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LoveStreet Lampr:Post

Coming Home, The

katma Yatra, October 20, 1999

1ARCH,

2000


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Editor's Page Dina Snow Jai Saba and Happy New Year,

Happy New Century,

Happy New Millennium!

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his is the Century that may ee the whole world beating a path to His Samadhi! A Century that may see the name vatar Meher Baba on everyone's lips. I would love to be around to see that, but I think it might have to be my grandaughter instead. I normally do not make New Year resolutions, but I think one is definitely in order for the ew Millenium. Hall the Saba lovers in the world resolved to do three separate acts a day that they knew would make our Beloved happy - each and every day for the rest of their lives - what an impact that would have on the rest of the world! Like ripples in a pond, our Saba inspired good deeds would spread from person to person, leaving love, joy and a touch of the Avatar in their wake. On October 16, 1949 Avatar Meher Baba -began a significant and mysterious phase of His Avataric work called The New Life.

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Accompanied by sixteen of His male and four female disciples, amidst the drizzling rain, Baba set out on a journey on foot from Ahmednagar. That was the beginning of a unique life - a life which had renounced all aims, hope, help, and even spirituality, and was solely dependent on God. To commemorate this supremely important event, Prashant Ahir and other members of the Mumbai Baba Center planned a walk. A mighty walk. The Ekatma Yatra, wherein 206 people set out on foot from Meher Saba's birthplace in Pune and arrived, footsore but with ecstatic hearts, five days later at His feet in Upper Meherabad. Our cover photo is of the lead flag bearer and the forerunners of the long line ofYatrees as they reach the Samadhi. The readersh i p of the Love Street LampPost grew by over 100 this past year. That may be an infinitesimal amount to TV Guide, but in the Baba world, numbers take on a whole new meaning. Welcome to our family and thank you 0 much for the donations you gave as you requested to be placed on the mailing list. For you long-time readers, it's that time of the year again when we ask for your help. H you can't remember when you last ent us in a smaJl donation, perhaps its time to use the enclo ed envelope and do so now. We would very much appreciate it. If everybody sent in a mjnjmumdonation ofjust $12 we may be able to realize our dream of

ÂŁoveStreet ÂŁamplbSt'

bringing you a color cover with each issue! One of our readers has made a very generous donation of the beautiful solid 18 karat gold necklace you see pictured here. Created by Randel Williams of Radiant Heart Jewelry it is a magnificent piece of work weighing two and a half ounces. The chain has the six "Beads On One String" with the symbols of each of the world's major religions that Baba said He would bring together. The chain is twenty two inches long, with each bead two inches apart. The Mastery in Servitude colophon is, including the croll at the bottom, one and one quarter inches long and one inch wide. Our friend had this especially made, since Randel does not normally sell them both together. The chain with beads is a separate piece ofjewelry, but not on this custom made piece. Becau e of the size of the beads, (that of a pea) they can not be removed from the colophon. As soon as our friend received his beautiful pendant from Randel, before ever putting it on, he immersed it in the ashes of the Dhuni at Meherabad and laid it on the Tomb at the Samadhi. The set is worth over $1000, and we will be accepting bids on this necklace up until our live auction, which will be held late March. If you are interested or need more information please call me. Money from the winning bid will go to help support the Love Street LampPost.


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A Publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

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,CoveStreet LampPost'

Welcome

features:

The £oveStreetLmnfl1Jst' is dedkated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast ofLove.

, various contributors

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Staff

13

Dina Snow

22

Eruch Jessawala

24

Bhau Kalchuri

26

Edited by Clea McNeely

29

Dina Snow

32

Dick Duman

33

Staff

35

from Judilh Garbett's Ljves ofLove

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The Ekatma Yatra Happy Birthday Baba! Interview with Diana La Page Castles in Heaven Palace Chat Kusum Singh's Talk Don Stevens at Meherabode

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

The Unveiling of Cod Speaks with Don Stevens Turkey SWing Katie and Goher

Judy Robertson

40

Mani S. Irani

42

Ward Parks

45

Bhau Kalchuri

46

various contributors

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Dina Snow

2

various contributors

30

Dina Snow

16

Dr. Gus

43

Humor for Huma

various onlributors

44

Poetry Page

various contributors

39

Gavin Davenport and Francesca Cole

23

Khorshed and Mansari's Interment A Pair O'Ducks According to His Will

submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Streel LampPosl Avalar Meher Baba Center or Southern Calirornia 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 -orBababooks@aol.com

deadlines:

Three Billion + Sanskaras Per Hour

CCIIIMI Book and Music Reviews

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departments: ~~,,N Editor's Page

ror the January - March issue: April - June issue: July - Seplember issue: October - December issue:

November 8th February 8th May 8lh Augusl8Lh

Announcements from Meherabode The Love Street Bookstore What's Happening at Meherabad

Love Street Bookstore: Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 belween 7 and II pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour rax Bababooks@aol.com

credits: editor: Dina Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Nancy Perham. Barbara Andersen, Pris Harrendcn digital preOigln: Tom Han distribution: Chris Lyllie cover: Photographs hy Marc Brulus, PhOlocomposile by Cherie Plumlee

The LoveStreet£mnf.lbst' is published quarterly, in January, April. July, and October. All conlenls © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books. of Avalar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

Children's Corner

' ered itS:

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We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights lO the Meher Saba picture we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street Lam pPost readers. All words. images. and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or lhe contributor. Messages and photos of Meher Saba © Avatar Meher Saba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplicatiOJl is prohibitedbylaw.

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7he 6katma

atra

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Can we smoke during the yatra?" The question was innocent and unexpected. The person addressing the group contemplated the question for a while. Before he could think of an answer, it was given by the heads shaking in front of him, implying 'no'. "Not while walking. You can smoke during the rest breaks." The date was October 15, 1999. Venue: Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre. The purpose of the gathering was communicating the instructions and guidelines to all the participants of the Ekatma Kwa. Over 200 Baba lovers had gathered from various parts of India. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm that was tempered only by a bit of uncertainty. All these lovers of God were looking forward to the 'walk' organised by the Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre, between Pune and Meherabad. "We at the Poona Centre thought there could not be a better way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of that moment in history when Avatar Meher Baba set out on the journey of His New Life, than by walking from the place of His birth to that of His fmal resting place." There were many in the gathering who had participated in a similar walk during the Centenary year celebrations of Baba's birth in 1994. That walk - 'yatra' as it is called in India - was called Anand KWa, meaning "journey of bliss". And people were again reminiscing how blissful that experience was! "This yatra is called Ekatma Yatra, the organiser continued. "It is not a journey of

by Prashant Ahir, Mumbai unity alone. It is more than that. It is the journey of indivisibility. Baba says that the Real Knowledge is the knowledge that God is the indweller of all beings. This walk is to remind us that God alone IS and all of us are children of THAT ONE FATHER,just a reflection of that ONENESS." The organiser went on further giving detailed instructions. They ranged from walking discipline to the order of the procession to food and lodging arrangements. Everybody was listening in rapt attention. Many questions were asked and clarification sought, like the one mentioned in the beginning. The meeting went on for about two hours. Next day, people got up early and had their bath. Probably, the next bath might not be until they arrived at Meherabad, after four days. All gathered in the main hall for prayer and the roll call. Volunteers were assigned their groups. A nicely decorated hand-cart was being used to carry Baba's large picture. It also had a beautiful replica of Baba's Samadhi. When the cart was brought forward, everybody shouted "Avatar Meher Baba kijai!".This feeling that Baba was going to be with them inspired all the participants. Then there was this small prayer that said "Baba, you are with us. But kindly make us constantly aware of this fact. It will help us accomplish thejourney."

curiosity of the passers-by. At some distance behind the lead flag bearer followed more flag bearers. Symbols of different religions and banners displaying Baba's sayings were also being carried by others. Behind them was Baba's cart. It was followed by the senjor citizen Baba lovers, all those above 60 years of age, followed by the ladies and brought up in the rear by the rest of the group. People were walking in pairs to allow the vehicular traffic to safely pass by. We walked on the road at all times; the traffic had to go around us. At the end of the procession, there was another person carrying the seven-coloured flag. It was a beautiful Sight. The organjsers were happy with the response to the yatra. Two hundred and six was not a modest figure. Although the organising committee, supported by some Baba lovers of Pune, had worked hard for this event, they were tense. Their preparatory efforts had received a setback because of the National elections that were held just a month prior. Another matter of concern was that, unlike Anand Yatra in 1994, thjs yatra had larger participation of men above sixty and also the ladies. To make matters more challenging, the doctor the organjsers were counting on had dropped out at the last moment. They would have to do with a paramedic who had accompanjed them just by chance. The organisers had let all the secondary choices go and had put the whole reliance on the Doctor of Doctors - Meher Baba.

And then thejourney began. The caravan was led by a person holding a large flag of the seven colours of Baba. At some distance ahead of him, two persons were walking holding a banner, specially made for the Ekatma Yatra. This banner was to satisfy the 5


The organisers had complete faith in Him. His invisible hand had been with them since they first thought of this event. After all, His lovers had come together in His Name for this adventurous and momentous event and He could not leave them in the hands of the inept organisers alone. He was truly in charge. His Wish was reigning supreme. The organisers had experienced this. Only a few days before the yatra, they had undergone some tense moments. Their first night's stop was going to be at a village called Lonikand, about 26 Km from Pune. The last time in 1994, they had stayed in a government rest house. It was inadequate to accommodate all of them and the situation had deteriorated because of unanticipated rains. On that night, they had managed to accommodate some aged Baba lovers in another Rest House of the State Electricity Board. The SEB personnel had then informed them about the cultural hall they had within their premises that could have been lent out. This year, the organisers were keen on using that facility. It was spacious, enclosed and had adequate toi-

turned the key and the Babaacquainted officer managed to bring approval of the higher authorities in Pune. Baba had given a clear message: you put jn

your best and leave d7e rest to me. But jfyouare notattenlive enough, In7~ __~, gojng to make the matter djffjcult for you! Sassoon Hospital, Fum, outside the wa,d where Baba was born.

The group had two goods vehicles. One was carrying all the luggage of the yatrees. The yatrees were carrying only a small bag while walking that had their plate and bowl for lunch and water. Even this bag used to become a burden during the walk. The second was a kitchen van, carrying all the grains, utensils, gas, stove and such things. It was ananged that the kitchen volunteers would get the lunch prepared during the previous night's halt and would then carry it to the lunch spot. After lunch, the kitchen van would proceed to the place of next halt, reach there in ad\tL;.i;.~"" vance, prepare the place for the yatrees and keep the dinner ready. Apart from the goods vehicles, there was a car being Breakfast stop with MadllUsudan and wife at Bund Cmdens. driven by a Baba lover from let facilities. When they visited the authoriMumbai, a jeep that was brought by aBaba ties, they were pleasantly surprised to discover lover from Bangalore, and a two-wheeler that one of the officials knew about Meher ridden by a local Baba lover who was lovingly Baba. He also had a Baba picture in his house. providing water service. There was also an Although the family was not actively associauto-rickshaw that was engaged by a lady ated with Baba now, the officer's mother had volunteer on kitchen duty who, because of a had Baba's darshan and had special feelings recent leg surgery. for Baba. was not able to get For organisers, this was a special surprise. into the kitchen van. The first place They thought now nothing could go wrong. that the group visited Probably, Baba did not like this slightly casual was the ward in approach. At the last moment, when the organisers Sassoon Hospital where the 'Deliverer were expecting just a formal confirmation of the arrangements, the officer-in-charge of the World' was delivered in 1894. From refused to approve. He thought it was an there, they moved to uncalled for headache. The organisers panicked. No pleading and cajoling could help. Guruprasad, the The officer-in-charge was not willing to relent place associated with and take responsibility. However, Baba then the sweetest memo-

6

ries of many Baba lovers. The city of Pune was slowly waking up. The traffic was increasing. While the whole of Maya was looking at it with mixed emotions of awe, curiosity, contempt and reverence, the procession of the Compassionate Lord moved on. There was a breakfast stop over at Bund Garden, near the Babajan tree. Babajan used to frequently sit under this tree, and later, her beloved Son, while departing from Pune for Ahmednagar, would often meet His lovers under this same tree. And now, His lovers were about to leave Pune and travel on foot to meet Him at Ahmednagar. All the local Baba lovers who had come to bid farewell, returned to their homes from here. Two hundred and six went on. The October heat was peaking. The sun was shOWing no mercy. The yatrees had to sW'vive this grueling test. There was this couple from Bhopal in Central India. The lady had back pain and was walking with an abdominal belt. She was clearly in pain in the beginning. Her husband was concerned. After some time, we checked with the husband to see if she needed the car. She did not. The husband told us that the lady was determined and was trying


Lund! in schoolyald outside Pune.

to forget her pain by concentrating on Baba's Name. She found even the concern shown by her husband as a disturbance in her resolve and communion with Meher Baba. The husband told us that he was leaving it to Baba. And Baba did take care. The lady walked the entire distance. The fLrst stop for lunch was at a school in Vagholi, a village at about 15 Km. The distance never seemed to be ending. Every step was compelling us to remember Baba. And when we reached Vagholi, many people just threw themselves on the ground wlder the tree. Most were massaging their feet. For many, it was a first small victory. It had boosted their confidence. The food was served. The simple Baba-type food tasted heavenly! When we reached Lonikand, the sun was leaving the sky. The arrangements there were very satisfactory. In the night, while many people eagerly embraced sleep, there were some enthusiasts who sang Baba's bhajans. It was a small and beautiful love gathering. Some people from the Colony also joined the programme. People would always get up early in the morning during the yatra. They wanted to be ready in time before the prayers. So, everybody was ready at halfpast six on the 17'h. Another day had begun. The lunch on the 17 u1 was in a school at a place called Shikrapur. Since it was a Sunday, the classes were closed. Nevertheless,

a schoolteacher had come to ensure that their guests were comfortable.

Silent observers. The night halt was at a place called Kondhapuri, in a Government Rest House. When we reached the place, the organisers were welcomed with a host of problems. There was no water. The tanker that had been arranged had not yet arrived. The caretaker of

the place was not in Sight. Hence, all the rooms could not be opened. So people spread their bedding on the ground under the open sky. The organisers were praying for no rain. All the ladies were asked to occupy the available rooms. The lights were not adequate and the diminishing sunlight and the insufficient yellow light of the electric bulbs had cast a gloomy shadow over the atmosphere. The organisers' hearts sank. The only thing that was bright was the spirits of the participants. Oh Baba! Slowly, things began to change. The Invisible Commander had taken charge. A teanl went on to arrange the tanker. The caretaker was traced and opened all the rooms. The organisers had luckily thought of bringing some light bulbs along to use in an emergency. Things started brightening. A government official from Ahmednagar who was aBaba lover had reached the place. He arranged for water and managed to get the village school opened. Some people could be accommodated there. Things were fLnally settling. On this night, the organisers sat together for an informal meeting to take stock of tlle situation. Some participants had also joined in. We had run out of food on two previous occasions. There were other problems on hand. Some of us commented that during the walk that day, they had felt that Baba's face in the photograph on the cart looked tired. Certainly, though a group from Andhra Pradesh was lOVingly pushing Baba's cart, Baba was indeed carrying all of us. Somebody made an observation that we were not offering the food that was being cooked to Baba first. Baba was being kept hungry. It was like a slap on our faces. How could we have ignored Baba! We had certainly committed a blunder.

7


We were reminded ofRano Cayley's story at Mahabaleshwar: Baba had walked into her room and spotted a piece of confectionery on the table that Dr. Donkin had given her. As it was customary, he wanted to offer it to Baba first but since Rano was going to the women's quarters, he had shared a piece with her. Baba had spotted the same piece when He surprised her by visiting her room. "How could you eat that without offering it to Me flfStT He asked Rano showing utter disbelief on His face. Rano attempted a feeble reply, "I have not yet eaten it." "But you would have eaten it anyway. It was just by chance I discovered it." Rano had no reply. She was remorseful. Baba gave her this piece of advice, and through her, to all of us who are trying to love Him: Whatever you get in fife. offer it to Me first. These are not the exact words ofBaba, but this was the essence. And here we were,

But the kitchen volunteers were in for a surprise when a roadside hotel owner willingly acceded to their request and offered his space for the use of the yatrees. He was hearing Baba's name for the first time. The Invisible Commander was clearly in command again! At this halt, a lady approached us requesting some first-aid. She wanted some bandages to put on her feet. When we saw her feet, our hearts ached. They were full of blisters the size of small pebbles. She was happy that none of it was on her soles, which would have made her walking impossible. I remembered the song that I had heard, where the lover is praying to the Lord to allow him to walk with Him. The lover in the song further says to the Lord that he would As r/ieygrow closer to tlte Coal. spontaneous dancing breaks be willing out aJllong Babas dear lovers. to put a small pebble in The penultimate night was spent at Supa. This was the place of Baba's first halt during his shoes, so that with his every the New Life. The organisers shared their • painful step, he thoughts. An exercise of introspection and analysis on the purpose of the yatra and its would realise his achievement was carried out. The entire atdependence on mosphere became contemplative. the Lord. It was The last leg of dle yatra was the longest, clear from where the lady was around 21 miles. It also appeared the longest since everybody was longing to meet the Bederiving her strength. loved. We started at 5:30 in dle morning. It was still dark. The loud and enthusiastic shouts That night of "Avatar Meher Baba Ki jai" were penetratwas a special ing through the stiJlness. The enthusiasm was night. We had Ramakrisllllan meers us on Dasara. halted at a spaoverflowing. gathered in His love, completely forgetting cious multi-purpose hall at Shirur. During the During the yatra, there were many touchinitial walk of the New Life. Baba had spent ing moments on the way, examples dlat made about sharing our food with Baba. us bow down in our hearts to the love of the e two nights in dlis town. It was also special since Next day, during the morning thoughtwe had covered more than sharing session, we shared this with everyone. half dle distance and things All of us cried in our hearts and apologized to now looked absolutely Baba. The experience had shaken us and made manageable. us reflective of our behaviour. From that point From Shirur onwards, onwards, Baba was never kept hungry and everybody had mentally none of us had to be without adequate food. On the 18 ''', the kitchen volunteers were reached Meherabad. It was only a matter of time now. compelled to make a last-minute change in Though the physical strains the venue of lunch. The chool that we had earlier selected did not have a drop of water. continued, it no more could dampen anybody's spirits. This wa . in fact, a perennial problem because the area through which we were travelling was Everybody was focusing on a drought-prone area. The entire belt, barring Baba's name and on every some industrial establishment, was also a rural single step dlat he or she and under-developed area. It had made the was taking. Every step was task of arranging proper lodging a bit bringing them closer to diFncult. ----A-It-nosr Home. clVssing rite raj/lVad tracks to Upper Melterabad their Beloved.

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lovers for their Beloved. There was a man who was carrying a book of Baba with His beautiful face ~ on the cover. Whenever a vehicle used to pass by and the passengers would peer out the windows with curiosity, he would just raise the book so that they could see Baba's face. There was another man who used to loudly shout Baba's name. He did not care whether anybody else joined him in Home. his shout or not. For many of us, it was getting irritating until we realised that this man was shouting Baba's name loudly whenever he spotted a vehicle passing by, so a to send Baba's name to the ears of the travelers in these vehicles. All of us observed our lead flag-man, Professor Wat from Vidarbh, who was holding Baba's flag absolutely erect and would hardly change hi grip on the staff of the flag. ot an easy task at all! Later when we admired his commitment, he explained to us that he truly believed that this flag and the wind that was flowing around it, was supplying energy to the people who followed him in the procession.

There was also a humorous incident. A buffalo was stuck in the mud. Three men were trying to pull her out but were unable. As the yatra was passing by, we noticed that these people had a tough task at their hands. We shouted loudly "Avatar Meher Baba Ki jai". These people tried to pull out the animal and failed again. It happened twice. One of us suggested that they should call out Baba's name. They did that. Once, twice and the buffalo was out at the third cry. As it normally happens in India, people would throng to take Baba's darshan. They did not even know Baba or His status. Some were attracted by the procession, some by Baba's picture and some by prasad. The yatra was in its closing moments now. The feeling was indescribable. just on the outskirts of Ahmednagar, many yatrees pontaneously gave vent to their urge to dance. It was an expression of love - celebration ofjoy - sheer ecstasy! Baba lovers from Ahmednagar Centre served refreshments to us on the way. As we reached Meherabad, many Western Baba lovers came to greet us. They danced, joined us

in our shou ts of Baba's name and took many photographs. Yatrees received it as they continued to walk. Many lovers were expected to receive the yatrees at Meherabad. It was suggested that yatrees would not meet or embrace anyone until they had placed their heads at Baba's samadhi. They had walked all this distance to meet Baba. Everything else came second. When we reached the Samadhi, the entire atmosphere was charged. The sun was setting but our hearts had brightened. Every yatree had tears in her or his eyes. Some people broke down and were sobbing uncontrollably. All our pain had dissolved in the tears of love. Baba, Saba, Saba - every heart was singing in spite of the aching body. The lips were parched and the eyes moist. It was an indescribable feeling. It was worth much more than the arduous journey we had undertaken. This night was the most comfortable one during the entire yatra. We were at our Father's Home. The entire Meherabad staff was wonderful although our stay there had put quite a burden on them. Adi Dubash was very considerate and sent aspirin tablets for the yatrees. This loving attitude wa reflected by all the administrative people there. . jal Dastoor gave us an ice cream treat. Our stomachs were full of food. Our eyes were filled with tears. Our hearts were filled with emotions. The entire experience wa just overwhelming. The walk was over. The journey would continue. It will go on through dazzling highways, blind alleys and the breath-taking curves of Maya.

V/i>// done!

9


REFLECTIONS

by Pratap Ahir, Mumbai

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verything that we do for our Beloved Meher Baba has its reward and one of those rewards is indescribable happiness. And when one's heart is unable to contain the happiness, the eyes make way for it. This was what we witnessed on the evening of the 20 lh of October when Baba lovers, who had walked through the Ekatma Yatra, were waiting for their turn to throw themselves in the outstretched arms of their Beloved. Some were sobbing so uncontrollably that the volunteers monitoring the queue at the Samadhi were unable to quiet them - many were wiping tears and many were weeping within their hearts. During these past five days while we were walking under the scorching sun, keeping to our schedule, I watched the old and weak, both men and women, dragging their feet. But with rock-like determination, firm conviction, strong morale and absolute faith - not in themselves but in their love for Meher Baba they could continue on. This love was surely providing them everrenewing energy to walk the way. And the walk was not easy. It was on uneven surfaces of the roads, through the fast-moving chain of vehicles, sometimes through deserted and barren territories under the hot sun, putting the commitment and perseverance of the yatrees to a grueling test. Unlike the Anand Yatra which we had taken in 1994, Meher Baba's birth centenary year, we had many more older people and also more women participants in Ekatma Yatra. When I was reading the consent letters received from Baba lovers all over India, I had very strong doubts about the walking abilities of many of them. But I found my judgements were wrong and I felt I was mistaken in understanding Baba's ways. I felt Baba to be telling me: Who are you [0 decide whether someone will be able to walk or not? It is I who wiJl be deciding, because it is I who will be releasing the strength and power [0 each one, includingyou! These are some examples of what Baba was saying to me. One of the walkers was a 10

person from the Pophali family - part of the early group that came into Baba's orbit. He had undergone by-pass surgery just a few months previously. There was another from Devli-Maharashtra who had had 150 stitches on his body starting at the skull, through his backbone, and extending to his legs, after a road accident. His one leg had a steel rod inserted during this surgery. Despite this handicap, he managed to walk the whole distance. One lady from Amaravati surprised all of us because she was so much over weight

Vidarbh was holding on his shoulder an equally tall bamboo, which had a large seven-coloured flag unfurled on it. He was walking in the front, and throughout the journey of five days, he hardly changed the position of Baba's flag, not even changing the position of his hands. Professor Wat genuinely felt that this sataranga of our Beloved was instrumental in supplying energy to all who were walking behind. A team from Andhra was taking care of the cart carrying a large photo of Baba (the Darbar pose) and a replica of the Samadhi. And there was Marc Brutus from Los Angeles, the only Westerner who participated, who walked with us the whole distance, slept with us on the floor and in the open on the ground, ate whatever was cooked commonly for one and all, and shunned whatever moderate privileges that we wanted to offer him. There wa never a trace of discomfort or displeasure on his face. Years will come and go, but the sweet memories of the Ekatma Yatra will remain carved in the hearts of all those who have undertaken this adventurous journey to express their love for their Beloved Meher Baba.

that she had to put a determined effort into every step and her walking the whole distance seemed impossible. She not only walked, but was also seen picking up flowers that had fallen from Baba's palanquin, so that nobody would trample on them. Another lady had blisters all over her feet. She politely declined to avail herself of the car that was kept for emergencies. There was Still walking in Baba's love . yet another lady who had to take tablets to contain the pain in her knee, an old recurring problem. Then there were three Parsee ladies who must have never walked so much in their entire life! Also for one Parsee couple from Mumbai, it was their first visit to the Samadhi. What a beautiful way to accomplish the first pilgrimage to Meherabad! One girl from Vidarbh region of Maharashtra was narrowly saved from an electric shock just a few months ago and it was her feeling that she was saved by Baba to allow her to participate in the yatra. The Yatrees often bmke out in song along the way, encouraged ped18ps by the wonderful voke ofSurendra Meshram (above). Professor K. V. Wat from


Notes on The Walk Marc Brutus, Los Angeles

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Ot until I was flying out of India for Thailand in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 21 did the full impact of the past seven days strike me. Having been up for more than 25 hours (we rose at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 20 in order to complete the last and longest leg of our walk-31 kms.) , I had never really had time to reflect on the love, help and support of so many caring and wonderful friends who, through their unconditional generosity had shared in the 50th anniversary of the New Life and its commemoration, the "Journey Of Unity Walk", organized by the Pune and Mumbai Baba Centers. The mystery and uniqueness of Baba's New Life phase has always meant a lot to me. Although I wanted to participate in some way in this auspicious occasion, it hadn't seemed possible. But simple kindnesses - help to change flight schedules, being offered rides. being given a water filter and nutritional supplements - made the impossible possible. For all the help to overcome any and every problem that arose. I am profoundly grateful to Baba and the many loving friends who made my participation in the New Life Walk a reality. The five day walk from Baba's birthplace in Pune to His resting place on Meherabad Hill - sharing the joys and pains, singing all the way - was so joyous that many times groups would break out into spontaneous dance. I was touched by the love of the 206 padyatrees who chose to honor Baba's New Life gift by walking over 120 kms., sharing in some small way the true meaning of the New Life. I have never before witnessed such caring or compassion, nor hardships borne more cheerfully than in those five days. Knowing that each step brought us closer to the Samadhi and our Beloved. a couplet from Francis Brabazon's "In Dust I Sing" often came to me: "In a fly's wing-space I see the world I left, the world of. pain... And I brush His hand with my lips as He fills my glass again." Throughout the journey, He filled our glasses in wondrous ways. On the first day we stopped to eat lunch under some trees in the school yard of a small village. When we had used all of the available water, the local school boys went to a nearby pond to gather more water in small plastic containers,

refilling the school's water tank so that we could refresh ourselves. As we walked through a tiny village on the third day, a local innkeeper offered his hall as shelter from the sun and as a place to rest and eat. On the last day of the walk, the owner of a new roadside restaurant was moved by our pilgrimage and invited us in to take shelter and eat. When we thanked him for his kindness. he sobbed uncontrollably. The nights on the road were cold. Often, the men slept outdoors under the sky, wrapped only in a thin blanket, and the women slept in whatever shelter was available. Mirroring Baba's New Life, men and women walked separately and had separate accommodations at night. During the day. the older men led the walk and set the pace for the entire group, the women walked in the middle, and the younger men brought up the rear. On this journey I came to know Baba lovers I might otherwise never have met. One was ShreeRam Bhopoli from Nagpur. As a boy, ShreeRam played marbles with Baba. He is now in his early seventies and six months prior to this walk underwent open heart surgery. While still recovering, he wanted so much to participate in this commemoration that he walked 8 to 10 kms. every day to prepare for the journey.

I also became better acquainted with Pratap Ahir, one of the organizers of the "Journey Of Unity". Pratap first met Baba on October 16, 1950, the first anniversary of the New Life, when he was fourteen. The New Life, therefore, has a very special significance for him. Baba was the central focus of our entire journey - we remembered Him in all our conversations and in the stories we shared. As we walked, people would sing Baba's name or songs of devotion to Him. Two of my favorites were Scott Makeig's "When LOVing is Our Day and Our Night" and, from Godspell, "Where Are You Going?". Wherever we camped there were music programs held, and many people from the surrounding villages and countryside would join us and learn about Baba. On the last day, at sunset, we arrived at Meherabad - dancing! The entire group of 206 people silently circled Baba's Samadhi three times. Then we each waited our turn to take darshan. It was then that I realized I would walk 10.000 miles for the opportunity to bow down at Baba's feet. As soon as I had my turn in the Samadhi, I hurriedly left by car for Mumbai to catch a 2:00 a.m. flight forThailand. On the flight - tears of gratitude for the tiny glimpse into a deeper understanding of what the New Life • truly means. JAI BABA!

The contributing writers for The Ekatrna Yatra are seen below: Prashant Ahir (left photo), Marc Brutus and Pratap Ahir, one of the organisers of the Walk (right photo).

Marc Brutus, Vilas Ahir, Babas RatlJ. Pratap Abir and SallyogHa

We would like to thank our indefatigable primary contributing photographer Marc Brutus for his beautiful photographs of the Ekatrna Yatra which capture the joy and devotion of the Yatrees for their dearest Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. We would also like to thank Sachidananda Meher from Andra Pradesh for the use of his photographs in these articles as well as the Ahir family. II


Fifty Years Later

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n top of Seclusion Hill stands your correspondent, on the spot where Beloved Baba's Manonash Cabin once stood, thinking about the New Life, now fLfty years old. It's another world up here today, silent and serene. For once there's no wind. Pink, yellow and blue wildflowers grow in and around the foundation stones of the cabin. The sun is warm and bright, and dragonflies and a small brownish butterfly dance along the path across the top. Below, tiny Meherazad sits among green fields that stretch away to the surrounding hiJIs. It's astonishing to think that 48 years ago, the GodMan sat on this very spot working for "Manonash", the annihilation of the mind, the fruition of the New Life. An ancient Indian metaphor for the God-Man is the patient farmer, who shapes the earth with his hands to create channels for water to flow to the crops. He shapes and reshape, builds up and tears down so that the flow is direct and there are no obstacles in its way. Looking at this countryside, you can see where this beautiful image came from. I daydream that a river ofTruth is flowing down the Hill through new waterways shaped by His Life, His New Life and His Manonash, to irrigate the far fields of the world. Yesterday, October 20 th , 206 Baba lovers reached Meherabad, having walked from

By

Heather Nadel, Meherabad

Poona in observance of the New Life anniversary. What a sight! - 206 people coming down the Meherabad road in the early evening, waving Baba-flags and calling out His name. In the vanguard were the "standard bearers", two men hoisting a large banner proclaiming the Yatra. Behind them was an elderly gentleman holding high a large Babaflag on a tall pole, followed by others hoisting

the symbols of the world's major religions. Behind them was the pjece de resjstance: a hand-cart on wheels pushed by lovers, bearing a huge Baba picture festooned with marigold garlands. Inside the cart was a very

well-painted styrofoam replica of Baba's Samadhi. Even volleyball stopped at the sight. The "pad-yatrees" (foot pilgrims) were weary but triumphant as they streamed up the hill to the Samadhi. Some were weeping with the emotion of reaching His Tomb at last, and not many of the onlookers had dry eyes either. Today, the walkers have come by truck to Meherazad, from where Baba Himself left by car for Ahmednagar to begin the New Life. Among the mandali greeting them are four who set out on the Original Walk with Him 50 years ago: Eruch, Aloba, Goher and Meheru. (Bal Natu wa a "yeswalla" but Baba released him from physically accompanying Him in the New Life). Goher and Meheru are sitting on Mehera's porch giving out Baba-buttons and sweets to the pilgrims after they take darshan in Baba's room. On the men's side, the walkers are streaming into Mandali Hall for darshan right past \ \ -..... a framed poster beari ng Baba's New Life message. Here it is, for tho e who want to reread His timeless words about the unfathomable New Life:

I/'lhis 2-Jew "cife is endless, and even a~er ~lJ physical death it will be lupt alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anner, fJfeed and lust, and who, to accomplish all this, do no lusiful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbititlfJ, do not see1{ material possessions or power, who accept no Iwmage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothinn; by those mho rely wholly and solely on Bod, and who love Bod purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers ofBod altd in the realitlJ of c.JWanifestation, and lJet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do ,wt let go the hand of 'lruth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardship with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. 'lhis 2'Jew "cife will live by 'itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it." 12


Happy Birthday, Beloved Baba

Bkthday Song (1963)

ForDon-

Clad are we in you. dear Baba, Clad are we in your BirthdayThatyou in your loving KirJdness Came on earth with us to stay. Round the Earth your love is flolVing As a river 1vide and deep. Making rich and full the harvest That eadJ. in Times end lVill reap. Th 'Iight ofnew day nolV i dalVning As a heavenly flower rare. In its heart Il'e are disceming Your Face Baba. dear and k1ir: Hear n!y song. beloved Baba. Thar I sing on your Birthda..vIt s Jlif pleading rhatyou Baba. In my heart IOrever stay.

on BelovedBabas 721({ Bird7day Mountains are convptible. But the wolk ofour hands time and wind and rain cannot destroy For our hands are the purpose ofour blood. and our blood is the river ofour oul which sings the river. the purpose. DeatlJS scissors may cut the bands oflove a million times: but we can eq/oy new vt?J'ager on anodler flood: and all rivers wander to the same' orean-goaJ. Mans life is more numerous than all the sands ofall dIe worlds bearhes: and Jeache. back beyondspace (Cods sackful ofsuns) to the primal tone ofthe Creation Song. Though fairh is brirtle a bumt bones. and our I 'ision redured ro rhe size of our fare the /I/JOlli ofthe Silenre will restore to us rhe 1II0r* ofour hands.

These poems written by Francis Brabazon for Babas birthday in 1963 and 1966 I vere sent in privatf' leaers to Don StevÂŁ'ns Il'ho kindly gavÂŁ' us permission to share them IlIidlYOU.

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Archives, Museull1 and Research Report By Bhau Kalchuri, Meherabad

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ollowing are highlights from the activities undertaken by the Committee during 1998-99. Archives, Museum and Research BUilding

consultation with experts, balanced by constant referral back to the fundamental goal of access to the atmosphere of Baba's presence in the Samadhi. Preservation ofBuildings, Structures and Grounds

One of the most visible fruits of our labours is the large and beautiful storage facility nearing structural completion on Meherabad Hill. Concurrent with the next phase of plastering, plumbing, wiring, etc., will be the design and arrangements for furnishing the building with the archivally correct storage units, equipment and materials required to care for and document the Baba treasures and archival materials which will reside there.

If we were to list the activities in this category it would become a massive thesis in and of itself. At Meherabad, Meherazad, and Meher Nazar, the essential conservation work of maintaining and caring for the historical buildings, structures, and grounds is a daily affair under the close attention and guidance of the Mandali, as well as the concerned staff.

Preservation Facility at Meherazad

Treasures

In addition to the building at Meherabad, a much smaller, but essential, storage and working facility is planned for Meherazad.

In the December 1997 Circular, we published "Tips For Preserving Your Precious Baba Treasures". Persona] letters were sent to those who may have received correspondence from Baba, and many of His lovers throughout the world who have the guardianship of Baba treasures and archival materials have communicated with us for further guidance regarding their care and status.

Advice and Help from Experts

An important ingredient in all aspects cl our preservation efforts over the past few years has been the professional help and advice we've received from leading archive and museum experts in the U.S. In 1995, Vince Wilcox, facility director of the Smithsonian Institution, and Joan Bacharach, registrar of the National Park Service, spent several weeks at Meherabad to assist us in finalising the plans and design of the Archives, Museum and Research Building. Through the assistance of Beth Ganz and others, we have also been able to consult with Nobuko Kajatani of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and this year she has graciously accepted our invitation to visit here at the end of November. As conservator in charge of the Department of Textile Conservation at the Met, Nobuko's guidance will be of great help to us in assessing how to best provide for the care and documentation of Baba's clothing and other textiles. Preservation ofBeloved Baba 5 Sal1ladhi

Careful and professional attention to the maintenance of this most sacred edifice is of the highest priority. The effects of environment as well as human contact on the Samadhi's physical integrity are regularly monitored. Repairs and restoration work are only attempted after exhaustive and careful 14

Film Work

In conjunction with Meher Prasad and MEFA (Meher Baba European Film Archives). plans have been laid and work commenced on identifying the best existing originals or copies of the precious films of Beloved Baba held by or currently cared for on behalf of the Trust by those organisations and others. When this work is done, several copies will be produced so that the originals may be safely stored using the newest archival techniques. Documem Rehousing Prqject

Some of the correspondence and other documents from the files kept by Baba's two secretaries, Chanji and Adi Sr., were archivally rehoused during September to November of last year. For many months prior arrangements had been carried out to gather the necessary supplies. When all was in place, a rotating team of 28 white-gloved volunteers prepared, dusted and interleaved thousands of document pages and rehoused them into acid-free folders. Meticulous records were kept of procedures, previous

document housing and relationships, and future handling/treatment needs. This enormous effort represents just the beginning, as there is a huge quantity of documents yet to be rehoused. Book Inventory Prqject

In order to insure that the copies of every book and publication by or about our Beloved Baba are preserved, an extensive inventory of all the English and other European language books held by the Trust at Meherabad, Meher Nazar, and Meherazad was completed last year and the best available copies were put aside for archival safekeeping. The next stages will include the Indian language books, followed by periodicals. An important result of this inventorytaking will be the development of a "wish list" of titles and editions that the Trust still needs to complete its collections. Computer Records

We have begun using MasterLink, the collection management database being developed by Sheriar Foundation, to com puterise our catalogue records. MasterLink is an extremely valuable tool for compiling and managing information about all types of collection items and archival materials associated with Meher Baba, including their description, history, significance, condition, and ongoing care and preservation. Collection Management Policy

A series of intensive work meetings was held throughout last year to draft the initial version of a document which defines and details the purpose, scope, goals, structure and activities of tlle committee and serves as an ongOing guideline for its work. The result is a 114 page Collection Management Policy, approved by signature of all the Mandali and officially adopted by resolution in the 114th (strictly aBaba coinci..d ence!) meeting of the Trustees of the AMBPPCT in May of this year. And last but not least - highlights of some recent smaller, but essential, conservation and information collecting projects: When it was discovered that the beautiful large Rano Galey painting of Baba in the Rahuri Cabin was deteriorating, emergency measures were taken while help from professional conservators is being sought.


Work has begun on detailed maps of Meherabad, Meherazad, and Meher Nazar to document the location of both historical and contemporary buildings, structures, grounds, and sites. We are very pleased with the wide range of important work that has been accomplished, even as we realise that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the activities described above are still in progress while numerous others are yet to be undertaken. Throughout all, it has been so heartwarming to witness the positive responses of support for this project forthcoming from aJl parts of the Baba world. Many individuals have given unstintingly of their time and skills, making possible the work so far completed. To be given the opportunity to help in any project for Baba is a gift in itself, but that does not lessen our appreciation of all those who have given so generously to every aspect of this work, This participation - be it through financial contributions or the arrival ofjust the right person or source of information when it is most needed provide clear signs of Baba's guiding hand and perfect timing.

•

The ArcMves, Museum and Research Commjttee and Team Bhau Kalchuri, Meheru Irani, Meherwan jessawala, Falu Mistry, and janet judson, Meredith Klein, Shridar Kelkar, Mehera Aljani, Dot Lesnik, and Kristin Crawford.

Photo by Giora Pinkas, 1999

Meherabad JvluseullJ: Babas Sandals (foreglVund):pIJOto ofBaba in KaJllli Coat: Plexiglas case containing Kamli Coat: Babas dlair ftVIlJ Curuprasad in which Baba did special seclusion wod.

These included relocating the painting to curtail the environmental factors which may have hastened its deterioration, as well as taking a thorough photographic survey of the entire painting including the damaged areas. The Plexiglas case which houses the precious Kamli Coat in the Meherabad museum needs to be replaced. A custom-built case has been crafted by one of the top American professionals in the field and is expected to be in place in the museum in the near future. Baba's Guruprasad Chair located in the museum, has a new inner cover, which will

provide increased protection from dust, insects, and other harmfuJ environmental elements. Some photographic negative~ from Mehera's collection have been placed in archival enclosures and the work of cataloguing them in MasterLink has begun. Many old photos that are hanging in Baba's Cabin and other buildings at Meherabad have been archivally rematted. As an important part of the ongOing history-taking projects at Meherabad and Meherazad, many hours of recorded recollections of the Mandali are being transcribed.

Photo by Anne Pinkas, 1999

Ciora Pinkas examining Babas Krishna Robe and Dvwll. 15


C:Welcome to . .. 'The

Jai Baba!

A

s if to bring in the new Millennium to the Baba beat - our musicians have been hard at work, as have the writers, releasing many new expressions of their love. The latest to arrive on my doorstep is a CD by Judith Shotwell titled No Strings Attached Those who have heard Judith's beautiful harp playing will see the humor in the title.

..

There are 13 cuts on the CD, 4 of them by Francis Brabazon, including the Australian artLJudith includes both the Gujerati and the American arti, along with the ever-popular Ocean of Love by Bob Holdt. The CD has vocal music from Celtic, Sephardic, and other traditional, medieval, and contemporary sources. This is a beautifully contemplative album, tranquil and soothing. $15 Not soothing. but definitely fun are the 2 tapes released by Jerry Edwards titled Black Knight and Ancient One Blues. So many times at the Pilgrim Center I've heard someone say to a friend "Hey did you hear that black guy with the guitar singing those great Baba Blues up at the Samadhi this morning?!" Well, now you can hear Jerry in your own home or car playing and singing all the favorites. $10 each

16

Ward Parks has a new CD aptly titled Beautiful. If it doesn't take you right back to the Samadhi for arti, nothing will! Of tile 12 songs, 5 feature Ted Judson on lead vocals. Cathy Riley, John Connor and his harmonium, Perry Flinn, Debbie Nordeen and Winnie Barrett are also Singing. To recapture the songful sounds of Meherabad and Meherazad, this is the one that will do it for you. $13.50

o

G

Y

Over the years I have been asked if the soundtrack to tile movie i\lleher Baba Avatar ofdwAge is available on tape. When the movie, produced by Irwin Luck, came out the soundtrack was released, but has since been

out of print. Irwin has shipped us notjust tapes but also a CD of the soundtrack. Narrated in the mellifluous tones of Henry Kashouty, it is a journey with Meher Baba consisting of tl1e gems of His statements as He reveals who He is, His mission, His divine suffering and what He came to reveal to the world. The music, narration and singing are woven together to make this tape an 80 minute meditation on God. Tapes $10 and CDs $12.50 Another revival is a tape from Raine Eastman Gannett. Raine, a dear friend and compatriot from Down Under was oh so lucky to have Francis Brabazon as her mentor - (he also introduced me to Baba in '52) - so she sings the ghazals he wrote with the fervor the songwriter intended. Before she moved to America in 1979, her Aussie friends asked her to make a recording of the songs she had been given by Francis over the 10 years they were with him. In 1977 Mehera asked her to record a tape, so with Jack Small handling the technical end, they recorded 10 songs in the Water Tower at Upper Meherabad. She recently gathered the master tapes from both recording sessions, had them digitally remastered and 10, we have a fresh new tape called RainyDay. Long before 'unplugged' became popular, Raine was singing that way and still does. Her pure clear soprano - with such an amazing range she can surprise you with the very low notes - and her acoustic guitar - such a beautiful combination. Especially if you are a fan of Francis Brabazon's magnificent ghazals, tl1is tape is for you. $10 Raine has also told me to lower the price on a double tape set she recorded at the Samadhi a couple of years ago. The equipment that was used to record her was of the highest quality, so tl1e birds chirping and tl1e occasional bark from Mansari's dogs can be heard in the background. Hearing those sounds just takes you right back tl1ere! It was taped over a 3 month period, so on these tapes Raine covers almost every Baba song ever written, and also standard love songs that although written by IrVing Berlin or some such, purportedly to a woman, they fit oh so wonderfully as a love song to our Beloved. The new price of this double tape, Raine at the Samadhi, tllat gives you 2 hours of beautiful music, is now only $15. Cod Speaks on tape! For all of you who have been intimidated by reading this mightiest of books - no matter what Baba told us to do - there is now help at hand. The late Dr, Barucha, who spent many years witl1 Baba, spoke English witl1 a very


clear accent. He, bless his heart, took the time to go through Cod Speaks, chapter by chapter, explaining it all. He also adds stories of things that Baba had said or done in relation to the chapter being discussed. The 3 tape set sells for only $18. Our runaway best selling CD over the holiday period was Jim Meyer's production of Ways CO Aaajn the Supreme Rea&y. This 70 minute CD - fabulous music and singing contains the entire book, long out of print, of poems that Malcolm Schloss wrote at Baba's express wish. Baba gave Malcolm the material and then told him to put it into poetry. f4ify powerful words! And Jim more than does justice to them with the singing and music. It was arranged, engineered and produced by the Grammy Winning Bill Symzyck. The most professional production we have ever been privileged to seU. $18 When Don Stevens was here last November to give us the wonderful and enlightening Cod Speaks seminar, he was also signing his new biography Meher Baba A wakener of dJe Age. reviewed in this issue. We have it for $15 paperback, 314 pages. This same book has already been translated into Spanish and is currently selling across Spain. It is titled Enseiianzas de Meher Baba. It has 320 pages and sell for the same price $15. We carry it in the Love Street Bookstore, but we would like your help with this book. Karros. the Spanish publishers, will publish the Spanish translation of CodSpeaks (DiosHabla), only when 600 copies of the biography have been sold in bookstores around the world. They feel this is necessary to acquaint the Spanish-speaking public sufficiently concerning the life and activities of Meher Baba before springing such a title as CodSpeaks on Catholic countries! Here is where you can help: We have a list of all the bookstores in America that carry Spanish language books. It would be a wonderful help ifyou could approach the to res in your city or neighborhood and ask them to carry this book. If you could do this, contact me and I will give you the names and addresses and also some advertising on the book to show the buyer. You would then give them the name and address of the place from which they could purchase the books. Hermes of Manifestation, the publisher of the mighty Lord Meher biographies, tells me that Volumes15 and 16 will be available this monUl. This book (two volumes under one binding) covers the years between 1956 and 1960. Coming in at 640 pages, it contains about 140 photographs of that time period. Volumes 17/ 18 covering 1960-1964 will be ready later on

in the year and the fmal one in the series, 19/ 20 is also being worked on for release in 2001. All volumes are $80 each. We also carry the earlier editions. Three other books just released are all reviewed herein, a story book, a picture book and a poetry book. The story book is Bill LePage's Over me Years - stories he has garnered from Eruch and others of the Mandali since he started going to India in the '60s. $12

work! Call it a bias to a good British accent if you will, because Michael has that in spades, but what he says is so hilariously funny, or poignantly heartbreaking, or so spot on applicable to your own personal foibles, you will swear he has been reading your mail! The poem here will give you some idea of how he writes. We also published an article by him in our last issue - Ebb and Flow. His latest book Nowhere to Now Here is $10 And you thought all the best stuff was released in time for the holidays! Happy shopping! Love, Dina

My Un WJrt/?Y Head by Michael DaCosta

If I were to say how unworthy I am to receive your grace, no doubt Uley would mutter below their breath about how false my modesty is. But only You Beloved One know how truly unworthy I am. Why else would you pour your compassion on my unworthy head? Co vel' paif lting ofNlelJer Baba for Over the

Yean'... by Dial/a LePage

The Universal Prayer is a picture book by Will David, some of the paintings are shown below, all of course are in full color. $18.50

And if! were to say I love you beloved, how they would laugh, knowing full well how impossible it is to love a one such as you. But still I sing my songs of love.

If I sing loud and long enough perhaps you~ II hear, take pity and sprinkle a pinch of love dust on my unworthy head ... if only just to shut me up!

The Poetry book is by a favorite of mine Michael DaCosta. Ever since hearing his audio tape A Carland ofEgos, I have loved his 17


Book Reviews MeherRaba, The Awakener oftheAgt; by Don Stevens Review by Ralph Lewis, England

T

his is an incredible book, very, very rich and complex, full of deep insights and drawing on Don Steven's years of contact with Meher Saba, both physicaJly and after Saba was no longer present in His Sody. It can be no wonder that this is so, after all Saba said about Don: "He is my boy. We have been together since the dawn of time". There are sentences from Saba that Don quotes and his own comments that will leave you in contemplation for years to come. The book is a magnificent contribution to writings about Saba and is full of absolutely vital points for our own journeys with the Avatar. It is also a wonderful combination of the personaJ - Don's retelling of the impact Saba made on him and the impersonal with focus on Saba's role as the Avatar and especially the function of sanskaras as a "form of conduct". The book is in two parts. The first is an account of Saba's life, interspersed with Don's reactions. However, within this is an enormous amount of commentary on Saba's working. 'fhe second part focuses more on specific topics such as the Whim and especially Sanskaras. In essence, Don sees Saba's life divided into two key periods. The first, after a normal childhood until the veil was lifted from Him by the Perfect Masters, was Himself appearing to operate as a perfect Master with the mandali at Manzil-e-Meem. There Saba appeared to use ometime very harsh treatment - comparable to a surgeon operating to save the patient. Don discusses Saba's constant promises to break His Silence, then appearing not to, and also the continual changing of plans. Along the way there are some wonderful descriptions of Mehera and Man i and of Iife wi th Saba. There is also a very moving description of the car accident in America enroute from M rtJe Seach. M rtle Seach, spared yet again by Saba from the latest hurricane, was used by Saba for the longest period of any property outside India, and Don emphasises the peace and love to be found there. The 'continental divide' in Saba's life is, for Don, the New Life. The discussion of the "Song of the New Life" and its implication for our everyday conduct is itself breathtaking in its depth. Don's view is tJlat Saba was setting up new forms of contact, of ways of development and moving us to the 'elder brother and elder sister' spiritual relationship. Certainly this is a most profound period and one that the implications for us may not have fully been

18

brought into being. Don continually clarifies or re-emphasises aspects of Saba's working. For example, he restates Saba's statement that the mind and mentaJ processes would not be wiped out but placed in a secondary position behind intuition. This is criticaJ to our own development. As I understand Don's writing, Saba is still working with us in a personaJ capacity - but as the Avatar, not as a Perfect Master - and this change in operation occurred during the New Life. Saba helps us to

eliminate our sanskaras by bringing them up into daily life. Don sees himself as a guineapig for this and does not see evidence for the harsh treatment that Saba applied to the MandaJi during His Perfect Master phase being applied during the Avataric phase. Don aJso feels that Saba's Act of Manifestation occurred in the mid-sixties and that we are seeing the evidence for this in the increased search for Truth. There is much, much more that Don writes about. His view that Saba knows us all totaJly and fully accepts us, Saba's last days in His physical body full of pain, a typicaJ day with Saba, and His UniversaJ Work. And this is just Part One. It is all written with Don's typical lightness of touch and flashes of humour - meaningful but not dr. Part Two leads us on to a more fully developed analysis of key components of Saba's guidance on the workings of the Universe. Don starts with the Whim - which of course is where we all started and describes the sense of wave motion that the Whim entails. There is a de cription of the evolution of consciousness and the spheres and planes. The next chapter looks at Sanskaras and their role as "knots of psychic energy" that need to try to express themselves in action. Sanskaras stand between us and Reality (God), and aJl needs that arise from them must disappear before we realise our essentiaJ oneness with

God. This chapter looks at the mentaJ energy stored in sanskaras and the methods tJlat Saba has laid out for dispersion of sanskaras. As we let go of our desires we are not left with a negative reaction but an objective interest in those areas where we are no longer condWoned by habits. Saba's pronouncement that God's consciousness is infmitely individuaJised is a critically important idea - it follows that every Path is completely unique. Don also warns us not to confuse the personaJ ego with the quaJity of individuaJity that we aJl have. There follows a chapter on "Love, Surrender and Meditation". Some of Saba's incomparable sayings on love and its importance are quoted here and they are uplifting in their magnificence. Meditation is tJle secondary route once the path of love closes but we do not know when that will be. It is not necessarilyafter 100 years - wejust do not know. Don repeats Saba's insistence that we all need to fmd a time to reflect inwardly, in stillness, and listen for the quiet inner voice; it is our responSibility to make time for this. We have to deliberately regard daily life as charged with spirituaJ meaning. The chapter on tJle Occult is a well-timed one, looking at Saba's views on miracles. (He repeatedly insisted that He did not perform them, and that they stood in the way of spiritual progress.) Astrology is briefly examined - not dismissed - but seen as needing to be left behind when you surrender to a master. There is aJso a grave warning about the dangers of hypnosis to induce past-life regression, a practice that has become fashionable. The chapter on the Individual brings some reassurance that our individuality will not be blotted out, that we are loved by God and that the drop-soul has a unique and irreplaceable individual function. The "flavour" of the drop soul will remain forever as part of an individualised infinite reaJity. And the Master is the one who guides us through to this Realityas discussed in the next chapter. The final chapter looks at who Saba is. And the answer? The Avatar of the Age. To repeat - this is magnificent work and it adds immeasurably to our understanding of the spiritual path as laid down by Saba. In this review it is impossible to do justice to even a small portion of the insights and discussions contained within it. If any of the above is not quite right, then it is simply because I need to reread and reread Don's book to get to grips with its subject-matter. Do read this book - it is written both from the heart and from tJle mind and is superb. Thank you, Don. Meher Saba - The Awakener of the Age, published by Companion Sooks 1999. Paperback, 314 pages, $15.


Nowhere to Now Here by Michael DaCosta

Review by Sarah McNeill, England

G

reat title. Great cover showing Baba's face seen through a mist of swirling bubbles. Great picture on the inside cover of Baba blowing bubbles. And the best is yet to come! From the first page to the last. this book is a great read. I sat and went through it from cover to cover one rainy afternoon and enjoyed! Nowhere to Now Here opens with a 'classic' children's story, which is followed by a serious piece on The UniversalJourney. The two items play an introductory role, both setting the book in the context of its author's unique, child-playful way of thinking and at the same time fixing the book's focus firmly on the impact of the words of Meher Baba. What follows is a section of prose. a section of poetry, something called Performance Pieces, the by now well-known and muchloved Carland ofEgos, and, down at the bottom of the Contents list, an A to Z The book's Foreword is written by Aude Gotto (herself the author of a recent book of ghaza]s), and it also includes a section on Meher Baba, a glossary of names, places and Indian terms, and a brief bio-note about the author, Michael DaCosta. The prose pieces offer a sequence of essays and reflections on the kind of day-today events ("I tood on the hard shoulder of the Mil, in the dark, watching my car, full of valuable possessions, go up in flames") that have triggered meaningful insights for the person involved (i.e.Michael!); so this section is autobiographical in a way that describes happenings as they impact on all levels of perception. The poems of the next section of NoIVhere to NolV Here, written over the past thirty years, form the major part of the book and represent an impressive canon of work, which includes the lyrics of some of the well known songs we have heard Michael Da Costa sing on so many occasions of sahavas and celebration on three continent . "He's the winking eye in the pyramid on a green one-dollar bill, He's the moment of deep silence when the evening stands still. He's the groove on the centre of a little white pill, He's the gust of warm laughter at the top of a hill." The Performance Pieces present a selection of hitherto unpublished work - five scripted vocalisations for live performance,

two of which were included in the first British Baba albums produced by Pete Townshend in the early 1970 . It was here that I discovered one of my favourites, The

Kiss and die Stone. "Heral/ciem bodysenles itselfin its wrinkles on dIe ground found about where the neem tree tises: age-dimmed still-gleaming eyes focus on passers-by and dIOse I vho come to seek her blessing: indifferem to the sun and the leafj shadows on her face or dIe water when it drips and swirls around her kirts in rivulets. she waits: patience comes easy to dIOse who know dley ha ve nothing to lose: at the appointed moment He I vill come. she knows. The Carland ofEgos (Ego I - Ego VII) is n

also, in a sense, a performance piece, but it reads just as well silently, in the way one enjoys reading a book of poetry. And the guffaws are there just the same, sometimes as chortles of recognition, sometimes as sharp intakes of breath at the bullseye honesty of this self-analysis. "And you must have noticed how I've begun work on developing the divine qualities which you say are essential for spiritual growth; for instance, I've been polishing up my patience and persistence; and then there is moral courage, forbearance, cheerfulness, enthusiasm and equipoise - I like that word. so I'm especially working on my equipoise so that one day I may have the peace of a frozen lake." That is quoted from Ego V-My qualifi-

within, the sense of fun, the consummate wordsmithery! Who else would rhyme seashore with knees sore? or refer to a spiritual laundromat? How easy it is to go along with a poet who speaks of steppingstones hewn out ofstumbling blocks. and who speaks in terms of "The muscles in my neck tell well how little yet I have learned to trust." Michael Da Costa has given u all a treat ingathering together the assortment of work that makes up this book. It has been a task spread over several years which has involved a small and very industrious team of people in NorWich, England. Through it, Baba will surely extend His outreach to many who have not heard His name before. I leave the last word to tlle author. "So all I can do is to try my be t to be true to the trust he has bestowed in me, to be a trustworthy custodian of that knowledge, and to trust that he may at least give a chuckle now and then at my feeble efforts to entertain him." Jai Baba!

Nowhere to Now Here. published in the U.K 1999. Paperback, 175 pp, $10.

cations for Cod-realisation. Wicked! The last section, A toz. celebrates the A to Z of Baba's alphabet board - a sequence of verses arranged alphabetically to make you smile and to make you think! X is for Xenon: " Xenon is a chemical element; a colourless. odourless gas. Just imagine out there somewhere there is an unsuspecting drop-soul just embarking on its mighty journey from nowhere to nowhere which thinks it is xenon/We may smile... but then who do we think weare? Right at the back of Nowhere to Now Here is a bit about the writer that tells us our author is ajazz clarinetist cum counsellor/psychotherapist, a role Michael himself might well describe as an "absurd but necessary part in his drama of creation." The jazzman is there in the riffs and rhythms of the vel' e. Echoes of the counsellor/psychotherapist also come through in much of the writing, in the questioning, the dialogue and the relentlessly honest self-examination. But it is always lightened and refreshed by the child

A[eher Saba a Krishna by Mehera Alakeig

"}30H do /lol love !Jour ;Real Self as Sad,

so your (alse sel( ma/~es you (eel bad." line from a9hazalltlrittw by J'rteher CBaba 19


Over the Years with MeherBaba by Bill LePage Review by PI'is Haffenden, Los Angeles

n--er The Years With Meher Baba is Unother delightful book written by Australian Bill LePage about his experiences with Meher Baba and His Mandali. This book is split into 7 major sections: Sunrise, wherein he likens Baba to the sun - "As in that moment when the Sun seems suddenly to go below the horizon, so in one moment He was still with us, still shining, still beckoning ... touching our hearts with His ever-flowing love and His ever-joyful invitation to the dance - and then He slipped away."; Meher Baba's Presence, _where he talks about the places where Baba's Presence is most keenly felt - ..... in certain places associated with His life on earth, the perfume is the strongest."; TheJessawala Family, where he relates stories told to him by Eruch Jessawala about his family's history, and their com ing to Baba; Stories From The 1970s, a series of vignettes from notes taken while listening to stories told by the Mandali and others during visits to Meherabad and Meherazad in the 1970s; Some Letters From The '50s And 60's, letters sent to him from Mani and Francis Brabazon in the 1950s & '60s; MeIJer Baba and Miracles, a few tales of unusual happenings with Baba's close ones; MeIJer Baba'sJourneys, tales of the Blue Bus Tours, Mast Tours, and New Life Travels with Baba; Prophet Mohammed, some of Bill's favorite stories and quotes related to the Prophet Mohammed "He who knoweth himself knoweth God."; and the final section, Life At Its Best, some of Bill's favorite sections of the now Out-of-print book. I spent an extremely pleasant afternoon with this book. I really like the st Ie of Bill's writing, and I appreciate the fact that he took notes during those times, and shares these jewels with us all. Over the Years with Meher Baba, published by Meher Baba Foundation Australia. Paperback, 129 pp,$$ Copyright 1999 AMBPPCT. 20

The Universal Prayer by Will David

A

long time Los Angeles resident Will David, now living in Myrtle Beach, has published a book of his illustrations to the Universal Prayer. He has shown these paintings - 76 in all - to friends all over the world. At the urging of many, and with help from Sheriar Press and other 'angels' it now comes to you as a 6" x 8" full color, glossy paper, book. Each page illustrates a phrase of Parvardigar. Daniel Ladinsky, author/translator (The Gift, Penguin USA) had this to say about the book: "Some prayers are so profound and beautiful that God cannot resist leaning his ear close, so close that the lashes on the soul's eye burst into flame and your spirit finally claims every square inch of space upon your body, earth and sky field as sacred. If you have never known this experience - and want it - don't forget this prayer at night, and remembering with every step whoever your Beloved may be. And if the chance to know ecstasy and love through prayer wasn't tempting enough, you have some wonderful art here, such playful, luminous, expansive paintings that as Hafiz says of true art, "lifts the corners of the mouth,'''' Alexandra Marks, correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor (and Baba lover) says: "The Univer al Prayer, with it's clarity and force, speaks for itself. Will David's playful illustrations highlight God's delight and humor". Don Stevens felt it was ..Spontaneous.... intuitive....effervescent... " You can see Will's work at www.willdavid.com. The book is available from The Love Street Bookstore for $18.50.

no money and nothin' to loose, if you can be happy, you've got the Baba Blues!" The first piece on the album, "Black Night", (as well as the later song, "Mani's Gone Blues") is about someone feeling bad. The music actually cries, enabling him to work through feelings, until he gets to the "Sunny (Baba) Side Of The Street". The album is a selection of the traditional blues and love songs, all played for Meher Baba, "Avatar with a sense of humor."

a

Music Notes Jerry Edwards and

The Ancient One Blues by Shirla Edwards, Myrtle Beach

I

n the early 1980's, at his first Gathering for Meher Baba, hearing a variety of musicians, Jerry Edwards wondered if jazz and blues were appropriate at a Baba performance. But because to him jazz always has a spiritual dimension, he risked writing and singing the "Baba Blues,"This song in a humorous manner catches the spirit of The New Life: "A thousand miles from nowhere,

Joining Jerry in many of the numbers are other Baba musicians with whom he frequently plays at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, in Meherabad and at Gatherings. Bobbie Bernstein, a versatile keyboard and vocalist professional in her own right, moves easily from happy stride piano to marimba calypso beats to the pounding tempos of the title song, "The Ancient One Blues". Paul Newman, who played harmonica with Jerry during the summer of '98 at House of Blues, demonstrates his talent as a true jazz musician as his harmonicas talk, laugh, even wail through riffs or solos. Here he joins JerI' in the haunting "Someone to Love" and "Reincarnation Blues." a song written by Jamie Newell. Chris Barker, percussionist, often played with Jerry when Chris lived in Columbia, S.C. but now live in Nacogdoches, Texas where he is professor of Geology. It seemed improbable that he could be recruited to help with this album, but one day he appeared unexpectedly at Meher Spiritual Center and was able to attend several recording essions. His Iivel and sensitive use of drums, brushes, eggs, and other percussion highlight the rhythms Ambika Sharan, a classical musician who has played first seat with symphony orchestras and chamber groups in the United States and


abroad, demonstrates her skill with a hauntingjazz flute interpretation in "I Only Have Eyes For You," first played with Jerry one morning at the Samadhi.

The Making of Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality by jim Meyer NC

T

he great Sufi, Laura Delavigne, flfSt in troduced me to the poetry of Malcolm Schloss shortly after I moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 1969 to work as a caretaker at the Meher Center. I was immediately drawn to the poetry's profound simplicity, musicality and "right-ness." Around this same time, Bob Brown began putting some of these poems to music, and his manic enthusiasm, unbridled talent and unique devotion were instrumental in inspiring me to do the same. Our first collaboration was "First and Foremost"- the initial poem in Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality. Our friendship and professional musical association (as "Brown & Meyer" bar room duo) lead to many musical interactions over the next 25 years for which I will always be grateful. When my family and I moved to North Carolina in 1996, I had given melody to a dozen or so of Malcolm's poems, but it was only in 1997 that I began exploring, in depth, the possibility of putting all of Vft8ys to Attain the Supreme Reality into a complete musical form. As soon as this idea took hold, melodies began coming together with uncommon ease, a sure sign to me that Baba was turning keys and opening doors for its completion. After all, it was Baba who commissioned Malcolm to publish his masterpiece, and it was Baba who compared Malcolm's collection of poems to Hafiz. To me, Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality is one of the most important books of 20th century poetry. Within a year, all 36 poems were resolved musically, and I started to look around for a studio to record them. Here's where the story becomes interesting. My wife Emily and I had opened a health food store, "Wildflowers," in the small town of Spruce Pine, N.C. (pop. 2,200). One of our customers was Bill Szymczyk, producer of such legendary performers as Santana, The Who, B.B. King, J. Geils Band and The Eagles just to name drop a few. He and his family lived about ten miles away in the mountain village of Little Switzerland. After

our families become friends, I asked Bill if he could recommend a local recording studio Meher Baba that would be suitable for an "extremely esoteric, non-commercial project of 33 songs" that I'd been working on for 25 years. He replied nonchalantly, "Why don't we do it in my home studio? It'll be fun!" And it ..._,__..... was defmitely the most fun I've ever had in a recording studio. Bill is the consummate professional, an absolute master of his art, and a stone rock n' roller to boot! He enjoyed stretching my musical sensibilities and preconceptions. I remember the first time he played back to me a rough mix of the recitation, "The Real Self," on which I play "Saba and Mehera in Heaven" by Wodin. overdubbed acoustic dulcimers to a drum program. Bill warned me "Don't get too n the heaven state the fulfillment of deexcited by what I've done. Baba made me sires is not, as in the gross sphere, dedo itl" By running the recordings through a pendent upon having the object of desire. series of his "hocus-pocus" machines, Bill Fulfillment of desire comes merely created a remarkable unique sound that, at through thinking of the object desired. For my first listening, scared me half to death, example, if a person wishes to hear exquisbut is now one of my all-time favorites. On ite music, he experiences this pleasure several occasions for other songs, Bill told merely by thinking about it. The imagime "Baba made me do itl" and even though native idea of exquisite music becomes, in he said it with a bemused smile, I'm certain this state, a substitute for the physical both he and I believed it. He and Baba sound vibrations in the gross sphere. The worked well together. pleasure he derives from the thought of On another occasion, we were recording exquisite music is much greater than the songs with a local musician who, besides pleasure he derived in his earthly career being a friend of mine, was also a very confrom the actual hearing of physical soundS. servative Baptist minister. (How Baba got In the heaven state there are no obstacles the Reverend Matthew Stephens to be a part between desires and their fulfillment; th.e of this recording is a separate story in itself!]) pleasure of self-fulfillment through Bill enjoyed Matthew's bass playing and at thought or feeling is always at hand. the end of the session said, "That was the In fact, even in the earthly sphere of most fun I've ever had with a Baptist minisexistence some individuals develop this terl" capacity of making their pleasure indepenBill worked tirelessly and selflessly to give dent of possession of a gross object. the project the kind of professionalism that Beethoven, for example, was completely I could only dream about. After he had deaf; and yet through the exercise of mixed all 33 songs, he personally carried it imagination alone, he was able to enjoy to a mastering lab and spent another ten intensely his own compositions of music. hours nursing it through its final stages. In In a sense, even on earth he might figuraall, the project took one year to complete. tively be said to have been in the heaven A week after the CD was being printed state. In the same way, a person who mediand pressed, I felt compelled to give Bill a tates on the Beloved with love derives framed picture of Baba that Baba had also happiness merely through the thought of touched. Bill appreciated the gesture, saythe Beloved, without requiring His physiing he would put it in his studio. Then he cal presence. After death, in the heaven said, "You know, I had a picture of Baba in state, the enjoyment of such imaginative my car for ten years. Pete Townshend gave fulfillment is infinitely greater since conit to me saying it was better than a St. sciousness is then unburdened of the outChristopher's medal!" Imagine ... ermost veil of the gross body. There is no doubt in my mind that Baba's From Discourses, by Meher Baba, Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT, Published by nazar was on this project from start to fmish and it was a blessing to be a part of it and Sheriar Press. I'm certain it will be a blessing for all who hear it. And now, on to Hafiz!

