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Love StreerJ1impZ1osr elcome to Love Street
Street £arnpEost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Itsprimarypurpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among allHis lovers byproviding aplacefor sharing His remembrance. All members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. Love Street £tmpPost is mailed (approximately) eachJanuary, April,July, and October.
I Amartithi Celebrations Happenings in India Birthday Celebrations The Evolution ofthe MOO
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SUBMISSIONS: We seek expressions of Baba’s message of love and truth. Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited, but in digital format only (email please). DEADLINES: November 1st, February 1st, May 1st, August 1st for the issue printed in thefollowing quarter (November 1 deadline for First Qtiarter issue). SEND T0
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(please no hand or typewritten manuscripts), send to Editor, address above. STAFF: Editor in Chief: Avatar Meher Baba Managing Editor: Dma Snow Gibson Assistant Editors: Becci Robbins, Kathy Hill, Noreen O’Brien Contributing Editor: M. Concannon Design and Layout: Becci Robbins The Hollywood section: Cherie Plumlee Assembly and pre-flight: Tom Hart Printing & Distribution: Ray Madani Circulation: Pris Haffenden Please notify Pris, our Mailing List Walli, of your address change at the above address or by email: Stillyetmore.email@example.com
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Meherabad Diary Passings The GNU Life Love Street Bookstore Reviews Announcements Letters to the Editor Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings
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REDITS: Front cover : Compositephotofrom archivalsources, by Cherie Plumlee
:Thank )3ou ove Street £ampRost ispublished by theAvatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. We extend our hearzfèlt appreciation to all owners ofcopyrights to the Meher Baba p ictures we have used to bringjoy and love to the hearts ofall Love Street £ampPost readers. All words, images and graphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Other contents © Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. Unauthorized duplication isprohibited by law.
Editor’s ¶lctge Hopeless and Helpless! Baba folks, Boy am I glad Pris suggested we date each issue by quarters and not months! There seems to be so much to go in this 2nd quarter issue that here it is May and we still haven’t finished it. Which is not to say you won’t get a 3rd quarter magazine. We wouldn’t do that to you. But herein hangs the tale of what our Beloved has been doing to me: It all began onjan. 15. Los Angeles had seen a heavy snowfall in Malibu the day before, probably the only time in recorded history! I went for an early morning walk and slipped on a patch ofice, even though I had been warned by a walker going in the opposite direction to beware of it. I came to the ice, said to myself, “I must be careful not to slip,” and my feet promptly went out from under me. I crashed to the pavement, hitting my skull on the upturned point ofa house brick and twisting my arm behind me. I started screaming to attract attention as I was in extreme pain, could not move and, as I realized later, was in a state of shock. An elderly couple finally came to my rescue. The old man stepped on the ice, promptly slipped over and then picked himselfup again as ifnothing had happened! But Baba had different plans for me. They had called an ambulance for me, but I told them my husband was a doctor and I wanted him to take me to the hospital. So offwe drove, with Kathy Hill close behind. Kathy used to be an ER nurse, so there I was in Cedars Sinai emergency room the entire day with my own personal doctor and nurse. They (the hospital) gave me a CAT scan to make sure I didn’t have bleeding in the brain, and masses of X-rays.Turned out my arm was broken and the elbow dislocated. Luckily I have a hard head (as many of my friends will attest to!) so no damage there.
Ten days later I was on the plane to India with my heavily bandaged arm in a sling and a request for a wheelchair to meet me at all airports. Thank Baba for that! Best way to go. I arrived on the 29th to see things well on the way to being ready for Amartithi. I was shown to my room—a single—and again gave a fervent ‘thank you’ to Baba for having whispered in the ear ofthe staffmember in charge of assigning rooms. As it turned out, I would really be needing that single room. After settling in and making sure the sling was careftilly in place I set off down the hill to the Samadhi. Already large crowds were there, so I went over to my favorite place for communing with our Lord—the Gaadi under the tin shed. After paying my respects to Baba and thanking Him for a safe journey, I continued on down the hill to where all the stalls were set up and ready for business. I took a tour around them all, making a note ofwhat I wanted to buy and bring back for the Love Street Bookstore. The morning ofthe 30th I had finished my shower, had dressed while still in the shower stall and put on my thongs. As I opened the door and was about to step out into the main bathroom, I noticed how very dangerously slippery the tiled floor was when wet. I said to myself”I must be careful not to slip.” Baba stepped in, assumed control and I pitched forward, landing on my right knee with my right arm—not yet in its sling—twisted under me. I yelled “Baba!!” not sure whether as a curse or a cry for help. Luckily two women in the adjoining room came to my aid, helped me to my feet and limped me back to my room. I didn’t have long to wait for the doctor’s office to open and after a careful examina tion the verdict was ‘the knee cap is not broken, just torn ligaments.’ Doctor’s orders: Ice pack, ace bandage, go to bed, elevate leg. And STAY there! I am slow on the uptake, but after a
fewyears I have come to understand Baba’s methods in getting me to rest. When I am in Los Angeles and doing the Bookstore and LampPostwork, I will not listen to my husband, daughter or friends when they tell me to slow down, take it easy and relax etc. Such words are anathema to me. So Baba has to step in. He gets me out of LA by sending me overseas and does things to mybody such that I have no alternative but to rest! Last year I went to my high school’s 50th reunion. I had never been back and dearly wanted to go, so Babajumps at the opportunity: hits me with a huge cold the day before I leave. I went to the reunion, didn’t recognize a single one ofall the old women there, and then took to my bed for the next week. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the time in my beautiful hometown of Sydney. Amartithi—the 31st—and here I was stuck in bed. But my old friend Dr. Mike Ramsden tells me “You came for Baba, you have to be by the Samadhi for the 15 minutes silence at noon. I have ordered a rickshaw to take you there, and then you are to come straight back to bed.” So I obeyed doctor’s orders and went. As I approached the crowds, limping frightfully, leaning on a cane and with my arm in a sling, they kindly cleared a path for me and made a space for me to sit on the edge of the wall. After the rousing “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!” burst forth from the tens ofthousands gathered on the hill I hobbled out to my waiting rickshaw. As we started down the hill—the roundabout way back to the MPR—we had to pass the stalls.... “Wait!” I commanded. “I must do some shopping!” So disobeying doctor’s orders I limped around all the stalls and told the men what I wanted to buy. Not having had a chance to change dollars to rupees, I told them I would be back later. By this time my leg was killing me and just as I was making my way slowly back to the rickshaw I got spotted! Was it Baba or Montana who yelled at me “Back to 3
bed! What do you think you are doing?!” The Aussie Brigade—Katie Pyre and her daughter Montana Rose, along with Suzie limura—were determined I was going to obey Baba’s orders and r-e-s-t! Any time one ofthem saw me out ofbed (just trying to do myjob, Baba!) they hollered at me with (not so mock) severity to get back to my room.
L. to R: Suzie, Montana, Katie
Adrienne Shamszad accompanies Bahramcfiute (above). Iraj cuts loose (below). GabeMorrisplays along with Bahram (bottom right).
As the Amartithi cel ebrations wound down, the tradition has been to have a night with no curfew where singing and dancing reigns su preme. The Brigade did allow me to go listen to the music on the patio beside the tiled “Wel come to My World” wall. I arrived when the party was in full swing, and what great musi cians we had to entertain us. Even the youngest of the partygoers got up to dance.
Sam Kerawala (in cap). Chairman Bhau Kaichurigives the opening address atAmartithi (right).
Alan Wagnerfinishes with the prayers. (bottom right).
Playground atMPR (left). Rather than a little bell, this greatgong calls all to meals at the MPR (right). People canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t keep their hands and h/,s offthe marble statue byjurgis Sapkus (below). Donyou wish these ladies could help in yourgarden Indian ladies carrying bowls of soil on their heads in the garden (bottom left).
JeffDe Loe not only oversees
the MPRgardens, but does the heavy work himse(f (bottom right).
: c. .â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;
Every morning the Indian workers wouldgather on the upper balcony to sing theAadi Sachetana arti. How beautfiil it sounded (right). Australian Angela limura models a sari in the Dining Hall fright). Adrienne andAngie entertain the Mandali (below). The beautfiilfishpond with fountain by the bay windows ofthe DiningHallwas a great favorite withyoung and old (bottom left and right). .
Roshini Henderson and Sophia Kleiner enjoy their chapattis (right). TheArgentinean contingent took the longest table in the DiningHall, second only to the Iranian one (below). Katie Iranigreetspilgrims on Meheracporch (below right). Baba boards the bus! This handsome man turned more than aftw heads (bottom right)
Arnartithi Celebrations, contin/ued on pg. 22 9
Pumpkin 2touse Orphanage and 3ionct’s Wedding Dma Snow Gibson
he amazingly talented Stella Manuel, principal of Meher English School (in Meherabad,) mother-in-chief to over 20 orphans and very dear friend of mine, had a very busy February this year. A few hours after checking into the MPR on Jan. 29, I took one of my 50pound suitcases full of clothes for little girls down to the orphanage. I had mentioned to the Mehe rabode members during one of our meetings how Stella was taking on almost a dozen more children, and was in great need of more clothing. Dusttin and Amandah Paren, bless their hearts, went through their two daughters’ wardrobes and gave me everything the girls had outgrown to take to India with me. It was with great excitement that Stella and her daughter Fiona—who teaches at the school and helps her mother with the orphans—opened the case and ooh’d and aah’d over all the hip Western clothing. There are plenty ofboys at the orphanage too, so ifany parents would like to donate your children’s outgrown, but still in good condition, clothes and can find a pilgrim to take as much as they can with them, it would be exceedingly appreciated. Remember: “Real happiness lies in making others happy!”
Stella with one ofher “babies.”
Along with the new children coming in—some as young as 2- and 3-yearsold—Stella was coaching selected students
The children take a breakfor some sweet treats, with Vianny serving the goodies.
from the Meher school for their annual performance at Amartithi. Alas, there are no photos in our spread, as they sung shortly after Baba brought me crashing to the ground and smashed my knee, so for the first time in years I missed their singing. Now as if all that was not enough, her eldest daughter, Fio na, was getting married right after Amartithi. Cookie Riendeau, also from Los Angeles, friend ofmine and great admirer of Stella and the work she does, was asked, much to her amazement, to officiate at the wedding! The civil service was done in Ahmednagar earlier in the morning and we were all asked to be at the Baba room in the Trust com pound for the “Blessing by Baba” ceremony later in the morning. A good crowd was assembled, and despite having absolutely no experience in such things, Cookie carried it off very nicely, leading us all in the prayers and then speaking from her heart on marriage, love, Baba, and how to successftiily combine all three.
Cookie andFiona show the children afiw dance steps.
Bhau is deeply absorbedin the “officiantc”words to the couple.
Kevin, Stella ‘s son, gives a great version ofa Kenny Rogers’song. After the ceremony Cookie stands with the bride and groom andjust some oftheir children!
Theproud mother and her beautiful daughter on their special day.
Presenting the happy couple, Vianny and Fiona. II
C1?rithvi 7,ision of !:Rural Empoweent .I_,,4
new face made its appearance this pilgrim season at Meherabad: Prithvi, Hindi for Mother Earth, a non-governmental organization based in Baba’s own village, Arangaon. Prithvi has actually been in Arangaon for three pilgrim seasons, slowly establishing itself and its mission. This year, with development of Gurdev Farm as its base, and sale ofbeautiful Kshipra bags, purses and quilts made by women in Arangaon and nearby villages, Prithvi was in the pilgrim’s eye for the first time. Prithvi was founded by Sharmila Shaligram in 1999 and she worked for several years to train women in sewing in villages and slums surrounding Pune. In 2004 Sharmi and I joined hands to enlarge Prithvi’s mandate. Prithvi grew to its present form from three main roots of concern:gender inequality India’s bur geoning HIV epidemic (already claiming 6 million people and spreading rapidly among women), and the increasing abyss between rural and urban India. Most attempts to address these issues take the form of imposed programs: a donor/professional/authority comes in, runs the program, then leaves. Villagers are rarely involved. At Prithvi we want to work from the village level as partners, rather than outside “fixers.” We believe the villagers know the solutions to their own problems. Prithvi is for and about people. Its mission is summed up in the word empowerment. For Prithvi this is no abstraction but a living process ofcelebrating the self, making choices and taking responsibility for change. The core group of dedicated villagers who have been there from the beginning manages Prithvi’s operations. Active projects exist in 10 villages, and seeds are planted in 10 more, where local people trained to “take the pulse” of their villages and develop projects based on community-identified needs. Gender disparity is a serious issue in India, which has one ofthe worst mother-
child mortality rates in the world. Half the rural women are anemic from poor nutri tion and chronic disease; female fetuses are routinely aborted. Most rural women carry responsibility for children, sick husbands, elders, but have no skills and are desperate for work. One major path to change is to develop independent income sources for them. The Kshipra sewing project, inaugurated in August 2006, was developed to address this. Interested women join in their viilage and master sewing skills, then work to develop quality designs and products under the supervision of trainers. Prithvi is developing markets in India and abroad for these goods, once products reach an acceptable level of quality. Amartithi was our first target market and sales were a great success, both for
the pilgrims, who were able to take home beautiftil items and contribute to a good cause, and for the Kshipra women, many of whom had never before received acknowl edgement for their skills or talents. One of the highlights was involvement of Kshipra women at the Amartithi stalls. For many it was a rare trip out oftheir village; all were amazed at the numbers ofpilgrims. They were deeply touched by the enthusiasm for their wares, and inspired to continue their hard work. This is the essence of empowerment. Find Prithviproducts at the Love Street Bookstore Web site soon (bags, quilts and more, reasonablypriced). For more about Prithvi, visit: www.prithi. org. or contactAnn Speirs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sharmi Shaligram prithvilO@vsnl.com.
¶J2rithvi’s .7fr1ission P
rithvi, a young organi zation based in Aran gaon village, believes in a comprehensive approach to rural empowerment. Addressing single issues may ease a situation temporarily, but it does not initiate lasting change.This must happen by identifying entry points and addressing key issues on a number offronts simultaneously, tipping the balance toward change and growth. For example, Prithvi sees the HIV epi demic as an opportunity to unite villages in confronting and shaping their own issues. HIV is inextricably linked with other key issues in the village: lack of opportunity at the village level; unemployment, forc ing people to leave families and migrate for work; alcohol and prostitution which haunt everyvillage; a rigid, imbedded caste system, and a host of health and hygiene issues. Government programs to counter the HIV epidemic target so-called marginalized populations, considered high risk; they offer testing, and limited medical intervention. Yet HIV is already imbedded in the general population; every village in Ahmednagar District has AIDS deaths and HIV+ people. Little of the billions
being earmarked for HIV reaches the rural Indian countryside. Prithvi works with all the issues the burgeoning epidemic illu minates, including family and community response, school intervention programs, income issues, hygiene, and comprehensive health care that involve people in their own health and illness decisions and care. Another crucial area that Prithvi is tackling is environmental concerns and the strengthening of the agricultural sec tor. Most villages depend on agriculture as their primary income, yet the Indian farmer is drowning beneath the weight of outmoded land and inheritance laws, poor market infrastructure, mono-cropping, and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. Every visitor to India is aware of the terrible environmental issues India faces, a severe energy crisis, terrible poi lution in cities and country, and poor infrastructure.
Prithvi is developing, in partnership with owner Gurdev Chhoker, a six-acre organic farm near Meher English School. Currently we are developing our infra structure and harvesting our first crops, moving toward organic certification with all deliberate speed. Many pilgrims came to tour our young farm and offer their support and ideas during Pilgrim Season. In addition to the organic farm, the site will house: . The Prithvi Institute of Rural Empowerment, a resource and demonstration project for farmers and rural communi ties. . The Wellness Center, offering educa tion, counselling and treatment of health issues, especially HIV, and involving participants in managing and taking respon sibility for their own health decisions. . A restaurant/nutritional training resource, teaching women entrepreneurial skills and giving them hands-on nutri tional and hygiene experiences to improve the family diet, using indigenous foods and developing clean food and water habits. Prithvi has begun a pilot recycling project at Meherabad, spearheaded by Gusi Bowling from Australia. We collect glass, metal and plastic from Meherabad residents, Meher Colony and the condos, and recycle them. Once the pilot project is strong, Prithvi will establish a similar cen ter in Arangaon village and other villages in our catchment area to begin tackling their terrible waste disposal problems.
Prithvi was de liberately started on a shoestring budget. Vil lages see NGOs and westerners in particular as “cash cows” to be milked until they disappear. Prithvi believes that proj ects should be self-supporting, Ashok Kale and Suvarna Pawar at theAmartithi stall ofProject Kshira. self-directed and Ashok is theperson incharge ofthe Project Vasundhara. Suvarna Pawar is thegeneral manager who oversees all theprojects and administration. self-sustaining and we intend our vil lage projects to be self-sufficient by 2009. be inclusive, welcoming all, regardless of Prithvi currently receives limited funding religion, caste, status, wealth, gender. from individual contributions and from Thanks to everyone who offered Prithvi its corporate partner, ISMT, Ltd. Fundlove and support this year.Thanks to you it ing needs will increase within the next has been a great growing experience! year as we are establishing the Prithvi Institute of Rural Empowerment and the Wellness Center. We are increasing our Indian corporate partnerships and applying for various international grants and fellowships. While Prithvi is based in Baba’s village, and has Baba lovers on its staff it is a nonsectarian organization. In India religious and spiritual affiliations ofan NGO breed distrust and insure that people will not join. For example, many Christian chari ties make coercive conversion a central part of their work, which has aroused much anger across the country. Prithvi aims to Suvarna at theAmartithi stall
Manisha Borge andMehra,frying the Pun (Indianfried bread)for thefoodstall atAmartithi. Manisha is a 28-yearold widow, Prithvic community representativefor the village Wadgaon Tandali, about23 kmsfromArangaon. She is very dedicatedto doing somethingspecialfor the HlVwidows and their empowerment in the rural areas. Mehra works on the Farm.
(L-R) Mehra, Bhaskar, Meena, and Sharmi. Mehra is a member ofthe Project Vasundhara Team that works on agricultural and environmental issues. Bhaskar is a community representative ofPrithvi,also a trainer and an amazingperfornzer in the streetplays,for the village Bhoyare Pathar about2O kilonietersfrom /lrangaon. Meena is a member ofthe core team and is in charge ofthe Project Positive Hope, working on health issues. Sharmi (me) isfounder president and driver ofPrithvi.
Jl4eherabctd Diarij Judy Stephens
he last two weeks of December seem to be the most event—packed time in the year. There’s Mehera’s birthday, a very special day here; the Christmas program at Meherazad; the New Year’s Eve celebration, with a party before at the Samadhi to bring in the New Year at midnight; and then, of course, preparations for Amartithi begin. Oh, yes, the latest update on Chi kungunya. My cough is almost gone and I am back to normal. However, a few Meherabad residents have a recurrence of swelling of the joints or not being able to get rid ofa cough. Dec. 16. I was up the hillby 5:30 AM to clean Beloved Baba’s Cabin Room, where there were garlands to remove because of Mani’s birthday celebration yesterday. I went down the hill to clean the Jhopdi before going to my room to get ready for the historical tour ofMeherabad. Since we moved up to the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, fewer pilgrims go down for the tour. I am not quite sure why, since the bus delivers them to the old MPC. Tea and cake was served on the verandah of the Music and Arts Center. Two videos were shown, “Ac cepting His Way” and “Doing All for His Sake,” about Baba’s sister Mani at Mandali Hail in September 1989. Dec. 17. I had hired a car to take Virginia to Meherazad. She always re members Mehera when we reach Mehera’s porch. Everyone is always happy to see her and give her such sweet hugs and kisses. No program was held in Mandali Hall, because the tin roofhad not been put back. Itwas the first time most had seen it empty and open to the sky It looked so small! Dec. 18. I had a full day at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, where it has been very busy. The bus took the pilgrims to the MPC and a singing practice for Mehera’s birthday and Christmas was held. Tea and popcorn were served in the hall before Bhau gave a talk at 4:30 PM. Dec. 19. On my way up the hill for 6 PM Samadhi duty I noticed the metal frame in front of the amphitheater was up. It supports the colorful pandal that
gives shade and allows a large, unobstructed area for watching the performances during Amartithi. Just before Arti, I saw the fiowerwala and ordered a garland for Mehera’s birthday. I also ordered a garland for Baba’s Samadhi, His Cabin Room and the Gadi. Dec. 20. There were a lot of arrivals from Pune and Mumbai coming in for Mehera’s birthday. Susie Biddu gave a tour of the Meher English School. At 4 PM, tea and cake was served on the verandah of the Music and Arts Center, and then a Baba movie was shown. Dec. 21. In preparation for Mehera’s Birthday, a notice was posted requesting volunteers for cleaning up the trash around the Samadhi and Lower Meherabad. All were to meet at Mandali Hall at 9:15 AM—bags and gloves were provided. At 4:30 PM, the weekly music on the porch jam session was held at the Music and Arts Center. Dec. 22. Today was Baba’s beloved Mehera’s 100th Birthday. I was up the hill by 9 AM with my video camera. Many of the women residents, including Meheru, wore something pink. Although it was not planned, one wonders how so many picked that color at the same time. All the songs sung at the morning special Arti were “Mehera” songs. Heather wrote a song for Mehera’s 100th birthday, which was how we had Sita, Rada, Ayesha,Jesus’ Maria and now Beloved Baba’s Mehera. Heather sang a song that Meheru had written for Mehera. The covers on Mehera, Mani and Baba’s shrines were lovely. A beautiful cover with two peacocks made by Lindsey Reiter was on the Gadi. She has such a unique ability to create these gorgeous covers. The peacocks were just like the those carved on the headboard sides of the Gadi. The birthday celebration continued with cake, tea and ice cream, followed by of music, singing and dancing. A film of Mehera followed. Dec. 24. At evening Arti, only Christmas carols were sung, with sheets offavorite Christmas songs passed around.
Dec. 25. It was my day at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Virginia and I went to Meherazad, where a colorful pandal coyered the seating and stage area. Christmas decorations made the area look so lovely on this clear, warm day. Wendy Connor and Heather Nadel told “Manijokes.”The Alvarado family performed a reenactment of a musical comedy from the 1969 darshan, which Meheru says Mehera loved. Hugh McDonald performed his magic and Christmas carols ended the program. A line was formed to go into Mandali Hall and take darshan at Beloved Baba’s chair. Buz Connor, dressed as Santa, gave out the traditional bags of goodies. Dec. 26. I was up at the Samadhi by 8:30 AM to do an archive cleaning. Then I went into the bazaar to buy decorations for the annual New Year’s Eve celebra tion. At our weekly volunteer supervisor meeting, we decided not to have a buffet following the bringing in ofthe New Year at the Samadhi.The pilgrim accommoda tions at Meherabad are now more than a mile apart—it’s just not the same as it used to be when we had the celebration at the MPC. We got word that Jungle Master had died. According to Baba, he would be bur ied here at Meherabad with His Mandali. Jungle Master had been with Baba since the early years. He and Bhau are the last two men who allowed to be buried here at Meherabad. Dec. 27. I was on duty at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. JungleMaster’s body was kept in Mandali Hall for people to have a chance to say goodbye before it was taken to the cremation site. At 1 1 AM, I took a rickshaw to the cremation, because I wanted to say goodbye. Tea and cake were served at 4 PM on the verandah, after which a Baba movie was shown. Dec. 28. I went to Pune for the day and visited Jungle Maharaj Road, where Baba would go to a temple site during the nine months after Babajan lifted His veil. A large open area was made by removing the stone, and inside is a stone circular temple. At one end, three doors lead to small cells; a stone walkway around the cells was carved out ofthe stone. A ledge in the far corner looks unfinished, and it is here that Baba would sit. I talked to a pilgrim who said that Baba’s brother Jal told him that Baba had said every Avatar had been in that area. The energy is so powerful there tears came to my eyes.
Dec. 29. I worked in the garden and tied sheets of tata bamboo to the barbed wire fence, because when the herders bring the goats in, they stick their heads between the barbed wire and eat our plants. Now the goats won’t be able to see the plants, much less eat them. Bhau and his entourage left for Saoner, near Nagpur, in the evening. Dec. 30. The historical tour ofMeher abad was canceled because ofthe burial of J ungle Master’s urn here at Meherabad. His urn was buried next to Aloba. When Bhau joins Baba, his body will be on the other side ofJungle Master. A couple of hundred people attended the burial. Dec. 31. At 10:30 AM, I went up to the Retreat to decorate for the party; it took us seven hours.The Retreat is so much bigger than the MPC. But, when we finished it all looked so pretty. It adds to the spirit of celebration. A collection of all types of music was played, making it easy for everyone to dance. At 11:30 PM, we boarded the bus to the Samadhi, which had been open since evening Arti. Many pilgrims continued singing there. After Arti, we said “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai” seven times, and then we all dispersed to our rooms. Jan.1, 2007. Many pilgrims had come for the New Year’s Eve celebra tion, so there were a lot of departures. With so many pilgrims, it was very busy. Jan. 2. Amartithi preparations are going on everywhere: fields have been plowed, women have pulled weeds along the paths and the hill has the huge steel beams being assembled for the pandal. Jan. 5. I had an 11 AM appointment with Cindy Lowe. I have been video taping Baba lovers who had gone to the 1969 darshan in Guruprasad, Pune. We met in the music room and Cindy played a song she had written that expressed what the darshan meant to her. She spoke of when she first saw Mehera, not really knowing much about her, yet recognizing immedi ately “the queen of the universe.” Jan. 6. At 10 AM I went to the MPC to meet anyone who wanted to go on the historical tour of Meherabad. At 4:30 PM, after tea and cake, a ftlm was shown of Eruch Jessawala on learning Meher Baba’s ways. Jan. 7. This was Mehera’s birthday, according to the Christian calendar. I
took Virginia to Meherazad to share in the special program of singing before the showing of a premiere film made for Mehera’s 100th birthday by Kacy Cook and Bob Frederick. We were spellbound seeing scenes not shown before. J an. 9. The Pilgrim reservation office volunteers said they had 400 reservations when they began looking at their Amartithi requests, with three weeks to go. Only 280 visitors may attend because of the plumbing system at the Retreat. J an. 10. I woke at 4 AM to sounds outside my window and discovered two men trying to saw the remainder of the sandalwood tree stump. I quietly went to Anne’s room and asked her to call security but the men ran when security arrived. They left behind two saws, a screwdriver and half the stump they cut. I arrived at the Retreat early. I tried to find the porter to open the office and learned he’d been gone for more than an
Roofless mandali hail. hour on an errand he made on foot because all six bicycles meant for the workers had fiat tires. Until the staff decides how to handle the problem, I have suggested each department have keys to one bicycle and that bicycle would be theirs to use and their responsibility to keep in good shape. The receptionists will have two bicycles, because visiting pilgrims who volunteer also use them. J an. 11. I took a bus to Pune and saw something that I had only read about in books. Two men were balancing a long pole between them; in the middle was a small swing holding an elderly woman. She was being carried somewhere. Jan. 13. At 3:30 PM, I took my video camera to the Music and Arts Center to video Bhau’s birthday program. The program was moved because the MPC Hall was just too small for the many pil grims here. A special area was decorated
on the verandah and on a stool next to a small table was a birthday card for everyone to sign. Suzie Biddu, commentator for the program, told how she first met Bhau when he was a guest in her home in England some 20 years ago. Then she introduced the performers. Adrian sang a solo in Persian; Richard, from Australia, played a diggerredo, the Argentineans sang, then the workers from the Ahmednagar Trust office sang. A funny film that was made for the occasion by Hugh McDonald followed. In it were some scenes ofBhau walking on water. Jan. 15. It was a busy day at the Retreat. At 6:45 PM we had a receptionists meeting—with Amartithi only two weeks away, we need to fine-tune what needs to be done. Almost 40 pilgrims will have to move out of the Retreat and into the old MPC, and there will be mattresses on the floor for 56 pilgrims. We had requested for well over 400 Amartithi reservations at the MPR, with new ones coming in almost daily. More than 100 were told there was no room for them. The Retreat holds 200 pilgrims and we will have an extra 80 beds for Amartithi, leaving 280 pilgrims for the MPR. Our sewer system simply cannot accommodate more people than that. Feb. 16. It was so pleasant sitting in the Samadhi. Hardly anyone was around. These days there are almost always people on the hill, so seeing no one makes me feel like I have Baba all to myself. I noticed Hus sein, the mason, working at the men Mandali’s grave area. I was amazed that the cover for Jangle Master’s grave was already finished. Feb. 19. There were almost 100 pil grims at the Retreat. A group of Chinese pilgrims here, four men and six women, very sweet! I got a Baba flag for them to take back to China. The flags flown on the hill, by Baba’s Samadhi, become faded or torn, then are replaced, but make nice gifts. Debjani told me one ofthe Chinese men had an ‘experience’ at the Samadhi, saw a great light that was Baba, and this light enveloped him. Some ofthe Chinese women had tears running down their faces from Baba’s love. Iranis sang their Arti right after the regular one, with a lot of passion. Feb. 21. Notices are taped to the glass on the Dining Hall entrance doors, a fa vorite place for immediate attention. One Is
requests volunteers for makeup and hair for the play on Sunday; one, volunteers to help receptionists; a third, for feeding the poor on Saturday at the Trust Compound in Ahmednagar. I saw Baba’s flag flying above the Arangaon Baba Center, and above a home a few buildings beyond. Went to the MPC to set up to video Bhauji’s talk, the fourth of a series of five talks on service for residents and volunteer workers. The hail was packed and I thought how many are now helping: not just residents, the extended communityc One day only Baba lovers will be working here in every capac ity! It fills my heart with joy. Feb. 22. I went to video ofBaba lovers who attended the 1969 Darshan, Billy Ward, Susan Herr, and Billy Files. Billy was only 18 when he raised enough money to fly to England, and then take the land route to India. He arrived in Pune almost broke, hungry and dirty and not scheduled for any of the group Darshan. He ended up having some very special time with the Mandali and got to have his Darshan with Baba on a one-to-one basis. Amber Mahler is doing interviews for a book on the 1969 Darshan. Feb. 23. Six Iranis, some new to Baba, were eager to help with birthday preparations. Hours later, they were still working! It was looking so pretty! Such
a sense ofbalance and beautyc Tickets for the birthday play are ready for pilgrims. Jal started distributing tickets last year because villagers eat the cake and ice cream and take seats in the theatre, leaving many pilgrims unfed and standing; then soon after the play starts, they leave. Under the Samadhi portico, the floor has been treated with cow dung, as it is every year just before Baba’s birthday. Feb. 24. After everything in Baba’s Cabin received a thorough cleaning, we changed curtains, shelf cover, stretcher cover and pillow cover and put a handmade flower garland on the stretcher. Later volunteers were cutting roses and stringing two huge tubs frill of flowers, at least 30 people helping. There are almost 200 pilgrims in the Hostels and at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, about 170 more. Next to Baba’s gaadi, there is a lovely rangoli ( design made from colored powder) oftwo peacocks with a lotus flower. Each design holds a number: 113. Feb. 25. Left the house by 3:45 AM. Already quite a few pilgrims at the Samadhi. The flower-wallah gave me my garlands.The line was not long, so was able to take darshan inside the Samadhi. At the Retreat, wake-up bell 3:30, tea at 4, and at 4:15 the bus left for the Samadhi, which soon became crowded with His lovers.
