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Editor’s ¶Paje elcome to the New Year! How time does fly. Trite, but oh so true. I looked back on my archival stash of LampPosts and find that it was in 1996 that Baba dropped the production of this magazine in my lap. Ten years ago. I have had so much help over the years, both in hands-on editing, layout and design, as well as individual input as to just how a magazine should be edited and produced. Thanks are due to so many people, and I feel it is because of all the invaluable help I have received from the Baba community around the world that it has become the magazine it is today. One of these years we may make it an on-line publication for the people overseas, especially those in India, who cannot af ford the $30 a year we need to ask from overseas subscribers. And this just covers their postage; their printing is covered by the very generous people who donate much more than the $20 a year we need to cover domestic subscription costs. I know many ofyou donate by check throughout the year, or tell me to add your donation to the charges for books and other things you are buying from the Bookstore, but for those ofyou who haven’t done this, we
sure would appreciate it ifyou would take out the little envelope enclosed with this issue and pop a check in it—or ifyou are overseas, we will be happy to charge it to your Visa, Discover or MasterCard (and you can tell us the number in a note in the envelope ifyou don’t want to put your number in an email to me). But please do remember—subscription is by donation only, and if$20 or $30 a year is a financial strain for you, don’t worry— be happy, Baba will provide. Wejust need to hear from you that you reallywould like to continue receiving your magazine and He will see that you are covered. If a year or two pass with no word from you we will drop you from the mailing list. From time to time, people send me little thoughts and incidents that have occurred to them—no doubt sent from Baba. I found a quote on a piece of paper under a huge stack of submissions, but from whom it came, I know not: “Without Baba I don’t know what day it is, but with Baba, I don’t care what day it is!” Roxana Naraghi from Maryland sent me this one: “A couple ofyears ago I received Oprah Winfrey’s magazine every month. My fa vorite section was her piece “What I Know for Sure.” Each month Ms. Winfrey used the theme of the current magazine and
wrote about an experience she had gone through, and ended the article with the sentence “What I know for sure is. The title of this article has stuck with me all these years, because after reading it, I asked myself the same question: “What do I know for sure?” The answer every time was “Meher Baba.” Baba’s presence in my life is the most reassuring thing I know and have known for the past twenty some years ofmylife. The only thing I know for sure is that He is real, He is there for me, and I am there for Him. Everything else becomes irrelevant when you know this for sure, doesn’t it?” You got that right Roxy! Thank you for sharing. Keep those cards and letters coming folks (and those donations.) Remember this is your magazine and it is what you make it. Tell us the jokes you would have liked to have told to Baba. Tell us what your children or grandchildren have said, dreamt or drawn that is about Baba. Be an active participant on Love Street. Or not. But read and enjoy! In His love,
rDon’t J4/Iiss cm Dssue! Please renew your Love Street LampPost subscription now! Send your love donation (any amount) to: Love Street LampPost Meherabode, Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California 1214 South Van NessAvenue, LosAngeles, CA 90019-3520
( or use the envelope enclosed)
Coming &on: The Christ Comes to California
. . .“
Mandali, residents, volunteers andpilgrirns gatheredfor the inauguration.
chutney, potato chips and sodas in honour of this occasion. Like bees attracted to honey, everyone gravitated toward the snacks and drinks to partake ofHis bounty There was much laughter and chatting in the patient waiting room and the long verandahs enclosing the courtyard as the snacks were eaten. Seeing all hungrily enjoying the tempting snacks made me recall Pendu’s rhyming pun about “Potoba” ( stomach) coming first before “Vithoba” (God). He would explain with a playful smile, “It is hard to concentrate on God on an empty stomach!” It was soon time to depart. Once again, silence ifiled the halls of the new Meher Free Dispensary The scent ofthe tuberose garlands lingered in the air, reminiscent of Baba’s darshan programmes when the atmosphere was surcharged with His Presence, and sweetly intoxicating.
Babac OW physician, Di Gohei:
Opening the doors of this beautiful facility is but another facet ofthe endless, measureless giving ofHis Love to humanityi; in the form ofproviding basic medical services, free, to the poor and needy of more than 60 villages, an average of 114 patients per day. At the same time, for His lovers, Beloved Baba has opened the door to opportunities to “serve others with the understanding that in serving them you are serving Me.”
Rajufillingprescriptions. Meherwan with Roshan and Dolly.
Left. patients waiting to be seen at the dispensary. Right: Di: Goher laying the blueprints ofthe nw clinic on Baba bed
Listen .2lumctnity—the Dntroduction Don Stevens • France introduction usually discusses the background of the contents of the volume or of its author. In the present instance it seems desirable to upset this precedent and discuss the reader instead. This work is directed towards that very large group of people who want answers to their living problems. Perhaps it may seem odd to go to India for such answers. Actually it is not.The East has labored for thousands ofyears to find the keys to life so that daily living could be patterned in consonance with them. The East has perhaps not yet found perfection, nor its people the perfect way. However they do provide a background of sincere effort and insight which is almost unique in the world. From that background one could expect great individuals to emerge who would be especially fitted to teach us how to live. Meher Baba is clearly one of those invaluable persons. One has only to be in his presence for a short time to sense the mighty forces at work in him. One has only to be for a few days with his close disciples to know that his greatness flows readily into other persons. One has only to be in India for a short time, and to look and listen with sympathetic eyes and ears, to know that the spiritual greatness of India springs from roots which lie deep in the hearts ofits people. The rub for the occidental lies in the method of applying these living insights. This is where the present reader must be discussed. When he thinks of India, he thinks perhaps of poor people, often illiterate, given to complicated supersti tions. When he thinks oflndia’s religious life, he sees ancient temples populated by many gods. Or ifhe plumbs a smaller area of knowledge, he recalls odd yogis and mystics given to strange practices. This is the screen of partial or incor rect understanding through which one must pierce to draw on India for insight into Western man’s problems. The task seems almost too great, for ingrained notions yield only grudgingly. Yet India does have, buried in the great mass of extrania, a profound knowledge of man’s purpose, and this the West needs desperately. An astoundingly small portion of persons in the Western world know why they are here. And not knowing why they
are here, few know how to starch their lives with a sense ofvigorous, dependable purpose. Instead, life becomes a matter of energetic effort to solve today’s needs. If tomorrow comes to mind, it can only be looked upon as an extension of today’s problems. It is no wonder that nervousness and irritability are produced. It is also no wonder that thinking, feeling people are dissatisfied, and ask in their hearts what it is all about. But where can they find the answers? Apparently not in a wild, negative bout with life. That was tried in the 1920s, and the results were so unsat isfactory that the next generation turned its back and began again to look for a positive answer. Apparently the answers can’t be found in ritual, form or ceremony. This is a matter of the spirit, and to tend to the needs of spirit requires men of spirit. But there are not too many ofthese. Where can they be found, and how can their answers be turned into answers for us? This is the great dilemma of a warweary, soul-weary age. If India has clues which could be of help, how can they be used? Certainly it is not in harmony with western traditions to build temples with many-armed gods and goddesses. Nor is it in the western tradition to engage in strange practices of breath or posture so that one may do impossible physical feats. Rather than attracting the occidental, such habits are apt to repel him. Ifthe East is to be of any help, it must be able to give western man something which can be welded into his practical, daily life. It cannot divorce him from his family and turn him into a lone whirling dervish, nor can it give him odd notions which will not allow him to earn a living in conventional business. This is the real problem in trying to translate any Eastern answers into Westem words. It has often been said that the great world religions are ftirthest apart in their formal parts, and closest together in their true spirit. This seems true, and provides a clue by which the West may draw on the heritage of the East. It is the spirit which is needed, and form becomes only a meaningless husk to be discarded.
It is not necessary for the occidental to take up breathing exercises, postures, diets or the murmuring of sacred phrases. It is true that an unbiased analysis of such practices usually leads to the conclusion that they do produce astonishing results. However, in large part they are aside from the matter of spirit, which is the nub of the issue. The first part of this volume describes how the great contemporary spiritual leader, Meher Baba, transferred something of this spirit to a picked group of his close followers in India. The Western reader will be struck by the fact that there was almost nothing of ritual, dogma or strange practices involved. Yet the ses sions produced results—often remarkable results. The narrator for instance, who has perhaps been a rather crusty person over the years, was told by many friends upon his return how much more enjoyable he had “suddenly” become. Such comments were made both by persons who knew of the nature of his stay in India as well as those who did not. Apparently, then, there is a way of transferring some shade ofspiritual greatness without use of the elaborate form and ritual, which would be repugnant too much of Western civilization. Further, there are apparently such resources pres ently available in the world, which can be drawn upon. This is an important fact to each person who searches for a more certain meaning to life. The first contribution to a searching reader can then be the reassurance that such wholesome answers exist. The second contribution, given in Part II, is a descrip tion of the nature of life and death, sleep and waking, love and obedience. The third contribution is a very intrigu ing one, which is first suggested early in the Sahavas program described in Part I. Meher Baba makes no bones about referring to himself as the Avatar or Christ of his age. Nothing could be more surely calculated to arouse the argumentative instincts of the occidental. In the first place, many doubt that there ever was such a person as Jesus Christ, or atleast that He had anything ofthe stature attributed Him. Second, the time for such events always seems to be in the past. To have someone jolt the present with such
Love Streeriiimjfl?osr (We/corne lo /3ove &reei Love Street LampPost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Itsprirnarypurpose is to contribute to a sense ofcornmunity among allHis lovers byproviding aplacefor sharing His remembrance. All members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Love Street LampPost is mailed in January, April, July, and Octobei: SUBSCRIPTIONS:
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TEAT URES: My Father’s Accident Story Bloodshed at Satara Listen Humanity, the Intro Meher Mount, 60 Years Green Beetle Juice New Baba House Proprietors Dhuni Problems with Infinite Intelligence “The Book” On Rainbow Flags On Diet and the Gods Too Many Crows Zoroastrians keep the Faith
S. K. Satarawalla Meheru Irani Don Stevens Bing Hedkman David Fenster Betty Lowman Cyrus Khambata
12 16 18 22 23
Dan andJed Tyler Don Stevens L. Weichberger Rick Chapman Mirek Laurie Goodstein
31 32 35 37 38 41
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‘DEPARTMENTS: Editor’s Page Dma Snow Gibson 2 What’s Happening at Meherabad Our Gal in Meherabad Judy Stephens 6 Ahh...September Irene Holt 8 Chikungunya Primer Kathy Hill 9 New Dispensary Falu Mistrr 10 What’s Happening at Meherabode 14 What’s Happening at Meher Mount 15 What’s Happening at Meherana 20 Poetry Various Authors 21 Greetings from the Bookstore 24 Reviews 26 Announcements 28 Passings 29 Children’s Page Lord Meher 30 Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings 43 Front cover: Meher Baba, origin unknown
7iutnk ou IL ove Street Lamp Post ispublished by the Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Cilfornia. 1’J’ extend our hearifilt appreciation to all owners ofcopyrights to the Meher Baba p ictures we have used to bringjoy and love to the hearts of allLampPost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar India, and © Lawrence Reitei: Other contents © Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljfórnia. Unauthorized duplication isprohibited by law.
Accident Story (o )3ectrs Later)
Shiraz K. Satarawalla • Hotel Ripon, Mahabaleshwar
his is the accident story in short as I got to hear about it from my father, Kohiyar. Baba played a cricket match between His i Mandali and other Baba Lovers in the fields next to the Dak Bungalow (PWD Inspection Bungalow) near a village, Udtare, some nine miles from Satara on Pune Bangalore road (now an Expressway, National Highway No.4). Baba played for each side and the game was a draw. After the cricket match, Baba said “Remember this spot.” A year later, Baba had gone to Pune to witness a cricket match, and was returning to Satara. Baba’s car was stopped at the village Pachwad, some three miles away from the accident spot as the Chinese Prime Minister was passing on the road. Baba was seated at the back ofthe car. He made Dr. Nilu exchange seats with Him, and then Baba sat in the front seat and Dr. Nilu in the back. After the Chinese Prime Minister passed by, Baba’s car, driven by Eruch, started to move towards Satara. There is speculation that while Eruch was driving on a plain stretch ofthe road, Baba pointed out the spot where He had played a cricket match, and this may be a reason for Eruch to lose control of the vehicle. The car somersaulted and fell below a culvert. Dr. Nilu was killed instantly. It is said that once Baba asked Nilu what he wanted, and Dr. Nilu had said that he wanted death in Baba’s presence.The oth ers in the car, including Pendu and Eruch, besides Baba, were critically injured. They were taken to the old civil hospital Satara for treatment.
My father Kohiyar came to learn of the ac cident the next morning. He borrowed some money from his mother Rati and left for Satara by bus. He got to see the overturned car at Udtare. Kohiyar went to Grafton to see Baba, but I am not sure ifhe got to see Baba. But while at Grafton \ Kohiyar got to read a I. I. note which read that on a certain day ifone ofthe Mandali were absent, so and so was to take charge. If that person was also not available, the next was to take over, etc. The only male member of the Mandali who happened to be at Grafton was Bhau. From Grafton, Kohi yar went to the old civil hospital located in Sa tara city. He got to meet Pendu. His pelvic bone was fractured. He was in terrible pain. Eruch had hurt his ribs, but he had Photo ofMeher Baba © Courtesy ofMSI Collection. become dazed by the ac cident. He was charged the for negligent driving and by police the of Nilu. Baba Himself had for death earlier received first aid at the civil hospital. His tongue. The were applied on Stitches told Kohiyar treated Baba Doctor who while the not utter sound that Baba did a stitches were put. After Baba had recovered from the ac cident, He asked Kohiyar to take Him to the accident spot. Baba got down from the car and asked Kohiyar and others to stand to one side while Baba went up and down the road. After He had come back to the car, He said His work was done and He would never go to Satara again. Jai Baba.
‘Ø: r:%** ‘,.
Even though 3 saw 13aba bleeding, never in my life have 3 seen such utter radiance and luster as was on i3aba’s face then! 21e was like a king, a victorious king who had won a great battle. Lord .2<rishna must have looked like that in his chariot on the victorious battlefield. 7he radiance was blinding!
73loodshed cit &ttctrct 50 )3ectrs /lgo Meheru Irani
27 November 2006: Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai to you all Baba lovers who have come to Meherabad for this memo— rable occasion. It has been 50 years since Baba’s second accident that took place in 1956 near Satara and unlike the first one outside Prague in ‘52, no women mandali were present. In fact Baba was traveling with just the men mandali this time. On His arrival at Grafton that evening we all participated in the help He needed. We were at the dining table, hayingjust finished an early evening supper so we could be free and ready to be with Baba when He arrived. It was most unusual for a strange car to enter the compound and drive to the verandah ofthe house. Instead ofBaba coming in on His own and greeting Mehera first as was the usual way, we heard Vishnu in a husky voice calling out, “Goher, Goher”, and as Goher ran out she almost broke down when she saw what had happened. She called us to come in a hysterical voice, and we rushed out to see what had so upset her. Knowing that it was a crucial time and our help was needed, we tried, especially Mehera, not to give way to tears when we saw Baba slumped in the car, His clothes splattered with blood and injuryto His face as well. What a nightmare it was as we moved like automatons helping Baba out ofthe car and seating Him in a chair with arms. And then all ofus, Mehera, Mani, Goher, Rano, Naja and I with Rakhma and Sev our two maids from Arangaon, helped to lift Baba’s chair and somehow conveyed Him to His room. Goher then attended to the surface wounds as Baba quietly sat and explained He had pain in His right hip, pointing
there and also gesturing that He thinks Dr. Nilu is dead. We could not believe this. Goher told Mani to go on the bicycle to Rosewood and call Dr. Donkin. On examining Baba’s hip, Don said that the right leg had shortened considerably and there was probably a fracture in the uni versaijoint. Don said ifitwas possible he should pull Baba’s leg out a bit which Baba agreed to. When Don saw Baba’s tongue had been cut, he said Baba should go immediately to the hospital to have stitches before sweffing set in. Before Don and Mani came, we had already changed Baba into fresh clothes. Even the sunhat Baba was wearing had been splattered with blood. That hat probably saved Him from a concussion as it was a pith helmet a solar topee. As soon as arrangements for transport and the doctor were made, Baba was lifted in the chair and driven to the hospital accompanied by Goher and Don. We thought, at least I did, that once medical care and treatment were given, that all would mend properly and Baba would be Himself again. How were we to know that this was but the start of the phase of daily physical pain that never left Baba till the end. In the latter years of the 60’s Baba would say, “Christ suffered once on the
snoring loudly. Even though I had ex perienced Baba’s omniscience in Satara in this regard, still the thought pestered me: “Baba is snoring like an ordinary man. How can it be that the Avatar has conscious sleep?” Suddenly Baba restlessly began snapping His fingers. I stood up, and as soon as both feet touched the floor, I saw a poisonous snake—a krait—just inches from my feet! I would surely have been bitten had Baba not drawn my attention there. Baba
fter the second accident, Baba used His upstairs bedroom at Meherazad and was carried there each day in an armchair. The night watchman always sat inside Baba’s room. This was necessary because Baba would often get leg spasms while He rested, and whenever this oc curred, whoever was on duty would sit on the bed in order to massage Baba’s feet. One night I was sitting on Baba’s bed with one leg dangling over the side while I held and pressed Baba’s feet. Baba was
.Alwctys Awake Bhau Kaichuri [Sadly, this book has long been unavailable. It contains wonderful stories of Bhauc experiences standing watch while Baba slept. We can only hope that Balaji ofMownavani Press will reprint it soon. —Eel]
cross, I suffer daily.” What universal work Baba did during His lifetime, keeping silence for years on end and the various periods offasting and seclusion, and lastly these years ofphysical pain that with time increased. Only God and the Avatar know the extent of the Avatar’s suffering the suffering that He goes through when He comes down and takes birth as man for the sake of the universe, without using His infinite Bliss to shield Himself from the pain. Yet after this accident and in spite ofthe pain, with a smiling face Baba gave many Darshan programmes both in Meherabad in 1958 and later in Guruprasad. In 1958 He even took the final trip to America, and to Australia for the second time where He blessed with His Presence the opening of Avatar’s Abode, especially created for Him. For the first and only time He invited both His lovers from East and West in 1962 for the East- West Gathering. What a mighty Darshan programme it was an intermingling of peoples of the world from all religion with disregard to caste or creed. All were accepted equally as God’s children. Baba says, “I have come to sow the seed of love in your hearts and join together all the religions of the world like beads on one string.” And His motto is, “Don’t worry be happy”. He would say: leave all the worrying to Me. How great is our Lord, how blessed is the Earth He has trod upon. Fortunate are those who love Him and obey Him, and try to please Him in thought, word and deed. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! -
told me to kill the snake, which I managed to do with great difficulty as I had never killed a snake in my life. Baba then asked me, “What type of sleep do I have?” I laughed, and Baba gestured, “Just remember that I can never sleep like an ordinary man. I am always awake. I am always conscious, doing my Universal work.” While the World Slept ©Bhau Kalchuri
J1I/kherabctd TDictry Judy Stephens Meherabad l6August2006. We took measurements
at the MPR for a jungle gym that has a firemen’s pole. Attached to this will be monkey bars and a section for a tire swing. We already have a slide, merry-go-round, and two cement tunnels. Went up the hill to help care for Goolu andJaloo, two elderly women who have lived in the building directly behind the Samadhi since the New Life. They are the daughters of Kaikobad, the mandali member who would say Baba’s name 100,000 times a day. The women require care now and I sleep in their room on the hill in rotation with other helpers. These women don’t have a TV radio, or read the newspaper. They have no idea about the outside world. And they have lived near the Power House (Baba’s Samadhi) for close to sixty years! l9ulugust.This was the 10th anniversary ofMani’s going to Baba. Baba’s marble and Mehera’s and Mani’s shrines were all fully covered with very pretty cloths. Beautifully arranged flowers graced the shrines. A spe cial Arti was at 10:00 AM in honor ofMani. Meheru represented the women Mandali. Whenever any ofthe women Mandali come for an Arti they make the Arti magical. A special treat was four young girls who sang sweetly, including twins from Taiwan, and an Indian who lives in America. Seeing them together gave a view of universal harmony in His love. Last was the song Mani wrote, “Open up the Door, Lord” sung by Ted Judson. How deeply you feel those words of longing to be with the Lord! Lunch at Banyan Tree Café, and later, tea and cake on the theatre verandah and an art exhibit, then a video,AllThis andHeaven Too, about Mani’s remembering her childhood with Baba. 20 August. In Mandali Hall the movie was East/West Gathering of1962. Cindy Lowe and Charlie Keeler sang. On the way home on Dhond Road (Meherabad Road), we had to keep pulling over because there were again Tonga horse races. Near Meher abad are hundreds ofsheep, and the herders had their tents up. 23 August. The day of the Baba movie has been switched to Wednesday afternoon. We are not sure this will work out because it conflicts with the pilgrim laundry time. 24 August. Heard one of the rickshaw wallas was suspended for a week because
surprised! Where did the beautiful ring go? Other Mandali tried to ring the gong, still no sound. They had the gong tested. Nothing was wrong with it; it is as if the soul connected to the gong left after serving Baba. 3oAugust. At 5:30 AM one ofthe Hostel D staffwas sitting on one ofthe benches on the hill path, singing. It looked like he was absorbed in Baba, filled with His love, just singing to Baba. A tailor from Arangaon came to the MPR to measure for curtains. Spent the night behind the Samadhi with Goolu and Jaloo. 3lAugust. I am having a doghouse made for Foundy. A resident let me use her design, wide and open in the front with foot-high legs to make it easier to see if a snake gets underneath. 1 September. One of the features of life in India is encounters with tropical diseases, in this case, Chikungunya, now epidemic in India, a virus passed by a mosquito bite.
