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Jai Baba Folks, and a Happy New Year to you all! very time I go to Meherabad I mean to go check out the school I have been hearing about—one that is run under the auspices of the Trust, the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust to give it its proper name. Well last January I did—and what an eye opener it was! Read about it in our cover article. We would like to run more stories like this. It reminds me somewhat ofthe roadside signs you see when the roads are under construction: “your tax dollars at work”. Well in these pages I would like to show you your tax deductible dona tions at work. When you donate to the Trust the money is spent in many different ways— completing the Archive building, (close by the Samadhi), breaking ground on a new smaller Archive building at Meherazad close by the house where He lived, the Veterinary clinics for the neighboring farmers, hospitals and health clinics—all ofwhich are open and free to the general public regardless of race, color, creed or religion. Created in 1969 under Meher Baba’s direction, the Trust had at its founding two purposes: to provide for certain named dis ciples of Meher Baba’s and to ftilfil certain charitable objects. Today the first fttnction is discharged under”Avatar Meher BabaTrust, Firstly” and is funded by donations directed through your local Trustwalla. The second is discharged under the “Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust”, which has eight U.S. grantor organizations (including the Los Angeles Center) which are permitted to direct donations on a taxdeductible basis to its Development Plan. As required by federal law these organiza tions retain discretion and control over such donations, but ifyou have a specific project wish, this may be stated. Meher Baba himself founded and directed the Hazrat Babajan School and the Meher Ashram at Meherabad during 1927 and 1928, and in the Trust Deed He named schools for the benefit of the public among its charitable objects. Meher English School has been in operation since 1986, has grown to encompass all 10 standards of the pre-college curriculum, and is recently benefiting from a new computer fadiit sci ence laboratory and bus provided under the Trust’s Development Plan. The school is situated on Trust property, a 10 minute walkwest ofthe Pilgrim Center.

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Do go and see it next time you are over there. I’m sure you will be moved to donate time, service or money! All are needed. Such was the outpouring oflove and re membrances of our dearly departed Aloba we are continuing them in this issue. If you missed the last one, back issues are always available for $3 plus postage. Those of you who knew Aloba, know how fond he was of prophesying “Doomsday”, Baba’s imminent Manifestation, and events along those lines. We have two such stories not from Aloba, but members ofour community The vision J im Auster feels Baba gave him was sent to Aloba to read many years ago. You will read Aloba’s letter to Jim in a joyful affirmation ofail the visionjim was given. Some of you may think it is all poppycock, others may take it all in and agree wholeheartedly; all I know is that if the bombs start falling—I will immediately turn and face the East with great expectations! You will read ho in 1978, while sleeping in the cabin where Ted and Janet Judson now live in Lower Meherabad, Ann Smith had a vivid dream which she later told to Mehera, who said it was an important dream and should be told to as many Baba lovers as possible. —

is the time in which we enclose a donation envelope with your magazine and request your help. 21t:tnuctry

We hear from so many of you how you love the LampPost and how it seems to get better with each issue. When someone was complimenting me on it, I told them that it is also Cherie, Tom and Pris who slave to make it the magazine it is, but in Reality it is Baba who puts it all together. “Well tell Baba He is learning to be a better Editor with each magazine!” was the amusing response. So many of you have sent donations in throughout the year bless your hearts and a huge thank you from us all. Since the Los Angeles Baba Center does not, and can not, underwrite the magazine, it has to be self supporting—it is only through your dona tions that we can continue to publish. The actual cost ofthe magazine works out to be about $15 per person per year. Overseas is much more expensive. To Australia, where we have the largest overseas subscriber base, the cost ofpostage alone for the last few issues was $7.20 per magazine. I simply will

not ask them for more than a $20 donation, as in Australian money that is $40! We always have so much information to put in the magazine, you may have noticed the past few issues have been at 56 pages. It used to be 44; I try to keep it at 48 sim ply because of the extra postage required. Cherie gave me a paraphrase of the Field of Dreams (movie) whose catchphrase was “Build it and they will come” to be “Publish and the donations will come”. I hope so, because Baba seems to be giving us so much material here, as long as we have the funds we will publish. Many of you have been receiving the magazine for years, but have never sent in a donation. That is OK, it is free to all who desire it and don’t have the funds to contribute, but I would prefer not to be sending it to someone who just tosses it in the trash can along with the junk mail. If you would like to be taken off the mailing list—do please let us know. I just received back the October issue with angry writing all over it “Cancel!” “I do not want this!” Three years ago her sister had given her a gift subscription hoping to interest her. If you have had the same generous impulse a few years ago, you might check to make sure it is still welcomed. To the rest of you—we say “Thank you for welcoming us into your homes, for the stories you submit, and for your financial support.” From, Dma Snow [Errata: In thejuly issue, pg 17 left col. 2ndpara., Babac car was stoppedby the motorcade on the way backfrom Poona to Satara, not on the way to Poona fivm Satara.]


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puhbaIin o/11e T*4uaIar iKeJer &z/a Cen/er o/SoulJern Gcz//ornth

features

... fco m e 2 1 e 7:jte Street £ampJ2ost is dedicated with love to vatctr JV1eher E13a.ba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to 4 ‘ a sense of community among all 21is lovers by providing a place for 9 2Iis remembrance. All the members of the 73aba family are sharin invited to contribute to this feast of .Cove. ) our stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of aba’s message ofLove and 7rutlz.

Submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love StreJamiJ2osr Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737

website: www.meherabode.org email: Bababook@pacbell.net Deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: J uly issue: October issue:

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

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHEiBAD

From Bhau at the Trust Office Our Galin Meherabad Two Thsty Nuggets From MandaliHall Bhauc Silence Day 4wakening” MEMORIES OF AL0BA

Events SurroundingAloba’s Passing My Last Days withAloba Uncle Our Memories ofAloba The Bus Has Gone A Story ofMan7èstation Meher Baba on His Manifestation Whatc to Come: Three Scenarios NEw CARETAKERS AT MEHER MOUNT

email: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or wwwMeherBabaBooks.com Credits: editor: design and layout: proofreader: research assistant: distribution: mailing list information:

Dma Snow Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden and Thomas Hart Michael Franklin Barbara Roberts Pris Haffenden, Harry Thomas, and Dma Snow Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. cover: Photo ofBaba with Ahmednagar children, May 1945. back cover: Photo ofBaba with children, 1920’s.

4 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 15 15 18 19 20

COVER STORY: Dma Snow Sue Biddup23, Sue Chapmanp23, Stella Manuelp30 Jeanne Baruch BABA SHADOWS ON M WALL Dma Snow WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHEiBoDE Anne Haug MYJ0URNEY TO GOD Kenth-a Crossen Burroughs To SEE HIM AGAIN Kenthvi Crossen Burroughs RALPH AND STELLA MEET BABA Jen Buggia To SHOW OR NOT TO SHOW Nivedita Sharma REFLECTIONS OF A BROKEN HEART STORIES OFTHE MEHER ENGLISH SCHOOL

22 32 33 36 39 40 44 46

departments

Love Street bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9am to 4pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

Bhau Kaichuri Judy Stephens Ware/Parks Bhau Kaichuri Various contributors Payam Ajang Rakhi Shrivastava Glen and Payam Russ John Balker Jim Auster Meher Baba Kenneth Lux RayJohnston

FROM THE EDITOR ANNOUNCEMENTS THE L0vESTREET BOOKSTORE

Dma Snow Various contributors Dma Snow

2 21 38 41

Various contributors Various contributors

45 47

PAS SINGS

Barbara Snow writesfor Harry Dedolchowp4l

James Cox writesfor Nooruddin Qawwalp42 Jean Narke writesfor Rob Narke p42 POETRY PAGE WORLD WIDE MEETINGS

thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the J44eher ‘Ei3aba pictures we have used throwjltout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts ofall Love .Street ,i: amJflost readers.

The .Love Street £ampPosr is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avaz’arMeher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trus4 Ahmednagai India, and © Lawrence &ite Unau California. AU quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law. © AMBPPC India

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Whnt’s 4 2inpp

1119 at A’ieherabad

3rom E13kau cit the 7rust Office .d.4hmednagcti 22nd 2’ovember, 2002

Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! To all dear ones, our prayers to Beloved Baba are heard by Him, and He is responding very well. I am much better, and there is no doubt I am gradually making good progress. My health has been improving, day by day, ever since the time I started considering doctors as ‘barbers’. Now I am walking without any support, and I have stopped using a stick. Three Mothers (Mothers S, B and M) and Freeman walk along with me, so that if I fall, they may give some support. So far this has not happened. Ijust walk. Therefore, no one should worry about my health. I will remain alive as long as the Beloved wants me to remain in this gross world. It is Beloved Baba’s wish that I remain happy and cheerful even when I suffer. I fell down in Myrtle Beach while I was in bathroom, and that is why I could not go to the Barn on the last two days. When I went to LA, though I had intense pain, I. still entered into a boxing match during the Sahavas. I knocked Fred Stankus out in no time, and everyone enjoyed it! Then I went to England, where many programs had al ready been arranged. I traveled to Norwich, to Brighton, and attended many programs in London, but nobody knew that I had intense pain. I would stand and embrace everyone. I was looking happy and cheerfhl, fiiil ofjoy. If you have any doubts, you can see the pictures in the October issue of The Love StreetLampPost. See how I knocked down Fred Stankus, and how happy I was in England! It is Beloved Baba’s compassion that He keeps me happy and cheerftil. It is a fact that suffering is His blessing, and those who love Him, they suffer. One day, they will come to know that suffering gives more joy than bliss, because suffering for the Beloved is blessed by the bliss from Him. And obedience to His wish takes one to have His blessing to enjoy bliss. As I have said to various Baba lovers, your love touched my heart, and I know how you are thinking about me every day. Physically,

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I might not be so good, but internally I am strong. So you will be happy to know that the doctors are relaxing their restrictions about making movements. Therefore, please don’t worry for me. Your blessings gave me strength, and how powerfttl you are! Thank you very much for your precious blessings’. I went to Meherabad on Friday, 25th October, to attend the worker’s program and to distribute sweets and money to each one in celebration of Divali, the Festival of Light (which was held on the 4th November). Every year we do this in memory of our late Chairman, Miss Mani S. Irani [ Baba’ 5 sister]. And for a Baba couple in England, I dictated one prayer for the festival: “May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba bless you with His love so that you long and long to light a lamp ofHis love in your heart and experience Diwali every day in your life.” On Saturday, 9th November I went to Meherabad to see a play about the Two Kings and One Queen (which you have read about in The Nothing and the Everything). The Bombay group worked really hard on the play; they had been practicing four hours every night for four months. It was a good play, done very well. The group’s efforts were much appreciated, and theywere very happy that I had attended. Once, after He had asked me to write a play, Beloved Baba had said that the play based upon my writings would be staged all over the world. Yesterday, during the play, I felt, yes, this will happen. I never thought that anyone would make a play out of the writings, but it is now happening. About the songs also, Baba had said, “So long as I remain alive, they will not be sung ev erywhere. But after I die, they will be sung everywhere.” When I saw the play yesterday, I felt how true Baba is. When Beloved Baba was telling me what would happen, I was thinking that He was doing it just to encourage me so that I maywrite. But now I find thatwhat He said was true and not merely encouragement. Because I cannot travel by car two days in a ro the following day, Sunday, 10th

November I was unable to go to Meherazad, even though I wanted to visit, as usual. Anyway, it is all right. Poor Eruch also suffered because of these restrictions, so why should I not suffer? I think it is destined. I have been to Meherazad twice, for short periods. Since I did not go there on Sunday, it was possible for me to do so on 14th November to attend the Ground Breaking Program for the Archives Building. I have already started talks at Avatar Meher Baba Ahmednagar Centre in the Trust compound. I also have an itch to go to Dethi, because the Goldenjubilee ofBeloved Baba’s visit will be held there. They are arranging a very big celebration. As you kno this year is also my own Goldenjubilee ofmeeting Beloved Baba. But I cannot go to the celebration because of medical restrictions. When I am allowed to visit Meherazad and Meherabad only once a week, how can even I dream ofgoing to Delhi? Anyway, it is Beloved Baba’s Wish. The flow of foreign pilgrims here is still less than usual because the economy of the USA must have been affected very much by the September 11th episode.This incident has affected the economic situation ofall countries, and our flow ofdonations is also less this year. The interest rate is going down and down and the economy oflndlia is not improving! The economic situation is going from bad to worse everywhere. I am mostly concerned about the economy ofthe Trust, as I find that it is going down and down because the rate ofinterest is going down and down. Anyway, it is God’s Divine Will, but not His Divine Wish. If His Divine Wish is followed, everything will become smooth. It appears that this will not happen until Beloved Baba’s Universal Manifestation. Because He has been working for the world to make it aware, so that it will follow His Divine Wish, Illusion is very angry More and more, Illu sion is trying its best to show its power. That is why the world is facing tragedy. But there will be a great change, no doubt, when His UniversalManifestation takes place. Beloved Baba is the only hope for the world. But it will take time. Mehernath is well, but he is very busy with Trust work because he has to share half ofwhat I was doing previously. Most of the


time, he goes to different offices and deals with officials. When I was doing this work, I got so fed up with those officials that once 3udLI Stephens I decided that I must possess one ghost. If would I give me trouble, the officials were to shed, and exclaimed, “You eat 2002: Jai Meher send the ghost to them and the problem Savages!” Everyone seemed like have begun to all! I Baba to do decided But once I would be solved. like the idea, and the name Meherabad to diary from this me come to would who the ghosts, this, stuck. the life order share to in Baba Beloved after night every practically 2ndAugust: Update on the we live here with any Baba dropped His body, stopped coming! Meher Pilgrim Retreat: After When I was keeping night watch near loverwho maybe interested. morning Arti I walked to the This is going to be very inBaba, I was an obstruction for ghosts ap MPR to see what had been like my be it will formal, dropped He Then, after Baba. proaching past week. Some of this done friend. to a a letter writing me. I to coming started body, they His wails were up to the brick the personal, this be want to I send could if I good be it would thought of the “U” The life here, ends floor. wonderfttl first the It is a roof of my heart. from ghosts The officials. the ghosts to those rooms. The make the reading to used as her will be does best shape maya though do would they me, and not harass would posts. supported by the joys were will share frames up, I window difficult. job simplest not a my decision, after work! But some The windows cover most ofthe wall, provid and the tears. single ghost came to me! I was then helpThis afternoon I wanted to check out the ing a beautiftil view. less. The ghosts also left me! At tea time Bhau gave a talk at the MPC. At Meherazad, after Beloved Baba progress ofthe new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. It should be ready in about three more years. One of the questions addressed the rumor dropped His bod) because He had given about “The Book” having been found. (“The me writing work, I would write up until It is two stories and will house 200 pilgrims. It is huge! There are two “U” shapes for the Book” refers to a book written by Baba but midnight or one o’clock in the morning. I was working 17-18 hours a day. When pilgrim rooms. One “U” is for 100 women, given into safekeeping by Him to a person I would come out of my room, because it and the other for 100 men. On the women’s at that time unknown. Baba said The Book side, part of the “U” already has the roof on contained further detail on some ofthe matwas summer I would sleep in the veranda top of the second floor. We all went up on ters addressed in God Speaks.) between my room and the Blue Bus. One Bhau said he was in the States when he the roof. The wind has made the view so morning, at about 1:00 a.m., I stopped writclear you can see for miles and miles all the received a call about The Book having been ing and lay down in the bed. I was still quite awake, and one ghost way around! Off in the distance you can found. What was found, according to Bhau, see Seclusion Hill at Meherazad! From the was a copy ofThe Book. The copy included came, well dressed, wearing the clothes of a could see Baba’s flag flying from the the same writings by Baba found in Mani’s roofwe Thieff’ “Thief! out, I cried soldier. tower of the Meher Retreat (the building room. [These were published in In Godc He did not move and remained standing before me. So I got up to beat him! He where the Museum and Library are housed), Hand]. 31 August: Today is the one-year annext to the Samadhi. It is a wonderfid feeling started running, and I was running after him space. niversary of Eruch going to Baba. It was a vast open that in then And Thieff’ Thief! out, “Thief! calling heading was morning. There was no “official” I evening sweet very July: This 28 disappeared. he down to the Savages’ Kitchen for dinner program; however, a couple of the men Eruch was sleeping in his cabin. He woke up and came out, saying, “What happened!? when I heard loud Bhajan singing coming Mandali visited Baba’s Samadhi at 10:30 am, and many ofthe Residents and pilgrims from the Arangaon Village area. Then I What happened!?” singing Bhajan there to share in the memory Garlands was a were There remembered! ran he but thief had come, I said, “One Methe in to 6:00 PM were placed on Beloved Baba’s Samadhi, and from 4:00 program away!” Baba old-time for Eruch’s grave was taken by an headstone organized the Colony, her me. asked Eruch “How did he look?” and placed at the feet of there. Samadhi the into lives Lover who wearing he was and “He was well dressed, of many basket ofred roses was A large Kitchen”, where Beloved. his “Savages’ I remember said. I “But shoes, thick shoes!” wishing to give private is a for anyone Residents eat, available made Meherabad the was no there and still that he was running, those paid by Baba. and food Beloved flowers to with staff kitchen noise from his shoes.” Arti was performed. Garlands were put Eruch laughed and said, “Go to sleep. who eat there. It first came into use as a it when period 1977-79, Baba’s stretcher in His cabin room, and the on in lunchroom Don’t worry” which looked tin shed everyone went down to Eruch’s grave. old then an simply was came ghosts many times, So not once, but The cows! for used will soon have a permanent cover, be grave should The it though as use of make decided to to me. But when I floor the on it remains a simple mound of gunny sacks for now on but Residents sat then, And since coming. them, they stopped the Padri, headstone was placed atop blustery day The new One dirt. while eating. don’t they them, have though I am eager to Mandali above the mound, and many good-natured few bricks nonetheless a fierybut come! carewere placed there as to be flowers assigned and Baba garlands whom member Bhau Service, In His Love and taker at Meherabad, happened by the shed at well. Aloba’s grave, next to Eruch’s, also re lunchtime. He observed the residents, seated ceived garlands and flowers. Arti was again on their gunny sacks eating while rain blew performed. in on them through the open face of the

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A large hole has been dug next to Aloba’s grave, which will be divided bybricks for two more graves. The hole has taken ten days of digging thus far, and there remain a few inches of digging before it is the desired six feet across. When all the work for the future graves is complete, it will be filled with dirt. I am always amazed at how much prog ress is made between my weekly visits to the new Pilgrim Center. The ends of the U-shaped building face the Samadhi. The walls on the right side are all the way up to the roof on the ground floor. The verandah walls are aiso half-finished on that side. The verandah has large round curves like our current Pilgrim Center. In some of the rooms, the workers were putting plaster over the bricks and giving them a whitewash. At the curved part of the U, the brick wails of the rooms are also almost half-finished! I went up to the rooftop to feel the vast openness and gentle touch ofthe wind. Looking toward Meherazad brings joy because I can see Seclusion Hill. This past week there have been two events at Hostel-D. On the 24th, about 78 student teachers along with the professors from The Bachelor of Education College of Kedgaon came to hear about Baba. Mr. Madhavrao Zilepeiwar, a Staff Resident here at Meherabad, gave a talk on Baba’s life. Later everyone went to the Samadhi for Baba’s darshan before leaving. On the 29th, around 200 school chil dren belonging to the Ahmednagar Scout & Guide District Organization (like the Boy and Girl Scouts ofAmerica) requested permission to spend a day here at Mehe rabad. The ages of the children were 12 to 17. Again Mr. Madhavrao Zilepelwar gave a talk on Baba in Hostel-D. 14 September: Wednesday, September 4th, is Teachers Day in India. Representa tives from Ambika Vidyalaya School of Kedgaon, in the Ahmednagar District, had written ahead asking permission to come here on the 4th. The school’s teachers along with 900 young school children came for the day. They went to the Samadhi first for dar shan. The children sat in rows on the ground with their teachers near them; several at a time would get up to form the line for their turn to take darshan. When all had taken darshan, the children and teachers went to Hostel-D for programs. Mr. Madhavrao Zilepelwar, a Resident worker at Hostel-D, gave a talk on Baba. After the programs the children had lunch and went home. Friday the 6th was the occasion ofa spe cial Indian holiday called Pola, a day to show

respect to bullocks. Bullocks do a lot ofwork here: they plow fields, and pull carts loaded with anything and everything. On the 6th, they are given the day offfrom all work. They are washed, and their bodies are painted in designs of different colors. Often they are covered with a certain blanket that can be purchased in the bazaar, and their horns are given special decorations and designs. Many bells are put around their necks and anywhere else their owners take a fancy to put them and then the bullocks are paraded from home to home, At Meherabad we have our own bullocks because we have a farm. Our bullocks get something extra: they are taken up the path to the Samadhi! They are walked around the Samadhi and then lined up at the outside of the railing adjacent to it. They then have Kumkum (a red powder used to decorate the forehead ofpeople during special occasions) put on their heads, and are given food of some type. (This year it was chapattis.) The bullocks, so decorated, are quite a lovely sight to see. 21-27 September: In the afternoon there was a guided tour of the new Manzil e-MeherArchive building at 4:30 pm for the Residents. Starting October 1st, the building will be undergoing a year of environmental monitoring and will not be easily accessible, except for people going in forwork activities. It is so impressive to see the building with the lights and fixtures all working. There is a sophisticated security system and wiring for an extensive computer system. Work areas for film, document scanning, etc., are all set up. I am just amazed at how much knowledge and expertise have been acquired here in a few years. I was on my way up the hill to spend time in the Samadhi when I saw activity at Eruch’s gravesite. I went over and observed that a permanent cover was being made on Entch’s grave. I asked those making the structure if they were also going to do Aloba’s at the same time. No, they said:They always wait atleast a year before a permanent cover is made. The main road in front ofMeherabad is being widened 2 1/2 feet on each side. The work crews are busy smashing stones and making the area ready for the big machines to finish the job. 11 October:The Baba Lovers from Nasik began a holy pilgrimage yesterday, the 10th, and will arrive here on the 16th afternoon, for the anniversary ofthe New Life. In this Padyatra,[see cover story January 2000 LSLP] provisions will be made for the food. A truckwill carry the food and have the meal --

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readywhen the pilgrims arrive at their stopping place. This is for all the meals of each day. It feeds the heart with great joy to see Beloved Baba ‘5 photo, in a small replica of His Samadhi, on a cart being pushed by His lovers at the front oftheir procession. All are carrying His beautiftil flag and chanting His name! What a sight for the heart! 16-25 October:Wednesday the 16th was the anniversary of the New Life. We had wonderfiul monsoon rains in the morning. A group of Baba Lovers from Nasik, who were on their Padyatra, were due to arrive here in the late afternoon, having left Nasik on the 10th. I knew they must be very tired by now: yet, how happy because they were so near! I rode in a jeep down the road about a mile to meet them.We all got out of the jeep and cheered as they passed us, then we joined in the procession. In the front were mostly young adults, chanting Baba’s name and dancing around. Behind them came the cart with Beloved Baba’s beautiful photo, framed with gold streamers and flowers. The women followed the cart, then more men. Some of the pilgrims were barefoot; some looked as if they were continuing by sheer willpower; all looked happy! When they reached the Dhuni area, the young adults began dancing around in a circle and singing. It was a joy to see, and the atmosphere was charged with a feeling of victory! Then it was time to take the path to the Samadhi. We followed the procession; the Nasik Baba Lovers were given all the space in front. One old man from Nasik had trouble ascending the hill and was helped by a younger Nasik Baba Lover. The older man’s lips were trembling, holding back sobs at having arrived at his Beloved Baba’s Sama dhi! When the Nasik pilgrims reached the top of the hill, they circled Baba’s Samadhi seven times while chanting Baba’s name. Then they got in line to take His Darshan. I cannot tell you the depths ofjoyous victory we all felt for them. Such love for Baba! 8November: As I sit here writing, I hear fireworks going offin the area. Diwali was on the 4th November. It is the biggest celebra tion in India, a celebration of the victory of light over darkness! Homes, businesses, and most buildings put up lights; small clay pots of different shapes and sizes are lit with oil and placed on steps or windows. Paper lanterns hang with lights in them. In the Meher Pilgrim Center the tables are decorated with flowers and little lamps or candles. The floor is decorated in colorftul designs. The steps


in front of the MPC also have little lamps. Diwali is a charming time, very pretty The men’s side ofthe new Meher Pilgrim Retreat, has the main structure complete for half of the U shape. There is going to be a large laundry room for washing all the linens and pilgrim laundry; that room is attached to the corner of the men’s U shape nearest the women’s side. The structure for that is also partly done. On the women’s side the wails are almost finished on the ground floor and part way done on the second floor. On the roof the wail around the edges is going up. Also, the holes have now been dug for the long hail of offices. There will be two floors of offices. Special Note: All Meherabad phone numbers now have a new prefix of”2”. For example: previously the Meher Pilgrim Center phones were 548733 and 548736; they are now 2548733 and 2548736. 22 November: In October we had pil grims from Norway, Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico, Israel, USA, Canada, Italy, Australia, England, Turkey, and Spain! We always have pilgrims, of course, from here in India. Right now we have six pilgrims from the four main Hawaiian islands, Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii. There was a groundbreaking ceremony at Meherazad on Thursday the 14th for the new small Archive building near the medi cal clinic. The ceremony began at 9:30 am sharp. A wooden altar with Beloved Baba’s photo in it was placed in the marked site, and garlands were placed on Baba’s photo. Incense was lit, the Arti was sung, and the prayers were said by all. The breaking of the ground with picks then commenced. The weather has turned to Autumn. It is warm during the day and cold at night. Sitting in the Samadhi is heavenly. A soft breeze blows in and it is cool inside. What I find amazing is that even when so many pilgrims are here, there are times when you go to the Samadhi and you have Baba all to yourself! You are sitting in the Samadhi, a soft breeze blowing, birds chirping, and you have Him all to yourself heavenly!