7Jream &ate Meher Baba
ithough the most important work ofconsciousness is always done during the waking-state, dreams also play their part in helping consciousness through the maze of problems which beset it. As a rule, consciousness passes through the dream-state during the transition from waking to sleep and while returning from sleep to waking. The dream-state serves as a bridge between sleep and waking, but it is not an inevitable phase.The mind may swing between quiescence and waking without subconsciously passing through the dream phase. In the dream-state, consciousness is not completely dormant as in sleep, nor is it filly active as in waking. The dream-state is midway between these two phases and it marks a transition from latent consciousness to active consciousness. The unique virtue of the ordinary dream- state is that experiences in it are relatively free from the act ofwilling as well as from the rigid social demands which prevail in conscious life. Despite the seeming lawlessness of the dream-state, it is nevertheless subject to the accumulated mental and emotional impressions (sanskaras) which function as inexorably in the dream-state as in the waking. Many inclinations and desires which cannot find fuffillment in waking life, seek and find gratification in the self-created, subjective world of dreams. Likewise, many
At 4:50 we began singing Baba’s name, followed by Arti, and Happy Birthday to Baba. The singing after Arti went on for two hours. Tea was served under the tin shed. At the theater, decorations were put up by a group oflranian men and the Third Annual Art Exhibit was on the yerandah, where tea and cake were served. Bhauji and Meheru arrived just before the play started. Trust Office accountants sang an original qawali.The choir directed by Debbie Nordeen sang two songs and the audience sang along. The energy ofthe audience was ofexcitement and happiness. Alan Wagner introduced his play, about the life of Milarepa, who became a Perfect Master, and his master, Marpa. The audience threw roses onto the stage while wildly cheering. Feb. 27. Last day Meherazad open for pilgrims untilJuly. Katie’s birthday, and she got wished Happy Birthday several times with singing. There was ice cream. Feb. 28. The Samadhi is still decorated with pretty birthday decorations. Baba’s Cabin Room has birthday covers in it. It was a busy month, with our dear Baba’s birthday finishing it off. These are excerpesfrom Judy’ Stephens’ very detaileddaily diary thatshe writes, and which can now befound at www.jaibaba. com.—EcL
fears and conflicts buried in the subconscious mind inflict upon the dreamer a diversity of suffering which the conscious mind would seek to avoid. Thus dreamland also invites the experiencing ofthe opposites. The unique characteristic ofdream experiences is that they afford an opportunity to work out a number ofthe sanskaric impressions without creating any new physical bondage. Many dreams have the same force and directive value that inhere in experiences of the waking-state, but these latter are always accompanied by the simultaneous creation ofnew emotional and mental impressions says that prove to be just as binding as the age-old impressions that limit man’s consciousness. Dream experiences however result in no such creation of further bindings. Another interesting aspect ofordinary dreams is that, regardless of what the dream entails, it has no direct effect upon any mind other than the dreamer. This is quite contrary to experiences in the conscious waking-state. These invariably involve and affect many other souls as well, thus complicating many life patterns. The activity ofconsciousness in the waking state creates a bondage ofkarmic liabilities and assets from which dream experiences are exempt. The dream world is a type of psychic experimental laboratory insulated from the demands of physical life and thus possessing some advantage over the waking-state. But because it does not give play to the directive faculty ofthe will and isolates the individual soul from other souls, it also suffers severe handi caps from which the waking life is free. Listen, Humanity © 1957, Sufism Reoriented Inc.
J?ilgrim &ason 21ighlights Debbie Nordeen, North Carolina 24: The busy Pilgrim Season and buzzed with Baba’s bustled ]jarch children from around the world. Leaving Meherabad only four days ago on wings of summer heat and beautiful fragrances ofneem blossoms, reflections on this past pilgrim season come easily to mind. Throughout the season, pilgrim ac tivities at Meherazad and Meherabad are as bustling as ever. Films in a variety of languages, concerts, Dhuni, B aba-shar ing at Meherazad, historical tours, Arti, Samadhi duty all serve the one main focus of Meherabad, His remembrance. How fortunate that Bhauji is with us and comes to Meherabad twice a week for talks. Baba works His magic in our hearts and draws us nearer and nearer. As Bhau points out, Baba is the master doctor who has the uniquely perfect remedy for each and every soul. He does His love-work within us so beautifully. One pilgrim who has been coming to Meherabad for years commented recently, “I feel that Baba’s presence in the Samadhi is even more powerful than ever, and I was here for the last darshan in 1969!” We arrived at Meherabad at the end ofNovemberjust in time to participate in th anniversary commemoration of the 50 Satara auto accident. What a 1956 Baba’s Organized by the Library focus. heartfelt of pilgrims from hundreds committee, event. Our large this special for India came on the last joined was group Meherabad group that by a event three-day day ofthis day, anniversary the on the site had gone to in Hindi shared werelovingly Dec. 2.Talks and English, and there was a film which narrated the events ofthe fateftil day. One unique aspect to the film was a computeranimated portion which depicted how the accident occurred. It was very powerful. A wonderful outcome from all this fo cused attention on Baba’s incredible work for all humanity: A small portion of land adjacent to the road where Baba shed His precious blood recently came up for sale, and Baba lovers worldwide are making the effort to purchase this to establish some landmark. (If you are interested in more details, please contact the Trust.) Dec. 22 was another very commemo th Birthday. Baba rative day, Mehera’s 100
said that Mehera loved Him as He should be loved. It was fitting to honor her love for Him in a special way, so a beautiful remembrance was planned at the Theatre in the Music and Arts Center. Her words were lovingly read out; there was a solo waltz; songs were sung that were written just for this special day. The stage was flanked by huge enlargements of fulllength Baba and Mehera photos. And of course, there was cake! Later, on Jan. 7, Mehera’s actual birth date, another celebration occurred in Mandali Hall at Meherazad. The special songs were reprised and a new film, a sort ofBirthday greeting card to Mehera, debuted. This film has heart-touching clips of Baba and Mehera, juxtaposed with Mehera’s own voice, as well as other Mandali, and accompanied by a variety of beautiful musical selections. Hopefully, soon, this little gem of a film will be released for all to see. (Available now in the Love Street Bookstore, $20.—EcL) December is also Christmas month. The population at Meher Pilgrim Retreat grew to a happy crescendo, with festive singing heard everywhere. On Christmas day, hundreds of pilgrims poured into a Meherazad decorated to the hilt for this joyous occasion. Baba’s Meherazad family hosts all ofHis children in the finest fash ion! We celebrated Baba’s birth as Christ with a variety program, singing carols, and as always we all enjoyed the little bag of prasad treats with Baba’s quote for each one ofus,jovially distributed next to Baba’s chair by “Santa” and helper (this year Buz and Wendy Conner played the parts). Celebrating the Messiah’s birth brings to mind that Jesus said humanity would easily recognize His children, because they would come from all corners ofthe earth. Baba has said, “All religions of the world proclaim that there is but one God, the Father ofail in creation. I am that Father.” Those of us at Meherabad this pilgrim season really had first-hand experience of this. Before our eyes we saw souls from all corners of the earth coming to pay hom age to their Beloved Father.In January, a group of 18 arrived from Argentina. They brought such fervor and love with them, and this love was priming the heart-wells
of us all. Their love poured out in smiles and the universal language ofmusic. Hearing the American Arti sung in Spanish was very moving. Then on another special day, Jan. 24, th birthday, the Francis Brabazon’s 100 Argentinian group regaled Baba at the Music and Arts Center with original compositions of Francis’s ghazals sung in Spanish. How he would have loved that! Several Australian Baba-lovers had organized a lovely program which also included readings ofFrancis’s work, choral renditions of his songs, and film clips of the man himself working as a stone mason on Meher House. Baba’s love knows no international boundaries. His love is uni versal and is demonstrated in the oneness felt amongst His children from all corners of the planet. Amartithi time saw the wine shop doors flung open. Another part of the worldwide family flooded to Meher abad: lovers from Iran, old lovers and new lovers, Zoroastrians and Muslims, drumming, singing, laughing.The call to prayer was heard often at Bhauji’s talks. The environment of Meher-abad, “Meher Flourishing” encourages His children to be natural and free in His love. Many souls from India also are newly pulled by the magnet ofMeherabad. As recently as last weekend, three women from within a day’s drive ofMeherabad came, asking, “Who is Meher Baba? We want to know about Him. Where is His ashram? Where is His tomb?” Meherabad was bursting with activity for Baba’s 38t Amartithi. These days the take-a-number queue system works well for having darshan in the tomb on the 3 A new feature to the Amartithi landscape this year was a live webcast, with the program being shared around the world, and interviews being given. One highlight was when Meherwan Jessawala told his memories ofthat most unforgettable day, Jan. 31, 1969. One segmentwas hosted in Spanish by the Argentinians. At one point the Web-host named the different lands that were represented at Meherabad for this celebration: India, Iran, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Japan, Norway, France, Australia, Serbia, Russian, Eng land, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, Israel, El Salvador, Germany, Switzerland! One of the most moving moments of the Meherabad Amartithi celebration oc curs just before the noon silence. For 10 minutes thousands ofpeople are united in ‘7
singing Baba’s name over and over again. It is so touching to see the faces and hear from every mouth and heart, “Meher Baba,” all singing in unision, young and old, rich and poor, woman, child and man, from every nation. There is one common denominator: the God-Man, Meher Baba. Then the sweet silence begins for 15 minutes coinciding with the time Beloved Baba dropped His physical form. It is so touching to see even the tiniest children make the effort for silence, remembering Baba. His name is the heart’s language of all His children. After Amartithi crowds disperse, the buildup begins for Baba’s Birthday, Feb. 25.Just before the birthday, another wave ofnew pilgrims arrived unexpectedly, this time from China. His children come from all corners of the world for their homecomings to Him. One of the party was the translator and would skillftilly translate for us chatty Baba lovers. The group re ceivedthe royal red-carpet treatment from all their world-wide Baba family. We hear that the Meher Baba Chinese website has more ‘hits’ than any other Baba website. This group of 10 only stayed a few days, but brought such a sweet presence to Meherabad, and of course, Baba filled their hearts to the brim with His love. This year the birthday play was on the life of a great Tibetan lover of God, Mil
arepa. With much love, craft, and artistry the playwas masterfully scripted, directed, acted, and produced, and focused on Mila’s early life and his relationship with the perfect master Marpa.It is amazing to see productions come to life in the Music and Arts Center. An international choir warmed up the audience before the play with alljoining in on the song’s refrain, enthusiastically singing Baba’s name. Besides the play, there are many other concerts and celebrations, a feeding ofthe poor hosted in Ahmednagar, and of course, 5 AM arti at Beloved Baba’s tomb-shrine. What a way to start the Meher Year! Meherazad closes for the season just after Baba’s birthday. Baba’s dear remaining Mandali are His gems that so lovingly meet and greet us all when possible. His garden still flourishes at Meherazad. This year also saw the grand opening ofthe new dispensarywhich dear Dr. Goher initiated in service to Baba years earlier. For those of us who came in the early pilgrim years, memories ofour times with Mehera, Mani, Eruch and all resonate strongly from every corner ofMeherazad. We can imagine what it was like for them when He left their midst. To quote a Bob Brown song, “His loveliness lingers for thousands ofyears.” Lovers are drawn by the scent of the Beloved at Meherazad. The pilgrim season closed March 15. The Pilgrim Reservation Office reported
n Caster Song Heather Nadel pril 8. It’s 8:30 M Easter morning on Meherabad Hill and the Samadhi is getting a wash inside. It’s very quiet, except for the occasional crow or sudden burst of chatter from the chipmunks. A few people have come from town for Darshan, it being Sunday and a holiday. The floor has dried quickly because of the heat and soon they can go inside. In the interior shade, the gray flagstone floor gleams. The reflected bright summer light enlivens the vivid colors of the walls, the white of the marble, the gold of the lettering. The inner dome’s soft blues and whites glow overhead, and Beloved Baba’s beautiful face smiles down from the clouds. J ust above, resting against the outside of the dome is a ladder up to the spire. The Sa
that this year they registered the largest number of foreign pilgrims ever, over 900. The new Meher Pilgrim Retreat had a wonderful first season, by Baba’s grace starting slowly injune, so many op erational kinks could be worked out, with occupancy rates growing to overflowing at Amartithi time, and ending with a gentle diminuendo for the closing. The Retreat is definitely Baba’s gift to His lovers and Hostel D continues to be a wonderful lower Meherabad accommodation, too. March 16 saw a workers’ lunch hosted by the Trust, a nice seasonal ‘closing party’. It was eye-opening to see the Meher Pilgrim Retreat dining hail filled with hundreds ofTrust workers and residents. The foodwas wonderful and again a happy feeling permeated the atmosphere. The heat increased. The neem trees blossomed and ‘night queen’ fragrances punctuated our evening artis. Then for those who lingered a little past the pilgrim season, it was “Happy Trails” time for us, too.We, the choral “regulars,” ended up singing the song to ourselves amidst smiles and tears.”It’s the way you ride the trail that counts, here’s a happy one for you.” All trails and paths lead us back home to Baba, who ofcourse is our constant com panion all along, on every trail, through every trial in life. What more could we ever want than this: He is always with us, our dear companion!
madhi roof is under repair. The cross and the three other corner sculptures symbolizing the world religions, the spire, and the exte nor ofthe dome are being renovated: partially scraped to remove old plaster, then repaired with new plaster where necessary and finally repainted with special weather-resistant paint. The volunteers doing this work are having a breakfast break under the Tin Shed after an early start. (By pure chance, the five workers are a Zoroastrian, a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim and a Jew!) Come up later in the day, and you’ll see them all around the roof swathed in cloths and hats to keep off the blazing sun, gently scraping offthe peeling paint. Most of those coming for Darshan will hardly notice them. It’s Easter morning and in churches around the world, people will be singing, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again,” some with real hope in their hearts. In His perfect time, they’ll know: the Christ has fulfilled His promise and come again twiceover, and He is meeting His lovers “sometime, somewhere, somehow.” And here on this little Hill lies His lovely coat.
7;o 13e in J.ove with9od
Madhur andBhau in 2006.
ello, I am Madhur. I am a 17-yearold Indian from Ahmednagar, India, and have been around Baba’s infinite orbit for a while. Now I want to share some views I have towards Baba. I first started to accept Baba as God when I made a pilgrimage in Meherabad in 2005. I made a bunch of friends who were very kind.After leaving I read God Speaks, and this book answered questions I had when I was growing up. Questions of existence, questions of God, and ques tions ofBaba as God. As I read more about Baba, I realized the one and only truth: Baba alone exists, and I started to see how
beautiftilly he has carved not only my life but of millions of others in various stages of evolution. I have a confession: mylife before Baba has been the opposite of a spiritual life. I did everything that I was not supposed to do as a teen, as a kid, maybe even as an infant—but Baba’s books help me live life as it ought to be lived. And I started out just believing in Baba, not much love in there, but now as I think about Baba my heart begins to melt, thinking of how beautifully he planned everything in my life, how tactfully he got me out ofa tough situation. Also, because of Meher Baba, I now have a love: playing guitar. I was taught by two Baba lovers, James Newell and Cindy Lowe, and many others. Baba says suffering is good; many of us might disagree, many of us might find it amusing, but suffering is indeed good. Even for the most material people, it’s a necessity it teaches you. How do I know? I’ve had my share of it and it only made me a better, more loving and kind person, and who was helping me through it—Baba. He is a constant companion. He is always thinking about you. Baba is very special and to be in love with Baba not only means loving Baba, but it means
lappy iooth 73irtIiday, 3Jrancis J3rctbazon! aine Eastman Gannett tells us, “Francis was not keen on the Happy Birthday song that everyone sings, so on the occasion of May Lundquist’s birthday in May 1976 he gave us this song to learn with a blank space for any name to be inserted. So at the celebra tion at Meherabad to mark his 100th birthday this Jan. 24 we sang it with Francis’ name inserted.” Happy 100th birthday, Francis!
loving everything, even that guyyou really hate, that’s what being in love with Baba has taught me.To love everyone maybe not equally, but to love everyone. And I would not say I practice everything Meher Baba wants us to. But loving everyone is the only way you will genuinely feel one with the world. And one thing we are lucky to have is Baba’s love. Hold on to it. Also to everyone who is young, my message from India is hold on to Baba. All your so-called friends may not be there for you at some point, but Baba will. Baba will make your life complete. Also your love for Baba cannot be measured by what kind of person you are: sinners and saints, beggars and kings, all is God. A huge influence over my life has been Arnavaz Dadachanji and how she helped me. She guided me through every step and is turning me into a better human with her kind advice. Also there is another huge influence in my life, my love, and she, I think, is a gift from Babà. Baba gave me her love so I could be a complete man. I am also grateftil to my guitar teacher Cindy Lowe, who has been very loving to me this year, and has guided me in my spiritual and musical life. A warm hug to all my friends, and AJai Baba to anyone new.
Happy Birthday, by Francis Brabazon Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May Beloved Baba bless you all your days, Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May your heart ever sing Beloved Baba’s Praise.
Oh may you have a hundred years to serve Beloved God, To laugh in the land in which His dear Feet have trod, For heart to warble like a magpie in the sun’s rising, The same few notes yet ever new and surprising. Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May Beloved Baba bless you all your days, Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May your heart ever sing Beloved Baba’s praise. Oh may you have a hundred years to serve Beloved God To laugh in the land in which His dear Feet have trod, For heart to bloom like a rose, whose colour is the same, But ever exhales the sweet perfume ofHis Name.
Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May Beloved Baba bless you all your days, Happy Baba Birthday to you dearest Francis, May your heart ever sing Beloved Baba’s praise.
Celebrating J44ehera’s iooth E13irthdctj Heather Nadel, Meherabad ehera loves Me as I should be loved,” Baba once said. And Mani wrote in 1989, “The absolutely clear mir ror of Mehera’s immaculate heart, which Baba took great pains to keep unclouded by the dust of the world, reflects Baba’s image, the image of the Divine Beloved, as none other can.” So what a day it was for us, to celebrate the birth 100 years ago of such a lover!In both Meherabad, where the festivities were public, and in Meherazad, where theywere private, Baba lovers threw their hearts into making dearest Mehera’s 100th birthday a veryjoyous day. And so it proved to be. On the morning of Dec. 22, Beloved Baba provided the key element: a wonderfully serene and deeply sweet atmosphere at His Samadhi, which seemed to pervade the crisp winter air all over Meherabad. Flower banners were hung over the Samadhi door and around Mehera’s shrine in the early morning dark, the Samadhi and shrines were cleaned and prepared, and lovers poured in to pray. After Arti came a wave of songs sung with gusto and feeling: “Happy Birthday” (in English and Gujarati), “The Glory of Love,” two new 100th birthday songs, and many other tributes to Baba and Mehera’s divine romance. By 8 AM, Baba’s marble was heaped with garlands and flowers, as was Mehera’s shrine, which was draped in a teal-green cover bordered with silver and gold. Mehera would always dress in an exquisite sari for her birthday parties, and surely she would have appreciated this sparkling birthday “gown” made with such love by Baba-lovers in America. By 10 AM Meheru ar rived from Meherazad, bearing the fragrance ofthe women Mandali’s morning celebration. The Sama dhi portico was once again
filled with lovers. After garlanding Baba, Meheru led us all in the prayers, as sweet Mehera used to when she would come for darshan to Meherabad; then the portico resounded again with song after song. By some magic of His making, the great significanceofthe occasion (Mehera’s 100th birthday!!), Meheru’s presence, the touching memories ofMehera both happy and sad in the songs, and the traditional prasad offresh-baked brownies, all mixed together to evoke the light and lovely atmosphere of Mehera’s grand birthday celebrations inthe 1970s and ‘80s, when Mehera herself with Mani and all the ladies would come to Meherabad for the day. After offering flowers at Mehera’s shrine, Meheru honored Mehera’s love for Baba with a few words, some written and some spontaneous. She then visited Baba’s Cabin, the Gaadi, and the little kitchen where Mehera cooked for Baba in the early years, and finally departed for Meherazad amid waves and fond goodbyes. The rest
ofus slowly drifted away to lunch and rest in preparation for the afternoon program at the theatre down the hill. Theatrical extravaganzas were a big part of Mehera’s birthday in the 1970s and ‘80s, as we copied Baba’s pattern of celebrating her day with entertainment. So at four PM, a cheerftil crowd gathered at the theatre for a program. Of course, this being a gathering of Baba lovers, we had to have snacks first off, and the kitchen came through with cake with pink icing, fresh strawberry ice cream, and lots and lots of chai. At 4:30, the house lights dimmed and the stage lights came up to reveal two huge photos, one of Baba on one side of the stage, and one of Mehera on the other side facing Him, beautiful reminders ofjust Whose party this was! Flowers and decorative panels formed a colorful backdrop for the concert. In the expectant hush, the birthday entertainment began. Because Mehera would always turn her focus and ours to Baba, the program included many readings ofMehera’s own words, mixed with songs for her, a dance because she loved dance so much, and a film about her life made under Meheru’s guidance. The film was the perfect finale because it showed Mehera herself, talking, laughing, walking, even running, and most moving ofall, speaking about her Beloved, with that pure, sublime love for Him that was hers alone. I think I speak for many when I say that by the time the day ended, we felt amazed and grateful. Those ofus who had met Mehera were thankful for our great fortune, and those who hadn’t met her were grateful to become better acquainted with this most precious person, the beloved ofthe Beloved, who played the highest role in Meher Baba’s Advent, and loved Him as He should be loved.
A Sweet 73irthday at lI4eIierctna Kebi Boose, California e had planned an outdoor tea by the creek near Baba’s Cabin at Meherana for Baba’s Birthday this year. Throughout the week, everyone kept checking the weather reports and it looked like it was going to be sunny with highs in the 50s, which would make for great walking weather to enjoy Meherana. However, Baba’s Birthday dawned gray and chilly with steady gentle rain but it still didnt keep away about a dozen people. We arrived at the caretaker’s home where the ta ble was gaily adorned with bright colors and goodies galore, plus there was a vase of lovely daffodils gracing the fireplace mantle next to the large Lyn Ott painting ofBeloved Baba. The color and cheer of the flowers and table plus the roaring fire in the fireplace quickly dispelled the grayness of the outdoors. When all had arrived, it was time to head offto Baba’s Cabin, with some walking and others driving. The grounds were green with the coming spring and the creek was high and wide filled with the rain’s abundance. Inside Baba’s Cabin, all were pleasantly surprised with the warmth ema nating from the newly installed wall heater, so off came the coats and boots and gloves as we found ourselves quite toasty within Baba’s love. Arti was very touching and afterwards no one felt inclined to leave, preferring to linger in that special fragrance ofHis cabin, so we filled it with song and Baba’sJai. One thing led to
another, with remembrances of past birthdays in India, and there was much sharing. Especially remembered was Baba’s 100th Birthday, and how Mani’s vision of all cre ation calling forth the Avatar was depicted. It sounded so spectacular. By this time everyone was getting a bit hungry, and there were many thoughts of the wonderful goodies waiting back at the caretaker’s house, so we retraced our steps and sang “Happy Birthday Dearest Beloved Baba” again, and all blew out the cake’s 14 candles (13 years plus 1 representing 100) together, which prompted us to roar with delight at the spectacle our combined breaths produced. Many tasty treats were enjoyed and camaraderie shared and then it was time for a video. after so much talk of Mani and her 100th birthday vision, it seemed natural to watch DoingAilforHis Sake, Mani in Mandali Hall, Sep tember 24 1989. Wow, what a delightftil video and for those of you who haven’t seen it, I heartily recommend it for its charm, graciousness, and the awareness it provokes ofhow every day we each may open to what it truly means to “do all for His sake.” And thus, our af ternoon at Meherana drew to a close, with each hugging the oth ers with thoughts of the next time, and leav ing with hearts that were open and filled with His love. Happy Birthday dearest Baba! . .
7he Jli4irctcle of /1martithi Irene Holt, Meherabad b. 1, the celebration of Amartithi treasure for the hearty, bringing back singing around Baba’s gaadi on the Sabha draws to a close. At the amphitheatre memories perhaps ofAmartithi times with Mandap opposite the Samadhi. Now it is near Baba’s Samadhi the entertainment for Eruch when he would sit at the back of only Meheru who comes, and it is an inthe Beloved conveys thejoyous energy that Baba’s cabin all night, sharing his perfect timate time, ffill ofsweet memories of the is generated by these days of communion gift ofcompanionship with all who chose times when they were all there together: between His lovers and Himself Meher to join him there. Mehera, Mani, Goher, Meheru, Arnavaz, abad transformed is a metaphor Katie, Rano. for our hearts transformed by the The music is provided by the power ofHis presence within. well-known Baba bhajan composer What is it about the 31st of and singer from Delhi, Kusum anuary calls that so many hearts to J Singh. Kusum sang for Baba and join together in their mutual love is much loved for her catchy tunes with for their Beloved? It is traditional their delightftil wordings of in India to honor the death anpraise and devotion. She plays niversary of a loved one, saint or the harmonium and is joined by master, true. her husband Mokhum and other But our Baba’s Amartithi is Baba lovers from Delhi who play more than that. Beginning a few and sing along in the usual bhajan days earlier with the arrival of pil style. Sometimes an inspired Baba grims and the volunteers who work lover gets up to dance to the music. for the smooth fimctioning of the The others sitting near clap and event, it gathers a sweet and powersing along in Hindi. Always fresh, ftil momentum, carrying us to our yet steeped in a tradition that has darshan with Him at the Samadhi grown ever richer over the years. and our moments ofsilent prayer at In the afterglow ofthe final song noon, the two most significant and this year, Baba’s Hindi arti, Meheru poignant experiences of the day. lovingly quipped to Kusum, “now I suppose everyone who attends Amartithi begins.” So what is it Amartithi has his or her own im then, about Amartithi that is so ages, experiences and memories powerftul? that exemplify the event. Meeting Perhaps it is the collective effect and greeting old friends and new of ten thousand Baba lovers conI am the one who is always lost and found has to be one ofthe most common, vening at Meherabad with the same among mankind It is your love for yourself as Baba pilgrims from all corners of one-pointed focus: the give and that loses me and it is your love for me that India and from around the world take oflove with their Beloved. finds me. Love me above everything. arrive and get settled in their tents, Perhaps it is this give and take —MeherBaba hostels and rooms around the Trust with Baba that produces the overEstate, stopping every few minutes whelmingly strong feeling of His or seconds to embrace one another loving presence in the Samadhi as Sipping tea at one ofthe stalls, perusing one bows down to receive His darshan. in His love. From older Baba lovers who knew each other even in Baba’s time and the Baba gift items on sale byvarious Baba Perhaps it is the sheer numbers of His centers, bumping into friends by chance, who have participated in Amartithi gath chosen ones gathered together on the hill perhaps even meeting Meheru or Bhau: a erings for 38 years now, to those attending at 12:00 that make that fifteen minutes for the first time, the incredible sense of wanderer’s joy. The early morning dhuni of silence one of the most potent expe at lower Meherabad attended by thoucommunity and companionship in Baba’s riences of the year. His glorification at sands—what an impressive sight, and one Amartithi, brought about by the masses is inspiring. remembrance Standing in the darshan queue with which recalls Baba’s own hand in lighting of His faithful who gather here, in turn the dhuni Himself at that very spot. one’s heart full of excitement, listening to generates within each soul a unique and A personal favorite for me over the intimate love exchange. The busiest and the events on stage, chanting Baba’s name together as the line inches forward, this is years is the early morning ofthe 31st when most crowded time at Meherabad can be the quintessential Amartithi experience the women mandali who have spent the in fact the most personal and individual, for many. Staying upon the hill all night night at Meherabad rise for darshan at the between lover and Beloved—the secret c.,ii-: L. :, till dawn breaks on the 31st is a special miracle of Amartithi. L)a11Lcuu11, iJ11UVVL’.I LJy
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and ceremonies, which maintain the form but kill the spirit. Forms and ceremonies, instead ofdiminishing the ego, strengthen it. The stronger the ego, the more aggressive it becomes. In the anxiety to become conscious ofa separate selfthrough thinking thoughts such as ‘lam in the right’ or ‘lam the favored one’ or ‘I only have the right to live,’ one becomes destructive. “The furious race for armaments by the Christian world, evinc ing an utter disregard for the commandment ofJesus that if one cheek is smitten, the other should be offered, shows clearly what I mean by the ego. In the evolutionary ascent from the mineral, vegetable and animal life, the latent mind gradually expands and develops until full consciousness is reached in the human form. To create this very consciousness, the universe emanated from the Infinite Ocean of knowledge and bliss—namely, God the Absolute. “However, in the human form with the mind fully developed, a difficulty is confronted which prophets and spiritual masters have periodicallyvisited this earthly plane to remove. Besides the development offull consciousness in the human form as a result ofprevious conditions oflife, the ego, the ‘I,’ has evolved. “The ego is composed of fulfilled and unftiffilled desires and creates the illusion of feeling finite, weak and unhappy. Henceforth, the soul can only progress through the general suppression ofthis finite ego and its transformation into the Divine Ego—the One Infinite Self—by retaining in full the consciousness of its human form. When man realizes this state of divine consciousness, he finds himself in everyone and sees all phenomena as forms ofhis own Real Self “The best and also the easiest process of overcoming the ego and attaining the divine consciousness is to develop love and render selfless service to humanity in whatever circumstances we are placed. All ethics and religious practices ultimately lead to this. The more we live for others and less for ourselves, the more the low desires are eliminated and this in turn reacts upon the ego, suppressing and transforming it proportionately. The ego persists to the last. Not until all the six out ofthe seven principal states on the path are traversed, culminating in one God-Conscious state, is the ego completely eliminated and reappears on the seventh plane as the Divine ‘I’—the state of Christ Consciousness to which Jesus referred when he said, ‘I and my Father are one,’ and which corresponds to the state of living in the Infinite and finite at one and the same time. “This is the normal procedure for one who works on his own initiative without having come across a Perfect Master. With the help of a Perfect Master, however, the whole af fair is greatly simplified. Complete surrender to the living will of the Perfect One, an unffinching readiness to carry out his orders, rapidly achieves a result not possible even by rigidly practicing all the ethics of the world for a thousand years. The extraordinary results achieved by a Perfect Master are due to the fact that by being one with the universal mind, he is present in the mind ofevery human being and can therefore give just the particular help needed to awaken the highest consciousness latent in every individual. Perfection, however, in order to achieve the greatest result on the material plane, must possess a human touch and a keen sense of humor. “I eternally enjoy the Christ state of consciousness and when I speak, which I intend doing in the near future, I shall manifest myTrue Self. Besides giving a spiritual push to the whole world,
Los Angeles Times, May 29, 1932, page IA SilentMystic ofindia touirrive Here Today Materialistic Hollywood todaywill come under the scrutiny of Shri Meher Baba, Indian mystic, whose belief it is that Europe and america pay too little attention to things spiritual and therefore are passing through an era of depression. Hollywood has been selected by Baba as the place where next month he will break a seven-year silence begun in Bombay when he took a vow of silence to give an example of self-discipline. The breaking of the lengthy silence will be done in a typically american way, according to Baba’s plans, with a national radio hook-up carrying his first words. Arriving at Alhambra at 10 a.m. he will be taken by automobile to the home ofM. E. Jones, author-philosopher at 2400 North Gower street where he and several of his nine disciples are to be guests for five days. Baba and his disciples will go to San Francisco at the end of five days to embark for Shanghai and will return to Hollywood for the ending of the seven-year period of speechlessness. Unlike Krishnamurti, Hindu philosopher known throughout the world for his teachings, Baba believes that only through modern means can a message concerning spiritual matters be properly carried to the world’s masses, and for that reason will begin a campaign with the breaking ofhis silence, which will find radio and the press carrying his messages, according to Jones The Hollywood writer’s residence has been selected to house the mystic during his visits because ofJones’ friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Schloss of Harmon, N. Y., Baba’s chief disciples in america, where he has hundreds of followersjones said. The Harmon couple will be in the party accompanying Baba to Hollywood. Others in the group will be Mr. and Mrs. Meredith Starr, the former an English poet and mystic, Quentin Tod, also a Briton, Baba’s two brothers, Adi and Byram and Indian followers. Baba’s title means Mr. Enlightened Father,Jones explained yesterday. His proper name is Meherban Sheriar Irani. His followers refer to him as “the Messiah.” His bclief similar to Krishnamurti’s, is that the world’s spiritual life is composed of two forces, good and evil, and that the latter has too great a grip on the consciousness of folk of Europe and america, according to Jones. Baba, when interviewed, uses an alphabet board, pointing to letters on the board and spelling out words in answering questions. He claims to have told Gandhi to “get out of politics first,” when the Mahatma asked to be permitted to study the Baba philosophy. Baba has been the guest of the Harmon couple since arriving in america on the 19th.
