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Editoi’s.. i:9:C Jai Baba Folks, First off— humble apologies are in order for missing the July issue and then for making this one so big! Apparently Baba didn’t want you to get a magazine in July as He laid me low with the flu for four weeks just when I was supposed to be putting the issue together. What little energy I had went into getting your Bookstore orders out. Some ofyou have told me it takes a few months ofpick—up-and-put-down reading to make it through an issue. Well consider this—when I sent all the articles that I wanted printed in this double issue, Pris came back with an anguished “We are up to 120 pages!” She, poor girl, is the one who slaved to put this issue together. It has taken her almost two months of solid work, sandwiched in-between her other two jobs as a graphic artist and musician. But then, we know she is much beloved of Baba He keeps dishing it out to her and she takes it all with a smile and keeps soldiering on! I thought it would be nice to introduce you to our staff— the most dedicated group ofworkers I have been privileged to associate with. They have kept my tail out of the fire many a time. We all know that although we are doing our best, it is really Him that does it all, so Editor-in-chief is only fitting. Now, He dropped the publication and editing of this magazine in my lap many years ago, knowing that I knew nothing about such things, so it has been a learning process all along, and I’m stiilearning! On the other hand, Kathy and Becci are professional editors, having done it for years, so I will be leaning on them more and more. Becci (Columbia, South Carolina), our newest member, has edited a Statewide newspaper for 10 years. Kathy (within the continental limit, East coast waters) sent us a photo taken on her new home: a 56 foot trawler—she and her hubby are ardent sailors. Cherie (Walnut Creek, California) is a professional graphic designer and an absolute whiz with the PhotoShop tools! The photo of Pris ( Los Angeles) was taken during one ofher many musical gigs. A year or two ago, when Cherie couldn’t do the layout due to work commitments, Pris stepped up to the plate and is doing an excellent job of it. She also manages to squeeze in time to design and keep up our website as well as managing the Center’s mailing list! Michael (Los Angeles) is my son (born with congenital felicity as Eruch would say) who / doesn’t like to say no to his mother when asked for assistance. He also has an excellent grip on the English language and points out things that have slipped by me (who likes to pride herself : L. on her good Aussie education). Tom (Santa Rosa California) works at Adobe and so knows all the high tech stuffthere is to know. Pre flight 1. is a techie term for getting it ready (quite a complicated affair, I am told) to send down to the Xerox Docutech website where Ray (who works at USC in Los Angeles) oversees the printing and labeling and lugging to the Post Office for mailing. A million thanks to them all! Editor in ChifAvatar Meher Baba! —

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Kathy Hill, Assistant Editoi; writer andproofreader

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Becci Robbins, Assistant Editor

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Pris Haffenden, Graphic Design and Layout

Cherie Pluinlee, Graphic Design and Layout

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Thin Hart, Pre-flight

Ray Madani, Printing and Distribution


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features

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Love 5trect £umpPost is dedicated with love to i vatar J47Ieher 4 i3aba. Dts prirnar purpose is to contribute to a sense of cotnmunity among all ilis lovers by providing a place for sharing i1is remembrance. /1l1 members of the i3aba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love.

MEMO AND BoBo

MANI IRANI

CHILDHOOD LETTERS OF MANI IRANI

MADELINE DOUCAS

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THREE QUARTERS OF THE WORLD

LYNNE DOUGLAS

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TSUNAMI DISASTER, KATRINA AND MORE

VARIOUS

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UNITY

MITcHELLROSE

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DEVOTED AUNT

BOB SYLvA

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Su BscRIPTI0Ns:

BABA’S HEARTLAND CENTER

CARoLYN M. BALL

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The magazine actually costs us $16420 per person per year domestic, and $25430 for overseas. Subscription is by donation only. Donate whatever feels right to you.

PILGRIMAGE TO PRAGUE

FERESHTEH AZAD

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MY TIME IN BABA’S HEARTLAND

WINNIE BARRETT

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THE HIGHEST OF THE HIGH

BHAU KALcHURI

MEHER BABA’S WORDS

BHAU KALcHURI & NA0SHERwAN ANZAR

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Su BM ISSIONS:

MEHERABAD YOUNG ADULT SAHAVAS

NIvEDITA A. NAGPAL

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

IN THE STILLNESS OF THE NIGHT

NIvEDrrA A. NAGPAL

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REMEMBERING MAST Mo

NIvEDrrA A. NAGPAL

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MY ADVENTURE IN THE MARBLE QUARRIES

JURGIS SAPKUS

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SILENCE DAY SAHAVAS AT PILGRIM PINES

FERESHTEH AZAD

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THE WEIcHEERGERS

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andTruth.

SEND To:

Love Street £ampCiosr Meher Baba Center of Southern California Avatar 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A CARETAKER MOMENTOUS MILESTONES FOR MEHERANA

MARY MARIN0-STRONG

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1 1TH ANNUAL MEHERANA SPRING SAHAVAS MARY MARIN0-STR0NG

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MYSTERY OF “THE BOOK” DON STEVENS & LAURENT WEICHBERGER

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website: www.meherabode.org e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net

departments

DEADLINES:

for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:

November 1st February 1st May 1st Augustist

LOVE STREET BOOKSTORE:

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

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

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EDITOR’S PAGE

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GREETINGS FROM THE BOOKSTORE

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REVIEWS

7

PASSINGS

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD OUR GAL IN MEHERABAD

59 JUDY STEPHENS

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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERAB0DE

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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHER MOUNT

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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERANA

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WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS

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CREDITS:

editor: Dma Snow Gibson Assistant editors: Becci Robbins, Kathy 11111 design and layout: Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee proofreaders:

thank you

Kathy Hill, Michael Franklin

preflight: Thomas Hart distribution: Pris Haffenden, Ray Madani mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616 1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that otvn the copyrights to the lI4eher 73aba pictures we have used throughout titis issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street ,t: arnprPost readers.

Please call with address corrections or questions. front cover:

From the MSI Collection

published quarterly, injanuary April,July, and October. All words, images andgi-aphics in thispublication areproperty oft/se copyright holders All contents © 2005 Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. All and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai; India, and © Lawrence Reiter Unau— quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba, © A1VIBPPCT, India

LoveLStredi.a,IIff.Posris

thorizeddziplication isprohibitedby law.

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3ioi.: 7 w 1 Jai Baba Folks, eli it has been a long time since the last report but we are sure making up for it in length. We have so many new items in stock that the Reviews section is nine pages long! However the October issue is when we make your holiday gift giving so much easier. We list the 20 top selling items of the year, so ifyou have missed out on some of them up until now, you can do what so many of our readers do: circle the ones you would like to receive as Christmas, Hanukah or birthdaygifts and pass the magazine on to your family. Someone told me that there were 15 Baba lovers in their family and so they had the circles color— coded, with an explanatory chart included within. Great idea! If you would like us to gift-wrap and send the package directly to your friend, we can do that too. And so to start, not necessarily in any particular order, but let’s start with the DVDs: Avatar Meher Babac Mandali-Beloved Mehera. This absolutely must-have DVD was oh so lovingly put together by Frenchman Paul Comar, and at his insistence sells for only $15. It is a two-hour ftlm that is ac companied throughout by Paul’s serenely beautiful piano playing—Meheru insisted that he record and use his music thus. The first half hour is a beautiful selection of black and white portraits of the Beloved; then follows bril liant footage ofthe Mandali with emphasis on Mehera. Paul shot this film in the 70s. It hits home on all counts, you can reminisce ( ifyou were actually in Meherazad in those days) or you can get to know the Ladies if you came late or have never been to India at all. There is magic in this film share it! God in Human Form. This DVD is a wonderful introduction to Meher Baba and His life and work, for your friends who wonder who the guy in the photo is on your office desk or over your mantle! It also gives even the older Baba lovers who have been —

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Duce Knowles and others. Tim dives deeply into the book, but makes it oh so understandable! 1 hour, $25 Samadhi-House oftheLordand Love Comes West. Two DVDs produced by Aussie Michael LePage, both 35 mmutes and both selling for $20. Sarnadhi House ofthe Lord is a wonderful and poetic story of our Beloved’s Samadhi, S which was built and decorated under the Lord’s supervision. There are sev eral video clips, along with many still images ofMeher Baba and His TombShrine. This is an excellent introduction for those who plan to go to the Samadhi, and even for old timers who may be surprised by what they learn. The DVD opens and closes with Jeff Mylett’s wonderful song “The House of The Lord”. The superb guitar playing of Tuck Andress beautiftilly underscores the narration. Love Comes West gives an excellent overview of the various aspects of Meher Baba’s work in the West from 1932 in London, to 1958 in America. It covers His contact with early lovers, with public figures in the film world, His travels to New York and His work in Hollywood. Great footage! You Alone Exist. This is a prayer that Baba and Bhau wrote and Jim Meyer set to music and sings. Behind the singing Bob Fredericks has chosen brilliantly the footage to illustrate the Prayer “You are in Everything You Alone Exist!” What a musical meditation! Baba Himself said: 7 like thisprayer because it tellspeople who lam, what I am. People do not know who or what I am, andso they needthisprayerto know me, to understand me. Igave thisprayer to them. .A day willcome when they willknow this. “$20 MeherBabac Grace. This video has been out for a while but is a consistent best seller. J ust 13 minutes ofexquisite colored footage of Baba, accompanied by some beautiful songs; the editing of the clips is superbly done by Peter Booth. Running time is just 13 minutes. Special holiday price $18 Books. Four stood out as best sellers throughout the year: Charmian Duce Knowles wrote her biography in her own inimitable style bright, breezy, cheerful and funny. Eminently readable, she titled it SpreadMy Love, which is exactlywhat Baba told her to do. Paperback, 318 pages, $20 As Only God Can Love, A Lfetinze of

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His for a long time some new information. Peter Nordeen gave us this excellent production combin God in ihunan Foriit ing beautiful footage of the Divine Beloved shown chronologically from childhood to 1969. The musi cal background is excellently chosen, as is the narration. -: Lf aJ Work ol One hour, 24 Avatar Mthr Baba When Merwan --LGrew Up. What a wonderful idea this is! Bob Fredericks col laborated with Stella Manuel—the Principal of the Meher English School in Mehera bad—to put together thelife story ofthe little boy born Merwan Sheriar Irani who grew up to be the Ava tar of the Age. A 12-year-old pupil from the school handles the narration with great aplomb. It is a lively colorful telling il- i .. WhEfl Merwari i lustrated with Grew Up drawings from the children themselves coupled with photos of the Avatar. $20 Theme ofCreation. Having trouble getting through God Speaks? Watch this DVD all will be revealed. Produced by Tim Thelen, he has combined live footage and stills of Baba, along with interviews with some of Baba’s long time lovers Bhau Kalchuri, Allan Cohen, Rick Chapman, Robert Dreyfuss, Don Stevens, Charmian -‘

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Companionship with Meher Baba Darwin C. Shaw One of the earliest of Meher Baba’s American disciples, Darwin Shaw presents here a phenomenal memoir of a man who has lived in the world but has spent most of his life following and personally serving the being he instantly rec ognized as the c Christ. Darwin As ()r.y tj()D was twenty-four c\4 when he first •k’ 4 heard of Meher Baba and twenty-six when he met Baba in 1934. His tale p oflife with Meher Baba starts in the 1930s, wends its way through the 1940s, when he was an integral participant in readying the Meher Spiritual Center for Baba’s first visit in 1952, through Baba’s three visits to the Center in 1952, 1956 and 1958; theThree Incredible Weeks in India in 1954 and the East-West Gath ering in India in 1962. Included are over 180 photographs. We have many accounts of life with Meher Baba in India, but this is one of the rare tales of what it was like for a Westerner with a job and a family to make God the main focus of his life. It is a superb account: lively, honest and loving, truly a must-read. 628 pp. Hardbound $45, paperback $30 Spiritual Training. Written by Bhau Kalchuri primarily for the lovers who wish to work in India for the Trust, it -rHF SPIIUTUAL TIAINtNG encompasses work At in 0creneral done P(pt#l P)btk Ch*tbh Tl for the Beloved. Understanding the responsibil ity and duty of the Beloved and the lover; Divine will and Divine wish; rituals and ceremonies and many other duties to incorporate into your daily life. Paperback $5 Meditations and Prayers on 101 Names of God. Michael Kovitz brings to bear his own creative interpretations on the 101 divine names that comprise this book. They form part ofthe ancient Zoroastrian prayer compilation known as the Khordeh Avesta. To paraphrase Baba to say this prayer is to say it all! Paperback, $16 ;

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Infinitelnteiigence byMeher Baba, hopefilly in time for the holidays.We are told it should be out by late November, so order it now and we’ll send it as soon as it comes in. The publication oflnfinitelnteiigence is tmly an historic event. The material comes from previously unpublished manuscripts dating back to 1926.The materialwas first discov ered shortly after Meher Baba dropped his physical form in 1969 and is only now being released after a long and meticulous editing process detailed in an academically rigorous supplemental essay. As stated in the Foreword by Meherwan Jessawala, “This book plumbs the depths of esoteric truths never before revealed to humankind. The book’s theme is an ageless one, ever old and ever new: God as Infinite Intelligence. Down the centuries, philosophers ofdiverse stripes and backgrounds have trained their sights on this target. But the profundity and originality of the treatment here attests to a point ofview that is rooted not in convention and intellectual tradition but in the Reality and to an Authority which goes beyond what the limited human mind is capable of.” Infinite Intelligence includes 28 beautiful full-color illustrations and charts and and is printed 5colors throughout. Extensive supplemental content provides aid in approaching the text. 776 pps plus foldout $75 MandaliEmail. Don Stevens put togeth er the emails that he and Bhau exchanged while trying to work out their different interpretations of Baba’s words. A very re vealing book—Don writes to Bhau “As you and I are the only ones left now who were deeply immersed in Baba’s words under His direct supervision, the reconciling of our views on Baba’s words has become a very key necessity for the proper continuation of the dissemination of Baba’s words. Paperback, 8.5 x 11, 79 pages $12 CDs: four best selling CDs of this year were Jim Meyer’s latest, Love Chains—Songs ofHafiz. Jim used a number of different translators for his songs of Hafiz, including two from i Danny Ladinsky. He tells us “Baba F so loved Hafiz it seemed only natural for me to lay this labor oflove at His feet.” $15 Perhaps because Roshan Kerawalla was touring the States throughout this year, her CD Songs Meher Baba Enjoyed was defi mtely a hot seller. With a very striking photo of Baba dressed as Zoroaster on the cover

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she sings the KorshedNeiyesh from the Kor deh Avesta and the 101 Names of God with Meher Baba’s rare trans lations. At the Samadhi, Roshan can be heard ev ery morning at Arti singing this song Baba so loved. There are also some of her stories of growing up with Baba along with other songs. A very interesting CD for $14 Raine Eastman Gannett is undoubtedly the most prolific recording artist and archi vist on the Baba circuit. This year she has produced five albums, Roshan’s, Roda Mistry Sings for Baba, un Ez’enint With Finn— cis Brabazon, A Singing to the Beloved, (by J Francis Braba- ; zon) and Be‘ ing Is Dying By /7 Loving, a drama/song cycle ç f ,. (again, by Francis Brabazon) with tventv five scenes set in a twenty four hour time frame (dawn to dawn.) The theme is waiting for the Divine Beloved to manifest in our hearts, only to find that He has never been anywhere but in our hearts, waiting for us. But my favorite is Moon OverMeherabad, that includes many ofRaine’s popular songs from the 70s and 80s, Melt Me, 0 Moon, Freiny-ettac Song, and ThkeMy BreathAway. All Raine’s CDs are $14 The Divine MAGgees have been touring the country giving their latest CD Love Me Like the Roses release parties. We were lucky enough to get them to Meherabode and what a great concert they gave us! Their new CD has gone totally professional with some terrific backing from a rhythm sec tion, but it takes nothing from Danielle and Cregan’s thrilling harmonizing, along with their guitar and violin. The CD also includes their very own version ofBegin the Beguine. $15 If it’s a quiet, meditative, musical offering to our Beloved you are looking for, go no further than Sweet Encounters. After a rough day in Maya, this CD is a refreshing soothing balm! Julia Skiff is singing and playing violin, backed up by three other voices. A treasured moment in Julia’s life was back in 1968 when she was told Mehera wanted to hear what Schubert’s Ave Maria -

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sounded like. A professional musician,Julia was only too happy to make such a birthday gift to Mehera, so she recorded it with a piano backing her violin and sent it off to Baba for a gift to His Beloved. In Mehera’s response she said that Baba said He could hear the love vibrating in each note! A su— preme compliment! $18 Calendars! This year we have three dif ferent kinds, the beautiful Baba one printed in sepia tones on a coated ivory stock, tres elegant; the wildly colorful Hafiz one, with magnificent Indian and Persian artwork, masterfully designed around the Hafiz __..•-i- I I

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were $80, now $55 God in Human Form a coffee table art book nothing but photos of the Beloved, was $100, now $55 Mehera-Meher A Divine Romance a three volume hard bound boxed set was $77, now $55. This magnificent set is the life story ofMeher Baba as seen through the eyes of His women Mandali particularly his Beloved Mehera. Thousands of pages, dozens of photos. A wonderful gift to the lady in your life. SongofSongs from the Book of Solomon, the only part ofthe Old Testamentwhere it’s OK to love your wife and treasure her body. How the censors of the Bible actually left it in is hard to believe. I guess Baba wanted it there! Judith Ernst illustrates this book with her beautiful paintings and gives an explanation in understandable English to the somewhat hidden words of each of the songs. This exceptional book would make a loving gift to your partner-in-life. It is hard bound with full color art work. Selling originally for $21, we made a great buy and can sell it for $10. Keshava Narayan Nigam was the Editor ofMeher Pukar. He was one ofthe stalwarts from Hamirpur, where Meher Baba fvLikS,, declared His Ava ‘WLh tarhood. Nigam Avatar Mher Baba composed the “Meher Chalisa”, 40 verses in praise ofthe Beloved (See page 105). Baba liked them im mensely and had Nigam recite them at every Darshan programme. He recited the Chalisa to the Beloved about a dozen times, the last time when Baba’s bodywas in the Tomb. He was a simple, gentle self-effacing man—pure and childlike in his love for the Avatar. His life story is a glimpse into his —

Special Sale Prices on the following books drastic reductions: Prices good through Dec. 12 only! —

Lord Meher, the compleat biography, most of the double volumes still available, 6

side says, cheerfully, “Avatar Meher Baba lii Jai!” Available in sunshine gold or mint green, $8. Another very cheery way to start your day is with these “Don’t worry, be happy” mugs. They hold 12 oz. of your favorite

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price of$11 ($13 in commercial stores) and the Baba calendar starts at $11 and goes down from there. (See our ad.)

Books. Enjoy your morning coffee with the generously-sized mugs featuring the Mas tery in Servitude colophon. The other

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poems rendered by Danny Ladinsky; and a new one from the very popular Illuminated Rumi book, combining art and poetry. The two poetry calendars are sold at our special

ready in use so they had to call it A Spin-

tual Cosmology. Published by Companion

from a seeker to a selfless disciple of Meher Baba. Paperback $12 Another recent aquisition is God Speaks in Ger man, hardbound $30. Unbelievably that title was al—

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beverage and are printed in vibrant red and gold, $8. A perennial favorite, MS Irani Tees. Wear His name across your heart! These are Hanes tees, 100% cotton, pre-shrunk. They come in many gorgeous colons—see the bookstore’s website (www “ lovestreet bookstore. com/teeshirts. htrn) to see the colors available. $10-$12. Solhope this has helped you enormously with your holi day gift giving! Please try to get your orders t11!! in to me before December 12 Happy shopping in His Love! Dma


Rod Mistr 1 sings for c2leher EBaba From the CD Jacket oda Mistry, niece of Avatar Meher aba’s close disciple “Chanji”, was born into a Bombay Baba-family and first met Meher Baba at age two. Throughout her life, both before and after marriage, she was in constant contact with Baba and sang for Him often. When her husband, the late Jimmy Mistry, retired, they moved to Meherabad, where he served as a trustee

of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and Roda had the privilege of supervising cleaning of Meher Baba’s Samadhi (Tomb-Shrine). She now lives at Meherazad. This CD was recorded at Meherabad at a time when Roda’s voice was so beautiftil that we decided to leave it as pure as it is, with only some mastering and digitizing and no accompaniment. On it are all the Eastern Baba Artis and some Mirabai Bhajans and the very beautiful Ishtiake composed by Beloved Baba. A treat for true music byers. Produced by Raine Eastman-Gannett for Rainy Day Archives, recorded by Hugh MacDonald Meherabad, India. $14

“Cverktstinf by Cindy Lowe :Review by JI/lerideth S1tamszad, California “There is something rich and strange in all genuine works ofart. Edward Hirsch “

et’s face it: Cindy Lowe’s singing voice is not exactly pretty in the conventional sense. It is different, unique and may even be an acquired taste, rather like sashimi or truffles. However, Cindy’s fans (and I include myselfamong them,) have come to love its aching timbre, soulftil vibrato and perfect pitch. We have eagerly awaited the release of Everlasting and are not disap pointed. Dedicated to “Meher Baba, Mehera, Mani and to all those who listen with heart,” Cindy’s latest offering is a collection of beautiftilly crafted original songs full of warmth which do indeed speak to the heart. Supported by an eclectic coblection of instru ments, including electric guitar, bass, drums, cello, fid dle, tamboura and nagara drum, the arrangements are layered with tex ture, rhythm and harmony, yet never override Cindy’s exquisite and pre cise guitar. Vocals rich with sung and unsung har monies carry us into lyrics crafted from the truth and wisdom Cindy has acquired in a lifetime ofspiritual seeking and devotion to Meher Baba. We hear the expression of the eternal longing ofthe seeker as she sings, “I am a dreamer caught in the trance. (Dont LookAway) and “I’ve sailed the seven seas of separation. .searched the seven seas for one bright star” ( Wake Me with a Kiss). Reflections upon the great spiritual questions find their way into Cindy’s lyr ics as well. Her poetic voice explicates the concept ofmaya in a way that is both simple and profound. In an entrancing three-four rhythm, she sings, “Maya, queen of illusion, she has the ace ofconfusion up her sleeve...

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the bestway to look through her veil is down on your knees. Until you can see through her shadow, you can never leave.” InAnotherLfi, written as a farewell upon the passing of Baba’s beloved disciple and companion, Eruch Jessawala, is a statement ofconfidence in the soul’s eternal life. “Take your leave for now, but not forever. .I’ll wait for you beyond the moon, when the sun will rise, and when the morning comes, ifyou are gone, I’ll love you in another life, another time.” Filled with transcendent hope and the evocative harmonies ofGay Dunn’s cello, this song is a personal favorite. Cindy’s many years of musical devotion to Meher Baba and Mehera are poignantly remembered in Rosesfor the Queen. Accompanied by her own superb guitar work and the sweetness ofDunn’s cello, Cindy sings “Let my life become a garland for the King, and roses for the Qpeen...”It is a moving tribute that will touch the souls of Baba by ers as well as oth ers who have found their path ofBhakti and given their hearts in devotion to a guru, teacher or saint. The final gift on this CD is its namesake song Everlasting. Meher Baba’s 1968 “prayer” has become a hymn, performed by chorus, adding voices with each verse, and creating a sense ofon-going music long after it ends with a tiny bell. Like Baba’s teaching, which respects all religions while espousing none, Cindy’s music will capture the interest ofpeople ofmany persuasions and musical preferences. The warmth ofher harmonies, the wisdom, im agery and poetry in her lyrics, the technical expertise and musicality ofher arrangements create an album that is a comfort, a delight and above all—aworkofart. $12 .

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im Thelen and his associates have made what I can call, for short, a film version of GodSpeaks. Tim’s actual title is The Theme ofCreation; An Exploration ofMeher Babac ‘God Speaks. God Speaks is Meher Baba’s major book and it is famously difficult. But not only is it Baba’s major book, it is his only book. All other ‘books’ byMeher Baba, such as The Discourses and Listen, Humanity, are not written as books, as GodSpeaks is, but are collections of essays and messages. So this task of making a film exposition ofit is something that has been calling out to be done, and Tim Thelen has responded to that call. But there are many difficulties and possible booby traps in trying to do something like this, and the question is, has this version surmounted those difficulties and avoided the booby traps? The answer, I’m very happy to say, is “yes.” The difficulty in GodSpeaks comes in the dense and repetitive writing style that Baba chose, for His own purposes, as well as the plain challenges to understanding the material itself One of the achievements ofthis project, which comes in at 54 minutes, is that it manages to avoid the stylistic difficulties of God Speaks as well as the potential for falling into a highly abstract and intellectually involved account of the theme of the book. Before going further into how this is accomplished, it should be noted that the producers of this film have made a very wise strategic decision in the very title of the film, although they may not have conceived of it as strategy. Besides the style of God Speaks, its very title can be a put off to the general public, who may not and prob ably don’t know that its author is actually God. Otherwise, such a title can be seen as the outrageous wording of some strange brand of spiritual who knows what. I went to my first Baba meeting with just that kind of question in my mind (although I went), having seen the book on the shelf in a library By stressing that this book is about “The Theme of Creation,” a pretty grand sounding claim in its own right, but with the title of the book listed secondarily, it makes a wider and intriguing appeal to that general public. From my point ofview, this film expo sition of the book achieves its successful surmounting of the God Speaks hurdles

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through two major approaches. One is that the thematic explanation alternates with a wealth of fairly brief on-camera interviews and commentary by various Baba lovers, which include Mandali, then people who have met Baba, such as Rick Chapman and Robert Dreyfuss, Adele Wolkin, Phyllis Ott, and other long-term Baba lovers, such as Kendra Crossen Burroughs and Allan Cohen. This gives a personal, down to Earth, and sometimes humorous touch to what has been presented in the philosophical or thematic explanations. The other successful approach is to give this whole exposition while presenting not one chart from God Speaks, including even the colorful chart painted by Rano Gayley on the theme ofcreation. Not that it would have been detrimental to present some of the charts in the film, and they certainly are a great aid to understanding the book, but to keep to the purely cinematic nature of a project like this, the absence of charts goes a long way to insuring that the film is not overly intellectual and heady. In a way, instead of charts, there are a multitude of stills of various figures and persons who represent different stages of the path, such as Ramakrishna, Aurobindo, Kirpal Singh, Gadge Maharaj, as well as quite a number ofmasts, and it is a fun exercise for the Baba lover to try to identify who each of these persons are. There are also many beauti ful natural scenes of animals, plants and the other stages of evolution. Involution is shown by stills ofthe persons such as those

that I just mentioned. There is also what I see as Tim Thelen’s trademark touch, having been in evidence in his first film, MeherBaba, The Awakener, of numerous scenes of large crowds ofpeople walking down city streets, both in the West and East. This gives the viewer a vivid impression of the quantita tive infinity of souls and the vastness of the evolutionary scheme. There is yet another approach that the film takes which is generally helpftil, but with a slight problem that I’ll mention. The approach is that the theme of the creation of the manifest universe from the beginning as a shoreless ocean is done in two separated segments. The first, which occurs as the opening framework of the film, is to present creation from the standpoint of the drop-soul emerging from the Oversoul and then going through the stages of evolution, and then involution and then God realiza tion. However, at the latter part ofthe film, there is another run though ofthe evolutionary scheme, this time beginning from the Beyond-Beyond state, and then the “Om Point, as the original Word of “Who Am I?” This breaking up of this deep material on the origin and purpose ofcreation, which after all is the essence of the book and the film, works well to avoid the density that would have come from putting both of these frameworks together. However, the problem that I referred to is that this second run through begins with the narrative voice of Richard Stermer, asking, “How did it all begin?” My reaction on hearing this was, “Isn’t that what we have been learning about all the way through this film?” But once I put this reaction aside, I was fine with attending to what came next. But this seemingly repetitive question after a good part of the film had already gone by could confuse some viewers, maybe especially those who are not Baba lovers. Speaking ofthe non-Baba lover or gen eral public, it may be surprising for me to say that I think this would be an excellent film for them, as well as a great introduction to Meher Baba. The depth of the material would not be a barrier, and in fact conveys a strong sense ofBaba’s authority and mastery. This comes through in the comments from the various Baba lovers in the film and their very correct reaction to God Speaks, amply


demonstrated by the film’s treatment, that here in this book was something the likes ofwhich they had never encountered before and which truly lives up to its claim of pre— senting the story ofthe theme and purpose of the universe. Also, in these comments, among many other gems, is Carl Ernst’s insight that the idea of the “divine whim” is a resolution of the ancient standoff of two alternatives, that the creation operates according to mechanical and determined processes, or that it was a thing of chance and randomness. And then there is the com ment ofTom Riley, almost concluding the film, which gives us the deeper significance of God Speaks that “rather than a book it becomes your life.” I will mention one other problem that the film does not resolve, and, in my opinion, is a problem generated by God Speaks itself. When the involutionaljourney is described in the film, it is done, as it is in God Speaks, in terms ofexperiences ofthe inner planes— the sights, the sounds, the powers, etc. For the viewer who is not familiar with the wider scope ofBaba’s teachings and guidance, this would inevitably seem to mean that that is what we consciously go through and experi ence as we travel this path, and particularly as we follow and love Meher Baba. But we know that none ofthis is the case, and that we are taken by Baba though the planes “in a blindfold.” But it takes more than God Speaks for us to know this. I will conclude by simply saying that this is a DVD that all Baba lovers would want to see, and that many would want to own. $25. 7

are seeking. It gives much information in a comparatively SiduNumber small book. Ossian makes great use of God Speaks and The Noth ing and The Everything. In HuyO stodad:N addition, he F4 — gives a com plete listing of books by and about Meher Baba as well as other books that explain the great religions. And there are many websites given to help the aspirant to chart his or her way to finding the correct spiritual path. $12

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by !Roshan &rawa1la From the CD jacket oshan Kerawalla was born Roshan Satha. Her father, uncles and aunts were among the first in Ahmednagar to recognize Beloved Meher Baba’s Avatarhood and the whole family became closely

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TReviewed bj 1atricia !R. 2’Jims, South Carolina eher Baba once said that He wanted to bring all religions together “Like beads on one string.” Ossian Stoddard has used that saying as the starting point for his new book, 7 The SpiritualNumbei This new book is a fresh addition to the many books about Meher Baba, offering a numerological approach to the interrelationships among the great religions. Ossian has given each of the major reli gions its own chapter. Then he has brought Meher Baba into the mix and has shown how the number 7 can be used to illuminate the major teachings. This book seems to me to be like a primer for young people and those who

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connected to Him. Her father Homi Satha was referred to by Baba as “Jolly Mama” because he always smiled, no matter what. Roshan is a first cousin of Eruch Jessawala who interpreted Baba’s gestures during His 40 years of silence. Roshan grew up seeing Baba all the way through her childhood, into adolescence and adulthood. Roshan has been carried up Meherabad Hill on His shoulders and has cooked His meals when He would come to Pune in the summers. Baba arranged her marriage to Sam Kerawalla and they had two daughters Mehera and Dolly at His direct instruction. The whole family lived their

lives under Baba’s direction. Roshan’s life was difficult at times but she has tremendous courage, and is cheerful throughout. She has Baba walking along beside her every day. Roshan (which means radiant) loves everyone she takes under her wing; she talks of Beloved Baba and tells lovely stories of her amazing life under His guidance and Nazar [glance or watchful eye]. This CD, Songs Meher Baba Enjoyed by Roshan Kerawalla, ofsongs and stories, was a spontaneous idea in 2005 when Roshan was touring America. The songs and stories are delightful and a one-hour fraction ofthe tales that she tells and we heard when she was with us. The recording ofthe “Korshed Neiyesh” from the Kordeh Avesta and the “101 Names of God” with Meher Baba’s rare translations was the original thought and it developed to more songs and stories that came to Roshan spontaneously in one session in the studio. We are most grateful to Claude Palmer for his generosity when asked to share his talent on Cud and it has enhanced the spoken word most beauti fully. The use of “The Blacksmith Song” of Francis Brabazon had to go on the CD to complete a marvelous and unusual story of Francis. Thus we present yet another gem from Rainy Day Archives. The unique Songs Meher Baba Enjoyed by Roshan Kerawalla also gives us two songs Baba enjoyed when he was Zoroaster. (See “Prayers by Zoro aster” from Bill Le Page’s book The Divine Humanity ofMeher Baba, J’L 2.) The wonderfhl cover ofBaba dressed as Zoroaster at Meherabad in 1938 is held in Trust by Buz Connor and Wendy Haynes and we are most grateful to the ECPPA photo archive for the use ofit. We also included Elaine Cox’s Veranda Studios track from her album Huma 2 at the end, to keep all these interesting legacies Beloved Baba gave us of this Zo roastrian Korshed Neiyesh—thanks, Elaine, very much. I would never have been able to learn it but for that album. When one hears Roshan singing it at the Samadhi at Arti every morning one at once wants to learn it. Those who want to appreciate the beginnings we had in the early 1970s around these great lovers ofBaba who were around Him, and at His slightest glance ready to sing, cook, sew or marry.. but were unable to make it to Pune and Ahmednagar back then, will find this CD fills the heart with the depth and sweetness available from these amazing families. Those who were there then will have a reminder for life of those marvelous times. ..

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Produced by Raine Eastman- Gannett Rainy Day Archives Oud and Percussion: Claude Palmer Guitar and Percussion: Raine $14

yezdar meherban Tavana o’ dana o’ Dadar, 0’ Pak Parvardigar Adil padishahi bezavul bashad Ahuramazda Khuda.

JPrayers bH 2oroaster from The Divine Humanity ofMeher Baba, Vol. Ilby Bill Le Page. During the 1960s Baba asked Roshan to learn another prayer, a beautiful one that she continues to sing at the morning Arti of Avatar Meher Baba at Meherabad. It is one composed and sung by Lord Zoroaster when He journeyed alone in the mountains of Persia (Iran) and it is meant to be sung, not spoken. Baba said that the prayer was the essence of the Zoroastrian Prayers, the others being given later by succeeding Masters over the ages. Baba had specifically told her to learn the prayer form Kohiyar Satarawala, and because it required strict breath control it was not easy to sing. In 1946 Baba gave this translation ofthe prayer to Bhausahebe.

JVkhcr Ethibds 9ift of Dutuition b Dvn C. &cveiis & Companions Reviewed by Laurent ‘i’VeicIiberger, Jlleher J4lount ne dayin the 1960s Meher Baba shared with those close ones gathered around him in Mandali Hall that his Avataric gift to humanity is that of “intuition.” Don Stevens was present on that occasion and I has not forgot: ten the power of Baba’s statements I about intuition vhich followed Ir t1Ofl Baba’s rather casual delivery of : this news.Weread : ‘in Discourses, The I]z’atar (Volume ill n.o.13-14) DONE.STEVENS .-. where Baba has i: ‘ .—--------—-—-.-wstated /h’a/(!ric J)crioac (11L like the spring— tide ofcreation. They bring a new release ofpowei a new awakening ofconsciousness, a new experience oflfè—not merely for afrw, butfor all. Qualities ofenergy and awareness, which had been used and enjoyed by only afew advanced souls, are made availablefor all humanity. Lift, as a whole, is stepped up to a higher level of consciousness, is geared to a new rate of energy. The transition from sensation to reason was one such step; the transition from reason to intuition will be anothei Aside from this quote in Discourses, it is not easy to find a reference between the great transition Baba speaks of and this Avataric gift. Now, for the first time in book form, Don Stevens, with a group of companions, has taken the time to thoroughly contemplate the meaning of this Avataric gift of intu ition, and they eloquently share the fruits of that contemplation. Don writes in the introduction to the book about his experi ences with Baba in Mandali Hall when Baba shared directly about intuition. Then in the chapter The Role ofSanskaras, Don clarifies

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LA 7ranskttion of ‘Tkorshed 11 forms the 11 !2sk4jesIi 2<ordeli /lvesta 11 I begin my prayer by invoking the Name of Yezdan, the Lord of creation Ahuramazda. You are the source of all light. You are all effulgence; all knowing, the Lord of Lords the King of Kings, the Creator of all creation, the Preserver and the Sustainer. Omnipotent, you are the Ancient One and Eternal. You are the giver ofall boons. You are the giver of all Mercy and Wisdom, and the source of all Purity. Oh the Lord of Creation, Ahuramazda; I invoke Your Name and ask for Your blessing. Let Your will be done and Your justice be administered Oh God Ahuramazda. Ancient Persian words of the Kor— shed Neiyesh from the Kordeh Avesta. from the CD book insert Songs Meher Baba Enjoyedby Roshan Kerawalla: Paname Yazdan, Sateyam zabayem Dadar Ahuramazda Rayomand Khoreh-mand Harvespa-ya gah Kedegar Khodavande Khodavandan Padashahbar hame Padashan Negahedar Khaleki makhaluk Airaza krozi dahinde Kader o’ kabi o’ karim Bhakhshayandeh Bhakshagyazhgar

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the relationship between intuition and sanskaras. He also shares two ofhis most recent personal intuitions in the chapter Sacred Mountains. Having read them, I can only say that theywillgo down in history as phenom enal, to say the least. The companions who have created essays on this vast subject are all Meher Baba followers, coming from all walks oflife and all areas ofthe globe. They have all dug deeply into their years-long (and in some cases decades-long) relationship with Beloved Baba to attempt to articulate a most difficult process ofreceiving intuition, intuitive perception and guidance. In part one of the book, Facets of the Avatarc Gfl, we are treated to eight com— plete essays (including one by Don already mentioned) as follows: TheNature oflntuition by Kendra Cros sen Burroughs The Scope and Levels oflntuition by Stuart Baker Making Intuition Practical by Thomas J. Hickey Major Sourcesfor Intuition by Laurent Weichberger &Jack C. Small Obstacles, Blocks, and Dangers by Julia Brennan, Gary Miller Debbie Sanchez, and Marjorie Sucoff Intuition and Truing by Neale Lundgren Intuition andthe Masterby Cynthia and Richard Griffin In part two of the book, which is dedi cated to individual experiences, we have another perspective based on what a dif ferent collection of authors have perceived directly, as follows: Norma FindsHerApproach to God Speaks by Norma Miles Muscular Intuition by Don E. Stevens Intuition and Childhood Experience by Joanie Agin Intuition in Daily Life by Wayne Smith An Experience oflntuition by Kenneth Lux Ping-Pong and Mental Flatulence by Steve Sakellarios An Adventure in Intuition by Ann Speirs To top it all off, the last section of the book is Quotationsfrom Meher Baba on Intuition. This comprehensive compilation contains ten pages of all the Meher Baba quotes available on the subject.There is not enough space in the Love Street Lamp Post for me to properly review all ofthe deep and soulfttl writing that takes place in the pages of Meher Babac Gift oflntuition except to


announce that it is a must have for all those who wanted to know intuitively where to start on this bold new adventure with our Beloved Master, Avatar Meher Baba. $15

Cive .J4jain, for te first 7.irne 71 11

by Weiidc11 C, ‘73ritsttnan, rJPI&D Review by 2<endra Crossen 13urrougIis

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hirty-six years after Meher Baba dropped His body, we have many books written by His mandali and other close ones from East and West who met Him, but only recently have we begun to see publications by a second generation oflovers who never met Baba in person. Apart from poetry, most ofthese are memoirs or collections of personal stories, or combine a personal ac count with an introduction to Mehet Baba and his message. Wendell Brustman’s book—published just before his death at age 67 in August 2004—is quite different. It is perhaps the first work to present the path ofMeher Baba through the author’s own perspective and in his own vo cabulary, with I i ttle direct FOR THE FIRST TIME quotation from : Baba, except in the appendices. Wendell, who held degrees in psychology and theology, has produced a work of un 1[sual depth and complexity, but this is not a scholarly study. It demonstrates how thoroughly the author has integrated Meher Baba’s message and presence, and with what originality he can articulate his insights, in a spirit of sharing rather than teaching or preaching. The book is not for beginners. It assumes that readers “have obtained the new heartbased awareness operating system ‘software’ and have had it installed as an ‘upgrade.’ Not only has this rewrite by God enlarged the possibility for your intellect to be introduced to new programs, it has changed the mechan ics. Everything is different.” You have begun to travel the path home, discarding what Wendell calls the “fragment-bound ego” in

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favor of the “provisional ego” dedicated to the Master, as described byMeher Baba. Old life has given way to a “wholehearted” New Life, in which the heart assumes its rightful place and intellect takes a subordinate role to Infinite Intelligence. The heart has become a furnace for consuming all your good and bad experiences in the fire oflove. There is a willingness to face evil, to embrace without absorbing our dark side—which is God’s shadow—instead of viewing the world as split into black and white opposites. “Grace has acquired an earth-footing and will stay. The experience is even more enchanting and enlivening than falling in love because we find ourselves rising in love, and love is wrapping us in its softest garments. With Gene Kelly we can be dancing and singing in the rain, happier than when out in the sunshine. God has stepped up His lively presence, and we can discern it in the contribution of our own activitc” I joked to someone that reading the book was like entering Wendçll’s head, yet this is not an uncomfortable experience, because his house is in order. So unified is Wendell’s thought that one could even dip into the book at any point and not feel lost. His writing is aphoristic, so that almost every paragraph contains a concise thought to be pondered (a possibility facilitated by the use of key sentences set into the margins, similar to the design of Meher Baba’s Discourses). A few examples:

Ifyou feel your concentration is not up for reading the entire text, at least browse; you will discover some fresh angles on life with Baba. Don’tbe afraid ofthe book’s intellectual level—think ofit as Wendell welcoming you to his Myrtle Beach bed-and-breakfast with a home-cooked meal for mind and heart. Enjoy such gourmet tidbits as the following: “The world envelope is full of sounds that are not finished ‘sounding’ because they have not been sent into silence. This container is overly full of sound and itself needs to be swept clean of the pollution of that excess sound. We do our part well if we keep si lence more often by being heartful in God, gifting all our unspoken words as our due for Him to swallow and make disappear.” ©Myrtle Beach, SC: AMB Productions, 2004). Paperback, 368 pages. $18 TkL.