9od may be compared to the sandalwood. 3t continually emits a sweet scent in all directions, though only those who take the trouble to go near it have the benefit of its charming fragrance. Meher Baba, from the video Avatar

ML Ward ¶1!arks,

6 2Iovember 2002

ast week in Mandali Hall, Meherazad, pilgrims and residents were regaled by Dorab Satha, cousin to Eruch and longtime Baba lover from Mumbai. Dorab had been blessed with many opportunities for Meher Baba’s darshan in the 1950s and 60s; and the reminiscences he shared were surcharged with the feeling and fragrance ofthose wonderful times with the Beloved. Unfortunately I missed the first session; but here are two anecdotes from the Hail as recounted by Dorab a week ago Thursday. One of Dorab’s stories concerns Hafiz, Meher Baba’s favorite poet, whose poetry Dorab too knew intimately, having been ordered by Baba to write out one of the Master-poet’s ghazals each time he wrote a letter to Him. On one occasion with Baba the subject of a certain couplet of Hafiz’s arose. The couplet reads thus: “Gunah agar che nabood be ikhtiyare maa Hafiz Tu dar tarike adabkoosh wo goo gunahe manast.” (“Though the fault be not of your own choosing, 0 Hafiz, Strive in the way ofmanners and say, The fault is mine.”) Now this couplet is not on the face of it particularly easy to understand, but Baba explained that it had a background that only He knew and He proceeded to narrate the following story. It seems that Hafiz had recently spent a morning alone with His Master, Moham med Attar, who had been telling him to perform various foolish and odd actions. Without questioning, Hafiz did as he was ordered. But that evening, a crowd of dis ciples and followers came for the Master’s darshan. Attar availed himselfofthe oppor tunity to belittle and ridicule Hafiz, telling the people, “This morning, do you know what this man did? What a dolt! What a donkey!” And he proceeded to relate all of Hafiz’s odd behavior without mentioning that Hafiz had done these things in obedi ence to his own instructions! At this time many ofthe Master’s followers were feeling greatjealousy toward Hafiz, and the Master’s ridicule was like music to their ears. Hafiz, for his part, was unable to defend himself for to do so, he would have to have shown his own Master in an unfavorable light. What a trap! Concerned for his Master’s dignity and not wanting

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to let him down, Hafiz had to swallow his pride and take all of this humiliation upon his own head. The path to God is constantly beset with trials such as this. Indeed, as the great Urdu poetJigar has said in another line that Dorab cited: “Yeh ishq nahin aasaan, itnaa to samajh lijiye, Ek aag kaa daryaa hai, aur doob ke jaanaa hai!” (“This love is not so easy, try to understand this much: It is an ocean of fire, and one passes through by drowning in it.”) The second story was a personal one on Dorab’s part, and very touching. It concerned the meeting at Meherazad on October 13th 1968 to which Baba invited a small number of workers from Pune, Mumbai, and other places. The participants were under strict orders not to ask Baba for anything, not to give Him anything, and not to convey any messages. Dorab’s cousin Burjor had been called to attend, but Dorab himself had not been invited. Nonetheless, Dorab felt prompted to ask Burjor to carry with him a bottle of Yardley Lavender perftime, Baba’s favorite. Naturally Burjor refused, citing Baba’s order. But Dorab appealed to him: “I’m not asking you actually to give it to Baba. I’mjust asking you to take itwith you in your bag, and when you return, to bring it back again.” Eventually Burjor yielded. The October 13th meeting went well, and at its conclu sion, the attendees were all dismissed from Mandali Hall. But immediately Burjor was summoned back inside. “Have you brought anything for Me?” Baba asked him. “No, no!” Burjor answered. “Don’t try to deceive Me!” Baba said. “Ifyou have brought something, you should give it to Me.” So Burjor handed over the bottle of perfume; and before he even had time to return to Mumbai, Dorab received a telegram from Baba saying that the perfume which he had sentwith so much love had been received by Him, and that He sent His love blessings to Dorab and his wife Roshan and child Percis. This story has a sequel. Over that final year of Baba’s physical lifetime, for reasons no doubt known to Him alone, Baba had refused to take a bath. The women mandali were becoming extremely anxious over Baba’s skin condition and sent an S.O.S. to Eruch, asking for his help.

7


After at least one failure (and Eruch’s account of this is worth retelling in its own right), at last he prevailed through a ruse. For after Baba had still another time reffised to take a bath, Eruch pleaded with Him,”At least let me wash Your feet!” For the delicate skin on Baba’s feet had become extremely dry and would peal off with the slightest rubbing. Finally Baba agreed, and Eruch brought into Baba’s room the basin ofscented warm water that he had prepared for this contin gency. At first he bathed Baba’s feet, then His ankles, and then, with more coaxing, His legs, and so on, until he had given Him a complete bath despite protests from Baba all along! When he was finished, Baba said

to Eruch, “You learned this trick from Me.” For Baba had done the same thing Himself during His mast tours ofthe 1940s when He was trying to give baths to reluctant masts! The perfume with which Eruch had scented the water was from Dorab’s bottle of Yardley Lavender. As it happened, this was the last bath that Baba ever took. He dropped His body a week or two later. Thus in His own unique way Baba ar ranged that the perfume used in His final bath would have been given to Him with love by one of His own lovers. Such was the fare that Beloved Baba provided to us last week at Mandali Hall, Meherazad.

EBhau’s Si1cnce ‘Day 1/iwakeninj’ 73Iiaii .2<Iialcliuri 2JiiIy 10, 2001 ,

ile I lay in bed, Beloved Baba ap peared before me and disappeared in a few seconds, but his Voice was ringing in my heart. I felt as ifHe were asking me something, and I heard in my heart, “Do you remember how you would forget points I would give you during your night watch? Some points I would give for the next day. Other points I would give for a particular time after a week. And the third type I would give you and ask you to remind Me on a certain date after three months. You would remind Me of those points for the next day, but you’d forget the points I would askyou to remind Me after a week. I would come to Mandali Hall, and I Myselfwould deliver that point. Immediately, you would remember that I had asked you to remind Me on that day of a certain point. “Now, knowledge knows, knowledge does not think. Because I kno I can never forget. You don’t know, and therefore you forget. But this forgetfulness is not real Forgetfulness. If you experience real Forgetftilness, you will experience Knowledge. That Knowledge is eternal; it has no past and no future; it is always in the Present. And therefore, I know everything, and I cannot forget anything. “You don’t know. Because of that, you have the past and you have the ftiture. You cannot remain all the time in the Present. For Knowledge, there is only the Present. It is not associated with the past, and it is not associated with the future. In the domain of ignorance, there is past; there is future.

Whatever you think happened millions of years ago did not happen for Knowledge. Nothing happens in the domain of Knowl edge. Everything happens in the domain of ignorance. Unless this ignorance is wiped out, and complete Forgetfulness is achieved, you cannot experience Knowledge. “You forget, but your forgetfulness is in the domain ofignorance. This forgetfulness cannot help you. Do not think that you are making progress. That’s your forgetfulness. “There was one person from South India who had come to Me at Meherazad. With him, he brought a Bible, a Koran and das. I embraced him and asked him to sit near Me. “Do you remember? What did he say at the time?” I replied, “Yes, Baba, I do remember. He said, ‘With the verses from the Bible, the Koran and k’das, I can prove you are the Avatar.’ “So I told the man, ‘I’m very happy to hear this. What is this you have brought?’ “He said, ‘I always carry the Bible, the Koran, and the Vedas. If any discussion takes place anywhere, I prove that you are the Avatar through these books.’ “How fortunate you are that you can prove Me to be the Avatar. I am really very very happy with that.’ “I embraced him, and he left. Then I said to the mandali, ‘I cannot prove Myself to be the Avatar, but so fortunate is this man, he can prove Me to be the Avatar! I must learn from him.’ -

“I laughed, and the Mandali laughed. Then I said to them, ‘No one can prove that I am the Avatar through words. One has to achieve complete Forgetfulness to know Me. When complete Forgetfulness is achieved, you know everything, all the time. There is no question offorgetting anything.’ “Therefore, know well, you are ignorant,” Baba said to me in His silent Voice, “and because you are ignorant, your forgetfulness does not help Me. On the contrary it causes Me trouble because I have to remind you. Forgetfulness in the domain of illusion is also binding. You are not free. Do not think that it is a help to you because you forget. You are ignorantly ignorant.” “In the beginning, there was one man with Me, K.F. Dastur. He was editing the magazine, Meher Message. Whenever I would give discourses, he would take down them down. Then he would publish the discourses in the magazine. “Then what happened? One mast was brought to Meherabad. Nobody knew anything about masts at the time. So I explained to the Mandali, ‘This man is not mad—he is very very advanced. Though he appears mad, in reality, you are all mad! He is the only wise person here with Me.’ “I assigned one assistant to look after the mast. Every morning, I would give the mast one blanket. What would the mast do? He would just unravel all the threads from the blanket. By evening, the blanket would be a bundle of threads, which the mast would present to Me. Again, the next morning, I would give him another blanket. “Dastur was very, very happy to hear about the subtle world and subtle planes, and mental world and mental planes. Then he got a whim that he should also become a mast. So he started behaving like that mast. Because he had become a mast, he did not

edit Meher Message. “I was observing him. Then one day, I told the Mandali, ‘Dastur was very, very helpful for My work. He was editing Meher Message, but now that he has become a mast, he’s advancing on the spiritual path. How can I stop him?’ “Then I gave Dastur an assistant to look after him. I instructed the assistant, ‘This new mast will not eat and wiil not sleep. But don’t worry, just look after him.’ “On the first day of his intoxication, what does Dastur do? He did not eat, but he would remember the appetite he had, so he became restless. He was running here and there. No mast would do such a thing, but in order to escape thoughts of hunger he


was running. He was also throwing stones. When he was running, the assistant had to run after him also, because I had given the assistant the duty oflooking after Dastur. “The first day, though he felt hungry, Dastur did not eat. He was running here and there, and he was throwing stones. I had also told the assistant that Dastur woald not sleep. He was already restless, and he had to stay awake. So Dastur would climb up a tree, and the assistant also had to climb up to look after him. Dastur was very very restless. “Anyway, the next morning when I went to Dastur, I asked his assistant, ‘Did he eat yesterday?’ “No, Baba,’ said the assistant. “Did he sleep last night?’ “No, Baba.’ “Then I said to the assistant, ‘I’ve already told you that he would not eat, and he would not sleep, so why do you worry? Just look after him.’ “This new mast was in trouble. Again, he was becoming very, very restless. He was running here and there, putting dust on his body. He was a Qualified Mast, so he was doing whatever he could think of pretending in order for others to know that he was a mast. “At night, he was praying and praying internally, and I heard his prayer. He was praying, ‘Baba, save me! I can not remain without eating, and I cannot remain without sleep.’ “The next morning when I came, I asked the assistant, ‘Did he eat, and did he sleep?’ He answered, ‘No, Baba.’ “This man, Dastur, was very very helpftil in My work,’ I said. ‘He was editing Meher Message. Now that work is failing. No one can do it without him. So I have to bring him down to normal consciousness.’ “Lifting My hand, I said, ‘From today onwards, Dastur will be normal.’ As soon as he heard this, Dastur went into the kitchen and started eating the food. Afterwards, he slept. “Now listen to Me carefully. He wanted become to a mast, but he could not forget his false self. He would remember his false selfcontinuously. Because ofthat, he would feel hunger, and he would think that he was sleepy. He was feeling tired. Actually, one who travels in the subtle plane does not think about hunger and does not think about sleep. That’s why it is not Forgetfid— ness that Dastur experienced. When For— getfulness comes, you forget everything. You don’t remember. -

“Just see Mohammed Mast at Mehe rabad. He’s on the fifth plane. He eats, but his eating is different. He does not care for food. When he eats, he eats. When he does not eat, he does not eat for months at a time. Still, he has not achieved the state of com plete Forgetfhlness. Unlike an ordinary person, who, when he does not eat, remembers, when Mohammed does not eat, he does not remember. He does not think about food. “Dastur was imitating, and his imitation would make him remember the false self He would not think about the Real Self In order to achieve complete and perfect Forgetfulness, one has to forget the false self not because ofloss ofmemor It is achieved through the grace ofGod. So followMe and become worthy of that grace.” The Voice stopped, and I felt so happy. With all love and Jai Baba to you.

:...:it:uuu1 Erucli 3essawctlct omeone in India asked Baba how to love Him, and the reply Baba gave was: “I don’t know how you should love Me. It is for you to show Me the way you should love me. I am the Ocean ofLove; how am I to know how you should love Me? It is for you to love Me. I say love Me. How to love Me is your lookout—being the very Ocean of Love, how am I to know how to love Me?” Do you follow what Baba means? Here is Baba’s explanation: “If you happen to meet a beautiftil girl, and you fall in love with her at first sight, as you call it, you become restless. You begin to love her so much that you cannot sleep, you have no appetite, no interest in the world. You want only to possess her. Baba says that one should love Him to such an extent that one forgets about food, sleep, rest. One becomes absolutely restless to be united with Baba, to possess Baba. That does not mean that we really should give up food or sleep. The restlessness should come naturally, sponta neously. How will it come? Think of Baba think of Him frequently.” Christ said: “Leave all and follow me.” What did He mean by that? He did not mean leave the body, food, sleep and all that. No. He meant leave all thoughts of possessions, all worldly thoughts, and think only of Him. Baba says: “Think of Me to such an ex tent that you see Me, however far away I may

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be. You see my body here now. However far away my body may be, you will be able to see Me physically also. In India some love me to such an extent that they see Me physically present, although I am thousands of miles away from them.” LordMeher, Bhau Kaichuri, Volume 13/14 ©1979 Manifestation

9od is in ç.Ai1 JlVIeher 13ctha n the divine scales, vice and virtue are necessary experiences man goes through before attaining the supreme balance of Self-realization, which is beyond all op posites— good and bad. “Good” is like a clean mirror that reflects the image ofGod. When true knowledge is gained you realize that the reflection is the image ofyour own Sell, the GOD that is in all and in everything. “Bad” is like the dusty particles that ac cumulate and hide the image of God, until the mirror presents only a distorted or blank surface. It cannot affect the object being re flected; it merely distorts your vision. LOVE is the cleanser that wipes the mir ror bright and enables you to behold with increasing clarity the indivisible Entity that permeates all life. The negative experience of the “bad,” with its consequent suffering, ultimately disgusts man and leads him to the positive force of”good,” thus awakening divine love. Hence, the saints ofthe present are the sinners of the past. In the clarity ofthe understanding and knowledge they have gained, they show true humility They do not take pride in their achievements nor condemn the “sinner” whom they know to belong equally to God, but help him to remove the self-created veil of ignorance and perceive his true identity Ljfe at itc Best, by Meher Baba ©1957 by Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

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draw you to Jl4e, and to make you realize you are bliss itself 3 come amongst you and suffer infinite agony. 7:o

Meher Baba, from the video Avatar

9


We continue from our last issue with

Jkkrnaries

of J11obct

Events Surrounding AIoba’s ¶l?nssiny Compiled by JJ2aya,n .J1jaiig (with the most gracious help of Dr. 3arlicid .SIiafa) Farhad Shafa, a long-time Iranian Sufi Baba lover (who has been living in the U.S. for most of his adult life) shared some his experiences in India. While there is much to narrate and many “coincidences” surrounding Aloba’s passing, a few incidents described by Dr. Shafa are highlighted below. It so happened that Dr. Shafa was one of 200 Sufi’s who had traveled to Meherabad for putting on the much-anticipated series that had been in the making Soon after his arrival, Dr. Shafa heard of Aloba’s fall that had taken place the week before and had resulted in the broken hipbone. While Dr. Shafa did not have the chance to visit Alobaji in the hospital, he heard from those who had visited him that Aloba’s moods seemed to quickly fluctuate; he would belaughing heartily and then burst into tears. Although many ofus have heard Aloba talk about his predictions of world calamity and a war originating from the middle east, Aloba spoke ofthese events with much more intensity On a side note, Sarang Ajang, who was also in Meherabad on his first trip, related that Aloha would make a gesture with his hands, sliding the palms of his hands back and forth together while he would remark in Farsi “Iran will be crushed” and then he’d begin to sob. Prior to the surgery Aloha was given spinal anesthesia (not general anesthesia) so he was able to converse readily. Apparently, towards the end of surgery the surgeon was becoming too distracted by Aloba’s verbos it)’; Aloha’s caretaker then kindly asked him in Farsi to remain quiet. In Farsi, there are several words for quiet, but the one that

fr.

