Coming Home, The Ekatma Yatra, October20, 1999
Editor’s Page Dma Snow Jai Baba and Happy New Year,
Accompanied by sixteen of His male and four female disciples, amidst the drizzling rain, Baba set out on a journey on foot from Ahmednagar. That was the beginning of a unique life a life which had renounced all aims, hope, help, and even spirituality, and was solely dependent on God. To commemorate this supremely impor tant event, Prashant Ahir and other members of the Mumbai Baba Center planned a walk. A mighty walk. The Ekatma Yatra, wherein 206 people set out on foot from Meher Baba birthplace in Pune and arrived, footsore but with ecstatic hearts, five days later at His feet in Upper Meherabad. Our cover photo is of the lead flag bearer and the forerunners of the long line ofYatrees as they reach the Samadhi. The readership of the Love Street LampPost grew by over 100 this past year. That may be an infinitesimal amount to TV Guide but in the Baba world, numbers take on a whole new meaning. Welcome to our family and thank you so much for the dona tions you gave as you requested to be placed on the mailing list. For you long-time readers, it’s that time of the year again when we ask for your help. Ifyou can’t remember when you last sent us in a small donation, perhaps its time to use the enclosed envelope and do so now. We would very much appreciate it. If everybody sent in a minimum donation ofjust $ 1 2 we may be able to realize our dream of —
Happy New Century, Happy New Millennium!
his is the Century that may see the whole world beating a path to His Samadhi! A Century that may see the name Avatar Meher Baba on everyone’s lips. I would love to be around to see that, but I think it might have to be my grandaughter instead. I normally do not make New Year resolutions, but I think one is definitely in order for the New Millenium. If all the Baba lovers in the world resolved to do three sepa rate acts a day that they knew would make our Beloved happy each and every day for the rest of their lives what an impact that would have on the rest of the world! Like ripples in a pond, our Baba inspired good deeds would spread from person to person, leaving love,joy and a touch ofthe Avatar in their wake. October 16, 1949 Avatar Meher Baba began a significant and mysterious phase of His Avataric work called The New Life. —
bringing you a color cover with each issue! One of our readers has made a very gen erous donation of the beautiful solid 18 karat gold necklace you see pictured here. Created by Randel Williams of Radiant Heart Jewelry it is a magnificent piece of work weighing two and a half ounces. The chain has the six “Beads On One String” with the symbols ofeach ofthe world major religions that Baba said He would bring together. The chain is twenty two inches long, with each bead two inches apart. The Mastery in Servitude colophon is, including the scroll at the bottom, one and one quarter inches long and one inch wide. Our friend had this especially made, since Randel does not normally sell them both together.The chain with beads is a separate piece ofjewelry, but not on this custom made piece. Because of the size of the beads, (that of a pea) they can not be removed from the cobphon. As soon as our friend received his beautiful pendant from Randel, before ever putting it on, he immersed it in the ashes ofthe Dhuni at Meherabad and laid it on the Tomb at the Samadhi. The set is worth over $1000, and we will be accepting bids on this necklace up until our live auction, which will be held late March. If you are interested or need more information please call me. Money from the winning bid will go to help support the Love Street
A Publication of the A vatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
Welcome The £ovaStrectLamfJ?osr is dedkated with Jove to A vatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His Jo vers by pro viding a pJace for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba famiJy are invited to contribute to this feast ofLove.
Edited by Clea McNeely
from Judith Garbett’s Lives ofLove
Mani S. Irani
The Ekatma Yatra
Happy Birthday Baba! Interview with Diana La Page Castles in Heaven Palace Chat Kusum Singh’s Talk Don Stevens at Meherabode
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 Unveiling of GodSpeakswith Don Stevens Turkey Swing Katie and Goher
Khorshed and Mansaris Interment A Pair O’Ducks
According to His Will
submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1 2 14 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 900 19-3520 323-731-3737 or Bababooks@aol.com
Three Billion + Sanskaras Per Hour
L various contributors
Book and Music Reviews
Humor for Huma
Gavin Davenport and Francesca Cole
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credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Nancy Perham, Barbara Andersen, Pris Haffenden digital preflight: Tom Hart distribution: Chris Lyttle cover: Photographs by Marc Brutus, Photocomposite by Cherie Plumlee
..CoveStrectJam1JEbsr PL1hliShtd (lurt(rl\’. in Jmnuarv, lri 1 . July. lfl(l ()ctolwr. Tlw
,\ll contents (C 1996 Avatar \‘leher Baba Center uI Sou them Call Ernia.
All ( tlOtdtiOllS, f)lK)t)S, or books. nI t\’atar N-Ieher Baba. 1 . © AMBPPCE India .
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiza tions 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 Love Street 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 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahrnedna gar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter.
Unauthorized duplication isprohibited byla w.
an we smoke during the yatra?”
The question was innocent and unex pected. The person addressing the group contemplated the question for a while. Before he could think of an answer, it was given by the heads shaking in front of him, implying ‘no’. “Not while walking. You can smoke during the rest breaks.” The date was October 15, 1999. Venue: Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre. The pur pose of the gathering was communicating the instructions and guidelines to all the partici pants ofthe Ekatma Yatra. Over 200 Babalov ers had gathered from various parts of India. The atmosphere was charged with enthusi asm that was tempered only by a bit of uncer tainty. All these lovers of God were looking forward to the ‘walk’ organised by the Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre, between Pune and Meherabad. “We at the Poona Centre thought there could not be a better way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of that moment in history when Avatar Meher Baba set out on the journey of His New Life, than by walking from the place of His birth to that of His final resting place.” There were many in the gathering who had participated in a similar walk during the Centenary year celebrations of Baba birth in 1994. That walk ‘yatra’ as it is called in India was called Anind)itra, meaning ‘jour ney ofbliss”. And peOple were again reminisc ing how blissful that experience was! “This yatra is called Ekatma Yatra, the organiser continued. “It is not a journey of —
by Prashant Ahir, Mumbai unity alone. It is more than that. It is the journey of indivisibility. Baba says that the Real Knowledge is the knowledge that God is the indweller of all beings. This walk is to remind us that God alone IS and all of us are children of THAT ONE FATHER,just a reflection of that ONENESS.” The organiser went on further giving detailed instructions. They ranged from walking discipline to the order of the procession to food and lodging arrangements. Everybody was listening in rapt attention. Many questions were asked and clarification sought, like the one mentioned in the beginning. The meeting went on for about two
hours. Next day, people got up early and had their bath. Probably, the next bath might not be until they arrived at Meherabad, after four days. All gathered in the main hall for prayer and the roll call. Volunteers were assigned their groups. A nicely decorated hand-cart was being used to carry Baba large picture. It also had a beautiful replica ofBaba Samadhi. When the cart was brought forward, everybody shouted “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!”. This feeling that Baba was going to be with them inspired all the participants. Then there was this small prayer that said “Baba, you are with us. But kindly make us constantly aware of this fact. It will help us accomplish the journey.”
And then thejourney began. The caravan was led by a person holding a large flag of the seven colours of Baba. At some distance ahead of him, two persons were walking holding a banner, specially made for the Ekatma Yatra. This banner was to satisfy the
curiosity of the passers-by. At some distance behind the lead flag bearer followed more flag bearers. Symbols of different religions and banners displaying Baba’s sayings were also being carried by others. Behind them was Baba cart. It was followed by the senior citizen Baba lovers, all those above 60 years of age, followed by the ladies and brought up in the rear by the rest of the group. People were walking in pairs to allow the vehicular traffic to safely pass by. We walked on the road at all times; the traffic had to go around us. At the end ofthe procession, there was another person carrying the seven-coloured flag. It was a beautiful sight. The organisers were happy with the re sponse to the yatra. Two hundred and six was not a modest figure. Although the organising committee, supported by some Baba lovers of Pune, had worked hard for this event, they were tense. Their preparatory efforts had re ceived a setback because of the National elec tions that were held just a month prior. Another matter of concern was that, unlike Anand Yatra in 1994, this yatra had larger participation of men above sixty and also the la dies. To make matters more challenging, the doctor the organisers were counting on had dropped out at the last moment. They would have to do with a paramedic who had accom panied them just by chance. The organisers had let all the secondary choices go and had put the whole reliance on Meher Baba. the Doctor of Doctors
The organisers had complete faith in Him. His invisible hand had been with them since they first thought of this event. After all, His lovers had come together in His Name for this adventurous and momentous event and He could not leave them in the hands of the inept organisers alone. He was truly in charge. His Wish was reigning supreme. The organisers had experienced this. Only a few days before the yatra, they had undergone some tense moments. Their first night’s stop was going to be at a village called Lonikand, about 26 Km from Pune. The last time in 1994, they had stayed in a government rest house. It was inadequate to accom modate all of them and the situation had deteriorated because of unanticipated rains. On that night, they had managed to accom modate some aged Baba lovers in another Rest House ofthe State Electricity Board.The SEB personnel had then informed them about the cultural hall they had within their premises that could have been lent out. This year, the organisers were keen on using that facility. It was spacious, enclosed and had adequate toi
turned the key and the Baba acquainted officer managed to bring approval of the higher authorities in Pune. Baba had given a clear mes sage: you put in yourbest andlea ye the irst to me. But ifyou are notatten tive enough, Tm going to make the matter difficult for you! Sassoon Hospita! Fune, outside the ward where Baba was born. The group ries of many Baba lovers. The city of Pune had two goods vehicles. One was carrying all was slowly waking up. The traffic was increas the luggage of the yatrees. The yatrees were ing. While the whole of Maya was looking at carrying only a small bag while walking that it with mixed emotions of awe, curiosity, conhad their plate and bowl for lunch and water. tempt and reverence, the procession of the Even this bag used to become a burden dur Compassionate Lord moved on. ing the walk. The second was a kitchen van, There was a breakfast stop over at Bund carrying all the grains, utensils, gas, stove and Garden, near the Babajan tree. Babajan used such things. It was arranged that to frequently sit under this tree, and later, her the kitchen volunteers would beloved Son, while departing from Pune for get the lunch prepared during Ahmednagar, would often meet His lovers the previous night’s halt and under this same tree. And now, His lovers were would then carry it to the lunch about to leave Pune and travel on foot to meet spot. After lunch, the kitchen Him at Ahmednagar. van would proceed to the place All the local Baba lovers who had come to of next halt, reach there in adbid farewell, returned to their homes from here. vance, prepare the place for the Two hundred and six went on. yatrees and keep the dinner The October heat was peaking. The sun ready. was showing no mercy. The yatrees had to Apart from the goods survive this grueling test. There was this couple vehicles, there was a car being Breakfast stop with Madhusudan and wife at Bund Gardens. from Bhopal in Central India. The lady had driven by a Baba lover from let facilities. When they visited the authori back pain and was walking with an abdominal Mumbai, a jeep that was brought by a Baba ties, they were pleasantly surprised to discover belt. She was clearly in pain in the beginning. lover from Bangalore, and a two-wheeler that one of the officials knew about Meher Her husband was concerned. After some time, ridden by a local Baba lover who was lovingly Baba. He also had a Baba picture in his house. we checked with the husband to see if she providing water service. There was also an Although the family was not actively associ needed the car. She did not. The husband told auto-rickshaw that was engaged by a lady ated with Baba now, the officer’s mother had us that the lady was determined and was trying volunteer on kitchen duty who, because of a had Baba’s darshan and had special feelings recent leg surgery, for Baba. was not able to get For organisers, this was a special surprise. into the kitchen van. They thought now nothing could go wrong. The first place Probably, Baba did not like this slightly casual that the group visited approach. was the ward in At the last moment, when the organisers Sassoon Hospital were expecting just a formal confirmation of where the ‘Deliverer the arrangements the officer-in-charge ofthe World’was de refused to approve. He thought it was an livered in 1894. From uncalled for headache. The organisers there, they moved to panicked. No pleadfrig and cajoling could help. Guruprasad, the The officer-in-charge was not wilkng to relent place associated with and take responsibility. However, Baba then the sweetest memo,
Lunch in schoolyard outside Pune.
to forget her pain by concentrating on Baba’s Name. She found even the concern shown by her husband as a disturbance in her resolve and communion with Meher Baba. The husband told us that he was leaving it to Baba. And Baba did take care. The lady walked the entire distance. The first stop for lunch was at a school in Vagholi, a village at about 1 5 Km. The dis tance never seemed to be ending. Every step was compelling us to remember Baba. And when we reached Vagholi, many people just threw themselves on the ground under the tree. Most were massaging their feet. For many, it was a first small victory. It had boosted their confidence. The food was served. The simple Baba-type food tasted heavenly! When we reached Lonikand, the sun was leaving the sky. The arrangements there were very satisfactory. In the night, while many people eagerly embraced sleep, there were some enthusiasts who sang Baba bhajans. It was a small and beautiful love gathering. Some people from the Colony also joined the programme. People would always get up early in the morning during the yatra. They wanted to be ready in time before the prayers. So, ev erybody was ready at halfpast six on the 17th. Another day had begun. tt The lunch on the 17 was in a school at a place called Shikrapur. Since it was a Sunday, the classes were closed. Nevertheless,
a schoolteacher had come to ensure that their guests were comfortable.
The night halt was at a place called Kondhapuri, in a Government Rest House. When we reached the place, the organisers were welcomed with a host of problems. There was no water. The tanker that had been ar ranged had not yet arrived. The caretaker of
the place was not fri sight. Hence, all the rooms could not be opened. So people spread their bedding on the ground under the open sky. The organisers were praying for no rain. All the ladies were asked to occupy the available rooms. The lights were not adequate and the diminishing sunlight and the insufficient yel low light of the electric bulbs had cast a gloomy shadow over the atmosphere. The organisers’ hearts sank. The only thing that was bright was the spirits of the participants. Oh Baba! Slowly, things began to change. The Invisible Commander had taken charge. A team went on to arrange the tanker. The caretaker was traced and opened all the rooms. The organisers had luckily thought of bringing some light bulbs along to use in an emergency. Things started brightening. A government official from Ahmednagar who was a Baba lover had reached the place. He arranged for water and managed to get the village school opened. Some people could be accommodated there. Things were finally settling. On this night, the organisers sat together for an informal meeting to take stock of the situation. Some participants had also joined in. We had run out of food on two previous occasions. There were other problems on hand. Some ofus commented that during the walk that day, they had felt that Baba’s face in the photograph on the cart looked tired. Certainly, though a group from Andhra Pradesh was lovingly pushing Baba’s cart, Baba was indeed carrying all of us. Somebody made an observation that we were not offering the food that was being cooked to Baba first. Baba was being kept hungry. It was like a slap on our faces. How could we have ignored Baba! We had certainly committed a blunder.
We were reminded of Rano Gay1ey story at Mahabaleshwar: Baba had walked into her room and spotted a piece of confectionery on the table that Dr. Donkin had given her. As it was customary, he wanted to offer it to Baba first but since Rano was going to the women’s quarters, he had shared a piece with her. Baba had spotted the same piece when He surprised her by visiting her room. “How could you eat that without offering it to Me first?” He asked Rano showing utter disbeliefon His face. Rano attempted a feeble reply, “I have not yet eaten it.” “But you would have eaten it anyway. It was just by chance I discovered it. Rano had no reply. She was re morseful. Baba gave her this piece of advice, and through her, to all of us who are trying to love Him: Whateveryou get in life, offer it to Me!frst These are not the exact words of Baba, but this was the essence. And here we were,
But the kitchen volunteers were in for a surprise when a roadside hotel owner willingly acceded to their request ! and offered his space for the use of the yatrees. He was hearing Babas name for the first time The Invisible Commander was clearly in command again! At this halt, a lady approached us requesting some first-aid. She wanted some bandages to put on her feet. When we saw her feet, our hearts ached. They were full ofblisters the size of small pebbles. She was happy that none ofit was on her soles, which would have made her walking impossible. I remembered the song that I had heard, where the lover is praying to the Lord to allow him to walk with Him. The lover in the song further says to the Lord that he would ‘grow closer to the ( il, spontaneous cancing breaks be willing out among Baba dear lovers. to put a small pebble in The penultimate night was spent at Supa. his shoes, so that This was the place of Baba first halt during with his every the New Life. The organisers shared their painful step, he thoughts. An exercise of introspection and would realise his analysis on the purpose of the yatra and its dependence on achievement was carried out. The entire atthe Lord. It was mosphere became contemplative. clear from where The last leg of the yatra was the longest, the lady was around 2 1 miles. It also appeared the longest deriving her since everybody was longing to meet the Bestrength. loved. We started at 5:30 in the morning. It That night was still dark. The loud and enthusiastic shouts was a special of “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai” were penetrat night. We had ing through the stillness. The enthusiasm was Rarnakrlshnan iiieets us on Dasara. halted at a spaoverflowing. gathered in His love, completely forgetting cious multi-purpose hall at Shirur. During the During the yatra, there were many touchabout sharing our food with Baba. initial walk of the New Life, Baba had spent ing moments on the way, examples that made Next day, during the morning thoughttwo nights in this town. It was also special since us bow down in our hearts to the love of these sharing session, we shared this with everyone. we had covered more than All of us cried in our hearts and apologized to halfthe distance and things Baba. The experience had shaken us and made now looked absolutely us reflective ofour behaviour. From that point manageable. onwards, Baba was never kept hungry and From Shirur onwards, none of us had to be without adequate food. everybody had mentally th, on the 18 the kitchen volunteers were reached Meherabad. It was compelled to make a last-minute change in only a matter of time now. the venue of lunch. The school that we had Though the physical strains earlier selected did not have a drop of water. continued, it no more could This was, in fact, a perennial problem because dampen anybody’s spirits. the area through which we were travelling was Everybody was focusing on Baba name and on every a drought-prone area. The entire belt, barring some industrial establishment, was also a rural single step that he or she and under-developed area. It had made the was taking. Every step was task of arranging proper lodging a bit bringing them closer to difficult. their Beloved. Almost Home, crossing the railivad tracks to Upper Meherabad “
in our shouts of Baba’s name and took many photographs. Yatrees received it as they continued to walk. Many lovers were expected to receive the yatrees at Meherabad. It was suggested that yatrees would not meet or embrace anyone until they had placed their heads at Baba’s samadhi. They had walked all this distance to meet Baba. Everything else came second. When we reached the Samadhi, the entire atmosphere was charged. The sun was setting but our hearts had brightened. Ev ery yatree had tears in her or his eyes. Some people broke down and were sobbing un controlbably. All our pain had dissolved in the tears of love. Baba, Baba, Baba every heart was singing in spite of the aching body. The lips were parched and the eyes moist. It was an inde scribable feeling. It was worth much more than the arduous journey we had undertaken. This night was the most comfortable one during the entire yatra. We were at our Father’s Home. The entire Meherabad staff was wonderful although our stay there had put quite a burden on them. Adi Dubash was very considerate and sent aspirin tablets for the yatrees. This loving attitude was reflected by all the administrative people there. J al Dastoor gave us an ice cream treat. Our stomachs were full of food. Our eyes were filled with tears. Our hearts were filled with emotions. The entire experience was just overwhelming. The walk was over. The journey would continue. It will go on through dazzling highways, blind abbeys and the breath-tak ing curves of Maya. —
lovers for their Beloved. There was a man who was carrying a book of Baba with His beautiful face on the cover. Whenever a yehide used to pass by and the passen gers would peer out the windows with curiosity, he wouldjust raise the book so that they could see Baba’s face. There was another man who used to loudly shout Baba name. He did not care whether anybody else joined him in his shout or not. For many of us, it was getting irritating untilwe realised that this man was shouting Baba’s name loudly whenever he spotted a yehicle passing by, so as to send Baba’s name to the ears of the travelers in these vehicles. All of us observed our lead flag-man, Professor Wat from Vidarbh, who was holding Baba’s flag absolutely erect and would hardly change his grip on the staffofthe flag. Not an easy task at all! Later when we admired his commitment, he explained to us that he truly believed that this flag and the wind that was flowing around it, was supplying energy to the people who followed him in the procession.