Heavenly Pleasures

I

21


An Interview With Diana LePage Dina Snow

T

alent run deep in the Morton family. Charlie was the artist Mehera chose to paint a portrait of Baba to ftll the north window of the Samadhi, replacing the black and white photo that had been there for many years. He spent many years painting, repainting, touching up, and retouching it to achieve the perfection Mehera was looking for. Meanwhile his sister Diana was making a name for herself working with lucite, creating sculptures on commission for large corporations here in Los Angeles. Some of her works can still be seen in the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and the Marina City Club in Marina del Rey. From sculpting, she moved to drawing and sketching portraits in pencil and charcoal. And who better to use as a subject than the Beloved of the Morton siblings Meher Baba. From drawing, she progressed to oils. This was a radical step since Diana was born with a condition in the cones in her eyes that made it impossible for her to ever see in color! The world to Diana has always been in black and white. How then, you ask, can she paint Baba in such true colors? I asked her this question and she told me she fee/sthe colors. Something quite beyond my comprehension, I can only stand in awe looking at her magnificent works. Her painting, in glorious color, graced our cover (alas, only in black and white) for the July 1999 issue. Before painting the S'x Tcanvas, she sketched eighteen separate portraits of Baba as He gestured different words.

Mehera by Diana La Page

22

These smaller portraits surrounded the large center close up of Baba in the famous Shhh gesture of finger to lips. Diana had the preliminary pencil sketches reproduced in a 12 x 16 format and they are available for only $20 each or $100 for a set of

6. When speaking to Diana LePage with aile ofher charcoal prtraHs ofMeher Saba. us about her work she says: "Although I have been painting Baba I saw a print that looked like a small oil in oils for years, it has always bothered me painting of the original. I made inquiries and that I hadn't had professional instruction. found that a woman living in Brisbane, And living in Woombye, Aust. not New York Catherine Palmer, had developed a or Paris, made me think that help was out of technique that enabled reproductions to be the question. But I felt Baba knew how much made on artist's canvas at a very reasonable I was trying. price. The finished product is fade-resistant, In June 1998 I had an 'open studio' just scratch-proof, water-resistant, will last the before the celebrations for the Anniversary life of tlle canvas, and finally looks like an of Baba's visit to Avatar's Abode. One of the oil painting!" first to arrive was Wesley Pemberthy, a We are very happy to be carrying her sprightly octogenarian who walked in, paintings. We found not only is she an exlooked around at my artwork and said, "r tremely talented artist but is also one very know exactly what you need to know"! I inventive lady! She told us: "Recently I didn't know him and I was both amazed and learned that the 30 finalist paintings in an skeptical at first, but sure enough, he was a Australian $100,000 portrait competition professional restorer of fine paintings for galthe Doug Moran Portrait Prize - would be leries and private collectors as well as an art touring alJ Australian capital cities during teacher. He subsequently spent hours in my the year 2000. The idea of Beloved Baba studio showing me the techniques of the being seen aJl over Australia really excited Flemish and Venetian Masters and he conme. But one of the requirements is that the tinues to be a source of great information painting has to be of a living Australian. So and encouragement. Thank you Baba!" what r am doing is: a portrait of myself workFor sale in the Love Street Bookstore are ing on a Baba painting in my studio with paintings of Diana's that look like originals, Baba seated beside me gesturing about tlle but when one sees the caliber of the work painting. I feel so happy working on this that and then sees the $55 or $90 price tag, one it does not matter to me if it is one of tlle wonders how they could possibly be origifinalists or not! I'll enjoy seeing it in my stunals. Diana tells us: "I've always been aware dio every morning." that original artwork is too expensive for We feel sure Baba is enjoying her sense most people. Even though I am willing to of humour and somewhat devious plan. accept any terms,just so that a painting can Whether He wants His portrait to be seen be enjoyed in someone's home, it can still be by tllousands all over Australia remains to too expensive. I had some nice prints made be seen. of pencil drawings, but I never knew what to do about reproducing paintings. Colour prints were just too costly for me. Then one day at the Queensland Art Gallery


Children's Corner

o

o째0 0

oO

o Spill the Soda

by Gavin Kendall Davenport, age 9

Why would you like to drink that soda, when you could be dancing with the Beloved? Do you think all that carbonation would be worth the same as being with God?

o0

The feeling of all those bubbles bursting upon the tongue is at the bottom of the rank. God is at the top! So spill the soda!

Those bubbles need to be popped! So spill the soda!

Who cares if it's a liter? Even one liter of your favorite soda would not be worth one negative googleplex of a second of being with God! So spill the soda!

Who cares if it floods? Even an ocean of your favorite soda would not be worth the shortest time in the universe with God! So, spill the soda!

Story and drawing by Francesca Cole, age 6

23


Castles in Heaven T

here was a certain emperor in Persia and his kingdom was extensive. He ruled justly, peace prevailed, and his subjects were very happy. One day, without warning, the emperor took to the streets of his capital, instead of sitting on his throne. For a time the courtiers and officials took it as a capricious whim, but days went by and the emperor continued to wander the streets. They began to suspect that there might be something wrong. They went to the emperor and requested him, "Sire, Will you not now return to your palace?" But he replied, "Palace? Which palace? I Here is my palace, here is the dome of my palace," he said, pointing to the sky. They realized that something had gone wrong with the emperor's mind, and they were unanimous in their decision that his younger brother and wife should now be king and queen. The emperor continued t6 wander the city, begging " for food, indifferent to his cc;>ndition. He was familiarly known now as Bahlul, and soon people forgot that he had been the king nd he became the butt ofjokes - an object of teasing by the children. Yet the wife of Bahlul's brother, now the queen, always maintained a soft spot in her heart for Bahlul, and never even considered that he had gone mad. Rather he respected him as somebody who has been struck with love for God. The years passed. One day the queen was strolling along the seashore with her ladies, and she came upon Bahlul playing in the sand. He was sitting there, scraping the sand with his hands into a huge pile, and then brushing it aside and then scooping it back together again, chuckling all the while to himself. The queen was drawn to talk to him. "Bah luI, do you recognize me? Do you know who I am?" "Sure, I know who you are. You're the empress of this kingdom." "What are you doing, Bahlul?" "Oh, I am very busy. I am building castles in heaven for those who deserve them." "You are building castles here?"

24

by Eruch ]essawala

"Yes, he asked for it," and then she related the whole episode. The king was furious, and a good verbal "Yes." fight ensued between the two. He tried to "Do I deserve one, Bahlul?" impress upon her that she had no right to Bahlul looked at her a moment. "Yes," give the necklace away, for it did not really he replied. belong to her but to the kingdom, it was "Will you build a castle for me, then?" part of the royal treasure. She replied that she asked. one little necklace didn't matter. And be"Sure, but you will have to pay the price." sides, what harm had been done? Bahlul, "What price?" after all, was the real emperor, and he was He pointed to a necklace of precious entitled to the necklace if he wanted it. gems she was wearing. Although it was an As you can imagine, one word led to anheirloom given to her by her husband, she other and eventually they became so angry with each other that they stopped speaking entirely. Days passed and neither would say aword to the other. Until one night, in the middle of the night, the king had a terrible nightmare. He tossed and turned on the bed, moaning and calling out loudly, obviously in great distress. Even though she was still upset, the queen's heart melted and she took pity on her husband and woke him up. He came to with a groan, drenched in -Saba and {he Sand:as~;es'-pain~ing'bY Wo..ld"';i'-7-:"';"' , , - - - J perspiration. "Oh, what a nightmare I had'" he exclaimed. He sat up in bed and recounted promptly took it off and gave it to BahluI. the dream. He looked at it and then, laughing as he I still remember Baba's gestures so did so, he tore it apart and threw the gems, clearly as He went into all these details. one by one, into the ocean. After throwing The way He would turn His face aside to the last jewel into the sea he looked up at show how the queen refused to talk to her her and said, "Now go. It is all built in heaven husband. The way He acted out the part for you. Go." of the husband, having a nightmare and The empress and her maidens went hapthen waking up trembling. I can't give you pily off and enjoyed themselves on the seathat vivid picture that Baba gave us of all shore. It never occurred to the empress that this, but I am giving you the gi t of the she might have done something wrong. To story, the food, as it were, without the her it was just a imple necklace of precious spice, the easoning. stones, that's all. She forgot all about it. But "I dreamt," the king said, "that I wa after a few days the king noticed that his dead and was led through the gates of wife never wore the necklace anymore. heaven. For some time I wandered around, "Don't you like the necklace I gave you?" he enjoying the sights, but gradually I began asked her. to grow tired and longed for a place to Suddenly she remembered the incident. settle down. There were many castles all "Yes, I liked it, but I gave it away," she conaround, but each time I tried to enter one, fessed. the owner would stop me, saying, 'This is "Gave it away! To whom did you give it?" mine.' Everywhere, every time, it was the "Bahlul." same story. I grew more and more tired. I "What! Bahlul, that madman!"


became despondent and finally even frightened. When would I ever find my own place? "I came to yet another castle, but as I approached, a window opened on the first floor and I saw your face. I was so relieved that at last I had found my own castle. I rushed up to enter, but as I did you stopped me and said, 'Here, no one can share a castle. Each to his or her own.' And so I was left outside once more. The experience was terrifying. Nowhere was there any place for me. And that's when you woke me." The queen comforted the king, helped him to calm down, but then reminded him. "Do you remember what happened last week?" She couldn't resist giVing him a little dig. "You were so furious with me that I had given the necklace to Bahlul when he offered to build me a castle in heaven in exchange, but now see!" But the king was too miserable for the queen to enjoy chiding him so, she relented and suggested, "Why don't you ask Bahlul to build you a castle in heaven? He is your brother, surely he will do it for you if you ask." The king readily assented, and Bahlul was brought to the palace. He was given a good scrubbing and then adorned with royal clothes and made to sit opposite the throne of the king. "Bahlul, do you recognize me and this lady here?" the king asked. "Yes," Bahlul replied, "you are my brother. You are also the king and the lady is your wife, the queen." "Do you recall, Bahlul, that you said to her on the seashore that you were building castles in heaven for those who deserved them?" "Yes, that is what I do all the time." "Do I not deserve a castle in heaven? Would you not build one for me?" "Surely I can do that, but you will have to pay the price." Bahlul answered. The king immediately took a string of pearls from around his neck and handed it to Bahlul. Bahlul merely looked at the king and aid, "What else?" The king added another necklace but again Bahlul replied, "What else?" The king added more and more jewelry but Bahlul remained unimpressed and kept asking, "What else?" The king took of all his jewels, and even sent to the royal treasury for some particularly fine pieces, but Bahlul's answer never varied, "What else?" Finally the king burst out, "Why is it that my wife gave you only one necklace and you built a castle for her, but with me you keep asking for more and more, saying, 'What else?' Why is it that Illy castle costs

so much more than her castle?" Bahlullaughed, "Even if you were to offer me the whole of your kingdom, it would not be enough." The king was dismayed. "Why? What have I done?" "You know the worth of a castle in heaven," Bahlul replied. "On the seashore your wife just took my word that I was building castles in heaven. Whatever price I asked, she gave immediately. She did not bargain, nor did she give in a calculated manner. But here, now, with you, there is bargaining, because you know the worth of what you're seeking. Even if you were to part with your whole kingdom it would not be enough. Part with the kingdom and with yourself, only then may you have your own castle in heaven." Here Baba finished the story and commented, "Do you all realize what this story means? When I first asked you to leave everything and stay with Me and obey Myorders, you did so without knowing what you were doing. You were drawn to do so, and you willingly parted with all the things you had in the world in order to be by My side and to live with Me. But you did not know the worth of what you were doing. "But there will come a time when the world will know of Me, who I am. Then, even if the emperors of the world want to part with their kingdoms to be with Me, that price will be too little. The little price you paid to be by My side was enough for Me, because you did it not knowing what you were doing, but trustingly relied on My word without giving a second thought to what you would gain by doing so." That is why we sometimes tell all of you who come how lucky you are to come now when it is only love which brings you. The day will come when the whole world will recognize Baba. When people will be flocking here. When so many will come to Baba, but why will they come? They will come in a spirit of bargaining, to get something out of it. Even those who are sincere will have a hard time keeping such motives out of their mind, for at that time it will be to one's advantage to come to Baba, it will be good for one's business, for one's reputation to have it be known that one follows Baba. So it is good now to be able to come to Baba when the only incentive is love. From TIJars How ir /!lias. by Eruch Jessawala, Copyright 1995. AMBPPCT Ahmednagar, M.S.. India. Published by Sheriar Foundation.

No More Roaming by Judith Garbett

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ust before we left to go down to the Pilgrim Centre for lunch, Mansari said, "If you are not tired I'll tell you one more story. " Two thousand years ago a Jew spat on Jesus, but instead of being angry Jesus said quietly, "U ntil I come again you will have no place to stay." In 1947, Mansari continued, Baba was sitting on His gadi -- she couldn't remember the month. He was looking very sad, and said "Now you will be no more roaming." Four days later Kitty brought the newspaper and read out to Baba, and all of them there. that Israel had been given to the Jews. Thus God fulfilled His word. From Lives ofLove, TIJe Women Mandali of A varar MeIJer Baba. by Judith GarbeU. Copyright 1998, AMBPPCT.

Ego is Hydra-headed Meher Baba

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he ego is hydra-headed and expresses itself in numberless ways. It lives upon any type of ignorance. Pride is the specific feeling through which egoism manifests. A person can be proud of the most unimportant and silly things. Instances are known, for example, of people developing their nails to an abnormal length and preserving them, despite much inconvenience to themselves, for no other reason than to assert separatenes from others. The ego must magnify it attainments in grotesque ways if it is to live in them. Direct assertion of the ego through self-display in society is very common; but ifsuch direct assertion is prohibited by the rules of conduct, the ego has a tendency to seek the same result through the slander of others. To portray other as evil is to glorify oneselfby suggesting a comparison -- a comparison the ego would willingly develop, though it often restrains itself from doing so. From Discourses. by Meher Baba. Copyright 1987. AMBPPCT.

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Excerpts from the Palace Chat with Bhau Kalchuri August and September, 1999 (Although these two excelpts are from mondlS ago. the last CentUlY ill fact!. they cover suijects ofinterest to many people. so we felt it valuable to publish.}

q

What is your advice on asking for advice from the Mandali? 'half. Mandali members are not God. They can only tell you what they have experienced and what has happened to their lives. They don't know everything. They can only say how they were leading their lives. And it is, I think, sufficient for you. So it is not advice, but it is how they were living their lives for the Beloved. No one has any right to give any advice. Of course we are not fit for that. It took many years to experience the fact that we are ignorant; but the ignorant ones, what they have passed through, may be the example for others. Q How do you let go of anger when you are feeling it? Bhalf. We are not stone, so it is natural that one feels anger. If it is not expressed, it is a great thing. But if it is expressed, then Baba has given the prayer of repentance. Just do it and forget it and don't worry. When you do the repentance prayer, then know well that the Beloved has forgiven you. Then there is no room for worry. But if you stiJ] worry, then worry! It means you don't have belief in His forgiveness Q It seems to me like I've heard you say repression is not a good thing ... and we shouldn't worry ... why is repressing anger, (if repression is not good), ok? Bhalf. Repression and suppression do not help. On the contrary when you suppress and repress any desire, for th~ tinle being those desires are not expressed. But then they become very strong, and then it becomes very difficult to control them; so what should be done? One has to remember the Beloved; and the remembrance is not repression or suppression. Go on remembering Him, and a time will come when those desires of anger will become weaker. But, all of the sudden, if you get angry and you say, "Oh Baba!" And the anger becomes more, you think that Baba is not helping you, but it is not so; His Help is there. Lust and anger, they are desires which are very, very strong; and it is not easy to control them. Only His Love can give you strength to wipe them out. Repression and suppression are not required. Elimination is required. And elimination of desires one can achieve through 26

His remembrance; through His Love. We were with Beloved Baba. We passed so many years aloof from the world. So in the beginning when we came it is not that we had no desires and no thoughts but now I say that not even the thought of lust or desires is left. And of course we did not feel how this desire disappeared; it is His grace; it is His love. It is His compassion that it happened. We never asked Him to please make us free from anger, lust, greed, and selfishness. We never asked. Without asking He has done; and that is the natural way. Don't worry. He is in everyone. He is the strength, so you have to remember the strength, so why remember the weaknesses? If you remember the Strength, weaknesses will be gradually wiped out. And He is the Strength within everyone; that active strength. It is His work to make everyone pure, and He has to do that work; so why worry? Eat well and sleep well, and don't worry about anything. Know well that you belong to Him, and He belongs to you. Q I am trying to love Baba. When I am with Baba lovers, Baba seems to be close. But, when I go out with other groups, I have a doubt that Baba may not be God. It is a struggle for me. Sometimes yes, sometimes not. Did you, Bhau, have these questions? Bhau:God alone exists and nothing exists besides God. And whatever appears existing, it exists in non-existence. Such questions would be asked of Baba, and I'll give you an example: There was a person who would come to Baba when he would have his vacations. One day he came and Mandali members were there and Baba asked him "Shaum ...do you know Me?" And he said "Yes Baba, I know You." And Baba looked at the Mandali members and said, "These people are with Me for the last 30 to 40 years and they don't know Me. But how fortunate you are that you know Me." There is another example: There was a political leader. He was a member of parliament. His son was a minister in the cabinet. He was a very literary person; he wrote many books about God. But when his son died, he was weeping, and then he heard about Meher Baba so he came to Baba. And Baba says: "Why do you weep?" And he said "Baba, my son died whom I loved very much. I don't know who You are but I have come to You because people told me that You give peace." Baba said, "Is there anyone who knows Me?

To know Me is to become Me; so why do you worry that you don't know Me? Only five Perfect Masters...They know Me. Others they don't know Me; so don't worry. But your son he is with Me." And the man said: "I see my son in You, but when will I get him back?" Baba replied: "You can see him in Me, so whatever I say you must listen; why do you ask when you will get him back? You must feel happy that he is with Me." Mind creates doubts, and if mind does not create doubts then HE will create doubts! Don't worry because He has to clean. Everyone has doubts. You are not a bad person; don't worry about that. You will become strong and be free! If He is Reality... active Reality...what is His work? To clean. He says "I embrace the saints and the sinners: Sinners are My liability and saints are My assets; and My business is to convert the liabilities into assets." That business He does. So why do you worry? He is for all and even if you don't want any help from Him still it is His duty to help you. Not that help which you want, but that help which makes one desireless... that is His help. Q Isn't the cobra story about expressing anger? Bhalf. Yes, Baba has told this story. There was a village in India in ancient time and the village was surrounded by sugarcane fields, and there was a very narrow path leading from the village to the city. But there was a cobra who lived in these sugarcane fields. So when people would pass by, the cobra would jump out and bite and run away. So people became very very scared and they would go in a group with sticks in their hands. But the path was so narrow that only one man could go down at a time with their sticks. The cobra was so smart that it would come from this side and that and bite and bite. So many people died. One day the cobra realized what he had been doing and he was repenting. Fortunately, a perfect master passed down the path. The cobra approached the perfect master and it told him that, because of his bite, so many people had died. And he requested the perfect master to forgive him. And the perfect master said: "If you stop biting... then I will forgive you." And the cobra said: "Yes master, I will not bite anyone." And the master said, "I will wait for 15 days. I will see whether you have stopped biting. I will come back again after 15 days and if I fmd that you did not bite anyone, I will forgive you." So the cobra went away and hid.


Days went by and as the villagers passed through they did not see the cobra anywhere. So they thought he must be sick and that was why he was not biting. "We must find him and punish him" they said. So they started searching for the cobra with a stone in each person's hand, and after a while they found the cobra. And they said "Stand here and throw the stones at the cobra and then run, otherwise the cobra will bite us." So they did and they ran away. And the cobra was very much injured. On the 15 d• day the master came and he saw the cobra was in a bad way and he said to the cobra: "What happened to you?" And the cobra said: "Master you asked me not to bite anyone so people threw stones at me and I got injured." And the master said: "You fool! I asked you not to bite but did I ask you not to hiss? Why did you not hiss? Had you done so, they would have not thrown a stone at you!" So this hissing is not anger. It is the show of anger; it is not the anger. It is the show of anger in order to make them scared. When you are hissing, you are just showing you are angry for protection. You are not angry, just showing it. Q Have you experienced total happiness? BIJalf. That's a very good question. I have not experienced total happiness because I have not experienced total suffering. If I experience total suffering and total pain, then I will enjoy Bliss, which is above happiness. In order to experience Bliss, one has to experience infinite pain. And that pain one experiences when there is longing for the union of God. Your heart longs to be united with God. Then, only that pain takes you to God and it gives you Bliss.

Sepcembe/: j 2. j 999 Q Why do I feel so lonely, even with Baba's pictures on the wall? Why is my desperation so strong? BIJalf. Dear one, you feel lonely because you forget that the Beloved is with you. And if you remember Him, you will never feel lonely. As soon as you feel lonely, you remember Him. Know well that without separation, union is not possible. So, if you feel separation from the Beloved. it is good for you. There is longing in your heart. So feel more and more separation! One day you will be united with the Beloved. What a gift you have received from the Beloved. What a gift you have received from the Beloved that you are feeling separation. Q Can you tell a story about Baba in relation to Steve's question?

BIJalf. There are so many stories about the separation. There was one lady from Dehra Dhun. She wanted to see Meher Baba. And she would write a letter every week and Baba would say, "Wait" and "Wait." And it so happened, that there was sahavas program in 1958 at Meherabad. And she came. First day, Baba would meet every lover indiVidually. And she of course approached Baba. And Baba immediately asked her, "How did you come here?" She says that, "I came with my maternal uncle." And Baba said, "Did you ask your husband?" and she said, "Baba, my husband is deadly against You. He does not want me to talk to any Baba lover or to read any Baba book. So I went to my maternal uncle and he brought me here. My husband does not know." And Baba said, "I am not happy about this! Why did you come here without the permission of your husband? I am with you. So now go back." And she started weeping, and Baba said to her: "I will allow you to stay here on one condition." Baba asked her: "Have you got my pictures at your home?" She said "Yes." And Baba said, "Remove all the pictures." Then again Baba asked, "Do you have any books about Me?" And she said, "Yes." And Baba said, "Remove all the books. Don't meet any Baba lovers. Don't go to the Baba Centers. Don't write to Me. And don't come to Me. If you do so, I will permit you to stay here for seven days." And she said, "It is difficuJt for me, but I will do so." Baba says, "If you do so, I will be very close to you." And she agreed, with a heavy heart. It happened in 1958. And she had no communication with Baba. She would not go Baba Center in Dehra Dhun. She would not meet any Baba lover. She had removed all the pictures and books. And we did not hear from her any more. And any Baba lover also did not inform us about her, because she would not meet anyone. Then, in 1984, I went to Delhi. And because there was some time, I went to Dehra Dhun to meet Baba lovers there. And when I went to the Center, she was standing at the gate of the Center. And I looked at her, and I said to her that Baba had given this order for your lifetime and why do you come here to the Center? And she laughed, and she said, "I know. But that was my mother! My mother does not come here, and she is following Baba's orders hundred percent. But do you know what has happened to my father? My father comes to the Center! He reads Baba books! And he has kept Baba pictures in his room! And he says to my mother, 'Please, you go to the Center. You keep Baba's picture in your room. You read Baba books. And you go to Meherabad every year.'

And my mother says, 'Beloved Baba has given me the last instructions. I cannot disobey fulfilling His promise. He's coming closer and closer to me. So now you don't disturb me!'" So, this is the story about separation. When you feel separation, you are closer to union. So feel happy! Q I feel people very overwhelming at times and I wonder why? BIJalf. In the domain of illusion, sensitivity is there. And we feel sensitivity because we are dealing with our senses! But if we love the Beloved, or if we remember Him and keep Him in our heart, then of course, sensitivity will diminish gradually. It will not be like a miracle, immediately. It takes time because we have collected sensitivity for ages, and for that purpose, we must wait and wait in His remembrance. And one day you will be free. Q I was wondering if you had any interesting recollections of Baba helping you write ghazals, or of Baba helping Francis Brabizon write ghazals? I know Baba gave you some lines to work from. Did He do the same with Francis? BIJalf. Baba helped me as well as Francis Brabazon in writing ghazals. Francis did not know a word of Persian. Baba would ask Aloba to recite a couplet from Hafiz, and Baba would translate it into English. And Francis would feel very, very happy. And he got longing to write ghazals in English. So every day it would happen: Baba would translate the couplets. from Hartz, and Francis would get more and more longing. Then Baba stopped translating the couplets. Aloba would recite, and Baba would say, "Sublime! Hafiz was really matchless." And He would not translate the couplet in English, and Francis would feel disappointed. But Baba started doing it every day. He would not translate and He would say: "There is no equal to Hafiz. His writing is sublime!" And Francis would boil inside, because he would not understand anything. One day when Baba asked Aloba to recite one couplet, and he did, and Baba says, "Oh, it is sublime!! No poet is there in the world like Hafiz." And Francis would not look at Baba! He had lost all his energy! He also lost his longing, and he became very desperate. And Baba looked at him and He said to him, "Francis, ask anything today, and I will give it to you." So he says to Baba, "If you want to give me something, I want onJy one thing from you." And Baba says. "What is that?" And Francis said, "Don't mention the name of Hafiz any more!" And Baba laughed. Afterwards, when Baba went for lunch, Francis went to his room and he wrote a very

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good ghazal. And when Saba returned in the afternoon, he says to Saba, "Baba, I wrote a very good ghazal." And Baba says, "Read it out." And when Baba heard it He said, "Francis, read it three times, because I want to memorize it so that, after 700 years when I come back, I will quote you and not HafIZ!" And then Francis started writing ghazals in English. Saba taught me ghazals in a different way. He asked me to write ghazals, and I said to Him that, "Baba, ghazals can only be written in Urdu or Persian and not in Hindi." And Baba said, "Try'" And I tried, and I wrote a hundred songs; I employed different meters, and Saba said, "These are songs and not ghazals! But you have written a very good song! I will teach you, one day, how to write ghazals." So then we went to Guruprasad, Poona, and one night, when it was very, very hot and the doors and windows and ventilators were closed, Baba asked me to listen properly. He gave me one line of ghazal, and He was playing the drum on His thigh. And He asked me to repeat that line according to the rhythm He was making on his thigh, and I was repeating and repeating for half an hour. I was perspiring and Saba was perspiring and I said to Him, "Dear Baba - stop it! I don't understand anything'" And He asked me to continue. And I continued for half an hour. Again! And I did not follow anything!! And again I said to Him, "Baba, I don't understand anything! Please stop! You are perspiring." Still Baba said, "Continue!" So then I continued for 15 minutes. And then I told Saba, "I cannot understand. Please now stop!" And Saba said to me, "You are useless! Go and sit there." And Saba was lying in His bed and still He was playing the drum on His thigh. And I was thinking, "What type of nut I am. Saba took so much trouble for me and I could not follow anything." And I felt as if the breeze was coming and immediately Saba got up, and he said: "Compose." And within five minutes, I compo ed a ghazal. And then He would be after me to write ghazals, and I would write three or four every day. Sometimes He would give me lines, and I would compose the ghazals in this way. I started writing ghazals and still I don't know how I write.lfyou ask me how to write ghazals, I cannot explain. Sut I do write." Q Are all the translations Saba made of the ghazals b Hafiz published? Shall. Saba's translations (of Hafiz) were not published because Saba would quote Hafiz, sometimes, when he would converse with the people. And His conversations with the people were not taken down by anyone. In certain cases, when Saba would give a discourse, at that time someone would take 28

down and quote Hafiz with translations; but it happened very rarely. Mostly, during His conversation with the people, He used to quote Hafiz or Kabir. Kabir was also a Perfect Master. In earlier period He would mostly quote Kabir because people would be able to understand. And in later periods, He would quote HafIZ and rarely Kabir. Q Do you have suggestions as to how best to receive newcomers? Shall. Only suggestion is: receive them with all love. We talk about oneness and it will remain only talk if we don't receive newcomers with love. Our Seloved embraces the sinners and embraces the saints, because He is them. So we should not forget this fact. Sut try to do it with all heart, and not through intellect. Just to show oneness. We must feel that oneness.

Who is a Baba Lover? by Allan Y. Cohen

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t is very difficult to define a Saba lover. There are no formal or external criteria for followers of Meher Saba, no ceremonial initiation, no fee to be paid, nothing to sign, no membership cards to receive. No fonnal vows are taken to join the Saba family. No rituals, customs, or dress is required of a Saba lover. There are no mandatory readings, meditations, or meetings. There is no required formal preparation, nor are there "tests" for membership. Nothing in a person's past necessarily disqualifies him or her from being regarded as a Saba lover. As for internal criteria, some might argue that only a handful of real Saba lovers love and obey him as he should be loved and obeyed. Others might contend that thousands ofsincere, selfless, God-loving individuals who never heard of Meher Saba are more truly Saba lovers than some self-proclaimed followers. SOtll statements are probably equally valid. Sut let us focus on those who consciously aspire to some relationship with Meher Saba. Perhaps the most that can be said is that such Saba lovers exist along a continuum based on the quality of their love, obedience, and commitment to Meher Saba as their Master and Guide. Possibly the true mark of a Saba lover is the quality of his life, will and heart. Even so, these inner qualities do not confer external status, for Saba discouraged his lovers from judging and criticizing each other. Those who have tried to dedicate their lives to Meher Saba constitute a tremendous variety in race, religious background, nationality, age, educational background, and personality type. Some would be called eccentric; others

would be seen as ordinary people. Saba never quashed variation in personal expression; rather, he stressed the increasing consciousness of unity. Undoubtedly, there are sincere devotees of Saba who would grate on the reader's nerves, and others who provoke justifiable criticism. Sut all seekers have problems Witll their ego, Saba lovers being no exception, and Saba pecializes in bringing weaknesses to the surface. Recalling his statement that one of his primary tasks is to "improve the vicious," we must also allow for the additional possibility that Saba might draw to him souls considered somewhat unsavory by other teachers. Although a new follower of Baba can generally expect Baba lovers to exhibit spiritual growth, absence ofsaintliness does not invalidate Saba's method. As a Master, Saba was more concerned about his disciples' working to slay their personal ego than with building their public image. From TIJeMastelJ10fCollsciousness. Compiled and edited by Allan Y. Cohen. Copyright 1977 by Ira G. Deitrick, Published by Harper Colophon Books

An Absolute Scoundrel Eruch ]essawala

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or long periods Meher Baba did not permit anyone longing to meet Him to Meherazad where He lived. We always pleaded witll Saba to allow His lovers this permission but the result would always be the same. They would be called only when Saba wanted them to come and I could never understand this. One day however, Baba permitted a certain man to visit Him. This person expressed excessive devotion to Saba and pretty much enacted a show in Saba's presence. In my heart I could see tllrough the entire act since I knew that the man was an absolute scoundrel, but I did not mention anything to Baba. The man came on several occasions after that and each time he effusively put on an act of love and devotion which to the onlookers smacked of play-acting. Finally when I could not take it any more and the visitor had left, I told Baba that the man was a thorough scoundrel and that he was merely putting on an act of love and devotion. Saba simply said, "Yes, I know he does. You are looking at only his shadow, but I see his substance. He may be a scoundrel but he has the potential to be a real lover of God. "You see him as bad, but you don't know how far he had to come to be only this bad." From TheAndentOne, by EruchJessawala. Copyright 1985 Naosherwan Anzar. Published by Seloved Sooks


Excerpts from a Talk Given by Kusum and Mokham Singh

happened something like this. Saba had invited people from various cities from India. Each area of India could come visit for two hours, for a total of two days. One was not to Transcribed by Gary Nedzweck, NY, edited by Clea McNeely, MN ask any questions, not to bring any gifts, just bow and move on. When I heard about it I Kusum: Baba Was a Neighbor in her maidservant." So Kusum's mother came said, "What is this invitation? Just go? I'm not Dehra Dun, 1953, with a maidservant who sat apart from them. going." Kusum wrote to Baba, "Please write a Saba said, "Why do you cry?" So she told the personal invitation so I can get Mokham to aba had taken up residence two houses whole story of how her daughter had died in go." Baba sent a telegram. We live in a very away from our house. God was our childbirth. Saba said, "Don't blame yourself. large house, where once delivered, the mail is neighbor. Saba stayed in Dehra Dun for sevIt was all Divine Will. I can bring your daughopened and then distributed. The telegram eral years. This was the fiery-free life, after the ter back to life," she said, "Yes? Can you really came and it was opened. It read, "Don't worry. New Life. If you can't come this time I will give I was a teenager. Our family was gooccasion for you to come some other ing through a tragic period - my older time." So I was released ... and not sister had died one month earlier. Mother pleased. I wanted a private communicaand the whole family was upset. A friend tion. of mother's named Prakash told her, "Go ~~ , So I came. Kusum had brought a and see Saba." Mother said, "No, all .; perfumed handkerchief with a flower in people like that, they're really after money. it. Baba accepted it and expressed real I don't believe in God, or else why did .~ _ - pleasure at receiving it. Later, I said, "You He take my daughter?" And she wouldn't are disobeying your master's own ingo. There was a century tree nearby, and structions." I said, "Well, this is funny. my father said to my mother, "Come see. I The disciple disobeys the Guru and He's Its blooming is very auspicious. Come pleased?" We were staying at Pune Club and see." Mother said, "What do I care?" and were at breakfast. There came a Sut he finally convinced her to see it, and knock at the door. I said,jokingly, "Baba each time they would arrive, Saba would Harty Thomas on labia with Mokham and Kusum Singh is calling you." At the door was Badas be passing by and they would look at each bring her back? Sut she's ashes." (The Hindu who was near to Saba, but not a Mandali. He other. Eruch or Dr. Goher would be carrying burial ritual is to bum the corpse.) Saba said, said, "Baba is calling you. Come at 11 :00. Not an umbrella to provide shade for Saba. Saba "Don't worry, even someone who has been a moment sooner, not a moment later." I said, walked so fast they were almost running. Fadead for 200 years I can bring back. It is noth"Baba iscallingyou!"The reason Baba wanted ther said, "He is so beautiful. Why is he runing to Me." (One must remember that, in that us there is that the train bringing the ning? He could walk on air." According to their time, things like this were considered possible. Hamirpoor group of Saba lovers met with a!l sect of Hinduism, they believed any god could Today, young people are not able to believe accident. The front of the train was on one fly or walk on air. things like thiS.) She was 45 then. She beside of the track and the back end was on tlle In great-grandfather's time they had an lieved. Saba said, "You will see her in your other side, except for Saba lovers' car. It was estate. Later all the land was nationalized, but, dream, and the next day she will come." Saba still right on track. All trains were stopped. in that time, anyone passing through the esknew she was sad, so Saba did not tell her The Baba lovers were poor, so Baba brought tate would be given free lodging and food, something like "life is illusion" when all she them the rest of the way by bus, and gave a because Hardwar, which is a holy place, was wanted was consolation. special darshan. They were singing and danc20 miles away and pilgrams were always goMother used to write to Baba, "When will ing, saying, "Thank you for saving our lives." ing that way. So father had seen sadhus and my daughter be coming back?" Baba said, We were sitting there quietly. he said, "Saba is not like them." "Love me more and more." Even when Baba At that time, I was reading books by Ron On the 71h of September, 1953 Saba gave in seclusion, Baba called the family to was Hannigan, Chariots of{he Cods and Was Cod the "Highest of the High" message in Dehra Him. One could see a change in mother. She an Ascraunauc?In them he tried to prove that Dun. He gave the Master's Prayer on August started to sing songs. She ate better and looked there were pre-civilization extraterrestrial be13, in Dehra Dun in 1953. ("The Prayer of happier. One day, when Baba was in Guruings visiting earth who we called gods. I said Repentance" also had been given there many prasad sitting in His chair, and Kusum's famto Kusum, "Ron Hannigan said god came years before). Father was confused about ily was gathered there, He said to mother, "Are "Highest of the High" message and told my from another planet. Why don't you ask Baba you happy?" Mother said, "Yes." Baba said, "Do which planet He came from?" And she rebrother and me to explain each and every word you love Me?" She said, "Yes." And Baba said, plied, "Why don't you ask Him?" Finally she to him. Father translated the Master's Prayer "Do you want anything?" She said, "No, Baba." said, "Baba, my husband says You come from into Hindi. While it is difficult to remember And finally, Saba said, "Not even your daughanother planet. Will You please tell him which in English, in Hindi it is in rhyme. The transter?"The answer was, "No, Baba." Later, when one you come from?" Saba said, "I don't belation was published in Meher Pukar magaback at their hotel, I asked my mother, "Why long to any planet. All planets belong to Me." zine. It was also sent to Saba and Saba liked did you say that? Every year you've been writNow, I thought, even the kings of countries it. He said it was very beautifully translated. ing" Mother said, "I was just so happy. I don't don't say "the country belongs to me." They My father asked Saba, "Can my wife come know." say "I am from such and such a country. I beto see you, Saba?" Saba said, "She can come Mokham: How I Came to Baba long to such and such a country." At that alone." Father said, "She has never gone anymoment I sort of switched railway tracks. where alone, Saba." Saba said, "She may bring I was sort of hesitantly taken to Baba. It

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Announcell1ents froll1 Meherabode It must be something in the air. to L.A. next year he wants to see her "walking like a soldier: left, right, left, right." Baba willing, Marguerite, still full of fire at 90, may very well be doingjust that come Bhau's visit. Welcome home, Marguerite! We all wish you the best. Jai Baba!

Chris Marie's Estate to Baba

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hris Marie, who passed away in Baba on July 24th of 1999 had left her personal property to Meher Baba's work. Her household furniture was sold to benefit the Mehemoush McPherson (nee Lodalantari). Karin Levitas. Avatar Meher Baba Center of and Colnaz ManouclJehr-Pour (nee LorkaJantari) Southern California and to help rewo of the watermelons above have publish The Path of Love edited by Filis turned into beautiful baby girls! Fredrick. Chris also left the following items Screenwriter Karin Levitas and her comto the AMBPPCT: an electric scooter to be used by mandali or pilgrims, as the need preposer/singer/celio playing husband Bob Een joyously announce the birth of Aria Whitney. sents itself, a computer, printer and scanner, a digital camera, and a boom box with CD She was born at 4.26 p.m. 11122/99 weighing 8lbs, 11 oz. and measuring 21". player. Golnaz and Manouchehr ManouchehrChris had also hoped that the sale of her Pour tell us that Mehri was born at 7.59 a.m. house might bring a good donationto the 10/8/99 81bs 5 oz. and measuring 20". Trust, Meherana, and Meherabode in LA. Mehernoush is due later in January. Unfortunately, there arebarriers that have Minoo and Meherose Hamilton, daughcome to our attention which will prevent this ter of Baba's twin nephew Sohrab Irani, wish others from being realized. We thank brought into the world a happy baby, BabaChris Marie for her very generous wishes. girl, named Eva, on Dec. 4th. She weighed 71b 130z. A Change of Caretakers We welcome the three little newcomers endra and Jonathan Burroughs had to His world. been living atop Sulphur Mountain in Ojai very ably taking care of the legacy left Marguerite Poley Goes Home us by 'Baba's WatChdog' Agnes Baron ast October, after more than a year in Meher Mount. hospitals and nursing homes, MarguerAfter a few years they heeded the call of ite Poley was able to return to the house she's Myrtle Beach and relocated there. (Leaving lived in for so many years thanks in large possible earthquakes and heading into posipart to Adele Wolkin and Judy Mangold. tive hurricanes!) Adele arranged to have Judy provide live-in L.A. musician Billy Goodrum with wife care while Marguerite continues to recuperPamela and baby girl Annabelle jumped at ate from the hip replacement surgery that the chance to live on the very beautiful proptook her away from home in the first place. erty that Saba declared was His second faJudy (who is the mother of Flint and Gabe vorite place in America. They took up Mednick and had been liVing at Meher residence December 1st last century and have Mount) reports that Marguerite is making already had one work party! They encourprogress in her physical therapy and may age visitors, call first to 805-640-0000 for soon walk again on her own. Bhau Kalchuri, directions and times. It is possible to overwho calls Marguerite the Commander of night there, but conditions are Spartan. It is Baba's Army, told her that when he returns well worth the trip. Ojai itself is a beautiful

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place and Meher Mount in all its natural glory sits high over everything. The Saba vibes there are powerful!

Sweepstakes Winner!

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he lucky (Baba chosen) winner of the Fly to Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes drawn November 7th was Bam Wright of Richmond CA. Congratulations Bam! If you have never been on the Meher Spiritual Center it will be a special treat for you. It is so very beautiful. The Los Angeles Center sponsors a Fly to Myrtle Beach and Fly to India sweepstakes each year as a means of raising money to help with our operating expenses. We do appreciate so very much all you who contribute to our Center in this way.

Audio Tape Lending Library

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


What's Happening at Meherabode President's Report by Lois Jones ':411 [hose who Jove Me and want to share in My work can do so. "Avatar Meher Baba

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ai Beloved Meher Baba! 1999 has been a very full year. In January we changed the weekly meeting time to Sunday afternoon. We also completed the conversion of three buildings that now serve as the Teen Room, the Kitchen by the Garden and the Office, creating more space for everyone. Since we changed the meeting time, there has been a marked increase in activity at Meherabode. So many now enjoy quietude in the Dome, walking the grounds, or simply "hanging out" from the moment the gates open in the early afternoon until closing. We look forward to the day when we have enough volunteer docents to open the Center every day. We were fortunate this year to have these special guests visit and speak at Meherabode: Robert Dreyfus, Irwin Luck, Jeff Wolverton, KK Ramakrishnan Kusum and Mokham Singh, Jal and Dolly Dastur, and Bill and Peggy Stevens, among others. Don Stevens visited twice and recently conducted a twoday seminar on God Speaks. Having edited God Speaks and translated it into many languages, Don selected "Working with Baba's Words" as the theme of the seminar which drew friends from as far away as Arizona and Northern California. Much to our delight, Bhau Kalchuri returned as our special Sahavas guest. As happens when Bhau comes to town, there was a whirlwind of activity - lively meetings and inspiring talks, TV interviews and Internet "chats!" Several newcomers attended Bhau's public meeting at Meherabode. We have also had as our great fortune this year a very special Sahavas guest from Iran, Esfandiyar Vessali who, as a young boy, lived with Baba in His Prem Ashram. Esfandiyar is on an extended visit to Los Angeles which means there have been many Farsi language meetings enriched with his love and stories of being with Baba. Luckily for all, he has also given talks that were translated into English. We had the pleasure of Virginia Rudd's long overdue return visit to the L.A. Sahavas tllLs year. Her stories of meeting and being with Baba touched our hearts and tickled our funny bones! Now that her son, Raphael, lives in L.A., perhaps she will visit more often. Another first at the L.A. Sahavas was the Big Concert, which featured our very own Los Angeles recording artists: Deborah Ash,

Michael Campagna, Bob Een, George Gerdes, Billy Goodrum, Chris and Pris Haffenden, Raphael Rudd, Harry Thomas, and Rob Thornburn. Now, on to the financial segment of this report: Just when you thought your pockets couldn't bear another fund raiser, we have good news! Shortly after the L.A. membership voted to postpone further renovations until all of the money has been raised, two extremely generous, anonymous donors came forward. Thanks to their combined gifts totaling $63,000, the Center's mortgage was reduced to $20,500 in November! One of the donors also gave approximately $13,000 towards the renovation. Thank you, Baba! While monetary contributions are greatly appreciated, we are very thankful to everyone who has contributed their energy, time and talents to Meherabode this year. Thank you to everyone inside and outside of Los Angeles for helping to create and maintain this wonderful place where Meher Baba's message of Love and Truth can be shared by all who come here.

of being ready to build. Additionally, the Board of Directors will present the final Construction Budget to the Membership in January for their approval. As of this date there is $65,000+ in the Building Fund, witl1 some additional funds expected soon. Transformation Committee members Nancy Merwan, Mahoo Ghorbani, Golnaz Manouchehrpour, Mahmoud Ajang, Kent Hanson, Lois Jones, and Co-Chairs Linda Zavala and Michael Ramsden have worked very hard to attend to the many issues and details which had to be dealt with in a timely manner. Construction issues, style and design issues and dealing with the City's unexpected additional requirements have been dealt with. Countless hours have been spent on the phone with Kent Hanson, who is the General Contractor for this project, chasing down the many questions which have come up on the proposed bookstore \

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proposed bathrooms

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Report from the Transformation Committee

building issues and running around to shopsto gather more information to present to the Committee. The Decorating Committee, led by Linda Zavala, LA by Chairman Nancy Merwan, worked for the last nine months to finalize details of the Defter two years of detailed and consis sign and have decided on a color theme which tent work for the Center's Renovation relates well to the rustic look the MemberProject, the Transformation Committee has ship have chosen as a basic theme. completed the DeSign Phase with the ArchiA Craftsman style has been chosen, to tect, David Kaplan. Final blueprints have been be compatible with the building period and completed and approved by the Building Deto satisfy the City Historical Commission. partment and the Center is now at the point Thankfully, new volunteers with a lot of construction and building experience have come forward this year to help us reduce the expected budget down to an even lower amount. The Committee also has plans to try to obtain partial donations for materials from vendors. There are just two more things to do before we have a beautiful, completed Baba Center: raise the balance of the funds needed, and complete the construction. It is only through your donations that we can accomplish all this. Thank you so much to all who Nancy Merwan, David Kaplan (arChitect), Linda Zavala. give of your time and money.

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and MidJael Ransden discussing color schemes.

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Don Stevens at Meherabode by Dina Snow, Los Angeles

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ast year Don presented us with a great offer. He said he would come over to the States and give a seminar on Cod Speaks for the Meher Spiritual Center and for us here in Los Angeles. He would do this completely free of charge to Myrtle Beach or to us, and the fee requested of the attendees for the 2 day seminar would be donated to the renovation of Meherabode and the Meher Spiritual Center. Such a generous offer! Needless to say, we jumped at it! Don told us that he has been working on the translation of Cod Speaks into Spanish and French for the last two years. In the process he found new meanings to Baba's words that he had missed the first (and even third) time around. "Perhaps it was greater maturity" he mused, that enabled him to catch and plumb new depths in this incredibly deep book. Whatever it was, Don surely had a lot to impart to us. I think judging by the buzz that was going round in the conversation groups at the close of the Sunday session, everybody was very excited about the information and new insights we had received. We all realized what a privilege it was to have the man who had had the great good fortune of working under Baba while editing this most important of books, here in our home, sharing all that he had gleaned over the years with Baba. How wonderful it was to hear the personal stories, some told at his own expense, of time spent in the Beloved's company. In the year 2000 there are sadly too few of such people left with us to tell these stories. With Don about to celebrate his 81" birthday, it is truly amazing to see the vigor with which he tackles his many projects. The life he leads, jetting around the world seeing to the publication of the new books, holding meetings in London, Paris and the States and now headed for South America, would normally tire a man half his age. Baba obViously chose the right man for the job! As Dick Duman reports in his review of the Seminar, Don has lost not one whit of his sharpness! The main thrust of Dan's work right now is to see to the publication of the Spanish

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signed very few of this book that He called the second most important behind CodSpeaks. First published in 1959 Francis subtitles this book A Statement in Illusion on Reality. It is a book of prose written in six parts as a reflection and analysis on the human predicament in relationship to human l•••••- love and awareness, and divine love and divine wisdom, as personified in the Divine Beloved as Avatar. Francis shares his ~ii:':=---------- views on the many different as'-""_.-...-... pects of the search that the spiri,tual seeker finds himself inevitably drawn to. Francis reflects on his time spent with Meher Baba and the poetic revelations he gained through the love Baba gave him. Francis, not wanting to write in a book that Baba had signed, wrote on a piece of paper that he inserted in the book Don Signs Ms book lOr Ray Lee and HamId jameson "with love, Francis". This is the treasure that Don has given us to auction off to raise money for the with this. And we really do need your help. ongoing renovations necessary for Meherabode. At the close of the Sunday meeting, there We are flfSt letting people around the world know was definitely the feeling of companionship that this prize is now available and if you are inamongst the attendees, companionship being terested you can contact me, or give us your bid, something Don had spoken about at some and then it will be placed in a live auction at our length. A cup of tea, a quick break, and then March Annual FundraiseI' Dinner and Auction. Don was ready to give the regular 4-6 p.m. Because of the rarity of this book, Don would meeting we hold at Meherabode every Sunlike to see the bidding stmt at $5000. day. He spoke again on companionship. The Once again Don, we thank you for the man seems indefatigable! overwhelming love and caring you have Thanks to Don, almost $3000 was added shown us. to our Renovation Budget, we all learned a lot, and had a jolly good ..... _ time into the bargain. We would love to have . . . . ..=!J yOll back again Don - anytime. Jlist let liS know when, and we will roll alit the red carpet! Another very caring and generolls gesture on the part of Don and the Board of the Majestic Foundation was to donate to our Center a copy of Stay Wid7 Codby Francis Brabazon. Notjust any copy, but a first edition that Baba signed in Don's presence and gave to him! Baba

language version of the new biography he has just written - Ensenanzas de Meher Baba. Read in the Bookstore report how you can help him

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The Unveiling of God Speaks -

with Don Stevens

By Dick Duman, Denver, Colorado

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bought my first copy of Cod Speaks from Karl Harb at the Sufism Reoriented bookshop on Sutter Street in San Francisco, in July of 1966. I was 20 years old then. Murshida Duce showed us a closet with shelves full of copies which Baba had signed, and I bought only one, which I sincerely hope my ex-wife has held onto. The next day, July 10th, I met the book's other original editor - Don Stevens. So, within those two days I met the book and both of its editors. Even then, at what seems to me now such a very young age, I came quickly to the belief that the book had to have been written by someone who had genuine experience and mastery of the subjects with which the book deals. I was equally impressed by the achievements of those who could edit that book so successfully. My observations and evaluation were based on that. I was, as Don would phrase it, astonished and delighted and amazed. It really was a revelation. I knew even then, with deep and unassailable conviction, that this was for me. I was satisfied then and remain totally satisfied to this moment that I had found my path. That was what I got from my first reading of Cod Speaks. How much did I absorb and retain of its actual details? Precious little. The book went onto the shelf and I didn't look at it again until Murshida Duce offered her series of Cod Speaks Classes in 1973. My studies directly with Don were focused on Baba's Discourses, which he had also edited at Baba's request, with Murshida Duce. Then Don departed for Europe. But I had developed a strong bias in favor of the Discourses, which has persisted over the decades. It was onl when I learned that Don would offer seminars in the US on Cod Speaks in the fall of 1999 that I decided to re-read the book. Don gets better as he grows older. Anyone who was inclined to suspect that, at 80, he could be expected to have slipped a little, was thoroughly disabused of those notions by the seminar presentations. And I'm very happy I got the

Don Stevens giving the Cod Speaks Seminar at Meherabode.

Among these new ideas, Don illustrated the great harmony which exists between Baba's book from half a century back and the cutting edge not only of Physics and Cosmology, as popularly presented in Timothy Ferris' book, The Whole Shebang, but also of Biology, as represented in Dr. Ernst Mayr's new book, This Is Biology. Don quoted Ernst MayI' directly regarding evolution and, most especially, the diversity of life. The diversity of subjects covered over two days cannot be done justice by a brief review. Topics ranged from the complete relevancy of Baba's phrase "Infinite individualized consciousness" to apparent irrelevancies like the spiri tual stage and status of long dead saints and Sadgurus. It seemed at the conclusion that Don had laid out the whole deck of cards and, as he said, "Then I bring up the joker card and of course the joker is the Avatar." From beginningless beginning to endless end, Don sees Baba's theme to be "The Impossible Success Story". And Don himself was in top form. The raised eyebrows, the good-natured jab, the great voice, the precise turn of phrase, the glance aside to emphasize a point, all showed Don, in this oration, to be at the peak of his remarkable communicative powers, better than ever. The repartee with rapier was exquisite. I didn't know all that was in there! But I've grown used to Don being way out ahead. I believe the people who attended imbibed something rare and sparkling, an incomparable effervescence. Those many who didn't - and many close associates were surprisingly absent from showing

book back down off the shelf. Don has just seen the publication in English and Spanish of what I find to be near the very top of the list of his "best" books, a highly individualized biography of Baba, titled Avatar Meher Baba, The A wakener of the Age in English, EnseiianzasdeMeherBaba. in Spanish. This is being released prior to the publication of Dios Habla - Cod Speaks in Spanish. On ovember 6 1h and 7 1h , Don -="'""'~ held 8 hours of seminars in Los Angeles, following his earlier presentations in London and Myrtle Beach. Don stated flatly that he thinks this is the time when Cod Speaks will be unveiled. It was clear throughout Don's discussion that there are numerous ideas in the book which I hadn't seen until Don pointed them out. Many occurred to him recently, in fact, while he was supervising the book's translation into French and Spanish.

Photo by C. del Muerto

Dick Duman with Don Stevens.

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support by showing up - will just have to read the book themselves. I wish them the best of luck, in their attempts to recreate some of the insights Don handed out freely in those eight hours. But they will miss the voice ofJohn Canadine, the faces and mugging of Bert Lahr, the timing ofJack Benny, the wit - now of Voltaire, now of Will Rogers, and, I believe. some authority to go with them! The section on "Inner Links" would be hard to get from a book. Don devoted quite a lot of time to Baba's last message using the alphabet board, given on October 7th 1954. Also to companionship (in the New Life) as an outward expression of the inner connections between Baba's lovers those connections which "demand time, calories, patience and honesty", and which Baba said at that time. will enable the realization of Truth. And the details - Don must be the devil. if the devil is in the details! As it says on page 243 of the Cod Speaks "Supplement": The question of details is all the more important when a subject is beyond ordinary human experience. On tlle one hand, more details confuse one more, and fewer details explain things less. This gives rise to a variety of terms and expressions for use from . different viewpoints and in different contexts. In the absence of underlying experience, descriptions of the same one thing often sound contradictory. But in the light of relative experiences or the final realization of Truth. the very contradictions prove to he complementary expressions about the same one Truth.

Baba's Moods lIn dJe following, taken from Tales from the New Life, we are listening to a conversation bptI vcen

Don Stevens. Eruch jessawala and Rano Cayley about Babas moods';

Don. But Baba himself had moods, too? Eruclr. Yes. Baba himself had moods. too. DOll Often when I arrived you'd say, 'Baba has been in a very poor mood for days and we're so happy you came because he always brightens his mood for a visitor.' Eruck That's true. We don't know the reason for his moods, and when he got into a mood. oh. it was something, Don, unless and until there was something or somebody who came from outside. DOll To break it. Rand. You feel you haven't done anything really to upset him, but you get upset yourself 34

because you think, well why is Baba upset with me? Then you realize that Baba has some reason for wanting to use you as the instrument on which to vent his mood. Then you try to be happy in reflecting that, in a way, you are helping Baba. You've got to take it without being upset, realizing that it's not really you that he is angry with. but that he has to let it out. As I say, Baba has to let steam out on somebody, so you say to yourself, 'All right, he lets itout on me.' But sometimes ifyour mood wasn't right you'd get upset. DOll You'd fight back. Rand. Yes, and then afterwards realize, 'No, I should think how free Baba felt with me that he could do that.' DOll It's not easy though. From la/eso!tlJeNewLifiJ With MeIJer Baba, Narrated by Eruch. Mehera, Mani and Meheru. Edited by D. E. Stevens, Rick M. Chapman, James M. Hastings and Gary & Patty Freeman, Copyright 1976 AMBPPCT

Answering Our Inner Needs by Don E. Stevens

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t is best to state briefly the nature of the dilemma which modern civilization faces and some of the reasons for the mass dissatisfaction with the values available to the individ- ual in his daily living. Generally, we live in a time when far more of the physical needs of far more people are satisfied than in the past. The age of reason has used sound principles adapted to the analysis of the physical environment and has made astonishing progress in harnessing its processes. The tangible world we live in is logically understood to a great degree, and from that understanding we have fabricated a material civilization affording unprecedented comfort. This i a monumental and impressive product. True, there is much disagreement about how it should be shared. but it is indeed quite a melon to be cut up and passed around. As the size of the product of our rational processes has grown. an increasing reaJization has also developed that even, and perhaps especially. those closest to the easy sharing in it are by no means necessarily satisfied with the rewards. There is even disturbing evidence that often the result is contrary, that those with the greatest share

of the goods produced are among the most unhappy. This is indeed a perverse outcome, hardly to be expected after so many eons of man's battle to regulate his environment to his needs. Nevertheless, the fact exists and it must be met. Much of the effort to analyze and suggest cures for this situation is based upon the unconscious assumption that the remedy depends on individual, honest, sincere, hardworking human beings starting from scratch and developing the solution. In many ways this is healthy, but there is much evidence that it is not entirely. nor possibly even half of what is really required. It neglects entirely the mystics' central observation that this is God's Creation and He makes a continuing, direct contribution to it. If we believe even part of this tenet of mysticism, then we must make room for the pOSSibility that God Himself knows about this dilemma in modern life and that He too is involved in preparing the next stage of living which will answer, at least in part, our inner needs. The evidence that this is a correct description of the situation is fairly well established over a considerable period of history. It is increasingly clear that at the time God came into Creation in the form of Jesus Christ, a major new potential in the capacity and quality of human love was released. A similar fundamental leap in the area of family and tribal law is associated with the appearance of Mohammed. Understanding and application of the laws of reincarnation stems from the advent of Krishna. And so on for the other great comings of God in human form. In our time the concept, principles and basic living forms of the New Life and the New Humanity have been laid out by Meher Baba. Each of these building blocks in the structure of human potential has been a major addition to the alr'ead -existing qual ities available to man in his laborious march to fulfill within creation the grand structure of God's manifestation of His Divinity. Once placed in Creation, such a potential is never lost. There is indeed ebb and flow in relation to how efficiently they are used; but as is true of a great civiJization. even after the temporal decline of that civilization there are alway certain famiJy trunks which continue to embody and preserve the heights of what had been achieved. From Listen. The ew Humanity. by Don E. Stevens. Pages 3 - 4. Copyright 1985 by Don E. Stevens. Published by Companion Books


Another Successful Turkey Swing!

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I Wish I Could Speak

Like Music I wish I could speak like music.

he night of Saturday, November 20, found the Center swinging (not trotting!) to raise money for the Thanksgiving baskets our community annually donates to ,the poor. An enthusiastic crowd was kept hopping for hours with an eclectic mix of music from the '40s to the 90's. DJ Danny Maguire saw to that, while Mitchell Rose provided a swing dancing lesson to get the night off on the right foot. (Or was it the left foot?) A record amount of over $750 was raised, supplying a hearty turkey dinner and many other staples and goodies to more than forty needy families. Once again the Service Committee pulled out all the stops: organizing the fundraiser, decorating the Center, providing refreshments, and then gathering the next morning to shop for the food baskets, and delivering them to St. Joseph's Center in Venice. Lynn Maguire, Teri Adams, Nancy Merwan, Lois Jones and Radha and RusselJ Delamarter put in many hours of hard work to insure the event's success. Given the fact that "Real happiness lies in making others happy," all agreed that this was one reaIJy happy event. The organizers would like to thank the many people who sent in their donations as well as those who came to cut a rug - you are very much appreciated.

I wish I could put the swaying splendor Of the fields into words So that you could hold Truth Against your body And dance. I am trying the best I can With this crude brush, the tongue, To cover you with light. I wish I could speak like divine music. I want to give you the sublime rhythms of this earth and the sky's limbs. As they joyously spin and surrender, Surrender Against God's luminous breath. Hafiz wants you to hold me against your precious Body And dance, Dance. The Gift, Poems by Hafiz, translations

by Daniel Ladinsky, published by Penguin Books. 1999

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Women Mandali in the Early Years: Katie and Goher From Lives ofLove by Judith Garbett

Katie, phOLO by Giora Pinkas, 1999

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n June 25 th , 1923 in Quetta when Baba was 29 years old, Baba had warned the mandali that the path of the begging tour would" ... contain only thorns!" It was settled to proceed to Ahmedabad by train and from there to start on foot the 'journey to Bombay. Since their starting point was now changed, Baba had the condition of begging for food along the way also canceled. It was decided instead to eat only grams (roasted chickpeas) and parched rice during the journey. These were bought and packed, and all the baggage was immediately dispatched to the station. Soon after. the Master suddenly called for two matchbox containers and began threading a string through them. He kept one end with him and gave the other to Gulmai. He climbed the stairs to the next noor and told Gulmai to stay where she was. Through this telephone, Baba then told her, "As we communicate by means of this phone outwardly. we must be able to communicate inwardly too. We will start leading a fakir's life from Ahmedabad." He then talked to Katie through it and said, "I am leaving, but you must go on remembering me. Will you do thatT And she replied, "How could I ever forget you, BabaTTelephones were not yet in use in India. Recalling this trick from his childhood, Meher Baba was perhaps heralding the age of telephonic communication. The telephone was introduced in India after 1925.

In Quetta, Rusi Irani's family became completely devoted to Meher Baba's cause. Goher and Katie were transformed into little moths so that when the time came, they spontaneously new into the light of His circle. Establishing His connection with these circle members was one aspect of His inner work during his visit to Quetta. The Beloved is always in search of His lovers and always appears at the right moment to seal forever the fate of their hearts. Accepting a kiss from Goher and Katie, and bidding farewell to all, Baba departed on foot with the mandali for the train station on June 25th. Rusi, Sohrab, Phiroz Shah and Ardeshir Golwalla gave them a grand farewell. There were tears in Rusi's eyes as the train chugged out of the station. Rusi stood ftxed, staring at it; his tears were repeatedly calling to his Beloved Master to come back soon. In silence. he received this reply: "I wiJI have to return, for I have left the blossoms of my Garden here." This referred to Rusi's daughters, Goher and Katie.

Nextyear, in another excerpt, we read' Meher Baba had been especially attentive to Rusi's young daughters, Goher and Katie, with whom he would play games each day. Baba drew them both closer to him by telling them wonderful stories and making them laugh. These two girls were destined to be part of the Master's circle.

Goher's Own Story

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have been liVing with Baba continuously since 1947, but I have known Him since my childhood. I was about six or seven years old when Baba came to my parents' house in Quetta, now part of Pakistan, with some of the men mandali. Mehera, Naja and Khorshed were among the women mandali. My parents had rented the house next to ours for Baba and the mandali to stay in. I remember Baba used to serve food to all of us Himself-we would go to Him with our plates, He would serve it. and tell us, "You must eat every bit that is on the plate." With children He behaved like a child and played games with us. One was a game of five

Dr. Goher, photo by Michael Nemanic. 1987

fingers-He would hold His fmgers together in a certain way, and ask us to pick the middle fmger, but we were never able to do it. At that time Baba was known as Sadguru (a Perfect Master), and our friends who followed Him used to ask us to say our prayers to Him. Of course we said our prayers to Zoroaster, but at the same time we were asked to pray to Baba.

Childl700d Visits to Ahmednagar At times I used to come to Ahmednagar to my mother's maternal home for holidays. Most people in the family did not accept Baba as the Sadguru at that time, especially Sarosh's father who was very much against Baba. There was a joint family system in those days everybody lived together. Sarosh's family, Sarosh's brother Dinshaw's family (his wife is my aunt - my mother's sister), so naturally we stayed with them when we came for our holidays. Sarosh's father was so strict that he would not even allow Baba's name to be mentioned. But also liVing in the same house were Gulmai and her son, Adi, who were staunch followers of Baba (Gulmai was Sarosh's aunt, Adi was his cousin). Sarosh's father could not say anything to them, but he was very strict with his own son. In spite of that, whenever Gulmai, Adi, or my aunt visited Baba at Meherabad, or when Baba came to Ahmednagar to Khushru Quarters, now known as Meher


Nazar, we used to go quietly to see Him. Naturally He would embrace us, kiss and play with us, but we were told we must not mention Baba when Sarosh's father came home. But that old man was very cunning. He would bribe us in a way, with sweets or something, and gradually got out of us whether Baba had come to the house and who met Him. As children, sometimes we would blurt it out. And then he would create a row, demanding to know why we had met Baba. Gradually as we grew older we had more sense, and understood that he did not like us to meet Baba-but we would still meet Him quietly. From our childhood days Baba was like a teacher to us. He played with us and was like a loving fatller to us, but at the same time, as we grew up He gave us strict orders how to behave in life.

get a very good profit, and he should leave Quetta with his family. After this warning Baba left, and my father was tllinking about whether he should sell or not-he had been established there for twenty years or so. My mother was more on the practical and materialistic side, and my father was a more simple person and would have done what Baba told him. But my mother said, "If we sell everything and go away, how are you going to bring up all your seven children?There won't be enough money, and how are you going to start business allover again?" Other friends in Quetta did not believe in Baba tllen, and persuaded my father not to sell. Two years went by, there were some more earth tremors at times. and the business was not running so well.

Living In Queua

One night my mother had a dream in which she saw a gray-bearded person in a white robe who said to her, "I am waiting for you to leave Quetta. Why haven't you gone? I want you to go away, and when you have left I want to destroy Quetta." On waking next morning my mother felt tl1is was a warning message from Baba. She told my father immediately, and said they must sell the business and go away, whatever happened. So they started to do tllat. They sent all seven of us children to Ahmednagar for our schooling, and stayed back tl1emselves trying to sell the business, but there were no prospective buyers. If my father had sold when Baba told him to, he would have profited much by it. Prices went down because of continuing earthquakes, and after two years he sold at tremendous loss-it was just like giving it to someone. He would have gotten one lakh of rupees (lOO,OOO) earlier, which in present money terms would mean millions, but in the end he gained only a small fraction oftlle value for the whole of his business.

I think it was in 1931 that we were getting everal earth tremors in Quetta. We had lived in tents for nearly six months, and when we came back to live in our house it was not in a very good condition. Baba came that year with a few of His men mandali - Chanji, Raosahib and one or two others. I was about IS, my sister Katie was about 11, and other children were also there. Baba and His men stayed in our house for nearly a month. He used to play with us. He was very fond of Katie and would call her to His room when all the mandali were there and play CarTum or other games. Once he took us to the cinema. Baba was very playful, and had jokes with us. He used to get up at 4:00 o'clock and would come into our room, put on the light, shake the beds and naturally when we saw Him we would all jump out. We never felt strangers to Baba because He wa so loving and approachable.

"You Become a DoceOl: ,. One day when I was going out in my Guide costume, Baba called me and said, "What are you going to study further?" I didn't know. Baba then said, "You become a doctor." Since that time it was always in my mind that I would be a doctor.

Baba Tells Cohers Fad7er (0 Leave Queua At that time Baba told my parents, actually my father, that he should sell up his business, which was a huge concern because Quetta, being on the frontier, had a very large military camp of British forces, and naturally the business included a bar, billiards, a toy shop, a restaurant, confectionery and jewelry shops. Baba said he should sell the business, he would

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Her Mocher Dream

Ti]Py Move (0 Ahmec/nagar Anyway, he old it and my parents came to Ahmednagar, and then Adi's father, Sarosh and his brother all helped him, because Baba had told them that they must get him settled in business somewhere. So my father opened a canteen at Sarosh's cinema. And a couple of years after that we heard that there was a terrible earthquake in Quetta when 45,000 to 50,000 lives were lost in one night. Then we all realized that Baba had saved the whole fanlily from tllis catastrophe. But my father did not have tllat zest to start all over again in a new business. My brotllers were still too young, and there was

nobody to help him in the business. Perhaps he did not have enough inspiration for the work, and he did not earn well. We were all at school in Ahmednagar, and after fLflishing there we were sent to college in Bombay.