L.etif C1: !i?eview by 3rank Davis, 3lorida

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oday’s music seems to be looking for a smart crispness that no one I’m afraid may find, until they look at musicians like the Rubensteins. Pam and Danny are experts at delighting us with the simple, although there’s so much more to it: honeyed har monies; bright concepts, richly-textured; and instrumentation like good chess. I confess I played the album immediately, then repeatedly. When I speak of the Rubensteins being smart in a way I do not hear elsewhere, it is because you often cannot help “seeing” their imagery with your ears. This is not cleverness for its own sake, this is genuine expres sionism at its best. Put cynicism aside, you can trust these two. You’ll be glad you did. Kudos to their choices in backups as well. The legendary strings of Lisa Brande and Mark Trichka and the tasteful piano and choice harmonies ofMaraiya Potter all add flashes of magic. The album opens with “The Subject is Love”: Songs of this caliber almost never get enough airplay. What begins as a morethan-capable movie background score soon develops into its own movie. The narrative is thick with an intelligent wordplay of imag ery that is subtle, clever, evocative, delicious and yet straightforward. The visual blanket is all the warmer for being executed wholly without drawing attention to itself(as if any among us could speak ofsuch beauty so off. .

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The experience of the eternal Now is the sole meaning of knowledge.

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Gratefulness becomes the way we re-frame our life when unconditional love seizes control.

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Sin is God’s reminder that we are His.

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One ofthe secrets ofprayer is to wrestle with God, hoping to win but willing to lose.

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The higher our self-esteem, the greater our tolerance for ambiguityc

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The God-Man has already objectively removed what we imagine we need removed in the moment of our awareness of the burden.

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handedly and naturally!). Please note that there is some rarified musicianship underly ing this floating experience; the humility of the music is what makes this complete. Next comes “Thank You”: Without being glib, somebody is obviouslyvery grateful here—sincere; and it’s clear that this wonderful liaison has been going on for quite a while. Infectious, highly accessible, I can easily see this being sung by others—walking alone, in groups at a campfire, at a house of worship, etc. Then, the title track, “New Leaf”: A soft, fun, therapeutic anthem, this sweet number is likely to change a lot oflives for the better as it gets around. IfOprah had a “Song of the Month Club” she’d be looking for this. “Grinnin’ Into Space”: An unusual and delightful song, this funky, odd subject is tagged for its iconic value, then held high and celebrated by some folksy, bluesy Yanks. The other-planes-conscious Holy men of India, normally unpalatable (unless you’re into that sort ofthing), become fun, as they are here given a voice a childlike voice. I won’t be giving anything away telling youthey have nothing in particular to say. I’m sure a modern-day Kipling would, as well, be “grinnin’ into space”. “In My Dreams”: The piano does a minimalist sculpture here, all by itselfworth listening to; calling forth slow, romantic and/or thoughtful dream-walking scenes. This is a light-gem: airy, intimate, familiar (yet definitely new), with a gossamer-watercolor of a lyric. “Logical Mind”: Danny is like Devo with a Doctorate here. Clinically, objectively, the mind is ticked offat its own limitations, and this becomes subject matter for some timelessly authentic, touching pop music. This easily sets a benchmark for mainstream and fresh. “I Call your Name”: I suppose we can’t .

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have too much gratitude. Still, I had to play “Thank You” again just to be sure. Formnately, this song stands on its own, but it is close enough to garner much of the same response. The standup bass line gives it a joyful, bouncy feel. “You Axe”: A neat piece of contemporary classic worship music, this little golden nug get is secular enough to be included here, yet strong enough to become a standard in its own genre. While none ofthese songs mention Baba by name, His lovers will see the hidden mes sages in them. For this reason, and because true art is universal in appeal, this CD should be thoroughly enjoyed by Baba lovers and non-Baba lovers alike. $12

Song of the 2’icw Life Meher BakfDr. 9hani 3Uustrntions hy Wifl David An art book with musüal CD Narration: A’kIurwau 3cssawala, !7?eview by J4lark 7richka, 7 )ermont happy to be able to announce the publication of a new illustrated book by my friend, the noted artist, Will David, il luminating the Song ofthe New Lift written by Dr. Abdul Ghani in 1949, based upon points given by Avatar Meher Baba. Ghani’s “Song of the New Life” is a profoundly moving poem that manages to capture in simple language the inspirational power ofone ofthe most enigmatic phases ofthe Avatar’s work. Will David’s paintings somehow seem to add both levity and grayity to the subject matter, leaving us with an extremely powerful picture ofthe possibili ties for living a “New Life” of spirituality within our day-to-day world. With a sturdy wire coil binding and printed on some very serious glossy stock, this gorgeous work includes sixty full-color illustrations and comes with a complimen tary audio CD. In order to give the listener some historical context for the creation of

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the Song ofthe New Lfr, Meherwan Jes sawala reads some fascinating and relevant extracts from the diary of Dr. Ghani who was one of the companions on the New Life. Beloved Baba’s “New Life” began in Oct. of 1949. In the very first month on the road with the companions, Meher Baba asked Dr Ghani to compose a song that would incorporate the root points of the New Life as given by Baba. Baba corrected and approved the song that Dr Ghani com posed. Meherwan’s reading of Dr Ghani’s diary, recently recorded in Mandali Hall is direct and compelling. Singing the Song of the New Life: Namdeo Sholapure then sings for us his

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rendering of the song (in Hindi I think). His exquisite heartfelt voice was intoxicat ing to my ears. Not only is his singing and harmonium playing technically beautiful, but also because he mixes and matches it with the heart, he reveals his devotion to the Beloved. Because of this he has been lovingly referred to as possessing the “total package” as a singer. I have often heard him sing at Meherazad and Meherabad and have enjoyed every wine drenched minute. Long-time Baba-lover Rick Chapman wrote a bracing foreword that promises “an absorbing, powerful, essentially hieroglyphic rendering of one of the most important and telling poetic expressions regarding the spiritual life.” Published and printed by Meher Mownavani Publications 2005 $20

!•I 2’Iew £ifrwill live bj itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it. ! Baba :


‘Sweet Euwunkrs” with Loveliness Cathy 2laas Riley, 2’IortIi Carolina

After a rough day in Maya, Sweet En— counters is a refreshing soothing balm! If one is looking for a quiet, meditative musical offering to our Beloved, SweetEncounters is a perfect selection! $18

‘Sweet Wine of Love” 2’Iow Jivttilabk on CD!

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By &ter SJN(ordeen, JVorth Carolina 1962 as the little book, The Everything and the Nothing, was being published, Baba asked one ofhis close disciples, Bhau Kaichuri, to translate it into Hindi, and to add some songs

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he original Sweet Wine ofLove cas sette was released in 1986. Here is the re-mastered CD version of that original tape, with greatly improved recorded sound and a whole new cover- art look!

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he scent of Meher Baba’s perfume emanates from this prayerful CD, Sweet Encounters. Julie Kohl Skiff’s ethereal and angelic voice (supported by three lovely background angels) pervades this sweet love-offering. Julie has set powerftil poems of Meher Baba, St. Francis, Inayat Khan and talented Baba poets to her original and sensitive music. This music washes over you like gentle spring breezes and perfumed

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L to K Mary Shepard, Randa Liedstrand, Julia Skffand Ter7y Hogan.

gardens. Her melodies and harmonies often quietly surprise you like the passing light and shadows ofthat spring day, and her arrangements are thoughtful and lovely. One favorite track is the simple opening set of two chant-like songs. They are pure musicaljoy! The Inayat Khan setting ‘0, my soul is moved to dance’, exudes the happiness of childhood and juxtaposes perfectly with Richard Deane’s ‘Dove Round’. The intensity of’Storm Clouds Gather’ track seven) carries Steve Klein’s poem with ( strength and took me to a deeper level with it’s powerftil message. The final cut, ‘Lord ofthe Universe’ is for me a wonderful prayer to Baba’s Loveliness and Divine attributes.

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poetic couplet that Baba had

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Many Original Kitchen favorites are featured on this CD such as Bob Holdt’s ‘Ocean of Love’, Darryl Smith’s ‘Sing a Song ofPraise’, Cathy Riley’s ‘Fold Us Up in Your Arms’, Cindy Lowe’s ‘Keep me Near’. Many musicians and singers have lent a voice to make this musical offering a delightfuljourney back to the Baba music ofthe 1970’s and 1980’s! We know you’ll

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he composed 11 more cou plets. When he e finished he read it to Baba who commented that He liked it very much but it was too short. Baba was in the mood and so immediately began to dictate 17 more couplets as He tapped the rhythm on His thigh. The original poetic prayer in Hindi came to be known as “Tumi Tau Ho”, “God, You Alone Exist.” Baba’s sister Mani then set the work to music, and Baba’s nephew, Sheroo, would often sing it before Baba at Guruprasad. We first heard Jim Meyer’s musical version of You Alone Exist at one of our Sunday Baba meetings in Asheville during September 2004.Jim told the audience that he’d been reading and enjoying the beauti lid prayer-poem but was baffled by Baba’s .,

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words, ‘[n thefuture thisprayer ofMine will be sung in every house throughout the world”

J im wondered how this could ever be pos sible. The form of the verses seemed too difficult to set to rhythm. But within a few short minutes of improvising on his guitar, the whole musical form came to him and the song was set. As I was listening to Jim singing, dif ferent film images of Baba were coming to mind and I was thinking how appropriate these could be for the different verses. Jim and I talked afterwards and we agreed that we must try to do this project. But the logis tics were a problem, with few funds available and the time and place to start recording the song. Then due to rare flooding in Asheville, Debbie and I had to postpone our trip to India by six weeks. By that time Jim found someone near where he lived to help him ‘3


record the music and he managed to get us a master copy ofthe song a few days before we left for India. At Meherabad I have the time, many materials, and the partnership of Bob Freder icks who has the technical skills and artistic touch for film-work. Bhau encouraged us to try and complete the film by Baba’s Birthday, butwe were too busywith the play and other things to do much with this project by then. In March, Bob and I were able to rough it in pretty well, but then with coming back to the worldly responsibilities in the states we weren’t able to do much for three more months. But by the end ofJuly, 2005, we were able to show Bhau a draft copy of the film while he was in Chicago on his tour of America. My concept for You Alone Exist as a music video was to present Baba’s image whenever possible in association with all the different traits and attributes given in the prayer. Of course we had to depend on literal images in a few places which serve to remind us that He is all things. But since we wanted to produce something that could be experienced repeatedly as a type of musical meditation, we had to take advantage of our opportunity to focus on Baba’s image. We were able to use a number of clips not usually seen because they may be too short or require some improvements in some way. Then by adjusting lighting, color, framing, etc, Bob improved most ofthe images. And by sometimes adjusting the speed slightly we synchronized the picture with the rhythm of the music. Of course what can’t be expressed in words is that special feeling when it all comes together. No doubt in the future there will many other versions in different languages of You Alone Exist. Baba’s own comments were: ‘1 like this prayer because it tellspeople who lam, whatlam. People do notknow who orwhatlam, andso they need thisprayer to know me, to understand me. I gave thisprayer to them. .11 day will come when they willknow this. $20 .

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3rom the 3orward by frff Wolverton, J4lyrtle 13each resented in this book are superb trans P lations of the Hindi Ghazals that Bhau wrote. Every quatrain of this modern Rubai yat encapsulates the seminal lines dictated by Meher Baba to Bhau. Each verse is a pae an direct from the lover’s wretched and sabulous heart in its ache for the Eternal Beloved. “Marcellus’ ren derings vividly depict Bhau’s extremities of both great intimacy and excruciating distance. . . capturmg the subtlety and nuances of mystical love expressed by Bhau. . .“ Marcellus says:”In numerous e-mails Bhau has been efftisive in his praise of his “Garden” and the efforts of his “Phool walla” (Official Gardener). The text serves as a boon companion for every lover on the path and is destined to endure.” Paperback $12. All proceeds go to the Trust.

Love .A’k Like The JRoses 7Iie Divine MAGgecs ¶JReviewed by Ed Leguin, 9eorgia afler, the maker of legendary audio H amplifiers is going out of business. Now that pro sound

shops are selling them at half price, I finally scarfed one up. One of the first CDs I played was the Divine MAGgees’s new release, Love Me Like the Roses. It sounds like they’re right here at Club Ed playing just for me, and boy do they ever sound good! What’s new (from their two previous CDs) is they’ve now added top guest musicians playing electric bass, drums, piano, and even the harmonium on a few cuts. Production is first class: great vocal delineation detailed instrumentation, and solid bass. But as always with the Divine MAG ,

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gees, it’s the music that takes center stage. Danielle Tibedo’s voice at times whispers in your ear and at times sends chills down your spine. Cregan Montague’s voice is the perfect complement: Simon’s Gar funkel. The interplay of their harmonies, Danielle’s guitar, and Cregan’s haunting violin, offer an organic feast for head and heart. This is the kind ofCD you put in your machine, hit ‘repeat’, and let it play all day. Ifyou’re like me you’ll lose yourselfin the dreamy harmonies and infectious rhythms. The last song is their extraordinary ar rangement of “Begin the Beguine”—It melts stone. You can sample every song on the CD at their Web site: http://www.divinemag gees.com. And ifyou really like it, it’s OK to treat yourself, buy a copy, and let them playjust for you. $15


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arnadhi The House ofThe Lord began life as an audio-visual presentation on the history of Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb-Shrine, known as the Samadhi. The presentation is now available as a 35 minute DVD. It is a wonderful and poetic story of our Beloved’s Samadhi, which was built and decorated under the Lord’s supervision. The DVD opens and *:. closes withjeff Mylett’s wonderful song “The House of The Lord”. The narration is beautifully underscored by the superb guitar playing ofTuck Andress. Included is a brief history of Helen Dahm, the Swiss artist who painted the murals inside the Tomb, and commentary by Francis Brabazon on the purpose of pilgrimage. There are several video clips, along with many still images ofMeher Baba and His Tomb-Shrine. This is an excellent introduction for those who plan to go to the Samadhi, and even for old timers who may be surprised by what they learn. $20 DVD only. IAs we went to press Michael Le Page, who created this DVD, received thefollowing email:] J ai Baba Dear Michael, Deborah Mann Smith here. I am writing from Meherazad where I live and attend to Arnavaz everyday. Yesterday your production, Samadhi -The House of the Lord, was shown in Mehe razad for the first time. Arnavaz was visibly moved while viewing it and commented as she was leaving how beautiful it was. Afterwards in her room she said to me “It was so very beautiful it broke my heart.” Later that evening she commented: “The film made me miss Baba so much, and the song through out the film was perfect.” I thought you would like to know how very much your efforts were appreciated. I have watched it again on my computer. It is truly a treat for the heart and mind as the audio and visuals all work together so well. Thank you so much for your inspirational work!

Charles 9ibson, Los .Jlngeles henever I listen to music a person has recorded that is “Baba Music”, the first thing I look for is the heart con-

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tent. It must have both love and passion to fill the bill for me, and this CD by Adrienne Shamszad has all that and more. She is very talented as a vocalist, and that talent has been enhanced in the flre of Baba’s love as well as in the disciplines of formal training. My wife told me that Adrienne’s voice reminds her of Norah J ones. I think that her voice is reminiscent of several excellent vocalists including Ms Jones, Cheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman and others. She is also accomplished in her guitar accompaniments—she’s got the folk and blues formats pretty much down pat. Adrienne’s lyrics challenge one to see Baba from her perspective, and it took more than one listening on my part to get that perspective. In one song the lyr ics were somewhat puzzling to me until I realized that she was singing as though it was Baba who was saying the words to her. However in the song “You are too beautiful for words” there’s no doubt that it is she who is talking to Her Beloved. In my opinion the effort oftrying to get the meaning paid offhandsomely though, for the ideas she sings about are emotionally charged, beautifully young and love-filled for God. $12

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Baba’s work in the West and His impact on the lovers and followers who waited lifetimes to be with the Lord. Meher Baba said His mission was to bring together all the world’s religions like beads on a string, and the West had a part to play in this. Love Comes West gives an excellent overview of the various aspects ofMeher Baba’s work in the West from 1932 in London, to 1958 in America. It covers His contact with early lovers, with public figures in the film world, His travels to New York and His work in Hollywood. The documentary takes the viewer through the excitement of Baba’s first ar rival in the West, to the despair His lovers felt when He and His women Mandali had the automobile collision near Prague, Oklahoma and Baba spilt the blood He had foretold He would spill on American soil. Love Comes West was produced by Michael Le Page from a project he devel oped along with Chris Ott and Cheryl La Rosa Longo, for the “Love Comes West” day-long event held at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, to celebrate the 50th anniversary ofBaba’s first visit to America. $20 DVD only

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know, Baba’s parents are my par— ents. What you wouldn’t know is what Sheriar and Shireen were like as persons, this man and this woman who were chosen to be the Avatar’s parents. Here I will give you a few glimpses oftheir image, reflected through memories of my childhood with them. I wish my brothers Jal, Beheram, and Adi could have done the same. As a rule, my brothers Merwan, Jamshed, Jal, Beheram, and Adi conversed with my parents in Dan. I did sometimes, more so with my father. Father knew little Gujerati, the language spoken by the Zoroastri ans in India, and spoke it with an Irani accent. Mother spoke Gujerati fluently, and when she recounted a story or a film she would enthrall her audience. It was natural for my parents to address their children by Dan endearments: Merwan was Menog, Beheram was Varom, and so on. In the same way, my parents were Shorog and Shineenog to each other. For us children, our mother was Memo and father was Bobo. Memo and Bobo were very different from each other in every way. In age they were twenty-five years apart, and in temperament and outlook they were poles apart. But they made a perfect pair as parents for God on earth in this Advent. Referring to His father, Baba said to us on several occasions, “There is no match for My father, no match for him in the whole wide world. That is why I chose to be born to him.” The last time Baba said this was in 1968 at Guruprasad. Baba’s hand gestures were swift and His eyes were soft with love, as He spoke thus of Sheriar, His Bobo.

I was told that Sheniar left his home and family in Persia, at the age of ten, to look for God. The boy’s search for God brought him to India, and here he wandered for many years as a dervish (ascetic). He wandered on foot all over India, crossing mountains, fording rivers, nearly dying while tramp-

ing across a desert. He went through great adventures and experiences until, at the age ofthirty, his wanderings came to an end by the Command of God. In the midst ofhis wanderings, one day Sheniar heard a Voice telling him to go back into the world and await Him. In response to this highest Command, Sheniar turned back, married, got ajob as gardener, started a tea-restaurant, and finally had a toddy business. In the world, Sheriar carried out every duty and responsibility, but at all times he remained unattached to the results. So here was Baba’s father, a living example of what Baba wants us to be: “In the world, but not of it.” This was evident to us in the daily in-

stances of domestic life and in any trials suffered by the family. Whatever befell him or his family, Sheriar accepted as s Will”, My ancestors were Zoroastnians in Persia. When a fresh wave of religious persecu tion broke out there, my mother’s family migrated to India. Such migrants were called Iranis and were absorbed by the Parsi community ofZoroastnians who had left Persia centuries ago. These Parsis in India helped their fellow Zo roastnians who escaped from Persia, giving them jobs in their households, in their shops, and in their gardens. After he gave up his wandering, the first job my father got was that of a gardener, working for a rich Parsi fam ily in Poona. And what an incredible gardener Sheniar proved to be! Anything he touched in that spacious garden blossomed and flourished with ease. Perhaps this was because while his hands worked in the soil, God’s name worked in his soul continually. Some time later, my father left that job to start a tea-restaurant. At parting, his Parsi employer said, “Please, Sheniarji, please come once in a while and look at my garden. You don’t have to do anything. Just let your gaze fall on the trees and the flowers, and they will flourish.” “Also,” he added, “whenever you come, please take home any potted plant you fancy.” For years Father continued to visit the gardens. I was delighted every time I saw him walking down Dastur Meher Road, fol lowed by a servant carrying a potted flower plant on his head. My favourite memory is of a little rose-bush with a single red rose bobbing up and down on the servant’s head.


It seemed to me that the rose was happy it was coming to Father’s home, where Father would tend to it along with the other potted flowers circling the well in Baba-House. I also loved walking with Father along that road, clutching the little finger of his hand. We would stop at the grocer’s to buy me candy. What a sight we must have been, this stocky sixty-nine-year-old man with his baby girl out for a walk on a quiet street in Poona! I made my appearance in the family twenty-four years after Baba. By the time I was born, Father was like a grandfather to me. He was apt to spoil me, which made Mother exert her sense of discipline all the more. Mother was a wonderfhl cook, and Father was equally good in the kitchen when Mother wasn’t well. Like all the family, in fact like all the Iranis I’ve known, my parents shared a marked sense ofhumour. Moreover, there was Father’s incredible kindness which extended to all, friend and foe. And above all, it was Father’s quality ofstillness within him which I could feel even as a child. Many a family friend or acquaintance has come into our home to sit for hours beside him in total silence. “Just for the peace of mind we get,” they would say. I too loved sitting beside Father, on that low bed of his. While we sat side by side, I would look up to catch a glimpse of the tip of his tongue moving up and down as he silently repeated God’s name, “Yezdan, Yezdan.” Father was a gentle companion and a special friend to me. We had secrets that Mother didn’t share. Here’s an instance: Water chestnuts are considered a wonderful tonic, and Mother would grind them fine with sugar for Father to have between meals. Father kept that delicious chestnut powder all for me. Whenever Mother was very busy or away from home, he would bring down the jar from the shelf and give me big helpings ofit. I must add that I, too, brought him little presents from school.The brown-sugar toffee was one of his favourites. My respect for Father was special. I hated to displease him, but when I was arguing with Mother it couldn’t be helped! Such as, when I pestered Mother for a pleated satin skirt that went “whoosh, whoosh” as you walked—I’d seen one and heard it on an older girl in school. And Mother would tell me, “No, Mani, you can’t have it. I told you once, I toldyou twice, you can’t have it. Not until you’re much older.” “But I it,” I’d wail. “I want it now. So-and-so has it. Why can’t I?”

Then Father would say in his imperfect Gujerati, “Mani, stop pestering Memo!” And I’d know I was displeasing him. But when he was really displeased, he would add, “Mani, may God be good to you.” (“Mani, Khodai tara bhala karay.”) Even his scolding was a blessing! I would stop immediately. I never overstepped Father’s blessing. Mother was really an excellent mother. She maintained and managed the house and family with much care, and possessed great intelligence and wit. Mother was the practi cal one. I guess she had to be, with a husband who was too generous with his worldly goods, giving money and things away to anyone he felt was in need. This would dis turb my mother because she would have to penny-pinch on the household budget. I would often find my parents looking at the same object from two different angles. Mother saw a thing from the material angle. Father looked at it only from the spiritual angle. Mother always discussed everything with Father at the end of the day. While playing “trains” by myself (making a train out of empty matchboxes), I would hear her say, “Shorog, such and such a thing happened this morning,” or “I heard so and so saying this and that about us.” As she went on and on, I would be struck by her logic. Not a single false note fell on my ears, and I would say to myself, “Memo is right. What she says is so true.” But after she finished, Father would gently explain from a spiritual angle: “No, Shireenog, it is not as you see it. It is really like this. and so on. Hearing him I would find myselfsaying in wonder, “But of course, Bobo is right. What he says is so true!” And so as a child I learnt much from the daily interactions between my parents. It was like watching the two pans of a hand-scale going up and down, with an issue being weighed tillbalance was gained. Amazingly, the little that Father said calmed and satis fled Mother every time. Father taught Mother to read and write Persian, and before long she knew much of Hafiz by heart. I loved to see my parents sit together in the evening, reading the Shahnama (Persian history). And I would faintly wonder how Father knew to read and write so well. I was told he had never gone to school; he had left home as a boy to look for God. Later my wonder grew. I would hear Father converse in Hebrewwith a charming oldJewish ladywho wore dozens ofbangles. . .“

I would also see him help a well-known professor to correct some manuscript in Arabic. How was it that Father was so well-versed in these languages when he hadn’t gone to school? When I questioned Father about it, he simply answered, “Well, child, it all came to me suddenly, in a moment.” Years later I asked Baba how such a thing could be possible. And Baba asked me why I was so surprised. He explained, “Knowledge is all inside, hidden behind a curtain. And doesn’t it take only a moment to push aside a curtain and reveal what is hidden behind it?” “However,” Baba added, “this pushing aside the curtain is a gift from God. It is given only to the very rare ones who have given up everything for Me, as My father did.” Yes, Father was matchless. But my heart would often go out to Mother. She had endured a lot for the sake of her Son whom she loved above all, the Son she referred to as “my most beautiful child.” Being God’s mother is nojoke. Byher Son’s grace, Mother played her role well. And what did Baba say about Mother? Although in their human relationship of mother and son there were sometimes arguments between them, Baba was never pleased when others were critical ofher. One time when someone spoke unkindly about Mother, Baba turned to us and said sadly, “This person doesn’t know who My mother is—she is purest crystal!” I’ll end with a little incident you’ll enjoy: Years ago I met a man who remembered playing as a child outside my father’s toddy shop in Poona. And he especially recalled “Merwanji”, as Baba was politely addressed by outsiders. “What was Merwanji doing in the toddy shop?” I asked him. “Merwanji was sitting behind the cash box,” he replied. “In the afternoons all these fakirs would come round. Then Merwanji would put his hand in the cash box and bring out fistfuls of silver coins. He’d fling the coins far out onto the road, and all the fakirs would run after them.” “Oh, my poor mother!” I groaned, “haying a dervish for a husband and God for a son—and having to raise a big family!” God-Brother by Mani S Irani ©1993 AMBPPCT

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..hiidhcod £thers from cAlniii to Bnba Compiled by Jlladeline rJDoucas, California

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he following letters to Avatar Meher Baba are from Baba’s sister, Mani S. Irani. Mani was born in 1918, when Baba was 24 years old. He said ofMani, “She is so fortunate. She is mine.” When she was not quite 14 years old, He allowed her to live permanently with Him as one of His close women disciples. Letters in this group were written during a period when Baba was staying at Meherabad, and Mani in the family home in Poona. Some selections from Mani’s book GodBrother are presented in italics to provide some context for the letters. The original letters are preserved in the Trust Archives and are published in the “Heart Talk” section of “Tavern Talk” e-mail list serve (see below). Photos from the MSI Collection. Illustrations byWodin, from God Brother.

From GodBrother, pages 81-84: “I shall touch on my letters which I wrote to Baba from Poona when I was seven to nine years old. They were written in Gujerati, and the quotes I give here are an informal translation. “How did I address Baba in these letters? Did I begin with ‘Dear Brother,’ ‘Darling Brother,’ or some such personal greeting? Oh no. When I was little I had to be very “grown-up” for Baba, to keep up with all the

mandali were referred to as the “under-nah”, meaning “insiders”, because theywere never seen outside oftheir cloistered quarters. So, in 1927 I wrote to Baba, ‘Do write and let me know whether the Insiders are taking good care ofYou. Otherwise I won’t talk to them!’ I would also make sure that Baba didn’t ever forget me and I would use every little excuse to remind Him ofme. Once it happened that I was being Mother’s scribe, v ig down

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learned grown-ups around. I knew the formal way in which one addressed a high-up person in society like a baronet or a barrister or suchlike. Would I do less for Baba? He who was the very topmost? So, after formally heading myletter with ‘Shree Meher Baba,’ in red ink and flourishing strokes, I would usually begin my letter with ‘May it be known to Shree Meher Baba that I hope You are well. After a couple of lines I would lapse into being the little sister imploring Him, ‘Please turn the key and quickly call me to You.’There were PS’s all over—”Turn the key. Please hurry up and turn the key.’ What . . .‘

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did it mean? Well, when a key is turned, a door is unlocked. With Baba holding the Key to all doors, He had only to turn it and open the way for me to be with Him again! There were other demands: ‘Come daily in my dreams.’ And when He did, I would write and tell Him, ‘I am very, very, and very happy that You came in my dream.’ When I wanted to emphasize a feeling, I was inclined to write the word a number of times. When I was sick and couldn’t write to Him, I’d ask His forgiveness: ‘Definitely, definitely, and definitely forgive me.’ I couldn’t help being rather possessive about Baba and kept an eye on Him all the way from Poona. In those days the women

a letter to Baba, which she dictated while she was cleaning the vegetables. She ended it with, ‘Your father, as well as Mani, send lots ofregards to You.’ Ah! My name in that sentence was all I needed to draw Baba’s attention to me. I wrote my name clearer and bigger than the rest ofthe words in that letter, used red ink to highlight it, underlined it to make it stand out, and put it in quotes to be sure He didn’t miss it! It seemed to blink and beep out a clear message: ‘Hello Baba, this is me, remember? Me, MANI, your kid sister—here I am, see?”


Shree Sadguru Meher Baba

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Shree Meher Baba Shree Meher Baba Shree Meher Baba, I am writing to say that in Your letter to Father You sent me good wishes so Ifelt very, very, very happy. And in all my letters, I am writing to You to turn the key but You are turning the wrong key, so lam hoping that You will turn the correct key and call me there soon. And You [should] write a letter to me; and [also] I am obedi ent to You. I am doing everything according to whatever orders You have given me, and even now willgo on being very obedient to You alone. I hope Your health is all right and look after Your health. OKbye. Accept my good wishes to You. Turn the key soon so I can come there. Do notbe angry with me but be calm and happy with me. Sister Manic good wishes.

Flying a Kite from God-Brother, page 12:

Indian kites are made offlimsy coloured paper and thin strips of bamboo, attached to what seems like miles and miles of fine string. Fixing the string to a kite is an art which requires a precise sense of balance. A number oftimes I have squatted beside my God-Brother watching his beautifhl fingers

Replied 2-7-27

Shree Meher Baba I am writing to say that I have received Your letter and after reading it I became vely, very, very happy andYou have written 7 will come inyour dreams every day”so lam hoping that You will come in my dreams andgive me darshan. I was very happy to iad that. And also I am very, very happy when You say that You will turn the key. I was going to reply to Your letter that day but I was sick. The veiy next day I became all right because of Your miracle. The other time You did not reply to my letter so Ithought You were angiy with me, but I was veiy happy that You were not angry with me. I was also happy that Your health is good Please write andlet me know jfthe inside ladies [Mehera and the other secluded women] are looking after You well otherwise I won’t talk to them, but fthey are looking after You I will be very happy. Sister Manic good wishes You are always with me and whatever work I do, You are with me and You are doing ev eiything. And I was vely, very happy to read that You are in my heart and I am remembering You.

fix string to a new kite before flying it. One ofmy earliest memories ofMehera bad is ofBaba flying a kite. I was perhaps five years old. Baba was still talking, and what you could see ofMeherabad was mainly the old military barracks and water tank. Whenever mother and I came from Poona to be with Baba, we would get down from the train at Ahmednagar station and come by “tonga” (horse carriage) to Meher abad. As soon as we reached there I would

jump down and run off to find Baba. Seeing him, I would race as fast as I could with my little legs to get to him. Baba would pick me up, hug me, and play with me. At the time of this story, when we arrived at Meherabad, I looked and looked for Baba but couldn’t find him. At last I saw him way in the distance, standing in the wide open grounds ofMe herabad, his beautiful hair and white sadra flowing in the wind. Baba was flying a kite. The only person around him was Padre, standing a little behind Baba, holding the “firkee” (a long wooden wheel on which kite string is wound). The firkee was revolving incredibly fast between Padre’s hands, as he kept releasing more and more string for Baba’s kite. “Whrrr. went the reel, spinning faster and faster. The string was also racing through Baba’s hands. As Baba let out more and more string, the kite climbed higher and higher, until it looked like a little red bird way up in the heavens. It was so high that its string made a perfect arch as it met Baba’s hand. Baba looked down at me. “You want to fly it?” He asked. “Oh, yes!” I said. I’d always envied my brother Adi flying kites with his friends in Poona, but I never got to fly one myself. “Here, hold it,” Baba said, handing me the string. I held it tightly with both hands. As I clung to it, I was swaying with the force of the wind and the incredible pull of the arched string. After a few moments, Baba took over again. I was most elated and showed off to the others how I had flown Baba’s kite. When I grew older, I realized that Baba alone had been flying the kite while he made me believe that I was doing it. Behind my hands were his hands holding the string, unseen by me. While I seemed to be steering the kite this way and that it was really Baba who was controlling it all the time. It continues to be like that. One thinks, . .“

“I’m doing this. I’m in charge of that.” But silently in the background, it is really Baba who is doing it. Baba alone is in charge—always.

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21-9-27 Shree Meher Baba U) • Shree Meher Baba. Dear Brother Shree Sadguru ; I Shree Sadguru Meher Baba Baba Meher JIA/ IL’. Shree Meher Baba, I am writ1 .iShreeMeherBaba, Jam writ‘( OL(u I J4t ing to say that Your letter has I ing to say that You must be angry -tt.? •• Nj c1 FIt L.tL th reached me. And I hope that You with me andfor what reason L are in good health. My health is Vt 1 Please do not be angry with me; be :tJ also good And I am very, very, happy with me. And I hope Your (C4 t4 c)-andvery happy that You are going • health is much better than before. t1 szf. L to turn the key soon, that You will . And did my letter not reach You • . .. appear in my dreams and also give ‘:j , .. 7 ; or else why did You stop writing me darshan in my dreams andthat to me?Andlam obeying all Your You aregoing to call me there soon. c : I’ t-I orders. Please turn the key soon . ,( -. That is why IJèela lot, lot and lot and I will do as You say and in C’ 5 , ofjoy. Andgive my regards to the the second monthfrom now, i.e., ) ladies. Andpleaseforgive me for October, I will definitely come. C.-L . not having written to You earlier fl 54 •.4.f .i ..l AndI am very happy that I shall 1,51 I because I kept onforgetting, thatc be coming there in October and why. Every day Iwould remember p ardon mefor not writing soon. at nightthatlhadto reply to Your Your beautiful hand has reached me. After OKnow what else can Iwrite;just letter and I would say that now it is night so reading its contents Ifelt lots ofjoy. I heard turn the key andcallme soon andkeep me there. I willget up early in the morning and write. that since yesterday You have started to travel After saying my prayers this is the only thing And in the morning I would againforgez’ So andlfelt very happy. Andwhat luck thatlwas Iwishfoi Iknow my lessons in schoolso Jam in this way many dayspassed So today too I notpresent there at that time. I am constantly hoping topass in the exams. OK bye. remembered in the night, then Iknew that too wondering when I can come there again and Sister Manic good wishes. many days havepassedandlmust write today You dfinitely turn the key soon and call me Shree Meher Baba so Iwrote. So certainly, certainly, and certainly there. Please write and let me know fYou are Holidays with Baba pleaseforgive me. And I will definitely come eating. Whenever You have the time, do write from God-Brother, page 42: therefor my birthday and alsofor Your birthday. but jfYou do not have the time, and cannot All the mandali had orders from Baba, OKbye. Please accept my good wishes write, no problem. Excuse the ramble. Accept “big” orders which were difficult to carry mygoodwishes. IrememberYou the whole day. 5MB out. I proud was very that I too was given OKBye. Shree Meher Sister Mani orders “little” by Him, orders which were Baba Maharaj kijai,jai,jai. very precious His sister. to little Sister Mani Shree Meher Baba What were little orders? I must do these Turn the key. Shree Meher Baba, Your letter written in my lessons. That was an order. I must write to Him once a week. That was an order. I must listen to Mother. That was an order. I must not run away from home to be with Baba but come with Mother only during school holidays. That was the most difficult order. It made me wish that my school gave ---—-—

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twelve-month holidays! I was educated in a Catholic school, the Convent ofJesus and Mary in Poona. Our school gave us long holidays twice a year. One was in winter around Christmas, and one was in the middle ofsummer. And there were short ones in between, like Michaelmas holidays. I spent them all with Baba. Mother would take me by train from Poona to wherever Baba was at the time Bombay, Meherabad, Toka, Nasik. These holidays with Baba were heavenly days for me. I was up in the clouds long before Mother and I started from home. At --

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last when our train chugged out of Poona station, my heart would burst into song. As we picked up speed, I could also hear the train wheels sing an exciting rhythm “Ba-Ba, Ba-Ba, Me-her-Ba-Ba. Ba-Ba, Ba-Ba...” And long before our train arrived at Ah mednagar station, I was leaning all the way out ofthe window to catch the first sight of the station’s name. Ah, there it was way up on that huge water tank, painted in large letters, AHMEDNAGAR. Oh the joy, the thrill of it! I would not have been surprised if they had painted PARADISE instead, because that’s where I had come. Where Baba was, was Paradise for me...