.

of

forofprograms several years.

often

my cousin,

a light, shining from his eye. His lips were also : turned upward- as if he was smiling. I can only imagine what a glori ous union it must have : been. Aloha’s body was then taken to lower Meherabad and placed in the old Mandali hail. Given the fact that many Baba lovers from all over India had come for the week long programs presented by the Sufis, there were huge numbers present at Meherabad, who came to pay their respects to this fiery soul who had so dutifully served Baba. Also present was Murshida Carol Conner and other representatives from Baba’s Sufism Reoriented. The hail was filled with music and singhours. Dr. Shafa remarked that the whole atmosphere was filled with Baba’s love. It seemed to him that a feeling similar to Amartithi celebrations permeated the room. Baba was so present that ail were intoxicated by it. The translation of Aloba’s Persian Arti and the line of poetry Beloved Baba had added in Farsi to Aloba’s forty line poeml was read in English, then translated to Hindi and Marati. The line Baba added goes like this: 0’ compassionate God have mercy on Shapoorzaman So he may achieve union with you like Rumi and Bayzi. Dr. Shafa added that it seemed that Baba Himselfwas praying for Aloba to one day, not just to achieve union, but to become a Perfect Master. Also a Fal from Hafiz was read in Farsi by Zahra Ajang then translated. Later that day, Mohammed the mast came in as well, He apparently had com mented earlier to Flint (his caretaker) ‘Aloba is not here anymore”. In the afternoon Mehens and Katie from Meherazad also joined

was used was “khamoosh bash” which also has a second, more literal meaning of “turn off the light”. When this was said, Aloba said “all right I will be khamoosh” and then gave his last Jai Baba. His blood pressure quickly dropped. Those were Aloha’s last words before uniting with his Beloved Meher Baba. However, his physical body was attached to a heart and lung machine to keep it working. It so happened that on that day, August th, 13 the Sufi group was performing a musical Meherazad in Manadali Hall. Meheru interrupted the program to share the news. She noted that although the surgery was successftil there were complica and that Aloba was put on life She then said how fortunate they all were to be there and celebrating, and that this must have all been orchestrated for Aloba by Beloved Baba. So, while Aloba was on his journey back to Baba, a big joyous celebra tion was taking place. At 1:30 p.m. on August 13t, Aloba merged with Baba. Later that day, Aloba’s bodywas brought to Manadali Hail in Meherazad and placed in front ofBaba’s chair. Dr. Shafa described Aloha as looking beautiftul. His right eye was slightly open and there was a sparkle,

program at

tions

support.

ing for several


the gathering to say their final farewell to dear Aloba and pay homage to the love of their life long companion for the Eternal Beloved, Meher Baba. Aloba’s bodywas then taken to the burial site where all the men Manadali are buried. Eight people lowered Aloba’s body into the pitch next to Eruch’s grave. Dr. Shafa re called how much Aloba loved Baba’s picture so he quickly took off his Baba button and put it on a flower on Aloba’s body and later retrieved it, just before the burial, so that Baba’s beautiftil face would not be covered by dirt. As if all this was not enough, that very afternoon at 4:30 the Sufi’s presented a program of devotional music at Meherabad as part ofthe week-long programs. th, The following day, on the 15 another program was put on by the Sufi’s in Mehe razad. Upon its completion, a silence ofgrace descended on the gathering. Dr. Shafa again was reminded ofAmartithi, relating that no one seemed to want to break that silence. Meheru then ended the program remarking that Aloba is no longer here to ring his bell to signal us to depart. Arnavaz later shared with Dr. Shafa that Aloba must have had a strong connection with the Sufi’s for Baba to have brought them all there at that particular time of Aloba’s passing. Dr. Shafa related that Aloba seemed to have known for some time that his time to join Baba had finally arrived. In the previ ous Amartithi a time which many Iranian Baba lovers come from Iran to pay homage to Baba- Aloba had said to the Iranian group “this is the last time you’ll see me.” Aloba had even asked of the Meherazad servants to pray for him so that Baba would take him soon. But after hearing that Meher Baba had once said to a man that every time he asked that Baba take his life, 10 years would actually be added to his life, Aloba quickly changed his tune. While not all ofAloba’s predictions have come to pass (at least not yet and not in ac cordance to our sense of time in this world ofillusion), he did surely know that his time had come. and what a blessed and most fortunate soul he was to have lived with and served God in human form- the Avatar of this age! -

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1 WhileBaba was still in the body,Aloba had written 40 couplets in Farsi andhad read it out to Baba. Baba toldAloba that thepoem was notyet complete because it was missing the last couplet referred to as ‘takhalot” So Baba said to Aloha that He himse’f would complete itfor him. -

!Rnklii .SIwivctstciva, Dnditi en Meherazad opened for Pilgrims this year on 2nd July, my family and I went there as a part ofbig Sahavas group and I heard that Aloba Uncle was not well. One day at Meherazad I heard that he was coming out so I went and sat with him. He asked me WI said Baba’s prayers. I said, “Uncle when I’m here I do attend both Artis, but when I am at home I onlydo eveningArti.”For the first time he was not angry, but he said “Think about it in this manner—you eat food both times, even when you are at home—so do Baba’s prayers both times.” On 2lstJuly he came to Mandall Hall. He was very weak but still he came inside and told us that Baba’s Manifestation is very near. He had told a Baba lover from Ahmednagar to bring some laddu’s as prasad and told us to take only one laddu while going out. That day he was actually struggling to breathe. On July28th he again came to Mandali Hall, this time with the Irani family who had been here in February I learned that whenever he has seen that family he was very happy. He had told somebody to make a garland for Beloved Baba’s chair, so Rayon was there with the gar land. Around noon Aloba said “Nowlet’s offer this garland to Beloved Baba.” He touched the garland and in spite ofhis pain he stood up and stayed standing ll the Irani couple offered the garland. Then he said, “There are some more laddu’s here. Remember Beloved Baba, Aloba is nothing, don’t waste this precious time.” On 4th August when we went to Mehe razad we heard that the night before he had fallen and fractured his hip; they are going to take him to Pune and an operation has to be done to fix his hip. On 10th August Mehera and Dr. Tom Decker announced that they neededblood type B Positive forAlobaUnde’s operation, which was scheduled to be on the following Tuesday. I was the only person who raised her hand, because all others were above the age limit that they had given. So on 11th August Jessica, Charles and I went to Pune. Charles was going to meet Bhauji and both of us were going to donate blood. So we reached the hospital around 10:30 in the morning. Both ofus decided to go and meet Aloba Uncle. We went to his room, but that time he was taking rest so we just sat for some time in his room and were talking with Rayon and Meherdokht. Then we came down and went to meet Bhauji, who was in another hospital. On our way back to Meherabad we again went to see Aloba Uncle. This time he was

awake and he recognized Charles and asked him how he was. He said “Jai Baba” to Jessica and then he looked at me and said “meoi” ilke a cat! I remember he used to do that before. Then he held myhand. Meherdokht told him that we came to donate blood for him and he said that we were good people. We asked him how is the hospital. He said “Oh! Hospital is hospital but they are taking good care of me”. He was holding my hand for about 5 minutes and I was happy to see him. I found him in much better condition than when I last met him in Meherazad. After some time he said “OK now you all go to Meherabad.”We said Jai Baba andweleft. So this was mylast meetmg with him. On 12th August I met Sally in dining hail. She came there as she was going to Pune to be there for Aloba Uncle’s operation. I was very happy to see her. On 13th we went to Meherazad. I met Goher Auntie and Katie Auntie and we all talked about my blood donation and Aloba Uncle’s operation and we were thinking that the operation must be overbythen.At around 11:45 everybody came into Mandall Hall to attend the Sufi program. Mischa Rutenberg, one ofthe lead singers, was going to present some songs. About 12.15 while we were enjoying the Si.ifi songs and I was standing at the back of Mandali HailI saw Fallu(RodhaAuntie’s son) coming in and saying something to Goher Auntie. We tried to find outwhat he said, but we only knew that it was something related to Aloba Uncle. After the song finished, Mehem Auntie said that they have to make an announcement. She said that as we all know todaywas Aloba’s surgery and the surgery was successflul. Everybody started sayingJai Baba, but she stopped them and said, ‘As soon they brought him out of the operating theatre his heart stopped and his breathing stopped but the doctors are trying to revive him. Now we still have 15 minutes, continue with your program.” As I heard that I don’t know what happened but I was sure that he was no more. I came out and saw a Sufi friend ofmine—Bri gitta, andl started crying.Then suddenlyl saw Dr. Tom Decker and I told him thatjust now they had made this announcement and what do he think? Helooked at me and said that he had not seen anybody return from such a condition. We thought of calling Sally but as we were going to call her Failu saw us and he told Dr.Tom that the doctors arewaitingfor Goher Auntie’s orders as Aloba Unde is on heartlung II


machine. Now it was clear that Aloha Unde was no more with us. He was now with his Beloved. At this time the Sufi program in the hail came to an end and they started doing American Arti and we all sang the Arti. After that, I went inside and I found Goher Auntie talking to Sally and saying that they should bring Aloba Uncle’s body to Meherazad ftrst. So I was one of the few pilgrims who knew that he was no more. Others didn’t know till they reached Meherabad. I was surprised to see the strength ofthe Mandali. I was crying like anything and they were very cool When we reached Meherabad they had already started digging the grave for Aloba Uncle to rest. The grave was next to Eruch Unde. At around 5:30pm Aloba Uncle’s body came to Meherazad. A few went there to pay homage to him. On 14th August at 8am Aloba Uncle’s body was brought in the van from Meherazad to upperMeherabad.The car was the same in which Eruch Unde’s body also came to Meherabad and was the same car in which we went to Pune. The Irani couple and Dr. Farhad Shafa, along with Jal Uncle, Meherwan Uncle, Meherdokht and Rayon came from Meherazad with Aloba Unde.They kept his bodyinside the tomb andwe did Parvardi gar prayer, Beloved God prayer and Gujerati Arti then a Persian did the Prayer that Aloba Unde used to do. After that they bought the body to Old Mandali Hall in lower Mehe rabad. When I went there, there were mixed feelings in the atmosphere. Aloba Uncle was looking very beautiftil. An Irani couple sang a Persian song, and then we had the translation of the Persian arti into English (by Dr. Farhad Shafa) in Hindi (By Shaligram Sharma) and in Telagu too. The atmosphere was full of Beloved Baba’s songs. Then the Irani boy named Baba played his Irani drum. Around noon Murshida and a few other Sufis came for Aloba Uncle’s darshan. They offered flowers and garlands to him. DollyAuntie told me to sing our Sahavas song, OM Meher Baba, so I along with few others sang that song. Around 1 pm Mehens Auntie and Katie Auntie along with Kacy and Amrit Auntie came and they offered garlands toAlobaUnde and to beloved Baba. They sat there until about 2 pm while songs were going on. Kalyan from London played violin and the Bombay-Pune group sang many songs. I got a chance to sing Pile Pile Meher naam ka pyala. Just after 2 pm Aloba Unde was carried to the graveside in an open coffin. Around 2: l5pm the lidwas placed on the coffin and with many “Beloved Avatar Meher Baba ki Jais” his bodywas lowered and after thatwe all got the chance to throw in a handfiil of sand. We

did that on behalf of all our family members who were not present there. I was there till 3 pm so I got the chance to pour more sand as they were filling in the grave. Thus we all gave Aloba Uncle a warm farewell. I remember an incident from some time ago: one dayjal Uncle came to Meherazad in the evening. I was working there, so we went inside to meet Aloba Uncle and he came out laughing. He said “Previously Aloba used to say, ‘please pray that Beloved Baba should call me soon’ but now today,” he said, “please pray for me that I should get well soon.” Meherdokht told us the reason behind this. She said that somebody told him the story about a woman who used to curse her mother-inlaw by saying, “Why don’t you die.” One day she said this in front ofBaba and Baba said, “Every time when you pray for her death I add 10 years to her life.” So after listening to this story, Aloba Uncle started saying that we should pray that he should get well soon. So this is the end ofa person who led his life heroically for Beloved Baba! He always used to say we should do Baba’s prayers at least twice every day, so let’s try to follow his wish.

Our A’kmorws of }1kbn 9 lenn !Russ and Enyam .J1rjang 9uss, Los LAnØC1e-s

ayam has the first story: When I got a phone call from Dma Snow asking if I would write an artide about Aloba, I quickly agreedwithouthesitation, forAloba had given so much love to me personally as well as my family that there was no question in my mind that this was simply my honor and duty But as soon as I hung up the phone I thought, “what did I get myselfinto!” For how could I dojustice to the life ofa soul that loved Baba so completely? I can only bow down in reverence to this precious soul who has touched my life in ways I cannot easily put into words. Through knowing Aloba, I have witnessed the inten sity oflove that only a true lover of God can personif5 Suffice it to say, without going into detail about how my family came to Baba, that we first heard ofMeher Baba in the mid 1980’s through my paternal unde who had come to the United States for a visit from Iran after many, many years. Over the course of about 2 years, we had all become most intrigued by Meher Baba and had already felt Baba love our hearts through the visit to our home of

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two Prem Ashram boys. We had not, however, fully accepted Meher Baba as God. I believe it was in 1987 when Aloba first came to the United States. During his stay in Los Angeles, we were fortunate to have Aloba visit our home. Upon entering our living room area, he quickly asked “where’s Baba’s picture?” You see, at that time, we were not “Mly” Baba lovers and did not have any pictures of Baba hanging up. So Aloba immediately got on the couch, asked for a pencil, and marked the spot on the wall behind the couch, way on top, where Baba’s picture was to be hung. He fiercely said, (in the way many ofus have heard Aloba speak), “when I come back, you must put up Baba’s picture here”. We did so dutifully, without question. When Aloba returned a few days later he was most pleased that a picture of Meher Baba was framed and hung on the wall (Aloba used to saythat Baba’s picture should always be framed). My family and I believe that in that moment ofhanging Baba’s picture, a key was turned andwe could then fill heartedily accept Beloved Meher Baba as God. All questions seemed to simply dissipate. So Aloba’s role in our life became significant from then on and continued through many years to come. I should add that during his visitin Los Angeles, Aloba significantlyimpacted the lives ofmany people, particularlythe Iranians. All seemed to become charged by his unwavering conviction in Baba andlivelyspiritwhithwas overflowing with love for Baba. During our first visit to Meherabad andMeherazad in 1991, my family and I were simply showered with Baba’s love. We felt it in every direction, from the love emanating from Baba’s Samadhi to the love so beautifully and humbly expressed in his women and men Mandali. It was then that our connection with Alobawas rekindled. He solovinglygreeted us and made us feel like his long lost family. I feelthatAloba not onlyhad a special link to Iranians but he also had a strong affiliation for this small community of people, for it was only then that he could speak his native language and reconnect with his homeland. I should add that I have also heard of many incidents in which Aloba was veryloving and caring towards so many people from so many different cultures and countries. I vividly recall our firstvisit to Meherazad. Aloba was excitingly awaiting our arrival (he always kept a clipboard with all the pilgrims’ dates ofarrival, particularlymarking the names of the Iranians). He explained to us that we should greet all the Mandali, visitBaba’s room, and then meet together in his room. There, in his room, we were treated with such hospital-


ity and sweetness as if we were visiting our grandparent’s home back in Iran. Aloba had a thermos filled with coffee and miik ready to go and lovingly fified everyone’s cup. He then offered us cookies and a platter of fresh fruit cut up into small pieces. In his old Farsi vernacular he’d say, “bezan ghadesh!”. While it is difficult to translate this phrase literally, in essence it meant something like “come on now, eat it up!” After tasting our first sip of coffee, we all looked at each other with a big smile, for the coffee was so sweet we could hardly drink it. But that’s how sweet Aloba liked his drinks and we all of course drank it for it was so lovingly preparedjust for us. Backthen, Aloba could still go up Seclusion Hill and he led our family up there on one oc casion. At the top ofthe hill, we all said Baba’s Arti together. In later years, when Aloba could no longer climb the hill, he’d walkwith us just to the incline where he had created a shrine to Baba, speffing out “MEHER BABA’ with pebbles and rocks which was encirded in yet another row ofrocks and adorned with flowers. He later sent us a picture ofhimselfsitting beside this shrine. He wrote on the back ofthe picture the followingwords in Farsi, translated as follows: The dust at Baba’s feet I, All Akbar Yazdi, Have spelled out His name with rocks and stones, on Seclusion Hill in Meherazad. Every morning I pay homage by offering flowers at His name and thus renew the memory of that light of the world in my heart. Aloba often took special interest in our mundane problems but always brought the focus back to Baba. He was most practical in his guidance, often using simple life analogies to bring home the point he was making. At times, with more serious matters, he would make the person asking the question or the one with the particular problem stand beside him in front ofthe Baba shrine he had set up in his room and pray to Baba with us. During our first trip (at the time, I was 23 years old), I was at a crossroads about my career path in that I did not know whether to obtain a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in psychology So, I asked Aloha for guidance. Aloba asked that I write on two pieces ofpaper my two choices and put it down on the shrine table. After praying to Babawith Aloha, I was instructed to pick out one ofthe two pieces of paper. And that’s how it began- mylong road ofbecoming a psychologist and then continu ing in a subspecialty and so on. When people ask me how I ended up practicing my profes sion, I doiñ have the typical answer that I had a passion for it or that I always knew this, I

simplysa”I asked Baba andwithAloba’s help I went for it!” How can I explain my actions? To some, it may seem crazy to have done that. But you see, its about our conviction and faith, the inner knowing thatleads us to take certain actions that may seem insane in hindsight or even in the moment. To this day, I have no idea how it has all happened. I have only cxperienced that when I let go and trust Baba it always, always, works in my best interest and in the most naturalway. Unfortunately, I seem to forget this much too often! Shifting now to the recent years with Aloba, I’d like to share an experience that related to my maternal uncle. In November 2001, my family and I again went to India, this time, my uncle Rezajoined us from Iran. On one ofourvisits to Meherazad, Aloba was making an important point and myunde happened to ask a question that Aloba did not like as he thought it was not directly related to the topic at hand. He was a bit curt with my uncle, and not knowing Aloba’s ways, my uncle’s feelings were hurt. So subtly, after a few minutes, my uncle left Aloba’s room. Aloba later realizedwhathad happened. On our next visit to Meherazad, Aloba rushed to my uncle and requested that he come to his room. He offered him fruits and sweets and there, he wholeheartedly asked for my uncle’s forgiveness,weeping all the while for having hurt him so. I share this incident for it speaks to Aloba’s love and how important every detail was to him in his desire to please Meher Baba. I believe for many though, it was difficult to understand Aloha’s ways. With his fiery personallty he’d often make comments or do things that seemed to others absurd or foolish. For many, the ways oflove cannotbe reconciled with the mind. And how fitting it was that a few hours before dropping His body, Beloved Meher Baba asked Aloha to read aloud His favorite three couplets from the Persian poet and Perfect Master Hafiz:

13cfltting cifortunateslave camj out evej command oftheA4aste, without any piestion ofwhy and what. ..J1bout what ou hearfrom the .A4istei’, naer say it is wrong because my dear, the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand 2lim. 3 am slave of the ..7I4,aster, Who has released me from ignorancç, Whatcver my 7I/Iaster does is ofthe highest benefit to all concerned.

In January 2000, my family and I went to India on our fourth trip. Though we had planned to stay only for two weeks, Aloha insisted that we stay longer so that we would not miss Amartithi. He said, “How can you come to the river thirsty and not take a drink from thatriver.You must stay!”Although deep within my heart I wanted to stay, it seemed quite difficult for my father and sister to change around all their work responsibilities. They reasoned and reasoned with Aloha until he said”We’ll askBaba!”Then theyknew they were done for because whenever Aloba would ask Baba anything, it seemed to us that what was in Aloba’s heart would happen. We witnessed this many times over as Aloba would ask Baba by writing down on two pieces of paper the two options or by ffipping a coin. So what happened? You guessed it. we stayed! And what a blessing it was. We all left Meherabad feeling so Ml ofBaha’s love. How oftenwe get attached to this illusoryworld and forget what matters most. We were so grateful for Aloha’s persistence, for it was yet another experience that strengthened our conviction in Him even more so. And lastly, I’ll share a hit about Aloha’s role in my coming together with my husband, Glenn Russ. In the same trip (January 2000), Aloha had come to Meherabad to stay for several days so that he could be with the Iranian contingent (at that time many had come from Iran for Amartithi). I vividly recall sitting near the Table Room (where Meher Baba had handwritten’The Book’,)withAloba, my family, and several other Iranians while Aloba shared stories with us. Then, suddenly, Aloha decided to do a Fal from Hafiz to see what the future held in store for me. He asked that I go into Baba’s Table Room and pray to Baba. I came out and opened the book ofHafiz. Aloba read it aloud. He was so excited about the news. Unfortunately, I could notunderstand most of itfor although myconversational Farsi is pretty good, I have a difficult time understanding the poetry ofHafizwith all its symbolism. So Aloba and others around translated the poem into simple Farsi. Aloba then related that I would be getting married very soon, I’d be very happy, and many good things were in store for me.Aloba said this so convincinglythat one of our dear Iranian friends remarked, “So I guess I’ll be expecting a wedding invitation!” After Amartithi we returned to Los Angeles and in about two months, all thoughts about Aloha’s prediction faded. It was around October2000when I decided to start a project related to Baba workin Los Angeles. I begancalling several Baba lovers in the area asking fortheirhelp, suggestions,etc. Glenn happened .

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to be one of them. While I had seen Glenn at many Baba-related events spanning across at least 10 years, these were on rare occasions, maybe once or twice a year, because for many years I lived in San Francisco while attending graduate schooL I was consequently not in Los Angeles that often. At the time of my phone call, I had relocated to Los Angeles for a little over a year. So that phone call was the first one in a series ofseveral more to follow as we decided to support each otherinbeing more disciplined in our path to Baba. For example, we’d try to keep silence for a short period each day, spend time in nature, things like that. In December, I was at the Los Angeles Center for a special event. I had heard one of the Baba lovers who had just returned from Meherabad saying how fortunate we all were to have the opportunity to visit Baba’s home and that no one should hesitate to go in these precious times. So in that moment I got the impulse, the inner push (or whatever people may call it), to go to India again forAmartithi. Now, the only thing was that I was supposed to test1ff in court regarding a patient’s case on January 3lst!The other seemingly not so dif— ficuk problem was that I didn’t want to travel alone as my family could notjoin me. So I began asking around whom in the Baba community would be able to join me. Andwho was one ofthose people? Glenn! But having just been in India only three months before, he was not sure he could make it. And I still had the other problem ofhaving to testify It was ofcourse all in Baba’s hands... Needless to say, within about a five-week period, Glenn got the time offfrom work, my court date got miraculously postponed, and we got our tickets. Two days before our departure, we received our passports via Federal Express! So, on January 23rd 2001, Glenn and I left for India. This was the first time I was going without the company ofmy family. Glenn now writes his side of the story: While in recent years I had thoughts about mamage, I had dismissed them as impractical. Remembering Baba’s words that marriage is a spiritual undertaking and that it could be of great benefit for one’s spiritual path, I did not take the idea ofmarriage lightly. But even so, where was I to find such a wife! Nonethe less, there was what you could say an intuitive calling that someday Baba would want me to get married. Havingjust returned from a trip to Kash mir, an act of intuition and faith, I felt internally quiet and full oflove. On September 12, 2000, my &st Meherazad day, I sat down in Mandali Hall to listen to Aloha tell stories of

his life with Meher Baba. After many beauti fLil stories of Baba’s Love and Compassion, Aloba paused a long while, seeming to look right through me. After a moment of silence Aloba said, “What is your name?” My mind said, ‘maybe he’s not talking to you’ but, before I could look around, my heart answered and I spoke my name. He paused then asked, “What is your profession?” Immediately I answered, “Paramedic.” “This is a good job,” he said. Then he paused, looked deep into my eyes and said, ‘Are you married?” “No,” I replied. Without hesitation Aloba soberly said, “You must get married immediately!” Aloba ex plained, “There are three women who secretly love you.” And furthermore, that one of these women is “not good to marry” Aloba went on to tell everyone in Mandali Hall how I must come to Amartithi this year.” He explained that I had to be in India specifically on the “30th and the 31st ofJanuary” in order to be truly happy, because there .is a special trea sure that has been waiting for you your whole Jife.”Well I thought, doesn’t such a treasure ally apply to anyone who takes Baba’s darshan at the Samadhi during Amartithi? Then Aloba discoursed for about ten mmutes on the beauty and importance of marriage. All the while Aloba was pantomiming how a loving wife cooks good food, dresses you for work, deans your house, massages your feet, and on and on. Aloba beckoned me to sit next to him. He had hardly started the next story when it was “time to board the bus!” On the bus back to Meherabad, Aloba’s command for me to immediately marry was the subject ofgreat amusement. Women who were present came over smiling, saying things like “I don’t know which wives he’s taking about, I love my husband and I doiñ do any of those things.” It was easy for my mind to dis miss what had happened—because of course this was Aloba tailcing the man who regularly predicts the end ofthe world.Though, regardless ofwhatl thought, therewas a truth hidden in Aloba’s words that was swimming in my gut. A deep quiet recognition was welling up in me. As a compromise, my mind agreed that whatAloba had to sayto mewas importantbut could notbe understoodliteraily. Even though I struggled and resisted, I knewthis was Baba’s instruction, trulyl knewitbefore Aloba spoke it. Butwhat to do, marriage,let alone marriage immediately, seemed at best impractical and at worst impossible. On my next trip to Meherazad, after hugging Aloba, I explained, “I respect the truth in your direction and I truly want to honor your intuition but it doesn’t seem practical.” I continued to explain that I was “not currently “. . .

