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JANUARY - MARCH,

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LoveStreet Lamp(j!ost

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~vatar ~eher fBaha on board the Circassia, I937

2001


From the Editor Jai Baba folks, Welcome to the True, New Millenium! 01/01/01

B

y the time you are reading this, I feel sure there will be a new President of the United States, but as we go to press the country is still in a turmoil over 'hanging chads', 'dimples', uncounted ballots, miscounted ballots and on and on. We, who know the Avatar, know that it is all a game. Life is a Jest. He pulls the strings, we only think we are in controL God picks the winners and the losers. He tells us, "...it is all a game of winning and losing. The majority are misguided and ruled by some self-styled leaders, who seek the limelight by fair means or foul. They do not want the Truth, lest they lose their selfish ends and be out of the picture. So, in order to be in the public eye, they invent lies, concoct stories, distort facts, and, in the name of public service, they present these lies before the public. The public is misled either because they are big names or by the very tricks of the origina-

tors, who have the ability to misrepresent facts with sensational talks that influence the weakness of the mass mind. "It is the same all over the world-a game of winning and losing-the inevitable struggle for existence is in all departments and aspects oflife. The struggle goes on and on in religion, politics, morality, ethics, business, industry, et cetera, at different times and places, in different ways, according to the conditions." [Taken from LordMeher Vol. 6/7 page 2478] The saying of His that we all know and love so well-"Don't worry, be happy, "-is far from a light hearted maxim. The full sentence is actually very deep and can be applied to, and used for, everything in our lives; "Do your best, then don't worry, be happy, I will help you." Easier said than done-but something for which we should always strive.

~e

Cheerful .Jf you don't want to look old before your time, look cheerful in word, deed, and appearance-most of all in appearance. .Jt is a divine art to look cheerful, and it helps others.

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ÂŁoveStreet ÂŁamprgost

The ,Lamprgost Needs Your Help!

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he Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California,"Meherabode"in Los Angeles, generates this quarterly magazine. But it does not fund it. Donations received by the Center are given byBaba's lovers who wish to see our Centerflourish in the beautiful home we have had for the past three years. Theycontributewith a set goal in mind. Now that our mortgage has been paid off, there are the monthlycosts ofkeeping our doors open and also funding the renovations we have to make. All of this is to tell you that the Board ofDirectors feels, and rightly so, that contributions to the Center should not be spent on the Love Street LampPost. This magazine must be self supporting, and it is only through your donations that we can continue printing. We ask for donations rather than subscriptions.The actual cost ofprinting and mailing (within the US only) runs between $12 and $15 dollars per person per year. Unfortunately the postage for foreign addresses is extremely high, about $20 a year. For some of our readers overseas this can be an impossible figure, especially in India. Luckily there are many ofyou who very generously contribute up to $100, thereby covering for those who can not afford to do so. While we would never drop anyone from our mailing list who truly enjoys reading the LampPost and wants to continue receiving it, but can not afford to donate, we do need to delete the names of those who change addresses and don't tell us (this costs extra to return the magazine) and aren't even aware that they are receiving it. Remember, this magazine is only as good as you - the reader - make it. We look for your continued submissions ofarticles, stories ofhow you are working with Baba in your life, photos, news items and anything else you feel will be ofinterest to Baba lovers around the world. We are gaining new readers every month as word ofmouth spreads.Those that have recently asked to be put on the mailing list have contributed already. But if you can't remember the last time you sent in a donation, then perhaps it is that time ofthe year again.... It's notjust that we appreciate your donations - theyare the only thing that keeps us publishing! Dina

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A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

'coveStreet 'campr:Eost welcome...

features

The 'coveStreet 'campr:Eost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba's message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text by email or on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identifY all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

submissions, subscriptions, donations:

f Alan Wagner

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Raine E. and Bill Gannett

5

He Takes an Interest Meherabad Drama Festival Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe Opening

Rani Didi Gannesh 10

The Best Is Yet To Come

various contributors 12

News from Meherabad

various contributors 14

Overheard on the Internet

various contributors 18 LoveStreet LampPost Staff 20

Meher Baba in Egypt Adventures in Egypt

Jim Peterson 26

God Speaks: The Title

Don Stevens 34 various contributors 38

What's New at Meherabode

Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 -or-

Karen Sterkin 40

A Concert with Baba

David Bowling 42

Don Stevens Visits Avatar's Abode A Jewel in the Heart of America

Bababook@pacbell.net

Kendra Crossen Burroughs 43

deadlines: for the January - March April - June July - September October - December

issue: issue: issue: issue:

ovember 8th February 8rh May 8th August 8th

de artments

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Humor for Huma

Love Street Bookstore:

various contributors

Dina Snow 28

The LoveStreet Bookstore

Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and 10 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

Bababook@pacbell.net

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Book and Music Reviews

various contributors 29

Announcements

various contributors 36

credits: editor: design and layout: research assistant: digital prefllght: distribution:

Dina Snow Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, Traci Auer Barbara Roberts Tom Hart Harry Thomas, Marc Brutus, Don Douglas, and Chris Lyttle cover: "The Captain," Painting by Charles Mills

The LoveStreetLamprgost is published quarterly, in January, April,]uly, and October. All contents © 2001 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

credits

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We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © AMBPPCT, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.


~ He Takes an Interest ~

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n the 9th of October last year Alan Wagner, Director ofArts at Meherabad told us about the upcoming Drama Festival and the reason it exists: "The fourth article of the Trust's Deed of Declaration is: 'For the writing and production ofPlays, based on the messages, discourses and sayings ofAvatar Meher Baba, for the benefit of the public.'" This year a new opportunity has presented itself to honor Beloved Baba's wish in this regard. A drama festival is being planned at Meherabad for the weekend of October 13, 14, 15 and 16,2000. The concept of the drama festival is to develop plays related to Meher Baba on a single subject in different languages and from different cultural backgrounds. The subject this year is 'Attraction'. So far there has been a response for plays in Marathi, Telegu and English. Every play, regardless oflanguage of performance, will be accompanied by a program containing the scenario in English and in Hindi. Five days later the show began and Alan gives his report: "As I walked out to the theatre to open the festival and introduce the first plays, I was thinking about what I would say. I realiz-ed these plays being performed for the festival were unique in that all the plays that I have been involved with in the past twenty-three years here at Meherabad were our attempts to give something to Beloved Baba, whether it be Mehera's birthday play or Baba's Birthday play. His receiving of them was what made them special. "However these festival plays were Baba giving to us, because the festival was created in response to Baba's personally stated wish. That made them doubly special for all involved." BabaTakes an Interest Alan continues: "Sometimes when you do something, it's all right, it may not be perfect, but you got though it, you did everything that needed to be done, and people were satisfied with whatever the result was, and you're relieved. Then sometimes you do something, and you're not sure how to do it, and you feel butterflies in your stomach and you wonder, 1s this the one that is not going to work?' And then you start doing it, and nothing could be easier-everythingjust falls into place without a hitch, B does follow A, C does follow B, and we end up at Z without any effort at all.

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It was performed by Mumbai and Ahmednagar Baba lovers in a traditional Marathi street-drama motif characterized by traditional dancing, music and humor, and an exquisite simplicity that supplied a rhythm that even a non-Marathi speaker could en-

JOy.

And you realize that HE took an interest! This was my experience while organizing and executing Meherabad's fust Drama Festival. There were four plays, two in English, one in Telegu and one in Marathi. They were all original and all written especially for the occaSlOn. And they were all loosely connected to the designated subject of 'Attraction'. The two English plays were performed on October 14th, in the afternoon, one following the other. The fust was a delightful comedy about the aspirant's quest for God through a penance and the kinds of opposition he encountered. The second English play dealt with a rather goofY professor, lecturing from Baba's discourse on love and its various manifestations as attraction. These manifestations were enacted by an ensemble group of four actors who, interchanging, played all the parts. We went all the way from atomic to Divine, and fun was had right up to the Sublime. The Marathi-Hindi play on October 15th was a serious dramatization of the aspirant's awakening to the pursuit of God.

Many thanks to the playwright, Prashant Ahir, for he and I have talked about the possibility of this festival for the last fifteen years! The Telegu-English play was surprisingly international, detailing a story of an Indian boy marrying an American girl who is a Baba lover, and thus coming to Baba, but not without travail. As would be expected from a group from Hyderabad (the Silicon Valley of India), the play creatively incorporated computer-generated effects for the fust time in the Meherabad theatre. Our thanks to M.R.V.K. Balaji, who once again demonstrated that he is a sincere and tireless worker for his Lord. Having never done a play, he came through with something creative, new and touching. Jose Henriques from Argentina informed me on October 15th that the Argentinean Baba group had hoped to bring a Spanish play for the festival but was unable to do so. That play was being performed in La Plata, Argentina, concurrently with our drama festival. Later, this same play acted as a means of continuing the drama festival into November. The La Plata group came to India in late October and on November 11th performed, in Spanish, their beautiful and sensitive play of the soul's journey. Present was an extraordinarily international audience at Meherabad. One Mumbai pilgrim commented, "This play proves that there really is a language of the heart." Alan Wagner and Heather Nadel are asking for international and Indian theatre groups and choirs to consider bringing their troupes to Meherabad for the Beloved's pleasure at Meherabad Theatre in the future, so that this article in the Trust's Deed can continue to manifest. Contact: Alan Wagner c/o "Avatar Meher Baba Trust" Kings Rd. Ahrnednagar M.S. 414001 India.


"Do not play to the galle~ Do not play for the salary. Play for the Infinite God within." Meher Baba [Raine Eastman-Gannett and Bill Gannett, Berkeley, California were involved with this marvelous Playfest and gave it the following write up:]

own! As if that is not enough, he also organizes the refreshments. Alan set the theme of the festival as "Attraction". The lights dimmed, Alan walked on to the stage and pronounced the First Meherabad Playfest open.

feated, and doomed to relinquish his Crown. The Master tells Indra to keep his crown and throne on the 3rd plane. Indra goes off humbly, much relieved.Then Gabriel the Angel

"Chuli Nasheem" Written by Gabe Mednick, Erich Morton and Bill Gannett.

Program cover Š Mehera Makeig, 2000

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he Meherabad Theatre opened for this fIrst of many marvelous multi lingual, multi racial Playfests. The Theatregoers nibbled on delicious banana cake and chai. Collectible tee shirts with art by Mehera Makeig were available in limited edition to the avid collector. The atmosphere was electric, just as it is in all leading theatres anywhere in the world. The Players came from near and far with their costumes, tapes, computers, instruments, actors, dancers, singers, and drummers. The Pilgrim Centre, Daramshala, and Hostel D were packed to the brim. The two English Plays ran on Saturday afternoon. The Hindi and Telegu Plays were scheduled for Sunday 15th at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. with special permission to return to the Pilgrim Centre afterwards. These performances took place after the Sunday show for the Mandali at Meherazad. Exhausting, and yet Divine Magic was afoot. Being in these plays with Alan Wagner is nothing short of amazing! His backstage support for costumes, props, stage hands, sets, set changes, sound, individual wiring for each actor, curtain calls, lighting, to say nothing of being the Manager and Director of the theatre as well as the Plays themselves, is an astounding performance on it's

TheMaster draws acircle around himselfswearing he will not come out, sleep, or drink until God grants him Realisation. His Devotee is horrified and tries to distract him by suggesting a trip to the "Ashoka Hotel" to eat, drink, and be merry. Or go to the Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe and log on to www.God. com. - but nothing distracts Sadhu and disciple, Billy him. and Bill. Indra on

Indra and Devas, Gabe, Mehera & Eruch

enters, looking resplendent and dazzling. He tells the Master and Devotee that the 40 days and nights are up and he will give them something far greater than what they asked for ... he would make them Baba Lovers! They hug and say a rousingJai Baba. The entire cast then comes dancing on in their

Divine angel Gabriel-Alan Wagner Divine temptress-Raine

the 3rd plane growls thunder and lightning, and also gets extremely paranoid. He sends Kella-walla with bananas in his banana suit and banana garland to tempt the Master to eat; he sends a Divine temptress with her Carmen songs, belly dance, disco, twist, and dance-wriggling hip moves, but to no avail. Indra then sends a ghost who tells the Master she sat in a similar circle for 40 days and then got dead and became a ghost! Nothing works and alas, the glorious Indra seems de-

beautiful Eastern costumes and sing: "Meher Beloved, Meher Baba, Meher means mercy, Meher means light, Meher is the Sun shining in our night", (lyrics by Frances Brabazon, tune by Tukeram). Intermission

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"Attraction" Written by Heather Nadel and Alan Wagner. The music and theme song are by Ward Parks. "Attraction is the gravity that keeps us all here, Attraction is what makes everything repulsive or dear, I'm feeling for, I can't take more, I hate, abhor, I love adore... I want you..."

The fifth scene opens with a darling little bunnyhoppingon stage innocendynibblinggrass. Stalked and then bitten, it is gobbled up by a terrifYing lion. In the sixth scene, a refrigerator enters followed by a ravenous portly gal who desperately craves chocolate ice cream! She bravely tries to resist, but is overcome by her desire and attraction to chocolate

The curtain rises and the Professor and his clever student are on stage behind a podium, theorising about every sort of "Attraction". (A cast of four dancer-playermimes using several different costume changes consummg with lighting and sideline assistance, helps to fridge and tie together the Professor's lectures. He is on vanishes a lecture tour ofEast and West on the subject.) forever. The Professor pulls outhis Oxford dictionary Attraction, accord. '0 the true .,. llse of the word, supposes one power by which different species of matter unite'...hmmm, let' us look at magnetic, el ctric and gravitational attraction first ...." Atomic Attraction with a Proton, The children: Mehera, Neutron and Electron dancing, beepand Gabe ing and whirling becomes one as an Atom, and then breaks and careers apart in repulsion. Magnetic Attraction is the next scene and takes place on a ship. The _ _...oiIiiiOO.OlKOi... captain is frantic! His broken compass Old couple: Mehera and Gabe does not register the North. The terrified sailors and a passenger (a monk) have "Hmmm, yes, religious flashes ofwhere the center ofMag- problematic this netism really is (i.e. pointing at the Physical AttracSamadhi). tion." says the "Attraction is the gravity that keeps us Professor. "Let us all here"...sings the chorus. look at Love as Meher Baba the "On to Physical Attraction...." says the Attraction...." Divine Attraction. Professor. Scene seven, an The third scene, Physical Attraction, eager little boy mouse enters with a flower opens with a bee attracted to a flower. Its held out lovingly for a very sweet and shy strong craving for nectar causes it to care- girl mouse. Mter much shy dancing, they lessly pounce on the prettiest flower. It's fmallyacknowledge their attraction and she thoughtless annihilates it. takes the flower. In the fourth scene is a hilarious dance is perScene eight opens with sweet little children formed by a goat longing for his nanny goat coming into the school with their ABC's. A

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seven year old boy has a note written by him asking one ofthe girls to marry him. She says yes, but when it comes to the consummating kiss, both freak out in repulsion and flee. In the ninth scene, the cool rainbowhaired punkers deliver a rap jive and finally after "she's cute, he's cute" etc. to a rap beat snapping fmgers, declare their attraction and add "I'm attracted to you...for now." The tenth scene gave us an endearing old couple who reminisce about their past and fmd that all they remember is wrong, so finally question to what are they still Attracted. "I guess I'm just attracted to you," she says, with a grey-haired, toothless, endearing kiss! The Professor tries to hide a tear and the chorus sings: "Attraction is the gravity that keeps us all here. Attraction is what makes everything repulsive or dear...." "Let us focus on Divine Attraction", the Professor says. Scene ten was danced to the beautiful song "Melt Me". It was a spiral dance by the four dancer-playermimes in black leotards in front of a portrait of Baba's Beautiful Face inside a sculpture of a golden sun. "This is Bill, Raine beyond Divine Attraction. This, I think, is Divine Love", says the Professor. "Unfortunately our Oxford dictionary is at a loss to describe it." The dancers then fall to their knees, and reaching up to the beautiful Sun Baba Image that has manifested miraculously from above, one dancer says "To love God, one should think ofGod, long for God, and God the Beloved will come to the lover and his thirst for union will be quenched." The second dancer says, "The humour of the divine Love-Game is that the one who is sought, is himself the seeker." Dancer number three says, "The seeker asking where is God is really God saying where is the seeker?" The fourth dancer says, "Beloved, from the begirming I am attracted to you and by the end I see You are attracted to me! Although all attraction is only to You, Still we have mutual attraction!" They spontaneously break into the Beloved God prayer.


Me1tMe! Raine Eastman Š 1988. "Come with me let me melt you on the sunny warm shore, come with me let me melt you and show you lovers what your lovely hearts are for. I can't get through your coat of armor, I wish I could your love to savor. But darling it's so hard a battle, you've built so well your outer shell. I feel resistance, a flow that's blocked give me the key to your heart, it's locked. I must give in 'til you surrender, wait for that special love so tender. I am waiting until you're ready a breath away 'til the beat is steady, the highest union our souls to mix only the purest ofhearts I pick. Shining hearts melting into me.

The next day, Sunday the 14th of October starts early in the morning with Tomb cleaning, Arti, breakfast and the bus to Meherazad where the entertainment was a repeat of the "Chulli Nasheem" play from yesterday. Doing this play again in Mandali Hall for Baba, Eruch, (who had just turned 84 three days earlier) the Women Mandali and the Pilgrims, was an additional thrill to having done it for the Meherabad Playfest. That afternoon at 4 p.m. back at Meherabad, the Mumbai Baba Group pre-

Chulinasheem finale at Meherazad: Alan, Bill, Raine, and Gabe.

sented their play to the Beloved. Prashant Ahir wrote this play and the music was by his talented and well-known father, Pratap. The Mumbai group is grounded with a deep tradition of music and in the old days Baba referred to them as "Bhajan Mandali". Pratap and his son are a legacy of this finely honed tradition. The cast was mostly young adults, with Prashant in several roles....

"Love A1one" A Hindi play by Prashant Ahir The Curtain rises on four poor brothers. One ofthe brothers thinks he is in love with a pretty girl and wants to take her on a picnic, but does not have the money to do so. In a huff, she dumps him and goes to the picnic alone. The young man, Dyaneshwar, goes off with his younger brother in search of true love, hoping to fmd someone to give him unconditional love. They meet a dancer who can only offer lower love. Next they meet a religious man who uses God as some kind of lucky rabbit's foot to grant his wishes. He also offends Dyaneshwar when he casually asks him his caste status; thus the limited and discriminatory attitude motivates the brothers to continue their search. They next meet a Social Reformer!Activist who has lost sight of his initial vision due to the work-associated praise and fame which has now overshadowed the passion and love with which he started. Next they meet a Fakir who has renounced the world and tells them that God is the embodiment of Love and only God can tell us how to really love. Up until now, the two brothers have danced and moved through the plot to great music by a group offine singers, and narration by Pratap. Then...magic happens! They meet some fairies, played by beautifullittle girls with wings and pretty dresses all a-sparkle. The fairies tell them about Love in the form ofMeher Baba. The fairies represent the feeling of being accepted by the Avatar, that it is much more than we expected of ordinary life. It is the Avatar's gift -His grace. It is like a fairy tale, and we get not just a prince or princess but The King! Congratulations to Prashant and Pratap and cast, Rajmeher, Swarup, Prashant, Aseem, Priya, Samyogeeta, Deepak, Mehernandan, Divya,

Aishwarya, Nidhi, and Prashant's talented son who's sense of acting and comedy now three generations down the line, was superb! Intermission until the Evening Show Later that night, after dinner, we poured back into the theatre on the eve of the New Life, ready for the next performance. The Telegu play from Hyderabad began. You might ask how did we follow these plays? The programs had translations within. So much detailed work had been organized for the Beloved's enjoyment. The Telegu Play "Attractions" by Balaji was multi racial, very modem, and featured something that is ever growing in our Baba world: a bi-racial marriage of a Hyderabad young man and aWestern young woman who moved to the West. An innovative feature ofthis play was the projected computer images upon a movie screen on the other side of the stage. The play opened with a painted replica of Mandali Hall at Meherazad with Eruch seated before Western and Eastern Baba Lovers listening to stories; Naveen, an Eastern man tells his story to Eruch and the Pilgrims.... We flash back... Naveen is married to Mary and they live comfortably in a Western country. Naveen is discontented, he falls prey to drunken _ behaviour and material thinking due to his lucrative job in the west, his desires grow and his recalcitrant behaviour troubles his dedicated wife more and more. 'Time' is represented by a beautiful young dancer, seven year old Mehera Sampreti, who is in full Classical dance costume, ghungroos(ankle bells), jewels and hairadornment. She dances in Telegu-Kuchipudi Classical style.Time dances to the narration: "The mind oscillates, suspects the Truth, but runs after illusion". Naveen is fired from his job. Time dances: "I have forgotten Your Abode of Love, falling and playing with scintillating toys of illusion"... Mary tells Naveen about the Real Attraction, The Divine Beloved Meher Baba. He journeys to Meherabad. Images of fast cars, big cities and now the journey to India and Meherabad have all been projected by computer images on the other side ofthe stage throughout all the action. Time dances to: "Meher the One, Meher the Eternal, The beautiful attractive One" Time dances on to a Huma song, "Yesterday there was a wedding in the house, now there is mourning with a death".

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Going to India? Heres achecklist for you. First the obvious things: lashlight (torch) small and large extra batteries. Hair dryer (if you simply have to have one) that is 240 volts. Adapter to fit the Indian sockets. Insect repellant (Avon has some great non stinky moisturizing lotion). Hat - a must. Sunscreen - a must. Toilet paper (available in 'Nager but scratchy) - likewise bath towel and face cloth. Rubber thongs, no bare feet - germs and worms! Plenty of film for your camera (minimum fl1m--Kodak 100 available at "Laser Photo" downtown 'Nager) - extra batteries. Modest clothes - no shorts for women, long ones for men. Teen girls please note, no bare midriffs, low cut blouses or tight tank tops. Loose pants - no tight clothing of any kind. Remember you are here to commune with God - not drive the local guys crazy! Some not so obvious things: Liquid soap for the few things you may wish to hand wash (mostly cold water washing). Clothes pins (pegs) to hang clothes. Soft pillow or neck roll. Nail brush and manicure kit. Calculator (for those Bazaar forays) Aloe Vera Gel or Tea Tree oil/ointment is great for insect bites, sunburn, and other itches. Also email address list for use at the new Meher Darber Cyber Cafe just down the road from the Pilgrim Centre if you're into it.

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Meher Baba, Master Drummer keeping the Universe in rhythm.

. Tune dances on again to the song... "Meher Baba's Voice of Silence". Finally Naveen reaches the Beloved's lap, and Time dances lasdy to "Look, have the Darshan of the Beloved. He destroys all our sins". Naveen falls at His feet feeling loved, cherished and forgiven. Mandali Hall fades back in and we see Naveen ftnishing offhis coming to Baba story. Lead roles were played by Betsy and Meher, direction and production by Balaji; the Hyderabad group played the Pilgrims, Eruch and everyone else. Congratulations for a magnifIcent multi media modern play. Thus the fIrst Meherabad Drama Festival ended.

AWild, Holy Band Your breath is a sacred clock, my dearWhy not use it to keep time with God's Name? And if your feet are ever mobile Upon this ancient drum, the earth, o do not let your precious movements Come to naught.

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Let your steps dance silendy To the rhythm of the Beloved's Name! My fmgers and my hands Never move through empty space, For there are Invisible golden lute strings all around, Sending Resplendent Chords Throughout the Universe. I hear the voice Of every creature and plant, Every world and sun and galaxySinging the Beloved's Name! I have awakened to fmd violin and cello, Flute, harp and trumpet, Cymbal, bell and drumAll within me! From head to toe, every part of my body Is chanting and clapping! Haftz, The Beloved has made you Such a Luminous Man! For with constant remembrance of God, One's whole body will become A wonderful and Wild Holy Band!

~~~~~~ "A Wild Holy Band" from I Heard God Laughing, Renderings of Haftz by Daniel Ladinsky, 1996.

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Myself A monk said to Nasrudin: "I am so detached that I never think of myself, only of others." Nasrudin answered: "I am so objective that I can look at myself as if I *were* another person, so I can afford to think of myself." From The Subdeties ofthe Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, The Octagon Press, London, 1983.


2-lumor for 2-luma

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n the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth was without fonn, and void, and darkness was upon the face ofthe

deep. And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this." And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good. And Satan said, "There goes the neighborhood." And God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth." And so God created Man in his own image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and Woman and saw that they were lean and fit. And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game." And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?" And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained 5 pounds. And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair. And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad. " And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds. And God said, "I have sent thee hearthealthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them." And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof. And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds. And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2. And Man gained another 20 pounds. And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also. And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest. And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery. And Satan created Managed Care ...

claimed, a proud smile on his face. "That's wonderful!" I praised him. "Now go put them on the fridge so Dad can see when he gets home tonight." That Catholic education is certainly having an impact, I thought, happily. Just then, a little voice called from the kitchen. "Mom? How do you spell 'zilla?"

~0~~ยง~~b While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

Out of the Mouths of

Babes... My son, Mitchell, a kindergartner, practices spelling with magnetic letters on the refrigerator: cat, dog, Dad, and Mom have been proudly displayed for all to see. One morning while getting ready for the day, Mitchell bounded into the room with his arms outstretched. In his hands were three magnetic letters: G-O-D. "Look what I spelled, Mom!" Mitch ex-

Be brave, be happy. You and I are one. And the infinite that eternallybelongs to Me will one daybelong to every individual. 9


"Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe" Opens at Meherabad

by Rani Didi Gannesh, Meherabad

On Friday, October 6th at Meherabad it was not just Allen's great donuts and chai as usual...we also received an invitation to the opening of the "Meher Darbar (Meher's Royal Court) Cyber Cafe" scheduled for the next day from Mr. and Mrs J ayshree and Ramesh Jangle (Jangle Master's family) On Saturday, October 7th, after a sensational concert by Billy Goodrum at the Meherabad Theatre we all walked over to N agar-Daund Road, a few hundred yards from Meherabad Mandali Hall at 5:00 p.m. sharp. To our eye's delight, the front yard of the "Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe" was wrapped in swathes of bright multi coloured Tibetan festive cloth. The sign on the re-decorated and remodeled building was garlanded and Indian musicians were seated on a rug in front. Across the doorway was a

II Jai Meher Baba II

Mrs. Jayshree Ramesh Jangle have the honour to extend you the invitation to aneod the auspicious occasion of the Inaugural ceremony of our

Respected.

Mr. Bhausaheb Kalchuri (ChaIrman of Avatar Meher Baba Public Perpetual Charitable Trust. A'Nagar

l

has graciously accepted our request to inaugurate the Cyber cafe on Saturday 7th 0c1. 2000 at sharp 5.00 p.m. VENUE

Meher Dsrbar Cyber Cafe

peo.

STD. ISO. Nagar-Oaund Road. Meherabad. Ahmednagar. Tel: (shop) 91路241路 58720/58746 Resi: 58730/58773. With Best Compliments From

Jangle Family

INVITATION

chocolate cake and potato chips in abundance were on long tables. Bhau and other Ahmednagar dignitaries arrived and then Bhau cut the ribbon and we poured thru the new doors into the beautifully refurbished building. The air conditioning was great on such a hot and humid late October afternoon. Once inside we saw 5 or 6 beautifully built timber cubicles with computers in each one and Beloved Baba's face and form in colour on each screen, beaming at us. Bhau and Ramesh carefully garlanded Baba's portrait behind the counter and then dear Mehera's photo too. One by one Ramesh handed Bhau garlands and each beautiful image of the Beloved on each computer screen was garlanded to cries of "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai". The guests included Pilgrims East and West from near and far, the Meher Pilgrim Centre, Hostel "D", and the

Above: Invitation to the opening of the Meher Darber Cyber Cafe on Saturday, 7th October,

2000. Left: The Cafe with decorations and banners. Right: Ramesh and Bhau garland the Beloved and Mehera. Bdow:~komeRangoli

chalk mandala.

"Welcome" sign and above it Baba's seven colored flag. On the stone entry-way was the intricate patterns of a beautiful chalk Rangoli (Indian ceremonial floor art), and a ribbon was across the doorway ready for cutting by Mr. Bhau Kalchuri. Dozens of chairs were in the front yard facing the entry way. Tea and coffee, drinks,

10

Daramshala. Residents in attendance included Dr. Anne, Ted Judson, Elaine Cox, Judy Robertson, Freeman and Laurel Beymer, Kristen Crawford, Flint and Gabe Mednick, Shridar, J al Dastoor & Shrivastavar to mention just a few. Ramesh and J ayshree glowed throughout the whole afternoon!


Bhau garlanding the images ofBaba on all of the computer screens.

Ramesh (right) withfriend ready the garlands.

The music built gradually, the Raga and Taal enhancing the singer's beautiful rich female tones. The atmosphere was filled with Baba's Blessings. The guests socialised and wished them all the best in their Cyber Cafe which was opened most auspiciously, on the Anniversary of Meher Baba putting down His Alphabet Board once and for all.

Then one by one (or rather 5 by 5) we tried our e-mail addresses and sent e-mails all over the world from Meherabad. The Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe was officially opened. Another mile stone in the modernization of Meherabad!

Dr. Ann and Ted enjoying the delightftl celebration.

fa!, Elaine, Bhau and Shridar also enjoy thefestivities.


The Best is Yet to COIl1e Ena Lemon -January 271906 - September 2, 2000 Tricia Migdoll, Bangalow, Australia

D

ear Lem, as she was affec tionately known, is fmally at rest with Baba. She died at Elanora Nursing Home for the Blind, in Brighton Victoria, at the age of 94. Ena's health had been fading for several years. Ena was a "rock" in the Melbourne Baba community. She opened her home to us young potential Baba lovers, baked us cookies, told His stories, and sang His love songs ...month after month ... year after year. She was intelligent and witty, wise and honest. She was vibrant and funny and very passionate in her love for Baba. Off she went to India, almost every year, travelling on her own until she was into her 80s and could travel no more. When Ena asked Baba what sh,e should do with her life, Baba told her to take care of her parents. She never married ana spent her young years caring for her invalid parents in turn until they died. She continued to care for others.. .in her local community and for us in her Baba family. I have never known anyone to say "Jai Baba" with as much sincerity & reverence, each and every time, as Ena did. We will remember her with love and gratitude and delight. Jim Migdoll, Bangalow, Australia

B

esides the way Ena said, "Jai Baba" which raised goosebumps just about very time! - the most endearing memory for me was her 'hipness'. No matter what fad, new trend or bizarre behaviour of the youth culture came along, Ena was always able to intuitively grasp what was going on, and process it accordingly. She was so openminded and young at heart. The cutest aspect of this trait was how in her 70's and 80's she utilised an extensive lexicon ofslightly outdated terms to express her hip understanding! Groovy, cool, 'with it' ... these and other expressions issued

12

older dear ones often utilise in daily life, providing a counter point to the complexity and the intellectual and emotional gymnastics we often bring to problem solvmg. Ena and I were tending a Baba information stall in Melbourne at a New Age Fair kind of event, roughly 1982. I was talking to Ena about how often I'd done public presentations of Baba when I lived in America, and how there was always this dilemma in presenting Him: how to project an 'availability' to the people who came up to the stall (approachable, friendly and open), and at the same time have them sense that you would not pounce, proselytise, ear-bash or try to recruit them! Since I really wanted feedback from Ena about this (sometimes she seemed to have access to a 'wise old woman' within!) I talked on and on while she listened patiently. I described how on a few rare occasions I forth sincerely and spontaneously. I'm sure felt that I was able to get very centred in lots ofus have fond memories ofEna's many Baba, and thereby balance the seeming optrips to India. posites of approachability and detachment. To me, the most fascinating bit about her Then I confessed how when I wasn't genulife with Baba is that she is the one who inely feeling Baba...being centred-that I had the courage to just up and ask Baba to would try artificially to adjust my body come to Australia. The gist ofwhat she told language! ...smile a certain way!... etc. And me (as best I remember it) is although many then I went further and waffied on about Australians longed for Him to come here ... how it was almost a semi-occult exercise that nobody thought to just ask Him! Until Ena. I felt one could learn! The bottom line was When she did, Francis Brabazon berated I spilled my guts and confessed all these silly her rather soundly! ... along the lines of how things I'd attempted over the years...in orone should never ask the Master because the der to project this balanced and centred Master always knows best. Baba would know state---so that people could actually sense it and feel free to approach the stall. When I when it was time to come to Australia. She did it anyway ... and He came! fmally fmished, Ena looked thoughtful for We all know how Baba emphasized prac- a few seconds and said, "Why don't we move ticality, and we've seen how His Mandali our chairs back a iittle bit?" It was that manifest this quality so well. Although Ena simple! All those years I had sat right up was not Mandali, she was certainly close to close to the table, and all that was needed Baba. was a bit of space! The number of people This story demonstrates that down-to- who came up to look at books or take some earth, practical, straightforward and simple literature increased dramatically as soon as approach to problems that His Mandali or we moved our chairs back.


Here's hoping our Beloved bestowed liberation on her; and that she is now enjoying Infmite Bliss. Candida Bloeme, Santa Barbara,California

I

can only remember what a wonderful person she was and how much fun it was to be with her. Christina and I were drawn to her as I remember, and we spent quite a bit oftime talking with her, as she had much wisdom to impart. Ena was wise, playful, adventurous, and fit in searnlessly with all of us young'uns. Bevan Eaton-Robinson, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina t""f'vo memories stand out in my mind .1 about Ena. The first was early 1972, the place was Meherabad, the time was in the still of evening after arti... Ena and I had shared a tonga out from town. Everyone stayed in town in those early, pre-pilgrim center years, us "poor folks" at the Dawlat Lodge, our "rich relatives" at Villo Villa, etc, and horse-drawn tongas were the main conveyance to Baba's Samadhi. (We heard tell there was a car in town, but we rarely saw "it"...) Also, remember there was no electricity outside city limits then, both Meherabad and Meherazad were magically lantern-lit at dusk till close of day. (My friend Charlie and I had jointly contributed the then "huge" sum 0ÂŁ$100 for an electric

generator for that third Amartithi, and Adi, tongue in cheek, wrote the chit out "To Shri Charles Manna and Shri Bevan Dawes: For illumination on the hill"-Illumination was cheap in those years, before we knew the price...) Christine and Candy Bloeme had shared a second tonga out from town. I don't remember that arti too well, overshadowed as that memory was by events to follow...The four of us were rapt in prayers and arti (and probably just us four, plus Mansari and her dogs, the humans forming two neat little prayer rows within the lamp lit boundary of His threshold, as it could happen then). At the foot of the hill the tonga drivers had idled away their wait-time with a bottle of something other than Saki, as we were soon to discover. As the four of us boarded our respective tongas I thought, "How nice, the drivers are waiting for each other." Turned out the drivers had wagered on a race, and just as soon as our two scrawny, pitiful horses had drawn even, we were catapulted out of sanctified spiritual reverie, away! away! from Meherabad Hill. The tongas leaped out like two speeding bullets shot through a double-barrel down the dark and rough road toward town. I was quietly but defmitely petrified: it was terrifying-a dark dark road, no moon, no lights, drunk drivers (who, even sober, spoke no English), wildly swaying ramshackle carriages that threatened to separate at every seam. The only light flew out as sparks from beneath the horses' hooves. Two "headless horsemen" at the helm! We sped past this, swerved round that...Heart thumping, mind tumultuous, knuckles white and clinging to the rail, I ventured a look behind to find close on our carriage heels Christine and Candy (by far the most sophisticated and beautiful of our little Western Baba-lover cluster), long hair flying, barely visible in the deep darkness, shouting and waving in every language still at their breatWess command STOP, STOP, nei nei, no no, bas bas. And then I turned back around to my carriage partner, dear Ena (then about 65ish?-ancient to my then 21 years...) and she, flashing eyes and exuberant as you would ever want to see a human be, was shouting and waving "GO, GO, GO, ONWARD, WARD...." She relished every second ofit...What a woman! Second memory is more personal but I'll tell it anyway. This lifetime was sort of a bad skin lifetime for me; the scars have faded (to be replaced with requisite wrinkles at 51), but at that age, around 21, the scars were most visible, especially to me. I remember Padri,

°

unasked, had one day thought to offer remedy, if one should exist from among his homeopathic stores, and as he held my chin and turned my cheeks from side to side in his outstretched hand, his eyes filled with tears which he willed to stay in place as he took in the unyielding truth of it-"The damage is done, nothing I can do," was his pronouncement. For years and years I had struggled to challenge my own tremendous self-consciousness about this, tried to be brave, tried to not care, chided myself for the vanity' of it, but nevertheless, I hid behind my hair, was very shy and awkward, and always, painfully aware of these very visible flaws. And then there was our dear Baba-buddy Ena. She turned to me one day and, with the same kind of casual curiosity with which someone else might say, "So you decided to wear a blue dress today, hey?", Ena turned and said: "What happened to your face? Were you in a fire?" That was it. I was shattered, wounded, practically dead from her Australian-straightforwardness.The very worst thing had been said. She had lifted the rock and found the cowering bug. But the curious Baba thing was that from that next day (having survived and recovered) I was never again burdened with the shame I had lived with for so many years. The worst had happened, and I was set free. I have always been grateful to Ena for that. I am also reminded of another Ena-lesson taught by the example ofher life: it's great getting old (as I now begin to do), so much more unburdened through time spent with Babathe best is yet to come.

r 13


~~~~~ N e-ws Ground-Breaking for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat

from Meherabad

model showed two large two story buildings in the shape of square Cs, one to provide sleeping quarters for the women and one for the men. They face Baba's Samadhi which, when the Samadhi's superstructure Ward Parks, ovember 15, '00 has been completed, will be directly visible at the far end of the pedestrian view corrihis past Wednesday provided one dor running between the two dormitory of these moments in which, as buildings and along the ridge to the crown through a window or chink in a of Meherabad Hill. Behind the sleeping wall, one could glimpse (or so it seemed to quarters (to the west) will be the dining hall, me) some little part of the future of Mekitchen, reception and administration wing, herabad. and parking area. The main buildings are The occasion was groundbreaking very impressive and beautiful, with large bhumi puja for the new pilgrim accommoround arches and long verandas on both dation facility to be constructed under the floors on the Samadhi side. They are deTrust's Five-Year Plan. For a number of signed to accommodate a total of 200 pilyears it has been increasingly evident that grims. the existing facilities - the Pilgrim Centre, In fact, if the group of pilgrims who Dharamshala, and Hostels C and D have came for ground-breaking provides any become inadequate for the ever-growing indication, the Meher Pilgrim Retreat will stream ofvisitors. As Bhau has been stressbecome very much an international ing, Baba Himselfwent to great lengths to meeting ground. During this past provide the basic amenities offood and shelfortnight, Meherabad has played host to ter for His lovers when they came to Mea more international assemblage ofvisitors herabad to enjoy His sahavas. For as long as than anyone can remember having seen it is possible, Bhau feels, it is incumbent on here. In addition to India, sixteen th,. Trust to do likewise for His pilgrims in countries were represented, countries from the present era when they come to Meheraevery continent of the world except bad to bow down to Him at His Samadhi. Antarctica! Although I couldn't take a 'For this reason the new pilgrim centre and good counting amid the bustle of the dharamshala are centerpieces in the Trust's programme, most of these countries current development plan. Last May the Board seemed to be represented at the groundapproved a basic model for the fIrst of these breaking as well. It all made for a such a constructions (i.e. the pilgrim centre); and for pretty sight - the pandal standing amid much of the last few months Ted Judson, the the new growth of trees (as part of the Trust's architect and ordinarily a very visible Trust's afforestation programme), a moon personality in Meherabad life, has been largely rising above the tower of Meher Retreat in seclusion, fInalizing his designs and otherto the east, the red November sun setting wise immersed in the various mysteries ofthe over the silhouette of hills to the west, and architect's craft. the ridge rising across the valley to the All this came into public view on a lovely, south where the new Amartithi sunny November afternoon a week ago, as accommodations and new Dharamshala Bhau, several trustees, and about 150 pilwill be. In the middle of this pastoral grims and residents gathered at the site of setting, a congregation of people of all the building near the crest of the ridge or shapes and sizes and places of origin, plateau on the back side ofMeherabad Hill joined only by one common denominator about a kilometer to the west of Baba's - their love for Avatar Meher Baba. Tomb. Mter the crowd had collected and enThe name ofthe new facility, announced joyed a tasty treat of tea and rava, and affor the fIrst time by Bhau in his briefspeech, ter most of us had been marked with the is the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Ted's newlytikka or dot of red powder on the forecompleted model for the building (or rather, head, the simple programme began at 5 complex of buildings) was on display in a p.m. with short talks byJal and Bhau. This glass case under a brightly-coloured pandal was followed by the traditional breaking that had been erected for the occasion. The of coconuts on a foundation stone. In

T

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bhumi puja, the form of puja offered at the inauguration of construction of a new building or home, one asks Mother Earth for her blessings and her forgiveness for the act of carving into her grounds and laying the weight of a building upon them. Of course, none of the ritualism associated with such puja ceremonies entered into the event at Meherabad, but the feeling of the sacredness of the locality and the beauty of the landscape was quite palpable. For the rest of the hour before darkness set in, those who wished took turns with the pick-axe, breaking ground along the line of the view corridor in the direction of Baba's Samadhi. Mter the programme ended and the crowd broke up, a straggling line ofpilgrims could be observed trekking along the dirt road that winds up and down the hillside from the Pilgrim Education Site in the direction of Lower Meherabad. And so another 'beginning' has been inaugurated and another convergence celebrated, one more of the many convergences of separate roads and paths and byways as we individually wend our ways in our ageold journeys to Him.

Memories of Meherazad Simon Reece, Devon England

W

hile Meherabad was just as beautiful as ever, the whole Meherazad experience was very different for me. Last time I was there in late '94 Mani had still been around, but now her bubbly presence is gone and the rest of the Mandali are fading rapidly, on top of which, the trips to Meherazad are shorter and less frequent. But there were still some special times. There were a lot ofgood musicians there with me, Raine, Billy Goodrum, Trudy Gardener and Price Branch, and one morning we sang in turn on Mehera's porch, creating a cocoon ofoneness, stillness and love around us. A couple ofpeople said it was the strongest they'd felt Mehera since she'd gone to Baba. Seclusion Hill was a real surprise. It's starting to look like a wooded area around the entrance at the bottom. I just remember there being shrubs there, but they've grown into trees now.


I was lucky enough to do the night watch on Meherabad hill a couple of times. I went up armed with a stick and a can of ghostrepellent spray but didn't need either in the end. The only trouble I got was from a three foot length of hose pipe pretending to be a snake! But the smell of the Q!.ieen of the Night and other flowers in the compound is absolutely intoxicating at that time of evening-amid the stillness after everyone else has gone down the hill. I also witnessed a very amusing incident of pantomime between Erico and Mohammed. As I walked past the back of Mandali Hall at Meherabad, Erico was lying on the floor of the porch with a pillow under his head, while Mohammed was bent over him, pulling Erico's nose and laughing. Erico was pretending to complain at this imposition and then got up and Gabriel took Mohammed back to his room. It turns out that if they ask Mohammed to go back to his room when it is time for him to go to bed then he doesn't really understand, so Erico lies down on the floor pretending to be asleep and they say to Mohammed. "Look at him. He's asleep. Don't, under any circumstances, move or try to get past him as you'll wake him." So Mohammed, not liking the restriction of having to stay still, insists on waking him by pulling his nose. It looked like he was pulling quite hard too. My last full day was the celebration of Eruch's 84th Birthday at Meherazad, (a day before his actual birthday, which was 13th October-a full moon). Gary Kleiner performed his tribute to Eruch's choice to exercise his freedom to become Baba's slave. Gary was at his imperious best in this very engaging, amusing and moving performance in Mandali Hall. "Eruch is a manifestation of my higher self, while I am a manifestation of Eruch's lower self," he said. (As an illustration of this: Eruch has started to pick up Kleinerspeak. While talking to Heather one day he described some guy as "a bit of a babemaster".) Mter that I said goodbye to Eruch and was hit strongly by the realisation that this was probably the last time I would see him.

Out of Exile Dr. Anne Moreigne, Wednesday, October 4, 2000

O

n the 24th ofSeptember 2000, ten local villagers received free cataract surgery in Meher Hospital. Since the beginning of this year 2000, 46 patients had their vision improved or restored through

surgery here at Meherabad. In arranging for this we are following in Meher Baba's footsteps. Do you know that the Avatar himselforganized surgery for cataract patients in Meherabad as early as 1925? So cataract surgery camps are almost a tradition here! There is quite a high incidence of cataracts in rural India. A life spent toiling in the fields under the sun brings intense exposure to ultra violet rays that damage the lens of the eye. Elderly people often do not have the family support or the [fiances to be taken to a medical facility where they could be operated on. So they slowly lose their sight, until they hear that there is an eye doctor in the Meher Baba dispensary at Arangaon. They come here, bent over their walking sticks, dressed in their traditional garb and turbans, sometimes completely blind, hesitant to believe that their sight can be restored, hesitant to believe what they have heard through word of mouth: that in the Meher Baba Hospital they can get good surgery free of charge. Over the years, the kind of services offered here has progressed. There is now a regular eye consultation in Meher Health Center, twice a week. The patients who need surgery are screened at the Health Center and told when to come to the Meher Hospital for their operation. Since 1999, a new technique is used by a dedicated eye surgeon from Ahmednagar. A plastic lens is implanted inside the eye to replace the one damaged by the cataract. This gives excellent results, and a much better vision than could be obtained with the thick glasses that used to be required after cataract removal. It takes real teamwork and a lot ofcoordinating to arrange for twelve to fifteen patients to be operated on the same day. Quite an exercise in cooperation! Patients spend the weekend here, coming on Saturday afternoon, being operated on Sunday, and discharged on Monday. The staff from the dispensary work on their day off, Hostel D kitchen provides the food free of charge, volunteers come to serve meals and guide non-seeing or tottering elderly patients. Baba's love can be felt by all during these camps. Some patients remember having had His darshan many years ago, and share their memories. Women patients are especially grateful. They are used to taking care ofothers, and it is probably the rust time in their life that they have received so much attention! One woman who was completely blind before the surgery said softly when her bandage was removed: "I was in exile". A quiet and poignant statement. Now she has a new

sense of belonging. All the participants in that team effort share her joy and feel grateful for this experience of Baba's love in action, for the privilege of having had a part in this opportunity for service in His name. This is why we close the camps with a music program. The patients and their relatives sit together with the staff. The post-operative instructions are explained one more time, and then we sing bhajans and Meher Baba's arti. Nobody seems in a hurry to leave. For, unless we are living in His presence, are we not all in exile?

Full Moon Over Meherabad Irene Holt, 15 November, 2000

D

huni night, November. The crowd is larger than in recent months. The weather cool and dry, a beautiful Meherabad night. The [ue is lit and after a resounding "Avatar Meher Baba kiJai", the darshan line begins to move and the singing of His lovers [ills the air. Each pilgrim approaches the [ue and takes a sandalwood stick dipped in ghee, symbolising their heart's offering to Baba, to toss in. Jal Dastoor is overseeing as usual, and tonight he encourages two or three at a time to throw in their sticks and bow down before the flame, to make sure there's time for everyone to have a turn. Sitting there in the atmosphere of His love and presence with so many of his lovers from so many places gathered together is an inspiring experience. One pilgrim commented "This makes the whole trip to India worth it." A few of us observing the line move by the light of the fire were suddenly struck by the amazing number of countries around the world represented by those gathered here. Besides those from the many regions ofIndia, north and south, there were pilgrims in attendance from the USA, Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, the etherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Turkey, Oman, Sudan. Wow! Did I miss any? Possibly, but it's an impressive list, spanning not only a great number of countries but every continent of the earth, except Antarctica! We stood together to finish up with Hindi and English artis, followed by the classic "Gatte Chalo," the song which asks us to go forth singing Baba's name and praises. And the yellow full moon rose over the eastern horizon to shine on the world family of the Avatar.

15


Our Man from

Meherabad James Cox, Meherabad, Oct. 2000

J

ust got back from a party at Ramesh Jangle's house, to jointly celebrate the opening of his new cyber cafe at Meherabad and the Divali season which is upon us. This was my fourth dinner party in as many nights, and it is getting a bit much. I'm sure that even at Christmas time in South Texas we never had a social schedule like this. For those ofyou that didn't know, Divali, the Hindu Festival of Lights (and fireworks), marks the end of the southwest monsoon and also, in mythological terms, the victory of the forces ofgood over evil. It is also the beginning of the New Year and the biggest holiday of the calendar. The weather has also changed, turning cooler with the new moon, at 11 p.m. it must be about 20째 C (68째 F), but the afternoons still hit the low 30s (about 90째 F). In my opinion, this is the best time of the year at Meherabad, there is plenty of water (Lake Meherabad is full after about 26 inches of rain since May), the weather is cool and crisp with lots ofsun and the trees are still in a state of post monsoon flourish. Occupancy at the PC is rather lowish and the road from Bombay is almost clear of trucks. That's about as close to paradise as yo~ can get, and still have chai with your French toast. We are all still here... waiting

Old Dog and Young Squirrel

S

ometime around the beginning of Ramzaan last Sunday night and beyond the purview of the Archive Committee, Mansari's youngest dog, Rupi, finally called it quits. When she didn't show up for food that morning, I suspected she must have gone away to fmd a quiet spot to die, as dogs often do. On Tuesday,Jal organized a search party and one ofthe workers found her body in a leftover, unplanted tree pit, not far from Baba's Samadhi. She was buried on Meherabad Hill, where she had lived, with full Baba honors. Over the months since March, Rupi had been slowly wasting away, losing well over half her body weight, but she never lost the energy to bark annoyedly at her young replacement whenever Lucky might venture

16

too close to that doyen of the canine Hill corps, or to appreciate a well placed ear massage which I had so often given her to Mansari's delight. Rupi was probably Mansari's favorite dog, and she played a special role in the closing act of Mansari's life. During those final days, drifting in and out of consciousness, at times disoriented, Mansari would think we had, against her wishes, taken her to a hospital. Nothing we could say would dissuade her from this notion until one day Rupi came into her bedroom and started licking her fmgers. When Mansari fmally realized who it was, she had to admit she was in her own bed. Rupi then proceeded to go under the bed and scratch her back fiercely on the steel webbing, bouncing Mansari up and down until we had to chuck her back outside. Over the years Mansari's dogs would occasionally become ill, and I would practice my homeopathy on them by asking Baba what I should give them, then follow it up with whichever treatment I felt was indicated by Him. And it usually worked, but in the case of this sickness, from the very beginning, I felt Baba tell me inwardly that there was nothing which could be done. However, a few weeks before her death, Rupi did appear to partially recover, quickly regaining weight and energy after Mike MacDonald gave her homeopathic Silica. At the time I thought that I must have been wrong and that maybe it was just something that required Mike's touch, but in retrospect, I suppose it was that final phenomena of improvement which comes just before death. I suppose as one gets older and sees more cases of protracted illness, both in humans and animals, this becomes a fairly common occurrence, but it still fascinates me and I can't help but wonder at the ultimate purpose of this last minute false recovery. Rupi is survived by her fat mother, Rani, who is the last of Mansari's dogs, another small door closing on the Avataric era at Meherabad Hill. A more recent occurrence, although I'm sure there were plenty around during Baba's time, were the numerous ground squirrels at Baba's Samadhi, now all gone. Since the advent of peanuts for prasad, people had begun to feed these chipmunks and their numbers had multiplied, along with their familiarity, some coming right up to you at Arti time, and even running across your feet.

Like everyone else at Meherabad they had their supporters and detractors, but one day last week the detractors quietly got the upper hand and removed them from the Samadhi with live traps. A couple mornings after that I noticed a baby slowly crawling across the floor in Baba's cabin, almost dead from hunger and cold since his mother had evidently been taken elsewhere. Gabe Mednick happened to be around and jumped at the opportunity to adopt a pet as Shelly had asked him to pick her up one ifhe ever had the chance. He wrapped it up in a handkerchief and nursed it back to life, naming it Goober. Dr. Goher was less than enthusiastic about it migrating to Meherazad, so Gabe became Squirrel Daddy, sleeping with it and raising it with the help of Margaret Bowling and others as it now rides on the bus, scampering all over it's various well wishers, generally having meaningful interactions and staying away from dogs. Life goes on at Meherabad.

Railroad Tracks ~e night before last I put my thermometer out on my verandah for a while and it read 15' (59' F), but it seemed colder than that while I was walking back from the Samadhi, so I put it further away on my car and it read 10' (50' F). Just before sunrise it was down to 3' (38' F), about as cold as it gets in Meherabad. This is the middle of the winter, but the days still hit 27 (80' F) in the afternoon. The grass has all turned brown and dried up, it's tiny spears filling your socks ifyou stray from the path. At dusk, great grass fires cast their orange glow in pale competition with the setting sun, some intentionally set, some not, stripping the land of what little cover is left to hold the soil against the hot winds of surnmer-to-come. The dust starts to rise now, turning to brown talcum powder by May. Deserts are definitely the work of man...and goats. Yesterday morning I was driving to one of our construction sites on the road below the Samadhi when I saw one ofour laborers walking in the opposite direction from work. I stopped him and asked him what was going on (meaning why wasn't he working), and he replied that someone had just been killed by the train, then he kept walking, away from the scene.

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Villagers are really excellent at this technique, distracting you from what you want to pursue by injecting some totally unrelated and sensational diversion into the conversation. It worked. I forgot about him and went to look at the body lying between the tracks, which by now had a small crowd gathered around. Somehow the scene was reminiscent of the recent photos taken while finding George Mallory's body on Everest, 75 years after he was lost. Mangled, but no blood. I said Baba's name and thought about what happens to suicides, but there was no feeling here, nothing, a nameless death. Killing oneselfwith the train is not an unusual event in the village, but in this case, no one knew the deceased, making me wonder why someone would come all the way out to Arangaon (presumably from Nagar) to kill himselÂŁ I never found out. But on a slighdy different railway twist, Gabe and Flint Mednick just left Nagar for Bangladesh by 2nd class train to renew their visas. It's about 2 days each way, crowded, dirty and hard to stay healthy. Moharnrned the Mast must be taking care of Goober. By the time they get back they will look like they jumped under a train even if they don't feel like doing it. The things people go through to stay here. Regarding Meherazad news, most of you are probably aware that Eruch has not been welllately,but today he came out briefly for the Sunday program, the first time in quite a few days. He seems a bit better, and I think it is probably easier for him to greet people all at once rather than having to deal with surreptitiously squeezing so many requests into his room individually. Eruch has reportedly told people that his end was near, but I think one must put this into context. He comes from a very long line oflong livers, and "near" could mean another 10 years, although I'm sure he would tell me not to curse him by suggesting such a thing. One thing's for sure though, he's not very happy with the strict diet they have him on.;) Mansari used to often quote Baba, "Pele pothoba, nunthar Vithoba," which is loose Marathi for "First stomach, then God," a slighdy unorthodox interpretation of which could mean, "If one is going to God anyway, one should go happily on a full stomach." Never worry about sending too many goodies to Meherazad, they will be eaten. Jai Baba, and Happy Holidays, James Cox

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In God's Hand Readings Jim Robinson, Myrtle Beach, SC

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e are having In God's Hand meet ings at Phyllis Ott's house once a week. People seem to be feeling a spiritual power in these words direct from Baba, for which God Speaks was a preparation. Maybe God Speaks was written "to appease the intellectual convulsions ofthe mind of man," and, that done, In God's Hand has appeared for a different purpose, such as to speed up the heart. Several participants said it feels experiential rather than mental. We imagined Baba writing in His own hand, in the table cabin, fresh from the state of being lost to normal consciousness; then, when He fmished, saying to Himself, "How in the world is anyone going to understand this? I must prepare people for this first." Then it took Him thirty years to modify it down to something we would have a chance ofengaging with initially, and God Speaks was produced. Then it took forty years for God Speaks to work on us; now we are ready for In God's Hand. I did write an example of the questions we are considering, but I seemed to get it from Baba that the Internet is not the place to discuss this book. Perhaps it is not about the mind, but about something else, and requires a different venue-e.g. a small group, meeting in person-to accomplish its purpose. Still, I will go ahead and post what I wrote: On pages 2-3 Baba writes (isn't it great we can now say without qualification "Baba writes?") [square bracket translation of non- English script words provided in the book by the editors]: "So in the ordinary awake state the mind working (i.e. unnatural darkness) the universe and its experiences (unnatural light) exist. But in the sound Sleep the mind not working (there the mind is stopped) the universe and its experiences vanish. There only nothingness i.e. natural darkness prevails. There only Light and its [Astitva=existence] Darkness remain. Thus the nothingness of Sound Sleep is Natural Darkness. We in the very beginning said: God in the Sound Sleep (Natural Darkness) is [Khodaa=God as Lord and Master]"

I keep referring back to the categories of mind I learned from God Speaks to establish correlations. In God's Hand is very obscure, so we only read a few lines a night, like translating Latin, then talk about it. The first few lines describe Natural Darkness as coming out ofNatural Light; then out of Natural Darkness comes mind working, which is unnatural darkness; then out of mind working comes the universe, which is unnatural light. Natural Light is Real I, Self, Mind Stopped. This leaves the question: What is Natural Darkness? The person reading the lines I quoted above was reluctant to say "There only Light and its existence Darkness remain," and said something a little different. I'm sure the meaning of the word Astitva is not exactly the meaning of the word existence, or Baba probably would not have interpolated a non-English word. But it seems He said something surprising to us. On page one He wrote, "Because Natural Darkness is, Natural Light is." We tend to think of Light as having the primary force of existence, and darkness as meaning nothing except an absence of light, but that is clearly not the tenor of Baba's words here. So we were puzzled, and chewed over this question, what is the Natural Darkness? At the meeting I suggested it is God the Beyond the Beyond, but we all realized that was wrong; God the Beyond the Beyond does not have a contra distinct relationship with any other state of God, nor come out of any other state of God; it just is, primally, and is neither conscious nor unconscious. We finished a bit still in the dark. Actually, I was prompted to write this because I was going back over notes of a recent India visit and found this note of a remark by Bhau: "Ishwar is the first shadow of Paramatma. Ishwar is the creator. Ishwar is nirvana, the state of creator, preserver and destroyer. Nirvana as soon as it occurs becomes nirvikalpa." This seemed to me to be about Natural Darkness, and I thought I might show it to the group next week. Jai Baba!

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Overheard on the Internet The Avatar and the Beatles Tony Paterniti, New York

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ver the past year, I've been actively involved in revising, proofreading and rewriting a story I've written based on a personal experience (though slightly fictionalized) which begins at the moment Baba dropped His body in 1969. In doing research on world affairs at key points in the tale, I carne across a very interesting piece of information. MyoId buddy ChuckMagro, felt that Baba had used the Beatles for His work. Chuck cited the tremendous focus of the world's attention which they provided (something Babaused in theatres and the like), as well as their role in bringing "Eastern" ideas to the - _....... "West" on a very large scale, and the massive transformation of consciousness they precipitated, whether intentionally or not. Anyway, my little discovery was this: The last public performance by the Beatles, as documented in the movie Let It Be, was on the rooftop of the Abbey Road studios in London onJanuary 30, 1969, around 12 hours before Baba dropped His body. Interestingly, folks coming home from work that evening apparently called the police, complaining that the Beatles' recording session was creating a public nuisance. They were forced to stop playing, and never performed publicly as the Beatles again. If that was about 7 p.m. London time, it would have been around 12:30 a.m. on the 31st in India. Baba dropped His body at 12:15 p.m. Later that day (the 31st), the Beatles went into the studio and recorded two oftheir most famous songs, including one which became an anthem: Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road. I figure this would have been about 6 hours after Baba dropped His body. Do any ofyou remember how much Let It B__in feel certainly, and in words to an extent-felt like a message from Baba in those days? I know I have often thought of Long and Winding Road

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as a Baba song. I wonder how direct the connection might be. A sidebar here: December 8,1980. The day John Lennon was shot. The day Elizabeth Patterson rejoined Baba. Then we heard that All You Need is Love was a Baba inspired songJohn Lennon wrote when he saw a Baba card about love. Although that sounds rather apocryphal, we then find this report in a French newspaper taken from a story by Jonathon Cott that originally appeared in the Rolling Stone magazine: "Each time I met John I saw a new side to him. Once I happened to bump intoJohn and Yoko in 1971. I had gone to see[the movie] Carnal Knowledge with a friend and the Lennons were there, with Jerry Rubin and a friend ofhis. They asked ifwe'd like to go and eat some blintzes with them at Ratner's in the East Village. A hippie with long hair came up to our table and without saying anything gave John a card with a saying from the inscrutable Meher Baba. Rubin then drew a swastika on the back of the card and took it back to the stranger. When he returned, John gently admonished him saying this was not the way to raise people's consciousness. Although he could come across as acerbic and skeptical at times, John Lennon was always open to (the way of) compassion." [Well now, that just goes to show you that you can't believe everything you read in the papers. I have just spoken to Bob Street- who was the above mentioned hippie-and here is what really happened: Bob sawJohn and Yoko sitting near his table and so walked over with a Baba card, one of the photos taken in the 50s that had Avatar Meher Baba written at the bottom. Nothing else. He silently handed it to John, and then returned to his own table. Moments later, Jerry Rubin brought the card back to Bob. He saw that someone had drawn in a heavy felt marker, a Hitler like mustache on Baba's face and had written on the back: Every man is a potential Hitler, and every woman a potential Hitler's mother. This was too much for Bob who went back to John's table and sat down beside him. He said, "John that card is something precious to me. Why did you deface it? Why did you draw Hitler's mustache?""I didn't", he replied. "Yoko did". Yoko then repeated the phrase. Bob told him that this was a photo ofthe GodMan. "What is God?" John asked. "God is Love." Bob responded. John countered with "Love is Love". Bob smiled,

the atmosphere was pleasant, but he could see he was not going to get anywhere with this. He tells us John had a very charming personality and a quick wit. So he returned to his own table. A few minutes laterJerry Rubin comes over to him and said, "John didn't want to offend you. He would like to have the card back". Bob, of course, turned it over to him. A week or so later he noticed in some music magazine an article about John Lennon and to his great surprise saw the defaced card of Meher Baba! Reading the article thorougWy, he could fmd no reference to the card. Most strange! -ed.] Tom Clancy: I thought it particularly interesting that Abbey Road, their "swan song", was recorded during the time ofBaba's Great Darshan of 1969. And I suppose you know George and Baba share the same birthdate. Oh alright, so maybe I'm pushing it a bit... Then Doug Goodhi1l added: I don't want to carrythis too fur, but onJanuary 31st 1969,Buddy Holly posthumously released the single Love Is Strange and the B side was Youre The One.

"God Picks the Winners and the Losers" Tony Paterniti, Sunday, 11/12/2000

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an't help but notice the near-deafening silence on the Listserv about this extraordinary election situation here in the U.S.A My guess is many of us have strong feelings about who should be in the White House and may be feeling quite partisan these days. And I have the feeling that regardless ofwho wins in the end, half the country may feel he got there by theft and is not really their president. What the heck is Baba up to here? The whole thing reminds me of a story Harry Kenmore told about another super-close presidential election in this land. It goes something like this: Harry was not only a chiropractor who treated Baba after His car accident in India (the Indian papers called him Namdev), after the boy saint who made the statue of Krishna come to life to receive his love offering offood, as Dr. Kenmore's work was said to have made it possible for Baba to walk again after 60 days of treatments) ... Baba said Harry was one of


His intimate mandali or circle of twelve "My Aposde". A few months before dropping His body, Baba called Harry for a visit with Him in India in November 1968. It was during the Nixon-Humphrey election-"which in itself was a sign that my presence wasn't essential to the election!" Harry told us in his usual blunt, emphatic and humorous way. Harry describes being with Baba in Mandali Hall one morning before Election Day. Baba is asking him about this and that, they're chatting, Baba calling Harry His son and Harry, as usual, calling Baba his "Pops." At some point, Harry, who favored Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon, says: "So Baba, it looks like Humphrey's going to win the election." Baba prompdy replies: "That's by *your* will, isn't it?" Baba says no more about it. When the morning session ends, He returns to His room and Harry is outside Mandali Hall, talking with Emch and the others, when he learns that Baba had told them as early as March of 1968, before the Conventions, that "Nixon must come into the White House." "So it was decided!" Harry exclaimed. "Nixon must come into the White House. God picks the winners and the losers. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the vote of the population! He can just change the numbers on the machines! Did he change the numbers on the Nixon-Humphrey election? The guy won by less than halfofa percent [or something like that. TP]." "Of course, this doesn't mean that you go out and tell people not to vote. But as a follower ofAvatar Meher Baba, know that God picks the winners and the losers." Ofcourse, I don't entirely agree with Harry. For many years (influenced by this story) I didn't vote. These days, I consider it as much a responsibility as anything else in this life in which I live and act and really believe that my actions do make a difference. For me, at this point, voting with detachment is what I feel honesty asks of me. Also, I think that bit about changing the numbers on the voting machines was Harry's sense of humor. But of course, He *can* just change the numbers...or maybe arrange for some ballots to be double-punched and thrown out? To paraphrase Harry: "Did He do that in Florida? The guy only won (lost) by 200 votes!" (or however it fmally turns out). Either way, in the end, I believe it is entirely true that "God Picks the Winners and the Losers" and He knows *exacdy* what He's doing.

to stay in the tonga on the bumpy ride up the hill. When we got to the top, He said, "Do Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach you see how bumpy the ride was? The spiritual path is like that. If you try to do it by November 17th, 2000 yourself, you are sure to fall out of the cart. Jim Robertson reports on the Qyestion But ifyou hold on to Me, ifyou obey Me, I and Answer session will show you God." Still I did not know anything about Baba uestion: Do you remember the first being God. He told me to keep silence, and I ~e Meher Baba touched your heart? Is there any incident or image of your time with began doing my inner work at upper MeheraMeher Baba that particularlycomes back to you? bad in the Prem Ashram. Sidhu was to watch A: (Esfandiar smiled wistfully) You do not over me. Baba said ifI needed to see Him, tell forget those moments. I was in the fifth grade Sidhu and Baba would see me. Baba told me when I first heard about the school in India. " ow do this. Think of Me only. I am your At that time I was a spiritually inclined youth, mother, your father, your brother and your sisreading the sacred books of the Zoroastrian ter. I am everything. Every relationship in your religion, and I enjoyed praying. I heard about life, I am that for you. Think of Me only." It the school, and wanted to go there. I did not would so happen that every now and then I know anything about Meher Baba, and did would slip and utter a word. For example, my not know He was God. When I came to Me- uncle Baidul might pass by, and I might acciherabad, I was thirteen years old. I was the dentally raise my hand and say "Good mornonly student in my grade, and Kaikushru ing." If I did so, I would tell Sidhu and he Msari was made my teacher. I had never heard would send me down the hill to see Baba.Then anything before about the possibility that you I would sit in Baba's office at His feet. There, could become God. Once I heard that, it was He told me I could speak to Him, tell Him all I wanted. I lost interest in my studies, and anything and everything. He would be carryeverything else, and Ijust wanted to steal away ing on business, dealing with people, making to go out in the woods and devote myself to arrangements for food for the ashram, and so this. I thought I should just pick up my shoes on. Then He would say, "Alright, you had a and tiptoe past the guard and run away. One slip. I forgive you. Now let me remind you. day, my teacher bowed, and I looked behind Think only of Me. Remember, I arn your mother, your father, your brother and your sisme, and there stood Meher Baba. "Whydo you not want to study?" He asked, ter. I am everything to you. Think only ofMe." I said, "I don't know." He asked if it was This He would say to me, over and over. I continued doing my irmer work, and Baba the food, or ifany of the teachers or the other boys were bothering me; was I sleeping alright? would come to talk to us every day. That is when Was I uncomfortable in any way? I said none I began to have the experiences, beautiful sights ofthose things were bothering me. He finally and fragrances. Gradually, as I did my irmer work said ifI did not tell Him the reason, He would and had the experience of that, combined with send me to Bombay. I thought to myself, that the explanations Baba gave to us when He came would not be so bad. From Bombay it would everyday, I graduallydeveloped the understanding be easier for me to run away. Then He said that Baba is God. After a time it would happen He will send me to Iran. "Oh," I thought, that when I would be seeing Baba, ifI spoke, the "That is very bad. From Iran I will not be able words did not come out right. Then Baba said, to do anything." Finally I told Him. "Baba, I "OK, enough of this silence. From now on you want to see God." can speak" Then Baba embraced me. He held me for Q Ifa person in the West got the idea to give about twenty minutes. Then He took me to up all his activities, his job, his caretaking responHis office. He sat in a chair while I sat before sibilities, and devote himselffull time to such inHim on the floor, and He gazed at me. I was ner work, to love Baba-from what Esfandiar is shy, and looked at the floor. Then he lay down saying, it seems perhaps that would not be a bad on a cot at the side ofthe room, and hid Him- idea. Does he have anything to say about that? Translator: Oh, yes, he has a big love for that! self under a sheet. After twenty minutes, He emerged from the sheet, and he took me out A: It is not necessary for you to do that. Ifyou the back door. He called the tonga to take us have that love for Baba, just continue to do all these things, but think, "I am doing this for Baba. up the Meherabad Hill. "Get in," He said. I said there was no place This is Baba's work, not mine. I am eating for for me to sit. I tried to hold on to the arm of Baba. This is Baba's family that I am taking care the tonga, but He said, "No, hold on to my offor Baba.JustthinkonlyofBaba,and think of arm." I clung to His arm, and was barely able everything you are doing as done for Baba."

Esfandiar Vesali's Talk

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fBaba

In

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cgypt


[Since Baba spent little time in Egypt itself; and not much information could be found regarding these trips, we have found some interesting and amusing incidents, stories and discourses aboard the vessels on which Baba sailed with His mandali on the trips to and from Europe and India. The following accounts of Baba's travels during the 30's were excerted from Lord Meher, Vo1s4,5, 6 and 7, by Bhau Kalchuri as well as Love Alone Prevails, by Kitty Davey.]

Port Said, 1931

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he Rajputana docked at Port Said, Egypt on September 7, 1931 at 3:00 a.m. Baba, Ali, Chanji and Rustom disembarked and spent one half hour walking on the shore. Baba was eager to meet Gandhi who was also on board enroute to London, and would often repeat, "It is always like this: when I don't allow visitors, people complain.... And now when I want to see certain persons for my own reasons, they don't show any inclination. Now we should forget about trying to contact Gandhi. It is too late now." Meanwhile, Jamshed Mehta, who was an acquaintance of Gandhi, cabled Gandhi on board the ship, urging him to meet Meher Baba without fail. On the night of September 8th, at 9:00, Mahatma Gandhi came to Meher Baba's cabin with his secretary Mahadev Desai. Mter Gandhi was introduced to Baba, he looked at Baba and then said, "I have read much about you and wanted to see you one day when God willed it; but I never expected it to be so soon." Baba expressed how happy he was meeting Gandhi and dictated from his alphabet board, "Do you have the time to stay?" "Yes, I have come to sit and listen," Gandhi replied. Meher Baba narrated a summary of His own life and experiences to Gandhi-His attraction to Hazrat Babajan, Sai Baba's pronouncement (Sai Baba had pronounced Meher Baba as "Parvardigar" two times during one of Baba's visits to see him.), His encounter with Maharaj at the Khandoba Temple, His many visits to Maharaj in Sakori, His intolerable suffering during His coming down, His mandali and life at Meherabad, His many fasts and seclusions, His silence for the last seven years, and ofHis writing a special book... Gandhi asked where Meher Baba's book was kept. Pointing to one trunk Baba told him that it was inside and although He wouldn't let anyone read it, Baba often traveled with it. The manuscript pages had also been brought on this trip to the West according to Baba's specific wish. Gandhi asked ifhe could read it and Baba asked ifhe had the time. "Yes, I can find time to read it. I will definitely read it. Give it to me."

Baba spelled out, "There is bliss everywhere and nothing else exists, but people do not know it. It is no use listening to lectures and learning does not come from books. Direct experience of God is needed. The Experience is spontaneous; it is not to be forcibly obtained." Concerning his activities, Gandhi remarked, "Whatever I do, I take upon myself the responsibility for it. Though in the end, internally I leave everything to God. I cannot shirk my responsibility. Except for God, it is my conviction that I cannot disavow my responsibility." "But that thought should not be there," Baba explained to him. "'I do ... I think... I renounce .. .I suffer... I do everything for others.' These thoughts should not be there. If, to the detriment of others, one tries to know and understand God, it creates terrible sanskaras." Through the means of service, karma yoga, Gandhi was trying to see and know God, which was commendable. But as a political leader, he forwarded ideas such as the use of the spinning wheel for preparing khadi and non-cooperation activities, which his followers carried out and suffered by so doing; consequently, the burden of those sanskaras fell on Gandhi's shoulders. Concerning reading Baba's book, Gandhi pointed to the trunk. Baba replied, "Unfortunately, the key has been left behind in India." Gandhi replied that he would have it opened. Handing the box to Gandhi, Baba told him that after he had opened the box to bring the case back to Him and He would give Gandhi some of the book to read with His own hands." Baba warned him to be careful, telling him that up to then He had not allowed anyone to see it, not even the mandali. Gandhi would be the first person to read it, but must not allow anyone else to read it. Gandhi reassured Baba that he would do as he was told. Gandhi returned to Baba's cabin the evening of September 9, bringing the case containing Baba's book. They began to speak on political issues. Baba commented on the current political crisis hl India and told Gandhi to fust solve the problem of Hindu and Muslim unity. The subject then shifted to Gandhi's upcoming participation in the Round Table Conference in London concerning India's independence from the British. Baba dictated, "As far as possible, present your demands fumly at the conference in London. Whatever you have thought of and decided to do, demand it as your right. Let the British decide to grant it or not, but you must be persistent in your demands. The British won't grant everything. It is doubtful what they will grant, because whatever decision was made in the first Round Table Conference, they will stick to that." Baba then told Gandhi that even if he had to return from the conference empty handed, he should not be concerned, because whatever agreement he may arrive at would be good. "In case you return empty handed", Baba continued, "and have to conduct nonviolent civil

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disobedience, it would be the best. It would not harm India to undergo more suffering. These agonies will result in more preparedness; really speaking, the root cause of every good result is suffering. India is considered to be the land of spiritual greatnessofAvatars, gurus and saints. To sustain this spiritual greatness, there must be the strength to bear these miseries. "Another major problem is the prejudice against the Harijans in India-untouchability. It is the greatest evil. With the Brahmins it is sheer wickedness; they have deep-rooted past sanskaras which cannot be easily wiped out. The main cause of the ruination of any community in India is the priest class who, to serve their own selfish ends, have become the props to perpetuate religious rites and rituals." After these comments by Baba, their meeting ended. Before he left, Gandhi reminded Baba that He was invited to stay with him in London. Gandhi told Baba that he would arrange for Baba to stay with him wherever he went. "At least," he said, "I will have the benefit ofpassing one night in your company. Will that day ever dawn?" Baba gestured, "Of course." At 10:00 that evening their second meeting ended. The next day Gandhi came to Baba's cabin and asked if he may speak with Baba about His books and other writings. Baba asked ifhe

had time to sit with Him. Gandhi replied "To listen to you, I can snatch the time from somewhere. You may explain without hesitation. Look, I have taken my seat and will remain seated. I will stay as long as you wish. Where will I ever get such an opportunity again?" Their conversation concerned Baba's messages in Meher Message edited by K.]. Dastur, Baba's handwritten discourses in the book, and ended with India's struggle for independence.

Port Said, 1932

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n May 31,1932, at 7:00 p.m., Baba and the mandali went ashore at Port Said, Egypt, and had dinner at the City Hotel. The Conte Rosso left Port Said at eight the following morning, April 1.

Alexandria, Cairo and Giza, 1932

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aba boarded the Ausonia at 4:00 p.m. in Venice bound for Alexandria, Egypt. The ship docked at Alexandria at 5:00 p.m. on August 23rd. Baba, Kaka, and Chanji went directly to the station and took the train to Cairo. They arrived at 10:30 p.m. and stayed at the Luna Park Hotel.

Baba in Giza, 1932, the Sphinx and Pyramid ofCephren in the Background,

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Alexandria, Cairo, He1wan, Saqqara, Giza, and Port Said, Winter, 1932

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On August 24th Baba road a donkey to the pyramids and Sphinx in Gizeh (Giza), and also visited the local zoo. In Cairo, Baba revealed to Kaka and Chanji, "The Coptic Church contains a cave where Mary and Joseph stayed after fleeing Herod. The reason I came to Egypt is to visit this church." Led by Baba, they visited the Coptic Church the next day. Baba's face was radiant with joy as he walked through the church, as if He was reliving His memories as Jesus. "This is my dear old place," He recalled and indicated thatJesus had also come and stayed here with His apostles. Baba climbed down to the small, dark room of the cave. The church warden did not want to open it, but Baba insisted and he fmally agreed. They were told that the church had been erected over the cave nine hundred and thirty years after Christ. Mterward Baba visited the Egyptian museum that housed the remains of the pharaohs, the citadel and Islamic mosques of the sultans in Cairo. Baba left Cairo for Port Said on August 27th. Mter five days in Egypt, Baba, Kaka and Chanji sailed for India on the S. S. Victoria on August 29th.

n December 17th, 1932 in Genoa, Baba boarded the Esperia bound for Egypt with Todd, Vishnu, Kaka, brother Jal and AdiJr. They arrived in Alexandria at 5:00 p.m. on December 19th. AdiJr., Vishu andJalleft by train for Port Said, where they sailed for India on the Maldera. Meanwhile, Baba, Kaka and QIentin went on to Cairo and arrived at 6:00 the next morning. They stayed at the small hotel, Pension Morandi. As they were returning that night to their hotel from an evening walk around the city, Baba suddenly stopped and stood in the street without moving. A half-minute later, He continued on to the hotel. Calling Todd to him, Baba spelled on the board, "I have just received from one of my agents a message saying that my presence is urgently needed in India." The next morning, Baba directed Todd to go to the Cook's Travel and Tours office, where a cable would be waiting. Todd did as instructed, found the cable just as Baba had said, and brought it back. Its cryptic message read: "Your presence is urgently needed in India to complete certain arrangements." Baba left Cairo on December 23 and traveled out of the city to Helwan, where they stayed at the English Visitors' Hotel. On Christmas Day of 1932, they went to Saqqara to see the most ancient pyramids, including King Zoser's. Baba had wanted to go by train, but Todd suggested going by car and hired an antiquated model. There was no luggage rack, and Kaka had to arrange the luggage on the mudguard and running boards. It seldom rains in this part of Egypt, but this day it began raining heavily after five miles. Baba became very upset with Todd, who thereby learned not to make his own suggestions once Baba had expressed a preference. Returning to Cairo on December 26th, Baba went back to Alexandria on the 29th, and returned to Cairo the next day. On December 31st, He went to the Cairo Museum and viewed the fabulous Tutankhamen collection. Later that day, He again went to the old Coptic Church. On January 1st, 1933, Baba visited the Sphinx and the great pyramids of Cheops and Chephren at Gizeh. On January 2nd, Baba 'li .._ .....-~_. left for Port Said, setting sail the next day at 4:00 p.m. on the S. S. Baloeran bound for Ceylon.

Meher Baba in Saqqara, Christmas Day, 1932

Port Said, 1933

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etober2,1933 theM.v. Conte Verde docked in Port Said on the way to Europe. That day the maharani of Indor, Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar accompanied by her secretary came to Baba's cabin for His darshan. At the time, Baba was out for his morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, "Meher

23


Baba only gives darshan after making an appointment. I

will have to ask his pennission and let you know." They followed Chanji, however, and came face to face with Baba before he could ask Baba's permission. Baba was wearing European clothes, and for his own reason, did not want any Indian to see him in that attire. Baba explained to them, "As I do not wish to meet with anyone while outside on deck, I dress like an ordinary man to avoid being recognized. No one knows me as I really am. For those who want to know my Real Self, I have no need to put on such a show. But I am afraid of those who have no longing to know me in truth and have to hide my identity from them. I therefore must go about incognito." The maharani was scheduled to meet with Baba later. On Ocbober 4 at 10:00 a.m. the maharani with her secretary asked to see Baba for about 15 minutes. Baba was dressed in a sadra at the time and His long hair was down. Baba informed the regal woman, "This is my customary dress. It is the clothing I wear in front of those who come to know me. To those who take me for a foreigner, I become a foreigner. I did not wish to met you as a foreigner, so it is good that you have come today. Do I not now look like a fellow countryman?" The maharani laughed and Baba continued by dictating a discourse: "Everything depends on the mind. The mind feeds on happiness and misery. The world is really a dream. Happiness and sorrow are plays of the mind; there is no substance in either. In fact, the mind exists to endeavor to see God, but it leaves this aside and becomes caught up in the world. 1 want this! I want that!' it shouts. The mind gets one entangled in maya and thereby increases desires. 0 sooner is one desire satisfied than another is there ready to be satisfied. Thus, one after another, desires increase without limit and they never bring freedom to anyone. The man who has control over the mind possesses the whole universe. He has no use for happiness, suffering, health, wealth or anything else. He is beyond all that." We could fmd no indication that during this voyage Baba disembarked in Port Said.

Port Said and enroute to England, 1934

M

eher Baba boarded the S.S. Toscania in Bombay for England with Kaka Baria, Chanji, Adi Sr., and brother Jal. They arrived in Port Said on the evening of November 23, 1934 at nine in the evening, and left the ship to see a movie. Mter reboarding and putting out to sea, a rough storm arose and Adi, Kaka and Chanji were confined to their cabins with seasickness. Baba and Jal remained well.

Port Said and enroute to England, 1937

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hen the S. S. Circassia docked at Port Said enroute to Bombay on ovember 8,1937, Baba disembarked with the women for a day of sight-seeing. They sawall there was to see -bazaars, shops and many sights. When Baba had boarded the ship in Europe, He had glanced at the other passengers and remarked to Norina, "One sincere soul will be found among the many." But He also cautioned her not to reveal His identity to anyone on board though on one occasion He gave her His permission to give an interview about Him to a group of interested passengers whose curiosity she could not suppress.

24

Meher Baba and Quentin Tod on board the Circassia, 1937.

Afterward, one woman came up to Norina and pleaded with her for an interview with Baba, which He granted on ovember 16th. The woman was Mrs. Isabella Paul ofTransvaal, South Africa. She was on her way from England determined to find God in Tibet. For years she had longed to come to India and was headed for the Himalayas. Upon hearing Norina speak Meher Baba's name, Isabella Paul insinctively knew she had found what she had been looking for all these years. She was the one to whom Baba was referring when He had boarded the ship. During the voyage, Baba spent most of His time bathing and feeding Mohammed the mast, and being with the women mandali, with whom He would eat His meals. Baba gave Mohammed baths in his cabin's bathroom. This was no simple or easy task. It would take hours to bathe the mast. It usually took one hour just to take off his sandals, for every time Baba would try, Mohammed would kick his feet. Protesting the entire time, Mohammed would allow his sandals to be taken off his feet only very, very hesitatingly. Likewise, while undressing him and again putting his clothes back on after the bath, and again making him put on his sandals - it was a battle all the way! Although Baba's health was suffering He nevertheless would pamper Mohammed's whims and moods for hours on end. On November 12th, Baba allowed a Christian minister on board to meet him. The minister was reading the book by Rom Landau entitled God is My Adventure and pointed out a chapter about Baba in the book. During their discussion, while speaking about the Bible, Baba commented to the minister: "If a lecturer speaks today before a gathering of five hundred, and the same subject is repeated by the five hundred listeners to others, there would be five hundred different interpretations some never dreamed of by the speaker! Therefore, what about the teachings of the Masters like Jesus interpreted after him perhaps a thousand times through different interpreters in the past. The original thought is sometimes lost sight of, or made irrelevant, but yet each clings to him his own different interpretation as the original. That is why many today hesitate to believe in the Bible and other such books, where interpretations do not appeal to them. There is more of the writers in the Bible that ofJesus Christ!


.IIiiiii~.;ii~

"Truth is infinitely simple and to realize it is naturally also easy. Complications are not natural to unity because duality is based on complications. Books, philosophies and different terms, all lead to confusion and contradiction if not applicable to one's spiritual tendency. God-Realization means living in and with God in every thought and action -- to be so spontaneous as to naturallyexpress divinity through every thought and deed consciously. It is divinely and consciously automatic. When you are asleep or awake, conscious or unconscious, eating or not, with people or alone, amidst activi-

ties or in solitude, you continue breathing automatically. Your breath is constant and always with you. So may God be in and with you automatically, and at the same time consciously, in every aspect ofyour life. It is to be simple, practical and livable in the ordinary run oflife, natural and easy to maintain in all. your worldly activities. Belief, trust and faith are all illusory phenomena if not based' on conviction through personal .~illt I experience. Ignorant persons seek to point out the faults and weaknesses in others instead of finding them in themselves; and for some, to criticize Truth is their life's work, for when they fail to gain it, they grow despondent and turn against it. The apparent is not real. Under many a life's complicated problems are hidden some of the simplest truths which the veil of ignorance obscures from human vision. Do not bother about believing in me. Be prepared to beMeher Baba on board the Circassia, 1937. lieve in your Self Have faith in Thus it is that there are always quarrels between fanatic followers your own capacity for longing for Truth. Only then will you know ofdifferent religions over words and explanations that the Prophets Truth in its pure and infmite simplicity. Only then will you come never uttered, but were written in the so-called holy scriptures by to know who I am.Âť overenthusiastic disciples and priests, which quite naturally causes a [After consulting a bookon Egyptian writing, a member ofour staffcreated revolt in the minds ofothers.Âť computer-generatedhieroglyphsfor the title~ ofthis article.Thestones in the Baba also met a few of the other passengers on board who had columnson~20readfiomthetop:MeherBaba,KingoftheGods;LM;Live, expressed their desire to meet Him. On November 18th, Baba gave Live; the Great God, Lord ofHeaven; God, Beloved Lord ofall Lands; Live, Live, Live. Pattern repeated on bothcolumns.] this message to that small group of passengers: I

25


~Adventures

in Egypt~~

Article and photos by Jim Peterson, Walnut Creek, CA tombs of royalty and nobility hen my twelve from the Old Kingdom of year old son, Egypt. But there the EgypBlake, asked me if we tian heat began to seriously could go to Egypt for our interfere with my enjoyment. summer holiday, I enthuIt is very difficult to tune into siastically agreed. Not Meher Baba's love when only could we explore the you're sweltering in 115 deancient wonders of this gree heat and ready to pass remarkable country, but I out. So my tactic was simply could also follow in to one-pointedly hunt for the Meher Baba's footsteps famous Saqqara doorway and look up the various where Baba posed in 1932. At places He went during least a dozen guides and poHis two short visits in -"W~ilo..io lice guards pointed me to the 1932. correct place where the doorThere were several way was located. They all regular tourist spots that looked at a photo I had of Meher Baba visited that Blake in from of The Great Sphinx of Cephren, c. 2520 - 2480 B. C., Giza. we also enjoyed. We went to the Citadel, the Egyptian Museum in cance. I had anticiCairo, and the Giza Zoo (our hotel over- pated a special enlooked the zoo). But the three places Baba ergy in the King's seemed to indicate were most special were Chamber in the Pyramid. also the three spots my son and I could Great feel Baba's loving presence: the Giza Pla- What I didn't expect, te.lU, St. Sergius' Coptic Church, and the however, was the warm, undulating ancient necropolis of Saqqara. emanating If there is an actual place of pilgrim- force age in Egypt, it must be the site of the from the massive Sphinx and the pyramids. Even the siz- carved form of the zling August heat cannot prevent one Sphinx. I don't know Above Saqqara, mortuary precinct of King Zoser, c. 2650 B. C. Bottom, entrance to the tomb of Mereruka. from experiencing the special and myste- how Meher Baba rious energy surrounding these monu- contributed to that ments. For me, however, standing near meditative power, but for me the Sphinx Baba standing at the tomb door. But they where Baba was photographed by the was the highlight of my Egyptian excur- were all wrong and I could not locate the door. Finally after an hour of marching Sphinx held the most unexpected signifi- sIOn. Our real adventure around the complex through the Sahara wa s a t h re e ......_ -__o<--_=_ hour camel ride across the desert to Saqqara. Of course, one could reach:_ '. ..,,~, ~ this area by ~ .~~:t:.:;~-~.,,.,,--,",'..

W

car as Baba ~~ did, bu t the -;:: prospect of a long camel ,"E ride seemed ~::. _:.to us to be the only way to go. Saqqara .contains the

',a

Jim and Blake on a camel resting ill front

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ofthe Pyramid of Cephren.


was barely necessary, as there was Baba's love just oozing up and through the cave opening and into the sanctuary room. The atmosphere reminded me of tombs where Baba had done work in India, such as the tomb of the saint QjJ.tar Husseini in Khuldabad. Baba had definitely done work at this Egyptian site and it was a privilege to visit there. Egypt certainly has enough special and sacred sites to satisfy any spiritual student. But to follow the footsteps of Avatar Meher Baba and to visit places where He has been really adds a whole new dimension to one's travels.

Inner Sunrise

Jim in the doorway of the Coptic Church.

sand, I found a doorway at the tomb of a royal vizier named Mereruka. I rejoiced that I had found Baba's door! However, when I returned home, it seemed less likely that my door was the right one, although restoration work on these tombs has definitely altered the appearance of some of the tomb features. My final Baba adventure was to the Coptic complex in the district called "Old Cairo." Here Meher Baba was waiting for us. I wanted to see St. Sergius' Church which Baba visited on both of His trips to Cairo. This is the 5th century church that is built over a cave where Baba said Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus rested after they had escaped from Herod. Baba had insisted that the priest unlock the door leading down to the underground chamber and allow Baba and His party to see the cave. Today, one can peer down the steps to the cave-shrine but one cannot go down. Also, no photographing was allowed anywhere in the church. But it didn't matter. I fust sat quietly on a pew in the church. The atmosphere was very sweet and surcharged with a spiritual presence. But in the far left hand corner of the chapel was the room over the cave. This much smaller sanctuary was lined with pictures of Coptic saints and had candles everywhere. In the center was a gated stairway down to a lighted cave. The stairs were narrow, but there was plenty of room to view the cave. Vision, however,

If I were the plaything ofevery thought, I'd be a fool, not a wise man. If the Sun of Love was not my own, I'd be moumfullike Saturn, rising and falling in the night sky. If I were not guided by the fragrance of Love's City, I'd have followed dark spirits into the endless desert of greed. If the soul's light had to stay inside its house, I'd open every door and window! If the garden of the soul did not comfort those in pain, I could not carry Love's message on the east wind. Iflovers were not addicted to music and dancing, why would I sing all day and night like a wailing flute? If the Saaqi's weight-giving wine had been kept from my mouth, I'd be like the thin lip of a cup! Ifthe Garden had no leaves or shade, I'd be roodess like the fortune-trees of deceitful men. If God's servants were not upon the earth, I'd have fallen into the sin and folly of this world. If there was no way from the grave to paradise, I could not behold the joyful heavens in this body. If there was no road from East to West, I would not be dancing through the garden with the North and South winds! If the Abundant Garden did not grow, my soul would never blossom. If God's grace were not with me I'd be a babbling fool! Go within. Hear the storyofsunrise from the Sun itself If there were no sunrise within, I would have set long ago! Ghazal2996, from the Diwan of Shams of Tabriz -- Version by Jonathan Star "Rumi In the Arms of the Beloved" Jeremy P TarcherlPutnam, New York 1997

A Note from Our Trust-walli Lynne Berry

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f you've been thinking that some time you'd like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. TheAvatarMeherBabaTrust runs aflrstrate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Trust properties.There are also beneficiaries of the trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-Iovers. All of these worthy projects were specified byBaba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern andWestern volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all ofus. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

A Selection from The Shvetashvatara Upanishad In thedepths ofmeditation, sages Sawwithin themselves the Lord ofLove, Who cIweIls in theheartofeverycreature. Deep in the hearts ofall He dwells.... The Lord ofLove holds in His hand theworld, ~ofthechangingand thed1angcless, The rnanirestand theunmanirest.. The separate self; not yet aware ofthe Lord, Goes after pleasure, onlytobecane Bound moreand more.When itsees the Lord, There romestheend to bondage.

Allis change in theworld ofthe senses, Butchangeless is theLordofLove. Meditateon Him, be absorbed in Him, Wakeup from theclream ofseparateness.

KnowHim to be enshrined in yourheart always. Trulythere is nothingmore inlife to knOw. Meditate and realize this world IsfilledwiththepresenceofGod. A selectionfrom The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (verses 3,8,10 and 12), tra1lSlated by E.Easwaran, THE UPANISHADS (Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1987),pp. 217-218.

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Step Jnside the ...

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f you have not ordered the Baba calendars for 2001, know that they are available. Unfortunately costs have risen & the calendars are quite a bit more expensive than last year. We have them for $10 each and 5 or more will be $8.50 each. When I was at Avatar's Abode (in Austr~a) there was a folk music concert being given with entries from around the world. Sim Symonds, a Baba lover from waaay bai::k and working with the Qieensland Folk Federation, has produced a wonderful CD that was recorded live at the Woodford Folk Festival. He has tided it Many Beads on One String, as it is a collection of traditional devotional music. The CD itself has a stunning Mastery in Servitude colofon in red, purple and yellow on it! It has excellent quality sound and production values. A three page colour insert with information about the various nationalities on it, complete with photos ofthe performers is very nice to have. There are Tibetan monks chanting, Indian Bhajans, Sufi qwallis, Gregorian chants and many more. It sells for only $14 here, but in Australia costs you $30 (the Aussie dollar is very depressed right now, but it's super if you're traveling from the US!) Another new CD we have is from Mary Lloyd Dugan. You may remember her name from the wonderful Baba in Switzerland article she wrote for us in the October LampPost. Mary is a professional story teller. She goes round to schools, Homes, etc. and displays her considerable talents acting out stories.

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Isn't this magnificent?

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urgis Sapkus is an excellent artist and sculptor; he is the one to whom the Madali have entrusted the original moulds of Baba's hand, feet and footprints. These are available from us also, but this latest piece from him is breathtaking! It is in beautiful white bisque (a type of porcelain). From the base to the tip of the spire it is nine inches. In length, six and three quarter inches by four and a half wide. The top lifts up to reveal the base, upon which is the marble slab with the words inscribed as they are on the real marble. Jurgis suggests putting a small light in there. It has the two side windows open, as is the door, so ~e light would shine through those openmgs. The detail is just amazingly beautiful. Jurgis says that if someone is so inclined they can paint it in acrylic colors and then fmish it with a spray glaze. He said that sometime in the future he might paint them himselfbut that would make it very much more expensive.

Actually, although I think it would be great fun to paint it, there is something wonderful about the purity of the total whiteness. BecauseJurgis wants to donate all profits to the Trust in India, the Los Angeles Baba Center (Love Street Bookstore) will take no commission at all. The cost of this exquisite piece of work is $150, half of which will be given to the Trust.

She has called her CD Dance in the Breeze, and like herself, it is light and breezy. Mary says it is a unique collection of stories, songs and poems she dedicates to the Beloved. It sells for $15. The Divine Rememberer-Mehera is a new CD by Raine Eastman Gannett. Raine was one of Mehera's favorite singers, and this new CD is dedicated to her. These are songs about, to, or for Beloved Baba's Mehera. Particularly beautiful are the words from the tide track::

that any moment she would go, Oh The Divine Rememberer...Mehera At Meherazad we ran to the Verandah Our hearts beating, excited soon to see her And suddenly there she was...Loving us, Just loving us for loving you, Just Loving us for Loving you, For Loving You, Oh The Divine Rememberer, the Divine Rememberer, the Divine Rememberer, Mehera..... Mehera..... Mehera

Every detail of your face Every moment of Your Grace The strength and beauty of your walk She told us every detail. We sat with her and did not know that any moment she would go, Oh The Divine Rememberer... Mehera She told us of your lovely voice Though beautiful Silence your choice Every story of your compassion revealed the depth of true devotion We came to tea and did not know,

The CD is $14 We have received four new CDs from our Baba artists. For more details on these, see our Review section. A new book by Carl Ernst has also been released. Check those same pages for news of Eternal Garden $21.50 hardbound. A booklet that had been out of print for a long time has finally reappeared-God in a Pill. These are Baba's words on drugs and the dangers, both spiritual and physical, of taking them. From what we read in the


papers, drugs seem to be more prevalent in the High schools today than they were in the '60s. Might be a good time to buy a few copies to have on hand should they be needed. They are $1.50 each. A book that I thought had been out of print or just totally unavailable has also found its way back to our shelves, Meher Baba The Awakener by Charles Haynes, fIrst published in 1989. Charles says that although it has been much revised, much of the original manuscript was written for his Doctoral Dissertation at Emory University. It contains a great many ofBaba's words throughout, and is very well put together. It has been recommended as an excellent 'beginner' book to give people just getting interested in, or wanting to know more about, Meher Baba. Paperback, 132 pages, $8. If you didn't read our October edition, know that Baba, Baba Everywhere is a wonderful book for children, and for the most part, it was illustrated by children. It is a Dr. Suesslike book on Baba. Absolutely delightful. In full vibrant color throughout, large size, $22. Remember also, if you are planning a trip to India, do not forget to buy the very detailed map of Pune showing all the important Baba places there-where they are, what the importance of the building is, and how to get there, $2.50. Carolyn Ball was inspired to put together a very interesting book on people's experiences of fInding Baba-or coming to God. It is called Baba's Next Wave and has been selling very briskly. It is the story of many of the people you know in Myrtle Beach or see at the Pilgrim center in Meherabad, and sells for $13. About the same time Carolyn was putting this together, many people were posting their stories on the Baba Listserv. Terri Z thought this would make a wonderful book and so has coordinated the effort to put a book together. Many people have aided in this production and it should be another fascinating read-when it comes out! As we go to press-it has not been printed yet, but I'm hoping that by the time you read thisit should be available. The name is The Heart Chronicles and it sells for $10. If there are other things you are looking for and you haven't seen them mentioned in these pages, do call me and tell me what you are looking for. There's a good chance we will have it. (Not for nothing does Bhauji call us the biggest Baba bookstore in the world!) As I will be in India for Amartithi I will be bringing back a lot ofbooks that are

only available there. You can call me at home at 310-837-6419 evenings between 6 and 10. Happy shopping, Dina

Book Reviews Unveiling of Secrets Reviewed by Dina Snow

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arl Ernst is a Baba lover, ex-Los Angeleno and member of our Center. He was Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and a specialist in classical Sufism and Indo-Muslim culture. He and his wife Judy moved to Chapel Hill a few years ago. Our loss is their gain. In 1996 he released the very well received Unveiling of Secrets. The critics had this to say about that book: Ruzbihan's statements about Sufism were so profound and to the point that whatever was said after him served as no more than footnotes to what he had said. Because his statements were above the level of understanding ofmost Sufis, he was known as the "Ecstatic Speaker (shattah) of Fars." One must read the writings of this lover of God to be launched into the highest realms and the farthest reaches of his vision. One who reads his works will have washed away the libraries of all faiths. Coleman Barks said this in his review: Ruzbihan is back! One of the great Sufi mystics from the century just before Rumi, almost unkown for hundreds ofyears, comes among us again in this powerful and necessary book. I am grateful to Carl Ernst, who leads us through these spiritual diaries. Paperback, $16.