of being rude to pilgrims. Jam session for musicians at the theatre. 25 August. In the Ahmednagar bazaar [Information about Chikungunyaforpilgrims Anil (Meher Tailor) showed us his new follows —Ed] This diary will describe life store. It will open after Bhau returns, so with Chikungunya, because so many here Bhau can inaugurate it. What impressed are experiencing it. Weeks went by when I us was the photo of Baba on Anil’s sign; so could not write. I did not have the energy much beauty emanates from Baba’s face. to even want to know what was happening 26August. When I went to show the cage at Meherabad. room, I opened the window and the outer 2 September. All the rickshaw drivers shutter fell off! The video today showed were on the verandah ofthe old MPC yesMehera sharing memories of her life with terday for a meeting with the Meherabad Baba. Trustees and the PRO (Pilgrim Reserva 27August. Meher Hospital did cataract tion Office). Irene Bib had done research surgeries. The receptionist at the MPR re on the current rates, per the Transportation ported a problem on the men’s side; bathing Department in Ahmednagar, measured the water was sending a small shock. The men distance from place to place, and calculated had to use one of the women’s bathrooms. new rates. Some of the old rates would be Part of the hot water system was replaced raised; some would be lowered. At the PRO the next day. Irene was making a folder for information 29 August. At Meherazad, Meherwan on each rickshawalla, to include a photo, told the story of the “Dead Gong.” Mani driver’s license number, and rickshaw license and Eruch used to tell the story often. Baba’s number. The information will also be on a brother, Adi, sent a flat gong from England. laminated card affixed to the back of the He really liked the sound. The gong was driver’s seat for pilgrims to see. hung outside Baba’s room and Baba said 3 September. Big meeting at the MPR it was to be rung for an emergency. Years with Trustees and supervisors. We’ll have a passed and it was forgotten. When Baba new type of seven-day worm bed for com dropped the body, Eruch remembered the posting kitchen waste. Each day the garbage gong and rang it. Everyone at Meherazad will put in one of the beds. This system stopped what they were doing and ran takes less maintenance, and is better for our to Baba’s room. Months after the 1969 climate; it is harvested once a year. Darshan at Guruprasad, Mani one day felt 4 September. Bhau gave his first talk since playful and decided to ring the gong. When returning from the States. she hit it, there was only a thud. She was so
5 September. Chikungunya setting in. Stayed in bed, not feeling well, tired. Attended MPR staff meeting at noon. Not able to do my Samadhi duty at 6:00 PM; went to bed. 6 September. Up the hill early to clean Mehera’s shrine. It took too much energy to walk that distance. Kanji, from Los Angeles, here on pilgrimage, helped by polishing the marble statue ofBaba and Mohammed Mast and the stone seats in the Tile Courtyard. Another resident and a pilgrim have come down with Chikungunya. It was raining all day and was pouring by5:45. Spent the night with Goolu and Jaloo. 7 September. Chikungunya hit me hard. Woke at 3:00 with my throat burning and the rest of me very cold. At 5:00 I was up making tea for Goolu andJaloo, but sore all over. By the time I got home I was barely able to ftinction, aches everywhere. Within a few hours myjoints were swollen. S September. Woke up miserable. Aches everywhere. Could not get comfortable. The doctor gave me a shot that helped me sleep. Bhaui came to the MPC and spoke about the importance ofgoing to theJhopdi, where Beloved Baba began His silence. Bhauji then asked who was showing it, and Dr. Anne raised her hand and said, “Debjani and Judy both show it each week, but they both have Chikungunya.” There was a big thunderstorm with wind blowing so hard that rain was blowing into my room but I was not able to get up and close the window. 9 September. Could not sleep; sore everywhere, could not get comfortable. In the morning I was given some homeopathy that immediately took the soreness away so I could sleep. Big storm with thunder and lightning in the afternoon. 10 September. Short walk. My feet felt as ifl had walked on hot sand. The next several days had a lot of rain. We have had some heavy downpours that flood the roads and gullies within a short period of time. The days seem to just run into one another. 16 September. Itched all over for a couple of days. This afternoon there was thunder and lightning and a downpour that lasted for a couple of hours. Our gullies and wells are all full. Movie on Eruch Jessawala, Becoming His.
17 September. Woke with red rash all over, itch mostly gone, feet still burn. 18 September. Rash mostly gone, feet burn. Enough energy to go to the Meher Pilgrim Retreat to work. Rain. l9September.Wentto the Samadhi for evening duty first time in two weeks I was able.
20 September. Up the hill early, but by lunchtime very tired. 21 September.Ted’s sister Shirleyjudson’s body was found on the floor of her room this morning, and was taken to Meherabad Mandali Hall in the early afternoon. We had a chance to saygoodbye to Shirley but clouds were gathering and thunder was heard so the bodywas taken quickly to the cremation grounds before rain started. In Ahmednagar, the storm was said to be one of the biggest downpours in years, so people from the Trust Office could not come for the crema tion. At Meherabad, the rain stayed away. We sang some lovely songs to Shirley. One of the favorites that had everyone clapping hands was “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Extremely tired. 22 September. The road to the Trust was almost flooded in places. The water under the bridge was near the top ofthe bank. At the Trust I stopped in to see Bhauji and learned the phone system was hit by lightning on Thursday during the huge storm, and was out. In front ofMehernath’s office, three stone benches are being built. A group of shepherds camped out in the field near our Dharamshala. They had their horses and sheep near their tents. Very tired still. Bhauji came to the MPC to give a talk. 23 September. First day in two weeks I was well enough to clean the Jhopdi and Table House. Cindy Lowe and friends gave a concert. A lot ofrain in the afternoon. 24 September. Lovely morning; sky clear with only a few clouds. Verylow energy, but was given some homeopathy. At the Banyan Tree Café three young pilgrims were helping with the cooking so they can make and serve the meal on Friday evenings. By 5:30 a big storm brought thunder and lots of rain. 26 September. Too tired to do Samadhi duty I heard that our dear friendJim Lyons went to Baba; I will miss his sense of humor. When he came on pilgrimage he was in the Baba Birthday plays. Lightning, thunder, heavy rains. 28 September. A volunteer Indian staff member died yesterday evening. It seems death comes in threes. A meeting in the SpiritualTraining Academy was for anyone who wanted to learn how to control mos quito breeding, with Caran St.John and Dr. Anne hosting. 29 September. I could feel some body strength; had forgotten how it felt. Feet still burn. Bhau gave a talk. 30 September. At the Retreat today one of the pilgrims heard a baby bird chirping in distress from the elevator shaft. She saw
it hopping around down there, still too young to fly. She had the maintenance men turn off the electricity to the elevator, then Matthew, a pilgrim, climbed down, got the bird, and carried it back up to its nest on the roofin the machine room. It seems the elevator service men had come to clean the equipment, seen the nest and swept it away. The poor baby bird fell down one of the cable holes, but it did not get hurt. It was a happy ending for one of God’s creatures. And I am feeling much better! October2006. The saga of Chikungunya continues. My joints are sore, though it seems the worst affected are my wrists. I can lift a ten-pound bag, but I cannot push myself away from a wall. Recently a 90th birthday partywas given for long time resident Virginia Small in the dining hall ofMeher Pilgrim Retreat. The whole communityç including all the pilgrims, was invited. The party was to start at 4 PM, but the guest ofhonor got stuckwaiting for a train at the railroad crossing in the village. When she was finally escorted into the hall, all 250 people spontaneously stood up and clapped! Itwas like some great dignitary had arrived. Then she was seated on a throne-like chair borrowed from one of the residents. Pilgrims had decorated the room, and a table had been placed next to Virginia’s chair. A large area was open In front ofher for the entertainment. There were musicians and singers; we even had a world-class juggler from Australia. Ted Judson sang Forever Young. We had a group from Iran singing and dancing while a long line formed for cake and ice cream. When young people played rock and roll, I took Virginia’s hands and we joined the dancing. ‘JungleMaster’ got up and danced with Virginia too. Here were two 90-year-olds dancing to rock and roll! Roshan Kerawalla closed the party by singing the song Baba had taught her. 4 October. Wrists too weak to risk riding my scooter. I videotaped Diana Le Page in the Retreat dining hall where her sixteen paintings are on the walls. Diana went to each painting describing what she was trying to capture. [Video will be available for renifrom Meherabode soon—Ed] My turn to spend the night with Goolu and Jaloo, who always have a resident near; Goolu is getting ready to join Baba. 5 October. Early AM made tea for Jaloo but Goolu is no longer allowed to have any. My body feels sore from Chikungunya: It is extremely hard to get up and down, grunts and groans are required! My wrists are
especially tender. Imagine trying to get up from the floor using arms but not wrists. 9 October. Debjani, another resident who gives the Historical Tour of Meherabad, also has Chikungunya and cannot walk far. She just could do a sit-down teffing of the historical buildings, a virtual tour, then open theJhopdi. In the morning it poured, and in the afternoon rain came down in buckets. 10 October. Janet Judson gave a tour of the Archive building. All around the Samadhi new dirt is being brought in by tractor since much dirt has been washed away. Because ofall this rain we have frogs all over the place. A baby frog hopped past me and went straight toward the threshold ofthe Samadhi. Hardeep was able to scoop it up and put it safely outside the area. It looked like the baby frog wanted to take Baba’s darshan! 11 October. At the Retreat I spoke with one ofthe pilgrims, here with her two sons who have just graduated from high school. Last evening one was in a car returning to the Retreat after dinner with friends. Sud denly, four men, two on each motorcycle, began to escort the car; the men were holding clubs.Theywere our Meherabad security guards who work the night shift. The Baba lovers in the car were not sure whatwas going on. When theywent through the Arangaon village railroad crossing, they passed a group of around 100 village men also holding clubs. Some of these men got on motorcycles and helped escort the car to the Retreat. The men stayed and patrolled the Retreat area most of the night. It seems a gang ofabout sixteen men had robbed and beaten people from a neighboring village the night before and tried to do the same this night in Arangaon. Little did they know that Arangaon village, Meherabad, and our surrounding community had worked out a security system. In the village a bell is rung ifa gang attacks, then men immediately grab clubs and assemble near the bell. While the story was told to me, many of our Retreat workers gathered. I told the men how proud I was of their courage and thanked them for protecting the pilgrims. 16 October. For the anniversary of Beloved Baba’s New Life, the Trust sponsored the annual New Life Padyatra (a march). The bus to the Trust Office in Ahmednagar was to leave from the Dhuni by 7:20 AM, but when I got there the bus was packed and not another body could be squeezed into it. About fifty of us had to wait for another bus to be sent. When we reached the Trust Compound, there was commotion
everywhere. At one table badges were issued to each participant to make sure those who went on the walk would be served first for lunch. (Last year the participants got to Hostel D after the walk, hungry and tired, only to find they had to wait to eat because villagers had gathered for lunch and had formed a long line.) Another table in the Trust Compound had tea and refreshments. Baba’s rainbow flags were distributed. As usual there were not enough to go around; I arranged with Mehernath to have more flags made for next year. One Jeep had speakers attached to the top. Another held a large portrait of Baba. On top of another, wooden signs had His sayings on them. And one had large water containers to issue to the thirsty during the walk. We filed out of the Trust to assemble across the street. Then Beloved Baba’s New Life Padyatra began. Older children from the Meher English Schoolled us, with a banner held by several children in the very front. We walked,
chanting His name, holding His flag, and singing songs. Time went quickly. Our first break was at the Jam temple where they kindly serve us tea and refreshments. On the Dhond Road we picked up mdividually packed bags of fruit as we walked. We stopped again at the Dhuni area. Several children dressed in special clothes sang a song while another child threw rose petals towards Baba’s photo. I don’t knowwhat the words meant, but it was a sacred song. We then went up the hill to take darshan at the Samadhi. By this time the hill seemed like a mountain because my feet were hurting. Chikungunya was starting to affect me and I wondered how to manage getting down once I finally made it up. (I had to take a rickshaw to the lunch at Hostel D.) It was truly a thrill ofthe heart to be among so many lovers of God, singing His praise, singing songs that show the harmony of all religions, holding His flag. It was glorious! [These are excerptsfromJudyc diary. Details are at www.jaibaba.corn.—Ed]
Ahh... &ptember! Irene Holt • Meherabad As is generally the case, September has been a quiet month at Meherabad and Meherazad, a favorite time for those who appreciate the peaceflil aspects of the pilgrimage atmosphere, when numbers of people, and events, are few. At the beginning of the month Bhau returned from the West. He has been giving talks in the dining hall of Meher Pilgrim Centre Monday and Friday afternoon, fol lowing tea and snacks provided by the MPR kitchen. Baba lovers staying in MPR, Hostel D, staff and private accommodations alike are enjoying gathering together in this famil iar venue, a continuation of the tradition of recent years. As the MPC goes through the process ofbeing converted to new uses, the question ofhow to make optimum use ofthe lovely “dining hall” space continues to arise. As a focal point for Bhauji’s inspiring Baba talks, it is off to a successftil beginning. An outstanding feature this past month has been the weather. The secondary onslaught ofmonsoon rains, which we always hope for in September, has been bountiftil. Ground water is replenished to a high level and it is reported that we have had more rain this season than in the past fifty years. Meherabad has remained lush with greenery for the past three months.
Leaving September behind, we look ahead to a more outwardly active October as a few seasonal events are coming up. The anniversary ofBaba’s New Life mid-month, and the 50-year commemoration of Baba’s second automobile accident in 1956, held slightly later, will draw larger numbers of Baba lovers to share together the meaning in these events from Baba’s life. Then the truly busy months of our season follow, with all the wonderftil energy created when Baba draws His lovers together in greater numbers. Standing at this cusp between the two portions of our Meherabad/Meherazad season, and as the rains taper off (surely!), it is a time to pause in reflection. For those who like to embrace the rain as a sign of Baba’s work and blessings (as He said it is), perhaps the quietude ofSeptember,with the sound of steady downpour as its backdrop, signifies a deep, strengthening and renewing time. A time to breathe deeply, slowly, and to appreciate the great good fortune we enjoy in this Avataric time, to be with Him in our hearts, as part of the family He has drawn to Him in the intimacy ofHis Home. Ahh... September. from Tavern Thlk; www. ambppct. org has subscrztion information—Ed
Chikungunya 2rimer for 2 ilgrims hikungunya is an aiphavirus fever spread by mosquito bites during the rainy season, which in Maharashtra is from June to September or October.Aedes aegypti is tiny, usually between three to four mm (1/8 inch) in length (discounting legs). It is black apart from white spots on the body and head and white rings on the legs. Aedes albopictus has black and white striped legs and small black and white body. Aedes can live for months; only the females bite. Peak biting activity is a few hours after dawn, and in the late afternoon until a few hours after dark. They breed in areas of standing clean fresh water, such as vases, barrels, buckets, and discarded tires, showers and toilet bowls. Chikungunya is generally not fatal. However, in 2005-2006, 200 deaths have been associated with Chikungunya on Reunion and in a widespread outbreak in India. Prevention: First, prevent bites from disease-carrying mosquitoes: Use Deet or permethrin repellent; sleep under mosquito nets; burn mosquito coils; wear long sleeves and pants; screen windows and doors. Second, address Aedes reproduction. Dragonfly larvae eat mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies will snatch adult mosquitoes as they fly; minnows eat larvae. Drain trash, puddles and hollows that collect moisture near dwellings. Water in drinking containers should be replaced every three days. Water tanks should dry at least one hour before refilling. Bleach can be mixed in standing water but Aedes can survive in chlorinated city water. They are weak fliers and do not travel very far, but dry eggs can survive for very long periods. Standing water that cannot be drained, dumped, or treated with a small quantity of vegetable oil (put a spoonftil in birdbath and watering can) may be treated with BTI, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, often formed into doughnutshaped “mosquito dunks.” If you are going to an area with Chikungunya, homeopaths recommend (preventively) taking Rhus tox 1M, 5 ml pills of 30 size globules, 4 pills daily morning and evening, and Eupatorium perfiM, 5 ml pills of3O size globules, 4 pills daily afternoon and night. Diagnosis: Doctors rule out other illness dengue fever is similar) through examina ( tion of pulse, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, joints, skin and eyes. Blood and urine tests can reveal or rule out Chi kungunya. Typically, fever can reach 39CC (102.2 T); rash ofsmall red or purple spots
or little raised bumps, usually on limbs and trunk, appears; and there’s joint pain, es pecially knee and ankle, in multiple joints, which may be debilitating. In the present epidemic in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, high fever and cripplingjoint pain are prevalent. Fever typically lasts for two days and abruptly comes down.Joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree ofprostration usually last five to seven days. Sweffing oflegs is common.There may also be restlessness; nausea and vomiting; severe body pain; occasional sweffing in the joints; redness and soreness of eyes; sensitivity of eyes to bright light; itching, burning skin rashes; coated tongue with loss of taste; ul cers or blisters in mouth; occasional diarrhea; bleeding in skin, brain and kidney. What to do: Treat the symptoms. Bed rest in a cool airy room and sponging with lukewarm water for fever; extra fluids (water, juice, vegetable soup); light low-fat diet; warm blankets if shivering; stay indoors under a mosquito net; rest during acute joint symptoms; movement and mild exercise may improve stiffness and morning joint pain. Avoid heavy exercise which may exacerbate rheumatic symptoms. Avoid caffeine; don’t watch TV if eyes are affected; consider anti-inflammatory medicine like aspirin. There is no specific ailopathic treatment or vaccine but Chloroquine phosphate (250 mg/day) is gaining ground as a treatment for the symptoms and as an antiviral agent. Otherwise, aspirin, Tylenol and Ibuprofen can help. Commonly used homeopathics are Aconite, Apismel, Ars alb, Baptisia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Eupatorium Perf Fer rum phos, Gelsemium, Nat mur, Rhus tox, Pulsatilla, and Pyrogen. Forjoint pains and tiredness: Arnica 1M, only one dose, 4 pills of3O size globules at bedtime, followed with iThus tox 1M 5 ml pills of 30 size globules, 4 pills daily morning, afternoon, evening & night for a week. Forjoint swelling and pain: Bryonia 1M, Sml pills of3O size globules. 4 pills daily morning and evening, and Apis 200, Smlpi]Is of3O size globules, 4 pills daily afternoon and night for a week. For headache: Gelsemium 200, 5m1 pills of 30 size globules, 4 pills daily morning, afternoon, evening and night for a week. Experts at the Government Ayurvedic Hospital, Hyderabad, claim to have a drug that can cure patients in five days. No additional information was available, though. IGleanedfrom various Internet sources—Eel]
J4/kherabctd E13ound? Essentials to pack, Mosquito spray containing Deet Read the article on Chikungunya! Water bottle with squirt top and shoulder strap. Flashlight with extra batteries. Extra camera batteries, plus plenty of film or extra memory card. Bottle opener. Sun hats are a must! Also scarves and/or shawls, or buy from Meher Tailor. Pillow—ifyou’re fttssy about its softness, bring your own. Bath towel and face cloths. Toilet paper ifyou like it soft. Clothespins, and a small amount of detergent for hand washables. Sunblock, SPF 30 or more. Lotion for dry, dry skin. Disinfectant hand washing gel. Bathroom travel kit with hook at top. Small first aid kit with band-aids, disin fectant spray, sterile gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment; consider ginger ( motion sickness), melatonin (time zone changes), aloe vera gel (bites and burns), Traumeel or arnica (sprains, bruises from rickshaw riding, sports injuries from playing volleyball with the Kleiner). Also, we take Airborne tablets, multivitamins and supplements, cold medicines and tissues. Air filter mask, heavy duty for rickshaw and bus travel—important for those with allergies, helpful for everyone. Hair dryer, 1 10/240 volts with adaptor plug (two round prongs). Plenty ofzip plastic bags, sandwich size, for wet facecloths, sticky raisins, leftovers for snacks. Instant coffee, powdered milk, teabags, cocoa, ifyou want more than chai. Snacks like nuts, raisins, dried fruit or trail mix. Sharpie or clothing marker for laundry that you send out. Travel tip: When entering a rest room in airports, hotels and restaurants, pull off a paper towel, because bacteria and viruses can stay alive for hours on metal. Flush with the paper in your hand, turn faucets on and off, and open the exit door with it. Have a happy, healthy pilgrimage! —
from Raine and Dma,
Dnctugurcttion of J44eher 3ree Dispcnsctry I/Ielierazctd, 1st fNovember 2006 7 in J Falu Mistry Meherabad our trying to serve Him selflessly od’s ways, like the weather, as best we can, He helps us to lose are ever—changing and ourselves in that service. unpredictable, bringing greatjoy After the talks, everyone and gratitude in the aftermath of took a grand tour of the beauti despair and anxiety. It certainly ful facility Katie and Manu sat seemed that way on the day bein wheelchairs, giving residents fore the inauguration of Meher the pleasure of wheeling them Free Dispensary, Meherazad. through the entire dispensary. We had an intense downpour The building has a rural backof rain and wild winds the day drop, being a kilometre from the before, which brought down tree village of Pimpalgaon-Malvi, branches, overturned flowerpots and surrounded by farmlands. and, more particularly, wreaked The built-up area is 7,350 square severe havoc on the two-kilome feet comprising 18 rooms of tre road to the new dispensary. varied sizes with patient wash The major portion of this dirt Meheru, Katie and Bhau garlanding Baba cphoto. rooms, watchman’s cabin and a road passes through farmland and “nullahs,” dry river beds, where ex sang the Gujerati Arti, followed by the garage on the outside. It was designed and keenly supervised by Baba’s own cess field water drains, so it is difficult to Parvardigar prayer and the Beloved God physician, Dr. Goher, to carry forward negotiate such a road in the best of times. prayer. Now the question on everybody’s mind Meheru spoke about the early days the medical services established by her was whether the invited guests would when Baba had established a dispensary in the old premises and to accommodate even be able to reach the new dispensary. in Meherabad on a shoestring budget, short-term growth and expansion, with Those anxious moments made us rely on and several mandali members had actively sufficient lands to the south for long-term lateral expansion. Meher Free Dispensary Him all the more, and reminded us of His served in it. She talked about Goher’s ac assurance to “do your best then leave to tive role in the dispensaries established ( Meherazad) integrates modern medical services with the practice of alternative Him the rest.” at Meherazad and Meherabad. Meheru November 1, 2006 turned out to be a ended her short address with wishes for medicines, like homeopathy, acupunc ture and ayurveda. As everyone ambled beautiful bright sunny day. The ground all those who serve now and in the future had hardened during the night, at least to live up to the tenets of Avatar Meher through the various rooms of the clinic, there were many comments on the lovely enough for the vehicles to traverse the Baba’s teachings of good will and wholecentral garden. Each of the rooms opens road. Meanwhile, at the new Meher Free hearted service to others, especially the Dispensary, last-minute cleaning was poor and to continue the good work begun out onto this green oasis. In the meantime tables were loaded in full swing. Baba’s photographs were by Dr. Goher of selfless service, always decorated with garlands offragrant white with the love and caring she gave to each with sweets and savouries, sweet and hot tuberoses interlaced with red roses; torans of the patients. Bhauji spoke next, ( longer garlands) were strung across the doorways and main entrance; and our and traced the history nurse was busy drawing beautiful and ofMeher Free Dispen auspicious rangoli designs (coloured chalk sary from its beginning patterns) on the ground in front of the by Dr. Goher to the building. Chairs and benches were lined present larger facility. Most importantly, he up to accommodate the guests. By 10:30 AM residents and staff from spoke about the dif Meherabad, Trust Office and Ahmednagar ference between social had gathered at Meherazad. In a convoy of service and selfless ser cars, jeeps, scooters and a bus, the crowd vice, the former being meandered down the bumpy road to the binding to the one who dispensary. serves, while selfless The brief ceremony began with Meservice sets one free. heru, Katie and Bhau ‘s garlanding Baba’s Only the Perfect One photo with several resounding cheers of can serve humanitywith Meheru speaks at the inauguration ceremony. “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” Then we true selflessness, but in
a rude claim seems a deliberate challenge to a sense ofmodern rationalitc A third attitude often encountered is that Jesus Christ was the one and only Son ofGod, and there will not be another. Finally, there is a deeply ingrained conviction that if Christ should come again, good breeding would cause Him to avoid claiming that He was the Christ. For all ofthese reasons it is upsetting to find a man ofundoubted stature state with candor that he is the Christ. It is always easier to deal with such claims in the past. To have them occur today presents a chal lenge of frightening dimensions. There is hardly a person reared in Christendom who has not jeered in his heart at the Pharisees for not having rec ognized Christ’s stature, or at least for not having treated Him fairly. By implication, if one condemns a person who may turn out to be the modern Christ, then one becomes a modern counterpart of the biblical Pharisee. On the other hand, if one
mistakenly accepts a man to be Christ then one has committed a major blunder, which may have far-reaching consequences in one’s personal life. This peculiar dilemma in which the individual is placed, explains largely the violent explosivity ofthe issue.The greater the obvious caliber ofthe man, the greater the explosivity And Meher Baba is cer tainly no mean man. Section one is liberally sprinkled with Meher Baba’s references to his divine stature. It is suggested that the reader deliberately put this question “on file” as he reads Part I, and allow the personality and the heart of the man to speak for them. Part II will provide much additional material to estimate Meher Baba’s quali ties. Part III in turn is an attempt on the part of the narrator to describe his own estimation of this extremely important and knotty subject. The age of jet transport and atomic power does not render the question of
Christhood obsolete, but brings it more insistently to the forefront. Mankind will need such a superhuman force in the world to dispense the clarity and balance needed to equate against the superhuman questions it now faces. If God did not provide a means for answering the questions He allows man to raise, it would be an unreasonable world in which He forces us to live. But there is reason to believe that those answers do exist in the great nation, which specializes in the inner springs of man’s nature: India. Stripped of the refuse which the centuries produce, pared of inessentials which serve only to separate man from man, and reduced to the hard core of spirit, the answer can emerge from the wisdom of that land. The answer would not be a new one, but it would be a vital infusion into the lifeless stalks which once bore up in man the ripe knowledge of his own purpose and dignity. Listen Humanity © 2004 AMBPPCT [Love Street Bookstore $15] —
3 am the 7ruth [In London in October 1 933, Baba and His mandali were staying at Hygeia House. After lunch at Stephanie Haggardc home afiw more p ersons came into Babac intimate contact.]