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dating anyone and people in the West do not get married overuight getting married to the right person is not something that happens so quickly. “Aloba replied, “Don’t worry if she is tall or short, thin or fat, like this, like that; these things are not important.” I interrupted “But how will I?” “Don’t worry you have six months, now go!” Ileftlndiawith the conviction that following this instruction through my heart would please Baba. I knew I could not make such a thing happen. But, with faith and courage, I believed Baba would create the opportunity for me to please him. Now, I was not only to get married but also to return in India in three months. What am I crazy? Without going into great detail, there re ally was no great struggle and it all happened quite naturally; Ijust kept the possibility open in my heart. Just a few weeks before Amartithi, the money to return to India came from an unexpected $2500 bonus (I’ve never gotten one before or since). I had already used all my vacation time yet somehow I got the time off from work. I made it to my first Amartithi, January 2001. “I am very happy. Both love each other, and both of you love Meher Baba from the bottom ofyour hearts. I am grateful to Meher Baba for myright advisingyou and expediting the matter, if you both (had) not jumped to catch the opportunity and delayed the matter for 3 more months you would miss the point, (it)wouldgo out ofyourhand. Carryon your marriage life but never forget Meher Baba the Creator ofyou both, perform His Arti at your house twice a day morn and evening. Myjai Baba to Payam, a fine bride Baba gave you, right from Shiraz the land ofRoses and beauties. Love, Aloba.” One year and three weeks after Aloba’s prompting, Payam and I had our first of four weddings, and ifyou count our most natural commitment to each other under the stars in front ofAdele Wolldn’s house, to support each other on the path to union with the Beloved, to become spiritual partners, well then, that’s five sets ofvows we have exchanged. On October 12th, under Baba’s Tree in Ojai, California, a dear Baba friend performed an intimate civil ceremony focused on our Beloved Meher Baba. In November 2001, we returned to India to ftulfill our mutual dream of marrying in Meherabad--the simple yet inwardly significant act of silently offering our life together to Meher Baba. We had a wonderful evening of celebration at Jal and Dollyls home. The evening included a very funny and spontaneous group participatory . .

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forward up front honesty demonstrating, as Baba, Himself once remarked, a frighteningly intense devotion and love of his : Beloved God, tempered I by a great sense ofhumour coupled with a relaxed affectionate warmth. Renowned for his many dreams ofBaba and predictions ofthe breaking of”The Silence”, although now unable as Aloba to be around to witness the coming “Greatest of All iVianifestations”, it seemed somehow appro : priate that Aloba’s passing : was marked by the most extraordinary sight of breached floodgates and bursting riverbanks ever witnessed throughout .

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wedding ceremony led by Jal. We are so thankftil for all the love we experienced with the whole Meherabad and Meherazad family, andwe are so veryinspiredby all thejoy, gaiety and spontaneous generosity people brought to our wedding celebration. Thank you. Now while we were in India, we had no definite plans where we would live when we returned to the States. During one ofour last visits with Aloba, he told us not to worry that Baba would provide us with a home. That is another miraculous story today we are simply grateftil to be hosting weekly Baba meetings in our home. Aloba inspired us to live in faithbeyond the reach of our minds. “without any question ofwhy or what.”To us Aloba tenderly said of love, “now you are tied together so you must always yield to the other one. This way, the stnng will not break.” We had many more wonderfid moments with Aloba on that trip—not knowing that it would be our last hugs with our dearest Aloba .

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TiLe EBus 2las 9one 3 ohn 13arker, London us is going, going, gone to Baba, this time with Au Akbar Shapurzaman, Baba’s Aloba on board, wonder who it will be tomorro you or me? What one saw was what one got with Aloba, a refteshinglyunsophisticated straight

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central Europe. The coincidence ofmajor world catastro phes occurring frequentlywith each passing of many of the Mandali, could lead one to speculate that along with the great sanskaric benefit released by each demise as stated by Bhau, amongst others, there does appear to be simultaneously a darkening ofthe Light, a sudden increased expression oflatent dark impressions, almost as if some protection goes along with each Mandali member. Strange Prasad. One recalls reading about a vivid image ofMehera pleading with Baba as Kalki not to draw his sword, the euphoric atmosphere surrounding Mehera’s release and union on one level, compared to the collapse of the Berlin wall and the following disintegration ofthe USSR Soviet block, resulting in some ofthe worst atrocities and confficts seen in Europe since world war two. With Eruch it was 9/11. On a happier note, in remembrance of Aloba, whilst perusing some footage taken of Aloba’s lively talks at Meherabad and Meherazad, one dream seemed to stand out. Baba gave three matches to Aloba and pointing to three people asked Aloba to take a match to the first one and light it, the match went out as Aloba handed it over, same scenario again with the second person, the third person turned out to be none other than Baba’s own Mohammed the Mast. This time the match stayed alight, Mohammed received it from Aloba thereby instantaneously creating a great explosion of light. (Third light.)

Considering the immense long ranging unique role played by Mohammed, reputably one of such a deeply influential nature on both spiritual and material levels, a declared most vital active participant in Baba’s “Universal Work”, it surely therefore must be plausible that this position may still continue to be operating in all spheres of illusion today. Given the present political bogus international situation, and that one quarter of the world population is Muslim, with nearly all the recent major global conflicts involving Muslim states, Aloba’s dream may yet prove to be of some relative significance. Perhaps Mohammed’s bus ride will be enlightening. Quiz : Who said the following; “Lj/è and death do not affect an ardent worker and lover ofGod,for he who loves Goa lives to die in His cause and abide in the One who is Existence Infinite andEternal .“

Was it: (A) Mohammed The Prophet (B) Avatar Meher Baba (C) Osama Bin Laden Answer: (B) Avatar Meher Baba a reply “The true meaning of death” to Calcutta lover June 1961. -

L.A Story

the J44anifestcttion uster, Colorado 4 3 im ç,’ F...,

once asked Baba (internally) what would happen in the Manifestation. What I was shown exceeds the normal scope of dreams, imagination, and conscious or subconscious thought. Meher Baba’s life workis gloriously flilfilled “beyond imagination and concep tion. We interpret personal and collective experiences each in our own way. At least as it applies to myself, I have every reason to believe the future is revealed in fact or in overall effect.This story is shared in the hope it may be helpftil and relevant to others in understanding their own experience. The gap between the capacity of words and the super-conscious reality of the experience I had was too frustrating and discouraged writing a credible account. But not accurately recording and communicat ing the most wonderfiul promise and most serious warning of this message has been

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a burden of unfttliuled responsibility. I can only try my best and leave the rest... In 1979, trying to understand Baba’s Manifestation, I became sick and tired of my thinking. In a moment of sincere renunciation and surrender born of wholehearted disgust with my mind, I thought, “I give up! Show me!” Instantly, my mind was stopped and I was given egoless bliss. After awhile, I passed into a dream more real than ‘reality’. Still in the same blissftil state, but, now, in the midst ofworldwide upheaval, I see an overall view ofgeneral chaos and the acceler ated deterioration ofconditions. All normal aspects oflife fail, leaving only hopelessness, helplessness, and desperation. Natural disasters overwhelm nature and the environment. Widespread conflicts pre vail and political systems cannot keep order or serve man’s needs. The world economy bursts like a bubble, with financial, indus trial, transportation, and communications systems ceasing to function. There is no food. Science, technology, and medicine have no solutions. Social structure col lapses on all levels. Religion offers nothing against universal anxiety and desperation, and normal human values are dominated by fear driven panic and seffishness. Our everyday world is exposed as tran sient illusion, worthless, and useless. God’s support that normally sustains the world no longer holds back the storm-tide. A global wave of ego and ignorance rises up, reaches its peak, and breaks into the ultimate expres sion of man’s selfish indulgence nuclear cataclysm with many thousands of bombs exploding everywhere. Utter hopelessness and helplessness and universal despair leave absolutely nothing left to cling to, except God. When facing death the last choice is to seek God’s help, and onlywith the imminent end oflife on earth is humanity atlarge ready to receive and accept it. The climax ofglobal catastrophe has set the stage. Baba reveals Himselfuniversally, directly, and personally to each individual as the Avatar, the One in every heart. In the greatest miracle ever, Baba takes the immense destructive energy of the ex ploding bombs and transforms it into Divine light that wipes out ego-mind and purifies the world. All-pervading light penetrates everyone and everything to annihilate ego limitations and mental impressions. Everyone, regardless of past life, personality or spiritual development, is given freely and unconditionally this most glorious and un -

imaginable gift. It is the beginning ofa new world and new life, for those who survive. Nuclear bombs are going off everywhere, but, incredibly, the world is saved from de struction and there is no physical damage or suffering. The ego and ignorance of the world, not the world itself, are being de stroyed. Liberated from mental bindings, humanity experiences bliss, direct personal contact with the source of truth, and the power ofunlimited love. The gift from God brings everyone 99% of the way, but we must give the remaining 1% with 100% effort. To hold on to the bliss and be able to live in this blissftil new world, there is one condition. We must follow literally Baba’s simple instructions: “Don’t worry. Be happy. Enjoy the Bliss. Rely on God for everything.” Each individual is given a huge push along the spiritual path.The gift of advanced consciousness gives tremendous motivation and inspiration, but the ability to hold on to it is dependent on one’s degree of prepara tion. Iflove, remembrance, and longing for God are not already established, the gift is not appreciated, understood, and accepted. Remaining impressions cause a reversion into normal thought patterns, desires, and behavior. Ifthe command is disobeyed in any way by concerns with material needs or by yielding to the demands ofthe mind, instead of with God, we lose the bliss and do not survive. Consciousness that still identifies with the limited ego is wiped out along with the universal cleansing of the ego-mind. God’s hands are outstretched offering a life of perfect bliss, the conscious experi ence of an inconceivably beautiful state of pure love, on one hand, and the tranquil unconscious oblivion of the Beyond, on the other. We are given a clear, absolute, black and white choice that no one is fully prepared for. There is no middle ground or possibility ofcompromise. Reverting back to normal consciousness is to lose the bliss, lose consciousness and lose existence itself It is necessary to walk a fiery sword edge by obeying the command, “Don’t worry and enjoy the bliss,” while surrounded by total upheaval and the imminent threat offalling. The desperate situation tempts the mind to renew its hold on consciousness with concern over external conditions. Yielding to the mind, like a short circuit, breaks the connection to God and, simultaneously, one’s connection with this New Life. To survive requires holding on to Baba, and nothing else.

The path is perfectly clear, balancing on the slippery tightrope of divine consciousness while the limited mind, a loaded gun to the head, can instantly destroy everything. The ultimate drama is played out to the end between bliss and fear, everything and nothing, light and darkness, God and ego, real life and real death, consciousness and unconsciousness. The choice is completely ours. Those already trying to live a life of longing for God, surrendering to His will and enjoying His love, have the advantage ofessential values and self—discipline to hold on. But it is the miraculous gift ofbliss that imparts to everyone the overwhelming inspiration and heroic strength needed to survive. Consciousness that still identifies with ego attachments, in spite of the gift, is annihilated along with the ego. It cannot exist in an egoless world. In a normal experience ofdeath the soul retains its impressions and consciousness, and moves on to identify with a new body. This situation seems dramatically different. Those who do not survive leave their bodies, but there is no physical pain or suffering because impressions and consciousness have been extinguished as well. Ego and bliss are mutually exclusive in this new reality. The absence ofany possible compromise or choice of a middle ground seems shockingly harsh, yet is perfectly by ing and natural. Everyone, consciously or unconsciously, is united with God. There is a sense of apocalyptic conse quences of a failure to hold on. I am not certain about this, but it felt possible that if consciousness is lost, the soul may return to the beginning to repeat the evolution of consciousness. As on the fourth plane, choosing ego over God is a misuse and waste of our tremendous new power and rejection of the very purpose of this cycle of creation. As the bombs are exploding I can feel and see the light going right through me and through everything, miraculously erasmg ego-mind and releasing consciousness to experience God. We are not to look at the bombs exploding. Like the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorra, anyone who disobeys and turns to look is instantly gone. Many are angry, resentful, and blame God for allowing the material world to cob— lapse. But it is man’s overreaching ignorance that has brought the world to the brink and it is God’s grace that saves it. By choosing attachment for worldly values and ideas, those who question or reject God’s dispensation of truth can not survive.


There is no way to describe the incom parable state ofuniversal peace and oneness. I recall the screaming intensity of my feelings more than all the details. In the midst of external crisis, the world is in the birth pangs of a new life of love and joy, heaven on earth. This life is eternal and there is the promise we will live for a very long time to enjoy it. I have greatly enhanced insight and powers. I remember flying over the ocean to India. I can see everyone’s soul shining like the sun. Their body, mind, and personality appear as a thin layer ofdust or veil over the sun. Intensely beautiful light of the soul il luminates through the veil from within. With growing intuition oftruth I become more comfortably established in this new life, but there is still the immediate and pressing need to obey and hold on without thought or worry about anything. It all ends when I see one ofmy daughters as an infant asleep on a bed and think, “I hope she will be all right, I hope she makes it through this.” Instantly, my consciousness crashes and I lose the bliss. I die and fall into the abyss of unconsciousness, an inexpressible loss. I had failed to obey 100%. My concern for my child’s well being, the most natural, loving, and unseffish act of a parent, is still an act of the ego, identifying with what is mine instead ofwith God.Worrying and not trusting He would take care ofmy daughter I have disobeyed His command. Like Dr. Singh in the New Life, I cannot stay because of a few tears of concern for my family. Explosively, I awoke from the vision in complete shock and terror from the sud den loss ofbliss and fall into oblivion. The apparent innocence of the circumstances that caused my failure stunned me with a realization of my lack of preparation and understanding necessary to obey and hold on to the gift. The inconceivable subtlety and clarity of this lesson is convincing proof of its source and validity The very real fear of losing that blissful state shook me from com placency with a most profound, yet gentle, warning ofthe need to keep focused on God or “curse the chance that is wasted.” God’s ever-present love makes it easy to feel one is safely in His pocket in spite of our weaknesses. But how sincerely do we fol low Baba’s call for literal obedience and how seriously do we heed His constant warning to “hold fast until the very end”? We are like children being guided to maturit union with God, but the Path is not child’s play. I do not know whether this is a prophetic revelation or a metaphorical personal insight. Eitherway, it is compelling inspiration ofthe

desperately urgent need for remembrance and love in the present life. It is a powerftil wake-up call to prepare for the unprecedent ed awakening that is planned, individually and collectively, for all ofcreation. There are awesome consequences ifwe do not. The truth and reality of this experience has not faded over the years. It has become more immediate to me by a growing awareness that we are offered this gift every moment, but are constantly rejecting it by choosing worry over happiness and bliss, our ego life over God. It may foretell an actual universal event at some point in time, or reveal a process that is happening all the time, or both, the essential and inescapable relationship between our present conduct and spiritual destiny. The errors and missed opportunities are always forgiven and God’s offer is always renewed, but not, perhaps, forever. Baba’s Manifestation is the ultimate decisive conclusion that is renewed only in the cosmic cycles of eternity. The dilemma of telling this story, my reason for procrastinating so many years, is the obvious impossibility of communicating with mere words, the gift ofbliss. Without direct experience of that, the story is easily and superficially misinterpreted as another doomsday prediction of world destruction that conveys negativity instead of optimism and portrays an uncompassionate rather than a loving God. The totally unexpected and miraculous phenomenon of divine intervention challenges comprehension. It is the limited ego-mind and its attachment to the world that will be destroyed, not the world itself Experiencing that bliss is so overwhelming, it makes the suffering and difficulties of illusion vanish like a mist in the sun. Everyone is given the chance to overcome weaknesses and mental limitations to find God. In the end, this is the only answer to the problems of individual existence and of humanity in general. With the potential now for even one madman to use modern technology to unleash worldwide devasta tion, the world will not be able to survive if there is ego. Seffishness and ignorance create desperate circumstances and extreme conse quences, which, in turn, are the motivation to be ready to accept and benefit from the cure. Baba teaches that the infinite experi ence ofdivine consciousness is the opposite of limited ego consciousness and they are mutually exclusive without possibility of compromise. What I saw is the application

of that fact in a real life context, a tangible warning of the need to prepare for this new life by living it now, a plea to surrender ig norance for knowledge. I am not in a position either to justify or question this, it just happened, and I feel Baba wants the experience to be shared accurately and honestly. It is a warning to prepare, and a promise that the extraordi nary help of the gift oflove will give us the strength to hold on, ifwe really want a new life oflove and bliss. Please forgive my inability to convey that, if this story commu nicates fear or hopelessness instead of hope. It is a reminder to love and remember Him more and more and still yet more, to hold fast until the very end, to rely only on God, to be happy and not to worry. So easy to say, so difficult to practice, but which can lead us to the Goal ifwe do. Please contact me with your comments or questions. It helps me very much to un derstand this better. Jim Auster, Box 716, Carbondale, CO 81623, phone 970-9295505 or jimauster@hotmail.com [The LampPost invites your discussion in these pages ifyou feel so moved.] Meherazad, 1 Oct. 98 Dear Jim Auster, LovingJai Baba to you.A thousand thanks to you for your wonderful dream. I salute your love and faith for Baba and in Baba’s Avatarhood. All what you have seen and wrote in your letter of22 September ‘98 are true and 100% fact, because in 1941 when I was at Bombay, Meherbaba on my request, showed me in dream those scenes closely connected with His silence break and His manifestation. I appreciate 100%, I believe 100%, I agree with you 100%. Thank you Meherbaba for selecting Jim Auster to show the most im portant dream ofyour silence-break and your manifestation all over the world. Please read Ann Smith’s dream sent to you with this letter. This, your very important dream, should reach Baba lover’s hands as much as you can, as much as possible, as many Baba centers as possible. Also I am enclosing Baba’s Circular th of March 15 1941 from Bangalore with revised dates Baba appeared in my dream and directed me to do so. I send to 70 Baba Centers in India, 10 forUSA, also to Canada, Iran, England and Australia each place, one to be xeroxed and make many copies. Dear J im Auster I eagerly looking forward to see you, to meet you and to embrace you here when you come. May Meherbaba expedite your coming my dear Jim Auster. You are a great Baba lover, a firm Baba Believer, —

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therefore Meherbaba selected you. To you, GOD means Meherbaba, and Meherbaba is Godwith a human form called Meherbaba. Once again, I salute your love and faith in Meherbaba. Avatar Meherbaba kiJai. with love, Aloba —

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And now, the letterfrom Ann Smith that Aloba sent on to Jim: During 1978, while sleeping in the cabin where Ted and Janet Judson now live in Lower Meherabad, Ann Smith had a vivid dream which she later told to Mehera, who said itwas an important dream and should be told to as many Baba lovers as possible. She was walking in the streets of Mel— bourne, Australia (her home city) with her daughter Chanthan. Suddenly there was a loud noise like the roar of a thousand large aeroplanes. Itwas deafening and frightening. People in the street began to panic and scream and run in every direction there was utter chaos! Into her mind came “Baba must have said the Word, broken His Silence what do we do now?” She told her daughter not to be afraid then turned around and noticed a beautiful woman with a peaceftil face stand— ing beside them, smiling at them. “Who are you?” she asked. “Don’t be afraid, I’m from Baba” Ann realized she was an angel. The angel told her she would take care of them. “What about my husband Paul?” She asked. “Don’t worry, there are many ofus, he is being looked after too, like all the others.” Ann was reassured. The rest ofthe people still ran about in utter confitsion. “What do we do?” Ann asked the angeL “Just turn your face to the East” said the Angel. They did this and were instantly trans ported to the foot of the hill at Meherabad, joining thousands of other Baba lovers who were all gazing in rapture toward the Tomb from which light emanated. All hearts rose as one injoyftul expectation as Babawas about to manifest. The feeling was indescribable. She woke up. —

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Pimpalgaon, on the evening of Feb ruary 24th, 1948, after returning rom Ahmednagar, Baba was discussing matters with the men mandali. In the course of conversation, the subject of Baba’s mani festation came up and Baba asked those present, “What do you think constitutes one hundred percent proof of my manifestation as the Avatar?” No one said a word. “You men say that the time ofmyAvataric manifestation, mankind will receive a shock like an earthquake and I will appear at dif ferent places in my physical form. But such ideas do not prove the Avatar’s manifestation 100%. In the Avatar is contained the whole creation. All the lives contained in the world are like his limbs. If a scorpion stings a man on one part ofhis body, the brain immediately knows it and pain is felt throughout the body. Similarly, when the Avatar will sting (mani fest), every life sustained in creation will feel it. Thus, the Avatar’s presence on this (gross) plane and the scorpion’s sting (manifestation) will be experienced by all. “If the sun were to shine twenty-four hours a day and there was no darkness, the presence of the sun would not be recog nized, unless there was complete darkness once. The rising of the sun consequent to darkness would make humanity appreciate the presence of the sun. The dark night is signified by the scorpion’s sting. Thinking ofpralaya, Ghani interjected: “Darkness may also mean mass annihilation and dissolution of the world!” Baba laughed, “You all remember this subject of dissolution!” Continuing Baba spelled out, “After the Avatar’s manifestation, humanitywill receive

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the Light in different degrees proportionate to each ones’ receptivity. Those out in the open will experience the fuilhight ofthe sun, those holding umbrellas over their heads will receive less, and those who remain closeted in their houses will get even less. This means that those who keep themselves shut up in the houses of their desires, will receive the least Light; those who, though out in the open, hold an umbrella over their head —refuse to open their heart to God—will receive less; and those ofpure desires and an open heart, will experience the full brilliance of the Avatar’s coming!” “Will we experience the Light or not?” Ghani asked. In cryptic fashion, Baba jokingly replied, “Look at the ways ofyour Avatar! Although I stay in Ahmednagar during the day, I go all the way back to Pimpalgaon for the night. If you can grasp this, you will get the Light!” LordMeher, vol 7 and 8, preface.

3: JJI4eher 13aba en I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and many who hearing me claim this, would take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad. If I were to say every one of you is an Avatar a few would be tickled, and many would consider it blasphemy or ajoke. The fact that God being One, Indivisible, and equally in us all—that we can be naught else but one—is too much for the dualityconscious mind to accept. Yet in each of us is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each of you is an Avatar in one sense or the other. It is an unalterable and universally recognized fact since time immemorial that God knows everything, God does everything, and that nothing happens but by the Will of God. Therefore, it is God who makes Me say I am the Avatar, and that each one ofyou is an Avatar. Again, it is He Who is tickled through some, and through others is shocked. It is God Who acts, and God Who reacts. It is He Who scoffs and He Who responds. He is the Creator, the Producer, the Actor and the Audience in His own Divine Play. LordMeher, vol 13 and 14 p 4423, Bhau Kal churi. Copyright Manifestation 1998.