Eternal Garden Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center by Carl Ernst Various Reviewers "This is an extraordinary piece of scholarship. I like the constant sense of discovery that Ernst brings to his work, not only with regard to the literary archival material, which he has arrayed in painstaking detail,

but also his enthusiasm about discovering new ways of seeing oral data in relationship to textual data, and textual data in relationship to ritual data. "Reading this book has taken me far afIeld in my own thought, and I must end by remarking that, like the pilgrim to Khuldabad, I have come back from the experience much enriched and full of a certain spirit of renewal that I would not have imagined nor found before this trip. Eternal Garden marks a major, transformative advance in the study of institutional Sufism, especially, but not solely, in South Asia."Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke University Ernst's research, based on rare Persian manuscripts preserved in SufI shrines in the medieval town of Khuldabad, a major center of pilgrimage in the Indian Deccan, reveals the mystical teachings and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by the ecstatic Shaykh Burhan al-Din Gharib (d. 1337) and his disciples. The book clarifIes the diverse historiographical approaches found in an array of narratives. It redefInes major topics in the often emotionally charged study of religion and history in South Asia, and it raises provocative theses on much-argued topics such as the basis of Islamic political power in South Asia and the alleged roles of Sufis as warriors and missionaries. Hardcover $21.50,381 pages. "One of the most exciting and readable contributions to the study of Islam in India to appear in years." - Middle East Journal "No other sacred space in Islamdom has been subjected to such thorough, penetrating, and illuminating historical research." - Digest of Middle Eastern Studies "The book may serve well as a useful text for advanced courses that seek to explore the complex interplay of Islam and politics in precolonial India. It will certainly be long regarded as an important contribution to the cultural history oflndian SufIsm." - International Journal of Middle East Studies "An important contribution to the growing field of scholarship on South Asian Islam and the nature oflslamic society in South Asia." - Iranian Studies. Carl is also the author of Words ofEcstasy in Sufism.

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Music Reviews

New songs by Ward Parks-Babahu

Dance in the Breeze

A review by Jim Wilson

Mary Louise Trask Beaufort, South Carolina

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eed a vacation? Sit down in your favorite chair and let Mary Lloyd Dugan take you all over the world. "Dance in the Breeze", Ms. Dugan's latest CD oftunes and tales, offers touching poems, haunting melodies and colorful stories from Egypt, India and Persia. These beautifully told stories entertain' comfort and challenge us. They remind us of where we've been, where we're going and why we're here in the first place. This collection is perfect for a car trip, at bedtime, on a rainy day or for quiet time with your children. Dance in the breeze with Mary Lloyd Dugan and refresh your heart and soul on a delightful, magical journey to your self.

Some quotes from happy owners ofthis CD: "I fmd the CD to be delightfully melodic and wonderfully rich.The story metaphors are profoundly simple, poetic and clear. They reach beyond time and space and fly us across desert sands and great oceans with moon paths." "An endearing blend of music, inspiration and humor. " "...a bouquet of poems, stories and music, fragrant with hope and inspiration, meaningful messages interspersed with beautiful and haunting melodies, inspirational poetry and stories adorned by gentlevoices, enchanting subtle tales ofrealization graced by compelling melody." "...when it ends the listener wants more". For $15 you can hear what they are talking about.

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f you, like myself, love the songs of Ward Parks, you are in for a breath-taking treat in what I feel embodies his finest offering. His new disc,entitled Babahu (translated "Baba God") includes dozens of singers, musicians, and technicians, far too many to list. It draws upon Indian instruments such as the tamboura, harmonium, tabla, and dholak, as well as flute, guitar, drums, and keyboard/synthesizer. Lead vocalists include Rick and Perry Flinn, K.Gopal Krishna Meher,John Connor, Ted Judson, Carol Gunn, Laine Lipsor, Winnie Barrett, Buz Connor, and Cathy Riley - surely some ofBaba's most talented singers. Also, saved for fmal applause, the Chapel Hill Choral Singers, fifteen members strong, under the energetic direction ofDebbie Nordeen, and also the chorus ofIndian singers who so electri.f)r the songs entitled "Babahu" and "Allah Meher Baba." And ofcourse, Ward Parks, composer, arranger, accompanist, who did the recording withJohn Gurm and MVR. Balaji. The overall work is a mastepiece sparklingwith the unmistakable beauty and charm of our Beloved Meher Baba. The disc contains over an hour of heartawakening music, twelve songs, each pulsing with a profundity gleaned from Meher Baba's words and inspiration, and dedicated to His memory and love. There is an alchemy at work in Ward's outpourings: he takes a full measure of melody and Urdu lyrics (like Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn), some sacred music ofJohann Sebastian Bach, many layers of Western Classical composition and structure, and some modern up-beat rhythms, and he artistically arranges them into his test tube. Then he takes the themes of Meher Baba's messages about the game of duality; the manifestation of God in every nook and cranny ofHis creation; the pain-injoy of loving the Beloved; the unveiling of Beauty and Truth in the heart of the lover; the oneness of the Lover, the Beloved, and the Love itself He weaves these and other themes into masterly crafted poems worthy of their own presentation, and mixes the poetry into that same test tube. Lastly Ward brings together captivating performances full of passion and heart from all the singers and musicians, and especially a remarkable strength and naturalness from the Chapel Hill Choral Singers. The ingredients blissfully transform into the "gold" of Meher Baba's

sahavas which"gleams from hidden ponds, like secrets of the deep." The love song,"Learning to love you," sums it all up: All gifts are ofYour giving, all tastes are Your prasad, And the purpose of our living is our learning to love You. So merciful and tender the face and eyes of God; The obedience we render are our infant steps to love You.

A joy too sweet for telling, a rose within a clod, A pearl of deep up-welling is the knowing that I love You. Try it for yourself This is music and poetry that deserves a meditative hour in the company of the Beloved. Like a lantern's distant glimmering Or stars upon a stream, Your face through veil shimmering Is mirrored in my dream. Like echoes from a history

In a language no one knows Your whispers wrapped in mystery A long-lost love disclose. From the song "Glory Be To God." 't

When I drop My body I will remain in all who love Me. I never die. Love Me, obey Me, and you will

find Me.


Raphael Rudd's Concert for the Sufis by Raphael Rudd

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have been asked by Dina to review my newest CD, which was recorded as a live concert for the Sufi group in California. My heartfelt thanks go out the special guest artists, Julie, Hank and Randy who accompanied me during the performance. The muscianship, both musically and technically, was masterfully performed. I truly feel that the whole concert was inspired by Baba and captured the essence of my love for Him. I gave my heart and soul to Meher Baba with the wish that the whole audience would receive it and transmit that love back. This concert has allowed me to play the music that I have not performed on the harp for almost 20 years. Julia and I performed several duets including Beyond Passion, as well as a piece that I wrote and dedicated to Murshid MacKie entitled Timeless Love, also a new version of the American Arti. It was a great honor to play with the composer himself, Hank Mindlin. I performed a new piece dedicated to my mother entitled I Will Always Be with You. The title implies that Meher Baba will always be that loving light that had inspired her throughout her last 50 years. The fInal track on this recording is dedicated to Pete Townshend entitled The Awakener and that is exactly what Baba doesawaken you to your true self I believe this recording demonstrates the vitality as well as the delicacy of Meher Baba's beauty. This CD sells for $9.

Two from Raine Sally Shimizu, Berkeley, California

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aine Eastman-Gannett has just released two wonderful new CDs, Mehera The Divine Rememberer and Nada Om Mantra. Mehera The Divine Rememberer is the culmination of 10 years' work on songs celebrating the life of Mehera. On this CD Raine truly lets her heart sing in honor of (as Mani has written) the "Qyeen ofMeher King". These are songs about, to, or for Beloved Baba's Mehera. There are also favorite songs of Mehera's that she requested Raine to sing again and again over the years. My favorites from this CD are the title song The Divine Rememberer and Mehera I Miss You. Raine's beautiful voice and words on

these songs transport me to Meherazadto Mehera's porch-and bring tears to my eyes each time I listen to them. One of Mehera's favorites is The Dawn Light Breaks. The purity of Raine's voice on this song reflects the light that is Mehera's love for her Beloved. Mehera the Divine Rememberer helps me to remember how Meher Baba would like us to keep Him in our hearts, as Mehera did. Some tracks on Mehera the Divine Rememberer are enhanced by Sam Saunders' superb guitar arrangements and by other wonderful Baba musicians. Nada Om Mantra is a new release by Rani Didi (Raine's name in the East). It is a collection of Indian Mantra and is a teaching CD. Mantra is a syllable, word or phrase endowed with special power drawn from ancient scriptures in Sanskrit. The healing power ofsound helps to open the heart, still the mind and balance the body. I have greatly benefIted from the healing qualities of Mantra and highly recommend this extraordinary CD to anyone interested in exploring Nada Yoga or the Yoga of Sound. Listening to Nada Om Mantra is also the perfect way to start or end the day-using its purifying and energizing properties for renewal. The tabla and tambura player on Nada Om Mantra is Ashwin Batish. Both CDs sell for $14.

could hear them again. A few days later, on Cindy andJeff's last day in Meherazad, Cindy sang Everything to Me for the Sunday program. When the song ended, Mani called Cindy over to her, took the scarfshe was wearing from around her neck, and placed it around Cindy's neck. I happened to be there with a camera, and while all the pictures came out rather fuzzy and none was taken from just the right angle, I sent them to Cindy later anyway. Not only was that moment with Mani in itself a very special one for her; it was also the last time the two of them would be together. Cindy once told me that after Mani died, she quit writing songs; for years she had used Mani as her inspiration, the audience she hoped to reach. When she wrote a song, she would imagine playing it for Mani on her next visit to India. If she thought it would please Mani then she was also satisfIed. Nearly three years 'went by before Cindy began writing songs again-and when she fInally did, it was still Mani she thought ofas her audience. Now Cindy's other fans will be pleased to know that a new CD, Now Till the End, dedicated to Mani and released in August, 2000, is now available. This album is, I think, more sophisticated musically than the earlier ones, and the overall tone is somewhat quieter. While I would have preferred a longer fade-out on individual songs and a little more space between them, this is a very minor complaint given all the positive aspects of this collection. Cindy is a guitarist par excellence as well as a composer, lyricist, singer and painter (her bright, whimsical Rastafarian Trees in Love is the cover for this CD). Those who know her work will recognize an old favorite or two from her 1990 album Keep Me Near, including the plaintive title song. Those who have heard Cindy in concert during the past three or four years in Meherabad or elsewhere may be familiar with a couple of the other songs, but most of this album will be new to listeners. Some of the

NowTill The End A new CD from Cindy Lowe Reviewed by

aney Wall-Ariwna

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ani S. Irani was one of Cindy Lowe's greatest fans. When Cindy and Jeff were in India in 1995, Cindy sang in Mandali Hall on two or three occasions. One morning, after her rendition of You andI, Mani read the words to the song aloud so that everyone

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songs are interestingly paired; the dark Devil Don't Dance Alone is followed by the almost stately Dancing with You. Two songs about Mehera, defInitely among the best here, are accompanied only by Cindy's virtuoso guitar and the lyrical, haunting beauty of the cello, played by the gifted Gay Dunn. The fIrst, Mehera, Please Tell Me, is reminiscent of past days spent on the porch at Meherazad, listening to Mehera tell the stories we all wanted to hear: Mehera, please tell me The way it was then When you were a young girl Enchanted by Him... This one is followed by the deeply moving The Night Before the Wedding: The night before the wedding Mehera lay waiting Creation waited with her Through the silent night... Among my other particular favorites are Sister, Fly to Him, written for Mani during her last months, where the image of a kite without a string used in the chorus evokes Flying a Kite, the wonderful story Mani tells in her book God-Brother, as well as its delightful cover illustration by Wodin. A Pilgrim's Arti, with its rousing chorus invites listeners to sing alQng. And the lilting, minor key Companions, written and sung by both Cindy and Ann Stewart, describes the journey to the Beloved anLi the souls we encounter in making it: We walked this way together To a beacon in the dark Faced out into emptiness And saw another's heart Listened in the silence For the sound that has no name Shared the song of solitude And sacrifIce and gain

As she has with her previous albums, Cindy once again brings together a large group of talented instrumentalists to accompany herErnie Brady, Derek Bianchi, Dave Miotke, Gay Dunn, Julia Skiff, Kennon Shaw, Bill Belasco,T. Gray Shaw, Laurie Chastain, David Phillips, LarryThrasher and Raine EastrnanGannett. And a number of singers, Derek Bianci, Alexandra Cons, Raine EastmanGannett, Winnifred Kershaw, Dave Miotke, Chris Robinson, Kappe Rousseau and T.Gray Shaw, provide harmonious backup on several songs. Now Till the End is a wonderful and welcome addition to the growing number of albums inspired by and written for and about Beloved Meher Baba. CD $16, tape $12.

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You can hear selected songs at her web site: http://www.firstworld.netl-vox101 cindylowelindex.htrnl

Everything is Music A new CD by Catherine Haas Riley Reviewed by Ann O'Neil, Asheville, North Carolina We havefilIIen into aplace Where everything is music Stop the words now. Open up the window in the center ofyour chest and let the spiritsfly in and out. Rurni (rendered by Coleman Barks) Drawing from the ghazals and poetry ofRurni, Tagore, Mirabai, and many others, Catherine Haas Riley's new CD is a musical celebration of life, comprised of nine captivating songs with lyrical lead vocals by Cathy, plus four jubilant choral works. The 13 selections on this CD span many centuries ofpoetry, and Cathy's skills as a songwriter put them all in a vibrant contemporary context.

It has been eight years since Cathy's last cassette, 0 Radiant One was released, and her development as an artist is apparent on this latest CD. The title song, Everything is Music combines a catchy rhythm and melody with a fusion of vocals and chanted words that had my eleven-year-old son singing along the first time we played the cut. A 36 voice chorus in this selection reflects Cathy's recent endeavors into choral music. After moving to Asheville in 1996, she joined a womens chorus directed by Debbie Nordeen. The enthusiasm ofthe group and Debbie's inspired direction led Cathy to rewrite a number of her solo Baba songs for the choir. The response was so enthusiastic that Cathy decided to add men's voices, and during

successive concerts, audiences and the chorus thoroughly enjoyed the richness of this fuller choir sound. Intoxicate Me combines the two greatest collaborators of ghazal writing in the 20th Century, Meher Baba and Bhau Kalchuri. Taken from Meher Sarod, in which Meher Baba gave Bhau certain lines for a ghazal and then asked him to compose others, Cathy has set these words to a sparkling tune and lively rhythm. One of the most moving cuts on the CD is Your Faith willnot be Broken. Again, using a chorus of many voices, Cathy has written a song of hymn-like quality from the poem by Zerka Moreno:

You too, shall sing oflove ofthings undreamt, unspoken. You too will fuller grow

And reach your shores

Of life evolving. Your faith will not be broken. The icing on the cake of this song is the voice of Darwin Shaw, against the backdrop ofsustained choral harmonies, reading Meher Baba's words on faith. The singers and musicians who worked on this CD are from every walk oflife and every spiritual inclination. Coming together to celebrate poetry dedicated to God in music, they became like "beads on one string,Âť and the resulting CD reflects this wonderful collaboration. Cathy Haas Riley has shown that her songwriting and arranging skills have taken a leap forward. The painting on the cover is by her husband Tom Riley, an artist of repute. The CD sells for $14.

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The Master helps the seeker in His own invincible ways which have no parallel in the ways of the world, but if the aspirant is to be the recipient of this help, he must make a real effort to surrender himself to the Divine will of the Master. From Sparks from Meher Baba,] uly, 1969, Sheriar Press.


Ann N atkal Had a Special Love for her Baba by: Teri Adams, Redondo Beach

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n 1973, daughters Lynn Maguire and Teri Adams brought Ann to her first LA Baba meeting, a hayride and songs around a campftre. A few nights later, Ann had an amazing and glorious dream of Meher Baba that completely transformed her heart. For days afterwards she would weep, saying over and over, "He is so beautiful, He is so beautiful," and tried to put into words what she experienced. "He was wearing a long white gown, He was glowing all over and He was very happy to see me. Baba gently took my hand in His and guided me up a steep mountain. My feet were no longer touching the ground. We were climbing to heaven, the closer we got to the top the more I became filled with Baba's love." Thus began a flowing oflove for Baba that poured into her poetry. These are two of the many poems she had written in October 1978, while visiting the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. Elizabeth Patterson kept the originals on her mantle at Dilruba for many years.

Falling Autumn Leaves

The Setting Sun

All the little leaves That fall off the trees Are so colorful and bright As the leaves fall and lie Side by side One captures a picture Of a painted forest That nature provides With Baba's love For the leaves and the trees

The setting sun Shines thru the trees And casts beautiful shadows on The cabin walls The shadows dance to and fro And all of a sudden Baba's silhouette appears Before my eyes What a wonderful sight That was to see Baba is everywhere Here especially for me and my heart.

we have felt His presence here That will last all our lives Jai Baba

Jai Baba

Song to Hazrat Babajan Maxwell Reif, Walnut Creek, California When they get close enough, You give them Your kiss, Under the spreading neem tree Down in ancient Poona. They wander, the puerile and neglected, In the ignorance of their vacant dreams, And the keenness ofYour sunlight glance Does not miss a one. They puff upon their beedies And try to hide from God As they journey, from horizon to horizon, Right past You without turning, Taking thus the long road to Your feet.

And once in a while, A beggar of Earth Collapses there in defeat, His struggle over, And You take him under the wings of Your great love. And when He comes upon His bicycle, The One You have awaited all these years, Your Kiss brings in the world's new age. Nothing ever escapes You, And nothing ever willAnd even God Himself comes to Your doorUnder the spreading neem tree, Down in ancient Poona.

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~/(ยง; ~

God Speaks: The Title

Part 1

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t must be time now to make a high priority ofreflecting on the title that Meher Baba selected for His principal book, God Speaks, and to ask oneselfwhat are the implications ofhaving chosen such a title. Perhaps the inevitable fIrst question that one must pose is to ask if there is a possibility that one should take the words God Speaks quite literally to mean that the words are in fact the words of God. The fIrst time this question was brought up in a meeting of Baba devotees, Sally Gardner looked struck and replied, "I always assumed they were God's words." Did this mean simply that she takes so literally what Baba said many times, that He is God, that her exclamation was the automatic response from her own acceptance of Baba's words? To her, in such case, it was obvious that Baba could say nothing that was not from God. If this is true, then one must reflect further on why Baba, for this particular book, emphasized through the choice oftitle that this was from God. Could it possibly be that Baba was indic~ting to us that these words are related to those several cases in mystic history when the circumstances of the appearance of certain words was accompanied either by such striking events as Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinal; or, as some millions of people believe, as being the direct words of God, when Mohammed received the dictation of the Koran? If this is what Baba was indicating in a very understated manner, then these are very special words indeed. A serious student of Meher Baba's philosophy, and most certainly a devotee of Baba, should give this his full concentration. Perhaps the fIrst key aspect to be examined is one ofstyle. Many people still living are familiar with the explaining and style ofpresentation ofBaba. Still many more are familiar with His style of writing, as evidenced principally in the Discourses and Part IT of Listen, Humanity. In analyzing the manner ofBaba's presentation of these well attested works, of which we know the background intimately, and then comparing them with the style used in God Speaks, one has to grant at once that there is a vast difference. Having admitted this important fact, then it is inevitable that one ask oneself the further question, can it be then that this is the style ofpresentation of God Himself?

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"--~~/

Don Stevens, Cagnes sur Mer, France There are probably very few people living at present who can qualifY as being familiar with God's style of using words in a formal address to humanity. But certainly, the style employed in God Speaks is very simple and direct, and the manner of presenting even the most basic and complex concepts is simple in the extreme. Also, there are absolutely no theatrics, and none of the tricks of the trade used to call the attention of the reader to a point of profound signifIcance. This is obviously from someone who has vast stores of knowledge of the most intimate detail, and who chooses from all this, only the bare bones ofwords necessary to state a given fact or concept. This has to be mysticism at its best, and this is exactly the evaluation given by two of the leading editors in the field in Europe. It was also the opinion of all the key staff of the original publishers in the USA. If then there is some strong circumstantial evidence that the author is in fact someone other than Beloved Baba Himself, and one is to entertain the possibility that we have here one of those historic documents which arrives direct from God Himself, then why was its effective arrival so delayed? Further, why was it not brought forth as Cecile B. DeMille so brilliantly depicted the manner in which the Commandments were received by Moses and delivered at such a dramatic moment-during the full blown celebration of false Gods?! If you were the holder of a message of great moment direct from God, you would hardly have delivered it in the low-key manner that Baba gave us God Speaks. In such case, one has another very tough knot to untie historically. Let us look into the existing record we have of God and the most recent advent of his representative in Creation, the Avatar Meher Baba. I am personally impressed especially by one of the key actions of the Avatar in this advent, which is His telling us that He has continued the Avataric precedent ofgiving a great gift to humanity in the form of free access to some great attribute, as Jesus had done for example with the gift of love to humanity. This did not mean that love did not exist within humanity before Jesus Christ, but he opened access to it enormously, and to all of humanity, rather than perhaps to only the

heroes on the Path. Meher Baba stated very clearly that His Avataric gift to humanity was broad access to intuition. Again, there had been intuition before the time of Avatar Meher Baba, but with limited access and practical application. Now it was to be available to all, and in the words of Baba, would even supplant intellect and logic in the major daily aspects of life, such as commerce and science. This was a great pronouncement and accompanying gift. Since that message, I have personally noted very little activity even amongst the most devoted, to follow up on the implied homework inevitably involved in putting such an important gift to use in practical daily life and into the spiritual path. Perhaps it is time also to reflect on what we must start to do, as a gift such as this has to be accompanied by a counterpart effort to uncover and promulgate the norms and rules for its use. ow let us go back to the provenance of God Speaks and whatever the Avatar's gift of intuition may have to do with unlocking its content, and especially to do with the lack of fanfare this time for a direct (perhaps) message from God. Forgive me for being so bold as to suggest that these two key things may be linked together. Is it possible that the words ofGod depend now upon our learning to use properly the Avatar's gift of intuition to mine the inner value of His words? A shocking statement, certainly, even if preceded by words that suggest that we merely contemplate such a possibility. And yet, wouldn't it have been a tremendous oversight on the part of Divinity if it had failed to establish some relationship between two such top priority events in this Avataric age? This indeed needs a lot of reflection, and not the challenging sort, but the honestly searching sort.

Part 2 At the moment I am still stunned. The dramatic manner in which Meher Baba Himself has entered into events concerning His choice of title for the book God Speaks leaves me in no doubt concerning His presence and His wishes. About two months ago I was suddenly struck by the thought that I should reflect seriously on whether Baba's choice of title


was to be taken completely literally. Was this book one of those extremely rare instances in the history of man in which words were given directly by God to mankind ~ough His trusted and beloved representatIve on earth? Just as it is believed that God Himselfblazed the words ofthe Ten Commandments into the stone of the mountain in front ofMoses, and the Islamic tradition believes that the Koran was dictated to Mohammed for mankind's use, so God Speaks is a new message direct from God, with Meher Baba as its recipient and Eruch its scribe. This is a startling possibility to entertain. I felt this was a new high in Stevens' adventurousness, but hopefully an honest following of Baba's message. Meanwhile, I had given several seminars on God S/J.eaks and included in two of them were sectIOns dealing with the Dedication in God Speaks, which has always bothered me as well as a number of other people. About a year ago Meheru asked me to send all of my letters from India that I was willing to part with for permanent housing in the new Archives Building. Typical ofthe manner in which Baba works, I found included among these a copy sent to me by Mani of her letter to Ivy Duce from Satara on 12 December 1954, commenting chiefly on the Preface and Introduction to God Speaks. In it she also gave some of the history of Baba's intervention into Ivy Duce's Dedication, and I saw with great interest that Baba's suggestions for the wording had been very difficult for Mani to interpret, and this meant to me that Mani had had trouble getting it right. I have been with Baba and Eruch when Baba would have the same problem, and would finally settle for a not quite correct word, which I felt to be. the case for the word "sustains" in the Dedication. Dick Duman had received a copy of the recording of the Seminar and asked me for a copy of Mani's letter to Ivy Duce. I felt pressed and impatient, but decided Dick and others had every right to have a copy of the letter if they wished to see exactly how it was put. I got the copy from storage and brought it home. As usual, I saw that Do.n had made a slightly stronger case for hIS point of view than was actually written by Mani. Never mind, it was still clear to me that essentially Mani had been involved in a situation with Baba such as I had witnessed Eruch encounter with Baba on occasion, without there being a solution that really

satisfied Baba. I read on in Mani's letter to Ivy, just to refresh my memory ofwhat Mani had written. There it was, totally unexpected and crystal clear:

"You may tell them it is Baba's particular wish to give this book of His the widest andbest distribution...that its tremendous valuewil1 be recognized later as the directwords ofGod." How had I missed those words? How could I have failed to see their enormous importance? I can tell you how it happened, but you will be wise enough to know that this is not a total explanation, but only a tiny part of the real story. I had often he~rd Ivy Duce discuss a pearl necklace she mtended to sell to help finance the printing of God Speaks, so when Mani started her paragraph with this story I already knew well I turned off and skipped to the next paragraph. In so doing, I missed one of the most important statements we have from Baba concerning God Speaks. But it was not time, that I can see, and now it is time. And I am floored by the manner in which Baba unearthed this planted statement concerning the source of God Speaks. I now feel deeply that the manner of handling this major mystic work was due to the fact that the Avatar was to be the transmitter of the words of God, but the time for its major utilization was scheduled to be after the Avatar had left His physical form. In turn, I think this is because a great heart part of the Avatar's contribution to humanity during His lifetime was to be that of concentrated love, which mankind has so lacked for several hundred years. The balance was desperately in need of rebalancing by the living example, and then to be further reinforced for some important years by the Mandali who had been s.o bathed in his living presence. But, as thIS [Mandali] endowment is exhausted, the day of real use of God Speaks is at hand. We should now be asking ourselves if it is time to examine more closely the clear meaning of the title Baba gave this great work.

'OUT own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as OUT Imwise thoUfJhts. 2Jo one can help us as much as our own compassionate thOIlDhts. g

From The Buddha's Little Instruction Book. by Jack. Komjield, Bantam Books 1994.

From a computer painting ofMeher Baba by C. Plumlee

The Beloved's Face Ever since I saw the Beloved's face, its lines have etched themselves on my heart. I still nurse the wound ofseparation within meit has left me broken. Flowing tresses may be a snare and a net. Those are pagan tresses whose lure, like the bulbul, has sprung from the head, bogged in the heart. When ego is erased, duality disappears: God's lover is himselfGod. This is the heart's only homethe heart in the lover, the lover in the heart.

a Seeker, you make a show of public worship, then claim your share ofdesires. The true lover carries within him, in secret, the name ofGod. Strange are the ways ofthe enlightened ones. They weep and laugh in one breath, scorn on the lip, grace in the heart, profanity on the tongue, praise in the heart. Some say God dwells in the temple, others put Him in the mosque. What do you seek abroad, ignorant one? Realize, oh Huma, God is within you. Huma (pen name ofMeher Baba) (Ghazals written and frequently sung by Meher Baba in the 1920s, under His penname "Huma", meaning "Phoenix".) From The Master Sings, translated by Naosherwan Anzar 1981, Zeno Pub. Services.

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Announcernents Australian Youth Sahavas

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gatherin g of young people from far and wide will take place at Avatar's Abode, a beautiful property visited by Meher Baba in 1958 on Australia's Sunshine Coast. This Sahavas will provide a unique opportunity to share in each other's company the love ofAvatar Meher Baba. Participants will be able to explore and celebrate this love through discussions, art workshops, gardening, music, theatre, garnes, sport and more. Special guests will be Buz and Wendy Conners. The Sahavas is open to teenagers of high school age who know ofMeher Baba and wish to know more. ARRIVE: Fri 12th ofJan @ 4pm DEPART: Wed 17th ofJan @ 3pm COST: The cost is $115 (Aust. $) This will cover all meals, accommodation, and workshop expenses. Transfers and accommodation for before and after the event can be arranged for interstate and overseas participants. To receive a registration form, or for more information, contact: Meherose Borthwick Ph 61 295573921 or email meherose@hotmail.com or look up our web page at http:// www.ausyouthsahavas.coml

will have a special emphasis on celebrating and sharing Meher Baba's Divine Love through artistic expression and through service. Anyone who would like to receive more information may write to: Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas Attention: Mehera Makeig Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust King's Road, Post Bag #31 Ahmednagar, M.S., 414001 INDIA Or you may email: sahavas@ambppct.org

Eighth Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas for Beloved Meher Baba February 16-19,2001

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oin us for three nights and three days at La Foret in the Black Forest near Colorado prings, Colorado, as we celebrate Avatar Meher Baba, each other and our special guests, Mrs. Franey Irani and Mrs. Shireen Bonner.

Sahavas 2001

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n international Young Adult Sahavas will be held at Meherabad from June 22nd to July 2nd, 2001 for Baba lovers between the ages of 19 and 35. The Sahavas

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Mahoo Ghorbani, a member ofour Board of Directors, was married October 17 to Shahriar Sharriari. Her husband was born into a Zoroastrian family in Iran, emigrated to England, then Canada, and then, to fulfill his destiny, carne to LosAnge1es and metMahoo.The bridewas born in Shiraz, home of Hafiz, in Iran. They now live in Los Angeles, and are planning to take a trip to the Me her Spiritual Center, since Shahriarwas the surprise winner ofthe "Fly to Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes", a fund raiser here at Meherabode.

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Meherabad YOung Adult

Wedding Bells

Anthony Mellowship Goes to Baba

Producer Looks for Help to Air Meher Baba Public Access TV Programs Ded Stankus, living in Los Angeles, produces a cable public access TV Program about Avatar Meher Baba airing montWy on local cable public access channels. He has been creating these programs for many years now and so he has a great variety of shows. Call or email Fred for a list of the various interviews he has conducted. If your local cable system allows "outside" produced programs, you can have the "Meher Baba Program" aired in your area. You would be responsible for mailing costs and local cable systems costs along with the tracking of the tapes for return to Fred Stankus in Los Angeles. Please contact Fred: email: GigiFred@aol.com or call (323) 257-8371.

For more information, contact Karen Ireland and Russ Preister 425 Dudley Street Lakewood, Colorado 80226-1155 (303)239-6659

Franey and her daughter Shireen have both been with Meher Baba their whole lives. Franey grew up in Ahmednagar, India in what is now the Avatar Meher BabaTrust compound, where three fumilies lived together, including hers, her cousin Adi K. Irani and her uncle Sarosh Irani. Franey'sparentsareDinshawandSoonamaiIrani; Soonamai is Dr. Goher and Katie's aunt. Franey married Meher Baba's brother, AdiJr. and they moved to London, where Shireen was born and raised. Shireen was held in Baba's arms at three months. Franey, Shireen and Shireen's husbandJay and their daughter Mehera now reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Because we are all brothers and sisters in Meher Baba, don't miss this opportunity to spend time with the family of the Beloved One and hear their delightful stories!

ong time Australian Baba Lover Anthony Mellowship died on November 24 aged 56. He had close 24 hour support in the last days. He had lived around Avatar's Abode where he often visited and worked for over 20 years. Several Baba lovers were with him on 24 hour vigil the last few days.Jane Seeger, who had cared for him with the most amazing devotion to his wishes throughout the illness, was equally courgeous as his spokesperson at the funeral at which many people spoke ofthe profound affect "Bunty" had had on their lives. During his life, Anthony brought many people to Baba and was known as a skilled and profound healer. The way he dealtwith his illness, extending a sixweekprognosis to six months, was inspiring. The funeral was a real Baba"Love Zone", with songs, prayers and stories.Those who were not Baba lovers were deeply moved by the atmosphere.

''In Another Life" teve Sakellarios has made a docum~n足 tary on reincarnation. The Internet ve.rslon of his documentary, "In Another Life", is now available for viewing in Real Player format at http}/members.nbci.comlssake. You will need the most recent version of Real Player. You can select for 28Kor 56K speed connection. A version

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optimized for faster connections will be available soon.There is no charge for the player or for viewing. This show is especially meant for people who are undecided about the subject, so mention it to your skeptical or curious friends.

Things Are Happening in Ahmednagar

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e were amazed when just a few short years ago Ahmednagar opened up a 1 Hour Photo Developing shop. Then followed, even more amazing, a Cyber Cafe. And yet, you still have to navigate around the cows in the middle of the street! When we heard that there was now a web site for Ahmednagar we were more than surprised! So we checked it out at www.ahmed nagaronline.com It looks amazing, with a plethora of choices in headings for places to eat, dance, theater, etc. However when ever we clicked on any subject, the word "Coming" was displayed. Never mind, we have patience. It will be a site to see!

Mini Seminar Series on Intuition and God

Speaks

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on Stevens is planning a short series of mini seminars in different cities in the USA on'Intuition'and alternately God Speaks.The first ofthese, bringing up to date what has been going on in Baba's scenario recently for God Speaks as well as various group study projects, will occur at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolin, Tuesday evening,January 9. The second will be Wednesday,January 10 at ChapelHil1, North Carolina, starting a two-hour session at 11 a.m. and a second at 3 p.m. both on Intuition. The third will be more general in Asheville on Thursday,January 11. The venue then jumps to Mystic, Connecticut, for God Speaks at the home ofthe Ayers on Saturday,January 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with break for lunch. The following day in Salem at the Griffins the topic is Intuition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then 3 to 5 p.m. The last ofthis mini-series will be in Minneapolis onTuesday,January 16, on Intuition again. Time to be announced by Mary Sucoff. We understand there will probably be a similar series in the late spring on the West Coast. Things seem to be moving on the God Speaks front these days.

32nd Amartithi at Meherabad

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ear Sisters and Brothers in Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, The thirty-second Amartithi of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba falls on Wednesday, 31st January. For this sacred occasion it is expected that pilgrims from all over India and around the world will be visiting the Tomb-Shrine of Avatar Meher Baba at Meherabad Hill, Ahmednagar (M.S.) India, to take part in the gathering. The observance of the thirty-second Amartithi will be for two days, 30thJanuary afternoon to noon of 1st February. The main function, as usual, will be on 31st January. Darshan of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba will be available inside the TombShrine through a regulated queue designated specifically for this occasion. However, due to the influx of pilgrims during Amartithi, it is requested for the benefit of all that pilgrims take the least time possible for darshan and that pilgrims take darshan only once on 31st January. By Beloved Babaas grace, it will be made possible for Amartithi pilgrims to stay at Meherabad during the Amartithi period, in quarters set up for the purpose. Pilgrims from abroad wishing to be accommodated at Meherabad over Amartithi will be directed to the person responsible for their lodging and boarding arrangements upon their arrival for registration in Ahmednagar. Meherazad will be closed from Janu-

News Flash! Pune-Mumbai-Pune bus service

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or those of you interested in alternative travel arrangements from the Mumbai airport to Pune, MAA Travels and Tours operates a Sabar Airport-Pune-Sabar Aiport AlC bus service for a one way fare of Rs. 450 per seat. It drops you anywhere in Pune and the departures from Sabar Airport are at Midnight, 2.30 am and 6 am. (This means you don't have to spend an agonizing four hours sitting bolt upright at the Leila Hotel when all you want to do is sleep on their comfy couches!). You can buy the tickets just as you come out ofcustoms. They have a booth near the prepaid taxi booth.

ary 26th through February 5th, including all Amartithi days (30th January through 1st February). Hence pilgrims should not visit Meherazad during these days for any purpose whatsoever, whether by public bus, private bus, car or rickshaw. Meherazad will reopen for pilgrims on Tuesday 6th February. The usual pilgrim accommodation facilities at the Meher Pilgrim Centre will be closed from 28th January to 3rd February (except for use as an infIrmary during the two days of the Amartithi programme) and the usual accommodation facilities at the Dharmshala and Hostels will be closed from 25th January to 3rd February.

All are heartilywelcome to attend Avatar Meher Baba's 32nd Amartithi function on Meherabad Hill Please pass on the above information about the Amartithi programme to all Baba-lovers in your area. Jai Avatar Meher Baba!!! In Avatar Meher Baba's Service, V.S. (Bhau) Kalchuri , Chairman Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar, (M.S.) 414001 India

For information on how to go from Pune to Mumbai, the Pune contact is MAA Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd., Mittal Court, 3rd. Fl., Rasta Peth, Opp. Sai Service, Pune 411011. Ph. 612 4877, 611 9043/53, Fax: 020613-7518, Email: maatravels@yaboo.com. They also have a website at www. maatravels.com The SuperExpress train leaves about 5 a.m. from VT Station in South Mumbai, but the bus is much more convenient and you probably won't get a seat on the train. You can also ask the bus to drop you at a hotel in Pune for breakfast or go straight to the Nagar taxi stand at Shivaji Nagar Bus Station. This could be less expensive than booking a Trust Office taxi for a single person, and you may arrive in Nagar sooner.

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~~ ~/ What's President's Report by Lois Jones "All those who love Me and want to share in My work can do so." -Avatar Meher Baba

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ai Baba! There was plenty of activity at Meherabode in Y2K! First, a recap ofour iggest business accomplishment: We paid off the Mortgage in January! Thank you to everyone who contributed toward this goal since we moved into our new home nearly four years ago. We will begin renovating the main building in April 2001. The Transformation Committee, which did all of the work to get us to this point, completed its work in December. We thank everyone on that Committee who donated so much time and energy to this project. And a very special "Thank you" to the trio of chairpersons: Linda Zavala, Michael Ramsden, and Kent Hansen. The newly formed Construction Committee will supervise the renovations. The major event in January was observance of Beloved Meher Baba's Amartithi. Adele Wolkin was our special guest speaker who shared her experience of Baba's passing. Adele introduced a delightful surprise - a time capsule, which is to be opened in 2069! All who were present were encouraged to place notes and "Baba" keepsakes in the capsule. Birthday program coordinator Radha Delamarter took a unique approach to celebrating Baba's Birthday on February 25th-we presented gifts to Him, in the forms of music, dance, humor, poetry, and our own words. Also this year, we were pleased to welcome guest speakers Casey Cook (from Meherazad), Ralph and Stella Hernandez (longtime workers in His service at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach), author Bill Stevens and his wife Peggy, and Baba's nephews, Rustom and Sohrab. We are pleased that Esfandiar Vessali has moved to Los Angeles, which gives us all more opportunities to hear about his life in the Prem Ashram. In July we had our fmt picnic at Meherabode--games, sports, prizes, and lots of food and fun! We were most entertained watching Michael Ramsden put the basketball hoop apparatus together. Thankfully it w~s completed in plenty of time for us all to enJoy.

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New at Meherabode~ It's always a challenge to maintain our Center's 5 buildings. This year, Nancy Merwan coordinated two major cleaning parties. They truly were festive--lots of people cheerfully working very hard, with their only rewards being pizza and a sense of accomplishment. Thank you all! The L.A. Sahavas was truly wonderful this year. Our dear brother, Baba's night watchman, Bhau Kalchuri, returned and was "on fire" for Baba. Naosherwan Anzar joined us from New Jersey. In addition to Naosherwan's very moving talks about his life with Baba, he and Bhau introduced and gave to us the background on the (now published) book, In God's Hand. We were also fortunate to hear Leatrice Johnston, from New Mexico, tell loving stories of her life with Baba. As many may have heard by now, we also discovered some "cracks" in the foundation of the L.A. Baba community. On October 7, we held a community gathering to talk about our concerns and how we could develop a strong, harmonious community. This gathering was the fIrst of its kind in L.A. We weren't expecting a quick fIx, but, rather, hoped to open the door to better communication. Those who participated felt we did that and requested that we continue the community gatherings. We will. Thank you to everyone who took part. Baba has graced us with a lovely Center in His name in Los Angeles. There are many ways in which you can participate at the Center. Simply spending time at beautiful Meherabode is one way, and we encourage you to do that. Ifyou are interested in other ways to participate, and you live in the L.A. area, we always need volunteers! Your love, time, and energy are greatly appreciated. We are glad you are part of this community.

"When I say that each ofyou be a 'Baba-Centre' it does not mean that each ofyou should workindividually when you can work collectively in groups as 'Baba-Centres'. Neither does this mean that you should not work on your own. I have shown you how I desire the work to be done', it is for you to follow the method best suited to you."

-Avatar Meher Baba

Board ofDirectors 2001-2003 Congratulations and welcome to the following Board members who were elected on Sunday, October 19,2000. They will each serve a two-year term. Mahoo Ghorbani Lois Jones Golnaz Manouchehr-pour Michael Ramsden Regina Sadano Jurgis Sapkus Shanie Verchick Steve Berry and Nancy Merwan will begin the second year of their two-year terms in January. We are very pleased that we will have a full nine-member Board of Directors! And on a more personal note from Lois: J ai Beloved Meher Baba. Through Baba's Grace I have had the opportunity to serve as Board of Directors President for the past three years. To say the least, functioning in this role has provided me with numerous opportunities to grow and learn! Most importantly, it has allowed me to continue to see the big picture for the Center. What I have learned is that every individual who comes to the Center and cares about the Center is the heart of the Center. The heart ofthe Center needs nurturing and great care. When the heart is functioning well, it is easier to conduct the Center's business in a loving, caring, and harmonious way, which enables us to more clearly focus on spreading Meher Baba's message of Love and Truth. (If anyone is wondering if my life, this year, has influenced this metaphor, you're probably right)! I am very interested in the unity of the L.A. Baba community, and would like to continue the work that has begun on healing and harmony within the community. Also, we are closer than ever to beginning our major renovation project (we must start by April 2001). I would like to see this project through to its completion. And I would like to continue to be of service to the L.A. Center. Thank you. "Remember me and I am there with you, and my love will guide you. I am the divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself" -Avatar Meher Baba


Trust Working Meeting with the Ayers by Karina Page, Orange, California

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activities at Meherabad. Each one of these Development activities is carefully reviewed and approved by theTrustees before it becomes part of the Plan, in their diligent respect for Baba's Directives. As Adele Wollin reminds us, the important thing to remember is that our Beloved Meher Baba created this Trust, and it is our privilege to remember and serve Him through His direct Guidance in this matter.

n October 22 a dedicated group met with Emory and Susan Ayers at the Center to discuss the needs of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. A wonderful and very personal update of the developments in Trust activities led to many good questions and suggestions. We were very appreClative of Emory '" and Susan's love and dedication to support the Trust, which they shared so generously with us. The current communication tools for Trust activities are: Amazingly we found that the number of In His Service, a biannual Trust newsletter Meher Baba lovers who have contributed with a circulation of 4,000; a Trust website to the Trust Development Plan over the last due to be launched in late 2000; a video on 3 years is only 180! the Trust due to be available in 2001; an elecA total of250 donors contributed to eitronic newsletter, Tavern Talk, with 500 cur- ther the Trust Firstly (Baba's plan to suprent subscribers; and local efforts. We pro- port the Mandali) or to the Development posed posting a map ofMeherabad activities Plan. This, even though the Trust has a and holding a Trust information meeting as mailing list of 4,000 lovers outside ofIndia one of our Sunday programs. If you would and many others who are not on the Trust like one of the large, very detailed maps mailing list. Besides new developments, the showing the Meherabad area and the pro- Trust currently needs approximately posed new buildings, please call or email the $250,000 for anAyers (number benual operating exlow). penses, which are The need for covered only about communication is 15% by pilgrim based on recent payments for acincreases in the commodations. need for Trust funds Perhaps people are to meet government not aware that the requirements to $3.50 per day that develop charitable they pay at the PilSusan and Emory Ayers grim Center is not land or lose it (it is important to assure a protective zone around due to things costing less in India, but simthe Samadhi). Then there is the need to ply that according to the mandate ofBaba's develop facilities for a vastly increasing Trust, everybody should be able to come to number of pilgrims; enhance community partake of the love available at the Samadhi, services in education and medical care; Meherabad and Meherazad. When you are archive precious materials associated with settling up your bill as you leave the PilMeher Baba; and provide roads, electricity grim Center, consider that the majority of and water necessary to support all the diverse your stay was covered by the Trust! The goal

of those working for the fundraising aspect of the Trust is to increase participation at all levels, large and small, so that each may contribute what is appropriate to them, but share in the Love which Baba has encircled in His Trust for the benefit of His Lovers. Our Center has contributed approximately $100,000 so far to the Development Plan, through the donations of56 lovers. We hope to increase the participation in this work through time and the efforts of many individuals. Tax-deductible love donations may currently be made to AMBCSC with a note that it is for the Trust Development Plan. Those who additionallywish to leave bequests in their wills or would like to designate the Trust as the beneficiary of insurance policies, IRAs or charitable trusts may contact Emory and Susan Ayers by email Eayers88@aol.com or phone (860) 536-0303.

~~~~ "Consult thy heart, and thou wilt hear the secret ordinance of God preordained by the heart's inward knowledge, which is real faith and divinity." Muhammad, in Whirall N. Perry, A Treasury oITraditional Wisdom. Varanasi: Indica Books, 1998 (1971), pp. 514

~~~~~

AudioTape Lending Library

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o you ever find yourself in a 'dry spell' spiritually? Are you bored listening to the same old negative news, weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings...?Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry (official tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMB Lending Audio Library do Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173.

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I

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A Concert with Baba

got the call to visit the Avatar in 1998. I attended the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in San Rafael for a few years and my passion for classical Indian music, ghazals, and semi-classical music is well fed by the many great musicians that give concerts in the Bay Area. Silicon Valley has drawn a lot ofIndian and Pakistani immigrants and their children attend music classes. They also support the arts and concerts that abound here. Classical music is less popular than ghazals and film music, but that is the case everywhere. More people attend country western, rock, blues, and jazz concerts than Western classical music concerts also; so classical musicians East and West have often to fmd other income sources (like semi-classical, jazz, etc.) to remain career musicians. I meet and have become friends with many of these wonderful musicians. I have taken lessons from some and attended concerts of others. Many seasoned and even new Baba followers experience a mayavic pull when planning their trip to Baba's Samadhi. I had forgotten this obstruction from Maya and went merrily along planning a trip to Pakistan, first to attend the Sufi Festival ofMusic in Lahore aI).d then to study with a classical musician's family I had become friends with here. (Their parents live in Lahore.) . Most significant, is that I had purchased a ticket in May of 1998 to attend a Zakir Hussain concert that was to take place in October 1998. So this ticket had been purchased six months in advance to get the best seat at my ticket price. Baba's call to come to India came after I purchased this ticket. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I could not attend this concert because ofthe last minute rush to make it to my plane. I also had no time to fmd a friend or fellow music student who could at least enjoy the concert in my stead! As I sighed deeply, I tossed the ticket into the trash with the thought to Meher Baba "Here, this is for YOU". Because you see although I attend many concerts in the Bay Area, Zakir's are so special. I have met him twice at the College, but I had only heard him play live once. OffI went to India on Pilgrimage and forgot about the concert I missed on the way. At Baba's Tomb I sang songs I learned at the College in classical ragas in both Hindi, Urdu and English so that both Western and Eastern lovers could understand the beauty ofthe song's poetry. After a particularly good time, I felt like going inside the Tomb and I felt Baba invited me to Pune. In 1972 I stayed in Pune,

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Karen Lynn Sterkin, Walnut Creek, CA but for every trip after that I only by-passed Pune on my way from Bombay to Ahmednagar. So I had not really seen Pune since 1972 when Jal Bhai, Mehe~ee, etc. were still alive. I wondered if I would even know how to go or where to stay. Baba is the perfect host and everything was arranged in such a delightful way. I took the bus with one ofthe residents early in the morning and we shared a nice clean room at the YMCA which is cheap, clean, quiet, safe for women, and wonderful. She had to go back to Meherabad for her work so I had a free evening and a paid for hotel room, and the entire day to re-discover Pune. First I went to Baba's House and bowed my head on His sandals. Nobody was there, so I stayed in Baba's room and time stood still. No noise ofthe city, not even a bird - just time stopped and I was alone with Baba. The sun shone on His forehead in the photo there. I felt His indescribable sweetness. Then it ended. Again I heard the trucks, noises from the houses nearby, birds, and the bustling metropolis that is now Pune. Because I felt Baba had given me such a gift of His Presence there, like a child, I invited Him to come shopping with me! When I go to India, I pack only clothes that I can give or throwaway so that I can shop and bring back gifts in my empty luggage. I also want to feel comfortable and blend in with modern Indian people on the streets. I had in mind a certain type of punjabi that would be Just right'. So offl went to a woman's punjabi shop. Almost immediately I found the 'perfect' one---a green punjabi outfit which is beyond doubt still my favorite. I bought it feeling very much Baba's companionship and that this lovely outfit was His gift to me. While paying the owner for the punjabi, I overheard a discussion about Zakir Hussain's classical concert that evening! My one night in Pune. So I inquired about the place, time, and where the University of Pune was, how far, how do I get a ticket, etc. "Hopeless!" She told me the tickets were sold out months before. But I thought to myself, now why does Baba have me overhe~ such a conversation halfway around the globe-when Zakir is giving a classical concert right here tonight in Pune? So I took a rickshaw to the University grounds. I did not have time to go back to the hotel (in the opposite direction) and I did not want to take the time to purchase a jacket or

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shawl. This particular day was fme, but the evening became very cool. I thought better to be safe than sorry, and just buy anything to cover my shoulders, but this thought got interrupted and I did not buy a shawl. I also did not know that the concert would be outdoors. The concert was held on the grounds and it was so beautiful. Europeans and young Indian couples mixed and the same type of people I would meet in a concert right here in the Bay Area with that same atmosphere. I cannot explain the camaraderie of those who love classical music. The Easterners are different from people who attend film events.The Westerners are different from those who go to jazz and blues events. I might have seen such a group right in my own hometownthe only difference was that we were sitting outside in the beautiful campus grounds under the moon and stars halfway around the globe. I felt so happy and again I invited Baba to come and sit with me! But now, how to get a seat, a ticket! At the entrance there were absolutely no tickets available. Not even for $100 where I saw some rich people trying to bribe this much just to get a seat. The chairs were arranged in a semi-circle around the stage with chairs in rows going back all the way to the walls. I saw the far walls bordering the grounds area and wondered if people could stand on the walls. I inquired about the fenced area just behind the central seating section in front of the stage. I asked about that far wall but in the center ofthe semicircle. I could feel Baba nudging me because I felt too shy to ask her again, and the lady had been replying to me in Hindi because I had asked in Hindi. So I asked her again but this time in English. "Oh yes" she waved me in, "If you want to stand, you can just take a place there in front ofthe wall. Pay me 100 rupees." I paid her and ran to get the best place. Now standing there in this brand new green punjabi I asked Baba to come and be with me. I wanted to express to Baba my joy, I spoke to Him about everything, the people, where they came from, Westerners from Europe, were they from the Osho ashram or students at the University? Like a husband or girlfriend I just chattered on because I was so excited and happy. Nobody paid any attention to this mad woman dressed in a green Punjabi talking to an invisible companion. It became cooler and cooler and soon I was shivering. My punjabi had long sleeves, but the night was foggy and damp,just like a night concert in San Francisco! I told Baba I was afraid I would catch a cold.


Nowwhat to do? But I was enjoying the concert and was so happy. Then after the first musical presentation, everyone in the first four rows got up and left! I inquired from the person next to me where they went. He said they were rich people who just came to make an appearance, and then theygo to dinner! "Let'sgo and sit there" he said, "because it is too cold here by the wall". So I got a front row seat right in front of Zakir! As I walked down the aisle I could feel his eyes on me. Does he remember me? I am thinking. Does he recognize me as an Ali Akbar Khan student in Eastern dress here in Pune? When I sat in front of him, he gave me this look that conveyed, "I know who you are, what are you doing here?". I just smiled and greeted him by nodding. I enjoyed the concert but then it became so cold and damp and misty. Most of the people sitting near me had on jackets. I was staring at Zakir's shawl thinking I should have bought something. During the intennission I tried to get warm and wandered into the building. Zakir and the musicians came in a crowd and I hid behind the stage door so that I could remain there to keep warm. It was too cold to remain in the outdoor seats. A lovely Indian girl brought out a shawl and asked me if I was cold. I said "Yes thank you" and we remained standing there at the back of the stage watching the concert until the end. It was a lovely time and I was very happy. When the concert ended I gave her back the shawl and left, because I remembered that I am a woman alone at night and I needed to get back to the hotel room. The crowd was emptying fast. The taxis and rickshaws were already taken, the cars were pulling out. I didn't know the bus routes, but I knew that most Pune buses go to the bus station and I could get a rickshaw or taxi from there. Five young men were standing there at the bus stop: two from India one from Europe and two from Australia who then accompanied me into the bus. I didn't have coins so they kindly paid my fare. We chatted about Indian music like magpies, one was a tabla student (with Swapan Chaudhuri) at the Ali Akbar Khan College branch in Switzerland, one Indian fellow had taken classes from Zakir years before, another had studied with Hariprasad Chaurisa in Bombay. So the evening was magical with Baba's gift ofthat Pune concert because I had missed the one in the Bay Area. But before I left, I had given the ticket to Baba! And how much more He gave back! So sweet is His company that I begin to wonder why not invoke His Presence everyday, in all that we do.

"I Am Not This Body" Bhau Kalchuri

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uring the night of January 30th, 1969, Meher Baba gestured to me on three separate occasions, "Remember this, I am not this body... Remember, I am not this body... Remember, I am not this body." Baba had often told me this before but when He repeated this to me, just h~urs before He dropped His body, it was with a force which I cannot describe. These last words have sustained me through these years without Him. They have made me feel His presence. His words have given my heart the wine of his manifestation. Avatar Meher Baba often declared, "I am not this body that you see." Yet, some people think that when the time comes for Him to manifest He will appear again in a physical body. But, if this were so, why would He have discarded His body? Meher Baba would not discard the physical body to appear again in the same form. Even if He were to appear in the same body, as some feel He will do, this would not be His manifestation. The Avatar in Reality is divine, and therefore when He manifests His divinity it is His manifestation. Meher Baba's physical body was the medium ofHis universal work on the gross level of consciousness. The result of His universal work is the manifestation ofdivinity. The awakening of human consciousness toward His divinity is when He manifests in the gross world. And this is why His manifestation for the world can only begin after He drops his body. Meher Baba's body was a vehicle of His universal work, and that work was to make humanity experience divinity. Humanity is destined to experience his divinity. His divine manifestation will be experienced during the awakening and spiritual upheaval, which is already happening, as a result of His universal work. The dropping ofMeher Baba's physical body signifies the stretching of the bow. The shooting of His arrow signifies the release of the force of His universal work. As the arrow strikes with all its force, the world falls unconscious with pain, but will reawaken to find Him.

Meher Baba's universal work affects every level of consciousness and His arrow strikes deep in the heart of humanity. As a result of His work, individuals are gaining new consciousness. This new consciousness has been gained, because His arrow is now in their hearts. The whole world is the target of his arrow. A day will come when the whole world will be aware of Him and will awaken to His divinity. As His arrow remains deep in the heart of humanity, it will be the total manifestation ofHis divine love on earth. We are now suffering the pain of the arrow in our hearts. The pain created by His arrow is the restlessness and confusion all over the world. Most of humanity is unaware ofthe cause for all this restlessness and confusion. The world is destined to become aware of Him. The world is asleep, but will awaken by His love to the manifestation of His divinity. Avatar Meher Baba is not the physical body. He is God and He has come down on earth to manifest his own divinity. His divinity is the real thing which He gives to the world, and those who experience Him as God have his real darshan. The Avatar has worked to give us the experience of divinity, of our soul's divinity. He has created the feeling of separation by dropping His physical body because without separation there can be no union with God. When the feeling of separation is created, longing for union becomes the real pain in our hearts. Let us, therefore, long for the experience of his divinity. This longing will bring our hearts to drink the wine of His manifestation. Wine will enable us to experience the divine manifestation of this age. Longing for His wine is real pain. It is the pain of His arrow deep in our hearts, and it is for this pain that the Avatar worked and suffered. Meher Baba has assured us that this pain is not of the body; it is the longing of the soul for its liberation. From Avatar ofthe Age, Meher Baba Man iftsting by Bhau Kalchuri, Š1985 Lawrence

Reiter; Published by Manifestation, Inc.

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Don Stevens Visits Avatar's Abode David Bowling, Tasmania

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early 60 people from three States packed the space outside Baba's room at Avatar's Abode on the weekend of78th October to hear Don Stevens. We gathered together in anticipation, some with a profound knowledge and understanding of God Speaks, and some with selfprofessed ignorance. Little did we realize how Don would deftlyguide us through two days offascinating discussion and deep sharing on the fimdamentals ofthe drama ofcreation. The flavour of the weekend was evident when Don started the first session with a touching and humorous account ofhis first meeting with Francis Brabazon in America. Don shared with us some of his "shower intuitions" and how over the past 8 months in a series ofseminars in six countries he had been challenging Baba's lovers around the world to take

God Speaksseriously. Don recounted finding the following words in an overlooked letter from Mani to Ivy Duce written in the mid 1950's and clarifYing the Dedication of God Speaks: "...in years to come when the incredible worth of these words [ God Speaks] are appreciated by humanity it will be realised that these are the direct words of God." Don recounted how, after finishing the reworking ofthe Deshmukh edition of the discourse at Baba's direction, he said to Baba "It is finished but I am not sure what good it is going to be." Baba asked Don what he meant and Don explained that some devout seekers in the West prided themselves on not reading Baba's words. Baba then told Don twice how He communicates to His lovers through the written word. Eruch translated: "Baba attaches an atom bomb of spiritual energy to each word...ifthe devotee works with these words then a certain amount ofspiritual energy is released and even if the devotee doesn't understand two words intellectually they still get a benefit. Don, it is your responsibility to tell them" For many ofus present at the weekend this was a ftrSt step in introducing us to the art of really working with Baba's words. Don recounted how as different people around the world shared with him their experience ofhow they work with Baba's words, he realised that Baba has not just placed an atom bomb of unfocussed energy on each word. He has made

42

The rest of the weekend passed so quickly. We looked at questions like what was I, before the Whim and after the urge, what happened to the Whim? We dived into the surging ofthe Whim, the Om point and the scientific theory ofthe big bang. How does creation get lumpy and what are the three fimdamental building blocks of creation? How can consciousness be generated out ofthe surging ofthe whim? I felt like I was back in a university class except we were studying physics, pure mathematics, and philosophy all rolled into one. There was certainly no shortage of people wanting to contribute to the discussion and several times Don fumly but lovingly laid down the ground rules for our time together, so that everyone had an opportunity to participate and be heard. Don spoke of Baba's last message on the alphabet board. "...The time has now come for being bound in the chain of internal connections. Hence external contact is no longer necessary. It is possible to establish the internallink by obeying Baba's orders. I give you all my blessings for strengthening these internallinks. I am always with you and I am not away from you. I was, am and will remain eternally with you, and it is for promoting this realization that I have severed contact. This will enable all persons to realise Truth by being bound to each other with internal links." Don interprets this to mean that we need to be able to work together in small groups of trusted companions especially when the Mandali are no longer alive, and that God Speaks provides a means of "truing" us. i.e. staying on target and true. The final session was spent considering the resources of intuition and the theme ofLove. Don recounted some very personal stories that illustrated his own challenges in responding to others with love whatever the circumstances. He said "You gradually fmd out that the fact ofBaba's presence gives you courage as you face challenges." All too quickly it was 4 pm and our time together was over. It had been a time of intense searching together with lots oflaughter, and a wonderful camaraderie. We were privileged to have Don with us and we hope that he will return soon to Avatar's Abode to work with us in our search for Truth.

. ;,t")

for us a unique, individual, and very personal charmel to connect to Him. We explored together the meaning of ~足 sociation, and how drop souls associate. We were introduced to the astronomical concepts of lumpiness, and pondered the significance ofInfinite individualised consciousness. Baba said that His gift to humanity in this avataric age was the generalised gift of intuition. Don challenged us to consider how we might apply intuition to the task ofreading God Speaks. Don helped us come to a deeper level of understanding intuition, and howwe can develop this faculty. Michael Le Page recounted Baba telling Robert Dreyfuss to: "read God Speaks until it sings in your veins." Don pointed out that when we pick up God Speaks we establish a connection with Baba. He asked: "Do you realise what a tremendous contribution your own prejudices and beliefs and deeply ingrained habit patterns make and how they interfere with your reading of God

Speaks? We need to understand the two-way street that happens when we start to work with God

Speaks. It was now lunchtime on the first day. Don in just a couple ofhours had established a wonderful sense ofcompanionship among those present, and had challenged us on many levels to deepen our relationship with the Beloved. We spent several hours over a magnificent shared lunch at the Abode.


~

''A Jewe! in the Heart ofAmerica"

~

Highlights of a Myrtle Beach Day Sahavas along with a Brief History of the Spiritual Center

S

ome Highlights of a Sahavas at Meher Center: On Saturday, December 9, 2000, Meher Center in Myrtle Beach hosted a cIaylong sahavas for its volunteers and the nearby community.The invitation from the Center's directors, staff; and Volunteer Council stated the purpose ofthe gathering as acknowledgment of "the love and support of the many individuals who help preserve the beauty, inner and outer, of Meher Baba's Home in the West." The day started at 7a.m. with Arti in Baba's room at Meher Abode (Baba's House). After breakfast in Dilruba (the house that was once Elizabeth and Kitty's home), we gathered in the Meeting Place for the opening program. Baba's photo on an armchair onstage was garlanded, and BarbaraPlews, the Center's manager, said that we were all in a sense volunteers-not just those who literally do jobs on the Center but also those in the community who contribute to the life of the Center even by our presence here and the lives we live in Meher Baba's remembrance. Then Raelia Lyn shared with us a short audio tape ofMani from her archives. It was recorded on an occasion when Mani had made some comment about Baba's fIrst visit to Meher Center, in 1952, accompanied by three of the women mandali-Mehera, Mani, and Meheru. Raelia had asked Mani to say a few words about that visit, and although she spoke only briefly, what she said was very signifIcant: that when the women arrived at the Center in 1952, although it was Baba's first visit, they felt as if He had already been herethe place was so filled with His presence. The centerpiece ofthe morning session was a talk by Darwin Sha'v. who described some of his memories of the Center's beginnings. In 1935 Darwin and a few others had asked Baba for permission to found a retreat for Him in the northeastern United States. Baba's reply, which Darwin read out, stated that whether such a center was established or not, Baba appreciated the spirit ofbrotherhood and love in which they had made their proposal, and He said that this spirit was the real center already established within-more real than any earthly structure built for that purpose. Along with John Bass, Sam Cohen, and Frank Eaton, Darwin looked at a number of locations in the Northeast that might be suitable. "We were visionaries, of course-but we didn't have any money," Darwin said with a chuckle. So although they did fmd some nice

places, they couldn't afford to buy any ofthem. Darwin later learned thatJosephine Ross has also written Baba with a similar idea offounding a retreat, and perhaps she received a similar response from Him. The wish for a retreat devoted to Baba began to be realized several years later, in 1941, when Elizabeth and Norina returned from India and began to look for a site at Baba's request. The full story can be read elsewhere (such as in Kitty Davy's book, Love Alone Prevails), so I won't give details about how the perfect site was finally given to Elizabeth by her father, who owned properties in Myrtle Beach.The original gift was 800 acres, extending all the way to the Inland Waterway on the other side of Highway 17. Today the Center is about 500 acres. The Colonial Mall-formerly known as Briarcliffe Mall-is situated on the former Center property. Just think ofthat the next time you're shopping at the K-Mart there! But what is today the highway was in those days a little two-lane road with an occasional car passing by. In subsequent years the advent ofair-conditioning would cause everything to change as Myrtle Beach became a popular summer resort town. Darwin came down to see the property in 1944 along with Elizabeth and Norina, John Bass, Frank Eaton, and others. There were no buildings then, so they stayed at Elizabeth's father's home. With great joy and enthusiasm the small group of pioneers set about exploring the primitive landscape, armed with bush axes for protection against venomous snakes. They dedicated the property by spelling out BABA on a section ofhigh ground with shells they had gathered on the beach. From there they walked out in all directions, shouting Baba's name. Clearing and building were accomplished gradually. They could not install electricity during those war years, so they used lanterns and flashlights, and cooled their perishables in a box sunk into the lake water. The first structures included the Cabin on the Hill, which Elizabeth had first intended for Baba, and the Original Kitchen, which in its most original form was six feet square. Several prefab cabins were erected (as one couldn't buy many building materials during the 1940s). John Bass's was the Lake Cabin (much smaller originally), Frank Eaton's was the Coop, and Darwin's was what is now the linens storeroom adjoining the garage.

Elizabeth also got some army surplus cabins, including the Lagoon Cabin, theNear Cabin, and the Far Cabin. And she found a barn for sale in Conway that was taken apart and reassembled board by board to serve as a meeting hall. Darwin concluded his account ofthese earlyyears by saying, "Our hearts were open wide, love was flowing, and we felt Baba's presence permeating everything" in the Center, which he referred to as a"jewel in the heart ofAmerica." After lunch (all the delicious food for the event was prepared by the incomparable Mina Brustrnan) and a group photo was taken by Alan Levinson. Daniel Stone ofWashington, D.C., facilitated a discussion about "transition and change at the Center." As a management consultant, Dan has worked with the Center directors to help them examine their organizational structure, identi.fY problems, set goals, and adapt to changing situations. He described for us seven themes that he uncovered in the course o'fhis interviews with the directors and staff. These were areas where there was a perceived conflict in how various people viewed the Center or thought it should be run. For example, at that time he identified a tension between those who felt the Center's mission should be expanded versus those who wanted it to be contained. One theme in particular seemed to capture the interest ofthe audience, and many wanted to share their thoughts about it. It concerned the role ofyoung people on the Center.The fact that virtually all ofthe Center workers are at least middle-aged had made some people wonder why more young people weren't attracted to working on the Center and whether the Center should do anything to make them feel more welcome. Here Dan pointed out the perceived opposition between those who thought intentional actions should be taken and those who felt that Baba would take care of it in a natural way that would simply evolve on its own. Although I didn't attend the second part of this discussion, it seemed that Dan had helped generate some helpful new ways of looking at issues and challenges that arise in the Baba community. There was a lot more to the sahavasevents, but in the interest of keeping this account short, I have just offered a few glimpses. All in all, it was a wonderful day. -Kendra Crossen Burroughs

43


Ifyonder raindrop should its heart disclose, .. Behold therein a hundred seas displayed. In every atom, ifthou gaze aright, Thousands ofreasoning beings are contained. The gnat in limbs doth match the elephant. In name is yonder drop as Nile's broad flood. In every grain a thousand harvests dwell. The world within a grain ofmillet's heart. The universe in the mosquito's wing contained. Within that point in space the heavens roll. Upon one little spot within the heart Resteth the Lord and Master of the worlds. Therin two worlds commingled may be seen: Sometimes Iblis prevaileth; sometimes Adam. Behold the world is kneaded even as dough: The angel with the fiend; the cherubim With Satan; the movable with that which movethnot; The Moumin with the Kaflfl, and the Kafir with the Moumin, See in the present moment are assembled. The change oftime, and days, and months, and years;

The invisible descent and man's creation. Lo! in this endless chain, from every link A thousand forms are formed; from every point Within that orbit doth a circle spring-, Itselfa centre, and in revolution. Ifbut one atom from its place be moved, The universe at once is overturned. All move apace, yet not one particle Beyond the boundary ofthe possible Sets foot: the order ofthe universe Holds each and all imprisoned; every atom By its own nature is restrained, nor may Merge in the illimitable . All ever move, yet all are ever bound; Ever they don, and ever lay aside, The robe oflife; while ever in vibration, Ever at rest; nor anyone perceives His origin or end: yet each one bears his fate, And ever toward "the presence" wends his way. Beneath the curtain ofeach atom lies concealed The life increasing beauty of the face of the Beloved. \,

Moumin, thefaithful; Kafir, the unfaithful.

1

Excerpt from The Secret Garden by Mahmud Shabistari, © 1974 The Octagon Press.

AVATAR MEHER SABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

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From the Editor

Let Me Hear Your

Song

Jai Baba folks,

. Meher Baba

B

ack from Amartithi, and what a trip it was. Read all about it in Diary of a Pilgrim starting on page 4. I hope the photos either warm the cockles ofyour memories or fill you with desire to go 'home' at that very special time. Bal Natu tells us to 'wear the Samadhi like a coat'. I loved that saying and so now every morning, as I put my arms through the sleeves of my bathrobe (dressing gown), and button it up, I visualize putting on the Samadhi, and feel wrapped in His love. Creative visualization works wonders. Try it sometime. There were about 30,000 there on the 31Sf January, and we are all thinking "My, what crowds. How numberless His lovers are!"Well, think again. Upon my return, I responded "India" when people asked me where I had been. "Ah, that big Hindu thing." they said knowingly. "No, I went for Meher Baba. What Hindu thing?" "Who's Meher Baba? You know - that huge gathering of the Hindu faithful to wash in the Ganges. There were millions of them!" Hyperbole, I thought to myselÂŁ Well, I had another think coming when I read in the papers a few days later that it had been the largest gathering in history - upwards of seventy million people gathered at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati. The Kumbh Mela festival rotates among four cities - Allahabad, Nasik, Hardwar and Ujj ain every three years. I know that the fIrst two were visited by Baba many times. Knowing His proclivity for crowds, I wonder if He was ever there during Kumbh Mela? This one in Allahabad was even more important being one that takes place every 144 years. Pilgrims believe that by dipping in these holy waters they can end the cycle of rebirth and attain Nirvana. Gee, all Baba wants is for us to love Him! Nothing fancy. No rites, rituals or ceremonies. Love Him. As Nike would say Just DO it!'

O

And Now...

A

nd now it is time for us to return His Love. You must keep loving Baba more and more, and make Baba happy with your love by remembering Him always. Think of Him and say His Name, and He will always help you. You love Him because He loves you, so be happy in His Love. Know that Baba is with you, and know that He loves you. And so be happy. He is the GodMan, and to be loved by the God-Man is so beautiful. How very fortunte you are.

h, my dear nightingales, don't be disappointed with the old age of spring but keep on singing, and while singing, become so thirsty that you drown in My Ocean of Silence. Then you will fInd My eternally new Song. When you sing this Song you will fInd that spring has become young once again. I want to hear your song. Don't feel disappointed with the old age of spring and don't make Me disappointed in you. Drink the cup ofMy pleasure, and, having derived strength from it, continue singing. Allow others to hear your song too. You will be able to revive the youthfulness ofspring, but to accomplish this you have to drown in My Silence and fInd My Song. All these years during the full-bloom of the springtime of My Advent you have seen My Glory in the gathering of my lovers singing together, and you have offered the flowers ofyour hearts at My feet. Now don't be disappointed but continue to gather together with all enthusiasm and drown in the Ocean of My Silence so that you may fInd My new Song. That Song will make spring burst into full bloom again, and you will happily derive the pleasure of union in the midst of separation. This separation will even swallow up time and space one day, and you will fInd yourself smiling in the lap of infInity. You will become eternally immortal. Your Baba is Baba, and He has come down on earth to give you the cup of immortality. Your Baba is always with you; even if you wanted to leave Him you cannot do so. Therefore, My dear nightingales, let Me hear your song. Your Baba wants to hear it. Will you not make Him pleased? Letters From the Mandali, Vol II, ed. Jim Mistry, pp. 110-111, Š 1983 AMBPPCT

Mehera, Published by Naosherwan Anzar,

Beloved Books, 1989

: 2

II


A publication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

,CoveStreet ,Campr:Post welcome... The ,.CoveStreet ,.CampfJ!ost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba's message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text by email or on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit

Diary of a Pilgrim

Dina Snow

Ahmednagar Moves Toward 20th Century

Dina Snow 14

Memories of the First Amartithi

Happenings at Meherabode

various contributors 23 Wendy Ward 24

ovember 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

Love Street Bookstore: Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 6 and 10 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

Bababook@pacbell.net credits: editor: Dina Snow design and layout Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Traci Auer, Cherri elson proofreader: Patricia Adams Smith research assistant Barbara Roberts distribution: Harry Thomas, Marc Brutus, Don Douglas, and Chris Lyttle cover: Photo ojMeher Saba (;) Lawrence Reiter, Samadhi photographed and handpainted by Panday.

The LoveStreet Lam{l!ost is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

Nivedita Sharma 28

The Making of the Thief of Hearts

Howard Schneider 30 Paul Smith 31

Hafiz and the Day of Days

Heather Nadel 32

Update on the Perfect Man Shrine

Karl Moeller 39 Karen Ireland 41

7th Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas Carry Your Life on Your Sleeve

Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 42

Baba's Christmas Gift to Me-My Life for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:

Nivedita Sharma 21

The Los Angeles Sahavas

The Life of Hafiz

deadlines:

Bhau Kalchuri 20

Mumbai's Celebration ofBaba's Birthday

submissions, subscriptions, donations:

Bababook@pacbell.net

various contributors 17

Birthday Showers

Hafiz of Shiraz

Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 -or-

Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 16

News from Meherabad

every quote or reference.

William M. Stephens 44 Raine Eastman-Gannett 45

The Chief and the Flute Mehera, Baba's Beloved

de artments ---

5

Barbara Roberts 46

':

Editor's Page

Dina Snow

The LoveStreet Bookstore

Dina Snow 26

2

Book and Music Reviews

various contributors 26

Announcements

various contributors 34

Passings

various contributors 36

Humor for Huma

various contributors 38

credits

!

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © AMBPPCf, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.

3


Deaf to His Hints Dr. H.

M

Merwan's Dome

P. Bharucha

any hints were given by Baba about His passing away but these were not understood. Once He had said, "That which is to happen after 21st May, 1968, will be something great, something that has never happened before, something that will not happen again for billons and billions of years." He even remarked that the "something great" would happen all of a sudden, not in developing stages. "People will go about their daily affairs unaware till the moment of its happening." For His 43rd Silence anniversary on 10th July, 1968, the following message was dictated by Baba to His Mandali though it was not released to His lovers. "Divine Father, help your beloved son to carry out all your work this year for July of this year will mark the last year of His silence." Baba had promised His lovers, "Sometime, somewhere, somehow I will meet my old and new Western lovers before I break my silence." On 30th July, 1968, Baba had said, "My work is done. It is completed 100% and will manifest from the end of September." On 13th October, 1968, Baba had said, "I have been saying: The time is near, it is fast approaching, it is close at hand. Today I say; The time has come. Remember this!" Once Baba had said, "Come, coming, coming - Came!" He said, "None of you can know what it means." A few days later

Mani S. Irani

He added another line, making it: "Coming, coming, coming - came! I am tired of the illusion game." He had told His Mandali, "Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' I say, 'Father, have pity on them for they know not what will happen.'" Bhau Kalchuri has been doing night duty for Baba since many years. Baba had asked him to compose a 'ghazal.' Bhau had never done this before and so Baba would often give him tips when he sat near Baba at night time. In fact, Baba would often compose a couplet for Bhau. On the 29th of January, Baba gestured the following couplet to Bhau. "Ab Ji Ke Kya Karenge, Jab Tumhi Chale Gaye." This means, "What shall we live for now, when you have left us and gone away." Baba had told Dr. Grant on the 30th of January, "My time has come." On the same day, referring to His suffering, Baba had told Dr. Donkin, "This is my cruciftxion." When Mohammed had been told that Padri had gone to Meherazad on the 30th, he too had hinted that Baba would be coming to Meherabad the next day. We thus remained deaf to His hints for it was His will that we should not know that He was leaving us physically. Meher Saba's Last Sahavas Copyright 1969, Dr. H. P Bharucha

On the stringless lute within Kabir the Lords Name ever sings.

4

Lives o/Love,]udith Garbett

Truth Consciousness

M

eher Baba tells us that Man should have a blending or a balance of the head and heart. That means Divine wisdom and Love... "Spiritual life is not a matter of quantities, but of (an) inherent quality of living. Spiritual Infinity includes in its scope all the phases of life - it comprehends acts which are great as well as those that are small..." Thus a smile or a look stands on the same level as offering one's own life for a cause, when the smile or the look springs from truth-consciousness. There are no graduations in spiritual importance when all life is lived in the shadow of eternity. If life were to consist only in big things, and if all the little things were to be omitted from its scope, it would not only be not infinite, but would be extremely impoverished. The inftnite Truth which is latent in everything can reveal itself only when life is accepted in its totality.

(Continued.from page 16, "Memories Amartithi. ")

It dispels all doubts andfalterings.

in G. N. Das, The Maxims rfKobir, New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1999, p. 49

ani laughed and told us a funny story about the double meaning of the word dome. Mter the domed roof of the Samadhi was completed, the structure began to be known as "the Dome." Shortly after its construction Shirinmai came on a visit to Meherabad. Eruch's mother enthusiastically asked her, "Mother, have you seen Baba's Dome?" It so happens that in Persian "dome" means "bottom," and Shirin wittily replied, "Thank you, but I've seen quite enough of Merwan's dome when He was little!"

Discourses, Meher Baba

As the musicpervades out and in

-Kabir

M

Portrait ofMeher Baba by Mehera Makeig, 26. Usually homebased in San Diego, she has beenworking in Meherabad for the past 12 or so months. She is quite the young artist.

0/ the First

When Irwin's talk was ftnished, an interesting comment was made by Phyllis Ott during the question-and-answer period. Phyllis said she had heard that before the coffin was put over Baba's body, a handkerchief of Mehera's was placed over his face. Although no one present was able to verifY this, it's intriguing to think that a future "shroud offurin" or veil ofSt. Veronica may have been created.


Diary of a Pilgrim T

he plane landed at 1:35 a.m. on the 28 th Dina Snow ofJanuary, and as I walked to the luggage carousel I breathed deeply. That smell, permanent resident there had offered to so unmistakably India! The marble walls share her cozy little cottage with me. _ themselves seemed to give off ..... this odor - a mixture of mustiness and ancient history. My senses quickened, anticipation, excitement - I was going to be with Baba again, to Jeel His physical presence! How wonderful to be back. So thrilled was I, I didn't even mind the 2 hours it took for my four suitcases to come through - all 200 lbs. of it, laden with things for the Trust, the Archives committee and the Mandali. Willing couriers are always needed, never travel light!!! Just announce your departure dates on the Baba list serv and you will find all sorts of things needing to be couriered over. Trust me, they will be very grateful in India. Off to the Leela Hotel for a very welcome shower and a few zees and then to the Domestic airport to try something new: Jet Air to Pune, 30 minute flight, $75. Sure beats a 4-6 hour drive. However, if you are planning on a trip to Meherabad, be sure to read about the new bus service in our July issue. Leaving the Pune airport I (;~.:1..1Ii~~~, saw, amongst the one hundred Although it was almost a mile's walk or so people awaiting the arrivals, the very welcome sign in my driver's hand. I don't from the back housing areas up the hill to know if these men, who are contracted by the Samadhi, staying there had one major the Trust office, really know how much that advantage over the PC. (Pilgrim Center). Bapoo and some of the other chefs sign means to us - after a 24 hour flight we turned their talents to baking scrumptious see this person waiting for us - just us holding up a big card with the beaming face cookies, cakes and even a Boston Cream pie! of our Beloved on it and our name under- These were available at all hours for a modest sum, along with bottles of Coke, neath. What a welcome! We drove to Ahmednagar, I checked in Thumbs Up and other sodas. They also had at the Trust office, unloaded much of the popcorn and - can you believe it? - French contents of my suitcases, and continued on Fries! I got very used to my after dinner hot to Meherabad. I expected to be in the nurses chocolate and oatmeal raisin nut cookies. quarters, or the isolation ward where I stayed Tuesday the ](Jh when I was there with my Mother 2 years Excitement was building up on the hill. ago. Instead I found to my delight that exLos Angeleno Judy Stevens, who is now a The Stalls from many of the Baba Centers

around India had been set up and they were a beehive of activity, so much so that many a time I could not get close enough to see what they were selling! Man, was your Bookstore walli buying! Rest assured the Love Street Bookstore is now very well stocked with much wonderful new Babaphenalia and Mehermemorabilia.To my extreme delight the quality of printing in India has improved dramatically, and so the photos and books were looking very good. Just across the road from the PC and before you get to the railroad tracks, a huge Food Court was set up where, besides the Indian equivalent of hamburgers, hot dogs and subs, one could also buy all the garlands and flowers needed to place on the Tomb. I was told there were 1,500 less Indians registered than usual, mainly because Amartithi fell midweek and it is difficult for them to get the time off work. But then as if to compensate, there were more Westerners than usual. Nevertheless, there were 10,063 Easterners registered to stay overnight, and then at least 10,000 more came for the day. Families came early and staked out their space under the pandal up by the Samadhi and didn't leave it for the two days they were there. The assigned number system for taking Darshan was again in use and proved very effective. No one had to wait longer than two hours, you just needed to keep an eye on the number that was currently waiting in line. When you saw it matched the number you were given when you first came up the Hill, it was time to go stand and wait. I was told there were 700 Indian volunteer workers and at least 50 or more Westerners there to help anyone in need at any time. Even Dr. Alan Scott did duty as a water boy to slake the pilgrim's thirst. I was lucky enough to pull duty in Baba's cabin (beside the Samadhi). Six people were 5


~martithi 2001

Scrapbook

Tuesday the 30th

6


,

Tuesday the 30th and Wednesday the 31st

Above: the women Mandali and companions gather beside Baba's Ghadi. Left: wonderful entertaimnentfor all but wait... who is that?.. is that Baba? (A mischievous staffmemberjust couldn't help herselfI guess.)

"There were no curfews for the three days; entertainment was 'round the clock. People stayed in place and ate, slept, chatted ancLwatched the ever changing scene on the stage. Dancers, singer ,musicians, school chorus; there was no end to the love pouring forth to the Beloved."

---';"';':;":"-=_,""r

7


needed to help direct the crowds in and out in an expeditious manner. (But not quite as fast as they needed to be inside the Samadhi!) When I needed a break from all the hustle, bustle and noise I simply passed through the gates into the Compound and walked towards Mansari's kitchen. The plaque there now says "Baba's Kitchen", but for the thousands who spent countless hours in that room listening to her weave her magical tales of life with Baba, it will forever remain Mansari's Kitchen in their hearts. Opposite that I found a quiet respite under the tin shed covering Baba's ghadi, the place He used to recline and give His discourses to the men Mandali. Amazingly there was often not a soul around. What a contrast to the excitement going on not 50 yards away! Just me, Baba and tranquility. What bliss. The pictures may give some small clue as to the crowds, but you really had to be there to experience, yes the heat and the dust, but also the tangible flow of love, the respectful interchange between Easterner and Westerner, the excitement and anticipation all building up to

Wednesday the 31't The Mandali arrived about 10:30 a.m. and after taking His Darshan, seated themselves beside the Ghadi which had been moved to the Sabha Mandap ( the covered cement platform beside the Samadhi.) Unfortunately Eruch was not well enough to make the journey from Meherazad, but everyone else was there. The sound system was excellent, so even seated right up by the Samadhi, everyone was able to enjoy the performances on the stage down the hill. On the stroke of 12 noon an almighty Silence descended on the Hill. For 15 minutes all that could be heard was the occasional cough, bark or cry ofa child. At 12:15 the tremendous shout of Avatar Meher Baba kiJai! from 25,000 throats resounded to the skies. It was a spine tingling sound. Prayers in many languages were then said. Bhau the Indefatigable was seated on the stage for almost two days observing, and no doubt enjoying, the loving tributes to Baba from His lovers from all over India and indeed the world. Aloba was to be seen surrounded by the Persian Contingent at all times! There were no curfews for the three days; entertainment was 'round the clock. People stayed in place and ate, slept, chatted and 8

watched the ever changing scene on the stage. Dancers, singers, musicians, school chorus;路there was no end to the love pouring forth to the Beloved.

Thursday the 1't By 5:00 p.m. most of his Eastern lovers had departed. Things were quieter, 'but the band played on'. Mter dinner in the food tent we had the pleasure of hearing Khosrow Namranian, one of the Prem Ashram boys, tell us his stories. Interpreter was newlywed Reza Abrahimzadah. Throughout the evening Khosrow was very soft spoken and talked only through the interpreter. However, at the end of the evening Khosrow stood up, arms upraised to the crowd, huge smile on his face, and shouted "Meher Baba is Everything!" Oh for a camera at that moment! Such joy! We later observed Khosrow walking quite spryly around the Samadhi a number oftimes before each Arti. On the photo page opposite can be seen Khosrow, his twin brother standing 2 rows above him, and Esfandiar Vesali (now living in Los Angeles). The teenager on Baba's left is Chota Baba whom Meher Baba told us was on the fifth plane. (Some teenager!!)

Friday the 2 nd Most of the stalls had been dismantled and packed away, ready for the next Sahavas in another town perhaps. It would take a week for all the cloth to be removed from the bamboo structures joining the Samadhi to the stage down the hill, but on the 2 nd the process was started. Gradually the crowds dispersed, the dust settled and the line for Darshan was down to a mere half hour.

Saturday the 3 M After six days ofstaying with Judy and being able to roll out ofbed in the morning and check my emails, most of the Westerners packed their belongings and prepared for the move over to the PC. Some pilgrims stayed on in Hostel C. Pam Topley from England told me she slept next to Baba's '47 blue Chevy! It is actually parked inside the hostel, in between the beds!

Baba's Car in Hostel C

Tuesday the 6 th The first day since before Amartithi that we could go to Meherazad and spend precious time with the Mandali. The Ladies were all on Mehera's Porch, looking very chipper after their rest (from us!) Since Eruch was at the dentist that day, Aloba was doing the honours in Mandali Hall with Bal talking to a group of avid listeners outside. We were all aware of just how precious these moments were, to be savoured and kept as treasured memories. As we keep quoting Bhau, and reminding you, "The Wineshop is closing". While all Baba's beloved Mandali are still as sweet, loving, and giving of themselves as they have always been, they do, after all, have only human bodies which are saying "Enough already! I want to go home to Baba!" Millions will be coming to Meher Baba in the next hundred years or so. Only we, alive today, can have the privilege of being with these precious souls who eons ago dedicated their lives to the service of the Beloved. If you love Meher Baba and have never been to India, get there - fast!

Wednesday the 7th Interment Day. Babaphysicalry left us on the 31" ofJanuary, but His body lay in the uncovered tomb for a full seven days, surrounded by ice and flowers. The body showed no signs of decomposition despite the great heat. [Dr. Barucha's little book Meher Baba's Last Sahavas covers this period and the weeks leading up to His passing, in exquisite detail.] On the 7th ofFebruary His body was covered and the tomb closed. Since then, Interment Day has always been commemorated with the Mandali in attendance. I had asked to participate in the cleaning ofthe Tomb that morning, always a very special privilege. Awakening at 5 a.m. I walked up to the Samadhi in the dark, save for the soft glow of the beautiful 19th Century 'gas lamps' that Jose had installed, standing all the way up the hill on either side of the path. As I reached the top of the hill I was stunned to see a huge, crystal clear, golden-orange moon just setting behind the trees. I stood staring - awestruck! What a sight, and how different from the silvery pale moon visible in the Los Angeles skies. At 6:45 it vanished from sight. But the next morning it set almost an hour later, so the bright red sun was rising


Thursday the 1st- Tuesday the 6th ofFehruary

"Meher Baba is Everything!" said Khosrow, center with RezaAbrahimxadah on his right

Khosrow, bottom rowJar left (circled) his twin brother standing 2 rows above him, and Eifandiar Vesali to Baba's right {circled}. The teenager on Baha's left is Chota Baba.

Friday the 9th - Interment Day

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Left: the Mandali arrive jOr the Interment anniversary. Right: Meheru bringingjlowers. Lower left: Mehera Makeig wearing one ofher most precious possessions, a sari that once belonged to Gaimai, Eruch ]essawalla's mother, given to her by theJamily. Bottom center Katie. Bottom right: the stretcher in the Tin Cabin used to bring Baba's body to the Tomb 32 years ago, is decorated with beautifUL red roses placed there by loving hands.

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in the East just as the golden globe was setting in the West. As I stood there by the Samadhi and watched this magnificent show by Nature, I felt every cell of my body was in tune with the Universe. It gives me chills, just thinking ofit now as I write this. As the sun came up that morning, the opening quatrains of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam came to mind:

Awake! For morning in the bowl of night Hasflung the stone that puts the stars to flight And lo! The Hunter ofthe East has caught The Sultan's turret in a noose oflight. Dreaming when Dawn's left hand was in the sky I heard a voice within the tavern cry, "Awake, my little ones, andfill the cup Beftre life's liquor in its cup be dry. "

Thursday the 8th J ames Cox had arranged a trip to Aurangabad leaving from Meherazad right after lunch. About 30 of us were game for the adventure. We all piled into 'jeeps' and off we went on the 3 hour drive. The fIrst stop was a photo op at the Imampur mosque built in the 17th Century. At the end of the New Life wanderings, Baba stayed the night there. You can read on page 15 the story of Baba's and the Mandali's stay there. There were three other Aussies in my jeep, who agreed with alacrity when I suggested we climb Daulatabad Fort. James dropped us off at 3:30. Two hours and 750 steps later we made it to the top of this incredibly designed fort. Many times we thought we had reached the summit, but saw there was yet another turn and a higher set of rooms. The view was spectacular. A defender's dream. The land all around was flat as a pancake, visibility was for miles. To add to this security, there were so many devious ways to kill the encroaching enemy it was inconceivable that anyone could take it! After dark we all arrived at the Khuldabad Government Guest House where Baba had stayed many times. We all secured our rooms, and were delighted to find big beds, marble floors, high ceilings... a beautiful old place. The Nizam of Hyderabad originally built it as a guesthouse for the Viceroy of India, who used to visit him there.

10

Mter a wonderful dinner we all drove to the dargahs where the ~wWali concert was to be held. It started at lOpm and continued nonstop till lam. James had arranged the concert for us, but the music drew many of the locals who joined in with the fervent clapping. It was fascinating! The lead singer looked to be about 75, but he showed no signs of slowing down as the hour got late. By midnight they were really rocking! Perhaps I should say 'they were carried away with the religious fervor ofit all.' It was very exciting, and most enjoyable. The two side singers were in perfect harmony, sounding like they had been singing together for many years. As we were rather sleepily filing out at 1 a.m., we were stunned to fInd out they were headed for another gig!! James booked them for the Baba Birthday celebrations at Meherabad, and you can read his review ofthat occasion on page 19.

Friday the l)lh Mter a delicious breakfast at the Guest House, we climbed aboard our jeeps to be driven to view the SufI dargahs - tombs of the SufI Saints. There are many of them all in close proximity. No one is really sure if the place is considered sacred because there are so many tombs of Saints, or if the Saints requested to be buried there because they knew the area was sacred. All that we saw that day is chronicled in the book I told you about in the last issue The Eternal Garden by Carl Ernst. Mter the dargahs we then headed for the Ellora Caves. I had fIrst seen them when travelling with my daughter backin '87, but they are still stunning. To think that they were carved out ofthe mountain side -starting at the top! All the Indian religions are represented there, each side by side, almost as if they had been carved there for the convenience of future tourists. Some are in much better condition than others, some huge cavernous cuttings in the mountain and yet others quite small. It was a tired but happy band of travelers that returned to the PC Friday night just in time for the movies. But I had a bookstore to pack up! Luckily I had been given a room to myself as I had merchandise spread all over the room. Also very luckily, Glenn Russ from Los Angeles had left a few days earlier and since he had come over with just a knapsack (he was traveling around Italy before arriving in India) he had the weight allowance to take one of my heavy suitcases

filled with pictures of Baba. That was an enormous help! Around midnight I had finished packing the rest ofthe things and was ready to face the morn.

Saturday the 1 (Jh Early morning there was the tearful farewell at Arti. I can usually hold up OK, until they start playing HappyTrails. Heck I even tear up when I hear that song on the radio in the States! The car left at 9:30 and we arrived at the Pune Center about noon. The books I had so blithely ordered on my way up to 'Nagar on the 28 th were all packed and ready to go. Sharp intake of breath! There was over 40 pounds of books staring me in the face and all of my suitcases were full! 'Oh well,' I thought, 'Baba willing, I will get them to the States.' The two young men who helped me unload the car outside Jet Air at the Pune airport 'just happened' to be Baba lovers. So with a cheerful "Jai Baba" (upon seeing my Baba button prominently displayed on my chest) they heaved the three suitcases along with the bag of books onto the scale. I blanched as I saw it hit 89 kilos (72 is the lirnit)."Don'tworry, she is with Meher Baba" they told the lovely Mehernaz behind the counter. She asked me had I been to Amartithi. "Oh yes!" I replied. Not a glance did she give the brilliant red numbers on the scale so urgently flashing 89, 89, 89! "Rustom and Sorab are my relatives" she brightly tells me. "How wonderful" I responded, with a silent 'thank you Baba!' Besides a large tip to the two men, I gave them all some of the Baba cards I always carry with me. If anyone who reads this knows Mehernaz, please see that she gets to read this so she will know how she did Baba's work that day, and how appreciative I was. During Amartithi I had met the two main people behind the wonderful Indian made documentary The Thief of Hearts. (Nivedita has written an accounting of Baba's hand in the making of this documentary; see their story elsewhere in the magazine.)I had arranged to meet with Alok and Nivedita at the Leela hotel on the evening before I flew back to the States to pick up yet more goodies for the Bookstore. We immediately sold out of the 12 videos I had got from them last year, and so needed to pick up more this trip. Alas I only had room in my handbag for 10, and I know they will be gone as soon as I put the information on the Baba List Serv, but Alok tells me he


Thursday the lfh and Friday the 9th at Valley ofthe Saints and the Ellora Caves

Left: the Caravanseri leaves Meherazad with 30 intrepid pilgrims.

Above: Imampur, a mosque built in the 17th century. The last night of the New Liftjoumey, Baba and His companions reached Imampur and spent the night in the dilapidated mosque where a room was cleaned outfor Baba. Eruch kept watch outside the door. See story on page 15 with a photo ofthe inside ofthe Mosque where Baba slept.

Lift: the GO'Uernment Guest House. Right: now the dining room ofthe Guest House and where Baba stayed on several occasions with His women Mandali while visiting the Valley of the Saints. We too, spent the night (not in the dining room however).

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Views ofthe Valley with various Mosques and Tombs

A-Government Guest House, B-Mosque 0/' the 1400 Awliyas (followers o/'Nizam aI-Din Awliya), C--']JJhitewashed dome is the dargah o/'Sayyd Yusufal-Husayni Raju Qattal; the building to the left oj it is where evening prayers are said. Left: this is mosque "B' in the view above. Baba stayed here with His men Mandali in the rooms below the groundfloor. Eruch said that when the Imam was leading the call to prayer, Baba said, "The.y call out to God above them, but they do not realize that God is right below them.â&#x20AC;˘

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Above are dargahs (tombs) ojtheftllowing Sufi Saints: D-Sidi Abd alRahman, E-an unknown muslim master, F-Malik ~nbar, G-Muntajib aI-Din Zar Zari Zar BaHkSh, H-'Abd Allah Habib al-'Aydanus and ESiddi Karima.

p A structure in the inner courtyard of the tomb of Zar Zan Zar Bahksh (letter G).


The caves visited by the Avatar ofthe Age.

Left: cave 10, a Buddhist cave thot Baba visited with His Manda/i. The acoustics ofthis cave are amazing. Above, Lord Buddha sits in contemplation inside the cave.

has a contact in New York that can keep me supplied, so order away! Mter an honest to God hot shower (with water running from the tap and shower head!), the first in two weeks, and a few hours sleep I was driven to the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (That is a tide which Shivaji was given, it literally means "husband of the umbrella," and denotes an "undefeated king." I wonder how many decades, or hundreds ofyears, before they rename it after Shivaji's latest incarnation...Avatar Meher Baba? At the terminal the three suitcases and one very large bag of books were miraculously whisked away - I guess by the hand of you-know-who! As I write this aboard the plane, I can only trust to Baba that they will be on the carousel at the airport when I land in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful two weeks spent in His palpable presence, so sad to be leaving, but looking forward to putting my thoughts on the computer for the LampPost, developing and then choosing the photos to share with you for this issue. As Bal wrote:

Wrap yourselfin the Samadhi and wear it whereveryou go.