Coher ae College in Bombay After one year of studying my motl1er told me, "It is very expensive, I can't afford to pay your fees." I was staying with some relations, at first with Sarosh's sister, then with my married sister. My mother felt tllat in a couple of years I would get married anyway, so she said she could not afford the fees. Baba must have come to know about it. or I must have told Him, because He used to visit our house in Ahmednagar-our family was now living separately in a small house, and Baba used to visit quite often. Then He told my mother, "Let her go to college and I will pay." After my graduation in the Arts college, I had to join the medical college, but then I did not have anywhere to live, so again I was going to give up the medical career. While staying with relations I did not have to pay for board and lodging, but if I had to stay in a hostel it would be very expensive.

Living wieh Amavaz "Family Baba called me to Meherabad, and that was the first time I met Chanji. Baba told him, "She has to stay at Arnavaz' parents house." Arnavaz and Nargis Dadachanji and the rest of the family ofseven children were very young then, still in school, and their father was not earning much-but I have never known a more contented family. a family full of love. I have never seen so much love. Baba sent me there alone-just gave me the address and said to tell them, 'I have come.' I didn't know any of the family. I traveled bytrain to Bombay, went to the house and knocked at the door, which Arnavaz opened, and told her, "I am Goher." She said, "Yes, come in, come in." They took me in like one of their own, and they gave me so much love tllat I never felt I was a stranger but belonged to the family. They were not rich and had only simple meals. one vegetarian dish in the evening and one in the afternoon. But Bachamai. Arnavaz' mother, would ee to it that I had more than her own children had. And sometimes it used to bring tears to my eyes because I knew that my own mother would never have done that for another child. Baba used to visit their house very often as if it was His own house, because tllere was so much love tllere. When Baba was coming Bachamai would be so happy, and she would

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clean the whole house, make preparations to receive Him, prepare food for Him and for the mandali whom she would receive with the same love. Whenever the family visited Ahmednagar or wherever Saba was, I would go with them. After a couple of years in their house I went to stay in a girls' hostel, and Saba gave me very strict orders. No men must come to visit me, I must not touch men or go about with them. Saba said I should write to Him every week, or once a month, whichever it was, and He replied to every letter.

Holidays with Baba Four years passed. Saba said whenever I had a holiday I could go and stay with Him. Naturally we were more drawn to be with Saba than to our own parents' house, and wherever He was - Slue Sus Tours, Meherabad, anywhere - every holiday we spent with Him. Once in Sangalore there was a question of my marriage. Saba told me, "Don't worry. You should not think about it, don't ever marry. You have to come to Me after you have become a doctor." So that was always in my mind, and I knew that Saba would call me some day to live with Him permanently.

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Baba Sign for Goller In 1938 during one of the holidays I went with Arnavaz to Panchgani where Saba and the women mandali were staying. I had a very ore throat and a high fever, but in spite of that I went, and as soon as we entered the house Saba inquired after my health. He was displeased and said, "You can't stay here. Go back to Sombay immediately and have your tonsils operated on," and He sent me back the same night. Ever since then Saba's sign for me was tonsils-Saba would put His hand on His throat to indicate the tonsils-and that was my sign when He wanted me. Right till the end this was my sign. During 1938 when I started my college career, my sister Katie joined Saba permanently in the ashram. She would write to me about all the activities there and on the Slue Sus Tours, and Saba would read these letters, sign them Himself, and always sent His love to me. The monetary question was always difficult for me-I didn't really like it that Saba was burdened with my tuition fees and also the hostel fees which were very 38

expensive, and it made me uneasy.

Who Are The Mandali?

Graduation After my graduation in 1944 I came to my parents' home in Ahmednagar because Saba was away traveling. He returned before long to Meherazad so I sent word that my studies were finished and what should I do. Adi Senior came and drove me to Meherazad. At that time Saba was using the room which later became Aloba's. There was no furniture, no chair. Saba was sitting cross-legged on the floor on a small carpet, and called me in. He said He was happy that I was a medical doctor now and I should come to stay with Him permanently, and to tell my parents this. Well, my mother made so much fuss about it, saying, "I won't be able to meet you" and "why should you go permanently-you can go and visit Saba when you like." There was such a row about it, so I wrote to Saba, and He said, "Don't come now." I felt very hurt and sad, but knew that I must leave home, and wrote back to Him. "No, I am coming, in spite of my mother's protest I am coming." Saba was quite happy then and said, 'Til call you. So you must be ready whenever I call you." After a month or so Saba was going to Raipur, and He told me to meet Him in Sombay at Kaka Saria's house. Saba with Mehera, Mani, Meheru and myself all went to Raipur. Jal Kerawala was there then, and we lived in a separate bungalow with Saba. A couple of months later Saba sent me back to Sombay to get more medical experience as an intern in the hospitals, and I was there for quite some time.

Goller joins Baba Permanent{y Finally, in 1947 at Satara, I joined Saba permanently. Norina and Elizabeth returned from America and came to Satara. Norina was not well; she had a heart disease and high blood pressure, and Saba told me to stay in the bungalow with them and look after her. At the same time Saba told me to go and work in a missionary ho pital as a volunteer without pay. He also sent me to a leper colony twice a week to give them treatment. In the evening we used to visit Saba and Mehera, Mani and the others in their bungalow. From Lives of Love by Judith Garbett. Copyright 1998. AMBPPCT

Meher Baba

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he mandali are those intimate ones who are prepared to sacrifice their all for me. The one who gives his life to Saba, and leads a life totally under His guidance, who does not ask for any kind of reward, who does not care what happens to him- whether he is ruined or whether he prospers- and who takes pleasure in pleasing Saba is one of the mandali. From Glimpses of the God-Man, Meher Baba, Volume V, January I-March 6, 1954 by Sal Natu, Copyright 1987 AMSPPCT Ahmednagar, M.S., India. Published by Sheriar Press.

Surrender ofTheir Wills Meher Baba

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he feet, which are physically the low est part of the body, are spiritually the highest. Physically the feet go through everything, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the clean and the dirty, yet they are above everything. Spiritually the feet of the Master are above everything in the Universe, which is like dust to Him. When people come to a Perfect Master and touch His feet with their heads, they lay upon Him the burden of their sanskaras--those subtle impressions of thought and emotion and action which bind the individual soul to recurrent earthly lives. Th is is the burden to which Jesus referred when He said, "Come unto Me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." A Master collects these sanskaras from all over the Universe, just as an ordinary person in walking collects dust on his feet. Those who love Him deeply and wish to share His burden as much as possible wash His feet with honey, milk, and water which represent different type of sanskaras and place at His feet a coconut which symbolizes the complete surrender of their wills to Him. From The Ocean ofLove. by Delia DeLeon. Cop right 1991 Meher Baba Association, London.


Before Me was the Divine Beloved Himself

Poetry Page

Francis Brabazon The Wind laughed a great boisterous laugh whid7 set the banana leaves swaying and rustling like Hula girls in the moonlight. And said qUietly again: All things in creation give d7emselves to me as my instruments. All things except men. But never fear, myyoung, old friend No maUer what smallgod men set up and worship, eternal, beginningless Being continues to Be. Endure. Remember that the only thing that maUers is the love with whidl one does what one does, with which one says what one says. Endure. Endure till the Word ofCreation breaks the seal 017 its long Silence, and Ising the new Song [0 the Word Against that time, 1 ceaselessly seek throats that willgive shape to my Song. I am the VOice ofGod walking in the evening. calling, Adam, whereareyou? WlijI are you hiding fIVm me?Then it was only a maUer of waiting for the Advent ofthe Word. And He reached out across the separation that was between us and said' 1 am here where I am, and where you ha ve put me. And 1 asked: When. Beloved, will 1 meetyou? And He said' 117 my time - which is the right time. Then one night 1 had a dtr'am in which 1 was swimming in the sea and was carried out in[O deep water: where 1 sank. Down and down 1 Wf'l7t. until my feet rested 017 some solid oiject which moved [0 the shore: and 1 found nijlselfsiuing naked 017 the beach. weeping, and before me I vas the Divine Beloved Himself !ll/eher Baba. smiling. From The Windofrhe fMJtd. by Francis Brabazon. Copyright 1976 Garuda Publications. Sydney

Gaze ofyours Whith seems [0 promise infinite Revelation, WhHe actually disclosing nothing, Asyou tell me that 1 would understand this And all thingsIf only 1 would love you more? From 0 Beloved by Steve Klein pg. 26 Šl983 #22

To love is like taking offones annor in the middle ofa batde and meeting ones beloved naked on the field while the carnage is going on all around, and in eadl otherS arms finding only Paradise, and the proteccion ofAngels. Painting or Meher Saba. Rocky Rogers

W/ij1 is it that 1get the feeling That any way 1 could love you Would be better Than the way Ilove you now? For ifI lovedyou more, My happiness would be complete in yours. And thusyou could ignore me allyou wished, Andifyou wished it so, 1 would be pleased Or, ifI lovedyou less. 1 wouldn't care Thatyou seemed [0 smHe more at someone else Than me. Why is it that I always seem to love youjust Enough to be miserable withoutyou But not enough to be content in your decision To have nothing to do with me? And wlijl is it that when I think back Upon the years I've spent in vain pursuit Ofbeing happy pleasingyou. I find it has always been thus? n78t when nijl love was but a fraction Ofthe torment it now is, that then [00 1 found Ilovedyoujust enough [0 sulkr But not enough to find surcease. And wlijl is it that I have the suspicion That it wHI always be dws? That one has either the serenity Ofs[One untoud7ed by fire. or the ecstacy Oftotal conflagration. and there is nod/ing 117 between these two extremes But endless suffering? And wlijl is it n78t whenever 1 askyou about this. You can only look at me wid/ that

Max Reif

Oh, MEHER, sometimes the great blue vault ofSky seems like a beautifully-painted Tea Cozy And 'Tm a Little Teapot: all cozy and comforted and cradled by it. bubbling with fresh brew ofLife. Sometimes 1 feel so enthused, The only thing 1 can do is Dance! Sometimes lin so glad You made the Creation! What ifYou hadn't? No one could ever Dance! AI! the I var and plagues. executions and torture Ofnijlselfin a million past lives Amount to nothing 017 a Sunny Day in Love. Fiddlet; play Your Tum! III sashay across the Universe. Doe-See-Doe with every soul 1 meet! SWingyourparoJel: Evetybody! Promenade, Promenade. Pf'Omenade! Today I look to the far HOtizon. And see nothing But sparklingJoy, eveIYwhere! Max Reif

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Khorshed and Mansari's Interll1ent by Judy Robertson, Meherabad

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here was a special sweetness in the air on Meherabad Hill on the morning of November 9, 1999, as two of Meher Baba's close women Mandali were interred near His Samadhi. The urn containing the ashes of Khorshed Irani, who had been one of the early disciples of Meher Baba since 1922, had been brought the previous evening from Meherazad, where it had been kept since her passing to Baba on August 4, 1999. It had been placed in the East Room, where Khorshed had spent so many years with Mehera, Mani, and a few other of Beloved Baba's first women Mandali, living such a cloistered life with Baba in Upper Meherabad. Before Ani on the morning of the ninth, Khorshed's urn was carried to Meher Baba's Samadhi by Dr. Anne Moreigne, who had been both Khorshed's doctor and friend. Simultaneously, the urn containing the ashes of Mansari Desai was conveyed by her niece, Dr.

Meher Desai, from her room to the Samadhi, after a brief visit to Baba's gadi. Mansari, who had joined Meher Baba in 1938, had lived continuously on Meherabad Hill from the time that Baba left on the New Life in 1949 until her passing on January 12, 1997. She had cared for Meherabad Hill and Beloved Saba's Samadhi with complete focus, which was her hallmark in any service to Baba. The pilgrims who had gathered for this memorable occasion had a chance in the early morning to offer their last respects to these two special ones in Baba's Samadhi. Then at 10:00 a.m. all the Meherazad men and women Mandali arrived. After offering prayers and garlands in the Samadhi and at Mehera and Mani's shrines, everyone gathered under a colorful pandal for the interment. Ted Judson and his crew had skillfully prepared the two sites on the east side of the Samadhi according to instructions left by Meher Baba.

Inrernment ceremony lOr Khorshed and Iv/ansari. November 9. J999.

Mansari of crypt painted by Sheila Ktynski

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Khorshed5Ctypt painted by Mia and Darshana.

Khorshed's small crypt had been lovingly painted with numerous flowers by Mira and Darshana Wagh, who had grown up under Khorshed's loving care. Mansari's love for dogs and birds had been humorously expressed in Sheila Krynski's painting of her crypt. Once everyone was gathered, Dolly Dastur took Mansari's urn out from Baba's Samadhi and gave it to Havovi Dadachanji, Gulu Dastur, Najoo Kotwal, and Dara Katrak, who together handed it to Meheru Irani and Meher Desai. Representing the Meherazad MandaJi, Meheru placed the urn in the crypt. Then Khorshed's urn was brought from Meher Baba's Samadhi by Sudam Wagh and handed to his wife, Asha, and daughters, Mira and Darshana, all of whom had loved and cared for Khorshed. They then brought the urn to Meheru, who placed it in the crypt. After Meheru sprinkled a little earth from Beloved Baba's Samadhi on each of the urns, they were covered with marble. Meheru placed a ring garland on each piece of marble, and offered flowers and garlands to Khorshed and Mansari. Meheru then spoke about tile love and strength of both Khorshed and Mansari, whom she said had been polished smooth like marble by Baba's hand. She noted that even during the year of silence that Mansari observed by Baba's order, her unique character still shone through, and that just a snap of her fingers would stop you in your tracks. Meheru said that she had often argued with Khorshed in her later years, urging her to have eye surgery to remove the cataracts that sorely impaired her vision. Khorshed's consistent response was that her eyes had seen Beloved Baba, and now she had no wish to see anything else. Meheru commented that the names of Khorshed and Mansari will be remembered for years to come because of their close connection with Beloved Baba. FollOWing these brief tributes, the "Bujawwe Naar Arti" and the "Seven ame of God" were sung, and then "Nearer My God to Thee," which had been requested by Mansari. Several other songs were sung, including "Ishtiaki," which Baba had composed, and Khorshed and Mansari had taught to many of His lovers over the years. A group of youngsters from Meher Nazar Compound, whom Khorshed had lovingly taught numerous Baba prayers and songs, led everyone in singing "Baba Bhagawan."After the Australian Arti, the Mandali and others gathered paid their final respects to these strong, independent women who had surrendered their lives and their hearts in lOVing service to their Beloved Lord, Meher Baba. Photographs courtesy of Bir Soper.


Men Mandali in attendance at the ceremony. Meheru and Meher Desai (Mansari} niece) rarrxing Mallsari urn.

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Photo of Khorshed by M. Nemanic

Ivleheru and Ted putting Saba} soil into Khorshed} crypt.

Photo of Mansa!"1 from the Photo Archive. Sufism Reoriented

Meheru garlanding KhorslJed and1I1ansari} slJrines.

Meheru lalkiflg about MallsaJi and Khol !led dUling rhe ceremony.

UtOmen Mandali sirting dUring the inremwnt ceremony (Jeft to right Katie, Jvfeheru, Gohel; and Amavaz).

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A Pair O'Ducks by Mani S. Irani had a little old tin trunk ....----~!I whichaJways accompanied me to Meherabad. It was dear to me, and I was possessive about it. At home I would tell Mother, "Don't touch this. It is mine." She would point to it and say, "That thing? I wouldn't touch it with a broom." That was fine with me. I would keep my most precious things in it. It became a safe for presents I bough t wi th my pocket money for Baba and the women. Immediately after Mother and I returned to Poona, I would start looking for "Lire is a Pair DVurks路 (paradox) by Wodill the right presents to take back So I asked the man, "How much?" to Meherabad. This daily occupation was When he told me the price, I found I was a link which kept alive my hope and jay of returning to Him. short by one paisa - that one paisa, of peanuts which I'd had. Oh, did I regret Once I remember buying pretty little my greedy time with those peanuts! presents for Mehera, Naja, and the two "Please," I said, "can you make it one Khorsheds. That was not difficult. The paisa less?" great question was, what shall I buy for He said, "No, this is the price. You take Baba? It should be something so very speit. If you don't have the money, don't take cial. This kept me occupied all day, every it. Go'" day. Nothing that caught my eye was right "But I must have it," I said. "Please, enough for Baba. please, can't you make it one paisa less? One morning from my pocket money I bought one paisa's (one penny's) worth Only one paisa less?" But then in those days one paisa wasn't so little, you see. of peanuts and munched away on my way He said, "No, no, no. One paisa only to school. Suddenly I saw a peddler with is my profit. Go. Don't trouble me." And a handcart filled with things made of he started off. glazed crockery. I stood there adm iring the I was desperate and kept after the articles, wondering if there was something handcart as he wheeled it away. My little here I could buy for Baba. There were hands were trying to hold it back while I dolls, there were animals, and there were continued to plead. My pleas did not seem birds. The dolls varied in price with the to move him at all. Then I had a size and were named accordingly. The brainwave. "Wait," I cried, "please wait. peddler's song told us that the littlest doll My house is not so far away. Will you was daughter. The next size was daughter-in-Iaw, and bigger still was mother or come with me to m house? Then I'll get you the one paisa and make up the price." aunt. The biggest was mother-in-law. When I said that, the man looked at But I wasn't interested in dolls. I sudme as if he saw me for the first time. denl spotted a beautiful pair of ducks Something in my eyes must have reached with yellow Wings that glowed. They had him because suddenly he said brusquely, soft golden beaks and holes in their heads. "All right, all right. Have it for one paisa, I didn't know at the time that one was for less." I have never doubted that the pedsalt and the other was for pepper. All I d ler had a share in the gift I gave to Baba. knew was that they were beautiful. There I took that pair of ducks and carried was something about them that set them them home as if they were alive. I put apart from all t he rest of the things in them away, and every morning before gothat handcart. Oh yes, these ducks were for Baba. I knew! ing to school, I opened my little tin trunk

I

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see if they were still there. And when I came home from school, the first thing I would do is look inside to see if they were all right. I would do thi until the day came when Mother and I were once again on the train to Meherabad. On my joyous journey back to Him, the wheels of the train sang "Ba-ba, Ba-ba, Ba-ba, Ba-ba. " When I got to Meherabad, I gave everybody their little presents, and then I went to Baba with the ducks. And you would have thought, from the radiant glow on Baba's face when He got that pair of ducks with holes in their heads, that this was the one thing He had been waiting for. He made me feel that although the whole universe belonged to Him, He had been waiting all these years for just that one pair of ducks. He told Mehera and Naja that every day when they prepared His food tray those two little ducks had to be by His plate, filled with salt and pepper. Oh, how thankful I felt that I hadn't missed those ducks in the handcart that fateful morning on my way to school! From Cod-Brother, By Mani S. Irani, Copyrigh t 1993 AMBPPCT, Ahmednagar, India, Published by Sheriar Press. to

A Real Cow Meher Baba

T

he knowledge of Truth as gained through the established creeds is like the knowledge of a town which one gets b stud ing it on a map. To see and know the town one has to take the trouble of actuall going there. It is one thing merely to see the picture of a cow; quite a different thing to have a real cow and to drink its milk. In the same way aJJ religious creeds. though useful for the time being, ultimately must be replaced by actuaJ experience and the inner spiritual Path must be traversed before one can realize the infinite Truth. From DreAt Its Best. by Meher Saba. EdiLed by Ivy O. Duce. Copyright 1957 Sufism Reoriented


A Note from Our

What's Happening at Meherabad

Trustwalli

by Dr. Gus, Meherabad

by Lynne Berry, Los Angeles

T

he following is a portion (with minor editing) of the Medical Staff Report for the February 1999 meeting of the Board of Trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba EEC. Trust. The report was reviewed and endorsed by the Board of Trustees at that meeting. It is one of many ongoing Trust projectsThis effort was begun because the mosquito problem was increasingly affecting the Meherabad estate. The program got off the ground because of the efforts of many people, among them the chairman, who gave his fuJI support and because of pilgrim donations for the program.

Mosquito Control Program The mosquito control program has been in operation for the past four years and was intensified due to the extremely heavy rains during this past monsoon season. There seems to be unanimous agreement (among those living at Meherabad and pilgrims) that the number of mosquitoes has been drastically reduced near all places where people congregate (including the Samadhi, Dharmsala, Hostels, Savages Kitchen, and Pilgrim Center as well as the various staff quarters). This occurred despi te the record rainfall during this past monsoon season and the persistence of standing water in many ponds around the Estate. Two large lakes and about 20 ponds were stocked with about 20, 000 fish (guppies) or (in the smaller ponds) a bacteria that kills mosquito larvae (donuts coated with Bacillus thurgiliensis). These ponds were in front of the hostels, on the side of the new ring road, on the side of the Daund road, behind Meher Pilgrim Center and behind the very large bund that i adjacent to the New Site. Since the last report of this committee (Rustom Falahati, Ted Judson and Dr. Gu ) several projects have been completed. The farsi in the courtyards of the pilgrim center were completely dug up and the drainage areas were extensively cleaned and the cement modified so that no water would be able to remain standing. This work was completedjust prior to the beginning of this pilgrim season. The entire Pilgrim Center sewage system was inspected repeatedly and made mosquito proof. In addition, a number of the toilets in lower Meherabad have been modified and converted from flap type to water seal type.

Those toilets converted to water seal no longer require regular diesel treatment. We have also noted a drastic reduction in pilgrims coming for treatment of infected mosquito bites and aJlergies to mosquito bites. The program has been a success without the use of strong chemicals that are harmful to the environment. It does require the use of approximately 120 liters of diesel per month to treat areas of standing water that cannot at this time be sealed off to prevent mosquito breeding. (Efforts are underway to further diminish the use of diesel or find alternatives) . Since the beginning of the program Rustom Falahati and Dr. Gus (With the help ofJerry Edwards and Ted Judson's staff) have identified 70 major buildings or locations were mosquitoes potentially breed. With regular inspection (once a week), regular maintenance and repair, regular diesel dosing (once a month), we can drastically reduce mosquito breeding. A recent increase in the number of mosquitoes in certain areas demonstrated three sites where maintenance had been delayed, and where mosquitoes were breeding large numbers. The problems were then corrected. A very positive response has come from everyone at Meherabad. However, we need awareness that only with continuous inspection and maintenance can we prevent the mosquitoes from coming back. We can keep Meherabad relatively mosquito free by continuing our efforts. Thanks to all involved in this work from all of us who go there. I 0 more mosquitos! Yea! ed.]

I

f you've been thinking that some time you'd like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a firstrate school, prOVides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's Tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the Trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himelf, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable and outreach projects are seen to by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard of living, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. Love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project - preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all of us. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173

Iceberg Ego Meher Baba "The ego is like an iceberg. Ninety percent of it is underwater. As we observe it, the submerged begins to move into the light of observation and melts in the light of awareness. "

-:Jaith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.

II

7agore 43


Humor for Huma

T

he following statements about the bible were written by children and have not been retouched or corrected (Le., bad spelling has been left in.) In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals come on to in pears. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebellike Delilah. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles. Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they madeunleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards,Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammend-ments. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of GeritoJ.

44

The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the FinkJesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "a man doth not live by sweat alone." It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance. The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

"Nothing"

A

rabbi, burdened by the importance of his work, went into the synagogue to pray. Falling to his knees, he lamented, "0 Lord, I am nothing! I am nothing!" Just then aJewishjudge passed by an overhearing the prayer was moved to join the rabbi on his knees. Shortly, he too, was crying aloud, "0 Lord, I too am nothing! I am notlling!" The janitor of the temple, awed by the sight oftlle two men prayingjoined them, crying, "0 Lord, I also am nothing! I am nothing!" At tllis, the judge nudged the rabbi and said, "Now, look who tllinks he's nothing!" (The follollling lIIas written by Dal7J~Y Du[[on. age 8. from Chula /lisca. Californja. for his dlilTJgrade home I vork assjgnmenc CO 'Explajn Cod~j

O

ne of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because

they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk, He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio orTY because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps him pretty busy, So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have. Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church. Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind of like His Father and He told His Father that tlley didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK. His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without haVing to bother God. Like a secretary only more important. You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the times. You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if tllere's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn't come outat the beach until noon anyway. If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases. And that's why I believe in God.


"According to His Will" Ward Parks, Ahmednagar

O

ver the years I have often been puzzled by the last line of the "Repentance Prayer", which reads: "In your unbounded mercy we ask You to forgive us, God, for all these sins committed by us, and to forgive us for our constant failures to think and speak and act according to your wilL" The repentance that is expressed in this line seems to be rooted in the awareness that, since our very false separative existence is itself a denial of God, our every action, which stems from that denial, warrants our repentance. Our failures are "constant" since our very ego life, as the source and fountainhead of our actions, has no real being. So far so good. What is peculiar, however, is that final phrase - "according to Your wilL" For on this subject Baba has elsewhere said, "I alone am Real, and my will governs the cosmic illusion. It is the truth when I say that the waves do not roll and the leaves do not move without my will" (TheEverything and the Nothing, p. 62). The will of God upholds and sustains the universe and all its affairs. Everything that happens - from the greatest war or natural calamity to the tiniest flicker of an eyelash or the least passing whim of the mind - happens only because He wills it. This applies equally to the level of personal action: all that I do - my virtuous deeds as well as my sins - are, ultimately, a manifestation of God's will: they are because He wills them to be so. It is altogether impossible, in other words, for anyone of us to do anything at all that is contrary to the will of God. What possibly could be the sense, then, of our repenting, as we do in the last line of the prayer, for our "constant failures to think, speak, and act according to Your will"? This question, which has tickled my curiosity from time to time over the years,

a

has, I daresay, done the same for others. But during the last pilgrim season, in Mandali Hall in Meherazad, quite unexpectedly some light was shed on this subject. It was a Thursday or Saturday morning, and Eruch was, as usual, regaling a roomful of pilgrims with his matchless accounts from a lifetime spent beside Beloved Baba. Somehow the topiC of the Repentance Prayer arose, and Eruch explained that Baba had originally dictated the prayer to him in Gujarati. In that language, the last word of the prayer was matji (ll7arzi in Urdu), an etymon that does not differentiate between "wish" and "will" but encom--~~-=-_ passes both meanings. Now it would make perfect sense for us to be repenting for our constant failures to think, speak, and act according to God's wish: for while God's will fulfills itself inevitably and irresistibly, the fulfillment of God's wish is, as it were, in our hands. Indeed, Baba has aid that the will of God contains within itself provision for God's wish; and it is this wish that projects and defines "obedience" and "disobedience" as possible responses on the lover's part. In carrying out the wish of God, one obeys, and thus earns His pleasure; and in failing to carry out that wish, one disobeys and displeases Him. The wish, in other words, is the key defining element in the dynamic and interplay of Lord and servant, lover and Beloved, all of which transpires within the realm of duality. "Sin," in this context, seems to be a conventional term denoting an act of disobedience, in which the wish of God is disregarded or flouted. Yet in 1951, when Baba dictated the Repentance Prayer, this distinction between "wish" and "wilJ" had not yet been clearly drawn by Him. And so, when Eruch and

..

Donkin set about to translating the prayer at Baba's request, they rendered the Gujarati word marji through the English word "will" without awareness of these greater philosophical implications. Curiously enough, Baba Himself never made the correction, even though, in the years that followed, He Himself participated many times in the performance of the prayer, standing Silently as Eruch or another of the mandaJi read it out and slapping Himself lightly on both cheeks to signify His contrition. Thus does the Avatar take upon Himself the burden of the sins that we enact, liberating us thereby from our sins as well as our good deeds and opening for us the door to that action less action that alone is true freedom. Since the prayer in this wording has been thus "hallowed" by the Avatar's own participation in it, one imagines that it will continue to be recited in this form for many years, until the language changes and new wordings become necessary. But for my own part, I am glad that Eruch and Donkin translated the prayer as they did. For to my ear, the word "wilJ" carries a force that the word "wish" - at least at the present time - does not. Of course I understand that the Divine Will cannot be controverted, least of all by me. But when I think of myself as failing to think, speak, and act according to His "will," the awesome, divine significance of His will and being is brought before my mind, and I become aware - intellectually at least - that my own false existence is an egotistically "willful" departure and aberration that will come to an end only when I have united again with the divine Reality. This separation from Him is the taproot of all "sin," and it cannot be extirpated through the mere exercise of virtue. Perhaps the engendering of a deeper reflectiveness on the subjects of "wish" and "will" and "sin" is one of the purposes for which God "willed" that the Repentance Prayer should take its current form in the English language. In any event, there are many examples to show that Beloved Baba was less concerned with the literalistic niceties of wording than with essential signiJicance. For in reciting that last line of the "Repentance Prayer", whatever philosophical gymnastics the intellect may choose to engage in, the conscience of the true lover of God will aJwa s know what is meant.

117he fl)ivine fBeloved is always with you in you and all around you. ~l<nolV that you are n.ot separate from 2iim. Meher Baba l

II

45


Three Billion, Six Hundred Million Sanskaras per Hour

G

od is the perfect accountant, and the Avatar keeps the account of the deeds of each one perfectly without writing down anything. The Avatar knows the account of each one from his beginning in creation until today, and so he knows now the account of each one until his end. No one knows tllis perfect accounting except God. God takes human form as the Avatar age after age in order to balance the debit and credit sides as far as possible, in the ratio required for further individual and collective progress. Maya is the shadow of God and Maya plays havoc in disturbing the equilibrium of the debit and credit sides of each one's deeds. When this equilibrium is disturbed to the most terrible extent, nature starts revolting and the earth falls into the chasm of calamities. At such a time God must descend on earth. The Avatar then works to settle the account of each human being and also the account of every level of consciousness in evolution. Settling the account of each individual is not easy, because the accounts are made up of sanskaras. The human mind gathers ten million sanskaras in one second, or six hundred million in one minute, or three billion, six hundred million in one hour, so imagine how many trillions and zillions of sanskaras are collected in one human lifetime. To settle the accounts of sanskaras, so one can further progress, is a work unimaginable. The Avatar's work requires universal mind, because the work is beyond the intellect, and only the INFINITE INTELLIGENCE knows how to calculate such accounting, and this accounting is achieved without the slightest error. The purpose of reincarnation is to spend the sanskaras one collects, and because there are so many millions of sanskaras collected is the reason why one must reincarnate about eight million, four hundred thousand times. To convey an idea of the sanskaric accounting, the INFINITE INTELLIGENCE in the universal mind knows now what happened to a particular person one hundred years ago at this very moment and what that same particular person had thought even one thousand years ago at this very moment. The INFINITE INTELLIGENcE also knows at this very moment

46

Bhau Kalchuri

what will happen one hundred years from now and what will be thought one thousand years into the future. Time is not a factor for the knowing calculations of the universal mind, and neither is space. When the Avatar comes he uses his universal mind, and to tlle universal mind the whole history of the universe is an open book. When Meher Baba came he found that the account of the universe was not properly balanced. Because of this universal imbalance, progress in the evolution of consciousness was stopped. Consciousness was running up huge bills of debt because of so many unnatural actions. If you borrow from a bank or someone, you must repay the loan. If you don't, you will not be given any more credit until you pay. You cannot borrow again until you have repaid your loans. Basically, the situation in the universe was that consciousness had borrowed more than it could pay back, and could not find anyone else to borrow from. Consciousness was going bankrupt. In other words, consciousness had become too murderous, too selfish, too greedy, too hateful, too lustful, too false, etc., to balance itself. And there was no way to compensate for all of this. It is the Avatar who must pay, and so he works and suffers for each one to settle the imbalanced accounts, and thereby sets the account for each one straight, a natural level of debit and credit. But while he works for the benefit of each one, very few cooperate with him, because very few want to pay back their debits. Most of the world opposes his work, because most refuse to pay back. Everyone must repay and be paid their sanskaric debits and credits. But because of the amount of debit amassed, the Avatar comes to protect humanity. In spite of opposition, his work protects the world, and his love protects humanity. After finishing his work the Avatar drops his body. Since tlle Avatar's work is most perfect, the result of the work is most perfect. He perfectly settles the accounts by making each one pay, but also by protecting the debtors from the creditors.

After the dropping of the Avatar's body, adjustments in every account take place according to the work done by the Avatar. A time comes when alI adjustments in every one's account are settled. Each one pays and is paid to whomever he is sanskarically in debt to or has credit with. Everyone has the capacity to pay the price for going further on the path of Truth, though this capacity varies from person to person. Each one has the opportunity to clear their debts and be free, but those in whom the capacity varies continue to establish debts. When all have the capacity to pay the price for progressing further along the path to Truth, they will naturally wonder who has given them this opportunity. This opportunity is the Avatar's legacy to humanity, the Father's legacy to his children. When humanity realizes it was an inheritance, and something they did not earn, then the love of the Avatar manifests, and people read his will, "I have given you, my children, this inheritance. I love you all. I have suffered infinitely for your sake. I embrace you. All are forgiven." Let us long for the embrace of our Compassionate Father, who has suffered infinitely for us. Let us accept his forgiveness by suffering the pain of separation to that extent wherein our longing will achieve Union. From A varar oftill' Age !'v!eller Baba lII!anifesting, by Bhau Kalchuri, Copyrighl 1985 Lawrence Reiter. Published by Manireslalion. Inc.


Twelve Disciplines of the Heart By Nancy Shev, Arizona

R

ecently, as a result of newly discovered enthusiasm for Feng Shui, I moved an important picture of Mehera from our bedroom into my bathroom. Our personal relationship has been growing ever since. It includes reflection, witll candle light, (yes, in the bathroom, "my private space") with Mehera at the end of the day. Telling her things and listening to her thoughts and asking her for direction, and so on. All my life I have "woken up" to write something down, to catch it before it's lost with daily tasks and concerns. One morning, a few months ago, I woke up to write down "12 disciplines of the heart." I didn't know instantly that it was from Mehera, but witllin minutes I did ... because really, something that perfect had to come, without a doubt, from our Beloved ... 01' His Beloved ... What else can be said? Thank you for allowing me to share tills.

Live in the Mind by Adah Shifrin

B

aba has told his lovers that the High Road to experience Him is tI1rough loving Him as He wishes to be loved. We have no way to comprehend in our limited minds the true meaning and extent of this love. Since power of thought i. where our greate t strength lie it is our only dir ct means of making a start. Our thoughts begin to go out. We are striving to reach God in our minds and so we are learning to meditate. Let us not allow our thoughts to drift about, but let them "take Wing" and go directly to our Beloved. Do you think He does not know and receive your thoughts? In His infinite state tI1ere is nothing that is not known to Him. Time and space mean nothing to the Ancient One. who i here just for us. His light goes out like tI1e rays of the un touching all who are ready. This is Baba's miraculous gift, He touches the heart with love Divine. It is the awakening to Truth. The more one thinks of Baba the more one i drawn by Him. Why then, not think of Him even whiJe taking care of worldly duties? What could one tllink of more beautiful than meditating on the glory of the whole universe concentrated into one form. One even forgets what one has come for when tlloughts are turned to Baba.

12 d¡ scip ines of the heat1 ave An 0 I te

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Ab ility to Li5 Ch .fulness Accâ&#x201A;Ź pta ne@ erne' brancl3 And Lucky 13 ---- the C arity of Fo given 5$

There is a contentment that comes just in the thought of the Beloved. Gradually one forgets how to worry. Anxieties begin to dissolve into nothingness. Time does not have the same meaning for it becomes limitless and eternal. When we look upon ourselves in the mirror we are not concerned that youth fades for we know that the garment of flesh will be cast aside for a new and better one. We may even be glad to look toward the time when God shall receive us in His eternal embrace and keep us witl1 Him for all time. One's attachment to family and friends becomes lessened and one looks upon the whole world as being a part of one's own life. If one's tllOught dwells here for a moment one will see that all the homes, housing a little clo e knit circle, are faced with the exa t arne problems as one's own. Is not this one little unit a part of the larger one? Does one not feel the hunger pangs in their bodies as though it were a part of one's own? Upon the face of all of the earth the needs and emotions of its people are all the same, regardless of place or race. Baba will lift the veil from men's minds so that they will know the trutll and recognize the oneness of all. It is when one meditates on Baba that perhaps these other thoughts will come and give cause for reflection. Through this trend of

thinking comes the feeling of comfort and resignation that God has everything happening according to His Divine Will. Not a blade of grass is out of place and although one does not know His law for destruction or construction, one can be sure it is for humanity on the whole. The more one thinks of Baba the happier one becomes. Sooner or later one wishes to ee Him and be with Him. Does one not go to Baba each time the mind goes out to Him? Let the mind fly to Him and one is there. I one not growing to love this visit more and more? Does it not mean more than an physical act? One is now beginning to live less with thoughts of bod which bind and the mind is becoming a vehicle to new freedom. ow one grows further and furtller awa from self and becomes more absorbed in thoughts of Baba. One begins to realize freedom, and though still limited it is far greater than what one had ever experienced before. It ha often been said that happiness is a state of mind and this is true even for tI1e limited mind. Now one has the "Highest of the High" to think about. To live in thought, tI10ugh intangible, is as real as the gross world is false. To live in the mind can be more real than living in tile world. From The Flower ofCollremplarjoll by Adah Francis Shifrin

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AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

Address Service Requested

:Q)fl\J~[Q) ~~).\j~~ij.A~ PI1[t~\~~ ~XP~ C' tr~ ~

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

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CA

PERMIT #31394


...

APRlL - JUNE,

-~

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Baba's Home in the West, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Tuesday, January 25, 2000

2000


* Jai Baba folks!

Editor's Page

*

Dina Snow

W

elcome to Spring! And how welcome it is. Most parts of the United States had some very nasty weather this past winter. But some of it was very beautiful. Dean ordquist, a carpenter who is one of the caretakers at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach was in the right place at the right time and captured the beautiful photo on our cover. It is of the bridge across the lake, after a very unusual snow fall had covered the Center with its beautiful mantle. On page 17 you will frnd a photo of the Lagoon Cabin in the snow, also by Dean. Bal atu sent us an article he had written on Baba's Home in the West, and we felt this was a beautiful photo with which to illustrate Bal's story. We have put together for you an extensive article on Amartithi, starting with January 31 st 1969. These days, a trip to India is not as far-fetched as it used to seem back in the '70s. More and more people are making the ptlgrimage to the Samadhi, but for those who can't, the cyber-age is making it possible for you to participate in a way that would have been beyond imagination and conception back in 1969! On January 30 th , Joe Stewart, manager of the Baba list serv posted this message: "I've just received late news from India that a group oflndian Baba lovers (MVRK Balaji) are planning to take live images of the Amartitru celebration and make them available to the west. The plan is to rush to Ahmednagar where communications are suitable and transfer the images to the AvatarMeherBaba.org web site. We will receive the files about 4:30 a.m. on January 31, EST. I'll quickly construct a web page which will be available at the following uri: http://W'.''Iw. AvatarMeherBaba.org/indiai A link will also be available from the http://wwvv.AvatarMeherBaba.org home page. This is as close to live shots

as possible given the communication infrastructure in India." What a world we live in! Possibly coverage of the 2020 Amartithi will be beamed around the world and carried live on every network . The LA Baba Center lost a very dear friend in January. Rocky Rogers passed quickly into the waiting arms of the Beloved. There were some very interesting happenings at his memorial (see page 18). Rocky had a great wit, but kept it close; to most people he seemed quiet and reserved, but with close friends he would cut loose. He even wrote his own 'obituary' two years before he died! While creating a new resume for himself, he got to thinking what a resume for the Avatar would look like. The results are on page 21. The email address for the Love Street Bookstore has for the past three years been Bababooks@aol.com. Time for a change - AOL just could not support the work needed to produce the LampPost. From now on, our address will be

Bababook@pacbell.net since PacBell will only allow 8 letters, we had to drop the's' from books, so note carefully. I am very happy to be able to say "Thank you so much" to the many people who have been kind enough to send in donations for another year of the Love Street LampPost. This is not a money-making venture - we need your support in order to keep publishing. I also say, "Thank you Baba" for allowing me the joy of helping to create, along with our staff members, this magazine dedicated to our Beloved. May it make Him, and you our readers, happy.

t

tl What Should We Do About That Moon? Hafiz A wine bottle fell from a wagon And b1"oke open in a field. That night one hundred beetles and all their cOltSins Gathered And did some se1"ious binge d1"inking. They even found some seed husks nearby And began to play them like drums and whirl. This made God very happy. Then the "night candle" rose into the sky And one dmnk creatlwe, laying down his instrument, Said to lzis friend - for no apparent Reason, "What should we do about that moon?" Seems to Hafiz Most evetyone has laid aside the music Tackling such profoundly useless Questions. From The Gift, Poems by Hafiz, Translations by Daniel Ladinsky, Copyright 1999 Daniel Ladinsky. Published by the Penguin Group.


A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

£oveStreet £amplbst' welcome The ,LoveStreetLmnflDst' is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove.

Eruch Jessawalla

4

Arnavaz Dadachanji

6

James Cox

7

Heather Nadel

8

Bal Natu

l0

Dr. C. D. Deshmukh

12

Gary Kleiner

16

Baba's Home in the West

Bal Natu

17

Rocky Rogers Memorial

Lois Jones

18

various contributors

26

Irene Holt

30

Bhau Kalchuri

32

Baily Irani

33

Irene Holt and James Cox

34

various contributors

35

T.K. Ramanujam

45

Dina Snow

2

Announcements

various contributors

37

From Meherabad

various contributors

36

Dina Snow

38

Meher Baba's Final Days Mehera's Grief Our Man in Meherabad A World Apart lAm Here Lord Buddha and Lord Meher Dancing with the Beloved

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

Hot Off the Presses New Years Eve in Meherabad The Birth of Lord Meher Merwan's Good Nature

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

Baba's Birthday at Meherabad Baba's Birthday at Meherabode Manzil-e-Meem

Bababook@pacbeU.net

deadlines:

Editor's Page

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

issue: issue: issue: issue:

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

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

The Love Street Bookstore

41

Bo Lozoff..

Huma Poetry Page

various contributors

43

Annonyrnous

42

Children's Corner

Bababook@pacbell.net credits: editor: Dina Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, and ancy Perham research assisrant: Barbara Roberts digital preflight: Betty Lowman and Tom Hart distribution: Ch ris Lyttle cover: Dean S. ordqui t

The LoveStreet£amtflDst' is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Sou them California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

credits:

,.~

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

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Meher Baba's Final Days by Eruch Jessawala

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n January 27,1969, Baba told me that although the doctors had recommended He should be moved to Poona, He would not go there until His customary time at the end ofMarch. However, He was willing to permit Dr. Ginde to come and stay at Meherazad in order to check Him every day for the nasty spasms which were plaguing Him. The spasms lasted almost continuously for abou t sixteen hours on the following day leaving Baba quite exhausted and restless. The sensation was like that of a very severe shock received by a person who accidentally touches a main, and it took four ofthe mandali to hold His body down in bed. Every jerk from a spasm almost broke Baba's back, and any movement on His part, like raising His hands or fingers to tell us something, would result in a jerk that lifted the body from head to foot. Baba even found breathing difficult. Dr. Goher who was attending to Baba around the clock, advised that Dr. Ginde should come prepared ifpossible, to operate in Baba's room ifit were necessary. Dr. Grant who examined Baba's nervous system, found everything normal except that His reflexes had diminished. On January 30, Baba announced that He wanted five disciples to be always near Him, included among whom Padri and Chagan were specially mentioned. The mandali began their watch throughout the day and that night, attempting with Baba's encouragement, to press hard on His body to eliminate the spasms if possible, or else to hold His body down if the spasms came, in order to avoid jerks to His spinal cord that were causing Him severe pain in the back and shoulders. While we were pressing His body, we would first feel ripples passing under our hands and when they got stronger, we knew He was going to have another massive spasm. Accordingly, we tried to press harder but then the doctors advised that the pressure should be lighter, otherwise the jerks might damage the bones which had already been injured in Baba's two car accidents in 1952 and 1956. This attention to Baba kept us all on our toes, including ofcourse the women mandali. Baba had reduced His food intake about two weeks previously and Mehera did her best to provide nourishment by sending Him things like fruit, juice, grated apple and so forth. At first He said that He did not want the grated apple but Mehera would send word back that

4

"My work is done. It is completed 100% to my satisfaction. The result of this work will also be 100% and will manifest from the end of September." (Family Letter #78, 9th September 1968.) -¢>-¢>-¢>-¢> Jan 31st 1969 -¢>-¢>-¢>-¢>

The First Amartithi AVATAR MEHER BABA DROPPED HIS PHYSICAL BODY AT TWELVE NOON 31 JANUARY AT MEHERAZAD TO LIVE ETERNALLY IN THE HEARTS OF ALL HIS LOVERS STOP BELOVED BABA'S BODY WILL BE INTERRED AT MEHERABAD ARANGAON ON 1 FEBRUARY AT 10 A.M. IN THE TOMB HE HAD ORDERED TO BE BUILT LONG AGO. -Adi K.lrani Cable received on 1 Feb. 1969 He should have it, and after taking a spoonful or two, Baba would offer the remainder to the mandali, much like prasad. However, since we felt that He needed the food, we would tell Him that we could not eat anything as we had just eaten pan, but that did not deceive Him. "Come on," Baba would say amusingly, "you are all making excuses, saying that you have just eaten pan in order to avoid eating what I offer you." Baba was very humorous up to the time He dropped His body. Since the spasms did not lessen or disappear, Padri suggested homeopathic medicine and Baba agreed to take some of his pills. Chagan who was an ayurvedic specialist, recommended herbs which he said were very good for spasms. Baba wanted to know ifthey were really good and requested Chagan to read out their properties from his book, after which He would approve of certain ones and ask Chagan to administer them. So it was that Baba gave a chance to all the mandali members to minister to Him. Somewhat earlier, Dr. Ram Ginde of Bombay who had sent word that he was prepared to come and spend some days at Baba's side, was informed that Baba would notifY him, but meanwhile he should arrange his affairs so that his patients were not left stranded.

v~ At the time, Dr. Ginde thought he would be free by February 15 and when this information was given to Baba, He wondered whether he could not come sooner. Eventually Dr. Ginde was informed that Baba wanted him at Meherazad on January 31 and since he would be passing through Poona, we suggested he should see Dr. Grant whose last report would be helpful. Dr. Ginde then left Bombay in the early morning hours ofjanuary 31. In Poona, Dr. Ginde was informed by Dr. Grant ofthe latest report on Baba's condition, and after receiving this medical report over a hasty breakfast, Dr. Ginde left Poona immediately for Ahmednagar. Baba had only about two hours of sleep on the night ofJanuary 30 due to the frequency of the spasms and the intense pain He was having in the small of His back, and He was pleased to learn that Dr. Ginde was coming to see Him by lunch time. It was close to midday when Baba looked at the clock as ifto remind Padri that it would soon be time to give Him the last two homeopathic pills at noon and after taking them, Baba, reflecting His long-held opinion about homeopathic treatment, said to Padri, "What's the matter with your drugs? Your homeopathy is useless; it does no good. Throw the bottle out!"We all laughed and joked about the matter. Meanwhile, Baba had not forgotten about Dr. Ginde and when an exchange oftelephone messages revealed that he had not yet arrived at Adi Sr.'s office in Ahmednagar, Baba said it was getting late and that another message should be sent to Adi Sr. telling him not to detain Dr. Ginde on arrival with tea or anything, but to send him on to Meherazad forthwith. It was at fifteen minutes after noon when a fresh spasm took hold ofBaba as He rested in the reclining position to which His special bed had been set. As He was thus sitting with His head and back propped up, His frame shook with a fmal jerk. He flexed His arms, closed His mouth firmly, and all movement in the Beloved's body came to a halt, indicating to all around Him that He had left us to embark upon that "unique and direct journey to the unbounded and indivisible ocean ofdivinity." I immediately opened His mouth and resorted to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for a period ofabout thirty minutes while Dr. Goher


gave several injections to help revive Him. But all our efforts in this desperate attempt to restore life into the One who gives and sustains all life, drew no response from the body on the bed, and I collapsed on the floor out of sheer exhaustion. About thirty minutes later, Dr. Ginde and Dr. Brieseman arrived from Ahmednagar carrying an oxygen cylinder with them. They too made attempts to revive Baba, however, the heart had definitely stopped, the reflexes were gone and life was now extinct without a doubt. In retrospect when Drs. Grant and Donkin together with Meherjee visited Baba on January 30, He suffered a spasm but said that it was His crucifixion and that His time had come but that everything was all right and there was no need for Him to go to a Poona clinic as Dr. Grant was suggesting. In fact Baba even discussed His forthcoming darshan programme with Dr. Grant who reminded Baba that it would be a very strenuous affair for which He should first get strong. Once again Baba told the doctor not to worry, that He would indeed carry out the programme as planned, and invited him to see for himself from his house opposite to Guruprasad in Poona - the site of the darshan programme - exactly how He would give His darshan. "It will be something unique," said Baba. In connection with this, I might mention that previously Baba had told the mandali, "You will see My boys and My girls who will come with all love" in such waves that the great rush to Him will just push the mandali aside. Baba was giving us hints that His stay among us was coming to an end but we never anticipated that He was going to drop His body even though, as we now look back on the discussions He held with us about His darshan programme, the hints were not so veiled. We who were responsible for and knew what was involved in any darshan programme, were worried whether Baba would physically be able to bear the strain, but to Baba, the darshan He had in mind, was nothing for us to be alarmed about. "Don't you all worry about that;" He said, "giving my darshan this time will be very easy." And turning to Francis, Baba inquired, "Francis, will it be all right if I give darshan in a reclining position?" "Why, have Your way, Baba," Francis answered. "But what will My lovers think. Will they ask why is it that Baba is just lying like that?" persisted Baba who again stressed, "I will be reclining when I give darshan." At the time we thought that this reclining position Baba was talking about would be due

to the fact that He would be incapacitated by fever or some other symptom, just as we earlier thought that when He said His time had come, He was referring to the great days of the forthcoming darshan when His lovers would be coming with all love. We never realized then that it was all hinting at something deeper. Anyway the more we thought about the darshan programme and Baba stressing a reclining position, the more we wondered about what it would impose on Him in the way ofa handicap to His gestures and certainly of course to His facial expressions which always spoke so eloquently. But Baba was prepared for this too. "What will be the harm if I give darshan in complete silence?" He asked, supplying us with yet a further glimpse of events to come. So we said, "All right, let it be Your way, Baba." Even then Baba did not drop the matter. "They will feel let down about it, won't they?" Baba continued, but even though we assured Him that would not be the case, I still felt His body could not stand the strain of a programme which would most certainly stretch to four hours in the morning and another four hours in the afternoon, and I was afraid. When I expressed this feeling to Baba, He told me not to worry and at another time He rebuked me saying, "Don't talk about the darshan to Me. lt will be very easy for I will be very strong. Go and attend to other work!" And then He told us, "The time to worry 1S now when I am very weak and you have to take care of Me. I might be well, by, say, March, to meet the crowd on April 10, and March means 'quick march!'" It wa another allusion which we missed. Once during the confinement to His room,

among the tidbits of daily information I brought to Baba, was a story I had read about a monk who was much revered by his followers. One day as this monk was preparing to walk out ofhis room, he informed his followers that he was leaving them but he would eventually return though he did not speci.f)r a time. Accordingly, the faithful followers prepared his bed every day with fresh bed sheets and clean linen in anticipation of the event and this routine, according to what I read, had resulted up to the time of the report, in the usage of millions of yards of bed sheets and linen because 2000 years had passed and there was still no sign of the monk. We all enjoyed the report and had a good laugh with Baba saying that He too would return and adding, "But not like the monk!" From The Ancient One, by EruchJessawala, Pages 144 - 148, Š1985 aosherwan Anzar, Published by Beloved Books

ÂŤI am never born, I never die. At every moment I take birth and undergo death....Although I am present everywhere eternally in My formless Infinite state,from time to time I takeform, and the taking ofthe form and leaving it is termed My physical Birth and Death. In this sense, I am born and I die when My Universal Work is finished." (Meher Baba Calling, Pg.88)


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hen we reached Meherabad, we were told that Beloved Baba's body had been placed in the crypt. We went straight up the Hill to His Samadhi, where we found Padri and several others. Padri told us that Mehera had broken down and Eruch and others, unable to bear seeing her in such pain and fear- â&#x20AC;˘ ing that she would collapse, had convinced Mani and the other women to take her back to Meherazad for the night. He felt that after the whole day's ordeal" the women would not have been r able to withstand spending all '. that night and the following day in Meherabad. Padri opened the door ofthe Samadhi, and Katie, Sarosh, ariman and I went inside. Beloved Baba's body was lying in the crypt, but when I looked down, my shock at seeing Him the way I had imagined a few weeks earlier made it seem as though He were lying ~ futy feet below us. Padri, seeing our stunned expressions, immediately told Sarosh to take us to his house for the night. The following morning at 4:00 we returned to Upper Meherabad to wait at the Samadhi for Mehera, Mani and the other women to come. When their car arrived, I opened the door and Mehera got out. I was about to embrace her when she cried out in anguish, "What will I do without Baba? How will I live without Him?" There was nothing I could say, so I silently held her in my arms. Mehera's grief was so deep that we all suppressed our own in an attempt to console her. It is impossible to describe the experience of being present when the Avatar of the Age leaves His human body. Baba lovers from all over India started phoning and sending telegrammes to Adi, Sr., begging him to postpone the interment of Beloved Baba's body. Dr. Cinde said that His body could remain uncovered in the crypt for darshan as long as it showed no signs of deterioration, and he instructed Coher to examine Baba's body every day to determine when to cover it and close the crypt. Day after day thousands oflovers flocked to Me-

Mehera's Grief by Arnavaz N. Dadachanji, Meherazad

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herabad by plane, train, bus, car and bullock cart, even on foot; as one group left, another arrived, singing bhajans to our Beloved Lord. Even though we were heartbroken, we were sustained by the love that flowed from the hearts of those who had come to bow down to Him and gaze upon His face one last time. Years later I was looking at the picture of Christ I kept in the room with the photograph ofBaba that He had given ariman and me at our wedding. For the ftrst time I noticed the words "Jesus in the Sepulcher" written beneath it. Suddenly it struck me that Jesus looked very much the way Baba had looked while His body was lying in the crypt in His Samadhi. I knew at that moment why I had been compelled to buy the picture and remembered the day when Baba had asked me about it and told me to keep a lamp under His photograph burning twenty-four

hours a day. The light from the lamp reminded me that even though Beloved Baba had dropped His physical body, the light of His Divine Presence would continue to bum eternally. During the days before Baba's interment we women stayed by Mehera's side wherever she was. She cried inconsolably to Baba in the Samadhi, and it was good that her tears flowed easily. Had she not expressed her anguish, it would have been very difficult for her to maintain her mental and emotional balance. Her grief showed others how deeply she loved her Beloved Darling Baba. When we could bear Mehera's tears no longer, we would take her to Baba's cabin and sit talking with her near the stretcher that had borne His body from Meherazad to the Samadhi. Sometimes she would become quiet and composed, greeting with great poise the women who came to her with folded hands, saying "Jai Baba." Men with folded hands would also try to catch a glimpse of dear Mehera. Those closest to her had witnessed the total devotion Mehera had for Baba, and we honoured her as Baba's beloved. ow Mehera was to leave the secluded life she had led thus far, so that all of Baba's lovers, both men and women, would witness the perfect love of His closest disciple. I felt that Baba had left her behind to play the very important role that He had been gradually preparing her for, carrying on His mission of Pure Love. In order for Mehera to play this role, she had to accustom herself to many new situations, among them learning to converse with men, something she had not done before. Baba led me intuitively to use the circumstances to help Mehera take a ftrst step in this direction. When some of the Western men arrived in Meherabad, I took the opportunity to ask Don Stevens if he would like to say "Jai Baba" to Mehera. Surprised, Don asked if that were possible. Then I went to Mehera and told her that Don Stevens wanted to say"Jai Baba" to her. Mehera, in her grief, agreed automatically, so I brought Don into Baba's cabin. Facing Mehera, he


said "Jai Baba." Mehera, without looking at him, sofdy said uJ ai Baba" and told me something to say to Don for her. Don said a few words in response. The next day I told several men to stand outside the Samadhi in a rowand, one at a time, say "Jai Baba, Mehera" when she came out. They did so, and she replied "Jai Baba" in return. Mehera was in a state of shock and responded to the words uJai Baba" without giving any thought to the fact that she was speaking to men. From Gift if God, Arnavaz N. Dadachanji Š 1996 AMBPPCT Published by Beloved Books

A Song to The Beloved from His Mehera by Mehera

Meher Baba. Lord and Friend. My Beloved to the end. You are my heart. my life. my soul. You are my all. my only Goal. Jai. Jai. Jai Beloved. I am by Your light. Your love-Sun makes my moon bright. Jai,Jai,Jai (Chorus) All day longfor You I long. Sing Your Name and Your love song. Jai,Jai. Jai (Chorus) Though my heart weeps all the while. For Your sake. I wear a smile. Jai. Jai. Jai (Chorus) Your dear pleasure is my joy. Mine is not to question why. Jai. Jai. Jai (Chorus) You Who play the perfect game Shape my heart into Your Name. Jai.Jai.Jai (Chorus) Make me. Lord. Your song ofpraise. Fill all hearts with Your dear grace. Jai. Jai,Jai (Chorus)

"J am not limited by this form. J use it like a garment to make Myself visible to you; and J communicate with you-Don't try to understand Me. My death is unfathomable. Just love Me. J eternally enjoy the Christ state of consciousness. and when J speak J shall manifest My true Self, besides giving a general push to the whole world. J shall lead all those who come to Me toward Light and Truth." (Awakener. Vol. V. No.4. p.33)

From our man in Meherabad January 30th by James Cox,

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martithi officially started at noon today, but there were many who jumped the gun and arrived last night, just to sleep - under a tree, or anywhere. My first Amartithi was in 1972, and the total crowd then was less than that of the volunteers and early arrivals yesterday, probably not even 5% ofwhat it will be tomorrow. In the expanding scheme of things, Meherabad Hill has once again been enclosed under a great festive sky of undulating, brighdy colored fabric, punctuated by poles holding vertically mounted tube lights, the dusty, dry ground covered by a sea of green tarpaulins. Although the count for people staying below is about 500 less than last year, the crowd on the Hill seems more, but who can really tell? Baba's magnet continues to draw in His drunken filings from all over the board. As the crowd grows, procedures change, and there have been a few new additions this year, probably the most noticeable being the addition of the "Meherabad Mall" between the railway tracks and the Nagar-Daund road. All of the lower stalls have been shifted from the side of the path up the hill to a large compound just to the left as you walk up the Hill, and this gives the impression of more space and less chaos for those going up and down. There have also been changes to the darshan procedure, those being that no one is allowed to bow down at the threshold while entering or exiting the Samadhi, or to prostrate oneselfon the floor in a prone position. As small as these two changes may seem, they have speeded up the rate at which persons can actually take darshan, and the line is moving more smoothly than in the past. Amartithi is also a time of intense activity by most of those who live here, but while we live in the Sun, sometimes the work demands our attention to such an extent that we are not able to appreciate the subdeties which flow around us. About 1:00 p.m. this afternoon I had been at the Samadhi for an hour trying to keep the darshan line flowing smoothly, seeing to various requests for flowers from the Tomb, prasad donations, and dealing with requests to touch an assortment of photos, books, etc. to Baba's slab, when

Judy Stevens, standing near Baba's cabin to the right, caught my attention and asked me why the window to the Samadhi from Mani's side was not open. I hadn't even noticed that it was closed, and I had no idea why it might have gotten that way, so I told her that, and we both agreed that it would have been nice if people could also see inside from that angle. Around here, one never knows what new rule might have been made or policy changed, so the best thing to do in such a case is nothing until one can fmd out more information. Then, as I walked back to my place on the Samadhi platform after talking with Judy, Raphael Villafane immediately approached me from the other side of the Tomb, where he could not have seen or heard my conversation with Judy, and told me that he was wondering whether we should open the window on Mani's side now that the sun was not shining in. He said he had closed it earlier because of this, but as there was no more sun, what did I think? I said, I thought then it must be time to open the window.

February 3

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think on the 30th, Bhauji made some comment about Amartithi darshan going on for seven days. But the physical shop definitely started closing up on theIst, the mam-_ moth brightly colored pandal slowly peeling offendless emaciated limbs which had separated it from the ground. Perhaps the crowd this time was ten percent greater than last year, and who knows what that number might be, but every year the organization gets better and better, and things seemed to go smoothly, with only minor glitches. I also felt there was a certain sweetness present this time, which I don't always perceive. The line for Darshan, which used to get over at midnight of the 31st, went on until 3:00 a.m., and then was heavy again on the first morning, but it seemed to move faster with the new procedure of pilgrims not bowing down at the threshold. And although a few people created trouble by cutting lines and jumping over railings, by and large it was a rather subdued and disciplined crowd. Only the dust was unruly, and some people are still recovering from that, cough, cough. Ofcourse most people would say that the high point ofAmartithi is the Silence which is observed from noon to 12:15 p.m., the time at which Baba dropped His body, and this year the crowd under the pandal must have numbered in the tens ofthousands during those 15 minutes, punctuated only by

7


babies' cries and coughs. But there are other touching moments also, like at 5:00 a.m. on the 31st, when Kusum Singh and group from Delhi sing the rose song as hundreds of people, including some of the Women Mandali, shower roses on Baba's Cadi (couch). More and more people always are coming, and similarly, one of my friends from Nagar, who does not claim to be a Baba lover, was on the hill for the afternoon of the 31st. As all the tokens for darshan had been issued many hours before, she decided to have her darshan from the outside, and then left. The next day she called to tell me that this most incredible thing had happened to her, that while standing there, she felt Baba take away the effect of all her many problems that were weighing on her head, and although the situations were still there, they didn't bother her anymore. She said, "It's really like 'Don't Worry, Be Happy,' amazing, I must come for Baba's darshan more often." Yes, isn't it?

You Are Not Dead You are not dead Your gaze warms and armors me When i'm all alone in the desperate . hours of darkness You are not dead Your hands are firm on my shoulders turning me guiding meveiled for safety through the mirror maze You are not dead i hear Your footsteps in my own and Your silent voice reminding my heart of itself You are not dead i smell Your perfume bliss enticing luring me to Your illusive elusiveness You are not dead We have become entwined so that i can hardly tell which of Us begins where You are not dead so to grieve is a lie You are not dead so to cry is a farce You are not dead so the depths of my soul proclaim Avatar Meher Baba ki jail Avatar Meher Baba Ki jail Avatar Meher Baba ki jail Jack Mc Tamney, 1/31/2000

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A World Apart Heather Nadel, Meherabad

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oday is February 7th, the day Beloved Meher Baba was interred in the Samadhi 31 years ago. The women mandali are coming for Arti and darshan, as they do every year. It is the "real" end of Amartithi. The 11,504 people who stayed overnight at Meherabad this year on the 30th January have all gone home. Most of the tents are down, and the sense of Meherabad being a world apart from its normal self (if there is such a thing) has gone. The queue railings that guided thousands of people to His feet on the 31st have come down, the sides of the tent covering the hill are gone, (though the colorful top tent is still flapping in the wind, protecting people from the strong February sun). There are no more non-stop bhajans and songs pouring out from the amphitheatre. The leftover Baba photos, lockets, books, t-shirts, stickers and calendars have all been packed up and carted away by the groups from all over India who brought them to sell here, and the food and flower shops down the Hill in the "Meherabad Tent Mall" by the railway tracks are gone too. People are back in the Pilgrim Centre or the hostels, out of their makeshift lodgings on a floor somewhere. For a few days after Amartithi, the 600 volunteers were still around, helping to dismantle things, and it felt like they were a skeleton crew after the masses who came for the Silence and darshan on the 31st - 25,000 by one estimate. Like some old-time magic show on a prairie, it is all suddenly gone, whisked away - that time apart that feels unlike any other ever. Now you can walk to the Samadhi and take darshan after a 10-minute wait at the most. You can sit on the portico outside the Samadhi for as long as you want. You can no longer buy soft drinks behind the compound up the Hill, or coffee or ice cream, or a south Indian meal, caprices that come with Amartithi. Meheru and Katie and Aloba and Eruch and Bhauji and Bal are no longer strolling on the Hill,just around the corner. But the memory of the One thing that matters about Amartithi is still in the air. A recollection of that great fire of Baba's incomparable Love that spilled out from the Samadhi, with an all-encompassing warmth that lingers on in the very walls, like the warmth of a great-kiln that glows inside for days after a firing .... The photos that came

alive, the remembrance ofHim that suddenly was so easy, His Name that came without effort straight from the heart, the smiles among people from all over the world who all at once truly seemed your family, the talks of Him, the closeness shared, the vast shout ofHis Jai from all those throats and all those hearts at 12:15 pm after the great silence, His recollection that flowed through the tent and up and down the Hill like wine, and all the things you forgot remembering Him. "How could anyone be so beautiful, so beautiful as You; and were all of my lives of loving just to bring me to loving You" (as the song says). Amartithi at Meherabad: for all the dust and chaos, disruption and discomfort, in Baba's world there is really and truly nothing on heaven or earth quite like it.

"Believe that I am the Ancient One. Do not doubt that for a moment. There is no possibility ofMy being anyone else. I am not this body that you see. It is only a coat I put on when I visit you. I am infinite consciousness." (The Everything and the Nothing, p.56)

A Message from Bhau to the L.A. Group for Amartithi 2000

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just give one message for the L.A. group for the Amartithi program: What is Amartithi? Amartithi means Eternal Date. How is this date eternal? This is the date when Beloved Avatar Meher Baba released His Universal Work to the creation. He was suffering and suffering at that time terribly and He said, "Maya is killing me but I will win." And then just before He dropped His physical body He said to Padri who was giving Him homeopathic medicine,"Your medicine will not work." And he pointed out the board of three couplets of Hafiz which were for obedience. That was the last message from Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, and then He dropped His body. Now people may think that Maya killed Him but it is not so. Maya was obstructing His Work which He was to release and He had come to release His Work. Unless the Work was released He could not have dropped the body. And the


dropping of the body was the indication that His Universal Work was released. And therefore the time when He dropped the body, the time became Eternal, and that is why it is called Eternal Date or Amartithi. Had He not released His Universal Work He would not have dropped His body because He comes in every age to Work for the universe and to release the Work to the universe. That is His responsibility. And what is His Work? To make the creation free from bindings, or to open the way to move towards the Eternity and not towards illusion. Once, before dropping the body, He had said, "I am stretch-

The Shepherd and His Sheep From a talk given by Mani in Mandali Hall 197?, recorded by Peter Raymond, England

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hen we returned to Meherazad after the 1969 Darshan at Guruprasad it was the first chance we had to be conscious of our own feelings, and to realize just how very much we were missing Baba's physical presence. It was a flood of memories, because there is nothing in Meherazad that Baba has not either touched or used, or that is not personally associated with Baba. But Eruch had made it very clear from the start, that this was no time to begin thinking of ourselves. We had to do what we knew Baba would want. This was merely a continuation of our life with Baba. A few days after our return Eruch told me that he needed a certain document I had, as it was to be sent off to Adi. I promised to bring it, and promptly forgot. Suddenly that evening I remembered and decided to take it to Eruch before the night became too dark. I got the document from my cupboard and went across the compound to Eruch's room. When I arrived Eruch was washing his face at the tap outside. "Eruch," I said, "I've brought the document that you asked for." He said nothing, finished washing, stood up and dried his face. But instead of going to his room he walked away, straight towards the field that lies beyond. I said, "But Eruch ..."

ing and stretching the bow, and when I release the bow it will go on touching heart after heart. It will not leave out any heart." And we see that at the time of dropping His body He released the Arrow and that Arrow is touching heart after heart in the creation and that's why people are coming to Him. One day the whole world will come because the Beloved released the Arrow on that Eternal Date when He was dropping the body. And therefore this Eternal Date is very, very important. We must bow down to our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba and pray to Him that His Arrow should go on pricking our All he said was "Come." We stopped at the edge of the field and stared into the vast expanse of darkness before us. "Can you hear?" asked Eruch. I strained my ears in the silence and I heard coming from across

hearts so that we may not be able to lift our heads from His feet and will remain bowed down to Him until we become one with Him.