There was also a humorous incident. A buffalo was stuck in the mud. Three men were trying to pull her out but were unable. As the yatra was passing by, we noticed that these people had a tough task at their hands. We shouted loudly “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai” These people tried to pull out the animal and failed again. It happened twice. One of us suggested that they should call out Baba’s name. They did that. Once, twice and the buffalo was out at the ‘I. third cry. %f As it normally happens in India, people would throng to take Baba’s darshan. They did not even know Baba or His status. Some were attracted by the procession, some by Baba’s picture and some by prasad. The yatra was in its closing moments now. The feeling was indescribable.Just on the outskirts of Ahmednagar, many yatrees sponta neously gave vent to their urge to dance. It was an expression of love celebration of joy sheer ecstasy! Baba lovers from Ahmednagar Centre served refreshments to us on the way. As we reached Meherabad, many Western Baba byers came to greet us. They danced, joined us .
by Pratap Ahir, Mumbai
verything that we do for our Beloved Meher Baba has its reward and one of those rewards is indescribable happiness. And when one’s heart is unable to contain the happiness, the eyes make way for it. This was what we witnessed on the evening of Qth the 2 ofOctober when Baba lovers, who had walked through the Ekatma Yatra, were waiting for their turn to throw themselves in the outstretched arms of their Beloved. Some were sobbing so uncontrollably that the volunteers moni toring the queue at the Samadhi were unable to quiet them many were wiping tears and many were weeping within their hearts. During these past five days while we were walking under the scorching sun, keeping to our schedule, I watched the old and weak, both men and women, dragging their feet. But with rock-like determination, firm conviction, strong morale and absolute faith not in themselves but in their love for Meher Baba they could continue on. This love was surely providing them everrenewing energy to walk the way. And the walk was not easy. It was on uneven surfaces ofthe roads, through the fast-moving chain ofvehicles, sometimes through deserted and barren territories under the hot sun, putting the commitment and perseverance of the yatrees to a grueling test. Unlike the Anand Yatra which we had taken in 1994, Meher Baba’s birth cente nary year, we had many more older people and also more women participants in Ekatma Yatra. When I was reading the consent letters received from Baba lovers all over India, I had very strong doubts about the walking abilities of many of them. But I found myjudgements were wrong and I felt I was mistaken in understanding Baba’s ways. I felt Baba to be telling me: Who are you to decide whether someone will be able to walk or not?It is I who will be deciding, because it is I who will be releasing the strength andpower to each one, includingyou! These are some examples of what Baba was saying to me. One of the walkers was a
person from the Pophali family part of the early group that came into Baba’s orbit. He had undergone by-pass surgery just a few months previously. There was another from Devli-Maharashtra who had had 150 stitches on his body starting at the skull, through his backbone, and extending to his legs, after a road accident. His one leg had a steel rod inserted during this surgery. De spite this handicap, he managed to walk the whole distance. One lady from Amaravati surprised all of us because she was so much over weight —
that she had to put a determined effort into every step and her walking the whole dis tance seemed impossible. She not only walked, but was also seen picking up flowers that had fallen from Baba’s palanquin, so that nobody would trample on them. Another lady had blisters all over her feet. She politely declined to avail herself of the car that was kept for emergencies. There was yet another lady who had to take tablets to contain the pain in her knee, an old recurring problem. Then there were three Parsee ladies who must have never walked so much in their entire life! Also for one Parsee couple from Mumbai, it was their first visit to the Samadhi. What a beautiful way to accomplish the first pilgrimage to Mehera bad! One girl from Vidarbh region of Maharashtra was narrowly saved from an electric shock just a few months ago and it was her feeling that she was saved by Baba to allow her to participate in the yatra. Professor Ky. Wat from
Vidarbh was holding on his shoulder an equally tall bamboo, which had a large seven-coloured flag unfurled on it. He was walking in the front, and throughout the journey of five days, he hardly changed the position of Baba’s flag, not even changing the position of his hands. Professor Wat genuinely felt that this sataranga of our Beloved was instrumental in supplying energy to all who were walking behind. A team from Andhra was taking care of the cart carrying a large photo of Baba (the Darbar pose) and a replica of the Samadhi. And there was Marc Brutus from Los h Angeles the only Westerner who participated, who walked with us the whole distance, slept with us on the floor and in the open on the ground, ate whatever was cooked commonly for one and all, and shunned whatever moderate privileges that we wanted to offer him. There was never a trace of discomfort or displeasure on his face. Years will come and go, but the sweet memories of the Ekatma Yatra will remain carved in the hearts of all those who have undertaken this adventurous journey to express their love for their Beloved Meher Baba. Still walking in Baba’s love
Notes on The Walk Marc Brutus, Los Angeles ot until I was flying out of India for Thailand in the early morning hours ofThursday, October 21 did the full impact of the past seven days strike me. Having been up for more than 25 hours (we rose at 3:30 am. on Wednesday, October 20 in order to complete the last and longest leg of our walk—31 kms.), I had never really had time to reflect on the love, help and support of so many caring and wonderful friends who, through their unconditional generos ity had shared in the 50th anniversary of the New Life and its commemoration, the “Jour ney Of Unity Walk”, organized by the Pune and Mumbai Baba Centers. The mystery and uniqueness of Baba’s New Life phase has always meant a lot to me. Although I wanted to participate in some way in this auspicious occasion, it hadn’t seemed possible. But simple kindnesses help to change flight schedules, being offered rides, being given a water fil ter and nutritional supplements made the impossible possible. For all the help to overcome any and every problem that arose, I am profoundly grateful to Baba and the many loving friends who made my partici pation in the New Life Walk a reality. The five day walk from Baba’s birthplace in Pune to His resting place on Meherabad Hill sharing thejoys and pains, singing all the way was so joyous that many times groups would break out into spontaneous dance. I was touched by the love ofthe 206 padyatrees who chose to honor Baba’s New Life gift by walking over 120 kms., sharing in some small way the true meaning of the New Life. I have never before witnessed such caring or compassion, nor hardships borne more cheerfully than in those five days. Knowing that each step brought us closer to the Samadhi and our Beloved, a couplet from Francis Brabazon’s “In Dust I Sing” often came to me: “In a fly’s wing-space I see the world I left, the ioi’ld of pain. And I brush His hand with my lips as He fills my glass
refilling the school’s water tank so that we could refresh ourselves. As we walked through a tiny village on the third day, a local innkeeper offered his hall as shelter from the sun and as a place to rest and eat. On the last day of the walk, the owner of a new roadside restaurant was moved by our pilgrimage and invited us in to take shelter and eat. When we thanked him for his kindness, he sobbed uncontrollably. The nights on the road were cold. Often, the men slept outdoors under the sky, wrapped only in a thin blanket, and the women slept in whatever shelter was available. Mirroring Baba’s New Life, men and women walked separately and had separate accommodations at night. During the day, the older men led the walk and set the pace for the entire group, the women walked in the middle, and the younger men brought up the rear. On this journey I came to know Baba lovers I might otherwise never have met. One was ShreeRam Bhopoli from Nagpur. As a boy, ShreeRam played marbles with Baba. He is now in his early seventies and six months prior to this walk underwent open heart surgery. While still recovering, he wanted so much to participate in this commemoration that he walked 8 to 10 kms. every day to prepare for the journey.
I also became better acquainted with Pratap Ahir, one of the organizers of the “Journey Of Unity”. Pratap first met Baba on October 16, 1950, the first anniversary of the New Life, when he was fourteen. The New Life, therefore, has a very special sig nificance for him. Baba was the central focus of our entire journey we remembered Him in all our conversations and in the stories we shared. As we walked, people would sing Baba’s name or songs of devotion to Him. Two of my favorites were Scott Makeig’s “When Loving is Our Day and Our Night” and, from Godspell, “Where Are You Going?”. Wherever we camped there were music programs held, and many people from the sur rounding villages and countryside would join us and learn about Baba. On the last day, at sunset, we arrived at Meherabad dancing! The entire group of 206 people silently circled Baba’s Samadhi three times. Then we each waited our turn to take darshan. It was then that I realized I would walk 10,000 miles for the opportu nity to bow down at Baba’s feet. As soon as I had my turn in the Samadhi, I hurriedly left by car for Mumbai to catch a 2:00 am. flight for Thailand. On the flight tears of gratitude for the tiny glimpse into a deeper understanding ofwhat the New Life truly means. JAI BABA! —
The contributing writers for The Ekatma Yatra are seen below: Prashant Ahir (left photo) Marc Brutus and Pratap Ahir one of the organisers of the Walk (right photo)
again.” Throughout the journey, He filled our glasses in wondrous ways. On the first day we stopped to eat lunch under some trees in the school yard of a small village. When we had used all of the available water, the local school boys went to a nearby pond to gather more water in small plastic containers,
Marc Brutus, VilasAhJi Babas Rat/i, Fiitap AJiir and Sanyogita We would like to thank our indefatigable primary contributing photographer Marc Brutus for his beautiful photographs of the Ekatma Yatra which capture the joy and devotion of the Yatrees for their dearest Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. We would also like to thank Sachidananda Meher from Andra Pradesh for the use of his photographs in these articles as well as the Ahir family
Fifty Years Later O
top of Seclusion Hill stands your correspondent, on the spot where Beloved Baba’s Manonash Cabin once stood, thinking about the New Life, now fifty years old. It another world up here today, silent and serene. For once there’s no wind. Pink, yellow and blue wildflowers grow in and around the foundation stones of the cabin. The sun is warm and bright, and dragonflies and a small brownish butterfly dance along the path across the top. Below, tiny Meherazad sits among green fields that stretch away to the surrounding hills. It’s astonishing to think that 48 years ago, the GodMan sat on this very spot working for “Manonash” the annihilation of the mind, the fruition of the New Life. An ancient Indian meta phor for the God-Man is the patient farmer, who shapes the earth with his hands to create channels for water to flow to the crops. He shapes and re shapes, builds up and tears down so that the flow is direct and there are no obstacles in its way. Looking at this countryside, you can see where this beautiful image came from. I daydream that a river ofTruth is flowing down the Hill through new waterways shaped by His Life, His New Life and His Manonash, to irrigate the far fields of the world. Yesterday, October 20th, 206 Baba lovers reached Meherabad, having walked from
By Heather Nadel, Meherabad
Poona in observance of the New Life anniversary. What a sight! 206 people coming down the Meherabad road in the early evening, waving Baba-flags and calling out His name. In the vanguard were the “standard bearers” two men hoisting a large banner proclaiming the Yatra. Behind them was an elderly gentleman holding high a large Baba flag on a tall pole, followed by others hoisting -
the symbols of the world’s major religions. Behind them was the piece de resistance: a hand-cart on wheels pushed by lovers, bearing a huge Baba picture festooned with marigold garlands. Inside the cart was a very
well-painted styrofoam replica of Baba’s Samadhi. Even volleyball stopped at the sight. The “pad-yatrees” (foot pilgrims) were weary but triumphant as they streamed up the hill to the Samadhi. Some were weeping with the emotion of reaching His Tomb at last, and not many of the onlookers had dry eyes either. Today, the walkers have come by truck to Meherazad, from where Baba Himself left by car for Ahmednagar to begin the New Life. Among the mandali greeting them are four who set out on the Original Walk with Him 50 years ago: Eruch, Aloba, Goher and Meheru. (Bal Natu was a “yeswalla” but Baba released him from physically accom panying Him in the New Life). Goher and Meheru are sitting on Mehera’s porch giving out Baba-but tons and sweets to the p11grims after they take darshan in Baba’s room. On the men’s side, the walkers are streaming into Mandali Hall for darshan right past a framed poster bearing Baba’s New Life message. Here it is, for those who want to reread His timeless words about the unfathomable New Life:
“7his 2sIew Life is endless, and even after JIly physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation offalsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust, and who, to accomplish all this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on 9od, and who love 9od purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of 9od and in the 1 reality of Jllanifestation, and yet do not expect anj spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of 7ruth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravel 11 and wholeheartedly face all hardship with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. 7his L2’,Iew Life will live b 11 itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.”
Happy Birthday, Beloved Baba
ForDon on Be1ovedBaba 72w’ Bfrthday
Birthday Song (1963,) Glad are we inyou, dear Baba, Glad are we inyour Birthday Tliatyou inyour loving Kindness Came on earth with us to stay. Round the Earthyour love is flowiig As a river wide and deep, Making rich and full the harvest —
That each, in Time end will reap. Th ‘light ofnew day now is da wi]ing .45 a heavenly llow’r rare.
Mountains are corruptible. But the work ofour hands time and windandrain cannot destroy For ourhands are thepuipose ofour blood and our bloodis the river ofour soul
which sings the rivei the puipose. Death scissors may cut the bands oflove a million times; but we can enjoy new voyages on another flood
In its heart we are discerning Your Face Baba, dear and faii: Hear my song beloved Baba, That Ising onyourBiithdav
and allrivers wander to the same ocean -goal.
It mypleading thatyou Baba, .11] my heart forever stay
Man. life is more numerous than all the sands ofall the world beaches: and reaches back beyond space (God. sackful ofsuiis) to theprimal tone ofthe Creation Song Though faith is brittle as burnt bones, and our vision zeduced to the size of ourface the 1/Void ofthe Silence will restore to us the woik ofour hands. —
Thesepoems ivrltten byFancls Brabazon for Baba birthday in 1963 and 1966 vere sent in private letters to Don Stevens who kindlyga ye uspermisslon to share them i ‘ith you.
Archives, Museum and Research Report By Bhau Kaichuri, Meherabad
ollowing are highlights from the activi ties undertaken by the Committee dur ing 1998-99.
Archives, Museum and Research Building
consultation with experts, balanced by constant referral back to the fundamental goal of access to the atmosphere of Baba’s pres ence in the Samadhi.
Preservation ofBuiidings, Structures and Givunds
One of the most visible fruits of our labours is the large and beautiful storage fa cility nearing structural completion on Meherabad Hill. Concurrent with the next phase of plastering, plumbing, wiring, etc., will be the design and arrangements for furnishing the building with the archivally cor rect storage units, equipment and materials required to care for and document the Baba treasures and archival materials which will reside there.
If we were to list the activities in this category it would become a massive thesis in and of itself. At Meherabad, Meherazad, and Meher Nazar, the essential conserva tion work of maintaining and caring for the historical buildings, structures, and grounds is a daily affair under the close attention and guidance ofthe Mandali, as well as the concerned staff.
Preservation Facility at Meherazad
In addition to the building at Mehera bad, a much smaller, but essential, storage and working facility is planned for Meher azad.
In the December 1997 Circular, we published Tips For Preserving Your Precious Baba Treasures” Personal letters were sent to those who may have received correspon dence from Baba, and many of His lovers throughout the world who have the guardianship of Baba treasures and archival materials have communicated with us for further guidance regarding their care and status.
Advice andHelp from Experts An important ingredient in all aspects Cf our preservation efforts over the past few years has been the professional help and advice we’ve received from leading archive and rbuseum experts in the U.S. In 1995, Vince Wilcox, facility director of the Smithsonian Institution, and Joan Bacharach, registrar of the National Park Service, spent several weeks at Meherabad to assist us in finalising the plans and design of the Archives, Museum and Research Building. Through the assistance of Beth Ganz and others, we have also been able to consult with Nobuko Kajatani of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and this year she has graciously ac cepted our invitation to visit here at the end of November. As conservator in charge of the Department ofTextile Conservation at the Met, Nobuko’s guidance will be of great help to us in assessing how to best provide for the care and documentation of Baba’s clothing and other textiles.
Presemition ofileioved Baba c Samadhi Careful and professional attention to the maintenance of this most sacred edifice is of the highest priority. The effects of envi ronment as well as human contact on the Samadhi’s physical integrity are regularly monitored. Repairs and restoration work are only attempted after exhaustive and careful
Film Work In conjunction with Meher Prasad and MEFA (Meher Baba European Film Archives) plans have been laid and work com menced on identifying the best existing originals or copies of the precious films of Beloved Baba held by or currently cared for on behalf of the Trust by those organisations and others. When this work is done, several copies will be produced so that the origi nals may be safely stored using the newest archival techniques. ,
Docunient Rehousing Project Some of the correspondence and other documents from the files kept by Baba’s two secretaries, Chanji and Adi Sr. were archivally rehoused during September to November of last year. For many months prior arrangements had been carried out to gather the necessary supplies. When all was in place, a rotating team of 28 white-gloved volunteers prepared, dusted and interleaved thousands ofdocument pages and rehoused them into acid-free folders. Meticulous records were kept of procedures, previous ,
document housing and relationships, and future handling/treatment needs. This enormous effort represents just the beginning, as there is a huge quantity of documents yet to be rehoused.
Book In ventory Project In order to insure that the copies of ev ery book and publication by or about our Beloved Baba are preserved, an extensive inventory of all the English and other European language books held by the Trust at Meherabad, Meher Nazar, and Meherazad was completed last year and the best available copies were put aside for archival safekeeping. The next stages will include the Indian language books, followed by periodi cals. An important result of this inventorytaking will be the development of a “wish list” of titles and editions that the Trust still needs to complete its collections.
Computer Records We have begun using MasterLink, the collection management database being de veloped by Sheriar Foundation, to comput erise our catalogue records. MasterLink is an extremely valuable tool for compiling and managing information about all types of col lection items and archival materials associ ated with Meher Baba, including their description, history, significance, condition, and ongoing care and preservation.
Collection 11/Ianagement Policy A series of intensive work meetings was held throughout last year to draft the initial version of a document which defines and details the purpose, scope, goals, structure and activities of the committee and serves as an ongoing guideline for its work. The result is a 114 page Collection Management Policy, approved by signature of all the Mandali and officially adopted by resolu tion in the 1 14th (strictly a Baba coinci dence!) meeting of the Trustees of the AMBPPCT in May of this year. highlights of And last but not least some recent smaller, but essential, conser vation and information collecting projects: When it was discovered that the beautiful large Rano Galey painting of Baba in the Rahuri Cabin was deteriorating, emer gency measures were taken while help from professional conservators is being sought. —
Work has begun on detafled maps of Meherabad, Meherazad, and Meher Nazar to document the location of both histori cal and contemporary buildings, structures, grounds, and sites. We are very pleased with the wide range of important work that has been accomplished, even as we realise that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the activities described above are still in progress while numerous others are yet to be undertaken. Throughout all, it has been so heartwarming to witness the positive responses ofsupport for this project forthcoming from all parts ofthe Baba world. Many individu als have given unstintingly of their time and skills, making possible the work so far com pleted. To be given the opportunity to help in any project for Baba is a gift in itself, but that does not lessen our appreciation of all those who have given so generously to ev ery aspect of this work. This participation be it through financial contributions or the arrival ofjust the right person or source of information when it is most needed provide clear signs of Baba’s guiding hand and perfect timing. —
The Archives, Museum and Research Committee and Team Bhau Kalchuri, Meheru Irani, Meherwan Jessawala, Falu Mistry, and Janet Judson, Meredith Klein, Shridar Kelkar, Mehera Arjani, Dot Lesnik, and Kristin Crawford.
Mehei’abad Museum: Baba Sandals (foreground);plioto ofBaba in Kamli Coat: Plexiglas case containing Kamli Coat: Baba.i chair fiVm Gurupmsad in ivhich Baba did special seclusion work.
These included relocating the painting to curtail the environmental factors which may have hastened its deterioration, as well as taking a thorough photographic survey of the entire painting including the damaged areas. The Plexiglas case which houses the pre cious Kamli Coat in the Meherabad museurn needs to be replaced. A custom-built case has been crafted by one of the top American professionals in the field and is expected to be in place in the museum in the near future. Baba’s Guruprasad Chair located in the museum, has a new inner cover, which will
provide increased protection from dust, insects, and other harmful environmental el ements. Some photographic negatives from Mehera’s collection have been placed in archival enclosures and the work of cataloguing them in MasterLink has begun. Many old photos that are hanging in Baba’s Cabin and other buildings at Meherabad have been archivally rematted. As an important part ofthe ongoing history-taking projects at Meherabad and Meherazad, many hours of recorded recol lections of the Mandali are being tran scribed.
Photo by Anne Pinkas, 1999
Giora Pinkas examining Baba Kr/shiia Robe and Crown.
out ofprint. Irwin has shipped us notjust tapes but also a CD of the soundtrack. Narrated in the mellifluous tones of Henry Kashouty, it is a journey with Meher Baba consisting of the gems of His statements as He reveals who He is, His mission, His divine suffering and what He came to reveal to the world. The music, narration and singing are woven together to make this tape an 80 minute meditation on God.Tapes $10 and CDs $12.50 Another revival is a tape from Raine Eastman Gannett. Raine, a dear friend and
compatriot from Down Under was oh so lucky to have Francis Brabazon as her mentor (he also introduced me to Baba in ‘52) so she sings the ghazals he wrote with the fervor the —
songwriter intended. Before she moved to
if to bring in the new Millennium to the Baba beat our musicians have been hard at work, as have the writers, releasing many new expressions of their love. The latest to arrive on my doorstep is a CD by Judith
America in 1979, her Aussie friends asked her to make a recording of the songs she had been given by Francis over the 10 years they were
with him. In 1977 Mehera asked her to record a tape,
Shotwell titled No SErings Attached Those who have heard Judith beautiful harp playing will see the humor in the title.
Ward Parks has a new CD aptly titled Beautiful If it doesn’t take you right back to the Samadhi for arti, nothing will! Of the 12 songs, 5 feature Ted Judson on lead vocals. Cathy Riley, John Connor and his harmonium, Perry Flinn, Debbie Nordeen and
so withJack Small handling the technical end, they recorded 10 songs in the Water Tower at Upper Meherabad. She recently gathered the master tapes from both recording sessions, had
them digitally remastered and lo, we have a fresh new tape called RaihyDay Long before ‘unplugged’ became popular, Raine was sing-
Winnie Barrett are also singing. To recapture
ing that way and still does. Her pure clear so-
the songful sounds of Meherabad and Meherazad, this is the one that will do it for
prano with such an amazing range she can surprise you with the very low notes and her acoustic guitar such a beautiful combina tion. Especially if you are a fan of Francis Brabazon magnificent ghazals, this tape is for
you. $10 Raine has also told me to lower the price
There are 13 cuts on the CD, 4 of them by Francis Brabazon, including the Australian arti.Judith includes both the Gujerati and the American arti, along with the ever-popular Ocean of Love by Bob Holdt. The CD has vocal music from Celtic, Sephardic, and other traditional, med ieval, and contemporary sources. This is a beautifully contemplative album, tranquil and soothing. $15 Not soothing, but definitely fun are the 2 tapes released by Jerry Edwards titled Black Knightand Ancient OneBlues. So many times at the Pilgrim Center I’ve heard someone say to a friend “Hey did you hear that black guy with the guitar singing those great Baba Blues up at the Samadhi this morning?!” Well, now you can hear Jerry in your own home or car playing and singing all the favorites. $ 10 each
on a double tape set she recorded at the Samadhi a couple of years ago. The equipment that was used to record her was of the highest quality, so the birds chirping and the occasional bark from Mansari’s dogs can be heard in the background. Hearing those soundsjust takes you right back there! It was taped over a 3 month period, so on these tapes Raine covers almost every Baba song ever written, and also standard love songs that al though written by Irving Berlin or some such, purportedly to a woman, they fit oh so wonderfully as a love song to our Beloved. The new price of this double tape, Raine at the Samadhi, that gives you 2 hours of beautiful music, is now only $15.