Shri Meher Baba! This isjust to say that I remember You vely, very much. Ithink ofYou as a divine being and right now no one knows who You really are, but I am so veryfortunate that Iget to take darshan ofYourform at least once a month or every two months. Yourform is ofGodandYou Yourse(fdo notdisclose Your true identity to anyone. Igofor Babajanc darshan frequently. Iwas extremely happy to read Your lettei Now and then You come in my dreams, andlhope You willturn the key soon. You have written that You are with me and You will watch over me. Jam veiy happy that the ladies look after You. [Because they do] I will talk to them. Will Ipass my examination i Please let me know at the time ofmy exams. Ihave three photos given by You, which I have kept in a p hotofiwne, and I remember You constantly. Please look after Your health. Dont tell Mother that I write to You like this. Forgive me for having written to You after many days. Well, Sahebji. With lots oflove andgood wishes, sister Mani. © 2003, AMBPPCT

Shri Meher Baba ShriMeherBaba!Ivirote a letter to You but You have not repliedandthathas made me vely, very sad Why are You so angry like this? I obey Your orders, dont eatpickles, You asked me not to eat too much sugar, so I eat very little. Why are You annoyecRleven do my lessons well and every day Isay myprayers and take darshan of Yourphotograph. Ihave kept Yourphotograph in afrarne and every day Ipray and ask when I willbe able to meet You again. In allYour letters pleasepositively anddfinitely write about Your health. God willing, we shall meet again soon; p lease turn the key soonfor that. Please look after Your health. So long as I am in Poona, please visit me in my dreams. Please do look after Your health. Adi beats me a lot. With all love and best wishes, sister Mani.

To view scans of the handwritten originals from Mani as a little girl, go to: http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/arch/ manija/maniOl.jpg GodBrother©1994 Sheriar Press To read more letters between Beloved Baba and his close ones, or to receive regular dispatches from the Trust Archives via e mail, go to http://avatarmeherbaba.org/ mailman/listinfo/tavern-talk.

sister Man i. 21


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Cxcerpts from U/krni’s Reunion”

Photo by Paul Comar

2lecttlier £Nadcl Beloved Baba’s family around the world now knows, His darling sister Mani rejoined Him on 19th August 1996, in Meherazad after a prolonged illness. This account is to share with you some of the events of her final days oflove and service to Him... ...On one of the last days she was able to sit up, Mani sat for a little while on her bed, facing Mehera’s bed. All the windows of her room were open and from outside the room, Baba’s image tree seemed to lean in to lend her support and strength. As she sat there, our tapewalli played a tape of Mani’s song written for Mehera, To the Glory ofLove and Mani swayed back and forth in time to the music, singing along with closed eyes and a gentle smile, lost in the beauty of the song. Baba and Mehera seemed specially present then, in the atmosphere ofthe pink room and in thejoy ofher glowing face. It was to be our last such session. Despite an IV drip and all possible treatment, a few days later Mani slipped into a semi-conscious state. This was hardest to bear for Goher and the other women, her close companions of so many years. In their distress and concern for Mani, they would often wake at night, and one night around this time, waking from sleep and thinking ofMani, these comforting words came to Meheru as if from her: I do not know when or how Igo But this I know to where Igo— It is to aplace ofindescribable beauty, Where Godc Love enfolds completely. Yet despite Mani’s condition and our sorrow, there remained an atmosphere ofoverfiowing love, sweetness, purity and innocence radiat ing from her that seemed to grow as the days went by... .Mani had always told her family, “I will go at the moment Baba has chosen for mc not one second before or one second after.” His chosen moment for their Reunion was early morning, 7:01 am., Monday, the 19th ofAugust, when Mani opened her eyes with a look full of love and wonder, and after a few quiet breaths, slipped softly and gently into her Beloved’s welcoming arms. It was as she had wished, in her room in Meherazad, facing her beloved Mehera’s bed with the women Mandali and a few others around her holding Baba’s picture and saying His Name...

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B1iau requests a special meeting:

’t 7hree.Qunrters of the vV!d _Lyiiiic DOl1glUS,

Saturday evening, June 11th, Bhau Kaichuri spoke at the Sufi Center of Meher Baba’s Sufism Reoriented in Walnut Creek. Previously, Bhau hadjoked at dinner that he would ask for volunteers for “Three Quarters of the World” at this talk. Following this meeting, Bhau invited those present to meet and embrace him. Of these, one who had attended the preceding dinner, upon receiving this embrace, joked that Bhau had not remembered to ask for Three-Quarters volunteers. At this, Bhau became very serious. When all had left, and he was alone with the small group who had come with him and the planners of the event, Bhau stated that he would like to give another talk specifically about Baba’s Declaration, His statement that Three-Quarters of the World would be destroyed, and His later Clarification and Confirmation. He requested that this talk should also be given at the Sufi Center and that it should be videotaped.* Since Bhau’s schedule of talks and loca tions had already been set, this involved some discussion, but when the question was put to Murshida Connor, she stated that she would be pleased to throw open the doors to Bhau. Thus it was decided that the evening talk planned for the following Tuesday,June 14, 2005, would be moved to the Sufi Center and that a phone tree and hstserv would be employed to announce this quick change ofvenue to the local Baba community For those who might not learn of it, a sign would be placed at the site of the scheduled talk to let all know to come instead to the Sufi Center. Tuesday night came with much anticipa tion. How many would come on such short notice? But when Bhauji arrived at the Center at 7:50 pm, and entered the large meeting room ten minutes later, he saw that it was packed with both Sufis and Baba lovers from the Northern California group! He was much gratified, and he looked very, very happy. A short music program preceded Bhau’s talk and then he was introduced to rous ing applause. Everyone was eager to hear his personal account ofliving through this

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period of Baba’s great announcement. And Bhauji did not disappoint anyone. He told his story from beginning to end and talked for nearly two and one-half hours! I cannot put words into Bhauji’s mouth (for that, there is the DVD), but the gist of his talk for me was this: Those present at the time of Baba’s Declaration left in shock and tears. First, that Baba had announced his own ending, and second, that three-quarters ofthe world would be destroyed. This announcement spread, even to the newspapers, and people were feeling very scared. Everywhere that Baba asked Bhau to go, people were very scared, and Bhauji was not sure what to tell them. But then Baba gave him the words, “S atchidanand, Paramanand, Meher Baba Vidyanand,” and whenever he was asked about three-quarters of the world, Bhauji would just tell them to remember “Satchi danand, Paramanand, Meher Baba Vidy anand,” and they would feel satisfied. Later, when people learned of Baba’s Clarification—that He had made the statement about three-quarters of the world in “His own language,” and as Baba did not drop the body, people stopped being scared and they forgot about it. But now, Bhauji said, since a radio talk he had given in NewYork a couple ofyears ago, and with the advent of 9/1 1 and terrorism sweeping the world, people again are asking about Baba’s statement that three-quarters of the world will be destroyed, and they are feeling scared. So Bhauji asked those present, “Why feel scared? For each one, there have been so many births and deaths. If you understand that Sai Baba directed World War I and Baba himself directed World War II, and that all is in His hands and for His work, then why feel scared? You should just remember ‘S atchidanand, Paramanand, Meher Baba Vidyanand,’ and love Him. If you just love Him, you can be brave!” Then Bhauji asked the audience for a show ofhands, “Who is feeling scared?” No hands. Then he asked for a show of hands for those prepared to be brave as soldiers for Baba. All hands up!

As Bhauji stood to leave at the end of his talk, there were rousing cheers of “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!” As he proceeded down the aisle, a lone voice began to sing, “Satchidanand, Para manand, Meher Baba Vidyanand.” All quickly took this up, the words sweeping along with Bhau as he exited the hall. All who were present were thankful to have been part ofthis historic occasion, and those ofus who were with Bhau during the planning of this event, were so very happy that it had taken place as Bhauji had wished. So we were surprised the next morning to learn that just as Bhau had arrived at the Center (at 7:50 pm) and while he was giving his talk, people in Northern California and Oregon were experiencing an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude. Even as I write this report today, a second quake has taken place at 1:53 pm, 71 miles east ofLos Angeles near Yucaipa measured at 5.3 (just as Bhauji was going to take his nap following a talk and luncheon meeting in Moraga.) Yucaipa is near the turn-off for the site of the L.A. Sahavas, where Bhauji is scheduled to be in just two weeks! Doesn’t Baba keep life interesting? And aren’t we fortunate to know and love Him? *A DVD ofthis talk is available at the Love Street Bookstore—$18

1-.IiiiiI the oilier day 3 had ito! givii (1 ilioiiqlii...ilicii, ivhile iakiii j a rest 5 asked iti!JselI wli!( did 3 give oil! the )Jec1aratioii? ivi 10 askcd mc for a Clarilicaiioii? Vliere was the aced to issue ti Confirmation and what irtade inc give the Dccisioii? E7 was satisfied that all lit-id becu incziiably necessary. tliroiigiioi.it time, iii accordance with the common law oj iialurc, there irc four staqcs to czcrytliiiig. 7•liercforc time day :‘ hail animonri.ccd nig i)ccIaraiion, 3 knew time decision. irilier— cut Iiie rcin tiioiiid haze to be ii;orkcd viii by inc through tue stages that would follow. it

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7he 7sunami iS5Ic., 2<ifrma and A’h.ch çAiorc! 73hau 2<akhuri, J4leherazad Editorc note: Bhau wrote this on lstbJanuaiy but it is made ever more real by the enormous disaster that was Katrina, the hurricane that wiped out cities and killed many thousands. Baba’s words % ofthe world being destroyed 3 about are becoming more and more ap parent!

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his tsunami disaster is a matter ofgreat pain, both to the individuals afflicted and to the world. When such calamities take place, no one can figure out why, although those who have become the prey of natural calamities are helped by God Himself. There are natural calamities and unnatural calamities. Volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, different diseases etc., fall under the category of natural calamities, as does this recent tsunami disaster. Unnatural calamities include war and acts of terrorism, as well as the deeds of all those who are seffish and go to any extent to achieve the aims of their selfishness; the deeds ofthose who deceive others in order to take away power from them, and the deeds of those who appear very honest before others, yet still play dishonesty behind others’ backs. Theft is an unnatural act. Anything done in such a way is unnatural. And because of these misdeeds, people suffer. MI those who commit such acts are vio lent. In order to become non-violent, one has to become free from the false self which can only be achieved through honesty, sincer it)’; love for God and obeying the orders of perfect masters or the Avatar. Beloved Baba has said there will be destruction of three-quarters of the world; that time is coming—and natural and un natural types of calamities will solve the problem of all those who commit such acts of violence. No one knows the root cause of natural calamities, though it is the duty of human beings to find a solution to them. Scientists are trying their best, but they have not yet found an answer. It is all under the Divine

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the Beyond-Beyond state is nei ther conscious nor unconscious. There was nothing. No water. No trees. No animals. No human beings. God Himselfdid not know Who He was, but He was there. Then what happened? A Whim came to Him, and what was that Whim? “Who am I?” Because of this Whim, Cre ation took place in order to find Realityc Oneness divided into manyand the Whim created three ness, I spheres: gross, subtle and mental. To cross the limit of this manyness and gain God-consciousness, you must pass through these three spheres. It takes ages and ages and ages. There is an Infinite Ocean, and from this Infinite Ocean, an infinite number of drops come out. This Ocean goes on and on silently uttering, “Who am I?” One drop comes out ofthe Ocean: “Who am I?” And then another: “Who am I?” And another and another. There is no end to it, because infinity has no end! When the single drops come out of the Infinite Ocean, they have no consciousness. It takes a long time for a drop to assume the form of a stone. In the stone form, there is God. There is also mind and energy, but these are not developed. They remain in a rudimentary stage. It takes a long time for the drop to come from the stone to the vegetable form. First, the drop has to pass through different varieties ofstone, and then it comes into the vegetable kingdom. When the drop comes into the vegetable kingdom energy (pran) starts developing. That’s why a vegetable requires water, air, manure and light. The drop passes through many, many varieties of vegetable, and then it discards the vegetable form. The drop then enters into the insect [ worm] form. In this form, mind starts developing. That is why insects start mov ing. The development of energy also oc curs. The drop passes through all the insect forms, a process which takes ages and ages

Plan. Nothing is out ofthe Divine Plan, and nothing is out of the Divine Will. People remember God when such calamities take place, but this is due to the force of Illusion and only for the time being. But soon they forget. God is Reality, and God alone exists. Nothing exists besides God and whatever appears as existing, it appears in non-ex istence. So, what is this that appears in non-ex istence? It is called Illusion or Maya or the Shadow. Now, God alone exists, so besides God, whatever appears is nothing but Illusion. Illusion makes Oneness appear as manyness. Everyone accepts that God is indivisible and there is no one besides God, and therefore, when God is indivisible and God alone exists, who are we? Who are the animals? Who are the birds? Who are the fish? Who are the insects [worms]? Who are the vegetables? Who are the stones? God alone exists, and God is infinite, so everyone cannot be every one. Every one is One, and in manyness, there is Oneness. In order to experience Oneness, Creation has taken place. We have to pass through the different kingdoms in Creation so that we may experience Oneness. And Illusion becomes the medium for the progress of consciousness. In God Speaks, Beloved Meher Baba described how Creation took place. God in


and ages. Then the drop enters into the fish form. In the fish form, there is still more development of energy and mind, but still they are not fully developed. After ages and ages, the drop (which is, in fact, the Ocean) enters into the bird form, and there is further development of energy and mind. The drop then into comes to the animal form, where there is again more development of energy and mind. But mind is still not frilly developed. The last form is the human one. In the human form, there is full development of energy and mind, but consciousness remains gross. In this form, the drop gets consciousness of the world and recognizes the lower kingdoms but does not actually have consciousness of the Infinite Gross Sphere. God has seven shadows, and the gross sphere is the seventh shadow of God. But that shadow is infinite, and in this infinite shadow, there must be innumerable worlds, an infinite number of planets! Earth is only a speck. There are 18,000 planets with human beings upon them. On those 18,000 planets, mind is developed to an enormous extent, but there is no development ofheart. Only on earth is t the heart developed. That’s why we find saints, perfect masters, advanced souls and the Avatar on earth, but not on the other planets. On those, human beings are very, very intellectual. When God (as the Avatar or Christ or Rasool), comes down, people from these planets take birth upon the earth and science progresses. Those who are upon the earth don’t take birth on other planets, where there is no scope for the development of heart. After many ages, this earth cools down and becomes a dead world. During the night, we see innumerable dead worlds in the form of stars and moons. There are seven worlds near the Creation point, from which the drops come out. When this Earth becomes dead, then the second world nearest to the Creation point becomes the number one planet, the new Earth. The third becomes the second, etc. When this happens, out of innumerable worlds, the one closest to the old seventh world takes its place. This goes on and on and on. There is no end to it because God is unending. How can there be any end for God, Who is always infinite?

When we cannot count the dead worlds in the form of stars, how can we know when the Creation started? But a time comes when Creation is sus pended and disappears for a long time. This is the time ofthe total annihilation of forms and is called Total Annihilation or Mahapralaya. Every individual mind—stone, vegetable, insect [worm], bird, animal or human being—takes rest in the Universal Mind.Their gross forms disappear. But after a very long time, individual minds feel frilly rested, and again, Creation begins. Before the Total Annihilation, partial annihilations (or “pralayas”) take place many times. I feel more and more what Beloved Ava tar Meher Baba declared at Meherabad, on 30th September, 1954, during a gathering of thousands of His lovers from the East

construction. Those who will die will come back again, but with awareness of God or Divinity. The Beloved is working for that. Though He has dropped His physical body, He is very, very active, infinitely active, in order to clean the burden which He has taken upon Himself. What is that burden? The burden ofimpressions that we collect through our thoughts, speech and deeds. These impressions remain in the mind, and we remain bound. The mind, which is the medium for consciousness, is also the obstruction to having Divine Consciousness. Unless these impressions are wiped out through love for God or surrendrance to a perfect master or the Avatar, we cannot be free. Age after age, when God comes down on earth in human form, He collects from humanity all those impressions hat obstruct the progress of consciousness. As God is indivisible, God is in everyone and everything as indivisible God. And as the Whim came [ 0 indivisible God, that Whim nas to remain in everyone and everything. But mind so remains in everyone and everything. Unless mind is I annihilated bywiping out both ;ood and bad impressions, one annot get the Real Answer to h Whim “Who am I?” The Ocean is infinite, and the Ocean remains there as indivisible in every drop. Because of that Whim in the drop, one day, the drop will merge into the Ocean and become one with it. As long as the mind is there in everyone and everything, everyone and everything thinks that it is a drop. The aim of life on earth is to get rid of the mind through love for God, and the goal oflife is to become one with God. So God created Creation in order to make each person realize that they are not a drop, but the Ocean. We remain attached to our lust, anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness, greed, corruption and many other low desires. We do things which we should not do, and collect unnecessary impressions. We pass through births and deaths. But in fact, there is no birth and no death—it is all a dream, a vacant dream, and unless we wake up from this dream, we cannot know that we are dreaming. Suppose one night, someone dreams that he is a king. He rules over a big kingdom. He enjoys different things, and

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and West: that three-quarters of the wo is going to be wiped out. I now feel strongly that a partial annihila tion ofthe world will happen through natu ral calamities such as this tsunami disaster, or floods, volcanoes, cyclones, earthquakes, etc. There may also be unnatural calamities such as war and acts ofterrorism. The Beloved has already declared this long ago, and the time is coming. It has already started. There is talk and talk and talk about peace, but this has no value. How can peace possibly be maintained? Every country is preparing for war. They are all making de structive weapons; atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, etc, yet they talk about peace! It is the fear people have inside (and outwardly too), which makes them talk about peace. They have also pride: “We should be strong, and keep other countries under our control!” And they continue to talk about peace, but it is just talk. However this destruction will be for

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the person believes, at that time, that he is a king. During the dream, he takes it as the truth. But when he wakes up, he knows that he is an ordinary person. In the same way, we are dreaming day and night, not knowing that we are dreaming. We remain attached to our family, attached to the world and take it as the truth. But at night, when we are in sound sleep, we forget everything. We forget our body. We forget our family members. We forget the world. We forget everything. But when we wake up, our “world” is before us. Why is sleep necessary? Mind is just the shadow of God. It is limited, not infinite, and therefore, it gets tired.When it gets tired it needs rest. Ifwe don’t sleep for three or four days, we will go mad! Everyone needs to sleep in order to recover the energy ofthe mind. In sound sleep mind remains inactive. It does not work, and when it does no work, it takes rest and regains energy. There are two pulls: one towards Divinity another towards I the world During the day ‘ when we are awake, we remain attached to the world and do different things. But when we are tired, we rest. As soon as mind regains its energy, we get up. The mind is the storehouse of the impressions ofall desires and wants. These are not spent during sound sleep, so then you remain in the Beyond-Beyond state of God, but unconscious of it. When mind is annihilated, there is noth ing for the soul. It gets Infinite Consciousness. So the mind, which is in everyone, is the obstruction as well as the medium to gain consciousness! Everyone says, “I am so and so,” not knowing that, unless mind goes away for all time, he or she is noth ing but indivisible God. This is the Divine Game. Whywas this Divine Game created? In order to differentiate Infinite God into individuals and for that same Infinite God to realize that He exists eternally as One. Though God always remains infinite, why does He appear limited as different individuals? He never does actually become “individuals,” but the false self remains attached with the same God and it appears limited, and therefore ultimately, this false self must go. That is, mind must go. Then one knows that he is indivisibly one, and 26 •

only he exists. There is no beginning and no end. In between the beginning and end, there is nothing but the shadow of God, Illusion, which remains in the mind. When the mind goes away, individuality disap pears, because it is nothing but the shadow, or Illusion, and then one realizes that they are always God. What a Divine Game God plays! He is eternally free and eternally bound: free as God and bound as Creation. He shoulders the responsibility of the whole creation. That’s why He comes down upon the earth age after age in human form and helps hu manity to do the right deeds according to the Whim, “Who am I?”

natural and unnatural. Natural impressions are those created according to the Whim, “Who am I?” Unnatural impressions are those not created ac cording to the Whim and make us perform deeds that are not according to it. When, due to the force of illusion, more and more of these unnatural impressions are crcated, humanity becomes unnatural (though apparently it is very intelligent and very progressive). The mind works and works to invent different things and do that which obstructs the progress of consciousness in the right direction. And therefore, God has to come down upon the earth to clean the world. Because of this, He suffers and suffers and suffers. No one can imagine His suffering He always comes in human form. With different names and different faces, but He is one and the same. He is the First One, Who realized Himself as God, and Who has taken responsibility for the whole of Creation. He cannot be free from this responsibility. There are also five perfect masters, and even though they work for the universe they have no authority to give a Universal Push. Only the Avatar can give a Universal Push. What is that Universal Push? He gives a push to all kingdoms ofconsciousness, from stone human being. I have already explained to how the lower kingdoms get exploited by the human kingdom. Just as in the beginmng, I explained that when He comes down on earth, two types ofcalamities take place: natural and unnatural. All this is according to the Avatar’s Divine Plan. He is the One Who is the Master of Divine Plan and also the Executor. A perfect master is only an executor and not the Master. The Avatar make alterations in the Divine Plan, such as if is a big war is bound to happen but instead there is peace. He can do whatever He likes for the benefit of Creation. .

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When humanity ignores God, the force of Illusion grows and grows, and people remain attached to their desires, wants, cor ruption, etc. He has to come down in order to clean humanity as well as the lower kingdoms, right from the stone to the animal. Now the question arises that a stone is a stone. It does not do anything. There is no want in the stone. There is no desire. This is correct, but human beings, particularly scientists, invent different things for the progress of the world. Stones are crushed, cement is made, and beautiful houses are built. The natural progress of consciousness is disturbed. In the vegetable kingdom, there is breeding and cross breeding. Different chemicals are used. These processes are good, ap parently, but again, the natural process of consciousness is disturbed. In this way, all the kingdoms are ex ploited. There are two types of impressions,

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[To be continued]


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2<atrina and J’ic C. 0. Russo, JJ/lississippi thi C eptember 6

L I live in Bay St. Louis, MS, on the GulfCoast about a block from the beach. My wife, two children, my parents and I rode the storm out in my brother’s attic. My house was completely destroyed. This is my first chance to use the internet since the storm. It’s hard to really explain, but I’ll try. Before the storm I prayed to Baba, asking for my family’s safety We didn’t realize we’d get the water we got. The area I was in didn’t flood during Camille. [The hurricane that swept through in 1969.] When the water started to rise I got everyone to the second level attic. I grabbed some food and blankets. Then the window blew out and everyone feared the worst. Through all this I kept Baba in my thoughts. He kept reas suring me that we’d be all right. I had a picture of Baba in my hand. I felt His presence more than I ever had. At times it was like He was talking directly to me. We watched the water get to the top step before it started to recede. The storm was half over. I stood in the corner ofthe blown out window with tears ofjoy running down my face. Baba said: “I told you it was going to be all right,” in a ‘that was nothing’ kind of tone. After the storm, I urgently began to figure out how to get my family out of there. The events that led me from that attic to a friend’s home in Georgia were all guided by Baba. He made every obstacle (nine people traveling in one vehicle, closed gas stations, lack ofmoney etc.) so easy. At one point I wouldjust say things like: “OK, Baba, now I need and it would happen. I cried every time He got us one step ftirther. I felt the power and love of BABA like . . .“

A1iracoIo! Bill ..}1bboud, 2’kw Orleans eptember 15 Two days ago I returned to the city. I am writing on my son-in law’s computer at his office in the suburb. I remembered the movie El Topo, a Spanish film made in the 1960s. In it, a supposed miracle occurs, and a man starts shouting “Miracolo, miracolo!” I always wanted to experience the real thing myself. Shar posted the story of the Mutha river flood in Pune a couple of weeks ago. It moved me, especially the part about the water in

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one house rising to a point just below Baba’s picture. Would Baba ever do something like that for me? I made my way to our warehouse in the city It looked like God had picked up the building, shook it hard, and then set it back down with everyone inside destroyed. But the building remains. Debris, equipment, desks, and tools littered the area so that you can hardly take a step without moving something first. I had to kick in doors swollen shut from water, break open drawers with a maul, and tear out paneling to let in light. Behind the warehouse I saw a pair of my high rubber boots sitting in a wheelbarrow. Why hadn’t they floated away? Inside, I found a rain suit. Things like that—ordinary items—have become essential tools of survival. I drove as close as I I could get to my neighborhood. Few civilians were in the city, once home to 500,000. It is now largely deserted except for soldiers at [ checkpoints every few miles. I got out of the car and started walking toward my house in knee-deep water. When I unlocked the front door, I found the entire first floor de stroyed. It looked like someone had thrown a bomb inside, but the external structure is still standing. In the study, I checked the Baba books. All gone. Those books were a source of pride. I had every major book ever published, and had read and reread them all. I remembered that in the Song of the New Life Baba says we can’t take pride with us. So he took mine that was vested in those books. The things that were higher on the walls didn’t get wet, like a portrait ofBaba painted byjane Haynes and two by Wendy McCarty Precious treasures. I grabbed the 2005 calendar to take with me, but will have to come back for the paintings. The picture I always loved more than any other is the one of Baba in front of the Sphinx. It hung fairly low on my wall, yet it was dry as a bone. The water had stoppedjust short ofit, although it had risen higher in other places! I couldn’t help crying, and fell to my knees. I don’t care what I lose or what happens for the rest of this life. Nothing else matters more than those minutes before that picture. I can’t keep writing now. I’m crying again. September 17: Went back to our house today. I haven’t stayed at one place for more than three nights since this started except for the first five-night motel stay when my daughter Elizabeth had her baby. How fast life changes. This really is like traveling in the New Life, eating whatever people give me, sleeping wherever it is convenient that night. I borrowed a generator, took it to my house with the help ofa friend, and just bought 10 gallons of gasoline. I will probably go back to 27


the house, wire the generator into the electrical box, and start living on the second floor which didn’t flood. There’s cold water running, but they say it’s not safe to drink or use to bathe. Byron, my friend and employee, returned from Dallas. His house is in an area of the city that didn’t flood. He took video of my inspection ofthe water levels. He shot me talking and pointing to my tape measure. In the music room the water line reached three feet seven inches. We moved to my small home office. The water line ran just below the bottom of the calendar, at three feet seven and three quarter inches. We moved to the photo ofBaba at the pyramid. To the left of it is a New York calendar. The water left a line near the bottom of it. The tape from the floor to the bottom of the photo measured three feet six and a half inches. The water level on the calendar—only a foot from the photo—is still three feet seven and three quarter inches! The bottom ofthe photo frame is three quarters ofan inch below the water line, yet there’s not a trace of watermark on it. This is a wood frame, not metal or anything that might resist water. Wood would show the least trace of water. Byron is not a Baba lover, but when he first went to work for me he mentioned spirituality so I gave him a copy of The Beloved Watching me doing all this precise measuring, he said the situation was amazing! As soon as I can get a new saw, I plan to cut out the section ofwall with the calendar and pyramid picture, screw them on permanently, and find out how I can preserve them. This is without a doubt my Miracolo!!

chaos Evciyw1tere 7frteher Ei3tiba en the subject of food for the men and women in Ranchi was being discussed, Baba, very seriously, stated: Consider the pitiable plight and condition ofthe people in Europe where war is raging on. Consider especially the refugees, who have left their homes and were driven like cattle from place to place, to save their lives from the conquering hordes, who were following them like shadows of death. In their condition, even the necessities of life, like food and drink, were considered secondary. They are homeless, without a roofover their heads, thrown into open streets or fields, starving, with nothing to cover themselves, except what they have on their person. Compared to them, people in India are far better off! In spite ofthe dreadful news ofwar every day, and the economic and general trade depression that the war has brought on all, and the consequent financial stringencies all over, people in India can move about at will and leisurely, even going out for recreation in the open gardens or seashore, and entertain themselves by going to the movies, or to music and dance halls. After August ofthis year, conditions will worsen. Developments in the war will take a serious turn, become complicated, and the flames will spread far and wide until the war will embrace, not only the whole of the West but also the East. Besides, a time will come when people will even forget the war, and the terrible destruction it has caused in life and property for there will be further disas ters, more voracious in their destructive power like plagues and pestilences, fire and famine, floods and earthquakes of immense magnitude and force—all of which will take more toll of life and property than machine guns and bombs. Then, too, civil wars will complicate the political situations among nations, and make things even more chaotic, until it will create a deadlock. Even millionaires will be starving for food! There will be chaos everywhere and all will be helpless. --

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9:rt;tncis 13rabctzon

Water, by being in love with death, gives life to all things; Desiring absorption in the ocean it flows, and sings. The song ofwater is reflected in greenness; it assumes Incredible tallness in men’s hearts where it perfectly blooms. It is so docile it goes wherever you conduct it; So raging that it sweeps aside all that would obstruct it. It’s nature is female, it always flows in curves; Try to grasp it, it eludes you; respect it, it serves. It occupies the smallest place, yet spreads everywhere; Its boundlessness can only be expressed by a tear. As water are the lovers of God—tall in humility Forever passing away in eternal stability; Falling ever at the Beloved’s feet, they spring up in their fall-And springing, singing like giant flowers, they shed perfume on all. From In Dust I Sing ©Avatar’s Abode 28

LordMeher Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 7 ©2003 AMBPPCT

Who ED•oes 9od £cve the A4ost? 7I4eIier 13aba

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he method for abandoning the hold which duality has on consciousness is not simple. The more comfort and pleasure available to man, the less his chance for a strong enough push to force him to give up even the temporary happiness of his achievements. And yet he must eventually do this (internally) to bring the frill focus ofconsciousness to bear on the experience ofthe eternally inherent selfor soul, with all its blissful freedom ofreal existence. This is why God loves most the so-called destitute and helpless. The greater the helplessness, the greater can and should be the dependence upon God for His help which is ever more ready than are the sincere and earnest wishes for it. The greater the bindings, the greater the chances for quick, permanent relief, through fully consious experience ofman’s own original and everlasting freedom. The unlimited and everlasting spiritual freedom of the self or soul exists eternally and infinitely in one and all, and is equally available to every man and woman irrespective ofelass, creed, or nationality. Listen Humanity ©1982 A1VIBPPCT


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•The Continuing cAdventure of Danny JVtaguire JIlitchell Rose, Los /ingeles Ishall bring about a happy blending ofthe headandthe heart. Ishallrevitalize all religions andcults, andbring them togetherlike beads on one string. Meher Baba world so rife with the illusion of separateness, the ways in which Baba is working to bring about a unity of head and heart—a unity ofthe world’s faiths, are indeed enigmatic. But sometimes an event happens that allows us to sense that there are mystical mechanisms at work—that an unseen hand is sliding us rough stones closer together like beads on one string. Danny Maguire, age 20, is the son of J eff and Lynn Maguire. This summer he has been at home in Manhattan Beach, on break before his junior year at the University of Colorado at Boulder. At 1 a.m. on July 17, Danny left the house of some friends. Bicycling the few blocks back to his house, Danny was struck by a drunk driver in an SUV who drove away. Danny, who carried no identification that night, was admitted to Harbor UCLA Medical Center as “John Doe.” Fortunately those same friends that Danny had just visited soon happened by the accident scene and saw his bicycle lying next to the police car. They told the police they recognized the bicycle, and thus was Danny identified. The Manhattan Beach police woke Jeff and Lynn, their son Andy, Lynn’s sister Ten and Ten’s daughter Katie Adams, and rushed them to the hospital. The initial prognosis was dire. Doctors who immediately operated on Danny to relieve the pressure from the swelling of his brain reported that Danny had severe brain damage. The Glasgow Coma Scale rates brain function from a low of3 up to 15, and a score of 8 or less defines coma. Danny’s score was 3. The chances of a 3 surviving are extremely remote. (Just to finish off one part of the story, the hit and run driver was arrested soon after. But anyvindictive feelings have never been a part ofthis. AsJeffput it, “It doesn’t matter. Danny could have been struck by lightning.” This is only about Danny. The driver has his own story that he’ll have to deal with.) Adi K. Irani once said that ifour karma is to have an accident, it can’t be avoided, but

In a

being under the Nazar ofthe Avatar can help Increasing hopefor Danny to mitigate the circumstances and extent of A little more each day the injury.This seemed to be true in Danny’s Many ofthose now praying case. Other than the head trauma, he had Know nothing but his name no other injuries, which is miraculous for Which really doesn’t matter being struck by an SUV. It was of course They love himjust the same critical that Danny’s body be strong because Events which are so tragic his improbable battle forlife would demand Are often unexplained great fortitude. On this dark day, hope was Itc not ourplace to ask why found amidst seeming hopelessness. For in Justpray to less ourpain Bhau’s words, “Danny’s injury was Baba’s We too, do not know this man Divine Will. But his recovery will be Baba’s Yet talk about his plight Divine Wish.” And realize that it is observed The next day I began sending email upItc all within HIS sight dates on Danny’s condition. Soon, another Through Saleem, a Washington D.C. miracle became apparent. A great wave of Baba lover, 50,000 Muslims in Pakistan love and support from around the world gathered to pray for Danny as their mullah began to pour in. The daily email updates looked at a photo of Danny standing with went out and continued to spread further Bhau—an American boy and an Indian and deeper into hearts unknown. The MaHindu. guires put out a request for people to pray And on the wonder spread through other for their beloved son. And that call was faiths: answered with a resounding response that One of Danny’s old guitar teachers can only echo Baba’s declaration ofbringing phoned to say that he had led a B’hai Faith unity to the world. prayer meeting where they prayed for Hundreds of emails came in every day Danny. Later he reported that the B’hai from every corner of the Earth. An amaz headquarters in Israel had added Danny to ing prayer circle had formed in over thirty their international prayer list. countries, on all seven continents—yes, even Jeff received word that Magic Johnson Antarctica. had heard about Danny and had added him Prior to the accident, Jeff had been to the prayer list at his church. making daily visits to the set of a movie he A Maguire family friend enlisted Native had written, “Gridiron Gang,” starring The American holy men to perform ceremonies, Rock. When the cast and crew learned of as well as Mayan Indian priests in Guate Danny’s accident, all 240 of them paused mala. in production to form enormous concentric Marla Maples, a Kabbalah devotee, circles ofprayer on the football field where wrote, “I’ve passed the prayer request on to the movie was being shot. And each day all my dear and amazing prayer friends. We thereafter, there were constant inquiries of will see Danny bathed in healing light.” the producer, “How’s our boy?” One of the A Methodist retirement community in actors sent in a poem he had written: Oklahoma City began praying for Danny. For Danny Danny was added to prayer lists in Missis The doctors said they didnt know sippi and Alabama. And in Sweden, HunAnd offiid little hope gary, Denmark and Honduras. Masses were Thefamily gathered close around said for Danny in Kansas, Maryland, New Prayer was how to cope J ersey, California and other states. The days seemed never ending Back in Pakistan, 50 poor people were fed While waitingjbr a sign by a lamb slaughtered in Danny’s name, as The smallest indication is the local custom. Could ease a worried mind So much has been offered on a group Prayers werefiowing in level. But even more has happened on a From near andfar away simple heart-to-heart level. Hundreds have 29


written in to share their personal experi ences. This email came in from PattyThorne in Arizona: Ihave a very kindrenterthatl’ve lived with nowfor over 5 years and I’ve never asked her toprayfor anyone, because Iputpeoplec names in the Buddhist prayer circle here where they prayfor them for 24 hours. However I told Carol the story ofDanny and she heard me on thephone talking topeople asking them topray, so she came out ofher bedroom before I went to work on Sundayjuly 1 7 [thefirst day after the accident] and gave me this “message. She has never done anything like this before with me but I believed her wholeheartedly. Shefirst asked me fDanny had a sense of humor because thatpartstartledhe andlreally don’t know Danny but told her that Dannys dad is one ofthe most delighifully humorous people I’ve ever met. Here is her message as I asked her to write it down later so I wouldnt forget: “As I sat down to pray for Danny I sud denly found him talking to me. His mood was casual andjoking. He said to tell people to relax, he is coming back! Just don’t rush him. He needs time to get himself together. He is fine and knows you are all there for him. Keep connection but don’t pull so hard.” She got the feeling that he needed to do this his own way. At the hospital, Danny’s progress was slow and steady, defying the doctors’ early pessimism. Fortunately, Danny was a strappin’ lad of2O and could fight the good fight. So many poor souls in the ICU looked as if they were ready to make thejump to another world, yet Danny looked vital and unques tionably present—as ifhe were merely resting. Each day saw some slight improvement. Slowly, his intracranial pressure came down from dangerously high to normal. His fevers abated. His heart and lungs were strong and he was able to breathe almost entirely on his own, with only the diminishing assistance of machines. One can only imagine what Danny was experiencing. It is amazing how many sto ries have surfaced of Baba lovers who have themselves survived comatose states, or who have personal knowledge of other coma survivors. One fascinating glimpse came in from Sara Pearson. Sara was married in 1970 in Minneapolis. At the wedding they had a string quartet play. Sara was acquainted with the woman who played viola in the quartet—we’ll call her Beth. A few months after the wedding, Beth moved to Seattle. There, she became despondent and attempted suicide by tak “

ing rat poison. People rarely survive taking that much rat poison; Beth didn’t die but went into a coma. She remained in a coma for almost three months. During that time Beth’s family would sit with her in the hos pital, reading to her and playing her favorite music for her. Back in Minneapolis, Sara heard about Beth. Sara was only2O and hadn’t had many life and death issues arise. She had never tried to pray for someone’s recovery but decided that she would offer prayer for Beth, those many hundreds of miles away.