:nt to owwill it all end? That’s a question that anyone may be driven to ask today, and that includes Baba lovers as well. As we shall soon see, Baba himself asked that question. But being God, He had the answer (and was the answer). However, also being Baba, we as yet don’t know for sure what that answer is. Only time will unfurl it for us. But Baba’s answer, which really seems to be answers, gives us several possible outcomes of this time of his advent. Why do I say several possible outcomes? Why not an infinity ofoutcomes, or no outcomes at all? Because Baba, as well as some of his Mandali and closest followers, have given us some specific descriptions and implications as to the course this advent may follow. As Baba has told us, advents come at particu lar times in history and aim to accomplish particular purposes. It is certainly in order to look to Baba’s words to give us a perspective on the nature of these times that we live in and where, under Baba’s direction, it may be going. Even if the paths divide into at least three. It was not for nothing that Baba refered to the coming course of history The first of these paths or scenarios we can call the naturalistic one. Humanity grows increasingly desperate. It is here Baba himself asks the question. He says, “What will the present chaos lead to?” And then specifically, “How will it all end?” He gives the answer, “It can only end in one way: Mankind will become sickofit all. Man will be sick ofwanting and sick offighting out ofhatred. Greed and hatred will reach such intensity that everyone will become weary of them. The way out of the deadlock is sefflessness.”l In another place Baba describes this historical process in the following way, “The wave ofdestruction must rise still higher, must spread still further. But when, from the depths ofhis heart, man de sires something more lasting than wealth, and something more real than material power, the wave will recede, Then peace will come, joy will come, light will come.” 2 I call this the naturalistic scenario because all ofthe above can happen in a natural way without any obvious divine intervention. Baba’s words that I have just quoted would seem to point to this. It is this naturalistic scenario that I use in mywriting about economics and social change. I talk about the need for society to “wake up” from its present plight and change its ways. I talk about the problem of self interest and

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suggest ways in which we can go from self interest to the common good. I posit that his may happen after a sufficient degree of desperateness about our present course is reached. The second scenario is “the hole in the &st door,” and it is not naturalistic. It comes directly from the “points” Bhau said Baba gave him in 1967, which Bhau has reproduced in Avatar of the Age Meher Baba Manifest3 and which Bhau has elaborated on.The ing, points are as follows: “My abode is infinite. it is formless... But there are seven doors in my abode. each door remains closed to all those bound in fflu sion. The aim ofinvolution is to open these seven doors to experience my Infinity “The first door is extremelydifficult to open .All the kingdoms ofevolution stand at this door Humanity has its back to this door all faces are turned toward illusion. .Hu manity is the nearest kingdom to this door. “I come to open these seven doors. I work to cut a hole in the first door. That door leads to the first plane. This cutting is my work during my lifetime.” In Bhau’s elaboration of these points he says the following: “Ifthe Avatar did not cut this hole, it would not be possible for mdividuals to find the entrance into involution. Though it has aireadybeen cut, the hole does not open until after the Avatar has dropped his body. When the preparations for the opening ofthe hole are complete, the Avatar sets the time for the hole to open, and then drops his body. When the hole is opened, light from the domain of pure energy ema nates into the gross world. As soon as the hole is opened and the light is emanating through it, humanity becomes overpowered with joy from seeing the light. it irresistibly faces the light and turns away from illusion.” I propose that the transition from reason to intuition that Baba has referred to is a new mode ofconsciousness that will operate with the hole open in the first door that is the barrier to the subtle world. I would say that intuition is involved here, rather than direct experience of the subtle world, because even though there will be an open hole to the ftrst plane of the subtle world, the door itself is still not open. This would seem to mean that humanity is still left in the gross world; to be on the planes the individual would have to open the whole door and go through it. . .

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But even withjust a hole opened in the first door humanity would have a great and world saving advantage that it didiñ have before. While still in the gross world, it would have the direct radiation from the first plane casting its light into the gross. This would give humanity a clear and easily accessible beam (literally) into the source ofall light. This account also gives us a possible answer to the “mystery” ofBaba having dealt so much with the planes. It’s a mystery because, while Baba described and referred to the planes extensively in bothThe Discourses and in God Speaks, He completely discounted them and gave them no significance in the lives ofhis lovers. Under Baba’s mastership his lovers had no experiences ofthe planes (with the rarest of exceptions) and were dissuaded by him of having any concern or interest in them, despite his extensive discussion ofthem in his messages and books. The answer to the mystery is that when the hole to the first door is opened, we will then understand why Baba told us so much about the planes. It is then that we will have a direct experience related to the planes, but in the unique way of not actually being on the planes (the first plane, in this case), but experiencing the light or energy of the first plane in the gross world. This also will be something that has never happened before in human history. I am thus proposing that Baba told us so much about the planes because He was preparing us for understanding the experience we would have, in terms ofits meaning and significance, when the hole in the first door was opened. This scenario gives us a way ofseeing how Baba’s work will usher humanity into a new era where our overwhelming problems can and will be overcome. With the availability of this new energy in the gross world (“geared to a new rate of energy”) that is accessed through the faculty of intuition, humanity will have the tool it needs to make “the further spiritual advance ofhumanity safe and steady” The third scenario I would describe as both natural and also supernatural. I will call it the “Mahapralya” scenario.The naturalpart is that humanity does not “wake up,” as they do in the first scenario. That is, humanity continues on its profligate and destructive ways, and the earth becomes uninhabitable (perhaps either through environmental destruction, nuclear war, or some combination ofthe two). What is to Come continued on pg37

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Ray 3ohnston, J 1/kher J44ount California 7

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April 20th the new caretakers at Meher Mount in Ojai, California officially opened the doors for the first time to wel come visitors. Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold accepted the position several weeks earlier while in the Yucatan, Mexico, where Ray was conducting workshops. In addition to providing energetic healing sessions to clients and conducting personal growth workshops around the world, Ray is also owner of a tour company specializing in world tours of self-discovery His expertise is in East African natural and cultural history (where he lived and worked in 1979) and in Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. For 20 years he was a park ranger and Superintendent in the North Carolina state park system and retired in 1996. In these “out ofthe way” areas he learned many of the skills that he feels will benefit Meher Mount. “My background is in resource management, but living in remote areas one has to learn a variety of management and maintenance skills.” His love for and connection to nature and Meher Baba, plus the suggestion of a good friend in North Carolina, was what first brought him to Meher Mount. “Elizabeth and I moved to Ojai last year. I had been traveling almost constantly for 6 years conducting tours and giving healing seminars around the world. I had always wanted to live in Ojai after first visiting it in 1972, and I needed a home. The energy and beauty drew me. Once in Ojai, my friend J ohn Freeze in North Carolina suggested that I visit Sulphur Mountain and Meher Mount after we had spent time together at the center in Myrtle Beach. I then made regular trips to Meher Mount to meditate and visit the previous caretakers Billy and Pamela Goodrum.”My connection to Baba began in 1972 with reading the Discourses

and Listen Humanity In 1975 I attended a talk at UCSB given by a young man just returned from Meherabad. He had with him a few articles by Baba. As the small group left the room, I was turned around at the door by an inner force, and I found myselfat

the table lifting Baba’s sadra to my chest and heart. I experienced an energetic opening that was very powerftul for a couple of days. Baba has since that time been a consistently powerftil part of my own personal healing, transformation, and guidance. My initial hesitancy to apply for the caretaker posi tion was cleared by Baba’s reassurance one morning under His tree on the property Elizabeth was immediately struck by the beauty and energy ofMeher Mount. She was born in Arlington, Virginia, and studied abroad in Oxford, England and trayeled throughout Europe. With a Bachelor ofArts in Psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Elizabeth’s professional background includes management, marketing and public relations. She grew up on Ocracoke Island, where her fam ily resides. Located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ocracoke is only accessible by plane or boat and most of the Island is preserved as National Seashore. “We are always surprised and heartened by the support ofthose who understand the

particular challenge of living as caretakers at Meher Mount” explains Ray. “The first couple ofmonths were very difficult getting acclimated and doing water system repairs. I had asked and prayed for a message concerning the challenges ofbeing at Meher Mount. Shortly thereafter a friend from Phoenix came to visit. It was in 1972 that he had introduced me to Listen Humanity as we drove across the US, eventually coming to Ojai. Unknown to me, he had copied on an index card some words from the book that struck him and put it inside the pages. These words remained on the index card, hidden within the pages of Listen Humanity for ex actly 30 years to the month when my friend came to visit us at Meher Mount for the first timelastJune. Havingbrought the same book to read once again after 30 years, out falls the card with the message that turned out to be my answer: “Know that this house can be useful only to those who recognize their nothingness and who believe in the possibility of changing”. According to Elizabeth, “One of the benefits ofbeing at Meher Mount is seeing individuals change as they visit. The stress oftheir dailylife drops away as they glimpse the magnitude ofwhat Meher Mount offers. The panoramic mountain views, the Baba Tree, the shrine at the site of the guest house where Baba visited, all contribute to creating a very special place. Agnes Baron’s vision and Baba’s essence affects all visitors on some level, including us. Being here for even a short visit is transformational. Come visit us. We would love to see you.”

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EI3abies, i3ctbies, J3abies! ere are the stories of two new Baba souls that have entered into this life, to share theirlove andjoywith two very happy sets of parents. The first story we get from Meherwan and Molly Irani. Meherwan is Dara and Amrit’s son, (Dara being one of Baba’s nephews) and Molly, the daughter of Roz Taubman (the superb chef at Meherana). Meherwan tells us the story:

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Aria Meher Irani he was born on April 29th (which was our wedding day it was the Baba sign we were looking for). We met her, along with 4 other babies, at SOFOSH (the orphanage at Sasoon Hospital where Baba was born), on Monday Sept. 2nd (the day we arrived from the US). It was love at first sight and : although we wereconcerned about her 2 extremely low birth weight and bad chest infection, we felt that a few days in an Irani household would fix the weight problem! :We took her into foster care on the 3ft, •E and her first new home was Baba’s childhood home Pumpkin House. We also went to Baba’s Room and there Penn Aunty and grandmother Subdhra officially chris:. my tened her as Aria Meher Irani. From there we drove straight to Meherabad and laid her back down at Baba’s feet. Then the next day, when she met the Mandali at Meherazad, it was definitely a reunion of old friends. She laughed, smiled and generally speakingwas delighted to meet everyone. We are absolutely in love with her and thank Baba everyday that she is a part of our family. People keep commenting on how lucky she is to come into our family, but we both feel that we are the lucky ones and have been blessed with her.

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Benjamin Kiser Goodrum e was born on July 9th, just one hour and 6 minutes before Silence Day. Pamela and Billy Goo drum had wanted a homebirth, and after some research, we decided that a water birth would be a most gentle and peaceftil way for our baby to re enter the world. Frederik Leboyer, author of Birth Without Violence, developed the practice of delivering babies under water as a way of gen tly easing the painful transition from the mother’s womb. The practice of water birth was pioneered by French doctor Michel Odent as a means of providing relaxation during labor. He believed birthing mothers should be allowed freedom of movement with nothing to dis turb the natural process of labor.

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Baby Benjamin’s labor was easy. It was made more enjoyable by being in our bedroom, listening to Paul Horn’s flute music recorded in the Taj Mahal, with fresh flowers and candles burning, and a beautiflul photo of Beloved Baba beaming down on us. In the pool, it was comfortably easy to stretch, move, squat and push. An hour after stepping into the birthing tub, Ben came peacefiffly out from the wateryplace within, into the warm tub, and was then gently lifted onto momma’s chest. He

Arnavaz with Aria

remained there for a few moments, floating and gently stretching out his chubby limbs, meeting his new family. There was a palpable serenity about his birth, he didn’t cry at all, and immediately opened his eyes and began to calmly look around. We like to think his focus was on Baba. Our hearts were certainly filled with His presence. In his message to us the following day, Bhau said Benjamin was blessed to have been born on the anniver sary of the last day that Beloved Baba ever spoke. Two midwives, Pamela’s mother, and big sister Annabelle attended what was a most joyful experience.

Billy, Benjamin, Pamela andAnnabella Goothum 21


Dina

&orics of the Ji4eiter English &lwo!, cA4ehembad Snow

twas their eyes that got me. Sparkling, joyous, open, friendly, and above all, welcoming. What a change from a few years ago! Stella told me that when she first took over, the children were very shy and wouldn’t look you in the eye. When a Westerner showed up at the school, not a frequent currence 5 years ago, they were not only shy, but also intimidated! They felt they had done something wrong and The Big White Man was coming to punish them. What a difference one lady can make —with Baba’s help of course! The changes Stella has wrought in this school are noth ing short of miraculous. She told me that when the subject ofher taking over the job of running this school was broached, she thought to herself “First I will go see it. If it is clean and well run, they don’t need me. I shall continue on to Canada.” So Bhau took her out to see the school. Stella was both horrified and overjoyed: This school needed her—and needed her badly! The children were dressed in raggedy clothes, barefoot and dirtyc One ofthe school inspec tors whose job it was to travel Maharashtra State, visiting all the schools and then rating them filing a report to the Government rated it as one ofthe dirtiest in the State. J ust five years later it was noted as the cleanest in the Ahmednagar District and one of the cleanest in the State. The children present beautifhlly they are all dressed in very attractive uniforms that look brand new. The junior school wears red shorts and skirts and the seniors wear purple trousers and skirts with laven

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!. have items for sale that the children have made. Rest j assured the Love Street Bookstore will be stocking them! room One we were shown was completely empty “That will be the Computer Science room for the older stu dents, when we get the donations to stock it with computers.” Filled with an evangelistic fer your, I thought then and there, I have to get the word out! I have to tell ;ople how fabu bus this school is, how much work Stella is doing! How much help is needed both financially and physically. There is a growing number ofWesterners I have noticed who, dissatisfied with living in the midst ofMaya, have chosen to spend a few months of every year in India, (if not the whole year) working in the midst of Baba’s love. How incredibly rewarding this is. What joy these people feel in contributing their talents to something so worthwhile. Baba has told us that “Real Happiness Lies in Making Others Happy”. In my experience this is oh so true! Share thejoy! Make plans to visit the school next time you are in Meherabad. Visit it just once and I guarantee you will want to help. There is an extremely low fee charged to the parents for the school year the books and the uniforms. But no child is turned away. If the parents have no mone that is where the Trust steps in. That is where you can step in too. Send a tax deductible donation to one of the five Centers in the US that can accept them, the LA Center being one of them, and if you are so moved, specify it for the Meher English School.

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der shirts. Noting Stella’s beautiftul lavender sari I asked with a grin “Did you choose the colours?” “Yes,” she laughed. Everywhere I looked immaculate! Not a wisp ofpaperblowing about the huge quad, no scraps on the walkways around it; classrooms spotless. As Stella, Suzie and I visited each classroom, the children stood as one, “Good Morning Miss” they all chanted with happy smiles. When we would see them outside the classroom, we were always greeted with a very happy “Jai Baba!” They are now well used to seeing Westerners there. As more and more pilgrims find out about this school, they visit it, fall in love with it, and feel compelled to volunteer whatever they can. Suzie Biddu, with her classic English accent, spends a few days a week helping the children with conversational English. Who better?! Some come to help with the art and crafts, read stories to the little ones, help in the Library or simply be a Teacher’s Aid. Stella tells me she is providing classes to teach the older children various crafts, basket weaving, embroidery, pottery anything she can find teachers to teach that will benefit the children in theirlives, either now or when they leave school. Soon they will —


Sue Biddu, London route to Ahmednagar last October to visit the Pilgrim Centre forjust one night I suddenly panicked. I was with my brother Richard and daughter Zaza, Richard was visiting India for only six days and it had taken a lot of persuasion on my part to get him to spend that one night at the PC. In the end, I think it was the desire to see where his sister disappeared to every winter that got the better of him. Nevertheless, I was worried about his reaction to the pilgrims and the PC. (At this point, “Don’t worry be happy” was very far from my mind.) Richard is a businessman with very little tolerance for New Age airy-fairy stuff that was, in his opinion, something nice but misguided people got into. He had also shown very little interest in Meher Baba, hence my anxiety; but being a generous and big-hearted person, he could understand charity and service. So it occurred to me, I should take him to the Meher English School. After registering at the Trust Office in Ahmednagar, we sped (exaggeration) past the Pilgrim Centre and up the dust track to the school. Having only visited there twice before, I didn’t realize, due to the intense heat, that the children left the premises at 2 o’clock, so on our arrival it was very quiet. We walked up the steps and under the stone arch with the lettering, Avatar Meher Baba English School. Suddenly Baba was everywhere. His presence was tangible. We stood on the wide veranda surrounding the square courtyard that was edged by dozens of pots filled with plants and flowers. As we were taking the peace and beauty in, a woman came towards us with a bright pink sari, a wonderftil welcoming smile on her face and introduced herselfas Stella, the headmistress of the school. I was to understand in time, that Baba always finds the perfect person to do His work. Stella offered to take us around and show us the facilities and classrooms. Just like everything the Trust finances and Tedjudson builds, it had that unmistakable feeling ofMeher Baba. We started at Stella’s office and as we walked around, Baba was smiling at us from every wall. Each blackboard in the classrooms had His words and discourses written on them. The science laboratory was a revelation, as was the computer room. The library was a little haven. Everywhere was spotlessly clean, and Stella’s enthusiasm for the school and love for the pupils, shone through. I made up my mind, there-andthen, that this hidden treasure of-the Trust’s

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work in Baba’s name would be a place that I would visit on a regular basis, taking other pilgrims with me. I realised so few knew about this school. I just loved the whole atmosphere. Needless to say Richard and Zaza felt the same way, so much so that Richard gave a donation towards their new sports facilities. Over supper that night he turned to me and said, “Now that, I can understand.” When I returned to Meherabad a week later I started to organize groups ofnew and old pilgrims to visit the school. (One such visitor was Sue Chapman, who has also written her story here.) Stella and I became friends—my admiration for the care she administered to her staff and pupils, and her passion to really make the Meher School a place oflove and excellence, really impressed me. I kept thinking how lucky the children were to have such a person in their lives, who truly cares. I learned about the difficulties entailed in keeping the school going in such an inhospitable climate, where an English school would not be the first choice for many families. I learned about the deprived background these children came from and the terrible adversities that make up their lives. Stella likes to take the very poorest of children, who are so eager to do better against all the odds. Every time I entered that arch, my heart would swell with pride that such a school existed in His name. Having spent time in schools and institutions throughout India, I realized that this school was very special. Established in 1986 there were just 194 pupils in 1997. Now there are 452 aged between three and sixteen years of age and a fhrther 100 on the waiting list for entrance this year. Stella says that she will fit them all in. There are three buses supplied by the Trust, which bring the children from as far as 14 miles away each day. The fees are 320 rupees (approximately 8 dollars) a year. For those who cannot afford to pay, the Trust covers for them. All children get computer lessons (almost unheard of in a village charitable school). There are 26 dedicated teachers, a physical fitness instructor, and an arts and crafts room. All children get free dentistry and medical care. The exam results are improving each year. In India, education is everything. The only way one can improve ones life, and that ofthe family, is education. This year a home economics class will start to help those girls that are unable to go onto fttrther education. They will learn to make craft items that could be sold to the pilgrims and make it a self-financing project. More

sports facilities will be built as ftsnds come in. As the home lives ofmost ofthe children are very difficult, Stella likes to keep them at school for as long as possible. Starting this year for three afternoons a week, it will be possible for anyone who has a skill to share it with the children. In the past, some pilgrims have done this and of course, every one of you who donates to the Trust helps. Our regular visits, on Mondays and sometimes on Fridays, were such a pleasure. Ev erybody who visited for the first time was moved and surprised that such an excellent establishment existed on the doorsteps ofthe Pilgrim Centre. Stella said that the children were so happy when we visited the classrooms; it made them feel special. Last year, The Avatar Meher Baba School won the award for the cleanest school in the area, and has been entered as the cleanest school in the state. Under the guidance ofthe teachers and the generosity of the Trust, this school could be a model for ftsture schools in India. However, for me the school is much, much more. These bright, beautiful, eager, lively children are having the unique experience of His presence, His divinity, and His guidance, from the tender age of three. I believe that here are His ftsture lovers and workers. Who knows, they may grow up into adults who will be the doctors, nurses, electricians, water workers, tax inspectors, teachers, caretakers of his Samadhi, and ftiture Trust workers. All is possible. Of course, there are many problems to overcome. The critical shortage ofwater is an immediate problem, and finances are needed to carry on all the pres ent and future Trust work. The Avatar can with his love, help, and guidance overcome all obstacles and difficulties. Sometimes He mayjust want to give us the opportunity to help Him...

Sue Chapman, London was approximately four years ago that Stella Manuel took over as Principal of the Meher English School and she has achieved amazing results in that brief time. On a recent visit to India I had the op portunity ofjoining a visiting party to the school, and then later sitting and chatting with her at some length about her vision for its future. Meher English School is blossomingliterally. For as you enter you notice the gardens to the front and within the inner courtyard fulled with flowers, drip-watered careftully by a system devised from used plas tic water bottles from the Pilgrim Centre.

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azrat Duagat 2<han l2 “On the education ofchildren depends thefttu.re ofnations. To consider the education ofchildren is to prepare for future generations.The heart ofthe child is like a photographic plate without any impressions on it, ready to reflect all that j is .exposcd to.. Education: is .a qualification for a fuller life, a•.:lifè of thought for oneself nd of consideration for others. Education is that which gradually expands. the knowledge ofonese]fand ofones’ surroundings; the knowledge of others, those known to us and those unknown. .the knowledge of the conditions of human na ture and of:life¼ demands; and the knowledge of cause and effect, which lea4s in the end to the knowledgeø of the world withm and without . .

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IVieher School Girls’ Cboruspeifbrming at Amarfithi Celebration, January 2tN2.