GodSpeakson tape! For all ofyou who Over the years I have been asked if the soundtrack to the movie Meher Baba A vatar oftheAge is available on tape. When the movie, produced by Irwin Luck, came out the soundtrack was released, but has since been
have been intimidated by reading this mightiest of books — no matter what Baba told us to do there is now help at hand. The late Dr. Barucha, who spent many years with Baba, spoke English with a very —
clear accent. He, bless his heart, took the time to go through GodSpeaks, chapter by chapter, explaining it all. He also adds stories of things that Baba had said or done in relation to the chapter beh-ig discussed. The 3 tape set sells for only $18. Our runaway best selling CD over the holiday period was Jim Meyer production of Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality This 70 minute CD fabulous music and singing contains the entire book, long out of print, of poems that Malcolm Schloss wrote at Baba’s express wish. Baba gave Malcolm the material and then told him to put it into poetry. [/êiy powerful words! And Jim more than does justice to them with the singing and music. It was arranged, engineered and produced by the Grammy winning Bill Symzyck. The most professional production we have ever been privileged to sell. $18 When Don Stevens was here last Novem ber to give us the wonderful and enlightening God Speaks seminar, he was also signing his .
work! Call it a bias to a good British accent if you will, because Michael has that in spades, but what he says is so hilariously funny, or poignantly heartbreaking, or so spot on applicable to your own personal foibles, you will swear he has been reading your mail! The poem here will give you some idea of how he writes. We also published an article by him in our last issue Ebb and Flow. His latest book NowheretoNowHereis $10 And you thought all the best stuffwas re leased in time for the holidays! Happy shopping! Love, Dma
in the year and the final one in the series, 19/ 20 is also being worked on for release in 2001. All volumes are $80 each. We also carry the earlier editions. Three other books just released are all re viewed herein, a story book, a picture book and a poetry book. The story book is Bill LePage’s Over the Years stories he has garnered from Eruch and others of the Mandali since he started going to India in the ‘60s. $12
My Un Worthy Head by Michael DaCosta If I were to say how unworthy I am to receive your grace, no doubt they would mutter below their breath about how false my modesty is.
But only You Beloved One know how truly unworthy I am. Why else would you pour your compassion on my unworthy head?
new biography Meher Baba A wakener of the Age, reviewed in this issue. We have it for $15 paperback, 314 pages. This same book has already been translated into Spanish and is currently selling across
Spain. It is titled Enseflanzas de Meher Baba. It has 320 pages and sells for the same price $15. We carry it in the Love Street Bookstore, but we would like your help with this book. KaIros, the Spanish publishers, will publish the -
Coverpainting ofA/leher Baba for Over the .
by Diana LePage
The UniversalFrayeris a picture book by Will David, some of the paintings are shown below, all of course are in full color. $18.50
Spanish translation of GodSpeaks (‘DiosHabla), only when 600 copies of the biography have been sold in bookstores around the world. They feel this is necessary to acquaint the Spanish-speaking public sufficiently concerning the life and activities of Meher Baba before springing such a title as GodSpeaks on Catholic countries! Here is where you can help: We have a list of all the bookstores in America that carry Spanish language books. It would be a wonderful help ifyou could approach the stores in your city or neighborhood and ask them to carry this book. If you could do this, contact me and I will give you the names and addresses and also some advertising on the book to show the buyer. You would then give them the name and address ofthe place from which they could purchase the books. Hermes ofManifestation, the publisher of the mighty Lord Meher biographies, tells me that Volumes 1 5 and 16 will be available this month. This book (two volumes under one binding) covers the years between 1956 and 1960. Coming in at 640 pages, it contains about 140 photographs ofthat time period. Volumes 17/ 18 covering 1960-1964 will be ready later on
And if I were to say I love you beloved, how they would laugh, knowing full well how impossible it is to love a one such as you. But still I sing my songs of love. If I sing loud and long enough perhaps you’ll hear, take pity and sprinkle a pinch of love dust on my unworthy head... if only just to shut me up!
fI:’ % ‘
The Poetry book is by a favorite of mine Michael DaCosta. Ever since hearing his audio tape A GarlandofEgos, I have loved his -
MeberBaba, TheA wakener oftheAgd! by Don Stevens Review by Ralph Lewis, England
his is an incredible book, very, very rich and complex, full of deep insights and drawing on Don Steven years ofcontact with Meher Baba, both physically and after Baba was no longer present in His Body. It can be no wonder that this is so, after all Baba said about Don: “He is my boy. We have been together since the dawn of time” There are sen tences from Baba that Don quotes and his own comments that will leave you in contempla tion for years to come. The book is a magnifi cent contribution to writings about Baba and is full of absolutely vital points for our own journeys with the Avatar. It is also a wonderful combination of the personal Don’s re telling of the impact Baba made on him and the impersonal with focus on Baba role as the Avatar and especially the function of sanskaras as a “form of conduct”. The book is in two parts. The first is an account of Baba’s life, interspersed with Don’s reactions. However, within this is an enormous amount of commentary on Baba working. The second part focuses more on specific topics such as the Whim and especially Sanskaras. ki essence, Don sees Baba life divided into two key periods. The first, after a normal childhood until the veil was lifted from Him by the Perfect Masters, was Himself appearing to operate as a perfect Master with the mandali at Manzil-e-Meem. There Baba appeared to use sometimes very harsh treatment com parable to a surgeon operating to save the patient. Don discusses Baba’s constant promises to break His Silence, then appearing not to, and also the continual changing of plans. Along the way there are some wonderful de scriptions ofMehera and Mani and oflife with Baba. There is also a very moving description of the car accident in America enroute from Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach, spared yet again by Baba from the latest hurricane, was used by Baba for the longest period of any property outside India, and Don emphasises the peace and love to be found there. The ‘continental divide’ in Baba’s life is, for Don, the New Life. The discussion of the “Song of the New Life” and its implications for our everyday conduct is itself breathtaking in its depth. Don’s view is that Baba was setting up new forms of contact, of ways of de velopment and moving us to the ‘elder brother and elder sister’ spiritual relationship. Certainly this is a most profound period and one that the implications for us may not have fully been
brought into being. Don continually clarifies or re-emphasises aspects of Bab&s working. For example, he restates Baba statement that the mind and mental processes would not be wiped out but placed in a secondary position behind intuition. This is critical to our own development. As I understand Dors writing, Baba is still working with us in a personal ca pacity but as the Avatar, not as a Perfect Master and this change in operation oc curred during the New Life. Baba helps us to
God. This chapter looks at the mental energy stored in sanskaras and the methods that Baba has laid out for dispersion of sanskaras. As we let go of our desires we are not left with a nega tive reaction but an objective interest in those areas where we are no longer conditioned by habits. Baba pronouncement that God’s consciousness is infinitely individualised is a criti it follows that every cally important idea Path is completely unique. Don also warns us not to confuse the personal ego with the qual ity of individuality that we all have. There follows a chapter on “Love, Surren der and Meditation” Some of Baba’s incom parable sayings on love and its importance are quoted here and they are uplifting in their magnificence. Meditation is the secondary route once the path of love closes but we do not know when that will be. It is not neces sarily after 100 years wejust do not know. Don repeats Baba’s insistence that we all need to find a time to reflect inwardly, in stillness, and listen for the quiet inner voice; it is our responsibility to make time for this. We have to deliberately regard daily life as charged with spiritual meaning. The chapter on the Occult is a well-timed one, looking at Baba’s views on miracles. (He repeatedly insisted that He did not perform them, and that they stood in the way of spiritual progress.) Astrology is briefly examined not dismissed but seen as needing to be left behind when you surrender to a master. There is also a grave warning about the dangers of hypnosis to induce past-life regression, a practice that has become fash ionable. The chapter on the Individual brings some reassurance that our individuality will not be blotted out, that we are loved by God and that the drop-soul has a unique and irreplaceable individual function. The “flavour” of the drop soul will remain forever as part of an individualised infinite reality. And the Master is the one who guides us through to this Reality as discussed in the next chapter. The final chapter looks at who Baba is. And the answer? The Avatar of the Age. To repeat this is magnificent work and it adds immeasurably to our understanding of the spiritual path as laid down by Baba. In this review it is impossible to dojustice to even a small portion of the insights and discussions contained within it. If any of the above is not quite right, then it is simply because I need to reread and reread Don’s book to get to grips with its subject-matter. Do read this book it is written both from the heart and from the mind and is superb. Thank you, Don. Meher Baba The Awakener of the Age, published by Companion Books 1999. Paperback, 314 pages, $15. —
eliminate our sanskaras by bringing them up into daily life. Don sees himself as a guineapig for this and does not see evidence for the harsh treatment that Baba applied to the Mandali during His Perfect Master phase being applied during the Avataric phase. Don also feels that Baba’s Act of Manifestation occurred in the mid-sixties and that we are seeing the evidence for this in the increased search for Truth. There is much, much more that Don writes about. His view that Baba knows us all totally and fully accepts us, Baba’s last days in His physical body full of pain, a typical day with Baba, and His Universal Work. And this is just Part One. It is all written with Don’s typical lightness of touch and flashes of humour meaningful but not dry. Part Two leads us on to a more fully developed analysis of key components of Baba’s guidance on the workings of the Universe. Don starts with the Whim which of course is where we all started and describes the sense ofwave motion that the Whim entails. There is a description of the evolution of consciousness and the spheres and planes. The next chapter looks at Sanskaras and their role as “knots of psychic energy” that need to try to express themselves in action. Sanskaras stand between us and Reality (God) and all needs that arise from them must disappear before we realise our essential oneness with —
Nowhere to NowHere by Michael DaCosta Review by Sarah McNeill, England
reat title. Great cover showing Baba’s face seen through a mist of swirling bubbles. Great picture on the inside cover of Baba blowing bubbles. And the best is yet to come! From the first page to the last, this book is a great read. I sat and went through it from cover to cover one rainy afternoon and enjoyed! Nowhere to Now Here opens with a ‘clas sic’ children’s story, which is followed by a serious piece on The UniversaiJourney The two items play an introductory role, both setting the book in the context of its author’s unique, child-playful way of thinking and at the same time fixing the book’s focus firmly on the impact of the words of Meher Baba. What follows is a section of prose, a sec tion of poetry, something called Performance Pieces, the by now well-known and muchloved GariandofEgos, and, down at the bot tom of the Contents list, an A to Z The book’s Foreword is written by Aude Gotto ( herself the author of a recent book of ghazals) and it also includes a section on Meher Baba, a glossary of names, places and Indian terms, and a briefbio-note about the author, Michael DaCosta. The prose pieces offer a sequence of es says and reflections on the kind of day-today events (“I stood on the hard shoulder of the Ml 1 in the dark, watching my car, full ofvaluable possessions, go up in flames”) that have triggered meaningful insights for the person involved (i.e.Michael!); so this section is autobiographical in a way that de scribes happenings as they impact on all 1evels of perception. The poems of the next section of Nowhere to Now Here, written over the past thirty years, form the major part of the book and represent an impressive canon of work, which includes the lyrics of some of the well known songs we have heard Michael Da Costa sing on so many occasions of sahavas and celebration on three continents. “He’s the winking eye in the pyramid on a green one-dollar bill, He’s the moment of deep silence when the evening stands still, He’s the groove on the centre of a little white pill, He’s the gust of warm laughter at the top of a hill.” The Performance Pieces present a selec five tion of hitherto unpublished work scripted vocalisations for live performance, ,
two ofwhich were included in the first Brit ish Baba albums produced by Pete Townshend in the early 1970s. It was here that I discovered one of my favourites, The Kiss and the Stone. Herancientboclysettiesitseifinits wrinkles on thegroundroundabout where theneem tree rises; age-dimmeci still-gleaming eyes focus on passers-by and those who come to seek her blessing; indifferent to the sun and the leafy shadows on her face or the water when it dr4s and swirls around her skirts in rivulets, she waits; patience comes easy to those who know theyha ye nothing to lose, at the appointed nioment He will come, she knows.” The GarlandofEgos (Ego I Ego VII) is also, in a sense, a performance piece, but it readsjust as well silently, in the way one enjoys reading a book of poetry. And the guf faws are there just the same, sometimes as chortles of recognition, sometimes as sharp intakes of breath at the bullseye honesty of this self-analysis. “And you must have noticed how I’ve begun work on developing the divine quali ties which you say are essential for spiritual growth; for instance, I’ve been polishing up my patience and persistence; and then there is moral courage, forbearance, cheerfulness, enthusiasm and equipoise I like that word, so I’m especially working on my equipoise so that one day I may have the peace of a frozen lake.” That is quoted from Ego V- My qualifYcations for God-realisation. Wicked! The last section, A toZ celebrates the A a sequence to Z of Baba’s alphabet board make you to alphabetically ofverses arranged you think! smile and to make x for Xenon: Xenon is a chemical element; a colourless, odourless gas. Just imagine out there somewhere there is an unsuspecting drop-soul just embarking on its mightyjourney from nowhere to nowhere which thinks it is xenon/We may smile.. but then who do we think we are? Right at the back ofNowhere to NowHere is a bit about the writer that tells us our au thor is ajazz clarinetist cum counsellor/psy chotherapist, a role Michael himself might well describe as an “absurd but necessary part in his drama of creation. The jazzman is there in the riffs and rhythms of the verse. Echoes of the counsellor/psychotherapist also come through in much of the writing, in the questioning, the dialogue and the re lentlessly honest self-examination. But it is always lightened and refreshed by the child -
within, the sense of fun, the consummate wordsmithery! Who else would rhyme seashorewith kneessore? or refer to a spiritual Jaundromat? How easy it is to go along with a poet who speaks of steppingstoneshewn out ofstumbllngblocks and who speaks in terms of “The muscles in my neck tell well how little yet I have learned to trust.” Michael Da Costa has given us all a treat in gathering together the assortment of work that makes up this book. It has been a task spread over several years which has involved a small and very industrious team of people in Norwich, England. Through it, Baba will surely extend His outreach to many who have not heard His name before. I leave the last word to the author. “So all I can do is to try my best to be true to the trust he has bestowed in me, to be a trustworthy custodian of that knowl edge, and to trust that he may at least give a chuckle now and then at my feeble efforts to entertain him.” Jai Baba! Nowhere toNowHere, published in the U.K 1999. Paperback, 175 pp, $10.
MeherBaba as Krishna byMei]era Makeig
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Over the Years wfth MtherBaba
The UniversalPrayer by Will David
by Bill LePage
Review by Pris Haffenden, Los Angeles
er The Years With Meher Baba is another delightful book written by Australian Bill LePage about his experiences with Meher Baba and His Mandali. This book is split into 7 major sec tions Sunrise, wherein he likens Baba to the sun “As in that moment when the Sun seems suddenly to go below the horizon, so in one moment He was still with us, still shining, still beckoning. touching our hearts with His ever-flowing love and His ever-joyful invitation to the dance and then He slipped away. ; Meher Baba’s Pres ence, _where he talks about the places where Baba’s Presence is most keenly felt .in certain places associated with His life on earth, the perfume is the strongest. ; The Jessawala Family, where he relates stories told to him by Eruch Jessawala about his family’s history, and their coming to Baba; Stories From The 1970s, a series of vignettes from notes taken while listening to sto ries told by the Mandali and others during visits to Meherabad and Meherazad in the 1970s; Some Letters From The ‘50s And 60’s, letters sent to him from Mani and Francis Brabazon in the 1950s & ‘60s; Meher Baba and Miracles, a few tales of unusual happenings with Baba’s close ones; Meher Baba’s Journeys, tales of the Blue Bus Tours, Mast Tours, and New Life Tray.
“ . .
long time Los Angeles resident Will David, now living in Myrtle Beach, has published a book of his illustrations to the Universal Prayer. He has shown these paintings 76 in all to friends all over the world. At the urging of many, and with help from Sheriar Press and other ‘angels’ it now comes to you as a 6” x 8” full color, glossy paper, book. Each page illustrates a phrase of 0 Parvardigar. Daniel Ladinsky, author/trans lator (The Gift, Penguin USA) had this to say about the book: “Some prayers are so profound and beautiful that God cannot re sist leaning his ear close, so close that the lashes on the soul’s eye burst into flame and your spirit finally claims every square inch of space upon your body, earth and sky field as sacred. If you have never known this ex perience and want it don’t forget this prayer at night, and remembering with ev ery step whoever your Beloved may be. And if the chance to know ecstasy and love through prayer wasn’t tempting enough, you have some wonderful art here, such playful, luminous, expansive paintings that as Hafiz says of true art, “lifts the corners of the mouth.” Alexandra Marks, correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor (and Baba lover) says: “The Universal Prayer, with it’s clarity and force, speaks for itself. Will David’s playful illustrations highlight God’s delight and humor” Don Stevens felt it was “Spontaneous. intuitive. effervescent...” You can see Will’s work at www.willdavid.com. The book is available from The Love Street Bookstore for $18.50. -
els with Baba; Prophet Mohammed, some of Bill’s favorite stories and quotes related to the Prophet Mohammed “He who knoweth himself knoweth God. ; and the final section, Life At Its Best, some of Bill’s favorite sections of the now Out-of-print book. I spent an extremely pleasant afternoon with this book. I really like the style of Bill’s writing, and I appreciate the fact that he took notes during those times, and shares these jewels with us
J oining Jerry in many of the numbers are other Baba musicians with whom he fre quently plays at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, in Meherabad and at Gath erings. Bobbie Bernstein, a versatile keyboard and vocalist professional in her own right, moves easily from happy stride piano to marimba calypso beats to the pounding tem 05 of the title song, “The Ancient One Blues” Paul Newman, who played har monica with Jerry during the summer of ‘98 at House of Blues, demonstrates his talent as a truejazz musician as his harmonicas talk, laugh, even wail through riffs or solos. Here he joins Jerry in the haunting “Someone to Love” and “Reincarnation Blues, a song written by Jamie Newell. Chris Barker, percussionist, often played with Jerry when Chris lived in Columbia, S.C. but now lives in Nacogdoches, Texas where he is profes sor of Geology. It seemed improbable that he could be recruited to help with this al bum, but one day he appeared unexpectedly at Meher Spiritual Center and was able to attend several recording sessions. His lively and sensitive use ofdrums, brushes, eggs, and other percussion highlight the rhythms Ambika Sharan, a classical musician who has played first seat with symphony orchestras and chamber groups in the United States and .
Jerry Edwards and The Ancient One Blues
Over the Years with Meher Baba, published by Meher Baba Foundation Australia. Paperback, 129 pp,$$ Copyright 1999 AMBPPCT.
no money and nothin’ to loose, ifyou can be happy, you’ve got the Baba Blues!” The first piece on the album, “Black Night”, (as well as the later song, “Mani’s Gone Blues”) is about someone feeling bad. The music actually cries, enabling him to work through feelings, until he gets to the “Sunny (Baba) Side OfThe Street”. The al bum is a selection of the traditional blues and love songs, all played for Meher Baba, “Avatar with a sense of humor.”
by Shirla Edwards, Myrtle Beach
the early 1980’s, at his first Gathering for Meher Baba, hearing a variety of musicians, Jerry Edwards wondered ifjazz and blues were appropriate at a Baba perfor mance. But because to himjazz always has a spiritual dimension, he risked writing and singing the “Baba Blues.” This song in a hu morous manner catches the spirit of The New Life: “A thousand miles from nowhere,
abroad, demonstrates her skill with a hauntingjazz flute interpretation in “I Only Have Eyes For You,” first played with Jerry one morning at the Samadhi.