I shall lead all those who come to me toward Light and Truth. This, in short, is my mission to the world.” [1643-44.] For this first Hollywood visit, Baba stayed at the home of Priscilla and Marc Edmund Jones at 2400 North Gower St. in Hollywood. Marc, an astrologer by profession, was a friend of Malcolm Schloss, the early East Coast disciple whose wife, Jean Adriel, would write the firstamerican biography of the Master: Avatar. Quentin Tod and Meredith Starr stayed with Baba and 35
his secretary, Chanji. The other Mandali, Kaka, Baba’s brothers Adi Jr. and Beheram, stayed at a nearby house. Jean and Malcolm, Margaret Starr and the others Baba had invited stayed at the Mission Hotel. The group remained in Hollywood for six hectic days, each so packed with interviews and receptions that the Mandali rarely slept more than four hours at night. It was a bustling tour of studios, meetings with executives, being ushered onto sound stages to meet casts and crews and to observe first-hand the : movie-making process. Norma Matcha beffi and Elizabeth Patterson had driven alone, all the way from New York, a major undertaking at a time when there Meher Baba at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, May-June 1932 L to R AdiJr., were no interstate highways. Quentin Tod, Baba, Beheram, Tallulah Bankhead, Changi, Kaka Baria Before retiring on that first night in Hollywood, Baba confided to Quentin Tod that he was unhappy, was to ask any questions and all were to leave after a handshake and he appeared restless and ill at ease. Adding to Baba’s discom with Him, but many felt so entranced and intoxicated they simply fort, Meredith Starr insisted he be allowed to sleep in Baba’s room. could not leave. After everyone had a chance to meet Baba, they After two nights of this, to get rid ofMeredith, Baba sent him were ushered back into the ballroom where His message was to a beach colony near Santa Barbara, the Dunes, for a couple of read out as follows: days. As a ruse, Baba told Meredith, “There’s a bad influence here “Since arriving inamerica, I have been asked many times what in Hollywood for one as spiritually sensitive as you.” This was solution I have brought for the social problems now confronting the beginning ofBaba’s allowing external contacts with Meredith you—what did I have to offer that would solve the problems of Starr to erode due to Meredith’s difficult personality unemployment, prohibition and crime, that would eliminate the Baba was particularly anxious to get to Beverly Hills to make strife between individuals and nations, and pour a healing balm contact with film industry personnel. A reporter from the Los ofpeace upon a troubled world? Angeles Times asked, “What do you hope to accomplish in the “The answer has been so simple that it has been difficult to United States?” grasp. The root of all our difficulties, individual and social, is Baba answered, “A general awakening which will affect the self-interest. It is self-interest which causes corruptible politi whole of mankind and eliminate depression and dissatisfaction cians to accept bribes and betray the interests of those whom existing in the world today.”  they have been elected to serve, which in turn causes bootleggers Baba visited Paramount Studios. After meeting with execu for their own profit to break a law designed, whether wisely or tives, He was taken to a sound stage where The Devil and the not, to help the nation as a whole. This in turn causes people Deep was being filmed. Quentin Tod introduced Baba to the to connive for their own pleasure in the breaking of that law, film’s co-stars, Tallulah Bankhead, whose father was a U.S. sena thus causing disrespect for law in general and increasing crime tor, and Charles Laughton, and these two introduced Baba to tremendously. Self-interest in other forms causes the exploita Gary Cooper. After watching several scenes being filmed, Baba tion ofthe great masses ofhumanity by individuals or groups of was photographed with Tallullah, who instantly fell for him and individuals seeking personal gain, which impedes the progress carried her connection with him throughout her life. of civilization by shelving inventions which would contrib Baba and a few others went to Fox and Universal studios with ute to the welfare of humanity at large, simply because their Lalchand Mira, an actor and friend oftheJoneses. Here they met use would mean the scrapping of present inferior equipment; the cowboy star Tom Mix and actor Ezra Mir. Tod later returned which, when people are starving, causes the wanton destruc to Paramount Studios to pick up Tallulah Bankhead, who would tion of large quantities of food, simply in order to maintain have a two-and-half-hour talk with Baba, before she left to see the market prices; which causes the hoarding of large sums of Greta Garbo, to whom she would mention Baba. [1648-1649] gold when the welfare of the world demands its circulation. That same evening, a large public reception was given for But the elimination of self-interest, granting even a sincere desire Baba at the landmark Knickerbocker Hotel, with more than on the part ofthe individual to accomplish it, is not so easy and is 1,000 people from the film community and surrounding areas never completely achieved except by the aid of a Perfect Master. flocking to what was described as a “spiritual love gathering.” It is because self-interest springs from a false idea of the true Visitors of all ages were kept outside the main ballroom and nature ofthe Self, and this idea must be eradicated and the Truth admitted individually to meet Him in silence and to receive His experienced before that elimination of self-interest is possible. handshake and radiant smile. “I intend, when I speak, to reveal the One Supreme Selfwhich In the dazzling light of the hall, Baba’s figure captivated is in all. This accomplished, the idea of the Self as a limited, people’s hearts. He looked divinely radiant in His white robe, His separate entitywill disappear, and with it will vanish self-interest. hair falling to His shoulders. Baba’s instructions were that no one Cooperation will replace competition; certainty will replace fear; ..
generosity will replace greed. Exploita tion will disappear. “It has been repeatedly asked why I have remained silent for seven years, communicating only by means of an alphabet board, and why I intend to break my silence shortly. And it might well be asked, in view of what has just been stated, what relation my speaking will have to the transformation of hu man consciousness. “Humanity as constituted at present, uses three vehicles for the expression of thoughts, and experiences three states of consciousness. These three vehicles are: the mental body (the mind), in which thoughts arise as the result of impressions from past experiences. These thoughts may remain latent in the mental body as seeds, or they may be expressed. Ifthey are expressed, they take the first forms of desire, and first pass through the subtle or the desire body, which is composed of the five psychic senses. They may rest there, as in the case of dreams or unfulfilled desire, or they may be further expressed in action through the physical body, with five physical senses. “The three states ofconsciousness corresponding to the three vehicles mentioned are: unconsciousness (mental body’s rest) as in deep, dreamless sleep; sub-consciousness (subtle body’s energy) as in dreams or obscured, unformed and unfulfilled desires; wak ing consciousness (physical body’s movement) as in active daily life. The inner process by which thought passes from the mental through the subtle into physical expression may be called the expression of human will. “In order that thought may be expressed effectively, all three ofthe vehicles used in its expression must be perfectly clear, and the interaction between them must be harmonious. The head and the heart must be united, intellect and feeling must be balanced, and material expression must be understood to be the fruit of Spiritual Realization. “The God-Man neither thinks nor desires. Through him, the divine will flows inevitably into perfect manifestation, passing directly from the spiritual body, which in the human is undevel oped, into physical expression. For him, the superconscious state is the normal state ofconsciousness. From him, there continuously flows infinite love and wisdom, infinitejoy and peace and power. When he speaks,Truth is more powerfully manifested than when he uses either sight or touch to convey it. For that reason, Avatars usually observe a period ofsilence lasting several years, breaking it onlywhen theywish to manifest the Truth to the entire universe. So, when I speak, I shall manifest the divine will, and worldwide transformation of consciousness will take place. [1652-1653] At the program’s conclusion, everyone was asked to leave, but again, no one could budge; they simply stood in place, gazing at Baba, entranced. Repeatedly asked to leave, only then, and only slowly and reluctantly, with heavy hearts did they begin walking backward with their eyes fixed on Him. The following words, spoken by individuals, were overheard:
‘JfChristwerealive today, he wouldlook like him.” “Whata divineglow on hisface!” ‘Be does not seem to belong to this world.” “Can any man be so beautfiil!” “He is the living Christ!” ‘i-low marvelous is his divine attraction.” ‘1feellike looking at himforever!” ‘My eyes are dazzledby his beauty.” “Ijust cannot leave. For thefirst time in my hfe, I have seen divinity!” “Whata sweetface!How holy is his divinepurity!” Wothing can be saidabout him. My tongue is stuck.” 7-low electrjfying was his touch!Ifelt a shockpass through me. My God!Iwas senseless.” “What is happening to my heart?” “Oh, how wonderfulis hisform.” “What brilliance! Whatbeauty! Whata smile!” “Seeinghim, lam amazed!”
It was an evening that would be re membered by each for the rest of their lives, and have repercussions on many oftheir future lives as well.  The next day, June 1, after a meeting with executives at MGM in Culver City Baba was brought onto a soundstage to watch actor Lewis Stone perform several scenes. While there, he met Virginia Bruce, a leading actress well into the days of television through 1982, before he was taken onto the stage where he had just missed meeting Greta Garbo, who had finished the film Mata Han with Ramon Navarro. On Joseph Von Sternberg’s set of Blonde Venus, Baba watched Marlene Dietrich perform and later said that although he hadn’t cared much for her role, he did like Von Sternberg. Baba met several other movie stars in Hollywood during this visit, including Mae Beatty, who appeared in more than 60 films during the 1930’s and 1940’s, and Flo Vidor, a famous silent film actress and former wife ofthe great MGM director, King Vidor. He also met Boris Karloff to whom he gave some beneficial career advice, John Gilbert, Bruce Evans, Charles Farrell,Johnny Mack Brown and Cary Grant. In reflecting what possible influence the actors who had met Meher Baba might have had on future audiences, it is hard not to speculate that the Master was somehow working through them. As a teen in the early 1950’s, I saw Charles Laughton on stage in Donjuan in Hell. He was the first ofthe performers that Baba had met that I had seen perform live on stage. Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Agnes Moorhead joined Laughton in a staged reading of this great George Bernard Shaw classic. It was an electrifying performance—in fact I went back to see this play a second time. It was as though anyone Baba contacted personally carried a kind of “electricity” that was subtly transmitted to all others whom that person contacted or influenced, whether in person or on the screen. I believe the Avatar works through those He has contacted, directly or indirectly, by touch or by “tagging” another. Although that tag wouldn’t manifest in my case for another 25 years, that indirect contact may have set me up for when he revealed His presence to me through a photograph in Pete Townshend’s living room in the mid-1970’s in London. Some ofthese actors and other key members in the film indus 37
try also met Baba later, on the evening ofJune 1, when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford invited Him to their famed and lavishly appointed Pickfair estate, a 22 room grand mansion at 1143 Summit Drive in Beverly Hills that played host to the worlds royalty at the time. The china at Pickfair was once a gift from Napoleon tojosephine. (On a side note, Baba at one time revealed that his Mandali member, Vishnu, had himselfbeen Napoleon in a previous life.) The ‘A’ list reception was attended by many key players in the film industry.  Mary Pickford was the world’s most famous woman at that time, a silent film actress and the very first “superstar,” appearing in more than 200 feature films, manywith Charlie Chaplain Also meeting Baba that evening was Cecil B. DeMille, who made a deep, lasting contact with Baba that would be renewed 25 years later when DeMille made The Ten Commandments. DeMille and Baba exchanged messages of appreciation—Baba’s for the film, and DeMille’s for Baba’s inspira tion and prophetic leadership to the film world.  Baba gave a detailed message at the Pickfair reception, meant specifically to uplift the Hollywood film community’s awareness ofhow important their efforts were on a worldwide scale, and how He intended to use their film work for humanity. He said that the Perfect Masters planned the motion picture—invented at the time ofHis birth—particularly for His Avataric work in this age. He emphasized the great responsibility filmmakers had in using this medium and that He wanted the best aspects of theameri can dream, as a synthesis of all the races, to be communicated to the world in a way that would uplift and inspire people. He also wanted to portray stories emphasizing the divine theme of life and love, explaining that movies and other future means of mass awareness were the Avatar’s channels in the modern world. Through these, He would spread awareness ofthe common bonds ofhumanity and increase the speed ofconsensus to unite people across the planet and so provide a blueprint for the later spiritual globalization to occur at the time ofhis Manifestation. If one can grasp the analogy oflaying cables, then an insight is gained into how the Avatar works in this particular age. He intended using film as a means to rally humanity toward higher, altruistic goals based on their divine origin and inherent unity Baba also had at least three of His own film projects in mind, each of them relating to the divine theme. He especially wanted to depict how sanskaric impressions and bindings between people were the reason certain issues kept cropping up in each of their lives. It wasn’t surprising that many famous Hollywood people sought his company even before meeting him, feeling he was at least on their level with his fame. By now he had attained cer tam prominence in the tabloids as well as being proclaimed in newsreels, newspapers and feature magazine articles in London, New York, and Los Angeles, including twice in Time magazine and on the front page of the New York Times. He had actually been scheduled for the May 2, 1932 cover of Time Magazine, but Charles Lindbergh’s baby’s being suddenly kidnapped pre empted Him. For all his publicit however, Meher Baba never attained trivial celebrity status. Perhaps after meeting him, these film personalities understood that their attraction to him had nothing to do with fame, but something far beyond that. On a somewhat comical note, when leaving India, each of the men Mandali were allowed to bring only two dress suits and the pair ofshoes on their feet. For the reception at Pickfair, Baba wore a stylish Palm Beach suit. In contrast, the Mandali looked like the paupers they were. Worse, the sole ofAdi Jr.’s shoe had come 38
Above: Pickfair right: Mary Pickford ancf Douglas Fairbanks. apart and was ffip-flopping as he walked. Baba refused to let him get a new pair, wryly jok ing that maybe this would keep him away from the ladies. Adi tied a string around his shoe to hold the sole in place. Crowds ofcelebrities dressed in formal attire mingled throughout the Pickfair mansion, while poor Adi sat mortified in a corner, trying to hide his worn-out , shoe.  Baba’s ploy seemed to work. Boris Karloffwas the only person Adi felt comfortable commiserating with that evening. Karloff had been feeling depressed too, mostly complaining bitterly over his career because he had been typecast in only horror films, which made him unhappy, but that seemed to be his destiny. He said he didn’t feel his life was natural or normal, that nobody made him happy with humorous talks or sweet discourses. But since meeting Baba and receiving His embrace, Karlofffelt his life had changed considerably and he now saw it all as illusion—Maya. Baba’s words of advice had inspired him to play his horror roles to the hilt. This simple encouragement was a tremendous help in changing Karloff’s assessment of his work and career. In 1980, Adi Jr. told me that because of that evening, a friendship had developed between him and Karloff with correspondence between them lasting until the actor’s death in 1969,just two days after Baba passed. It seems that the sole of Adi’s shoe’s coming loose provided the means of Karloff’s soul’s continued attraction toward the Master through this friendship which continued over the years. During the evening, Mary Pickford, perhaps sensing Adi Jr.’s discomfort, asked Baba what she could do for his young brother; Baba replied unhesitatingly, “Introduce him to Boris Karloff.” whom Baba knewAdi especially admired. Mary dutifti]ly brought Gary Cooper, immaculately dressed as always, over to Adi, who, still self-conscious of his shabby shoes, was hardly able to greet the star properly. The night ofthe reception Mary Pickford greeted Baba at the door ofPickfair, led him to the spacious hail where Baba sat on a sofa and she sat at his feet on the carpet. The other guests sat on the carpet around Baba, who in silence began sharing the wine of love. As Douglas Fairbanks joined his wife, Baba communicated:
I 4 .
“The whole universe and its structure, I have created. The universe is my cinema. Butjust as an audience becomes absorbed in witnessing a drama on the screen, and the ifim engages their emotions and sways their feelings by its influence, causing them to forget that it is not real—in the same way, the spectators of the world are charmed by this worldlyftlm show forgetting themselves and taking it to be real! So I have come to tell them that this worldly cinema in which they are absorbed is not real. I have come to turn their focus toward Rea1ity Only God is real, and everything else is a mere motion picture!  Mary Pickford was spiritually inclined, and Baba met with her and the assembled motion picture industry people for about forty minutes before dinner. Baba empha sized the impact of films and their value in turning people toward spiritual goals. He stated: “I was particularly glad to come to California because of the opportunity which it afforded to contact those who made or appear in motion pictures, and Tam delighted that this gathering could be arranged tonight. I do not need to tell you all who are engaged in the produc tion and distribution of motion pictures what a power you hold in your hands, nor do I doubt that you are fully alive to the responsibilities that the wielding of that power involves. He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them in any direction he chooses, and there is no more powerfttl an instrument for stimulating their imagination than motion pictures. People go to the theater to be entertamed. If the story is strong, they come away transformed. They surrender their hearts and minds to the author, producer, director and stars, and follow the example that they see portrayed before their eyes more than even they themselves realize. Both the press and the radio influence thought, but both lack the power ofvisible example, which is the greatest stimulant to action, and which the motion picture offers better now than any other medium. We find ourselves today in the midst of a worldwide depression that affects everyone, rich and poor alike, and from which all are groping blindly for deliverance. The film companies, the theaters and the stars have also suffered from it. If they could help to end the depression, lam sure they would be glad to. How could the motion pictures help in this respect? 40
First, it must be understood that the de pression is not an accident, nor is it purely the result ofoverproduction and inflation. Those, although the immediate causes, are merely the instruments that were used to bring the depression about.The depression itselfwas caused by those entrusted with the evolution ofhumanit Man has to be stripped ofhis material possessions that he may realize through actual experience that his true base is spiritual and not material. Then will he be ready to receive the Truth I have come to bring. This Truth consists of the knowledge that man, instead of being a limited, separate individual, completely bound by the illusion of time, space and customs, is eternal in his nature and infinite in his resources. The world illusion is a dream of his imagining, a play enacted in the theater ofhis consciousness—a comedy in which he is at once the author, producer, director and star. But his absorption in the role, which he has chosen to enact, has made him forgetiful of his true self and he stumbles now as a creature through the path he has created. Man must be awakened to his true nature. He must see that all material ex pression depends upon and flows from a spiritual being. Then he will be steadfast and serene under all circumstances. There willbe no further need then for the depres sion and it will disappear. Now, how can the motion pictures help man attain this realization? The charac ter of film need not be changed. Love, romance and adventure are themselves fundamental. They should be portrayed as thrillingly, as entertainingly, and as inspiringly as possible. The wider the ap peal the better. What needs to be changed is the emphasis, or stress. For example, courage is a great virtue but it may, if misapplied, become avice. So it is with love, the mainspring of our lives, which may lead to the heights of Realization or to the depths of despair. No better example can be given of the two polarities oflove and their effects than that ofMary Magdalene before and after meeting Jesus. Between these two extremes are many kinds of love, all of which are good, but some of which are better than others. I use the terms ‘good’ and ‘better’ simply to designate the degrees of liberation which they lead to or confer. Even the love which expresses itself through physical desire is good to the extent that it frees one
from the thraildom of personal likes and dislikes, and makes one want to serve the beloved above all other things. Every human relationship is based on love in one form or another, and endures or dissolves as that love is eternal or tem poral in character. Marriage, for example, is happy or unhappy, exalting or degrading, lasting or fleeting according to the love which inspires and sustains it. Marriages based on sexual attraction alone cannot endure; they lead inevitably to divorce or worse. Marriages, on the other hand, which are based on a mutual desire to serve and inspire, grow continually in richness and in beauty and are a benediction to all who know of them. To lead men and women to the heights of Realization, we must help them overcome fear, greed, anger and passion. These are the result of looking upon the self as a limited, separate, physical entity, having a definite physical beginning and definite physical end, with interests apart from the rest of life, needing preservation and protection. The self in fact, is a limitless, indivis ible, spiritual essence—eternal in its nature and infinite in its resources. The greatest romance possible in life is to discover this Eternal Reality in the midst of infinite change. Once a person has experienced this, one sees oneself in everything that lives. One recognizes all oflife as his life; everybody’s interests as his own. The fear of death, the desire for self-preservation, the urge to accumulate substance, the conflict of interests, and the anger of thwarted desires are all gone. One is no longer bound by the habits ofthe past, no longer swayed by hopes for the future. One lives in, and enjoys each present moment to the fullest. There is no better medium to portray this than motion pictures. Plays which inspire those who see them to greater understanding, truer feelings, and better lives need not necessarily have anything to do with so-called religion. Creed, ritual, dogma, the conventional ideas of heaven and hell and sin are perversions of the Truth, and confuse and bewilder rather than clarify and inspire. Real spirituality is best portrayed in stories ofpure love, of selfless service, ofTruth realized and applied to the most humble circumstances ofour daily lives, raying out into manifold expressions, through home and business, school and uni versity studio and laboratory—everywhere evoking the heights ofjoy, the purest love, the greatest power—producing everywhere
a constant symphony of bliss. This is the highest practicality. To por tray such circumstances on the screen will make people realize that the spiritual life is something to be lived, not talked about, and that it, and it alone, will produce the peace and love and harmony which we seek to establish as the constant of our lives.” [1656-59]
Following the dinner, Baba tried to leave three times, but Mary Pickford wouldn’t allow Him to depart. Finally, He stood while everyone surrounded Him as He continued to dictate from the alphabet board. After a few minutes, He spotted a young woman who was isolated at the far end of the room facing away from Him. Baba gestured for her to come, but when His request was relayed, she would only turn her face to Him. Called again, she came forward slowly, but stopped at a distance, even with coaxing—the woman believed herself to be a sinner and could not conceive of touching such a “holy being like Him.” Baba immediately went over to her and passed His hand over her head and shoulders. She started weeping, and Baba gestured to her, “Tam the purest of the pure. I can purify the worst sinner. You have understood your mistakes and acknowledged them faithfully in the presence of others, and so you are forgiven. This penance from the depths of your heart is adequate, and you are now cleansed. Now, don’t fear in the least and don’t repeat your past mistakes. I give you my blessings!” The girl burst into tears, and Baba lovingly embraced her. The tears He had drawn from her heart wiped away her sins. Those who witnessed this scene were deeply moved; their hearts overflowed and their eyes too filled with tears. Before departing, Baba again embraced all the guests and again putting his hand on the girl’s head, consoled her, “You have received forgiveness for everything! Forget the past and don’t worry at all.” The girl pressed her eyes to Baba’s hand and kissed it. As Baba left, all eyes followed him. In their films, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks had depicted scenes ofdeep human love, but tonight witnessing this sight of pure divine love from the Master was a rare and heartfilling experience.  It also seems no coincidence that knowing what was to shortly transpire with this young woman, Baba had just
a few moments earlier used the example of the transforming power of love, mentioning the incident between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. History seemed to be repeating itself in Beverly Hills in that moment. On his second visit to Paramount that week, Baba met Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald on the set of Love Me Tonight, where He again met Tallulah Bankhead. This time, she ran to Baba, hugging and kissing Him. He asked her if she would arrange a small dinner party that evening and specifically to invite Greta Garbo. He didn’t reveal why He wanted Garbo present, but He considered her to be the “most spiritual” ofthe Hollywood actresses. He once said that to see spirituality portrayed on the screen, simply watch any of her films. Earlier on the afternoon ofthe sched uled dinner, Mary Pickford had a pri vate interview with Baba. Later, Baba and Quentin Tod were driven to Santa Monica by director Ernst Lubitsch. Rom Landau had written letters of introduc tion for Tod to both Lubitsch and Von Sternberg. Although Rom would criti cize Meher Baba in his book, God is my Adventure (1936), he also provided Him with an important link with these Hol lywood personalities. By the time Baba arrived at Tallulah’s for dinner, Garbo had telephoned to say that she wasn’t feeling well and could not be present. Baba was openly disappointed. Nevertheless, He had His evening with Garbo in a roundabout way. Later that evening He took His Mandali to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at the special invitation of the manager, Sid Grau man. The Mandali, usually placed in the background, were specifically invited to a stage show, which included a variety of acts, a stand-up comedy routine by Will Mahoney and coincidently, a screening of Garbo’s latest film Grand Hotel in which she delivers her famous line, “I want to be alone.” Baba praised her performance and the film went on to win an Academy Award later that year, while Garbo went on to get her prophetic wish.  The Indian Mandali traveling with Baba often felt awkward in social situations: Kaka Baria did not know English and had entreated Baba not to leave him alone with theamericans, who badgered him with questions about Baba. Once when Baba was with a group of his lovers, Kaka was enjoying a walk in the
garden. Baba allowed the group a short break and they went outside into the garden. Seeing one of Baba’s Mandali, they besieged Kaka with one question after another. Not following what was being said, Kaka was at a total loss and could only think to close his eyes, as if he went into a trance! Observing him, thinking that he was meditating, the new lovers were all the more impressed and stood surrounding Kaka. One whispered, “There is some yogic power in him he must be advanced!” However, Kaka was sweating being put in such a very uncomfortable position. Meanwhile, the new lovers were standing around waiting to see when he would come out of his “samadhi.” They were praising Kaka, while he was internally swearing at them! How long could he stand there like a statue? After some minutes, Baba fortunately called for him and he went inside. The naïve Westerners were thoroughly impressed, but poor Kaka was bewildered. The next day, in order to escape any questions, Kaka and Beheram closeted themselves in a room and looked out through the window to make sure everyone had left before they ventured out. On June 4th, Baba had lunch with Marie Dressler at her home at 801 Alpine Drive. Marie was a very famous . . .
LosAngeles Times,June 3,1932, pagell
Indian Mystic Plans to View “Grand Hotel.” One ofthe Southland’s most colorful visitors in some time, Shri Meher Baba, Indian mystic who has not spoken for several years, will be the guest ofhonor at the Chinese Theater Thursday evening, when he will witness “Grand Hotel” and the Sid Grauman prologue. Meher Baba, who is declared to be spiritual advisor to Mahatma Gandhi, has announced that he will break his long self-imposed silence over a na tional broadcast from Hollywood on the 13th. The attendance of the mystic at the Chinese will be one of his few personal appearances during his sojourn in Southern California. “Grand Hotel” features Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford Wal lace Beery and Lionel Barrymore. 4’
actress who had co-starred in many of Charlie Chaplin’s movies, and had won an Academy Award the previous year for best actress and was again nominated in 1932. Marie had a keen wit and humor, and Baba thoroughly enjoyed her com pany; they were soon sharing stories, laughing and joking like old friends. In the middle oflunch, she said, “Baba, if you’d allow me, I’d like to take you out to the woods and dance with you. And even ifyou want to speak a few words to me, I promise not to tell anyone!” Baba revealed, spelling on his board, “Before breaking my silence, it is essential for me to proceed to China. On my return, I will break my silence on July 13th at the Hollywood Bowl.” Marie said, “When you break your silence, I will be at your side.” 
Adi Jr. also had many stories of his travels with Baba, one of which de scribes the mistaken impression of some Hollywood stars who met Baba. At the Pickfair reception, while Adi was aloof, trying to keep his worn-out shoe out of sight, Tallulah Bankhead sat down near him. Adi warned her not to touch him. She explained that she just wanted to talk. During their chat, Gary Cooper came by and Tallulah introduced Adi, who self-consciously said how much he admired Cooper’s movies. Tallulah introduced Adi to other stars as they came by and he politely and shyly shook their hands. When Baba was about to leave, Tallulah asked Adi to come to her house the next day for lunch, that she had something important to talk about. Adi said he’d have to ask Baba first. Baba replied, “Fine,” but with a stern tone, warned, “Don’t touch her and don’t let her touch you.” Adi assured Him noth ing ill intentioned would happen. Adi went to Tallulah’s home and when he walked in he immediately blurted out, “I’m happy to be here, but please don’t touch me.” She blushed and promised not to embarrass him. During lunch, Tallulah confided that she was in love with a certain man who did not return her affection. She wanted Adi to persuade Baba to cast a love spell on the man, so he would fall in love with her. Adi, taken aback, assured her Baba didn’t do such things. Tallulah insisted that Adi ask his brother to cast the spell. Adi said he doubted Baba would do it. When Adi returned he was feel42
ing disturbed but didn’t say anything. May thegoodLordbless and keep you Baba sternly inquired, “Did you touch Whether near orfar away her?” Adi pleaded innocent and then Mayyoufind that long awaited explained why she invited him over and Golden day, today. what she wanted Baba to do— cast a Mayyour troubles all be small ones love-spell on a certain man, so he would Andyourfortune ten times ten fall in love with her. Baba just threw up May thegoodLord bless and keep you his hands in disgust— “Hollywood!” Tillwe meet again. Many of the movie stars thought of Mayyou walk with sunlight shining Baba as a high-class swami possessing And a bluebird in every tree occult powers, able to influence people’s May there be a silver lining minds. The stars were famous people Back ofevery cloudyou see. whose lives were well publicized, and Fillyour dreams with sweet tomorrows since Baba had received much attention Never mind what might have been in the press, they considered him equally May thegoodLord bless and keep you famous. However, in many cases their Till we meet again. understanding of true spirituality, or Mayyou walk with sunlight shining what Meher Baba’s Avatarhood really And a bluebird in every tree meant, lacked any depth. [1661-1662] May there be a silver lining Now I want to mention a few more Back ofevery cloudyou see. things aboutTallulah Bankhead. The late Fillyour dreams with sweet tomorrows Tom Molinari was an extremely talented Never mind what might have been Broadway dancer and a long-time stu May thegoodLord bless and keep you dent ofMargaret Craske, one of Baba’s Till we meet again... most important Western disciples from Tallulah told Tom Molinari that she His first visit to London in 1931. Tom always thought of and sang that song to received two embraces from Baba and Baba on the air every Sunday evening. danced for Him in two performances. Recently, Tallulah was incorporated into One was a Charlie Chaplin silent rou a large mural with Baba on the walls high tine in NewYork City, which made Baba above the dining hail at the Meher Pilgrim shake silent “pink” with laughter. The Retreat in Meherabad, adjacent to Meher other was at the barn in Myrtle Beach. Baba’s final resting place, the Samadhi. Tom and I used to hang out together To saythatMeherBaba tookHollywood in Boston just before he died of cancer, by storm during His first visit is no and he told me the following story: exaggeration. Undoubtedly, the depth of Tom worked with Tallulah Bankhead in His messages, his Zen-like silence, coupled a Broadway show during the 1950’s, and with his extraordinary energy, and that He when she heard that he, too, had been truly looked and emanated divinity were with Baba, she became drawn to him all contributing factors. His movements and they would go out for drinks after as He strode across the movie lots were the show and exchange Baba stories. graceful, like flowing water. As mentioned One of the first things she asked him earlier, back in India his Mandali often was, “Did he ever break his !@#$% si had to ride bikesjust to keep up with His lence?” It was exactly what she had asked liquid strides. Norma Matchabelli when they ran into each other at a function in the 1940’s. I could only laugh hearing this; she was certainly true to form. “Pure as the driven slush,” she was fond of saying about herself. I remember after all her off-color and suggestive jokes—and she went about as far as the censors would allow in those days—she would suddenly become transparent and childlike as she sang her signature theme song at the very end, a fl/(N’ •‘7” Meredith Wilson hit which was recorded by Jim Reeves,among Diana Le Page painting ofMeher Baba others: and Tallulah in MPR.
. . .
Baba aboard the Monterey on its way to China.