aba met with Herbert Davy from 3 to 5 PM. Some things in particular were bothering Herbert and Baba discussed matters with him at considerable length. Herbert spoke out “You promised to speak but you do not do it. What will the world think of you?” Baba’s reply to Herbert was very poignant: “It is good for mankind, rather essential, to adhere to religious and moral principles and observe religious bindings; but for the spiritual path they are unnecessary. I am beyond all principles, bindings, laws and matters pertaining to worldly duties. I am perfict and there is no restraint or binding for me. I have broken all barriers and I have gone beyond all laws! .Therefore, I do not worry about the world’s criticism or its terrible slander and harm to my work for not keeping my promise. I purposely create and court such opposing reactions and nurture them. Such an opposition is required for my work to give it great punch. I am beyond praise and slander and they do not affect me in the least. I am the Truth. No amount of voluminous praise will raise me higher, nor can any carping criticism pull me down. I am what I am and will ever be so. Whatever I do, I do for my work, which encompasses and sees to the welfare of all.” LordMeher, Vol. 5, pg 1820-21
photo ofMeher Babe © Courtesy ofPanday
WIictt’s SlHlctppcning cit J4leherctbode
K/,aledAl Faqih, ever a de/igh/flulguest, came ouice again to Meherabode to share his touching as well as humorous stories ofhis l/è with our Belovea As a memento oJ7Weherahode and a token ofour love, wepresented hiiiz with one ofLaurie Blitm c e vquisite paintingsfiom Hafiz lore of “The Conference of the Birds.”
Margaret Bernstein, pianist,fiautist and singer, andyet still more: consummate story teller, told us ofgrowing up as the daughter ofBunty Kelly, one ofMargaret Craskec dancers. You can see Bunty seatedto the left ofBaba on the coverphoto ofthe new DVD Meher Baba’s Grace—asfeatured in the Bookstore Report.
The month was rounded out with a rousing peformance by Charles Gibson. Beautjful ballads to the Beloved and footstomping rock, gospeland blues kept everybody happy. Also of interest—especially to our Farsi members—was Charles’ talk on how Aloha took him to agreater insight in his chiropractic treatment ofthe Mandali.
With allthe buzz about Infinite Intelligence, wefrlt we needed help in understanding that massive tome. Brian Collins went a long way giving us to that comprehension.
Whctt’s 2 1appening at J I/Ieher JJI4ount 1 Margaret Magnus Los Angeles t’s been a busy and productive six months at Meher Mount in Ojai, California. It started when managers (care takers) Lilly and Laurent Weich berger announced a pregnancy and their intention to move to Arizona (including daughter Aspen and baby-to-be Cyprus). Recruitment for new staff began in earnest. Fortunately, Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold, after six months managing an upscale but remote lodge in Kenya, indicated their desire to return. They had staffed Meher Mount for three years prior to the Weichberger’s tenure, and it was Baba’s blessing to have experienced caretaker-managers return. The next stage was the management transition—with an overlap ofweed abatement, and getting ready for fire season. A group of volunteers helped Lilly and Laurent load the moving van, while others used the ride-on mower to cut the weeds in the open fields. The rest ofus took sickles and shears and cut the weeds in hardto-reach places and trimmed plants and bushes—and Meher Mount was ready for the fire inspector. Meher Mount passed... no problem. ; A side note on the way that it appears that Meher Baba uses Meher Mount to reach out and touch the unsuspecting: During the Weichberger’s moving day, Laurent accidentally dialed 911 when he meant to dial 411. He hung up immedi ately when he realized his mistake, but too late; 911 sent a policeman to Meher Mount anyway. The officer arrived and Laurent explained the mistake, but the policeman’s curiosity was piqued. He wanted to know about Meher Mount, which, of course, led to a discussion of Avatar Meher Baba. It appears that Baba doesn’t waste any opportunity to make contact—and in fact, it feels like He cre ates the opportunities. The Weichbergers left, and Ray and Elizabeth returned. Wanting to take advantage of an empty building, they indicated their desire to paint the entire inte nor, including floors and ceilings. Another work-party weekend was spent painting, and it sure made a difference! The main house not only has a fresh, clean look but
an added air ofcalmness. (Next step: Paint the outside this winter.) Also the leaking roofwas repaired, new roofdrainage pipes installed, and flashing went in around leaking doors and windows. Meanwhile, over at the barn, Kent Hanson and crew made repairs and put on doors to protect tools and the “new” ride-on mower (purchased several years ago as part of the Weeds ‘n’ Water campaign). August always features the Anniver sary Celebration of Avatar Meher Baba’s visit to Meher Mount on August 2, 1956. Yes, if you’re counting, this year marks the 50th Anniversary Celebration of His visit, so we had a wonderfttl day at Meher Mount. There was a talk by Adele Wolkin ofher memories ofthe day, music by Billy Goodrum and friends, and a reading of The Song of the New Life by the Meher Mount Players, plus lots offood, conversa tion, time under Baba’s tree, and a marble game or two—see the account elsewhere in this issue. Interestingly, 2006 also marks the 60th Anniversary of the founding of Meher Mount, also in August. So much to celebrate! Meanwhile, back to day-to-day op erations. Ray and Elizabeth have been managing an upgrade and refurbishment ofthe water treatment system put in three years ago (again as part of the Weeds ‘n’ Water campaign). They reported at a recent Board meeting that the water is the best in their four years as staff. But during this process fires temporarily put a halt to all progress: in September Ray and Elizabeth evacuated twice due to imminent fire threats. By Baba’s grace, the winds shifted and Meher Mount was
spared. (Ifyou’ll remember, fires de stroyed all the original buildings at MeherMount on October 16, 1985, ushering in a “new life” at Meher Mount.) Ray took advantage ofthis experience to create a videotape on how to evacuate in case of fire for future managers. Between packing and unpacking for fire evacuation, Elizabeth also managed to get the new mailing list software up and running and names and addresses updated. (Note: Ifyou have phone numbers or addresses that have changed recently, please send us an e-mail so we can stay in touch.) It would be nice now to kick back and relax. But more is in store for Meher Mount. The major action items for this fiscal year (July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007) are: tent the house/main building for termites; paint the outside of the house; build a shed for the water system; put in additional protection around the reservoir (formerly known as the swimming pool—but which now serves as a holding area for water awaiting treatment and use); upgrade and update the Meher
Mount Web site www.mehermount. org begin planning for a walking trail on the property; think of reasons and make plans for more Meher Mount events and celebrations. As you can see, Meher Mount needs your help. There is always room for more volunteers! Contact us at 805 640-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo ofMeher Baba ©cozirtesy ofMSI Collection Is
reserocttion, J44eher J44ount—&xty )Jectrs of 2 3ifty )3ectrs of &tnctiflccaion Bing Heckman • California Two influences then drew Agnes to Meher Baba: Margaret Craske, who visited Meher Mount during the summers, and Jean Adriel’s book Avatar. Agnes, like many, held Margaret Craske in high regard. And Agnes helpedjean editAvatar, which was completed at Meher Mount and is one ofthe early significant books about Meher Baba. It provides a wonderful view ofwho Meher Baba is and how He works. In it, His playful mischief and sense of humor are almost as prominent as His love and compassion; He often stirs the pot and His endearing humor lightens even the most difficult circumstances. [Unfortunately, Rick Chapman is the only bookseller who has copies ofthis wondeiflilbook. Even more unfortunately, they have been unavailablefor l0years and may continue to be unavailable for manyyears to come. —Eel]
As Margaret Craske said to Agnes, “Being with Baba is hell. but it’s worth it my dear!” Agnes’s devotion to Meher Baba was sealedwhen she finallyhad the opportunity to meet and embrace Him at the Myrtle Beach Spiritual Center in 1952. Jean left for India in 1948 and as many know, Agnes preserved Meher Mount es sentially by herself She prepared Meher Mount for Baba’s planned visit in 1952, which was prevented by his accident in Oklahoma. She finally had the opportu nity to host Baba in 1956. It was a relaxed day with time for an intimate visit and a playful break during His whirlwind tour. Baba clearly loved Meher Mount very much and stated, “This land is very old. I have been here before.” . .
006 marks the sixtieth year of the preservation of Meher Mount, near Ojai, California, and the fiftieth year of its sanctification by Meher Baba’s visit on August 2, 1956. Such an anniversary called for special celebration of this very special place, and invited reflection on what it all means to us.
The Celebration This milestone was celebrated at Meher Mount on August 5, 2006. It was a wonderftil day in many ways. The weather was perfect; cool in the morning then warming nicely with blue sky but not too hot. The views were beautiftil of the ocean to the west and the Ojai valley to the north across to the mountain face ofTopa Topa. Those arriving early enjoyed a continental breakfast and then shared morning prayers and arti under the tree where Baba used to sit. Ojai is famous for its pink sunsets, and those who lingered were treated to this colorful sight. [For a complete accounting ofehis wonderful day, see the October 2006 Eel] LampPost. —
Reflections on Meher Mount After so many decades, reflection stirred on the history and significance of Meher Mount. As with such questions as “Who is Meher Baba?,” “How does one discern His pleasure?,” “What makes us feel meaning and purpose in our lives?,” responses are different for everyone. Nonetheless, such reflection can be meaningful and even fun. I am very interested in your views; here are mine. As many know, Meher Mount was acquired in 1946. Agnes Baron had, shortly before, moved in with a group in La Crescenta (near Los Angeles). At Baba’s direction they wanted to find a property about two hours away from the city Agnes was not familiar with Meher Baba, but went along for the ride. They drove by the property now known as Meher Mount, but, since the gate was locked, did not want to look at it further. Agnes felt drawn to this property and persuaded the others to climb around the fence and take a good look. It turned out to be just what theywanted. Despite concerns about its availability the group was able to secure Meher Mount and move there.
MeherMount’c Spirit The spirit ofMeher Mount maywell be as important to understand, preserve, and foster, as the place. The material aspect of Meher Mount we see. The subtle aspect ofMeher Mount may be best reflected in Baba’s entrusting it to Agnes and no other. Meher Baba clearly stated that whatever Agnes wanted for Meher Mount was OK with Him. She preserved Meher Mount single-handedly for nearly 50 years. One senses that what Agnes would want for Meher Mount would be sanctioned by Baba. Further things that Agnes would
not embrace would not serve His pleasure either. This notion could be something of a compass with respect to Meher Mount. Accordingly, it is not only interesting but also meaningful to reviewwho Agnes was, and her beliefs.
Who wasAgnes? First, she really disliked anyone talking about her; she put Baba first and foremost. (Hopeftilly she will forgive this accounting.) Agnes, known to friends as Agni, was genuine and honest. She was direct and forthcoming; a bit too much so for many. Independent and a bold advenmrer she traveled alone in Europe as a journalist in the 1930s, unheard of for a woman of her day. She met with prominent leaders throughout the Continent and hiked in the Balkans to learn about that culture as well. She stood up for others and even engaged Hitler Youth harassing a Jewish shopkeeper. She returned to America depressed by what she had seen. After exploring Vedanta and other paths, she eventually found hope, faith, and love by becoming caretaker ofproperty dedicated to a spiritual teacher she did not know much about. She had mixed feelings about some of those who were attracted to Meher Baba. But Agnes would give everything for what she believed in, and, after meeting and embracing Baba in 1952, she was His.
What didAgnes value? Most know well that Agnes embraced and encouraged service. She founded Drug Abuse Reorientation Training (DART) in Ventura County, provided support for ex-prisoners, and volunteered on a suicide hotline for many years. She preserved Meher Mount for her Beloved through many challenges. What did Agnes mean by service? Loving, serving, and pleasing God would be first and foremost. Her interpretation included fostering healing, well-being, and growth. She held that we are stewards ofHis creation and we should care for it responsibly. Being good citizens rather than just consumers was important to her, as was using resources sustainably. Feeling and sharing concerns ofothers and helping others do the same were traits she valued and ones that helped in both her DART and hotline service. Another value is reflected in a quotation from Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “The way we treat people is the way we treat God.” Agnes spoke at least
seven languages; she held a press pass from the Worldc Press News and was a corre spondent for the San Francisco Chronicle. She had high regard for quality reporting such as in the Christian Science Monitor. Understanding topical issues was impor tant to her. Her alma mater, Antioch Col lege, and its principles, were special to her too. To quote from its website: “Antioch College is a dynamic learning community dedicated to providing an education that prepares students to be effective citizens of the world. Antioch has evolved an approach that empowers students with broad-based knowledge, to think creatively and make effective contributions to soci etyc Antioch has been long known for its commitment to educational innovation and socialjustice.”These are clearly points that Agnes held dear and valued deeply. These were also her aspirations for Meher Mount. One professor at Antioch, Mon matha Chatterjee,was very special to Agni. To quote from his book Out of Confusion (Antioch Press, 1954): We are the most fortunate people in the world today. We are independent. We have means. Therefore, when there is still time, let us put our best effort forward in pursuit of a course which will make our country a land. where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; where words come out from the depth oftruth; where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfec— tion; where the clear stream ofreason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward to thee into ever-widening thought and action; Into that heaven of freedom, our father, let our country awake. . . .
. . .
A basic aspect ofthis spirit is to be active stewards in the verb sense of love rather than the noun. There are, ofcourse, many ways to associate with the divine Beloved, and to seek and serve His pleasure, mdividually and in community Meher Mount is one ofHis many gifts. “The only reason why I call upon every individual to work for Me is to make each one share in the Divine Cause.* Baba said: “The New Life will live by itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.” I think the spirit ofMeher Mount may be similar to the spirit of the New Life. Please let me know your thoughts. Also, ifyou have any Agnes stories, please
send them to email@example.com. If you would like an audio CD of the 1996 celebration speakers or a Meher Mount visor hat from the 2006 celebra tion (inscribed “Meher Mount—Find the Spark—Fan the Flame,” specify olive or pink), let me know. *Meher Baba Calling, 1982.
r”hat is this precious love and laughter 13udding in our hearts:
Conclusion Creation is Baba’s device for our growing closer to Him and bringing others closer to Him. Agnes wished Meher Mount to foster healing, well being, and growth. Love is clearly the primary com ponent, including sensing and caring for concerns of others. How does one foster love? Agnes felt it to be in mundane tasks of daily living as much or more than in great programs. Some may think it is fostered simply by hanging out in sacred places; however, this was distinctly NOT Agnes’s emphasis! This spirit of Meher Mount may well be as important to un derstand, preserve, and foster, as the place.
