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vatar JI4eher J3ctba on board the Circctssia,, 1937

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From the Editor Jai Baba folks, Welcome to the True, New Millenium! 01/01/01 the time you are reading this, I feel sure there will be a new President of the United States, but as we go to press the country is still in a turmoil over ‘hanging chads’, ‘dimples’, uncounted ballots, miscounted ballots and on and on. We, who know the Avatar, know that it is all a game. Life is a Jest. He pulls the strings, we only think we are in control. God picks the winners and the losers. He tells us, .it is all a game ofwinning and losing. The majority are misguided and ruled by some self-styled leaders, who seek the limelight by fair means or foul. They do not want the Truth, lest theylose their seffish ends and be out of the picture. So, in order to be in the public eye, they invent lies, concoct stories, distort facts, and, in the name of public service, they present these lies before the public.The public is misled either because they are big names or by the very tricks of the origina

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

The £ctm(J2ost NeedsYour Help! T

he Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern Califomia,”Meherabode” in Los Angeles, generates this quarterly magazine. But it does not fund it. Donations received by the Center are given byBaba’slovers who wish to see our Centerfiourish in the beautifiilhomewe have had forthepastthreeyears.Theycontributewith a set goal in mind. Now that our mortgage has been paid off there are the monthiycosts ofkeep ing our doors open and also funding the renova tions we have to make. All ofthis is to tellyou that the Board ofDirectors feels, and rightly so, that contributions to theCentershouldnotbe spentontheLove Street LampPost.This magazine mustbe selfsupporting, and it is only through your donations that we can continue printing. We ask for donations ratherthansubscriptions.Theactualcostofptint ing and mailing (within the US only) runs between $12 and $15 dollars per person per year. Unfortunately the postage for foreign addresses is extremelyhigh, about $20 a year. For some of our readers overseas this can be an impossible figure, especially in India. Luckily there are many ofyou who very generously contribute up to $100, thereby covering for those who can not afford to do so. While we would never drop anyone from our mailinglistwho truly enjoys reading the LampPost and wants to contmue receiving it, but can not afford to donate, we do need to delete the names of those who change addresses and don’t tell us (this costs ex tra to return the magazine) and arei* even aware that they are receiving it. Remember, this magazine is only as good as you the reader make it.We lookforyour continued submissions ofarticles, stories ofhowyou are workmg with Baba in your life, photos, news items and anything else you feelwill be ofinterest to Baba lovers around the world. We are gaining new readers every month as word ofmouth spreads.Those that have recently asked to be put on the mailing list have contrib uted already. But ifyou cai* remember the last time you sent in a donation, then perhaps it is that time ofthe year again.... It’s notjust thatwe appreciateyour donations theyare the onlything that keeps us publishing! Dina -

Be Cheerful Dfyou don’t want to look old before your time, look cheerful in word, deed, and appearance—most of all in appearance. Dt is ci divine art to look cheerful, and it helps others.

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A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

£ov&Street LampPost welcome...

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The £ove5treet £ampPost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love andTruth. Please submit your text by email or on computer disks ifpossible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

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

Alan Wagner

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Raine E. and Bill Gannett

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

Rani Didi Gannesh 10

The Best Is Yet To Come

various contributors 12

News from Meherabad

various contributors 14

Overheard on the Internet

various contributors 18

Meher Baba in Egypt

LoveStreet LampPost Staff 20

Adventures in Egypt

Jim Peterson 26

God Speaks: The Title

Don Stevens 34

What’s New at Meherabode

various contributors 38 Karen Sterkin 40

A Concert with Baba

David Bowling 42

Don Stevens Visits Avatar’s Abode

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Ajewel in the Heart ofAmerica

Kendra Crossen Burroughs 43

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

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issue: issue: issue: issue:

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

departments Humor for Huma

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

Bababook@pacbell.net

The LoveStreet Bookstore

i various contributors

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Dma Snow 28

Book and Music Reviews

various contributors 29

Announcements

various contributors 36

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

editor: design and layout: research assistant: digital preflight: distribution:

The £ov&StreetCarnpost is published quarterly, inJanuary April,July, and October. All contents © 2001 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. AU quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPC1, India

C credits We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pic tures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and pho

tos of Meher Baba © AMBPPC’I Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthonzedduplicationisprohibitedbylaw.


He Takes an Interest O

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

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

It was performed by Mumbai and Ahmed nagar Baba lovers in a traditional Marathi street-drama motif characterized by tradi tional dancing, music and humor, and an exquisite simplicity that supplied a rhythm that even a non-Marathi speaker could enjoy. Many thanks to the playwright, Prashant Ahir, for he and I have talked about the possibility ofthis festival for the last fifteen years! The Telegu-English play was surpris ingly international, detailing a story of an Indian boy marrying an American girl who is a Baba lover, and thus coming to Baba, but not without travail. As would be ex pected from a group from Hyderabad (the Silicon Valley of India), the play creatively incorporated computer-generated effects for the first time in the Meherabad theatre. Our thanks to M.R.V.K. Balaji, who once again demonstrated that he is a sincere and tireless worker for his Lord. Having never done a play, he came through with something ative, new and touching. J ose Henriques from Argentina informed me on October 15th that the Argentinean Baba group had hoped to bring a Spanish play for the festival but was unable to do so. That play was being performed in La Plata, Argentina, concurrentlywith our drama fes tival. Later, this same play acted as a means of continuing the drama festival into Novem ber. The La Plata group came to India in late October and on November 1 ith performed, in Spanish, their beautiful and sen sitive play of the soul’s journey. Present was an extraordinarily interna tional audience at Meherabad. One Mumbai pilgrim commented, “This play proves that there really is a language of the heart.” Alan Wagner and Heather Nadel are asking for international and Indian theatre groups and choirs to consider bringing their troupes to Meherabad for the Beloved’s pleasure at Meherabad Theatre in the fu ture, so that this article in the Trust’s Deed can continue to manifest. Contact: Alan Wagner do “Avatar Meher Baba Trust” Kings Rd. Ahmedna gar M.S. 414001 India.


“Do not play to the gallery Do not play for the salary Play for the Infinite God within.” Meher Baba [ Raine Eastman-Gannett and Bill Gannett,

Berkeley, California were involved with this marvelous Playfest and gave it the following write up:]

amac%i fI 3 2EJD

Program cover © Mehera Makeig, 2000

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

own! As ifthat is not enough, he also orga nizes the refreshments. Alan set the theme ofthe festival as “At traction”. The lights dimmed, Alan walked on to the stage and pronounced the First Mehera bad Playfest open.

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

“Chuli Nasheem” Written by Gabe Mednick, Erich Morton and Bill Gannett. TheMasterdrawsadrdearoundhimseWswearhg he will not come out, sleep, or drink until God grants him Realisation. His Devotee is horrified and tries to distract him by suggesting a trip to the “Ashoka Hotel” to eat, drink, and be merry. Or go to the Meher D arb ar Cyber Cafe andlog on to www. God. but com. nothing distracts Sadhu and disciple, Billy him. and Bill. Indra on —

Divine eemptress—Raine

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

Indra and Devas, Gabe, Mehera & Eruch

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

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

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The fifth scene opens with a darling little bunnyhoppingonstageinnocentlynibblinggrass. Stalked and then bitten, it is gobbled up by a terrifring lion. In the sixth scene, a refrigerator enters fol lowed by a ravenous portly gal who desperatei5i craves chocolate ice cream! She bravely tries to resist,butis overcome by her de sire and attraction to chocolate ice cream. She jumps into the all consuming fnidge and vanishes forever.

seven year old boy has a note written by him asking one ofthe girls to marry him. She says Written by Heather Nadel and Alan yes, but when it comes to the consummating Wagner. The music and theme song are by kiss, both freak out in repulsion and flee. Ward Parks. In the ninth scene, the cool rainbowhaired punkers deliver a rap jive and finally “Attraction is the gravity that keeps us after “she’s cute, he’s cute” etc. to a rap beat all here, snapping fmgers, declare their attraction and Attraction is what makes everything add “I’m attracted to you.. .for now.” repulsive or dear, The tenth scene gave us an endearing old I’m feeling for, I can’t take more, couple who reminisce about their past and I hate, abhor, I love adore. I want you...” find that all they remember is wrong, so fi The curtain rises and the Professor and nally question to what are they still Athis clever student are on stage behind a tracted. “I guess I’m just attracted to you,” podium, theorising about every sort of she says, with a grey-haired, toothless, en“Attraction”. (A cast of four dancer-playerdeaning kiss! The Professor tries to hide a mimes using several different costume changes tear and the chorus sings: “Attraction is the with lighting and sideline assistance, helps to gravity that keeps us all here. Attraction is tie together the Professor’s lectures. He is on what makes everyalecture tour ofEast andWest on the subject.) thing repulsive or TheProfessorpulls outhis Oxford dictionary dear....” Attraction, ac “Let us focus on cord’ to the Above: the Profissor Divine Attraction”, and Rupert, true se of the Professor says. Eruch Morton and the word, supScene ten was Billy Dulaney poses one danced to the beaupower by tiful song “Melt which differThe Me”. It was a spiral ent species of mice: dance by the four m a t t e r Bill dancer-playerunite’...bmrnm, and mimes in black leoRaine let us look at tards in front of a Captain andsailors: Raine, Bill, Mehera, and Gabe magnetic, portrait of Baba’s ehctric and gravitational attraction Beautiful Face infirst....” side a sculpture of a Atomic Attraction with a Proton, golden sun, “This is The children. Mehera, Bill, Raine Neutron and Electron dancing, beepbeyond Divine Atand Gabe ing and whirling becomes one as an traction. This, I Atom, and then breaks and careers think, is Divine Love”, says the Professor. apart in repulsion. “Unfortunately our Oxford dictionary is at Magnetic Attraction is the next a loss to describe it.” scene and takes place on a ship. The The dancers then fall to their knees, and Oldcouple: Mehera captain is frantic! His broken compass reaching up to the beautiful Sun Baba Image and Gabe does not register the North. The ternthat has manifested miraculously from above, fled sailors and a passenger (a monk) have “Hmmm, yes, one dancer says “To love God, one should religious flashes ofwhene the center ofMag problematic this think ofGod,long for God, and God the Benetism really is (i.e. pointing at the Physical Attrac loved will come to the lover and his thirst for Samadhi). tion.” says the union will be quenched.” The second dancer “Attraction is the gravity that keeps us Professor. “Let us says, “The humour ofthe divine Love-Game all here”. .sings the chorus. look at Love as is that the one who is sought, is himself the MeherBaba the “On to Physical Attraction... says the Attraction. seeker.” Dancer number three says, “The DivineAttraction. Professor. Scene seven, an seeker asking where is God is really God sayThe third scene, Physical Attraction, eager little boy mouse enters with a flower ing where is the seeker?” The fourth dancer opens with a bee attracted to a flower. Its held out lovingly for a very sweet and shy says, “Beloved, from the beginning I am atstrong craving for nectar causes it to care- girl mouse. After much shy dancing, they tracted to you and by the end I see You are lessly pounce on the prettiest flower. It’s finally acknowledge their attraction and she attracted to me! Although all attraction is only thoughtless annihilates it. takes the flower. to You, Stillwe have mutual attraction!”They In the fourth scene is a hilarious dance is perScene eight opens with sweet little children spontaneously break into the Beloved God formed by a goat longing for his nanny goat. coming rnto the school with their ABC’s. A prayer.

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Melt Me! Raine Eastman © 1988.

“Come with me let me melt you on the sunny warm shore, come with me let me melt you and show you lovers what your lovely hearts are for.

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

I cant get through your coat of armor, I wish I could your love to savor.