Also as mentioned earlier, it happened that while meeting with key members of the film world regarding several movie projects He had in mind, Baba announced a date and a venue for when He would break his silence—July 13, 1932, at the Hollywood Bowl. That Baba would acmally speak created a sensation. Baba’s “verbal” communications were through His small “laptop” alphabet board, which may have pre-figured the worldwide Internet manifesting universally decades later. When the Avatar is working on what may appear to be a small scale, He’s working universally. For instance, when He feeds or clothes the poor, he is working universally on future economic conditions regarding humanity’s conservation needs. That He would break His silence helped spread the speed of communication and consensus across the globe, helping to unite the East and the West. His silence breaking sent the national media into a scramble in anticipation ofthis great event. The first East-West, coast-to-coast radio hookup inamerica between New York and Los Angeles was set up by NBC and other networks precisely to cover this widely heralded event—and this first radio hookup implied much more than met the eye. Also, Hollywood hadjust takenamerica and the world out ofthe silent movie days. It had been an extremely risky business venture but they pulled it offwith finesse when everybody said it was doomed to fail. So thejump from being silent to speaking was a novelty fresh in the culture’s mind. People were already so enchanted by Me-
her Baba’s “silent movie,”just imagine now what the “talky” was going to be like. As His Western male disciples went about handling His busy appointment schedules with studio heads and myriad other preparations, the women disciples went out with some of the female stars, scurrying around Rodeo Drive haute couture shops to be fitted for their “God Realization” designer gowns, as they might do for the Oscars today. Quentin Tod had traveled with Baba’s party from London toamerica and used his connections—especially with actress Mae Beatty—to bring Baba to Hollywood, as well as managing Baba’s day-to-day busy schedule, almost like a line producer. Quentin had become world famous for his musical comedy stage work inamerica and in London’s West End as a talented female impersonator. His enthusiasm assured the ladies that Baba would give them God-Realization in the Hollywood Bowl. Of course, Baba had never even remotely implied such a thing. But just see how it all came down.  Earlier that week, Baba had casually announced that just before breaking His silence He had some urgent business to attend to in the Far East that would take “just one day” and that He would return in time for the July 13 Hollywood Bowl mega-event ofthe breaking ofHis silence. On the evening ofJune 4, Baba and His party were driven to the Los Angeles harbor. A large group followed to see him offat the 11pm sailing to Honolulu. He then dropped out ofsight, slipping off the West Coast on the Monterey, a “slow boat to China” making its maiden voyage. His other port ofcallwas toJapan; presumably he was laying cables for the soon-to-occur invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and other events that heralded Pacific-rim hostilities that would escalate into World War II. Baba had indicated that the Masters had planned this war for a very long time, and that there was no getting out of it.  In Honolulu, the ship was met by Rustom, one of His Indian Mandali whom Baba had called from China. After a private meeting, Baba decided to send Rustom to Australia and New Zealand im mediately to forge further links, the result ofwhich was made evident when so many Australians came into Meher Baba’s fold after a number ofyears, and He Himself visited there in 1956 and again in 1958. Baba then called Quentin Tod and said,
“I want you to return to California and inform all there of a change in my plans. I intend to return to India from China and then go to Italy, where I want you to go and find a villa for me to stay in. I will come at the end ofJuly. And tell all in California that I will not break my silence in the Hollywood Bowl as announced.” Tod said, “No ordinary man could behave like this.” Arriving back in California, he cabled the mortified disciples from Santa Barbara that an urgent change in plans required Baba to leave immediately for India without returning to Hollywood, thus postponing His silence breaking. They were thunderstruck. Baba had also conveyed that they were to pay no attention to the media razzing that would inevitably ensue, but they should simply have faith in Him. Naturaily, the media called foul and the sting ofembarrassmentwas very difficult for some to bear, precisely the kind ofopposition that Baba was trying to attract for the flulfiliment ofhis work.  This Associated Press account appeared in major newspapers on both the West and East Coasts. The headline read, “Silent Hindu Defers Radio Talk,” and the article stated, “Los Angeles,July 13, 1932: Meher Baba, who came here recently heralded as the East Indian holy man, and who supposedly has not uttered a word for seven years, will not deliver his ‘message’ to the world tomorrow over a national radio broadcast from Hollywood. Quentin Tod, the mystic’s secretary, telegraphed from Santa Barbara that Baba had decided to postpone the word-fast breaking until next February because ‘conditions are not yet ripe.”  The New York Times picked up the headline, changingjust one word, to read: “Silent Mystic Defers Coast-to-Coast Radio Talk.” Soon after, Baba, brothers Beheram and AdiJr. and two other Indian Mandali set sail from Honolulu for China on the Empress ofJapan. Nearly all staffon board ship wasJapanese. As the ship steamed out ofHonolulu harbor, ajazz band played as native Hawaiian women sang and danced, waving handkerchiefs and throwing flowers. Little did they know that the Emperor of Creation was on board, working invis ibly on a higher plane in order to unite the East and West. When Baba had announced the breaking of His silence, Adi Jr. had said, “Look, Baba, you’re not going to break your silence at the Hollywood Bowl. Why ...
go through all this fuss with the radio and newspapers? Why make these people go to all this trouble? People will be mad, very angry with you, if you do not speak. And I know you won’t!” Upset, Baba scolded Adi, “No, no, you don’t know! Keep quiet! This time, lam going to do it!” Adi didn’t say anything else, though he disbelieved that Baba would do such a thing, and actually feared that they might be beaten or killed by an angry mob once people discovered that Baba was planning otherwise. What kind of play was this on Baba’s part? Ifnot naïve, how innocent the people ofHollywood were. Was there any neces sity to employ material or mechanical means for the Avatar’s voice to be heard throughout the world, or for a sonorous radio announcer proclaiming: “Ladies and gentlemen, the next voice you hear. ?“ Did Meher Baba’s silence depend on material or mechanical causes? But this manner of working is His divine play and in this leela, there is joy in how He plays! Knowing everything, He pretends to know nothing, thus carrying out such a fantastic ruse. Meher Baba’s work is wonderful and so incomprehensible. In His divine working, He would never do anything without some purpose; the interest His statements evinced in Hollywood were probably to make people aware ofthe Avatar and His stature, and to make them stick by Him whether or not His statements were ever fulfilled.  Those people were touched and embraced, for all time and eternity They were safely within the net of His love. About this public humiliation, we have to give Him the comedic benefit of the doubt that perhaps He was borrowing from His mischievousness as Krishna, since Baba delighted, like a Zen master, in turning the tables on His disciples’ expectations and pulling the rug from beneath their feet before they could figure out what had happened. But something deeper was going on as well. As Baba’s Mandali member and official biographer, Bhau Kaichuri has stated: “It is certain that Baba will ‘speak’ in Hol lywood from where the melody of his Word will spread one day throughout the world through films. Only Hollywood will be able to delineate Baba’s life story to the world, which will listen to his Song’s resonance because ofit. His Song, though echoless, merges within itselfall the echoes . .
of the world! And in him are all the images of the world!” 
We live in the shadow of that today, even though we may be ignorant of it. And there’s no question about the urgency of Baba’s work in the Orient at that time. Again, He was laying cables that would eventually, after WW II hos : tilities subsided, solidify un ‘ ) foreseen ties between the East and West, socially, politically, economically and spiritually. This was a vital aspect of His universal work in this age and it was needed to break down % the seffish isolationism of major world countries that would persist into the mid-centuryc Whereas the First World War was under the control of one of Baba’s Masters, Sai Baba of Shirdi, WW II was directly under Meher Baba’s charge. This duty of the Masters is why they sometimes allow the most horrific events, like cataclysms or devastating wars, to cleanse the field ofhumanity’s aura and turn it to a more beneficial passage toward its individual and collective needs and goals. The analogy of a disastrous forest fire that burns everything in its path for millions of acres is one way of trying to comprehend these things. Richer, more fertile forests quickly grow to replace the old forest that had worn out and simply had to be destroyed for the good of its entire ecosystem. Life is ever-renewing and no one is ever lost. Baba said that those whose lives were sacrificed or taken from them, quickly returned billions of impressions lighter, to a new life on a more direct path for the realization of their ultimate spiritual destiny. And since that is the true reason why we reincarnate, all other considerations are purely secondary. Also, the postponement of the breaking of His silence goes with one of the characteristics ofthe Avatar in all advents: A constant changing ofplans, not simply because He is totally in the moment and that’s just the way it is, but because it is an effective means of wearing down the mind’s egocentric expectations. This is very much a part of His obligation and responsibility to His disciples and lovers. In this way, a Master shatters biffions of .
His disciples’ binding impressions—His main duty, whether through the means of small, daily disappointments or by cata clysmic events on humanity’s path, which He promised would visit us. Returning to this last-minute change ofBaba’s plans when He left Hollywood, much later, when they had gotten over the burn, Hejoked with His Western disciples about it. “Now you really didn’t think I was going to break my silence in the Hollywood Bowl, did you?” And they all had a good laugh, minus the few who had deserted Him in a huff. The explanation is in Lord Meher vagueness, building plans in the air, regular shifts from one place to another, and changes from one plan to another are the principal traits and characteristics of all the Avatars. If one reads the lives of Avatars like Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, and if one minutely marks the trend of events throughout their lives, it will be found that they had no definite program or any scheme or organization, except a purpose to spread their teachings and impress upon humanity the worthlessness of the world and worldly life, through the very vagueness oftheir own plans and schemes. But in the case ofthe Avatar, his meth ods are strange, peculiar and quite the op posite ofthe world’s. First ofall, Avatars do not plan anything, and ifat all they do, it is all an outward show, a bluff—all without
any sound basis or firm foundation, such as provision of thnds, et cetera. All is in the air with the risk of apparent failure at any moment. Yet, they do take the risk and indulge in the game, but their schemes hang in the air! And even if their schemes are going well and are on a sound basis, they may destroy them any moment. Such plans and schemes are created for some definite purpose as a means to a certain end. No sooner the end is achieved, the Avatars and Sadgurus will not continue running them, however flourishing they might be. Once their purpose is served, they are dropped. If the Avatars and Sadgurus prepared their schemes on a safe, firm, sound, permanent basis, what would the difference be between them and ordinary human beings? None of the past Avatars like Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus or Muhammad ever did this. Their lives and work are all full ofhectic movements and gestures that were entirely vague. There was no sound basis behind them, in the material sense, except the great purpose which every Sadguru and Avatar has, which is their mission in life; to depict and prove the transitoriness and falseness of the world and all its things, through the very vagueness oftheir moves and schemes. Thereby mankind turns to sound, solid causes ofthe Life Eternal and its attainment through a spiritual life. By the capricious plans and vacillating ways ofthe Masters, they prove
that this changing world and everything in it is illusion! They then lead the aspirants toward the stable and lasting values of the spiritual life and guide them toward Realization. Krishna was either occupied with playing with the gopis or thinking ofwar. J esus too had no definite plan—reread the Sermon on the Mount. Muhammad was absolutelyvague, always on the run, to the extent ofone marriage here and one there, and so on. All vague, but all the same with a definite, precise purpose behind it. I, too,am like them! I build on sand or in the air, planning schemes without at times a penny in my pocket or without any definite arrangement for fhture maintenance if started at all. And even when established, I break it up, or abandon it. Plans were laid for Meherabad, the school, ashram, hospital, the Nasik Retreat—all were well planned, but all were broken up and pulled down the instant the purpose was served, as I alone know. But people cannot grasp it and misun derstand. That’s how the Avatar’s work is always misunderstood and misjudged by the world. The work ofthe Avatar always goes unappreciated in his lifetime. So it is with mine.” [2272-3] Meher Baba would return to Hol lywood twice within the next four years to continue His “vague” film plans and oversee preparations for His proposed spiritual photoplays. But His presence
LA Letter from 2lollywood
Thllulah once said that the only rca— son she wanted to come to Hollywood was to meet the Divine One.” This is a quote taken from Cal York’s monthly gossip column in theJune 1932 issue of Photoplay, a Hollywood fan magazine. York explains that Tallulah had finallygotten a chance to meet Greta Garbo, The “Divine One” is supposed to be a reference to Garbo, but Baba Lovers might read this a different way! ‘ . .
To be continued in the 3rdquarter issue. [Editorc note: it is the custom andpreftr— ence oft/se Love Street LampPost to refer to Meher Baba using capital Hfor His pronouns, however Lord Meher does not, so in theplaces wereyou see a lower case h, it is not a proofreader omission, but a quotingfrom Lord Mehe
vVritten by the cJlvcttar
December 14th, 1934 1840 Camino Palmero Hollywood, California My dear ones [Will and Mary Backett], fter a brief stay in New York for only two days, I have come here. The seven days in the rough seas, the busy time in New York, and again a long journey for 4 days across the countr the thought ofthe film and money hanging all the while in mind, the visits and interviews resumed ever since I set foot here, with everyone who could help, are all so tiresome. And with all that, there are no hopes ofgetting any financial backing for an independent production of this type, which every businessman feels as a big enterprise involving great risk. Activities are therefore directed to find a “producer” to whom the story could be
there would be kept an absolute media secret, so the usual crowds that flocked to Him would not disturb His work. The two biggest issues He faced seemed to be the script and finding financial backing. To lower costs, it was planned to film in India. But in January 1934, Baba wrote to the group: “Producing such a picture with plenty oftechnical difficulties, special effects, etc., and many other production details would be impossible to tackle here in India; hence the question of producing here is being dropped in favor ofproducing it in the West.”
sold, so that those who invested in this may have their money back. Ifan independent producer buys the story, then of course there will be no necessity for me to stay, unless they themselves ask. So I have for the present, decided that if during my stay here, the independent production is not arranged for lack offunds or financial support, I will hand over the script to dear Norma and Elisabeth giving them instruc tions either to sell it or get it produced, as best as they think best. I cannot stay here
indefinitely. I have to see to my other af fairs of the Mandali and others on that side too; and, ifnothing is arranged I will leave here very probably by the first week ofJanuary. They are still trying their very best -Norma, Elisabeth and Nonny- and many important people in the picture are brought in for interviews—nice people indeed, ready to help and willing, but couldn’t for one reason or another. In short, they all tried their best and are still trying, leaving nothing undone and I saw all whom they brought to me for contact, and explained to everyone of them my idea and object of making this film, and although they all sympathized, agreed and appreciated a splendid scheme like this, none could come forward with the financial continued on page 54 45
9 ctbrie! Pctscctl: 73ctba’s 1hoenix M. Concannon, Missouri
believe in Miracles! And my strange, adventurous life has taught me that there are two kinds of miracles. The first is the so-called Religious Miracle, in which I believe unhesitatingly with all the convic tion ofmy soul. The second is the Miracle ofArt. A very intimate relationship exists between these two kinds; and there is, however strange it may seem to the profane, a religious fervor in the great achievements ofart.”—Gabriel Pascal, 1946.1 Meher Baba called Gabriel Pascal His “Phoenix.” Pascal’s talent and personal charisma earned him wealth and prestige as a motion picture producer in the 1930s and 1940s. Despite his accomplishments, circumstances would repeatedly remove the material fruits ofhis successes. Often bankrupt, sometimes having only the clothes on his back, he would work to find the next financial backer who would believe in him enough to invest in his ideas. He never let circumstances defeat him. “Life is a divine poem,” he used to say, “and it is our own fault if we recite it badly.” 2 Who exactly was this Phoenix? Nobody, not even he, really knew his origins. He once told his wife, Valerie, his earliest memory, “I don’t know if I dreamed it or not, but I faintly remember a burning house and being afraid of the flames and the heat and the cries of a woman, a woman who seemed warm and soft, like a mother. She was crying for help: ‘Save Gabor, come save him!” 3 Pascal was orphaned in that fire, and was later adopted by a family named Lehol. It is difficult to say for sure what happened during the rest ofhis childhood; he didn’t like to talk about it. One of his 4 tried to piece together the biographers various accounts he had provided to dif ferent people at different times, but still came up with ajumble of opposing facts, including the following: He was a kidnapped royal child, an orphan, an illegitimate son of a Bul garian officer. He was a shepherd boy who ran offwith gypsies; he was abducted by them. A Viennese fam ily adopted him; a Hungarian family did. He attended a military academy, went to agricultural school, received training in diplomacy.
. . .
. . .
Some of these tales are not mutually ex clusive. Some may even by true. 5 Valerie recalls that many of her hus band’s early stories did seem to have a fairytale quality about them, which she attributed to his irresistible urge to dra 6 Once when asked by a magazine matize. columnist about his boyhood in the moun tains of Transylvania, Gabriel responded in his characteristically colorful way, “I was a man at five. When I was six, I made a gypsy who was beating a horse kiss the horse’s feet.” 7 What is not a subject ofhistorical de bate was Pascal’s vivid personality. Those who knew him agreed that he had tremen dous charm, élan, blarney and chutzpah. He was called irresistible and engaging; a genius or a perhaps a charlatan—maybe a little ofboth. He was buoyed in all circum stances by an indomitable optimism. His smile was described as “florescent.” His wife remarked that it was like the smile of a child seeing his first rainbow. Hollywood screenwriter S. N. Behrman summed it up when said that Pascal “radiated a sense that things had been wonderftil but limited, and that momentarily they were going to be wonderftui without limit.” 8 Still—it was not easy for Pascal. He was passionate about film and gifted in many aspects ofmovie production, but his business skills were weak and he had to
work vigorously to bring his artistic ideas to fruition. He had charisma that could make him hard to refuse, but he was also known for his temper. When angered he didn’t mince words and could fire an insult with unforgettable flair. He once wrote to a Hollywood agent with whom he had a dispute, “I give you my word of honor as a Hungarian Cavalry Officer and an English farmer that you are the greatest crook unhung.” 9 Pascal desired a lavish, extravagant lifestyle, but he also felt an inner pull toward God which he could never deny, even at the height of his material successes. He would later write, “In my whole life, I suf fered superhumanly from God burning in 10 Valerie remembers that somemy soul.” times he would stop, silent, with a faraway look on his face. When she would ask him what he was thinking, he was apt to express the wish to leave everything behind and become a monk like St. Francis of Assisi, or to join Meher Baba in India. 11 Pascal’s career began as an actor in the Imperial HofburgTheatre in Vienna. Because ofhis Napoleonic stature, he was not often cast in roles that he wished to play. He moved into ifimmaking in the 1920s, and had some success directing and producing silent films in Italy and Germany. It may have been during this time that he met Norma Matchabelli, who was also working in those countries, acting under the stage name Maria Carmi. In one of the biographical accounts, it was reported that Pascal was married to Maria Carmi, 12 but ofcourse we know from her life story that this is inaccurate. In the early 1930s, as Hitler was rising to power, Pascal was forced to flee Ger many. He had to leave possessions and most ofhis moneybehind, but he managed to escape to the United States and find a cheap room in New York City There he made the decision to go to Hollywood. He intended to engage the best studios and finest actors for his work. It didn’t matter to him that he was a foreigner with no financial backing or recognizable film credits to his name. He said ofhimself, “I have no inferiority complex, not before geniuses or kings or anybody.” 13 Once there, he was quickly disenchanted with Hollywood executives. They seemed solely interested in box office receipts
tcThe Christ Comes to IOLLYWOO& Compilation and Commentary by Ed Flanagan, Los Angeles. CA [Lord ofthe Uni verses is the title of a recently completed book on the life and teachings ofAvatar Meher Baba, drawnfrom many sources with commentary by Ed Flanagan. Here, in slightly alteredform, is Chapter 7, Christ Comes to Hollywood Numbers afterparagraphs refer to pages in LordMehe, the main source materialj
ur camera moves in to reveal in detail how the public saw and responded to Meher Baba when He visitedamerica, espe cially during the days of its deep Depression. Baba’s real work was in His loving, silent, personal contacts with people in their everyday life, not in teaching, writing books or commenting on organized religion. So let’s look at how He workedamerica through the lens of Hollywood, and how it reacted and felt toward Him. It is the spring of1932, six months after Baba’s first trip to the West. Unlike the first, which was very private, this second trip was a very public one with all the stops pulled out. It was the first of two dynamic visits to the film capital over the next few years. His return visit to New York City renewed and solidified the hearts ofthose who had met Him on His first tour and who had missed Him dearly over these many months. After a stopover in Manhattan at the Stokes residence, His second of three stays at this picturesque double townhouse in Greenwich Village, He and His party boarded a train at Pennsylvania Station and headed west to the movie capital, Hollywood. En route, reporters met his train at the major stops and Baba always had a message for them. An example ofthe publicity Baba was receiving is taken from an article that appeared on the front page of the Kansas City Evening Star. The heading of a photograph stated, “Baba, the Persian Messiah, Hollywood-bound.” The caption stated, “Shri Sadguru Meher Baba, who claims to be of God in the sense J esus, Buddha, Zoroaster, Krishna and other mystics claimed and taught, was in Kansas City today on the way to Hollywood, where July 13 he will break an alleged seven year silence in order to drop words that shall restore peace and happiness to the world. Nine disciples traveled with Baba.”  The article continued: “He who has transcended the world illusion and is of God and heaven, walked in the flesh today at the Union Station under a depression suit worth probably 15 with an extra pair ofpants, and smiled timidlyunder a mustache the size ofBuffalo Bill’s and black
as the ace of spades. Shri Sadguru Meher Baba, this Holy One, Perfect Master and Compassionate Father, is on the way to Hol lywood, California, to break a seven year si 4 lence and thereby lead ( all men to happiness and peace. July 13 at 7 o’clock at night, Baba will cease pointing, 4 snapping his fingers and grunting “uh” to 1r A reporters in response to questions. Then he will I break forth in the full F•A bloom of his messiahship and through his speech transform the consciousness of the whole of humanity.”  The grunting part was perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, though this press notice was an inkling ofhow some in ruralam erica perceived the Master. The Avatar performs his universal work not away from the world in seclusion on mountaintops, but also, and especially,among throngs of people, utilizing their tremendous energy It hardly seems a coincidence that Baba’s first oftwo extended visits to the film capital coincided with the 1932 summer Olympics, where 1,500 athletes representing thirty-seven nations from across the world and close to 100,000 daily spectators were gathered. Los Angeles was buzzing internationally—just the sort of milieu in which the Avatar loved working. The media had anticipated His arrival and was on hand with flashbulbs popping as soon as the Santa Fe pulled into Pasadena Station at 8:30am, Sunday, May 29. A press conference was scheduled early that afternoon. Baba gave his first message to Hollywood reporters: “So much has been said and written about the Highest Consciousness and God-Realization that people are bewildered as to the right process and immediate possibility of attainment. The philosophical mind, wading laboriously through such literature, only ends up learning a few intellectual gymnastics. The highest state ofconsciousness is latent in all.The Son ofGod is in every man but requires to be manifested. “The method of attaining this great consciousness must be very practical and adapted to the existing mental and material conditions ofthe world. The rituals and ceremonies instituted by the priest-ridden churches have made the process of attainment too dry; and that accounts for the lack ofinterest felt all over the world toward religious things in general. India, in spite ofits high state of spirituality, at the present moment is very caste-ridden because ofthe enforcement byvarious cults ofa plethora ofrituals
retiring from his work in drug and alcohol abuse counseling. He loved to serve and volunteer at various tasks, and often took care ofthe sick. Hugh was close to Jane Haynes and was involved in distributing her book, Letters ofLove. His funny sense of humor was something that many of his friends appreciated about him. I first met him at Baba House in New York in the 1970s and reconnected with him when he came to Myrtle Beach. Hugh’s preference was for no service, so there will be a small private cremation.
In 2006, we had set up the Australian support arm to help Stella and the chil dren. We had many plans and ways in which we could help Pumpkin House, and she was keen to set up a “being of service” program for Australian Baba lovers to visit and help Stella at the house, and to origi nate a child sponsorship program. -
;tw 1’ I
Bob Hawkinson Passes ob Hawkinson (formerly known as Bob Dengelegi) passed away on Monday, April 9, at Myrtle Beach Manor. He was 58. He helped write “So Many Changes,” one of the oldest Baba songs from the 1970s. His kindness and cheerfulness in the face of multiple health problems will be missed.
Lucy Buxton Goes to Baba Garfield Wells Sydney, Australia ucy Buxton was cremated on March 16 after a simple service at the Hospice chapel of St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, where she had worked as a volunteer for many years. She had passed into Baba’s arms at only 59, around March 2, of what is thought of as a heart attack. She was alone at the time of her passing. It was a great shock to all who knew her; she had not even been sick! But who are we to un derstand Baba’s ways? As He says: no one dies before his or her appointed time. Lucy had worked as an editor for a Syd ney author for over 30 years and had led a simple life of charity and contemplation. She had supported many Baba community and other charity projects. After reading in the Love Street LampPost about the Pumpkin House Orphanage in Meherabad and the wonderfttl work Stella Manuel was doing for the children who had been orphaned or who were at risk (Stella is also Principal of the Meher English School) Lucy appealed to me to work with her on a project to help the children.
Lucy Buxton andfriend
Plans to visit and be with Stella this year will now not take place. It is intended to set up here in Australia a Lucy Buxton Memorial Scholarship Fund for Pumpkin House children, and I encourage her friends here and overseas to support the fund that will sponsor these children to higher educational opportunities, not to mention helping pay the doctor’s bills and buying food for the ever-growing population of children in need (now 20) that Stella is taking on with very little financial support. You can email email@example.com for details on how you can help.
five children, with two sets of twins. She grew up in Ohio and was granted a de gree from Ohio State University in 1952 in counseling and guidance. Her Master of Arts was in teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Shirla taught Psy chology, World History, Computers and Special Education at Montclair High School and directed the Montclair Storefront Academy, an early alternative high school. Postgraduate studies in learning disabilities led to her teaching and training Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment “Learning Thinking Skills.” Shirla was a member ofthe Fair Hous ing Committee, a founder of Montclair Interracial Encounter Group, and a practitioner and a teacher ofJin Shin Do Acupressure (Way of the Compassionate Spirit). She co founded the service organization Avatar Meher Baba Circle of Friends in 2005, and spent half-years in India from 1988 to 1999 as a spiritual trainee and volunteer. Shirla founded Senior Peer Counseling in 1997. Survivors include husband Gerald “Jerry” Edwards, whom she married in 1981; four children and three stepchil dren; five sons and daughters-in-law; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a stepsister-in-law; and one great auntin-law, age 108. An online guest book is at www.msfh. net or MyrtleBeachOnline.com. Shirla requested that friends—in lieu of flowers—donate blood, or make a memorial donation to the American Red Cross, 2795 Pampas Dr., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 or to the charity ofone’s choice.
Baba Calls Shirla Edwards Home hirla Martha Edwards, 76, of Briarciffe Acres, died April 4, 2007 at the Medical University in Charleston. She was born Sept. 3, 1930, in Ana heim, Ca. (then an apricot grove, now home of Disneyland). Shirla married Walter Krause in 1950 and mothered
support ourselves with freelance jobs. By Baba’s grace, we both became artists in residence with the South Carolina Arts Commission, presenting programs at van— ous schools throughout the state. Mary Lloyd, who absolutely loved performing, was a dedicated, accomplished singer/musician and storyteller, who poured her heart and soul into finding a creative challenge in everything she did. My specialty was puppetry arts with an emphasis on performing puppet shows. I enjoyed conducting workshops but, un like Mary Lloyd, I had little aptitude for performing. Mary Lloyd, who had one of those magical, artistic personalities, was great fun to be with. She had a wonderful way with words as well as a scintillating sense of humor. We became close friends and would laugh about how I had been sure that, based on her demeanor, she was a famous ballerina. But I also came to the realization that in order to perform with expertise, all I had to do was go into what I called “famous ballerina mode”—that if I emulated Mary Lloyd and presented myselfas a self-confident, gifted professional, I could convincingly become one. In time, we discovered that “famous ballerina mode” was a truly valuable concept, not only for performing, but also for auditions or job interviews and countless other situations where exuding confidence, grace, style and eloquence were impressive traits. Over the years, Mary Lloyd and I had many opportunities to invoke “famous ballerina mode” along with Baba’s name, and I still do! In addition to Mary Lloyd’s Web site, www.dancingponyproductions.com, which showcases some of her many talents, she also produced several cassette tapes and the Stories, Songs CD, Dance in the Breeze and Poems in Honor of the Beloved. Two heartfelt selections capture, for me, the essence of her luminous, deeply spiritual personality. Dance in the Breeze is a poem by Hafiz that she recites. CrushedAngelis Mary Lloyd’s musical adaptation ofHafiz’s poem, My Sweet CrushedAnge4 which she sang with piano accompaniment. —
Dance in the Breeze And, for no reason, I start skipping like a child. And, for no reason, I turn into a golden leaf and I am carried up so high I kiss 32
the sun’s mouth. I start to wondrously dissolve. And, for no reason, a thousand birds choose my heart for a conference table and start passing their best wine, and their light, and their wild songbooks all around. And, for every reason in existence, I begin to eternally laugh, laugh and love. And, for no reason, I turn into an emerald leaf on the moon’s tree and I begin to dance in the breeze. And then I rush off to kiss our Beloved and I dissolve in the truth that I am.
Crushed Angel You have not danced so badly, my sweet crushed angel, trying to hold hands with the Beautiftil One. You have waltzed with great style, ever to have neared God’s Heart at all. You have not danced so badly, my sweet crushed angel, you have done your best to hold God in your tender arms. Let me dance with you, Beloved, let me dance with you, Beloved, let me dance with you, dear Merwan in your tender arms.
her back and sent her brochures and other information which might help inform the members of her family’s Board about the mission and work of the Dispensary. The Board ended up making a contribution to Meher Fund for the Dispensary. Later Mary Lloyd found out she had cancer that had already metastasized to her lungs. She wrote me about this, I think partly because she felt close to the doctor in me, as her family had many doctors. In late January and early February 1 was in India, staying at Meherazad, and heard from her as she underwent surgery, then chemotherapy. It didn’t sound good, but she was very upbeat and cheerfhl, even when she had to use oxygen to breath comfortably. Then she died. That incredibly alive, funny, clever, talented woman whom I had known for years died. She had suf fered cheerfully as the cancer advanced, despite the best efforts ofher doctors and family, as she accepted what Baba wanted for her life. And, as these things happen, her family, who are Catholic, asked, in her obituary, that donations be given, in lieu of flowens, to Meher Fund for the Meher Free Dispensary in India, which her friend, Dr. Goher had begun for her beloved Meher Baba, to serve the poor and needy of this area of rural India. And so we are now receiving donations from people who loved Mary Lloyd and knewjust a little of Meher Baba, given for the work ofa small clinic in the hills of an ancient land.
Hugh McCleneghan Goes to Baba Kendra Burroughs, Myrtle Beach
•io Bob Ahrens, Georgia Out of the blue, seemingly, I heard from Mary Lloyd in August. She had returned from India and was enthusiastic about helping the Meher Free Dispensary at Mehenazad. Mary Lloyd and I had been friends for years, but had not seen each other or spoken for some time. She informed me that she had been put on the board of a family trust and wanted to get the trust to donate something to Goher’s dispensary. Meher Fund, Inc., is a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for the Dispensary and I am the President, so it seemed natural to contact me. I wrote
Baba listserv pal Hugh McCleneghan went to Baba on April 15 at 8:40 PM after several weeks ofillness following a cancer diagnosis and surgery. He was at home, under hospice care, and though he was medicated for severe pain, I heard he was conscious and passed away peaceftilly, with close family (including his three daughters) and friends at his side. The Master’s Prayer, Prayer of Repentance and Beloved God Prayer were all recited. Brooklyn-born Hugh had moved to Myrtle Beach from Staten Island after
I could ask for. I thank you, Baba, for giving me this precious gift and for giving all of us the precious gift of Mary Lloyd Dugan. We will miss her deeply.
•io Cathy Riley, North Carolina The dawn colors this morning were borrowed from Mary Lloyd’s watercol ors—lovely subtle smudges of vibrant pinks, delicate mauves and luscious blended purples, all suffused with an other-worldy light. It was an “Ah-ha!” dawn with three exclamation points. That was our Mary Lloyd, an “Ah-ha!” gal. She created lovely watercolors and pastels, influenced by her Steiner training, and used them on cards and on her exciting Dancing Pony Productions website. Just click on www.dancingponyproductions. com and you’ll find them there as well as a fabulous “Ah-ha” portrait. Humor and pizzazz were Mary Lloyd’s hallmarks. My favorite moment of her panache occurred as I watched her put on mascara. We’d just had a classy lunch (who but Mary Lloyd would serve a tuna sandwich and tea on fine china and crystal, and make you feel you were at the Ritz?). She had to rush to an appointment and I followed her to the bathroom mirror. Applying the last touches to her sparidy eyes, and asked, “What will I do when the Mahapralaya (apocalypse) comes and I won’t have my makeup!” It was a perfect Mary Lloyd moment. We worked at Dilruba where Elizabeth and Kitty lived. Elizabeth coined the phrase “Dilrubettes” to describe a handftil of young women who served there. The work cemented a deep friendship. Kitty and Elizabeth loved her classy meals and dramatic style, and her singing dog Gou lash who delighted them and Margaret Craske for many years. We were neighbors in North Myrtle Beach where tours of the lush gardens around her home were fantastic. Who else could turn an old Myrtle Beach summer rental house into a magical storybook cottage? On a wall inside she’d tacked up a huge drawing of Baba that could be seen through the front window. She’d keep a light burning nearby at night so Baba floated, illuminated there. Mary Lloyd told me she delighted in watching passersby stop and gawk at this larger-than-life
man sitting in a chair inside her home. Larger than life. that term fit Mary Lloyd to aT. Last year she sent me a lovely poem for my birthday which meant so much! Time passed, then she wrote me with news about her illness and I called to tell her how deeply moved I had been by my birthday poem. She asked me to read it to her, needing a big loving boost. I felt her silently drink in the essence ofthe poem, a statement ofloving oneself and holding oneselfdear amidst the bumps and strains oflife. Here it is in love for Mary Lloyd: . .
Love after Love By Derek Walcott (taken from The Time Travelerc Wjfè, a novel by Audrey Niffenegger) The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life. Mary Lloyd, as you ended your missive to me, I send this back to you: Jai Baba! xOxO.
•io Tom Riley, North Carolina Cathy and I drove to Baltimore to be with Mary Lloyd right before Christmas. As it turned out, this was to be our last time with her. Her family had provided a little apartment next to the hospital. Mary Lloyd requested remembrance of some experience in myjourney to be with Meher Baba in 1962. I recounted the extraordinary incident of my encounter with the customs and immigration com
missioner in Bombay. I had neglected to acquire a visa before leaving the States. The positive outcome of that experience was so poignant, and so miraculous, an intervention of Baba’s benevolence and love on my behalf, Mary Lloyd was deeply moved. A few days after returning home, I had a dream in which I was walking through a wonderful wooded landscape. There, ahead of me on the path, another figure was walking. As I caught up and was about to pass, I was amazed to realize that it was Mary Lloyd! Our encounter was entirely unexpected. She was smiling so happily, as though she had been anticipating my arrival and noth ing else in the world mattered. Her face and her long hair, gold and red, radiated such beauty. I thought—how perfectly Irish she is! And we embraced.