At the darshan-discussion gathering in Meherazad, (October 13, 1968) Beloved Baba said: HI have been saying: the Time is near, it is fast approaching, it is close at hand. Today I say: the Time has come. Remember this!" (Family Letter #79, 1st November 1968) the field, "Baa-baa, baa-baa..." "Yes." I said. "Can you see?" I looked; there were some white sheep in the flock, I could just see them moving about. "Yes Eruch, I see the sheep." "No. To the left. Look to the left." To the left I could see nothing. But as I stared I noticed that there was a form darker than the darkness, it looked like a large rock. I stared harder and realized that it was a person. He was seated on the ground beside the flock, with a blanket draped over his head and shoulders. "Yes," I said, "I can' see the shepherd." "The sheep think that their shepherd has left them." explained Eruch, "They are restless and confused, looking for him and calling out to him. But he's there, he's right there and his whole attention is on them. He is watching over his flock with such one-pointedness, and he will stay like that all night. When the dawn comes the sheep will realize that their shepherd is with them, and has always been with them. They did not know he was there because it was dark and they could not see him." And when Eruch said that it made such a difference. I said, "Yes Baba I know you are here, but it is dark, we cannot see you and we may sometimes feel that you have left us. But you haven't, you are right here with us and when the. dawn comes we will know that you have always been here."

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I Am Here Bal Natu

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hen Baba veiled His visible physical form in 1969, I was suddenly at a loss as to how to relate to Him. As I sat or stood outside the Samadhi during that fIrst week of February 1969 and watched His lovers taking darshan, it became clear to me that Baba was still actively greeting His lovers and showering them with His love. But the question arose in my mind, "Where is Baba as Meher Baba, that dynamic Avataric personality? His body is in the crypt, this is clear, but where exactly is the Source, the Powerhouse, of the love His lovers feel?" During the next few years, in the early '70s, I would be struck time and time again by Baba's active dispensation oflove to those who would visit Him in the Samadhi. People would also pour into Meherazad from all over the world at all hours of the day and share their stories of Baba's loving presence in their lives, felt especially when they were in the Samadhi. I was drenched in the showers of their love for Baba as the Eternal Beloved, but my mind would ask, "But where is the fountain that is showering us with this living water of Love?" . In talking to Indian Baba lovers and listening to their stories, I also felt Baba's love -very strongly. I would often be reminded of places I had been with Baba and of darshan programs I had attended, especially those at Guruprasad. Various incidents of my life with Baba would be replayed in my mind with sudden vividness. Each time, my heart felt illumined as if a light had been turned on. But again my mind asked, "But where is the generator that is providing the power?" With Meher Baba's veiling of His physical body, the form which had been the focus of my thoughts and feelings for so many years, I felt as if my link to Baba had in some way been disrupted. I would inwardly ask Baba, "Where are You?" I felt that if I knew the answer to this question, it would help me reestablish the same sense ofrapport with Baba which I had felt before. I wondered, "Should I try to picture Baba now in the Samadhi?" But somehow there seemed to be a contradiction in associating Baba's divinely dynamic personalitywith the place which He used to sometimes refer to as His "Final Resting Place." My mind was in a state ofextended suspense awaiting a resolution to this turmoil which would appeal to my heart. Some years later

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this distressing problem was fmally resolved by an experience which, even to this day, I fInd difficult to categorize. One morning in May 1987, I was resting on my bed at Meherazad with my eyes closed, waiting for the call announcing that the car was ready to leave for the Trust OffIce in Ahmednagar. Baba chose this moment to reveal the answer to my question in a way that not only totally eased my mind, but also consoled and convinced my heart. While resting, I suddenly found myself in the midst of a kind of "waking dream." I saw myselfstanding on the platform in front of the Samadhi at Meherabad, just to the right of the door. There was no furniture as there is now, no cabinets or benches. No one else was present. It was all blissfully quiet when, most unexpectedly and to my great surprise and joy, I saw Meher Baba and

Eruch, one of His dear disciples, coming up the slope from the south. As they approached the platform, Baba asked Eruch to wait at its edge. He then walked gracefully towards the door of the Samadhi, His arms swinging, hair flowing, His eyes flashing brilliantly. He gave me a glance of deep intimacy that words cannot convey, then entered the Samadhi. I waited with great anticipation for Him to come out, trying to decide how I would greet Him. "Should I bow down to Him, do this, or that ... or what?" Just then, from inside the Samadhi, I heard a deep voice with a sweet ring to it, and the words resounded, "I AM HERE, I

AM HERE, I AM HERE." These words reverberated throughout my whole being. Just then I heard someone calling my name, saying that the car was ready to go to the Trust Office. As I opened my eyes, I found myself uttering the word "EVER." My heart was filled with an inexpressible joy. I felt deep within me that Baba had clearly shown me: HE IS THERE, HE IS THERE, HE IS THERE, in the Samadhi, as the Ancient One, ever divinely vibrant, responding to the calls of those who visit Him for darshan, or think of Him wherever they may be. Thus, thinking of Meher Baba in the Samadhi has come to be, for me, the same as thinking of Him when He was visible in the physical body. This has become the natural way for me to feel closer to the presence of the Avatar - the Inftnite, Active Consciousness that assumed human form as Meher Baba. Since that day, Meher Baba's living physical presence in the Samadhi has been for me a fact beyond all doubt. This experience reminds me of an incident from Baba's life when He also spoke three signiftcant words. Once, Baba was visiting the Ellora Caves with some of His Eastern and Western women disciples. One of the caves they visited is known as the Buddha's cave. Mani sometimes shared the story ofthis visit and commented that as they were inside, looking at the impressive statue of the Buddha which dominates the cave, they were moved by the spiritual atmosphere which they felt there in Baba's presence. Just then, Baba took His alphabet board from under His arm and dictated to Mani these three words, "I AM BUDDHA." As Mani read aloud from the board, she felt as if every particle of the cave resounded with the truth of His words. One evening a few years after I heard the three words, "I AM HERE," I found upon returning to Meherazad from the Trust Office that, as usual, someone had placed on the table in my room some pictures ofBaba and a few pamphlets to be distributed to pilgrims. I was tired and went to bed immediately after having supper. The next morning, when I rolled back my mosquito netting, I saw a painting of the Samadhi on the windowsill next to my bed which I had not noticed the night before. Later, I learned that' it had been sent to my room from Baba's House, where the women mandali stay, to be given away or kept as I chose. Naturally, I decided to keep it. In fact, I was overjoyed to receive it. I had been want-


ing a picture of the Samadhi ever since my "vision." Not only that, but this painting showed the Samadhi with the door open as I had seen it, and I took this as an objective confirmation from Meher Baba that the words I had heard were truly His. This painting adorns the wall of my room to this day, proclaiming from the Samadhi Avatar Meher Baba's message, "I AM HERE." And yes, He is. From The Samadhi, Star iflnjinity, by Bal Natu, Pages 29 - 33, © 1997 Sheriar Foundation

From The Samadhi Star of Infinity,

This Longing You Express One night a man was crying,

"Allah! Allah!" His lips grew sweet with the praising, until a cynic said, "So! I have heard you calling out, but have you ever had a response?" The man had no answer to that. He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep. He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls, in a thick green foliage. "Why did you stop praising?"

by Bal Natu

"Because I've never heard anything back."

y personal feeling is that from February 7,1969, a fresh dimension of Baba's spiritual work has commenced. The veiling of Meher Baba's body heralded the beginning of a new adventure in love. It was as if Baba had decided that the time had come to hide His physical form from our sight so that His divine presence could blossom all the more in our hearts. The Ancient One, in each of His advents, veils His form at an appointed time, so that humanity may be able to experience His formlessness in a multitude of beguiling ways. I feel it is important even for those who met Baba to avail themselves of the opportunity to meet Him again in this new dimension of His work. I do not expect all to agree with me, but this is what I sincerely feel. Meher Baba once conveyed to His close ones, "This [body] is only an overcoat that I am wearing; this is not the real Me." That "Real Me" of the Avatar's presence is now manifesting itself in innumerable ways through the Samadhi. There the atmosphere is permeated with His divine presence, awakening hearts to His glorious love. To enter the Samadhi is to bathe in a clear pool of purity. It not only cleanses the impurities of mind and heart, but perfumes one's entire being with His illuminating presence. The Samadhi is where Meher Baba responds to His lovers' longing for the Avatar's physical company. Whenever one has the rare fortune to visit there, either physically or in one's thoughts, it performs a wondrous sanctification of one's mind and heart. That little room holds the key that unlocks any human heart which sincerely calls to Him, the Eternal Beloved.

"This longing you express is the return message."

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From The Samadhi, Star iflnfinity, by Bal Natu, © 1997 Sheriar Foundation

The griefyou cry out from draws you toward union. Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup. Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. That whining is the connection. There are love-dogs no one knows the names of. Give your life to be one of them. From The Illumined Rumi, © 1997 by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Published by Broadway Books, 1997, NY, NY

A Part of the Truth Naosherwan Anzar, Eruch Jessawala

Anzar: Mter Meher Baba dropped His body at the end ofJanuary 1969, a number of false saints who claimed to be Perfect Masters, began to appear on the scene. How do you react to this situation? Eruch: Meher Baba gave us a profound sense of understanding and awareness of this matter. First ofall, He pointed out that everything in this phenomenal world of existence is nothing, but simultaneously it is also part of the Truth; not the whole Truth but only a part ofthe Truth.Therefore, having lived with Baba for so long, I would not presume to point a finger at any individual, be he a false guru, false saint or false Perfect Master. I have no basis for forming a judgment and thus I must consider him to be a part of the Truth, for he undoubtedly plays his role.

What I have said does not mean that I

will encourage anybody and everybody. I realize that it is all Baba's Will that the individual is doing what he does, and because he is there, others eventually will come to realize what is false and what is true, and discern right from wrong. Thus, because of the awareness I have received from Baba, I will never condemn, knowing that everyone has his role to play in that part ofTruth represented by the phenomenal world. Anzar: What is your advice to Baba lovers faced with the situation of having to trust someone who makes such claims? Eruch: Trust in God, or ifthat is too impersonal, put your trust only in Meher Baba who is the God-Man of the age. Also don't scoff at or ridicule anyone for the claims they make, but stay away from such individuals. Anzar: Would such false masters cause harm to their would-be disciples and to what degree? Eruch: Meher Baba Himself used the term 'wolves and lambs' to describe what happens. The pseudo gurus borrow from Baba's messages and discourses without revealing the source of what they have to say, and their listeners being carried away by the words oftruth, are deceived into paying homage and accepting the pseudo guru as the real master he pretends to be. When such situations arose, Baba reminded us that whenever He came in oUJ: midst, He suffered threefold. "I suffer physically which all are witness to," He said. "My mental suffering is when I come in your midst and assure you that I am the One for whom you are longing, and give My love to you in abundance. You accept me as that but yet you go out and search for another guru, another master. Despite my warning, despite My wanting you not to be with such people, you try to gather as much blessings as possible from these different persons. My spiritual suffering is fmding Myself totally bound in each one. Although I am eternally free, I am bound in each ofyou. So I suffer threefold." This then is one of the most important things Baba has warned us about. Once Meher Baba is accepted as the God-Man, as your Master, Guide, Guru, Companion or Redeemer, it is totally absurd for anyone even to think of going to another for relief from suffering or for spiritual guidance. Ifone is aBaba lover, hold on to Baba's daaman and don't go elsewhere. From The Ancient One, by EruchJessawala, Edited by Naosherwan Anzar, Pages 7 - 9, © 1985 Naosherwan Anzar, Published by Beloved Books

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Lord Buddha and Lord Meher

t is one of the most tragic ironies of history that Buddhism should have been all but extirpated from the land where it first came into existence. It is needless for us to go into the various causes of the decay of Buddhism in India. But we may be sure that the causes of the decay of Buddhism were mosdy connected with the vast and complicated super-structure ofBuddhistic society and the network of beliefs which came to be built up during the centuries that followed the original Teachings of Lord Buddha. Every religion tends to become corrupt and gets mixed up with a heap of irrelevant and inessential details as time rolls on until at last the followers lose their grip upon the original vision of its founder. The truth contained in the original Teachings ofLord Buddha is eternal and therefore incapable ofbeing shaken by the storms which the course of time brings in its train. It will be my endeavour to disentangle the truth in Buddhism from the various inessentials with which it got mixed up during the centuries that followed, and to draw parallelS between the Teaching of Lord Buddha and the new _ dispensation of the Truth which we are having through the Teaching of Shri Meher Baba. It is not possible for us to appreciate the full significance of the Teachings of Lord Buddha except in the light of the wonderful life which he led. Those critics of Buddhism, who describe it as the philosophy ofthose who have failed in this life will do well to remember that Lord Buddha came from a royal family and was in his youth surrounded by every pleasure which this world can give. He had around him all the power and prestige, wealth and fame, comforts and luxuries, which a prince could command; and he was very happily married to Yashodhara who was one of the finest flowers of humanity. In his palace he was all the time surrounded by music and dance. But one day when he was going to his pleasure garden, in his chariot, for the fIrst time in his life, he came into contact widl the sufferings of this life. He saw an old man crippled with age. He was on the way to death and the sight of this person was enough to set him thinking about the sufferings of life. Again on another occasion, he saw a sick man who was coursing his way to death with slow but sure steps. And on the third occasion he actually saw a dead body, which was being carried for

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Enlightenment attained, he came back to the world and began to turn the wheel of Dharma (Law). And the years ofhis ministry are one of the most marvelous periods, which the world's history has seen. It is said ofNapoleon mat wherever he went crowns and thrones came crashing down. The same was me case with Lord Buddha. Wherever he went to announce his Noble Teaching, not only me vast multitude of common people but even kings and princes, as well as the most learned people, came to his feet in order to receive the dispensation of the T rum. Before we can fully appreciate the signifIcance of the Teachings of Lord Buddha it is necessary for us to understand the atmosphere which was prevalent in his time. The intellectual atmosphere of his time, as in our own, was full ofbarren Metaphysical quibbles.The Great Pandits ofhis day were preoccupied with fruidess wranglings and hairsplitting debates about iliings that did not matter, for that was the legacy which corrupt Brahmanism had left for his age. The Pandits ofhis daywere more concerned with me interpretation of the sacred scriptures man wim the Photo by Patricia Adams Smith search after the Truth. For them the most Indian Buddha statuefound in Ellora Cave # 10 vital question was not life but the interof the Shastras. It was therefore pretation funeral on a bier. These sights of sufferings no wonder that a multitude of Schools of impressed upon him very strongly two stern Philosophy came into existence in order to truths about life: (1) sarvam kshanikam - evafford for these Pandits opportunities to diseryiliing is transitory, and (2) sarvarn dukkham play meir extensive learning and intellectual - everywhere there is suffering. He mereskill. These schools always identified themfore set his mind to the discovery of me cause selves with a set of unrelated and unimporof suffering and to the search after the real tant beliefs and dogmas. And they tried to meaning oflife. It became now impossible for him to lull his mind into stupor by drowning secure following not so much by any appeal it in the delights ofhis palace and one day (in his 29m year) he quiedy renounced his abode of pleasure at midnight in order to go out in the world in search of understanding. After leaving his home he made many experiments with life in order to have the final solution of the problems of life. He tried all the existing systems, not excluding extreme asceticism. But he found all these meiliods futile. Then he turned back upon his own inner resources and spent years in the earnest search for the Truth. Before attaining under- standing he had to conquer all the temptations ofMara (who symbolises the forces of darkness) who opposed him with his three sons (1) Confusion, (2) Gaiety and (3) Pride and, his three daughters (1) Lust, (2) Delight and (3) Thirst. But he resolutely freed his mind from the influence ofMara and ultimately attained, in his highest state ofmeditation, Enlightenment. Asian Buddha statue

Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, M.A., Ph.D.


to their intrinsic claims for our acceptance, recognised their right to attain the highand they had turned these descriptions est spiritual value. as by drawing upon strings of quotations into tools for carrying on their unendLike Lord Buddha, Shri Meher Baba is from the Shastras. And as a result of the ing controversies. God was for them not a great reformer who throws an uncomconflict of the diverse traditional systems a living reality, but merely a possible hypromising challenge to the entire existing pothesis. And although they played with of philosophy the spirit of general scepticism was in the air. social order. And on the whole, he takes a the idea they did not have any genuine As in our own time, the social atmosimilar attitude with regard to the desire for knowing him. It is true that sphere which was prevalent at the time of intellectual tendencies of our age. He is the Upanishads had declared that God Lord Buddha was also full of confusion. never tired of proclaiming the futility of was unapproachable through the intelThe Hindu society was, as it is tolect alone. In spite of these decday, divided into numberless castes larations these Pandits wanted to and creeds. And religion was prove or disprove the existence of mostly a matter of observing cerGod merely through intellectual tain prescribed ceremonials and debates. Whenever, therefore, Lord Buddha was invited to give performing superstitious rituals his opinion about God he emwith the hope ofgaining some reward in the life after death. One of phatically said that the belief or the most wicked rituals was the disbelief in the existence of God practice ofsacrificing animals in reis ofvery little importance so long as the everyday life of man religious functions. And the mind of the age had been so much deadmains unchanged. ened by the weight ofage long traThe mind of our age is simiditions that people had become larly caught up in the craving for intellectual gymnastics from incapable ofrealising the appalling which it has to be emancipated cruelty and stupidity involved in before it can be pursuaded to seek such religious practices. It was in such an intellectual the Truth. Shri Meher Baba once and social atmosphere that Lord asked one of his Mandali the question, "Where is God?" And Buddha made his appearance in when he said that "One should the world, and became a great and first form a conception of God an unsurpassed reformer in both and then reply", he gave the fol-' fields. He vehemently denounced the existing caste system and lowing discourse: "All these talks showed to the people how the are cut and dry. Pandits babble it distinctions based upon birth everywhere, for years, without alone are not only ridiculous but finding any clue, till they die babpernicious. He equally vehebling. The orthodox section of all mently denounced distinctions communities listen to these innumerable dissertations by religious based upon race and the pride students and scriptural scholars, which was usually associated with Meher Baba in Banga/ore, Mysore,]uly 1939- Febl'ualJ 1940 and forms various pet beliefs it. When after his enlightenment about God and His existence he came back to the city of his barren metaphysical discussions divorced somewhere in the skies or in the best father in the garb of a Monk, with a begging bowl in his hand, his father refrom life and experience. He throws the things, and not in others, and clings to minded him that he belonged to the Solar whole weight of his magnetic personality these erroneous ideas tenaciously withrace in order to put him to shame. But against the tendency to separate Philosophy out the least effort at enlightenment or his answer was that he refused to take from life and invites the attention of our age to go beyond the four walls. They refuse any pride in his race or extraction beto the vital issues oflife. even to talk or listen to the fact of havLord Buddha's general attitude to barcause he now belonged to the race of ing actual experience, and consider it the Buddhas. or did he recognise any ren Metaphysical problems may be illusblasphemy even to think of it. It is only superiority of one sex over the other. trated by his attitude to the problems of these talks and philosophies that appeal The traditional Hinduism did not (i) the existence of God and (ii) the existto them, and they are quite satisfied with recognise any salvation for women and ence of the individual soul. He is said to these. That is why I say it is all philosoas a rule, convention prevented them have refused to answer the question, 'Does phy and of no use without experience. God exist or not?' Even when he was refrom reading the scriptures or taking One must try not only to learn and to renunciation. The privileges of bepeatedly asked that question, he scrupuknow, but to feel and experience." coming a Sanyasin was reserved only lously maintained inviolable silence on "Parallels Between the Teachings of Lord that point, because for the Pandits of his for men. As against this unfair disBuddha and Meher Baba," by Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, M.A., Ph.D., crimination Lord Buddha stood for the age God was merely an idea to play with. from The Meher Baba]oumal, emancipation of women and threw his They had encountered upon some deVol. 1 No. 11, P 65-65. Copyright 1939 Order open to them. He fully scriptions of God in their extensive study

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God and Truth Are Far Above Religions Meher Baba

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hink of me every day for five minutes only, at any time of the day. Of course, the best time would be at five in the morning when I remain almost everywhere. This little beginning of a mere five minutes will also be your first step on the spiritual path. Once you get interested in and attuned to the thought of God, you will have a constant urge to think of Him for a certain period every day. It is sincere thought I want. No amount of prayer and chanting would be of any value if done as a ritual. This five minutes of thought, meditation or concentration on God or the master are a thousand times better than any prayer. God wants love - pure, sincere love. He does not want to hear bombastic, jaw-breaking words and shlokas from the shastras and passages from the Avesta. The prayer books of all the religions, the Avesta of the Parsis, the Koran of the Muslims, the Bible of the Christians, the Vedas of t~e Hindus and all other religious books are long treatises and have nothing to do with the truth. Zarathustra taught that you must burn your "heart" in love of God and the dasturs thereafter changed the meaning of it and altered it to mean burning externally with sandalwood. The religious dogmas and doctrines of the "Kasti" and other prayers in the Avesta have all been changed from time to time. Take one name sincerely, lovingly, devotedly for a few minutes without the thought of anything else and that is worth more than hours of mechanical prayers. Zarathustra had fourteen disciples to whom he gave God-realization. Thereafter there was only one God-realized disciple, and from him the knowledge and experience of God enlightened the community for 700 years. This knowledge came down from father to son. The last true dastur was Azar Kaivan. Ever since, there have been false priests among the Zoroastrians who have given their own versions ofthe Avesta. From that period until today there has been no realized saint among the Zoroastrians. Whatever religious books the Zoroastrians have today are the works of those dasturs and not of Zarathustra. However, to his special fourteen disciples he gave real knowledge and experience, and to the world he gave a way of life. As changes were made

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I therefore once again repeat that instead ofwasting your time on religious discussions, reading and listening to doctrines and dogmas of different religions, love God and think ofGod. Meditation, concentration and the creation of a feeling oflove in the heart are the essence and substance of all religions; all else is illusion. The alphabet is taught to the beginner with a view to making him master of the language. But if the student merely learns the alphabet and does not make an effort to form words, he has learned nothing. Similarly, if an aspirant sticks to religious doctrines and dogmas, he will never achieve his ultimate aim, realization of the Truth. God and Truth are far above religions. The Best oJThe Glow, ed. Naosherwan Anzar, pp. 1-3, Copyright 1980 AMBPPCT

Why do the Avatars Differ? Meher Baba

T

Meher Baba as Zarathustra, Meherabad Hill, 1938

by the dasturs in the teachings ofZarathustra, so were similar changes made by the priests in Christ's Bible and Mohammed's Koran. Sometimes these changes came about inadvertently. Members of the Avatar's Circle would go out to different parts of the world and address masses of people. These lectures would be taken down by scribes and later attributed to the Avesta, Bible, Koran and the Vedas. As time passed, the changes became so complete that the original teachings were lost.

he Avatars are the manifestation of the same Divine element incarnate in this world at different times; therefore their teachings have to be adapted to the mentality of their epoch. At times the Avatar bases His teaching on the search for the personal God; and at another time on the search for the impersonal aspect of God. At one time He will prohibit the eating of pig's meat, drinking of wine, or the eating of cow's meat. It is as in a hospital where the sick complain about their thirst; the doctor will prescribe tea or coffee in the morning, water or a refreshing fruit juice in the afternoon and in the evening sour milk; then before sleeping, hot milk. God, manifesting through the Avatar of different periods, quenches the thirst of man in different ways. All human beings, whether consciously or unconsciously, have the same thirst for truth. Treasures, ed. Jane Barry Haynes, pp. 175-176

Š 1980 AMBPPCT

The Now

T

he 'yesterdays' of the past and the 'tomorrows' of the future hinge on a point in time which is the OW of the present moment in Eternity. Meher Baba


The Goal in

OUf

Midst

Eruch Jessawala

A

vatar Meher Baba told a group of His lovers, "I will teach you how to move in the world and yet be at all times in inward communion with Me as Infinite Being." The period that we are now in is exceedingly special because direct relatedness with the Divine Being, the Avatar, is most available. His atmosphere and influence remain for one hundred years even after He has dropped the body.Therefore, His cardinal advice which should never be for gotten, is: "Hold on to My daaman. Remember that I love you so that you can reflect My love. Be loving towards all, be honest, simple, natural and childlike." That is all that we have to do. That is our path -- no more than that. That also is our spirituality for everything lies in holding on to Him. There is nothing beyond that. All the rest -- the philosophies, the theologies, etc. - has no meaning, for true spirituality lies in our relationship with Meher Baba. True spirituality is total effacement without giving a thought that we are taking this step or the next in our spiritual progress. The practical way of effacement then is simply to hold on to Him and to be simple and natural. In this way, we wear ourselves out by holding on to Him. It sounds so simple but it is very difficult. Accordingly, we have not to concern ourselves with following some spiritual path because in holding on to Him, wherever we are, that becomes the path. Even if you turn away from Him, the path will follow you wherever you go for He will give you another opportunity to turn back to Him. Remember that He is the pivot and as long as the concentration is all on Him, there is no such thing as path. What happens is that when our focus is on Him, whatever path there is will follow us because we are headed towards Him. We have nothing to do with "path." We have no time for that for we are all the time focussing on Him. That is the advantage ofthose who come into the orbit of His love. The path follows them while for other wayfarers they have to follow some path. However, for the latter there will come a time when the Beloved is available and they will be able to focus on Him alone and then there will be no need for a path. The lovers of Meher Baba do not follow any path because they have the Beloved. They have direct contact with Him, so their energies, their might, their soul and their very being are all focussed on Him. That is the difference between the

lover of Meher Baba, the God-Man, and the wayfarer who follows some path. One must remember that the dispensation is ever there to dispense with the path when the Beloved, being the goal, brings Himself into our midst. Let me try and put this in a figurative way. We are here now at Meherazad where Meher Baba lived. So this is His seat and many have been permitted to come here on a visit. And because of the opportunity which had been given them, these lovers ofMeher Baba were anxious with thoughts about when they would see Him, or be embraced by Him and similar thoughts about Him to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Now, there is a long approach road from the bus stop to Meherazad and along that road there are many sights. There are a great variety of trees, many huts, many shepherds and cowherds and other similar sights to behold. But in their eagerness to be in His arms, did these lovers take notice of any of these sights? If you had asked them, "Did you notice that particular cherry tree alongside the road?" they would have said," o. Is that so, is there a cherry tree? I haven't seen it!" "You were passing right alongside of it, how could you have missed it?" And the reply would have been, "We were not even aware we were walking on the road, much less paying attention to a cherry tree on the side. All our attention was fixed on the destination to which we were headed." In other words, the path was following them. But for the one who is very much concerned with the path, such a one will notice every rock, every pebble and all the ruts on the roadway. He will also notice the shepherds and cowherds and the people living in all the huts. He will also stop to converse with those people and allow himself to be invited into their homes to have a meal with them, and he will derive a sort ofhappiness in spending time on such activities. And so it will take him a long time to reacl1 the destination, and visiting time will be over when he gets there. All he will get for his efforts will be the opportunity to admire the mansion where the Lord lived, and that is exacdywhat happens to a wayfarer on the path. Every time with each advent it is a great blessedness, and it is a blessing that we are now in such an era when He has been with us and is still with us.

Thus it is that the path is created by us, but for the one who concentrates all his thought and devotion upon Meher Baba, there is no such thing as a path. Such a one discards even the very thought of God-Realization, but the path is still there though there is no experience of it. One may think of it as being blindfolded but it is notjust a mechanical blindfolding because the heart, the whole consciousness of the lover is set on Meher Baba. He then becomes the path, the way and the goal. From TheAncient One, by EruchJessawala, Copyright 1985 Naosherwan Anzar. Published by Beloved Books

How He Planned forDs Eruch J essawala From a talk by Eruch in Mandali Half, 10 February 1979, on the Avatar's work.

B

aba once told the mandali that 'all you fll1d and see of My Work while I am Meher Baba was planned and chalked out at the time when I was Mohammed.' "All those whom He met as Meher Baba and all that He did as Meher Baba He had planned for when He was Mohammed. It was all so to say, 'fUmed' at the time He was Mohammed, and was 'projected' while He was Meher Baba. "All that has happened since 31 t January 1969 was planned wIllie He was Meher Baba. It was 'filmed' then and is being 'projected' now." Someone asked about those who had met Baba for only a short time, towards the end as it were. Eruch said: "Your meeting with Him in 1962 was planned when He was Mohammed, and what you have done since He dropped the body was planned while He was Meher Baba. "So for all who met Him as Meher Baba there is an overlapping, a continuing, of His ministry as Mohammed and His ministry as Meher Baba. Those who have come to Him since He dropped the body, He planned for as Meher Baba, and those whom He meets and all He does as the next Avatar has been planned while He was Meher Baba." From Lettersfrom the Mandali ofAvatar Meher Baba, Compiled by Jim Misrry, Copyright 1981

AMBPPCT. "Inscribe these words upon your heart: Nothing is real but God. Nothing is matters but love for God." - Meher Baba

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Dancing with The Beloved by Gary Kleiner, Meherabad

W

hen I was just a little boy, I wondered where I would be when the year 2000 came around, and what my life would be like. I figured out that I would be 46 years old when 2000 came... and that sounded so old at that time. This was the early 1960's and my family was living in Poland then, having moved from Russia a few years earlier. My father was a survivor of the Holocaust. Everyone in his family was murdered. Of the 25,000 Jews in his town, less than 100 survived. My mother survived the bombing and the battle of Stalingrad, which was one of the major turning points ofWorld War II. As a young boy I would take short cuts to school through bombed-out buildings that had not been repaired after the war. One day I sat down in one of those buildings and thought about Life. It seemed to me that one is born, one grows up a little, one goes to school, possibly to college, get a job, get married, have children, then watch them grow up a little, send them off to schooL .. and the whole process just gets repe.ated over and over, one generation after another. As I sat there, I knew that I somehow wanted out of this cycle of Birth and Death ... but of course, I would not have called it that, then. It was my first feeling of angst... through which I realized that by just following the formula of life, as I saw others doing, it would not bring happiness to my heart. I was seeking an alternative to this relentless and inexorable Life current, in which I felt that I could soon drown. And this was not the ocean that I wanted to drown ill.

Although I could not have phrased it then, I longed to drown in the Ocean of Love. I had no idea, at that time, that a Meher Baba existed, but already my young mind knew that ifHe did not exist, it would be necessary for me to invent Him. 0, whether He invented me or I invented Him ... does not matter ... what does matter is that we finally got in the ring... and although we promised to LOVE each other. .. we quickly started to beat each other up! This brings me around to today - January I" 2000. I have just come down from Meherabad Hill, Baba's Tomb, where we had a "Midnight Mass Gathering." It was beautiful! In fact, for me it was an experience of

16

beatitude, a blend ofperfect blessedness and perfect happiness. At the stroke of midnight I was standing at the window ofBaba's Tomb, next to Mehera's Tomb. As we were shouting out "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai" seven times, I realized that my question and my

prayer, from almost 40 years before, had been answered. I AM HERE. IT IS OW! It is always like that. It will always be here and now... no matter where and when it is!!! And it will be like that whether I am in my own "Heaven or Hell" state... but tonight as I stood between the Beloved and His Beloved, and we shouted out His Praise and His Glory, there was magic in the air!!! The beauty ofMeher Baba to me, is that He identified the game that we all playas "The Lover and the Beloved." And myentry into that game took me out of the normal birth and death cycle. For that I am eternally grateful. Baba said, "To be most natural is to be most Godly."With that statement, He toppled more religious dogma than Jesus overturned by knocking around some vendors at the Temple in Jerusalem. But being the same guy, He was just doing the same thing at a different time. I AM HERE. IT IS OW. And all this is what Meher Baba had to do get me Dancing with Him. And everything that I did, is what I had to do to get Him dancing with me! I love our Dance, I love our Song, I love our Story, I love our Play!!! I love that He can embrace my naturalness witl10ut condemnation. It is this acceptance that encourages me to become vulnerable... to be naked... transparent and yet to be open to the embrace and to be open to love. It takes two to tango and the Eternal Beloved and I have been waiting a long time

for this dance! I don't want to lose Him, and He does not want to lose me. We want to hold this embrace. Neither ofus wants someone else to cut in. We are dancing naked ... the music is coming from within us ... "and the palms seem to be swaying". The nakedness which we bring to this dance only heightens the attraction. There is nothing as beautiful as vulnerability... because in that state one is open to the greatest possible joy and the greatest possible pain. In one ofHis other disguises as The Buddha... my dancing partner said, "Vulnerability is the greatest strength." And now, with the mask of Meher Baba, He gestured that, "THERE IS 0 POWER GREATER THAN LOVE." Perhaps love and vulnerability are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps He and I are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps He and I are One, and love and vulnerability is the coin with which we pay for this Dance! My name is Gary Kleiner. I have just entered the New Millennium with my Beloved. His name is Meher Baba!

The

ow

T

he 'yesterdays' of the past and the 'tomorrows' of the future hinge on a point in time which is the NOW of the present moment in Eternity. Meher Baba

The Strings of my Life are in Your Hands by Acli K. Irani

C

ompletely entrust yourself, read his books, discuss what he has said, argue about it, try to understand, contemplate, meditate. But remember one thing, these things will not give you spiritual position. It is only your love, it is only your adherence, it is only your understanding, your conviction about him, and your service to him, that will give you a push forward. All I have to do is submit myself and be the humblest man in the world and say, "Baba, the strings of my life are entirely in your hands, you guide me. Whatever you want me to do I shall do, for the rest of the things, you are responsible." Originally from a transcribed interview with Adi K. Irani, October 1975, Printed in The Mastery of Consciousness, by Allan Y. Cohen, page 124, copyright 1977 by Ira G. Deitrick.


Baba's HOIIle in the West Bal Natu

Photo by Dean Nordquist

The Lagoon Cabin, Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on January 28,2000.

I

t is difficult to narrate the incredible experiences of those who were drawn to Baba during His first stay at the Center. And it is still more difficult to put into words how this contact, as time passed, intensified in each one's heart. So here I prefer just to add a few comments about the Center itself. For when Baba stayed there for two months, beginning April 22, 1952, He was inaugurating not just the physical property of500 acres, but a phase of His Divine Plan which continues to this day. Even now, the various activities carried out at different parts of the Center are still fresh in the memories of those who were with Baba. But more than that, every structure built on the property, small or big, was endowed with its own outstanding feature and eternal inner importance: the ew House, especially built for Baba, retains its unrivalled spiritual importance; the Guest House, where the Indian women mandali stayed; the Lagoon Cabin, the Avatar's audience chamber; the Barn, where the God-Man dispensed His spiritual bounty; all are still fragrant with the perfume of His presence. In short, Baba's love and presence, experienced by His dear ones and the visitors during the earlier interviews and darshan on the Open Day, still permeate the entire property with a penetrating sublimity. The following quote, from one ofBaba's interviews given in the Lagoon Cabin, sheds light on the continuity of this exalting experience. To one of the visitors Baba had conveyed: "I will tell you why you feel happy here. Those who are connected with me ought to feel happy here for two reasons. Ages ago this was a place where Baba visited, moved about and stayed, and the combination of the lake, ocean and the woods gives it a unique atmosphere." o wonder that in His subsequent visits to Myrtle Beach, Baba referred to the Meher Center-on-theLakes as His Home in the West. From Glimpses ofthe God-Man, Meher Baba, Volume 3, by Bal Natu, Š 1982 AMBPPCT

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Our Dear Friend,

Rocky Rodgers by Lois Jones

R

ocky Rodgers went to Baba on January 6, 2000 (in Christianity, January 6 is the day of the Epiphany). He had only recently been diagnosed with myositis, an auto-immune disease, which attacks the body's muscles. Needless to say, we were all extremely shocked at the swiftness with which this disease ravaged his body. No one, not even the doctors,

way back in 1989 and lovingly carried out his 'sometimes challenging' duties for ten years. Rocky had an amazing mind, as you will see in the future, when we publish articles he wrote. Rocky was a talented artist whose beautiful drawing of Baba once graced the cover of the Awakener magazine and two ofwhich were featured in the last issue of The Love Street LampPost. -"""""-----~... Most importantly, Rocky was a good friend and loving brother. He was so much fun and such great company. While we rejoice at his union with Beloved Meher Baba, our world won't be the same without him. We love you, Rocky, and we miss you.

A Letter from Gloria Reck Rocky's eldest sister Nancy Merwan and Lois Jones

expected Rocky to depart when he did. Purely by Baba's grace, Nancy Merwan and Lois Jones, along with Rocky's sister, Mary Ellen Holmen, were at his bedside when he went to Baba. Earlier that morning, he told Mary Ellen, "Everything is going according to schedule." On Sunday, January 9, we celebrated Rocky's life in a moving and uplifting memorial, here at Meherabode. Rocky was the kindest, most generous and harmonious person. Many people saw him as a "behind the scenes" kind of person. But, he did so much for so many behind the scenes. Rocky had been actively involved in the L.A. Center since his arrival in Los Angeles in the mid-seventies. He served on the Board ofDirectors as Secretary and Director of Fixed Assets. Rocky is probably best known throughout the U.S., as the "Transportation Walla" for the LA. Sahavas. He was "volunteered" for the job

18

t'"f'" 0 the members of the Meher .1 Baba Center in Los Angeles. On behalf of my husband John and I, my daughter Maren Schouw, Mark and Mary Ellen Holmen and John and Trish Rodgers, I want to take this opportunity to formally express to each and every one of you, our sincerest appreciation for your extraordinary caring and efforts, especially exemplified by the memorial service you so graciously provided for Rocky, our beloved brother. We will especially treasure the lovely "A Celebration of Rocky's Life" brochure so beautifully created on such short notice by Pris Haffenden and the rapid organization ofso much, no doubt generated by Lois Jones and others. Obviously the rapid progression of Rocky's illness and sudden demise were devastating events for us, but our loss was certainly cushioned by the love and acceptance we all felt pour forth from your members. We are very grateful that Rocky had such a tremendous circle of wonderful,

supportive friends. We do lament that our initial meeting with you was under such circumstances. But I, particularly, now understand much that I did not previously understand - much less appreciate. There is no doubt in my mind that Rocky knew full well, for at least two weeks - and probably for much longer -what was around the comer. Although always organized and meticulous, his records and affairs were in pristine order, with only a few items seen to by me according to his instructions during those last few days. He could not have accomplished this unusual order in just a few days, especially considering his weakened condition. We can see now that he had made detailed preparations well before any of us in the family had any realization of the gravity of the situation. How like him to spare us anguish as long as possible! I should mention also that in the ten days he spent at my home before I called EMT personnel to take him to the Hospital on January 3, and even thereafter, he continued to give me detailed, strict instructions about many things, and tolerated with loving patience my arguments that he was absolutely mistaken-that there was no reason to be making such plans. Immediately after his death I was puzzled when I realized that he had covered literally "every base" except the mention of any funeral or memorial service preference. Within


His Ocean of Love, and when we finally washed up on shore, we couldn't believe what we had experienced. We are changed forever.

••••••••••••••• Marc Brutus read from The Silent Word ofMeher Baba, "Men are born, and die, and

Michael Compagna's band "The AverageJohnsons", one 0/Rocky'sfavorite bands. Mia Campagna and Debra Ashe singing.

a few days I understood his "neglect" of this freely and spontaneously given without particular item-it too was thought out and hesitation or reservation. deliberate. He certainly knew who his friends Again, we all extend to you all our profound "Thank You" and appreciation for your were, and knew full well that your group and members would provide for that need with generosity, caring and incredible support and incredible speed, efficiency and graciousness. display of love when it was most needed. Please know that we are grateful in ways far We were of course impressed, but, more importantly, deeply touched. I fear we were exceeding my poor ability to express in mere words. - Gloria Reck all still in somewhat of a state of shock and probably were {BabapulledthisJamily in woefully inadequate in exwith a speed that was aspressing aloud, at the service, tounding andhas touchedtheil' the true depth of our gratilives in a very proftund way. Mary Ellen, who lives in Altude. The loss ofRocky still has buquerque, very soon after me, when the reality ofit sudjoined the Baba list serv and denly descends without is now chatting with Baba warning, rather stupefied and lovers allover the world via her computer. She wrote me stunned. I suppose the realization has yet to hit me fully, thisproftundly moving letter.} much less acceptance. I could From my heart to see that your Meher Baba yours, you should know group possesses an accepthat miracles happened tance, tranquility and faith that day at the Center. that I certainly envy. I fear With our normal that my traditional up-bringdefenses in shreds, the Rocky's sister Gloria ing in the Episcopal Church heady perfume of Baba's has failed to provide the sort of support so Love wafted into our hearts and evident among your group. penetrated our minds. Our individual Again, thankyou for your efforts - as well responses to this varied, of course, but one as your kind words about those of us there of thing became manifest to us all: Rocky's blood relatives. I am praying for the WHATEVER this is - it's REAL. I had, acceptance, tranquility and faith that was so by the time of the Memorial Service, spent evident in the attitudes of everyone to whom some time reassuring the family that I spoke. I wish I had been in a little less of a Rocky didn't belong to some weird cult blur. I was, ofcourse, quite weary after so many that would try to talk us into castrating ourselves and catching the next comet, for days of worry and stress and sleeplessness, so I'm certain that I, at least, was not at my best. instance. (Remember Heaven's Gate? But I feel certain everyone there surely was Come to think of it, maybe you guys acutely aware and forgiving, if some of us should hang a big sign on your door at seemed to be at a loss for appropriate words. the Center -" otJust Another Southern I am very pleased and grateful to know that California Religion", bu t I digress.) Rocky was so surrounded by such caring, loving Regardless what each of us expected, friends. Rarely have I witnessed such an what we received was a deluge of warmth outpouring of thoughtfulness and warmth so and sweet sensitivity. It was truly a dip in

are reborn; until they die into the Deathless and are never born again. But one Man, being birthless and deathless, takes bir-th again and again because of the cry of the world for relief from the burden of living; and to mirror himself in the tears of his lovers. This Man is the God-Man: Whole God; Perfect Man. Because He is God, His actions as a Man are perfect; and because He is a Man mankind partakes ofthe divine qualities ofhis Godhood... He comes His not-corning-just as the sun rises it's not-rising..."

[Rocky wrote this poem in April 1996 and described it in thefollowingJashion.]

This poem was hashed out one afternoon when toying with a "Magnetic Poetry Kit" given to me by my sister. The side ofa metal file cabinet in the bedroom served as my work surface. The outcome is a poem about dreamy desire, reality and the notion that time erases everything.

You Ask Swim under the rose garden rock Soar beneath the cool music ofmist Recall the delicate sweet dream But it's always less than it could be And we moan when the honey sleep tS gone Yet lustfor the essential moon-vision And luscious rain forest water symphony And though a sad shadow of bitter lift-rust May place us in some delirious void

We must let lie thefrantic moments For languid time is our true gift. You ask.

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[This document wasfOund on Rocky's computer by his sister. He had written it in 1998 J

Postmortem

I

f you have discovered this "document," it's a probable indication that I have already passed away (died) in some abrupt manner. It may have been scuba diving or joy riding in a small plane, my two favorites, or in some other type of accident. Regardless of the details, I assure you that it was OK with me, and I didn't suffer any undue fear or resistance. And if I did, so what, it's over with, it's in the long gone past. If someone else did me in, absolutely beyond question I forgive them completely and also, quite truthfully, they did me a favor. I have had an interesting and long enough life, and I always wanted a quick transition to the other side. I'm not a "goodbye" type person anyway. Well, all right then, goodbye! The purpose for this letter is to share my final farewell and comments about death and dying. Chances are that ifI have already gone, I'm fine. I guarantee it. It is you that are perhaps experiencing discomfort and feelings of sadness. Thanks, I'm glad I meant something to someone. And I shall miss all of my friends also, but I will of course be heavily distracted with the potential enchantments ofexploring th~ "other side." The freedom from the release from the dense plane of this solid world will be positio..elywonderful. I have no doubts, trust me. I have worked hard all my life to enlighten mysel£ I have d<1tle so in hopes ofunderstanding enough of the big spiritual picture to not have to fear death. And I didn't-that is, the philosophical aspect of dying. Of course the ego is not philosophical when it faces its own demise, and it will instinctually react with fear or try to fight. Regardless ofone's fair weather beliefs, when the reality hits, there will be aspects ofthe ego that won't be tamed. Sickness and suffering, however, are another story. I would much rather die suddenly, without warning, than go through a process of prolonged and increasing levels of suffering. I will miss mysel£ I will miss who I was. I rather tiked most things about mysel£ However, I will not miss my life. My life was very unsatisfYing and lonely. It seemed like a waste of a "lifetime" from certain perspectives. I wanted to accomplish more in the name of wealth, social relationship and notoriety. I was such a nobody in comparison to the world of celebrity. I was definitely mediocre in all respects. One small item, however, chipped away at my guilt meter sometimes. I was not proud ofthe fact that during my life I exhibited gen-

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erosity and unselfishness. But these acts were motivated more from social fear or having a people pleaser's personality trait. There was giving only when trying to impress or only when I was outright asked to lend someone some assistance that I acted. I did not volunteer or go out ofmy way to help anyone, especially strangers, just for the sake of helping. I didn'tjoin philanthropic causes. Most ofwhatever indulging I did was done exclusively for mysel£ I was less than mediocre in the helpfulness departments. So that concludes the long list of weaknesses I possessed. The only thing I ever positively excelled at was being Rocky. No one could have done it with better insight and subtlety. I played that roll perfectly, don't you think? However, I desired to be better looking, have a lot more money, and most importantly, have a loving relationship with the opposite sex. OK, so much for unfulfilled ego desires. I'm not a whiner. In all fairness, however, I enjoyed a good enough life and was always thankful on a daily basis that my life was as good as it was. Sometimes, secretly, I would actually feel lucky to be so unencumbered (no family, no girlfriend) and incredibly free. I didn't think it was normal to enjoy such unattached freedom, so I had a difficult time in acknowledging my enjoyment of the unusual predicament. I was able to focus myselfon the things I was interested in. I was not having to give 99% of my time and energy to others (wife and children). I didn't miss children because I didn't want children. Mostly because I never believed I could manage a family financially. The financial responsibility required to operate a family was a formidable proposition. I always realized that I would never have the financial nor vocational security necessary for such a responsibility. I began adult wage earning quite late by returning from fours years with the Viet am waste and then going back and finishing a four year university degree in art. Then I blew another six years attempting to be an artist. Then when I finally did join the work force, I was under-skilled and quite late getting started on the earning curve. I was very careful also not to create an accidental pregnancy (family) by mostly not chasing after sex. Hence the loneliness. This is the truth - 98% of my life was unwillingly spent celibate as a monk but without any of the benefits monks have. It is ironic how I was always preparing myselfto be in a relationship. I constantly read everything I could about the psychology of relationships and carefully observed everyone else around me. I was always making myself into a real catch. Many people sought my

counsel about their own relationships. Many said I had a great talent for it and that I should be a family therapist. I was deeply committed to being an unusually good mate for some woman. All that study, preparation, observation, counseling others, practicing on friendsit was all for nothing. It all went down the tubes. 0 one ever took advantage ofall that I wanted to offer. Can't you just hear the sad music now as I type this in October of1998? The humorous aspect of all my Mr. Goodguy self-awareness in this life is that in my next lifetime, I'll probably be the opposite. I'll be an unsophisticated, narcissisticjerk and destroy a dozen relationships and three or four of what could have been successful marriages. And I shall die still clueless and bitter. And there won't be a single woman at the funeral. About the same count as you will see or saw at this one. Leave it to me, the overly responsible and practical cynic, to already be complaining and worrying about my next lifetime. I'm "dead" now and there should be no embarrassment on my part to divulge my most guarded personal secret since childhood. I hope I don't embarrass you either in case you are offended by such a disclosure. I have had a continuous and deeply personal belief (conviction, perhaps) or "relationship" with God. A relationship at least in my imagination. And no one, of course, is expected to necessarily join my club nor make a big deal about my ingrown spiritual subjectivity. You have only to be aware that I derived great comfort from this delusional state of mind. Even if God does exist, it is still a delusional act to believe it. The word "faith" is often used instead of"delusion" or "hope," and I don't know what "conviction" is supposed to mean. Intellectual stubbornness, maybe? Well, I had it. Many people, perhaps yourself included, don't require comfort of mind such as I needed, so as always, we are all just slightly different from one another, so live with it. 0 pun intended. Keep well, be happy, and what is the use of taking anything too seriously? I'm only a little ahead of you getting back here to the soul reclamation center. othing is wasted, souls are repackaged and shipped back down in an unrecognizable format. Don't worry about forgetting me sooner tl1an you thought you would. When it happens, know that it is only a sign ofyour own spiritual health. I move on, you have a right to also. May you find knowledge and understanding. And never pray to me. And no, I'm not allowed to help you win the lottery. Rocky


Meher Baba c/o AMB Trust Office, Kings Road, Ahmednagar, India 414001

Professional Resume OBJECTIVE

Continued employment in a Parvardigar position with power infinite and omnipresent responsibilities. Qyalifications reflect a mature and wide background in Universe Management.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Established a trinity of leadership functions as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President of the Three Worlds. Included: highest of the high decisions on all planes, management and operations ofMandali and direct supervision of Masts and the Inner Circles. Possess expert awakening skills including techniques for creating final manonash. Formerly held full time positions as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha,Jesus, and Mohammed. Expertly adept with maya management and applied cosmology.

QUALIFICATIO S

Capable of making imperceptible and independent decisions. Skilled at being manifest and unmanifest. Fully knowledgeable in the economic manipulation of sanskaras. Adept at performance evaluations of followers and the administration of mind and heart experiences. Reliable, organized, and productive in coordinating journeys of souls. Continual management of gross, subtle, and mental divisions of consciousness.

EDUCATION

Ph.D.in Divinity of the Everything and the othing, from the "Ocean of Knowledge Institute", majored in 'Infinite Attributes and Knowledge Itself'. Completed seminars in "All Merciful Benevolence", and mastered "Unlimited and Unfathomable Truth" with emphasis on the evolution of consciousness towards REALIZATION of Divinity. Experienced the "School of All Knowing", experienced the gaseous state up through the 6th plane of awareness including the fmal 7th plane of Reality. Possess in-depth knowledge of suffering and ignorance balanced with continuous outpouring of compassion.

ACHIEVEME TS

Mastered the Disciplines of Creation, sustaining creation and Mahapralaya. Authored various discourses and books. Conducted darshans, training and workshops with realistic life experiences for the multitudes. Ability to forgive anything, and radiate LOVE at all levels. Expert at initiating cosmic events and knowing everything in advance. Invented psychology, acting, the universe, and life.

MEMBERSHIPS

President of the Perfect Masters Society. Hold the titles of Elahi and Yazdan including Parameshwar status for attainingfana jillah. Crowned ''Ancient One" for achieving "Without Beginning and Without End" consciousness. Membership in Club Bliss. Annual guest of honor at the Adoration by-Saints Association. Possess the only 'I Am" awareness in the perfect and exclusive AVATAR experience known as the "Beyond Beyond'.

PERSO AL

Happily married with illusion and have many children. Enjoy giving prasad, cricket, marbles and other Divine sports, including teasing, mind reading, humor and universal compassion. Love spiritual themes and hearing ghazals and music and people saying they LOVE ME.

REFERENCES

Excellent references available upon request, including sublime testimonials and recommendations from the enlightened and the spiritually advanced. 5/91 Rocky Rodgers, revised 5/95

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Don't Worry About Sanskaras by Eruch Jessawala

Kill a man - get God Realization?

M

ost of the time when we were with Meher Baba, we did not talk about God, or spirituality. We talked about whatever work we were engaged in at the time, or we talked about commonplace things; it was not often that Baba was in the mood to give a discourse. But in the early years, Baba would repeatedly bring up the subject ofsanskaras. He would explain how it was our sanskaras which kept us from realizing our oneness with God. Because of the emphasis Baba put on it, many in the mandali became convinced that their goal should be to get rid of their old sanskaras and avoid taking on any new ones. And Baba did not discourage them in this. But as Baba explained more and more about the nature of sanskaras, the mandali were forced to adopt more and more desperate measures to avoid taking on more sanskaras. It reached the point where people were reluctant to sit near each other, or to h:we someone look at them while they were eating - it became almost impossible for anyone to do anything, and it was then that Baba told the following story. There was a notorious bandit, a highwayman who not only robbed but also murdered people. This was how he supported himselfand his family. In the course ofearning his livelihood, he had killed ninety-nine people. It was at this point that he experienced a sudden and intense change ofheart. He realized for the ftrst time what terrible karma he was creating for himself through his occupation. Deeply tormented with the thoughts of his evil deeds and in great despair, he left his family and wandered the country seeking peace of mind. He grew more and more desperate, constantly beseeching God to forgive him his sins. One day it so happened that he had the great good fortune to attract the attention of a Perfect Master. The Master asked him what was troubling him, and he told the Master his whole-story, poured out his heart to him, and pleaded with him to help. The Master agreed to do so and led the repentant man into the surrounding jungle. He took him to a certain spot and instructed him to sit there and repeat God's name.

22

"Never leave this spot, except to beg for food or to attend calls of nature, and even then return to this exact spot immediately and stay here."The man was overjoyed that there was the possibility of escape from his karma and immediately began following the Master's instructions. Well, years went by, and because the man was sincere in his quest for forgiveness, he continued to sit where his Master had instructed him and repeated God's name. In fact, he became lost in the repetition ofGod's name and gradually left the spot less and less. Although he seldom came into town now to beg for his food, the people there began to respect him and eventually to revere him for his dedication in repeating the Lord's name. It so happened that the jungle where the man sat lay in between one town and another. The king decided that a path should be cut through the jungle so that his messengers could more speedily travel from one town to the other so, accordingly, townspeople were hired to cut a track through the jungle. When they reached the spot where the man sat, they stopped and waited until he had gone off to beg for food, and then they worked hurriedly so that the section would be done by the time he returned. Absorbed in his repetition of God's name, when the man returned, he simply resumed his spot which was now in the middle of the king's highway. Years went by and the man continued to sit there. Travelers respected the man and would always edge to one side of the path so as not to disturb him when they passed. And always the man held to the repetition of his Beloved's name. Now it so happened that one day the king sent a courier on this road to deliver a message to a neighboring king. The messenger was full of arrogance and self-importance, and he reacted to the spectacle of a man seated in the middle of the track, forcing him to slow down and go around. He reined in his steed and called out to the man, "Hey, you, are you blind? Move aside, and at once!" The man was so absorbed in his repetition that he didn't even hear the messenger, who continued to yell at him and to abuse him. The messenger got so angry at the man's

lack of response that he reached down and slashed the man across the cheek with his riding whip. In a flash, the highwayman's old skills reasserted themselves and instinctively he reached up, yanked the messenger from his horse, and throttled him, thus making him his one-hundredth victim. But the messenger happened to be carrying an order from the king for the execution of one hundred innocent people. Thus, the one hundred people the highwayman had killed were exactly balanced by the one hundred people he had inadvertently saved, and because his sanskaras of killing and saving were thus so balanced, he instantly became God Realized. This was the story Baba told us. But of course its point was not that it is okay to kill, but rather that balancing one's sanskaras is such an exceedingly subtle operation that there is no way one can hope to do it on one's own. The intricacies of the path are ftner than the ftnest hair. So be natural, Baba urged. Simply do as I tell you to do, obey Me, and don't worry about sanskaras. From That's How it Was, by EruchJessawala, Pages 280 - 282, Copyright 1995 AMBPPCT


Action Without Creating Impressions Meher Baba

A

s long as the mind is there, the body is also there and there is continuous action. Only when the mind is at rest, completely stilled or unconscious, does action stop ninety-nine per cent. Even then the one per cent of actions continue, such as breathing' snoring, turning in bed, etc. Thus actions continue and there is no escape from them. Actions create impressions which again feed the mind, and so there is no remedy or way for the ego to rid itself of impressions and experience its Real State. So the Masters suggested action to kill action, that is, action done in such a way that the effect of the action is impotent, i.e., it creates no result which leads to any kind of binding. For example: a scorpion by nature wags its tail and stings anyone who comes near it. Now suppose the dangerous sting is removed, even then the scorpion goes on wagging its tail and continues to behave as before; but the action is rendered impotent, without dangerous results-that is, the bad effect of the action is removed. If actions have to be without binding, their effects which lead to binding have to be eliminated. The world and its activities are really worthless. Actions continue whether they are good or bad, and therefore the Masters have said, "Act in such a way that the actions do not bind you and impressions are not created." This is an almost impossible task, as explained below. Yet there are three ways by which action can be done without creating the impressions and the consequent bindings: 1) To act, but with absolutely no thought that you are acting. This must be a continuous process. The ego must not give even one moment for the mind to exert its influence. In fact, you act for others and not for yourself This selfless action, which is also called selfless service, or Karma Yoga, is also almost impossible, because the moment you think, "I am serving others, I must help, I must uplift a certain cause," you are caught. For a leader it is very risky unless this thought about himself is given up 100 per cent continuously. This point may be explained further. If a leader asks another to sacrifice everything for some cause, with the best ofmotives and with no self-interest, but

fails to give up every thought ofself 100 per cent continuously, then the result is a disaster. All the Sanskaras (impressions) of the whole group fall on him and even his followers are caught up in the impressions, even though they might have acted with the best of intentions. A similar disaster occurs in case of a guru and disciple, if there is any thought of self on either side. Even pity for others should not be there. In short, when action has to be without effect then it must be done without self-interest, which is almost impossible. 2) The second way is that whatever good or bad you do, you dedicate to God or your Master. This, too, is almost impossible as the dedication has to be continuous without a moment's break. If you are able to do so, then impressions are not created by your actions; but if there is a break even once, the reaction is disastrous and all the sanskaras fall upon you. 3) The third way is to do whatever you are asked to do by a Master who is free from impressions and whose mind is destroyed. Such actions do not bind you. This, too, is difficult. You must have 100 per cent unflinching faith in the Master; even a moment's doubt is fatal. Krishna had to convince Arjuna that He was in everyone and that no one died, as all were dead already. Then what Arjuna did was "action without action." The above three wars are thus almost impossible to attain. So how should one act? To be involved in the mere "sansar" [worldly matters] with your wife, children, and to act, results in your getting bound with hoops of iron. But submissive, loose and weak impressions are created by actions done without self-interest, even if at times thoughts of helping or pitying others come into the mind, because mind's part is to make the ego identifY with the body and not feel false, and to experience the sanskaras. But when the mind sees that the ego is not so ready to accept its dictatorship, then the impressions formed by the actions of the above type are weak. Such actions are therefore eventually of help towards attaining Man-O-Nash. From The Path ofLove, by Meher Baba, Pages 50 - 52, Copyright 1986 AMBPPCT

Spiritual or Moral Life? Meher Baba

W

ith me, no one can live what the world considers a moral life. Here, we are concerned with spirituality, not morals. A spiritual life is not ruled nor bound by any principles. The sanskaras ofeach one are different, and so the behavior and temperament of everyone are different. In a virtuous life, evil is suppressed and good surfaces; but the evil is still there. The bad sanskaras remain and have to be worked out, if not in this life then in the next or the one after. In the spiritual life, both good and bad sanskaras express themselves, and both get nullified. A spiritual life leads one toward naturalness, whereas a virtuous life, in the guise of humility, inflates the ego and perpetuates it! A spiritual life, though, is only led under the guidance and orders of the Avatar or Perfect Master, who knows the pulse ofeveryone and treats everyone according to his particular malady. You do not like Aloba's behavior, but his behavior was quite natural and necessary for him. How can you understand that? People of the world act according to moral standards and socially acceptable behavior, but the Avatar or Perfect Master deals with everyone according to his or her sanskaras. Thus spiritual life is totally different and cannot be judged on the basis of morality, ethics or any principle. From Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Volume Thirteen & Volume Fourteen, 1954-1956, Page 4591, by Bhau

Kalchuri, Copyright of Meher Baba's Words: AMBPPCT

What We speak Becomes the house we live in. Who will want to sleep in your bed If the roofleaks Right above it? Look what happens when the tongue Cannot say to kindtleSs, "/ will be your slave." The moon Covers herface with both hands And can't bear To look. The Gift Poems by Hafiz, the great Sufi Master Renderings by Daniel Ladinsky, Penguin,AIkana, 1999

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[The Love Street LampPost comes from "Meherabode, "the home ofthe LosAngeles Meher Baba Center which is a hop skip and ajump.from Hollywood In fact, as you are walking towards the Dome, wherein we have our Baba room that holds His chair and sadra, you can see the worldfamous HOLLYWOOD sign. Many ofour members are in the Entertainment Industry, both here in LA. and around the world For thesepeopleparticularly, we print these very interesting words.from Baba.}

I

do not need to tell you who are engaged in the production and distribution of motion pictures what a power you hold in your hands, nor do I doubt that you are fully alive to the responsibilities which the wielding of that power involves. He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them in any direction he chooses, and there is no more powerful an instrument for stimulating their imagination than motion pictures. People go to the theater to be entertained. If the play is strong, they come away transformed. They surrender their hearts and minds to the author, producer, director and the stars, and follow the example which they see portrayed before their eyes more than they themselves realize. Both the press and the radio influence thought, but both lack the power of visible example, which is the greatest stimulant to action, and which the motion picture offers better now than any other medium. . We find ourselves today in the midst of a worldwide depression which affects everyone, rich and poor alike, and from which all are groping blindly for deliverance. The film companies, the picture theaters and the stars have also suffered from it. If they could help to end the depression, I am sure they would be glad to. How could the motion pictures help in this respect? First, it must be understood that the depression is not an accident, nor is it purely the result ofoverproduction and inflation. Those, although the immediate causes, are merely the instruments which were used to bring the depression about. The depression itselfwas caused by those entrusted with the "evolution of humanity." Man has to be stripped ofhis material possessions in order that he may realize through actual experience that his true base is spiritual and not material. Then will he be ready to receive the Truth which I have come to bring. This Truth consists of the knowledge that man, instead of being a limited, separate individual completely bound by the illusion of time, space and customs, is eternal in his nature and infinite in his resources. The world illusion is a dream of his imagining, a play enacted in the theater ofhis consciousness - a comedy in which he is at once the author, producer, director and star. But his absorption

24

Man Must Be Awakened to His True Nature Meher Baba, Hollywood, 1932 in the role, which he has chosen to enact, has made him forgetful of his true self, and he stumbles now as a creature through the path he has created. Man must be awakened to his true nature. He must see that all material expression depends upon and flows from a spiritual being. Then he will be steadfast and serene under all circumstances. There will be no further need then for the depression and it will disappear. Now, how can the motion pictures help man attain this realization? The character of the film need not be changed. Love, romance and adventure are themselves fundamental. They should be portrayed as thrillingly, as entertainingly, and as inspiringly as possible.The wider the appeal the better. What needs to be changed is the emphasis, or stress. For example, courage is a great virtue but it may, if misapplied, become a vice. So it is with love, the mainspring ofour lives, which may lead to the heights of Realization or to the depths ofdespair. No better example can be given of the two polarities oflove and their effects than that of Mary Magdalene before and after meetingJesus*. [*When the Prophet Jesus was in Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene was a prostitute who was condemned to death by stoning by the Jewish community. At the time of her stoning, Jesus intervened and saved her life, declaring, "He who is without sin may cast the first stone!" No one could cast a stone. Mary Magdalene gave up her prostitution and became a devoted follower ofJesus. - ed.] Between these two extremes are many kinds oflove, all ofwhich are good, but some ofwhich are better than others. I use the terms "good" and "better" simply to designate the degrees of liberation which they lead to or confer. Even the love which expresses itself through physical desire is good to the extent that it frees one from the thralldom of personallikes and dislikes, and makes one want to serve the beloved above all other things. Every human relationship is based on love in one form or another, and endures or dissolves as that love is eternal or temporal in character. Marriage, for example, is happy or unhappy, exalting or degrading, lasting or fleeting according to the love which inspires and sustains it. Marriages based on sexual attraction alone cannot endure; they lead inevitably to divorce or worse. Marriages, on the other

hand, which are based on a mutual desire to serve and inspire, grow continually in richness and in beauty, and are a benediction to all who know of them. To lead men and women to the heights of Realization, we must help them to overcome fear and greed, anger and passion. These are the result oflooking upon the selfas a limited, separate, physical entity, having a definite physical beginning and definite physical end, with interests apart from the rest of life, and needing preservation and protection. The "self", in fact, is a limitless, indivisible, spiritual essence - eternal in its nature and infinite in its resources. The greatest romance possible in life is to discover the "Eternal Reality" in the midst of infinite change. Once a person has experienced this, one sees oneself in everything that lives. One recognizes all oflife as his life, everybody's interests as his own. The fear of death, the desire for self-preservation, the urge to accumulate substance, the conflict of interests, the anger of thwarted desires are gone. One is no longer bound by the habits of the past, no longer swayed by the hopes of the future. One lives in and enjoys each present moment to the fullest. There is no better medium to portray this than motion pictures. Plays which inspire those who see them to greater understanding, truer feelings, better lives need not necessarily have anything to do with so-called religion. Creed, ritual, dogma, the conventional ideas of heaven and hell, and sin are perversions of the Truth, and confuse and bewilder, rather than clarifY and inspire. Real spirituality is best portrayed in stories ofpure love, ofselfless service, ofTru th realized and applied to the most humble circumstances of our daily lives, raying out into manifold expressions, through home and business, school and university, studio and laboratory - everywhere evoking the heights ofjoy, the purest love, the greatest power - producing everywhere a constant symphony ofbliss. This is the highest practicality. To portray such circumstances on the screen will make people realize that the spiritual life is something to be lived, not talked about, and that it, and it alone, will produce the peace and love and harmony which we seek to establish as the constant of our lives. Lord Mehel; Vol. V, Bhau Kalchuri, pp. 16561659, Copyright 1986 AMBPPCT


The Spiritual Potential of the Film World Meher Baba

Dr better or for worse, the world of mo-

r

tion pictures has grown up extensively within the larger world of so-called realities. But the film world is not foreign to the "real" world - the two are affiliated so intimately that they can be seen, essentially, to be made of the same fabric. For everyone is, in a sense, an actor and the world has often been compared to the stage by poets and philosophers. In point offact, much ofwhat goes for "action" in modern life can be called little but "acting"; and so the larger world has little ground to regard only the film world as being imitative. In the film world, the actor has to think, feel and act according to the pattern held before him; to mirror, though temporarily, the personality of the character being portrayed by him. This can be said to be equally true, to a considerable extent, of those outside the world of motion-pictures; who struggle to follow the conventional pattern of living as they imagine it is expected of them, even if it cramps their inner individual expression. This is so not only figuratively but literally. While looking in the mirror, people often see themselves more through the eyes of others than through their own. The reflected image evokes in their minds the impression they will make on others and the expectations which others have of them - and the best that most can do is to try to look the part they play. Thus the mirror, literally and figuratively, has become such a seemingly indispensable part of modern life that we might almost name this age a mirror-civilization. When the actor plays the part ofa king he knows it to be an illusion and has, in a sense, an advantage over the king in the outer world who is not necessarily aware of any illusion. Both, however, are equally helpless in their failure to fmd the Real. 0 one condemns the actor who plays the part of an emperor or reformer as a hypocrite, for although he appears to be what he is not, his honesty is taken for granted because his audience knows that he is acting a part. But there are many outside the world of stage and screen who, in actual life, do not appear as they really are. The former are on the screen of their creation, the latter

behind the screen of their creation. There are specific claims and privileges as well as specific duties and potentialities that no actor can afford to ignore. An actor who may be technically fault-

Baba with Tallulah Bankhead at movie studio in Hollywood, May-June 1932

less in his part, is yet trivial and worthless ifhe tries to evade his inherent spiritual potential. The film world carmot escape its obligations to the larger world on which it makes so substantial an impression; and these obligations demand that its spiritual potential take precedence over the desire to make money. The script writers, the producers and the actors should realize their spiritual potential instead of looking at their art as merely or mainly a business. The more vividly they realize this, the more dignified and satisfactory will the result of their efforts be; and their irmer account with themselves will be vastly gratifYing, even though the same might not be said of their account in the bank. If the film world carmot or will not give the greatest importance to this spiritual potential, it is a failure. The ordinary man, whose urgent need is to relax from the stress of life, to lessen the sense ofinsecurity and try to fill the emptiness within (for which greed and war are mostly responsible), turns instinctively to the fleeting diversion of entertainment - and the film world affords this to a great extent. The film world therefore, which still has one of the greatest scopes for influencing the lives of myriads, should askitse1fwhether it is utilizing its spiritual potential to the full so that man may be helped in his search for Truth, or merely pandering to his pleasure in the false; whether it is encouraging and inspiring youth

to face the responsibilities of the world of tomorrow, or retarding youth's irmer growth with an overdose of sex and crime films; and whether it is striving after wealth and fame at the cost ofman's inherent thirst for the spiritual and uplifting. So my message to the film world is: Do not play to the gallery or the salary, but play also to the Infinite within. Live in the presence of God, even while acting your part, so that you can be true to yourself, to your partners and employers, and to the larger and one Indivisible Life of which you are each an inseparable part. If the world is a stage, God is the only producer, and you can never be anything but a trivial actor if you are not in unison with Him. From The Path ofLove, by Meher Baba Copyright 1986 AMBPPCT Published by The Awakener Press While (a student) at St. Vincent's, lVlerwan... wrote a complete scenario of nearly two hundred typed pages in English and mailed it to the Universal Film Studios in Hollywood, California. Unfortunately, what became of this manuscript nobody knows since he never received a reply from the film company in America. From LO"d Meher, Volume 1, p182, by Bhau Kalchuri, Š1979 Lawrence Reiter

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Don)t worry) be happy for Y2K) officials say Citizens assured all systems ready WASHINGTON - Eat, drink and be merry on New Years Eve because the advent of the year 2000 should

:use few. if any. robl •

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[From the Honolulu Advertiser]

The Who's Townshend premieres new rock opera Feb 25, 2000 ~y Rajiv Sekhri •

LO DO (Reuters) - Rock legend Pete Townshend brought to fruition 30 years of work with the live premiere of his rock opera Lifehouse in London on Friday. Townshend, who was part of the rock group The Who, has been developing Lifehouse since 1970. The story of a post-apocalyptic society has become topical with its portrayal of a vast communication network called the Grid - similar to the Internet - used for all interaction by urban communities who have fled indoors from rampant pollution. In fact, the piece is scheduled to be broadcast on the Internet in April or May by MCYcom, a ew York-based company that offers digital downloads of popular music. "The inspiration for Lifehouse came from a lot of things," a tired Townshend told Reuters after the performance at a packed Sadler's Wells Theater in London. It came from a spiritual journey into the cosmic world ofWoodstock and Su.fi writings of Meher Baba."

