Marines from Earth, and the Na'vi, in order to survive, need help to counter the attack. Jake, a former Marine, and now a controller of an avatar, comes to their rescue. But more than that, Jake fulfills an ancient prophecy. The prophecy concerns the ability to ride a wildly dangerous but beautiful red flying dragon called a Toruk. There have only been five riders of a Toruk throughout the history of Pandora. Each of them possessed special powers. When Jake flies the red Toruk dragon, not only does he win the respect and trust of the Na'vi, but they also look upon him as a spiritual personage. He rallies them, designs a strategy, and defeats the Marines, saving the Navi from extinction . In the end, Jake undergoes a final transformation of consciousness from his human form to live permanently in his avatar body. To do so, he must pass through the Na'vis' God, the holy tree. Thus Jake ful-

fills the prophecy of a recurring savior,and plays the role of an avatar to the people of Pandora. The third meaning of the word "Avatar" concerns the actual making of the movie, and not the story itself All of the characters on Pandora, and the entire world, are computer generated. In order to control characters, James Cameron employed a motion capture technique. Motion capture is a means by which actors' movements are captured by video cameras and used to move computer-animated characters. Motion capture has been used before to make films and video games, but Cameron took it to a new level.I won't get into the technical details, but suffice it to say that the computer-animated characters looked so real, and displayed so much human emotion, that there was no difference between live characters and animated characters. Also, the fantastic world of Pandora looked incredibly realistic. These effects represent a major breakthrough in filmmaking. There is also the common use of the word "avatar" meaning a computer-generated character inside a computer game that represents a player.Often players create their own avatars. They may look like themselves, like other people, or even like fantastic creatures. The point is that motion capture, and the way Cameron employed it, is the same as using an avatar in a computer game. In other words, the actors acted, and as they acted they controlled a computer-generated character. They controlled an avatar. Thus we have the interesting, and I consider genius, use of the word: using avatars to make the movie, and avatars as the theme of the movie cont. 011pg. 28


~vatar Harry Thomas, Los Angeles February 10,2010

Part A


irstly, I am deeply indebted to Kenneth Lux and Richard Blum for their articles on the movie "Avatar." Without their written expressions, I wouldn't have generated this piece precisely because their articles inspired me, and from that inspiration, ideas flowed accompanied by the desire to write. In this article I want to explore ideas not presented in the other two essays and to approach certain of their themes in novel ways. As an example, I will highlight select numerical correspondences that to me indicate a conscious and intended effort on the part of Me her Baba . The label that I've affixed to this occurrence is: Auataric time signature. In other words, the numerical patterns, in my estimation, are indicative of Baba manipulating events at a high level for a specific work-related purpose. I agree with both of their sentiments that the film "Avatar" coming into our midst at this time is significant and may indeed carry a partial charge of Baba's Manifestation in its presentation and wake. It's important to bear in mind that Meher Baba is still operative as the Avatar and will be for another sixty years or so. In this sense, the film "Avatar" is screening while the actual Avatar is still working within a non-corporeal capacity. I want to repeat Meher Baba's profound statement that He made to the film world in 1932, which was highlighted in Richard's article. "I do not need to tell you who are engaged in the production and distribution of moving pictures what a power you hold in your hands .. .. He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them in any direction he chooses, and there is no more powerful an instrument for stimulating their imagination than motion pictures" [Lord Meher 5:1656]. At this point, I want to display the numerical correspondences that I've labeled as Avataric time signatures. I have done Baba-related numerical reckoning before and it came to my attention during this session that Avataric time signatures (within my realm of observing the phenomenon) come in triplets-namely that 22

three distinct numerical correspondences are connected to a given event. Richard stated that in 1932 Baba visited Hollywood. He toured several studios, met with luminaries of the film world including certain stars of the silver screen, directors and producers, as well as provided poignant words about this powerful medium. Baba returned to Hollywood in the latter part of 1934 and early 1935. He once again toured numerous studios but His primary focus on this trip was advancing the film project. He met with a multitude of film personnel to propel this endeavor forward . The year 1932 prominently stands out as Baba's initial contact with the Hollywood filmmaking industry; therefore it was an auspicious year in Baba's planetary and universal working, at least from an observable standpoint. And it's precisely here that we encounter the first Avataric time signature. By the time Meher Baba visited Hollywood for seven days in the latter part of May and early June of1932, He was quite close to the seventh anniversary of His observing silence. Doing basic math, from mid-1932 until late December of 2009 when "Avatar" was released comprised a span of seventy-seven years. Those familiar with Baba's life are aware of the significance of the number 7. Citing an example, Baba delivered a magnificent discourse entitled: The Seven Realities. In the master work "God Speaks," there are seven kingdoms of evolution beginning with the stone state and through immense episodes of successive unfoldment, culminate at the human level, the seventh and final kingdom . This evolutionary expression eventually delivers the fortunate soul to GodRealization, which happens upon the seventh plane. Highly significantly, Meher Baba is the seventh Avatar beginning with Zoroaster in our present historical cycle of Messianic appearances. In my estimation, 77 serves as a significant number correspondence between the two events. We now move into the second Avataric time signature. Those who know of my previous numerical work would be familiar with a tool I use which is the Chinese 60-year calendar. I will not ex-

plain its working here, but to be succinct, it traces a 60-year cycle in which each of the 60 years has a unique designation. Therefore, at any given 60-year progression, the exact sign of 60 years previous will reappear. In the Chinese system, this is a noteworthy event and marks the completion of a 60-year cycle. On October 16, 1949, Meher Baba set off on the New Life with twenty companions. December 18, 2009-when "A vatar" was released-was 60 years later, exactly two months and two days afterwards. Astoundingly, the exact same sign (yellow earth ox) existed for both the New Life and "Avatar." From my perspective, this constitutes the second Avataric time signature, for I find it utterly inconceivable that this precise overlay resulted entirely from chance . I will now highlight the third Avataric time signature that cascaded into my mind this morning, upon which I realized the timing was superbly perfect. On February 10 (I'm writing this article on this date in 2010) in the year 1954 in Meherastana, Meher Baba spelled "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai" on His alphabet board, thereby formally proclaiming the distinction he gave to this title, and henceforth the term "Avatar" was affixed to His legacy. If we write February 10 in abbreviated fashion, we get 2-10 (at least in America; India and England would write it 10-2). "Avatar" was released in the year 2009 but as of this writing, 2-10-2010, it is still drawing huge audiences worldwide. In the 56 years since this monumental declaration, this year initially marks the near-synchronous match between the day of declaration (2-10) and the calendar year (2010). By adding a zero between the month and day in the declaration date, a perfect numerical match will ensue-(2010 / 2010). This marks the first appearance of such a correspondence. Additionally, had "Avatar " been released in December of this year, there still would have been the aforementioned match; however, it wouldn't have been playing on the February 10th Avataric declaration day. As of this writing of February 10,2010, "Avatar"is stunningly playing to worldwide audiences .

PartB Ow I wish to focus on other aspects of the film in which parts of Kenneth's and Richard's previous assertions will be reiterated. I, too, firmly believe that Meher Baba is using this film as a veh icle to advance His Manifestation, which, examining the historical record, is steadily advancing. The year 1932, in my observation of Meher Baba's history, marked the first instance of Baba's extending His advent into the greater world-one beyond His immediate spiritual family and those close to this group. In a Paramount newsreel shot in London, Baba's lovely image was featured and He delivered His visionary message of bringing the world's religions together like, "beads on one string" [Lord Meher 5:1554]. Meher Baba also appeared in Time magazine, and several newspapers recorded parts of His journey both in Europe and America. In England especially, several newspaper articles raised the notion of Baba's being the Messiah (which would be the Avatar). The Daily Herald opened its article: "Revered by many as the Messiah, Shri Meher Baba, the Indian Mystic, gave a children's party in his bed-sitting room in South Kensington yesterday" [Lord Meher 5:1576]. Also in 1932, Baba stated repeatedly that He would break His silence in the Hollywood Bowl on July 13, an event in which His liberated human voice would have been carried by radio and reported in newspapers worldwide. This didn't happen, for Baba did not return to California as expected . In early June of 1932, Baba and His mandali sailed for Honolulu en route to East Asia, whereupon in China Baba effectively completed the spiritual cable linking the East with the West. Baba and mandali likewise walked the streets of several Japanese and Chinese cities . Most certainly in numerous ways, Meher Baba boldly reached out to the greater world in that auspicious year of1932. I would ascertain that Baba's extending His nazar (glance) to the greater world advances to the year 1956. In July of that year, television crews were on hand to film Baba's dedication of the Barn and other celebratory acts at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This event was scheduled to be broadcast nationwide but never occurred; however, earlier in New


York, a TV crew filmed Baba and this footage was shown locally. Also, television personnel attempted to film Baba while He was in Washington, D.C., but He avoided them. Although there was no nationwide TV broadcasting of Baba from the Meher Spiritual Center, nevertheless this filming (at Baba's "Home in the West") seemingly indicates a time when his Avataric message will be conveyed far beyond His immediate circle. Starting in 1964 and continuing for several years, Amar Singh Saigal transmitted the Beloved's words and prayers over All India Radio, and Baba on several occasions heard these broadcasts. Additionally, towards the end of the Avatar's illustrious advent, Baba commissioned a small group of advocates from America to advance His anti-drug message. On Baba's behest, they were to appear on radio and television in order to broadcast this admonition to avoid the use of dangerous drugs. However, as a consequence of this action, Baba's name, words and image (when television was the medium) were transmitted over the airwaves. Undoubtedly, millions by means of radio and television received this message. I would then jump ahead to the year 1988 when Bobby McFerrin released

"Don't Worry ne nappy, a


that traveled the world rhythmically singing one of Meher Baba's oft-repeated messages within a catchy melody and lyric base. With this uplifting song, what the Beloved so often told His lovers reached a global audience.* I will therefore posit that with the release of "Avatar," Baba has again extended His spiritual reach into the greater world, far beyond the present parameters of His lovers and devotees. It's important to realize that the word "Avatar" is a part of the Beloved's title: Avatar Meher Baba. Additionally, any one of these three names can link an individual or group with the Lord, so the word "Avatar" is extremely powerful. As Kenneth pointed out, the lowercased word "avatar" is used in numerous diminutive aspects; additionally, since the founding of the Meher Spiritual Center in 1944, the word has steadily spiraled outward, and now with the release of the film "Avatar" the word has woven itself into the planetary lexicon. This occurrence of global acquaintance with the word "Avatar" could only be the result of Baba's Divine Will. We must acknowledge that the role of avatar has also been claimed by or for a number of other figures on the spiri-


tual scene, and people will see the word used in these contexts as well. Genuinely great souls of the past such as Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ramakrishna have been called avatars by their followers; and today there are others who falsely claim the title of Avatar, as Baba warned they would (He once said, "In the world today, there are about seventy-five persons who claim to be the Avatar of the age, both in the East and in the West-and God help them all!" Lord Meher 11: 4057). There are even people who regard Meher Baba as only one of several spiritual masters sharing the role of Avatar (this does not conform to Meher Baba's teachings or statements about Himself). All this confusion will one day be cleared up as people come to understand Meher Baba's explanations of the spiritual hierarchy. Recapping the succession of expanding Avataric reach: In 1932 a Paramount newsreel gloriously captured the flowing image and message of our Beloved. Additionally, Baba was featured in several newspapers and Time magazine. In 1956, NBC studios dispatched a TV film crew to record Baba dedicating the Barn among other activities at the Meher Spiritual Center. Starting in the mid-1960's, All India Radio broadcast the Avatar's words, and by the late 1960's, appearing on radio and TV were numerous anti-drug messages delivered by Baba's chosen missionaries. In 1988, the song "Don't Worry Be Happy" dispersed Baba's precious words on a planetary scale. Finally, with the release and continued running of "Avatar" the motion picture, a global acquaintanceship with the Beloved's spiritual title has marvelously blossomed. What's extremely interesting is that all of these events, with the exception of the All India Radio transmissions, had a connection with America. These spiraling-out occurrences would seemingly be indicative of the fulfillment of Baba's proclamation that America would serve as the epicenter of a destined spiritual renaissance upon a planetary scale"

Parte s Richard pointed out, one of the uses of an avatar in the film is that Jake Sully became a Messiah-a saving Avatar-rescuing the people of Pandora from both physical and cultural destruction at the cruel and indifferent hands of


marauding Earth-dispatched militaristic and economic forces. In this capacity, it appears that Jake is not only an Avatar, but specifically, the Pandora equivalent of the Kalki Avatar. Interesting, too, is that the Na'vi have blue skin, reminiscent of how Lord Krishna is traditionally depicted in sacred art. Jake became only the sixth person to master the majestic Toruk, a fiercely powerful winged creature, and by doing so, joined a succession of great personages, in this way indicating Avataric succession, as Richard previously highlighted. Bear in mind, too, that the Kalki Avatar is depicted as mounted upon a magnificent creature, in this case a white steed. A sincere question arises as follows: are there important messages embedded in this movie? My honest speculation posits yes for an answer. Jake 's actual name would have been Jacob (which means "persevere with God") and within a biblical context, Jacob was a Hebrew patriarch who was renamed Israel. Jacob and his younger twin brother, Esau, were the sons oflsaac.Jacob's sons and grandsons were the founders of the tribes of Israel. With Jacob Sully, one can ascertain the founding of a new society. The name of the Na'vi's planet was Pandora, who in Greek mythology was the first woman sent to earth as punishment for Prometheus's crime of stealing fire from the gods . Zeus gave her a box which, when opened, let loose all human misfortunes, but Hope remained in the bottom of the box to comfort mankind. Masked behind a gossamer-thin veneer of motion picture splendor, our dear Earth is the planet Pandora. Worldwide militarism, environmental destruction, terrorist acts, financial instability and other maladies grip our precious and fragile globe. Is Meher Baba as the Kalki Avatar (a role which He subtly indicated on several occasions was His to assume) poised to inaugurate a world-changing role? My deepest sense tells me that if such an appearance is waiting to materialize-which would be connected to Baba's Manifestation and the breaking of His silence-it is close at hand. The implication is that it's not decades away but soon, within a few years of this writing. This is purely speculation, but it's deeply rooted in how I view things. Are the negative forces on our own planet as threatening to our material

and spiritual well-being as they were shown as taking place on Pandora? Perhaps from Baba's vantage point of omniscience, they really are. Perhaps soon, we on Earth will be in dire need of being saved by Lord Meher as the Kalki Avatar-a role one would assume is filled extremely infrequently and one always initiating a world into a totally new, spiritually charged dispensation. In closing, it appears to me, based on the numerical matches and the message of the film "Avatar," that Avatar Meher Baba is still busily and diligently engaged in His universal work. Is the real Avatar telling us through the medium of this film that humankind must shed the destructive practices, institutions and mind-sets that are currently debilitating our spirits and ruining the planet? Jake Sully as the Na'vi Avatar helped the people of Pandora defeat the vicious colonial forces of Earth and later (logically assumed) quite possibly became the patriarch for a new world dispensation. Will Meher Baba as the Kalki Avatar heroically assist us in a similar transformative and redemptive act, afterwards serving as the Divine Patriarch upon which the New Humanity, a wondrous, spiritually centered civilization, will be based? Time, that great mystery, will surely tell. 路See http://en.wikipedia.orglwiki/Don'f Worry, Be Happy : "Don't Worry Be Happy" is the title and principal lyric of a song by musician Bobby McFerrin. Released in September 1988, it became the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. On the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 2 during its fifth week on the chart. At the 1989 Grammy Awards, "Don't Worry Be Happy" won the awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The song's title is taken from a famous quote by Meher Baba.

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in the ~ir/l

Harry Thomas, Los Angeles n July 2 of2010, Paramount Studios in conjunction with Nickelodeon will release a film written and directed by M . Night Shyamalan (India-born and LlSi-raised, director of The Sixth Sense and Signs, etc.) entitled "The Last Airbender." This film is based upon an animated TV series that was featured on Nickelodeon that ran from 2005 (it premiered on February 21) until 2008 . Incredibly, the original tide of this Nickelodeon TV series was ''Avatar: The Last Airbender." Perhaps due to James Cameron's mega-hit, the producers decided to delete "Avatar" from the upcoming motion picture tide. Story background: In the mythical setting of this saga, there are four elemental nations: air, water, earth and fire. Select individuals within each nation can bend (magically manipulate) their native element. However, there is always one uniquely special individual upon the planet with the ability to bend all four elements. This sublime personage is the Avatar, who maintains world order and balanced peace and is the spirit of the planet incarnate. According to the film, the Avatar is the same recurring soul, when upon death he reincarnates into his successive mortal embodiment. While a youth, he'll display signs of"knowingness" indicating that he's the reincarnated Avatar. At the appointed time, he will undergo training and orientation that will equip him to assume this noble role. The Avatar's appearances are cyclic in that each new entry into life, by fate decreed, places his spirit into the successive elemental nation of which the order is: air, water, earth and fire. There have been hundreds of Avataric appearances, all animated by one Avataric being. In a mountain fastness, a magnificent temple holds hundreds ofwooden statues bearing likenesses to the previous Avatars. Historically, there have been both male and female Avatars. Hopefully, the film will provide the audience with this Avatar-related back-story. Although fictionally altered in its presentation, it nevertheless bestows a sense or flavor of the method and working of the real Avatar as we know Him through the teachings of Avatar Meher Baba. Within the fold of time, where the pres-


ent story takes place-resulting from a wicked conquering campaign by the Fire Nation-much devastation was made upon the other three elemental kingdoms. It was believed that all of the airbenders were destroyed in this lethal campaign. However, Aang, who was twelve years old at the time, along with his flying bison Appa, became frozen in an iceberg. When they thawed back to life 100 years later, Aang was not only the last of the airbenders, but more importantly, he was the current Avatar. Aang's mighty destiny will be to thwart the continuing evil machinations of the Fire Nation, and the Avatar is the only one with the ability to accomplish this feat. Although Aang is chronologically twelve years of age, due to the century of freezing he is actually 112 years old. When ''Avatar: The Last Airbender" began the 2006 season on Nickelodeon, the Meher Baba family celebrated the Avatar's 112th birthday-a perfect match. Had the threeyear run of the Nickelodeon series been different or Aang's amount of iceberg freezing altered, the numbers wouldn't have synchronized. Perhaps this is a coded message from the authentic Avatar-in our case unembodied-indicating His leaving a "deep-freeze" state to become exceedingly active in the world. Besides the TV series, numerous little books have been released by Nickelodeon and at the top of each one it says: ''Avatar: The Last Airbender." Above this tide are four Chinese characters, which in translation say, "the divine medium who has descended upon the mortal world." The particular story is listed elsewhere on the cover. It appears that the real Avatar is ardently working towards getting His divine tide out into the world. Perhaps soon His name will follow. . .



the c..JWovies

aba used to see many films; He said that He did important work through movies, but in the early days He would usually stay for only half an hour or so before leaving.Uncle Chanji used to saythat Baba alwaysleft during the most interesting and intense part of a film. The mandali would naturally follow Baba out, but even as they left the cinema hall, their eyes would be fixed on the screen, trying to see as much ofthe movie as they could. After sitting through half of The Ten Commandments, Baba returned to Ashiana with Eruch, this time allowing the others to see the whole movie. As usual before retiring, He called Mehera and the rest of us to Him. He said that this movie was the best He had ever seen and confirmed that when Moses went up to Mount Sinai, he indeed heard the voiceof God and was given the Ten Commandments. Baba also told us that Moses was on the sixth plane and became God-realized at the time of his death. A year later Baba had Adi, Sr. send Nariman a copy of a letter from Cecil B. de Mille,the director of The Ten Commandments. A Baba lover in the United States had written to tell him that Baba had seen his film and enjoyed it, and de Mille, who had met Baba in Hollywood in the 1930's, replied that he was happy to learn that "this venerable religious leader" remembered their meeting. He also expressed his appreciation for Baba's "...silent, prayerful work...and prophetic leadership." Two days after Baba and the men saw The Ten Commandments, Mehera and the rest of us women went to see it. Dina was in pitiful condition, and I seated her next to me so I could comfort her. During the scenesdepicting Moses' mother in terrible agony over losing her son, Dina again cried and cried, her empathy with Moses' mother helping in her griefover the loss of Khurshed.lf she had been spotted by her neighbours or relatives, they would have been shocked by her presence in a theatre five days after her son's death. But when we live in obedience to Baba, we have to cast aside many worldly concerns, even if that means being humiliated in front of those who do not understand. "Gift of God" Arnavaz Dadachanji

Space fJ3rothers to the ::Rescue? Did Meber Baba predict that space aliens would rescue peoplefrom a worldwide catastrophe connected with his Manifestation as Avatar ofthe age? Certainly not.

Kendra Crossen 16 March 2010 elow a posting that appeared under the heading "Meher Baba Book Speaks of Space Aliens" on 14 March 2010 at a site called "Tall White Alien." (Thanks to Marc Flayton for bringing it to my attention.) The writer states that Meher Baba approved the publication of channeled material along with his own statements, in an appendix to a 1968 booklet published in India, 61 Qpestions and Answers on Meher Baba, compiled by A. C. S. Chari, Society in West Bengal for Meher Baba, Calcutta. The channeled material, supposedly issuing from "the Christ," posits an end-time scenario in which ships come from space to rescue people from catastrophe, and apparently Mr. Chari thought this confirmed what Meher Baba had said about the future destruction of threequarters of the world connected with his


Manifestation (see The Final Declaration). http://www.meherbabamanifesting. com/new-page/the-final-declaration/ The end note to page 6321 of Lord Meher (presumably written by Lawrence Reiter, editor of the biography by Bhau Kalchuri) states: "Before Maud Kennedy heard of Meher Baba, in the 1960s, she belonged to a Christian group called the Universal Link at St. Annes on Sea, led by a clairvoyant woman named Leibe Pugh. This group anticipated 'the Second Coming of Christ' and believed Christ to be a 'Cosmic Being.' The Universal Link had another group of Christians in Borup, Denmark, and they claimed to receive messages from beings in outer space or some psychic dimension in the universe. In October 1968, a devotee of Meher Baba's,]udge A. C. S. Chari of Calcutta, with Baba's permission, published excerpts of the messages from the Universal Link in a pamphlet titled 61 Questions and Answers on Meher Baba. After that, Baba forbade any more talk about beings from outer space or space ships, supposedly indicating that 'Mankind is not ready for such things....' Maybe when the Avatar comes back in his next advent as a 'Master Scientist' he will explain such mysterious things to us humankind." I heard that Harold Rudd had also been interested in the Borup group at some point. But I had been told a different version of the story of the publication, in which the Mandali alerted Baba about the Universal Link appendix, and Baba asked that the Indian publisher remove the material in a revised printing. The second edition was issued in 1969 as 84 Qpestions and Answers on Avatar Meher Baba, without the channeled stuff. I am skeptical of what the writer saysbelow about the material being removed by Baba-lovers after his death, with its implication that Baba approved it but his followers didn't. I will try to verify whether what the Lord Meher endnote says is really accurate. Anyway, here is the post, with its titillating excerpts from the channelings:

Painting by Katie Rose.

Meher Baba Book Speaks ofSpaceAliens Source: "Tom Fox" of Lincoln, California, "Tall White Alien" web site: http://twaliens.ning.comlforum/


Near the end of Meher Baba's life, he approved the printing of the book 61 Qpestions and Answers on Meher Baba which was printed in 1968. Included in the book's appendices were spiritual transmissions by the Borup Group from Denmark that spoke of a coming global catastrophe caused by man, a tipping of the Earth's axis, the Second Coming of Christ and a spiritual uplifting of mankind. The transmissions also spoke of Space Brothers coming to help mankind. His followers, however, found this too controversial, so after Meher Baba left his body, they stopped the book from being printed again. Here are a few brief statements from the transmissions regarding Space Brothers and their Sky Ships: • "We have told you we are Brothers from Space who are coming - and brothers always help one another .... However, it will only be possible to help those


who want this help themselves." * "There are 18,000 worlds that are inhabited by human beings .... by far most of the planets in the universe are inhabited by living creatures on one kind or another." * "Earth has managed to bring forth a crop of human beings who are sufficiently spiritually developed to make the leap to the level that is now to come. That is why it would be against the Law if Man were to wipe himself out globally and this is why help is now under way.... all of humanity will be able to perceive us as they perceive motor-cars, aeroplanes and the like." * "The contact you will be given from Space will cause you to be totally changed." * "Large parts of humanity will be snatched away from Earth ... and then return to the Earth again - to an Earth which we have changed in a way advantageous to Man....We shall come with love....We shall come to all religions of the world, and to all outlooks on life." * It is at this point and at this time that we will come from Space to Man on Earth. Now is the time for our coming and we approach all the people of Earth in order to make them get together united in one, true religious philosophy... .In the future, the world will be governed from one place and the Earth will only be governed by people who have achieved full spiritual understanding." * "I have said that the Earth will stand still for one second .. . the Earth will simply tip over, thereby altering the surface entirely. I have also told you that while this is taking place, great, great parts of humanity will be evacuated up into huge spaceships." The writer, Tom, adds: "this info fits with what was shared to me by an abductee friend of mine who was told that mass abductions will occur in June of 2012 due to something major. He said

it was telepathic communication and presumed it was some sort of earth change. So the above info makes sense. Notice all the earth quakes. Good luck to all, what a long strange trip it's been."

come from Venus, etc., this part of the explanation can be given." -Irene H. Conybeare, Notes from a Diary: Pimpalgaon, India, February 1953," The Awakener Magazine, vol. 1, no. 4 (Spring 1954)

Makes sense? Good luck to you, Tom!