•io Lois Breger, Georgia I first met Mary Lloyd Dugan at the Meher Center in the late 1970s when I was helping at Dilruba. Kitty asked me to deliver a message to Jane Haynes, who was in the Meeting Place with Happy Club, a large group of African-American children from an impoverished community in Myrtle Beach. Upon entering, I noticed a vivacious, charming young woman teaching ballet to the girls, who were around seven or eight years old. The little girls were having a terrific time and seemed completely capti vated by their lovely, sophisticated teacher, whose every gesture was grand. I, too, was captivated as I watched her demonstrate graceful plies and other dance movements. She seemed so profes sional that I was sure she was a famous ballerina, no doubt a friend and colleague ofMargaret Craske’s, and I was impressed that someone so elegant and poised would make such a compassionate effort on the children’s behalf When Happy Club left, we began to chat. It turned out that Mary Lloyd was an early childhood educator—definitely not a famous ballerina—but she was amused and delighted to be considered one! After her visit to the Center, Mary Lloyd moved to North Myrtle Beach and she also worked at Dilruba. In order to help Kitty and Elizabeth, we needed to 3’
tam and the desk clerks. She greeted my As usual, you’ve gone too far.” The rest of the trip was equally entaxi at the curb, aqua scarves and gorgeous red hair flying in the breeze. She had it all chanting, but this event sticks out in my planned out. We would take turns picking mind as particularly revealing ofher charthe activities for the weekend, striking a acter and, less flatteringly, of mine. Before Mary Lloyd left us to join her balance between my love for dance and theatre and her passion for storytelling Beloved, I went into a waking dream and had a conversation with her although we and fairy tales. First up on the agenda was a per- were separated by some thousand miles. I spoke to her of what I saw and it was as formance of Grimm’s fairy tales by the Young Vic players from London. After clear as if we were transported to Mehe the matinee, we would take afternoon razad. We were standing on the long road tea at the Pierre, the hotel where Mary that leads to the gate. “Mary Lloyd,” I said. “Look who has Lloyd’s parents had honeymooned. We dressed to the nines donning our very come to greet you. There is Baba, radiant best, complete with gloves, hats and even and smiling in His pink coat and sadra and Mehera, shy and sweet, in her mossy green. high-heeled shoes. I was dreading the matinee, predicting And,look, there is Mani, too, laughing and that two hours spent with the broth- waving, telling you to hurry up—that it’s ers Grimm would be, well, grim. As we time for tea. Oh, and look, Lloyd, Baba approached the theatre, my fears were has sent Eruch out to meet you halfway. confirmed. Trash littered the sidewalk He is coming to take you to your darling, and the building had all the allure of a to your Beloved Baba.” Mary Lloyd is there with Baba now. rat-infested flophouse. But, as was often She made her way peaceftilly and gently. the case in Mary Lloyd’s presence, magic What fun they are having together now! was about to happen. We stepped inside to a little jewel box I cannot miss her, for something of her theatre in the round. Red velvet drapes remains here with me. She tells me to hung in festoons amid golden cherubs be more gregarious, to come out of my and stately columns. We were escorted cave, for goodness sake, and stand in the to our seats and settled in as we admired sunlight. She tells me not to hide my light the ornate architecture and the crystal under a bushel. In the spirit of that good chandeliers. Lost in happy scrutiny of our advice, I offer up this humble story, a rose fortunate situation, I failed to notice the for our Beloved Baba from His beloved 150 third graders who made their way Mary Lloyd. directly in front of us. “This will not do,” Mary Lloyd intoned •io in that imperious voice she saved for a rude Clair Prins salesclerk or a churlish maitre d’. Lloyd hailed a passing usher and, pointing at On the subject ofreincarnation, Meher me, informed him that “my friend, the Baba said, “Occasionally the strongest Countess von Schmirzburg, is unhappy or karmic link which the reinsanskaric with the seating arrangement. Young man, individual has with incarnate carnating would you be so kind as to inquire of the is not with the parents, but individuals management as to the availability of that with a brother or sister. .“Well, in my case, box seat?” I believe it was with my older cousin, Mary I sat quietly, desperately trying to adopt Lloyd Dugan. I think it was she who drew a Schmirzburgian air of entitlement. Alme into my family and who continued to most immediately, the manager himself draw me on spiritually, throughout our appeared and escorted us to the box that life together. was cantilevered over the stage, thereby can I possibly put into words all How affording the most excellent view of the that this beautiftil soul has given to me fairies and goblins and their cavorting. in my life? She literally saved my life on Getting into the role now, I leaned over a physical level when I was a child and the edge of the box, acknowledging the then helped save my life on a spiritual other patrons with a nod and my most level as an adult. It was because of Mary regal smile. Lloyd’s courage and gentle guidance that As I launched into my very best version I was led to Meher Baba—an event that, of the Windsor wave, Mary Lloyd interof course, changed my life forever. Words vened. “That’s quite enough, Gorgeous. .
can’t even begin to touch what only the heart can speak of! For me she was like a mysterious being from a day gone by and, by some marvelous accident,just happened to land in this time period with all of us. She lived in a rich world filled with a dramatic regal air, expecting all those around her to adjust accordingly; and, ofcourse, we always did because ofher brilliant persuasiveness and extreme enthusiasm. One tended to be swept up in the whirl of energy that was Mary Lloyd. A seemingly mundane event would most times turn into “an Event” if she had anything to do with it! Her artistic talents were vast and were never kept to herself I think about all the thousands ofschool children she was able to touch with her special magic. Every one of those children was blessed to have experienced Baba’s wondrous flow of love and joy by way of Mary Lloyd’s spirit. She truly was a magical creature with her beautiful red hair, colorful scarves and sparkling eyes. Thinking of her brings memories of Indian trinkets, tea parties, chocolates, Chanel No. 5, Crabtree & Evelyn un guents, sample treasures from department store beauty counters, writing projects, intensity of purpose balanced by playfulness, extreme generosity great inteffigence, world travel, strong sense of self artwork, stories, songs, adventurous spirit, horses, her dog Goulash, fairies, flowers, candles, and, ofcourse, devotion to family, friends and her Beloved. You can fill in the rest. Baba blessed me with the opportunity to be with Mary Lloyd for the last week of her life. Mary Lloyd shared her thoughts with me about cancer. She said that she had been so totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from everyone in her life that she believed Baba had brought the plague of cancer to the planet for the purpose of elevating the level of Love flowing from one to another. She thought ofherself as a sacrificial lamb giving birth to something much greater than herself. She was not afraid of death and held on to Baba’s daaman the entire time. She was so very brave, and miraculously maintained her beautiful essence to the very end. I am overjoyed to know that this sweet crushed angel is finally engulfed in her Beloved’s golden light of Love. I have been incred ibly blessed and forever changed, once again, by these last earthly days with my dear cousin. For me to be able to give back to her in her time of need was more that
bloom. She mentioned to a friend that she was aware of Baba in a new way that was blurring the lines of distinction between Him and each person. Deep appreciation for others and the part they played in her life was conveyed with a sweetness that will staywith each ofus, a sweetness came from the depths ofher heart. For above au else, Mary Lloyd devoted her heart and her life to Avatar Meher Baba. She wrote these words recently: “Whatever else you may think of me and my life’s journey, never doubt that every moment, every breath is infused by my loving relationship with my beloved Lord of the Universe.” Memorial donations in Mary Lloyd’s name can go to The Meher Fund Inc., Meher Free Dispensary, do Perry Flynn, 420 Dalrymple Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30328 or to the Sarcoma Foundation ofAmerica, earmarked for Leiomyosarcoma Research, do Matthew Alsante, Executive Director, 9884 Main St., P.O. Box 458, Damascus, Maryland 20872.
•io Louisa Markoe Dugan, Washington D.C. Fun, fabulous, elegant, regal and unique, these are just some of the words that described my sister, Mary Lloyd. She was not just born with fairy dust in her pocket, a gift for song and storytelling and an amazing mane ofglorious red hair; she had the ability to turn heads and hearts with her striking beauty and personal touch. She had class and the cheekbones to go with it. With her, everything was personalized: she charmed clerks at the Eddie’s deli counter while she bought her chicken salad, talked British drama and theater at the Old Vic with movie buffs at the video store, and convinced the grand dames at the second-hand shop to take in her old rugs and forgotten jewelry, never flinching while asking top dollar. Mary was the kind ofperson youjust. surren dered to. She’d freely say, “I’m imperious, but I’m nice about it.” She persuaded you to go parasailing when you were afraid of heights; she insisted on knowing your secrets; she struck deals with you when you wanted to give her a birthday present: “Hey, since you were going to give me a massage at the spa anyway, maybe you couldjust pay offone ofmy debts instead.” . .
I would not have called her a high-maintenance female, as some might have, but a person with star quality who insisted on the best. It was always half and half, not 2% milk; butter, not margarine. Candlelight dinners at ML’s were on Limoges china and wine was in Waterford crystal. Christmas presents were the finest L’Oreal promotions from Saks and when you asked her where your present came from she’d simply reply, “I cannot divulge my secrets.” Her apartment at the Broadview was a mixture of difficult design choices made with restraint—and the flamboyance of turquoise scarves festooning the furniture. She was a member of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and proud of it. But Mary was so much more than all of this. I watched her striking perfor mances at the school where I teach as she charmed 200 elementary children at a time. In she would walk announcing “Fermez-la bouche, and sit on your tuche.” And lighting a candle in her gypsy shawls, she proceeded to spread her storyteffing over the spellbound children. Stories of leprechauns and faeries, West African chieftains, Persian princesses and Native American braves covered the room like a rich carpet ofa thousand silk threads. Her storytelling was a sophisticated blend of world culture and literature, a deep love of metaphor and a skilled and disguised journey into the soul. She taught lessons so deep on journeys so far that children were enraptured, soaking up the rich, almost tangible landscapes of her imagination. Her language sparkled like the diamonds and rubies she told about. She’d add guitar medleys and limericks in Irish and Indian accents, recount jokes like a leprechaun herselfwith a twinkle in her eye. My sis ter was a marvelous storyteller and I was proud of her. The most beautiful part of my sister, however, was her capacity for friendship and her ability to make you feel special. She was committed to living a consciously spiritual life filled with love as she fol lowed and lived the teachings of Avatar Meher Baba. My childhood adventures with Mary involved midnight bartering sessions over our personal market goods in her candlelit room, private tea parties with dark chocolate, seances on the Ouija board or watching midnight movies like Wuthering Heights. She was my fun, tal ented sister who taught me how to savor every moment. She showed me how to find joy in beautiful and delicious things,
like curries and mango lassis, Pachelbel’s Canon and the poems of Hafiz. She was my sister who had a strong sense of herself always searching her soul looking for cosmic meanings and the rhythms of the universe. In lighter moments she’d say, “I love me, who do you love?” In more serious ones she’d say, “Follow your heart, and let it guide you,” as she counseled me through my hardest decisions. She was always there with the words of Meher Baba: “Don’t worry—be happy,” looking at every situa tion in positive and constructive ways. Always my true and loving friend, often my spiritual compass, Mary Lloyd was the giver who shall always live within me to guide me with her quick wit and gentle humor. And in her words, I’ll follow her advice: “Stick with me kid, you’ll be wearing diamonds as big as baseballs.” Goodbye my good friend. I shall really miss you.
•io Louise Trask, South Carolina Mary Lloyd Dugan was the best of friends. She propped me up in bad times and rejoiced with me in good. She was my biggest fan. In fact, she believed that I was a better person than I actually am and, because ofher faith in me, I tried not to disappoint her. Life with Mary Lloyd was an adventure, a lark, a colorful voyage into the deepest of waters. She sparkled like the jewels and crystals that abound in her stories and in the fairy garden she tended next to her beach cottage. When I was with her, it was a never-ending tea party with scones and honey and petits fours, always on the very best china. She made me want to sit like a lady, practice proper etiquette, and, at least, pretend to be civilized. She indulged me in my quirki ness, but drew the line at my penchant for colloquialisms. Once, upon hearing me use the phrase “You done good, Mary Lloyd”, she went into a swoon. One look from those turquoise eyes peering out over her glasses, and I would rein in my boorish ways. One winter, we went on a holiday together to New York. We stayed in the aging Mayflower Hotel (now demolished to make way for another Trump extrava ganza) where one could get a dilapidated suite overlooking the park for a pittance. By the time I arrived, Mary Lloyd had al ready charmed the doorman, the bell cap29
especially honored to be chosen to work on the compilation, editing, and design of Light on Running Watei a little gem of a book ofFilis Frederick’s poems dedicated to the Beloved. Here’s one that reminds me of MLD: A cup of tea Yes, a cup of tea Is all He gave me ButT tellyou Parsifal never had it so good. She was an associate editor ofthe Glow magazine. She was a constantly friendly spirit in North Myrtle Beach and in other parts ofSouth Carolina where she worked as Artist-in-Residence for the S.C. Arts Commission. She made friends with everyone she worked with, including the printer who printed her flyers and Filis’s book. In the foreword to the book, Mary Lloyd speaks eloquently if ironically of the inadequacy of words to the time she was writing in: In these late 20th Century days of high drama and extraordinary natural catastro phe, blindingspeed, grandglobalgesture and internal awakening, words have lost their p owei Words are no longerenough to describe the enormity of our experience. Gradually, we’ve been turning to the gjftedpoets—those who know how to sculpt words into crystal phrases—phrases that have the light and clar ity andpower we needfor expression. Mary Lloyd might not have seen herself as one of these poets, but her own words belie her vision ofherself. She was, almost secretly, a wonderful pianist. Once years ago when she played some Brahms for me alone in my house, she said “don’t tell people about this.” I may have been near tears at the time, surprised and moved by the depth offeeling in the music. I agreed, although I didn’t understand why she asked. Perhaps itwas such a deep thing, the music, that had she pursued it more ftilly, it might have eclipsed other work she felt she had to do. I’ll never know, but I know I was privileged to hear it. She was one’s greatest advocate. If you were ever flagging in confidence, she was the one to have at your side. She believed in you no matter what. The dress looked better on you than you thought, you were a better writer, dancer, singer than you thought, you looked younger than the kids she was telling stories to, you had more charm than the Queen of Sheba, and you could speak several languages that you had never learned. She was, after all, a storyteller. When 28
she was called for jury duty there’s a mo ment when they ask you to declare your profession. Often ifyou are a person too sympathetic the prosecutor will not take you for the case, or ifyou are too tough, the defense lawyer will toss you out. When she said “storyteller,” the courtroom erupted in laughter. She realized it was because in the South, the expression “telling a story” means fibbing orjust plain lying. After she got over that hurdle, she filled the waiting time for the other prospective jurors by storytelling for the rest of the day. She never was called to be on a jury but she gave them more than they were paid as prospective jurors that day! Mary Lloyd was, for almost 20 years, Artist-in-Residence in the South Carolina elementary schools. Working for the state Arts Commission, she drove long distanc es and stayed in motels or with families, bringing her magic to the children of the far reaches ofthe state. After a long day of performing for hundreds of children, she would entertain her host family at night. She would, indeed, use her gifts in pretty much any venue she found herself Last week, after seeing the local story about Mary Lloyd in the paper, a woman called to say that after being forced to evacuate, Mary Lloyd ended up staying inland with her, a newfound friend, and enthralled the familywith her tales during the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. Mary Lloyd ended up meeting and telling stories to three generations of that family, and each considered her their friend. Mary Lloyd told me about a profes sional puppeteers’ workshop to which she brought a young friend from downtown Myrtle Beach. This teen had probably never been out of town, but was a great fan ofMary Lloyd and her puppets. Mary Lloyd was captivated by his enthusiasm and when he bravely claimed to have a piece ready for performance, she gave him the stage, thinking he would surprise the audience. To say he didn’t would be an understatement. The audience was utterly confused trying to follow his story. Mary Lloyd made it her mission for this boy (and the audience) to have a good experience. Offstage she conveyed frankly what was missing: plot, characters and development of same, with a few pointers. He disap peared for a couple ofhours and when he reappeared he could stage his now-charming puppet show to great rounds of ap plause, and he returned home radiant with success. As Mary Lloyd’s sister Weezie said
in her eulogy, “Mary Lloyd was born with fairy dust in her pocket.” That fairy dust was distributed liber ally over all her family, who loved her so dearly, as well as friends and the children she worked with. Never was the fairy dust more in evidence than in her relationship with her companion, Goulash. Known as “The Singing Dog” by many, including 97-year-old Margaret Craske, Goulash was renowned for a rendition of Rule Britannia performed in duet with Mary Lloyd. During those last years in Myrtle Beach Margaret used to say that hearing The Singing Dog was one of two great thrills she received when staying at Happy House. Spending time in India, in Mehera bad and Meherazad, was among Mary Lloyd’s greatestjoys. During her extended stays she worked in the Meher English School, a part of the Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C. Trust, near Meherabad. Many have witnessed the results, Colorful choreo— graphed dancing and singing by village children produced the height of charm at these gatherings. Bhau Kalchuri wrote, “she would come to the Meher English School ofthe Trust, and how lovingly she would teach the children. Then there was Baba’s anniversary, which we call Amar— tithi, when she would bring the children of the school and they would sing for an audience of thousands and thousands. She would also go to Meherazad, the resi dence place ofMeher Baba, and perform Christmas programs there and she would also organize my birthday programs at Meherabad.” In Meherazad, she helped regularly with physical therapy for dear Roda Mistry during her long and difficult time of recuperation from a hip fracture. Physical therapy with her had tremendous scope for fun, and Roda, who appreciated fin, looked forward to the sessions. They shared many laughs as Mary Lloyd cre ated storylines and rhythmic songs out of the arm and leg exercises that were part of the daily routine. This time and this relationship were especially precious to Mary Lloyd. Friendship with her was most precious too for friends and family alike, and the best part ofthat good fortune was sharing it with a person whose heart was spoken for in the way that it was. During this last year, seeing her in India, Cambridge, and in Baltimore, it seemed to me that her heart was coming into a delicate fill
and both were profoundly affected and deeply moved. When Viloo and Sarosh returned to Ahmednagar, they went to Meherazad to report to Baba. They declared they had never before witnessed such devotion and enthusiasm at a mass gathering for Baba in his physical absence. Begum Akhtar had also canceled a previous engagement to attend the mela and she sang there. While going to Hamirpur, they had had beautiflil weather and things went smoothly. But while returning, everything that could possibly go wrong on a car journey did. They suffered bad weather, engine trouble, flat tires, and poor accommodations. Viloo told Baba about this and then joked, “You took us in great comfort because you wanted us to go for your work, but on the return journey, you did not bother about us, because your work had been accomplished.” Although Viloo had known Meher Baba for many years, up to this time, she did not really believe in Baba’s divinity but after her many heart-rending experiences in Hamirpur, she was fully convinced of his Godhood and his Avatarhood. LordMeher, p. 6223
more and raised in Ruxton, Md., attended school in Baltimore, was a debutante in “Charm City,” and earned a bachelor’s degree in music and history from Wheaton in 1973 and a master’s from Adelphi in 1978. She then moved to South Carolina, where she was an artist-in-residence and storyteller for South Carolina elementary schools for nearly 20 years. She also became intensely interested in the Gullah people of the southern Atlantic Coast. One ofher storytelling CDs, Wish Away, was honored by the Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media, and she was honored
Mary Lloyd Dugan Remembered April 1951
Compiledfrom the obituaries in the Baltimore Sun and the Myrtle Beach Sun News.
rofessional storyteller, puppeteer and musical performer Mary Lloyd Dugan was a gracious friend to many in the global Meher Baba community. Long a resident ofMyrtle Beach, she moved to Baltimore about three years ago, where, three months before her death, she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, uterine sarcoma, and died Feb. 13 at age 55. he was a devoted lover ofMeher Baba for more than 30 years. Mary Lloyd was honored for her vivacit gregariousness, and affinity for children. Her friend Dana Ferry said, “Friendship with Mary Lloyd was a treasure hunt with delicious surprises along the way. The central theme of her life, however, was her loving rela tionship with her master, Meher Baba.” Dugan, born April 4, 1951, in Balti
Louise said. Ann O’NeiI was quoted, “Dugan would invite a group of five or six little girls around the same age for a storytelling hour at her house. She would build a little fire in the fireplace, and serve them hot chocolate and tell them stories. She loved children and she loved to entertain. “She was the opposite of boring,” Louise Trask said. “She came to Beaufort several times to do stories in the schools. We have daffodil festivals, and she would tell stories to the children there, hundreds of children. She was pure charm. Everyone she met was drawn to her, everyone, whether it was the guy at the grocery store or the CEO of a company. She had a combination of vitality, humor, [and] graciousness. She was gracious in an oldfashioned kind ofway. She wasjust simply beautiftil in every possible way.” Ms. Dugan also did watercolors and played the piano. Survivors include sister Elizabeth M. Dugan of Washington; parents, Dr. Francis Markoe Dugan and Elizabeth Mitchell Dugan, of Towson; brother G.W. Mitchell Dugan of Kennebunk, Maine; sister Louise M. Dugan of Washington; and nieces and nephews.
Dana Ferry, Melierazad Mary Lloyd Dugan
with the National Parenting Publications Award. She later directed tutorial services for long-term care children at Sinai Hos pital in Baltimore. She learned to tell stories when she was growing up, and later told stories at the Baltimore Museum ofArt, the Walters Art Museum and the Waldorf School. “She made her characters come alive,” said longtime friend and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen KennedyTownsend. “She would say, ‘You tell a story sideways,’ meaning your audience will open its hearts and ears ifyou don’t bang them over the head.” Mary Lloyd spentlong periods in India, where she worked in the dispensary, and taught and told stories at Meher English School. At the time ofher death, she was on the staff of Leslie University, with storytelling students throughout the East Coast. “She was known for her quick wit, humor and the serenity which accompa— nied her throughout her illness,” her sister
Mary Lloyd Dugan was a devoted daughter, loving sister and fabulous aunt. She was a dearly treasured friend and, as someone wrote recently, a celebrity. She was a person whose heart could wrap around you and make you forget everything you were going to do because you’d rather stay and have a cup of tea with her. She made life’s little moments more bearable by being ftin—as well as beautiftil. She spoke numerous languages. She was a storyteller. And to paraphrase Bishop Madden who performed her ffineral Mass, “God, being the original storyteller, loves a good story. He certainly loves a good storyteller.” Mary Lloyd was one. She was also an accomplished musician, Waldorf-trained teacher, puppeteer, actress, director, com poser, arranger, and organizer of children’s performances. She was an award-winning author of children’s music and stories which were featured on her CDs. She was the spirit and substance behind Dancing Pony Productions, Inc. She was 27
We all ate togetherwith Viloo in her dining room, and her warm, personality homey made us feel that we were at home; a feeling that could never be in any public accommodation. We could request a special Indian meal from the cook, according to our liking. Third time was 1994, when we came again and stayed at Viloo’s. One day she told me Baba atJangale Masterc residence in MeherabacL her story: to used Sarosh beyond, always under Baba’s direct orders. give Baba large sums of money, even In 1959, Baba named Jangale one of the borrowed money to give Him, and this beneficiaries of the Avatar Meher Baba eventually worried Viloo, who went to Trust (“Firstly”). Baba and complained to Him. But Baba After Baba dropped His body, Jangale said, making a gesture about the size of went on helping Padri take care ofthe MeSarosh’s heart: “Sarosh has a very big herabad estate and its old-time residents, heart; it is good for him to give.” Mansari, Goolu,JaIu and Sushila. He also Sarosh kept on giving, and the debts took a daily shift as attendant at Beloved were accumulating, lakhs of rupees, so Baba’s Samadhi in turn with Nana Kher. presumably Viloo went again to complain Blessed with vitality and robust health, to Baba, and then Baba said: “I’ll pay for Jangale did his duties well into his eightit.” ies, when various ailments finally slowed But then Baba passed away, and Sarosh him down some. passed awayonJan. 9, 1973, and so Viloo Jangale’s cheerfulness, integrity forthremained alone with huge debts, with no rightness and simple, unwavering focus on means of paying it back. But then Baba Baba were a standard and an inspiration to lovers from all over the world started to Baba lovers, as well as the Arangaon com come to Ahmednagar to pay their respects munity. Until the end, he carried within to Baba, and Viloo’s was the main place him the clarity and fragrance of Baba’s to host the pilgrims. Viloo added more old-time Meherabad ashram. He will be rooms and additions; she didn’t receive a greatly missed. permit as an official business, but paid the As Eruch would say, “He has won the taxes. By the time the new Pilgrim Center race!” Avatar Meher Baba ki JAT! was opened all her debts were paid off!
Viloo Joins Her Husband, Sarosh, and Baba, March 18 Etzion Becker, Israel he first time I met Viloo was in 1979, when I took Carrie Ben Shammai to Meherabad. We stayed at Viloo’s Villa; there was no alternative, besides a few shabby hotels. Second time was 1982, and I stayed there with my wife, since in the new PC, couples couldn’t stay together. For us it was a unique experience, being in a real Indian home, with special personal attention.
what you will think tomorrow. One day, I will demonstrate it to you!” The “demonstration” came and went in these moments, as this had been the very answer to Viloo’s questions! She kept quiet, but Sarosh said, “Baba, Viloo says that instead of freeing the women mandali from Maya, you are merging them deeper in it! The English pigs and calfl brought caused Viloo to think that it is all making the women more entangled in illusion. She also points out that you take them here and there, sightseeing and to the movies, and she doubts whether such activities are bringing the women to God.” Baba corrected him, “I use Maya to pull them out of Maya. But I use it in such a way that it cannot touch them!” LordMeher, p. 6440
Babas Words to Vioo
Baba instructed Sarosh and Viloo about their upcoming visit to Nauranga. Baba warned Viloo not to pay attention to the poverty, uncleanliness, illiteracy and manners of the poor villagers of Hamirpur, but to see only the richness of their love for Baba. He embraced them and stated, “This embrace of mine will reach thousands through you!” Little did Sarosh and Viloo realize the depth of his words. They left for Nauranga that very day by car, as the mela was to commence on Nov. 25. On the way, Viloo was thinking apprehensively about what their accommodations would be like in Nauranga. But when they arrived, they were afforded a grand reception and showered with cordial hospitality. The unique atmosphere of love for Baba IIfanyone else has stories oftheir stays with was so exhilarating that both Viloo and Viloo before the Pilgrim Center opened, Sarosh were overcome by it. They totally we’i love to read them. Following are two forgot themselves. excerptsfrom Lord Meher.] On the last day of their stay, everyone of the villagers wanted to embrace them, and two long queues formed. Sarosh Using Maya began embracing the men, while Viloo embraced the women. Once, the very Viloo and Sarosh came to see Baba at thought of embracing thousands of Meherabad on July 27, 1963. Although none-too-clean farmers and villagers Sarosh was devoted to Baba from the would have been repugnant to them, but early 1920s, his wife Viloo still harbored now both were weeping! They continued doubts about Baba and was openly cynical. to weep for four hours. Baba’s words to During their meeting, Baba remarked, Viloo (that his embrace would be carried “Whatever I say, I say from my Unlimited to thousands) rang in her ears. They had ‘I,. You have a limited ‘I’. I can read what never in their lives witnessed such love, you are thinking now, and I also know
Jangale MasterJoins Baba RameshJangale, Meherabad axman Gangaram Jangale, popu
L larly known as Jangale Master, finally merged in Baba on 26th December 2006 after a long life ofnearly 92 years. Perhaps he had the longest service at Meherabad. J angale Master was born in an agricul turist’s family in a small village ofJalgaon District on 15th June 1915. Because of poverty, he had to struggle hard in life. Even for basic education—he went as far as matriculation—he spent seven years, 1930 to 1937, in an orphanage at Ahmed nagar. With the help of his well-wishers, Jangale Master shifted to Indore for final examination when the orphanage closed during his last year; but he did not pass finals and had to return to his village. In 1938, Jangale Master was summoned by his well-wishers to perform service as a bazaar master at Meherabad. He had previous experience in marketing at the orphanage, and he had no other employment opportunities, so he was keen to begin this service. However, he didn’t make it on time because he had financial difficulties. Meher Baba made it clear that Jangale Master could not be allowed to ftirther his education, which was fine because he
did not show any inclination for it and preferred to do the work allotted by Baba. His service under Baba was not typical, but ofa kind that was Baba’s plan to draw J angale Master into His net as a reward for his simplicity. Jangale Master was completely devoted to Baba, and never tired ofworking for Him. Although Jangale Master wanted to accompany Baba in the New Life, due to family responsibilities he was unable to do so. But, he was entrusted with looking after the families at Meherabad. After beloved Baba dropped His body, Jangale Master rendered service at Samadhi until he reached the age of 85. He was ftilly satisfied with his life. His children, three sons, Naresh, Suresh, Ramesh, and two daughters, Leela and Prabha, are well settled in life because of Baba’s invisible nazar. Ramesh, the youngest, continues his father’s legacy by serving Meher Baba as a trustee for the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. J angale Master was a good-natured, honest family man who served his Lord and Master faithfully until the end.
•io Heather Nadel
The last of the Meherabad men mandali, Laxman Jangale, fondly known to the Baba world as “Jangale Master,” went to his beloved Master, Ava tar Meher Baba, at 9 a.m., December 26, 2006, surrounded by his family in his home in Meherabad. He was 92 years old, and had completed 68 years of wholehearted service to the Avatar. He was cremated Dec. 27, at Meherabad, and his ashes will be interred in the men mandali’s cemetery at lower Meherabad as ordered by Baba. In 1938,Jangale anBaba at the Dhuni withJangale Mastercfamily beside him. an ad placed in swered Little Ramesh is at Babac right hand, taken in 1955.
J2ctssings A .?i.
Photo ofJangale Master taken outside the Samadhi in 1995 byj Kassof
the local paper by Vishnu that called for a helper for Meherabad. He was immedi ately “hooked” by Beloved Baba, and never left. He served Baba in many capacities; marketing, odd jobs and often holding down the fort at Meherabad when Pendu or Padri were called away by Baba for work elsewhere. Like his Beloved Master, Jangale was also a great sport, as this following brief conversation demonstrates. Eruch reported that on the eve of the New Life, Baba toldJangale, “I am going away and cannot keep you. Shall I find employment for you? Where would you like to go?” J angale replied, “After serving You, Baba, how can I go anywhere else? We will stay here at Meherabad.” Baba said, “But you may starve here!” J angale answered, “Then that will be our good fortune, to die and be born again, and serve You.” Baba was highly pleased by the ex change. Jangale and his family, all devoted to Baba, continued to live at the Meherabad family quarters through the New Life and 25
7::Iie 7rcasure Within Wendy Haynes Connor, Myrtle Beach martithi has just passed and, as happens every year, I relived the day when we heard the news that Beloved Baba had dropped His physical form. Many years would go by before I realized just how significant that day was for me. It was the day when, unbeknownst to me, Baba turned me around to face Him from a different direction—He turned me inward, away from His form towards Him within. I’d like to give you a glimpse ofmy experi ence on that unforgettable day. It was a Saturday morning. I remember well because I was at home making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Happy Club, something I did every Saturday. Happy Club was a weekly program held at the Center for children from the Myrtle Beach black community. In an unusual twist of fate, my mother happened to be away in Atlanta with mybrother, Charles, directing a play at Emory University. My brother,John, was away in boot camp and his (then) wife, Margaret, had offered to stay with me until mother returned. Suddenly, the phone rang and it was Kitty to tell me that Elizabeth wanted to see me. I said I would come by and contin ued what I was doing, taking my time. About five minutes later, the phone rang again and, again, it was Kittyc In a very serious, firm voice she said, “I thought I told you, Elizabeth wants to see you.” “Oh,” I said, “I’m sorry, Kitty I thought you meant just before Happy Club.” (Elizabeth and I would always leave from Dilruba around 11 a.m. and drive downtown to pick up the children; I was 1 7 and didn’t have a driver’s license at the time). Kitty paused and said, “There won’t be Happy Club today.” In that instant, I’m not sure how or why, I knew immediately that Baba had dropped His body. With a pounding heart, I ran over to Dilruba. Kitty met me at the door. I took one look at her face and saw that it was true. I went into Elizabeth’s room and found her sitting up in bed; there were two tears rolling
down her face. She looked up at me and in her calm, dignified manner said, “I awoke this morning at 4 a.m. and said aloud, ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth.’ And I knew Beloved Baba had dropped His form.” At 8 a.m., Western Union called and the man said, “Mrs. Patterson, in all the years I have delivered telegrams to you, this is one I don’t want to give you.” Elizabeth told him it was all right, she already knew what it said. As the daywent on, my feelings of sadness and confusion deepened. I didn’t have a clue what would happen next or what to do next. All through the years, since meeting Him in 1958, our lives revolved around Baba in the physical body. I pictured Him in Myrtle Beach wearing His pink coat, enfolding me in an embrace that seemed to go on forever. I would see Him in the car leaving from Bund Gardens and me running up to the window hoping for a last glance. I remembered Him at the East West Gathering when He swayed happily back and forth to the qawwali music He so loved. In between, our days were marked by the cables we received from Baba and letters from Mani, often containing
messages from Baba or Mehera. And I remember the day our greatest prayer was answered when Baba called His lovers to India to be with Him once again in the spring of 1969. That Saturday I could not grasp the unfathomable—that we would not see Him again. I had no blueprint for what life would be or could be without the Beloved’s beautiftil form, the only Baba I had known and loved. I remember watching Elizabeth and Kitty that Saturday as they immediately began attending to urgent details, the first being to contact as many people as possible in the nearbycommunitywith the news. I remember being struck, in the midst ofmy sadness, by their poise. They didn’tlet their grief stop them, even for a moment, from doing what had to be done. They seemed to know exactly what He expected from them and what would please Him. It was years before I realized Baba had given me my first clue that day about what I was to do next. He had shown me, through the examples of Elizabeth and Kitty; that He hadn’t gone anywhere, that He was directing their every action. I have often recalled something that happened during one of our morning sessions with Baba in 1962. We were listening to music, when Baba suddenly stopped everything and very deliberately pointed to Himself gesturing, “I am not this form that you see. It is only a cloak I put on in which I come to visit you.” He pointed to our hearts, saying, “Look within and see me as I really am. I am none other than the Highest within you.” It wasn’t until Baba shed that Divine Cloak, that I began to search for Him within. Not having had the years of training with the Beloved these extraordinarywomen did, myjourney to an inner awareness ofBaba wasjust beginning and I would later recognize that this journey is the development of an inner relationship with Him. I am still on that journey, continually discovering what it means to love and please Baba. My memories of being with Baba physically are treasures that are forever etched in my heart. But not a day goes by that I don’t thank Him for giving me the opportunity to find the real treasure within. Originally published on Sheriar Web site.