Pijoto composite created by L

Beth did eventuallywake from her coma and recovered fully. When she later spoke with Sara, Beth told her that she was fully conscious during her coma. She was floating near the ceiling ofthe hospital room looking down on her body. And she experienced her family members gathered around the body as angelic presences. But there was another thing—Beth also said that in her coma she had specifically experienced Sara’s prayer. How very beauti ful and wondrous! Danny must have had an earful then, with this clarion outpouring ofprayer the world over. He also must have had a near constant experience ofmany angelic presences around him, as each day the Maguire family gath ered at the hospital to sit with him—Jeff and Lynn, Danny’s brother Andy, Ten, and Ten’s daughters Raina and Katie. And each night, Baba lover Misti James, seemingly indefatigable, stayed with Danny until the Maguires arrived in the morning. In the waiting room, Jeff read out from the hundreds of emails they received each day. The family was so buoyed by the inun dation of love, the scope of which showed them that miracles do indeed occur around us. This lightened their hearts to the point where they declared that they were no longer hoping for the miracle of Danny’s recovery—they were expecting it.

Also in the hospital, Jeff and Lynn became close to another pair ofparents whose son was in a coma. Jaylin Carter, a six-yearold African-American boy from South Central L.A., was down the hall from Danny in the pediatric ICU. Jaylin had undergone several brain surgeries after suffering a brain aneurism. His prognosis was gloomy as well. But Jaylin’s parents soon adopted the same attitude as Jeff and Lynn—they refused to succumb to the dire reports of the doctors. They were determined to remain resolute in their faith that God can make the impossible possible. Jeff and Lynn requested that the prayer circle now add little Jaylin to their appeals. And a bond was formed between the sleeping brothers. J aylin’s dad, a rapper, has written a mov ing song in which he sings that Danny Maguire and Jaylin Carter are “from two different parts ofthe world” but are “caught in the same struggle.” “Got my faith I got my sight I don’t touch them respirators I God’s gonna make it right.” Danny is a talented musician, as well. His passion: songwriting and playing guitar in two punk bands. Readers of the email updates have been marveling at the prescience ofseveral ofthe lyrics in Danny’s songs, such as the following: Beads on a String One day lawokefrom this dream Only tofind the reality By a bash to the headl was deemed Th the truth and itc so enlightening Dn alive now Yeah I can breathe now Dn so awake now rm so awake now As I walked by the light ofthe moon My mind drifts away with each step I take Isee straight through this illusion Like beads on a string And they all mean the same thing Well itc all been a dream And itc all been a dream And so I can see the reality But itc allbeen a dream now Dn alive now So awake now Yeah I can breathe now So awake now

Danny wasn’t the only one trying to dis cern what was dream and what was reality as evidenced by this email from David and Sheela Fenster in India. (Sheela is Bhau’s daughter and grew up with Baba.) DearJeff& Lynn,


As she does each day, Sheela just asked me fthere was any news about Danny. After I relayed that the situation was much the same, she said, ‘Hec going to get better now. “lasked why she was so confident and she said, ‘I saw Baba last night in my dream.” Her dream is related to a small steel bowl om ft which Baba often used to take ayurvedic medicine. Sheela and her mother sometimes pour water into this bowl and then give it to anyone who is ill, while repeating Babac name. Sheela had been thinking she should somehow give Danny some of this “blessed” watei In the dream, she related, shefound herce(fin Dannys hospital room with the vial ofwatei: She wondered how she wouldpour it in Dannyc mouth, since he was unconscious. Then she saw Baba enter the room, wearing a pink coat. Baba took the vialfrom her hand, held Dannc chin to open his mouth, andpoured all the water inside without spilling a drop. Danny immediately woke up, opened his eyes, and saw Baba stand- ‘ ing infront ofhim. “This is Meher Baba, “Sheela said Danny became very excited and repeated, “This is Meher Baba! This is Meher BabaR” Baba motionedfor him to calm down, not to try to speak, and to rest. Baba started to leave and Sheela began tofollow him, but Baba instructed her to remain by Danny to look after him. Then Sheela woke up—in a very hopeful and cheeiful mood. One reason for Sheelac upbeat mood is because ofsomething Baba had toldher about dreams when He was physically present, in the hall at lowerMeherabad. It’c in the nianuscritfor her upcoming book, Growing Up With God, asfollows: About the Mahapralaya, I [Sheela] asked, “Butyou said this [creation] was all a dream.” ‘tt is. Everything is a dream. But when you see me, whenyou see myphysicalform, it is not a dream. Right now you are watching me; its not a dream. Even whenyou see inc in a dream, thatc reality, but you don’t realize it. You are dreaming andyouftel that it is a dream, but it is true.” ‘Every timeyou come in my dream and say something, is it afact? Is it really happening Are you really there with me” “Yes, I am, but you think it is a dream. Sometimes, it is not just spending sanskaras in dreams; there are hints to thefuture in your dreams.” In Baba, David & Sheela :•

Well, as it turned out, Sheela was right— Danny did begin to get better around that time. It began with his eyes opening, just a bit at first. Not that he was “seeing”—his eyes would not track together—but it was a start. Then a few days later, after Jeff had been inwardly asking Baba for some sign of progress, Danny lifted his head and sneezed, much to the delighted surprise ofthe nurses. And a few days later something tmly remarkable happened:

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On three occasions one day, Lynn was raising Danny’s left forearm from the elbow during physical therapy, when he pointed his index finger upward. And once, he even raised his arm himselfand pointed. Later that evening, some young members ofthe cast of “Gridiron Gang” had come to visit and, after offering love and encouragement to Danny, theywent withJeffto say a prayer overJaylin. As they stood there, tellingJaylin how proud they were ofhim for being so strong and how much God loves him, Jaylin too raised his left hand and pointed upward! What were Danny and Jaylin doing? Pointing to where their consciousness was, up near the ceiling, as described by Sara’s friend Beth? Who knows? But it certainly did cement the link between the two. The truly wonderftil news came the next day. Accompanied by his team,lead physician Dr. McBride admitted it was “astounding” that Danny did not have any complications like infections or other problems interfer ing with his recovery. And then the doctor pounded on his chest a bit, spoke to him loudly, got his eyes opened, and roused Danny awake. The doctor then declared, “Well, he’s officially no longer comatose.” J eff was stunned—he seemed comatose to him. But Dr. McBride and his team went over the Glasgow Coma Scale and came up with a 9, which meant Dannywas “minimally

conscious”! Theworkofthe hospitalwas done. Danny had survived. Now the medicalwork shifts to bringing Danny back to consciousness, and for that he has now moved to a rehabilitation facilityc But the spiritual work, our work, continues—remembering Danny and Jaylin, and entreating God, no matter how He is named, to bring these beautiftil souls back amongst us. As of this writing (August 23rd) Danny I 5 in his second day at a wonderful rehab facility in Artesia, very near L.A.’s “Little India.” Now his therapy can start in earnest as he begins the long road to Baba’s Divine Wish. We are prepared for however long the journey takes; this happens in Danny’s time, and in Baba’s. J aylin is much improved also, although still comatose. The scrappy kid fights on. Come on,Jaylin! For the Maguires, what they call Danny’s “adventure” has bathed them in Baba’s love, washing over them from countless vessels around the world, and helping them to see so tangibly that God’s Will can supersede mere natural order. For myself, my prayers for Danny and Jaylin throughout the day have become a profound touch-point ofdivinit They have awoken in me remembrance of the many people the world over—Baba lover and non—who so need and deserve our prayers. One visit to the massive Prayer List at www. comarecoverycorg, where Danny’s name has been added, reveals thousands ofsouls sharing a plight in need of our remembrance. The Maguires didn’t knowJaylin but it was only fitting that he be added to our prayers since so many who didift know Danny are pulling for him. Meher Baba said, “Everyone is first in importance, and no one is second.” The world becomes unified as we love and care for each other, regardless ofwhether we have undergone the happenstance of meeting. This message has come home to me powerfully these last five weeks. And I would imagine that for many other beads, they are experiencing something similar as well. For that I’m grateful, Danny. Danny Maguire has one tattoo, on his lower back... iiluittj Note: the daily Danny update einails can be read, andDannyi songs listenedto, at: htttx//t21 7.ezboarcicom/fineherabodefrm7

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fall the forces that can best overcome all difficulties, the greatest is the force oflove, because the greatest Law ofGod is Love, which holds the key to all problems. This mighty force not only enables one to put the ideal ofselfless service into practice, but also transforms one into God. It has been possible through love for man to become God; and when God becomes man, it is also due to His Love for His beings. Love is dynamic in action and contagious in effect. Pure love is matchless in majesty; it has no parallel in power and there is no darkness it cannot dispel. It is the undying flame that has set life aglow. The lasting emancipation of man depends upon his love for God and upon God’s love for one and all. Where there is love, there is Oneness and, in complete Oneness, the Infinite is realized completely at all times and in every sphere of life, be it science, art, religion, or beauty. The spirit of true love and sacrifice is beyond all ledgers and needs no measures. A constant wish to love and be loving and a non-calculating will to sacrifice in every walk of life, high and low, big and small, between home and office, streets and cities, countries and continents are the best antiselfish measures that man can take in order to be really self-ful and joyful. Love also means suffering and pain for oneselfand happiness for others.To the giv er, it is suffering without malice or hatred. To the receiver, it is a blessing without obliga tion. Love alone knows how to give without necessarily bargaining for a return. There is nothing that love cannot achieve and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice. Love for God, love for fellow-beings, love for service and love ofsacrifices; in short, love in any shape and form is the finest “give and take” in the world. Ultimately, it is love that will bring about the much-desired universal leveling ofhuman beings all over the world, without necessarily disturbing the inherent diversities of details about mankind. All the same, in order to burst out in a mighty big spirit to serve as a beacon for those who may yet be groping in the darkness ofselfishness, love needs to be kindled and rekindled in the abysmal darkness of selfish thoughts, selfish words and selfish deeds.

PublishedMay 21, 2005 in the Sacramento Bee

nan Cook is a lucky York City, she has lived boy. He is 17, at once in India, in Meherazad, fragile and invulnerable, the birthplace of Meher beloved and resilient. He Baba (1894-1969). His has radiant green eyes, a I adherents believe him to silky bristle of wheat hair be a divinity. Kacy Cook is that, like spring renewal, a disciple ofBaba. She has signals his return to health. devoted her life to prayer Brian is a brave boy. With and service. In India, she a man’s courage, he nobly teaches school, works at withstood a grave threat a clinic, and tends a com to his life. Now, looking munity garden. Hers is a I -M—back, he dismisses his yearsimple but ffilfilling life. long ordeal as an “inconve Photo of Kacy & Mani byJohn Page Urged by a voice, Kacy nience.”Wouldn’t it be great to be forever 17, decided last May that she should visit her incurably blessed with such blithe aplomb? family in Sacramento. She arrived to a Brian lives in a big house in Curtis Park. crisis. Since then, she has rarely left Brian’s His father is Jeff Cook, 56, who works for side—holding his hand, ministering to him, the state Air Resources Board; his mother, managing his rehabilitation, being a source Annie, 50, is an instructional assistant at of healing. In September, she began to Sacramento City College. His sister Meryl, home-school Brian. He did a history class 19, is a freshman at Chico State. Brian is a online and read Hawthorne’s The Scarlet junior at C.K. McClatchy High School. Not Letter. And when Brian became too tired to to be overlooked in this family portrait of read, Kacy would read to him. They played resolve and devotion is Brian’s aunt, Kacy cards, watched a million videos. Kacy helped Cook, who—depending on your faith or the family weather this storm. world view—is either an instrument of fate Not just Kacy Cook but generous or an angel from heaven. neighbors and friends. Nine ofBrian’s budLast May, long complaining of a sore dies shaved their heads in solidarity. Says knee, Brian was ultimately diagnosed with his aunt: “People from all over prayed for Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare, tenacious, fastBrian—my friends in India, his friends spreading form ofbone cancer that typically here. The outpouring was overwhelmafflicts young boys. A tumor had seized his ing.” Crediting the intercession, she says, right knee. Shadows had drifted to his lungs. “Whether it was Christ or Krishna, Buddha His life, not just his leg, was in jeopardy. or Baba, I think everyone felt there was a Over the course oflast spring and summer, divine hand.” he endured 14 rounds of chemotherapy, On a gray morning this week, Brian is and nine sessions of radiation. Last fall, in sitting on the couch at home, reading a book. 11 hours of surgery, a length of his leg was He’s in remission now and plans to return cut away, replaced with a metallic implant to school in the fall. Asked how he feels, he and an artificial knee. Such are the routine replies, “Good.”That’s it. Good. But he’s 17, miracles of medicine. But one can’t dismiss a boy. What else is he going to say? the laser focus ofhope, prayer. On another afternoon, Kacy and Annie Afterward, Brian faced a long recovery, Cook are sitting at the dining room table, near around-the-clock care at home. His recalling the past events. What an experi parents were close to exhaustion. But his ence. Kacy Cook, for whom a month’s visit Aunt Kacy stepped forward and said to Jeff turned into a year’s vigil, returns to India in and Annie: “How can I help?” Kacy Cook, August. Asked what her stay has meant, Anby any measure, is a remarkable woman. She nie, her eyes brimming, struggles to answer. is 57, with soft brown eyes, and an enviable “I’m just eternally grateful,” she says. “It’s quietude. For the past 25 years, forgoing been a privilege,” says Kacy, reaching out to a promising career as a dancer in New clasp her hand.

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Shari 2<eller, fI’Iorth Carolina and my father, John, were able from their earliest childhoods as Darwin to share a very special moment and Jeanne had met Him in New York in alone together. We alljoined him December 1934. Her childhood memories shortly after her passing to repeat were ofcables from Baba, news from Mani Baba’s name and say the prayers and other Mandali, and orders from Baba as was her wish. to their family. She passed away in her new She met Baba for the first time in the Lahome, at our house in Asheville, goon cabin at the Meher Spiritual Center in after a six-year struggle with Myrtle Beach on May 10, 1952. She and her breast cancer. She and my father family, Darwin, Jeanne, Renae and Lowell, moved to Asheville in July of met Baba together. At that time, He asked 2003 after a second, more serious of both Leatrice and Renae if they would diagnosis of her condition. She do anything He asked. They said yes, they endured practically every pos would, even when He asked if that meant sible medical treatment available jumping into the lake with the alligators, as well as most every alternative would they do it? They said yes and He im treatment. What I feel is a true pressed upon Darwin that they would obey testimony to her life with Baba Him. Baba said to Leatrice and Renae, “I am is how she was able to bear her in everything. I am in the deer, in snakes, in suffering and use it as a reminder alligators. Ifyou knew that, you would not ofBaba’s suffering for Humanity be afraid of anything and never be upset by She focused on Baba’s crucifixanything.” I have always felt that by asking ion—the suffering He endured this of my mother and by His profound _.,J for humanity—through His statement that “I am in everything,” Baba cident in Prague, specifically. She never made it possible for my mother to endure complained and always remained positive, her struggle at the end. It was His grace that always sought the silver lining even when gave her the ability to obey Him throughout medical news would contradict all hope. I every ordeal. feel her remembrance ofHis suffering gave It was on this visit to the West in 1952, her the strength and courage to endure her after His accident in Prague, Oklahoma, situation. that Baba asked Renae and Leatrice, while Leatrice J eanne Shaw J ohnston was born on Feb ruary 14, 1934 in Sche nectady, NY, the daughter of Jeanne and Darwin Shaw. She and her siblings (her older brother, Lowell, and younger sister, Renae) grew up in a Baba family—hearThe Shaws: Leatrice, Darwin, Renae, Lowell andJeanne i ng ab ou t B ab a —

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Saturday morning, two days before she went home to Baba, my mom, Leatrice, said to me from her bed, “I feel so relieved.” I saw a peace come over her face and happiness in her eyes. I felt she was speaking ofbeing with Baba and her growing joy at being with Him. After the long period of suffering she had been through, she said she was comfortable. It was such a relief to me to finally be able to see her in this state ofrelief. She accepted Baba’s wish for her when it became clear that her illness was progressing too rapidly to be stemmed. Then, from that time, she wanted to get home to Baba right away—Baba seemed to make it clear that His timing is perfect. I felt she also felt reliefin knowing that she was free and didn’t have to try to stay alive and could simply focus on being with Baba. We joked, in the days before she passed away, that at least now she didn’t have to “do” anything—didn’t even have to pack her bags. Leatrice passed away on Monday morning at 8:40, March 21st. Just before her passing, she regained consciousness and she

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in New York, to make a fruit salad for Him. He then spelled out four letters on the alphabet board—SOFT—indicating that He needed the salad to be made soft, as He had lost some teeth in His accident. Leatrice again met and trayeled with Baba on His Amencan Tour in 1956 and again in Myrtle Beach for the Sahavas in 1958, and finally at the EastWest Gathering in Pune, India in 1962. She attended the Last Darshan in 1969 after Baba dropped His body. Leatrice and my father,John ohnston, were married in June J of1966. She had me a year later in 1967. She had worked for General Electric Company in Schenectady for 13 years prior to her marriage. In 1971, our family moved to Las Cruces, NM where my parents liyed untilJuly2003 when her health required that they move to Asheyille to liye with my husband, Mark, me and our three children, Merwan, Ahmed, and Nadia. Leatnice, with most all who have known her, has, by Baba’s grace, shared her experi ences of being with the Beloved in human form. She had a gift for being able to intimately describe what it was for her to be physically with Baba, in the radiance and pure love of His Presence. She had the experience of looking into Baba’s eyes, her face close to His, and of being drawn in through the gates ofheaven, into the realms of bliss. She has shared these experiences with all who have thirsted for the wine of our Beloved Baba. She spoke from her heart, with the true conviction of her faith. In my experience of her, she became truly alive when speaking about Baba. Her eyes twinkled with a magical light. Through her sharing of hen personal stories, Baba seemed to fill the room, His presence filling everyone’s hearts to overflowing. Throughout my childhood, she wrote down Baba quotes on scraps of paper all over the house so that almost any room one was in, a Baba quote was readily available. We had many late-night talks about Baba and ofcourse, conversations over tea. One of my favorite Baba quotes which she kept near at hand was about remaining hopeful. “It is infinitely better to hope for the best than to fear the worst. Time is as much made out of the nights as of the days. The world is approaching a glorious dawn once again in 34

1 H im. I believe that in her passing, she knew with convic tion that she was one hundred percent in His cane. May we rejoice in her reunion with her I Beloved. May we remember the ways in which she served and pleased Baba, her focus on Him and the testimony to her faith in Him evidenced in her cheerftil endurance of her suffering. May we remember with equal conviction that it is through enduring our lot with ce and happiness—in knowing that all is bestowed upon us by our dearest Beloved in His I Infinite Grace—that He reveals Himself to us, takes us beyond the veils ofillusion, and brings rus home to life eternal. We held a memorial service for her here in our home on t1, in a manner which I 6 Saturday, March 2 felt was true to her wishes: the prayers and arti, many beautiful Baba songs, a lovely tea party and sharing ofremembrances. A memorial was also held in Los Angeles, Easter Sunday, March 27n1. Finally, a memorial was held in Myrtle Beach, Saturday, April 16th, followed by a burial service at the South Eastern Memorial Gardens. Again, I felt it was a beautiftil service filled with Baba’s light and love. Leatrice had said prior to her passing that a service could be held as long as people were happy and Baba songs were sung. Many, many people who felt close to her over the years shared many beautiftil memories ofher. I felt Baba’s presence in the outpouring oflove at the memorial and also in the kindness and true generosity of heart shown to me, my father, and our family. Her ashes were buried at the Memorial Gardens: in a teapot with two cups and saucers. We could not bring ourselves to use the urns shown us, so with the thought in our hearts that she and Beloved Baba are having tea together, we chose this uncon ventional container. We came to this choice partly through our two year old daughter’s experiences. Nadia had been very upset over my mother’s passing initially. Our way of ex plaining where “grandma” was, was to show her aWodin picture ofBaba having tea with a young girl. Nadia knows about tea parties and gradually began to say: “Gramma have tea. Baba. Gramma HAPPY now!” —

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its inevitable course ofups and downs.” She did remain hopeftil as well as cheerful. She thought of others and did not complain. My mother was a very private person yet she shared her most intimate experiences of her Beloved Baba. She had a sweet, demure nature combined with an incredible strength of will and great clarity when speaking of Baba. She had had the rare opportunity to look into Baba’s eyes, and having seen the Paradise ofLove, she longed only to be alive in this Paradise. One of her experiences with Baba, in particular, has always touched me deeply. It was in 1956 when in Myrtle Beach with Baba: He asked her about her eyes (knowing ofher condition ofalternating crossed-eyes). An anonymous donor had offered to pay for the surgery and my mother conveyed the opportunity for the surgery to Baba. He advised her to have the corrective surgery and to repeat His name for five minutes before the surgery. He later also gave her a crystal paper weight which she was to keep with her always. She felt it was given to help her through her surgery. As she has said, she was blind to the outer world during the period ofher recovery from the eye surgery. She saw only Baba. I have always felt that when Baba gives us these experiences of being truly helpless in our woridlylife—it is then that He opens us up to our true life of reliance solely on Him. Baba gave my mother a life rich in these experiences. Leatrice lived her life as a servant to her Beloved, wholeheartedly trying to please

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Barbara Roberts, Colorado eatrice Shaw Johnston, who knew of Meher Baba since birth (her parents, Darwin andJeanne Shaw met Baba inwardly in 1932 and outwardly in 1934), lived a life that was grace personified. When she spoke of our Beloved Baba, she was like a dewy rose at the first blush of dawn. She became lit from within as well as without by the sun of His love. In a talk given at the L.A. Saha vas entitled, “By the Grace of God,” Leatrice explained that when the disciple is ready, the grace of the Master descends, and that this grace will fructify to us who are open to it. This grace was in frill bloom when ; she ran blissfullyinto Baba’s arms on March2l,2005. 4 Leatrice’s first physical encounter with Baba, at age 18, was on May 10, 1952 at the Meher Spiritual Center in South Carolina. As she sat on the bench outside the Lagoon Cabin, she hung back, a little afraid to go in—she let her mother go first. When she did cross the threshold and fell into Baba’s embrace, all else melted away. She was embraced by divine love, an experience beyond words, so natural. “This is the way it’s supposed to be,” she thought. It was like coming home, something we all know deep inside ourselves. Baba’s embrace also had the “malady of love” which gives a longing that cannot be satisfied except by returning Home. She explained that our longing becomes a driving force, like a sword that cuts through every obstacle between us and Baba. Leatrice has now returned Home, to the abode of Meher. After Baba’s automobile collision in Oklahoma on May 24, 1952, He was sent to the apartment of Ivy Duce in Scarsdale, New York to recover. Leatrice was allowed to be there to answer the phone and help out. In between these light duties, while Baba was rebuilding His shattered body, Leatrice began her inner work. Her old self was torn down, and she began, little by little, with Baba’s help, to build a new structure. She explained that we who are dedicated to Baba all go through this, and that it is a process unique to each individual.

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Leatrice spent her whole life nurturing her inner, intuitive relationship with Baba. As He wrote to her in 1958 before His visit to the Center, “Don’t be upset ifl don’t call you—I’m with you anyway.” She understood that we don’t have to see Baba to be with

During her recovery from surgery, her eyes bandaged for two weeks, she went into seclusion and reviewed every moment of being with Baba in 1956, also two weeks. She basked in Baba’s presence day after day, strengthening her inner connection to Him. He showed her how completely she could trust Him. After the j bandages were removed, the trans formation of her consciousness continued, year after year. Because she was so helpless, she had to and was able to rely totally on Baba. “Strength comes from complete — dependence on God.” Leatrice’s meeting with Baba 1958 set off explosions of Her heart leapt for joy at the thought of being with Him. During that time, she had a dream He asked her, “How is it upstairs?” (meaning her mind). answered, “Okay—I’m tryto be happy.” Baba replied, it’s not what you should have - I said. You should have said, ‘I am happy only when I am living for you, Baba.” Later, at a tea, Baba j said ofthe Shaw family, “They live only for Me.” In 1958, on the plane to San Francisco, Leatrice sat apart and tried to love Baba, but she felt completely empty oflove.Just then, her mother asked her to get their camera from her dad. In passing by, Leatrice caught Baba’s glance and this filled her cup with His love. “Baba’s love is a hum that goes on always—we must get quiet and listen to Baba’s silence, enter into this silence and enter into His being.” Leatrice grew up in a home where she witnessed her parents loving Baba,living His message and obeying Him to the utmost of their ability. In 1941, Baba gave Darwin an order not to touch any female over the age of seven. As Leatrice was just seven, he did not touch even her. Thus, she felt included in the order and included in her father’s obedience to Baba. At another time, Baba ordered her parents to fast for 40 days, and later they were put on silence for a month. Leatrice was not allowed to participate, so she answered the phone and the door, and so she took on the responsibility for her self

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Him. Yet, meeting Him in person served to deepen her inner communion with Him, and it also sparked a new way ofrelating to others. “We were seeing each other through the eyes of love.” Leatrice said Baba’s eyes sparkled like diamonds. Her eyes did the same when she spoke of Him. When she looked into His eyes, “I kept looking, and there was no end. There was light and I was in it—it was complete beauty What He was giving out was bliss, taking us to a place without words, into His being. That’s what we are meant to have all the time.” Speaking ofeyes, Leatrice had difficulties with hers—double vision. In 1956 at the Center, she was determined to ask Him what to do (an engineer at her work had offered to pay for her surgery), but Baba brought it up first. He told her to go ahead and do it. In 1958, He held her face like a doctor would, saying, “Beautiful!” She also recognized the greater meaning: Baba brings a fusion of images, from duality to Oneness.

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in a spiritual way. Though she had the great fortune ofgrowing up in a Baba family, she reminded us, “Baba wants us all to be His family so we don’t have ownership of our selves.” Leatrice’s last physical meeting with Baba was in 1962 at the East-West Gathering in India. While there, Mehera told her, “Now, remember, when you really, really think about Baba, He’s really, really there.” At the airport on the way home, Baba sent her this cable, “Instead ofblood, let My love flow in your veins.” At the Great Darshan of1969, after Baba dropped His body onjanuary 31, she expe rienced an even more profound transforma tion ofconsciousness via the “momentum of love: It is a flame that burns out sanskaras; it is a shortcut to Him—the way becomes increasingly sure; grace is more and more pronounced.” She felt that since 1969, it is a physical energy that is bombarding the whole planet. Leatrice experienced great joy at Baba’s passing because His suffering was over. She also said that He broke His silence then. During the Darshan, while she and her fa ther Darwin were outside at night looking at the stars, they stood transfixed while feeling Baba’s love and presence pouring through. “Baba is breaking His silence in our hearts all the time.” Once, in 1956 at the Center, while “Begin the Beguine” was being sung, at the words, “Darling, I love you,” Baba looked directly at Leatrice. (She found out later that her father experienced the same thing). Leatrice simply did not miss a moment to be with Baba, so much so that He hastened her journey back to Him this lifetime. Here are some parting words from Leatrice: “The time is now for each ofus to take advantage of the opportunity to deepen our personal connection with Baba while His love is flowing and He is so readily available, this being His manifestation.” Jai Beloved Meher Baba, Leatrice! Farewell, my friend, in your new life with our real Friend.

A1!I 3riend £eatrice 7;eri /1dams, Redondo Ei3each, California

The Shaws andfriends in the Seventies

found this quote in a little book given to me by Leatrice, titled Flowers For My Friend: “If; instead ofa gem or a flower, we cast a gift oflove and rich thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as an angel would give.” In Leatrice I was truly blessed with an angel of a friend. In her sweet and natural way she gave so lovingly and unconditionally with such warmth, she not only made it easy to be her friend, but a pure joy! Leatrice’s deep love and unassail able faith in her Beloved Meher Baba, shown through her so clearly, His love spilled out of her onto all those she hastouched.Baba’s words had great meaning in her life. She sawthem as luminous and transforming, but I feel it was Baba’s silence and His life of service that truly inspired her. In one of our many wonderful phone conversations she once said, “There will always be opportunities that avail one to humbling ofoneself. It is the attitude and willingness to serve The Shaws, July 1 976: Renae, Darwin, Jeanne & Leatrzce that is the path to self effacement. Mastery in service ties the body, mind, and spirit because it calls for scrifice when it is not convenient to serve. In this way we can serve our Beloved Meher Baba.” This was so true in the way she strived to live her life in order to please Him. Her intuition and perception of this truth guided her path in life, and, in the end, she graciously accepted her suffering as His will and her opportunity to serve Him. Leatrice has enriched my life and my own relationship with Meher Baba, beyond any words I could ever express. She shall always remain my dearest friend.

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Dr. Jkkdç9haffari 21ader9haffctri father Mehdi Ghaffari, dropped his physical body on April I have come to know my father even better over the last few 19t1, 2005 at 8:40 pm—he was 58 years old. He is survived weeks with the outpouring ofmessages and love from the extended by his wife Nasrin, his sons Mehrdad and me, his daughter Marjan family ofBaba lovers. Sarhaddi, and son-in-law Kourosh Sarhaddi and six brothers and For myself and my three sisters. family, we always saw My father moved to the United States from Iran at the age of my father as simply a 18, and attended the University ofTexas for his bachelor’s degree. loving father. He was He received his PhD from University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel always there for us, Hill with a thesis in “super ionic conduction” in 1975. It was while he greeted us with in North Carolina during his 20s that my father became a Meher his smile, shared the Baba lover. He was a professor ofphysical sciences for over 30 years. good times and bad He taught at universities and colleges in North Carolina, Iran, and times with us, and Canada, but for the most part in the San Francisco Bay Area. so on. Yes, we did I will always remember my father as a teacher. Not because he notice that late in the was a professor, that is not the teaching that defined my father’s life. evenings, he would He was a different sort of teacher—his deep faith in Meher Baba be busy working on illumined his soul, and he helped all he came across to see the greater translating Baba’s Truth. They say, “a candle never burns out, ifthat candle has lit other works into Farsi,* but candles in its path”; well, my father was just such a candle. Through never did we imagine his faith in Baba, he awakened us to find a greater sense of purpose that his work had and a greater meaning in our lives. He taught me that real happiness touched so many lies in making others happy. He taught me that the only means of people. My father living is living with love, a kind oflove that is unconditional to all was always humble that I come across. He taught me to live in the present, and not be and did not want a preoccupied with worries about the future. spotlight on himselfor his contributions. I have learned in the past Something my brother, sister, and mother will always remember few weeks that he was not only an invaluable asset to his family and is my father’s constant reminder that “worries dare not enter our friends, but to countless others who were touched by his service in house.” If ever we seemed concerned about something, he would translating Baba’s work. quickly read it on our faces, and remind us that if we do our best, *Ed Note: Among the many books Dr. Ghaffari translated into then we have done all we can—that we ought not to worry, and Farsi were God Speaks, Discourses, The God-Man, The Wayfaren, The must leave the outcome to Baba. Yes, my father was a teacher and Everything and the Nothing, Lord Meher volumes 1 and 2, In Godc what he taught us will continue to burn bright within us all, and Handand Sparks ofthe Truth. Truly a prodigious outpouring ofwork we will all act as candles that continue to burn brightly with my for which the entire Farsi-speaking world is so very grateful! father’s dear spirit.

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7:lie following is a letter Dr. 8haffari wrote to Adele Wolkin in 2004: Dearest flower of Baba, Adele, You may enjoy the following: Can a Muslim become a Meher Baba lover? Yes, ifit is Baba’s will. But truly a Muslim must have certain prerequisites to fall in the orbit ofMeher Baba’s love. Here are a few: 1-His surrender to the will ofAilah must be total. He should have no will ofhis own. 2-He should have a burning inside him, a longing to drown in Allah that would make him to begin to forget himself 3-He must read all of Meher Baba’s books. 4-He will have a copy ofHafiz by his bedside. 5-He should mentally remove himselffrom the circle of orthodox Muslims. 6-He must accept the ridicule ofhis fellow Muslims and turn his back on rituals and religious ceremonies. 7-He must love Prophet Muhammed and take Him to be Allah personified. In this Meher Baba will be his best guide to help him know that for a Muslim, God in Human form is infinitely more helpful than the Impersonal God, Allah. 8-He must be independent in his search for truth, not looking for outside help. Must seek within and have longing for God. Without internal longing for God, a Muslim will remain in his ego shell, a Muslim type of shell, for ever and ever. 9-He will miss the presence of Prophet Muhammed and cry out for Him. When the fire ofburning is intense enough, Avatar Meher Baba will manifest Himself to him and he will know that He is the same Ancient One come again. He is now a Meher Baba lover. He now has one goal—to lose himself at Beloved Meher Baba’s feet. When he succeeds in doing so, Avatar Meher Baba will manifest in him as God in Human Form. He is drowned in God, like Cha Cha (the great Fana Fellah Majzoob of the 7th plane), no vestige of separateness remains. He is now a true Muslim. How many Muslims are there in the world? There is only One—in different forms. Jai Meher Baba! 37


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rA’ 7nbute fQ: J4ejhj SIiirin 7}cthidi, Los Angeles he news of our brother Mehdi’s passing left many of us, especially the Iraman Baba Lovers, in deep grief. Dr. Mehdi Ghaffari was one of Baba’s gems, as he devoted himselfto spreading Meher Baba’s message of Love and Truth, including the translation of many books and articles into Farsi. I first met Mehdi about 28 years ago at a Baba gathering in Esfandiar Vessali’s home in Tehran. Soon after that he started to participate in the discourses meetings every Wednesday night. At the meeting, he used to pickup an English Baba book and start reading and translate it to Farsi. During the group discussion that followed, Mehdi was able to include everyone with his engaging story telling. As a University professor he had an excellent ability to re late to the younger generation, especially the children. At Baba meetings, he would gather teenagers and children and translate simple touching Baba stories so they could understand. Through Mehdi, Beloved Baba made so many everlasting internal links with these young lovers. During the revolution the universities were closed for some time and I remember Mehdi used tojoin the streetvendors across from Tehran University and display Baba books and pictures. People would pass by and he would talk to them about Baba and sell or give away Baba’s books and messages. He was so fearless yet so humble and loyal to his Beloved. He always wore a Baba button on his coat even while he was lecturing in his classrooms or attending science fairs or conferences. Many who heard Baba’s name and who came to Baba were among his university students and colleagues in Iran. Later in 1983, Mehdi and his family im migrated to the United States and settled in San Jose, California. We stayed in touch and he continued translating Baba’s books despite all the challenges that every immi grant family faces. After finishing a book, he would send me the original copy of his hand written translations and then copies would be made and distributed among Persian Baba lovers in the U.S. and Canada. As well, a copy was hand carried to Iran. There Shahin Khorsandi would type and set it in Farsi for distribution among Baba lovers in Iran. It is due to Mehdi’s timeless efforts that todaywe have a large number ofBaba books

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in Farsi such as God Speaks, God-Man, Dis courses, The Wayfarers, Sparks ofihe Truth, Lord Meher (Vol 1 and 2), and eventually In God Hand. Mehdi was ill when he got a copy ofln Godc Hanc4 but he was determined to translate it. At first he was able to write all the words himself but later his symptoms got worse and his hands started to shake to the point that he could not hold a pen. But not giving up, he asked his sister who was visiting from Iran, to help him. So he read and translated the words and his sis ter wrote them down. Mehdi persisted and would say: “I have to finish this important task, can’t you see? This book is written by Baba’s own Hand”. He finished itjust before his condition got still worse and he could not talk. Mr. Esfandiar Vessali, one of the Prem-ashram boys, had said about Mehdi, “He loves Baba very much, and his spiritual knowledge is high, therefore I prefer his work of translation of Baba’s books more than anybody else’s!” A week before Mehdi’s passing I felt this urge in my heart to go and see him. So I called his wife Nasrin, she said: “Mehdi is not feeling well but come for a visit”. So within a couple of days my daughter Mehernoush and I were in San Jose. We had a lovely two-hour visit with Mehdi. He looked radiant and happy. It seemed he was ready to join Baba. It was hard for him to talk, but I will never forget the three incredible words that he told us in Farsi. As we entered his room he told us “Khosh Amadid” (Wel come), then after a few minutes of greeting we asked him ifwe could say the Parvardi gar prayer. Mehdi replied: “Befarma” (Go ahead). While saying the prayer one could easily feel the presence ofBaba in that room and thejoyin our hearts. Finallywe thanked Mehdi for all his hard work for Baba that has touched so many hearts, for all the sweet Baba stories he shared with us, and for all the great work of translations of Baba’s books. Then Mehernoush said: “Just as Baba has touched so many hearts thru you, may His Hands always be on your back to protect and guide you until eternity”. Mehdi with a sparkle in his eyes said that last incredible word: “EshaAllah” (God willing) My dear brother Mehdi, you always have told me: “No leafwill fall from a tree without God’s Will”. During those last days of your short life you worked beyond your limits to

finish translating In GodcHand. Now I know the importance ofit. Yes as you always said, everything is in God’s Hand. Baba brought you to the world and your three last words to us symbolized what Baba had destined for you this life. May the way you lived and worked for your Beloved be a inspiration for those who want to follow your path and continue spreading God’s Words. Lastly, I would like to sincerely thank Mehdi’s wife, Mrs. Nasrin Ghaffari. It was because of her spiritual wisdom and inner strength that made it possible for Mehdi to dedicate so many hours away from his fam ily. Mehdi was hand picked by the Beloved and dear Nasrin’s generosity and patience cannot be measured, and we thank her. May Beloved Baba’s Nazar always be on you and your children: Meherdad, Nader, and Marjan and family.