Cave 16 above is known as the Kailasha, Shiva's mountain abode _ alld is the most beautiftlofall the Ellora excavations and one ofIndia's mostfamous monuments. Hundreds ofarchitects and sculptors created this structure in the 8th and early 9th century. The entire structure is a gigantic sculpturalpiece.

I feel I always have Baba with me where ever I am, but it is still an indescribable experience to be actually IN the Samadhi! By Baba's Grace I will return 'ere long.

Remember me and I am there with you, and my love willguide you. I am the divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself - Avatar Meher Baba

r [Extra photos for Dina's Diary supplied by BifSoper and Beth McWhirter. Supplemental information provided by James Cox for Valley ofthe Saints, and Gary Kleiner and Bif Soper re Baba's travels there.] 13


~l.ÂŁt,~hmednaoar ~oves 70ward

7/dJ!!,........

[that is not a typo}

the 20th Century

TK RamanI/jam, author ofMuch Love and Worry Not Be Happy runs Meher Baba Information from his home in Meherabad.

AbO'Ueand right; thefour preferred

~:~=~~;~~i~i~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~g~~~~~~~~~~

modes iftransportation Ahmednagar, in downtown ...

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While progress runs rampant in downtown Ahmednagar, rm happy to report Meherabad remains beautifully bucolic.

The Story of the Imampur Mosque by Kavita Mulrajani, London, UK

B

aba and His companions reached Imampur on a wintry December night, the last day on the road ofthe New Life Journey. Of course, it was unknown to the companions that this was the last day. They were all tired and it was decided that they would spend the night in an old dilapidated mosque. A room was cleaned out for Baba. When all retired for the night, Eruch was the fIrst in turn to camp outside Baba's door to keep watch. After about half an hour or so, Eruch heard a clap from inside. He went in and was told that the mandali were snoring too loudly. Baba told him to ask them to sleep further away. All this was done through Baba gesturing in the dark and Eruch using matches to see Baba's gestures. So, Baidul, Gustadji and Pendu were moved further away. After some time, Baba clapped again and told Eruch that there was a worse noise inside the room. Eruch discovered that there was a bird nesting in the comer of the room. He told this to Baba and Baba gestured to throw the bird out. Eruch

was trying to get to the bird in the darkness when he heard Baba's insistent claps. This meant that he should leave everything he was doing and go to Baba immediately, which he did. With a matchstick, Eruch listened to Baba. Baba told Eruch that they had made a mistake. It was not in line with the rules of the New Life to express cruelty, which Baba had done. Also, Eruch should have reminded Baba of the rules. Baba asked Eruch to recall this incident the next morning. So when morning came, the topic was brought up again and Eruch was asked to relay the whole story to the other companions. Baba said that it had been sheer cruelty for him to want to throw out a bird nesting with little birds. Throwing the birds out would have thrown water on the whole of the ew Life. So, to feel unburdened, Baba asked his companions to beat him with their sandals. Baba then asked each of them to spit on him for the cruelty. Mter that, Baba said, "Now, I'm feeling very happy and totally relaxed. Now, lets' go. Let's continue our journey." Eruch's explanation is, "Baba as man had committed this mistake. He became man, you see. He never acted as man, he became man. So it was his mistake, but that is an expression of

the great compassion of the God-Man. He takes upon himself the whole thing." Baba made a mistake and pulled his own ear. Eruch's quote in the last paragraph is taken from the book Tales ofthe New Life with Meher Baba. The book was narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru.

The interior of the mosque where Baba slept.

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MeIl10ries of the First AIl1artithi Reported by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs

O

n the 31st Amartithi, January 31, 2001, we heard a talk at Meher Center by Irwin Luck, who attended the first Amartithi. This was the seven days, February 1-7,1969, during which Meher Baba's body lay in the crypt in His Tomb, surrounded by flowers (with just His face exposed), while thousands of pilgrims came to pay their last respects. Among the masses ofEasterners was a handful ofWesterners, including Irwin and his brother Edward Luck, Allan Cohen, Rick Chapman, Don Stevens, and Delia De Leon. January 31, 1969, the day that Baba dropped His body, was an unusual day for Irwin. In those days he was driving a taxi in New York City. On the 31st he drove around the city all day, yet not one single passenger got into his cab! And after that he never drove a cab again. When the news came that Baba had drop ,. .s body, His lovers around the world were eagerly preparing for the Darshan that was to take place in April-June 1969. Irwin and Ed, however, had not signed up for any of the group flights going from the United States. Instead, their plan was to go to India earlier and wait until the Darshan began. After all, Baba had said that His lovers could travel anywhere they wanted to before the Darshan but after the Darshan, they were to go straight home, without stopping to visit other places or sightsee.Well, Irwin and Ed reasoned, since they could go anywhere beforehand, why not go to Poona a month before the Darshan? They of course would not want to disturb Baba, but if He should just happen to want to see them, they would be there. And so, when the telegram came announcing that Baba had dropped His body, Irwin and Ed's money was not tied up in the group flight set for later that spring. Although group heads were at ftrst advising people not to go in April-June-because they assumed that the pilgrims would be a burden to the MandaliIrwin and Ed felt that they could take care of themselves and would not bother the mandali. The primary consideration, as Irwin expressed it, was this: When a father passes away, where should his son go? The Luck brothers felt that they were Baba's sons, and so of course they must go immediately to India to attend His

funeral Until they arrived on February 7, the Lucks assumed that the body would already be interred and had no idea that they would still be 16

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Irwin Luck, Myrtle Beach able to see Baba's face. This was the last day when anyone was able to do so, because Mehera, recalling that Baba had told her onJanuary 31 that His suffering would last for seven more days, said that the interment should take place after seven days. The atmosphere that Irwin experienced at Baba's Samadhi was replete with Baba's love and presence. He recalled Dr. Harry Kenmore exclaiming in his booming voice, "This is intoxicating!" It was a love feast where one was drunk without wine. Despite the profound sense of loss-suffered in particular by those who had lived in such intimate proximitywith the Beloved-Irwin could feel Baba's presence even though the bodywas no longer alive. And he recalled how many times Baba had emphasized, "I am not this body." Several people that Irwin met in India had the miraculous experience ofseeing Baba open His eyes and look at them from the crypt. One of these was a Zoroastrian priest who told Irwin and others how he had been traveling and saw a vision of Zoroaster rising straight up in the air. He saw smoke in the sky of a particular color that was believed to indicate the death of a great soul, and so he followed this smoke. That is how he arrived at Baba's Samadhi. (There was no actual smoke coming from Meherabad Hill-that was just part of the priest's vision.) Standing in line to pay his respects to Baba, he had trouble seeing over the heads of those in front of him. Suddenly he saw Baba lift his head and look right at him. What a remarkable gift Baba gave to this priest, who normally would be the last person on earth to go to Baba. Baba's body had been placed on top of a coffin lid; around him blocks ofice were positioned to keep the body fresh in the intense heat (and remarkably there were no signs of decay or odor during the seven days), and these were sprinkled with sawdust to absorb any melting water, then covered with an abundance ofbeautiful flowers. On the seventh day, the ice blocks were removed. In a ftlm taken at the scene, which had been shown at the Center the previous night, we saw Irwin and Edward among those on the "bucket brigade" line, passing the ice from hand to hand. At 12:15pm the inverted coffin was lowered over Baba's body by means of ropes, and this was covered with earth and flowers. (For a long period, the earth was simply covered with a cloth, until sometime later a marble slab was

placed over the crypt. Irwin humorously described how, when the marble arrived up on Meherabad Hill, although no instructions had yet been given, some Arangaon villagers picked it up and carried it into the Tomb.This caused Padri to come running, as there was concern over the fragility of this marble that had been made specially by a master craftsman in Italy. But the trusty villagers safely put the marble in its place.) Irwin and Edward spent four months in India altogether, attending the Great Darshan in Poona at the end of that period. In connection with Baba's passing, Irwin addressed the question of Baba's silence and the breaking of His silence. Most people expected that Baba was going to literally utter a word or words before shedding His physical form. Noting that Baba's silence had many meanings, Irwin recalled some ofBaba's statements: "I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is My voice-the voice of inspiration, of intuition, ofguidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak." "When the Word of my love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that this is the Real Word you have always been longing to hear." Such statements suggest a deep inner meaning to the breaking of His silence. Baba once said that when He would break His silence, His word would have the effect ofan atom bomb. Such an atom bomb Irwin said, would produce a tremendou~ shock-but it would be a "love-shock." We all know about the destructiveness of the atom bomb--but just think of the constructiveness of the infinite power of love as the divine presence of Baba continues to grow in the world. One day this presence will be so powerful (Irwin reports Baba as having said) that some will even attain illumination through seeing Baba on ftlm. Irwin remembered that even when one was with Baba, one didn't see Him every minute. At times Baba would retire into another room or the visitors would have to leave His presence. Yet they could still sense His atmosphere even when He was not before their eyes. In the same way, we must learn to tune in to Baba's presence now that His body is no longer on earth. Once we develop this ability to feel His presence, we can carry it with us wherever we go. (continued on page 4, col. 3)

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News froIl1 Meherabad Something Old-Something New

A

s many ofyou know, the West Room of the Meher Retreat building on Meherabad Hill, where some of Baba's Eastern and Western women disciples stayed in the ashram days of the 1930's and 40's, has served as a small museum since the early 70's. The original displays, chosen and arranged by Mehera, Mani and the women Mandali to show a selection ofBaba's personal and household items from various times and aspects on-lis life, have given many of His lovers meaningful contact with these "tangible links" to Him. In recent years, the Trust's Archives, Museum and Research Committee (AMRC) has continued caring for the collection of precious Baba treasures to ensure that they are protected for feet of the lepers sharing with His world-wide family. While consulting with museum professionals to find out how to best achieve this goal, we learned about the difference between "people needs" and "item needs." People thrive in air and light and with human touch, but for physical items these same factors hasten deterioration. For the most precious items in the world, the belongings of the Avatar, this law of nature still prevails. In the museum we thus faced a dilemma how to preserve the treasures and still provide His lovers access. The consultants who educated us in this predicament also provided a solution: continue to give access through display, but be sure to rotate the items so that they all have a chance to rest in the dark, still environments that will prolong their lives. So, in the second week ofNovember, we began to do this by changing displays in two of the glass- fronted cabinets - one which showed items connected with Baba being adorned and "dressed up" and the other which presented examples of His daily wear from the early years. The crown and the robe, the coat and the sadra, and the other smaller items from these two cabinets were carefully removed, padded and folded with archivally safe materials, placed in boxes specially made to

Meredith Klein, 20 Dec. 2000

and the sari are now on display, along with a comfortably hold them, and brought for a well pair of sequined costume sandals also made deserved rest to cabinets in the by the women Mandali. East Room (the companion The ready-made crown room to the West, where had been purchased in Mehera and the close women Bombay and brought to resided in the Meherabad Meherabad for the ashram days). Prior to removing Prem Ashram boys, these items, a new set of articles who yeamed to adorn had been chosen, along with two Baba. In addition to the photos showing Baba wearing silver sequin embroidery the word "Meher," some of them. These photos .,~~~~~ were blown up to fit the size of in Gujerati script, was the exhibits and we then embroidered on made padded stands the green silk centre by the women mandali. designed to perfectly support and display The pink silk sari, with each of these a typical Parsi style borprecious Baba treader embroidered in a sures. The result is The crown and sari with which the floral pattern, originally Prem Ashram boys adorned their belonged to Khorshed. very beautiful, Beloved Mter Baba used it, she simple, elegant, and inspiring, as Baba's belongings no longer wore it. Since those early years, it always are, continuing to hold a had been very carefully and lovingly kept fragrance of His physical amongst Baba's precious articles, accompanied presence. by a note in Goher's handwriting, which reads: One of the cases shows costumes which "Beloved Baba has used this sari as dhoti in were used on special occasions. When Baba 1926. Meherabad." The pink satin costume was away on trips to the West or for other sandals had been made for one ofBaba's birthwork, the women mandali passed their spare days by Mehera and the women Mandali ustime with their hearts and minds focused on ing soles made by a cobbler. The sandals are Him, by designing and creating crowns and embroidered all over with beads and sequins jewelry and costume clothing with which to and edged in pink braid. When you look adorn Him. For these closely you can see the imprint they used what they had ofBaba's feet on the insoles. with them - they would The other case contains typiremove gold threads, secal daily clothing of Baba from quins, etc. from their sathe 1930's and 40's: a silk coat ris and would use the silk and cotton lengha. The scene sari material also. Very captured in the photograph is little was purchased from also typical - Baba, with lengha outside. and sadra rolled up, actively enIn the photo backing gaged in the work at hand - in this display Beloved Baba this case, on His birthday in 1940 is seated like a king on a in Bangalore, giving all the masts throne, regally draped in the ashram a bath.The striped with a beautiful sari, a sesilk coat was very much worn by quinned crown atop His Baba, who preferred such soft flowing hair, and His 10clothing. Gaimai (Eruch's tus feet resting on a cush- The rickshaw used by Baba during mother) and family had had it ion embroidered by Methe Prem Ashram period made, along with two other sirnihera and the women Mandali. For this lar ones, by a tailor in 1937 in Nagpur. The occasion, in 1926, Baba had been dressed up tailor, who was a follower ofTajuddin Baba by the Prem Ashram boys. The same crown and then came to love Meher Baba as a result 17


ofstitching for Him, had figured out the measurements just by looking at a photograph ofBaba, who was very pleased with the results. This case also shows a typical pair oflengha, which Baba Baba's silk shirt usually wore beneath His sadra. These drawstring pants, of cotton material, are displayed to show the word "Baba" embroidered in red below the waistband.

Above: Baba's Kamli coat. Below Baba attired in it in the '30's

Books and More - an Archives Update Meredith Klein, 9 Feb. 2001

J\ rchives, archives, r\archives! What are those archive committee folks doing, anyway? These days around Meherabadazad one hears the word "archives"used in many contexts. Some people inquire about it. Some are excited about it. Some participate in it. Some seek advice about it. Some even Front view ofthe archives buildingjust east ofthe Samadhi spoof it. But almost everyone wonders what it is really all about. pany capable of manufacturing the special Through regular updates in Tavern Talk and steel cupboards required to protect precious other publications the AMRC (Archives, Baba items. The museum quality standards Museum and Research for these cupboards Committee) hopes to for everything from the continue to provide joints, to the gasketing, answers for all those to the paint job and inquiring (and woneven to the dimensions dering) minds in our - had to be met, and we are very happy toreBaba family. This time we would port that they have like to share with you been. A prototype has some very exciting, recently been delivhot-off-the-press news View from window abovefront door. Imagine ered and, as one perthefront drive when it is all beautifully son commented, "it's and then focus on a significant project which landscaped awesome!" Our techhas been quietly but steadily progressing be- nical advisers assure us that in quality and hind-the-scenes for the last few years. craftsmanship it equals, if not exceeds, those As earlier reported in Tavern Talk, after manufactured abroad. Having satisfied the an arduous and seemingly fruitless search, archival standards we can now go ahead and we felt fortunate to locate a nearby com- order the various sizes of cupboards required. And so it appears that Baba, by once again making possible what had appeared nearly impossible, has put His stamp of approval on a major next step in caring for His treasures. In addition to next steps, we are also most happy to let you know that major strides have already been made Side view ofarchives building towards another o

The AMRC will continue changing the displays in the Meherabad Hill Museum, so even if you have been there often, the next time you come be sure to set aside some time for a visit. I think you will be glad you did!

18


However, although the archives is not a library, the need for future research access to copies, facsimiles, and in rare instances to originals, is very much recognized, and policies and procedures for this are being established. In recent times we have become keenly aware that in the archival arena, as in many, the more you do the more there is to do! Although the road apModel of the new Pilgrim Center west of the Samadhi

goal - archiving the materials by and about Beloved Baba. Since 1998, during annual visits here, Flagg Kris (retired librarian and former Meherabad resident) could almost daily be found elbow deep in piles of books and periodicals, and often keenly focused on the computer in front of him. Using an expanded version of a database originally developed to catalogue the books in the Meherabad Hill library, on behalfof the AMRC, Flagg has been meticulously recording the essential details about each and every available Baba publication, in all languages - from the lengthiest ofbooks to the smallest ofleaflets. Besides the cataloging aspect (which includes information about the physical appearance of each item - toward the goal of having the materials selected for archiving be those in the best condition possible), this effort is helping to determine which items are still missing from the necessary number of copies for each individual item (separate editions and printings count as separate items). Last year lists of the missing items, as well as requests regarding future publications, were sent to some of the major Baba publishers and through their generosity we have already begun to fill in some of the blank spaces on the shelves. On behalf of the Trust's archival effort the AMRC would especially like to thank all of you who so willing responded to help ensure that this priceless published record of His advent is preserved for all time. This work is in keeping with the caring and sharing guidelines of the Trust which require that the caring (physical stabilization, protection, duplication and documentation) of these archival items be seen to first, thus ensuring future sharing (use and access). In the case of these published materials, of course most are already generally available from various sources.

pears seemingly endless, the experience of living and working in Baba's world, has also made us keenly aware that in His timing all the goals will be met (or not!) as He chooses. One thing of which there is no doubt, is that with all the projects underway and those yet to come there will be ample supply ofTavern Talk topics from the AMRC, and so we look forward to sharing them with you again soon.

From Our Man in Meherabad James Cox Februrary 19th It's 1 am at Meherabad and I've just finished putting away the tarpaulins from the Sabha Mandap, next to Baba's Samadhi. Tonight, over 150 of us attended the kick-off for Baba's Birthday, the first qawwali program on Meherabad Hill since Baba was physically present, and I am still swimming. ooraddin Qewwal from Khuldabad came with a group of about eight, and proceeded to enchant an audience of different religions and nationalities with one of the most ecstatically sublime performances I have ever witnessed anywhere, addressing Baba in incredible Urdu qawwal after qawwal, subdy poetic complaints and yearnings between lover and Beloved, for which English is woefully inadequate to express. Qewwali is a medium describing states generally not only not written about in English, but which don't even come into the normal collective Western thought process. What occurred opposite Baba's Samadhi tonight was an immersion process, a step through a door briefly opened to a place from where we do not wish to return.

The Station ofDivine Laughter

I

performed prayer between the two evening prayers and said to myself, "What was going on? The wonders of the hidden were not revealed in listening to music the night before." And I suddenly saw the Truth (glory be to him who is transcendent) at the windows of the angelic realm, dawning on me as beauty and majesty. And I said. .. "Where were you when you hid during the music?" And He who is transcendent said, "I was with you, as I am now, as you see me!" And I laughed and cried, and my conscience was glad, and my mind and heart. And I said, "My God, why did I not see you there?" He said, I was behind you, and above you, watching you, and on your right and left, as you see me now." Ruzbihan Baqli, The Unveiling ofSecrets, Diary of a Sufi Master, [Chapel Hill, NC: Parvardigar Press, 1997] Translated by Carl W. Ernst, 45-46.

Gokaran Shrivastava was translating each song into English, and he said as the qawwalis progressed, he was faced with an increasingly difficult job, both from getting lost in their magic, and because there were simply no English words to capture these increasingly sublime descriptions. However, words are only one aspect ofqawwali, and the rhythm, movement, gestures and music produce their own ecstatic effect, which also cannot be translated into English, nor for which do you require a knowledge of Urdu. And like this, even without knowing the verbal meaning, one is gradually carried along on their wave of rapture. Towards the end ofthis incredible performance, my friend Bob leaned over and asked me if these guys are indeed Baba lovers or are they just playing the crowd. I remembered a story that my friend Krishna told me about going to San Francisco to see one of the most famous qawwalswho ever lived, Nusrat Fateh-Ali Khan. Krishna was disappointed that Nusrat didn't play any of his really deep stuff, and he went up to him after the concert to ask why. The answer was, "Look around you, look at the audience," and then Krishna understood. Tonight the audience was Meher Baba and His lovers, and the "stuff" was deep, very deep. Like begets like.

19


-+ Birthday Showers -+ T

o honor Meher Baba's birthday every year on February 25th, Baba lovers in south India would hold large public celebrations. If it was Baba's seventieth birthday, for example, the Andhra lovers would celebrate it in some places for seventy days. Cities and towns throughout India would have some public observance - processions through the streets, singing programs, feasts for the poor, and so forth - in which groups as well as individuals participated with much love and effort, and Baba was always very appreciative. On the 25th of February at Meherazad, the men mandali would always get up at four in the morning, take their baths and dress in their best clothes. At five o'clock, the moment of Baba's birth, the men would shout "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!" seven times in the hall. When Baba came, each one would go to Him and receive an embrace. Then the work of answering birthday letters, cables, and cards had to be attended to; so in some ways Baba's birthday was a day of more work for Him! In 1968, Sarosh Irani, President of the Ahmednagar Center, informed Baba that for His seventy-fourth birthday the Ahmednagar devotees were planning a large public celebration with a festive procession, singing, and lectures about Him. This was the second year in a row that the Ahmednagar Center was celebrating Baba's birthday publicly, and Baba was very happy when Sarosh explained the whole affair. On the day of the birthday, after His afternoon session with the men Mandali, Baba retired to His room at three o'clock and I went with Him to keep watch. Mter some time, Baba arose and gestured, "Today the Ahmednagar people are going to celebrate my birthday publicly. This evening they are having a large procession through town. I know that they have all worked very hard, and this makes me very happy. I want them to be pleased, and I want the celebration to come off well." I nodded. Baba paused and then said, "But if it rains, it will spoil everything. Do you think it will rain?" I answered, "No, Baba, it won't rain. The sky is very clear." "But if it rains, then what will happen?" He questioned. 20

Bhau Kalchuri

ing wet on the way. I gave Aloba the message and returned to Baba. Baba immediately asked, "Did you tell Although I reassured Him that there would be no rain, Baba continued, "Sarosh Aloba to bring the message to me here afwill feel very sad because he has worked day ter he phones?" "No," I said, "how could I tell him that? and night for this. The celebration is a pubNo one is allowed to come to your room lic one." Again He asked, "Do you think it will unless you yourself call him." "Go! Go and tell him," Baba said. "I have rain? Go and look at the sky." never in my life seen such an idiot like you!" Again I had to dash out into the pouring rain to give Aloba the instructions. When I returned, I was completely drenched and somewhat irritated, thinking, "Why all the hurry about phoning Adi? Ifit is raining in Ahmednagar, it's raining! What will Baba do about it anyway? Here I'm soaking wet, and I have to sit here with Baba until midnight in these wet clothes." As I entered Baba's room, He said, "If there is rain in Ahmednagar, everything will be ruined." Photo by Sandy Grey I said, "Whether the program Children enjoing Baba's Birthday Celebration there gets ruined or not, my proI went outside and looked at the sky, gram here is completely spoiled. I'm which looked fme. I went back inside and drenched!" Baba just smiled and gestured to me, repeated the same thing. "No, it will not rain, the sky is very clear. There's no sign of rain, "Come here," and taking His handkerchief, Baba." very tenderly and lovingly He began to wipe So Baba lay down, but five minutes later my face. I said, "No Baba, please, I can do it," but He sat up again and gestured to me to go outside and see if there were any clouds. He went on wiping. Then He said, "Take offyour clothes and Again I went outside, and upon seeing no clouds at all, reported to Baba. "This isn't hang them on the line to dry. Take this even the monsoon season," I reasoned. "It bedsheet and wrap it around you." I was so touched by Baba's loving comnever rains in February." Baba continued to send me out to look passion and His tenderness that I no longer for clouds every fifteen minutes or so, but felt the least bit annoyed, although I still none appeared. However, at five o'clock wondered why there had been such a fuss when I went to check, I saw to my amaze- about phoning Adi. Soon afterwards, Aloba hurried back ment that dark rain clouds filled the entire with the happy news: "Baba, there aren't sky! So I hurried in to tell Baba. even clouds there! The sky is perfectly clear, Baba gestured anxiously, "See! Now what and the procession is just beginning. The will happen?" and just then it started to pour. birthday program is a big success!" I was stunned. Baba quickly motioned, "Go Then I understood why Baba had been right now and tell Aloba to cycle to the pumping station and phone Adi to see if it so concerned. Baba just smiled at me and said, "My is raining in Ahmednagar! Go!" birthday is a grand success." As it was pouring outside, I started to ask Goher for an umbrella, but Baba gesWhile the World Slept by Bhau Kalchuri tured impatiently, "Hurry! Go right now!" Copyright 1984 Bhau Kalchuri. So without an umbrella, I hurried across the compound to the men's side, getting soak-


+-

Meher Cosmic Family, Mumbai Presents: ~

107th Birthday of Beloved

''[ never come, I nevergo; I am never born, I never die"

Nivedita Sharma, Mumbai

hoisted outside. Then at 5:15 the arti is sung and the birthday song follows. The delicious three-piece cake is cut by three Baba lovers. The Bhajans follow till the 7 a.m. arti. By Avatar Meher Baba this time the Hall is teeming with people. ark the angels sing a King was born Once the arti is over prasad is distributed. today! Shirenmai's divine child Most lovers return to their homes. Some Merwan was born on this day 25th Febru- stay back. These are the ones who will be performing in the evening at the Framji ary 1894. The Mumbai Center has been in exist- Cawasji Hall. The Hall is now going to be used as a ence for the past 38 years. When Meher Baba gave permission for the center to be rehearsal room. Performing a solo dance is built he sent Maharani Shantabai ofBaroda ten year old Piyusha who is the third genas His representative for the inauguration. eration of Baba lovers in her family. While The message that He gave was "Make Meher she takes some time out to rest she says, Half the house ofall hearts that seek to hear my "Baba always liked my grandmother's puran polis (sweet nan). Once Baba told my grandmessage ofLove and Truth". This message was given on 25th Febru- father to get papaya when the season was ary 1962 when Baba was in Seclusion. He over. My grandfather knew this, but he also said that His birthday should be celebrated knew that he had to obey Baba. IfBaba has in various centers rather than coming to asked for something it should be available Meherabad. Here is an account of how somewhere. So he searched in all the garMumbai Baba lovers put their hearts and dens ofAhmednagar. He told all his friends souls into presenting a memorable birthday also if they get papaya they should give it to him. Against all hope he did get for Baba. Mumbai, the commercial capital on the it and gave it to Baba! We all believe in western coast of India is a city that never Baba. I have seen Baba come to me when I sleeps. At 3:30 a.m. the streets still have was five years old. Recently during traffic whizzing along. The skyline shows Amartithi I saw him standing outside the a dark horizon with a star-spangled sky Samadhi during the fifteen minute silence. above. As I speed towards the Baba Center He waved to me!" There are others too in Grant Road I see no omen signifying the who share their stories. occasion that will be celebrated in style. But At the Framji Cawasji Hall the evening I do know 107 years ago when Shirenmai begins with Baba songs and then the dance was pregnant with a second child she saw which Piyusha has been rehearsing. She has prophetic dreams. She saw the birth of a performed a dance on Meera's love for her divine son who would awaken Humanity. Lord. The highlight of the evening is a balShe dreamt that He would be a beautiful let based on a section from God Speaks. child and she saw herself standing at her Another highlight is the talk that one of the door where people would come in large trustees, Cyrus Khambatta, gives for new numbers to pay their respects to Him. Baba lovers. President Dara Katrak gives She spoke of her boy child Merog, as she thanks for the constant support they have fondly called Him. He was called Merwan received each year to make the birthday celor Meherwanji by peers and later He was ebrations memorable. Every year a play is performed and events from Baba's life are called Meher Baba by one and all. The building Navyug Niwas is decorated. staged. Again the lovers have worked toOn the ground, colorful rangoli make a gether to make the event wonderful. Silently pretty sight. The rangoli is right up till the the workers back stage also do their bit. At third floor where Meher Hall is already the end of the evening everyone thanks the full! People are garlanding the photo of wonderful painstaking job that has been Baba. The Bhajan mandali (Indian choir done to make the evening perfect. Meher group) led by Kishore Mistry is singing Baba lives in our hearts eternally. In this songs. At 5:00 a.m. the seven names of Avataric cycle, this is His last Advent. We God are said aloud, after which the flag is have to learn much from His silence. We

H

-~~~-

must not forget that He came in our midst to awaken us. His birthday is just an excuse to spend a little more time in His esteemed company. Whether we are in Mumbai or Meherabad (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), Meher Baba will always be with us.

A New Web Cast ofEruch in Mandali Hall and the Birthday Celebration Ward Parks, Meherabad 11th March 2001

T

he Amartithi and Baba's birthday celebrations, like huge tidal waves, have washed past us now. The steady exodus of pilgrims over the past few days has left us with a Pilgrim Centre and Hostel D that are only half-full. As a medieval poet once wrote, "sumer is a-cumen in": each day the mercury rises higher and higher, and by the latter part ofthe month it will be topping the century mark. And so Meherabad and Meherazad slowly subside into their states ofsummer quietude, in which the several score remaining residents patiently labor on under a blaze of tropical sun. The 2000-2001 pilgrim season leaves us with many memories, most immediately, those ofthe past month which represent the climax and culmination of the annual cycle here in BabaTown. A happy new development is that now some of the memorable moments, as recorded on digital video cameras, can be shared with the greater Baba family around the world through web-casts. This was done a month ago in connection with the Amartithi gathering. Today we have several more video clips, shot by Bob Fredericks during his pilgrimage this season. The first three of these clips, each about one minute in length, are from the birthday celebration at Meherabad on February 25th including footage of the Samadhi at 5 a.m. and a brief segment from the birthday play about the Perfect Master Tukaram. The last is of Eruch on February 22nd of this year, narrating the extraordinary episode in which Baba promised one day to pull him out of the muck of this illusion. Unless you have a DSL/cable modem, you must download these clips before viewing. For you to view them, your computer will need 21


"Realplayer." A free Realplayer can be downloaded from:

Tukaram Ushers in Our Summer Season

www.realnetworks.com To view the first video of Beloved Baba's Birthday at Meherabad click the following linlc http://www.technobaba.coml birthdayone.rm

Irene Holt, 8 March 2001

T

To view the second Birthday video of the Samadhi at 5:00am on Feb 25th click the following linlc http://www.technobaba.comlbirthday2.rm To view scenes from "Tukaram" (the Birthday play), click the following linlc http://www.technobaba.comltukaram.rm Finally, to view Eruch speaking in Mandali Hall on Feb 22nd 2001 click the following link: http://www.technobaba.comlEruch.rm Note: the video fIle of Eruch is large (1.2mb), and some subscribers may have trouble downloading it. For those experiencing this difficulty, a smaller file of Eruch is available at: http://www.technobaba.coml Eruchinhallrm These web-casts appear to be another channel by which Beloved Baba can bridge distances and help His lovers around the world to feel close to His places and at one in His remembrance. For those who could not be at Meherabad-Meherazad over January and February, some whiffs of the fragrance ofBeloved Baba's home here are just a click away.

It is to Your Advantage Bhau Kalchuri

O

n Wednesday, February 17th, 1932, Meher Baba's 38th birthday was celebrated quietly with a simple program of bhajan, kirtan, arti and the distribution of prasad by Baba. While conversing with His close disciples, Baba suddenly asked one of them, "What are you thinking?" "You know, Baba," the man replied. Baba responded, nodding, "Yes," then spelled out: Yes, I do; but I have come down on your level to be among you. I know everything. I know what you are thinking and what hardships you have undergone. But by my asking you to say it out loud, you will get relief and be benefIted. For that reason, I ordered you to speak, which is very good for you. Even if you don't reply and remain quiet, I know; but by your speaking out, it 22

is always for your own good and to your advantage. My universal mind is the central station to which every individual mind is linked. So, wherever a person may be, I know what he is thinking and doing every moment. At every moment I know the thought of every person and the thoughts ofthe whole world simultaneously. Not only this, but I also know what you will think tomorrow or after a thousand years, and also know what you thought thousands of years before. This is knowledge infinite and indivisible and it is beyond your imagination. Lord Meher, VoL V. Copyright 1990

AMBPPCT

He who renounces ... the life of the separate ego in favor of a life of self-surrender to the Master is through this new ego, living as an instrument in the hands of the Master. It is the Master who is working through him: 'Not I but Thou'... Before beginning anything, the aspirant should say it is not he who is doing it but the Master who is getting it done through him, and after doing it, he does not claim the results of action or enjoy them, but offers them to his Master. from Sparksfrom Meher Baba

July, 1969, Sheriar Press.

he warm March breezes are blowing across Meherabad, heralding the start of "heat and dust" season, and the approaching end of our pilgrim season here. Meherazad's last pilgrim day was February 27th and the Mandali, residents and staff there will now begin their summer period of repairs, refurbishing, and hopefully some much-needed rest as well. Quite a few pilgrims still remain at Meherabad, those who particularly enjoy the relative quietude of the last two weeks. The Pilgrim Centre is about half full and we are still expecting several arrivals before closing on March 15th. Our most recent big event of course was Baba's birthday. It was a lovely day full of prayer, music and drama, celebrated in His love and remembrance. At 6:00 a.m. 25th February, strains ofBaba music could still be heard from Arangaon village; the villagers had been at it all night as they are accustomed to doing for Baba's birthday each year. The sky was gently lit as the sun was about to rise and the air took on that characteristic dawn chill. Baba lovers on Meherabad Hill were also singing His praises at the Samadhi following the early 5:00 a.m. prayers, arti and Happy Birthday song. Under the tin shed opposite the old Meherabad kitchen, tea was served to all comers, in the tradition established there by Mansari years ago. The feeling oflove and brotherhood pervaded the atmosphere on the hill as His lovers celebrated the Avatar's advent on earth. Later in the morning the Mandali arrived from Meherazad for darshan on the hill and to attend the performance of the play Tukaram.The Mandali had expressed particular enthusiasm for seeing this year's play about the Maharashtrian saint Tukaram, who Baba had said was a perfect master of his time. Tukaram's song-poetry to God is famous and dearly loved in Maharashtra, and Baba used to enjoy hearing it sung in His presence. A film version ofTukaram's life story had been seen and loved by Baba, Mehera and the other Mandali in past years. The play this year was written directly from the translated script of the film. The part of Tukaram was played by Alan Wagner and that of his devoted wife Avala by Heather Nadel. The supporting cast included many Baba lov-


ers on pilgrimage from the West and a few Arangaon village residents. The story demonstrated several incidents from Tukaram's life and showed his humility, one-pointed and ecstatic love for God and notably the challenge to conventional religion posed by his simple life ofsinging and chanting in love for his beloved Lord. The famous story of Tukaram being forced by the priesdy authorities to throw all the books of poetry he had written into the river was particularly powerful. Mter 13 days of fasting and meditation by the master, the books miraculously rose up out of the river waters intact. The priest who had ordered the drowning of the books became converted to Tukaram's message ofLove. The feeling conveyed through the Meherabad performance was very sweet and touching. The audience was moved by the heartful portrayal of this great master and favorite of Baba's. The mandali enjoyed it very much and Bhau commented that it was the best yet of the plays performed at Meherabad. Following the play, birthday cake and ice cream were served on the verandahs of the theatre, a fitting and festive ending to the program. Together Baba's lovers hailed His coming among us as Avatar and His living presence in our hearts. Happy 107th!

Happenings at Meherabode Inventory Time During the spring spruce-up the whole Center got before the Birthday celebrations, we inventoried the bookstore. A once-yearly chore during which every single item must be counted. Here are 3 willing volunteers who slaved for the day.

Above right: _ Wendy Ward and Margaret Magnus tallying. Right: Ellen Bailey and Pris HcifJenden share a light moment while counting Rob Ward carries a box of booksfor counting

God Is One Meher Baba

W

hen I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and manywho hearing me claim this, would take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad.If I were to say every one ofyou is an Avatar, a few would be tickled,and manywould consider it blasphemy or a joke. The fact that God being One, Indivisible, and equally in us all-that we can be naught else but one-is too much for the duality-conscious mind to accept. Yet in each ofus is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each ofyou is an Avatar in one sense or the other. It is an unalterable and universally recognized fact since time immemorial that God knows everything, God does everything, and that nothing happens but by the Will of God. Therefore, it is God who makes Me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar. Again, it is He Who is tickled through some, and through others is shocked. It is God Who acts, and God Who reacts. It is He Who scoffs and He Who responds. He is the Creator, the Producer, the Actor and the Audience in His own Divine Play. LordMeher, Vol 13-14, 1954-1956, page 4423,Bhau Kalchuri,AMPPCT, 1998

Wendy Haynes Connor told us ofher times with Baba when she was eleven.

Buz Connor entertained us with his wonderful songs.

Beloved Baba's Birthday cake was an absolutely incredible carrot cake.

23


..-. The Los Angeles Sahavas -. .. T

his year's Sahavas will be held from Saturday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 3rd, 2001 at the beautiful Pilgrim Pines retreat grounds located in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Our Special Guests We are always pleased whenever Beloved Baba's night watchman, Bhau Kalchuri, graces the L.A. Sahavas with his wonderful presence. Bhau met Meher Baba in 1952 and joined Him as one of the men Mandali in 1953. At His instruction, Bhau wrote Meher Baba's biography, published in the multi-volume "Lord Meher" series. A distinguished poet, Bhau has written thousands of ghazals, published in such works as "Meher Sarod." He currently serves as Chair!"" 'I of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetua.. 'c Charitable Trust in India. Sheela Kalchuri Fenster first met Meher Baba in 1952 when she was 6 months old, along with her mother Rama and father Bhau. Sheela spent her early childhood years living in the Family C21Iarters at Meherabad with her mother and brother while her father lived at Meherazad with Meher Baba. She saw Baba regularly during His visits to Meherabad up until 1962, and thereafter at Meherazad. Sheela's unique access to the Avatar's household and her bold personality created a wealth of stories arising from her years spent in Baba's company. Esfandiyar Vessali is one of the Prem Ashram boys from Iran. He stayed in Meherabad for almost 2 years during his early teens, and has beautiful memories of Baba during that time. He is one of the originators of the Baba Center in Teheran, Iran. If you ask Mr. Vessali, "How old are you?" he will reply, "I am two years old," because he stayed with Baba for two years and that was the highlight of his entire life. Esfandiyar has told me that this year his talk will be on Love. Cindy Lowe heard about Meher Baba in 1964 and instantly recognized Him as her Master. She had quite a few communications with Him. She attended the 1969 Darshan and has been to India many times. Mehera and Mani lovingly encouraged her musical endeavors and she looked to them for inspiration. Cindy lives in Oakland, California, where she makes her living as a guitar, voice and songwriting teacher. She 24

by Wendy Ward, Los Angeles, CA says, "I feel that my 'assignment' from Meher Baba is to write, record and play music that would please Baba and His Mandali and lovers. I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to perform for Him at the LA Sahavas!" Billy Goodrum is a singer and songwriter currently living at Meher Mount in Ojai, California. He has been a musical guest at the Myrtle Beach, SC, Youth Sahavas, Young Adult Sahavas and at last year's LA Sahavas. Billy has written many Baba songs, two of which found their way into the movies "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary." He also has songs in the movies "Dumb and Dumber," and "Me, Myself and Irene." Rob Thomburn is a professional musician, composer and music producer residing in Los Angeles, California. In addition to composing for film. and television, he has also produced a number of singer! songwriters and compilation tapes/CDs in the Baba community. You may remember his performance along with other Los Angeles recording artists at the 1999 LA Sahavas concert. Arti, Dhuni, Toddy shop, workshops, the Love Street Bookstore, entertainment, professional child care (ages 3-9), Meher Milliatures (optional activities for ages 10-16), swimming, volleyball, and basketball, family-style meals, cabins and bunk beds, and the retreat atmosphere of Pilgrim Pines are also higWy enjoyable aspects of the Los Angeles Sahavas. Every Sahavas attendee will receive a beautiful photo of Avatar Meher Baba when they arrive. Ifyou have any questions: Contact Rob Thornburn at rcthorn@pacbell.net (preferred), or at 323-550-8863 Transportation information: We recommend flying into Ontario airport and renting a car or sharing an airport shuttle van with other arrivals to get to the Sahavas. It is also possible to obtain a ride from local Sahavas attendees. It is extremely difficult to find volunteer rides from LAX airport because it is so far out of the way. Please fly into Ontario, or even Burbank if at all possible. Our transportation coordinator this year is Glenn Russ. Please provide Glenn (818) 767-9986 with your arrival information ten days before the Sahavas. Glenn will attempt to find a willing volunteer to share

a ride with you. The small percentage of people able to give rides go to the Sahavas on the day it begins and pass by the Ontario airport between about 9:00 am and 2:00 p.m. Schedule your flight arrival time to accommodate the extra hour ride out to the Sahavas, to get there by starting time. Cost: Adults !2oo,Juniors (10-17) $130, Children (3-9) $65, Infants (2 and younger) free. There will be a 2% surcharge for credit card processing. We ask that you Pay In Full by June 15th. A non-refundable deposit of $25 for each adult and $10 for each child will hold your reservation until June 15th, when payment is due in full. We strive to make the Sahavas affordable for everyone. Children and juniors are charged at cost; only adults paying the full rate contribute to the overhead, which includes the costs associated with our guests, mailing and printing costs, childcare, etc. Our overhead does not include the countless hours and professional contributions of committee members and others. If you have any questions, or wish to register by phone, please call Rob Ward, Treasurer at (562) 943-5645. Financial assistance: In cases of financial need, there are a limited number of subsidized spaces which are available on a firstcome, first-served basis. In exchange for this reduced fare, we ask that you help out at Pilgrim Pines. If you are interested, please enclose a note with your registration deposit. You need only specifY that you are requesting the "work-exchange rate", Your reasons may remain between you and Baba. In addition, we will be holding a special lottery for an undetermined number of people to come to this year's Sahavas free of charge. This is intended to allow those who could not otherwise attend to participate; so please, apply only if you have no other way to come. The lottery is funded solely by donations given specifically for this purpose.

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urn to God in complete surrenderance and receive the divine love. You are equally a part of the one indivisible divine life. There is not a single atom that does not vibrate with this divine life. -Meher Baba


"He "Who slanders me ... "

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xplaining to one woman devotee about slander, Baba cited this couplet of Kabir:

"He who slanders me is myfriend because with his own soap he cleanses me of my dirt!" "So," Baba emphasized, "the first thing required is love. And the second is do not backbite." He added, "Feel glad if anyone slanders you, and always be careful that you don't slander others." The woman said, "Baba, I don't slander anyone." "It is good if you don't slander anyone. But generally, he who drinks liquor says: 'Do I get intoxicated? I am never drunkl' "The same is the case with slanderers. A slanderer will slander, and if anyone were to draw his attention to it, he would reply, Who says I am slandering? I never slander.' " The woman said, "But really, I never backbite. It is the truth." In reply, Baba explained: "If anyone speaks about another's shortcomings behind his back, even though what he says may be true, it is slander. "What effect do the sanskaras of backbiting produce? Suppose Mr. A says to Mr. B: 'Mr. C has not come; he is a bad man.' Mr. C is not present. Mr. A has told this directly to Mr. B. Consequently, there is an exchange of sanskaras in an indirect way between Mr. A and Mr. C, and in a direct way between Mr. A and Mr. B. Thus, the sanskaras of slandering are of two types direct and indirect. Thereby, the most minute sanskaras are created and for millions of births it is difficult to be freed from them. "Sanskaras are ofseven colors. Sanskaras oflust and anger have different colors, and the sanskaras created by backbiting are still deeper. We do not know them as such, but they are some of the worst type and nearly impossible to eradicate. Viruses are very subtle germs and invisible, but they are the most troublesome. Similarly, the sanskaras ofcalumny and defamation are most wicked and troublesome. "Therefore, do not defame or vilify others. If someone does it to you, you should be pleased. If someone kicks you, press his leg. What Christ has said about presenting the

other cheek [if slapped] has meaning. If you love, you cannot slander. So try to love all. If you do it, I myself will believe in you. Otherwise, your coming to Me has no meaning. So what is the benefit? It is the luck ofyou all that you are connected with Me. "If you keep all four fmgers in front of your eyes, you will not be able to see Me. So, how can profound subjects be discussed? Tukaram has said:

'How can I thank the Perfect Master? He is that one who keeps me alert every moment!' "Consequently, I have been warning you often about backbiting, and I previously had a Life Circular issued about it." Observing one woman who looked very worried about something, Baba remarked: "5hut the trap ofyour mind and end all your

worries. Open the trap of your heart and release love." To another who was likewise facing difficulties, Baba urged: "Don't worry over physical suffering. Even ifthe body were cut to pieces, it matters little in comparison with the heart getting stained. Try your utmost to keep the heart pure. Let your faith remain unadulterated. Through the body, you get a chance to suffer, but a time gradually comes, and it must come, when all sufferings are over. Then you leave the body for good and experience eternal bliss." Lord Meher, Volume 15/16, Š AMBPPCT

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ne who cannot restrain his tongue cannot restrain his mind; one who cannot restrain his mind cannot restrain his actions; one who cannot restrain his actions cannot restrain himself; and one who cannot restrain himself cannot attain his real Infinite Self. - Meher Baba

Concentrate on the four dots in the middle of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes and tilt your head back. Keep them closed. You will see a circle of light, continue looking at the circle. What do you see? Also after looking at this picture look down a dark hallway or in a dark doorway. Who is that in front of you? 25


Step Jnside the ...

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do wish you could walk into our book store and see all the treasures I brought back from India, you who have never been before, or not recently. Our shelves are now stocked with the little metal fancy framed photos, $4 each; the photos laminated on wood with a stand-up frame, $6-$10 each; large 17 x 21, great quality, printed head shots of Baba in five of the favorite poses, $15 each; many ofthe 8 x 10 black and white photos of Baba doing His various earthly chores, bathing the lepers, giving Darshan etc, 8 x10, $6 each and then so many other wonderful things as well. We have the flags made from Baba's seven colours. In silk, 12" x 21", they are $6 and in heavy cotton at 19" x 34" $8. Anilthe Meher Tailor - has prospered with our patronization, and his display room is now larger and his selection very enticing! I bought many of the little shoulder bags, about 8 x 10, with Indian designs on them, some with muted colours and some with heavy silver brocade. The latter are $10, the former, $8. Ani! also made more ofthe larger carrying bags with shoulder strap, again out of the seven colours. These are $8 also. Back at home, our musicians have been very busy. Besides the two CDs we mentioned in the January issue, Mehera the Divine Rememberer and Nada am, Raine Eastman Gannett has now released a third CD. This is a recording of a concert she gave about Francis Brabazon - Baba's Australian poet. It has many wonderful memories of the times she spent with her mentor and also contains a number of the songs he wrote. My two personal favourites have always been Oh ShouldI Meet You and I Dwell in Dust, one of the many ghazals Francis wrote. Raine can put the feeling into these songs that never fails to bring tears. $14 Mischa Rutenberg, another prolific producer/singer/songwriter has just given us I Call You Love. These are songs Mischa has composed, some based on mystical poems by other poets, among them Rabindranath Tagore. $13 Reviews ofboth these CDs appear in our Reviews section. Ifyour appetite for further knowledge has been whetted by reading about my visit to the Valley of the Saints, we have the indispensable book for such a visit, The Eternal Garden by Carl Ernst. With photos ofmany 26

of the dargahs, it is an extremely comprehensive book based on rare Persian manuscripts preserved in Sufi shrines in the medieval town of Khuldabad. It reveals the mystical teachings and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by Shaykh Burhan al-Din Gharib (d. 1337) and his disciples. Hardbound, $21.50 Heart Chronicles came off the Love Street Press three weeks ago and sold 100 copies in the first two weeks. Could it be because many of the Baba lovers whose stories of coming to Baba appear in there!? Many people bought ten to give to friends. Not a bad idea! It sells for just $10. Many people collaborated in the production of this book, but the guiding light behind it all, and whose idea it was in the first place, is Terri (Zee) Zagrodnick. She is now going to see about getting it placed in commercial bookstores. Anyone who would like to help her in this endeavour by taking it to your local spiritual bookstore and asking if they are interested in carrying it, could contact her at Zee2@airmail.net. We try to keep a few dozen extra copies of all the LampPost issues, so if there is an article you wish to catch, and weren't a subscriber at that time, they are available at $2 each. We still have plenty of the beautiful colour issue we printed in memory ofMani. So many beautiful photos, never seen before, are printed there, and we have extra sheets (separate from the magazine) that you can cut out and frame. If you wish to do this let me know and I will include them in with your order of the magazine. While in India I was talking with Balaji, WonderMan at the presses! Thanks to Balaji, Sharon Muir's exquisite book of her watercolour paintings of familiar places

around Meherabad and Meherazad -Meditations in Color- got printed and is available for the ridiculously low price of$25! (It is a coffee table art book that should sell for $40.) He also, and this was a major stunner, had printed In God's Hand, every bit as beautifullyas that done here in the States (that sells for $30) for the astounding price of$6!! As I was about to load at least a dozen of them into my bag for sale to my clients who can't quite make the $30 for a book, I heard "Oh no Dina! No, no, no, that is only for sale in India!" Ah well friends, I tried.... But to return to Balaji - he is looking into printing the Love Street LampPost in India. We would send him the disc and so, hopefully, what he will print up will look the same as it has always been. The problem with shipping overseas is the postage. Each issue costs around $4 to mail. Blame the US Post Office! This is why we have to ask for $20 for a year's subscription, is the postage! This issue will be our trial one, so hopefully it will be printed for our Indian readers in India - by Balaji. Please contact him at: mvrk_balaji@yahoo.com and ask how much you should send him for the printing and shipping costs. It will probably only be a few hundred rupees. A vast improvement! Thank you Balaji!

Music Reviews ':An Evening with Francis Brabazon" Raine Eastman-Gannett's new CD of songs and stories, by Sally Shimizu.

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n November 17, 2000, Raine Eastman-Gannett gave a concert of Francis Brabazon's songs accompanied by stories at Sufism Reoriented, Walnut Creek, California. To mark the end of a course of study on Francis Brabazon's poetry, Raine was invited to sing at their Walnut Creek Center. It was a beautiful evening that started with the Chorus of Sufism Reoriented performing The Australian Arti, honoring Francis, its writer. Except for a few planned songs the concert was largely spontaneous-with Raine leafing through well-thumbed books of Francis' works until she found the inspiration of the moment. Francis Brabazon was Raine's friend and mentor-a relationship that


spanned 10 years after his return from India. Raine has performed Francis's songs for 30 years, so the material is vast. She sang some old favorites including Marathi Bhajan, Love Street, 0 Man, 0 Should I Meet You and When Dawn Tended Her Rose Garden. The evening was also filled with stories about Francis including a charming one of Raine's first meeting with him in which he immediately spotted her potential as his future tea walli. She even shared instructions on how to make a proper cup of tea, 'Francis style.' Raine was joined in duet by Terry Hogan on The Pearl and 0 Man and on tabla by Craig Boyen on Marathi Bhajan. The wonderful evening closed with the entire audience on its feet, singing and clapping along with Raine in a rousing 0 What a Child-the fmale ending with Raine's cry of Bolo Avatar Meher Baba Ki]ai!. The concert was recorded and mixed by Fred Brunswig and Randy Hammon and the recording was very generously presented to Raine as a gift from Dr. James MacKie, the Murshid of Sufism Reoriented. Raine had the recording mastered and turned into a CD. On the CD cover is an exquisite portrait of Francis Brabazon done in egg tempera by Tony Davis. The painting on the back cover of

the folder is "Poet in Winter"-a very personal view of Francis by Robert Rouse. An interesting side note involves the sound engineer who mastered one of Raine's other newly released CDs Mehera: The Divine Rememberer and who consulted on the mastering of An Evening With Francis Brabazon. He belongs to an order of Sufism based in Marin County, CA, and was connected with Rabia Martin and Inayat Khan through Sam Lewis. Raine told him who Francis Brabazon

was, of his connection with Sufism in Australia and of his trip to the U.S. in 1947 to meet Rabia Martin. During that time, Francis apparently met and became friends with Sam Lewis. The engineer then asked about the other order that is now Sufism Reoriented, not having any knowledge of what had become of them. There was the feeling by those in the room that all three "pathless paths" had come together and were present in that space. An Evening With Francis Brabazon and Mehera: The Divine Rememberer have just been released and are now available. For further information on Raine and her other new CDs, her web site is www.nadaom.com.

based on a poem by Khaled Al-Faqih, who met Meher Baba at the East-West Gathering in 1962. This live recording benefits from the thundering accompaniment by the chorus and orchestra of Sufism Reoriented. The song electrifies the air with the ecstasy of Mohammed/Baba's presence, with its reverberating refrain, "Allahu akbar! La illaha ill'Allah!" ("God is Great! There is no god but God!") r-

c!!@a/l /Jou ci?ove (A ef,,[. tli",I",,!ehng, 10

BJ.!o,..J

"1 Call You Love" /

A new CD by Mischa Rutenberg reviewed by Rachel Dacus. Walnut Creek

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f music is the food of love, then singersongwriter Mischa Rutenberg has provided a feast for Baba lovers in this new, beautifully produced album of devotional songs. These 14 sparkling, original songs are love songs to the Divine Beloved. Many of them are collaborations with other lyricists, or are based on mystical poems by other poets. Indeed, one of the delightful aspects of this collection is the variety of sources for the lyrics. Mischa has used the poetry from Rabindranath Tagore (Silent Steps), American Baba lover and poet Richard Deane (Building Love a Bridge), Indian poet Sarojini Naidu (Song of a Dream) among others. The lyrics also take us through the cycle of Avatars, from Brindaban, where Krishna and His gopis played, to the field of battle with Mohammed's army of devotees. Whatever the setting, the words impart the bliss of the Beloved's company, as in this lyric from There Are No Words:

There are no words that could ever tell The way I feelfor You. There is no tune that could ever express The beauty that is You. And yet I find that I must sing To keep from bursting apart. The beauty a/Your holy Name Is the musicfilling my heart, The flame burning in my heart! Sometimes the songs ascend in a narrative fervor that tells the story of a meeting with God, as in Allahu Akbar, a song

The lyrics always circle back to the themes of joy and gratitude, of celebrating God's presence in the heart. Meher Baba said, "I am closer to you than your own breath."These songs reflect the timelessness of that eternal meeting. The album's devotional quality can be summed up in this lyric, from Silent Steps:

Haven't you heard His silent steps In your heart? He comes, ever comes. Here in the sound of His sweet Name, He comes, comes, ever comes. The musical form Mischa uses is that of the ballad, often reflecting the folk song as a primary influence. He has elaborated the motifs with lush orchestration and expanded the melodies with harmonies and other voices. Accomplished singers Antoinette Davis and Terry Hogan lend their lovely voices to many of the songs, adding to the album's richness and complexity. Yet many of the melodies are easy to follow. They make you want to sing along, especially when the refrains resolve to each song's essence, a call to the Beloved: "Meher Baba, Meher Baba!" Mischa Rutenberg has given a gift to everyone who wishes to celebrate God's love musically. I Call You Love is a recording that lets you close your eyes and fly on musical wings to Beloved Baba's lotus feet.

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The Making of The Thief of Hearts Nivedita Sharma - Mumbai hief of Hearts is a 90-minute documentary that traces the roots of the Baba, the film unit got full support from Avatar of the Age, from the time His fa- Bhau Kalchuri, the Chairman of the Trust, ther Sheriar Irani roamed as a dervish in Iran. Sheriar came to India in search of God and settled in Pune, where his second son Merwan Irani was destined to achieve what had eluded him. Meher Baba attracted people ofall faiths and religions and bound them together. Even 31 years after He dropped His physical form He continues to steal hearts. He is the Universal Thief, and some stolen hearts narrate their tales in this video. The documentary is a tribute to God who has survived the 20th century! Had it not been for the making of the documentary Thief ofHearts we would have spent a longer time getting to know Meher Baba. As a new Baba-Iover, I was overwhelmed with the mounds of literature and motion pictures on the Silent Mas~ "ter. But unfortunately I was introMohammed is pleased with the cameraman andgives duced to Baba in random bits and him an autograph pieces and this gave me the impetus to make a chronological documenta- and the Mandali members. Eruch was well tion on fUm. At least Baba lovers coming prepared with his story of corning to Baba. after me would get a proper introduction The crew wanted to shoot four kinds of people: the first section belonged to His to the Avatar of the Age, or so I hoped. The documen- - r - t immediate family, then the Mandali tary star ts wi th members, then Sheriar Irani, the Westerners who left keeper of the Tower Of Silence their homes of comfort overseas to stay in Persia. Probably it was Meher in India, and finally, Baba's idea for those who were attracted to Him after us-Gayatri Audio Visuals Pvt Ltd.He dropped His _ _~ .. tl physical body. Runto chronicle His ning parallel to these Infinite Life when He walked the stories was the shooting of His life Earth, yet another in a chronological medium to spread fashion. the Universal The scripting Message of Love. took nearly two It was His direct months. Corroboinvolvement in the rating all the facts making of the was especially imdocumentary that portant. Meheru permi tted it to Mohammedfinally allows director Satyam gave us all the time come about. DeThripathy to videotape him. Eric and Gabe help necessary, sitting for the mast to speak. spite being new to 28

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five hours at a stretch, and took great interest in keeping everything in sequence. She was also instrumental in giving us some precious pictures of Shireenmai with her favourite son, pictures of the Perfect Masters, and video clips which had shots ofBaba touring the West. She also arranged to get the copyrights handled. Bhauji gave us two lovely videos of Mehera and Mani, which have footage of their coming to Baba. He also kindly gave permission to shoot the Samadhi. This helped the cameraman Anup Chatterji to get beautiful angles of Upper Meherabad in the morning and evening. Anup also had the opportunity to give a bath to Mohammed one morning! Probably that is why the Mast stopped objecting to the camera and lights from then on! The shooting was done in Mumbai, Pune, Meherazad and Meherabad over a period of 15 days '" in December 1999. The staff at Meher Pilgrim Center was very helpful, especially Alan Wagner who, at five o'clock one chilly morn, made breakfast for the crew before they left to go fUm Seclusion Hill. Everything did not always go smoothly. In Meherazad we were short of rush tapes. They had to be couriered in from Mumbai; there was no other way. We asked Baba to help us out. One ofus would have to make the six hour long journey in the cold of the night! But Gary Kleiner helped us out when he gave instructions to Dhananjay Patil at the Trust office. Throughout the night I wondered if Baba would help us. We needed the tapes by one the next morn or we would have to break the shooting schedule. This would have been a big blow to our plans, but somehow Baba did not let that happen. The tapes did arrive in time by the courier and we saved those precious hours and so were able to get some wonderful tales. Aloba had a very funny story of the ew Life. Even as we were shooting it we enjoyed his narration. But we had no idea that this story would evoke so much laughter when the video was screened for the first time. Aloba wanted a copy of the documentary so that he could send it to


The purpose of the fUm is to reach to a wide audience. Meher Baba predicted Meherabad would become a place of World Pilgrimage and it is coming true in front of our eyes. We would very much like for this documentary to be played on Doordarsham, which is the Government run television EruchJessawalla mesmerizing yet another group ofpilgrims during the station in India, the filmingofThiefofHearts same as PBS in America. Imagine the people in Iran. As he said, "With one hand impact if this could be seen all over InI give money and with other hand you give dia! But for this to happen, the cost is the tape!" Another of Baba's little games $5000. The documentary has been produced by Alok N agpal, Gayatri Audio Visuals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai. [ed. note: Ifyou feel strongly that this excellent documentary should be aired on Doordarshan and have funds to donate for that purpose, ivedita can be contacted at sharmanivedita@hotmail.com All photographs by Bif Soper, Meherabad.]

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Alan Wagner and Eric Nadel with producer Alok Nagpar after successfully videotaping Mohammad who atfirst, did not want any cameras.

with us: for many days I wanted to have a ladoo (Indian sweetmeat) and by the seventh day of the shoot I was really craving one. Sitting at the Samadhi, I wished for the same from Baba! Imagine to my surprise a few seconds later a man walked up the Hill with a basketful of that sweet! I could not have asked for anything more! But I was happy Meher Baba pushed us to give our best for His documentary. Back in Mumbai, the surprises did not end. We were amazed when the music director Saneev Rana called up to say that his neighbor had a night visitation from Meher Baba. She had never known about Baba till she came and saw the rushes at his place! Throughout the entire post-production work, other clients in the studio came peeping for glimpses of the God-man. A lot of people automatically came to know ofBaba. What more could we want? We had wanted to spread His name and slowly we were succeeding.

The Hand ofGod

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saw one evening a shimmering light, and I did not know what that light was. And God most high revealed His holy Hand and showed me that what I saw of His light was from the glory of His Hand. I saw nothing of him but his hand. And I loved it, for it transformed spirits, hearts, and intellects, and I saw nothing sweeter than this revelation. And I sawall existence like an atom between His fingers. I was prepared for the recitation of the saying of the Most High, "They do not measure the worth of God in truth, for the entire earth is in His grasp on the day of judgment, and the heavens are furled up in His right Hand...." Ruzbihan Baqli, The Unveiling ofSecrets, Diary ofa Sufi Master, [Chapel Hill, NC: Parvardigar Press, 1997] pg 42 Translated by Carl W. Ernst,.

What would please Baba?

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hat would please Baba?" There are as many answers as there are lovers who desire to please Him, for the relationship between the Beloved and the lover is specifically personal and delicate, and each one has to tune in within oneselÂŁ Fortunately for us it is an unending venture, for in the constant trying is the constantremembering.And remembrance is the key: the more we remember Baba, the more we forget ourselves, until His remembrance becomes as natural and as effortless as brea~ joyous whole in which all the daily duties and responsibilities are absorbed. You ask for a first step in pleasing Baba. The first step is not to do anything that would displease Him. Mind maysay;"Howdo I knowwhat might displease Him?" But the heart always knows, and wheneveryou have avoided displeasing Him you will see Him smile. The effort not to displease Him is in itself pleasing to Himwhen the first step is taken the next step reveals itselÂŁ In reaching the Beloved's pleasure we need to have His constantremembrance, absolute trust, and a lot ofpatience with Meher Baba who has such stupendous patience with us! So Baba says, "Don't worry," because once we are determined to be His, He takes care ofit all. Mani From Letters.from the Mandali ofMeherBaba, Vol II, compiled byJim Mistry, Pages 85 - 86, I1:i 1983 AMBPPCf, Sheriar Press.

Hope is to be Fortified by courage which can accept failure with equinirnity; enthusiasm harnessed by wisdom which knows how to wait for the fruit of action with patience. Idealistic dreams of the future are to be balanced by a sense of the actualities of the present, and the glow oflove allows itself to be illumined by the free and unhampered play of reason. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba, July, 1969, Sheriar Press.

Let Baba's name serve as a net aroundyou so thatyour thoughts, like mosquitoes, may keep buzzing aroundyou andyet not stingyou. -MeherBaba 29


Hafiz of Shiraz T

he faithful are gathered at the tomb, clustered beneath an intricately tiled cupola amid several acres of flowered grounds at one of Iran's main places of pilgrimage. Cloaked women kneel and press their heads against the stone coffin. Men reverendy stroke it with their fingers. A single rose lies at the head. On a chill fall night, the people of this southern city have come to pay homage not to an imam, an ayatollah or a military martyr, but to a long-dead poet, Hafiz, a 14th-century writer whose sensual verse is understood to be about God, but nonetheless is a staple for courting couples, and a durable source of delight for Iranians. He inspires. He entrances. He counsels. People come here not just in honor of his genius, but for guidance as well, following a ritual in which they hold a volume ofHafiz's poems to their heart, ask a question, then open the book randomly for their answer. "Hafiz you have asked: Wherever you want to go it is good. You are not going to be sad anymore," Jalal Azizi, 24, read aloud as his friend, Nehdi Mahdimosleh, stood listening, waiting for Hafiz's wisdom about whether he should travel abroad as part of his carpet-trading business. Apparently, Hafiz favored globalization. "He is one of the greatest," Mahdirnosleh said. "Our culture is entwined with him." In a country where the Koran is supposed to supply all the answers, and God guide all human endeavor, it is a somewhat surprising scene. Islam is an impersonal faith in that it discourages the veneration or worship of men and women, as opposed to God. The Prophet Muhammad was explicit on this point, emphasizing to his followers that he was only a messenger. The ideas transmitted, he said, were what mattered, not the individual carrying them. That notion-a contrast, for example, to Christianity's creation of a plethora of 30

By Howard Schneider

character appears to be reasserting itself. Indeed, in the first years of the revolution, religious conservatives in Tehran removed a statue of the poet Ferdosi, whose epic poem Shah Nameh tried to rekindle pride in Persia's ancient culture at a time when Iranians were feeling slighted by the Arab conquerors who introduced Islam here in the 7th century. Today, Ferdosi's statue has been restored; the Shah Nameh is read aloud without incident. Nationalist songs are sung in cafes, and there is a renewal of interest in the nationalist democrat saints-was modified somewhat by the Mohammed Mossadegh, the elected prime Shiite Muslims who dominate in Iran. They minister from the 1950s who was shunted revere Muhammand's nephew Ali as a sort aside when the United States helped the of saintly figure, for instance, and count on Shah return to power. And earlier this year the Iranian ministhe return someday of a long-disappeared ter of culture held a rare ceremony at imam, or religious leader. But the place of Hafiz in Iran, and in- Persepolis, the ruined casde of the ancient deed of a whole gallery of Iranian poets, is Persian King Darius, to commemorate the something different altogether, approach- Persian new year, 0 Ruz. The event at ing a sort of cultural beatification. Though Persepolis coincided with a government rulthe writers themselves often dealt with re- ing that it was okay to hold a traditional ligious themes, and some, including Hafiz, New Year's bonftre, a practice criticized by were regarded as powerful religious figures conservative clerics because of its roots in and mystics in their own right, they never- Iran's pre-Islamic belief in Zoroastrianism. To at least some of those at Hafiz's tomb, theless fix Iran as a place with a deeply literary culture, and a national identity that the depth and age of their culture reinforce remains in important ways distinct from the the current political trend toward reform religious movement that has shaped its con- and moderation. "This shows we have a great and ancient civilization," temporary politics. It is, moreover, a relatively well-read and Mahdimosleh said, "and one whose people deliberative population. Volumes of Hafiz are eager, as reformist President and other poets are commonly found along- Mohammed Khatemi has recommended, to side the Koran even in the poorest house- engage the rest of the world in a 'dialogue holds, Iranians say. Ideas and their discus- of civilizations'-not isolate itself or try to sion matter here, and that may be one of export revolution." As Khatemi says, it is the reasons why the initial extremes of the the age of dialogue. We are a very old culcountry's Islamic revolution are now being ture, and glad to have it." steadily tempered. If, in the first decade afThough Hafiz is in part a religious figure, ter the Shah's Monarchy fell, the country the mood at his tomb site is hardly pious or was preoccupied with its war against Iraq, severe. Reverential, yes. But it doesn't take and in the grip of a sort of fervent religios- much prodding for Iranians to open their ity, then during this next era the national version ofhis Divan, or collected poems, and Washington Post Foreign Service November 11, 1999


start reading aloud simply to enjoy the sound of the words. On one of his almost weekly sojourns to the place, Reza Bordbar, 22, picked out a favorite: "Though I am old, one night me, close in Thy embrace take, so that, in the morning, from Thy embrace, young I may rise," he read, as friends looked on. "Be careful," Bordbar cautioned. "People in Iran like to talk about things they cannot see... A river, music, wine, a girlfriend. A kind of Paradise. .. I am talking about God." Perhaps. But plenty ofHafiz fans in Iran take his talk about wine and women more literally, reasoning he was a man of such heightened sensibility that he glimpsed the divine in everyday pleasures-an aspect of Persian poetry familiar to the West through the work of Omar Khayyam, and an aspect of Persian culture not wholly at ease with the puritanism of the last 20 years. "I love HafIz," said Massoud Karam, an 18-year-old student who paused on his visit to the tomb to enjoy an ice cream at the teahouse that is part of the Hafiz complex, one of three such sites in Shiraz dedicated to mystic poets. "He says that love is a good thing.. .It is important to life. It is necessary. He says this about all the people of the world," Karam explained, as he set down his ice cream and explained how to proceed. "If you want to use Hafiz, you wish, and say, 'Hafiz, help me to know,' and then open the book." He did so, and read: "Come; so that the rose we may scatter, and, into the cup, the wine cast."

Beautiful Hands This is the kind of Friend You areWithout making me realize My soul's anguished history, You slip into my house at night, And while I am sleeping, You silently carry off All my suffering and sordid past In Your beautiful Hands. The Subject Tonight Is Love, 60 Wild and Sweet Poems ofHafiz, Versions by Daniel Ladinsky

~ Remember me and I am there with you, and my love willguide you. -MeherBaba

The Life of Hafiz Paul Smith - Australia

H

afiz was born in Shiraz in southeast although only in his early teens, he began Persia (modern Iran) in approximately work in a drapery shop and later managed 1320 A.D., 22 years before the birth of to fmd work in a bakery. Half of his salary Chaucer and a year before the death of he gave to his mother and the other halfhe Dante. He was named Shams-ud-din, used to go to school at night where he (which means 'Sun of Faith') Mohammed. learned calligraphy and a wide variety of Later when he began to write poetry he se- subjects, while continuing to memorize the lected Hafiz for his pen-name or takhallus. Koran. 'Hafiz' is the title given to one who has learnt Hafiz was 21 years old in 1341, and was the whole of the Koran by heart and Hafiz still working in the bakery and studying at claimed to have done this is 14 different night. He had memorized the Koran and had adopted the pen-name for the occaways. Physically Hafiz was small and ugly but sional poem he wrote but until this time had even as a young boy he began to show the not gained much success as a poet. He had great gifts that would finally take him to become skilled in jurisprudence and had the height of artistic and spiritual achieve- learnt all the sciences, including mathematments. He was loving and helpful to his ics and astronomy. For the past 10 years he parents, brothers and friends, and he had a had constantly been studying all of the great wonderfully ironic sense of humor that poets and the lives and works of the great caused him to continually see the humor- Spiritual Masters. He was fluent in Arabic ous side of everyday life. Even at this early and had also learnt Turkish. age he was fascinated by the poetry and Then, one day at the bakery, one of the prose of Persia's great poets and writers and workers who delivered the bread was sick, stories about the spiritually advanced souls and Hafiz had to deliver the bread to a cerand Perfect Masters. He loved the Koran, tain quarter ofShiraz where the prosperous which his father read to him, and he began citizens lived. While taking the bread to a to memorize it. He discovered he was particular mansion, Hafiz's eyes fell upon blessed with a remarkable memory, and be- the form of a young woman who was standfore he was a man he had memorized the ing on one of the mansion's balconies. Her Koran and many of the poems of the great name was Shakh-i-Nabat which means 'Branch of Sugarcane'. Her beauty immepoets. As a boy his favorite poet was Saadi, diately intoxicated Hafiz and he fell hopeShiraz's most loved poet of the time, who lessly in love with her. Her beauty had such had died about 30 years previously. All of a profound effect on him that he almost lost Shiraz was singing his beautiful songs, his consciousness. At night he could not sleep ghazals, and telling his magical stories, and and he no longer felt like eating. He learnt HafIz was no exception. He dreamed of her name and he began to praise her in his becoming a great poet like Saadi or like poems. Hafiz heard that she had been promised Farid ud-din Attar, or Rumi, or Nizami, all in marriage to a prince of Shiraz and realof whom he admired. Then a change occurred in his life. His ized how hopeless was his quest for her love. father died and left his family in difficult Still, the vision ofher beauty filled his heart, circumstances. Baha-ud-din's business of and his thoughts were constantly with her. being a coal merchant had failed because Then one day he remembered the famous he had suffered from a long illness, and 'promise of Baba Kuhi'. Baba Kuhi was a Hafiz's mother could only raise enough Perfect Master-Poet who had died in Shiraz money to pay back all the debts. His two in 1050 A.D., and had been buried about older brothers left home to work in another four miles from Shiraz, at a place called 'Pircity and young Hafiz and his grief-stricken i-sabz', meaning 'the green old man', on a mother went to live with Hafiz's uncle, hill named after Baba Kuhi. The promise Saadi, who fancied himself a poet like his that Baba Kuhi had given before he died was that if anyone could stay awake for 40 famous namesake. Because of the poverty that they now consecutive nights at his tomb he would be experienced, Hafiz's mother had to obtain granted the gift of poetry, immortality, and work and Hafiz had to leave day-school and his heart's desire. Hafiz, interested in the

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third of these three, vowed to keep this vigil that no one had yet been able to keep. Every day Hafiz would go to work at the bakery, then he would eat, and then walk past the house of Shakh-i-Nabat, who had heard some of the poems that he had composed in praise ofher. She had noticed him passing her window every afternoon, each day more weary, but with a fire in his eyes that had lit the lamp of her heart for him. By this time Haftz was in a kind ofa trance. Everything that he did was automatic, and the only thing that kept him going was the ftre in his heart and his determination to keep the lonely vigil. Early the next morning the Angel Gabriel (some say Khizer) appeared to him. Gabriel gave Hafiz a cup to drink which contained the Water of Immortality, and declared that Hafiz had also received the gift of poetry. Then Gabriel asked Hafiz to express his heart's desire. All the time that this was happening, Hafiz could not take his eyes off Gabriel. So great was the beauty of the Angel that Hafiz had forgotten the beauty ofShakh-i-Nabat. After Gabriel had asked the question, Hafiz thought; "If Gabriel the Angel of God is so beautiful, then how much more beautiful God must be." Hafiz answered Gabriel: "I want God!" On hearing this, Gabriel directed Hafiz to a certain street in Shiraz where there was a shop selling fruit and perfumes that was owned by a man named Mohammed Attar. Gabriel said that Attar was a Perfect Master, a God-realized soul, who had sent Gabriel for Hafiz's sake, and that if Hafiz would serve Attar faithfully, then Attar promised that one day Hafiz would attain his heart's desire. So Hafiz joined the small select circle of Attar's disciples, but it wasn't until many years later, after Attar had dropped his physical form, that Haftz revealed his Master's identity, and by this time Hafiz had received the mande ofGod-realization from Attar. [Meher Baba said that HafIZ became a Perfect Master.] From Paul Smith 'Hafiz - Tongue ofthe Hidden'

If Those Who Love Me will for just one minute be silent in their minds just before they go to bed and think ofMe and picture Me in the silence of their minds, and do this regularly, this veil of ignorance will disappear, and this bliss of which I speak and for which all long will be experienced. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba,July, 1969, Sheriar Press.

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Hafiz and the Day of Days Heather Nadel, Meherabad, 22 Jan. 2001

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s most Baba lovers know, throughout His life, Beloved Baba quoted from the poetry ofHis favorite poet, the Perfect Master Hafiz, to explain signiftcant aspects of the spiritual path or to give examples to His lovers of the travails of true lovers of God. He even used couplets from Hafiz to illustrate the seven planes of involution in His book God Speaks. So it is not surprising that on January 31st 1969, the day Baba dropped His beautiful form "to live eternally in the hearts of His lovers,Âť the words of Hafiz conveyed something deeply meaningful from Baba to two of His close ones. One of them was Bal Natu. The ghazals of Hafiz wove a special string of intimacy through Bal Natu's relationship with Baba, as Bal tells in this touching story: "Shams-ud-din of Shiraz, Persia (Iran), 1320-1389 A.D., is regarded as one of the greatest Persian poets. Shams-ud-din wrote ghazals under the takhallus (pen name) of Hafiz. He became the most popular poet of his time, but was also considered quite controversial. He was Meher Baba's favorite poet. "Mter Hafiz' death, his Divan came to be used by persons seeking divine guidance for their problems. This is done by inwardly forming the question, thinking of God and Hafiz, and then sliding one's hand into the book. Whatever ghazal is discovered at this moment will contain the answer to the question. Such a consultation is called a faal. Hafiz's words are known and accepted by many people in India and Iran as the 'Voice of the Beyond.' "When Baba was young, he would hear his father, Sheriarji, reading out in a devotional and very appealing voice the words of Hafiz. Baba's love and admiration for Hafiz's ghazals seemed to grow even after He realized His own status as the Avatar of the Age. Baba would often refer to a line from Hafiz's ghazals when in the company of the mandali. "In the early 1960's when Baba permitted me to be with Him during my school holidays in Guru Prasad, I was often present when Baba referred to certain words of Hafiz, and Aloba would recite some lines in Persian from memory. Baba would translate them into English and explain the spiritual depths that the words conveyed. Baba

also revealed that Hafiz was a God-realized Perfect Master. "Once a very old edition of Hafiz's Divan was brought from Bombay as wished by Baba. It was worn out and worms had eaten holes through it. When placed in Beloved Baba's hands, He blew through the holes and gestured, 'I have breathed new life into the words of Hafiz.' "Baba especially liked His lovers to know the following three couplets: Befitting a fortunate slave carry out every command of the Master, without any question ofwhy and what. About what you hear from the Master never say it is wrong because my dear, the fault likes in your own incapacity to understand Him. I am slave ofthe Master, who hasreleased me from ignorance. Whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned. "These lines were often recited by the mandali who know them by heart. On one such occasion, I inwardly felt prompted to have the couplets written in English and Persian in bold letters on a large sheet of paper so that they could be easily read out. When I returned to my home town of Kurduwadi I purchased drawing paper onto which Aloba copied the original Persian. Below that, I asked one of my students in the school to hand write Baba's English translation onto the same sheet. And I brought this on my next visit to Meherazad. On my following visit to Meherazad, I saw that the paper was hung on the wall ofMandali Hall, facing Baba's chair. I felt grateful to Baba for accepting my paltry offering. "At Meherazad, on 31 January, 1969, the body that housed Reality breathed its last. The next morning, I read this news in the Marathi daily. I was teaching in school at the time, so I immediately approached the principal and said, 'I must go to Ahmednagar to confirm the news that Meher Baba has dropped His body. I can't say how many days I will be gone.' The principal, knowing my devotion to Baba, permitted me to go. I went home, explained to my sister briefly, picked up a second pair of clothes and a sheet for warmth, and left with a small bag. "It was about 4:00 p.m. on 1st February, when I reached Meherabad. There were a


few hundred people on the hill. Eruch came out of the crowd and embraced me, comforting me. The second person I met was Aloba. As we embraced, he said, 'Baba remembered you on the 31st.' I was deeply touched and taken aback and I asked, 'What do you mean?' He started to speak of the three couplets ofHafiz that had been hanging on the wall in Mandali Hall for the last few years. "As Aloba narrated it, on the evening of 30th January, 1969, while he was on night duty in Baba's room, Baba asked Aloba to take the couplets of Hafiz from Mandali Hall and bring them to Him in His room at 10:00 a.m. on 31stJanuary. Accordingly, Aloba obeyed Baba the next morning. As he approached Baba's room with the rolled up paper, Eruch asked him why he had come. Baba conveyed that He had asked Aloba to bring the couplets of Hafiz, and gestured that the roll be kept on the cabinet in His room. "'So,' Aloba continued to relate to me, In this way Baba remembered you on 30th and 31st January. I felt overwhelmed by Baba's intimacy and compassion for me. Indeed His love and compassion for each one of us is unconditional and boundless. "Some regard these couplets as Baba's last message given in silence to His followers. That same paper with the couplets ofHafiz that was brought to Baba on the 31st is now framed and kept in Baba's room at Meherazad. Copies of the couplets also now hang in Mandali Hall and in Baba's Cabin on Meherabad Hill. "In this new year of Beloved Baba's, may we gain insight from Hafiz' words and look toward Baba to guide us to be resigned to the Will of the All-Knowing Ancient One." On this same morning of 31st January 1969, the poetry ofHafiz conveyed an illuminating message to Dorab Satha, the cousin of Sam Kerawala. Sam narrates the story: "My maternal cousin Dorab Satha, who resides in Bombay, for many years would send Beloved Baba His Birthday greetings on the date which fell due according to our Zoroastrian calendar, which date invariably fell much earlier than the Roman date. It was his practice to open up the Divan-eHafiz arbitrarily and the first Ghazal that came up would become the theme of the Birthday greetings for that particular year. In 1969, Beloved Baba's birthday by the Zoroastrian calendar fell on February 7th. Accordinglyaround noon on 31st January after his morning bath and prayers, Dorab opened up the Divan for the birthday ghazal to send

to Beloved Baba. To his utter surprise, the ghazal read: You are about to mail a letter to your Beloved, but to which address will you mail it, as of now He has become all Pervading everywhere! "Dorab did not understand the message so conveyed, as it was noon of the 31st and the news ofour Beloved having dropped His Body had not yet been flashed the world over. So he opened the Divan once again, formed his Birthday greetings on the lines of the new Ghazal and mailed the letter so that it should reach Beloved Baba by 7th February. About 4 p.m. on the 31st, news reached all His lovers in Bombay that Meher Baba had dropped His body a little after 12 noon of that day. Dorab then realised the true significance of the first ghazal that had opened up that day."

M

ahoo Ghorbani Shariari (a member ofthe Board ofDirectors at Meherabode) was born and grew up in Shiraz, the home of Hafiz. Such were her ties to the town she bought a California car license plate "Shiraz". However, it now reads Mer Baba. She tells us: "My family has lived in Shiraz for three generations. From the time I was a child, I knew that Hafiz had a special place in the hearts of the people. Ever since then, I have had a close connection to, and great love for, Hafiz. His sublime words of love are very familiar to my heart. In the Persian tradition, whenever one faces a difficulty, or a fork in the road, one would hold the question in mind, and then ask the Oracle of Shiraz-Hafiz, for guidance. When I have a question, I open Hafiz's Divan and surprisingly see that Hafiz, in his own enigmatic way, would sing to me, and through the song of his poetry, would get me to look inwards. Hafiz's Ghazal then inspires me with an answer, a guidance or a direction. Now-a-days every Persian has at least one Divan in their home. On my recent trip to Shiraz I visited Hafiz's tomb and found the Center of Research for Hafiz was newly opened there. I was very touched to see that Hafiz's Divan was translated into more that 15 languages. This brought tears to my eyes. I felt as though Hafiz was silently communicating with every one. His universal language of love has gone beyond its original Farsi and has captured many hearts."

The Moon Is Also Busy I bow to God in gratitude, AndIfind the moon is also busy Doing the same. I bow to God in great happiness, AndI learnfrom where the suns And the children And my heart Allborrow their Light. I bow to the Friend in deep reverence And discover a marvelous secret carried on the air: This whole Universe isjust as blessed And divinely crazed as 1, Andjust as lost in this Wonderftl Holy Dance. My dear, After such a long, long,journey, God has made another soul Free! Now all Hcifiz wants to do Is open a beautiftl Tavern Where this Sacred Wine O/God's Truth, Knowledge andLove Isforever and ever Freely offered to you. o bow to God in gratitude, Andsome day You will see how The moon is also busy doing the same. I Heard God Laughing, Renderings rfHafiz by Daniel Ladinsky

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Announcements ~~~

pages. If you can receive email, you can receive Tavern Talk. Here is how you sign up for it: Send a one-line message to:

Listserv@ambppct.org In the body of the message type: Subscribe tavern-talk It's that simple. Soon you will be receiving all the latest news - as it happens. Don't worry - you won't be overwhelmed - a report only comes through every couple ofweeks.

Phyllis and Lyn Ott Painting On-line

Reza and Susan

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hat a wonderful place to exchange your marriage vows! This is a wedding that many Baba lovers would envy. Reza tells us the story of how it came about: Susan and I met at the Los Angeles Sahavas last July. I lived in New Hampshire at the time, and I had come to Orange County to visit my brothers and sisters. Although I had attended the New York Sahavas with Bauji in June, I attended one day of the LA Sahavas simply to spend more time with Esfandiar Vasali whom I've had the pleasure ofknowing since Beloved Baba stole my heart in 1979. It was on that one day that I met my bride-to-be!

Change in Bhau's Dates in Portland

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hau Kalchuri will be in Pordand Oregon June 4 through June 10.Therefore there will be public talks and other programs in town between Tuesday the 5th and Thursday the 7th. orthwest Spring Sahavas 2001 with the Ancient One and special guest Bhau Kalchuri will be held Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10. More to come later. Save those dates. Anyone wishing to spend some energy for the Beloved by helping with

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After 10 weeks of daily emails and hour-long phone calls Susan and I arranged a three-day getaway at the Myrde Beach Meher Spiritual Center in September.It was in the Barn that we chose each other as companions for life. We moved to Orange County in January and flew to India for Amarthiti. We got married on February 5th at Beloved Baba's Ghadi on Meherabad Hill. My sister Ashraf, who had come from Iran, was our witness and photographer. Beloved Baba was the Perfect Host, as always. He let each one of us know intimately that He was with us by granting our unspoken little whims and wishes. some prep tasks beforehand, please let us know; Baba always provides plenty for those who wish to serve Him in this way. Many thanks to those whose hearts have drawn them to respond. Ifyou know anyone wanting to be added to the email list regarding Oregon events for Beloved Meher, send the info to myself, MaryMarino@bigfoot.com

Signup for Tavem Talk Tavern Talk gives you all the latest from Meherabad and Meherazad.Ifyou subscribe - on your computer only - you will not have to wait three months to read about it in these

The new on-line show presented by the Phyllis Ott Gallery, 'The Partnership', is now up and ready for viewing. Included are eight paintings finished by Phyllis that include at least some work by Lyn, an article written by Lyn where he describes the Partnership between himself and Phyllis, and two photographs ofLyn and Phyllis together. If you have been to India and to the Pilgrim Center, ofcourse you have seen the many murals produced by this partnership, and three of those murals are used as backgrounds to the web-site. From Lyn's written statement, and having heard Lyn's comments on the Pilgrim Center murals, I can say this: Lyn valued the paintings done as a collaboration more than the work done on his own, and fully trusted Phyllis to carry on his work ofbringing the inner spirit ofBaba to life through art. The Phyllis Ott Gallery web site address is: http://www.DivineNet.comlphyllisottgallery Of course it is also linked from:

http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org P.S. This show was originally announced as The Collaboration but Phyllis decided thatThe Partnership better reflected the intimate working relationship between Lyn and herself It was my honor to design the web-page.

Jay Mohler: http://hop.to/froggy

Don Stevens Intuition Seminar For those in the South Bay area ofLA Don Stevens will be giving a "miniseminar" on Intuition on Sunday May 13th. It will be held at Meherabode. Morning session goes from 10:00 - 12:00 and continues from 2:00 - 4:00. For more information please email or call


Mahoo Shahriari at 310-732-0299 or mahoo@softlogic.net.

Visa Applications For Americans considering going to India who will need a Visa Application form from the Indian Embassy, please read carefully: please note that the Indian Embassy recently changed or updated the visa application form for Americans. My understanding is that they are no longer accepting the older forms, and willlikdy return them to you. Thus you will need to download the new updated visa application form from their website: http://www.indianconsulate.coml However, the website requires that you are able to download the "pdf" format which some find to be very difficult to access or download. If you are unable to access or download this form, please contact me at: prosernces@home.com. It's likely that I will ask you to send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, and then I'll send you a copy of the visa application. Dina Snow at Love Street Books: bababook@pacbellnet has offered to do the same. Richard Leveton

Meher Baba Readings For those in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, Adele Wolkin holds readings of not just God Speaks, but many of the books by Baba. These take place almost every Friday night. To be on the safe side, call her first at 310-540-8404.

Caretaker Wanted at MeherMount Meher Mount in Ojai, California, is seeking an additional caretaker with handyperson and people skills who believes in the mission statement of Meher Mount, to share in the duties to help maintain the property. Offered are the opportunity to live on 160+ acres with ocean and valley views. If you are interested please email GiGiDriessenatgigild@ao1.com. The mission statement may be read at:

to Baba lovers the world over, I am,just this one time, making an exception. I received a letter from Sheila and Kenneth Emery who bought the house Earl Starcher lived in when he built the Samadhi replica in the desert of New Mexico in the late eighties. Earl passed away in '94, and the Emery's have cared for the Shrine which is opposite their house and a part of the property they bought. Baba lovers are welcome to visit. See the article on page 39. Sheila tells us her immediate neighbor has passed on and the property next door is for sale. Used as I am to Los Angeles property values it came as an extreme shock to hear that the three bedroom two bathroom trailer with cooling system, storage building, bushes, trees and chain link fence surrounding the 3/4 acre lot is for sale for an incredible $30,000!! Thirty thousand dollars! She tells us the community of Columbus is just that - a community. They have a new post office, community Dinner Theater, Historical Society, general store and a new library. No traffic lights! Population about 1000. Sounds idyllic for a retiree or an artist. If you are interested call the Emery's at 505-531-2137. They would really like to have Baba lovers in the community and as their next door neighbors. But don't delay. Such a deal will not be around for long. Should a Baba lover buy the house next door they would also consider selling them the property with the Shrine on it as well. they will only sell the shrine to a Baba lover.

A Special Gift

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or years Rocky Rogers had anony mously placed a gift under the Meherabode Christmas tree. Last Christmas his sister Mary Ellen wished to honor

The Lord of Love holds in His hand the world, Composed of the changing and the changeless, The manifest and the unmanifest. The separate self, not yet aware of the Lord, Goes after pleasure, only to become Bound more and more. When it sees the Lord, There comes the end to bondage. All is change in the world of the senses, But changeless is the Lord of Love. Meditate on Him, be absorbed in Him, Wake up from the dream of separateness. Know Him to be enshrined in your heart always. Truly there is nothing more in life to know. Meditate and realize this world It is filled with the presence of God. From The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (verses 3,8,10 and 12), translated by E.Easwaran, The Upanishads (Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1987), pp.217-218:

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he Master usually helps the aspirant through ordinary means, but when there is a special indication he may use an occult medium to help him. Dreams are among the common media for touching the deeper life of the aspirant. Echoes, Meher Baba

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Home of Perfect Man Shrine Builder for Sale

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... Sages saw within themselves the Lord of Love, Who dwells in the heart of every creature. Deep in the hearts of all He dwells....