2) Murshida Ivy Duce of Sufism Reoriented Murshida Duce visited the Museum of Natural History in New York with Meher Baba in 1952, while He was recovering from His first car accident. She wrote: "As Mehera guided Baba's wheelchair, I trotted along beside her, and during a lonely stretch of corridor, I leaned over and asked Him, "Have any of the people asked you about flying saucers, Baba?" "Baba gave me a knowing look, which indicated that He suspected that I was interested also. "Yes,two people. I told them that they do not come from other planets ." -Ivy O. Duce, How a Master Works, p.128


s the daughter of a science fiction writer, KendelLFoster_Crossen I have a fondness for weird tales. I've read dozens of books about UFOs, alien abductions, and the like; I even chanced upon one book written by a jesuit priest who cited Meher Baba as a false prophet and a sign of the approaching end times! My favorites are the works that compare aliens to the beings of Celtic fairy lore, and Alien Identities by Richard Thompson, which includes Vedic insights into UFO phenomena. However, I take it all with a humongous grain ofsalt. The 1968 booklet was first shown to me by Nikos Colias around 1970. When I later asked Lyn Ott in Myrtle Beach what he thought about it, he said: "If the wonderful space brothers come and offer you a ride, don't get on!" I like what Lyn said because I don't believe we need to look for the help of space aliens. We only need to hold on to Baba's daaman (literally, the hem of his garment). Do not worry about impending global catastrophe. Baba says: "If you find yourselves in a perilous situation, cry out my name loudly. I will then save you. Even if you die, you should know that I have saved you, because my protection is real protection. I always protect my lover" (Lord Meher 4:1276). In at least two known instances, Meher Baba discouraged his lovers from concern about space ships from other planets: 1) Irene Conybeare: "At Pimpalgaon, there was an opportunity to ask questions, for Baba was at leisure, without visitors. So now was my chance. 'Baba!' I said boldly,'Where do the Flying Saucers come from?' Baba's face relaxed into a broad smile. 'I would not answer that question for anybody, but to you only! They do not come from another planet ....' The rest of the answer, I feel, should not be given out at present, but as books are being published to prove that the Saucers


ne of the Mandali (I think it was Bhau) told me that Baba was very annoyed by these questions about UFOs. Baba indeed said that there is human life on 18,000 planets (as also stated by the Universal Link), but he said that we on our Earth would not make contact them: "It is not possible to see all the universes and the worlds. They are not visible even with all the modem means. Nor will it be possible for man to reach them or contact them; yet, the scientists will come to know about them" (Lord Meher 18: 6006). However, these humans from other planets eventually reincarnate in our world in order to be spiritual aspirants: "There are 18,000 worlds in creation which are inhabited, some by human beings with 100% intelligence, others with lesser and varying degrees of it. But the value of our Earth, where mind and heart balance, is inestimable. For it is here and here alone that one can go through the process of involution and experience the Subtle and Mental spheres, here alone that God-realisation can be attained. "Thus it is that souls (jivatrnas) from other inhabited worlds finally take birth on this earth for their emancipation, more so during the Avataric advent when the highest spiritual benefit is gained, and most so when the Avataric manifestation is greatest. Hence the present influx of population on earth is but the natural outcome of the rush of migration from other


worlds, and the ones migrating from the worlds of highest intelligence are responsible for carrying science to the peak it has reached today. ''All this has been recurring since timeless ages in a never-ending tide and ebb. Even this Earth expends itself in time, and another earth takes its place. Science will soon come to know a little of what I have said." -Qyoted in T. K. Ramanujam, Much Love (1994), p. 529) Sheela Kalchuri Fenster reports in her book Growing Up with God that as a child she asked Baba lots of questions about the people who incarnated here from other planets, and she says Baba told her how to recognize them (their faces don't look "normal" and they look "scary," among other traits). In 1962, after speaking of the thousands of other planets to Westerners at Guruprasad, Baba added: "But all this is not meant for you people. It is all useful, though for posterity. For you, it is sufficient to obey me, love me, and hold on to my daaman. Then wherever I am, you will be also. Ifyou were to begin your inward journey, you would also be with me, because I am also there on those journeys. All this is illusory; God alone is real." -Lord Meher 18: 6006

~'lJatar" Comes to Myrtle

Beach cant.from pg. 21

So we see that the word "avatar" plays out on several levels, each with a different meaning. There is the genetically engineered avatar creature; there is the Na'vi savior, Jake; and there are actors using avatars to make the movie. But the main importance may very well be that the term "avatar" is now a household word. And having the word "avatar"implanted in the minds of the masses may play out as an important event, laying a foundation for Meher Baba's Manifestation. Avatar Meher Baba visited Hollywood in 1932, and while at a reception in the home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, He gave a message to those involved in the film industry. In the message Baba states: I do not need to tell you, who are in engaged in the production and distribution ofmovingpictures, what a power you hold in your hands. . . . He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them


in any direction he chooses, and there is no morepowerful instrumentfor stimulating their imagination than the moving pictures. Soon thereafter, Baba showed extreme interest in movies, writing an outline for a screenplay and then visiting Hollywood again in 1935 with the intent of making His movie. The movie was not made. But was Baba laying a foundation for work that might be done in the future? I think so.And I speculate that a new type of film technology might soon emerge, and that it might very well playa role in Baba's Manifestation. Since Baba gave His message back in the 1930s, film production techniques have greatly advanced, resulting in extremely engaging movies. Now the movie "Avatar" has taken film production to an even higher level, and I believe it prophesies the coming of a new type of film technology,called virtual reality.As in "Avatar," virtual reality will allow viewers to enter a highly immersive, computer-generated three-dimensional world. Wearing glasses that create 3D stereoscopic imagery, viewers will feel as though they are actually in another world, similar to how the characters in "Avatar"felt as they moved through the world of Pandora. Although the making of '~vatar" was extremely expensive, the constantly decreasing cost of technology will soon make that technology available to everyone. When that happens we will be able to move our own animated characters, or avatars, in much in the same way that the actors moved their avatars to make the movie. And like the characters in the movie, we will be able to experience artificial worlds. These artificial worlds will be so realistic, and so compelling, that people may get lost in them. In fact, it's already happened to some extent with fans of the movie "Avatar."It's been reported by CNN that after seeing the movie some fans find the real world so drab, and they miss the artificial world of Pandora so much, that they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts ("Depressed After Avatar?"Jan. 11,2010). And virtual reality will be even much more engaging. With the potential to synchronize the sights and sounds of the artificial world with one's own brain waves, as measured by low-cost EEG machines, an overwhelming experience might well be created. It may produce such powerful, hypnotic effects that it will induce

psychedelic-like experiences. And like psychedelics, it will indicate to those who experience it that there are other possible realities beyond the physical world. And at the same time it will impel people to seek out those realities as well as a higher form of guidance. Just as the LSD days of the '60s led many to seek out Meher Baba, so too might virtual reality make people seek Him out as the real Avatar.

"However far man may fling himself into outer space, even if he were to succeed in reaching the furthermost object in the universe, man will not change. Wherever he goes, he will remain what he is. It is when man travels within himself, that he experiences a metamorphosis of his self It is this journeying that matters, for the infinite treasure - God - is within man, and not to be found anywhere outside ofhimselÂŁ When mind soars in pursuit of the things conceived in space, it pursues emptiness, but when man dives deep within himselfhe experiences the fullness of existence." Lord Meher Vol.18: 6216

40 \Days at c..Meherana! A Report on Bhau's 2009 Visit Christine Pearson, California "To serve the Master is to serve one's own Selfin every other self The Master dwells in universal consciousness and wills universal spiritual well-being. To serve the Master is therefore to participate in his cause, which is to serve all life. While sharing in the work 0/ the Master, the disciple may be required to be in touch with the world But through moving in the world in accordance with the work allotted him, he is in inward contact with the Master as infinite Being. Therefore, by sharing in the work 0/ the Master, the disciple comes closer to him and becomes an integral part of his consciousness. Serving the Master is the quickest means ofrealizing him."

Avatar Meher Baba


n the first night, I was sitting in the dark on my bed looking out the window of the tent-cabin, which was to be my home for the next 40 days, reflecting upon all that had happened to bring me to that point. Suddenly the moon, near full, rose across the valley directly over a gap in the hills and shone down on Baba's Cabin and the creek. I was filled with a feeling of the ancientness of the land and of our search to find God. The symmetry and stillness of the scene etched itself on my heart, which overflowed with thankfulness to the Beloved for this chance to be with His lovers in close proximity for 40 days. I thought of Bhau and his team sleeping in the house and all the others sleeping in their tents in the woods. What an adventure-inner and outer-was in store for us! Two long-time projects-arranging Bhau Kalchuri's tours to the West and helping to establish Meherana as a universal spiritual center dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba - had merged providing us with a chance to live together for over a month with our focus on serving our Beloved. Bhau's health was such that he was unable to travel around the U.S. and yet his work of spreading Baba's message in the West was not finished. He needed to stay in one place for several weeks where people could come and share time with him. Over the last 15 years, we have been working on developing Meherana to the point where it could be open year-round

for people to stay. Here was our chance to remain open for 40 days of programs and yet, when it happened, it was very different from what I had thought. Reality set in. We didn't have enough staff, completed facilities, or procedures in place for things to run smoothly. If you looked at the situation from a practical standpoint, we weren't nearly ready and yet the 40 days had already begun. Never in the last 22 years had Bhau's visits ever gone smoothly without having to overcome various issues that would invariably pop up. This was a record year for Maya's resistance. The team of Meherana workers had planned many projects to complete before the 40 days stay. A few projects were completed before, some during, and some not at all. I took refuge in the reality that everything was not going to work out as planned and gave up even being concerned about it, focusing instead on being in the moment and doing my best under the circumstances. The rest was in Baba's hands. On the first day a water line broke and we lost 5000 gallons of water, then a winter storm hit right in the middle of the Spring Sahavas, followed some days later by a heat wave. One really funny incident happened during the prep for the first meal at the Sahavas when a washing machine hose sprung a leak resulting in a 10-foot

waterfall that nearly flooded the kitchen. Suddenly a charming Iranian gentleman rushed up to me speaking in Farsi. Through an interpreter I realized that he was telling me that he was a washing machine repairman! He quickly got the situation under control, we got the water mopped up, and dinner was served on time. There were many other challenges, but, as the days passed by, the problems seemed more and more insignificant in the light of Baba's atmosphere at Meherana. Bhau has been weaving stories about Mastery in Servitude and the New Life into his talks for years. Well, here was our chance to step out of our regular lives and try to serve the Beloved in a joint effort for a period of time . For those of you who have not been to Meherana I will give a description of the facilities and how they were set up during the 40 days. The caretaker house, which has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms was given to Bhau and his team. Bhau and Martin had the master bedroom with their own private bath. The two bedrooms on the other side of the house were for Bhau's cooks (Mary Hamilton and Shani Verchick) and the other female team members (Janice Rieman, Chiana Cloudtree and Suzie Iirnura) along with two women who filled the roles of the main kitchen manager (Mary Marino-Strong) and procurement-walla

(Joanna Tompkin.) The living room had been set up with Bhau's recliner chair, high speed internet connection to broadcast his weekly chats, and Indian TV satellite channels. Bhau used the living room as his office, TV room, and meeting room for giving talks. He ate on a TV tray while watching Indian movies or soaps. Due to his health and difficulty in moving about, Bhau never left the property for 40 days and only left the house for short walks or to give a talk at the Meeting Pandal if over 100 people were there. Otherwise all the talks and visiting was done at the house and this worked really well. He gave 9 talks at the pandal during the 40 days and over 50 talks at the Caretaker's House. Almost everyday Bhau gave two talks - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes 40 or so people would be there, sometimes only 10. It was an intimate time with Bhau that was reminiscent of past days when there was a free exchange of conversation, jokes and a flow of stories. He felt free to change the schedule whenever he needed and we would slide the starting and ending times of the talks accordingly, Bhau was in an excellent mood and his health steadily improved. The difference in his health at the beginning and end of the 40 days was remarkable. The arrangement of not traveling or moving around enabled him

to conserve his energy for sharing Baba with us. He was especiallypleased to see so many of his former hosts and friends come to Meherana from all over the U.S. Seeing and spending time with them went a long way towards easing his disappointment of not being able to travel as he used to. Meanwhile, the accommodations for everyone else were more basic. We stayed in tents or tent-cabins and took bucket baths. Others stayed in Mariposa at hotels or Bed & Breakfasts. Some stayed the entire 40 days, some stayed a ~----week or two, and some came on the weekends. In addition to those who stayed overnight, we were surprised by the numbers of day visitors that came from the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. All the meals for everyone but Bhau were prepared in the new open-air Sahavas kitchen. For large meals, we ate in the Pandal but during quieter days we set up tables to eat in the kitchen and spent most of our visiting time there. We referred to this arrangement as "the family kitchen." Everyone was given cabinet & refrigerator space for their food and they prepared their own breakfast and lunch. Chai and dinner were joint efforts. Since Bhau's talks were in the morning



and afternoon it left us plenty of time to have a leisurely dinner together sharing stories and talking amongst ourselves in the evening. Bhau's team either ate with us or we sent food up to them if they were too busy to come to the family kitchen. Bhau preferred to eat by himself on a TV tray while watching Indian soaps or videos as group meals were too exhausting for him. The kitchen arrangements did not always go smoothly, and we learned a lot about group living. But, overall we had a great time with many delicious meals and I have some really lovely memories of being at table in the family kitchen sharing food and stories. Those who stayed for most of the time had reflective discussions after the completion of the 40 days and we came up with some solutions for a more efficient organized group kitchen for the future. Besides living with Bhau on the premises, one of the best parts of the 40 days was going to Babas Cabin everyday and taking walks around Meherana. Early in the morning I would wrap up warmly and go to Baba'sCabin. Always upon entering the Cabin I experienced the feeling that Baba had been waiting for me. Those twenty minutes each morning transformed the rest of my day. Except during the Spring Sahavas,we didn't set any official times for Arti and prayers and each spent time in

She could be found in the pandal at all hours just sitting and chatting. Thirty gallons of chai was consumed along with delicious meals prepared with everyone's help. The picture would not be _ .......;."""--~1oiWI1I complete without a description of the storm that hit right in the middle of the Sahavas. It poured rain and hailed. We purchased large ~--"i:;-_~ I patio propane heaters for the kitchen and meeting pandal which helped immensely Baba's Cabin as they felt drawn. We were literally living outside. Going in keeping everyone warm . We danced anywhere from my tent-cabin required a to keep warm and the campfire was kept walk - down to Baba's Cabin, to the kitch- going all-day and evening. Although the en, to the toilet and bathhouse, up to the cool weather was a challenge, it increased caretaker's house. I found myself walking our sense of adventure as we settled in for or sitting outside at all times of day and the first few days of our 40-day stay. night and in all kinds ofweather. This was On three Saturdays in June, groups of a wonderful experience since after all, we Sufis came from Walnut Creek in charter were in the woods. The stars were incred- buses and their visits were filled with muible, the sunrises and sunsets noticed daily, sic and laughter. Bhau was very happy to and the animals and birds were our com- see them and loved having so many people panions. I think just living outside for 40 at his talks. The musical performances by days at Meherana would give someone the the Sufi artists were impressive and enterfeeling of a special interlude with Beloved taining . The Sufis joined in the kitchen Baba. Not that we didn't suffer from the work like a group of worker bees and the cold and then the heat. Who in their right meals were prepared and cleaned up in remind, at the age most of us are, would cord time. We saw many old friends from camp for 40 days? It was a truing experi- years ago and made new friends. We also had one weekend dedicated to ence of existing without most of the modern conveniences that one is used to, and children. It was towards the end of the I savored it. (Of course, I was in one of trip when the weather was warm and the the tent-cabins and the kitchen and pan- kids had a one and a half hour water fight, dal did have running hot water, electricity which started by tossing "glover buddies" and wireless internet access.) One of the to each other in the wading pool, set up highlights of this outside living etched in the pandal. Glover buddies are a mediin my mind was sitting around the camp cal glove version of a water balloon and fire in the mornings and evenings. How they have the most amazing resistance many previous lifetimes have we done to being broken. While standing in the that? What an opportunity to spend time pool, the kids started tossing and catching together and chat at the beginning and the 1-foot wide glover buddies to each other in large stainless steel salad bowls from the end of the day! We started off the programs with the kitchen and soon enough the bowls were four-day Spring Sahavas on Memorial being used as shields and water scoopers. Day weekend. Raine Eastman-Gannett The noise and amount of water being filled the days with music and song. Caris flung around was awesome. For Bhau's Arkin, Larry Thrasher and others joined entertainment the children performed a in the performances. A special treat was rap version of the song, Don't Worry Be Raine's dynamic leading of a choral group. Happy, accompanying themselves with We had Arti and prayers in Baba's Cabin tablas and drums. Towards the end of40 days,the full moon and a Dhuni on the last evening. Bhau gave six talks in the pandal, bundled up again appeared over the valley view from like an Eskimo because ofthe coolweather my tent-cabin window. What had I really and having just come from the heat of the experienced during my stay at Meherana? Indian summer. Adele Wolkin was with us A common expectation is to have "a good to share her life stories ofbeing with Baba. time" or "to have fun", both of which are _.3.~r?J1

often dependent on being "entertained" by friends, talks, stories, music, and food. All ofthat happened, but it was so much more than that, with the main difference being the purpose of trying to be more present each moment with Beloved Baba and attempting to serve Him. Did we serve or please Him? We certainly kept busy, but it was Beloved Baba who kept us with Him and allowed us to help. The 40-day stay was an invitation, a call from the Beloved and He did not disappoint us. Because we came and tried, Baba was with us in a way that transformed all the tasks and activities of those days. That made all the difference, and each one who participated received their own experience of their inner journey to treasure.

'Beadson One String... ' contfrom p. 19

group will proceed to the tomb/shrine of Meher Baba at Meherabad near Ahmednagar and stayat the new Pilgrim Retreat there or return home viaMurnbai.This pilgrimage is open to seekers of all faiths and is a journey to be taken together as a group in the spirit of companionship. It is being limited to between 30 and 40 people. It is alsohoped that a number of youngpeoplewilljoin the group. The cost of the pilgrimage is approximately $1,100 US and some scholarships are available. To register, go to the website

.-.' ~ "



'Catching Prasad' cant.from p.19

and drop it; or even worse, we could miss it altogetherand then 'curse the chancethat was wasted'!! So let's try to stay awake. He has LovePrasad galore in His Pockets, and His eyes are darting around .. Readywhen you are Baba!

-. , ~

' ~'




~hat's 2fappeninn

at UUeherabode

:RecentEuests: Our vAmartithi celebrations were made all the more joyful by having3arhad Shafa and ~ischa ~utenberg

come down from CWalnut Creek to speak with us and sing to us.

Our special guest for ~aba's ~irthday-also from CWalnut Creek-was 'Dione Cobb, or, as ~aba famously named her, 3~, which stands for ~aba's ~eloved ~aby. She told us wonderful tales of her times spent with ~aba as ayou11tJ girL


<We had a wonderful eclectic collection of musicians to sing and play for us before and afrer 37J's talk.

By special request. Charles openedtheprogram with his rendition ofthe GujeratiArti-the line spoken in Englishfollowed by singing it in Gujerat. The Still Yet More ChamberPlayers. Chrisand Pris Haffenden, provided their special brand ofincidentalmusic John recites the Christian Prayer(see next page) TamaraMark sings"The Rose"and Maureen Lehman sings"Love is Strange" with Mike Campagnaaccompanying


Christian r:Erayer In tfje name of tfjefcrtfjer, emS of tfje §on, anSof tfje JDofl' 6fjost, <t> ..torS, fjear ml' :pral'er anS fet ml' cry come unto tfjee!

tfjou mfjo art tfje 60S of tfje 60Ss, tfje fcrtfjer ~fmigfjtl', art tfje fcrtfjer ~"erfastingr <t> 60S, ~fmigfjtl' fcrtfjer, tfje..torS of..torSs! tfje ~ing of ~ings! ~IT tfje ecrtf Sotfj worsfjip tfjee! to tfjee afT angefs, to tfjee tfje fjea"ens anS alT powers, to tfjee alT saints anS alT6eings witfj unceasing -ooice So cry: tfje JDofl'! tfje JDofl' of JDoftes! fulTare tfje fjea"ens anS tfje ecrtf of tfjemajestl' oftfjl' gfory, tfjou tfje gforious! tfjou tfje exafteS ~ffufgence; tfjou tfje praisewortfjl' in tfje assem6fage of tfje prophete: tfjou tfje cefestiafl'Jeautl', art tfje eterncf§ong oftfjl' fooers. tfjou mfjo art aclinowfeSgeS, prcisef anS worsfjippeS tfjrougfjout tfje worlS, In alT cfjurcfjes, sl'nagogues, mosques, temples anS pagoSas to tfjee I most fjum6fl' 60w Sown. tfjou of un60unSeS majestl'; art tfje fcrtfjer of tfje erection: tfjl' true, aSora6fe anS onfl' 6egotten §on, tfje ltfjrist, is tfje ~ing of 6fory, tfje §a"iour of manliinS, tfje ~ncient ®ne, tfje JDigfjest oftfje JDigfj! <t> ltfjrist! tfje messiafj! tfjou of tfje fcrtfjer ~"erfasting art tfje §on ~"erfasting! tfjou, <t> most mercifuf..torS, fjcrtfj talien upontfjee to Seft"er menfrom 60nSage to eterncf gfory; <t> tfje ~ncient ®ne! tfje ~eSeemer! tfjou, fja"ing first overcome tfje sting of ignorance,

1l:>iSst open to alTtfje liingSom ofl'Jltss, ~nowfeSge, anS :}0ower! I most fjum6fl' prcise tfjee, o ml' 60S! I most firmfl' aclinowfeSge tfjee, <t> ml' 60S! <t> ml' §ouf of souls, I 6efte'X>e in tfjee, Beccuse tfjou art trutfj itself. I worsfjip tfjee, <t> JDigfjest of tfje JDigfj, Beccuse tfjou art tfje®nfl' ®newortfjl' of aSorcrtion. I Ioee tfjee a60"e alT tfjings anS 6eings, Beccuse tfjou art"e 1l:>i"ine itself. I Beseecf tfjee, Beccuse tfjou art mercl' itself! I offer tfjee alT ml' tfjougfjts, worSs anS actions, ml' sufferings anS jol'S, Because tfjou art tfje ®nfl' l'Jefo"eS. I tfjerefore Beseecf tfjee, ml' 60S, ml' ..torS of..torSs, tfje JDigfjest of tfje JDigfj, tfje ~ncient ®ne, to fja"e mercl' on me accorSing to tfjl' un60unSeS mercl', anS fet ml' cry come unto tfjee! <t> ml' l'Jefo"eSr §uffer menot to 6eseparcrteS from tfjee for e'X>er anS e'X>er!

J\:men This prayer was composed by William Donkin at Meher Baba's request, based on various Christian prayers. It was recited on September 17, 1954, in Meher Baba's presence, as well as on several other occasions. Contrary to what has mistakenly been published over the years, Baba did 120t compose or dictate the prayer, but he did appreciate Donkin's effort. (Note by David Fenster.)


Clockwisefrom top left: The weatherwas sofine mallYdilledalfresco Flowersfor the Beloved LYlllleBerry readus the message that was sent 011 the occasion of Baba) birthday i1l1967, and its a timeless message: "J will bewith you all whogather forMy birthday to celebrate My beillgamollgyou. 1 am wherever My lovers are... My love will draw them to Me whose hearts101lg to have a dip ill the OceanofLove."

Babas 116th birthdaycake.' Bebnazandherteamdid a wollderfiiljob of'decorating ffleCellurforffleBelO'UedsBrrfflda~


2fappy fBirthday fBaba :february 25, 20IO By Irwin Luck February 17, 2010 - Myrtle Beach, SC

Meher Baba is throwing a birthdayparty. Come one, come all. Everyone is invited. What a celebration. How grand it is. Yourparty includes the whole world. Once everyyear, the earth completes its orbit aroundthe sun. In that time, everyone on theplanet has a birthday to celebrate. Now the maker ofsuns and planets has invited us tojoin his celebration. What goodfortune has come to us. To celebrate with the makeroflife, His birthday on earth. Whenyou wereborn, a new agebegan. A new birth oflove and truth, divine light and music, tv and cars. Your party includes all ofmankind and angels unseen. Eve1y011e is invited, to come and enjoy, Devils and Saints, high and low, however rich orpoor. There is nopretenses here. No oneis left out ofyou1' come asyou areparty.

Whoever comes, will not leaveempty handed, You havejust the right gift for each one. Neither will anyoneleave, the sameas they came. Yourali-pouserful Ioue; transforms the mind and heart ofthose who enter. This grand birthday, gives birth to an amazing new life, for all those who accept your invitation . What an extraordinary present. I would not missthis birthday celebration oftheAncient One. The truth is, your birthdayparty never stops. It has been going onfor ages. In every advent, your Birthday celebration gets biggerand betterthan ever. Youplay your music and we dance toyour tune. No onecan rock the world likeyou. What a ball we are infor. Happy, Happy Birthday Baba. I was born to come toyourparty.

India Visa Alert for Tourist Visa Holders n December 2009, India introduced a new rule that prevents Tourist visa holders from re-visiting India within 2 months after last leaving. That rule has been updated recently to include the following: All Tourist visa holders, including 6 Month visa holders, and Non US citizens holding a Tourist visa are impacted by the new rule. Some exceptionscan be made on a case by casebasisas decided on by the local Consulates. Exception reasons include sick family members in India. More details are availablehere:! Touris,-Visa_FAQ路pdf To apply for a Permit to Reenter India Within 2 Months, pleasevisitour website to start the applicationprocess: https:/lindiavisa.