9?ea1 Birth titd Reui Daith J4/Ieher Baba here is one real birth and one real death. You are born once and you really die only once. What is the real birth? It is the birth of a “drop” in the Ocean of Reality. What is meant by the birth of a “drop” in the Ocean of Reality? It is the advent of individuality, born of indivisibility through a glimmer ofthe first most-finite consciousness, which transfixed cognizance oflimita tion into the Unlimited. What is meant by the real death? It is consciousness getting free of all limi tations. Freedom from all limitations is real death; it is really the death ofall limitations; it is liberation. In between the real birth and the real death, there is no such reality as the so-called births and death. What really happens in the intermediate stage known as births and deaths is that the limitations of consciousness gradually wear offtill it (consciousness) is free of all limita tions. Ultimately, consciousness, totally free of all limitations, experiences the unlimited Reality eternally. Real dying is equal to real living. Therefore I stress: Die for God and you will live as God.

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The Path ofLove, ©1986 AMBPPC T

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Mofl•• 4 ( 4 ishtt) 3 :lejncr 9ary Skleiner, 7I/1eherabad father was a very special person, and what made him most special is how )rdinary he was. He was born in Poland in [922, in Vladimir Valinsk, a town with about o,ooo Jews before World War II. With the nvasion ofthe Nazis in Western Poland,Jews egan to take refuge there, and the Jewish )opulation rose to about 30,000. Countless stories speak of the miracles hat allowed my father to survive the atroci ies of the Nazis, too manyto tell here. The rnmbers speak for themselves: ofthe 30,000 ews living there in 1942, only eight survived he pogroms and systematic slaughter. Morry (leiner was one ofthe lucky ones. His father ershon, mother Tzipa, brother Hersh, and isters Hanna and Ruchell were shot, then )lOwed into a mass grave along with thouands ofother innocents. This tragedy made young Moishe bury his eart where nobody, including himself could md it. It took manyyears ofgrieving until he :ould start a family ofhis own. He eventually narried an angel named Genia and had three hildren, Gary, Jerry and Robert. It was not asy on the family, as his grief lay dormant md unresolved. I felt that my dad did not understand ny spiritualjourney and believed that I had ibandoned our religion. But in 2000, Moishe vent to India and met my mentor Eruch essawala. They fell in love with each other. n Eruch, Moishe saw a man who truly lived us spiritualvalues, and in Moishe, Eruch saw I man who truly was tested and used thai uffering to find his true self, the self based n love. It is thatjourney that makes Moishe I hero and an inspiration. He is the phoenix hat rises out ofthe ashes. He is the soul that vas beaten to a pulp and left for dead. But he lid notjust come back to life, he came back 0 the spiritual journey which is our caffing. -us return makes it obvious that we, too, can eturn to thejourney that is our birthright. If Vloishe could find his way back in the darkst night, then I should be able to take a few eeble steps in the beautiftil daylight that has een afforded to me. And so the story goes hr us all. Moishe sawlife at its most degrading, and ret the dignity ofhis humanitywas never lost. 1e set his goal on survival, but once survival vas obtained, he went back to the business of oving. As I see it, this is the business of the

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Gary andhis Dad

universe. We are the sacrifices that we place on the altar oflife as a gift to that Being that gave us life. When Moishe came to India and met Eruch and others devoted to Meher Baba, he saw that he no longer had to fight to protect the supremacy of his tribal loyalties. It was there that he first told his Holocaust story in a public forum. That released a flood tide of emotions that had been dammed up for decades. After that it seemed that he became open to and devoted to love. Meher Baba said, “God is love, and love must love.” Moishe, a simple tailor from a shietle in Poland, thus became a poster child of what is possible if love is what you are reaching for. His simplicity made him the envy of kings. He had no need to pretend to be anything he was not. He was proud to be a tailor who did good work that satisfied his customers and supported his family. He did not envy those who had more or those who flaunted what they had. He had, at one point in his life, found a piece ofbread in the mud and thought that God had smiled upon him to let him live another day. He was truly happy in other people’s happiness. It is said that when you meet a great man ofthe world you come away feeling how small you are, but when you meet a man oflove you come away feeling how big you are. Moishe gave everyone space to feelbig, no matter how small they were. That is the power of love! We all carry the seed of love in our hearts, no matter how deeply we bury it. There is a compelling spirit within us that will bring us back to the universal truth: God is love and love must love! I am proud to have had you as a father, Moishe Kleiner, as I know that you were proud to have me for a son. This love game

does not end with your going to the beyond, Papa; it continues with me sharing this love with everyone, especially my family, my wife, Mehera, and especially Sofia,who is just waiting to be nurtured by this nectar called love. Thank you, my Father in heaven, for giv ing me my father on Earth. We were made for each other. May your life, Papa, help others find their own truth, as it has done for me. We will continue to love you and miss you. Today I grieve, but I will use the love you have given me and I will, in time, get back to my spiritual journey. You have shown me that even if everything is taken from you it does not mean that your spirit is corrupted. Now we rejoice that you have become united with your Creator. We praise Him, who is the one in the many and the many in the one! We invoke our own spiritual journeyer to wake from slumber and get back on the road to our true self Thank you, Moishe. Thank you God. Thank you, Self, for all the kicks and kisses that you have given me to get back on track.

Ann Conlon3oins EBaba nn Conlon passed away in Myrtle Beach shortlyafter 7:00 pm October 19, a year and a half after being diagnosed with lung cancer. She was 73 years old. Ann first metMeher Baba in India in 1961 and also enjoyed His company again at the East-West Gathering in 1962.Thereafter, she worked several years at the Meher Spiritual Center Gateway office in Myrtle Beach, then many years at Sheriar Bookstore, and at the time ofher passing was a member of Meher Spiritual Center’s Board of Directors. Ann was once described affectionately as a female Western version ofPadri. For those who did not meet Padri, he was one ofBaba’s early Mandali who became one of the four pillars of Meherabad. Ann was indeed a pillar of Baba’s love and those who knew her will miss her warm directness, her feisty yet gentle and loving nature, her common sense (which is not so common) and her bright spirit. Alas, for us, another Baba gem has departed our world. There are many stories out there of Ann. Please send us yours in time for the January issue wherein we will be giving our dear friend full tribute.

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rDarwin Shaw .Stcvc 73 crrq, arwin Shaw passed on to Beloved Baba, Sunday, October 2, at 11:15 AM EST. Darwin drifted into un consciousness on Satur day, then passed away very peacefully the next morning surrounded by his family in Asheville, North Carolina. As many ofyou know, Dar win and his wife Jeanne, first met Baba in New York in 1932. Darwin described that first meeting with Baba: “Norma introduced us, and we shook hands with Baba. As he and I shook hands, we looked into each other’s eyes. For me, it was an indescrib ably glorious moment. This was our first glimpse into the infinite poois ofDivine Love that were Meher Baba’s eyes. His handshake might have reached down through some two thousand years to clasp mine at that moment. I saw him as the Christ, and no words can adequately describe what poured forth from my heart as I recognized the Beloved the living Christ. I felt instant rapport with him and experienced a great spiritual upliftment. It was like the fulfillment of an ‘impossible dream.” Subsequently, Darwin became a tremen dous and loving force in spreading Baba’s message ‘till the end. Baba told Darwin in the 1930’s, “I give you and your work all my blessings.” Darwin and Jeanne began holding Baba meetings in the 1930’s in their home in upstate New York, which went on for decades. During the 1940’s, Darwin also was the person designated to give introduc tions to Princess Norma Matchabelli when she delivered Baba’s messages, via direct thought-transmission from Baba in India, at Carnegie Chamber Music Hall in New York City Also, during the 1940’s, Darwin became one of the primary forces in helping to transform the primitive wilderness of Meher Center (Baba’s home in the West) in Myrtle Beach, into the beautiful, inviting

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and picturesque Center that we all know and love today. Darwin and Jeanne, together with their daughters, Leatrice and Renae, spent beauti fril times with Baba in 1952, 1956, 1958 and 1962. Additionally, Darwin was one of the fortunate men who were invited from the West by Baba to attend the Three Incredible Weeks with Baba in 1954 at Meherabad. As a result of so much deep inner and outer contact with Baba, Darwin also became a much sought after speaker. Darwin’s association with the LA Baba group began in 1976 when he andJeanne were speaking guests at our second annual Los Angeles Sahavas. Many that attended that Sahavas still remember Darwin’s talks about Baba. As Darwin spoke, there was absolute pindrop silence throughout the meeting room, as everyone’s ears hung on to each and every word uttered by Darwin, as he described his experiences of Baba’s profound love in action. Wherever Darwin went, there was a rich, palpable feeling of Baba’s loving pres ence all around him.

In recent decades, Darwin and Jeanne moved to Myrtle Beach to be near Meher Center. While there, Darwin completed his recently published book about his life with Baba, entitled,As Only God Can Love.ALfè time ofCo;npanionship with Meher Baba. In his last years, Darwin shared the fol lowing about Baba, “My own experience now is that he is as real and intimately with me as He was while in the body. In the Master-disciple relationship with Him, I am aware of Him in the Spirit. Baba Himself described this relationship in a cable to me: “Those who are united in love are always in spirit and know no separation.” Now that Darwin has moved on, we are happy for him and celebrate his remarkable life, but shall miss his loving presence deeply. [We will be paying Darwin tribute in the Januaiy issue. Ifyou have any stories or p hotos you would like to share, fond memories and the like, please email them to us as soon as p ossible. Deadlinefor receiving submissions is th.] November 15 4’


J: 2<horshed 1?nsricIm9oes to Baba

life she lived. Let us pray that Baba grant her wish.

&pternber 2, 2005

Dcu1i 2<erawaia

:Kctnji JJI4iHao, Los ..Jlngeles horshed was Persian but grew up in India. She was born around 1912. She had [10 family here in Los Angeles so we don’t know very many details ofher life. She was riot one to talk about herself but I had the privilege ofaccompanying her to Meherabad three times throughut the last eight years r so, and during the many hours oftravel I Iid get to know someEhing about this ex traordinary woman. Hers was a life of selfless service, first Ls an obstetrician and Later as a psychiatrist. God gave her the gift Dfa brilliant mind and left hands; but these :ame out ofan unhappy childhood environrnent and many obstacles ofjealousy and liscrimination in her professional life. She was scorned and beaten by her father, and her mother eventually committed self-im rnolation but her compassion could not be erased coming as she did from the crucible oflife’s illusion. As a child she would often save food from her plate for stray dogs. In her late teens, Khorshed met Baba through Meherjee Karkaria, her brother-in[aw. In this first meeting Baba fed Khorshed Food from His plate with His own hands. This was unusual behavior by Baba and the Mandali asked if she was on the planes. Baba’s answer was a quick rebuke, “No and mind your own business!” But Khorshed’s Love for Baba subsequently turned to disgust as two events unfolded. After her first meeting with Baba, Khorshed made a pillow for Him, but became disillusioned when she saw her pillow carelessly used. Her disillusionment was complete after she ran away from home to Baba, only to have Baba tell her that she must go back and obey her father. Later, when Baba called Khorshed to Him, she refused to come. When Meherjee asked Baba if he should get her, Baba said Khor shed would come to Him later. Khorshed studied medicine in England and returned to India after her training was completed. When searching for her first job, she was guided by a voice from her heart de scribing thejob she should take. A few weeks

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later, she applied for ajob that matched that description, and she was hired. This was a prestigious but unpaid position, so Khorshed had a private practice after she worked her normal hours at the hospital. Khorshed’s skill was such that she became the obstetri cian/gynecologist of choice by the rich and powerful. Khorshed always wanted to live in the United States and her opportunity came in the 1960’s when the doors opened to ‘oreign professionals. By this time however, she could not perform surgery so she decided to become a psychiatrist. She worked as a psychiatrist into her late 80’s until the weakness of old age no longer permitted her to continue working. Khorshed had two passions: to travel and to help the disadvantaged. She traveled all over the world, including the north and south poles. She provided free medical care to the poor and generously donated her time, energy and savings to charitable causes. Khorshed’s return to Baba was gradual, but conviction and understanding of Baba’s purpose and His ways came after reading Bal Natu’s books. Khorshed led a life as close to the words ofthe New Life as possible, live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust In her dailyprayers, she prayed for her mother and asked Baba for mukti. [Liberation.] Dr. Khorshed joined our Baba group here in Los Angeles during the 1970’s and has supported us in huge ways, all quietly behind the scenes. For example, we have her to thank for the beautiful new room that houses the Love Street Bookstore at Meherabode. Every

2leather 2sIadel, Jll4elierabad

after

5 am September 30th 2005, Ava tar Meher Baba’s dear Dr. Dadi Kerawalla rejoined his Beloved. Dadi passed away in Poona after a lengthy illness. One of Baba’s close followers, Dadi was born into a family ofBaba’s devoted disciples and spent part of his childhood in Baba’s ashram. His life ofservice to Baba included cultivating Baba’s property in Mandla un der His orders, and hosting Beloved Baba’s summer stays at Ganeshkind, the garden (a government agriculture experimental sta tion) ofwhich Dadi was head. Dadi was a trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust for thirty years. As trustee and Meherabad resident, he continued to serve Baba, beautifying Meherabad with orchards ofall kinds. Despite the great weakness and debility brought on by his last illness, Dadi continued to work on a design for a garden around the proposed Memorial Tower for Meherabad until the very end. His great heart, honest nature, silent service and deep humility will be greatly missed by all Meherabad and Meherazad family. Jai Baba dear Dadi! As your cousin Eruch would say, “You have won the race!” [Editor’s note: Raine tells us that Banu masi had two sons, Sam and Dadi Kerawalla. Dadi lived with his aunt Gaimai from an early age and so although a cousin of Eruch and Meherwanjessawala, he was raised with them by Gaimai, Banumasi’s sister.]

Just

“. . .

. . . “.

fund raising dinner auction we had

Photo by Rome Eastman Gannett at the request ofEruth

was always with delicious Indian Eiitch & Meherwan Jessawala &familv. Farnil Names, Back or Persian food paid for by dear Row. Sam Kenzwalla, SheriarAijani, ErzichJessawala, Mani Khorshed. Let us salute her love Damania, Dadi Kerawalla, Meherwanjessawala. Front Row: MeheraAijani, Manujessawala andlfttime aid Kesar of our Beloved and the selfless


(:bI

Center—•

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Row it Came Duty ‘l3eing Cctrolyn

i3all,

J4/4irtle J3each

en did it all begin? I guess I would say back at the 2002 Sahavas in Oklahoma, the Fiftieth Anniversary of Meher Baba’s “accident” in America. But of course, it actually started with the accident itself, for only within the context of that automobile collision on May 24, 1952, does everything make sense. But then, you might go back further, and consider the flower that Meher Baba gave to Elizabeth Patterson, the driver of the accident yehide—exactly 20 years previously, to the day—telling her to mark the date, which later became her proof The Ribbon—Cutting Ceremony at the Burleson House that Meher Baba knew all along, and indeed and other data thatJulia Ross had collected planned the car collision that would begin years before when she lived in Oklahoma. His great suffering for mankind. For a decade Peter had championed the So, when it actually began is hard to say, “Prague Project” as he called it, but it had because the more expanded your perspective, the more incomprehensible the actions of not received much attention. But here, at the Sahavas specifically created to focus the Avatar become. So, I’ll just start where on this event, people gathered around his our little group of Baba lovers entered the display. I was one of those people, and at picture. But the context was and remains some point it hit me that Baba’s automobile that Baba is the knower and doer of all, collision had literally such an impact that in and He demonstrated this time and time generations to come there would be masses again.... ofpeople coming on pilgrimage to this site, The 2002 50th Anniversary Sahavas was the Calvary ofthe newest Avatar. It suddenly quite spectacular, brimmingwith Meher Baseemed essential that we somehow purchase ba’s love, with a guestlist that included some the land at the accident site. of His dearest lovers—Esfandiar, Leatrice Alittle timidly, being somewhat ofa new Shaw, and Charmian Duce Knowles, among Baba lover, I made the announcement that others. It also included a preview reading by Ed Flanagan ofthe soon-to-be-released those interested in taking on such a project book Mehera Meher A Divine Romance by could meet in the back during the break. David Fenster which gave a completely new Much to my surprise, some fifteen people came, and with remarkable speed, individu and remarkably intimate account ofthe 1952 als volunteered to help, a Board of Directors perspective, women’s the from one accident, formed, and within a few weeks we had was detail such in given been never had which a corporation in Oklahoma, and filed created who the women was all, it After before. status with the IRS. tax-exempt for two ofHis first the into Baba accompanied the ringleader of the somewhat Being the with filled stories, their and accidents, I questioned project, the of stages early women, to unique insights and emotions Baba really something was this whether enormity the grasp to listener the allowed was taking if I worrying I kept wanted. ofMeher spilling ofthe event ofthe unique asserting chase, goose wild on a everyone soil. American on Baba’s blood folks getting and and ego, will own my created had Rippa Peter Sahavas, At the not was that something about all excited photowith accident, the about a display had We answered. Baba But be. to meant in face Baba’s show to seemed graphs that sent our Certificate of Incorporation in to the trees around the collision site, and a state offices in mid June, but the pathe reports accident reports, ofpolice collection

perwork came back in the mail to my home in Arkansas on July 9; another signature was needed. It was disappointing, for I’d had the fantasy that maybe the paperwork might have been approved on July 10, Meher Baba’s Silence Day—a sure sign He was watching over the project. Now it was obvious that it wasn’t to be, as there was no way for the mail to get returned to Oklahoma, sent through all the red tape, and be approved in one day. But I sent it right off anyhow, for we couldn’t consider raising the funds to buy the land until we’d gone through the legal steps. later our Certificate of weeks Two the Avatar Meher Baba of Incorporation arrived back to us in the Center Heartland 10, 2004! It was a virtual edjuly mail—stamp by the grace ofBeloved except impossibility that the date was not learned we Baba. And, 77t1 of Meher Baba’s anniversary only the it was also the 5On1 but ofsilence, observation Complicated of His the end of anniversary Full Free ofHis beginning the Free Life and stamp his put clearly to Life! Baba seemed gratefully and we the project, on ofapproval experienced awe at both His turning of the key and His confirmation of our course. So renewed and encouraged in our “mission,” the small Board set out to raise the funds to buy the property across the street from the accident site. I had stopped by and visited with the owner,Jim, on the way back from the Sahavas, and he had been very encouraging. (The family on the side where Baba actually was thrown from the vehicle had firmly declined any interest in selling.) We were now amazed at how many people felt drawn to help with this project. To us, this was another indicator to us that it was Baba’s will. As the donations came in, we approached Jim, with an offer to purchase. He signed. We were elated! Baba was mov ing it along so fast. But the next day Jim called and said he didn’t want to sell. It was his “home place,” and he really felt it should bring more money. The Board met and decided we could offer all that we had received, and we came in with another offer. Again he signed.

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And again he demurred. Although legally we might have held him to the contract, we didn’t feel that we wanted to purchase his land against his will. This would not seem to be something Baba would like. So we offered him a life estate and more money. Again he accepted, and as we were on our way to the courthouse to file the ap propriate paperwork, he called my cell phone and once again declined. We actually did still one more round, this time with lawyers so he would feel completely secure his concerns were being addressed, and again he signed. It was a Friday, and his lawyer told me he’d contact me as soon as it was complete. By late Monday morning I had not heard from him, so I gave him a call at about 11:00 am. The lawyer told me that although the contract had been signed on Friday, he hadn’t “gotten around” to sending it to us, and that Jim had called only about a half hour before to once again change his mind. It was mid-De cember, 2002, and we were tired. The negotiations had gone on all summer and fall, and now the wind seemed to go out of our sails. The Board of Directors fell intq a fallow time; our enthusiasm gone and no clear direction from here. The “Land Fund” sat in the bank. We weren’t sure what to do. Whereas Baba seemed to be so much with this project in the beginning, it now seemed as if He had given a clear indication that buying that land was not on His agenda, regardless of ours. I went back to worrying whether I was leading people astray, and 2003 went by with only a few board meetings. Then, in early 2004, Lynn Wilhite called me to tell me that the Burleson House was on the market. Lynn, a native of Oklahoma, had moved to Prague a year before, and planned to set up a kind ofBaba bed’n’breakfast for pilgrims to the accident site. That day she saw a For Sale sign as she was driving by the former home of Dr. Ned Burleson, the physician who had so lovingly cared for Meher Baba and the women Mandali who were injured in the 1952 accident. The house was immediately 44

next door to the clinic where Baba had been taken, and had been visited by a number of the Mandali, especially Mani, who was befriended by the entire Burleson family. Perhaps, Lynn suggested, this might also be an appropriate place for pilgrims to the accident site to rest. Enthused and ready for action once again, I approached the Board with this new development. Now, there is one thing that developed within this particular Board that always made me very happy, and that was that each stated his opinions without interruption, with all the others listening carefully and respectffilly, and we would come to a consensus thatjust seemed to be Baba’s will. We all had this feeling time and time again. So when the Board agreed that we had raised money to buy the accident site land

car accidents—his more obvious crucifixions—and wondering if anything was ever going to become ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center in Oklahoma. Then several more coincidences occurred. The second to the last day ofBhau’s visit was the anniversary of the accident—May 24, 2004. Again Bhau talked of Baba’s suffering, and then Lynn and I both spoke briefly about the accident and about the Heartland Center. I also told the group there that Bur leson House was up for sale, and that while the Board had voted that we did not have a mandate from our donors to purchase that house, I was sure that ifBaba wanted it to be, someone would come forward to buy it. Sitting in the audience that night were Debbie and Peter Nordeen. Both had lived many years in India and had worked ditly with many of the Mandali. A couple of days later Debbie called ‘e with great ex tement; she and eter had talked, and they both felt strongly—pas I sionately—that the Burleson House was extremely im nortant, and she would head up a idraising ef I cautioned her that the Board had decided that the funds we had raised to date would not be applicable, and that she’d have to raise the whole $135,000 selling price PLUS at least $25,000 operat ing expenses! AND, I told her, if she was going to raise the money, she would also have to be responsible for managing the place. It was a huge job. But Debbie’s enthusiasm was absolutely magnetic. In no time she had an entire team together, writing letters and making phone calls all over the country, though most of it was done by Debbie herself And she had a further constraint that, even though the closing on the house was scheduled for J anuary, she planned to leave for India in November. It seemed impossible, and I personally relaxed a bit thinking it was really a long shot. Yet, amazingly, Debbie pulled it off! People from all corners of the continent stepped forward to contribute. Once again, the seemingly impossible was made possible

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The Sahavasees

and not the Burleson house, I was satisfied that this was Baba’s will. So it seemed that if anyone was going to buy this historic house, it would have to be an individual with the financial resources to do so. The Heartland Center officially stepped aside. of course, I did put the word out to Baba lovers on the internet, but there didn’t seem to be any nibbles, or for that matter, much interest at all. But then I went to the Center in Myrtle Beach. “Coincidentally,” Bhau Kaichuri was there, and so was Lynn Wilhite. Bhau had seen the movie The Passion of The C7rist, and it had affected him very much. He spoke about it at every talk, twice a day for two weeks. Of course, Bhau had spent countless hours at Baba’s side watching helplessly as the Avatar went through His final crucifixion, and Bhau drew many parallels to the movie. And I sat in the audience thinking also ofBaba’s two


other ideas... We closed on the Burleson House on 6, 2005. I drove from my home in anuary J Fayetteville, Arkansas, three hours, over to the closing. Lynn Wilhite joined me as I signed the papers, then we quickly had tea, and I drove through a hellacious ice storm to get home. It was a hint of the times to come. For six months without one day’s break I worked until midnight every day. We’d bitten offan enormous chunk! Not only did we need to find a place to have a Sahavas—which involved several trips but to Oklahoma we also needed to do the publicity and get it out across the country, which meant creat ing some mailing lists and email lists, putting The Burleson ‘hilthen’ Beth,Julia Margaret and Michael a flyer, and, oh together 14 days in the hospital in Prague—one of speakers and the all finding of first yes, His longest stays besides Myrtle Beach in Board’s Vice our Jim Watson, performers! all of His visits to the West! Surely this, from together lists mailing pulled President, too, was part of His plan, and surely it had coordinated I while sources, of multitude a a purpose which we had not yet realized. the other elements. And Dr. Burleson was clearly the consum— Of course, there mate server of God, cloaked in Christian also the matter was tradition, and living his tradition fully, just the Burle of getting as Baba indicated we should do. ready. We House son As November neared, Debbie was also putting Just werent nearing her goal, and soon she was talkSahavas, a together ing about setting up another anniversary Sahavas in Oklahoma, and a gigantic tea we also had a major “fixer-upper” project party as an inauguration, and a “Beads on to contend with beOne String Library,” and a gallery of Baba pictures. I reminded her that I’d told her if fore the show could go on. Happily, the she was going to raise the funds to purchase lovely woman who had this property that she would also have to run sold us the house, had it. “Oh, no,” she declared, “I meant I would rented it for a couple run the fundraising.P’ of months, so we had Oh. That hadn’t been what Imeant. Oh, both an income and a well. That Baba, He can certainly be tricky reprieve from the inevitable construction sometimes. It was His joke, and now I had a big job in front of me. Debbie and Peter work ahead of us. But Baba was stirring the pot. Of course, took off a little late for India, but with all we have all read how He likes to work the needed funds in the bank. Debbie’s goal through opposition, and the Heartland had been achieved most magnificently. And Center worker bees got to experience this now the Burleson House—all the way over first hand, and in great detail. in Oklahoma—took all ofmy attention. First there was a threatening email that I had mixed feelings about it. At once it came to me. It was written in fake poor was exciting; another one ofBaba’s miracles, English, in the style of spammers, but the and then also, it was a huge job—to start a message was basically, using foul language, Center! AND to set up a Sahavas! I had just “Get out ofPrague you %@#*;we love Jesus finished a huge project fixing up a house, here.” At first we laughed at the inconsis and I was ready for a break. BU1 Baba had tency of such a message, but then Debbie

by the hand of the Avatar, and it started to look as if this purchase truly was His will. I began to see the Burleson House, and Dr. Burleson as well, in a new light. To date the Board had focused on the accident site, where Baba’s blood was shed, as the primary place of pilgrimage in years to come, but now, the realization came that Baba spent

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got one in India. .then I got another. Lynn in the meantime received two threatening phone calls, and her house was “egged.” We stopped laughing. Prague is a small town, and most people know what’s going on with their neighbors. We had become infamous overnight. We shortly discovered that we had upset the former owner on several counts. One, we had innocently put pictures ofher house on our Baba website to help with the fhndraising, but now people from all over Prague were going online and seeing HER house on OUR website. Understandably, she felt her privacy was violated. Then someone told her we had snuck in and taken pictures of her house, so it took some work to convince her that they were simply the real estate photos, and that we hadn’t foreseen that they would become public. We quickly pulled the pictures from the website with many apologies. But she had also been told that we were Catholics, and she felt we had not been honest with her. We tracked that one to our Realtor’s® assumption that we were Catholic because we told her at some point that we were going to visit the local Shrine ofthe InfantJesus ofPrague. We apologized some more. .

‘a lays a garland at the

But that wasn’t all! We decided we should approach the Chief of Police and ask for some help tracking the website perpetra tors, but the timing turned out to be quite poor, for she had several visitors in her office who had major concerns about all this Baba stuff, and before long it seemed that we had offended the entire town. Then someone connected our website to a pornography site, which also took time to clear up. Rumors in Prague flew in all directions, and the next thing we heard was that 400 Baba people were going to move to town and buy it all up! And it didn’t take much reading between the

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lines to recognize that for some, the Meher Baba group was indistinguishable from the Branch Davidians! Small fears became large, and imaginations expanded them into what was almost a panic. EnterJulia Margaret Burleson Brigham. As a child, Julia Margaret had met Baba in her father’s hospital. She and her sister Beth had spoken at the 2002 Sahavas, and that had become Julia Margaret’s comingto-Baba time. She wanted to help, and she had just finished training as an Interfaith Minister. She and I wrote an article to quell the fears ofthe folks in town, and it seemed to help, but we were concerned that the house, soon to be vacant, should not be left to vandalism, and even possible violence. Julia Margaret not only joined the Board, but headed for Prague. Her presence as a vorite daughter” ofPrague, cheerleader and daughter ofthe kind benefactor and healer, was itself a healing balm to the community. She interfaced with the ministers and the townspeople, and calm returned. In the meantime Bob Underwood, of Greensboro, NC, had contacted me about having a large amount offtirniture to donate. And, he said, “The sooner you come and get it, the more you can have, since I’m selling it so I can move to India!” Sojulia Margaret, an expert house reno vator, launched into painting the Burleson House in preparation for Bob’s kind dona tion to arrive. At the same time, I headed for Greensboro where Bob generously set aside almost half of his inherited furnishings for the Burleson House—and the Greensboro Baba people loaded the rental truck. I’m sure it was the largest truck in the world—I mean, I could see right into the cabs of the semi’s as they passed me! It was scary! I stopped in Asheville for a few more dona tions, and then headed west. Back in Prague, Julia Margaret was now painting furiously, as it seemed that we had enough furniture to fill the whole downstairs. So she was doing her best to get all of the first floor stripped ofwallpaper, textured ( to cover the many dips and crinkles in the walls), and painted. Lynn in the meantime ran from hardware store to Dollar Store to lumber yard to take-out lunch and dinner places keeping Julia and several hired hands stocked up. When I pulled up with that giant truck, those guys mostly had the downstairs ready for furniture to come in. We unloaded in the morning, and in the afternoon, Julia Margaret, who had been preparing for two hard weeks to receive Bob’s family heirlooms, lovingly placed them 46

all in their new home. The furniture delivered, my head was now swimming with all that still had to be done before the Sahavas, now only two months away. Debbie and Peter had just returned from India, and Debbie would be taking over the program part of the Saha vas. Carol Anne Graham in Austin, TX, had been on board since February piecing together the numerous registration ele ments of the Sahavas, and Kay Stewart in Durham, NC, was coordinating a virtually impossible task—getting people from all over the country together to carpool from the airport, matching up times and car loads. This wasn’t like a normal Gathering where everyone comes from a given area. here, there was no local community; most guests, attendees, and workers were flying in. Our “community” was all of America, and this seemed most appropriate to the meaning and purpose of, not only this Sahavas, but the Heartland Center itself. .yet it certainly involved more logistics! But there was something else of concern. ulia J Margaret would now be returning home to New Mexico. The new Center would be empty There was no doubt that as a Burle son, with a history in town, Julia Margaret had been an emissary of peace. Her bright and cheerful countenance plus the power she naturally wielded as a Burleson had clearly calmed the town. But without her there, it was hard to tellwhat the temperature of the community would be. Then a series of what I might call the movement of Baba’s chess pieces started to become evident. His Hand in the works became clearer and clearer. First He had moved Julia Margaret into Prague at the point when opposition was the greatest. Now I was hearing one person after another suggest that I should move to Prague. I really DIDN’T want to live in Oklahoma. But I could feel Him working on me, gradually making me accustomed to the idea. As I drove back to Fayetteville, I knew I would gather my possessions and immediately leave for the Burleson House. I could tell that Baba had set it up so that I would go, and that my administrative and house-rep airing skills were both needed there immediately. While I wasn’t excited about going to Oklahoma at this time, I was thrilled that Baba would use me in some small way in His work. At first it was scary. There were storms those first few weeks, and the famous winds from the plains of Oklahoma whirled funously around, shaking the trees against the house, slamming doors, and rattling unseen . .

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things in this huge unfamiliar building. I was cautious in town, smiling a lot, as sweet and friendly as I could be, but nervous about who thought what regarding the Baba people. I could often tell I was being “checked out.” There was much to do preparing for the Sahavas, but my greater concern was getting the Burleson House ready for “the people.” I wanted folks from the Sahavas to walk into that tea party and feel Baba’s presence, a giant “Ahhhhh,” at being there, a feeling of the loving arms ofa Baba retreat. Ifthey felt that, theywould want to come back, and the Burleson House would be well-launched. However, while Julia Margaret had gotten the main downstairs rooms ready, the upstairs needed an equal amount of work, as did the hallways both downstairs and up. And the room deodorizer was wearing off of the carpets; the odor of dog urine filled the air. Only two months until this house needed to be exquisite! But Meher Baba works his work. I put on my Baba music and started spackling, texturing, painting, etc., singing to Him at the top ofmylungs and praying to Baba that this place would please Him and His lovers. I found wonderful helpers who pulled the carpets along with about six billion staples that had held the carpet and two carpet pads tightly in place. I planted flowers in the front and back, found new carpet for the library, and arranged for several dead trees to be brought down. Most days involved trips to the hardware and lumber stores, and many days also to the local diner. and in all of those places I found very kind and loving people. I would go out of town and find regular folks, but back in Prague there was something special. I began to think that Baba maywell have spent much ofHis time in the hospital in Prague seeding this cornmunity with His Love. I recalled, ironically, that two different people had said to me that Prague would become the Hamirpur of America—a land known for its love. Later, Peter Nordeen told me a story about his parents and grandparents. They had traveled across the United States in late 1952, sometime after the accident, and for some unknown reason, since it was not on their direct route, they had coincidently stopped each way in Prague overnight, actually staying in the same hotel that the Mandali had stayed in months before. Peter’s grandfather was particularly taken by the town, and kept wondering why it was so special. In fact, he walked back and forth through the streets, attempting to determine why he felt the way he did—and even talked . .


of willingness to do just about anything. our caretaker position. I’d noticed how Baba about moving there! I began to feel this too, days before the Sahavas, Michael Ivey Ten time in town,just into Margaret moved had into Prague made that Baba had somehow in. He said he was just checking it came that was love ofBaba’s the ambassador be to the planet. on a very special place see if he wanted to be caretaker (he to out he Then daughter.” a “native from needed an grew separation So, out ofthe fear and agreed to be Treasurer), but he already had fixing person regular a in—just me brought had Baba Clearly increasing feeling oflove. his sleeves and undertook whatever up rolled garden—a in the working and house her up way ofthe out set it up to get the opposition and settled into his room like needed, was public the in out person Baba normal-type Dar His for so that His lovers could come Baba had clearly placed that home. it was had also Lynn course of And all to see. for up taken shan. The Methodist minister had strategically! pawn Baba regular being a role—of that played of freedom our cause—or at least the cause Debbie and Peter Nordeen arrived next. person in town. This seemed important: of religion—and become our protector and commandeered the kitchen and kept Debbie weren’t we that and God loved we that lumber friend. In the hardware store and flowing for all the workers, nurturing the seemed being women us all of And, weird. ol’ good the yard, I felt welcomed as one of his enormous contractor lent while Peter ing and non-threaten gentleness that to add store boys, in the Dollar Store and grocery skills to the project, powp they smiled in recognition, 1 the building er-washing and in the diner I typically most of the emptying and had a handful of folks to dumphuge into a garage . wave at in the course of a came Felknor ster.Jeannie meal. The wind stopped a gardener, a master next, blowing, the gentle rains house cleanof a tornado came, and the flowers took er, and the penultimate root and started to bloom. tea party preparer. Then I had the occasion to sit and laugh with several of F along came Art Nordeen, and the Nordeen broththe folks who had been our completely reworked ers protagonists. The people at plumbing, sealed the the the hospital next door were and took on basement, so kind and welcoming we other construc countless were overwhelmed with The next tasks. tion-type their goodness and tolerrolled Margaret Julia day ance of these strangers in family her town, into back their workplace. Only in Steinway piano in tow to Prague’ And over and over Thrn I y, Adele Wolkin, Roshan Kerawalla, Ralph and make its home back where Sa/avas Guests, left to r: again I was told that while Knowles, Julia Maigaret Burleson—Brigham Stella Hernandez, 1.L it started. Barely stopping there might be some who launched into texturing she calm howdy, to say gift to Baba’s be to It seemed were prejudiced, that really didn’t represent qualityc living room, the one room the painting and Love to His for way the pave and fears the the town. unfinished. remained that downstairs manifest. As it turns out, the town ofPrague, with began, in Sahavas the before if Monday felt as it that I joked and Michael Now, only 2500 residents, has 17 churches, and with Chen Angela came York New from Even well. as place into moved being he were a clear concentration on the Lord. There friend their and Lee Daron her brother to make voted not had Board though the is also a great amount of diversity for one him the caretaker, Michael felt that Baba J ames O’Roarke. Angela washed windows town, including Protestants, Catholics, prep while J ews, Mennonites, African Americans, was compelling him to come to Prague—so and helped Debbie with Sahavasskill to finartistic extensive his put to seemed Daron vote Board’s again, the once Native Americans, and a large Czechoslo James and house the in painting trim in ishing put already had Baba what vakian communityc It is the hometown of only confirm steps. front the around rebuilt pieces His chess J im Thorpe, Native American and one of place, as He moved Thursday morning itwas time for Debbie preparing for the Mate. I mused to Michael the greatest athletes ofall time. It is also the me to head for the Sahavas, to be held at and might we how about in one conversation home of the National Shrine of the Infant Episcopal Retreat, a half hour Crispin’s time St. about a me told J esus ofPrague, and thus is already a national know God’s will. He in the town ofWewoka. ofPrague that, southeast about Teresa someone asked Mother place of pilgrimage. And, it is virtually the had arrived the night Kay and Anne “it’5 easy Carol laugh, with a and she answered dead center ofAmerica. Over and over again starting to set up already were and I before happens!” what to know God’s will—it’s I found myself thinking, “Baba knew what headed down Art and Peter weeks the registration. in times many thought about that He was doing when He chose Prague!” they deftly which oflumber, full van with a that followed. As the Sahavas neared, I fell in love Daron and James stage. into a transformed canmy as and The Sahavas drew near, with Prague, and started to feel sad about mov Chairs, the of Chairmen the became flicker, to began dle-burning-at-both-ends my time there being almost up. I wondered upstairs, suite room living forty-piece ing a greatly wished I had reinforcements arrived. about staying. But Baba was moving His and one hundred and ten folding chairs for a Baba-lover helper in the fixer-upper chess pieces around, with His own purpose Sparks, downstairs. Then Daron made an exquisite Dan came becoming evident. I had spoken quite a few department, and along from the multitude ofcurtains left truck backdrop with a worker, hard native Oklahoman, times with Michael Ivey, who was living in the last owner of the Burleson by behind attitude an and tools full ofjust the right Pensacola, and was considering taking on 47 .