Love i-uone

But darling it’s so hard a battle,

A Hindi play by Prashant Ahir

you’ve built so well your outer shell. I feel resistance, a flow that’s blocked give me the key to your heart, it’s locked. I must give in til you surrender, wait for that special love so tender. I am waiting until youre ready a breath away ‘til the beat is steady, the highest union our souls to mix only the puresi ofhearts I pick. Shining hearts melting into me. The next day, Sundaythe 14th of Octo ber starts early in the morning with Tomb cleaning, Arti, breakfast and the bus to Meherazad where the entertainment was a re peat ofthe “Chulli Nasheem” play from yesterday. Doing this play again in Mandali Hall for Baba, Eruch, (who hadjust turned 84 three days earlier) the Women Mandali and the Pilgrims, was an additional thrill to having done it for the Meherabad Playfest. That afternoon at 4 p.m. back at Meherabad, the Mumbai Baba Group pre

The Curtain rises on four poor brothers. One ofthe brothers thinks he is in love with a pretty girl and wants to take her on a pic nic, but does not have the money to do so. In a huff she dumps him and goes to the picnic alone. The young man, Dyaneshwar, goes off with his younger brother in search of true love, hoping to find someone to give him unconditional love. They meet a dancer who can only offer lower love. Next they meet a religious man who uses God as some kind of lucky rabbit’s foot to grant his wishes. He also offends Dyaneshwar when he casually asks him his caste status; thus the limited and discriminatory attitude moti yates the brothers to continue their search. They next meet a Social Reformer/Activ ist who has lost sight ofhis initial vision due to the work-associated praise and fame which has now overshadowed the passion and love with which he started. Next they meet a Fakir who has renounced the world and tells them that God is the embodiment of Love and only God can tell us how to really love. Up until no the two brothers have danced and moved through the plot to great music by a group offine singers, and nar ration byPratap.Then...magic happens! Theymeet some fairies, played bybeau tiflil little girls with wings and pretty dresses all a-sparkle.The fairies tell them about Love in the form ofMeher Baba. The fairies represent the feeling of being accepted by the Avatar, that it is much more than we expected of ordi nary life. It is the Avatar’s gift —His grace. It is like a fairy tale, and we get not just a prince or princess but The King! Congratulations to Prashant and Pratap and cast, Rajmeher, Swarup, Prashant, Aseem, Priya, Samyogeeta, Deepak, Mehernandan, Divya,

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Leherazad: Chulinasheem Alan, Bill, Raine, and Gabe.

Aishwarya, Nidhi, and Prashant’s talented son who’s sense of acting and comedy now three generations down the line, was superb! Intermission until the Evening Show Later that night, after dinner, we poured back into the theatre on the eve of the New Life, ready for the next performance. The Telegu play from Hyderabad began. You might askhow did we follow these plays? The programs had translations within. So much detailed work had been organized for the Beloved’s enjoyment. TheTelegu Play”Auractions” byBalaji was multi racial, very modern, and featured something that is ever growing in our Baba world: a bi-racial marriage of a Hyderabad young man and a Western youngwoman who moved to the West. An innovative feature ofthis play was the projected computer images upon a movie screen on the other side ofthe stage. The play opened with a painted replica of Mandali Hall atMeherazadwith Eruch seated before Western and Eastern Baba Lovers lis tenrng to stories; Naveen, an Eastern man tells his storyto Eruch and the Pilgrims.... We flash back... Naveen is married to Mary and they live comfortably in a Western country Naveen is discontented, he falls prey to drunken behaviour and material thinking due to his lucrative job in the west, his desires grow and his recalcitrant behaviour troubles his dedi cated wife more and more. ‘Time’ is represented by a beautiful young dancer, seven year old Mehera Sampreti, who is in full Classical dance costume, ghungroos(ankle bells), jewels and hairadornment. She dances in Telegu-Kuchipudi Classical style.Time dances to the narration: “The mind oscillates, suspects the Truth, but runs after illusion”. Naveen is fired from his job. Time dances: “I have forgotten Your Abode ofLove, falling and playing with scintillating toys of illusion”... Mary tells Naveen about the Real Attrac tion, The Divine Beloved Meher Baba. Hejourneys to Meherabad. Images offast cars, big cities and now the journey to India and Meherabad have all been projected by computer images on the other side ofthe stage throughout all the action. Time dances to: “Meher the One, Meher the Eternal, The beautiful attractive One” Time dances on to a Huma song, “Yesterday there was a wedding in the house, now there is mourning with a death”. 7


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Going to India?

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Heres a check list for you.

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

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Meher Baba, Master Drummer keeping the Universe in rhythm.

Time dances on again to the song... “Meher Baba’s Voice of Silence”. Finally Naveen reaches the Beloved’s lap, and Time dances lastly to “Look, have the Darshan ofthe Beloved. He destroys all our sins”. Naveen falls at His feet feeling loved, cher ished and forgiven. Mandali Hall fades back in and we see Naveen fmishing off his corning to Baba story Lead roleswere played byBetsy and Meher, direction and production by Balaji; the Hyderabad group played the Pilgrims, Eruch and everyone else. Congratulations for a mag nifIcent multi rnedia rnodern play. Thus the first Meherabad Drama Festival ended.

AWild, Holy Band Your breath is a sacred clock, my dear— Why not use it to keep time with God’s Name? And ifyour feet are ever mobile Upon this ancient drum, the earth, 0 do not let your precious movements Come to naught.

Let your steps dance silently To the rhythm ofthe Beloved’s Name! My fingers and my hands Never move through empty space, For there are Invisible golden lute strings all around, Sending Resplendent Chords Throughout the Universe. I hear the voice Ofevery creature and plant, Every world and sun and galaxy— Singing the Beloved’s Name! I have awakened to find violin and cello, Flute, harp and trumpet, Cymbal, bell and drum— All within me! From head to toe, every part of my body Is chanting and clapping! Hafiz, The Beloved has made you Such a Luminous Man! For with constant remembrance of God, One’s whole body will become A wonderftil and Wild Holy Band!

“A Wild Holy Band” from I Heard God Laughing, Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky 1996.

Myself A monk said to Nasrudin: “I am so detached that I never think of myseLf, only of others.” Nasrudin answered: “I am so objective that I can look at myselfas ill *were* another person, so I can afford to think of myself.” From The Subtleties ofthe mimitable Mulla Nasrudin byldries Shah, The Octagon Press, London, 1983.


1uma 1umor for 2

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

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

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

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

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

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


“Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe” Opens at Meherabad

by Rani Didi Gannesh, Meherabad

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

II Jai Meher Baba H

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Mrs. Jày. . e Ramesh Jangle have the honour to extend you the invitation to attend the auspicious occasion of the Inaugural ceremony of our

MefierDai6a( CTtc Q4 Respected,

Mr. Bhausaheb Kaichuri Chairman of Avatar Meher Baba Public Perpetual Charitable Trust, A’Nsgar) has graciously accepted our request to inaugurate the Cyber cafe on Saturday 7th Oct. 2000 at sharp 5.00 p.m. VENUE

Meher Darbar Cyber Cafe STD. ISD. PCO. Nagar-Daund Road. Meherabad, Ahmednagar. Tel : (shop) 91-241. 58720 I 58746 Resi : 58730 I 58773. With Best Compliments From

Jangle Family

INVITATION

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

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Above. Invitation to the opening ofthe Meher Darber Cyber Cafe on Saturday, 7th October 2000. Left: The Caft with decorations and banners. Right: Ramesh and Bhau garland the Beloved and Mehera. Below: Welcome Rangoli chalk mandala.

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

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


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Ramesh (right) withfriend ready the garlands.

Bhau garlanding the images ofBaba on all ofthe computer screens.

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

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

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Jal, Elaine, Bhau and Shridar also enjoy thefestivities.

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The Best is Yet to Come Ena Lemon —January 27 1906

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September 2, 2000

Tricia Migdoll, Bangalow, Australia

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ear Lem, as she was affec tionately known, is finally at rest with Baba. She died at Elanora Nursing Home for the Blind, in Brighton Victoria, at the age of94. Ena’s health had been fading for several years. Ena was a “rock” in the Melbourne Baba community. She opened her home to us young potential Baba lovers, baked us cookies, told His sto ries, and sang His love songs month after month year after year. She was intelligent and witty wise and honest. She was vibrant and funny and very passionate in her love for Baba. she went to India, almost everyyear, travelling on her own until she was into her 80s and could travel no more. When Ena asked Baba what 4 sh,e should do with her life, Baba told her to take care of her parents. She never married and spent her young years caring for her invalid parents in turn until they died. She continued to care for others. .in her local community and for us in her Baba family. I have never known anyone to say “Jai Baba” with as much sincerity & reverence, each and every time, as Ena did. We will remember her with love and gratitude and delight. . . .

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off

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Jim Migdoll, Bangalow, Australia

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Kitty with Ena, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

forth sincerely and spontaneously. I’m sure lots ofus have fond memories ofEna’s many trips to India. To me, the most fascinating bit about her life with Baba is that she is the one who had the courage to just up and ask Baba to come to Australia. The gist ofwhat she told me (as best I remember it) is although many Australians longed for Him to come here nobody thought tojust ask Him! Until Ena. When she did, Francis Brabazon berated her rather soundly! along the lines of how one should never ask the Master because the Master always knows best. Baba would know when it was time to come to Australia. She did it anyway and He came! We all know how Baba emphasized prac ticality, and we’ve seen how His Mandali manifest this quality so well. Although Ena was not Mandali, she was certainly close to Baba. This story demonstrates that down-toearth, practical, straightforward and simple approach to problems that His Mandali or ...

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

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older dear ones often utilise in daily life, providing a counter point to the complexity and the intellectual and emotional gymnastics we often bring to problem solv ing. Ena and I were tending a Baba information stall in Melbourne at a New Age Fair kind ofevent, roughly 1982. I was talking to Ena about how often I’d done public presen tations of Baba when I lived in America, and how there was always this dilemma in pre senting Him: how to project an ‘availability’ to the people who came up to the stall (ap proachable, friendly and open), and at the same time have them sense that you would not pounce, proselytise, ear-bash or try to recruit them! Since I really wanted feedback from Ena about this (sometimes she seemed to have access to a ‘wise old woman’ within!) I talked on and on while she lis tened patiently. I described how on a few rare occasions I felt that I was able to get very centred in Baba, and thereby balance the seeming op posites of approachability and detachment. Then I confessed how when I wasn’t genu inely feeling Baba...being centred—that I would try artificially to adjust my body language!...smile a certain way!... etc. And then I went further and waffled on about how it was almost a semi-occult exercise that I felt one could learn! The bottom line was I spilled my guts and confessed all these silly things I’d attempted over the years...in order to project this balanced and centred state—so that people could actually sense it and feel free to approach the stall. When I finally finished, Ena looked thoughtful for a few seconds and said, “Why don’t we move our chairs back a little bit?” It was that simple! AU those years I had sat right up close to the table, and all that was needed was a bit of space! The number of people who came up to look at books or take some literature increased dramatically as soon as we moved our chairs back.


Here’s hoping our Beloved bestowed lib eration on her; and that she is now enjoy— ing Infinite Bliss. Candida Bloeme, Santa Barbara,California can only remember what a wonderful person she was and how much fun it was to be with her. Christina and I were drawn to her as I remember, and we spent quite a bit oftime talking with her, as she had much wisdom to impart. Ena was wise, playful, adventurous, and fit in seamlessly with all ofus young’uns.