The Making of Ways to A ttain the Supreme Reality by Jim Meyer NC
he great Sufi, Laura Delavigne, first in troduced me to the poetry of Malcolm Schloss shortly after I moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 1969 to work as a caretaker at the Meher Center. I was immediately drawn to the poetry’s profound simplicity, musicality and “right-ness. Around this same time, Bob Brown began putting some of these poems to music, and his manic enthusiasm, unbridled talent and unique de votion were instrumental in inspiring me to do the same. Our first collaboration was “First and Foremost”— the initial poem in Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality. Our friendship and professional musical associa tion (as “Brown & Meyer” bar room duo) lead to many musical interactions over the next 25 years for which I will always be grateful. When my family and I moved to North Carolina in 1996, I had given melody to a dozen or so of Malcolm’s poems, but it was only in 1997 that I began exploring, in depth, the possibility of putting all of Ways to Attam the Supreme Reality into a complete musical form. As soon as this idea took hold, melodies began coming together with Uncommon ease, a sure sign to me that Baba was turning keys and opening doors for its completion. After all, it was Baba who cornmissioned Malcolm to publish his masterpiece, and it was Baba who compared Malcolm’s collection of poems to Hafiz. To me, Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality is one of the most important books of 20th century poetry. Within a year, all 36 poems were resolved musically, and I started to look around for a studio to record them. Here’s where the story becomes interesting. My wife Emily and I had opened a health food store, “Wildflowers, in the small town of Spruce Pine, NC. (pop. 2,200). One of our customers was Bill Szyrnczyk, producer of such legendary performers as Santana, The Who, B.B. King, J. Geils Band and The Eagles just to name drop a few. He and his family lived about ten miles away in the mountain village ofLittle Switzerland. After “
our families become friends, I asked Bill if he could recommend a local recording studio that would be suitable for an “extremely esoteric, non-commercial project of 33 songs” that I’d been working on for 25 years. He replied nonchalantly, “Why don’t we do it in my home studio ? It’ll be fun!” And it was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in a recording studio. Bill is the consummate professional, an absolute master of his art, and a stone rock n’ roller to boot! He enjoyed stretching my musical sensibilities and preconceptions. I remember the first time he played back to me a rough mix of the recitation, “The Real Self,” on which I play overdubbed acoustic dulcimers to a drum program. Bill warned me Don’t get too excited by what I’ve done. Baba made me do it!” By running the recordings through a series of his hocus-pocus” machines, Bill created a remarkable unique sound that, at my first listening, scared me half to death, but is now one of my all-time favorites. On several occasions for other songs, Bill told me “Baba made me do it!” and even though he said it with a bemused smile, I’m certain both he and I believed it. He and Baba worked well together. On another occasion, we were recording songs with a local musician who, besides being a friend of mine, was also a very conservative Baptist minister. (How Baba got the Reverend Matthew Stephens to be a part ofthis recording is a separate story in itself!]) Bill enjoyed Matthew’s bass playing and at the end of the session said, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had with a Baptist minister!” Bill worked tirelessly and selflessly to give the project the kind of professionalism that I could only dream about. After he had mixed all 33 songs, he personally carried it to a mastering lab and spent another ten hours nursing it through its final stages. In all, the project took one year to complete. A week after the CD was being printed and pressed, I felt compelled to give Bill a framed picture of Baba that Baba had also touched. Bill appreciated the gesture, saying he would put it in his studio. Then he said, “You know, I had a picture of Baba in my car for ten years. Pete Townshend gave it to me saying it was better than a St. Christopher’s medal!” Imagine... There is no doubt in my mind that Baba’s nazar was on this project from start to finish and it was a blessing to be a part of it and I’m certain it will be a blessing for all who hear it. And now, on to Hafiz! “
Heavenly Pleasures Meher Baba
‘Baba andMel]era in Hea yen “by Wodin,
the heaven state the fulfillment of de sires is not, as in the gross sphere, de pendent upon having the object of desire. Fulfillment of desire comes merely through thinking of the object desired. For example, if a person wishes to hear exquis ite music, he experiences this pleasure merely by thinking about it. The imagi native idea of exquisite music becomes, in this state, a substitute for the physical sound vibrations in the gross sphere. The pleasure he derives from the thought of exquisite music is much greater than the pleasure he derived in his earthly career from the actual hearing of physical soundS. In the heaven state there are no obstacles between desires and their fulfillment; the pleasure of self-fulfillment through thought or feeling is always at hand. In fact, even in the earthly sphere of existence some individuals develop this capacity of making their pleasure indepen dent of possession of a gross object. Beethoven, for example, was completely deaf; and yet through the exercise of imagination alone, he was able to enjoy intensely his own compositions of music. In a sense, even on earth he might figura tively be said to have been in the heaven state. In the same way, a person who medi tates on the Beloved with love derives happiness merely through the thought of the Beloved, without requiring His physi cal presence. After death, in the heaven state, the enjoyment of such imaginative fulfillment is infinitely greater since consciousness is then unburdened of the outermost veil of the gross body. From Discourzes, by Meher Baba, Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT, Published by Sheriar Press.
An Interview With Diana LePage Dma Snow alent runs deep in the Morton family. Charlie was the artist Mehera chose to paint a portrait of Baba to fill the north window of the Samadhi, replacing the black and white photo that had been there for many years. He spent many years painting, repainting, touching up, and retouching it to achieve the perfection Mehera was looking for. Meanwhile his sister Diana was making a name for herself working with lucite, cre ating sculptures on commission for large corporations here in Los Angeles. Some of her works can still be seen in the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and the Marina City Club in Marina del Rey. From sculpting, she moved to drawing and sketching portraits in pencil and charcoal. And who better to use as a subject than the Beloved of the Morton siblings Meher Baba. From drawing, she progressed to oils. This was a radical step since Diana was born with a condition in the cones in her eyes that made it impossible for her to ever see in color! The world to Diana has always been in black and white. How then, you ask, can she paint Baba in such true col ors? I asked her this question and she told me she feelsthe colors. Something quite beyond my comprehension, I can only stand in awe looking at her magnificent works. Her painting, in glorious color, graced our cover (alas, only in black and white) for the July 1999 issue. Before painting the 5’x 7’canvas, she sketched eighteen separate por traits of Baba as He gestured different words.
Mthera byDiana La Page
These smaller portraits surrounded the large center close up of Baba in the famous Shhh gesture of finger to lips. Diana had the prelimi nary pencil sketches re produced in a 12 x 16 format and they are available for only $20 each or $ 100 for a set of 6. When speaking to Diana LeFage with one ofiier cliarcoalprtraits ofMelier Baba. us about her work she says: “Although I have been painting Baba I saw a print that looked like a small oil in oils for years, it has always bothered me painting ofthe original. I made inquiries and that I hadn’t had professional instruction. found that a woman living in Brisbane, And living in Woombye, Aust. not New York Catherine Palmer, had developed a or Paris, made me think that help was out of technique that enabled reproductions to be the question. But I felt Baba knew how much made on artist’s canvas at a very reasonable I was trying. price. The finished product is fade-resistant, In June 1998 I had an ‘open studio’ just scratch-proof, water-resistant, will last the before the celebrations for the Anniversary life of the canvas, and finally looks like an of Baba’s visit to Avatar’s Abode. One of the oil painting!” first to arrive was Wesley Pemberthy, a We are very happy to be carrying her sprightly octogenarian who walked in, paintings. We found not only is she an ex looked around at my artwork and said, “I tremely talented artist but is also one very know exactly what you need to know”! I inventive lady! She told us: “Recently I didn’t know him and I was both amazed and learned that the 30 finalist paintings in an skeptical at first, but sure enough, he was a Australian $100,000 portrait competition professional restorer of fine paintings for galthe Doug Moran Portrait Prize would be leries and private collectors as well as an art touring all Australian capital cities during teacher. He subsequently spent hours in my the year 2000. The idea of Beloved Baba studio showing me the techniques of the being seen all over Australia really excited Flemish and Venetian Masters and he conme. But one of the requirements is that the tinues to be a source of great information painting has to be of a living Australian. So and encouragement. Thank you Baba!” what I am doing is: a portrait of myself workFor sale in the Love Street Bookstore are ing on a Baba painting in my studio with paintings of Diana’s that look like originals, Baba seated beside me gesturing about the but when one sees the caliber of the work painting. I feel so happy working on this that and then sees the $55 or $90 price tag, one it does not matter to me if it is one of the wonders how they could possibly be origi finalists or not! I’ll enjoy seeing it in my stu nals. Diana tells us: “I’ve always been aware dio every morning.” that original artwork is too expensive for We feel sure Baba is enjoying her sense most people. Even though I am willing to of humour and somewhat devious plan. accept any terms, just so that a painting can Whether He wants His portrait to be seen be enjoyed in someone’s home, it can still be by thousands all over Australia remains to too expensive. I had some nice prints made be seen. of pencil drawings, but I never knew what to do about reproducing paintings. Colour prints werejust too costly for me. Then one day at the Queensland Art Gallery -
Children’s Corner cD
Spill the Soda
by Gavin Kendall Davenport, age 9
Do you think all that carbonation would be worth the same as being with God?
The feeling of all those bubbles bursting upon the tongue is at the bottom of the rank. God is at the top!
Why would you like to drink that soda, when you could be dancing with the Beloved?
So spill the soda!
Those bubbles need to be popped! So spill the soda!
Who cares if it floods? Even an ocean ofyour favorite soda would not be worth the shortest time in the universe with God! So, spill the soda!
Who cares if it’s a liter? Even one liter of your favorite soda would not be worth one negative googleplex of a second of being with God! So spill the soda!
Story and drawing by Francesca Cole, age 6 n :4e
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Castles in Heaven T
here was a certain emperor in Persia and his kingdom was extensive. He ruledjustly, peace prevailed, and his subjects were very happy. One day, without warning, the emperor took to the streets of his capital, instead of sitting on his throne. For a time the courtiers and officials took it as a capricious whim, but days went by and the emperor continued to wander the streets. They began to suspect that there might be something wrong. They went to the emperor and requested him, “Sire, Will you not now return to your palace?” But he replied, Palace? Which palace? Here is my palace, here is the dome of my palace,” he said, pointing to the sky. They realized that something had gone wrong with the emperor’s mind, and they were unanimous in their decision that his younger brother and wife should now be king and queen. The emperor continued tO wander the city, begging , ,;, for food, indifferent to his condition. He was famil 4///,/ iarly known now as Bahiul, and soon people forgot that he had been the king nd he became the butt ofjokes an object of teasing by the children. Yet the wife of Bahlul’s brother, now the queen, always maintained a soft spot in her heart for Bahiul, and never even considered that he had gone mad. Rather she respected him as somebody who has been struck with love for God. The years passed. One day the queen was strolling along the seashore with her ladies, and she came upon Bahlul playing in the sand. He was sitting there, scraping the sand with his hands into a huge pile, and then brushing it aside and then scooping it back together again, chuckling all the while to himself. The queen was drawn to talk to him. “Bahlul, do you recognize me? Do you know who I am?” “Sure, I know who you are. You’re the empress of this kingdom.” “What are you doing, Bahlul?” “Oh, I am very busy. I am building castles in heaven for those who deserve them.” You are building castles here?”
by Eruch Jessawala
“Yes.” Do I deserve one, Bahiul?” Bahiul looked at her a moment. “Yes,” he replied. “Will you build a castle for me, then?” she asked. “Sure, but you will have to pay the price.” “What price?” He pointed to a necklace of precious gems she was wearing. Although it was an heirloom given to her by her husband, she “
“Yes, he asked for it, and then she re lated the whole episode. The king was furious, and a good verbal fight ensued between the two. He tried to impress upon her that she had no right to give the necklace away, for it did not really belong to her but to the kingdom, it was part of the royal treasure. She replied that one little necklace didn’t matter. And besides, what harm had been done? Bahlul, after all, was the real emperor, and he was entitled to the necklace if he wanted it. As you can imagine, one word led to another and eventually they became so angry with each other that they stopped speaking entirely Days passed and neither would ;‘_ , say aword to the other. Until one night, in the middle of the night, the king had a terrible nightmare. He tossed and turned on the bed, moaning and calling out loudly, obviously in great distress Even though she was still upset, the queen’s heart melted and she took 1 pity on her husband and woke him up He came to -‘ with a groan drenched in perspiration. “Oh, what a nightmare I had!” he ex claimed. He sat up in bed and recounted the dream. I still remember Baba’s gestures so clearly as He went into all these details. The way He would turn His face aside to show how the queen refused to talk to her husband. The way He acted out the part of the husband, having a nightmare and then waking up trembling. I can’t give you that vivid picture that Baba gave us of all this, but I am giving you the gist of the story, the food, as it were, without the spice, the seasoning. “I dreamt, the king said, “that I was dead and was led through the gates of heaven. For some time I wandered around, enjoying the sights, but gradually I began to grow tired and longed for a place to settle down. There were many castles all around, but each time I tried to enter one, the owner would stop me, saying, ‘This is mine. Everywhere, every time, it was the same story. I grew more and more tired. I
‘Baba and the Sandcastles “painting by Wodin
promptly took it off and gave it to Bahlul. He looked at it and then, laughing as he did so, he tore it apart and threw the gems, one by one, into the ocean. After throwing the last jewel into the sea he looked up at her and said, “Now go. It is all built in heaven for you. Go.” The empress and her maidens went happily off and enjoyed themselves on the seashore. It never occurred to the empress that she might have done something wrong. To her it wasjust a simple necklace of precious stones, that’s all. She forgot all about it. But after a few days the king noticed that his wife never wore the necklace anymore. “Don’t you like the necklace I gave you?” he asked her. Suddenly she remembered the incident. “Yes, I liked it, but I gave it away,” she confessed. “Gave it away! To whom did you give it?” “Bahiul.” “What! Bahlul, that madman!”
became despondent and finally even frightened. When would I ever find my own place? I came to yet another castle, but as I approached, a window opened on the first floor and I saw your face. I was so relieved that at last I had found my own castle. I rushed up to enter, but as I did you stopped me and said, ‘Here, no one can share a castle. Each to his or her own. And so I was left outside once more. The experience was ter rifying. Nowhere was there any place for me. And that’s when you woke me.” The queen comforted the king, helped him to calm down, but then reminded him. “Do you remember what happened last week?” She couldn’t resist giving him a little dig. “You were so furious with me that I had given the necklace to Bahlul when he offered to build me a castle in heaven in ex change, but now see!” But the king was too miserable for the queen to enjoy chiding him so, she relented and suggested, “Why don’t you ask Bahlul to build you a castle in heaven? He is your brother, surely he will do it for you if you ask.” The king readily assented, and Bahlul was brought to the palace. He was given a good scrubbing and then adorned with royal clothes and made to sit opposite the throne of the king. “Bahlul, do you recognize me and this lady here?” the king asked. “Yes,” BahIul replied, “you are my brother. You are also the king and the lady is your wife, the queen.” “Do you recall, Bahlul, that you said to her on the seashore that you were building castles in heaven for those who deserved them?” “Yes, that is what I do all the time.” Do I not deserve a castle in heaven? Would you not build one for me?” “Surely I can do that, but you will have to pay the price.” Bahiul answered. The king immediately took a string of pearls from around his neck and handed it to Bahiul. Bahlul merely looked at the king and said, “What else?” The king added another necklace but again Bahlul replied, “What else?” The king added more and more jewelry but BahIul remained unirn pressed and kept asking, “What else?” The king took of all his jewels, and even sent to the royal treasury for some particularly fine pieces, but Bahlul’s answer never varied, “What else?” Finally the king burst out, “Why is it that my wife gave you only one necklace and you built a castle for her, but with me you keep asking for more and more, saying, ‘What else?’ Why is it that my castle costs “
so much more than her castle?” Bahlul laughed, “Even ifyou were to offer me the whole ofyour kingdom, it would not be enough.” The king was dismayed. “Why? What have I done?” You know the worth of a castle in heaven, Bahlul replied. On the seashore your wifejust took my word that I was building castles in heaven. Whatever price I asked, she gave immediately. She did not bargain, nor did she give in a calculated manner. But here, now, with you, there is bargaining, because you know the worth of what you’re seeking. Even ifyou were to part with your whole kingdom it would not be enough. Part with the kingdom and with yourself, only then may you have your own castle in heaven.” Here Baba finished the story and com mented, “Do you all realize what this story means? When I first asked you to leave ev erything and stay with Me and obey My orders, you did so without knowing what you were doing. You were drawn to do so, and you willingly parted with all the things you had in the world in order to be by My side and to live with Me. But you did not know the worth of what you were doing. “But there will come a time when the world will know of Me, who I am. Then, even if the emperors of the world want to part with their kingdoms to be with Me, that price will be too little. The little price you paid to be by My side was enough for Me, because you did it not knowing what you were doing, but trustingly relied on My word without giving a second thought to what you would gain by doing so.” That is why we sometimes tell all of you who come how lucky you are to come now when it is only love which brings you. The day will come when the whole world will recognize Baba. When people will be flocking here. When so many will come to Baba, but why will they come? They will come in a spirit of bargaining, to get something out of it. Even those who are sincere will have a hard time keeping such motives out of their mind, for at that time it will be to one’s advantage to come to Baba, it will be good for one’s business, for one’s reputation to have it be known that one follows Baba. So it is good now to be able to come to Baba when the only incentive is love. From TJiatHowit Was, by Eruch Jessawala, Copyright 1995, AMBPPCT Ahmednagar, MS., India. Published by Sheriar Foundation. “
No More Roaming by Judith Garbett
ust before we left to go down to the Pu grim Centre for lunch, Mansari said, “If you are not tired I’ll tell you one more story.” Two thousand years ago a Jew spat on J esus, but instead ofbeing angryjesus said quietly, “Until I come again you will have no place to stay.” In 1947, Mansari continued, Baba was sitting on His gadi she couldn’t remem ber the month. He was looking very sad, and said “Now you will be no more roaming.” Four days later Kitty brought the newspaper and read out to Baba, and all of them there, that Israel had been given to the Jews. Thus God fulfilled His word. From Lives ofLove, The Women Mandali of A vatar Meher Baba, by Judith Garbett, Copyright 1998, AMBPPCT. --
Ego is Hydra-headed Meher Baba
he ego is hydra-headed and expresses itself in numberless ways. It lives upon any type of ignorance. Pride is the specific feeling through which egoism manifests. A person can be proud of the most unimportant and silly things. Instances are known, for example, of people developing their nails to an abnor mal length and preserving them, despite much inconvenience to themselves, for no other reason than to assert separateness from others. The ego must magnify its attainments in grotesque ways if it is to live in them. Direct assertion of the ego through self-display in society is very common; but if such direct assertion is prohibited by the rules of conduct, the ego has a tendency to seek the same result through the slan der of others. To portray others as evil is to glorify oneself by suggesting a compari son a comparison the ego would willingly develop, though it often restrains itself from doing so. From Discourses, by Meher Baba, Copyright 1987, AMBPPCT. --
Excerpts from the Palace Chat with Bhau Kalchuri August and September, 1999 /Although these two excerpts are from months ago, the last Centuiy in fact they cover subjects ofinterest to inanypeople, so we felt it valuable to publish.!
What is your advice on asking for advice from the Mandali? hau Mandali members are not God. They can on’y tell you what they have experi enced and what has happened to their lives. They don’t know everything. They can only say how they were leading their lives. And it is, I think, sufficient for you. So it is not advice, but it is how they were living their lives for the Beloved. No one has any right to give any advice. Of course we are not fit for that. It took many years to experience the fact that we are ignorant; but the ignorant ones, what they have passed through, may be the example for others. Q How do you let go of anger when you are feeling it? Bhazt We are not stone, so it is natural that one feels anger. If it is not expressed, it is a great thing. But if it is expressed, then Baba has given the prayer of repentance. Just do it and forget it and don’t worry. When you do the repentance prayer, then know well that the Beloved has forgiven you. Then there is no room for worry. But if you still worry, then worry! It means you don’t have belief in His forgiveness Q It seems to me like I’ve heard you say repression is not a good thing. and we shouldn’t worry. why is repressing anger, (if repression is not good) ok? Bhau Repression and suppression do not help. On the contrary when you suppress and repress any desire, for the time being those desires are not expressed. But then they become very strong, and then it becomes very difficult to control them; so what should be done? One has to remember the Beloved; and the remembrance is not repression or suppression. Go on remembering Him, and a time will come when those desires of anger will become weaker. But, all of the sudden, if you get angry and you say, “Oh Baba!” And the anger becomes more, you think that Baba is not helping you, but it is not so; His Help is there. Lust and anger, they are desires which are very, very strong; and it is not easy to control them. Only His Love can give you strength to wipe them out. Repression and suppression are not required. Elimination is required. And elimination of desires one can achieve through . .
His remembrance; through His Love. We were with Beloved Baba. We passed so many years alooffrom the world. So in the begthning when we came it is not that we had no desires and no thoughts but now I say that not even the thought of lust or desires is left. And of course we did not feel how this desire disappeared; it is His grace; it is His love. It is His compassion that it happened. We never asked Him to please make us free from anger, lust, greed, and selfishness. We never asked. Without asking He has done; and that is the natural way. Don’t worry. He is in everyone. He is the strength, so you have to remember the strength, so why remember the weaknesses? Ifyou remember the Strength, weaknesses will be gradually wiped out. And He is the Strength within everyone; that active strength. It is His work to make everyone pure, and He has to do that work; so why worry? Eat well and sleep well, and don’t worry about anything. Know well that you belong to Him, and He belongs to you. Q I am trying to love Baba. When I am with Baba lovers, Baba seems to be close. But, when I go out with other groups, I have a doubt that Baba may not be God. It is a struggle for me. Sometimes yes, sometimes not. Did you, Bhau, have these questions? Bhau: God alone exists and nothing exists besides God. And whatever appears existing, it exists in non-existence. Such questions would be asked of Baba, and I’ll give you an example: There was a person who would come to Baba when he would have his vacations. One day he came and Mandali members were there and Baba asked him “Shaum. do you know Me?” And he said “Yes Baba, I know You.” And Baba looked at the Mandali mem bers and said, “These people are with Me for the last 30 to 40 years and they don’t know Me. But how fortunate you are that you know Me. There is another example: There was a political leader. He was a member of parlia ment. His son was a minister in the cabinet. He was a very literary person; he wrote many books about God. But when his son died, he was weeping, and then he heard about Meher Baba so he came to Baba. And Baba says: “Why do you weep?” And he said “Baba, my son died whom I loved very much. I don’t know who You are but I have come to You because people told me that You give peace.” Baba said, “Is there anyone who knows Me? .