Nivedita Nagpal, Mumbai a regular pilgrim to Meherabad for the last 10 years, every year’s Amartithi has been eventfttl and full of stories. Having missed the 38th Amar tithi, I longed for merging with the ocean of humanity at the Samadhi. I had been looking forward to seeing the colorful pandals go up, meeting old and new Baba lovers from all across the world, seeing new Baba products in the stalls in Lower Meherabad and of course have Beloved Baba’s eternal darshan (ofwhich I always secretly dream). Even many days after the heat and dust settled down, I have been talking to Baba lovers about their Amartithi experi ence. For the first time I happened to get a copy of Bhauji’s speech, which I always missed while I was there! As Baba’s only surviving night watchman and chairman ofthe Trust, he has been an inspiration to many who longed to know Meher Baba. Here is the part ofthe speech that I could identif5r with: “As a matter offact, it is because of His pull that you all come here to try to get a drop from His ocean. But this drop itself is the ocean, and it will take you to merge with the ocean. No one knows that those who start towards Him and come to Him are the blessed ones. Though they have not seen Him physically, He has seen everyone. He sees everyone not as every one, but as One, and He comes down on Earth age after age in order to move the world towards Him. Whatever we see is nothing but the shadow of the truth. Because of illusion, we don’t think it is the shadow. mind itself is the shadow, and unless we are free from this limited mind, we cannot realize the truth. We come into creation in order to experience the drops as drops and ulti mately, the ocean as ocean. But because of illusion, we remain away from the truth. It is a mystery, but this mystery is also necessary because we have to come from the unconscious to the conscious state of God. That is the goal of life. How fortunate are those who have the inner pull towards the ocean, though they are not yet experiencing it. Therefore, all you dear ones come here to bow down to
His feet. You come here to bow down to Him, the one who is taking you towards the ocean. No one has any idea how much our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba is suffering and suffering. When He is physically present, He suffers physically, subtly and mentally. Now, because He has dropped His physical body, He free from physical suffering, but He still suffers mentally and subtly. This suffering will go on until His universal manifestation. After his universal manifestation He will take rest, but He will still pay attention towards those who follow Him.” What I missed is also the 15 minutes of incredible silence that marks the physical passing ofBeloved Baba at 12.15 PM. This has been such an important moment for everyone when all ofus are dragged out of our materialistic existence to hang on to Baba’s benevolent daaman. This is the time
when all these years I have heard stories of children “seeing Meher Baba outside His tomb” or of some faithful Baba lover feeling the enigmatic love and embrace of Baba. Such is Baba’s interaction with every individual soul that for days the unique experience enlivens and energizes my entire being. Did I miss out on all this really? I did keep my 15 minutes of silence and at 12.15 PM said “Avatar Meher Baba Id J ai.” I put on Baba’s favorite song and felt His blessings. My Eternal Beloved chose to give me darshan in Mumbai. When I cried He comforted me. I know Meher Baba will always be a guiding force and will reach out for me from any part of the universe. As for missing the colorful pandals and meeting friends, there is always another Amartithi round the corner. I will catch up with everyone then.
3Jrecing of 2<ctrmic Cntanglements Meher Baba he spinning of the yarn of karmic debts and dues would be endless if there had been no provision for getting out of the karmic entanglements through the help ofthe Master. He can not only initiate the aspirant into the supreme art of unbinding karma, but can become directly instrumental in freeing him from his karmic entanglements. The Master has attained unity with God, whose cosmic and universal life includes all persons. Being one with all life, he can become, in his representative capacity for the sake of the aspirant, the medium for the clearing up of all debts and dues which have come into existence through the aspirant’s dealings with countless persons contacted in his incarnations. If a person must get bound to someone, it is best for him to get bound to God or the Master, because this tie ultimately facilitates emancipation from all other Karmic ties. When the good karma of past lives has secured for the aspirant the benefit of having a Master, the best thing that he can do is to surrender himself to the Master and to serve him. Through surrenderance the aspirant throws the burden of his karma on the Master who has to think out ways and means of freeing him from it. Through serving the Master he wins an opportunity to get clear of his karmic entanglements. The relation between the Master and the disciple is often carried on from one life to another for several reincarnations. Those who have been connected with the Master in past lives are drawn to him by an unconscious magnetism, not knowing why they are thus drawn. There is usually a long history to the apparently unaccountable devotion that the disciple feels for his Master. The disciple is often beginning where he had left off in the last incarnation. Discourses, Vol. III, pp. 93-94 © 1967 Adi K. Irani
a core group of way that melted Pascal. He abandoned and couldn’t be convinced to back an Domville, they formed nation film. Plans his list ofgrievances. Now all he could do untested formula. For Pascal, to embrace workers for the reincar to shooting the film later was quietly ask, “What do you wish me the Hollywood ethic was not an option. were made to begin ed, answer Baba significant disagree- do?” The disagreement was explained later that year. However, “I saw one ofyour ftlms in London, and the scenario, script ning concer arose ments by Collierc magazine: “Gabriel Pascal ’s temper flared. He noticed how subtly you combined humor is interested only in art, in making fine, and budget. Pascal problems and insisted and pathos. I fully enjoyed it and have intelligent motion pictures, in providing blamed Baba for the often indicated that you are the man to in person. the masses with entertainment that on seeing Him have very deep past Ivy Duce’s book, How a Master Work, produce my ifim. You contains nothing but the truth. will work for me and me with tions detailed account connec By contrast, Pascal thought that typical provides perhaps the most through motion larly particu future, of Pascal’s first meeting with Baba. Duce in the Hollywood fare of the day was “as super— have drawn I myself why is That s. ry of what Elizabeth picture 18 ficial as a mock wedding at a children’s recorded her memo ix.” Phoen my are You me. to bered of that day, that you party” Failing to establish partnership Patterson remem 14 Actress/singer Ruano B ogislav was come to the Zurich with any existing studio, he formed his Pascal was invited to ng Hedi Mertens, where present, as she was one who was traveli own film company and then this “hobo home ofWalter and She time. that at Europe in Baba The appointment was with producer” (as the Hollywood execs dubbed Baba was visiting. “He July 8, 1934. When remembers this about Pascal’s visit: 3pm, for led him) proceeded to get financial backers for schedu hour an over for sation conver Pascal knocked at the door, things seemed had a long it. The company had promise at first, but with Baba. [Pascal] related how he had felt ultimately did not succeed, and had to be to go awry. Duce writes: these years, how he “Elizabeth greeted him, offered him an unseen power all liquidated in 1933. Baba when he heard was it that she would go recognized It was after the failure of his film a seat and explained that time, and then felt first the for Master. To her uttera about Baba company that Norma Matchabelli looked upstairs and call the before seeing more and more nowhere to be found. Him within up her old friend to ask if he would be mazement, Baba was fcouldn’t himsel e awayh in ally, rdwith anyone as him physic interested to work on a film designed to Neither had he left anywo rful, wonde all was ‘It tand. or when he would be well unders illustrate spiritual concepts spelled out by to where he was going ’ words, for rful wonde oo wondering how she wonderful—t the Indian master Meher Baba. This was back. She came down 19 [Pascal] said.” news to the famous the kind of work Pascal hoped to do—it was going to break the With several of the film workers now Baba sure was she him told but appealed to the seeker in him—and the ifim maker, , it was easier for them would come any minute. Pascal was getting together in Zurich timing was right. and they did so for the plans, probably more to work out Norma filled him in on the concept for more and more restive, and oeller had written Vollm and more annoyed, as the minutes passed next three days. the film, which Baba had explained in this ed seven airinvolv It storyc a draft for a and nothing happened. way: “The film will actually demonstrate representing pilot a and gers “Elizabeth said she did not feel like plane passen the purpose of creation, evolution, rein20 only one of was It . Master tasks in other parts the spiritual carnation, illumination, Realization—the staying there and found for the ered consid being ofthe house. However, she eventuallywent several stories whole process ofinner and outer progres second a wrote He film. that he was about to reincarnation sion up to the point of the fulfillment of back, and he told her des Merce David. an ThisM go, as he could not wait anylonger. At that scenario titled all life, which is the union with God. and mode, draft in story a ne rang; when de Acosta had The role of reincarnation and the seven very moment the telepho Mandali Jean Adriel wrote a screenplay titled Baba’s of one it, ed planes will be shown by means of charts, she answer wish that she Avatar (which Baba thought would be animation and special effects photography. told her that it was Baba’s Eastern and Western should find the nicest peach fromamong a unsuitable both for A perfect understanding ofwhat death is audiences). kitchen and present 21 will be given to man, and once he realizes basket ofthem in the The next time the film workers met with plate the in t brough it to Pascal. She it, he will never fear the inevitable death during his visit to the peach and Pascallooked up at her with Baba in person was undergo.” that all have to 15 ’ he said, ‘I know Hollywood in December 1934. By then This project ultimately came to be re great happiness. ‘Now, real Master. I have there was another writer on the team, ferred to as the film “about reincarnation.” that Meher Baba is a Kraft. Kraft was an 22 always been enormously fond of peaches, Hyman Solomon It is not to be confused with other plans keys ’s pleasure to always acquaintance of Pascal’s. One of the for biographicaL/documentary films about and it was my mother recruit to ability his s was find the choicest ones for me. Somehow to Pascal’s succes Baba that were discussed in later years. he told Kraft that he and talent, best the 6 this.”1 Norma’s first husband, Karl Voilmoeller, he has known reincarnation film. Given how guarded Pascal was about wanted him for the had also agreed to participate in the reinto knowledge of his “But first,” Pascal said, “first you have carnation film project. He had co-written his childhood, Baba’s .” Baba 23 Meher , Shri association of peaches with affection was meet my master The Miracle, the successful play in which agreed to this condition. Kraft gly, amazin ned mentio figure significant. The mother his wife had starred, and had an interest in not been Mrs. Lehol, He was very busy at the time and did spiritually-themed drama. In March 1934, in the story could have the ed eschew He want any more work. it could have been Norma cabled Baba confirming that both his adoptive mother, or was he , further and a different relative who had loved him as idea of reincarnation Voilmoeller and Pascal were on board. strongly suspicious of anyone claiming to 17 Together with writers Garrett Fort a boy. . When Baba finally returned to the be a spiritual master and Mercedes de Acosta and financial smiled at Pascal in a consultants Elizabeth Patterson and Elsie Mertens’ home, he 47 . .
. . .
Pascal had an interesting approach to getting people to workwith him. He never provided a chance to refttse. For example, one day he spied a gifted writer in a res taurant. He approached him with an air of authority and declared in his Hungarian accent, “We go to Saratoga. Tam convinced you will have the most enjoyment of your life and that the work we do will give you great happiness. You will have great happiness with me.” The writer said he’d love to come, and only after Pascal walked away did he realize he had no idea what he was expected to do in Saratoga. IfPascal knew the person whom he wanted, the appeal might be shorter but no less compelling, like this simple cable another writer received: “Arrive next week. Have big plans for you. 24 Somehow Kraft agreed in spite ofhimself to meet Meher Baba. Valerie recalls that he emerged from the meeting quite shaken. “There was tremendous power emanating from that man,” he told her 25 In spite of Kraft’s commitments later. to other projects, he did create a story for Baba’s reincarnation film. It was titled How It All Happened. At present, the manuscript’s whereabouts are unknown. There is some inconsistency in the record regarding Pascal’s activities during the twelve months from December 1934 to December 1935, when he entered into his famous partnership with playwright George Bernard Shaw in London. To carefully examine the facts concerning this time is important, because it is said that during this time he brought a pair of Baba’s sandals from India to the United States and then lost them to a hotel for unpaid bills. This is sometimes called the “magic sandals” story because of the story’s sug gestion that faith in the power of Baba’s sandals bestowed great wealth upon the hotel manager who acquired them. The magic sandals story was first printed in Pascal’s wife’s book in 1970 but is not cor roborated in any other source. Neverthe less, it has crept into the Baba literature, recorded in The Awakener in 1978, and again in The Glow in the 1980s. Valerie indicates that the young Pascal followed Baba to India in 1935, where he traveled with Him, visiting holy places. Valerie remembers him saying of this Indian trip, “For the first time in my life I was really free. I was poor and my pov erty was pure, as I desired nothing.” 26 Yet there is no record of Gabriel’s presence in 48
India in 1935 in any of the accounts of Baba’s life.27 This is the “magic sandals” story from Valerie’s book: Hisfarewellgjflfrom Baba was a pair ofsandals, once worn by the master himse(f The sandals and a small weather-beaten suitcase were all the luggage Gabriel had when he was put ashore in San Francisco by a sea captain he had befriended in Bombay. Gabriel went to the St. Francis Hotel, where he knew the Italian managei It took some time before the manager to recognize his old customer in the bearded Hindu. Gabriel, as always, chose the best room. As a man ofintuition, Gabrielsensed that soon a great change was to come in his ljfr—but where and how? He decided to try Hollywood again. The manager ofthe hotel was ftrm. Gabriel must leave his one and only suitcase in lieu ofunpaid bills. He ofjè red Baba sandals in settlement. “You have to realize, Gabriel said, ‘hat those sandals are worth millions ofdollars. They belonged to a seer in India. Itellyou they will bring luck andyou arefortunate to have themfor my stinky little hotelbill. “Andas he talked, his eyes above his black beard vibrated with thepower ofthe Yogis. Overwhelmedby the magic sandals, the manager, being Italian and superstitious too, let Gabriel go. When, years later, Gabriel came back to the St. Francis with plenty of money to collect the sandals, the manager was no longer there. Having become a multimil lionaire shareholder in a big company, he kept the lucky sandals in a safe deposit box. He refused Gabrielc money but permitted him to see the sandals once more. The butler brought them in. The worn, cowhide sandals, the work ofan Indian village cobblei; were lying on a solid goldplatter 28 David Fenster, editor of Lord Meher, had access to Valerie’s book when compil ing Meher Baba’s biography, and although he took some other excerpts from her book—for example, he quoted her account of Hy Kraft’s reaction to Baba—he did not reprint the magic sandals story. It was determined to be tangential to Baba’s life and not verifiable. Over the years, efforts have been made to verify the story David Fenster contacted Valerie in 1982, but made no headway, as she could not remember any additional details. There is no evidence that a miffionaire former hotel manager ever contacted Baba or attempted to find other Baba lovers. Individual efforts by “
Baba lovers in the San Francisco area have so far not turned up any corroborating evidence or clues. So, what do we know? It does appear likely that Pascal took a trip to India in 1935; about that, enough other sources seem to agree. 29 IfPascal did see Baba dur ing the trip, it is plausible that Baba could have given him the gift of His sandals. ° 3 For Pascal to forfeit his luggage to a hotel for unpaid bills was actually quite typical. For the manager—who could have been a simple employee rather than the hotel proprietor—to have experienced better financial circumstances at a later date is not so 31 unbelievable. Yet we also know that Pascal was a raconteur and who had the habit of embeffishing his stories for dramatic effect. It must be taken into consideration that Valerie misreports details concerning Baba elsewhere in her book, particularly for events before 1946, when she and Pascal first met. For the sake of comparison, we can check her version of Pascal’s first meeting with Baba in 1934 and see how it lines up with Patterson’s and Bogislav’s accounts. This is the meeting where Pascal met Baba at the Mertens’ home in Zurich, and Patterson offered him a peachwhile he waited. Valerie describes that first meeting in this way: Baba was staying at a hotel in Zurich, and Gabriel, eternally fascinated by the mysterious East, naturally looked him up. He found Baba sitting motionless on a tiger skin, clad always in white garments, his long dark hair touching his shoulders, his silent lips buried between mustache and beard. On the floor, around the master’s feet, women sobbed and groaned. Gabriel walked up to Baba, pushing away the women on the floor. “I came to see you,” he said to Baba, “and have your answers, but this room smells from the pee ofhysterical women. Send them away and then I can listen to you IF you have anything to say.” 32 Hints of Pascal’s dramatic storytelling style seem to be in greater evidence here. It should be noted as well that Valerie was not a Baba lover, and in her book, she consistently writes ofthose close to Baba in a disparaging way. Her attitude could be coloring the story above. It is difficult to determine the degree to which Pascal’s dramatics and Valerie’s misunderstanding of Baba may have skewed the magic sandals story but it is probably prudent to consider such qualifications before accepting the story as it is.
So, Pascal might have lost his lucky Baba sandals, but it appears that if wealth was what he wanted, he may have been no less lucky than that hotel manager was. When he left the St. Francis Hotel behind, it was to make his way to London to pay an unannounced visit to the famous playwright, Bernard Shaw. He had nothing, so had to stow away on trains and boats to get there. When he arrived at Shaw’s door he had only two or three shiffings in his pocket—and even that was a loan from a friend in London. Yet this hobo producer accomplished what no major Hollywood executive, including Sam Goldwyn of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, had been able to do: secure exclusive rights to do film adaptations ofShaw’s popular plays. Shaw granted Pascal the rights because he believed he had the integrity to preserve the spirit ofhis work and resist pressure from Hollywood studios to change them beyond recognition. Pascal would count having rights to Shaw plays as one ofthe miracles in his life. It was a promising arrangement that would sustain his hope for wealth and prestige for years to come. Pascal’s first project was to adapt the stage play Pygmalion for ftlm. It required much effort on his part to make the film happen. It’s said that for three years he walked the streets of London trying to find investors. Rudolph Kommer used to tell ho during this period, he would meet Pascal about once a year looking shabbier and shabbier and ask him, “Well, when do you go into production?” The answer, invariably cheerftil, was 33 always the same, “Next week I start.” Once he did secure the investors, Pascal used his genius to turn the stage version ofthe story ofEliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins into something that would work on the big screen. It was Pascal who sug gested playing up the elocution lessons, and wrote the now-famous line “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” When Pygmalion opened in theaters, both the critics and the movie-going public loved it. It won two Academy Awards and several of its stars received award nominations. Pascal, once laughed out of Hollywood, nowwas suddenly a big name. Unfortunately, he gained only prestige from this venture. He had seriously un derestimated theamount of money he’d need to complete the film, and was at last
forced to sell his own shares in the profits to generate the final inftision of capital the film needed. He personally made no money from the film. On the crest ofthe Pygmalion success, he launched immediately into the next of the Shaw adaptation projects, Major Barbara, a story about a Salvation Army worker. But just when Shaw completed the revised script and Pascal was nearly finished with pre-production work in London, Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany. Pascal literally created Major Barbara under enemy fire. The logistics were a nightmare. Railroads were out of com mission, roads unsafe. Essential technical equipment, settings and props became impossible to get. Problems developed withamerican actors’ work permits. It was not uncommon for the camera crew to return to a site to complete the previous day’s shooting, only to discover the site now in rubble, the target ofthe previous night’s bombings. Film shooting was supposed to have been completed in six weeks but it took ten months and costs skyrocketed. Against all odds, Pascal got thejob done. The February 1941 issue of Theater Arts proclaimed, “Gabriel Pascal has performed a miracle by carrying his film ofMajor Barbara through to a successftil conclusion under the very noses of the bombers.” Though not as great German 34 as Pygmalion, the film was a financial success and it frirther established Pascal’s name in the industry.
Now with a solid reputation, Pas cal easily won a contract with Rank, the top movie studio in England, for his mostambitious film project to date, Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra. With Vivien Leigh and Claude Rains signed on to star, the prospect seemed promising indeed. Pascal planned to spare no expense. This was to be as grand as Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. Pascal’s brilliance lies mainly in his artistic interpretation of Shaw’s work, and in his ability to recruit the best talent to work with him. His weakness was in the mundane but essential details, things like budgeting and scheduling. Whereas in his two previous films he had discreetly taken on more experienced individuals to advise in those matters, this time he tried to completely honor Shaw’s contractual stipulation and take on sole directorship ofthe picture, and it just about doomed the production. Freddie Young, cameraman for Caesar and Cleopatra wrote in his autobiography ofthe difficulties that plagued this picture, “After only one week’s shooting on Caesar and Cleopatra Vivien Leigh was no lon ger on speaking terms with her director. Gaby would say to me, ‘Freddie, vill you ask Vivien ifshe vill valkjus a lii bit slow?’ Vivien was standing a couple of yards away, and I relayed the message. ‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘but you tell Mr. Pascal I shall do please.’ exactly as I 35 The picture was soon to become sig nificantly delayed because of constant air raid warnings and retakes, and then it went seriously over-budget. Nevertheless, the contract with Shaw required that certain scenes be shot on site in Egypt with real pyramids in the background. Pascal could not get permission to go because of wartime restrictions, soamerican cameraman Freddie Young went instead and assumed directorship while on location. The Egyptian government lent one thousand troops to act as extras for battle scenes. The film workers and actors stayed in a hotel, but extras had to camp in the freezing cold desert each night. They soon took to burning their papier mâché armor and wooden spears to keep warm. Young wrote that there was not much that could be done about it, except to put the soldiers without armor and implements toward the back of the scene during shooting. 49
Meanwhile, Pascal had somehow managed to get permission to visit the Egyptian film site and check on progress. Young remembers his speeding across the desert in a Rolls Royce. He stepped out of the car fully decked out in jodhpurs, riding boots, a white jacket and red fez, and carrying a gold tipped cane. Apprised of the situation regarding nightly burning of props, he immediately grabbed a megaphone and shouted, “Tam an officer ofthe Hungarian Hussars and you are all a bunch ofJewish bastards!” 36 Young recalls the reaction: “There was a moment of dead silence. Then a few orders rang out and the Egyptian Army all formed up and marched away. I turned to Gaby, seething. ‘Now you’ve done it, Gaby. That’s just about the worst thing you could have said.” With one thousand movie extras marching away, Freddie raced across the sand to catch up with the commander and pleaded with him to reconsider. He agreed to turn the troops around, but only ifPascal would leave. He did, and they did. When the picture was finally com pleted, it turned out to be the most expensive film ever produced in Great Britain. Unfortunately, it did not receive nearly the acclaim hope for. It received lukewarm reviews and brought in poor box office receipts. Even Shaw after seeing it said, “Gaby, you’ve ruined it.” It was a low point for Pascal. Pascal had committed to working with George Bernard Shaw, and Shaw projects consumed him for about 15 years. Pas cal was grateful to him for giving him a chance. “He encouraged me,” Pascal wrote, “and gave me back my faith in myself, in my talent, in my artistic integrity and in my mission.” And yet he was kept so busy with Shaw projects that he could not pursue what he reallywanted to do—make spiritual films. Plans for Baba’s reincarnation film were dropped in the late 1930s because Baba said His true purpose had been accom plished, which was simply to draw particu lar individuals to Him. 37 Still, Pascal never lost interest in doing a film for or about Meher Baba. He still wished to make a movie about reincarnation, and considered Mildred Cram’s 1935 bestseller Forever for its story line. 38 For the biographical film he wanted to do about Meher Baba, he had a title picked out, The Slippers ofa 39 He also dreamed of doPerfect ing films about St. Francis of Assisi and 50
about Gandhi, which he thought could Perhaps Baba was referring to the most fi be both profitable for him and beneficial nancially successftil idea Pascal would ever for the world. have—Pygmalion made into a musical. Then, in 1949, when it seemed he Pascal set the wheels rolling in 1951 for had the chance to move forward with the the musical, called My Fair Lady, which Gandhi film, Pascal received a diagnosis turned out to be one of the most popular of cancer of the intestinal tract. Doctors musicals ofall time, but he wouldn’t live to recommended a colostomy, the removal see its phenomenal financial success. of the diseased portion of the intestine But then it was 1952, and Pascal was with an opening made in the abdomen desperate. He hadn’t had a real film success for elimination. Pascal’s reaction was to since 1941, he was in severe debt and his threaten to jump from the doctor’s office health was failing. Up until this point, he window. Valerie sadly observed that “each could always project a sense of buoyant time he was about to reach his goal, it self-confidence that would cause others was snatched away from him.” 40 Pascal to believe in him. But now he was losing refused the doctor’s advice and opted only even that. He worked frantically trying to for minimal treatment—removal of only get the musical Pygmalion offthe ground, the immediately affected portion of the but over and over the individuals who had intestinal tract. After the operation, he committed would bail out on him. insisted that he was cured. Pascal’s thoughts turned increasingly to In September 1950, Pascal traveled to Baba. He wrote to Him: India to hammer out details for his film My dearest Baba, about Gandhi. He met with Prime MmWhateveryou may be, Saint or Demon, ister Nehru to solidify plans. Gabriel very Servant or Commander of secret forces, much wanted to see Meher Baba during answer me now. Why must L a dirty this trip, but did not know how to reach nothing, apiece ofimagination ofmy own, 41 He mentioned the problem to the aphantom, an unexplainable contradiction him. prime minister, who believed he could ofGod and the Devil, go on suffiring? determine Baba’s whereabouts through an Where did my devilish mistake start, inquiry on the wires oflndia’s inteffigence when did I sell my soulforfaces, for service. Nothing turned up. Pascal decided imaginary values; where was the border to try an advertisement in the newspaper. ofhonesty, when did I leave behind that Someone saw it and sent word to Baba, simple peasant boy who was lying in the who in turn sent one of the Mandali to fields dreaming with open eyes? Then there find Pascal and Valerie at their hotel and was yet a divine mission in my dreams: I let them know when and where to come heard divine voices and listened to divine and see Him. inspirations. Pascal did see Baba on September 12, You must know, after so manyyears of 1950, but Valerie stayed behind. When silence and meditation, you MUST know Pascal returned, she said that he was “spar- the great, the simple Divine Answer Ankling.” He had told her, “Baba is going to swer me, whoeveryou are, answer me: the the Himalayas, to be alone. After that first ofFebruary is sofar away. 45 he will start his ‘fiery tour’ through the Pascal desperately wanted to get to 42 How I would like to join him! country. India to make a film documentary of You are the only woman Jam able to Baba’s February 1954 Andhra tour. He love and stay married to. But if you ever had no money to finance the trip, but his leave me, I’ll come back here to Baba secretary, actor Harold Rudd, knew of a and be a monk.” Valerie said that Pascal Baba lover Margaret Scott, who might be talked on, “Baba used his alphabet board in the position to help. Baba had initially and called me his Phoenix again. He made contact with Scott back in 1934, prophesied that my career will rise high, when He was on a ship returning from higher than ever.” 43 Hollywood to India via Vancouver. Baba It is interesting that Baba would make saved her from committing suicide on that the remark about Pascal’s rising career at vessel, and she remained devoted through that time in his life. Pascal would be dead the years. in less than four years. Only one more of When Pascal spoke to Scott ofhis need his films would be released, and due to to get to India, he said that ifhe could not meddling by RKO studio owner Howard get there, “only suicide” would be left for Hughes, who wanted more sex appeal in him. Margaret understood and purchased the picture, it turned out to be a disaster. 44 his ticket. But for a reason that Valerie does .
. . .
. . .
. . .
not fully explain, Pascal suddenly canceled the trip the day before he was to leave. A few months later, he would be dead. The cancer had returned. From his hospital bed, Pascal wrote onjune 13, 1954: My dearest Beloved Baba. My body is so veak as never before, but my spirit is so bright as never before. So you have the balance in your own Master hands. Andltrust thatyou areplaying the Divine game, according to human rules. I was aprince. I was a courtier and officei I was apoet. I was a great adventurei and I was a very great artist. Maybe you give Here lam hanging me back my wings. between heaven and earth on your grace now. Gabriel Everyour Phoenix, 46 .
In Pascal’s last days, he asked Valerie to pray. She remembers holding on to him and saying this prayer: “God, have mercy on him, don’t judge him by our mistakes. We sinned; we were in love with fame and success. Running after them, we forgot You and lost ourselves. But he always longed for you. He searched for you. He fought with himself to reach you.” Pascal breathed heavily, “Yes, yes, I did.” Shortly after, Pascal fell into a semicoma, and Valerie remembers that from then on he called out constantly for God. At the moment of his death, Valerie remembers that his mouth was sucking for air, his right hand moving forward slowly on the pillow, as if reaching for something. Then he said clearly “My God of course.” Then silence. On July 8, 1954, two days after Gabriel Pascal’s passing, Baba sent this cable: “PASCAL HAS COME TO ME.”4 . . .