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Bevan Eaton-Robinson, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina memories stand out in my mind about Ena. The first was early 1972, the place was Meherabad, the time was in the still of evening after arti... Ena and I had shared a tonga out from town. Everyone stayed in town in those early, pre-pil grim center years, us “poor folks” at the Dawlat Lodge, our “rich relatives” at Villo Villa, etc, and horse-drawn tongas were the main conveyance to Baba’s Samadhi. (We heard tell there was a car in town, but we rarely saw “it”. . .) Also, remember there was no electricity outside city limits then, both Meherabad and Meherazad were magically lantern-lit at dusk till close of day. (My friend Charlie and I hadjointly contributed the then “huge” sum of $100 for an electric

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generator for that third Amartithi, and Adi, tongue in cheek, wrote the chit out “To Shri Charles Manna and Shri Bevan Dawes: For illumination on the hill”—Illumination was cheap in those years, before we knew the price...) Christine and Candy Bloeme had shared a second tonga out from town. I doth remember that arti too well, overshadowed as that memory was by events to follow...The four ofus were rapt in prayers and arti (and probably just us four, plus Mansari and her dogs, the humans forming two neat little prayer rows within the lamp lit boundary of His threshold, as it could happen then). At the foot of the hill the tonga drivers had idled away their wait-time with a bottle of something other than Saki, as we were soon to discover. As the four of us boarded our respective tongas I thought, “How nice, the drivers are waiting for each other.” Turned out the drivers had wagered on a race, and just as soon as our two scrawny, pitiful horses had drawn even, we were catapulted out of sanctified spiritual reverie, away! away! from Meherabad Hill. The tongas leaped out like two speeding bullets shot through a double-barrel down the dark and rough road toward town. I was quietly but definitely petrified: it was ternfying—a dark dark road, no moon, no lights, drunk drivers (who, even sober, spoke no English), wildly swaying ramshackle carniages that threatened to separate at every seam. The onlylight flew out as spanks from beneath the horses’ hooves. Two “headless horsemen” at the helm! We sped past this, swerved round that...Heart thumping, mind tumultuous, knuckles white and clinging to the rail, I ventured a look behind to find close on our carriage heels Christine and Candy (by far the most sophisticated and beautiful of our little Western Baba-loven cluster), long hair flying, barelyvisible in the deep darkness, shouting and waving in ev ery language still at their breathless cornmand STOP, STOP nei nei, no no, bas bas. And then I turned back around to my carniage partner, dear Ena (then about 65ish?—ancient to rny then 21 years...) and she, flashing eyes and exuberant as you would ever want to see a human be, was shouting and waving “GO, GO, GO, ONShe relished ev WARD, ONWARD ery second ofit...What a woman! Second memory is more personal but I’ll tell it anyway. This lifetime was sort of a bad skin lifetime for me; the scars have faded (to be replaced with requisite wrinkles at 51), but at that age, around 21, the scars were most visible, especially to me. I remember Padni,

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

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News from Meher abad Ground-Breaking for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat

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

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

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Memories of Meherazad Simon Reece, Devon England

hile Meherabad was just as beauti lid as ever, the whole Meherazad ex penience was very different for me. Last time I was there in late ‘94 Mani had still been around, but now her bubbly presence is gone and the rest of the Mandali are fading napidly, on top of which, the trips to Meher azad are shorter and less frequent. But there were still some special times. There were a lot ofgood musicians there with me, Raine, Billy Goodnum, Tnudy Gardener and Pnice Branch, and one morning we sang in turn on Mehera’s porch, creating a cocoon of oneness, stillness and love around us. A couple ofpeople said it was the strongest they’d felt Mehena since she’d gone to Baba. Seclusion Hill was a neal surprise. It’s starting to look like a wooded area around the entrance at the bottom. I just remem ber there being shrubs there, but they’ve grown into trees now.


surgery here at Meherabad. In arranging for sense of belonging. All the participants in this we are following in Meher Baba’s that team effort share herjoy and feel gratefootsteps. Do you know that the Avatar fril for this experience of Baba’s love in ac himselforganized surgery for cataract patients tion, for the privilege of having had a part in Meherabad as early as 1925? So cataract in this opportunity for service in His name. This is why we close the camps with a musurgery camps are almost a tradition here! There is quite a high incidence of cata sic program. The patients and their relatives racts in mral India. A life spent toiling in sit together with the staff. The post-operathe fields under the sun brings intense ex tive instructions are explained one more posure to ultra violet rays that damage the time, and then we sing bhajans and Meher lens ofthe eye. Elderly people often do not Baba’s arti. Nobody seems in a hurry to leave. have the family support or the finances to For, unless we are living in His presence, be taken to a medical facility where they are we not all in exile? could be operated on. So they slowly lose their sight, until they hear that there is an eye doctor in the Meher Baba dispensary at Arangaon. They come here, bent over their walking sticks, dressed in their traditional Irene Holt, 15 November, 2000 garb and turbans, sometimes completely huni night, November. The crowd is blind, hesitant to believe that their sight can larger than in recent months. The be restored, hesitant to believe what they a have heard through word of mouth: that in weather cool and dry a beautiful Meher a resoundafter and lit is fire The the Meher Baba Hospital they can get good bad night. ing “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai”, the darshan surgery free of charge. Over the years, the kind of services of- line begins to move and the singing of His fered here has progressed. There is now a lovers fills the air. Each pilgrim approaches regular eye consultation in Meher Health the fire and takes a sandalwood stick dipped Center, twice a week. The patients who need in ghee, symbolising their heart’s offering surgery are screened at the Health Center to Baba, to toss in.Jal Dastoor is overseeing and told when to come to the Meher Hos as usual, and tonight he encourages two or pital for their operation. Since 1999, a new three at a time to throw in their sticks and bow down before the flame, to make sure technique is used by a dedicated eye geon from Ahmednagar. A plastic lens is there’s time for everyone to have a turn. Sitting there in the atmosphere of HisS implanted inside the eye to replace the one bydamaged by the cataract. This gives excel- love and presence with so many of his together gathered lent results, and a much better vision than ers from so many places could be obtained with the thickglasses that is an inspiring experience. One pilgrim cornrnented “This makes the whole trip to Inused to be required after cataract removal. It takes real teamwork and a lot of coordi dia worth it.” A few ofus observing the line natrng to arrange for twelve to fifteen patients move by the bight of the fire were suddenly struck by the amazing number of countries to be operated on the same day. Quite an gath ercise in cooperation! Patients spend the week- around the world represented by those re many end here, coming on Saturday afternoon, be- ered here. Besides those from the were there ing operated on Sunday, and discharged on gions oflndia, north and south, Aus Monday. The stafffrom the dispensary work pilgrims in attendance from the USA, Ger on their day off Hostel D kitchen provides tralia, England, Ireland, New Zealand, r the food free of charge, volunteers come to many, Austria, the Netherlands, Switze serve meals and guide non-seeing or tottering land, France, Spain, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Turkey, Oman, Sudan. Wow! Did I miss elderly patients. Baba’s love can be felt by all during these any? Possibly, but it’s an impressive list, camps. Some patients remember having had spanning not only a great number of coun His darshan manyyears ago, and share their tries but every continent of the earth, ex memories. Women patients are especially cept Antarctica! Dr. Anne Moreigne, Wednesday, We stood together to finish up with grateful.They are used to taking care of oth October 4, 2000 and English artis, followed by the Hindi their in time ers, and it is probably the first n the 24th ofSeptember 2000, ten lo life that they have received so much atten classic “Gatte Chalo,” the song which asks cal villagers received free cataract tion! One woman who was completely blind us to go forth singing Baba’s name and surgery in Meher Hospital. Since the before the surgery said softly when her ban- praises. And the yellow fttll moon rose over beginning ofthis year 2000, 46 patients had dage was removed: “I was in exile”. A quiet the eastern horizon to shine on the world their vision improved or restored through and poignant statement. Now she has a new family of the Avatar. 15

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

Out of Exile

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Full Moon Over Meherabad

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Our Man from Meherabad James Cox, Meherabad, Oct. 2000

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ust got back from a party at Ramesh Jangle’s house, to jointly celebrate the opening of his new cyber cafe at Mehera bad and the Divali season which is upon us. This was my fourth dinner party in as many nights, and it is getting a bit much. I’m sure that even at Christmas time in South Texas we never had a social schedule like this. For those ofyou that didn’t know, Divali, the Hindu Festival of Lights (and fireworks), marks the end of the southwest monsoon and also, in mythological terms, the victory ofthe forces ofgood over evil. It is also the beginning of the New Year and the biggest holiday of the calendar. The weather has also changed, turning cooler with the new moon, at 1 1 p.m. it must be about 20° C (68° F), but the afternoons still hit the low 30s (about 90° F). In my opinion, this is the best time of the year at Meherabad, there is plenty of water (Lake Meherabad is full after about 26 inches ofrain since May), the weather is cool and crisp with lots of sun and the trees are still in a state ofpost monsoon flourish. Occupancy at the PC is rather lowish and the road from Bombay is almost clear of trucks. That’s about as close to paradise as you can get, and still have chai with your French toast. We are all still here... waiting

Old Dog and Young Squirrel

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

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

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

Railroad Tracks e night before last I put my thermom eter out on my verandah for a while and it read 15 (59 F), but it seemed colder than that while I was walking back from the Samadhi, so I put it further away on my car and it read 1O (5O F). Just before sunrise it was down to 3 (38 F), about as cold as it gets in Meherabad. This is the middle ofthe winter but the days still hit 2T (80 F) in the af ternoon. The grass has all turned brown and dried up, it’s trny spears fillingyour socks ifyou stray from the path. At dusk, great grass fires cast their orange glow in pale competition with the setting sun, some intentionally set, some not, stripping the land ofwhat little cover is left to hold the soil against the hot winds of summer-to-come.The dust starts to rise now, turning to brown talcum powder by May. Deserts are definitely the work of man...and goats. Yesterday morning I was driving to one of our construction sites on the road below the Samadhi when I saw one ofour laborers walking in the opposite direction from work. I stopped him and asked him what was going on (meaning why wasn’t he working), and he replied that someone had just been killed by the train, then he kept walking, away from the scene.


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

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In God’s Hand Readings Jim Robinson, Myrtle Beach, SC e are having In Godc Hand meet ings at Phyllis Ott’s house once a week. People seem to be feeling a spintrial power in these words direct from Baba, for which God Speaks was a prepa nation. Maybe God Speaks was written “to appease the intellectual convulsions ofthe mind of man,” and, that done, In Godc Hand has appeared for a different punpose, such as to speed up the heart. 5everal participants said it feels experiential nathen than mental. We imagined Baba writing in His own hand, in the table cabin, fresh from the state of being lost to normal consciousness; then, when He finished, saying to Himself, “How in the world is anyone going to understand this? I must prepare people for this first.” Then it took Him thirty years to modify it down to something we would have a chance ofengaging with initially, and God Speaks was produced. Then it took forty years for God Speaks to work on us; now we are ready for In Godc Hand. I did write an example of the ques tions we are considering, but I seemed to get it from Baba that the Internet is not the place to discuss this book. Perhaps it is not about the mind, but about something else, and requires a different venue—e.g. a small group, meeting in person—to accomplish its purpose. Still, I will go ahead and post what I wrote: On pages 2-3 Baba writes (isn’t it great we can now say without qualification “Baba writes?”) [square bracket transla tion of non-English script words provided in the book by the editors]: “So in the ordinary awake state the mind working (i.e. unnatural darkness) the universe and its experiences (unnatu ral light) exist. But in the sound Sleep the mind not working (there the mind is stopped) the universe and its experiences vanish. There only nothingness i.e. natu ral darkness prevails. There only Light and its [Astitva=existence] Dankness re main. Thus the nothingness of Sound Sleep is Natural Darkness. We in the very beginning said: God in the Sound Sleep (Natural Darkness) is [Khodaa=God as Lord and Master]”

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

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

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ver the past year, I’ve been actively involved in revising, proofreading and re writing a story Eve written based on a personal experience (though slightlyfictionalized) which begins at the moment Baba dropped His body in 1969. In doing research on world affairs at keypoints in the tale, I came across a very interesting piece of information. Myold buddy ChuckMagro, felt that Baba had used the Beatles for Hiswork. Chuckcited the tremen dous focus of the world’s attention which they provided (something Baba used in theatres and the like), as well as their role in bringing “Eastern” ideas to the “West” on a very large scale, and the massive transforma tion of consciousness they precipitated, whether intentionally or not. Anyway, my little discovery was this: The last public performance by the Beatles, as documented in the movie Let It Be, was on the rooftop of the Abbey Road studios in London onJanuary3O, 1969, around 12 hours before Baba dropped His body. Interestingly, folks coming home from work that evening apparently called the police, complaining that the Beatles’ recording session was creating a public nuisance.Theywere forced to stop playing, and never performed publicly as the Beatles again. If that was about 7 p.m. Lon don time, it would have been around 12:30 a.m. on the 31st in India. Baba dropped His body at 12:15 p.m. Later that day (the 31st), the Beatles went into the studio and recorded two oftheir most famous songs, including one which became an anthem: LetltBe and TheLongand WindingRoad. I figure this would have been about 6 hours after Baba dropped His body. Do any ofyou remember how much Letlt Be—in feel certainly, and in words to an extent-felt like a message from Baba in those days? I know I have often thought ofLongand WindingRoad

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

the atmosphere was pleasant, but he could see he was not going to get anywhere with this. He tells us John had a very charming personality and a quickwit. So he returned to his own table. A few minutes laterJerry Rubin comes over to him and said, “John didn’t want to offend you. He would like to have the card back”. Bob, ofcourse, turned it over to him. Aweek or so later he noticed in some music magazine an article about John Lennon and to his great surprise saw the defaced card of Meher Baba! Reading the article thoroughly, he could fmd no reference to the card. Most strange! —ed.] Tom Clancy: I thought it particularly interesting that Abbey Roac4 their “swan song”, was recorded during the time ofBaba’s Great Darshan of 1969. And I suppose you know George and Baba share the same birthdate. Oh airight, so maybe I’m pushing it a bit... Then Doug Goodhill added: I don’t want to canythistoofar,butonJanuary3lst 1969,Buddy Holly posthumously released the single Love Is Strange and the B side was Youir The One.