To know Me is to become Me; so why do you worry that you don’t know Me? Only five Perfect Masters...They know Me. Others they don’t know Me; so don’t worry. But your son he is with Me.” And the man said: “I see my son in You, but when will I get him back?” Baba replied: “You can see him in Me, so whatever I say you must listen; why do you ask when you will get him back? You must feel happy that he is with Me.” Mind creates doubts, and if mind does not create doubts then HE will create doubts! Don’t worry because He has to clean. Everyone has doubts. You are not a bad person; don’t worry about that. You will become strong and be free! If He is Reality... active Reality...what is His work?To clean. He says “I embrace the saints and the sinners. Sinners are My liability and saints are My assets; and My business is to convert the liabilities into assets. That business He does. So why do you worry? He is for all and even if you don’t want any help from Him still it is His duty to help you. Not that help which you want, but that help which makes one desireless... that is His help. Q Isn’t the cobra story about expressing anger? Bhait Yes, Baba has told this story. There was a village in India in ancient time and the village was surrounded by sugarcane fields, and there was a very narrow path leading from the village to the city. But there was a cobra who lived in these sugarcane fields. So when people would pass by, the cobra wouldjump out and bite and run away. So people became very very scared and they would go in a group with sticks in their hands. But the path was so narrow that only one man could go down at a time with their sticks. The cobra was so smart that it would come from this side and that and bite and bite. So many people died. One day the cobra realized what he had been doing and he was repenting. Fortunately, a perfect master passed down the path. The cobra approached the perfect master and it told him that, because of his bite, so many people had died. And he requested the perfect master to forgive him. And the perfect master said: “If you stop biting...then I will forgive you.” And the cobra said: “Yes master, I will not bite anyone.” And the master said, “I will wait for 15 days. I will see whether you have stopped biting. I will come back again after 15 days and if I find that you did not bite anyone, I will forgive you. So the cobra went away and hid. “
Days went by and as the villagers passed through they did not see the cobra anywhere. So they thought he must be sick and that was why he was not biting. “We must find him and punish him” they said. So they started searching for the cobra with a stone in each person hand, and after a while they found the cobra. And they said “Stand here and throw the stones at the cobra and then run, otherwise the cobra will bite us.” So they did and they ran away. And the cobra was very th much injured. On the 15 day the master came and he saw the cobra was in a bad way and he said to the cobra: “What happened to you?” And the cobra said: “Master you asked me not to bite anyone so people threw stones at me and I got injured.” And the master said: “You fool! I asked you not to bite but did I ask you not to hiss? Why did you not hiss? Had you done so, they would have not thrown a stone at you!” So this hissing is not anger. It is the show of anger; it is not the anger. It is the show of anger in order to make them scared. When you are hissing, you are just showing you are angry for protection. You are not angry, just showing it. Q Have you experienced total happiness? Bhatt Thais a very good question. I have not experienced total happiness because I have not experienced total suffering. If I experience total suffering and total pain, then I will enjoy Bliss, which is above happiness. In order to experience Bliss, one has to experience infi— nite pain. And that pain one experiences when there is longing for the union of God. Your heart longs to be united with God. Then, only that pain takes you to God and it gives you Bliss.
Septenber, 1 1999
Q Why do I feel so lonely, even with Baba pictures on the wall? Why is my desperation so strong? Bhari Dear one, you feel lonely because you forget that the Beloved is with you. And if you remember Him, you will never feel lonely. As soon as you feel lonely, you remem ber Him. Know well that without separation, union is not possible. So, ifyou feel separation from the Beloved, it is good for you. There is longing in your heart. So feel more and more separation! One day you will be united with the Beloved. What a gift you have received from the Beloved. What a gift you have re ceived from the Beloved that you are feeling separation. Q Can you tell a story about Baba in rela tion to Steve’s question?
Bhau There are so many stories about the separation. There was one lady from Dehra Dhun. She wanted to see Meher Baba. And she would write a letter every week and Baba would say, “Wait” and “Wait.” And it so happened, that there was sahavas program in 1958 at Meherabad. And she came. First day, Baba would meet every lover individually. And she of course approached Baba. And Baba imme diately asked her, “How did you come here?” She says that, “I came with my maternal uncle.” And Baba said, “Did you ask your husband?” and she said, “Baba, my husband is deadly against You. He does not want me to talk to any Baba lover or to read any Baba book. So I went to my maternal uncle and he brought me here. My husband does not know.” And Baba said, “I am not happy about this! Why did you come here without the permission of your husband? I am with you. So now go back.” And she started weeping, and Baba said to her: “I will allow you to stay here on one condition.” Baba asked her: “Have you got my pic tures at your home?” She said “Yes.” And Baba said, “Remove all the pictures.” Then again Baba asked, “Do you have any books about Me?” And she said, “Yes.” And Baba said, “Remove all the books. Don’t meet any Baba lovers. Don’t go to the Baba Centers. Don’t write to Me. And don’t come to Me. Ifyou do so, I will permit you to stay here for seven days.” And she said, “It is difficult for me, but I will do so.” Baba says, “Ifyou do so, I will be very close to you.” And she agreed, with a heavy heart. It happened in 1958. And she had no communication with Baba. She would not go Baba Center in Debra Dhun. She would not meet any Baba lover. She had removed all the pictures and books. And we did not hear from her any more. And any Baba lover also did not inform us about her, because she would not meet anyone. Then, in 1984, I went to Delhi. And because there was some time, I went to Debra Dhun to meet Baba lovers there. And when I went to the Center, she was standing at the gate of the Center. And I looked at her, and I said to her that Baba had given this order for your lifetime and why do you come here to the Center? And she laughed, and she said, “I know. But that was my mother! My mother does not come here, arid she is following Baba orders hundred percent. But do you know what has happened to my father? My father comes to the Center! He reads Baba books! And he has kept Baba pictures in his room! And he says to my mother, ‘Please, you go to the Center. You keep Baba picture in your room. You read Baba books. And you go to Meherabad every year.’
And my mother says, ‘Beloved Baba has given me the last instructions. I cannot disobey ful filling His promise. He’s coming closer and closer to me. So now you don’t disturb me!” So, this is the story about separation. When you feel separation, you are closer to union. So feel happy! Q I feel people very overwhelming at times and I wonder why? Bhau In the domain of illusion, sensitiv ity is there. And we feel sensitivity because we are dealing with our senses! But ifwe love the Beloved, or if we remember Him and keep Him in our heart, then of course, sensitivity will diminish gradually. It will not be like a miracle, immediately. It takes time because we have collected sensitivity for ages, and for that purpose, we must wait and wait in His re membrance. And one day you will be free. Q I was wondering if you had any interesting recollections ofBaba helping you write ghazals, or of Baba helping Francis Brabizon write ghazals? I know Baba gave you some lines to work from. Did He do the same with Francis? Bha,i Baba helped me as well as Francis Brabazon in writing ghazals. Francis did not know a word of Persian. Baba would ask Aloba to recite a couplet from Hafiz, arid Baba would translate it into English. And Francis would feel very, very happy. And he got longing to write ghazals in English. So every day it would happen: Baba would translate the couplets from Hafiz, and Francis would get more and more longing. Then Baba stopped translating the couplets. Aloba would recite, and Baba would say, “Sublime! Hafiz was really matchless. And He would not translate the couplet in English, and Francis would feel disappointed. But Baba started doing it every day. He would not translate and He would say: “There is no equal to Hafiz. His writing is sublime!” And Francis would boil inside, because he would not understand anything. One day when Baba asked Aloba to recite one couplet, and he did, and Baba says, “Oh, it is sublime!! No poet is there in the world like Hafiz.” And Francis would not look at Baba! He had lost all his energy! He also lost his longing, and he became very desperate. And Baba looked at him and He said to him, “Francis, ask anything today, and I will give it to you.” So he says to Baba, “If you want to give me something, I want only one thing from you.” And Baba says, “What is that?” And Francis said, “Don’t mention the name of Hafiz any more!” And Baba laughed. Afterwards, when Baba went for lunch, Francis went to his room and he wrote a very “
good ghazal. And when Baba returned in the afternoon, he says to Baba, “Baba, I wrote a very good ghazal.” And Baba says, “Read it out. And when Baba heard it He said, “Francis, read it three times, because I want to memorize it so that, after 700 years when I come back, I will quote you and not Hafiz!” And then Francis started writing ghazals in English. Baba taught me ghazals in a different way. He asked me to write ghazals, and I said to Him that, “Baba, ghazals can only be written in Urdu or Persian and not in Hindi.” And Baba said, “Try!” And I tried, and I wrote a hundred songs; I employed different meters, and Baba said, These are songs and not ghazals! But you have written a very good song! I will teach you, one day, how to write ghazals. So then we went to Guruprarad, Poona, and one night, when it was very, very hot and the doors and windows and ventila— tors were closed, Baba asked me to listen properly. He gave me one line of ghazal, and He was playing the drum on His thigh. And He asked me to repeat that line according to the rhythm He was making on his thigh, and I was repeating and repeating for half an hour. I was perspiring and Baba was perspiring and I said to Him, “Dear Baba stop it! I don’t un derstand anything!” And He asked me to continue. And I continued for halfan hour. Again! And I did not follow anything!! And again I said to Him, “Baba, I don’t understand anything! Please stop! You are perspiring.” Still Baba said, “Continue!” So then I continued for 15 minutes. And then I told Baba, “I cannot understand. Please now stop!” And Baba said to me, “You are useless! Go and sit there.” And Baba was lying in His bed and still He was playing the drum on His thigh. And I was thinking, “What type of nut I am. Baba took so much trouble for me and I could not follow anything.” And I felt as if the breeze was coming and immediately Baba got up, and he said: “Compose.” And within five minutes, I composed a ghazal. And then He would be after me to write ghazals, and I would write three or four every day. Sometimes He would give me lines, and I would compose the ghazals in this way. I started writing ghazals and still I don’t know how I write. Ifyou ask me how to write ghazals, I cannot explain. But I do write.” Q Are all the translations Baba made of the ghazals by Hafiz published? Bhart Baba’s translations (of Hafiz) were not published because Baba would quote Hafiz, sometimes, when he would converse with the people. And His conversations with the people were not taken down by anyone. In certain cases, when Baba would give a discourse, at that time someone would take “
down and quote Hafiz with translations; but it happened very rarely. Mostly, during His conversation with the people, He used to quote Hafiz or Kabir. Kabir was also a Perfect Master. In earlier period He would mostly quote Kabir because people would be able to understand. And in later periods, He would quote Hafiz and rarely Kabir. Q Do you have suggestions as to how best to receive newcomers? Bhau Only suggestion is: receive them with all love. We talk about oneness and it will remain only talk if we don’t receive newcomers with love. Our Beloved embraces the sinners and embraces the saints, because He is them. So we should not forget this fact. But try to do it with all heart, and not through intellect. Just to show oneness. We must feel that oneness.
Who is a Baba Lover? by Allan
is very difficult to define a Baba lover. There are no formal or external criteria for followers of Meher Baba, no ceremonial mitiation, no fee to be paid, nothing to sign, no membership cards to receive. No formal vows are taken to join the Baba family. No rituals, customs, or dress is required of a Baba lover. There are no mandatory readings, meditations, or meetings. There is no required formal preparation, nor are there “tests” for membership. Nothing in a persors past necessarily dis qualifies him or her from being regarded as a Baba lover. As for internal criteria, some might argue that only a handful of real Baba lovers love and obey him as he should be loved and obeyed. Others might contend that thousands ofsincere, selfless, God-loving individuals who never heard of Meher Baba are more truly Baba lovers than some self-proclaimed followers. Both statements are probably equally valid. But let us focus on those who consciously aspire to some relationship with Meher Baba. Perhaps the most that can be said is that such Baba lovers exist along a continuum based on the quality of their love, obedience, and cornrnitment to Meher Baba as their Master and Guide. Possibly the true mat-k of a Baba lover is the quality of his life, will and heart. Even so, these inner qualities do not confer external status, for Baba discouraged his lovers from judging and criticizing each other. Those who have tried to dedicate their lives to Meher Baba constitute a tremendous vanety in race, religious background, nationality, age, educational background, and personality type. Some would be called eccentric; others
would be seen as ordinary people. Baba never quashed variation in personal expression; rather, he stressed the increasing consciousness of unity. Undoubtedly, there are sincere devotees of Baba who would grate on the reade?s nerves, and others who provoke justifiable criticism. But all seekers have problems with their ego, Baba lovers being no exception, and Baba spe cializes in bringing weaknesses to the surface. Recalling his statement that one of his pni mary tasks is to “improve the vicious, we must also allow for the additional possibility that Baba might draw to him souls considered somewhat unsavory by other teachers. Although a new follower of Baba can generally expect Baba lovers to exhibit spiritual growth, absence ofsaintliness does not invalidate Baba method. As a Master, Baba was more concerned about his disciples’wonking to slay their personal ego than with building their public image. “
From The Masteiy OfConsciousness, Compiled and edited by Allan Y. Cohen, Copyright 1977 by Ira G. Deitnick, Published by Harper Colophon Books
An Absolute Scoundrel Eruch Jessawala
or long periods Meher Baba did not penmit anyone longing to meet Him to Meherazad where He lived. We always pleaded with Baba to allow His lovers this permission but the result would always be the same. They would be called only when Baba wanted them to come and I could never understand this. One day however, Baba permitted a cer tam man to visit Him. This person expressed excessive devotion to Baba and pretty much enacted a show in Baba presence. In my heart I could see through the entire act since I knew that the man was an absolute scoundrel, but I did not mention anything to Baba. The man came on several occasions after that and each time he effusively put on an act of love and devotion which to the onlookers smacked of play-acting. Finally when I could not take it any more and the visitor had left, I told Baba that the man was a thorough scoun drel and that he was merely putting on an act of love and devotion. Baba simply said, “Yes, I know he does. You are looking at only his shadow, but I see his substance. He may be a scoundrel but he has the potential to be a neal lover of God. “You see him as bad, but you don’t know how far he had to come to be only this bad.” From TheAncient On by EruchJessawala. Copyright 1985 Naoshenwan Anzar. Published by Beloved Books
Excerpts from a Talk Given by Kusum and Mokham Singh
happened something like this. Baba had invited people from various cities from India. Each area of India could come visit for two hours, for a total of two days. One was not to Transcribed by Gary Nedzweck, NY, edited by Clea McNeely, MN ask any questions, not to bring any gifts, just. bow and move on. When I heard about it I Kusum: Baba Was a Neighbor in her maidservant. So Kusum mother came said, “What is this invitation?Just go? I’m not Dehra Dun, 1953. with a maidservant who sat apart from them. going. Kusum wrote to Baba, “Please write a Baba said, “Why do you cry?” So she told the aba had taken up residence two houses personal invitation so I can get Mokham to whole story of how her daughter had died in B away from our house. God was our go. Baba sent a telegram. We live in a very childbirth. Baba said, “Don’t blame yourself. neighbor. Baba stayed in Dehra Dun for 5evlarge house, where once delivered, the mail is It was all Divine Will. I can bring your daugh eral years. This was the fiery-free life, after the opened and then distributed. The telegram ter back to life,” she said, “Yes? Can you really New Life. came and it was opened. It read, “Don’t worry. I was a teenager. Our family was gor If you can’t come this time I will give ing through a tragic period my older occasion for you to come some other I sister had died one month earlier. Mother time So I was released and not and the whole family was upset. A friend i-.,,, pleased. I wanted a private communica of mother’s named Prakash told her, “Go tion. and see Baba.” Mother said, “No, all So I came. Kusum had brought a people like that, they’re really after money. perfumed handkerchiefwith a flower in I don’t believe in God, or else why did it. Baba accepted it and expressed real He take my daughter?” And she wouldn’t pleasure at receiving it. Later, I said, “You go. There was a century tree nearby, and are disobeying your master’s own inmy father said to my mother, “Come see. structions.” I said, “Well, this is funny. Its blooming is very auspicious. Come The disciple disobeys the Guru and He’s and see. Mother said, “What do I care?” pleased?” We were staying at Pune Club But he finally convinced her to see it, and and were at breakfast. There came a each time they would arrive, Baba would knock at the door. I said,jokingly, “Baba Hariy Thomas on Tabia ivith Mokharn andKusum Singh be passing by and they would look at each is calling you.” At the door was Badas bring her back? But she’s ashes.” (The Hindu other. Eruch or Dr. Goher would be carrying who was near to Baba, but not a Mandali. He burial ritual is to burn the corpse.) Baba said, an umbrella to provide shade for Baba. Baba said, “Baba is calling you. Come at 11:00. Not “Don’t worry, even someone who has been walked so fast they were almost running. Fa a moment sooner, not a moment later. I said, dead for 200 years I can bring back. It is noth ther said, “He is so beautiful. Why is he run“Baba Lccalling you!” The reason Baba wanted ing to Me.” (One must remember that, in that ning? He could walk on air.’ According to their us there is that the train bringing the time, things like this were considered possible. sect ofHinduism, they believed any god could Hamirpoor group of Baba lovers met with an Today, young people are not able to believe fly or walk on air. accident. The front of the train was on one things like this.) She was 45 then. She beIn great-grandfather’s time they had an side of the track and the back end was on the lieved. Baba said, “You will see her in your estate. Later all the land was nationalized, but, other side, except for Baba lovers’ car. It was dream, and the next day she will come. Baba in that time, anyone passing through the es still right on track. All trains were stopped. knew she was sad, so Baba did not tell her tate would be given free lodging and food, The Baba lovers were poor, so Baba brought something like “life is illusion” when all she because Hardwar, which is a holy place, was them the rest of the way by bus, and gave a wanted was consolation. 20 miles away and pilgrams were always gospecial darshan. They were singing and danc Mother used to write to Baba, “When will ing that way. So father had seen sadhus and ing, saying, “Thank you for saving our lives.” my daughter be coming back?” Baba said, he said, “Baba is not like them.” We were sitting there quietly. on the 7th of September, 1953 Baba gave “Love me more and more. Even when Baba At that time, I was reading books by Ron was in seclusion, Baba called the family to the “Highest of the High” message in Dehra Hannigan, Chariots ofthe Gods and Was God Him. One could see a change in mother. She Dun. He gave the Master’s Prayer on August anAstraunaut?In them he tried to prove that started to sing songs. She ate better and looked 13, in Dehra Dun in 1953. (“The Prayer of there were pre-civilization extraterrestrial behappier. One day, when Baba was in GuruRepentance” also had been given there many ings visiting earth who we called gods. I said prasad sitting in His chair, and Kusum’s fam years before) Father was confused about to Kusum, “Ron Hannigan said god came ily was gathered there, He said to mother, “Are “Highest of the High” message and told my from another planet. Why don’t you ask Baba you happy?” Mother said, “Yes.” Baba said, “Do brother and me to explain each and every word which planet He came from?” And she re you love Me?” She said, “Yes.” And Baba said, to him. Father translated the Master’s Prayer plied, “Why don’t you ask Him?” Finally she “Do you want anything?” She said, “No, Baba.” into Hindi. While it is difficult to remember said, “Baba, my husband says You come from And finally, Baba said, “Not even your daugh in English, in Hindi it is in rhyme. The trans another planet. Will You please tell him which ter?” The answer was, “No, Baba. Later, when lation was published in Me/icr Fukar maga one you come from?” Baba said, “I don’t beback at their hotel, I asked my mother, “Why zine. It was also sent to Baba and Baba liked long to any planet. All planets belong to Me.” did you say that? Every year you’ve been writit. He said it was very beautifully translated. Now, I thought, even the kings of countries ing” Mother said, “I was just so happy. I don’t My father asked Baba, “Can my wife come don’t say “the country belongs to me.” They know.” to see you, Baba?” Baba said, “She can come say ‘1 am from such and such a country. I bealone. Father said, “She has never gone anyMokham: How I Came to Baba long to such and such a country.” At that where alone, Baba.” Baba said, “She may bring I was sort of hesitantly taken to Baba. It moment I sort of switched railway tracks. “
Announcements from Meherabode It must be something in the air.
to L.A. next year he wants to see her “walking like a soldier: left, right, left, right.” Baba willing, Marguer ite, still full of fire at 90, may very well be doingjust that come Bhau’s visit. Welcome home, Marguerite! We all wish you the best. Jai Baba!
Chris Marie’s Estate to Baba
hris Marie, who passed away in Baba on July 24th of 1999 had left her personal property to Meher Baba’s work. Her household furniture was sold to benefit the Mehernoush McPherson (nee Lorkalantari), Karin Levitas, Avatar Meher Baba Center of and Golnaz Manouchelir-Pour (nee Lorkalantar/) Southern California and to help re of the watermelons above have publish The Path ofLove edited by Filis turned into beautiful baby girls! Fredrick. Chris also left the following items Screenwriter Karin Levitas and her cornto the AMBPPCT: an electric scooter to be poser/singer/cello playing husband Bob Een used by mandali or pilgrims, as the need pre joyously announce the birth of Aria Whitney. sents itself, a computer, printer and scanner, She was born at 4.26 p.m. 1 1/22/99 weigha digital camera, and a boom box with CD ing 8lbs, 1 1 oz. and measuring 2 1 player. Chris had also hoped that the sale of her Golnaz and Manouchehr Manouchehr Pour tell us that Mehri was born at 7.59 am. house might bring a good donationto the 10/8/99 8lbs 5 oz. and measuring 20’. Trust, Meherana, and Meherabode in LA. Mehernoush is due later in January. Unfortunately, there arebarriers that have Minoo and Meherose Hamilton, daugh come to our attention which will prevent this ter of Baba’s twin nephew Sohrab Irani, wish others from being realized. We thank brought into the world a happy baby, Baba Chris Marie for her very generous wishes. girl, named Eva, on Dec. 4th. She weighed 7lb l3oz. A Change of Caretakers We welcome the three little newcomers endra and Jonathan Burroughs had to His world. been living atop Sulphur Mountain in Ojai very ably taking care of the legacy left Marguerite Poley Goes Home us by ‘Baba’s Watchdog’ Agnes Baron ast October, after more than a year in Meher Mount. hospitals and nursing homes, Marguer After a few years they heeded the call of ite Poley was able to return to the house she’s Myrtle Beach and relocated there. (Leaving lived in for so many years thanks in large possible earthquakes and heading into posi part to Adele Wolkin and Judy Mangold. tive hurricanes!) Adele arranged to have Judy provide live-in L.A. musician Billy Goodrum with wife care while Marguerite continues to recuper Pamela and baby girl Annabelle jumped at ate from the hip replacement surgery that the chance to live on the very beautiful proptook her away from home in the first place. erty that Baba declared was His second fa Judy (who is the mother of Flint and Gabe vorite place in America. They took up Mednick and had been living at Meher residence December 1st last century and have Mount) reports that Marguerite is making already had one work party! They encour progress in her physical therapy and may age visitors, call first to 805-640-0000 for soon walk again on her own. Bhau Kalchuri, directions and times. It is possible to overwho calls Marguerite the Commander of night there, but conditions are Spartan. It is Baba’s Army, told her that when he returns well worth the trip. Ojai itself is a beautiful
place and Meher Mount in all its natural glory sits high over everything. The Baba vibes there are powerful!
he lucky (Baba chosen) winner of the Fly to Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes drawn November 7th was Bam Wright of Richmond CA. Congratulations Bam! If you have never been on the Meher Spiritual Center it will be a special treat for you. It is so very beautiful. The Los Angeles Center sponsors a Fly to Myrtle Beach and Fly to India sweepstakes each year as a means of raising money to help with our operating expenses. We do appreciate so very much all you who contribute to our Center in this way.
