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C Baba Folks, It would seem once again we must apologize for a very late issue. Life has a way of interfering with our most fervent desire to get you your magazine on time. I have received a number of emails asking, “Did I miss out on the April issue? Where’s my LampPost?” and others that say “I don’t mind ifits late,just so long as I know it wJJJbe coming!” We thank you for your patience and understanding. Since this issue was so late going to press, we kept getting more announcements right up to the last minute. No space in the announcement section, so I have added them here. Pete Caswell, a Baba lover in England and artist of no small repute, has just had published a beautiful book of his prose, poems and art. Go to this website and view it. You can then buy directly from the publishers. http://www.mindcracker.co.uk Friends ofBobbi Bernstein rejoice! She hasjust released another CD titled The OnlyRealThingwith 12 ofher songs on it, accompanied by a whole bunch of her friends. Call her at “His Smile Productions” 843 272 4984 to order it. There will be a Youth Art Exhibit August 4 thru 27 at the Meher Spiritual Center Myrtle Beach. If you are between the ages of two and twenty years and would like to submit your art work based on a Meher Baba related theme, please contact Mimi Haye at (843) 272 1282 or Cassie D’ Argenio at (843) 361 1086 if you plan to exhibit your piece. It can be up to four feet framed, wired, or matted, and shrink wrapped with hook for hanging to picture rail. You may submit up to three pictures. Artwork must be delivered to Meher Spiritual Center 10200 N. Kings Hwy. Myrtle Beach, 29572 byJuly 31st. Please include a check for return shipping made out to Mimi Haye.

Jai

7he 2006 2sIortheast9atIiering for J4leher 13aba

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ome bask in Meher Baba’s Love at scenic Camp Epworth in High Falls, New York on August 4-6, 2006. Honored guests include Bhau Kalchuri, whojoined Baba’s mandali in 1953 and subsequently wrote numerous books by Baba’s order, including Lord Meher and The Nothing and the Everything; long-time Meherazad resident Davana Brown, who helped care for Eruch for many years; and the divineMAGgees, whose latest album, Love Me Like the Roses, was voted one of the top 100 albums of 2005 by listeners of radio station WNCW. Swimming, hiking, and canoeing are also offered at the camp. For more information, please contact Don Don and Margaret Eucker at 973-239-0965 or Doug Stalker at 518-821-9979. Errata: The Darwin Shaw remembrance on page 37 January 2006 issue ‘Come to receive. by Ken Neunzig of New York. Apologies.

. . ‘

was misattributed to Ken Lux. It was actually

It; That Time /Igain! The time when we ask you for your support. As you may remember, we normally include a donation envelope with our J anuary issue to make it easier for you to keep track ofwhen you last donated: but I was in India when the last issue went out and so we are including it in this magazine. Many ofyou—bless your hearts—send a donation check in whenever the spirit moves you, and many tell me to include it vith their order ofbooks and other things I send out; but for those who have not had occasion to send a donation ifl for the past 12 months, and for many ofyou it has even been a few years, we would sure appreciate you popping a check in the enclosed envelope and sending it back to us. As long time readers will have observed, he magazine keeps getting bigger and bigger, so much is happening in the Baba world! As we are putting an issue together and find the pages nurnl)er 80 and up, we have to start bumping non—time-sensitive

articles you may have submitted to the next or some future issue. Expenses keep rising. It is costing us close to $20 per person per year (US residents to put the magazine out now. The US postal department also keeps raising its 11ices; postage overseas is horrendous—around $8 a magazine!

Subscript ion is by donation only, so send whatever you feel is right for you and we will be most appreciative. Donation.s are the only way we can continue to publish, as Meherabode—the Los

Angeles Baba Center—cannot cover costs for us. Many thanks to you all for your continued support.


_f puJaIin i”’ JlUCIc7P JJ(e!ier L&za Cenler o/c ouIIerrn Cah/ornia 5

Lay c &rcerJampPos r features

ye/come. Love 5treet £ampJ2ost is dedicated with iove to J1vcttar J frIeher 7 i3aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all 2lis lovers bg providing a place for sharing 1Jlis remembrance. /1ll members of the 13aba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love.

BHAu KALcHuRI CELEBRATES HIS 80TH

JANICE RIEMANN

A PILGRIM’S JOURNAL

SHAR WIsEMAN

YOUNGEST VOLUNTEER AT AMARTITHI

NIvEDITA NAGPAL

4

5 11

MEHER PILGRIM RETREAT

DINA SNOW GIBSON

12

TEENAGE AUSSIES IN AURANGABAD

NIvEDITA NAGPAL

14

SuBscRI PT IONS

ToUR OF THE LOVE-SOAKED ART IN THE MPR

The magazine actually costs us $16-$20 per person per year domestic, and $25430 for overseas. Subscription is by donation only. Donate whatever feels right to you.

WELCOME TO MY WORLD TILE WALL

EMMA BRANCH

20

SCULPTING IN A CASTLE

JuRGIs SAPKus

23

UPDATE ON THE MEHER FREE DISPENSARY

MICHAEL RAMsDEN

24

15

AND OVER AT THE MEHER ENGLISH SCHOOL

26

SUBMISSIONS:

THE ARTwORKS SEWING PROJECT

Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message of Love and Truth.

A FESTIVE TIME

IRENE HOLT

30

KATIE’S 86TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

SARAH SCHALL

31

AND IN THE QUIETUDE OF MEHERAZAD

SEND T0

PILGRIM CENTER CLOSES

WARD PARKS

35

PLACING ONE’S HAND ON A CLOUD

KHALED AL-FAQIH

39

I

MEHER BABA

52

THE BIG SURRENDER

MICKEY KARGER

53

DIVINE FIRE

MIREK

54

Love Street LamFPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 website: www.meherabode.org e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net DEADLINES:

for the January April July October

issue: issue: issue: issue:

November 1st February 1st

May 1st Augustlst

LOVE STREET BOOKSTORE:

AM

GARY

THE HIGHEST OF THE HIGH

&

MEHERA KLEINER

27

33

departments EDITOR’S PAGE

2

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD

4

OUR GAL IN MEHERABAD

JuDY STEPHENS

REVIEWS

18 41

ANNOUNCEMENTS

47

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERANA PASSINGS WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS

KEBI BOOSE

51 55 63

Dma Snow Gibson (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax

e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.LoveStreetBookstore.com or www.MeherBabaBooks.com

thank you

CREDITS:

editor: Dma Snow Gibson Assistant editors: Becci Robbins, Kathy Hill design and layout: Pris Haffenden proofreaders: Kathy Hill, Michael Franklin preflight:

Thomas Hart

distribution: Pris Haffenden, Ray Madani mailing list information: Pris Haffenden

We extend our heartfelt cqipreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the .7VIeher EBaba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street L amp.Post readers.

3616 1/2 South Centinela Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90066-3 124 front cover:

Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. Meher Baba in 1932

Love.StrcetJ.atnF.Posris published quarterly, injanuary, April,July, and October.

All contents © 2006 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books of Avatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

All words, images andgiaphics in thispubllcation arepivpe#y ofthe copyright J]olderc and/or the contributors. A/Iessages andphotos ofiVfeher Baba A mtar Meher Baba Feipetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai; India, and ‘0 Lawience J?eiter Unau thorizedduplication isprohibited by Ia w.

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What’s 2tnppening cit JlVlehcrctkid BIictu 2<alchuri Celebrates 2Iis 8oth J3irthday! 13irthdag i3hauji! 2jaiticc

Bhau Kaichuri completed his 80th year on a lucky Friday, January 13th 2006, his birthday was celebrated with an outstanding programme at the Meherabad Pu grim Centre. These days Bhauji is frequently introduced with the poi gnant phrase, “the last living member of Meher Baba’s men Mandali. We gratefully acknowledge that it is by His Grace he is still with us—strong, active and radiant, this year hospitalfree, after twelve successive years of hospital stays for two cancer surgeries, a heart triple bypass, and other minor surgeries, plus 20 strenuous tours to the West, and an intensive work schedule in India. Bhau’s working day always begins at the Avatar Meher Baba Trust Office, with his busy essential email correspondence. His birthday was no exception, though the morning’s work was cheerfully interrupted many times by loving greetings given in person and over the phone from around the world. His wonderful Indian office staff came with a bouquet of flowers and sang to him with great love. The servants, other residents of the Trust Compound, a number of other Baba lovers and pilgrims, the bank manager and three representatives from Arangaon village streamed in throughout the morning, bearing flowers and loving wishes. In the afternoon, Bhau and his team drove from the Trust Office at Meher Nazar, in Ahmednagar town centre, to the Meherabad Pilgrim Centre about nine miles away. The Meherabad birthday event was lovingly and enthusiastically organized by Australian resident Suzie limura, and Brit ish-Indian-frequent-resident-Bhau-team traveler Susie Biddu. Expert creative and technical assistance came from the magician Hughie McDonald (California resident), Alan Wagner’s brilliant kitchen team made their tasty contribution, and the hospitality for all was arranged by the P.C. receptionists

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Members of Bhau’s immediate family, including wife Rama, daughter Sheela, son Mehernath, daughter-inlaw Raj, son-in-law David Fenster and grandson Jatin were seated near the front, along with various new pilgrims, older people and a mixture of”Mothers,” “Daddies,” “Mummies,” “Babies, and the occasional “Queen” (nicknames from Bhauji) Sheela re marked while giving support to Bhau as he greeted people, “It’s no fun to be famous; you have no time to eat!” Bhau had a light cup of tea and was offered diabetic chocolate, but ate nothing while others enjoyed the festive food. As 5 pm drew near, Bhauji and all were seated and the programme began, with Suzie Biddu as emcee. A small platform with sound system was set against the wall adjoining the men’s side. Chairs were arranged in a semicircular way, which gave an inti mate family feeling to the room. Suzie limura, her daughter Angie and other helpers had beautifully decorated the wall behind the platform with sparkly tinsel stars and streamers that glinted rainbow colors in the dusky light. The opener was a very touching song performed by Meherabad stalwarts Heather Nadel and Ted Judson with his guitar. Don Gowas a plaintive and gentle folk setting by them of words by Bhau himself. East bal anced West as Rama Kalchuri (accompanied by herself on tabla and Kamla Yado from Arangaon on harmonium) sang a bhajan for Beloved Baba with wholehearted love. This was followed by a truly lovely and artful rendering ofthe earlyjazz standard, Fats Waller AinMisbehavin’sung by Australian Angie Imura, accompanied by Floridian Brian Bagheri (a first time pilgrim) on guitar. New nuances for new life with the Beloved, “Ain’t misbehavin’, saving my love for you A slight alteration ofthe original lyrics hinted at the feature to come, “Home by seven to watch TV And ajolly good time was had by all! “

I I

and other helpers. At 4:15 pm, a crowd of about 250 pu grims, family, friends, residents and staff filled the Dining Hall to capacity. As Bhauji entered the hall, the gathered Baba family from India, Pakistan, America, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Russia, Japan, and China—stood with a happy AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! and the birthday song. Suzie announced to all that tea and a birthday treat of bhel and chocolate cake would be served before the entertainment began, and children carried in a candle-lit birthday cake. With strong lungs developed from the art of “talk and talk,” Bhauji easily extinguished the candles as everyone sang again a rousing and multiaccented “Happy Birthday” song. Queues formed for the delicious treats provided by the ever-ready kitchen crew. Bhau remained standing to greet and embrace many well wishers while others munched and visited; the mood was loving and joyful.

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3Qjfl4flfl Ji f 9 lJfl5 1 Slicir Wisemcrn, 7}irginia/J’l/Ieherabad Januaryof2006, Sky (myhusband) and ItraveledtoMeherabadto spendtime with BeiovedBaba atfrlis Home in the East. Here are a few stories from the timejust prior to and during Amartithi.

Meherabad Morning Last night, Sangheeta, who takes such wonderful care of us and the house we rent in Meherabad, went to get some milk to make chai the next morning. It was late, and she wasn’t able to locate the cow across the road, so she walked all the way to Arangaon Village to get us some milk. We were all worried, as she had been gone for an hour. When she finally returned safely, I told her I could boil it, so that she could go home. She said, “No, no, Sangheeta boil... you boil and it go poof all over stove!” Well, yeah, ok, she’s right. Then this morning, I was trying to get the water to come out of the pipes. I kept moving the lever back and forth on the outside of the house, and nothing worked. I saw the night watchman’s bicycle parked outside, but I didn’t see him. I thought he might still be asleep, and didn’t want to wake him up, so I figured I’d wait till I heard some movement out there and then run to get him. Later in the morning, I heard a clink, clink, and ran to the side window. The bicycle was gone. I ran to the front window, and he was out the gate and already riding away. I was going to run after him, but when Sky leaves in the morning, he usually locks the door from the outside, so I couldn’t get out of the house from the front. Shucks. I’d wait for Sangheeta to get here. She always knows what to do. In the meantime I climbed up on the roof. I didn’t know which one of those contraptions holds the water, so it was probably best that I didn’t mess with anything. Tried the lever a few more times, and still no water. When Sangheeta arrived, I showed her that no water was coming, showed her all the toilet tanks were empty

too. She disappeared up on the roof for a while came back down and still nothing. Again on the roof, then back down. She went and checked the kitchen water, and it was flowing, but nothing in the bathroom. She called her husband Pandarang, talked to him in Marathi, and then hung up. Went into the bathroom and started sticking her finger up the faucet hole. I started wondering what might come out of there. Then she began beating the faucet with her fists. She was really walloping that thing!

I started cracking up and so did she, but about 10 minutes later the water started coming out. While some of this roof-going and lever-pulling was going on by Sangheeta, I had decided to put the chai on the stove to heat up. While I was watching the water come out of the faucet, in utter amazement that all you have to do to make it come out is whack it I heard Sangheeta screaming from the kitchen “Bai! Bai! Chai go poof all over stove!” Oh man, I did it again!

Cobras at the Darbar Last night when Sky got back to the house, he told me that someone saw two cobras walking to the Darbar Cyber Cafe. “Really?” Now, that, to me, is intriguing. I asked him if they walk with their heads up and he said yes. Then I asked him if they walk together or in single file. He realized then what I was visualizing. “Oh, no, no, some people were walking to the Darbar, and they saw two cobras!” I can’t

get that image out of my head even this morning—two cobras walking side by side to the Darbar for a Coke or a bag of chips. Glad one of them didn’t come out of my faucet.

Amartithi Preparations and Love Yesterday, several people helped with the loading of the sound equipment from the theatre onto a truck, and it was all hauled up to Baba’s Hill and set up on the stage. When you reach the top, you see nimble men and boys, toes curled around crooked wooden poles high in the air, as they tie the poles togeth er with twine in an elaborate maze that will soon be shelter from the Meherabad sunshine. A sewing machine sits upon the Mandap, making re pairs on the cloth, its hum stopping only for Baba’s prayers, then back to work again. Watching all of these preparations is fasci nating. Knowing how much dedication and care and attention to detail these workers exhibit is heart-warming. Typing this, and seeing my tears fall, lets me know that the unity on this Hill is palpable. The new MPR (Meher Pilgrim Retreat) is filled to capacity. We had wanted to stay there to be closer to all the action, but we realized that we should give up those rooms since we already had other accommoda tions. We could take rickshaw rides up there for our meals, and still not miss any of the Love Fest. Today, all the people at the old Pilgrim Centre will be transported up to the MPR on buses, their luggage piled high in huge trucks. When I arrived in Meherabad this year, I caught a horrible chest cold. I hadn’t been to Arti yet, because I didn’t want to get anyone else sick. I’d gone up to the Samadhi during the day when it is quite empty, but have stayed away from Arti. With wanting to go for the past two weeks, and knowing I shouldn’t, downing four bottles of Ayurvedic medicine, and

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waiting, waiting, the day finally arrived, and Baba couldn’t have made last night more powerful. I can’t even describe how intimate and healing it was to be there. When I was in the Tomb taking darshan, some children began singing a song for Baba. How special that was to me! It felt like a gift from the Beloved. Sangheeta’s children, here at the house, continue to teach us Marathi, bring us flowers picked from the garden, and touch our hearts daily with their love for Baba. One little girl, Rani, knows English very well, but the other three children, Sonali, Ashwini and Rohan, struggle with it the way Sky and I struggle with Marathi. The other day, Sky was attempting to teach

Rock Trail to the Beloved’s feet. It is still three days till Amartithi, and Meherabad is beginning to remind me of photos I have seen of the circumnavigation at the Kaaba. They come from lower Meherabad up the trail, they come from Meher Pilgrim Retreat across the fields, they come from houses scattered across the land, and from the condos. Rickshaws whiz up the Hill, all hearts overflowing with yearning for their taste ofthe Beloved. Even the crows fly up the Hilijust before seven to hear Dolly say in her sweet voice, Time for Prayers.” I removed my shoes, and found a place next to the west window of the Samadhi. It hadn’t been opened yet, but only a mmute passed, and I heard a creak. The flood of energy that came out as that window opened consumed me, and I experienced an involuntary gasp for air. It felt as if Beloved Baba was saying Welcome Home,” not through words but through a powerful light that engulfed me. Through the screen, I could see ETERNAL BELOVED on the white marble, and I stood, transfixed on those lovely words as we recited the prayers. After the prayers, and Arti was sung, I wasn’t able to move. It took awhile before I realized that there were other people who wanted to gaze through that window, waiting patiently behind me. I bowed down at that very spot, and left with a full heart. “

them to sing “Welcome To My World” in English as he played it on the guitar. So touching. They got the first two lines down, but then it kind of tapered off into “miracles I guess urn. urn Four little voices trying so hard. Maybe we’ll try a simpler song. . .

Baba’s Color Wheel Being a painter, it had always disturbed me that the complimentary color for blue was orange. I was terribly annoyed, and wondered who came up with that cocka mamie notion. Well, the other day, I saw a Kingfisher fly over the house, and realized that the Guy who invented that beautiful bird knew exactly what He was doing!

Eternal Beloved The mass of humanity is arriving now to take darshan from our Beloved on His Hill. Last night, there was a solid wall of people, dressed in colorful saris, punjabis, kurtas, Western wear, all winding up White

senger compartments at their Divine Destination, their belongings balanced on their heads as they made their way up White Rock Trail to the Samadhi. Earlier today, I was pondering what all these paths to the Beloved would look like from the air, and the first image that came to mind was a Starfish: arms outstretched in every direc tion, but that Center, that Divine Center, the mouth of the Starfish that consumes us all in the end, making us one with Him, just seemed so appropriate. When I arrived at evening Arti, the west window of the Samadhi was at first acces sible, but with the multitude of pilgrims wishing to pay their respects to Mehera and the other women mandali there, I stepped back and found a place at the south-west corner ofthe Samadhi. These travelers had come long distances to be with Baba for only two or three days. I had no view of the inside of the Samadhi or the marble, but it didn’t matter. How could it? But I did find myself reaching out to the stone structure that houses the Beloved’s form at several moments during Arti. Usually, my hands are joined in prayer, but last night, one hand touched the stone wall, and the other clutched His picture hanging around my neck from a string of emeralds, which Mehera has said signify longing. I wandered over to Baba’s Cabin, where ‘Lucky’, one of the elder dogs on the Hill, hangs out and ‘Maya, the newest member ( born only last year) stakes out her terntony. I was so surprised that The Cabin was empty. No one seemed to know (I assumed!) that the stretcher there had held the Beloved’s Beautiful Form, that ‘

...

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,

His Cabin Yesterday, an extra train stop had been added, right at the base of the Hill. Pil grims from all over India filed out of blue pas Sugar cane is squeezed n the spot andis a girat thirst quencher for the hot days


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time of His leaving us in the physi cal form, are matchless.

Amartithi onthe Hill

it, in itself, was a place of great reverence, especially at this time. An empty cabin... how could that be? I removed my shoes again and entered. First I bowed at where His feet had laid. Then I moved toward His pillow, where His face would have been so many years before. There is a depression in the gurney from underneath, and it felt to me that Beloved Baba was still resting there, the woven cloth strips underneath supporting His Divine weight, weight that never existed, because He is eternally formless. I laid my head near His pillow, and must have been there sobbing quietly for nearly fifteen minutes. When I raised my head, composed myself and looked out, there was a line of pilgrims waiting to enter. I had no idea. It was such an intimate time with Baba; on the place where His beautiful broken body rested way back in 1969, after suffering intense spasms and the pain ofthe universe. TI the Beloved offer at this, the

Beloved Baba draped His soft pink coat around Meherabad as dawn ar rived, and the moonbeams were relieved of their duty, as Amartithi morning brought ev

to overflowing. The Dhuni was lit early in the morning, and at the same time a fire rose within my heart and Baba fanned the flames of longing. Before the Silence, we found a spot to sit near the Samadhi, under a neem tree. Up on the Hilijust before noon, Begin The Beguinewas played, from a scratchy record, or from a recording of a scratchy record, which made me feel like I was here in 1969. And then, with over 25,000 pilgrims singing on every inch of the Hill, the chant of Meher Baba, Meher Baba filled the air. At 12 noon on the dot, “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai” was shouted from the stage, and there was pin-drop Silence. I closed my eyes, and every image I have ever seen of Baba ran through my head like a silent train, the only passenger the Beloved Himself. Later, when talking to my rickshaw driver, he told me the same thing had happened to him. Photos of Baba he had seen kept flashing in his mind as he closed his eyes in Silence. Our Dar shan time came right after the Silence. We made our way to the end of the line, way back behind :>

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eryone to the Hill. The pink sky through the neem trees seemed to say, I am Here, my beloveds,” and He most certainly was/is! For the Beloved’s pleasure w minstrels had strummed drummed their hearts out 1 through the night. Pilgrims rested upon the canvas that covered the ground under the )andal that stretched from the amadhi down to the outdoor eater. Families sat together vith their bags of clothing and ood around them. Children slept in their mother’s laps and the adults rolled up their jackets for a pillow on which to lay their heads. The Amartithi Sun r dripped Wine into our chai cups

7


the stage, where the others with number 13 waited to lay their heads at His feet. The queue wove back and forth further up the Hill, and we were the only Westerners in a sea of Eastern lovers first in the maze of chairs, and then on to the serpentine line.

Sharhugging the dear thlldin

mass of humanity on the gentle slope to His Samadhi. I had noticed that the people nearest the stage were sitting on the ground, and then behind them were rows and rows of chairs filled with pilgrims, and beyond that, was the serpentine darshan line. From my vantage point, the entire mass of humanity was one entity. They moved together, they The stalls, where we allhave so much fun shopping, arepackedinto the trucks swayed together, there and driven back to the various Baba Centers aivund the country was no separation, no had etched upon their hearts. Those that selves, only One in remained for the close ofthe program had unity for their Beloved. their luggage nearby, but could not bring The Hindi television station interthemselves to leave until the last drop viewed us; our pictures were taken for the of Wine poured into cups that were was local newspaper. Baba never sleeps. He already filled to the brim. is hard at work spreading His name and The prayers and arti on this last day capturing the hearts of lovers everywhere, will remain in heart forever. My dearmy guiding them into friend arrived est just as the last Dance His Divine Net and was ending, my and soul was so full that embracing them in when her, I saw I nearly knocked her over, His Forever Love. lunging at her the energy of those last with The Close of drops held each ofWine. We other so close, Amartithi and with intensity, so when we much that When I reached finally released each had other, both of us the top of the Hill, tears of the deepest love rolling down our to witness the cheeks. She said, “I wasn’t here, but I got close of Amartithi it from you. And that’s how it is. around 11 AM On “

February 1st, the pandals were fairly devoid of pilgrims. What struck me most was that the great expanse of open space was not in the least bit Pllgrimspacked up and ready to depart for anotheryear empty. Those that As the Samadhi drew closer, someone came for the Beloved’s darshan still re would call out with all their heart, “Avatar mained in spirit. There was a feeling that Meher Baba ki” and then it was up to those one small space that the day before had in the line to answer with a resounding housed a pilgrim’s form had accepted the “JAI!” Some would begin a song, and all prasad ofLove from the Master. Each lover within hearing distance sang along. This was now entrusted to take this Love back went on for the two hours we waited, and to his or her home, and share it with those the energy increased with anticipation of who could not come. the moment for which we had all answered They left with huge bundles upon their His call. heads, descending White Rock Trail, stopAt one moment during the Beloved’s ping for one last embrace, one last touch, Amartithi, I was sitting on the ground a glance, a smile, a tear shed for a time near the stage, and looked up at the spent in ecstatic union that the Beloved

Time to Depart with Baba

In closing, I would like to touch on something that Khaled Al-Faqih said in a talk I heard last year at the Southeast Gathering. He mentioned that India is the most gracious and accepting country in the world. We found that to be so true, in the Amartithi breeze, where East and West met as one heart for our Beloved Meher. Eastern women would want to touch the fair skin on my cheek, children would pass us in the Darshan line and reach out to hold our hands; in the expanse of a few days time, we were stopped by hundreds of Eastern Pilgrims asking us to pose in a photo with them. Babies would want to be held by us, and our hearts melted in the love that Baba brings to His Special Resting Place, here on Meherabad Hill.


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2’Iivedita L/4. £Nagpal, J4/tuinbcti, Dndia Upper Meherabad a young Iranian, Siyavash Kalantari, was busy helping provide water for thirsty pilgrims in the long darshan line. Helping him was his four-year-old daughter, Mehera. She arranged the bottles of water while he distributed them. Sprightly and full of energy, Mehera was appar ently the youngest volunteer to render selfless service to this year’s pilgrims. Amartithi is always a time when many faithful converge on the Holy Land of Meth Amartithi was no differherabad. The 37 ent, with many people volunteering services to make a smooth and successful pilgrimage for all. Here is Mehera Kalantari’s cherished experience of her first Amartithi: Tired right now, Mehera sleeps in her mother’s lap. She has spent six incredible weeks in Meherabad with her Iranian father and English mother, Mandy, winning hearts. She spoke with me about her love for Avatar Meher Baba and what personal effect the pilgrimage had had on her. Mehera needed some coaxing before she decided to speak between taking spoonfuls of food, which consumed her attention in the dining hall. She said reflectively, “Baba wanted me here in India. I like it here.” She said, “I helped daddy to give water. I loved working too.” Mehera’s relationship with Baba is spe cia!. She says, “Baba talks to me just like everyone else. We both dance to ‘Mehera music’. Sometimes Baba tickles and plays with me too. He is my friend.” Mandy told me the very table we were sitting at was where her husband had proposed marriage seven years ago! For her it was the first trip, and it ended in marriage. Her husband had been coming to Meherabad since he was seven. Siyavash’s grandfather, Khushru Namiranian, attended the Prem Ashram School during Baba’s time. David Cousins had told Mandy, a holistic therapist, that he saw Meher Baba around her. When she came to Meherabad for the first time she found not only her soul mate, but also the Over Soul. As Mandy returned to Meherabad, now as a mother, she experi enced in her daughter the joys of knowing Meher Baba. She recounted “Once I had

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arrived home from work late, and found my husband, who was in touch by phone but still ten minutes away, had not yet returned, so I was concerned how Mehera would react. I found her watching her favourite TV show with a photo of Baba by her side. She did not mind our brief absence at all. I was most relieved. She is quite attached to Baba. While in India she told me she had a dream about Baba and that when we go shopping we should always think of Baba! On more than a few occassions she has stopped me in my tracks with the gems that come from her baby lips. I often think Baba guides me through her.” Around this time, Mehera spoke up: “Meher Baba is in my heart and everywhere.