For All Interested

http://members.tripod.coml-Ezadi index.html

ormally this magazine does not take advertisements, but I felt this to be so extraordinary and of possible great interest

In the Depths of Meditation

his memory by following that tradition and had a model of the Samadhi given in his name. The lucky recipient was Mia

he picture on page 25 has been going the rounds of the Internet. The first time I saw it I was totally shocked! I had no idea what would happen when I followed the instructions. Are there, amongst our readers, graphic artists who might be able to create such a thing of the Beloved? Sharpen your pencils and send your rendering of Baba to me and we will choose the best to run in a future 1ssue. 35


~~~~~b

Tom Phillips June 4, 1951-February 4, 2001

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om Phillips, coordinator of the Meher Baba group in Atlanta, Georgia, passed away in his sleep from a sudden illness on February 4. He was 49. Tom was a native ofJackson, Mississippi, who came to Meher Baba in 1970 at the age of 19. He later described this experience: "I saw Meher Baba's picture in Rolling Stone Magazine-the famous article by Pete Townshend. When I saw Baba's picture and read the accompanying article, there was an immediate feeling of recognition and love. A door was opened, and I stepped through and never looked back." He is survived by his wife and two sons. Mark Hodges, Georgia I got to knowTom Phillips almost 20 years ago, but I have no memory of our first meeting. In retrospect, it seems as if we've always known each other. That may be because Tom excelled at friendship. Just look at his broad circle of friends, so many different kinds of people. He drew us to him with his expansive spirit, his natural kindness, and his irreverent sense of humor. I never had a conversation with Tom in which I suspected he wasn't paying attention. He listened well and had a lot to say. If there was ever anyone who embraced high and low culture with equal enthusiasm, it was Tom. He personified the word "eclectic" and was a person who, in a single conversation, could skip effortlessly from Mozart's operas to Charlie Parker, from Mad Magazine to the Bhagavad Gita. He had an encyclopedic ability to digest and hold information--about music, literature, current affairs, Eastern spirituality, folk art, Indian food, Southern culture, championship wrestling, Japanese horror filins, and more comic books than you ever knew could exist. He was deeply knowledgeable aboutjazz, blues, bluegrass, and other forms ofpopular music-so much so that it was almost impossible to stump him about any music or musician. Mter last Christmas, I mentioned to him that my daughter had given me a CD by an obscure Delta Blues musician. Tom not only was familiar with his music, but he recalled a conversation he had with the singer in a Mississippi bar manyyears ago! He was generous with his knowledge and ever-ready to lend CDs from his large collection or to make special music tapes. It's going to be hard listening to music anymore without thinking ofTom. 36

Passings Tom's general attitude was to embrace diversity of all kinds, but he had his limits. He never cultivated a taste for sweet devotional music. "Not my thing," he'd cheerfully laugh. Another was his dislike for shifty politicians whom he referred to as "slicks." But my overwhelming impression ofTom has always been his acceptance oflife in all its wonderful variety. Tom's other trademark qualitywas his well developed sense ofhumor. He was one ofthose people who find endless amusement in the world. But life wasn't all fun and games for Tom. He cared a lot about people and animals (especially his own pets), and he loved Meher Baba deeply. Tom was down to earth and went about his business without a trace ofself-importance. Because ofhis modesty, it's a little startling to realize what a huge hole he has left behind. He was the glue that held together the Atlanta Meher Baba group, a teacher who worked countless extra hours for his students, a devoted family man, and a friend to us all. He wanted very badly to go to India and hoped to make his second pilgrimage in a few years. Now he's gone back to Baba by a more direct route, and though we miss him terribly, we can only wish him well in the next stage of this journey. TheFunaalandA1~o~1

Bob Ahrens - Georgia The service was held in the sanctuary of a local funeral home on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1:00 p.m. Many people attended from the various points ofcontact ofTom's life: Baba Lovers, mostly from Atlanta and Athens, many from the local Laotian community, fellow teachers and some students. Of course, the immediate family (Tom's wife, Boungha, and his two sons, Sunitna and Pavana), Tom's brother,Joe, and a cousin from Houston, and a number ofBoungha's relatives were present. The main service was Buddhist, after the Lao fashion, which included six or eight monks who had just arrived from Laos. It included prayers, some ceremonies which depicted the interdependence of life, and a ceremony where the immediate family held a string with one ofthe monks which was touchingTom's body (the funeral was open coffin). Mter a prayer, the family looked away from Tom's body and the string was cut. Boungha later said it meant to her that Tom should no longer feel constrained by his previous relationships: "I am no longer your wife; these are

no longer your children. Move on and be free."

It was a powerful moment. Ed Legum, of the Atlanta Meher Baba Group, spoke of Tom's idiosyncrasies, of his passions for the eclectic, of his love for diversity, in his tastes and in his relationships. Tom was not just unique, but extremely unique! He was the glue for the Atlanta!Athens group for years. He had a special, "secret" relationship with many many people. He was always approachable and always willing to help anyone who asked and many who didn't. The last person who eulogized Tom was the head of the Laotian Solidarity Committee of Georgia. He had been Tom's student. He noted how, when he had first met Tom in class, he felt immediately comfortable, set at ease by Torn's warmth, his apparent understanding of Laotian customs, and his accessibility. He took lessons from Tom for three years. His English was very good! Mter prayers, everyone filed by the coffin and placed a small bundle offlowers on Tom's chest. The coffin was then closed and taken in the hearse to another location for cremation. At the crematorium the family, separated from the rest ofus by a soundproofglass wall, said their last good byes to Torn's form, a very touching moment, and then the coffm was placed into the furnace and the door closed. The next evening, Sunday, the Atlanta! Athens Baba family met at Caran Bryant's house for our memorial to Tom. Boungha, Sunitna, and Pavana were also there (although Pavana, age 12, spent most of his time playing with his Baba buddies). Sunitna, who is about 20, asked if he could speak. Through choking tears he told how his father loved his family, but that he loved Meher Baba most of all. He thanked the Baba people for being his father's friend and said that Tom had found his happiness with us. The Master's Prayer was then recited by all, followed by the Repentance and Beloved God prayers. Then Happy Trails was sung, and most people went and embraced Boungha and Sunitna and the gathering ended.

Judith Garbett February 7,1921 - January 15,2001 Lorraine Brown,QJeensland, Australia

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efore going to Judith's funeral service, held in Nambour at 10 am, Thursday, 18 th January, I checked my email and found one, from Heather Nadel, that gave the glad news that Heather had placed beautiful garlands, of rose, tuberose and daisies, on


Beloved Baba's, Mehera's and Mani's tombs for our dear Australian friend Judith. Flowers were also the fIrst thing that joyfully greeted me when I walked in the door of the chapel to bid farewell to an old and dear friend known, this life, as Judith. As a keen gardener, I know Judith would have delighted in these floral tributes. And strikingly, framed by long-stemmed pink and cream roses, was the large, beautiful profile portrait of Judith's most Beloved Baba, painted by Diana Le Page and usually residing at the end of the enclosed verandah/ gallery of Baba's House on Avatar's Abode. More arrangements offlowers adorned the wooden casket holding the remains of that shattered body from which, at last,Judith was freed. It had served her well for nearly 80 years, but had also given her great pain over the last 6 years. Ross Keating led the service. First he read out a number of messages ofloving remembrances sent via email, beginning with the one from Judith's Meherazad family - the dear Mandali she had spent so much time with on her annual visits to India. Gradually her body restricted her movement to such a degree that she couldn't even travel to Baba's Room up the hill from her cabin on Avatar's Abode. Ross then called on a number ofpeople to come and speak about Judith. Bill Le Page spoke ofthe tireless work thatJudith had done helping type, proofread and edit the books he had published about Baba. Herselfan author, she wrote the very well received Lives ofLove about the women Mandali. Then Joanna Bruford, who had known Judith since she (Joanna) was very young, spoke and shared with those present some lovely anecdotes which gave cameo views of Judith as friend and fellow worker on Avatar's Abode. Cecily Molloy and Alison Sparks spoke about Judith's last few weeks, spent at a Nursing Home in Nambour that had the most wonderfully caring staff. (One nurse, Harvey, would gently stroke Judith's cheek and say Baba's name to her.) Jenny Le Page and Michael Le Page, who both thought ofJudith as a beloved aunt, paid tribute to this lady they had known and loved since their childhood. By Baba's always perfect timing, the Australian Youth Sahavas, being held at Avatar's Abode, had just finished, and so many people from Sydney, who were close friends ofJudith, were able to be there at her farewell. And two other special guests Baba had arranged to farewell HisJudith. Wendy and Buzz Connor had come over from Myrtle Beach for the Youth Sahavas. Both had fond memories ofJudith from meeting her in India, Myrtle Beach, and

lastly from visiting her in her cabin on Avatar's Abode when they came to visit at the 40th Anniversary of Baba's coming to Avatar's Abode in 1958, in 1998. On that visit, Buzz had sung one of his songs, Your Touch, to Judith, and she had so liked it that she asked him to sing it again. Towards the end ofthe service, before we concluded with the prayers and sang Arti, Buzz sang Your Touch. The words are particularly apt. The refrain is "And how, when I feel You so near, can I not want You? Your life has taken my heart and now I am broken. And I know that You know all I had I would give to You." Judith's body was broken by osteoporosisyet she continued to give her all to her Beloved Baba. In her last days, when, by Baba's grace, I was able to spend some hours with her, having just returned from two weeks in India, one ofthe things I heardJudith say was, "Baba, I have given You everything, and You have given me everything. Give me the strength to let go." Judith did finally "let go" the following night. Since Judith's funeral a week ago, the Christ's Cradle that rambles up the jacaranda tree behind our house has had five beautiful blooms. In its previous eight years of life it has only given one blossom, and that several years ago. I like to think these glorious blossoms reflectJudith's joyfulness at meeting her Beloved Meher Baba once more.

nected to Meher Baba, who claims that He had His hand very much in her pregnancy and birthing. He claimed, "I searched the entire universe to find this certain soul to do my work on earth." Meher Baba gave numerous statements about Virginia, as ,,:ell as putting us all (Virginia, Harold my father, and myself) in many Baba-esque situations. The one that touches my hear:t the most took place in 1956, while Virginia was pregnant with me. The group was flying to Myrtle Beach with Meher Baba from Newark airport in New Jersey. Arriving in Myrtle Beach, Meher Baba was placed on top of a stand where people went to get a shoeshine. A line of devotees formed to take Darshan. The queue was made up ofthe entire group traveling with Him. Eruch stood next to Meher Baba saying to each person as they came up to bow down at Baba's feet "Love me more and more, Love me more and more." But when it was my Mother's turn, Baba stopped Eruch from saying that, and dictated to him to say instead "She has the love." It is something that she nor I will ever forget. I am proud and honored to be the only son of this remarkable mother, teacher and obedient lover of God. Thank you Meher Baba for giving me this loving and dedicated experience that is just a part of your eternal, divine plan.

Virginia Rudd

Earl Butler

Raphael Rudd - Los Angeles

Bing Heckman, Meher Mount

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irginia Cremen-Rudd passed away early in the morning on 9 October 2000. She lived in the height ofthe Kali Yuga that Meher Baba spoke about, and while she kept growing on her spiritual path with the Avatar, she more than ever held Beloved Meher Baba's guidance on her lips constantly. She kept him alive in her body, mind, heart, and soul until her very last breath. She was the head chairperson of Rutgers University in New Jersey for over a quarter of a century. Mter meeting Meher Baba in the Barn at the Myrtle Beach Spiritual Center in 1952, she was instantly awakened to the glory and beauty of His eternal everlasting love, which completely overwhelmed her. She actually never met Meher Baba in the physical form that day. In the sense that when the screen door opened, she perceived a blinding flash ofwhite light engulfing the entire room and on that special day in the Barn, she fell deeply in love with someone whom she could not even see! She has loved him devotedly ever since. She was also my link to Baba and I am honored to have had her as my mother, con-

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n December 26, 2000 Earl Butler, a faithful caretaker and Board Member for Meher Mount, passed into the hands of Beloved Meher Baba. Earl had Lou Gerig's disease, a form of multiple sclerosis, which progressed particularly rapidly over the last year. Earl remained in good spirits even as his condition declined. He enjoyed a joyful Christmas day and passed away peacefully while in the company of his dearest friend and his daughter. Earl was 58. Earl arrived at Meher Mount in the late 1980s,just after Agnes Baron, the longtime preserver of Meher Mount, returned to the property after a fire destroyed all of the buildings. He provided vital assistance to Agnes, enabling her to reside on the property. Earl continued to live at Meher Mount and help with its many needs until the fall of 2000 when his condition worsened. He is survived by his daughter Marlow Butler and his close friend Lupita Garcia. We will miss Earl very much.

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2lumor for 2luma

God's Little Dister had a Great Sense ofHumor In the '60s Mani was discussing a very elaborate beehive hairdo on a visitor. "That's not a hair do," she said - "that's a hair don't!" Another time the conversation turned to Western means of communication. Mani said "It's the three Ts : Telephone, Television, Tellawoman."

If God Had Voice Mail Most ofus have learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voicemail? Imagine praying and hearing this: "Thank you for calling My Father's House. Please select one of the following options: Press 1 for General requests Press 2 for Thanksgiving Press 3 for Complaints Press 4 for Healing Press 5 for Help with the IRS Press 6 for Rain Press 7 forjust Saying "Hi!" Press 8 for Winning lottery numbers (good luck, we just guess too) Press 9 for All other inquiries Press 0 for this to all begin again. What if God used the familiar excuse... "I'm sorry, all the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received." Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call God in prayer:

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"If you would like to speak to: Gabriel, Press 11. For Michael, Press 22. For a directory of other Archangels, Press 33. For a directory ofSeraphim and Cherubim, Press 44. If you'd like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you are holding, please press 55, wait for the beep and enter the Number of the Psalm. To find out if a loved one has been assigned to Heaven, Press 66, enter hislher social security number, press the pound (#) key, date of birth, then press the pound (#) key twice. For reservations in one of the Many Mansions, press the letters J-O-H-N then 3-1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, where Noah's Ark is, Darwin, Hider, the Pope, abortion, and UFO's please wait until you arrive here, they can only be understood from a 'heavenly perspective'. For Lucifer, Press 666, and your call will be automatically transferred. Our computers show that you have already called once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow. This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9:30am. But before 4:30 ACST (Absolute Celestial Standard Time). Please call again soon, but never on Sunday, that is OUR day of rest!"

You Can't Take It With You There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him. An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you." The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed. Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St.Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"

But the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through." St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought pavement?!!!"

NASA and the Navajo

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n the1960's a ational Aeronautics and Space Administration team working on the Apollo Moon mission took some astronauts to Arizona, where the terrains on the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the lunar surface. With all the trucks and large vehicles were two figures that were dressed in full lunar spacesuits. ASA officer tells that a avajo Sheepherder Charles Phillip Whitedog and his son were watching the strange creatures walking about. The father did not speak english and his son asked what the strange creatures were. They were told that they were astronauts training to go to the moon. The man became excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the crew. ASA personnel grabbed a tape recorder and the old Navajo spoke into it. When asked to translate, his son refused. The ASA people played the recording for other natives on the reservation, each ofwho smiled or chuckled and likewise refused to translate. Finally, they paid someone to translate the sheepherders message. "Watch out for these guys, they come to take your land."

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Those Who Cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of selfishness, hate and greed find God as their own true self. The truth of divine life is not a hope but a reality; all else is illusion. Have faith and you will be redeemed. Have love and you will conquer the limited self of cravings that veil your own true being as God. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba, July, 1969, Sheriar Press.


An Update on The "Perfect Man Shrine" Karl Moeller, Tucson Arizona

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hat one looks just like Seclusion Hill," Carolyn said. Consensus in the car was that the landscape around Columbus, New Mexico, did in fact resemble Meherabad's. This crew should know - between them they have racked up more than thirty visits to India over the years. We were there because of a whim: I had remembered an article in the LampPost, [Oct '97] researched it, and talked it over with my wife, Irma Sheppard. We proposed a day trip from Tucson to Columbus, and Baba lovers Carolyn Ohrel and Nancy Wall liked the idea. Columbus village, tucked in the seldomvisited southwest corner of New Mexico, only one mile from the Mexican border, is home to a replica ofMeher Baba's Samadhi. The "Perfect Man Shrine" was constructed in the 1980's by Earl Starcher, who had hoped to create both a shrine and a museum devoted to Meher Baba. Earl apparently was moved, as no one else has been, to commit his devotion to Baba into steel and concrete. That was what hooked me - the originality of the idea. Many, many ways have been used to express love for the GodMan: music, art, writings, plays, pilgrimage, and more. But it seemed to me that to conceive the idea of creating a full size replica of the Samadhi and to actually carry it out, must have come from Baba. Earl must have been one ofa kind, and I wanted to see what he had built. I called Columbus resident and Deming Headlight reporter Sylvia Brenner, who wrote a Headlight article on Baba, Earl and the property, which was reproduced in the LampPost earlier this year. She was enthusiastic about a follow-up and wanted to meet us. Mter several weeks of fruitless phone calls to the current owners of the property, I sent them a letter. They replied via phone within a week and readily gave us permission to visit the Shrine.

With the heat on in the car for the first time this season, the four ofus were driving in pursuit of one man's vision. A Tucsonan doesn't expect to go from 98 degrees and

sunny on Saturday to 45 degrees, windy and raining on Sunday. Not one of us was properly dressed for the ew Mexico wind and cold. But the good cheer and joking in the car made up for the chilly temperatures outside. We arrived in Columbus thinking we were over half an hour early, but we forgot

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that other states move their clocks around for daylight savings time. We were in fact half an hour late. Sylvia was patiently waiting for us at the Hoover Hotel Cafe, attached to a historic two-story hotel in the process of renovation. She graciously accepted our apologies about the time. While we ate lunch, Sylvia told us a bit of her own story, and asked us about Baba and a bit

about our own lives. Nancy and Irma had come well-prepared, and presented Sylvia with an armload ofBaba material: writings, cards and even a framed photo. We also spoke briefly to one ofthe Cafe's proprietors,]uly McClure, who had known Earl personally. July described Earl as an older man who had traveled extensively in India and who exhibited both conventional and highly unconventional thinking. Earl was apparently well liked. In a small village like Columbus, personal idiosyncrasies are seemingly taken in stride. Due to Earl's construction ofthe Perfect Man Shrine, an entire U.S. village knows the name ofMeher Baba all according to Baba's mysterious plan. Mter lunch, Sylvia escorted us to the site. It is really there, full size, on the windswept southwest outskirts of the village, right on the edge of thousands of acres of scrub desert and miniature mountain ranges. Though the property is at the intersection ofJones and Roosevelt Streets, you will not find it without help. This is a neighborhood with no street signs. From a distance, the Shrine looks like the real thing. Next to the road, a large sign, almost a wall, advertises this as the Perfect Man Shrine, with a short introduction to Meher Baba in English and Spanish. A photo of Baba, the fiuniliar "Ancient One", is affixed to the sign. 0 one was home across the street. Earl's former home across from the Shrine looks like a barred fort; the owners of the property are away much of the year. Upon closer inspection, the Shrine's interior is unfinished, and there are no windows or door. A sign hangs inside the building - No Trespassing. It works: the interior is trash-free, though weeds are growing through the floor. Earl put in electrical conduit, still hanging from the ceiling, and a drain for the roof area. He built it to last, using a steel I-beam, corrugated galvanized steel roof under the dome, and concrete block. The outside paint is peeling; a spider had spun a web right across the doorway. Although the lot is fairly clean, the building has apparently received no maintenance since Earl left Columbus to ultimately die in Myrtle Beach. According to the current owners, other Baba lovers have visited the 39


site in the 10 years since Earl left. Some of them have offered to clean up and even continue construction; the owners have declined these offers, not wanting to be "beholden to anyone". As a result, according to Baba's wish (for what is not?), this building, a lovingly crafted replica of the Samadhi, stands untended and deserted in a weed-filled lot on a dead-end street, silently proclaiming "Mastery In Servitude". With land so plentiful around Columbus, there is little reason for it to be visited by a wrecking ball; it may stand there, silent and mostly unvisited, for a long, long time. All according to Baba's mysterious plan. [The house opposite the shrine is now for sale, see page 35.]

Bringing the Spring Heads up - Look out! Here comes the dawn ofmankind in a new age the dawn ofunthinkable grace. Watch out! BefOre you are aware He'll be in your heart singing to beat the band. Raising the rooftops andflooding the land with hopelessjoy the kind that never ends. Lay down with the lamb and cuddle the lion. They both are awash in this infinite love curled up - rolling on their backs, jumping through the grasses laughing. Listen-the Silence ofLove is upon us. Hold it in your heart and let it breathefresh life into your cells; relax as in a lover's embrace as in a mother's caress, as in a father's lift. Let go - and breathe in His Love that is Timeless Wordless Grace. - Beth McWhirter

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God Alone is the Beloved Kitty Davy

''My only happiness lies in making people understand not through the mind but through experience that God alone is the Beloved fior whom we exist. Âť - Meher Baba

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aba was in seclusion in India from the summer of 1935 to the early spring of 1936 when He opened a center at Rahuri for the mad and masts, twenty three miles from Meherabad. It was not until early November of 1936 that Baba returned to the West and a completely different phase of work started. His object during this short visit was to arrange for our group from England and others from Europe and America to come and stay in India. Prior to our arrival in India and after much correspondence, Baba wrote that He had obtained property in Nasik some one hundred fifty miles from Bombay. This property, "Meher Retreat," was made possible by Norina Matchabelli as years later the "Meher Spiritual Center" in America was made possible by Elizabeth Patterson. To quote Baba's words: "I have procured the ideal property in Nasik. It is twenty acres situated amidst beautiful surroundings with special scenery all around. With the Western group in Nasik, the Eastern group in Meherabad and Myself in Rahuri midway between Meherabad and N asik - these will comprise the nucleus of My activities for the next five years. The Center will have nothing in common with the accepted notions concerning ashrams and spiritual retreats, with the strict, dry, rigid disciplines governing them - Its special featire will lie in its having My personal living guidance as Jesus gave His disciples.... In short, I will personally guide each of you according to the aptitude, mentality and capability of each. I want all who are dear to Me to pass through certain experiences that are necessary." In December, to our joy, fifteen of us from the American and English groups were called by Baba to India. This meant leaving our ¡families or careers, and a promise to obey Baba implicitly. Although

Baba said we would be at the N asik ashram for up to five years, before leaving I had written to Baba for the English group, expressing our concern that He would send us back to the West after a short stay with Him in India, as He had done previously. What was Baba's reply? Rahuri November 26, 1936 Darling Saroja, ... I feel so disappointed that with all their love for Me Kimco wouldn't understand in spite of explanations of some importantthings so clearly given .... I was so happy you all eventually agreed to come but the peculiar attitude of Kimco, always so typical, of taking all things - however serious - so lightly even if I want them to take it seriously and understand, at times causes Me great pain .... Your heart is so wonderful, always feeling so deeply and truly, and responsive to the call and understanding, but the peculiar mind of yours at times wobbles and tries to shake your faith and your love revives it all again and afresh. One moment you feel quite prepared to do and stand anything, the next moment you hesitate with if's and but's and feel depressed and worried unnecessarily. But I will see that this eternal struggle between the head and the heart, for you as well as for all others who suffer from the same weakness, ends eventually in the victory of the heart over the head, and brings about a blending of the two. In fact, I am working at it, suffering Myself almost all the while of being misunderstood every moment, and in every act of compassion in raising the consciousness and understanding of humanity to a higher level even by My own who have known Me and have been in My closer contact! Just a little individual effort to understand and do as I say and it would save so much trouble and pains for Me and for all. My Love to all and self, (signed) M.S. Irani From Love Alone Prevails, by Kitty Davy, Pages 140 - 142, Š 1981 by Meher Spiritual Center, Inc., Copyright 1981 by AMBPPCT, Ahmednagar, India for all quotations from Meher Baba, Published by Sheriar Press.

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7th Annual Rocky Mountain ~~~~y~~ Sahavas ~~~~b

Saints Bowing in the Mountains Do you know how beautifulyou are? I think not, my dear. For as you talk ofGod, I see great parades with wildly colorftl bands Streamingfrom your mind and heart, Carrying wonderftl and secret messages To every corner ofthis world.

By Karen Ireland

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n King of Hearts weekend, known to all the songs are based on historical the rest ofthe world as President's day sources; b. a rock or folk opera; c. a narrative weekend, is a Baba love fest in the Black song cycle. Forest of Colorado. Each year at this time The performance consisted of fifteen the Avatar Meher Baba Denver Center songs played in two sets. Michael wrote group holds their annual Sahavas. fourteen of the songs. The fifteenth is Beth I see saints bowing in the mountains This year's guests were Freiny Irani and her McKee's Mehera's Song. Accidental ~wwali Hundreds ofmiles away daughter Shireen Bonner. Freinywas married consisted of: Joan and Dixon Staples, Jeff To the wonder ofsounds to Baba's younger DeLoe, Michael That break into light brother Adi Jr. Haldeman and From your most common words. She also met Alice Rybak. Baba many times What a fabulous Speak to me ofyour mother, as she was growand stunning Your cousins andyourfriends. ingup as herfamperfo rmance! Tell me ofsquirrels and birds you know. ily lived in the Maybe one day Awaken your legion ofnightingalesTrust compound there will be a Let them soar wild andfree in the sky in Ahmednagar. recorded version And begin to sing to God. Viloo and Sarosh for all to enjoy!? Let's all begin to sing to God! are her aunt and Many people uncle. Shireen have claimed that Do you know how beautifulyou are? met Baba several the camp we use I think not, my dear, times as well. One Karen Ireland, Freiny Iran~ Russ Preisler and Shireen Bonner each year reYet Hafiz of their last visits minds them of Could set you upon a Stage with Baba was in December of1968 at Dara being at the Myrtle Beach Center. Is it just And worship youforever.' andAmrit'swedding.DaraisShireen'sbrother being in nature? Is it the cabins and set-up from Adi's first marriage. ofthe camp? My opinion is that it's because I Heard God Laughing, Renderings ofHafiz by Freinyand Shireen came out from Santa that weekend the camp is filled with Baba's Daniel Ladinsky Fe, NM a day early to spend a little time presence--the one thing that is sure to make with anyone that could join them and to one place "feel" like another. see a little bit of Denver. It is always so If you would like to be contacted about wonderful to be around someone who the Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas, is a story of a succession of surrenders, one was so close to Baba, you really get a sense held each year on President's Day weekend after another, until the goal of the final surofRis presence. in February, please drop me a note at render of the separate ego-life is completely The days at Sahavas were filled with Preisters@home.com or at this address: achieved. The last surrender is the only comtalks from our guests who shared their famKaren Ireland, 425 Dudley Street, Lake- plete surrender. From SparksfromMeherBaba, ily stories, conducted workshops on such wood, CO, 80226-1155. things as Being with Baba in the 21st CenJai Baba for another year! July, 1969, Sheriar Press. tury, What Do We KnowofBaba's Damaan . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable and round robin sharing on how we connect internally with Baba. projects and outreach projects are carried out Projects galore bounded from those who by Eastern and Western volunteers. became inspired in our art room and the Some projects, however, require the assisLynne Berry homemade Chai (Khorshed's recipe of tance ofpaidIndian workers, and as India raises course) flowed all weekend long. f you've been thinking that some time its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials and Saturday night brought us a special you'd like to make a love-donation to labor is on the rise also. treat. The group, whimsically called AccidenMore love-donations are also needed for the Trust, today may be the perfect time. tal ~wwali, performed Song of Silence: A the ongoing archives project, preservation of The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a &stSong-Novel of the life of Meher Baba writthe precious articles used and touched by Baba rate schoo~ provides medical care for villagers ten by Michael Haldeman. In our that mean so much to all ofus. and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Trust program, song-novd is defined as: a. an exIf this appeals to you, please make your properties. There are also beneficiaries of the tended narrative musical work in which the check payable to Friends ofMeher BabaTrust, trust whose living expenses are covered by doindividual songs function like chapters in a and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover nations from Baba-lovers. All of these worthy book and novel, because some of the dialogue Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the is drawn from imagination, though 41

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Carry Your Life on Your Sleeve: an Evening with Esfandiar at Meher Center I

n the evening of Thanksgiving Day, 23 November 2000, we attended a talk at Meher Center in Myrtle Beach by Esfandiar Vesali, an Iranian Zoroastrian who as a boy attended the Prem Ashram. This was the unique "love retreat" for imparting spiritual knowledge to young boys ofvarious religious backgrounds, founded by Meher Baba at Meherabad in the 1920s (for details of this school, see Lord Meher by Bhau Kalchuri and Ramjoo's Diary by Ramjoo Abdulla). Ever since then the main focus of Esfandiar's life has been to love Meher Baba as he should be loved. Esfandiar was visiting the Center from Los Angeles, where he moved from Iran about a year and a half ago. He was accompanied by his interpreter, Farshid Namiranian, and Farshid's family. All had taken up residence in Dilruba (the house formerly occupied by Elizabeth and Kitty and now used for office work and Sunday afternoon teas). This was the last day oftheir stay, and a large group had gathered in the Meeting Place at Meher Center to hear this unique lover of Baba's. During his stay we heard many different stories; this evening's comments were only a fraction of what Esfandiar had to offer, yet in a way that fraction contains all we need to know if we are looking for some meaningful words of inspiration and guidance. Esfandiar is a beautiful soul, a handsome white-haired man with a serene expression and a quietly blissful presence. There is something uplifting about just being in his presence-visiting with him seems like a lovely a way of "keeping company with the lovers of God." But he also has some good stories of Prem Ashram days and his later life with Baba; and although he does not always comply when pressed for details of what he calls his "inner work," he does have some valuable advice for those with ears to hear. Esfandiar had fIrst seen Baba's photo when he was four or fIve years old, in the home of his mother's uncle-Baidul (Rustom ]afrabadi Irani), a member of the Mandali who joined Baba in the 1920s and who had the reputation of having a fIne "nose" for fmding masts. When Esfandiar 42

Kendra Crossen-Burroughs, Myrtle Beach, SC

was twelve or thirteen, he read about Baba's school in a magazine and told his mother that he wanted to attend. She, a Baba lover, was pleased, but his father was not. Finally the father agreed, and Baidul brought Esfandiar to India along with some other Iranian boys (about fourteen in all). Mter arrival in Ahmednagar, they traveled by bullock cart to Meherabad. The boys lined up to meet Baba, and Esfandiar was the last in line because he was the oldest and tallest. He was eagerly watching for the moment when Baba would appear. Baba arrived and began moving down the line of boys, greeting each one. When he got to the end of the line, Esfandiar was about to bow down and kiss Baba's feet, but Baba moved quickly away before he could do this. The same thing happened the next several times that he saw Baba. Esfandiar did not comment specifically but left me with the impression that Baba thus kindled the fire that was soon to burst into flame in Esfandiar's heart. In the meantime, classes had begun, and Esfandiar-who had come to the school with the ambition ofeventually studying engineering or medicine-was transformed when he heard his teacher recite a poem stating that a human being can reach the point where he sees nothing but God. This idea so thrilled Esfandiar that he no longer wanted to study; he would remain alone repeating the name of Yezdan (God) and wanted to run away to the forest. When he was brought to Baba and asked why he would not do his schoolwork, at first Esfandiar would not say. But when Baba said he would send Esfandiar back to Iran unless he revealed the reason, Esfandiar told Baba, "I want to see God." Baba held him in a close embrace for fifteen or twenty minutes. He then took Esfandiar into another room, and Baba lay down on the bed, his face beaming, and covered himself with a sheet. When he emerged after some time, he looked sick and yellow. Esfandiar did not venture any interpretation, but it seemed as if Baba may have been doing some intense work on Esfandiar in order to make his

heart's desire come true, and in some way this must have taken a toll on Baba. Truly the Avatar does suffer intensely in order to give us the precious gift that He came on earth to impart to His lovers. Baba took Esfandiar with Him in a rickshaw (the one now in the museum on Meherabad Hill). There was hardly room for Esfandiar to sit, and Baba told him to hold on to His arm as they went up the hill. At the top He asked Esfandiar, "Did you see how bumpy the road was? Ifyou hadn't held on to my arm, you would have fallen off. That's how the Path is also; you have to hold on to me.... If you want to see God, you must obey me.... From now on, I am your father, your mother, your relatives-your everything. Think of me and nothing else." He also instructed Esfandiar to keep silence (for a limited period, obviously). Ifhe accidentally broke the silence, he was to tell one of the Mandali, and they would bring him to Baba, who would forgive him. Baba began to instruct Esfandiar in his "inner work" by coming at night to his room (Hall #2 in upper Meherabad, opposite the museum); while the other boys were sleeping, Baba sat with Esfandiar and directed him in the way to do this work. At first it sounded as if Esfandiar was referring to some kind of meditation, but he subsequently clarified that when he spoke of his inner work, he was referring to his "inner journey" in general, which consisted in efforts to love Baba more and more. When asked what were the exact instructions that Baba gave Him, Esfandiar simply replied that Baba said to love him. The stay at the Prem Ashram lasted for twenty months, after which Baba sent the boys away and Esfandiar returned to Iran. Mter two years Baba came to Iran, and Esfandiar was able to be with Him for four days. He did not see Baba again for twenty-eight years. In connection with this separation, an interesting episode concerned a story Esfandiar had read or heard, about a saint meditating in the mountains, and how the force ofhis love caused the snows to melt and spring flowers to bloom around him. Esfandiar had doubted that this could really happen, until an unusual event occurred. He set out to


get some medicine for his sister in Yazd, riding a donkey in a snowstorm. He began to get freezing cold and thought that he might not survive the storm, but then he remembered that Baba had promised that Esfandiar would see him again, and he began to weep. At that moment it was as if he were drenched with boiling water. The snow around him melted, and he had an inner experience ofbliss, which persisted for some time (and there were no ill effects from his exposure in the storm). I am reminded of the Tibetan Buddhist masters such as Milarepa who practiced tummo, or inner fire meditation, producing so much heat that they wore only a thin cotton garment in the midst ofa frosty winter in the mountains. But while Tibetan tummo meditation is a formal practice involving complex esoteric visualizations-which not only create physical heat but also burn away ignorance and lead to bliss-Esfandiar appears to have stumbled onto similar results through the "easy" medium of his natural, spontaneous love for Baba. During the years apart from Baba, Esfandiar wrote to India about his desire to return, but several times the Mandali wrote back saying that Baba was in seclusion. Finally Baidul wrote in 1963 and told him he could come to India, but Esfandiar replied that did not have the money. Baba told him to speak to the trees in his cherry orchard and tell each tree of his desire. Usually the blossoms would freeze each year, ruining the fruit, but this year they gave an ample crop ofcherries, enabling him to make the pilgrimage. (As soon as he knew that the fruit would be abundant, he borrowed the money for the tripevidence ofhis complete faith in Baba.) When it was time for him to leave India, the airline would not let him pay for his return ticket in rupees, and he had to wait to receive Iranian currency in order to get the ticket. In the meantime he got to stay with Baba an extra twenty-eight days-interestingly (it occurred to me after the talk), the same number ofdays as the years apart from Baba. When he returned to Iran, he realized that in order to be with Baba, he must pursue the inner work of loving Him intensely that he had learned in the Prem Ashram. He started loving Baba with all his existence and all his soul, with the aim ofloving Him to the point that he would forget himself Esfandiar told about the hard time he had when he broke his hip, and his wife had a broken leg at the same time. At first he was quite depressed because not only was he unable to walk, but also the pain made it hard for him to do his inner work. This broke his heart, and it was that broken heart which led him to a very

special inner experience. He was sitting on his bed, inwardly loving Baba, when he reached the point of experiencing infinite bliss and power. He wanted to use his power to do something, but he realized that he could notBaba was blocking that channel. Then it occurred to him that he could use that power to love Baba more. By doing that, he lost his finite selfin Baba's infinite Se1ÂŁ This continued until somehow he came back to his body. The feeling persisted for some time, along with the consciousness of the body. In the question-and-answer period, Esfandiar's replies to various requests for advice were all variations on the same theme: Love Baba, commune with Baba, hold His image with the inner eye, and this will open the path. It is not enough just to repeat Baba's name--it must be done with love. Imagine, he said, that you have been married for thirty years and all that time have been unable to have the child you longed for. Then, after thirty years, God gives you a child. Think how much you would love that child. That is how you should love God. Someone asked if there was an "easy way" to love Baba (this evoked a peal oflaughter in the audience). Esfandiar replied that control of one's thoughts was an important step. He mentioned avoiding bad thoughts, but I also took his reply to mean that through self-control we can turn our attention away from our attachments and place our thoughts on Baba. It seemed similar to the idea he had expressed when describing the inner experience ofinfinite power and how he turned that power toward loving Baba. We may not feel that we possess power that is infinite, but each of us nonetheless has our own source ofpower that we can learn to channel so as to intensi.f)r our love for Baba. Esfandiar quoted Hafiz to the effect that it is impossible to express and explain love, and he added that the aspirant will recognize it by doing it. Three or four times in the talk he repeated a couplet of Hafiz, translated by Farshid as:

"The abode ofMister Love is higher than the mind. Only the one who wears his life on his sleeve is able to kiss that threshold. "

Farshid explained the expression "wear one's life on one's sleeve" as meaning "being ready to give up one's life." Baba quoted the same verse, as reported in Listen, Humanity (page 17): "Haftz describes the bare truth about love when he says: Janab-e ishqra dargah basi bala tarazaq'l ast: Kasi in astan busad kay jan der astin darad '

'The majesty oflove lies far beyond the reach of intellect; only one who has his life up his sleeve dares kiss the threshold oflove.'" I was curious to find out more about this expression, "having one's life up one's sleeve." In English we speak of wearing our heart on our sleeve, and it means that we do not conceal our true feelings of love for someone. Or we may say that someone has something up his sleeve, meaning he has some scheme he is concealing. But these do not seem to be the meanings intended by the Persian expression. Frank Bloise offered the comment that "one who holds his life lightly unshackles his heart so that it is open to receive the gift of Love." I also asked Carl Ernst, a specialist in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, and he provided some illuminating comments: "The phrase has to do with the large and capacious sleeves that in Haftz's time were used to store large money purses and things like food. There is a nice play on words here: the one who can kiss that threshold (asetan) has his life stored in his sleeve (asetin), ready to give it away. So it is quite different from the English phrase. More precisely, I would translate: 'The court of the Lord of Love is much higher than the mind. The one who kisses its threshold has his life inside his sleeve.' This has a lot ofroyal imagery-the court (dargah), the lord of it who is master of its 'inner sanctum' (harim), the threshold, etc. One always approaches a king with a gift, and in this case it is one's life. Unfortunately the literal translation of the phrase does not convey to an English-speaking reader the implication ofgiving away something stored in the large sleeve." When it was time to end the talk, Esfandiar was asked for one last word of advice. His answer: "The best backpack on this path is intense love. Once you have that, it will take you where you need to go."

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Baba's Christmas Gift to Me

My Life

William M. Stephens, Hawaii

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ust before Christmas, Beloved Baba saved my life. In doing so, He utilized two absolute strangers-neither ofwhom realized the part they played-but both of whom, we learned later, had heard of Meher Baba and have indicated an interest in knowing more about Him. On December 18, I felt weak and listless, and I didn't feel like taking my customary three-mile walk before breakfast. Later I noticed that my stools were black and tarry. The next day I felt worse and my stools were again black. I told my wife Peggy about it. She consulted a medical book and told me I had to get to a doctor right away. I was bleeding internally. We live on the island of Maui, and we have no regular doctor. During our many years together, we have seldom needed one, and have generally felt that the best way to stay healthy is to stay away from doctors and drugs. At the same time, we realize that Meher Baba's Mandali included M.D.s, Ayurvedic physicians, homeopaths and chiropractors. Obviously, all healing approaches have validity and can be effective. At the Lahaina Medical Clinic on December 19, I was examined and given tests by a Dr. Helen. She was very concerned and said it was imperative to find out the source of my internal bleeding. She set up two appointments for me-the first on the following day for an abdominal ultrasound. The other appointment, to have an endoscopy of my stomach and duodenum, was set for December 26, seven days later. When Peggy and I left her office, Dr. Helen gave us warm hugs, but she didn't ask me to check back or to do anything other than keep the two appointments. The ultrasound the next day was negative-no problem seen. But the black stools continued and I was getting weaker. The specialist's office phoned and said the doctor couldn't see me on December 26. They would have to schedule me for December 27. Now desperate, I told the caller I had to see the doctor right away. It was an emergency. So she scheduled the appointment for the following day, December 21, at four p.m. I asked her a question about the endoscopic procedure the doctor would perform. She said there wouldn't be any procedureonly a consultation.

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By that time, people who had worked Next morning, December 21, my fourth with Rife had received anonymous threats. day with black stools, I lay listless on the Prominent physicians and educators who bed waiting for the clock to roll around to had been photographed at a banquet honthree p.m., when we would leave to drive oring Royal Rife now denied even knowing across the island to see the specialist. I was him. Rife's assistant managed to get away with feeling depressed and very weak, and I wondered if I should ask Peggy to drive me to the plans for the Rife Generator. He built the emergency room. At that moment the and sold machines to physicians in Germany telephone rang. Kiva, a young woman whom and Mexico, and some are still being used Peggy had met about ten days before, was in cancer clinics in Tijuana and elsewhere. calling. When she and Peggy had met, Kiva Small models allegedly based upon Rife's told Peggy about a man who lives high on original Generator are sold through websites the slopes of Maui's massive mountain such as Rife-machine.com. So as I lay on the bed, weak and deHaleakala and owns a Rife Generator which he allows people to use without cost. Peggy pressed, on December 21, young Kiva had asked Kiva to call us and give us the phoned and gave me the telephone number of the man with the Rife Generator. Imman's phone number. Now a flashback. Ten years ago I read a mediately I phoned him, and he proved to book The Cancer Cure That Worked, about be a very knowledgeable naturopath who Dr. Royal Rife who, in the 1930s, built a said he could treat my condition ifhe knew high-frequency generator that was said to my blood count. I didn't know what my cure cancer and other debilitating diseases. blood count was, so he asked me to phone The University of Southern California es- Dr. Helen and get the figure. I phoned Dr. Helen's office and talked tablished a special research team ofleading scientists and physicians to evaluate Rife's with an aide. By mistake, she looked in the electronic therapy. Participating physicians wrong ftle and gave me somebody else's referred sixty-one "incurable" patients to blood count. I asked her to copy my records Rife, and each was reportedly cured within so I could take them to the specialist that afternoon. "Fine," she said. "And as long as 130 days. Royal Rife and his Rife Generator be- you're coming to get the records, Dr. Helen came front-page news in San Diego, Los would like to see you." Now armed with my blood count (or Angeles and elsewhere. Then Dr. X, an M.D. who virtually ran the American Medi- what I thought was my blood count), I cal Association for a half-century, came to phoned the naturopath again. "Oh, you're San Diego to investigate the Rife Genera- in great shape," he said. "You don't have a tor. Mter seeing it operate and reading treat- thing to worry about." Two hours later, Peggy and I went to Dr. ment notes of cured patients, Dr. X offered to buy a part of the company that Rife had Helen's office, where I discovered that the set up to market the generators. When Rife aide had copied somebody else's records for refused to sell, the irate doctor vowed to me. Apologizing, she copied my own records destroy him. And he did. Through his in- while I had a blood test and waited an hour fluence at the AMA, he stirred up paranoia to see the doctor. When I saw her, she told among the drug companies and hospitals, me that my hemoglobin was down to eight and complained to government agencies and I must have a blood transfusion right that Rife was a quack who falsified data and away. "I'll call an ambulance to take you to had actually cured no one. Unknown intrud- the emergency room." "No, I'll take him," said Peggy. "I can get ers broke into Rife's offices, destroyed his machines and burned his papers. One of him there faster." By Baba's grace, the trip took Rife's medical associates died in a mysteri- only half an hour, but by the time I was adous fire that destroyed his laboratory. An- mitted, my hemoglobin was only six and a fracother associate, Dr. Milbank Johnson, was tion! (One of the doctors told me that if I'd murdered, and Rife himself, while hospi- waited another day, I'd have been dead.) For nine to ten hours I was given transfusions. talized, died from a lethal dose of valium.


The transfusions were interrupted once to take me to a lower floor for an endoscopy. While I was being wheeled down the hall on a gurney, a group ofthe hospital staff were singing Christmas carols. They finished singing "Silent Night" as I passed by, so I grinned and said, "I feel like I'm playing a part in a movie." The endoscopy revealed that I had a large ulcer in the duodenum which the doctors say was caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. Treatment with antibiotics and Prilosec was begun. On Christmas Eve I was released and Peggy drove me home. It was wonderful to spend a quiet Christmas with Peggy, and with our son Don and his wife Susie, who had come to visit us from North Carolina. After Don and Susie left, our dear friends Michael Le Page and Cherie Longo arrived to spend a week on Maui. Michael and Cherie and Peggy and I made a trip up to Haleakala to see the naturopath who has a Rife generator. It's an impressive machine, and we all experienced subjective tinglings and other internal sensations. Since then I've had other Rife treatments, and I like the way they make me feel. I'm not ready to give public testimonials, but I'm cautiously optimistic about the value of the Rife machine. And I'm eternally grateful to Beloved Baba, who showed me once again what a loving, compassionate, omniscient and eternally clever Beloved He is.

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The Chiefand the Flute Raine Eastman-Gannett, Berkeley CA

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hief Red Ute, Eddie Box (Native American), was on Pilgrimage with his wife Diane, October 2000 at the Meher Pilgrim Centre, Meherabad. He is a shy and humble man and one would not dream he is a great chief with a long lineage. One Sunday at Meherazad he participated in the entertainment program in Mandali Hall. He gave a very beautiful and moving performance on his flute. He then pointed the flute in the 4 directions of the compass and holding it out said "I would like to present to the Meherazad Women this flute made from a branch of Mehera's clove tree." At this point Meheru explained to us, "Mehera propagated and grew the clove tree here at Meherazad and a branch fell from that tree. ChiefEddie Box took that branch given by us to America to carve one of his flutes from it." The flute was beautiful, smooth and graceful, and had a white suede fringe with beading hanging from it. It was a masterpiece of art and craft in the Native American Tradition. Davana took the flute across the room to Meheru and the other Women Mandali. Meheru received it and after a few moments said, "Take this flute from the branch which Mehera grew and you carved, back to America and whenever you play it, the wind of Meher Baba's Love

will come from it and help the Indigenous American Indians." Davana then took it back across the room to Eddie who again pointed the flute in the 4 directions as he whispered a chant. We all were moved to a rousing "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jail" We were told that Eddie - "Deer Chief"- as Mani used to call him - also had previously given flutes he carved from branches of a Cedar tree found at Myrtle beach to Avatars Abode,The Meher Spiritual Center and to Meherazad. On another note concerning Chief Eddie Box, we read in The Glow, May 2000 issue, in an article byJerry Edwards posted from Meherabad: Eddie Box (Red Ute) was advised by Aloba to cut his long braid. He said the long hair indicated the old, and one should try to move on to the new. Eddie cut his braid as a symbol of his New Life feelings and sent a message to Aloba telling him he had done just that. Aloba sent this message back to Eddie: "Think ofBaba continuously and love Him continuously. Love Baba more than your wife and children. Know that you're letting go is letting Baba take over".

Beautiftl Hands This is the kind ojFriend You areWithout making me realize My soul's anguished history, You slip into my house at night, And while I am sleeping, You silently carry off All my suffering and sordidpast In Your beautiful Hands. The Subject Tonight Is Love, 60 Wild and Sweet Poems ofHaftz, Versions by Daniel Ladinsky,

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Mehera, Baba's Beloved Selections from the book Mehera. Compiled by Barbara Roberts

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"She is My very breath without which I cannot live... " -Meher Baba henever God comes on earth as I Sing of You Mehera

Man-as Ram, for example, or as Krishna, as Jesus, or in this time as Meher Baba-it is always the case that one person among His close ones plays a special role as His most important disciple. This is the role of the "Divine Counterpart", the "Beloved" of the Divine Beloved, who e love for Him is unique in its purity and its one-pointedness. This is the role ofSita, of Radha, ofMary-and this time, ofMehera. Meher Baba has declared that this long heralded and much-expected Advent, The Ka1ki Avatar for Hindus, the Maitreya Buddha for Buddhists, the Second Coming for Christians, is the last Divine Incarnation in this cycle of cycles. As such, Meher Baba has indicated that His Manifestation on earth will be accordingly the greatest in its scope and impact. Perhaps one of the first signs of the special significance of this Advent can be found in the most exquisite beauty ofMehera's life with Baba and in the opportunity which He has given His lovers to partake of the inspiration of that life. For in her role as the divine companion to the God-Man, Mehera has become a divine reflection of Him, providing a glimpse of what true love can be through her example and her stories ofher life with Him. This book, then, provides a glimpse of Mehera, and through her, ofLove Itself, personified in the form of Perfect Man, who in this age is known as Meher Baba." (From the book jacket introduction to Mehera ©1989 Naosherwan Anzar, Beloved Books) "Meher Baba, the Divine Beloved of all hearts, has called Mehera His Beloved...As Sita was for Ram, Radha for Krishna, Mary for Jesus, for this Advent of Meher Baba it is Mehera who plays the leading role. This role, of being the chosen counterpart to the GodMan, amounts to the highest, purest, most spiritual relationship, consisting ofa divine love which the world cannot imagine. This love between Baba and Mehera is in an inner realm which has nothing to do with 'love' as defined by the world's dictionary...The keynote of our life with Baba was purity, and Baba was very, very particular and strict about it. He never allowed the slightest compromise in this regard, so our relationship with Baba and with each other was always totally innocent of physical involvement. You could even say we were as children around Baba. Easterners and Westerners, 46

I sing ofYou, Mehera, the Belova ofthe Beloved ofall mankind Beftre He began the creation, the Beloved createdyou To mirror to Him His Love so that He could know it ever anew. He made the earth as an arborfor your pleasure and shade Ordered the stars to be your escort and the moon to be your maid. He created the Sun and Rain to keep Earth alwaysfair andgreen Bearing to seasons choicestflowers and fruits for you His chosen Queen.

young and old, Baba kept us like children in this respect and shaped that childlike quality of life which leads to true purity of heart, involving self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice of the highest order. And so, just as Mehera is Baba's Beloved, she is also His "child" in the spiritual sense. The absolutely clear mirror of Mehera's immaculate heart, which Baba took great pains to keep unclouded by the dust of the world, reflects Baba's image, the image of the Divine Beloved, as none other can. From the beginning, and throughout her life with Baba, Mehera's status as His Beloved grew obvious to us in many ways. Her place was foremost in all things concerning Baba. All personal privileges in attending to Baba's Form were hers-combing His hair, trimming His moustache, cutting His nails, seeing to His clothes, and all things concerning His precious person. Let me give you an example ofBaba's relationship with Mehera that clearly indicates her special position in the kingdom of His Love. When we would be seated at the dining table, it would be Mehera who had the privilege of serving Baba. And when Mehera would offer Him something from her plate-something she knew Baba was partial to, like a piece of cheese or some delicacy-Baba would taste it to please Mehera and return it to her saying, "No, Mehera, you eat it; it will be just the same as if I am eating it."

The Beloved because ofa whim, caused the whole creation to be. In a one wordpoem He contained it and you are its Melody. I Sing ofYou, Mehera, The Belova ofthe Beloved ofall mankind Francis Brabazon ©1967 from Letters to the Mandali by Jim Mistry Used by permission of India Trust and Avatar's Abode Trust.

Another example of Mehera's No.1 position among us; while on occasion Baba would offer His hand to us to kiss, it was He who kissed Mehera's hand...Repeatedly Baba has said, "If Mehera is happy, I am happy." He not only said it, but He demonstrated it in a number of ways. I would notice that Baba always agreed with anything that Mehera stated. If she said, "Baba, such-and-such is so, isn't it?" He would reply, "Yes, it is so." Baba always agreed with whatever Mehera said, even when, to my mind and logic it seemed that what Baba was agreeing to could not possibly be so! Although I never said anything at such times, one day I became exasperated enough to tell Him, in Mehera's absence, "Baba, I guess if Mehera were to say that the world is square, You would agree!" Baba looked at me and solemnly nodded, "Yes, I would." Baba's reply stunned me. And it taught me a lesson as to how one pleases one's beloved. Playing the role ofthe lover in His relationship with Mehera, Baba was showing us how we should please Baba, our Beloved. IfBaba were to tell us that the world is square, our answer


as befitting a true lover should be, "Yes, Baba." Ifin the midst ofbright daylight, He were to say it is dark, we should not only say, "Yes, Baba," but run and fetch the lantern, just as a disciple and slave of an old-time Master had done. So it is that Mehera, in the eternal role ofBeloved to the Divine Beloved,gave Baba the opportunity to play the role oflover and showed us how it should be done. This drove home to me His immense love for us. By taking on the role of lover, the Beloved demonstrates to us how we should please Him. Every action of Baba's was multi-purpose. Even the most casual thing that Baba did not only affected each of the persons around Him, but also had universal reactions and repercussions as well. So it was with Baba and Mehera's relationship; a pure mountain stream bubbling from the heart of the world, it is not only for Mehera but for all to drink from. Anyone who misconstrues this relationship, who allows even a passing thought or doubt from a narrow mind to adulterate its purity, deprives himself from receiving of that wellspring of true love. On 31st January, 1968-one year to the day before He set aside His lovely Form (although at the time, we had no idea ofthe significance of that date)-Baba initiated a more public role for Mehera, who had always lived a life completely sheltered from the world. Baba kept all the women who stayed with Him strictly apart from the men, but in Mehera's case it was again very special. For many years she could not even hear the name of any man, even for example when the newspaper was read out. Her cloistered life was the most singular. Not only had Baba given her the all-time restriction not to be touched by men-a restriction [that continued her whole life]-but not once had Mehera ever met or greeted or even seen at close range any of the men Mandali who lived with Baba. But on 31 January 1968, exactly a year before the time when Mehera would perforce begin to meet Baba's lovers in the physical absence ofher Beloved, Baba asked Mehera to stand beside Him on the porch of the women Mandali's residence, now known as "Mehera's porch", and to greet the men Mandali for the fIrst time. He wanted her to see the men and say"Jai Baba" to them; and after the years and years ofher sheltered life, Mehera was understandably nervous. Baba told her, "Don't be nervous.

You'll be holding My hand; I'll be holding your hand." Baba had Mehera wear a sari for the occasion, and in His frail health He sat on a chair on the porch while she stood beside Him, her hand in His. All the resident men mandali of Meherazad, along with those from Ahmed-

came from Him, she was able to be brave during that most difficult period after He left His Form. And so, when we were among the crowd of His lovers on Meherabad Hill during that unforgettable week of February '69, we saw Mehera greeting the Baba-Iovers who came, embracing the women, comforting them with the assurance of His continued Presence. Many came from South India--even not knowing their language was no barrier. Just "Baba, Baba, Baba", the simple exchange of the Beloved's name between them and Mehera, proved ample communication for their adoring

hearts.

nagar and Meherabad (like Adi, Padri, Ramjoo, Chhagan, etc.) silently walked up to the porch towards Baba and Mehera, and stood before them. Then, as directed by Baba, Mehera greeted them with folded hands and said, jai Baba". Little did we know then that with this totally unprecedented event, Baba was planting the seeds for the part Mehera would play after He dropped His body. We went to Poona in 1969 for that incredible "Great Darshan" in Guruprasad, when Baba's promised children came for the darshan of their unseen Beloved. Each darshan morning, we would see Mehera stand up and come to the microphone, looking up to see the large hall full of mostly new Baba-Iovers, and she would greet them with a shy but clear jai Baba." And, as you know, she continued until May 20,1989, as countless more of His lovers have joined those beginner's ranks towards the floodtide of humanity which will come to Baba. Baba is the Sun and Source of all things, and whatever we offer Him has been received by us from Him. By asking us to love Him, He is giving us the Love to love Him with. This was even so with Beloved Baba's last message to Mehera. Shortly before He dropped His body, Baba asked me to take a message to Mehera. He told me to tell her, "Mehera, be brave." And, although it seems that Baba was asking something from Mehera with these words, in actuality Baba was giving her the courage with which to be brave. And because it

Along with our pain ofseparation, Baba's presence grows stronger with time. It is natural that His presence should be particularily with Mehera, whose heart He has made so pure as to perfectly reflect Him. Beloved Baba has said of His Beloved, "Mehera loves Me as I should be loved." This Divine Remembrance of infInite beauty will be sung and celebrated throughout the world, inspiring lovers of God to aspire for Mehera's one-pointed love for the Beloved God-Man. -Mani [Mani S. Irani, Baba's sister] March, 1989

The Dream My heart weptfOr Mehera, I saw her one night Sitting before me with tearsflowing down her cheeks I cried as I sang to her in my dream As we both sat therefacing each other. Then I went on dreaming that with her precious tears

We made gardensfrom deserts and grewflowers wherever theyfell. Then Meher came into the garden so beautiful He walked through theflowers touching each one Until He was standing beside sweet Mehera Where He reached out to her gently and theyfadedfrom sight together Hand in Handforever together Mehera and Meher. .. Raine Eastman-Gannet Š1977

47


A Strange Stillness by Pamela Topley A strange stillness enfolds us A protective shield covering all Yet how could so many Making so much noise Make no noise at all? Cocooned from the World Blessed by the Dome Star

Always shiriiog Hail quiet energy ~c1irected

ToWardi........,. who come To lay garlands at His feet.

All night long they wait AU through the day AD through the night again AD their homage to pay Seconds only can they stay To kneel aDd lay a head upon His grave.

Nnd'tWthis short time F~saveand save

~carry.way

The memory The energy The aD embracing love . . hope to "tum another day their _ _ respects to pay.

AIF

And still yet the stillness holds us. A Divine Invitation, a computer composite/painting by Cherie Plumlee.

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

Address Service Requested

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,LoveStreet ,LampfÂŁost

c..A1elter (j]aba ill Ce!Jloll,3anuarlJ, 1933

JULY,2001


From the Editor Dina Snow Jai Baba folks,

I

t's hard to believe we are halfway through 2001 already! Our Sahavases this year are not working out as we had planned: We have become very spoiled as each year we enjoy the company of Baba's night watchman - the inimitable Bhau Kalchuri. We had made our travel plans for 2001, counting on being at one or more of the Gatherings to be held across the country where Bhau was to be the special Guest of Honor. But Baba had other plans for him. Read about it on page II. We fervently hope and pray that he will be well enough to stand the rigors of world travel in 2002. We had originally planned on making this July issue a special tribute to Eruch, Baba's Main Man. We put out the call for stories - personal stories - ofinterchanges between yourselves and Eruch, but I guess we should have an-

nounced it in these pages, as the Internet did not net us many responses. So again I announce it, send us your stories, tales of what Eruch means to you; ofthe many ways he can 'cut to the chase' and zero in on what is really bothering you; how he brought you to realize it was Meher Baba that was the basis of everything in your life. If you have any particularly great photos, send them too, but be sure to put your name and address sticker on the back. We would prefer to receive your stories by email, but failing this typewritten - no handwritten stories, please! People have been very generous in their donations to the yearly 'subscription' to the LampPost, so we are planning on printing this next issue in color, thanks to the generosity and hard work of our man in India - BalajiL If you have a photo of the Mandali, Meherabad, or Meherabad that looks particularlygood and colorful, please submit it. Are there any of our readers sharp eyed enough to notice that our lampost on the cover

this month looks different? Congratulations to you if you noticed, sharp eyes indeed. We used to have a graphic of the old style gas lantern, but now we have the 'real thing'! Our logo is actually a photo I took of one of the lamps that now line the path up to the Samadhi. How beautiful they are, designed byJose Enrique from Argentina. And such an improvement over the neon bars that were there before. Thank you Jose - we are all so appreciative. As a fundraiser twice a year the Los Angeles Center holds a Fly to India sweepstakes, (I was the lucky winner in 1986, hand chosen, as we all are, by Baba.) But being the new Millennium, we decided to give you all an extra shot at winning and held a third Sweepstakes. The winning ticket was drawn at our Dinner Auction and the Grand Prize went to Mary Lou Swartz from Hayward, Northern California. Congratulations Mary Lou - Baba wants you there. Better hurry! The Board would like to thank all ofyou who so generously contribute to and help support Meherabode, the home of the Meher Baba Center of Southern California.

Decision-Making with Baba N aosherwan Anzar and Eruch Jessawala Anzar: How can we bring Baba into our process of decisionmaking and what role would intuition play in it? Eruch: If you have given yourself to Baba, all the decisions that you make will be His decisions. Once you are His, whatever decision you make, know that it is what He wants, for once you have determined to be His and act accordingly, you can rest assured that your decision will reflect His wish. However, your determination to give yourself to Him cannot be just lip service -- you should feel that you are His and act suitably. Furthermore, you must remain totally resigned to the results of any decision taken as indicated above, otherwise it will be tantamount to you alone having made the decision. From The Ancient One, by EruchJessawala, Edited by Naosherwan Anzar, Page 14, Copyright 1985 Naosherwan Anzar, Published by Beloved Books

II 2

: :

:

:

II


A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

'coveStreet 'campf£ost ~

welcome... The LoveStreet Lam{Eost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His

remembrance. Allthe members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba's message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

~ The Markers at Meherabad Meherabad Development Plan When That Time Comes...

4

Ward Parks

8

Bhau Kalchuri 10

Bhau the Indefatigable Around-the-World

Dina Snow

Dina Snow 15 Sam, Margaret and Stephanie 16

Wendy Haynes Connors Memories of East-West Gathering Kendra Crossen- Burroughs 19 Meher Baba in the Far East

LampPost Staff 24

I Want, I Want, but What?!

Bal Natu 32

Happenings at Meherabode

Various contributors 34

submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 or Bababook~pacbell.net

Nan Umrigar and Friends

Don Stevens 37

An Unforgettable Musical Journey...

Mary Pratt 41

Magical Moments with Baba... Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 42

deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:

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

Love Street Bookstore: Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and llpm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

email: Bababook@pacbell.net

credits: editor: Dina Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Traci Auer and Cherri Nelson proofreader: Michael Franklin and Patricia Adams-Smith research assistant: Barbara Roberts printing: Ray Madani distribution: Pris Haffenden, Harry Thomas and Dina Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-112 S. Centinela ve. Los Angeles CA 90066-3124 310-390-2779 Feel free to call with address correction or que tion . cover: Meher Baba in Ceylon, 1933 ©AMBCPPT

The,CoveSLrcetLampfJ!ost is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, of Avatar ]\IIeher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

de artments

."

Editor's Page

Dina Snow

The LoveStreet Bookstore

Dina Snow 20

2

Book and Music Reviews

Various contributors 20

Children's Page

Various contributors 23

Humor for Huma

Jay Schauer 38

Announcements

credits

Various contributors 39

'

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission of their Board of Directors. All words, images alldgraphics ill this publication are property ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, alld © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.

3


Dina Snow

The Markers at Meherabad

B

etween upper and lower Meherabad, there are 29 Historical Plaques. We can but show a few here. The sites have been carefully researched and the stone structures built, not just for the pilgrim's edification, but also to reinforce to the Indian Government that this is indeed a Spiritual place of great import and historical significance. One of the first to be erected was the one marking the 'Post Office' which became quarters for Meher Baba and the women Mandali. It was originally built by the British army as a post office. and was the place in Meherabd that Baba first stayed in 1923. It was then used as quarters for the women Mandali from late 1924 to the end of 1926, and from the end of '28 to early '29. In 1927 it was used as a girl's school. Baba instructed the mandali to dismantle it in 1933 in response to an order by the British Government. The stones were later used to build Baba's Tomb-Shrine and other buildings on the Hill. Upon seeing this plaque Heather Nadel, (Western resident for 20 or more years) was moved to write the following piece:

And, most beautiful, of Mehera, a shy young girl of 16 taking Baba's darshan for the very first time inside the Post Office, and later, when she and her mother were staying with the other women there, looking out the window and seeing Baba alone just outside, singing and dancing in the light of dawn. The Post Office plaque gives only simple facts and dates. How could anyone understand, let alone describe, the significance of this place, or of all this patch of land where Baba worked so intensely in the early days, rebuilding the universe? Still, in my mind, I write a series of phantom plaques for the Post Office: 'God Incarnate slept here'; 'Lord Nataraja danced here'; 'Radha first bowed down to Krishna here'; and my favorite, remembering Mehera's glowing face as she would speak of those first, glorious days with Baba in the Post Office: 'TRUE LOVE blossomed here!'

'[rue ,Love fBlossomed 9:lere! Lower Meherabad

The Post Office Plaque Standing on the path that goes up Meherabad Hill, I'm looking at a plaque marking the site of the old Post Office. Recently the government recognized Meherabad as a Sacred Site and as a Centre of Pilgrimage. With the increased public interest this creates, it seemed a fitting time for the Trust to begin marking out the sacred sites of Meherabad: structures and places associated with Beloved Baba's life and work. So on this open patch between the road and the railway tracks, there are several simple brick markers with plaques: for Hazrat Babajan School, Sai Darbar, Makan-e- Khas and the Post Office. I've seen the others, but the Post Office marker is alive for me, awakening images of stories the mandali have told: Of Baba, in 1923, the very beginning, His second night at Meherabad, sleeping in the abandoned Post Office with the men mandaliOf Baba a little later, young and vital, sitting on the Post Office verandah surrounded by the men, playing a drum with His long slender fingers, as young Mehera, young Khorshed and the other women looked onOfMani, age 6, on vacation and thrilled to be with Baba at Meherabad, waking in the night on her little mat in a corner of the Post 0 ffice, listening to the watchmen call out to each other across the fields: "All's well"4

POST OFFICE QUARTERS FOR NEHEn OABA flNTERMITTENT IN 1920路sl NOMEN MANOALl41924-li26.

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7


Meherabad Development Plan is Becoming a Reality By Ward Parks at Meherabad

Meher Pilgrim Retreat

W

ork is afoot at Meherabad in fulfillment of the objects given by Meher Baba Himself in the Trust Deed. The centerpiece of this development effort is the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Two years of design work have culminated in groundbreaking and the start of construction this year. In the meantime additions to the Meher English School and Meher Health Centre have been completed, and the Spiritual Academy meeting hall is finished and functioning. On another front, years of research have resulted in a large placement of orders for furnishings and equipment for the new1yconstructed Archive Building. Not yet completed but well in progress is the construction of the expanded Pilgrim Education Site (that will accommodate 4000 Amartithi pilgrims) and a new infrastructure capable of supporting a quickly-developing Meherabad Estate. All of this represents progress under the Development ?lan, inaugurated two years ago. I At the heart of the Development Plan is safeguarding the sancti ty and divine atmosphere of Meher Baba's Samadhi. No new facilities will be constructed within a half-mile radius of Baba's Tomb-Shrine, and Meher Baba's Samadhi a perimeter road will demarcate the boundary of this protected zone. Instead of new building in this area, under the Development Plan the Hill is being planted with trees, both to add greenery and to give shade to pilgrims. To date 2600 tree seedlings of many species have been planted across a 25acre plot on the Hill's southeast slope. In the early stage of growth these trees require each about 20 gallons of water per day during the summer months, which is provided through a system of drip irrigation. When the trees are full-grown, seven pedestrian view corridors (also included in the Development Plan) wil11ead through the forest to the Samadhi. The design of Meher Pilgrim Retreat results from a two-year effort on the part of Ted Judson, the Trust's resident architect. It was Ted who, in the mid-1970s, designed the existing Pilgrim Centre, which accommodates 56. In designing the Retreat, a facility 8

for 200 pilgrims, Ted drew on the advice and experience of a team of workers who for two decades have been providing care for pilgrims who come to Meherabad to bask in Meher Baba's divine atmosphere there. Amid the hectic pace of a Meherabad work life at Meherabad, Ted was forced to retreat into "seclusion" several times to get the design work done! Meher Pilgrim Retreat is being built on a plateau about 0.6 of a mile west of the Samadhi; one of the seven view corridors (which will also, naturally, serve as a walkway) will run from the Retreat to the Samadhi. Divided into two sides, a men's and a women's, each with two floors, the main buildings of the Retreat will have sleeping quarters and four designated reading rooms; outside verandas and courtyards will provide further spaces where pilgrims can read and talk among themselves or enjoy the quiet of this rural and pastoral region in the Meherabad estate. Proper attention to the construction of infrastructure will hopefully assure an adequate water and dependable electricity supply. From the Retreat (situated on its hill top) one will be able to observe beautiful sunsets as well as sunrise over the Samadhi. Construction will take three to four years to complete assuming sufficient availability of funds. The estimated to cost is $1,023,000. With construction of the new 15,000 square foot Archives, Museum and Research Building completed a year ago, a major focus of the current archiving effort lies in the furnishing of this new facility, so as to properly house and preserve the priceless documents, films, photos and personal articles associated with Avatar Meher Baba and His Advent. The costs of the building were provided for before the current Development Plan had been formulated; but what the Development Plan does encompass is the cost of the furnishing, estimated at $422,750 of which $159,000 will be spent this year. The key item in the furnishing process is the storage cabinets. Research and building of prototypes of cabinets and museum article storage has been under way for two years, The Archives Building


and fortunately an Indian supplier has demonstrated the ability to meet the demanding specifications that the proper care of Meher Baba's articles calls for. These archival cabinets will comprise a major part of the total cost of the building's furnishing. In addition computers, office furniture, and cold storage facilities for fUm preservation will be required. Meanwhile, while the furnishing of the building moves ahead, workers in the archival project have spent the past three years in sorting and cataloging items to be rehoused in the Archives Building when it is ready. The work has entailed the development of systems for storing and tracking the archival material.

Meher English School Auditorium

grims who will come to Meherbad in the future to share in its Divine Atmosphere. Over the past three years 250 Meher Baba Lovers have made contributions ranging from $5 to (in several cases) over S50,000. In total about one million dollars has been contributed to date. In the next three years almost two millions dollars will be needed to keep the construction program on schedule. Expanding the contribution participation from Meher Baba Lovers is urgently required for the Trust to meet its responsibilities. You can help by sending a tax-deductible contribution to Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, clo Kanji Miyao, Treasurer, 1214 S. Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 with the request that your contribution be used for the Center's grant program to the Trust Development Plan. For those who are interested in making a bequest in their will, or designating the Trust as the beneficiary ofan insurance policy, IRA, or charitable trust please contact Emory and Susan Ayers Email: EAyers88@aol.com or telephone 860-536-0303.

Spiritual Cultural Academy Meeting Hall

Three projects - Meher English School Auditorium, the addition to the Meher Health Centre, and the Spiritual Cultural Academy Meeting Hall - have been completed under the Development Plan and are currently being fully utilized. Each of these Meher Health Centre projects has added a new dimension to life and work at the Meherabad Estate. The Meher English School is a full ten-standard English-medium elementary-cumhigh school with a full time teaching staffof21 and a student enrollment of about 380 students, mostly from the village of Arangaon and the nearby locality. The Development Plan financed the completion of the school plant by adding an assembly hall, gymnasium, and chemistry and physics laboratories. Seeing the 380 smiling happy faces in the new assembly hall will touch one's heart. The addition to the Meher Health Center has helped in the provision of medical care to the lOOper-day residents ofthe surrounding area who come for free treatment for such ailments as respiratory infections, bacterial and viral infections, parasitic infections, diarrhea, anemia, skin disease, wounds and injuries. Finally, the Spiritual Cultural Academy Meeting Hall provides a place for meeting and study for the 50 spiritual trainees from India and abroad, who have given up their life in the world and reside full-time on the Trust Estate, where they devote themselves to love for God through various avenues of service. The Development Plan includes an expansion of the Amartithi Site to accommodate an additional 4000 pilgrims for overnight accommodations at Amartithi and others times of mela. This expansion is expected to be completed next year. For non-sahavas-time pilgrim accommodation, after the Meher Pilgrim Retreat is completed, a new Dharamshala will be constructed to house 300 pilgrims. In the meantime, during the next three years the existing Dharamshala will be renovated. In summary, the Trust is in the process of meeting its responsibilities for today and preparing for the ever-increasing number of pil-

The Karma That Truly Counts Meher Baba

B

roadly speaking, karma is of two kinds: that which binds and that which helps toward Emancipation and Self-realization. Good as well as bad karma binds as long as it feeds the ego-mind through wrong understanding. But karma becomes a power for Emancipation when it springs from right understanding and wears out the ego-mind. Right understanding in this respect is best imparted by the Perfect Masters, who know the soul in its true nature and destiny, along with the complications created by

karmic laws. The karma that truly counts comes into existence after a person has developed a sense of distinction between good and bad. During the first seven years ofchildhood, the impressions that are released for expression are very faint. They also entail a consciousness of the world correspondingly less responsive to the distinctions ofthe world. Therefore the actions of children under seven years do not leave any strong or effective impressions on the ego-mind, and they do not play any important part in shaping their future. True and effective karma, which molds the ego-mind and its future, begins after the individual develops a sense of responsibility. This sense of responsibility is dependent upon a sense ofdistinction between good and bad, which usually dawns fully after one has passed the first few years of childhood. Discourses by Meher Baba Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT 9


"When that Time Comes, Nobody Will Know What to Do and What Not to Do" [Since Bhau's heart surgery -see article on next

Bhau Kalchuri

pag~he has been subjectedto enforced rest. As

those ofus who know him can testifY, inactivity does not sit well with this man.' He has been taking walks in the afternoon and during these times ofsolitude it seems Baba has been speaking to him. As soon as Bhau returns home, he dictates these messages. The one Baba gave him on May 15th is extremely potent. Read on.]

Tuesday, 15th May 2001

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his morning, I was going for walk. Generally, I keep quiet during my walk, and I don't talk. When I keep quiet, the Beloved talks to me silently. This happened during my walk today. Mter my walk, I sit on the porch. Today, however, I sat there for a very short time and came back to my room to dictate Bear the message I received from Baba. The L---::.----B-h-au-w-:it-:h-B:-a-:b~a phone rang, and I went to attend the phone. Then a visitor came for some urgent greater power, destruction cannot be avoided. thing, and I was talking to her. Then another There is no honesty. There is no love. There is visitor came. Again, I had to talk. It is now no confidence in anyone. Everyone and every 1:00 p.m., and I have started the dictation. But country is engulfed by evil forces. Until these 路.uter a short time Sheela will come and will evil forces are destroyed, there can be no peace. urge me, "Take lunch and then rest." But where are these evil forces? Evil forces are I don't know whether I will be able to rein everyone. No one is free from these evil forces. member all that which Beloved Baba has "But spirituality is also there, and I am the pointed out. But I will try to remember as highest authority of spirituality. I am the Anmuch as possible. It is as follows: cient One. Therefore, I am working and workWhen I started walking in the morning, ing infinitely to make humanity free from evil the thought came into my mind that, "What forces. chaos there is in the world. Everywhere rest"There are two types ofimpressions or sanlessness is there, and I don't know when peace skaras. One is natural, the other is unnatural. will prevail." Natural impressions take one towards progress A voice came from my heart. My mind of consciousness, that is, towards the Reality, stopped. God. Unnatural impressions create evil forces, "Peace? You are thinking of peace? How and take everyone away from Reality. Because can peace prevail? See the world - everywhere of these unnatural impressions, humanity is talk about peace goes on. Big conferences are under the grip ofevil forces. Selfishness, greed, held to talk about peace, and why has this talk corruption, exploitation, lust, anger, wants, started? Because of fear. atom bombs, hydro- jealousy, hypocrisy, slander, backbiting and all gen bombs, missiles and poisonous war mate- low desires are increasing to any extent. Inriel have been made in such quantity that the stead of love, hatred is taking place. Human whole world can be destroyed. Now fear is beings are worse than violent animals. In this situthere. So talk about peace continues, yet still ation, no one has any idea what will happen. the preparation of war materiel is going on "If war takes place, and humanity is deand on. 0 country has any confidence in any stroyed, can that solve the problem? The probother country. They talk in a friendly way. But lem cannot be solved. You just find more and this is all an outward tlling. Because evil forces more population. There is a shortage of food, are working everywhere with greater and shortage of water, changes in climatic condi10

tions, different diseases and different calamities. Population is increasing like anything because people from different planets are taking birth on this Eartll. "So ifwar takes place, can there be any peace? No, not at all. Peace will come when people are free from unnatural impressions. Their consciousness will then proceed towards God. All low desires will be wiped out. Then only can peace reign. So war is not the solution for bringing this change so that peace may reign. "I had told you about the UniversalArrow I released at the time ofdropping My body. Because it is touching heart after heart in the universe, all engrained, low desires are coming out. That is why there is chaos and confusion in the world. These low desires, which are the evil forces, are to be wiped out. If war takes place, and people die, still those who die will come back with those low desires. Again, there will be the same thing which we find now. "It is certain that three-quarters of the world will be destroyed. It is going to happen. It is a definite thing. But what about those low desires? If they are not wiped out, people will take birth with all low desires. "Now, try to understand properly. These low desires create noise. They are unnatural. They are created by unnatural impressions. Natural impressions create sound, which sound takes one towards the progress of consciousness towards God. This sound emanates from the Whim. When there is no impression, there remains the infinite Voice of God. "Why did I observe silence? Do you know? At the time of destruction of the world, My Silence will be broken. The noise ofthe world will be absorbed in the Ocean of My Silence, that is, My Infinite Voice. Because I will release the Spiritual Bomb, the Spiritual Bomb will be released from My Silence. That Bomb will make all noise absorbed in My Ocean of Silence. It will be done in silence, and therefore it will be sudden. When those who die come back, they will have natural impressions with progressive consciousness. "If anyone dies, he is not free from unnatural impressions. But My Silence will make it possible, that it will absorb the noise in My Infinite Voice ofthe Silence. The world will see this fact. Then peace will reign. Until that time, there will be chaos, confusion,


restlessness - all sorts ofdifficulties. The world will go on becoming more and more complicated.

Bhau the Indefatigable

When that time comes, nobody will know what to do and what not to do. People will starve. People will not have water to drink, and they will not havepure air to breathe. Pollution will spread everywhere. People willfeel suffocated, sujferingfrom different diseases.

Dina Snow

That will be the time when My Silence will be broken. People will realize that only God exists. Beside God, everything which appears as existing is nothing but Illusion - Maya. The Spiritual Bomb which I will release will absorb the noise in the Ocean of My Silence. Then there will be no talk about peace, but the world will experience peace. Peace will come into action. Not remain in words. That will be My Universal Manifestation. This message I got from the Beloved this morning, and I am dictating it now. I started at 1:00p.m., and I completed it at 2:00p.m., though there was the interruption due to the phone call. Anyway, whatever I could remember, I have given out. I cannot say that I remember the whole thing, but the impact of this message I feel within me. With all love andJai Baba to you, In His Love and Service, Bhau Meherabad May 15, 2001 Ps. This is an addition to the message above: "This is the reason why I have been repeating and repeating to My lovers to hold on fast to My Daaman. I repeat again, hold fast to My Daaman, My dear ones, and know well, nothing happens in Reality. Everything happens in Illusion. Therefore, have fIrm faith in Me and love Me more and more. I am with you. I will never leave you. I will never leave anyone in the world, whether he is a saint, or he is a sinner. I am everyone, and I am everything. So I cannot leave anyone, because all are My children. Though there are a few innocent children, most of them are mischievous ones. But after all, they are My children. I am their real Father. I will not ignore anyone at any cost."

Ifyou knowyour historyyou arefamiliar with Eric the Red, Robert the Bruce, Ethelredthe Unready, Alexander the Great and many other such named historical characters. However I think in the Centuries to come whenever people speak of theAvatar, the name Bhau the Indefatigable will spring to mind! For those ofyou who are not in touch with the day to day happenings in the Baba world, except through these pages, the following information may come as a shock: Bhau Kalchuri has hadheartsurgery. we who hadaccess to emails were kept in touch almostdaily by LynwoodSawyer ofNew York who stayed in Meherabad to act as Bhau's amanuensis. Thefollowing isjust a very few-- andsome edited-ifthe emails we received Thefirst emailfrom Dr. Anne Moreigne: ear friends in our world wide Baba family, Baba has been unfolding events very rapidly here in the Pune hospital with Bhau. Bhau's coronary angiography on Tuesday morning showed "severe multivessel coronary artery disease." Because of the number, type and location of the blockages, the specialists decided that trying to unblock the vessels with balloon and stent (angioplasty) was not appropriate. They recommended bypass surgery which has better long term results in diabetics. A specialist from another top hospital in Pune was consulted for his opinion and gave the same advice. We had been hoping Bhauji would never need surgery again after his two operations for colon cancer; we know there are various alternative treatments for coronary artery disease. But none seemed feasible or even indicated at such an advanced stage. Then we met the cardiac surgeon. Bhauji instantly felt he was the right person. The surgeon said Bhau is a very good candidate, he said he was "99% confIdent of a good result, the last 1% we have to leave in the hands of God." Bhauji liked that statement. So Bhau was scheduled for more preoperative tests and the surgery planned for Monday. To our surprise, Bhau kept protesting that "the operation should be earlier, on Friday." Well on Wednesday afternoon a patient cancelled his surgery and his slot was offered to Bhau! Bhauji will have quadruple bypass surgery on Friday 6th April at 2pm. He is visibly totally happy and relaxed about it, because he feels his surgery is what Baba wants for him.

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Many of you have been reminding us in your messages that Beloved Baba is in charge, and this is becoming clear even to my short sighted eyes. At every step Baba had placed the right person in the right place. This cardiac facility is excellent, their results and statistics compare with the best places in the West. And our Lord in His mercy does not even give us time to worry, we have been too busy making all the necessary arrangements since this rescheduling. Bhauji knows all your prayers will be with him at the time ofsurgery and during the next two days that he will spend in the intensive care unit. He often says how touched he feels to be the recipient of all this love. Bhauji dictated to me this conclusion: He is very happy and cheerful, knowing fully well that it is Beloved Baba's wish. During this week praise of Beloved Baba in different forms are going on everywhere in India and around the world as most religions have a special holiday this week. At this special time, let our thoughts be focused on Him, the All Compassionate One, who holds His Bhauji and the rest ofthe world in His hands.

On the eve of his surgery, Bhauji asked that this message be sent out to all his dear ones: Beloved Baba would always say, "Births and deaths are illusory phenomena." Though I would accept what He would say, in fact, I had no experience. But how great is the Compassionate One, that now I realize this fact. I'm becoming more and more strong. Death does not scare me, but it is giving me more strength. I feel closer and closer to Beloved Baba's wish. I have received so many emails and so many phone calls from all the dear ones from every corner of the world, and I feel not only touched, but their wishes and their prayers give me more strength, and bring me still closer to the Beloved. What can I express through words? I now long to be united in His love with one and all so that I may enjoy His glory more and more and more. The Divine Sun, eternally silent, but our darkness of ignorance keeps it hidden. Tomorrow (April 6, 2001), I will pass through quadruple bypass surgery, and I will plunge into this surgery to enjoy the pleasure of the Beloved. He has given 11


unimaginably more than I deserve. He is making me free from all the rubbish I'm loaded with. What a nectar He is making me drink, which makes my faith in Him stronger and stronger. He is the only one worthy of worship. Bhau, N. M. Wadia Institute of Cardiology Poana, Maharashtra, India April 5,2001. As we all held him in our hearts and minds and asked Baba to keep His nazarfirmly on His most active Mandali member, we then received this happy updatefrom Dr. Anne:

twice a day. If they say I am progressing very well, then immediately I ask them, When will I be able to make my trip to the West?''' Last night the cardiologist said, "Don't ask this question now. You'll be released on Monday, but don't move about here and there. Mter a week, come to the hospital, and I will give you the tests and decide. Mter then we can give you a deftnite answer." Another doctor said "Up to the end of July, you should not fly. If you insist, I then say that you just go to one place. Don't go

Bhau's Successful Surgery

By Beloved Baba's grace Bhau's bypass surgery in the Pune hospital yesterday, 6th April, went smoothly, lasting two hours and 45 minutes. The surgeons performed a triple bypass, and were able to do it with the beautifully named "beating heart technique," which means without stopping the heart. The cardiologist and the anesthesiologist have just examined Bhau and they say that his recovery is progressing normally. He will remain in the ICU for two days. Only 45 minutes ago we were waving to him through the window ofthe ICU of the Pune hospital and he was waving back to us! We will keep Baba-Iovers informed of his progress. Bhau will be discharged from the l-pspital on Monday. He will again be going to Aurora Towers for a week. But !)e is still under restriction. Mter one week medical tests are there, and then only can he decide about his movements for the trip. The staffis very good, very loving, and they've all become friends. Bhau's plans are not fixed, and the doctors will only be able to decide next week. Nowadays he makes friendships with all the doctors and nurses, and he's bargaining with them about the trip. Bhau thinks he be will strong enough to visit the West, and it is the doctor's courtesy to allow him. But today, one doctor said, "I know what you are going to ask, but for the present, keep quiet. You are still not out of the cage." And when Bhau asked the chief surgeon when he could make his trip, the chief surgeon replied, "We'll think about it afterwards. Not now. How long will you be my guest?" "As long as you want, but you must come to conclusion for bargaining," Bhau replied. On the 13'6 April we received theftllowing:

Bhau is still under restriction not to exert or dictate. He mentioned that "Now another phase has begun, and another phase is bargaining with the doctors. They come and examine me 12

on moving, and don't go talking." "He will not talk, but I will give talk," Sheela said. See how Bhau is waiting, but he is waiting very anxiously to see all dear ones. He goes on bargaining with the doctors every day. Today (Saturday, April 14) the vascular surgeon said, "I see the problem isn't getting you recovered. The problem is keeping you tied down." And just before lunch the entire operating team came to see Bhau-chiefsurgeon, vascular surgeon, the third surgeon (whose precise duties I don't quite know), and the anesthesiologists. The chiefsurgeon said, "I see you're progressing quite well." "When can we start bargaining?"Bhau asked. "Come to my offtce," the chief surgeon replied. Addressing everyone else in the room, Bhau indicated the chief surgeon and told the others "You're a very good doctor."

"I see you're bargaining already," the chief surgeon replied. Fastftrward to May 12'6, with Bhau recovering very nicely. He dictated theftllowing:

Bhau's Dhuni Day'Awakening'May 12, Meherabad "Burn the Distance in the Fire ofLove"

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eloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Today [12th May], the morning was very pleasant. As soon as I woke up, I remembered that I had to attend the Dhuni that evening. I went for a walk around Sheela's house, and I forgot all thoughts of the Dhuni. I walked about 25 minutes today. I felt Baba was speaking in my heart. Though it was in silence, I could understand it. He said to me, "Do you know why I lighted the Dhuni in 1925? It was not just for the rain. The villagers came. They wanted rain. I asked them to go back, and I will see what God can do. They left. I lit the Dhuni along with my Mandali members at 11:00 at night. Just after that, it started rammg. "Mter one year, in order to celebrate the anniversary of the Dhuni, again it rained. I was in Toka. Again villagers came to me for rain. I lit the Dhuni, and it rained. Mterwards, because I started traveling all over India and the West, the Dhuni was not lit. Then, in December 1941, when I was in strict Seclusion, working only with the Masts, the preparation for war was going on furiously. On 12 th December, 1941, I informed the Mandali that I would light the Dhuni. As I was in Seclusion, I never wanted anyone to see Me. So I was brought down the hill in an enclosure of bed sheets. There was an enclosure all around the Dhuni on the same spot where I lit the Dhuni in 1925. I was there, along with the Mandali. I said to them, 'I have made all preparations for the war. Just like you have pu t the fuel here, and it now requires only to strike the match stick and to light the fIre. So also My preparation is complete. It requires only to strike the match stick.' "Then I said to the Mandali, 'Pleader, you will get God Realization.' The other Mandali members looked at Me, amazed. I said to them, ~ of my Mandali will get God Realization.' "Dhuni was lighted, and I announced, 'My seat will be here for 1,200 years.' "Again, just after one month, in memory ofUpasni Maharaj, I lit the Dhuni on 12th


January 1942. A grand feast was arranged for the villagers that day, and I announced that the Dhuni is to be lit every month on the 12th. Since then, it has. I also took part in the Dhuni in 1954, when the Declaration Meeting was there. Also in 1955, during the Sahavas period, and again in 1958. "But what is the secret ofthe Dhuni? You don't understand. It is not any ritual or ceremony. It is the medium of My Universal Work. "Bhau, today you are going to offer the greeting cards, emails, letters, and phone voices to the Dhuni, with a prayer that I should light the Fire ofLove in the hearts ofMy dear ones. I am happy you are doing this. I am in everyone, but do you find Me in everyone? Even though I am thousands of times closer than the breath ofeveryone, and am the very life of everyone, do you find Me? "You don't find me. You find distance. Your own self creates this distance, which self contains ego, anger, lust, temptations, wants, jealousy, backbiting and all sorts of low desires. You find distance from Me because of all these desires, wants and temptations created by the self I am not away from anyone, and I cannot remain away. Even if you try to drive Me out, I cannot go away from anyone, because only I exist. Whatever you find existing is nothing but the creation of the self, and the self must go in order to find Me. There should not be any distance. Therefore, you have to burn the distance in the Fire ofLove. That is why this Dhuni is lighted. When you offer this distance out of love, you will find that the distance goes on minimizing gradually and gradually. "You are taking all these greeting cards, emails, letters and phone voices to Me where the Dhuni will be lit. Know well you are bringing My dear ones near Me, and for a moment they forget the distance, because you are forgetting the distance. I am very, very happy that you are doing so. I feel touched with your action. I am the Doer, and you are offering their love and wish to Me, and you have no idea how happy I will be. All My dear ones will be here with Me, and though you are offering the flowers and the sticks for them, I know their love is doing this for Me. They are indeed blessed." When the voice stopped, I looked at my watch. I started at 7:55 a.m. and it was 8:20 am. It was the longest walk today after my surgery, and I was not feeling tired. I was feeling fresh. I came to the porch, and I was sitting

there. I asked Max to read the LampPost, and he was reading. Then Freeman came. So I asked Max to go for breakfast, and Freeman was reading the LampPost. I thought, that Baba was telling me about the Dhuni fire, and here is the LampPost. May He light the lamp of love in your hearts, 0 Beloved Baba's dear ones! Bhau's first 1'1wakening' of May 14th Meherabad:

Your Helplessness Will Make You Laugh and Few Actors Can Follow The Director's Instructions

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eloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! This morning [May 14th], I took a walk for 20 minutes. Then I was sitting on the porch, where I had my breakfast. The morning was very fresh. A breeze was there, and I was very happy with the morning walk around Sheela's house. Then I went to my room. Freeman brought the emails, and I dictated replies. Then Sheela asked me to take a bath. Freeman and Max were making arrangements to change my colostomy. I was lying in bed, and all of a sudden, a thought came in my mind, "Oh Baba, how helpless I have become! I depend upon others for everything. Day by day, this dependence goes on increasing." A voice came in my heart, as if Baba Himselfwere speaking, "Helpless? You have not yet become completely helpless. When you become completely helpless, you will not feel sorry. You will not feel sad. On the contrary, your helplessness will make you laugh. That is helplessness. You have no idea what you gain through your helplessness. You get inner strength. Physically you are ruined, but internally you are strong. Still you have to become more and more strong. The time has come for that. "You are My trusted one. My Mandali members are My trusted ones. I can trust them, because if anything happens, their faith in Me will not shake. They have rocklike faith in Me, and therefore I rely on them. They are My asset. They are the medium of My Universal Work. I torture them to any extent, but their love remains just the same. On the contrary, they love Me more and more. I am their strength, and I am the only One on Whom they rely. Such persons now I will have after 700 years, when I come back. No one can replace them. "Then there is another category who love Me. But their love and faith are not as strong as My Mandali members, whom I use for

My Universal Work. They also are reallovers. The category of these lovers is separate. "For example, Perfect Master Ramdas had a disciple named Kalyan, who was not in his circle. The circle members were different, but Kalyan loved Ramdas very much. "One day, Swami Ramdas came to his mandali. Kalyan was there. Ramdas had a bandage on his leg, and he said, "I have got a terrible wound on my leg. The pain is unbearable. The pus is there in the wound, and the only way to relieve me from the pain is to suck the pus." No circle member came forward, so Kalyan started sucking the pus. But the swelling was actually a mango which Swami Ramdas had tied within the bandage. "The difference between the circle members and lovers is that circle members are used for Universal Work, while lovers are not. But such lovers are rare. "There is another category. They are in the first stage of love, called "Emotion." They appear as if they love Me more and more, and there is no equal to them. So they exhibit show. For that purpose they will go to any extent. They may act as if they love Me more than My circle members, but they do not hesitate to torture them. "Then there are other categories who do not know Me. They remain busy with their_ own religions as they become orthodox. They remain very, very rigid. If they come to know about Me, they abuse Me and criti-" cize Me. "The other category is atheist. They have nothing to do with God. They don't care for God. They don't believe in the existence of God. Yet the responsibility of all these people I have taken on. I am responsible for everyone. I am the director, producer and actor of the film of Creation. Therefore I have to play these three roles for everyone and everything. "Everyone is an actor in Creation, and he or she acts according to his or her impressions or sanskaras. These sanskaras are the bindings, so he or she remains bound by these sanskaras. As I am responsible for all this, it is My duty to release them. So I have to play the role of director, producer and actor in everyone. "But there are a few actors who can follow the instruction of the director. So the director relies upon them. He gives them any instruction without any hesitation, so that they may act to help others. I take upon the burden of their sanskaras by giving them vidyanic sanskaras. These vidyanic sanskaras

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can wipe out their binding sanskaras. Then I use these few actors for My Universal Work. They are My trusted ones. "The real lovers who do not expect anything from Me, remain dedicated to Me, and surrender to Me, they are also My trusted ones. But for others I have to work, and work and work, and suffer and suffer and suffer to make them the best actors so that they may not remain bound by their acting, but to remain bound with My pleasure. I suffer infinitely for them. I have to act very, very carefully with them, because they have a lot of burden from their own sanskaras. "The emotional ones exhibit their emotion, but then they do not hesitate to torture My lovers and circle members in order to show their love. I have to put up with all of them because they are My children. So My circle members not only are tortured by those who criticize and abuse Me, but they are also tortured by the emotional ones. Still I have to put up with them, because they are My children. "Therefore Bhau, I tell you, you are passing through different things because you are tortured. Don't worry, you are My trusted one. I know how you have established the Trust. How after I dropped My body, in order to fulfill My instructions, you wrote many books, working continuously day and ;ight. Then you took up the Trust work. I know how difficult it was to establish the ~'rust under the law, but you did it. How did you do it? Because I did it Myself through you. You are My medium, and now you are spending all your energy for the development of the Trust. "You are also careful, like My other Mandali Members, who never have any distinction of race, religion, caste, creed, sex or nationality. You realize that I am in them, and I only exist. Because you work for Me, in order to serve My cause, you keep all these distinctions away and never think ofduality. You always think about Unity, because you, like all My Mandali Members, are My trusted ones. "So do not lose heart and go on serving Me in a way which you think is under My Wish. I am with you, and I will never fail you. You may be proved a complete failure by the world. But I tell you, you are winning in My love. I trust you. What more do you want?" This happened here, when Freeman and Max were changing my colostomy. Then I was taking a bath.Just after my bath, I started dictating, first to Freeman and then to Max. One thing Beloved Baba also told Me through His silent voice in my heart, "How much care I take for you. Have you any idea? 14

You got heart trouble. Immediately, Anne, Freeman, Max, and your Shiva came to help you. There were others also to help you. Next, Sheela and David came from America. They all have been helping you. So I do not neglect you. Though I am making you helpless, at the same time I provide help to you. "You just see. A wave has become very strong in My Ocean, and all My lovers have become one. Because oftheir love for Me, they have become your strength. I am really very, very happy that you are offering their love to Me at My Samadhi and at the Dhuni. I feel proud of you. Know well, I am extremely pleased with you, because you salute and bow down to the love ofMy lovers which they have for me. So now, knowing fully well that I am your strength, and your helplessness is such that it is giving you more and more strength, you be happy and cheerful. "Again, I feel extremely happy to see that you offer flowers for my lovers in the Dhuni. I heard your prayer for them. I feel touched, and I feel happy." Bhau's second ':Awakening" ofMay 14th

Eruch Is My Peter Bhau Is My John Again, today [Monday, 14th May, 2001], something happened in the afternoon when I was taking rest. Because I could not sleep last night, I fell asleep for some time. I was very, very resdess. But today I'm really very happy. Beloved Baba appeared in my dream, smiling. He asked me, "Do you remember what I said to you early in the night on 30th January, 1969? Did I not ask Goher to bring the photo ofJohn [the disciple ofJesus]? "When she brought that photo, I asked her to hang it on the wall. I said to you, 'You are My John.' "You were amazed. You did not say any word, because you could see how I was suffering infinitely. That was the day when I had completed My Universal Work. I was at rest from 7:00 pm to 9:00 p.m., and you were very happy to see Me take rest." "I asked you to sit on the night watchman's chair for the first time after months, because always you would sit on My bed while giving Me massage. And then you saw yourself in the Trust Compound, and you felt amazed...a typist, staff, scores of people were working under you. You also saw My body being taken from Meherazad to Meherabad, and you felt extremely terrified. You saw different things at Meherabad, including press reporters. You saw many people there. They would come weeping. But when they would see My body,

they would feel as happy as if I were alive. All this I [Bhau] saw in the vision as I sat in the chair in His room. "And then after 9:00 p.m., I started having spasm after spasm. At the time, I told you that you are my John. "I suffered and suffered. At 10:00 p.m., I told you, 'Remember this: I am not this body.' "Then again at 11:00 p.m., I told you, 'Remember this: I am not this body.' "And then again at 12:00 midnight, I told you that 'I am not this body.' "I suffered and suffered tremendously, spasm after spasm. I was feeling that my bones were breaking. At 4:00 am., I called all the Mandali. They were holding My body, because I would get spasm after spasm. "Mter months, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. the night of 30th January 1969 was the first time I took complete rest, because on that day I completed My universal work. "Still, I had to release that work. In order to release it, I was facing infinite difficulties. Maya was opposing My work. It did not want Me to release it, because what was that work? It was that work, which would make the power ofMaya weak. That's why Maya was resisting. 31st January, at 12:15 p.m., was the day when I released that work. And then I was completely free. The work was released. "Before that, at about 10:00 am., when all the Mandali members were with Me, I pointed out the picture ofPeter [the disciple ofJesus], which was hanging in My room. I said, 'Eruch is my Peter.' I pointed out My picture ofJohn and said that, 'Bhau is my John.' "There was complete silence for 10 minutes. Again the spasms started. "So Bhau, don't forget that you are My John. When I was Jesus, I loved John very much. I trusted him so much that I gave My mother, Mary, to be under his care. Never forget that you are myJohn, and how much trust I have in you. "So do not lose heart. Serve Me till your last breath. I know that you will do so, in spite of the difficulties you are facing. Just be for Me. You are Mine. All the Mandali members are Mine. No one has any idea in the world what Gift My Mandali members have received from Me. Even my Mandali members do not know now. But they will know. Why have I selected them? Why have I kept them with Me to serve Me? No one can imagine. Only I know. They are all My jewels and pearls. They will always be with Me and one with Me. When the work which I had released manifests fully, then the world will realize the worth ofMy Man-


dali members. Then the world will remember Me, and shed tears to know how I suffered for the world, and how My Mandali members served Me at that time. "Never think that I am consoling you, but this is the Truth I am telling you today. My Mehera is with Me. My Mani is with Me. My Kaka is with Me. My Baidul is with Me. My Naja is with Me. My Pendu is with Me. All the Mandali Members who have departed, they are with Me, and they are my joy. You all left-out Mandali Members are also My joy. You are still in the body because you have to fulfill certain duties towards the world, and then you will have your place in the Ocean of My Infinite Heart. When I woke up, I was very quiet and silent, and thinking how compassionate my Beloved is. He is always with me. I was thinking this when Max opened the door of my room. I was quite awake, and dictated this to him. So as we go to press, no one is certain if or when Bhauji will continue on his world travels. It is all in the hands ofthe Beloved.

Garlic-Faced Kitty Davy

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ith Baba there was frequent change, never routine for long. He wanted one to be fluid and adaptable, to accept the easy and the difficult, unattached to either, with equal poise and cheerfulness. Not only did Baba plan the work ofeach, but He also made one feel He was the worker too by His intense interest in all one did. For example, when He came up the hill from lower Meherabad, or before He left in the morning, He would come to the kitchen to inspect what we were cooking. Naja, one of the earliest of the Eastern group told ofa day when she was cooking for the 200 Prem Ashram boys and Baba came into the kitchen to inspect the rice. Baba found the rice not too well cooked, each grain not separate as it should be and He had new rice freshly cooked. As Naja explained to us, it was not that Baba was concerned that the boys should have perfectly cooked rice, but He wanted to bring home a lesson to all: that all work, whether done for Him directly or indirectly, from the cooking of a simple dish to the writing ofa book, must not be carelessly done. From the kitchen Baba would go to the garden where the plants were being watered or seeds sown, or go to the office room to discuss the Meher Baba Journal, and go to the sewing room to take an interest in what

was being made. Baba, through His example, showed that the life of the spirit is unified, though made up of so many particles; a widening of interest, not a cutting down. One felt Baba's personal interest served a double purpose, for it also constituted a point of contact with the doer. It seemed that through such activity one came closer to Baba. He overlooked no one. No one knew when Baba would be just around the corner.This kept up a certain stimulating and tense feeling of expectancy, which one immediately missed when Baba was away. To one and all, Baba had a welcoming smile, a touch on the shoulder, an unspoken gesture signifying, "Are you happy? Are you well?" And in a strange way, one's frown or negative mood would disappear. No one can realize how much we did have of Baba's personal supervision, interest and care in the early years of training in Meherabad Ashram. Surely He was day by day giving us the example by which we were to remold our own lives: an example of Love in daily action. We, too, must find time for apparent trifles-show the kindly interest, speak the helpful word, be ever ready to adapt to changing circumstances, our own and others-and not be so busy or preoccupied that we could not attend to our neighbor's need; to put them offwith, "Oh, don't bother me now. Really I have not the time and what's more I don't know. Find out from someone else." And with a frustrated and annoyed look add, "So sorry, ask me another time." All Baba asked from each was a happy face and work done cheerfully.To Baba, this cheerfulness was a goal most worth striving for, a goal of paramount importance. Baba told us, "If you don't want to be old before you really ought to be old, be cheerful in thought, word, deed and appearance-most of all in appearance. Maybe you are not happy inside-perhaps gas in your stomach! But you must look happy. I always fmd half of you garlic-faced. When you eat garlic it is a smell passed on to all; so when you appear garlic-faced, that too

is contagious. It is a divine art to always look cheerful. It is a divine quality. It helps others. When you are garlic-faced, it makes others unhappy." Baba emphasized that no one must expect to get happiness from others, but be happy in oneselÂŁ So we would try to be gay, not look moody or bored. And Baba, calling the group together, would tell us what a tiring day He had had with the Godmad or the men mandali, thus preparing us to feel sympathetic. "I want to relax. I want to laugh," He would begin. "You," pointing to one of the group, "sing Me a song." To another, "Tell Me a story, a funny joke." If this brought no response, "Tell Me something amusing about your school days; act something; dance." There we sat, glued to our seats, frustrated, getting red-. der and hotter. Says one, "I have never sung." Another, "I have never danced. I am no good at storytelling. I remember no jokes." Baba goes on hammering, "What, you tell Me you love Me and want to please Me and when I ask, you say 'no.' What kind of love is this?" Some ofthe group responded spontaneously. But to Rano and me these times were a trial beyond description. Sometimes on special occasions Baba would ask all ofus to dress up in fancy dress, and this afforded much amusement and excitement, for we made our own costumes out of whatever the Ashram possessed and were thus kept busy for days ahead. Baba would be ready at the given hour, and when we would all appear before Him, He would select the winner. On one occasion, Rano and I dressed as Laurel and Hardy. Another time I won with a home-made chicken costume-although I later had a bad reaction to the feathers and became quite ill! From LoveAlone Prevails, by Kitty Davy,

Š 1981 by Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, Published by Sheriar Press

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An Around-the-World Pilgrimage to the Beloved

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hen the Avatar Meher Baba Center By Sam Ervin, Margaret Magnus and of Southern California was inspired to offer an around-the-world sweepstakes to Stephanie Ervin, Los Angeles seven places visited by Meher Baba - Meherazad, Meherabad, Avatar's Abode (Kid the entire family loves traveling, being together Mountain Australia), Meher Mount (Ojai, and creating shared memories. California), Meher Spiritual Center (Myrtle Due to work and school schedules, the Beach, South Carolina), St. Francis' Cave around-the-world trip could not be accom(Assisi, Italy), and the retreat at East plished in "one" trip. Instead, several individual Challacombe (near Combe Martin, England) trips were scheduled around school holidays. - they put in place a wonderful year for winMeher Baba had anticipated this win, for ner Sam Ervin, his wife Margaret Magnus, by the time the winner was announced, the and their daughter Stephanie Ervin. Ervin family already had plans to visit AusWhen Margaret wrote the check and filled tralia. Stephanie, then a sophomore in high out the sweepstakes tickets, she wrote in the school, had always wanted to go name "Sam Australia Ervin" besince she had cause it was done a report the shortest on the counin the family. try in elemenIt turned out tary school. In that Baba 1999, she had knew what asked if she He was docould go with ing. MargaEarthwatch ret would to study dolhave deemed phins in Austhe trip imtralia near possible and Brisbane not accepted (about one Avatar's Abode, Australia it. Stephanie hours drive did not have the resources to support the trip. from Avatar's Abode). Thus, Baba had already Sam, on the other hand, accepted winning as planned the fIrSt leg of the pilgrimage. both a gift and a message from Meher Baba. Francis Brabazon wrote about Avatar's Thus, Sam set the goal to visit all seven places Abode, a 99-acre property on the summit of within one year. Kiel Mountain on Q!Ieensland's Sunshine Winning also turned out to be a gift to the Coast: '~vatar's Abode is a stopping place on rest of the family. Margaret likes to travel ex- the road to the Beloved, for He stopped here tensivelyand is always balancing that with vis- on the road to our hearts and took over the iting Beloved Baba's Tomb Shrine. Stephanie lives of those who came and gave themselves likes adventure and seeing new places. And to Him." Meher Baba visited

Francis Brabaxon gravesite, Australia

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Avatar's Abode in 1958, and His house and room are preserved and available for all pilgrims. The Ervin family then spent the following Christmas (1999) in Myrtle Beach. Meher Baba called the Meher Spiritual Center His "Home in the West." Kitty Davy in her book, LoveAlone Prevails, quotes Mani (Baba's sister): "The Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach is the sweet fruit of Elizabeth Patterson's love for Baba. The seed

was sown by Baba and it grew under His direct guidance. The Beloved denies performing

The Boathouse, Meher Spiritual Centeer

miracles but the Meher Spiritual Center is undeniably a miracle ofHis love." In February 2000, Sam, who worried that the whole family would not get to India within his self-specified tirneframe, went on his own. Baba's chair in the Barn Spring vacation 2000 was spent in Italy. According to the book Lord Meher, Baba wished to stay in seclusion for 24 hours somewhere in Italy and chose Assisi because it was the home ofSt. Francis, who was a God-Conscious Perfect Master. Mter His seclusion, Baba told his followers, '~

The Cave at Assisi


verge on these places, and so they become places of pilgrimage."

The Ervinfamily impressions ofthe trip:

big meeting ofspiritual personages took place here the likes ofwhich has never before been held." In May 2000, Sam and Stephanie alo~g with Kacy Cook (a resident at Meherazad VlSiting Southern California) went to Meher Mount. On Thursday, August 2,1956, Meher Baba visited the hilltop center called Meher Mount, which had been established by Agnes Baron. "I love Meher Mount very much and feel happy here," Meher Baba gestured to Agnes, according to accounts in Lord Meher; "Next to Myrtle Beach, I love this place best. In the summer of 2000, the entire family went to East Challacombe on the way to Meherazad and Meherabad. Meher Baba visited East Challacombe in 1931 and 1932. At East Challacombe, "Baba candidly disclosed to his followers in England that he was the Avatar, the Messiah, the Christ for whom the world had long been waiting. Although God first appeared in physical form in the Ea~t, He first revealed Himself to be the Avatar In the West." (Lord Meher.) Meher Baba's visits to these places of pilgrimage are chronicled in several books, including the multi-volume Lord Meher. "Places of pilgrimage are sanctified because of the Lord's Presence Eruch Jessawala, one of Meher Baba's Mandali, IS quoted as saying in Bill Le Page's book, The Tuming ojthe Key. "Hearts do get drawn towards His places where He stayed, and which have His atmosphere. So places like Avatar's Abode, Meherabad, Meherazad, and Myrtle Beach, become the centre offocus ofhumanity, and naturally people from all parts ofthe world wish to con-

Meher Baba used this pilgrimage opportunity to draw our hearts toward Him. Eruch says, "People do get drawn by His love, by His universal work which means to shower His love upon His creatures and creation, and which helps eventually draw hearts towards him." Meher Baba gave our entire family a gift of His presence by providing u~ with ~le opportunity to visit places he sanctified WIth His visits. Meher Baba also drew us closer to him through the people we met in each place. Sharing their stories, the love of Meher Baba and our mutual focus on Him provided nourishment on the journey to the Avatar. So, while the sightseeing, food and travel were fun, seeing Baba friends and meeting new ones created an opportunity to celebrate our common bond with the Beloved and some of our most cherished memories. The world-wide Meher Baba community is still small. Thus, meeting and sharing with other lovers is sometimes rare and always a treat. It's clear that throughout the world, He has connected us all tllrough His Love. Thus, wherever our family went, Baba lovers opened their homes and hearts, helped us fmd the special places associated with Baba's work, and shared their Baba stories with us. In Australia, we connected with friends we had met previously in India. B~ and Di~na Le Page gave us a tour ofAvatars Abode, m-

vited us to their home for lunch, and took us to the coast to have dinner at their favorite fish and chips shop. We also caught up with the Bowling family (Gusi, David, Morgan, Margaret, Owen, Lizzie) who cele~r~ted Stephanie's birthday with us. Later we JOIned them for a Baba meeting at their home. In Myrtle Beach, we ran into old friends, such as Will David who had just published his book, Universal Prayer. He signed a dozen copies for us to give to friends and family for Christmas presents. Kendra CrossenBurroughs and husband Jonathan had just moved from Meher Mount in Ojai back to Myrtle Beach - and they had bee~ delayed and missed their own farewell meetmg at the Los Angeles Center - so it was great to say "goodbye" in Myrtle Beach. Sa~ c~ught up with long-time friend Andrea W InZilller, and

we had a chance to meet new friends, including Charlie Mills who did a wonderful Meher Baba painting commissioned by us. In Assisi, Valeria Violati showed us the cave where Meher Baba said He had the 1932 meeting with the spiritual hierarchy- and then fixed a wonderful lunch for us. We sat outside at her farmhouse, with the rolling green hills and her white horses in the background, and shared our Baba stories. We also met Caris Arkin and his family. At Meher Mount in Ojai, a place where we had been many times, it was great to take Kacy for the first time, and visit with Billy, Pamela and Anabelle Goodrum. In England, Frank and Lyrme Kidston gave us directions - otherwise we might never have made a few obscure turns to get to the retreat at East Challacombe. And the Leggs, Angela and David, who live in the restored dairy "barn."They fed us the true British 'High Tea' with fresh baked scones, strawberry preserves, thick rich clotted cream, and copious cups of tea. While we ate, they shared their scrapbooks 17


ofvisits and clippings about Meher Baba. In East Challacombe, we had not realized that Bhau Kalchuri's exhausting itinerary for the year 2000 would have taken him there the week before we arrived. Angela Legg recalled his visit fondly and mentioned he had called her his "angeL" We also had the impression that some of the local Baba people were still a bit fatigued form keeping up with Bhau's challenging schedule. We wrapped up the year-long pilgrimage by going straight from East Challacombe to Meherazad and Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, India. There we offered this pilgrimage to the Eternal Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba. We celebrated the end of this particular journeywith our Baba family in India - the Mandali, residents and fellow pilgrims. Visiting Meherabad and Meherazad is like coming home to Baba, His Samadhi. It did not feel like the end of the pilgrimage, perhaps because in a small way our journey symbolized the pilgrimage we all must make, in our hearts, to Him.

Mohammed and Gabe

AudioTape Lending Library Do you ever find yourselfin a 'dry spell' spiritually? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to than negative news, weather and traffic reports during your travels? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings?The audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into byinquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. For catalog or info write to Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. She is ready to assist you. 18