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Baba pictures and quotes cover the walls of entranceways and classrooms and the children present cheerfully in their senior purple, andjunior red uniforms. The school achieved the notable award ofthe cleanest in Maharashtra state last year. But it is not only presentation that Stella aspires to. Stella is passionate about the children. She takes those from the very poorest families in and around Arangaon, mak ing personal visits to families to persuade parents who would not prioritise educa tion, especially for their female children, that they will benefit from attending her school. Some are bussed in from outlying areas and they come willingly. They are assisted with uniforms and school meals and the cost oftheir education is fttnded through the Trust. In the last academic year most of the children graduated on to the College in Ahmednagar unimaginable just a few years ago. Within the school Stella is rais ing standards at every level, encouraging not only the academic attainment of children, but promoting a number of practical trade skills to determine the fttture employment ofher students. These practical tasks include learning repair and construction skills, sewrng and cookery and some goods are already being produced for sale. Stella’s deepest concern is for the girls. She explained to me that traditionally they begin having children around age fourteen, often experiencing a number ofmiscarriages, and typically by theirlate teens may have up to three children to raise. Sometimes there is no supportive father and some are forced to turn to prostitution. With education or a craft skill she envisages them becoming self-determining and hopes for a better future for them. Recent years have seen the reftirbishment ofclassrooms and the construction ofa new science laboratory and computer suite. As yet resources have not been sufficient to make these areas fully operational. There is also a large space, as yet unallocated, that Stella would like to see become an arts and crafts production area. She has fifteen trained teachers and some ancillary support staffwho are all enthusiastically behind her in her vision. This is one of the many Trust projects that I felt people might be interested to know more about. It was deeply touching to see Stella bring a large group of over fifty students to sing at Baba’s Amartithi celebration this year and to witness the joy it brought to the Mandali to see this aspect ofBaba’s work ‘flourishing’ in Meherabad.

:1kw :ie Drcw inc into ra4ise of ‘Divinc 2 2/is a i: Stellct J’VIaiiucI, J4lcherctbad east did I know that you wanted to sow our Divine Love in me to glo to radiate your show. Humbly I bo sincerely I vow To work only for thee and your servant to be!” Dear Friends, He has His own ways, He has designed a wonderftil pattern for each one ofus. He has carved each one’s name on the palm, and calls each one ofus by our name. I was a student of a renowned Convent Schoolin Ahmednagar. I finished mygradu ation, Post Graduation and my Professional Teaching Courses through the Pune Uni versity I then started my Research work in the rural areas ofAhmednagar working with the village school children. Since it is very hot from mid April to midjune, the schools close down During this period a few of us gathered together to run a Summer Camp for the poor and the street children, who have nothing to do when the schools are closed. We engaged the children from morning to evening with games, trips, English classes, party games etc. But for doing so we had to collect at least some amount of money from the people. 1995 was the first year I went to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust for a donation for my summer club children. Since I knew only Mrs. Raj Kalchuri, I approached her for a donation (as her children were in my school.) She took me to meet the Chairman, Bhauji Kalchuri and he gave me a donation ofone thousand rupees for the cause. I was extremely happy to meet him for the first time. So from then on I kept going for every summer camp programme I organised. But in 1997 I had completed all my education and I applied to do my PhD in Canada. Luckily I got my admission to Macgill University in Canada and was supposed to go to Canada in September. I still remember what happened: as I was in the Trust office; Alobaji crossed by and gestured to meet me in the prayer hall, and so I did. As we conversed for the first time, he told me point blank that I would not be going toMacgill but would join them to work in their organisation. Really speaking, I didn’t take him seri ously, because I was already a permanent teacher in a well reputed Government

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aided Convent school. So as usual I met the Chairman for my donation and walked away. But after that meeting I was very restless, and I didn’t know why. Right enough, in September 1997 Mrs. Raj Kalchuri asked me if I would take over the Meher English School since the SSC results were zero percent! I was not seriously considering it, but thought I wouldjust visit the Samadhi, since I heard so much about Meher Baba from the Chairman. So that same day I went to the Samadhi. I felt very comfortable there, like being in awonderftil chapelwith the face and picture ofChristyou see upon entering. This ftrst visit was enough to change my mind to resign from myjob where I was a permanent teacher drawing a handsome salary There was no fear, no regret. I experienced an inner strength to carry on the work that was assigned to me by Him. When I took over as HeadMistress (Principal) I had to go through a lot oftension, distress, hard work and there were many hardships along the way. But, through storm and hailstones, He walked with me gently by my side guiding and protecting me in all my trials and tests. I experienced the warmth ofHis breath, which helped me to carry on the work I do. My special thanks to the Chairman of this wonderful Trust, Bhau Kalchuri, and the members of the Mandali, the most pre cious gems that Baba has left behind for us, and the Vice President. With all my experience over the last 25 years in the Educational field I can trulywith all sincerity say that this school has provided a wonderful shelter for the poor and the de prived. At present we have 450 students com —

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ing from many differentwalks oflife.The rich and the poor, the happy and the unfortunate, the fast and the slow, ailgathered under Baba’s umbrella, as one big family. We have them from age three years i .e. from the Mother’s lap to Baba’s lap till the age of 15 years. After the 10th grade they move to a Junior College, since we do not have one. Their schooling with us finishes at the 10th grade. Our S.S.C. (10th grade) State Examination results for the year March 2002 66.66%! The school has a wonderful establishment with well ventilated airy classrooms and a spacious playground for the children. My gratitude to Sue Biddu and Dma who have given me the opportunity to write and find a place in this beautiful magazine. I ex press my profound thanks to all those who lend me their supportive and sacred hands to help me carry on my work here at school.

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Dear Baba may we all remain close to

thee! In His Love and Service,

Mrs. Stella Manuel

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November 15, 2002 he children at Meher English School will soon be able to learn and hone their computer skills on twenty new computers that are currently being installed in the Computer Laboratory which was constnicted as part of the Trust Development Plan. The installa tion oftwenty new computer desks, forty stools, and five printer tables was part ofa major renovation just completed on the facility New plastering and paint have been added to the wills, and a smooth linoleum flooring and a new air filter system have been installed in order to help reduce dust, which can damage the valuable and delicate equipment. Nine computers have now been fhlly installed, and the other eleven should be functional within a month. The twenty new computers, which have been funded through a specific donation by one person, will allow each student in a class of forty to have thirty minutes of hands on experience during a one hour class. All children from the third standard up have a computer class each week. Those in the highest grades have additional time in the computer lab on their own. Students have the opportunity to learn word processing, spreadsheet, and database skills. Internet access and email skills, which are becoming essential in the business world, will also be made available to the students. A certified computer teacher and two assistants work with the children. This computer lab greatly enhances the education of the 450 students at Meher English School.

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whatever needs to be done, but do it as a spiritual being, as one who knows he is divine by nature and unlimited with the whole oflife in essence. Do it as if you are doing it for Me or for God. Do it with equal consideration for the interests of all concerned, for God is equally in each. Do it with utmost concentration, yet with utter detachment for the results of ac tion. Leave the fruit of action to Me or to God. Do it as ifit were the most important thing in the universe, yetlet it be destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculed without concern, or let it be praised without elation. Leave the response to Me or to God. Do it, in short, as if you were not doing it at all, but as if I or God were doing it through you.

Photographs by BifSoper, Meherabad

Practical SpiritualityJohn A. Grant, p. 208. Copyright 1985 John Grant and AMBPPCT

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couple of weeks before my first trip to the Baba Center in Los Angeles, a friend called me and told me to be sure to tune into a particular TV channel at a particular time. She knew I would be interested in the show. She had written herselfa note to tell me this but couldn’t remember specifics. The air of mystery caught my attention and I tuned in at the appointed time. It was a decorating show. My friend is a decorator so this made sense, and I do a lot of artwork, sooo.. .The checkerboard wall trim however and ribbon baskets were a bit of a stretch. Then a seg ment came up about using things you already own to create a new look this I could relate to. I paid attention. The next day I reposi tioned my couch from the place against the wall where it had been for the past ten years to a diagonal position coming out from the to see Him move, in this life, with me, here, wall. I liked it. This new position changed the in real time, now, as others had then. I began whole atmosphere ofthe room. Before I had a pleading with Him forjust a glimpse. I hon chance to thank my friend the next time I saw estly felt, in that split second, that this was a her she quickly apologized for giving me the reasonable request. It was as in a dream where wrong date to watch the show. I told her that anything is possible and often the impossible I had gotten something really good out ofthe doesn’t exist at all. This longing had taken one I watched. That was the end of it—or so over my rational mind. Lasting only a fficker I thought. A week or so later I was in Los ofa moment I felt a slight twinge of embar Angeles, trying to get my legs steady under rassment as I got up to go about my day. me in the Love Street Bookstore. As soon Later that day, when my husband Michael as I walked onto the Meherabode property I had finished up some work and had some became light headed. Mentally, it tooka good time, we settled in to watch our new videos. hour to be able to focus. As I knelt in front The first one I put in was Virginia Rudd’s ofBaba’s chair I was unable to resist putting Memories of Meher Baba. So much of this my head in His lap and my arms over His, video is centered on the story of her preg becoming completely absorbed. While at the nancy with Raphael, how it was that Baba Center, it seemed as though every breath I told her she was pregnant. .(she hadn’t a clue) took was filled with a love that I had never and that the picture ofHim with His hand on experienced. What an emotional high! I left her head was His bringing the soul into the with books, photos, music and videos to take baby in the seventh month. The story with home with me. Raphael’s music in the background made for a Our workweek began the day after we most wonderfid experience. During the video returned from LA so I postponed watching the sun was in its last phase of daylight, and the videos. But I had begun reading Gift of as the couch was in a new position, so was God by Arnavaz while in California and I I sitting in a new position. As the shadows was reading it every chance I could get. The were shifting in the room and I was watching love in that book combined with the whole the video, I began to notice on the wail right experience of the trip had me securely living next to the TV a shadow that was beginning in a Baba bubble.In the morning ofour ftrst to take on a familiar shape. After some mo day off I was curled up in my favorite chair ments I mentioned to Michael that I thought reading the book. Many times I would pause I was seeing Baba coming from a shadow of and let the words and events come alive in a rock from the fireplace and that He was my mind’s eye. At one point I felt a strange wearing His pink coat. Michaels’ response sensation in my chest, an internal squeezing was, “Hhmmm.” He later told me he had accompanied by an intense sense of longing. only half heard something about a picture I began wishing I could see Baba. I wanted of Baba next to a pink rose quartz rock on -

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a shelf near the fireplace. In the meantime I kept watching this shadow become crisper and clearer. Finally, I could contain my excitement no longer. I got up, walked over to it, created a shadow on the wall with my own finger pointing to Baba and said, “Do you see this??” Michael suddenlyleapt up yelling, “Oh my God!!!” We watched the shadow. It changed in ways that looked like Baba from when He was in His forties until His seventies. Trayeling along with and through the shadow of Baba were shadows ofa star, a crescent moon and a sun from three candlesticks sitting on the windowsill. And then it struck me, and my eyes filled with tears, as they are doing again right now...This was my wish! He had given me my wish! To see Him now in real time. The movement of time through the setting of the sun, including the movement ofplanets, and to see Him at all those ages! This was beyond my imagination, more than I could have dreamed. To see Him at all those ages, changing through the movement of the setting sun, and even the planets! As I watched the shadow recede I noticed that there remained a faint shadow of Baba. This shadow is there all the time. It is only towards sunset that it begins to transform. So He is there as long as there is light in the sky For days we were ready at 5:15pm and watched the transformation take place for about an hour and a half We showed others who knew instantly what they were seeing. My son in law even recognized His jacket and shoulder. Weeks went by and plans were made to visit with two Baba Lovers. They saw Baba’s shadow over Easter weekend. The day after our visit with them the shadow no longer appeared. The faint one remained, but not the other. I was happy He waited until our visit with our Baba Lover friends. Such is His precise timing.The lines from the song: “To every thing there is a season” came to mind. And now He’s back. He came in the fall too. I am happy to always have that hint of Baba all year round, but these seasonal visits really pack a punch. [Wepublish thephotojeanne sees here, butyou can get a better look bygoing to www.awakeningsinc.comBabaSunsetjpg]


WJtnt’s !2iappening at cA’Iekrn*bode? 7Jina 5now

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he renovations are almost all completed, our new roofdidn’t let in a drop during the last storm, the mortgage was paid by the end of200l (but we are now paying off the cost ofthe County mandated renovations of $330,000,) and more landscaping is being done. We have one acre ofbeautiftd grounds surrounding the main meeting hall and Bookstore. We have yet to pave the parking lot, but all the handicap access ramps and bathrooms are in place. The wonderful singer Gabriella Tal, gave our ramps two thumbs up; said they accommodated her wheel chair marvelously. When we bought the propert which was actually the chauffeur’s cottage of the huge mansion situated on a five-acre estate, (the eight car garage is our meeting hall) the gar dens around the chapel had been neglected for decades. The soil was rock hard and one of the waterfalls with pond was completely covered over withjungle like growth.

The larger of the two ponds, now complete with koi, has been operational almost from the start (see the April 1998 issue for the full story).The smaller one, which I had despaired of ever seeing operational, was attacked the other day, not by machetes, which would have been very helpful, but with small clippers, a chain saw, and the complete dedicated tenacity ofDonna Lee and

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Ed Flanagan. Having just completed creating a Zen garden in his own home (Ed is very much into Feng Shui) he is setting about cre ating one for Meherabode. Hopefully in the July issue you will be able to see the results. Wood has been donated to cover the very rough hewn beams in the meeting hall (it was, after all, a garage!) When that is completed we can then hang all the beauti flil paintings and photos of the Beloved. Almost 200 people can comfortably sit in the main hall, and the seats can be re arranged to accommodate much smaller gatherings. Two glass doors open into the Bookstore, which still needs more frctures to hold the myriad of items we sell. But we are getting there... Following this is an ar tide written by a lady who

was on the property back when it was owned by Elizabeth Claire Prophet in the ‘70s. Anne talks about the landscaping that was done around what we now call The Dome (because inside it has a domed ceiling that reminds us of Baba’s Samadhi. Photos on following pages.) How fascinating to get the real history ofthis beautiful building, and to find out it was built with such love to honor the Christ Avatar. J ust a little about who this group was: Mark L. Prophet began the movement— originally called The Summit Lighthouse. He was much older than Elizabeth, but they married and had four children. Elizabeth Clair Prophet was a very charismatic leader, very sharp and highly skilled as a speaker and writer. The aim ofthe teachings was the ascen sion, which involved balancing your karma so you could get off the wheel of rebirth. It was started in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s on the East Coast and moved several times, including Colorado Springs—where Mark Prophet died—then California. They had centers in Pasadena, Santa Barbara and finally Malibu and Los Angeles, [in what is now Meherabode.] Ann joined the group in 1976. The entire group, in the hundreds, moved to Montana in 1987.

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y3Qj:fl9j 4 am sharing my journey to God with you because of an interesting “coincidence.” I was attending one of Bhau’s gatherings this summer at a home in Los Angeles, and in a conversation with another Baba lover, it came out that the Los Angeles Baba Center, Meherabode, is located on the propertywhich had previously been owned by Church Uni versal and Triumphant (the teachings of the ascended masters) ofwhich I had been a staff member for many years. When Dma Snow later heard about this connection, she wanted to know about the building of the dome. So I did some research and will share with you what I discovered. I did not live on that property which was called the Ashram ofthe World Mother. The entire estate was purchased in a very rundown condition, for much, muchless than it’s present value. This is because the staff renovated the mansion and grounds beautiftilly. I was told that the mansion was even haunted by ghosts before they worked on it. I lived at the main headquarters of the church, which was on a beautiflil 200-acre property inland from Malibu. We had moved there from a smaller campus in Pasadena in l977because the organizationwas growing so fast. There was probably atleast 500 ftill-time staffat this time. The ‘Ashram” was purchased forliving quarters for Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the leader ofthe movement, and to create more space for all the outreach programs in play at the time. My (future) husband lived there for some time, in between going out on lecture tours. I telephoned one of the builders of the dome, known then as the Will of God Focus, to find out the details ofits construction. We had a wonderful conversation and it reminded me of the reason so many of us were there. The main thing I would like to convey is that during this period, mid-70s thnt the 80s and into the 90s, the vast majority of staff mem bers were young idealistic people looking for a spiritual life, and the community provided that for us. Many ofus had gone through the hippy culture, and we flourished under the strict guidelines and work schedule laid down for those ofus on staff The dome was built with this fervent love and devotion to God, and of course it makes me very happy that Baba is utilizing all ofthat love in a very direct manner for His purposes.

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I telephoned the master builder,James, and he told me that the dome was built in 1980 and was designed in a “cosmic egg” shape, along with the two smaller dome rooms on either side. This was to reflect the shape of the aura. The great height of the dome was designed to enhance clearer resonance for decrees (rhythmic chanting of poetic verses). Beneath the blue glass octagon skylight was a beautiftil rotating life-sized, white marble statue of Jesus which had been sculpted a century before. Surrounding this statue at its base was lush green foliage with spotlights which enhanced the beautiftil image ofJesus. The outer rim was edged in pink rose quartz crystals (ofwhich I still have one that a worker had given me). I remember on the occasions when I came to decree being swept up in the etherealbeautyofthe place. Itwillbe poignant to revisit there one ofthese days. Although I can truly say the heart is the perfect place to commune with the Beloved. J ames told me that he was one of only three men who did the majority of work in

building the dome. Two additional carpen ters would come from the Malibu property to work occasionally, and towards the very end of the project there were many helpers. An old church member who lived in the desert came and taught the three young men how to plaster thebuilding, including the hand-made curved trusses and arches designed from their own patterns. They also landscaped the grounds with gardens andwaterfalls. I can honestly say it was a labor oflove, and I’m sure that’s why Baba lovers purchased it. I laughed whenjames told me about how theywould put their sleepingbags on the para pet roof at night, stressing what a great time theyhad, even though they occasionally heard the sound ofgun shots and riots. It reminded me of how adventurous (and young!) we all were. I slept for many years in a sleeping bag on the floor ofmy office. We were really having fun working for God! Now I will briefly tell you how I got from there to here. I was an ardent seeker of God from age 20, unfortunately coinciding with drug use. Nevertheless, God is greater than all ofthat and myjoumey took me from twenty years as a full-time, unpaid staffmember (domg every conceivable job from cooking and teaching in the Montessori school to lecturing and writing materials for publication) to the blissfiil opportunity to just be a homemaker. The church moved its headquarters from California to Montana in 1987 and soon after the move I got married. Ten years later, with two children ages six and nine, I was able to gracefully retire because the church was in a decline and the staffwas shrinking. Also the leader, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, had (and still has) Alzheimers. So the last five years have been for me a renewed and vigorous spiritual quest for more truth and more answers, my longing for God being very intense. Meditation became impor tant to me, and I understood much more about life byhaving the opportunity to be still and go within. Mylove ofnature was renewed, which I hadn’t had time to really appreciate during those busyyears ofnon-stop work, and I realized the value ofa simple life. I didn’t have to save the world. I had to save myself! A dear friend and neighbor, also named Anne, with whom I had worked on staff years before, had a Vedic astrology reading by phone and shared the tape with me. I was very impressed with the spirituality conveyed and


my husband, Kenneth, and I decided to have a reading. Myftrst acquaintancewith Chandra Shankar, akajadeWebber (entera Baba lover!) was in March of 2001. I remember the earlier part ofthe daybefore the reading. I could hardly coalesce my atoms to ftinction in the gross plane. Light and energy were swirling and I remember teffing Jade how I felt, and what did it mean? Little did I know what awaited me!Jade helped me incrediblywith his practical spiritual awareness and even hinted about the Avatar. But it tooka few months for me to go for the bait. By August I was really pressing him for more and more information and when I was ready to hear, he told me that I would find the answers to all my questions in Discourses by Meher Baba. So I told Kenneth that I needed Discourses and he immediately went to the internet and ordered not only that but God Speaks and The Path of Love. I devoured all of them ravenously. By this time my friend Annie was planning to go to India with Jade in the fall. Then for some reason Jade called me while Annie was at my house and intimated that it was important for ihe to get to India as soon as possible, and I knew I had to go too. My husband came in the room and said, “You have to go to India, doi* you?” I looked at him and said “yes.” I felt Baba’s presence verytangiblybefore I went to India, and I sensed the importance of making the pilgrimage, aithoughl didn’t really see howl could do it. I had no desire to world travel and I had young children whom I had never left for more than a few days. But here was my dear husband, who is not into Baba, making it all happen reallyfastfor me. In fact, Annie and I booked our tickets the daybefore 9/11. People thought we were crazy to go, but I think itjust made us more determined. In the Samadhi these words came to me:

rthc Tomb Wmy head at 2tis feet rthe grace was profound 5looded with love Whik prostrate on the ground So now I am back home with my precious family in Montana, growing in Baba’s love and grace. Words can never express my gratitude. And even though the road is still long and sometimes rough, it’s okay now. I always believed in love. I knew that love was the only reality and the Beloved finally revealed Himseifto me.