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want every lover of mine to repeat my name with every breath. The repetition should be continuous and such that even in sound sleep it should continue like your breathing. Then there is some possibility of experiencing a glimpse of me. Never worry about thoughts while repeating my name. Do not check them because when you repeat my name, the thoughts will not create binding for you—good or bad. Baba repeated the simile of one’s mind being inside a mosquito net and the mos quitoes (thoughts) buzzing outside. Then he stated: In the same way, let thoughts “buzz” in the mind and be within Baba’s “net” of nam jap. Repeat my name so continuously that if and when you lose consciousness of your body, the repetition will be there because I then become you. You lose yourself com pletely in me. If you cannot do that, just a moment before dying take my name. Even then you will come to me. But how will you remember at the last moment unless you start remembering from now on!

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)3ou Never rDie A4eher Baba Mehei handles the camera like apm, photogiaphinghermotherin Baba Bedmom

He talks to me.” Mehera has an incredible capacity to dance, even for a four-year-old. On the last day of Amartithi when volunteers had a program at Hostel A, Mehera did not leave the stage for a second. She must have danced non-stop from 10 to 11:45pm on every single song. Ofcourse, the next day she complained, “My legs are paining all over. But Baba was dancing with me too.” Mehera loved coming to India and enjoyed doing service during Amartithi. She nods enthusiastically when asked if she would like to volunteer again. She has now returned to England, taking back wonderful memories for her friends back home—with Meher Baba firmly in her lovely little heart!

ou are first a child, then you grow up and drop the body, but you never die and never were born. In the East, Vedantists believe in reincarnation and in a number of births and deaths until one attains Godhood. The Muslims believe in one birth only and one death only. The Christians and the Zoroastrians hold the same belief. All are right. But Jesus, Buddha, Muham mad, Zoroaster, all meant what I mean by real birth and real death. I say you are born once and die once. All the so-called births and deaths are only sleeps and wakings. The difference between sleep and death is that after you sleep you awake and find yourself in the same body; but after death you awake in a different body. You never die. Only the blessed ones die [to selfj and become one with God.

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GodSpeaks ©Sufism Reoriented, Inc. II


The chIeher l?ilgrim !Refreat Dina SflOWJil)SO1l

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his is the third year I have been privileged to spend the days of Amartithi in the MPR, even though it was not completely finished. Each year saw more additions, first a cloth tacked up over the open window of the bedrooms, the next year—screens, this year—glass! And beds! I wish I could see it at the grand opening in June—how wonderful it will be. And how many changes for those pilgrims who have been going to Meherabad from the early ‘70s. Following are some photos I took around the compound—or ‘castle’ as Jurgis Sapkus calls it. (I can understand why!)

The courtyard befom the tiles were placed on the wall

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I Sunrise, looking towards the Samadhi

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Master ChefAlan Wagner shows Meheru the goodies his cooks have baked for our enjoyment L:JanetJudson and Heather Nadel look on


The cooking cnw delight in the J4çth-tech newkitchen— what a change for them!

Her camei Cfl?W sets out outside the dining ioom

Mehdi Abiahimzadth and Ruby fivm Los Angeles exchangedmarriage vows byBabac GhadiafterAmartithL following the example ofhis younger brother Rezam whohada simi/arceremony withhis wife Susan a fewyears back. There was a little ception ‘held in the courtyard ofthe MPR, andJeanne Nordeen Felknor sang A t Last “accompanied by Angie liniuia

For thepast tenyeais Neha Shaiadhas been an actress and writer and now is making a documentaiy for Indian TVon Amartithi andBaba birthday boldlytithgitI Am God

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7cenage 4 Jlussics in .J1umngabnd 2’slivedita 2 ’Iagpal, Dudia hat happens when a bunch of Aus tralian Baba children go for a picnic to Aurangabad and Khulabad caves? Four sprightly teenagers-Gabriel Lee Morris, Naoroji Lindsay, Mehera Lee Morris and Qindi Gunther-made this day-long trip during their pilgrimage to Meherabad in December 2005. They were not alone on this trip. The presence of Sai Baba’s vibra tions made their winter trip to India most memorable. Here’s what the excitement was all about: The bus trip was organized by Bif Soper, their unofficial tour leader. They left in the morning at 6.30 am, which was early by their standards, as they had been used to waking late in the cold mornings. The oldest in the group, Gabriel Lee Morris, is 18 years old and a resident of Perth. He has been a Baba lover ever since he can remember. He says, “I feel there is a big connection with Meher Baba. I have been coming with my parents for the last 10 years.” His mother, Julie Lee Morris, adds, “When I was four or five months pregnant I had come to India. I put my head on the tomb and felt Baba blessed my child. When Gabriel started to speak, the first word he uttered was ‘Baba.’ Naturally, I was happy.” Gabriel continues with his tale. “We had wanted to go for the last two weeks to Khuldabad. During the trip we stopped at road side cafes to eat a little breakfast. We also stopped by a river for a while to enjoy the beauty, he continues. Once we reached Aurangabad, we went to the mosque where Meher Baba spent the last night of the New Life. Then we went to the caves and the valley of saints. I went into Sai Baba’s cave on a hill where he had spent three years in seclusion and meditation.” Gabriel says, This was my second time in the cave. In an earlier trip to Khuldabad I was given some holy water by a saint. This time when I went inside the cave, I felt so much peace and fell asleep for nearly 25 minutes. His mother explains, This was strange, because Gabriel never sleeps in the afternoon and he does not tire easily. So it wasn’t that tiredness made him sleep.” Gabriel says, “I felt gold waves all over, very peaceful and happy. I have the same feeling when I am at the Samadhi in Upper

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Meherabad.” This was Gabriel’s second trip and more memorable. He says, “I would like to return to Sal Baba’s cave again whenever I am next in India.” Qindi Gunther, aged 15, lives in Queensland with his Australian father, Geoff, and Chinese mother, Tian. About his own association with Meher Baba he

more. I feel spiritually connected with Baba and also visited Avatar’s Abode. I believe in God but do not believe in going to the church. I have always attended the Sahavas ( at Avatar’s Abode) and met new friends. It is a great time for bonding. This is my seventh visit to India. I feel very peaceful

and relaxed here.

says, “Ever since the age of seven years I

Mehera Lee Morris is 1 5 and the only

have known Meher Baba. I used to play cricket near Avatar’s Abode (Baba’s home in Australia) I wondered what Baba is all about. I was only seven, and except for cricket I had nothing on my mind. My parents were already drawn to Baba. I decided to accompany them to India. It is a nice, warm climate here. I like it. As for the trip he says, “I went for this trip with these friends I made here. It was a wonderful day of bonding with them. I have

girl in the group. She is shy but also the best-behaved. She opens her conversation with, “I was born in a Baba family. My parents met Baba much before my brother and I were born. When my mother was pregnant with me she took me also to the Samadhi and bowed down. I remember

been here in Meherabad for a few weeks

and a good place for making relationships with friends. I understand Baba more and

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and am not bored at all. Why would I be bored? I am having a great time. Since we had nothing else to do we decided to go for this trip. I enjoyed myself. For me this was an educational trip. Going into Sal Baba’s cave was a beautiful experience. I wish to

my first trip to India when I was seven years old. This was in 1997. I have been

coming here almost every year and enjoy my time here. It is very nice and peaceful

feel closer to Baba too. She explains her “

relationship with Meher Baba: “Whenever I am in trouble or afraid I call out to Baba. It always works for me. Each time I come

return when I am older and more mature. I

here, I am able to appreciate the beauty of the place much better. During the Austra

would understand it all much better.”

han Sahavas at Avatar’s Abode, I felt Baba’s

Later on Qindi’s mother reveals this little secret, “Qindi was once given a school

presence.”

assignment to write about people by whom they have been influenced. I was quite

says, “I felt Sai Baba’s cave was amazing.

surprised to know that he wrote on Meher Baba. He wrote, ‘My parents follow Meher Baba. All five religious paths lead to God. Baba says everyone gets reincarnated. After

was blissful and I felt relaxed in the cave. Echoing the sentiments of the others, she

About her experience of the trip she I got a very powerful feeling in there. It

adds I would love to return some time in the future and understand it better.” “

my pet died he will come back in another

She narrates an incident where she felt

form. It gives me comfort. Meher Baba is good and honest.’ It made me feel happy that my son accepts Meher Baba not be-

Baba helped her strongly. “When I was nine, I was riding my horse. My mother

cause we are drawn to Him but he has his own feelings for Baba. And he also got an A for the assignment!” Naoroji Lindsay is 14 years and the youngest in the group. He lives in

Queensland. Like the others in the group,

was not around with me. The horse jumped when it saw a kangaroo in front of it. I was

frightened and I called out to Baba for help. And the horse was normal after that.” To see youngsters believe in Meher Baba and spirituality is a positive sign that God works in the most mysterious ways.

he has felt a connection with Meher Baba.

This is his first trip, and he loves the spiritual atmosphere. About the trip to Khuldabad he says, “I loved the carvings on the caves in Ajanta & Ellora. They were very beautiful. I would like to return again when I could possibly appreciate it

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Mother and daughter artIsts Anneke deJong andher daughter Marcella painted the beautiful mural on Baba New Live. Annek who lives in the south ofSpain, told us she met Anna de Polnay in London in 1996 andheard about Baba for the first time. She nadMehera-Meher, A Divine Romance and was captured by the stories oftheir travels in the NewLife, hence her choice ofsubject materiaL Marcellapaints Baba andAnnekepaints the scenerystarting at the Supa Fo# and on throughout the travels ofRaba andHis Mandali with depictions ofthe Manonashphase atMahabaleshwai; the Hamirpurinosque and the five statues Ipresenting the diffeiint jeligions. It took them about 10 weeks to paint the entire muial on three walls, returning to Meherabad a few times. ..

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MuJti-talentedBob FndezJcks has take!] up residence in this little room on the iuofofthe MPH He is busy making 300 flames for the wonderful archival quality photo enla!gen]ents Heimes donateo that will be in eveiy room in the Retnat. The antique Burmese teak flames were turned by a line carpenter in Aiangaon village. Along with his becl desk and computei Bob has all the necessary tools in this room to sand andpolish them to a smooth finish put them together and frame all the photos.

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The Master Prayer waspainted by Nagendia Gandhi. ft the entire length ofthe walkway, 150 feet long and it took him about two-and-a-halfmonths to finish it.

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Our9n1 in çlVlehernbad jiidy Steplieiis December. We will open the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat in only six months! By the end ofthis month, the contractofs work

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a system for that many children! 1 3 December. All the receptionists went up to the Meher Pilgrim Retreat for a meet-

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will be done. Then it will be fine-tuning to get all the rooms ready and comfortable for His lovers. I gave a tour of the new Retreat

ing. John Gunn is designing our new com puter program. He needed some feedback

this afternoon.

the pilgrim sleeping wings had been marked out. There is a central hub, then it looks like seven spokes go out from it: six spokes to

on different areas. I noticed the gardens in

Residents Gary and Mehera Kleiner have brought together 34 Arangaon village women to learn a craft and earn money. It

the stairs off the curved verandah, seventh spoke to the gate going out ofthe courtyard. I spoke with a pilgrim, Tian, who is from China but now lives in Australia. She trans lated some of Baba’s books into Chinese. She has completed the first draft of God

is named Sofia Meher Foundation, after their baby (this is not a Trust project; it is a personal one of the Kleiner’s) The women .

were given a three-month paid training session by The Craft Council of Maharas

tra. They learned how to sew. From there,

Speaks. She said there are over thirty cities

Mehera helped them learn how to make

in China that now have Baba books. She has a website in Chinese and she is getting a lot of inquiries about Baba. In fact, we have a pilgrim coming from China who found out about Baba from Tian’s website; she will be

hand-made quilts. They will learn to make other things as well. The quilts have been a success, and the Foundation has found its way into Indian organizations that are able

to promote it. 2 December. Two Meher English School buses were at Meher Hospital, bringing children for a dental checkup. I passed groups of children everywhere playing cricket. It is the time of year when the professional International teams are playing. The road to the Retreat is being worked

on. It is wide enough for two buses to eas ily pass. There is also some work going on

for the parking lot. Lots of piles of dirt are scattered around. At the Retreat, I was able to video the preparations for putting the Charlie Mills

painting above the entrance to the dining hail. The men were on ladders marking

came to share Baba stories.

8 December. I rode my scooter into the bazaar to get estimates on furniture we will on strike. They had been on strike for a

would include how many chairs we would need for different rooms, playground equipment, desks, etc. We then walked to all the offices and areas where we had to mark the place for phone and computer cables to go.

In the afternoon, Roshan and Sam Kerawala

time for certain work. Paul is a professional electrician and Frank was a construction supervisor. Both know the business and have

had lots of experience. We are sure to have the job done correctly. Jurgis was sitting at his marble statue, working away at making it more and more beautiful. What a work of

10 December. The steel supports in front of the amphitheater are being put up

art—all for the Beloved. I walked upstairs to see the mural being painted of the New

pretty fast. The Trust hires extra women

at this time to cut the weeds. Tea and cake

a masterpiece and work of love. 7 December. Receptionist meeting up at the Retreat to discuss our budget, which

ways brings the right people here when it is

the roads because of the strike. All along the Samadhi side of the railroad tracks is a five-foot deep, two-foot wide trench. Jal said the telephone company told him they were laying new underground phone lines.

were served on the theatre verandah and the movie The WizardofOzwas shown. ( Every now and then a movie that Baba saw is shown.)

had put the protective coating on a couple of days earlier and returned to England. What

tralia, were busy putting in all the cables for our computer and phone systems. Baba al

for our budget. Traffic was much lighter on

drill to put supports for the frame and then later I videoed the finished work. Baba looks

here, and Paul Morris, a pilgrim from Aus

few days already. It had to do with taxes. I finally found a furniture shop that had its metal gate slightly open. They allowed me to price some items, which was all I would need

where the frame would go. They had to

so majestic! Baba looks so awesome! This painting will take His lovers’ breath away! I also videoed Anna’s finished painting. She

here in a few days and will be in the same

room as Tian. 15 December. Frank Parker, who lives

need at the Retreat. The whole bazaar was

Life. They wrote a line from part ofthe New Life Song. It is “We have taken to this life,

in which we rely only upon God.” 17 December. I stopped to see Goolu and Jaloo on the hill. They have both lived in the compound where the Cage Room is located for over 50 years. A movie was

11 December. In the afternoon the Hindi version of ThiefofHeartswas shown. The English video has been out for a few years so this was like a premier of the Hindi one. There was a very large birthday party

shown oflast year’s Bombay Group play put on at Meherabad.

for Gary and Mehera’s baby Sophia Meher,

Parker are putting in the cables for the phone system and the computer system at the Retreat. Gary and Mehera had the 34 women from the Sophia-Meher Foundation at their condo to show the many quilts they had made. There was a tour of the Meher Hospital & Eye Camp and a God Speaks

who turned one year old. They had a party

in the village and invited literally 1000 chil dren, and many ofthe parents came as well. They had a musician playing and a magic show by Hughie. All went well until it was time for dessert. Then they learned you need

18 December. Paul Morris and Frank

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reading and discussion. 20 December. The whole of Maharash— tra State went on strike in support of the Ahmednagar strike. A pilgrim gave a dem onstration class in self-defense. I went to the Retreat with Roxanne, a housekeeping supervisor, and Kitty, a resident. deciding where trash cans would be needed. Najoo Kotwal gave a talk about her life with Baba. A Mandali video was shown. 21 December. Gabe, a young pilgrim from Australia, organized volunteers to clean up Meherabad for Mehera’s birthday. Quite a group of pilgrims and residents were issued rubber gloves and large plastic bags. Sam and 22 December. MeheraBirthday In the morning a very beautifully handmade cover was put on Mehera’s shrine. A special Arti was held at the Samadhi. Meheru came from Meherazad, representing the women Mandali. Many ofthe residents and pilgrims wore saris. We all sang Happy Birthday to Mehera, then music and singing began, mostly songs Mehera wrote, or songs about Mehera’s perfect love for Baba. Meheru put a garland on Mehera’s shrine with others helping. Then everyone again sang Happy Birthday Dear Mehera. All the shrines and photos on the Hill were garlanded. Back at the Samadhi prasad was brownies. A movie was shown of Mehera in 1971 walking up Seclusion Hill telling about the first time she went up the Hill with Baba in 1947. There was a party on the rooftop of Alan’s house near the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. All were invited for dancing and good food and a view overlooking Ahmednagar. 23 December. The strike is over. Bhauji came to the MPC and gave a talk. A Baba movie was shown. 24 December. Christmas Eve. A movie, Christmas in Connecticut, was shown, that Baba had seen. At Arti Christmas carols were sung. 25 December. Christmas Day. The pil grims always put on a Christmas program at Meherazad, with magic, singing and funny skits. There they decorate with beautiful streamers and tinsel. There are a couple of potted plants decorated like Christmas trees. Overhead are colorful pandals, and the chairs and benches are in rows. The women Mandali sit in the front row with Bhau on a bench nearby. There is a stage with very colorful backing. When the program is over, a line is formed to receive prasad in Mandali Hall. The prasad is in a clear bag with lots of candy in it, along with a quote of Baba’s. This year mine said, “Remain cheerful in

all your trials for then I am helping you all the more.” Phil Smith, dressed like Santa Claus, places the prasad on Beloved Baba’s foot pillow. 26 December. Bhau came to give a talk. 27 December. A Mandali video was shown in the MPC Dining Hall.

28 December. Sam and Roshan came to

And so starts the New Year in Baba’s Love! 1 January 2006. Happy New Year in Beloved Baba’s sweet love! We only have

two and a half months left to use Meher Pilgrim Centre’s (MPC) accommodations for pilgrims. Then it will have a new life as

the new Pilgrim Reservation Office, where you will go to register when you first arrive,

share Baba stories. Receptionists met to get

instead going all the way into Ahmednagar.

plans ready for Amartithi. 29 December. Activity for Amartithi is

And it will have other new uses, which I will keep you posted about. As I write, the

well under way. The stones lining the paths are painted white. Women are pulling weeds

concentration of energy is on the upcom ing Amartithi, and the final five months of preparations for opening the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. This Amartithi should be a lot more comfortable for those staying in the Retreat than in the past. I discovered a large, beautifully designed rangoli next to Baba’s Ghadi under the tin shed. A rangoiiis like a sand painting, only made with colored powder. In the evening, a God Speaks reading and discussion took place in the Spiritual Training Academy. 5 January. There is a Baba lover here from Israel, Etzion Becker. He is a master carpenter and does beautiful artwork on

near the paths. A field has been plowed and is being leveled for a huge tent where hundreds of men will sleep for Amartithi. Meherwan Merchant shared stories of growing up with Pleader, who lived his last

fifteen years in Meherwan’s home. Meh erwan said Pleader was promised by Baba

he would become realized in this lifetime. Just before Pleader died, he was asked if Baba kept His promise. Pleader said Baba fulfilled His promise! 30 December. There was a Happy Club given by Mehera Kleiner and Meherose for the New Year’s Eve party. Bhau gave a

wood. Etzion was working in Hostel B, carving designs on the four side shutters

talk. A Baba movie was shown. 31 December. NewYearEve. A concert

of the Lobby and Reception Offices of the Retreat. I got my video camera and went to

was given by the young adults. Two watchmen and I strung lots ofgold and silver color streamers in and out and around the gates

tape the carving. He told how he became involved in this project, and told his story of

Borthwick. The children made decorations

and placed decorations. Tables were moved

coming to Baba. He has translated a number of Baba books into Hebrew. At 4:30 there

out of the Dining Hall and the chairs were

was a musical jam session on the theatre

placed along the walls so the dance floor

verandah, called ‘playing on the porch.’ 6 January. At teatime, Bhau came and

was ready. The far wall nearest the kitchen had tables with snacks. On the verandah were tubs with huge chunks of ice for soft

drinks. Adeem Finster and his cousin were disc jockeys. Singing up at the Samadhi was scheduled to go on until midnight. At

1 1:30 the dancing was stopped. A message was read out from Bhau at the party, then

all went up the hill to bring in the New Year with Baba. The hill was packed! A few mm-

utes before midnight we all began chanting Baba’s name. At the stroke of midnight we

gave a talk. In the evening, there was a Receptionist meeting. We will take 224 pil grims for Amartithi in the Retreat this year. Most will have beds. The Reading Rooms will have only mattresses on the floor. We

do not have any more supplies yet to take more pilgrims. A Baba movie was shown in the MPC. 7 January. A movie was shown in the theatre. Tea and cake were served on the theatre verandah. The movie “Be As It May”

singing at the Samadhi was still going on.

was about the life of Upasni Maharaj. Bob Fredericks was inspired to make the movie by reading Upasni Maharaj’s discourses. There were three things, Upasni said, that

In the Dining Hall tables were put in a T. Lots of delicious food was enjoyed with hot

made life worth living: 1 Don’t trouble others

shouted “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai.” Arti was said and the line for darshan continued.

Then there was a midnight supper. The

chocolate to drink, chocolate éclairs, butter cookies for dessert. We said good night to everyone by 1:30 am. Volunteers put the Dining Hall back the way it was so that it would be ready for breakfast later.

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2. Become useful to others, even if it costs you suffering.

3. Always remain content; remain in the state of ‘Be as it may.’

(Continued on Page 37)

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‘Weicome Ia 4 ’igj Worid’ iiie (htIi Dnstcd lcttion Cornpl&d! :By Emma ‘i3ranch, J4’Iyrtle Becic1i.

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here are many lovely works of art at the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat—none quite so unique as the ‘Welcome To My World’ tile wall—an 85’ x 7’ mo saic of hand-painted, six-inch square ceramic tiles, made by Baba-lovers from all over the world and recently installed in the courtyard outside the dining room. It was several years ago that the planning stages were first set in motion. With the dedication and involvement of many, meticulous preparations were made for organizing a project of this scope: one that would bring together the creative work ofhundreds and hundreds of people. Over two years and in small gatherings of Baba-lovers in North America, Australia and India, people were given the opportunity to illustrate a tile with their own personal expression on the theme, Welcome To My World. Then hundreds of tiles were carefully transported to Meherabad, a few at a time, by pilgrims in their luggage. The fruition of the tile wall began this January, as Dot Lesnik set about scrupulously arranging all the tiles on the floor at the MPR in a grid that mirrored the dimen sions of the wall. The installation by Indian masons, overseen by Bill Gannet, began one week after Amartithi and was completed a week before Baba’s birthday. The final product of this project is overwhelmingly beautiful. From a distance, the waves of color and the sheer size of the wall are affecting. The tiles act as pixels in a dynamic montage of color and movement, framed in a brilliant cobalt border. From up close, the groupings of Baba’s image, words in various languages, diverse scenarios—sometimes light-hearted and funny, sometimes suffused with emotion, tiles by known artists and tiles painted by children—all interplay like an anthology of stories. Seeing the wall in its completion, I couldn’t help but think, “He is the One in the many.” From its first inception four years ago, this massive project has evolved in a most intimate way through the many hands of its contributors. Now, collectively exhibited, it can be seen y all His lovers. “

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DotLesnik and the wall. Photo byDavidlvey


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his sculpture was not done according to my original plan: the character of the stone dictated the outcome. It is a piece of marble rock with the image of Baba emerging out of it, embracing the mast Mohammed and helping him, as Baba is helping every one of us—from illusion to enlightenment—as represented by the rough texture from which the fine polished marble emerges. The Meher Pilgrim Retreat (MPR), like a mysterious castle, is built of brown partly-baked brick. It is divided into two parts—a north section for women and a south section for men—connected by two lightly-built bridges over a deep, recessed crosswalk, like a river, underneath. I wonder what historians will make of it. Ted Judson, a splendid architect, must have designed this passage “tongue in cheek. I saw angels in my mind, standing guard on the bridges. Women can easily stop the men from com ing into the dining room; or men can easily block women from leaving the building! Tottering and bumping in the rickshaw on the apparently impassable road brought me to these unusual ideas. Here, under the roof of the MPR castle, forces can make your work very difficult, or completely change it, becoming very helpful. (Ask any artist who worked there.) An absolutely different experience waits on the other side of the MPR, looking to the east, where the sun is rising through a mirage of gentle clouds. Walking through fields and orchards to the Samadhi is an indescribable experience. The yellow brick road should lead there, as was suggested by word wizard Michael De Costa. I came here to carve my white marble, and Prem Makeig, the designer of the Retreat’s iron gates, assisted me in preparing the stone. But nothing was working. Baba took control from the beginning. I realized this immediately when the tools started breaking down. The ground was four feet of sinking mud. Bullock carts had to de liver gravel until the truck with the marble could pass along the road. A crane could not maneuver through the gate until part of the wall was demolished. The marble was then placed on the foundation, five feet deep on the ground stone. Now the comedy of the stone carv

ing started: I had an inadequate tool for drilling—a new hammer drill had to be purchased; the marble could not be split according to the rules; carbon tools started breaking down. This stone was much too hard—to cut it into little pieces and then break them out was the only way. Ted watched us sweating and, in the beginning, ordered his employees to help us. The only useful tool happened to be a diamond saw which I had intended to use for blocking out big shapes. The stone was brittle; all kinds of

extra tools were needed. They were promptly delivered through the effort ofKanji Miyao. With Baba’s timing, every tool came exactly at the moment I needed it—like He would say: “See, I am here with you. When I re turned from Sri Lanka to the MPR with a new visa, wondering when I would get my polishing discs, I opened my taxi door, and at the same time the Persian Baba-lover Mitra, also from Los Angeles, jumped out of her rickshaw and hugged me, telling that she just brought some tools from L.A. for me—what unpredictable timing! Back in the M.P.R., there was a group of artists visiting and working on their projects, including Anna Polnay, Charlie Mills, Marcella Cocci and her mother Anniki Cocci, Bob Fredericks, Prem Makeig, Gandhi Shri Nagindra, Amir Shafai and Dot Lesnik. I was the one who came onjuly 14, 2005, and left on January 19, 2006. During that time, I was completely absorbed in my work. The artists encouraged me to participate in other activities. I thought, there will not be enough “

time to finish my work— forget about other activities! The encouragement I was getting came from Baba. I could always walk to the Samadhi in spite of my leg and health problems. My room walls were covered with Baba’s pictures; the light on the pictures in the night let me look through the mosquito net, establishing contact with Him. My cbsest contact with Baba was at the time when I felt most sick. During the Hindu holiday ofDiwali, the artists went off to celebrate. That evening I was completely alone in the castle; not even one Indian was there. Only at the east corner, at the little shack, the guard was making his fire. The same guard who, during the monsoon season when I had just arrived, brought a chair for me to sit under, outside with an umbrella—and insisted I should not walk down until he could get a rickshaw. But now the evening was warm. I was sitting just across the patio in front of the dining room. Suddenly, I heard unusual noises like somebody had picked a pool table up over his head and dropped it in the middle of the hail with all the balls jumping and rolling on the floor. I ran into the dining hall but nobody was there, only the sound repeated itself. There were echoes coming from all corners of the castle— the echoes of shooting fireworks a few miles away! I went on the roof and watched a grandiose display of fireworks until mosquito bites forced me to retire. I have to note that the sound of singing in the dining hall was fascinating when Fayre Makeig and Gandhi were practicing their songs. To walk to the Samadhi at sunrise was my favorite experience. Once, on my way, I met an Asian lady with her husband, and she said, quietly, ‘Hello,” I thought in Lithuanian. I asked her husband, “What did she say?” “She said, ‘Jai Baba’.” But, she was very quiet. When I came back to work, she was walking on the balcony and exuberantly shouting. I said, You are in a very good mood today. 0 yes,” she replied, “This place makes me very happy.” For those who like the sculpture of Baba with Mohammed, please say “thank you” to Baba. For those who don’t care for it, please blame Baba for letting me make those mistakes! “

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14,dcae on the A1eher 3rce rDispensiiry (J4’Ieherazad) AlicItael .Rainsden, ,J14ehercizad

ews Brief February 5. place. Our thanks must go to Good News! By Our Phil Smith for his untiring Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s and loving efforts to corngrace we have been able to r--’-’ this installation and establish a goal for our opening training. date for the new Dispensary of Alternate Mondays are October 16th 2006. So if you now used for the manageare planning your Pilgrimage ment of seizure patients for this year that would be a only, as we have a fairly large great time to be here. For those contingent of these patients of you who have fond memo— Their withdrawal program, ries of Dr. Goher and her work, once they have achieved a this would be a wonderful time ilized condition over to see some of her dreams of several years, takes more inI: dividual attention and time, service to her Beloved Baba tools and equipment. come to fruition. Some help so this is managed on a sepa Current Activity with the move also would be appreciated! rate day. Eventually we will have to move all The Dispensary continues to function There are many activities that are in prothe seizure patients to a separate day. wellwith an anticipated 15,000 patient visits cess to complete the building in the fine de On the other alternate Mondays we have this financial year. We have installed a new tails from shelving to stone benches, glass in now established a Clinic Rounds approach computerized Inventory Control System windows and re-hanging a few doors. Power to Doctors’ education and for review of all for the Pharmacy and are currently giving and water are established and a new generathe patient, medical and clinic needs, prior a trial of the new case paper/prescription tor will be providing part of the power when to the move. Review ofmedications utilized data input forms. When that is complete the local supply fails. There is a watchman’s and kept on the premises together with some there will be a live test for actual data entry cabin and patient’s toilets nearing comple standardization of treatment protocols has and production of distributor orders. We tion and tree planting has been in process been accomplished. are currently using the system for ordering for some time. Some land clearing and We are now seeking a new Complete but by management of bulk usage, and not building yard cleanup remains to be done as Blood Cell Counter for our Haernatology individual prescription entry. This data we well as a new garage for Meherazad’s new Laboratory and are currently reviewing will have running by the time the move takes tractor and trailers which will be housed by different machinery and prices. Our loving the new water tower which and sincere thanks must go was completed first. An old i:to our donors for the money well has been deepened as a to purchase this machine. result of an aerial survey in jWithin the next two weeks the continuous search for a ye are expecting to give a ial to 2 of the machines good water source. Additionally, new furunder consideration. This nishings and equipment will include training as well are being sought and older as installation. The new donated furnishings are bebuilding laboratory will also ing modified for use as most an air conditioning of the older and currently in t and will become the use furnishings will stay at iost popular place to be in Meherazad. Bids are being e summer! Once again we sought from distributors Øve our loving and sincere for all of our needs so that :hanks to another donor. delivery and installation can The AC unit is actually be completed in time. These for the benefit of the mabids are for medical equipchinery and accuracy of ment and furnishings as well the laboratory results! We A view from the rooflooking over the courtyard to Seclusion Hill will also be seeking to hire as for maintenance and repair .