Di is the glorious sound Of a soul waking up! Ihearci GodLaughing, 1996 Daniel Ladinsk
_/4 ICW Sport BalNatu
fter one comes in contact with Meher Baba-not necessarily in person but when the “heart clicks”— a new sport awaits you. Baba shakes you, your thoughts and feelings, perhaps violently, thus helping you to shed the peripheralview of life. The inside is revealed, the good and bad in you come out, and a thrilling romance with the Divine is ushered into your life. Through triumphs and penalties you learn to express what you are, to do what you can, and to leave the rest to the GodMan. In the end He awakens you to an understanding of your potentialities and limitations for service and the part you
have to play in this world. Glimpses OfThe God-Man, Vol. 1, p. 238 ‘7
9reen 73eetle 3uice
From Mehera-Meher A Divine Romance David Fenster • India rom Marve, they returned to Ashiana [Anarvaz’ home in Bombay] on Friday, 18 April, 1952 to prepare for their flight that night.’ Mehera changed into warm slacks. She knew that it would be cool in the plane. “I was wearing a silk shirt and slacks and a matching tailoredjacket of the same material. It looked stylish. Baba too was dressed in Western clothes.” They arrived at the airport around 9:00 pm, two hours before their TWA flight. Feeling hot, Mehera removed her jacket and held it over her arm. But it wasn’t only the heat that made her feel uncomfortable. As soon as she climbed the stairs to board the plane, she began to feel uneasy. It was the first time that Mehera, or any of the other women, had flown. “When we were going to the West, on the gangway to board the plane,just as my feet left the ground, I felt something in my stomach. I thought, no, I mustn’t be afraid, Baba is with me, and I kept that thought there and was okay. I always loved traveling in a train, so I made myselfthink this was a train. Pretending I was traveling on a train took away the uncomfortable feeling.” On the plane, Baba and Mehera sat next to each other—Mehera next to the window and Baba on the aisle. Rano and Goher were in front of them; Mani and Meheru in the row behind. Kitty sat alone in the row in front of Rano and Goher. Baba was wearing his hair tucked inside his collar in a braid, so it was not seen. He tied a scarf around his neck to make his hair even less conspicuous, and no one noticed it. The stewardess took their overcoats and hung them up. Fifteen minutes after the plane took off it became quite cold. Mehera shivered in the silk blouse. Baba pointed to the airconditioner vent, and Mehera twisted it shut. The stewardess came quickly towards them, smiled, and pulled out a soft blue blanket and a small pillow for each. She handed one to Baba also. A European couple was sitting near them. The man was bald and, he too turned off the vent. When he closed his eyes to sleep, however, his wife opened it. The man closed it again; as soon as he
seemed to be dozing, his wife opened it. Finally, to protect his bald head from the cold, the man put on his felt hat, which kept falling over his eyes. Mehera and Baba watched with amusement. Since there were many foreigners on the ffight, the women were conscious of appearances: Mani and Meheru especially wished to appear sophisticated and travelwise to the Westerners. “Both ofyou can sit up all night looking very prim and proper, ifyou want to,” Mehera told them, “but I am not going to. I can’t do without sleep.” She looked around, feeling very cold and sleepy, curled up her legs on the seat, and pulled the blanket over her head like an ostrich. Baba did the same thing. “Then I felt quite relaxed and comfortable.” Hours passed. In the middle of the night, Mehera peeped out from under her cocoon to see what the others were doing. They were still up, but after some time, they too dozed fitfrtlly. In the morning, each went to wash in the lavatorc “When Mehera went to the toilet on the plane,” Goher noted, “one of us had to be in front; I went in front to move away the men, and Meheru followed 2 During the to protect Mehera in the aisle. trip, Mehera always had two women by her side. Kitty and Rano helped. We had to be very alert all the time.” Meheru was not quite feeling herself The stewardess brought breakfast and handed a tray to Mani, but Meheru po litely declined each time the stewardess passed. “Can’t I bring you something?” the stewardess asked. “Yes,” said Meheru in the end, as the stewardess happilylooked at her in antici pation. “Some hot water.” “It was the only thing I could take,” Meheru explained. “I couldn’t face anything to eat.” Meanwhile, Mani was busy digging in. Meheru’s queasiness lasted throughout the day. She kept watching, as trays of food passed across her lap to Mani who was not about to say no to anything. After all, Mani reasoned, it was free. Finally, Meheru turned to Mani and asked, “How much are you going to eat?” “We were traveling first-class,” Mani --
elaborated. “Elizabeth had paid for everything, and Baba said that we could have anything—we were free of food restric tions. For so manyyears, our lives had been restricted in every way, but now Baba said we could eat anything. Nothing could be done without Baba’s direction; everything had to come from him. This time we needn’t ask him; we were in the plane and were free. I had never seen a poached egg before. For breakfast, they brought two poached eggs on a traywith the yellow part looking like eyes. It reminded me ofEddie Cantor. I was having a lot of fun. “I didn’t know that Meheru was airsick. I was by the window. Meheru kept refusing everything. The trays passed right under her nose, and I had every bit of it, since I wasn’t sick. Meheru kept saying no, and the stewardess asked, Isn’t there something you want? The stewardess pointed at me and said, She never says no! I thought, Why should I say no? Elizabeth has paid for it! This is first class. I told Meheru, Don’t refuse anything. Whatever she brings, say yes, and then pass it on to me. I took my favorite dishes and the rest went back.” Mani continued: “Along with lunch came a small individual bottle of cham pagne. I always wanted to taste cham pagne. I had heard of how they drank champagne in women’s slippers in France and that at every wedding they drank it. Also, when a son is born, in celebration, always champagne. In books I’d read to Baba, it was mentioned. So I should know what it tastes like. I was so thrilled. I told Meheru, Don’t refuse the champagne. Pass it on to me. We were free. I didn’t have to go and ask Baba if I could have it. But I didn’t enjoy the taste. I was so disappointed. It didn’t thrill me.” A little later, however, Mani had the chance to try a different alcoholic bever age. “When the stewardess asked everyone later what they wanted to drink, imme diately my ears pricked up. I better make it something I’ve never had, I thought. I loved to try anything once, something exotic. Just so I could try it. In Rex Stout and other detective books, the detective
would lean against the counter, smoking, and order a martini. So I said, A martini, please. I didn’t know what was coming or even how it would be served. A thinstemmed glass came, and inside was what looked like a green beetle. It was good. I liked it.” ‘The five men accompanying Baba— Adi Sr., Meherjee, Sarosh, Nilu, and Gustadji—were leaving two days later. Don had flown to America weeks ahead ofthe others to help Norma and Elizabeth make arrangements for Baba’s arrival in Myrtle Beach. 0n the plane, Baba went alone to 2 the bathroom and used the mirror there to shave. Mehera-Mehei; A Divine Romance 1’l. II1
5 3 pp.l , l ©2003 David Fenster
Earthquake at the S2’Iunncry .
Ma S. Irani
Illustration by Wodin
i3aba Drectms at are dreams that we see when we are asleep? Beloved Avatar Meher Baba tells us that all oflife itselfwhich we experience as being real is only a dream. So a dream that we experience while in sleep state is nothing more than a dreamwithin-a-dream.
found myself standing in a room of a big stone building which seemed to be part of a nunnery. Dressed in a nun’s habit, I was holding in my hands a photo-frame ofgood size, with no glass and no picture in it, that I kept looking through.When I gazed out the windows of the room, I could see the rest of the stone buildings which formed the large complex of the nunnery. Suddenly the ground began to shake, and rocked as in an earthquake. I clung on tight to the empty frame in my hands, and called out, “Baba, Baba, Baba!” Then I thought, better play it safe, and called out, “Meher Baba, Meher Baba, Meher Baba!” After a while the quake stopped and the ground was still. When I looked out ofthe windows I saw that all the other structures which had been there before, had been razed to the ground by the quake. Only the one room in which I had stood calling out Baba’s Name was left intact.* Dreaming ofthe Beloved ©AMBPPCT
In His AU-knowingness, the Beloved gives us this divine truth. But when translated into the language of a lover’s intense longing for a glimpse of the Beloved, a dream presence is very real indeed. Baba-dreams do not belong to the dreamer, but to the compassionate Dream Giver who lets His loved ones have a sign ofHim when necessary even in a dreamwithin-a-dream.
[*Ca/frniais take special note!]
Someone asked Baba whether dreams in which He appears are not different from other dreams. Baba nodded empathically, “Yes, they are,” and explained that dreams of Him are of great significance because of His presence therein. Even illusion becomes illumined and transformed when the light of His Presence touches it. Dreaming ofthe Beloved © AMBPPCT
‘!:Rana 21otes October 2006 Kebi Boose • California
Babac beautiful cabin
ing a Song ofMeher Baba, Sing oftheJoy His Magic Touch of Love will Bring” And thus with this song, Jamie Neweli ended Meherana’s 11th annual New Life Sahavas. Everyone joined in for each chorus and then shouts of Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai filled the air. Jamie treated us to three concerts in three days plus music during Arti and Dhuni—could one ever get enough of such love songs to the Beloved? The guest speakers, Franey Irani and Shireen Above: Franey Irani. Below: the guests —Shireen, Adele, Franey andJarnie Bonner, in telling their stories, created such a sense of life that the attendees vividly felt they were with them reliving each one as they remembered times with dearest Baba, AdiJr, Mani, Delia DeLeon and others most of us had only read about in books but never met. Each of their stories was a delight and with their keen sense of humor, everyone hung on their every word. Ah, the food—what can one say about the food at Meherana except that it is always superb? The main guest chefs this time were Shani Verchick and Mik Hamilton and they were
Arti inside the cabin
assisted in bringing forth wonderful taste treats by a varying group of volunteers. Did I mention volunteers? What would Meherana be without its volunteers—those people who arrive ahead ofeach event to make sure everything is ready for His Lovers, and those who tirelesslywork throughout the event and those who stay hours afterwards helping to restore Meherana to its regular quietude. Many thanks go out to everyone who helped make this New Life Sahavas the memorable event it was. It was so wonderful to see old friends not seen for months being greeted and new friends made in that special atmosphere when Baba lovers gather. And, watching the reactions of new ones to Meherana as they first stepped over the threshold into Baba’s Cabin was wonderftil to behold as they discovered Baba waiting for them. Meherana is a special place and Baba’s Cabin a rare treasure for all who come. Thus, with Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai still hanging in the air friends embraced in their goodbyes and all said “until the next time”. What a treat the New Life Sahavas was!
Left: the Fabulous Kitchen Crew whips up thefirst ofrnany delicious meals; abovejamie sings his heart out.
c2oetry A Kind of Prayer My Father, please do not let me idle away this little life Without first and last making the most of it by loving You As much as possible, by Your Grace. Do not let me wake in the morning, muddle-headed, Automatically turning on Turner Classic Movies Without first tuning into You. Do not let me dress myself in my mind and room’s Most flattering mirrors Without first clothing myself In your protective Love and Care. Do not let me sit down to my usual breakfast of cinnamon-raisin bagel and Philly Lite Without first scarfing down a healthy portion OfYour most delicious Name.
Psalm to Baba His Dance His Dance is ecstatic His Dance is Free His Dance is birthing The birth to forever Be. His Dance is Life and living, Eternal with no end. His Dance is Infinite and boundless, And with nothing to defend. His Dance is ever new, Renewing, becoming, became. His Dance is offering, giving, give, The given within His name. His Dance is abundance And losing without loss.
Do not let me wander thickly through my day, Sorting book titles in my mind— Which edition of Trollope to buy or which Rex Stout mystery to read next Without first making me look closely Between the covers of your incredible God-life.
His Dance is a marvelous fountain,
Do not let me slouch toward my first evening Scotch Without first remembering to toast You With a swig of 100 proof Divine Love whiskey.
And thus you will start
Do not let me drift into yet another nameless sleep Without first speaking Your Name in my heart. And finally, dear Father, at life’s last, Please do not let me cling pathetically to these too well-loved shores; Rather give me the courage to cast off boldly— But not without first and last remembering to remember The Infinite Ocean that is You. —Mickey Karger
Ofinfinitely dancing drops.
Pve found my God; He is a God of love. No poet is there likened unto Him. His magnitude in wonder and above Implies like sun behind the lunar rim. No grace or promises I’ll ask of Him, Nor swell myself to know His state or kinds; ust be canvas a for His hands to J limn Out daylight strokes now hid by human blinds. Yet when I feel I am more near His breath Than candle drippings to the burning flame, An inner wave comes down to wash to death The arrogance of triumph in the claim. Yet as the wave has broken me of size, His gentle Presence lights me and I rise. —DennisJan Wolterding
Join in His Dance, Simply open your heart, Let Him take you by His hand
To step and twirl and spin and swirl, And leap and slide andjump and glide, And lean and sway and kneel and pray. Thenjump up high into the sky ‘Till you\re entered the door, OfHis Kingdom’s evermore.
Tug-of-War in Toka, 1928 They all wanted Baba’s company, So they had a tug-of-war. Holding His wrists, they pulled, The ashram boys on one side, The Meherabad girls on the other. “Pull with all your might,” Baba said, “Let’s see who is stronger and who loves me more.”
That marvelous ocean with the shoreless shore. —John L. PoaglI
And now You’re gone These few years that seem so many, And we can only wonder at the stories, Wonder how to hold, Beloved? How to pull You close? —Bob Jaeger 21
4kw 2roprietors at Oregon’s ‘J3ctbct .21ouse 24 Betty Lowman Oregon
Above left. Corgi crossing, thefront of/he house. Above right, the back ofthe house. Bottom center:Amber Roseplaying near the pandal.
drive up the driveway to this pleasant old Oregon farmhouse, you’ll see a yellow sign saying “Corgi Crossing.”Pete, the corgi, has moved into town now, with his owners Jim and Jean Wilson, but we like the sign. It’sjust a bit ofthe love and warmth that came with this wonderftil home, Baba House. Having come here for Sahavases and visits for years, we have always loved this place. Nestled in the fertile Willamette valley, it has a soft feeling the meadow is usually green, even in August, and blackberries abound. August is normally the month for Northwest Sahavas at Baba House. The guest list over the years has been impressive: Bhau Kalchuri (who gave Baba House its name), Meheru Irani, Sohrab and Rustom Irani, Amrit and Dara Irani, Naosherwan Anzar, and Buzz and Wendy Connor have all been Sahavas guests here. Last March, Jim and Jean Wilson announced their intention to retire and sell their home, posting notices on Baba e-mail lists. They were hoping to sell to Baba lovers who would carry on the tradi tion of Sahavases and gatherings. Bhauji even posted on his list, because he, too, wanted to see the property stay in Baba’s hands. Dave and I jumped at the chance, and, with the help of ace mortgage broker Joanna Tompkin (a Portland Baba lover), the sale went through last May. At one point in the
process, she told us “You really can’t afford this, but we’re going to make it work,” and by Baba’s grace, she did! “How did WE come to live HERE?” we keep asking, pinching ourselves, but it seems to have happened. Baba House ac tivities have commenced, starting with the annual day-long reading of God Speaks, cover-to-cover, on November 18. The big event is the summer Sahavas. Baba House’s 3 acres have accommodated more than 150 campers in tents on the meadow. Those with less rugged sanskaras stay in several motels in the town of Sil verton, 7 miles away. Breakfast always includes a berry extravaganza: blackberries, marion ber ries, raspberries, all from local farms. The elegant outdoor bucket showers and vanity with mirrors thatJim Wilson rigged up are also a morning delight. WhenJim andJean posted their notice about seffing Baba House last March, we were incredulous and then Bhau put it out
on his own list: This is the first and probably last announcement ofthis type, but as Bhau has a long and deep connection with Mummy Jean and DaddyJim Wilson, he asked that the announcement below be posted to his mailing list: Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! My dearest Daddy Jim and Mummy Jean, I receivedyour very loving email dated 7th March 2006 and I am very, very happy to hear that my Lemon Mummy and David ( Tractor Daddy) have comeforward to buy your house and land lam really very happy. Ifthey can go there, they will be likeyou and theplace willbelong to Baba. It willbe nice f it ispossiblefor them to buy. Ithink they will be able to buy it, because they have got land there in PaloAlto. They may holdSahavas at least twice in ayeai:
When Bhau announced the sale of Baba House on his list, he shared this special story from Jean Wilson about the pond: Bhau attended multiple Sahavases at our farm, the site of many lovely and wonderful moments and incidents. One ofthe most remarkable occurred in 1993,when he came for his first Sahavas at our home. On the Friday that Bhau landed in Oregon, the headline of our newspaper, The Oregonian, read: “Earth to Oregon Wake Up!” (referring I I to a small earthquake that —
a shallow, rather large, pit, pointed and said, “Here!” We explained that this was an old pond bed, but that the spring that once fed it had dried up years ago. We had the Dhuni there. It truly was a beauti Kai Slernenda, Jim Wilson, Robin Slemenda, Joanna Thrnpkin, Steve ful weekend with our Slemenda, Jean Wilson, Betty Lowrnan, Dave Lowman Beloved, Bhau and most ofwhom camped 150 about guests, occurred the day before). Just above the left, the After everyone property the on headline was a large rose. Needless, to always heaven. We felt like whole property say, our group was jumping with joy and Baba from the “afterglow” enjoyed this excitement waiting for Bhau’s arrival. gatherings. We had built a little stage for the main The next morning, Jim was walkprogram, and the children’s programs were ing outside, still enjoying the fragrance. held injim’s workshop. As Bhau toured our loudly called to me, “Jean! Come! He compound, I asked him where we should Come!” locate the Dhuni fire. Bhau walked over to
r:DIutni Compiled by Cyrus Khambata Mumbai ost of us are acquainted with the dhuni, which is lit at Lower Meher abad on the 12th of every month, in ac cordance with Beloved Baba’s wish. Would you like to hear how it got started? Lord Meher offers this account on page 543:
In early November 1925, villagersfrom neighbouring areas approached Baba with a requestfor rain, as there was a scarcity ofdrinking water and a danger that their autumn crops mightfaildue to theprolonged drought. Baba advised them to be patient. On the night oflOth Novembei after a day ofexhausting activity, Baba was in the midst ofa discussion with the mandali near the Thble Cabin when the villagers returned. Again they beseeched Himfor rain, and af— ter Upasni Maharafc arti was sung, Baba ordered a pit to be dug and a dhuni (sacred fire) to be lighted at 11 that night. Afterwards, Baba informedthe villagers, “God has heardyourprayers. Now go straight home.” Although there had been no clouds in the sky priorto the lighting ofthe dhuni, an hourlater a heavy rainfill. The showers lastedfor 15 hours and the villagers’ crops were saved
But what ofits significance today—for those of us who do not worry over our crops? The following is the explanation given by Eruch Jessawala.
The RealDhuni It was His order to us, so it is our pleasure to obey and light the dhuni each month on the twelfth. But what about the sandalwood, and the burning up ofsanskaras, you ask? Well, during a Sahavas program in 1955, Baba asked each one there to take a small piece ofsandalwood and throw it in the ftre. This piece ofwood was supposed to symbolize some attachment we had, some attachment which was a hindrance in our journey to God. Each was to throw the piece of sandalwood in the fire with the thought that that attachment would be consumed. But there is nothing magical about it. You don’t need to wait until the twelfth to start burning up your attachments in Baba’s divine love. For that ultimately is what the dhuni symbolizes, the fire of Baba’s divine love. That love consumes everything, and if anyone is brave enough to throw themselves into the fire, they are consumed, their false self is burnt away, and what is left is the Real Self, and we call this God-Realization. The dhuni is only a symbol of this. But does that mean that there isno point in going to the dhuni, that the whole ceremony is simply an empty ritual? Not at all. It is a means ofremembering Baba. Baba told us to light the dhuni, so when we light it in obedience to His wishes, we are remembering Him. When we take a piece of sandalwood and throw it in the fire, that will not automatically burn up one
I ran out to where he was standing, looking at the ashes of the Dhuni. Then we saw it, clear, beautiflil spring water gurgling out of the old pipe and quietly fifing the empty pond! The spring eventually filled it and many children played there, caught tadpoles; it was home to fish, frogs, birds, and even an occasional heron. Countless deer would come down the hill for a sip. We will always savor the beautiful memories we have of Bhau with us here with such a wonderful Beloved. We hope that whoever acquires the property catches a whiffofthe Fragrance. With much gratitude, we Lowmans are breathing deep. The fragrance abounds at this lovely place. Come to a Northwest Sahavas and see for yourself The pond is a little dry these days—come and prime the pump!
ofour attachments, but ifwe think about Baba, ifwe sincerely dedicate ourselves to becoming His, then indeed we may start a fire in ourselves which is far greater than the fire we see in the dhuni. Everything is a ritual, and nothing is; it all depends on how you approach it. If you go to the dhuni and throw in a piece of sandalwood because someone tells you you should, or because you want to get rid of one ofyour attachments without making any efforts, then it becomes a ritual, a bit of magic mumbo jumbo, and yet, even so, ifyour faith in Baba is great enough, you might just find that your attachment has been lessened. But what is the point of freeing oneselffrom attachments? It is so we are free to remember our Lord, Meher Baba, the Avatar, with all ofour heart and soul. And we can begin to remember Him now where we are. Baba said that all of creation is only a reminder to humanity to remember the Creator. So the dhuni is one more opportunity to remember Baba. It is an opportunity to focus more concentratedly on Baba. But the real dhuni is the human heart. And the real fire is the fire oflove for God. And if we had the courage, the daring, every day, every moment, we would be attempting to throw our attachments on this fire. Not just attachments, we would be throwing ourselves onto this fire. That would be the real dhuni. That How It Was, pp. 339-340, by EruchJessawala © 1995 AMBPPCT 23
9reetings from the Ei3ookstore! Jai Baba folks and welcome!
he holiday shopping was as frenzied as usual, but I’m happy to report most of you managed to get your orders in by mid December. There has been a lull in new releases, so I thought I would use this space to tell you about projects in the works and also bring to your atten tion some books and tapes that may have escaped your notice. Those ofyou with computer access to the web can go online anytime to www lovestreetbookstore.com and see all the latest items we have in stock and what the monthly specials are. But don’t feel bad if you can’t do that, and can only read about all the hundreds of items in Love Street. Think of the poor people who don’t even subscribe to the Love Street LampPost! How sad for them! Following are some oldies, recent ones, and soon to be released ones. Read on and enjoy!