26

Three decades ago, when Townshend began work on the rock opera and the Internet was still a fantasy, he found little in terest for his mix of science fiction, spirituality, eastern mysticism and good old rock and roll. "Lifehouse was intended as film script but floundered effectively every time," said Nick Goderson, Townshend's business manager. He said Friday's performance might lead to a bigger, more dramatic show with more interaction with the audience. At the premiere, Townshend, 54, took the risk of putting a rock band -without a drummer - in front of the 28-piece London Chamber Orchestra, and interspersing both with poetry, for a show that had seen only two weeks' practice. Townshend apologized for what he felt was an unrehearsed performance, but the 1,500 fans clapped, cheered and screamed as he sang Baba O'Riley, Behind Blue Eyes, and Won't Get Fooled Again. Goderson said Townshend's goal was to take Lifeho~se, which was playing again at Sadler's Wells on Saturday, to a

much wider audience: "It seemed to us that the best way to do this would be to webcast rather than go the traditional route by television or video." ·Used by permission-Reuters. [See Announcements (page 37) for the latest on Pete Townshend's new releases on CD of the Baba albums.]

Religion has place in U.S. Schools, Clinton says By Deborah Charles

WASHI GTO (Reuters) Religion has its place in U.S. public schools, President Clinton said on Saturday as he unveiled new guidelines showing teachers how to include religion in schools and stay within the Constitution ... "That's why this is a breakthrough," said Charles Haynes, who was involved in writing the guidelines. "This is neither imposing religion in schools, which is wrong and unconstitutional and unjust, nor is it leaving religion out which is also wrong and I would say unconstitutional and certainly unjust." (excerpted)


.God alone exists,' says disciple of Indian Leader

.A

close adherent ofMeher Baba's brings his master's message to a local church. By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG - Outside St. Petersburg's Unitarian Universalist Church, a Mazda Miata's license plate read Baba Lvr. Inside, where the cloying fragrance of incense hung in the air, the car's owner joined other Baba lovers, devotees of Meher Baba, an Indian-born religious leader said to have been the world's latest manifestation of God. Delivering Baba's message at the Mirror Lake church last week was disciple Bhau Kalchuri, on a speaking tour spanning Australia, Canada and the United States. "God alone exists," Kalchuri told the gathering of about 50 people. "Whatever we see existing, . .m non-exJ.stence. . " exJ.sts Kalchuri's knowledge of Baba stems from eyewitness experience. As a graduate student, Kalchuri recalled in an interview that preceded the evening's program, he became captivated by Baba. "From a distance, I saw him. He was so radiant, so glorious," he said. When Kalchuri pleaded to become his disciple, Baba asked, "will you obey my instructions? If I ask you to become naked and go begging, will you?" Kalchuri assented and began to undress. Baba stopped him. In 1953, after completing his studies at age 26, Kalchuri willingly became Baba's night watchman, secretary and translator. His master did not come to create a new religion, Kalchuri said. Baba taught that the world's religions "are the rivers that go to the ocean, but the rivers are dry," Kalchuri said. Additionally, the world is "addicted to the rituals and ceremnoies; and doesn't love God, Baba is reported to have taught. Bom in 1894, Baba claimed to be the most recent incarnation of God, following in the foot-

TIMES

steps of such figures as Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. For the last 44 years of his life, he did not speak, preferring instead to communicate with an alphabet board and eventually only with gestures. He traveled to the United States several times. In 1952, he established the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Baba died in 1969, though his followers prefer to use the term "dropped his body." "He has said," Kalchuri explained, 'I will come back after 700 years.''' Baba's tomb at Meherabad, India, has become a sacred destination for believers. Locally, the number ofknown Baba lovers is quite small. There are about 30 to 40, said Dr. Tom Decker, a Baba devotee since 1969. Decker was Kalchuri's host during his visit to Tampa Bay. The Clearwater physician, who said he was inspired by the disciple's presence in his home, added that he attempts to follow Baba's teachings in his daily life. "One tries to see the Lord in everyone, to see God in every soul, and treat every person with equanimity and a fair sense. And to accept what comes along with the feeling that it is all in his hands and not to worry," he said. Like Decker, Danny and Pam Rubenstein are fervent believers. Last week they traveled from their south Tampa home to hear Kalchuri speak. The couple first met the disciple six years ago. "We went to one ofBhau's (Kalch~ public talks and we just kind of fell in love with Baba through Bhau," Danny Rebenstein said. "We were just struck by how personable, how sweet Bhau was, and he seemed to say things that we were looking for. He told a lot of humorous stories about living with Baba. I was struck by never having thought of God as having a sense of humor. I was really charmed by it. It made the concept of God seem much more real, because he was talking about a person who had lived in recent times, whose life was well documented, well photographed," Rubenstein added. Last Wednesday the couple again listened as Kalchuri told stories of his life with Baba. There is a bond among fellow believers, said Danny Rubenstein, who hosts one of the weekly gatherings of Baba followers at his home. Worldwide, they are a large, generous family, he said. "There are thousands and thousands of Meher Baba devotees around the world.... There are a lot of Baba lovers all over the world."

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1999

I Enjoy Playing... MeherBaba I enjoy games, chiefly cricket, playing marbles, flying kites and also listening to music, although I can do so only on rare occasions. From time immemorial, I have been playing with the Mayavic universe and this enjoyment of playing still persists. I sometimes see motion pictures (mosdy humorous ones), and enjoy my real state ofbeing the eternal Producer of the vast, ever-changing, never-ending fum called the universe. I also find relaxation in listening to humorous stories, all the time being aware of the humor that lies in the aspect of the soul, which is the source of infinite power and glory, being made to feel so helpless in its human bondage of ignorance arising from its various forms of duality. From Life at Its Best, by Meher Baba, edited by Ivy O. Duce, Š1957 by Sufism Reoriented

Listening to Stories Meher Baba

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fter a cricket match on Sunday, August 2nd, Baba reminisced about his childhood: As a boy, I used to get up early in the morning and after tea go out and play cricket. On return I would have breakfast and thereafter play marbles. Mter lunch I would rest a while and then start playing gillidanda. I would have afternoon tea and at about five o'clock go out again to fly kites. Mter dinner I would play cards. Thus I would pass my time. I want to live such a life now, but the mandali have changed my luck, my fate. From the very beginning I have been fond of games and listening to stories. I will come again after seven hundred years and be able to spend my time like that. From Lord Meher, VOlume 11 & 12, p. 4204, by Bhau Kalchuri, Š??

Reminder we are now:

Bababook@pacbell.net 27


Hot Off the Presses (cont'dfrom page 27)

The Heart Chronicles-

[We had originally published an article on Earl Starcher in our October 1997 issue. Nice to see it in a commercial newspaper. Ed]

Discovering Divine Love

Man who helped disadvantaged honored with shrine in Columbus By Sylvia Brenner

Deming Headlight Deming, .M. (AP) - Travelers and tourists coming through Columbu1 rarely notice the small, domed shrine on the windswept southwest fringe of the village. The temple is called "The Perfect Man Shrine." Only a few locals know the story of the man who erected it, and ofthe Indian guru to whom he was devoted. "When Earl Starcher was living in Florida, I understand he had a very comfortable life," said July McClure, a Columbus acquaintance. "He said he used to have a great job as an air traffic controller and lots of money, friends and material things. Then he had an e~erience which totally changed him." The change, McClure said, happened while Starcher was on a trip to India. Despite successes in his life, she said, Starcher apparr.ntly had been feeling a great spiritual vacuum. Starcher may have heard about Avatar Meher Baba in the United States, but it was while he was in India that he found the answer to his quest and became a devoted disciple. Born in India in 1894, Meher Baba was considered exceptional from his infancy. When he was in his early 20s, he was publicly acknowledged as Sustainer of the Universe. Meher Baba trained an inner circle ofdisciples and founded a spiritual community, then stopped speaking for the remainder of his life. In 1931, Meher Baba sailed to London with Mahatma Gandhi and became Gandhi's spiritual advisor. Mter World War II, he traveled around India, working with the poor, the lepers and those with mental disabilities. Still not speaking, Meher Baba established places

of pilgrimage outside India: Meher Spiritual Center in Myrde Beach, S.C., and Avatar's Abode, near Brisbane, Australia. When the popularity of drugs and Indian gurus crashed on the shores ofAmerican culture in the 1960s, Meher Baba wrote an article entided, "God in a Pill?" in which he condemned the use of drugs as an aid to a spiritual high. He died in 1969. Starcher chose a remote desert village as the perfect place to live and express his devotion to Meher Baba. He bought land in Columbus with the intent of building both a shrine and a museum. He began work on the shrine fIrst. He hired local workmen and used structural steel beams from Silver City to reinforce the building against high winds. "Earl was interesting to talk to and enthusiastic," said David Sha, who met Starcher around 1983, "I found the information he shared with me about Meher Baba fascinating. I was amazed the personality and magnetism of one teacher could cause such an outpouring oflove, attracting people from all over the world." Starcher completed the shrine and opened a temporary museum in his home across the street, but he never lived to see the completion ofhis dreams. He became ill with cancer in 1990 and died at the Meher Center in Myrde Beach in 1995. Before he left for Myrde Beach, Starcher had a monument constructed next to the shrine, "The Perfect Man Shrine," the caption reads in both Spanish and English. Starcher left behind a lasting legacy to the man who had forever changed his life.

THE DURANGO HERALD SUNDA~JANUARY30,2000

The article is accompanied by a photograph taken by Sylvia Brenner ofthe Deming Headlight. The photo is ofEarl's replica ofA'vatar Meher Baba's Samadhi in Meherabad, India. Meher Baba's motto, "Mastery in Servitude" is above the doorway, with the WheelofLfft, the Eight-Fold Path ofBuddha, beneath the slogan, and capping the roof are flur ofthe other Avatanc symbolsfrom the past. The caption reads, "On thefringe of the village ofColumbus stands a shrine dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba called "The Perfect Man Shrine. "

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hen you meet a follower ofMeher Baba for the fIrst time, one of the initial questions you ask is, "How did you come to know about Baba?" The story is always fascinating, and it becomes the link that immediately joins you and your new friend in your love for Baba. The Heart Chronicles is a compilation of these heart-warming, how-1came-to-Baba stories. Each story reminds us how unique we are and how Baba continues to find ways to draw us to Him. The stories range from long, dramatic journeys of surrender to simply saying, "Yes."

The Heart Chronicles, written by the Avatar Meher Baba Listserv contributors and compiled by Terri Zee, published by The Love Street Press, will be available through the Love Street Bookstore in a few months. All proceeds go to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust. (Volume II ofThe Heart Chronicles is in the thought stage.)

The Language of the Heart Meher Baba

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od does not listen to the language of the tongue, or of the mind, but He responds to the language of the heart. The language of the heart is the song oflove for the Beloved. When the heart weeps for the Beloved's union and the mind suffers the pangs of separation, then the Beloved's response is the fInal embrace into Oneness. This means to love God one has to keep Him present and never be absent from Him. This means while doing all duties, doing all deeds, while thinking all thoughts and speaking all words, we have always to have His remembrance, remembering Him as the background to everyone and everything. This means in every litde thing, good or bad both, we should remember Him and then all responsibility rests with Him. L01"d Meha, Volume 11 & 12, p. 4258, Bhau Kalchuri Š 1997 AMBPPCT


A NEW DIMENSION FOR PUBLIC RADIO Mary Marino, Portland 0 R

I

n the early 1940's Meher Baba said "Now when you go out and try to tell people in the world about Meher Baba, you find that most ofthem have not even heard ofMe. But in the future you will have to search hard to find a person who has not heard of Me." [source: "In His Service" December 1998 newsletter]. For the Mandali "The future began at sunset on the 31st ofJanuary 1969...", as told by Mani in the March 14,1969 "Family Letter." For many ofus "the future" is just dawning on us and while many have long had a desire to spread Meher Baba's Name, it seems of late He is making it far more possible than ever. His Precious Name was brought to the hearts of untold numbers during Bhau Kalchuri's recent tour ofAustralia and the US. Interviews of Bhau on national and local radio stations, and newspapers took place in Australia and the U.S. In Pordand, OR, NYC, and possibly other US cities, videos such as "Eternal Beloved" "Meher Baba's Call" "3/4 ofthe World" and "A View ofGod" were aired on cable TV. Being the "Thief of Hearts" it seems Baba used these media airings to stir the hearts of many, drawing new faces to well attended public talks across the country. One radio interview taped in late June, 1999 remains to be aired at a later date. The persistent and loving labors of Barbara Brustman came to fruition in late June when Michael Toms had the good fortune to interview Bhau Kalchuri on "New Dimensions". A national institution of public radio in its own right, Michael and his wife Justine have produced" ew Dimensions" for nearly 30 years for national and international broadcasting by PBS. "New Dimensions" makes audio tapes of their interviews available by phone (800-9358273) or through their web site (www.NewDimensions.org). [Just click on "Program Library" and search by name, keywords, etc. and follow the links to order online.] Bhau's interview is Program No. 2782. Michael described being drawn to three skinny lillie volumes for some 30 years, lillie books he comes back to now and again, "The Discourses" of Meher Baba - and so he began the interview. Bhauji was pleased with his questions and sincere interest in Meher Baba.

It was clear the studio staff, Michael & Justine Toms and their engineer, were very touched by Bhau and especially loved his wonderful stories.Justine said to do justice to them Bhau should have a 4 hour show, as they used to have in their early radio days. [Those ofyou who live in Northern California may want to send an email to ndradio@pacific.net requesting the airing of the show "SilentWisdom with Bhau Kalchuri and Marilyn McGivney" (show#2782). Their mailing address: New Dimensions Radio, PO Box 569 Ukiah, CA 95482-0569. Address your letter to New Dimensions.

Mast of Baramati Bal Natu - Meherazad

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eher Baba gracefully permitted me to visit him during my vacations from school. In the early 1960's, during one Desi (Festival ofLights) vacation I enjoyed Beloved Baba's company for over ten days at Meherazad. Being in Baba's presence is always indescribable, like the perfume of a rose. At the end of my stay, I took Baba's leave and went to the Ahmednagar train station. I was waiting for the train when I saw ariman Dadachanji, one ofBaba's close disciples, who had also been staying at Meherazad. Mter the usual greetings, he said he had a message for me from Baba. I was surprised because I had just been with Baba for over ten days and wondered what the message could possibly be. ariman said, "Baba wants you to visit Baramati (a town in the district of Pune) and contact a mast." "What is the name of the mast?" lasked. He replied, "Baba doesn't remember the name, but He gave a description of him." He is like a born mast, doesn't take care ofhis clothes, moves about aimlessly, and chatters meaninglessly." As I reached my home town, I thought that Baba's instruction should be my first priority. If I were to die soon I would not be able to carry out His order. So I decided to visit Baramati the next weekend. Since I had never been to Baramati, I wondered where I could stay while there. Some days later, one of my colleagues told me that his daughter lived in Baramati and would be happy to receive me for the weekend. I took it as a sign from Baba.and left for Baramati, reaching the town

by Saturday evening.The family very cordially received me and asked me the purpose of my visit. I said I was in town just for a change of pace and reported on the welfare of their relatives. The next morning after having my breakfast, without any plan, I started roaming around the town. An idea struck me that I could talk with those who came to the barber's shop and so I entered one on the main street. Whenever a new customer would arrive I would ask those who sat near me about the mast. Luckily, one man who sat beside me, not only knew of such a person, but looking at his watch said, "It's about this time that he goes by this road." And 10 and behold, just then I saw the mast walk by. I asked the man to please help me in dealing with him. He readily agreed and we began to follow the mast. Inwardly I felt that this was the mast that Baba wanted me to contact. I wondered what to do now that I had found him. I remembered that Baba generally bathed, clothed, and fed the masts He came in contact with. Not knowing the topography of the town, I asked the man whether there was a river nearby. He replied that there was a canal. As we walked, I saw a shop of ready-made clothes. I rushed in and hurriedly purchased some clothes for the mast. Along with my guide, we entreated the mast to follow us to the canal. To my surprise, he readily agreed. I gave him a bath, changed his clothes, and returned with him to the main street. I found a restaurant with benches and a few tables outside. I sat down and requested the mast and my guide to join me. I ordered tea and bread and, as far as I remember, fed the mast with my hand.Then I wondered what to do next. Somehow I felt that the work entrusted to me was done. I thanked my guide and left the mast, who appeared totally indifferent to what had just transpired. I went home, had my lunch, and told my hosts that I would like to leave on the next bus. The hostess was surprised at the change ofmy plans, but somehow I convinced her that I had enjoyed my walk through the town, but was ready to go. When I returned home, I wrote to Baba informing Him that I had carried out His instructions. During my successive stays with Baba, He never inquired about the details of my visit to Baramati. I knew in my heart that, not only did He know the details, but He was the One who had been guiding me throughout the activities. When Baba on His own gives anyorder, I have found that He opens all doors necessary to carry it out.

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New Years Eve in Meherabad Irene Holt, Meherabad, 4 January, 2000

J

ai Meher Baba! We really had a lovely time at Meherabad ushering in the new year in a new way for everyone. There had been quite a bit of pre-new year's discussion about how to go about celebrating the event.The central point was to be prayers and arti at Baba's Samadhi right at midnight.That was exciting enough. But what would we do to lead up to that moment? Because it is the year 2000, it was felt that people reallywanted to do something special and that we should offer that something at Meherabad, something which would indeed be uniquely Baba's and different from how they may have celebrated if they had been anywhere else. And so it evolved that the evening would consist of several celebratory parts, revolving around our gathering at the Samadhi with Baba. The planning and preparations began a few days ahead of time. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and joywith which people got ready for New Year's Eve at Meherabad.There were several behind-thescenes teams of folks making things happen. Of course Alan's catering was central to the e~ent! He and his staff created a wonderful buffet supper for the New Year, held after our return from arti at the Samadhi. The decorating team, with support from Gary, was a group of pilgrims headed by Jeda (age 16) who designed the re-creation of the Pilgrim Centre dining hall interior. They hung tiny colored lights and colorful streamers all across the high ceiling and adorned the walls and paintings of Baba with streamers, lights and balloons.The whole room sparkled. Tom set up the sound and made the dance tapes. One team of artists designed and made masks for party-goers. Another group planned the

Dancing at the Pilgrim Cente7"

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Samadhi singing by preparing typed copies of words to Baba songs (western and eastern), and arranging instrumentation. Another planned and provided for a candlelight procession up the hill. Yet another, mosdy ofteenage boys, set up a fireworks display. For hours on the 31st, the teams worked and created. Afternoon tea was served on the verandah because the dining hall was still "in process." A litde light music suppported the happy mood. The feeling ofanticipation began to build as the environment took shape under the creative hands of all who helped. Mter dinner the party began, launched into orbit by the fireworks, set offin outer Meherabad by Morgan, Ben and the other boys. Big sound, big color, big light. We loved it. The dance music started in the dining hall and before long the place was packed. Our whole Meherabad community joining together for fun in His Love. Because we were at Meherabad, it was a non-alcoholic New Year's Eve, yet the evening was hardly sober! Even those who did not dance were enjoying the atmosphere ofcelebration. There was an infectious feeling ofjoy and togetherness - and maybe intoxication - in the air. At about 11:00 p.m, everyone took a lighted candle and, led by a couple of drummers, walked in a very long line up the hill, chanting Baba's name all the while. Then followed a lovely hour of singing together to the Beloved in front of the Samadhi, while the darshan line snaked its way forward, giving each one their special moment inside with Baba. Five minutes before midnight, we stopped the music to call everyone's attention to the time. Then we chanted together "Meher Dhoon" (a repetition of Baba's name in a certain tune) until 12:00. Then seven ringing calls all together of "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!" I think I can speak for most who were there that there was a tremendously powerful feeling at that moment and the feeling seemed to take expression as we spoke aloud Photo by Judy Phfllips together the words ofBaba's

Photo by Judy Phillips

Decorations in the Pilgrim Center

prayers. "Oh Parvardigar...."Theywere recited in a perfect unison, as if in one voice, at a slighdy quick pace, which may have been due to the feeling of the energy ofBaba's Unif)1.ng Love. For me, that was how it seemed. Mter the Gujerati arti and Australian arti, more singing continued while the darshan line was completed, until about 1:00. Down the hill again, in the dining hall, we mingled together a short while enjoying the light supper provided and wishing each other, and the whole world, happiness in the brotherhood of the Avatar's Love.Jai Baba! Shelley Marrich - Meherazad 28 January 2000

J

ai Meher Baba and belated Happy New Year to all from Meherazad. The excitement ofentering a new century and a new millennium inspired a quiet celebration at Baba's Meherazad Home. As the Indian subcontinent prepared to cross over the millennium threshold, Baba's men and women mandali arose from their sleep to gather respectively in Mandali Hall and Baba's Room where they joined in saying Baba's "Jai" seven times at the midnight stroke, and greeted the New


Year with His arti and prayers. Baba's Room glowed in the candlelight, reflecting a soft pink from the elegant counterpane gracing Baba's bed and from the beautiful sari given by Mehera to Meheru who gendy draped it in scallops around the canopy on Baba's bed for this occasion. Shortly after midnight each returned to their waiting beds with a sense of having shared a unique moment in Beloved Baba's Advent with the entire world. The ew Year has brought many health challenges to the Meherazad Mandali. From the latest version ofinfluenza currendy circulating the Pilgrim Centre and environs (which affected Eruch and others in the household), to the ongoing problems experienced by those with heart and other conditions. I'm happy to say that Eruch returned to work after a week's absence from the Trust Office and Mandali Hall that Goher has rallied after a lO-day illness: and everyone else affected by the "Y2K bug" is slowly on the mend. With each year we see that as Baba's bounty increases, attracting more and more old and new lovers to His Home at Meherazad and Meherabad, the capacity of His dear Mandali lessens, leaving them easily fatigued and susceptible to illness. Often these illnesses travel from Meherabad to Meherazad where they spread throughout the household. That is why it's particularly important to heed Dr. Goher's request for pilgrims who are ill to refrain from visiting Meherazad until the attending Meher Pilgrim Centre doctor gives the green light. As Mani would say, Baba's Mandali are also precious relics in need of preservation! . So let us all participate in the Archive 'subcomittee' for maintenance of the health and welfare of Beloved Baba's Mandali! Baba's canine capers continue at Meherazad on a lighter note this time. About two and a half months ago a stray black and white female dog, who has attended Baba's Meherazad clinic for years to beg for food from the patients, gave birth to eight darling puppies in the cactus hedge on Meherazad property's perimeter.Ten days after their birth, the mamma dog carried her pups one by one to a safer Meherazad den underneath a raised flowerbed near the clinic where she tended them devotedly. As they grew, this black and while avalanche of puppy fur would roll out from under the flower bed to enthusiastically greet whoever came to visit. They were a delight to behold (especially at nursing time) and a major attraction at Meherazad for several weeks.

All pups have been placed in good homes except for two who are now permanent Meherazad residents - Rolly, a convincing double for a baby black bear whose gende nature reminds the women Mandali of Mastan, and Rusty, a black and white spitfire who survived a stray dog attack when he was only 7 weeks old which punctured his lung, his abdomen and fractured his ribs. With these two energetic additions to the Meherazad Kennel, I'm sure there are many canine capers in store for us all! And with this I close - wishing each of you a happy, healthy New Year and a millennium filled with Baba's Love and companionship.

A Message for the New Milleneum Meher Baba eher Baba dictated th~ fo~owing statement when he arnved m England, in view of the many questions that had been asked of him, which I print here for the first time: "My coming to the West is not with the object of establishing a new creed or spiritual society or organization, but is intended to make people understand religion in its true sense. True religion consists of developing that attitude ofmind which ultimately results in seeing one Infinite Existence prevailing throughout the Universe, thus fmding the same divinity in art and science and experiencing the highest conciousness and indivisible bliss in everyday life. "The West is inclined towards the material side of things, which has from untold ages brought in its wake wars, pestilences and financial crises. It should not be understood that I discard and hate materialism. I mean that materialism should not be considered an end in itself but a means to the end. "Organized efforts such as the League of Nations are being made to solve world problems and to bring about the Millennium. In some parts of the West, particularly in America, intellectual under standing of truth and reality is attempted but without the true spirit of religion. This is like ' groping in the dark. "I intend to bring together all religions and cults like beads on one string and revitalize them for individual and collective needs. This is my mission to the West." "Literature and Life," from Everyman, London, April 21, 1932, by Charles B. Purdom

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The New Humanity Meher Baba

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he ew Humanity will come into ex istence through a release oflove in measureless abundance, and this release of love can come through the spiritual awakening brought about by the Perfect Masters. Love cannot be born of mere determination; through the exercise of will one can at best be dutiful. Through struggle and effort, one may succeed in assuring that one's external action is in conformity with one's concept of what is right; but such action is spiritually barren because it lacks the inward beauty of spontaneous love. Love has to spring spontaneously from within; it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but while love cannot be forced upon anyone, it can be awakened through love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response that, in itself, is the naturl!uflove. True love is unconquerable and irresistible. It goes on gathering power and spreading itself until eventually it transforms everyone it touches. Human.., ity will attain a new mode of being and life through the free and unhampered interplay of pure love from heart to heart. When it is recognized that there are no claims greater than the claims ofthe universal Divine Life - which, without exception, includes everyone and everything -love will not only establish peace, harmony, and happiness in social, national, and international spheres but it will shine in its own purity and beauty. Divine love is unassailable to the onslaughts of duality and is an expression of divinity itself. It is through divine love that the New Humanity will tune in to the divine plan. Divine love will not only introduce imperishable sweetness and infinite bliss into personal life but it will also make possible an era of ew Humanity. Through divine love the ew Humanity will learn the art ofcooperative and harmonious life. It will free itself from the tyranny of dead forms and release the creative life of spiritual wisdom; it will shed all illusions and get established in the Truth; it will enjoy peace and abiding happiness; it will be initiated in the life of Eternity. From Discourses by Meher Baba, Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT

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The Birth of Lord Meher S

ome months passed after Jamshed was born, Shireen again conceived.This pregnancy, from the beginning, was nearly a blissful experience. She felt the natural joy of an eagerly expectant mother. Shireen had been unprepared for her duties with her firstborn. Whenever her sister, Dowla, would bring Jamshed to her, she would shy away from the baby. During this pregnancy, however, her feelings were quite the reverse as her maternal instincts had matured. The young woman's heart longed to shower her love upon her unborn child; this time Shireen desired to be a mother. The family was now residing in their own house at 816 Butler Street in Poona (later called Meher Moholla).The house was called Bhopla, which means Pumpkin House, for next to its entranceway was a large round stone resembling the shape of a pumpkin. During her pregnancy, Shireen would often have wonderful dreams and describe them to her mother, Golandoon, who would interpret their meaning. From the day of conception, the young womatJ. was convinced that this child would be extraordinary and ,remarkable. Sheriar could sense his young wife's expectation. He would read beautiful ghazals to her from the Divan of Hafiz, ex路plaining the poetry's hidden -meaning. Sheriar was a poet and he would occasionally compose monajats - Zoroastrian prayers or spiritual songs in honor of this child's birth. As to be expected, the whole family and even the neighbors anxiously awaited the birth of Shireen's second child. Shireen was more lovely and radiant than ever and all anticipated a remarkable and beautiful child. The atmosphere of the earth seemed surcharged and it was emanating from a humble Poona lane. The whole universe was stirring with new energy from what was emanating from earth. A new Age was dawning. God Himselfwas incarnating! The most wonderful event in fourteen hundred years was about to occur. In the early morning of Sunday, February 25th, 1894, the long-awaited moment of our Age arrived. Shireen was lying asleep in bed at the David Sassoon Hospital; her mother, Golandoon, was by her side. The midnight gong sounded twelve times in the distance. urses came frequently to look in on her; the expectant mother was relaxed in a deep sleep. Suddenly, Shireen awoke and

32

Bhau Kalchuri told her mother she had had a vision - a dream. Golandoon anxiously inquired, "A vision? What did you see in the dream, my dear?" Shireen answered: "I saw a glorious person like the sun sitting in a chariot, and his cool brilliance pervaded the atmosphere. A few people were pulling his chariot, while thousands ofpeople led him in a procession. Tens of thousands ofeyes were gazing at him, consoled by his divine radiance ... "I, too, was in the procession and marveled at the luster of his face. His light fell on the whole procession and people's eyes were fIxed on him; they could not look away." Hearing this, tears of joy came to Golandoon's eyes, and she said, "Shireen, my daughter, a very auspicious son will be born to you. His name will be spread all over the world. He will be among thousands ofpeople one day and will be carried in grand processions, as you dreamt. He will be given special reverence and honor." Her mother's interpretation comforted Shireen and she soon fell fast asleep again. The hospital was quiet. A change in the atmosphere of the planet was about to occur. However much our Age anticipated what was about to take place, it would take many years for mankind to interpret what this change would mean. A gentle sweetness filled the air. In the silence, an unimaginable joy pervaded the hospital.

He who pervades was coming! Daily, hundreds of thousands of human beings are born in the world, but there is no discernible change in the atmosphere of the planet at their birth. That Sunday morning the weather was neither hot nor cold; the breeze that was blowing through Poona had a different significance. While people slept, the cool breeze gently wafted over them, soothing them in their slumber. Stillness came; the quietude blanketed the city and it seemed as if all the din and hubbub of the world had been absorbed in a state of soundlessness. How our Age must wish that this peace would be ever-present; how happy life would be. Then the birds started singing, piercing the stillness with their songs. There was

distinct merriment in their voices. How sweet were their songs - how healing the effect of their chirping in the stillness of the coming dawn. If only life's noises were subsided in their melodies, then truly the soul of man would blossom forth. Shireen's labor pains started and a Catholic nun was summoned from her morning prayers. Golandoon sat near her daughter, watching anxiously. Sheriar waited outside the hospital room, continuously repeating God's name, "Yezdan ... Yezdan ... Yezdan The hospital's night watchman made his rounds; as he struck the gong five times, the crying of a baby was heard. How innocent - how pleasant - was the sound of the newborn. The birds increased their joyous notes, and even the sun seemed excited eager to rise over the horizon. Golandoon emerged from the room with joy. She smiled at She~ar and lovingly exclaimed, "A son... a son!" Sheriar was fIlled with happiness and immediately rushed into the room to see his newborn son. Poona was just starting to awaken. Was it because of the baby's first cry? It was as ifhe had proclaimed, "Arise now, I am the Awakenerl" Although people were awakening at the time of his birth, little did they know that a day would come when he would awaken them from their life of sleep. At that holy moment, by taking birth in the early hours of dawn, the child had signaled his arrival as the Awakener - the Avatar of the Age. From Lord Meher, Volume One & Volume Two, Pages 143 - 145, 漏 1979 Lawrence Reiter, Published by MAN-ifestation, Inc.

February 25th A BIRTHDAY MESSAGE On this anniversary of my birthday I give you my blessings for the deathday of your false selves and for the birthday in Me ofyour one True Self

It is open to every man to choose God or self, to flower or to whither, and the choosing is continuous.

-MeherBaba


Merwan's Good Nature Baily Irani

Merwan by Diana LaPage

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t so happened that once Merwan's mother told his elder brother ]amshed to make ome purchases from the Cantonment market, and he asked Merwan to accompany him. Merwan was absorbed in his studies and was disinclined to go, but his brother persisted so he agreed. ]amshed, who had a rough nature, was not in the mood to go shopping and was upset that his mother insisted he do this errand. On the way,]amshed collided with a smaller Muslim boy and both of them started arguing about who was at fault. Merwan tried to pacifY them, but in the heat of the moment the Muslim boy uttered a particular word of abuse which made ]amshed lose his temper. Without regarding the consequences, he slapped the boy across the face and was about to do so again when Merwan intervened by thrusting the Muslim boy aside and taking the slap himself. As soon as ]amshed's hand touched Merwan's face, he calmed down and they continued to the market. A crowd had gathered on the road and witnessed how Merwan took the slap in defense of the smaller boy. This was the quality of character possessed by Merwan at the age of ten.

But the incident did not end there. Mter Merwan and]amshed had returned home, the Muslim boy brought his mother and a few neighbors and sought out Shireen. Her name was yelled out and she rushed to the treet, followed by Merwan. The Muslim boy's face was bruised and his mother wanted a word of apology. When asked who had beaten him, the boy pointed to Merwan. Merwan took it calmly and offered his apology in the presence of all the neighbors and passersby gathered there, and the Muslim boy and his mother left, satisfied. Shireen, however, did not believe it and knew instinctively that Merwan had been a scapegoat for ] amshed. Afterwards Shireen scolded]amshed and warned him to stop fighting. The accusation ...IEI. did not perturb Merwan. On the contrary, he seemed to enjoy it by the reaction on his face - he had a smile while apologizing. From Lord Meher, Volume 1, p. 167, by Bhau Kalchuri, © 1979 by Lawrence Reiter

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erwan... seemed to innately understand the meaning of true spirituality as evidenced by these words spoken to his friends when he was only twelve years old: Every soul lives in the world only for a short time, and when it is our time to leave this world we go empty-banded. We do not know in the least at what moment we will make our departure from this caravan serai (caravansary); but sooner or later we have to go, leaving everything dear to us. In spite of knowing this, it is sheer foolishness to be attached to this world and its possessions, and hold to them at all costs. It is meant for us to make good our shortlived and momentary existence, which we can do by following the teachings ofour Prophet, Zarathustra.lfwe strictly carry out the tenets ofour religion - good thoughts, good words and good deeds - our life will be a success. And by freeing ourselves from this life's toils, we will enjoy quite a different life. From L01·d Meher, Volume 1, p. 161, by Bhau Kalchuri, © 1979 by Lawrence Reiter

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t St. Vincent's, Merwan ranked high in almost all his subjects. He was at the top of his class in Persian, which he loved. At fifteen, he liked history and literature, especially poetry, but did not care much for geography, science and his nemesis - mathematics - although he never failed in these subjects. One remarkable characteristic about the boy was that he possessed such a sharp memory and would never forget any particu1ar fact about a >ftllbject he either heard or read about. In fact, Merwan was considered to be so intelligent that some thought he cheated during his exams. 0 one grasped that the boy's memory stored every fact, and that it was easy for him to recall facts during his exams. One priest who thought he was cheating caned him, but afterward admitted, "There is something differen t about you Merwan - something special. Forgive me for having beaten you." "What is there to forgive?" replied Merwan. "It is all right. It was a mistake. It is forgotten and forgiven." From Lord Meher, Volume 1, p. 177, by Bhau Kalchuri, © 1979 by Lawrence Reiter

I Have Learned So much from God That I can no longer Call Myself A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, A Buddhist, a]ew. The Truth has shared so much ofltself With me That I can no longer call myself A man, a woman, an angel, Or even pure Soul. Love has Befriended Hafiz so completely It has turned to ash And freed Me Of every concept and image My mind has ever known. Daniel Ladinsky - 'The Gifl

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Birthday Preparations in Meherabad Irene Holt, Meherabad

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ebruary is always a busy and exciting time for us here in Ahmednagar. The weather is dry, still cool in the mornings and evenings, and beautifullysunny in the day time. Baba lovers are arriving day by day, most intending to stay for Baba's 106th birthday on February 25th. And everywhere preparations are being made for that special day. At Meher azar in town, the buildings of the Trust compound are whitewashed and spruced up every year at this time. The flower pots and garden bricks are painted red. Soon the tiny colored lights will be hung in the trees to decorate the area at night.The AMB Ahmednagar Centre has scheduled a number of events to celebrate Baba's birthday and the announcement sheet for these has just come out today. They have planned evenings of bhajans, music, lectures and a magic show, spanning three days, as well as two performances by professional sitar musicians, to be held at Meherabad on February 28 and 29. At Meherazad special decorating of the Mandali Hall and Baba's room is always done or His birthday. Pilgrims visiting Meherazad on Tuesday were treated to the special beauty of colored tinsel streamers and decorations 路over Baba's chair in the hall and on Mehera's porch. Soon the portico outside Baba's room will sport a big star with lights, the coloredpowder "rangole" designs will be crafted on the ground in front of the house, and candles and flower arrangements will grace His bedroom. At Meherabad the elaborate decorations for the Samadhi and tin shed area are being worked on now. Every year the artistry put into these decorations seems to hold new delights and surprises. Also ofcourse the rehearsals, set-building and costume design for the dramatic performance are going along at full speed at Meherabad. The play this year will be held at the Music and Arts Demonstration Centre at Meherabad, as usual, but at a new time: 4:00 p.m., following tea and birthday cake on the verandah there. The play is titled "The Time Has Come" and is an adaptation of a play and filmscript originally written by Bhau called "The Ancient One." Last year the birthday play at Meherabad was based on Act One ofBhau's filmscript, and this year represents Act Two of the same piece. The original play was performed in front ofBaba during the 1960's by the Ahmednagar Centre.

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At last on Thursday evening, hopefully, all the busy preparatory activity will come to a happy conclusion and some ofus may even be able to "tum in" early. For well before 5:00 a.m., we will rise in the darkness of early morning to get ready to celebrate the hour ofHis birth. At the three locations, Meherazad, Meher Nazar, and Meherabad, 5:00 on the dot will hear the resounding so~nd of "Avatar Meher n Baba kiJai seven times, followed by prayers and arti, and the singing ofHappy Birthday.At Baba's Samadhi, the singing programme will continue for some time, as the air grows even chillier before dawn, as the sun pops up over the horizon, and as hundreds of hearts bow down to the advent of Cod in our time.

Friday, the 25th of February, 1944

Baba was busy chalking out a plan to distribute grain and clothing to the poor of the area. Eruch and brotherJal were sent for from Poona to assist in the work. The work began on Friday, the 25th of February, 1944, when Baba distributed two meters ofcloth and three seers of millet to each poor person gathered in the Aurangabad Town Hall. Baba handed out the prasad continuously from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The grain had been brought in trucks, and had been tied in two meters of cloth bundles by the mandali. This making of bundles had been going on day and night for some time. The wonderful fact was that these were the days ofstrict rationing, and no millet was available in the market. The millet andcloth had been procured from the government with great difficulty. From Lord Meher, Volume 7 & 8, p. 2936 by 路Bhau Kalchuri, 漏1979 Lawrence Reiter

Baba's Birthday James Cox - Meherabad

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t's 6:10 am on Meherabad Hill, and the queue has dwindled down to dozens from hundreds an hour ago. Avatar Meher Baba's 106th birthday celebration has started off as the largest yet, the Samadhi adorned with rwinkling Christmas lights, flower buntings, sewn decorations, tinsel and roses, roses, roses. By 3:00 am people had started arriving on the Hill, but I had set my alarm for 4:30, just in time to make a last minute dash up for the prayers and songs at the hour of Baba's birth, 5:00 am. But I got a phone call at 4:00 am, and it must have come from Baba, because no one else was on the line, so I managed to make it half an hour early, although even then, the line was 45 minutes long. The sky has been unseasonably cloudy here for the last two days, sprinkling a bit yesterday, and the weather has turned warmer. It's been the coldest February I can remember, but this morning you were comfortable without a sweater under the hazy half moon. At 5 minutes before five, the queue stopped while we all sang "Meher Baba, Meher Baba..." and at 5:00 am, seven shouts of "Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai," then Prayers and Arti. In single file, out from the dark, the serpentine line wound its way to the door of the Samadhi, while lover after lover placed their flowers and hearts at His feet, always singing. At times like this, Baba's Tomb has a subtle glow or radiance that is very difficult to describe, kind of a light of warmth and happiness, almost breathing, which spreads out into the dark and charges the air around it, invariably touching those that are present. After darshan, Mansari's tea was served under the shed, next to Baba's Cadi, and people, as usual mingled and wished each other a happy birthday until dawn. Later today the Women Mandali come for their Arti, then the traditional play is at 4 pm, the schedule having been changed this year. Dinner at the PC will be half an hour early, and the buses will take anyone wishing into , agar for an evening ofBaba music. As usual, the after dinner music programs will continue on for several days, and will alternate between Western and Indian music at the Ahmednagar Center and the theater at Hostel A. From Meherabad, I wish all ofyou, all over the world, a very happy Baba Birthday in Hi Love. He is still very much with us, where ever we might be.


We Celebrate Baba's Birthday at Meherabode

Baba's Birthday Cake.

Baba's Birthday at Meherabode was celebrated with musicians from all over. Henry Kashouty entertained us with the trombone with which he played Begin the Beguine at the Samadhi after Baba was interred. There was great audience pGI路ticipation and much fun was had by all.

Mark DeMatteis sings. Danny Maguire, Josh Lee & Janani '\ Lee perform.

r-l

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From Meherabad Trust Development Plan moves forward By Emory and Susan Ayers, Connecticut

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he Trust Development Plan continues to manifest those objects of purpose as stated in Beloved Avatar Meher Baba's Trust deed. Bhau reports, "Over the last fIfteen months, a large volume of work was completed, and in several months more the fIrst phase of the Development Plan will have drawn to a close. Construction of an Annex to the Meher Health Centre and a Meeting Hall for the Spiritual Academy was fInished, and by June the final wing of the Education Building housing the Meher English School will be ready for use. In the Pilgrim Education Site, work began on the new Amartithi accommodation facilities, which, according to the plan, will be ready to host 4000 additional Amartithi pilgrims in about three years. Significant infrastructure - in the .form of water tanks, roads, and high-tension electrical wiring - was put in place. On Meherabad Hill, more than 2000 new trees 'were planted, for which drip irrigation lines were laid and brought into use.' "During the year 2000, the second phase of the Plan will be inaugurated with the groundbreaking for the new Pilgrim Centre, a facility that in the future will accommodate 200 pilgrims throughout the nine month pilgrim season. Meanwhile, construction will continue on the Amartithi site. On another front, the furnishing ofthe Archives museum, and Research Building, completed at the end of1999, will begin with the purchase of about 200 cupboards that will be used to house precious articles, documents and fUms." The team contacting Meher Baba lovers informing them of the need for funds reports that of the total budgeted need of $3,227,000 for the Development Plan, 136 Meher Baba lovers have made contributions in amounts ranging from $5 to $10,000 or more for a total of $500,000 to date. Contributions of $400,000 are needed in 2000 in order to keep t he Plan on schedule. In the United States those who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Plan may do so by contributing to

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AMBCSC grant program. Please send your check, stock, or credit card contribution with a note requesting the contribution be used for the Trust) Development Plan to: Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, c/o Kanji Miyao, Treasurer, 1214 South Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 phone (213) 731-3737. For those interested in more detailed information abou the Plan and its progress, or for more information about making a contribution, please contact Emory and Susan Ayers at P.O. Box 398, Mystic, CT 063550398; phone (860) 536-0303, or email TrustPlan@ambppct.org.

Computer Update from Meherabad Jerry Edwards, December 31 S' 1999

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he computers for the school have ar rived and will be installed soon. The computer lab is being renovated to protect the new equipment. Glass or plastic windows, (presently only shutters which are open during the day), a new door, plywood ceiling (to help reduce the heat from the metal ceiling), exhaust fans and air fIlters at the intake vent. The steel security desk for the computers has been completed. It has a cage top which fIts over the Monitors and is locked (after school) so that the entire structure will not fIt thru the door. It is the same design which was used previously with success. The school now has 6 computers, 3 old 386's and the new 400 mhz Celeron's with 32MB Ram, 4.3 GB Hard disk, 14" color monitor, floppy Drive, 52x Multimedia kit, 56kbps modem, an HP 610C Deskjet printer, Printer switch for the 3 comp's and a UPS. This was to meet the new all India requirements, which include graphics, and the internet. We hope to have this up and running when school opens for the Millennium. The Meherabad computer system needed an upgrade this year. The old Mac LC 475 system running at 25mhz was much too slow for the work that Jal Dastur is doing with RameshYangar, and Kishore Bojja who program and operate the system. So about 2 weeks ago, we installed a 400 mkz

Celeron with with 64MB Ram, 8 GB Hard disk, 17" color monitor, floppy Drive, 52x Multimedia kit, 56kbps modem, an HP 810C Deskjet printer, and UPS. Jal hopes to be able to accept reservations by email from throughout India. The cost of a Mac system became prohibitive this year, and Windows 95 (and later) is much easier to handle, and the system can be serviced right here in Ahmednagar. ACCESS is currently taught here by two schools, and programmers are available locally, if needed. The Amartithi programs have been mostly converted to the new system using ACCESS data base, and Ramesh is learning to program with it. The Volunteers & Helpers (VoHelp) is 3/4 complete and with Ramesh's help with reports &layouts, we hope to be finished soon. We are expecting about 10,000 pilgrims for Amartithi, and about 600 volunteers. As always, if anyone wants a tour of the computer facilities, they just have to ask me. I'm usually at morning arti singing blues for Baba. During the day at my house, or the school, or Jal's offIce, all in Meherabad, or Mehernath's office in' agar, programming for Baba. We have a great need for the following items: 1) Dara Irani needs some software for the blind so he can do word processing. He uses the touch typing system, but needs sometlling to tell him what he's done. He has an IBM 100mhz Computer with 64MB RAM, Windows 98, 3GB internal drive, 14" Color Monitor 3.5 &5.25" Floppy Drives. 2) MS DOS manuals for School. 3) Both Black & color ink Cartridges (HP 810C Deskjet printer) for the Meherabad computer in Jal's office. Ifyou happen to have any of these items and can arrange for transportation to India (someone must take them they can't be shipped!) or failing that, the money to help us buy them - it would help us enormously. I can be emailedatjerrye@pn2.vsnl.net.in

"Think of things you will not hesitate to think in God's presence. Speak words that you will not hesitate to speak in God's presence. Do things you will not hesitate to do in God's presence." - Meher Baba


Announcements from Meherabode

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he winner of the 1999 Fly to India Sweepstakes... drawn

at our Christmas partywas Cathy Broadley of Mission Viejo California. Cathy has worked tirelessly on the Sahavas committee for many years, so we are very happy to see Baba rewarding her this way. Second prize, a S50 gift certificate to the Love Street Bookstore, was won by Mary Sandberg of Redmond Washington & third place went to Richard Fox of Lowell Massachusets. We sent him a copy of the latest book from the pen of Don Stevens - Avatar Meher Baba, Awakener of theAge. Congratulations to all three ofyou and many thanks to all who helped our Center by buying tickets. You never know when Baba decides it's your turn to win!

Births:

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orn to Kevin &Jane Mossberger in NSW Australia Ellora Jane Mossberger is as healthy as can be at 3.4 kg (71bs,80zs), 48.5cm (19"), born at 12:25pm on Feb. 14,2000 (Valentine's Day! Australian time). Kevin tells us Ellora means "light" and comes from India. "However the root of Ellora is Helen, so I assume this is because the Greeks had part of India during Alexander the Great's era. Another Baba Ameralian is born.(Kevin is American and Jane Australian. For Kev's friends in the US (and around the world) you can check on his creative and beautiful web site for family photos: http:// www.users.bigpond.comlMSN/kev_dude! ellora.htm

At home here in Meherabode, past Board member Mehemoush LorkalantariMcPherson followed her big sister Golnaz's production announced in ourJanuary issue with a little production number ofher own! Mehera Isabella joined us at 9.23am on the 17th January, She weighed in at 71b 6 ozs and 19" Our congratulations to both families and a hearty welcome to the Baba world to the two girls!

Marriages: Also on the home front, we Bon Voyaged another Board member on his fIrst trip to India last December. Kennedy Macintosh (ex of the Chicago Bulls) was to go for a 4 week visit. ~agine 0U: shock to ~t the. ne~ he met, fell in love With and marneda pilgrim he met there!! Prasava Alexander from San Rafael, California is the bride.They stayed till Baba's birthday. Congratulations to them both. Merwan Scott, son of Teri Adams and Hank Scott, married Cecilia Cerda. The wedding, on January 29 th , was held at Meher Mount, Ojai. The couple exchanged vows at the Point near to Baba's tree. With 70 oftheir friends attending, it was a very beautiful wedding. Congratulations and Baba's blessings on you both.

Passings: Our loss is their gain but we will sorely miss our dear friend Rocky Rogers. Read more of Rocky on page 18. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A shock to all who knew him was the very sudden passing ofa young Josh Clayton. Josh entertained us all with his guitar playing at our last Sahavas and on a few occasions, here at Meherabode. The following is excerpted from the obituary in the Los Angeles Times. Josh was quite famous in the Rock world. "Josh Clayton-Felt, Co-founder and lead singer of the band School of Fish who went on to become a solo recording artist, is dead of cancer at the age of 32,. Clayton-Felt, who also perfomed under the name Josh Clayton, diedJan. 19 in Los Angeles, less than a month after his illness was diagnosed. The lead singer, composer and guitarist released his fIrst solo album, Inarticulate Nature Boy in 1996. It proved somewhat different from his work with School of Fish from 1989 until the group disbanded in 1993. "This is classic rock in the best sense of the term;" noted a Times reviewer evaluating the solo album. "Clayton has found his voice, full of melodic ideas and throbbing hooks of groove-laden funk crossed with notable, memorable song craft." For the album, Clayton wrote and sang the songs and played all the instruments guitar, drums and an old Wurlitzer piano he

taught himselfto play. The CD, whose best known song is "Window," was accompanied by a surrealistic video that Clayton-Felt made in NewYork, Prague and New Delhi. Another song, "Soon Enough," was used in the 1996 motion picture "Kingpin" starring Woody Harrelson. Brought up in Boston, Clayton-Felt was always interested in music, once telling an interviewer: "In fourth grade I had a music class I'd always get to early so I could bang on the bongos." Clayton dropped out of college and moved to Los Angeles in 1988 to make his . mUSIC. ." career In ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two close friends lost their husbands within 4 days of each other, husbands that had also been close friends for years. Faith and George Knox, who had been married for 22 years, were members of the wedding party when October Woods married Ira Whelchel on Valentine's Day 1998. Ira died on Valentine's Day 2000. George died 4 days later. Faith told us that both men were joking about going fishing 'on the other side'. We hope Baba gives them a great river to fish in, and leads them to His ocean oflove.

Happenings: All Baba lovers abroad can heave a sigh of relief with the news that the new Mumbai-Pune express highway is almost complete. It is expected to be opened for public use in the second week ofApril 2000. It promises a travel time of about 2 hours between the two cities. Currently, it is anywhere between 5 hours to...

Eel Pie Recording Productions Limited has released a limited edition box set titled "Avatar" which consists of three albums made by Pete Townshend and friends in the 1970's, 'Happy Birthday', 'With Love', and 'I Am'. It also includes a CD-ROM version of'O'Parvardigar'. Also for sale is Pete's "Lifehouse Chronicles" a six CD box set. Your Love Street bookstore walli is negotiating with Pete Townshend to have them available for your purchase through us. Read about Pete's new rock opera on page 26.

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CWelcome to . .. 7he

These have all been put in a book, words and chords, Golden Book ofPraise that sells for $6. If you wish to hear these beautiful songs and ghazals sung as Francis intended them, buy the tape RainyDay, $10. Raine EastmanGannett learnt about Baba and singing at Francis' feet. A really beautiful tape recorded in the 70s and recently remastered. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jai Baba!

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his is the month I have been waiting for for some time now - a month where there are few new releases. So now I have the space to tell you about a number ofbooks that only those who actually walk into our Bookstore get to see. The first is of interest to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and tried to strum along to some of the Baba songs. Chris Haffenden spent 2 years putting together From the Source. He tells us: "Back in 1973, when I first began coming ·to Baba meetings here in L.A, we all used to enjoy singing Baba songs.John Connor would ·bring little booklets with the words to all of the popular songs. I wanted to learn these songs, and was surprised to find so few ofthem available in musical notation. I decided, for my own benefit, to transcribe some of my favorites in this manner. Steve Edelman saw what I was doing and insisted that I continue this work so he could publish it as a music book. It took me two years to complete all of the pieces in the book (with the exception of the children's music, which was added later), and fmally in 1977 From the Source was released. $7 Back in 1956 when Baba first came to Sydney Australia, during one ofour meetings with Him, He asked to be entertained. "Sing to me," He said. There was an embarrassed silence and much shuffling offeet as we tried to come up with an appropriate song. Eventually, much to Francis Brabazon's extreme mortifIcation, we sang Him a Christmas carol - in August! When Baba returned to India, determined this would never happen again, Francis immediately set to composing songs! Mosdy he set them to existing tunes, but some he composed himse1£

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Raphael Rudd, pianist extraordinaire, has got a number of exciting projects going. He gave me a demo CD ofsongs that he recorded with Pete Townshend between 1978-1980. He told me: "I have remastered the Pete Townshend! Raphael Rudd Oceanic Meher Baba records which were recorded at Eel Pie Studios in front ofa live audience ofapproximately 100 people, including Delia de Leon and Maude Kennedy. This remastered copy as it now stands has 19 live songs that either Pete or I have written and we have performed either solo or as a duet together. Some ofthe pieces from Pete include Bargain, Drowned,The Seeker, 0 Parvardigar, and Who is Meher Baba. Some of the pieces that I perform are Kitty's Theme (on harp), as well as some early solo piano pieces that have never been released on previous recordings. Some duets that we performed together include songs not previously released on either Who or Pete Townshend solo records. Also on this CD, are the first live versions of Townshend's hit single Let My Love Open the Door (in which I accompany him on the harp), as well as A Little Is Enough, on which I accompany him on piano. I am waiting to hear from Pete as to a release date." Keep tuned folks, we'll let you know as soon as they become available. As you will have read in the announcements column (you did read it didn't you?) Pete is also releasing on CDs the 3 albums he made to Meher Baba in the 70s. I am emailing Pete as to the possibility ofgetting them in our Bookstore. Will let you know. Raphael has also produced a very touching, and funny video, Mem01-1.eS ofMeherBaba. It is an interview with his mother. The video jacket describes it as follows: Virginia Rudd is an early western disciple of Meher Baba, a great spiritual master recognized by many to be the Avatar of the Age. In 1952 Virginia first met Baba at the Meher Spiritual Center, a retreat devoted to Meher Baba in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She subsequendy met him again in 1956,1958 and 1962 (at the EastlWest Gathering in India).

Interspersed with photographs and flim footage of Meher Baba, this video weaves an extraordinary story of the impact of the GodMan. Before retiring, Virginia was Chair- Person of the English Department at Rutgers University, where she pioneered the de~lop­ ment ofcourses in Mythology, drawing on her work with Joseph Campbell ("The Power of Myth" with Bill Moyers). Memories ofMeher Baba is the touching and often humorous account of Virginia's awakening to the soul's journey to God, and conveys the sense of what it was like for a westerner to have a close association with the Avatar. In this video her recollections of personal stories of her years with Meher Baba before he died in 1969 capture the unique flavor of a charming, witty and accomplished woman whose encounter with Meher Baba 48 years ago, changed the course of her life. $25 <><>~~~~<>~~~~~<>~

People often ask me to recommend Baba books to give to a friend who has asked "Who is Meher Baba?" We actually have a small book by that title. $3. Gives a basic outline of the Avatar. I believe the best of the starter books is What am I Doing Here? by Ivy 0 Duce. It gives an overview of the spiritual life, and explains about reincarnation. A small paperback, it is just $3. Much Silence, a little larger, tells the story of Dorothy and Tom Hopkins' search for the truth, and how they came upon Meher Baba. It also contains a lot of Baba's messages and teachings. $6. Two small hardbound books, excellent to have on any shelf of Baba books, are full ofBaba's wondrous wisdom, edited by Ivy O. Duce.Theyare BeamsfromMeherBaba and Lift at its Best - $12.50 and $6 respectively. Meher Baba Calling is a 4" x 4" paperL back printed in India that has a beautiful collection of sayings. Many people buy 6-12 at a time to have handy to give away. They are $1.50 each. We also have The Universal Message pamphlet, which includes, besides that one, The Seven Realities, How to Love God and two beautiful photos. Just 50¢ a piece. <><>~~~~<>~<>~~~<><>

In 1962 Francis Brabazon wrote in the introduction to his book The Everything and the Nothing: Baba says "I am the One whom so many seek and so few find." "Naturally," Francis continues, "many will not accept this assertion. Indeed, while all men are praying for Someone


or Something to save the world, some will be praying that this Man be saved from the gigantic deception ofbelieving he is God!" Some excellent messages and discourses from Baba lie within these pages. $8. The above mentioned books are small, unobtrusive ones that can be given without feeling you are pushing the St. James version of the Bible on someone. I know we are all most careful not to prosyletise, but if you know someone really is most anxious to learn more about this Master, well then you can step up to the following: Listen Humanity, hardbound $20, paperback 15, Don Steven's latest - Meher Baba The Awakener of the Age, $15, followed by Discourses, hardbound $25, paperback $15, and ending up with the Daddy of them all God Speaks.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><> For artists and people who appreciate the beautiful drawings and paintings by Rano Gayley and Lynn Ott, we have two beautifullarge format books, with many colored reproductions of their paintings. In Because of Love -$35- Rano tells us what life was like living in the Ashram at Meherabad, as well as how Baba instructed her to paint The Ten Circles of the Avatar. This is the huge painting that now hangs in the Museum on the ground floor of the Water Tower at Upper Meherabad. We sell 11 x 17 reproductions of this painting for $10. Rano also painted, under the strict supervision ofBaba, the chart showing the evolution and involution of Man that is explained in the book God Speaks. We have these charts for sale: the 18 x 22 is $12 and the 81/2 x 14 $8.50. Lyn Otts book, In Quest ofthe Face ofGod, $30, gives us much ofhow Lynn felt at meeting Baba while he still had minimal vision. He tells us the story ofhe and his wife Phyllis journeying to India for the greatest moment of their lives. The book features many of his paintings full page, in color, with what was going on with the artist as he painted - how the inspiration carne through - for him to paint such impressive portraits of the face of God when he had almost no eyesight. Phyllis, an artist herself, helped him with many of the paintings done in his later years.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><> In the foreign language section, we have two books in Farsi, God Speaks and While the World Slept, $25 and 10. We have the Discourses (complete) in German - Darlegul1gen - $32 cloth bound. We have selections from the Discourses in French, Italian and Spanish, $8 each.

We have the full Discourses in Spanish, paperback for $14. Ecoute 0 Humanite is the French version of Listen Humanity. $14 Paperback. Then of course, we have the latest from the pen ofDon Stevens - Ensenanzas de Meher Baba., $15. This is the book we asked you, in our last issue, to help us get into bookstores all across the country that sell foreign language books. A few ofyou wrote asking for the names ofbooksellers in your area; to these few we say a hearty thank you! Anyone else who would like to help with this very worthy project, please let me know and I will send you the names of your local bookstores. Along with this comes a sheet telling you how to present the book and the information you need to give them as to how they can go about ordering them. Remember the Spanish publisher has set the sale of 600 of these biographies of Meher Baba as the magic number before he will go ahead with the publication of Dios Habla (God Speaks in Spanish.) Don tells me sales are going well, 1 guess Baba wants it to happen, but He can always use your help! Remember what a privilege it is to serve our Master. Ensenanzas de Meher Baba. sells for $15, the same price as the English version of this very interesting new release. Don tells us he came upon a lot of new insights into Baba's teachings while writing this book. There are so many more books I could tell you about, but space prohibits. We are edging yet closer to getting a new catalog printed, also to getting a web site. But when we can only have volunteer labor, no matter how dedicated, it does take time. SeeyouIn the Bookstore! Dina

ing flowers, coconuts, fruits and garlands. The scene is still vividly imprinted upon my consciousness. Hour after hour, His lovers approached Him with their offerings, as He sat on the dias. Suddenly, Baba signaled to me to stop the crowd. Baba's expression was intense. He gestured to me to speak out: "I am the Creator, the Provider and the Sustainer of the Universe. All these offerings are nothing other than that which I, as the Provider, have already given to you. Now you are offering to Me that which is already Mine!" I tell you, 1 can see Baba's expression still to this day, as He continued to admonish the crowd, gesturing, "I don't need your fruits and garlands, they are of no use to Me." Then Baba shook His head, pressing His hand to His forehead in consternation. " obody gives Me what 1 really need .... obody offers me what I really want...." The hall was packed, but there was pindrop silence. Finally, a single high pitched lady's voice petitioned Baba, cutting through the silence. "But Baba, what is it that you need? Tell us so we can offer it to You." Once again, Baba held His head in His hand, shaking His head from side to side, sadly conveying, "Nobody... nobody ... nobody gives me what I need. All your offerings are nothing other than what I, as the Provider, have given you. There is only one thing that I do not possess, and that is your imperfections. I am Perfection personiÂŁed. Offer Me your imperfections so that you may one day become free, and 1 may one day be released from being bound in you!" The Love Street Bookstore sells a video of this talk (much longer), $30

Offering Our 1mperfections by Heather

adel, Meherazad

E

ruch has been telling this story often over the past year in Mandali Hall, and it seems a great one to share. Here's how Eruch tells it: 1 am reminded of a mass darshan programme which took place in Poona. Thousands of His lovers traveled long distances to have His darshan; to look into His eyes for a fleeting moment, and to bow their heads at His Feet, offer-

39


Finance Report for Meherabode Michael Ramsden, Vice-president & Director of Finance Februarv 7, 2000

At this time the Board has authorized all surplus money raised for general funding of Center Operations and not needed for operations, to be put aside for renovation. We expect that Center operating costs will be reduced from $5,000 per month to $3,500 due to mortgage payoff, property tax exemption and other reduced payments.

T

o all Voting Members, Associate Members and Interested parties. Good news! Your Board was able to authorize the final payoff of the outstanding mortgage - January 17, 2000. This was preceded by several large unexpected donations given expressly for mortgage reduction. The Board wishes to thank all contributors to the purchase, going back as far as 1975 when the idea for owning property dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba was first put forward. Your Board recognizes that it is only by the Grace of Avatar Meher Baba that full unencumbered ownership has been achieved. It is all His doing. Thank you Baba. However we still have work to do to complete the Renovation project! As authorized by vote of the Membership on September 12 t \ application to the Zoning Administrator was made to give a full one year extension to delay the start of . construction. The extension was granted. Architectural plans have been completed and approved by the city and ~wait final . approval by the Zoning Administrator when enough contributions have been received to finish Renovation Construction on or by ovember 28 th â&#x20AC;˘ We will then have a further 2 years to complete the renovation. If all money is available, the Board projects a start date in September, 2000 with expected finish by December, 2000. Center Membership authorized a construction Budget of $188,180 on September 12 1999 for Phase 1. At this time the archite~t has been paid 95% ofhis fee, $24,000 last year and $4,620 this year. The remainder is due at start ofconstruction. This leaves a budget of$160,000 to complete Phase 1. We have $74,130 in hand. This leaves $85,870 to raise. We have yet to receive about $10,000 in property taxes due to our exemption and we have in hand a book donated by Don Stevens, Stay With God written and signed by Francis Brabazon and Avatar Meher Baba, to be auctioned with benefits to be used for renovation. Don has requested a reserve of $10,000. That would leave about $65,000 to be raised for Phase 1. How about Phase 2 as well within the next 2 years! That would require an additional $60,000.

40

President's Report Lois Jones

Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmaterials and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for ilie ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba iliat mean so much to all of us. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends ofMeher BabaTrust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

ai Baba! We would like to c~ngratulate and introduce the Board of DIXectors for the year 2000:

J

Lois Jones - President Michael Ramsden - Vice President and Director of Finance Harry Thomas - Secretary Steve Berry - Publications and Communications Director Mahoo Ghorbani - Fundraising Director Kennedy McIntosh - Personnel Director Golnaz Manouchehr-Pour- Service Director Nancy Merwan - Program Director Ken Pellman - Fixed Assets Director The Board would like to thank the retiring directors, Mehernoush McPherson, Dina Snow, and Linda Zavala. The Board has again appointed Kanji Miyao as Treasurer. We greatly appreciate Kanji's continued faithful service in tlus position. The new board's first order ofbusiness was to authorize the final payment on Meherabode's mortgage (see Michael Ramsden's report). What a great way to start the year! Avatar Meher Baba KiJai!

A Note from Our Trust-walli Lynne Berry f you've been thinking that s~me time you'd like to make a love-donatIon to the Trust, today may be tl1e perfect time. The Avatar Meher BabaTrust runs a firstrate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-Iovers. All ofthese worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by ~astern and Western volunteers.

I

AudioTape Lending Library

D

o you ever find yourself in a 'dry spell' spiritually? Are you bored listening to ilie same old negative news, weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would you railier have something inspiring to listen to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings... ?Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on t1Us tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry (official tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMB Lending Audio Library do Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173.


Hum.or for Hum.a

The Pope

The Test

A man who reeked of alcohol flopped on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of rum was sticking out of his ripped jacket pocket. He opened his newspaper and started reading. Mter a few minutes, the disheveled guy turned to the priest and asked "Say, Father, do you know what causes arthritis?" The priest, disgusted by the man's appearance and behavior snapped "It's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and a contempt for your fellow man!" "Well, I'll be," the man muttered and returned to his newspaper. The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized, "I'm sorry to have come on so strong - I didn't mean it. How long have you been suffering from arthritis?" "I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."

Two college seniors had a week of exams coming up. However, they decided to go to a party instead and they didn't get any studying done. When they went to the test, they decided to tell the professor that their car had broken down the night before due to a flat tire and they needed a bit more time to study. The professor told them that they could have another day to study. That evening, both of the boys cran1ffied all night until they were sure that they knew just about everything. Arriving to class the next morning, each boy was told to go to separate classrooms to take the exam. Each shrugged and went to two different parts of the building. As each sat down, they read the first question. "For 5 points, explain the contents of an atom." At this point, they both thought that this was going to be a piece ofcake, and answered the question V\'ith ease. Then, the test continued... "For 95 points, tell me which tire it was."

Ol'Fred

Church Bulletin Bloopers 1. This afternoon, there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized in both ends. 2. Tuesday at 4 pm there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk come early. 3. Thursday at 5 pm there will be a meeting ofthe Little Mothers club. All ladies wishing to be Little Mothers please meet with the pastor in his study. 4. This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs.Johnson to come forward and lay an egg at the altar. 5. The ladies of the cl1urch have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon. 6. A bean supper will be held on Saturday evening in the church basement. Music will follow. 7. The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth ofDavid Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Belzer. 8. For those ofyou who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 9. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. 10. Poduck supper. Prayer and medication to follow. 11. Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.