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Dr Ramsden weicomes all corners

another laboratory technician. We have had the assistance of several volunteers these past few months, which has been very helpful. Our loving and sincere thanks to them as it is always a pleasure to have such help around, and it raises the level ofservice by their loving service to Him. So if you have a longer time to spend on your pilgrimage, do not hesitate to ask if there is some way you can help—always remembering that you are here for your pilgrimage first! Professionals are always welcome to participate, especially if you can share your knowledge on our Clinic Rounds day. Tak ing a chair to examine can be intimidating

volunteer will this week begin searching through our case paper files and separating diabetic cases into a separate category. We havejust completed an exhaustive review of all patient files standardizing name spelling and correcting misfiling which has occurred over the last few years, all in preparation for computerization. And in the midst of it all, our doctors and staff continue to give loving service to all those who come for Our Beloved’s assistance for their health problems: sometimes under the most trying conditions of extreme heat, monsoon rains, dry, dusty or slippery roads and wet, flooded pot-holed roads, and either riding scooters or walking and/or taking the bus, which sometimes has no schedule; not to mention the state of some of the patients themselves, who, alas, have no water for even the barest of hygienic purposes. We have some additional plans to utilize local health professional students in their

5Iuiriug A1eizer Btbi With Others Eruch 3essawala ime and again I have been asked whether devotion to Meher Baba should remain as a joy in our hearts or shared with others who never heard about Him or enjoyed His presence in our midst. I for one, am in favour of shouting from the rooftop at the top of my voice to declare thejoy of His presence, but a certain amount of discretion should be employed. In revealing the way one feels, thought should be given to how your words will be received. In short, there should be a proper balance between the goods delivered and the goods received. Suppose for instance, you are a giant and I am a little dwarf to whom you wish to present a large casket full of gifts. I accept the present but the casket is so heavy that I get crushed to death by its weight. However, had you used discretion by presenting me with small quantities of gifts at a time, I would then have been able to receive and appreciate them. In the same way, when you talk about the Ancient One and give His messages, use discretion and understanding.

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TheAncient One, by Eruch Jessawala

©Beloved Books

final year of professional college as doctors assistants or as trainees in a manual medicine portion of the new Dis pensary but this is taking . .1 little more time to organize. Please remember that all of the work really does only happen by our . Beloveds Grace. Looking back through this article it is apparent that it is His Hand that is bringing all ::is to fruition and at His speed. Nothing moves without Him. If you have any ques The well-appointedstaffqua#ers close by the clinic, faces Seclusion Hill tions or comments please when the language is a problem but we have contact Dr. Michael Ramsden. an answer now in that a Marathi interpreter Email: mcardcind@earthlink.net. Or is present and can be used! write: Meher Free Dispensary (Meherazad) Our next project is to establish a diabe c/o Avatar Meher Baba Trust Office, King’s tes management program that will include Road, Ahmednagar (MS.) 414 001. better management of diet, as well as long We all look forward to seeing you here term management of medications, using soon at Meherazad. additional laboratory services with appro priate fasting blood sugar testing. A new .

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The go is 22tydra S2kided J44eher Ei3aba The 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 unimport ant 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 separateness from others. The ego must magnify its attainments in grotesque ways if it is to live in them. Direct assertion of the ego through selfdisplay in society is very common; but if such direct assertion is prohibited by the rules of conduct, the ego has a tendency to seek the same result through the slander ofothers. To portray others as evil is to glorify oneself by suggesting a comparison—a comparison the ego would willingly develop, though it often restrains itself from doing so. Discourses, by Meher Baba, ©AMBPPCT 25


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ThIs beautlliillzano’writlng Is the entryln a creatIve wiltIng ironi ]Othgrade student]efrlnjoseph, 2ndgrade students Urmila Sapir & S/ilnde vtshvilnl and 3idgrade studentsAlshvcarya NaIr & Sharat Thathapalll z

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7he Jktworks &wing ¶lroject in LArctngaon, Dndia 1?roject of the Sofli JVieher ,3oundcttion I-jury and J 14e1i.cra EKIciner, SJ143 5ouuders, J4lclicrtibad 1 Editorc note. Gary Kielner was an assistant to Eruch for 0 ver 20 years. When Eruch passed on, Baba ga ye Gary a new and different slant on life: He married Mehera Makeig whom he had known for over l2years. Now a happily marriedcouple with ayear-oldbaby, they ha ye looked for new ways to spread Baba word and help those around them, notably the women in Baba village (r4çrht next door to Meherabad). Thus was born SMF

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March 2005, Sofia Meher Foundation (SMF) helped start a sewing project in Arangaon village, in India. Arangaon is next door to the community in which we live, Meherabad. Although our community is international and for the most part relatively affluent, the people from Arangaon are un dereducated and otherwise ill-equipped to meet the challenges of their rapidly modernizing world. We named the project “Art Works” because we believe that art works on us, as we are working on it. In Arangaon, if a person is lucky enough to have a job, then they are likely to make about $ 1 US a day. Women here make less then men, as in most societies; and besides having to find outside work, women also have to tend the children and do all the household chores. There is a high incidence of alcoholism, as in many villages in India. Sadly, this behavior by the men causes a diminution of the small financial resources that these villagers have. Once the money disappears, inevitably there arise tensions of how to feed the children and how to manage the home. In an effort to help women from Aran gaon take the revolutionary step of starting their own business, and this way take an active step towards self-empowerment, we gathered 34 needy women to be a part of

time these women are regaining the power that somehow they lost, or that was taken away from them without them even knowing it. As these women sit together and sew, they chat about their hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves. Some say they would be content if only their children could fare better than them. In each of them a ray of hope has been lit. .a hope that seems to have been absent until now. Stitching back the torn pieces of their lives one stitch at a time. We at SMF believe that we are all just sewing back together the torn fabric of our Oneness. It’s just that some of us have more torn pieces, and not enough thread. Their seeming tragedy is our opportunity to connect with our own source of Love and Compassion. Our tragedy is if we miss that opportunity! Perhaps you might feel that you can help this project, or maybe you feel that this project can help you. Art works on us, as we are working on it. To be creative is to be in touch with the Creator inside of us. We all want to feel whole and fulfilled. That is our birthright. That is the power that we would like everyone to reconnect with! We invite you to get in touch through the website. There are many opportunities to assist. Mission, Philosophy and Background of Sophia Meher Foundation Applying the wisdom oflove and compassion to empower individuals and communities The mission of Sophia Meher Founda tion (SMF) is to encourage individuals and communities to reclaim personal power through applying the wisdom of love and .

The Kleinerc: Meheja, Gazy and Sofia Meher this project. To these women one dollar a day makes the difference between dismal poverty and poverty with dignity. Believe us when we say that is a big difference. Right now these women are making quilts and pillow covers and creating artistic embroideries that they hope to sell in the domestic and international markets. The only way that this project can work in the long run is if people buy the products that these women produce. Besides the business aspects, we are trying to educate these women in com munity building, women’s rights, water conservation, infant care, medical needs and information about AIDS and other STDs. We are trying to introduce the concept of volunteerism to these women, so that they can go out and be the tools that transform their village, as they are being transformed themselves. We are asking them to apply the wisdom of love and compassion to their lives and to their work. With a needle in hand, each of these 34 women is trying to sew together a life that has been torn apart. One stitch at a

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compassion. The principals ofSophia Meher Foundation are Gary Kleiner, 52, Russianborn son of a Holocaust survivor, whose spiritual journey has placed him in India for the last 3 decades; Mehera Kleiner, 31, American artist, who married Gary 4 years ago; and Sofia Meher, their daughter and inspiration, born in the bazaar of Ahmed nagar, India, on Dec. 8th, 2004. Sofia means wisdom, and Meher means Jove and compassion. To Gary and Mehera, their child is the embodiment ofthe wisdom of love and compassion. She has changed their world, and they responded by applying that love and compassion to action. At SMF, they count on the power of small actions. Everything must start small. but everything also has the potential to grow to maturity. They are committed to watching “Sofia Meher,” the child and the organiza tion, grow to maturity. They say “This is the song of our New Life!” Gary I’ve been a volunteer worker in India for 28 years, and wanted to change my vision. I spent many years discussing and theorizing about life and its collective and individual problems. It is only after I marned, and especially when Sofia Meher was born, that I accepted that life is not a theory or a discussion. My conclusion was that life has to be lived, and it has to be lived by trying to live up to our highest values and our most noble aspirations. I now believe that there are no higher goals that anyone can aspire to, than to practice love and compassion in all we do. Mehera: My artistic background and training showed me how much people were out of touch with their own creativity and with the Creator inside ofthemselves. I saw that this out of touch-ness with the sacredness of personal creativity, robbed people from feeling connected to the source of Truth that resides in each of us. My gift is for interacting with children, and I want to work towards giving every child a chance to realize their dreams and potential. At Sofia Meher Foundation, they feel that it does not matter how someone got to a place of feeling alienated or unconnected. What does matter is what they are going to do about it. When an individual or a com munity experiences feeling out oftouch with their life force, they inevitably feel that a power has been taken away from them. They experience feeling as though they are less... they feel unfulfilled.. they feel that they are not whole. Gary and Mehera believe that no one can take personal power away from anyone, and no one can give it back, that 28 ..

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we alone give away our power and we alone can reclaim it. “We hope that you might feel inspired to apply the wisdom of love and compassion everywhere it might be useful. We believe that everything will benefit by its touch. And the biggest benefit will come to those who apply it to their own lives! In our own small way, we are taking small steps to help others take small steps...which to some ofthem are actually big steps.” Gary quotes, “If not now. when? If not you. who?” He says, “More than 30 years ago, when I read these words by Hillel, they challenged me to take an unconventional route. That ride became my life, and my life became a spiritual journey. But mine is no different than anybody else’s ride or life or journey. We are all trying to integrate love and wisdom to produce a working balance between our Oneness self and our Survival self. Our Oneness self sees and acts with no differentiation of otherness, while our Survival self looks out only for its own needs and benefits. Since all ofus, to one degree or another, are victims of this condition, we all therefore suffer and live with the indignity of a divided self. “As we see it, the only way to get out of .

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this dilemma is by integrating the wisdom of Jove and compassion. Only then can our actions have an enlightened sense of pur pose. We do not want to change the world. The only thing we want to change is our motivations. “We at “Sofia Meher” are trying to moti vate ourselves by motivating others, and oth ers motivate us by motivating themselves. It is our hope that we all can bravely continue on thisjourney, living out our stories to their highest potential. May the wise integration of love and compassion lead us to more mindful and heart-full actions. This journey is our birthright. This journey is inevitable. “The only thing that we need ask is: If not now. .when? If not you. who?” Principles, Programs and Aims of the Sophia Meher Foundation .

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1. Beadson OneString.. Unityin Diversity. Helping to bring harmony and acceptance of different beliefs, views and religions through the wisdom of Love and Compassion. 2 Art World Promoting arts and crafts primarily as a way for people to recon nect with their own creativity and with the Creator inside of themselves. A major byproduct: it would also serve as an incomegenerating source, where others can buy products made by these artisans.

3. Share the PJanet. Share the WeaJth. . .

Working to bring about awareness that we need to share the life-giving resources the planet is providing for all of us on our journey. 4. ThoJ Kit. Sharing information about low-tech technology that can enhance ef ficiency and production in areas where such information is currently not available and not applied. 5: Choice Resources. Bringing awareness to individuals and communities that choices which they may not have considered, may be available to them. This may take the shape and form of promoting different economic opportunities. But perhaps more importantly, SMF would like to help people examine the consequences of their choices and look at possible resources they might be able to tap into, to make other and dif ferent choices. 6. RethinkingEducation. Helping create a new approach to learning and teaching, especially giving underprivileged children a chance to bridge a gap between ones who know they have the tools and those who do not know they do not have the tools!

7 MinimizingExpensive Doctor Sojourns (M.E.D.S.) Helping people learn primary health care so they can apply it to noncrisis situations. Underprivileged people especially, but all people in general, need to bring down the percentage of their income that goes towards health care. 8. CJeaniiness is next to Godliness. Help formulate a program, perhaps have books and videos made, to share the invaluable message about washing, bathing and toilet hygiene. We are hoping that this cleanliness drive will help reduce the need for medical attention and minimize personal and collec tive stresses caused by ill health. 9. Water ofLife. In a day and age where the liquids that we imbibe are usually adul terated versions of water, we would like to educate people to come back to the life-giv ing force of pure water. It is our belief that water is more than a thirst quencher, it is our primal cleanser and therefore our most primary medicine. This education and facil ity is especially needed in “third world” areas where clean water is not readily available. 10. NutritionaJ Guidance. Sharing information about how to optimize the nutritional value from foods, especially for those people who have a limited budget to apply for food. We would like to do regional research, and come up with programs that maximize food value while respecting cul tural tastes and indigenous knowledge. We


are also intent on re-educating young people who are being seduced by the glamour and ‘coolness” ofjunk food. 11. Tree-Mendous. We are promoting the growing of trees, flowers and any sort of foli age to allow people to reconnect with nature, to promote beauty, for soil conservation, to attract rain, for possible profit and lastly as the Buddha said, “to leave a better world.” 12. AthleticDIrection. Supporting sports and their ability to build character and develop strength and determination. In this program we want to include games that challenge mental and emotional de velopment. This could be a school program that teaches children how to play chess or other games that foster creative and intui tive growth. 13. In Concert. Music education and concerts to promote musical awareness and appreciation. We also see this as a tool that helps to develop the mental and emotional bodies. 14. The TheaterofLife. Using theater, film and sound recordings to help people tell and understand their life stories. This is part of getting in touch with one’s creativity, not for generating income. 15 ApprenticePrograms. Students spon sored by SMF from foreign countries and Indian schools and colleges could come here and get credit for working on particular programs in their field of study. We would have evaluators, and we would have contact with the institution that sent the student to us. It would be a program that combines social service and practical application of the guiding values of love and compassion. 16. AA/AnEi-Addiction Programs. Since there is a high incidence of alcohol abuse in villages around India, we would like to implement existing anti-addiction programs or adapt them to suit local needs. Otherwise, we are looking into creating a new program that would fit in with the needs of the local culture and mind-set. 17 Micro-Banking There is no better way to empower people than to offer a chance to live out their dreams. Micro-banking allows for the chance for big and small dreams to be realized by giving people access to some start-up capital to support their hopes and aspirations.

18. The Wisdom ofLove and Compas sion. Underlying all of these programs is our encouragement for people to look for a new way to see problems and problem solving. Our gentle nudge is in the direc tion of applying the wisdom of love and compassion.

9od to A1an cind A1trn to 8od: rDiscourses of J4’ieher 13abet With LW Dntroduction by C. EB. J2urdom 1955 book review from 7ite Awakener 1931, Charles Purdom, editor of Ev elyman, the English periodical, had been writing a series of articles on the tragic lack of living examples of the good and noble life. “We want exhibited as a reality the life that we are deeply conscious ours ought to be. We want the evidence of knowledge put into practice. Before the year was over, he was able to write, “Quite unexpect edly, and partly as a consequence of what I have already written, I have actually met a Teacher, and it is about Him that I wish to write. He had recently met Meher Baba on the Master’s first trip to the West, and later became one of the earliest and cbsest of the English group of disciples. He wrote other fine articles on Him and later a biography, The Perfect Master. He was also in India last year and is co-author of Three Incredible Weeks. He thus has been able to bring indispensable qualifications to a rather vulnerable task—the re-editing of the original 5 volumes ofMeher Baba’s spiritual discourses. In this work he has had not only the full permission ofthe Master, but His ac tive help in correcting some of the misinter pretations in the original text. Mr. Purdom’s edition, which he has re-christened God to Man andMan to Goci and for which he has written a very fine Introduction, answers a long-felt need for a convenient, inexpensive one-volume edition in which the text has been freed of typographical errors, awkward phrases, and unnecessary repetitions. In his Introduction he says, “In preparing the Discourses for Western publication, they have not been rewritten, but what seemed to be redundant words or phrases have been eliminated to reduce their length and to make them clearer.” A word about the way the original discourses came into being might be of interest here. When the Meher Baba Journal was being started in India, the editors very wisely got Baba to agree to dictate one discourse each month for the magazine. They were dictated to an Indian disciple, Dr. Deshmukh, on Baba’s alphabet board. Dr. Deshmukh, MA., Ph.D. and formerly professor of philosophy at Morris College, Nagpur, was an adept instrument for the

In

required transcription, and has commented: “It is surprising how everyone feels perfectly at home in His communications. He talks to the Soul directly.” Baba’s method in dictat ing the Discourses was to state a theme and to indicate a general outline; occasionally He would go over every word. Essentially they were His teachings in response to the constant questions about the spiritual path by His disciples, East and West. A total of 69 Discourses were eventually collected in five thin volumes. Mr. Purdom has grouped about 60 of these under 33 general headings or subjects in his new edition. His style of English is excellent—smooth flowing, clear and to the point. The long-winded and inverted phraseology of the old edition is gone. However, I don’t doubt but that there will be, inevitably, partisans of the “old discourses and of the “new.” I think this is as it should be—after all, this is a new Bible for mankind, destined for innumerable editions. To many, the literary form ofthe old Discourses was a very real stumbling block to their ap preciation. This new edition, a painstaking labor of love by Mr. Purdom, for which we all can be truly grateful, should remove this objection and win a wider readership in the West for these incomparable essays on the spiritual meaning of life. They deal, as Pur dom says, “With the most profound things What Baba aims in the simplest language at is to bring the reader to a state of being in which there is no separation between knower and known or between being and knowing.” They can be recommended both to the beginner and the advanced student; and are especially valuable as a background study for the more difficult book, God Speaks. They have been re-christened most aptly: coming from God In His human form to man, they will help win man, in his human form, back to the God which he really is. “

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Special Issue, 1955, TheA wakenerFall 1955, Vol. III, No. 2 Editor Filis Frederick ©1955 by Circle Productions, Inc.

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LA 3estivc 7ime Drciic 2 Iolt, Jfrkhcral)cld 23 Feb. 2006

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t’s February, the month of Baba’s birth. All over the world Baba lovers celebrate their Beloved’s birthday in their homes and Centers, gathering to sing, pray, and play together in His honor, for His glory. Meheru recently told us of the incident during Baba’s time when a couple arrived at Meherazad from Hyderabad to visit Baba on His birthday, though He was in strict seclusion. The mandali quizzed them: Why have you come here? Didn’t you know Baba is in seclusion? Aren’t you part of the Hyder abad Center where great celebrations are going on for Baba’s birthday, something every day for as many days as there are years in Baba’s life?” And the couple replied “Yes, we know about all that, but we thought if such grand celebrations are going on in outside places, what even grander festivities must be going on in Baba’s own home!” But the couple found a very quiet atmosphere at Meherazad, with a few simple decorations, and the Lord Himself in seclusion. Baba allowed the couple to see Him before they left, at the door of His room. He gave them this message:

“Go back to Hyderabad for My birthday. You will meet Me there. I am there wherever My lovers are celebrating My birthday.” And so began the tradition ofthe last few years ofBaba’s life and which continues: that Baba’s birthday is celebrated in many places at once around the world, in our homes and Centers dedicated to Him. Many groups choose this day to plan special programs and events and to share His message with the public. Still, we long for a little glimpse of how His birth is honored in His own home. Meheru continued her story by giving us an idea of what they did in Baba���s time at Meherazad, and how they continue in the same fashion now. 30

His birthday is a festive occasion at Meherazad. The house, verandahs, Mandali Hall and all garden areas are decorated with brightly colored streamers and ornaments. Special garlands adorn His pictures. Fresh flowers, and artificial ones too, seem to sprout from every corner. In films of Baba

at Meherazad we have seen some of the preparations going on in those days—the furniture being arranged and little flags being hung around the garden. Mehera and all the mandali would take great care in making sure the house and gar den were in perfect order and great beauty for the celebration of Baba’s birthday, and this of course continues, perhaps even more elaborately, today. Preparations begin a good ten days in advance with extensive “spring cleaning” of the furnishings and all Baba’s photographs. The garden is in full glory with the tall amaryllis lilies, the even taller hollyhocks, the multicolored snapdragons, phlox, and geraniums. Tiny lights are strung through the foliage and along the eaves of the porches and Baba’s room portico. Flashy colored decorations are beautifully strung everywhere! On the morning of Baba’s birthday the Meherazad mandali and residents rise as early as 3:30 to get ready and see to the last minute details. A little before 5:00 the wornen gather in Baba’s bedroom and the men

in Mandali Hall. Meheru recalls that Baba would be sitting on His bed with His feet resting on the cushion as Mehera and the others gathered near. For five minutes before 5:00 they would repeat God’s name according to the various languages and religions represented. At precisely 5:00 am., marking the time of Baba’s birth, both in Baba’s room and in Mandali Hall, everyone calls out Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai seven times. This is followed by His prayers and Darshan. Meheru says, “We still do it like this, and we feel He is here with us.” Bhau and the few who accompany him come to Meherazad andjoin the prayers on the Mandali Hall side. Then the men come around to the house to go in Baba’s room, and greet the women on the porch. The women in turn go to Mandali Hall for Darshan and to view the decora tions there. Tiny fairy lights twinkle everywhere as the mandali and residents gather and greet each other in His love. The women have their tea and specially prepared treats for breakfast in Baba’s dining room, singing Happy Birthday to their Beloved as they did in His presence. As 5:00 passes to 6:00, and 6:00 to 7:00, tea and breakfast fortify us all for the continuation of this day of glorification. The earth spins eastward and it is 5:00 in places west of us, where Baba lovers awake to shout His Jai and to begin their celebrating. Then a little later, a little further west, the lovers meet Him at 5:00 in their locales as well. And on and on, hour after hour, Baba’s lovers around the world rise up to greet their Lord Meher Baba and announce His birth in their hearts. Have a wonderful celebration!

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&trah ScIicdl, 7fr!eherabcid Curious and wondering, as Flint is well known for his entertaining diversions for the Mandali which are always a success, Katie entered her buggy and left the back side of Mandali Hall. She headed towards the green gates at the Meherazad entrance, and was half way there when she looked up and saw it! Coming down the road, jin gling temple bells with a very happy and kingly walk was Babu the elephant! Babu, 45 years old, had walked all the way from Gu jarat to visit our dear Katie! Words cannot describe the expression on Katie’s face as she watched this mammoth elephant approaching Meherazad! Michael McDonald was riding on top of the elephant, and singing ‘Happy Birthday, dear Katie,’ as the elephant ap proached the gates and stopped. Katie was so surprised, she didn’t Julie Lee Monis, the daneerhidden inside the birthday cake, dances für the civwd even recognize Mike on top of the elephant, a resident who has been living here for the past 23 years, and whom Typically a birthday celebration at Mehe she knows very well! razad is a circle gathering in Mandali Hall, The amazement was apparent on the around Beloved Baba’s chair. After alijoin in faces of all the Mandali and residents as singing Happy Birthday, the birthday person well, and an atmosphere mingled with joy, then gives out some small prasad to each one surprise, and delight continued in waves over after they bow down to Baba’s chair. the 15-20 people gathered around to join Thus, Katie lovingly handed each one in the celebration of Katie’s birthday. What their chocolate, her hands softly remi is more, Babu offered rides to each willing niscent of her dear sister Goher, and the person, two at a time. It was unbelievably atmosphere lively with anticipation of what would happen next. Katie knew something was up; she is an excellent detective, as you will see later in this article. Flint and Jessica Mednick then explained to Katie that something special was happening out back behind Mandali Hall for her, and she might want to go out back to see what it was. Katie, who still works seven days a week in Baba’s kitchen at the age of 86, giving all of her life wholeheart edly to Beloved Baba’s service, was much in need of a diversion from all the work. Next, we told her that we had invited a somewhat large and Sarah SchaiL whom Baba inspired to dieain up this wild hungry guest for lunch, but not to worry, celebration, sits with Katie andMike McDonald as ‘outside food’ had been arranged!

atie’s birthday often passes by with little notice, as it follows closely after Meher Baba’s birthday celebration, and heralds the coming of summer. This year, however, it was celebrated in a grand style, with several surprises for Katie creatively arranged by a few residents.

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cute when Babu got down on his knees, two legs extending forwards and two extending backwards, but he was still six feet high off the ground when kneeling!

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Babu raises his tnink andsings a musing Happy Biiihday!”