Audio Tape Lending Library
° 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 lis ten to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings? Well, the audio Iibrary has many interesting and intellectu ally 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: AMBC Lending Audio Library, c/o Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173
What’s Happening at Meherabode President’s Report by Lois Jones 2111 those who Jove Me and want to share in My work can do so. “Avatar Meher Baba
Beloved Meher Baba! 1999 has been a very full year. In January we changed the Jai weekly meeting time to Sunday afternoon. We also completed the conversion of three buildings that now serve as the Teen Room, the Kitchen by the Garden and the Office, creat ing more space for everyone. Since we changed the meeting time, there has been a marked increase in activity at Meherabode. So many now enjoy quietude in the Dome, walking the grounds, or simply “hanging out” from the moment the gates open in the early afternoon until closing. We look forward to the day when we have enough volunteer docents to open the Center every day. We were fortunate this year to have these special guests visit and speak at Meherabode: Robert Dreyfus, Irwin Luck, Jeff Wolverton, K.K. Ramakrishnan Kusum and Mokham Singh, Jal and Dolly Dastur, and Bill and Peggy Stevens, among others. Don Stevens visited twice and recently conducted a twoday seminar on God Speaks. Having edited God Speaks and translated it into many languages, Don selected “Working with Baba’s Words” as the theme of the seminar which drew friends from as far away as Arizona and Northern California. Much to our delight, Bhau Kalchuri re turned as our special Sahavas guest. As happens when Bhau comes to town, there was a whirlwind of activity lively meetings and inspiring talks, TV interviews and Internet “chats!” Several newcomers attended Bhau’s public meeting at Meherabode. We have also had as our great fortune this year a very special Sahavas guest from Iran, Esfandiyar Vessali who, as a young boy, lived with Baba in His Prem Ashram. Esfandiyar is on an extended visit to Los Angeles which means there have been many Farsi language meetings enriched with his love and stories of being with Baba. Luckily for all, he has also given talks that were translated into English. We had the pleasure of Virginia Rudd long overdue return visit to the L.A. Sahavas this year. Her stories ofmeeting and being with Baba touched our hearts and tickled our funny bones! Now that her son, Raphael, lives in L.A., perhaps she will visit more often. Another first at the L.A. Sahavas was the Big Concert, which featured our very own Los Angeles recording artists: Deborah Ash, -
of being ready to build. Additionally, the Board ofDirectors will present the final Construction Budget to the Membership injanu ary for their approval. As of this date there is $65,000+ in the Building Fund, with some additional funds expected soon.
Transformation Committee members Michael Campagna, Bob Een, George Gerdes, Billy Goodrum, Chris and Pris Haffenden, Raphael Rudd, Harry Thomas, and Rob Thornburn. Now, on to the financial segment of this report: Just when you thought your pockets couldn’t bear another fund raiser, we have good news! Shortly after the L.A. membership voted to postpone further renovations until all of the money has been raised, two extremely generous, anonymous donors came forward. Thanks to their combined gifts totaling $63,000, the Center’s mortgage was reduced to $20,500 in November! One of the donors also gave approximately $13,000 towards the renovation. Thank you, Baba! While monetary contributions are greatly appreciated, we are very thankful to everyone who has contributed their energy, time and talents to Meherabode this year. Thank you to everyone inside and outside of Los Ange les for helping to create and maintain this wonderful place where Meher Baba’s message of Love and Truth can be shared by all who come here.
Nancy Merwan, Mahoo Ghorbani, Golnaz
Manouchehrpour, Mahmoud Ajang, Kent Hanson, Lois Jones, and Co-Chairs Linda Zavala and Michael Ramsden have worked very hard to attend to the many issues and
details which had to be dealt with in a timely manner. Construction issues, style and de sign issues and dealing with the City unex
pected additional requirements have been dealt with. Countless hours have been spent on the phone with Kent Hanson, who is the General
Contractor for this project, chasing down the many questions which have come up on the prop oseci
p !. .
Report from the Transformation Committee by Linda Zavala, LA
fter two years of detailed and consis tent work for the Center’s Renovation Project, the Transformation Committee has completed the Design Phase with the Archi tect, David Kaplan. Final blueprints have been completed and approved by the Building De partment and the Center is now at the point
l)uilding issues and running around to shops
to gather more information to present to the Committee. The Decorating Committee, led by Chairman Nancy Merwan, worked for the last nine months to finalize details of the De sign and have decided on a color theme which relates well to the rustic look the Member-
ship have chosen as a basic theme.
A Craftsman style has been chosen, to be compatible with the building period and to satisfy the City Historical Commission. Thankfully, new volunteers with a lot of construction and building experience have come forward this year to help us reduce the expected budget down to an even lower amount. The Cornmittee also has plans to try to obtain partial donations for materials from vendors. There arejust two more things to do before we have a beautiful, corn. pleted Baba Center: raise the balance ofthe funds needed, and complete the construction. It is only through your . . donations that we can accomplish all ?•• this. Thank you so much to all who NancyMerwan, DavidKaplan (architect), Linda Zavala, give of your time and money. and M[ichael Ransden discussing color schemes. -,,,, ,-,
Don Stevens at Meherabode by Dma Snow, Los Angeles
ast year Don presented us with a great offer. He said he would come over to the States arid give a seminar on God Speaks for the Meher Spiritual Center and for us here in Los Angeles. He would do this completely free of charge to Myrtle Beach or to us, and the fee requested of the attendees for the 2 day seminar would be donated to the renovation of Meherabode and the Meher Spiritual Center. Such a generous offer! Needless to say, we jumped at it! Don told us that he has been working on the translation of God Speaks into Spanish and French for the last two years. In the process he found new meanings to Baba’s words that he had missed the first (and even third) time around. “Perhaps it was greater maturity” he mused, that enabled him to catch and plumb new depths in this incredibly deep book. Whatever it was, Don surely had a lot to impart to us. I thinkjudging by the buzz that .was going round in the conversation groups at the close of the Sunday session, everybody was very excited about the information and new insights we had received. We all realized what a privilege it was to have the man who had had the great good fortune of working under Baba while editing this most impor tant of books, here in our home, sharing all that he had gleaned over the years with Baba. How wonderful it was to hear the personal stories, some told at his own expense, of time spent in the Beloved’s company. In the year 2000 there are sadly too few of such people left with us to tell these stories. With Don about to celebrate his 81st birthday, it is truly amazing to see the vigor with which he tackles his many projects. The life he leads, jetting around the world seeing to the publication of the new books, holding meetings in London, Paris and the States and now headed for South America, would normally tire a man half his age. Baba obviously chose the right man for the job! As Dick D uman reports in his review of the Seminar, Don has lost not one whit of his sharpness! The main thrust of Dons work right now is to see to the publication of the Spanish 32
signed very few of this book that He called the second most important behthd GodSpeaks. First published in 1959 Francis subtitles this book A Statement in Illusion on Reality. It is a book of prose written in six parts as a reflection and analysis on the human predica ment in relationship to human love and awareness, and divine love and divine wisdom, as personified in the Divine Beloved as Avatar. Francis shares his views on the many different aspects ofthe search that the spintual seeker finds himself inevitably drawn to. Francis re flects on his time spent with Meher Baba and the poetic revelations he gained through the love Baba gave him. Francis, not wanting to write in a book that Baba had signed, wrote on a piece of paper that he inserted in the book Don Signs his book for Ray Lee and HaroldJaineson. “with love, Francis”. This is the treasure that Don has given us to auction off to raise money for the with this. And we really do need your help. ongoing renovations necessary for Meherabode. At the close of the Sunday meeting, there We are flrstlettingpeople around theworld know was definitely the feeling of companionship that this prize is now available and ifyou are inamongst the attendees, companionship being terested you can contact me, or give us your bid, something Don had spoken about at some and then it will be placed in a live auction at our length. A cup of tea, a quick break, and then March Annual Fundraiser Dinner and Auction. Don was ready to give the regular 4-6 p.m. Because of the rarity of this book, Don would meeting we hold at Meherabode every Sunlike to see the bidding start at $5000. day. He spoke again on companionship. The Once again Don, we thank you for the man seems indefatigable! overwhelming love and caring you have Thanks to Don, almost $3000 was added shown us. to our Renovation Budget, we all learned a lot, and had a jolly good time into the bargain. We would love to have you back again Don anytime. Just let us know when, and we will roll out the red carpet! Another very caring and generous gesture on the part ofDon and the Board of the Majestic Foundation was to donate to our Center a copy of Stay W]th Godby Francis Brabazon. Notjust any copy, but a first edition that Baba signed in Don’s presence and gave to him! Baba
language version of the new biography he has just written Enseñanzas deMeherBaba. Read in the Bookstore report how you can help him -
The Unveiling of GodSpeaks
with Don Stevens
By Dick Duman, Denver, Colorado bought my first copy of God Speaks from Karl Harb at the Sufism Reoriented bookshop on Sutter Street in San Francisco, in July of 1966. I was 20 years old then. Murshida Duce showed us a closet with shelves full of copies which Baba had signed, and I bought only one, which I sincerely hope my ex-wife has held onto. The next day, July 10th, I met the book’s other original editor Don Stevens. So, within those two days I met the book and both of its editors. Even then, at what seems to me now such a very young age, I came quickly to the belief that the book had to have been written by someone who had genuine experience and mastery of the subjects with which the book deals. I was equally impressed by the achievements of those who could edit that book so successfully. My obser vations and evaluation were based on that. I was, as Don would phrase it, astonished and delighted and amazed. It really was a revelation. I knew even then, with deep and unassailable conviction, that this was for me. I was satisfied then and remain totally satisfied to this moment that I had found my path. That was what I got from my first reading of God Speaks. How much did I absorb and retain of its actual details? Precious little. The book went onto the shelf and I didn’t look at it again until Murshida Duce offered her series of God
SpeaksClasses in 1973. My studies directly with Don were fo cused on Baba’s Discourses, which he had also edited at Baba’s request, with Murshida Duce. Then Don departed for Europe. But I had developed a strong bias in favor of the Discourses, which has persisted over the decades. It was only when I learned that Don would offer seminars in the US on God Speaks in the fall of 1999 that I decided to re-read the book. Don gets better as he grows older. Anyone who was inclined to suspect that, at 80, he could be expected to have slipped a little, was thoroughly disabused of those notions by the seminar presen tations. And I’m very happy I got the
Among these new ideas, Don illus trated the great harmony which exists between Baba’s book from half a cen tury back and the cutting edge not only of Physics and Cosmology, as popu larly presented in Timothy Ferris’ book, The Whole Shebang, but also of Biology, as represented in Dr. Ernst Mayr’s new book, ThislsBiology. Don quoted Ernst Mayr directly regarding evolution and, most especially, the diversity of life. The diversity of subjects covered over two days cannot be done justice by a brief review. Topics ranged from the complete relevancy of Baba’s phrase Infinite individualized consciousness” to apparent irrelevancies like the spiritual stage and status of long dead saints and Sadgurus. It seemed at the conclusion that Don had laid out the whole deck of cards and, as he said, “Then I bring up the joker card and ofcourse thejoker is the Ava tar.” From beginningless beginning to endless end, Don sees Baba’s theme to be The Impossible Success Story”. And Don himself was in top form. Thern raised eyebrows, the good-natured jab, the great voice, the precise turn of. phrase, the glance aside to emphasize a point, all showed Don, in this ora tion, to be at the peak of his remarkable communicative powers, better than ever. The repartee with rapier was exquisite. I didn’t know allthatwas in there! But I’ve grown used to Don being way out ahead. I believe the people who attended imbibed something rare and sparkling, an incomparable effervescence. Those many who didn’t and many close associates were surprisingly absent from showing “
Don Stevensgiving the God Speaks Seminar at Meherabode. book back down off the shelf. Don has just seen the publication in English and Spanish of what I find to be near the very top of the list of his best” books, a highly individualized biography of Baba, titled 14 vatar Meher Baba, The A wakener of the Age in English, Enseñanzas de MeherBaba, in Spanish. This is being released prior to the publication ofDiosHabia God Speaks in Spanish. th, On November 6th and 7 Don held 8 hours of seminars in Los Angeles, following his earlier presenta tions in London and Myrtle Beach. Don stated flatly that he thinks this is the time when God Speaks will be unveiled. It was clear throughout Don’s discussions that there are nu merous ideas in the book which I hadn’t seen until Don pointed them out. Many occurred to him recently, in fact, while he was supervising the book’s translation into French and Spanish. -
Photo by (.;. del Muerto
Dick Durnan with Don Stevens.
will just have to support by showing up read the book themselves. I wish them the best of luck, in their attempts to recreate some of the insights Don handed out freely in those eight hours. But they will miss the voice ofJohn Carradine, the faces and mugging of Bert Lahr, the timing now ofVoltaire, now ofJack Benny, the wit of Will Rogers, and, I believe, some authority to go with them! The section on “Inner Links” would be hard to get from a book. Don devoted quite a lot of time to Baba’s last message using the alphabet board, given th 1954. Also to companionship on October 7 New Life) as an outward expression of in the ( the inner connections between Baba’s lovers those connections which “demand time, cabries, patience and honesty”, and which Baba said at that time, will enable the realization of Truth. And the details Don must be the devil, if the devil is in the details! As it says on page 243 of the God Speaks “Supplement”: The question of details is all the more important when a subject is beyond ordinary human experience. On the one hand, more details confuse one more, and fewer de tails explain things less. This gives rise to a variety of terms and expressions for use from different viewpoints and in different contexts. In the absence of underlying experience, de scriptions of the same one thing often sound contradictory. But in the light of relative ex periences or the final realization ofTruth, the very contradictions prove to he complemen tary expressions about the same one Truth. —
because you think, well why is Baba upset with me? Then you realize that Baba has some rea son for wanting to use you as the instrument on which to vent his mood. Then you try to be happy in reflecting that, in a way, you are helping Baba. You’ve got to take it without being upset, realizing that it’s not really you that he is angry with, but that he has to let it out. As I say, Baba has to let steam out on somebody, so you say to yourself, ‘All right, he lets it out on me. But sometimes ifyour mood wasn’t right you’d get upset. Don: You’d fight back. Rang Yes, and then afterwards realize, ‘No, I should think how free Baba felt with me that he could do that.’ Don: It’s not easy though. From Tales ofthe NewLife fr1/th MeherBaba, Narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, Edited by D. E. Stevens, Rick M. Chapman, James M. Hastings and Gary & Patty Freeman, Copyright 1976 AMBPPCT ‘
Baba’s Moods 1:/h thefoiowihg, takenlivmTales from the New Life, u/c are listening to a conversation between Don Stevens, EruchJessawala and Rano GayieyaboutBaba. moods.!
Don: But Baba himself had moods, too? Erucli Yes, Baba himself had moods, too. Doiz Often when I arrived you’d say, ‘Baba has been in a very poor mood for days and we’re so happy you came because he always brightens his mood for a visitor.’ Eruth That’s true. We don’t know the rea son for his moods, and when he got into a mood, oh, it was something, Don, unless and until there was something or somebody who came from outside. Don: To break it. Rano You feel you haven’t done anything really to upset him, but you get upset yourself 34
Answering Our Inner Needs by Don
is best to state briefly the nature of the dilemma which modern civilization faces and some of the reasons for the mass dissat isfaction with the values available to the individ- ual in his daily living. Generally, we live in a time when far more of the physical needs of far more people are satisfied than in the past. The age of rea son has used sound principles adapted to the analysis ofthe physical environment and has made astonishing progress in harnessing its processes. The tangible world we live in is logically understood to a great degree, and from that understanding we have fabricated a material civilization affording unprec edented comfort. This is a monumental and impressive product. True, there is much disagreement about how it should be shared, but it is indeed quite a melon to be cut up and passed around. As the size of the product of our rational processes has grown, an increasing realiza tion has also developed that even, and perhaps especially, those closest to the easy sharing in it are by no means necessarily satisfied with the rewards. There is even dis turbing evidence that often the result is contrary, that those with the greatest share
of the goods produced are among the most unhappy. This is indeed a perverse outcome, hardly to be expected after so many eons of man’s battle to regulate his environment to his needs. Nevertheless, the fact exists and it must be met. Much of the effort to analyze and suggest cures for this situation is based upon the unconscious assumption that the remedy depends on individual, honest, sincere, hardworking human beings starting from scratch and developing the solution. In many ways this is healthy, but there is much evi dence that it is not entirely, nor possibly even half of what is really required. It neglects entirely the mystics’ central observation that this is God’s Creation and He makes a continuing, direct contribution to it. If we believe even part of this tenet of mysticism, then we must make room for the possibility that God Himselfknows about this dilemma in modern life and that He too is involved in preparing the next stage of living which will answer, at least in part, our inner needs. The evidence that this is a correct de scription of the situation is fairly well estab lished over a considerable period of history. It is increasingly clear that at the time God came into Creation in the form of Jesus Christ, a major new potential in the capac ity and quality of human love was released. A similar fundamental leap in the area of family and tribal law is associated with the appearance of Mohammed. Understanding and application of the laws of reincarnation stems from the advent of Krishna. And so on for the other great comings of God in human form. In our time the concept, prin ciples and basic living forms of the New Life and the New Humanity have been laid out by Meher Baba. Each of these building blocks in the structure of human potential has been a major addition to the already-existing qual ities available to man in his laborious march to fulfill within creation the grand structure of God’s manifestation of His Divinity. Once placed in Creation, such a potential is never lost. There is indeed ebb and flow in rela tion to how efficiently they are used; but as is true of a great civilization, even after the temporal decline of that civilization there are always certain family trunks which continue to embody and preserve the heights of what had been achieved. From Listen, The New Humanity, by Don F. Stevens, Pages 3 4, Copyright 1985 by Don F. Stevens, Published by Companion Books -
Another Successful Turkey Swing!
he night of Saturday, November 20, found the Center swinging (not trotting!) to raise money for the Thanksgiving baskets our community annually donates to the poor. An enthusiastic crowd was kept hopping for hours with an eclectic mix of music from the ‘4Os to the 90’s. DJ Danny Maguire saw to that, while Mitchell Rose provided a swing dancing lesson to get the night off on the right foot. (Or was it the left foot?) A record amount ofover $750 was raised, supplying a hearty turkey dinner and many other staples and goodies to more than forty needy families. Once again the Service Committee pulled out all the stops: organizing the fundraiser, decorating the Center, providing refreshments, and then gathering the next morning to shop for the food baskets, and delivering them to St. Josephs Center in Venice. Lynn Maguire, Ten Adams, Nancy Merwan, Lois Jones and Radha and Russell Delamarter put in many hours of hard work to insure the event’s success. Given the fact that “Real happiness lies in making others happy,” all agreed that this was one really happy event. The organizers
I Wish I CoallSpeak Like Masic I wish I could speak like music.
would like to thank the many people who sent in their donations as well as those who came to cut a rug
you are very much
I wish I could put the swaying splendor the fields into words
So that you could hold Truth Against your body And dance. I am trying the best I can With this crude brush, the tongue, To cover you with light. I wish I could speak like divine music. I want to give you the sublime rhythms of this earth and the sky’s limbs. As they joyously spin and surrender, Surrender Against Gods luminous breath. Hafiz wants you to hold me against your precious Body And dance, Dance.
The Gift, Poems by Hafiz. translations by Daniel Ladinsky, published by Penguin Books 1999 35
Women Mandali in the Early Years: Katie and Goher From Lives ofLove by Judith Garbett
Katie, photo by Giora Pinkas, 1999
June 25t1, 1923 in Quetta when Baba was 29 years old, Baba had warned the mandali that the path of the begging tour contain only thorns!” would It was settled to proceed to Ahmedabad by train and from there to start on foot the journey to Bombay. Since their starting point was now changed, Baba had the condition of begging for food along the way also canceled. It was decided instead to eat only grams (roasted chickpeas) and parched rice during the journey. These were bought and packed, and all the baggage was immediately dis patched to the station. Soon after, the Master suddenly called for two matchbox containers and began threading a string through them. He kept one end with him and gave the other to Gulmai. He climbed the stairs to the next floor and told Gulmai to stay where she was. Through this telephone, Baba then told her, “As we cornmunicate by means of this phone outwardly, we must be able to communicate inwardly too. We will start leading a fakir’s life from Ahmedabad.” He then talked to Katie through it and said, “I am leaving, but you must go on re membering me. Will you do that?” And she replied, “How could I ever forget you, Baba?” Telephones were not yet in use in India. Recalling this trick from his childhood, Meher Baba was perhaps heralding the age of telephonic communication. The telephone was introduced in India after 1925. “ . . .