-Flowing ConversationsBal Natu peacefuily passed home to the Awakener on October 7, 2003 at the age of 84. This volume, released a year or so ago, is the final sharing ofhis heart’s conversa tions with God, completing the quartet of his Conversations books. For years Bal delighted readers with his intimate and inspired prose to the Eternal Beloved. His generous sharing ofconversations encour aged many to begin their own dialogues with the Awakener. Through his writing, this gentle and gracious man will ever re main alive. In this quartet, Bal never said the word Baba. He always said “You” when he was speaking to or about his God. We have found this book to be very meaningliii to people from all religions. Don’t feel you are proselytizing ifyou give this to a friend who is not a Baba lover. It is a gentle, loving book and can be enjoyed by all. The first two volumes, Conversations and More Conversation are $10 each and the later two, Intimate Conversations and Flowing Conversations, are $12 each. -
Beads on One String: Faith Unveiled
Dan Sanders ofArizona wrote to me about his soon to be published book: On November 4, 2006, the various authors and contributors ofthis book con24
verged on the Vedanta Center in Flagstaff Arizona. It was the first time the authors were reunited since they originally came together to produce the Eastern Heritage Symposium at Northern Arizona Universi ty in February 2002. Laurent Weichberger, a devotee ofMeher Baba for twenty years, was inspired to coordinate that event in the days following September 11t, 2001. Lau th, rent clarified that itwas not September 11 but the incidents of hatred and violence against members of Eastern religions in the United States following that day, that compelled him to combat ignorance about spirituality in whatever way he could. The book will be a natural outgrowth and expansion ofthe original symposium, so that the material will become widely available for all to experience. Among the faiths to be represented are Zoroastrian ism, Hinduism, the Vedas, Buddhism, Jainism,Judaism, Christianity Sufism and Islam, Sikhism, Ancient Mysticism and finally Modern Mysticism (including the Avataric tradition and Meher Baba). At the meeting, all seemed to agree that taking the time to meet in person was very beneficial for the ongoing creative process, as well as clarifying certain issues ofapproach to the material. A main point of discussion was the balance of context ( information about the religion) versus the personal journey of the Seeker. Some likened to the balancing ofthe head and heart. Also explored was the importance of clearing away the “clutter” of a faith in order to find the essence. It was said that all the paths, at their core, are ultimately the “erasure of selfinto the Creator.” God willing, Beads on One String:Faith Unveiledwill be published in 2007.
Meher Baba and Me I received an email from a friend in Aus tralia, Jim Migdoll, author ofMeher Baba andMe (his life story thus far): After the first printing of my book, I approached the local metaphysical bookshop and very casually offered to leave a few copies on consignment. The woman who was working there said, “No no. You must talk to Betty the owner.” I told her: “You canjust have them on consignment, I don’t want any money.” But she was totally cold and standoffish. Must talk to Betty So I called back during the tiny window
of hours when Betty would be there. She wasn’t. It was the same cold standoffish woman! I thought the heck with it. Now that the book has gone into re prints, I decided I would have another try at getting it out there in my hometown. I dropped it off at the local newspaper and the editor was happy to read it and do a re view. Today I went back to Abraxas where the elusive Betty supposedly is. Betty was even colder and much more standoffish than the woman who works there! All she seemed to care about was price. Insisted she onlywanted four copies—even though I was offering them free on consignment (I’d brought 10). I left thinking that if and when the local paper does a review if it’s favourable, she might actually put the books out for sale. Otherwise I figured they’d just get stuck under the huge pile ofunsolicited books she already had from all the area’s healers/masters/tantrjcs etc. Byron Bay, Australia, is a hub for new age, spiritualist stuff. I got home two hours later and thought the message on my phone machine must be ajoke—a hoax. This can’t be real? This can’t be the cold Betty I gave the four books to? But it is! The message said: “Hi Jim, it’s Betty from Abraxas bookshop. We’ve been reading your book and were just blown away by it. It’s absolutely beautiftul,just thought you might want to drop a few more books offnext time you’re in town because, wow, it’s hot—I reckon it’ll take off—so yes... next time you’re in, just drop a few more off. That would be great. Talk to you later. Bye.” Hot? It’ll take off? This from a hardnosed businesswoman, a non-Baba lover? I must be dreaming. Good dream though! As we say down under—”Good on yer Mate!” That will make just so many more Baba lovers in Australia—and with the beautiful Avatar’s Abode so close.... -
TheTempleDance a Story oflndia
A friend, Jay Schauer, sent me a book he wrote that had recently been published. It was not, as are many I receive, with a request to carry it in the Love Street Bookstore, but simply for my enjoyment. The cover caught my eye, as did the title—The Temple Dancei: Hmm, I thought, looking
at the eponymous, voluptuous lady on the cover, looks kind of like the costume I used to wear, except I was dancing in a nightclub and not a temple! Intrigued, I wrote to Jay and he responded: You may remember that I had written a book about Shivaji that you wanted to carry in the Bookstore. Well this isn’t it. It’s a prequel. Shivaji’s father figures in the action, but that’s about it. This book has absolutely no spiritual significance whatever. It has no relationship to Baba, beyond the “See me in Everything” variety In many ways it’s a pretty cool story, however. And it sold 30,000 copies in France in four weeks as a French Book ofthe Month selection. You could check out my website here: http://thetempledancer.com. Now although I have precious little time for reading, except while waiting in line at the post office, I’m certainly enjoying it! The Shivaji book—working title Tiger Claws—is scheduled for release by St. Martins for October 2007. Love Street won’t be carrying Temple Dancer (Amazon and all commercial bookstores do, if they can keep it from flying offthe shelves!) but we will certainly carry his Shivaji book. I’ll let you know when we get it in—maybe in time for the holidays next year. Congratulations Jay!
beautiful clearly sung artis and other songs favored by their Lord. Then there is Raine herself singing on (my personal favorite) Moon OverMeherabac4 closely followed by her latest release, Gems. Each CD is $14. We have over 70 different CDs available—so many Baba musicians pouring out their heart to Him. We have every imaginable style of music, so if you are wanting more Baba music in your life, but don’t know the names of the artists, tell me the kind of music you are looking for: meditative, soothing, music to clean house by, rockin’ rousin’ kick-up-your-heels music. come to think of it. every one of those styles is on the RoughAround the Edges CD by—dare I say it—my husband, Charles Gibson! $15. . .
CDs In the music department, you can’t go wrong with the CDs produced by Raine Eastman Gannett. Raine has been doing a wonderftiljob ofcapturing the voices of Baba’s dear ones in India before they are lost forever. Two CDs in particular—Songs MeherBaba Enjoyedby Roshan Kerawalla and Roda Mistry Singsfor Baba —have
DVDs— So many of you have been asking for DVDs rather than the old fashioned videotapes, and gradually the publishers are coming around to that way of thinking—after they sell out of the videos, that is. A must-own DVD is: MeherBabac Grace just $20 and 13 minutes offabulous footage ofthe phenomenal Avatar ofthe Age accompanied by marvelous music.
Calendars We have plenty of beautiflil Baba calen dars, with a photo on every page, wellchosen quotes and on the bottom page of the 18” hanging calendar and in the squares allotted for each date, written in small print so as not to interfere with your own notes, are many important events in the Beloved’s life. $11 each, or 9.5O if purchasing 10 to 20 of them. We also have the brightly colored Hafiz and Rumi calendars, with Persian miniatures and Indian paintings; they also are wall hanging ones. The poems on the Hafiz are by Danny Lathnsky and Coleman Barks handles the translations on the Rumi. Love Street sells these at $ 11 each, a $2 discount from the commercial bookstores.
dise quite frequently, wwwJovestreet bookstore.com. But ifyou are telling some one new to Baba about the website and feel that may be a forgettable mouthful, you can alwaysjust say MeherBabaBooks.com and that will take you there too. Hope to hear from you soon, but please remember, the number to call—310-837 6419—is my home phone. The Bookstore is only open when the Center is, on Sundays for our regular meetings. The rest of the week I tend to the work at home. So please don’t call at midnight thinking you will get the answering machine! In His love, Dma
Cxquisitely Woven Wayfarer, Your body is myprayer carpet, For I can see inyour eyes Thatyou are exquisitely woven With thefinest silk and wool And that Pattern uponyour soul Has the signature ofGod And allyour moods and colors oflove Comefrom His Divine vats ofdye and Gold.
Babti : Grace MeherBaba in Greenwich Village Ifyou haven’t bought this DVD after reading about it in the last issue—do yourself a favor—buy it! Superbly edited and produced, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the background of the video that Sheriar released some years back, transferred from the original Movietone newsreel taken of Baba in 1932. Heck, you even get to hear Baba vocalize on this DVD! And it is only $20. Dontforget, check in at our website frequently as Pris updates it every chance she gets, and we do get in new merchan
Wayfarei Your body is my shrine, Ifyou had the eyes ofa Fir, You wouldsee Hafiz Kneeling byyour side, Hummingplayful tunes Andsheddingjoyful tears Uponyour wondrous hidden Crown. IHeard GodLaughing. Renderings ofHafiz, © 1996 Daniel Ladinsky Dharma Publishing 25
Y?eviews Om Namo A New CD from Jim Meyer
Cathy Haas Riley North Carolina im Meyer’s new double CD release, Om Narno, is truly a gift of love! It is eautifully assembled, from the vibrantly colorful cover (Jim’s artwork) to the 17 extremely powerful songs on two CDs. Frbm the moment the first song goes on, you are swimming in the river of Jim’s rich and chocolatey voice, filled with that love and longing that J im can convey so intensely and so well! Rich carpets of tasteful accompaniments, created by masterful Tom Dimock, a musician Jim has been collaborating with for several years, back each song. “He’s the best musician I’ve ever played with,” says Jim. “You know, I’ve been doing this for 40 years and I feel like I’m just beginning to get it.” Yes, Jim, you’ve got it for sure! The individual CDs are called The Sun and The Moon. The latter is comprised of 11 tracks. There is not room to rave about each song, so let me mention one of Jim’s personal favorites, I Am Not the Body. Meher Baba’s powerful words are complimented by Jim’s music, gently flowing with the slow drive of drums and electric guitar to underscore the impor tance of Baba’s message. Jim tells us that his preference for this song is because they are Baba’s words and because it is one of the most important messages Baba ever gave. “It’s not only that Baba is not the body, but it’s a message to us all that we are not the body or mind, but that we are also divine.”The feeling ofBaba’s divinity flows out of this song. On The Sun there are two pieces of strength and meditation. Oin Narno gath ers power and energy as it carries through this 15-minute track. Jim layers in everincreasing vocal and instrumental tracks (did you say 64 tracks, Jim?!). You Alone Exist, Jim’s perfect musical setting of this prayer of Baba’s (with Bhau Kalchuri’s additions) is amazing. Many ofyou have
heard it already as the sound track for the film of the same title by Peter Nordeen and Bob Fredericks. Images from the film floated through my mind as I played the song, enhancing God’s attributes and descriptions, written by God Himself! My favorite song on this CD is Broken Heart.Jim told me “Ofall the songs I have written, this is one of my favorites.” What a magnificent song ofpraise ofBaba’s love this is and what a powerful sharing of that intense pain of longing that this love for Beloved Baba creates within us all! These CDs carry an immediacy and freshness that is astounding. When talking to Jim about the produc tion of these songs, I understood why. He mentioned that he had used live performances as much as possible. A lot of the vocal tracks were what’s called “scrape” performances, recorded once or twice and not changed or altered. Instrumental tracks were added later. (Usually recording is done the other way around.) Thus you feel like you’re in the Original Kitchen with Jim, his very natural voice piercing our hearts with Baba’s love! This is a ‘must buy’ album. It leaves you with that fragrance ofBeloved Baba’s presence, which reverberates long after you’ve listened. After the first listening, you yearn to return again to these truly inspired musical offerings ofpraise! Bravo, Jim and Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! $20 for the double set.
A Filmmaker’c Dozen Mitchell Rose’s new DVD
Dma Snow Gibson • LA Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Mitchell Rose was a New York-based performance artist specializing in comedic work. The New York Times called him “A rare and wonderful talent. Woody Allen, with more than a dash of Abbie Hoffman thrown in.” The Washington Post wrote that his work is “in the tradi tion ofChaplin, Keaton, and Tati—ftinny and sad and more than the sum of both.” Places of performance included the Spoleto Festivals in the U.S. and Italy, Joseph Papp’s New York Dance . .
Festival at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, and touring throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He was awarded five Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and set pieces on over a dozen repertory dancetheatre companies around the world. Eventually he was drawn more to visual media and chose to become a filmmaker, entering The American Film Institute as a Directing Fellow. Since A.F.I., his comedic films have won 48 film festival awards and are screened around the world on television and in locations as diverse as the Getty Museum and the CBS Jum boVision in Times Square. You can see more of Mitchell’s films at his website http://www.mitchellrose.com. We here at Meherabode have long known Mitchell and been delighted by his many perfor mances at the Center and at our Sahavas, but our dear friend is well known in the commercial world as well. Following are some review excerpts about the short films featured on this 1VD: Elevator World “A computer masterpiece.”—CBS Evening News Modern Daydreams: “Modern Daydreams is a triumph in short filmmaking, nothing short ofbriffiant.—FilmFinde “A funny and surprisingly touching fantasy.” —The New York Times Case Studiesfrom the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders: “Another highlight is... a hilarious film by Mr. Rose in which he plays a subtly deranged doctor investi gating the ties between disordered sleep patterns and early childhood experiences. The men and women in each ofthe three cases end up thrashing about through witty quasi-dances filmed from above the clinic bed.—The New York Times.
of Mahatma Gandhi. His life story of growing closer in love to Baba is both entertaining and insightfiil. There are nine chapters in this DVD, each awondrous story that will delight and amuse. They include Coming to Baba, A Living Garland, Carrying Babac Embrace, A Child is Born, A Dream ofKrishna, Kisses and a Kick, ‘Dead Body’ Moorty, The Last Kiss, and A Special Prasaci This was produced and directed by Michael Le Page, filmed byMatt Ives and Michael on location at Avatar’s Abode. The house depicted on the cover is the one Francis Brabazon and a few select friends built for Baba for His 1958 visit. 90 minutes, $25.
New Video From Billy Goodrum! And then there is Billy’s video—origi nally made for MTV. Say what?! A Billy Goodrum music video?! Oh yes indeedy! The only one ever made—unless you count all the songs Billy has composed and sung in the Farrelly Brother’s many movies (Something About Mary, Kingpin, Dumb andDumbei Shallow Hal...). Below Billy is weightlessly singing “Weightless.”
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All of this—and more—for only $20!
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Dr. Moorty in Australia Kristine Wyld • Sydney, Australia
he star of the latest DVD love offering from Michael Le Page is Dr. Moort all the way from India, filmed on his visit to Avatar’s Abode for the 2006 Spring Sahavas. Anyone who has met the wonderfrtl Dr. Moorty will know that he is the consummate storyteller. Let your mind be inspired and your heart touched by these personal accounts ofDr. Moorty’s life with our Beloved Meher Baba. Before meeting Baba in 1955, Dr. Moorty was a devout Brahmin, a Sariskrit scholar, had a Ph.D. in philosophy and was an associate
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This excellent documentary of the life of the Avatar, God in Human Form, produced by Peter Nordecri, has flOV been translated intO Spanish. In English or Espanol, $24. 27
Ei3aba and the .J1rangaon Children r several days during the month of May, Meher Baba was fasting solely on a small amount of milkless tea. His presence near Aran gaon caused much interest among the local villagers. The poor farmers gradually started thinking that there was a sadhu or holy man living nearby. One day, two children, Bhau Cheema Kamble and Chhabu Sona Kamble, sneaked over to Meherabad. Baba spotted them, and beckoned them to approach him. They became frightened and started crying. Baba gently caressed them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. Tell me where you live.” Cheema replied that they resided in Aran gaon. Baba asked how many children there were in the village and what they did all day. Cheema explained that there were many Mahar and Mang children of Untouch able sects, who take the goats and cows for grazing. Baba then asked, “Ifthey are given sweets, will they come to visit me?” Smiling, Chhabu said, “For candy, every one of the children will come, sir!” Baba then smiled, saying, “Tomorrow, bring them all here.” Baba then called for sweets from Gustadji and gave them to both boys. They returned happily and told the other village children about the kind stranger. The following day, some children began coming. Baba would speak with them kindly in Marathi and give them delicious sweets. Once he asked a boy named Lala Kamble, “Will you sing bhajans (devo tional songs) with me?” Lala replied, “Ifyou give us sweets, we will do whatever you say!” “First sing a bhajan, and then I will give you sweets.”The children agreed, and Baba said, “I will sing a line first and then you repeat it.” He sang in Marathi: “0 Pandarinath, how wonderful it is to seeyou Standing with bands akimbo p icturesque likeyour statue. How beautfuland blissfulyou look!” —
Baba then inquired, “Who is this deva (god) with six hands?” The children said, “We apply vermilion to the idol, but we have never seen his six hands.” Baba told them, “While grazing the goats tomorrow, think about this and give me your answer in the evening. “The next evening, the children told him, “We have thought it over, but we have never seen the god with six hands!” Painting by Laurie Bluin © 1988 Baba smiled and said, “I will The children began singing in squeaking showyou that god and every other god, but voices. Babalaughed, thoroughlyenjoyingit. firstjoin me in singing a bhajan. And sing After the song, he distributed more sweets, with all your heart!” parched rice and roasted chickpeas. “There is thisgodand thatgod! The next day, Baba taught them anOh God! You are the God ofevery god!” other bhajan: Although Meher Baba paid no im “0 Pandurang! When willyou give me portance to religious ritual and ceremony darshan? he would allow other people, at times, to When wiilseeyou? When willyou ap indulge in their practices until they were inwardly prepared to accept him as God p ear?” Pandarinath and Pandurang are differ- Personified. ent names ofthe god-like idol enshrined in The children asked, “We will sing, but the Hindu temple ofVithoba (Krishna) at will you give us a treat?” Pandharpur village in Maharashtra, along Baba laughed and said, “Yes, I will the banks of the Chandrabhaga River. definitely give you something.” Thousands ofpilgrims flock there several Thus, every evening the Master would times a year on sacred days and, after haysing bhajans with these poor children and, ing a bath in the river, worship the statue though most were illiterate, he would ofof the cosmic deityc ten question them about different issues. When Baba would distribute sweets to Among them was a boy named Wakadya the impoverished Harijan children, they who was lame, yet he was very intelligent would ravenously eat them and then look and would daily march the village children expectantly at him for more. Baba would to Meherabad in parade fashion, with again fill their hands with delicious treats music and singing. He would lead the to eat, making them overjoyed. parade, blowing on his trumpet the whole Once Meher Baba asked them, “What wayproducing a loud peculiar note: “Ghoo deva (deity) do you worship?” Each Hindu ghoo ghoo...” child named a different god. Then he On May 3rd, thirty children came to asked, “Do so many deities love you?” Meherabad and theywere in a band under They replied, “We do not know; but our Wakadya’s leadership. Arjun Supekar was parents worship them, so we also worship given the duty of teaching them bhajan them.” Hearing this, Baba sang with the singing. Baba distributed two large baskets children a song to Dattatrey: offruit which Munshi Rahim had brought from Bombay. “0 Dattatrey, Lord oftbe Trinity! LordMeher Vol 2 pgs 629-63 1 0 Brahma! 0 Vishnu! 0 Mahesh! © Manifestation Inc. Our obeisance to the One with three beads andsix hands!” . . .
. . .