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House. Debbie and Michael was not only His will, but also set up sound equipment, and allHis doing. And it is clearly I ran around coordinating only the beginning. We canthis and that, and filling in not comprehend the magni the gaps. Debbie and I at tude of the seeds He sowed this point just had to let the in Prague, Oklahoma, nor Center go now and focus on the implications in our lives, the Sahavas—but back at in the lives of all Americans, the Burleson House, Jeanand in the lives of all mannie baked cookies and pre kind. How could we possibly pared a festive welcome for have doubted? Saturday’s opening. .and the I said goodbye to all at people started to come. the Sahavas as President The story of the Sahavas of the Avatar Meher Baba is another story. In Baba’s Heartland Center. It was no way, He had stretched us, ex longer a one-man operation, panded us, ground us down a and now many were coming little more in the days before, forward to be a part of it. I but now, it was His Sahavas, ___________w1 asked Board member John His bliss, His communion Indefatigable work crew: Front: Carolyn Ball, Lynn Wi/hue, Jeannie Felknoi; Michael Poag if he might consider with His Lovers, and 112 Ivey. Back:Art Nordeen, Julia Margaret Burleson—Brigham, Debbie and Peter Nordeen taking over as President—but came to drink the wine that Baba had already started mov to me, but was never quite satisfied with the He poured forth in abundance. ing next his chess piece into place;John told answers.Then, as I rinsed the soap off ofone On Saturday, at the opening of the me he already felt that Baba was calling him of the prettiest teacups, I thought of of the Burleson House ofthe Avatar Meher Baba to that do job. words of one of the nurses who had helped Heartland Center, the caravan of sahavasees, Just as Julia Ross and Peter Rippa had after the accident: “The dirt over there, after after a visit to the accident site and a prochampioned the Prague Project over many all these years, is still so red.” And I thought gram at the Methodist Church, arrived to years when none showed interest, I had been ofBaba’s eyes, “glorious and triumphant” as discover the house surrounded by balloons compelled to start the Heartland Center; the he lay in the Oklahoma dirt by the side of and flowers. Adele Wolkin and Roshan original donors had seen it as essential; Lynn the road.Then, a simple answer came to me: Kerawalla cut the ribbon and the people had intuitively moved to Prague; Debbie He taught us to love. To suffer for another entered, and indeed, I heard over and over, compulsively raised the money to purchase or instead of another, to sacrifice our well“Ahhhhhh. as their eyes fell upon one the Burleson House (which all donors were being for another’s, to abide in our own lovingly completed detail after another. strongly moved to support) and she also suffering without complaining or adding Inside they found thatJeannie had a hunhad the vision ofa Sahavas and a Tea Party; to another’s suffering—all of these things dred delicate antique teacups, and several Michael’s life was taken apart to recreated be Baba did in Prague. How simple. He may variations oftea, with cookies and crumpets Prague; in the attendees all at the Sahavas have done much more, but for those of us at every corner. Bob Underwood walked were called to be a part ofit; andJohn knew whose understanding is simple, He gave us around the house with a hankie—just in he had to step forward and take up the an example ofhow to love. case—but found himself happy instead at helm. How could we ever think that we are When the party was over and most the new home his childhood furnishings the doers when evidence the is so clear that had headed home, or back to the airport, had found. Bobbie Bernstein played the it is all Him? But, aren’t we all fortunate to Michael Ivey and I finally sat down and “new” piano and voices rang in praise of the be pawns in His game, and to be moved by breathed a sigh of relief. But then, a few Beloved throughout the home. Dr. Michael His Hand for His purpose? Baba, may we folks from the Sahavas came back. They had Burleson, who had actually taken many of always remember that it is all You. a little extra time, and they just wanted to the x-rays of Baba and the Mandali as a Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! bask in the incredible peace ofthe Heartland sixteen-year-old doctor apprentice, now gave Editorc note. Center. Then some more came, just to feel three tours of his father’s old hospital next 5OAnniversa The ry ofthe auto collision in the place once again before theyleft. Then a door. And throughout the Burleson House, Prague was extensively covered in thejuly 2002 few more—just couldn’t stay away. needed photographs ofMeher Baba, newly framed LampPost. Copies are still available. to feel Baba’s presence in this place one and matted byjulia Margaret, gazed out at more time... His family with obvious pleasure at the scene This is what I had hoped for in all of the of Oneness before Him. late hours scraping and painting—that given As I was doing up the dishes after all had a taste, they would come back—that they left, I thought warmly of the past few days. would feel His presence and want to return. Once again, the question of Baba’s sufferAnd it was already happening. Thank you ing came into my mind. I’d thought of it Baba. And I thought back to all the times often in the past year, and considered how I had doubted ifthis Heartland Center was little we really understand about it. I’d asked really Baba’s will, and I now knew. .that it several Baba experts to explain its meaning .

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zJgrnna:..fe tti TthffttC 3fereshteli .Azad, Chicago he pilgrimage to the heartland, where Beloved Baba shed His precious blood for mankind on a stretch of highway near Prague, Oklahoma, stretched my soul in directions unfathomed when I first started out on the journey. Several of us drove from Chicago, covering 800 miles of scenic wonder, waving shades of green tapestry throughout our path. We stayed overnight in Springfield, Missouri, and drove onward the next day, our hearts growing in anticipa tion as we drew near our destination. Maps in hand, we were aiming for the exit to take us to St. Crispin’s Retreat Center, when my fellow traveler, John, discovered we might have passed the exit. I was driving and thought I had been fairly careful watching for the exit sign. None ofus had noticed it. It was then that John suggested we might be able to take the next exit, which would take us to Meeker, and we could then take Highway 62 back toward the Retreat Center south of Prague. Suddenly we were moved to tears, realizing Baba had arranged for us to visit the accident site first. As we sped from Meeker toward Prague, trying to spot the map markers along the way, I began to feel Baba’s pres ence permeating the atmosphere. It was at that moment that the magnificence ofwhat we were about to experience that weekend began dawning on me. This was where our Beloved God had chosen to sacrifice His precious blood for the sake of humanity. This was where Real Love bore fruit for all, and shall continue to do so forcefully until His return 700 years from now. He will then author and execute another script of Love’s sacrifice. With thankffil hearts,we slowed down to see ifwe could find the Moucka Farm, and the approximate site of the accident. None ofus had taken this journey before, and we were unable to identify the exact location of the farm, though I felt the energies especially concentrated at some point in the area where the map and our mileage indicated to be the spot. We proceeded toward Prague and turned into the retreat center grounds. After registration, and checking into our various rooms, which ranged from comfortable semi-private rooms to rustic cabins in the woods, we gathered together for the evening meal. After the meal, we had Arti

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and then followed a reading by Ed Flanagan on the account ofthe accident in 1952. The reading was followed by a panel discussion of special guests who shared their thoughts on the significance ofBaba’s accident for today and for posterity The panel consisted of Adele Wolkin, Roshan Kerawalla, Duncan Knowles, Stella and Ralph Hernandez (the surprise guests), Julia Margaret Burleson, and Tom Riley. The evening concluded with a musical program featuring Bruce and Jeanne Felknor, Cathy Riley, and Karl Moeller, who delighted out hearts with their beautifhl songs and music. After a somewhat sleepless night for me, while my body was still adjusting to its new surroundings, including the rather loud whirring of the fan in the cabin, and my roommate’s occasional use of the back door where I slept, to use the outdoor facili ties, sliding the plastic cooler on the cement floor back and forth to open and close the creaky door—all in all making for a loud and sleepless night. Rule number one of Sahavas: Be prepared to suffer a little, and make room to enjoy the wine later on. And on this occasion, a little suffering of mine was a personal reminder of His unfathom able suffering for all. The next day’s programs began with hot coffee, Arti, and breakfast. Debbie Nordeen soon gathered up her recruited chorus mem bers, and we went off to practice the lovely songs she had prepared for the occasion. Peter Nordeen then gave a very scholarly and poignant talk about his interpretations ofthe historical events and phases in Baba’s life, leading up to and following the accident in Prague. Ed Flanagan continued the readings of the account of the accident from Mehera Meher, and letters from Mani. Roshan Ker awalla spoke about her childhood memories with Baba, and how Baba’s Nazar [glance or watchftil eye] and guidance had always been on her family while she grew up. The afternoon events included the introduction ofthe Heartland Center community of Baba lovers who came together to work on making the Center a reality followed by a talk by Adele Wolkin about her life with Baba, and her interactions and experiences with Norma Matchabelli, Nadine Tolstoy, and others. We then began an open mike and sharing of musical, poetic, and artistic

talents ofafi those who chose to participate. After dinner, we settled down to watch a video premiere of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Baba’s 1952 accident near Prague, which Duncan Knowles had videotaped in 2002. Itwas an excellent video, one that will be cherished by those who were there in 2002, and those who will feel like they were there by just watching it on screen. It was also a great way to prepare us for what was to follow the next day: a visit to the accident site. We caravanned in approximately 30 cars from St. Crispin’s toward Prague and beyond, toward Route 62, between Meeker and Prague, where that fateful day on May 24, 1952, the God-Man urged Elizabeth to drive faster and faster. We pulled into a parking lotjust past the site and walked toward the Moucka Farm where the bodies of the Christ of our age and His closest ones lay after the impact. Some of us picked some wild flowers to lay at the site, perhaps in remembrance of the little pink flower that Baba gave to Elizabeth to remind her and future generations that for God, time did not exist, and that the sacrifice was preordained and had to take place for the benefit of hu manityc We gathered around a heart-shaped wreath, praying, singing songs, and taking Darshan on the ground that was touched by His precious blood 53 years ago. The mood was permeated by His loving embrace. He called, we came and we gathered, and we remembered. We then caravanned back to the town of Prague, and stopped at a local Methodist church for a talk given by the Burleson siblings:Julia Margaret, Beth, and Michael. They each remembered their personal im pressions of meeting Baba and the women Mandali, as well as reflecting on the impact that this encounter may have had on them and the townspeople. Beth said she has never forgotten “those beautiful brown eyes”, and J uha Margaret shared her overwhelming experience ofBaba’s blissful presence following the 2002 Gathering. Michael Burleson remarked, “I’d have to say that Meher Baba is the accessible Christ.” After lunch at the church, we gathered in front ofthe Burleson House, where Carolyn Ball gave a brief history of how the House became available and was purchased by 49


Baba’s lovers for the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center. John Poag offered a beautiful dedication prayer. A ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by Adele Wolkin to dedicate the House to Baba. The newly restored and decorated Burleson House by the tireless efforts ofJulia Margaret, Carolyn Ball and other Baba lovers, and the Tea Party hosted byjeanne Felknor, were breathtakingly beautiful, and a sweet reminder oftea with Mehera at Meherazad, or tea at Dilruba in Myrtle Beach. As pilgrims sang around the piano, sipped on tea and nibbled on sweets, small groups were taken on a tour ofthe Municipal Hospital where Baba and His Mandall recuperated. I could feel the atmosphere ofBaba’s presence strongly, as we walked into the Hospital and moved toward the room were He stayed for two weeks. This room is now an office, and someone said that the women who work there seem so very happy! God only knows what Universal Work was taking place there in that room, while Truth and Truth’s Body lay convalescing. Pilgrims had the opportunity to visit the Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, on their way back to the retreat center for some rest before dinner. The evening program consisted of more music, and another talk by Adele and Roshan, sharing more of their reflections on their life with Baba. The evening concluded with a music concert by Cathy Riley and friends and with a very hot Dhuni, accompanied by songs and music. Sunday’s program began with Arti and prayers, followed by a moving choir concert performance under the capable direction of Deb bie Nordeen. Murshida Connor then gave an incredible speech, “a three-candy sermon,” as she called it in good humor, expanding our understanding of the significance of Baba’s accident following the Trail of Tears, and the important spiritual impact of the event for America and the world. Mary Sheppard, one of Baba’s Sufis, accompanied Murshida’s program with angelic songs of love and devotion, tunes from the original Oklahoma, with new Heartland lyrics. The Sahavas concluded with closing remarks, more songs, and silence in His Remembrance. On the drive back to Chicago, and for several days thereafter, I couldn’t help but feel that Baba had altered something in me most fundamentally. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but I feel that much more attuned to His Loving Care. Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!

}vI 7ime in EBaba’s 21ectrthmd Winnie Barrett,

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11 around me eyes were glistening. “Wow,” some said. “Awesome,” oth ers whispered. Baba’s love was filling us to overflowing before we’d been in Oklahoma even 24 hours. Tears fell freely. Eruch used to call them “cool tears of love.” Mani re ferred to them as “the melting.” We felt the fountain ofHis presence simply saturate us with bliss. The Burleson House in Prague, Ok., was officially opened and dedicated on May 21 during a four-day Sahavas. Some 110 hale and hearty Baba lovers from all over the United States gathered in His love. One profoundly sensed that this new Center is part ofHis plan, and that He was made very welcome in Prague, where He spilled His blood in and for America. Dear Brother Bhau sent the following message for the occasion: “May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba bless Heartland Center with His love so that His thirsty lovers may come there to shed the blood oftheir tears and realize what the Beloved does to make them His lost lovers, remember Him. May the Beloved take away gradually their attraction to illusion and to realize the importance of shedding His blood there. May Heartland Center always give His message to the people ofthe world that here the Beloved shed His blood in order to make them remember how foolishly they had forgotten Him who is their true life ,

Ashevill!e, 2’JC

in the show of illusory life. My loving Jai Baba to all the dear ones who come to visit the Heartland Center and who realize the importance of this Center in the West. The Beloved shed His blood in the West first, and in India afterwards. As He shed His blood first in the West, people have started realizing the importance of shedding His blood here, and in India they are still sleeping. I don’t know when they will be awake. But when they are awake, they will go on continuously shedding their tears until the blood comes out of their eyes. This will all happen, and people will witness.” John Poag wrote this beautiful prayer for the dedication of the Burleson House: “Th the Gloiy of God 7b the return ofC’hrist to Earth, Meher Baba, Merciful Fathe Th His American sacry’Ice Th the shedding ofHis blood, For the sins ofmany Andfor the errors ofa nation, That led to the trail oftears. Th His unfathomable love, Which always is, Always was, And always will be. 7h His work on Earth, The gn’atest ofworks, Beyond all other works. Tb the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center

Dedicated to His remembrance That through this renter multitudes May come to know Him, and love Him, And understand what He has done.” One of many highlights of the gathering was a talk given by the three Burleson children, now grown. They shared their memories of seeing, across the stone wall behind their house, the ambulance and hearse arrive, bringing Baba, Mehera and the other injured parties to the emergency entrance ofthe tiny hospital their father had created only two years prior. They talked ofMani coming to play with them, and ofmeeting Baba in the hospital. The overriding reflection from all three was, “Those eyes, those beautifhl brown eyes.” When asked how the events of those days affected them later, Michael replied, “I don’t call myself a Baba Lover, but I guess I am! I’d have to say that Meher Baba is the accessible Christ.” Duncan Knowles showed the film he had made of the 2002 Sahavas, commemorat ing the 50th anniversary of the accident. Particularly poignant was the footage of our dear Leatrice Shaw Johnston, who has since passed. Her sharing, so very much like her Father’s, was a powerful, bountiful outpouring of love for the Beloved, bringing His divine presence into each heart as she spoke. The “christening” ofthe House included


a ribbon cutting with Adele Wolkin doing the honors, music, and a wonderful tea party All were touched by the donation of a lock ofBaba’s hair (from the estate ofJoy Miller) given by Ralph and Stella Hernandez. The Burlesons generously gave back to the house the original Steinway piano they grew up with, and all were moved when the family donated Dr. Burleson’s signed copy of God Speaks given to him by beloved Baba Him— self. Sufism Reoriented and Hermes Reiter donated numerous beautiful, large photos for the home. Irma Sheppard was moved to send this poem after returning home to Arizona: “Unveiling the Burleson House” We entei, examine the house room by room, hail, closet and cellai; upstairs and down, as fit were a newborn— in wonder and delight we discover the grace in eachfingernail and toe. Baba is our constant companion in the eye ofeach smile, in the sweetness ofour greetings, in the rose on the teacup, in the heart ofevery song. His all—seeing eyesfollow us from Hisphotographs on the walls. He blesses ourpilgrimage, our tea and cookies, songs and stories, our quiet sitting, the humming in our veins. Under His gracious gaze we meet long lost kin. All my relatives, we say. AllMy children, He says. How happy we are that You are here, we say. Here, we are the American dreamfamily gathered whole again, indivisible in theAmerican dream home— MeherBaba dreaming us into the reality ofHis love.

Michael Burleson wrote after returning to his home in California: “The weekend was a wonderful experience for us. The home was just like it was 50 years ago. I think the house is very happy now, I could feel it. I have a strong sense that Baba has transformed the house to this state in such a way that the clock is really turned back to its happiest days. The community there at the Saturday party seemed like a family reunion, certainly not a bunch of strangers.” Debbie Nordeen ofNorth Carolina wrote: “The joy at our gathering in the heartland and the grand opening of the Burleson House will always live in my heart! I was one of the last people to enter the house after the ribbon cutting, and what a treat!

The bubbling, joyful sounds of voices and the singing ringing in the rafters was [like] Christmas morning in a happy,loving family. I’ll never forget it!” Susan Paul of North Carolina wrote: “Oklahoma Icon” Chosen long before,for His plan, A springtime ride along the Trail ofTears, Onefamilyfrom Americac heartland, Oneprecious bloomfrom His garden, Eachpetal uniquelyfragrant, anchored at its base By Di: Ned Burleson, embodiment of Ainericac best; Rightpurpose, disczline, dedication and courage, Nurtured, through marriage, by blood ofthe Cherokee. “So much blooaT’ So much blood was spilled upon that ground Gross exchange with the Cherokee nation. Sealing wax on Hispledge to America. Each serves the Ancient One as only they could, And many Mays have passed As three awaken to childhoodc sacrament New generationsjoin an expansive bouquet Offiring itse(fat Hisfret.

I’m reminded of the words to one of Cathy Riley’s songs: “Said make me your wine shop, I am sober, intoxicate me.” We left this gathering in a complete state of drunkenness, filled with the wine ofHis love.

rflie

EBurleson 2louse:

The Burleson House is dedicated to Ava— tar Meher Baba as an oasis ofHis remem brance and is a place for information, retreat, prayer, pilgrimage and study ofBaba’s unifying message ofdivine love. It serves to foster and preserve historical information about Avatar Meher Baba’s time spent in and near Prague, Oklahoma, where in 1952 He met with a serious automobile collision and shed his blood on American soil. The Burleson House is in the small town ofPrague, 60 miles east ofOkiahoma City at the intersection of Rt. 62 and 99. The house is located at 1319 Barta Ave. and is directly adjacent to the Prague Hospital, where Baba was cared for. Going North on Rt. 99 (Jim Thorpe Blvd.) turn right on 14th St. Proceed several blocks to Barta Ave. Turn right. House is on the corner. Day-visitors can visit the Burleson House to receive information on Baba and the 1952 accident and to partake of this oasis

in the Heartland. Overnight visitors must make a reservation. Up to one week initial reservation can be given, space allowing, with extensions possible. We ask that only those with a definite interest in Meher Baba request overnight stays. To help with utili ties and expenses ofthe Burleson House, a suggested donation of $20 a night for each person is requested (adjusted rate for fami lies, groups). Guests are responsible for own transpor tation. Affordable rental cars are available at the airport. Day visitors and retreat guests should call caretaker Michael Ivey at 405567-4774 to make arrangements. For more information, please visit: http://heartland.meherbaba.org.

he had a split second to decide. A car was barreling down the center ofthe road stiaight at her Should she ! hit it head Ofl, or risk her car overturnuig and veer to the side? A moment before, Baba, in the front seat beside. her, had stretched out His hand. Perhaps this was her signal. She hit the car head on. It was driven by a paraplegic driving for the first time, a car specially built forhim. Baba s thrown clear of the car, landing di His back in the muddy dItch. Mehera was critically injured .:..‘ breaking glass. Mehru was injured and Elizabeth was crushed against the steering wheel with most ‘of her ribs and both arms broken, and her shoulder dangerously cut. But sheiever called attention to herselfuntil the oth ers were on their way in the ambulance to the hospital, in Prague, Oklahoma. It was the morning of May 24, 1952. t A moment of destiny for America and ofcourse for Elizabeth too. Yars before, Baba, at Harmon-oi’--Hudson, had plucked a small pink wildflower and given it to her, asking her to keep it and remember the date. She pressed it in her Bible and found it years later. The date? May 24, 1932. She said “Through the experience of sharing Balm’s suffering to a degree, I feel my life, instead ofbeing nearly cut off was extended for a purpose; the gift of the little flower was grace from the Master tO be treasured in the heart.”

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Filis Frederick, Heroines ofthe Path—Elizabeth Chapin Patterson —

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13c1øved Avatar 7frkher EBabn jave 21is message,

11 h 7 c 3tighest of the. 21 .

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Dekra Dun on 7 th &ptembcr, 1953 13hau 7 <alcIrnri

2003, the Golden Jubilee of this mes sage was celebrated there for people to know its importance. Shrimati Prakashwati’s daughter, nicknamed Billi (which means “cat” in Hindi), from Dehra Dun, came to the Trust Office on the evening of 4th September while I was meeting with staff members. Outside the door, she started saying, “Meow, meow, meow!” When we were in Dehra Dun, Billi was a small girl. She was very bold and would sit in my lap. Now she has grown up, and her son and daughter-in-law were accompanying her. “Why are you not going to Dehra Dun!?” she asked me. “Have you forgotten!? 7th September is the Goldenjubilee of the Beloved’s message, ‘Highest of the High.’ We are having a big program there!” “I have not heard anything about it,” I replied. “Please send something immediately about the ‘Highest ofthe High!” I had been working continuously, but I have known Billi since childhood, and because she insisted that I send a message, I could not refuse. So on Friday, 5th Septem ber, 2003, I dictated the following: My dearest Narendra Prasadji, In 1953, Beloved Babawas in seclusion in Dehra Dun. No one was allowed to see Him. Only Kishan Singh was permitted to come to the Mandali’s bungalow every morning and go back in the evening. When people came to know this, they would approach him and ask, “Please tell Baba that He must allow us to see Him.” Baba had already told Kishan Singh that before He left Dehra Dun, He would see all those who wanted to see Him. But that mo ment had not yet come, so still Kishan Singh kept asking him the same question. At the time, Baba was doing particular work. Every midnight, He would visit temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and agyaris [Zoroastrian places ofworship]. He would remain in them until 6 am. Whenever He would go into a church, Dr. Donkin would be with Him and recite a Christian prayer. In mosques, Aloba recited a Muslim

In

prayer. Eruch would accompany Him to the agyaris, where Eruch would recite Parsi/ Iram prayers. In Hindu temples, Vishnu and Dr. Nilu would recite Hindu prayers. Kishan Singh would recite Sikh prayers in the Gurudwaras.

4Ir

Then Baba gave the message, “The Highest ofthe High.”This message is very, very important and usefril for everyone. Baba has made it very clear: 113

am either 2tigliest of the 2ligh or 3 am lowest of the low, but 3 am not in-between the states. Df 3 am the 2tighest of the I-1igh, there is nothing I/Ie. 3 1 for you to ask J know what you need and without asking, 3 give. i3ut if 3 am the lowest of

the low and you ask J44e for anything, thousands of times, it will be of no use. 3 cannot give you. So if 3 am 2lighest of the 2tigh, there is nothing for you to ask. 3 give you without your asking, but because 3 am not in the middle state, 3 cannot give anjthing to you. ..Anyway, you have to leave everjthing to JVte. 3t depends upon jou, what you take J 14e for, but 3 tell you 1 the 7ruth, that 3 am either the 2tighest of the 2ligh or lowest of the low. 3 am not any J44ahatma, Sat Puntsh, or )3ogi.” How important this message is! And how important is Dehra Dun, where Beloved Baba gave this message on 7th September, 1953. It contains the essence of everything. May we all follow this message and become truthful, sincere, loving, and honest to live in the world and to follow Him. He is the Way, and He always shows us the Way, but we must have faith, and we must love Him. Make Dehra Dun as Brindavan [the village where Krishna grew up] and hear the Voice of His Flute. He has given the heart to hear this Voice. Devote your time as much as possible to hear the sweet Voice of the Flute while doing everything of the world honestly, sincerely, faithfully, lovingly, and willingly.


On the (4J.jØjjjg: ‘If ç2L’j4jer JkbflS

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73hau 2<ctlchuri and 2’Iaosherwan ..J1nzar

NA: Did Mani, Ramjoo and Ghani aid hau Kaichuri gave the following interview to Naosherwan Anzar at the you or play any role in taking down notes or Northeast Gathering at Camp Ashokan, in writing any material for GodSpeaks based on points given by Baba? the New York Catskills Mountains, on 7th BK: Mani, Ramjoo, Ghani and Adi August, 2004. played no role in taking down notes. I only The article in its entirety [excerpts pre played the role of dividing up the chapters sented here] appeared in the August 2004 isand giving them titles. Later on, when a copy sue ofGlow International[available through of God Speaks was given to Murshida Ivy the Love Street Bookstore]. Bhau Kaichuri, Meher Babac disczple and Duce, she would write to Mani. Mani would read out her questions to Baba. Baba would one ofHis inner circle (called the Mandali), talked with Naosherwan Anzar on the need reply, and Mani would send the answers to Murshida Ivy Duce. In this way, Mani also and necessity ofpreservingMeher Babai words. played a role in writing God Speaks. In this interview, Bhau debunks some of the Dr. Ghani was not present when God fallacies swirling around the Avatarc words Speaks was dictated. Before this, however, and actions andputs them in afinalperspec Baba had asked Dr. Ghani to write a Suppletivefor posterity. Naosherwanc questions are ment (though at the time, nobody knew that designatedNA; Bhaujic responses, BK NA: Bhauji, you were present when God it would become the Supplement to God Speaks). Baba would also give him certain Speaks was dictated by Meher Baba? Could points and explain them, and Dr. Ghani you please explain the methodology? BK: I was present in Dehra Dun when would write them down. Sometimes, he Beloved Babawas dictating GodSpeaks. Baba would feel so tired, that he would not change his clothes, nor take offhis shoes. He would used an alphabet board for dictation. For the first chapter, Eruch would read the alphabet just sleep on the bed. When Baba would come in the morning, He would see Ghani board, while Pendu would write down what sleeping. He would wake him up and ask Eruch uttered. From the second through him to write. Ghani had to do it. So the the eighth chapters, Eruch would read the Supplement was also written under Baba’s alphabet board, and at the same time, write supervision. When the second edition of down what Baba was dictating. All the ManGod Speaks was to be printed, Baba cor dali members were present there—Dr. Nilu, rected many terms, and Bal Natu worked Baidul, Aloba and me. Gustadji would also on them. sit and listen. Vishnu would go to the market NA: What role did Eruch play in the for grocery shopping. Dr. Donkin would creation of God Speaks? sometimes be present, sometimes not. BK: Eruch played the main role, because The first chapter of God Speaks was writexcept for the first chapter, he wrote down ten down by Pendu. Up until the eighth chapter, Baba would dictate to Eruch. Eruch what Baba dictated. Then he himself wrote the first chapter from Pendu’s notes. Eruch would read the alphabet board and write it down. Baba gave the points for the ninth and wrote the last two chapters on points Baba had given to him. tenth chapters, and Eruch took them down NA: Could you please explain exactly and wrote out the chapters. He then read how Meher Baba dictated God Speaks? them aloud to Baba. Sometimes, Baba would BK: Baba dictated. For chapters nine correct a word or make certain modifications and ten, Baba gave points, which Eruch before He approved them. wrote down. There was no typist among the men NA: Some commentators have observed, Mandali. Therefore, when we went from “The supplement [to God Speaks] was to go Dehra Dun to Satara, a typist was engaged. into the trash-bin as far as Baba was conI was given the work ofdictating what Pendu cerned...” if that were the truth, why did it and Eruch had written down. There were no appear as the supplement? Who authorized chapters and no titles when Baba dictated, its inclusion in God Speaks? so I divided the dictation into different BK: It is not the truth. The Supplement chapters, gave them titles, and put them was not to go into the trash bin as far as Baba into book form.

B

was concerned. Dr. Ghani wrote the Supplement under Baba’s order, and it was approved by Baba, and in the second edition, some terms were corrected. Baba authorized the inclusion ofthe Supplement into God Speaks, because it gives the terminology of different languages, Persian as well as Sanskrit. It was written much before God Speaks. NA: It is also alleged “the works that are absolutely irrefutably Baba’s and also cor rected by Baba are the first eight chapters of God Speaks, part two ofListen Humanity, and Song ofthe New Lfè. “Is there any truth to this statement? BK: I have already explained this in your first question. Baba dictated up until the eighth chapter, and the last two chapters Eruch wrote according to points given by Baba. These chapters were approved by Baba. The messages in Listen Humanity were given by Baba during the 1955 Sahavas programmes to four different groups and taken down by Feram Workingboxwalla. Ramjoo wrote out the messages. When Don Stevens edited the book, he combined the four groups into one. The Song ofthe New Lfè was dictated by Baba to Dr. Ghani, who wrote it down. Adi K. Irani did the English translation, but Baba helped him with it. NA: Bhauji, would Mandali members say, Dr. Ghani, write on the subject of “forgetfulness,” or any other subject, and it would appear as something dictated by Baba? In essence, would any Mandali write a discourse and have the temerity to issue it under Baba’s name? BK: Baba had given a discourse on “Forgetfulness,” and Dr. Ghani put it into proper shape. Baba would say something one day, and then on the next day He would add something new. Dr. Ghani compiled all this. No Mandali member would ever write a discourse and issue it under Baba’s name. To take down His dictation is not to write on his or her own. Everyday Baba would say so many things, but they were not written down. No one had any time to take notes. I don’t know how many books could have been written if all these words had been collected. Now I feel that had they been written down, it would have been very useful for posterity. ...

53


NA: How were the Discourses written? Starting with the earliest ones in MeherMes— sage, Meher Gazette, MeherBabaJournal and later the five volumes by Deshmukh, three volumes by Sufism Reoriented (also known as the 6th edition) and now the one volume Discourses (known as the 7th edition). Could you give as detailed an answer as you can? BK: From time to time, Baba would give discourses. Some, but not all, in the earlier period were printed in MeherMessage, Meher Gazette and the Meher Baba Journal. First, Kj. Dastur would take notes and include them in MeherMessage. Then Man— dali members, such as Chanji, would take them down, and they would be printed in Meher Gazette. Then Elizabeth Patterson took down discourses from Baba and printed them in The Meher Baba Journal. Later, all these discourses were col lected and compiled into five volumes by Dr. Deshmukh. Later C.B. Purdom produced a version of the discourses entitled God to Man andMan to God Bal Natu helped with this. The five volumes were changed to three volumes by Sufism Reoriented, particularly by Ivy Duce, and are known as the sixth edition. Now there is the one volume Discourses, done by Bal Natu and Flagg Kris and known as the seventh edition. Sometimes, Eruch would help them. NA: You have often talked about natu ral, non-natural and unnatural sanskaras. The expression “unnatural sanskaras” does not appear in Baba spiritual literature. Is it something that Baba explained to you directly? Could you please clarify? BK: Baba had written in His 1925 book about unnatural sanskaras. He would also use this term when He gave talks. In The Nothing and the Everything, He uses the term “non-natural impressions,” which He made clear when He was in Toka in 1928. He has said that in one second you collect one million impressions from the atmosphere. These sanskaras are not col lected through deeds, thoughts or speech but automatically from the atmosphere. So they can easily be wiped out. There are sanskaras from the atmosphere which create viral or other diseases. They can be treated medically and wiped out. There is a world ofdifference between natural and unnatural impressions. Natural impressions, which we create through deeds, thoughts and speech, are in response to the Whim, “Who am I?” Those impressions that are not in response to the Whim and become obstructions to the

progress of the evolution of consciousness (that is, undesirable thoughts, undesirable deeds and undesirable speech) create un natural impressions. Natural impressions continue to be there up until the sixth plane, because they are necessary for the progress of the evolution of consciousness. But un natural impressions are difficult to wipe out. They become a hindrance in the progress of the evolution ofconsciousness. They should be wiped out before entering into the subtle planes. [continuing the interview the next day Naosherwan asks.] NA: Yesterday, in your talk you mentioned that the manuscript Infinite Intelligence, scheduled for publication next year, is the book written by Baba in 1925 in the table cabin. Is that true? BK: Wherever He would go, Baba would carry the manuscript ofthe book He wrote in 1925 in a box. When He came to the West, he gave that book to Elizabeth Patterson to put in a bank, where it remained. Which bank and where? Nobody knows. In 1937, Baba went to London. He sent a message to Elizabeth to send the book to London through someone, which she did. She also had a chart drawn up according to Baba’s instructions. That chart was also sent through someone to London. Baba brought the box with the manuscript and kept it in a Bombay bank in three names—Ramjoo Abdullah, Sarosh Irani, and Kaka Baria. In 1957, Baba went to Bombay and was staying at Ashiana, Nariman and Arnavaz Dadachanji’s house. Ramjoo was staying in DinaTalati’s house. Late one evening, Baba called Ramjoo. Ramjoo met with Baba. He did not understand Baba’s sign language, so I was interpreting gestures. Baba instructed Ramjoo to bring the book to Him. Ramjoo brought the manuscript directly to Dma Talati’s, where he said to her daughter Perviz, “Do you know what I have brought? It is Baba’s manuscript, which He had written in 1925.” Afterwards, nobody knew where Ramjoo kept that manuscript. He was living in Satara. We made inquiries with his son, Au, one ofthe trustees ofthe Avatar Meher Baba trust. He also did not know what happened to the manuscript. When Baba dropped His body, a search was conducted at Meherazad. In a grain storage building, there was a cupboard in which many things had been placed. When Eruch and Mani searched it, they found 39 pages written in Baba’s hand, as well as other things to which they paid no atten

tion. Mani took the 39-page manuscript and kept it in her cupboard. When Mani passed away, her cupboard was searched, and these 39 pages were found [published in 2000 under the title ofln Godc Handby Beloved Archives] Eruch’s brother, Meherwan Jes sawala, was very anxious. Again, he searched the cupboard in the grain store. He found a copy of another manuscript. He asked Eruch about it. Eruch did not recognize the manuscript, as it was in a different hand than the 39 pages. I was in San Francisco at the time. Meherwan phoned me and told me that he had found a manuscript that no one could recognize. I told him, “When I come back to India, I will see what it is.” When I returned to Ahmednagar, I went to Meherazad. Meherwan Jessawala showed me the copy ofthe manuscript. I went through it and immediately recognized it as a copy of the manuscript of the book Baba wrote in 1925, because it was on the subject of infinite intelligence. In 1967, when Baba was in the last phase of His seclusion, He would work in Mandali hall for three hours. We would be outside and not allow even a bird to make noise. After three hours, Baba would clap. We would wash our feet and go into Mandali hail. Then the Master’s prayer and the Repentance prayer would be recited. Baba Himself would take part in the prayers. He would then bow down at the feet of each Mandali member. He would ask all to leave. He would then dictate the book, The Nothing and the Everything, to me. None of the Mandali knew that Baba had been dictating about infinite intelligence to me, though he did tell Mandali members that He was giving 10% ofthe book that He had written in 1925. When Meherwan showed me the manu script, it was easy for me to recognize it, and I said, “It is Baba’s.” Baba himselfmust have instructed somebody to make a copy from the original manuscript, and Eruch accepted whatl said. I then worked with Ward Parks—an American Baba lover living in India—for six months to set everything right, mak ing sure the proper terminology was used for the words Baba had written in Persian, Urdu and Gujerati. But that work was not complete. Ward then worked with Meh erwan to put the entire book into proper shape and translate the Persian, Urdu and Gujerati terms into English. That book is now ready for publication. It will come out in a year [excerpts from the book have been .


published in the February 2004 issue of Glow International]. NA: For posterity’s sake, I would like a confirmation from you, as one of Meher Baba’s close, intimate Mandali, that the Discourses, God Speaks, Ljft at its Best, The Everything and the Nothing are indeed Meher Baba’s words, and that any suggestion to the contrary would be to confound and confuse the seeker today and, eventually, posterity? BK: The Discourses, God Speaks, Lift at its Best, The Everything and the Nothing are indeed Meher Baba’s words, and you are right that any suggestion to the contrary would confound and confuse the seeker today and eventually posterity. No doubt about it. They were all approved by Baba when He was physically present. When the second edition of God Speaks was printed, Baba went through the supplement of God Speaks and corrected it. That was the final version. The EverythingandtheNothingwas from discourses Baba had given from time to time. Theywere compiled by Emch and Mani and then approved by Baba. Bearnsfrorn Meher Baba on the Spiritual Panorama was written in Mahabaleshwar in 1956 before Baba went to the West. This book came about when Murshida Ivy Duce sent many questions to Baba. Baba called Dr. Deshmukh, who typed out Baba’s answers. Then Baba approved them. Baba then took them to the West, and they were printed as Beams. During the mass Darshan programmes in 1953 and 1954, Baba’s messages were written down and printed in booklet form. They all carry Baba’s words. Besides these, however, there were many messages Baba gave during mass Darshan programmes that were not printed. In the old life, there were many circulars. In the new life, these were named New Life circulars. Afterwards, in 1952, when Baba completed His Manon ash work, these were called Life Circulars, and they remained Life Circulars until the end. These circulars included instructions beloved Baba gave to His lovers from time to time. NA: As a follow-up, does the suggestion that certain words of Baba have a special spiritual energy, an ‘atom bomb’ like energy attached to them, while other words ofBaba do not, have any significance? BK: Please remember that the words of Baba have spiritual energy like an atom bomb, provided they areput into action. Just as an atom bomb destroys physical forms,

so also the energy of His words wipes out sanskaras, provided these words are put into action. As long as atom bombs are kept and not used, they destroy nothing. But when atom bombs are exploded, destruction takes place. So also do Baba’s words, when put into action, destroy sanskaras within. They do not do harm to any one. On the contrary, they help people to have inner advancement, which is necessary to know the answer to the real question, “Who am I?” Outer de struction is harmful but inner destruction is useflil, it takes one towards the realization ofthe truth. There are certain words that are not written down in book form. People don’t know the words Baba used from time to time amongst the Mandali. Those words are also more powerful than the energy of atom bombs. He would give these words in order for the Mandali to put them into action, not through their minds, which interprets any way it wants. That’s whyMandali members, who were directly connected to the Avatar, were dedicated ftslly to Him and danced to His tune. They are the example of putting His words into action. Reading His words intellectually, and interpreting them in your own fashion, does not help in any way. The words should be put into action. The spiritual path cannot be understood. It cannot be discussed. It cannot be analyzed. Everyone has different types of sanskaras, and this body is nothing but the mould of past sanskaras, That’s why each person has a different face, not the same one. Therefore, each ofus needs a different treatment according to our sanskaras, and only He, who knows the treatment, can give us the proper one. So when He gives His wish, and the awareness to follow His wish, and we follow it lovingly, sincerely and honestly, then He takes the responsibility for us and goes on cleaning our impressions. Divine love is the gift from God to man. Obedience is the gift from a lover to the real Master. And surrenderance is the gift from the real Master to a lover. Naosherwan, I hope I have been able to answer all your questions. But these words are merely words. There is only One Word, and we have to hear the voice ofthat word. But when there are innumerable words in our minds, we cannot hear the voice of the word of words. Therefore, only when the mind is annihilated, does knowledge come. You cannot have it until the mind is annihilated. Since the Beloved works within, talking has an effect. When you talk, you must allow

the Beloved to talk through you. Otherwise, it is all meaningless. There are so many scholars. They write books, and they talk. But this is intellectual gymnastics. Have you seen the masts? Masts cannot understand anything, because they go beyond understanding. For ordinary persons, understanding has value, but this value is valueless, because ofthe ego. One thinks that one is a very learned scholar and has the authority, or attained Godhood. Meher Baba did not give authority to anyone. Baba did not even give any authority to Mehera, who was His beloved. She was all Baba from head to foot. She knew Baba’s wish. She did not think about it. She knew it. The answers that I have given to all your questions, I have heard directly from Meher Baba. I have not read The Discourses, God Speaks, Lfr at its Best or any other books. I just heard Baba when He was dictating.