Wendy Haynes Connor's Memories of the East-West Gathering Kendra Crossen Burroughs Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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uring the week of the anniversary of the East-West Gathering, Wendy Haynes Connor spoke with characteristic charm and humor to a packed audience at Meher Center, recalling her attendance at the Gathering at age 11, along with her mother, Jane Barry Haynes, and brothers Charles and John. Several other people who had been there too were in the audience, including Nancy Merwan from L.A. and Irwin Luck. About 150 Westerners attended the East-West Gathering, along with some 15,000 Indians, much more than the 3,000 Easterners that had been expected. Wendy began by saying what a joy it is to share stories ofBaba. Elizabeth Patterson used to say that Baba is the one subject that never gets boring-which makes sense, since the subject is InfInite Love itself. The Gathering took place at Guruprasad in Pune from November 1 to 4,1962, though there was one extra, private session on the morning of November 5 when Baba met with the Westerners. Wendy felt that Baba gave the Westerners that extra time because "we needed it." He also allowed the Westerners to sit in the front of the audience, the women on one side and the men on the other. (At one point He had the men and women switch sides, which may have had some deep meaning.) Baba also met privately with Wendy's brother John on one day when He was not seeing anyone elsebecause it was John's birthday. Wendy had fIrst met Baba in Myrtle Beach in 1958. Shortly after Baba left the U.S., the Haynes family, with Baba's permission, moved to New York City for several years so that Jane could study acting with Lee Strassburg. From their fIrst meeting with Baba the family received cables from Baba (or from Mani and Mehera when Baba was in seclusion). Baba always remembered to send love to their pets too-Wendy's cat, Puff, and Charles' dog, Buff. Their lives revolved around Baba and the excitement ofgetting messages from Him. Baba would send messages to Jane like, "Don't worry, don't be nervous, don't be afraid, I am with you." Wendy described her experience upon arrival in India as like being on another planet. It was so totally different from any-

thing she had known. She remembered the heat physically assaulting them as they deplaned. Meherjee met them, and Baba had arranged for a team of tireless Indian volunteers to see to their every need throughout the trip. (Those of us who attended the 1969 Darshan had a similar experience with the wonderful Bombay volunteers, who were at the airport to greet us on arrival in the wee hours of the morning and took us everywhere so that we did not have to worry about any of the details and could just focus on Baba. This kind of courtesy was, and still is, a hallmark of Baba's love for His lovers.) Wendy made some interesting comments about how Baba appeared to her in 1962 compared with 1958. In 1958 she had perceived Baba as an American-He just seemed natural and familiar; in 1962 the sense of Baba as an Easterner struck her for the fIrst time. She also noticed that Baba's eyes darted constantly from one place to the next-whereas in 1958 He would more often look straight at you, and you would feel His glance like a thunderclap. The only time she recalled Him looking directly at them was when He held up the hem of His sadra and told them very seriously to hold on to His daaman. Baba looked older and more tired in 1962, yet He also looked radiant. He told them, "I look all right on the outside, but inside I am like a volcano." Perhaps world events were weighing on Him, as this was during a dangerous time of conflict between India and China. When she fIrst met Baba as a six-yearold, Wendy was drawn to Baba naturally and spontaneously, withou t really knowing who He was. But in 1962 she had begun to understand that He was the Christ, and this made her a bit nervous and self-conscious. Yet when she fIrst saw Baba at Guruprasad (that magnifIcent palace, which the Indians inexplicably referred to as a "bungalow"), she forgot her nervousness and ran straight to Him. Throughout the Gathering, she and Charles were quite aggressive about getting close to Baba (John, being older-I think he was 13-was a bit more reserved). In Baba's embrace time seemed to stop, though later Eruch would tell her it had only been seconds.


Baba's first questions were always about people's health. Wendy showed how He would gesture in a simple way that she could easily understand: How is your health? Did you sleep? Did you eat well? Later she felt that Baba was saying: do your best to keep well; we should take care ofourselves so that He can work on us, because illness can be very distracting. When you've done your part to keep well, then if you do get sick, that's His will. Another question Baba often asked, usually all of a sudden, was "What are you thinking?" What a joy when you could honestly say, "Of you, Baba!" With this question Baba was reminding us that thinking of Him is the number one priority. There was one day when the women mandali, as a surprise, dressed Wendy in a beautiful yellow sari with a blue blouse. She came out to show the others, and Baba admired it. Then a little while later Baba suddenly asked her, "Who do you love more, Mommy or Baba?" At that moment Wendy happened to be trying to get her mother's eye and wondering whether her mother liked her in the sari, so she began to answer Baba, "Mo-," and then caught herself and said, "You, Baba!" When Baba first came out onto the platform, Wendy described how thousands of people roared, "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!" not just three times but over and over again. Baba raised His hands straight up and joined His palms together over His head in a salute to His lovers. An unforgettable image, even just hearing about it second hand. On the first day of the Gathering, Wendy recalled Baba asking Leonard Willoughby, a black Baba-lover from New York, to sing the Negro spiritual "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" just as he had done for Baba in Myrtle Beach. Wendy said Lenny's voice wasn't really that good, but it didn't matter, he belted out the song with enthusiasm, and she was struck when Baba held out His palm and commented on the world being like a tiny speck in His hand. (I wonder what ever happened to Lenny. Mter Baba dropped the body, he became a Hare Krishna and really felt Baba wanted him to chant the name of Krishna. He made a striking figure, tall and graying, in his yellow Hare Krishna garb.) A recurring theme throughout the Gathering was Baba's teasing Ben Hayman from Texas, "Are you awake, Ben?" Ben had narcolepsy and would frequently nod off, but when Baba asked ifhe was awake, he'd always snap up and say yes. (Some years ago-does anyone remember?-we heard briefly from a nephew

of Ben Hayman's, asking the Meher Baba Listserv to tell him about Baba.) Quite naturally, it was the more humorous and light-hearted events that attracted Wendy's attention at age 11; she didn't understand the discourses (but she added, "I wasn't the only one!,,)-but she did recall Baba saying, "It's not your love for me that brought you to me-it's My love for you that brought you to me." Wendy herself had trouble staying awake on one occasion when qawwali singers were performing, as the music was very strange to her and it was also very hot (up to 110 degrees). She happened to be sitting right by Baba's chair, and He awakened her by nudging her with His elbow. At one point Baba remarked on the heat and said casually, "It may rain" -then a minute later it absolutely poured, causing the pandal (awning) to break and everyone to get soaked. Baba sent the Western women inside, where the women mandali looked for dry clothes for them to change into. They ended up looking like quite a motley crew. Elizabeth, who was large (Wendy showed Baba's gesture signifying a chunky person), had a hard time finding something that would fit, until Rano dug out Elizabeth's own bathrobe, which she had left in India after her stay in the Nasik ashram in the 1930s. Elizabeth was delighted, and it fit perfectly. (Wendy pulled the silk robe out of her bag and showed it to us.) When she came out in her robe, Baba introduced her to the ocher-garbed yogi sitting next to Him (Yogi Bharati), a fifth-plane saint. Baba told him that Elizabeth was "the head of My center in America," and Elizabeth later remarked, "I'm sure he thought that was my presidential robe!" One ofBaba's discourses was on the four journeys to Infinite God. It was difficult to follow, but afterward Baba said that this discourse would be useful for posterity, and that Baba's lovers, those who receive His grace, have nothing to do with these journeys. "Where you go on the journey is not important if you hold on to My daaman." Wendy vividly described the image of seven women, each in a different-colored sari, like Baba's flag, performing Arti at dusk, waving trays with flaming camphor before a majestic-looking Baba and singing the Hindi ani that goes, "Meher mana arati sweekaaro - I offer my mind to Thee; accept it, Meher, as my ani". A message that stayed with Wendy over the years was when Baba told her, "Be cheerful in My love." It took her years to understand the importance to Baba of cheerful-

a

ness. Wendy feels it means we must not allow ourselves to be dragged under by all the things that Baba brings up in us. It's an inner acceptance of His will. Wendy's last glimpse ofBaba at the end of the Gathering was when Baba was in the car and she was struggling to break through the crowd to get near Him and catch sight of Him. Tears began rolling down her cheeks, as she sensed (like many others) that this would be the last time she would ever see Baba. Finally she did get near the driver's side of the car and Baba gestured to her, not to cry, that He was with her. What did that mean? Certainly over the years she has not always felt He was with her. But later she understood the deeper significance that He has given us His precious form to focus on, so that we don't have to focus on ourselves and can put Him first.

A Note from Our Trust-walli

...

Lynne Berry

I

f you've been thinking that some time: you'd like to make a love-donation to the Tmst, today may be the perfect time. TheAvatar Meher BabaTmst lUns a firstrate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Tmst properties.There are also beneficiaries of the trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of these wortl1Y projects were specified by Baba Hin1Self, in the Tmst Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastem and'Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so mucl1 to all of us. If tl1is appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Tmst, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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Step Jnside... 7he

T

his is the month that Lawrence (Hermes) Reiter can heave a huge sigh of reliefl The project he started way back in 1985 (it must seem like lifetimes to him!) is finally complete. In '85 Hermes and Bhau Kalchuri sat down to work out the details of bringing to print the mighty Lord Meher biography that Bhau had written, originally in Hindi, from 1971 to 1973. From 1973 to 1974 Feram Workingboxwala assisted Bhau with the English translation. Then it fell to Bhau's son-in-law David Fenster to touch up the English (!) and compile a veritable mountain ofpapers. This job alone took five years! Then Hermes started on the editing of it and the placement of many hundreds of wonderful photos. Twenty volumes in all-with costs escalating way beyond their original calculations -have finally been published. We are now stocking volumes 19/20. Up to volume five, Hermes was printing them separately, but found with rising prices, it was more economical to bind two together. So starting with six, they have always been in twos. So much had been written about the period 1937-1941 that vplume seven had to be broken up into two parts, so we have 6/7 part one and 7 (part two) and 8. The call for the first two volumes was sO great that Hermes had those reprinted as a double set, and he tells me in the future three and four will be similarly handled. Volume three is sold out but we do have some of four and five left ifyou wish to start-or fill in your collection. The double volumes are $80 each and the singles, $45. As I was placing the new books on the shelf at the Bookstore I noticed what I felt was a very nice touch: on the back cover of this final volume is Baba's signatureM S Irani- in gold, right across the cover. So beautiful and so very fitting! Hermes was pretty familiar with Baba's life even before he started editing and publishing the biography, because in 1975 he started traveling the world seeking out photos ofthe Avatar. He bought up as many negatives as he could. These negatives that he so diligently collected were carefully preserved and stored. He then set up his darkroom and started printing thousands ofwonderful never before seen photos and made them available for sale. Hermes tells me he will probably go back to printing these photos-after a well-deserved rest. Thank you Hermes! Danny Ladinsky's three books on his renderings ofHafiz into today's English continue

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to place in the Best Sellers list around the world. The last to be published, The Gift, topped the best selling lists ofpoetry books for 1999. Now we hear that in Ireland I Heard God Laughing is number 12 on the list. What is so wonderful about this is that no one can seriously read I Heard God Laughing and not ask who is Meher Baba, for it talks so directly of Baba, God Speaks and the Discourses. Danny's next book, to be released by Penguin, will be titled Love PoemsJor God. It has in the lineup 12 of the heaviest hitters around, both East and West, which includes four women: Rabia, Mira, St. Teresa and Sr. Catherine. To add to his good fortune, Penguin are buying the original book of Hafiz' poems that he self published- The Subject Tonight Is Love. When he is not at home asking Baba for more inspiration on the translations of further Hafiz, Danny gives readings ofhis works around the country. At the continued urging of his fans, Danny has released a recording of one of these readings. See the review section for Kendra's take on The Giving. Talking of Kendra, that sounds a very interesting edition ofthe Bhagavad Gita she has worked on. I bought tl1e particular version we usually sell because the Vedanta Society told me it was the best. But I think from now on I will be stocking the one you can read about in the review section, willi annotations and explanations by our own Kendra Crossen Burroughs. Paperback $16 Wendell Brustman is doing wonderful work for us all in his ongoing work with The Witness Series. The latest release are four video talks with Lud Dimpfl, each of which gives you a very up close and personal view ofwhat it was like being under the Avatar's thumb. Each video runs about an hour. $40

Here's an exciting piece of news. Many of you have been treated to Katie Irani's cooking when she was in the States. I remember one time in Los Angeles she even gave cooking classes! Well the recipe book she has been promising to write for years is becoming a reality. It has lots of her recipes (it's about 300 pages), paperback, spiral binding (very helpful in a cookbook), printed in Pune, with a Baba cover (a painting by Wodin) a number of BabaKatie stories, and a few of His special favorite foods. As soon as it comes off the press-be assured the Love Street Bookstore will be stockinE; it. All proceeds go to the Trust-of course! Watch these pages or check our new website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com. As a child, I was sure that fairies existed, but I never actually saw any. Well in Jim Peterson's book The Secret Lift ofKids the children definitely see them, and a whole lot of other things too. A fascinating read for those with children or who work with children. You often hear of quite psychic children who lose llie ability as they get older. Usually it's the parents and other adults who quash that ability by ridiculing it. How fortunate are our children to be able to see Baba-to have Hin1 as a playmate! Let's encourage lliem. Paperback, $16 Dina Snow

Music Reviews

The Giving: Poems ofHafiz, Rumi, Mira, Kabir, and St.john ofthe Cross Daniel Ladinsky and Kathleen Barker by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs I used to joke to friends that my idea of hell is being trapped in a room while someone is reading their poems. Well, now I have


to modifY that statement, because you can lock me in a room with Daniel Ladinsky and Kathy Barker anytime. Danny, as many of you know, is the author of three volumes of renderings of Hafiz. Kathy is his partner in life and in performance, and I have always found their poetry recitals at Meher Center to be utterly charming. The next best thing to hearing them in person is to put on this CD, dim the lights, and use their soft words as a cushion for your head (to borrow a phrase from one of the poems). This recording is an informal, unedited presentation, not a polished commercial product but certainly not a shabby homemade one either. The recitations are accompanied by Kathy's light-as-a-feather playing ofdulcimer and guitar, and punctuated with Danny's joyous laughter and asides ranging from the personal ("Doesn't Kathy sound cute?") to the explanatory ("Ofcourse, Hafiz never used the word spitballs"). A couple of minuscule flubs do not detract from the recording; for me they add to its immediacy and good humor, a feeling of being right there having fun at a live performance piece. At one point there IS even an allusion to sales figures, which made me chuckle, but I hasten to add Danny and Kathleen that the success of Danny's work is a welcome thing, not only because a talented person deserves recognition, but also because his contribution is important. In the debate, sometimes angry, over the value ofpoetic "renderings" and "versions" versus "translations" by native speakers or Ph.D.s, we may fail to notice that a unique English-language art form is emergingghazal-inspired devotional poetry that sings into our own ears and speaks to our own experience and culture, awakening feelings and understandings that we never felt or understood before. Artists such as the poet Thomas Rain Crowe and Raine Eastman Gannett (singing Francis Brabazon's ghazals, among other wonderful things) are also making their mark in this new territory. And at the same time, other talented people, such as Shahriar Shahriari, help us to appreciate what HafIZ means and sounds like to the Per ian culture. It's all one big wild party, and I say the more people who collapse drunk at it, the better.

But back to those two drunken beauties, Danny and Kathy. I enjoy their highly original style of reciting, a leisurely, rhythmic intonation that transports you into a sacred space, an altered consciousness, a place where the normal world doesn't make a bit of sense. You have entered a crazy garden where a guy who calls himself Hafiz cavorts with Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, and Saint John of the Cross, of all people. It is a place of romance, mystery, seductiveness, humor, surprise, and a touch of melancholy. Danny and Kathy take turns reciting the same poem, or sometimes she will repeat the line he just delivered, or maybe he will say it twice just because he likes it so much, or maybe she or he will do a poem alone. Together or individually, they do well in the contest of madness. I like the very intimate quality of this CD. Hafiz's poems themselves are known for their uncanny tendency to speak directly to the reader's concerns. Something rather bizarre like that occurred when I listened to the poems. I had written down the first two sentences of this review and then settled down to play the CD. Somewhere in the midst of it, I was stunned to hear HafizDanny intone: "May I speak to you like we are close and locked away together?" Weird! 60 minutes. Recordedprivately at Windy Hill, SC, 2001. $12

the Sufi ghazals in an eclectic blend ofworld and folk melodies which effectively make the classic beauty of Hafiz's lyrics available to the modern, English speaking listener. In particular, his feel for American blues music evokes the ambiance of the traditional Sufi tavern, adding a sense of mystery to the classic Persian themes of lover and beloved, the wine of Divine intoxication, and the tortuous path of love. James is an accomplished blues singer who has performed with many of the all-time great blues artists including John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and original Kansas City blues shouter 'Big' Joe Turner. James' treatment of the poetry of Hafiz brings a solid barroom feel to the Sufi tavern of Hafiz. $16.95

Book Reviews

The Secret Life ofKids

The Songs ofHafiz; James R. Newell

This is another gem/i'om one o.lour favorite musicians. The/allowing is/i'om his press release: Recording artist James R. Newell has skillfully adapted the lyric poetry of 14th century Persian Sufi Poet Hafiz of Shiraz to American folk music idioms. The result is the powerful new CD entitled The Songs oJHajiz.James has set the classic images of

Jim Peterson 1 was delighted when Dina told me she'd like to carry my book, The Secret LifeoJKids, in the Love Street Bookstore. Although certainly it's not a 'Baba book,' it is based on my understanding of Meher Baba's teachings. It also features interesting anecdotes from many Baba lovers, including Charmian and Mary Knowles, Sonja Lawson, Pauli Warren and Leatrice Johnston's daughter, Sheri-and my own son, Blake. There are even a couple of Baba stories! One should not be worried about the word 'psychic' in the subtitle. The book is about the growth proces es of children, and it discusse how more children than you might think have occasional glimpses and experiences of the 21


inner planes. All through the book, however, I put 'psychic experiences' into the wide, spiritual perspective we know from Baba's teachings, and do everything I can to discourage the use and expansion of such faculties. The other half dozen books on this subject all encourage parents to have children develop these sensory abilities. One reason I had for writing The Secret Life of Kids was to help get Meher Baba's perspective on this topic out into the world. Perhaps I might give some background about how this book came into being. Immediately after attending the Great Darshan in Pune in 1969, I got a summer job as a camp counselor. The camp for underprivileged children was near Philadelphia, so local east coast Baba lovers often came over to visit. Bob Brown was a regular, and he wrote songs about our camp and sang to the children while they were in their bunks. I was working with six to nine year old boys and I had set up my bed area (a corner of an army-style bunkhouse) with a dresser, a chair and several Baba photos. During my one hour offl would always sit in the chair and silently repeat Baba's name-my 'mantra.' One day the kids came back early from swimming and two boys, Drew and Eric, immediately ran over to my chair and whispered to each other, "Do y~u see what I see?" "Yeah," Drew said, "There are colors coming out ofJim's stomach!"The two boys then started describing rainbow col0:'$ emanating from my stomach, chest and head. Later I discovered the boys could not only see the colors in the aura, but they also saw nature spirits in the woods-fairies and elves. We would frequently go on fairy hunts behind the bunkhouse and see how close we could get to the fairies. One morning Drew told me that at night he saw white light coming out of the picture of "that man" on the wall. The light went all the way across the 15 foot wide bunkhouse and disappeared through the opposite wall. I asked Drew which picture ofMeher Baba was emanating the light and he pointed to the tiny 5X7 picture of Baba playing a drum that was mounted over the head of my bed. It was interesting that Drew did not point to the two huge poster photos ofBaba I also had up on the wall. No, it was the small photo that was given to me at Darshan by Jal-Bhai and was blessed by Meher Baba. Mter three summers at camp and more children with paranormal experiences, I began my teaching career in a second grade public school classroom in Walnut Creek, CA.

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There I found several more kids who saw my aura and related phenomena. My professors at U.C. Berkeley, where I was working on my master's degree, suggested I expand my interviews of these kids and present the data as my master's degree thesis. Over the years I kept collecting more and more data about these odd, but not so uncommon, childhood glimpses into the inner planes. I developed theories ofhow these experiences fit in with normal patterns of childhood growth, and most importantly, why these psychic experiences stop as the children mature. Finally, in 1985 the editor of Q,yest Books asked me to write up my material as a book. Since Q,yest is a theosophical publisher, they were not happy with some of my Meher Baba vocabulary. In discussions of metaphysics, for example, I had to use the term "kama-manas" when I referred to the subtle body. They also cut a few references to Meher Baba. But I think any Baba lover, particularly one who has children or who works with children, will enjoy The Secret Life ofKids. These kinds ofchildhood experiences may even have a connection to the coming New Humanity. My own son, Blake, for instance, had the following experience while visiting the Pune Baba center. This is quoted from the "Research in the 90's" chapter of this second edition of my book: "In 1996 while on a pilgrimage to India' we stopped at the Pune Center. K.K. Ramakrishnan showed us the room where Baba would rest before or after darshan programs. Blake bowed down to Baba's pillow there and almost jumped back. He said, "Dad, do you know what I just felt? It felt like bolts of lightning were flashing through my brain! It was so strong." I think these sorts of experiences may help children to grow up taking the reality of the spiritual world for granted. And that gives them a nice head start on the Path we older folks hold so dear.

The Annotated Bhagavad Gita Translated by Shri Purohit Swami Annotated by Kendra Crossen Burroughs "In the Bhagavad Gita, those who long to know how to fight wisely for the future will find a handbook of spiritual warrior- hood and divine realization that will constantly inspire and ennoble them ...The message of

the Gita is one of perfect spiritual balance." -from the foreword by Andrew Harvey. "This simple, beautiful translation by Shri Purohit Swami and the wonderful annotations by Kendra Crossen Burroughs make this site the very best Gita for firsttime readers as well as any who want to absorb its extraordinary message: taste the divine wars herein, and you might never thirst again." -Ken Wilbur, author of A Theory of Everything

What do you think will happen?" Ghazal838 if you can't go to sleep my dear soul for tonight what do you think will happen if you pass your night and merge it with dawn for the sake of heart what do you think will happen if the entire world is covered with the blossoms you have labored to plant what do you think will happen if the elixir of life that has been hidden in the dark fills the desert and towns what do you think will happen if because of your generosity and love a few humans find their lives what do you think will happen ifyou pour an entire jar filled with joyous wine on the head of those already drunk what do you think will happen go my friend bestow your love even on your enemies ifyou touch their hearts what do you think will happen Translation by Nader Khalili Rumi, Fountain of Fire, Burning Gate Press, 1992


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Children's Corner

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he kindergarten teacher was showing her class an encyclopedia page picturing several national flags. She pointed to the American flag and asked, "What flag is this?" A litde girl called out, "That's the flag of our country." "Very good," the teacher said. "And what is the name of our country?" "Tis of thee," the girl said confidently.

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After putting her children to bed, a mother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was that?"

Two litde boys were visiting their grandfather, and he took them to a restaurant for lunch. They couldn't make up their minds about what they wanted to eat. Finally the grandfather grinned at the server and said, "Just bring them bread and water." One of the litde boys looked up and quavered, "Can 1 have ketchup on it?"

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A new neighbor asked the little girl next door if she had any brothers and sisters. She replied, "No, I'm the lonely child."

A mother was telling her little girl what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. 1 had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" 1 mentally polished my halo while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her father's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. 1 would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

A 10 old, under the tutelage ofher grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then one day she floored her grandmother by asking, "Which Virgin was the mother ofJesus: the Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?"

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off thy neighbor's wife."

速 A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew, occasionally walking around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl, who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl casually replied, "I'm drawing God."The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A first grader was sitting in class as the teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to acquire building materials for his home. She said "...And so the pig went up to the man with

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a wheelbarrow full of straw and said 'Pardon me sir, but might I have some of that straw to build my house with?' Then the teacher asked the class, "And what do you think that man said?" My friend's son raised his hand and said "I know! I know!, he said..... 'Holy smokes! A talking pig!'"

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands ofwhite hair sticking ou t in contrast on her brunette head. She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" He~ mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white." The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "So, Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"

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~ Suhmitted hy Alexandra Cons

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ince my daughter Rabia (now seven) was quite young, we have had the tradition of my singing her one of Baba's anis as a final goodnight. When she got old enough, I began to allow her to choose which one she wanted to hear: Bujawe, Adi Sachetena (the Hindi arti) or the Australian. Her favorite choice has varied over the years and, for a time she added The Seven Names of God to the selection. Today, as Rabia sat on my lap, moaning with a fever of 103.8, she said, "Mommy, 1 have a joke for you. Which ani did the little ghost ask her mother to sing?" The answer, in case you haven't guessed, is BOO-Jave.

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2lawaii* Honolulu June 9, 1932 - stayed at the Moana Hotel. Visited the Royal Hawaiian Hotel next to the Moana and enjoyed a performance in the coconut grove there. Drove outside city to the pineapple groves. Went to the Empire Cinema. June 10thdrove through Honolulu to the Huimalu Hotel. Visited a large fish aquarium. Went to the theatre in the evening. June 11th - drove to La Pietra villa on a hill near Diamond Head. Left Honolulu enroute to China from Honolulu harbor. January, 1935 Baba mailed letters from Honolulu to His lovers. No other information available regarding this trip.

Japan Yokohama June 19th,1932 crowded streets.

the Empress oJ]apan docked in Yokohama Harbor. Went on a tour of the city and walked through the

Kobe June 20th, 1932 -landed and strolled throughout the city.

China Shanghai June 22,1932 - tea at the Palace Hotel which overlooked the Huangpu River. Baba asked to be taken to the slums of Shanghai and He walked the area on foot for three hours. June 23rd - Baba visited the restaurant of Mr. Chung. That evening all saw a movie at the Cathay Movie Theater then boarded the train for Nanking. June 28th, 1932 - arrived at the train station and left that afternoon for Bombay.

Nanking June 24th, 1932 - arrived at the train station. Stayed at Herbert's house two miles from the station. Went to the Great Wall in Nanking and walked along a nearby lake for quite a distance. Drove up the Purple Mountain to Sun Yat-Sen's memorial. Later walked in the poor sections of town. June 26th - visited a temple of Confucius.Visited the National cinema.

Hong Kong July 1, 1932 - arrived at Hong Kong Harbor. Visited the home of Rustom E. Desai. Toured the city. Went to the Qyeen Theater to see a film. Returned to their ship. February 2, 1935 - visited homes of Rustom E. Desai and Mr. S. Pestonji in Kowloon. Left the next day.

SinfJapore July 6th, 1932 - drove around the city in a taxi, saw a film at the Capital Cinema. Had dinner at the Madras Cafe. Spent the next day in Singapore, leaving for Colombo on July 8th. February 7th, 1935-docked in Singapore harbor. Visited local Chinese dentist. No other information available.

~aIatJsia July 9, 1932-Visited the Buddha and Snake Temples in Penang.

Cey Ion (Sri ,Lanka) Colombo July 13,1932 - disembarked at the harbor, sent a telegram then drove around Columbo in a taxi. January 15,1933 - stayed at the Villa Valencia on a hill between the towns ofBandarawela and Dyatalawa. January 19visited a Buddhist Temple in Bandarawela.January 27th - returned to Columbo remaining in seclusion there until January 30th, then left for India. February 13, 1935-Ship docked at 2:00 p.m. leaving at 8:00 p.m. No information that Baba disembarked.

Talaimannar (Mannar) - Veyangoda November 3,1940 - traveled by train from the ferry at Talaimannar to Veyangoda, by car to Hickgalla Estate.

Kandy November 16, 1940 - arrived at Primrose Hill Estate on Hololuwa Road. November 21- went to nearby Botanical Gardens. November 24 - went to Dambulla and Anuradhapura. December 5th -left for Calicut, India. *D,: Meredith Moon has a list oJall known Baba lo路vers in Hawaii. PO Box 1269, Maka'wao, HI96768 Phone 808-573-1188 Fax: 808-573-1189 email' drmoon@maui. net.

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Honolulu, Hawaii, 1932

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uri~g his visit to Hollyw~od, l':'leher Baba's disciples found

Baba and the Mandali went for another drive in the afternoon of the 10th through Honolulu to the Huimalu Hotel and later to view a large fish aquarium. In the evening, they went to the theater and saw the play, "A Church Mouse." Baba with Chanji and Todd arrived at Mrs. Walter Dillinham's villa, La Pietra, on a hill near the area called Diamond Head on the 11th ofJune at 7:45 a.m. where they breakfasted. At 9:00 they took Carl Phillips to his ship and Todd had to travel back with him to Los Angeles. Carl appeared sad at leaving Baba, but it was later learned that he did speak out against Baba when he returned,just as He had predicted. Soon after, Baba, Kaka, Chanji, Beheram and Adi Jr. boarded the Empress of Japan enroute to China. Nearly all the staff on board were Japanese. As the ship left Honolulu harbor, a jazz band played as native Hawaiian women sang and danced, waved handkerchiefs and threw flowers. In His cabin, Baba asked that Kimco's letters be read many times. As He listened to their words of love, tears came to His eyes.

a sUitable boy to travel with Him to the East. Baba claimed that this boy would "link the West with the East." Out of many youngsters that were brought before and interviewed by Baba, Carl Phillips was chosen. However, as his passport did not arrive in time, he could only travel with Baba as far as Honolulu, an American territory. Q.!ientin Todd would take care of Carl, and travel with ]apan,1932 Baba and the Mandali. n Sunday, June 19th, the boat landed at 6:00 a.m. in Baba left California Yokohama. Baba got off the ship with the Mandali and they June 4th, 1932, at refreshed themselves, then went on a tour of the city, had a snack 11 :00 p.m. on the and walked through the crowded streets. At noon they returned to maiden voyage of the the ship and set sail at 2:00. Monterey. Their next destination was Kobe, Japan where they landed at Carl Phillips stayed 8:00 a.m. onJune 20th. Once again Baba and the Mandali got off in Baba's cabin, Todd the ship and strolled throughout the city. They returned to the ship was in a cabin alone Baba in China, 1932 at 1:00 p.m. and sailed two hours later. across from Baba, and Chanji, Kaka, Adi J r. and Beheram had another abin nearby. Carl proved a nuisance as he was very mischievous and Baba decided to send him back rome as soon as they landed in Hawaii. The young boy proved a handful for Q.!ientin as he had to serve him night and day. Such was the case with whatever "ideal boy" was cared for by the Mandali. Many people came to see Baba on the ship and He met them all. They arrived in Honolulu onJune 9th at 8:00 a.m. and stayed at the Moana Hotel for two days. Rustom met them at the dock, having arrived from China to be with Baba. Rustom was then sent to Australia and New Zealand that same day to forge further links with the West. A number of years later many Australians came into Meher Baba's fold, perhaps due to Rustom's travels there. Mter resting at the hotel, Baba and the group went to a coconut grove in the gardens of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel next to the Moana and enjoyed a performance of Hawaiian dancers and singers. Mter the entertainment they drove outside the city to pineapple groves where they drank large amounts of pineapple juice. Back at the hotel Baba instructed <2.!:lentin, "Carl Meher Baba traveling with His Mandali in China,june 1932. Phillips' behavior is getting worse. I am sending him Gustadji, Beheram, Meher Baba, Chanji, Adi]r., Kaka Baria, Pendu and back to Los Angeles on Saturday. He will return and speak against us!" That evening after Rustom left for Australia aboard the China, 1932 Monterey, Baba and the Mandali had dinner. They then went to a t 2:30 p.m. on June 22nd they arrived in Shanghai, China. movie at the Empire Cinema. There they were met by Herbert Davy and Baba's brother Jai.

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Baba was dressed in a stylish suit and Panama hat. They were then driven a few miles to the Palace Hotel which overlooked the Huangpu River. There they had tea and Baba indicated to Herbert that He wanted to go out and mix with the Chinese. He wanted to be taken "to a place where there were thick crowds." Herbert took Baba to a few places but they were not crowded enough to suit Baba's purpose. Baba then was taken to the slums of Shanghai in a hand-pulled rickshaw, but the narrowness of the lanes prevented it from entering and Baba walked the area on foot for three hours. "He strode rapidly up and down the squalid alleyways, causing the humble dwellers to stare at Him wi th fascination as He passed by." On the evening ofJune 23rd Baba and the Mandali went to eat at the restaurant of Mr. Chung at his invitation. Baba had a fun time as they all tried to eat with chopsticks for the first time. After dinner they saw "Beast of the City" at the Cathay Movie Theater. At 11:00 p.m. they drove to the train station and boarded the train for Nanking. Baba in China, 1932 Baba, Herbert and Kaka traveled in first class, and Beheram,Jal, AdiJr. and Chanji were in second class. They reached Nanking the next morning at 7:00. Pendu and Gustadji were waiting at the station for Baba. They all went to stay at Herbert's house two miles from the station. Pendu, Gustadji and Jal had been staying in China for three months according to Baba's order. They had been expecting Baba to call them back to America to join Him. Mter refreshments, Herbert took Baba to see the Great Wall in Nanking. Baba walked along a nearby lake for quite a distance. Nanking, a pleasant city, reminded Baba and the Mandali ofPune. Baba was driven up the Purple Mountain in the afternoon to see Sun Yat-Sen's memorial. The roads were rough but Baba enjoyed the surroundings. Many Chinese students and older men and women came to meet Baba in Nanking, and Baba again walked through the dirty lanes of the poor sections where the peasants gazed at Him in wonder. Baba visited the National cinema on Sunday, June 26th, and drove through the swarming lanes of the city and visited a temple of Confucius. Baba entrained for Shanghai at 11:00 that evening,

arriving at 8:00 a.m., and left for Bombay at 4:00 p.m. on the S. S. Kaiser-i-Hind on June 28th. On July 1st at 7:00 a.m. Baba landed in Hong Kong and was met by a Parsi named Rustom E. Desai. Desai and his wife had prepared Indian dishes for Baba and the Mandali in their home. Mterwards they all went to see the city. At the Qyeen Theater that evening they saw the fUm "Skin Deep" after which Baba and the Mandali returned to their ship.

Singapore

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hey arrived in Singapore at 7:00 a.m. on July 6th and drove around the city in a taxi. At the Capital cinema they saw the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde then had dinner at the Madras Cafe returning to the ship at 11:00 p.m. The Madras Coffee House is a still-popular, much-frequented Indian restaurant in the 'Little India' district of Singapore - quite close to the Capitol Theatre Baba visited. They ate at the Madras Coffee House. There is a Hindu temple just opposite, which Baba must have noticed. The Capitol Theatre Baba visited in Singapore is a well-known spot, with an Art Deco facade. They spent the next day in Singapore as well leaving for Colombo in Sri Lanka on July 8th.

Penang,1932

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n Penang on July 9th, Baba got off the ship and visited two shrines - tl1e Buddha and Snake temples. The Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple seems to be the temple Baba visited in Penang. It was begun in 1845, donated to the Thai community ofPenang by Qyeen Victoria through the East India Company, so it has interesting connections with Buddhism, the British Raj and India. It is ofThai design, elaborately decorated with sceneE路 ofBuddha's life and contains many urns ofashes ofdeceased Buddhists. Its exterior has been reworked and therefore is not as Baba would have seen it, but the interior and Pagoda are much as they were in His time. Intriguingly, in July 1958 - a month after Baba flew over Penang back to India (concluding His last trip outside India) - a huge Reclining Buddha figure was dedicated, to mark the 25th Century of Buddha's Birth. The Snake Temple Baba visited is unique and famous. It was begun in 1873. A miracleworking monk from China lived in the vicinity. He had brought over the image of Chor Soo Kong (a Chinese deity) and successfully healed many people (and became famous) by using this "healing" statue. Mr. David Brown, one of those miraculously healed by the monk, donated the land for the temple. Upon the temple's completion, snakes mysteriously appeared and made the 27


place their refuge, their numbers increasing on holy days - especially Chor Soo Kong's birthday. N ow the spot is a bit of a place of pilgrimage, especially for Malaysia's Chinese community.

Colombo, Ceylon, 1932

The Snake Temple, Panang

Photo by Sean Reeves

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aba and the Mandali arrived in Colombo, the capital of Ceylon July 13th at 8:00 a.m.. There they disembarked and sent a telegram to Adi K. Irani and Naoroji Dadachanji in Mumbai. They then drove around Colombo in a taxi. Mter two days at sea, Baba and the Mandali landed in India in Bombai, July 15th.

Ceylon, 1933

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n January 2nd, Baba left for Port Said, at 4:00 p.m. on the S. S. Baloeran bound for Ceylon.

Baba asked Todd if he had noticed anything unusual about a Dutch girl who was traveling with her family aboard the ship. Todd observed that she walked with a limp. Baba explained, "Many, many years ago in India, she was a yogi. She was then in a male form. While attempting to attain a highest state of consciousness through fasting and meditation he had a stroke and died. In every incarnation since, he or she has limped. In order to free her from this affliction, it will be necessary for me to win her â&#x20AC;˘ affection." Baba proceeded to gradually draw the girl toward him. She spent more and more time with him each day, playing pingâ&#x20AC;˘ pong and draughts. By the end ofthe voyage, a marked improvement in her health was noted.

Meher Baba in Ceylon, 1933

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As they approached Ceylon, Baba indicated that He wanted to rest there for a month in solitude and after return to India. Baba, Kaka and Todd arrived in Colombo the 12th and stayed three days at the White Horse Hotel. Baba traveled to the interior of Ceylon onJanuary 15th, and stayed at the Villa Valencia on a hill between the towns of Bandarawela and Diyatalawa. It was beautiful, and a roaring torrential river ran through a deep ravine behind Baba's bungalow. Mter Baba settled in, He told Kaka to find a spot where He could sit in seclusion for 24 hours, as He had done in Assisi. Todd and Kaka found a Buddhist temple at the end ofa narrow lane in Bandarawela on the 19th. It looked suitable per Baba's request so they showed it to Him. A priest would not allow them

entry to the temple, but they descended a few steps and came upon an open courtyard. A door of an adjoining house opened and an old man, who looked at least a hundred years old, came out. He seemed to recognize Baba immediately and he started talking to Him through hand signs. Baba gestured back to him, "I want a room where I can be in seclusion without being disturbed for twenty-four hours." The old man understood and asked the Buddhist priest to open the temple and make a room in it available to Him. Baba, however, changed his mind. Later, Baba remarked, "That old man was on the fourth plane. I will push him to the fifth plane when I leave Ceylon." Baba's wish to sit in seclusion was seemingly only a pretext for contacting this advanced soul. Meanwhile onJanuary 19th, Adi K Irani came to Ceylon and returned to India after spending two days with Baba. OnJanuary 26th, Baba met a reporter from the Ceylon Observerin Bandarawela. The reporter questioned Him about Mahatma Gandhi and India, religion, the reason for His silence, and why He had visited America. Baba replied: "Look at Gandhi's passive resistance movement. From the spiritual point of view it is wonderful because it embraces sincerity, truth and nonviolence. Don't ask me its value as a political weapon. I have nothing to do with politics ... As for the Untouchability issue, I love the Untouchables.They are close to my heart. Recently, I summoned their leader Dr. Ambedkar and advised him what to do. I consider the orthodox Hindu attitude foolish, but there I leave it as I condemn no one and hate no one. My religion? I belong to no religion and yet to every religion. Love is my principal agent. The Infmite One can be attained only through love and sincerity. I do not believe in dogmas and ceremonies. God can be realized in every phase of life - art, science, nature and beauty. That is my religion. I have been silent for eight years. It is not a vow but it has been undertaken for spiritual reasons. Shortly, my mission of preaching will begin. My reason for starting in America is that America, being the most deeply engrossed in material things and suffering the most in consequence, is the soil on which a new spiritual rebirth will first take place. America requires only the guiding hand of a Master to redirect its material powers to the heights of spirituality. Your Ceylon is a most beautiful country. I shall visit it again." By January 27th, Baba, Kaka and Todd returned to Colombo. Baba fasted and remained in seclusion there on January 29th and the next day left for India.

Hawaii, 1935

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aba, accompanied by Chanji, Kaka,Jal,Adi Sr. and Chummy, left for Hawaii and the Orient on the steamer Empress of Canada at 10:00 a.m. on January 12th. Chummy was a tan cocker spaniel puppy found in a kennel in Hollywood by Rano and acquired by Baba to take Baba with Chummy back to India. Chummy was kept in the animal quarters, but Baba visited him every morning and afternoon.


That winter was the coldest in 36 years and Baba's health continued to deterioriate. He exercised in the gym but could not take His walks on deck. His health continued to decline as He became very weak. He arose every few minutes during the night to spit out blood and saliva collecting in His mouth due to pyorrhea and bleeding gums. This also prevented Him from eating or sleeping much. Baba's health continued to deteriorate as he became weaker and weaker. He also had persistent chest pains and heart cramps. During the voyage He explained to the men Mandali that He must reach India as soon as possible as His condition might develop into paralysis. Baba mailed letters from Honolulu, Hawaii, to His lovers in America on January 17th. Mter they left Honolulu, Baba told Chanji that "There is one soul I want to contact on this ship." The next day when Chanji was down in the laundry room ironing Baba's pants, he met a woman named Margaret Scott. She talked to Chanji about her life and how she had contemplated suicide. Chanji talked to her for a few minutes each evening and hearing about Baba she became eager to meet Him in person to seek His blessing. Baba saw her on deck when He disembarked in Shanghai and she had a few precious moments with Baba, who consoled her and blessed her by making the sign of the cross on her forehead. Rustom met with Baba in Shanghai on January 31st; he had just arrived from India.

Hong Kong On February 2nd Baba arrived in Hong Kong where two Parses, Rustom E. Desai and Mr. S. Pestonji, welcomed Him. They took Baba and the Mandali to their homes in Kowloon where Baba breakfasted. He met the families of both men, then boarded the Fushimi Maru scheduled to leave the next day. Baba's health was still unstable.

Singapore On February 7th, when the ship docked in Singapore, Baba's pain became so severe, He decided to have a local Chinese dentist remove one loose and aching tooth. From that day, He stopped eating much solid food and drank only bottled milk that the Mandali purchased in Singapore and Penang and had to be kept refrigerated. Baba drank the milk three times a day with digestive biscuits. On February 13th at 2:00 p.m. the ship reached Columbo and left at 8:00 p.m. for India.

Ceylon, 1940

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very day during the last week of October, Baba saw the women and discussed the journey they would go on in November. He teased them and told them, "When we go down south, keep smiling and look like ripe tomatoes; otherwise I will send you back to Meherabad. You will have the fun of your life in Ceylon. Wait and see." On November 1, 1940, Baba and company boarded the BombayMadras Express at the Ahmednagar railway station at 2:00 p.m. With Him was the mast Chatti Baba, Baidul, Dr. Donkin, Gustadji, Krishna, Dr. Nilu, Venkoba Rao, Vishnu, and the women - 33 in all- plus some of the children. They traveled second class for the first time. Tukaram drove the Blue Bus loaded with all the luggage and a few of the women. Baba was still in seclusion and did not say good-bye to the Mandali left behind in Meherabad. They arrived in Dhanushkodi on Sunday, November 3, at 5:00 p.m. where they boarded a boat and were ferried to Talaimannar at 7:30 p.m. They went by train to Veyangoda from there, and

arrived at 5:15 a.m the next day. Traveling was especially difficult because Baba did not want His name disclosed and as a result, He and the women had to be present during the customs and medical examinations at the border crossings at Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar while entering Ceylon. This was against His wish. Mter they arrived in Veyangoda they traveled by cars to the bungalow, Hickgalla Estate, which Rustomji Ratanshah had placed at Baba's disposal. Rustomji and his family had come to the town to receive Baba. With Kaka's and Chanji's help, they did everything to see to Baba's and the group's comfort. November 7th after breakfast Baba looked somewhat disappointed. He called everyone and asked, "Why are you staying with me?" Rano replied, "To love you." Elizabeth answered, "Because I love you, I don't know why, but I do." Baba smiled and spelled out from the alphabet board: But what a way ofloving! Yes you do love me; otherwise, why should you leave all - your families, homes, comforts, et cetera - to be with me. This year of my working is very important. You all are so lucky to be with me now. The universe is now in such chaos. That is why I gave the list of orders to my disciples. If not, the reaction would have been such that even the closest of my lovers would have left me. But why do you always want to do what you want? You must do what I want! You must either do only what you want, or only what I want! But what is this in-between thing to please both yourselves and me? That's impossible. Ifyou love me, you must be happy in my happiness. But I try to make it easier for you too, for I also let you do what you want. IfI ask you to do only what I want, you would not stay with me for a minute! I tell you not to fight, not to criticize, but you do what you want. Therefore, try your best to obey these orders during this important period of my work. For nine months, you all must stay with me during my important work.

It had been raining constantly since their arrival in Ceylon and all, including Baba, felt depressed. One night, Norina had a bad dream. The next morning, she was irritated and in a bad mood. Baba looked at her sharply, critically remarking, "She is upset because of a dream. What a fool! A dream may be good or bad, but in it sanskaras are spent. In the awake state when sanskaras are spent, new ones are accumulated. But when they are spent in a dream, new ones are not created." On November 8th, Baba asked Norina, "Which would you rather be, my hat or my sandals?" orina said, "Your sandals." "Why?" "Because the sandals are your companions over good roads and bad. They pass through dirt, rain and mud and are always with you." Baba nodded in agreement, spelling out, "This is the reason why people in India worship the chappafs (sandals) of the Master and not His hat." The Ratanshah family were devoted to Baba, however, for His own reasons, Baba did not want to stay at their home in Ceylon when He arrived there. Baba indicated He needed a house on the seashore or on a hill with a lake or a stream nearby for His "special work" and the search for another bungalow began. Even Kaka, who 29


was busy looking for masts in Ceylon, helped Chanji and Vishnu search for the bungalow for Baba. Baba went into the town, Kandy, with Elizabeth, Rano and Kitty to choose a bungalow from the four selected by the men. They returned in the evening having found all unsuitable. The search continued. Baba expressed His wish to return to Bandarawela where He had stayed in January, 1933. He liked the Viceroy House there, but the owner's mother had died unexpectedly, and Norina was unable to contact the man who rented the place. Mter breakfast on November 11th Norina asked Baba, "Why should everything apparently go wrong when you wish to work in Ceylon? The weather is awful, we cannot find a place to stay, the press interview you gave was not successful. And now some of the local Christians and Buddhists are stirring up things against you." Baba explained: I have come here for work, and only work matters to me. What is praise or insult to me? Opposition is a help, not a hindrance in my work. The sun shines daily, shedding light on all. It is not concerned with whether people praise it or speak ill of it. It sheds light equally on those who praise it and those who curse it. But when the clouds appear, the sun is hidden. Then people long for its light and warmth. When the clouds disperse and the sun shines with full splendor, only then do people know its true value. Were it not for the clouds, people would not appreciate the sun. In this way, opposition is like the clouds - to appreciate the value of the sun's light, clouds are neces-

sary... This reporter who recently interviewed me, poor man, has a limited conception and is more interested in my throat not being impaired by not speaking than the value of Truth. Chimpi (Chanji) said it was all a bad sign. I said, on the contrary, it is a good sign! Now it is definite. I will stay here for my work, for opposition helps the work. That day, later in the afternoon, Baba decided to move to a house in Kandy. He remarked, "In Ceylon everything hopeful is hopeless, and everything hopeless is hopeful! At least in this new bungalow there are no ghosts!" Some of the women looked relieved and Baba explained ghosts. While in Ceylon, Meher Baba was giving Chatti Baba a bath each day, but on Monday, November 11th, Chatti Baba gave Baba a bath! When Baba went to him, Chatti Baba picked up a pail of water and poured it over Baba. The mast was so happy he took another full pail and asked Baba, "Shall I pour more?" Baba nodded, and Chatti Baba was laughing and laughing while Baba allowed him to pour 10 to 12 more buckets over him. "I knew it made him very happy," Baba later informed the Mandali. Although it was rainy, chilly weather at the time in Ceylon and Baba was higWy susceptible to catching colds, He allowed the mast to indulge himself in this manner. Baba was busy with mast work and would sometimes leave Colombo to contact different masts. There is no significant detailed information available of the masts whom Baba contacted but His trip to Ceylon was primarily to contact these sweet beings. It is significant that He traveled with such a large group of both men and women during wartime. Although the women could not move about freely, each had their duties assigned by Baba. 30

People began arriving at the bungalow for Meher Baba's Darshan as news of Him residing near Colombo spread. Newspaper reporters appeared wanting interviews. But Baba did not allow Darshan, because He was in seclusion. He had declared publicly that His seclusion would last from August 1940 to August 1941. Baba went to see a new bungalow in Kandy with Kitty, Rano, Donkin, Vishu, Baidul and Chanji on November 13th, and He approved ofit. On November 16th at 8:30 a.m., Baba and the group left Veyangoda for Kandy in two buses, a car and one luggage truck. Mter a two hour drive they arrived at Primrose Hill Estate on Hololuwa Road and found the bungalow and surrounds very beautiful. Baba stayed up the hill with the men Mandali and Chatti Baba. The women stayed at the foot of the hill. There were many lizards in Kandy. Because there was a danger they would urinate or defecate in the food, and their urine and excreta are extremely poisonous, Katie would brush them off the wall, and Baidul's daughter, Dowla, would kill them. On Sunday, November 17th, Dowla reported to Baba that she had killed seven lizards in only 15 minutes. Baba was not happy... Baba instructed them, "Don't kill lizards. Any animal that directly injures should be killed, but not lizards. Catch them and throw them outside. They eat flies and are useful." He added in a teasing manner, "Ifyou kill them, you will be a lizard in your next birth!" On Sunday, November 21st, four carloads of people came to see Baba but Norina talked to them as He wished to remain in seclusion. At 10:00 a.m. He went with the women in Elizabeth's car to the Botanical Gardens. November 22nd Baba stayed with the men Mandali the entire day fasting on water and honey. The next day the Blue Bus that had been sent from Meherabad arrived in Kandy in the afternoon. On the 24th Baba took the women to several places connected with Buddha. Leaving at 7:30 a.m., they reached Dambulla three hours later. At Anuradhapura they saw a sapling from the original Bodhi tree in India under which the Buddha attained God-Realization. On November 29th, when Baba left Chatti Baba's hut, the mast got so excited he smashed the panes of glass in the door with his fists! When the boy came to clear away the glass, Chatti Baba said, Baba in Ceylon, 1940 "No, leave it as it is!" Baba returned to see him, and the mast was quite happy. Baba said that Chatti Baba's outburst was related to England being heavily bombed by the Germans at that time. w


Chatti Baba's strange behavior in Ceylon was also related to events which would occur nearly 50 years into the future in Ceylon. Whenever moving into a new bungalow, Baba always selected rooms for each ofthe Mandali and for HimselÂŁ In Kandy, Chatti Baba's room was a few doors down from Baba's. One night at midnight the mast began Meher Baba giving Ghatti Baba a bath. yelling and screaming. He picked up the metal bath buckets and chairs and threw them across the room. He then tore up his bed sheets. Baba spelled out, "Mter many years there will be a civil war in Ceylon. I have done this work through Chatti Baba. I have brought him to Ceylon for that purpose ... " In the late 1980's, as Baba foretold, civil war did break out between the Tamil separatists and the Sinhalesedominated government in northern Ceylon. Thousands were massacred. Rustomji Ratanshah, his wife and daughter-in-law came to see Baba in Kandy on December 2nd. Baba met them in the men's quarters Ghatti Baba the Mast and then took the two women to meet the women Mandali. As He brought them in, a love song was playing on the radio entitled, "What do You Know of Love?" Baba repeated the refrain and asked the women: What do you know oflove? This love on the radio is Broadway love, but what do you know of real love? Here is a story of an example of that love. There was a great saint named Zikaria. He would always do what pleased God. Once in a dream, God ordered him to sit under a certain tree. When he awakened, he went and sat there and never moved for five years, in spite of tears and pleading from his family and friends. Hearing about this, the king of the place sent his men, ordering Zikaria to come to him, but the saint would not budge. The king then ordered his men to saw him in half if he did not obey, and Zikaria let himself be sawed without moving! This is an instance of great, real love, obeying God's order in a dream. And here you have God in person, who asks you to do such little things, and you cannot do it. Although Baba had rented the Primrose Hill bungalow for a period of three months, Baba left for Calicut on December 5th after finishing his mast work in Kandy. They drove in the Blue Bus and cars to Mannar and from there to Dhanushkodi, except the

men Mandali who traveled by train. Traveling by boat to India, they reached Ramnad by train on December 6th at 3:00 p.m. where they stayed in a dak bungalow. The following is an excerpt from Kitty Davey's book "Love Alone Prevails" regardine the groups' stay in Ceylon: In the fall of 1940 the group went again on tour. Before leaving, Margaret wrote to Delia: "We have all been vaccinated ready for our departure for Ceylon on 1st November. A gang of 40 of us are moving there for several months but write here, no address there at present... Two months all our letters take. I always feel that I don't know which letter I am answering, and in any case, you will probably have forgotten what you wrote four months before, so where are we? . "Everyone is very thin and very exhausted with the fast, and I think, in spite of always packing and unpacking, will be glad to be off. On the 18th we have two meals a day. One at 6 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. I think it will be better. I think the regime has been healthy but it has been exhausting as well. Baba comes every other day at the moment to give instructions about the journey." At Ceylon we had a nice bungalow two miles from Colombo. Then we moved to Kandy up in the hills. This was a tea-growing district and all around us on the slopes grew small bushes of fine tea leaves. Here, as Margaret had mentioned, we were on a partial fast - bread and butter with breakfast and no more food till evening. I remember a crisis, for I as housekeeper had ordered special whole wheat bread. This turned out to be about three times as expensive as the other kind and the baker had much difficulty in supplying so large an amount. Baba heard of this indirectly and was much annoyed that I had not first consulted Him about it. I was so slow in learning that all details, even of the household, had to go to Baba for His sanction. We all got even thinner at Kandy and all were making tucks in their skirts. Baba was the same as ever, very loving and beautiful but stricter than at Nasik, still always full of fun and mischief in His dealings with us. Notes from my diary give further details: "Baba comes to see us quite a lot here. He arrives about 2 p.m. and stays until 7 o'clock. Ofcourse we don't see Him all that time but He is in the house and sits with us for quite a time. Baba never wears His hair loose now, only in a plait. Baba is always giving us fresh definitions of love. The other day it was 'self control and spontaneous happiness for the Beloved.' Another time He said 'It is the same God playing different parts at one and the same time! He plays the part of the Universal God who is beyond everything that is conscious. He plays the part of being falsely conscious of being this body. He plays the part of the Creator. He plays the part ofbeing Himselfconsciously in creation. Kabir has sung, 'One God is the Avatar; One God is the Soul of every being; One God creates all; and One God is Everything.''' The information about the Madras Cafe and the Capitol Theater in Singapore and the Temples Baba visited in Panang was kindly provided by Ray Kerkhove, Australia. Other information in this feature was gathered from volumes 5, 6,7 and 8 of Lord Meher by Bhau Kalchuri.

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I Want, I Want...But What?! {Eal gave us this to publishfrom what may yet become thefturth in his very popular series ofConversations with theAwakener-perhaps to be called Flowing Conversations.]

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he evening sky was gathering clouds, and 1 wondered if it was going to storm. 1 was feeling unwell, tense, and depressed. Gazing out the window at the darkening sky, 1 wondered if my inner turmoil was a reflection of the unsettled weather, or if the impending storm was mirroring my mood. The wind picked up, and raindrops began to pelt the rooE 1 closed my eyes and sank deeper into grim reflections. Then suddenly, to my astonishment, 1 heard the sound offamiliar footsteps. 1opened my eyes just as You carne through the door. You hung Your raincoat on a hook and turned to me as 1 rose to greetYou. Without a word You carne into the room and sat on the sofa. Looking very relaxed, You closed Your eyes as 1 had just done. Were You joking with me, or just showing me that You knew the state 1 was in? 1 had rarely seen You with eyes closed, with such a perfectly restful expression. You exuded an exquisite elegance in that silent repose, and ~ feeling ofenchantment came over me. 1 had the feeling that You were pervading everywhere, knowing everything. 1 did not wish to break the spell of that moment, so 1 did not express my greeting. However, after a short time You slowly opened Your eyes, as though You had just come down from Your Abode ofInfinity. Then with a twinkle in Your eye You asked, "Why are you looking so grumpy and sullen? I'm in the mood to give you anything you want. 1 gaped, "Seriously?" 1 asked. "Of course," You smiled. "Don't you believe Me?" "Yes! Certainly!" But 1 was too stunned by Your arrival, and by the novelty of the situation, to know what to say. 1 tried to search within myself to think of what it was that 1 wanted the most. "Hundreds of wants come to mind," 1 confessed. "1 can grant all ofyour wants," You assured me. "But are you certain that the fulfillment of your wants will really make you happy?" 1 had to think about that. "I'm not sure," 1 finally concluded. The fact was, 1 recognized that my chronic health problems and mental restlessness could not account for the unhappiness 1 felt at the core of my heart. As 1 tried to come up with an answer, instead 1 came up with a question.

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Bal Natu - Meherabad "How is it that happiness seems so elusive most of the time?" You replied, "Happiness remains elusive unless and until you are willing to love life as it is in and around you, without reservations and without exercising special rights over people and surroundings. This requires a simple heart and trust in Me. And You added, "Would you like to hear a story?" "Yes, very much." "All right, listen: Long ago there was a simple farmer who loved God and had deep trust in His wish. He had a pet horse, auburn colored, with a white star on his forehead. His name, not surprisingly, was Star. One morning, when the farmer went to the stable, he found that Star was missing. He searched for him high and low, but in the end returned to the empty stable and started to sing." "Started to sing? 1 don't understand!" "Wait, wait, listen to what happened nextThe refrain ofthe song was, 'God is great:; He knows best.' And it so happened that a friend of the farmer was passing by just then, and hearing a joyous song coming from the stable, carne and asked, Why are you so happy today? 'My horse has been stolen,' carne the answer. 'So you're celebrating the theft? the friend asked incredulously. 'In a way,' the farmer replied with perfect composure. 'Because if I'd been on the horse, 1 too would have been stolen! "Shortly after this, another of the farmer's friends appeared, leading Star into the stable. '1 was working in the field,' he explained, 'when 1 saw a man come riding by on your horse Star. 1 asked him a few questions and he was evasive, so 1 realized he'd stolen him. We had a tussle and the rascal ran off. Anyway, here's your horse back.'" "The old farmer ran his fingers lovingly through Star's mane, kissed him on the forehead and patted him. Star whinnied and moved his head up and down happily. And tllen the farmer began to sing once more, 'God is great, He knows best.'" "The first friend could not help but remark at this. 'You are singing the same song. Are you happier now?' Not exactly. But now the oats and the grass won't go to waste." "Then all three began to laugh, but each one, perhaps, for a different reason." You shot me a playful, expectant glance. "So that's the story. Did you get the meaning of it?"

"Well, maybe not entirely," 1 said. "But the old man's s attitude was really marvelous. He had such trust in God." "Right,"You agreed. "He accepted life as God's wish, no matter what happened to him. This is detachment from wants. Have you ever watched the topmost part of a tall, leafy tree moving joyfully side to side with the slightest breeze?" "Many times," 1answered readily. And then 1 added, "In one ofYour earlier visits You had already shared the sinlile with me ofthe leaves dancing without resistance." Not showing the slightest expression of admonishment, You said, "Yes, but you have forgotten the message that the leaves sing through their rustling. You remember only the words, but have failed to integrate their meaning into your life." Without rebuking or chiding me, You poignantly helped me to see my folly. 1 felt humbled and chastened. You smiled with Your infinite kindness. "Simply quoting sublime words is like offering someone a scentless flower made of plastic. But if the words have become alive in your own life, releasing their significance, then they have meaning. Your memory of the movements of the leaves does not wake you to express their heart-moving music--the song of resignation to My wish." 1 murmured that 1 was sorry and would have said more, but You gestured that 1 was not to worry. "Remember," You concluded, "any assertion of'l want this or that blocks the natural flow oflife's energy expressing My wish. Now tell Me, do you want to respond wholeheartedly to My wish or yours? You gazed lovingly at me with Your sparkling eyes, as ifYou were requesting something ofme. 1 was so moved by the intimacy ofthat look that tears began to flow from the comers of my eyes, and 1 felt a rapture come over me, as though a wave had electrified the room. "1 want to respond to Your wish the best 1 can," 1 said earnestly. 1 felt so blessed that 1 could not look upon the radiance ofYour face any more, and reverently closed my eyes. A moment later 1 heard the sound of the door closing. 1 opened my eyes and saw that Your raincoat was gone. But to my delight a pleasant breeze flowed through the room. Outside the sky was clear and translucent, and the stars twinkled joyously. Upon seeing this clarity 1 immediately realized that the storminess, just like my mood, was a passing phenomenon. That indeed, behind my every mood or want, this tranquil clarity exists--the


tranquil clarity of Your presence. I was jubilant, as I no longer had aspirations for the fulfilhnent of my personal selfish wants. I only desired to feel Your presence more and more in my life.

As naturally as the birds sing to welcome the morn, As intimately as the dew-drenched buds smile at the sky, So, let my heart beat in unison, longingftr Yourpresence, With the simple innocence ofa babe newly born!

Going to India? Pilgrim Reservations To make reservations at the Meher Pilgrim Centre Meherabad by email, please notify us no more than 6 weeks in advance at: pimco@ambppct.org. Please send your reservation requests no more than six weeks in advance. It may take a few days for us to reply to you by email. Please include your snail mail address. Pilgrims will be asked to reimburse us for any expense connected with receiving/sending these emails, once they reach Ahmednagar. TIlls email address is for Pilgrim Reservations Office work only. To make reservations by post Pilgrim Reservation Office Avatar Meher BabaTrust Post Bag 31- Kings Road Ahmednagar,MS 414001 INDIA (91)-241-341821 phone and fax January 11, 2001 Dear Friends, Recently a pilgrim had to bear through a very serious medical emergency here at Meherabad and did it with poise and went through all the difficulties without complaint. This person's behavior brought to mind a letter that Eruch wrote regarding pilgrimage. I share it here so that it may help others to bear some of the difficulties encountered on trips to Meherabad and for those who may not be familiar with it. In Beloved Baba's Service, Dr. Gus Degreef

Regarding Pilgrimage Eruch Jessawala, 1994

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e His lovers, must not forget why we come to Meherabad in the first place. Meherabad is a place of Holy

Pilgrimage. It is not a vacation spot, resort or retreat. It behooves each pilgrim blessed to cross His Threshold, to accept all conditions of their pilgrimage as the prasad given to them by their Beloved Lord. To have one's pilgrimage accepted by the Lord is no easy task, for it means more than to merely bow down at His Samadhi. We must accept wholeheartedly any and all trials and tribulations that may beset us during our pilgrimage, knowing full well, that these very difficulties when happily accepted without reservation or expectation mark His acceptance of our pilgrimage. Doubly blessed is the pilgrim who, in spite of all hardships, remains cheerfully resigned to the conditions of his pilgrimage. And yet, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, in His Infinite Compassion and Benevolence, has made our pilgrimage so comfortable and easy that we have forgotten all that He Himself, as Man amongst men, suffered throughout His Ministry to awaken His love in our hearts. Dear brothers and sisters, we have been blessed to receive His gift oflove, now it is time for us to return that love by dissolving all expectations, reservations and desires in total gratitude and resignation to His Will. With warm regards in Love and Service of our Beloved Lord Avatar Meher Baba. Yours lovingly, Eruch

Heres a check listjOr you. First the obvious things: Flashlight (torch) small and large extra batteries. Hair dryer (ifyou simply have to have one) that is 240 volts make sure you have an adapter that will fit the Indian sockets. Insect repellant (Avon has some great non stinky moisturizing lotion). Hat - a must, Sunscreen - a must, Toilet paper (available in 'Nager but scratchy) -likewise bath towel and face cloth. Rubber thongs, no bare feet - germs and worms! Plenty of film for your camera (minimum film--Kodak 100 available at "Laser Photo" downtown 'Nager) extra batteries. Modest clothes - no shorts for women, long ones for men. Teen girls please note, no bare midriffs, low cut blouses or tight tank tops. Loose pants no tight clothing of any kind. Remember you are here to commune with God - not drive the local guys crazy! Some not so obvious ones: Liquid soap for the few things you may wish to hand wash (mostly cold water washing). Clothes pins (pegs) or plastic coated wire clothes hangers come in handy for

hanging a few special items for drying or in closets - also lightweight for packing. Alcohol wipes and/or alcohol gel or other antibacterial hand gel to clean hands without water. Alcohol wipes also excellent for cleaning silverware in questionable hotels or restaurants on the way to Meherabad. Soft pillow or neck roll. Nailbrush and manicure kit. Calculator (for those Bazaar forays) Aloe Vera Gel or Tea Tree oil/ointment is great for insect bites, sunburn, and other itches. Also email address list for use at the Cyber Cafe in Nager if you're into it.

Eating Outside the Pilgrim Center Even at some of the best restaurants in four and five star hotels, unless the food is zapped with ultraviolet rays you shouldn't eat any uncooked fruits or vegetables. Fruits such as bananas and oranges are fine as you can peel them.You should drink only boiled or bottled water.

News Flash! Pune-Mumbai-Pune bus service For those of you interested in alternative travel arrangements from the Mumbai airport to Pune, MAA Travels and Tours operates a Sahar Airport- Pune-Sahar' Aiport AlC bus service for a one way fare of Rs. 450 per seat. It drops you anywher in Pune and the departures from Sahar Airport are at Midnight, 2.30 am and 6 am. (This means you don't have to spend an agonizing four hours sitting bolt upright at the Leila Hotel when all you want to do is sleep on their comfy couches!). You can buy the tickets just as you come out ofcustoms. They have a booth near the prepaid taxi booth. For information on how to go from Pune to Mumbai, the Pune contact is MAA Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd., Mittal Court, 3rd. Fl., Rasta Peth, Opp. Sai Service, Pune 411011. Ph. 612 4877, 611 9043/53, Fax: 020613-7518, Email: maatravels@yahoo.com. They also have a website at www. maatravels.com The SuperExpress train leaves about 5 a.m. from VT Station in South Mumbai, but the bus is much more convenient and you probably won't get a seat on the train. You can also ask the bus to drop you at a hotel in Pune for breakfast or go straight to the Nagar taxi stand at Shivaji Nagar Bus Station. This could be less expensive than booking a Trust Office taxi for a single person, and you may arrive in Nagar sooner. 33


Happenings at Meherabode Pratap Ahir's Story Pratap has been travelling around the United States with one of his sons, Swaroop, speaking, playing and singing at many ofthe Baba Centers. were lucky enough to have a return engagement. As you can read in thefOllowing bio he wrotefOr us, he had spent much time with the Beloved, so it is really wonderful to hear him tell ofthese times. Also to hear him sing! And Swaroop plays a mean tabla, so the harmonium, tabla and voices were a real treat fOr us. Even better that he has made a CD so we can continue listening to him after he has returned to India-Ed I was born and brought up in Pune in a family with a spiritual background. I had my education at Pune. My upbringing had aroused in me a sincere desire to lead a life dedicated to God and a life that is based on moral values. I lost my parents when I was very young. This had a deep psychological impact on me. It also affected me financially. I had to struggle a lot for stability in life. The events that unfolded in my life since my childhood prove that it was an unconscious struggle .for ultimate stability in Beloved's arms. During this period, I came in contact with one Mr. L.B. Thade at Pune who was int>trumental in getting me admittance to a Government run hostel. Mr. Thade had had Baba's darshan. My association with him led me to the thing that has mattered most in my life ever since then. I was drawn into

'*

Beloved Meher Baba's fold. I started participating in Baba related activities that were gaining momentum in Pune. 16th October 1950 turned out to be the biggest day in my life. I met Meher Baba at Mahabaleshwar in India. He had stepped back for a few hours into His 'old life' from the 'New Life' that He was leading with some of His disciples. My love for Baba was given real impetus that day. Thereafter, it only grew and so did my urge to be near Him as much as possible. The Pune group that was in its formative stage under the watchful eyes and loving encouragement of Dr. Ghani was really fortunate. It was given and I grabbed many opportunities to sit at Baba's feet. I was an active member of this group. It was important that I came in Baba's fold but a more significant thing for me was Baba entering the shell of my personal life and touching the lives of me, my wife and my children with His abundant love. I have been married for over 38 years now. My wife has also been following Meher Baba since her younger days. I have four children and I am glad that all of them are strongly connected with Meher Baba. Baba has been generous with them in granting them talent in the performing arts like singing, accompaniment on musical instruments, drama and dancing. I am glad that Baba has also ensured that they are able to

use this talent for His work. On this trip, my youngest son, Swaroop has traveled with me to give me accompaniment on Tablathe Indian rhythm instrument. I live in Mumbai now and I am actively associated with governing the Baba Centers at Pune and Mumbai. I have also been offering my services in translating English literature on Baba in the vernacular language. In the true sense of the word, I am not an orator or speaker. I am not a 'qualified' singer but I have chosen these media to share all that I could, from my heart that Baba has ftlled with His love. [Note also that Pratap Ahir's early encounters with Baba are covered in Lord Meher, October and December 1950.]

Ifyou make Me your real Father, all differences and contentions between you and all personalproblems in connection with your lives will become dissolved in the Ocean of My Love... 34


1/7reasures of the 2leart

l/

Silent & ,Live ~uction-~pri128, 2001 t

The tireless Auction committee

The reception table Choosing the winner of the Sweepstakes

The Silent Auctioneer

So many beautiful items

Luscious Indian cuisine enjoyed by all

Special treasures for the live auction

Musicfor the "silent" auction 35


Gift Food Bags for the Homeless O

ne of our Sunday meetings was devoted to those less fortunate--the homeless living on Los Angeles' Skid Row. We made sandwiches and added other goodies, creating gift food bags, and finally adding one of our favorite Baba cards before packaging them for delivery.

An assembly line of workers puts together the giftfood bags. Stephanie and Sam Ervin, Lois]ones and Charlie Morton are among those on the line

At the other end, Shalli Verchick, Golnaz and Shawdi Manouchehrpour bag the goodies

Teri Adams shows the Baba card that was placed in each paper bag.

Morgan Bowling,from Brisbane, Australia helped us with the packaging... he had traveled thefarthest of anyone to take his date to the prom: 8,000 miles! Stephanie Ervin ofLong Beach CA was his date.

36

the Provider of thefeast


Nan Umrigar and Friends by Don Stevens, France

O

n the afternoon of September 22nd in the Pune Turf Club, where so many Westerners had stayed during the East-West Gathering, Nan Urnrigar gathered over 250 ofher friends, now becoming for the most part, devotees of the Avatar, to share their stories and express their devotion to Meher Baba. I had first met Nan at the Sun 'n Sand some years before, when she had just written the account ofthe death and the incredible story of her refinding her younger son Karl, who had met with a fatal horse accident in his late teens. Nan had her two close friends and literary associates, Arnie and Freny, with her, and I was returning from Ahmednagar after introducing Magestic Foundation's Book Committee to the Publications Committee of the Trust. Nan wanted an independent evaluation of the now almost completed book before venturing to publish it. I read it with keen interest some days later. I found it deeply touching, as well as clearly being a favored account designed to show the way to the Avatar's doorstep for perhaps a goodly number of those chosen by the Avatar himself to be devoted directly to him. Shortly thereafter the book was published as Sounds Of Silence and enjoyed at once a considerable success both in India and beyond. In the course of the following months, Nan was literally besieged by persons who had suffered similar bereavements. N an fulfilled the considerable demands on her time and energies this entailed, and soon started arranging transportation by the bus10ads to Ahmednagar and the sites ofthe Beloved's home. Now, only a few years later, as Gary Kleiner pointed out in his address delivered that Tuesday night in September, Nan has physically brought to Meherabad and the Tomb of the Avatar more persons than any other one else except probably for Eruch, the hero oflove for the One. I would not be able to vouch for the accuracy of the statistics but as Gary fills a key spot in the operation of the Pilgrim Centre, I am inclined to trust his summation. All this however, is simply the external side of Nan's unique and endless devotion to Meher Baba. Although she now has concerns at home with the serious illness of her husband, who took a turn for the worse on the very evening of Nan's annual gala of love for the Beloved, Nan fulfills totally the

unflinching duties of a key intermediary in His work and organizes with Leila Captain and several of her close Pune associates, an evening in constant praise and devotion to Baba's love and ministry. Here is a beautiful instance of the balance between the head and the heart of which Baba speaks so decisively in his Discourse on Love. Nan knows how to organize. She also knows how to appear before a group and be master of ceremonies in a manner that is outstandingly human. Her simplicity and good will reach to one's inner being. During the course of three hours that evening in Pune, a succession of intelligent and articulate individuals recounted deeply sincere and touching stories of their own experiences in facing disastrously upsetting crises in life. Often, as in Nan's case, this involved the loss of a beloved child, and the manner that Baba reached through to them and gave them their own personal experience of the truly living reality of the continuation of that supposedly lost loved one. As is always true in the finding of the path to Baba, no two stories were even similar in their major happenings, but the end was always identical: the indescribable relief to have unquestioning evidence of the continued being and well-being of the loved one thought to be lost. And inevitably, the accompanying flood of love and reassurance that they knew instinctively came from Baba direct to their hearts. Gary Kleiner, with his great gift of finding clear and vivid words, talked for some minutes on the complete assurance of meaning which his twenty years in Meherabad has given him, regardless of vibes not sensed and independent of any direct physical touch from the Master. Gary's at times almost iconoclastic manner, contrasted but totally complimented the general tenor of other accounts being given that warm evening of early fall in the presence of the beloved Avatar. Leila Captain, who assisted Nan in chairing the occasion, beamed through her rimless glasses, and Arnie Rabadi added her incisive suggestions and realism which is so characteristic ofher nature. We caught sight ofSuraiya and Mas Masters, who had given a superb buffet supper the evening before,

as well as several stalwarts from Ahmednagar. Don added his classic account of his first meeting with Baba in New York in August 1952, and Baba's uncanny recognition ofDon's three signs of the circle of Perfection made to Baba. Read all about it in the introduction to God Speaks or in Don's new biography of Baba written for the Spanish publisher of Dios Habla. Nan, as do so many people, we salute and love you for your complete love for and devotion to the Beloved who is our Beloved Meher Baba as well. Bless you and your wonderful co-workers for the opportunity to be with you and share in the feast of the heart and mind you provide.

The Power ofHis Name by Bhau Kalchuri and Meher Baba

T

he group arrived in Bangalore on March 4th, and went on to Mysore the next day. On March 6th, the group's conversation topic turned to wild animals, for there were tigers, lions and bears roaming the jungles surrounding Mysore. Meher Baba advised: "If you ever come across any such savage animals, or 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. There is a difference between remembering my name and actually saying it out loud. In the eventuality of your body being overcome with fear in the presence of any wild animal or other creature (such as a snake), at such moments of danger you should loudly cry out my name, so loud that the sound of my name falls on the creature's ears which will immediately make it as meek as a lamb! But before inanimate objects, during any serious mishap or accident - such as a car crash or train wreck - you will be saved by remembering me with full faith from the bottom ofyour heart. From Lord Mehl!1' Volume IV 1929-1932, Š

I~

1973 Bhau Kalchuri 37


2iumorfor

2iuma

At the Meher Center meetings every weekend you will find me, And you'll find I never fail to lock the Center gate behind me. I never call up Kitty on her "pleasedon't-make-a-phone-call" day, And I can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay.

All: And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay. And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay. And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by MarshallMarshall Hay.

Edmund:

''My bliss and my infinite sense ofhumor sustain me in my suffering. The amusing incidents that arise at the expense ofnone lighten my burden. " -MeherBaba [Recently I came across this little ditty that Jay Schauer oj CalifOrnia wrote ftr a skit ftr Kitty's birthday about 12 years ago. It's sung to the tune oj "I am the very model oj a modern major genera!", a song from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates oj Penzance. What fun it would be to see this perfOrmed at one oj the Gatherings!]

Edmund: I am the very essence of a modern Baba Lover, I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother, I know the center pathways and I hike them with impunity, I never say "off-center" when I mean "nearby community", 38

I've got a Lyn Ott painting and the latest Baba video, I've got a little Baba picture stuck on my car radio, I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother, And I am the very essence of the Modern Baba Lover.

All: He loves his fellow Creatures like a sister or a brother, And he is the very essence of a Modern Baba Lover.

Edmund: I keep my body pure and My biotics are all macro I keep away from meat and drugs and liquor and tobacco. I'm sure in some past life I must have been a holy brahmin For I never, never, never would let go of Baba's Damaan. I'm chaste and I am careful, I do nothing for the hell of it, I go to wild parties but always stay a celibate, And when I date a girl you may be sure I do not fondle herI'd rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gondola.

All: He'd rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gondola. He'd rather be out sailing in the

Meher Center gondola. He'd rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gon-do-gon-do-la.

Edmund: For I've been on walking tour of Nasik and Rahuri And know by heart the latest ghazal book by Bhau Kalchuri. I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother And I am the very essence of the Modern Baba Lover.

All: He loves his fellow Creatures like a sister or a brother And he is the very essence of a Modern Baba Lover.

Edmund: I know the names of all of Baba's monkeys, dogs, and horses. I've got the first editions of God Speaks and the Discourses. I'm at the peak of fitness, I'm a dancer and a jogger. I know the cheapest fare from Myrtle Beach to Ahmednagar. I'm always on the waiting list for Center Reservations. My mail is jammed by Baba lovers writing for donations. I never worry, for the world is just illusion to me. My less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni.

All: His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni. His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni. His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhu-u-u-ni.

Edmund: The truth is that I live a life that's saintly and courageous, And I never pass beyond the Center's seventeen-mile radius. I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother And I am the very essence of the modern Baba lover.


~ Announcements ~ Songwriters "1 am the song, its words and its melody and 1 am the Singer!" -MeherBaba

T

wo of our dear friends from the Center here in LA surprised us recently by announcing their engagement! Glenn Russ and Payam Arjang tell their story below. All four parents are long time members of our Center too. "Our coming together has truly been a Baba blessing. As we look back, it is so amazingly clear how Baba had arranged every detail. There are so many events beautifully orchestrated by Baba that we could spend hours sharing them with you all. Although we had known each other for many years, Baba did not wish for our paths to cross until this past December when we were separately drawn to go to Meherabad for Amartithi. We should note that Aloba had a significant role in all of this as well (a

Meher Baba's poet Bhau Kalchuri has given inspiration to many of you with his poems, songs, ghazals and other writings. A collection of songs with words by Bhau - composed by Baba-lovers from around the world - will be published by Ann and Scott O'Neil (who also published Sun Rays). If you have set Bhau's words to music and would like to have these songs or ghazals included in the songbook, please contact Janice Rieman at jriemann@webster.edu,or 129 E. Lockwood Ave., Apt. 2A, St. Louis, MO 63119.

Baba's Flag On May the 11th, Baba's Flag, a Mobile, was unfurled in a Public Exhibition of Mobile art in Asheville, North Carolina. Marvin and Michelle Shafer, two Chicago Baba Lover Artists are the creators of the Mobile, made from anodized aluminum, over 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide. It can be viewed at http://www.technobaba.com/ q3art.html.

all of the books at once. Art work for the CD itself has been completed and the artwork for the jewel box is in progress. The content of the first version CD is as follows: 1. God Speaks, 2. The Discourses, 3. The Everything and the Nothing, 4. Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Path,S. Life at Its Best, 6. Listen Humanity, 7. The first 2 chapters of The Wayfarers, 8. The Path of Love, 9. Meher Baba the Awakener (Haynes), 10. Sparks (booklet), 11. Sparks ofthe Truth, 12. The God-Man (Purdom). There is also a section entitled Major Messages ofAvatar Meher Baba. Three of the

books will be in Adobe PDF format which will require the Adobe Reader software. This software will be included on the CD. It is anticipated that we will have a master of the CD by the end of June, 2001. Then, barring any significant problems from the reviews of the Trust, Sheriar Foundation and Sufism Reoriented, copies of the CD will be printed and distributed for sale at the main outlets for Baba-related literature. The CD may be available as soon as August, 2001, at a prospective sale price of $30. Stay tuned. - Michael Ivey

long story to be shared at another time!).

Avatar Meher Baba Searchable CD Update

"Love courses through everything, No, Love *is* everything. How can you say 'there is no love' when nothing but Love exists?

Miracles definitely had to take place for us to take time off from work and make last minute arrangements (our passports and tickets were federal expressed to us only 2 or 3 days before our departure). Needless to say, Baba ignited a beautiful romance and about six months later, on May 12th 2001, atop the mountains at Ojai near Baba's tree, I gave her an engagement ring and we committed to being spiritual partners for life and took a stand for our love for God and our shared walk with Meher Baba. He truly does watch over every single one of us. How fortunate we are to know Him. Avatar Meher Baba KiJai! - Glenn and Payam

The fabled and long-awaited Avatar Meher Baba Searchable CD is slowly but surely grinding toward being available to interested Baba-lovers and scholars of the teachings of Meher Baba. As many of you know, this project was begun by members of the Baba Listserv on the Internet some four years ago and has been carried out almost exclusively through the efforts ofvolunteer Baba-lovers. Currently, the 11 books and one booklet which comprise the first edition have been completed and cast into a presentation software package called Authorware which allows for a common text format and the ability to search either a single book or

Ylll that you see has appeared because ofLove. All shinesfrom Love, Allpulses with Love, Allflows from LoveNo, once again all *is* Love! "His Light rose, I ftund it in my own heartIt is now my Light you see shiningl " -Araqi From The Inner Treasure An Introduction to the World's Sacred and Mystical Writings Š1999 by Jonathan Star, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam 39


How Baba Sleeps by Bhau Kalchuri [Ed We are allfamiliar with the fact that Bhau Kalchuri was Baba's night watchman for manyyears and we have read continuously how Baba would insist on complete silence when He slept, but did He actually sleep? Here, from the LordMeher bio -aphy, is an ex£ellent explanation]

M

:gr.

ay 5th 1932, in Lugano, Switzerland when Baba was 38: .. "Whenever the Master was ill his. room resting, any noise whatsoever was forbldden. From the very beginning when Meher Baba established himself as a Perfect Master and gathered disciples, a watchman would always be at Baba's side at night to see that there was not the slightest disturbance. His uncle Masji had this duty in India at first, and thereafter Chhagan was the night watchman. During Baba's many journeys, any of the mandali would be appointed as night watchman, and this duty was now being done by Kaka Baria. Some of Baba's Western followers were wondering whether or not the Master slept at all at night. On May 5th, Baba suddenly calle~ all of them in~~ his room. H~ appeared to be m a dazed condit1on and stated. "I do not sleep, but I rest on a certain point. This point is between the sixth and seventh planes, and at times it is very difficult to come down from that eternal state. While resting •on this point, there should not be the slightest noise, as it would be harmful. In Meherabad once, I had to suffer badly due to some disturbance. My eyes were full of tears and I was rolling on the ground, overcome by so much anguish. "From the Nirvikalp Samadhi state-"I Am God" state-I have to undergo great anguish coming down to normal human consciousness. To attain Sahaj Samadhi-the Infinite Consciousness of everything, God Consciousness plus all of the creation's consciousness-in itselfis infinite anguish. There is no desire to come down at all, but it is necessary to come down for universal duty. "My mind is connected with every mind. Through my universal mind, I undergo infinite suffering, and due to the infinite bliss, I am at infinite rest. The meaning of undergoing suffering is to work for the salvation of mankind and to come down for that dutyfrom Nirvikalp Samadhi to normal consciousness. My descent is for this purpose. "This play is going on from eternity, but the effect ofmy infinite suffering is minimized by the infinite bliss in the background; though, 40

~n sp.ite of this infinite bliss, I have to ~uffer infinitel~. I above and beyond b~th.

:un

Contmwng, Baba narrated details of the experience he had. wh~n he w~s ~ve ~ears ol~ an? .saw .before him .CIrcles .~thin CIrcles 0 shining light and varlOUS brilliant colors. He was dazed and fainted at the time. He concluded: "I have the actual experienc~ of it all today, and feel the universe and creat10n emanating and projecting out of me. I feel all today that which I had a mere sight of then. Creation involves only to re-evolve again. It is a never-ending game! "I have explained it all in detail in my book. Even scientists will be astonished to learn the secrets I have explained there. For these will not be vague talks but facts that are substantiated and supported by scientific arguments. It will be the future Bible, not in the literal sense, but a book of understanding for people of all religions." In reference to that missing book, Baba had taken his book with him to the West in 1931 and allowed Mahatma Gandhi to read a few pages ofit. Before returning to In~a that y~ar, Baba left the book with someone ill Amenca where it remained for the next five years. Lord Meher Vol. 5 Bhau Kalchuri ©AMBPPCT '

Stages of Development Meher Baba

B

aba then touched on the various stages of development: A person has to pass through three stages before Realization - evolution, reincarnation and advancement on the path. From stone to animal to human form is evolution; this is the first stage. With the human form, evolution ends and the cycle of rebirth begins; this is the second stage. The third stage is involution through the spiritual planes. In Africa there is a full swing ofevolution, as all types of animals, plants and metals are found there. In Europe and America, reincarnation is intensified with numerous people taking birth after birth entangled together. In Asia there is spiritual progress and advancement on the path. That is why saints and Masters are found in the East, particularly India. From Lord Mehl!r Volume Iv, 1929-1932 ©1973 Bhau Kalchuri

[1 have often wondered, - in my ignorance - why Baba wouldsay to washyourself, 'to per~ form your ablutions' before saying'praYe:s. Thts from Rumi provides a very enitghtenmg answer to my query.]

True Ablutions As revealed by Jellaludin Rumi and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen hen you are performing yo~ ablutions, it is not merely washing your hands and feet. That is not the real point, washing eyes, ears - the purpose ofwashing each ofthese parts ofyour body is that it gives you time, bit by bit, part by part, to move your awareness away from the world and toward

W God.

Time to stay within your heart, I am now going to establish a connection with Go~. I am going to turn toward God. I am gomg to hand over my responsibilities, my love, to God. The blessed Prophet, may God's peace be upon him, said; "While doing your ablutions, you must be aware only of your love for God. Make your heart steadfast in that state." This determination must become strong through the process of your ablutions. By the time you have finished, you must have the intent and the aim ofseeing God. Nothing else. It doesn't matter, then, whether your eyes are opened or ifyour eyes are closed. God is all you will see whether they are opened or closed. This is the point when you can really call prayer surrender. The day you succeed in these ablutions, your prayer becomes fruitful! Then it is fulfilled. Then it is what we can call True Prayer. . If you can make this state steadfast m yourself, then not one second ofyour prayer will be wasted. Then your prayer will be The Prayer of completeness. When you have that prayer, when such a prayer is made, every part of it is a contract with God. Then your eyes won't draw you away. Your ears won't draw you away. Only He will be drawing you, and you will be drawing Him. This is the connection you will have. This is the true prayer. From The Illuminated Prayer, by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Page 66, © 2000 by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Published by The Ballantine Publishing Group


An Unforgettable Musical Journey with I

n the early hours of May 20 th the usual chorus of dawn birds coaxed our dear Baba friends and family in India to wakefulness, on this day heralding the 12th anniversary of Mehera's joining her Beloved Baba to be forever together. I think the Lovers there must have noticed an unusual beauty in the birdsong on that morning. If they had listened closely they would surely have heard a haunting descant, the echo of a sweet voice carried across oceans and planes, that wafted from a sparkling shore-diffin New England. It was the evening of May 19 th there, and Mehera's most precious songbird, Raine EastmanGannett, had raised her clear, pure love melodies in concert, thoroughly delighting a most fortunate gathering of 37 New England Baba-Iovers, their families and friends, and a small collection of unsuspecting local neighbors at Dolliver's Neck in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Boston-area Baba lovers had been inspired to invite her for a concert on this special date. Set on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, the beautiful Gloucester residence of Annie and Mac Bell was the perfect venue for such a love-fest of song and stories. Although their place has the appearance of an estate, it is one so tendered with their loving care and the nurturance ofMeher Baba's loving presence that visitors universally experience it to be a warm and welcoming "home", just as Annie herself would describe it. Even so, there is something astonishingly beautiful about the landscape, an indescribable perfec-

the Beloved Mary Pratt, Boston Meher Baba Information Center

Mehera with Raine, Meherazad, 1978

tion, its divine origins only thinly veiled. It is so stunning that it inspired in Raine a new song about glittering waves, sparkling cliffs, ancient green trees and ocean loving birds, the reflections and shadows ofthe Divine Beloved in the Cliffs of Gloucester. In concert, in recordings, or even in casual conversations, Raine is like a dear long-time friend who has come at last for a visit, presenting her songs and stories as the gifts she would bring to share and to catch up. Naturally friendly, genuine, outgoing, earthy sweet and candidly good-humored, she talked between songs about the close relationship that had grown between her and Mehera over many years of India visits. From their first meeting her eyes were magnetically drawn to gaze constantly at "The Divine Rememberer", as Mehera is described in one song. It is not possible to hear her sing "Mehera I Miss You" or "I Hear Your Footfall" without weeping. And as Francis Brabazon's "chaiwalla" and musical interpreter for ten years, she had many stories to

tell about life with Francis in Australia. Her musical settings of Francis' poems, personally fine-tuned by the poet himself, uniquely express the power, immediacy and humor of his work. Raine's explorations into spiritual music do not stop in India and Australia. She has also accessed the Mrican-American spiritual traditions. It is impossible to describe in words her a Capella renditions of the Leadbelly traditional tune, "Four Day Week" and the gospel standard, "0 What a Child". Her strong, authentic rhythms, grown from years ofgospel choir singing, irresistibly prompted the audience to clap and sway in time. Just as irresistibly were smiles evoked by the unique Aussie edge she lends to these tunes. Regardless of form or genre, Raine reaches deeply into the hearts and souls of her listeners. As one Baba-Iover remarked, Raine's voice~ carries us to what Francis described as the "pearl" deep within, and for those few minutes of song we can hold that pearl in ourhearts and in some way "remember and understand". Perhaps Mehera's essence issues from a deep reservoir inside Raine, accumulated from so many years of mutual gazing into one another's eyes. Perhaps this could explain a listener's response to the song/chant, "Gazing". The mesmerizing melody transports each one to times and places where Baba was most strongly felt in his or her life. Or perhaps it is the earthy clarity of Francis' poetic vision absorbed into her being that projects out to us through her voice evoking a hint of, as Francis recites, "The infinitely beautiful one... when the pouring of wine begins, [and] we are lost to all but Love ... " Whatever the reasons may be the experience of Raine Eastman-Gannett in concert, as Baba groups such as Boston and also recently Portland, Oregon are beginning to discover, is a sweet and unforgettable journey with the Beloved.

41


Magical Moments with Baba Highlights of aTalk by Franey and Shireen Irani at Meher Center Franey's Talk

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n December 30, 2000, we were treated to a talk by Franey Irani and her daughter, Shireen Bonner, at Meher Center. Each told her story in turn, and it was interesting to notice some parallel experiences shared by mother and daughter. But first, some family background. Franey's father was the brother ofSarosh K. Irani, one of Baba's close ones. The brothers were cousins ofMeher Baba's secretary, Adi K. Irani (referred to as Adi Sr., to distinguish him from Baba's youngest brother, Adi S. Irani, who is called Adi.Jr.). The three families lived in the compound that is now the Avatar Meher Baba Trust office. Baba frequently visited, to see Adi Sr.'s mother, Gulmai, who He said was His "spiritual mother." It was Franey's grandmother who first took Gulmai (her sister-inlaw) to meet Upasni Maharaj, which led to Gulmai's meeting Baba. Franey married Baba's brother AdiJr., and Shireen is their daughter. Adi Jr. also had a son, Dara, whose mother (Adi's first wife) had died and who was largely raised by Sarosh and .s wife, Villoo. Well, enough of trying to get the kinship systems straight! Let's just say that when the Avatar comes, He seems to conveniently place many of His close lovers into related families. Franey told the story of a life lived completely in the loving nazar ofMeher Baba. She began by telling us about growing up in the family compound, which at that time was known as Khushru Qtarters. She felt that she had been with Baba from the beginning of life, because of the circumstances ofher birth: Her mother, who had suffered a previous miscarriage, was worried about the pregnancy, and so Sarosh offered to ask Baba about it. Baba conveyed the reassurance that she would have a girl and the baby would be fine. As a toddler Franey recalled seeing Baba visit the compound. In awe she watched Him float by in His white sadra, His feet never touching the ground, and she thought to herself that He must be a magician. When, at the age of11 or 12, she was going to be formally introduced to Baba for the first time, she was nervous and eager to be at her best. Wanting to be pretty for Him, she spent a tortured night with her hair in metal curlers. Unfortunately, it didn't work, and her hair frizzed up. She tried wetting it down, but

42

by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs nothing helped. It looked awful and she felt terribly self-conscious. So when she ftrst met Baba, she was shy and preoccupied. She feared Baba would say something about her hair, but thankfully He didn't-yet one of the Western women touched her hair and commented on it, much to her dismay. By the time Freny was 13, she was quite tall for her age, and her mother complained about it to Baba, saying she couldn't keep buying Franey new clothes. So Baba put his hand on Franey's head. Franey said, "Electricity went down me, and I knew I wouldn't grow after that." Now let's skip some years to the wedding of Franey and Adi, which took place at Khushru Qtarters in 1947. The evening before, they got the message that Baba wanted her and Adi to see Him in the morning. He saw Franey first, alone, and helped her relax by playing childlike games with her, such as asking her if she could rub her tummy and pat her head at the same time. He held her hand and told her not to be nervous. Then Adi was called in, and Baba joined their hands. He said never to worry and that He would always be with her. Franey felt that the meeting with Baba that morning was her real wedding; the ceremony that followed was just a ritual. The couple didn't have a honeymoon, but when Baba was going to America in 1952 with some of tl1e mandali, He suggested that Adi and Franey go to England and then meet up with them in Europe. This didn't work out as planned, because of Baba's accident. They received a cable to return home immediately, and they were able to accomplish this directive despite the fact that the shipping companies were all booked and they were assured they would never get a berth. But they did-first class at that. They had a chance to have a couple of days in Paris beforehand, so they did have a honeymoon after all. Later on, Franey began to feel tired ofliving in India and wanted to see the world. The possibility arose of going to America under the sponsorship ofDon Stevens, but Baba said no, go to England. Franey was happy at this, as she had liked England on their visit there. But in August 1955, a week before tl1ey were to leave, they received a cable from Baba telling them to cancel everything and to stay in India. They forfeited the money spent on tickets,

their furniture was in storage, they had to fmd a place to stay-nonetheless they willingly obeyed Baba. Finally, in December, He told them they could go in February. It turned out that London had undergone its worst winter in years, so apparently Baba had wanted to spare them that. They moved in time to celebrate Baba's birthday at a meeting in London. Franey found it hard to ftnd work in London. She was trained as a beautician but was told that without experience they could not hire her. When she notifted Baba of her diffIculties, He said that ifshe found nothing by a certain time, they could leave London. He also asked her if she wanted a clUld, and she replied, "IfYou want me to have one, Baba." He said, "We'll see." At that time Freny and Adi were staying with Minta (Delia DeLeon's sister), who suggested that Franey should cut her long hair and wear Western clothes instead of a sari when job hunting. This she did, and at her next interview, the long queue of applicants made her feel discouraged, yet miraculously she was given the job. But not long after starting work, Franey started feeling ill. Adi took her to the doctor, and they discovered she was pregnant. When informed, Baba told Mani she would have a girl. "And I had this wonderful daughter," Freny said, gesturing toward Shireen.

Shireen'sTalk Shireen's first contact with Baba was when she was brought to India as an infant. She grew up in London seeing photos of her uncle all over the house. When she reached the age of seven, her grandfather-Franey's father, who was a devout Zoroastrian-wanted her to have the traditional navjote, the Zoroastrian counterpart to the confumation ceremony. Baba gave permission, since it would make the grandf.'lther happy. And so they were to go to India for the ceremony-and to see Baba, of course. To prepare Shireen, her father sat her down and explained to her that her uncle was God. This seemed quite natural, and she accepted it. He said that just as Christians believe in Christ, we believe in Baba, and He is Christ come again. In India, Shireen was terribly excited abou t meeting Baba. She was all dressed up in a


pretty frock, and Baba's big American car was sent to pick them up. She brought presents for Baba that she had made herself, and her favorite toys to show Him. When they arrived at Meherazad, Shireen recalls the warm greetings, the hugs, and the women mandali dressed up in saris. They proceeded to Mandali Hall, where Baba was waiting for them. Adi Jr. had carefully instructed Shireen on how to behave: she was not to jump on Baba or ask questions. She should garland Him, salute Him with her joined palms, and step away to let the next person approach. As a well-brought-up English child, Shireen tried hard to be obedient. But the moment she saw Baba with His beaming face and outstretched arms, she forgot everything ("I think I threw the garland aside!") and ran into His embrace. Shireen had prepared a number of questions for her visit to Baba, some of them remarkably "metaphysical." She was convinced that Baba was a magician who knew everything and could answer anything. Mani describes some ofShireen's questions in her Family Letter of 29 January 1965. For example, "Baba, I know we are born again and again, but You are God, so how is it that You get born?" And Baba replied, "Once in a while God takes birth because of His love for His creation. I am born in human form so that you may see Me as you are, and ifyou are fortunate to know Me and love Me, then someday you will see Me as I really am." And then there was the famous question about why God created bad things like snakes and scorpions. But since these questions are documented, let me recount some that Shireen told which aren't in Mani's letter. One question was planned in collaboration with one of Shireen's friends back home in London, to whom she had confided about the trip to see her uncle who was God.Their question was: "Which is higher in the sky-the sun, moon, stars, or clouds?" Baba answered, "I am the Highest of the High." Shireen was quite worried about witches and asked Baba whether they were real. He took a moment to think and then said, yes, they were real. This unexpected answer was disturbing to Shireen until Baba explained that witches were just bad people, not supernatural beings, and that satisfied her. She also asked Baba why she could see a halo on Him in His photos but not in person. He replied that when she loved Him as He should be loved, she would see the halo. Later, Shireen told Mehera and Mani that she wanted a magic wand, and when they asked what she would do with it, she said, "I would see Baba with His halo."

The family spent three months in India and it was an intimate time with Baba, with all the attention and affection a child could want. Baba wanted Shireen to make friends with His beloved pet Mastan, and even though she was frightened of the large dog, she eventually petted, hugged, and fed him at Baba's urging. She enjoyed sitting with Baba in his pretty pink bedroom, showing Him her toys and playing games. She would ride Goher's bicycle in the garden, and one day she found what she thought was a "secret" path that went to the side door to Baba's bedroom. Baba was resting, but she peeked in the window and saw Him lying on His bed. He saw her too and beckoned her in with a loving twinkle. At meals Shireen would eat with Baba and the women, and Mani let her take her own seat at Baba's left (Mehera was seated to His right). Shireen loved eating with Baba, though she did not care for the Indian dishes, as she'd been brought up on Western food. She was struggling with how to deal with her serving of rice and dal, torn between her good manners and hating the food. Baba asked her whether she liked the food, and to be polite she said yes. He then caught her offguard and popped a large amount of rice and dal into her mouth. Though Shireen was very startled by this, it turned out to taste good, and after that she had no trouble eating rice and dal. On another occasion she was served a special treat, some tinned fruit salad that someone had sent. The best part of the fruit salad was the cherries, and Baba had Katy give Shireen several of them. Baba asked whether she'd enjoyed the cherries, and Shireen said yes, so Baba gestured for Katy to give her more. Katy said she wasn't sure there were any more, since each tin only had a few. But sure enough, she found a few more. Again Baba asked Shireen if she wanted some more, and this was repeated several times, and each time Katy miraculously discovered a few more in the bowl. Shireen told us that she'd been hoping Baba would do something magical, and apparently this was His playful way ofgranting that wish. In later years Shireen asked Mani about it, and Mani humorously agreed that it was "a never-ending production of cherries." To prepare for her navjote, Shireen was made to memorize prayers, which was difficult for her. By "coincidence," Baba at that same time asked that Shireen learn the Master's Prayer, and the date by which he wanted her to learn it was the morning of her navjote. She succeeded in learning Baba's prayer, and after she recited it for Him, He gave her a sadra and kusti, so that this was what she regarded as her real confirmation,

not the formal navjote ceremony-a grand affair at which she got all the Zoroastrian prayers wrong in front of the many distinguished guests. Mter the family returned to England, they continued to be in close contact with Baba through letters and telegrams, and He was involved in every detail of their lives. When Shireen was about eight or nine, she wished to cut her hair, which was down to about her knees. Since Baba had liked Shireen's long hair, Franey said they would have to ask His permission. Shireen wanted short hair, to look more like an English girl. But Baba said no at that time, so she could not cut it. (Mani in later years remarked that maybe people would be better off sometimes if they didn't ask Baba for permission, because often they were not prepared to have Him deny their request.) Shireen saw Baba one more time when the family went to India in 1968 for Dara and Amrit's wedding. This trip was ofcourse very different. Baba was frail and ill, and it was a brief stay. At age 11, Shireen was much more self-conscious. She was asked to perform for Mehera, who loved ballet. Shireen had been studying only since age eight and was not very accomplished. Although she wanted to please Baba and Mehera, she felt awkward and ungainly. Since Baba was not well, she was asked ~ to dance in His bedroom, where there wasn't much room. To top it off, the cassette she路 had brought to accompany her tarantella didn't~ work. But no matter-Baba said that Mehera would clap to keep time! So Shireen thudded about in her gypsy costume and somehow got through it, and Baba applauded warmly at the end. She was happy when she later got a chance to treat Baba to some entertainment of her own choosing-by telling jokes taken from a popular Irish comedian on television, Dave Allen, whose humor was aimed at the Church as well as the drinking habits of the Irish. Baba laughed at the jokes and wanted to hear them several times. Mter this marvelous talk, it struck me that there had been several parallels in the stories told by mother and daughter. Both Franey and Shireen had a strong sense of Baba as an allknowing magician. Franey felt that her real marriage was performed by Baba, while Shireen felt that He conducted her real navjote. Both Franey and Shireen had experiences offeeling awkward and clumsy in Baba's presence. And [mally, we might say that each woman at a young age had a "bad hair day" with the Beloved!

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~di's Trayer

e-JVleherabad (All These Things) All these things that You have had built brought me here, at the right time All the seeming chaos that You have Willed indelibly persevere, to rid my mind of preconception geographical direction societal imperfection as children skip school in 'Nagar's bazaar and as some truly slave to gain Your Nazar; And all these shadows in cloistered corridors and all these heart-centered, wrought iron gates

Illumine my mind to show Your Purpose that Your Love is truly Manifest in each tin plate; And as each fine arch connects the other and where each stone seems exquisite and sublime You have proffered the True Love of pilgrimage so one can pass by shariat this time; So all these loving winding paths and all these mornings where air hangs with dew and all the Vibrancy in each moment is Sweet Nectar for those who've come to fall in Love with You...

Call yourself a lover of Avatar Meher Baba, but you must be willing for love of Baba to suffer labors and sorrows, vexations and anxieties and lack of necessities, sickness, injuries, reproof, disgrace, humiliations, shame, correction and contempt. "Jai Baba" will then be yours.

by Bridget Robinson, California

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE

LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520

Address Service Requested

LDb-\lF~© ~~lF~~l~j\l!:. ·?.!J~b\~~ ~~J>~©illr~ ~

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by Adi K. Irani, Baba's longtime disciple and secretary

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PAID

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LoveStreet Lamp TosfO

BER

Meher Baba and Eruch in Washington, D. c., 1956

truch3essawala October 13, 1916 - ~UÂŁlust 31,2001

, 2001


t From the Editor ((Avatar Meher BabafUlfilled Hispromise to Eruch]essawala on 31stAugust, 2001 at2:31 a.m. when He gave Eruch His hand andpulledhim out ofthe muck of illusion to live eternally in Him. Avatar Meher Baba ki]ail" Men and Women Mandali and Meherazad Family

Jai Baba to all His lovers. nother one ofThe Greats gets his wish and returns to the Beloved. The LampPost was half prepared when I was called to Australia - my Mother also, had received her wish and returned to Baba. I had written all necessary and my staff in California was preparing the magazine for printing. Then we got the news about Eruch. Stop the presses! Back to the drawing board. We had originally planned on the October issue being a tribute to Eruch, but when we didn't have all the stories we wanted, we postponed it till January, we would go ahead without the Eruch stories. But Baba had other ideas - our schedule was not His schedule. So although this memorial will be late in coming to you, we hope it will fill your heart with gladness, knowing how happy Eruch now is - reunited with his Beloved. When Gary Kleiner told Eruch ofMother's passing he asked Gary to email me back: "Jai Baba to Diana. She beat me in the race to come home!" Only by 13 days Eruch, only by 13 days. (Read the wonderfulTribute to Eruch from those who loved him starting on page 4.) I had previously written: "I am writing this from Australia from whence I was precipitously summoned in the early hours of Saturday the 18'h of August. Christopher, my son who lives in Brisbane, called to tell me the hospital had called him saying that Diana Snow was in the ER with pneumonia, a heart rate of 50, and not responding. I told him to call her friends Joanna and Cecily to get to the hospital asap while I called the airlines to change my ticket from the 17th September to the next day. I had called Mother just the day before, telling her I was coming next month and not to 'go' before

A

t I got there. She was happy to hear that and looking forward to my visit. We could all see she was not going to have to wait much longer to get her ftrmly avowed wish to return to her Beloved. She had been telling Baba since she was 85 that she was definitely ready to go, but didn't know how it was going to happen since she had said ruefully "This body is indestructible!" She seldom got sick and at 92 years old she laughed at the word 'osteoporosis' - had never broken a bone in her life. I called Christopher back to tell him the tickets were changed for the next day, but while we were speaking the hospital called to say Diana had just passed. I was happy she had got her wish, and had passed peacefully, but I was miffed, to say the least, that she had not waited till I was there to hold her hand as she transited to His arms. But I guess after 50 years of loving Baba, she did not need me to be saying "Baba Baba" for her. I'm sure there were so many of her old friends and family waiting to welcome her - Franci Brabazon amongst them. Diana was known to so many people around the world, having been very active in the Baba communities since the '50s. Even if you had never met her, if you had stayed at the Pilgim Center before the last five years, you would have been sleeping on sheets she had made back in the '70s before it opened. For the first few years after I started being involved with the Baba Center in Los Angeles, and going to India, I was known to all as Diana Snow's daughter - and proud I was to carry that moniker. Above is a photo of Mother and Eruch in Mandali Hall on her last visit over there. The two old friends were sharing a private moment together. Since there are no coincidences, I wonder if perhaps the passing of the Avatar's right hand man didn't have something to do with setting the events ofSeptember 11th in motion...

ÂŁoveStreet ÂŁamprgost 2

I have read that the soul chooses the body for its next incarnation, knowing the lessons needed to be learned and knowing how and when it will die. As Baba tells us that no one dies before their Divinely appointed time, I am imagining the untold numbers who died on that infamou day, quietly going through their lives, totally separated from each other, but marching inexorably to their joint, predestined apointrnent with fate.

B

aba says "It is His will - they are now safely with Him.War can at best be only a means to an end; it can never be an end in itself It is therefore imperatively necessary for the war lords to search their own hearts and to make sure that the ends for which they are ftghting are a reflection of the Divine plan which is to lead humanity to a spiritual brotherhood, cemented by an inviolable sense of the unity of all human beings, irrespective of the distinctions based on class, color, nationality, race, religion or creed. War effort will be justified or stand condemned not by the results which it produces, but by the ends by which it is inspired.... When truly understood, all conflicts and wars are seen to be a part of the Divine game; they are thus a result of the Divine will which ftnds expression in the world ofmanifestation, (continued on page 51 columnJ) -~


A publication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California

'coveStreet 'campr:Post welcome... The LoveStreet Lamp(j!ost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove.

-

Baba's Eruch

Various contributors

Dina Snow 34

Diana Gets Her Wish, Finally! And what beautiful have you done today?

Sandy Brown 39

Various contributors 46

From Meherabad Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba's message of Love and Truth.

4

Los Angeles Sahavas

Barbara Roberts 48

Happenings at Meherabode

Various contributors 50

Messages from India for American

Various contributors 51

Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

Violence and Non-violence

Meher Baba 52

submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 or

Bababook@pacbell.net

de artments Passings

Various contributors 39

Announcements

Various contributors 49

deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:

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

Love Street Bookstore: Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 9 and 4pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

credits

,

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission of their Board of Directors.

email: Bababook@pacbell.net

credits: editor: design and layout: proofreader: printing: distribution:

Dina Snow Cherie Plumlee and Pris Haffenden Michael Franklin and Patricia Adams-Smith Balaji of Hyderabad printing this special issue Pris Haffenden, Harry Thomas and Dina Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 S. Centinela Ave. Los Angeles CA 90066-3124 310-390-2779 Feel free to cali with address corrections or questions. cover: Meher Baba and Eruch in Washington, D.C., 1956, Photo © Lawrence Reiter.

The LoveStreet 1Ampr:Eost is published quarterly, in]anuary, April,]uly, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southem California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

All words, images andgraphics in this publication are property ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.

3


Baba's Eruch Right Hand Man of the Avatar of the Age Davana Brown

B

October 13, 1916 - August 31,2001

eloved Avatar Meher Baba fulfilled His promise to Eruch B. Jessawala on 31st August 2001 at 2:31 a.m. when He gave Eruch His hand and pulled him out of the muck of illusion to live eternally in Him." For those of the Babafamily who have been blessed to visit Meherazad in the past thirty two years since Beloved Avatar Meher Baba dropped His physical form, the above message sent out to the worldwide Baba family will need no explanation. But for those who have not been able to make the pilgrimage to Meherabad and Meherazad and meet Eruch personally, the story behind this message perhaps needs telling. In the 32 years since Baba dropped His physical form, not a pilgrim season would pass without Eruch sharing with the Baba-Iovers gathered in Mandali Hall how he was waiting for that .day when Baba would give him His hand and lift him out of the muck of illusion. He would then regale the crowd with the story behind his statement. The year was 1949, before the commencement of the New Life. Baba wanted a period of relaxation, so He asked Eruch to think of a place where He could go and relax. Eruch knew that there were two requirements to be met in finding a place for Baba: fmt, that it was secluded, and secondly that there would be a good mast contact. Eruch suggested a place on the coast, not far from Bombay, called Vengurla; it had long stretches of beautiful secluded beaches and he knew that there was a mast staying in the vicinity whom Baba could contact. Baba agreed and plans were made for Baba and a few of the mandali to stay in the Government rest house there. One day shortly after their arrival, Baba directed the women mandali to proceed to the beach, go swimming for as long as they wished, and when they were finished, to return to the rest house 4

alone. He and Eruch would continue further along the beach, as Baba wanted to contact the mast. It was midday and the .sun was beating down upon them. Eruch explained to Baba they would have to walk about three miles to reach the distant town across the stretch ofbackwaters, but Baba wouldn't hear of it. Baba gestured to Eruch that it was too far and too hot and why couldn't they cross the inlet waters in one ofthe dug-out canoes that the fisher boys used to haul the catch. Vengurla was a fishing community and for as far as Baba and Eruch could see, the waters were dotted with peculiar makeshift fishing boats. These canoes were really huge tree trunks which had their centers carved out to form a hold for the fish and the boys would swim alongside, guiding the boats to the far shore. Eruch didn't like the idea at all and told Baba that it was very dangerous because the boats couldn't hold their combined weight - they were made for fish not people. But Baba was adamant that everything would be fine and that He was not about to walk the distance in the hot sun, so Eruch had no choice but to acquiesce to Baba's wish, dangerous as he felt it might be. Eruch called a couple ofthe young boys aside and told them that if they ferried them safely to the other side he would give the boys a good tip. Ofcourse, the boys assured Eruch that they would be careful. Then Baba climbed into the makeshift boat and Eruch followed. Eruch would describe how he and Baba could hardly move for fear that the boat would tip over, and how, halfway across this backwater bay one of the boys from another fishing boat saw these two strange figures in the boat and swam over to play some mischief on his friends. He dove under the water and pulled the feet of one of the boys ferrying them across, toppling the boat into the murky depths within seconds.


When Eruch would describe this incident in Mandali Hall, he would emphasize how filthy and black these waters were. The moment the boat capsized, he lost sight of Baba and frantically flailed his arms everywhere in the waters trying to catch hold of Baba by feel as he could not see anything. Suddenly, he caught hold of Baba's arm and as they sank to the bottom, with a strong kick, Eruch pushed off with his feet and in a few moments Baba and Eruch shot up to the surface. With one hand holding on to Baba and the other holding Baba's satchel, all Eruch could do was kick with his feet and direct Baba to paddle with His hands. They finally reached the shore, exhausted but safe. Baba told Eruch to run back to the guesthouse and get Him some fresh clothes. This posed a problem as it would leave Baba unattended for some time, but there was no choice. This was one of the few times in Baba's ministry when He was left alone. Eruch ran back to the bungalow to get the fresh clothes, while Baba remained seated under a nearby tree. However, when he got to the bungalow he found it locked, as the women had not yet returned. With Baba waiting alone under a tree there was no time to lose, so he broke into the quarters through a bathroom window, retrieved some clean clothes for Baba and ran all the way back as fast as he could. Eruch found Baba where he had left Him and quickly helped Him to wash with water from a nearby well and change into a clean sadra. Baba then contacted the mast in the town. As Eruch would often explain when he told this story, a good mast contact for Baba was His real relaxation, and after such a contact Baba would be in an especially good mood, with even His stride reflecting His happiness. As they stood together, Eruch said to Baba, "I told you it was dangerous Baba. What would the world have thought if you had drowned? It would have been a terrible thing, Baba." Baba then turned to Eruch and said, "Just as today you have given Me your hand and pulled Me out of these murky waters, a day will come when I will lend you My hand and pull you out of the muck of illusion." Eruch would then sigh and say, "I am waiting for that day." And that day finally did arrive on 31st August 2001, in the wee hours of the morning in his room, the Manonash cabin, surrounded by his family and the Meherazad mandali. As Eruch's final moments gained momentum, a clear, barely audible "0 Baba ... 0 Baba" slipped from his lips as his breath became more and more