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

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


His intimate mandali or circle of twelve “My Apostle”. A few months before dropping His body, Baba called Harry for a visit with Him in India in November 1968. It was during the Nixon-Humphrey election—”which in itself was a sign that my presence wasn’t essential to the election!” Harry told us in his usual blunt, emphatic and humorous way. Harry describes being with Baba in Mandali Hall one morning before Election Day. Baba is asking him about this and that, they’re chatting, Baba calling Harry His son and Harrç as usual, calling Baba his “Pops.” At some point, Harry who favored Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon, says: “So Baba, it looks like Humphrey’s going to win the election.” Baba promptly replies: “That’s by *yo* wrn, isn’t it?” Baba says no more about it. When the morning session ends, He returns to His room and Harry is outside Mandali Hall, talking with Eruch and the others, when he learns that Baba had told them as early as March of 1968, before the Conventions, that “Nixon must come into the White House.” “So it was decided!” Harry exclaimed. “Nixon must come into the White House. God picks the winners and the losers. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the vote of the population! He canjust change the num bers on the machines! Did he change the numbers on the Nixon-Humphrey election? The guywon byless than halfofa percent [or something like that. TP].” “of course, this doesn’t mean that you go out and tell people not to vote. But as a fol lower ofAvatar Meher Baba, know that God picks the winners and the losers.” Ofcourse, I dont entirely agree with Harry For many years (influenced by this story) I didn’t vote. These days, I consider it as much a responsibility as anything else in this life in which I live and act and reallybelieve that my actions do make a difference. For me, at this point, voting with detachment is what I feel honesty asks of me. Also, I think that bit about changing the numbers on the voting machines was Harry’s *jj* just sense of humor. But of course, He for arrange change the numbers. .or maybe and ed some ballots to be double-punch thrown out? To paraphrase Harry: “Did He do that in Florida? The guy only won (lost) by200 votes!” (or however it fmallyturns out). Either way, in the end, I believe it is entirely true that “God Picks the Winners and the Losers” and He knows *exacily* what He’s doing. —

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to stay in the tonga on the bumpy ride up the hill. When we got to the top, He said, “Do Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach you see how bumpy the ride was? The spinmal path is like that. If you try to do it by November 17th, 2000 you are sure to fall out of the cart. yourself Jim Robertson reports on the Question But ifyou hold on to Me, ifyou obey Me, I and Answer session will show you God.” Still I did not know anything about Baba first the remember you Do uestion: God. He told me to keep silence, and I being Is heart? your touched Baba time Meher doing my inner work at upper Mehera began with time ofyour or image there any incident the Prem Ashram. Sidhu was to watch in bad you? comesbackto MeherBabathatparticularly Baba said WI needed to see Him, tell me. over not do u wistfully)Yo A: (Esfandiar smiled Baba would see me. Baba told me and Sidhu grade fifth in the was I forget those moments. Think of Me only. I am your this. do “Now India. in school the when I first heard about your brother and your sis father, your mother youth, lined At that time I was a spirituallyind Everyrelationship in your everything. am I ter. Zoroastrian the reading the sacred books of Think ofMe only.” It you. for that am I life, about I heard religion, and I enjoyed praying. every now and then I that happen so would not did I there. the school, and wanted to go For example, my word. a utter and slip would did and know anything about Meher Baba, I might acci and by, pass might Baidul uncle Meto not know He was God. When I came morn“Good say and hand my raise dentally the was I herabad, I was thirteen years old. he and Sidhu tell I would did so, I If ing.” only student in my grade, and Kaikushru Baba.Then see to hill the down me send would heard Afsari was made my teacher. I had never anything before about the possibility that you I would sit in Baba’s office at His feet. There, could become God. Once I heard that, it was He told me I could speak to Him, tell Him all I wanted. I lost interest in my studies, and anything and everything. He would be carryeverything else, and Ijustwanted to steal away ing on business, dealing with people, making to go out in the woods and devote myself to arrangements for food for the ashram, and so this. I thought I shouldjust pick up my shoes on. Then He would say, “Airight, you had a and tiptoe past the guard and run away. One slip. I forgive you. Now let me remind you. day, my teacher bowed, and I looked behind Think only of Me. Remember, I am your mother, your father, your brother and your sis me, and there stood Meher Baba. “Whydoyou notwant to study?” He asked, ter. I am everything to you.Think only ofMe.” I said, “I don’t know.” He asked if it was This He would say to me, over and over. I continued doing my inner work, and Baba the food, or ifany ofthe teachers or the other boyswere bothering me;was I sleeping airight? would come to talk to us every day. That is when Was I uncomfortable in any way? I said none I began to have the experiences, beautiful sights ofthose thmgs were bothering me. He fmally andfragrances. Gradually, as I did myinnerwork said WI did not tell Him the reason, He would and had the expetience ofthat, combined with send me to Bombay. I thought to myself that the explanations Baba gave to us when He came verydaIduallydevelopedtheunderstanding would not be so bad. From Bombay it would be easier for me to run away. Then He said that Baba is God. After a time it would happen He will send me to Iran. “Oh,” I thought, thatwhen I wouldbe seeing Baba, WI spoke, the “That is verybad. From Iran I will not be able words did not come out right. Then Baba said, to do anything.” Finally I told Him. “Baba, I “OK, enough ofthis silence. From now on you can speak” want to see God.” Qifaperson in theWestgot the idea to give Then Baba embraced me. He held me for about twenty minutes. Then He took me to up allhis activities,hisjob,his caretakingrespon His office. He sat in a chair while I sat before sibilities, and devote himselffiill time to such inHim on the floor and He gazed at me. I was ner work, to love Baba—from what Esfandiar is shy, andlooked at the floor.Then he lay down saying, it seems perhaps thatwould not be a bad on a cot at the side ofthe room, and hid Him- idea. Does he have anything to say about that? Translator: Oh, yes, he has a biglove for that! self under a sheet. After twenty minutes, He A: It is not necessaryforyouto do that. Jfyou emerged from the sheet, and he took me out the back door. He called the tonga to take us have that love for Baba, just continue to do all these things,butthink,”I am doing this forBaba. up the Meherabad Hill. “Get in,” He said. I said there was no place This is Baba’s work, not mine. I am eating for for me to sit. I tried to hold on to the arm of Baba.This is Baba’s family that I am taking care the tonga, but He said, “No, hold on to my offorBaba.Just thinkonlyofBaba, and think of arm.” I clung to His arm, and was barely able everything you are doing as done for Baba.”

Esfandiar Vesail’s Talk

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[Since Baba spentlittle time in Egyptitself and not much information could be found regarding these trips, we have found some interesting and amusing incidents, sto nes and discourses aboard the vessels onwhich Baba sailed with His mandali on the trips to and from Europe and India. The following accounts of Baba’s travels during the 30’s were excerted from LordMeher, Vols 4,5, 6 and 7,byBhau Kaichuri as well as Love Alone Pre vails, by Kitty Davey.]

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

Baba spelled out, “There is bliss everywhere and nothing else exists, but people do not know it. It is no use listening to lectures and learning does not come from books. Direct experience of God is needed. The Experience is spontaneous; it is not to be forcibly obtained.” Concerning his activities, Gandhi remarked, “Whatever I do, I take upon myself the responsibility for it. Though in the end, internally I leave everything to God. I cannot shirk my responsibility. Except for God, it is my conviction that I cannot disavow my re sponsibiity.” “But that thought should not be there,” Baba explained to him. ‘I do. I think. I renounce. .1 suffer. I do everything for oth ers.’ These thoughts should not be there. 1f to the detriment of others, one tries to know and understand God, it creates terrible “

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sanskaras.” Through the means of service, karma yoga, Gandhi was trying and know God, which was commendable. But as a political see to leader, he forwarded ideas such as the use ofthe spinning wheel for preparing khadi and non-cooperation activities, which his followers carried out and suffered by so doing; consequently, the burden of those sanskaras fell on Gandhi’s shoulders. Concerning reading Baba’s book, Gandhi pointed to the trunk. Baba replied, “Unfortunately, the key has been left behind in India.” Gandhi replied that he would have it opened. Handing the box to Gandhi, Baba told him that after he had opened the box to bring the case back to Him and He would give Gandhi some of the book to read with His own hands.” Baba warned him to be careful, telling him that up to then He had not allowed anyone to see it, not even the mandahi. Gandhi would be the first person to read it, but must not allow anyone else to read it. Gandhi reassured Baba that he would do as he was told. Gandhi returned to Baba’s cabin the evening of September 9, bringing the case containing Baba’s book. They began to speak on political issues. Baba commented on the current political crisis in India and told Gandhi to first solve the problem of Hindu and Muslim unitc The subject then shifted to Gandhi’s upcoming participation in the Round Table Conference in London concerning India’s independence from the British. Baba dictated, “As far as possible, present your demands firmly at the conference in London. Whatever you have thought of and decided to do, demand it as your right. Let the British decide to grant it or not, but you must be persistent in your demands. The British won’t grant everything. It is doubtftil what they will grant, because whatever decision was made in the first Round Table Conference, they will stick to that.” Baba then told Gandhi that even if he had to return from the conference empty handed, he should not be concerned, because : whatever agreement he may arrive at would be good. “In case you return empty handed”, Baba continued, “and have to conduct nonviolent civil

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

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

Port Said, 1932

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

Alexandria, Cairo and Giza, 1932

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

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

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on August 24th Baba road a donkey to the pyramids and Sphinx in Gizeh (Giza), and also visited the local zoo. In Cairo, Baba revealed to Kaka and Chanji, “The Coptic Church contains a cave where Mary andJoseph stayed after fleeing Herod. The reason I came to Egypt is to visit this church.” Led by Baba, they visited the Coptic Church the next day. Baba’s face was radi— ant withjoy as he walked through the church, as ifHe was reliving His memories as Jesus. “This is my dear old place,” He recalled and indicated thatJesus had also come and stayed here with His apostles. Baba climbed down to the small, dark room of the . I . :1 cave. The church warden did not want to open it, but Baba insisted and he finally 1’ , agreed. They were told that /4 the church had been erected over the cave nine hundred and thirtyyears after Christ. Afterward Baba visited the Egyptian museum that housed the remains of the pharaohs, the citadel and Islamic mosques ofthe sul— tans in Cairo. ; f .. Baba left Cairo for Port Said on August 27th. After / I five days in Egypt, Baba, d , Kaka and Chanji sailed for India on the S. S. Victoria on August 29th. .,

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

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ctober2, 1933 theM.V. Conte Verde docked in Port Said on the way to Europe. That day the maharani of Indor, Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar accom panied by her secretary came to Baba’s cabin for His darshan. At the time, Baba was out for his morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, “Meher


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

Port Said and enroute to England, 1934

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

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

Baba boarded the 5.5. Toscania in Bombay for England with Kaka Baria, Chanji, Adi Sr., and brother Jal. They ar rived in Port Said on the evening ofNovember 23, 1934 at nine in the evening, and left the ship to see a movie. After reboarding and putting out to sea, a rough storm arose and Adi, Kaka and Chanji were confined to their cabins with seasickness. Baba and Jal re mained well.