What is to Come continuedfrompg 19

Baba has indicated that such an eventuality is possible. A subtle hint of this is one of the questions that Baba answered in the in the Q and A interchanges that went on in the 30’s. In this particular one, the questioner had asked Baba if science by its constant progression could eventually touch on or even cross over the banierbetween the physical and the subtle world? Baba gave a rather detailed answer whose conclusion was that it was impossible for science to reach or probe the subtle world. Then He made the following, and from our standpoint, interesting comment, It [science] may, at the most, touch the extreme limits of matter but that will take ages. And who can, till then,vouchsafe for the integrity ofthis—the present civiiization?” 4 Baba’s questioning about “the integrity of this present civilization,”I thinkcanbe taken to mean that this civilization might not last over this possible period oftime, which Baba refers to as “ages”. Ifwe define ages in the technical sense that Baba used it in God Speaks, then an age lasts anywhere from 65 to 125 years. An Avataric “cycle” is made up of 11 ages. So ages actually, is not a very long time. In this seemingly casual statement Baba appears to be saying that in a period ofless than one Avataric cyde, say several hundred years, this whole dvilization, so dosely connected with science, may be gone—disintegrated, so to speak. The apparent casualness or incidental setting of this statement should not lead us to dismiss it. It actuallyaccords with other things that Baba has said in more detail. For example, in Lord Meher it is recorded that Baba said the following, which is an excerpt from a larger statement: “Many a world has gone, and this too will go. To take its place, another world [Earth] is being made ready. Three-fourths of it is already ready, one-fourth remains to be formed. If this world is destroyed today, evolution will start in another.” 5 I would call particular attention to two things in these words. The first is Baba’s statement”Ifthis world is destroyed today. (My italics). This “if” would seem to show that it is not predetermined from Baba’s point of view whatwill happen,whetherwe will destroy this world or not. That still seems to be an open question, and that’s the naturalistic part. The second particularly interesting statement is beyond the natural. This is Baba referring to “three-fourths” of another earth that has already been formed, with another fourth remaining to go. That particular proportion should strike an obvious chord with us. Baba has famously spoken in The Final Declaration and its subsequent amendments “

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that three-fourths ofthis presentworld would be destroyed (said in his “own language,” but that shouldn’t take away the correspondence). So here we have two different “three-fourths”. One is the new world that is already ready to that extent, and the other is the three-fourths of this world to be destroyed. This may rea sonably lead us to infer that the remaining one-fourth ofthe new earth doesn’t even have to be formed. Instead there would be the onefourth ofthis present earth that isn’t destroyed that then would bejoined up with the newly formed three-fourths ofthe “new earth”. Apart from the relevance or accuracy of the above speculations about “three-fourths,” the more significant and general meaning of this statement and others that Baba has made about earth perennially being destroyed (By “natural and unnatural catastrophes,” as Baba has also said in this Lord Meher section) and a new earth taking its place, is that this is something that has always happened in the creation. A present earth being destroyed does not mean the end of souls, as souls never end but continue on till Realization, even if that is continued on a new earth. The ancient myths in our world of an Atlantis civilization that once existed, as well as that of floods and Noah’s Ark, may be cultural echoes of life on a previous earth. This general theme or possible scenario of the future was delved into by the Baba disciple, Irene Coneybeare, daughter ofthe Oxford scholar ofreligion, E C. Coneybeare. In her account, this scenario was connected to the concept of Mahapralya that Baba has described. Coneybeare writes: “No such complete destruction will occur because man’sjourney through creation is not finished and the Powers that Be will always stop such an eventuality by some catastrophe designed to leave enough people to start another age. According to Sufi and Vedantic wisdom the End of the Hierarchy of Avatars flinc tioning on the earth plane will synchronize with the End of the World. This will be the final dissolution of the material universe, Mahapralya. Then follows another ‘night of 6 Brahma’.” If this last point about the “night of Brahma” is mysterious, it is interesting that it is darified byMargaret Craske, who begins with the following in the frontispiece of her

book, The Dance ofLove: My Ljft with Meher Baba. Margaret has quoted this from 7 Ananda In the night ofBrahma, Nature lies inert and cannot dance until Shiva wills it. He rises from his rapture and, dancing, sends What is to Come continued on pg 44

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ecember was a very busy season! I’m so happy we were able to take care of you all for your gift giving. And how about those Don Steven’s videos?! We received them later than I would have liked, but hopefully you all got them in

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time. For those of you new to the LampPost, these videos are ifims that Baba, Maui and Mehera directed Don to take in the 60’s. They have only now been made available Meher B to the public in video at Home format. You can buy 1962 them by the set of three for $90, or the two Baba 1960 and Baba 1962 for $30 each and The Great Darshan (Baba’s internment) video for $45. We have two new CDs in, one from an ex Los Angeleno Maraiya Potter who used to attend the meetings at Fiis Frederick’s home i in the 70’s. Her CD, •

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titled Eternity is Now displays some very wonderful singing in a marvelous contralto voice. Soft, soothing .: and entirely captivat [ ing. $14 Ward Parks’ Word ? of God plays up his use of choral backing to great effect. $13. Reviews of both CDs are in the Review section. The best selling book last month was The Golden Threaa’ Barbara Scott’s marvelous accounting ofthe Darshan Baba gave (in absentia) to the Chapel Hill group in 1967. I would recommend this book as a gift to someone who has displayed even a little interest in Baba or the spiritual path— especially if they were hippies or druggies in the 60’s! $12

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A little book that Phyllis Ott put together years ago and has not been given enough publicity is Beautjful Souls in Ugly Cages. It tells of Baba’s work with the lepers. $6. Following is a story of one of His contacts with these people.

Nothing to Fear Bhau Kalchuri

nce a man of a strong physique as a policeman, he had fallen ill and developed leprosy. Afterward he fell into great financial trouble. Seeking help in his dire situation, he had pleaded to the Shankar Acharya, the head priest ofthe Hindus (a high ranking religious office similar to the Pope of the Catholics), and to Mahatma Gandhi, but found no help from either of them. Out of final desperation, he came to see Meher Baba. He explained that his daughter was of marriageable age, but that it was extremely difficult to find a man willing to marry a daughter of a leper. Baba’s compassion was shown as He helped to arrange her wedding and gave money for her dowry. The next day, the men mandali reminded Baba about the wedding, and with six men Baba went to Ahmednagar to attend the ceremony. The policeman was deeply moved by seeing Baba, and the marriage was joyously performed before Him. The poor man cried out, “Oh Lord! Only your grace has brought about this happy event; otherwise, who would have married the daughter of a leper?” Baba replied, “In your ugly cage resides a beautiful soul. Only I can see its beauty and without worrying over your condition you too should try to see it. You have nothing to fear.” After the ceremony He and the mandali departed. LordMeher Vol. 3, pp. 920-921 ©1988 Manifestation

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Michael Da Costa, long time English Baba lover and collaborator on some of Pete Townshend’s early Meher Baba albums has sent us two new CDs ofhis. Ifyou bought Garland ofEgos—his brilliant and sometimes scathing poems—you’ll know Michael surely has a way with words! He has generously put the price at only $10 soA-Z, Words and Things as well as LostandFoundare super deals. Another huge seller was the 2003 Baba Calendars; we sold hundreds ofthem! As I’m sure you noticed, the Love Street Bookstore prices are $2 below the suggested retail price. (We sell them for $11 each, or $10 ifyou are buying 5 or more.) This is because I do like to give you all a bargain, a special deal. Your loyalty needs rewarding! What you need to know is that every penny of profit from the Love Street Bookstore goes to helping the Los Angeles Baba Center run Meherabode, the beautiful Center Baba gave us five years ago. There are no wages paid to anyone, no overhead (I work out ofmy home which has 3 bedrooms given over to the Bookstore stor age and work areas—the volunteer laborers, (Pris, Harry and Margit) come here to help with the work.) The great news is—thanks to your loyalty—at year’s end, the Bookstore was able to turn over to the Center’s treasurer $20,000!! 2002 saw the highest sales ever and $20,000 was the total profit gener ated by all the items you all have purchased throughout the year. It is our blessed joy to serve you and our Lord in this way. Thank you so much, each and every one of you who buy from the Love Street Bookstore!

1. In His Love and Service, Dma Mehera L:.MirrolworkS wall hangings, see 45for story.

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I4arks, J 7 14eIi.er Centcr, J14aj 17, 2002 7 2tigliliglits of a 7ctlk by Ella J 2<endrn Crossen i3urroughs, JMyrtIe EBeach eher Center has been celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Avatar Meher Baba’s first visit to Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, which was founded for him in the 1940s by Elizabeth Patterson and Norma Matchabelli. Arriving at the Center on 20 April 1952, He remained until2l May, when He and His companions left with the intention ofvisiting Meher Mount in Ojai, California; the journey was interrupted by the momentous event ofHis car accident in Oklahoma on 24 May. As part of the celebration, some of those who saw Baba during that 1952 visit have been coming to the Center to share their memories. On the evening of 17 May, Ella Marks—one of the dancers who came to Baba through Margaret Craske—recalled her meeting and life with Baba. Ella’s lovely face appeared lit from within as she beamed at the large audience. “Where to begin?” Today was the exact fiftieth anniversary of her first meeting with Meher Baba. Ella said she had formulated a wish for herseiftoday. Usuallywhen she wishes, it is for someone else—her children or people at work—but what would she wish just for herself? “To see Baba again. To have Him present in form.” Born into an old Episcopalian family, Ella grewup on a farm in Virginiawith four rowdy brothers. Her parents directed her toward studying dance, and it was her dream as well; after high school she went to Jacob’s Pillow University ofDance in New York State. She had heard about “a wonderftil teacher from England” there, and placed herself believing rather prideftilly that she belonged there, in one of her advanced classes. Ella was quite pleased when Miss Craske came up to her at the barre. Miss Craske looked at her and ordered her out of the class: “You are not ready.” The next day, Ella swallowed her pride and with some trepidation went to a much less advanced class. Miss Craske again approached her at the barre and corrected her placement. Ella turned and looked into her eyes and was flooded with a sense of bot tomless love and compassion. Although with her loving parents she had experienced love, that one glance opened up a new dimension ofReality Being taught by Miss Craske and being in her presence made it the happiest summer of Ella’s life. Her parents afterward

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allowed her to continue her studies in New York City where Miss Craske taught. There was an intriguing air of mystery about Margaret Craske. It was said that she’d been to India and had a guru there, and once a year she disappeared and didn’t speak for a day. The first time Ella heard her talk about Baba was in the fall of 1947. Miss Craske’s generosityin sharing stories ofBaba with her students was extraordinary—after teaching twenty to thirty students two to three times a day, she would give an hour or two to those who wanted to hear about Baba. Ella, who fancied herself an intellectual, decided to prepare for these discussions by readingThomas Aquinas. She laughed as she recalled the quizzical look on Miss Craske’s face in response to this. Ella later understood that what is important with Baba is not what is in the mind—it is the experience of love. Miss Craske did not lecture or make pronouncements about spiritual truths; she simply shared stories ofBaba. She also spoke about how ego stands in the way ofperceiving His Reality—and Ella admitted that she had more than her share of ego. Another value that Miss Craske impressed upon Ella was that “small things are important”—don’t be late, don’t be careless, be clear. “Miss Craske was so beautiflil to me,” Ella said, teaching her that people come to Baba in different ways—some immediately, others more slowly—and that it’s OK to come more slowly or be more questioning. There was a centeredness about her, an inner space ofqui etness and integrity thatyou could hold on to, even ifyou didn’t yet know what love was. Ella received from Miss Craske a book about Baba—by Charles Purdom, perhaps— and was filled with a dread of entering alien territory that her family would not approve of: However Ella says she never read much in the begirming, since Miss Craske taught them that Baba’s way is experiential, not cognitive or intellectual. But there is nothing wrong with using the mind, and “my understanding is that Baba expects us to use our mind.” Today she can read Baba’s books, and it comes together more meaningfully for her now. When the students were informed that Baba was coming to Myrtle Beach, Ella wanted to go. (Miss Craske never tried to convince anyone to come to Baba, but simply

said, in effect, “Here it is—it’s up to you.”) She was living on very little in New York and didn’t want to ask her father for money to see someone who was said to be the Christ, so she scrimped and saved and bought the ticket herself Ella flew in to Wilmington the night of May 16, 1952, with two other young women. The next day was her first meeting with Baba, in the Barn. “I only remember seeing His form and His eyes—that’s all.” Wistfully Ella said, “I did not see who Baba was”—something that has always been a great loss to her. She stumbled out ofthe Barn and had to be alone. Being a country girl, and not realizing that one was not supposed to stray offthe paths, she walked for a while through the woods. After she returned, she learned that she and her friend Myrna were invited to tea with the women mandali. Being the only girl in a family of boys, Ella was used to a certain toughness, and so what struck her very strongly about Mehera and the other women was their incredible gentleness and their genuine interest in each individual. After Ella met Baba, several significant things happened. The love of her life had been dance, but she now realized that she did not have the qualities necessary to become the dancer she wanted to be. At that time she also underwent “a rough surgery.” Soon ther she met her husband-to-be, Peter, who was studying to be an Episcopal priest. After marriage, they lived in the inner city where Peter served an impoverished community ofrecent Puerto Rican immigrants. Miss Craske was very patient with Peter, never speaking about Baba to him unless he asked. (Eventually he did become desirous of speaking with Miss Craske alone.) In 1956, when Ella was expecting her first child (Wyatt, later known as Viola), Baba came to New York, where she saw Him at the Hotel Delmonico. He touched her once, very quickly—an event she connects with the great transcendent joy she experienced in giving birth. Peter, a very reserved man, came to the hotel in his clerical collar to meet Baba. Ella joked that when Peter saw Baba sitting flankedby Eruch andAdi in their dark suits and with arms crossed over their chests, he had the impression that he was meeting maflosi.

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In 1958, when Baba returned to the U.S., Ella was pregnant again. Tex Hightower and her other dancer friends would be going to Myrtle Beach, but since Ella was eight or nine months along, she decided she had better not go. There was a sadness upon hearing how beautiftilly the dancers had performed for Baba, but it was special knowing that her second daughter, Alex, had been born while Baba was at Myrtle Beach. (Ella had four children in all--Viola, Alex, Susan, and Peter--and each was special, but the first two children had the distinction ofbeing associ ated with Baba’s visits.) The life of a clergy wife was difficult, and Ella went through times ofdepression. Part of beingwith Baba, she reflected, is relinquishing things, letting go of illusion. When she first heard about “illusion,” she had no idea what it meant—but “youleam what illusion is.” Ella had to let go of the persona of a dancer (she later became a psychotherapist). There was much grinding down of the ego and facing of harsh realities. Miss Craske’s stories had helped prepare her for some of the rough times when “you think you’re over something and then—bang!—you get another blow.” After Baba dropped the body, Ella had planned to go to the 1969 Darshan, but that did not come to pass. And so her first pilgrimage to India was in the fall of 1980. It was a greatjoy to be at the Tomb with Mansari. Ella’s mother had died that spring, but she had not truly mourned her. On thelast day of her trip, Ella was at the Tomb and visualized her mother’s funeral cortege; she was living it again, and for the first time in her life she experienced her mother’s true goodness and love—something she had not been able to see because of the powerfhl personality that her mother was. She was able to grieve, weeping copiously on Mansari’s shoulder while Mansari looked on with compassion and a quizzical expression. On a subsequent trip to India, Peter agreed to go along. While walking up Meherabad Hill to the Tomb, he was suddenly flooded with a beautiflil Easter hymn (“Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed”). At Arti, he was sur prised and said to Ella, “You didn’t tell me they have a liturgy here!” The mandali were so beautiflil to him—Eruch even asked Peter for his blessing, and then Mani came running: “Me too, me too!” Peter just melted. Being with the mandali reminded him ofthe early days ofthe Christian era. A young man Peter met in India told him in the course ofconversation, “Ifyou’re ever in trouble, call on Baba’s Name.” Peter Continuedonpage 41 40

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tella and Ralph Hernandez shared their story of meeting Baba during the recent volunteer/community sahavas held at Meher Center in Myrtle Beach. For those of you who don’t know this muchloved couple, Stella is one of the Center Board members and is frequently a hostess at Baba’s House. Ralph worked for many years in the Gateway and as a caretaker. Both have regularly conducted tours of the Center for visitors. Ralph started out telling us how they first learned of Baba through Dana Field, who had attended the 1954 men’s meetmg known as the Three Incredible Weeks with Baba in India. Baba had mentioned that He would be coming to the United States in 1956-to Meher Center and other places-and Dana came to St. Petersburg to tell people who might be interested in meeting Baba. Ralph and Stella and their children were living there at that time and had recently become interested in spiritual philoso phies. They were meeting in a group with other couples who were mostly reading about Catholic saints; they knew nothing of Indian religions. They had read about “cosmic consciousness” and the teachings of mystics likejoel Goldsmith, and they had a little inkling ofwhat a master was-”but not much,” Ralph admitted. They didn’t know anything about practices like vegetarianism or celibacy, and here came Dana with his seemingly fanatical ideas about food (his own diet consisted mainly offruits and nuts) and his reluctance to sit close to a woman. Ralph said they didn’t take him seriously and considered him a bit nutty In later years theywouldjoke that they had come to Baba in spite ofDana, because “when Baba wants you, He gets you!” Dana came to the group meetings with pamphlets and pictures of Baba, and the first image that Ralph and Stella saw was the Mahabaleshwar photo of May 1954, in which Baba is leaning against a railing against a mountainous backdrop. Stella picked up the story at the point where they were to meet Baba at the Center. She said that although she had attended the spiritual discussion group, she was so busy raising her children that she didn’t really take it seriously-it was just a pastime. She

welcomed the chance to go to the Center because she hadn’t had a vacation in years. With the children being cared for by their grandparents, she figured she’d have a lot offttn in Myrtle Beach. Well, she did—but not the way she expected. “The first time I saw Baba, that was it,” Stella said. Baba came out of the Lagoon Cabin and stood in front of it just as Stella and Ralph came along, and for a few seconds He looked right at her. With that one glance, He stole her heart completely. Baba proceeded down the steps and over the bridge that crosses the lagoon. Ralph watched in awe at Baba’s physical being—His presence, His aliveness, His eyes, His beauty All ideas he had formed about masters seemed like mere foolishness, and “we stood there, dumbfounded.” When Baba’s eyes met Ralph’s, “something happened deep inside ofme. I got all shook up and couldn’t think.” Not wanting others to see him sobbing, Ralph walked behind the kitchen. When the people from Florida were called in to meet Baba in the Lagoon Cabin, Ralph saw no one but Baba in the room, although he knows the others must have been there. Baba conveyed in a natural manner such questions as, “Are you happy to see Me?” “Do you want to say something?” Ralph said, “Baba, when I saw You near the boathouse, You took my breath away.” Baba replied, “I take away very little, and I give the infinite Ocean of Love.” Stella hardly recalls the details of the meeting; she could only look at Baba. She was confused—”Who is this man? Why do I feel this way?” She hadn’t heard much about Baba or read anything about Him yet, but she felt like a little child who had been taken to the fair. The Hernandezes met Baba in 1958 as well but concluded their brief reminiscence here. Interestingly, when they returned home and wanted to tell the group about Baba, it had disbanded and they never saw those people again. Ralph added humorously that they last saw Dana Field not long before he died, when they visited him in a nursing home in California. Ralph chuckled, “And they were feeding him meat!”


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-: 2 larry Daniel Dedolchow Ei3arbarci Snow, California Daniel Dedolchow 1927-2002 alias Lance Marlowe) entered the arms ofhis beloved Avatar Meher Baba on Columbus Day, Monday, October 14, 2002 at 7:30am in Truckee, California. Longlost to the Baba community Harry was rediscovered by Tom Basora, a dentist from Graeagle, who learned from one of his patients that there was a devoted follower of Meher Baba nearing death in the little lumber town ofLoyalton, California. In his last days Harry who was then called Lance, became a dear friend to Tom, and entrusted Tom with his special Baba archive, including many books, photos and art works of the Beloved, and a 2’ by 2’ silk scarf that had been given to Baba by Mehera and worn by Meher Baba for two hours during Harry’s visit to Meherazad in 1959. The account of Harry’s 1959 visit has been ably described by Bhau Kalchuri in Volume Sixteen ofLord Meher (pp. 56385641), and an interview with him was conducted for the Glow. One of Baba’s sailor boys (Herman Alvarado is another), Harry worked for the merchant marines, and in 1959 when his ship docked in Calcutta, Baba allowed him to visit, even though Baba had stopped giving darshan and had closed correspondence. Although Mehera still seclusion from men, Baba allowed Harry to meet her. When Tom asked what was the most memorable event with Baba, he replied slowly, “Baba took me to the garden area. Baba asked Mani to get Mehera and then discharged Mani. Mehera folded her hands and I folded mine. Nothing was said. When I looked at Mehera’s eyes, I saw tremendous beauty, huge black eyes .very large. Baba put his right hand on my left shoulder. I think he was trying to prevent me from passing out. I believe he put me under a veil, too. Everything was out offocus. He wanted me to look at Mehera’s eyes: first male, very special. She was fourteen or something like that when she went into seclusion. Later Baba said that ofall the souls in the world, she is the purest, and that includes perfect masters. She is illuminated but under a veil.

J4arry (

was to remember this advice at a crucial moment. He and Ella—along with their daughter Susan, an Indian girl, and a Cana dian woman—had gone up Seclusion Hill. It was very windy and the climb was a bit ofa struggle (especially for Ella, who feared heights). The little girl’s hat blew off and over the side, and though Peter wanted to try to retrieve it, Susan insisted it should not be attempted. When the others were ready to go back down, Peter wanted to stay on the hill alone near the area of Baba’s seclu sion. He spent some time in quiet and then again wanted to recover the hat. Wearing a pair ofloose sandals, he went over the side and lost his footing. As he began to slide, he was filled with terror at the sheer drop (the goatherds below were the size of specks). He remembered what the young man had said and cried out Baba’s Name—and all of a sudden he felt perfectly calm and relaxed, and slowly climbed back to safety—with the child’s hat in his hand! In conclusion, Ella remarked again on the grinding-down process she had undergone over the years. She’d had to learn to come down to earth and face life (in her youth she had done things like walk out of a theater barefoot, having forgotten her shoes inside). She feels tremendous gratitude for having met Baba and for coming closer to Him in many small ways. “All day, truly, I thought: ‘Oh, if I could meet You now—because so much has been cleansed away.” Following the talk we saw a brief film of Baba in Switzerland in 1952 (after His acci dent), which ended with a shot ofHim spelling out this message on the alphabet board: “I love all those who love Me, with pure divine love, because I am Pure Love.”

was in strict

. .

When we went back to mandali hail, Baba gestured for me to come over. He handed me a scarf He had it underneath His sadra. Baba said, “This is from Mehera.” Mehera had given that scarf to Baba and he wore it for two hours. I just repeated, “Thank Baba.” A.C.S. Chari, an attorney from Calcutta who had traveled with Harry to Meherazad said, “You are very fortunate. No male has ever seen Mehera physically.” Born of Czechoslovakian parents in Argentina, Harry’s family subsequently immigrated to New York. He left home early age and joined the Merchant Marines, retiring after 30 years. Harry never married and never had children. He learned of Meher Baba in 1955 in San Francisco and became a student of Murshida Duce. There he befriendedjoseph Harb, Herman Alvarado, and other members ofa small Sufi group that had been reoriented by Meher Baba. After leaving the merchant marines, Harry developed aspirations of a Hollywood career and so changed his name to Lance Marlowe. Like many such dreams, these did not play out as hoped. So he eventually moved to Reno where he spent the casinos. His friend Herman tried to track him down through the Maritime Workers Union, but could not receive authorization to bypass the privacy restrictions. Twenty-five years from their last contact, and just days from death, Harry, through Tom and his contacts with Bay Area Baba groups, was able to contact Herman. Harry, in a barely audible voice, called Herman who immediately made arrangements to visit him, braving the discomforts of a round trip airplane ride on a single day despite sciatic nerve pain. Herman finally found his friend Harry at long last in a little town 40 miles north of Reno. It was a tearfully joyous reunion after Harry was in extraordinary pain, yet resisted being taken to the hospital in Truckee where his physician had authorized the administration of pain medication. Harry viewed videotape that Herman brought of the 1963 East-West Gathering at Guruprasad, India, which showed Harry carrying Meher Baba in His chair. Harry also received from Herman a photograph of that scene, which he later took with him to the hospital in Truckee. 4’

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A note accompanied the photograph: October 10, 2002 My Dear Harry In the great ocean of Maya, we were those lucky seafarers collecting sanskaras with the minds ofthe world. But deep in our hearts was a beaming lighthouse, enticing us to enter a harbor located in the realm ofthe soul. Tell me Sailor boy, what are we waiting for? Let’s go full speed ahead. Beloved is expecting you, and by haying His compass and tides in your favor, drop then the anchor and finish with engines, in His ever-lasting bosom, and Ocean of Love. Jai Baba, Sailor Boy. Put in a good word for me. Your shipmate Herman” Meher Baba’s sailor boys exchanged re membrances ofthe Beloved and oftheir lives together with Him. Herman held Harry’s hands, looked into his eyes, and said the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of Repen tance. As soon as Tom returned from Reno after taking Herman to the airport, the pain became too great for Harry who asked to be taken to the hospital in Truckee where he spent his final hours. Neighbors and friends saw Harry off and expressed their love and affection for him. On Columbus Day, in which we celebrate the life of another saioi Harry joined his beloved Avatar Meher Baba. Herman Alvarado addressed a special last message to Harry in a letter to Bhau Kalchuri. “Bon Voyage, Sailor Boy. Hope we will sail again in the Ocean of Love.”