Looking for the cheapest fare to India? he New YorkTimes recently reviewed airfarecomparisonWeb sitesand found the best fareson more often than the other sites!What's their secret?Each search on checks fares from sites across the Internet-from big names likeJetBlue, Travelociry and Price1ine to the lesserknown airfare consolidators (who negotiate private fares directly with the airlines). With just a click, users go directly to the airline or online agency to finish booking. Remember: is an airfarecomparison site. You don't book with It will direct you to the best place to buy your ticket, so you can still book directlywith the airline or with an online travel agent. The next time you're looking for airline tickets, give a try. It will search through hundreds of fares and present the best options (including all taxes and fees!) in a simple easy-to-read format. I tried it March 18th and found Korean airlines had the cheapest fare from LA to Mumbai, S1285. I always used to fly Lufthansa, LA to Frankfurt & then directly on to Mumbai, but I have sincefound out they flyinto Pune, a much better deal than Mumbai & the 6 hour drive to Meherabad.



he Avatar Meher Baba Bibliography, which was compiled by Bal Natu, edited by J. Flagg Kris, and published in 1978, is now included on the Online Library section of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust website. The bibliography lists works by and

~nnouncements about Meher Baba in English and other European languages, covering the years 1928 through early 1978. We are working on updating the bibliography to include works published since 1978 and works published in non-European languages. The Bibliography is listed among the 19 books presently availableon the Online Library at: php


ose from Argentina tells us that they now have a website up and running- all, of course, in Spanish.


he Meher Baba Association in Great Britain is very happy to announce the launch of its newly designed website: The site has had a complete makeover and contains lots of new exciting content. Please explore the site. We hope that you T:'or some incredibly beautiful photos of will like it. All feedback is welcomed. Meher Spiritual Center taken by Greg Rare Set ofDVDs: Butler go to Meher Baba Archives http://primeJolio.comimehercenter/



od (our Baba) has certainly touched Irwin Luck, South Carolina he Meher Baba Archives is offering this child! Meher Baba Centers, Groups, and those individuals who would like to get the Rdxo8&ftatzlre=related complete set of one hundred twenty-three T:'or information on how to join the DVD'S of Meher Babas disciples from crowd on the Baba-Talk listserv,go to around the world. These men and women tell the stories of what Meher Baba person ally said and did with them, over the years listinfo/baba-talk of their life with Meher Baba. These videos were made in 1971 to 1973 Exciting New Web Site: in India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Europe and "Meher Baba Manifesting" endra Crossen of Myrtle Beach and the United States. It includes all the resiCheryl Johnson of Atwater, CA, have dent disciples who lived with Meher Baba started a new web site at http://www.Me- everyday, as well as those who came from, bringing together other parts of India and other countries all the important quotes about the breaking to stay with Him for years and those who of Baba's silence and his Manifestation, would visit Baba and were guided continuplus visions, prophecies, opinions, and ously by His letters and correspondence. controversies. A forum for discussion has These amazing videos are all first hand acbeen added, and people are invited to send counts of what He said and did with them . submissions of articles or even short com- This is a legacy of the Avatar's life as seen ments to through the eyes of those that knew Him. Come and read about Yad Rakh and This is the first time that most of this hisOmmm, Mahapralaya, Suddenists and tory will be known. Each set consists of one hundred and Gradualists, Space Aliens, and more! Do you believe that Baba has already broken twenty-three DVD'S and contains the his silence and we are gradually witness- complete collection of the 210 original ing the results? Or are we still waiting for video tapes of Meher Baba's disciples that three-quarters of the world to suddenly self- were video taped in many countries by Irdestruct, Baba'sonly miracle,the "something win and Edward Luck. This is a massive that has never happened before," and an non-circulated collection of unedited inoccasionto wear our God-realization dresses terviews with the disciples of Meher Baba (as Kitty, Delia, et al. thought they would be that is extensive.This set contains well over doing when Baba said he would break his a hundred interviews of those who met and silence in the Hollywood Bowl in 1933)? had long standing intimate contact with Share your views on the forum or write an the Beloved Avatar throughout all or much article. Listen to the Silence and keep the of their lives. A Log Book comes with the set and is Manifestation alive! very important to help locate and inform





what each DVD contains, including the speakers, topics, dates, time of interview, place and other pertinent information for viewing, editing and doing shows. It also contains cross-indexes for finding the information. These tapes were made in the early 1970's. Preparing all this has been an enormous task and expense, which took many years. The labeling job alone was very time consuming for the DVD'S, and the special boxes they are in. This work also included making the transfers to DVD, repair of obsolete equipment, acquiring new equipment to record from the original tapes, working with other specialized video labs, setting up our own video lab for the bulk of the work, special cleanings of the tapes, transfers, restoration and duplication. Special training and skills were often required . It was very labor intensive and expensive. Nevertheless, it got done. This massive set is the unedited raw material that will be seen till the next advent after 700 years. This is a priceless treasure that can never be repeated again. This will be for all generations present and future to learn how the Avatar loved and worked with His lovers as told through their eyes. Money can only be accepted as a donation to Meher Baba Archives Inc., which is a not-for-profit tax exempt (50lc3) corporation. Originally, a donation of $25,000 entitled one to a set. But when multiple orders came in we were able to provide a set for just a $10,000 donation. Now only three sets are planned. This is to raise money for making the new movie which is now in progress. This movie contains many scenes of Meher Baba never before seen. To order please send a check, bank draft or money order for $10,000 in US dollars. Made out to: Meher Baba Archives. Please include your name, address, phone number and E-Mail address. All orders are paid in advance and include shipping. Mail to: Meher Baba Archives Inc. 1130 Waterway Lane, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

U.S.A. Phone: 843-267-8524 Website: E-Mail: Donations are tax deductible. Meher Baba Archives, Inc. mission is for the preservation, restoration, duplication and distribution of the great quantity of Meher Baba Materials in the Archives.


ommemoration of 1962 East-West Births and Marriages Gathering in November 2012 at aura Smith of Sheriar Books in MyrMeherabad between first and fourth tle Beach and her husband Tommaso November 2012.Babalovers alloverthe world Mini have just welcomed a second son into are kindly requested to let us know of their their family. Darwin Vieri Mini was born inclination to participate in this programme October 28, 2009, weighing 81bs.1 oz. He at their earliestpossibleconvenience.This will is named after Darwin Shaw, and Vied is a help us to make the necessary arrangements. traditional name in Florence, Italy, meanAlso, we would like to specially request those ingTruth. His 5-year-old brother is Ulisse lovers who participated in 1962 East-West Francesco (born 10123104), whose names Gathering to kindly share their experiences are Italian for Ulysses and Francesco (after during the 2012 programme by personally St. Francis). Laura and Tommaso first met in India attending the 50th Anniversary. Those lovers who for some reason are not in 1992 as they both walked up to the Saable to personallyattend, are kindly requested madhi. They met again at the Samadhi at to send a briefwritten account of their experi- Amartithi 200o-their eternal date with ences for publication in the 50th Anniversary God-and have been together ever since. Commemoration Volume,which the library committee is planning to bring forth. Since this is going to be a big programme, its preparations have started in right eamest and cooperation from all of you is solicited. The details of the programme will be posted in subsequent announcements. The venue will be Meherabad, and the dates will be between first and fourth November 2012. The programme will include sharingof experiences by those _ who attended 1962 East-West L Ga al film Tommasoand Laura with tbeir two sons, thering, speci on Darunn Vieri and UliSJ~ Francesco. East-West Gathering, play and skit, musicalpresentation,and exhibition. Please contact or Urmilla and Gokaran Shrivastava, Librarians, Meherabad Hill Library of AMBPPC Trust, Post Meherabad, Ahmednagar, (MS) India 414 006, phone 0241-2548473.


endy Haynes Connor strikes a chord with the familiar question we pose ourselves when making a decision. Is the voice I hear Baba'svoice,intuition, or the ego? Her answer is inspired by a story about Baba Kitty told her in 1974. Immerse yourself in the charm and wisdom ofWendy's latest column, "ALeap ofFaith",on All (Baba)Things Considered http://wwwosheriarbooks.orgIabtc/index. php?f=wendyl2010102lleaJrof-jaith.html While online,browsea complete archiveof columns by Wendy, Steve Klein,Juniper Lesnik and Ann Conlon. 'T'my Zois of Melbourne Australia has .L created a website:


Freeman and Christina: Peas in a Pod Christina Arasmo Beymer, Santa Rosa by way of Florida et's start with the basics: Freeman and I were both born in 1967 and went to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba's Samadhi in 1987 at different times. He was born in San Francisco, California on June 14th. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 13th. Freeman worked for Meher Baba's Mandali, Bhau Kalchuri for 14 years from the time he was 26 years old. During those years, he lived at the Meher Baba Trust Compound in Ahmednagar, India. I got married in late 1985. In 1993, Bhauji visited the Tampa Meher Baba Group and I met Freeman for the first time in the Tampa Airport. I felt immediately comfortable with him, like he was my dear, old friend. He said to me that he thought I was, "The coolest girl in the world." He still does! Until 1998, I would see Bhauji fairly regularly. I found myself staring at Freeman a lot. I don't know why I did that. Over the years, I would remember Freeman, in a friendly way, but since I barely knew him, I thought it was interesting that I'd be thinking of him at all. Freeman said that he would think of me often over the years, especiallysince the Meher Baba calendar would hang in his room at the Trust Compound. [Christina is the designer who each year creates the beautiful Baba calendars for us all.] Freeman stopped working for Bhauji in 2007 and moved back to Santa Rosa, California. I got a divorceback in early 2001. In the summer of 2008, Freeman traveled with his mom, Sondra, and dad, Jack, to Meherabad. For the first time in nearly two decades, he was there as a pilgrim. I also went to India, my first trip after 11 years, with my daughter, Mani, and my mother, Laura. The day I arrived, I was in the dining hall and I got a tap on the shoulder from behind. I turned to see Freeman's shining smile. I was so, so happy!We hugged and then I asked, "Are you here as a pilgrim?" He replied that he was. He had just arrived the day before. I was thrilled! Freeman told me later that the day before he left for India, he looked at the back of the calendar and made a mental note to email me when he got back. In late May of2008, I asked Meher Baba about whether or not to take Mani to In-


dia (she was almost 9 years old), but money was tight. I had just spent a lot on private school. Just then my mother came to my door and said, "If you go to India with me, I'll pay for halfl" Coincidentally, Freeman's stay was the same length as mine, 21 days, but he arrived the day before. He often sat with my family and me during meals. I did not have anything more than friendly feelings for him. Once, when we were talking on the bus on the way back to Meherabad, I thought, II could live with him for the rest of my life.' I was not looking for anyone at all, so that was a strange thought. At that time, I really thought that I would remain single for the rest of my life and I was all right with that. During that conversation, we exchanged contact information. Then, one day, about a week before the end of the pilgrimage, I woke up with the hugest crush in the universe! "My God, Baba, I came here for You!" I didn't know


not encouraging on the romance front, just friends he said, and the ensuing emails after that initial callwould have scared others away, I think. However,I felt strongly that I should givehim and us my best effort. I still do. I honestly felt the love and longing for Freeman was a gift from Meher Baba and could be redirected back to Meher Baba, and I could get the Hafiz award! Funny, huh? At first Freeman wanted none of this 'human romance stuff', but one month and seven days after that first call, he was more open to it. And eventually, through a combination of drugs", subliminal suggestion, shock therapy, poetry, humor, and plane trips, I wore him down and he married me 18 months later in the Clearwater, Florida courthouse on 11 January, or 11110. The date appealed to me as it is the theme of the front cover of this year's Meher Baba Calendar: Everyone is Baba, all else is zero. Here's some of that poetry: Xmas 2009 Merry Christmas Darling

On this eveofthe birth ofthe OneHu reigns I sendyou thispoemofmy heart's refrain Dearest soul, a drop in His Ocean My heartisswimming in Love's potion ForI'm tied toyou with invisiblestrings And this hasopened my heart, it springs Forth with agarden offriendship, love, passion A fragrantgiftfrom the FatherofCompassion I sendgushes and wavesoflovetoyou, Freeman dear And happiness, warmth, and goodcheer I loveyou baby,f01-get thesillymind conflict Just run offwith me and consideryourselflicked.

Christina & Freeman what to do with the feelings,but inwardly I heard, "just go with it." Mani and I are moving to Santa Rosa in Nevertheless, I pestered Meher Baba to the next 2-4 months or sooner! I miss my do something, to take the feelings away. I husband. would act the same, friendly way around Freeman, and kept my feelings to myself "Of course,I'm joking about the drugs. They were really loud feelings, so I doubt I did a very good job at hiding them . When Freeman left, I was miserable. During the trip back to the US, I had formulated what I was going to say. It was 11 pm when I arrived home in Florida after 52 hours of travel. I immediately called him. No bathroom, no nothing, I just went directly to the phone. I said to him that I felt a deep connection between us and wondered if he felt it too. His answer was


JUohammed the JUast ~frer 63 })ears <Ward r:Earks, JVteherabad An Interview with Eric Nadel in 1999


n 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 recently 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 ofdivine intoxication had washed him up, proved to be, in the words of William 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 oneself without the help ofaMaster. 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 difficult he may have been towards ev-

eryone else, he really seemed to adore Baba, and long for His daily visits. Every day when Baba came, it was as if a flame were kindled in the depths of Mohammed'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 15 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 (presumably) carrying on with his work there. All ofthis 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 of him that he would become a Perfect Master in several more lifetimes. One would hardly guess such rare distinction to see Mohammed today, who, with his bent form and slow shuffle, looks like nothing quite so much as a Maharashtrian 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 what William 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 of Meherabad since the mid1970s who lives in the room next door to "Mo," as he callshim, and who is intimately involved in the mast's personal care. Fluent in Marathi, which is Mohammed's mother tongue, Erico is adept in the art of mastwheedling, 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 illuminate, from an advanced mast's own point of view, how he came to inhabit the world of higher 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 of any mast functions slowly: that is one of its 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 ofcharm, and a talent in attuning oneself to the rhythm of his consciousness. "I would ask him a question," Erico said, "and have one of the Marathi-speaking 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 recollect-

ing, I'm recalling.' 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 of leaves and grass.' By encouraging him in this way to recall his early childhood and describe it to us, we learned that he had been the youngest in an extended family of14 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 Tukaram 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 rudiments of pot-making taught to him as a boy. "After the wheels of memory had been greased a bit by severalsessions of recollection," 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 spiritual journey 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.' Having 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 MarathiPushkal dalinder bawaji

ahay tita, which means, roughly, 'There are many unkempt respectable old men there.' The literal sense of these words was easily enough understood, but it seemed that there was something more to be grasped than this. What made this answer especiallyconfusing was that Mo uses the word 'bawaji' to refer to old Parsi 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, suddenly 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 Mohammed left 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 "dayto-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 of the city, sleeping under a small stall at night, and providing tips to these cotton speculators in exchange for meals. "It seems that one of his problems when he became a mast," said Erico, "is that he no longer knew exactly how to get food to eat." In fact, Pleader gave Mohammed the

Photo Š MSI Collection

Erica(right) and "Ma" (left)

first good meal that he had had for years. "Mo told us that, when he met Baba in Rahuri for the first time, he didn't recognize 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 earlieryearsofMohammed's life,in the '20s and '30s. But occasionallyMohammed has alluded to experiencesfrom 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 Erico, "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,'

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 himself can still be found "practicing his profession" on the veranda of Mandali Hall. As the years pass and the life of the Avatar of the Age gradually passes out of firsthand 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 Babas 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 of the Eternal Beloved of all mankind. Meberana Messenger, Issue 1999, pp. 1-3, 5, Š 1999 Meherana, Inc.

which means, 'I am practicing my profes-




This narration completed, Erico 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, Erico asked him, in Marathi, of course, "Do you hear Dada's voice?" Mohammed answered in the affirmative. "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.

Photo by Win Coates

2iow ~aba ;:Revealed 2iimself to ~e 2ianna Schafer, California


oes anyone else sometimes get the feeling that they are on an adventure with Meher Baba? I certainly have been feeling this way more and more each day. Baba is steering the ship and every place we go is a surprise and an experience that changes everything. I have started to feel excited for no reason at all. I know that any place that Baba takes me is exactly where I need to be and with that trust I overflow with the enthusiasm of a child. This feeling has been building ever since I first felt the orbit of Baba's love and has become recently more intense. So intense that I now think that I have to tell you all a story. I had seen Baba's portraits quite often, but I had never been moved by any

images until 2001 when I was on a drive with my own beloved. He keeps a small photograph ofBaba in His car that I had seen on many occasions. It is a close up of an exuberant Baba beaming at the camera while He is piled high with garlands of flowers. I do not know why it was on that day with that picture, but it was a perfect moment. The picture pulsated and I was enveloped with His love. My heart broke open and was spilling out in soft waves. Something happened that day that changed everything, and it didn't take us long to book a trip to India to go to Baba's Samadhi. It was September 14, 2001 when we arrived in Meherabad. We went straight to His Samadhi and sat and cried and swooned with His love. After

wandering the grounds we returned to the Samadhi for a second time around sunset. We were blessed with a beautiful recital of the Parvardigar Prayer spoken by an unknown man with a beautiful booming voice. Everywhere we went on the rest of our journey we were carried by His love. We were always aware of His navigation. Upon our return things immediately started to be dismantled. We had anticipated this but were greatly unprepared for it. Both of our lives took turns that had never seemed likely. Some turns were blissful but most were intense, burning and even painful. It seemed like a cruel joke. We were tested beyond what we thought we could endure, both together and separately. We knew that it was Baba's


hand unraveling us. It was evident that the visit to His Samadhi had sped things up, an acceleration that wasn't easy to endure. In the midst ofall the chaos in the years to follow, it often felt like Baba stood back or even awayfrom us, but never gone. Always there, watching and smiling at our "suffering" - His children being born anew. Almost six years after we returned from Baba's Samadhi, I painted a picture. First I have to explain that I am not what you would call a painter. I am a dabbler. I enjoy painting when I am moved to, but I can go years without even thinking about it. I was in one of these artistic moods back in 2007, so I pulled out paint and canvas. The result is the painting shown here, and I haven't painted a thing since. On this occasion I didn't even know what I was trying to paint. I just had a feeling and I saw the colors in my periphery like shadows that move when you look directly at them. I spent two days putting paint on canvas and scraping it off. Always feeling the shadows slip out of sight. I even got frustrated a couple of times because nothing seemed to be coming together and I wanted to give up. That is when I started to see the faces. I had never intended to paint faces in the sky, but there they were. I could go in no other direction. I accentuated and enhanced them and watched them emerge. In the end I was left with a picture that I didn't fully appreciate or understand, and after it dried it ended up in the closet with a couple of other old paintings. That is where it has sat until a couple of months ago. My beloved was visiting one afternoon when I spontaneously thought of the painting and I took it out to show him. He looked at it and said "Oh, you painted Baba". Without even glancing at the painting I told him that I had not painted Baba and that I think I would have known if I had painted Baba! When I finally looked over at the canvas, there He was before my eyes, complete with His beautiful mustache and Mehera by His side. I was absolutely speechless. I know that I never intentionally painted a mustache and I know I had not intentionally painted Baba. If someone had asked me to paint a picture ofBaba in Samadhi, floating in the sky with Mehera, never in a million years could I have produced this so perfectly. I know myself as an artist, and I am telling you all that this could not have happened if! had intentionally set out to paint such a picture. I didn't even know that this is


what I painted when I first put it in my closet. I hung it on the wall immediately after realizing who it was in the painting and have been staring at it ever since. It has continued to reveal itself to me and it has taken on new depth and intensity. Including a winged heart in flight that emerges the longer you look. The clouds have parted and that which is always there is seen. I am reminded of the sun behind grey clouds on a chilly afternoon, and how easy it is to forget the ever present, atomic force always shining upon us. In such a quiet, yet unmistakable way, Baba shows me His face as it is now.Deep in Samadhi. I can hear Him saying to me "I am always here. ALWAYS HERE. And I love you." I shall look at this painting for the rest of my life and know that I am loved and am never alone. Now, I didn't think that this story had a second halfuntil a few weeks after the picture came out of the closet. However, for me to tell the rest of the story I have to tell you something that I never had any intention of telling anyone. In 2007, the second quarter issue, The Love Street Lamp Post printed an article thanking a person you called "Anonymous" for sending you S100 dollar bills for a period of a few months. I am the person you wrote about. I don't really know why I started sending you the money, I just knew that sending it to Baba was the best thing that I could have done with it. I also knew that for it to be genuine it had to be a secret,with no desire for recognition. After every shift I worked I quietly put money aside and when it reached $100 I would send it without delay, and I burned with this. I sent the money until the pull to continue started to wane in the same way it had begun. It was then that I received the issue of The Love Street Lamp Post and I saw the image of the $100 bill and the article below it. My heart started to race and I immediately started crying. I knew it was about what I had done and I was filled with gratitude. Recently I was with my beloved admiring the painting and Mehera's beautiful face. I pulled out a book with some of her photos in it to compare the painting with. When I returned the book to the shelf I was inexplicably moved to find the article. I couldn't imagine why after so long I was being prodded to share that which I had kept secret and had lost any desire to share. The buzz in my ear wouldn't go away so I took the chance and shared

it with the one person I trust more than anyone else. I told him the story and he just nodded through it, unsurprised. He took the issue from my hands and turned it over. He then laughed and handed it back to me and said "Look at the date", and then he pointed to the painting. The issue date is the same date as the painting. I was painting the picture when the article came out. I would have never put the two events together back then, but Baba wants the two to be seen side by side. Baba gave me a gift that had to ripen first. The painting, the article, and the deep experience of the unraveling of my life all had to happen simultaneously. Baba says that there is no such thing as coincidence and now there is no doubt for me that this is true. I know that He loves me and that I am His child, and like a child I can go forward in my life with trust and enthusiasm, as I believewe all can. Baba is everywhere all the time. He is alwaysradiating upon us His brilliance and love. All I have to do is look at this painting and I know that although it may have been my hand that held the paint brush, it was Baba who made each brush stroke. I really can't wait to see what He creates next. I am forever at His feet. Jai Baba!

Painting by Katie Rose

Meher Baba in Bhandardara, Maharashtra, in 1933. Courtesy of the Elizabeth Chapin Patterson Photo Archives (ECPPA). The photo was taken by Elizabeth Patterson, who wrote in a typed note : "Bbandardara, mentioned in this Diary, was a place on the way to Kashmir where we stayed with Baba. The picture that I took ofBaba that we like so much with his hairflowing. ill white sadra, was taken by me all a walk mentioned and Lake Arthur is in the backgroulld. I believe it was actually taken April 9. 1933. as that is the date ill my Diary.'

'lourists 310ck to 'Jesus's 'lomb' in 2<ashmir Sam JWiller, SrillafJar A reader sent me this interesting articlefrom theBBG. When my daughter and I weretraveling in India in 1987 (I won the Fly-to-India Sweepstakes given by ourBaba Centerin LA) OUl" guide was showing us around Srinigar-a gorgeous place-and he pointed out, in passing, a wooden shack, saying in a casual tone, "thatisuiberejesus isburied."First I had everheardofit! But thenI reada book that we sellin the Love StreetBookstore - Journeyinto Kashmir & Tibet - fascinating! It is written by a proftssor who had heard all the legends, and set out toprove them wrong. The evidence hefound was so overwhelming, he endedup a convert and wrote this book about it. He goes intogreatdetailaboutJesus' lifebefore and ajter the crucifixion and resurrection.

J\ belief that Jesus survived the crucifix.l"\.ion and spent his remaining years in Kashmir has led to a run-down shrine in Srinagar making it firmly onto the mustvisit-in India tourist trail. In the backstreets of downtown Srinagar

is an old building known as the Rozabal shrine. It's in a part of the city where the Indian security forces are on regular patrol, or peering out from behind check-posts made of sandbags.There are still occasional clashes with militants or stone-throwing children, but the security situation has improved in recent times and the tourists are returning. When I first searched for Rozabal two years ago, the taxi circled around a minor Muslim tomb in a city of many mosques and mausoleums, the driver asking directions severaltimes before we found it. The shrine, on a street corner, is a modest stone building with a traditional Kashmiri multi-tiered sloping rooÂŁ A watchman led me in and encouraged me to inspect the smaller wooden chamber within, with its trellis-like, perforated screen. Through the gaps I could see a gravestone coveredwith a green cloth. When I returned to the shrine recently though, it was shut-its gate padlocked because it had attracted too many visitors. The reason? Well, according to an

eclectic combination of New Age Christians, unorthodox Muslims and fans of the Da Vinci Code, the grave contains the mortal remains of a candidate for the most important visitor of all time to India.

'Crazy Professor'


fficially, the tomb is the burial site of Youza Asaph, a medieval Muslim preacher-but a growing number of people believe that it is in fact the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. They believe that Jesus survived the crucifixion almost 2,000 Easters ago, and went to live out his days in Kashmir. "What else could they do? They had to close it," Riaz told me. His family home almost overlooks the shrine, and he is witheringly dismissive of the notion that Jesus was buried there. "It's a story spread by local shopkeepers, just because some crazy professor said it was Jesus's tomb. They thought it would be good for business. Tourists would come, after all these years of violence." And then it got into the Lonely


Planet, [a travel guide] and too many people started coming. "And one foreigner ..." he gave me an apologetic look, "broke off a bit from the tomb to take home with him . So that's why it's closed now." On cue, a couple ofunwashed and exhausted Australians appeared, carrying the latest edition of the Lonely Planet guide to India, which, sure enough, carried the tale of Jesus's tomb, with some caveats about crackpots and blasphemy. They asked me to take a photo of them outside the shrine-but were not desperately disappointed that it was closed. The tomb ofJesus was just another place to tick off on their tourist-in-India must-visit list.

A Famous Meeting


he ruins of a Buddhist monastery in a spectacular location halfway up a mountainside north of Srinagar are not, yet, mentioned in the Lonely Planet. It's a spot that I had previouslybeen unable to visit,because as a senior police officer told me, it was "infested with terrorists". But the watchman now seemed prepared for the arrival of mass tourism, with his 50 words of English, and his hidden stock ofancient terracotta tiles for sale. He informed me that Jesus was among the religious leaders who attended a famous Buddhist meeting here in AD 80, and even pointed to the place where he sat.The stories ofJesus in India are not just aimed at gullible tourists-they date back to the 19th Century. They were part of attempts to explain the striking similarities between Christianity and Buddhism, a matter of great concern to 19th Century scholars-and also a desire

among some Christians to root the story ofJesus in Indian soil.

Missing Years


here is talk of the missing years of Jesus, unmentioned in the gospels, [unless you read Elaine Pagel'sGnostic Gospels] when he was between the ages of 12 and 30. Some I~~"'" say he was in India, picking up Buddhist ideas. These aren't notions that have entirely died out. The US-based Christian sect, known as the Church Universal and Triumphant, is the bestknown modem supporter of the belief that Jesus lived in Kashmir, though they don't believehe died there. And in Islam, in which Jesus is the penultimate prophet, there is also a minority tradition adopted by the controversial Ahmeddiya sect, that Rozabal does contain the grave of'jesus. Professional historians tend to laugh out loud when you mention the notion that Jesus might have lived in Kashmir-but his tomb is now firmly on the tourist trail-and a growing number of credulous visitors believe that he was buried in the Rozabal shrine. And for those who scoff, remember that others have argued, just as implausibly, that Jesus came to Britain. A theory that was much in vogue when the poet William Blake famously asked: "And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb ofGod on England's pleasant pastures seen?"

~ /


The way to the Paneboati (ave.

Story from BBC NEWS: bttpi/rneu禄. bbc. co. uk/go/prljr/-/2/hilprogra11lmes/jrom_ 01ll路_owlI_correspqfllldentl8587838.stm And what did Meher Baba have to say about this? Here is the direct quote from Lord Meher Vol 3 page 752: "That is where Jesus' body is buried"... He said to His women disciples, when they were in Kashmir in 1944. During their stay, Baba once took the women to the village of Harvan and took them up the hills and showed them the spot where he had sat in seclusion in 1929. Pointing to a specific area in the mountainous area, he remarked to them, "That is where jesus'body is buried. But before that, in August 1925 [Lord Meher Vol 8, page 2974] He had told His men mandali "There is one secret about Jesus which the Christians do not know. When Jesus was crucified, he did not die. He entered the state ofNirvikalp Samadhi (the T-am-God state without bodily consciousness). On the third day, he again became conscious ofhis body, and he traveled secretly in disguise eastward (with some apostles) to India. This was called Jesus' resurrection. After reaching India, he traveled farther east to Rangoon, in Burma, where he remained for some time. He then went north to Kashmir, where he settled. When his work was finished on earth, he dropped his body and entered Nirvikalp Samadhi permanently. Saints in India have verified these facts aboutJesus'travels. Mankind will soon become aware of the true life ofJesus." Whenever Meher Baba returned to Srinagar, for his own reasons, he went to the Harvan mountain village near the area where Jesus's body was buried in a cave nearly twenty centuries ago. Baba did not actually show the cave to his men and women mandali, because after viewing the terrain one observes that the cave was probably covered over by avalanches and

being crucified, and he is continuously taking birth." The grave of Meher Baba's first secretary, Chanji (Framroz Dadachanji), is not far from the area where Baba said Jesus is buried. Chanji used to say, "When I die, I want to die in Kashmir,it's so lovelythere." When Baba was on his way to Harvan Village from Srinagar in 1929, he had remarked to Chanji, "Your tomb will be here." And sure enough, on August 25, 1944, Chanji died from typhoid while traveling in Kashmir with Baba; he fell ill after eating potatoes despite Baba's order to him not to. Bhau Kalchuri recounts in Lord Meher that Chanji died with Baba's name on his lips. "Baba himself attended Chanji's funeral in the Parsi cemetery and strewed flowers ~oIWo~~\rJLiIIIi"'I!!I!!L:ii.i.[it,.;....:.=;;;,;....,;;:;;;j' over his last remains. Thereafthe natural growth of the mountain terrain. ter, a headstone was raised and This may be a controversial point of con- Chanji was finally given a rest after twenty tention among Christian historians; none- hectic yearsin India, and on trips abroad, as theless, it is legendary in India and Tibet. Baba's personal secretary. During journeys, It is also a legend in Kashmir that the He- even in crowded third class train compartbrew Prophet Moses is buried in another ments, Chanji would type letters and his area of the Kashmir mountains named diary notes, sometimes even at night" (volume 8: 2969). It is thanks to Mount Nebo. Chanji's Diary that posterity Contributed by Kendra Crossen has received a record of Bao the Muslims believe, and Baba con- ba's early travels, activities, firmed, that Jesus did not die on the and teachings. In addition, Cross but traveled to India and died there because of Chanji, the large (in Kashmir). If this were proved true, extended family of Dadawould that render the Christian religion chanjis had the good fortune invalid? Only if you believe in a funda- to be very close to Baba. Bhau also notes: "Baba's mentalist manner that Jesus had to die on the Cross in order to save humanity. Baba journey to Kashmir seemed acknowledged that Christ indeed suffered to have a decisive effect on on the Cross for humanity, but He revealed the war" (Lord Meher 8: the true meaning of the Crucifixion (in 2968). Chanji's death came the Discourses): "The Man-God knows two days after the liberation himself to be one with all the other souls of Paris by the Allied forces. Following the partition of in bondage. Although he knows himself to be identical with God and is thus eter- India in 1947, Kashmir benally free, he also knows himself to be one came a hotbed of territorial with the other souls in bondage and is thus dispute. The conflict is sumvicariously bound. Though he constantly marized thus in Wikipedia experiences the eternal bliss of God-re- (as of 3/29/10; the Internet alization, he also vicariously experiences encyclopedia is subject to suffering owing to the bondage of other being altered by future edsouls,whom he knows to be his own forms. its): "India claims the enThis is the meaning of Christ's crucifixion. tire former princely state of The Man-God is, as it were, continuously Jammu and Kashmir and

presently administers approximately 43% of the region including most of Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and the Siachen Glacier. India's claim is contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, mainly Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan. In addition, China controls 20% of Kashmir. ... India's officialposition is that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan's officialposition is that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. China's official position is that Aksai Chin is a part of Tibet, which is a part of China. Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan." The alleged burial places of Jesus (and Chanji) are in the Indian-administered region. We may speculate that the importance of Kashmir will take on a whole new significance once the world realizes that the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, conducted part of his Universal Work there. See Late Breaking News on p. 12




7he Creation 2iabit

Vtteher 71aba's

See 2iow )30U Vttake

...Avataric School

)3our ..covers ~eep!