Problems with 3nflnite 3ntelhqence Dan andJed Tyler
he full text (detailed discussion of issues surrounding this book) can be found on line at http://www.beachwafla. net/intuit/problems.htm; this version has been shortened for publication. First:MisusingMeherBabaiName. Meher Baba did not write Infinite Intelligence, yet this huge bookhas been officially added to His canon ofpublished words. Baba did not put His name on the two notebooks that Infinite Intelligence is based on. There is no evidence that He saw them. Infinite Intelligence is a massive collaborative reworking ofthose notebooks, which appear to be the work of two anonymous writers, based on information Meher Baba provided. Some people believe Chanji penned the notebooks from material Baba provided. Others don’t. Some believe the material is a copy of Baba’s “Missing Book.” Others don’t. Regardless, Meher Baba should not be named as the author of Infinite Intelligence. Baba did put His name on books that were largely penned by disciples, and He had more than 40 years to do that with the notebooks. He chose not to. Naming Baba as the author of Infinite Intelligence because He is probably the “ultimate originator” of the information is misleading, indefensible, and sets an ominous precedent. Occasional misquoting and misattri bution is inevitable for any book. Infinite Intelligence guarantees those mistakes will be the norm. Baba left instructions for His published words in two legal documents: His will and the deed that established His Trust. Nowhere in either of those instruments does Baba direct anybody to change His published words or to attribute to Him material He did not write.The seventh edition ofDiscourses changed Baba’s words. Infinite Intelligence takes that mistake into another dimension by putting Baba’s name on a book He did not write in the first place. Baba did not put His name on the notebooks. We have no evidence He saw them. So why is Baba’s name on derivative writing 80 years later? Using the rationale that Baba is the “ultimate originator,” what is to stop anybody from putting Baba’s name on any religious or spiritual work? For that matter, on a work ofphilosophy, a novel or play, a dream diary, on anything?
The misuse of Baba’s name on Infinite Intelligence opens that door. Second: Withholding andRewriting the Notebooks. The withholding ofthe original notebooks is another ominous precedent. Instead ofproviding access to the rare and spellbinding original text, the publishers rewrote it for two audiences: the nonex istent “general reader” and the deprived “textual scholar.” The editors explain that without their rewriting, the general reader would be lost in inaccessible, impenetrable text, and “textual scholars” can satisfy their heady needs in the Supplement. Each of these categories has big problems. For one thing, the general reader of Infinitelntelligence does not exist. No book with Baba’s name on it has been a New York Times best seller, and the price tag alone ($75, shipping and handling extra) makes Infinite Intelligence unlikely to be the first. And nobody who tackles 746 pages about the essence ofGod as Infinite Inteffigence is a “general reader.” For another, withholding and rewrit ing the notebooks deprives the “textual scholar” ofthe text itself Although much of the Supplement is aimed at the “textual scholar,” its explanations and interpreta tions are irrelevant. A bona fide “textual scholar” would insist on reading the origi nal notebooks. Judging from the short original pas sages inlnfinitelntelligence, the notebooks are difficult but not impenetrable, as the editors insist. The rewriting destroys the unique power and character ofthe original text and decimates many of the figures. By focusing exclusively on the intellectual difficulty ofthe notebooks, the editors are trying to create a monopoly of knowledge that is unnecessary in the first place. They are doing what experts do: creating for themselves a franchise for what people can do for themselves. In withholding and rewriting the notebooks, the editors are saying, “We will explain these mysterious documents to you in a way you can understand but we will not let you to see them because you are not capable of understanding them without our rewrites and explanations. You cannot derive any benefit from looking at this material yourself.” The editors call the Infinite Intelligence notebooks
“inaccessible,” “impenetrable,” and “almost unreadable,” but refer to the “avataric depths” and the “inner treasures” of their rewritten version. They would have us accept that while the original is the work ofanonymous note takers, their rewrite is the word of God. Third: UnhingedPedantry. The rewrit ten notebooks in Infinite Intelligence are followed by 300 pages of interpretations and explanations. Infinite Intelligence looks and feels like a textbook; the fatiguing Supplement is scripture by pedants. The editors lack faith in the original material and in our capacity to benefit from it. If it comes from Baba, as they assert, why do they need to improve it, interpret it, and explain it?The editors are conftised in their role as guardians ofMeher Baba’s words, which should be to publish literature by and about Baba—not to suppress it, re write it, and tell us what it means.
our requests to the _/4vatar J4leIier i3ctba 7iritst: 1. Stopputting Meher Babac name on things He did not write.
2. Publish without editing the notebooks Infinite Intelligence is based on. They can be beautifully printed with translations, annotations, and other reader aids in ha(fthe space at hafthe cost. 3. Withdraw Infinite Intelligence from the market.
4. Publish without editing the Tffin Lectures and other literature by mandali. These manuscrzjpts have been in the Meher Baba Trust archivesfor decades, pending editing forpublication. 5. Explain in detail what steps were taken to determine the authorship of the Infinite Inteffigence notebooks. 6. Stop editing, rewriting, and explaining literature by and about Meher Baba. Babac words are always best, historical documents should not be changed, and we can arrive at our own conclusions.
7he 13or 2Iot 1177ic Ei3ook” ¶Lart III 11 An Interview with Meherwan Jessawala on 9 August 2003 by Don E. Stevens and Laurent Weichberger his article is based on a transcript of an interview with Meherwan Jes sawala (MJ) byDon E. Stevens (DES) and Laurent Weichberger (LW) conducted at Meherazad.The transcript has been edited by Lizzy Hoke, Laurent, and LSLP.This is the final part; Part II was published in the January 2006 issue of the LampPost. We resume the interview with Meherwan ex plaining that Rhoda Dubash was assigned by Eruch to type a handwritten manu script, the origin ofwhich no one seemed to know. This manuscript is not in Meher Baba’s handwriting. However, Eruch felt it was dictated by Meher Baba. Rhoda became the first editor ofthe work. Meherwanjessawala (MJ): Rhoda Du bash did a little correction here and there because there were spelling mistakes and other things. But the problem was that there’s lots of Gujarati in it, handwritten Gujarati, and there were no Gujarati keys on the typewriter, so she left blanks, and then very meticulously filled them in Gu jarati, so we have the fhll record ofall that in her version. This went on for a couple of years and after the typing was done Eruch asked her to get it bound, so she got three sets bound. Later on, I started to come, so Eruch said, “Now you have a vacation, go through this now. These are now fairly typed out, so try to see ifthere is anything new in it.” So I went through the set, and did some preliminary editing. And I told him, “Eruch I’ve done this, what do I do?” He said, “Do you find anything new?” I said, “The whole thing is quite ne should I read it out to you?” So I began to read, I started the first few sentences, and he said, “Enough, enough, we’ll see about it later.” So. Eruch was getting more and more busy. There were no holidays then, seven days a week, twelve hours a day. DES: Dear Eruch. MJ: So I keep teffing him. “Eruch I’ve done that editing, do you think we should bring it out? It’s quite a different thing and there are certain things which are a little controversial.” He said, “Okay, okay we’ll see to it later.” So he kept putting it off, and then one day finally very recently in the ‘90s, I said “Eruch, It’s time we did something about this while [Mandali] are around, we should get this
out because some of them would be able to give their opinion on it.” So he said, “If it’s not very controversial, then do it.” And I said, “Ward is around here.” Ward is a professor ofEnglish. So then he said, “Okay, go ahead.” We had formed the Avatar Meher Baba Trust publication committee. So we got the go-ahead from them, and then Ward and I started to edit. In the meantime Bhau had gone to the West. So I wrote to Bhau a letter saying. “We are doing this work and when you come back I would like to show it to you.” So. we hadn’t even started much, and Bhau returned. He took the original handwritten manuscript which became the new book Infinite Intelligence to his place. And a week later he comes and says, “Meherwan, this is a miracle! This is a hundred percent of the Book that Baba wrote. Because it’s all the points, which are full in here, and what I had for the book The Nothing and The Everythingwas only ten percent. This is The Book.” And I didn’t know anything. And this is what we have with us. So for a year he stopped all correspondence to the. There was one year when he wouldn’t correspond... DES: I remembered that, but I didn’t know what the reason was. MJ: He was collected in his office. and with Ward, working together, they just raced through the whole manuscript, and Ward was pulling his hair, he says, “Oh, you cannot do this.” First edit, they dropped the whole thing.. and after that he handed over the whole thing to me. And Bhau said to me “Now you go through this.” And I said, “Bhau this needs to be properly edited.” So he gave me Ward to assist me. Then Ward and myself sat and broke our heads for, I don’t know, three or four years, trying to put that into presentable language. DES: Was there any more discussion, between yourselves, as to whether it was or was not The Book? MJ: I had finished the whole thing in four or five months, and this is now seven years. And Bhau asked me, “What are you doing with it?” And I said. “Bhau... it needs proper sentence structure.” The whole book, sometimes has no . .
paragraphs, a sentence would carry on for a whole page. DES: Sounds like Eruch. When I was editing GodSpeaks and Eruch’s sentence structure, sometimes it would be a whole long paragraph. MJ: He is long sometimes. The worst part was there were brackets in those sentences. And after those brackets there were other brackets (which included those brackets) and the word was right on the top, and after the whole thing the sentence ended right at the bottom. And ifit were left for the public to read this, they would miss the sentence ending... DES: Sure, and go to sleep, yeah. MJ: And there were no paragraphing, no corrections, no. it was just raw text... That was the style ofBaba. So, we were doing all this. In the meantime one dayjanet [Judson] said, “What are you doing?” so I said we are doing this old discourses of some work of Baba from the ‘30s, ‘20s it seems. So she said, “Oh, you know, in Mani’s records there are some handwritten pages by Baba, are you interested to see them?” So she brought a Xerox of that. And. it was very much connected to what we were doing. So I said, “Yes, yes, I would like to have this.” LW:Thebookln GodcHand. The same thing? MJ: That’s right, In Godc Hand DES: That’s what Janet brought. MJ: Yeah. So then I said, “Where is the original of this, what authority is this?” Then she gave me the original pages. Then what we find is, that, in the last portion of this that we were editing, these pages had been included in that. LW: The books must have been written after those handwritten pages. MJ: Yeah, so some sentences were basi cally repeated, some are edited, in a very starkly contrasting thing. And... so it was all there in the last part of the book, which was series fifteen. There are fifteen series to that book. So in the last series, this portion of Baba’s text, it was thirty-nine pages ofBaba’s handwriting, was incorporated. So that... . .
On 2?ctinbow 3lags Laurent Weichberger Arizona
Baba in 1986 I have been aware of Meher Baba’s rainbow flag. When Baba first started working as a Spiritual Master at Meherabad, in India, he lived in an extremely small dweffing (just large enough for him to lay down inside) known as a Jhopdi’. This was in 1924, before Baba started keeping silence. According to Bhau Kaichuri, “it was proposed that a flag be flown near the Jhopdi and, on April 23rd, a debate ensued about it. The Hindus said the color of the flag should be red, but Ramjoo objected, saying that red reflected only Vedant, and thatgreenwas better.Then the Hindus took objection, arguing that green was typically a Mohammedan color. The Parsis and Iranis disapproved of both colors, and to bring about accord, Baba proposed, “The flag should be of seven colors.” Naval prepared accordingly and, after it was sewn, it was hoisted near the Master’sJhopdi in the evening. As the flag stirred, Baba remarked, “Do you know why I suggested a seven colored flag? The seven colors represent the seven planes of consciousness.” “Meher Baba had specified the posi tioning of two colors: “Red should be at the bottom ofthe flag and sky blue at the top. Arrangement of the other five colors is your decision.” “Meher Baba later added: “Besides representing the seven planes of consciousness, these colors also represent sanskaras—impressions. The colors in the flag signify man’s rise from the grossest of impressions oflust and anger—symbolized by red—to the culmination in the highest state of spirituality and oneness with God—symbolized by sky blue.” 2
As a result, a rainbow flag was sewn ac cording to Baba’s wish, and it is still flown at Meherabad today. I recently purchased a Baba rainbow flag at the Meher Baba Trust bookstore in Ahmednagar, India, see the description below. In November 2004, I took a road trip with mybeloved wife Lilly and our daugh ter, Aspen. Our travels took us through Massachusetts, and we visited Northamp ton, Amherst and Salem. Northampton is perhaps one of the lesbian capitals of America, and while we walked around that gorgeous and inspiring town, Aspen happened to be wearing a rainbow-flagbag which she had purchased in India, which is based on Meher Baba’s flag. This was her favorite bag to wear at the time. Then she saw all the rainbow flags hanging up in Northampton, on houses, in store windows, outside of stores on the streets. The gay pride rainbow flag has become ubiquitous. So she asked me immediately and with the naivety of a nine year old child, “Did they put up Baba’s flag?” Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. I had heard stories through the years from my homosexual friends in the Meher Baba community of some connection between Meher Baba’s rainbow flag, and the rainbow flag of the gay pride movement. But one hears so many stories, and many of them are Baba-urban-legends. So rather than answer Aspen’s fine question directly, I waited and instead entered a promi nent gay bookstore I saw as we walked together. I asked a young lesbian woman who worked there if she knew where I could find out information about the gay pride rainbow flag. She took me straight to
a book entitled, Completely Queei the Gay 3 Upon research& Lesbian Encyclopedia. ing the rainbow flag then and there, and taking notes in the bookshop, and then researching Meher Baba’s rainbow flag for this piece, I found out some fascinating information about the contrast between these two flags. Namely, a rainbow flag was created by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker for thejune 25, 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade. That original flag for the parade had these colors with the following 4 hot meanings assigned to them by him: pink—sex, red—life, orange—healing, yel low—sun, green—serenity turquoise—art, indigo—harmony, violet—spirit. So, when we attempt to compare and contrast these two rainbow flags, one from Meher Baba in April 1924 and the other Gilbert Baker more than fifty years later, it is clear that they are essentially reversed. In Baba’s flag there are only two colors that he specified the location: Red at the bottom, and sky blue at the top, as Baba wanted “the highest state of spiritu ality and oneness with God” to be raised above all else. In ‘the gay pride flag, violet representing “spirit” is at the bottom of the flag. Meher Baba was clear that red was representative of”the grossest impressions oflust and anger” and wanted them at the bottom of His flag. However, in the gay pride flag we see that two colors are given the highest place, pink and red, pink to symbolize “sex,” and red meaning “life.” Also, Baker created a rainbow flag of eight colors, and Baba was clear that there should be seven colors in His flag. Based all of this research, I can see no way
TOP GILBERT BAiR
Purple Indigo Green Yellow Orange Red no 8th color
the highest state ofspirituality and oneness with God plane of consciousness, sanskaras, impressions 5 plane of consciousness plane of consciousness plane of consciousness plane of consciousness the grossest ofimpressions oflust and anger
Hotpink Red Orange Yellow Green Turquoise Indigo Violet
sex life healing sun
serenity art harmony spirit
anyone can declare that these are the same rainbow flag, or that one is based upon the other. There are two completely different versions of the rainbow colored flag, with dramatically different inspirations. I understand that Gilbert Baker was asked by a homosexual Baba lover if there was any connection between his version of the rainbow flag created for the gay pride march, and the one created by Meher Baba decades earlier. He responded that there was no connection. All in all, this has been a valuable project for me personally. I believe the most important thing to re member regarding rainbow flags is simply that whatever version of the rainbow flag one is drawn to, it should be flown without fear, and with pride that one is a part of a special movement on this glorious planet, whether that is a gay pride movement, which I wholeheartedly value, or a Meher Baba movement ofwhich I am a part. One early morning at home, with my new son on my lap and contemplating all that I had discovered above (still not clear about what it all means) I turned to Master Rumi and stumbled upon the words ofthe poem below:
2qo jif I used to want buyersfor my words. Now I wish someone would buy me away from words. I’ve made a lot ofcharmingly p rofound images, scenes with Abraham, andAbrahamc fathei Azai who wasfamousfor icons. I’m so tired ofwhat Pve been doing. Then one image withoutform came, andl quit. Lookfor someone else to tend the shop. Dn out ofthe image making business. Finally I know thefreedoin ofmadness. A random image arrives, I scream, “Get out!” It disintegrates. Oniy love. Only the holder theflagfits into, and wind. Noflag. 6 —Rumi This dwelling of Baba’s is still present at Me1 herabad, and one of the most important points of significance for those visiting. It is right near the fire pit where Meher Baba ordered the Dhuni to be lit on the 12th day ofeach month. From Lord Meher p.6l8 (Seven-Colored Flag). 2 CompletelyQueer, the Gay &Lesbian Encyclope 3 diabyS. Hogan and L. Hudson (NewYork : Henry Holt&Co., 1998). 1n 1979 the colors were changed to a rainbow flag 4 used today by the gay pride movement. For more about planes of consciousness, and 5
sanskaras (impressions) see Meher Baba’s seminal book, God Speaks (Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented). Poem is from The Soul ofRumi: A New Collec 6 tion ofEcstatic Poems, by C. Barks (San Francisco: Harper, 2001)”
Photo ofMeher Baba ©Courtesy ofMSI Collection
rl;Iie i3ook Someone then asked Baba why he was not allowing anyone to read his book in which he claimed he revealed hitherto unknown spiritual truths. Baba explained: “One must be prepared to read what I have written. It would be dangerous in one respect; ifthis intellectual knowledge is imparted at times the desire for God-Realization and experiencing that state vanishes, and the aspirant is onlysatisfiedwithwhat he knows intellectually or sees. Then the desire for union does not remain as keen. “Suppose there is a vast treasure, or something ofgreatworth beyond imagination, and there is a curtain between your room and it. This reading and intellectual knowledge would be equal to a literal explanation given by the one who has seen or experienced these things. You yourself don’t see the treasure behind the curtain, but have only read about it or heard it described.” LordMehei; Vol 3, pg 965 . . .
od cannot be explained, He cannot be argued about, He cannot be theorized, nor can He be discussed and understood. God can only be lived. Nevertheless, all that is said here and explained about God to appease the intellectual convulsions ofthe mind of man, still lacks many more words and further explanations because the TRUTH is that the Reality must be realized and the divinity of God must be attained and lived. the Reality can never be understood; it is to be realized by conscious experience.
. . .
GociSpeaks, p O2, ©1973 2
‘/3 ..Am 7 iere with )3ou 1 Filis Frederick with JeffWolverton ne more trial came, however in 1961. Baba was giving darshan at Poona; Westerners could come for one hour. Fred bought tickets for himselfand Ella but she reftised to go; she was in the midst ofmak ing copies of the Family Letter to be sent out to 500 people. She felt Baba wanted her to stay and fttlflll her responsibilities. Fred did everything in his power to persuade her, keeping her ticket open to the last. But her answer was still no. Fred went to India and saw Baba, and much to his delight, the Master allowed those Westerners who came to stay several days. During one darshan Baba called up Fred in front of everyone and asked him why he hadn’t brought Ella. Fred explained why she had stayed behind. Baba persisted, “But you should have brought her.” Fred replied he had done his best and even kept her ticket open. Baba was not satisfied. “Why didn’t you bring her?” By this time Fred was embarrassed by being rebuked in front of everyone, in fact became more and more angry until his whole body was trembling. Baba continued to press the issue. Finally Fred burst out “It’s your fault, Baba!” At this point Baba beamed and gave Fred His familiar sign for “perfec tion.” He then dictated a cable to be sent to Ella along these lines: “Fred may be here with Me but I am there with you.” At the very moment ofFred’s exchange with Baba, Fred later discovered, Ella was so stricken by remorse for not going to see Baba that she was contemplating suicide byjumping from her apartment window. Fred felt that Baba, by stirring up intense anger in him, was using the energy to save Ella. It’s a well-known fact that Baba would scold someone not present and at that very moment that person would “miraculously” escape some difficulty or danger: by talking about them He was attracting their negative sanskaras to Himself One can imagine how deeply touched Ella was by Baba’s loving cable giving her super support in her remorse. From “Fredella: A Bouquet of Memories”, by Filis Frederick with Jeff Wolverton, from The Awakenei Volume XXI, No. Two, Filis Frederick, Editor, ©1985 Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.
On Diet and the9ods RickM. Chapman California
©Bhikubhai Meelan Studio Pane
he issue of what to eat, how to eat, when to eat, and when not to eat has appeared throughout the ages in every religious and mystical tradition. From each tradition we have a heritage of rules and patterns, some fragmentary and some elaborate. In the Catholic Church, for example, meat was eschewed on Fridays and throughout Lent for hundreds ofyears. OrthodoxJudaism forbids the eating of pork, and the mixing of meat and dairy products, not to mention the innumerable other restrictions involved in keeping a kosher kitchen. For Muslims, both wine and pork are taboo. In the Hindu tradition, strict vegetarianism is considered to be the rule for serious spiritual aspirants. The ancient Vedic scriptures go into great detail in categorizing foods according to their effects on the activities of the mind, and for the seeker they prescribe only sattwic, or pure, foods—that is, vegetarian food free from such irritating ingredients as garlic, onions, chili, pepper, and so on. As for the Buddhists, apart from having only plain and pure food, the members of certain sects eat their last meal of the day at noon so that they will not be made sleepy by an evening meal and thus can be more alert for their long meditations. In the Jam tradition in India (which is based on a creed similar to Buddhism), fasting was more predominant than eating for the monks, and it is said that frequently they would follow a scheduled fast-to-thedeath that was graduated over several years. In addition to the guidelines set down in the major religions, there are innumerable cults and groups based on particular diets or food restrictions today. Fads ofthis sort range from advocacy of sixmonth fasts to preoccupation with the way in which every morsel is chewed. Fruitjuice diets, brown-rice-only diets, low-mucus diets, this-is-not-a-diet diets—the list is almost interminable. The only thing that becomes clear in looking over the rules about diet in the various religious paths is this: when some consensus is sought, the result is utter confusion.