Rooruddin fawwctl ames Cox, Jllehercthctd 11 ’The 2’IigIit the JI4usic Died. 11 This morning, in the midst of a hectic work schedule, I received a phone call from Khuldabad, in Hindi, telling me that it was the son of Nooruddin Qwwal caffing. At first I was so happy to hear from him because over the last couple ofyears his father and I had become quite close despite neither ofus being able to speak to the other without some degree of interpretation. People coming to Meherabad frequently ask me if there is a chance to hear Qwwali and since 42

minutes at a time without understanding a line, and without it mattering, or when I used to sit with Padrikaka on the front porch of Mandali Hall in Lower Meherabad as the sun set and listen to him curse the world and swat mosquitoes in a language I did understand. Nooruddin was a traditional Sufi, and the last time we were with him he hinted that this would be his last Qw wali program. We joked with him and told him we would go and bring him back from wherever he was, but he assured us that he wouldn’t be far away. There is an ancient graveyard around the dargah of Raju Qttal, and that is where he was laid to rest. But there is no one left to sing. it is now the month of Ramzaan and they

don’t sing at this time, I was wondering when I would get another chance to go. As I don’t speak Hindi very well, I handed the phone to my wife and was shocked by the news that his father had died on November 11, in Aurangabad. Apparently he had contracted Hepatitis B without knowing it and by the time they put him in the hospital, it was too late. His son was calling to tell me there would be no more Qwwali concerts as there was no one to take his place. It reminded of the song about Buddy Holly, “The night the music died.” The last time I heard him perform was on our marriage anniversary, and it is impos sible to convey in writing what I felt when he would sing. Bhauji used to ask me what I got out ofQwwali since I couldiñ understand most of the words and suggested my attraction must have been because I liked the clapping, but I would have to describe the experience as perhaps something similar to sitting in Baba’s presence if he was giving a discourse in a language you couldn’t understand intellectually. When Nooruddin was a young boy, he used to sit andlisten to the qa wwals at that time when theyfrequently sang to Baba, and perhaps Baba gave him something. I will never kno but the last time we sat in the dargah compound of Raju Qttal Husseini, at almost the same spot where Baba bowed down 6000 times, Nooruddin rained ecstatic praise on Baba, Mohammed and the whole Chisti silsila, while the fog poured in, sometimes obscuring the lights and I was transported somewhere else, back to another time and another essence. For a few hours, it was the feeling ofAhmednagar and Meherabad of3O years ago, when I used to sit in Adikaka’s (Adi K. Irani) office and listen to him quote Hafiz in Persian for 20

5Rob 21arke ‘

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Rob Narke, the author ofBaba Baba Everywhere Completes His Thur ofDuty January 26 1939 —August 202002 Rob and I met at the Univ. of Dayton in 1958, dated sixweeks in the spring, and then went our separate ways. We had no contact for twentyyears. We were both divorced for four years, andliving in different parts ofthe country, Rob in L.A. and me in Atlanta. Neem Karoli Baba was my guru and while meditating one day I told Baba that I wanted him to send me a good husband, and a father for my children. Soon after that my friend and I visited a psychic, Paul Neary, and his guide told me that the man I was going to marry was coming back into my life. This was discouraging because I couldn’t think of anyone that I knew that I would want to marry. In July we had a family reunion in Myrtle Beach, (I didn’t know Meher Baba at this time,) and all twenty-two ofus were together. My brother gave me a note from Rob with his name and phone number on it. I knew then that he was the one coming back into mylife. Rob and I trace our spintual connection to that Sunday in May. He had been sitting at his table in L.A. having coffee and started thinking about me. We hadn’t had any contact for twenty years. He played the records we use to listen to and knew he had to contact me. He looked my brother up in the actor’s guide and sent him that note. Things then moved quickly. Rob came to Atlanta in August, I went to LA in October, and we were married December 29th 1979 in Atlanta, all seven children were


in our wedding, and we began our blended family. Rob had searched his whole life for a per— sonal God, and had studied many paths and all religions. When Tom Flickey suggested he give Meher Baba a try his search was over. During a meditation one day Rob was given the words “Baba Baba Everywhere”. He quickly wrote them all down and spent the next two years working towards publishing it.

Announc€men/c €offtrnuedframp )_ >. :: .:::

Upcoming SouthEast Gathering Set aside April 10-13 for the SouthEast Gathering for Meher Baba! It will be held Thursday thru Sunday, April 10 13, 2003. Our long-time location is outside ofAthens, Georgia, and by mid-April, chances are it will be nice and warm. By the time you read this our guests will be on board and we’ll be getting ready for registration. Look for more information on the BabaList, and if you’d like a flyer, please contact Judi Schoeck: -

thejoodster@ae.net. Baba Art and Photos Tony Howell in England has made available some beautiftil photos of Meherabad and some Baba artwork for you to use as wallpaper on your computer desktop. The photos come with full instructions as to how to install: i’wwtonyhoweI1.co.ukwailpapei,

meherazad.htm New Baba Book in Progress Volume II of The Heart Chronicles is in progress. Again, it is to be a compila tion of stories from lovers of our Beloved Meher Baba. The Heart Chronicles, Centering is to be published by Love Street Press, as was the first volume. It will be a collection of stories of lovers of Meher Baba who have traveled to one of the major Baba centers around the world and want to share the

Jim Hastings translated the words into Hindi (they also appear on the pages) and then Rob asked children the world over to submit drawings to match the verses. Last July Rob entered the emergency room with severe pain below his clavicle. He was in the hospital for two weeks during which he underwent numerous tests. He was released at the end ofJune, but unbeknownst to them he had contracted a staf infection. While in the hospital four doctors thought he had cancer. They performed surgery and removed a cist pressing on a nerve in his back. This alleviated the excruciating pain, but five days after he came home he was getting progressively worse. On our return trip to the emergency room he was placed in ICU. He was in there for ten days and passed on to Baba August 20th.

It was the staf infection that got him. He never had cancer. Rob had definitely been ready to go to Baba. One morning I came in and he told me that Baba had walked around his bed the previous night, and held his face. Baba told him It would be a little while longer”. I asked Rob if Baba was smiling, he said, “No, but he had a very compassionate look on His face.” Upon being told of his passing, Bhau said, “In Rob’s next lifetime he will be born into a very close Baba family because of his work on Baba Baba Everywhere.”The fam ily that Rob left behind in this lifetime are myself and his seven loving children. He raised my five children, along with his own, and we have six grand children.

experience of their visit. (Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach; Avatar’s Abode Aus tralia; Meherabad, India. Ifyou have been to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai or others of the Indian Centers, these count too.) As with Vol. I, all profit from the sale of Vol. II will go to the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. Dma Snow will present a check for $ 1,000 to The Meher English School this Amartithi as a

with the city and could not guarantee us the theater. But now they say it should be signed soon so we have reserved the theater for August 2003 which is the earliest we could get it. If again it does not get signed at least 6 months in advance ofour opening we will get another theater. We have to make sure the theater is guaranteed to us before we spend a lot of money on the advertising of the movie which starts about 4 months or more prior to the Premier. In addition, at the end of this year or next, the video tape of the movie will have a limited early release in order to raise addi tional funds to carry out the promotion and distribution of the movie to theaters. All those who can donate $100 will re ceive a gift of a first edition collectors item of the video tape of the movie. Also a first edition certificate of authenticity will be included with each video tape. The video tape is the complete movie as it will be seen in theaters. lhr 20mm running time. In addition a poster of the movie will be sent with each donation. Ifyou have not already ordered the Movie on Video Tape and would like to do so then mail your check or money order for $ 100.00 payable to: Oceanpower Film Distributor, Inc., 1130 Waterway Lane, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 USA. Phone: 843-272-8524 email: OPFD@yahoo.com; website:

gift from the sales of The Heart Chronicles, Discovering Divine Love. Please click on http://heartclironicles.

comHeartChronicles/index.asp for details on how to submit your story and for further information about this project. In writing about your experiences to one of the Meher Baba Centers, you will find yourself drawn back to your personal time oflove and closeness with Baba and it will give you an opportunity to share that joy with others. You may contact Tern Zee for further information at: Zee2@airmail.net If you would like to order VoL I of The Heart Chronicles, you may do so by contacting: Dma Snow at Bababook@pacbell.net

Movie Premier From Irwin Lucic The Movie MeherBaba, Avatar Of TheAge is scheduled to premier in August 2003 at The Palace of Fine Arts theater in San Francisco. It was not possible to do it this year as the theater informed us that they were unable to sign a new lease

AvatarOfTheAge.com 43


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What is to Come Continuedfrornpg37

en Ei3uggia —Australia/Ctilifornia have noticed that Baba lovers are divided on the issue of ‘to show or not to show’ when it comes to wearing His photo. Some wear it on a pendant under their shirt, close to their heart, hidden from the outside world, but me—I like to have Baba right out there on display! It all started over 20 years ago when Delia De Leon made a point of telling me, most seriously, that Baba told her He wanted as many people as possible to hear His name. I al ways remembered her saying this, and I immediately took it that she was passing down an order, and touching on something very important from Baba to me. I quickly discovered that wearing two prominent earrings with Baba’s face on them gave me the wonderful opportunity to say His name to people, as many ofthem would inevitably ask “Who’s that on your earrings?” I would say “Meher Baba”, and sometimes they wouldjust gaze, often smile, or say “Oh, the don’t worry be happy guy!” Once in 1985, while sitting in a United States Immigration medical office an el derly, foreign and rather scared looking man started staring intently at one of my earrings. Slowly he got up from his chair and came toward me, still crouched over and still staring blatantly. He got tojust inches away from my face, all the while staring intently at Baba on my ear. Suddenly his face gave way to a huge grin and he said very loudly “Meher Baba!” He couldn’t speak English, but I could see that he, who had looked a sour old man not five minutes ago, was now transformed into one happy fella. He and his family started chattering away happily in their own language and smiling at me. The only words I could understand them saying were Baba and Ahmednagar. At first I was quite shy about saying Baba’s name, but nowadays I wear a very prominent Baba necklace and work in an Irish pub. I am constantly asked “Who’s that around your neck?” My standard answer is usually something like “He is my spiritual Master,

I

44

Meher Baba” and iftheylooklike they wish they hadn’t asked, I usually break the embarrassment by saying with a laugh.. “He’s a good bloke to have hanging around!!” A couple ofweeks ago, some really scruffy young people came in to the pub and asked ‘The Question’. When I said His name, one smiled and said “Jai Baba” and with his hands in the ‘namaste’ position, took darshan from my necklace by placing his forehead on it. A second boy also said “Right on, Jai Baba!” and gave me the thumbs up sign. I have no idea who they were and in the moment there was no reason to ask. During a recent professional photo session, the photographers’ wife came into the room unexpectedly and ran over to me exclaiming. “Is that Meher Baba?”. When I said yes, this woman, whom I hadn’t even been introduced to, grabs my necklace and kisses it with fervour, much to her husband’s and my surprise. She smiled and said “I was one of the first disciples of Meher Baba!” Again, we don’t speak of the incident...it was just totally understood.... One of my regular pub customers who drinks way too much, constantly asks me “Wot’s the name o’ that fella ‘round ya neck?”; and again the next night says to me, “what’s that guy’s name again?” She repeats Baba’s name over and over, to get it right! Maybe she’s looking for the Real wine? It may be silly of me, but I feel that perhaps wearing that beautiftul necklace with Baba’s darling face so prominently displayed is my real job in working at a ‘wine shop’. In any case it’s the part of the job that I like best! However you choose to share Baba with the world, or not, is between you and the Beloved. “Jai Meher Baba”!! (said loudly and confidently!) .

. . .

through inert matter pulsing waves of awak ening sound. And lo! Matter also dances, ap peanng as a gloryround about Him. Dancing, He sustains its manifold phenomena. In the fluliness oftime, still dancing, He destroys all forms by fire and gives new rest. In the above three scenarios I have tried to show that Baba has given us indications ofeach ofthese three possibilities ofwhat is to come. And there may be others. I invite readers to send them in to this magazine, but backing them up by statements from Baba. I also invite readers to select which one of these three seems most likely to them, and to explain why. So Baba has given us answers to the ques tion of”How will it all end?” In His Avataric way, the answers given are widely divergent, so that we can not comfortably settle into any one known outcome (although comfortwould hardly be the appropriate word to describe the Mahapralya outcome). In these scenarios, given or at least suggested to us by Baba, we have a great benefit in Him sharing with us His Avataric omniscience in regard to the deep nature ofthe cosmos. We are most fortunate in this, as is the case with our knowledge of Baba Himself But, as we have come to find, that does notlet us fall into complacency We continue to share with the rest of”the suffering humanity” a continuing deep uncertainty about what is to come. But Baba gives us His assurance that any such uncertainty should not prevent us from being happy. Discourses, . 1 Discourses, . pp 189299 2 p 270 3 p 191. 4 MeherBabaJournal: V.1, No. 3,Jan. 1939, V. XII, pp 4202-4203. Civilization pp 84-85. 5 or €haos, pp 88-89. 7 The Dance ofShiva, p. 78.


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Caress 5ightings (I) I saw you in the north country When you came there With your companions. Yes, you walked past the place where I sat And, though I asked for nothing You offered your gift of prasad But my hands were fttll And you passed on by.

Each leafcascades to the earth in a bold Dervish Dance, spinning with reckless abandon. To the observer it appears each dances alone, yet in my heart I see Your breath caressing every one. Shar Wiseman, Virginia

You were there at the gathering by the holy rivers With your helpers, Discoursing and pouring sweet sherbet To slake the thirst of your lovers But my vesselwas already ftill With what I ctrried with me.

So now I retrace my steps, Discarding all I held on to; Emptying containers, Making space, Breathing in your name, Hoping and longing for you To pass this way. Sarah McNeili, England

First in the city crowd Among the shouts and movement of a hundred people I saw you approaching from the distance; I recognised the swift stride That set you visibly ahead Of those companions; Your outline was clear Yourjacket faded pink like the morning sky. I know it was you. A long time passed. Then I saw you again, at the station; I touched your sleeve, yes, Crushed in among the surge of travellers that swept past you As you boarded the train, I stretched out and touched your sleeve. And I know you knew it was me.

And it must have been you On the train, travelling with friends; I must have been so near to you! But I had baggage for the journey. I watched all the time to see nothing was taken, And thenjust glimpsed the light ofyour brow After I’d descended And counted all my pieces And looked up As the train moved off. At last I came to your abode And you appeared there with your close ones, Pouring out love. And I saw how open hearts were filled to overflowing.

5ightings (2)

But years went by Till one night, In the garden, 0 Beloved the light ofyour face in the darkness, The lucent white clothing, Your presence making my senses reel. -

13ut Who Am 3 who am I that You should be so sweet stand by me watch me sleep but who am I that You should call me here touch my hand hold me near but who am I that You should fill my heart promise me that we will never part

Do not despair at whatever circumstance Keeps you apart from the Beloved And from those who play in his courtyard. Take hold of his garment. Clasp the hem with both hands as he strides on so swiftly are swept off our feet and We fly behind him! The jolts and sudden turnings of this breathless passage Never will dislodge our hold Even though it seems our feet do barely touch the ground. Sarah McNeil, England

just who am I that I should know Your name I don’t know but please, please stay MargaretJames, Oregon

45


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unita, Gurjari, Sundari and Geeta are women from unknown tribes who had been living in backward areas of Gujarat. They make a meager subsistence by selling handmade articles. Mirrorwork has always been their specialty. It is this skill which is helping them to survive the scars that life has thrust upon them. Uprooted from their homeland, these illiterate women have come to Mumbai to survive. They would not have come out oftheir homes, had it not been for the earthquake last January. (2001). Life can always be rough for some people. But when it brings unforeseen natural trag— edies like a devastating earthquake it shakes one’s very existence. At 8.15 a.m on 26th J anuary 2001 a massive earthquake struck the region of Gujarat, Western India with its epicenter in the Bhuj district. On the Richter scale it measured 7.5, which made the Pompeii tragedylookvery small. People were on their way to celebrate the Republic Day. While numerous tragic stories unfold— ed, some sad stories seem never ending. Here is one that tells a tale oflost relationships, being uprooted, and finding bearings in other States to make both ends meet. And this is why Mehera Mirror works was created. As Mehera would have wanted to help distressed souls and fellow women, here in lies the story behind the beautiful cloths, some ofwhich are pictured here, that you may want to buy to adorn your house.

Santacruz west, Mumbai The famed Juhu Garden opposite the police station has a wrought-iron wall. Displayed against this wall are colored, hand embroidered bed sheets. There are also very bright wall hangings, table cloths,

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runners, and bags with mirror work done on them. Near a banyan tree a makeshift temple has been made. Traffic whizzes past and a lady motorist risks the traffic light to ask a woman the price ofa Ganesha wall hanging. The price is not suitable so the lady rides away. But a couple walking in the opposite direction try to haggle for a better price with the woman. This woman is Geeta. Geeta is a 44 year-old woman who has set up her shop here by the wall. She says “Take this piece sir, it is very cheap.”The couple buy the piece and the woman is happy. She says “You have no idea how I manage. I have to stay close to the police station. My husband has been missing for a long time. I came to Mumbai in search of him after the earthquake. I have lost my family. I go to the police station in the hope that they will be able to locate my husband. He too may have come to the city to sell clothes. I have been here for many months now.” But Geeta has not yet found her husband.

.

..

Geeta pours out her tale to me, but at the same time she smiles at prospective buyers for her wares. She succeeds in selling some pieces ofwall hangings—long mirror work strips and a few bags—during the course of the day. For many years their nameless tribe has been in this business. Some of her relatives are still living in Bhuj and Anjar. They make the embroidered pieces and Geeta comes all the way to sell the pieces in Mumbai. Why this city only? She says, “In Mumbai many people buy such stuff. Lots offoreigners buy our wares. They give us good prices. Also Mumbai is closer than Delhi. I can afford the bus ticket to this city” Not all these people have come to Mumbai. Some have gone to Jaipur Delhi, and Agra. The ones with relatives have traveled as far as Kolkatta also. Geeta laments “We became homeless after the earthquake. No one came to help us. We make sales like this to make ends meet.” Other women like her share Geeta’s gypsylife. Her sister-in-law Sunita is sitting near a tree with her mother. With another customer she succeeds in making her sale. Geeta sits with her seven year old daughter under a tree waiting for the next sale. She makes a trip to the police station nearby to find the whereabouts of her husband. The wall hangings, strips, bags and bed sheets cost anything from 200 to 850 ru pees. The prices are negotiable. Mostly the women do the selling. The men keep watch over the bundles of cloth in which several pieces are packed. They do not talk to the strangers or haggle over the prices. At the end of the day they pack their belongings and disappear until the next day. The same happens with Geeta. Heart broken, she is stilllooking for herlost husband. Only God knows if she will ever find him. Life goes on. Maybe the will to survive has been stronger than anything else for this woman. Thousands ofGeetas live their lives like this in India. [TheLove StreetBookstore thanks Nivedita for heiping these women as she has. We bought a large quantity oftheirMirror Works, most of which weresnappedup atthe Oklahoma Gath ering andalso the LA Sahavas but we do have a dozen or sopieces left. Check our website to see them inflill color: www.lovestreethookstore.com]


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he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. Having received many requests for just such information,I thoughtitwouMbe helpfiul to include it in every issue. Ifyour local data is not included please send it to me and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma

Iew )3ork Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 email: info@MeherBabaHouse.org http://www.MeherBabaHouse.org

2’JortIi Carolina Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 email: winkiebai@mac.com

Domestic

Sheldon Herman, phone: 336-288-8090 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408 email: bikewalla@att.net

L.Azon Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 3562 East Third Street, Tucson, AZ 85716 email: ihs22@theriver.com or Laurent Weichberger, cell: 928-600-1820 7 East Aspen Avenue, #11, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 email: ArizonaBaba@yatdrakh.org

Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Asheville, NC 28803 email: nordeens@msn.com

7exas Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75965 email: rockbl@yahoo.com

2IorthemCalifornia Ei3erkeley Call for information re rieeting times and places: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259. email: Benleet@earthlink.net

Sacramento Meetings occasional Sunday mornings at various homes. Discourse meeting first Mon day of the month at 7:00 pm. Marilyn Bue hier 916-925-445 1; email: premsay@jps.net; www.premsay.com/MeherBaba

&uthem California ,i:o ..J1ngeles Meetings every Sunday at 4pm held in our Center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737 1214 South Van Ness Aye, Los Angeles, CA 90019 (Just East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at wwwMeherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public.

Colorado Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 pm at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact person for C’olorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.) Barbara A. Roberts, phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 ( suburb of Denver) email: babara@fone.net

3loridn 7 ampa EBay www.MeherBabaTampaBay.org

2tawctii Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 email: drmoon@upcountry.net or mm@dreamcircle.org 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA

Ptnine Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1pm with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, home: 207-594-0909, work: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 email: publisher@sevencoinpress.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-594-2280 P0 Box 42, Rockland, ME 04841 ompoint@yahoo.com or ompoint@midcoast.com or Ken Lax, phone: 207-786-4300 P0 Box 1096 Auburn, ME 04211 email: kenlux@aol.com ,

Atasshuss Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge). Michael Siegel Phone: 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle email: lpgp@verizon.net

7ri-.State .}lrea Philadelphia PA and surrounding tn-state area. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4pm. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 email: fbloise@earthlink.net

Washington, D. C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings; www.lifeimages.com/MeherBaba

Dntemcttional Dsrael Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road Jerusalem, Israel 93513 email: myb@netvision.net.il

A4exico Rafael Villafane Home, dialed from US: 01152555295-0512 Cell, dialed from US: 01152555502-7225 Email is best as I travel alot: raal@royerlabs.com we have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7pm. No particular day, people on the list are contacted prior to the meeting, email addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so email me ifyou will be in those areas.

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

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Meher Baba with a group ofchildren during the 192Oc.

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Love Street Lamp Post 1st Qtr 2003