In Quetta, Rusi Irans family became cornpletely devoted to Meher Baba’s cause. Goher and Katie were transformed into little moths so that when the time came, they spontane ously flew into the light of His circle. Estab lishing His connection with these circle members was one aspect of His inner work during his visit to Quetta. The Beloved is always in search ofHis byers and always appears at the right moment to seal forever the fate of their hearts. Accepting a kiss from Goher and Katie, and bidding farewell to all, Baba departed on foot with the mandali for the train station on June 25th. Rusi, Sohrab, Phiroz Shah and Ardeshir Golwalla gave them a grand farewell. There were tears in Rusi’s eyes as the train chugged out of the station. Rusi stood fixed, staring at it; his tears were repeatedly calling to his Beloved Master to come back soon. In silence, he received this reply: “I will have to return, for I have left the blossoms ofmy Gar den here. This referred to Rusi’s daughters, Goher and Katie. “
Nextyear in another excerpt, u react Meher Baba had been especially attentive to Rusi’s young daughters, Goher and Katie, with whom he would play games each day. Baba drew them both closer to him by telling them wonderful stories and making them laugh. These two girls were destined to be part of the Master’s circle.
Goher Own Story
have been living with Baba continuously since 1947, but I have known Him since my childhood. I was about six or seven years old when Baba came to my parents’ house in Quetta, now part of Pakistan, with some of the men mandali. Mehera, Naja and Khorshed were among the women mandali. My parents had rented the house next to ours for Baba and the mandali to stay in. I remember Baba used to serve food to all of us Himself—we would go to Him with our plates, He would serve it, and tell us, “You must eat every bit that is on the plate.” With children He behaved like a child and played games with us. One was a game of five
Dr. Goher, photo by Michael Nemanic, 1987
fingers—He would hold His fingers together in a certain way, and ask us to pick the middle finger, but we were never able to do it. At that time Baba was known as Sadguru (a Perfect Master) and our friends who fol bowed Him used to ask us to say our prayers to Him. Of course we said our prayers to Zoroaster, but at the same time we were asked to pray to Baba. ,
Childhood V]sIts to Ahmednagar At times I used to come to Ahmednagar to my mother’s maternal home for holidays. Most people in the family did not accept Baba as the Sadguru at that time, especially Sarosh’s father who was very much against Baba. There was a joint family system in those days everybody lived together. Sarosh’s family, Sarosh’s brother Dinshaw’s family (his wife my mother’s sister), so natu is my aunt rally we stayed with them when we came for our holidays. Sarosh’s father was so strict that he would not even allow Baba’s name to be mentioned. But also living in the same house were Gulmai and her son, Adi, who were staunch followers of Baba (Gulmai was Sarosh’s aunt, Adi was his cousin) Sarosh’s father could not say anything to them, but he was very strict with his own son. In spite of that, whenever Gulmai, Adi, or my aunt visited Baba at Meherabad, or when Baba came to Ahmednagar to Khushru Quarters, now known as Meher —
Nazar, we used to go quietly to see Him. Natu rally He would embrace us, kiss and play with us, but we were told we must not mention Baba when Sarosh’s father came home. But that old man was very cunning. He would bribe us in a way, with sweets or something, and gradually got out of us whether Baba had come to the house and who met Him. As children, sometimes we would blurt it out. And then he would create a row, de manding to know why we had met Baba. Gradually as we grew older we had more sense, and understood that he did not like us to meet Baba—but we would still meet Him quietly. From our childhood days Baba was like a teacher to us. He played with us and was like a loving father to us, but at the same time, as we grew up He gave us strict orders how to behave in life.
get a very good profit, and he should leave Quetta with his family. After this warning Baba left, and my fa ther was thinking about whether he should sell or not—he had been established there for twenty years or so. My mother was more on the practical and materialistic side, and my father was a more simple person and would have done what Baba told him. But my mother said, “If we sell everything and go away, how are you going to bring up all your seven chil dren? There won’t be enough money, and how are you going to start business all over again?” Other friends in Quetta did not believe in Baba then, and persuaded my father not to sell. Two years went by, there were some more earth tremors at times, and the business was not running so well.
One night my mother had a dream in which she saw a gray-bearded person in a white robe who said to her, “I am waiting for you to leave Quetta. Why haven’t you gone? I want you to go away, and when you have left I want to destroy Quetta.” On waking next morning my mother felt this was a warning message from Baba. She told my father im mediately, and said they must sell the busi ness and go away, whatever happened. So they started to do that. They sent all seven of us children to Ahmednagar for our schooling, and stayed back themselves trying to sell the business, but there were no prospective buyers. If my father had sold when Baba told him to, he would have profited much by it. Prices went down because of continuing earthquakes, and after two years he sold at tre mendous loss—it was just like giving it to someone. He would have gotten one lakh of rupees (100,000) earlier, which in present money terms would mean millions, but in the end he gained only a small fraction of the value for the whole of his business.
I think it was in 1931 that we were getting several earth tremors in Quetta. We had lived in tents for nearly six months, and when we came back to live in our house it was not in a very good condition. Baba came that year with a few of His men mandali Chanji, Raosahib and one or two others. I was about 15, my sister Katie was about 11, and other children were also there. Baba and His men stayed in our house for nearly a month. He used to play with us. He was very fond of Katie and would call her to His room when all the mandali were there and play Carrum or other games. Once he took us to the cinema. Baba was very playful, and hadjokes with us. He used to get up at 4:00 o’clock and would come into our room, put on the light, shake the beds and naturally when we saw Him we would alljump out. We never felt strangers to Baba because He was so loving and approachable. —
“Thu Become a Doctor.” One day when I was going out in my Guide costume, Baba called me and said, “What are you going to study further?” I didn’t know. Baba then said, “You become a doctor.” Since that time it was always in my mind that I would be a doctor.
Baba Tells Goherc Father to Leave Quetta At that time Baba told my parents, actu ally my father, that he should sell up his busi ness, which was a huge concern because Quetta, being on the frontier, had a very large military camp of British forces, and naturally the business included a bar, billiards, a toy shop, a restaurant, confectionery andjewelry shops. Baba said he should sell the business, he would
TheyMove to Ahmednagar Anyway, he sold it and my parents came to Ahmednagar, and then Adi’s father, Sarosh and his brother all helped him, because Baba had told them that they must get him settled in business somewhere. So my father opened a canteen at Sarosh’s cinema. And a couple of years after that we heard that there was a terrible earthquake in Quetta when 45,000 to 50,000 lives were lost in one night. Then we all realized that Baba had saved the whole family from this catastrophe. But my father did not have that zest to start all over again in a new business. My brothers were still too young, and there was
nobody to help him in the business. Perhaps he did not have enough inspiration for the work, and he did not earn well. We were all at school in Ahmednagar, and after finishing there we were sent to college in Bombay.
Goher at College in Bombay After one year ofstudying my mother told me, “It is very expensive, I can’t afford to pay your fees. I was staying with some relations, at first with Sarosh’s sister, then with my marned sister. My mother felt that in a couple of years I would get married anyway, so she said she could not afford the fees. Baba must have come to know about it, or I must have told Him, because He used to visit our house in Ahmednagar—our family was now living separately in a small house, and Baba used to visit quite often. Then He told my mother, “Let her go to college and I will pay.” After my graduation in the Arts college, I had to join the medical college, but then I did not have anywhere to live, so again I was going to give up the medical career. While staying with relations I did not have to pay for board and lodging, but if I had to stay in a hostel it would be very expensive. “
Living with Arnavaz’Famii,v Baba called me to Meherabad, and that was the first time I met Chanji. Baba told him, “She has to stay at Arnavaz’ parents house.” Arnavaz and Nargis Dadachanji and the rest of the family ofseven children were very young. then, still in school, and their father was not earning much—but I have never known a more contented family, a family full of love. I have never seen so much love. Baba sent me there alone—just gave me the address and said to tell them, ‘I have come.’ I didn’t know any of the family. I traveled bytrain to Bombay, went to the house and knocked at the door, which Arnavaz opened, and told her, “I am Goher.” She said, “Yes, come in, come in.” They took me in like one of their own, and they gave me so much love that I never felt I was a stranger but belonged to the fam ily. They were not rich and had only simple meals, one vegetarian dish in the evening and one in the afternoon. But Bachamai, Arnavaz’ mother, would see to it that I had more than her own children had. And sometimes it used to bring tears to my eyes because I knew that my own mother would never have done that for another child. Baba used to visit their house very often as if it was His own house, because there was so much love there. When Baba was coming Bachamai would be so happy, and she would 37
clean the whole house, make preparations to receive Him, prepare food for Him and for the mandali whom she would receive with the same love. Whenever the family visited Ahmed nagar or wherever l3aba was, I would go with them. After a couple ofyears in their house I went to stay in a girls’ hostel, and Baba gave me very strict orders. No men must come to visit me, I must not touch men or go about with them. Baba said I should write to Him every week, or once a month, whichever it was, and He replied to every letter.
Holidays with Baba Four years passed. Baba said whenever I had a holiday I could go and stay with Him. Naturally we were more drawn to be with Baba than to our own parents’ Blue Bus house, and wherever He was every Tours, Meherabad, anywhere holiday we spent with Him. Once in Bangalore there was a question of my marriage. Baba told me, “Don’t worry. You should not think about it, don’t ever marry. You have to come to Me after you have become a doctor. So that was always in my mind, and I knew that Baba would call me some day to live with Him perma nently. —
Baba :r Sign for Goher In 1938 during one of the holidays I went with Arnavaz to Panchgani where Baba and the women mandali were staying. I had a very sore throat and a high fever, but in spite of that I went, and as soon as we entered the house Baba inquired after my health. He was displeased and said, “You can’t stay here. Go back to Bombay immediately and have your tonsils operated on, and He sent me back the same night. Ever since then Baba’s sign for me was tonsils—Baba would put His hand on His throat to indicate the tonsils—and that was my sign when He wanted me. Right till the end this was my sign. During 1938 when I started my col lege career, my sister Katie joined Baba permanently in the ashram. She would write to me about all the activities there and on the Blue Bus Tours, and Baba would read these letters, sign them Himself, and always sent His love to me. The monetary question was always dif ficult for me—I didn’t really like it that Baba was burdened with my tuition fees and also the hostel fees which were very
expensive, and it made me uneasy.
After my graduation in 1944 I came to my parents’ home in Ahmednagar because Baba was away traveling. He re turned before long to Meherazad so I sent word that my studies were finished and what should I do. Adi Senior came and drove me to Meherazad. At that time Baba was using the room which later became Aloba’s. There was no furniture, no chair. Baba was sitting cross-legged on the floor on a small carpet, and called me in. He said He was happy that I was a medi cal doctor now and I should come to stay with Him permanently, and to tell my parents this. Well, my mother made so much fuss about it, saying, “I won’t be able to meet you” and “why should you go perma nently—you can go and visit Baba when you like. There was such a row about it, so I wrote to Baba, and He said, “Don’t come now. I felt very hurt and sad, but knew that I must leave home, and wrote back to Him, “No, I am coming, in spite ofmy mother’s protest I am coming.” Baba was quite happy then and said, “I’ll call you. So you must be ready whenever I call you.” After a month or so Baba was going to Raipur, and He told me to meet Him in Bombay at Kaka Baria’s house. Baba with Mehera, Mani, Meheru and myself all went to Raipur. Jal Kerawala was there then, and we lived in a separate bungalow with Baba. A couple of months later Baba sent me back to Bombay to get more medical experience as an intern in the hospitals, and I was there for quite some time.
he mandali are those intimate ones who are prepared to sacrifice their all for me. The one who gives his life to Baba, and leads a life totally under His guidance, who does not ask for any kind of reward, who does not care what happens to him— whether he is ruined or whether he prospers— and who takes pleasure in pleasing Baba is one of the mandali.
From Glimpses of the God-Man, uI/feher Baba, Volume V, January 1-March 6, 1954 by Bal Natu, Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT Ahmednagar, MS. India. Published by Sheriar Press. ,
Surrender ofTheir Wills
Who Are The Mandali?
GoherJoins Baba Permanently Finally, in 1947 at Satara, I joined Baba permanently. Norma and Elizabeth returned from America and came to Satara. Norma was not well; she had a heart disease and high blood pressure, and Baba told me to stay in the bungalow with them and look after her. At the same time Baba told me to go and work in a missionary hospital as a volunteer without pay. He also sent me to a leper colony twice a week to give them treatment. In the evening we used to visit Baba and Mehera, Mani and the others in their bungalow. From Lives ofLove by Judith Garbett, Copyright 1998, AMBPPCT
he feet, which are physically the low est part of the body, are spiritually the highest. Physically the feet go through everything, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the clean and the dirty, yet they are above everything. Spiritually the feet of the Master are above everything in the Universe, which is like dust to Him. When people come to a Perfect Master and touch His feet with their heads, they lay upon Him the burden of their sanskaras--those subtle impressions of thought and emotion and action which bind the individual soul to recurrent earthly lives. This is the burden to which Jesus referred when He said, Come unto Me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” A Master collects these sanskaras from all over the Universe, just as an ordinary person in walking collects dust on his feet. Those who love Him deeply and wish to share His burden as much as possible wash His feet with honey, milk, and water which represent different types of sanskaras and place at His feet a coconut which symbolizes the complete surrender of their wills to Him. From The Ocean ofLove, by Delia DeLeon, Copyright 1991 Meher Baba Association, London. “
Before Me was the Divine Beloved Himself
Francis Brabazon The Windlaugheda great boisterous laugh which set the banana leaves swaying and rustling like Hula girls in the moonlight. Andsaid quietly again: All things in creation give themselves to me as my instruments. All things except men. Butneverfeai myyoung, old friend No matter what small god men set up and worshi eternal, beginningless Being continues to Be. Endure. Remember that the only thing that matters is the love with which one does what one doe with which one says what one says. Endure. Endure till the Word of Creation breaks the seal on its long Silence, andlsing the new Song to the Word Against that time, Iceaselessly seek throats that willgive shape to my Song Jam the 1/bice of God walking in the evening calling Adam, where are you? Why areyou hidingfrom me? Then it was only a matter ofwaitingfor the Advent ofthe Word —
And He reached out across the separation that was between us andsaid Jam here where I am, and whereyou have put me. Andlasked When. Beloveo willmeetyou? AndHe said In my time which is the right time. —
Then one night Ihad a dream in which I was swimming in the sea and was carried out into deep witer where Isank. Down and down I went, until my feet rested on some solid object which moved to the shore, andlfoundmyselfsitting naked on the beach. weeping and before me was the Divine BelovedHimself Meher Baba, smiling From The Windofthe Word, by Francis Brabazon, Copyright 1976 Garuda Publications, Sydney
Gaze ofyours Which seems to promise infinite Revelation, While actually disdosing nothing, Asyou tellme that I would understand this Andall things— Ifonlyl wouldloveyou more? From OBeloved by Steve Klein pg. 26 ©1983 #22
Thlove is like taking offone. armor in the middle ofa battle and meeting one beloved naked on the field while the carnage isgoing on all around and in each other arms finding only Paradise and the protection ofAngels. Painting of Meher Baba, Rocky Rogers
Whyis it that Iget the feeling That any way Icould love you Would be better Than the wayllove you now? For ifllovedyou more, My happiness would be complete in yours, And thusyou couldignore me allyou wished Andifyou wisheditso, I would be pleased 01; ifllovedyou less, I wouldn care Thatyou seemed to smile more at someone else Than me. Whyis it that Ialrvays seem to loveyoujust Enough to be miserable withoutyou But not enough to be content inyour decision Th have nothing to do with me? And whyis it that when Ithink back Upon theyears Tve spent in vain pursuit Ofbeing happypleasingyou, Ifindit has always been thus? That when rty Jove was but a fraction Ofthe torment it now is, that then too IfoundIlovdyoujust enough to suffer But not enough to find surcease. And whyis it that Ihave the suspicion That it will always be thus? That one has either the serenity Ofstone untouchedbyfir or the ecstacy Oftotal conflagration, and there is nothing hi between these two extremes But endless suffering? And whyis it That wheneverlaskyou about this, You can onlylook at me with that
Oh, MEHER, sometimes the great blue vault of Sky seems like a beautifully-painted Tea Cozy. And ‘ihi a Little Teapot all cozy and comfortedand cradled by i , 1 bubbling with fresh brew ofLife. ‘
Sometimes Ifeel so enthused The only thinglcan do is Dance! Sometimes Dii soglad Thu made the Creation! What ifThu hadn ? No one could ever Dance! All the war andplagues, executions and torture Ofmyselfin a niillionpast lives Amount to nothing On a Sunny Day in Love. Fiddle,; P ’V Thur Tune! 1
Ti! sashay across the Uniirse, Doe-See--Doe with every soul Imeet! Swingyourpartne Everybody! Fronenade. Promenade. Promenade! Thday Ilook to the far Horizon,
Andsee nothing But sparklingJoy, everywhere! Max Reif 39
Khorshed and Mansari’s Interment by Judy Robertson, Meherabad
here was a special sweetness in the air on Meherabad Hill on the morning of November 9, 1999, as two of Meher Baba’s close women Mandali were interred near His Samadhi. The urn containing the ashes of Khorshed Irani, who had been one ofthe early disciples ofMeher Baba since 1922, had been brought the previous evening from Meher azad, where it had been kept since her passing to Baba on August 4, 1999. It had been placed in the East Room, where Khorshed had spent so many years with Mehera, Mani, and a few other of Beloved Bab&s first women Mandali, living such a cloistered life with Baba in Upper Meherabad. Before Arti on the morning of the ninth, Khorshed’s urn was carried to Meher Baba’s Samadhi by Dr. Anne Moreigne, who had been both Khorshed’s doctor and friend. Simultaneously, the urn containing the ashes of Mansari Desai was conveyed by her niece, Dr.
Meher Desai, from her room to the Samadhi, after a briefvisit to Baba’s gadi. Mansari, who had joined Meher Baba in 1938, had lived continuously on Meherabad Hill from the time that Baba left on the New Life in 1949 until her passing onjanuary 12, 1997. She had cared for Meherabad Hill and Beloved Baba Samadhi with complete focus, which was her hallmark in any service to Baba. The pilgrims who had gathered for this memorable occasion had a chance in the early morning to offer their last respects to these two special ones in Baba Samadhi. Then at 10:00 a.m. all the Meherazad men and women Mandali arrived. After offering prayers and garlands in the Samadhi and at Mehera and Mani’s shrines, everyone gathered under a colorful pandal for the interment. Ted Judson and his crew had skillfully prepared the two sites on the east side of the Samadhi according to instructions left by Meher Baba.
Khorshed’s small crypt had been lovingly painted with numerous flowers by Mira and Darshana Wagh, who had grown up under Khorshed loving care. Mansari’s love for dogs and birds had been humorously expressed in Sheila Krynsks painting of her crypt. Once everyone was gathered, Dolly Dastur took Mansari’s urn out from Baba’s Samadhi and gave it to Havovi Dadachanji, Gulu Dastur, Najoo Kotwal, and Dara Katrak, who together handed it to Meheru Irani and Meher Desai. Representing the Meherazad Mandali, Meheru placed the urn in the crypt. Then Khorshed’s urn was brought from Meher Baba’s Samadhi by Sudam Wagh and handed to his wife, Asha, and daughters, Mira and Darshana, all of whom had loved and cared for Khorshed. They then brought the urn to Meheru, who placed it in the crypt. After Meheru sprinkled alittle earth from Beloved Baba’s Samadhi on each of the urns, they were covered with marble. Meheru placed a ring garland on each piece of marble, and offered flowers and garlands to Khorshed and Mansari. Meheru then spoke about the love and strength of both Khorshed and Mansari, whom she said had been polished smooth like marble by Baba’s hand. She noted that even during the year of silence that Mansari observed by Baba’s order, her unique character still shone through, and that just a snap of her fingers would stop you in your tracks. Meheru said that she had often argued with Khorshed in her later years, urging her to have eye surgery to remove the cataracts that sorely impaired her vision. Khorshed’s consistent response was that her eyes had seen Beloved Baba, and now she had no wish to see anything else. Meheru commented that the names of Khorshed and Mansari will be remembered for years to come because of their close connection with Beloved Baba. Following these brief tributes, the “Bujawwe Naar Arti” and the “Seven Names of God” were sung, and then “Nearer My God to Thee, which had been requested by Mansari. Several other songs were sung, including “Ishtiaki,” which Baba had composed, and Khorshed and Mansari had taught to many of His lovers over the years. A group of youngsters from Meher Nazar Compound, whom Khorshed had lovingly taught numerous Baba prayers and songs, led everyone in singing “Baba Bhagawan. “After the Australian Arti, the Mandali and others gathered paid their final respects to these strong, independent women who had surrendered their lives and their hearts in loving service to their Beloved Lord, Meher Baba. Photographs courtesy of Bif Soper. “
Khorshedi ciyptpainted by Mirn and Darsliana.