1 Marjorie Deans, Meeting at the Sphinx. Gabriel Pascats production ofBernard Shawc Caesar and Cleopatra (London: Macdonald & Co., Ltd., 1946?,), viii. 2 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, Gabriel Pascal, Bernard Show (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970), 65. 3 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, GabrielPascal, Bernard Show, 59. 4 BernardF Dukore, a University Distinguished Professor ofTheaterArts and Humanities at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, compiled a volume of correspondence between playwright Bernard Show and GabrielPascal. He included an account ofGabrielPascalc life in the bookc introduction. 5 Bernard F Dukore, ed., Selected Correspondence ofBernard Show: Bernard Show and Gabriel Pascal (Thronto: University of
Toronto Press, c1996), xv. 6 Valerie Pascal, The Disci,le andHis Devil, GabrielPascal, Bernard Show, 60. 7 “Show’s Disc4’le,” New Yorker, May 31, l94l,p. 13. 8 5 N Behrman, The Suspended Drawing Room (New York: Stein andDay, c1965), 76. 9 Geoffrey Macnab, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry (London: Routledge, 1993), 100. 10 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, GabrielPascal, Bernard Show, 197. 11 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple ondHis Devil, GabrielPascal, Bernard Show, 125, 279. 12 5 N Behrman, The Suspended Drawing Room, 66, 68. 13 Frank Condon, “Show Man, Collier’s, April “
29, 1939. Ibid 14 15 LordMeher,p. 1880. 16 Ivy Oneita Duce. Supplement 48, How 0 Master Works (Walnut Creek, CA: Sufism Reoriented, Inc., c1975), 567-568. 17 The information oboutMrs. Leholprovided in Valeriec book does not indicate that she was kind to the boy, Gabriel. Pascal remembers that when he was takenfrom the gypsies, he was given a red toy drum to help comfort him during the transition to the adoptivefamily. It was his he was first toy and he loved it very much. When hand brought to the Lehols, he stretched out his to Mrs. Lehol and said “Mama, but she snapped that she was not his mother. Later she took his drum owoyfrom him ondgove it to her other son, an action that wounded Gabriel deeply. Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, GobrielPascol, Bernard Show, 60. 18 LordMeher, 1890 19 Ruano Bogislav, “From a Nosik Notebook,” Awakener, Vol. 16 #2 (1976), p. Z 20 LordMeher,p. 1890 21 LordMeher, p. 3211 22 Hy Kraft (1899-1975) was a screenwriter, director. p loywright, movieproducer and His autobiography titled “On my Way to the Theater”(New York: Macmillan, 1971) does not mention his meeting with Meher Baba or his work titled “How ItAllHoppened”. Kraft does tell that his Hollywood career was effectively ruined in the early 1950s when his “former friend”Artie Show (best knownfor his big band recording of”Begin the Beguine, “) in testimony before the US. House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, claimed that Kroft might hove attended a communist meeting in the 1930s. Kraft was blacklisted. He writes in his book that the meeting he attended in the 1930s was a meeting offewishpeople who were concerned with Hitlerc increasing anti—Semitic influence in “
Germany. 23 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, GabrielPascal, Bernard Show, 69 24 5 N Behrman, The Suspended Drawing Room, 82. SIbid.,p. 70. 2 26 Valerie Pascal, The Disczple andHis Devil, GabrielPoscal, Bernard Show, 71. 27 Confirmed by David Fenster, editor ofLord Meher, in on email to the author, January 2007. 28 Valerie Pascal, The Discifie andHis Devil, GobrielPascol, Bernard Show, 71. 29 The article “Showc Disciple” onpoges 12-
13 ofthe May 31, 1941 issue ofthe New Yorker magazine reports that Pascal liquidated his own movie company in 1932 and “looked around for an ideolisticpicture to make. The next year, in Switzerland, he met a wealthy Indian who advisedhim to do apicture about reincarnation. The two went to Hollywood, where they couldfind no one interested in reincarnation. Subsequently, Pascal spent, as he describes it, a year ofmisery in Asia. Other evidence isfound in Gabriel’s lost letter to George Bernard Show, doted October 14, 1950, in which he writes that he had recently seen Baba in India and then recalls an earlier visit there: “I met in Bombay, on the way backfrom New Delhi, the perfect master a saintly man who initiated me, 20 years ago when I was in India. His name is Shri Meher Baba. (Reported onpoge 265 ofBernard F. Dukore’s book Selected Correspondence of Bernard Show: Bernard Shaw and Gabriel Pascal.) 30 LordMeherp. 4449-4450 tells that Boba wouldgive away his articles ofclothing to devotees. DavidFenster confirmedvia email to the author inJanuory 2007 that Baba did include sandalsamong thesegfts to afew close “
followers. 31 The story seems to suggest that the St. Francis was a humble hotel run by manager who took the sandalsfor his own because the unpaid debt was actually due to him as the hotel owner. Infact, the St. Francis was built as a luxury hotel in 1904 as an investmentfor the heirs ofa wealthy railroad magnate. It has been in continuous operation since then, always catering to a very wealthy clientele. According to the San Francisco History Center (apart ofthe San Francisco Public Library), the owners ofthe St. Francis were already millionaires in the 1930s and did not have Italian names. So aperson who was acting as a “manager” at the St. Francis Hotel in 1935 may have been a simple employee. Voleriec book does misreport some details about other events that transpired before she met Gabriel in 1946. Perhaps the name ofthe hotel is a misreported detail. Further research would be required. 32 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, GabrielPoscal, BernardShow, 70 33 5. N Behrmon, The Suspended Drawing Room, 72. 34 ‘Major Barbara, TheaterArts, February 1941, p. 88-89. 35 Freddie Young, Seventy Light Years (London: FaberandFaber, c1999), 58. jbid 60. 36 LordMeher, 2215. 37 38 Mildred Cramc book Foreverfollows two peoplefrom before birth, through their respective incarnations, their inevitable meeting, death and finding each other again on the other side. 39 Pascal mentions this movie title in one ofthe final letters he wrote to Meher Bobo before his death. It was reprinted in the Fall 1954 issue of theAwokener p. 6. 40 Valerie Pascal, The Discifie ondHis Devil, Gabriel Pascal, Bernard Show, 190. 41 Boba was in his New Lfephase at this time and living a nomadic lfrstyle. 42 Valerieprobobly heardPoscol mention Baboc “Fiery Free Lfè. “According to Lord Meherp. 3972, “In the Fiery Free Lfè, all thefrailties of continued on page 54 “
:9ctrrett 3ort arrett Elsden Fort (born New York City June 5, 1900, died October 26, 1945) was anamerican short story writer, playwright, and prolific Hollywood screenwriter. Fort made his screenwrit ing debut with the silent film One ofthe Finest (1917). Early in his career Fort co-wrote the Broadway play Jarnegan (1928), based on the novel by Jim Tully. As a screenwriter he is best remembered for his work on original screen adaptations of mythical monsters and heroes. Fort started out around 1927, contributing to such silent productions as White Gold. Fort’s first talkie effort was the ground-breaking Rouben Mamoulien production Applause (1929). Many of his 1930s projects were in the horror/melo drama category, notably Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula’s Daughter (1936) and TheDevilDoll(1936). In these efforts, as well as his 1941 thrilleramong the Living, Fort was adept at alternating
Garrett with Meher Baba in India,
horrific highlights with bits ofunexpected humor. Other Garrett Fort credits of note include The Lost Patrol (1934), Panama Lady (1939), The Mark ofZorro (1940) and Blood on the Sun (1945). Garrett Fort became deeply interested in the spiritual path and was a devotee of Meher Baba, whom he met in Hollywood in 1934. He worked with Mercedes de Acosta to develop a screenplay based on Baba’s philosophy. He eventually travelled to India in 1937 to continue the screenplay. However he became depressed and returned toamerica. Upon returning he found it difficult to find profitable work and died penniless in a Hollywood hotel room in 1945 after an overdose of sleeping pills. Fort remained in contact with Meher Baba until the end ofhis life and was included in Meher Baba’s list of deceased male followers that Baba had a disciple read out to him in 1967.
73ctbct’s b1ollywood DarsIrnn Chair Clive Gordon Adams, North Carolina all started in 1970-1971 while I was on a four-month pilgrimage/tour ofMeher Baba places in the state of Maharashtra, India. During that time I was able to spend a significantamount of time with various Mandali, including Jal S. Irani, Meher Baba’s brother. He had given me a number ofpersonal effects belonging to Meher Baba from the 1920s and 30s, and I had asked him ifhe could locate a chair in India that Baba had sat on while giving darshan, to take back to the States for use in an eventual Meher Baba Center. He said he would try to find such a chair but he indicated it wouldn’t be easy. He sug gested various possibilities at the time, but events intervened, and I was not able to pursue finding the chair in India. It was a missed oppormnit or so it seemed. After Ten and I got married we moved to New Mexico. The year was 1974. We were in the business ofbuying and seffing Indianjeweiry and we would visit southern California on business trips three or four times each year. On one such trip in 1975, shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Ten and I pulled into a Volvo dealership to
he gave danshan to Hollywood stars. According to Ten, I then got back on the pay phone and made a number of phone calls to find out if the chain was still at Hilda’s and ifwe could retrieve it. I recall contacting John Page and possibly the Pearsons, but whoever I ended up speaking with informed me that efforts were being made but they were not meeting with success, due to some hostile energy towards Baba lovers coming from those entrusted with the disposal ofHilda Fuchs’ personal effects. As soon as I heard this I had a sense that something must be done immediately to save the chair or it would be lost forever, so I asked for Hilda’s home phone number and proceeded to see what I could find out. Sam Ervin and TeriAdams infront ofBaba chair Ten recalls that I was on the phone for a long time, making numerous calls. Finally make some repairs to our Volvo, whene we I reached someone who was willing to give called Filis Frederick from the pay phone us some information and he indicated the and found out that Hilda Fuchs had just chain was still at Hilda’s house, but was passed away. scheduled to be picked up by someone Filis must have infonmed us that no one that very day, within a few short hours, was having any luck getting permission and was technically already spoken for. He to retrieve Hilda’s Baba chair, in which suggested that I call yet another person,
I was happy to pay him the money, and did which I did right away. But there is a back very impressed. The whole thing felt very so without delay, though I was somewhat mental, and struck me as lacking heart. story to what happened next. Fast forward now to the phone booth startled by the fact that he asked us to A couple of years earlier, I had been He was apparently donating it to a invited to a piano recital at the Hollywood at the Volvo dealer in LA, no cell phones pay. charitable agency prior to our contacting Hills home ofHilda Fuchs.The event was in those days, in early 1975, where I had him, and therefore the request seemed to sponsored by a Hollywood-based organi finally reached someone at Hilda Fuchs’ strike an discordant note, but we were so zation to which Hilda Fuchs belonged. house who seemed to have some authority al grateful for the opportunity to save the I did not know Hilda Fuchs personally regarding the dispensation ofthe person chair we just wrote it off as a typically or much about her history, except a little effects of Hilda Fuchs. I was surprised strange Baba incident. background from Baba books and a bit that to find that this person was none other Somehow, Ten and I managed to cover Filis Frederick shared, especially regarding than the famous pianist from Vienna! He the chair in a blanket and lift it onto the the unique 1956 darshan that Meher Baba immediately remembered who I was and roof of the Volvo (no roofrack) and tie it gave at Hilda’s home. I believe Filis and he explained that though the chair was already spoken for he would let me have down with rope, but it looked ridiculous Duncan Guild accompanied me to Hilda’s and fairly unwieldy, and I recall worrying house on the afternoon and evening ofthe it ifl got to the house by two o’clock that all the way to Lynn and piano recital for a reception Owens’ house in Tim for the famous pianist. I Hermosa Beach that the really wasn’t that excited chair might fall off. But about attending the event somehow the chair ar because it wasn’t the kind rived safely and without of thing that normally inincident. terests me, but my sense is When Ten and I first that Filis wanted to go and obtained “Baba’s Hol needed a ride, so I went. lywood darshan chair,” Hilda was extremely we had plans to take it involved in some kind of back with us to New organization that raised Mexico, because I had money and sponsored Vialways envisioned (and ennese musical prodigies still do envision) starting abroad and in the United a unique Meher Baba States. This recital was Center and Museum, for a famous such pianist and had been collecting whose name I have now paintings and other Baba forgotten. We had been relics for several years to informed that he was conHilda Fuchs and the mystery Viennese pianist that end. (Still collectsidered to be one ofthe top one of ing!) When we told Tim Owens of our pianists in the world at the time. He was same day. He mentioned it was the intentions to take the chair back to New giving recitals all over the United States, only two items left belonging to Hilda, that Mexico, he objected most strenuously and and was apparently using these events other item being the babygrand piano mdisaid it belonged in Los Angeles. The chair to raise significant sums of money for had been Hilda’s pride and joy. He chair ended up staying atTim and Lynn Owens’ Scientology, and was reportedly one of cated that I should not be late or the would house for over a year before finally ending Scientology’s largest fundraisers, and may would likely be gone, and that he d him and up in the Los Angeles Baba Center. We have been a director oftheir international meet me at the house. I thanke told him to expect me at the appointed compromised on the issue and wrote up organization. a an agreement, which was signed by either Hilda Fuchs introduced the pianist to time. I recall thinking that it would be ffed J ohn Page or Tim Owens, whoever was us and I felt he was somehow a familiar real trick to pick up this huge overstu chair, with a relatively small Volvo sedan, Center president at the time, on behalf individual and there seemed to be an im alternate of the Meher Baba Center of Southern mediate recognition that passed between but I had no time to make any California. The written understanding was us; at least that was my fleeting impression. arrangements. By some miracle Ten and I arrived that the chair was on indefinite loan to the The truth was that I was no fan of Scien Viennese Southern California Baba Group, but if at tology, nor was I a fan ofpiano recitals, so at the appointed time and the for some point it was needed for use at another my biggest question was, whatam I doing pianist was there and clearly waiting Center, or if; God forbid, LA falls into the here? (It also begged the question ofwhat us. The house was totally empty except recall ocean, we could then come and retrieve the Hilda was doing hanging out with major for the piano and the chair. I don’t he chair. For now (January 2007) it looks as Scientologists, and what was Meher Baba’s exactly what we said to each other, but wait- if it has found its home! connection to all this, if any?) The recital did indicate that the chair had been it That’s the full story of how “Baba’s that know to seemed he and us for ing was good, but it really didn’t move me like I Hollywood darshan chair” came to be in the music ofmy 1960s generation, though had significance related to Meher Baba. asked him what he wanted for the chair the dome at Meherabode. I could see from the reaction of the siz able audience that the intellectual set was and he said, “How does 25 dollars sound?”
to California. In fact, he visited a meditation group that met in my West Hollywood apartment on Wednesday nights. He came with a few ofhis followers, and gave a “talk” through an interpreter (he was on silence for many years.) It was quite an evening. Of course, the worship of any person, no matter how enlight ened he may be, is not the path for me, but there’s a lot to be learned from this book in terms of devo tion to a spiritual teacher, and how a teacher works with disciples to help them break through the wall of ego.”
Shakti ¶:Ptirwha 2<ctur 2<halsa Tuesday July 31 and Wednesday August 1, 1956, Meher Baba had a verybusy schedule in the Los Angeles area. He was invited to come to a meditation group that met regularly on Wednesday nights in the home ofMr. and Mrs. Dante Leo Cardella. LordMeher provides details about that evening on pages 5056-5058. One of the individuals present that night later became a dedicated student of Yogi Bhajan and a teacher of yoga. She took the name Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, and wrote several books, including Kundalini Yoga: The Flow ofEternalPower (©1996, published by Perigee.) At the end of this book she recommends a few other titles for additional reading.among them is J ean Adriel’s book, Avatar. She writes:
Avatar byjean Adriel The author of this book about Meher Baba is anamerican woman disciple whose experiences at Baba’s ashram in India, and the tests he put her through are not only entertaining, but very, very educational. Understanding the relationship of a stu dent to a spiritual teacher is not an easy one for most westerners. It’s not built into our culture. Reading such stories can help us understand the concept. I met Meher Baba in person in 1956 ( he died a few years later), when he came
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa took some time out from work on her forthcoming book, Marriage on the Spiritual Path: Mastering the Highest Yoga, to answer a few questions. She clarified that she and her young son shared the West Hollywood apartment with Mr. and Mrs. Dante Leo Cardella in 1956. She remem bers Baba teffing her that she should come to India. She did in November of 1966, though she didn’t see Baba at that time. Baba was in seclusion in late 1966 and not seeing visitors. Shakti enjoyed meeting Baba and taking part in the practices he gave the group that evening long ago, but she had a different spiritual path to follow. Fifty years later, she summarizes her perspective: “The understanding I have gained over the years is that God lives and breathes in everyone—we are all divine beings, tem porarily hurtling through time and space in physical form. Our purpose on Earth is to realize and experience the God within, to become united (yoke with: hence the term “yoga”) with that ultimate Truth that lives in everybody.” continuedfrom page 45 help that is needed for a production of this kind. But I will try still, for a few days to see as many as they bring and explain to everyone the same thing over and over again, however tedious and tiresome it is, but even after trying till the last moment of my stay here, if nothing is arranged for an independent production by the 8th or 9th, I leave here for Vancouver, and sail by the Canadian Pacific liner—SS Empress of Canada leaving Vancouver on January 12th. We tranship at Hong-Kong on the
2nd ofJanuary-February on the Japanese N. Y. K. boat Fushimi Maru, arriving Meherabad (Ahmednagar) on the 15th or 16th. after a regular crossing ofthe seas for over a month; And then as I already told you I go to the Himalayas for a year for the great work that is ahead and in which you all my dearest ones have in future to partici pate each in his or her capacity I know, my dears, how hard itwill be for those who love me as you do, to be separated so long, but rest assured, dearest, I will always be with you. Ifyou only try to realize how I have to do it all, simply for the sake ofthe work in which I wish you all to participate, you, mine own, would take it all so wiffingly, so lovingly. I know you love me too deeply to need teffing you this. This is my first Xmas in the West and how I wish you all dearest had been with me here. I miss you so but lam and will always be with you. All my love, M. S. Irani . .
continuedfrom page 51 the ego-life are completely consumed, and there is complete emancipationfrom all wants, desires and temptations. And the result ofthis Fiery Free
Lfè will make the world understand that Meher Baba and everyone is One with God” 43 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple and His Devil, Gabriel Pascal, Bernard Shaw, 219. 44 Androcles and the Lion, anotherfilm adaptation ofa Shawplay, was released in 1952. Valerie writes that Howard Hughes (owner ofRKO Studios,) thought that thefilm needed more sex appeal and he ordered changes to the movie while Pascal was away on a fund-raising trzp. Pascal sued the studio and won, but in doing so lost his contract to do two additionalfilms with them. The studio sent out the Hughes version ofAndrocles and the Lion for advancepress showings, and that version received severe criticism. It did not matter that the version released to the theaters was Pascal’s; the damage had been done. His reputation sufferedgreatly. (Valerie Pascal, The Disciple and His Devil, Gabriel Pascal, Bernard Shaw, 246-247) 45 Valerie Pascal, The Disciple andHis Devil, Gabriel Pascal, Bernard Shaw, 283-284. 46 “In Memoriam: Gabriel Pascal,” Awakener, Vol. 2 #2, Fall 1954, p. Z Ibid, 6. 47
The copyrights ofthe photographs used in the Hollywood articles belong to the MSI Collection, Lawrence Reiter wwWikipedia. corn, and wwwdMDb.com.
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Thank )3ou &tbscribers! with your crisp, new $100 bills, which each came wrapped inside a piece ofpaper that said only, “Donation for the Love Street LampPost.” For a while it was every week that the envelope arrived. We recognised the font used, and we would has done “Anonymous squeal delightedly, it again!” We appreciate your generosity enor mously and send much Baba love and thanks your way—whoever you may be.
favorablyonyou ay all. Lots and lots of little envelopes with checks inside filled the Love Street LampPost mailbox in the past few months. They almost covered our costs, which is gratifying, but a little scary in face of the high increase in postage the US Postal Service is now wishes. “Give,” He says, “and forget you gave.” passing on to us. “Give with no desire for acknowl Also, Couple this with the fact that we are or reward.” edgement losing our Docutech (the half-million dol certainly got our attention you Well, lar Xerox machine) on which the magazine has been printed for the past six or so years. We had a friend who works at USC and we were able to use one of their machines 4 L-’ at a very reasonable cost, but now USC is outsourcing all their printing, so there goes Meher Baba the Docutechs. This is not good news! When I first took over the editorship of he drama ofthe continued life ofthe individual soul has many acts. From the the LSLP I used to get it printed by any viewpoint ofthe worldly existence ofthe soul, a curtain maybe said to be drawn is one ofmy clients (I worked for a company over its life after the closing ofeach act. But no act yields its real significance ifit a being as context wider its that sold paper to printers) on their printfrom viewed be to has It regarded as complete in itself. is meaning Its come. to still ing presses. acts the and performed link between the acts already the Technology moved ahead and the entwined with the theme ofthe whole drama ofwhich it is a part. The end of of stage the from disappear Docutech became the way to go. But now actors The theme. act is not the end ofthe progressive contexts. new we will have to look around to see what and capacities earth only to reappear again in new we can find. Hopefully it is not going to The actors are so engrossed in their respective roles that they treat them as cost us too much more. For the past year being the be-all and end-all ofall existence. For the major part oftheir continued we have found the cost averages out to $20 life (running into innumerable incarnations), they are unconscious of the closely per person per year, and I would sure hate guarded truth that the Author ofthe drama, in His imaginative production, Himto have to ask you for more than that. We self became all the actors and played the game of hide and seek in order to come go should know what our firture will be when into frill and conscious possession of His own creative infinity Infinity has to to has Author the and Infinity it comes time to print the third quarter itselfas know through the illusion offinitehood to greatest ofthe Author the magazine. Himselfas know to go through the phases ofthe actors A SpecialThankYou to Anonymous. detective story worked out through the cycles of creation. We sure wish we knew who you were, but Discourses, Vol. III, pp. 97-98, © 1967 Adi K. Irani then that would be going against Baba’s
nalogy of Drama
vVelcome to the Love &reet J3ookstorc Dma Snow Gibson Baba Folks, This may well be the last time I write this article for you, although with Baba one never knows, does one? As you will read in the Evolution ofthe MOO story, Baba answered my plea for help and brought me a willing worker to take my place as manager of the Love Street Bookstore. Already Kathy has made some great changes to the look ofthe Bookstore and has some wonderfiil ideas about bringing the Bookstore into the 21st Century. Look for some changes in our Web site, although I think it will take quite a few months to accomplish all she has in mind. But I will let her tell you all about it in the next issue. She has taken on a huge amount ofwork, doing things that I never delved into, and has asked me to continue taking the orders for a while. So when you would like to buy some of our wonderful treasures, do call me at 310.837.6419 (9-5 weekdays Pacific time) or e-mail me at Bababook@pacbell.net E-mail Kathy at bookstore@meherabode. org ifthere are any complaints (or compli ments) about her shipments.
the hundreds of pounds of merchandise divvied up into large suitcases I bought in ‘Nagar for just this purpose, and then found willing pilgrims to carry them back to the States for us. While shopping at the suitcase/bag shop we saw a lovely array ofbeaded bags. Cookie sat on the floor while they showered bags on her. Now isn’t she just the cutest little bag lady you ever did see?
Myfavorite bag lady.
As you will also read in the Prithvi article, I bought a lot of the beautiftil ‘log cabin’ quilted handmade bags, soft mate, of excellent quality 1 na Here beautiful Elischa models both the small ($7) and the large bags ($10). She is also wearing one of our Indian T-shirts, $12. We have very few of these and mostly in smaller sizes, call quickly if you want one. Go to theWeb site and you will see many more of the ones I brought back from India: Jai Baba, I Am the Ancient One, and others, both long- and short-sleeved. Dma says goodbye. Kathy says hub. We also have just re ceived a new shipment of As you also read in the Editor’s page the M S Irani shirts, made in the USA, (you did read that didn’t you?!) Baba was 100% pre-shrunk cotton. Sizes range pretty rough on me this Amartithi, but from S to XXXL, and are available in a He followed it up with the kiss—all my large variety of colors. Check the Web vendors delivered their goods to the MPR site. Wear His signature across your heart! for me. Cookie was a great help in getting Only $11.
dously since I first started buying photos for you a decade or so ago. And Raju has got creative—many of the most popular photos are colored, printed in business card (or a tad larger) size, and laminated. These are sold separately ($1), or as an assorted 20-pack ($10). Check them out on the website.We also have 8xlOs ($2) in black and white and dozens of 5x7s and 6x8s ($1). Baba with Pandayc son and daughter. Paintingby Diana Le Page From our Indian trea sures to home-grown music: formation about Margaret’s national tour We have just received in (proceeds benefit local domestic violence two new CDs but no space in Reviews to and more: www.azaleablossom. centers) review them, so here are a few words from + $2.50 shipping.) ($20 com. Kathy about them: Rutenberg draws his lyrics for Mischa Fans of Margaret Bernstein’s virtuoso Winds ofGrace from poems by CD his new flute performances will not be disap Rumi, Tagore, the sayTheresa, r Mothe pointed in Bricks in the Wall, , and uses words Ramakrishna Sri of her debut singer-songwriter ings His voice is Conner. Murshida by spoken album, with eleven original arrangements the and compeffing, soft but songs on the theme of doare rich, rhythmic, almost lush, without mestic violence. It illuminates getting too sappy. There are 10 cuts on the journey from realizing this new work, starting with the hypnotic that something is amiss (in round Tears, Laughter and Music (with the dynamic Breath ofAir) Baba’s name in the background vocals, to getting to a place of solace (in The Light at the End ofthe which I found so compelling I would buy the CD just for that one cut, but I liked Tunnel). Whereas Bricks in the Wall all the rest as well). Fans ofMischa’s other CDs will want to add this to their collec and The Fight to be Strong tions. Participating musicians includeJohn speak directly about vio Alevizakis, Christopher lence, others Krotke, Gary Leuenberg scutptures. his Aarti and Deva with deal with and Robert Powell. er, emotions aswas Raju Panday. When his father Bhaiya, + $2.50 shipping.) ($15 sociated with ending a who had taken hundreds ofphotos of the folks, its been a Well, relationship. Balanced by Beloved, passed on, Raju took over the 18 years, I have wonderftil compassionate ballads of business and I always make a point ofbuymy tremendously enjoyed self-acceptance, Midnight ing hundreds ofhis photos. While we were many so with friendship and Curtain Falls, as well drinking our tea, he happened to look up ofyou, knowing that you as the lushly orchestrated at the painting always give me a call will You Must Have Heard Me by Diana Le : when you want more Pray, addressing the issue : Page that was Baba goodies. Guess I’ll of child custody, the expe right above our always be a sales lady at rience is one of hope, not heads. “See the heart, but now it’s time sadness. RAC boy Baba is SÔF•ä W1ND f, to welcome Baba’s love The album features holding?That :• offering of a new manMargaret Bernstein on is my older ager with open arms, and vocals, piano and flute, as brother, with to watch and enjoy the well as over a dozen guest our sister benew directions in which musicians, and even comes hind him.” How wonderftil to have such Kathywill be taking Love with a DVD music video a visible reminder ofthe family’s closeness Street. But I can still be of the title song. Proceeds to Baba! found on Love Street... benefit domestic violence 5CHA RUT5E1 I am very happy to note that the print under the LampPost! prevention education. Inquality in India has improved tremen 57
While at the MPR I met alovely couple named Deva and Aarti. They were happy to tell me theirs was a love match, not a marriage arranged by their parents. Deva’s father and grandfather had met Baba so he was raised in the love ofBaba. He is quite the artist, and his wife Aarti takes care of the business end ofhis creativity He came up with what I thought was a beautiful idea—a new way to wear Baba’s image—much nicer than a metal button. Deva sculpted a three-dimensional head and shoulders ofBaba in clay. From that he made a rubber mold, into which he poured material mixed with marble dust. I bought 50 of these beautiful little “Babas.” some in white and some handpainted in soft brown and pink, with a pin on the back. Just $3 apiece, less than 2 inches tall. The othervendorwho so kindlybrought all ofhis gorgeous photos up to the MPR and had tea with me in the dining room
Rudd, whose parents knew Baba, and when he was a 1-1/2-year-old, Raphael met Him in 1958. The two musicians had a mutual friend in Bob Brown, a singer/songwriter and a follower ofMeher Raphael Rudd: Baba, as well. The Awakening Chronicles Townshend had heard a low-budget 10th Anniversary folk album that Raphael had produced for Brown and liked the arrangements. In 1978, Raphaelgot a call from Pete inviting Rob Findlay, NewYork him to London to record some music. Ra met Raphael Rudd in New York City phaelwas given the opportunity to choose the musicians he wanted to work with on in 1995 through a publicist I had hired this album, which was to be dedicated to when I began working for a small record label. With only one band at the time, the Meher Baba. As it went, Raphael chose a couple of company was looking for other talented his long-time “heroes,” having been a fan artists. The publicist said, “I have just the guy of mostly classical music, but also of the rock group Rennaissance, led by Haslam, for you. He worked with Pete Townshend and Genesis, which featured Collins. On and has a master recording that was never the title track of Awakening Townshend released.” shares vocals with Haslam, who also is I met Raphael in a hotellobby on Sixth on two other tracks, including one of the Avenue, a few blocks north ofRadio City CD’s featured songs, Seasons. Coffins plays and knew instantly I wanted to work with him—it wasjust one ofthose connections. percussion/drums on two tracks, including Travels, a rock instrumental. I knew he was special and that we would AlthoughTownshend oversaw much of come to be good friends. I didn’t know the recording process, The Who guitarist that I would soon come to Baba through and songwriter is credited as “technical meeting Raphael, which would lead me consultant.” Townshend produced some to Myrtle Beach Center, Los Angeles ofthe backing tracks, but left most of the Sahavas, and then to India. production up to Raphael and the two enAt various times from October 1978 through May 1980, Raphael came with gmeers. The musical relationship between Raphael and his PeteTownshend, Anmentor became nie Haslam, then a somewhat of a vocalist for the Brit two-way street. ish progressive rock In return, Ra group Rennaissance, phael orches and Phil Collins to trated some of work on a recording the Quadrophenia project that later bearrangements for came The Awakening: the movie score. Chronicles. He also arranged Raphael was virtu the horns at the ally unknown then, a end of the hit 23-year-old composer single Rough Boys and multi-instrumen on Townshend’s talist from New Jer album Empty sey.The result ofthese Glass. collaborations was a The music on blending of progres Raphael Rudd The Awakening sive rock and classical isn’t as raucous as Rough Boys—Rudd music featuring the signature style of the high-energy piano playing that Raphael insisted his work had a connection to rock and roll. He once said, “I wanted to would become known for as the keyboardist for Rennaissance, and as a solo artist fuse classical and rock without being New Age ‘fluff.” This album also showcases recording various projects. Raphael’s brilliant skills as a harpist. Both The story of The Awakening is rooted Townshend and Haslam contributed to in the fortuitous union—and spiritual af the liner notes of The Awakening. finity—ofTownshend, a Baba lover, and
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Rudd’s masterpiece The Awakening. Originally released at $25 for the double CD, it is now out ofprint, but thanks to a masterful purchase, copies are still available at the Love Street Bookstore and sell forjust $15. Checkout the CD at www.lovestreetbookstore.com/monthlyspecials.htm.
Happy Birthday Darling Mehera new DVD, made as a tribute to Beoved Baba’s own Beloved Mehera, celebrates her 100th Birthday. It was first shown in Meherazad on Jan. 7, 2007 (which is Mehera’s 100th birthday according to the Western calendar), and is now being made available to all His lovers. The film is 35 minutes long, a stirring collection ofold and more recent still and moving pictures of Baba, Mehera, the women Mandali and others, beautiftilly set to music by Buz Connor, Al Jolson, Margaret Bernstein,Jamie Newell,Juthika Roy and Katie Irani. Kacy Cook directed the ftlm and Bob Fredericks edited it. Happy Birthday Darling Mehera is full of delightftil surprises and some rare footage and stills. This film was very well received by the mandali in Meherazad, and it was their suggestion that it be made available to others. Proceeds from the film will go to the Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust, and also towards friture such film projects in Meherazad and Meherabad. $20
Bhau Kakhuri: Meher Babac Lion, a Must-Have Film Caroline McDonald New York r those new to Meher Baba, as well as those who have followed His teaching for years, the DVD, Bhau Kaichuri: Meher Babac Lion, an interview with Bhau Kal churi, is a staple for any collection. The DVD includes an interview of Bhau by Alexandra Marks, and as a bo nus, there’s a past interview as well. In both, Bhau discusses the question that invariably comes up: Baba’s message in regard to three-quarters of the world being destroyed. Bhau discusses the nu ances of the topic in both interviews and he offers pieces for the puzzle. Putting these pieces together can hopeftilly give a clearer picture. Bhau addresses many other topics as well. He also answers audience questions, such as how to avoid worry—certainly an important topic in these busy, job-intense times. As a Baba follower for 20 years, I
Alexandra Marks interviews Bhau.
found Baba’s messages relayed by Bhau to be thought-provoking and helpful—for example, his advice about stress and today’s world. In the bonus interview, Bhau discusses Baba’s message on drugs. This takes on new meaning today, as drugs—both rec reational and hardcore—have once more gained a stronghold. As ever, Baba’s mes sages come though, relevant and crystal clear. And Bhau delivers them with brevity and heart. The DVD includes wonderflil footage of Baba and His devotees climbing Seclusion Hill at Meherazad in India. His laser glances and flowing movements offer a tiny glimpse ofwhat it must have been like to be in His presence during that very
special time. If for no other reason, the DVD is worth having to watch this sel dom-seen, restored footage over and over again. Includes English subtitles, original music videos, and newly restoredfilmfootage; 93 minutes. $12.