Without any ladder, the ageless residents nimbly climbed up the tail side of Babu, and went for rides down the Meherazad approach road. Riding on Babu was gentle and timeless, almost as if from another era, and so rhythmically smooth one could easily rock a baby to sleep while riding him. Meanwhile, between the passengers getting up and down, Katie and others fed Babu 40-50 lbs of carrots, one at a time, plus several lbs of rice served raw, and several buckets of water. Babu proved to be one of the most mainte nance free lunch guests Katie had fed in years! Several hours passed by in one long timeless moment, while all enjoyed the wonder of the elephant world. Babu had such a stately, kingly appearance and gentle nature, he reminded some of Dumbo from the Walt Disney movie. Obviously sent by Baba, Babu passed through Ahmednagar just during the few days surrounding Katie’s birthday, only to

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journey onwards again. He traveled with a team of 20 or so sadhus from a Jam temple in Gujarat. Two of these sadhus brought Babu to Meherazad and informed us that Babu will likely live to be about 1 40- 1 50 years old. One might imagine that elephants are readily available in India, and while this may be true, in more than a decade of living in Meherabad and commuting to Meherazad regularly, I have seen only one a long time ago. In fact, when the idea first came to do something unusual for Katie’s birthday, and an elephant was suggested, we searched all of Ahmednagar for more than a week, only to be told, constantly, ‘Madam, it is not possible!” or for a slight variation, ‘Madam, it is impossible!” Thus, the birthday planning team of Flint and Sarah, and joined by Kacy, Kristin, Jes sica, Julie, and Mike had their work cut out for them. When all hope for an elephant had vanished, Babu appeared on the Mehera bad/Meherazad road the eve before Katie’s birthday! So then scurried arrangements were made for Babu to visit Meherazad the following morning. Next on Katie’s birthday agenda was the biggest cake Katie had ever seen (or at least we imagined it was)! For those familiar with Katie’s cooking, and her now famous recipe book, Cooking With Katie nearly everyone knows that Katie’s cooking is some of the most delicious food you have ever eaten in your entire life. Her cooking is awesome, and therefore, making a cake for her is no task for the weak or fainthearted! To get around this minor difficulty, we 32

made a wire frame about two to three feet wide, and about three to four feet high, and surrounded the frame with colorful paper. Then we put crepe paper on top, with five-inch tall candles all around the rim, and put a dancer inside the cake. We then wheeled the cake on a trolley to Katie. Meanwhile, Katie went up to Mehera’s yeranda, where she and all the others gathered there, waiting with some anticipation for her huge cake to arrive. As soon as the cake came into view, all started singing joyfully Happy Birthday to Katie. Katie, however, did not miss a trick, and kept mentioning there must be someone in the cake. So, to mask her detective skills, we sang louder! Then, we sang the Gujerati birthday song in rapid succession, with Katie still wondering what might be inside the cake, and just as that ended, more music was started, and a dancer jumped out of the cake, and glided up onto Mehera’s verandah!

final round of Happy Birthday was sung, while many helped Katie to blow out all the candles in one united breath! Katie and Meheru then shared with us delightful stories of the ashram days, when Mehera, Katie, and Meheru all rode on top of an elephant together in a large parkland. An event which Meheru describes succinctly as ‘memorable, there was a pond in the middle of the park, and the elephant was running towards the pond. Katie was in the front position, imagining the elephant going for a swim, and being plunged into the water neck high. A frightening image, Katie was shouting to Mehera and Meheru seated behind her about the possible calami ties lying ahead of them, while they were attempting to enjoy the ride despite the possible outcome! Amidst much laughter, Katie and Meheru each told their version of the story! Later at teatime, Katie cut her cake on the men’s verandah, and shared with us all more delightful stories of her ashram days. Much to our surprise, Katie told us that Baba rarely embraced them, but each received an embrace from Him once a year, on their birthdays. Although many years have elapsed since the ashram days, the ashram glow remains forever alive in the hearts of His dear Mandali. Happy Happy Birthday dear Katie, and may He keep you forever young in the joy of His timeless Presence. ‘

Under Roda Mistry watchful eye, Katie starts feeding some ofthe 40 lbs ofcairots to Babu

Amidst Katie’s claims “I knew something was inside that cake. Oh My God!”—The dancer, Julie Lee Morris, did the most beautiful ballet to a Tukaram bhajan. Enchanted by the music, Katie was clapping and singing along, her eyes riveted on the graceful ballerina’s movements. Her face glowed with a most beautiful radiance as Baba shined through her, enjoying the love and fun of His lovers. Only later, when Katie asked who the singer was whom she had enjoyed singing along with during Julie’s performance, did she realize that we were playing her own CD, Singing for Baba, a delightful assortment of Katie’s songs ar ranged and produced by Billy Goodrum! The final act of Katie’s birthday party was a three layered pineapple coconut cake made by Flint and Jessica, with white frosting and covered with a myriad of flaming candles, surrounded by red rose petals on a large blue china plate. Carried from inside onto Mehera’s veranda by Kristin and Jessica, a

Thanks to the magic olI’/Iofos/ioJ) 111(1 fIle e\prIi(!unJ handofCheiie Plumlee. Aiiie was able to jith Babu forher86th Birthday—ifonlyon thepages ofthis magazine. Shegotsuch a kick out ofthisphoto we cieatedforhei; she allowed us to shaic it withyou all


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Ward 2arks, ..A4cIierabad 31st March 2006 ists; Bob, and later Pat, as reservationwallas; emony, the photo was garlanded, we all said ust over a quarter century ago, on 19th Alan, the cook; Gary, the accountant; Kisan the prayers, and the whole servant staff sang June 1980, the Meher Pilgrim Centre Kamble, foreman in the construction crew, the “aadi sachaytana” anti in Hindi. opened its doors to receive its initial batch and later, watchman; Babai Kamble, conIt was indeed a sweet occasion, filled of twenty-seven pilgrims. As one of the struction worker and maidservant; Saheba with the fragrant memories of a phase twenty-seven, I still remember us gathering Gahile, bazaarman; Hausabai and Tanibai, over which Baba seems even now to be outside the front iron gate, Padri delivering kitchen servants; Baban Kamble, mason drawing a curtain. This setting—this buildhis one-word welcome address “We! and watchman. ing—has meant so much to so many people; come!” our all reciting its stone floors and the Parvardigar Prayer, roman arches and and rushing inside to high roofs of woven stash our bags and ex bamboo have been plore the building. washed to and fro Heather Nadel wrote with the ebbs and about the occasion two flood tides of so weeks later: “From the many experiences .. first hour of occupancy, in the life He has [the Pilgrim Centre] given us of learning seemed as though it how to love. had always been full of But of course people. In fact, for all Baba Himself re the simplicity ofthe furmains, and Menishing, the huge buildherabad remains as ing felt quite homey, well. This coming and that homey feeling 15th June a new continues to pervade. pilgrim accommo Mohammed the Mast, dation facility—the on his voluntary visit Meher Pilgrim ReThe brilliant bougainvillea was one ofthe mostphotographedspots in the to the Pilgrim Centre treat—will open its wornen side ofthe Pilgrim Center this summer had casually doors, and much of remarked, after looking around the place, For forty-five minutes or an hour vanthe focus of pilgrim life will shift up the “Dadacha bungalow, which means ‘Baba’s ous ones among us shared reminiscences Hill to the west. House. And after all, where is one ever from that wonderful era, when Padni was And even the old Pilgrim Centre will more at home than with Him?” still tramping around the grounds, electric remain: for though the planning is still in Well, twenty-five pilgrim seasons have lights (instead of kerosene lanterns) were progress, in the future it is likely to become managed to slip by; and the countdown for a pilgrim facility of another type, serving this last one came to its final number on for pilgrim registration and various other 15th March, when the old Pilgrim Centre uses. served its last breakfast ofomelettes, french And so the age shifts and moves along. toast, idli sambar, and terminated operaIn the literature of pilgrimage it is often tions—at least at this site. said that, for us humans who are but pil Just at closing time, about 9:30 in the grims on this earth, the seasons come and morning, the remaining forty-some pil go: but God is changeless and abides eter grims and residents and staff gathered in nal. Sometimes it seems that the Samadhi the foyer in a semi-circle around a picture on Meherabad Hill, like a beacon, or like of Beloved Baba that originally Hermes had the hub of a wheel, is beyond the wash and given and Mehera and Mani had garlanded swirl of time. But that is only because of still something of a novelty, and the road at the time of the inauguration. Much of its connection with Him, the true and only in front—now a busy highway—was hardly the original gang was there: Jal, an early Timeless One, who beckons us onward in more than a track for bullock carts. vintage trustee; Ted, the building’s archi our journey and, at journey’s end, stands Finally, to close this little informal cer tect; Heather, one ofthe original receptionwaiting to welcome us Home.

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(Continuedfrom Page 19) By the time the movie was over, I felt Upasni became more real to me. I felt some of the beauty that was Upasni. 8 January. I went to the Retreat to work on some of the room numbers. I also brought my video camera. Just as I was walking up the ramp, I saw workers putting up the shutters Etzion had carved! Then I vid eoed brick posts being built for the children’s playground. In the courtyard ofthe women’s wing, pathways were filled with fine gravel. In the kitchen, beautiful stainless steel stoves had been delivered. In the Music Room, lots of matting and wooden frame material lay around for all the Baba pictures that are being matted and framed by Bob Frederick. Meanwhile, at Meherazad, a professional singer, Mitali Singh, sang in Mandali Hall for Baba. Everyone enjoyed her singing. In the afternoon there was a Happy Club for children, then in the evening, reading and discussion of God Speaks. 9 January. As usual the phones were ringing all day long. When we move to the Retreat, we will have someone whosejob it will be to answer the phones. Receptionists will have time to be with the pilgrims and attend to their needs. Bhau came at teatime and gave his talk. There is always music and reading from one ofBhau’s books before he talks. Angela limura sang a beautiful song. Her mother, Suzie, is a new receptionist. 10 January. I was at the Jhopdi by 7:30 AM to do the weekly cleaning with my two helpers. There were two pilgrims to help. It was very touching; how much it meant to them to clean His Jhopdi and Table House. I then met with someone who is taking inventory of everything in Meherabad for the Trust. It had been a very long time since last this was done. You can imagine how much there must be to record,just from the theatre and hospital and MPC and Hostels alone. Yet there are still other buildings with many items. It took quite a bit of time to count all the items in the MPC. We have storage cabinets and cupboards, with items like musical instruments, extra lamps, and old typewriters. I sure was glad I only had one area to help with. What a job! In the afternoon, the housekeeping su pervisor and three receptionists went to the Retreat to decide on a numbering system for all the utility rooms. Workers needed to number all the circuit breakers in the boxes, which meant we had to number the area each breaker went to. Because of the size of the place, there are quite a lot of little storage rooms. With a map of the Retreat,

it took us well over an hour to decide. We had to keep in mind the future four other wings, notjust the two that we have now, but of course there will be changes as the years pass and the other wings are built. Next, we walked all over the buildings, making sure we did not miss any areas. Lots of preparations for Amartithi to be seen. The bathrooms behind Mansari’s kitchen were closed for some kind of work. Most of the poles are up for the colorful pandals. The green mesh fencing is in place for the area where the chairs of the queue will be. In the evening a Mandali video was shown. 1 1 January. On duty at the MPC I had twelve arrivals and they all came in the morning. The power was turned off for a while, which happens every now and then. Sam and Roshan Kerawala shared some of their Baba stories at teatime. In the evening, receptionists met and discussed the Amartithi schedule. We will start cleaning the Retreat on Sunday 15th. We have to hire a group of women. Amartithi is only two weeks away and all the rooms in the two wings have to be cleaned. We decided the procedure for the arrivals at the Retreat, since we will have 100 on opening day, the 28th. Pilgrims will drop off luggage on the verandah and go into the Dining Hall to pay for their stay and get Amartithi badges. Next they will go into the Lobby to sign in. After that, they will go to the Reception Office for an orientation, if they need one. Finally, pilgrims will go pick up their linen kits. We will have a lot of volunteers to help Amartithi pilgrims. l2January. In the morning, I went to the room where Haidee Cooke is drawing the numbers on stones that will be inserted next to each Retreat room. She borders each one in her particular style ofart. Each stone will have a small heart the color of the room’s wing. The two wings now built are blue and green, named for colors in Baba’s flag. Later, I went up the hill for darshan and noticed a lot of garlands on Mansari’s shrine. I re membered this was the anniversary of her going to Baba. The Dhuni was lit at 5:45. l3January. I took my video camera to the Retreat to interview Dot Lesnik, who was the spearhead of the tile project. Dot wanted as many Baba lovers as possible to paint a tile, to represent His lovers from all over the world. Now that the tiles are finished, Dot is arranging how they will be put on the wall. She has beautiful dark blue tiles that will be the border. Dot and her daughter Rebecca did tiles that say “Welcome to my World.” In

this space they have “Dedicated to Beloved Meher Baba February 25, 2006,” so by His birthday the tile wall will be finished. In the afternoon, we had a birthday party in the MPC for Bhau. He turned 80 years old! l4January. In the morning, I was up the hill by 5:45 to clean Baba’s Cabin Room. I had cancelled the Historical Tour of Meherabad because I had to go to Pune on the bus. Michael Da Costa gave a concert in the theatre. Tea and cake was served on the theatre verandah. I heard it was very good. The weather has really changed. It was 80 degrees today. 15 January. Receptionists were at the Retreat to greet the cleaning women. There was a lot ofsupervision on the first day. After a few days they will know how the rooms are to be cleaned. We have entered the countdown of days until Amartithi. This time period has passed in a whirl of activity. I usually try to write as close to the date of entry as possible. Sometimes, I sit down to write and I have trouble remembering what took place two days ago! So full are our days, so complete in the immersion ofwhat is going on, that even yesterday can seem so long ago. Two weeks ago seems another time period. Since I write each Meherabad Diary after the dates passed, it is most often my calendar that keeps me in touch of what happened. Amartithi is without a doubt the busiest time of the year here. But, for us, we add .to that the opening of the Meher Pilgrim Retreat in June. One of the real benefits of having the pilgrims at the unfinished Retreat is the opportunity to see some main trouble spots. That way we can work on it before we open in June. For the pilgrims of course, it is a wonderful place to stay. 1 6 January. I was on duty at the Meher Pilgrim Center. My dog, Foundy, and I went to ‘work’. It is so busy at this time. We have two phones, and they ring constantly. When we move to the Retreat, we will have someone else taking all the phone calls, but we Receptionists are it for now. At teatime we had such a treat. Bhau comes most Mondays to give a talk. This time he turned up in an Arab headdress! He looked so cute. Max, a dear young Baba lover who is traveling in the Middle East to improve his Arabic, bought the headdresses.

They both had them on. Bhau wore his all through his talk. In the evening at 6:30 we had a Recep tionist meeting. We had to set our schedule for who would be at the Retreat on what day.

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We have to clean the whole place, all rooms and buildings for Amartithi. We had to decide how many women to hire. Though we supervise the women, we also do a lot of the work ourselves. 1 7 January. My helpers and I were at the Jhopdi by 7:30 am to clean both the Jhopdi and Table House. Then, I rode my scooter into Ahmednagar. I had to buy some clear plastic to put on the floor in Baba’s Cabin Room during Amartithi. Both the metal and wooden cabinets from the Samadhi area are moved there and the floor was getting scratched. The plastic should protect it from further scratching. Part of the road to the Trust has been repaved, and it is so smooth to ride on. The road has also been widened and there is room for two lanes each way. When I got to the Trust I stopped to say hi to Bhau before doing the shopping. At Meherabad, poles are being put in so many places for use during Amartithi. The poles for the large tent are being put up by Hostel-D. And poles were also up at the entrance of Hostel-B door to give privacy. I had 6:00 pm Samadhi duty. On my way up the hill there was an invasion of little gnats! There must have been zillions of them. The whole area of the hill was covered with them. It was near dusk. I guess that is their time to invade. What was worst was the wind was blowing. When I would walk into an especially awful area, I would try to turn my head as the wind blew the gnats all over me. My clothes were covered. Unfortunately for me, I had lipstick on. Yes, that is right. The horrible gnats would get stuck to my lips! Thank God the gnats were not at the top of the hill. I was able to shake off the ones that got stuck to my clothes. But, I had to try to pick the gnats off my lips. I must admit, it was really weird. But later, looking back, it was funny. Before going on duty, I stopped at the toilet behind Mansari’s kitchen. The work was finished. One of the stalls now has a Western toilet. All doors have been oiled, and all stalls have been painted. Nice signs inside the doors say to be sure to flush with a bucket. In the evening, a Mandali video was shown in the MPC Dining Hall. 18 January. I was on duty at the MPC. I could not find Foundy in time to take him with me to the MPC. Another very busy day, but fun too. The sheets to sign up for Samadhi duty and Baba’s Cabin Room duty were put up

38

on the board next to the Dining Hall. Debbie Nordeen, who lived here several years ago with her husband Peter, comes almost every year to help out. Debbie had worked as a Receptionist in the MPC, so she always helps us when she is here. If we need her, she will fill in when she is able to. So, she was refreshing herself this morning on our procedures. Paul Morris came by to take one of our pay phones to the Retreat to test the phone lines. Paul is installing all the phone lines in the Retreat with the help of Frank Parker. At 11:30 amJal and Dolly Dastoor took all the children who were here on pilgrimage to Arangaon Village to give out cookies. That is the village next to Meherabad, where most of our workers live. The parents were not invited to go along, only the children. Of course, that made it even more special for the children. It was so cute! In the afternoon at teatime, Sam Ker awala come to the MPC Dining Hall and shared some of his many stories of Beloved Baba. 19 January. I stopped by to see if Deb bie needed any help. Nope, she was doing just fine. She is such a pleasant person to have around. She is always so cheerful and willing to help. 20 January. It was my turn to supervise at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. The women started cleaning a few days ago. First thing they do when they start work each day is take out 20 mattresses and 20 pillows and put them on the parapet, beat them and leave them to get sun. These mattresses and pillows have been stored for months. Before lunch they turn the mattress over, beat them again and leave the other side in the sun. Before they go home they take those 20 mattresses and pillows to rooms that are already cleaned and put them on beds. Two women pilgrims were also at the Retreat helping, Debbie Nordeen and Jeannie Felknor. By the end of the day we were all so tired. At the MPC during teatime, Bhau came to give a talk in the Dining Hall. Then in the evening at 9:00 pm a Baba movie was shown. 21 January. I was up nice and early at Beloved Baba’s Cabin Room to clean. At 9:00 am I went to our store where the workers gather for their daily assignments. I asked for help moving some tables and chairs to the Retreat. They will be used on the courtyard. Then at 10:00 am, I went to the MPC to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad.

It was all children and three of the parents. So, of course I tailored the Tour for the children. We only did lower Meherabad. I was amazed even the little children lasted that long. In the afternoon at 4:00 pm, tea and cake were served on the theatre verandah. Then at 4:30 pm Carol Gunn gave a musi cal concert. Carol is a wonderful pianist and singer. 22 January. I went up to the Retreat around 10:30 am with my video camera to do some update on the art projects. To my surprise, the Dining Hall was full of rows of chairs. In front of the far end wall was a table with Beloved Baba’s photo. Definitely, something was about to happen. I had heard about something to take place at the Retreat, but it was not announced or any notices posted so I did not follow it up. I was happy to see I was there before the event, not after! I saw some people and inquired what was going on? Mr. Joshi, the construction contractor, whom the Trust hired to build the building, was giving a program to say thanks to all his workers. His work was finished. The workers spent four years building a beautiful building with great care and pride. Mr. Joshi wanted to show his appreciation. Tea was served on the side shelf by the sinks. The hall was full by 11:00 when the program began. Baba’s photo was garlanded. The Ahmednagar Baba Center singers sang bhajans for about half an hour, sitting on carpets on the floor in front of all the chairs. Mr. Joshi and Ted gave each worker who was called up front a plaque with the Retreat photo on it. It was very touching. What brought tears to my eyes was when Ted spoke. He spoke from his heart. At one point, he had to stop to compose himself. Ted told how he had never worked with such a group ofdedicated workers. He said, though mistakes were made by all, includ ing himseW he never experienced any strife, never once. When the program was over, Alan served a lunch. This was the first time Alan used his new kitchen equipment, which is top class. I am so glad I got it all on video. Again, all these videos will one day be available from the Los Angeles Meher Baba Center. 23 January. I was on duty at the MPC by 9:00 am. I found some strong men and asked them to help. I had to move some desks and chairs to the front verandah.

(Continued on Page 59)


:J21acing Quo .2rtand on a Cloud: l1ceting the &thcb-e-2nmcin By 7<1ta!ed Al7aqiIi fr1/ were very honored and happy to have Khaled as our guest speaker for our AmartIthi celebrations. He has some wonderful stories to tell. Here follows a briefoutline ofhis life with Baba.

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hen I was growing up in a small mountain village in Lebanon, my mother told me that our faith, the Druze, longed for a wondrous Being: the Saheb-e-Zaman. “How would we know Him?” I asked her one day. She replied, “It is written that our prophet said that placing one’s hand on His shoulder would be as placing one’s hand on a cloud” In 1945, my father Asad, a career diplomat in the service of the King of Saudi Arabia, established that nation’s first embassy in Washington. Our fam ily came to live there, down the street from the Duces, an executive of the ArabianAmerican Oil Company and his wife, Ivy Oneita Duce, who became Aunt Ivy. In 1958, when I was 16, I had the good fortune to move in with my sister Selma and her husband, Aneece Hassen, in Sulfur, a little town in south central Oklahoma. Selma and my older sister Aida had just returned from a place called Myrtle Beach. I heard Aunt Ivy’s name again, and a new name; Meher Baba. Selma told me that Aida had told Meher Baba a “shaggy dog” joke one day in the Barn. Baba had liked thejoke a lot. While I was attending the University of Oklahoma, Aunt Ivy visited and became my Murshida. Soon thereafter she invited me to continue my studies in California. She became a familiar and trusted friend, who tried to get me grounded and connected to life, to “wake up” rather than “gripe” (I called it “commenting”). Then, in the fall of 1962, Murshida sud denly said, “Write your father, dear. We are going to India to see God!” True hospitality from the Ancient One. On the first day of the East-West Gathering, Baba had arranged to greet his female

home as if Meher Baba was saying, “Eruch! Pay attention! This is Khaled, the commentator! I have been waiting for him. I love him! Tell him to sit and be comfortable!” : There was also something about that embrace. I couldn’t think about it right away; too much was happening too fast. But eventually it came back to me: I had placed my hands on a pink cloud. I remembered my mother’s story about the Druze savior. The Sahib-e-Zaman, :. the Ancient One, was Meher Baba. Career counseling from God. Extraordinary days followed. In fact, at first, I kept looking around for the source of the light that bathed Baba. I thought it might be a spotlight. There were two afternoons of rain. You may have heard how all the Westem women were taken back into the mansion and dressed in makeshift Indian outfits. The second time it rained, Baba’s fingers flickered like falling rain and He said, “God’s Grace falling. All your sanskaras in this life (up to this moment) will be wiped out.” Two thoughts came to me. One: get wet, boy! Two: Darn! IfI had only known, I sure could have had a lot of fun in Berkeley! Previously Murshida Duce had often looked at me with an arched eyebrow and an amused expression and said, “You can eas ily sit there and watch life go by dear, can’t you?” Murshida was, of course, totally aware of my inherent love of relaxing and taking it all in. Hence, Murshida asked Baba if He would counsel three of her students about their life’s work. He agreed to meet with us late one morning. We sat in an arc around Baba’s feet, I to his right. Murshida was given a chair behind us, facing Baba. Murshida said, “Baba, I have these three boys who do not know what work to do in this lifetime.” Baba looked at me quizzically. “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know,” I said. “Pick something,” Baba said. “Medicine?” I answered, as a question or

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lovers in the morning and the men folk in the afternoon. We men stood in line up the stairs of the porch and into the hail at Guruprasad. I began to get really nervous. I leaned out of the line and saw a white sadra and a pink shoulder. I leaned a little further, and then suddenly Baba leaned way over to His left and smiled at me! My reaction was to jerk back into the line! He had caught me peeking! It was as if my hands had turned into giant basketball-sized mitts and embodied every aspect of self-consciousness and awkwardness. Every doubt and negative thought about being with Baba came to the forefront of my consciousness. I was ready to flee when suddenly I was at the head of the line. I stepped up and leaned over to embrace Baba. He gave me a warm hug and ges tured back at Eruch, who was momentarily distracted by one of the staff. With His palm up, Baba was gesturing towards some cane-back chairs. Eruch, who caught every intonation of Baba’s, said, Please sit down and be comfortable. My confusion and self-consciousness dissolved. When He looked back at Eruch, and, looking at me, motioned towards the chairs, I felt the full meaning and awareness of being welcomed “

39


a guess. “Okay!” Baba said, much to my confusion, “Be a doctor!” Then He turned and had similar conversations with my two companions. Afterwards Baba looked at me again. He pointed at His eyes with two of His long elegant fingers F!; ed therii and th.

ian, “Baba knew that my mother always wanted me to be a doctor. I am not interested in medicine! He must have told me to do it because He did not want to upset my parents.” Charmian grabbed me by the arm and said, “Let’s go ask Him!” Stunned, I wavered, “No, no, Baba said we had to go home now. Wait! I’ll do it. No, IS uui you! let’s not!” I was vaguely aware My pleas fell on deaf that He turned and re ears, and I seemed totally peated the gesture to my helpless in her firm grip. companions. I was overOur last morning meeting whelmed. When Baba with Baba was over. He had pointed to His eyes, had said His farewells and it seemed my whole betold us to go home, taking ing followed the gesture. Him with us. Charmy and I felt as if I would fall I approached Baba, who and tumble eternally into was talking to one of His those lovely eyes. “sahavas wallas.” While Entertaining the Lord we were waiting for Baba of”Disturbed Universes.” to finish His conversation After Baba had given us with His worker, I kept our career guidance, I de trying to get Charmian to cided that we should put change her mind. on a skit for Him. My co “Just shut up, dear, and conspirators were Jimmy look at Him” she proph ‘Doctor “Khaled takes the A vatarpu1se during the examination (Brynar) Mehl, Diane Cobb, esied, “You may not get anwhom we all called 3B (Meher Baba had I diagnosed an enlarged heart! I looked in other chance.” once referred to her as Baba’s Beloved Baby), His ear and told him I saw many disturbed Baba looked over the man’s shoulder at and Murshida’s daughter Charmian, who Universes. Baba looked at me like, “You don’t us in an apparent frown. When he finished became MC. know how many!” His answer to the worker, He motioned us As part of the program, in keeping with Then I said, “Okay, open your mouth and closer and asked what was up. the career advice I had received, I presented say OMMM!” “Baba dear,” said Charmian, still claspmyselfas a new graduate ofthe “Seven Hour Baba shook a finger back and forth and ing the now mortified commentator by Medical School” and offered a free exam to gestured, “No. First I will sleep for five hunthe hand, “Khaled was worried that you Meher Baba, my first patient. I borrowed a dred years, then I will say 0MM!” may have told him to be a doctor because stethoscope, reflex hammer and one of Dr. At that point, I gave Him a prescription his mother wished him to be one and not Donkin’s black bags. made up of all the foods that Baba had ever because you did.” Right off, I have to say that Meher Baba said He did not digest well: Grapes, walnuts, “No, no, I wish you to be a doctor. I wish was the world’s best and most friendly you name it, were in the mix, which He was it. Will you do it?” said Baba. audience. He loved to laugh and was very to place in a blender and take a spoonful, “Yes Baba.” sensitive to my stage nerves. At one point my three times a day. “Good, now go,” he gestured, literally internal critic got going: “What am I doing? As I walked out of the hall, Baba called shooing us out with His hands. This is not funny!” Holes were burning in out, “Doctor, oh doctor. Don’t worry, I will Like most of those attending the Gath the back of my neck. Baba looked over my take this prescription three time a day if it ering, I never saw Him again. Yet I knew right shoulder, frowned and quickly shook doesn’t put Me to sleep!” forever that I had received the glance, the his finger “No!” Then He reached His Confirmation for the commentator. touch, the embrace, the advice and the hands forward to pinch my cheeks gently As this miraculous visit drew to a close, I laugh of the Saheb-e-Zaman. And thanks and pursed His lips in a kiss. As I leaned was still in doubt about my future. It had to Charmian, I had also had one last look forward to embrace him, I nearly lost my been decided so quickly. Baba did not give at His radiant face. balance and almost wound up in Baba’s lap. me a chance to express any of my carefully Ironic, I thought, if Baba’s third serious ac thought-out complications to every pos cident were to happen when a guy He told sible career. to be a dOctor crushed Him. I complained to my confidante, Charm-

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does one live with the Beloved while co-existing with an ever-pres ent, annoying yet resilient Ego? It helps to laugh. Based on the writings of English

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his 49 page booklet written by Kenneth Lux advances the thesis that Meher Baba has not yet broken His silence. Furthermore, it proposes that we actually have an intriguing way of possibly knowing the year that that will happen.