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Port Said and enroute to England, 1937

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

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“Truth is infinitely simple and to realize it is naturally also easy. Complications are not natural to unity because duality is based on complications. Books, philosophies and different terms, all lead to conftision and contradiction if not appli cable to one’s spiritual tendency. God-Realization means living in and with God in every thought and action to be so spontaneous as to naturally ex press divinity through every thought and deed consciously. It is divinely and consciously automatic. When you are asleep or awake, conscious or uncon scious, eating or not, with people or alone, amidst activi ties or in solitude, you continue breathing automatically. Your breath is constant and always with you. So may God be in and with you automatically, and at the same time consciously, in every aspect ofyour life. It is to be simple, practical and livable in the ordinary run ofilfe, natu ral and easy to maintain in all. your worldly activities. Belief trust and faith are all illusory phenomena ifnot based on conviction through personal experience. Ignorant persons seekto pointoutthe faults and weaknesses in others instead of finding them in themselves; and I for some, to criticize Truth is their life’s work, for when they fail to gain it, they grow de spondent and turn against it. The apparent is not real. Under many a life’s complicated problems are hidden some of the simplest truths which the veil ofignorance obscures from human vision. Do not bother about believ ing in me. Be prepared to beI’i/Ieher Baba on board the Circassia, 1937. lieve in your Self Have faith in for Truth. Only then will you know always between fanatic followers capacity for longing there are quarrels your own Thus it is that then will you come Only Prophets and infinite simplicity. Truth in its pure ofdifferent religions over words and explanations that the never uttered, but were written in the so-called holy scriptures by to know who I am.” overenthusiastic disciples and priests, which quite naturally causes a [After consulting abookon Egyptianwriting, a member ofour staffcreated computer-generatedhierog{yphsforthetitlepageofthisaffide.Thestonesinthe revolt in the minds ofothers.” Baba also met a few of the other passengers on board who had columnsonpae2Oreadfiomthetop:MeherBaba,IGngoftheCodsLive,Live, expressed their desire to meet Him. On November 18th, Baba gave Live;the GreatGod,LordofHeaven;God,BelovedLordofallLands; Live, Live,Live.Pattemiepeatedonbothcolumns.] this message to that small group of passengers: --

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24Advenmres in Egypt Article and photos by Jim Peterson, Walnut Creek, CA

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tombs of royalty and nobility hen my twelve from the Old Kingdom of year old son, Egypt. But there the Egyp Blake, asked me if we tian heat began to seriously could go to Egypt for our interfere with my enjoyment. summer holiday, I enthu It is very difficult to tune into siastically agreed. Not Meher Baba’s love when only could we explore the you’re sweltering in 1 15 de ancient wonders of this gree heat and ready to pass remarkable country, but I out. So my tactic was simply could also follow in to one-pointedly hunt for the Meher Baba’s footsteps famous Saqqara doorway and look up the various where Baba posed in 1932. At places He went during least a dozen guides and po His short visits in lice guards pointed me to the 1932. * correct place where the doorThere were several : d way was located They all regular tourist spots that looked at a photo I had of Meher Baba visited that Blake infront of The Great Sphinx ofCephren, c. 2520 2480 B. C., Giza. we also enjoyed. We went to the Citadel, the Egyptian Museum in cance. I had antici Cairo, and the Giza Zoo (our hotel over- pated a special enlooked the zoo). But the three places Baba ergy in the King’s seemed to indicate were most special were Chamber in the Pyramid. also the three spots my son and I could Great feel Baba’s loving presence: the Giza Pla What I didn’t expect, teau, St. Sergius’ Coptic Church, and the however, was the warm, undulating ancient necropolis of Saqqara. emanating If there is an actual place of pilgrim- force age in Egypt, it must be the site of the from the massive Sphinx and the pyramids. Even the siz carved form of the zling August heat cannot prevent one Sphinx. I don’t know from experiencing the special and myste how Meher Baba rious energy surrounding these monu contributed to that ments. For me, however, standing near meditative power, but for me the Sphinx Baba standing at the tomb door. But they where Baba was photographed by the was the highlight of my Egyptian excur were all wrong and I could not locate the door. Finally after an hour of marching Sphinx held the most unexpected signifi sion. Our real adventure around the complex through the Sahara was a three hour camel ride across the desert to Saqqara. Of; course, one could reach this area by car as Baba did, but the F prospect of a long camel ;‘i ride seemed toustobethe only way to , go Saqqara contains the two

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

Inner Sunrise

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

If I were the plaything ofevery thought, I’d be a fool, not a wise man. Ifthe Sun ofLove was not my own, I’d be moumftil like Saturn, ñsing and falling in the night sky IfI were not guided by the fragrance of Love’s City I’d have followed dark spirits into the endless desert of greed. If the soul’s light had to stay inside its house, I’d open every door and window! If the garden of the soul did not com fort those in pain, I could not carry Love’s message on the east wind. Iflovers were not addicted to music and dancing, whywould I sing all day and night like a wailing flute? If the Saaqi’s weight-giving wine had been kept from my mouth, I’d be like the thin lip of a cup! Ifthe Garden had no leaves or shade, I’d be rootless like the fortune-trees of deceitfiil men. If God’s servants were not upon the earth, I’d have fallen into the sin and folly ofthis world. If there was no way from the grave to paradise, I could not behold thejoythi heav ens in this body. Ifthere was no road from East to West, I would not be dancing through the garden with the North and South winds! If the Abundant Garden did not gro my soul would never blossom. If God’s grace were not with me I’d be a babbling fool! Go within. Hearthestoryofsunriseftomthe Sun itself Ifthere were no sunrise within, I would have set long ago! Ghazal 2996, from the Diwan of Shams of Tabriz Version byJonathan Star “Rumi In the Arms of the Beloved” Jeremy P Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997 --

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A Note from Our Trust—walli Lynne Berry

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you’ve been thinking that some time you’d like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today maybe the perfect time. TheAvatarMeherBabaTrustmns afirst rate school, provides medical care for villag ers and maintains Baba’s tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the trust whose living expenses are coyered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of theseworthyprojectswere specified byBaba Himself in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust’s charitable projects and outreach projects are carried outbyEastem andWestem volunteers. Some projects, however require the assistance ofpaid Indianworkers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials andlabor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all ofus. I_f this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

ASelectionfromThe Shvetashvatara Upanishad Inthedepthsofmeditation,sages SawnthemselvestheLordofLove, WhodweDsintheheartofeverycreature. Deep intheheartsofallHedwek ...

The LonlofLoveholdsinHishandtheworld, Composedofthechangingandthechangeless, Themanifestandtheunmanifest. The separate selfnotyetawareoftheLord, Coesafterpleasure,onlytobecome Boundmoieandmore.WhenitseestheLord, Therewmestheendtobondage. Allchangeintheworldofthesenses, ButcbangelessistheLordofLove. MeditateonHim,beabsorbedinHim, Wakeupfromthedreamofseparateness. KnowHimtobeenshrinedinyourheartalways. Trulythereisnothingmore inlifeto know. Me&tateandrealizethisworld IslllledwiththepresenceofGocL A selectionfrom The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (verses 3,8, 10 and 12,), translated by E.Easwaran, THE UPANISHADS (Tamales, CA.• Nilgiri Press, 1987),pp. 21 7-218.

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you have not ordered the Baba calen dars for 2001, know that they are available. Unfortunately costs have risen & the calendars are quite a bit more expensive than last year. We have them for $10 each and 5 or more will be $8.50 each. When I was at Avatar’s Abode (in Aus tralia) there was a folk music concert being given with entries from around the world. Sim Symonds, a Baba lover from waaay batk and workingwith the Queensland Folk Federation, has produced a wonderfttl CD that was recorded live at the Woodford Folk Festival. He has titled it Many Beads on One String, as it is a collection oftraditional de votional music. The CD itself has a stunning Mastery in Servitude colofon in red, purple and yellow on it! It has excellent qual ity sound and production values. A three page colour insert with information about the various nationalities on it, complete with photos ofthe performers is very nice to have. There are Tibetan monks chanting, Indian Bhajans, Sufi qwallis, Gregorian chants and many more. It sells for only $14 here, but in Australia costs you $30 (the Aussie dollar is very depressed right now, but it’s super if you’re traveling from the US!) Another new CD we have is from Mary Lloyd Dugan. You may remember her name from the wonderful Baba in Switzerland article she wrote for us in the October LampPost. Mary is a professional story teller. She goes round to schools, Homes, etc. and displays her considerable talents acting out stories. 28

Isn’t this magnificent?

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

She has called her CD Dance in the Breeze, and like herself it is light and breezy. Mary says it is a unique collection of sto ries, songs and poems she dedicates to the Beloved. It sells for $15. The Divine Rememberer—Mehera is a new CD by Raine Eastman Gannett. Raine was one of Mehera’s favorite singers, and this new CD is dedicated to her. These are songs about, to, or for Beloved Baba’s Mehera. Particularly beautiftil are the words from the title track: Every detail ofyour face Every moment ofYour Grace The strength and beauty ofyour walk She told us every detail. We sat with her and did not know that any moment she would go, Oh The Divine Rememberer. Mehera She told us ofyour lovely voice Though beautiful Silence your choice Every story ofyour compassion revealed the depth oftrue devotion We came to tea and did not know, . .

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

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

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


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

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

Book Reviews

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Unveiling of Secrets Reviewed by Dma Snow

but also his enthusiasm about discovering new ways of seeing oral data in relationship to textual data, and textual data in relationship to ritual data. “Reading this book has taken me far afield in my own thought, and I must end by remarking that, like the pilgrim to Khuldabad, I have come back from the ex penience much enriched and full of a cer tam spirit ofrenewal that I would not have imagined nor found before this trip. Eter nal Garden marks a major, transformative advance in the study ofinstitutional Sufism, especially, but not solely, in South Asia.” Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke University Ernst’s research, based on rare Persian manuscripts preserved in Sufi shrines in the medieval town of Khuldabad, a major cen ter ofpilgrimage in the Indian Deccan, re veals the mystical teachings and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by the ecstatic Shaykh Burhan al-Din Ghanib (d. 1337) and his disciples. The book clarifies the diverse historiographical approaches found in an array of narratives. It redefines major topics in the often emotionally charged study of religion and history in South Asia, and it raises provocative theses on much-argued topics such as the basis of Islamic political power in South Asia and the alleged roles of Sufis as warriors and. missionaries. Hardcover $21.50, 381 pages. “One of the most exciting and read able contributions to the study of Islam in India to appear in years.” Middle East Journal “No other sacred space in Islamdom has been subjected to such thorough, penetrating, and illuminating historical research.” Digest ofMiddle Eastern Studies “The book may serve well as a useful text for advanced courses that seek to ex plore the complex interplay of Islam and politics in precolonial India. It will cer tainly be long regarded as an important contribution to the cultural history of Indian Sufism.” InternationalJournal of Middle East Studies “An important contribution to the growing field of scholarship on South Asian Islam and the nature oflslamic society in South Asia.” Iranian Studies. Carl is also the author of Words ofEc stasy in Sufism. —

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

Eternal Garden

Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center by Carl Ernst

Various Reviewers “This is an extraordinary piece of schol arship. I like the constant sense of discov ery that Ernst brings to his work, not only with regard to the literary archival material, which he has arrayed in painstaking detail,