.Meherazad today is a pleasant and peaceful place. Our daily routine continues as when Baba was here, the men and women disciples live here and cay on with their duties butwe sadly miss the familiár phrases, “Babawants you,” “Baba said so,” and so on. But onthe whole it is like feeling ourselves in ‘t vacuum However, though we miss Baba, we don’t feel He is absent. What we miss is His silence that was so much a part of Him for 44 yg’s. In the midst of all His activities, Baba’s silent gestures, His very.. silence were words in themselves vibrantwords which went deep into the hearts of His lovers nd caused them to fill at His feet, even ready to give their lives at a signal from Him. That is the silence we mi no the silence which. spoke that is no longer with us... ...We, the mandali, feelthat there will come a day when the world at large will know about Añtar Meher Baba, His silence and the Word of all ords which will be released and felt by the world... . .

Eruch jessawala, from TheAncient One ©1985 Naoshenin Anzar 55


.flone)fle 24ew Avatar A1chcr EBaba

Dnkniet J2a%io &ition! hanks to the work ofJoe Stewart, there is a new Internet radio station devoted to music bylovers ofMeher Baba (with a few tunes by George Harrison and the Moody Blues as well). To access the radio station, log onto www.avatarmeherbaba.org and take the links under “What’s New” under Baba’s photo. Ifyou have a PC, choose the “Player Link” and download a small file that will enable you to.play the music. This will give you the best fidelity For those with Macs or who want to use alternate players, pick the “Station Link” to connect to the station directly. Ifyou are an artist and wish to have your music or other audio material played on the station, please contactJoe Stewart at stewart@ecc.edu.

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home inside the cabin. Over the past few years while we were working on the cabin, we kept the chair safely nearby and we only brought it to the cabin for gatherings and Sahavases. No with greatjoywe will install the chair permanently during the opening ceremony. Many thanks to everyone who has made this possible through their gener ous help and donations. Please come and be part of this joyful celebration.

Opeuiug of cAlcherana for Retreat eherana will open for overnight re treat on June 10th. Along with the completion of the interior of Baba’s Cabin and the permanent installation ofHis chair it will now be possible to come and stay at

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he 7th annual Australian Youth Sahavas dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba will be held at Avatar’s Abode, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast from the 13-17th of April 2006. Young people aged 12-18 years are warmly invited to attend. The Youth Sahavas program will include art workshops, bushwalks, discussions, Arti, special events and ample opportunities to enjoy Beloved Baba’s Australian Abode in the company of peers. All accommodation and meals will be provided. We would especially like to extend this invitation to young people from overseas. If you wish to receive more information about the Youth Sahavas or if you would like to attend Contact: Meherose Borthwick meherose@hotmail.com

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bA 73e1ated 13irtk

Opening of Btibds Ccibin at JkkIwrnrni ver the past few months, we have been working on finishing the inside of Baba’s Cabin. For those ofyou who have not seen Baba’s Cabin, it is built of plantation grown fir logs with the interior upper walls and ceiling paneled in pine. The Cabin has two exquisite stained glass windows designed and crafted by Amir Chafai. The window on the west, which is directly over Baba’s Chair, is of the Mastery in Servitude emblem in beautiful pastel colors, and the window on the east is ofthe Tree of Knowledge with vines and leaves in jewel tones. The interior floor ofthe cabin is paved with kota stone from Ahmednagar. This is the same type ofstone that is in Baba’s Samadhi and His bedroom at Meherazad. The doors have been handcrafted of beautiftil old growth sugar pine from the Yosemite forest. The unique wrought iron work on the doors was designed by us and made by a local blacksmith. Baba’s Chair, which was used by Baba extensively at Meherazad in the early 1960’s, will now have its permanent

Austrti1ian )3outh &duivtis 13-17th Apri1 2006

very belated welcome to the 21 child ofBob Een and his wife Karin Levitas. Elaiya Rose Een arrived on the 4’ December 2003. She is named for Eruch, the E and the name in Hebrew means servant ofthe Lord, and that was surely Eruch!

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Meherana throughout the year. Although the initial accommodations are rustic, over the next few months we will be working on enhancing the meadow site and Tin Shed kitchen for retreat. We are currently working on our first four-bed tent-cabin similar to the ones in Yosemite Valley which will be available for those ofyou who prefer not to camp in your own tent *seephoto above. Over the summer we will be building more of these charming structures, which have standard floors, windows and doors along with tent siding and roofs plus a small deck. The setting for the tent cabins is a beautiful and secluded meadow site surrounded by stately oaks and pines having a lovely view to the east along the Agua Fria creek bed and the mountains behind. As the opening date ofJune 10th draws near we will be posting reservation information on our website, Meherana.org

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Welcome Elaia!

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&imcthing 2’Iew on the JI’kher 73aba .srael Websik http://meherbabaisrael.org/ e placed the Guide to the Murals of Lyn and Phyllis Ott that surround the Dining Hall in the Pilgrim Center in Meherabad on line. These are low resolution internet pictures. There might be some distortions of colors and shapes of the photos due to angles of photo shootings, and distortions caused during photoshop preparations, but you can always go to Meherabad and view the originals! http://meherbabaisrael.org.il/photos phyllisott.html

EBectutifu1 2Itotos of cAlclicrabad onderful photos of Meherabad and Meherazad taken by Tony Howell can be viewed here:: http://wwwtonyhowell. co.uk/wallpaper,meherazad.htm But wait—there’s more! http://wwwtonyhowell.co.uk/meherazad.htm Included are some stunning photos of the moon over the Samadhi which you can download as wallpaper (computers only!)

.7I”tandt:L1i 7dks by tiw 4

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ourtesy of some wonderful workers at Meherabode, you can now hear Mani, Eruch, Aloba, Katie et al streaming forth from your very own computer! Go to http:// mandalihall.org/ and check it out. Modern technology—fabulous!

en you are visiting Hawaii, please let us know. We would love to see you if you are able to come to Mobkai. If you knew Stan Alapa, (he is no longer with us, but with our Beloved.) we can have coffee and just talk Baba.

!2\lcw Vebsitc

We have overnight accommodations at reasonable rates.

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ime on your hands? Want a new hobby? Mayan, an art teacher from Israel, will teach you how to knit pictures! Visit Mayan’s wonderful new web site, showing her art of knitted pictures. http://www.pictureknitting.com/ You will see her portraits ofMeher Baba and Mehera, scenes of Meher Center, and more. Go to the Gallery and click on any of the three pictures to see more. Mayan’s work has been exhibited not only at the Center but also in the local community where several beautiful knitted portraits ofBaba were dis played to the public. It’s absolutely amazing how she does it. And if you knit, there are instructions so you can do it too.

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5oth Anniverstirj Celebnition to Commemornte 1955 StthLwas ofAvntar JfrIeher thiba JVkkerabad, 2nd and 3rd 4ovenLbei, 2005 n 1955, a one month long Sahavas was held at Meherabad, from 3rd Novem ber to 3rd December 1955. Avatar Meher Baba called His Indian lovers to be in His company of intimacy and companionship. The lovers were grouped into four language groups, Gujarati, Telugu, Hindi and Marathi. Two hundred men each week, belonging to a particular language group, were invited to stay at Meherabad. At the start of each week’s Sahavas all the participants were urged by Baba to be with Him as freely and intimately as the resident Mandali. A full account of this Sahavas is given in Listen Humanity by Don Stevens. A.M.B.P.P.C. Trust, Ahmednagar, will be commemorating the 50th Anniversary of 1955 Meherabad Sahavas by organiz ing various activities at Meherabad and Meherazad on the 2nd and 3rd November 2005. All are welcome to participate in this programme. The two-day celebration will include talks by 1955 Sahavas participants, music

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and singing, a play, a film covering the Sahavas, and a visit to Meherazad to share the Mandali’s experiences of the 1955 Sahavas. Those Baba lovers who were privileged to attend the 1955 Sahavas are requested to share their Sahavas experiences. Please send your willingness to share your experiences to Urmilla and Gokaran Shrivastava, Librar ians, Meherabad Hill Library, Meherabad, Ahmednagar (MS) 414 006 at the earliest. Or telephone 0241 2548473. Please give this notice a wide circulation in areas adjoining your Centre and empha size that those who desire to participate should do so by reserving accommodation in advance, as the first week of November 2005 is a rush time of pilgrims at Mehera— bad due to Devali vacation. Reservations in Hostel D, Dharamshala or Pilgrim Centre can be made by email pimco@ambppct. org or by phoning (from the States) 011 91 212 343666

1 808 567 6383 on property 1 808 567 6074 my office 1 808 567 6800 Fax number A Hui Hou. (Until we meet again) Shirley Alapa C/o MeherDham Hawaii 2935 Farrington Ave Hoolehua, Mobokai, Hawaii 96729 P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757

2’Iew EBabtL Center Opens rague, Ok1aJwmu in 2 (see article onpage 43,)

amed the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center (AMBHC), it is located in the former home ofDr. Ned Burleson, the doctor who cared for Baba, Mehera, Meheru and Elizabeth after the auto accident on May 24, 1952. The Burleson house is next-door to the old Prague Clinic, where Baba and the Mandali were treated and stayed for 12 days after the accident. Mani, Adi and other Mandali members were frequent visitors in the Burleson home during the time that they were in Prague. The new AJVIBHC is now available to the community for information and pilgrimage. Prague is located roughly 50 miles due east of Oklahoma City on Highway 62, the road on which the accident happened. If you are travelling from Coast to Coast, what better way to break your journey?! The A]VIBHC may be contacted at: 1319 Barta Ave. Prague, OK, 74864 (405) 567-4774 Email: miveyl@charter.net

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:EfaLIre :Dctvis ond ¶Prern Jfrlakeig Wed 30, 2005, Prem Meher Makeig and Fayre Alexine Davis celebrated Onjuly their marriage with 45 close family and friends (and many more who were there in spirit and heart—including God-mother Adele Wolkin and other dear friends from the S. California group). The wedding took place in a lovely town hail in an old, tree-lined neighborhood of Garrett Park, Maryland. The town hall had once been a church, and Fayre’s mother, Kristin Davis, and family friends Will David, Bryan West, David Raffo, and Pamela and Saroja ButlerStone transformed the main stage area into a beautiful altar to Beloved Baba. J anice Reiman on cello and Mira Lutgendorf on viola played “Ocean of Love” as Prem and Fayre offered white and pink roses before Baba’s photo—a beautiful photo framed in pink and gold that Baba’s beloved Mehera had given to the Washington Gathering. Best man Gabe Mednick read a Baba message, and Prem’s parents, Scott and Anne Makeig, sang their own wedding song, “Garden Chains,” while Scott played piano. Fayre’s father, Robert Aubry Davis, and stepmother, Patricia Brannan, read a moving passage from the Bible on love. Prem and Fayre met in July 1993 at the third annualYouth Sahavas at Baba’s Center in Myrtle Beach. The minister who marned them (a local minister they contacted through Fayre’s father, only to find out he had “coincidently” learned of Meher Baba in the late ‘60s!) invited all present to share in a Sahavas of love. Following the ceremony, everyone gath ered for a festive dinner by candlelight and fresh pink azalea blooms, while friends and family toasted the couple, including their dear friends Amman Fenster and Kent Davis-Packard. As they start their new life together, Prem and Fayre are fortunate to be living at the foot of Meherabad Hill for a few months. They write from Meherabad, “Our

dear friends from the LA Center are in our hearts and minds as we visit Baba’s Samadhi, especially Baba’s dear Maguire family. Thank you, everyone, for your presence and love in our lives.” For digital wedding photos taken by Fayre’s mother, Kristin, or just to say hello, feel free to write fayre@visiondance.com.

Moon. That is why when I turned to look You surprised me With your planetary being. Just nearly touching, Not quite touching Not quiteBetween our cheeks Flesh white Ofthe Moon’s veils

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We were married in childhood In the innocent nakedness of our longings Listen, Prem, can you hear our wedding bans Inscribed on the scrolls of the sea Each night When we walk with seakissed feet? Moonflesh married us Selected us as sun blessed twins Brother and sister from fourteen to forever The Moon’s rays are the ambassadors And ministers ofour Love.

3or 3ayre and Prem

J4/ktkeig on Their Wedding rDay, 3ul 30, 2005 Fayre: Iprayed to the moon when I was youngfor a boy to love me, and the night before Ifiew to San Diego, a song came up on the radio, “This is your love, catch your moon. “And then the moon was rising over the clffi when Prem took me to the ocean.

7he J4loon’s Jl4ctrriage Song 7hrough Psalrnody ofthe Waves FAYRE: I love you, Prem, With the strength offlaming moonlight Not with the faint glow, But with the fierce strength ofthe full

.Prems Song to ayre Through 1salrnody oftlie vVaves Our Marriage Song sings to us Through Psalmody ofthe waves This Song I sing Into our lives Shall never be A written melody Our Moon shall play it for us As our wedding march continual Each time we kiss on moonbied tones With the foam ofour sacred feet. Happy Marriage Blessed by Baba Forever, Michael Mathias, Poet of the Silence, California


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71w A’kiierabad ),ung .Adu1t &ilmvns 2005 th to3uly 3rd. A )joung &thavas 3n9od’s Country 7 3une 2 rnl, Jl4itmbai 1 2’Iivedita }1. fI:Iag different and beautiful in it’s own way. After hey were young, single and not so all it is the King ofKings Sahavas! I feel His spiritually minded, but were full of love Presence and His Divine Love flowing in and a desire to be in intimacywith Divinity. ours hearts always. We come as individuals What a week that was! The Gen X spent seven days making new friends, renewing but return home together as one big Baba family.” And when they go back how many old ties, establishing new relationships and most of all reveling in the love of Avatar keep in touch with one another? It’s one thing to spend seven days together. But Meher Baba. Now in it’s fifth year, it is becoming a model event for meeting new once cut off, does any attraction hold them together? Arish says, “Of course I keep in young Baba lovers. touch with the friends. We try to catch up The weather was cloudy and stormy. at Amartithi. We exchange emails, call each Baba’s seven-colored flag on Meher Retreat other also. These are notjust friendships, but fluttered in the breeze in Upper Meherabad. relationships that last a lifetime.” And he is Down below in Hostel C at Lower Mespeaking on behalfofmost Sahavasees who herabad were 75 young adults. They had share and feel the same sentiments. converged for intimacy in God’s presence. Sahavas is not only to have a jolly good So how was it to experience a unique love time. It is also to undertake useful projects, gathering? Through the eyes and experience of a veteran Sahavasee, Arish Patel from which give a sense of ftiffillment. Some of the projects that have been undertaken in Mumbai, one gets a fair idea of the times the past include tree planting (necessary due they had. Having attended the last five Sa to the climate in Meherabad), cleaning up havas’ also he has a lot to share. Returning various important Baba places, and discushome after a hectic week he tells us, “The sion groups where the topics are of course first Meherabad Sahavas took place in 2000, spiritual in nature! Arish explains the need to in the beginning of the new century.” Did undertake these projects, “It’s an opportunity Baba have any young adult Sahavases dur ing His time? Arish says, “Well, I do know we all crave, for doing some small amount ofwork at Meherabad; we would never get in His time there were Sahavases, but not an opportunity to do otherwise. It gives us necessarily for certain age groups only. I a lot of satisfaction working together in our think it’s a great opportunity for youngsters own little way in service to Beloved Meher to come together and share His Divine Baba.” Love.” And in all these five years what has This year the Sahavasees went on a the experience been like? He says enthusias tour to the Ajanta & Ellora Caves. What tically, “This, being my fifth Sahavas, makes me a veteran. The experience is unbelievable. was significant about the trip? Arish tells us: “Each Sahavas we take trips to places The first Sahavas was a mind-blowing one Baba has been. This time it was Khuldabad for me. I experienced ten days ofjoy, love (The Valley of the Saints) and the Aanta and friendship. He adds further, “I would and Ellora Caves. We went to Khuldabad give up anything in the world to experience those 10 days back again.Theywere simply because Baba had personally bowed down at a tomb there 6000 times. In the Buddha unbelievable. It was a perfect blend of the cave in Ajanta we all sung the Bhujave Arti. East and the West. I strongly believe that the new civilization a lot of masters and What an Arti, aahh! It had an echoing ef fect which makes the whole atmosphere so saints have predicted will be somewhat on Divine. The main significance is you are this basis.” getting an opportunity to visit places where Each ofthe five gatherings has enriched the Lord has traveled!” many youngsters like Arish from all over What more can one ask for during a the world. For each one it is a special time Sahavas? A trip down Baba memory lane is to reconnect to God in close intimacy. Arish what most ofus want. Sahavasees can look says, “Every Sahavas has its own charm, is

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forward to more such Baba trips in future. Organizing the event is time consuming and needs much advance planning. Mehera Kleiner, who has been behind this event almost every year, tries to make everyone feel comfortable and free to enjoy themselves during the entire period.There is a complete oneness between the East and West, if the entertainment during the evenings is anything to go by. The games, dances, and spe cial entertainment programs every evening open up even the shyest of youngsters. It’s a time to display individual talents, interact and exchange ideas. In closing Arish says, “I would like to say that Sahavas is one of the greatest things that could ever happen in Meherabad. It is a bridge between the East and the West in which we come together to drink the cup of his Divine Love. Believe me, it changes lives!” And on that note he also says, “My sincere suggestion is to hold Sahavas in all the Baba centers all over the world, because you definitely do not know what you are missing. I think all the Sahavasees are really, really fortunate to be in His company for seven memorable days!”

1 or listen to thc lw,uagc ofthe kmgue od afthe ,nftid, but 2k responds to die Iauqua9e of the hcart The language ofthe heart is the sonq of love for the I3eloved. When the heart weeps for the Ei3cloved’s union and the mind suffers the pawjs of separation, then the Be1oved’s response is the final embrace into oneness. rthis meaas to lovç9od one has to keep 2tirn present and neir he absent from 2tim. rrltis mcnn while doinq all duties, doing all 1 while thinkiiuj all tlwuijhts and speakinij all deeds words, nc have aiwalls to have & rcmembrantz remcmliering 2lim as the lnckgraund to everyone and evenjthinq. littlcthin both, goodorhad ‘This nleansincvery 91 weshouki retnember 2-1irn andtheii alliesponsihility rests with2lini. —4’Iehcr 59


Dn thc &iiiness of the 2si4jht. 2’Iivedita

s2 lagpal, 7 I4nrnbai

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he night watchman cycles around the Samadhi keeping vigil across Upper Meherabad. With a staff in hand he looks out for anything unusual that may disturb the si lence and stillness. Many long-time pu grims volunteer for night duty and spend the night in the caretaker’s room till the crack ofdawn. Some night watchmen have had interesting expe riences over the years, when Meher Baba was still in His Body. Now, when He is enshrined in the Tomb, night watchmen rate interesting tales. Whether it was the Jhopdi outside which Baba stationed someone while he did Uni versal work or now, when the Tomb is locked at 8pm every night. there is a story lurking in the stillness of the night. . .

2-1ere’s One &or!J... Prescott Plumlee, a young American Baba lover, came a few weeks back to Meherabad with his mother Cherie Plumlee. He had rebelled against Meher Baba in his earlier years in Oklahoma. It was just a phase that he went through. He shrugs it off saying, “I don’t know why I rebelled. I completely stopped believing in Baba.” But Meher Baba’s attraction was too much for him to remain away! On his current pilgrimage to India he says, “I was offered the opportunuty to do night watchman’s duty at the Samadhi every Wednesday night. I accepted it.” 6o

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The caretaker’s room is a small cabin furnished with bare essentials: a bed, telephone for emergencies and a table. A torch light, staffand cycle are also provided for the duty man. At 8 pm every night the Samadhi cbs es and all pilgrims return to their lodgings, after which the night watchman takes over the vigil. Only the eastern window remains open for any stray pilgrim group that may be traveling via Meherabad on the Dond highway. The night watchman allows them

to take Darshan from the open window. For the rest of the night, he has to make hourly rounds to the theatre boundary on one side and the re treat building on the other side. In between he takes rest in the caretaker’s cabin, and this is where Prescott had a nighttime adventure, on his first nightly vigil. He described it dur ing dinner one night at the Pilgrim Cen ter: “I had made the rounds and gone to sleep. I started to get nightmares. I saw de mons all around me and on me. I started screaming in fright. I was screaming for help and no one was around. I called out to Jaichand (another night watchman). I choked trying to shoo away the de mons. It was a very long time till I got out ofthe bad reverie and realized that it was only a nightmare I was experiencing. But I was still ner vous and could not get over the weird experience. I felt I was being attacked by demons. Obviously when I woke up and realized what had happened, I was relieved. I have never had bad dreams before. It was the first time I experienced it. Don’t know if it was because ofthe night duty or something else, but it sure did scare me.” And did he decide to abandon the night watchman’s duty? He says, “Nope. The next Wednesday I decided to yell out to Baba in case I saw any more demons!” And did he see any more demons? He says, “No. I feel very strongly


that Baba put me in this situation offear and state of mind. I have gotten over the fright and as long as I am here (in Meherabad), I will continue my Wednesday night shift.” Prescott Plumlee will always remember his first nighttime adventure on the Hill. Here are some more interesting incidents which have baffled other night watchmen. Here is one intriguing story, when Chag gan Master (S. G. Deshmukh) kept a close watch outside Baba’s Room on the Hill while Meher Baba was doing Universal Work inside.

}isitor! Chaggan lI/Iaster’s 2Iightly 7 This incident is narrated by Sam Ker awalla, and coincidently, sitting on the parapet ofthe same room up at the Hill! He says, “IfI remember right, Chaggan Master was asked to sit outside this very room and Baba had given him strict instructions not to let anyone inside no matter what happened. AU was well till midnight. Then he saw a turbaned monk with some books under his arms wanting an audience with Baba. Cha ggan Master refused entry, saying that he had strict orders not to let anyone in. Soon enough Baba clapped and asked Chaggan to let the visitor in. Later in the morning, Chaggan went down to Lower Meherabad and told Padri about this nightly visitor. Padri asked him to describe the person. From the description he gave, Padri showed him a picture ofthe person, and asked if it was the same one. And indeed, it was the same person; Chaggan was then told to al low him entry. He was Swami Vivekanand, but he had dropped his body in 1931.” Sam did not remember the time when Chaggan Master did his duty but it was obviously many, many years after Swami Vivekanand left Earth!”

2<rishna 2slair’s Arin The late Krishna Nair was sitting outside Baba’s hut and was told to come in only if Baba clapped. It was a silent night and at some point he thought he heard Baba clap. He peeped inside the hut. He described the incredible sight to many pilgrims in Hostel D over a period of many years, until his death last year. He said, “I saw the brilliance ofa thousand suns in the hut. I could not see Baba anywhere. The light was so strong that I shut my eyes. Then I felt Baba’s palm on my left arm. He squeezed it so tight that it shrunk! It pained me also.” He used to show the difference ofthe two arms. Considering that Krishna Nair himselfhad a physique of an athlete, unlike Baba, the enormous power

he felt weakened him. Baba later had said that ifhe had not done that, Krishna would have died seeing so much blinding light!

i3Iuiuji’s Cotton Chocolates! How can one forget Bhauji’s numerous episodes narrated in the Pilgrim Center time and again ofwhen he kept a watch over Baba at nights? Unlike the earlier instances, these had an element of humour in them. “One night,” Bhauji reminisced, “Baba had asked me to keep a vigil outside his room. In the dark I could not see. Baba used to give me some chocolates to eat at times if everything went off well.” It was one of those times when in the dark, Baba gestured to him to give Him some cotton buds. Later He re moved them and asked Bhauji to keep them away. Thinking that they were chocolates which he got after every night he popped them in his mouth! Baba asked him what he was doing eating cotton buds. Of course it was well before chewing that he realized his mistake. Another incident is that of Gustadji that Bhauji narrates often. Once, Baba had stationed Gustadji outside his room when they were on tour. They had slept in some rooms provided by a local mosque in the area when they arrived at night. Baba had warned Gustadji not to move from the place till morning. He said he would clap and then only was Gustadji allowed to stir. It so happened that in the night Gustadji wanted to attend to the call of nature. He decided to go over a wall. When he stirred from the chair he heard Baba clap. No choice he had to go inside. Baba kept him from going out in the dark. As the sun was rising he asked Gustadji to relieve himseffi When he went out he realized why Baba kept him from relieving his bladder across the wall. It was the wall of a well and had he tried to cross it he would have fallen in the well! And being on silence, he would have been unable to shout for help!

i3ailey Drani —Baba’s 3first fA(ight vVatchrnan Bailey was Baba’s childhood friend, and he still called Him Merwan. He remembers his nighttime adventures with his school friend when, as children, they went to the Tower of Silence in the dead of the night, without telling anyone, to confront ghosts and spirits! Although Bailey got cold feet, Baba dragged him. But this incident is from the time when Baba took up living in the Jhopdi outside Poona. He asked Bailey to sit outside. Since Bailey was not the one

to really obey any orders, he was bored sitting outside. Baba must have realized it and clapped. He asked him to come and sit inside. To pass his time He asked him to continue writing ‘Sakori Na Sadguru,’ a book on the life ofUpasani Maharaj. Bailey remembers that Baba had covered Himself in a bed sheet and was hardly asleep. He felt Baba was not there at all and was curi ous, but he never questioned Baba about it. Bailey was the only one who was present in the Jhopdi, unlike other night watchmen who were asked to sit outside.

A1ways .}1wake 13hau 2<alchuri fter the second automobile collision, Baba used his upstairs bedroom at Meherazad and was carried there each day in an armchair. The night watchman always sat inside Baba’s room. This was necessary because Baba would often get leg spasms while he rested, and whenever this occurred, whoever was on duty would sit on the bed in order to massage Baba’s feet. One night I was sitting on Baba’s bed with one leg dangling over the side while I held and pressed Baba’s feet. Baba was snor ing loudly. Even though I had experienced Baba’s omniscience in Satara in this regard, still the thought pestered me: “Baba is snor ing like an ordinary man. How can it be that the Avatar has conscious sleep?” Suddenly Baba restlessly began snapping his fingers. I stood up, and as soon as both feet touched the floor, I saw a poisonous a krait —just inches from my feet! snake have been bitten had Baba surely I would attention there. Baba told my not drawn which I managed to do snake the me to kill with great difficulty as I had never killed a snake in my life. Baba then asked me, “What type ofsleep do I have?” I laughed, and Baba gestured, “Just remember that I can never sleep like an ordinary man. I am always awake. I am always conscious doing my Universal work.”

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While the World Slept, © 1984 Bhau Kaichuri

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Our9tiJ in A’Iehembad judy &ephens Judy returnsfrom her sabbatical in the US readyfor work.

ednesday 15 June 2005: During the summer a lot of work is done in the Meher Pilgrim Center. Just before opening, the final cleaning and preparing is complete and we are ready for the new Pilgrim Season. This was the second anniversary of Mohammed the Mast going to Baba. Debjani, one of the residents, put a program in old Meherabad Mandali Hall together. It was an opportunity for anyone to share memories of their time with Mohammed. First, at 4:00 pm there were tea and donuts served on the verandah. At 4:30 the program began. Gokaran Shrivastava gave the introduction to the life ofMohammed. There were some very moving stories. I videoed the program and it will one day be available for your pri vate viewing from the LA Baba Center. The Meher Hospital here at Meherabad has a Cataract Camp. The patients check in on Saturday, have surgery on Sunday, and are discharged on Monday. This Cataract Camp had 19 patients. Saturday 16 July: At 9:00 am I went to the PC [Pilgrim Center] and took those waiting on the Historical Tour of Meher abad. I found out when Baba first said, “I have not come to teach but to awaken.” It was on 9 July 1925. Pandoba (a teacher at the Hazrat Babajan School) asked Baba as He was starting to walk away “How will you. teach the children if you are silent?” Baba turned to him and said “I have come not to teach but to awaken.” This is from Bhauji’s LordMeher page 732. Wednesday 3 August: Pedro Miranda is a pilgrim here. He is an architect by profession but his specialty is designing children’s playgrounds. It was only the other day that Ted J udson told us we could have a playground at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat [MPR], and here is a person who designs them for a living! I tell you, Baba is so amazing. Only He could have arranged something so perfectly. And yes, Pedro has agreed to design the new MPR playground!This new Retreat is going to be a work ofart in itself. It seems Baba is sparing nothing in bringing out the beauty of His new place for His lovers! Sunday 7 August: I went to our store

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where the Meherabad workets gather every morning to say Arti and then be assigned their day’s work. In fact, ifwe want any work done that day we have to show up there, and then they can assign some worker to do what work we need done. While there, I found out that a giant crane had been hired to move the marble slab that Jurgis Sapkus had bought in Makrana to its circular plat form. It was to be at the Retreat by 10:00 am. I asked if I could get a ride, because I wanted to video the marble being moved. The sculpture of Beloved Baba with Mast Mohammed is going to be a marvel to behold. I wanted to record the beginning of the process for posterity. When we got to the Retreat the crane was already trying to back into the courtyard on the east side of the dining hall. Well, eventually they had to break down part of the wall fencing in the courtyard. The crane could then maneuver into position. The whole process took one and a halfhours—at least that is how much video I used. When Jurgis was satisfied it was exactly right, the chain (with all the padding between it and the marble) was removed from the marble. Next, the crane lifted the water pump onto its cement base. It was quite a feeling of accomplishment when it all was done. Sunday 14 August: Everyone is quite taken with the new Retreat. The marble now has a large tarp above it to protect it from the rain while Jurgis works on it; also, gravel has been put all along the two walking paths that run parallel to the walking corridor. Every time I go there something new has been completed.

Friday 19 August: This was the 9th anniversary ofMani’s going to Baba. A special Arti was to take place at 9:45 am at the Samadhi. Meheru was to come. I took my video camera and videoed the special Arti. It was so very beautiful. Bob Een is here with his cello. Bob is a professional musician with an extraordinarily beautiflil voice; he has a sing-along chant ofBaba’s name. He would play the cello and sing Baba’s name, then we would a]I follow. The feeling was one of such joy and happiness in loving Baba! The Arti was so frill ofBeloved Baba’s love. There was a special program held in Meherabad’s Mandali Hall at 4:30 pm, “Memories of Mani.” The chairs were ar ranged in a circle. A special chair with a photo of Mani was put up front, next to Baba’s chair. This day was also a special day in India. It is a day where a sister gives her brother a ‘bracelet’ to wear for the day. Some are very fancywith gold color paper and beads. Some are strings with beads and something pretty in the middle. Heather Nadel had one and she put it on the top ofBaba’s photo on His chair. Since Mani was Baba’s sister, Heather said the bracelet was from Mani to Baba. A lot of endearing stories were shared. There were perhaps sixty people in the hall. I videoed the program—all these videos will be made available from the LA Baba Center. In the evening at 9:00 pm, a Baba movie was shown in our theatre. Saturday 20 August: I cleaned Baba’s Cabin Room in the morning. By 9:00 am I was at the PC [Pilgrim Centre] to give the Historical Tour of Meherabad. There were only a couple of pilgrims on the Tour and they just wanted to see upper Meherabad and the Museum. At 4:30 pm Bob Een gave a concert at our theatre. Bob has written an opera with beautiful chants. He sang and played his cello. Everyone in the audience was simply amazed at the beauty of his opera! When he finished we applauded continuously! So Bob came back on stage and did the Baba chant that the audience could sing along to. It was a fabulous concert! Wednesday 3 1 August: I had duty at the PC, but did not have any expected arrivals for the day. However one Baba lover from Hawaii arrived a day early and shared a very


sweet story. Her name is Caran. She said she first came to Meherazad in the early 70’s. She barely knew any of the Mandali, even by name. Eruch greeted her. He said, “Have you met the Boss yet?” Caran was not sure what he meant. Then Eruch had her take her shoes off and put her in Mandali Hall, closing the doors behind her. Caran said it was so beautiful being at Baba’s chair that she began to weep. She did not come out for atleast a half—hour. When she did Eruch said “Where have you been?! You have to go to Seclusion Hill.” He then proceeded to put a hat on her and help her with her shoes. He then took her up the hill. Caran said it was many years before she was able to come back.When she did, Eruch was talking in Mandali Hall. She quietly sat in back, not wanting to disturb anyone. All ofa sudden Eruch stops talking. He says he wants to stop for a minute because a very dear friend he has not seen in many years has just come in the hall, and he wants to greet her. Eruch rises from his seat by the window, and goes over to Caran and embraces her. Caran, to this day, has tears in her eyes as she tells that lovely story of how Eruch made her feel so special. Eruch was truly Baba’s ambassador. Saturday 3 September: Bob Een gave another concert in the theatre. Bob has written a New Mass for Baba. Some of the songs were sung with several other singers. Au, a musician from Iran, accompanied him with the daaf a type ofdrum. After the New Mass concert, one ofthe Residents said she would not be surprised ifit rained; such was the beauty of the music and singing. Not long after, there was a big storm that brought lots ofrain and it rained all night. Monday 19 September: We are opening the Meher Pilgrim Retreat for the pilgrim season of June 2006. When you realize we are talking about a building of rooms with bare walls, nothing else in them, you get an idea of what has to be done. In other words, everything needs to be done! So we, the Western Resident Receptionists are meeting up there as a group to decide how and where we want things. After our meeting we felt we had done quite a bit, having decided where to put a number of things. Our responsibility includes our office, the large lobby, the staff room, the eight reading rooms, the selection of where the computer server and PBX (switchboard) room will be, the office for the manager of the building, and the notice boards. We also have to decide what kind of phone system we need, what type of services we need

for the pilgrims, and many other things. We have been having regular meetings since last year. But now with the countdown in months, we are meeting twice a week. We meet once a week at the Retreat and once a week in the evening in our Academy. We feel we need to meet at the Retreat because we can walk through the rooms and picture this or that. I feel very fortunate to be part of developing the new Retreat for His lovers. We are doing everything we can to make this large structure a place of warmth and beautyc Sunday 25 September: I got my video camera and rode my scooter to the MPR to video some of the artists working up there. They now are living there in the Artist Colony. The PC kitchen sends food up to them three times a day as well as cups of chai. It is so deeply moving to see these Baba lovers giving freely of their time and talent for Beloved Baba. Their art is breathtaking. This Retreat is going to be unique in the world. I do not know of any place where extremely talented people gave freely of their talent to God, from the depths of their hearts, receiving nothing in return except the happiness that it was done for Him. The white marble block is taking shape. Baba and Mast Mohammed are emerging as Jurgis continually chips away. Prem Makeig is busy welding the modern art gates he has designed. Anna DePolney is bringing more life to the wall mural she started last year and Marcella Cozzi is painting the wall all white on the floor above Anna. Marcella is going to do a mural on that wall. On the front verandah, Gandhi and his assistant are painting the border of the long beam. He will later paint Baba’s Mastery in Ser vitude on it. Diana LePage stopped by the Retreat to take some photos. Her sixteen large paintings of Baba will go in the dining hall. Thursday 29 September: I went to Pune yesterday, deciding to spend the night. I stayed at the Meher Baba Pune Center. I was going to go to the hospital to see Dadi Kerawalla and Flagg Kris, both at the same hospital. Homi (from the Pune Center) and I went together. Ramakrishna (also from the Pune Center) wanted us to send his love to Dadi. When we got to the hospital we found out he was still in ICU—so it didn’t look as ifwe would be able to see him; plus, the last visiting hour for the day was 4:00 pm. It was already after 5:00 pm. We were fortunate, though.