I didn't know I was in His school. It was not like the otherschools. Here I was taught about theplanes oflight, the masteryofthought andfeelings, about the nothing and the everything. and most ofall aboutyou and me. I always knew there was a school like this but I didn't know where. The schoolmaster was no ordinary man. He knew each ofus, and loved us. He was kindly and knew exactlywhat he was doing. I couldtrust this Master ofletterswith my life. I was safe here. My mind became very sharpsoI didn't have to study hard. The schoolmaster awakened my intuition. I couldanticipate what was to be and remember what was. First grade was the best. He taught /IS how to readsentences in a book. Then to read what was between the words. He showedthat silence can speak. How to read what was unspoken. We would go onfield trips. In moreadvanced courses they couldseewith the mind. That was a lot offUn. Touring the world this way. Visiting thepast orfuture couldbe surprising. Things were often different than what was in the books. In the last gradesyou can see the source ofall things. Be they ofthis world, or beyond. Everything is known. Thefinal test is whetheryou can walk in everyoneelse's shoes. Once the schoolmaster is satisfiedthat you know all he taught, then you graduate and become a schoolmaster yourself whetheryou teach others or not. What a great schoolyou have. lin glad you let me come. There is nonelike it. YourAvataric school.

We waited in the darkness before sunrisewith a

Irwin Luck February 23, 2010 Myrtle Beach, SC

plan, A plan that bordered on the realms ofinsanity As ifit werepossible to dashinto the aperture of daybreak And stealthe living daylight ofthe sun! Those who try get burnt. We conspired to lie in wait all night Toensnare the luminousmirrorofthe moonand make it ours. With such an abundance oflight in the heavens We shouted, why shouldwe not take our share? Why shouldwe heedthepoets'words, That the mirror's shards ofglasscancutyour heart And make it bleed! Then we werein the crowdthatformed to share Thegrowing brilliance ofcomets in the sky. Longing heartsreached out to capturefalling stardust Just a handful even But even these heavenlybodies weresnatched away, Compelled by what imperative, by what cosmic law Tobe takenfrom oursight? Seehowyou makeyour lovers weep! Hearts arecut open by such intransigence! I've seen how mothsburn in the candle'sflame But mothsdon'tbleedlike this Or shedsuch tears. Sarah McNeill England

Eooe, the :lire Love, thatfire which ignitesand tempers all things If it is not the bestofliving, what is? And God, thatfire within us, Melting andfUsing /IS with time itself. Love isan awesome reality The truest ofthings even unseen And while itsfire givesform, Love is birth, the seedwithin That knows itspurpose. Ruth Brandon, Missouri

Creation is a woman everybody knows Gives Goda lot oftrouble, you'dwonder why He chose To have heraround, to have heraround. Must be cos He likesher, thinks she's mightyfine; Must be cos He needs herfor the oldproduction lineTokeep thingsgoin'and the business sound Maybe cos sheis a woman - He never knows how sheblows, Keeps Godeverguessing and always on His toes; Maybe that is what He hasfound. Maybe cos sheis a woman and knowsjust how topleaseThat's when she's notfussin' orgone into deepfreeze, Or to Everest's peak, or underground. But sure Godloves creation Lookat all His children thereareAll us men and women and the most distant star: And he likes baoin' us all around.

From:Let UsThePeople Sing, page38. Š Francis Brabazon: Avatars Abode Trust, Qpeensland, Australia

Call1ou~ane I thought I wantedsomanythings but really theywereall masksfor You. Lovefor anyone oranything ismerely a disguise, a camoziflage for loveofYou. Indeed, what isthisentire world, but make-believe? Andyouhidesowell No wondersomanyhavelostsightofYou. You don't gofor ratings. OnlyYou could beso indifferent topopularity. You arenotsatisfied until we arehappy tohaveourhappiness stripped awoy. Until we can register thefaceofLove in thedust ofloss. Until we know the words earth andheartarethesame lettersfalling differently. os. my Beloved. Helpmesee through thisveil ofYourpretending. Peel away thelayers. I want You to him thiscostume ofmyselfinside out. I want You to tease outthethreads ofdivinity which You once sewedintothe veryseams ofme and makethemspellYour name soI am nothingbut Love.

Š RosieJackson England

'{he Bhazal and the Qawwal explained Bythe publishers ofThe Hindu usrat Fateh Ali Khan attempted to globalise the Sufi mystic experience by collaborating with musicians from other countries. His death at the age of 49 [1997] isa matter of sadness, a great tragedy. He was a true artist, inheritor and practitioner of a vanishing musicalheritage: the qawwali.This musical form of the Sufi mystictradition has been sung for many centuries and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan came from a family or dynastyof qawwals. In the Indian (this includes the Pakistani and the Bangladeshi) schools of Sufi mysticismwhich permit countenance and encourage the sama or seance, the qawwali is used for the design, creation and cultivation of techniques that induce ecstasy (haal or wajd) in the listener. Qgwwali is thus an essential ingredient of worship as practised by Sufis, their disciples and the devotees who flock to the shrinesof Sufi saints. Sufis, like the aiyanars and other bhaktas, love God with an all-consuming passion which leaves no room in the heart for either the world or worldly pursuits. Qgwwals using words from poetry embellished by notes and percussion from the classical and semiclassical tradition of Indian music serve the needs of Sufi dargahs or tombs by creating the atmosphere for a seance. They verbalise and point with music the yeaming and sufferingof the loverseparatedfrom the beloved. Their call to love is given through verses selected for poignancefromlyrics. The ghazal in Urdu or Persian and the geet in Hindi verses becomecanvasses to absorband radiate colour from the note patterns of the modes chosento render the songs. These modes (ragas and raginis) transform the verses into mantrasor chants,incantations or formulae. Magic arises from the fusion to make the multi-layered meaningof the words manifestitse1ÂŁ The drumming (tabla) targets the heart by first mergingwith and then taking over and regulatingthe heartbeat. Variations in speed, decibels and the quanturn of sound produced-from the almost-inaudible to the eardrum-splitting crescendo----obliterate the outside world with its insistence on objective realityand focuses the sensitivity of the listenerinwardsandjust into the regionof the heart.The one feeling that survives is the capacityto suffer. Newcomersand casualvisitors to qawwalis are sensitizedas ifby osmosis from the over-


flow of immense feeling exuded by others in the audience. The novices react to the level and extentof emotion their hearts are capable of experiencing. Tears well up to pulsate on the tip of the eyelash or flowincessantly from the eyes; lumps rise to choke the throat and breathing is in intervals and takes the form of short, sharp gasps. It is,increasingly, a rare qawwal who can deliver this formula every time he performsand Nusrat Fateh Ali never failed. As the centreof the qawwali art form is the lyricor the ghazal,perhaps it would be illustrating to go into its origin and development. Since the arrival of the Turkic and Mghan tribesmen in India in about A.D. 1000, a most important place, a power base or shakti sthalahasbeen occupied in Indian poetry and music by the lyric form called ghazal. TIlls word, of Arabicorigin,is now common heritage to all Indian languages and many Indian poets use it as the preferred form. In Arabic, ghazal means a lovertalking to his beloved amorously. The ghazalwas developed further and to its maximumpotentialin Iran and in India where Persianwas the court language of the Turcomans, Afghans and the Mughalswho ruled in the North and the Bahamanis and their sucessors in the South. Of the Persian poets, Hafiz of Shiraz enjoys the highest reputation. The Indian poets held in esteem for Persian verse are Amir Khusrau (13th century) and Mirza Bedil (18th century). Khusrau also wrote in Hindi and was devotedto the great SufiNizamuddin Auliya. Khusrau's Persian and Hindi verse is sung at Sufi shrines even today, some seven centuries later. On the anniversary of the saint'sdeath, the Urs festivities start with qawwals singing a Khusrauverse. The ghazal and the geet both found the qawwali their naturalhabitat as theyrepresent a lovertalking to the beloved amorously. The status oflove was very high in the Athens of Socrates and Plato and the Dillee of Hazrat Nizamuddin and Arnir Khusrau.Their belief was that God was the onlytrue male and that all of creationwas female. Just as the female yeams for the male so also does the finite soul yeam for the Infinite. Life on Earth is separation and exile. Death is reunion with the Beloved. The anniversary of the death of a saint is celebrated aswould be a wedding. It is called'Drs' which means "Nuptial Union". The Urs ofHazrat Nizamuddin commences with the qawwals singing Khusrau's verse

written at the death of the saint. It reads: "Goaree soawaiy seij purra, mukha purra daareiy kaiys; Chull Khusraughurr appuney, reiyn bhuyee chahoun deys,' ("The fair one is asleep on the bed and her hair covers her face; 0 Khusrau! Wend your way home, for the world has becomedark.") When this verse is sung again and again and portions of it are "lifted"into the higher octaves, the heartsof the listeners are plunged into grief Khusraus sorrow at the death of his beloved Master envelops allpresent.Tears wellup in manyeyes. Someget up and gyrate in the tight circle of their seatwalledin by the huge crowd. A great catharsis occurs and all pilgrimsreturn lighter and fulfilled. The Sufi shrineswere active all overIndia, from Srinagar to Chikmagalur. The kind of world which developed around the ghazal and the qawwali has now allbut disappeared. When an echo occurs it can still come alive. TIlls can perhapsbe invokedby a story. In the early1980s,the PakistaniUrdu poet Ahmad Faraz made his first visit to Hyderabad. Deeply affected by a verse of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qptb Shah, a 16th-century prince of Golconda in the Deccan, he returned repeatingit and echoing it in a brand new ghazalof his own. (Interestingly, Ahmad Farazisa Pathan and Muhammad Qpi Qgtb was a Qara Quinloo Turk from Central Asia whose grandfather Sultan Quli had emigrated to India from Hamadan in Persia in the 15th century) The Deccan is synonymous with Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, which encompasses in history the citiesof Golconda, Bhagnagar and Secunderabad. Urdu poetry originatedin some area vaguely called Deccan. A pioneer in writing Urdu ghazals from somewhere near Ahmedabad in Gujarat is known as Wali Dukhkhinee. His name suggests that anyone from outside the twin capital cities, Agra and Dillee, or the North of India was called Dukhkhinee or some kind of an outsider. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was attempting a globalization of the mystic experience by collaboratingwith musicians from other countries and performances in countries with no Urdu. Such experiments may well breathe new lifeinto the ghazal and the qawwali.

{Amazon. com sells many of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's CDs. Well worthbuying!]


CWhy c.A1eher ~aba's CWords Should ~e ÂŁeft as 7hey ~re Ward Parks, Meherabad 1\ s most ofMe her Baba's lovers realize, ~eher Baba's words, as the words of the Avatar, belong to the same general category in the human cultural legacy as do the Qpr'an, the Gospels, the Pali Sutras, and other records of Avataric advents. Undoubtedly the New Humanity will cherish and feed itself on Baba's words as humanity has done since time immemorial. This raises many questions, for those of us who count ourselves in the family of Baba's lovers today, as to how this legacy should be preserved. The particular point that I wish to address here concerns editing. Virtually all of Meher Baba's books and messages, in the course of their issuing forth into verbal expression, were mediated by persons other than their Author. After all, Meher Baba Himself was silent. When He spoke, He did so through dictation-by chalk on slate, through the alphabet board, or by hand gestures. Thus disciples played a part in the very first movements in the articulation of His silence into "speech." Moreover, from what we know, Baba does not seem to have dictated His books and messages word for word. His customary method was to give out points to disciples who would write them up, bring them back for Baba's checking and correction, and then have them published under Baba's name. While Baba initiated these communications and put His seal on the end results, the "editorship" (so to speak) of disciples was built into the very authorial process that He employed. Could it not be argued, then, that posterity should continue what Baba began? Should not future generations of editors, recognizing that the Avatar during His own human lifetime can only hint at greater significations beyond the grasp of His contemporaries, polish and perfect what He gave forth in the rough? The involvement of His disciples (so the argument runs) shows that Baba's authorship is a collaboration between God and His humanity. Might this not be part of the very meaning of His silence-that humanity fulfills in speech what His silence adumbrates? Posterity, by continuing the work of His disciples, plays its part in the


ongoing unfoldment and fulfillment of His Avataric manifestation. This is the view that I want to reject in this article--at least as it pertains to the reediting of Baba's words. My purpose here is to argue that Meher Baba's words should be left as they are. As you will see, I qualify this assertion in several ways. The books published during Baba's lifetime, like most books, contain a sprinkling of spelling mistakes, inconsistencies in capitalization, cases of faulty subject-verb or pronoun-noun agreement, and other trivial problems of an essentially typographic or minor grammatical order. There is no sin in correcting these. Manuscripts that record in raw form talks that Baba gave, pose a different kind of problem, or audio recordings of mandali recollecting what Baba said many years earlier. "Texts" ofthese types do need to be edited, though the editing should be carried out transparently and subjected to important checks and balances. I will return to this matter presently. But what I want to concentrate on is a category that we could call "Baba's published words." These consist of the books and messages that were published during Meher Baba's physical lifetime, with His evident knowledge and approval, and with His name on them as author. The Universal Message, Discourses, and God Speaks are examples of"Baba's published words" under this definition. This body of material should be left untampered. It comprises a priceless part of the Avatar's legacy to humanity; and if editors (with the compliance of the copyright holders and publishers) are allowed go on rewriting it, in the end it will be rewritten out of existence and lost. In ages past, the utterances of Avatars and great spiritual Masters were protected by what could be called the traditional mind-set. People used to honor and venerate their forbears; and what was given forth by Great Ones of old, their latterday descendants took pride in repeating and preserving without alteration. "Innovation" was the great offense; to say "we have never heard thus-and-such" was to imply that "thus-and-such" is untrue. The modern era, however, has thoroughly dis-

carded this outlook. The hoary past is now generally viewed as the source of bondage from which we need to liberate ourselves. I do not intend in this article to try to adjudicate this quarrel. Meher Baba often criticized traditions; yet He called Himself the Ancient One. What I do want to point out however, is that, for better or for worse, a bulwark has been lost, where the defense of Me her Baba'swords is concerned. We cannot complacently assume that the texts we have today will be reproduced into the future without revision and transformation. The material foundation for the preservation of Meher Baba's books could all be wiped out, for example, in a great world war. If our beloved Avatar's words are to be preserved and passed down to future generations, we need first of all to build a foundation of intelligent understanding that will make this possible. Old formulas will no longer suffice. We need to see directly the value of what He has given us and house His treasure in that sight. In the preservation and transmission of the legacy of Meher Baba's words, intellectuals will inevitably playa major role. Editors, literary exegetes, textual critics, philosophers, and others of this ilk naturally interest themselves in the words of the God-Man; historically this class has usually come to predominate in matters of scriptural interpretation. And thus a priest caste emerges. To prevent the distortions that this kind of development can give rise to, we need to affirm this fundamental point, that the legacy of Meher Baba's words belongs to all humanity and that no intellectual can claim priority over one of the Lord's lovers. Baba's words should be left as they are so that Baba's lovers can continue to feed themselves on them as He gave them. The rewriting of His words puts the rewriter, the editor, between the Giver of the gift and the people who were meant to receive it. But if Meher Baba's lovers understand the value of the Avataric legacy of His words and messages and insist that it not be meddled with, this problem, and a thousand others that flow from it, can all be avoided. In the following pages I will advance three main arguments for my thesis,


which is that the substantive reediting of Meher Baba's published words should not be countenanced. In a nutshell, the arguments are these : (1) Since Meher Baba was the Avatar, His words can rightly be regarded as the words of God. The human mind and human wisdom should not presume to alter what God has given. (2) In practical terms, when one sanctions the revision of Baba's words, one opens Pandora's Box. As time goes on, new editors who want to make their mark and establish their names in the roster of the Avataric historical legacy will revise more and more, and the safeguards and restrictions put in place at the beginning will gradually be abandoned. Through this process the Avatar's words could be corrupted and even lost, as evidently has happened in the past. (3) Meher Baba Himself gave us indications that His literary works should be treated under the laws and conventions that pertain to the works of a literary author. The present civilization respects authorial claims and does not permit revision without an author's consent. We should not fail to accord to Meher Baba, the Avatar of the Age, the courtesy and respect that we would give to any other human author. But before turning to these arguments in detail, let me first attend to the important caveats alluded to earlier. Two separate problems present themselves: small mechanical errors and inconsistencies persisting in the literature ofBaba's published words; and other materials recording messages that Baba gave out at various times but never got published while He was in the physical form. Each of these cases raises a range of issues; and while an indepth treatment must await another occasion, in brief we can respond to some of the major questions here.

Where Editing is Necessary espite the need to curtail the scope of editorship-which is the primary theme of this article-the fact remains that a certain amount of editing cannot


be avoided; and we should face this fact squarely. Holding to too intractable a position can be compared to building a fortress wall out of some adamantine brittle material like crystal. For a time this wall might seem to repel all cannonades; but when it breaks, it shatters completely, and all at once. In the same way, an excessively dogmatic stance on matters of editorship will lead, through its own ineluctable logic, to ludicrous and essentially indefensible positions. When these dogmas collapse, as they are bound to do sooner or later, the reaction is liable to be as excessive as the former intransigence was. Thus the very manner of the defense could facilitate the loss ofwhat one had meant to defend. This is to say that the work of safeguarding the Avataric legacy needs to be carried out intelligently. Let me give an example. In 1967, Sufism Reoriented published the three-volume sixth edition of Meher Baba's Discourses. At one point one finds the word "possesssions." Is humanity obligated to go on spelling this word with its -sss- for the next seven hundred years simply because this typo escaped the vigilance of the original proofreaders? To make the matter even more absurd: consider the fact that the sixth edition went through five printings between 1967 and 1973, two of them before Meher Baba dropped His body in 1969 and three thereafter. Throughout the reprinting process mistakes were being corrected; each successive printing weeded out a number of typographic and small mechanical errors in the printing before. A number of these errors , in other words, were corrected after Baba passed away. On the theory that no change in His published words should be sanctioned without His express permission, ought we actually to reinstate the errors corrected after 1969, but allow to stand the corrections made before that date, on the supposition that Baba must have approved all corrections made before His death, while the corrections made afterwards represent the unwarranted interventions of editors? This ridiculous consequence of an inflexible editorial policy illustrates where mindless dogmatism leads to. To be sure, we need to protect Baba's words against editorial tinkering; but nothing obliges us to throw our common sense out the window. Here's another example. Just as most of us would balk against revising Baba's words, probably most of us would resist altering His numbers as well. In God Speaks

Baba said that there are seven planes ofconsciousness; does any editor have the right to substitute the number "eight"? Instead of "five" Perfect Masters, can some forthcoming edition tell us that there are "six"? Of course not! But now consider this case. The original sixth edition ofDiscourses refers to a table (enumerating the specialized forms of meditation) on "page 147." But in the recently published revised sixth edition of the Discourses, that table appears on p. 158. Do we have to go on for the next seven hundred years referring readers to the wrong page number simply because we do not want to revise Baba's original text? The original phrase "page 147" functions as a cross reference; the very meaning and point of a cross-reference is to index another selected portion in the text. Ifwe prohibit the updating of cross-references, it could truly be said that we have checked our brains in the locker. Even in the case of Baba's published words, then, certain minor editing is occasionally called for.Then how do we prevent editorial "creep,"whereby one change leads to another, and then another, and then another, and on and on? Part of the solution lies in clearly defining what kinds ofchanges are admissible. Essentially we are talking here about "mechanical" problems-typographic or small grammatical errors. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust has enumerated specific categories of editorial changes that it allows in the text of Baba's published words. The following list is extracted from p. 433 in Early Messages to the Wes!:! (a) spelling (b) capitalization (c) punctuation (d) font (e) lineation and paragraphing (f) changes in cross-reference necessitated by the new pagination in a new edition (g) erroneous word repetition (such as "and and") (h) grammatical agreement (as between subject and verb or pronoun and referent) or faulty parallelism (i) mistakes evidently resulting from typesetting and other printproduction errors

1. Meher Baba, Early Messages to the west: The 1932-1935 western Tours (North Myrde Beach, South Carolina : Sheriar Foundation, 2009). 0:

To be sure, this list is an ad hoc creation: it merely categorizes and codifies editorial changes deemed necessary by recent editors. Further editorial work in the years to come may identify new categories that need to be added. Yet the list serves a crucial function nonetheless. It provides transparency to the community of Meher Baba's lovers. Anyone doubtful about the recent editing of Meher Baba's words can check the list and ascertain for himself or herself whether it countenances editorial changes that are more than just mechanical. This kind of transparency, and the healthy involvement of the community of Meher Baba's lovers, is the key to checking and preventing unbridled editorial revisionism. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust has implemented another safeguard, in the requirement that a listing of all editorial alterations be made publicly available. The recently published revised sixth edition of Meher Baba's Discourses has a "Register of Editorial Alterations'? that catalogues all changes, however small, with reference to the text of the original 1967 edition. Early Messages to the West does the same thing.' Even if the original physical books were somehow to get lost, one could reconstruct with exactitude the original text in those books from these registers. In reality, the literature of Meher Baba's published words contains only a limited number of mechanical errors and inconsistencies; I don't believe it will be necessary to go on emending these texts for much longer. But in the meantime, and for posterity as well, this practice of providing public records of editorial alterations, along with the vigilance of the Baba community, ought to suffice in protecting Baba's words against the depredations of unconstrained editors. The foregoing comments pertain to the editorial emending of Baba's published words-and by this expression I mean to refer to books and messages published under Meher Baba's name, during His physical lifetime, and with His evident knowledge and approval. I want to underscore that the arguments that I am making in this article against editorial revisionism pertain narrowly to this category of literature. But there are other records of Baba's words that have found their way into print 2. See Meher Baba, Discourses, revised sixth edition (North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Sheriar Foundation, 2007), vol. 4, pp. 230-41. 3. See pp. 432-43 .


and will continue to do so into the future. In the case of this literature unpublished during Meher Baba's lifetime, significant editorship is needed for many reasons; this editorship cannot be constrained so narrowly as in the case of Baba's published words. Yet significant checks and balances can and should be put into place nonetheless, as I will explain in a moment. Again, the key to this process is transparency and the active involvement of the community of Me her Baba's lovers. Here are some examples of the unpublished literature of Meher Baba's words. Many of us heard Baba's great disciple Eruch relate accounts of extraordinarily beautiful "talks" and discourses that Baba gave at different times. Obviously these remembered words of the Avatar need to be transmitted to posterity. Let us suppose that we recover thirty tape recordings of Eruch retelling a certain message that Baba once gave. If one wished to publish this message in written form, obviously one would need to transcribe the thirty oral renderings, collate and compare them, apply a variety of methods in the effort to ascertain what is most authentic, and publish a readable version that captures what seem to be the original elements of Baba's discourse. What I am describing here, of course, is an editorial procedure. No one can guarantee in advance the quality of such editorial work; like anything else, it can be done well or badly. But to those who contest the very practice of such editorship in the first place, I ask: then what do you propose? If someone were to interject, "Make the original tapes available," I would reply, Absolutely! No one contests that. But are we prohibited for the next seven hundred years against ever having a written version? Such a prohibition will not be able to stand against the pressure of a humanity that will clamor for such material. The attempt to block all such editorship will inevitably fail. One who wishes to deal with this issue realistically will not ask whether editorship should be practiced, but rather, how should it be done. For another example, consider the 250 pages of handwritten material that were recently published in an edited form under the title Infinite Intelligence:' Though the manuscript itself is unsigned and the 4. Meher Baba, Infinite Intelligence (North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Sheriar Foundation, 2005).