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greatest weakness in the eyes of the author, as well as others who hold the suddenist position, is that the world does not at all appear to be improving, but rather seems to be more ominously threatening and destruc tive all the time, just as Baba said it would before he broke His silence. Despite this, the greatest strength of the gradualist position is that until Baba does break His silence, no argument against it can be conclusive—only the breaking of the silence can do that. But when will that happen? Do we have any idea of a year or a small range of years when that great transformative event will oc cur? This booklet proposes that we may just have that knowledge in a totally unexpected and unique way in which Baba has given us that information. Although you will have to read this booklet to find out, a clue is that when Baba was expected to break His silence in that paradigmatic event in the Hollywood Bowl, instead of breaking His silence He went to China. Isn’t it interesting how China is more and more in the news today? $5

49 ems &rngs andjktzals in the Celtic 7radition -

Baba lover Michael Da Costa, this DVD of a live dramatic presentation performed at the Sufi Center in Walnut Creek brims with the humor of self-recognition. Accompanied by a troupe of singers and musicians, the Consortium of the Arts Players take us through the many self-deceptions and distractions of I, my, me and mine. A Garland of Egos offers a delightful perspective on a daunting plight: Meher Baba will accept our woven strands of sanskaras as a fragrant bouquet of adornment—but will the Ego let us make the gift? A delightful performance, at times poignant & other times hilarious, this DVD will be a great conversation starter at your home when you have guests—Baba lovers or otherwise. One hour $20

When the false ego is effaced:God manifests and plurality is merged in Unity forever. Meher Baba

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There are many in the Baba world who believe that He has already broken His si lence, and have various theories ofwhen that was. Since Baba empathically said that when he broke His silence, the purpose of His coming again on earth would be fulfilled, which would be to solve all of the seemingly overwhelming world problems, to make the further spiritual advance of humanity “safe and steady, and to bring in a “New Humanity,” those who believe that He has already broken His silence must expect and to be able to see that the world is slowly getting better in the senses just described. For this reason, those who hold to this position are referred to as gradualists. The other position, that Baba has not yet broken His silence is referred to as the suddenist position. This booklet presents and examines the strengths and weaknesses of the gradualist position. Its

aine Eastman Gannet has gathered many of her sweetest and most loved songs into thejust released CD, Gems. This collection is truly the culmination of 37 years of writing and singing songs for Baba. It

includes songs from the days with Francis Brabazon (there is both a traditional rendering of OMan and another version by Robert Rouse, that is infused with gospel and blues)

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and songs from Raine’s own heart written for her Beloved. She has gathered many of your favorites from her extensive collection of CDs and added them here: House in the Rain, Melt Me, The Blacksmith Song, and the always popular The Dawn Light which Francis set to DannyBoy, originally known as LondonderryAli Raine has branched into traditional Indian music, embraced gospel, sings a mean blues, and can melt you with some of the most romantic Baba songs ever written for Him. She brings all these talents and traditions into her music, shifting moods and genres from intense longing to joyous praises. She also searched for songs that do not specifically mention the word Baba, but they are all songs we know as being written to the Beloved. One of the reasons for her doing this, was not only to make it a very successful commercial release, but so you can give it as a gift to your friends and relatives who aren’t yet Baba lovers, knowing that love for the Avatar is drenched in every song. Sneaky, huh? This is a CD you will listen to over and over, Gems is a sparkler. $14

3 .veU Dn JjjSt. .r Sing :.Rainc

9crnett, California

Raine writes of the process in volT/ed in making thisnew CDofl4 Ghazals byFrancis Brabazon. hen making a few tracks for Sam Saunders’ soon to be released CD of Ghazals by Francis with a selection of singers and their melodies, I did three and then four and then kept going until I had done 13 Ghazals, forming IDwellIn Dust and Sing.

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ing variety of artistic ideas to which to tune Francis’ remarkable Ghazals. They were taken from his books In Dust I Sing and TheBelovedlsAl/inAlL * Upon speaking to Sam he did not seem to mind that in a day I too had finished a CD of Ghazals. Actually when I thought about it, although I perform them all over the world, I realized to my sur prise I only had two recordings of my mentor and friend’s Ghazals, and they are tucked at the end of an earlier CD An Evening W.th Francis Brabazon. His Beloved Baba had encouraged him over a period of 1 2 years to try to write and perfect the English language ghazals.So now Rainy Day Productions has pressed a new CD of 14 Ghazals; I say 14 as I took a track from my long time in the making project—Blues and Gospel Ghazals CD, Surrenderance, as I do not like the number 13 (hey, I’m an Irish/French Aus sie.) So I added Time Was, which is one of the Ghazals from The Beloved is All In All These Ghazals keep unfolding for me, and even after singing some of them for 30 years they still reveal new truths to me each time I sing them. I hope that Baba allows Francis’ words to do the same for you and that you enjoy them too. The melodies by my composer friends above are really great. My six tunes I am sure you have heard me do many times before and if not, here they are on this new CD available at Love Street Bookstore $14 -

*

Only the latter is still available through the Love Street Bookstore.

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Once we had listened to it, it seemed unique in that the six melodies of mine, five of Sam’s, two from Heather Nadel and one from Robert Welsh made an interest42

Iourney to God is an emotional and spiritual story of the Khilnani family from Mumbai. Their close association with Meher Baba continues today with the next generation. Circa 1935 in Dadu (South of Karachi, colonial India) Nine-year-old Girja Karamchandani, daughter of a doctor in the British military, wrote a letter to God in Heaven wanting to see Him in human form. In 1948, she married Assistant Sessions Judge Prem Khilnani in Poona. One evening, Prem, al ready in search of truth and meaning of life,

wandered into the gardens of Guruprasad in 1958 to meet Avatar Meher Baba. Reluctantly, Girja agreed to meet Meher Baba but refused to consider Him as God—until He reminded her of the letter she wrote to him in 1935. Over the years, Meher Baba replied with 73 letters and telegrams. Girja Khilnani took one step forward to meet God and He took several steps to bring her close to His daman. Excerpts from the book: Dont Fight Wehadbecome so dose to Baba that anytime we had any differences or disagreements we

rushed to involve Baba by writingletters. He

resolved the problems according to His wishes, andHis dictates were obeyed by us. Sometimes we used to have private meetings with Him

in Mandali Hall at MeherazacL Baba used to request all others in the room to lea ye, so we couldsort outourpersonalproblems. Iremember a time when Frem hadscoldedme for spending three rupees on talcum powder I never used anyothermake-up,just the powder That day when we went to Baba I decided to complain

once again. I was now quite frank with Baba and complained regularly about my domestic strife. When I went, Baba asked me, How do you look so beautiful? What make-up do you

use?/” That Trickster! Sometimes we usedto bickerin front ofBaba. Once, Prem and Ifought in front ofBaba in Meherazaddespite Babarequest to calla truce. UltimatelyBaba said verysadly 7am theLord ofthe Universe. Icontrol everything Butlcan

notcontrol the two ofyouhghting “Needless to say, the Lord. words were loaded with meaning 114’ realized howpetty we were in front

of God 1’ stopped immediately without any rancor It worked beautifully. Baba eventually saio ‘ifhe (.‘Frem) causes her (Girja) to suffei

I will break his head!”


DontBe Late Duringourstayin NagarBaba usedto call Ifs to Meherazaci Many a time we used to ar rive late. He wouldsay, ‘Don miss or lose the timelgiveyou with Me bybeinglate. You will repent one day. You don know how fortunate you are to be able to spend time with Me and be in My Presence. So be on time whenever I callyou. During one ofthe visits we were late as usual And Baba said to everyone present 117 the Ha11 lfPrem has not come, nobody has come. ‘Baba waited for Prem to come and then started theprogram at the Mandali Hall. fr wouldnot have known this but one of the Mandali members told us about it. Such was Babalovefor ourfamily. I was almostin tears when Iheard thls

Don Touch My Feet After l96 Baba spentmostofHis time in Sedusion atMeherazac! WheneverHe came out ofSedusion He would call us. Once He really looked tired after a prolonged universal work He toldPrem, ‘iwasbusy with universal work andneededto workin differenthigherplanes of consciousness. In order to retain contact with the gross bodysimultaneously Ineededto constantly poundmy thighs hard Hence My thighs have become hardlike stone. Baba then asked Prem to touch only His thzghsandfeelhowhardtheyhadbecome. Prem didashe was told While at it, he thought why not bend and touch Baba feet also! He did not want to lose this perfect opportunity to be blessed But Baba turned serious and im mediately reprimanded Prem for touching His feet. He was angry too, and tickedhim off saying “This is complete disobedience and a wrong thing to do. Oneshoulddo exactly what the Master says and never exceed the limits.” Prem was nervous and immediately asked for a pardon for his mistake. Baba eventually forgave him. WhydidBaba notallowPrem to touch His feet? Baba was veryparticular about anyone touching His feet. It was allowed only sometimes. Hepreferred to embrace us and we were to reciorocate thegesture. When one touches the feet ofa Perfect Master or God-realized person we dump the load of our sanskaras (debts ofprevious lives). It is the ultimate decision (with knowledge) of the Master whether to take the particular load of that person. Baba did not elaborate on that particular occasion but has referred to it elsewhere. Jam only cit ing mypersonal opinion trying to understand with myllinitedintellience thegravity of the incident.

Hard bound $12

24 <nbir and .ther Stories, bj. Sam 2<crawa1ti iReviewed by JI/Iehcra Arjani and 3oe 13ender Mehera: am Kerawala is the maternal cousin of Eruch Jessawala. While Eruch was still in our midst, a western Baba lover suggested to Sam that he translate the words of the Perfect Master Kabir from Hindi into Eng lish and that he would then publish it. Sam accepted the work, but to his utter surprise when he sat down to do thejob he could not write a single word. In sheer desperation he begged his Beloved Lord Meher Baba to help him, as he had already made a com mitment to the project. The Lord heard his prayers and the work began smoothly and without any further hitches, confirming Sam’s feeling that his Beloved is the only true karma yogi, doing everything Himself. He then gently steps out of the picture and gives credit to His creature. This book by Sam is a loving offering at his Beloved’s Lotus Feet.

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taping these wonderful stories so I could take them home with me. This was also the start of a wonderful friendship. The man was Sam Kerawala. When I came back to India in Septem ber 2005 I found Sam had not only put 61

of his stories in a book, but had also done a translation of some of Kabir’s poetry. I think I can safely say that what Coleman Barks did for Rumi and Danny Ladinsky did for Hafiz, Sam Kerawala has now done for Kabir. Sam will be the first to tell you that he was nothing more than the instrument

for his Beloved Meher Baba to do the real work. I don’t read Hindi so I can’t comment on the accuracy of the translation but Sam has told me that it is a free translation not

a literal one, meaning the spirit of Kabir’s words are what was most important. All

I can say is thank you Sam and thank you Baba for this wonderful little book. It has found a permanent home on my nightstand, feeding me with great pearls ofwisdom from

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across the ages. It is an amazing resource of tips for treading the spiritual path. For all of you who know or have heard Sam it will be like sitting in India listening to this Sufi storyteller once again. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure you are in for a truly

wonderful surprise. “Kabir! The one purpose ofus being here (in this world) is to constantly remember our Beloved; I searched high and low and found no other purpose; all else is merely a source of worry.”

Paperback, 182 pages $12

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other‘Ni:Stones Sam Kerawala

God is Infinite Naacl. Kabir calls it Anhad Naacl or Infinite Voice. In each subtle and mental plane, there are sev tunes Thus there are fortythree ies forty-two in the six anj one ofGod’sTune. Even thsnd most exquisite true voice of the gross plane is only the seventh shadow of that voice which is Gods, and which Christ, Zarathustra 4I Kabir have called the Word of The voice ;Wthebest singer, h ch makes the rain falls lights play and people weep, is only the seventh shadow of that voice which is Gods ...

J oe Bender: I can remember my first trip to India as though it were yesterday. In particular I remember sitting next to a man at evening Arti who was the best storyteller I had ever heard. Not only was he a great storyteller he was telling stories of the heart—Sufi

teaching stories. Night after night I would

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sit next to him with my little tape recorder --

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th Life of Phy11is Ott !:Review l)!I

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meeting Phyllis Ott and visiting her art studio some years ago, she immediately became one of my favorite painters and storytellers. So it was with great interest that I read her recently published spiritual biography, Love Bade Me Welcome: the Life ofPhyllis Ott, co-written by Phyllis Ott and Barbara Scott and published by Behier Publications. There was never a letdown as I made my way through this page-turner of a book. As the book reveals, Phyllis is an individual whose life and times have intertwined to make a unique, edifying story of a liberated woman, spiritual wayfarer, and mystical painter. Her journey was to Love in the person of Meher Baba, and He bade her unconditional welcome, just as Love bids the poet in George Herbert’s poem by the same title. In writing, two heads are not always better than one, but in the case of this book the close collaboration between Phyllis and co author Barbara Scott, the author of Golden Threadand With It, is definitely a plus. Love Bade Me frlcome has both the subjective feel of autobiography and the objective feel of third-person biography. The book covers the significant events of Phyllis’ entire life thus far, from her birth in Chelsea, Massa chusetts, on April 5, 1926, to her present life at Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It becomes clear from the first chapter of the book that of the many people who have contributed to shaping Phyllis’ character and personality, her parents were certainly two of the most influential. Her father was a wounded World War I hero, and her mother was an ambitious but socially suppressed homemaker and volunteer public servant. Her mother especially, encouraged Phyllis and her sisters Beatrice and Lorraine to excel in their education and in the arts. As Phyllis grew up and furthered her education at the Boston Art Museum and then at Harvard, she came into contact with a number of noted artists and intellectuals of the day, including Walter Feldman, Norman Mailer, Frank Mechau, Walter Gropius, Philip Franck, IA. Richards, and W.V. Quine. As the book points out, Phyllis was

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“Dick 2lolmes, SoiitIi Carolina

among the first class of Radcliff women to become fully integrated into Harvard. This historic change in women’s status at one of the world’s leading universities reflects an important theme developed throughout the book: Phyllis’ personal drive to be accepted as an equal in a male-dominated society. In a section toward the end of the book entitled

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“Feminist Spirituality,” Phyllis and Barbara write of the resolution regarding the issue of feminism Phyllis has found through her contact with Meher Baba and his disciples, especially Mehera Irani: “Phyllis believes that all ismsare dividers and isolate groups, creating polarities. That the new age of intuition that Meher Baba inaugurated is not expressed by feminism, but in the liberation of the feminine in all humanity. Through aspiring to love God it is possible for all to transcend gender.” LoveBadeMe frlcomechronicles Phyllis’ relationships with several human beloveds along her way to finding her Divine Beloved. Especially interesting is her account ofher tempestuous but fruitful, long-lasting relationship with the late Lyn Ott—her partner in love, marriage, family raising,

art, and spiritual growth. The relationship between these two passionate artists could be made into a book in itself. Though their life together was extremely challenging in a number ofways, the hand ofMeher Baba in directing their life was abundantly evident. Through good times and hard times, Phyllis and Lyn grew in a way that led them both to Baba’s feet, and to real meaning and purpose in their lives thereafter. Phyllis and Lyn met each other during their years in Woodstock, New York, which in the 50s and 60s was the locus of a thriv ing bohemian artists’ colony. The impetus behind Phyllis’ move to Woodstock had been the failure of her first marriage to a man absorbed in achieving worldly suc cess. Disillusioned with playing the role of subservient wife to such a man, Phyllis decided to redirect her focus to her first love, painting. Soon she became a student of Hans Hoffman, a master artist and teacher seminally involved in an exciting new movement in American art: abstract ex pressionism. From Hoffman, she gained an understanding of art and painting that has continued to inform her work throughout her career. Hoffman characterized painting as a dynamic interaction between “push and pull” forces surfacing on the canvas. Phyllis’ life story might be characterized similarly, as a dynamic interaction between the push and pull of pursuing a life in the mayavic world and establishing a life of the spirit. Her attempt to embrace a worldly lifestyle with her first husband, for example, led, by way of contrast, to her realization that such a life could not satisfy her longing for independence and freedom. In October 1949, interestingly around the time that Meher Baba entered His New Life phase, Phyllis underwent her own radi cal change of lifestyle, choosing a new life of poverty, renunciation, and meaningful art over a materialistic life. Phyllis’ bohemian life revolving around Woodstock, Manhat tan, and Mexico during the 50s and early 60s was exhilarating but also devastating in many respects. About her life with Lyn, who was going blind with retinitis pigmentosa, and their family of four children, Phyl


us writes, “Our household was becoming increasingly so deranged and impoverished after our return from Mexico that by the following October, 1962, I was approaching people asking if they knew anything about God. I actually had come to sense that only within God would be some sanity and hope for us. Once Phyllis began her desperate search for God, it wasn’t long before she found Him. And once she found Him, it wasn’t long before she flew to Meherazad, India, to be with Him in person. Phyllis’ meetings with Meher Baba in 1964 and with Lyn in 1965 comprise the climax ofthe book, as they do ofher life. Her account of her conversation with Baba and the thoughts and feelings passing through her as she conversed with Him is a pure joy to read, offering a unique insight into how the Master works to bring a lover closer and closer to Him. In Meher Baba, Phyllis could finally embrace the Love of her life, the God-Man within, the One Who offers authentic freedom from self and the passing loves of the dualistic world. As I read through this important part of the book, I felt I was right there with Phyllis at the feet of the Avatar. After Darshan with Meher Baba, what to do with one’s life? The answer for Phyllis was to live a life ofservice. At Baba’s invita tion, Phyllis and family moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and built a house on the property of Meher Spiritual Center, Baba’s home in the West, where Phyllis is still living. There, in addition to her painting work devoted to the mystical expression of the God-Man, she took care ofLyn and her family, became a social worker, and served as Sheriar Gatekeeper at the Center. From Elizabeth Patterson, the distinguished person Baba put in charge ofthe Center, Phyllis learned the art of serving visitors who came to the Center to learn about Meher Baba and experience His glow. Phyllis’ reminiscences of her tutelage under Elizabeth make up an especially edifying—and often humorous—part of the book. Phyllis learned her lessons from Elizabeth well, and by the late 60s, as the first big wave of young seekers began to flock to the Center, she got plenty of opportunity to put those lessons into action. A quote from Barbara’s firsthand account of Phyllis and Lyn’s role during that exciting time at the Center: “The Otts were, for many of these young seekers, the most logical connector to understanding who Meher Baba was. They had recently been with him, as distinct from the older women, who had not seen Baba in person since 1962 “

at the East West Gathering. Phyllis and then Lyn had gone to see Him, driven by a passion to know more, as we wanted now to find out more. And, importantly, they were younger, not contemporaries by age but our peers by their bohemian credentials.” My own experience of getting to know Phyllis has been much more recent than Barbara’s,

but I heartily second her take that Phyllis is a warm, generous light at the Center, ever ready to share her love of Meher Baba and the glow of her extraordinary experience with Him. The last chapter of the book presents several wonderful ghazals Phyllis has written, most of them under the Hebrew name her parents gave her at birth, Fruma, which means, appropriately, “one who is religious.” In writing these poems, Phyllis acknowl edges the influence ofMeher Baba’s favorite poet, Hafiz, the great 14th century Persian spiritual master. These secrets of my heart are revealed in simple new verses. Hafiz is a spiritual giant, and I do not claim to know the meaning of his verses, but like a child who learns the parent’s language, I am using the language of Hafiz to express my experience.” And Phyllis uses that language adeptly, revealing that she is an artist who can create with words as well as paints. The last two verses of “Aspirate My Name,” for example: Spiraling double helLv oflady seeker and Lord Soul/ 1’Jb are lovely diversin sun -drenched ocean deep. / Soul whispers the secret to seeker of loves’ game./ When Fruma dies, withlastbreath dying, aspirate My Name. The humorous, down-to-earth quality of Phyllis’ character shines through in the last .

three verses of “Baba’s Working on Sunday,” a poem in which she reflects on the grim news of the day (July 1, 1990): This morning Meher fedme fourpieces of French toast with sugarsyrup, / So that Irested contented while my blood sugar rose and sang the French national anthem. / The news made me want to fast. lopened the Koran to Chapter 47 l/rse thatsays Godismanagingyourlife, every detail. / So yourjob, Fruma, is don worry and cheer up.” In an afterward on the last page of the book, Phyllis expresses her gratitude for the spiritual meaning she found in Meher Baba, a meaning that required her to “struggle beyond the ordinary to find and love the spiritual master of the age, Meher Baba, and to enshrine Him in her heart as the Self within.” Now with the publication of this unique spiritual biography, the whole compelling story of Phyllis’ search and find is available as an inspiration to fellow Baba lovers and to the spiritually inclined in general. Among Baba lovers, a topic of conversation that often comes up, at least in my experience, concerns what true story, what representative context, might make a blockbuster film for helping bring the masses to awareness ofwho Meher Baba is. As I was reading Love Bade Me frlWcome it dawned on me that Phyllis Ott’s story has strong potential for such a movie. Consider the universal story elements that reach beyond Phyllis’ personal story to that of the Great Orchestrater of events Himself: the powerfully significant historical backdrops, particularly from her parents’ World War I era to her bohemian Woodstock of the 50s and 60s; the visits Meher Baba made to places in America in her vicinity before she came to know of Him; the brilliant artists and intellectuals of her acquaintance; the passionate drama and quest for meaning; the pilgrimages to India; the climactic face-toFace meetings with the Christ ofour age; the surrender to God; the flourishing of feminist spirituality and mystical artistic expressionism; the serving ofhumanity; and, of course, the golden thread woven throughout—the surging waves of the Ocean of Love, the dancing fingers of Meher Baba. Paperback $16

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T

A’kher EBabds 9ift of Dntuition

21etirts rtIu4t ,Are EBroken...

3ifteen Essctys by Don E &evcns crnd companions

l2 ennJ 2<ashozity, 7 }irginia

:Review by !Ralpk Lewis, England

1955, mywife, Kecha, and I read the book GodSpeaksby Meher Baba. It was a gift to us from a friend, but the conviction that Meher Baba is God in human form was Baba’s gift to us. Since then, Baba has made it very clear to me that my work is to make my convic tion about Him visible in my daily life. He has helped me in endless ways to understand that the more I try to obey Him, the more I will experience His presence. Two dreams, in particular have given me that priceless experi ence of His intimate presence. For a long time after coming to Baba, I had wanted to have a ring made which would have the highest meaning for me. So when I lost my college ring, I had a gold ring made, beautifully engraved with the “Mastery in Servitude Avatar Meher Baba” colophon, surrounded by the symbols of the world six great religions. The ring was beautifully made and I cher ished it because of its meaning. Seldom was I unaware of it. But one day, not long after acquiring it, I was swimming in the ocean at Virginia Beach. When I came out ofthe water to resume reading the legal material I had brought with me, I was suddenly shocked to realize that the ring was gone. It had slipped off my finger into the ocean. I was very upset at this loss because of the significance the ring held for me. Several nights later, Baba appeared in my dream and with anguish I asked, “Baba, why did I lose my ring?” Baba looked into my eyes with great tenderness and said, “Henry, you need Me—not My symbols!” I was no longer concerned about the loss of my ring. On the contrary, I was deeply grateful to Baba for giving me this valuable experience. In 1969, I lost something even more im portant to me than my ring—I lost the physi cal form ofthe God-Man. Although Baba had constantly emphasized to us the importance of finding Him within, His form was so beautiful that I had become dependent upon His physi cal contact and external guidance. When Baba dropped His body, the emptiness I experienced was so vast and painful that I felt as ifthe light had gone out ofthe world. Creation had lost its meaning. Shortly after this staggering event, Baba appeared in my dream and I asked, “Are the hearts of Your close ones broken?” Baba replied, “Hearts that are filled with love, when broken, only pour out more love.”

his is one of the most significant books ever written about the spiritual path. It is an in-depth profound exploration of how we obtain guidance in our daily lives direct from the Avatar. Don Stevens and the other companions are to be thanked beyond measure for their insights and inspirations on this essential topic. In my view this set of essays will take their place with other spiritual classics, offering us practical help as we make our way through this world of illusion. I have read the book once and my head is reeling and I know it will take many more readings before I can even begin to feel I have a glimmer of what Baba has offered to us as His gift in this Advent. Initially I was very sceptical when I heard of plans to write about intuition—after all it’s simply something you have or don’t have, right? Wrong! There is much more to intuition than I had even begun to realise. To go back a step Don Stevens gave the most inspira tional talk I have ever heard at the Sahavas in October 2005 in Stroud, [England.1 Yet I found it almost impossible to recall what he had said as it had struck such a deep response in me—I now realise that was an intuitive connection. In the beginning of this book Don’s intu itions explaining chart 8a in God Speaks and the role ofthe Whim are given. (It is stressed that Don is in no way claiming authority from Baba for these intuitions, warning as he has done many times, against the dangers of psychic involvement.) These statements are those that had such a deep impact on me in Don’s talk and I would say thatjust reading these two or three pages more than justify the writing of this book. To look at Don’s intuitions on the Whim playing its part in Creation is totally inspiring. Part one of the book is about the facets of the Avatar’s Gift. Essays are written on the nature of intuition, the scope and levels of intuition and making intuition practical. Intuition can range from everyday awareness to deep profound spiritual insights. I do not want to single out any particular contributor as all the essays are extremely well written and display depth and considerable thought. The chapter headings themselves convey the range of areas covered in intuition. Don contributes an essay on sanskaras and

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their positive role in our evolution. Essays continue on major sources for intuition, obstacles and truing of intuition. Truing is extremely important and is yet another remarkable contribution of the compan ions to this subject. The proposition is that intuitions coming from the source, Meher Baba, reach us filtered or coloured by our sanskaric legacy. They can therefore be dis torted by our patterns. My intuitions have always been about relationships and hence extremely contaminated by my own wants and desires. We need companions to help us “true” our intuitions—to use reason to minimise the impact ofthe colouring and to examine our motivations objectively. Finally in this section is an essay on intuition and the Master. The second section gives individual ex periences of intuition which serve to bring the thoughts and ideas discussed in the first section into practical life. Again, it is very well written, very open and honest, and very, very helpful. I mentioned my intuitions lie in relationships so I was most attracted to Ann Speirs’ contribution about her experience with intuition and a particular relationship, but I learnt and will learn from every one of these essays. The book has an appendix on quotations from Meher Baba on intuition—wonderful! I am conscious of the fact that I haven’t done this superb book justice, but without reproducing every page it is impossible to do so. This is really a gift from Meher Baba to us through the remarkable insights of Don and his companions and I treasure it. Baba’s gift is perfect and exhilarating andjoyful and profound and. and. everything! Thank you Don and your companions for helping us so much with Baba’s gift to us. Paperback, 1 96 pages, $14 .