01' Fred had been a faithful Christian and was in the hospital, near death. The family called their preacher to stand with them. As the preacher stood next to the bed, 01' Fred's condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on. The pastor lovingly handed hin1 a pen and a piece ofpaper, and 01' Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then suddenly died. The preacher thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket. At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realized that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when 01' Fred died. He said, "You know, 01' Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven't looked at it, but knowing Fred, I'm sure there's a word of inspiration there for us all." He opened the note, and read, "Please step to your leftyou're standing on my oxygen tube!"

There once was a Beach called Myrtle Where the Avatar met an old turtle and a big aligator Who said 'see you later' Now the Centre is spiritually fertile There once was a sixth plane mast Who transcended his anger and last When brought to the master He moved on even faster And now he's in bliss in the dast Michael Da Costa

[We will miss you Charlie Brown! Thank

Il1i1Nl\ iN 1H1S CASE WE CJlN IIMKE

youjOr all the joy you gave us/}

~ EXC~,

Mit SCHULZ

41


Children.s Corner

[Shirin Borthwick oJSydneyAustrafia.sent us thefOllowing enthusiastic demoiption oJThe Youth Sahavas AtAvatar's Abode.}

Go to the Sahavas! Baba ROCKS! Shirin Borthwick, Australia

Ice Cream for the Soul Author unknown

L

ast week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked ifhe could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!" Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!" Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As I held him and assured him that he had done a terriÂŁc job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gendeman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked "Cross my heart." Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A lime ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes and my soul is good already."

42

I

arrived with a slight feeling ofdread deep down in my stomach. Would I survive a week with herds of unruly, hormonal teenagers roaming the green expanse of Avatar's Abode? I had my doubts. And on top ofthat, I had brought along one ofmy school friends! Would she manage to have a good time and get a better idea of the Baba scene? Or would she be turned off it forever. .. ? These rather melodramatic thoughts dominated my thinking right up to the gUl ofJanuary, 2000. But upon entering Avatar's Abode on that sunny morning, I happened to reach into my backpack and by chance pulled out an old Baba card along with my sunnies. [OZ for sunglasses. ed.] Its inscription read: "Don't Worry, Be Happy, and I will help you." I was somewhat comforted, as I was reminded that this was a Baba event, and He would ensure that it was filled with His love. And right from the moment God drove around the corner in his funky red jeep to a crescendo of drumming, I knew this was going to be cool. It was also fascinating to learn first off not only each of the youthwallas' names, but also what their favourite soft toy had been. So began a week that I will never forget. Thoughts of Baba prevailed in every activity we did, be it lanternmaking, getting to know each other, dancing, looking at the stars, dodging cane toads or struggling through the rather large (from my perspective, anyway) surf at the beach. I even had a chance to improve my coordination skills with the daily ball game! The discussion groups were great, because everyone had their own unique view to share, while everything was still brought back to what Baba said. No one ever lost sight of what they were there for, and lifelong friendships were formed by all involved. My schoolfriend was immediately accepted with love into the group, and seemed to have the time of her life, saying "I've never met such a big .group of people, and such nice people all at one time before!" I felt the same

way - Everyone was so great! And it's so lovely to know that as long as we have a connection with the Baba community, we will have a connection with each other. So on the whole, it was one of the best times I've ever had, and the fIrst time I've ever felt so much Meherabad-like energy and happiness flowing through the Abode. I left with a heightened awareness of Baba's constant presence in my life, and a thousand and one beautiful memories. If only next year's Sahavas would come around sooner!

"I am very happy to hear music. It reminds Me of the First Song that was sung ages ago, and that Song produced this phenomenon called the Universe. God will make Me soon break My Silence and that fIrst original Song will be sung again and the world will realize that God alone is real and that everyone is eternally one with God." - Meher Baba

Self-pity is the worstpoverty; it overwhelms one until he sees nothing but illness, trouble and pain. -Hazrat Inayat Khan Commentary by Hazrat Samuel L. Lewis:

T

his is a concentration upon nufs [false ego], the cause of all disharmony. When one concentrates upon God, nothing but love will be found, but when the attention is centered around the thought of self, all ugliness, pain and illness will rise. Of course in a certain sense they were always there, but this concentration gives them more life. It deprives the body and mind of the usual life which is naturally bestowed upon them by the Grace of God. It feeds the elementals who derive their potency from the excrescences of man, and these elementals in turn increase his trouble. Concentration upon darkness does not increase the darkness, but it does impede the opportunity for light and health to reach the place of sickness.

Reminder we are now:

Bababook@pacbell.net


One Foot in the World -

Poetry Page

One Foot in the Spiritual Life

Ed Flanagan,

Rich Blum

ow it is time for me to make a decision. Either lift up the foot on the rock of the world and put both feet into the spiritual life, or lift the foot on the rock of the spirituallife and put both feet back into the world. I try to lift the foot on the spiritual rock, but it is cemented to the rock. I then try to lift the foot on the rock of the world, but it is also cemented to its rock. With my feet cemented to both rocks - I am pulled apart, ripped apart. Slowly, I sink, my head is now just above the water. A splitting pain is focused in my heart. With waves crashing against me, I can resist you no more. I cry out for you. either the spiritual life - nor the worldly life - only you. I see you on top of the cliffs. I see you on the ocean coast. I see you hovering directly in front of me. All light surrounds your form. My heart reflects your light. And your bliss flows from heart to my head. There are no more rocks, no more cliffs, no more ocean. Only your light and bliss. Once more I surrender, and there is only You.

Boston MA

All the world's museums couldn't begin to hold the massive treasure in just one tiny ray ofyour body's Infinite Radiant Light

I want to resist your bliss because it will only lead to more suffering when I leave your company. I have one foot in the world, and one foot in the spiritual life. I feel as though I am standing on two rocks in the ocean near the coast. Water surrounds these rocks and the waves crash against them. High cliffs rise above the coast. I have one foot on each rock. But the rocks are not stable - they are not anchored. They begin to slide away from one another. My legs are being pulled apart in opposite directions. The rock of the world drifts towards the coast, while the rock of the spiritual life drifts out to sea.

Do You Know?

One sparkfrom that Divine Fire will one day ignite the crudities of millenia in a conflagration worthy ofa million suns.

Ifall the parallel lines in the universe-

You Walk with Me Terry McCarthy, February 22, 2000 As you walk alone you walk with Me My waves ofgrace lap at you feet My love requites your burning fire consumes false hopes brings true desire to one whose hope and heart are true it's through your loving that I am you (With a little help from The Friend... a lot really.)

The Only Game

just the vertical and horizonal ones speak such volumes ofthe Divine Beloved's care fOr each and every single cell in existence just imagine ifyou were to start counting all the oblique ones! One whiffofHis peifitme unsettles one, disarms another, ravishes a third and completely slays the ral"e chosen one. When that breeze blows will there be even one left not changed, irrevocably andfOrever? Do you know what manner oflifeflrmsfairies, elves and even angels passjoyously in and out ofthe secret thresholds and openings in your body as you sleep at night? For they know that your heart is the very temple oftheir most Divine Beloved.

George Snow, Š1997 Now, the only Time You, the only One, Love, the only Game As marbles you play with us Little solid drops of light Rolling around in Your Fingers Melting to glow in the warmth of Your Love Play the game, draw us near Pick us up To be played in your Hand One more time Then return in another Age And it will continue to be Now, the onlyTirne With You, the only One Playing Love, the only Game

43


How Can I

Do Rain Dances Really Work?!

Touch Him? Bhau Kalchuri

A

fter dinner, Baba got up to leave three times, but Mary Pickford would not allow him to go. Finally, when he stood up, all surrounded him. Dictating from his alphabet board, he continued to converse with them while standing. After a few minutes, his roving glance fell on a young lady standing isolated at the far end of the room with her back to him. Baba beckoned for her and when his summons was relayed, she turned her face toward him but remained aloof. She was called again. Slowly coming forward, she stopped at a distance. Norina told her, "Come and shake hands with Baba, child." The young lady remained reserved, and Elizabeth said to her, "Why are you afraid, dear? Come nearer and meet Baba." She asked, "How can I touch him?" "Why not?" orina replied. "All can meet Baba!" This brought tears to her eyes, and she pitiably asked, "But I am a sinner! How can I touch a holy being like him?" Baba then went to her, and passed his hand over her head and shoulders. She started weeping, and Baba gestured to her, "I am the purest of the pure. I can purifY the worst sinner. You have understood your mistakes and acknowledged them faithfully in the presence of others, and so you are forgiven. This penance from the depths ofyour heart is adequate, and you are now cleansed. ow, don't fear in the least and don't repeat your past mistakes. I give you my blessings!" The girl burst into tears, and Baba lovingly embraced her. The tears which Baba had drawn from her heart wiped out all her sins. Those who witnessed this were deeply moved; their hearts overflowed and their eyes also teared. Before departing, Baba again embraced all the guests and putting his hand on the girl's head, consoled her, "You have received forgiveness for everything! Forget the past and don't worry at all." The girl pressed her eyes to Baba's hand and kissed it. As Baba left, all eyes followed him. In their films, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks had depicted scenes ofdeep human love, but witnessing thi sight ofpure divine love from Meher Baba was a rare experience indeed. Their hearts were full. From Lord Meher, Volume 5, p. 1659, by Bhau Kalchuri. Š1990 Lawrence Reiter,

44

Meher Baba

G

ustadji informed Baba that in his absence there had been a heated argument between Rustom K Irani andNaval Talati. Naval was certain that if a megha rag (rain tune) wasproperly sung, rain wouldfall Rustom, however, wasfirm in his opinion that without spiritual powers, it was not possible to bring rain. In order to appease them, the Master gave this discourse on sound and Universal Sound: What Naval says is true. By singing the megha rag, rain is possible and no spiritual power is necessary. It is an acknowledged fact that by rain clouds colliding, rain falls. Sound also travels in waves, and scientists have proven that it takes time for them to travel The traveling ofsound waves can be easily understood if you look at a person washing clothes at a distance. When he strikes the clothes on the stone, the sound does not immediately reach you; he strikes the clothes, but you hear it after a few seconds. Similarly, in singing the megha rag, when the sound has the required pitch and vibrations it creates waves causing a disturbance in the clouds which results in rain. This is a natural phenomenon; what is there to disbelieve in it? Compared with this, the discovery of the radio and the telegraphic wireless is harder to believe; without any apparent connecting link, message or sound is made to travel great distances between two points. ow what is the voice? Where does it originate? When one hears sound coming out of his mouth, it must be existing somewhere. In truth, sound pervades the universe. God is sound, light - everything. There is a point from where sound issues forth, and from that Creation, or Om point, evolution starts. Sound has been given a door - our mouth - to manifest from. When a sound comes out of the mouth it is lost in the Universal Sound which is everywhere. So what wonder is there if the sound produced by singing the megha tune reaches the clouds two miles above the earth and produces rain, when it is a recognized fact that sound waves are sent through telegraphy thousands of miles away. There is nothing spiritual or supernatural in producing rain through sound waves. It is for this reason, because sound travels and creates various vibrations, that a person should read the holy books whether he understands their meaning or not. The words in the Zoroastrians' ZendAvesta, or in the Hin-

dus' Gita, or in the Muslims' Koran, and in other scriptures, are so harmoniously arranged that when they are pronounced the sound created comes very nearly in unison with the Universal Voice, or the Universal Sound, and is a great help in influencing a person spiritually. From Lord Meher, Volume 2, 1922-1925 p. 448-9, by Bhau Kalchuri, Š Lawrence Reiter

On Pleasing Baba by Adi

K. Irani

1

2 October 1976. The important thing concerning your life is that you do whatever draws you closer to Baba. The details of one's profession and career are not so nearly important as maintaining and increasing the connection one has with Him in the abode of the heart. Baba will be with you no matter what you study. Try your best to decide in your heart what Baba wants; then make a decision, and as long as you take His name with you, you will be doing the right thing. All the divisions you speak about exist in the mind only. The heart is only one. See from the heart, not the mind. It is the mind that wants to divide and separate. It is the heart that is one. Through your constant remembrance of Him, His grace will flow to you to help you seek and experience everything as one, as parts of the whole unity of life. In deciding not only what to take in school, but what personal relationships to develop in friends, and what life partner to choose if you decide to get married, ask this question: Will this relationship help bring me closer to my heart's desire: Meher Baba? In deciding where to live, where to go for your vacations - in virtually every decision in your life the criteria for making the decision should be: Will this action ofmine bring me closer to Him, and will it please Him? Or can I do something else which, although it isn't something I like, will please Him and will bring me closer to Him? Ifyou do this with the attitude ofa child, looking to its parent to see what the parent would be happy with, then Baba will guide you and His Grace will be upon you. From Lettel'sfrom the Mandali ofAvatar Mehel' Baba, Compiled by Jim Mistry, pp 91-92, Š 1981 AMBPPCT, published by Sheriar Press.


Manzil-e-Meem -1980 by Dick Duman Colorado

M

anzil-e-Meem in Bombay is one of the extremely important holy sites connected with Meher Baba, but it is also among the least visited.When Baba had completed his work in this building on April 19, 1922, no provision was made to conserve it. Baba did not insist or say it was his wish to preserve it and the Indian devotees regrettably let it slip away from their grasp. The building at 167 Main Road, Dadar, had in fact been rented for a year in Beheramji's name the previous June 7th, for Rs. 350. Many Baba devotees seem reluctant, even a little embarrassed, to discuss Baba's behavior during this early period of the Advent. More than at any later time, Baba could appear to be impatient, stormy and explosive, capricious and arbitrary, like a supremely spiritual version ofa U.S. Marine Corps boot camp drill sergeant. Yet many of the people who gathered around Baba at that time were well acquainted with the irascible demeanor of Upasni Maharaj and might even have expected their new Master to manifest exactly these jalali qualities of divine glory. "They were given the opportunity of living with men of different religions and communities - something none ofthem had ever done before. In Meher Baba's camaraderie, they were inspired to shed their various individual differences, prejudices and respective likes and dislikes, for the general benefit and welfare of all" (Lord Meher Volume II, p. 503) By the time Don Stevens and I got to

Bombay in 1980, the place had been declared virtually off-limits. What had been a clean and safe neighborhood in the early 1920s had become a den of thieves and too many unpleasant incidents with the residents of the place had piled up, and the place itself was an unkempt and deteriorated ramshackle. Nevertheless, Nargis Dadachanji volunteered to take us there and to show us around. I spent a lot of time with argis during my pilgrimage in 1973. She was a wonderful example of the consummate Parsi matriarch. These extremely capable and formidable women have a way, over tea and sweets, like my Jewish mother, of quickly sizing men up. From the first moment I felt as though I were being probed, tested, interrogated, observed and evaluated. I was being screened. Yet the process was gentle and courteous, gracious and warm, accompanied by humor, by deep natural good will and hospitality. Her home was like an outlier, a satellite of old Meherabad, and N argis, like Mansari alone on the Hill. I must have somehow passed the test, because seven years later I was invited to string along with her and Don to view the remains of Manzil-e-Meem in February of 1980. The building itselfwas dead as a doornail. The living spirit of Manzil-e-Meem within Bombay seemed to me to have relocated to Nargis' home in Dadar. But the place came alive again for a short time when Nargis set foot on the property. The residents were not a bit welcoming, but argis regally intruded us right into the interior, which was by then accessed through a different doorway than that in use in the early 1920s. That old entryway was blocked, the lovely latticework and the windows painted over thickly, the steps crumbled and the pieces left to lie in place. Little makeshift planters were hung over the steps at some past time. These were rusty and one held a plant clinging to life, perhaps by fortuitous rain catchments. Inside, the rooms were nearly as unfurnished as they had been when in use by Baba and the first group ofMandali. Strange as it

Meher Saba, Manzil-e-Meem, 1922 seems, there was a worn and decrepit overstuffed armchair, set at an angle in a sunny corner ofthe big room, with only a single torn pillow to sit on. I thought of this chair again later that week during Baba's birthday celebration at Meherazad, sitting in Mandali Hall with Eruch and Don, Francis and Maniand Baba's chair there at the same angle. On the balcony overlooking this former entryway, moribund car tires had been piled up. Resentfully, the residents permitted the tour, but I kept my camera under wraps and got off only a few surreptitious exterior shots. Every ruin has its own unique atmosphere. The shell of Manzil-e-Meem was momentarily brought to life for me by the company ofNargis and Don, but it was stark nevertheless, a place for zen-like appreciation of impermanence, emptiness and eternity. The feeling was closer to my experience ofBabajan's much reduced Samadhi in Poona than to the terrible loss I felt in 1973, standing on the construction site which I had known in 1969 as Guruprasad. I believe it is largely subjective, but not entirely. I wonder if the Manzil-eMeem structure in some form is standing today? Are mine the very last photos of the holy sire? I was privileged to get to go there. .

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My Peace Is In Pieces! by Bal Natu

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was sitting on a bench in a quiet comer ofthe garden, enjoying the variety offlowers with their glorious colors. They reminded 路me of Your matchless creativity and infInite beauty. What a wonder! In response to this fleeting appreciation, "You appeared before me with a smile ofgood humor. Being everywhere, You can manifest anywhere, although it may seem as ifYou come from nowhere! I was so stunned that I greeted You with an awed and grateful silence. Before I could recover from this unexpected heavenly surprise, You asked me casually, "How are you?" "I'm okay," I replied vaguely, still under the spell ofYour arrival. You looked probingly at me. "Really?" I felt my mood shift, and answered somewhat defensively "Why? Don't you think so?" "But are you at peace with yourself?" You asked gendy. Your loving concern disarmed me completely, and gave me the courage to open my wounded heart. "In fact, my mind is in shambles, and my peace is in pieces!" I confessed. "Yet you look quite composed," You observed. "That is only camouflage," I answered. You nodded, as though in sympathy. "I'm glad you say so. Generally, people do camouflage d1emselves, especially when they are at parties and public gatherings."

46

"But aren't these occasions supposed to be times for relaxation and relief from the stress of life?" "Yes, but you soon fmd that all this merriment is only temporary. By the time you reach home, you begin to brood on unpleasant events connected with some of the persons you have had conversations with." "You're right," I admitted. "Even when I open certain letters, the contents irritate me. Or when I occasionally hear comments made during the day that I disagree with, I feel aggravated. I often lose my mental balance as a result. How can I get over this?" "Don't lose heart, and you will receive My help," You assured me. "But what is the real cause of all this annoyance and irritation?" I asked. "It is natural that many unexpected things happen to you which armoy you, and this creates a sense offrustration. Sometimes you cannot help but express your irritation outwardly. But the more you see your life as being harmoniously interwoven with those you meet, your responses will be less selfish and more loving. The truth is, meeting others is really a meeting with your own many selves, in order that you may eventually find your real Self in Me. When you begin to feel My presence in others, then the qualities that you envy in them will exude a new perfume of appreciation for you. Discovering My presence in others is always a joyous surprise, and goes a long way toward helping Me to help you." "You are right," I acknowledged. "I have experienced this. But then I totally forget the blessings You have showered on me, and I continue the bad habit of keeping a careful count of all my troubles. This seems to be deeply ingrained in me." "That is because you forget that delightful encounters are waiting for you just around the comer." "Are they?" "Yes, because life is always moving, consciously or unconsciously, toward that Bliss which is your Real ature." "Yet it seems that in spite of anticipating this Bliss, I am constandy passing through disturbing experiences." Again, I saw a look of deep sympathy in Your eyes. "The disturbances you speak of are always relative to your acceptance ofMy will. If you take the things that happen to you as expressions of My will, you will feel less annoyed, and the spirit of acceptance will be awakened in you. Learn to accept life as it is, without getting armoyed, and I will help you. Do you think that I am cruel?"

I could only look at You. You shook Your head solemnly. "No. Even if I wished to be, I could not. I love you. I love all." From Intimate Conversations with The Awakener, by Bal atu, pages 27-30, Copyright 1998 Shenar Foundation, Published by Shenar , Foundation

This is not written by a Baba lover, but we feel it has a very good message that seems right in keeping with Baba's teachings:

IAsked God I asked God to take away mypain. God said, No. It is notfOr me to take away, butfOr you to give it up. I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No. Her spirit is whole, her body is only temporary. I asked God to grant mepatience. God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I giveyou blessings. Happiness is up to you. I asked God to spare mepain. God said, No. Suffiring draws you apartfrom worldly cares and brings you closer to me. I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I willprune you to make youfruitftl. I askedfOr all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things. I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me. God said .. Ahhhh, finally you have the idea. "To love God for what He may give you is not loving Him at all. To sacrifice anything in His cause to gain something for yourself is like a blind man sacrificing his eyes for sight. God is the Divine Beloved worthy of being loved because He is Love. He who loves God because of this will be blessed with unlimited sight and will see Him as He is." "To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity and beauty,-this is the sale game which has any intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments can, in themselves, have no lasting importance." - Meher Baba


Stay with God A Statement in Illusion on Reality by Francis Brabazon For lovers of Beloved Meher Baba and Baba bibliophiles alike, here is a rare opportunity to obtain Francis' book of memories and illuminations from his life of many years spent in Baba's presence. This hardbound edition, which is signed by Baba and includes a note enclosed with Francis' signature will be auctioned on May 6, 2000 at the Annual Dinner Auction to benefit the Renovation Project for Meherabode.

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This book of prose, published by Francis Brabazon in 1959, is written in six parts as a reflection and analysis on the human predicament between human love and awareness and Divine Love and Divine Wisdom as personified in the Divine Beloved as Avatar. Francis shares his views on many different aspects of the search the spiritual seeker inevitably finds himself drawn into. He also shares his reflections on time spent with Meher Baba and poetic revelations he gained through the love Meher Baba gave him.

'Stay with God' which is in excellent condition, has been lovingly donated to the LA Center by Don Stevens. Although 5,000 copies werepublished, veryfew copies were signed by Baba.

Don't Miss this Rare Opportunity. Auction Bid for "Stay With God"

Reserve: If not met

book will be withdrawn Yes I am bidding $ ame: Address:.

by mail for this book. Telephone:

_ _

©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© Return Bid by April 29 in enclosed envelope or Bid by Cell Phone at Auction. Payment may be made via MC/V/AX, bank draft or Money Order.

'Baba's Garden ofLove' Dinner andAuction. Saturday May 6th between 4:30 and 9:30p.m. at Meherabode. Many Baba related items will be auctioned. All net proceeds to benefit AMBCSC general operationsfund. You may bid by phone during the auction. For more information call Mahoo Ghorbani at 310-732-0299.

II


"I will tell you why you feel happy here. Those who are connected with me ought to feel happy here for two reasons. Ages ago this was a place where Baba visited, moved about and stayed, and the combination of the lake, ocean and the woods gives it a unique atmosphere. " From Glimpses ofthe God-Man, Meher Baba, Volume 3, by Bat Natu,

Š 1982 AMBPPCT

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JULY - SEPTEMBER,

... ,CoveStreet Lampl'oSt

[]

2000


t

I

Editor's Corner

t Peanut Prasad James Cox

Dina Snow Jai Baba folks,

F

or our Summer issue we have started something new, that we hope with your help, we can continue for a year or two. "Travelling in His Footsteps". We know many of you, when in a foreign country, like to visit the places Baba has been. but often times only have a vague idea as to exactly where He was. Well we hope to clear that up and make it a lot easier for you. Thanks to input from many of our readers. our staff was able to put together a pretty thorough accounting of Baba in Italy. Next issue we hope to be doing Switzerland. If any of you have detailed information that may not be readily available in books, and would like to share it with us, we \..ould love to hear from you-not just on Switzerland. but any country He was in. â&#x20AC;˘ As you wiU read in our Announcements section, because of age and failing health. the Mandali have had to cut back even further on the hours they are available to us. As Bhauji so poignantly tells us, "The Wineshop is c1osing"-make haste to get there before it is too late. Baba's Samadhi will always be there for us, and His fragrance is still very strong-as He said it would be for 100 years after the dropping of His body, but how wonderful to be able to hear of His life from the people Baba chose as His closest ones. Remember that if you happen to be sick when you are at Meherabad. you must not go out to Meherazad. In their present failing health, even a common cold could develop into something far more serious. So many new people are coming to Baba, how wonderful for them to be able to share even the smallest time with the Mandali. Read Jay Schauer's article Impressions of Meherazad-it wiJI make old timers smile reminiscently and newcomers make plans to get there as soon as possible. Amartithi can't come soon enough for me! (My next visit).

[Sorry, we forgot to mention in the last issue that the back-coverphoto ofBaba on the bridge was a composite image, not an originalphoto.}

]

A

fter bOWing down at Baba's Samadhi, the pUgrim automatically goes to the person handing out prasad and either takes candy, peanuts or any special treat offered that day, and some people take all. Did you know that this daUy prasad is not provided, , nor paid for out ofTrust funds, but rather is purchased out of specific donations given by individuals for that purpose or that the prasad is brought by individuals as a gift for distribution? Soon after Baba dropped his body and people started to come for Darshan, Mansari, who was living alone on the Hill, became concerned about being able to provide prasad, in accordance with Indian tradition and expectations, to the many who were starting to come, so she approached Mani and asked if the newly functioning Trust could do something about this, but Mani, maybe because of the ritual aspect, declined rather strongly. Feeling bad, Mansari decided she would provide prasad herself out of her own very meager funds, and she did. From that point, other people joined her and donations began to flow, and as anyone can testify who has been to the Samadhi, there has never been a shortage of prasad since. However, some 15 or 20 years ago, a new consciousness began to arise in certain people about the potential ill effects excessive sugar could cause, and certainly in India one can be exposed to what many consider "excessive sugar," so the idea of having an alternate prasad for people trying to limit their sugar intake, came into existence and the practice of offering peanuts at the Samdhi was bom. This new option also caught on, albeit not to the extent of the sweet prasad, but nevertheless, there were still several individuals who regularly contributed peanuts to the Samadhi, out ofwhich the main ones, I suppose, were SheUa Fenster (Bhau Kalchuri's daughter), Rustom Falahati (famous for his raw food diet, which almost everyone here has tried) and myself. In recent times, Sheila has moved to the States and Rustom has been in a particularly generous mood, bestowing kUos and kUos of uncooked peanuts on us, which according to his naturopathic diet, he believes are better for you. Upon occasion, some well meaning persons have tried to roast this inventory, but Rustom always objects, so the peanut prasad stays raw. In fact, so many raw peanuts have accumulated that some persons have mischievously started feeding them to the ground squirrels, and now Baba's prasad

has many new four legged, furry devotees, but that is another story. I mention all of the above to you strictly for background information. This morning, as I sat outside the Samadhi after Am, SheUa Fenster, freshly back from the States, came up to me and said she had some work with me. Curiously, I enquired as to what that might be. Mistakenly assuming I had provided the raw peanuts, she asked me if I knew the story ofthe opening ofthe Meher Nazar Baba Center, and I said that I did not. She proceeded to teU me that when she was about 9, and her younger brother Mehernath was about 7, they wanted to open a Center for Baba in what is now theTrust Compound, and they asked Baba if He would come for the opening to which He readUy agreed. At the opening ceremony, Baba came and cut the ribbon and congratulated them, telling them how happy He was, and then asked Mehernath how many members they had. Mehernath said, "None."Then Baba asked about SheUa, and wasn't she a member, to which Mehernath indicated that she wasn't, that he only let her in when there was work for her to do. Baba was amused and asked Sheila, "So what work do you do?" SheUa said, "I roast the peanuts for prasad." And then Baba asked, "What do you do with them after roasting?" SheUa replied, "I give them to Mehernath." And Baba again asked, "What does he do with them?" And SheUa again replied, "He eats them." Baba laughed and told her that her roasted peanuts were really delicious, and that He wanted her to supply them to all of Meherazad, so she bought and roasted 2 kUos worth, then sent them out to Meherazad. The next time He saw her, Baba told her how good they were, and that He wanted her to supply them to His Samadhi. She was puzzled, as at that time there was no one who went to the Samadhi, but Baba told her that in the future she would have the chance, and to make sure they arejust like this,lightly salted and roasted nicely, because raw peanuts have some oU in them that is not good for the throat. I looked at her sitting on the step beside me, broke into one of those"whadya know, there *is* a God" smiles, and said, "SheUa, I think you need to speak to Rustom."

1I


-I;~

A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

n] £oveStreet £amfBJst' ...

welcome

Passings and Reunions

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

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

Introduction to God Speaks, Mexico City This Supreme Privilege, the Harbs Remember Silence Day

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

Love Street Bookstore:

MineKo Mori

10

Dick Duman

12

Bhau Kalchuri..

14

15

Kitty Davy

16

Bhau Kalchuri

19

Patrick D. Cook

20

Ruano Bogislav

22

Jonathan Bader and Staff

23

Bal Natu

32

Cynthia Barrientos

33

Pilgrimage

Eruch Jessawala

36

HamirpurTour With Bhau

Anne Moreigne

37

Prayers

Eruch Jessawaia

r-

Meher Baba's Universal Message, 1964 Filis Frederick Meets Baba Seeking Baba's Fragrance in Italy Three Babies Avatar Meher Baba in Italy Friendly As Well As Fiery In The "Right Place?"

Bob Dearborn and Tom Dexter

42

Moonball on Mehera's Eve

Ward Parks

43

Meherazad Impressions

Jay Schauer

44

James Cox

45

Mr. Khodayar Toos

46

Editor's Corner

Dina Snow

2

The Love Street Bookstore

Dina Snow

4

various contributors

5

Nancy Merwan

11

The Southeast Gathering

Baba as the Ultimate Teacher

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

8

L.A. Baba Center

Baba's Garden of Love

From Our Man in Meherabad

deadlines:

various contributors

Dina Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and II pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

Quarterly Program

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Announcements

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Poetry Page

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Children's Page

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Humor for Huma

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credits: editor: design and layout: research assistant: digital prenight: distribution: cover:

Dina Snow Cherie Plumlee, Pris HaITenden, Barbara Roberts Betty Lowman. Tom Hart Chris Lyttle Lord Meher. Saba in Venice, 1933

The .LoveStreet£mnrfJbst' is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 2000 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books of Avatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India. Unauthorized duplication Isprohibitedbylaw.

Reviews New books. music, and videos!

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


Step inside...

'[he

jaiBaba, We have an abundance of new books to tell you about this issue. Most of them are reviewed in a separate place, so we will just give them a brief mention plus the prices, should you be tempted to purchase. The fIrst one is a book that left me breathless with the beauty of it the fIrst time I saw it. Meditationsin Coloris a collection of paintings done in brilliant water colors by Sharon MUir. The way the book came about is a fme example of what can happen when the Beloved wants something accomplished. Harry, Sharon's husband, tells this story: "It all began when Sharon decided to use some of the extra room in her suitcase for art supplies when we left for Meherabad last fall. Once there, she hurt her knee and was unable to walk up the hill. So out came the paints and offshe went to spend several hours at vari0us spots around Meherabad where she felt particularly close to Baba. Painting was really a form of meditation for her. The project grew. The Mandali who saw them really liked them. Pilgrims and staffwanted to buy the paintings. Meheru even invited her to spend a quiet day painting at Meherazad. Then she caught the Hostel C bug and went to bed for a few days. Somewhere in that haze she remembers Nan Wicker coming in and asking if she could have her portfolio to show to someone. She came back in an hour or so with the news that Balaji wanted to publish a book of the paintings and that he would have it ready for Baba's birthday. This was in early February. It seems that Balaji (all around good guy, computer wiz and Baba slave) had to certify a press in Hyderabad as being Y2K compliant by the middle of March. He wanted to use this fIve color printing run to put the press to the test. Combining this with a lot of donated

4

labor, we hoped to produce a book at a price that even our friends could afford. With the paintings tucked under his arm he headed back to Hyderabad in mid February. All went well-for a while. Balaji hired a quality control person with an artist's eye to oversee the color separations and the printing. To my eye she did a perfect job with the separations. Then came a test print and that was a disaster. The paintings just didn't look right on that paper. Well, Baba showed Balaji the perfect paper. There was only one problem-the Art Museum of Ancira Pradash had reserved India's entire stock of that paper. So the next morning, portfolio of paintings under his arm, Balaji was offto visit the museum's director, a devout Muslim. He loved the paintings and agreed to release enough ofthe paper for the run if they could stock the book in the museum. When it fmally got to the' print shop it went slower than expected. But by then the crew at the press had started asking who was this Meher Baba fellow. They too loved the paintings, At the end of the day the supervisor went home. When he came in the next morning the crew was just fmishing up. They had worked through the nightl" Our black and white reproductions do not do the brilliant splashes of color justice. If you log on to www.muirarts.com you can get a slight idea of their beauty, but you really need to have the book to appreciate it in all its glory. This book would be good value if priced at $40, but the Muirs wanted it to go at cost so that everyone could afford to own it. Consequently we are selling it for $25! It is 10 x 14, cloth bound with 31 wonderful flavors-er paintings! To help fInance the printing, Sharon has been selling the originals for a mere $100 each, check them out on the web, but if you fmd the ones you want have already been sold, then do as I did. Very carefully razor out the page you want and then frame it. I have two such paintings hanging on my wall. The next book is History in the Making! Beloved Archives, Inc. has released a facsimile edition of an extraordinary document of Avatar Meher Baba's own authorship. What is even more extraordinary is that this book, which is entitled In Cod Hand, comes to us in Avatar Meher Baba's own handwriting! First half is a facsimile of Baba's handwriting, and the second half gives the text of Baba's writing, with translations from the GUjarati, etc. The book has introductions, notes, glossary and explanations. For more about this amazing book, read the Review Section.

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Or Men and Meher Baba, also reviewed elsewhere, is the frrst book on Meher Baba written as a collaboration between an American and an Indian. The Indian, Amiya Kumar Hazra, is the author ofthe cult classic Memoirs ofa Zetetic and has enraptured audiences at the Pilgrim Centel' with his beautiful stories oftime spent in Baba's presence and doing His work. The American, Keith Gunn, contributed to the tone of the sections of the novel that are set in America, and also helped delineate the characters of the scientists and the ways in which they too are searching for God. Meher Baba called Amiya Kumar Hazra His beloved son. In the period between 1957 and 1969, Beloved Baba sent over 150 letters and cables to Professor Hazra. Amiya was permitted to visit Baba even in the midst ofHis most severe seclusions, at times when even Adi K. Irani despaired ofobtaining Babels agreement to see Him for His darshan. The book is in the form of a novel describing the difficulties various characters experience as they come to believe that Meher Baba was who He said he was. The story intertwines this plot line (follOWing the lives of the various characters) with Professor Hazra's musings about the problems many scientists have in finding God. The book fIctionalizes various real-life encounters with Baba's compassion that took place in the lives of Ind ian Baba Lovers. Most of these stories have remained untold up till now because the participants wished to remain anonymous. The book maintains this anonymity by ascribing the incidents to the fIctional characters. But they are all based on things that actually happened. The printing of the book is fIrst quality. Its cover has a color reproduction of a painting of Baba done by Diana Le Page, and the frontispiece has a photograph of Baba taken at the Ganeshkhind Mali's (gardener's) station in 1957. Paperback, 156 pages $10. The collaboration of Keith and Prof. Hazra went so well, they are now re-working Memoirs of a Zetetic, to be released later this year. Some ofyou may know Gary Mullins. He lives in the Atlanta area and met Meher Baba in 1962 at the East West Gathering. You may have seen his name in Murshida Duce's book HowA Master UVrkfas she told a brief incident of his meeting Baba. You might have also seen his story in the August 1999 issue of The Clow. It's a good one, it tells how a chance encounter with an elderly woman who dropped a package on a street in San Francisco (Murshida Duce) led to him meeting the Avatar a year later. Now you can read this story and lots of others in Gary's book Dancing the Beguine. He paints a


portrait of the Meher Center as it existed in the mid 60's-a place quite different from the one many of us now know. Ofcourse the beauty and magic of the Center were there then, but could you imagine being able to have a gin and tonic while you watched the sun setting on Long Lake? You could then. There are many people here that you may know-wonderful stories of times with people like Murshida Duce, Margaret Craske, Kitty and Elizabeth and one brief time with Murshid Jim Mackie. Then there was that time with Meher Baba. That one knocked him for a loop and he's still recovering today! It's been a roller coaster ride and Baba's been there every inch of the way. Gary himself has this to say about his book: "This lifetime I'm dancing in a new direction-counterclockwise. My "turn" as the whirling dervishes say, has taken me down strange and bewildering paths. With my flfst spin, I survived the tension of growing up in a dysfunctional American family. I always felt unsettled and out-of-place. After several emotionally difficult years in college, I abruptly quit. Within days, I was hitchhiking from Atlanta to San Francisco. For no apparent reason, the morning after my arrival, I walked five miles to the top of Nob Hill. As an elderly lady was about to cross the street, she dropped a package. I picked it up and we started a conversation. I had no idea this woman was the Murshida of a Sufi Order and one of the closest Western followers of Avatar Meher Baba. My spiritual search was over, and yet, my unwinding dance hadjust begun. In India, a year later, I met Meher Baba, my spiritual master. Since then, my life's dance has never been the same. The stories which I've written recall many dance partners, especially heartrending romances, as well as my uncanny and bizarre experiences. Dancjng the Beguine: A MemokofUnwindingRomance, a down-toearth and breathtaking dance oflove, celebrates my unwinding, my romance with God. It offers a fresh, and sometimes painful, glimpse into the issues of practical mysticism, reincarnation, marriage, and spiritual development. Ultimately, Dancjngis about a lifelong search for love and its eventual discovery." Paperback, $14,389 pages. The Gift, the third of Danny Ladinsky's renderings of Hafiz, continues to blaze new paths. It's amazing how many people this book has touched-it seems to speak to people of all religions-straightforward 'Poems to God' with no religious rites and rituals bound up in it. Out of the thousands of books published last year in the Eastern Religions field,

Amazon voted The Gift one of ten most significant books of 1999, and the only poetry book to receive that honor. Also, one of the best New Age magazines called Spirituality & Health, published by Trinity Church New York, with some strong Catholic leaning, voted The Gift one of the 10 most important books of 1999-in all categories; this was considered quite a feat. Besides all that, it is still the best selling poetry book in America! You can buy it in bookstores all across the country, but why would you-when you can buy it from Love Street? Paperback, 333 pages, $14. Danny tells us he has sold another book to Penguin that will be keeping him busy for the next several months. This one is titled: Love

Poems from God Wendell Brustrnan, the man behind the Witness Series of interviews with the Mandali, has given us volume 5 and 6 of these most intimate glimpses into the lives ofBaba's closest ones. The fifth is of Eruch called Closer and Closer to Him and then in the time spent with Dr. Goher she tells us 10 Each HisDuty. $45 each. In case you are not familiar with the flfSt four, they are very fine quality hour long interviews with, Mehera, Mani, Irene Billo and Agnes Baron. Gabriella Tal just sent me her latest CD Graceful and Magnillcent-one of her best so far! Really beautiful. As it arrived at press time we will review it in our next issue. Vocals are by Gabriella, Mark Malachi and Karina Miller, with Mark on Piano, Synthe~...i&If~'" .oJ meM~ sizer, and Percussion-Guitar: Michael Kovitz; Saxophone, Flute: Tim Smith; Violin: Dorothy Kitchen. Gabriella tells us: "This CD is a long time in coming. I wrote the song GracefulandMagnificent before Meher Baba's Amartithi in 1993. I felt He had given me the song as I shared it with 15,000 people atop His hill at the Samadhi. Baba's sister Mani was the most important person to me in this lifetime. I could not write a song for her for a long time but finally, 2 years after her death, the song came "Oh Mani" this album is dedicated to you. There is also a song for Mansari, beloved to many, one of Meher Baba's truest disciples, who at His order, lived half a century on the

Hill, never "crossing the train tracks" except to go to the doctor-while she kept watch over His tomb-and over us young pilgrims. A supreme example of devotion, she finally "got her visa" and recently went to Baba." There is some really beautiful words and music on this CD of Gabriella's. $15. Sheriar Press came up with a marvelous idea that will be of great assistance to all travelers intent on a full pilgrimage to Baba's places in India. We can now sell you, for only $2.50, a beautifully printed very detailed map of Poona. 11 x 17, it folds to a neat, easy to carry 9 x 4 and has photos of 11 main places with a briefhistory ofwhy they are important to Baba plus the directions on how to get there. It is called In His Footsteps and is a must for all Pilgrims. That's all for now. See you, In the Bookstore.

Video Reviews A Witness Series Video

Eruch Jessawala

CLOSER AND CLOSER TO HIM

Eruch Jessawala Remembers Meher Baba by Kristin Crawford, New York

T

wo new videos of Eruch and Dr. Goher, taken from 1986 interviews by Wendell Brustrnan and Bill Haviland, have just been released by Gateway Mediaworks as part of its Witness Series. Closer and Closer to Him transports us to Mandali Hall for nearly an hour of briJJiant, 5


incIsIve, humorous narration by Eruch. He recalls for us Baba's discourse on how to begin seeing Him as He really is, describing the opening of the heart in remembrance. Speaking of the familiarity Baba allowed him, Eruch gives us a glimpse of the delicate balance that entailed for him. He relates one of his personal favorites, the story of the king who was aflame with passion for God, but guarded this precious secret, never indulging in any outward indication of it. The video also includes footage of the intermission for tea on the Meherazad verandah at the stroke of 3 PM, during which we are treated to Mani moving playfully among the pilgrims, Aloba giving his instructions, and a few moments of Arnavaz, Rano, and Pendu, to whom a happy birthday is sung. This video offers us Baba's close companion fulfilling yet another role Baba has given him, that of the consummate storyteller, passing along the story of the Lord. Each One j{js Duty is a rare, hour-long interview with Dr. Goher, in which she recounts stories of her life with Baba, beginning with the first time she met Him, at age 6, in Quetta. Goher not only recalls but relives the feelings of those times, seemingly with no distailce in the re-telling. What comes across so strongly in this video is not only Goher's story, but her heart. Her delight at the many amusing incidents is contagious, while her pain is wrenching. As Baba's personal physician, Goher has a unique perspective on His physical suffering and describes the specifics of some of His illnesses and treatments. She also gives a sense of the unique predicament of her role in attempting to lessen the physical suffering of the Avatar, who was bound to suffer. After Baba dropped the body, Goher was so disheartened that with all of the advances of modern medicine, it had not been able to help Baba, that she wanted to be fmished with practicing medicine, but gradually moved into opening the Meherazad clinic, which Goher tours for a few minutes with the film crew. This footage of Baba's dear doctor is extraordinarily touching and intimate.

whose interactions we follow with anticipation, yet the story is based on real people who have had these actual experiences. It is not revealed who these Baba lovers actually are, yet it colors the book as we read; not unlike seeing a good movie whose great story stands on its own, but is that much more fascinating because we know it to be based on real life. The story follows the central character of John Robertson, his transformation from being intensely averse to anything spiritual (due to a childhood experience involving his father) to becoming a Baba lover. John, ailing with Parkinson's disease, moves to a retirement community. He soon fmds interesting cohorts among the residents: Dr. Fred Baptiste, a surly and agnostic physicist, and Dr. Phillip Osborne, an accomplished scholar and Baba lover. There is a parallel set of characters in the young personal assistants, former and present, of Mr. Robertson. John becomes a mentor for young Jimmy, a sweet innocent Vietnamese chap who tests and then falls for Baba in a hurry. However the older gentlemen in the story have a lot more intellectual exploring to do, before Baba cracks the shell of their hardened hearts. Scientific concepts and discussions abound between characters (Keith's major contribution to the book) which are all true I'm told, and thus very edifying in their own right. Wonderfully, all the science adds an interesting balance of "head" to the flowery "heart" of this book. The English used in the dialogue is sometimes archaic ("Let us hurry up" for example), and though hardly a soul speaks this way in real life, I actually found it charming. I won't give the end of the book away, but I think readers will be propelled by the story to see exactly how Baba unfolds His love to this crew. There are some fantastical things that go on in these 156 pages, but here's the real kicker: They say "Truth is stranger than fiction", indeed it is. $10

The Swiftness ofCrows Glenn Barefoot, North Carolina

Book Reviews "OfMen andMeher Baba" Lisa Brande, Vermont

"Of Men and Meher Baba "by Professor Amiya Kumar Hazra, and co-authored by Keith Gunn, is a delight. There is a new genre afoot in the world of Baba books and here is the seminal example. The book reads like a good novel with a cast of characters 6

I

was so taken with Nancy Wall's new volume of poetry, The Swiftness of Crows, (Moon Pony Press, 1999) that I bought copies for all my close friends and family members who have so often asked me, "Why do you keep going to India?" The first poem in section one hints at my answer: To teach me the secret ofbalance, To point my way to the place Where such grace is given . .. This is a book which itself imparts grace

through powerful images of simple village life in India. It is also a testimony to the value of pilgrimage in "reaching solid ground," as per the title of the second The Swiftness ofero.... section describing the struggle of "'''''''Y WaIl integrating the conflicting experiences of two continents as different as India and the US. What unites the two continents and one's soul is made concrete in the book's title image - "a flapping black cloud" of crows that swiftly descend upon the dead bullock in a natural process of cleaning and renewal. Nancy Wall is able to both evoke the poignancy of and transcend the heaviness of mortality in verse after verse of keen and profound observation. Read these poems aloud. Reflect upon them. Befriend them, and they will accompany you to a richer inner life.

........_e-.......

Music Reviews "When Days Have No Nights" a new CD by Mischa Rutenberg by Hank Mindlin, California

2ie who blends my tears with 2iis 7ums sorrow into sweetness ...And surrender into fflliss.

W

hen Days Have No Mghts is a superb new collection of songs to the Divine Beloved derived from the poetry ofRumi and exquisitely crafted by longtime Baba troubadour Mischa Rutenberg. Mischa has done something remarkable with this album. First, he went back to the original Persian poetry of Rumi and created new translations with the help of Dr. Farhad Shafa. He was able to provide Mischa with fresh translations of Rumi's poems informed by his knowledge of and love for Meher Baba as well as his rich understanding of Rumi and the traditions of Persian Sufism. Mischa turned the translations into new song lyrics that express many of the subtleties and deep emotions of Rumi's poetry more fully and more directly than other versions which don't have the "Baba perspective." Most of the original poems were written by Rumi to his Master, Shams ofTabriz. They are love songs from a man on the threshold of God to his incarnate Beloved. They sing of


â&#x20AC;˘

the joy of his presence, the agony of his absence, the anticipation of his coming, the longing for his return ... all the moods that lovers of the living Avatar know well. Once he had the poetry, Mischa gathered a stellar group of professional musicians, including Persian musicians to play exotic instruments like the santur (a kind of zither), the ney ( a Persian flute) and Middle Eastern stringed and percussion instruments. These are blended with acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers and keyboards, a terrific jazz-rock drummer, congas, tablas, saxophones, a trumpet, clarinet, and backup singers. The instrumentalists weave a tapestry of hypnotic sounds around Mischa's melodies. Part new-age, part art-rock, part folk, part jazz, part blues, and all evoking the kind of devotional atmosphere one might ftnd at Rumi's tomb or Baba's samadhi, the music is wonderfully recorded and surprisingly varied. One song is even in Spanish! And to add to this incredibly inventive mix, on some songs Farhad recites the poems in the original Persian and Zuheir alFaqih reads them in English. The album was recorded in studios in Northem California and Washington, D.C. over many months, and it must have been a real labor oflove for Mischa and the many Baba-companions who collaborated with him. The result is a very rich experience unlike any other CD. Though there are only 13 songs listed, there is a LOT of music here! Each song has extended instrumental sections, and there are some amazing rhythm grooves combining the Middle Eastern and contemporary percussion. The album is nearly 80 minutes long, even so, it is available at a bargain price! Congratulations, Mischa, for a truly remarkable new record that comes as close as one can imagine to giving us Rumi as Meher Baba knows him! $15

RaphaelRuddin Concert On a recent trip to Walnut Creek Raphael Rudd gave the sun's a very warmly received concert. So much so that they decided to release a CD of the concert. He was playing piano and harp in his usual very rousing style! However as it was given to me at press time we could not get an official review. It will be in the October issue-but in the meantimeit has Dina's seal of approval! $10

A Manuscript in God's Own Handwriting Ward Parks, Meherabad Beloved Archives, Inc. has released a facsimile edition of an extraordinary document of Avatar Meher Baba's own authorship. What is even more extraordinary is that this book, which is entitled In God.s- Hand, comes to us in Avatar Meher Baba's own handwriting! The entire extant record of published literature offers no exact parallel to this book. The Qu'ran, although dictated to the Prophet Muhammad (according to tradition) by the archangel Gabriel, was written down not by Muhammad Himself but by his disciples. The Gospels were written decades after the death of Christ, (in Greeka language removed from the Semitic environment where Jesus lived) and the Buddhist pitika postdates Buddha by centuries. The Bhagavad Gita which purportedly records the words of Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra was composed in Sanskrit circa the first century A.D., while Krishna Himself (according to Baba) lived two millennia before this. Rama and Zoroaster belong to the era of prehistory, and no record of their words can be counted as reliable in the historical sense. Even in Meher Baba's own case, since He maintained silence from 1925 through 1969 and for the most part did not write during this period, the books attributed to Him had elements of contribution from others. Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, for example, clearly played a role in the composition of Meher Baba's Discourses in its current written form, and Eruch had a hand in the transcription of Meher Baba's hand gestures that produced the magnificent and epoch-making volume,

God Speaks. In God.s- Hand, however, is indubitably and 100% His. Dating probably from 1925, the original manuscript whose facsimile reproduction comprises the heart and soul of this publication represents, literally, the very words of the God-Man. Moreover, the subject of discourse is God Himself. In short, God-as-a-Man, the Avatar, the Author of creation, is writing about God. Nothing quite like this has appeared in print or indeed, been published in any form in recorded history. Many people will wonder where this manuscript came from. Unfortunately, this inquiry has produced as many questions as answers. For certainty we know only that

Mani kept the document among her papers. Some of those close to her were aware of it and had seen it, but no one thought to ask how it came to her or what she thought it was. As Baba's physical lifetime recedes farther into the past and as the worth and signiftcance of everything associated with Him looms more and more vividly before our awareness, it can be difftcult to remember that, in the years that immediately followed the dropping of His body, to those who lived with Him, every object, place and moment in their lives and physical environment was His and surcharged with His memory. In the garden of His intimacy a document such as this one is one more token and manifestation of His overflowing abundance. But as that age passes, the mind and heart of humanity takes new interest in such things and wants to engage them in a new way. Bhau Kalchuri remembers an occasion in the 1960s in Meherazad when Ramjoo Abdulla gave His diaries to Baba, who passed them on to Mani for safekeeping. It is possible that these original holograph pages were contained in the same box that contained the diaries. Ramjoo had been associated with Baba from the early 1920s, and it is in hi handwriting that we ftnd the words on the cover page, "Explanations of Spirituality in. Baba's own hand probably written in 1925." There are other marks and indications on the manuscript that can be seen in the facsimile reproduction and read about in the book's introduction and notes. No doubt the sleuths and shamuses of textual analysis will be applying themselves to various puzzles and mysteries in the reconstruction of the history of this manuscript for decades to come. But for now, we have another extraordinary manifestation of our Beloved that shows a side of Him that was not in evidence before. To me, the hastily handwritten pages bring very vividly to mind the picture of Meher Baba Himself in His beautiful humanity during this period in the 1920s. But the subject of the exposition is God in His various aspects, and reading the manuscript over and over again has opened just a chink of vision of God that I had never seen before. Whatever it may be and whatever experiences of Him it may give rise to, In God.sHand has an assured place in the immortal legacy of this Avataric Advent and will be the seed-sowing of new fruits and blossoms of love for God for many centuries to come. Published by Naosherwan Anzar for Beloved Archives, Inc., printed by Sheriar Press. 120 pages, hardcover with jacket, price: $25.

7


Passings and Reunions James Cox, Meherabad

B.v. K Rao,

whom at Meherabad was known as Rao Kaka, passed away about 11:30 pm April 2nd at his home in Arangaon after suffering poor health for some time. Rao Kaka was probably the first Baba lover in the early 70s to take up residency on private property near Baba's Samadhi and he was the first person to develop and sell private homes at Meherabad, what is now known as Meher Nazar or Rao Kaka's Colony, behind Jal and Dolly's house. He was one of the stalwarts of the Bombay Parel Center, although his family originally came from Andhra. He is survived by his wife Laxmi and niece, Meherwani, both of whom are very active in the Meherabad community. Rao Kaka's heart was amongst the first touched by Baba in reference to privately taking up one of the objects laid down by Baba in His Trust Deed, the providing of accommodations for visiting pilgrims. His own house basically served and still serves as a private dharamshala, and he always had a number of pilgrims staying with him at Amartithi as well as at other crowded times. In the earlier years, many people would lament about the lack of facUities and opportunities for Baba's lovers to stay on their own at Meherabad, but Rao Kaka was the fust one to actually do something about it, starting the work at Meherabad that will eventually become part of the "city" to which Baba referred on several occasions. He is now with Baba.

Sushila The last surviving member of the original Meherabad cast passed away in her sleep last night, April 12th. We all used to joke and tell her she couldn't die because she already had, referring to Baba's 100th birthday celebration when, while listening to Jack Small sing about a "little brown heifer smiling at me," her heart had stopped. Jack quit singing, and Shelly gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation while Dr. Ashujumped up and started CPR pounding on Sushila's heart. After a few moments Sushila revived, raising her hand with a weak "Baaaas" to get Ashu to stop beating on her. Of course everyone was convinced that it was Jack's singing which had caused her to go into cardiac arrest, but I guess we'll never know for certain! That was on Baba's birthday, and her first words after telling Ashu to stop, were to ask why they hadn't let her die in peace. Today is celebrated as the birthday of the avatar Ram, and now, six years later she got her wish. Sushila, known as the sister (but actually a cousin) of Vishnu Master, one of Baba's 8

Heather Nadel, Meherabad original Mandali, lived at Meherabad for well over half a century. Quiet and loving, but keeping a very low profUe, many pilgrims never got to meet her, although she was a Meherabad stalwart, and there are lots of wonderful stories about her, from altercations with persons using her garden as a toilet to one year inviting Ted, Alan and me over for lunch on Rakshabundan, the traditional holiday in India where brothers pledge protection to their sisters, and sisters tie bright colored raki ornaments around their brother's wrist. However, perhaps one of the best stories was one I only heard today, and that took place in 1977 or 1978. In the early years after Baba dropped his body, there was m!lch more fire in Meherabad, and quite often we had unbalanced people present. At this particular time, one such fellow had flipped out and had been segregated in the dharamshala, just behind Sushila's room which was on the back verandah of Mandali Hall. That was a little too close for her, so during one of the following days she happened to complain to Erico about this, to which he replied something to the effect of "What's the big deal, aren't we all a little mad?" Perhaps this was the fmal straw in a simmering and stubborn dislike of the relatively new Western presence at Meherabad, but at any rate, she packed her bags, paid her servant and left to stay with some friends in eastern Andhra Pradesh, near the Bay of Bengal. In a scenario almost out of the life of Haftz, there was a big storm, hundreds of thousands died and much of eastern Andhra was flooded by more than a 10 meter high tidal surge. However, her village was spared, though life was severely disrupted. After some days of being stranded, she returned to Meherabad, telling Erico that while she was there in the storm's aftermath, she felt Baba show her that He wanted the Westerners in Meherabad, and that He wanted her there with them. So she came back. Although in her youth, she was very beautiful, opinionated, stubborn and headstrong, from the time of the storm she became different in her attitude, not only opening her heart to the Western residents, and befriending many of us, but also becoming more tolerant and flexible in general as she became older. A remarkable swim upstream against human nature, especially for someone in their 80s. We carried her body from Mandali Hall to the Amar Dham, her funeral pyre lit about 11:30 a.m. I guess it's the last burning which one goes through at Meherabad, and the door is now finally closed on that earlier chapter of giants.

'T"\Jis morning, April 12th, Dhuni day and .1 Ram's Birthday, one of Baba's oldest lovers living at Meherabad, Sushila Deorukhkar, passed away in her sleep in her room at Meherabad. The old-timers will remember Sushila as Vishnu's cousin, brought into Baba's close contact from her school days by Vishnu. Later Baba-Iovers will remember her as the gentle elderly woman in a sari who lived in a room near Meherabad Mandali Hall, just down the verandah from Mohammed the Mast. There is a touching aspect to Sushila's passing: six years ago, she almost died of a heart attack and was revived by CPR right in the middle of Baba's 100th Birthday program at the Pilgrim Centre (the show went on, but it was a hard act to follow!!) So she lived for six more years with us. Her passing away this time, much less dramatic and much more in character with her shy, unobtrusive self, happened just in the way she would wish: in her small, sparse room at Meherabad as she was sleeping. She had been walkingjust the day before, collecting flowers to offer on Baba's picture in the hall as she did every day. It was a passing to envy. Sushila never married, but in pursuance of her unfulfUled wish to become a doctor, she joined the Ahmednagar ayurvedic medical college in the late 1950s. At that time, Baba allowed her to stay at Meherabad, and she lived here ever after along with Padri, Sidhu, Mansari, Jangle Master and family, and Gulu and Jalu, in the simplest fashion. She attended the Ahmednagar Baba Centre programs every Saturday by Baba's order, and she occasionally was allowed to stay at Meherazad for a few days to help out when needed. For many years she also would come during the day to Guruprasad, whenever He was in residence with the mandali there. Like Padri, Sushila carried that rich and simple fragrance of the past into the present era, and continued to live the same style of life after Baba dropped His body, going to the Samadhi every day, and then, as she grew too frail for that, taking special care of Meherabad Mandali Hall. She was a feature of this bungalow, an old friend ofMo Mast and a loving and considerate neighbor and "Baba-aunty" to those of us who lived around her. From a good Hindu family, she was a marvelous cook, and we celebrated the Hindu holidays by eating special festival foods that she would lovingly make just for the "kids".


A few days before she died, someone remarked how very absorbed she seemed, as if the line in her between this world and the next were becoming finer-as if she would go to Baba soon. How fitting that again it was on His Birthday (as Ram). Lying in state in the Hall in a simple Maharastrian sari in front of Baba's chair that she had decorated with flowers so often, she looked completely at peace and completely at home. Eruch, Meheru, Ba1 Natu and Aloba came from Meherazad to pay their respects to one of their old companions in the life with the Beloved. We will miss her and all she carried with her from that time with Him. There have been three family goodbyes this millenium year: the first was to Baba's nephew Sheroo, Sheriar Beheram Irani, son of Baba's brother Beheram and his wife Perinmai, and brother to Gulnar and Rustom & Sohrab (the twins.) Visitors to Baba-House in Poona wiJ] surely remember Sheroo at his "station", his bed right by the door, where he would invariably sit, cigarette in hand, watching the world go by outside on the street. Sheroo was named Sheriar at birth as he was the first grandchild in the family, and Shireenmai wished him to be named after Sheriarji, Baba's father. Like all the family, Sheroo had a great amount of contact with Baba, especially in Guruprasad days when the family would visit Him daily during Baba's summer stay. Sheroo had a very childlike, almost mast-like nature, and Mani tells a wonderful story about her trying vainly to impress upon Sheroo the need for him to get a job. Baba caught her at it and scolded, "Nag, nag, nag. Why are you nagging him? Leave him alone. It's not in his hand. I know his heartl" And the look oflove and appreciation on Babas face that accompanied His gestures made Mani feel the depth of His love and understanding for Sheroo. And made her feel also that Sheroo was something more than just childlike. During one of His Guruprasad stays, Baba ordered Mani to teach Sheroo to sing Bhau's long Hindi poem "Tumhi To Ho" ("You Alone Exist"). She would meet Sheroo at a fIXed time every day for their lesson, and periodically Baba would call Sheroo to sing to Him what he had learned. The mandaJi later joked that these sessions were a meditation on Baba for Sheroo and a meditation on patience for Mani. Sheroo's lovely singing voice was enjoyed by Baba and, in later years, by Mehera, for whom he would sing each time the women mandali came to Poona. Sheroo was certainly extraordinary. Friend to every down-and-out he met in Poona, he had a loving and kind nature. He

was like a child, yet the depth of his austerity was revealed after he died: it turned out that the only things he owned were a few clothes, a few caps and two handfuls of odd notes and papers. Along with Sheriarji's name, he also inherited a trace of Baba's father's detachment. Sheroo too lived a bit "in the world but not of it", like a fakir. Sheroo's passing was as simple as he was: he had been in poor health for several years and on March 1st, sitting in Baba-House in the morning with his mother Perinmai and a friend, he suddenly put his head down and was gone to Baba. It just so happened that Perinmai at that moment was reciting out loud the names of God. He was 64 years old. Dear Baba-House watchman, we'll miss you! In India they say that profound things happen in threes. A member of Baba's wider family here to go to Him recently was B.Y.K. Rao, or RaoKaka, on April 2nd. Originally from Andhra, RaoKaka lived in Bombay for many years and, encouraged by Khorshed, he and his wife Lakshmibai along with others founded the Bombay Parel Baba centre. In the 1970s, he and Lakshmibai bought a house in the middle of Arangaon, a first for anyone from the outer Baba community, and throughout the years that followed, opened their doors to Baba-Iovers from all over India to come and stay. They not only gave hospitality, but gave service also; despite his age, Raokaka often volunteered for duty at Baba's Samadhi, serving quietly and efficiently. Laksmibai, and their niece Meher Vani continue to serve Baba in many ways at Meherabad. A salute to these most fortunate three, who, as Eruch says, won the race to Him! Such people in their last repose are really an advertisement for loving Him with all your heart to the end.

was breathing his last. He was fully conscious and told his wife that he was going to Avatar Meher Baba. He folded his hands and said ]ai Baba 3 times and left his body in the saluting posture. Shri B. V. K. Rao was born in Orissa. His father worked as 'Diwan' under the Maharajah of the erstwhile State of ]eypore in Orissa. In his childhood he used to go to his school riding on an elephant. When his father died in the 1930s, he migrated to Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. He married Kanakalakshmi in 1939. His father-in-law, the late Shri Rentala Gangaraju was a spiritually enlightened person. Two months after marriage they moved to Mumbai. In the early '60s, he was staying in Parel Village in Mumbai. He started a Baba Centre in the name of Avatar Meher Baba PareI Centre in his home after obtaining permission from Baba Himself. He used to organise Baba programmes at different localities in Mumbai. During the summer time when Baba used to come and stay at Guruprasad in Pune, Mr. Rao and his wife used to go there on Sundays and have Darshan of Baba. They used to take many new people with them for Baba's Darshan at their expense. During one of the Birthday celebration of Baba, Mr. Rao wanted to organise a procession through the streets of Mumbai, although it was seemingly impossible. He therefore wrote to Baba about it. Baba replied him that he should go ahead with organising the procession and He will be with them. When the procession was started a dog came and joined the procession. It stayed throughout the procession. After Art! and after taking prasad it disappeared. Thus Baba had kept His word that He would be with them during the procession, in the form ofa dog. Mr. B. V. K. Rao worked tirelessly to spread the name of Avatar Meher Baba in all possible ways. He served his Master till his last breath, dedicating his time, energy and resources and gained the Mastery in Servitude of Avatar Meher Baba as well as His lovers and earned the grace of the AvaApri110.2000 tar. He Jived a simple life throughout. A rare and unique Baba-Iover and a true ear brothers and sisters, I hereby in and a honest Baba worker who dedicated form you that Shri B. V. K. Rao, Presihis entire life to the service of his Beloved dent, Avatar Meher Baba Parel Centre, aged 83 years, has left his body and merged with . Avatar Meher Baba and earned a permanent place in the heart of the Avatar. Avatar Meher Baba on the night of 2nd Yours sincerely, V. Sita Ramayya, SecreApril. 2000 at 11.16 p.m. due to partial heart tary, Avatar Meher Baba Parel Centre. attack.

Avatar Meher Baba Pare} Centre, Arangaon Village,

D

A unique thing had happened when he 9


God Speaks in Mexico City By MineKo Mori, January 6-7, 2000

(As we coldyou in ourjanuaryissue, Don Stevens was in Los Angeles to presenchis seminar on the book CodSpeaks. This was the West Coast stop on his 'round the worldlecture series, havingjustgiven one in Myrde Beach-that beingpreceded by the one in London. He cells us: "Mexico and Argentina were great experiments in my mind. I love the people there, and felt very strongly that I wanted to share the seminars with them, but was really unsure of the wisdom of this impulse. Both groups are very new and very few people in either group speak English and therefore have had almost no contact with Baba's written works, let alone CodSpeaks. So, if I went ahead, would I be trying the impossible? To my utter astonishment, both groups reacted with the same deep concentration and fascination that had been characteristic of the much older and more experienced groups in London and the USA. This let me know in no uncertain terms that the Avatar knows exactly what He wants to do, so let's stop fussing around and having doubts!")

M

onths before Don Stevens came to Mexico City to give an introductory CodSpeaksseminar, Rafael Villafafle, our Baba group host, talked to us about Don (for those of us who were not familiar with him) and his seminar, and his work on the Spanish version of Cod Speaks. Rafael told us that Don would be in Mexico to talk to our group and cover parts of Cod Speaks and share his experiences with us, and strongly urged each one of us to attend the two meetings. Our group enthusiastically awaited Don's arrival. Time went by quickly, it was already the beginning of a new year and the next thing we knew, Don was sitting in the meeting room. Next to him was Claude, his dear friend, who waS always smiling and in a good mood! It was a cold night (for Mexico anyway), and the frreplace was going, providing a warm, cozy atmosphere for what was to be the first of two nights in Don's gracious company. All of us were pleasantly surprised upon first meeting Don - his friendly nature, and his fervent purpose of working with Baba's words swept over us all, and we were ready to begin.

JO

Some of our group members speak English, and some have to struggle a bit with it, but that was no longer a problem, since Don began speaking in Spanish! We were all delighted, and Don explained to us that he has been studying for the past few years to be able to communicate better with Spanish-speaking Baba lovers. If Don ever had a doubt about a word, someone would hastily translate, so it went along very smoothly. Don began by asking us, "What is reality?" After all kinds of responses from us, he put it quite Simply: "God." Then it seemed so obvious to us that of course, God is the only reality. That night and the next were dedicated to Cod Speaks, and what seemed to stand out were Don's talks about: Love, obedience and surrender The importance of "working" with Cod Speak.f-Baba's words The three bricks of creation Sanskaras AtmaiParamatma God's whim in wanting to consciously realize his divinity The infinite individualization of consciousness. We all listened in silence, trying our best to absorb everything. A question was put to Don about our evolution from stone/metal to plant to mammal. Don explained that it is not a coincidence that there is magnesium in chlorophyll, found in the center of plants, and also in our bone marrow-tlle very center of our physical structure. It was pure logic, and everyone was thrilled with this information. Don was concerned that many of us in the group who are new to Baba and His work, might路 fmd his seminar too much too soon, but to the contrary-judging from feed-back within the group, it was the perfect introduction to Cod Speaks, and we didn't want the last night to end! Don also shared some of his personal experiences with Baba, and told us about the first time he had met Baba, and a lot of other little stories that made us laugh and smile.

Another thing Don talked to us about was being loving towards everyone (something that comes to him naturally-even to those who are difficult to love, since we should not judge a book by its cover. All in all, it was a very uplifting, positive experience for us, and as Don reminded us, we worked! We look forward to a return visit from Don, and also to Cod Speaks in Spanish (it should be in Mexico soon)-one of many instruments Baba has given to help us in our awakening.