As the seeker progresses toward and eventually along the spiritual path however, he begins to perceive a difference between the dogmas ofreligion and the essence ofspirimality As he does so, he finds that he is guided less by rules and more by intuition, by his inner perception ofwhat is truly important. An anecdote about Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the wellknown Sadguru on whom today’s Vedanta movement is founded, gives some perspective to the food issue from the eyes ofa Perfect Master. One day a devotee who was bubbling over with pride approached him: ‘Master, Master!’ he called out, ‘I have given up fish and betel nut!’ (A substance comparable to chewing tobacco.) ‘And why did you do that? What did the poor fish and betel do to deserve being treated so? Better that you give up women and gold.’ (That is, attachment to the world through lust and greed.) Although many teachers give the food issue great importance, those Masters who have actually reached the Goal of God-realization seem to relegate the matter to lower priority. Perfect Masters usually allow their vegetarian devotees to follow their own particular diets, and their non-vegetarian devotees to eat meat, fish, and so on. Such Masters will allow their followers to pursue the dictates of their own creeds if they wish, for they know that in the face of love for God, external ceremonies and rules have no value. As one great Master probably put it best, what goes into your mouth isn’t nearly as important as what comes out of it. How to Choose a Guru © Rick M. Chapman
©Bhikubhai Meelan Studio Pane
Crows, 7oo 3few 7V1otIis
and the 3mperishable 7aste of .Rothing Mirek . England was sitting on an evening hillside overlooking a great river that curled itself around the hip of a vast sprawling city sparkling with lights, when I suddenly felt very happy and I realised you were sitting beside me. Instantly, my eyes greeted you and you smiled. Then for a free moment, we sat looking out onto the evening sketched landscape. ‘You are very quiet tonight,’you said, after an immeasurable moment of time. ‘Yes, I suppose I am,’ I remarked. ‘The more I’m with you, the less my need becomes to say or ask you anything. But more and more, I experience a greater and deeper contentmentjust sitting in silence with you. I could sit like this with you for all time.’ ‘In a way you already do. Everyone does,’ you remarked without elaborating any further. And a quietness as full as an ocean engulfed me, as ifnothing else existed except our breathing and being together. ‘This is a1l my will,’ you said, making a graceflil sweeping gesture with your hand across the scene that lay before us. ‘Yes, I know’ I answered coldly. ‘You doiñ always like what is a manifesta tion of my will, do you?’ you questioned. ‘Like and dislike is a luxury I can’t afford anymore,’ I said. ‘Nevertheless, you don’t always like what is my will!’ you repeated. ‘No,’ I replied honestly.’ But I don’t dislike it either. And when I’m sittingwith you, then nothing touches me. Nothing matters. Then I feel free, real, myself— and I’m more than content just to breathe and be.’ ‘But if you were me, you would make changes—do things differently?’ ‘Yes, as me, I would,’ I said. ‘But if I were you, then I wouldn’t change anything, because as you I would know everything was just right—perfect. But as I don’t experience you, then I see things differently.’ ‘And you dont like a great deal that goes on in my name!’ Your words almost leapt on top of me. ‘No, I can’t say that I do.’ ‘So, in your opinion, what should I do to change things?’ ‘Nothing,’ I replied, ‘because I’m convinced that you\re aixeady made provisions for everything.’
‘So why is it troubling you so much?’ you asked looking puzzled. ‘Because I don’t understand why you always allow the majority to sway you, when you knowpreciselywhatwiil happen —what the result will be—’ ‘While the minority are left waiting and hoping for the day that never seems to come,’ you said snatching the words right out of my mouth. ‘Yes.’ ‘I am a slave to my lovers and my hands are tied,’ you sighed, suddenly looking so pale and tired, that for an unending moment I felt agonising sorrow and pity for you. But then you reminded me that you were also beyond everything: that you were simulta neously eternally bound and eternally free. And I thanked you for releasing me from the unendurable agony. ‘But why are you always such a willing slave to the majority while the minority it seems to me are forgotten and abandoned crying in the wilderness?’ I asked you. ‘You mean, you!’ ‘Yes, ifyou like, me,’ I retorted with some embarrassment, ‘and others like me.’ ‘But how have I forgotten you when I am with you here and now!’ ‘Sometimes I wonder if that’s only because I’m a troublemaker and I’m always ready to cause a stink or to tell you what I think, if I feel neglected by you. And you come to indulge me—and protect me from my crass egotism. But not everyone is so ill-mannered towards you. Most of your followers will silently put up with anything for your sake without a single complaint or murmur. They’re your true lovers who wait for you from one age to another.’ ‘And you thinkl neglect and forget them,’ youjumped in. ‘No.’ ‘So what are you saying, because I don’t understand!’ you said appearing mystified. ‘of course you understand,’ I snapped back at you before I could control my words. ‘You understand everything perfectly—not onlywhat I’m saying, but also whyl’m saying it! It’s me who doesn’t understand!’ Yet you made no indication that you minded my rude outburst, but asked me to continue.
All I’m trying to say is that it’s not been long since you were amongst us and I believed that it would be different this time. That we had finally learnt from past lessons and this time you would not be made into another religion with all its breathless para phernalia. I believed with all my heart that this time you would remain real and alive in our hearts, the way you are now sitting here with me: ever-changing, ever-fresh, ever renewing yourself, yet ageless. That even though you are God, you would come and remain as our one and real Friend, Father, Mother and Beloved—sharing in all the intimacies of our lives. And that you would be approachable in this way not only to us, but for generations to come—for all time! ‘Yet already, so early in the day, it’s clear to see that many ofyour followers are becoming unnerved by your naturalness and your acces sibility They are becoming uneasy with the way you are: having you walking about freely and appearing anywhere, at any given time, without warning or invitation. And they are already plotting to restrict your freedom and to censor your indiscriminate love. And you are going to allow them to do so, because of your most perfect and compassionate love for us.’ Your eyes then smiled at me with such tender love that I felt as if you had cut me in half and tears swelled in my eyes. ‘That’s what I mean. You see onlyyourself in everyone—you see only Love. But I see myself in everyone and I see only human nature! And this same human nature will soon lock you up inside a cage and then hide you behind the same clockwork ritual and ceremony, regimental rules and regulations as ofold—because it’s safer and less trouble than loving you the way you want to be loved. And theywill turn you into stone and stand you on a high shelf out of reach and out of harm’s way. The world doesn’t want your truth and love interfering in its daily affairs and lives. Let alone to become God! In spite of the world’s misery and constant complaining, it’s having a great time being human, thank you very much! As soon as the fragrance ofyour presence merges with the landscape, they will cutoff your untamable curls and rub-out your oceanic smile. They will pluck out your eyes and fill them with dull rosary beads and holy
ashes. They will smother your perennial rose scent with the stink of smoking candles and empty lip-service. They will cage your most perfect naturalness and replace it with 1,001 ‘thou shalt not’s.’Theywill outlaw the road of naked love to you and replace it with the same old road ofsin and shame.Theywill take your authority and power and divide it amongst themselves; then build a church in your name to act as the only telephone exchange between you and us. Finally, they will raise sword and gun and shed blood in your name. ‘But before this, your own followers are going to crucify you. They are going to hang you on a crooked cross in the middle of a field to ward off the moths and to give status to the crows—and they will build a wall around you and even charge an admis sion fee! Because every time you come this is your real crucifixion, isn’t it! This is the real meaning ofit, isnt it: what your followers do in your name afterwards! And out of your most perfect love for us, you are going to let us: because you are Love, and Love must love. But the very thought of this tears me into pieces. ‘They’ll hang you upside down from a tree like a crow. But why must it always be like this! I don’t understand what the world has got against you! ‘Even now, they are casting straws in your palace courtyards: who will be the first martyr and priest in your name. Because it is only human nature! But does the world need more martyrs and priests! And the presses are being inked and oiled to roll and print out the first membership card in your name, when you are already in everyone and in every place. When your love is so touchable that all we have to do isjust sit with you and breathe you. And the very thought of this awakens an insufferable rage within me!’ Gently you placed your hand in mine and even gave me your handkerchief to dry my tears with. ‘Forgive me,’ I blurted, ‘this is probably crazy talk. Who am I to pass comment, let alonejudgment, on your will? But you know what a loose mouth I’ve got! All I’m saying is, dont be so easily swayed by the majority, but give the minority a chance this time. Just for once, why don’t you fight back!’ Hearing this, you doubled up with Un— controllable laughter. ‘Yes, it sounds fimny,’ I said, trying to restrain myself from laughing with you, ‘but why not? Why don’t you fight back for a change and give them a taste of their own medicine!’
Then with awesome suddenness your laughter instantly stopped. ‘And if I were to fight back, what would this prove or ac complish in the long run?’ you asked with frightening earnestness. ‘Nothing,’ I admitted, ‘yet it would make some ofus very happy to see you do so—even once!’ ‘If it was only that simple,’ you said, re veahng a perfectly helpless smile. ‘But Love must love because it is Love, even when it would like to fight back.’ ‘I know,’ I replied, ‘but just keep it in mind, will you! Because so love the way you are now. When I was still a boy, this is howl dreamt you would be—and you are! So why don’t you remain this way for everyone, for all time. Like a wild garden ofunbibled scents and uncatalogued colours: a garden with no gate, no fence, not even a bench to sit upon. Or like a river saying to all those who thirst, ‘come and drink!’ Don’t allow the majority to put up prohibitive and instructive signs all around you: ‘no swimming allowed—no shoes or humour allowed,’ ‘uncover your head—cover your head,’ ‘wash your hands only—wash your feet only,’ ‘stand, kneel, bow, chant.’What does the thirsty man need with all these files and rituals, when he has come only to quench his thirst, to immerse himselfin you and rest for a while before he continues on his way. ‘Why do you always have to become a religion: a lap dog to the majority Fight back! Even a little. You often reminded us that you doth need any help from anyone to be who and what you are. So I beg you, be that—and don’t allow the world to make you into a scarecrow Moths need a naked light and there are too many crows in the world as it is! ‘I’m begging you, fight back a little. I’ll even buy you a pair of boxing gloves, although I know full well that your power is such that you could dissolve the whole universe in one breath. I’m begging you as a friend, because I have never met anyone like you before and I want everyone to know you at least this much. You tell me you are God, Christ, Avatar and I believe you because I feel the truth of your words within myself But I have no experience of this. When I do, I’ll know. The matter is that simple. But there is more to you than just being God, Christ, Avatar. You are the only True-Self I have ever known. Whenever I am with you or I look at you or I think of you, I want nothing but you. And I have never felt this way about anyone or anything in my whole life. Just a glance or smile from you makes
me feel you are everything I will ever want or need.Just your presence makes me experi ence that everything is free, right, real. That everything is your love. I don’t always like what I see, but you never said that I must —and you never will. And whenever you give me a sip oflove, I know that I am with you and that I always have been. And that’s all that really matters to me.’ Your ocean eyes gave me the tenderest glance, before you gazed down into the darkening evening. ‘The minority are also myWill and often more: they are what they are by my grace,’ you said after a few moments of silence. ‘Without my grace, they wduld still be within the majority. I do not forget them or anyone, because I am in everyone. Have I not drawn them to me in the most miraculous ways first, before the majority? This is my love for them.’ ‘Yes, I know,’ I rudely interrupted you, ‘but I wasn’t questioning your love or your memory But not so long ago, we used to arrive at your Home dazed, bewildered, sometimes not even knowing why we had come. We came without thought of being chosen or saved. And we came to touch, breathe, to stand in naked wonder within your love and to share this naked wonder with others. Now it seems to me that many are arriving with introductory letters and pocket calculators that indicate they are chosen, saved. You are sitting next to me now, but I don’t feel chosen—let alone saved. Why couldn’t you have left it the way it was for a while longer?’ ‘Because I am for All. Because I am All! And I have to reach All by any recep tive channel available. It’s my Will and it’s progress. Are youjealous that my love is for all and everyone?’ you asked shooting me a dark scorching glance. ‘I wish it were only that I was jealous. It would be more of a natural symptom and easier to understand than this continuous pain and confttsion that I suffer,’ I replied looking at you for support, but your expres sion revealed nothing. ‘But is your Wiil what you want or what we need?’ I persisted ques tiornng you, unable to let the matter rest. You suddenly stared intently at me and your eyebrows arched themselves high on your brow like an owl’s, and my heart missed several beats, thinking that I had gone too far. But then you smiled like a young boy who had lived forever. ‘Your honesty touches me. However it is not that simple to explain. From your point of view, it is easier to say that I am 39
in everyone and everything—therefore my Will is not dissimilar to your needs, which in reality are my needs. ‘But I am also beyond everyone and everything. Yet I can have preference to a particular colour, some music or even a food dish. But in the next instance, my preferences can be totally different. My mind is univer sal—my individuality is seffless. ‘Has Love a will? Love loves, that’s all. I am Love. It is the clearest way I can explain it to your present limited understanding. Onlywhen you begin to glimpse what Love is, more and more, then you will know. It is beyond words, explanations, even feelings.’ I felt my cerebral matter was tangling and tying itself into knots trying to understand you. And I felt relieved when you stopped explaining yourself to me and we sat just breathing in silence again. ‘Whenever I come, I repeat the same message: Love me. Love me, more and more, because I am Love and everything is my Love.This is allyou need to know and this is all you need to do. Love me, more and more. Don’t concern yourselfwith whether you are able to love me—just love me: honestly and wholeheartedly, because all love is mine. ‘I am in everyone and everything. For me, there is no one but me. But for you there is space, time and distance; majority and minority; coming and going life and death. All this separates you from me. There is no return journey home, there is no you—not even I exist the way you see me. Everything Is—And I Am That Is-ness. And when you know me as I really am, everything will be clear to you. Until then, love me, more and more. This is all you need to know and this is all you need to do. ‘There is no majority, as there is no minority—everyone and everything is an infinitesimal particle of me: and everyone and everything is in one form or another unique. Unique in a way it is not possible for you to imagine yet. ‘To whosoever comes to me, I give what she or he can lift or carry away. I cannot give an elephant’s load to an ass, nor do I send messages by a snail when I can use a dove. Speculate on what is my Will if you must, even question it because it’s a healthy and natural process, but do not waste your time and mine, resisting and fighting it. Through loving me, you surrender more and more to my Will, and my Will reflects your needs. The purpose of myWill is not to subjugate everyone to my totalitarian power or to make everyone the same. But by surrendering to my Will, one day you will be released from 40
your present entanglement with duality and you will taste real freedom. Then you will see and know the truth of my words. Real freedom is not to be found in space or time, but rather in the reverse direction. In a way, it is to surrender all one’s willpower and freedom and become the minutest atom imaginable—and then step beyond into ap parent nothingness.This apparent nothingness is real freedom. This is the domain of my reality—my Isness.’ Then such a great hush descended over the hillside that I imagined I could hear the emerging stars singing to you and the stones around us sighing as they breathed your love. As usual, I confess I have no reply to your words oftruth and love. They touch me and they fill me. And I am happy and thankftil you have indulged me so far’ I said swimming in your beautiftil gaze. ‘I understand that you are for everyone and you must allow yourself to be used by everyone in whatever way it needs to draw them closer and nearer to you, so that in the final end you can free yourself in all of us; that the prostitute’s lot is a happier one than yours—and I marvel and tremble before such love. ‘All I’m saying to you is hire gardeners before the weeds get too high and send in the wolves to thin out the goats, before the sheep starve for the lack of grass. Is that asking too much of you? And promise me that you won’t allow even one priest to arise in your name and don the robe ofexclusiveness and hypocrisy. It only takes one—because they breed faster than rodents!’ You laughed heartily. But your eyes were a calm sea of indescribable suffering. ‘So there you are! What else can I do!’ ‘Nothing, you have done it all,’ I answered. ‘Then what are you asking from me?’ ‘Nothing,’ I said, ‘I’m just voicing my feelings and I’m so grateftil to you for lis tening.’ ‘Have you accomplished anything by doing so?’ Anything done with you is ever old, ever new, ever changing, ever ageless—ever an immeasurable sip from the cup of Love.’ Then your smiling eyes filled mine and everything was momentarily one and perfect. ‘I must go now,’ you said without mak ing any movement to leave, ‘but before I go, do you want anything from me? I’m in the mood to give you anything you want. Don’t
be bashful and modest. Ask me. Anything.’ ‘Nothing. There’s nothing.’ Are you sure?’you saidwith disbelief ‘Just ask me. You can have anything, right now.’ ‘What can I possibly ask of you when you have already given everything—and everything beyond everything, by giving yourself Everything has already happened. Everything Is. It’s already here and now. I just have to find it, uncover it. That’s all.’ I looked into your eyes, but they revealed nothing. ‘Just protect me from dishonesty and hypocrisy.Just this. Then the rest will come, because it’s here already.’ I expected you to be pleased with my words and to embrace you. But you neither said nor did anything and I felt very happy. ‘What shall I do about the crows, then?’ you teased. ‘What you always do: love them to the point of indulgence and beyond, until they love you.’ And what shall I do about the moths?’ ‘Keep turning your back to them. That way their path is clearer, straighter, more certain.’ ‘So everything is fine?’you asked standing up like a sun ascending. ‘It always was. You saw to that just by being who and what you are.’ ‘Do you still want me to fight back?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied quickly, ‘but only a little! ust J enough!’ And we laughed together, though silent tears were flowing from my eyes. ‘I am your fool—but I love you so dearly. Be with me always,’ I implored you. You then stretched out your hand and pulled me to your feet, saying, ‘I have to go now but walk a little way with me.’ How could I refuse! I felt such happiness that you had even asked me. But before I could take a step with you, you vanished. For a long bewildered moment I was startled by your rude exit and I was about to comment on it to you, in no polite terms, when I suddenly understood what you were saying to me through your abrupt disappearance. And I smiled to myself ‘You are everywhere, in every place— there is no place for you to hide, because you are here and now. And one day I will find you, never to lose you,’ I said to you. Then the night embraced me with the liiil weightlessness of silence. —Mirek Popowicz Songs Grown From Sand and Stones © 1994 .
,Zoroastrictns SXeep the 3ctitli,
<eep Dwindling and 2 Laurie Goodstein The NewYorkTimes, September 6, 2006 obsession,” said Dma McIntyre, an IndianAmerican lawyer in Chesapeake, Va., who has written and lectured widely on her religion. Ridge, Illinois: In his day job, The Zoroastrians’ mobility and adaptKersey H. Antia is a psychologist who abilityhas contributed to their demographic speciahzes in panic disorders. In his private crisis. They assimilate and intermarry, life, Mr. Antia dons a long white robe, slips virtually disappearing into their adopted a veil over his face and goes to work as a cultures. And since the faith encourages Zoroastrian priest, performing rituals passed opportunities for women, many Zoroastrian down through a patrilineal chain of priests women are working professionals who, like other professional women, have few stretching back to ancient Persia. After a service for the dead in which children or none. Despite their shrinking numbers, Zo priests fed sticks ofsandalwood and pinches offrankincense into a blazing urn, Mi. Antia roastrians—who follow the Prophet Zara surveyed the Zoroastrian faithful of the thustra (Zoroaster in Greek)—are divided Midwest—about 80 people in saris, suits over whether to accept intermarried families and blue jeans. and converts and what defines a Zoroastrian. “We were once at least 40, 50 million An effort to create a global organizing body —can you imagine?” said Mr. Antia, senior fell apart two years ago after some priests priest at the fire temple here in suburban accused the organizers of embracing “fake Chicago. “At one point we had reached the converts” and diluting traditions. “They feel that the religion is not uni pinnacle ofgloryofthe Persian Empire and had a beautiftil religious philosophy that versal and is ethnic in nature, and that it governed the Persian kings. should be kept within the tribe,” said Jehan “Where are we now? Completelywiped Bagli, a retired chemist in Toronto who is a out,” he said. “It pains me to say, in 100 years priest, or mobed, and president ofthe North American Mobed Council, which includes we won’t have many Zoroastrians.” There is a palpable panic among Zo about 100 priests. “This is a tendency that United only in the today—not roastrians to me sometimes appears suicidal. And they States,but also around theworld—that they are prepared to make that sacrifice.” In South Africa, the last Zoroastrian are fighting the extinction of their faith, a monotheistic religion that most scholars say priest recently died, and there is no one left least 3,000 years old. to officiate at ceremonies, said Rohinton Christianpredates Zoroastrianism Rivetna, a Zoroastrian leader in Chicago say it historians many Islam, and who, with his wife, Roshan, was a principal ity and cross-fertilized and faiths influenced those mover behind the failed effort to organize a of one its doctrines with global body. But they have not given up. Judaism as well, evil and of good universe “We have to be working together if we God, a dualistic and a final day ofjudgment. are going to survive,” Mr. Rivetna said. dominated once While Zoroastrians Although the collective picture is bleak, now Rome from is what an area stretching most individual Zoroastrians appear to be global their and Greece to India and Russia, thriving. They are well-educated and wellmost, at population has dwindled to 190,000 traveled professionals, earning incomes that according and perhaps as few as 124,000, place them in the middle and upper classes Journal, ofthe countries where they or their families to a survey in 2004 by Fezana of Federation by the published quarterly settled afterleaving their homelands in Iran America. ofNorth Zoroastrian Associations and India. About 11,000 Zoroastrians live in ofwildly because is imprecise The number the United States, 6,000 in Canada, 5,000 as Iran, known once in diverging counts in England, 2,700 in Australia and 2,200 in faith. ofthe incubator Persia—the the Persian Gulf nations, according to the community a become has “Survival Fezana Journal survey.