scribe who wrote it out still unidentified, the book probably records dictations that Meher Baba gave to His mandali at Meherabad in 1926. (The evidence connected with the manuscript and the case for Baba's authorship of it has been set forth in the book's supplement.) Now although the original source notebooks in their main part seem to constitute a metaphysical treatise with a sustained and continuous argument, the writing style, eccentric in the extreme, would prevent all but the most skilled and persevering readers from tracing their course through the manuscript's stylistic maze all the way through to its conclusion. Yet these notebooks have content of the greatest interest and the highest worth. Is most of humanity (excepting only literary specialists expert in dealing with such material) to be denied access purely out of concern that the raw and clearlyunfinished original manuscript should not be edited into a more readable form? We should note here that the books and messages that Baba had published during His physical lifetime-Discourses, God Speaks, The Universal Message, and so forth-present

us with an entirely different situation. In all these cases Meher Baba took care that the original drafts were properly edited for publication. Since Meher Baba Himself oversaw the editing of these works, now we should leave them alone: that is the position that I take in this article. But should the same hands-off policy apply to records of Baba's words and dictations that He never gave editorial attention to during His lifetime but that descend to us in unpolished and sometimes quite jumbled form? Happily, as I see it, Meher Baba Himselfgave us guidance on this very question. The "Combined Diary" (vol, 2, folio 355) records a comment that Baba made on August 7, 1927, regarding the editing of His words. Baba said: No, it is not advisable to send my notes and lectures Jar composition to anyone who is away from me. The writer must be here in order to ensure correctness. For example, [K J Dastoor] took note oj certain explanations [of mine} in writing the other day, yet while putting the same in his own language he made a mess oj it all. My explanations may be re-composedin forceful and stylish language. but the spirit and

meaning must remain unchanged. I take this passage as applicable today not to the books and messageswhich Baba published after this time-since in these cases the editorial "re-composition" that He refers to was attended to by Himbut to messages and dictations where this editorial work was never done. In other words, we should treat the "published" and "unpublished" words of the Avatar differendy. I think this is a clear distinction. How should we treat them differendy? In cases where Baba Himself saw to the editing, we should leave the product of this editorship alone (except for small mechanical problems, as described earlier). But when we are dealing with material that descends to us (through manuscripts or tape recordings) in rough form, then Baba's directive in this "Combined Diary" comment applies. That is, it can be "re-composed" in "forceful and stylish language," but the "spirit and meaning must remain unchanged." But even here, checks and balances need to be put in place. The aims of this present article do not afford me the latitude to delve into this topic in depth; but several basic observations can be made. When Baba says that the "meaning must remain unchanged," I take this to indicate that editors must confine themselves to giving clearer expression to the idea content found in Baba's dictation, and they should rigorously guard themselves against introducing idea content or interpretations of their own. Now different readers may legitimately disagree on what a criterion like this implies. I feel that debate and criticism play an essential role here. Yet despite what is sometimes said, it is possible to provide a reasonably specific formulation of what linguists call the "truth conditions" of an utterance. When I say "My friend Tom was born in Hong Kong," I am proposing a set of identifiable truth conditions that do not match those of another hypothetical sentence of mine, "My friend Sue is a strip-tease artist." It is possible, in other words, to specify in fairly definite terms the semantic content-the "what"-of a message or saying of Babas; and editors should devote themselves to the task of restating this meaning and nothing else. This I propose as a fundamental guiding rule of editorship connected with the unpublished Meher Baba literature. A second basic check and safeguard is that, whenever an "edition" or "version" is published, the original sources should be

made public; and we need to affirm the unalterable primary of these sources. The supplement to Infinite Intelligence (p. 457) states the position thus: The editors hope that the manuscript will in due course be made more widely accessible in some format to those interested in it, through facsimile print publication, digital reproduction in compact disc or internet mediums, and in other ways. Because of its direct relationship to Meher Baba's own act of literary composition, the manuscript will always remain the primary text and authority, while editions that present it to the public will stand as secondary texts and derivatives. Since the book was published in 2005, the original manuscript has indeed been made available (as promised) through the Avatar Meher Baba Trust web site. Later in the supplement, the relative authority of the edited version (in the published book) versus the original text of the manuscript is explicidy described (p, 536): This edition represents the current editors' best attempt to present the contents of the Intelligence Notebooks in a form intelligible to the general public. Yet the editing was never reviewed by Meher Baba, and so this version cannot have the status of editions published in Baba's lifetime under His supervision. The "authoritative text" of Infinite Intelligence remains the original two-notebook manuscript, since that handwritten record stands in closest proximity to what Meher Baba Himself gave out. There is no reason in principle why in the future new editors should not compile new editions that supersede this one. This principle should apply to all edited versions of original manuscripts and tape recordings that purport to relate the Avatar's "unpublished words." That is, the edited texts are nothing more than renderings perennially susceptible to criticism and reworking; the unaltered original sources-manuscripts or record-

ings-stand undisplaceably as the primary texts. Applied transparendy with the community of Meher Baba's followers as the watchdogs, this practice and this understanding should protect us against unwarranted revisionism. I trust readers will understand the need for this long digression, that has tried to indicate where and in what respects editing is needed with Meher Baba's words. I wish to return now to that specific category that I am calling "Baba's published words." This body of material is distinguished from all other records of what the Avatar said and did by the fact that He Himself, during His physical lifetime, chose to present it as His message to the world; and He put His seal on the published result in the form of His name as author. This corpus of literature holds a singular place in the legacy of the advent. Apart from the minor correction of typographic errors and inconsistencies as described above, it should be protected from further editing, for reasons that I shall now try to set forth in detail. First Argument: Don't Alter the Words of God he words and books and messages that Meher Baba had published during His physical lifetime represent, as it were, a message from the Avatar with His own seal upon it. Other words of His, recorded in various ways, do not bear this distinction but belong to the general history of the advent. As one step toward trying to get a handle on this modey collection ofunpublished records, perhaps we might consider how early Muslims dealt with the "hadith" of Muhammad-that is, the orally transmitted accounts of the Prophet's sayings and deeds. These hadith have assumed a high place in Islamic culture; their value to Muslims down the centuries can hardly be overestimated. In the same way, the histories of Meher Baba's words and deeds will surely exert an incalculable impact on the future humanity. But the books and messages that He actually got published would be better compared not to the hadith but to the Qgr'an itself. Since Baba not only issued these words forth at the time of dictating them but also took the further step of overseeing their editing and public presentation, they hold a unique place. In the published form that we have inherited from Him they carry the Avatar's own stamp as certified bearers of His message to the world. cont. onpg. 68



7he Case of the Singing fl)og Doug Frank, Oregon n June of 1989, Baba's beautiful dancer, Margaret Craske, was living her last days at Happy House, which was a white clapboard building on the grounds of the Meher Baba Retreat Center in Myrtle Beach. I had become friends with Mary Lloyd Dugan in February of that same year. Mehera had gone to Baba just one month before. During a conversation with Mary Lloyd, she revealed to me that her dog Goulash, could indeed, sing. I found this revelation to be very interesting but did not fully understand what she was talking about. She went on to say that of all of the people who had heard the dog sing, Margaret became the most delighted of all upon hearing a performance. I was to be at the Center for only a week and had wanted to visit Margaret while there, so Mary Lloyd suggested that we go and visit Margaret together and that she would bring Goulash and I would then


understand what she meant about the dog being able to sing. So we made an appointment and off we went. We arrived at Happy House on a beautiful sunny morning and Melinda, who was caring for Margaret that day, let us in. We found Margaret on the porch in her wheelchair. When Margaret saw that we had Goulash with us she brightened up immediately. The three of us humans sat and chatted for five minutes or so and then it was show time. While holding Goulash in her arms, Mary Lloyd emitted a musical tone. She had a lovely singing voice and was well versed in music, but also knew exactly the tone that the dog needed to hear. Within a few seconds of hearing this tone, Goulash began to howl. The howl was both haunting and beautiful to hear. I became spellbound. So this is what Mary Lloyd meant when she told me that her dog could sing! The dog was indeed singing and the sounds on that porch caused Margaret to

grin from ear to ear. I felt that I had been let in on a little secret and was very privileged to be there that day. Being a photographer, I just happened to have a Leica with me, so I snapped a few photographs of Mary Lloyd, Goulash and Margaret during the performance. I have had the negative of this image in my archive for 21 years but have never printed it. As one can see from the photograph, there was a hand written sign behind Margaret which spoke of Mehera's recent passing. Margaret died eight months after the photograph was made. Happy House burned to the ground a few years later and Goulash died a dog's natural death at about the same time. Our dear Mary Lloyd went to Baba about four years ago at 55 years of age... way too young. It makes me very happy to think back on that lovely morning 21 years ago when all four of our souls were together on the porch at Happy House. <:>



Mary Lloyd, Goulash. and Margaret



~vice Ann Conlon


'm going to stick my neck out here and offer some advice to newcomers to Meher Baba, and some ofit also involves older Baba lovers in their relationships with newcomers. Of course, you should feel free to totally ignore all ofit, although parts ofit might prove useful. Some of it comes out of my own experience, some ofit from other people's experience and some from Meher Baba himself, who sometimes had to intervene on behalfof his young followers. Now, there is also the question ofhow you, who have been around for a while, tell someone about Meher Baba. The people who told me about Baba were very sensitive to my being a Catholic and they led up slowly to telling me who he was. You'd think I'd have learned from that approach, but I didn't. I went one day in the late '50s with one of the friends who had told me about Baba to see a friend of hers. The woman had company at the time, a female New York City narcotics officer. The woman asked my friend, "How is Meher Baba?" The narcotics officer turned to me and asked, "Who's Meher Baba?" No hesitation on my part. "He's the Christ." The poor woman went right over backwards in her chair and hit her head on the floor. I have no idea what happened to her as I never saw her again. But the memory of that incident horrified me and made me hesitate for a long time afterwards when someone asked me who Meher Baba was. When I moved to Myrtle Beach I asked Kitty Davy what she said when someone asked about Baba. "I just ask them why they want to know," she said. If they're not really interested, she said, they'd drop the subject. One day I was taking some photographs for a local realtor and she asked me who Meher Baba was. Why do you want to know?" I said. "I just want to know," she said. "W ell," I said, "he's a great spiritual teacher." "But who is he?" "He's what in India is called a Perfect Master." "But who is he?" I gave up. "He's the Christ." Her face broke into a beatific smile and she said triumphandy, "I knew that. I just wanted you to tell me." Obviously, one has to play this sort of

(sort-of) for ~ewcomers

thing by ear. I've just never had a very good ear for it. But many Baba lovers do. They have an uncanny knack for seeing the possibilities in other people and so they, as an old friend of mine said, "go fishing."Jesus had one fisherman, Peter. Meher Baba seems to have hundreds of them. As for advice for newcomers themselves, the best place to start is with Meher Baba himse1ÂŁ There's a brief paragraph in a 1969 pamphlet called LifeIsAles!, and it grabbed my attention early on. It speaks of a time when Baba told members of the Pune Baba group: "Don't try to bind My lovers with discipline and regulations. Let them have free scope and free play. Suppose you want to write a love letter full of effusion to your beloved. Will you like your letters to pass through some old one in the house?" Being curious about the circumstances ofthat edict, I asked one of the mandali about it. Apparently some older members ofthe Pune group had set themselves up as mentors to younger members, and had become somewhat smothering. Baba heard about it, called the group to Guruprasad, and made the above statement. I heard that story with great glee and I've never forgotten it. The point is if you're new to Baba, run from self-appointed mentors, and if you're an older Baba lover,don't be a self-appointed mentor. The phrase "self-appointed" is key here. Ifyou choose a mentor, then that's your business. However, you might want to find one who willpoint you in the right direction, not lead you. "Leaders" tend to grow to such size that they eclipse the view of the goal you had when you started. A similar piece of advice came from Adi Irani, Meher Baba's mandali and longtime secretary. While waiting for a flight out of India one year, I went to hear Adi talk to the Mumbai Baba group . He talked for two hours in Marathi and ofcourse I couldn't understand a word. After the talk, he came up to me and said, "I' ll tell you in one sentence what I took two hours to tell them: once you've told someone about Meher Baba, get out ofthe way." I have always been grateful to the two people who told me about Baba for doing exactly that. They told me about him, one took me to Myrtle Beach for my first visit, they loaned me books and gave me Meher Baba's address in India, they introduced me to the

New York Monday Night Baba Group, they sent me to India to meet Baba (note that they didn't "take" me to meet him), and then told me I was on my own. I think now that it was an extraordinary thing to do and quite rare. Occasionally, I ran into similar advice during the next 10 or 15 years. When I moved to Myrtle Beach in 1970, Kitty Davy said to me, "Now you turn inside to Baba, you follow your intuition with him and you don't let anyone else tell you what to do." Good advice for anyone, I think. Basically, though, there are some things you--a newcomer-s-can do to develop your own relationship with Meher Baba without following someone else's lead. For instance, read, read, read, and then read some more. Of course, read Discourses and God Speaks. But if you want to know what Meher Baba was really like, how he handled different situations and how he treated different people, then look for the stories by people who spent time with him, some ofthem for many years. Listen to the audio and video tapes of these stories. Meher Babas life is probably the best documented of any Avatar's life. And listen to other people's stories of how they came to Baba and how it's affected their lives. All of those things, plus just thinking about him as much as possible, will start you on your way. Ifyou're a Baba lover who has been around for a while, it's very helpful to new people if you can remember what it was like when you first found Meher Baba. Remember the patience on the part of older Baba lovers? Remember that they delighted in your "honeymoon" state without interfering with it? Remember the people who answered your endless questions so patiendy? Remember how they welcomed you to Baba gatherings? Can you do the same for today's newcomers? And when you come right down to it, just how sure are you that a newcomer is that "new?" Considering the millions of lifetimes we've all been through, that newcomer you may dismiss so easily and unthinkingly might very well be far older than you in Meher Babas love. As Meher Baba once said, there are people who have never heard his name who are closer to him than his closest disciples. That's a very useful thought to keep in the back ofyour mind when relating to newcomers. All (Baba) Things Considered Š20020 2007 Sheriar Foundation



c.JJ1eher fBaba

This description appears in the 2010 edition realization the individual must traverse an from his life's work, and that he would inward spiritual path, eliminating all false bring about an unprecedented release of impressions of individuality and eventuat- divine love in the world. n Indian religious leader also called ing in the knowledge of the "real self" as Between 1931 and 1958 he made many The Awakener, original name Mer- God. visits to the United States and Europe, on wan Sheriar Irani born Feb. 25, 1894, Meher Baba saw his work as awaken- one such trip in 1952 establishing the Me Poona, India died Jan. 31, 1969, Ahmed- ing the world through love to a new con- her Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. nagar sciousness of the oneness of all life. To A similar centre, Avatar's Abode, was ereMeher Baba was a spiritual master in that end he lived a life of love and ser- ated at Woombye, Qpeensland, Australia, western India with a sizable following vice which included extensive work with in 1958. both in that country and abroad. Begin- the poor, the physically and mentally ill, From the mid-1960s Meher Baba was ning on July 10, 1925, he observed silence and many others, including such tasks as in seclusion, and during that period sevfor the last 44 years of his life, comeral U.S. drug experimenters were municating with his disciples at first drawn to him in a quest for spiritual through an alphabet board but intruth. Through them his admonicreasingly with gestures. He observed tions against the non-medical use of that he had come "not to teach but to psychedelic and other drugs came to awaken," adding that "things that are the attention of the news media in the real are given and received in silence." U.S. and the West. He warned young He was born into a Zoroastrian people explicitlythat "drugs are harmfamily of Persian descent. He was ful mentally, physically, and spiritueducated in Poona and attended Decally," trying to draw them away from can College there, where at the age of drugs and toward a spiritual life. 19 he met an aged Muslim woman, Meher Baba never sought to form a Hazrat Babajan, the first of five "persect or proclaim a dogma; he attracted feet masters" (spiritually enlightened, and welcomed followersofmany faiths or "God-realized," persons) who over and every social class with a message the next seven years helped him find emphasizing love and compassion, his own spiritual identity.That identithe elimination of the selfish ego, and ty, Meher Baba said, was as the avatar the potential of realizing God within of this age, interpreting that Vedanthemselves. Although his equation tic term to mean the periodic incarof the several manifestations of God nation of God in human form. He was syncretic, he won many followers placed himself among such universal from sects and denominations that rereligious figures as Zoroaster, Rama, pudiated syncretism, and encouraged Krishna, Gautama Buddha,Jesus, and those followers to be strong in their Muhammad. "I am the same Ancient original faiths. After his death his folOne come again into your midst," he lowers heeded his wish that they not told his disciples, declaring that all . ." form an organization, but continued major religions are revelations of "the : to gather informally and often to disOne Reality which is God." Meber Baba - 1956 Phoro ro Laurence Reiter cuss and read his works and express Meher Baba's cosmology may be sum- feeding the poor, cleaning the latrines of through music, poetry, dance, or drama marized as follows: the goal of all life is to untouchables, and bathing lepers. He saw their reflections on his life. His tomb at realize the absolute oneness of God, from a responsibility to give spiritual help to Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, has bewhom the universe emanated as a result of "advanced souls," and travelled through- come a place of pilgrimage for his folthe whim of unconscious divinity to know out the Indian subcontinent to find such lowers throughout the world. His books itself as conscious divinity. In pursuit of persons. include Discourses (5 vol., 1938-43; the consciousness, evolution of forms occurs These outward activities Meher Baba earliest dictated on an alphabet board, the in seven stages: stone or metal, vegetable, saw as indications of the inner transfor- others by gesture), God Speaks: The Theme worm, fish, bird, animal, and human . Ev- mation of consciousness that he came to of Creation and its Purpose (1955), and The ery individualized soul must experience all give the world. He established and later Everything and the Nothing (1963). of these forms in order to gain full con- dismantled many institutions of service, sciousness.Once consciousness is attained, which he compared to scaffolding tempothe burden of impressions accumulated in rarily erected to construct a building that these forms prevents the soul from real- really was within the human heart . He izing its identity with God . To gain this said that a "new humanity" would emerge

ofthe Encyclopedia Britannica.



2<ids' Comer Charlotte


/ 0




and the 7hree ~liens Nicole Mendoza [11 years old] Los Angeles nce upon a time in the year 3018 on the planet Mars there lived three aliens. Now two of those aliens were your average short green things with wide flylikeeyes.However the third one-since she was a teenager-was sevenfeet tall and was purple. (Aliens shrink as they grow older). One day the three aliens were getting ready to eat some cheeseburgers. However because the cheeseburgers were in tubes, the molecules had to rearrange themselves into 'real' cheeseburgers. This would take about 30 minutes. "Mom! Since, like, our cheeseburgers aren't ready yet we should, like, go to the movies. But, like, don't sit next to me! You and dad are, like, so embarrassing!" teenage Jennifer said to her mother Klax. "Urn, 1 guess it's ok with me if it's ok with your father." Klax informed her. "Zax!"she called. Zax waddled around the comer. "1heard youJennifer, 1 guess we can go. Besides there's this movie out called







PearlHart's renderingofCharlotte and thefloating pods (in the mud house).

The Attack of the Humans that 1 really want to see. It's supposed to be very realistic!" "Like, you guys can see whatever you want but I'm going to see the new romance movie Bilight. Xaylor Fautner is, like, so HOT!" Klax and Zax reluctantly agreed and they set off. About half an hour later a spaceship landed in front of the alien's house. The door opened and what appeared to be a young girl in an astronaut suit stepped out. The girl's name was Charlotte and she was i'l

Amethyst Hart's renderingofthe ThreeAliens confrontingCharlotte (with floating podsand cradled alien baby in the background).

an astronaut-in-training. She had come all the way from Earth and was very excited to finally be here. "Oh look, a native's home!" Charlotte exclaimed happily."I'm going to go see if they're friendly!" Charlotte headed over to the mud house and knocked on the door, which swung open with her touch. "Hello?" she called,poking her head around the comer. When Charlotte realized there was no one home she decided to go inside to collect evidence for her teacher, Ms. Wilson. "She's gonna be so proud of me!" Charlotte thought out loud. When she saw the now formed cheeseburgers on the table she immediately went to taste them. She took a bite of the first one, and almost spat it back out. "That is waaay too cheesy!" she exclaimed and moved on to the next cheeseburger. When she took a bite out of this one, again she almost spat it back out. "Ew what is wrong with the cheese? It's moldy!" Charlotte took a bite out of the third cheeseburger, it was just right, so she ate it all up. She wandered into the next room and Charlotte saw three chairs, each made of different types of stone. She sat in the first chair but immediately stood up again, complaining that it was too hard. The young astronaut walked over to the second chair and suddenly disappeared from sight. The chair was so soft she had sunken into its cushions and was gone from view. With some difficultyCharlotte pulled herself out COIl!.

onpg. 18

\Welcome to the ,Love Street ~ookstore! 'DtnÂŤ Snow Bibson


ell now, its been a few years since I have written the Bookstore report. Time to dive back into it again and let you know about all the new goodies we have. So here follows items we have received since the last LampPost issue. When Msaneh and I were in India a few months ago we arranged to finally have made up the beautiful pendants with the Beloved's face on them so many of you have been asking for. We have them in square, oval and round - the last two covered with rounded quartz, the first one with glass. Although our photographic representation here may not be the sharpest - rest assured the photos in the pendants are crystal clear. They are set in solid silver and each one is $40. The square ones with the rosettes at each corner are I" square, the oval, 9/10th of an inch wide and 1 and 2/10th long, and the round are II/10th across. We also have solid silver chains of varying lengths and styles from which to hang them.


e have just received a book that I think almost all of you will want to get, once you have read the review in the next section: Meeting God in Human Form by Rick Chapman. It's first on my list of things to do once I get this issue put to bed. But that is not all from Rick Chapman.




book. The additional chapters reflect the experience of the thirty-five years that have passed since the first book: Suffering; Health And Success, The Truth About; Pilgrimage; Sex; What Is God?, and Channeling, the chapter that actually prompted

the re-issue of the book in its expanded state. What I experienced in writing and proofreading this new version of the book was surprising to me: I still very much enjoy reading it despite my years with Baba and my familiarity with what I have written. I see this book as primarily an introduction to Meher Baba and His concepts as they pertain to the spiritual path, but it may well be that established lovers of the Avatar find it enjoyable and useful as well, given that, explicitly or implicitly, Meher Baba is the sole focus of every chapter. Hard cover $24, paperback $15

Rick M. Chapman An A-Z Guide

to True Spirituality

Many of you 'old timers' will remember the book from the early 70s (perhaps it was the first one you read about Meher Baba?) titled How to Choose a Guru. Well Rick Chapman, the author, has this to say about that : Introduction To Reality is a reincarnation of How To Choose A Guru, with

over twenty new chapters added to make it essentially a completely new

A nother oldie but goodie that just arfirived, but probably needs no review, is Steve Klein's Praise in Complaint. It has been out of print for many a long year,but we have it back in stock again. An excellent insightful writer, Sheriar puts Steve's essays on their website and we publish them in the LampPost too. The book consists of both prose and poetry. Steve told me one of the nicest reviews he ever got

was from my mother, Diana Snow, who Jessawala,with music by eight well known was a very close friend of Francis Braba- Baba singers, including Jim Meyer, Bob zon. She told Steve that he, Steve, was her Brown, Cathy Riley and others. $20 second favorite poet. She thought about this for a moment and then qualified it slighdy by adding, "a distant second." He ca ver was charmed. It is indeed beautiful work. Paperback, 82 pages $8

press - I received a box of CDs from Ron Greenstein. It has been on continuous play for the past 4 hours! Such a toe tapping, melodic, happy making CD - I love it. An old favourite on it is "Babas Got My Back." What a fun song! No time for an official review, but if you are familiar with Ron's music, you will definitely want to get The Lion's Share $14.


y dear friend Michael Da Costa just told me of something I think you will all get a kick out of- those ofyou with access to a computer i.e. He tells me "In the 70's Pete Townshend produced three British Baba Albums, involving several Baba performers. The second album was called 'I AM' and included a piece I had written called 'Affirmation' with a backing by Pete on guitar and drums, Ronnie Lane on bass guitar, Ian Maclagan on piano and myself on saxophone." Our Renaissance man Bob Fredericks (recently relocated from Meherabad to Los Angeles) set this Rap song to some great graphics and then put it up on YouTube. Check it out - great fun, and brilliantly done, as are all things by Mr. Fredericks: com/watch?v=qtVpz_njxZQ This song is also available on my very favourite of all of Mike's CDs, Lost and Found $12


received a box of the latest CDs from songmeister Mischa Rutenberg and before long our house rang with cries of"]ai Ho Meher Baba!"What a great infectious song that one is! Michael also included a note with the CDs: "Why do we sing for our Beloved? To celebrate Him, to join with Him, to become absorbed in the light and love of His being! Here is a new double CD called Wonder Weaver, which has over two hours of new songs dedicated to this purpose. These are my offering this year to our Beloved Baba on the occasion I of His birthday. I hope ~ t路~~ .~ 19S04~ ' . ~ d.ty Roll l.c hp .mwM ;" rl ~ ~.~T~Lo . ' .. _IilT.r'Mri.Rraluao.. ~ h.wwkJ hill) ftOt~. ~ 1.,.400",,)1'" AkM 8.IN t.hM 8,,""". ':'! rc7trx c:5'ltC1-cdJblc (Wah you might join me in singing these to and for Mchcrotb..J till: wlIh '"'" f""" IIor.lOIh dw )Otll of wHIt cJvfelter r58tr/J([ Strcrnobrr:rm,,"-,1Id Bill ,"",-,101 to Him. I think many of nd J;,tltm.. that bl'.--.... you will find the song "Jai Ho Meher Baba" alone is worth getting this CD. This song features the voices of Mehera, Eruch, Mani, Dr. Goher, and Katie Irani with a pulsing ~~y~~~ East meets West sound 1Iiii1;;S~:J that will have you dancing with joy. I hope alking of Bob Fredericks, he has just to join you soon in your cars, on your released a great DVD: Three Incred- ipods, and wherever you are playing music ible Weeks. Most Baba lovers are aware of celebrating His love, His Truth, and His just what those three words mean, but Bob infinite Light. Then we can sing "Jai Ho has put it all together in a very informative Meher Baba!"together." It is a double CD and enjoyable viewing. In the Spring of and a great value for $20 1954 Francis Brabazon received an invitahave all our vendor's send our orders to tion from the Avatar saying that all His my house - its like Christmas opening Western male lovers over 18 could come to Meherabad to be with Him from the all the boxes! Even at my age I still find it 10'h to the 30th of September. He and Bill exciting to see what wonderful books are Le Page arranged to travel together. The being written, movies being made, songs DVD is narrated by Bill and Meherwan being sung. Today - just before we went to


-..It,..,,,,,\rr~''_lhrotj,tol tio:tftnmuld 11'10 10



n incredibly popular book written

1"'\.by Sheela and David Fenster, Growing Up With God, describes in vivid detail Sheela's experiences-as Bhau Kalchuri's daughter-of just what it was like to hang with God as a child. Hard bound, lots of photos, over 800 pages,just $50. David sent me an email telling me about a letter he had received from a lovely lady in England (I know she is lovely - she writes to me tool):

1~IIOrd .". lD

l"CIio! ..

oItlmd thl'


路~l1,",r.ll'll:nodil,k\","L...IlOtthM""w r u..b.:.



London, 3 March 2010 Dear Sheela: Thank youfrom my heartfor the many days ofpurejoy I had reading your book, Growing Up With God. I became a child agail1 in the lap of our beloved Father. (I am 75years old!) Ijust adoreyourpertinent questions, your logic and honesty. No wonderBaba loved it! Even with all my lovefor Meber Baba, I sometimesfiel separated, as if He were far away. At moments like these, He always finds a way to remindmethat He isthere. This time, it was through your book. I wish I could read itforever. It isa bigbook, but I could have continued to read it twice over. The cold grey winter was nomore, and I was 110t in mylittle flat in London. I was at Meberazad, in the gardenfUll offlowers. Thankyou dearSheelafor this Belovedgift, In His love & service, Anne Collette David responded: 13 Mar 2010 Sheela received your lovely card and we so appreciated your note. just a fiw weeks


ago, we met a mother and her 1s-year-old daughter at Meherabadfrom the States. The mother told us that her daughter had never shown much interest in Baba, until she read Growing Up With God. After finishing it, she wanted to accompany her mother to Meherabad, and the girl has since become a Baba lover. Now, after receiving your letter, it would not be exaggerating to say that the book appeals to anyonefrom 15 to 7s!! I know what you mean by feeling "separated " from Baba from time to time, and to know that our book was able to assuage that feeling to some small degree is praise indeed! In His love, David

We still have plenty left - half a thousand were ordered!