Dons next stop waS' Argentina where he gave his seminarat La PlatE. Unfortunately he har been in sucha perpetualmotion these past fewyears, whac with theseminarsandthepublishingoJMeher Baba Awakener of the Age, Ensenanzas de Meher Baba and finally Dios Habla that there war no

timetogetawriteupamuttheArgentinastop.Howeverheemailedusa quicknoceabouctheItalian seminars. They well?heldin Podresca, near ~nice. Don writes: "I have just returned from Italy where we had our sixth and fmal one of the plarmed Cod Speaks seminars. It was a wonderful time for me as I am very fond of the people I have gotten to know there. It was planned to be small, almost entirely for Silvana and Silvano Brunelli who are the heads of the group there, and several people whom I have come to know fairly well over the last several years. The occasion was also the presentation of the just published Italian Discourses, translated over quite some years with great devotion by Valeria Violati, who was also on hand and did a lot of the translating. The hard bound book has been superbly produced by a printer who is part of the Italian group-Giorgio Mancini and his wife Simonetta. There were also several who came from Slovenia whom we have known for quite some time now. It was ajoy to see their eyes light up on many of the points that flow from Baba's words. Elvira Basa was so enthused about the seminar, she and her husband came down, bringing their six month old baby with them'"


Sutntner Calendar of Events AvatarMeher Baha Center ofSouthern California JULY july 2, Sunday Gone fishin'lNo program this week due to Sahavas at Pilgrim Pines. july 5, Wednesday 7-10:00 Bhau's Farewell Talk Bhau's visit sadly comes to an end... joyously. 7-8:00 reception 8-10:00pm talk

july 9, Sunday 2-7:00 Post-Sahavas, Post-Bhau, Pre-Silence Day, Put- The-Genter-Back Together Party!

After the sweet chaos of the last few weeks, we need to reorganize our Center. 2-4:00 work (in a fun way) 4-6:00 vidoes of Baba 6-7:00 worker dinner (prOVided by Center)

SEPTEMBER

AUGUST August 6, Sunday 11-1:00 Pancake Breakfast

September 3, Sunday 4-6:00 Videos of the Great Laborer

Maple merriment! Everyone's high carbohydrate favorite is back. Slightly fattening, completely free. Debra, Mia, Lynn, Wendy, Rob, Radha, and Fritz will be flippin' at the griddle. (Center closes at 3:00.)

On this Labor Day weekend, images of He who labors eternal. Hosted by filmwalla Charlie Morton who works hard, too.

August 13, Sunday 4-6:00 Love Alone Prevails A special meeting on Baba's dearest Kitty Davy, who spent two decades in Baba's company and for many years co-directed the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. Hosted by Lois Jones.

August 20, Sunday 4-6:00 Memories ofMani

The Center will be open for observing silence, meditation, and communion.

We remember our dear friend, Baba's sister and her glorious life of love and service. Teri Adams, Billy Goodrum, Tamara Mark, and others who were present at her passing will participate. Hosted by Mahoo Ghorbani.

july 16, Sunday 12-5:00 Picnic at Meherabode

August 21, Sunday 4-6:00 Discussion: Mystical Language

With Bastille Day behind us, we celebrate an afternoon of fun in the sun. There'll be an outdoor stage for song and poetry. You bring your picnic basket; we provide the lemonade and the ants. (Center closes at 5:00.)

Talking about "Baba-talk." Love, existence, breath, mind, word, God. There are ancient secrets in these words and Hillary Kapan will moderate an off-beat but fascinating discussion.

july 10, Monday 10pm-9:00 Silence Day

july 23, Sunday 4-6:00 Bill and Peggy Stevens are our special guests today. Long time Baba lovers, Bill is the author of "Souls on Fire" and "Footprints in the Sand."

july 30, Sunday 4-6:00 The Good OJ'Basic Baba Meeting A day for everyone - long timers and first timers. Films of Baba, readings, Baba stories, Mandali memories, personal sharing, music. .. and cookies. A great day to invite your friends who've said, "Maybe I'll come to a meeting sometime." Hosted by Radha Delamarter and Charlie Morton.

September 10, Sunday 4-6:00 Gutta Day The old favorite. Share fun, friendship and food in the intimate company of your Baba buddies. These spirited happenings are hosted as always by the inimitable Fred Stankus and Gigi Driessen.

September 11, Sunday 4-6:00 The Wayfaring ofSam and Margaret Ervin Sam was the lucky winner of our Aroundr the-World Sweepstakes. He and Margaret will share their many experiences from the Baba Centers and places of significance they visited.

September 24, Sunday 4-6:00 Arts Festival The annual A.M.B.C. of S.C. festival of creation. Artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, poets ... to participate call Richard Stermer at 310-367 -6521.

All events unless otherwise noted are held at tbe Center: 1214 S. VAN NESS AVE. Los ANGELES, CA 90019

(323) 731路3737 Meetings are free and open to the publiC. Have ideas for future programs? Contact Nancy Merwan at (323) 650-5481.

Farsi Meetings Held on Sundays from 2-3:30: JUly 16,30; Aug 13, 27; Sept 10,24. All meetings are dedicated to discussion of Meher Baba. Coordinated by Mahmoud Ajang. On Sunday meeting days, the Center is open from 3-1pm. Arti is held in Babas room in the Dome at 3:30.

Teens/Kids The Teen Room and Children's Room are open during meeting times.

:Coveless life is most unlovely; only a life of love is worth living.

II

-Avatar Meher Baba 11


This Supreme Privilege Joseph and Kari Harb by Dick Duman. Colorado

Dick Duman with Kari andJoseph Harb

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n January 31, 1969, my wife Julie and I had company in our little apartment in Lafayette, California. Robbie Basho had come for lunch and to rehearse. It was always a rare and treasured opportunity whenever Robbie picked up a guitar. The phone rang; it was Bernie Schwartz. He told me he had just heard that Meher Baba had "temporarily dropped his body." Without telling Julie or Robbie, I immediately called Murshida Duce. "Yes, it's true, my dear, He's gone." she said with a great sigh. Then I told them. We looked at each other, dumbstruck. What to do? We all knew exactly what to do. Julie bundled our infant up and we drove west to Orinda, to the Harb's house-"Baba's Manzi\." We hadn't called, but Joseph was waiting for us in his driveway. He was smiling broadly, cheerfully. He was relaxed, warm and welcoming. "Haven't you heard?" I asked him. "Of course I have, Darling!" Joseph replied, "Adi Jr. called-so did Meherjee; Baba's body was all used up, like a squeezed lemon. So what? He was not just the body! Now we have to get busy-you go to the 12

grocery, here's a list, we're going to have a full house today'" And so we did. There was no better place in the world to be that day for any of us. And Robbie played as beautifully that afternoon as he did three months later, in April, at the Great Darshan. Joseph and Kari Harb were aboard the Sufi charter flight to the Great Darshan at Guruprasad in Poona in April of 1969. For most of Baba's devotees on that pilgrimage, it was a first opportunity to see and experience everything they would discover there. But for the Harbs it was a rare opportunity to return, if only for one glorious summer, to the life they had lived with Baba as residents in Poona from 1959 until 1961. at Baba's express invitation. It was the Mandali who, in 1969, requested that Joseph and Kari remain for the whole summer, as the ideal liaison for all the westerners. Eruch, then Mani and Adi K. asked them to stay, but they needed little convincing. It was just what they'd hoped for. Joseph Hamad Harb was born on February 14. Valentine's Day, 1894, in the Leba-

nese Druze village, Ayn Zhalteh. The Druze are Moslems but their beliefs are less orthodox and more Mystic. Their population historically centered on Jebel Hauran in Syria. Though tiny in population, this community has a disproportionately large number of Baba devotees. Joseph often said they were somewhat like the Sikhs, though totally unrelated, in that they were fearless in combat because they understood reincarnation. He was familiar with great Druze heroes like Sultan Pasha Atrash, and Emirs Djumblat and Arislan. And Joseph was a war hero himself, having served in WWI where he took shrapnel and was permanently disabled. Baba paired him with the Jewish chiropractor, Ben Hayman, and called them his "Ben-Jo" in the '50s and '60s. On one occasion Ben and Joseph assisted Baba in washing the poor and giving prasad of money. Before Joseph's life with Meher Baba, he was a close friend with the very highly esteemed and then popular Sikh "metaphysical lecturer," Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind. Dr. Thind, Manly Palmer Hall and Joseph regularly succeeded one another on a lecture circuit up and down the US West Coast which included, in San Francisco, Fritzie Armstrong's Metaphysical Town Hall & Bookshop. It was there that Joseph encountered the books of Hazrat Inayat Khan. "This man is speaking to me!" he exclaimed. And shortly thereafter The Discourses in five volumes, edited by Chakradhar Deshmukh, found their way to Fritzie's shop-she held them to give Joseph "right of first refusal" and he snapped them up instantly. Then Murshida Duce appeared in the Bay Area. Joseph was eager to meet Inayat Khan's representative. Fritzie arranged a meeting, and Murshida offered to initiate Joseph, but he demurred. He had, he explained, had his fill of organizations and doctrines. "All I want now is to meet the Perfect Master" he told her frankly. "Mr. Harb" said Murshida, "You join the Sufis and I'I1 introduce you to the Perfect Master." "Mrs. Duce" Joseph immediately responded, "You've got yourself a deal!" And


so she had. Kari was one of Joseph's students. They then met Meher Baba in NYC in 1952. In the 50s and 60s, astrology was an active and prominent feature of Bay Area Sufi life. Murshida Duce had studied it with Mrs. Ahlstrand, and Joseph had made his own independent study. And so, during his first meeting with Baba, Joseph brought up the fact that Baba was Pisces Sun/Aquarius Moon while Joseph was Aquarius Sun/Pisces Moon. "Yes" Baba responded, putting his index fmgertips together, "We have been going like this for ages!" Joseph was among the 10 Western men whom Baba invited to Meherabad to take part in The Three Incredible Weeks in September from the 11 th to the 30th, 1954. He says: "I cannot and shall not ever forget the first time He embraced me within His loving arms. It was a most unforgettable feeling-so comforting, so peaceful, so delightful, and my gratitude for this supreme privilege was of such indescribable feeling that the tears welled up and overflowed with joy and happiness. Divine consciousness is ever flowing through Him but with such delightful simplicity that it would not overwhelm a child, and yet it is beyond the deepest mind to fathom it. A living Avatar is Self-realized from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity; functioning in all planes of existence, with all the directness and accuracy in full harmony of divine law and love; manifesting a dynamic force in all his activities, haVing the power of eternal Truth. He is a complete blending of God and man states. This is Baba, the Highest of the High." During a visit to Godavari Mai at U pasni Maharaj 's Sakori ashram, Joseph was photographed with Baba and Godavari, but he proved to be one of Baba's splendid photographers himself. He was justifiably proud of his work during the 1962 East-West Gathering, but his favorite, and the Mandali's favorite, is the one he made at Myrtle Beach, which Don Stevens has used on the cover of his new biography Meher

Baba A wakener ofthe Age. The Harbs were invited by Baba to relocate to Poona in the 60s, where they built a house, designed by Mr. Bhode, who also did construction work on Upasni Maharaj's Sakori ashram, and this house was later occupied by Meherjee and his family. Joseph had taken his car to India and the Harbs were called by Baba very frequently to

Meherazad. Joseph became very close friends with Meherjee, and Kari's pal and confidante was Mani, with whom she shared a naughty sense of humor. They became friends with Shantadevi, Maharani of Baroda, whose Poona bungalow was Guruprasad. Baba got the Harbs involved with the project in Poona of founding and constructing Ramakrishnan's Poona Baba Center, for which Baba told Joseph to break the ground. It was symbolic, Baba said, of East-West cooperation. At the Center's Opening Ceremony, Baba designated Joseph as the keynote speaker. Both of the Harbs had serious health problems in India, including a gall bladder operation for which Baba fixed the time of the operation. A nurse expressed surprise: "What an ungodly hour!" "No, you're wrong Lady, it's a very godly hour" responded Joseph, as he slipped under the anesthetic. Astonishingly, Baba visited Joseph in the hospital with Meherjee, and Baba told Joseph: "You forgot to take my name at your last moment. I brought you back from the brink!"Then Baba remarked, "You have nine lives, Joseph!" "We've used up five or six of them, Baba," replied Joseph, "how should we spend up the rest of them?" Shortly thereafter Baba told them they had resolved 2000 years worth of karma during their stay in Poona, but they would have to return to the US. Kari had been just as sick, and told stories of giving up, refusing to eat, preferring to die. But Baba sent Aloba. He told her wonderful stories, and when her jaw dropped open, spooned in Jello or broth. In this way, Kari said, Baba used Aloba to save her life. I met Joseph and Kari in July, 1966, and they became my best friends until (and beyond) their deaths in the 70s. We rarely missed a Sunday with them at "Baba's Manzil" and often drove with them into San Francisco on Fridays for the Sufi meetings. It was my supreme privilege to keep their company for so long. Kari was reticent about her background, except when it came to her life with Baba and with Joseph. She was genuinely self-effacing; in such an unostentatious way that she was often teased for being a "typical mysterious Scorpio." She generally agreed with Joseph on most matters and kept quiet, letting Joseph radiate his considerable light, however she was not a bit shy to speak out eloquently when she had another view of the matter. But Kari definitely preferred to

stay in the background. Kari and I shared a deep admiration for Don Stevens, which persisted until her death in the 70s, and most probably beyond. There are too many stories to tell, too many appreciations to make in this brief account, but I would be remiss if I neglected to tell this strange and enigmatic story. We met the Harbs on July 8, 1966, the day Murshida Duce gave my wife Julie the gift of a very special ring. The following day we were invited to spend with the Harbs, viewing slides and movies Joseph had made of Baba and eating up the very last of the quince preserves he had brought back from his home viIlage in Lebanon. Julie was at that time pregnant with Mehera, who would be born the day before Joseph's birthday the following year. Murshida gave her a ring with a Baba photo and a cabochon of plastic over it, made of pot metal. Baba had blessed it personally. Julie was deeply impressed with this gift and the ring became her prized possession. I took it to a fme goldsmith and had him reset the photo and plastic cabochon in 14Karat white gold, with sapphires and emeralds. She wore it constantly. Then sometim.1l later she came to me to share some bad news. The ring was missing; she had turned our little place upside down and shook it forcefully, but no ring rolled out. She was very reluctant to tell Murshida, or anybody else. But she had virtually given up the prospect of seeing it ever again. What to do? In those days my motto was: when in doubt, ask Joseph and KarL So, off we went to Orinda. Julie told her story tearfully. Kari, never subservient but always preferring to be in the background, said nothing, but smiled knOWingly, and nodded to Joseph. Joseph listened thoughtfully to Julie's account. He was quiet for some time. Then he asked Julie "By the way, have you looked under your piIlow?" She told Joseph she had changed the bedding totally several times since she first noticed the ring was lost. "Oh. I see." said Joseph, who was again silent for a time. "Still, you really should go home and look for it under your pillow" and there the subject ended. When we got home, the first thing Julie did, of course, was to go directly to the bedroom and thrust her hand under the pillow. When she brought her hand back out, the blessed Baba ring Murshida had given her was there, right in her hand. 13


Remember

Silence (]Jay

july 1()th

Will You Break Your Silence?

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ill you break Your silence during this trip to the West, Baba? On April 25 1952, during Meher Baba's first visit to the Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach, He was asked this question. He gave the following answer: "God has been everlastingly working in silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those who experience His Infinite Silence. If My silence cannot speak, of what avail would be speeches made by the tongue? The very moment when He thinks My speaking would be heard universally, God will make Me break My silence." From Lord MeIJer Volume 11/12, Bhau Kalchuri, Copyright Manifestation Inc. and AMBPPCT.

"Why I Do Not Talk" Bhau Kalchuri

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eligion is a prison made with bars of rituals and ceremonies, and these prison bars have to be broken to face the Reality of God. Man has to become more mindful of God, and internaIly remember his Reality to transcend external religion. In 1937, Meher Baba was staying at Nasik, India, with both his Western and Eastern mandali disciples. At that time, there was a large religious conference of all faiths; leaders of each religion attended this conference. After the conference was over, one Christian clergyman approached Malcolm Schloss. Malcolm conversed with him about spiritual subjects and the clergyman expressed his wish to see Meher Baba for himself. Malcolm promised to see what he could arrange. 14

Malcolm approached Baba and requested him to allow the clergyman to see him, but Baba said, "Why do you want me to see him? Just teII him about me and my message and then let him go." The clergyman was not satisfied with this and Malcolm appealed again to Baba, urging him to see the man. Baba consented, but to see him only for five minutes. Malcolm brought the clergyman to Baba, and Baba dictated, "I am happy to meet you. You are a good soul." The clergyman was happy with Baba's words and Baba inquired, "How was the conference?" The clergyman replied, "It was very successful. " Baba then dictated, "Shankaracharya (the head of the Hindu religion) is a good man. The Maulvis (the head priests of Islam) are good men. But they all talk and talk and talk." The clergyman immediately interjected, "It was not Shank-aracharya, but

it was I who did most of the talking at the conference. Shankaracharya could not hold a word before me." Baba smiled and dictated, "Yes, they are great talkers. They talk and talk. " The clergyman became irritated, "I am telling you it was I who was giving the greatest talks there. I talked the whole time. Nobody dared to speak a word before me." Baba again smiled and repeated, "Yes, they aJI are great talkers... they talk and talk and talk." The clergyman became extremely irritated and spoke out saying, "Why don't you talk? Why are you using that alphabet board?" Baba's mood changed and he became serious, dictating, "Because I speak through you alI! That is why I do not talk!" The poor man felt confused and inquired, "What do you mean by this? I do not understand you." And Baba seriously dictated, "You do not understand because you go to Rome. .. I know because I am always at home." The five minutes were up and the clergyman left in dismay since there was nothing else he could say. Meher Baba used the word "Rome" to describe clinging to religious ceremony, ritual and dogma. Those who cling to religion feel content to chew the bone, but do not try to taste the marrow within the bone. For them God is only in external religion. Their conviction of this is so fixed that they cannot see beyond the dry bones of rituals, - ceremonies and dogmas. Meher Baba used the word "home" for the eternal abode of God-the heart. When one reaches this abode, it is after the self has been burned up in the fire of divine love. Only then is the heart pure enough for God to live there. From Avatar oft17e Age Manifesting by Bhau Kalchuri Copyright ]985 Lawrence Reiter


"Baba's Garden of Love" Auction Fund-raiser - May 6, 2000

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he major fund-raising event of the year for Meherabode was, as usual, a great success! The afternoon got off to a great start with something that was new to most people present - a Maypole dance. Everyone had a marvelous time - the Dinner was scrumptious, the Silent Auction had loads of wonderful treasures to be picked up at a great price, and the after-dinner Live Auction was a most exciting event! The committee-Cookie Reindeau, Rosie Choi, Mahoo Ghorbani, Karina Page and Linda Zavala worked for 4 months to put this event together. Their love and hard work showed! We thank the many people who so lovingly donated their Baba treasures to be auctioned. Also donated was the delicious dinner and desert. The main item of the evening drew some spirited bidding! It was a copy of Francis Brabazon's Stay With Godsigned not only by the author but by Baba Himself. It finally went for

The Auction CommHtee and thek helpers.

$11 ,000. We thank Don Stevens for the donation of this book who requested that the funds be directed to our Renovation Project. Another $11,800 raised goes to the Operating Costs. The beautiful solid gold Mastery in Servitude necklace donatea by Dick Duman fetched a very nice $1,200 which he requested be put in the Love Street LampPost fund. The imaginative decorations the committee created for us will stay - really beautifying our Center. Thank you to all involved!

Some ofOUFyounger auction participants.

The Glorious Maypole

Who says auctioning can t be beautiful? Utendy Ward and Raphael Ruddstrike a particularly artistic pose.

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Meher Baba's Universal Message New York World's Fair-1964 Kitty Davy, Myrtle Beach

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arly in january, 1963, while I was visiting jane Barry in her New York home, she spoke to me of a thought that had suddenly come to her: to have Meher Baba's pictures and literature in some way visibly represented at the World 's Fair that was to open in New York. Earlier she had been reading in the Awakener magazine the account of how two of Baba's followers in India had secured a booth at the New Delhi Fair. Why not have Meher Baba represented at the New York World's Fair?! Various religions would be representedso must be the 'leader' of them all. Thus began the dream which many months later became a reality. That day, listening to the idea, I felt aglow with that impulsiveness that one feels the moment there is work to do for Baba. I broached the matter to Sar6sh Irani in Ahmednagar. After three weeks the reply came through Baba's disciplesecr!ltary, Adi K. Irani, that the project of representing His Cause in the Western section of the World's Fair appealed to all at Meherazad and was approved by Baba. This was sufficient-Baba's permission to start working on the project. jane began by contacting the vice-president and other officials of the Fair, always with the emphasis on Meher Baba and His Message of Love and Truth. Progress was reported to Adi Sr. who replied to jane on February 19 1963: "Baba wants you to know He is very pleased with your efforts to secure some little space for Him in the New York World's Fair. If you do not succeed in getting one, Baba does not want you to feel disappointed, for you already have a corner in His heart. Baba sends His Love to you and to His dear Trio. The response to this cable was indeed heartwarming. Love gifts came from all parts of the country from those who loved Baba accompanied by loving wishes. Almost one year before the Fair was to open the location of the space was settled. After several Pavilions were considered, the fmal choice fell on the Pavilion of American Interiors. Why? For one reason: Mr. Elton the owner and builder of the Pavilion, wanted us there. He wrote: "I am very interested in the kind of exhibit you propose." jane had always felt that the right spot would be indicated by Baba. Eventually, Mr. Elton n

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TELL IVY I AM HAPPY OVER SUFISM REORIENTED COOPERATION

-BABA.

gave an additional fifty square feet of space to the one hundred square feet purchased; he also contributed to the unique design for Baba's corner which was executed by the eminent American designer Paul McCobb. "Baba wants you NOT to form any committee for the project....He wants you to do your best with the help of Ned and Dorothea Foote and Don Stevens,leaving the result entirely in His hands, knowing full well that He will get things done as He wants." joulia Nicolaou in Florida received a cable in which Baba asked her to come up from Florida to help in any way. AIl were told to take the work as important in Baba's Cause. To jane, with her unbounded zeal for Baba's work, the project now became aroundthe-clock work: for one finds in work for Baba that the creative spirit never sleeps-suggesting, advising, improving along the way. Before signing up for any space in one of the Pavilions, there had to be some banking and accounting arrangement. Ivy Duce. president of Sufism Reoriented, with the concurrence of the board of directors, adopted the project. Baba was informed and a cable dated March 13 was received with this message:

On March 7 jane received a further cable from Baba saying: YOUR LETTER OF 25TH FEBRUARY TO ADI WITH ALL ENCLOSURES MADE ME HAPPY STOP I WOULD WANT THOSE LOVERS IN AMERICA WHO CAN AFFORD TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE COST OF THIS PROJECT TO DO SO AND THUS SPREAD MY DIVINE MESSAGE OF LOVE AND TRUTH THROUGH THE WORLDS FAIR STOP YOU SHOULD CIRCULATE THIS CABLE TO THE AMERICAN LOVERS CONCERNED-MEHER BABA. The main purpose of Baba's "corner" was to spread Baba's Message of Love and Truth; this was carried out by giving "Meher Baba's Universal Message" free to visitors and having them see the enlarged photographs showing His life and work as well as the books by and about Meher Baba. The central picture was the unanimous choice of the Mandali with Baba. It was made from a color slide taken by joseph Harb at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The negative of Baba's figure was as small as one's thumbnail; it seemed an impossible task to enlarge this to the needed three-by-four-foot portrait. But jane had a cable from India that said: TRY. She showed the cable to the young Scotsman who was to make the elargement: he tried and was himself astonished at the result. It was very beautiful! To keep accurate records of books at the Fair good assistance was needed. Marion Florsheim was named treasurer for the project and Enid Corfe accepted full-time responsibility for records of book sales and orders. There remained the creation of the folder of ."Meher Baba's Universal Message" to be done which Baba wished to be given free to all visitors to the corner. This was worked on at Myrtle Beach; selections were chosen and sent to India. Changes were made, the biographical sketch rewritten, and most important, a special Message was given by Baba: WHEN MIND SOARS IN PURSUIT OF THE THINGS CONCEIVED IN SPACE, IT


PURSUES EMPTINESS; BUT WHEN MAN DIVES DEEP WITHIN HIMSELF HE EXPERIENCES THE FULLNESS OF EXISTENCE-MEHER BABA The picture chosen by Baba for the folder was the one which was sent from India. One quarter of a million folders were printed in Charleston, South Carolina. Ultimately Baba's message was cabled: FOLDER PERFECT BABA HAPPY SENDS LOVE. And so, piece by piece the edifice, inside and out, came into existence. Then out of the blue came a beautiful cable to jane and Elizabeth in New York, to be circulated to aJl: BLESSED IS THE LOVE OF MY LOVERS IN AMERICA THAT HAS ADORNED THE NEW YORK WORLDS FAIR WITH MEHER BABAS UNIVERSAL MESSAGE STOP I SEND MY BLESSING OF LOVE TO ALL MY LOVERS AND WORKERS WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE AND WHO WILL STAFF THE SPACE FOR DURATION OF THE FAIR-MEHER BABA. The opening of the Pavilion was delayed from April 22 to May 8, 1964. Baba's loving cable made the trying weeks a joy instead of a triaJ, for aJJ was chaos at the building! On May 2, Elizabeth wrote: "I am writing this on the third floor sitting on an acousticaJ tiJe box opposite Meher Baba's Universal Message space...SeveraJ other pavilions, about six or eight, are not fmished; the weather has been unusuaJJy wet and cold for weeks...."And on May 7: "One day before opening; one feels like Norina's expression, 'A cow looking in front of a mountain!' How will we ever be ready!' On May 8, at 4 a.m. the last pictures were placed... the speciaJ lighting for Baba's portrait was instaJled and focused; the cabinet table secured with its treasures; the bookcases seaJed-and at 9 a.m. Baba's "corner" at the World's Fair, caJled MEHER BABA'S UNIVERSAL MESSAGE, was opened. Meanwhile a loving message had come from Mani and the close ones at Meherazad about the design for the interior of Baba's "corner": "We are in love with it! We have no suggestions for any aJterations." Among the fIrSt passers-by was a Lutlleran pastor's wife who came and sat in the booth, read the folder carefully, and said she liked many parts of it. She bought God to Man and Man to God and came back severaJ times, bringing with her others of her denomination. She felt something of Baba's Love. Besides Meher Baba's UniversaJ Message, to be given free, were The New Humanity;

The True Teacher by Francis Brabazon; cards bearing Sahavas sayings; The Seven Realities; printed folders bearing the quotation, "To penetrate the essence" from Baba's discourse on Divine Love. and a few bookJets on Love. All of these had been presented with love and through the gift of Warren Healy's own printing. Baba said from the beginning: "I will do my work in my own way at the Fair." A dear couple among Baba's workers, Fred and Ella Winterfeldt, were wondering just how they would answer most questions. Having recently read that delightful story of Kaka in The Awakener, they jokingly thought it might be good for them to sit with closed eyes and think of Baba when approached by people asking questions which they felt they would never be able to answer. Relating this, they received this reply from Mani: "Baba smiled when you quoted about Kaka. Baba says His Love is with you, so don't be at all nervous about questions you might be asked. Your love for Him wiJI speak for itself and answer aJJ questions. So, dears, with His Name on your lips and His Love in your hearts all will be nne." Many workers at the booth have told the same story: the great attraction some visitors felt towards Baba's picture (the large colored picture). They would suddenJy stop dead as they passed, and pause before asking who He was; and even after hearing His Name, wouJd remain spellbound. A few might refuse the folder, sufficient to them was the memory of that unique person. His name could be clearly seen under the portrait, on a beautiful bronze plaque bearing the words MEHER BABA. Visitors came from many parts of the world: Guatemala, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Trinidad, japan, England, France, Spain, Majorca,Formosa, ZanZibar, Alaska, Canada, Greece, India, Pakistan, etc. One can truly say that from Baba's "corner," His Message has gone all over the world! How great was the significance of the little corner devoted to Meher Baba the Avatar, who is the pivot around which everything in Creation revolves! Baba has said: "As the Center, each movement of mine is

unlimited in its action and reaction, expression and resuJt." Being the Creator of everything, everything on every plane is equidistant from Him. Thus we felt that the Meher Baba booth, situated in an inconspicuous corner amidst the grandeur of the World's Fair, was the focaJ point from which radiated God's UniversaJ Messsage and Love. It is important to catch the eye of the passer-by at the right moment.jouJia told me that she had not felt sure at first whether or not to hand out the Message. Then came the inner answer: "Hand it out!" We shouJd not be shy or mind a rebuff; after all, we were not the ones to know who is or who is not ready! We must let aJl hear Baba's Name aJoud for the impact it makes; hence better to offer the Message with a smile, than sit back and let people take it only if they felt like doing so. This account, by one who was there for ten weeks, gives but a glimpse of Baba's "corner" and of some of the people whom it touched. To sum up, I can do no better than quote from Mani's letter (written on the opening of tlle New York World's Fair, April 22, 1964): "As one small candle may light a thousand, may their love light the hearts of those who visit this little corner at the World's Fair; the corner that holds the eternaJ message of Love and Trutll from the Ancient One."

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Announcements Welcome to His World! Ryan Mathew Mendoza, 91bs 2 OZ, 21", May 28th 7:49 a.m. born to Terry (Dina's daughter) and Michael. Ryan joins his 22 month old sister Nicole and all are doing wonderfully. Dina is very happy he wasn't born a week earlier when she was working on this issue (and so is the staff)!

From The Trust Office Pilgrim Reservations (for making reservations at the Meher Pilgrim Centre, Meherabad) may be contacted by email: pimco@ambppct.org Please send your reservation requests no more than six weeks in advance. It may take a few days for a reply to be sent to you by email. Please include your snail mail address. Pilgrims will be asked to reimburse for any expense connected with receiving/sending these emails, once they reach Ahmednagar. . A Reminder:This email address is for Pilgrim Reservations Office work only. Please send other messages to the appropriate addresses. Once you reach Ahmednagar, there are now a number of commercial "cyber cafes" where you can send and receive personal emai I and access the internet. Pilgrim Reservation Office Avatar Meher Baba Trust Post Bag 31 - Kings Road Ahmednagar, MS 414001 INDIA (91)-241-341821 phone & fax

Meherazad Schedule Change Meherazad Mandali wish to inform Beloved Baba's lovers around the world of a schedule change this Pilgrim Season at Meherazad. Because ofour increasing age and decreasing physical capacity, we fmd it necessary to keep Meherazad closed to visitors on Saturdays starting July 1st, 2000. During the season you are welcome to visit Meherazad according to the following schedule: Arrive

Depart

Sunday

10:45 a.m.

12:30 p.m.

Monday

--CLOSED-

Tuesday

11:00 a.m.

Wednesday

-- CLOSED--

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1:30 p.m.

Thursday

11 :00 a.m.

Friday

-- CLOSED -

1:30 p.m.

Saturday

-- CLOSED --

We ask that you abide by this schedule (especially those travelling in their own vehicles) arriving no earlier and departing no later than the timings listed above.

An Update on The Meher Baba CD-ROM We're getting close to going into production of the fIrst version of the CD, which was the joint project of many people on the Meher Baba Listserv starting about three years ago. It involved volunteers either typing (keying in) or scanning every page of the following books - a mighty task! The fIrst version of the CD is (today) envisioned to contain the following books: 1. God Speaks 2. The Discourses 3. The Everything and the Nothing 4. Beams from Meher Baba 5. Life at Its Best 6. Listen, Humanity 7. The Intro to The Wayfarers 8. The Path of Love 9. Meher Baba, The Awakener 10. The Narrow Lane 11. Sparks of The Truth 12. The God-Man The CD will sell for a very reasonable price ($25-30 hopefully) with an proceeds being donated to the AMBPPC Trust. It will be cross-platform for both IBM and MAC computers. It will anow text-based searches of the entire list of included books and it will allow the user to choose specillc books to search. Current projection is that it will be available somewhere around the Fall.

AudioTape Lending Library Do you ever find yourself in a 'dry spell' spiritually? Are you bored listening to the same old negative news, weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would yOll rather have something inspiring to listen to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings? Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba.

We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don't waste your time on this tired old world. any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry (offiCial tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMBC Lending Audio Library clo Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626?6173

A Note From OurTrustwalli by Lynne Berry

If you've been thinking that some time you'd like to make a love donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a fIrstrate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba's Tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the Trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust's charitable and outreach projects are seen to by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard of living, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. Love?donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project - preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all of us. If this appeals to you, please make your check payable to Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6173

Spiritual Workers The only reason I call upon every individual to work for Me is to make each one share the Divine Cause. So if you are prepared to share My Universal Work. the work must be done one hundred per cent honestly, and that work is to spread My Message of Love... Spiritual workers are necessari[yconfronted widl many obstacles; but obstacles are meant to be overcome. Even ifinsuperable, do your best, irresprxtive ofresults and consequences. -MeherBaba


May 10, 1952: Filis Frederick Meets Baba

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hirteen years ago, on March 19, 1987, Filis Frederick passed peacefully to Baba, beginning what she called her "grand adventure." Of her, Meher Baba once said, "Filis is wonderful." Here is an account of Filis' nrst meeting ofBaba at the Meher Center, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 10, 1952. Filis writes: "As we got closer and closer to the Center, it was like coming closer and closer to the centerofthe universe. It was like being on a spaceship, and after traveling eighteen million light-years, fmally coming to the end of your journey. I felt like that. Fred slowed down the car just as we drove past the gate of Meher Center, and a breeze of love came out of it and enveloped me. "At the hotel, Elizabeth phoned confrrming that we were to come at nine o'clock the next morning. 'Baba is waiting for you,' she said. I almost dropped the phone. It seemed incredible to me. He's waiting for me? I had written to Kitty and found out Baba liked blue, so I was making a blue dress to see Baba in." Darwin Shaw drove Filis, Adele and John Bass to the Center on the morning of May 10th. They had been waiting nine long years for this moment. Filis described that nrst meeting: "It was 9:30 A.M. when Delia, standing on the steps of the Lagoon Cabin, said, 'Meher Baba, this is Filis Frederick.' How would Baba look? I did not know. I thought ofJesus, but at my flfSt glimpse of Baba the thought flashed in my head, He looks Egyptian! The long eyebrows, dark almond eyes, the golden skin. He embraced me, and my heart beat fast: 'He is mine, He is mine.' He gestured to a chair beside Him. Baba asked through Adi, 'How do I look?' I said to Adi (because someone had misinformed me we could not speak directly to Baba in the New Life), 'He looks ill.' "As soon as I said it, I felt, 'No! He looks beautiful.' Eyes like black diamonds looked lovingly into mine. I felt my heart overflow with His love. He seemed so familiar, so intimate, so close. 'I heard about you from Norina, Elizabeth, Donkin and Margaret,' Baba stated, 'and I heard you from within. When I see such souls who love Me, I feel happy and strong. People like Filis are intimate

ones. I love you because you love Me so much.' After 15 minutes, Baba called in Filis' "twin", Adele Wolkin, age 34, "She has eyes like Babajan," He remarked, "very large, greyblue eyes." He spelled out to them both: "I have heard so much about you both. I feel so happy that at last I have seen you. Are you not nervous?" "No," they said.

"I am overjoyed. Are you happy?" "Very happy." "No more happy than I am in seeing you. When you know Me, you will love Me like a little child. I am a child-grown up. I love humor, I love to tease and work hard here, and at various places, while talking to you now. And when you love me with pure, simple love, there should be no barrier. Love, pure and Simple, then all doubts will vanish until the mind gets tempted to doubt. Even if love is there, the mind goes on working. But love does not bother; it loses its all in the Beloved. Do you love Baba honestly?" "Yes, Baba!" they replied. "What can I do for you?" asked Adele. "What more can you do for the Beloved? I want love, nothing else. Love me, and let God love us. That is what I want. When you love Saba, God will love you, and God's loving means everything. So, Saba is very happy. One who is the humblest of the humble is the

greatest of the great. Sut it has to be in all honesty, in all truth. So, let us love, love, love; all else is illusion. So, Adele and Filis, what more can you do if you really love Me? Do you love Me?" "Yes." "Do you know where that love is coming from? When you love Saba, God's love means everything." Filis later recollected, "At that moment, I felt the circulation of love from His heart to our hearts, back to His, so strongly, never again could I say, 'I love God.' That love is His gift. To say it is mine would be like a drop of dew saying 'I am the sun' when it sparkles." The next morning, May 11th, Saba allowed a few of His lovers private interviews in the Lagoon Cabin. He even sent Adi outside, who was reading the alphabet board. Filis recalled her interview at 9:45 A.M. as follows: "I was alone with God! And I felt very shy, but happy. I was overcome by His beauty. He spelled slowly on the board, "Any questions?" and I shook my head. But of course, a deep question welled up within my heart: Why all that suffering? Why did I go through all that I did? "Baba silently answered me. He took my hand. It was like holding a child's hand, or a rose; the flesh was pure, almost transparent. I could feel His blood going through me-like a blood transfusion-and I felt His suffering. "He took my wrist in His hand, and I felt a mystical sense of sharing His suffering, He sharing mine. It was a wordless answer. "Then I silently said to Him, 'Saba, I always wanted you for my Master-all the way to the end.' "And Saba nodded in reply, 'I'll be with you to the very end.' He called Adi back in the room with a clap. Then He spelled out on the board, 'One who asks for nothing, gets everything.' Again He spoke of love for God as the only thing that is real, and ended by saying, 'Your love for Me is so genuine, real and pure that I am deeply touched. Do you know why you love Me? Because I love Me. ," From LORDMEHER, Volume 11/12 Copyright Manifestation and AMBPPCT

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Seeking Baba's Fragrance in Italy Patrick D. Cook, Minnesota

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n October of 1998, my wife Sandy restaurants with good reputations or Schwanz and I made a "pilgrimage" staying in villages rather than cities. Otherwise you get lots of pizza and of sorts, to some of the sites that Meher bread with no salt and very few Baba and His disciples visited in Italy in the 1930's. Ever since first reading vegetables. There is a retreat center on the about St. Francis in the Baba literature, mountain where St. Francis is said to I have been enamoured with this sweet have gone into seclusion as his Beloved lover of His. And, of course, Jean was calling him to their union. The sight Adriel's account of the stay with Baba on the coast of Italy as recorded in her where this occurred is memorialized in the tradition of the stone where Baba book The A vatar, has to rank amongst banged his head in His house in Poona. the top Avataric romantic adventures It is said that when Jesus was hung on of all time. Our trip included Venice and the the cross, this mountain heaved with trip to St. Mark's, Rome and the â&#x20AC;˘ grief and huge stones tumbled on one Vatican, the now famous St. Francis another and formed the caves that St. Cave that Baba stayed in as recorded Francis lay in as he approached the In St. Francis' Cave, Assisi. Photo and Baba button (circled right). in the Cod Man, Mount La Verna threshold of His Beloved. Our adventure to find the cave where Baba But, the most romantic of the "sacred" spots where St. Francis was given the gift of God met with His spiritual hierarchy and mapped Realization and the magnificent coastal visit was Portofmo. This beautiful port city is just a out our destiny for the next several hundred to Santa Margherita, Porto fino and San couple miles from Santa Margherita on the years was fairly simple. We had phoned an artWest Coast of Italy. We stayed in a very nice Fruttuoso. ist couple who are Baba lovers and although pension in Santa Margherita and walked to Our reference material included the excelthey couldn't visit with us, they told us that Portofmo. As you are heading out of town tolent article in the May 1974 issue of the Glow the cave was fairly easy to fmd and that there ward Portofino you pass right by the ViJla by David Carter, notes taken by Jonathan were maps of the location at the start of the Fiorenza where Baba stayed for a couple of Bader during his visit updated in 1981 and path and that the cave in question was #3. We weeks with the Western Women Mandali. ideas and clues offered by Susan Lutgendorf would know it by a framed picture of St. Margaret Craske talks about giving Baba and Jane Brown. Francis and a Baba button stuck in the Our visit to Assisi was wonderful. We wall of the cave. We took a cab to the ended up staying there 5 days and cutting Hermitage and found our way to the down our time in Rome. It was a good decipath. There was a map, but it wasn't sion. The atmosphere in Assisi is charged with very good. We just started hiking in the associations ofBaba and this favorite lover what we thought was the right direcof His. It was typical of me to visit the church tion and eventually we found the right where St. Francis was buried and be moved to one. We spent an hour or so in the tears at the alter, only to fmd out that his recave. Just the thought of Baba in the mains were down another level. Oh well, at cave was enough to make it a special least I had the right neighborhood. trip. The mountain terrain was easy to navigate and the views were thriJIing. After so many years of imagining this location, I was incredulous to actually be there and be able to sit where Baba had sat. The next day we rented a car and drove to Mt. La Verna where it is said that St. Francis was given the gift of the stigmata, which was symbolic of St. Francis attaining union with His Beloved Christ. The area is in the hiJIy country of Umbria with lots of small villages. If we were to return we would spend a few days in one of these villages. In fact, as we didn't fmd the food very interesting in most of Italy, I would suggest either going to Villa Fiorenzi

20


we were looking ture but I decided to approach him and try to for and asked him explain why we were up there snooping around. Of course, he spoke no English and I if he knew where we could fmd the spoke no Italian and for the flfSt time my little Villa Altachiara. hip pocket dictionary came in handy. There He didn't speak was only one problem, Meher Baba's name English but he wasn't in there! So I looked up the word "priest" knew exactly what and pointed to it and he motioned for us to I was talking about go ahead and look around. I headed immediand pointed right ately for the entrance to the house, as it was so beautiful. As I approached, I could see a large at the building to -~.~r.:¥. which Sandy had collection of beautiful vases in the room in.,/ side the door. I think I would have actually guessed it might ,~ be, and indicated tried to go in had my wife not called me to my that it was the senses. We then went over to the cliff side just Villa Altachiara. past a helicopter landing, of all things. We Villa AltadJiara from the sea. "Molta bene, could not imagine that this was where Baba molta bene", he and the small group had scampered down to dancing lessons in the garden in the back of exclaimed, which I believe means very beauthe ocean, it was so high up and so steep. The this house. We forgot that our notes from view from there was breathtaking. The sea tiful. Okay, now we knew where it was from the Jonathan Bader talked about being able to look merged with the horizon and was dotted with at the gardens by a road that led past the back a few sail boats cutting the waves and heading opposite side and from out to sea, now to figure out where it was from the land. We coninto the sun. The waves sparkled like diayard. Jonathan's notes say, "As you leave monds. As we breathed the fresh Santa Margherita going toward sea air and absorbed the sun on that peninsula peak, we were very Portofino on the road that follows the ocean, you will come to a buildmoved to have had the opportuing called Covo Nord Est. It is a nity to walk where Baba had small promontory on which a night walked, to imagine the lovely reclub or restaurant has been con- . treat that the women had shared structed. At that point you go with their very handsome Beloved on this Italian Riviera. Phrases of through an arched gate. The road Begin the BegUine kept us combegins to turn to the right and. Baba's house is approximately a • pany as we strolled around the quarter mile past Covo Nord Est." gardens and pools and enjoyed the exhilaration of this romantic inAfter arriving at Portofmo, we asked around for the whereabouts terlude. Finally our reverie was of the Villa Altachiara. No luck. No brought to a climax as the garVilla Altachiara from the air. Portofino Harbor to the right. one seemed to know what we were dener approached and gestured talking about. We had some notes that said tinued to ask around but to no avail. Finally, "Okay, that's enough, out with you now". the gate was next to a tobacco shop or a tourwe headed toward the bus stop and I saw a We descended the path and stopped half ist shop. We couldn't remember which, but tourist shop that could have been a cigarette way down to say Baba's prayers and to express we couldn't fmd such a place. We hiked around shop and sure enough, there was a gate next our appreciation for this special opportunity, the hills of the area and were swept away by to it and I think it may have said the name of the highlight of our Italfan pilgrimage. the beauty and romance of the seascape. Fithe Villa on the gate. The nally, we decided to take the boat ride to San gate was open and so we Frutuosso that we had read about. Baba also ventured in. The hill was full of cultitook the women to the monastery/convent. The ride was majestic; clouds were building vated foliage and the path over the land, but it was sunny and warm out was easy to follow. After about two-thirds of the way at sea. The water of this little bay is blue and up, we encountered another clear. After climbing around the monastery a small gate about two feet short while, we boarded the boat to return to high. We stepped over it and Portofino. Sandy and I were looking at the cliff I ine along the peninsula and tried to guess continued on. We could see the house emerging and where the Villa was and she pointed at a prominent structure high up on the cliff and soon we were at the top on said she would bet that was it. There was a tall the lawn of the house. I was as thrilled as a kid at his first palm-type tree with an unusual clump toward circus. Then we saw the garthe top. I overheard an elderly Italian man in dener. I figured this was --------..;;;;;;;;".,,; the back of the boat pointing out things on Photos Pat Cook © 1998 about the end of our advenland so I decided to try to explain to him what The front view ofthe beautiful Villa Altachiara. 21


Three Babies Ruano Bogislav

S

trange as it may seem, it was really through allowing myself to be at the Ritz bar in Paris that I eventually met Shri Meher Baba. A dear friend of mine whom I had not seen for a long time, Quentin Tod, was returning to England from India via Paris (1933). He had something of great importance to tell me. He tried to get in touch with me but â&#x20AC;˘ without success, forgetting that I was only known by my stage name in Paris. He was walking down the Avenue de L'Opera when he suddenly changed his mind and decided to take , the Boulevard des Capucines. It was just at this time, having left the Ritz, that I started down the Rue Cambon and, at the comer of the Boulevard des Capucines, we met. We met because I was meant to hear what he had to tell me, and he promised to come to dinner that night. Nonny Gayley and her daughter B.ano were liVing with me at this time, so during dinner and the evening we were told all about Shri Meher Baba, the Perfect Master. My dear Master, Abdul Baha, had died. This was the third time I had heard aboutShri Meher Baba. Quentin left a small photograph with me and promised he would do what he could to arrange a meeting if Shri Meher Baba came again to Europe. Time passed and I heard nothing more, but I received a letter from a woman who had previously sublet my apartment, asking if she might have it for the month ofJuly. I stopped with a friend whilst trying to decide what I had better do during this month, when a letter came from Quentin telling me that Baba had arrived and was in Portofino, Italy, and that I was to come quickly. It all became very clear why my apartment had been rented, for it gave me the wherewithal to go quickly, otherwise I would have had to borrow. I arrived in Portofmo July 8th, 1933 and was met by Quentin and Margaret Craske who had found a room for me in the village. I shall always be deeply grateful to Quentin for he did not forget his promise, which had made him indirectly responsible for my great

22

Baba wHh Ruano jn Amerka durjng J934 happiness. Baba was in Rome but was returning to Portofino that night. Next morning, July 9th, Quentin came to fetch me. The house where Baba was staying was on a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean and surrounded by a beautiful park. The moment we entered the gate I began to cry and it became worse as we climbed the hill. I was thoroughly ashamed of this behavior, especially as I looked a sight and could not stop crying. By the time we reached the house, I was in a dreadful state. Quentin brought me a glass of water, but nothing helped and then the door opened and Baba stood there-I cannot remember what I did, I know that I looked and looked. It probably was only for

a moment, but it seemed to me as if I had been looking for ages, and then I put my hands over my face and cried more than ever. I shall never forget the kind and gentle way in which Baba led me to a sofa and made me sit beside Him and patted my hand. Through my sobs I tried to tell Him how sorry I was that I could not stop crying. He spelled out on His board to Quentin, "Tell her it is just as it should be." I had a great fear that He might send me away, so I asked if I was to be sent away, but my Beloved Baba shook His head, "No." I was then told to come to the garden every morning from ten to twelve and every afternoon from four to six. I carried out these instructions to the minute, aided by the church bells. For ten days I cried. I neither knew whether I ate or whether I slept, I only thought of the moment when I could return to the garden. _:~â&#x20AC;˘ .lIt.. ... Sometimes I did not see Baba. One time He led me to the wall and pointing to the sea far below, said on His board, "I am like the sea, drown yourself in Me and you will live forever." After Italy I saw Baba every time He came to Europe and I was so happy when He made use of my apartment in Paris to see those that wished to see Him there. When my daughter went in to see Baba I said, "Baba, dear, this is my baby." My daughter immediately said, "Baba, she is much more of a baby than I am," and then Baba said on His board, "Baba also means baby, so we are three babies." He is always ready with such adorable things to say, and makes one feel so happy and at ease. People meeting Baba for the first time always wonder what they ought to say and how they ought to act. This is all useless, for the minute one comes into the presence of Baba, the answer to what one should do or say is all there. Everything is there. From When He Takes Over, Compiled by Bal atu, Copyright 1988 AMBPPCT, Ahmednagar, M.S., India for quotation from Meher Baba, Copyright 1988 Bal Natu, Published by Meher Nazar Books, Ahmednagar


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his article is the product of the accumulated efforts of Jonathan Bader, David Carter, Ray Kerkhove and our LoveStreet staff. Ray Kerkhove has been gathering information about Baba's journeys around the world for years, a truly ambitious endeavor. His studies give us information and insight into not only Baba's travels but historical information he has accumulated about the areas Baba visited that we think you historians might fmd interesting. Unfortunately, because our space is limited, we won't be able to print all the information he has given us. Both Ray and Jonathan have noted a few inconsistencies regarding Baba's arrival/departure dates, ports of entry, incidents with his companions, etc., in various literature they have studied. AIl of our contributors have been as careful as possible regarding dates and places, however they do not mean this to be an absolute comprehensive geographical study of Baba's movements in Italy, as there are still some missing links. However, if you are planning to vacation in Italy, and you take this LampPost along using it as a guide during your travels, we feel you will be able to enjoy a large percentage of all the places Baba has been. An informal bibliography is on page 31 for your perusal.

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Below you'll find several maps which you may want to use to fmd your way to Villa Fiorenzi, St. Francis' cave in Assisi, Fiesole District where St. Francis had a vision of Jesus beside a spring, and the St. MargheritalPortofino area. On the following page we have ~ • ~ outlined the major areas that Baba often visited or passed through during His travels in Italy. The pages following cover the basic ~ • \ chronology of Baba's journeys, and more detail of where He stayed and with whom; short excursions to surrounding areas, personal ~,,~.' . anecdotes of His Western lovers, and some information He passed on to them during their adventures together. . Now then, sit back and relax with your lattes, espressos, favorite vino, some good Italian background music and enjoy the LoveStreet , , LampPost's trip to Italy with Baba. ~

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Milano Terminus Hotel: October 25, 1931 Hotel Astonia Belgrano: june 23-24, 1933 Hotel Savoy Majestic, briefly for a meeting December 16,1932 Railway Station: August 17, 1932, disembarked "Victoria" june 23, 1933, embarked S.S. Roma October 27, 1931 for New York City.

Santa ~arfJherita Villa Fiorenza, 22 Via R. Rossetti (in 1930's 18 Via Milite Ignoto), is situated on the oceanfront between S. Margherita and Paraggi. - july 30 - August 17, 1932 . "\

f]!ortofino Villa Altachiara,]une 28- Aug 17, 1932.

~ilan (~ilano) Milan Railway Station - departure and arrival point: October, 1931, March (April?) 6, 1932, and August 17, 1932 Albergo Imperiale Hotel, October 15 - 25,1931. Hotel Diana, overnight stay December 2, 1932. Enid Corfe's home near Albergo Imperiale Hotel Certosa Cathedral and monastery, October 15, 1931.

Jlorence (3irenze) Stopped to refresh themselves at a hotel, brief drive in city also to Duomo (Cathedral and Square), August, 1932, coffee in the square.

~ssisi St. Francis' cave at Carceri Hermitage on Mt. Subasio 4 km from town Windsor Savoia Hotel address: Viale Marconi, 1 Home of Bernard of Quintavalle, on via Bernard da Quintavalle

r:Rome (r:Roma) Hotel Elyseo (Elysee?),july 6 (77),1933. Vatican City Museum and Galleries, july 7 (8?), 1933. St. Peter's Basilica, july 6 (7?), 1933.

2'Japles (2'Japoli) Harbor, 2 hour stopover in 1931, Baba stayed on board but interviewed several people.

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Railway Station, March (April?) 6, 1932 and again December 2, 1932. Venice Pier, disembarked from Conce Rosso March (April?) 4, 1932, the Conte to England. Hotel Saturnia-Internazionale, April 4, 1932 and August 17 (18?), 1932. address: Calle Larga XXII Marco 2398, San Marco 30124. phone: 041-5208377, fax: 041-5207131. St. Mark's Square, visited many times during His stays here. Florian Cafe, Baba sat at this famous cafe on various evenings.

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25


r"'J n Europe, as on other continents, there are holy places connected to !Jreat spiritual work. the four centres of Europe are

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Saint i..JWark's in 7Jenice, a place on the "ci!Jurian Coast of :ltaly, vAssisi, and vAvila. :l have now visited and revisited them all. :Jrom their holy !Jrounds have sprun!J many saints."- <...Meher CBaba Babasfirst visit to Italy- October, 1931

Milan, Genoa Meher Baba traveled to Europe and America for the fLrst time in the fall of 1931 arriving in Marseilles by boat on September 11 til and continuing the next day to England. He left England on October 2nd for Istanbul. where he stayed for 9 days before departing by train for Milan.

The A vatar ofthe Age arrived in Italy for the nrst time on October 1!l" at 530p.m. at the Milan Train Station. Enid Corfe was supposed to meet them at the station, but wasn't there so Baba went to her house. Lord Meher reports that Enid had made reservations for Baba for 9 days at the Albergo Imperiale on the lOti' floor. (Initial efforts to fmd the hotel haven't been successful, and there is some chance the hotel name is wrong.) Baba visited the Certosa Cathedral the following day, led a group on a visit to the Italian Alps on the 18th and to Lake Como on the 20 tl'. Baba visited Enid's house on several occasions, including tea on October 25 1h • The Certosa Cathedral holds relics of Roman martyrs and the great theplogian St. Ambrose (339-397). St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), one of Baba's "four favorite Western saints", met St. Ambrose (his master) here and was converted to Christianity.

-

Genoa, Naples Baba left for Genoa later that day by train where He stayed at the Milano Terminus Hotel for two days. Baba departed Genoa Harbor at 10 p.m. on October 27th via the Roma for His first visit to America. Baba's boat stopped briefly in Naples before continuing to New York. (Genoa had been a Roman port and in medieval times a Jewish center. Both St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510). renowned for her hospital work and her mystical treatise on Purgatory, and St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), founder of the Passionists lived here.)

Babas second visit - April, 1932 Venice, Milan FollOWing Baba's fLrst visit to the West He returned briefly to India. His second visit to Italy began April 4th when he arrived in Venice on the Conte Rossoaccompanied by six disciples, including his brothers Behram and Adi. They stayed at the Hotel International (Hotel Saturnia-Internazionale) which was the only place Baba stayed in Venice. He went sight-seeing, and enjoyed gondola rides. He departed for Dover, England by train on April 6th traveling via Milan. While in Milan, Baba made a quick tour around the City before His train departed at 4 p.m.

Babas third visit - july-August, 1932 Santa Margherita Baba's fLrst extended stay in Italy was during the summer of 1932. Quentin Todd, one of Baba's English disciples, had arranged for Baba to stay for 3 weeks in Santa Margherita at the Villa Fiorenza with

26

eleven to thirteen of His Eastern and Western disciples. The Villa (Via R. Rosetti #22). sits right on the ocean on the coastal road connecting Santa Margherita and Paraggi, a quarter mile past Point Pedale. The Vilia has a second floor balcony where Baba used to stand, a tower in the rear right corner, and terraced walkways in the backyard. (Jonathan showed photos of the building and lands to Kitty Davey in 1982 and she confLrmed it was the Villa. See Pat Cook's article p. 20 for a photo of the Villa and p. 24 for a ~~••.:.....: small map.) Baba arrived in St. Margherita from Genoa on July 30th and walked from the station to the Vilia. It was here that the Mandali and Western lovers enjoyed an intimate and relaxing period Herbert, Baba and Quentin ]Odd with Beloved Baba, swimming, sight seeing, going to theatres, picnics, playing games, and other activities. During His stay at the Villa He visited the local theatre, Lina's cafe (called Cafe Excelsior in 1970) , PortofLno, and had a lavish meal in Rapallo. The group often visited Galto Pedale, a promontory between Cervara and Ste. Margherita where there are private beaches and cliffs. He also sat on the rocks by the ocean below the Villa. The Italian people came to know of Baba and would come to the house to sit quietly in his presence. Herbert recalled "These Italian days with Baba were very, very, happy ... warm sun, a blue sea ... green hills and shaded walks through vineyards and forests. Pictures of walking in Galilee and of lake Baba on the clillS reading correspondence side talks with Jesus came into our minds. In the morning we all trooped down to the rocks, bathed, dived, splashed or basked in the sun, Baba in our midst. ... He would wade in the water and twice a!lowed us to row Him in a sailing boat. .. to San Fruttuoso. Baba's room led out onto a private balcony.... When we swam before breakfast, we could see His white-clad figure watching us from the balcony.... On the terrace we would act charades or get up entertainments. Under the name of "Thomas" Baba would take dancing lessons with Margaret.... Thus, in innumerable ways, Baba entered into our lives as playmate, friend, child and father." On one occasion in the walled garden behind the Villa Baba asked Margaret Craske to give him dancing lessons. She writes: "I then took His hand and showed Him a simple 1-2-3 hop step. No obstacles. He


took it at once and then, hand in hand, we flew round the garden path. And I really mean flew. He could move as no one else has ever moved - with joy, freedom, rhythm. And I knew without intellectualizing it, that dancing was, is and always will be a part of God." Such were these wonderful days with Baba. (The Capodimonte Peninsula has been sacred since prehistoric times as attested by cave art in the vicinity. In Roman times it was a center for worship of Mithra, one of the many Zoroastrian gods. A Mithran incineration bowl can be seen at the Basilica Nostra wherein also lies the relics of the Roman martyr Margherita (d. 257 AD) after whom the town was named. The city was converted to Christianity by two saints-St. Nazario and St. Cels. The Portofmo area was home and fmal resting place to a considerable number of Christian hermits and martyrs.)

La Spezia, Pisa, Sestri Levant, Viareggio and Siena Several days after arriving at the Villa, Baba announced that he had a most important seclusion work to carry out in Assisi. He sent Herbert Davey (Kitty's brother) ahead on August 1" to locate and prepare a cave in Assisi connected with St. Francis that would be suitable for a 24 hour seclusion. Baba left by car for Assisi five days later on August 6th â&#x20AC;˘ They passed through La Spezia and then Viereggio where they had a bite to eat by the roadside in the Pineta Forest adjacent to the town. In Pisa they stopped at the Nettion (Nation) Hotel and drove past the Leaning Tower. The party ate lunch in Sienna near the heart of town before continuing. (Siena is associated with St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). Camporeggi Hill was where Catherine had her flfSt vision ofJesus and later did much of her devotions in St. Dominic's church. It was also the home to St. Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) who popularized the chanting of Christ's name.)

The May 1974 Glow published sections of Herbert's diary describing Baba's seclusion, portions of which are excerpted below: "We motored part of the way up the hill to save time. I then led the party down a hidden path to the cave, which we reached at 7:30 p.m. Baba would rest in the cave during the entire fast, and none was to go near him or to look. .. .If he required anything to drink it was to be put just outside the entrance .... Chanji and I shivered and sat at a little distance Baba sand St. Frands' Ca ve from the cave.... Strange thoughts and questionshow little we really understood the nature of Baba's work. (The next afternoon) "At 4:30 p.m., we returned carrying food with us. Baba came out, as his work was accomplished sooner than he expected. At 6:30 p.m. we had a very happy meal seated around a wooden plank on the ground like children at a picnic.... " "Baba, though content with his work accomplished, was in great pain; we had to support him during our descent from the mountain, one on either side of Baba we would run down together down the steep path. It seemed as if the jolting and physical exercise helped to bring him down to earth. He looked like someone dazed, suffering from a severe headache." FollOWing the end of His seclusion on August 7th , Baba went to the Windsor Savoia Hotel, in Assisi where He bathed, prior to the group's return to Santa Margherita. Baba pointed to a stone outside the former home of Bernard of Quintavalle (on via Bernard da Quintavalle), St. Francis' flfSt disciple, where he said Francis had wept the entire night out of love for Jesus.

The Hermitage at Mt. Subasio

Assisi Baba reached Assisi in the early evening and continued on to the Carcen Hermitage 4.5 km. outside of town on the flanks of Mount Subasio. It was here that Herbert had prepared a cave on the slopes below the hermitage in accordance with Baba's instruction. Baba indicated His seclusion work here was of immense importance, saying afterwards that He had met with "all the Saints and Masters from the 61ll and 71ll planes, and had mapped out the spiritual destiny of the world for the next two thousand years".

St. Francis'Basilica

Herbert took Baba around Assisi showing him the main places associated with Francis' life, including the Bascilica. Baba had given 27


instructions that during His seclusion Kaka and Quentin should go to Catholic mass at the crypt at 7 a.m. and kiss Francis' tomb. Herbert's and Quentin's diaries provide a detailed account of the seclusion, portions of which appear in LordMeher, The Cod-Man, and

Love Alone Prevails.

Directions to the Cave "From the Piazza Matteotti, take the road behind it called the Via Eremo Delle Carceri through the Porta Cappuccini. Follow the road up the hill about 4 - 4.5 km. Parking is just to the left of a little tourist! novelty stand. A parking ticket win be issued by a policeman for one or two hours. Follow the tour path through the hermitage until you come out the other side. A statue ofSt. Francis lying prone is on the left and you will see a wooden fence on your right. Where the fence ends a path of rough stone steps descends to the right. Take that path. It passes the Grotto of Brother Leon and twists and turns on a winding descending path. On your right you'll pass a big cave with an altar (Grotto Del Br. Bernardo), a smaller cave and past it a rectangular brick building. Here the path turns rather sharply to the left. Continue on and you'll come to a cave that is crouched under a natural stone wall. The cave has a roughly made wooden gate on the front of it and the left side is made of piled stones. There is a little stone plaque inside that is marked 1860 Grotta Del. B. Ari pello. There is also a wooden framed picture of St. Francis on the wall of the cave. As you leave and walk back along the path, instead of turning left up the path continue along until you find another cave. We wondered whether it may have been the cave in which Baba asked Kitty's brother Herbert to stand watch." Janet Files, Myrde Beach, March, 2000

Florence Following the seclusion in Assisi, Baba's party reached Florence on August 8th in the early morning where they stopped at a hotel to wash and eat. They visited the Duomo and had coffee in the Square. Baba said He wanted to fmd a spot outside Florence, near Borganto, where St. Francis had a vision of Jesus beside a spring. The site is known as Monte Ceceri. (Florence was the heart of Europe's Renaissance, home to Da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Medici, Machiavelli, and others. Mugello Friary on Florence's outskirts was the base of St. Bonaventura (1221-1274), St. Franci ' biographer and one 0 f the greatest medieval theologians.)

Borganto (Fiesole District) In Florence Baba suddenly said He Pholo C. PlumleeŠ1990

The Duolllo in Florence

28

wanted to fmd a spot

near Borganto, where St. Francis had a vision of Jesus beside a spring. The site, just outside Florence, is known as Monte Ceceri. There are three hills in this area, and Borganto occupies the saddle of one. Led by Baba, the group climbed over Mt. Ceceri and enjoyed the view of Florence and the surrounding country. Baba was positive it was the spot, but they could not fmd the spring. He then gave instructions that Herbert should return in 2 weeks and search until he found it. While in Borganto, Baba and the men had tea at the Villa Alpine which Baba inspected and approved for Herbert's return visit. When Herbert later returned to the site after much hunting (and trespassing) he found a spring behind a high rock wall on the crest of the hill. When Jonathan visited Mt. Ceceri in 1979 he found a high rock wall surrounding the crest of the hill and after a time discovered a small spring among some rocks in a wooded area inside the wall. It may be the same one Baba sought. Fiesole was home to Fra Angelico (1384-1453) - the Dominican monk renowned as the greatest medieval muralist. He painted scenes of St. Francis'life.

Portofino Yetta Baba arrived back in Ste. Margherita from Assisi on August 8~'. Over the en uing days Baba's dear ones enjoyed a number of outings with Him. Love Alone Prevails gives Herbert Davey's account of a trip to Portofmo Vetta: "We climbed up the steep road to Portofmo Vetta, festooned with flowers picked from the roadside, and garlanded with vine leaves; laughing, Singing, and joking. Peasants looked at us in surprise but not disapproval .... I felt a curious feeling as if time and space were of no account and we were taking part in some more significant ascent than a trip to Portofmo Vetta. When we had climbed two-thirds of the way up, Baba suddenly expressed a wish to eat. Quentin said ... it would be better to wait. Baba did not insist, but His mood was spoiled. Byexperience we learn that what seem sudden whims are outward symbols of Baba's inner working. On the top of the mountain we sat. .. laughed, feasted, slept and played .... Despite the incident it was a very happy day."

Directions to Portofino Vetta "Take the train from Santa Margherita to Camogli Hanging about in Camogli is a great way to spend an how', and it's almost certainly in Beloved Baba's footsteps, given Herbert Davies' account. Arriving in the morning, one can provision oneself for the coming hike in the Iitde food stores along the main street. Taking water on the trip is highly advised. Little coastside towns like Camogli appear to have been built on many levels; of relevance are the town's street level (train stop), and a lower level that is at or close to water level. Go down to the water level, and walk back until you see stair leading up, marked with the red double dot - an emblem of an Italy-Wide hiking club that marks good routes. Now you have a steady uphill walk on stairs ... This walk leads you ever upward to San Rocco, a beautiful church maybe 800 vertical feet from your starting point. For the faint of heart, there is a paved road to San Rocco. We saw cars there, and mothers with babies in strollers at dle church and one would hazard a guess that a taxi could be found would be able to convey one to San Rocco, which would reduce the difficulty of the hike. There is some reason to believe that Baba's party may have started from San Rocco. Going upwards toward Portofmo Vetta, one has a lovely climb


along a mostly stone path. There is a picnic bench up near the top and a statue of a saint. On the peak there is a hotel that seems not to have opened and a telecom transmit/receive facility. From the top, one can descend into Portofmo itself. The path is clearly marked and altogether picturesque, or walk down to San Fruttuoso. The entire circuit for folks of middle fitness took from about 10 a.m. in Camogli to about 4 p.m. arrival in Portofino. " Keith and jan Gunn, California, October 1999

San Fruttuoso and Portofmo They spent all of the next day boating near San Fruttuoso, where a statue of jesus is submerged under the water. They brought lunch and tea and picnicked together. Baba said He had been here before as an 'unknown master' in an in-between (veiled) incarnation when there were only huts in the area. They rowed Baba several times in a boat and sailed with Him on several occasions. They had a picnic in Portofino on August 11 th , near where Baba would stay the following year. One day, Baba wanted to walk to a distant beach. Once there, Herbert told Baba that it was a private beach and didn't want Him to trespass. Herbert did not accompany the others as they scrambled over the wall to the beach. As they walked along the beach, an old man with long hair and a beard came from the other direction. He was leading a young boy by the hand and greeted Kaka by folding his hands in "Namaste" fashion. The old man walked back and forth looking at Baba frequently. Baba told them later that he was an agent and when Herbert rejoined the group Baba severely chastised him for missing the old man. Herbert was to have seen him in order to identify one of Baba's agents in Warsaw with whom he was identical in appearance. Missing him in fact caused Herbert considerable difficulty later on in Warsaw.