irregular. His Beloved's name was the last word Eruch spoke aloud. From the medical perspective, Eruch died of a heart attack, and his official medical report states this, but in the real sense, his vanquished heart found its final fulfillment in the Beloved's victory! There had been many recent signs that the time was drawing near, with Eruch's increasing breatWessness, difficulty in walking and profound weakness shaping his last hours and days. But there were also many earlier hints that the last chapter was about to commence. On a quiet Wednesday morning in October 2000, Eruch decided he would like to go to Meherabad unannounced so that he could take darshan. Mter having Baba's darshan, he turned to those of us accompanying him and said very seriously, "I think this is my last pilgrimage." And although Eruch came to Meherabad three more times - on Mehera's Birthday, for Amartithi on January 30th and for Baba's birthday, the quality of those visits was different, for he had to hurry in and out before the huge crowds pressed in upon him. That quiet Wednesday in October was, as Eruch foretold, his last personal pilgrimage. Where to begin this account ofhis last days depends surely upon the teller of the tale, but for myself I shall always remember 8th November 2000 as the date from which Eruch took his final plunge to swim the last laps of the race. As most of the Baba world knew, Eruch's health had been failing for a number of years. His batde with Myasthenia Gravis, a 5


rare auto-immune neuro-muscular disease, and the ensuing Congestive Heart Failure, never deterred him from carrying out his duties. He was determined not to pamper his body but remain active in Baba's work till his last breath. Often Eruch would joke half seriously, when he was asked about his condition, that he was suffering from "my sins," his own name for the Myasthenia. That morning on the 8th of ovember, Eruch felt unusually low and extremely weak, yet in spite of this, he attended the Trust Office as usual. As he walked slowly towards Bhauji's office at the other end of the long verandah, I heard him say so fervendy and in a tone he was not wont to use, "Baba I can't bear any more. Baba please take me now,- please, Baba - I just can't bear any more." And within myself, I felt that Baba heard his plea and responded, for from that day forward Eruch's health took a steep and rapid decline from which there was no return. In the following months, Eruch continued on in spite ofinfection after infection, increasing problems with his circulation and blood pressure which would cause him to experience fainting episodes and increasing weakness, especially in his legs. His energy decreased until it became apparent that greeting the many pilgrims who would visit Meherazad on each pilgrim day was taking a serious toll on his reserves. Even the energy required to speak and engage with others was becoming more tenuous, difficult and tiring. So in his inimitable fashion Eruch began to switch gears, sharing his love in various ways that did not require his verbal exchange or physical touch. At tea time, Eruch began to personally give out biscuits to those who were with him - including Meherazad's pet dog Moti who loved Eruch and never failed to sit nearby during these lillie sessions. The biscuits were anointed with the name "puppy biscuits" - as we all became eager puppies wanting to receive one of these lovepacked cookies from Eruch's hand. But even that finally became too much of a chore for Eruch to attend to personally and he delegated the giving out to one of the men residents who were always 6

by his side during the tea times at Meherazad. During this period, Eruch would enjoy watching videos of the saints and Perfect Masters, particularly the life stories of Tukaram and Dyaneshwar and the Indian Epics, Mahabharat and the Ramayana. In his ever loving way, he would invite those close to him to watch these movies with him, and so we would sit together in silence, enjoying his proximity and the rare and only chance it gave him to relax and feel free from the cares of the day. In the TV room Eruch could be in his own thoughts, enjoy the stories of the great saints, and have a few moments where he could remain undisturbed. Throughout the years, Eruch would occasionally tell the story ofTukaram to pilgrims in Mandali Hall. As a result of his fondness for the story of this Perfect Master from Maharashtra, Heather Nadel and Alan Wagner chose this story for the annual play performed on Baba's Birthday. Although Eruch had been quite ill in the weeks before Baba's Birthday, he was intent on going to Meherabad on 25th February to see the play, based on the old 1937 film Tukaram which he loved watching at Meherazad. Looking back on the energy Eruch had to muster to get through that incredibly intense day, one cannot help but be amazed that he did it. The energy expended on Baba's Birthday


was surely the most he expended in anyone day until the end. Although the immensity of the day's activities did take its toll on Eruch's health, he truly loved the play and felt tremendous satisfaction in having seen it. When the new season opened, Eruch's health was so precarious that he only managed to sit in the hall on his usual Thursday a few times. Although the old days of telling stories nonstop had come to an end, he did share with the pilgrims on each of those Thursdays what he felt compelled to share. The Vengurla story related above was told by Eruch on his first day back in the hall, but the main thrust this season revolved around one particular incident in his life with Meher Baba. It so happened that Baba one day asked the mandali, "Who do you take Me to be?" There were many answers the mandali offered in reply, Eruch said, from "You are the Avatar, the Godman, the Highest of the High" to "You are the Eternal Beloved and the Ancient One." But none of these answers were satisfactory to Baba. Finally, Baba himself gave the mandali the answer. "Who is Meher Baba? He is the One who provokes this question in you. The Being of all Beings." If at all Eruch wanted to convey anything to the pilgrims gathered in Mandali Hall this season, it was this legacy - "Who is Meher Baba?" On one occasion, Eruch told this same story twice in one session, not because he had forgotten that he had already told it, but rather because he was compelled to make sure that we got it! On the last Sunday, Mandali Hall was packed with a large group of Indian and western pilgrims. Notably that Sunday, there was a large group from Hamirpur, in the north ofIndia. Eruch was in a happy mood during the program, which included some ofhis favorite songs, "Victory Unto Thee", "Amazing Grace," and a rousing upbeat song written and sung by Stephen Edelman called "Meher Baba's Daaman". Eruch even joined in on the chorus ofthe song and clapped his hands in rhythm. One ofthe Hamirpur Baba-Iovers sang his own composition "Meher Baba Loves You", in English, to the enjoyment of all and then before the films began, Eruch spoke to the crowd. "Do you know what it means to hold on to Baba's daaman?" he asked. Eruch paused for a long moment. Then he continued, relating how he used to think when Baba gestured "Hold onto My Daaman" that it meant literally to hold on to His sadra - to the hem of His garment. But years later he realized that it was not that - not the physical garment that Baba wanted His lovers to hold onto, but rather His Form - that Form which housed Reality. "And how do we do that?" Eruch emphasized, "We hold on to His Feet." Mter the program was over, Eruch stood up to leave Mandali Hall for his room. As he approached Baba's Seat, he stopped before it, bowed his head momentarily, and then he turned back to the pilgrims still seated in the hall. "If anyone were to ask you, Who is Meher Baba? the answer is, "He is the One who provokes this question in you - The Being of all Beings." And in a final gesture of emphasis he raised both hands as he repeated - "The Being of all Beings." Then with great effort and assistance, he left Mandali Hall to rest in his room. It was to be the last time Eruch spoke in Mandali Hall. During the last week, Eruch was watching the Indian Epic The Ramayana - the story of Ram and Sita. He loved this series as it depicts quite beautifully the story of the Avatar's Advent as Ram, the Upholder of Righteousness.

On the 30th of August, Eruch as usual wanted to watch the video after tea. With two residents on either side of him, lovingly helping to support his steps, Eruch traversed the distance from the verandah to the TV room situated behind the Blue Bus. Although the distance is just a few feet, even this much walking had become increasingly difficult for him in the last week. This episode enacted Sita and Ram and Laxman's crossing of the Sharayu river and the beginning of their fourteen year exile from Ayodhya. The episode opens with the boatman slyly telling Ram that he cannot allow Ram's feet to touch his boat for fear that His very touch might destroy the boat. This is a well-known reference to how the touch of Ram's foot freed a soul that had been incarcerated in a rock by a rishi's curse. 7


Ram smiles and the boatman tells him that only ifhe is allowed to wash Ram's feet, by cooling them first with the river water, can Ram be ferried across in his boat. Ram agrees and the boatman and his wife wash Ram's feet and then, overjoyed, drink the water. When they reach the other shore, Ram tries to give the boatman Sita's ring in payment. But the boatman refuses, telling Ram, "You think you can pay me merely with a ring? Just as today 1 have ferried you across these waters, let the day come when you, Ram, ferry me across the waters of illusion." Every day our video sessions would end at 5:00 o'clock exactly. This would be the time when Dr. Goher would drive over in her "Duckie", a motorized little scooter-chair. Eruch's brother Meherwan, sister Manu and other close ones would all sit together on the men mandali's verandah and share news of the day or reminisce about the golden years of life with Baba. It also became their time to just be with Eruch. When the hour was up, Meherwan would lovingly assist Eruch in walking the distance from his chair in front of the Blue Bus to Baba's Mandali Hall, where he would be with Baba on his own for some minutes before retiring to his room for dinner and his night rest. But that day as we sat together watching the Ramayana, Eruch did not make a move to get up even when it was 5:OOpm. He would always want me to tell him the time and so as usual 1leaned towards him and asked if he wanted me to stop the video as it was 5pm. With a gesture of his hand he indicated that it should continue. 8

He looked so entranced by the scene being portrayed on the screen that 1 can only now in retrospect wonder whether Eruch was himself silently reliving the event in his life that drew such a sharp parallel to what we were witnessing in the story. It felt as though Eruch, on some unspoken level, knew that the hour was approaching when His Beloved Baba would finally give him His hand and lift him from the muck of illusion. But whatever he may have felt only he knows, and this is merely my own conjecture. Nevertheless, the air was filled with an indefinable completion as the scene ended and Eruch announced "enough." 1 turned offthe video and helped him out of his chair to begin the "long" walk back to the verandah. With Stephen Edelman and Gary Kleiner lending him their arms for support, Eruch would walk slowly to his seat on the verandah. Gary and Stephen became Eruch's walking sticks and he enjoyed their company tremendously. As the days drew to a close, his own unique team of helpers remained close at hand, never wanting to miss a moment in his company. For Eruch's companionship remained as dynamic in his fragility, as commanding in his silence and as overwhelming in his humility as it had always been. He accepted whatever Baba gave him with an equanimity and graciousness that was more than just inspiring; it was a glimpse of,Mastery in Servitude'. A glimpse, perhaps, of what made Eruch so dearly beloved of Baba that Baba once commented that if He could be said to enjoy the company of any man, He enjoyed the company of Eruch. Eruch continued to attend the Trust Office up until the end. That last week, he came to the Trust Office on Monday and Tuesday although he was too weak to attend on Wednesday. When Thursday rolled around, he surprised everyone by announcing he was going to the Trust Office. When reminded it was his day to be in Mandali Hall with the pilgrims, he quipped that morning, "Those days are over now." He insisted that he must go to the Office as he had important work to do and he must greet Bhauji who had just returned from his trip to France. "Be ready at 9:30am sharp," he announced to those of us who accompanied him to the Office. Eruch was so determined to go that day that there was nothing more to be said. Again, in retrospect, it marked the final tying up of loose ends; it was in his meticulous nature to see that nothing was left unattended, that Baba's work came first. As he commented one late afternoon at Meherazad during that last week when he was feeling so weak, "1 must go to the Trust Office for 1 am Baba's Eruch." And Baba's Eruch he was till the very end, seeing to the correspondence, attending to the Trust Office routine, meeting dear Bhauji, even checking that the calendar date for the next day was changed before he left for Meherazad. For years on end, Eruch had made it a point to embrace each and every worker gathered at the Trust Office on his arrival there and on his departure. But the energy required for individual embraces was no longer possible and so, as Eruch walked towards the car that Thursday noon, he stopped momentarily and raised both his hands in an endearing gesture of love and care to each and all before getting into the car for his final return to Meherazad. Just as the Trust Office staffeagerly awaited Eruch's arrival, those working and living at Meherazad eagerly anticipated his return. No matter what activities one was engaged in, when the honk of the car's horn heralded his imminent return everyone waited in greeting as he disembarked slowly from the car.


On that last Thursday, Eruch's weakened state was most apparent as he walked with much effort to the nearby chair where he would sort out the mail for Meherazad before returning to his room. He sat quietly for several minutes that day, catching his breath before he could gather his strength even to sort the post and discuss the events of the day. But through it all, Eruch maintained his ever loving attitude of care and concern for all, extending a hand of greeting to one worker and a smile of care for another. As he rose from his seat, he paused and looked around at all of us, breaking the ice of concern writ on our faces with his favorite expression, "Another day, another life." That evening appeared to be like any other of the last few days. It was only later, when we all came together in Mandali Hall to remember Eruch, that Manu revealed that his goodnight hugs to the family came with a special message that last night. Manu said Eruch told them, "Be brave, be united, and remain harmonious with all your brothers and sisters." That was his last message to his family. It was around 12 midnight when the watchman knocked on Meherwan's door to inform him of Eruch's suddenly worsening condition. Then the watchman rushed to the women's side to inform Dr. Goher and Shelley Marrich that Eruch needed urgent medical help. Eruch's travail had come to its final act. By 12:30am he was having difficulty breathing. He was given oxygen but he felt extremely restless and would remove the oxygen tube over and over again. During this time, Dr. Goher Irani was by Eruch's side as were Meherwan, Manu and a few others. At 1:30 am Goher's sister Katie came by his room and he turned his face and saw her standing in the doorway. With a strong, clear voice, he greeted Katie 'as he would do each evening when they saw each other. "Jai Baba, Katie!" Eruch said. It was his last greeting to her. Eruch's time was drawing near. The Meherazad mandali by now had gathered within the Manonash cabin. The hands of the ~lock were moving towards the hour of his release and Eruch, still breathing with difficulty, was helped to sit up in his bed to facilitate his breathing. As Eruch's breathing became more and more laboured, a barely audible "0 Baba ... o Baba" gently slipped out of his lips. He was now facing a framed photo of Baba that had hung for many years from a nail hammered into one of the original beams of the Manonash cabin. But Eruch needed no photo of Baba, for etched upon his heart was the image of his Beloved Lord Avatar Meher Baba and his eyes surely saw none at the end but the One who was Eruch's All in all. With his last breath, Eruch's head fell to his chest, in a final bow of salutation and surrender to his Eternal Beloved. The time was 2:31am and twenty seconds. He had finally crossed the finish line and all present shouted out in unison '~vatar Meher Baba KiJai!"

Many years ago Eruch shared with those ofus gathered in Mandali Hall, a prayer that Baba had asked him to recite:

I am not the body I am not the mind I am not this and I am not that I am nothing-but a living lie Ofthat Truth that is Me And unless the lie is dead The Truth cannot be. For all those who aspire to the Truth, for all those who believe in the glory of Love, and for all those who long to efface themselves in total surrender to the Eternal Beloved, Eruch will ever be a shining example of a true slave. He took great pains to ensure that everyone who came in his contact never forgot who was the Beloved and who the slave. He stressed time and again that one's focus should be directed on Avatar Meher Baba and no one else. Such a matchless life will not be witnessed again for another seven hundred years!

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"Eruch loves Me very much-he is My right hand..." Meher Baba, The Awakener, vol. ix, no.1 and 2. "He [Baba] sat there in the airport and talked to us about Eruch His interpreter, his strength which was more than we could imagine, and his child-like mildness." Hedi Mertens, The Awakener, vol. iv, no.2. "You know how important Eruch is for my work. By remaining by my side, he serves me twenty-four hours a day, keeps watch by my side, reads my signs and gestures, looks after my smallest chores, and in addition, he handles the correspondance." Meher Baba, Lord Meher, vo1.l6. "Eruch did not have a wink of sleep for sixteen days once." Meher Baba, Lord Meher, vol.18. "If ever I personally like the company of anyone, it is that of Eruch." Meher Baba, The Ancient One. "The mandali are all Gems. There is no one to match Eruch." Meher Baba, Lord Meher, vo1.l3.

Stories from Meherabad Philip Lutgendorf

One of My Treasured Memories Erueh Jessawala

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ean recall two especially intimate moments with Meher Baba. The one occurred one day at lunchtime. All the other mandali had gone to have their meal. It has been my habit for a long time to not have lunch, and this proved most useful in giving me more time for my work for Baba. On this particular occasion, Baba was sitting in the hall, and I was standing in my usual place, facing Him. Baba gestured for me to get a chair. So I did, and Baba gestured for me to put it near His chair. I thought that Baba must be tired of sitting in His chair. This was after the accident and Baba's hip gave Him a lot of pain. I thought Baba wanted to switch chairs for a while. But when I went to help Baba, He gestured, "No, you sit." So I sat there, near Baba's chair, looking at Baba. Not a word was said. I just sat gazing at Baba and He looked at me. Although I spent so much time with Baba, I almost never got the opportunity to simply stare at Him. I was always too busy. Even when I looked at Him, I usually had to concentrate so hard on His fingers, at first to read the board, then His gestures. I would look at His face to catch the vivid expressions which passed with incredible rapidity across it so I would know the right inflection to put on the words I was speaking out, but I never got the opportunity to simply stare at Baba this way. So I sat in silence gazing at Baba, and He sat in silence staring at me. And I found cool tears streaking down my cheeks. Nothing was ever said, but that remains one of my treasured memories of my time with Baba. That's The Way It Was, Eruch Jessawala, pp. 284-285

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Mira and Alex arrived at Meherabad Hill in the morning, just a few minutes before Eruch's body was brought from Meherazad. They had a driver from Ellora who is a Baba lover, the grandson of a man who was the priest at the Kailash Temple when Baba came to Ellora in the early days. She said that Eruch looked very beautiful, and like himself, not like a corpse. Some days ago, Eruch had chosen a T-shirt for this occasion that read, "GOD-SAVE ME FROM YOUR LOVERS." She said this seemed appropriate as a reminder to the many, many people who came during the day to pay their last respects. Eruch's body was first carried into the Samadhi and lay there for a while; then it was placed on the Mandap platform nearby. Throughout the day people filed by offering flowers. There was an atmosphere of mingled sorrow and rejoicing. In the afternoon, the body was brought to lower Meherabad and placed in Mandali Hall. Throughout the afternoon there was music as people continued to come. At around 4:30 the music died out and people sat silently. Then Dolly Dastur asked Mira to play the violin, which she did for about half an hour. She said it felt so extraordinary to have this privlege to play solo in Mandali Hall before Eruch's body lying in state surrounded by Baba lovers. The body was then placed in a plain coffin which was closed, and at 5 :30 p.m. it was carried to the burial area behind the Dhuni platform where a large grave had been dug. The coffin was lowered to cries of "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!" and then everyone present filed by dropping flowers and handfuls of dirt. There was more music and she continued to play with other musicians. Then the work began of filling the grave with dirt and stones, using bucketfuls. Mira talked with Mehera Arjani, the daughter of Sam and Roshan Kerawala, one of Eruch's caregivers during the last few months. She had been with him all night on the 30th/31st, massaging his feet. She said Eruch's vital signs had been growing weak for several days, but he remained conscious and alert. At about 1:30 a.m. last night, when Katie Irani came into his room briefly, Eruch recognized and greeted her. Then he appeared to fall asleep and at around 2:20 a.m. his breathing changed. He breathed his last at 2:31 AM.


Pamela Tapley

Jerry Watson

Foxey started barking and howling at 1 a.m. I had gone to bed at 11:30 p.m. and was tired. Foxey, the dog from the Trust Office compound, had never barked before at night and certainly had never howled at any time. She stayed religiously with her pups all night and never disturbed anyone. The telephone rang soon after 2:30 a.m. I just missed it because I was trying to keep the dog from waking the whole neighborhood. Soon after that Irene called and told me Eruch had passed away at 2:31 a.m. Foxey was immediately quiet and made no further noise. I thought it best not to go to Meherazad immediately to pay my respects as it was dark and I was not sure of the road, not having traveled it at night on my scooter. So I mentally prepared myself to go to Meherabad for the morning Arti. As soon as it was light enough, I jumped on my scooter and rode straight to the Tomb. There, I decided to place my head against the wall. However, before I could touch it, I felt an energy and a heat coming from the wall that was so intense, I could only stand with my head close to, but not touching, the wall. After breakfast Eruch's body was brought from Meherazad to the Tomb and then later for a short while to the Mandap where those present, both Pilgrims and residents, paid their respects. The atmosphere was quiet - no underlying conversations - all focusing their thoughts on Eruch. If they were like me, their minds were thinking of the first or the last time they had spoken with him or of a very special something he had said. It was so easy to remember the energy that flowed out ofhim that reached many hundreds ofpilgrims before and after Baba had left the body. ~etly the line moved passed the Mandap, each person offering their precious thoughts to Eruch. Eruch's body was then taken to Mandali Hall where there continued to be a steady stream of people all day. The music and tributes continued throughout the day and somehow - significantly it seemed to me- soon after the Mandali arrived to sit with him, a house martin swooped out from the corner ofthe Hall and flew delightfully over the coffin and back again. This was repeated many times. Sometimes the bird would take a short break before continuing its flight over and back and over and back the length of the Hall and always over the coffin. The music continued with plaintive viola and harmonious singing. The atmosphere was quite delightful, though some were emotionally overcome or wracked with pain at the departing ofa dear and trusted friend. So many tears flowed and dozens of roses were placed delicately beside and on him until it was time for his body to be taken to the burial ground. More music continued here of a very special kind. And whilst one knew that it was his body being garlanded and buried, one somehow also knew that Eruch had left the body immediately in the early hours of the morning and gone straight to Baba's waiting arms, to be held gently in His love for eternity.

I woke up unexpectedly at 3 a.m. and was quite surprised to discover that there were no lights or power since there is a back-up generator which normally keeps the lights on at the Pilgrim Center. I retrieved my flashlight and went out into the courtyard. Because there was a gentle quietness and stillness in the air, I felt the inclination to just stand for several minutes in the garden admiring the beauty of the moon and stars silhouetted against the plants and trees. I distinctly remember thinking how magical it all seemed. A fleeting thought crossed my mind that perhaps a great or unusual event may have transpired, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what that might be. I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 6 a.m. and learned about Eruch's passing as I entered the dining room for tea. Morning Arti was a mixture of emotions, sadness and happiness. Eruch had suffered so much towards the end. How can one not feel happy for him? He had finally been relieved of all worldly responsibilities and Baba in His compassion had finally given him the green light to go to His Beloved. Baba had once said of Eruch, 'In all my advents, no one has served me like Eruch has served me.' And in another reference to the uniqueness of the relationship between Eruch and Baba, He had also made the comment, 'If at all I derive happiness in this world, it is from the company of Eruch'. It was a day of constant vigil and inward reflection, trying to sort out my personal feelings for Eruch. To say that he had been an inspiration to thousands is an understatement. He was a dynamo of strength, the living example of how to live for the Beloved. He was a warm, close friend ofwhom one could ask anything. He would delight in sharing treasured stories ofhis companionship with Baba. He gave of himself instinctively, even to the very end. In fact, he shared a wonderful anecdote in Mandali hall last Sunday that made me realize that he was still very lucid. In spite ofhis difficult health, he had not lost his sense of humor.

'7 would be left to see How well He understood my need For that briefmoment He lentyou to me. " P. Topley

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At 10 a.m. when Eruch's body, wrapped in linen and placed on a stretcher, was transported up the hill and brought into the Samadhi to lay at Baba's feet, I caught a glimpse of Meherwan Jessawala's expression. It was so touching to see Eruch's dear younger brother bravely struggling to hold back the tears that I had to leave the area for a few minutes to collect myself. The personal side of this momentous event of Eruch's passing hit me with full force. So many images and feelings came and went throughout the day. But I was not to be left alone in my contemplations as many people began arriving from Pune, Mumbai and other outlying areas ofIndia, some corning from as far away as Hyderabad. At 10:30 a.m., the stretcher that held Eruch's body was moved from the Samadhi and placed under the large structure in close proximity to Baba's Tomb. Resting on a raised platform, it was there that a line formed and people were able to pay their respects - some with flowers, others with a simple greeting, and those who felt moved to do so softly touched his feet or kissed his cheek. All the while, a silent understanding seemed to prevail among the crowd - a great lover of Baba's had just passed from our midst. The body was then carried into a van and driven to lower Meherabad and placed in Mandali hall where musicians of all persuasions played Eastern and Western songs and music. I was captivated by the violin solo ofMira Lutgendorf as

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she played various classical pieces, lending an air of majesty and dignity to the hall. Then the moment arrived when a soul stirring rendition of Hari Paramatma, the seven names of God Arti that Baba had composed many years ago, was sung by all. It shook the walls and reverberated throughout the hall - deep, full tones that penetrated one's entire being. I've never heard it sung in that way before. There was a haunting, ancient quality about it. Standing at the burial ground of the men Mandali site at lower Meherabad in the late afternoon that day, as the casket was slowly lowered into the grave, I began to realize that I was saying goodbye to a very dear friend - a friend whom I had fondly known for 32 years. Eruch had been a friend who would often take a personal interest in what was going on in my life - a friend who invariably teased me upon my arrival every year by asking me if I had spoken to my colleague Alexander Graham Bell recently - alluding to my last name ofWatson. The topic ofThomas Watson was significant since Eruch would remind us that it was this very same illustrious Mr. Watson who initially invited and financed Baba's first visit to America in 1931. As I thought about our relationship, it seemed that Eruch was more than just a friend. Knowing him had allowed me the privilege to capture a rare glimpse of that special link Eruch had with our Beloved Baba. Eruch was a shining example of how to love Baba in the deepest sense of the word. I shall profoundly miss him. At the end of this glorious and profoundly significant day, with the sun rapidly descending below the horizon and nightfall gradually overtaking everything, there was a mad dash to the local Cyber Cafe to type out the impressions of the day for the genuinely concerned and inquisitive who were unable to be here. Dinner time discussions followed by films of Baba with Eruch appropriately completed the remaining hours until it was time to retire for the evening. Once again, there was silence. Looking at those same stars and a slightly fuller, brighter moon in the garden that night, in quiet reflection, I remembered the feeling that swept over me just 20 hours before. Something great and unusual had indeed occurred.


A Reminiscence about Eruch from MeherwanJessawala, reported by Ward Parks Meherazad seems to be full ofmemories these days, memories of that great man who just left us. What can one say about Eruch? The words that one tries to weave around his name and memory all seem so inadequate. Yet so many Baba lovers around the world could testifY through their own heartfelt experiences and anecdotes to how deeply Eruch has touched their lives. Perhaps because he was the friend ofthe Friend, the closest day-to-day companion to that one true Companion, Eruch, like no one else I personally have ever met, seems to have had the ability to become a real friend to everyone. Over the last week since Eruch passed away (on Friday 31st August), the verandas and walkways and gardens at Meherazad where Eruch lived the last half-century ofhis life have been scenes ofnumerous mini-gatherings as groups of two or three, or a half-dozen, or a score have shared reminiscences, like little running rivulets oftestimonial to the magnitude ofhis impact. LastThursday, September 6, these little brooks and streams converged into a larger pool, as the Meherabad pilgrims and Meherazad mandali met together in Mandali Hall (Meherazad) for a morning session of commemorating that disciple whom Baba called His Peter. While a number of episodes and stories were recollected, the one that I would like to record here, illustrating the depth ofBaba's trust in Eruch and the quality of service that this "fortunate slave" rendered to his Master, was narrated by Eruch's younger brother, Meherwan. The story dates back to the mid-40s, during a period when Eruch was staying with his family in Bindra House in Pune and would frequently be called by Baba to be with Him at Meherazad. As Meherwan continued: "On one of these visits, a wealthy man came to have Baba's darshan. Before leaving, while bowing down to Baba, the man placed a packet at Baba's feet. "What is it?" Baba asked. "A small token of love offering," the man replied. "There is no need for it," Baba gestured, and asked him to take it away. But the man insisted that Baba keep it, and departed. Baba then told Eruch to take the packet, keep the money, and give it to a deserving person. "But how will I find such a person?" Eruch asked. "Don't worry," Baba assured him, "you will know." Baba then washed Eruch's feet with His own hands and bowed down to him. "Before you give the packet,"Baba instructed him, "wash the feet ofthe one you give it to and bow down to that person, just as I have done to you." Over the years I often noticed that, whenever Baba gave Eruch an assignment, Eruch would always be most anxious to execute that work, lest he might die with the work unfinished! Now in this case, the packet of money and the charge Baba had given to him weighed heavily on him. So when he returned to Pune, he would pay visits to pan and beetle leaf shops, sugarcane juice stalls, and other wayside centres of gossip and small talk, trying to catch word of some needy person matching Baba's description. One day, while passing by a vendor of sugar cane juice, Eruch happened to hear a customer say, "I really pity that honest and truthful man: formerly he was in such happy circumstances, until he was accused by his corrupt seniors under some fabricated charge. He has been completely ruined and now lives in penury. What a plight the poor fellow is in!"

Eruch approached the speaker and asked, "Who are you talking about?" "What is that to you?" the man fired back, looking at him suspiciously. "My elder brother likes to give help to people who are in dire straits," Eruch replied. "I think he would be interested in the man you are speaking of" Eruch got all the information and immediately set off by S.T. bus for the village of Bhor, some 40 miles to the south-west of Pune on the Pune-Satara highway. The road to Bhor branched off the main road and led across a large dam, the famous Bhatgur Dam, at that time the largest masonry dam in the world. Reaching the village beyond, Eruch inquired, and was duly led to a small ramshackle hovel on a run-down, filthy by-lane. "This is the place," he was told. He knocked on the door. A woman opened it. She was very beautiful, but wore a haggard look on her face, and was dressed in rags. "Where is the man of the house?" Eruch asked her. "He has gone out," she answered, looking very alarmed. "Why do you want him? My husband has done no wrong!" For Eruch in his khaki clothes seemed like some official who had come to harass her or her husband in some way. What else would induce a stranger to visit such a remote outpost? Eruch tried to pacifY her and said that he had come to offer some help to her husband. At that she said," 0, no, please go away, as we will never be able to repay any loan." Eruch reassured her on this point and was able to win her confidence. Then she explained to him that her husband was out at work. In fact, he was a toll-gate attendant on the very road over the dam that Eruch had crossed on the way to the village. "He will be coming back home this evening," she said. "Very well," Eruch answered, "1' 11 return

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tomorrow, bringing help, as I've assured you. Will your husband be here then? Ask him not to go before I come and see him." She promised him that he would be there, and Eruch departed for Pune. At Bindra House that night, he asked me, "Would you like to come with me on a picnic tomorrow at the site of the world's largest dam?" Still just a boy at the time, this idea was appealing to me, and this is where I became a witness to the rest of the story. That next morning, packed lunch in hand, the two of us caught an early bus to Bhor. When we reached the hut, we found the man waiting for us. "What can I do for you?" he asked. "My elder brother sent me," Eruch told him. "He wishes to give you some help in your predicament." "I can't accept a loan," the man said. "I wouldn't be able to pay it back." "There is no question of repayment. This is a gift of love from my elder brother. Please accept it, and he will be obliged to you."But there is a condition," Eruch went on. "I have to wash your feet and bow down to you. Please allow me to do this, so that I may give you this gift." Very reluctantly the man agreed. Eruch washed his feet, bowed down before him, and gave him the packet which contained quite a substantial sum. The man was rendered stunned and speechless by this whole turn of events. Immediately Eruch turned to me and said, "The work is done. Let's go now." But before we had gone more than a few steps back down the road, the man came running after us. 'Who are you?" he said. "Who has given me this gift?" "It is from my elder brother," Eruch answered. "It is an expression oflove for you and your family. Don't ask any more about it." "But did you know," the man went on, "that if you had sought for me tomorrow you would not have found me here? And do you know why not? Do you know what I was planning to do?" "What is that?" "This very day I was planning to kill myself, to commit suicide by jumping over the dam wall. I had reached such desperate straits, such a dead end in my life, that there seemed to be no other way out for me. It is thanks to you that I am living on past this day." "Don't give your 14

thanks to me," Eruch said. "Give your thanks to God. Great is His mercy and compassion. All praise to Him!" : With this, Eruch and I left quickly and hurried back along the road to the dam. There, as Eruch had promised, I got to enjoy a pleasant picnic and outing; and that evening we caught the bus back to Pune. The beauty ofthis story is that it shows not only Baba's unfathomable compassion, for who but God could have arranged in such an indirect and understated way to bring a gift like this in the very nick of time into the hands ofa man who so desperately needed it? But at the same time it depicts Eruch's extraordinary obedience and intuitive responsiveness to His wish and will. What an unobstructed channel he was for the flow of Baba's divine life! Indeed, as Baba Himself said, Eruch was "matchless." But all this was the effect ofBaba's work with him. As Meherwan so beautifully said at the beginning of his story, "what would most please Eruch would be if, when we commemorate him, what we remember is the painstaking years of effort that Baba spent in training Eruch, so as to bring him up to the standard ofwhat we see today. "In my 70 years association with EDlch, there was hardly a chance to be close to Eruch, since he was all the while so close to Baba. So attuned was Eruch to Baba's ways that he actually lived his life as if living out Baba's wishes and commands. Eruch was so focused on Baba that his life was truly and totally His." Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!

Tributes and Thanks For the Memories to our Dear Friend Eruch Gary Kleiner, Meherabad Eruch Jessawala was the Perfect Slave. His Master was Meher Baba. The only way that a slave is ever willing to hear praise, is when one praises his Master. But this Perfect Slave called Eruch died a few days ago. On August 31, 2001 Eruch Jessawala was


buried at Meherabad. He put in over 63 years years in the service of his Lord. More than half of those years were served after the Master Himself passed away from this world in 1969. Some people say that Eruch joined his Master. Some say that this Perfect Slave will come back again as a Perfect Master. I don't know anything about that. All I know is that Eruch, who was a friend and mentor to me is gone, and I have a gaping hole inside of me because I miss him so much! My life and my world will never be the same! Eruch brought comfort and security to so many of us. He was the patriarch ofthe Meher Baba community. We have lost our father figure and our rudder. Now we must all journey and steer on our own. We the children of Meher Baba, now have to become adults, living and loving our own lives and stories. Eruch shared with us love, hope, strength and courage. These are priceless gifts. But these gifts are like a seed, and unless we nurture them to life they are wasted! What a sad story it would be, for me and for all of us, if Eruch's offerings were discarded. I have the highest regard for Eruch and the life that he led. I do not yet have the fortitude to do what Eruch did. But I am glad that at least I have an appreciation for what he did! Meher Baba sculpted and moulded Eruch into the archetype and prototype of the selfless beauty that it is possible to attain in our human condition. Through his surrender to his Higher Self, Eruch showed us all that it is possible for the drop to transcend itself by living a life that is completely in the service of the Ocean! It was incredible to watch. Every moment of Eruch's life was an act of love. For a long time it was too challenging for me to witness Eruch's love game. So I would sometimes try to provoke him, by asking him ifit was a wise choice on his part to surrender so completely to Meher Baba. It was a foolish argument on my part, because I personally do not know anything about surrender. Meher Baba said that greater than love is obedience and greater than obedience is surrender. By being near Eruch, I was hoping to ignite the first spark oflove inside me for Meher Baba ~nd for God. But for me, obedience is still incomprehensible, and surrender is beyond imagination and conception! Nearly three decades ago, I came into Eruch's camp because I saw the bonfire that was burning there. My cold and dark world needed an infusion of Light and Warmth. Eruch not only gave me that, but he also provided nourishment for my soul. Eruch once said to me that he would be willing to trade away everything of~eher Baba's, including His Samadhi and Meherabad and .Meherazad for just one soul on fire for Meher Baba! He ~dded that he would like to have both, but if there was a choice of only one, he would take that soul on fire for the Lord! That is our challenge. That is who Eruch was. He was that soul on fire and that is what made His Lord so pleased in him and pleased in his service. Meher Baba once said that if at all He got any pleasure from the company of people, it was the company of Eruch! In fact during the New Life, Meher Baba said, "Eruch is the life of the New Life!" He was also the life and love of my life. And nobody wants to lose the love of their life! Eruch is gone! But his challenge to me and all of us lives on. Do we want to live in our fear based lives, or are

we going to gamble on something bold and daring? Eruch wanted us to gamble on the truth within us! What a waste it would be if the glorious example ofEruch's life did not invite any takers. But it will! One day, I believe humanity will reach a new personal best, because Eruch showed us new and unthought of possibilities of what it means to be a human being. He raised the bar of what it is to be human. And I raise a toast to that great soul for the love and selfless dedication that he shared with all of us! . As I said, the highest praise to a slave is if one praises his Master! But I hope to honor this slave and friend by showing him that his words and deeds were not wasted on me. Eruch has fallen. And the flag that lies next to him is a challenge for all of us. We have a chance to pick up that flag and carry it into the battle oflife. We have a chance to live a life that is full of love. Eruch would tell us that Meher Baba is "The Being ofAll Beings." Wouldn't it be better to connect to that being instead of fighting over and about our differences. For me, my Meher Baba story revolves around Eruch. The fact that Meher Baba caught this giant of a man is incredible. And what is even more incredible is that once caught, Eruch excercised his freed~m to become His Slave! That is an enigma and a riddle rolled into a personal challenge for me. IfMeher Baba is the great fisher ofsouls, He finds His own way to bait and catch everyone. The hook that I have bitten into is Eruch! If at the end of that line it is Meher Baba who is reeling me in, so be it. But I bit for Eruch!

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You are Baba's Eruch. And we can still derive warmth and light from the bonfire of your love! You always said, Eruch, that we should play our part and not become our part. I would love to be able to do that, as an honoring of the love that you have shared with me, and as a kindling for the love that I have for Meher Baba, your Beloved Master! I love you Eruch. And I give the highest praise to your Master who accepted and perfected you! May the Glory ofHis Being inspire us to sing from our hearts. And may the glory of your dedication inspire us to dance to His tune, like you did! Towards the end of your life Eruch, you would say to to us, "Forget me, just remember the Lord." But I can not forget you Eruch. You are the greatest man that I have ever met. So for me, my dear friend, that makes you the being of all beings!!!

Emma Camp Last night they came with news of death not knowing what I would say. I wanted to say, "The green wind is running through the fields making the grass lie flat." I wanted to say, "The apple blossom flakes like ash covering the orchard wall." I wanted to say, "The fish float belly up in the slow stream, stepping stones to the dead." They asked if I would sleep that night, I said I did not know. I thank Meher Baba for giving me Eruch. And one day I would like to thank Meher Baba for taking Eruch away. But today, I am still a child who has many fears to conquer. It was so comforting to have Eruch in this world, because he was the Father figure. It seemed that, since he was living the life, I did not have to. Now we have to come into our own. We have to stand up for our truth within! We have to let our love and our light out. We have to rely less on fear. This is what our father has taught us. This is what would make our father proud. It is now the story of our love and our love story that has to come to life. For me it seems like the practice session is over. Now we play for real! So let the games begin! I love Eruch! And I could praise him day and night. That is easy. What is hard is living the life that he tried to inspire in me and in all of us. Ultimately it will be the quality of love that I am able to bring into my life that will be the testimonial and thanks for the the gift of love that Eruch presented and nurtured within me. It is not a sad and crumbling world that we inherit. It is filled with love! Eruch shared that Love with us, and now we must share it with others. Eruch's way was to love the Being Of All Beings in everything and everyone that he encountered! I miss being with you Eruch. I miss your being. There was no human being like you. Your work is done my friend. You have showed us that the greatest game in the Universe is to try to find our Beloved as the Being Of All Beings! You have inspired an army to go out on that search! Thank you my friend. Your life was a stepping stone and a bridge to the Beloved.Your life was a song of dedicated praise to your Lord. You have achieved Mastery In Servitude! 16

For this loss I could not speak, The tongue lay idle in a great darkness, the heart was strangely open, the moon had gone, and it was then when I said, "He is no longer here", that the night put its arms around me and all the white stars turned bitter with grief Jai Baba, Dear and Glorious Eruch. "Baba would have loved your boldness"... you said ...and smiled. And I smiled back. .. loving you.

Jane Brown On my last visit to Meherazad, I found myselfpretty much alone with Eruch in Mandali Hall. I realized that I was keeping a bit of a distance from him because I felt that he wasn't being as close to me since Bob Brown (my late husband) died. I was about to say goodbye to him when he said "I want Bob, not you!" Shocked, I responded "I can't just manifest him". He said "Yes you can. Why didn't you die and leave him behind?" He was playing with me, of course, but he struck a chord inside of me, and brought me back to a moment that I remembered for the first time since Bob had died. It was a few days before Bob passed when I realized he was going to see Baba, and the desire in me to see Baba really intensified and the sadness I felt then was that I wasn't going to be able to go with Bob to see Baba.... In that moment with Eruch, tears welled up in my eyes, my mood changed and I said...."I tried to die but I couldn't". His expression changed to a much more serious one, and he pulled me close to him with an intensity that only Eruch can. He put my head on his left shoulder, holding me tighter than I had ever been


held in my life, keeping his hand on my head, and it felt as though he were pulling me as close to Baba as he possibly could. Whatever power is his to use, I felt he was using it - to the fullest. To say the least, it was the best Eruch hug I had ever gotten and in that moment exactly what I needed most. When leaving Meherazad last October, I was standing alone with Eruch again in Mandali Hall in front of Baba's chair. I said (feeling as if this was my last moment with him in this life and that he was soon going to Baba) "Have a nice journey". He responded with "Have a nice flight", then giggled and said "You will be flying while I will be journeying". Then he happily said "Maybe you will die in the airplane" and I said..."Good, then I can go with you!" We laughed and embraced in front of Baba's chair in Mandali Hall. A few years earlier, as I was leaving Meherazad, when I went to say goodbye to him I started crying, and he said "Leave Laughing"! I will never forget it or all the beautiful memories I have ofEruch as the stalwart Baba force egging us all on to be continuously in His presence.

Jim Peterson In 1975, for the fIrst time since the 1969 Darshan, I went to Meherazad and found myself in Mandali Hall. For some unknown reason, Eruch, in his loving way, was focusing the force of his affections on me. Without being presumptuous, he asked me questions and then seemed to direct all his stories at me. Incredibly, I was in bliss for the fIrst hour and a half. As many of you might remember, in those days Eruch would tell stories from early morning until lunchtime. I began to get restless and I also needed to go to the bathroom. Finally, I could wait no longer. I got up in a semi-lull in Eruch's story and headed for the door. "Where are you going, dearJim?" Eruch asked. "I have to piddle," I responded. "O.K." Eruch replied. I went to piddle, but when I discovered the joy of not being the constant focus ofEruch's intense love, I decided to enjoy my "freedom" and not go back into Mandali Hall. I was thoroughly enjoying sitting in the garden and basking in Baba's radiance when a clearly agitated Rano came walking briskly over to me and said, "What are you doing?" ''I'm enjoying Baba's garden," I replied. "But Eruch has been waiting and waiting for you to hear his next story," Rano said in a slightly peeved tone. "You must come back right away."I returned to the hall and Eruch was very happy to see me. He didn't scold me as Rano had, but simply continued his stories. I had learned a valuable lesson in etiquette and manners by the ever humble and loving Eruch.

When all I want is some of that closeness that you and the others shared with him. All the words we have are best left unsaid right now, so maybe we can get drawn by him a little closer, a little closer, no longer be drawn and quartered by all the addictions of this world, and start to see his face on all our desires, hear his soft breathing when we just want the closeness of the human form, start to feel more of the real friendship he surrounds us with every second of every day.

Bill Stephens My most vivid memories of dear Eruch are from 1973 and early 1974. Peggy and I arrived in Ahmednagar on Christmas Eve of 1973. Our son Roger Stephens and his pal Scott O'Neil had traveled overland to India, by way ofIran and Mghanistan, and had arrived several weeks earlier. We all stayed at the East-West, a small place across from the Ahmednagar train station and rode bikes to Lower Meherabad or took a rickshaw to Meherazad. While at Meherazad on Christmas Day, Eruch drew me aside and into Mandali Hall. After we both bowed to Baba's chair, we sat down under the window, where Eruch always sat, and he began telling me stories ofNew Life wanderings with Baba. For the next forty-fIve minutes or so, he told me story after incredible story of those unique and priceless days with the Divine Beloved. I found myselfthinking, "If listening to Eruch telling these tales can be so wonderful and so blissful, what must it have been like to sit in Silence with Meher Baba?"

Eric Toperman What can I say about you, Eruch? That you lived as close to God as an ordinary man is able to? That you combed his hair, and slept under his bed? That he actually enjoyed your company? Every word I say makes me feel as though I am putting some distance between us to gain some perspective, some view of your life with our Baba, 17


Another day Eruch took a few ofus--including Mark Muray, Bart Flick and Peggy and me--on a walking tour of the village of Pimpelgaon; and we posed for a picture with a group of about twenty beautiful children. We were so moved that Peggy and I later dedicated one of our children's books to the children of Pimpelgaon Village. Eruch also took us on awalk up Seclusion Hill, telling story after story along the way. A few days later he took a group of us on a visit to the "little Taj" at Aurangabad, to the Daulatabad Fort, and to the cemetery where Eruch once stopped a funeral procession and kept it waiting, while he expressed lavish sympathies for the bereaved--all to allow Meher Baba to finish undisturbed His "inner work" in the cemetery. After Daulatabad, we all visited the "womb ofthe saints" at Khuldabad and the incredible Ellora Caves. At every location we were rewarded by stories ofwhat Baba did or said at that spot. Oh, Eruch! We can never thank you enough, nor can we ever forget, your incomparable stories, your loving kindnesses and your supreme dedication to our Beloved, Meher Baba.

Dawn Dolan I fIrst met Eruch in India at Meherazad in 1977. At that time, I was a product of having grown up in California during the 60's and was on a mad chase for God-realization. With all of the divergent opinions in vogue during the 60's and 70's, I found it difficult to reconcile all ofconflicting beliefs about how best to live in the world as a spiritual aspirant - embrace the world as it is? - renounce the world as an unholy distraction? - change the world to a place of love, harmony and peace? - oh, what to believe and what to do?! I had just fInished reading "God Speaks" which was given to me as an introduction to Meher Baba. Shortly thereafter, I met Adi K. Irani in Los Angeles at an open meeting arranged by Filis Frederick. Baba caught me and within a few weeks time I was in India. Mter Baba fInalized the catch in His Samadhi, I went to visit Meher18

azad. Even though there were fewer pilgrims there at that time than there is now, all of the Mandali were quite busy. At this point, Baba defInitely had my heart but my mind had so many questions from years of struggling with the search for Truth and God, that it would not let go and allow my heart to enjoy the peace of Baba's grace. On that first day at Meherazad, Eruch spotted this in me and showed his compassion by engaging me in conversation and acting as if he had absolutely nothing else to do that was as important as talking with me. He drew upon his wealth of experience witl;1 Baba and gave me the opportunity to get all of my questions answered. He didn't let go until my mind was totally relieved of the weight of its burden and my heart was free to just 'be' with Baba in joy and peace. Eruch's kindness and generosity were a true gift that I will never forget. During a visit to Meherazad in 1999, Eruch came through again at just the right moment. I was standing in the front courtyard speaking with someone whose attitude and actions were painful for me to witness. Just then, Eruch appeared and joined the conversation speaking words of both kindness and of penetrating insight. His words allowed me to see a larger picture and, thereby, to let go of the pain I had been feeling. However, it wasn't until a year later that I felt the full impact of his insightfulness and was most grateful for its healing effects on my heart. Besides all this, Eruch was really fun just to hang out with!! He was defInitely 'good company' and I will sorely miss him.

Elizabeth Heaney As I stood at the back of Mandali Hall, looking out into the garden, despair began to rise up in me, and I became conscious of feeling lost and alone. Once again, I was adrift. Was I crazy for coming all this way for one more 'search' that wasn't going to work out? I gazed out at the beautiful flowers and tears welled in my eyes, and my heart physically hurt. I had come to India searching for some relief from the endless dark night that I had been experiencing for the last two years. Mter feeling a sweet closeness with God most of my life, I had fallen into a profound void with no sense of a connection to God. I didn't know much about Meher Baba when I went to India but I was desperate enough to come half way around the world to regain a relationship with God. On this particular morning, my fIrst visit to Meherazad, as I stood at the doorway to Mandali Hall, I heard someone say to me, "Did you happen to see this?" I looked around and Eruch was


beckoning me to come back into the hall and look at a photo on the wall. "Yes," I said, "I saw that." I started to turn away. "No, come. Come here. Look here at the bottom. Did you see this down here? Did you see the date down here at the bottom?" He bent over, as if studying something at the bottom of the photo. Sighing, I walked back in and looked at the picture again. Eruch began to talk to me, pointing things out and telling me all about the picture. He talked to me and wouldn't let me get away. He showed me one picture after another, and somehow helped me fight off that wave of hopelessness that was crashing through me. Somehow, by Baba's Grace, Eruch reeled me back in from the abyss. Baba had sent his messenger, and fortunately for me, He sent the one who wouldn't let up until I came back into the Beloved's gallery. As he talked, I relaxed and began to be more and more drawn in by his comments. It was the first ofmany trips to Meherazad and many conversations with Eruch. I am so filled with loving gratitude for all my times with Eruch over the years... but it is that first meeting that I hold especially dear. You see, it wasn't ever about the photos; it was about rescuing a drowning soul. Cindy Lowe

My remembrance of Eruch occurred in Mandali Hall during my visit to Meherazad with my husband Jeff. One day at tea time in November 1998, Eruch told us a story about Baba and Mehera during the New Life. I don't remember the story well enough to tell it but the gist of it was that Baba always did whatever Mehera wanted. When Eruch finished he said to Jeff, "Do whatever Cindy wants." I, of course, was overjoyed with this news! But after considerable pressure from Jeff and Bill LePage, Eruch added that neither should I displease Jeff. Hastily, I reminded Eruch that on a previous visit he had told Jeff, "You must listen to Cindy! She knows more than you do about some things," My instincts told me that I should ask for these auspicious directives in writing! Without any hesitation, Davana prepared a document that said, "I, Jeff Lowe, accept the conditions as stipulated by Eruch to do whatever Cindy

wants." "And I, Cindy Lowe, will do my best to please Jeff." We both signed it as our pledge of love to each other. In order to make it official, this document was signed by Eruch. Bill LePage and Sarah Schall also signed as witnesses and Davana Brown signed as scribe. Davana still has the original bu t she made us a copy that we treasure as a remembrance of a very happy time with Eruch. Our pledge to each other has helped Jeff and I live together in harmony and cooperation, remembering and honoring the spiritual commitment we made that day. "Thank you, Eruch! Your words will live in our hearts along with our fond memories of you."

Chris Barker On April 23, 1969, having known about Baba for less than six months, I found myself in India at the Great Darshan. I felt a tremendous inner connection to Baba although I hardly knew anything about His external advent. And I had virtually no idea who His Mandali were. Because the Darshan program was in the morning, most of the afternoons were free. On one of the free afternoons, I decided to rent a bicycle and ride from the Arnir Hotel to Guruprasad so that I could walk around and take pictures ofthe grounds and building, and possibly of the Mandali. I was almost penniless, but it hardly cost anything to rent a bike for an afternoon, so I got one and made my way through the Poona traffic to Guruprasad. When I reached the gates, I got down, and with my bicycle leaning against the gate, I took a picture of the long driveway leading to 19


Guruprasad, the summer home of God. Then I walked down the drive because I thought it would be a bit sacrilegious for me to ride a bicycle on God's drive-way! When I reached the building, some-one came out to meet me and brought me up onto the verandah. To my delight, Mani appeared and I had an opportunity to spend afew glorious minutes with her. She told me that the Darshan program for Indian people would be starting in a few minutes and that I could stay for it if I wanted to. The Indian Darshan prgram was wonderful. I didn't understand a word of it, but the language of the heart was perfectly comprehensible, and I quietly wept through much of the program. Blissfully happy, I walked down the long driveway and out the gate. To my surprise, I found that my rented bike was gone! Stolen! I didn't have nearly enough money to pay for a missing bicycle, and I was mortified at the thought of having to tell anyone about this and cause them to trouble themselves because of this silly thing that I had let happen. Out of the handful of rupees that I had left to my name, I got a rickshaw ride back to the Amir. All that evening and night I tossed and turned, racking my brain trying to figure out what to do about this stolen bicycle. The next morning at the Darshan program I could hardly think about Baba because of worrying about that darn bicycle. A black cloud ofgloom seemed to hang over my head. Finally, at the end of the program, after each member of the group had bowed before Baba's chair, and then left the meeting room and gone outside to stand on the cool marble floor of the verandah and chat with one another, I inched my way over to Eruch. I thought maybe, just maybe he knows something about my bicycle. It's a long shot, but I've got to ask. So I came up to him and said, "Eruch, you don't happen to know anything about the bike that I was riding yesterday..." He interrupted me and said, "Yes! Why did you leave that bike unlocked on the road? Don't you know it can get stolen that way! You have to be more careful these days!" And on he went berating me for being so silly and impractical. But I was beaming at him and laughing and crying with relief and happiness -- and also with love because I was so touched that he was treating me just as if! was a member of his family. When I nodded vigorously and apologized, he gave me a great big bear hug --and told me where I could find my bicycle. They had watched me walk in and someone had gone all the way down and got it. That's family for you! And ever since then I have loved Eruch like the perfect uncle, or older brother, that he is.

Etzion Becker While studying English for about twenty-six years, I have developed this growing feeling of discomfort, that something is missing; and I didn't understand why. It is true that the language is very rich 20

with words, some say half a million words. But the more I have been studying, this discomfort kept on growing, and I couldn't understand why. So recently it dawned on me, that what is missing in English (and most likely in the general vocabulary of humankind as a whole), is one word. And this word, when it came to my consciousness, says it all. So I decided to coin this expression ''An Eruch". What is "an Eruch" and why has it been missing for so long, hence nobody really complained? As you well know humans advance according to the level of their complaints. So how to advance if there are no complaints? Anyway, the more I look at this term "an Eruch", it feels good to me. When I review the past history, lets say the past 2500 years, it is hard to note where there was a person who not only pleased the Lord, but more than that, made his Lord proud of him. And now you can easily understand why humans were missing this one important word all these millennia - they simply have never grasped what is real work on Earth. But now the spell is broken; and now with the precedence established, we cannot escape as we usually do, and moreover, we will see to it that this was not just one occurrence in history. We will make it a routine - an Eruch: A person who renders unprecedented service for His Lord, a person whose Lord is not only pleased with him, but proud of him.

Judy Schoeck I remember once in Mandali Hall, Eruch related to the group how "Jai Baba!" came about through Keshavwhom he called Pukar, which means 'to call out!'. One day, Pukar had an experience during a program where he saw Baba as Ram. He fell to the ground and said, "Jai Baba!" which when translated means 'Victorious One!' Eruch explained further saying that when we say "Jai Baba" it means to hail Baba as the Victorious One and that we are the vanquished. Ifwe are really meaning it when we hail Baba with His Jai, we are hailing our own defeat! On one pilgrimage, I stopped by the office as I was leaving to say adieu to Eruch. He and Davana were at the table on the covered porch behind the main office room. In our chat I mentioned that I had never worn a sari. Eruch said it's important for locals to see that Westerners come to Baba's place and that we should never feel we have to dress like Indians. I started smiling, remembering pictures I'd seen ofsome ofBaba's early disciples, like Elizabeth, who fulfilled their duties while wearing shirtwaist dresses with oxford pumpsthe Western dress of the day. Mter asking about 'becoming who we are', Eruch said to me, "Your duty is to fulfill your being, which is to love God, not to strive for your goal, which is to realize your true Self" As I was saying goodbye, Eruch sent me off with these


words, "Keep happy-forget about your wars-remember how fortunate you are." And I do.

NancyShev I would like to share an experience that occurred when I went on a pilgrimage to Baba's tomb in February 1988. The day before I was leaving Meherazad, I was saying goodbye to Eruch outside of Mandali Hall. He came up to me, about 3 inches away, looked into my eyes, took hold of me, placing his hands on my arms right near my shoulders and said, "Come when He calls, even if we are not here!" Over the last 13 years I have shared these words with whomever would listen! Thanks for the opportunity to share it again.

were in line to see him so I went into Mandali Hall and enjoyed a short program put on for the Mandali. As time went on it was getting harder to keep the tears at bay, for like many, I didn't want to leave. As it was getting close to the time for all of us to board the bus for Meherabad, Eruch said he wanted to greet only those whom he hadn't yet met. That left me out. I was so torn about obeying his wish, but wanted so much to say good-bye to him because I felt there was a possibility that I might not ever see him again. So I kept myselfoccupied looking at Baba's beautiful images on the walls, part of my attention on the line moving toward Eruch. I kept saying to myself that if Baba doesn't want me to say goodbye something will happen and I won't be able to but if the end of the line comes and I'm still here, then that means I can take my chance. Finally! The last person came and went. I quickly moved up to him and smiled. Before I could say anything he said sternly, "I've greeted you already." Knowing I was being disobedient I hastened to say, ''I'm leaving in two days and just wanted to say goodbye to you and to thank you." Eruch looked at me very seriously and swatted me strongly on my hip with his hand. I knew I deserved it, but was so surprised I felt tears welling up in my eyes. Pausing barely a moment his eyes smiled and touching his face against mine, he snuzzled my cheek. Then he said "That's enough." and shooed me away. It reminded me so much ofBaba stories I've read of Him with His Western lovers. One or the other would disobey him and He would chastise them thoroughly one moment, then so lovingly forgive them with a smile or sweet word the next. The Perfect Father. Eruch, such an apt pupil of the Perfect One, became a mentor and teacher of many of us wandering pilgrims himself and whenever I get homesick for India I think of all those there whom I came to love, and of Eruch and that last moment with him, and it cheers my heart. Thank you Eruch.

Cherie Plumlee Last summer I went to India for the ftrst time in 13 years and stayed for Olle month. Most of my life I have felt like a vagabond looking for 'my place' in life. Feeling propelled from within, I moved from place to place never feeling settled. Not feeling comfortable anywhere, I didn't stop moving until I married. Even Walnut Creek, which I have grown to love, I have felt is only a short stopover on my way to someplace else. When I arrived in India the energy of the earth poured through me and suddenly I knew this place Mother India. To me the earth felt precious and holy and I thought I must have lived here before-many times. I felt like a child who had returned from a long stay at boarding school in a land far away from home. It was such a joy to be back again! My month was filled with happiness and delight, continuous from beginning to end. The Samadhi became my focal point and from there, everyone I met and with whom I spoke, I came to care for very much. Among them were the dear Eastern men and women who attended the Artis at the Samadhi and sang their beautiful devotionals; many of the residents who amazed me with their persistent onepointed service and devotion to their Lord; and the Mandali all such radiant beings who delighted us pilgrims with stories oftheir lives with their Beloved. Two days before I was ready to leave and come back to California, I visited Meherazad for the last time. I stopped to give dear Bal kisses and hugs and it was hard to part from him, but others

21


The shock to my personal ramshackle collection of assumptions and pre-conceptions resonated for weeks and months afterwards. Initially it felt like guilt as ifhis bowing to us in the bus as it left Meherazad was a sacred moment I should not have glimpsed. There was also an awesome feeling which impacted on me inside. Gradually the simple understanding emerged that Eruch was bowing to Baba in us, and with it came a new sense of being responsible for knowing who we are. Even so, after all these years have passed, the remembered picture of Eruch in the road bowing still makes my heart turn over.

Molly]ones In 1991, I went to India for the first time. I was struggling to understand whether I should stay in my marriage. On my fust visit to Meherazad, after sitting in Mandali Hall for a few hours, I said to Eruch that Louise Barrie had told me to talk to him. He agreed, and asked me what it was about, but I said I needed to talk to him in private. This seemed to be out of the ordinary, but when I said it really was necessary, he led me to his very small, narrow room, and we sat cross-legged facing each other on his small, narrow bed. I proceeded to tell him of my dilemma. He was taken aback that I would come to him for counsel, saying he couldn't tell me what to do since he didn't even know me or my husband. When I told him that my husband was working on a documentary about the homeless, he laughed a quiet, wry laugh, and said something about my creating more homelessness. He said, "We all have our frailties." He told me to give it one more try, and as I left he said, "You think too much. You are here to live the New Life. Stop thinking about all this while you are here." I walked out into the sunlit garden, memories rushing in, tears rising. I went to Baba's room and sat for a long while. Many times since then, when someone finds fault with another, I have shared Eruch's timeless advice. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't.

Michal Sivan

Brad Kunin I am very fortunate to have personal memories of Eruch that span the years from 1979 to 2000. I still vividly recall two statements that Eruch made during my first visit to India in 1979. The fust was, "It is all ephemeral." The truth of this becomes clearer to me as the days and years go by. The second statement was, "Be determined to be His." It is my hope and prayer that my wonderfully precious memories of times spent with Eruch at Meherazad in Mandali Hall, climbing Seclusion Hill, and through the nights of Amartithi will strengthen my determination to be His. Thank you brother.

Sarah McNeil I have this lasting image ofEruch standing in the road, his hands are together, raised above his head and he is bowing. I was in the bus leaving Meherazad, sitting at the back, and had turned to look out of the rear window. It was 1988, the year of my first visit. It is hard to explain the inner shock I felt when I saw Eruch bowing to us like that. What a ramshackle collection of odd individuals we were, nearly all westerners, draped in our assorted hot weather gear. 22

This story is part of my coming to Meher Baba. It was my first visit to Meher Baba's Home in February 1988. It so happened that the driver brought me from Pune straight to the Pilgrim Center in Meherabad. In the reception they told me that there was no accommodation for me. I couldn't withhold my tears. The receptionist sent me to the Trust Office, saying she couldn't accept me anyway without my registering there. So there I was entering the Pilgrim Reservation Office at the Trust, tears running down my cheeks, though it is not characteristic of me to cry. I was received very kindly, greeted with Shalom, offered water, assured that they had received my reservation, and asked to register in the books. All this was through a nonstop veil of silent tears that just would not stop. Then they told me that Eruch was inviting me to join him for his tea break. I didn't know yet who Eruch was. I was led through the back of the buildings to his terrace and was invited to sit next to him with some others. Tea was poured, biscuits were given, and Eruch gently asked me some questions. I was trying my best to answer the questions, gulp the tea and do away with the few biscuits on my plate, all while the tears would just not stop. So I apologized, "Please excuse me. Usually I don't cry like this. I don't know what came over me. But these are not sad tears. I don't know what they are." Eruch turned to me with the softest and kindest look in his face and said, "Don't worry about those tears. We will cry with you too." I don't think he embraced me, but his whole attitude was embracing me. Here was


this man so kindly and generously joining me in the vulnerable state I was in. I don't know if these words can carry this most gentle and incredibly soft moment to the reader of these lines. I don't know if this feeling can be put into words at all, but I shall not forget the way he turned to face me, saying and conveying with those sweetly simple words so much love.

Narendra Prasad It was in January 1950, when Baba with His chosen Mandali came to live in a rather remote corner ofDehra Dun for about five months. For His and the women Mandali's stay a small tin roofed building was used. Baba Himself stayed in a very small room. The entire property along with the building was disposed of in June 1950 to a local person in Dehra Dun. A part of this property, along with the house, came up for sale in 1999. The total amount of money demanded was very staggering and the terms of sale quite demanding. In this connection, I was running from pillar to post to prevent another Guruprasad mishap. Guruprasad was Baba's Darshan place in Poona and was demolished as there was inadequate response for it to be preserved. Eruch told me "If you are sincere, Baba will help". Those immortal and morale boosting seven words did the trick to strengthen my and a few other Baba lovers commitment to see the project through to a successful completion. Thus Baba helped us preserve this wonderful, spiritual signpost of the New Life for all times to come through Eruch.

Marilyn McGivney In April 1972, I was

that ofothers. The next day I returned and was advised by an American doctor to leave Japan as soon as possible. I wasn't going to die, he told me, and there were mission hospitals throughout Asia that could treat me should anything happen. I had two choices - return home to Texas, where I no longer had a life, or journey to Europe, where I might build a new one. I left Japan the next week. A month later in Bangkok, I discovered to my surprise that I was looking for God. My travels took me to Burma and Nepal, where I learned that the Dalai Lama took Western students at his home in Kashmir and that a monastery in Bodhgaya in Northern India also accepted Western students. Where was I to go? I couldn't decide, so I asked God to find me. I would remain in Katmandu until He told me to go to India and I would say yes to everyone and everything that came my way, for God would be leading me. A few days later, I heard that inner voice and boarded a plane for Patna, a large city in northern India that was two hours by train from Bodhgaya. A series of remarkable incidents led me to a hotel in Benares at daybreak the next morning, where I met a young American man, dressed in a lunghi and smoking a beedi, who later that evening, after another series ofremarkable incidents, told me about his master, Avatar Meher Baba. Within an hour's time, Brad Gunn had written down directions on how to get from Delhi to Ahmednagar by train and bus, where to stay in Ahmednagar, and who Jesus's apostles were this time. I was especially intrigued by the man Brad called Baba's voice, Eruch Jessawala.

twenty-five years old and looking for God. Looking back nearly thirty years later, it is clear I had been searching for God all my life. But I did not consciously begin my search until a few weeks before I met Eruch Jessawala. In mid-February 1972, I left Tokyo bound for Europe on a journey that ended at Meherazad. I had been teaching English to Japanese businessmen for the previous nineteen months. In the time I had been in Japan, every facet of my personal identity had exploded. I no longer knew who I was or what I was doing. The final explosion was a remark by a Japanese doctor that I might die. The lyrics to a then-popular Peggy Lee song filled my thoughts: '1s this all there is?" One evening I checked myself into a Seventh Day Adventist Mission Hospital in Tokyo, and then marched out in disgust when my problem was considered less significant than 23


/.

she started to tell a story, changing the subject. When we left the hall for lunch, I walked over to a little stone water tank near Eruch's room. Eruch came out of the hall and walked over to me there saying, "Laurent, you are right about what you said in the hall. Tomorrow, I want you to repeat what you said." I agreed to do as he wished. The very next day in Mandali Hall, there was a film scheduled, and the hall was crowded with people. Being tall, I went to the back of the hall, and just before the movie started, Eruch said loudly, "Where is Laurent?" I managed to reply from where I was in the back that I was present, and Eruch continued, "Now say out what you said yesterday in the hall, so that everyone can hear you." I was very nervous, but somehow mustered the courage to repeat what I had said the previous day. Then he said, "Good. Now start the fllrn." And that was that.

Lorraine Brown

Ten days later, after many more remarkable incidents, I arrived at the Dawlat Lodge, the Trust Office, and, finally, Baba's home, Meherazad, where I met these "living apostles" that Brad Gunn had written about in my notebook. Gathered on the porch outside Mandali Hall were Mani, Goher, Pendu, Aloba, Bal, and Eruch. Each embraced me and welcomed me home. But I did not feel at home. I believed Meher Baba was Avatar of the Age, but I did not love Him. How could I possibly feel at home amidst these "living apostles" of the new Christ when I felt no attachment to Him? Later that first afternoon, Eruch invited me to sit alone with him on the porch outside Mandali Hall. Imagine the wonder I felt when Eruch told me stories ofhis own boyhood longing to be with Jesus Christ. Baba's Peter had experienced childhood longings for the Christ, just as I had. I was indeed home. How can I thank you, Eruch, for linking your life so fast to mine in our first hours together?

Laurent Weichberger It was the year 1989, and we were sitting in Mandali Hall with Eruch and Mani. We were discussing the different world religions, and what the followers of the various faiths are called (i.e., Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.). Then Eruch asked those in the hall, "So, what will they call us?" meaning, what will they call the followers of Meher Baba, in the future. Will they call us Baba-lovers? People had various answers, and it was a light hearted conversation. I raised my har.d, and Eruch called on me to speak. I said, "Eruch, I don't understand. Mter Baba's Manifestation, won't it just be "US"? Won't Baba bring all lovers of God together from all faiths?" Mani, who had been participating more passively up until this point, jumped into the conversation saying, "In Ahrnednagar, they call us 'Jai-Babas'. Isn't that funny!" and everyone laughed and then 24

I was 19 when I first met Eruch. I have many wonderful memories ofspecial moments with Eruch. This is a very early one. One time, during my first trip to India, I was kneeling down in front ofBaba's Chair in Mandali Hall in Meherazad. Everyone had gone out for lunch. It was just before Dhuni and there had been much discussion about what to give to Baba at the Dhuni. Most talked ofjust putting in one weakness or habit and whether it should be something big or small. Eruch had emphasized that the Dhuni wasn't something you played around with. It was powerful. In my own mind, I'd sort of come to my own conclusion that perhaps giving stuff to the Dhuni was like giving Baba permission to work on that stuff. Because we had free will, Baba needed our permission, but I hadn't asked Eruch anything because I was rather shy back then. As I kneeled in front of Baba's chair, the question entered my head, "Would it be too presumptuous to just offer You everything?" Then, as I went to get up, Eruch came up behind me and said, "No, Lorraine, it wouldn't be presumptuous." And then he talked to me about what it meant to surrender to Baba. I never let on as to what I'd been thinking in front of Baba's chair. I was too taken aback by what had happened. Somewhere down the line, however, I realized that even though Baba might not appear to be there (as His form was gone), Eruch was still speaking for Him. With Eruch's passing, another milestone in Baba's Story has been reached. I remembered back to a number oftrips in the eighties and nineties when, while sitting in Mandali Hall, Eruch would ask me to sing one ofthe songs I wrote in 1984 entitled No Easy Thing. That's what I called it, but Eruch would always refer to it as 'the heart and mind song'. He would either have me sing it and then ask someone to read out the words, or get someone to first read out the words and then ask me to sing it. He would always get someone else to read out the words. When I once suggested that I could read out the words myself, he wouldn't let me, commenting that people would have trouble understanding my Australian accent. The last time I sang it though, I actually got to read it as well. The words are as follows:


No EasyThing To find the One you love is no easy thing. Heart knows the Voice of Love, But mind is deaf to all but thinking. Mind says, "We must be logical about our choice my dear." Heart says, "Your logic is exactly what I fear." To keep near the One you love is no easy thing. Heart binds itself with ropes of love Which mind keeps unravelling. Mind says, "You can't be sure, stop binding us like this." Heart says, "It's your binding to falsehood that's keeping us from Bliss." To praise the One you love is no easy thing. Heart would whisper words of love, But mind likes to hear itself sing. Mind says, "How well I sing the beauty of Love's ways." Heart says, "You must forget yourself before you can truly sing the Beloved's praise." To be apart from the One you love is no easy thing. Heart drowns in tears flood, Mind seeks world's diversion to ease heart's sting. Mind says, "You see what harvest love does reap?" But heart has no ears, only eyes to weep. To be a slave to the One you love is no easy thing. Though heart would shed its own blood, Mind keeps questioning. Mind says, "It's madness to continue on Love's way." But heart hears not; she's consumed in Love play. To become one with the One you love is no easy thing. Though heart would abandon itself for Love, Fearful mind to itself will cling. Mind screams, "We cannot carry on this way." But what heart sees in Love's eyes drives all thought away. But what heart sees in Love's eyes drives all thought away.

Jack McTamney "One day I was on break in work reading some Baba related article. I forget who was actually discussing it but in the article that

person stated (as I've seen many times elsewhere) that Baba never physically broke His silence. This confused me as it always does when someone says that because I was sure I had read in The Glow that Baba had uttered an audible sound before He dropped His body. I read that Eruch and Francis Brabazon were there. I decided I would clear this up for myself In my infinite arro": gance, I decided to go right to the source.. J would write to Eruch and ask him directly. Mter a few weeks I receved a letter from India. Mter gently and lovingly chiding me for making an 83 year old man with poor eyesight respond to my frivolous questioning mind, Eruch in detail answered my question. This letter means so much to me (especially the chiding) that I want to share it with you all. I hope Eruch doesn't mind... "Our dear Jack McTamney,Jai Meher Baba! I have just received your letter of 10th July 1997 and have noted the contents. Dear Jack, you may not be aware of my motto: A friend is he, a friend is she, who keeps the Mandali correspondence free! Please lovingly understand that due to the limitations ofold age - 83 yearsas well as very poor eyesight and old age health problems coupled with the intense schedule of Baba work here, I can no longer answer personal letters. However I am making an exception in your case, as you seem sincere in your desire to understand and love Beloved Avatar Meher Baba... But let me first say that Baba has warned His lovers time and again, that as long as man has a mind, there can be no end to questions;

25


Ourtnu:h

"~ho

is ~eher (}Jaba? 2-Le is the One who provokes this question in you. '[he (}JeinfJ of all (}Jei11tJs. Bruch 3essawala II


/lCJ3e determined to be 2lis./I truch


73efitting a fortunate slave, carry out every command of the JWaster without any question of mhy or what. ~bout mhat you hear from the JWaster, never say it is wrong, because my dear, the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand 2iim. J am the slave of the JWaster mho has released me from itJnorance. <Whatever my JWaster does is of the highest benefit to all concerned.


v4s the oreat river joins the sea, So to 7hee have J come, ::Rich with my lono joumey :full mith the experience of an age. 'l3eloved,

o

v4s the dewdrop JVtinoles mith the honey

Of the fiomer, So 7hou and J have become one. my 'l3eloved,

o

2Vom there is no separation,

2110 loneliness, 2110 sorrom, no strunOle, CWhere'er J 00,

J brino the 0101!J of thy presence. 30r, 0 'l3eloved 7hou and J are one. (From "My Beloved and I Are one" by Krishnamurti in The Mystic in Love edited by Shelley Gross, Citadel Press, New York, 1966.)


Baba states, "Just love Me. Don't try to understand me." What you read in The Glow is similar to what I must have expressed in Mandali Hall, Meherazad, on that particular day, while describing the last days of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba's Advent as God in Human Form. But as is often the case, the written word is different from the oral expression in context. Although to my ears, I did hear a ound akin to OOMM.. emanating from Baba, what Baba has said regarding the breaking of His silence is as follows: "When the Word ofMy Love breaks out ofits Silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that that is the Real Word you have always been longing to hear." Baba further clarmed this point in telling us that: "The moment I started observing Silence, I started simultaneously breaking My Silence in the hearts of those who are ready to receive my love." So, dear Jack, take for example yourself; You say you are His lover. How can that follow unless and until He has broken His Silence in your heart? We look forward to the day Beloved Baba makes it possible for you to cross His Threshold and lay your head and heart at His Feet in 30

Meherabad at His Samadhi and at His Home,Meherazad. Until such time, dearJack, continue to remember Him in any and every way, even through the incessant questioning of the mind. But keep in the back ofyour mind, that all the questions and all the answers will inevitably lead you to more questions and more seeking ofanswers without bringing you any closer to your Beloved Lord. So long to love Him more and more and still yet more so that one day all your questions will dissolve in the ocean of His love. May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba's Love-Blessings be on you evermore. Yours brotherly, Eruch." I feel like I put my pathetic two-cents of a question in the spiritual slot machine and hit the jack-pot!

Mischa Rutenberg I had a series of significant dreams in which Meher Baba explained some things and ended with instructions for me to thank His manadali. I asked Murshid Jim about it and a little over a week later, in January, 1996, I was in India.


During my stay I was able to do everything save one. I had yet to speak privately with Eruch. I sent him a request and he responded by inviting me to go for an early morning walk with him. The next morning before sunrise I was at Meherazad and we stepped out together with Eruch's brother Merherwan and another companion (Dan Ladinsky). As we began our walk he asked ''You have questions?". I replied simply..."no". Happily he said "good", and we continued. As we were walking along quiedy and intimately I was looking at the path we were walking on. I looked at the way he walked and thought how this man had accompanied our Beloved on so much journeying. His every step and movement reflected this experience. Just then I noticed he had maneuvered us so that I was walking where the road was smooth and easy and he was walking where it was rough and rocky. I slipped around him and shifted places with him. He maneuvered us back to our original positions. Mter a while I casually walked around him once again and he grabbed me and asked what I was doing. I said, "I see what you are doing Eruch, you are making it easy for me but I feel you should have the smooth road". He said "not at all..J like the rough part to massage the soles of my feet." "Oh what I sly one" I thought. We continued walking and the sun was rising. It was a glorious tender sweet morning. The villagers were waiting for him to pass by the road side. They greeted him with much reverence. The children and even the dogs came running up for "prasad" candy that he carried with him to give them. In his natural way he made a few inquiries and affectionate comments and we went on our way. We reached the end of the road and were walking back. As we were almost back to Meherazad I had not yet said what I needed to say to him. I did not feel that Eruch was the type of fellow that would appreciate my describing an unusual dream in which Meher Baba showed me cosmic events and ended by instructing me to go thank certain ones including him. How to say what I needed to say? I asked Baba for help and it came instantly. I said, "Eruch, everyday I get up early and join the pilgrims singing Arti at Baba's tomb and every evening I do the same." He said "Yes...so?" I replied, "I often watch people as they are waiting to go in to greet Baba. As they approach the walls of His tomb they pat the rocks it is made of. Often they kiss these same blessed rocks that protect Him sowell within." Once again Eruch said, "yes....so what?" I explained, "well when Baba's lovers caress, kiss, and thank the rocks that protect their Beloved within.... the rocks say nothing they just accept it." Once again..."so?" I replied, "So...dear brother Rock..J want to thank you." Eruch broke into a big smile knowing he was caught and laughingly said, "You are most poetic this morning". He slapped my back very hard as he continued, "You are a rock!".

Then he turned me around and gave me that wonderful uniquely Eruch bear hug. Hand in hand we continued on to Meherazad. I thanked Baba for having shown me how to thank Eruch for his service on all our behalf.

Ellis Pines At the 1969 Darshan in late April, Meher Baba was present in His chair. He was present in His lovers, old and new. And He was there in the Chair on which He gave His all during the last year of His work. But for me, somehow, somewhere, He became especially present in the man at the microphone ... Eruch Jessawalla. I was relatively new to Meher Baba, having come into His contact the previous July. I was filled with ideas and thoughts and "highs" connected with Him, the expectation of meeting Him, and then the loss ofHim physically. But no matter, He was God after all. Now was the torrent of the energy of His manifestation, the birth of the New Humanity. There were ideas, thoughts and feelings, the storm and stress of turning a young life around in a new direction, even surges of ecstasy. But there was little room for quiet. Then one afternoon, there was a gathering of the men Mandali with the men attendees of the Darshan. We were seated around the chair with Eruch at the microphone. It was an intimate gathering. Eruch began telling stories. They were wonderful stories, which many of us have heard and read over the years. But this was the fIrst telling for me. The one that grabbed me was the tale of Eruch on a mast tour with Meher Baba. An older man and boy climb into the train compartment with them. Baba asks Eruch to inquire of him about masts in the locale. The old man, learning that Eruch is from the' agar area, berates him for thinking of masts when the- Greatest of All is His neighbor. Eruch cannot disclose that Baba is sitting there, but must continue his pursuit of the inquiry. Only after the man has left,

31


As we walked, Eruch spoke of how he would carry big jugs up the hill in storms to Baba's seclusion cabin. I marveled at my own ineptness compared to someone who could really serve the Avatar's person with 100% devotion. And yet someone with all the skepticism of that "natural intelligence" to which Francis referred. At the top of the hill, we sat, and Eruch spoke. He quoted from Kazantazakis' St. Francis, a story ofRabia and other sources. The message was simple: "No matter where I went, the task would be the same. The treasure was within me." This last part of the conversation took place as we completed our descent. We were back in the world. Soon I would be on my way, not to see him again for a number of years. His words, however, stayed with me. But even more than that is the sense that the Rock, the Right Hand, is one who lives deeply, whose words have weight because they are the products of struggle. No wonder he loved the Kazantzakis book with its robust Francesco. The Right Hand does not shrink from life into delusional dream worlds. Eruch notes that the Kazantazakis Francis tells Brother Leo that even the hope of union with God is yet another temptation to let go. Or as Eruch said one day while eating a delicious birthday cake, "Who needs God realization?"

Winnie Barrett Eruch Jessawalla That Frail Body once housed a giant dear brother, you waited years endless years to cast your eyes once more upon your friend who is the Lord. meanwhile you passed the long hours steeped in the fragrance of the Beloved imbuing in us the urge to follow the scent; igniting in us a fathomless, bottomless, longing, all the while becoming dust. does Baba tell him to divulge the secret. Eruch trucks to give the man a picture of the Beloved, only to be berated again for his lack of consideration in not telling him earlier. As I sat there, listening, a tear formed on my cheek. Whatever I felt, I had to express. So when the time came to leave, I kissed Eruch and exclaimed, "I love you." He was taken back. Mter all, most of the time he had tried to protect Meher Baba from such wanton displays ofaffection. He was the background guy, attendant, assistant, right hand. There was never any doubt Who was the Star. But in that moment, I was oblivious to such things. Attacked by a hippie, Eruch naturally was "taken aback" But soon he'd come to expect just about any behavior from Baba's children. In 1979, Eruch and I walked up the hill together one morning, just the two of us. My life was in turmoil. I felt th~ need for change. 32

now, after eternal hopeless waiting, your Friend at last keeps His promise. now welcomed into love's consuming embrace you know the final death. this place within my heart where you, beloved brother reside, shall ever be a part of me for which I gratefully thank our Lord that spent body once held a giant who is now completely His.


Eruch on Obedience

I

had normally to attend to Baba's needs such as His bath, keeping His room clean and also sweeping the floors, sweeping the compound, cleaning the latrines and so on. All those sorts of things I used to do for several years. Then Baba began to use me in trying to find masts. While on tours with the men and women disciples, besides helping out in the search for masts, or the poor or the mad, or the ideal boy, he would also send me to the bazaar. Often I had to drive the car, and keep the cars clean. While I drove one car or a bus, I had to look after the other cars, keep them clean and see that they were filled with gas and oil. I was robust, healthy and very strong. I had a lot of energy and no worries whatsoever, being with the God-Man, so I was able to do a lot ofwork. However, a limit was finally reached, and I thought, "Well, He's a very tough task-master!" I still remember an incident from that period: I had decided it was useless to return from an errand early. No sooner would I return to Baba than there was always something else to do such as cycling ten to fifteen miles more, after a tiring day. On the day in question I remember that I was very tired. Of course that was a blow to my ego, because I felt that as I had good health I could do many things for Baba - that I could survive all hardships. But my body couldn't withstand any more, and I thought "Its useless to finish the appointed task and return early. No sooner will I have done this than there will be another task for me! I completed going around the market and buying things for the group, and when I returned I was very fatigued. Then somebody came and told Baba: '~t a distance of about fifteen miles there is a temple where it is said a tiger comes and sweeps the floor with his tail in reverence to the deity there. The tiger is reputed to be a mast who changes his form." The fellow who told this tale was Elcha, we called him Baba's courtjester. He used to tell these yarns to make Baba laugh, but Baba took this yarn seriously for my sake: so that Eruch should have some occupation, so that Eruch should no longer boast ofhis physical endurance but have the chance to forget himself completely and have no thought of himsel£ Baba looked at me and said, "Why don't you go and find out about this?" I shuddered when Baba looked at me - to cycle fifteen miles on that bad road, up into the hills and then return, and already it was late afternoon. Of course, I went. To carry out Baba's every command - one has to do that. I had chosen the path of freedom in coming to Baba. I wanted to be free to try to obey Him, and so I was absolutely free in this bondage. In such a case I exercise my freedom, and in doing so I must exercise it fully, so of course I obeyed his command and went. Excerpt from Talesfrom the New Life with Meher Raba, narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, © 1976 AMBPPCT

Photo captions and creditsfor Baha's Eruch Cover: Meher Baba and Eruch in Washington, D.C.,July 30,1956; photo by Chase Studios, ©Lawrence Reiter. Page 4: Eruch on Seclusion Hill; photo by Win Coates, © Susan White. Page 5: The men Mandali at Meherazad, February 1952; left to right: Gustadji, Baba, Baidul, Pendu, Eruch behind Baba; photo by Padri, © Lawrence Reiter. Page 6: Upper left, Baba and Eruch at the Pune Center; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Lower right, Baba traveling in Andhra Pradesh by car, 1954. Page 7: Meher Baba at the Dhuni, Lower Meherabad, September 24,1954. Page 8: Meher Baba and Eruch; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Page 9: Eruch serving tea to Baba; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Page 10: Eruch helping Baba to the car in Bombay, December 1957; © Lawrence Reiter. Page 11: Eruch watching Baba at the Pune darshan, May 1965; photo by Beheram, © Lawrence Reiter. Page 12: Lower left, Baba washing the feet of a poor woman, 1950s; photographer unknown. Upper right, Meher Baba with Fred Marks, Kushroo Q!1arters darshan, September 26,1954. Page 13: Meher Baba at Wadia Park, September 12, 1954; photo by Nursoo, © Lawrence Reiter. Page 14: Young girl seeks Baba's blessings for the portrait she drew ofBaba, with Eruch helping her convey her feelings to Baba; Adi looks on intently in the background; Guruprasad, May 1965; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT Page 15: Meher Baba wearing Krishna Crown at Pune, May 1964; © Lawrence Reiter. Page 16: Eruch serving Baba a refreshment at Guruprasad, May 1965; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT. Page 17: Meher Baba acknowledging devotee while Eruch watches intently at Guruprasad, May 1954; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT Page 18: Baba speaking with devotee while Eruch watches attentively; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Page 19: Beloved Baba standing to greet and bless all with Eruch assisting Him; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT Page 20: Baba and Eruch at Sakori, 1954; photo by Pandey, © Lawrence Reiter. Page 21: Upper left, Baba and Eruch at the Andhra darshan, February-March, 1954; photo by Narayana,'© Lawrence Reiter. Lower right, a Muslim devotee is caressed by Baba as Eruch and Bhau watch happily; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT Page 22: Baba with Eruch during darshan tour in India, 1950s; photographer unknown. Page 23: Baba with Eruch; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Page 24: Baba wearing a bib about to take food at Meherazad, 1954 or 1955; photo by Pandey, © Lawrence Reiter. Page 25: Lower left, Baba folding His hands to His lovers while Eruch watches· attentively; photo by Mantravadi Sriramamoorty, © AMBPPCT Upper right, Baba washing the feet of a disciple with Eruch observing, on the road between Pune and Mahabaleshwar, January 29, 1951. Page 26: Upper left, Baba and Erucb in Myrtle Beach, 1958; Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Upper right, Eruch at Meherazad; photo by Jim May, Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Bottom, Eruch with Francis Brabazon in Mandali Hall, 1980s. Page 27: Top, Baba and Eruch at Guruprasad, 1965; Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Left, Baba and Eruch in Myrtle Beach, 1958; photo by Harry Kenmore, Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Location?, Eruch sitting on Seclusion Hill; photo by Jim May, Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Page 28: Upper left, Eruch, 1980s; photo by Win Coates, © Susan White. Upper right, Baba and Eruch in Myrtle Beach, 1958; Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Lower left, Eruch in garden at Meherazad, 1970s; photo by Lorraine Brown. Lower right, Eruch in Mandali Hall, 1994; photo by Lynne Douglas. Page 29: Upper left, Eruch with his brother Meherwan at Meherazad, late 1980s; photo by Ellis Pines. Upper right, Eruch in the garden at Meherazad, 1999; photo by Bif Soper. Lower left, Eruch at Meherazad in front of the Blue Bus; photo by Jim May, Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented. Page 30: Baba and Eruch at Longchamps, New York, July 18, 1956; © Lawrence Reiter. Page 31: Baba with Eruch at Lower Meherabad, September 30, 1954; © Lawrence Reiter. Page 32: Baba and Eruch in Pune, 1965; photo by Bhikabhai K. Panarkar, courtesy of Meelan Photo Studio. Page 52: Baba dictating on the alphabet board, Wadia Park darshan, September 12, 1954; photo by Pandey, © Lawrence Reiter.

33


Passings

Diana Gets Her Wish Finally! Dina Snow {read the editorialfirst} t is 5:30a.m. August 18 th , and I have just been told my Mother has slipped peacefully into the Beloved's arms. She was 92 and had been telling Baba she was ready to go for the past five years or so, but He had His own time frame in mind. Baba said "There is no such thing as premature death. 0 amount ofmedical assistance or neglect can alter the divinely ordained moment of one's coming to Baba.''* I had called her just the day before to tell her I would be there with her on the 18 th of September. It made her very happy to know that we would again be spending time together. However, "Man proposes-God disposes." She went the very next day, not just a month to the day before I was due to arrive there, but also on the anniversary of my late sister's birthday. It is 6:30a.m. August 23rd and I am sitting by the river in Maroochydore, watching the sun rise behind the trees on the opposite shore. A new day dawns ... Yesterday we gave Mother the send offof her life! I'm sure she must have been very pleased with it. She had been saying for many years '1 want no grieving at my funeral! Grief holds the soul back. I have lived a very full good life and I want to hear 'Hip Hip Hooray, Diana's on her way!!' when I go." I vowed to keep a stiff upper lip and do just that. Her dear friends at Avatar's Abode were invaluable. Bemard,]oanna and Ceci1y, among many others, who took such good care of her in her later years, also helped arrange the funeral before I got there. The viewing was at llam. Christopher and I felt we had to go, for just one last look. It had been 10 months since I had last seen her. But it wasn't my Mummy I saw lying there. Her soft round face had been drained of all life, but it was definitely her thick mop ofcurly gray hair! I should be so lucky at the age of92. Chris and I followed the golden hearse to the Nambour Garden Cemetery. The crowd was waiting for us there. ix ofus carried the casket and laid it on the grave. Motherwould have been delighted with the flowers. There were masses of her favourite purple irises, and roses in abundance. The multi-coloured blooms were sent from her friends around the world.

I

*Glimples, Vol 6 Bal Naru

34

Diana Snow 17 February 1909 - 18 August 2001

I don't think there is a soul on Avatar's Abode that hadn't been hearing for the past 10 years, "I want The Blacksmith sung at my funeral, so practice!" So Sam Saunders and Lorraine Brown, dutifully fulfilling a decade old promise, stood by her grave and gave a great performance of the beautiful Francis Brabazon song. Chris and I gave a brief eulogy and I read the following poem that was so kindly sent to me by an American Baba lover upon hearing of Mother's passing: Do not stand by my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am a diamond glint on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awake to the morning hush, I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft stars' shine at night. Do not stand by my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die.

We followed that with the Master's Prayer, and as the casket was descending, a resounding, full throated, heart felt "Hip Hip Hooray! Diana's on her way!" rang forth. I'm sure she was smiling happily. We then sang the Australian Arti, again, written by her dear friend Francis Brabazon. Immediately after that we all drove up to the Abode for tea, coffee, munchies and fond remembrances: ..."Diana was a firebrand!".. "a tireless worker for Baba" ... "a power house of energy" ..."a dynamo" ..."a driver who terrified the daylights out ofall ofus!" When the police would no longer renew her driver's license-at 85-she was furious! She vowed she would ride her three wheeled electric chair down the main highway past the police station and thumb her nose at them! Luckily saner minds prevailed. However I did hear, to my horror, that she had rolled the chair over a number oftimes. She used to career around the mountain side on the dirt roads so fast that the chair would occasionally tip over. Avatar's Abode is at the top of Kiel Mountain and her home on Meher Road was just five minutes from Baba's House. Amazingly, she had never broken a bone in her body. The history of Avatar's Abode and Diana Snow are intertwined. She was one of the original builders. But to begin at the beginning: She was born Delilah Marjorie Bishop in Newcastle, NSW 17th February 1909. She had an older sister and two younger brothers. Their father was killed at Lonesome Pine in the WW1 battle at Gallipoli when Delilah was 6. Their mother followed two years later of tuberculosis. Orphaned at eight, and refusing to be separated, the four were taken in by the quintessential wicked step aunt, who took all the money left to them and spent it on her own daughter. S~p. turned the Bishop children into their servants. The youngest boy died shortly thereafter and Dorothy, Delilah and Bill suffered through a very unpleasant life till they could all escape. Throughout high school, Delilah was always Dux (valedictorian) of her class. That did not let her escape from the continual teasing about her name: ''Delilah the traitress! Look out, she's going to cut your hair!" So she fmally changed her name to Diana, after the all-powerful


Roman Goddess of the Hunt. The name was well chosen, as we will see by later developments in her life. When she was 17 or 18 she went to Teacher's College and trained to become a kindergarten teacher as she loved little children. After graduation she answered an ad for a governess for a British family in India, as that country had always had a pull for her. However the College principal felt very protective ofthis young orphan and so vetoed her going. By now, Diana was a fully fledged Flapper, revelling in the Roaring 20's, out dancing every night and having a grand old time. She was a champ at the Charleston and when I was a teenager, she taught me everything I know. (I have danced it professionally to great acclaim - she was an excellent teacher!). She married late (for the times) at 26, and I was born in Sydney when she was 30. Father was in the Air Force and away from home a lot. She turned to her girlfriends for intellectual and spiritual stimulation. She (and I) joined the Rosicrucians in the late '40s. Lessons were sent from San Jose, California, when we were living in the country, but when we returned to the city, we attended the Sydney Chapter. I was a Colombe in the Temple, incensing, lighting the candles, etc. Mother gave me a wonderful and unusual start to life. I was raised knowing about reincarnation; seeking esoteric knowledge was a joy. When she had gone as high as was possible in the Rosicrucian Order, she was told to go find her own Master. Oh sure! In Australia? In 1951?Well, as the old saying goes, "When the pupil is ready - the teacher will appear." Mother heard about Francis Brabazon. She was told he was a bit of a martinet, and wouldn't let just anybody into his talks. One had to prove one was really interested in hearing what he had to say. Mother went to his lecture and immediately saw the authority and authenticity of Francis. "If this man believes Meher Baba is God, then so do I." So, incidentally, did I. Pre-birth my soul chose to be born to this woman who would bring me to Baba, so at the age of 13 I was fully aware that Christ had come again in the form ofMeher Baba. In 1952, this didkind of set me apart from the other children at school! Mother was one of those rare Aquarians that was not only very artistic, but also an excellent business woman. One ofthe businesses she created was the renovation of quaint old houses. She and her electrician/plumber/carpenter brother would buy an old home, do it

Diana in the 'lOs

up and sell for a healthy profit, which they immediately put into a bigger and better home. Mother not only did the landscaping, drapes making and painting, she was very handy with a hammer and nails. Because of this ability, when Francis was building a house for Baba - along the lines of "Build it and He will come" - Mother was only too ready, willing and able to participate in the building thereof Every weekend a dedicated group packed a picnic lunch and drove up to Beacon Hill. They worked on the building all day, had dinner and then Francis read to them what he had written the night before - after they had all retired for the night. August 1956 Baba did indeed come to Australia, giving darshan in Meher House. This was the first time we had seen Him, although we had been Baba lovers since 1952. I so clearly remember looking at Mother as we stood in the doorway of the room He was in. She looked towards Him and said "Baba, this is my daughter Dina". I noticed she had tears in her eyes and I thought "Boy, she's getting emotional about this!" Neither of us were the gushy types. She told me later it was just because she was bringing me to Him. Atone time during those few days, Baba asked her "Do you love me?" Francis had stressed how important honesty was with Baba, so trying to adhere to this she replied hesitandy'1 don't really know Baba. I'm trying to love you." Afterwards she said to Eruch'1 should have said yes, shouldn't I?" "Yes," Eruch replied, "He likes to be told of your love." Mother felt she and Eruch had a "special" relationship. Sht confessed to me '1 love Eruch

like I feel I should love Baba..." Whenever she was in Meherazad, Eruch always saved her the seat beside him under the window in ]'vlandali Hall. He would tell would-be sitters, "This is Diana's seat." One time Eruch complimented her on her beautiful brighdy painted nails. She beamed, and was tickled to notice that the very next day Eruch had paid especial attention to his own nails. When she returned to India in 1997 after a 15-year absence, I was happy to see the two old friends still had that spark between them. I remember one of the jobs Mother had in the '50s was the distribution of the Family Letters Mani would send her. Since there was no such thing as a Xerox machine, Mother would put 6 sheets of carbon paper into the ancient typewriter she had and proceed to type the letter over and over and mail it out to the Sydney Baba lovers. My, how we looked forward to those letters! When I was 17, I bumped into a friend from High School - Robyn Rogers. She told me her mother had just died and she had no father. Although she had not been a close friend, Mother had met her on a number of occasions. However without asking for permission, right there on the street I asked Robyn to come live with us. Mother did not demur. There was definitely a karmic relationship there as we just unofficially adopted her and she became my sister. In February or March of1958 Francis had purchased an 84 acre property atop Kiel Mountain near Woombye in Q!Ieensland the northern state ofAustralia. Baba said He would be there in June. Francis had 3 months to build a place suitable for the GodMan.

35


Mother told me everyone was on tenterhooks in Sydney, waiting for Francis to call them to come work on the building. With Francis you didn't just barge in and say "Here I am!" He was very particular as to who he allowed to share in the work. May Lundquist, Lorna Rouse and Mother were three of the first to be called. She told me Francis had said to her that he looked on Lorna as his Mehera and Diana as his Mani. Ever the practical one, she picked up hammer, nails, saw or paintwhatever was needed to get the job done. Baba not only showered His blessings on the work in progress, He downright poured it on! Tropical downpours almost the entire time made the task incredibly difficult, but they were doing it for the Beloved, so there was much joy and love in between the hard times. It was all extremely rushed, but Francis was determined that the room they were building for Baba was to be perfect. Anytime one had a moment in between other jobs, they were to buffthe walls. They were a rich warm reddish brown from native Australian trees, all tongue and groove, held together with brass screws from the back. They now have the patina and feel of satin. So much love went into the building of this - the room fit for the Avatar. Baba cabled that He would be arriving a week ahead of schedule - not what they wanted to hear. Everyone was working frantically up to the very last minute. Mother said she was sewing the little pink satin cushions for His feet at 2a.m. on the morning of His arrival. Baba was expected to stay for a week and Mother asked me if I would like to come, but me, an insensitive 19 year old who couldn't bear to be away from the boyfriend for a week, declined her offer. To the disappointment of all who did come, Baba cut short His stay to only four days. [The full details ofthe building ofAvatar's Abode (as Baba had named the place) and the early days here can be read in Practical Spirituality and Turning ofthe Key] Towards the end of1958 Francis suggested to Mother that she take me to see Luisillo y su Ballet Espanol. Did Baba tell him to do that? Probably, because it changed my whole life - and Robyn's even more. We saw it and I fell in love with the dance troupe and the fabulous Spanish dancing. I went again the next night with Robyn and we decided then and there that that was what we wanted to do with our lives - be Spanish dancers! May it be said to Mother's enormous credit that she did not try to stop us or even reason that perhaps this was not such a wise move. She gave us her blessing and offwe sailed to Spain in May 1959.she told Francis what his 36

suggestion had wrought, and that we were hitch hiking all around Europe. Baba told Mother she was to let Him know at all times "where the girls were". She was very happy at this order because as we changed countries with great frequency, she got to write to Him quite often. However a year or so later, when I told her we had a contract to tour the Middle East, mentioning names like Istanbul, Bhagdad, Teheran and Beirut, she was on the next plane to Madrid! At this time there were many young girls being kidnapped and sold into slavery or to work in harems. She told the company manager she was coming with us on the tour, no salary but all expenses paid, as a chaperone and wardrobe mistress or Robyn and I would not be going. When Mother put her foot down, the earth trembled and strong men quaked! This man knew he had met his match, so the 12 of us set sail from Marseilles to Cyprus. However as we boarded the boat, we saw, to our horror, that we were to sleep in the hold on cots along with about 50 other people, men and women together. "My girls and I will have a cabin or we will immediately disembark!" Thinking of all the choreography and costumes made, he had no option but to give in. The man spoke fluent Arabic, Spanish, Italian and French, but his English was not so good. His translation for "angry" was "nervous". I can't count the number of times we heard him say in tightly controlled anger: "Mrs. Snow-you are making me very nervous!" Robyn and I thought it hilarious and thanked God she was on our side! Mter our contract expired in Beirut and the company disbanded, I told Mum I was going back to Cyprus to the American I had fallen in love with during the month we were dancing there. Mother returned to England when she saw she couldn't change my mind (I married the man six months later). Francis Brabazon was now one of the Mandali living with Baba in the Ashram and he and Mother kept in constant touch by letter. She wrote to tell him that the ship she was returning to Australia on would be stopping in Bombay. Would it be possible to see Baba? She could then fly on to Ceylon and pick up the ship there. Never one to ask a favour ofanyone, Francis resorted to another plan. It was the usual gathering in Mandali Hall the morning after Francis received the letter from Mother. He entered with the aerogramme tucked in his breast pocket behind a handkerchief A little while into the meeting, he started sneezing. Whisking out his hanky, he was completely"oblivious" to the aerogramme that fell on the floor at Baba's

feet. "What's that?" Baba gestured. "Oh nothing Baba" Francis replied, hastily tucking it back in his pocket. just a letter from Diana". "Well, read it!" Baba responded. So he did and Baba told him to cable London immediately and tell Diana that if she could be here by such and such a time she could see Him for one hour. He then instructed Katie and Arnavaz who were in Bombay at the time to meet her at the pier and bring her up to Him. They were very happy at those orders as I believe Baba had been in seclusion at that time and they had not been allowed to see Him for some time. After many trials and tribulations, they met up with Diana on the dock and rushed her into a waiting car as they were now a few hours behind schedule. God forbid you be late for a meeting with Baba! After a hair raising ride, they reached Him in time to dash her into His presence, dirty, dishevelled and all, though she was. Baba received her warmly and the hour stretched to quite a few more. I'm not sure if it was on this occasion or one of her other visits to India, when she had the embarrassing confirmation ofthe Beloved's mind reading and all knowing powers: She was sitting with the Mandali listening to His discourses when her eyes fell on Pukar. The thought crossed her mind that he looked like a big cuddly bear. Immediately Baba turned to Pukar and asked what he thought of taking Diana for his wife. Pukar blushed furiously and the others burst out laughing. Mum could tell it was something about her, but until Eruch translated for her, she was in the dark. They all got a chuckle at Baba's playful sense of humour. In the early '70s Mother and Father left Sydney and moved up to Woombye to be close to Avatar's Abode. They bought a beautiful old farmhouse on 13 acres of land. She became very active in the day-to-day work and nurture of the Abode. In 1976 my father, who had been ailing for the past year, died, leaving Mother free to come to America and stay with me and the children. I divorced in September ofthat year and we drove cross-country to settle in Los Angeles. Mother met up with Filis Fredericks and attended meetings at her house each week. I was too busywith my own life as a newly single woman to have anything to do with Baba meetings. When Ray Lee, a young Baba lover was leaving for India in '77, she asked if she could borrow his car while he was away. Being a generous soul, he immediately replied that she could. It was only when he was on the plane that the awful thought struck him: "What have I done? Diana is from Australia. They drive


on the other side ofthe road! Will I have a car when I return? Will Diana still be alive?" No worries. LA traffic was no bother for her. The woman was fearless! When she gave me the down payment to buy a house in West Los Angeles, it was adjacent to a not-so-nice neighbourhood. At night we could hear gun shots followed by the helicopters circling overhead. The first time Mother heard the gunshots, she flung open the front door, charged out onto the porch and loudly demanded "Who's there?!" I was horrified, to say the least! Another time, when I was visiting her in Australia, we went to a snake exhibition. Having assured the crowd that the snake he was holding was non-poisonous, the handler asked if anybody would like to see the snake bite. Mother immediately stuck out her finger upon which the snake clamped its jaws. "Hmmm - it smarts a bit" was her only reaction. In the late '70s, before I got totally entrenched in LA, the children and I planned on moving back to Australia. To this end I had designed a four bedroom house and Mother had it built on a half acre of the property. Mother was one fine business woman - she later sold the house for $95,000. It had cost her $45,000. The profit she gave to me to buy the house in LA. In 1981 she sold the farmhouse and all the land and bought a lot on Meher Road. There were quite a few Baba lovers who had built on this dirt road that led up to Avatar's Abode, so they petitioned the council for a name change to Meher Rd. The council acquiesced. Mother said this was the house she would have til she died, so she had it built entirely of wood-very low maintenance. She lived very happily there, and for the next 25 years Mother divided her time between LA and Avatars Abode, coming to stay with us over Christmas and staying for a few months before and after. It was a beautiful arrangement, I grew so much closer to her than I had been in the previous years, seeing as I was only 19 when I had left Australia. Mter I married in 1961 we lived overseas all the time so unfortunately, she didn't get to spend much time with her three grandchildren. She gave her life over to Baba work, going to India whenever she could. When she was in Los Angeles, we had a marvelous time. My teenage children held frequent parties and she was always a big hit with their friends. She had the knack offitting into any age group and was admired, respected and loved by all who came into contact with her.

My two Mghan Hounds adored her too, and even when she was in her late 70s we would all go for a brisk mile long walk each evening. By this time Baba had finally got me into the fold, so we were always a twosome at Baba events, with Mother attending the Board Meetings with me and putting in the wisdom of her age. She was also asked by other Baba groups to speak on Francis and the early days with Baba.

wonderful things! The one interchange that stands out in my mind was when Baba arrived at Avatar's Abode and had been shown around, He said to her "I hear you did the work of eight men!" This sums up how I feel about my Motherone wonderfully strong woman, selfconfident in the extreme.There was nothing she couldn't do once she set her mind to it. She was loving, generous, intelligent, artistic, and loved Baba and her daughter above all else. Thank God she managed to instill a portion of her good qualities in me! She never needed to say "You can do anything you want, it doesn't matter that you are just a woman." (This was Australia in the '50s!) I absorbed it all by osmosis and did as I saw her do. There was simply no other way to be. It was hard for me and the children to see this once vibrant woman slowing down, with her memory fading. She would forget people's names - forget a conversation we had just had. But that didn't stop her from saying, in 1999, I want to go to India one last time. She was 90 years old. I arranged for her to fly from Sydney .,_______ to Mumbai, while I flew from LA to Delhi, where my flight to Mumbai was cancelled. I arrived in Mumbai eight hours later. Thank Baba, Pathan, the wonderful driver Gary Kleiner had sent, was there to look after her til I finally arrived! We were at the 30th Amartithi together, and this time, when she said her farewells to the Mandali, we knew it was Four Generations definitely the fmal goodbye. Diana, Terry, Nicole and Dina We arrived back in LA in time for a By the time she turned 80, she finally bang up celebration ofher 90th birthday. It was started to mellow. Gone was the firebrand all a wonderful party with all her friends of 20 powerful woman, replaced by a warm accept- years there for her. Instead of returning in ing loving elderly lady. But still incredibly en- April, she stayed on til my birthday in May, as ergetic! She really only started slowing down this year it fell on Mother's Day. I hadn't had around her 85 th year. "Every year is like an- my Mother with me for that special day in other five" she said. "I'm ready to go, but be- decades. I turned 60 that day, and it was the fore I do, I want to visit India one last time." first year my daughter was a mother. We had In 1997 we left LA together and headed four generations of women present that day, off to Meherabad. It had been 15 years since (even if Nicole was only nine months old!) she was last there, so it was a wonderful reAs we took her to the airport a few days union with all the Mandali for her. It was also later, we were acutely aware that it was the a time when I found out a lot more about her end of an era. Diana would not be returning and Baba. Francis had told her "What the to the States. We weren't comfortable with her Master says to you is for your ears alone. Don't living alone any more, and she was quite happy repeat it." So being ever obedient, she had to move to Sundale, a very nice assisted living never told me of any of the conversations be- home in N ambour. Her friends could still stop tween her and Baba. One day while talking by to take her up to the Abode and she had with Arnavaz this came up in the conversa- plenty of company there. tion and Arnavaz said "Oh no! Share it with I came home for the Olympics in October your daughter!" So then I heard all sorts of 2000 and spent two weeks with her at her old 37


home on Meher Road. That was the last time This was the fIrst dream I had of Diana. I had this dream the night Diana returned I saw her. I spoke with her by phone every week or to Baba. My memory of the dream had disso and Chris visited from Brisbane once or appeared into that place where all the other forgotten moments ofsleep go. It was the next twice a month. We could all see she was winding down, day when my Mum rang to tell me the news, withdrawing into herself (or Baba?) and I that my dream and all the lovely feelings asknew I had to get over there soon. I planned sociated with it came flooding back. I don't for September, but Baba didn't tell me His know why Diana decided to dance with me schedule! She sounded so well and happy on and visit my sleeping self, but I do know that the phone the day before she passed... she was happy. She was partying as if tomorBut it was His timing - His Master plan, row was an eternity away. so it was how it was supposed to be. I just Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, would have liked to have been with her, to notice of Diana's passing went out less than have been holding her hand. But ever the in- an hour after I found out. Following are some dependent woman to the end - she could of the responses: handle her passage on her own. At the gathering at the Abode after the funeral, Alicia Mellowship told us of a dream she had had the night Mother passed on. Alicia had known Mother all ofher 22 years, had lived close by on Meher Road. She did not know ofMother's passing til Alice, her own mother, called and told her the news on Sunday morning; "I had a dream about Diana last night! It was wonderful!" In light of the news of her passing, the dream made sense. When I heard her dream it made everything feel right to me. I was so happy for Mother. It Diana with Baba at the East- West Gathering, 1962. was a perfect end to a wonderful life lived in service to our Lord, her friends, and her From Goher, Meheru and all: family. "...What a pathway of love and service Avatar Meher Baba kiJai! your Mother trod in her practical and unasAlicia's Dream suming way, always willing to help in any Baba I was dancing.... work. She was a pillar of strength and a shinShe was dancing.... ing example in Meher's Seva of Love at its Her smile so big, as she threw her head Best. We have the fondest memories of our back and laughed. We held hands and twirled. time with her. Like two small girls. Much love from all your Meherazad family. I felt so happy and content - on the verge From Bhau ofbursting-dancing with this happy lady enMy dear sister Dina, gulfed by the most divine light. Not like any I received your e-mail informing me ofthe yellow I had seen before, nor any blue and joining of dear mummy Diana to Beloved definitely no white existed as pure as this. AlBaba, and as mummy has expressed her wish most like the light in the sky left behind by that when she would join Beloved Baba there the setting sun, just after it has sunk behind should be no tears, it is therefore a lesson for the mountain. His lovers how they consider death. In fact A faceless white haired lady danced around she realized the secret ofdeath and expressed us, she too reveling in the joy of the moment. As my dancing partner and I twirled, I said to her wish so that others may not feel affected her 'We should do this again sometime!" I by deaths and particularly those who love Him was having so much fun. My mind replied and remain dedicated to His cause. I know how she loved Beloved Baba and silently to her smile - "Oh that's right, you how she served His cause at Avatar's Abode don't live here any more", reminded of her silently. She will always remain in the memory move off The Mountain some years before. of the dedicated souls and she will get the fiShe kept smiling as we continued our dance. nal embrace from the Beloved. Our faceless friend twirling in the backI feel happy to salute her love for the Beloved ground .... 38

and I will always appreciate her dedication to the cause of the Beloved. Mayall His dear ones rejoice in paying respect to her wish and may they realize the secret of "Smile instead oftears" at the departure ofsuch a dear one. I am in a farm near Paris and that is why I could not get your e-mail, but fortunately yesterday Richie Blum made some arrangement and I got it. So my dear sister, remain dancing and in the joy thatMurnmy has joined the Beloved and what pleasure can be more than this, which pleasure is a part ofthe bliss. She has joined the Highest of the High and I feel the tears are smiling in you all With all love and Jai Baba to you and all dear ones in the family. When Eruch heard the news he asked Gary Kleiner to please send me his love and Jai Baba and to tell me that "Diana beat me in the race to come HOME!!" Gary says from himself "... Sorry to hear about Diana, but Man! She had a great innings! The last time I saw Diana was when she came to India at the age of90. Due to some logistics problems, she did not meet up with Dina in Mumbai and was stranded there, with only the driver who I sent to meet her. It was a lot ofconfusion to deal with, but she handled it like a trooper. She had poise, and waited patiently for the situation to resolve itself And then when she came to Meherabad, although she was one of the oldest pilgrims we have ever had here, she did not grumble or ask for any special attention, like many people halfher age do. She showed me courage and acceptance and I was happy to learn and re-Iearn those lessons with and from her. May she be in peace. May her spirit soar, unhindered by her body. With love and care . " your Mother, whom I met once over 20 years ago amongst a large group ofpeople, left such an impression that I never forgot her face or name. Jai Baba Diana!" Jen Buggia "...just wanted you to know I met your Mother many years ago at a talk she gave. She was wonderful! Years later, when I met you, I recognised where you had gotten your spark and courage. Go Diana! May she have a great send offin His love." Cindy Lowe ".. .it is with mixed emotions that we heard ofyour Mother's returning to Baba. It feels sad for us knowing that we will not see her again at Avatar's Abode; knowing also that she is one of the trail blazing Baba lovers ofAustralia whose life was centered so totally on Baba and as such


was an inspiration to us all But her memory still

lives with us. It also feels OK because we know that she will return to Him, the Great Comforter - the Preserver and Protector of all." The Keating Family Roy and Ros Hayes who were in Saigon at the time of the funeral, phoned in this message to be read at the service: "Our thoughts are with dear Diana today. She has truly been one ofBaba's grand ladies and His stalwart. Our memories ofDiana start from 1968. Picnics at her home in Sydney, her good humour and quick wit, and later - her driving!! So many memories... " And from me - thank you so much for the outpouring oflove I have received from oh so many friends around the world whose lives have been touched by this wonderful woman.

Eric Robbins .

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une 28th, at 6:05p.m., Eric Robbins, long-time Baba lover and husband of iane Levy, went to Beloved Baba. On June 25th, Eric had a seizure and fell while undergoing treatment for panic attacks at Hillside Hospital on Long Island. He suffered a blood clot on the brain, which neurosurgery was unable to repair. His enthusiasm and dedication were always such a delightful addition to the New York Baba community and will be sorely missed. Please remember him and Diane in your prayers, and may Baba grant Eric's longing to draw ever more closer to Him Who is closer than our own breath.