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Music Reviews

New songs by Ward Parks—Babahu

Dance in the Breeze

A review by Jim Wilson

Mary Louise Trask Beaufort, South Carolina

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

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

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fyou, like myself love the songs of Ward Parks, you are in for a breath-taking treat in what I feelembodies his fmest offering. His new disc,entitled Babahu (translated “Baba God”) includes dozens of singers, musicians, and technicians, far too many to list. It draws upon Indian instruments such as the tamboura, harmonium, tabla, and dholak, as well as flute, guitar, drums, and keyboard/syn thesizer. Leadvocalists include Rick and Perry Flinn, K.Gopal KrishnaMeher,John Connor Ted Judson, Carol Gunn, Lame Lipsor, Winnie Barrett, Buz Connor, and Cathy Riley surely some ofBaba’s most talented singers. Also, saved for fmal applause, the Chapel Hill Choral Singers, fifteen members strong, un der the energetic direction ofDebbie Nordeen, and also the chorus oflndian singers who so electrif5r the songs entitled “Babahu” and “Allah Meher Baba.” And ofcourse,Ward Parks, composer, arranger, accompanist, who did the recording withJohn Gunn and M.V.R. Balaji. The overallwork is a mastepiece sparklingwith the unmistakable beauty and charm of our Beloved Meher Baba. The disc contains over an hour of heartawakening music, twelve songs, each pulsing with a profundity gleaned from Meher Baba’s words and inspiration, and dedicated to His memory and love. There is an alchemy at work in Ward’s outpourrngs: he takes a frill measure of melody and Urdulyrics (like Nusrat Fateh All Kahn), some sacred music ofJohann Sebastian Bach, many layers of Western Classical composi tion and structure, and some modern up-beat rhythms, and he artistically arranges them into his test tube. Then he takes the themes of Meher Baba’s messages about the game of duality; the manifestation of God in every nook and cranny ofHis creation; the pain-injoy of loving the Beloved; the unveiling of Beauty and Truth in the heart of the lover; the oneness of the Lover the Beloved, and the Love itself He weaves these and other themes into masterly crafted poems worthy of their own presentation, and mixes the po— etry into that same test tube. Lastly Ward brings together captivating performances fill ofpassion and heart from all the singers and musicians, and especially a remarkable strength and naturalness from the Chapel Hill Choral Singers. The ingredients blissfully transform into the “gold” of Meher Baba’s -

sahavas which “gleams from hidden ponds, like secrets ofthe deep.” The love song, “Learning to love you,” sums it all up: All gifts are ofYour giving, all tastes are Your prasad, And the purpose ofour living is our learning to love You. So merciful and tender the face and eyes of God; The obedience we render are our infant steps to love You. Ajoy too sweet for telling, a rose within a clod, A pearl of deep up-welling is the knowing that I love You. Try it for yourself This is music and po etry that deserves a meditative hour in the company ofthe Beloved. Like a lantern’s distant glimmering Or stars upon a stream, Your face through veil shimmering Is mirrored in my dream. Like echoes from a history In a language no one knows Your whispers wrapped in mystery A long-lost love disclose. From the song “Glory Be To God.”

When I drop My body I will remain in all who love Me. I never die. Love Me, obeyMe, andyouwill findMe.


Raphael Rudd’s Concert for the Sufis

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by Raphael Rudd

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

Two from Raine Sally Shimizu, Berkeley, California aine Eastman-Gannett has just re leased two wonderftil new CDs, Mehera The Divine Rememberer and Nada Om Mantra. Mehera The Divine Rememberer is the culmination of 10 years’ work on songs cel ebrating the life of Mehera. On this CD Raine truly lets her heart sing in honor of ( as Mani has written) the “Queen ofMeher King”.These are songs about, to, or for Beloved Baba’s Mehera. There are also favorite songs of Mehera’s that she requested Raine to sing again and again over the years. My favorites from this CD are the title song The Divine Rememberer and Mehera I Miss You. Raine’s beautiful voice and words on

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these songs transport me to Meherazad— to Mehera’s porch—and bring tears to my eyes each time I listen to them. One of Mehera’s favorites is TheDawn LightBreaks. The purity ofRaine’s voice on this song re flects the light that is Mehera’s love for her Beloved. Mehera the Divine Rememberer helps me to remember how Meher Baba would like us to keep Him in our hearts, as Mehera did. Some tracks on Mehera the Divine Rememberer are enhanced by Sam Saunders’ superb guitar arrangements and by other wonderful Baba musicians. Nada Om Mantra is a new release by Rani Didi (Raine’s name in the East). It is a col lection of Indian Mantra and is a teaching CD. Mantra is a syllable, word or phrase endowed with special power drawn from ancient scriptures in Sanskrit. The healing power ofsound helps to open the heart, still the mind and balance the body. I have greatly benefited from the healing qualities of Mantra and highly recommend this traordinary CD to anyone interested in ex ploring Nada Yoga or the Yoga of Sound. Listening to Nada Om Mantra is also the perfect way to start or end the day—using its purif5ring and energizing properties for renewal. The tabla and tambura player on Nada Om Mantra is Ashwin Batish. Both CDs sell for $14.

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

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NowTillThe End A new CD from Cindy Lowe Reviewed by Nancy Wall—Arizona

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

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songs are interestingly paired; the dark Devil Don’t Dance Alone is followed by the almost stately Dancing with You. Two songs about Mehera, defmitely among the best here, are accompanied only by Cindy’s virtuoso guitar and the lyrical, haunting beauty of the cello, played by the gifted Gay Dunn. The first, Mehera, Please TeilMe, is reminiscent of past days spent on the porch at Meherazad, listening to Mehera tell the stories we all wanted to hear: Mehera, please tell me The way it was then When you were a young girl Enchanted by Him... This one is followed by the deeply moving The Night Befire the Wedding The night before the wedding Mehera lay waiting Creation waited with her Through the silent night... Among my other particular favorites are Sisz’ei Flyto Him, written for Mani during her last months, where the image of a kite without a string used in the chorus evokes Flying a Kite, the wonderftil story Mani tells in her book God-Brother, as well as its delightful cover illustration by Wodin. A Pilgrimc Arti, with its rousing chorus invites listeners to sing along. And the lilting, minor key Companions, written and sung by both Cindy and Ann Stewart, describes thejourney to the Beloved and the souls we encounter in making it: We walked this way together To a beacon in the dark Faced out into emptiness And saw another’s heart Listened in the silence For the sound that has no name Shared the song of solitude And sacrifice and gain As she haswith her previous albums, Cindy once again brings together a large group of talented instrumentalists to accompany herErnie Brady, Derek Bianchi, Dave Miotke, Gay Dunn, Julia Skiff Kennon Shaw, Bill Belasco,T Gray Sha Laurie Chastain, David Phillips, LarryThrasher and Raine EastmanGannett. And a number of singers, Derek Bianci, Alexandra Cons, Raine EastmanGannett, Winnifred Kersha Dave Miotke, Chris Robinson, Kappe Rousseau and TGray Shaw provide harmonious backup on several songs. Now Till the End is a wonderful and welcome addition to the growing number of albums inspired by and written for and about Beloved Meher Baba. CD $16, tape $12. 32

You can hear selected songs at her web site: http://www.firstworld.nei1’.vox1O1 cindylowe/index.html

Everything is Music A new CD by Catherine Haas Riley Reviewed by Ann O’Neil, Asheville, North Carolina havefallen into aplace Where everything is music Stop the words now. Open up the window in the center ofyour chest andlet the spiritsfly in and out. Rumi (rendered by Coleman Barks) Drawingfrom the ghazals and poetry of Rumi, Tagore, Mirabai, and many others, Catherine Haas Riley’s new CD is a musical celebration of life, comprised of nine captivating songs with lyrical lead vocals by Cathy, plus fourju bilant choral works. The 13 selections on this CD span manycenturies ofpoetry and Cathy’s skills as a songwriter put them all in a vibrant contemporary context. j;j

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

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

You too, shall sing oflove ofthings undreamt, unspoken. Youtoowill fuller grow Andreachyour shores Oflife evolving. Yourfaithwill notbe broken. The icing on the cake of this song is the voice of Darwin Shaw against the backdrop ofsustained choral harmonies, reading Meher Baba’s words on faith. The singers and musicians who worked on this CD are from every walk oflife and every spiritual inclination. Coming together to cel ebrate poetry dedicated to God in music, they became like “beads on one string,” and the resulting CD reflects this wonderful collabo ration. Cathy Haas Riley has shown that her songwriting and arranging skills have taken a leap forward. The painting on the cover is by her hus band Tom Riley, an artist of repute. The CD sells for $14.

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


Ann Natkal Had a Special Love for her Baba by: Ten Adams, Redondo Beach

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

Falling Autumn Leaves

The Setting Sun

All the little leaves That fall off the trees Are so colorful and bright As the leaves fall and lie Side by side One captures a picture Of a painted forest That nature provides With Baba’s love For the leaves and the trees we have felt His presence here That will last all our lives Jai Baba

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

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Song to Hazrat Babajan Maxwell Reif Walnut Creek, California .

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

And once in a while, A beggar of Earth Collapses there in defeat, His struggle over, And You take him under the wings of Your great love.

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And when He comes upon His bicycle, The One You have awaited all these years, Your Kiss brings in the world’s new age. Nothing ever escapes You, And nothing ever will— And even God Himself comes to Your door— Under the spreading neem tree, Down in ancient Poona.

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God Speaks: The Title

Part 1

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must be time now to make a high pri ority ofreflecting on the title that Meher Baba selected for His principal book, God Speaks, and to ask oneselfwhat are the im plications ofhaving chosen such a title. Perhaps the inevitable first question that one must pose is to ask if there is a possibility that one should take the words God Speaks quite literally to mean that the words are in fact the words of God. The first time this question was brought up in a meeting of Baba devotees, Sally Gardner looked struck and replied, “I always assumed they were God’s words.” Did this mean simply that she takes so literally what Baba said many times, that He is God, that her exclamation was the automatic response from her own acceptance of Baba’s words? To her, in such case, it was obvious that Baba could say nothing that was not from God. If this is true, then one must reflect further on why Baba, for this particular book, emphasized through the choice oftitle that this was from God. Could it possibly be that Baba was mdicating to us that these words are related to those several cases in mystic history when the circumstances ofthe appearance of cer tam words was accompanied either by such striking events as Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai; or, as some millions of people believe, as being the direct words of God, when Mohammed re ceived the dictation of the Koran? If this is what Baba was indicating in a very understated manner, then these are very special words indeed. A serious student of Meher Baba’s philosophy, and most certainly a devotee of Baba, should give this his full concentration. Perhaps the first key aspect to be examined is one ofstyle. Many people still living are familiar with the explaining and style ofpresentation ofBaba. Still many more are familiar with His style of writing, as evidenced principally in the Discourses and Part II ofListen, Humanity. In analyzing the manner ofBaba’s presentation ofthese well attested works, of which we know the background intimately, and then comparing them with the style used in God Speaks, one has to grant at once that there is a vast difference. Having admitted this important fact, then it is inevitable that one ask oneself the further question, can it be then that this is the style ofpresentation ofGod Himself? 34

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

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

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


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

satisfied Baba. I read on in Mani’s letter to Ivy,just to refresh my memory ofwhat Mani had written. There itwas, totallyunexpected and crys tal clear:

“Youmaytellthemitis Babas particular wishto give this bookof His thewidest andbest disiribution...thatits tremendous valuewifibe recognizedlater as the directwords ofGocL” How had I missed those words? How could I have failed to see their enormous importance? I can tell you how it happened, but you will be wise enough to know that this is not a total explanation, but only a tiny part ofthe real story I had often heard Ivy Duce discuss a pearl necklace she intended to sell to help finance the printing of God Speaks, so when Mani started her paragraph with this story I already knew well I turned off and skipped to the next para graph. In so doing, I missed one ofthe most important statements we have from Baba concerning God Speaks. But it was not time, that I can see, and now it is time. And I am floored by the manner in which Baba un earthed this planted statement concerning the source of God Speaks. I now feel deeply that the manner of handling this major mystic workwas due to the fact that the Avatar was to be the transmitter of the words of God, but the time for its major utilization was scheduled to be after the Avatar had left His physical form. In turn, I think this is because a great heart part of the Avatar’s contribution to humanity during His lifetime was to be that ofconcentrated love, which mankind has so lacked for several hundred years. The balance was desperately in need of re balancing by the living example, and then to be further reinforced for some important years by the Mandali who had been so bathed in his living presence. But, as this [Mandali] endowment is exhausted, the day of real use of God Speaks is at hand. We should now be asking ourselves if it is time to examine more closely the clear meaning of the title Baba gave this great work.

Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as 11 our unwise thoughts. 2’Io one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.”

much as

From The Bzddhai Little Instruction Book by Jack Korifield Bantam Books 1994.

From a computerpainting ofMeher Baba by C. Plumlee

The Beloveds Face Ever since I saw the Beloved’s face, its lines have etched themselves on myheart. I still nurse the wound ofseparation thin me— it has left me broken. Flowing tresses maybe a snare and a net. Those are pagan tresses whose lure, like the bulbul, has sprung from the head, bogged in the heart. When ego is erased, duality disappears: God’slover is himselfGod. This is the heart’s only home— the heart in thelover, the lover in the heart. 0 Seeker you make a show of public worship, then claimyour share of desires. The true lover carries within him, in secret, the name ofGod. Strange are the ways ofthe enlightened ones. Theyweep and laugh in one breath, scorn on the lip, grace in the heart, profanity on the tongue, praise in the heart. Some say God dwells in the temple, others put Him in the mosque. What do you seek abroad, ignorant one? Realize, oh Huma, God is within you. Huma

(pen name ofMeher Baba) (Ghazals written and frequently sung by Meher Baba in the 1920s, under His penname “Huma”, meaning “Phoenix”.) From The Master Sings, translated by Naosherwan Anzar 1981, Zeno Pub. Services.

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Announcements Australian Youth Sahavas

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gathering of young people from far and wide will take place at Avatar’s Abode, a beautiful property visited by Meher Baba in 1958 on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. This Sahavas will provide a unique opportu nity to share in each other’s company the love ofAvatarMeher Baba. Participantswillbe able to explore and celebrate this love through dis cussions, art workshops, gardening, music, theatre, games, sport and more. Special guests will be Buz and Wendy Conners.The Sahavas is open to teenagers of high school age who know ofMeher Baba and wish to know more. ARRIVE: Fri 12th ofJan @ 4pm DEPART: Wed 17th ofJan @ 3pm COST:Thecostis $115 (Aust.$)Thiswill cover all meals, accommodation, and workshop expenses. Transfers and accommodation for before and after the event can be arranged for interstate and overseas participants.To re ceive a registration form, or for more infor mation, contact: Meherose Borthwick Ph 61 2 95573921 or email meherose@hotmail.com or look up our web page at http:// www.ausvouth sahavas.coml

Producer Looks for Help to Air Meher Baba Public Access TV Programs

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

Eighth Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas for Beloved Meher Baba February 16-19, 2001 oin us for three nights and three days at La Foret in the BlackForest near Colorado prings, Colorado, as we celebrate Avatar Meher Baba, each other and our special guests, Mrs. Franey kani and Mrs. Shireen Bonner.

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n international Young Adult Sahavas will be held at Meherabad from June 22nd to July 2nd, 2001 for Baba lovers between the ages of 19 and 35. The Sahavas 36

Mahoo Ghorbani, a member ofour Board of Directors, was married October 17 to Shahriar Sharriari. Her husband was born into a Zoroas than family in Iran, emigrated to England, then Canada, and then, to fulfill his destiny, came to LosAngeles and metMahoo.Thebñdetsborn in Shiraz, home ofHafiz, in Iran. They now live in Los Angeles, and are planning to take a triptothe Meher d Spiritual C e n t e r, since Shahriarwasthe surprisewinner ofthe “Fly to Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes”, a fund raiser here at Meherabode.

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Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas 2001

Wedding Bells

Anthony Mellowship Goes to Baba

duces a cable public access TV Program J’red about Avatar Meher Baba airing monthly on local cable public access channels. He has been creating these programs for many years now and so he has a great variety of shows. Call or email Fred for a list of the various interviews he has conducted. If your local cable system allows “outside” produced programs, you can have the “Meher Baba Program” aired in your area. You would be re sponsible for mailing costs and local cable systems costs along with the tracking of the tapes for return to Fred Stankus in Los Angeles. Please contact Fred: email: GigiFred@aol.com or call (323) 257-8371.

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

Franey and her daughter Shireen have both been with Meher Baba theirwhole lives. Franey grew up in Abmednagar, India in what is now the Avatar Meher BabaTrust compound, where three families lived together, including hers, her cousin Adi K. Irani and her uncle Sarosh Irani. Franey’sparents areDinshawand Soonamailrani Soonamai is Dr. Goher and Katie’s aunt. Franeymarried Meher Baba’s brother, AdiJr. and they moved to London, where Shireen was born and raised. Shireen was held in Baba’s arms at three months. Frane Shireen and Shireen’s husbandJayand their daughterMehera nowre side in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Because we are all brothers and sisters in MeherBaba, don’tmiss this opportunityto spend time with the family of the Beloved One and hear their delightfiil stories!

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ong time Australian Baba Lover Anthony Mellowship died on November 24 aged 56. He had close24hoursupport in the last days. He had lived around Avatar’s Abode where he often visited and worked for over 20 years. Several Babalovers were with him on 24 hour vigilthelastfewdays.Jane Seeger,whohad cared for him with the most amazing devotion to his wishes throughout the illness, was equally courgeous as his spokesperson at the ftinerai at which manypeople spoke ofthe profound affect “Bunty” had had on their lives. During his life, Anthonybrought manypeople to Baba and was known as a skilled and profound healer.The way he dealtwithhisillness,extendingasixweekprog nosis to six months, was inspiring. The ftineral was a real Baba “Love Zone”, with songs, prayers and stories.Thosewhowere not Babalovers were deeply moved by the atmosphere. -F

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teve Sakellarios has made a documen tary on reincarnation. The Internet version of his documentary “In Another Life”, is now available for viewing in Real Player format at http:llmembers.nbci.comlssake. You will need the most recent version of Real Player. You can selectfor28Kor 56K speed connection.Aversion


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

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

Mini Seminar Series on Intuition and God Speaks

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on Stevens is planning a short series of mini seminarsindifferentcities intheUSA onlntuition’and altematelyGod Speaks.Thefirst ofthese,bringingup to datewhat has been going on rn Baba’s scenario recently for God Speaks as well as various group study projects, will occur at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolin,Tuesday evening,January 9. The secondwillbeWednesdaçJanuary 10 at ChapelHiii,NorthCarolina,startingatwo-hom session at 11 a.m. and a second at 3 p.m. both on Intuition. The third will be more general in Asheville onThursdayJanuary 11. The venue thenjumps to Mystic, Connecti cut, for God Speaks at the home ofthe Ayers on Saturday,January 13,from 10 a.m.to 4p.m.with break for lunch. The following day in Salem at the Griffins the topic is Intuition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then 3 to 5 p.m. The last ofthis mini-series willbe in Minne apolis onTuesdaJanuary16,onIntuition again. Time to be announced byMarj Sucoff We understand therewillprobablybe a simi lar series in the late spring on the West Coast. Things seem to be moving on the God Speaks front these days.

32nd Amartithi at Meherabad

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ear Sisters and Brothers in Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, The thirty-second Amartithi of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba falls on Wednesday, 3lstJanuary. For this sacred occasion it is expected that pilgrims from all over India and around the world will be visiting the Tomb-Shrine of Avatar Meher Baba at Meherabad Hill, Ahmed nagar (M.S.) India, to take part in the gathering. The observance of the thirty-second Amartithi will be for two days, 30thJanuary afternoon to noon of 1st February. The main function, as usual, will be on 31st January. Darshan of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba will be available inside the TombShrine through a regulated queue desig nated specifically for this occasion. However, due to the influx ofpilgrims during Amartithi, it is requested for the benefit of all that pilgrims take the least time possible for darshan and that pilgrims take darshan only once on 3 1 st January. By Beloved Babaâs grace, it will be made possible for Amartithi pilgrims to stay at Meherabad during the Amartithi period, in quarters set up for the purpose. Pilgrims from abroad wishing to be ac commodated at Meherabad over Amartithi will be directed to the person responsible for their lodging and boarding arrangements upon their arrival for registration in Ahmednagar. Meherazad will be closed from Janu

News Flash! Pune-Mumbai-Pune bus service

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

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

All are heartilywelcome to attend Avatar Meher Baba’s 32nd Amartithi function on Meherabad Hill Please pass on the above information about the Amartithi programme to all Baba-lovers in your area. Jai Avatar Meher Baba!!! In Avatar Meher Baba’s Service, V.5. (Bhau) Kaichuri , Chairman Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar, (M.S.) 414001 India

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


What’s New at Meherabode President’s Report by Lois Jones “All those who love Me and want to share in My work can do so.” —Avatar Meher Baba Baba! There was plenty of activity at Meherabode in Y2K! First, a recap of our iggest business accomplishment: We paid off the Mortgage in January! Thank you to everyone who contributed toward this goal since we moved into our new home nearly four years ago. We will begin renovating the main building in April 2001. The Transformation Committee, which did all of the work to get us to this point, completed its work in December. We thank everyone on that Committee who donated so much time and energy to this project. And a very special “Thank you” to the trio of chairpersons: Linda Zavala, Michael Ramsden, and Kent Hansen. The newly formed Construction Committee will supervise the renovations. The major event in January was obser vance of Beloved Meher Baba’s Amartithi. Mele Wolkin was our special guest speaker who shared her experience of Baba’s passing. Adele introduced a delightful surprise a time capsule, which is to be opened in 2069! All who were present were encour aged to place notes and “Baba” keepsakes in the capsule. Birthday program coordinator Radha Delamarter took a unique approach to celebrating Baba’s Birthday on February 25th—we presented gifts to Him, in the forms of music, dance, humor, poetry, and our own words. Also this year, we were pleased to wel come guest speakers Casey Cook (from Meherazad), Ralph and Stella Hernandez ( longtime workers in His service at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach), au thor Bill Stevens and his wife Peggy, and Baba’s nephews, Rustom and Sohrab. We are pleased that Esfandiar Vessali has moved to Los Angeles, which gives us all more op portunities to hear about his life in the Prem Ashram. In Jaly we had our first picnic at Meherabode—games, sports, prizes, and lots of food and ftin! We were most entertained watching Michael Ramsden put the basketball hoop apparatus together. Thankfully it was completed in plenty oftime for us all to enjoy.

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

“When I say that each ofyou be a ‘Baba—Centre’it does not mean that each ofyou shouldworkindividually when you can work collectively in groups as ‘Baba-Centres’. Neither does tbis mean that you should not workonyour own. I have shown you how I desire the work to be done; it is for you to follow the method best suited to you.” —Avatar Meher Baba

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


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

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

October 22 a dedicated group met with Emory and Susan Ayers at the Center to discuss the needs of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. A wonderful and very personal update of the de velopments in Trust activities led to many good questions and sugges tions. We were very apprecia tive of Emory and Susan’s love and dedication to support the Trust, which they shared so generously with us. The current communication tools for Trust activities are: Amazingly we found that the number of In His Service, a biannual Trust newsletter Meher Baba lovers who have contributed with a circulation of 4,000; a Trust website to the Trust Development Plan over the last due to be launched in late 2000; a video on 3 years is only 180! theTrust due to be available in 2001; an elec A total of250 donors contributed to ei tronic newsletter, Tavern Talk, with 500 cur- ther the Trust Firstly (Baba’s plan to suprent subscribers; and local efforts. We pro- port the Mandali) or to the Development posed posting a map ofMeherabad activities Plan. This, even though the Trust has a and holding a Trust information meeting as mailing list of4,000 lovers outside of India one ofour Sunday programs. Ifyou would and many others who are not on the Trust like one of the large, very detailed maps mailing list. Besides new developments, the showing the Meherabad area and the pro- Trust currently needs approximately posed new buildings, please call or email the $250,000 for anAyers (number benual operating ex low). penses, which are The need for covered only about communication is 15% by pilgrim based on recent payments for ac increases in the commodations. need for Trust funds Perhaps people are to meet government not aware that the requirements to $3.50 per day that develop charitable they pay at the Pil Susan and Emory Ayers land or lose it (it is grim Center is not important to assure a protective zone around due to things costing less in India, but sim the Samadhi). Then there is the need to ply that according to the mandate of Baba’s develop facilities for a vastly increasing Trust, everybody should be able to come to number of pilgrims; enhance community partake ofthe love available at the Samadhi, services in education and medical care; Meherabad and Meherazad. When you are archive precious materials associated with settling up your bill as you leave the Pil Meher Baba; and provide roads, electricity grim Center, consider that the majority of and water necessary to support all the diverse your staywas covered by theTrust! The goal

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

“Consult thy heart, and thou wilt hear the secret ordinance of God preordained by the heart’s inward knowledge, which is real faith and divinity.” Muhammad, in Whitall N. Perry, A Treasury ofTraditionalWisdom. Varanasi: Indica Books, 1998 (1971), pp. 514

Audio Tape Lending Library

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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 wayto work? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings. . .? Well, the audio library has many interestrng and intellectually stimulat ing discourses on life with Baba.We have over 150 titlesjust 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 readyto assist you. For catalog or info write to: A1VIB Lending Audio Libraryc/o Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173.