Meher Baba, The Awakener A Documentary Every Baba Lover Will Love Kendra Crossen Burroughs Myrtle Beach Thelen’s 1994 film on Meher Baba
was the first to be made in the classic ‘Jim
“objective” style of television documenta ries. Only now 13 years later, has it become available on DVD, and it is arguably still the only film ofits kind: a complete survey of Baba’s life and work at a viewing time appropriate for television and other nontheatrical showings (it has aired on U.S. public TV and in Israel), and suitable for introducing Baba to an unconverted audience. Baba’s story is presented in a factual, chronological format, complete with a diagram of the moment of creation and professorial comments by Robert Eliwood, a liberal clergyman who taught world religions at USC and authored books such as The Sixties SpiritualAwakening. Despite its “objectivity,” Meher Baba, The Awakener presents no opposing views (no “Colonel Irani” was on hand in L.A., I guess); it simply suggests that Meher Baba’s claim to being the Avatar is for the viewer to evaluate. An earlier version ofthis film concluded with a controversial reference to Baba’s announcement that “three-quarters of the world” will be destroyed when He breaks His silence. It is absent from the present version, which concludes gently. For the pleasure ofBaba-lovers, the film includes some of the most lovely footage of Baba, as well as many beautiful stills, including several shots ofHim that are not commonly shown. It is primarily for Baba’s image that I personally want to watch a Baba movie. On repeated viewings of this film, my editorial temperament can’t help being critical of a few details in the script, but that is inevitable when someone heroically squeezes so much information into a short movie. I am sure that when an audience new to Baba watches this, they
are not mentally analyzing each statement; rather, they are taking in impressions of images, feelings, and selected utterances that each viewer will absorb according to his or her own receptivity. This film is therefore valuable for showing to anyone you think would appreciate the familiar documentary approach, which sublimi nallyvalidates the content, especially with the voice of our authoritative narrator, Dma Snow Gibson! It covers an amazing range of histori cal events, concepts, and people, touching on every major element in Baba’s story to give viewers the big picture: creation, evolution, reincarnation, and involution; Gandhi, Hollywood, Australia, and the Paramount Newsreel; miracles, masts, and Mehera; mass darshans and prasad tossing; Universal Work, accidents, seclusion, and silence; the New Life and the New Humanity; and the message oflove ofGod without rituals, dogmas, or drugs. Among the featured speakers—espe cially Bhau Kaichuri and Don Stevens, but also Rustom and Sohrab Irani (Baba’s twin nephews) and Marguerite Poley, who speaks lovingly ofmeeting and embracing Baba—all look touchingly fresh-faced, now that years have passed and we’re all a tad more decrepit. Don is delightfully articulate, and what Bhau lacks in fluency (there are subtitles for him) he makes up in heart radiance. Lyn Ott, present in a voiceover, makes one of the film’s most insightful comments, on the inner signifi cance ofMeher Baba’s silence: “Eventually Baba wants everyone to become aware of God’s speaking to them in their hearts.” Bonus Features exclusive to the DVD include the entire uncut interviews with both Bhau and Don (not quite the Clash of the Titans—more like the Attack of the Huggy Bears). From the press release: “Included is Bhau’s explanation of the story ofAdam and Eve, andJesus’ life after the crucifixion. Don speaks on a variety of subjects, including the New Life, and the various ways of following Meher Baba.” DVD ofMeher Baba, The Awakener: Narratedby Dma Snow Gibson, with Bhau Kalchuri, Don Stevens, Rustom Irani, Sohrab Irani, Marguerite Poley, and Robert Ellwood. Director ofPhotographyJohn A. Brackett; music by Karl Moeller; additional music by K Sridhar (‘ofPeter Gabrielc Real World Records,). Produced and directed by Tim Thelen, www.divinesport.com. 95 minutes running time. $25from Love Street Bookstore.
The Evolution of the cJ71400 Dma Snow Gibson any many years ago, when Baba dropped the management of the Love Street Bookstore in mylap, it was just a small display case with about 15-20 books and pamphlets in it. No fancy name, just a convenience for His lovers coming to the Saturday night meetings at our little box of a rented meeting hail. Baba knew what He was doing (doesn’t He always?!) in getting me to start ordering the books. Being a sales rep by nature —and profession—it was impossible for me not to start building something bigger. Since Greg and Gay Dunn had started the Love Street LampPost, a newsletter that had nothing to do with me, we thought it would be a good idea to call our burgeoning bookstore by the same name. Hence the Love Street Bookstore was born. Word spread across the country by the newsletter and on the Baba listserv and the orders started coming in. I was working nine ‘til five as a sales rep for a major paper company and seven ‘til eleven for Love Street. After a year or more it was getting too much for one person so Clea (then Sucoff) McNeely stepped up to the plate. Bless her heart, she came for dinner every Thursday night, then brought ail the packing materials in to my office (which had been my daughter’s bedroom) and packed while I wrote the invoices. It was a lot of flin, and Clea told me how much she looked forward to Thursday; it was like wrapping Christmas presents, she said. A whole lotta love went into that packing. Alas—Clea moved to Minnesota and I was all alone. Every now and then I could get someone to come help me pack the orders, Harry Thomas, Marc Brutus, and Trish Shannon. When my son left home and moved to Australia I moved the operation into his bedroom, with a long table set up for working. A much more professional situation, and the “Granny Room” that my mother used when she came to visit us was now filled with every size box I could get my hands on, alongwith bubble wrap and other packing materials. It was a total learn-as-you-go business, but I sure threw my heart into it—always thinking up new Baba things to sell. It grew
Clea McNeelypacks ordersfor the Love Street Bookstore.
and grew until one time when Bhauji was nized as a Baba lover from our Center but at our Sahavas and he saw it all spread out didn’t know her name. We started chatting, in the very large room at Pilgrim Pines, he and she asked how I was. I told her of my said, “This is the biggest Baba bookstore desperate straits, and we parted to do our in the world!” shopping. However, it was not without a personal That afternoon she called me and said cost. I was stretched to the max and get“Would it help ifl came over once a week ting extremely stressed out. I took early to help you pack orders?” Would it ever! retirement from my day job and threw But stupid me didn’t give Baba the myself into both credit. It didn’t the Bookstore and dawn on me until One morning a year or two ago I the LarnpPost.The that eveningwhen I stood in front ofa beautiful large latter had been was telling my hus portrait ofBaba and, in a state of band about my day. dropped on me total desperation, cried out, late 1995, and let It suddenly hit me me tell you—that “Baba! I need HELP!!” and I burst into a was certainly a flood oftears! How learning experience! I was working all day magnificent is our Beloved! every day trying to handle what would So started a wonderful relationship— normally have been a three-person job. Michalene came each week and we shared One morning a year or two ago I stood wonderful joyous times making all our in front of a beautiftil large portrait of customers happy, packing up their orders. Baba (the Ancient One painting by Claire Real happiness does indeed lie in making Maitara) and, in a state oftotal desperation, others happy. But it was still a lot of work cried out, “Baba! I need HELP!!” and things were faffing by the wayside.Ven It wasn’t until later that night that I dors were not being paid on time, purchase realized He had answered my prayer not orders were not written in a timely fashion, more than three hours later, and brought the LampPost was late. me that help. The story is worth telling. I And now that Baba had brought me a was in Costco and saw a woman I recog husband, my life was getting even filler,
which brought more complications and more stress. Baba to the rescue once more! Kathy Hill, who was an East Coaster, decided to cut the ties and move West. She had been to a few ofthe LA Sahavases and had proved a wonderiful help in the Bookstore. When Charles and I visited Australia, she came with us and a bond was formed. Kathy knew how heavy the workload was for me and how much I would appre ciate some serious heavy-duty help, so she headed for Los Angeles. YEA Kathy! She said she would be happy to transition into manager ofthe Bookstore. So while I was in India, she, Charles and Kennedy moved all the Bookstore materi als from our house to the Center. When I returned home, I found I had gained three rooms! I was stunned! Kathy has had retail experience and has already transformed the appearance ofthe Bookstore, check out the photos on our website, they are so much nicer in color. Before she moved everything from my house she and KentHanson transformed what had been an unused room behind the office at Meherabode. It had become a dump-all for any piece ofjunk around. Major work! And now look at it! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Mail Order Office, the MOO, a professional packing room. Kathy is there four days a week, and unless we are out ofstock on a certain item, your orders will always go out on a Friday. But ifyou need it urgently she will do her best to get it to you by the required date. Michalene still gets to help, one afternoon a week, and I can tell by the e-mails I am getting that the work of Love Street is being carried on with love. Thank you Baba and thank you Kathy.
At last! Kathy at work in aprofessionalpacking room. 6i
LAnnouncemns Great News from the Archives Team e are very pleased to announce the inauguration of a new section on the Trust Web site—The Archives! All of us on the Trust’s archives team have been looking forward to this day with great anticipation and we are happy to be sharing the news. As was mentioned in Tavern Talk regarding the Online Library: “With the aid of electronic media, we are taking the first steps in distributing this prasad freely to people around the world.” Although that specifically referred to the searchable online versions ofsome ofthe major Baba books, at the same time another wonderful kind of “electronic prasad” from the Trust’s Archives was just about ready to be distributed! For the past fewyears you have received on Tavern Talk a Heart Talk letter and an installment ofthe Combined Diary. These were only two examples ofthe wide-ranging materials in the archives. Now with the beginning of this new Web site 5cction, there will be ample opportunity to expand the selection ofmaterials.Thc only limitations are the time and manpower it takes to get the very fragile materials digitised without too much handling and the technical resources available to us. Our intention is to begin electronically opening up each cupboard and trunk and to invite you to have a look online! From the beginnings of the archives project, right along with preserving the precious records and treasures of Beloved Baba’s advent, has always been the com panion purpose ofsharing these items with Baba lovers and humanity at large. Now that the conditions are right according to the museum experts we have contacted, we have been able to begin moving collection items into the Manzil-e-Meher collection management building at Meherabad. This now puts us in a position to be able to prepare materials in electronic form and make them available on the Web site. The pages that are ready present most of the digitised Heart Talk letters and Combined Diary installments. These current series will be completed in the regular weekly postings and as batches are ready 62
they will be added to the Web site. Accompanying them is a very exciting new offering: some of Chanji’s Diaries. Fram roze Dadachanji (Chanji) kept dozens of diaries during the nearly 20 years he served as Baba’s first secretary. Ten of them are now available for you to read first-hand. Additionally, the Intelligence Notebooks, the original manuscript that formed the basis for the book Infinite Intelligence, are also available in the Archives section. The materials are initially available only in pdf format, but we have already completed a more interactive design, which will be simpler and quicker to use, with selection aids to find just the materials you want. When the new pages are ready, Tavern Talk readers will be the first to know. Visit the new Archives section at http://wwwambppct.org/archives/index. html and come back often! Ifyou are not already receiving Tavern Talk, ask to be signed up at: http://avatarmeherbaba. org/mailman/listinfo/tavern-talk.
Online Library Opens
he Avatar Meher Baba Trust, in a letter from Chair Bhau Kalchuri, has announced the inauguration ofits searchable, digital Online Library, at http://www. ambppct.org/meherbabalonline.php. The first 12 books are: God Speaks (2nd Ed.); The Everything and the Nothing; Listen, Humanity (3rd Ed.), Beams from the Spiritual Panorama; Ljfi at Its Best; Sparks of the Truth; Sparks from Meher Baba; The Path ofLove; The Wayfarers; Meher Baba, the Awakener (2nd Ed.) and The God-Man. The plan is to add new titles to this resource. First to be added are the other major editions of the Discourses: the fivevolume God to Man and Man to God and the sixth edition. Although the Trust Web site serves as the venue, members of the Baba listserv, Baba-Talk, performed much ofthe crucial preparation of these texts when, in 1997, Michael Ivey coordinated the group that undertook the enormous labor of “digi tizing” a representative selection of the Meher Baba literature. The Trust expressed special apprecia tion for this group, as well as to the various
copyright holders who graciously gave their permission for the online publica tion of their material, and to the various publishers who helped in many ways. The Online Library is “a tribute to the loving cooperation of Meher Baba’s lovers and organizations around the world, brought together in their common dedication to the Avatar’s divine cause.” Bhauji asks that we remember that these books are copyrighted! Baba made copyright arrangements for His own books and messages, so in respecting His copyrights, we not only abide by the law, but we honor His wish. The Trust Archives is also happy to make available a facsimile copy ofthe two Intelligence Notebooks, the manuscript that served as the base for the book Infinite Intelligence. In addition to the 250 handwritten folios, a concordance that matches up pages in the manuscript with pages in the published book will be provided. In recent years, the Trust Archives has been publishing on Tavern Talk, the trust’s online listserv, digital facsimiles of documents from its collection. About 650 pages of The Combined Diary were released in this way, in addition to almost 200 letters between Baba and some of His close disciples. The Archives is preparing a section where this material and much more will be available. It will serve as an online resource easily available to Baba lovers and others who want to engage in research in the life and message of the Avatar. The Trust planned to include the manuscript of Intelligence Notebooks as a part ofthis archive, but the project has run into technical difficulties that have delayed its inauguration, so this manuscript is included as part of the Online Library. The intermediary presentation is in the form of 10 downloadable pdf files, with a concordance. They hope to present archi val material in an improved, user-friendly format, making it even more accessible. “We are blessed with an abundance of books and messages by and about the Avatar. For the first time in history, we also have photos and films documenting His life and ministry. With the aid of electronic media, we are taking the first steps in distributing this prasad freely to people around the world.”
Baba in Cyberspace ore and more we are seeing how word ofthe Avatar is spreading and being made available to millions around the world, thanks to the Web. Not only items and snippets offilms that are showing up on Youtube.com, and Myspace. corn, but it seems every month more Baba lovers are setting up their own sites. We will try to keep you abreast with the latest in each issue ofthe LampPost. Reader submissions are welcome; the list is not comprehensive, but we want to hear what your favorite Baba Web sites are.
‘V hftp://wwwmeherbabafflm.com/ New site which will be rolling out a new feature or page every month during 2007—a special year for Baba on film! V http://www.belovedarchives.org/ proj_testimony.html Describes a project to transcribe large col lection of audio tapes featuring Mandali and others. V http://wwwambppct.org/meherbabaJ oiiline.php The Trust site now offers a searchable archive of a dozen Baba books, including God Speaks and Discourses. V http://www.mehercenter.org/ How to visit the Myrtle Beach Center, and why. V hftp://home.on1ine.no/so1ibakk/ Comprehensive site, searchable archive of Babaliterature, fantastic links page, poetry and astrology. V http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/ listfaq.html All about the listservs and how to join them. V http://www.jaibaba.com/index2.htnil A very nice site that includes a way to send E-cards with Baba’s pictures on them. V http://members.aol.com/aernadrome/centreC.html A humorous site assembled by the very creative Edinburgh group. V http://www.mindspring.com/ userview/We1come%2OHome/we1chome.html Information about getting to India with details about places to visit in Poona and elsewhere, but not often updated. V http://www.meherbaba.com/default. htm Very nice site with an especially beautiful art section. V http://www.lordmeher.org/index is the Lord Meher Web site. Search for any quote or fact or time event.
V http://www.ava— tarsabode.com.au Baba said ofHis home in Australia “It will become one of the great places ofpilgrimage in the world.” V http://www.na tionmaster.com/en cyclopedia/Meher_ Baba V http://wwwpbase. com/junglegeorge/ meher_tiles David, Susan, Lauren andMadison, Glenn andMissy, and Rose “Welcome to My World” Tiled Wall at on Jan. 14, 2007, at Meher Mount, Ojai, Meherabad. Ca. It was a small gathering ofclose fam V http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyn_ and friends. The ceremony took place ily Ott Beloved Baba’s oak tree. under Photo Gallery by George Fricker: and Missy now reside in BurnsGlenn V http://www.youtube.com. a suburb ofMinneapolis. Minnesota, ville, proffle?user=timmerl7 estate company and real a owns Glenn More about Lyn Ott a career as a real pursuing on plans Missy V http://www.meherfund.org/ Congratula Minnesota. in agent estate Meher Fund Inc., supports the Meher Free both. them to tions Dispensary, near Pilpalgaon Village.
Baba Radio ne of the best-kept secrets in the Baba world is Baba Radio. It’s the only radio station (as far as we know) dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba. Now it’s mostly music with a limited play list, but a lot of music has been sent in and soon will be reflected in an ever-expandmg playlist. There is also an hour-long show, “Welcome To My World,” which usually features an interview with someone about their life with Baba, and also includes Baba stories, Baba happenings from around the world, and usually a poem or two. The shows are archived so that past episodes are available to be downloaded and listened to at your leisure. New shows are aired every few weeks. To find Baba Radio, go to http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org and then click on the Baba Radio link. To find archived shows, go to the Wel come to My World link and click on ar chives. To contact the folks at Baba Radio, e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choi and Kim Nuptials Choi, daughter of Rose of Los Angeles and Glenn Kim were united in marriage
Commemorating 1958 50th Sahavas Anniversary he Avatar Meher Baba Trust will commemorate the 50th anniversary ofthe 1958 sahavas, which Beloved Baba gave to His lovers at Meherabad between Feb. 15 and Feb. 26, 1958. The event will be held Feb. 15—17, 2008, at Meherabad. The program will include short speeches by 1958 sahavas participants, bhajans that were sung then, a short skit and play based on the deliberations ofthat sahavas; Burra Katha and a special film on the 1958 sahavas. Posters of that sahavas will be exhibited during the program. Participants of the 1958 sahavas are requested to send their names for short speeches describing their experiences of that event only; interested Baba lovers are requested to send a short written summary of their 1958 experience; and individuals or Baba centers are requested to send bha jans that were sung during that sahavas. Entries may be sent to Urmilla/Go karan Shrivastava, Librarians Meherabad Hill Library, Meherabad, Ahmednagar MS-414 006; by e-mail to gokaran_shriv email@example.com; by phone (0241) 2548473, no later than Sept. 30, 2007. Communications should indicate address and phone numbers. The organizing com
mittee will finalize the names of speakers and singers and confirm the names of selected persons after the deadline. Baba lovers who wish to participate in the program should reserve lodging accommodations in Meherabad well before Jan. 31, 2008. As there will be time constraints on all three days of the program, last minute requests for speeches, bhajans and accommodations will not be entertained. Please note that the commemoration program dates fall between Beloved Baba’s 39th Amartithi and His 114th birthday. Accommodation at Hostel D is not available to pilgrims up to Feb. 5. Participants who come for Amartithi should not expect to continue their stay at Hostel D. Because it was Beloved Baba’s wish that His lovers should celebrate His birthday at their own centers, participants should arrive at Meherabad by Feb.14 and leave as soon as possible after the program’s conclusion Feb. 17, to celebrate His birthday at their respective centers. However, pilgrims desiring to stay at Meher Pilgrim Retreat (MPR) may extend their stay after Amartithi and send their requests for ac commodation at MPR accordingly. Kindly send us copies of 1958 sahavas photos ifyou have any. These photographs may be included in the film for the occa sion or displayed during the program. Jal I? Dastoor; VS. Kaichuri; Shridhar Kelkai Chairman; RarneshJangale, orga nizing trustees, Avatar Meher Baba Trust
the ability to download some critically importantlarge updates for two ofthe most used applica tions. Thank you! We are most looking forward to being able to send a photo of Meher Mount in e-mails to you. Meher Mount’s move into the 21st Century electronic age will give us more ofa connection with au ofyou who love Meher Mount. Step by step, the infrastruc ture at Meher Mount continues to develop both “inside” and “outside.” Administrative de velopments this year include: use of QuickBooks on a reg ular basis to track expendi tures, income and review items all against the budget (and Meher Mount is on target for this fiscal year). Implementation of GiftWorks software to develop the Meher Mount mailing list, track donations and gen erate acknowledgement letters. More regular communications using the continually updated mailing list. Thankyou for your thoughtful support ofMeher Mount. Elizabeth Arnold and Ray Johnston, Meher Mount Managers/Caretakers Margaret Magnus, Annual Fund Chair
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Suzie gets her man! make a permanent commitment to share theirjourney through life, that they spon taneously decided to marry immediately. They had the good sense to include the immediate family to witness and share in their love andjoy ofcommitment to each other. This took place in Reno on Feb. 3. We will have a celebration for all the rest of our community of family and dear friends as soon as the young couple settles back to Earth enough to decide on when. We are so very, very happy to expand our family to include Kirk. He is a truly wonderful young man! Jai Beloved Baba! Michael, Dawn andBrian Dolan
New at Meher Mount e have exciting news! Meher Mount now has a new email address and that is most exciting because Meher Mount is now connected to the Internet via broadband. Please update your address book with the new e-mail address for Meher Mount: firstname.lastname@example.org. This change is made possible by your interest, suggestions and donations al lowing Meher Mount the ability to get broadband via satellite. Previously, we were using dial-up, (at a “turtle” speed of 12kbps—because that is the fastest that our phone lines on the mountain could carry the signal.) It would take more than five minutes just to get connected and log on to e-mail. Now with broadband it is a much dif ferent experience. Meher Mount now has 64
Bhau’s Instructions Receive Bhau’s Messages, Awak enings, Announcements, and chat transcripts: Subscribe, unsubscribe or change e mail: Bhaulist@yahoo.com. Put Subscribe, Unsubscribe, or Change in the Subject line. If Change, list your old and new e-mail addresses in the e-mail. If Unsub scribe, add email@example.com to your list of blocked senders. Security: Bhau’s list is 100% opt-in and never shared. Unsubscribers are removed from the database as soon as possible. E mails from firstname.lastname@example.org have Bhau’s name in the subject line. (Ifone does not, please delete unopened.) Size: All ofBhau’s messages, Awakenings and chat transcripts will be in plain text format, no html or other coding and absolutely no attachments.
Newleyweds Kirk and Suzie
Suzie Dolan Marries! e just wanted to share the happy news that our daughter Suzie and her boyfriend of many years, Kirk Davidson, felt so strongly that they wished to
c-I/Ipcoming &tlictvases “Whenfive or more are gathered in my name, lam there.”
Los Angeles hat time of year again: a precious T opportunity to absorb His ineffable presence. The Los Angeles Silence Day Sahavas Committee is preparing another memorable event in the breathtaking San Bernardino mountains, where lucky Sahavasees enjoy the occasional bear sightings at Pilgrim Pines Camp! Be therejuly 1—4. Arrive on Sunday in time to register at 11 AM; catch a late ffight out Wednesday afternoon. Special guests will include Naosherwan Anzar, Meherwan Mistry, and Adele Wolkin, all ofwhom spent time in Baba’s presence. Musical headliners: those perpetual favorites, Jim Meyer and Charles Gibson. Logistics: Fly to Ontario (ONT), which serves many airlines including Jet Blue and Southwest, then rent a car, or jump on a shuttle (Ace Transportation, 866.823.8380). Getting locals to pick you up gets tougher as vehicles get smaller, but it might be possible to ride-share with others: call Kennedy Macintosh, 310-697-2222. If the event fee is out of reach, apply early for a work scholarship, limited funds are available to help: mahoo@shorewood. cQrn. And check for updates at www. meherabode.org. Sleep in cabins or bring your own tent; the food is plentiful and the staff pleasant. As always Love Street Bookstore will be trucked in for you to catch up on all the latest releases ofbooks, DVDs, music and treasures from India. Be sure to enjoy the Toddy Shop, workshops, child care, teen and youth activities, hiking, all sorts offamily fun, even volleyball and a swimming pool. Aside from basking in Baba’s sweet love—so intense when so many of His
lovers gather together—my favorite part is always the silentwalkto the Dhuni under a zillion stars, then the heartfelt music as we line up and throw sticks in the fire. I also like getting up early to attend Arti, as you never know what musician might be inspired to show up. I also like running into countless old friends. I also like... well, too many things to mention here. If you have not been, go! Airfares are unlikely to ever be more affordable. Ifyou have been, come back! How could you bear to miss it?
India Meherabad Young Adult Saha vas! Sunday 22 July to Friday 27 July. Young Baba lovers from around the world are invited to take part in this special opportunity to be together in His divine companionship at Meherabad. Age range must be within 19 and 35. Participants will stay in Hostel C. (Familymembers or friends must make separate arrangements to stay at Hostel D or the MPR). Sahavas registration form and infor mation are at http://ambppct.org/events. sahavas.php. To register, e-mail: jaibaba@ ambppct.org. Questions: e-mail mbyas@ ambppct.org
Oregon Northwest Summer Sahavas 2007will be Friday,Aug.5 through Sunday,Aug. 7 at Baba House, the name Bhau Kaichuri gave to the rural, five acre home of Dave and Betty Lowman, in the beautiful Wil lamette Valleyvillage ofScotts Mills, about 45 minutes south ofPortland, Oregon. Sahavas guests this year are Henry Kashouty, Jamie Newell, and Adele Wolkin. For more information on NW Sahavas 07, check the Avatar Meher Baba Group of Oregon Web site at http://www.ava tarmeherbabaoregon.org/. Or, you may contact Joanna Tompkin at 503-699-0028.
Australia Avatar’s Abode September 2007 Sahavas: The life and work of Francis Brabazon From Friday evening the 28th of September until Sunday3oth September at Avatar’s Abode there will be what the Aussies are caffing their Spring Sahavas ( Autumn in the northern hemisphere). This follows on from the Spring Saha vas last year where the theme was the 1962 East-West Gathering. Dr Moortywas the special guest at this Sahavas as were those Australians who attended the East-West Gathering. In 2005, the previous year, there was the October Sahavas and the guests were those Australians who met Baba in 1956 in Sydney and Melbourne, and in 1958 at Avatar’s Abode. Both of these Sahavases were very special events and the legacy has been the recording for posterity the personal accounts of those who met the Avatar in Australia and later at the East-West Gathering. Referring to Baba’s visits to Australia one of those who was fortunate enough to be in this select group asked Francis Brabazon why it should be so. Francis’ answer was that there had to be “some mugs” around for the Avatar to meet. This implied that there was nothing “special” or “spiritual” about those in the group. This year the Sahavas theme will be the life and work of Baba’s poet, Francis Brabazon. This seems particularly ap propriate seeing as 2007 is the l00 anniversary of Francis’ birth. The Australians wish to publicize this Sahavas as widely as possible, thinking that overseas Baba lovers who knew Francis or who simply enjoy his poetry may like to attend. If you have never been to Avatar’s Abode this may be the ideal opportunity to visit Baba’s Australian Abode as well as attend what will be a wonderful op portunity to remember Baba in the context of His love for Francis and Francis’ love for him. For further information, send e-mail: AvatarsAbodeInfo@universal.net.au.
Letter to the Editor, EBaba’s 3lctg, Odds sz Ends read with great interest Laurent Weichberger’s ; comments on Baba’s rainbow flag contrasted with the gay movement’s use of a rainbow A flag as its primary symbol. However, he didn’t mention * information, I had given him while he was researching this piece for our recently published cooperative effort with Don Stevens, Sexuality on the Spiritual Path. That informatin is as fol lows: the first appearance Of the rainbow flag, in the very first Gay Pride March in San Francisco in the summer of 1970, commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising ofJune 1969,, was Babac seven-coloredfiagfiies atop the old water tower in the building adjacent the Samadhi. indeed an adaptation Of Meher Baba’s rainbow flag, with How the Original Flag the addition of a black field in the upper rise from the grossest of impressions of lust and anger—symbolized by red—to left corner containing a white pentagram Came About (star). the culmination in the highest state of This first rainbow flag associated with spirituality and oneness with God, sym Mehernosh N. Mehta, India the gay pride movement was made by a bolized by sky blue.” Baba lover named Gary Cook. Gary told Let us pray to our Lord and Master, April 23, 1924, it was proposed Avatar Meher Baba, to guide and help me that he was inspired to use Baba’s flag that a flag be flown near Baba’sJhop and simply adapted it, using the original us all traverse from the “red” or wherever di and a debate ensued on this issue. The sequence of colors. we may presently be, to “sky blue,” unto Hindus wanted the color of the flag to be Himself. The following year, when the parade red. Ramjoo Abdulla, however, objected, started to become an annual event, other Errata saying that red reflected only Vedant, and rainbow flags—inspired by Gary’s original that green was a better choice. To this the one—appeared sporadically in the crowd, Beads on One String. It is not Dan Hindus took objection arguing that green and soon rainbows spread like wildfire Sanders “soon to be published book”; he was typically a Mohammedan colour. throughout the gay world. was simply reporting on the writing of it. The Parsis and Iranis disapproved of Though I never met Gary, we spoke Laurent Weichberger is spearheading the both these colours. To bring about ac on numerous occasions by phone and cor joint venture. cord, Baba proposed: “The flag should responded by e-mail over a period of two be of seven colors.” Naval Talati prepared years in the late 1990s. During this same The Divine One(s) a flag accordingly and after it was sewn, period Don Douglas heard this story told it was hoisted near Baba’s Jhopdi in the in detail by Gary Cook in a conversation A recently discovered snippet to go they had together at an L.A. Sahavas. It evening. with our cover story of Baba in Hol As the flag stirred, Baba remarked, “Do was Gary who urged and inspired me to lywood: “...Tallulah once said that the you know why I suggested a seven-colored write an essay on Meher Baba and the gay only reason she wanted to come to Hol community, something that we both felt flag? The seven colors represent the seven lywood was to meet the Divine One.” planes ofconsciousness.” Meher Baba had was sorely needed. This is a quote taken from Cal York’s specified the positioning of two colors: It was then that I began organizing my monthly gossip column in the June 1932 “Red should be at the bottom of the flag preliminary material for my contribution issue of Photoplay, a Hollywood fan and sky blue at the top. Arrangement of magazine. to Sexuality on the SpiritualPath. Laurent’s the other five colors is your decision.” historical tracking ofthe “gay rainbow flag” York explains that Tallulah had finally Baba later added, “Besides representing gotten a chance to meet Greta Garbo. The goes only as far back as 1978, by which the seven planes of consciousness, these time the colors had been reversed and “Divine One” is supposed to be a reference colors also represent sanskaras—impres other symbols assigned to them. to Garbo, but Baba lovers might read this sions. The colors in the flag signify man’s Ed Flanagan, Los Angeles a different way!
Tucson—Irma Sheppard: 520-3211566, email@example.com. Flagstaff—A1\/IB Lovers of Northern Arizona: 928-774-8305, laurent@ ompoint.com.
i.A4any eetings 4 l
405-567-4774. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.heartland.meherbaba.org.
Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-560-2631, email@example.com. WASHINGToN, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 202-946-0236, Friday and Saturday meetings, www. lifeimages.com/MeherBaba.
LosAngeles—Sundays, 11 AM to 1 PM, at Meherabode: 323-73 1-3737, 1214 S. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 just east ofihe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street. Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal. news and announcements, www.Meherabode.org. Ojai—Meher Mount: 805-640-0000, RayJohnston & Elizabeth Arnold, firstname.lastname@example.org. San Francisco Bay—Information: 510845-4339 or Ben Leet: 510-351-8259, Benleet@earthlink.net. No. California Avatar Meher Baba Center, 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931, www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org. Sacramento—Marilyn Buehler: 916812-9496, email@example.com. www.premsay.com/MeherBaba.
& SouTHwEsT Denver—Sundays at 7 pm at homes in the Metro area. For Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona info, contact Barbara A. Roberts, 303238-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org. COLORADO
Tampa/Cleaiwater—Jane Paladino, 813962-8629;Tom Decker, 727-536-9282. Defray Beach—Mickey and Wendy Karger, 561-638-3114. HAWAII
Maui—Meredith Moon, 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556, Fax 808-573-1189; email@example.com. Molokai—Shirley Alapa, 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383, fax: 808-567-6363, message: 808-567-6363; salapa@aloha. net. Lou ISIANA
New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center monthly meeting and film program; Joe Burke 601-278-6245, firstname.lastname@example.org, MAINE
Spruce Head/Rockland—Third Sunday at 1 PM starting with potluck; Noreen O’Brien, 207-273-3 173, ompoint@ tds.net, or Ken Lux, 207-594-6391, email@example.com. MAsSAcHusETTS
Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center, Michael Siegell 617-864-3997.
Seattle—Fridays at 8 PM and for special events. Info: Cynthia Barrientos, 206713-9905, firstname.lastname@example.org. INTERNATIONAL ..
London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, www. meherbaba.co.uk. FRANCE
Jackson—Peter Rippa, 601-355-8959 MONTANA
Missoula—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949, Emigrant—Anne Haug, 406-333-4582. NEW HAMPSHIRE
Liz Miller 603-749-3668, mceliz200l@ yahoo.com. NEW MEXICO
Santa Fe—last Thursday of the month at 7 PM in home of Robert Reser and Edle Andersen, 505-983-6621; email@example.com. NEVADA
Las Vegas —Dick and Carol Mannis host, 702-326-1701, firstname.lastname@example.org. NEW YORK CITY AREA
Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, 212-971-1050, MeherBabaHouse.org. Metro—biweekly meetings Saturdays at 4 PM, Frank Bloise, 856-696-4374, email@example.com.
Marseille: C. Dallemagne, 4 91 39 02. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 4 94 41 39 02. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 2 97 46 13 19. Connerre: Andre Grimard, 2 43 89 01 94. Paris: Claude Longuet, 1 44 59 30 06. ISRAEL
J erusalem—Michal Sivan, babalovec netvision.net.il. MEXICO
Mexico City, Cancun, Acapulco— meetings about every month at 7 PM, Rafael Villafane, email preferred: raal@ royerlabs.com. From US: 011 52 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225. Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa —Jeff and Cindy Lowe, meetings on request. Please contact us ifyou’re going to be in the area. Phone from US: 011 52 755 544 6303 , firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asheville—Winnie Barrett, 828-2747154, email@example.com. Peter and Debbie Nordeen—nordeeni@ bellsouth.net. Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336288-8090 or 336-235-2730, bikewalla@ gmail.com. Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh—Carol Verner, 919-933-3550; carolverner@ nc.rr.com. OKLAHOMA
Prague—Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, retreat and Baba’s accident site. 67
The Hollywoodsign as it appears todayfrom the vicinity ofMeherabode
AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520
Address Service Requested
NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE
PAID LOS ANGELES, CA
PERMIT #3 I 394