Teresa Fulgenzi

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ustralian Baba lovers have lost their creator of sacred drama. Teresa Fulgenzi has passed from this life after a short struggle with cancer. She died onJuly 27th at Avatar's Abode. Teresa was able to make a last trip to her Master's Samadhi, where she was given knowledge of her impending end and the courage to accept it. When Teresa produced her plays for the Anniversaries her sense ofpurpose and calm dedication were appreciated by all, and those who knew her will not be surprised to learn that she went to the Divine Master of our little stage with great trust and composure. She will be greatly missed by Baba lovers both here and at Meherabad. Geoff Gunther.

Adi and Rhoda Dubash Return to Baba Heather Nadel and Ward Parks

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n the evening of August, 2001, Adi Dubash, old-time Baba stalwart and a trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, died of cancer at his home in Meherabad at the age of 81. Just moments earlier, Adi had returned home from the hospital in Pune. Entering the house, he lovingly greeted his wife Rhoda, was helped to his bed, and immediately went to Baba. In fact, while in Pune, Adi had told those around him that he would like to breathe his last at Meherabad, in the company of his closest ones. At the time ofhis passing, his wife Rhoda, their son Merwan, and daughter-in-law Ruby were all at his side. In this way Beloved Baba fulfilled this last heartfelt wish of His lover. The next day, August 5th, most of the Meherazad mandali, Adi's own family members, and Baba pilgrims from around the world gathered in Mandali Hall in lower Meherabad to pay their respects to this old servant of the Lord, wrapped in sheets and strewn with flowers from the Meherabad gardens. Many songs were sung, and a charged feeling filled the room. At 10 a.m. the body was carried to the cremation site south of the Pilgrim Centre. Mter prayers and arti, it was covered in wood and set ablaze, bringing back the memories ofMani, Kaikobad, and many other ofBaba's dear ones who had been cremated on this spot. Born in 1919 and living much of his life in what is now Pakistan, Adi had a connection with Baba dating back to the 1940s, when he was introduced to Him through his cousin Minoo Kharas. In 1945 he married Rhoda, and for more than a half-century the two of them dedicated their lives to Baba's service. Through the years Adi had many opportunities to enjoy Baba's company and share in his work. He would never miss the chance to be with Baba when he could and thus, along with Rhoda, drew close in His contact. In the early 1980s Adi and Rhoda left Pakistan and came to live at Meherabad. There, in addition to serving as a trustee for the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, Adi was a wholehearted Baba worker, managing the kitchen at Hostel D, supervising the Meherabad store, and organizing volunteers for duty at Baba's Samadhi. Always forthright and outspoken in his strong opinions, Adi's presence often made

for lively discussions. In the last year of his life, Adi turned that same strength of character toward the task of coping with the sad prognosis of his illness. He was a model patient, stoical, never complaining; his courage in the face of his approaching departure was deeply moving. He made every possible effort to continue with his duties wherever possible and to delegate them where not. It is hard to imagine a more noble wrapping up of a life. Only an hour after his death, as many of us observed, Adi's face took on a radiant smile - an amazing smile full of happiness. More dearly than any mirror, that happiness reflected Baba, and in it, His love for Adi, His welcome, and the joy oftheir longawaited reunion.

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ednesday night September 19th, just before 9:00 p.m., Rhoda Dubash passed away in her home in Meherabad. On the 19th she suffered a stroke. Her cremation was held this morning, attended by Bhau, Meheru, Aloba, Bal, Meherwan, Falu, and many friends and companions at Meherabad. For years Rhoda was an ardent helper at the Trust Office, doing work for both Mani and Eruch. Her love and service to her Beloved Baba are a shining example to all of us. Many pilgrims to Meherabad will remember Rhoda for her devoted service as one of the cleaning supervisors at Baba's Samadhi, and for her skill as a loving and generous hostess for her tea parties in her home, where she and Adi would share their precious stories oflife with Baba. And those who have visited at Christmas time will not forget Rhoda's inimitable rendition, every year without a gap, of "0 Come All Ye Faithful", which she had sung before Baba in her earlier years. Rhoda has been called home to Him, definitely one of His Faithful! We will miss her. Irene Holt, 20 September, 2001

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MurshidJames MacKie ofSufism Reoriented D

r. James MacKie, who succeeded Ivy Duce as with a T#stern Guru and Gurus and Psychotherapists. the Murshid or spiritual teacher of Sufism ReDuring these years, Dr. MacKie was based primaoriented, the American spiritual school created by rily in Washington, D.C., where he worked with a small Meher Baba, passed away peacefully on group of companions. Murshida Duce June 10,2001, in Walnut Creek, Calialso had a small Sufi group there. Alfomia. Murshid MacKie, 69, led the though Meher Baba had told her in the Sufis for twenty years. Under his guid1950s to establish a Sufi center in Washance, the group's activities greatly exington, her group had few resources and panded and the Sufis were able to ofwas meeting in a church basement. On fer their resources and expertise to learning of this, Dr. MacKie and his Meher Baba projects around the world. companions acquired and remodeled a In a letter from the Meherazad famtownhouse in downtown Washington ily, Meheru Irani wrote, "Jim will always which they named "Meher House" and be remembered and appreciated for the offered to Murshida Duce as a possible support he has given in the Baba world." residential center for her work. She acAnn Conlon, writing on behalf of the cepted it, and Meher House became a Directors ofthe Meher Spiritual Center model for future patterns of Sufi life. at Myrtle Beach, noted, "Murshid Meher House was soon supplanted by MacKie's dedication to Meher Baba was Manchester House, a larger Georgian profound, and his long service to Sufism mansion in northwest Washington. Dr. Reoriented was an inspiration to all. He MacKie supervised the renovation and will be deeply missed and remembered Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented remodeling of this house, and most of with enormous respect." Murshid MacKie 1932-2001 the construction work was done by Sufi Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. James MacKie had a dis- volunteers over nearly 14 years. tinguished career in psychology, education and the social sciences before learning ofMeher Baba.In 1974, shortly before his 42nd birthHis Work as Murshid day, he saw a photograph ofMeher Baba at the home of an acquainMurshida Duce was charged by Meher Baba to lay the foundatance. He described the effect as being struck by a bolt of lightning tions for Sufism Reoriented in America. She completed her work and that filled every cell ofhis body with the understanding that this figure passed away in September, 1981, at the age of86, naming Dr. MacKie was God. He said that this encounter "totally and irrevocably dissolved her successor. Under his leadership, participation in Sufism increased the framework of my adult professional and personal life." Over the from about 300 to nearly 500 people, most ofwhom live near one of next several years, he was inundated with extraordinary internal expe- the two Sufi centers: an administrative and performing arts building riences, some so forceful that they left him crippled and nearly blind in California and a residential campus in Washington, D.C. Both of for months at a time. It was clear to him that Meher Baba was direct- these centers, originally purchased by Murshida Duce, were enlarged ing these processes, for at their core was an overwhelmingly benevo- and redesigned by Murshid MacKie to accommodate a wide range of lent love. activities associated with the shared life of a spiritual community. Murshid (as he was called) maintained living quarters at each one. In His Work with Murshida Duce the tradition of most Sufi schools, he invited his students quite literAmong the internal directions Dr. MacKie received was to contact ally to share his home and his life as the setting for their spiritual study. Murshida Ivy Duce (whom he did not know) and assist her in anyway These centers are beautifullyfurnished and decorated, filled with flowers he could with her work in Sufism (ofwhich he had never heard). [Ivy and plants and images of Meher Baba, carefully maintained and kept O. Duce first met Meher Baba in 1948. Baba's work with her to estab- at a high level of cleanliness by Sufi volunteers. According to his students, the keynote ofMurshid MacKie's work lish Sufism Reoriented is described in her book, How a Master Works, and in several volumes of Lord Meher.] A meeting was arranged at was joy. He inspired the Sufis to celebrate the Avatar's life and sumMurshida Duce's home in California in May 1974. Her own spiritual mon His Presence through the arts, as Sufi orders have always done. insight confirmed the authenticity of Dr. MacKie's experiences, the His Sufi gatherings were often devotional evenings ofsong, dance and breadth ofhis understanding ofspiritual processes, and his dedication poetry that reminded many ofecstatic qawwali sessions, singing God's to Meher Baba. Over the next seven years, Murshida Duce invited Dr. praise till dawn. He used the arts as vessels for teaching: in the 1980s, MacKie's increasingly close collaboration in her work as a Sufi teacher. he worked with his students to create large-scale musical celebrations She referred many of her own students to him for specialized consul- ofMeher Baba and His principles oflife, including two oratorios, The tations. She asked him to share his knowledge and experience ofspiri- Elements and Lord of the Universe, and a suite of dances inspired by tual principles with others and even arranged for him to give a series of Meher Baba's message, The Highest ofthe High. All were recorded on public seminars on spiritual topics at the University of California at audio and videotape and many ofthese programs have been presented Berkeley. He had never spoken openly about his experiences and only at Meher Baba celebrations around the world. To support such endid so to honor Mrnshida's wish. She chose the subjects for his pre- deavors Murshid expanded the Consortium of the Arts, which offers sentations. Together, they also wrote two small books, Conversations regular classes in voice, acting and painting.

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Murshid took great delight in nurturing the talents of the painters, sculptors and craftspeople among his Sufi students, encouraging them to portray Meher Baba's image in new ways. Murshid arranged for these works of art to be expertly reproduced and made available as photographs and note-cards. Much of this original artwork adorns the Sufi Centers in California and Washington, D.C., and many of these paintings were displayed in an art show at Myrtle Beach last year. Murshid also led large groups of Sufis on a series of"pilgrimage tours" to places around the world associated with Meher Baba's life and work, beginning, of course with Baba's Samadhi at Meherabad. Murshid's last visit to India was in 1994, when he was invited to give the keynote address at the opening of the Universal Spiritual Center in Byramangala, near Bangalore.

Broader Service One of the first projects on which Murshida Duce invited Dr. MacKie's consultation was the creation of a "community school" for children based on Meher Baba's principles of education through love. This became the Meher Schools in Lafayette, California, a preschool, elementary school and aftercare program staffed and operated by Sufism Reoriented as a community service project. Most of the children enrolled do not come from Sufi families. Murshid MacKie, with a professional background in psychology and education, was able to consolidate and integrate the school's programs. He refocused the curriculum to prepare children successfully for intermediate school, and sought and received full accreditation from appropriate agencies.The school, staffed by more than 40 Sufi professionals and cleaned and maintained by more than 200 Sufi volunteers, has been in operation for more than 25 years and now serves nearly 400 children from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. Murshid also generously offered the resources and expertise of his group to support the work of other Meher Baba groups and centers wherever he could. The Sufis helped prepare manuscripts ofBhau Kalchuri's Lord Meher for publication. They published Dan Ladinsky's first book of Hafiz poems, I Heard God Laughing. Murshid developed a Sufi film and video department whose specialists have given valuable assistance to Baba archives and filmmakers all over the world. The Sufis have also produced recordings of concerts at their center by Baba musicians such as Raphael Rudd and Raine Eastman-Gannett, in addition to their own musical work. Murshid MacKie was perhaps best known as a teacher. He had a natural gift for storytelling and could illuminate the most complex and subtle ideas with colorful anecdotes from spiritual literature and from his own life and work. In his role as a Sufi Murshid, he prepared hundreds of hours of classes, many of which were recorded on videotape. Some of these presentations have been made generally available. They reveal Murshid's tremendous appreciation of the sacredness and beauty ofthe earth, oflife in all its forms, of the grand sweep of human learning, and most especially, of the incomparable majesty and radiant loveliness ofAvatar Meher Baba and the indescribable joy of His Presence.

The New Sufi Murshida: Carol Weyland Conner Shortly before Murshid MacKie passed away, he named his close associate, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, as his successor. Born in 1942, Murshida Weyland Conner grew up in the San Joaquin Valley ofcentral California. She pursued a broad apprenticeship

in higher education: English literature at the University of California at Berkeley, French studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, translators' school at Heidelberg, Germany, and medieval studies at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, before receiving Photo Archive, Sufism Reoriented her Ph.D. in Murshida Weyland Conner clinical psychology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1976. After teaching for several years on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine, she went into private practice as a therapist, practicing for 25 years in Walnut Creek, California, and Washington, D.C. Murshida Weyland Conner met Dr. James MacKie in the course ofher graduate training in psychology in 1975, when he was still teaching in that field. He became her professional supervisor and mentor. From him, she learned of Meher Baba, of Sufism and of Murshida Duce. In 1977, she joined him and a small group on a first pilgrimage to Meher Baba's Sarnadhi in India. Her inner experiences there confirmed for her that Meher Baba was God, the embodiment of all the divinity and higher love she had known since childhood. Over the following years, she joined Dr. MacKie whenever her schedule permitted. In 1979, he invited her help in creating Meher House, a residential center for Murshida Duce in Washington. As house manager and hostess, she organized and supervised the housekeeping services and meal preparation at Meher House for a year, and thus came into close contact with Murshida Duce, whom she recognized as a radiant vessel of Meher Baba's light. Murshida Duce, in turn, recognized her, and formally initiated her and Dr. MacKie as Sufi students in December 1979. The following year, she was invited to become Murshida Duce's companion, attendant and housekeeper, a position she held until Murshida Duce's passing in 1981. She continued her close association with James MacKie throughout his tenure as Murshid. He referred students to her for specialized counseling. He invited her aid in organizing and directing many Sufi projects. During phases ofwork in the performing arts, she uncovered an extraordinary love and talent for dance. She developed her skills as a choreographer, director and performer in Sufi programs. Her poetry has played a central role in Sufi productions. She has also participated fully in all the tasks of shared life in the Sufi community: construction and building maintenance, food service, cleaning, gardening, office work. Murshida Conner was a resident at the Washington and Walnut Creek Centers for eight years. Murshid MacKie invited her collaboration in every phase ofhis work in Sufism, including his series of "pilgrimage tours" to spiritual centers associated with Meher Baba in India and Europe. In naming CarolWeyland Conner as his successor, Murshid MacKie noted that Murshida Duce had also recognized her special qualities and identified her as a future Sufi. Murshida. Murshida Conner formally assumed her duties on the surnrner solstice, June 21, 2001.

41


'~d what beautiful have you

done today?"

An interview with Diana Le Page by Sandy Brown*

I

magine if someone asked you to paint sixteen really big, full colour murals of the life of Baba and that these were to prominently feature in the new pilgrim centre at the spiritual capital of the universe. What if it was then casually hinted that ideally they would help inspire thousands of pilgrims from every conceivable walk of life for centuries to come? And what if you were to do this with your vision severely impaired and without the ability to see colour? How do you think you would get ready for such a task? More important, how do you think Baba would get you ready? Artist Diana Le Page has been commissioned to paint 16 murals, each approximately 3 x 1.5 meters (9 x 4 feet) in dimension, depicting the life of our Beloved Baba. These are to be hung in the Dining Hall of the new Pilgrim Centre in Meherabad. Diana is now well into the fourth mural. Although she only received the commission last November, she has been working on the concept since 7th February, 1996. It was at noon on this date when Diana was inspired with the idea of painting huge murals depicting the life of Baba. She was so moved that she recorded the idea on a piece of paper. "Carpe Diem" (seize the day) was written on the bottom of the page and seize it she did slowly beginning this enormous project which she believed she would have at least 20 years to complete. "The idea was wonderful - it really excited me. I thought, well, there's no place to hang paintings that big in the Baba family because we're so young in Baba history. There just aren't any big buildings that could handle these things. But I knew it didn't matter because my job is to do them. I've had certain images in my mind, certain things that I see that I like and certain photos that particularly move me. Scenes I'd really like to talk about through the painting. I thought that I had about 20 years so I wasn't rushing." *Originally printed in Meher BabaAustralia*

42

When she accepted this commission, Diana agreed to a deadline giving her a fraction ofthe time she thought she had to complete this project. How beautiful it was that Baba gave Diana the inspiration, years in

Meher Studio

advance, which enabled her to mentally prepare for the task. How beautiful also that He then removed the safety net of her own expectations so that she could only cling to Him for help. It is little surprise that reliance on Baba was a constant theme in my discussions with Diana who draws strength from this Rumi quote that is pinned on the wall of her studio: "God breaks the wings of one intention and then gives you another; cuts the rope of contriving so you'll remember your dependence. It is by failures that lovers stay aware of how they're loved. Failure is the key to the kingdom within. Your prayers should be, "Break the legs ofwhat I want to happen. Humiliate my desire. Eat me like candy! It's spring and finally I have no will."

During our talk, Diana continually returned to this theme of dependence on Baba: "We all have Baba looking after us for all our life, but we don't know it. The more you're with Baba, the more you'll be able to look back into your life and see how He was always there, always with you, even though, sometimes, we were feeling so sorry for ourselves we couldn't hear Him. "When I first started to draw Baba years ago I was so uptight. I would get exhausted after a few hours ofworking because my hands were so tight. I wanted to be good so badly and I was so stressed just doing it-1 loved doing it, but I didn't realise thatI didn't have to worry and that Baba would be there. It doesn't mean you don't do the work, butyou don'thave to worry as much as I did." I have always been moved by Diana's paintings and remember being surprised to learn that she had a visual impairment. I was even more surprised to learn that, for most of her life, she had been told that she could not see colour. Naturally gifted, she chose sculpting as the medium less dependent on colour perception. This choice led her to Paris and to work in a studio firmly established in the classical tradition. There, Diana was apprenticed to two women artists, L. Luzanowfsky and D. Gamsaragan, one of whom had been the head of the studio for sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, who in turn was the head of the studio for Auguste Rodin. Here Diana was trained in different mediums, including clay portraits that were caste into bronze and sculpting directly in stone and wood. At the end ofeach day her mentors would ask: "And what beautiful have you done today?" "I was encouraged to strive to give every piece, even small ones, a 'sense of monumentality.' I took that as meaning it should elevate something inside of you to the monumental side of our inner qualities, it should take you where you want to be." Mter many years Diana reached a point where she had taken sculpting as far as she


wanted and decided to explore other mediums. She eventually settled on oil painting, a change that led her to explore her relationship with colour. "I ended up with the oil paints because I loved the smell of them and I loved the depth of colour that you can get. I also wondered, if I don't see colour, why do I like it? Then it occurred to me that obviously, in all of us, there must be something that enables us to feel colour. I have to rely on my feelings to sense colour whereas other people just open their eyes and see it. I have to relax and let the feeling of the colour come to me. I must be relaxed to do it and if! start thinking about it I get scared and then can't. It took me a long, long time to have confidence in this because the last thing I wanted to be doing was ugly Babas. What ifit looked 0 K to me but not to you? It was scary at first." This reminded me that colour is light vibrating at different frequencies and I suddenly understood why Diana's paintings sometimes seem to shimmer. It makes sense that someone with heightened sensitivity to light would be able to appreciate the more subde ways that colour and light can be sensed. As Diana continued, a whole new way of perceiving the world began opening to me. "It's like all the arts correspond. I can remember reading Inayat Khan on music. He was saying that different musical notes hit different places on our chakra levels. I'm sure that colours do the same thing and that it all works together."

Meher Baba'sfamily and the Five Perfect Masters

When offered the commission Diana was given very few parameters within which to work. Apart from the time frame, the physical dimensions, and the subject matter, the only other instructions were that "Baba should be recognisable to the man from Arangaon as well as the man from Argentina." "I didn't really find that inspiring" says Diana, "but then I realised all I had to do is to paint Baba the way I knew Mehera and Mani and Rano would like to see Baba painted. And I know that because, boy, have they drilled it into me! So that's my one real restriction." Since showing her first drawings in 1971, Diana has had ongoing assistance from many of Baba's close ones, particularly the women mandali. Stories about their input have helped to give me an idea oflessons of

confidence and trust Baba has given Diana over the years. "It's not like you instantly walk into this and think 'I can do this.'It takes a long time ofworking on it. You don't realise immediately how much Baba helps you. Rano was very exacting about the drawings and I can remember her telling me that I didn't have Baba's ears quite right and how unusual they were... Later Mehera asked me why I asked Rano what she thought. ... It was as though I wasn't remembering who Mehera was! The Beloved's Beloved! Why didn't I just go to her for heaven's sake? Then Mehera turned around and looked at me and said 'But Diana-can't you see if His ears aren't right?' What was so good about that is that it gave me the confidence in myself. I thought - well, actually I can, but I'm so unsure of myself that I feel like I've got to ask you! Once I made a little card of Baba for Mehera for her birthday. Mehera said to me, "Look, I'm not smiling enough in this Diana. I was always smiling when I was with Baba." Forget what the photograph looks like, she obviously just doesn't want to be drawn not smiling! Mehera wrote to me on January 4,1983: 'The picture of Beloved and myself on the newsletter was very beautiful. Baba looked so debonair and handsome and I felt Him very close to me as I gazed on the photo. It is truly inspired by your love for the Beloved.Everyone admired it very much.' But then one month later, on February 5, 1983 another letter arrived with the inevitable critique: 'One

The Ancient One

43


Charcoal studies ofBaba and Mehera

thing I would like to mention in the picture you did of Baba and me [is] that it was in the early days when I was young, there were no lines, that is deep lines on my face running down from the nostril to the lips and you have given me a sad expression as though I look drawn and tired by these deep lines. If you look carefully as the original photograph there is a soft smiling happy expression on my face because I was content to be with Baba. I hope you do not mind me being frank with you. I just wanted to draw your attention to this.' Mani once told me that Mehera didn't have wrinkles. But you look at the photos and think she does, she's a human being. I felt that what Mani meant was that when you make a painting ofMehera it should be about her pure love. If there's anything in that painting that gets in the way of that, don't put it in the painting! It's a more intuitive interpretation but I think that's what they were trying to communicate. Another example came from a slide show that I was doing at one _.~............ of the Anniversaries. I was explaining how I received a lot of critique from the Mandali and at that point Meheru walked into the slide show for just five minutes. The minute the next slide went on, Meheru started giving me a critique. 'Diana, that hand isn't right, His skin was much softer than that' and so on. And then she left.

44

Mani was the one who really supported me in this effort and really helped me with the colour and gave me the confidence I needed. I wrote to her before she died to thank her for her help because I wanted to make sure I'd said something. This is an extract from her response to that. It's dated August 2,1995: 'Dearest Diana, you should have seen the glow on my face when I saw the cover of The Glow bearing your beautiful painting of Beloved Baba, talking in elegant gestures making one forget they were not actual photographs of Him. And the same day when your card arrived referring to my help with it the glow dropped deep into my heart. It is very sweet of you Diana but the actual fact is that you are a very, very good artist and I am a very

good critic so the twain did meet in the master piece you created of our creator.' That was so sweet, so special. Every time I came to India I always showed Mani what I was working on and I'd always get her critique. One of the main things, one of the incredible things she did, and what I was thanking her particularly for in that letter, was her critique of all those little 18 gestures in the painting. I had all the original drawings that I took to India. She put them all lined up along the floor in Mandali Hall. It took about two and a halfhours. Everybody else was just sitting there listening. She went through each one and showed me what was not quite right, what was right and how she worked with Rano and her paintings and drawings in the same way. She just was a terrific critic." I was in India last November at the same time as Diana when this commission was offered to her. Now it's April and Diana is already well underway with the second mural. She had no time to lose - each mural has been allocated three months as the whole project must be ready within five years. I asked Diana how she maintains her momentum: "Painting for me is a concentration that, for me, helps me to get closer to Baba and I love it. I'm totally addicted to it. It's no burden to me to come in here and work every day. That doesn't mean every day that things come out terrifically. I do have bad days but if you do it every day, then a bad day doesn't matter because you know you're going to be in there


tomorrow, it will come, Baba will help you. It's just like in life every day isn't brilliant." When I saw the fIrst mural on an earlier visit it was just as Diana was adding the finishing touches. It literally took my breath away. In the centre of the painting is the young Merwan whom Babajan called her "Beloved Son who would one day rock the world." In his recent book, Diana's husband, Bill, uses rich prose to describe Baba in this period. The following passage helped to inspire the first mural: "As the sun bursts over the horizon in life, giving vigour, so my imagination and narrow empathy reach out to the lean intense fIgure ofMeher Baba of the very early years, flinging disciples twice His own weight around like rag dolls, yet causing no injuries. Banging His head on stone so hard that His teeth were permanently loosened. Oh the glory, the intensity, the electrifying grandeur of the lean frame and face and unruly locks of hair." Similarly, Bill's prose also gave Diana the idea of using the theme of a "sun filled day" to link the murals together thematically. "When He was gone the period of His stay seems to have been but the time space ofa gloriously sun filled day. Although the phases and activities of His life were very complex and often overlapping to continue this figure ofa sun filled day, it appears to me that His ministry falls into five main periods. Daybreak and early morning, mid morning, high noon, mid afternoon, late afternoon and evening."

Charcoal studyfor painting

Diana showed me photos ofpreliminary sketches of the murals. These are a master plan and help her see how the murals all work together. Diana has these small and detailed photos stuck to paper between line drawings of the archways of the new Dining Hall. Although only sketches, each picture already shimmers with the beauty of His Divine Form, most with at least two, three, or four pictures of Baba. As she laid them before me, these small photographs, the promise of what is to come, I was overcome and started crying. Diana explained: "The murals are not going to be the kind of paintings that represent a true history or are illustrative of historic events so much. Mainly, however, they will be a chance to communicate my feelings for Baba

Charcoal studyfor painting

and talk about how beautiful He is, how loving He is and how gorgeous He is. I'll use certain historical events to bring forth aspects that I think are accessible to me. Another concern was to make sure that the number of serious paintings is balanced by the number ofthose in lighter moods. I didn't want anything too dominant and, of course, wanted to make sure that each had the feeling of His presence as much as I possibly could." Baba's pre-sence already radiates from the first three completed murals.When all sixteen are finished, the entire work will be nothing short ofa masterpiece. As Diana has explained, she was trained to strive to make her art something that would elevate something inside of us, inspire the monumental side of our inner qualities and take us where we want to be.Where better than remembering our Beloved Baba? In this project, Baba is being presented so tenderly and beautifully so that, by looking at these images, our longing to be with Him more and more will be felt anew. Another quote that Diana has on her wall is one that she reads out aloud when she needs to refocus or when she just needs a lift. This is something that Baba wrote about artists. Early in the morning, the day after we'd completed the interview, Diana called me to stress that, although we'd been talking about art, it doesn't matter what work we do if we do it for Baba and to try to always remember Him, He will help and guide us. "One can express all of one's spiritual qualities through art, but one must put all ofone's heart into it. Art is one ofthe sources through which the soul expresses itself and inspires others. But to express art thoroughly, one must have his inner emotions thoroughly opened. I love artists, for through art, one can express oneselfbeautifully. When inspired with love, art leads to higher realms." - Avatar Meher Baba

45


FrOlll Meherabad In His Sahavas Sandy Brown, Australia

"Forget everything else but My Sahavas and concentrate allyour attention on Me. I am theAncient One. " MeherBaba t is a joy to be able to report that the first Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas,June 22 to July 2nd, was a wonderful success, full of Baba's love and many blessings. About 85 participants aged between 19 and 35 from the East and the West had a chance to live and work together, and shared deeply in Baba's love over the full ten-day program. Thanks to the Meherabad and Meherazad community's support of the Sahavas, participants were able to experience Meherabad in a unique way. Many service projects were organized, which offered the opportunity for all to take part in the life ofMeherabad in ways not normally available, enabling us to assist in projects such as tree planting, white-washing old Mandali Hall, cleaning Baba's Table House and ]hopdi, and sewing special tomb covers for Silence Day. It was a privilege to take part in serving in these small ways. There were many talks about life with Beloved Baba from the Mandali and other special guests, and a visit to Meherazad on its opening day. Afternoons were filled with art projects, music and dance workshops, sports activities, and preparing for the Celebration concert at the end of the program. Many lovely singing, dancing, and musical numbers were performed and a hilarious play where sahavasees acted as masts reenacting the different stories of Baba contacting the five Perfect Masters. The Celebration concert showed the unity of feeling that had come about between the Eastern and Western participants, and as the curtain opened for each act, it felt as if a fresh wave of Baba's love flooded over the audience. A tremendous opportunity was given for surrender and service when an epidemic of gastroenteritis affected many of the participants, particularly the Westerners. Ironically, when talking to many people about the high point of the Sahavas the response often relates to the depth of connection to Baba and other participants that people felt during their illness. Many people who were bed-ridden for

I

46

several days and prevented from taking part in the events found themselves surrendering to Baba and feeling very overwhelmed by a strong sense of His closeness. Those who weren't affected, also had their planned schedules interrupted by the demands of caring for those who were, and by the need to help the medical staffensure that every precaution was taken to prevent the spread of the sickness. One of the organizers talked about how this made the concept ofservice very real Whereas all the service projects that had been organized had been called service, they were really a privilege for the participants. But trying to serve 35 or so ill people stretched everyone outside of their usual comfort zones. One participant commented that until this occurred she had thought the Sahavas was going to be about feeling great, bonding with people and having a good time. When she became ill, it became much more about surrendering to Baba's will and being with Him. On the last night, in a closing ceremony in Old Mandali Hall, sahavasees shared their experiences. The feeling of love, acceptance and unity was very profound. While lining up for darshan at Baba's chair, His love and presence seemed to be felt very intensely throughout the group. Many felt that we had been given a rare privilege of sharing deeply in Baba's Sahavas and that this would enable us to return to our homes and continue to experience and share His Love in this way with others.

Meher Baba's Message to Youth

I

t is the privilege of youths to be full of energy and hope. Not being caught up in any grooves, their dreams about the future have the advantage of being inspired by an unfettered imagination. In the glow of a newborn love, or in the warmth of newly caught enthusiasm, they are quick to respond to the call for action and self-sacrifice. Life would be poorer without these qualities, which are predominantly present in youths. But ifthe youths are to derive the full benefit of the qualities with which they are abundantly endowed, they must also try to acquire some other qualities which are rare in young people. Hope should be fortified by a courage that can accept failure with equanimity; enthusi-

asm should be harnessed by the wisdom that knows how to wait for the fruit ofaction with patience. Idealistic dreams about the future should be counterbalanced by a sense of the realities ofthe present. The glow oflove should allow itself to be illumined by a free and unhampered play of reason. It is easy for youths to be so intent on realizing the ideal, that they become bitter against the present and past, but it is well to cultivate the spirit of idealizing the real and being appreciative of the heritage of the past. The world, as it is, may not seem to follow the pattern youths adore, but they must never forget that it is always good enough to merit their most loving attention. In their desire to improve the world, let them not surrender their right to be happy by becoming bitter. Youths love freedom and, as such, they have a natural impulse to rebel against all authority and bondage. All this is well and good. But let them make a real effort to keep free from the many illusions to which young people are particularly susceptible. True self-expression does not necessarily imply irreverence for others; true criticism does not necessarily imply hostility or separateness. Freedom without responsibility is a doubtful boon. Freedom is worth having only where there is self-restraint and willingness to cooperate with others. Youths are always willing to act and take risks. Let them freely yield to this fearless and imperative urge oflife within them. But while releasing action, let them take every care that it is creative and not merely destructive. Let their watchwords always be Love and Service." Lord Meher, Vol. 8. Page 2813. Š AMBPPCT

Special Notice Shelley Marrich 22 June 2001 reetings from Meherazad where, I am happy to report, the summer heat has given way to an early monsoon. The dry, intense heat has been replaced by cloudy skies, cooler temperatures and over 4 inches of rain at Meherazad-and not a moment too soon! Maharashtra has been suffering from a terrible drought which has left many nearby villagers and farmers without water for drinking or for their crops. And since mid-May, when the water level in our well suddenly dropped and did not recuperate, even Meherazad has been on water restrictions. By Baba's Grace the rain will continue and relieve the poor villagers who now have to walk miles just to procure drinking water.

G


Last month, after Bhauji's return to 'Nagar from his heart surgery, he had a very happy reunion with all the Mandali at Meherazad, sharing with them his travails as well as his beautiful experiences with Baba. Because of Bhauji's weakened condition, Dr. Goher had asked him to visit for only 30 minutes. But his happiness was such that Bhauji stayed much longer and did not seem tired at all by the effort. Bhauji again visited Meherazad on June 10th after his recent discharge from the Poona hospital where he was admitted for a bowel obstruction. His endurance, stamina and faith in Baba throughout each physical trial are truly inspiring. Bhauji is amazing! On May 20th, the anniversary of dearest Mehera's reunion with her Beloved Baba, many of the Mandali travelled to Meherabad for arti and prayers in the Samadhi. Those whose health requires they avoid the heat, went early in the morning- when they had a quiet time with Baba, offering garlands and reciting the prayers. As they adorned Mehems and Mani's shrines with garlands and rose petals, they remembered the hearts of Baba's lovers around the world who would wish to share this moment with them. The remaining Mandali attended with their own heartful offerings at the usual women's arti time and stayed for the singing - a beautiful blending ofvoices from the East and the West in praise and remembrance of Meher Baba and His beloved Mehera. Meherazad's Pilgrim Season begins in two weeks and already the massive Spring cleaning is under way. Each room is emptied of its contents, cleaned from ceiling to floor, pillow and chair covers are washed and stitched, photos are removed from the walls and thoroughly cleaned, furniture is dusted (and oiled if needed), the gardens are readied and the Mandali put away their summer clothes, making room for their fancier frocks and trousers. This is also a time when we reevaluate the Meherazad schedule for the coming season. Last year the Mandali found it necessary to keep Saturdays closed to visitors and this extra day off was literally a God-send for them all. Although they hesitate to make additional changes this year, they feel it is necessary to shorten Thursday from a 1:30p.m. departure time to 12:30p.m. This means that the bus will arrive at Meherazad at ll:OOa.m. on Thursday mornings and leave by 12:30p.m. so that the pilgrims will eat their lunch at Meherabad. Because of the decreasing capacity of the Mandali, Dr. Goher once again requests that all pilgrims, without exception, abide by the Meherazad schedule which is printed below.

In this way you will be helping the Mandali by allowing them the much-needed time off to rest and recuperate so that they may give more fully of themselves on the pilgrim days. Dr. Goher also wishes to remind everyone who comes to Meherabad on pilgrimage, that if they should become ill during their stay, they should NOT visit Meherazad until the attending Meherabad doctor has given them permission. The Mandali are especially vulnerable to the colds and flus which get passed around the Pilgrim Centre and the hostels in great numbers. Even a simple cold takes them weeks to get over. We know no one would wish to pass on an illness to any of the Mandali and by following Dr. Goher's guidelines, you will help to insure that all the Mandali remain healthy throughout the Pilgrim Season.

Meherazad Schedule Change Sunday

IO:45a.m. -12:30p.m.

Monday

CLOSED

Tuesday

ll:OOa.m. -1:30p.m.

Wednesday

CLOSED

Thursday

ll:OOa.m. -12:30a.m.

Friday

CLOSED

Saturday

CLOSED

A Note from Our Trust-walli Lynne Berry

I

f you've been thinking that some time you<l!ike to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. TheAvatarMeherBabaTrust runs a &Strate schoo~ provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Trust properties.There are also beneficiaries of the trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-Iovers. All of these worthyprojeets were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern andWestern volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all ofus. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

47


Los Angeles Sahavas: 2001-A Grace Odyssey M

eher Baba drew us together again in His silent love so we could share in His grace, shining bright as the sun. Sahavas, the give and take ofdivine love, began with a lively round of'WhoWantsToBe God-Realized?"withJeff Maguire as the moderator. Leatrice Johnston, daughter of Darwin and Jeanne Shaw, gave the first talk, By The Grace of God. Leatrice first met Baba on May 10, 1952, at the Meher Centerin Myrtle Beach. She said, "Embraced by divine love, beyond words, so Leatrice natural, coming Home-this is the way it is supposed to be." On that visit, with her last embrace with Baba, she caught aglimpse into Baba's right eye-she saw a dazzling light, formless and boundless with unending beauty, a moment in eternity. Throughout her life, Baba has revealed His constant help and has demonstrated that strength comes from complete dependence on Him.

The evening featured a performance from musical guest Cindy Lowe. Cindy came into Baba's orbit in the early 1960s. The concert fea-

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~-,

Cindy Lowe and her "Greek Chorus", left to right: Elaine Munson, Bill Herza and Winifred Kershaw

tured the haunting melodies and beautifulwords that so delighted Mani. Nancy Wall, Billy Goodrum, Bree Rae!, Elaine Munson, BillHerza, Winifred Kershaw, Rob Thornburn and Deborah Ash provided backup vocals and instrumentation. The following morning, Meher Baba's niece, Shireen Bonner, spoke of My Childhood With Baba. Shireen, who was raised in London, is the daughter ofFraney and Baba's brother Adi. She met Baba on three occasions, the first as a baby (Baba held her in His arms), the second at age seven, when they became comrades in play, and the last at age 11, in late December 1968, for her brother Dara and Amrit's wedding. Shireen was taken aback at how much her companion of 4 years earlier had aged, yet she still found her way to His room to play. One time, quite seriously, Baba asked her which was more important, to obey Him or to be happy. She said to obey. He 48

Barbara Roberts, Colorado replied no-to be happy was most important. She thought "Great!" Since her concept of God was that of a magician, this fit in perfectly because shea get everything she wanted. Shireen realized later that what Baba was really saying was to choose happiness despite what may happen to you. Franey Irani, Shireen's mother had the topic My Connection With The Avatar. She grew up in Ahmednagar surrounded by Baba lovers, in what is now the Trust compound. As a Freny Irani toddler, she asked her mother,''Whydoesn't Baba touch the ground?"To her, He appeared to float. In 1947, she and AdiJunior were married before Baba. Adi was a widower with a three year old child, Dara. Her first journey after she was married was in 1952 to London with Adi, at Baba's request, to join Him after His U.S. tour. They had just arrived when they received word ofHis accident, and so after a brief excursion to Paris they went back to India. After this taste of life outside India, Franeyyeamed to return. In 1956, the couple did so, but they faced obstacles and some discrimination because they were Indian. Franey now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Shireen, Shireen's husbandJay, and their daughter Mehera. Franey concluded her talk with the reassurance that Baba is with everyone who thinks ofHim and who doesn'tworry. He is looking after all ofus. TexHightower, one of Margaret Craske's dancers, gave a talk titled My Meeting With Meher Baba. He spoke of how he made his first harrowing journey to see Meher Baba Tex Hightower only because he had such love and respect for Miss Craske. "She could charm the skin offa snake!" He and three other dancers flew in atiny chartered plane hampered by fog, snow; pelting rain, vicious storms, detours, backtracking, getting lost, but guided by an undeterred pilotwho simplystated,"I am paid to get you to your destination." The next morning, Tex entered the Lagoon Cabin just as a politeness to Miss Craske. As he

stepped over the threshold, he had the sensation ofbeing inside a clay mummy case that had just cracked open. He stepped out and into Baba's open arms. He discovered he did indeed have love for Baba, a love he had not known existed. He realized that everything that happens to us is exactly the way it is supposed to be. In this music-filled Sahavas, we heard grand tunes from musical guests Rob Thomburn, Billy Goodrum and friends. Both are talented musicians. In his set, Rob performed his incredible song HIS Heart's Your Home; Billy sang a song he wrote for Bhau called the Nagpur Blues. The next morning, one ofthe Prem Ashram boys, Esfandiyar Vesali, gave another glowing talk on Love: 'We have to have longing. We have to love Baba more than our own families, more than the rest ofthe world. We must allow for the experience thatwe love God more than everything else. On the Path ofLove, love leads the way. It is not a preconceived Way. Ifyou want God-Realization, don't become an intoxicated mast-you will just benefit yourself Follow Baba and you will benefit hurnanity." The next offering was a delightful performance ofmusic and poetry byMichael Da Costa, who lives in England: "Ego, smego, manonash pie; oh my, oh my, we're all going to die." (Ego and ''From A to Z- S: Seven & Superstition. I put all my money on the 7th horse on the 7th day and the 7th hour and the 7th month, and it came in 7th."

m

The incomparable Baba artist Diane Cobb, whom Baba named 3B (Baba's Beautiful Baby), first met Him in 1956 when He stayed with her family in San Francisco. Baba told her over and over how beautiful she was andwhat agreatlover of God she was. He instructed her to "always remember Me like this" (kingly). Mter He dropped His body, she initially resisted drawing Baba, but she was led to do just that. Her life's work is now to paint Baba and to teach art to others.


Announcements From Australia The "East Farm", a property adjoining Avatar's Abode-33 acres, dam, bush (Australian for trees, scrub, grasses, etc.) and 2 houses-is for sale. The owners (who are not Baba lovers) are open to the property being Diane Cobb conducting an art workshop. bought by a group ofbuyers. Interested parShe observed that Baba had a powerfully ties can contact Bev and Robert Chapman: beautiful face which changed from moment mobile phone 0412-363-604 (for outside to moment, constantly fresh. The two sides of Australia 011-61412-363-604). Email adHis face are different.His right eye is the eye dress is clappo@austarnet.com.au. The ofpower and His left eye is the eye oflove. 3B asking price is around $160,000 US said that Baba loves any attempt by anyone to ($329,000 Australian). An incredible deal! depict Him. All visions are equally valid, in- It's rare to be able to purchase land actually cluding living your life for Him and seeing adjoining Avatar's Abode. Francis Brabazon Him in others -a real skill that leaves paint- used to visit here and the original owners (Hazel and Norman Shipway) met Baba. ing in the dust. The Sahavas' concluding activity was a Baba is supposed to have said that Baba lovpanel on "What is Grace?" Leatrice: "Baba's ers would always be living down here, and grace is showering on us all the time and we . so many Baba lovers have over the past 40 years. need to be open." Michael Da Costa: "Paraphrased from Beams and Baba, Grace is a shot of the eterBecause ofthe generosity ofHis many lovnal in an otherwise rigid determinism." ers, our latest fund-raising efforts were sucAdele Wolkin: "Grace is compassion. Baba cessful and our work for Beloved Baba in Isnever denies His grace where there is a sin- rael is progressing nicely. Mter some careful cere heart. Baba is Grace Personified. Baba consideration, we decided to establish a desktakes on the effects of our karma, which is top publishing enterprise and have most regrace. Ultimate grace is the annihilation ofthe cently printed the Discourses and several Baba mind." booklets. We are now editing God Speaks, Tex: From a cable from Baba, "I am always which Michal Sivan translated into Hebrew, with you always. Don't worry." and it should be ready for printing soon. SubWe then departed in His love, already look- sequently, we plan to publish a collection of ing forward to next year's Sahavas. Eruch stories and Etzion will be telling the

From Israel

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AudioTape Lending Library Do you ever find yourselfin a 'dry spell' spiritually? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to than negative news, weather and traffic reports during your travels? Do you need an interesting theme foryour Baba meetings?The . audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into byinquiring minds. Whatunsuspeeting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. For catalog or info write to Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. She is ready to assist you.

story ofhow Baba has been working in Israel. Our fund-raising efforts continue with the guidance of Ruth Carrie Ben Shammai who worked under Baba's directives. It is because ofyour loving generosity that our work in Israel continues to grow and flourish. To support the Beloved's work in Israel, please send donation to: Max Seibert at 6118Woodmont Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45213-1714.

Baba Talk There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise." - Rumi [That is the most apt and totally perfect description ofthis Baba talk list I have eVer read! from the amazing Rumi! Wow!]

The Baba-List: BABA@]WS.ECC.EDU is for Meher Baba-related news and announcements including news from India, bookstore sales, book and music releases, and meetings. You may also make requests for source material, location of quotes, addresses, phone numbers, contacts, etc. Replies should be handled by personal email, except for corrections and relevant follow-up information. General discussion about articles on the BABA list should be posted to the BABA-TALK list. To subscribe or unsubscribe: send an email to <listserv@jws.ecc.edu>. Place in the body of the message, not the subject field, SUB BABA (then) your full name or SIGNOFF BABA (then) your full name. The Baba-Talk list: BABA-TALK@]WS.ECC.EDU is for the in-depth discussion ofall subjects related to Meher Baba. Please do not post the same message to both lists. To subscribe or unsubscribe to BabaTalk: follow the same procedure as above then type in SUB BABA-TALK your full name or SIGNOFF BABA-TALK and your full name. Archives of the lists are available at: jws.ecc.edularchives/. Meher Baba web site information: AvatarMeherBaba.org/.

Wouldyou like more copies ofthis special issue? Thisfull color memorial issue is madepossible in large part by the extreme generosity ofBalaji, Master Printer ofHyderabad. Ifyou would like to buy extra copiesforfriends who do not subscribe to the Love StreetLampPost, or to keepfor posterity afteryour regular copy gets totally dogeared, we have themfor $5 each. 49


A Wondrous Day- Renovation Begins at Meherabode Harry Thomas, Los Angeles

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ur glorious Groundbreaking Day occurred on Sunday, July 29 th , at the eternal message of Love Divine, living a life Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern oflove, sacrifice and honesty." California. The Lois then read day began with a Bhau's words, picnic where, which he comsettled beside our posed especially Center's big Indian for this momenpine tree, with tous event. The blankets spread, gist of Bhau's people socialized, thoroughlyapprethoroughly enjoyciated message ing each other's was a congratulacompany. A variety tory sentiment for of games, prizes Fred Stankus and Gigi Driessen with Gatsby 3 all the steps that and activi ties share a moment with joyce Stermer brought the LA amused the young. Potluck, offering a daz- Center to this phase ofits development. More zling variety of choices, was spread out in important, Bhau encouraged us to look upon the eating area near the pond. The ping pong the renovation of our Center as an outward table provided entertainment, frisbees laced expression of our continuing task to renovate the air, and Fred and Gigi had Gatsby, their our inner selves. This ongoing renovation dog, with them. All in all, it would strengthen our relawas a wonderful day. tionship with Beloved Baba At the appropriate time, Lois and simultaneously, create a joyously summoned everyone to more loving space within, the groundbreaking area. Charenabling us to operate more ley set up his video camera and harmoniously amongst we prepared to break the ground. ourselves. Lynn Maguire Outside ofthe kitchen and meetread a message from our dear ing hall, in a rather large backsister Adele who, due to her yard area, the ground breaking being a guest at the Portland ceremony occurred. Sahavas, wasn't able to parLois Jones, Kemal Taba and ticipate in this special event. Mike Ramsden were fittingly She wished us all well, exattired for the occasion wearing pressed her heartfelt regret a white hard hat with a small for not attending personally, "Don't Worry Be Happy" Baba and reminded us to remain card perched above the visor.They held newshov- close to Baba in all these renovation efforts. els that sported a gold bow on the handle. Fac- We all knew that Adele, such a vital compofig the crowd they awaited the official start of nent to our Center, was there in spirit. the occasion. With Adele's message read, the music beThe ceremony began around 4:30p.m. with gan. Chris and Pris Haffenden played a lively Shani Verchick reading two quotes from Gift tune that was the perfect accompaniment to cfLove. She had related to me earlier that she the festive didn't know which ofBaba's words she should 0 c cas 1 0 n . read. While in the Dome (our special prayer The great and devotion shrine), she randomly opened moment arthe book to the section that she would read. rived, and "Gatherings and meetings in My name should with raised be a chance for the expression of My love, to shovels, (and d116:. give them any other importance is to misun- of course The Still Yet More Chamber derstand My cause." From this same volume, m u I tip I e Players she read another quote ofBaba's:"Those who cameras clicking away) Lois, Kamal and truly love Me are My centers in the world. Michael- Broke the Ground! This immediLet each Baba lover, wherever he or she may ately elicited exuberant cries and exclamations be, be 'Baba's Center' personified; radiating the of '~vatar Meher Baba Ki Jai." 50

Lois jones, Kamal Taba and Mike Ramsten break the earth.

There was no shortage of volunteers as nearly everyone joyfully got into the act. The groundbreaking routine required you to procure your shovelful of dirt, then empty it into the nearby wheelbarrow. Dana Lee, however, realized that Baba's 7-colored flag wasn't there. Dashing into the building, she triumphantly returned with Baba's Beautiful Banner (another 3B).The groundbreaking continued, but now with the rainbow flag of Baba's love flying above us. More and more hands held shovels and tossed dirt into the wheelbarrow. The feelings of good cheer remained as all persevered in the celebratory spirit ofinitiating Meherabode into a whole new chapter. Many cameras recorded this momentous event for posterity. As I mused within, these words entered my awareness, "Oh Beloved Baba, what do you have planned for this Magnificent Center in the middle oHour major cultural groups? What plans are in store for this Oasis ofLove in the heart of the city of Los Angeles?" Mterwards, I spoke to Kemal Taba, one half of the construction firm of FM Castle, which will be responsible for the renovation project. His partner, Fred Anvari, was unable to attend the groundbreaking. Kemal informed me that renovation is scheduled to begin sometime in August and their projections are to have the job completed within five months. And so it begins! Jai, Jai and a joyous Jai Baba!


BittersweetTiming Heather Nadel, Sept 13,2001

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ews of the horrific events of 11th September in America reached Meherabad in what is evening time here in India. Shock, horror and many repetitions ofBeloved Baba's Name filled the Pilgrim Centre as people gathered around radios to follow the news. As Baba would have it, the next day, Wednesday 12th September, was the day scheduled for Katie, one of the women mandali from Meherazad, to come to Baba's Samadhi and offer her new cookbook at His feet. We had planned to follow with a little tea party down the Hill for Katie and her book helpers. Needless to say, Wednesday morning no one was in the mood for a party. But nonetheless we all meet Katie at the appointed time. She arrived from Meherazad about 10:30 a.m., distressed and pale. We learned that the 'mandali had all spent the evening before watching the news on TV, and afterwards dear Goher went into Baba's room and prayed, "Baba, save America" over and over. Katie said no one slept much; they were all too sad. As she had left for Meherabad that morning, the women had given her a rose "to offer for America" at Baba's feet. We walked with her into the Samadhi and immediately Katie, with tears in her eyes and in the simplest, most touching words, began to pray to Him for those who had died in the attacks. Then she offered a huge rose flower garland on the Samadhi, not for the book as planned, but for the victims. (The cookbook did eventually get placed at His feet, almost as an afterthought!) Then she sat down inside, and we sat. Mter a few silent minutes with Baba, Katie suddenly asked, "May I sing?" "Oh yes, Katie!" we said. Then she said, "I want to sing the Seven Names of God for those who passed away." And so she started to sing: "Hari, Paramatrna, Allah, Ahuramazd, God, Yezdan, Hu", the song composed by Baba which she had sung every morning on the Hill over 60 years ago with Mehera, Mani and all the other ashram women. Sung in her strong, rich voice, the beautiful ancient Names rose and filled the Samadhi, reverberating on and on, lifting darkness, reaffIrming Reality, there at the feet ofGod, the all-Merciful, all-Compassionate, all-Knowing. It was with lighter spirits that Katie and the group trooped down the Hill afterwards for tea.

Dear Ones of our Baba Family in Meheru, September 21 America

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he news we read and listen to on radio and TV is just filled with the horrendous attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. It was with shock and disbelief that we rushed to watch the News and see for ourselves the terrible images-unbelievable, unimagined-that kept unfolding on the TV screen. How could this be happening? How could this happen anywhere in the world, let alone in America? How could people be so unfeeling-the ones who instigated it and the ones who died executing it, in the mistaken belief that in dying they themselves were carrying out the most noble deed of their lives for religion, for God. And yet God showed us a different side of humanity that was so uplifting to the spiritofpeople in the hundreds rushing to help, trying to save their fellow man and many dying in the act. This play of opposites showed almost simultaneously how God does not stop our actions, whether good or bad, but allows us to make the choice. Some time ago I heard on the radio a story where a wrongdoer was getting away with his foul deeds, seemingly unpunished, and another man, questioning this, heard these words: "God is a silent voice within. He will not impose good. He will not eradicate evil. He wants us to win. God is hope. He is the colours of the rainbow." It was so touching and heartwarming to witness on TV the church services and how people of all different faiths came together to pray for America. Baba's words came to us: "I intend to bring together all religions of the world like beads on one string." For us fortunate ones who know of and love Baba - God has a form. He has substance, and He has shown us how to act and live. His life has been one of sacrifice and love. A love that, like the sun, is there for each and everyone. Be firm in your love for Baba and never ever feel He is not there for you, nor for anyone who turns to Him in their need. Even if you feel it is your darkest hour, He is there with you sharing in the darkness. Be brave and strong and shine for Him - hold His banner high with the colours of the rainbow. We at Meherazad are keeping up with world events, thinking ofyou all, and happy to learn that all our Baba family is safe. We are also thinking ofother people of the world

who have been oppressed and terrorized, living under terrible conditions. We know that Baba would not allow these events to happen unless they were necessary and meant to happen. I remember standing outside Baba's Room that night after hearing the news from NewYork City, looking up at the sky and praying - "Oh, Baba, you are all kindness and mercy - may we always be in Your care and in Your hands." And as we are, so is the whole world -may the whole of Creation be in His care. Beloved Baba had a very soft spot for Americans because ofthe bigness oftheir hearts. We pray that you may all come out stronger than before in yourselves and in your love for Baba. Let forgiveness rather than hate rule our lives and prevail everywhere. In each one's inner victory is His Victory. All your Meherazad family remember you and send much much love to you. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

(continuedfrom the Editorialpage 2) through the help ofMaya or the cosmic power which creates and sustains the illusory world ofduality. The purpose served by Maya in the Divine game is twofold: (1) it can be instrumental in entrapping the soul in the mazes of illusion and (2) it can also be instrumental in freeing the soul from the clutches of spiritual ignorance and bondage. Maya should not be ignored; it must be handled with detachment and understanding. Wars are the working ofMaya; they are spiritually disastrous or otherwise, according to whether they are inspired by attachment or detachment from the creations of Maya...." Treasures, ed. Jane Barry Haynes,pp. 215, 217, 218 Copyright 1980 AMBPPCT

Addendum to Meher Baba in China: During the two days Baba was in Shanghai (June 22 and 23 of 1932), Baba is reportedly to have visited the Bund (now called Zhongshan Road), the Racecourse (now the People's Library), Yu Garden, Temple of Jade Buddha (in Chinese called Yufosi), Longhua Temple, Nanjing (Nanking) Road, and Chongqing (Chungking) Road. On the 24th, Baba went to Nanjing and visited Zhongshan Hill (Sun Yat-sens Mausoleum). The lake mentioned may have been ''Xuanwu Lake", near Zhongshanling. - Tian Gunther, Australia

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Violence and Non-violence N

on-violence, pure and simple, means love infinite. It is the goal oflife. When pure and infinite love is reached, the aspirant becomes on with God. To reach this goal, there must be intense longing, and the aspirant who has this longing must begin my practicing the "non-violence of the brave." This applies to those who, though not one with all through realization, consider none to be their enemy and try to win over even the aggressor through love. They give up their lives through love, not through fear. " on-violence of the brave" is practicable for those who have the intense longing to attain the supreme state. This longing is not to be found in the majority. If, therefore, it is intended to lead the majority to "non-violence," it is necessary first to prepare them for the "non-violence ofthe brave."To achieve this in a practical way, it is necessary to make them follow, in the beginning, the principle of"nonviolent violence"; that is violence done soley for defending the weak, without any selfish motive. In times of war, when the masses are not even in the mood to listen to advice about having intense longing to attain the supreme goal oflife, the only practical way to lead them toward the goal is to begin by inculcating in them the principle of "non-violent violence"

52

and then gradually introducing the "non-violence of the brave." Otherwise, non-violence would not only fail but there would be serious danger of the fatal "non-violence of the coward" - that is, non-resistance to aggression because of fear. The masses may also be led to the "nonviolence of the brave" by following the principles of"sel.t1ess violence" instead of those of "non-violent violence." This sel.t1ess violence is violence done in self-defense when attacked treacherously. No other motive should be allowed to justify the violence. Thus, for example, if a woman is threatened with violation and one defends her by resorting to violence, one can Qe said to have followed the principles of"sel.t1ess violence." Similarly, when the motherland is being attacked by enemies, the nation's effort in defending the motherland is "sel.t1ess violence." "Non-violence of the coward" is fatal; so also is "selfish violence," i.e., violence for selfish motives by individuals or a nation to gain power or for other selfish ends. "Non-violent violence" cannot be described as love, but as duty - duty done sel.t1essly for others according to Karma Yoga, which is eventually linked up with unlimited love - but motivated by human love.

We must live for God and die for God. War is a necessary evil; it is in God's plan to awaken humanity to higher values. Ifhumanity fails to profit by the lessons of war, it suffers in vain. War teaches that even the man in the street can rise to the greatest heights of sacrifice for the sake of a sel.t1ess cause. It also teaches that wealth, possessions, power, fame, family and even life on earth are devoid of lasting value. The incidents ofwar can, through the lessons they bring, win man for God and initiate him into a new life inspired by lasting values. In war, people make unlimited sacrifices and endure untold sufferings for the sake of their country or in the interests of political aims; they are capable of the same sacrifices and endurance for God. All religions have unequivocally claimed man for life in the Truth, and it is sheer folly to fight in the name of any religion. It is time for a fresh vision of the Truth that all life is one, that only God is real, and that God is all that matters. God is worth dying for. He is also worth living for. All else is vain and empty, the pursuit ofillusory values. God to Man and Man to God, a condensed version of the Discourses into one volume at Baba's request by Charles Purdom.


OCTOBER

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JANUARY,

2 aa 1

,LoveStreet ,LampPost ----..-,--~~

~vatar ~eher r.Baba in Switzerland, 1934


Editor's Corner Dina Snow Jai Baba to our 'old faithfuls' and all of our new readers. Everyday a new email comes in - "please let me subscribe to the LampPost, I'm tired ofborrowing my neighbors!" We would love for everybody to have their own copy. Remember, the more readers we have, the more submissions we get, which makes it all the more interesting for you to read. So keep those stories coming In. People have asked me why we don't have a Letters to the Editor page. Frankly, it would be too embarrassing! We really do appreciate the very warm loving letters we receive telling us how much the magazine means to you. (Your enjoyment seems to increase exponentially the farther away you are from other Baba lovers!) But we could fill the whole magazine with these, and that would not make very good reading for the rest of you. However the following letter I felt we just had to publish! We the staff, and our many contributors who labored long and hard to bring you Meher Baba in Italy, felt so gratified when we read Payam's letter. Ifwe only helped one person that waywe are satisfied. Hopefully we can do the same for Baba lovers travelling to Switzerland. Read on, retrace His footsteps, and enjoy. Next year, we hope to do the same for Spain, Egypt, and England. If anyone has any stories they would like to submit, let's hear from you. This being October, we again are featuring the top sellers in the Bookstore to help you choose your gifts for your Baba friends and family. Remember we can gift wrap them for you too. Gift giving made easy! Read on.....

A dream comes true with the help of the Love Street LampPost In April, my sister and I unexpectedly began planning for a mini-trip to London to visit a friend. Our plans quickly developed into a two-week vacation when we realized that this was a great opportunity to

visit other cities in Europe. Mter reading Kitty's book, Love Alone Prevails, several years ago, it had been a dream of mine to visit Portiflno and this seemed to be the perfect chance to finally get there. As we were preparing for our trip, I began asking other Baba lovers about their trips to Italy and the speciÂŁ.cs about the places Baba had been to. I got many email addresses, names of people to contact, and references to look up, but some how with the limited time and busy schedule, I just wasn't able to get detailed information about HOW to get there. So, I resigned myself to the fact that somehow, with Baba's help and guidance, I would find the various places. And of course, Baba pulled through yet again! Only three days before our departure, we received the Love Street LampPost which just so happened to have a special section on all the places Baba had been to in Italy. We couldn't believe that we not only had the detailed narratives about the areas at our fingertips but also maps to go along with them! So, during the long flight to London, I had plenty of time to review all the information. I read it over and over again. Then, when we got to the Italian Riviera, I underlined all the places and was ready to go on our adventure. As we were searching for Baba's villas in Portifino and Santa Margherita, we had the Love Street Lamp Post in our hands, literally tracing and pointing to the spots on the map as we were walking. It was so useful; we just showed the various store owners or waiters in the restaurants the places we were looking for and they'd just simply point us to the right direction. It was as if we were on a scavenger hunt. What was so amazing was that both in Portifino and in Santa Margherita, after searching for half-hour or so, reading and re-reading the LampPost, we realized we had been standing right in front of the Baba places all along! And what to say about the beauty and magic ofthis most precious part ofthe world Baba had laid His feet on. Words cannot express the feeling we experienced tracing Baba's footsteps. Thank you Dina and all the Love Street stafffor your hard work and dedication in putting together the Love

Street LampPost. And I thank you especially for taking a part in making my dream come true! Payam Ajang

Errata: Regarding comments on pg 31,July/September Issue of the LoveStreet LampPost, please note: Baba did travel to England and Switzerland in June and July 1934. This is documented in Love Alone Prevails, by Kitty Davy, as well as numerous accounts ofBaba's visits to Zurich and Fallenfluh as mentioned in Hedi Mertens' diary and Chanji's diary. Mter the 1952 accident in America, Baba did visit Switzerland, but stayed with Hedi Mertens (Walter had died in 1945) in Solduno, near Lucarno in the south ofSwitzerland.

He Sang With All His Heart Bhau Kalchuri

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n the early '20s, [after Upasni had thrown the stone at Merwan, which started his descent to conciousness] Merwan would lie down in bed, but His eyes would remain wide open; He still did not sleep. Early in the morning by four o'clock He would be up, walking about the house. As dawn rose over the city of Poona, He would start melodiously singing the Zoroastrian monajats- as He had done throughout His childhood. His sweet singing delighted His family and neighbors, who would long to hear Him each morning. Merwan's voice had a special quality-it was full offeelingHe sang with all his heart. Whoever heard Him felt the meaning of the words of the prayers; His voice stirred their spirits, urging them to love God. It has been said that, "His voice carried like waves rising out of the ocean and all things would merge with its sound." From Lord Meher, Volume 1 Bhau Kalchuri Š Lawrence Reiter


A publication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

'coveStreet £amp%st welcome... The LoveStreet LampPost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba's message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identifY all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

A Novice's View ofMyrtle Beach

Love Street LampPost Avatar Meber Baba Center of Southern California 1214 outh Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 -or-

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deadlines: for the January - March issue: April- June issue: July - September issue: October - December issue:

ovember 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

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Pam Topley, England

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Raine E. Gannett

8

The 12th Midwest Gathering What's Happening in Meherabad

James Cox 10 Heather Nadel 13

Mani's Day, August 2000 Avatar's Abode 42nd Anniversary

various contributors 14

Meher Baba in Switzerland various contributors and staff 18 Map to Fallenfluh

Dieter Lange 29

A Visit with Irene Billo

submissions, subscriptions, donations:

Ryan Brown

Young Adult Sahavas

Mary-Lloyd Dugan 32

The LA Silence Day Sahavas

departments

Barbara Robertson 39

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Editor's Corner

DinaSnow

2

Calendar of Events, AMBCSC

AMBCSC

5

Children's Corner

staff 17

The Love Street Bookstore

DinaSnow 34

Reviews

various contributors 36

Announcements

various contributors 42

Poetry Page

various contributors 43

Love Street Bookstore: Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 6 and lOpm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 bour fax

Bababook@pacbell.net credits: editor: design and layout: research assistant: distribution: cover:

Dina Snow Cherie Plumlee, Pris I-1affenden, Barbam Roberts Marc Brutus and volunteers Baba in Switzerland, 1934, photo courtesy ofToby Mertens

The LoveStrcet Lall1{Eosl is published quarterly, in January, April,July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, of Avatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission of their Board of Directors. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © AMBPPCr, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.


Musings on the Young Adult Sahavas June 23-27, 2000, Meher Mount, CA

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here to begin? You see, the Young Adult Sabavas is such a unique experience filled with laughter, tears, deep connections, sillyconversations, play, dance, working togethet; eating, supporting each other, snuggling, letting our guards down, opening, intimate discussions about life, God and how the heck we're to combine them, and so much more that I'm stumped as to how to do it justice in this article. Well, to start with, I'd have to say that the new connections made and the old ones renewed and strengthened are what I appreciate most about the Young Adult Sahavas; for they are made with beautiful people who are at similar points in their life and who are also in a relationship with Meher Baba. That alone blows me away. I'm relatively new to the Baba community and have spent a lot of time with other youth groups and organizations that have a similar Sahavas feel. But the thing with them is that it's "generally spiritual" or "empowering" but we don't share in the love ofGod through Baba's form. Furthermore, I may have a wonderful time and deep connections but I usually never see any of them again because there isn't the same speciÂŁc life focus. This is a big reason I have such a deep feeling ofgratitude and appreciation for the YAS. It's because it feels like I'm reuniting with "old" friends and am investing in supportive empowering relationships that can easily last the rest ofmy life but that have also spanned many lifetimes. Another aspect of the YAS that makes it unique is its location at Meher Mount. Meher Mount is a place where the Avatar has walked, but it is different from other Baba centers in that not much has been developed on the property. This is one of the reasons that I feel Meher Mount quite aptly matches the young adult "energy". It is beautiful and magically vibrant, yet has a wild and undeveloped feel. Meher Mount is perched atop a mountain with a grand view ofthe gorgeous Ojai Valley. Only one permanent dwelling exists, along with a couple trailers. That meant most ofus slept in tents or out under the stars. Showers were created out of plastic PVC piping and 4

by Ryan Brown blue plastic tarps creating square cubicles that we could bring a "Solar Shower" bag ofwater into and hang up within the cubicle. Compost toilets made out of big rubber tubs with toilet seats attached to the tops of them and woodchips inside were the brain-

child ofMerwan Scott and had a similar tarp, piping, cubicle construction. Meals were eaten outside on long tables that were all put together to create a "thanksgiving" meal atmosphere. Arti was under an old tree Baba sat under when he visited in 1956. Baba's Tree, as it is called, has big branches that arch to the ground creating a cozy womb-like effect inside. Discussion groups were held at various locations around the property, and swimming was available in an old cement pooVreservoir with green sulfur smelling water. In short, the accommodations were perfect for the youthful adventure seeking spirit, typical in our generation, and the inconveniences were actually quite convenient in adding to the unique flavor that is Meher Mount's Young

Adult Sahavas. The rustic accommodations also seemed to aid in taking us a bit out ofour comfort zones and bring us closer together in community. But best ofall we had the opportunity to sleep upon the ground that the Avatar has walked, in ways that He too sometimes slept when on the New Life or out traveling with His mandali. The aspect of the Young Adult Sahavas that attendees seem to appreciate the most, and has started to characterize the YAS in general, are the work projects. The discussion groups were great and meaningful, arti was magical, and the evening programs rocked, but the most excitement and ful.fi11ment seemed to revolve around the work projects. Every morning at 10:00 a.m., after breakfast and our morning meeting, we would divide up into work teams and experience the community of working and serving together. The aim was to "give a little back" so that others could enjoy the magic and mystery of the land as much as we do, not to mention helping out the caretakers Pam, Billy and Annabel Goodrum with the monstrous task of Meher Mount's upkeep. Q1llte a fun time it would always turn out to be. One ofthe projects was the garden. A fully landscaped flower garden was put in with an entranceway leading to the veggie garden, wherein the walkways were upgraded with woodchips and carpets to help with weed abatement. The fence around the garden was heightened to help with protection from deer. General weeding and planting were also done around the main building. Another very important addition to the garden, which was lead by Freni Waidelich, was a selfcomposting worm farm. Others would choose "trail blazing" as a work project option. With a lot ofhard work


and swinging of pick axes we were able to finish the Prasad Orchard Trail, which was started during the YAS in 1999. It winds down

r-====----=:-==-==-----------------==========---, Fall Calendar of Events AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

through the orchard Baba blessed, OCTOBER ov 26 Sunday 4:0~:00 AU events unless other路 Oct 22 Sunday 4:0~:00 along the side of a picturesque hillwise noted are held at TI,e TwillS Again! T/ulllks for Giving side; zigzag's up a steep incline and the Cenler. Oct 1 . Sunday 4:00--6:00 Twins weekend continues It's Thanksgiving weekend Arts Festtval with another joyous gather- and we'll rediscover what 1214 S. Van Ness Ave. comes out at Baba's tree. This is the The. annual A.~.B.C. o~ S.c. ing with our dear friends we're really grateful for los Angeles, CA 90019 first such trail built at Meher Mount festly~l of creation. Artists, from India. when we watch videos of 323.731.3737 mUSletanS, dancers, fllmBeloved Baba. Hosted by and was created to make the beautiwww.Meherabode.eom makers'loets... to particiCharlie Morton. ful Meher Mount property more acpate, ca Richard Stermer at Oct 29 Sunday 11:00-2:00 Meetings are free and 310路367-6521. Flip or Treat: DECEMBER open to th" public. cessible to visitors. Almost Halloween Have ideas for future All this and so much more is the Pallcake Breakfast Sunday 4:0~:00 programs? Contact Oct 8 Sunday 4:00--6:00 Sli~tly fattening, complete. Dec 3 Young Adult Sahavas. The cherry Nancy Merwan at Poet,:} WorkslIop' . Iy Tree. So yummy, it's scary. TI,e View from Meller MOllnt (323) 650-5481 Unveil the poet WIthin. There'll be a Halloween coson top of it all was Bhau's visit and It's been a year that our dear tume promenade at 1:00 for Create your <?wn ghazal, talk with us on the closing day. He Billy and Pamela Goodrum sOI':flet, or haiku. ~osted by the kids. Jaunty tunes by led a discussion that was down-toTen Adams and Michelle Pris & Chris. (Center closes have been caretakers at Farsi Meetings Meher Mount. They'll share at 3:00.) Yacso. Held on Sundays from earth and quite relevant to us in the their experiences of Ufe on 2:00 to 3:30. high. Music, too! NOVEMBER 20 and 30-something generations. It Oct 15 Sunday 4:00--6:00 Oct 8,22 The New Life . . . Dec 10 Sunday 4:00--6:00 Nov 5,19 also continued a theme that seemed Baba said: This New Lift is Nov 5 . Sunday.4.0~.00 Mellem's Birtllday Dec 3,17 to characterize the 2000 YA Sahavas. endless and ... it will be kept Esfandlya.r Ve~sa~l We celebrate and remember All meetings are dedIalive by those who live the life Mr. ,:,essali was a stu~ent at the beloved of the Beloved, This theme took shape, in part, by a cated to discussion of of complete remlllciation of Saba ~ p~ Ashram In the the "purest soul in the uniletter from Eruch J. that we all read MeherBaba. falsehood, lies, anger, greed and twenties. ~i.is wondrous . verse." Hosted by Wendy lust tales of this profound penod together at the beginning of the Ward. Coordinated by A p~;ticipation program- in Baba'~ work are always Mahmoud Ajang. Sahavas. The tone of his letter enthralllIlg. Moderated by share what the New Life Dec 17 Sunday 4:0~:00 means to you as a metaphor Mehemoush Lorkalantan. DOll't Worry, Be JoIly. seemed more serious and urgent It's our annual Mehermas in your life. Hosted by Don than in past years. In it, Baba's right Arti Douglas. Nov 12 Sunday 4:0~:00 Event-both a celebration On Sunday meeting and a ceremony acknowlhand man Eruch J. summoned us to Cookie alld EdgeI edging the birth of He who days the Center is open rise to Baba's call and to live a life Oct 20 Friday 7:3l>-10:00 Two of our family members comes again and again in from 3:00 10 7:00. Arb The Twills! sh~ some wonderful Ba?a is held in Baba's room befitting those who have been given our midst. Trim the tree, Come welcome Baba's stones and treasured audIO games, music, and a gift in th" Dome at 3:30. the amazing gift of knowing about nephews, the incomparable tapes of Baba's Mandali. exchange. Hosted by Rustom and Sorhab, and Baba. Furthermore he beckons us Deborah Ashe, and Mia, and enjoy an evening of music Nov 19 Sunday 4:00--6:00 Glenn Russ. not to shrink from our worldly reTeens/Kids and mirthful storytelling. 100% Honesty The Teen Room and sponsibilities but to embrace them Karin Levitas and Robert Children's Room are Oct 21 Saturday 4:00--6:00 Een host a scrupulous meetwhile living a life exemplif)ring the open dunng meeting ing on Baba's principle of Holiday Break Twills Peaks times peace, love, purity and beauty that 100% honesty. TIlere will TI,e next n...o Sundays fall The twins will be at Meher on the holidays, so the Baba is showing us through His life Mount in Ojai for tea and a also be music, dance, and pottery. (All right, we lied Center will be closed. See talk. Meher Mount info: and our living relationship with about the pottery.) y'next year! (805) 640-0000. Him. Though it was a bit heavy feeling it was also liberating, for in askLeI)'OlIr Ijft fiJ4!be M)' Jnt:S50ge qflovt OJld trf/lh 10 other$. ing us to heed Baba's call, Eruch was - Avatar Meher Baba thereby acknowledging that we are special ones of the Beloved. As the gravity ofEruch's message hit home, tears were the recognition ofthis precious op- has some great non stinky moisturizing loLiquid soap for the few things you may portunity. tion). Hat - a must Sunscreen - a must Toi- wish to hand wash (mostly cold water washFor more information about the YAS check let paper (available in' ager but scratchy) ing). Clothes pins (pegs) to hang clothes. out www.yasahavas.com, or email - likewise bath towel and face cloth. Rub- Soft pillow or neck roll. ail brush and yasahavas@hotmail.com. manicure kit. Calculator (for those Bazaar ber thongs, no bare feet - germs and worms! forays) Aloe Vera Gel or Tea Tree oil/ointPlenty of film for your camera (minimum film-- Kodak 100 available at "Laser Photo" ment is great for insect bites, sunburn, and downtown 'Nager) - extra batteries. Mod- other itches. Bring your email address list for use at est clothes - no shorts for women, long ones Heres a check listforyou. the Cyber Cafe in ager ifyou're into that. for men Teen girls please note, no bare midFirst the obvious things: There are two now in the same complex. riffs, low cut blouses or tight tank tops. lashlight (torch) small and large extra Loose pants - no tight clothing of any kind. Some swear by the one on the upper level, batteries. Hair dryer (if you simply have Remember you are here to commune with others by the newest on the lower level. But to have one) that is 240 volts. Adapter to fit God - not drive the local guys crazy! its up to you. At least they both have air the Indian sockets. Insect repellant (Avon Some not so obvious ones: conditioning!

A

A

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Going to India?

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5


ANovice's Very Novice View ofMyrde Beach Pam Topley-Devon, England

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was not at ali sure what to expect of Myrtle Beach-a sort of man-made nature reserve? Type of holiday camp for the exclusive use of the Baba Community? There surely couldn't be anything like India-no Tomb, no Seclusion Hill no Mandali, so how could one expect His presence? So-let me tell you how it really is-for me anyway. I am sitting by a natural fresh-water lake Where beyond the strip of woods and dunes I hear the ocean's waves Resounding on the white sand shore.

The coots float in a line across a Stretch ofwind free water. A water spider runs across to Reach the boathouse landing. Turtle heads bob up and down Like periscopes, to check their course. The a1Iigator crossed an hour sinceI missed him yet again! The still waters reflect the abundance of trees Their images stretching way beyond the Limit my eye has set. A ÂŁish leaps up to catch God's gift offood, And the crows, relentless even here Caw their way across the lake Reminding us that they alone Are almost everywhere a bird has flown. The osprey fly high to reach their nests. The pelicans, quieter in their approach, Making their way to the ocean To dive head first into its cool waters. God gives in abundance here.

Lake at Myrthle Beach

Man and God have worked, And appreciate the love and dedication Such perfection demands. I must explore all now that I am here So I must force myselfaway from This deeply fragrant paradise.

Protected from the dements and cared for by man; But it is man now who feels protected on entering this Bam Comforted by the love, the peace The harmony ofsilent communion. Oh yes, His presence is here!

Through more woodland paths I walk Treading carefully, the snake my main concern But eyes swiftly seeking a sight ofdeer, a flower, Some bird still new to me. So I corne to the place they call the BamConjuring up thoughts ofhay and animals snug and warm

111ere is still yet more to see and fed And so hastening my step I find the Lagoon Cabin To sit again in Baba's peace. I think perhaps I have seen and fdt As much as I am meant to, And then am told I can spend a night

A scarlet flash in the lakeside bush Acknowledges the cardinal as king. The rowboat's oars sound their Rhythmic swing as it carries Its enquiring passengers To learn anew nature's boundaries. Time to go now along the woodland ways. A racoon darts across my path tll"St giving me the pleasure ofhis Startled stare before vanishing In the undergrowth. I reach my destination Where just the day before Cleansing tears had run unbidden from my eyes. I sit in God's own garden Wondering at the perfume ofthe flowers, The colour, the gentle peace Given to this place by the Hands and heart ofa man Blessed by a God who, With careful deliberation Chose one whose awareness reflected His love Of nurturing nature's colourful palette. Now my sight unhampered by tears I am allowed to see the beauty

6

The Boathouse


In the Guest House-Mehera and Mani and women of the Mandali Lived and slept and cooked in here, With Baba spending time in the hammock Looking out toward the lake. The special energy and peace Pervading this house is incomparable to Anything -yet experienced there. So very strong the power, So deep the sleep one may enjoy here.

Again I will sit by the lake And contemplate on all That I have seen. I will sit again by the lake And wonder at all The places I have been. Many things I have not mentioned here, as I have tried to keep the experiences to those things which are a permanent feature of the Meher Spiritual Center, at Myrtle Beach. There were however always things happening-Musical Evenings, Discourse Readings, distinguished visitors like Esfandyar Vesali who giving interesting talks and answering innumerable questions with great patience and humour, Darwin Shaw who made the Discourses so easily understood and more meaningful. The devotional music we all enjoyed with Jane, Jeff and an, the blues and jazz with Bobby and Jerry; with Lisa and Mark kindly joining in. Lesley with her guitar and vocal talent, to mention just a few of the musical treats. We had ftlms ofBaba, superb Spanish dancing by Viola, a show of paintings by Will-who also took us out in the Gondola-The paintings and photographs in all the cabins and public places by many wonderfully talented people. That really beautiful Easter

Baba in the Lagoon Cabin, 1956

Sunday dawn having Arti overlooking the lake in Baba's garden, the very warm welcome given by all the staff, who can never do enough to help you enjoy your stay despite their busy day-the delight at meeting new people who so very often had some

connection with someone you met somewhere before!

Muhammads Twin I Know The one you are looking For.

I call that man Muhammad s Twin. You once saw Him, so now your eyes Are weaving a great net of tenderness That will one day Capture God. Beach pathfrom Bam

From The Gift, Translations by Daniel Ladinsky, Penguin Group Š 1999

7


The 12th Midwest Gathering F

lying into Chicago for the fIrst time and being met by the lovely Alisha Kovalevych and whisked off to the Chicago Public Meeting for Bhau was pretty exciting. The Church Hall looked great with many paintings of Beloved Baba I had not seen before. Bhau was in fine form and the presence of Beloved Baba was strong with the attention to detail everywhere. This was to be Bhau's last weekend in the U.SA. and then on to England for the first "European Youth Sahavas" in Devon for three days (inspired by Aussie, Margaret Bowling) and then back to India. I spotted Freeman, Mary and Janice and felt reassured about Bhau's comfort and also a little more comfortable myselfthat some really old friends were around. After the talk, meet and greet, book store and refreshments, I Bhau "On the road again... " was taken back to my host's home, the incredible tireless worker for the Beloved, Carol Kovalevych. Carol and her husband Myron live in this wonderful old four story brick building right in the city. One of the apartments in their building is the Chicago Baba Centre. Up early the next morning, all packing done, the cars were loaded with bedding, food, clothes, flowers, musical instruments etc. Then Bhau and party arrive with Kyle, Mary, Freeman and Janice, and off we all drive in a 5 car caravan ofBaba Lovers for 3 hours (bad traffic) to this amazing retreat "The 8

August 4 - 6, 2000 by Raine Eastman-Gannett, California

The Stronghold in Oregon, Illinois

Stronghold," in Oregon Illinois. We managed to keep in that caravan most of the way. The sound equipment was in Tricia Alexander's big van and that helped to keep us together! The Stronghold is a Castle and Carriage House that includes a wonderful kitchen area and dining room. Those at the Gathering actually get to stay in the Castle. The accommodation rooms surround a huge meeting hall ideal for talks, music, and film.

Downstairs is a big room for the Baba Bookstore run by Helen Miller. This Conference centre is on 360 acres on the Rock River and it is somewhat like being in Europe on the Rhine. Very relaxing, peaceful and picturesque. As one of many musicians I sang on the Friday night before Bhau's talk. The singing was followed by a reading of some of his ghazals, bu t not from Bhau's large, tattered loose leafed book that we are used to seeing at all his meetings, but from his new book Sun Rays. This is a publication of all those ghazals we have been listening

Helen Miller, Sahavas acupuncturist and Bookstore-walla

Bhau with oldfriends from Ahmednagar

to over the years! This bookis very well done and has a Lyn Ott painting on the front cover, beautifully suited to the book's cream color scheme. The contents speak for themselves. Bhau's talk was, as usual, good and energizing. It was hard to believe that he could go the whole day through in the heat, give a long talk at night, and still not tired! Baba inspired indeed. Arti at 7:00 the next morning, I heard just how many good singers are in this


was the M.C. all weekend and did a good job of it too, to say nothing of her fabulous sense of humor. On the Sunday after Arti and breakfast, another walk with Bhau and then our last meeting and talk. Debbie Nordeen sang for us; one particularly beau tiful song was that lovely one composed by Heather Nadel, about the begging bowl ofour hearts, and trying to make it a little bit bigger every day. One could feel that gradually happening over this weekend gathering of His lovers. .......'WO'''''''':l!:W Bhau's talk was motivating, urging us to hold on with two hands, keep faith, Janice and don't let the pressures of the group. Then breakfast followed by a pretty world distract us. walk on the estate with Bhau-at 10:00 we At the end, Janice lead us in "Meher, met again for songs, poems and a talk in Come" and a family that was formerly from the big hall. The food at this gathering was Ahmednagar who came down from superb and all pitched in for chopping, clean Canada for the last day, lead us in "Gaatay up etc. under the guidance of a very good Cello" and we all danced and conga'd and Baba chef. glowed and had a wonderful Baba ending. Heading back to Chicago it was hard to believe that everyone on the freeway was not in the same altered state we were in after 3 days in Baba's company. I got a briefglimpse ofthis enormous Midwest City and knew full well why the Beloved is strong here, and has a centre, with Mandali visiting and a Sahavas every year. Jai Baba to the Chicago Group! Thank you for the joy and the gathering together in His love and name. I will defiFreeman and Mary discuss what's next nitely make it back next year, to be with myoid friends and new, at the Midwest The evening program was billed as a vaGathering. riety show, and what fun it was - Jazz, You can visit their Meher Baba InforBlues, Pop, Rap, computer generated Art mation Center Chicago web site at: Video, Mantra and song from a Baba Sufi http://www. s tuden ts. ui uc. ed u/ Dance Group-so much talent-all in our kovalevy/meher/main!chicago/ desire to entertain Him and try to relieve Him perhaps ofa moment of His suffering. 011. by the way, Bhauji did not get off completely free! He too was in the Variety Show. He told a couple ofhilarious stories and no one could stop laughing, least of all Bhau! Lisa elson Carol and Lisa, the Queen and attendant Princess from Pretoria Debbie Nordeen

A Note from Our Trust-walli Lynne B~rry

Ifyou've been thinking that sometime you'd like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher BabaTrust runs a flISt-rate schoo~ provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries ofthe trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many ofthe Trust's charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all of us. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Audio Tape Lending Library 0 ~~u ever find yourselfin a 'dry spell' spmtually? Are you bored listening to the same old negative news, weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to'? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings ... ? Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry (official tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMB Lending Audio Library clo Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173. 9

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What's Happening in Meherabad by James Cox

Meherabad Minor Miracle Saturday,June 17,2000

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ur southwest monsoon seems to have completed its initial attack with an accumulation of about 11 inches since May 15, and Lake Meherabad is once again back in business. The Pilgrim Center just reopened to a less than capacity crowd and the temperature at night falls to about 20 C (68 F), almost perfect. It hasn't rained for the last five days and the remaining mud has mostly dried up with the sunny, cool weather. In one month, green has replaced brown as the predominant color and you no longer need to sleep under a fan at night. At the center of the universe, this is about as good as it gets. In contrast, it reminds me of those early, dry days at Meherabad, when we used to listen to Padrikaka tell stories ofwandering sadhus and mendicants, attracted by the fragrance of this place. They seemed to always b"e hungry and having a soft corner in his heart, Padri usually fed them. Often, as a thank you, they would pass on some bit of useful information, such as describing an unknown local herb and its healing properties, or perhaps give their blessing in some form or another, but over the years, these type of travelers seem to have decreased in number as motorized traffic has slowly increased, and I hadn't heard any good stories in some time. But tonight, as three of us sat by the Samadhi discussing the frustrating coincidence of each having lost our house keys during the last day, I once again tasted the flavor of Old Meherabad when Dadi Kerawala related an incident which occurred this afternoon. It seems that a wandering Muslim mendicant from Ajmer and his teenage companion called at Dadi's door, but Dadi, thinking that they were making the Meherabad rounds trying to extract money, told them they better go. However, the boy asked Dadi if he might just give them a little salt and perhaps some food, as they weren t after money. Dadi readily agreed, saying he had plenty of food. Mter the boy ate, the man picked up a small pebble, put it into Dadi's 10

palm and closed Dadi's fingers around it. Dadi held it for about 40 seconds, and felt something change in his hand. When he opened his fingers, there was a small Muslim pendant. The man told him not to show it to anyone, and that Dadi would become very prosperous, which was somewhat timely, as Dadi had the day before discovered a substantial amount of cash missing from his room. The man then told Dadi that he would come back in ovember,just to make sure his blessing had come true. By coincidence, this story reminded me of another episode involving a Muslim related pendant, one ofSai Baba which Meher Baba had remarkably "given" to me on Meherabad Hill last February, only to be intentionally swallowed by a close friend in Chandigarh two months later. This happened under very bizarre circumstances, and is too complex to relate here, but in retrospect, it became clear to me that Baba had intended that result from the beginning, and it probably saved both of us from some very serious harm the night it occurred. Anyway, I told Dadi that ifhe really did become rich, and the two mendicants actually came back, I would be very happy to feed the boy also. Just let me know when to start cooking.

Still Silence Day Thursday, July 13,2000

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t's now the morning of the 13th, and everywhere else in the world Silence Day is a memory, but here it lives on in the atmosphere of the crowds that have been around since the 9th. Silence Day is becoming like a mini-Amartithi, and this year there were well over 1000 people staying overnight, darshan lines taking over one hour even with volunteers hurrying them along. At Meherazad, barricades were erected to handle the crowd flow, and pilgrims greeted the Mandali from moving lines. The majority of persons were from Andhra Pradesh, a neighboring state, and many were poor. In India, people don't traditionally take vacations as they do in the west, they go on pilgrimages to holy

places, which take on quite festive and chaotic characteristics at times. Large crowds here seem to always have a peculiar dual nature, a charged generous excitement of Baba's presence and also an insensitivity to certain niceties. For instance, there are prasad wrappers and paper which have been casually dropped on the ground at the Samadhi everywhere. When new people at the Samadhi ask me what I do living here, I usually reach down for a piece of litter and tell them that I pick this stuff up. On the 10th, we had our traditional quiet volleyball game, with lots of participation from visiting Indians. That day, no one managed to keep score, and Mr. Meherabad Volleyball, Gary Kleiner, didn't join in, the speculation being it was because he couldn't yell at anyone. The rains have once again picked up and we are pushing 15 inches for the year (since the middle of May), not bad at all. At this moment it is windy, cool and overcast with a light mist in the air. The landscape is luscious green and last night it drizzled throughout the Dhuni. Endless lines moved quickly over a wet platform with a single tarpaulin stretched over the fire as the participants tossed their sandlewood into the flames and moved on. No one sat and sang. On July 9, before the big crowd arrived, one of my engineers happened to be looking at the stairs running down to my basement when he noticed a brown, five foot snake descend them and crawl into a drain pipe which leads under my house and into my cooling system, from which the whole house can be accessed with a little slithering. Nilesh, the engineer and an educated fellow, said that it looked to him like a cobra, so we immediately stopped up all of the air holes inside the house with cardboard and spread sand outside the drain pipe so we could tell by its track when the snake came out. So far we are still waiting, it seems he likes it under my basement. A friend of mine staying here said he saw the snake in his meditation and that the snake was very scared. I'm in a bit of a dilemma: how do I make the snake comfortable enough to leave, but not enough to set up housekeeping?


And continuing the stories ofzoological interest, yesterday afternoon 1 looked up to fmd three donkeys munching the flowers from my garden just outside my window while my sewer of a dog was asleep under a nearby bush. These are working donkeys who belong to a Wadari next door; they move dirt. This fellow casually lets them go when they are not employed, and like almost all the animals from the village, they are encouraged to forage on someone else's land for food. Properly incensed at this intrusion, 1 emerged from my front porch like a banshee with Tiger, my dog, guiltily and sleepily hauling himself into action. Donkeys, contrary to popular belief, can move when they want to, and we shordy had them running down my drive and out the gate. Tiger, now fully awake, didn't stop there and chased them around in front of the railway track for about 20 minutes, much to the amusement of me and the consternation of the Wadari. In Arangaon this type of impression goes a long way, and should save innumerable flowers. The pilgrim season is now fully underway with the Mandali a litde older, the visitors a lillie bolder and the climate greener and colder. What are you waiting for, Meherabad will never be better than it is right now?

Kawaalis At Khuldabad August 3, 2000

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or some months now 1 had wanted to make an overnight trip to Khuldabad, the village in the Valley of the Saints, above the Ellora Caves, about two hours drive north of agar, but for some reason or another it had never quite worked out. Khuldabad has an incredible history in the annals of Sufism, and for more details you can refer to Carl Ernst's remarkable book, The Eternal Garden, but it was there that izamuddin Ahuwalia Chisti ofDelhi sent 700 of his followers around 1294, and there that an incredible flowering of spirituality occurred in the 14th century. It was there, by invitation of the Bamani Sultan, that Hafiz sought to go when he became disgusted with his life in Shiraz, and it was there that the Perfect Master, Zar Zari Zar Baksh prepared Sai Baba in his previous life for realization, and there that Burhan al Din Gharib held his charge over the Deccan.

Some even go so far as to say that at one point it was home to the entire spiritual hierarchy of world. I have no way of knowing that, but I can say that even now, 700 years later, it is still one of the most special places on earth, and Baba visited there many times. Eruch said that Baba would at times act on what appeared to be a whim, packing up the Mandali and shifting to Khuldabad for a few days. During these times, Baba would visit Zar Zari Zar BOOh's cave where Sai Baba meditated, wash the feet of the poor at the durgas of the saints and perfect masters who had lived there, and at night often listen to qawaali, the ecstatic music of Sufism which continues on into the small hours and sometimes until dawn. It was for this experience that I wanted to stay in Khuldabad, and if you have never heard good qawaali live, I can only tell you that it bears lillie resemblance to what you might have heard on tapes, perhaps something like the comparison between reading a love story and actually living it. Raju ~tar Husseini, a 14th century saint to whose tomb Baba bowed down 6000 times, said of qawaali, "When I say my prayers during namaaz, my mind wanders this way and that, but when I listen to qawaali, it goes straight to God, like an arrow. " When the time is right, Baba always gives you what your heart desires, and after several tries, five of us left for Khuldabad last Sunday afternoon,not knowing where we would stay, or whether we would even fmd anyone to sing. We had tried to make reservations at the Khuldabad Government Guest House, where Baba had stayed on occasion, but they had refused us, saying it was not available to outsiders. However, upon arriving at Khuldabad, we went straight there, because in India, we knew anything is possible, and sure enough we got a couple of cheap rooms with incredible views, but no towels. When traveling in India it is always a good idea to take your own. The next issue we had to deal with was where to hold the performance if we were able to fmd musicians, and by a strange "coincidence," that same morning someone had explained to me where Baba had sometimes stayed and where He had listened to qawaali, so we started there. It was a small mosque just inside the gate of the Guest House, and when I walked into the courtyard, I got goosebumps. 1 knew this was the place, but the attendant said we couldn't hold the program in the mosque and that we should go

to a durga. However, knowing that all things are possible, I kept looking around the building and finally found the rooms where Baba stayed and the verandah upon which Baba sat for the qawaalis. Fortunately, the attendant had no objections to us using that back porch which has an incredible view for miles, so despite the questionable acoustics, we agreed on that location. Then all that was left were the qawaals, but they were arguably the most critical part of the evening. At one of the durgas, we were directed to the "subse acha hai (best) qawaal" in Khuldabad, Nooruddin. Winding our way through the narrow streets of this ancient town, we came to the referenced tea stall, but Nooruddin had gone to Aurangabad, 24 km away, and they said he would be back in half an hour. In India, half an hour can mean anything, so we left word for Nooruddin to wait for us with instruments and we went to eat. Miraculously enough, when we came back, he was there. 1 was getting convinced that Someone was having a hand in all of this. The only question remaining for me was whether these guys were any good or not, and that was to be decided soon enough. Some months ago, while thinking about this adventure, 1 had the feeling that we should arrange the program at the路 Mosque of the 1400 Saints, the place where the Sufis fust performed namaaz after arriving from Delhi, but 1 had never' been able to find it. This verandah we chose is only about eight feet wide, the hill falling off sharply with hundreds of points of lights in the valley below and millions in the night sky above. At this spot, there is no electricity, so we brought a kerosene lantern 1 rented for 25 rupees, and as we spread out our mats to set up, 1 asked the qawaals about the location of the Mosque of the 1400, and they told me, "That is where you are now." Just as magnetic tape cannot capture the magic of live music, neither can my words do justice to what happened on that Somvati Amavasya, holiest of new moon nights. I can only say that in the flickering light of the kerosene lamp, those five qawaals took us somewhere else for four hours, sailors in a boat of ecstasy which rode on praises to the Great Ones. Technically it was not perfect, but tears filled my eyes as 1 rocked to the motion of the waves, and at times became utterly lost in the Sea.

11


Samadhi Repairs

Archives Update

by Irene Holt

Meredith Klein July 2000

16 June, 2000

S

unday afternoon a group of six Meherabad residents had a small ice cream party under the tin shed on the hill to celebrate the completion of the painting and waterproofing of the exterior of Meher Baba's Samadhi. Headed by Ted Judson, the small team completed the work during the months of May and early June this year. The work went on smoothly and quietly throughout the hot weeks as local Baba lovers continued to come for darshan daily. Hindered only slightly by some erratic early rains and a few solvable technical problems, the team felt the work was gently guided by Baba's hand to its completion just in time for the new season's beginning in June. The stone walls had a breathable waterproofsolution applied to their ceme~t mortar portions, which have been known to transmit moisture to the inside of the walls thereby damaging the murals inside. Th~ upper parts of the Samadhi - the dome and plastered portions above the walls, includ~g the symbols of the world religions at the four corners and the "Mastery in Servitude~ emblem on the front, were all repaired and r~painted with waterproof paints. Ted has been working on maintenance of Baba's Samadhi since the 1970s when he was taught by Padri procedu;es for keeping the tomb waterproof, structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Though the dome has not been a source of water penetration, the flat part of the roof and the clerestory windows used to leak during the monsoons. At the time of the restoration of the Samadhi murals in 1990 this problem was solved by the applica~ tion of a waterproof membrane and has not leaked since then. This year the stone pointing of the walls has been waterproofed using a new product which was carried over from the U.S. and which will hopefully offer better protection for the plaster and painted surfaces inside the Samadhi. What most Baba lovers will notice immediately is the bright and beautiful look the Samadhi has assumed from the new paint job. Gleaming and beaming in the sunlight, Baba's tomb is ready for the opening of the new pilgrim season. 12

~er recent years the Trust has pub-

O lished a number ofcirculars with news

of the work of the Archives, Museum and Research Committee (AMRC). oW, with the advent of Tavern Talk, the AMRC is very happy to be able to share news with the Baba world electronically. This first report is about recent events connected with the new Meherabad archive building, which Meheru suggested should be named "Manzil-e- Meher~. Major strides in planning the furnishing and equipping of the building resulted from the November 1999 Meherabad visit by Nobuko Kajitani, chief textile conservator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Nobuko's time with us was focused on examining the collection, especially reassuring. We were gratified to find that so many of the methods we are using to care for Baba's precious articles were re-affirmed by a world renowned expert. Based on Nobuko's comments and the specific needs of the collection, a floor plan has been drawn up for the placement ofcustom designed cabinets, so as to maximize the available space for the requirements of the collection. This plan has al 0 been reviewed by obuko, who remains very interested and involved in our work here. In recent months, discussion has been underway with some Indian cupboard manufacturers to provide prototypes of the specialized units, which must be larger than standard sizes (so that precious textile items will not require more folding than absolutely necessary) and manufactured in such a way as to provide maximum archival protection for their contents. Just when it seemed that none of the companies would be able to meet the requirements, a very technically proficient small company was located nearby. The quality of their existing work assures us that they can meet all the requirements and they will soon be producing a prototype. The AMRC has approved the final layouts for the cupboards, as well as the tables, desks, chairs and other necessary furnishings. While waiting for the cupboard prototypes to be prepared, the committee is moving forward with contracting for the furniture and equipment for the rest of the building.

In the building itself the installation of custom made doors and windows, as well as the plumbing and electrification, is well under way. The wiring for the computer network will also soon be installed. The building is really starting to look and feel like quarters worthy ofhousing our Beloved Baba's precious articles, as well as the correspondence and audiovisual materials connected with His advent. [If you have a computer & receive email, you can subscribe to Tavern Talk. This is an electronic means of keeping up to date with what is happening in Meherabad and Meherazad as given to us from the Trust. To subscribe to the Tavern-Talk electronic news letter, send a message to: Listserv@ambppct.org In the body of the message place: subscribe tavern-talk.]

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If at all you must worry, let it be how to remember Me constantly. This is worthwhile worry because it will bring about the end of worry. So do worry that you will not forget me. Do your best-then don't worry! Be happy in my love. MeherBaba


Mani's Day, O

n Mani's Day, August 19th, the anniversary of her reunion with Baba four years ago, a green carpet of grass covered Meherazad and Meherabad. I'm sure Maru would have smiled to see the number of young people coming up the Hill through the green that morning for her anniversary Arti at 10 a.m. They were there to join Meheru and Roda and many others for garlanding, prayers, Arti, and songs at the Samadhi. You could easily picture Mani sitting with us all before Baba's door, looking in on the marble covered with roses and fresh flowers, as we sang her songs "Oh Baba, Meher Baba, my heart is calling You, " "Open Up the Door" and "Baba u aam," a song in Gujerati that translates "go on taking Baba's Name." The Iranis and Parsis kept throwing in verses, and everyone kept laughing trying to pronounce them right! I remember Mani saying once in strong support of diversity, "If everyone was a cello, there would be no orchestra" and she would have loved this mixture: Baba-Iovers from all over India and the West (including Hamirpur, Andhra, Israel and Brazil), of all ages and personalities. And how she would have enjoyed watching the little kids gathered around Baba's gaadi (dias) under the tin shed, garlanding Baba's picture and then, at Meheru's prompting, all together singing a little song of Baba's Name. Mani went to Baba on August 19th, 1996, and recendy one of her friends realized that Mani's letter from Baba, in which He invited her to come and live with Him, was also written in August. He wrote her from a ship, and she called that letter her "invitation from the Ocean." Looking up the dates as to when Baba was sailing, the friend came to the almost certain conclusion that Baba had written Mani her invitation on August 19th, 1932, sixtyfour years to the day before her Reurlion. On the afternoon of the 19th,]amie gave a concert in the Music and Arts Centre, one in a series of music and dance concerts given by Baba lovers that we've had here over the past few years. This season they have been held on Saturday afternoons. The theatre stage was decorated for the concert with a beautiful, impressionistic, 10 feet tall painting of Baba

AUGUST2000 Heather Nadel, Meherabad from last year's Birthday play, flanked by panels depicting the 6 planes in the style ofRana's

chart for God Speaks.There were heart-melting songs ("If you're traveling to Meherabadl where the wind blows wild and free; you may see my own true love, Iwon't you give Him a flower from me?"), an enthusiastic crowd hanging on each word and note (no kidding!), and of course tea and pieces of Alan's sumptuous cake; certainly Mani's idea ofa celebration. It struck me how Baba, in His own most natural way, is bringing about the fulfillment of a wish He expressed to the early Trustees: that they encourage the sharing ofHis life and message through music and many other forms of art. No one could have established dus in the Trust's first years more actively and effectively than Mani, with her loving enthusiasm for every kind of creativity for Baba. The Dhurli on August 12th was a different kind of gathering, one with an inner focus. In a long line that snaked off the platform, 150 lovers, including many from Poona and Bombay who had come for the weekend, welcomed the dhuni-lighting with a loud "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!" The harmonium and tablas began, introducing a devotional song as the flames leapt up to meet stick after stick (and all the attachments) dropped into the sacred fire.The line moved slowly forward, the guitars came out and struck up a few East! West sing-a-Iongs like "Baba Bhagwan," "Victory Unto Thee," and (Maru would have beamed at this one) a Baba-rap with a great call-and-response: "Who's the Man?" sang Wayne, and the crowd shouted back "Meher

Baba!" over and over. Begun at sunset, the dhurli went on for over an hour. The rain that threatened did not fall, and as the evening came on, each heart had its moment with Him kneeling before the fire. A couple ofhours later, I saw a group of young people sitting around the smoldering embers, talking quiedy. A line Baba wrote about this dhuni came into my mind: "You are My fiery staffperforming your duties through My order of mercy." And what mercy! In the Pilgrim Centre dirllng hall the odler morrung, there wasn't a soul over 25 years old to be seen, even though four tables were full: one with under-12 kids, another with teenagers from the Youth Sahavas, another two with young adults. (All the elders had fled.) I remembered something Maru had said about young people after a program in Mandali Hall. In the program, a 13 year old boy had read a poem he had written about Infirllte Consciousness. The poem was astonishing in the scope of its ideas, and I men- _ tioned afterwards that I was surprised that a boy ofhis age could write something like that. Mani said, "What's so surprising about it? . Where do you think all the old souls have gone?" Several of them were gathered around Eruch in Mandali Hall this month on Thursdays, as he sat on the window sill telling Babastories, listening to Baba-stories, and teasing people. As most people know, Meherazad is now closed to visitors on Saturdays due to the Mandali's age and frail health, so Sundays have become very full--so much to do, so little time!--with a program of music or skits or dance and a Baba movie in the Hall. In Meherazat;i this August, people still climb Seclusion Hill (now lush with flourishing trees and grass), or find a moment of intimate stillness in Baba's Room (what Mani called this "most special place on earth") or ofremembrance in Mehera's and Mani's room; children still push each other on and off the swing and go wild on the see-saw. And when she can, Goher still gently greets people on the men's verandah from her mobile chair, as throughout Meherazad the other Mandali go on sharing dleir lives, stories, advice and affection with new generations and whomever is lucky enough to come into this garden.

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Avatar's Abode 42nd Anniversary June 2000 Raine Eastman-Gannett (California), Elischa Isaacs-Young (Australia) Photos by Leander Bruford & Raine

M

eher Baba came and stayed on this property in 1958. He named the property Avatar's Abode and said it would become one of the great places of pilgrimage in the world. Since 1959 the Anniversary of Meher Baba's visit has been celebrated each year. Francis Brabazon, Meher Baba's Poet, who purchased the property and lived here wrote: "Avatars Abode is a stopping place on the road to the Beloved, for He stopped on the road to our hearts and took over the lives of those who came and gave themselves to Him. The place was acquired at His request and He gave it the name it bears. 0 stopping place can be a destination except that place where mind stops forever and one knows that one is God. Your destination is your own heart in which the Eternal Ancient One eternally lives, but because Avatar Meher Baba, the eternal alllovina one stayed here, the perfume of His love may refresh and strengthen you on your way to His Feet." . The Flag Raising at Avatar's Abode is to symbolise the arrival ofAvatar Meher Baba in Australia at the place he named Avatar's Abode. Bill Le Page raised the flag this year, to shouts of ''Avatar Meher Baba KiJai!!!" Bhau Kalchuri's poem "Salutations to you oh Avatars Abode" was read out by guest Raine Eastman-Gannett:

Oh AlOtar's Abode, You are the Abode of Lord Meher Avatar's Abode! Avatar's Abode! Salutations to you, oh Avatar's Abode! You are the abode of Lord Meher! The wineshop's trade will continue here for ages, And he who drinks the cup of defeat will be victorious. Oh Avatar's Abode, here loss is gain. And defeat is the only victory. To bow down at the Beloved's feet is not easy, Since bowing the head swings an axe through the self Here at Avatar's Abode one has to wipe out name andfal1le With the Eternal wine that flows

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Baba's Sandals

For the early arrivals from all over Australia, and some from overseas, the first 15 minutes silence at noon is quite a discipline when they all want to chatter and catch up with the past year's happenings. A picnic lunch and videos in the Library followed the Silence. The Youth Program was kicked off in their own Marquee (enormous function tent), and ran a number ofconcurrent programs including discussions about previous and future Youth Sahavas' in both Australia and America. Baba's House was open from 7:00 A.M till 9:00 P.M. every day, and morning and evening Arti was held in Baba's very beautiful flower filled room. A huge marquee is set up behind Baba's house each year for the performances during the day and night. The Meeting Hall in which Baba gave some talks in '58 is used for smaller talks and workshops. The dining is done in yet another marquee down a slope of this exquisite mowed lawn property. The food committee this year did a great job and as seems to be a feature of Baba gatherings all over the world now, the food was top notch. The addition of the

from the tavern. Avatar's Abode! Avatar's Abode! Salutations to you oh Avatar's Abode! You are the abode of Lord Meher. The Beloved Tailor has stitched for you pe,fect fitting garments, But this can only be worn when the clothes you wear now are removed. Each garment is old and ugly: Beauty is in the burning of that dress, in the fire of Love, at Avatar's Abode. All dealings at Avatar's Abode are transacted th,:ough the language of heart Oh Bhau, you fool, by using the language of your mind. The only work is to forget everything- rest resides in total forgetfulness. The memory of the days of spring neverfades at Avatar's Abode For the Beloved' garden is the Wineshop of Love. Oh people of the world, come here to Avatar's Abode to drink; Come here to hss the only Beloved. Avatar's Abode! Oh Avatar's Abode t Salurations to you, Oh Avatar's Abode! You are the abode of Lord Meher! Raine with her Baba contact 0/32 yean, Adrian Rawlings


Baba's Room

Youth hiring a Cappuccino machine added to the wonderful Cafe atmosphere. Near the dining marquee this year was a circle spot hosted byJeanette Isaacs-Young of "How I came To Baba" stories. People would sit thru some or all of these stories and laugh or reach for tissues, it was a great feature each day. Mter Arti and dinner comes the evening program, the first evening was hosted by Michael Le Page. Robert Welsh sang Francis Brabazon ghazals. Bill Le Page narrated stories during the "Three Incredible Weeks" ftIm and then spoke of how he came to attend that Gathering and some lovely moments he had with Baba. Then Raine sang a few favourites. The highlight of the evening was a musical skit directed and tuned by John Isaacs-Young and Sam Saunders "A Hobbit Joins the New Life." Bernard Bruford was a very convincing and hilariously endearing Hobbit and Peter Davies played the Master Gandalf. The Wineshop Singers brought atmosphere to the story with Francis' Hobbit Ghazals. Three elves, Moon Bornstein, Kendra and Elischa Isaacs-Young included other great Francis poetry. Jaunty, funny, deepeverything one could want from a play. Mter this is the Australian Supper which of course is not a meal but our term for refreshments and lots of tea (strong enough to stand a spoon up in! and bickies (Aussie for cookies) and laughter and chatter until it was "Time to depart in Baba." Which is anaker's term for the Aussie "Linger no longer." Folk stay with various friends or nearby motels, hotels or camping grounds which have permanent site caravans (trailers). Some workers can stay on the

how we laughed! Kendra and Elischa presented "Bogus ews." The Brisbane Baba Youth did a play called "Who Wants to Be (a Millionaire) God Realised" Mehera Milne played the host of the show. Her direct humour and often daunting questions gave the contestants some ideas to debate and think about concerning Baba's cosmology. The suspense and excitement which filled the tent as contestants hovered on the fourth plane perhaps to plummet to solid stone state with the buzzzer and an incorrect answer, would surely match the atmosphere in an Olympic Stadium. The talent of the actors and the skill of the young playwriters and the overall love and humour had Baba chuckling along with the rest of us. Then came rock-rap-classical guitar; somehow Yvan as Zoe slipped into this Youth evening -it fit -he is one funny guy (regardless of the Youth calling us "The Olds"). The night finished with testaments of Meher Baba's Godhood, Teachings and His â&#x20AC;˘ Toothpaste (Meher Baba Toothpaste) from the QIeen, Bill Clinton, Princess Di, Bob Marley, Cher and others. It rained throughout the I entire Anniversary and what , a quagmire-it got to th~ point of being so muddy one laughed about it all the time and it gave us all the blessing" of close indoor (In Marquee that is) friendship and conver....._ _ ..........oi:oI sations.

property. I stay at the Isaacs-Young "Daramshala," as I have come to think of it, and love the family atmosphere there. Up early each morning to get to Arti , quick cuppa , straight to His beautiful room, filled with the fragrance of flowers mingled with His unique fragrance. His bed, garments, and chairs glow in the early morning light. Mter Arti we singjust as ifwe are at the Tomb in India before heading for the Dining Hall for brekky (come on you can translate that). Poetry lovers still inspired from "Poetry Lovers Comer" sometimes jump up and shout out

_

...._

....

a poem or couplet. Then the children have time with songs etc. with Joanna Bruford and Chris Hines.The morning is filled with activities-How I came to Baba, Rani Didi Bhajan workshop, youth music, and a talk by Bill Le Page on money, work and materialism. Mter lunch more workshops, gospel and art. The games of volley ball were cancelled (mudded out!). A talk was given byJoyce Bird and John Grant of times with Beloved Baba and Gusi Carpenter hosted a talk on Meher Baba and Parenting. Mter Arti and dinner, came the Saturday night program "Fruit Bats From Mars", where for the very first time the Youth were presenting the entire nights entertainment for the Beloved. This turned out to be 2 hours ofside splitting laughter. The host for the evening was Mehera Saunders (brilliant young woman). A short film made by the Youth at their Sal1avas in January 2000 was so silly and great at one and the same time,

...:.~

The Sunday was more Arti, singing, workshops and talks for Youth and Elders too. A feature was a talk given by Robert Rouse on Francis Brabazon's India years -so well researched, so movinghopefully someone taped this masterpiece.

Diana Le Page in front ofBaba's House.

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Mter 15 minutes silence and then lunch, the afternoon concert was held. The talent!!! Lorraine Brown, Rani Didi with Bob Welsh and Gabriel Hein making his debut entertaining the Beloved on tabla to the Bhajan's difficult rhythms. Rob Blair played superb classical guitar, the Wineshop Singers sang perfectly as usual and Adrian Rawlins gave a poetry reading. Too many great performers to mention everyone. Mter Arti and dinner, on this rainy Sunday night, with host David Bowling on stage, came a feature-length play from the Mahabarata-the story of Droupadi the ~een lost in a dice game by her proud husband, who, once lost to the wicked dice

players, prayed to Lord Krishna who lengthened her sari infinitely, so as she could not be deÂŁled.The costumes and attention to

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detail in this play, which seemed to involve most of the community, were stunning. BernardBruford shared stories of his childhood in a Baba family and then the shock and wonder of being a teenager around Baba and also moving to the country to Avatar's Abode from the large city of Melbourne. It was very moving. The "Ek Taal Bhajan Group" which Rani Didi gave workshops Angela Pemberthy as for over the weekend, gave Droupadi their performance, and Suzie Iimura was given a graduation title of Seshu Didi (sister). Gabriel Hein played tabla again and Robert Welsh played pakwaj and sang. The Indian Sanskaras pervaded the night until...Sam's Gospel Workshop people poured onto the stage after the Wineshop Singers finished their great selection. Gospel-what a unifier!!! All clapped, sang, swayedFantastic. We were so blissed out watching the flim of Beloved Baba. Monday means good-byes and it is hard to focus on the happenings as friends leave at various intervals and one just wants to hug and get an extra Jai Baba in, but we made it to Arti,singing, brekky, story circle and singalong, before our last lunch together-even the rain was respectful and stopped. The flag was lowered by a chosen Youth and we began to depart-just as Beloved Avatar Meher Baba did those 42 years ago.

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Beef Potroast by Ivy O. Duce

I

n making a beef potroast, after the meat is cooked the cook keeps the liquid boiling until only the real essence remains for the gravy. So the essence, the real meaning of all our experiences, is packed down in our subconscious where it remains for our next life. The ego has its roots in the subconscious. If we died in a hideous fire, we may in our next life show some fear of fire but we will not have to remember the agony. If our cousin happens to be someone we cheated or injured in our past life, we will not avoid him but will inevitably make it up to him, because the law of karma demands that we balance such things. By the same token, we may regard as luck something wonderful done for us, but it will represent another debt due us, paid by someone.

There is no such thing in lift as getting somethingftr nothing, and nothing that happens ever happens by chance. St. Paul talked about "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." From What Am I Doing Here? by Ivy 0. Duce Š 1966 by Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

Hypocrisy by Meher Baba

T

here is a demoralizing cleavage between what man is and what he wishes to appear to be. When hypocrisy comes into play it works much greater havoc within one's own psyche than in the outer sphere. The perceptible damage in the outer sphere is great, but the unperceived damage in the spiritual realm is stupendous. The truth of one's own perception and realization is the only road by which wholeness may be re tored to the inner psychic being. In no other way can man obtain release from the chains that tie the limited ego-mind the colos al cosmic illusion which hides from him the perennial spring of the Divinity within.


Children's Corner

~aba, ~aba, ,