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A Concert with Baba I

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

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

shawl. This particular day was fme, but the evening became very cool I thought better to be safe than sorry and just buy anything to cover my shoulders, but this thought got interrupted and I did not buy a shawl. I also did not know that the concert would be outdoors. The concert was held on the grounds and it was so beautiful. Europeans and young Indian couples mixed and the same type of people I would meet in a concert right here in the Bay Area with that same atmosphere. I cannot explain the camaraderie of those who love classical music. The Easterners are dif ferent from people who attend film events.The Westerners are different from those who go to jazz and blues events. I might have seen such a group right in my own hometown— the only difference was that we were sitting outside in the beautiftil campus grounds un der the moon and stars halfway around the globe. I felt so happy and again I invited Baba to come and sit with me! But now how to get a seat, a ticket! At the entrance there were ab solutelyno tickets available. Not even for $100 where I saw some rich people trying to bribe this muchjust to get a seat. The chairs were arranged in a semi-circle around the stagewith chairs in rows goingback all the way to the walls. I saw the far walls bordering the grounds area and wondered if people could stand on the walls. I inquired about the fenced areajust behind the central seating section in front of the stage. I asked about thatfarwallbut in the center ofthe semicircle. I could feel Baba nudging me because I felt too shy to ask her again, and the lady had been replying to me in Hindi because I had asked in Hindi. So I asked her again but this time in English. “Oh yes” she waved me in, “If you want to stand, you can just take a place there in front ofthe wall. Pay me 100 rupees.” I paid her and ran to get the best place. Now standing there in this brand newgreen punjabi I asked Baba to come and be with me. I wanted to express to Baba myjoy, I spoke to Him about everything, the people, where they came from, Westerners from Europe, were they from the Osho ashram or students at the University? Like a husband or girlfriend Ijust chattered on because I was so excited and happy. Nobodypaid any attention to this mad woman dressed in a green Punjabi talking to an invisible companion. It became cooler and cooler and soon I was shivering. My punjabi had long sleeves, but the night was foggy and damp,just like a night concert in San Francisco! I told Baba I was afraid I would catch a cold.


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

“I Am Not This Body” Bhau Kaichuri

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uring the night of January 30th, Meher Baba’s universal work affects 1969, Meher Baba gestured to me every level of consciousness and His ar on three separate occasions, row strikes deep in the heart of human“Remember this, I am not this body... ity As a result of His work, individuals Remember, I am not this body... are gaining new consciousness. This new Remember I am not this body.” consciousness has been gained, because Baba had often told me this before, but His arrow is now in their hearts. The when He repeated this to me, just hours whole world is the target of his arrow. A before He dropped His body, it was with day will come when the whole world will a force which I cannot describe. These be aware of Him and will awaken to His last words have sustained me through divinity As His arrow remains deep in these years without Him. They have made the heart ofhumanity it will be the total me feel His presence. His words have manifestation ofHis divine love on earth. given my heart the wine of his manifes We are now suffering the pain of the tation. arrow in our hearts. The pain created by Avatar Meher Baba often declared, “I His arrow is the restlessness and confu am not this body that you see.” sion all over the world. Most of humanYet, some people think that when the ity is unaware ofthe cause for all this resttime comes for Him to manifest He will lessness and confusion. The world is appear again in a physical body. But, if destined to become aware of Him. The this were so, why would He have dis world is asleep, but will awaken by His carded His body? Meher Baba would not love to the manifestation of His divinityc discard the physical body to appear again Avatar Meher Baba is not the physi in the same form. Even if He were to cal body. He is God and He has come appear in the same body, as some feel He down on earth to manifest his own diwill do, this would not be His manifesta vinity His divinity is the real thing which tion. The Avatar in Reality is divine, and He gives to the world, and those who therefore when He manifests His divin experience Him as God have his ai ity it is His manifestation. Meher Baba’s darshan. physical bodywas the medium ofHis uni The Avatar has worked to give us the versal work on the gross level of con- experience of divinity, of our soul’s sciousness. The result of His universal divinity. He has created the feeling of work is the manifestation ofdivinit The separation by dropping His physical body awakening of human consciousness to- because without separation there can be ward His divinity is when He manifests no union with God. When the feeling of in the gross world. And this is why His separation is created, longing for union manifestation for the world can only be- becomes the real pain in our hearts. Let gin after He drops his body. us, therefore, long for the experience of Meher Baba’s body was a vehicle of his divinity. This longing will bring our His universal work, and that work was to hearts to drink the wine of His make humanity experience divinity. Hu manifestation. Wine will enable us to manity is destined to experience his diexperience the divine manifestation of vinity. His divine manifestation will be this age. Longing for His wine is real pain. experienced during the awakening and It is the pain of His arrow deep in our spiritual upheaval, which is already hap- hearts, and it is for this pain that the pening, as a result ofHis universal work. Avatar worked and suffered. Meher Baba The dropping ofMeher Baba’s physi has assured us that this pain is not of the cal body signifies the stretching of the body; it is the longing of the soul for its liberation. i2Q. The shooting ofHis arrow signifies the release of the force of His universal FromAvatar oftheAge, MeherBaba Mani work. As the arrow strikes with all its fisting by Bhau Kaichuri, ©1985 Lawrence force, the world falls unconscious with Reiter; Published by Manifestation, Inc. pain, but will reawaken to find Him.

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Don Stevens Visits Avatar’s Abode 60 people from three States packed the space outside Baba’s room at Nearly Avatar Abode on the weekend of 78th October to hear Don Stevens. We gathered together in anticipation, some with a profound knowledge and derstanding of God Speaks, and some with selfprofessedignorance. Little did werealizehowDonwoulddefflyguide us tbroughtwo days offascinating dis cussion and deep sharing on the fundamentals ofthe drama of creation. The flavour of the weekend was evident when Don started the first session with a touching and humorous account ofhis first meeting with Francis Brabazon in America. Don shared with us some of his “shower intuitions” and how over the past 8 months in a series ofseminars in six countries he had been challenging Baba’s lovers around the world to take Cod Speaksseriou4 Don recounted fmding the followingwords in an overlooked letter from Maui to Ivy Duce written in the mid 1950’s and clarifying the Dedication of God Speaks: “...in years to come when the incredible worth of these words [God Speaks] are appre cated byhumanityitwillbe realised that these are the direct words of God.” Don recounted ho after finishing the re workmg ofthe Deshmukh edition ofthe dis course at Baba’s direction, he said to Baba “It is fmished but I am not sure what good it is going to be.” Baba asked Don what he meant and Don explained that some devout seekers in the West prided themselves on not reading Baba’s words. Baba then told Don twice how He communicates to His lovers through the written word. Eruch translated: “Baba attaches an atom bomb of spiritual energy to each word...ifthe devotee works with these words then a certain amount of spiritual energy is released and even if the devotee doesn’t understand two words intellectually they still get a benefit. Don, it is your respon— sibility to tell them” For many ofus present at the weekend this was a first step in introducing us to the art of really working with Baba’s words. Don counted how as different people around the world shared with him their experience ofhow they work with Baba’s words, he realised that Baba has not just placed an atom bomb of unfocussed energy on each word. He has made -

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David Bowling , Tasmania The rest of the weekend passed so quicl4 We looked at questions like what was before the Whim and after the urge, whathappenedtotheWhim?We dived into the surging ofthe Whim, the Om point and the scientific theoryofthe big bang. Howdoes creation get lumpyand what are the three fundamental building blocks of creation? How can consciousness be generated out ofthe surg ing ofthe whim? I felt like I was back in a university class except we were studying phys ics, pure mathematics, and philosophy all rolled into one. There was certainly no shortage of people wanting to contribute to the discussion and several times Don firmly but lovingly laid down the Photo by Dick Duman ground niles for our time together, so that everyone had an opportunity to Francis Brabazon with Don Stevens participate and be heard. for us a unique, individual, and very personal Don spoke of Baba’s last message on the channel to connect to Him. alphabet board. “...The time has now come We explored together the meaning of as- for being bound in the chain ofinternal consociation, and how drop souls associate. We nections. Hence external contact is no longer were introduced to the astronomical concepts necessary It is possible to establish the interof lumpiness, and pondered the significance nal link by obeying Baba’s orders. I give you oflnfmite individualised consciousness. Baba all myblessings for strengthening these intersaid that His gift to humanity in this avataric nal links. I am always with you and I am not age was the generalised gift ofintuition. Don away from you. I was, am and will remain eter challenged us to consider how we might ap nally with you, and it is for promoting this plyintuition to the taskofreading God Speaks. realization that I have severed contact. This Don helped us come to a deeper level of un will enable all persons to realise Truth by bederstanding rntuition, and howwe can develop ing bound to each other with internal links.” this faculty Don interprets this to mean that we need Michael Le Page recounted Babatelling Rob- to be able to work together in small groups of ert Dreyfisss to: “read GodSpeaksuntil it sings in trusted companions especially when the yourveins.” Don pointed out thatwhenwe pick Mandali are no longer alive, and that God up God Speaks we establish a connection with Speaks provides a means of “truing” us. i.e. Baba. He asked: “Do you realise what a tremen staying on target and true. dous contribution your own prejudices and beThe fmal session was spent considering the liefs and deeply ingrained habit patterns make resources ofintuition and the theme of Love. and howtheyinterfere with your reading of God Don recounted some very personal stories Speaks? that illustrated his own challenges in respondWe need to understand the two-way street ing to others with love whatever the circum that happens when we start to work with God stances. He said “You gradually fmd out that Speaks. the fact ofBaba’s presence gives you courage Itwas nowlunchtime on the ftrstday. Don in as you face challenges.” just a couple ofhours had established a wonderAll too quickly it was 4 pm and our time fiil sense ofcompanionship among those present, together was over. It had been a time of inand had challenged us on manylevels to deepen tense searching together with lots oflaughter, our relationship with the Beloved.We spent 5ev- and a wonderful camaraderie. We were privi eral hours over a magnificent shared lunch at the leged to have Don with us and we hope that Abode. he will return soon to Avatar’s Abode to work with us in our search for Truth. —

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v__ “A Jewel in the Heart ofAmerica” Highlights ofa Myrtle Beach Day Sahavas along with a BriefHistory ofthe Spiritual Center

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

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

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

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Ifyonder raindrop should its heart disclose, Behold therein a hundred seas displayed. In every atom, ifthou gaze aright, Thousands ofreasoning beings are contained. The gnat inlimbs doth match the elephant. In name is yonder drop as Nile’s broad flood. In every grain a thousand harvests dwell. The world within a grain ofmillet’s heart. The universe in the mosquito’s wing contained. Within that point in space the heavens roll. Upon one little spot within the heart Resteth the Lord and Master ofthe worlds. Therm two worlds commingled may be seen: Sometimes Iblis prevaileth; sometimes Adam. Behold the world is kneaded even as dough: The angeiwith the fiend; the cherubim With Satan; the movable with that which moveth not; The Moumin with the Kafir , and the 1 Kafir with the Moumin, See in the present moment are assembled. The change oftime, and days, and months, and years;

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

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‘Moumin, thefaithful;Kafir, the unfaithfuL Excerpt from The Secret Garden by Mahmud Shabistari, © 1974The Octagon Press.

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Love Street Lamp Post 1st Qtr 2001  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES: Rare Print Literature Publication

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