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The intuition is not an emotion or psychic thing it’s not imagination, in some sense its developing a higher contact with Reality than that which reason gives us ‘N:

:: Meher

In

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ShoweisofGmce, ©1984 Bal Natu, AMBPPCT


On ni?rotecting EBaba’s Words Circular from the ,Avatar JVkher EBaba 7rust ear Friends in Beloved Baba’s Worldwide Family, During the last few months there has taken place some significant unauthorized publication of literary works by Avatar Meher Baba. During His lifetime Meher Baba Himself made clear and detailed ar rangements for the posterity of the copyrights for His books, messages, and other “writings. Those who publish His works in violation of copyright not only break the law but act in disregard of Beloved Baba’s own expressed wish. Since this matter concerns Meher Baba’s worldwide family generally, we would like to give here some of the key history relating to the provisions the Avatar made concerning His literary works. The crucial document is Meher Baba’s “Last Will and Testament,” executed by Him at Guruprasad on 17th June 1967. In His “Will, copyright receives more attention than any other topic: three of the seven numbered clauses have to do with it. A decade earlier, on 4th February 1956, Meher Baba had granted to His secretary Adi K. Irani the management of most of His copyrights. Indeed, Baba explicitly gave Adi the prerogative to “use, control and exploit” Baba’s copyrights for his (Adi’s) own personal benefit for the remainder of his lifetime, on condition that these copyrights revert to Baba or His legal repre sentatives after Adi’s death. In His “Will,” Baba confirmed these arrangements, further specifying that, on Adi’s demise, the copyrights should become property of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, which had been created eight years earlier and whose Deed Baba had signed on 6th April 1959. At the same time, Baba confirmed His prior gifting of the copyrights of certain major works to Sufism Reoriented in the United States. Baba asserts His ownership of His copyrights in unambiguous terms. Apart from named works that had previously been gifted away, Baba says, I own copyrights in all my literary works, direct and indirect, published and unpublished The list includes: “Sayings, Poems, Mes

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sages, Articles, Discourses, Books, Charts, Maps, et cetera, as well as the copyrights already gifted to me and those that may be gifted to me in future by other writers who love me.” In view of the detail and specificity of these arrangements, Baba’s wishes concerning the future management of His literary works seem clear. Some sincere persons might reasonably enough assume that the words of the Avatar, an imperishable gift from God to humanity, transcend all ownership. In a deeper philosophical sense, no doubt this is true. From the same “ultimate” standpoint, no one can really “own” His Samadhi on Meherabad Hill, His Center in Myrtle Beach, and other parts of His

Avataric legacy. Yet in this world of illusion and this realm of human affairs, the things

effort should be stinted. The words of the

Avatar are the crown jewels in humanity’s literary heritage. The way that they are presented to the world should bespeak the

deepest feeling and appreciation for this. In summation, then: the directives assigning the management of Meher Baba’s

literary works were laid down by no one other than Meher Baba Himself, and Baba’s Trust is trying to discharge its share of this responsibility as faithfully as it can.

Essentially the Trust is serving here as the curator of a treasure that belongs in truth to all humanity. We ask for your wholehearted cooperation in this effort. By remaining as

one, Avatar Meher Baba’s worldwide family can continue to feed itself on and slowly mature into the magnificent inheritance that He has left for us all.

one wishes to preserve have to be cared for, and the responsibility for this caretak

ing needs to be specifically assigned. Ever practical, Meher Baba did not neglect this

reality in the case of His own words. Any question as to whether copyright—a branch of human law—can rightfully be brought to bear on the literary works of the God-Man

is put to rest by the arrangements that He Himself made. Those who would abide by the wishes of the Avatar as Divine Author should honor this.

What really matters here, of course, is not the mere “ownership” of Baba’s words as such, but their protection and the manner oftheir presentation to the world. It would

be quite possible for someone with an axe to grind to publish a rendering ofthe “Uni

versal Prayer, say, in which new lines with new names and designations of God have been added, or to publish a “version” of the Discoursesin which an editor’s opinions on various topics have been quietly insinuated. “

Baba’s words need to be protected from

people who have no respect for their integ rity. But apart from this, the presentation of Baba’s books and messages calls for the profoundest reflection and heartfelt care. The publication of a book is much more than just a printing job. Every little detail

needs to be lovingly attended to. No point

I am not limited by this form. I use it like a gar ment to make myself visible to you; and I communicate with you through words best fitted to your understanding. If I used the language of my own consciousness you would not know what I was talking about. Don’t try to understand Me. My depth is unfathomable. Just love Me. I eternally enjoy the Christ state of consciousness and when I speak I shall manifest my true Self; besides giving a general push to the whole world, I shall lead all those who come to Me towards Light and Truth. -...

Meher Baba

is too small; no nuance can be neglected; no

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7ai Itouse ofthe ..August

J4lwseiIIe, 3;rwwe Serninnr

..lt’ioon r(tkcs 3urtiier

Jluyust 18-21, 2006 4

Strides 2Iivedita fNagpal, J I/Iumbcti 7 t’s been quite a while since we announced our decision to construct a home for the aged in Meherabad. The land has been purchased and it has been converted into non-agricultural for building purposes. Since the home will run on charity, we have obtained necessary tax relieffrom the income tax authorities in Maharastra. Donations are welcome for the successful commencement of the first phase ofthe home. We look forward to the time when we can make a dream come true for those old Baba lovers who wish to spend their last days in the company of Beloved Meher Baba. For more information visit us on the web at www.augustmoonindia.com or email to alok@agustmoonindia.com.

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7Vkherabad E0ufl9 J1duit SaIuivas 3uly 17th to IiLij 2 th 2006 4 have come from great distances, not for some convention or conference, but to enjoy My company and feel afresh My love in your hearts. It is a coming together of East and West in the house of their Father.” —MeherBaba (East- kst Gathering, 1962) Baba lovers between 19 and 35 years old are invited. The Sahavas is an opportunity for 100 young adults from all over the world to gather at Meherabad to spend a week together in the company of the Ancient One, focusing on Beloved Meher Baba through discussions, talks, workshops, service projects and music. To apply, contact: Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust Post Bag #31, King’s Road, Ahmednagar, MS. 414001, India or

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Email: mbyas@ambppct.org http://www.ambppct.org/events/sahavas.php

on Stevens is leading the French and English Meher Baba groups in an intensive four-day weekend seminar in Marseille, France from August 18-21, 2006. All are invited, including Baba lovers from America and elsewhere. The weekend will be based on major developments flowing from several decades of reflection and discussion of words and phrases from Baba’s literature, and especially from God Speaks. Here is the tantalizing list ofsubjects currently on the agenda for the seminar:

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1- Companionship a. Sharing b. communicate c. trust Special case: companionship with the Avatar 2- Like beads on one string India pilgrimage, motion pictures 3- Unblocking masts; availability of their spiritual capacities in next lifetime 4- Intuition, Baba’s avataric gift a. relationship to intellect/logic b. truing c. conducive conditions relationship with the Avatar 5- Role of the Whim after Creation is launched Ego-shell and its function and 6dispersal 7- Individualized consciousness and the Divine Ego 8- Tactual sublimation 9- Honesty; don’t worry 10- The new cycle of cycles its vast implications. Is it also a new and —

completely virgin area of God’s

infinite latent consciousness being opened for homesteading? After the seminar, many of those Baba

lovers attending will then take a European pilgrimage to places associated with Avatar Meher Baba. Group trips to Spain and Italy are being planned now, especially to Muslim key spots of interest from the golden age of Muslim culture, much ofwhich was centered

in Spain. All of the Italy and Spain travels

J2ersicrn WLbsifr

of course are completely optional and are in no way considered a must for attending the Marseille presentations.

all you Farsi speakers there is now a website. http://baba4lovers.blogspot.com/2OO5_ 1 1_O1_baba4lovers_archive.html

ing particular persons in mind who seem

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Such a project is never born without haycentral to such occasions, in one manner or another. Quite frankly, the Italy venture as-

sumed that in some manner Valeria Violati from Assisi, whom everyone knows and feels to be the essence of Baba’s presence in her homeland, could be enticed to come. In fact, we now have word that she has rearranged

her August schedule to be with us. Please do not ask her to reserve hotels and museums for you we will get that done in other manners, but it is wonderful to know that she will be

among our group, and very likely we will be joined by old friends from North Italy and Slovenia. Spain also has a newer stalwart promised for the Spanish trip, Cristina Arguelles from Madrid, a relative newcomer to

Baba in this lifetime, but already well known in both Ahmednagar circles as well as for her frequent attendance of group activities in London. With these two pillars we are bound to have a wonderful visit with Baba to some of his favourite old haunts. Already by word of mouth, interest in

this Marseille seminar and the following European pilgrimage has created a great deal

ofinterest in people from far and wide. If you find yourselfin need ofurgent details, it is best to reach the USA contact person: Mr. Sevn McAuley, in San Francisco

Email: sevn@jsacreddesign.com Tel: 248 259-1869.

.Attcntion: }&t opportimily to serve 13e1oved Avtthir ,A4eher EBabi at 1therazad

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eher Free Dispensary at Meherazad

is a separate but affiliated Trust to AMBBPC Trust, Ahmednagar, established by Avatar Meher Baba. Meher Free Dis pensary (Meherazad) Trust at Meherazad

is interested in finding Baba lovers whose dream it is to serve Beloved Baba on a vol untary basis in the following two capacities:

1. A Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Clinical Laboratory Supervisor who is also willing to undertake other responsibilities in the Dispensary and on the estate. 2. Maintenance man or handy man capable

ofhandling mixed tasks and responsibilities on the Trust estate and having basic maintenance skills, such as plumbing, electrical, gardening, household repair, etcetera. Baba lovers interested should contact Trustee Framroze Mistry, Meher Free Dispensary (Meherazad) at mfdmeherazad@jgmail.com

for further details


Dnfrmet Ru1io &ation Devokd to Jlleher 13abu ontinuous Baba music on your com— puter, 24 hours a day! This is the domain name of the service that Joe Stewart is using to air the Meher Baba radio station. Take this link to listen to the station: http://www.live365.com/stations/amb1

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2<atie !Rosc’s ¶J tiintings of 2 Bak 2’iow ..AvnittthIe atie Rose ofArizona tells us she has only been painting for a year, but already has ten portraits of Baba plus numerous other

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J1re )Jou Dnto Chanting? 11 Ric1iard Rosen, iulyI..Augztst 2005 issue oftlie qa3iierna/ Ei3 Dinah note: It is so nice to hear about one of our own Baba lovers making it b4 in the commercial world’ kt’ ha ye our movie stars 6ou know who you are!), scrzt writers for TV shows Academy a ward nominee screen writei and as we published in our last issue, LaurieBlummakingitbigin the international art world Now we read in the esteemed Yoga Journal—the bible foryogapractioners—about my fellow Aussie Rani DidL (AKA Raine Eastman- Gannett) being the source for correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit mantras. The Love Street Bookstore carries this best-selling CD $14. -

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paintings. When people see them, they have been asking her if they are for sale, and she tells us she is finally unattached enough to release them out into the community. Katie says, “It is hard to do that at first. each painting is like a miracle you think will never happen again!” You can go to her website and look at her work. If anything takes your fancy she is now ready to sell it to you! http://photos.yahoo.com/babastar7. Katie’s Email: raven7@hughes.net. .

¶:Lrograinnw in membiincc of L.4i5 id 44Q ui:1dL.L:t .:

...

he Library Committee ofAvatar Meher Baba P. P. C. Trust will be organizing a two-day Programme at Meherabad on rd December 2 and 3 to commemorate the th 50 Anniversary of the Satara auto accident (December 2nd 1956).

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you’re bungling your Sanskrit, you may as well recite the phone book as chant a sacred mantra. Have you ever followed your teacher in a Sanskrit chant thinking, “What the heck does this mean?” or even, “Can we skip this and get right to the postures?” Of course, once you understand something it always has more meaning. And if you’re a yogi, it’s worth gaining some understanding of this ancient tongue. In India, Sanskrit is considered a divine language—spoken by gods and capable of connecting mere mortals with the transcen dent Self. Millions of Indians dutifully recite Sanskrit mantras daily, including what’s possibly the most famous of all, the Gayatri Mantra found in the venerable Rig Veda. It means, according to Georg Feuerstein’s translation, “Let us contemplate that beauti ful splendor of the divine Savitri [solar godi, that he may inspire our visions. Reverence for Sanskrit mantras, repetition of which is considered one of the great paths to transfor mation, has been adopted by many Western yogis—either in the form of invocations before asana practice, kirtan (chanting) or japa (mantra repetition). According to tradition, the mantra’s ef ficacy depends on proper pronunciation—so if you botch that vowel sound, your efforts may be for naught. The word sanskritmeans, “Well or completely formed; purified, hallowed; refined, polished.” And the essential meaning of each word or even of each letter in the Sanskrit alphabet (every one of which is considered a bfja, or seed mantra) is said to be created by or contained in its sound. Given the importance of the sound, Vedic priests designate one of four officiating priests at a ritual offering to be something

like a referee, responsible for catching and immediately correcting any mispronuncia tions, so as not to invalidate the ceremony. Given today’s shortage ofSanskrit speakers—even in its heyday, several thousand years ago, the language was known only to a small clique of educated elite—what’s an American mantra aficionado to do? For a beautiful rendition of some of the great mantras, including the seed mantras of each of the major chakras, the seed mantras for each of the 12 “stations” in Sun Salutation, the Gayatri Mantra, the Purusha Mantra, the Sanskrit alphabet, and the dozen pri mary seed mantras of Tantra, check out Nada Om Mantra with Rani Didi (Raine Eastman-Gannett) Nada means “sound,” but in the yoga lexicon it implies a subtle “inner sound” heard only in the higher planes of meditation and said to produce a “plenitude of bliss” (Hatha Yoga Pradipika 4.81). The sounds on this CD are so enthralling it’s easy to see why many people find recitation so powerfully transformative. Contributing editor Richard Rosen teaches yoga classes in Northern California. This article can be found online at http:// www.yogajournal.com/views/l 77 1_i .cfm.

24d E&k :1 J.Lj jjc Ciu.rita 4

/4th1T ..

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,

Please note that Meherabode is approved for tax-deductible status for donations that are made toward the furnishing and comple tion of the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat in Meherabad, scheduled for its grand opening this June. To make a tax-deductible dona tion, please make your check payable to: Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern CA (“AMBCSC” is OK) Include a note that your donation is to be forwarded to the Trust for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat and Send to: Kanji Miyao,Treasurer Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern CA 1214 5. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019 All love-donations are greatly appreciated!

49


Ei3ooks and Donkeys 2’4eeded to 13rinj it on 2lome” to J 11 frkhercthnd— 7 2join the Book J3rigade! Dcbbic .2’,iordeeii eherabad is expanding and I’ve vol unteered to help get the word out to the Baba world about a book brigade. Your help is definitely needed, welcomed and ap preciated. The Meherabad Library and the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat reading rooms are in dire need of books. Many of us have duplicate copies of books, or have inherited additional materials. We now have the chance to ‘bring it on home’ to Meherabad. Both the Library and Reading Rooms need books. You can decide which collection you’d like to donate to. The Reading Rooms are located in the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat and all pilgrims staying there will have handy access to these freely circulated books. Residents and pilgrims from the MPR and all other accommodations at Meherabad will have access to the Meherabad Library (formerly ‘Meherabad Hill Library’) The Library will have a circulation section and will feature rare reference-only books that will be perfect for research usage as well as an audio-visual collection, where unedited materials from the Meherabad Archives will also be shared. Meherabad Library Needs: Baba collection (all languages wel corned): Any and all books by Meher Baba and by others on His life and work.

M

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Collections of The Glow, Ned-Net], The Awakenei MeherBabajournals, and all those old copies of the Love Street LampPost you couldn’t bring yourself to throw away. Also newsletter collections from the different Centers around the world—preferably the entire collection. Rare, out of print books and publications; allvideo, DVD, audio produced works: Films, albums, etc. Expanded “Beads on One String” collection: Spiritual scriptures of religions of the world—Bible, Koran, etc. ; books on the lives of Baba’s previous advents: Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed; books on the known Perfect Masters and saints, divine poetry books: Hafiz, Rumi, etc.; known books that Baba made reference to and that He liked. To donate to the Meherabad Library please

lie

Juts to help

7;win Cities’ &i1ni Center’s 3iIt SaJiavas• Cuii.ing 5;ii

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J4leIier 13ctha he infinite embraces all expressions of life. Spirituality does not need renun ciation of worldly activities. It means the internal renunciation of mundane desires. Mere asceticism does not lead to spirituality. Perfection cannot be perfection if it shrinks from the dual expressions of nature and tries to escape from entanglements. It must assert its dominion over all illusions, however attractive and however powerful. A perfect being functions with complete detachment in the midst of the most inten sive activity and in contact with all forms of life. Divinity includes all that is beautiful and gracious.

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Every one ofyou has to help in My work according to your individual capacity; and you have to be in touch with the world in accordance with the work that lies in store for you. I will teach you how to move in the world, yet be at all times in inward commu nion with Me as the Infinite Being.

Treasures From the Meher Baba Journals ed.

The Meher Baba Center of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) holds an annual Fall Sahavas. Information about this year’s location and guests will be posted soon at http://www.mbctc.org.

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work...

.2”Iortli Carolina include a note with your name and label as such: Meherabad Library do Library at Meher Pilgrim Center Attention: Urmilla and Gokaran Shrivastava, librarians. Needed for Reading Rooms Collection: Baba books, or ones Baba read and enjoyed, children’s books, poetry books, books on known Perfect Masters and saints, inspi rational books, and light fiction that is not racy or stressful. To donate to the Reading Rooms please include a note with your name and label as such: MPR Reading Rooms, Meherabad Attention: Debjani do Reception, MPR. How to Get the Books There: Donkeys are needed. Peter and I have been donkeys for years. That means you carry a heavy load for Meherabad in your suitcases. It’s easy with luggage with wheels. We are now allowed 50 lbs. per bag. I urge us each to carry one suitcase full of books! If not a full suitcase, then how about halfa suitcase? Well, at least a book or two! It was so much fun last year at the grand opening of the Heartland Center to each bring a tea cup or a book for the library. Let’s bring it on home to Meher abad! Wouldn’t it be great if each and every pilgrim arriving for this grand opening season could bring some books? I envision each local Baba group looking amongst itselfto see who may be going to India, then offering to orga nize this book brigade. We can all utilize the Baba listserv to contact one another to offer to donate books or bring books to Meherabad for this purpose. If there is anyone out there that would like to volunteer to start a Donkey and Book Matchmaker Service, that would be great too! Any questions, suggestions? Please contact me. I’m in touch with the Meherabad librar ians, and reading room wala. Phone: 828 274 0307 or email nordeens@msn.com.

one of you

J. B. Haynes,

© 1980 AMBPPCT


What’s 2lappening at JI/khemna

!.Restrntnt

7<ebj Ei3oosc, Saiita r73arbara

A1eher Baba

A

pril 2. The day set for Meherana’s wildflower walk dawned overcast and cool in the high 50s with rain in the forecast, but still nine people arrived bright and early for a yummy cup of chai and camaraderie before walking down to Baba’s Cabin for Arti. After Arti, all began what turned out to be a lei surely paced two-hour nature walk exploring just a fraction ofthe original 189 Meherana acres. Last year the wildflowers were in full bloom, but this year, having surpassed the 100-year record for snowfall in March, the flowers were just starting to come out. The lupines werejust a few inches high and the larkspur, so prevalent last year, had not yet come out to dazzle us with their vivid blue purple color—but there were so many other flowers already blooming that we taxed all our minds to name them! Here are just a few of the flowers we saw: Sierra suncup, baby blue eyes, 5-spot, filaree, fiddlesticks, popcorn, miner’s lettuce (to nibble on as well as enjoy their tiny flowers) and shooting stars. Agua Fria creek was almost roaring with the rush of water down it—was that the ocean we were hearing while inside Baba’s Cabin? Our walk took us up to the highest point on the original acres and we were treated to i a lovely view of snow-capped peaks to the East and also discovered a closed-up old mine shaft from the gold days of the 1800s (and yes, gold is still being found in the area by those patiently sifting through the rain- swollen creeks) From there we took off cross-country, skillfully avoiding the beginning-to-bud poison oak stalks, to wend our way to La Mineta Gulch. On our way there we passed several small streams that have appeared with the abundant rainfall—it was fun fording each of them as we delighted in the land and beauty of the day. Nature-wise, we saw a flock ofwild turkeys, and we found lots of different scat and had as many mo ments figuring what animal they belonged to as we did all the flowers we saw. There was also a huge wood rat home we came across plus the partially eaten skeleton of a small mole. I know that this sounds really grue some but it was so fascinating of a find that it overcame any feelings of being yucky. Once we got to La Mineta Gulch, we found that what is usually a quiet little stream had turned into an almost-roaring current over rock and through the valley. As ,

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we walked up the creek, we delighted in the range of flowers growing along the banks as well as many ferns. And it turned out that only a couple in the group had ever been on this part of the land, so we all felt like such explorers. This is certainly the time of year to explore Meherana—when the weather is cool, the grass is low, snakes not yet out, poison oak not in leafand water and flowers everywhere! We forded the creek and made our way to where the 1 89 acres met the newly purchased 101 parcel. When we got to the access road we found that the creek was so high where the road crossed that there was no way to get across and get back to the main area of Meherana to enjoy our lunch. But, looking up the creek, we spied a huge pine that had fallen, creating a perfect bridge. So up the creek we walked and had a great adventure crossing over the creek on this wonderful bridge. Now it was time for the final leg of ourjourney across the well-cleared pastureland on the 101 heading back to the dining pandal and our eagerly awaited lunch. This was such a lovely day and I, for one, was glad that all the big showy wildflowers hadn’t yet made their appearance, as it made for the appreciation of so many others who are of a more diminutive stature but still outstanding in their beauty and abundance. P.S. Rana notes appear throughout the year and are available to read on the Meherana website: www.meherana.org as well as sent out via email. If you’d like to receive these via email, please send your name and email address to info@meherana.org, and don’t forget to check out the Meherana website for a listing of events as well as to get info on visiting or camping—Baba’s Cabin is incredible and not to be missed. Some days it is as though His Love is bursting at the seams to get out and when the door is opened there is a huge rush of energy; at other times, His Love is a soft gentle breeze that surrounds and supports, and then there are the moments you could swear that Mehera and Mani were right there with you as you arrange the flowers by His Chair or stand with your head held high sharing in His Arti!

ne who cannot restrain his tongue cannot restrain his mind; One who cannot restrain his mind cannot restrain his action; One who cannot restrain his actions cannot restrain himself; And one who cannot restrain himself cannot attain his real Infinite Self.

O

LifeAtltsBest, Meher Baba ©Sufism Reoriented No matter how harshly the opposing party treats you, always be calm. However much you are found fault with or are blamed or have high words said to you, bear all with patience. This is real bravery and courage. Man can make a whole army yield to him, but he cannot overcome his own wrath. The GodMan, by Charles Purdom, ©Meher Spiritual Center

2tumbly cAccept 2lis r:Decision f, 7 r1cini S. Drctni

I

is the “doing one’s utmost” as directed by Baba that really counts. As I had cause to write to a Baba-lover recently concerning a project dedicated in Baba’s Love: “The result of any work we do in Baba’s Cause is not measured by any achievement on our part, but by all that we have put of ourselves into the doing of it. Having worked hard and done our best at whatever we set out to do in His Love, the result will be as He wills it and would want it. Whereas we aim to achieve the one result we have worked on, He uses every step of our endeavour for manifold results through the actions and reactions that follow and are churned up.”

Jl4eher Ei3aba

W

orry is the product of imagination working under the stimulation of desires, living through sufferings that are our own creation. Worry is a serious dissipation of psychic energy. The cure for worry and depression is de tachment, the practice of separating oneself from the illusion of existence.

SI


3 Am the 2lighest the 2iigh

friiiwr Diwartiation. 2 /4 ; • :

J4leher Ei3aba thefanuaryissue wementioned Thm Talley ofMyrtle Beach hadpointed out an error in the combinedfuly/October issue where we had taken an adlib ofBhau Kalchurfl’ andmade it appear as tho it was a quote from Baba. Quite inadvertent, I can assure you, but to set the inquiring minds at rest, we are printingthe cor rect quote asgiv en bytheA vatar Himself “I am nei ther a Mahatma nor a Mahapu rush, neither a Sadhu nor a Saint, neither a Yogi or a Wali. Those who ap proach me with the desire to gain wealth or to retain their possessions, those who seek through me re lief from dis tress and suffering, those who ask my help to fulfill and satisfy mundane desires, to them I once again declare that, as I am not a Sadhu, a Saint or a Mahatma, Mahapurush or Yogi, to seek these things through me is but to court utter disappointment, though only apparently; for eventually this disap pointment is itself invariably instrumental in bringing about the complete transformation of mundane wants and desires. The Sadhus, Saints, Yogis, Walis and such others who are on the via media, can and do perform miracles and satisfy the transient material needs of individuals who approach them for help and relief. The question therefore arises that ifl am not a Sadhu, not a Saint, not a Yogi, not a Mahapurush nor a Wali, then what am I? The natural assumption would be that I am either just an ordinary human being, or I am the Highest of the High. But one thing I say definitely, and that is that I can never be included amongst those having the intermediary status of the real Sadhus, Saints, Yogis and such others. Now, if I am just an ordinary man, my

J4teher Ei3aba

capabilities and powers are limited—I am no better or different from an ordinary human being. If people take me as such then they should not expect any supernatural help from me in the form ofmiracles or spiritual guidance; and to approach me to fulfill their desires would also be abso lutely futile. on the other hand, if I am beyond the level of an ordinary human being, and much beJ.___j the level of Saints and Yogis, then I must be the Highest of the High. In which case, to judge me with your human intellect and lim ited mind and to approach me with mundane desires would not only be the height of folly but sheer ignorance as well; because no amount of intellectual gymnastics could ever understand my ways or judge my Infinite State. If I am the Highest of the High my Will is Law, my Wish governs the Law, and my Love sustains the Universe. Whatever your apparent calamities and transient sufferings, they are but the outcome ofmy Love for the ultimate good. Therefore, to approach me for deliverance from your predicaments, to expect me to satisfy your worldly desires, would be asking me to do the impossible— to undo what I have already ordained. If you truly and in all faith accept your Baba as the Highest ofthe High, it behooves you to lay down your life at His feet, rather than to crave the fulfillment ofyour desires. Not your one life but your millions of lives would be but a small sacrifice to place at the feet of One such as Baba, who is the Highest of the High; for Baba’s unbounded love is the only sure and unfailing guide to lead you safely through the innumerable blind alleys of your transient life.”