A nother very popular little book, way .r1Jess expensive-only S8-are the ones written by Rustom Falahati, which he titled The Real Treasure. He is now up to volume three, but since we have to rely on returning pilgrims to bring these books back for us, we don't have many. He worked for and with the Mandali for quite a few years, and he learned the lessons such service taught him, very well. One such gem is the following, learned from Eruch: Overcoming Resentment Through Remembrance "The following incident happened when we were fighting to close down a polluting chemical factory on the Meherazad approach road... Eruch would try to calm me by saying "Why do you get angry, Rustom? Do what you have to do; be firm, but not angry." I would reply that anger kept the fight going for me. "W ithout it," I said, "I won't be able to carry on the way I am doing." Eruch would just sigh, nod his head and say nothing more. On another occasion, when I was angry with the factory owner Eruch commented, "Rustorn, get over the anger in your heart for the factory owner. Do not resent him like this. If you don't do this, the two of you will end up being husband and wife in your next life." I laughed and so did the others who were around. Eruch then said very seriously, "You have to get over your resentment. When you don't do that, then Baba puts you into a relationship in your next life where you are forced to face the resentment, overcome it and love one another. Usually such people end up as


husband and wife and often fail in their relationships and end up divorcing one another. The resentment from the past life continues in the present life resulting in divorce and now will be carried forward in the next life into a relationship as mother and child where they will be forced to love one another. Here, too we find children having differences with their parents and breaking off the relationship. This goes on and on until the two souls learn to love one another. It is like that." After Eruch narrated this I asked him, "What should they do if the situation becomes intolerable as years pass by and their dislike for each other increases?" Eruch paused and said, "Try to remember Baba more and more and bring Baba into the relationship. That should help overcome the dislike and resentment." I persisted, "What if the resentment persists? What should you do then?" Eruch sighed and said, "Well if, through remembrance of Him, you succeed in working out the resentment and creating love, that would please Baba. But if the situation is absolutely intolerable, then one should live separately or separate from one another. However, it's important that you harbor no resentment after that, and maintain a friendly and harmonious relationship. Be loving towards each other, at least from a distance. You have to love everyone, no matter what their personalities, if you reallywant to love Baba and feel His love for you." The Real Treasure III p.1? $8


boOk that was very popular for many years before it finally went out of print was While the World Slept. Written by the Mandali member that Baba chose to be His night watchman-Bhau Kalchuri-it recounts stories from his years of sitting outside Baba's bedroom door from 1953-1969. In this short book we get a glimpse into a deeply private, often unfathomable side of the Avatar's internal work. Gripping, moving, sometimes outright disturbing, we find the Master at work with both Universe and disciple, occurring in the middle of the night, as the world was sleeping. Paperback, 120 pages $14