[MeherBabacparents were fthe Zoroastrian
religion and wejèlt thefoiowing article may be ofinterest to our readers.]
This is the second major exodus in Zoroastrian history In Iran, after Muslims rose to power in the seventh centuryA.D., historians say the Zoroastrian population decimated by massacres, persecution and conversions to Islam. Seven boatloads ofZoroastrian reftigees fled Iran and landed on the coast oflndia in 936. Their descen dants, known as Parsis, built Mumbai, formerly Bombay, into the world capital of Zoroastrianism. The Zoroastrian magazine Parsiana publishes charts each month tracking births, deaths and marriages. Leaders fret over the reports from Mumbai, where deaths outnumber births six to one. The intermarriage rate there has risen to about one in three. The picture in North America is more hopeftil: about 1.5 births for one death. But the intermarriage rate in North America is now nearly 50 percent. Soli Dastur, an exuberant priest who lives in Florida, is among the first generation of immigrants who started the trend. Mr. Dastur grewup in avillage outside Mumbai, where his father was a priest, the fire temple the center oftown and his whole world Zoroastrian. He arrived in Evanston, Ill., in 1960, where he knew ofno other Zoroastrians, to attend college on a scholarship provided by one of the Parsi endowments in Mumbai, which have since provided scholarships to others. He earned a Ph.D., worked as a chemical engineer and married an Amencan Roman Catholic he met on a blind date 40 years ago. Mr. Dastur is a priest in much demand to perform ceremonies because ofhis melodic chanting ofthe prayers. He and his wife,Jo Ann, have two grown daughters. Neither married a Zoroastnian. “They’re good human beings,” Mr. Das tur said. “That’s more important to me.” The very tenets ofZoroastnianism could be feeding its demise, many adherents said in interviews. Zoroastnians believe in free will, so in matters of religion they do not believe in compulsion.They do not prosely tize.They can pray at home instead ofgoing to a temple. While there are priests, there is no hierarchy to set policy. And their basic
doctrine is a universal ethical precept: “good thoughts, good words, good deeds.” “That’s what I take away from Zoroas trianism,” said Tenaz Dubash, a filmmaker in New York City who is making a docu mentary about the future ofher faith, “that I’m a cerebral, thinking human being, and I need to think for myself” Ferzin Patel, who runs a support group for 20 intermarried couples in New York, said thatwhile the Zoroastrians in the group adored their faith and wanted to teach it to their children, they in no way wanted to compel their spouses to convert. “In the intermarriage group, I dont think anyone feels that someone should forfeit their religion just for Zoroastrianism,” Ms. Patel said. Despite, or because of the high intermarriage rate, some Zoroastrian priests refitse to accept converts or to perform initiation ceremonies for adopted children or the children ofintermarried couples, es peciallywhen the father is not Zoroastrian. The ban on these practices is far stronger in India and Iran than in North America.
“As soon as you do it, you start diluting your ethnicity and one generation has an intermarriage, and the next generation has more dilution and the customs become all fttzzy and they eventually disappear” said Jal N. Birdy, a priest in Corona, Calif., who will not perform weddings ofmixed couples. “Thatwould destroymycommunity which is why I won’t do it.” The North American Mobed Council is so divided on the issue of accepting intermarried spouses and children that it has been unable to take a position, said Mr. Bagli, the council’s president. He supports accepting converts because he said he can find no ban in Zoroastrian texts, but he estimated that as many as 40 percent of the priests in his group were opposed. The peril and the hope for Zoroastrian ism are embodied in a child ofthe diaspora, Rohena ElaviaUllal, 27, a physical therapist in suburban Chicago. Ms. Ullal knew from an early age that her parents wanted her to marry another Zoroastrian. Her mother, a former board president ofthe Chicago temple, helped or-
ganize Sunday school classes once a month there, enticing teenagers with weekend sleepovers and roller-skating trips. The result was a core group of close friends who felt more like cousins,Ms. Ullal said recently over breakfast. Both of her brothers found mates at Zoroastrian youth congresses, and one is already married. Ms. Ullal stayed on the lookout. “There were so few” she said. “I guess you’re lucky if you find somebody. That would be the ideal.” Ms. Ullal’s college boyfriend is also the child of Indian immigrants to the United States, but he is Hindu. [They married on Saturday and had two ceremonies—one Hindu, one Zoroastrian.] ButMs. Ullal says that before they even became engaged, they talked about her desire to raise their children as Zoroastrians. “It’s scary we’re dipping down in num bers,” she said. “I don’t want to hurt his parents, but he doesn’t have the kind of responsibffity whereas I do.”
What is Wrong with the Wor1d 7oday? uch questions are bound to arise in thinking minds, but often the answers given are not completely honest. Diagnosis given and remedies adopted have all been biased and so the situation remains vague and unresolved. The crux of the matter lies in the correct reinterpretation of the ancient word ‘religion’. The West has very little religion, and whenever one hears of it, it is either subservient to politics or at best an adjunct of material life. The East is suffering from an overdose ofreligion, and consequently it hankers desperately for a material antidote. Religion in the West is synonymous with scientific progress, which is distinc tive in its manifestation. Religion in the East, and in India in particular, has gone underground and been replaced largely by crude ceremonies, vague rituals and lifeless dogmas. Instead of nourishing the seeds of peace and plenty, this subterranean religion tries to propagate communism, fanaticism, nationalism and patriotism, which have become bywords associated with leadership and greatness, suffering and sanctity. In short, religion as a living force has become obsolete.
The urgent need oftoday to resuscitate religion, is to dig it out ofits narrow, dark vault and let the spirit of man shine out once again in its pristine glory. The most practical thing in the world is to be spiritual-minded. It needs no special time, place or circumstance. It is not necessarily concerned with anything out of the ordinary daily routine. It is never too early or too late to be spiritual. It is just a simple question of having the proper mental attitude towards lasting value, changing circumstance and avoidable eventualities, as well as a healthy sense of the inevitable. Spirituality is not restricted to, nor can it be restricted by, anyone or anything, anywhere, at anytime. It covers all life for all time, and it can easily be achieved through selfless service and that pure love which knows no bondage and seeks no boundary A mighty surge of this spirituality is about to sweep over the world. Glow International
February 1995 Naosherwan Anzar © 1995 AMBPPCT Photo ofMeher Baba © Courtesy MSI Collection
DES: The two handwritings are different, the big manuscript is one type of handwriting, Baba’s thirty-nine pages are definitely Baba’s. MJ: There’s a sheet written by hand, which says. it’s in In Godc Hand. So it says that these are handwritten pages ofBaba, sometime in the twenties. So by having that there we got authorship of these two books. It has no beginning, and it just suddenly ends. So that’s the history of this manuscript. We don’t know the origin, we don’t know where it was, when it was.... LW: Inside the text, I think you’ve gone through the whole text already. .Do the words “Meher Baba” appear anywhere inside the text? MJ: Never. No, no. Except in one place where the personal pronoun is there —I—or something. Otherwise it’s this sort of narration in third person or something. LW: But no “Meher”. no “Baba.” MJ: Oh, no, no no. No authorship. No title, no end, no beginning, no date. DES: Very very good story and complete. I’m glad to know that. MJ: So now this book has been finally edited, we did about three or four editings, and the translations were no end to our headaches, because the nuances, presented in the English language, with all the Gujarati idioms, were extremely difficult. So we tried to make the best possible thing. And. we have been very transparent about the editing thatwe have done. the text. LW: When you and Ward did your four years ofediting. Did you start with the one that had been typed up by Rhoda, with Bal Natu, or did you start with the version that had already been edited by Bhau Kalchuri? MJ: Both, we had both. editions with us, at the side, and we had the original manuscript. LW: Ok, so you had both. MJ: Both. Just to get the sort of work... it was a great help to us, because it had unraveled many of those things. And Ward, in his own way, had simplified it a bit. It was much easier. to have them both together. But we were constantly, the main text was on the side, editing, and the text was there. But, mind you... when I was doing this, and the original handwritten pages were not being ac cessed, we thought there might be some . .
errors by Rhoda, who knows. So the LW: No, but you’re saying there was repetition. I know Baba uses repetition original handwritten work was given to because you can see it in God Speaks and Eric Nadel, to scan into his computer, other places. And, if Baba had chosen then we had scans of the original, from to use words that were repeating like which we did the direct editing. that, why would anybody allow Ward to DES: Where is the discussion on, “is this change those words? IfBaba had chosen The Book, or is this not The Book?” those words, why not use them? MJ: The only clue we have is that Baba used to tell us off and on in Mandali MJ: We didn’t change the words, we just presented it in a sort of presentable Hall, in Guruprasad, or here, is what manner. That thing that we have done I’m giving here is only ten percent of the is, that this whole text that has been points. So what Bhau says is quite. So, handwritten will go on the Internet. So, The Book, this is knowwhether we don’t people who weren’t satisfied with the it’s happened, has what this is exactly if editing can very well access it. whatmake inference, the to all for you DES: Say, “To hell with those editors.” this trans all made we’ve And it is. ever essay oflong in our sort clear, parent and MJ: Yeah, they can piss on our graveyards. of details the All byWard. that was done [Laughter] If we have any graveyards. about. came how the manuscript Because who the hell are we to edit what Baba’s... DES: This I can certainly say, I made a great point to read careftilly the thirty- DES: Baba asked Ivy and me to do God some odd pages that are written in Baba’s Speaks. I must say that the first two three handwriting, but it is certainly very ap months after it came out there were a few parent to me that Baba’s style at that time rather unappreciative... in his life is very different from the style MJ: Oh, we expect a lot ofthese ones when in the ‘50s and ‘60s. This I know from this comes out. It’s gone to [Sheriar] my own experience with Baba. there is still some work to be done, we MJ: He was moving at the time. are still at it, so that’s how it is. if Book, this DES: So, ifthis was Baba’s DES: Well, I must say, you’ve certainly is The Book, then it is a vastly different given quite an earftil here. I appreci style than God Speaks. ate it Meherwan. These are important things and to get the record of how it MJ: It’s a different angle ofthe same book. came about. This is going to be terribly It’s the same style of repetition. Page important in the future. after page ofrepetition. So much so that black is black is black. It becomes so MJ: It’s quite a startlingly different redundant and so repetitive that it was angle. difficult for us to repeat it like that. So LW: I can’t wait. I love controversy. Ward tried to polish it as much as he MJ: And it’s all very highly intellectual. could, while showing it the same words It’s all the thinking in the mind. that Baba used.To drive home the point, DES: Baba’s mind is certainly the best one or, you know. I ever ran into in my life. DES: It is almost certainly that because MJ: Top mind. of the fact that what you saw in Baba’s DES: Top mind. Top, top. handwriting is repeated in the long manuscript, certainly the long manu LW: His was stopped. MJ:The stopped mind.That’s whatwe are script is by Baba. confronting. With our extra fast moving LW: Of course it is. The. of that text, mind, we are suddenly confronted by this no person except who knows the thing of stopped mind. wall great could do it. Mmm, yes. Yes, yes. Did you DES: DES: I just have to say my own judg us to those handwritten take want to ment, for, way deep down inside when pages? I ran through the 30-some odd pages, I said, this cannot be The Book which MJ: Sure. [Meherwan then ends the conversation and takes Don and Laurent is missing. But that’s my own personal over to Eruchc shack, next to Mandali viewpoint. Hall at Meherazad. He has with him a LW: If Baba had repeated the same words box which contains the handwrit plastic over and over throughout the text... ten nzanuscrpt, in some unknown scribec MJ: Not throughout the text, sentences handwriting, which is now available as would follow. .
the book Infinite Intelligence. We resume the transcript as we are standing together in Eruc& room opening the box.] DES: So, what should we do, spread it out on Eruch’s bed a moment? MJ: This is the original thing. I’d like to open this because this has LW: Is this about the size of what you think it may have been wrapped up in...? DES: Oh no, it was considerably smaller, both width-wise and length-wise. MJ: That might be Baba’s original handwriting, but this isn’t. You see, this is how the book begins. This is the first page of the book. This is the handwriting. And, these are diagrams and everything. Itjust begins “Series One. and goes on like this. And these pages are numbered serially. And very neat handwriting, there are marginal notes. And so on, it goes on page after page after page. DES: Almost no corrections. Mi: Yeah. So this is the original... DES: I loved to see that, thank you so much Meherwan. MJ: This is the second part of. the page number continues here, up to, I think 211, 212 pages handwritten. Page numbers hand written. Then about sixty pages are blank in this book. Nothing. LW: At the back. MJ: In the middle. LW and DES: In the middle? DES: Interesting. MJ: We thought that was the end of the text. Then we saw at the end there was still some more writing. There were 44 more pages following after those blanks. And in those 44 pages is... LW: .The thirty-seven from In Godc Hand MJ: The thirty-nine pages of In Godc Hand And the same person who has written this has also written this, it is the same letters. But this has become so fragile that to open this... DES: Oh don’t, don’t try... MJ: .the same thing. But the size of the letters to start with are the big. but the same stripes. seem to continue. ...
This concludes the interview with Meh erwan Jessawala. Thank you, Meherwan. Thank you, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba.
i3aba in the 13athroom? Dma Snow Gibson • LA
he following subject comes up many a time at the different Baba Centers around the country Here at Meherabode it has caused controversy when we have placed a nicely framed photo of our Beloved in the bathrooms. The problem seems to lie mainly with people who have been brought up in another religion that deems it a great sacriledge and insult to the Lord Almighty be He Muhammed, Zoroaster or Krishna, to have the Avatar in a place where we attend to normal bodily functions. So we went hunting in the archives to find out if and what Baba had actually said about such a thing. In answer to the question: Should we have Baba’s photo in the bathroom? we found Baba’s answer in The Ancient One by Eruch Jessawalla on page 97: Someone in the crowd asked, “How can we remember you, Baba.?” “Now that you have seen Me in this coat, this form, keep my photographs or whatever will remind you ofMe and help you to continue remembering Me. Keep Mypicture in your house and in your toilet also, so that even there you can remember Me all the time. Before you start your day, remember Me. Remembering Me now becomes a mechanical process but mind wants varietyc So you can read all the books that have been published and read my magazines too which narrate My life and My work. This is another way of remembering Me.”
i: aziness its a JPath From Saint Francis Francis (to Brother Leo): You told me that your whole life you’ve been searching for God. How have you done this? By calling, weeping, singing songs, fasting? Each man must have his own special route to lead him to God. Which route did you take? That is my question. Brother Leo: I lowered my head in thought. Should I tell him or shouldn’t I? I had meditated on this many times and knew which my route was, but I was ashamed to reveal it. To be sure, I was still ashamed before men at that period, because I was not yet ashamed before God. Francis: Why don’t you answer me? I am passing thru a difficult moment and and seek your aid. Help me!
Brother Leo: I felt sorry for him. With agitated heart I made the decision to tell him everything. My route, Sior Francis and don’t be surprised when you hear it my route when I set out to find God. was... laziness. Yes, laziness. If I wasn’t lazy I would’ve gone the way of respectable, upstanding people. Like everyone else I would’ve studied a trade cabinetmaker, and opened a shop; I weaver, mason would have worked all day long, and where then would I have found time to search for God? I might as well be looking for a needle in a haystack: that’s what I would have said to myself. All my mind and thoughts would have been occupied with how to earn my living, feed my children, how to keep the upper hand over my wife. With such worries, curse them, how could I have had the time, or inclination, or the pure heart needed to think about the Almighty? But by the grace of God I was born lazy. To work, get married, have children, and make problems for myselfwere all too much trouble. I simply sat in the sun dur ing winter and in the shade suring summer, while at night, stretched out on my back on the roof of my house, I watched the moon and the stars. And when you watch the moon and the stars how can you expect your mind not to dwell on God? I couldn’t sleep any more. ‘Who made all that?’, I asked myself. And why? Who made me, and why? Where can I find God so that I may ask Him? Piety requires laziness, and don’t you know. It requires leisure listen to what others say. The laborer who lives from hand to mouth returns home each night exhausted and famished. He assaults his dinner, bolts his food, then quarrels with his wife, beats his children without rhyme or reason simply because he’s tired and irritated, and afterwards he clenches his fists and sleeps. Waking up for a moment he finds his wife at his side, couples with her, clenches his fists once more and plunges back into sleep. Where can he find time for God? But the man who is without work, children and wife thinks about God, at first just out of curiosity, but later with anguish. Do not shake your head, Sior Francis. You asked and I answered. Forgive me. From Saint Francis, by Nikos Kazantzakis © 1962 by Simon and Schuster —
4eetings lJ 1
Tucson—Irma Sheppard: 520-3211566, firstname.lastname@example.org. Flagstaff—AMB Lovers of Northern Arizona: 928-774-8305, laurent@ ompoint.com.
p IORTH CAROLINA Asheville-Winnie Barrett, 828-2747154, email@example.com. Peter and Debbie Nordeen—nordeeni@ bellsouth.nct. Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336288-8090 or 336-235-2730, bikewalla@ gmail.com. Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh—Carol Verner, 919-933-3550; carolverner@ nc.rr.com.
LosAngeles—Sundays, 11 AM to 1 PM, at Meherabode: 323-731-3737, 1214 5. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 just east ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street. Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal. news and announcements, www.Meherabode.org. Ojai—Meher Mount: 805-640-0000, RayJohnston & Elizabeth Arnold, firstname.lastname@example.org. San Francisco Bay—Information: 510845-4339 or Ben Leet: 510-351-8259, Benleet@earthlink.net. No. California Avatar Meher Baba Center, 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931, www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org. Sacramento—First Fridays at 7 PM. Marilyn Buehler: 916-925-4451, email@example.com. www.premsay. com/MeherBaba.
Prague—Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, retreat and Baba’s accident site. 405-567-4774. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.heartland.meherbaba.org. TEXAS
Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-560-2631, email@example.com. WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 202-946-0236, Friday and Saturday meetings, www. lifeimages.com/MeherBaba. WASHINGTON STATE
Seattle—Fridays at 8 PM and for special events. Info: Cynthia Barrientos, 206713-9905, firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLORADO & SouTHwEST Denver—Sundays at 7 pm at homes in the Metro area. For Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona info, contact Barbara A. Roberts, 303238-4649, email@example.com.
Maui—Meredith Moon, 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556, Fax 808-573-1189; firstname.lastname@example.org. Molokai—Shirley Alapa, 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383, fax: 808-567-6363, message: 808-567-6363; salapa@aloha. net. Lou ISIANA
New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center monthly meeting and film program; Joe Burke 601-278-6245, email@example.com. MAINE
Spruce Head/Rockland—Third Sunday at 1 PM starting with potluck; Noreen O’Brien, 207-273-3173, ompoint@ tds.net, or Ken Lux, 207-594-6391, firstname.lastname@example.org. M ASSACHUSETTS Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center, Michael Siegell 617-864-3997.
Tampa/Clearwater—Jane Paladino, 813962-8629;Tom Decker, 727-536-9282. Defray Beach—Mickey and Wendy Karger, 561-638-3114.
at 4 i M, Frank Bloise, 856-696-4374, fblois.)eartWink.net.
M ississ IPPI Meher Baba Sahavas ackson—Avatar J Center, film and information presentation upon request; weekly prayer/Arti; monthly dhuni, Peter Rippa, 601-3558959, email@example.com. MONTANA
Missoula—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949. Emigrant—Anne Haug, 406-333-4582. NEW HAMPSHIRE
Liz Miller 603-749-3668, mceliz200l@ yahoo.com. NEW MEXICO
Santa Fe—last Thursday of the month at 7 PM in home of Robert Reser and Edle Andersen, 505-983-6621; firstname.lastname@example.org. NEVADA
Las Vegas —Dick and Carol Mannis host, 702-326-1701, email@example.com. NEW YORK CITY AREA
Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, 212-971-1050, MeherBabaHouse.org. Metro—biweekly meetings Saturdays
London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, www. meherbaba.co.uk. FRANCE
Marseille: C. Dallemagne, 4 91 39 02. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 4 94 41 39 02. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 2 97 46 13 19. Connerre: Andre Grimard, 2 43 89 01 94. Paris: Claude Longuet, 1 44 59 30 06. ISRAEL
Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, myb@ netvision.net.il. MEXICO
Mexico City, Cancun, Acapulco— meetings about every month at 7 PM, Rafael Villafane, email preferred: raal@ royerlabs.com. From US: 011 52 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225. Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa —Jeff and Cindy Lowe, meetings on request. Please contact us ifyou’re going to be in the area. Phone from US: 011 52 755 544 6303, firstname.lastname@example.org. 43
Licese ‘lates seen atMthrcthode. Fee/free to take one asyour own, as long asyou dont live in California. •MttthK A*
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