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B

aba once said that each Incarnation of the Avatar is preceded by a minor incarnation that prepares the way for His Advent. This time it was the warrior-king Shivaji in the seventeenth century who, with his sword, swept clean of an oppressive Mohammedan rule, the land where the Avatar was to take birth, and which would become the hub of the wheel of His world work. Shivaji’s sweep extended from Daman and Karwar on the sea coast to Nagpur, with Poona, then a village, becoming his capital. Incessant wars waged with mercenary armies that had laid waste the countryside; the peasantry was hunted down, the women and children and the livestock carried off and the crops burnt. The peasants who escaped took to banditry. The commander of the last army to pass through Poona had had all the city’s walls pulled down and the area ploughed over with a team of asses to show his contempt for the people. But Shivaji’s steward Dadaji Kondadev came and ploughed it with a gold plough drawn by pure white oxen, and gradually the men came back out of the forests and hills, rebuilt their houses and sowed their crops again; and commerce and learning flourished and it became a great city. Shivaji’s Guru was Ramdas, one of the five Perfect Masters at that time, and he deeply loved the poems of Tukaram, who was another of the Five. His feats and exploits became legendary and he is still loved and revered by the people in that area today. It was within this Sweep that the five Men-God ofour time took up their stations for the bringing down ofthe God-Man into the world again. Meher Baba’s disciples were astonished to hear that their Master had once been Shivaji, so he showed himself to them in Shivaji’s likeness and they all were convinced. TheSi/ent Worci ©1978 C Meher Baba Foundation, N.S.W. Australia


7he Biq 5urrcndEr c/4 i3a1kit of the Be1oved I/lickey 2<arger, . 7 J ’Iew Eork 2 “

It was raining that night, and the neon was bright At the bar at end of the street. Though it wasn’t that cold, my bones they were old, Specially now that it started to sleet.

Though we may be knaves, to our pas sions enslaved, Some joy did I leave behind. And though it ain’t much, some hearts did I touch, When I had the good sense to be kind.”

So I turned up my collar and felt for a dollar That I hoped had a brother or two, And finding the flyer I owed to McGiver Spied the bar and walked on through. The bar was warm and out of the storm— I was mighty thankful for that. My teeth still chattered as I took off my tattered Old coat and hung up my hat.

In his eyes shone tears aged ten-thousand years, But not a one rolled down his cheek. They stayed in his eyes, like thejewels of some prize And not a word more did he speak.

The bar was bright with that forgiving light That says, “Stranger, come on in. We don’t care who you are, have a seat at the bar; We won’t even ask where you’ve been.” “

We welcome a pipe or whatever type Of tobacco you choose to smoke. Keep your counsel or talk, Old Bill here won’t balk If you share an off-color joke.” Resting my feet on an old, empty seat I saw each bottle arranged By whiskey or gin, and knew each one had been In their places, which never had changed. The patrons were few, the news not so new, But repeated just the same. Soon the voices were stilled and then the room filled With a sense of failure and shame. As though each one knew the false from the true Yet clung to the version they’d uttered. Soon the high-sounding praise of the old glory days Was scarce spoken or merely muttered. All the old dreams and unfulfilled schemes Seemed to hang in the air like a pall. Though nothing was stated, they seemed long ago fated To have come to nothing at all. An old salt in the corner with the face of a mourner Looked up from his long drought of beer. With a tear in his eye, he heaved a huge sigh And said in a voice thick but clear:

Yet his words had released a rare kind of peace That each had claimed for his own. Whether bourbon or rye, not a soul could deny They were no longer drinking alone. In suits rumpled and creased, each mourned a deceased Still alive in their minds and hearts. Their funerals attended, yet something un-mended Lay broken in thousands of parts. Then the silence was broken, the bar doors flew open, And in walked a curious Man. His movements so lithe, His steps seemed to glide, And gave Him a certain élan. A pinkjacket He wore, near reaching the floor Hung a garment of cotton so white. Such flimsy stuff, it seemed barely enough To be wearing on such a cold night. He spoke not a word (at least none was heard) As He took a seat at the bar. The way that He smiled had us all beguiled, And His gaze twinkled down like a star. He had long, flowing hair and a smile like a prayer That His Silence bestowed on us all. All eyes seemed to meet on His wellsandaled feet Where the hem of His garment did fall. His eyes said, PJeas you may fall on your knees WJthoutsham but withperfect surrender And there lea veyour care your unspoken prayers Each hurt, and each griefso tender I:!! make them my own, each sinyou have sown

Will beyours my deai no longer Entrust them to Me then let them b Andyourgrlef- weakenedheart shallgrow stronger —

There Z’ soon come a day, when Ill wipe dear a way These burdensyou e long labored under Free at lastfrom lifetimespassed— All terror now torn asunder Ican do this in Silence,Idon need the violence Of words, whose meaning has waned Down through the ages on numberless pages Writ when lies and hypocrisy re4inecL A new wine been poureo so long it been stored That no vintage could be more rare. Come drinkyourlllL even let the drops spill But let every drinker beware: Ifyou choose Love, God takes offHis glove Andmayholdyou so hard that it hurts. That. whenyougrab tirht with all ofyour might Like a child to its dearmother. skirts. A hush now fell like some kind of spell, And remained for a while unbroken. What was stranger still, and gave all a chill, Was the fact that no word had been spoken. His Name was Meher, a sound like a prayer, “Meher Baba, Compassionate Father.” Though naught was proclaimed, all knew His Name; Our search ended, we looked no farther Than this Man at the door, whose eyes did implore Each one to love Him solely; They said, GiveMeyourhearts en the most secretparts; In remembrance ofMe only Hopes long put to rest like a seaman’s old chest Had quite suddenly been revived. It was hope without reason, choice fruit out of season; And new possibilities thrived. The pall that had fallen now seemed to be crawlin’ Away at a runner’s pace. The grief and the loss had all but been tossed Far away from the likes of this place.

53


You could feel the loads lift, as though some sort of gift Had been given, unasked for, and free. Unyoked from condition, paradise or perdition, It was treasured as real gifts should be. Though no one had said it, they’d never forget it: Forgiveness, compassion, and peace. The sins that each wore had been washed from the shore our hearts and been given release.

EDivine 3ire 4ood and the 3lames of Longing J4lirek, England Once and for all, Baba, let’s get this right!

Fire. The Fire then sees and realizes itself.

Fire is dormant and latent in everything everywhere. Even in air and water and stone. Okay?

And as it continues to burn

of

You as Reality are the Fire. Right?

Then the Man who’d come far to this forgotten man’s bar Rose and glided, it seemed, to the door. In His glance we’d found rest, and knew we’d been blessed Like none had been blessed before.

But Fire needs something to burn In order to bring it out, realize and mani fest itself. Wood burns perfectly in Fire leaving only ashes. My false and illusory self is Wood for the Fire, When it reaches the Involution Stage. Furthermore, as every thing within Illu sion is evolving And one day will also be part of a false-

He wasn’t gone long, when a sweet old song Was plunked out on the barbusted spinet. Though the keys needed tuning, they were far from ruining The song or the sentiments in it.

to manifest

as Flames Within Creation (Illusion), it is recog nized as the Avatar And Christ or a Perfect Master. However, the Avatar and Christ or the Perfect Masters Are seen by us as Flames and not as actual Fire! Right? —

self’s make-up Which has become seasoned Wood ready

Finally, the Wood is burned to ashes, returning To the nothing and nothingness it was all along. And with all the Wood burned, the Flames die down And disappear. So where’s the Fire?

for burning We can therefore say that the whole of

Where it always was and will be—in

The song had no words, yet each word was heard As though sung to each one solely. Then I heard someone yawn with the coming of dawn, and the streets and the bums, the parks and the slums, the mostsad sordid ones, Were now shining, and bright, and holy.

Illusion (Creation) Is latently and potentially Wood for the Fire.

tendency to seek the same result through

the slander of others. To portray others as evil is to glorify oneself by suggesting a comparison—a comparison the ego

would willingly develop, though it often restrains itself from doing so. Discourses ©19S7AMBPPCT

54

Except that now it has realized itself

Okay, so far?

As Who? and What? It is Divine Fire It is in everything everywhere

As Fire, you are Reality. But as Reality

And it consciously experiences itself in everything everywhere!

cannot enter Creation (Illusion), you come into Creation (Illusion) as Love

In a real sense, Divine Fire (Reality) Never comes into Illusion (Creation)

And you remain with Creation (Illusion)

Therefore the nearest we come to it,

as Love eternally

If we exclude the Planes of Consciousness, Is through the Flames of Longing.

The 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 separateness from others. The ego must magnify its attainments in grotesque ways if it is to live in them Direct assertion of the ego through self-display in society is very common; but if such direct assertion is prohibited by the rules of conduct, the ego has a

everything everywhere!

And forever, never leaving or being absent

...

from it. Therefore, Your Love is you Reality within Illusion! You then seed Your Love in our hearts and when they start growing, They turn into Longing. And the more —

Yet, quite incredibly and astonishingly, These same Flames reveal and manifest Divine Fire with Illusion (Creation) As in the Avatar and Christ, and Perfect Masters! —

Longing We experience for you, the more Your Seeds or Love

This is truly unbelievable to my mind,

Grow within our hearts. And the greater

Baba! But my heart is somersaulting across the

our love Becomes for you, the deeper is our experi

sky with joy!

ence of Longing

need to sit down!

Dearest Baba, just a moment

. .

I really

For you!

The Flames around the burning Wood are this Longing. The Flames come from the Fire within the Wood And not from the Wood. Longing comes from Your Love—which is actually you And not as we think from our wanting. Wood is nothing and nothingness. It’s there so that Fire

Can manifest itself as Flames. Is this correct? So the Flames of Longing, which essen tially are Fire, Burn the Wood and doing so reveal the

Dare I say aloud what I’m seeing before my eyes, Baba!? That when the Flames of Longing are burning brightly And intensely within our heart, it’s the same As being in Your Actual Physical Pres ence! I’m the happiest mute in all of Creation, Baba! P. 5. Baba, when you have a moment, tell Eruch that what he used to tell us about longing IS the perfect truth. And please give him a loving hug from me. Thanks!


3 ccrnette Loew

January 2 of this year Jeanette was struck down by a huge pick up truck while crossing the street right behind me. I was barely able to jump out of the way. She never regained consciousness and passed away two weeks and a few hours later. The last thing Jeanette did on that fatal day was kneeling over the shower pan and cleaning the grout lines with a toothbrush. I hurried her out the door so we could take a quick walk before it got dark. It was 5:03 pm. She looked at me as if to say, why are you in such a hurry? At 5:20 she lay uncon scious and bleeding from her head and nose on the wet pavement ofa country road. She was the sweetest person I have ever known. She was my wife, my darling sweetheart, my partner and friend. We had a total com mitment to each other and we were a team. When we first met she knew nothing about Meher Baba, and once at Meherana during the early part of our marriage, she got tired of being asked if she was a Baba lover. She

O

&ptembcr 29, 1941—3anuary 2, 2006 2-1ermann

Loew,

California

got up on stage and over the microphone announced that she was not a Baba lover but she was the lover of a Baba lover. While in India in 1994 she won Mani’s and Eruch’s heart in a moment. She ended up finding her way directly into Beloved Baba’s heart. J eanette was a marathon runner who cared deeply about other people and was part of a group called world runners. They ran to raise funds for the hungry of the world. She was also a prize winning photographer who did her own developing and printing in the darkroom. She was one of the first most members ofMeherana and chronicled its development with hundreds of beautiful photos. Now she is gone. I can’t understand it and it doesn’t seem real. What is real is the deep pain her loss has caused our whole family and me. What I know for sure is that this was and is Baba’s wish and so I must accept it and accept it cheerfully. “Let despair and

disappointment ravage the garden of your life, you beautify it by contentment and self sufficiency. Even though your heart be cut to bits, let a smile be on your lips”. This is the work that Baba has given to those who would follow Him. .

.

One by one the many-colored attachments to the false must be relinquished. Bit by bit the sanskaric tinder feeding the deceptive flames of the separative ego must be replaced by the imperative evidence of the unquenchable flame of truth. Only in this manner can man as— cend to the height of divine attainment; the endless beginning of life eternal. The life in eternity knows no bondage, decay or sorrow. It is the everlasting and ever renewing self—affIrmation of conscious, illimitable divinity. My mis— sion is to help you inherit this hidden treasure of the Self. Meher Baba .

55


emenib:eiring CsInniini 7}esali 3arhad .Shafa, Walnztt Creek.

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umi said: Love is a blaz ing torch and when it is %nited It burns everything that exists, save the Beloved Esfandiar Vesali was the perfect fuel, the dry kindling, ready for this burning. In August of 1927 Beloved Baba made of him a living torch, which blazed in dazzling brightness casting its glow and light all around, pointing the way to the Beloved. And this fire burnt silently, without any smoke, without any pretense or show. The word “Vesali” is derived from the root “Vessal”. In spiritual literature of the East this word signifies joining, merging and uniting with Beloved God. From this perspective “Vesali” was more than just a surname for Esfandiar; it was an aspiration that embodied the entire significance of his life—perhaps that is why I preferred to call him by his surname. I had the privilege of knowing him since early 1975 and I had the good fortune of working closely with him for about 5 years in Iran, during a period when Beloved Baba began to turn His Key and lay claim to the hearts of His Iranian lovers. Vesali was a unique gem from our Beloved’s treasury. Just as Baba used our dear mast Mohammad as an example of his colossal work with the God-intoxicated and kept him around as a resident emeritus for many generations of His lovers to see, He kept Vesali as a sparkling example of His unique work with the children of Prem Ashram. And Baba arranged for Vesali to travel to the West so His Western lovers too could get a first hand glimpse of the wonder that was the Prem Ashram. Vesali lived in and glowed with a golden presence that we recognized as something divine, something special, something from Beloved Baba. This was his natural state. It was the consequence of his all-consuming love for Baba and his almost continuous

loving Him more and more. As a result, the preponder ance of his experience was that of joy, joy and more joy—even while in the grip ofold age ailments, a broken leg and more. We have read and heard the accounts of his experi ences, the descriptions and assignment of those experi ences by Beloved Baba to various planes of consciousness and we have also read biographies written about Vesali during the Prem Ashram days. They leave us with the impression that Vesali was consciously ex Kathy Wiederhold periencing some higher plane of consciousness. And yet, those of us who knew him with some intimacy saw in him notjust divine radiance andjoy, but worldly wisdom, immense kindness, selflessness and an overflowing compassion. He was an example of Beloved Baba’s Manifesta tion, of the anchoring of divinity on Earth and of the transformative impact of Baba’s Manifestation on physical matter and on the manner of living. He endured the calamities of his life, which were monumental, with exceptional equanimity. He is the only one I know who was poisoned by his neighbors with arsenic, not once but twice. And yet, he shrugged it all offwith no malice and took it as payback for something he must have done in some previous life. And he was uncompromis ingly honest, especially when it came to his life with Baba. He spoke openly about his shortcomings, even the most embarrassing ones. Vesali was not only the last of the living Prem Ashram boys that we know of, but he was also the first to be consumed in the flames of the Divine Event that took place in the late 1920s on Meherabad Hill. Vesali arrived in Meherabad with the group that Baidul took from Iran in July of 1927. Just two or three weeks later, on August 8th, his life as he knew it came to an end and he was consumed by a vastly different dimension of life, ablaze with Divine Light. By the time the “Spiritual Explosion”, as Beloved Baba .

I.

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remembrance ofhis Beloved. The last time I saw him here in Los Angeles provides a good example of what I mean. He embraced me with a blissful smile, softly laughing, and he held me for a long time. I had not seen him for over a year and yet he dispensed with the customary formalities ofgreeting and began a sentence as if continuing a conversation we had just interrupted. He vocalized what he was thinking thus: “Beloved Baba came to the dormitory late at night, after midnight. I was sitting in my bed thinking of Him. He came right over to me and I held tightly to his legs not wanting to let go of them, and He let me hold on, and He caressed me and He held me and He told me to continue thinking of him the way I had been doing...” This description, which I had heard many times before, never lost its freshness, and carried me, as always, with him to that bright eternal moment when God’s infinite Love becomes tangible to the finite. And yet a while later he told me how miserable he had been feeling an hour before, unable to move, to speak, gripped with anguish and pain. He was no stranger to suffering and distress and yet he tried with all his might not to be distracted and he continued to “work” at living in His presence. He was always “working” at it. For the over 30 years that I knew him, he always talked about the necessity of “working at it;” working at getting closer and closer to the Beloved, at


st, called it, peaked on the eve of January 1 1928, and a large group ofchildren began to soar into sublime realms of divinity, Vesali began his dive into the most difficult period of his stay with Beloved Baba; a period when negative and insulting thoughts about the Beloved began to drown him. But as we know, that period was gradually replaced by the splendor of Baba’s constant pres ence, when day and night were no longer distinguishable for Vesali; when all he saw was light, even with eyes closed; when “thoughts” appeared as darkness to him and they were consumed by the divine blaze that enveloped him. In 1991 someone asked him what was the most memorable experience of his days with the Beloved. Vesali responded: “I have not spoken of it before but now that you have asked I will tell you.” He continued: “Just a few days before we learnt that we were to be sent home from Meherabad, I was overcome by an experience so exquisite, so utterly sublime and so all consuming that it was more bewildering than bewilderment, more beautiful than beauty itself, with an ineffable fragrance and so forceful and overwhelming that anyone experiencing it would have thought they had reached the goal of life.” After a short pause he added “If it were not for Baba’s Grace, I too would have fallen in that trap but Baba saved me then and continues to save me now from falling into such traps.” Then someone asked how his experience had changed over the years since the time at the Prem Ashram. Mr. Vesali smiled and answered in his typically simple manner: “For the past 60 years my quest has been after four letters: L, 0, V and E, and I have yet to complete this quest.” I join you all in celebrating Vesali’s love and the Love of our Beloved Baba that can inspire loves such as Vesali’s. Beloved Baba’s blessings graced Vesali while he was with us on Earth and, no doubt, will continue to shower him till the end, when Vesali attains Vessal.

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eher Baba has blessed His lovers in so many ways, but few top the love His Esfandiar brought to us. Having a sta tion at Meher Spiritual Center for a few years provided me with a ‘wider and deeper awakening, and Esfandiar was certainly a principal in this event. To be in his presence was love, peace, and ‘

joy all together. Greater yet was his embrace that he shared at the end of his talks. There were times when he allowed me to linger in his embrace—like there is no rush—when Babas grace is flowing. Recall is a wonderful gift from our Beloved, as tears ofjoy wet the face and blur the sight. There were times in Esfandiar’s shar ings you would see one who has been taken beyond gross consciousness. I was blessed to witness a greeting between Esfandiar and Darwin Shaw at a special place. A few of us were at Meher Baba’s house, as we followed Darwin down the hall toward Baba’s room, suddenly the traffic stopped. We waited, then Esfandiar came from Baba’s room into the hall. The two stood facing each other for a moment, then Esfandiar moved forward and embraced Darwin; it was an extended embrace. Esfandiar moved back and the two stood in silence, gazing into each other’s eyes. Again Esfandiar moved forward to engage Darwin in another long embrace. There was silence in the house. All could feel this beautiful flow of Baba’s love, which had been turned up a few notches. This gift from Baba is one of the highlights of working at the Meher Spiritual Center, His home in the West. Esfandiar usually took questions at his meetings on the Center, and I loved a fre quent answer he gave to some of the ques tions searching for ‘where he was, which was “I see Baba everywhere. Is this not the sixth plane where the pilgrim sees God all the time? ‘

A’ty Life With ,Amoo arshid 24amirctnian Although born in a Baba family, Esfan diar (whom I have always called “Amoo,” meaning paternal uncle) played a major role in my life to show me how Baba must really be loved. I had the good fortune of being in his close contact and to grow up under his guidance. As many who were in close contact with him, I have a lifetime of stories with him. I will tell you only one of them here. Esfandiar was holding many Meher Baba meetings at his place in Tehran. In one of these special meetings which was in an evening, he brought out a big box and told us that he had something special for everyone present. He told us that these were Beloved’s Sadra, Coat, and Sandals that were given to him by Baba Himself. He told us

that we were to take darshan as if Baba was present. When it came to my turn, I could not step forward; I was just full of tears. I saw Baba present and His presence was so overwhelming that I could not hold back the tears. After taking darshan I tried to hide away from the crowd by running towards the back yard, but Esfandiar followed me and embraced me with such love as coming from Beloved Baba Himself. This embrace set an even a bigger fire in my already burning soul. A group of 18 of us went with him to India in 1977.This was my first trip to India, and it was filled with inner experiences with the Beloved. Esfandiar had always empha sized the inner communion with the Beloved being ofmost significance. He would tell us about how he was guided by Baba inwardly and wanted us to have the same open rela tion with the Beloved from the depth of our hearts and to follow that same path of Love. He would often emphasize that he did not have anything of his own to tell us; and all were Baba’s teachings at the Prem Ashram. To me, he was a living example of a Baba Lover. He would tell us to be a Baba Lover and not a Baba liker. He would tell us through the inner communion with the Beloved one can forget oneselfand the world and to see Him as He really is. I left Iran in 1979 to come to the USA for higher education, but I was always in contact with Esfandiar by phone or mail. In 1989 my sister Gohar called and told me that she and Esfandiar were going to India around Christmas time (in only a few days!) and wanted me to be there when they arrived. I told her I was not sure I could go, because first of all getting a plane ticket within a few days would seem impossible and I had no immigration status in USA and was not sure if I could get back to the country. She asked me to try to go anyway. I called the travel agency and to my surprise they had one ticket left with a very reasonable price! I had read an article about the Prem Ashram boys. In that article Baba had revealed that Esfandiar was on the third plane of consciousness at the time. When I got to India I asked him to tell us about his ex periences. He told me: “Now that Baba has revealed my identity, I think it’s time for me to talk so it might help others.” He started telling his stories with Baba and about his inner experiences in India in 1989. He later came to Seattle for the 1990 Sahavas in Port Townsend, Washington. I have translated many of his talks ever since. He visited the Sufi Center, Los Angeles Center, and Myrtle

57


Beach Center in 1990. He went back to Iran and again came to America for 1999 LA Sahavas and stayed until 2004. He then went back to Iran in preparation of dropping his body there (Baba had told him to stay in Iran and do His work there) which happened on November 23rd 2005, on Thanksgiving day, thanking the Beloved for a life full of Love and joy with the Beloved. He was always in a blissful mood and His love for Baba was so intense that anyone around him could feel Baba’s presence very strongly. His final words to me were: “Love Baba with your Del (bottom of your heart) and in your Del (at the bottom of your heart) His life story with Baba is expected to be published in Persian as well as in English in the near future.

Although Baba has said, “No amount of medical attention or lack thereof can hasten or delay your time of departure” on March 10th He allowed Gabrielle to go out as she had lived her feisty life, amidst the crashing and violence of a rare thunderstorm. She must have loved it. Caran St. John was with her and said Gabrielle checked out with Baba’s name on her lips. No better way to go! Sharon describes the cremation at Meherabad: March lOth we said farewell to our sister, Gabrielle. Her body arrived from Pune around 9 pm, and they carried her on a

.“

9ibric1k9ibson

spects, the men began to pile the wood upon her. At one point, a scorpion was uncovered beneath a log, and I heard someone say, “Gabrielle would have loved that!” There was much scurrying about, and searching for it, but to no avail. My thought is that it climbed onto the woodpile, and held Gabrielle’s hand as she went to the arms of her Beloved. The wood was piled carefully; incense was lit and placed atop the woodpile; ghee was poured in strategic locations, and then the torches were lit. With cries of “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai” our voices and hearts rang out in unison to God the Beloved, and the form that was left behind was consumed in a blaze, at the mo ment predestined by our Lord. “Open Up The Door Lord” was sung as the first flames touched the pyre. “I Walk with the King, Meher Baba, Welcome To My World, “Amazing Grace,” ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “Happy Trails” were sung as her body was engulfed in the Beloved’s embrace. I had been so conscious of her toes, dressed in the white sheet, during the building of the pyre, and I couldn’t help but notice that they were still sticking out between many logs. I felt that when her toes were ablaze, she would be with Baba. Silently I prayed that she go with Baba at her side, and that her toes would light. A spark hit the white cotton, and a moment later she was gone. The flames of a funeral pyre are like none I have ever seen. The blue and yellow light dances, and there is one point where it feels to me that God and Lover meet—a difference in the intensity of the flame, a shifting of the wind, an embrace. As the flames rise, there is a noticeable difference in the thickness of the flame. It thins as it reaches the heavens. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! Thy will be done. “

1938—2006 rDinctjibson and 5haron Wiseinan

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abrielle had been a Baba lover for over 30 years, and in 2000 she moved to Meherabad to start a new life of service to the Mandali, residents and visiting pilgrims. She was a chiropractor, and lived with longtime resident Virginia Small and helped to take care of her in her advancing years. Onjanuary 27 2006, while driving home she smashed into the back of a parked truck. We didn’t think it very serious at first, but then reports of definitely serious internal injuries came in. She was moved to Jehangir hospital in Pune and placed in ICU. There she stayed for the next six weeks, her life hovering in the balance. Baba was working on her, grinding away those sanskaras, for which she is probably now very grateful. She had a friend at her bedside throughout the entire time, many coming from Meherabad and spending a week watching over her. th Thinking her end was nigh, on the 8 of March Gabrielle asked for all artificial means of life support to be removed. Taken to a private room from the ICU she had no more forced oxygen and no intravenous food or drugs, but by the next day she amazed everyone by seeming to do much better. For the first time in weeks, she sat up and asked for coffee. We all thought she was going to make it. She had been semi-conscious for six weeks and had told her friends during moments of lucidity that she was ready to go to her Beloved.

stretcher from the van to the cremation site. She was wrapped in plastic; someone asked for scissors and gently the wrapping was removed. She lay in a white sheet then, and her face was uncovered. Someone brought a special shawl, and this was draped over her as the breeze rippled the white fabric in the wind. Her body was then lifted from the stretcher onto the cremation pyre. Baskets of flowers were set upon the Mandap, and all were welcomed to pay their respects. Hymns were sung, flowers were placed upon the form draped with the shawl by pilgrims that knew her well, by those that met her for an instant, or by those who just happened to be in Meherabad at the time. The accumulation of the flowers placed around her, one by one, was incred ibly moving. Some touched her face, some her feet, some shed a tear or two. One of the most touching moments for me was when Gary and Mehera Kleiner took their baby girl, Sophia, up to Gabrielle to say goodbye. A child less than two years old, in her father’s arms, was held over the body, and placed a flower upon Gabrielle’s form. Sophia then kissed Gabrielle on the forehead. Possibly a link between the young and the departed. After all had a chance to pay their re

Do not seek My Blessing which is always with you, but long for the, day when My Grace will descend on all who love Me. Most blessed are they who do not even long for :My Grace, but simply seek to do : My Will. Meher Baba —


(Continuedfrom Page 38) The tractor was coming and workers were taking these things to the Retreat for Amartithi use. Then at 9:1 5 am I quickly went to the store to make sure all was set with getting the tractor and workers. The list ofnames ofpilgrims who wished to have Samadhi duty during Amartithi was given to Shridhar Kelkar. He is in charge of scheduling the Amartithi volunteer workers at the Samadhi. At 4:30 pm, Bhauji came to the MPC to give a talk in the Dining Hall At 6 30 pm there was a Re ceptionist meeting in the Spiritual Training Academy It was our fi nal meeting before Amartithi. We covered helper schedules and how we wished to do certain things to help the pilgrims. 24 January. I was up early to clean the Jhopdi and Table House with my two helpers. This will be our last cleaning until Amar tithi is over. When I returned to my room, I -called my daughter Mehera, in America. It was her birthday. It truly thrills a mama’s heart to hear the voices of her children. In the evening, I had Samadhi j duty at 6:00 pm. At 9:00 pm a Mandali video was shown in the MPC Dining Hall. 25 January. All pilgrims in Hostel-D had to move. The Western pilgrims went to the Dharmshala. There will be 900 volunteers coming in a few days to help during Amartithi. They stay in Hostel-D and Hostel-C. At 4:30 pm, Sam Kerawala came to the MPC to share some of his many wonderful stories of Baba. 26 January. At teatime I went to the MPC and made the annual announcement on security during Amartithi. Eruch always said to be careful of pickpockets and thieves. He said, not all who come to Amartithi are Baba lovers. Somejust wander in. Bhau said for women to be careful and not to embrace people they do not know. 27January. The first 60 ofthe volunteers at the Hostels arrived. I spent the day up at the Retreat doing the last cleaning. I was also checking the rooms to make sure everything was ready. At 4:00 pm, Debbie Nordeen gave an Amartithi orientation to all the pilgrims. For those who already paid for their Am-

artithi stay, they were given their room numbers. Amartithi is a separate cost from the normal pilgrim accommodation expense. With the orientation already given before the 100 pilgrims arrived at the Retreat, they would already know what to expect. And, it would make checking in so many easier. At 9:00 pm, a Baba movie was shown in the MPC Dining Hall. 28 January. This was the day we closed the MPC and moved everyone up to the

Meherabad, the police have tents and make sure they are visible so any troublemakers may not want to come around.