Venice They took a train to Venice on August 17 th by way of Genoa, and Milan (where they were joined by Enid Corfe) and arrived on August 18th • They stayed again at the Hotel Saturnia-Internazionale.The group visited the Lido, a beach resort, and listened to a concert in St. Mark's square. Baba cryptically remarked that he had been there 620 years ago (1312 AD) but offered no other details. They visited the Florian Cafe and Quadri, and took a ride in a gondola as well. One evening in St. Mark's square, they sat at a cafe and Baba seemed very sad. He said, "I am eternally crucified." He got up and made everyone walk around St. Mark's Cathedral. Baba explained that it was one of the spiritual capitals of Europe and that the entire structure with dome and pillars was an exact plan of the Avatar's inner and outer Circle. He said the 122 pillars of the church corresponded to the 122 disciples in the Avatar's circles. He said that in jesus' time He had been there one month before the crucifixion and had sat in the exact spot where St. Mark's was later built. Baba entered the church with the men disciples and also posed for photographs beneath the center flag pole in front of the church. He departed Venice for Alexandria, Egypt, via the Ausonia, August 20 th •

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Babas fourth visit - Der:ember 1932 Venice, Milan, Genoa Baba arrived in Venice on the Conte ~nk on December 2,1932 accompanied by his brothers jal and Adijr., Vishnu Deorukhar and Kaka Baria. He was met by Elizabeth, Norina, N adine, and Quentin. They headed toward London, arriving in Milan on December 4th , where Enid Corfe and another disciple joined them. They stayed overnight at the Hotel Diana leaving at 5 p.m. the next day for London. Having spent a brief time in London and then Zurich, Baba came back to Italy, traveling to Genoa. which He reached on December 16 th at 9:15 p.m. He stayed the night at the Savoy Majestic Hotel, then boarded the Esperia for Egypt on December 17 th •

Babasfifth visit-July, August 1933 Portofino Baba arrived in Genoa on june 23 n1 via the Victoria for His longest stay in Italy. While there He stayed in Genoa at the Astoria Belgrano for 2 days before traveling on to Portofino where the Villa Altachiara had been rented for one month beginning june 28 th • (The narratives studied do not say where He stayed during the several days between leaving Genoa and arriving in Portofmo). The Villa Altachiara is several kilometers from the Villa Fiorenza where Baba stayed the year before. It is located high on a hill overlooking both Portofino harbor and the ocean on the opposite side. (See photos and directions in Pat Cook's article p. 20) and can be approached by means of a long, steep, gated drive near the end of the harbor. Be~ cause of the number of people in Baba's group, some had to stay in the village (none of the accounts jonathan has read indicate where). Those present included Chanji, Kaka, Adi, Pendu, Dada Abdulla, Norina. Anita, Kitty, Elizabeth, Minta, Tina, Vivienne, Herbert, Otto HaasHeije, Heidi Mertens, Anna Katarina. Enid Corfe, Victor and Alice Trau-Fisher, Quentin, Delia, Mabel, and others. While there was an enjoyable atmosphere with Baba, as in the previous year, Baba also gave everyone work and responsibilities to attend to. It was here that the booklet "Questions and Answers" was prepared. LordMeher, Vol. 6 describes some poignant moments with Baba: "During Baba's stay in Portofmo. the cool moonlight lit up the night and the stars shone in all their brilliance. One evening, it was absolutely quiet around the villa, as if a message of peace and joy on earth was being conveyed to humanity. The lovers and Mandali gathered around Baba who appeared exceedingly beautiful, wearing a royal blue jacket. The silent atmosphere immobilized them like an intoxicant. "The moon shone on Baba's face, the scent of jasmine hung around them, and the songs of cicadas were heard in the background. "It was one of the

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most timely, most beautifuJ moments with Baba," remembered Delia DeLeon. "We just sat there and never said a word." They could see Baba's smiling countenance and flowing hair as if aglow with light." One day, one of the group experienced the presence of a ghost standing before him. Another said her hair had been pulled as she slept and yet another had heard noises. Baba confmned that there was a ghost in the Villa that had been trying to get free for five hundred years. Baba, in his compassion, freed him.

Rome Baba left Altachiara for a visit to Rome, where He arrived by train on July 7th â&#x20AC;˘ Baba's group of ten stayed at the Hotel Elysee. He was driven around the Seven Hills of Rome, and went into St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican where He stood beneath the center dome and turning to face all four directions He made a sign in the air, then walked quickly out the West door without allowing time for anyone to view the exquisite art.

â&#x20AC;˘

~

table. Minta and Norina sat near Him. They ordered sweet rolls, cake, and lemon ices. Baba later explained that while they were there a middleaged, blond haired man whom He referred to as "Christiano", drove by in a red Fiat sports car convertible. Baba explained that Christiano was a very rare direct agent for all of Europe, a fourth plane saint, who lived with his wife in Rome, but that she knew nothing of his spiritual status. Baba had explained that as part of His work He had to physically contact all the direct agents. The following is an excerpt from Herbert's diary in Love Alone Prevails. "He told us that among the thousands of spiritual agents in the world there are four who are concerned with the destinies of continents and races ... Under them are many subordinates on the first through fourth planes; some are conscious and some are unconscious of their spiritual functions. They carry out the tasks allotted to them, and it is only those on the lowest planes who directly affect the visible universe." Leaving the cafe, the group walked to a movie theatre and saw the ftIm "White Shadows". The next day they drove around the city, including the Lateran, several fountains of Rome, the Vatican Museum and galleries. Baba sat down in the Sistine Chapel, commenting that "Today, this place has been really blessed". The group left Rome by train on July 8'1 , and arrived back in Portofmo that night. (The center of the Roman Empire, Rome was home to the great philosophers Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cicero and the mystic Plotinus. St Peter lived and was martyred here as was St. PauJ. Popes and various saints lived or studied in the city: Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, Cyril and Benedict. St. Ignatius was buried at the Gesu church. St. Peter's is the center of Catholic Christianity, and has been a major place of pilgrimage for at least 1500 years. St. Peter's remains were interred directly under the High Alter - the Papal Seat, as was only recently discovered in 1980. Many Christian saints and mystics visited St. Peter's among whom were three were St. Francis, St. Dominic and St. Ignatius of Loyola.)

Backin Portofino

St. Peted Basilica

Baba later went to Capitoline Hill, the Forum, and went into the Colosseum for a few minutes. He also asked to be driven around Mussolini's office twice. Baba gave several interviews at His hotel and then went to a famous cafe, the Aragno al Corso, and sat at a sidewalk

The Forum

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On July lO'h (the 8 L1l anniversary of Baba's silence) an incident occurred in which Baba and four disciples were climbing on the cliffs below Altachiara and encountered great difficuJty making their way back up, having become stuck and unable to move ahead or to retreat. Eventually, Baba was able to extricate them. Afterwards, Baba was very happy that everyone had behaved so well and showed much faith in Him. Kitty writes, "To celebrate this event, He called us all into the library, retold the story, and gave each a sip of Italian wine with His own hands - an extraordinary event, as at this period Baba forbade His close disciples to take any intoxicants. Baba's explanation was 'When I give anything, you should not hesitate to take. I give or not give for special reasons.' The Italian servants who were present, and knew the danger, wept with joy, Baba was very pleased and said that He had done great work through this adventure. The energies set loose, the feelings aroused and the courage displayed were used by Him for His spiritual work. Thus happily ended the day." The group visited the Lighthouse with Baba at Pte. Portofmo, and Baba stood in the top 'Parapet of II Castello. Around this time Baba related a story about a minor advent in Portofino when there were only huts in the area. Baba had come to the very spot where Altachiara now stands. An incident occurred there when Baba had sat near to a couple who came regularly to the cliffs. The man not wanting to be disturbed had struck Baba, but Baba did nothing. Later, one of His disciples, outraged over the blow, confronted the man, but was himself thrown over the cliff by the man and woman.


Babasseventh visit- October, 1933 Lake Maggiore Baba returned to Europe in August 1952, following His automobile accident in Prague, Oklahoma the previous May. Although He had recuperated some, He was still in pain. He left July 31 Sl for London, then on August 6tl' headed to Switzerland for two weeks where He stayed with the Mertens in Zurich. Ray's notes say that during this time Baba took a boat trip on Lake Maggiore, the southern end of which is in Italy (the northern end in Switzerland). Baba took a boat trip to Borromoen Islands at the southern end, and had a meal at Baveno on the lake. This appears to be Baba's last visit to Italy.

InformalBibliography

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LordMeher, Vols. 4 and 5, by Bhau Kalchuri, © Lawrence Reiter and AMBPPCT LoveAJonePrevails, by Kitty Davey, © 1981 by Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.

The Cod Man, by Charles Purdom, © 1971 by Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.

The Dance ofLove by Margaret Craske, © 1980, by Sheriar Press 777eAwakenerVol.XlV:l (1971) 19-31, Kitty Davey, Baba's First World Tour, 1932

Pendu, In His Company. and Brian O'Neil, Portofrno Revisited - 1970, Glow International May 1984,5-8,8-0,20. Adi K Irani, Diary of a Disciple, Glow International February 1993, 5 Chanji, Meher Baba Part IV (Early Years 1894-1942), Glow International February 1980, 12-22 Delia De Leon, Italian Days 1932 - 1933, Meher Baba Association (newsletter), May 1984: 5 D. E. Stevens, Grand Reunion Itneraire, Sleuthing Portofino and Assisi, in Neti Neti No. 46 (August 1985),2-8 Incredibly he wasn't injured. This disciple and one other returned and subsequently got into a fight with the man, who was badly injured. Baba said the recent incident at the cliff had reminded Him of it. Baba left Portofrno for Genoa on July 24 1h , and departed Italy for India on the Victoria. Facing the southern side of Altachiara is della Cervara Convento, which is associated with St. Catherine of Siena.

Babas sixth visit - October, 1933 Brindisi, Venice and Milan Lord Meherstates Baba returned to Italy on October 1933 via the M V Conte lkrdefrom India. The boat stopped for two hours in Brindisi

Veronica Fabre and Valeria Violati, A Historical Perspective: Santa Margherita, Portofmo, San Fruttuoso, Glow International 1986(?), 21-23. We would like to thank Lawrence Reiter for all the photos of Baba in Italy scanned from Lord Mehe/; Keith Gunn for his directions to Portofrno Vetta and the map of the peninsula; Janet Files and David Carter for their directions to Baba's cave in Assisi; The Glow and David Carter for his map of the same; Jonatllan Bader for the provision of maps of Assisi, Borganto, and the grounds of the Villa Fiorenza and Bernard Bruford for important communiques via his computer.

on October 51h then continued on to Venice where Baba disembarked on October 6th . The party stayed at the Hotel Saturnia lnternazionale. On October 71h Baba quietly circumambulated Saint Marks Square. Because their passports had been left at the hotel Baba's departure was delayed, so He took a gondola ride through the canals saying that He had more work he could do in Venice. They departed by train for Paris that night, traveling through Milan. They were greeted at the Milan Station at 11:30 p.m. by three Europeans hoping to see Baba before He continued on to France and England. (Love AlonePrevailssays this visit occurred in June 1934, but the dates given by Lord Meher have greater detail, and are generally more consistent with other published accounts. At this time, however, there is some uncertainty.)

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Friendly As Well As Fiery Bal Natu, Meherazad

Y

our last visit was most marvelous!" I blurted out before You took Your seat. Casting an endearing glance at me, You quipped, "And you did not like our earlier meetings?" A bit startled, I replied, "I didn't mean that. After all, I am an impatient person. But from Your remark, should I assume that You want me to remove comparison from my speech?" "From your mind, yes," You answered. "Does comparison impede our relationSip. h 路 ?"

"Comparison entails valuing one thing over another." "What's wrong with that?" "In your sojourn to Me, the infinite One, you have to cross many hurdles, and one of them is comparison." "So You don't want me to judge anyone or anything?" "That would be best... G iora Pinkas pholO 1999

:'Untilyou respect the intrinsic dignity ofeach being and thing, you won't be able to appreciate My indivisible beauty and presence. "Then should I stop conversing with others, especially You? It is very difficult to express one's thoughts without making comparisons. " "Don't be hasty in your judgements. When dealing with the world you have to discriminate. But don't let your evaluations entail condemnation. I do not expect you to observe silence. Feel free to converse with Me, and, as necessary, with others." "On any subject?" "Yes, any. But today, before you switch topics, I want to ask you if you ever share with others the dialogues we have had earlier." "Only very rarely." "And why is that?" "I don't like to teach or advise others. When I try to do that, I feel nervous sometimes, other times even frightened." "Don't try to teach others. However, sharing with others, in a friendly manner, ways of living to feel My presence, is not

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giving advice." "Could You enlighten me about this a little more?" "Don't go after enlightenment." you laughed. And You continued, "I don't expect you to babble indiscriminately. Listen to others intently, and then, if you feel like sharing with them what you have gathered from Me, don't hesitate." "Regardless of their reactions?" "Better that you watch your own mind!

"The actions and reactions of others don't matter as much as your own reactions to them. " "This kind of response and awareness will take me a long time to acquire!" "I will show you the way; I will help you." "That will be wonderful!" "When you speak with others, inwardly relate yourself to Me residing in their hearts. Initially, it will be difficult for you to remember to do this, but if you are sincere, it will become a delight for you. The responses of other persons will remind you of My directive. Don't have doubts about this, or feel dejected, if your mind continues for some time with its old pranks. Have a little pa-

tience. The mind gives in gradually. A noble intention awakens noble intentions in others." "If others jeer at me, or ridicule me, should I stop?" "Accept your failures, but do not brood over what others say. Such incidents serve as a gauge to test your trust in Me. These conversations are My gift to you, so don't be cowardly about sharing them with others. The process of sharing gives opportunities to clear in-roads, within you, to Me, and to enable My love to flow into your veins." "Sometimes words almost come to my lips, but at the last moment, fear besets me." "This is the result of the burden of memories. In every encounter, you must begin afresh. A life of love does not consist of simply singing songs and playing music, or of offering prayers and giving sermons. To live with Me, the Indivisible One, you have to die in Me. Are you afraid of death?" "Not of death, because I don't know what it is! But I must confess, any thought of physical or mental suffering gives me a fright. I came to You for Real Life, and You talk of dying! Are You trying to feel my pulse?" "I don't try for anything; I know. Don't fear pain, for I always give a little less than one can endure. Do you believe this?" "It is hard to admit, yet hard to deny. I think it is all in Your hands!" With a fond smile, You said, "But you cannot run away from the part you have to play in life." "Let honesty of heart and trust in You blossom in my life. Will You bless me?" "Asking creates a distance. When you offer yourself to My will, you know that you have already received what you seek. Wait and see." Then, as though to tease me, with a merry twinkle in Your eyes, You concluded our conversation: "Was this, too, a marvelous visit?" I smiled and answered, "Don't tempt me to compare! However, I may comment without comparing, that tllis meeting was very reassuring, as well as challenging, and friendly as we]] as fiery!" And we both laughed. From Conversadons Wid] The A wakener, by BaJ Natu, Pages 42 - 46, Copyright 1991 Sheriar Foundation, Published by Sheriar Foundation.


In The "Right Place?" Cynthia Barrientos, Washington

I

n recent Meher Baba Listserve posts, a number of us have been pondering current work and life situations. "Am I in the 'right place' and doing the 'right thing'?" we ask ourselves. Does being in this "right place" mean that we are supposed to feel comfortable? When I attempt to figure out if I need to stay put or seek a different career or living situation, everything seems to get really complicated. When I feel this resistance or uncertainty as I consider any activity, I refer to Baba's words for direction. I keep a copy of His words on 'Work' next to my home computer, one at my office and one in my organizer. The more I remember to turn to Baba, the more often I get out of the way and the answers come. When the solution goes beyond my exclusive comfort, I know it's right. When I can see beyond my personal agenda and where Baba has work for me to do, I can embrace wherever I am. I may feel comfortable or I may not. It doesn't seem to matter. So, here I am, seated at the computer, writing this article. I am fidgeting, glancing at the clock, getting up, sitting down, drinking water, thinking too much and worrying about how this will be received. I've read through the "Suggested Publishing Guidelines for the LSLP" and am concerned that I might not do this "right". Am I interpreting Baba's words or simply sharing my experience? Will sharing these ways I integrate Baba into my modern life bug anyone? Have I focused enough on what is beyond illusion and not within it? Jeepers creepers ... now you have a peek at what my brain looks like when it starts off on its own. I pause, laugh out loud and once again read these timely words: WORK-Meher Baba Do whatever needs to be done, but do it as a spiritual being, as one who knows he is divine by nature and unlimited with the whole of life in essence. Do it as if you are doing it for Me or for God. Do it with equal consideration for

the interests of all concerned, for God is equally in each. Do it with utmost concentration, yet with utter detachment for the results of action. Leave the fruit of action to Me or to God. Do it as if it were the most important thing in the universe, yet let it be destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculed without concern, or let it be praised without elation. Leave the response to Me or to God. Do it, in short, as if you were not doing it at all, but as if I or God were doing it through you. Practical Spirituality, John Grant; Copyright 1985 John Grant & AMBPPCT So, with utter detachment for the results of action, here is how this works for me: when I let these words in, during a hectic day, I do experience a shift in perspective and sometimes even in attitude. I do whatever is in front of me and say Baba's name. During encounters with others, I occasionally cut and paste Baba's face onto their bodies in my mind. This playful trick is particularly helpful when there is disharmony. I say to myself, "Oh, it's you, Baba!" and the tension often subsides. Am I in the "right" place for work and living today? Feels right to me, and even if it didn't, I believe it's still the right place, so I can experience a full range of emotions. I understand that I get to feel a zillion ways with a zillion people in a zillion places, so I may as well sit still, do my cut and paste trick, seek His grace and know that it is all right. In closing. here is a quote that appeared in the Meher Baba 2000 calendar, just as I was about to make a huge change in my living situation. I was so delighted when Baba answered my plea for guidance in writing! I understood immediately that today I am in exactly the "right place" in all facets of my life and that it could all change again tomorrow. "Above all else, be content with your lot, rich or poor, happy or miserable. Understand that God has designed it for your own good, and be resigned to

His will. Remember the present in the frame of the past and the future. You eternally were and always will be. You have innumerable forms as man or woman, beautiful and ugly, strong and weak, healthy and sickly, powerful and helpless, and now you are here again in another form. Until you gain spiritual freedom you will be invested with many such forms, so why seek temporary relief now which will only result in future bindings later? Do not ask God for money, fame, power, health or children, but seek His grace and it will lead you to eternal bliss." Not We But One Meher Baba .... and would you believe that when I had this writing all done and ready to email to Dina, my computer got one of those scary bomb errors and froze up? At first I panicked, gritted my teeth and THEN remembered Baba's words ... "Do it as if it were the most important thing in the universe, yet let it be destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculed with-. out concern, or let it be praised without elation." Oh my, oh my, oh maya!

Truth Consciousness Avatar Meher Baba

S

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

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An Experience in a Cave Overlooking Tiger Valley by Elizabeth Patterson

I

n all earnestness I asked Baba if I might spend a night in the cave; and He promised me, yes, but that He would set the time. Weeks later, I reminded Him and He only smiled: "Do you wish to go now, or wait until it is the right time?" At last one day, the sixth of May 1938, He told me that I should go to the cave and remain for exactly twelve hours. Baba and the lady disciples accompanied me to the cave on this spiritual adventur:e; and at 6 p.m. exactly Baba locked me in, giving me the key inside. The last thing that I remembered, before everyone left me shut in alone for the night, was Baba's hand extended tllrough the iron bars, resting upon my head as if in blessing. The moment after they had all disappeared around the bend of the path there was profound stillness. Fleeting thoughts passed through my mind, but these I controlled, as Baba had instructed me that I should concentrate throughout the night and not sleep, unless I could not keep my eyes open any longer. According to Baba's instructions, I lit a lantern exactly at ten minutes before seven and then lay down. Once I heard heavy thuds, like steps, approaching on the path and I waited anxiously for someone to appear; but the sound, although close, passed away and probably was a cow or a buffalo which had been grazing on the mountainside. Four stars in the shape of a kite, which resembled the Southern Cross, stood out in the sky more vividly than the rest. I remember looking at my watch to fmd it was not far from midnight. Determined to remain awake, I continued to think of Meher Baba. Unexpectedly a shock, like electricity, passed through my body from head to foot; I felt it particularly along the spine. It continued in waves of varying currents and became so strong two or three times that it seemed to

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lift me-as would a rush of wind. Soon I felt myself swinging into space, the bedding unevenly swaying beneath me. I felt that if only I could remain on it, as on a 'magic carpet,' I would be carried safely; but it rocked so much that I then remembered to call out Baba's Name and immediately the "troubled waters" were stiJled. Coming out of a kind of daze, I found my arms folded across me, as they cross the arms of the dead, and they were so numb that it took a while before I could move them. Whatever the state was which I passed through, I was consciously unconscious during it. A seeming sense of time passed when I was aroused by the cheery sound of voices, which I recognized to be those of my friends. They apparently were inside the cavern and called to me that it was five o'clock and that they had been sent to summon me. I remembered Baba telling me not to leave the cave until 6:00 a.m. sharp, and this seemed conflicting. As I was wondering what to do, the thought came to me that I had better do what Baba Himself had told me. At that moment Baba glimmeringly appeared in the entrance and light flooded the cave with unusual brightness. He smilingly answered my mental inqUiry by saying: "Do as I said; leave only at six." Some hours later, opening my eyes and looking at my watch, I found it was nearing six o'clock and I rose to leave the cave. I felt fresh and invigorated-daylight was faintly penetrating the cave. After returning home to the bungalow I asked Baba: "Was it symbolic?" Baba answered 'Yes. In the future you will know in detail its full meaning." From Treasures from the Meher Baba journals, and Edited by Jane Barry Haynes, Copyright Meher Spiritual Center, and AMBPPCT

"To love Me for what I can give you is not loving me at all. To sacrifice anything in My cause to gain something for yourself is like a blind man sacrificing his eyes for sight. I am the Divine Beloved worthy of being loved because I am Love. He who loves Me because of this will be blessed with unlimited sight and will see Me as I am." -Avatar Meher Baba

Give Up Your Stagnant Expectations Meher Baba, through Princess Norina Matchabelli Give up your stagnant expectations. Give up your hunt for sensational experience. Those who dare to do the deep-sea-fishing shall get the matchless pearl of Truth. They shall be blessed with the knowingseeing-feeling of the supreme God-head. You can not know me without knowing yourself. You can not know yourself without knowingme. I am your very Self. You can not cling to the false and have the Truth. You will have your choice. On the one side is endless strife and sorrow. On the other side is abiding peace and joy, In the mazes of my creation those who hear are few. Those who understand are fewer. And those, who conquer themselves, are fewer still. From Norinas Gift. Messages From Meher Baba Received Through Princess Norina MatdJabeJli. Copyright 1997 by Eli or Publications, Inc.


The Pilgrim Jesse Massa, Florida

Poetry Page

Oh Pilgrim, the primrose path That leads to Lovers Lane, Begins the first time your heart calls out Beloved Baba's name. From the very first spark of yearning for Pure Love Beloved Baba is aware But if you are faint hearted and weak, dear Pilgrim, you had better beware. In the very beginning of course Everything is fine Baba gives you Love and Bliss It's honeymoon time. You sing Baba's name and think "Ah, my troubles are past" But I'm sorry to say dear Pilgrim, This time doesn't last.

Betrayer! Player with hearts! As soon as You seduced me, You disappeared!

;

The priceless treasure Can be had simply by seeking Only life's pleasure? Beloved Baba has come Not to fulfill our desires But to give us pure love And extinguish hell's fires. So when suffering comes as it must, oh pilgrim, Please do not complain But joyously sing Meher Baba's Holy name.

The big lie The Ego, That has flourished for millions of years Does not want to give up Its falsehood and fears. "Excuse me," says the ego, "what about I. me and mine? Sorry, can't give up that This just isn't the time."

Beloved Baba is so good, compassionate, and kind He always has only Our best interest in mind So when suffering comes as it must Just remember this; The price is not cheap For Infinite Bliss.

Desires of all kinds, For all kinds of things, For money and comfort, And gold wedding rings, CraVings for fame, High position and power The mind never stops Not even one hour.

The world is illusion It's here then it's past. There is nothing in life That is destined to last. So in loving surrender In all that we do Hold fast to Baba's damaan For he is God holding you.

Beloved Baba wants us to be happy With whatever life brings Enjoyment or suffering Both of these things Can you imagine that God Realization

Don't think I'm being impertinent! This is my heart speaking! It speaks with the authority of a heart. What sort of madness is this? You came to me as my Saviour and You turn out to be my Executioner! Max says, I trust Him

When you are totally in love with Baba From your head to your toe And have firmly resolved that You will never let go, When you've decided to stick to Baba Through thick and through thin This is the time, poor pilgrim, Your troubles begin.

Beloved Baba gives us Just what we need To overcome hatred Lust, anger, and greed For this body and mind Must be smashed into dust I'm sorry to say, dear pilgrim That this is a must.

You smiled and cast a nonchalant glance. I followed. Now I see That this path has led to not just a maze, but to the Executioner's chamber.

The Executioner Max Reif, California Oh, MEHER what have I gotten myself into? I've wandered into a place where I can't feel You holding my hand. I feel lost in the lanes of the vast maze of Your World.

Even while He kills me. Perhaps He will hack away The part that feels the pain, And I will finally see Who He really is!

On The Threshold ofLove Ed Flannagan, Massachusetts Why do you keep me waiting so long? ... I've been standing on these steps seems like ages now. I know you're inside and that this door was made for opening. Why else would you build it with such infinite detail and agony. Perhaps you're waiting for the other guests to arrive ... to throw it open and invite everyone in together. So, I've always been known to come early to a party - even uninvited and then be the last to leave, But tonite with engraved invitation in hand I'm starting to wonder. The curtain of the age like evening is descending and my waiting heart has formed into a teardrop shape. With the sun already set, moonshadows are gathering and beyond your hill dark clouds forming. Don't want to get caught in that deluge.

If you don't come soon I just might pop the cork on this bottle and get drunk right here on your doorstep. Then they'll find me in the morning wrapped around that lovestreet lampost.

Are You playing Hide-and-Seek? I'm a child in a wilderness. You are my only reference point. This isn't fair!

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Pilgrimage Eruch Jessawala

E

ruch was asked by a young Baba lover, "Why make a pilgrimage to Baba's tomb? Isn't Baba everywhere? Can't we bow down to Him in our hearts?" Eruch replied: "Yes that's very good, why can't you bow down to Him in your hearts, where it's His real abode? He resides in our hearts. But have you permitted Him to reside in your hearts? He says that He feels very shy of strangers that are in your hearts, and we don't find Him there as tangible as we would want to. We are barren so to say. We don't have Himwe don't feel Him in our hearts, and therefore we look hither and thither for His physical presence. Not having His physical presence then we go to the places that His physical presence was associated with. That's at Meherabad ... Meherazad...at the tomb...at Myrtle Beach Centre in America...or at Avatar's Abode in Australia, where His physical presence was-where He trod upon the earth. . You know what happens when a person presumes that he knows how to swim across the ocean. He knows swimming, he is an expert at swimming. But the ocean is so vast that even the expert swimmer

who dares to cross a channel gets tired sometimes, and when he is totally exhausted it is said that he even looks for a straw that floats on the ocean to cling to it. That is how we cling to the relics and remnants of the Great One, who time and again descends on earth. He in His great compassion came to us, it behoves us to go to Him even though He has dropped His body. And where can we go to Him except to the places that are associated with His physical presence. That is why it is very important to pay visits to places where He has been or He made His abode, or He stayed, or where there was a certain universal or spiritual work done by Him. It is good to say that He resides .in our hearts for those who have the actual experience of it, then there is no need for that one to go anywhere. But when you are weak and when one knows that one cannot find Him in his heart, then he looks elsewhere ... he has to go somewhere ... he goes on wandering... He goes on kissing the very dust where He trod. These are the little steps, towards His abode in one's heart where He actually resides. But without doing these pilgrim-

ages you wont reach the heart, where He is. These are the essential beginnings, these are the steps that will lead you to His abode in your heart. Later on there is no need, but to begin with it is essential. Without them, it won't be possible for you. Thejourneying towards Him is necessary, whether it be inward or outward." "Would you say particularly journeying to Meher Baba's tomb?" He was asked. Eruch replied: "Of course, that is the most dynamic spot of His Advent, His tomb, definitely. Why I say that it is essential for every person who is in search of Truth to pay a visit to the tomb of the God-Man, is because the God-Man in His recent Advent, Avatar Meher Baba Himself, has given us a guide line, when in His physical presence He led His close ones right up the hill to where His tomb is situated. It was built thirty years before He dropped His physical body and He had selected that spot. He said that after He dropped His body His remains would remain and rest there. He led His close ones right to the threshold of the tomb and made each one bow down to it saying, let it be the place of pilgrimage for the whole world. What greater assurance can we have than this-His own words? He wanted us to pay a visit to His place-His resting place. In 1954 He said that after seventy years this place will become the place of world pilgrimage where people from all over the world will congregate to pay their homage to His body which rests there." From Practical Spirituality with Meher Saba. by John A. Grant, Pages 196-197, Copyright 1985 John A. Grant, Published by Merwan Publications, SW, Australia

Painting 01' the Samadhi by Sharon Muir.

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HamirpurTour With Bhau

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rom March 13 th to March 25 th , Bhau Kalchuri went "on tour," invited by various Baba centres in Northern India. I was part of the group that travelled with him. How can I tell you about this trip? It was no ordinary journey. Fifteen days from Nagar to ]hansi, Orai, Nauranga, Mehersthan, Hamirpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Dehra Dun, and Delhi. Three overnight train journeys, many hours every day in a car on bumpy roads, it was exhausting. But how can I complain when Baba Himself went to all these places, and many more, in 1952 and 1954, when the roads were worse and He often had to go by bullock cart? Numerous incidents kept reminding me of the Blue Bus tours or of the tribulations of the Mandali when they were travelling with Baba. The scale was much smaller, and still it was alJ I couJd take! Bhauji had not been back in these areas since Baba had sent him to Hamirpur in 1955. During that trip, Bhau says he did not sleep for 15 days and had to be woken up after his train reached the terminus in Bombay. Forty five years later, Bhau was still setting a hectic pace, to the dismay of his accompanying doctor who watched helplessly as rest periods and sleep time became shorter each day. But Bhau seemed to thrive on the special brew of enthusiasmin the original sense of the word, "FilJed with God," that pervaded the groups we visited. Everywhere Bhau was greeted by a wild welcome, sometimes on a huge scale. In Orai they had a procession with a band, dancers, hundreds of school children, 12 horses and one elephant! Bhau pointed out that the last time he had been in Orai, only two families knew about Baba. The seeds have grown. Everyone was eager for an embrace, eager to hear stories, to ask questions, to Sing. In some places they sang all night long. Bhau had written and sent in advance a poem for each centre we visited during this tour; these verses were already put to music and were sung at the beginning of the programs. As we were driving on and on through a countryside of mustard and chickpea fields I often asked "Why did Baba go all this way?" "For His lovers," Bhau wouJd answer. "How did the people in these faraway hamlets hear about Him?" He replied "Through the tireless work of early followers like Babadas and later Keshav Nigam and Pukar." It is so

Anne Moreigne, Meherabad 16 April 2000 amazing to feel lost in the heart of rural India and to be stopped at a crossroad by people who have been waiting for hours in the hope of seeing Bhau. They literally flag down his car with rainbow Baba flags; they have placed a picture of Baba on a platform or on a chair, under a tree or in a bus stop shelter; they have tea and sweets or fruits to offer; they have songs, sometimes a band. In Tikar, on the way to Ichora, we were greeted by a three-musician band, with a bicycle carrying the sound system and the loudspeaker. Everyone seems so delighted to see Bhau and all of us travelling along. I had tears in my eyes at most of these unscheduled stops, wondering "What does all this mean? Meher Baba is not here, why are they so happy to see Bhau for just a few minutes?" My Western Virgo mind kept being baffled, befuddled and bewildered when faced with these repeated exuberant outpourings of love. Tired of body, confused of mind, I often felt I was jetlagged. Bhau had more energy than me. He taJked several times a day, I dare not count the total number of hours, in places as different as a farm courtyard with the buffaloes munching in the background or a wedding hall with marble walls and red carpets. Or in large temples dedicated to Baba, like Meherdham in Nauranga or Meherpuri in Hamirpur. Or on top of a hillock, in Meherasthan, where Baba declared in February 1954 that He was the Avatar. I especially remember that place; there is a hut that was built for Baba on top of this hill. In front of it is a flat area where about a hundred people were sitting on the ground listening to Bhau while night fell. Soon there was only this square of light from a few neon tubes. There is no electricity in this village, but a generator had been hired for the occasion. The fragrance of tulsi (holy basil) filled the air. Outside this group of people listening to tories about the Avatar one could make out the silhouettes of large trees, and beyond them, only the night. One had a sense of being on top of the world there, a very special place indeed. "Baba, what am I doing here, what does it mean?"-my mind kept asking questions that got no answers but could not push away the sense of awe, of wonderment, that was often present during this trip.

We heard so many Baba stories, old ones that take a new ÂŁlavor when told in Hindi in the place where they happened, new ones I had never heard before. In Dehra Dun we visited one of the houses where Baba and the Mandali had stayed. Bhau was quite animated, gesturing" ....and the mast was kept here!" SuddenJy forty some years ago seemed like yesterday. Dehra Dun is where Bhau joined Baba, in 1953, where his training began. It is good for my stubborn mind to hear again and again all these stories of love and service; love of the Avatar for His creation; love of those who foUowed and served Him, despite hardships and humiliations of which we have only a very faint idea. And also to witness the love-inaction of those who are now doing their very best to arrange these programs, to make us comfortable. At one stop an Indian lady, older than me, gave me one look and said: "You must be tired." I was. She started massaging my feet. I felt I was receiving pure love!

Hamirpur district Ram during his exile roamed in this country side; Dehra Dun, between the Himalayas and the Ganges; beautiful River Bethwa in which Baba washed His feet; green Meher Mafi that was Baba's base for His work at the Kumbhmela in Haridwar. We were in holy country, in the footsteps of more than one Avatar. In Meherasthan an elderly villager delivered a simple and sincere speech, thanking Bhau for having come again after 45 years. His joy and gratitude were so genuine that I felt all the difficulties of the trip had been wQrthwhile. Obviously these gatherings around Bhau bring a very strong sense of Baba's presence to all those who come together to remember Him. And sharing in the fragrance of our Master's love is a priceless experience.

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Prayers Eruch ]essawala, Meherazad

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ruch was asked what Baba said about praying and prayers. He tells us Baba said: "All the time pray to Me-it is good to pray. But the prayer that reaches Me is not a long list of your wants. That will never reach Me. Just My Name-even if it be just My Name it will reach Me. But then man's heart is such that when it pours out-it pours out with many words, those words help you to glorify Me. And even if there is a long, long list of all the glories that you attribute to Me, that will reach Me. But when you crave for something, want something, and you ask Me as your prayer-that prayer does not reach Me. But if you ask Me and don't expect an answer, then that prayer reaches Me." Baba said that one day He would give us a prayer that would be the best prayer for us t~ pray. Then one day He gave us this prayer, it is called the Master's Prayer, it is also known as the Universal Prayer. You will find in this prayer there is nothing but hailing Him, glorifying Him. He also gave us the Prayer of Repentance. So these two prayers were given by Him. At the time there happened an incident which made me feel very happy that it occurred, because through it happening we obtained an assurance from Him for those who recite the prayers now. He gave that prayer, it was - - - - first taken down and then translated into the various languages. Then we found to our surprise that when we recited the prayer that He had given us to recite to the Lord, He Himself would participate as if He was one of us. Participate in the real sense, mind you. We may not be participating properly because our minds may be somewhere else at the time, even though we were physically present. But to us it appeared that He was fully participating-that was the feeling we had. He would stand for the prayer, then everybody else would stand. He would be all attention, calm and within Himself as the 38

prayer was being recited. This is the way that it was done; I had to recite the prayer. I tried my best to learn the prayer by heart, by reading over and over what I wanted to recite. On many occasions and for several years I tried my best to learn the prayer by heart. I did learn it. Then one

day I emboldened myself to recite it before Him. I recited the first line and then I completely forgot the rest-I was so immersed in glorifying Him. Baba told me to go and get the book and read it from the book ev~ ery time. I still have the same prayer book that Baba used to handle and I read from each time. He would stand up and then we all would stand for the prayers. I would recite the prayers. The Master's Prayer would be read first and then after a halt of a minute or so He would signal to read out the Repentance Prayer-this is the sign for repentance. So I would read it out and He would all the time

softly slap His cheeks with the palm of his hand-I repent, I repent, I repent-It means whatever is in the prayer, He repents. I still don't know the prayer by heart. Then one day He told us to say, amen, at the end of the Repentance Prayer. Then as the years passed by, He would very frequently ask us to read out the prayers. Not every day, sometimes it would be every day for a month, sometimes it would be every day for a week, then there would be a gap of four or five days and then another week-something like that. Whenever He wished that the prayers be said, they were said. He would tell us to wash our hands and be prepared for the prayers. He would also have His hands and face washed before the prayers. Now as the years passed by and as He grew weaker and weaker-I don't know whether you have heard that during the last seclusion time He would thump His thigh with His fist all the time while He was closeted alone in His room. He had to do it, He said, to keep the link of Reality with illusion, otherwise He would give up His ghost -He would pass away. So in order to keep that link He would thump His thigh with His fistthat is the understanding He gave us. I don't know what it all means. But then what happened was that He lost all the elasticity in His thighs and they became like wooden blocks, really, literally. I have felt my own thighs when I was a good athlete, they were very tight, but there was also elasticity there. But His thighs had no elasticity. So it became very difficult for Him to stand, He had to balance His body on His legs and two people used to hold Him up. But still He would participate in the prayers by standing up even although He had to be supported. Again time passed by and He continued participating like that. Then one day He told me to make it quicker. "Read the prayer


quickly, I can't stand for long." So I used to read out the prayer faster. After all it was reading for me. What was it to pray to Him in His presence-it was reading for me. So I read out faster. Next day He said, faster still, can you not read faster? I said, Yes I can; so I read faster, faster and faster. Four or five days passed, and the speed went on increasing to a fantastic degree. One day as I read the prayers, my own words started echoing in my mind as I read nonstop, no commas, no periods, no pauses. The echoing of my words reminded me of a train rushing through a railway station nonstop. When this thought came to me, I burst into laughter in the midst of the prayer in front of all, during this solemn occasion. Baba was there. He didn't say anything. Then I controlled myself with great difficulty and continued reading the prayer. When all the prayers were finished, after some little time Baba looked at me and said, "What made you laugh?" I replied, "The fantastic speed with which You wanted me to recite the prayer. The very thought of it was so ridiculous, it was just a reaction, I don't know why, but all of a sudden the speed with which I was reading, reminded me of a train rushing through a station platform at great speed without stopping." He said, "You are a mad man, you don't realize the import of it. You know how difficult it is for Me to stand up or to do anything standing, but still I participate in that prayer. It is not the way you recite the prayer that is of any importance. The importance is that I am physically participating in the prayer, so that when posterity will repeat it and recite it, posterity will benefit by itwhosoever recites it will be benefited. My participating in it now, will help any individual who recites it later on." From PracticalSpirituality With MeiJer Baba, by John A. Grant, Copyright 1985 John A. Grant, Published by Merwan Publications, NSW, Australia

Myself A monk said to Nasrudin: ']am so detached that 1never think of myself, only ofothers. " Nasrudin answered' ']am so ol!Jective that 1 can look at myself as if1 "j,yere*another person, so 1 can afford to think ofmyself." From TiJe Subtieties ofthe Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, The Octagon Press, London, 1983.

Jesus, The Only One? Eruch Jessawala. Meherazad

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o a born-again Christian who wanted to have my reaction to Jesus' statement in the Bible that all who did not believe in Him were condemned, I answered that Meher Baba was the same Ancient One who comes again and again in our midst, and therefore one must not differentiate between Jesus and Meher Baba. Baba, like Jesus, said that He and the Father were One, and He is not only the Father, but the Mother, the Son, the Friend, the Redeemer, the Saviour and the Compassionate One. What Jesus as the Ancient One stated is so true. For our sake He takes birth, suffers and gets persecuted, and for not recognizing Him when He is in our midst, we stand condemned. But we are not condemned forever since He is the Compassionate One, and if we did not falter or fail, how would He exercise His Compassion for us? "Time and again," Meher Baba told us, "I come to arouse and awaken humanity. I came as Zoroaster, Abraham, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed and now I have come as Meher Baba. When I am here, I come for all but I am for the few who recognize Me and are made to recognize Me by My Grace. It is my Grace that makes people recognize Me as I am." Whenever He comes we miss Him because despite His repeated assertions, we do not recognize Him. He does not come in the same form or with the same physical features but as the same Truth, for He is Truth and Truth's body. Once Meher Baba gave us a simile to illustrate this. He told us about a family that during the last war faced a shortage of the well-known Quaker Oats for their only child. They strongly believed in its energizing quality and so on the day when the mother discovered that her cupboard was empty of this cereal, she rushed to the store in great anxiety and saw to her relief that there was still one tin of oats available. She hastened to grab the cereal but the shopkeeper confronted her and stopped her in the act. Fearing that she might lose the cereal to another, the woman in a torrent of words begged to be allowed to have it even double the usual price, citing the urgent need of her child.

When the shopkeeper managed to get a word in, he explained that he was stopping her only because the tin on the shelf had come from an old stock and having received a new shipment, he wanted to offer her fresh cereal instead. Baba then asked us, "Is there a mother in the world who would reject the new stock of cereal and take the old one?" And then He added,

"Time and again 1 come. 1 am the same Ancient One. 1 am that fresh stock of Quaker Oa t.:so/" The question then arises: Is it the purpose of creation that the Father should condemn forever those who failed the Son in His one and only advent? Of course not! The purpose is for the Lord to exercise His Compassion which He does by forgiving them for their weaknesses and shortcomings, and Meher Baba has assured us that He will be born again after 700 years. What is written in the Bible is the Truth but there are deeper meanings behind that Truth and to understand those meanings one must yearn for the Lord Jesus, and by our loving Meher Baba we can have a deeper understanding of Jesus who got Himself crucified on the cross. To love Meher Baba does not signify that one is no longer a Christian; it only means one can be a true Christian and thereby realize the Truth. Meher Baba is the Infinite Ocean and everyone is welcome to quench his thirst from the Ocean of His Love and nothing else matters. As someone once said,

"The sea remains the sea whatever the drop may think. " From The Ancient One, by Eruch Jessawala, Pages 212-213. Copyright 1985 Naosherwan Anzar, Published by Beloved Books

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Children's Page Where Is God?

"How did you know," his mother asked? "Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "1 think it's printed on the bottom."

He was just a little boy, on a week's first day. He was wandering home from Sunday School, and dawdling on the way.

************

He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he found a caterpillar. He found a fluffy milkweed pod, and blew out all the "filler" .

Another three-year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet." He looked up at her, puzzled, and said, "Don't kid me, Mom. 1 KNOW they're my feet."

A bird's nest in a tree overhead, so wisely placed on high, Was just another wonder that caught his eager eye? A neighbor watched his zigzag course, and hailed him from the lawn, Asked him where he'd been that day and what was going on.

************ .

* "

On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, "If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers." A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"

"I've been to Bible School," he said and turned a piece of sad. He picked up a wiggly worm replying, "I've learned a lot of God."

************

"Mmm very fine way," the neighbor said, "for a boy to spend his time." "If you'll tell me where God is, I'll give you a brand new dime." Quick as a flash the answer came! Nor were his accents faint.

'I'll give you a dollar, Mister, ifyou can tell me where God ain't. " -Author Unknown

Pajntjng by Susan WMte

Kids will be Kids:

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four-year-old girl was learning to say the Lord's Prayer. She was reciting it all by herself without help from her mother. She finished, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email. AMEN,"

************* A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.

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A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. "What are you doing," his mother asked? "The box says you can't eat them if the seal is broken," the boy explained. "I'm looking for the seal."

**********;1:** A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a sea gull lay dead in the sand. "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked. "He died and went to Heaven," the dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"


HUOlor for HUOla Suddenly, the scene froze in place. As the atheist hung in midair, a booming voice came out of the clouds and said, "I thought you didn't believe in Me'" "God, come on, give me a break!" the man pleaded, "Just seconds ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness monster either!" "Well," said God, "now that you are a believer you must understand that I won't work miracles to snatch you from certain death in the jaws of the monster, but I can change hearts. What would you have me do?" The atheist thinks for a minute and then says, "God, please have the Loch Ness Monster believe in You also." God replies, "So be it. ..

A Child's Faith

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little girl walked daily to and from school. Though the weather one morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the day progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl was worried that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of the thunder, lightning would cut through the sky like a flaming sword. Being concerned, the mother got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. Soon she saw her daughter walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. One followed another, each with the little girl stopping,looking at the streak of light and smiling. Finally, the mother called her over to the car and asked, "What are you doing?" The child answered, "God keeps taking pictures of me."

The Loch Ness Monster An atheist was spending a quiet day fIshing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat at least a hundred feet into the air. The monster then opened its mouth while waiting below to swallow man and boat. As the man sailed head over heels and started to fall towards the open jaws of the ferocious beast he cried out, nOh, my God! Help me!"

The scene starts in motion again with the atheist falling towards the ravenous jaws of the ferocious beast. Then the Loch Ness Monster folds his claws together and says, "Lord, bless this food You have so graciously provided .......

His Holiness The Pope finishes a tour of the East Coast and is taking a limousine to the airport. Having never driven a limo, he asks the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. The chauffeur agrees and climbs into the back, and the Pope takes the wheel. His Holiness proceeds onto the highway and starts accelerating. He gets to about 90 mph, and suddenly he sees the blue lights of the state patrol in his mirror. He pulls over and the trooper comes to his window. The trooper, seeing who it is, says, "Just a moment, please. I need to call in." The trooper calls in and asks for the chief. He tells the chief that he's got a really important person pulled over and asks how to handle it. "It's not our local Senator again, is it?" asks the chief. "No, sir'" says the trooper. "This guy's more important." "Is it the governor?" asks the chief. "No Sir! He's even more important than the President! .. says the trooper. "Well, who the heck is it?" screams the chief. "I don't know, sir," says the trooper, "but he's got the Pope as his chauffeur."

The Lord's Army A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!" My friend replied, ''I'm already in the army of the Lord, Pastor." The Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?" And with a totally straight face, he whispered back, "I'm in the Secret Service."

A Burning Question Mark Palmer S. Carolina [With apologies to Bal Natu.] In my usual sour mood I was eating breakfast, having just popped 2 slices of whole wheat bread in the toaster, when You appeared, looking over my shoulder. I was awestruck and spellbound and a little abashed as well as most amazed! You seemed to be fascinated with the toaster. "Can this be of interest to one such as You?," I inquired. "Why not?," You replied. "Do I not toast those who come to Me? And what would you get if you took the 'r' from toaster and added 'Zor'?" Meekly, I had to agree with You. "But why do You burn Your lovers?," I asked humbly. You gave me a fiery look that was beyond time and space, yet was whimsical and kindly. . "Am I not the sun? And doesn't the sun emit intense heat, because that is its nature? It is up to you to protect yourself as best you can from being burnt-by using the best sunblock. Of course, you might enjoy the process of getting burnt to a crisp," You said with a hint of amusement. The profundity of Your words almost caused me to drop my body right there and then! When I opened my eyes You were gone! Were You really here or was I dreaming? The smoke from the burnt toast caught my attention. I am very fond of Bal Natu's ConversaUons series, and here share one of my own peculiar experiences - Mark Palmer

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The Southeast Gathering by Bob Dearborn and Tom Dexter, Florida

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he Southeast Gathering celebrated its Twentieth Anniversary at the Retreat Village at Camp Mikell in Taccoa, Georgia on April 13th through the 16th. Mehera Irani sent these words to the first Gathering. When they were read out by Mimi Hodgin at this Gathering, they were just as relevant today: "To the Southeast Gathering of Baba's lovers. Jai Baba to you all gathered here today. It makes us very happy to know that so many have come together in Beloved Meher Baba's love. Let it always be Baba's love that brings His family together as brothers and sisters to work together in His love. Try to be the perfect channels for Beloved Baba's work without the thought, 'I am doing this for Baba and I am doing that for Him,' but with the realization that how fortunate we all are mat Beloved Baba gives us the opportunity to serve Him. Often I feel that Beloved Baba allows certain situations to arise to s:e how we would react and be able to face them. The way of dealing with them being as important to Him as the result itself. 'Do your best and leave the rest to Me,' Baba says. And when we turn to Him for help, Beloved Baba never fails us. His way may not be the way we expect, but He knows what is fit and best for us. How blest is this world where the Avatar has dwelt and more so the ones who know and love Him and wish to obey and serve Him. In His physical form Beloved Baba impressed on us the importance of holding fast to His daaman, not for a specific time but to the very end. And know that His daaman is here for each and all to hold on to. Love and follow Beloved Baba, and Him alone, wholeheartedly. Try to make Him happy by your obedience and love, for He is the one infmitely worthy of being loved. He has loved us and for our sakes has gone through much. Beloved Baba is surely present among you today. For your love has brought Him here today. Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai, Mehera." The Gathering's guests included Esfandiar Vasili, Adele Wo1kin, and Sheila KalchuriFenster. The musical guests were Mark Trichka and Lisa Brande. The Camp was shrouded in fog and a misty rain the first few days. Spring was indeed magnificent with its bright greens, flowering Dogwood, freshening breezes and a 42

thundering Springtime rainstorm. Remembering the message from God GaJjjngfor April flrst"SpringbringsitsmessageofHope ... that Nature arises from her time of decay and darkness to a new-life. But Nature obeys My Laws. It is by her obedience that the

quickening of New Life is succeeded by the beauty of Risen Power." Sunday, our fmal day there, everything was bright, beautiful and clear. The guests all shared wonderful stories and their thoughts about Beloved Baba. Esfandiar Visali, speaking through an interpreter said, "It is my duty to relay what I have. Love is better seen as an inner strength or power. It is the only power that can take a man from where he is, to the Goal." Looking at Esfandiar's face, there always arose the feeling this man is truly happy. He is a happy man! The bright glint in the eye and the gentle smile on the face were always there reflecting the inner radiance (exemplifying the Reality that is in each of us, that we too can reflect). Esfandiar told the story ofafter thirty years longing, he saw Baba in Meherabad in 1963. After a wonderful time with Baba, he was told "It is time to go." Baba said, "Always remember Me and know that I am happy with you." Esfandiar thought, "It would be better if He were pleased with me." Baba then said, as if reading his heart, "Know that I am pleased with you." When Esfandiar came to Baba in the Prem Ashram he had an extreme longing for God. He lost interest in eating and Baba came to him and hand fed him. Esfandiar likened the experience to a plant in the Gobi desert. The rain cloud appeared out of nowhere and rained just on him. He also related that he pulled a string out of the back of Baba's

Kamali coat. He chewed on it and swallowed it and said, "It was like swallowing a ball of purelight."Someone in the audience asked the rather impertinent question; "What plane are you on?" Esfandiar laughed and said, "I don't know, you tell me." When asked to sum-up at the Gathering's end he conveyed: "This much I know-Baba's teaching is love, and it is not through words. This much I can say." Adele Wolkin's presence added the beautiful touch of a practical life, lived in the West, directed by Baba, with His guidance and wisdom. Her emphasis at the end was to reiterate Baba's reassurance to us: "I love you regardless." Then Adele added, "and regardless, He loves you." Adele also said at the conclusion of the Gathering that she didn't have much to say, but that Baba's words said it all: "Things that are real, are given and received in silence." Musical guests included Mark Trichka and Lisa Brande with Keith and John Gunn sitting in. Their infectious, happy music with a bluegrass flavor had everyone singing along. Mark wrote a song based on the following words from Meher Baba: Before going to bed say: 'Baba I entrust all that I thought, did or spoke, good and bad to you.' When you get up say; 'Baba, I now begin entrusting all thoughts, words and deeds to you.' Say this just twice each day for five minutes but with all your heart in it. Do that and make Me responsible for all you do and think. Then you are free. But you must do it honestly. This much will be more than sufficient to maintain the contact with Me. The talent shows, both children's and adult, were remarkable in how much talent there is in our community. Elizabeth O'Neill performed an incredible classical piece on the cello to a standing ovation. Ex Los Angelino Jack Small, had a wonderful workshop on How to Please Baba. If you could do anything you want, what would you do? That heart desire to do something you really want comes from Baba. By doing what He wants. What does He want? He wants us to BE HAPPY! So, to please Him be happy. Be cheerful in deed, word and appearance, . especially appearance it helps others. Jack helped to end the Gathering with a rousing performance of Don t U1JrryBeHappy. Everyone was singing along and clapping and some were dancing in the isles. Many worked hard throughout the year, in the background, including our Chairman Lois Jones who helped with the child programs. All in all it was a wonderful Gathering.


Moon Bailon Mehera's Eve Ward Parks, Meherabad

M

ehera, as I have always understood her, is the Moon to Baba's Sun. She is the perfect mirror to that perfect Brightness, love's stainless receptacle for Love's boundless Plenitude. It is a pleasing coincidence, then, that her birthday on December 22nd of 1999, the last Mehera's Eve of the millennium, coincided with the biggest and brightest full moon in more than a century. What better way to honor her than through a lively game of Moon Ball-that is, volleyball under the light of the full moon? Some might dispute volleyball's claim to the status of "high devotional activity." During the vigorous twenty-year run that volleyball has enjoyed since the opening of the Pilgrim Centre in 1980, the volleyball court may have seemed to many observers more like a war zone than a garden. But then again, with a Women's Arti in the morning, songs and flowers had already adorned the daylight hours. Christmas was just around the corner, the festive spirit was running high, and the younger pilgrim contingency in particular wanted something novel and exciting. How often do we get a moon like this, after all? The groundswell movement was irresistible; and so, for better or for worse, at nine p.m. the gates of the Pilgrim Centre disgorged into the chilly evening fifteen or twenty enthusiastic sportsmen and sportswomen, all fired up and ready to go. By the special rules governing this particular match, spiking was prohibited, and shots (to be legal) had to achieve a certain loft and arch. In the brilliant moonlight the players, the net and court, the trees and buildings and surrounding countryside all stood forth with an eerie clarity. The white orb of the volleyball, like a little sister to the moon in the sky, would soar up high in the serves. But in the deceptive half-light, it was hard to judge distances, and more than one player wound up getting beaned by the very ball with which he had intended to score a point.

At this juncture my team was poised on the verge of a historic comeback wherein we would have swept the next three games and won the match by the best of five. U nfortunately, at just that moment, Babin rang the ten o'clock bell, calling hostilities to a halt. Tired but exuberant, twenty pilgrims and residents headed for their beds, which seemed particularly cosy on this chilly December night. As I walked back to my quarters in Outer Meherabad, Mehera's moon, serene and Photo by Tom Brustman brilliant, was still shining Jokes and wisecracks abounded, insults overhead. As no doubt she will still be were traded back and forth between sides; doing at the turn of the next millennium shrieks and cries filled the night air. One a thousand years from now, when another of our more boisterously expressive playmotley gang of His lovers come out uners would from time to time charge off der another full moon for another round into the shadows under the trees in purof the same, eternal game. suit of an escaping shot with a defiant "I've got itl" More often than not he would get it; but sometimes he wouldn't, and then we would hear from the darkness an agonized, prolonged wail, like the bellow of a samurai who just lost his first battle In an interview with Eruch, and is deciding whether or not to commit Naosherwan Anzar asks him: hari karL How can we bring Baba into our proLike all the great contests of legend cess of decision-making? and song, the 1999 Mehera's Eve Moon Eruch: If you have given yourself to Match was fraught with the high drama Baba, all the decisions that you make will of great swings of momentum and tidal be His decisions. Once you are His, whatebbs and flows. In the first game, after a ever decision you make, know that it is hard-fought first few points, our team what He wants, for once you have deterstreaked off to a nine-to-two lead and mined to be His and act accordingly, you seemed ready to snatch the fruit of victory. can rest assured that your decision will But the opposition steadily clawed its way reflect His wish. However, your determiback, tying the game up at fifteen, and nation to give yourself to Him cannot be winning four serves later. In the second game again we sprinted out to an early just lip service-you should feel that you are His and act suitably. Furthermore, you lead, and again they came back. The score must remain totally resigned to the results was tied at thirteen; the opposition won of any decision taken as indicated above, the next point; and then again, Lady Luck otherwise it wilJ be tantamount to you smiling on their efforts, a shot of theirs alone having made the decision. dropped between two of our players who

Let Baba Make Your Decisions!

failed to see it until it hit the ground. Fifteen-thirteen, another victory to the opposition!

From The Andent One, by Eruch Je awalla, Edited by Naosherwan Anzar, Copyright 1985.

43


Meherazad IDlpressions Jay Schauer, California

R

eturning earlier in the year, these are my pencil sketches of the Mandali these days: Overall impressions: hugs are now almost completely stopped. Very sad, but necessary, I fear. Particularly sad for first-time visitors. We still stand in line to greet them when we arrive, but even a handshake (or an arm-punch from Eruch) is an exception. For those who have had the chest-breaking hugs of the past this is a real change and more than a bit sad. The Mandali are getting old and their health is frail. Arnavaz: very beautiful and gentle as always, but looking a little frail. Still full of loving greetings and helpful concern. Bal Natu: still very nimble, but getting a bit slower these days, it seems. Focusing more and more on his books, less on conversations. He makes a point of sitting on the porch during lunches and talking to the p路lgrims. He is as thin as a stalk of grass and just as fragile. Aloba: utterly unchanged. Hearty in his gteetings. Loves to talk in Farsi, and there are plenty of Farsi-speaking pilgrims for him to converse with. Still the Sergeant, still ringing the bell and blowing the whistle. Goher: her hands are softer than ever.

She looked very tired when I saw her. Like a soft breeze; not much more substantial than a breeze. Walking only with much assistance from Shelley. Katie: strong and hearty and full of life. Still doing the cooking for all. Very robust, but having some difficulty walking because of foot problems, I believe. Meheru: healthiest and youngest looking of the Mandali these days, and really coming into her own, in my humble opinion. Porch time with Meheru was full of conversation and memories of Baba, talk of pilgrims and people left behind. Chatting with Meheru was Just Llke Old Times in Meherazad. Eruch: not looking his very best, sadly. The Myesthenia Gravis is really taking a toll. A bad cold could be very serious for him. He's speaking a lot about dying (in general), and it appears that this is somewhat on his mind. And at Meherabad: the path up the hill to the Samadhi now is lit with warm incandescent bulbs in green pole lamps, like colonial street lamps. The effect of this gentle light is entirely pleasing, not quite so nervewracking as Minoo's harsh florescent lights, but not at all Minoo's aesthetic of function-

Meher Baba sMandaJi, 1998 44

first. Clearly, Westerners have been at work. Places around Meherabad are now identified with large brick markers. The identification is (a) on paper, with the ink fading rapidly and (b) in English. This no longer seems to be an obvious choice of language. This time at the PC I was in the minority several times over. I was male, for one thing, and females were most definitely in the majority. While I sawed wood in a private room, females, it seemed, were sleeping 3 to a bed in Hostel C. Slight exaggeration here! Also, I spoke English. Sometimes English speakers have been outnumbered by Hindi speakers; this time they were also outnumbered by Spanish speakers: from Spain, Mexico, Argentina-Spanish was spoken by dozens of people. It was surprising, to say the least, to hear Bhau's talks being translated into Spanish on the fly, or to hear the American Arti being belted out in Spanish (something of an improvement, it seemed to me.) There were more than a dozen pilgrims from Argentina, all of them making their first trip to Meherabad. They were delightful people to say the least. They had all found out about Baba in the past year or so, and their hearts were on fire. I knew their "spiritual godfather" (one of the ways he was described) from 10-15 years ago in North Carolina, Eduardo Nunez. These Argentinians had come to Baba through many different paths, but their love for Baba and Baba's places was extraordinary to witness. On one particularly memorable evening, the entire group put on a performance: they showed us folk dances, folk music, tangos, and fed everybody yerba mate. No one seemed to know how caffienated the stuff was, even the All Organic Baba lovers were sucking down cups of the stuff and bouncing off the walls. Then, roaringly caffienated, we all got up and danced. The times they are a' changin.'


FrODl Our Man in Meherabad James Cox

May 16th uddenly the water situation at Meherabad has become serious, some three weeks before the monsoon is expected to arrive. While not all the wells surrounding Meherabad seem to be as dramatically affected, the weUs which the Trust relies upon for its water have dropped severely in productivity as the limited water table, such that it is, plummets. This is especially distressing news in that one of the major Trust weUs has a small lake behind and above it, but for some reason is not recovering after pumping. As a result, Meherabad is on an intense water conservation regimen, and all of the drinking water supply, including to the Samadhi, is shut off between 6 pm and 6 am. There are dire predictions of not being able to open the Pilgrim Center if there is no rain, but then again if there is no rain after these last 8 months of seasonal drought, the country cannot survive. This type of gloomy pre-monsoon picture

S

occurs almost every year, and sure enough, when the time is right, we get rain. Such was the case yesterday afternoon at Meherabad when we had our first real shower of the new season, half an inch. The Arti crowd at the Samadhi continues to steadily increase over past years, with many Indians taking advantage of their annual holidays to visit. One such group, coming from Bombay in the night by car, was smacked by a truck 3 days ago about 20 km south of Nagar. The driver, Aspi Elavia, saw the truck overtaking another vehicle in front of him and moved over as far as he could, then stopped, but the truck kept on coming and demolished his car. Fortunately the police were on the scene immediately and forced the truck, which was hardly damaged, to take all ofAspi's party to the Civil Hospital in Nagar, bouncing them along with broken bones and all. One of the passengers was not severely injured and she gave JaI's phone number to some helpful motorists, but Tired of Speaking Sweetly they called with the wrong Love wants to reach out and manhandle us, name of those injured, so Jal Break all our teacup talk ofCod didn't know who it was until he arrived at the emerIfyou had the courage and gency room. Not a pretty Couldgive the Beloved f{js choice, some nights, sight, and when dealing with He wouJdjust dragyou around the mom accident victims in India, Byyour hair, one of the first things you Ripping from yourgrip all those toys in the want to do is to transfer world them out of the Civil HosThat bringyou nojoy pital, where they are required Love sometimes gets tired ofspeaking sweetly to be taken by law, to a betAnd wants to rip to shreds ter private facility. That is Allyour erroneous notions oftruth what we did, and the two That makeyou fight within yourself, dear one who remain hospitalized are And with others, an incredible advertisement Causing the world to weep for air bags, which unfortuOn too many fine days. nately are not available in Cod wants to manhandle us, most Indian cars. Lock us inside ofa tiny room with f{jmself And while I am on the Andpractice His dmpkick. subject of roads, I wanted to The Belovedsometimes wants give all ofyou the good news To do us a great favor: Hold us upside down Andshake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear He is in such a playful drunken mood' Most everyone I know QUickly packs their bags and hightails it Out oftown.

that the fLfSt sector of the new Bombay-Pune expressway has opened. So now for Rs. 25, you can pretend you are on a super highway, which except for the occasional water buffalo, it actually is. I think by the end of the year, the whole road should be open, and it will be an incredible relief for those who wish to travel to or from Bombay by car. Much of the construction work at Meherabad has been curtailed now due to the water shortage, but the Archive Building gets closer and closer to completion. Some waterproofing ofthe Samadhi walls is also being undertaken in order to stem the damage to the murals inside caused by leakage. And of course those of us who live here are also constantly undergoing our own inner and outer renovation !construction phases, drought or not, as Baba performs His myriad works ofspring cleaning. This can sometimes feel more like a car wreck of our very own at the side of His path.

TheCift, translations by Daniel LacUnsky

Š 1999

The Door to Babas House. Painting by Sharon Muir

45


Baba as the UltiDlate Teacher Mr. Khodayar Taos, Prem Ashram

M

y name is Khodayar, son of Toos. I'm an Iranian who, in the Iranian year 1306, when I was nine went to India along with 12 or 13 other boys from Yezd to Meher Baba's school. There we studied for one year and eight months. From when I first saw Baba I told myself that he was not like the rest of human beings. All his manner and gestures, everything he ..... / did, were such ..." w that I had never seen before in the world. He was Qbserving â&#x20AC;˘ silence, but he would speak ith gestures in such a way that even the new-comers could understand. Even while observing silence, Baba would come and play games with us. He was so kind to us, and his love and his kindness had affected us so much, that when after one year and eight months our parents came to take us away, we did not want to leave. When our parents came and said they wanted us back, he sent us back to our own houses at his own expense. Indeed, during this one year and eight months our entire expenses as well as the trips to and from Iran were paid by Baba. Books and clothes and teachers and everything, he took care of, without taking even a single coin from our parents or having any expectations from them. Before we left, Baba made all of us from Iran line up. He told each one of us individually: "Don't smoke, don't drink and don't tell lies." He kissed our faces, each one of us, and then sent us away. When I returned to Iran I could not study any more because I could not find a school that could satisfy me after being in Baba's school. Everywhere else I went was just a place of mischief, but Baba's school was where angels were. At Baba's school at 5 o'clock in the

morning the first call to prayer was sung and they would wake up all the children. There were 160 to 170 of us there from all over the world, from all different religions. Although we were all from different religions and

.

46

It was a very educational place. Baba gave us so much education during the one year and eight months. In that period I studied equal to four years of English school and six years of Per-sian school. I don't under-stand how Baba did it, but he had the power to push all this our _into heads. Every three months we would take a new examination and not fail. But the important thing and the most _ ...:_..., interesting ..~-"""".. ~ thing during

~C~~~~~~ this period was, aside .1IIiII~~""':=~3Ir.~1lIiiIIifrom Baba's different classes, there was not the slightest enmity between us-we were all so kind and friendly to each other that we all felt like brothers of each other living, sleeping and studying in the same place. So in the morning they would wake us up at time of morning prayers. They gave us powder to wash our teeth with, then we would wash our hands and faces and go to breakfast. For breakfast they would bake a bread so fresh and so delicious that I have never tasted anything like it anywhere. They would serve it with tea and milk. Then we would go to school. We were in school till noon. In the afternoon we would go play, and every other day we would have a bath and our clothes washed by the clothes washer. Among the 160 or 170 people, not a curse word was heard.

kindness, the spiritual lessons we were taught. We were taught spiritual things in such a manner that if I would open Hafiz's book, I felt that I understood all I read there. One of the discourses that I remember hearing from Baba in this period was concerning the evolution of forms, about how a man dies from inanimate and becomes animate and then dies from animal and becomes man. He explained this to us using a doll. He gathered its limbs all together and


"Baba Sschool was where angels were. "

bent them inside and also bent the head inside and he explained that this was the state of inanimate. This is the stone form which is the dwelling place of the soul in the beginning. And then gradually he opened the limbs and the head and he stretched the legs up towards the sky and explained that this is what happened in the plant form. So this doll which was all together with all its limbs inside, now had opened the leg which was pointing up. He said that this was the plant and that it was getting nourishment through the head from the ground. Then he brought down the leg and made the doll stand on four legs. By gestures he pointed out that this is the state of animal. He explained that when the plant becomes __,.....'"" animal the four limbs extend out and he stands on four legs. Then he made the doll stand on its feet. He said that now this is human form, while even from the beginning it was the human form but that it was all involved into itself - while in the plant form he extended the leg, in animal

form it put down the leg and stood on four legs, and in human form the same human stood up on two legs and became human. He explained all of this very beautifully to us by the use of this doll. And he did all of this while in silence and this was very enjoyable for us.

Many other times he told us stories with his gestures; many of them were really very funny. I remember another time the teachers asked us, "Do you know what is higher than these clouds?" We said no, but of course we were children then. How were we to know what was higher than the clouds? Baba explained that a mother's love is higher than that. This is another thing that has impressed me very much, it has remained in my memory. In all my life, in whatever trouble I was caught, I would ask help from Baba and receive it. I was never left helpless anywhere. What Baba would always ask from me was that I should constantly keep him in mind. When I was 13 or 14 I went to Bombay to work there. One day I saw Baba with two others, one of whom was one of my teachers from school. When they saw me, they gestured to me to approach. I approached. The only thing Baba said was that I should think of him constantly. I would think of him and this has been a great help for my external and intemallife. In short, with this life of mine and with the very little knowledge that I have. the only thing that I have been able to readily gather'from Baba is this one thing. that we should try to fmd God within ourselves. I have been able to understand a little bit that God is indeed within ourselves, and that all of man's activities originate from His will -

47


The Universe is the game of Everything and Nothing. and in the infinite nothing of this nothingness we remain entrapped. This play of Everything and Nothing is the First sours Leela as He is so mischievous that He only loves to play, and none know how He plays His game until Who He Is has been realized. The limitation of imagination (the prison of creation) is the play of the Beloved Child Who became our Beloved Father and Who keeps playing to gradually give God-Realization to everyone. Though we suffer in this prison of body. energy. and mind continuously. none could bear it unless He came back again and again; and He does. because the Mischievous One is fIlled with love and pity. And He gives a little love and pity to everyone of His little brothers and sisters so we can bear being without Him when He is not in form. In order to experience Everything all of Nothing must be experienced. and that is why He has kept this play of Everything and Nothing. The Everything and the Nothing. by Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, Inc., © 1981, Lawrence Reiter

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