• -.,r_

~~~ -:!!,, "

~ ....

'l ~ Then


.. . .

. ~

next on your pilgrimage (be-

VV sides bringing some books back for

usl) you might be planning a side trip to Pune - birthplace of the Avatar. If so, I know you will find this little pamphlet invaluable. In His Footsteps tells you all the places that were important in the life of the Avatar and gives you good directions on how to reach each place. $3


ew Tee shirts! Afsaneh, the Bookstore's CEO and CFO, has a very creative husband who has designed us some new tee shirts, so besides the perennial favourite - His signature, to be worn across your heart, we have the following:


ooking for something special from which to drink your cup of tea or coffee? We have a good variety, especially the favourite of all time - the MS Irani mug, pale beige with a maroon ring around the rim and His signature in maroon. You can check them all out at lovestreetbookstore. comlmugs.htm another fave is the Mischievous chicken, looking very perky on a deep teal green.


hat should give you all a feast for the eyes, ears and brain, at least to last you till the next LampPost arrives. Remember to place an order, call me at c time, : email

Meher Baba Bookstore rant to Please visit our new Interactive website:

ems or . email -nstant or call: 323-730-5281

MS Irani is still Ill, but prices have risen since we had those printed up, so the Mischievous Chicken and DOII't Worry Be Happyfor menare $13. Thebabydollstylesfor theladies with thescooped neck are$14 and the "V" necked painting of Baba'sface with the rose, originallypaintedby theobsotalentedBobFredericks is$15.


:Jnventory 7ime! Bust as well our volunteers at the Love Street BanfJ aren't party fJirls, because we always do .j

inventory on 2Vew ]ears 7JaYI brifJht and early.


7hree cheers for volunteers!


Afsaneh arranges tbe calendar table (sorry, we soldout 0/the Baba calendars in Nouemberl}

Cynthia (aunts the beautiful shawls, tabledotbs, bedspreads, and place mats.




Margit (aunts the hundredsofphotos, framed, luciteencompassed, and unframed


Last Chants Jim Meyer's latest CD Reviewby Michael Campagna r. Meyer has finally given us his "bringing it all back home" - he gives us a work paying homage to his many influences. From the Jamaican rhythms through the blues to the Who/ Springsteen/George Harrison-influenced "L ove Street" and the civil rights chestnut "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize," Meyer brings it all home. Jim has always been a deeply devotional singer and songwriter and this record is all those things, but we get a bonus: some fun and playfulness. Right from the first track, "Hold On," he loses control ofhis studied baritone,jumps up to the cracking high end and joyously shouts rub-a-dub style. Next we are treated to another interesting departure, some burning blues guitar by Tom Dimock on "M eher You," sung nicely by Meyer. The production is solid throughout, rocking bass and drums, simple when required, slamming and fun when appropriate, beautiful guitar. I would confidently say this is as well produced an album as the Baba world has heard. This work also gives us dynamics, a very scarce commod-


2{eviews ity in this world . The Who-like rock of "Awakenings" sets up "The Word"-just voice and acoustic guitar-so beautifully, you feel you are listening to a classic album. It is a very well produced devotional, fun, dynamic work . Plenty for long time fans and a lot more. $15

Grin and Gulp Gbazals Review by Greg Dunn "D aindust " is a pen name of Raine ~astman-Gannett, a.k.a. Rani Didi. Raine's just too creative and diverse to be content with one name, and I quite like this latest one. But what I like even more is her Grin and Gulp Gbazals, a set of 26 original ghazals written and recited by Raine against backdrops of nature sounds and Raine's particular and unique genre of New Age music. I use that term loosely, and probably even improperly, but what to call it? Her music is, as she says on her web site ( a quite unique blend of "western, classical, folk, jazz, rock, gospel, chanting, mantra, and Indian classical and devotional music." But it is the spoken ghazals that take

front and center on this CD. They are thematically united by their focus on "sustaining our beautiful birds, plants, animals, rivers, brooks, and pure water"; that is, they have a topical focus, but still manage to work beautifully as spiritual meditations. They are wonderfully crafted pieces: but it is Raine's remarkable performances of them that really makes this CD. Those many of you who have heard her sing know that she has an exceptionally sweet and melodious singing voice; but on this CD you will discover that her performance speaking voice is practically magical. I love all the ghazals on this CD, but my favorite is "Naughty Avatar", in which the narrator sweetly, artfully,and lovingly coaxes the Avatar to regurgitate the sun, which He has impishly swallowed, taking its light and warmth with it. Ticklingyou...S1luggling you.. .J slap Your back, ka-whop! Glorious, golden, out it pops with a great loud"am"sound. The ghazal is at once warm, whimsical, and heart-melting in its maternal gentleness. You can easily imagine mother Shireen interacting with the toddler Merwan - Lord of the Universe who plays to perfection the part of the mischievous child. On the edgier side are ghazals such as "Money Is Motrin", in which the narrator recites the various stratagems of those who have, seemingly,the upper hand in the omnipresent pursuit of material security: They collect their moneysfrom thepoor and imprisoned Theyselltheiradvertisements to addto their millions. But these are juxtaposed with a repeated injunction from Kabir to "throw it out with both hands", referring to that very wealth. Near the end of the ghazal we hear the complete quote: Ifthe boat isfull oj water - if the house is full oj wealth- throw it out with bothhands! Beware: this advice from the Perfect Master Kabir, so effectively delivered in Raine's ghazal, stays in your head! There are many more great ones, but let me leave you now to hear the original. I love mixing these ghazals in with music playlists on my iPod, setting the pod in shuffie mode, and letting them surprise me as I rumble down the freeway. It's a world apart: and a good one. $14

ANew Life


ong awaited CD by the multi-talented Adrienne Shamszad! Songs to the One who ends all longing. Adrienne wrote most of the songs, beautifully sings all of them and plays great guitar with a little help from her friends on a variety of instruments, including dobro and harmonica. The songs have much longing and emotion and are sung with Adrienne's whole heart and soul. It is very relaxing to listen to. She has included two songs written by Brian Darnell. Another gem from Phil Ludwig's production studio at Seclusion Hill Music. $15 ..._- - - - - - - -

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This is "Beyond Words!" Dina Gibson he video Beyond Words was first released by Sheriar Foundation a number of years ago. At my first viewing of this breathtaking film I declared it-in my opinion-the next best thing to seeing Him with your own eyes, (which I have done, back in Sydney in 1956). The reason being, it was filmed in 1967 using 35 mm color film by a maestro - Louis Van Gasteren. He is a Dutch filmmaker who was making a film on some rather esoteric subjects, including Timothy Leary's notion that God could be found in a pill. While working on gathering research for this film in the US he met, in short order, Rick Chapman, Robert Dreyfuss and Irwin Luck. All three told him about Meher Baba. Louis was hooked! He contacted various influential friends in India who put him in touch with Baba's secretary Adi K. Irani, who told him Baba was in seclusion. Long story short, Baba made



it all happen. He came out of seclusion for one hour to allow Louis and his crew to film Him. I believe it is the only film with sound where we can actually hear Eruch interpreting Baba's gestures as He "speaks." But alas, this beautiful footage of the Avatar sat in the can for 30 years! Paul Comar, a friend of Louis, talked him into releasing the footage on Baba to Sheriar Foundation, who made a video of it and hundreds were sold at $52. In the latest release of this DVD there is previously unreleased footage of Baba, digitally remastered footage of the original film, a second section "Eruch," documenting van Gasterens return visit to Meherazad .., in 1997, and a third section "Beyond Time." There is also a new booklet accompanying it that tells in great detail how it all came about, including all the letters back and forth from Louis, Adi, getting permission, etc., and then more from Mani, Elizabeth Patterson, and Baba HimselÂŁ But wait! There's more! Not only do you get this fabulous 38 minute film, with added footage and a new book, also contained in the beautiful package is another DVD! This one is footage Paul Comar himself shot in 1978, with a super 8 camera and colored film. TitledAvatar Meher Baba's Mandali - Be- loved Mehera. It previously sold at the ridiculously low price of SIS. It starts off with about 15 minutes of black and white still shots ofBaba, out and about, with Mandali members, bathing lepers, giving darshan, & just generally beaming at us. What a wonderful prelude to bedtime this is, the Beloved's face and beautiful relaxing music playing throughout. It banishes from your mind all stressful thoughts of the day just ended, and gets you ready to have sweet dreams of Him all night. As that section on Baba ends, the film then continues with over an hour of both moving footage and still photos of the Mandali. For those people not yet familiar with exactly who each of these wonderful people are/were, Paul has supplied a title to their still photos at the end of the film. Not only does it have some beautiful candid shots of the Mandali having fun with pilgrims, but

Paul has added footage of scenes around Meherabad, up on the Hill, Baba's room, Samadhi-outside and inside-and various important objects in the museum. And if you thought it couldn't get any better - it does! Paul is a brilliant pianist and his beautiful music plays throughout the entire DVD. But wait! There's more! Paul has packaged it all up in the most artistic covers I have ever seen. Besides the very colorful cover pictured here, on the inside he has copies of letters both Goher and Mani sent him regarding his piano playing. Part of Mani's letter, in her very distinctive handwriting, says "It is Friday at Meherazad and I'm relaxing in a comfortable chair (in which Baba has sat several times) listening to the tape of your playing heavenly music while the angels dance softly around." She and Goher wrote their notes in November 1995. Paul tells me it was at Meheru's urging that he has now released two CDs of this beautiful piano music. I hope to have it in the Bookstore in a month or so. I'll tell you more about it in the next issue. But meantime, this amazing double DVD set is selling for the very low price of $48. However, Paul only sent me 24 of them. Be the first on your block to own one, and then you can play hostess, invite your Baba loving friends over and have a wonderful evening - lost in His love.


The Mystery ofthe Manifestation



Sudden ism, Gradualism and Nihilism Kenneth Lux Reviewed by Harry Thomas Venneth Lux and I began a letter writ.l' correspondence in 2002 when I wrote and thanked him for having written Meber Baba: Avatar oj the Tortoise in that it was the only Baba book my mother (who's not a Baba lover) had read and that she loved it. He returned my letter saying that he'd read my article in the Love Street LampPost about Baba's connection to the Chinese calendar but didn't understand it. I informed him that I'd made a video and I KENNETH LUX mailed it to him. Sometime later he wrote back, "I got it - I understand now what Cover painting by Diane Cobb you're saying." Thus describes the formation of my friendship with the author of other topics are demarcated by a subheadThe Mystery oj the Manifestation: Sudden- ing that enhances clarity by adhering to ism, Gradualism and Nihilism. focused organization. As with the three As mentioned in Kenneth's book, our positions, the exposition is readily comphysical paths crossed a short time later prehensible. It's precisely in Ken's notion of Suddenwhen I was living in the Boston area. It so happened that Ken was scheduled to give ism, Gradualism , and Nihilism that his a talk in Maine on the Chinese calendar's collaborative intelligence enters into the relationship to Baba's silence breaking and picture. I may have been responsible for Manifestation and since I happened to be providing the links between Meher Baba in town, we became co-presenters. From and the Chinese 60-year cycle calendar, my perspective, this was the first tangible but there was absolutely no sense of disstep in the implementation of collabora- tinct interpretations for the unfoldment tive efforts in this particular area. We met of Baba's silence breaking. Would this several more times during the course of happen suddenly, has it already happened and now is gradually unfolding like the my stay on the East Coast. A few years ago, Ken published Has sun easing into its dawn glory, or in nihilMeher Baba told us when He will break His ist fashion, might it not happen at all? In silence? It showcased his conception of my programs at the L.A. Baba Center and Suddenism and Gradualism along with in my written piece, I never voiced these the Chinese 60-year cycle calendar ma- kinds of thoughts or positions, ones that terial and other pieces of information. I feel are totally relevant to the discussion. These various ideas were ably highlighted In The Mystery oJthe Manifestation, Ken and by reading the book one gained a solid supplies the reader with an abundance of grasp of the material. However, with the Baba quotes on the subject of His silence recent publication of The Mystery oj the breaking and subsequent Manifestation. I delighted in reading Baba's exquisite Manifestation: Suddenism, Gradualism and Nihilism, a substantial improvement has words on this auspicious unfolding reality. occurred. Ken's noting that Baba mentioned the Firstly, this latest book has been ex- number 60 in connection with His birthpanded by 23 pages and in this extension, day in a special birthday message of 1954, an incredible amount of new and fresh the only time He ever referred specifically material has been presented . Secondly, to the number of His years,was a remarkeach of the three positions-Suddenism, able observation. Also, Baba's declaration Gradualism, and Nihilism-has a distinct of His Avatarhood on His Zoroastrian subheading and the exposition that ensues birthday in this same year was indeed His is perfectly clear. Additionally, all of the second birthday message.

Additionally, all of the pentagon and especially the dodecahedron material sprang from Ken's keen sense of comparative awareness. Stemming from his inspired reckoning, I totally comprehend that if the Chinese 60-year cyclecalendar were to assume a three dimensional aspect, it would adhere to the structure of a dodecahedron, which from a Platonic perspective, as well as other contemporary advanced thinkers, represents the very structure of the universe. Finally, in the images with Baba, Mehera and the white donkey Champa, Ken established the synthesis of Baba's Advent with that of Jesus, which in effect links the East with the West. Additionally, there is the Avataric similarity of these two events, Jesus' riding into Jerusalem upon a donkey and Meher Baba riding upon Champa. I see our combined efforts as the following - in the year 2002 I served up a nourishing meal ofsoup, bread and cheese. Ken brought the remaining food groups into the picture to make for a complete meal. Restated differently,I offered the audience and readership one half of the coin, Ken brought in the other side. As ofthis writing, we are only four years away from the year 2014, or more specifically, the 2014 to 2016 time-block. For the record, I wish to emphatically state that I am a Suddenist and for the two reasons that Ken has provided within the text. In terms of getting in touch with this material and its prophetic qualities, I totally recommend reading The Mystery oj the Manifestation: Suddenism, Gradualism and Nihilism as the method for satisfac-

tory acquisition; and I would suggest its being read several times. Additionally, I would sincerely encourage the readers of Ken Lux's remarkable book to do so with an open mind and heart. Given the possibility that this material might in fact be true, the imminent breaking of Me her Baba's silence and the resultant worldwide Manifestation, then familiarity with the subject would place one in a strategically solid position to initiate the next step; consulting with Baba about how best to proceed. So Ken, thanks for being the dedicated voice and engine for keeping this subject vitally humming with life and projecting its message to the Baba world and perhaps some day, to an audience beyond the parameters of our select but ever widening group.

Meeting God in Human Form Rick M. Chapman ''It is the very purpose of Creation itself to serve as a constant reminder to you to remember Me!" said Meber Baba. "Once the lover roams the various places ofpilgrimage and eventually comes back to his own place, a stage then occurs when whatever he doesand wherever he goes, remembranceflows automatically... a constant interplay of thought and feeling develops within the lover, and when his remembrance reaches this stage, he begins to exalt the Creator wherever he turns hisface. In this state, it dawns on him what a Creator his Beloved God truly is! ... eventually he simply remains dazed, silently basking in the glory ofthe Creator. . . Then he receioes a giftfrom God... the gift ofmy Love, to see me as I really am. Âť

(Quoted by Rick Chapman pp. 281-3) Review by Rosie Jackson, England Dick Chapman's rich new book is ~uch more than a chronicle of his 1966 trip to India and his meeting with Meher Baba in physical form. It's a potent love story: an allegory of the divine romance being acted by us all in different ways, as we too accept that invitation from the Beloved to respond to Him and make our journey to our real home. So although Rick's account is full offascinating worldly details-travelling to India from Harvard on a Fulbright scholarship, taking up teaching in Ahmedabad, meeting Baba lovers in India, with all the colourful explosion of the senses of a first-time trip to India-he is always aware of the larger frame, the spiritual dimension, the inner journey all this signifies. It's as if the tale is told simultaneously on two levels-the outer one of Rick, the bright American scholar, and the inner one of a soul ready, after countless lifetimes, for the long awaited meeting with its maker-and one of the remarkable achievements of this book is that both journeys are told in such eloquent, loving detail. I have to confess to reading it almost back to front, initially racing past the first hundred pages or more so I could plunge straight into the section where Rick finally arrives at Meherazad and the soul comes home. What's wonderful here is that ill'" as we reach those few days prior to


that momentous meeting, the narrative is spliced between chapters devoted to Rick's story and chapters describing in exquisite detail what was happening at Meherazad at the same time. The minutiae of Baba's days and nights are so beautifully and factually reconstructed, I felt I was present in the room with Him, inside the Meherazad household, walking alongside Mehera and Mani and the other women mandali, then with the men who are captured equally vividly. It's like being on the film set of the most wonderful documentary in the world, culminating with the scene in Mandali Hall where Rick and Baba, lover and Beloved, at last come together. The pages describing this meeting are, of course, the apex of the book, beautifully written and evoking so fully the setting, the atmosphere, the company of the mandali, and Rick's feelings and thoughts as he comes face to face with Beloved Baba, God in His human form. By so generously and fully sharing this experience, Rick allows us to partake of it also. We too feel we are meeting Baba; Baba caresses our cheeks too, gazes into our eyes, dazzles us with His radiant smile, touches us with His all-knowing presence, conveys to us His sweet fragrance, as if Rick was graced with this not only for himself alone but also for all those Baba lovers who, through this personal story, might be drawn closer. "Baba sat in His chair with both arms

outstretched, the sleeves of His trademark long white cotton sadra hanging loosely around His forearms. His smile could have lit a thousand universes. No photograph I had ever seen of Baba comes even faintly close to capturing the smile with which He greeted me. That smile went beyond the limits of the body itself, stretching beyond Baba's physical form and radiating a welcome and a gladness and a sweetness and a closeness-and a love--that no words could ever express." Here, as the soul comes face to face with its God, Rick's lucid prose effectively turns into poetry. How could it not, as the inexpressible, the unimaginable, the meeting ofthe human being with his divine creator actually takes place. "Oh, Soul! Sing for me the words that cannot be written! The culmination of lifetimes upon endless lifetimes, the ancient, eternal quest for the Holy Grail fulfilled!" As always, Rick blends effortlessly the personal and philosophical sides of this experience of meeting Baba. But most importantly, he evokes so precisely the reality of being in Babas company, that Baba's presence comes ever closer, cutting through space and time, reminding us of the utter miracle, the unfathomable mystery of His compassionate being. And Rick somehow manages to keep our eyes simultaneously on both levels at the same time, the human and the divine. Hence the emphasis of the book's title: we are not meeting any guru; this is GOD in human form! For those many of us who did not meet Baba in the flesh, this is such a huge gift and it made me eager to know more, to have for example a description of Rick's next encounter with Baba in February 1969, as His physical form was interred, and to learn more of the experience of his livingwith Baba'sreality,including all those trips to India in the intervening years. Perhaps we will be blessed with this later. But what we have here is inspirational, heart- and soul-opening and another of those essential reminders Baba Himself urged us to use to remember Him more through His creation, thus helping us in our striving to know Him as He really is. White Horse Publishing, 2010, 292 pp. hardbound, $28.

The Song ofa Lifetime Cindy Lowe Songwriter/Singer/Guitarist December 2009 From the Foreword of Cindy's book: feel that my assignment from Meher Baba in this life has been to write, record and play music that would please Meher Baba, His Mandali, and His lovers. Now, in spite of my great resistance to doing it, part of that assignment seems to include creating songbooks so that others can learn my music. This new edition contains lyrics and musicto all of the songs on my six albums plus a few others I've never recorded. My original intention was simply to update my 2000 edition songbook, but the project took on a life of its own and got more complicated than I'd imagined, and by the time I realized I might have a case of Archive Fever, it was too late to stop. So I resigned myself and got to work.. First I figured I might as well include piano parts. Then I decided to add my Baba story. Then I added more. And more. And more and more and still yet more until I felt I'd done my best. Wel-


come to the new, improved, and probably final edition of this book.. I've included sheet music for thirty-nine songs. I've created a separate section for guitar players because I believe it's usually easier for them to work from lyric sheets with chords instead of sheet music. There are seventy-six songs in this part and in some cases I've included guitar versions that differ from the sheet music because I've tried to keep things simple for both piano players and guitarists without sacrificing the feel of the songs. For beginners, or for those who cringe at the mere thought of learning music theory, my transposition and song learning tips may be helpful. While putting this book together, one thing led to another and I included a bit of information about Meher Baba, although I think most potential users are already familiar with His life and teachings. I also wrote a short background story for each song because my lyrics so often have to do with Mehera, Mani, the Mandali, and close friends who were instrumental in shaping my life as reflected in the songs. I apologize for any confusion that may result for those unfamiliar with these names. The truth is that I'm not an archivist and referencing

everyone mentioned in this book was far too daunting to contemplate. Complete information about Meher Baba's life and work can be found at I hope you will use and enjoy this songbook. In many ways, it really is the story of my life with Meher Baba aswell as a collection of songs. My songs belong to Meher Baba. So do 1. Avatar Meher Baba kiJai! [This book is an incredible bargain at $12not only do we have the entire Cindy Lowe songbook-which is extremely extensive-but her life story is shall I say it? Revealing! ElijOY!]

"WhyMeber Babas Words..." cant. from pg. 53

Since they issue from the Avatar, these words can rightly be considered the words of God. Humanity should accept what God has given. The ordinary human mind and intelligence should recognize its limits and realize that it cannot fathom the divine Wisdom. When He has put His seal on a message, it is not within our prerogative to break that seal and rework its contents. Now some might reasonably call into question whether Baba's books and published messages can really be called the words of God. One major line of objection here highlights authorial process: how did Baba's words find their way from their Avataric Source into the published form of expression which they eventually assumed? In fact, fallible humans were involved in this process at every step . Someone had to read the alphabet board or Baba's hand gestures and transcribe what He dictated; someone had to write this material up and read it back for Baba's review; in some cases we know that this rough material got reworked into a more polished form, as Dr. Deshmukh did with the Discourses; the final draft had to get typed out; and after this, editors like Charles Purdom or Don Stevens and Ivy Duce, to one degree or another, revised the texts that came to them. How can one possibly maintain, then, that the published literary works that ran the gauntlet of all these human interventions are the bearers of God's own words? No one claims that Deshmukh or Purdom or even Eruch was Godrealized. Yet the prose style we find in Discourses is clearly Deshmukh's, and God Speaks exhibits Eruch's stylistic impress. The role of all these intermediaries needs to be acknowledged; and when one has done so, the pretense that these are the God-Man's own words cannot be sustained. Taking the case a step further, as I continue to play the devil's advocate : how can one reconcile the belief that Baba's published books and messages contain God's words with the fact that we find mistakes there? Ought not God's own words to be entirely free from error and defect? Then why do Baba's books have occasional typos? And from time to time one finds other kinds of mistakes. For example, in the original edition of The Everything and the Notb-


ing, the expression "light-year" was used as a measure of time, when actually it is a measure of distance.! Since God is Truth, God's Knowledge ought always to be true, and His words ought to express that truth infallibly. The presence of even one single error shatters the illusion that we can legitimately view Baba's books and messages as direct emanations from the Divine. All of these shortcomings in Baba's published words that we have identified so far could be blamed on His disciples and other literary associates;yet honesty compels us to acknowledge that Baba Himself sometimes made what we would have to call "mistakes" according to the ordinary human meaning of the word. In the year 2000 the book In God's Hand brought to print a facsimile reproduction of an autograph manuscript that Meher Baba Himself wrote, probably in 1925. One finds therein cross-outs and corrections in Baba's own handwriting. In other words, Baba's own judgment stands witness to the deficiency of how He chose to express Himself on the first pass. (We hear that Babas own sister Mani, when reflecting on this manuscript, mused on the possibility that it might need to be destroyed. Perhaps she wondered whether the greater community of Baba's lovers could summon the maturity of understanding to deal with this phenomenon of the Avatar correcting Himself.) Or for another example of Avataric "mistakes": a friend informs me that, in one of the videos ofBaba dictating on the alphabet board, He clearly misspells "infinite" as "infinate." Doubtless a thoroughgoing search through the records of Meher Baba'slife could dredge up many other examples of Baba exhibiting ordinary human ignorance. In short, if one is going to accuse Baba's books and messages with mistakes and other deficiencies incompatible with God's omniscience, ought one not to level this same accusation against Baba Himself? If Baba's words fail to pass muster as the words of God, by the same standard ought we not to deny Baba's Di5. Meher Baba's The Everything and the Nothing (Beacon Hill, New South Wales, Australia: Meher House Publications, 1963), p. 56 (section no. 54 entitled "The Now") contains the following phrase: "Astronomers speak of time in terms of billions, trillions and aeons of lightyears..." (I quote from the 1976 reprint of the 1963 edition.) In later reprints and editions "light-years" was emended to "years."

vinity as well? Now all of these "devil's advocate" arguments that I have been expressing in the last several paragraphs-and to me these arguments reflect the rigid thinking of a spiritually impoverished age that is even now in the process of passing away-are based on a false and superficial conception of who Meher Baba is. The Avatar of the Age does not offer Himself to us as a kind of Superman who can fly faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound. What would be the point of that? He comes in our midst as a man amongst men. He is one of us and one with us. He shares our limitations; but these very limitations serve as means by which He awakens humanity to that which is unlimited. No one would expect Meher Baba to prove His infinite Power by bench-pressing barbells weighing five hundred tons. Why should we expect His Knowledge to manifest as infallibility and omniscience in the domain of common worldly affairs? Constantly throughout His lifetime Meher Baba exhibited what we could properly call ordinary human ignorance, or perhaps we should say, notknowingness. Sometimes, indeed, this ignorance or not-knowingness went beyond the ordinary: Eruch used to tell of occasions in which mothers laid in His lap their newborn babies, stark naked, and Baba would ask, "Is it a boy or a girl?"The work ofthe Avatar demands that He bring Knowledge into Ignorance; He Himself is knowing and ignorant at the same time. In the human life He lives,His knowledge appears to be limited in the manner of an ordinary man. If Baba occasionally made mistakes, misunderstood or misspelled a word, got a fact wrong, so what? If it is Reality we seek, then in Him we find that Reality lived out in ordinary human terms. Meher Baba is the God-Man, not some kind of glorified stunt man. Returning to the subject of Baba's words: they can rightly be understood as the words of God in the very same sense that Baba's life can rightly be viewed as the life of God on earth. Since we ourselves live in limitation and ignorance, it is through this very medium of limitation and ignorance that the Light of God shines best. Personally I have no worries at all as to the ability ofposterity to deal with the various problems and "imperfections" it will find in Baba's words. Similar issues arose in past advents regarding the Qpr'an and Gospel narratives, and humanity

proved itself more than equal to the occasion. Measured against the extraordinary illuminative power of Baba's words, these "defects" are like sunspots---observable to specialists but in no way diminishing the general potency. Those who find themselves nonetheless troubled by these matters should reflect more deeply on the relation between a superficially conceived human idea of "infallibility" and the real Beauty and Glory of the Divine Life. The Avatar assumes human limitation in His own Person; but at the same time, He works through limited means in the persons of His disciples. Maintaining verbal silence for almost forty-four years, Baba incorporated the services of His disciples into His authorial method. His own Authorship included them. When Baba dictated notes for Dr. Deshmukh to write up as discourses, or when He dictated passages in Gujarati for Eruch to translate into fair English prose as first draft material for God Speaks, these disciples were serving as His personally selected instruments in the fulfillment of His Avataric work. And when He placed His name as author on the books that resulted from this process, He was declaring, in a language clearly intelligible to all, that the responsibility is His. Who among us is in a position to say that these words are not really Baba's when He Himself said otherwise? To be sure, those of us interested in such things can fairly take note of the ways (for example) in which the style and philosophical thought processes of many of the discourses attest to the mind and personality of Deshmukh as the instrument which the God-Man chose to use on that occasion. But in the last analysis, just as Dr. Deshmukh personally belonged to Meher Baba as His Lord and Master, so the result that Baba achieved through him is thoroughly His. The fact that Meher Baba involved His disciples in the authorial process no more vitiates the outcome than does the God-Man's use (let us say) of great masts and circle members compromise His universal work. The conception ofthe phrase "the words of God" that I am espousing here, then, is somewhat more nuanced than what often prevails among religious fundamentalists. The "words of God" are made such by the fact that they issue from the Divine Life of the Avatar and bear clear indications of His approval as His message to the world. We should bring to these words the love and wisdom and discrimination that we

bring to all other aspects of His life. The Avatar's humanity does not diminish or vitiate His Divinity, quite to the contrary. The same goes for His words. Now some people prepared to grant to Baba's words the status of the "words of God" might nonetheless argue that a continuing editorial revision of His words can be justified by the fact that Baba's own disciples and literary associates edited His words when He was in the body. When Baba dictated a passage on the alphabet board, did not this passage in question "issue from the Divine Life"-the definition proposed for God's words? Yet He wanted His disciples to edit what He dictated and write it up properly. Then why should we today not follow suit? Why should we be prohibited from doing as His disciples did? My response to this involves the idea of history. There is a time and a season for everything. When Dr. Deshmukh and Eruch and Charles Purdom and Ivy Duce and Don Stevens involved themselves in the literary preparation of His books and messages, they were following His explicit instructions; and the results of their efforts were reviewed personally by Him. Now I do not for a moment deny that we can learn much from the fact that Baba's books and messages came to birth in this way. Doubtless great thinkers in future centuries will devote profound meditations to the topic. But the reality remains that Dr. Deshmukh and company were there with Baba at the time, whereas we today are not. Since the Avatar dropped His physical form in 1969, a tide of history has flowed between His era and our own. What was, was. The season has passed for active intervention in the compositional and editorial process that Baba had completed five and six and seven decades ago. The work of that era stands in its own right for what it was; it behooves us now to devote ourselves to the work of the present and not to meddle in what was accomplished by Him during His human lifetime. Let us suppose that an ardent nationalist from some South American country, say Paraguay, feels passionately that Baba ought to have visited his land of birth during one of His Western tours of the 1950s. "If I had been given the opportunity to meet with Baba in Myrtle Beach in 1952," our patriot fervently exclaims, "I would have succeeded in persuading Him to take a week off from His American

tour, fly down to the southern hemisphere, and grace my homeland with His blessed presence." My own response to such a sentiment would be: Fine! Why shouldn't someone feel this way? Yet should the histories ofBaba's 1952 tour therefore be revised to incorporate this side trip to Paraguay, an entirely fictional episode, merely in deference to someone's intense feelings that it ought to have occurred? Whether or not this expedition to Paraguay should have happened, the inalterable fact remains that it did not. Baba's work in the creation of God Speaks, Discourses, and The Everything and the Nothing belongs today to the domain of history as fully as does the history of His 1952 Western tour. While we might have affected the course of that tour had we been there in Myrde Beach in May of that year, now the time is passed, and we have to accept it for what it was.The same holds true for Baba's words. Neither the factual accounts of history nor the record of the Avatar's words should be rewritten by after-comers to suit their wishes and desires. As a final thought on this subject of "God's words," I would like to suggest what occurs to me as one of the Avatar's possible purposes in creating these words in a way that allows for discussion and dissension and doubt. Since the advent and spread of writing two or three millennia ago, the mind of humanity has fastened itself on what it has regarded as "holy scripture." While much inspiration and illumination has flowed from this way of thinking (as in the works of the philosophical giant and Perfect Master Shankaracharya), it has also sometimes calcified into a kind of textual literalism that attaches undue importance to words and forgets their meaning. Part of Me her Babas work as the silent Avatar was to break humanity's enslavement to mere words and to force us all to live more honestly, The very ambiguities connected with Meher Baba's books and messages will help to free us from this age-old habit of scriptural literalism, reminding us that the goblet exists for the sake of the Wine, not vice versa, and that God's living Presence can never be made prisoner to verbal iconographies and mental formalisms. Second Argument: Pragmatic Perils and the Slippery Slope second reason not to countenance the further editing of Meher Baba's published words has to do with the power



of precedent. Once you have let the cat out of the bag, how to capture it again? One editorial change leads to another, and then another, and then another. The human mind loves to tinker and meddle. If certain precincts in our Avataric legacy are not declared off bounds to revisionism, persons in the grip of this tendency will want to test the limits. In this way Baba's words could get progressively corrupted, a bit at a time, until at last their fundamental character has been transformed beyond recognition and recovery. Editors endowed with the authority to rewrite the words of the Avatar are subject to powerful temptations. If, as an editor, you keep your hands off and leave Baba's words unaltered, you deny yourself the exercise of your craft. One who has cultivated a certain ability naturally wants to make use of it. To refrain, demands self-restraint and entails a certain renunciation. On the other hand, if you ply your trade freely, if as an editor you chop and emend and rework, you find the satisfaction of "making a mark," of leaving the small trace of your own signature within the greater Signature of the immortal words of the Avatar. Even sincere and well-intentioned editors might find it difficult to resist this lure. Moreover, for those with a philosophical or ideological axe to grind, editorial revisionism affords an opportunity to "spin" Baba's words and messages toward the viewpoint that they wish to advance. All these draws, all these enticements, all this force of magnetism, acting over time on the intelligentsia, pulls in one direction-toward the reworking and revising of Baba's words. In the long run what stands against this, unless within the greater Baba community we cultivate an intelligent understanding and determination to protect the Avataric legacy and to keep it as it is without change? To illustrate the problem more vividly, let me give a hypothetical example: and I am deliberately selecting a passage from Baba's writings that touches on a "red button" issue in contemporary culture . As many Baba lovers know, Baba's discourse on "The Sanctification of Married Life" devotes several pages to the subject of birth control. Baba says unambiguously that the use of physical means for purposes of birth control is spiritually disastrous; Baba's indictment is categorical and allows for no exceptions. Now obviously this selection from Discourses engages a controversial topic and butts up against


contemporary social mores and associated social agendas. For this reason editors of an "unconstrained" bent of mind might find themselves tempted to "tweak" Baba's discourse so as to make it more congenial and serviceable to their own point ofview. Let us take two hypothetical editors, A and B. A is a partisan in the right-tolife movement and feels passionately that abortion is a form of murder. B, on the other hand, is a member of Planned Parenthood and believes with equal conviction that a woman's right to abortion follows from her ownership of her own body. Both A and B are lovers of Meher Baba, feel that the Avatar shares their own view, and would like to reedit this discourse so as to bring it more in line with their fervent convictions. Each editor finds himself confronted with the following passage (and I quote from the seventh edition of Discourses, p. 108): From the spiritual point of view, birth control must essentially be effected through mental control and nothing else. Physical means are under no circumstances advisable even when the partners seek to use them merely as provisional and secondary aids, without intending to ignore the ideal of developing mental control. Now Editor A wants to accentuate what is to him a clear implication of this passage. Abortion obviously qualifies as a form of birth control; it follows that the Avatar in this discourse is condemning abortion. Moreover, A feels keenly the injustice that abortion perpetrates on unborn children and sees no reason why not to introduce a hint of this into the text of Baba's words. His edited version of the discourse, then, incorporates a few small emendations: From the spiritual point of view, birth control must always be effected through mental control and nothing else. Physical means (including abortion, which indeed kills an innocent child) is absolutely impermissible, even when the parents seek to use such means merely as provisional and secondary aids, without intending to ignore the ideal of developing

mental control. Editor B, by contrast, believes that Meher Baba, humane and compassionate, understands human weakness and would not set so high a bar and impose so impossible a standard on the world at large. We know of instances in which Baba told lovers of His to use contraception. Ought not the discourse to give a more balanced perspective on what Baba's position on this subject was over the course of His lifetime? Editor B thinks so, and he proceeds to revise accordingly: From the spiritual point of view, it is better that birth control be effected through mental control. When they can, partners should avoid physical means; and when they use them merely as provisional and secondary aids, without intending to ignore the ideal of developing mental control, they should be aware of the hazards they are incurring. Obviously both Editors A and B have given the passage meanings and colorations that it does not have in its original form. Now, readers of this present article might find themselves more offended by the particular reedited version that clashes with their own beliefs on this particular controversial subject: we all react most when it is our own ox that is being gored. But whatever your convictions may be on abortion and birth control, consider the broader question: do we really want Baba's words subjected to this kind of thing, on an on-going basis, decade after decade, generation after generation? In order to highlight the danger, I have provided above two rather gross examples of editorial revisionism; yet a skilled editor could subtly shift and nuance a passage in ways that most readers would never notice. And once this process starts, where does it end? Yet this whole pernicious trend can be stopped dead in its tracks before it can gather any momentum through insistence on the clear and simple principle that Meher Baba's words should be left as they are. At the present time topics like abortion capture the public attention. Yet we have no way of knowing now what issues will arise as time goes on and Baba's manifestation unfolds. In the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era, huge controversies swirled around the nature of the Trinity. Yet the Gospels never mention

the Trinity as such; and it is hard to believe that most Christians forty years after the crucifixion of Christ would have bothered themselves much with Trinitarian subtleties. Similarly, Muslim philosophers and theologians in the tenth-eleventh-twelfth centuries battled among themselves as to whether the Qur'an was created or uncreated or whether creation itself was coeternal with God or originated at a moment in time. Again, one searches in vain for definitive answers to these questions within Islamic scripture. The point is this: that the future remains a closed book to us, and we have no way of guessing what controversies the years ahead will bring. Yet if partisans to these controversies have, as one of the instruments at their disposal, the reediting and "tweaking" ofBaba's words into a form more supportive of their own views, many will find themselves tempted, and the posterity ofBaba's words in their original form fallsinto doubt. Now some might object to what I have been saying on grounds that the prohibition of unconstrained editing vitiates expressivefreedom. The argument might run something like this: '~s a lover of Meher Baba, and as an independent creative being, I have an unalienable right to take Him into myself according to the form of my love for Him. I am free to interpret His words as I like; and that freedom has an expressive dimension . When I edit and re-compose His books and messages, I am exercising prerogatives that belong to me and are no one else's.What business is it of yours if I choose to republish Baba's words in the form that I prefer?" Now this objection is based on a fundamental confusion. To be sure, everyone retains the freedom to approach Baba and to understand His books and messages as he or she chooses. Yet Baba's books were Baba's. He was, after all, an autonomous human being. It is dishonest to present one's own interpretations as though they originated with Baba Himself directly; and when one rewrites Baba's words without plainly disclosing what one has done, one purveys a deception on others. Baba belongs to us each individually; yet Baba also belongs to us all, and boundaries need to be observed out of our respect for our brothers and sisters in His love. If I passionately believe that Baba's real view on birth control and abortion was such-and-such, I have many avenues of persuasion at my disposal. I can give talks, I can write books and articles, I can start a movement within