Sunday 29 January. Bhau came to tour the art of the Retreat. Ted Judson showed

him around. Bhau will be in America when we open on 1 5 June. It was so sweet to watch

Bhau. Then Bhau sat in the huge hall and gave a talk. There was some singing and

dancing before the talk. When the talk was over, he toured Alan’s new kitchen. It really is a very impressive kitchen,just like a major hotel. Monday 30 January. This was the first day of Amartithi. In the morning, I took the things I would need to set up Baba’s Cabin Room ..to the MPC. Two ofthe watchmen helped me carry the things to the Cabin. We set up the rope for the )ilgrim line. Next we put the racks hat hold the cleaning supplies in ,1-’- Cabin. I stored everything else in the caretakers’ room for later. Between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, I finished )reparing the Cabin with the help ofan assistant. I was very happy to have all the scheduled spaces filled .

..

j the pilgrims. Especially I was iappy to have the Channai Baba

Lovers take the hardest hours to fill, 12 midnight to 8:00 am. They are happy to have this schedule every year. So, I told them they could have it until Baba comes again!

Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Two Receptionists stayed at the MPC and helped the pilgrims be prepared to load their luggage by “9:00 am sharp,” as Jal said. I, along with two other receptionists, was at the Retreat to welcome

got a call from my younger daughter, Rabia.

all the pilgrims. We were expecting 100 pilgrims. We also had several helpers on

my older daughter, just had a baby girl.

hand to assist. It was amazing how smoothly it all went.

So, I called my daughter to tell her I am a happy grandmother. This is grandchild

The first meal we had there was lunch. Alan’s kitchen guys also had out the table

number six! Everyone was up the hill and sitting by

of freshly-baked goodies that they would

1 1:45 am. The whole hill was a sea of His

sell at all times until after Amartithi. We

lovers, here for their Beloved Meher Baba. The energy was such a harmonious joy. There was a knowing in the crowd that a precious, sacred time was about to begin. Mr. Thade explained what would take place in different languages. Then Begin the Beguine began to play. When it finished, we all began to chant Meher Baba’s name. Imagine, thousands chanting His name with such reverence. At exactly 12 noon we shouted “Avatar Meher

are talking four kinds of cookies, chocolate cake, éclairs, Boston cream pie, and other good tasting stuff plus bags of popcorn. Tea and coffee could also be had at all times.

Soft drinks were kept in a large metal tub of ice. We are talking here of a favorite spot

for all pilgrims! In Hostel D and Hostel C, the 900 volunteers arrived. They will see to the security and other needed assignments for Amartithi. At the Retreat, we had the police

put up a station with a wireless phone, and several officers staying in tents. Throughout

The Amartithi program started at 2:00 pm. Tuesday 31 January. In the morning I She lives in New York. She said Mehera,

Baba Ki Jai”—then absolute silence. Not a word was spoken for fifteen minutes. When the time was up the prayers were said in

59


many languages. Most of the pilgrims leave directly after the Silence. Yet, there still would be several thousand here until Wednesday. The ‘no curfew’ continued throughout Amartithi. A truly joyous time to be immersed in His love. It seems His wine shop doors are open more during Amartithi. It is an intoxication of Gods love. 1 February. Until after Baba’s birthday, we will all be very busy with the closing of Amartithi, the return of the pilgrims to the Meher Pilgrim Center and the Hostels. This is also time for the selection of the cast for this year’s Baba birthday play, and beginning of the rehearsals. Amartithi closing ceremo nies were around 2:00 pm. I took offthe rope that was used to form a line. We cleaned Baba’s Cabin one more time, before packing away all the cleaning cloths. I arranged for a sound system for the Retreat. We thought pilgrims there might want to have an open mike night, meaning anyone who wanted to perform could do so. Though Amartithi was officially over, we had permission to have curfew at midnight on the 1st and 2nd of February for those who wished to attend the activities at Meherabad. The 900 volun teers who stayed at Hostels C and D had a singing program from 9:00 to midnight in the theatre. They have been doing this for a number ofyears. Buses took pilgrims to the theatre. Everyone who went said they had so much fun! They said there was a lot of humor. Even our dearJal Dastoor had ajoke on everyone. He said he had a few words that Bhau wanted read out. He produced what looked like a long manuscript. He flipped over each page as he counted. After reaching 9 or 10, he put it down, giving that grin of his, and thenjust sang a beautiful song in a very nice voice. 2 February. We had a phone line connected just before Amartithi. It sure made it easier to get in touch with people, as many of us have mobile phones now, even me! We planned to have dancing from 9:00 to midnight outside in the courtyard. We have been doing this for years. The big speakers were put on the parapet, everything was connected and the music began.

3 February. We were all up early getting ready for the pilgrims to return to the MPC. At the Retreat, the last meal was breakfast. Everyone who wanted made the last pur chases of those delicious goodies the kitchen guys made during Amartithi. We had two receptionists waiting to give first timers a

full orientation. Those who would only be returning could just sign in and go to their

6o

rooms. Pilgrims brought their linen to the linens room, then took mattress and pillow to the assigned room. Volunteers helped take curtains down, remove buckets from bathrooms, collect trash, and anything else that needed to be done. Luggage was put on a truck. Pilgrims rode our blue buses. And Amartithi at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat came to an end. We who remained at the Retreat did all the finishing work: rooms had to be cleaned, keys organized, furniture returned to the MPC. The kitchen had to return all the things they used, trash had to

randah, then a film ofMehera in 1971. It is quite moving. Part of the film is in Beloved Baba’s tomb. The pain she felt was so intense that I think many in the audience had tears in their eyes. The unique love she had for Baba came through clearly and powerfully. 10 February. The school bus from Meher English School was parked next to the Meher Hospital as school children came

for dental checkups. There is almost daily play practice for Baba’s birthday. You can see pilgrims walking around with their scripts, or practicing with each other. Those involved with making scenery are busy at the

be gathered and taken away, sound system

returned to the theatre—lots oflittle things. Bhau came to the MPC and gave a talk. A Baba movie was shown.

theatre, as well as others costume designing and sewing. Bhau came to the MPC and gave a talk. A Baba movie was shown in the

chitect Ted Judson. We all formally met the

Dining Hall. Sunday 12 February. I went up to the MPR in the morning to video the tile

newly hired Superintendent, a retired Major

wall which is really something to see. The

from the Indian military. His job is to hire and fire workers, oversee needs, and coor dinate with each department. With such a

Superintendent said he had never seen

4 February. There was a meeting at the MPR for all heads of departments with ar

anything like it. He did not believe there was one like it in India, or the world. He was stunned by the concept alone. The love

huge facility it is necessary to have someone

in that role. The Major has an assistant, one of the Lobbymen. Tea and cake was served at 4:00 pm, then there was a great concert

that produced the ‘Welcome to my World’ tile wall I think reached the Major on a very deep level. There is a Baba Lover film crew from Australia here doing a film ofwhat it is like here for young adult Baba lovers. They were filming at the Dhuni.

by Carol Gunn and friends.

5 February. I slept all day long—I was so tired. Until Amartithi is finally over, one does not even allow oneself to even think

13 February. There is a very nice Baba

about being tired, but when the work is over

lover here named Anne Centers helping me

we can let ourselves relax. Many residents

and volunteers said they slept one or two

out in the mornings, since that is the crazy time: phones ringing, messages to be given,

days.

rickshaws wanted, pilgrims called to the

7 February. This is the Interment Day,

phone, pilgrims in private homes wanted to

when Beloved Baba’s body was covered. I went to Meherazad and bought garlands when the bus stopped at the Trust. Dolly

be put down for lunch, etc. We have to set

Bastani and I garlanded Baba’s chair in Mandali Hall. Then I garlanded the tree

There are more than two hundred pilgrims here, and the Dining Hall was crowded.

up for around 70 or more pilgrims. Bhau came to the MPC to give a talk.

outside Mehera’s room that Baba’s face

15 February. Sam Kerawala came to the

appeared on. On Mehera’s porch, Katie

MPC and shared some ofhis many wonder-

was telling stories of some of the animals. She told of Moti, the peacock, who loved

ful Baba stories. 16 February. All around Meherabad are

to jump on the table when the mealtime bell rang. Then Moti would strut up and

signs ofBirthday play preparations: Pilgrims walking around with scripts, or looking

down the table. When they had to go to the toilet, Moti would stand in front of the door to display his beautiful feathers, not caring if the person badly needed the toilet! Katie told of times Baba had her get on a horse

theatre, lots of activity: scenery being made, costumes designed and made, rehearsals. Intense focus on Baba, because everyone wants to do their best for Him.

like they are talking to themselves. At the

20 February. Four unexpected Iranians

and ride. Katie did not like horses and, she said, the horses knew it; nonetheless, she had to obey Baba. She said that sometimes

Baba would be laughing so hard, because Katie looked so funny riding. Katie is very

humorous in the telling of stories. We had tea and cake on the theatre ye-

.

arrived. One had read several books on Baba, the others knew nothing. Peter Booth, our Persian scholar, said, that there would be 145 Iranis this season! Bhau was not well, so he had Meherwan Jessawala come to the MPC and speak in his place. Roshan and


Sam and one of their daughters, Mehera, all came too. 21 February. At the Retreat I saw work going on with the painted stained glass window that Sufism Reoriented from America is donating to the Dining Hall. Mara and Drew Landsborough from Scotland were doing one ofthe coats ofpaint on the frame. Drew has made the circular stainless steel frame and the rest of the stained glass that will surround the central Baba painted glass. The design was by artist Cherie Plumlee, and the Baba part was by 3B (Diane Cobb.) Drew and Mara will put it together and have

sang Happy Birthday to Baba, His 112th.

brought the last of those pilgrims back into

We immediately said the Arti, and then began singing songs everyone couldjoin in. Singing continued until breakfast. The heart

the MPC. Sam Kerawala shared some of his Baba stories. Our buses took pilgrims to the

fills with such joy at being at His tomb on

Ahmednagar Baba Center for a performance by Trust staff.

His birthday! At 6:00, tea was served under theTin Shed. Around 3:00 pm there was an

pilgrims to the Meher English School for a

art exhibition by residents and pilgrims on the verandah of the theatre. Baba has some very talented lovers! A painting by resident

it installed by Baba’s birthday.

Sharon Muir captured my attention. It was of a village man holding flowers in one hand and pouring water on them with the other. Sharon said one Amartithi, before our take-a-number darshan system started, there

22 February. Boy, do we need the new Retreat! There are so many pilgrims, over

was a village man standing in line for hours. When drinking water was passed around,

3 March. Suzie Biddu took a group of scholarship presentation. 6 March. We had meetings with John Gunn, who is designing the MPR computer program, and with the Major, Superinten

two hundred. Susie Biddu took a group of

Sharon was amazed to see this man pull

dent of the Retreat. 8 March. Sam Kerawala came to the MPC and shared wonderful Baba stories. 9 March. The sky began to cloud and we had light sprinkles. Everything became nice and cool. Such a lovely smell when it rains. I saw a man in the yard walking away with

pilgrims to see the Meher English School. The pilgrims really enjoy seeing the children. And, of course the children feel very proud that these pilgrims are interested in them. Sam Kerawala came to the MPC to share some of his many wonderful Baba stories. 24 February. There was a Baba flag raising at theTrust offices. Also in the morning was the decorating ofthe Samadhi and under the Tin Shed for Baba’s birthday. Flowers were prepared there too. Bhau came to the MPC to give a talk. Drew’s installation of the stained glass continued. The round frame had all its small pieces along with the center

some flowers out of a bag. He poured water

my neighbor’s wrought-iron table! I chased

on them to keep them fresh. They were for His Beloved Baba. Only after watering the

him, but he got away. The problem was our barbed wire fence, so we put connecting

flowers did the man take a much-needed

wires on every strand, about one foot apart. Now, the wire can not be pulled apart to allow someone to walk in. At night a huge storm came, with lightning, thunder, and

one of Baba. Drew put the sunburst color ones in once the frame was secured. Once the pieces were all in place, the UV Plexiglas would be put on the outside to protect the stained glass from the elements. Later, one

drink. At 4:00, tea and cake were served on the verandah. Everyone had to give half their ticket before getting refreshments. The other halfgot you inside the theatre. Children who just came for the refreshments were standing behind a roped-off area. Drew and Mara said they only finished the last touches to the stained glass by 1:00 pm, but they did finish in time for His birthday play. They

said things took longer here because they did not have the proper tools. At 4:30 the play Leila & Majnun began. It was so well done it’s hard to believe this was put together

of her time in ICU. The wonderful news is

it was decided to issue tickets. The ticket will also allow one to have birthday cake and tea. We used to have so many children

trees behind the Samadhi, we saw a deer! The first one I have ever seen. A bus took pilgrims to Alfred Saunders’ birthday tea at

the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, in the grove of

from the surrounding areas who just came

the condos, a very sweet gathering, relax-

for the tea and dessert, which would leave pilgrims without anything. A Baba movie was shown in the theatre.

ing. In the evening a bus took pilgrims to

in front of Baba’s Samadhi, and then went to Baba’s Cabin Room to clean. One of the beautiful garlands went on Baba’s stretcher. We then went to the Ghadi and put one garland on it. Next, we put one in the Sa

a birthday celebration at the Ahmednagar Baba Center. 27 February. MPC still hosts over 200 pilgrims. Bhau gave a talk. This was Jal & Dolly Dastur’s 50th wedding anniversary. They had a celebration and everyone was invited after evening Arti. Dolly wore her wedding sari.

28 February. Last day at Meherazad for

Baba chant began five minutes to 5:00 am.

this pilgrim season. Meherazad will open again in July. In Mandali Hall Davana told her story of coming to Baba. The Trust sponsored a classical musician to come to Meherabad and perform.

At 5:00 sharp we all joyfully yelled “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai” seven times. Then we

1 March 2006. We still have well over 100 pilgrims here. We closed Hostel C and

madhi. A 4:00 am wake-up bell was rung all over Meherabad. The Samadhi area was already filling with pilgrims. The beautiful

night. We received news from Pune that Gabrielle Gibson, a resident of Meherabad,

starting after Amartithi. 26 February. Meherazad was closed the day after Baba’s birthday. On the way to

by 3:30 am. I saved my place on the bench

10 March. It was a beautiful morning. Everything was fresh from the storm last

had died in the hospital. Gabrielle took care of my elderly friend Virginia, and was our chiropractor. She had been in an automo bile accident on 27th January. She had two

of the Residents stopped by to give me my ticket to the play. This is the first year that

25 February. Baba Birthday. I set my alarm clock for 2:30 am. I was up the hill

rain, unusual for this time of year. It was so chilly I had to put a sweatshirt on.

surgeries that did not help and spent most she was conscious and saying Baba’s name until she had no more breath to say it. Then her caregiver continued for her. Gabrielle

just closed her eyes and peacefully went to Baba. Gabrielle’s body was brought to Meherabad for cremation around 9 pm. I was deeply touched when Ted Judson not only

put flowers on Gabrielle’s body, but picked up his guitar and sang “Walk with the King.” Ted had just returned from the hospital in Pune from his own surgery. We sang ‘Happy Trails’ to Gabrielle before we went home. She is now with her Beloved Baba.

13 March. Bhau gave a talk. Many attended because it was to be the last talk in the Meher Pilgrim Center.

14 March. With eight other residents I decided to spend the night at the MPC, have the last lunch and supper and share stories

of ‘remember when. Bhau came for one last talk by pilgrims’ request. After Samadhi duty I went back to the MPC for dinner. There ‘

was a sign in the Dining Hall saying ‘Good-

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bye Pilgrim Center.’ Some of the stories that were shared at dinner were a riot, having us laughing with abandon. One of the most amazing stories of how Baba was so obvi ously in charge was of two women pilgrims who arrived about the same time. Neither knew the other. One of the women was to go to room W9, but was sent to W4 instead. As usually happens, the two women sharing the double got to talking. “Linda” told how her grandmother, with whom she was very close, hadjust died. When she said the name of her grandmother, and the grandmother’s hometown, “Ann” was stunned. That was Ann’s grandmother’s name and town! Linda and Ann realized they were related! The two branches of the family had had a fight and no longer stayed in touch. When Linda and Ann returned to America, they got the families back together. Now, only God could have arranged something like that. 15 March. The receptionists all went up to morning Arti and put garlands on Baba’s Samadhi, Mehera’s shrine and Mani’s. We told them that the 26 years of the MPC were now over. Ofall ofus, only Heather had been there for the opening on 19 June 1980. After breakfast, I went to my room and there on the desk was a Baba T-shirt and a large Baba button. Everyone who spent the last night at the MPC was given these by Pat Sumner. It was such a touching gesture. At the Reception Office pilgrims were dropping off their locks. Most of them wanted to stay until after our ‘goodbye ceremony’ at 9:00 am. A chair was placed in the middle of the foyer, as it had been on opening day in 1980. The chair was covered with a cloth. The same picture that Mehera and Mani garlanded in 1980 was placed on the chair. Heather told about the opening events. She asked residents who were at the opening to come forward and garland Baba’s photo. She introduced the workers who had started out in 1980 and they led the prayers and Arti. Then stories were shared by residents who helped in the creation of the Meher Pilgrim Center, and those who helped in running it in its early days. There were some pretty funny stories, as well as very moving ones. Heather thanked each person who helped in the MPC. We all said goodbye to the MPC with ‘Avatar Meher Baba ki Jal.’ The pilgrims departed, and we began closing the Pilgrim Centre down.

The :Lkuni in the Sai )3uyi Eruch jessawala very month, on the twelfth, the dhuni at Meherabad is lit. And every month, when there are pilgrims here, right around the twelfth, someone asks, “What is the dhuni? Why do we light it? What does it signify?” Well, the story of the dhuni goes way back in time, back to the Sat Yuga, or Golden Age, thousands of years ago. In those days, when a man reached sixty years of age, he was considered to have completed his worldly duties. His children had been raised and they now had children of their own. His labor was not needed to support the family, and he was now free to dedicate the remainder ofhis life to finding God. This was a sacred obligation, and the family did not object to his leav ing them to find God; for finding God, ultimately, was the duty of everyone, and it is said that even if one member of a fam ily realizes God, all members of the family for seven generations are benefited. So, at the age of sixty, the head of the household left his home, renounced the world, and headed off, usually into the jungle or forests to search for God. But what did this seeker find? He found that with no house to shelter him, no blankets to wrap around him, it was cold at night. And the mosquitoes would bite him and distract him and make it difficult for him to concentrate on God. And there were wild animals in the jungles, especially at night, so his search was made very difficult for him because of all these worldly consid erations. He had left the world to find God, but he found that it was hard to think of God because of the world. So these seekers would light a fire at night. The flame kept them warm, and also kept the animals away,

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and the smoke would keep the mosquitoes away. And the ash from the fire they would rub over their bodies as protection from the elements, so the fire was truly a friend to them, a companion to them in their search for God. Over time, the fires that these seekers would build near their seats of medi tation became associated with the search for God. If someone went hunting in the forest and saw the remains of such a fire, the person would think, “Oh, a holy man has been here, and the place would be respected because the search for God was respected. If one came across the re mains of such a fire, it automatically sig nified that someone had sat there repeating the name of God, thinking about God, meditating on God, and so the fire, the place, was respected, in much the same way that if you were to come upon a church or a temple, you would be respectful; it was a place of worship. Now, the word dhuni itself might have evolved in several different ways. It might be based on the root word dhoon, which means repeating the name of God aloud. Or then again, possibly it is based on the root word dhyan, which means meditation. Dhyani means one who meditates, and dhuni might have evolved from it. At any rate, eventually the word dhuni came to be associated with these fires. And, over time, as the tradition of all men once they were sixty renouncing the world and seeking God became less universally observed, the dhuni fire began to be associated specifically with the fires kept near the seats of holy ones, the saints and sadhus and Perfect Masters. .

ThatHowft Was©1995 AMBPPCT

Despite my silence (startirgJuly 10, 1925) I continued ailmy usual activities. At that time I communicated by writing on a slate, and also for more than a year wrote for a number ofhours daily on aworkwhich remains unseen and unpublished to this day. I did most of my writing work in my small cupboard-like room constructed underneath the big wooden table which stands near the dhuni (sacred fireplace). It was at this time (November, 1925) Meher Baba, Reminisences, Part 5 that we began to light the dhuni each month. —

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Wor1dwide JVIeItcr EBabti J frieetings 1 The following is information about the various Baba groups aivund the countly and a few from overseas. If your local data is not inciudedpiease send it to me arid shouldthftigsthangefiom thepubllsheddetails, please let me know that befoze the nextissue deadbhe. —Dftia

TEXAS Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-5602631, 3101 Skyline Drive, 75965. rockbl@yahoo. com WASHINGToN, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 310-946-0236, friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeimages.com/ MeherBaba

DoMEsTIc ARIZONA Tucson—Irma Sheppard, 520-321-1566, 7320 N. Village Ave., 85704. ihs222@theriver.com.

WASHINGTON, STATE Seattle—Meher Baba Group Meetings: Fridays at 8 pm. Also gatherings for special events (Amartithi/ Baba’s Birthday). Location rotates each week in homes. Mail do Cynthia Barrientos P0 Box 16081, Seattle, WA 981 16. 206-713-9905 cybar7@comcast. Noreen O’Brien, 207-273-3173; Heartwood Cottage, net 101 Hart Road, Warren, Maine 94864. ompoint@tds. NTERNATIONAL net

CALIFORNIA Los Angeles—Meetings are Sundays, 1 1 AM to 1 PM, held in our center “Meherabode,” 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 Just east oftheintersection ofArlington and 12th Street. The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at wwwMeherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements Ken Lux, 207-594-639 P0 Box 108, Rockland, 1 to the Baba community and the public. Maine 04841 kenlux@aol.com San Francisco Bay Area—Call for information MASSACHUSETTS regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259, Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center Benleet@earthlink.net. The Northern California Avatar Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle. Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St. El lpgp@verizon.net Cerrito 94530-2931 wwwMeherBabaMeherBaba. MONTANA org Missoula—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949; 336 Connell, Sacramento—Meetings first Friday of the 59801. month at 7 PM. Marilyn Buehler, 916-925-4451. NEW HAMPSHIRE premsay@sbcglobal.net. www.premsay.com/ Liz Miller 603-749-3668. mceliz2001@yahoo.com. MeherBaba .

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ENGLAND London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08. www.meherbaba.co.uk FRANCE Marseille: C. Dallemagne, Le Sylvereal Al. des Pins, 13009 Marseille. Ph: 4 91 39 02, Marc Molinari

Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Callas 83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Ph: 4 94 41 39 02 St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 7 Alee des Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon. Ph 2 97 46 13 19 Connerre: Andre Grimard, Champ Brule Duneau, 72160 Connerre. Ph: 2 43 89 01 94

NEW MEXICO Paris: Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Santa Fe—Robert Reser and Edle Andersen host Denver—Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 PM at meetings on the last Thursday of the month at 7 Paris.Ph: 1 44 593006 various homes in the Denver-Metro area. The contact PM in their home, 505-983-6621; 1921 Fort Union ISRAEL person for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Drive, 87505. robertreser@yahoo.com Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 0267 1-5835 and Arizona is Barbara A. Roberts, 303-238-4649; 46 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Israel 93513. NEVADA 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 myb@netvision.net.il LasVegas —Dick and Carol Mannis, 702-326-1701. (near Denver) babara@fone.net Meetings at 5 PM, followed by potluck dinner, 10809 MEXICO FLORIDA Garden Mist Dr, 89135. rkmannis@aol.com Mexico City—RafaelVillafane, Ph from US: 011 52 Tampa—Jane Paladino, 813-962-8629. 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225. NORTH CAROLINA Clearwater—Tom Decker, MD, 727-536-9282. Asheville—Winnie Barrett, 828-645-9252, 10 Sunny Email is best as I travel alot: raal@royerlabs.com. We have meetings about every month at 7 PM—nO particular Ridge Dr, 28804. winkiebai@mac.com. HAwAI I Maui—Meredith Moon, Phone: 808-573-1188 or Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, 28803 meeting day—people on the list are contacted prior to any meeting. Email addresses ase preferred. I am also 808-572-6556, Fax: 808-573-1189; 1940 Olinda nordeens@msn.com found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so email me if Road (or P0 Box 1269 for mail) Makawao, Maui, Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 you will be in those areas. HA 96768. mm@dreamcircle.org. or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, 27408, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area—Jeff and Cindy Lowe bikewalla@gbronline.com Molokai—Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham”, 808Ph from US: 011 52 755 544 6303 567-6074 or 808-567-6383, Fax: 808-567-6363 Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh----Carol Verner, cindearaba@yahoo.com Message: 808-567-6363; 69K Farrington Ave., 919-933-3550; 120 Taylor St., Chapel Hill, NC We will have a meeting any time there is a request Hoolehua, HI 96729, (mail: P0. Box 177), Kualapuu, 27514. carolverner@nc.rr.com for one. Please contact us ifyou’re going to be in the Hawaii 96757. salapa@aloha.net. Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area. TRI-STATE AREA LOUISIANA Bronxville,NY—Meher Baba House, 212-971-1050. New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center for President: Ira M. Gross, 480 12th St. Apt. 8, Brooklyn, monthly meeting and film program please contact: NY 11215. Inquiries: meherbabahouse@crisp.net Joe Burke 601-278-6245 for the date, time, location www.MeherBabaHouse.org and directions. burkeno@aol.com Philadelphia and surrounding ffi-state area ofNew York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—hi-weekly MAI NE meetings on Saturdays at 4 PM. Frank Bloise, 856Spruce Head/Rockland—We meet once a month on 696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ the third Sunday and take turns hosting the gatherings 08360. fIiloise@earthlink.net at 1 PM starting with potluck, then meeting. COLORADO

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