A Pair O’Ducks by Mani S. Irani
had a little old tin trunk whichaiways accompanied me to Meherabad. It was dear to me, and I was possessive about it. At home I would tell Mother, “Don’t touch this. It is mine.” She would point to it and say, That thing? I wouldn’t touch it with a broom. That was fine with me. I would keep my most pre cious things in it. It became a safe for presents I bought with my pocket money for Baba and the women. Immediately after Mother and I returned to Poona, I would start looking for the right presents to take back to Meherabad. This daily occupation was a link which kept alive my hope and joy of returning to Him. Once I remember buying pretty little presents for Mehera, Naja, and the two Khorsheds. That was not difficult. The great question was, what shall I buy for Baba? It should be something so very spe cial. This kept me occupied all day, every day. Nothing that caught my eye was right enough for Baba. One morning from my pocket money I bought one paisa’s (one penny’s) worth of peanuts and munched away on my way to school. Suddenly I saw a peddler with a handcart filled with things made of glazed crockery. I stood there admiring the articles, wondering if there was something here I could buy for Baba. There were dolls, there were animals, and there were birds. The dolls varied in price with the size and were named accordingly. The peddler’s song told us that the littlest doll was daughter. The next size was daugh ter-in-law, and bigger still was mother or aunt. The biggest was mother-in-law. But I wasn’t interested in dolls. I sud denly spotted a beautiful pair of ducks with yellow wings that glowed. They had soft golden beaks and holes in their heads. I didn’t know at the time that one was for salt and the other was for pepper. All I knew was that they were beautiful. There was something about them that set them apart from all t he rest of the things in that handcart. Oh yes, these ducks were for Baba. I knew! “
‘YZife is a Fair
(paradox) by Wodin
So I asked the man, “How much?” When he told me the price, I found I was that one paisa, of short by one paisa peanuts which I’d had. Oh, did I regret my greedy time with those peanuts! Please, I said, “can you make it one paisa less?” He said, “No, this is the price. You take it. Ifyou don’t have the money, don’t take it. Go!” “But I must have it, I said. “Please, please, can’t you make it one paisa less? Only one paisa less?” But then in those days one paisa wasn’t so little, you see. He said, “No, no, no. One paisa only is my profit. Go. Don’t trouble me. And he started off. I was desperate and kept after the handcart as he wheeled it away. My little hands were trying to hold it back while I continued to plead. My pleas did not seem to move him at all. Then I had a brainwave. “Wait, I cried, “please wait. My house is not so far away. Will you come with me to my house? Then I’ll get you the one paisa and make up the price.” When I said that, the man looked at me as if he saw me for the first time. Something in my eyes must have reached him because suddenly he said brusquely, “All right, all right. Have it for one paisa, less. I have never doubted that the ped dler had a share in the gift I gave to Baba. I took that pair of ducks and carried them home as if they were alive. I put them away, and every morning before going to school, I opened my little tin trunk —
to see if they were still there. And when I came home from school, the first thing I would do is look inside to see if they were all right. I would do this until the day came when Mother and I were once again on the train to Meherabad. On myjoyousjourney back to Him, the wheels ofthe train sang “Ba-ba, Ba-ba, Ba-ba, Ba-ba.” When I got to Meherabad, I gave everybody their little presents, and then I went to Baba with the ducks. And you would have thought, from the radiant glow on Baba’s face that pair of ducks with holes He got when that this was the one thing their heads, in for. He made me feel waiting been He had universe belonged whole the that although waiting all these been had to Him, He of ducks. He one pair that years for just day when every that and Naja told Mehera two those tray food His they prepared filled plate, His by to be little ducks had with salt and pepper. Oh, how thankful I felt that I hadn’t missed those ducks in the handcart that fateful morning on my way to school! From God-Brother By Mani S. Irani, AMBPPCT, 1993 Copyright Ahmednagar, India, Published by Sheriar Press.
A Real Cow Meher Baba
he knowledge of Truth as gained through the established creeds is like the knowledge ofa town which one gets by studying it on a map. To see and know the town one has to take the trouble of actually going there. It is one thing merely to see the picture of a cow; quite a different thing to have a real cow and to drink its milk. In the same way all religious creeds, though useful for the time being, ultimately must be replaced by actual experience and the inner spiritual Path must be traversed before one can realize the infinite Truth. From LifeAtltsBest, by Meher Baba, Edited by Ivy 0. Duce, Copyright 1957 Sufism Reoriented
What’s Happening at Meherabad
A Note from Our Trustwalli
Dr. Gus, Meherabad
he following is a portion (with minor T editing) of the Medical Staff Report for the February 1999 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C. Trust. The report was reviewed and endorsed by the Board ofTrustees at that meeting. it is one of many ongoing Trust projects.This effort was begun because the mosquito prob lem was increasingly affecting the Mehera bad estate. The program got off the ground because of the efforts of many people, among them the chairman, who gave his full support and because of pilgrim donations for the program.
Mosquito Control Program The mosquito control program has been in operation for the past four years and was intensified due to the extremely heavy rains during this past monsoon season. There seems to be unanimous agreement (among those living at Meherabad and pilgrims) that the number of mosquitoes has been drasti cally reduced near all places where people congregate (including the S amadhi, Dharmsala, Hostels, Savages Kitchen, and Pilgrim Center as well as the various staff quarters) This occurred despite the record rainfall during this past monsoon season and the persistence of standing water in many ponds around the Estate. Two large lakes and about 20 ponds were stocked with about 20, 000 fish (guppies) or (in the smaller ponds) a bacteria that kills mosquito larvae (donuts coated with Bacillus thurgiliensis) These ponds were in front of the hostels, on the side of the new ring road, on the side of the Daund road, behind Meher Pilgrim Center and behind the very large bund that is adja cent to the New Site. Since the last report of this committee (Rustom Falahati, Ted Judson and Dr. Gus) several projects have been completed. The farsi in the courtyards of the pilgrim center were completely dug up and the drainage areas were extensively cleaned and the ce ment modified so that no water would be able to remain standing. This work was com pletedjust prior to the beginning ofthis pil grim season. The entire Pilgrim Center sewage system was inspected repeatedly and made mosquito proof. In addition, a number of the toilets in lower Meherabad have been modified and converted from flap type to water seal type. .
by Lynne Berry, Los Angeles
Those toilets converted to water seal no longer require regular diesel treatment. We have also noted a drastic reduction in pilgrims coming for treatment of infected mosquito bites and allergies to mosquito bites. The program has been a success without the use of strong chemicals that are harmful to the environment. It does require the use of approximately 120 liters of diesel per month to treat areas of standing water that cannot at this time be sealed off to prevent mosquito breeding. (Efforts are underway to further diminish the use of diesel or find al ternatives). Since the beginning of the program Rustom Falahati and Dr. Gus (with the help ofJerry Edwards and TedJudson’s staff) have identified 70 major buildings or locations were mosquitoes potentially breed. With regular inspection (once a week) regular maintenance and repair, regular diesel dosing (once a month) we can drastically re duce mosquito breeding. A recent increase in the number of mosquitoes in certain ar eas demonstrated three sites where mainte nance had been delayed, and where mosquitoes were breeding large numbers. The problems were then corrected. A very positive response has come from everyone at Meherabad. However, we need awareness that only with continuous inspection and maintenance can we prevent the mosquitoes from coming back. We can keep Mehera bad relatively mosquito free by continuing our efforts. Thanks to all involved in this work from all of us who go there. [ No more mosquitos! Yea! ed.]
you’ve been thinking that some time like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a firstrate 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-lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust’s charitable and outreach projects are seen to by Eastern and Western vol unteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard of living, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. Love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project preser vation 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
Iceberg Ego Meher Baba “The ego is like an iceberg. Ninety percent of it is underwater. As we observe it, the submerged begins to move into the light of ob servation and melts in the light of awareness.”
3aith is the bird that sinjs when the dawn is still dark” 7gore•
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Humor for Huma
he following statements about the bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected (i.e. bad spelling has been left in.) In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired ofcreating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears. Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they madeunleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards,Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammend-ments. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. ThenJoshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. 44 ,
they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk, He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God’s second most important job is lis tening to prayers. An awful lot ofthis goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesnt have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, un less He has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have. Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren’t any who come to our church. J esus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They fi nally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind oflike His Father and He told His Father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK. His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn’t have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing “Nothing” things which are important for God to take burdened by the importance of care of and which ones He can take care of his work, went into the synagogue to rabbi, Himselfwithout having to bother God. Like pray. Falling to his knees, he lamented, “0 a secretary only more important. You can pray Lord, I am nothing! I am nothing!” anytime you want and they are sure to hear J ust then aJewishjudge passed by an over- you because they got it worked out so one of hearing the prayer was moved tojoin the rabbi them is on duty all the times. on his knees. Shortly, he too, was crying aloud, You should always go to Church on Sun“0 Lord, I too am nothing! I am nothing!” day because it makes God happy, and if there The janitor of the temple, awed by the anybody you want to make happy, it’s God. sight ofthe two men prayingjoined them, cryDon’t skip church to do something you think ing, “0 Lord, I also am nothing! I am noth will be more fun like going to the beach. This ing!” At this, the judge nudged the rabbi and is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn’t come said, out at the beach until noon anyway. Ifyou don’t “Now, look who thinks he’s nothing!” believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t I The follon/’Ing was written by Danny go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God Dutton, age from Chula Vista, California. for can. It is good to know H&s around you when his thfrdgradehomeworkassignnient to ‘ExpJain you’re scared in the dark or when you can’t God 7 swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn’t just ne of God’s main jobs is making always think of what God can do for you. people. He makes them to replace the I figure God put me here and He can take ones that die so there will be enough people me back anytime He pleases. And that’s why to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t I believe in God. make grown-ups, just babies. I think because
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. When Mary heard that she was the mother ofJesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. J esus was born because Mary had an im maculate contraption. St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head. J esus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, “a man doth not live by sweat alone.” It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance. The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistles were the wives ofthe apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
According to His vv iii
Ward Parks, Ahmednagar
ver the years I have often been puzzled by the last line of the “Re pentance Prayer” which reads: “In your unbounded mercy we ask You to forgive us, 0 God, for all these sins committed by us, and to forgive us for our constant failures to think and speak and act according to your will.” The repentance that is expressed in this line seems to be rooted in the awareness that, since our very false separative existence is itself a denial of God, our every action, which stems from that de nial, warrants our re pentance. Our failures are “constant” since our very ego life, as the source and fountainhead of our actions, has no real being. So far so good. What is peculiar, however, is that final phrase “according to Your will. For on this subject Baba has elsewhere said, “I alone am Real, and my will governs the cosmic illusion. It is the truth when I say that the waves do not roll and the leaves do not move without my will” ( The Ev erythingandtheNothIng, p. 62). The will of God upholds and sustains the universe and all its affairs. Everything that happens from the greatest war or natural calamity to the tiniest flicker of an eyelash or the least passing whim of the mind happens only because He wills it. This applies equally to the level of personal action: all that I do my virtu ous deeds as well as my sins are, ulti mately, a manifestation of God’s will: they are because He wills them to be so. It is altogether impossible, in other words, for any one of us to do anything at all that is contrary to the will of God. What possi bly could be the sense, then, of our re penting, as we do in the last line of the prayer, for our “constant failures to think, speak, and act according to Your will”? This question, which has tickled my curiosity from time to time over the years, ,
has, I daresay, done the same for others. But during the last pilgrim season, in Mandali Hall in Meherazad, quite unex pectedly some light was shed on this subject. It was a Thursday or Saturday morning, and Eruch was, as usual, regaling a roomful of pilgrims with his matchless accounts from a lifetime spent beside Beloved Baba. Somehow the topic of the Repentance Prayer arose, and Eruch explained that Baba had originally dictated the prayer to him in Gujarati. In that language, the last word of the prayer was marjI ( rnarzi in Urdu), an etymon that does not differentiate between “wish” and “will” but encom Bah v Rocky Rogers passes both meanings. Now it would make perfect sense for us to be repenting for our constant failures to think, speak, and act according to God’s wish: for while God’s will fulfills itself inevitably and irresistibly, the ful fillment of God’s wish is, as it were, in our hands. Indeed, Baba has said that the will of God contains within itself provi sion for God’s wish; and it is this wish that projects and defines “obedience” and “dis obedience” as possible responses on the lover’s part. In carrying out the wish of God, one obeys, and thus earns His pleasure; and in failing to carry out that wish, one disobeys and displeases Him. The wish, in other words, is the key defining element in the dynamic and interplay of Lord and servant, lover and Beloved, all of which transpires within the realm of duality. “Sin, in this context, seems to be a conventional term denoting an act of disobedience, in which the wish of God is disregarded or flouted. Yet in 1951, when Baba dictated the Repentance Prayer, this distinction between “wish” and “will” had not yet been clearly drawn by Him. And so, when Eruch and .
Donkin set about to translating the prayer at Baba’s request, they rendered the Gujarati word marji through the English word “will” without awareness of these greater philosophical implications. Curiously enough, Baba Himself never made the correction, even though, in the years that followed, He Himself participated many times in the performance of the prayer, standing silently as Eruch or another of the mandali read it out and slapping Himself lightly on both cheeks to signify His contrition. Thus does the Avatar take upon Himself the burden of the sins that we enact, liberating us thereby from our sins as well as our good deeds and opening for us the door to that actionless action that alone is true freedom. Since the prayer in this wording has been thus “hallowed” by the Avatar’s own participation in it, one imagines that it will continue to be recited in this form for many years, until the language changes and new wordings become necessary. But for my own part, I am glad that Eruch and Donkin translated the prayer as they did. For to my ear, the word “will” carries a force that the word “wish” at least at the present time does not. Of course I understand that the Divine Will cannot be controverted, least of all by me. But when I think of myself as failing to think, speak, and act according to His “will, the awesome, divine significance of His will and being is brought before my mind, and I become aware intellectually at least that my own false existence is an egotistically “willful” departure and aberration that will come to an end only when I have united again with the divine Reality. This separa tion from Him is the taproot of all “sin,” and it cannot be extirpated through the mere exercise of virtue. Perhaps the engendering of a deeper re flectiveness on the subjects of wish” and “will” and “sin” is one of the purposes for which God “willed” that the Repentance Prayer should take its current form in the English language. In any event, there are many examples to show that Beloved Baba was less concerned with the literalistic niceties of wording than with essential signifi cance. For in reciting that last line of the Repentance Prayer” whatever philosophi cal gymnastics the intellect may choose to engage in, the conscience of the true lover of God will always know what is meant. —
‘Divine Beloved is always with you, iii you and all around you. 2<now that you are not separate from 2t MeherBaba
Three Billion, Six Hundred Million Sanskaras per Hour G
od is the perfect accountant, and the Avatar keeps the account of the deeds of each one perfectly without writing down anything. The Avatar knows the account of each one from his beginning in creation until today, and so he knows now the account of each one until his end. No one knows this perfect accounting except God. God takes human form as the Avatar age after age in order to balance the debit and credit sides as far as possible, in the ratio required for further individual and collective progress. Maya is the shadow of God and Maya plays havoc in disturbing the equilibrium of the debit and credit sides of each ones deeds. When this equilibrium is disturbed to the most terrible extent, nature starts revolting and the earth falls into the chasm of calami ties. At such a time God must descend on earth. The Avatar then works to settle the account of each human being and also the account of every level of consciousness in evolution. Settling the account of each individual is not easy, because the accounts are made up of sanskaras. The human mind gathers ten million sanskaras in one second, or six hundred million in one minute, or three bil lion, six hundred million in one hour, so imagine how many trillions and zillions of sanskaras are collected in one human lifetime. To settle the accounts of sanskaras, so one can further progress, is a work unimag inable. The Avatar’s work requires univer sal mind, because the work is beyond the intellect, and only the INFINITE INTELLIGENCE knows how to calculate such ac counting, and this accounting is achieved without the slightest error. The purpose ofreincarnation is to spend the sanskaras one collects, and because there are so many millions of sanskaras collected is the reason why one must reincarnate about eight million, four hundred thousand times. To convey an idea of the sanskaric ac counting, the INFINITE INTELLI GENCE in the universal mind knows now what happened to a particular person one hundred years ago at this very moment and what that same particular person had thought even one thousand years ago at this very moment. The INFINITE INTELLI GENCE also knows at this very moment 46
what will happen one hundred years from now and what will be thought one thousand years into the future. Time is not a fac tor for the knowing calculations of the universal mind, and neither is space. When the Avatar comes he uses his uni versal mind, and to the universal mind the whole history of the universe is an open book. When Meher Baba came he found that the account of the universe was not properly balanced. Because of this univer sal imbalance, progress in the evolution of consciousness was stopped. Consciousness was running up huge bills of debt because of so many unnatural ac tions. If you borrow from a bank or someone, you must repay the loan. If you don’t, you will not be given any more credit until you pay. You cannot borrow again until you have repaid your loans. Basically, the situa tion in the universe was that consciousness had borrowed more than it could pay back, and could not find anyone else to borrow from. Consciousness was going bankrupt. In other words, consciousness had become too murderous, too selfish, too greedy, too hateful, too lustful, too false, etc. to balance itself. And there was no way to compensate for all of this. It is the Avatar who must pay, and so he works and suffers for each one to settle the imbalanced accounts, and thereby sets the account for each one straight, a natural level of debit and credit. But while he works for the benefit of each one, very few cooperate with him, because very few want to pay back their debits. Most of the world opposes his work, because most refuse to pay back. Everyone must repay and be paid their sanskaric debits and credits. But because of the amount of debit amassed, the Avatar comes to protect humanity. In spite of op position, his work protects the world, and his love protects humanity. After finishing his work the Avatar drops his body. Since the Avatar’s work is most perfect, the result of the work is most perfect. He perfectly settles the accounts by making each one pay, but also by protecting the debtors from the creditors. ,
After the dropping of the Avatar’s body, adjustments in every account take place ac cording to the work done by the Avatar. A time comes when all adjustments in every one’s account are settled. Each one pays and is paid to whomever he is sanskarically in debt to or has credit with. Everyone has the capacity to pay the price for going further on the path of Truth, though this capacity varies from person to person. Each one has the opportunity to clear their debts and be free, but those in whom the capacity varies continue to establish debts. When all have the capacity to pay the price for progressing further along the path to Truth, they will naturally wonder who has given them this opportunity. This oppor tunity is the Avatar’s legacy to humanity, the Father’s legacy to his children. When hu manity realizes it was an inheritance, and something they did not earn, then the love of the Avatar manifests, and people read his will, “I have given you, my children, this inheritance. I love you all. I have suffered infinitely for your sake. I embrace you. All are forgiven.” Let us long for the embrace ofour Com passionate Father, who has suffered infi nitely for us. Let us accept his forgiveness by suffering the pain of separation to that extent wherein our longing will achieve Union. From A vafar ofthe Age Meher Baba Manifesting, by Bhau Kaichuri, Copyright 1985 Lawrence Reiter. Published by Manifestation, Inc.
Twelve Disciplines of the Heart By Nancy Shev, Arizona
ecently, as a result of newly discovered enthusiasm for Feng Shui, I moved an important picture of Mehera from our bedroom into my bathroom. Our personal rela tionship has been growing ever since. It includes reflection, with candle light, (yes, in
the bathroom, “my private space”) with Mehera atthe end ofthe day Tellingher things
and listening to her thoughts and asking her for direction, and so on. All my life I have “woken up” to write something down, to catch it before its lost with daily tasks and concerns.
One morning, a few months ago. I woke up to write down “12 disciplines of the heart.” I
1 2 disciplines at the heart Love AbSOJLih H Ofl:SL Dsc rim inaiior’i H umor WiIthnQnLs SOrvG S(re’Qth Dete rrTl inatd fl Co Ahtylo Chee ruIne.s Acceptrice iomembra rice
didnt know instantly that itwas from Mehera,
but within minutes I did, because really, something that perfect had to come, without a doubt, from our Beloved. or His Beloved... What else can be said? Thank you for allowing me to share this .
And Lucky 1
the Charity of Foriveries
Live in the Mind by Adah Shifrin
aba has told his lovers that the High Road to experience Him is through bying Him as He wishes to be loved. We have no way to comprehend in our limited minds the true meaning and extent ofthis love. Since power ofthought is where our greatest strength lies it is our only direct means of making a start. Our thoughts begin to go out. We are striving to reach God in our minds and so we are learning to meditate. Let us not allow our thoughts to drift about, but let them “take wing” and go directly to our Beloved. Do you think He does not know and receive your thoughts? In His infinite state there is nothing that is not known to Him. Time and space mean nothing to the Ancient One, who is herejust for us. His light goes out like the rays of the sun touching all who are ready. This is Baba’s miraculous gift, He touches the heart with love Divine. It is the awakening to Truth. The more one thinks of Baba the more one is drawn by Him. Why then, not think of Him even while taking care of worldly du ties? What could one think of more beautiful than meditating on the glory of the whole universe concentrated into one form. One even forgets what one has come for when thoughts are turned to Baba.
There is a contentment that comesjust in the thought of the Beloved. Gradually one forgets how to worry. Anxieties begin to dis solve into nothingness. Time does not have the same meaning for it becomes limitless and eternal. When we book upon ourselves in the mir ror we are not concerned that youth fades for we know that the garment of flesh will be cast aside for a new and better one. We may even be glad to look toward the time when God shall receive us in His eternal embrace and keep us with Him for all time. Ones attachment to family and friends becomes lessened and one looks upon the whole world as being a part ofone’s own life. If one’s thought dwells here for a moment one will see that all the homes, housing a little close knit circle, are faced with the exact same prob lems as one’s own. Is not this one little unit a part of the larger one? Does one not feel the hunger pangs in their bodies as though it were a part of one’s own? Upon the face of all of the earth the needs and emotions of its people are all the same, regardless of place or race. Baba will lift the veil from men’s minds so that they will know the truth and recognize the oneness of all. It is when one meditates on Baba that perhaps these other thoughts will come and give cause for reflection. Through this trend of
thinking comes the feeling of comfort and resignation that God has everything happening according to His Divine Will. Not a blade of grass is out of place and although one does not know His law for destruction or construc tion, one can be sure it is for humanity on the whole. The more one thinks of Baba the happier one becomes. Sooner or later one wishes to see Him and be with Him. Does one not go to Baba each time the mind goes out to Him? Let the mind fly to Him and one is there. Is one not growing to love this visit more and more? Does it not mean more than any physi cal act? One is now beginning to live less with thoughts of body which bind and the mind is becoming a vehicle to new freedom. Now one grows further and further away from self and becomes more absorbed in thoughts of Baba. One begins to realize freedom, and though still limited it is far greater than what one had ever experienced before. It has often been said that happiness is a state of mind and this is true even for thelimited mind. Now one has the “Highest of the High” to think about. To live in thought, though intangible, is as real as the gross world is false. To live in the mind can be more real than living in the world. From The Flower of oiitemp1ation by Adah Francis Shifrmn
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