~~~~~ ~ W1<ll tft tal.

Mcher BlIba up a lree, Mcher Bapa. ju,t like mc

--

17


Baba'sfirst visit to Switzerland April-May,1932 Lugano and Mt. Generoso

B

aba with Adi S~., Dr. Gh~ni, Ch~nji, .Baba's brothers Beheram, Jal, Adi Jr.; and Minta, Delia Kim, Margaret Craske and Kitty Davy left Paris for Lugano by train. The Eastern men traveled in one compartment and the Western women and Baba were in another. "Almost immediately Baba settled down for the night and, covering His head with a shawl, lay on one side and started His spiritual work. His fingers moving rapidly. Suddenly He would stop working, sit up just to see that we were all right and then lie down again and work. This He did until about 2 a.m. and then slept till about 5 or 6 a.m. He once explained to us that whenever He stayed three days or more in one place, the work done there had to be recorded and registered. So far as we could judge it was a record ofseveral days in London that He was making with His unseen agents or workers who, He said, could see us and loved us all." Kitty Davy, Love A/one Prevails, p 54. The group breakfasted on the train and arrived in Lugano at 11:00 a.m. A bus met them and took them to the Hotel Eden on the shore of Lak~ Lugano with a terrace which overlooked the lake. They had the entlre second floor to themselves with adjoining balconies looking out across the lake at the snowy mountaintops. Much of the time the weather was bad, but good weather ensued for a trip to the mountain behind the hotel where all spent a happy afternoon. Baba and the Eastern men played an Indian game then later ~e gathered all together to talk about spiritual things.

"As dusk descended, we made our way homeward down the funicular, and I remember one small incident. Baba at odd moments would askfor food... On this occasion, we hadjust changed from one funicular to another and had to wait fifteen minutes. Baba suddenly announced that He was hungry. All laughed and said He must wait till we got to the bottom and had tea. But unseen by Baba, I got out of d1e car and knocked at the door of the only house visible and, getting no answer, walked into what seemed a kitchen and in broken German asked for butter, "brodt and kase." It was understood and bread, butter and cheese were procured and brought back to the funicular. Baba's eyes and face smiled all over, not at the sight of the food, but because His wishes had been ful611ed. Spiritually, this was important to His work and to those who wanted to serve." Kitty Davy, Love Alone Prevails, p. 55. One day Baba and the group traveled to a spot nearby where the Locarno Peace Treaty had been signed, then went into a church built on a mountain where He sat for ten to fifteen minutes. Paintings of Jesus and the disciples were on the walls and a large crucifix was over the alter at the front ofthe church. He explained that as it was He who was on the crucifix, He did not remove His hatwhen entering the church. As they left, they saw an old white bearded man sitting on a bench. Baba sat beside him and took his hand. He motioned to certain of the group to give some money to him, remarking "He is a good soul; I know him well." . At the ~otel, Baba played some very spirited games of ping pong WIth Gharu. Afterward, they listened to records. Baba liked the rumbas and asked Margaret to improvise dances on the spot in the hotel

20

corridor. Kim sang a few Negro spirituals. In the evenings they would usu~y go to a movie or other show, and they once saw a group of Sparush dancers whom Baba enjoyed watching. . To get some relief from Lugano's weather, Kitty arranged a boat trIp to Mt. Generoso leaving the hotel at nine the following morning. A humble Swiss laborer sat opposite Baba on the boat, for almost an hour and left the boat when it stopped at a small harbor. As he stepped off ~e boat, h~ turned and smiled at Baba. Baba later asked if they had notIced anything unusual about him, then he explained: He was my agent. I have come here for a complete rest, and in order to do that, I must temporarily hand over the work to someone else. This morning, I have done that with this man. I had to raise him from between the second and third plane to between the fourth and fifth, so that he could take on the work I am giving him. The transfer of my work must take place either in a thick jungle~ on a high mountain, on water, or in a crowd. That is why he smiled, looked at me and went off. You should have noticed how he an~wered my taps with his stick on the boat - by giving properly-tlmed taps with his stick in reply to mine. Baba then explained that for the last four days He had been working universally laying the foundation ofHis work in Europe next 0vember and that at two o'clock that morning, it had been completed. They reached the 5,000 foot, snow-covered top ofMt. Generoso, and the sun came out at last. Baba was very happy and playful and threw snowballs at everyone.

On Mt. Ge~eroso .in Swit~rland, May 1932: left to right: Beheram, Kaka Barza, Adl S,:, Delta DeLeon, Ghani, Baba (in trenchcoat), Margaret Craske, Kitty Davy, Chanji and Minta Toledano

Mterward they ate a lunch of radishes, cheese and potato chips at a hotel on the summit. In a good mood, Baba gave some more explanations of the inner spiritual planes to d1e group, and later they played ping pong at the Hotel SchweizerhoÂŁ They hiked around d1e nearby hills and enjoyed a wonderful excursion with Baba. Refreshed by the outing, they returned to Lugano the next evening. The next day, May 4, they received word that Baba's father had died on April 30th and Baba took His brothers Beheram and Adi Jr., aside and explained to mem about deam. He then told them mat their famer had been emancipated and given liberation. On May 7m after ten days in Lugano, me group left and arrived in Paris the next morning.


Zurich, Bunishof

B

In Lugano, Switzerland, April-May 1932: left to right: Margaret, Delia, Baba, Chanji, Ghani, and Minta.

Baba's second visit to Switzerland December, 1932 Zurich

B

aba arrived in Zurich on December 15th. With Him were the mandali, Norina, Elizabeth, Enid and Todd. Please see "The Merten's Family" story written by Mary- Lloyd Dugan on pg.26 which goes into detail about Baba's meeting the Mertens and others who would become important in His work in later years. Baba stayed overnight at the Mertens' home at Feldmeilen and left Zurich on December 16th at 10:15 a.m. arriving in Genoa that everung.

Baba's

aba and His companions arrived in Basel, Switzerland on July 6th at 5:30 a.m. where He detrained to have a bath and shave in the station's restroom as He would be too busy meeting people once he reached Zurich. Reboarding, they arrived four hours later in Zurich. They were met by Walter Mertens who drove them 12 km. out of the city to Bunishof, his house in Feldrneilen near the lake where Baba had stayed during His short visit in December, 1932. Anita de Caro was also there. Rano, Nonny and Ruano came from Paris, Margaret and Mabel from London, and Enid Corfe arrived from Italy. They stayed at the Hotel Raben nearby as there was no room for them in the Mertens' home. Before coming to Switzerland, Baba asked the Mertens to find a quiet, lofty place where he could spend a day in seclusion. [See article written by Mary-Lloyd Dugan on Fallenfluh, pg. 28 for extensive coverage of this part of His visit.] During their stay Kitty was responsible for Baba's food, and she would consultwith Hedi as to what Baba would like. She was an excellent cook and the food she prepared was delicious. "One special meal I made was an Indian dish of cucumbers with an herb and cream filling, called "dodhi" in the Hindi language. I don't remember ifBaba liked it, as it can be a little insipid cooked English-fashion, boiled in water. I do recall that I told Baba He was having "dhabi" for lunch in mistake for "dodhi"-the one being the vegetable dish, the other being the washerman! We Westerners, or perhaps I must speak for myself, could not distinguish between Indian words similar in sound. To our insensitive ear what or where was the difference?" Love Alone PrlflJails, K. Davy

While Baba was away inspecting the Fallenfluh area, Elizabeth Patterson arrived. She had been busy managing the affairs of the rllni project on Baba's beha1ÂŁ Norina had previously contacted the director third visit to Switzerland Gabriel Pascal in Paris and disputes had arisen between them. Pascal had missed seeing Baba in Paris, so he came to Zurich on July, 1934 July 8th, along with Rosmond Wise, a painter friend ofAnita's. Pascal was a temperamental man and had reached the boiling point feeling that Baba wasted his time with the project. As Baba wasn't there when Pascal arrived, he was upset further. Elizabeth received a phone message from Baba instructing her to give Pascal a choice peach to eat and tell him that Baba would be coming soon. This simple gesture had a profound effect upon him as he later confided that peaches were his favorite fruit and his mother had always used to save him the best ones. After awhile Baba arrived and asked for Pascal. As he entered Baba's room for his interview, Baba gently smiled and Pascal's anger melted. He meekly asked Baba "What do you wish me to do?" Baba had him sit near Him, touched his hand and inquired about his work. Now peaceful, Pascal told Baba how he wanted to ..."bring out the expressions ofinner feelings and the deepest being of man by portraying tl1e spiritual side oflife in a way that had never been done before." Baba told him that He wanted Pascal to proHis flim. He said to Pascal "You are my duce Baba in the Mertens' garden witl1 companions.

Phoenix."

21


After being with Baba, Pasca1left feeling happier than he had ever been in his life. He later recalled "I had come like a lion but returned like a lamb!" Discussions about the film project with Pascal and Karl Vollmoeller the scriptwriter, went on continuously for three days. Baba, with His close ones would go for daily walks, but as His pace was so fast, they were often left behind. During one walk, Rano Gayley had the urge to catch up to Him as He scaled the hill. Baba turned and held His hand out to Rano. When she reached him, suddenly she felt weighdess as if she were floating; then they went up the hill together. That wonderful experience sealed her fate with the Avatar.

continue her studies for three months and wait for His call to her to come to India. Baba also visited Hedi's brother-in-law's house and met the Swiss people gathered there. After a time Baba remarked "Someone I was expecting has not come. ow I will have to come back again." He was referring to Irene Billa, Otto Billa's daughter whose rendezvous with the Avatar was quickly approaching. Mter two days in Zurich, Baba, Chanji and Kaka took a train back to Paris on ovember 8th.

"It was there," Rano remembered, "that I really began to realized that I was in contact with the Avatar. A slow process of breaking up started to take place in my being. I would wait for everybody to go to sleep and then sit outside at night alone, looking at the lake in the beautiful moonlight. I was churned inside out, upside down. I would think: 'What's happening to me? This is terrible. I can't eat, I can't sleep!' Now I understood what Ruano meant when she said she wept for ten days after meeting him. Lord Meher, Vol. 6 and 7.

Baba'sfifth visit to Switzerland August, 1952

Fallenfluh Meher Baba left Feldmeilen for Fallenfluh on July 12th at 6:00 a.m. The articles on Fallenfluh and Baba's seclusion work there are on pages 28 - 31.

Bunishof Baba returned to the Mertens' home at 9:15, July 12th. The next day was filled with private interviews from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On July 16th Baba departed for Marseilles by train with the three mandali, orina, Elizabeth, Rano, army, Ruano, Delia and Todd. Baba was dressed in European clothing with His sadra undemeath. He turned to Rano on the train and asked "I feel very uncomfortable in this outfit. Would it be all right if I took off my coat and pants?" Looking around the train compartment at the stern faces of the Swiss, Rano replied that it did not matter to her but it might be embarrassing in the presence of the other passengers. This would have shocked them. Baba smiled, gestured a bit sadly, "Yes, I guess I had better not," and stayed in His suit. Lord Meher, Vol. 6 and 7, pg 1906.

Baba'sfourth visit to Switzerland November, 1936 Zurich, Bunishof "Baba was in seclusion in India from the summer of 1935 to the early spring of 1936 when he opened a center at Rahuri for the mad and masts, 23 miles from Meherabad. It was not until early ovember of 1936 that Baba returned to the West and a completely different phase of work started. His object during this short visit was to arrange for our group from England and others from Europe and America to come and stay in India." states Kitty in her book Love Alone Prevails. Baba, traveling with orina, Elizabeth, Margaret and Kitty, Baba, Kaka and Chanji arrived in Zurich, November 7. They were met by Hedi and Walter Mertens and their children. Anita de Caro had been living with the Mertens while she studied art at Otto Haas Heije's school. Baba told Anita to go to Paris to 22

Zurich, Solduno On August 6th, 1952, Baba along with Mehera, Donkin, Sarosh, Adi, Rano, Delia, Goher, Charmian, Meheru and Mani flew into Zurich. Irene Billa received them at the airport with two cars made available for their visit. By car they proceeded to Locarno, where they stayed at Hedi Mertens' home Casa Ronco Di Fiori, in the suburb of Solduno. (Walter Mertens' had passed away in 1945.) Baba stayed in the adjoining house. Irene and Hedi having both lived with Baba at Meherabad were overjoyed to be His hostesses. The men mandali arrived the following day. Many people in Locarno came for Baba's darshan, including Anita and Roger Vieillard for three days. Max Haefliger and his wife Meher Baba walking on crutches observed by Gisela stayed at Dr. Donkin Hedi's to help with the arrangements. Their story is on the following page. Max had heard ofBaba in 1941 but this was their first meeting. Baba played with their daughters Rona, Monica and Verena. All three were drawn to Him. Max drove Baba and Donkin to the doctor one day. He remembers that Baba was like a "commander." The doctor advised massaging Baba's arms and legs and some exercise. A local masseur was called to massage Baba daily and He also had to walk on crutches. In great pain, but with Donkin's help, Baba was able to take a few steps. [While in Switzerland following the Prague, Oklahoma accident, Mehera also visited a plastic surgeon in Lucarno. The surgeon took the scab off dle wound and told her that the skin was all right and would grow back. She needn't have any furdler surgery. Baba asked Charmian to look at it:]


Meetings with the Avatar Max and Gisela Haefliger ax and Gisela Haefliger frrs.t heard of M~h:r Baba at Christmas time, 1941. Baba had mstructed Hedl Mertens to send out hundreds of the pamphlet "Fragen und Antworten von Shri Meher Baba der Volkommene Meister" (Qyestions and Answers by Shri Meher Baba, the Perfect Master), and the Haefligers received one in the mail. Their interest was piqued and led to a friendship with Hedi and a lifelong relationship with Meher Baba. They met Baba in 1952 while He was recuperating at Hedi's in Soduno (near Lucarno) after His accident in America. In September 1954, Max flew to India for Baba's darshan, and met again with Him in London, 1956. Both Max and Gisela traveled to Myrde Beach in 1958 to be part ofthe Sahavas Program at the Meher Spiritual Center. In 1969 they journeyed to India for the Great Darshan Program. They now live in Bern and have generously acted as Baba's Fallenfluh tour guides for years!

M

Jubilant Crickets

[rene Billo's Collertion

Monika Kochowiec, California

Meha Baba in Soldno, 1952

"They took off the bandage and kept it covered with ointments for several days and the wound had completely healed except for some sligh t swelling over one eye, with hardly a scar. So she seemed to be all right then." According to Charmian, Baba paid constant attention to Mehera: "Incidentally, as busy as He was with all of these people He yet found time to see that we all were busy and had things to do. Never a day passed, away from Him, that He would not call Mehera, or Mehera call Him, to see that each was well and happy. I don't think a day passed when they were away from each other in the States or Europe when I was present that I did not put in a call for Baba or Mehera or vice-versa with an inquiry about how things were going and the well-being of the other person." Qyoted from Lord Meher. Baba resumed His work looking for the ideal boy. Irene brought her nephew, Konrad Koethner, aged fourteen and a half to Baba. He liked him, kept him and assigned him two hours of duty each night along with Rano and Nilu. Konrad played a trick on Baba changing the time on Baba's clock to one hour ahead so that he could go to sleep one hour earlier. That left no one to watch Baba for one hour. Baba was amused by the boy's cleverness and reduced his duty by one hour. On August 14th, Baba sent Gustadji, Adi, Meherjee, Sarosh and Nilu back to India. Of the men mandali, only Dr. Donkin remained with him. Baba went on sightseeing trips with the women, and on August 18th, proceeded with them to Geneva by car where they spent the night at the Carnavan Hotel departing Geneva for Paris then on to Karachi, August 15. This was the last time Meher Baba visited Switzerland on record.

W

hen I met Meher Baba in Solduno, Switzerland, in 1952, I was a little girl of 11 years. My mother had told my two sisters and me that Meher Baba was one like the Christ. So, of course, I believed it. I wanted very much to see with my eyes how He was in His body different from the usual human beings. How did He eat? How did He move? How was His skin, His hair, how did He live in that body? So I looked and looked as much as I could without being blatant about it, since we had to mind our manners. It seemed to me always, if I could just stare a bit longer, I would find out, but I never did. I especially stared, when He sat in the wheel chair with his back on me. He looked natural, alive, suffering, sympathetic, cheerful, very alert, the dancing fingers held me spellbound, but He seemed so totally human. Since I was convinced that no matter what He seemed to me, He was God, I felt puzzled, never doubting, but wishing to get the secret behind it. The woman who own.ed the house in which the men mandali slept gave my m~ther a photo she had taken a while back from her garden. She had photographed the flowers, but when it was developed, there was a Christ figure in the photo. It impressed me very much. During the nights in Solduno, the crickets were jubilating their fullest. The air was vibrating with their music. I loved their singing and knew that it was out of joy. I thought they couldn't help it, Meher Baba caused them to.

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The Mertens Famity - Switzerland

Z

urich in the 1920's and 30's was one of the most dynamic cultural and intellectual centers in Europe. The city embraced all the bold new colorful ideas of the times: from German Expressionism, to Art Deco, to American jazz. The atmosphere was electric. Zurich was teeming with writers, designers, seekers and scientists, and sparkled with all the latest in art, architecture, Eastern philosophy and psychology. This was where the Mertens family made their home. Walter Mertens was a successful landscape architect and a friend of Carl Jung; Hedi had studied with Paul Klee and Kandinsky at the famous Bauhaus design school in Munich. Their world was filled with creative ventures, exciting ideas and largerthan-life personalities. Little did they know what lay in store for them ... In mid-December, 1932, an artist friend of theirs, Otto Haas-Heije, put together a reception for a mysterious holy man named Meher Baba at his art school. He wanted to introduce the silent perfect master ("Der Volkommene Meister") to the Zurich community and he included his friends the Mertens in the event. Walter already knew about Baba from Otto Billo (Irene's father) and he was happy to attend, but it was more difficult to convince his wife because at that time, Hedi was following Ramakrishna. At last, she agreed to go. There both Hedi and her husband met the Avatar of the Age. From that moment on, their lives were changed; their hearts were caught in Meher

by Mary Lloyd Dugan, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Baba's net; and they visited with Baba during each of His subsequent trips to Europe.* Walter may also have heard about Meher Baba through his association with the famous psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Earlier that fall, Baba had ordered QIentin Tod and Princess Norina Matchabelli to travel to various cities in Switzerland, Germany and Italy and plan a tour for Him. During this time, Norina contacted Albert Einstein and Carl Jung, who were both very interested in meeting Baba.Though this trip never materialized, Norina subsequently sent Jung a pamphlet entitled "Fragen und Antworten, von Shri Meher Baba, Der Vollkommene Meister"-which the Mertens had translated into German and published privately. [Ed. note: This pamphlet was originally published by Herbert Davy in 1933 through the London Circle Committee and titled "QIestions and Answers by Shri Meher Baba, the Perfect Master." Meher Baba did not call himself the Avatar until 1954.] Upon receipt of the pamphlet, Carl Jung sent a thank you note to Princess Norina, promising to read the book as soon as he had time. In any case, after Walter Mertens met Baba he gave his friend Jung a very enthusiastic report, full oflively comments about how much he had learned. The Mertens acted as hosts for Baba whenever He came to Switzerland, perhaps most significan tly in 1934, when Baba was a guest at their home "Feldmeilen" in Zurich. It was during this time that Meher Baba visited Fallenfluh-the mountain where He spent the day in seclusion. {see accompanying m"tides'] Hedi and

Com"tesy Lawrence Reiter

HediatMeherabad,1938dl"awingamap.

24

Walter both had the privilege ofaccompanying Him there. In 1937, when Hedi and her daughter Anna

Katherina were spending time with Baba in Cannes, Baba invited Hedi to come to Meherabad and be part of the Western Women's Ashram. By that time, the Mertens had also introduced the famous Swiss artist Helen Dahm to Meher Baba. Baba invited her to the ashram as well, and gave Helen the honor of painting the murals in His Samadhi. Hedi, an accomplished artist in her own right, was Helen's assistant in the project. In November of 1938, Walter also had the chance to visit India. His profound stay at Meherabad led him to write: "I wake up at two o'clock in the middle of the night. My inner being is clear, calm, ofshining energy. I know Baba is the Truth. And He is the Truth in me. In this truth I can live a wonderful, creative life. And work for His work. For about two hours, I am in this pure happiness, freed from all the give and take of polarities." By 1939, Meher Baba had sent both Hedi and Walter back home to Zurich to be with their family for the impending political crisis. Baba did visit Switzerland one last time in 1952 and stayed with Hedi at her home in Solduno to recuperate after the accident in America. In 1980, Hedi was living in Carona, a tiny town carved ou t of the hills high above Lake Lugano. My friend Jim Wrobel and I were tllrilled to have the chance to visit her on our way to India. We boarded an old bus from the busy city below and began the climb. Our excitement was tempered by the rhythm of the rickety bus-it took its time clanking up winding roads, struggling up the narrow mountain pass, squeezing its way through a one-lane tunnel, past a church, and up to the only hotel in town. By evening, we had arrived. From what we could see in the twilight, this was an enchanted village straight out of the Middle Ages, with cobblestone streets and stone archways leading to secret sunlit courtyards. As we got off the bus, there were few people to be seen, but animals were crowded everywhere into the street, donkeys, goats and hens-all settling down in the evening quietude. Exhausted after the long ride, we took our cue from them, had a quiet meal and went to sleep. The next morning we found that the medieval buildings at the heart of town opened up to colorful hillside


A few months later, back in Meherabad, Hedi received a letter from Walter with news that the children had been very ill. They'd had pneumonia and even the doctors were worried. Walter scolded Hedi, demanding that she come home at once. As Hedi sat on the edge ofher bed weeping, Princess way. Hedi's Norina Matchabelli carne into the room. cottage was Courtesy Mary Lloyd Dugan CourtesyJ;m Wrobel at the end of [This room is now the Hedi's children in the garden, 1938 Corona Goat, 1980 a country Study Hall at Upper Meherabad]. lane. Jim and I knocked and entered, flowers in hand, to find an old woman sitting in a "Hedi, darling, whatever is the matter?" His head. He looked up at her, "Hedi, when hospital bed, welshe asked. you first came to India, I said I would hold coming us with a Without a your family in My hands. Don't you trust bright smile. She word, Hedi Me?" "Yes, Baba, I do trust You," Hedi insisted. looked very stately, her handed Baba began cheering her up. "I can see the long white hair Norina the children no'-v," He twinkled. His tone was light brushed off her face letter. and upbeat, almost joking as He comforted and falling onto her Norinaread her. "They are sitting under a large umbrella shoulders.Though she it over and out in the garden with their grandmother. She had suffered a stroke then, in no is about to read them a book. And one of the and couldn't walk, uncertain children has his finger up his nose!" Everyone Hedi was alert and terms, anhad a good laugh, especially Hedi who felt enthusiastic about nounced, tremendously relieved. visitors. She put us at "Hedi, you A few weeks later, another letter arrived ease with her gracious s imp 1 y from horne. As Hedi hurried to open it, a manner and invited us must take photograph fell out: to sit with her in front this to There were the children sitting under a of a large picture Baba. You windo'-v, which had a Courtesy J;m Wrobel must!" large umbrella out in the garden with their Hedi's Sunflower, 1980 So,letter grandmother. She was about to read them a magnificent view of the valley and Lake Lugano below. "Meher in hand, Hedi ran off to fmd Meher Baba. book. And, sure enough-one of the chilBaba visited this area," she remarked.Judging When she gave Him the news, Baba shook dren had his finger up his nose! -[It has been difficult to discern exactly where from the atmosphere, I was not surprised! the Mertens Hedi wanted to hear all about Myrtle first met Meher Beach, since she'd been there for the 1958 Baba, but the Sahavas program, and then she began to main points of share her stories oflife with the Avatar. This this paragraph is the tale that impressed me the most: are true: they In 1937, while in Cannes, Meher Baba did attend the asked Hedi to corne and live in India with reception of their friend, the other Western women. This was an unOtto Haasusual opportunity-Hedi had two small Heije and did children whom she would have to leave bemeet Meher hind in Switzerland. Still, she recognized Baba at this reher great good fortune and accepted, even ception. Also, though her husband Walter was not happy Walter did hear about the arrangement. ByJune 1938, Hedi ofBaba through was traveling to India with Irene Billo, Otto Billo.] Helen Dahm and adine Tolstoy. They arrived just in time to take off on the Blue Bus Tours. CourtesyJ;m Wrobel meadows filled with wild flowers. Hedi lived on the far side of one of these fields. We set out for our visit, with me ga thering bouquets along the

View from Hedi's window, 1980

25


~~~~':> '9

I

n the summer of 1934, Meher Baba traveled from London to Zurich, where He was hosted by Walter and Hedi Mertens at their home "Feldmeilen." It was during this stay that Baba orchestrated His famous visit to the mountaintop Fallenfluh where He held a meeting with the spiritual hierarchy. Fallenfluh rises dramatically out of the heart of Switzerland and stands thousands of feet above the little town of Schwyz. The surrounding area, with its rich alpine valleys and ravines, is full of historical and spiritual significance. From above, one can see numerous convents, churches and monasteries gracing the landscape. Einsiedeln, the famous ninth century Benedictine community is nearby; Nikolaus von Flue, the saintly hermit who saved Swiss peace and unity in the Middle Ages, lived in a neighboring canton; and even the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has set up an international meditation center in the region! It was also out of this spot in 1291 that the Swiss Republic was born. Schwyz was one of the three states (cantons) to make up 'the original Confederation. However, by the mid-15th century, the enlarged republic was on the brink of civil war, and the diplomatic recluse Nikolaus von Flue, "Bruder Klaus," was called upon to help end the conflict. The spirit of modern day Switzerland rose out of his influence. When my friend Jim Wrobel and I journeyed to Schwyz in 1980, we were met at the train station by Max and Gisela Haefliger. It was a grisly day-terrible foggy wet weather-and Max remarked that it was just like when Baba had been there so many years ago. A nice association, but still, we were afraid we'd miss out on the view from above. We drove three-quarters of the way high up the mountain road and then walked a short distance through the mud until we reached a forest of stately pines. "On the other side of these woods is the precipice where Baba spent His day in seclusion," said Max, ''I'll show you. He sat right on the edge." The trees seemed to be standing at attention, like steadfast soldiers proudly guarding the entrance.We entered and made our way through the thick, dark forest in silence. There was no sound, not even footsteps-- long pine needles had blanketed the ground-and there was a reassuring calm in the quietude.

r

26

Fallenfluh Baba's arrival July 7,1934, He visited there and found it acceptable. "Our house at Feldmeilen near Zurich was full to the brim with Baba and his mandali, plus the English,American, French, and Italian devotees. There simply wasn't room for everyone, so some had to find a place to stay nearby. [The visiting party included' Kitty Davy, Delia DeLeon, Norina Matchabelli, Anita de Caro, Rano & Nonny Cayley, Ruano Bogislav, Margaret Craske and Elizabeth Patterson. Men visitors included' Adi, Kaka, Chanji and Quentin ]bd, Cabriel Pascal, and Karl Vollmoeller, among others. Ofcourse, the Mertens andtheirmanychildren werealsotherel} "Baba explained that within the next few days he intended to hold a meeting with advanced souls. His mandali would be coming with him, He said, but all the women had to stay at home. The usual preparations were made: tents, provisions and so on, and the whole house with all the guests seemed to participate! Looking at the huge, ever-expanding heap of luggage, I found myself wondering how in the world we would ever fit all ofthat into the car! The evening before we set out, Baba called all ofus together and went over the plan for the day. "Next morning, we started out early. As Courtesy Jim Wrobel it happened, I had to drive because Walter Fallenfluh Cliff, 1980 had seriously injured his hand the previous day. [Hedi was the only woman on the trip to Fallenjluh.] We had a big car, but it Eventually the trees thinned out as we had to accommodate Baba, four of his came to a sudden, dramatic drop-off point. mandali, my husband, myself, and of course This was the spot where Meher Baba had all the luggage. I don't know how, but we did been- He had spent the day sitting on the manage to find room for everyone and evedge of this startling cliff that fell thousands erything! Fortunately, the car was parked on offeet below. Despite the continuous rain and a slightly downward slope, so starting out fog, we found ourselves able to enjoy an eterwasn't a problem. Naturallywe didn't take off nal view of valleys and streams and far away without calling on Baba, and giving Him full farms. responsibility for the trip! We stood there thinking about Baba and "For about half an hour, we drove along gazing into the mist, feeling very bold to be Lake Zurich. It was so early-everything was standing so close to the precipice with only a still quiet, and there was almost no one on modest fence for protection. the road as we passed village after village. Baba The ftllowing excerpts arefrom Hedi Mertens' insisted that I drive faster, so I did. diary written inJuly 011934during Meher Baba's "Before setting out, I had adjusted my evenifUl trip to this spot: rear-view mirror so that I could see Baba's "When Baba announced he would be visitface as I drove along. He was seated in tlle ing Switzerland, he asked us to find him a quiet back between two of the mandali and His place beforehand where he could spend a day head was covered with a big shawl- His face in seclusion. He wanted it to be out in the open was in shadows. For a long moment I couldn't (out in Nature). With the help of Meinrad look away. Though I held the steering wheel Inglin, our writer friend from Schwyz, we did firmly in my hands, I felt like my own conour best to fmd the right spot. On the day of trol was slipping away; it felt as though as we

Introduction & editing by Mary Lloyd Dugan


Falfenjluh Pines, 1980

were floating on a cloud, with the wheels scarcely touching the ground. I kept my eyes always fixed on Baba in the mirror. His face was glowing more and more! Somehow, at the same time, I remained attentive to the wheel. Eventually we came to a road that crossed over the lake; it was full of potholes, so I had to drive very carefully. Still I kept looking at Baba's face - so clear and radiant. Then suddenly, I felt as though I were discharged from a circle and was driving again with ease.Thus, carefully and slowly, we arrived at the mountain. "Then we came to a very narrow mountain road winding high into the steep hills where cattle were driven into alpine meadows. The road was fenced off on both sides and partitioned by wooden gates, so we had to stop again and again to open and shut the gates. The weather was splendid; the whole world seemed to be on holiday! But driving the car required all my attention; I had to concentrate. At the same time, I experienced something very strange, something that had never happened before: My face began to take on the appearance ofBaba's face, the same face I'd seen in the mirror, as though I were wearing a mask. It happened a second time and then a third. Throughout the entire experience, I felt very calm. "At last, we reached the top of the pass. The road sloped down a bit and we came to the junction where Baba and the men got out. Baba asked me to drive back down alone to Schwyz, join my friends there and try to spend some time alone. I was to come back to this spot at exactly 7 o'clock to meet him. I lingered for a moment, watching Baba and the men turn and walk away, laden with luggage, toward their appointed place. "When I got back to Schwyz, I asked my

friends to allow me to lie down - and be left alone because I was very tired. Mter lunch they called to me to come and see the dramatic heavy clouds rolling in. We all went outside to look at the scenery. Fallen-fluh was shrouded in dark clouds, but Baba's spot at the very end of the ridge Courtesy]im Wrobel was covered in

broke through a gate, and our way was cleared. 'We drove on home (to Zurich) where we were welcomed by those who had stayed behind. "Baba called all of us into His room and, with his alphabet board, told us all about His meeting with the advanced souls. He mentioned that He'd drawn a circle around Switzerland {N.B. Switzerland was not involved in the Second World War}, and he went on to give us more details about the day: "The Mandali had stayed behind to keep anyone and everyone from entering the forest, telling them that electrical experiments were being conducted. In case some poor farmer suffered a loss from not being able to work in these woods, he was to be compensated, according to Baba's order. Baba was accompanied through the forest only by Kaka, who set up His bedding and guarded the spot. "Then I related what I had seen from below in Schwyz during the storm. I described the light on Baba's mountain pulpit. No rain had fallen where Baba was stationed, and the light around Baba was so strong that His radiance would have killed anybody who was not prepared for it. "(My thoughts wandered back to my childhood: Once, a Franciscan monk, whom I used to greet on my way to school, gave me a little picture of St. Francis at Santa Maria degli Angeli. In the picture, St. Francis was surrounded by his disciples and everyone was encircled in his light. When the people of Assisi saw the light, they believed the place was on fire, so they hurried to extinguish it!) "Later that evening, Baba called to give me a sweetThank-You oflove. I stayed awake for a long, long time that night until at last I lost myself in the gentleness of the universe."

bright light. However, in front of the light, there was heavy rain pouring down! I knew the men had tents so I wasn't worried. "They have light up there,' one of my friends remarked. (Later I would 'paint' the scene this way: A large dark room with a window in which a light was shining, and in front of that light, heavy rain pouring down.) "At about five o'clock, I left my friends in Schwyz and started the climb back up the mountain. I remember that I did everything naturally and calmly: opening and closing the gates, getting out of and into the car again and again, and driving around the cows which the herdsmen were controlling. Although I had no wristwatch and never saw a clock, I arrived at the meeting place at precisely the same time as Baba and the mandali. "Everyone was very happy; Baba mentioned that he'd done good work. We had coffee at the top ofthe pass at the Ibergeregg Restaurant with some cheerful mountain peasants, and soon afterwards we drove home. The road was stony, wet and washed out. The cows were standing under the fir trees now because of the rain and so we were unhampered until we met a man who was driving his goats and sheep into the valley. He was very annoyed with us and refused to drive his animals to the side to let us pass. When I blew the horn, Baba patted me on the shoulder: "Why so impatient? This peasant was never in such good company!" Courtesy Jim Wrobel Falfenjluh View, 1980 - Jim, Mary Lloyd, Debbie Neese, A short time later the animals and Gisela Haejliger

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The Day of Seclusion (Fallenfluh) {Taken.from RH Dadachanji's notes.from the 1934 Manuscriptjile, andcopiedbyAdi,Ahmednagar,july 1, 1970. Wefelt there was no way we could 'tidy up'Chanji's English, so we thought we would let you enjoy theflavor.} This morning-early at six-Baba and party drove in car to the mountains for the place selected by Baba last Saturday, for his sitting in seclusion. Party included three boys (Adi, Chanji, Kaka) and Tod, Walter and Hedi. Hedi drove the car (5-seater Buick) with 7 of us and the various packages of our luggage. Typical of Baba's party... nasty weathersince last evening clear up til now, all these days Maya working in opposition, as usual. (Walter falling ill all of a sudden causing change from 11th to 12th.) We drove for 2 hours across the lake (of Zurich) and beautiful scenery in the surroundings ofSchwyz, (a small town in the heart of Switzerland), guide taken from friend of Walter, a very nice man who knows mountain side and roads, stood at the back on the luggage carrier.

{Ed. note: This may have been Meinrad lnglin, the Mertens artistfriend whofound the placefor Baba.} The walk up: (Note: Hedi drove only about halfWay up the mountain.) With the packages of luggage, through rough muddy fields, to avoid detection, half an hour of breath-taking task, a good trying exercise in rough life, perhaps it was needed.The flies, very big and so insistent and so many, all ofthem troubled us a lot. On the spot: Beautiful spot. BreakÂŁ'lstwith Baba (tea, bread-butter and fruits, distributed by Baba) and then He explained the instructions: "It might last an hour later or earlier than 7, it all depends on the work, when it is finished ... You all stay here; watch-duty, two hours each (Tod, Walter, Adi, Chanji). Kaka to come with me and stay a hundred yards away. All are to fast, not even to drink water during the period. Rest if you like after duty hours (you) may talk but not loudly." Baba leaves us with his hat on his head, overcoat on shoulder and other things in hand, Kaka following with his bedding, etc. We take towatch-duty:Tod 9:30-11:30;Walter 11:301:30;Adi 1:30-3:30; and myself3:30 onwards. We had practically very little or no sleep; the flies might bite and cause irritation, besides the rain which began to pour in since 11, and we, as a precaution for heavy downpour, prepared a roofabove the place with branches

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oftrees, etc. This took us three hours ofhandtearing labor, and when we all completed the task, and went in to rest, it stopped raining, the sun carne out, and with it did we come out to dry ourselves. We had fire lit up and some folks came to the woods, but Walter explained and made them go back. Baba's explanation re: "Working": "Whilst thus working, I leave my physical body, which would be dead to all feelings of touch, and I wouldn't feel even if the body be hammered and slit up. Best I draw a boundary all round at a radius of 50 yards, so that none can come in. Anyone trying to cross that boundary line towards us would drop dead. That is why I took Kaka to keep watch at a distance oflOO yards". Baba returns at 5, earlier than expected, but quite happy, satisfied with the work done, "More than at Assisi. When I work like this, meeting is held, where spirits (my agents) attend in numbers, unseen by the common eye (but sometimes rumble... bootsteps may be audible)." Walter tells his expetience how he felt inwardly between 11 and 12, also how when he was asleep somebody called him and he woke up and walked toward the sides, but found that there was nobody. Rain: Cave made after 3 hours labor, but when finished, it stopped raining. But Baba was not wet at all, in spite of all the wet space around and pools all around. Fire, prepared by us for Baba to get warm, supposing he might be wet, duly soaking due to rain, but to our surprise we found him quite dry, unaffected by rain at all. How? He simply smiled, a significant smile which those alone understand who have been with him and seen him smile like that. Breaking offast: At 5:15 p.m. food (fruits) distributed by Baba personally. The return: Mter breaking the ÂŁ'lst at 5:15, walk-back, asking short-cut through fields, at the junction going wrong way (K. right), but it was meant perhaps to see the 2 good souls who had the opportunity to talk to Walter, explaining about roads while Baba stood opposite, listening. His steps in the fields - Arrive at 6 p.m. Hedi drives up in car 5 minutes later, and all drive this time another way, on purpose, of course, for his work, but apparent reason of taking coffee in a restaurant, up above on Ibergeregg. The beautiful scenery all around, quite resembling Kashmir and reminding of same. At the restaurant: The gay atmosphere,

music, singing (loud, merry voices) and dances, a very entertaining time, enjoyed by all, a fine variety and contrast to the hours of seclusion spent in mountains. But in spite of its gaiety, there was something of a cleanness and purity in that atmosphere, which made it all the more lovely. Otherwise, Baba wouldn't have come over, much less liked or waited there. Drive back: 7:15 to 9:15. Two hours of a long drive, after a day of special work he had done, was rather tiring for Baba. He rested after a while, when it was dark and the famous Monastery of Einsiedeln had passed. The herd ofgoats and the herdsman {Ed Note: still on the mountain Fallerifluh} a very obstinate fellow, wouldn't give way for halfan hour until all had gone, and revolted against motor hom blown to tell him to give way. His obstinacy was intolerable, never seen or expected anywhere, perhaps meant on purpose for the man to keep Baba's company for the time and to teach lessons on tolerance to all, especiallyHedi andWalter,whom Baba patted several times, signingwith his hands not to worry. Baba's working on the Fallenfluh mountain {as narratedby Kaka who was on watch duty

100yards away. Copied by Adi, Ahmednagar, 1 july,1970}: "Mter the bed for Baba to lie down (in) was spread and everything prepared as He wanted, He lay on His bed, with the curtain (mosquito net) on His breast at 9:30 a.m. He had His sadra and shirt on and covered Himselfwith two sheets and the curtain over it. "He lay down, at rest, for 2 1/2 hours, turned on the side and flat again and raised His knees for about halfan hour and sat. At 12:30 noon, He sat up, removed the covering from over His face, (clapped with His hand giving Kaka a call). He called K. and told him to come nearer and sit at a certain position at 50 yards away, and then He covered Himself with the net and lay down again. "Mter 3 hours, at 12 noon He moved slightly and raised His knees. He lay in that position for 3 hours and then at intervals He got up for an hour, sat in the same position, then lay down again for an hour on the same side and in the same position that He first lay down in, got up again after one hour then lay down again,This continued almost every hour, sitting up, lying down, til 4:30. "When He got up at 4:30 from a sitting position, He moved out of His bed, put on coat, pants, etc. and started for retreat."


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Map to Fallenfluh ~~o

Excerpted and adapted from Dieter Lange's Fallenfluh project.

T

his is a map showing the way to the Fallenfluh which is more fully illustrated by photos taken in September 1997, on the two following pages by the Langes on their pilgrimage to this special site. From the train station in Schwyz to Grundel the road is relatively broad. After Grundel, the road is narrow but paved up until you park your car at #9. Thereafter, the footpath is broad and graveled taking you up to and into the forest #10 and 11. The last stretch is a very narrow but marked footpath covered with stones and roots through dense undergrowth for which you need good walking shoes (#12,13, and 14). In the summer season there is a bus from Schwyz to Ibergeregg. The bus leaves at the post office in Schwyz and you have to get off at Grundel. From here you continue on foot following the same directions as traveling by car.

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Getting to Fallenfluh from Schwyz Photos courtesy of Dieter Lange

FalfenjIuh

1

Schwyz train station. If you come by car from Luzem you will pass by the trainstation on the outskirts of Schwyz in the southwest.

2

When you are in front of the train station you see the Fallenfluh ahead of you. Follow this road for some time. 29