the Baba world. Yetwhen I take the further step of altering Baba's own messages,when I make His original words unavailable in the editions that I print by replacing them with my own version ofthem, I preempt the choice of others, denying to them the basis of judgment that I myself have used. My so-called "freedom" entails the abnegation of the freedom of others. Monopolizing to myself the exercise of interpretive discretion, I force my views and interpretations on other people, at the same time shielding myself from responsibility for what I have done by imputing it to Baba. Where Baba's books and messages are concerned, the freedom and prerogatives that matter are those of the generality of Baba's lovers, not those of the editors specially. The Avatar's words belong to everyone; they should never become the exclusive playground of an elite. Baba has said that in the past priests tampered with scriptures and revised holy books. In this advent we should try to preserve the legacy of His words inviolate in their original form.

Third Argument: Respecting Meher Baba as a Human Author he last argument that I wish to advance is to my mind decisive, since it follows from hints that Meher Baba Himself gave. Over the last several hundred years a body oflaw has come into existence that recognizes and safeguards the rights of authors. At several points during His life Meher Baba made specific provisions for the ownership and posterity of His "literary"works under the terms and protections of this law. One of the rights of authors universally recognized today is that you don't rewrite his books after he has died. If we are prepared to accord such respect to ordinary human authors, by what rationale do we deny it to an Author who happens to be God in human form? The branch of law that I advert to, of course,is copyright law.Some people might have supposed that the words of the Avatar, since they speak to all humanity and surely qualify as "universal" under any definition of the word, defy human ownership and can never be brought under the yoke and binding of any human mandate. Yet the Avatar Himself judged otherwise. From as early as the 1930s we find Baba taking steps to protect the copyrights in His writings. Yet the decisive moment arrived on July 17, 1967, when Meher Baba executed His "Last Will and Testament," signed per-


sonally by Him, and by Eruch and Mani as witnesses. Almost half of Baba's "W ill" is devoted to detailing arrangements for the posterity of His copyrights. Certain copyrights Baba had gifted to Sufism Reoriented a decade earlier; and this gifting He reconfirmed in His "Will." All other copyrights of His He bequeathed to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, created by Him in 1959. This body of copyrights included those in "literary works, direct and indirect, published and unpublished, including my 'Sayings,' 'Poems,' 'Messages,' ~cles,' 'D iscourses,' 'Books,' 'Charts,' 'Maps,' etc. as well as the copyrights already gifted to me and those that may be gifted to me in the future by other writers who love me..." In terms of the theme of this article the crucial point here is not who Baba gave His copyrights to but what copyright itself implies. Copyright enshrines in law a distinctly modern conception of authors and authorship. By this conception, an author actually owns what he or she creates. Certain rights of authorship can be licensed or sold by the author, as when an author licenses a book for publication or even sells copyrights in the book outright. But an author possesses other rights that are inalienable-such as the right to be identified as the author of his or her own creative work.. Although William Shakespeare died almost four hundred years ago, neither I nor anyone else will ever have the right to claim Hamlet as a play that we wrote. In other words, contemporary law recognizes and dignifies authors, and it insists on the indissoluble link between the products of authorship and the human individualities that created them. In taking this stand, this branch of law merely formalizes an appreciation that has developed over recent centuries and established itself as a commonly shared moral sensibility in the civilization at large. I do not mean to imply that the civilizations of the past disregarded or devalued authorship. Far from it! Traditional cultures often attach the highest premium on a text's authority, which is to say, its "author-icity."The Christian Middle Ages, for example, had an informal hierarchy ranking the "auctoritas" of classic texts, and serious intellectual disputes were often adjudicated on this basis. In fact, the idea of the "author" has been around since time immemorial, and its history is extraordinarily complex. Yet the point I have been making is that, as a significant change and new contribution, modernity has recon-


ceived authors and their creative work in a new cultural and legal framework, whereby literary works are "intellectual property" and authors are the owners of that property. You can't trespass across another man's land, or start tapping and hammering and sawing away at his house, without his permission. The same goes for an author: you need his okay before you start messing around with what he wrote. Authors are indeed notoriously fussy about such things! As a matter of fact, Baba Himself did not exhibit this particular trait (of authorial obsessiveness with literary niceties); nor does He seem during His human lifetime to have cared especially about His ownership of His books and messages. Rather, I feel that, in His attention to copyright and other literary matters, He was giving humanity guidance as to how to treat His literary legacy after His human death. Where editorship and publication are concerned (since these domains directly relate to copyright), we should accord to Him the courtesies and considerations that we give to all other human authors. Ironically enough, the Avatar's own lovers and devotees are liable to disregard these courtesies precisely because of the very intimacy that they feel with Him as their Beloved. Many of us experience Baba as uniquely and personally "mine." Babas words speak within me as the words of other authors do not. They well up from inside; they participate in the intimate secrecies of my love-dialogue with Him; I can hardly even distinguish them from my own words, the words that I would say to myselÂŁ When I "rewrite" His words, I am actually conforming them to the higher law of the love that is between us. Subjectively speaking, Babas published words, absorbed into my daily life, mingle freely and without distinction with the words that my own heart whispers. Who dares to dictate, who dares to intervene himself, in what passes between my Beloved and me? And thus for the best ofreasons the Lord's own lovers, acting in the capacity of editors, could serve to facilitate in the corruption of His literary legacy to the world. I have nothing to say in criticism of those who "rewrite" Baba's words in the intimacies of their personal love-relation with Him. That is their business. Yet the private and public spheres should not be confused. For in truth, our beloved Avatar can be conceived and approached in any number of ways. To some He is the inconceivable transcendent Absolute and illimitable Ocean, nirgun and nirakar; to some, the very personification of


Beauty and Resplendence, Love and Knowledge, Power and Bliss, God endowed with forms and attributes; to some, a man of Iranian extraction and Indian nationality who was born on February 25'h, 1894 and who died on January 31 st , 1969. Meher Babais all of this, and more. Yet where the editing and publishing of His words are concerned, we should approach him as an ordinary man and human author. This, I feel, is the indication that He has given to us. To recapitulate: Baba's act ofhaving placed the posterity of His words under the protection of copyright gives us a hint of His wish not only as to who should exercise the authority of the caretaker of this intellectual property but how His words and literary works should be treated. They should be given the same protections and courtesies as are customarily given in the modem era to the recorded words and literary works of any other man or woman. Modem sensibility and ethical culture prohibits the rewriting of published literary works after the author is dead. We should not deny to our Lord the same honor and consideration that we freely give to everyone else.

Fixed Words in theLifeoftheSpirit

J\ fter

every Avataric Advent a new civi.r1..lization forms itself on the basis of the legacy that He has left behind. Inevitably those after-comers who did not meet Him but have leamed to love Him try to hold on to what they know of Him in an attempt to keep alive His ineffable fragrance. Yet as Baba Himself has said, such attempts to "commemorate the association with a great spiritual Master" are like the work of an archeological department that succeeds only in resuscitating the past," Preserving Babas words, even at its best, cannot substitute for treading the path that His words point to. His words find their fulfillment and highest expression in those who actually live them. In the real sense, the finest-indeed, the consummate-"edition" of Meher Babas words is the lover ofGod who loves, obeys, and surrenders to Him one hundred percent. For such a lover, why do Meher Baba's "words," in the literal sense, matter at all? For some, they do not, nor need they. But for others, His words can provide a fixed point in a dynamic relationship. The same could be said for Babas photographs. In real life, Babas face was endlessly changing, with

6. See Meher Baba's "Message to Reporters and Press Representatives,"in Early Messages to the West, p. 6.

one magical expression melting and transforming itself into the next, like a river of miracles. A photograph captures and freezes one single moment in this flow. Yet in the life of a lover, this one frozen moment can serve as a launching pad for flights of love that no boundary nor ceiling can contain. The dynamism that was His life among us continues in the life of such lovers in their remembrance and adoration of Him. His words can function similarly. No doubt, as we have often heard, those words, when we read them in the black and white ofprinted editions, cannot compare with the same words spoken aloud by Eruch and resonating against the fathomless background of His Silence in the moment when He dictated them. Yet the absence of that does not stop the lover of God who reads His books today. As Don Stevens has related, Baba spoke of "atom bombs" of spiritual energy that His words contain. For those of this bent and inclination, His words, mined for these lodes of spiritual dynamism, can serve as an invaluable tool and resource in the life of their love for Him. What I mean to say is this: that fixing and establishing His words does not "fix" and "freeze" the life of the spirit. But it can help to protect His lovers and the generations to come from those who want to meddle. His words, like His photographs, capture something uniquely His, something that is authentically and personally Babas. This remains true even when the prose style through which these words flow to us owes to Eruch or Dr. Deshmukh: after all, these disciples too were Babas, and they served at His direction as the instruments that He personally chose for this very work. Best for us now is to leave this legacy and this substance alone. He knows what food we need. What we do with this food, how we use it in living out our lives oflove and service, is another matter. Whatever short-term provisions Meher Baba may have put in place as regards copyright and literary custodianship, in the long run the legacy of His words belongs to humanity in general and especially the lovers of God. Those who most love the Avatar's words will keep them best. The work of the present is to preserve this legacy intact and uncorrupted so that it can pass into their hands.

2<now fBefore [)OUBo-fButBO!

The List

PILGRIMAGE PLANNER FOR WESTERNERS AND FIRST-TIMERS PLAN: Money, passport, air reserdates, gender, exact arrival & depardirectives & should be honored at all vation, visa, room at MPR. times. Do not travel alone at night. ture dates/times, nationality. BUDGET: Plan two weeks for ON '];ac UEUI!:K1mlm. Ar- (For women this means sunset). about 51500 including US airfare; range a safe 6-hour ride with Maintain silence in & around the staying longer costs less than 5100/ Pathan: Tomb. No shoes in the Samadhi & week, so stay longer. tel. 011+91.982.324.7022 or some other places; look for signs. PHOTOS from drug store: 2 for 241.232.5022, meherbabatours. Limit contact with local people passport, 2 for visa, 2 for MPR. (drivers, shopkeepers, tailors, hotel com . staff, army) to business matters. PASSPORT: Valid 6 months past CARRY-ON: Documents, books, snacks, amusements, prescriptions, stay. Applications http://travel.state. Do not sell anything to anyone. govlpassportlforms. Allow 4 weeks. anything non-replaceable. Nothing Do not cash money with anyone. $100 for new, 1175 to renew, plus sharp. Read fine print on ticket for Ignore beggars & people shouting airline alldTSA rules! mailing. "[ai Baba" or asking your name. Do BE A "MULE." Ask Listserv, PRO, FLIGHTS: Pick a flight that lands not approach, feed or touch animals. in Mumbai before noon so you can & Dina what needs transporting in Lock valuables in Registration Office or an MPR closet or leave home. Do get to Pilgrim Reservations while both directions. not leave belongings it is open. for an unattended. Use autoepalrtu:e aftthernoon HEALTH TIPS: Refill prescriptions to last beyondarrival home; rickshaw fixed rates. ra er t hmorning.Seek an ear y In keep in ' cany-on. 11\T"h"M 1 h0 take cbolera uacci the vO sots. ostpeoptew otera uacane Do not tip. Do not che~ "Consolidator get no benefitbut sufferside efficts! (Toprevent cholera, eat in photograph military sites or eguipment or fare . ch~rter flights. in the MPR or the ET, or "boilit, cook it, peel it orforget it." MPR enter m ilitary areas. pubhc~tlOns ~t ASIan kitchen will disinftctfreshfruitfor you.) UseDEET repellent Unmarried couples grocenes or VIa agents d k . . db d. K ,I'd' k ' specializing in India; an tuc ~1.OSqUltO nettmg aroun e . ~ow source D.J TIn mg do not share a room web search "ch eap water; disinfect hands often, and every time you handle money. anyuibere. Do not flight to Mumbai." Check health insurance. Considertravel insurance. Allow time hold hands, kiss, embrace or express Bad connections may after you get hometo readjust. If not well, don'tgo! affection in public. mean empty seats (stretch out); mileage Anyone not entirely WEAR a Baba button. upgrade to first class lie-flat seat? free of illicit substances will not be LEAVE ATHOME: shorts, low neckRefuel in favorite city: make 24accommodated. Ifyou normally take lines, tight or sheer garments, valuhour layover to break trip. 20 to 30 a prescription here, take it there, ables, worries. hours flying from US. Fare research especially psychiatric! Don't pocket IN AHMEDNAGAR: Meher Nazar really pays off; be sure to seek sepachunks of Seclusion Hill, soon to Compound, Trust, Meher Baba rate fees charged for baggage, etc. be called Seclusion P it. When you Centre (devotional music Saturday VISA: Meherabad, go straight home. evenings), Meher Nazar Books, CULTURE SHOCK: Greeting-fold structions/indiainst.btm, fee, applicashopping, rest aurants. hands & tilt head forward: Nation , passport, air reservations. 573 IN MEHERABAD & MEHERAZAD: for six months, $163 for ten years. maste. Many Indians are vegetarSeclusion Hill. Baba's Room; Blue ian & do not drink alcohol. Women Allow 2 weeks minimum. TIME: New York 6 AM is 4:30 PM Bus; Jhopdi, Rahuri Cabin, Cage dre ss modestly, even on beaches. Room, Table House for meditation in Meherabad. 9 PM in LA is 10 :30 Rapidly growing educated classes & prayer. Baba's bicycle in the mu- speak English. You will see extreme AM there. seum; tour archives. Sit in the Sapoverty. Most toilets require you to JET LAG: Wake one hour at a time madhi. History tour. Jam sessions, closer to India time over weeks besquat. Be prepared to enjoy sensory volleyball games, walking trails, garfore arrival. Extra rest, extra water, overload. dens & verandahs, library. Volunteer alcohol/caffeine on the flight to stay ARRIVAL IN MEHERABAD: Register opportunities. Master technique for on that schedule. at the Pilgrim Office, hit the white washing laundry, hair, body with MPR: No kids under 7. At least rock trail, pay respects at the Tomb: two buckets of water. Motor ricksix weeks before arrival request resshaw to bazaar or Meher Tailor. At ervations for up to one week, then Meher Darbar call home or check as available. For stays during Amyour email. Eat ice cream at The artithi, give earlier notice. Pilgrim Blue Tank (BT) Cafe. Reservation Office: or phone Cite: home address, phone, short WHAT NOT TO Do: Rules for personal introduction, names, birthPilgrims are based on Baba's


CWelcome home!

Hot and Dry

Rainy and 68° to 86° JUN



Warm and Dry SEP



- Adapter (220V SA, 3 large round pins in a triangle) - Anti-inflammatories, bandaids , antibiotic ointment, a few pills to treat diarrhea, strains, heartburn, insomnia, colds - Arnica or Traumeel - Books, toys, games for kids - Camera, dustproof case, batteries, memory - Children's clothing & toys for Pumpkin House Orphanage - Coat, gloves, scarf, hat (Nov -Feb.) - Collapsible duffle bag, empty - Contact lens kit, spare specs - Cop ies of prescriptions - DEET insect repellent - Diary, tape, art supplies, stationery - Document copies in each bag - Dust mask - Earplugs - Extra socks & undies - Flashlight, batteries - Hand disinfectant, moisturizer - Herbal tea or instant coffee - Instrument or sheet music - Jacket, shawl or sweater - Light shoulder bag (men too) - Moleskin for incipient blisters - Pajamas & light robe or shawl - Pegs, soap, marker for laundry - Pillow if you are particular - Rainwear (June - Oct.) - Safety pins, sewing kit, pocket knife, nail clipper (not in carryon) - Sandwich-size zip bags - Sanitary supplies, shaving gear - Shampoo, soap, deodorant, dental gear, foil-wrapped wipes - Snacks, raisins or trail mix - Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen - Supplements - Three changes lightweight, layerable, conservative clothing - Toilet paper!!!& tissues - Toiletry bag to hang on a hook - Travel alarm, iPod - Travel towel, face cloth - Two pairs comfortable brokenin walking shoes, easy off & on - Water bottle & strap - Whole spices make a nice gift

Dry and 59° to 77° DEC



Hot, Dry MAR

Rickshaws, laundry, Samadhi opmfrom 6:30AM to 8 PM with Arti at ..?<>-'7s ..?<>~ ..?<>-;;'s ..?<><l..? ..?<l..? ~s~a' f?sA4z ;;>~ 0& -'k"""~ ~;. ""'~ ""'A ~ 7:00 AM & PM. Meberazad bus 011 Tuesday, intern et, gifts, "'' '<;~J......6">"'..r~."'J;...~"'.r"'701;.Q~L> "'v..;.;.& -. ....6q'?J. f(,/o<f'('/oJ: o Ji..;: Thllrsday & SU1lday. Dbuni 011 12th garlands, snacks, tours, 7 ~/, ""'q' "'q' "'6.,.;: J.......,& "'"'z, ?J. at sunset. incidentals: 15-10/ "'""('... ?J. Q"?J. ... day? Rickshaw to Trust 11S Rs; on to Bazaar 40 Rs. Phone calls to US 12 Rs/rninure , internet 30 Rslhour. Call I fi1ld a travel Break bllddy 011 the Listsero Book car and driver journey Mumhai to Meberabad Concert Rupees to Firm up Check Trust and or inu ite aftie1ld? in Paris? (~) • Dollars at • mille duty Welcome Home uiebsites • • Home! 3-4 Weeks: Check credit cards Pack hags, stop Sbopfares 20-30 6 hours: 7-8 Applyfor Visa for excha1lge rates mail, payhills hours: USto Mumhai to Weeks:Set & Passport & ATMfees; hlly Mumbai Meberabad dates; hook travelers checks Ri~hts


CWorldwide ~eher fjJaba ~eetin9s Thefbllowingisinformation aboutthevariousBabagroups aroundthe countryand a few .from overseas. Ifyour local data is not includedplease sendit to me and shouldthings change.from thepublisheddetails, pleaselet me know that beftrethe next issue's deadline. -Dina

NORTH CAROLINA Asheville-Winnie Barrett, 828-274-7154, Peter and Debbie Greensboro-Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh-Carol Verner, 919933-3550;

DOMESTIC ARIZONA Tucson-Irma Sheppard, 520-321-1566, 7320 N. Village Ave., 85704, Flagstaff-AMB Lovers of N. Az., 928-774-8305, 4505 S. Lance Rd., 86001, CALIFORNIA Los Angeles-Meetings are Sundays, 11 AM to 1 PM, held in our center "Meherabode," 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019Just east iftheintersection ifArlingtonand12th Street. The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public. Santa Barbara-Contact Donnalyn Karpeles, 805682-1877, San Francisco Bay Area-Call for information regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259, Benleer@ The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931, Sacramento-Occasional meetings-contact me to find out when. Marilyn Buehler, 916-812-9496, COLORADO Denver-Meetings Sunday eveningsat 7 pm at various homes in the Denver-Metro area.The contact person for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona is Barbara A. Roberts, 303-238-4649; 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 (near Denver), FLORIDA Tampa-Jane Paladino, 813-962-8629. Naples-Bob Mulligan, 239-261-2840 or 239734-0153. Meher Baba "Discourses" meeting every Thursday evening from 8-9:30 pm. All are welcome. Clearwater-Tom Decker, MD, 727-536-9282. Delray Beach-Mickey and Wendy Karger 561-638-3114 GEORGIA Atlanta/Athens-Contact Ed Legum 8980,


HAWAII Maui-Meredith Moon, Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556, Fax:808-573-1189; 1940 Olinda Road (or PO Box 1269 for mail)Makawao,Maui, HA 96768,

Molokai-Shirley Alapa at "Meher Dharn", 808-5676074 or 808-567-6383, Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363; 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729 (mail: P.O. Box 177, Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757), ILLINOIS Chicago-Meher Baba Information Center Carol Kovalevych, 312-633-0696


OKLAHOMA Prague-Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, for retreat and visiting Babas accident site. 1319 Barta Ave., 74864, 405-567-4774.,

LOUISIANA New Orleans-Avatar Meher Baba Center for monthly meeting and film program please contact:Joe Burke 504-616-1111 for the date, time, location and directions, MAINE Newcastle-We meet once a month on the third Sunday and take turns hosting the gatherings at 1 PM starting with potluck, then meeting. Noreen O'Brien, 207-273-3173; Heartwood Cottage, 101 Hart Road, Warren, Maine 94864, ompoinrs'rds.ner Orono or Rockland-For information contact: Daniel and Carolyn Montague: 207-594-6391,; Pam Braley: 207-944-9913,; Ken Lux: 206-594-6391, MASSACHUSETTS Cambridge-Meher Baba Information Center Michael SiegeIl617-864-3997. Brewster-KatWeen &Nancy Geagan, 1 Ellis Landing Rd. For Information, contact Nancy Geagan, 508-8690096 or 843-421-4755. Second Sunday of the month at 2 pm. All are welcome! MISSISSIPPI Jackson-For information contact Peter Rippa 601317-0848 MONTANA Missoula-Andy Shott, 406-549-5949; 336 Connell, 5980I. Emigrant-Anne Haug, 406-333-4582; 24 Liberty Ln., 59027. NEW HAMPSHIRE Liz Miller 603-749-3668, NEW MEXICO Santa Fe-Robert Reser and Edle Andersen host meetings on the last Thursday of the month at 7 PM in their home, 505-983-6621; 1921 Fort Union Drive, 87505, NEVADA Las Vegas -Dick and Carol Mannis, 702-326-170I. Meetings at 5 pm, followed by potluck dinner, 10809 Garden Mist Dr, 89135, NEW YORK N.Y. City-Meetings Weekly 212-971-1050,, Upstate New York-Meetings in Albany approximately once a month contact Bill Cliff at 518-463-1535

SOUTH CAROLINA Myrtle Beach-Meher Spiritual Center 10200 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 Phone: 843-272-5777 Email: gateway at Website: TEXAS Nacogdoches-Chris and Anne Barker, 936-5602631,3101 Skyline Drive, 75965, Houston-Steve & Shirley Taylor 713-778-0446 WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 310-946-0236, Friday and Saturday Meetings, www.liftimages.comIMeherBaba WASHINGTON, STATE Seattle-Meher Baba Group Meetings: Fridays at 8 pm. Also gatherings for special events (Amartithil Babas Birthday). Location rotates each week in homes. Mail do Cynthia Barrientos, PO Box 16081, Seattle, WA 98116. 206-713-9905, INTERNATIONAL ENGLAND London-Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, FRANCE Marseille: C. Dallemagne, Le SylverealAI. des Pins, 13009 Marseille. Ph: 4 91 3902, Marc Molinari. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Callas 83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Ph: 4 94 41 3902. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 7 Alee des Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon. Ph 2 974613 19. Connerre: Andre Grimard, Champ Brule Duneau, 72160 Connerre. Ph: 2 43 89 01 94. Paris: Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris. Ph: 1 44 59 30 06. ISRAEL Jerusalem-Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road,Jerusalem, Israel 93513, MEXICO Mexico City/Cancun!Alcapulco-Rafael Villafane, Phone from US: 01152 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 01152 555 502-7225. Email Zihuatanejo/lxtapa area-Jeff and Cindy Lowe, We will have a meeting any time there is a request for one. Please contact us if you're going to be in the ZihuatanejolIxtapa area. Phone from US: 011 52 755 544 6303,

r:Eassings: Lives Lived in 5l1is Love [Fiona '[he ~rave and the

~eautiful III our last issuewe told you the Beloved had filially released Fiona from her suffering. Her husband Mirek, who had been writing his amazing poems-love offirings to Babaabout the cancer that ravaged herface, told us he would be writing about their last days togetherfor this issue, but alas, he was not up to it by press time . However three ofHis lovers from England sent me their tributes to this amazing couple.

From Anne Marie Collette iona and Mirek, their sufferings were immense, their Faith and Submission incomparable, all throughout their calvary, they have been an inspiration to me in surrendering and loving God. Through them, each difficulty in my life was put into perspective, and their admirable resilience and Faith, will always remains a source of inspiration. I have always associated Fiona with beauty; even when I kept receiving the terrible news of the painful destruction of her face, I always perceived beauty, her inner beauty was so radiant. I have her last letter-she was already very ill, her face savagely damaged by the unforgiving cancer-but the letter was equal to all she had sent before, beautiful hand writing, a lovelydrawing, not a word of complaint, and the envelop full of glitters and little stars, that was Fiona . And Mirek, by the grace of Meher Baba and his love for her, could see that true beauty until the end. What a wonderful love story!


clear, Celtic beauty shining quietly out of a photograph. And yet, I knetu her, but from where or when heaven knows. But in the closing chapter of her life this time on earth, I felt very close to her. She had been in my prayers night and day. Who could possibly plumb the depths of her suffering or share her anguish? Only Baba. And see how He put beside her on that long journey, one who became not only her constant, loving companion, but also her wholly devoted guardian and matchless protector. For Mirek, Fiona was his life. His love for her was his gift to Baba. So many came to know of her and love her too through the powerful flight of his poems, which lift the reader on wings of emotion, beauty and spiritual intensity. I wrote to Fiona earlier in the year 'out of the blue', having a week or so before sent her just a brief message on a small card with a picture of a bird, no address or contact details. So the letter I sent a couple of weeks later gave my address and cell phone number so she could reach me for anything she wanted . I was deeply happy to receive a long, handwritten reply, in which she wrote:

one of them. What Baba asked of her she gave unflinchingly and unstintingly - a brave, brave heart. On the eve of Diwali He added this bright light to the constellation ofjewel stars that adorn His throne. Mirek has been the guardian of her unwavering trust, faith, love and dedication to the Beloved throughout her months of unimaginable suffering.

"Unable to sleep, I was actually thinking the other morning...I wanted to thank you for your card, but had no contact details fol' you. Having decided to ask my friend to help with that, I drifted off to sleep. Later that very same day, your letter plus contact details arrived in the post! Always a delight when suchsynchronicity occurs... "


Sue Chapman added: "Ihad the great privilege to encounter Fiona in this lifetime, and her courage and fortitude continue to be an inspiration to me. Mirek and Fiona demonstrated love and courage beyond imagination in their life together in Baba, and Mirek's faith, trust and understanding of Beloved to sustain in the soul's journey is in itself, an awakening. Thank you dearest Fiona and Mirek." As our regular readers will know - I was in awe of the looe.faitb and obedience to His wish, will and words they both had. Before the cancer took her eye and she couldn't use the computer anymore, we frequently corresponded and she would send me beautiful

ofyou at around Sam

Something really strange happened yesterday - I went to Meherabode to check mail, and in my box I found a large envelope addressed to me in Fiona's distinctive handwriting. It was packed with samples ofthe beautiful artwork on the greeting cards she had created. I thought this was very strangeit arriving now, so I checked the postage date A flutter of tiny heart-shaped confetti on the envelope. To my astonishment it was had scattered around as I opened her let- 27/10/05!! Even from the other side Fiona ter. The pieces slipped into books, under reaches out to us, so I would /ike to share her rugs and cushions, into my bag and even beautiful artwork with you all See hack cover. into one of my shoes! Each day or so for

weeks it seemed I was finding another minute pink, silver or gold heart, carefully picking it up and placing it alongside all the others on my bookshelf in front of the picture of Baba. The card she sent is in front of me now. It is an exquisite mounted piece of detailed artwork, a brightly coloured and detailed picture of a girl in costume, titled 'Dorotka.' The penciled signature says Sarah McNeill 'Fiona Popowicz. 2008', It was numbered didn't know Fiona. I never met her. 170 of 300 she had made. Such a gift is to I The only time I ever saw her was in the be treasured forever. Scotland is a land of heroes. Fiona is pages of the Love Street LampPost - that



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JWadhusudan ::Rejoins 2lis fBeloved Baba once said to Madhusudan: "You have composed bbajans, an arti and songs in my praise, and there are hundreds oflovers at distant places who hear and sing your compositions. These have helped them to love me more and more. So remain as active as ever, and do my work in Poona with love, enthusiasm, zeal and devotion, knowing that Poona is my birthplace."


adhusudan was a teenager in the late 1940s when he first became aware of Meher Baba. According to Bal Natu's Glimpses ofthe God Man, it was at this time that he started experiencing mental crisis. Natu writes, "His love for music provided some consolation in life. This resulted in his friendship with Ramchandra Rao, a singer from north India... This comradeship led him to participate in Meher Baba's birthday program... Madhusudan was not very interested in lectures on Baba, but nevertheless he wished to continue his visits for the weekly bhajans... These programs gradually awakened in him a longing to see Baba in person. But there was a circular restricting darshan and even correspondence with Baba. Sule, who generally delivered talks at the meetings, convinced some of the youngsters to take the risk and have Baba's darshan. He told them that by imposing various restrictions, Baba was trying to create thirst in the hearts of His dear ones to see Him... Thus a young group of seven Baba lovers resolved to risk a visit to Baba in Ahmednagar, and Madhusudan was one of them. "In the morning on August 21, all of them presented themselves at Adi's office in Khushru Quarters, now called Meher Nazar. The preparations for the New Life were being made at breakneck speed. Adi was overworked with the details that he had to see to. When he found this group in the office he was amazed and said, 'Haven't you read the circular? Who advised you to come over here for Baba's darshan?' The group was nervous;


no one expected a cold reception at Baba's office! Someone apologized to Adi for troubling him. But the way in which all behaved and the overflowing longing that was visible in the visitors' eyes made Adi say, 'You see, Baba is very busy and He does not see any visitor. In the morning I drove Him to Meherabad; in the evening I shall take him to Meherazad. If you can wait till evening, and can risk waiting on the road, nearby the railway station, I will drive slowly and you may have a glimpse of Baba. This much I can do and nothing more ... "By late afternoon all began to stroll or sit under the shade of the trees, about the spot fixed by Adi. The eyes of all were set in the direction of Meherabad. They anxiously waited and waited but there was no sign of the blue Chevrolet carrying Baba. Time weighed heavily on their minds. It was past seven. The last bus for Poona was at eight and yet there was no car in view. Though unwillingly, they decided to leave for the bus stand in a few minutes. Madhusudan folded his hands in the direction of Mehera bad as a salutation to Baba.Just then a car was sighted... "M adhusudan felt that a tender beam of soft light flashed from the car and flooded his soul. As the car passed by rather slowly, he saw Baba smiling; beauty and majesty seemed blended in His expression. Baba's marvelous look reminded him at once of the dream he had had the previous night. "In the dream, Madhusudan had seen the huge and mighty, but most tender and noble figure of Lord Vishnu, the Sustainer (Parvardigar), gracefully smiling. As he moved on to approach the Lord, His form miraculously disappeared and in its place there shone a disc of bright light, rotating and rolling farther and farther away. At last it entered a very small temple of Lord Krishna, the Flute Player. As the halo touched the statue, it got merged in the idol of Krishna... With the vivid recollection of this meaningful dream and with the vision of tender light touching the core of his heart, Madhusudan could not contain himself, he lay on the road as if dazed . "Adi's car moved some distance and stopped. The Poona group hastened, rather ran, to meet Baba. He called all near Him and blessed each of them. At Baba's instructions Vishnu, one of Baba's disciples, helped Madhusudan walk to the car. Baba smiled and placed His healing hand on Madhusudan's head . He gestured, 'I

know you love me. Continue to love me and remain happy. My nazar is on you... "M adhusudans fondness for music was an excuse for Baba to draw him in the orbit of His love, in His own unique way. In the aforementioned dream, when Madhusudan found himself at the threshold of Lord Krishna's temple, there came out the words from the inner chamber, 'Sing a song.' And he sang one. Baba's divine touch not only inspired Madhusudan to sing, but even to compose beautiful songs for Baba. His compositions in Hindi and Marathi were later very much appreciated by Baba. Many of these songs were sung in Baba's presence and in the public meetings too. Especially the arti, Meher mana arti swikaro (I offer my mind to Thee, 0 Meher, accept it as my arti), was sung in chorus before Baba by hundreds of His lovers." Subhadra Bundellu had sung bhajans with the Poona group dating back to about 1947 when she first met Baba. Madhusudan's marriage to her took place before Baba at Guruprasad on May 14th, 1959. Subhadra was a Harijan (an Untouchable, the lowest caste), while Madhusudan was a high-caste Brahmin. Yet they had the distinction of being the only couple Baba ever married." Baba blessed the couple, and later they were formally married at the registrar's office in a civil ceremony. It is recorded in Lord Meber that "In the middle of the ceremony at Guruprasad, Baba commented: 'Only Eruch knows why I am doing this (marrying them), but no one knows the work I am doing in between. This is the first and last wedding performed by me as Baba." Sources: Glimpses ofthe God Man (Vol. 2) by Bal Naru, and Lord Meber pp.3291,4901,5593-5595. "In late 1968, Dara and Amrit Irani similarly appeared before Baba for their "wedding, " although the legal ceremony was performed elsewhere.

2ioldinn 2iands with Bod Eary e. <..Mullins I94 0 - 2009 Lois Breger Savannah, Georgia ongtime Baba follower Gary lVlullins passed away on November 29 th in Savannah following a gradual decline in health after heart surgery. Gary was a writer and an educator who taught in several public and private schools in the southeast. He was an accomplished tennis player and coach with a variety of interests, including a love of literature, cinematography and classical music. In the mid-seventies, he moved to the Myrtle Beach area to be near the Meher Center where he especially enj oyed visiting with Margaret Craske, Kitty Davy and Frank and Irene Eaton . Gary's adventure with Mehcr Baba began in 1961 on a San Francisco street corner when he met lVlurshida Ivy Duce after picking up a package she had dropped. That chance encounter was the beginning of his spiritual journey, and a year later he attended the EastWest Gathering in India. Although he had a strong connection with Murshida Duce and later, Murshid James Mackie, Sufism Reoriented was not destined to be his path. Gary faced many challenges in his life and had somewhat of a mercurial temperament. As his former wife, Amie Ruth, acknowledged, "Most people had to deal with the thorny side of Gary, not the rose of his essence," but Baba's impact on him was profound . In his memoir, Dan cing the Beguine, published in 2000, Gary wrote eloquently about being with Baba at the East-West Gathering: "I would give up everything in life, and I mean everything, if I could experience, once again, those few moments when I first met Meher Baba. It happened that first afternoon when the


Western men met Baba at Guruprasad. It is so precious and so exquisitely rare that every moment in my life is an opportunity to relive it, if I can but learn h ow.. .. "We were being introduced to Baba by Eruch. When my turn came, I stood still for a moment as Eruch quietly asked my name. He then introduced me. Baba, sitting on His couch , beckoned for me to come to Him - so simply, so childlike, and so far beyond any words I could possibly create. I walked to Him and He reached up and pulled me down in an embrace that is forever. I experienced His hug as the essence of intimacy, yet at the same time His embrace was perfectly impersonal. For a few seconds, I was simply in another world, in a tranquil pink and blue cloud, in a sky far, far higher than words can convey. For one eternal moment, which grows richer with each passing year, I was at home with my real father, Avatar Mcher Baba. "One morning with Baba, I was with a group of people sitting right in front of Him . As we were about to leave, I was watching him, but He was looking in another direction. Suddenly, with unimaginable perfection, His hand darted out and grasped mine. He squeezed it so very, very hard. What a timeless, timeless moment. It has always brought to mind something He once said : 'Five minutes in lVIy presence is worth a hundred years of prayer and meditation.' Even today, I cannot fathom how fortunate I was to 'hold hands' with God ."


'3parkie" 'cukes qJrnnner rJ)ecember I8, I929 - ...April IO, 20IO Jeanne Kassof, California " Something melted in my breast and a light became in it and spread right through me. This was something quite different from anything I had up to this time experienced-it was not a "warmth" an "attraction" or a "desire" for a girl-it was another person actually within me, a person called Sparkie." That was Francis Brabazon's immediate impression on meeting Rita Jane Lukes for the first time in 1952 in New York. In Ross Keating's book "Francis Brabazon: Poet of the Silent Word" there is a whole chapter dedicated to her . He said, "Francis has certainly expressed very deeply his feelings for Sparkie in his early poetry, and this will certainly live on. In her he saw the mirror of the beauty of his own true Self, the beauty of God." When Francis arrived, Sparkie was given the task of showing him around New York. She told me he was skipping down the sidewalk he was so happy to be with her, completely oblivious to the odd looks he was getting from those around them. Each time Francis would write her a poem, he would ask for her opinion... she told me, " I didn't know about poems or Daphne or Beatrice. I just wanted a regular boyfriend, just a down to earth boyfriend." He was 43 and she 21 when they met. She said her father would not go for the age difference . [Filis Frederick in "The Awak. "]. ener magazme Sparkie had been a school mate of Charmian Duce's when they both attended Bennington College in Vermont, and soon afterwards moved in with her and her mother, Murshida Ivy Duce in New York City, acting as her secretary and attending Sufi classes in her home. Baba came to New York that year so she was lucky enough to have


been in the right place at the right time. On May 7, Ivy, Charmian, Sparkie, Francis and Enid Corfe made the day and a half drive together to Myrtle Beach to meet Baba. They had many full days being with Him at what is now known as the Meher Spiritual Center. Sparkie had an interview with Baba on May 12 th at 10 a.m. One day Charmian and Sparkie bought a rabbit, some little black frogs, and a fish that they thought the women mandali would like. Baba took them over to the Guest House so the women could see them. As He was looking at the frogs in the jar, they started to perform for Him gathering into circles and tumbling around. On May 17, "Open Day" was held in the Barn where over 700 people came to visit. After it was over, Baba, Sparkie, Charmy and her mother went to pay a last visit to the women mandali. He told them, "A thousand years hence, people will be singing about this day in the Barn." The next time Sparkie saw Baba was in 1956 when she once again had the very good fortune to be in Baba's group for this American tour. Here are more fun stories taken from "The Awakener Magazine", "Spread My Love", "How a Master Works", and" Lord Meher." The following stories come from these sources: In the Center again, narrated by Filis: "One evening ended with fireworks fitfully falling into the dark forest and lake, set off by Lud Dimpfl, Will Belote, Sparkie Lukes and Charmian, from a boat out in the lake, while we crowded the shore. At first, Baba stood with us, then I saw Him slip across the lagoon bridge and up the hill. I followed Him over the narrow path, and through the screen of bushes, I saw Him standing in the headlights of the car talking briefly for a few moments with Kitty and Elizabeth. Then He was gone. The last fireworks died into the lake with the faraway shouts of the children. How like children we must all seem to Him, the Divine Father!" Sparkie continued on the tour to Washington DC, Los Angeles, Meher Mount in Ojai and San Francisco. "In Meher Mount she was present for the famous grapes story and the rumbling of Baba's tummy after Dana suggested that He eat some. They went


outside, and the sky began to clear. From the 2,500 foot elevation of the property, one could see for many miles, the beautiful rolling hills below, and out to the Pacific. Shortly afterwards, Baba called Ivy, Sparkie and a few others back inside. He was pacing up and down. Baba looked at them solemnly, snapped His fingers and said, "I have made my decision!" They stood dumbfounded, wondering what the momentous decision was. He stated, "When I come back in seven hundred years, there will be no more grapes on earth, and maybe that will help the liquor problem too!" "Dana had been taking notes during the tour for his "chronicle," and Baba called him and told him it ought to go in the chronicle that there will be no grapes after seven hundred years. "On second thought," he said, "let them guess why there aren't grapes!" When the laughter had subsided, Dana said, "What will they say Baba, that I said that there won't be any grapes because they gave the Avatar a tummy ache?" Baba patted his tummy, and we all heard the rumbles, and burst into laughter with Him. He continued, tapping the top of His head, saying, "I bear the whole universe on My head, but this is a sort of additional crucifixion, because this food does not agree with Me." Adi said Baba didn't like milk either, and laughingly Ivy Duce said she didn't like milk either. Sparkie quickly hushed her up saying, "Don't start that Murshida, or we wont have any steaks to eat, either!" "Baba then threw an apple to Don, then retrieved it and rubbed the cheeks of Sparkie, Charmian and Mike with it, passing it on to the old bachelor, Dr. Hayman, while Sparkie admonished, "Dr. Ben, don't give that to any woman, or you may have to do this all over again!" (referring to Eve and the apple). Continuing all this nonsense, Energy rushed into the room with a large flat stone and handed it to the Master with, "Baba, you said you didn't believe there were six alligators in the Myrtle Beach pond, so Mickey sent you this big alligator egg." Baba rubbed his tummy with it, again looking comically anguished, as if to say, "Is it a remedy? Will it help me?" He had us all doubled with laughter. "Baba and the mandali had their tea, and then just as the sun was setting over

the glorious hills, Baba got into the station-wagon. He asked to be driven back the longer coast rou te and often made signs on the way of thoroughly enjoying the sparkling blue Pacific." In Los Angeles, Baba had approved Sparkie's marriage to Will Belote, so she had had some deeply personal exchanges with Baba while in Meher Mount. On February 23, 1957 she married Will. Energy Florsheim was her matron of honor, and Charmian was there. The marriage ended in divorce. She then married a friend of his, Herb Brunner, who was not a Baba lover, and disappeared to Annapolis, Maryland. They had one son,S grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was on the committee for Muslim Christian Cooperation in Washington D.C. where she served as Executive Secretary. She also served as secretary for the Apollo States Delegation in the United Nations, New York; and was the grant coordinator for Maryland Historical. She loved to go Line dancing and did Aerobics faithfully, even at age 75. Just a year or so before Charmian Duce Knowles died, she asked me if I could find her dear friend whom she hadn't seen in 50 years. Unfortunately, I only located her a week after Charmy died. Still, I had a few years to talk to Sparkie on the phone. Charrny's husband, Duncan Knowles, sent Sparkie the photo of Baba and her taken at the Holiday Lodge, which she put by her bedside, also a copy of Charmian's book, Spread My Love. In turn, Sparkie sent us a box of old relics, including a Baba brooch of His hair and nails that Mehera had made as gifts for the American girls. She had kept everything in a box in her room for all those years safe guarding it all. Sparkie had been born in Germany and passed away in Tuckerman, Arkansas, from pneumonia. She was 80 years old. I know that Charmy was waiting on the other side to help her across.

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Mehera standing at the tree outside her bedroom window, upon which appeared theface ofher Beloved - sent, no doubt, by her Lord to assuage her feelings ofgrief Photograph taken by Cindy Ceteras c.1971. -From the Archives ofSufism Reoriented, Inc.


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Taken in Myrtle Beach in 1952,from the left: Adele Wolkin, Filis Frederick, Mani, Sparkie, Charmian Duce, Baba, Mehera, Delia de Leon and bunny-holding Meheru

Sparkie, M eheru (who doesn't w ant to giv e up the bun ny!) Ma ni, F ilis, M ehera an d Adele





Paintings by Fiona Popowicz




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