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Dolly, Dadi’s niece, was outside the ICU in the waiting room. She asked the security guard if he would allow us to go in for just a few minutes. He let us do so. I told Dadi that Ramakrishna sent his love. Then I told him everyone from Meherabad sends their love. We went to another floor and said hello to Flagg. This morning when I was getting ready to leave the Pune Center around 10:45 am I was told Dadi had just died and his body would be taken to Meherabad for cremation. I got on a bus and returned to Meherabad. While I was in a rickshaw to take me the rest ofthe way to Meherabad, a white ambulance passed me. I knew it was Dadi’s body being taken to Meherabad. I quickly dropped my stuff off in my room and went to Meher abad Mandali Hall. They were getting the place ready. Dadi’s body was taken to Mandali Hall. Flowers had already been placed in a basket so those who wanted to could place one on his body or on the stretcher. The hall soon filled up with Baba lovers. Arti was sung. Bhau and others from Meherazad arrived. More singing and a final Arti were sung, then Dadi’s bodywas carried on the stretcher to the cremation ground in the empty field next to where our buses park. Again, everyone lined up to put flowers on Dadi, saying goodbye. More music and songs. Then the logs were placed around Dadi’s body, and his family members lit the fire. Songs continued to be sung. Eventually everyone left except those who stayed until the fire burned down. Beloved Baba had called another of His dear ones to Him. In His love & service, Judy


A’inst 74: 2Vivedita ..A. 2 Iagpal, J4/Iumbai

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t’s two years now that the Mandali Hall porch in Lower Meherabad wears a deserted look. Since the 1960s onwards, it’s most cel ebrated resident was Mohammed the Mast, who passed into eternity on June 17 2003, aged approximately 95 years. 17n1 June 2005 was a cloudy day and only the second day of the new pilgrim season. An informal gathering was organized in the Mandali Hall to recount some ‘mast moments’ with the maverick lover oflrani Dada. The pilgrims were few, but the stories were countless. With a solemn bow to the chair where once Beloved Baba used to have Sahavas in the same Mandali Hall, the quiet afternoon came alive with some amusing tales from residents and pilgrims. Here are some vignettes, which make us really miss having the God intoxicated soul amongst us: Najoo Kotwal began reminiscing about her childhood days spent with Mohamed along with her sister HUla. She recollected, ‘As children, I remember spending time playing with Mo when we had school holidays. Those days, All Shah (Bapji) another Mast, was living in the Rahuri cabin. We used to play with him too. But Mo used to getjealous when he saw that we played with him. Ifever one ofus played with Bapji first, he used to say ‘get lost, go to your Bapji, dont playwith me.’Then we used to beg forgiveness and he used to relent”. When I was 13 years and my sister HUla only 9 years old, Mo once told her ‘When you marry a shower will bless you and you will have a very fair boy child.’We used to laugh it offas children and never paid attention to his words. But years later when my sister married, the showers did indeed come down. Later when she was blessed with a fair boy child, we knew that every word ofMo was so true. But as children we never asked him for anything except to play with us. So often I have seen him with his index finger digging into concrete slabs for hours, looking for ‘deesh’, something that only he knew. We never bothered asking him what he was doing.” When Najoo grew up to be a nurse, as Baba wanted, she said, “Returning to Meherabad and meeting Mo was always a pleasure. Once I remember that Mo was not eating despite Padri (who was his caretaker) coaxing him to have at least a glass ofjuice. She says, “At such times we treated him like a child. I went to him and said, ‘Ifyou don’t eat then I shall go

back.’ He always used to relent when mildly threatened. I remember stroking his head like a child and also realized why Baba wanted me to become a nurse and not a doctor. I saw Mo’s stomach cave in and begged him to eat.” At this point Jal Dastoor remembered, “He wanted a minimum of6 spoons of sugar in his milk. Once I gave him milk with only four spoons of sugar without his knowledge. He said the milk was not sweet enough and he wanted at least two more spoons of sugar!” He could fool everyone but it was difficult to fool him even to have his milk. A long time pilgrim Bob once came to the Mandali Hall to see Padri coax Mohammed to eat. He remembers: “Padri was busy trying to make him eat. But hejustwouldn’t and kept coming up with excuses like: ‘my stomach is paining, it is on fire, or my head is paining.’ And then when he did agree to eat, he ate rayenously. He ate so much that Padri wondered if he would fall ill eating so much after not eating for solong. On the third dayPadri asked him, “I feed you everyday and your stomach gets fiill.Then where does all the food go? Mo looked up innocently at Padri and said, “Yeah the stomach get frill but what to do, there is a hole beneath the stomach and I feel hungry again!” Now here was someone who matched Beloved Baba’s humor back to back! And at this point Alan Wagner remembered, “He gave us names too. Since he allowed Erico (Nadel) and me to wash his bottom, he called us bait

chit dakka or Lord ofthe Rectum! Mo was not all about amusing anecdotes. He was also serious when he was doing his ‘work’. There were times when he behaved differently. As Bob said, “Once he insisted that the checkered black & white sheet that was laid on his bed be removed. Padri did not want to do that as it would mean doing everything all over again and he was busy enough, though at the end Padri changed the bed sheet. Laterwe understood whyhe wanted the sheet to be removed. A mast sitting outside theTrust office had died. And he always wore a coat with black &white checks!” Baba once mentioned that Mohammed was the charge man of France and some time during World War II the mast said, ‘I am on fire’! Gokaran Srivastav recounted about the mast between the fourth and fifth plane: “I used to come to Meherabad sometimes. I never knew that one day I would be able to settle down here. On one of my trips here, I was quite depressed. No one even in my family knew my state ofmind. I came to see Moham med sitting on the porch. He asked me to lift a stone near the door at the Mandali Hall and throw it in the well. It was quite heavy and yet he insisted that I throw it in the well. It was verydifficult for me to do it. Still I managed to throw it down the well. The suicidal thoughts that had engulfed my mindjust vanished. My mind was a clean slate. I guess he helped me to overcome my depression in his own way.” Obviously Gokarn has reason to believe that Mo took care ofhim and is thankifil to him. In his later years, Mo was looked after by Erico, Alan and Kamlabai from Arangaon village. As his physical health started to fail him doctors were always on call. And Dr. Ann remembers the year 1991. She says, “He was so ill and his breathing was so labored that I said they (the Mandali) can start digging his grave next to Bapji’s. And once the grave was dug he sat up and pulled out the saline drips! We were all shocked. And he said, ‘I am not going for another 12 years! It was exactly 12 years later that he died.” His grave lay in waiting till that fateftil 17th day ofJune 2003. The mud may have covered the mortal remains of a maverick mast but his soul lives on as every now and then someone remembers him.


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7vkrb1e Qucirries of Rctjnsthctn :1 3iirgis

Sapkiis, Los ...AiigcIcs

Ahardandbeautfulwhite transMr. Solinkey definitely out of lucent marbiefrorn Rajasthan at the game. Makrana—quarries where the marble At 1 2 : 3 0 the n ext day, we for the TajMahal was harvested—a picked up Dr. Bhatnagar to visit sculptorc dream, a wondeifulplace, a friend of his, a sculptor who full ofwhite marble shining in the would give us information about bright sun. the price ofmarble. After visiting some historic castle and a shrine e had to leave soon after of Sai Baba, we drove for three I arrived at Meherabad, hours tojaipur. Marble is a stone, before the Indian monsoons hit not a piece of gold; it could not Rajasthan. The only contact we be priced so highly, philosophized had was a fellow named Natu Lal our professor. We arrived in Jai Solinkey, who claimed to be a pur—obviously a beautiful city, Baba lover and who wanted trebut not for us to enjoy. Baba kept mendously to help us, but whose us at work trying to find the sculp quoted price for marble sounded ture district. Then we were driv outrageously expensive. k: ing past small shops full of white The evening before we were marble statues and the sculptors to leave, right after Arti, someone I working beside them. We had a came up to Meherabad architect hard time finding the sculptor we Ted Judson and told him that a L, were looking for. His shop was botany professor named Dr. S. small and full ofthe same type of Bhatnagar, who lives in Ajmer, sculptures ofHindu religious sym would also be willing to help us. bols. After drinking tea together, So the next daywe—myfriend and he showed us his presentation Meherabad resident Steve Myro work in a photo album, including and myself—boarded a train with some magnificent portraits. The Baba’s finger pointing the way. price of marble, to our surprise, One day and night in a secondturned out to be just as much as class compartment—first class our first contact, the inimitable didn’t even exist on this train—was Solinkey, had mentioned. Now uneventful. We abstained from all our lives suddenly turned around. food to avoid health problems. blocked outfoi carving We had to get the marble somehow. The following evening, when we Juirgis Sapkus and the marble slab, ahvady We drove back and late in the evening arrived at the Ajmer station, we started showers. We stayed there, and ate dinner at arrived at Professor Bhatnagar’s home, we looking for either Mr. Solinkey or Professor the in Kids restaurant. center’s the training where we were enjoyed dinner and conBhatnagar from the station’s overpass bridge. games, ping-pong exciting hall were playing about Baba. We listened to the versation I noticed an older man who was very ener Championships. World for the training philosophy of absolute, openprofessor’s getic, running from train wagon to wagon, from appeared Solinkey Mr. As we ate, open-hearted love for all people and minded searching for somebody. From his appeara rented had he complaining nowhere, with some remarks about religions, their and ance, somehow I knew he was a Baba-lover. looking money much taxi and spent so ceremonies, delivered religious exaggerated We started shouting and caught the atten with met he but so on, for our marble and professor’s house ofhumor.The light the in tion of that energetic, smiling man. It was in out, the way On completely deaf ears. watercolor wonderful with decorated was our first contact with our greatest help in the Sankhla, R.S. the corridor, he approached tastefully very themes, ofreligious paintings journey, Dr. Bhatnagar. Without delay he price purchase of the offering a percentage I myself Since depicted. beautifully and escorted us to a car and in a few minutes we marble. the buy help him if Sankhla would I started in the past, watercolor in worked were sitting by his friend, R.S. Sankhla—a tell to “I have was, But Sankhla’s answer turned who the artist, him about questioning wonderful man—the owner ofa sports trainwho officer, retired police you that I am a was The work himself. Bhatnagar to be out ing center where on the second floor there the protecting service worked in the secret he gallery in which I asked such quality of were hotel rooms with air conditioning and put This remark minister.” Indian prime

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was represented. But that work was from when he was a young student, before he had become a professor of botany. The climate was very hot and we had a hard time sleeping that night. The next morning, a taxi drove us through fields into Ajmer where we picked up Mr. Solinkey. He had come with a large bunch of roses, and thoroughly decorated the inside of our car. Through the fields and villages full of small children and families with their camels, past streets ofgoats—we proceeded

became more harmonious. Because of the heat I was soaked and looked like a wet dog, I even scared myself as I looked in the mirror. I looked much scarier than our red-bearded friend. When we went back to the stone shop, some papers were signed, the truck and crane arrived, and the marble was loaded. We took some pictures of it, and also of all the strange participants in our happening. Now the cashing and transference of the money had to be solved. We traveled back to Ajmer in a cara van of two taxis. One held the professor, Steve, and me, while the five Makrana gangsters followed behind us like ghosts. We drove again through the country roads, stopping to drink tea and fix the taxi’s broken tires in the sparse shade between trees. It was getting dark and we arrived at Ajmer late in the evening. Ajmer is a small holy city where you cannot buy or consume any alcoholic drink. The city was full of foreigners walking the streets and eating in the restaurants, and Indians milling around, tryrng to make deals. Because of Jurgis shows the carving to Los Angelespilgrim Bob Een foreign tourists, it is possible to cash money day and night to Makrana, where we arrived at noon. there. We stopped and exchanged traveler’s There, we were followed by five or six guys. checks for money with many signatures. At the beginning it was not clear who they Beside us was an empty computer room. were, but later we saw that they appeared at There, the Makrana band was eagerly waitevery stone yard we visited. One man with ing to be paid, which was fast accomplished a strong red beard followed us around on with some brilliant remarks in Hindi by a cycle. He looked quite scary. The prices were so high that at one point I thought of our professor. After payment, we became friendly and even embraced each other, and buying a shallow piece of stone and carving our red bearded friend mellowed considera relief. To stay another day wouldn’t have ably. We went back to the professor’s home, achieved anything more. There was no other and the next morning down to Meherabad choice than to buy an available stone or drop by train. the project. On the way, we found out that Bom Finally we found the right-sized stone bay was flooded. The train stopped a few and decided to buy it. For half an hour, the hundred miles away, and we had to wait for professor—with his persuasive nature and another which would stop closer to the city. understanding ofhow to handle such rough Once there, we hired a rickshaw. We needed characters—was trying to get some conces to find hotel a so we could call someone to sions, without advantage. One thing they pick us up as Steve’s cell phone was out of agreed to was that a small sum of money commission. Rain was pouring, but when would not be paid until the stone arrived we had to transfer into the rickshaw, Baba safely at Meherabad. This was lucky because stopped the rain just enough for us to make we simply didn’t have enough moneywith us. the call. The rickshaw could not find a hotel We ate some food with the Makrana gang close by, and Baba’s by will we drove about together at a restaurant, where the talk one hour and stopped at a hotel near the

airport. As soon as we found our room and paid the bill, a taxi driver from Meherabad appeared! He had delivered Ian Cox and his family to the airport, but they could not fly out because ofthe floods. Cox suggested that he take us back to Meherabad, an invitation we accepted with delight. The next day at noon, a truck arrived at Meherabad with the marble. A big white glittering marble—a very, very hard stone— oh so very hard stone! “This is wonderful,” said Ted Judson. “It will last forever.” And then I got to work... Ed note. we will have a follow up story andphotos ofihis magnjficent piece—that is to stand in the courtyard ofthe Meher Pilgrim Retreat—in thejanuary issue.

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This beautfiil 8’ x 6painting by Charlie Mills will beplaced at the entrance to the Dining room in the Meher Pilgrim Retreat

2?ea1izeAkandjou will know9od LNo other pursuit ic worthwhile when you have iict the lieloved. Cvenjthirig then centers around .2tiin. 33ou see all beanty througk J1im be it expressed thronjh poeIry, ar4 !I; Or music, or through life itself ‘4U work whether ofyour hands or aen4einic is done for 2Iim and BOUT °‘Y attwJtment is your EBcloved. ..J111 service then becomes selfless whcther doneforfriend, family, or stranger .i _/ll1 are one and toward this ?Qnc the motive too is one to please IIirn, whom to.. : please is to know.

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52 (fjJj j.;CJ..1J119 flt J4’jeJerojJe 3und-Raising EDinner Auction Dina9ibson

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ehnaz and her flindraising committee members have done it again!! They raised $23,000 at the “SILENCE N IGHT WITH THE BELOVED”

on Saturday,July 9th. They decided, most cleverly, dinner auction to hold our annual frmndraiser while Bhauji was in town, guaranteeing a large attendance. And my, were they successftii! $23,000 will help enormously with the ongoing costs of running Meherabode. With Bhau Kaichuri as a special guest, Chef Extraordinaire Saleem preparing the food, Jeff Maguire as Master of Ceremonies, Fred Stankus as Auctioneer, and a host of volunteers and dona tions from the Baba Community the evening was a major success. The willing work wallas included Rosie, Missy, Golnaz, Nasrin, Kanji, Linda and Fereshteh; without their tremendous help it could not have happened. The biggest item we had that night was small in size but fetched $7,000! So generously donated by Tony Gris was a scrap of the hem The head table, with Special Guest BhauKalchui ofBaba’s sadra along with the kursti that was given to him by Mehera. Along with it was a handwritten note by Mani cer tifying its authenticity. He had it enclosed in a quartz pendant on a gold chain and had treasured it for many years. Cookie Reindeau brought an 1 1 x 14 superb black and white study of Kitty Davy along with a pair ofher shoes. : S Another item that bought ‘ — spirited bidding was a complete Everyone eiyoved the Saleerni delicious Indian cuisine set of Lord Meher, 20 volumes in all, and each one signed by Bhau. Not just signed, but he had taken much time to write a lengthy inscription on the front page of each volume, what a treasure! Jeff and Lynn Maguire took this wonderful set home with them, no doubt to be kept in the family for many generations to come. Most importantly, Baba’s Love filled the Center radiating joy to all present. ,-

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Billy Goodrum wowed the crowd

Josh Lee and Prasava Nassf

Bhau, with a beaming Thmara Mark and Don Short

The ubiquitous Still Yet A/lore Chamber Players

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Tkfrd4juafter 2005 C1?rograrns at the Center

Bhauji was our Sahavas guest, our DiunerAuction guest a;id also gave a number oftalks at Meherabode. We cau neverget euough ofhim!

Don Stevens returned once again to 114eherahode to give us a talk on Meher Baha New Ljfe. The subject ofthe day broadened to encompass many interesting topics.

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We were very happy to have Michael ampagnaplayfor us when Bhauji was here. It had been a long while, Mike!

Another ofour musicalguests was Adrienne Shamszad. Her concert was so great that we are having her hack this month!


What a surprise awaited Mischa! He had been buddies with Albert Griss at Bancrofiji: High in Hollywood in 1956. They hadnt seen each other tillAlbert walked into Meherabode that Sunday.

Mischa gave us a terrific show. Looks like he was as happy to be here as we were to hear him!

They say that artists have to sierfor their art—but they probably didn have this kind ofpain in mind! Cregan has thefholesfrom her violin tattooed on her back!

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i With Baba looking over their shoulders, the Divine IvIAGgeec (Cregan onfiddle and Daniel/c on guitar,) thrill us with their love songs. 69


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he gently used conversion van stood hospital neighborhood, much like the mast During our brief stop at Meteor Crater sparkling in the driveway, while we dogs in Meherabad! I mused over the magnitude ofthe Avatanic loaded the luggage, the camping gear and all The next morning we thanked Michael impact on the earth’s spiritual body, and the other necessary and unnecessary things for his sweet hospitality and took off to the massive destruction of sanskaras that that were going to make our traveling envi spend some time at the accident site, filling ensued. We arrived at Flagstaff in the early ronment more home-like. We had purchased our cups with His Divine Presence before evening, and decided it would be the place the van the week before in anto spend the night, ticipation ofthis trip, as well as before heading south other future family trips. It was on 1-17 toward Phoe equipped with a TV, a DVD nix. Initially I had player, a VCR, a cooler, and planned for us to stay many other gadgets, includ in Phoenix a couple ing a back seat that converted ofnights, and perhaps into a relatively comfortable contact a few friends sleeper. Our plan was to camp from our stay there and use the sleeper as much as a few years earlier. possible to help cut down on This would bring us the cost of lodging. My ten to the Sahavas on the ist. year old daughter Amanda and We drove around I left Chicago on the morning and found a mediocre of June 26nh1, traveling on the looking KOA campsame route that I had traveled ground, and waited to only a month earlier toward be negistered,while the Prague. This time the destina staff member helping , —w’, tion was the LA Sahavas, and .F us fiddled endlessly Bow Wows: the Raj ofRapgets down with his homiesJosh Lee andDanny Maguire I cherished the good fortune with his computer, that was taking me back through Oklahoma heading out west. At the site, Amanda asked claiming it had stopped doing anything, so soon. for a souvenir from Baba, and received a shell let alone let us register. Looking around I The first night we camped at the scenic of a tiny dead turtle, which she cherished glanced at the brochures on display and saw Blue Springs Ranch in Missouri, and upon throughout the journey. Later on when one for Oak Creek Canyon. I remembered rising we visited the horses surrounded by I asked her what she remembered about fondly my last visit there a few years ago the early morning haze. We made friends the place, she said: “Just a powerful flow of and asked the clerk ifwe were close to the with Whisper, a whimsical white horse Love.” We crossed Oklahoma, then passed canyon, and ifthere were any camp grounds with one eye blue and one eye brown, who through Texas, stopping to inhale and pick in that area. He said yes to the first question, neighed happily and gnawed gently on the some wildflowers along the way. We spent and I don’t know to the other. At this point, railing every time we gave it a carrot to the night near Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was very happy to hear that Oak Creek nibble—a very happy start to our Baba and I silentlylonged to contact Baba’s Agent. Canyon was not far off, and told him we filed journey. Alas, he did not appear! would be checking out other sites and if we The next day we arrived in Prague around In New Mexico, we took a small detour didn’t find anything, we might be back. I 5 p.m. and Michael Ivey, the caretaker at and visited the Zuni Pueblo, finding it a knewwe wouldn’t be back. We left grinning; the Burleson House, asked if we planned small, modernized communit) I was dis knowing that Baba had stalled the KOA to stay the night. Originally we were just mayed at not seeing little Indian boys and computer because He had a better place and going to drop off the photo album I had girls running around with feathers in their a far better route in mind for us. We started prepared, visit a short while and leave, but I hair. Whatwas I thinking? When I expressed driving down Route 89A toward Sedona. I felt I could use the overnight rest in Baba’s my disappointment to a shopkeeper about was hoping we would find a campsite before arms wrapped around the Heartland, and ac not seeing the old way oflndian tribal life, nightfall. The road was gorgeous, and very cepted happily. After a quick but very sweet he smiled, took out his cell phone and said: winding. I had to use all my concentrated visit to the Prague Municipal Hospital, we “We now communicate with these things!” focus on driving, occasionally slowing on made dinner and chatted, while Amanda The dark-haired, turquoise-bedecked lady completely stopping to take in the views played with her new friend, Cow-Kitty who at the Tourist Bureau informed us that we and to capture them into my camera. I was has befriended the house since its dedication would not be able to visit the local Catholic also quite relieved to bypass Highway 17 to to Meher Baba. Smart Kitty! I also noticed Church due to a religious ceremony going Phoenix altogether. We had heard that there and commented to Michael about the many on. I smiled at the thought ofNative Amenwere fines along the road and that there was stray cats that were lounging around the cans taking Holy Communion. a good chance the road would be closed on

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flow someone had crashed into the side of his car on his way to the Sahavas. I told him not to worry, that the dent in his beautiful car was a small price to pay to avert whatever was coming his way. We then hung out and chatted with the few who were there, setting up for the event, until it was time to begin registration. Once I had the cabin assigned, we got back in the van, and drove up the hill to unload. The path was narrow, and I was being careful with the giant Deborah Ash sings her heart oui accompanied by vehicle, but after passing through Larry Thrasher and Michael C’ampagna many canyons and winding mountain roads, I was feeling fairly confident. and offthroughout the day. I realized Baba After unloading, I proceeded down the path was burning my bridges, so I wouldn’t have reached where I could turn and clearing, a to go back, while bathing me in the cool around or down the other way. I chose go fresh canyon waters ofHis New Life. the latter. This very narrow, and path was We found the perfect campsite just before nightfall, and set up our tent, ate what we had, which consisted of cheese puffs, oranges, and grapes, and went to sleep. In the middle ofthe night, I realized it was too cold to stay in the tent, and asked Amanda if she wanted to move into the van. We had already proven to dad back home via pictures, that girls could indeed camp without the help of the masculine gender, we were good to go. We crawled into the back sleeper of the van and slept soundly til morning. The next day we set out early in the morning through the picturesque canyon, and arrived in Sedona for breakfast. We spent a few hours in this new-age haven, taking in the sights, the energy, and the silence that permeate the red rocks in the area. We climbed to one of the power spots and sat in silence, watching the breathtaking views down below. Early afternoon, we left Sedona, and headed southwest on 89A toward Prescott. I found this town a bit more rugged and worn than beautiful Sedona, but we did manage to enjoy ourselves immenselywhen we discovered a wonderful little bead shop and stocked up with some colorful beads and plenty of inspiration for future projects. The long drive down Hwy 71, and 60 to 1-10 left us tired and longing for a hot shower and a comfortable bed. Palm Springs offered us both at a Travelodge Motel. In the morning we set out toward Yucaipa, feeling refreshed and ready for the Sahavas. We pulled into Pilgrim Pines, and were greeted by Tony Griss dancing to the tune of”I’m so excited” blaring out ofhis dented Mercedes. He shared with us the story of

and Baba was snipping the attachment, or was He gutting out something even greater and deeper? The acute pain I felt inside for the next several hours, led me to believe that it was the latter, or perhaps both. The tow truck man arrived and after some struggle, lifted the front ofthe van and backed it out ofthe danger zone. He wrote on my bill that the road was too narrow for cars. I told the staffat Pilgrim Pines that I felt they needed to post a sign to indicate that road was not suitable for vehicles. The lady gave me a smirk, and said that they had never had any problems in the sixty years that the place was in business. She said as far as she knew no one had ever attempted to go down that steep path. Ego, ego, where are you now? Later on Harry also talked to them, and I found out that because ofour request, they had realized they needed to post several safety signs throughout the camp. Thank B you Baba for assuring our safety on the inner and outer realms! The Sahavas programs began with dinner followed by Bhau Kalchuri’s first talk. The talk was preceded by a quiz, where the pilgrims were tested on their ability to read the alphabet board and piece to.:_; words to complete a well-known Baba phrase. The evening concluded with a highly entertaining Bobby Manonash show, wherein bids were made on what “aspects” of Bhauji different Baba groups and centers would receive in the “unlikely” event ofBhauji’s physical demise. The LA Center opted for the heart. In fact a lot of time was spent on talking about what would happen when Bhau finally achieved Libera tion. Various headstones had been designed for him, a garbage can representing the ‘dirty stinking garbage’ he spoke about so often, or would he prefer Mr. Potato Head, since he .

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Marc Brutus, Janani Lee and Ravi Allan dedicate ‘Every Beat ofMy Heart” by Gladys Knight and the Pzs to Mehera and her lovefor her Beloved

extremely steep, and I soon realized it was entirely unsuited for driving a car, let alone this giant van of mine, but at this point it was already too late. Down the path, I saw a huge boulder protruding into this impossibly narrow path, and a giant tree protruding into the other side. In attempting to avoid clashing with the tree, I ran into the boulder. The loud sound of the crunch and tearing and breaking of the side of the car against the boulder was gruesome to say the least. I tried to back up, but it proved impossible. I sat there helpless, and began to weep. We had come all this way in smooth ecstasy, and now this happens as soon as we are at Baba’s Sahavas. My daughter began to cry when she saw me weeping. We must have been quite a sight, when Harry Thomas and a few others showed up to see what was happening. They helped us climb out of the van and we watched the ugly mess, realizing this was something to pay attention to. Had I been too attached to this luxury vehicle,

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EdMcMaya is he really on the Sthplane, but veiled!?

“Stinking Garbage,” one ofthepotential headstonesfor Bhau

Buck Bufield

referred to himselfas simply a potato many her Meher-memorabilia from the seventies, times. Buck Busfield was called upon to read including pictures, posters, albums, and oth er treasures. The music was reminiscent of Bhauji’s Last Will and Testament! Then Mitchell Rose devised a hilarious set of the times, and we danced and grooved with Baha, while imbibing the wave oflove that questions he gave the audience to determine just who would must have pre be the best pos vailed in those sible successor to early years after Bhau as ChairBaba’s dropping man ofthe Trust body. in India. Radha After a de Delamarter won licious picnichands down. She style lunch has her passport served outdoors, and Visa in orpeople attended der and is ready various discusto relocate to I sion groups and Ahmednagar as workshops, or soon as she gets simply gathered the word. in small groups Bobby and Ed Thepassing ofthe Baton! Bhau accepts Radha Delaniarter around the campas the next Chaiipenon ofthe AMBPPC Trust McMaya then site or by the trained Bhauji with a giant timer, on how Toddy shop to talk and relax. I chose to to answer questions and keep them brief. join the small gathering of Baba lovers at Vesper Point to remember LeatriceJohnson. Bobby worked down from a five minute answer to a 30 second one. Bhauji seemed I listened intently to the wonderful stories of people’s intimate contact with her, and to enjoy every moment ofhis training, and wished that I had had the pleasure of meetI think it worked! Saturday’s arti, my favorite part of any ing her. I was honored when Adele Wolkin Sahavas, brought lovers together in reverent asked me to join her for the workshop on prayers and songs. Scott Makeig brought the Oklahoma Sahavas, called ‘The Beloved suffers, while we smile”. The theme of the tears to my eyes with his deeply resonant voice and longing lyrics. After breakfast, we workshop was on the Avatar’s physical suf joined together again for “love-in” with the fering for the benefit of humanity, and the Highest of the High. This was a program Oklahoma accident being a mere glimpse of put together byTeri Adams, who brought all His unfathomable suffering while He is in .

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“Mi: Potato Head, anotherpotential one? “

human form among us. After this workshop, I hurried to join a small group of Persian Baba lovers who were reciting some Hafiz poetry in Farsi and cherished the beauty of the original sound and taste of this sublime poetry. After dinner, Jane Brown, Billy Goo drum, and Larry Thrasher treated us to a fantastic concert. By 11:30 I had been going non-stop for eighteen hours and was more than ready for a good night’s rest! The fol


I part. We packed up, said our goodbyes, and with gladdened hearts and renewed spir its, we set out for San Diego, where I was to meet my high school I friends from Tabriz, Iran, some ofwhom I had not seen for over 25 years. As I pulled the van out of the Jane Brown sou’fully sings some beautfulBaba ballads driveway, this time turning around before getting to the steep hill ahead and being extra careful, the van got stuck in gravel. Oh, Baba, now what? How embarrassing was it going to be to

I

&nioiLiving wd &nioi Care in 1kba Workshop at the 2005 £.LA. 5ahavas &im Ervin, California nterest in issues ofsenior living and senior care has been growing among Baba lovers. This interest appears to arise from the aging ofthe Baby Boomer generation ofBaba byers and their parents, as well as the increas ing awareness of the need for housing and service provisions among aging members of our Baba family. A detailed article on the subject by Bridget Robinson appeared in the January 2005 issue ofthe Love StreetLamp Post, and the Meher Baba Senior Care Web site provides a forum and chats for those who wish to connect or communicate on the subject. The goal is to discuss the bevels and types of concerns about senior living/senior care, to identify some possible answers or ap proaches and to identify people who would like more information or to connect with others who are working on this.

I

ajor Systems

Jane Brown rocks us with someJanisJoplin songs, accompanied by Billy Goodrum

Ten Adams and her winning Fly—to—India Sweepstakes ticket

lowing day began again with Arti at 7am followed by breakfast. The day’s programs included another talk by Bhauji, followed by the youth and adult talent shows. What an amazing array of talent! From mime, to music, to singing, dancing, and poetry. In the afternoon, I attended a workshop about the work that some Persian Baba lovers are doing in translating or re-editing the already translated Baba’s books into Farsi. The day concluded with Bhau’s talk and a Dhuni where we had an opportunity to throw some of our attachments into the fire of Baba’s Divine Love. The final day Bhauji gave us a farewell talk and a most beautiful and touching embrace to each and all. It was time to de

go down and get help again? It was—very! Harry wanted to call the tow truck again and I grimaced in pain. We started walking back and ran into some familiar and friendly faces. As soon as I mentioned my dilemma to Baba’s Persian boys—or as I called them, the Persian sons ofmy Savior—they came running to help, and with astounding strength, while chanting Baba’s name, they lifted the van out ofits secondjam.We thanked them in humility and left feeling very grateful that this time it was only gravel we were stuck in, compared to the giant boulder! Things were looking way up in the loosening of sanskaras department. *********

Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

At the workshop we discussed some of the major systems that affect well-being and quality oflife as we age, particularly if there is disability and/or chronic illness that limits activities or overburdens resources. These systems include housing, medicallhealth care, transportation and social services. It was generally agreed that thoughtftil planning will help prepare for these issues, and with the overall concern ofhow to op timize the available personal, governmental and local community resources. Key points: There is a general interest in what is happening among Baba lovers nationwide and worldwide regarding senior living/senior care. . When considering where to retire, if a move is contemplated, one might want to check on the availability of services in case ofa temporary or permanent disability. This would include things such as wheelchair-ready transportation, home-delivered meals, therapy and rehab programs, in-home services, including personal care and homemaker services, shopping services, etc. . Long-term care insurance was gener ally agreed to be a good idea, although not .

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affordable to all. It’s best to buy it when healthy and younger (50-60) because it will be cheaper—and if you know you will need it, or already need it, no one will sell it to you. . For people 65 or older, Medicare HMOs offer the most benefits, and at mod— est cost. A Social HMO offers more benefits, especially home and community-based ser— vices, than other Medicare HMOs. SCAN Health Plan is the only one in California. Other Social HMOs operate in New York City the Portland, Oregon, area and in parts of Nevada. . Anyone eligible for Medicaid should enroll as soon as possible, as it covers much ofwhat Medicare does not. . Ifyou are eligible for Medicare, be sure and sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when open enrollment starts this fall. Shop for the plan that best fit your needs. . Local senior centers, area agencies on aging and United Way chapters are good sources of information on a variety of programs and services. Affordable housing is a big concern. A general preference for having housing available near a major Baba center—such as Myrtle Beach or Mariposa or the Heartland Center—was expressed. Housing prices are probably too high around Meher Mount or Meherabode. Pooling resources for several people to rent or buy a larger place might make it more affordable. In the January issue of the Love Street Lamp Post, Keith Gunn responds to Bridget Robinson’s article by suggesting India may be a place for both Indian and non-Indian Baba lovers to consider developing retirement housing complexes. He discusses loca tions, climates and amenities that could be appealing and affordable. It was suggested that a survey be conducted to discover where most Baba lovers would want to locate a retirement complex. There may not be enough Baba people wanting pooled or congregate housing in one location tojustifypurchase and maintenance, let alone provision ofin-home services. One concept would be to offer housing that is organized and operated by Baba lovers on a nonprofit basis that reflects Baba values yet offers housing to all, as we understand the White Pony Schools operate. Bring Baba’s “selfless service” to care giving. A Baba-related foundation could set up an annuity program, in which one makes a large donation and the foundation pays you 74

an actuarially determined amount based on that donation for the rest ofyour life. Baba lovers in a community could orga nize a “service bank” in which one “banks” redeemable service “dollars” in exchange for services provided to others who need assistance ofvarious kinds. Resources: The Meher Baba Senior Care Website: http://www.quicktopic.com/28/h/ yjgartjufdj. Check out current discussions and future chats. Bridget Robinson at bridget.robinson@earthlink.net is the contact for the Web site. Ron Festine, former Area Agency on Again Director in Northern California, is compiling a postal and e-mail list of people interested in senior housing. He is especially interested in connecting with editors oflocal Baba Group newsletters. He can be reached at rfestine@mac.com. New in Los Angeles County, and in a growing number of places around the country, dial 211 for information on ser vices in the region. In Los Angeles County Info-Line is a free directory ofjust about all services in the region. Community Connec tion is a new LA County Web site that will help you search for services of all kinds. AARP offers the CARES program. Book: 36 Hour Day Alzheimers Association local chapters. http://www.benefitscheckup.org is run by National Council on Aging, and helps one determine nearly all government benefits for which aging individual may be eligible. “For the rest ofhuman history, there are going to be more older people than young.” Dr. Joel Cohen, Professor of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities “Ifyou don’t want to be old before your time, be cheerful in deed and word and in appearance—most ofall in appearance. It is a divine art to look cheerful, it helps others.” Avatar Meher Baba —

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Let 2I’k knr )3our Song JJIleher E13aba h, my dear nightingales, don’t be disap pointed with the old age ofspring but keep on singing, and while singing become so thirsty that you drown in My Ocean of Silence.Then you will find My eternally new Song. When you sing this Songyou will find that spring has become young once again. I want to hear your song. Don’t feel disap pointed with the old age ofspring and don’t make Me disappointed in you. Drink the cup ofMy pleasure, and, having derived strength from it, continue singing. Allow others to hear your song too. You will be able to revive the youththlness ofspring, but to accomplish this you have to drown in My Silence and find My Song. All these years during the full-bloom of the springtime of My Advent you have seen My Glory in the gathering ofMy byers singing together, and you have offered the flowers ofyour hearts at My feet. Now don’t be disappointed but continue to gather together with all enthusiasm and drown in the Ocean of My Silence so that you may find My new Song. That Song will make spring burst into frill bloom again, and you will happily derive the pleasure ofunion in the midst ofseparation. This separation will even swallow up time and space one day, and you will find yourself smiling in the lap of infinity. You will become eternally immortal. Your Baba is Baba, and He has come down on earth to give you the cup of im mortality. Your Baba is always with you; even if you wanted to leave Him you cannot do so. Therefore, My dear nightingales, let Me hear your song. Your Baba wants to hear it. Will you not make Him pleased?

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Letters From The Mandali Vol IL ©1983 AMBPPCT


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and Lilly Weichberger along with their 10-year-old daughter, AsJaurent pen, are the new Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount in Ojai, California. Lilly and Laurent both came to Baba in the same year, 1986. Lilly was not yet a teenager, and Laurent was 17. They met at the Southeast Gathering for Meher Baba in 1992 and were married in 1993. Lilly’s profession is as a potter. Laurent is an instructor and consultant in Java language programming, on a large scale, to big corporations all over the world. More from Lilly I came to Meher Baba when I was 11 years old, and have been connected with the Baba com munity since then. Meher Baba’s teachings are without a doubt the foundation of my spiritual life, and my relationship with Meher Baba continually enriches my life. When I was 15, I was one of the three individuals who first proposed the idea ofaYouth Sahavas tojane Haynes and subsequently attended for three years. Laurent and I started “The Light House” Spiritual Center in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1999. The Light House was devoted to supporting the spiritual development of individuals ofall faiths and backgrounds. We held “Baba meetings” once a week as well as coordinating other meetings and community events as well. In all the meetings and spiritual groups that I have been involved in I have tried to integrate Meher Baba’s teachings and my relationship with Him into the group process in a way that supports the spiritual beliefs of all involved. I truly believe that each individual’s path and relationship to the divine is a sacred thing, and that there is

nothing more important than that relationship. Anything I can do to help support a seeker’s quest toward greater connection with the Divine, I see as a gift from God. The first time I went to Ojai, I felt a great connection to the land there. One of the things I most enjoy is puttering around in the garden and working on the land. I have also worked on and managed a horse farm, so hard physicallabor is not something new to me. As Laurent likes to say, I’m a country mouse, so living on top of a mountain is along the lines of a dream come true. Meher Mount is the kind of property I have always dreamed ofliving on and caring for. More from Laurent When I came to Baba in New York in

2001. In addition, I authored A Mirage Will Never Quench Your Thirst, a source of wis dom about drugs based on Baba’s God in a Pill published by the Sheriar Foundation in 2003. I am also a co-author of Meher Babac Word and His Three Bridges by Don E. Stevens, published by Companion Books in 2003. I have also been involved in drug use prevention serving as a Board Member of Youth Quest in Sedona, Arizona and as a Board Member of Citizens Against Substance Abuse in Flagstaff Arizona. My relationship with the Meher Baba community has now lasted almost 20 years. After five personal trips to Meherabad, and two recent work trips with Don Stevens ‘ throughout India, as well as side trips throughout France, and England, I have a profound love for and r’espect for Meher Baba lovers the world over. Lilly and I attended the Young Adult Sahavas at Meher Mount in the late 90s, when Bhau Kaichuri visited. Being a caretaker at Meher Mount is so appealing because Meher Mount is one ofthe few Meher Baba centers actually blessed by Beloved Baba’s living presence. When I visited Meher Mount, I felt Baba’s spiritual presence. I have dedicated my life to serving and loving Meher Baba, and this is yet another way to live up to my dedication. About Aspen

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1986 I was 17 years old. I joined the New York Meher Baba House and shared deep companionship with many there, which lasts until this day. In 1990, I served as Vice President, Board of Directors for Meher Baba House. After moving to Myrtle Beach in 1991, I was asked to be a Youth Group leader at the Meher Spiritual Center. Each weekend the Baba kids (aged 12-19) would come to the center and I, along with Chris Ott, would coordinate programs for them. That was a fantastic experience, and through that work I got to meet many parents (who are now friends) and great kids who are now adults. Lilly and I co-founded The Light House spiritual center in Flagstaff Arizona, and I was Light House Keeper from 1991 to

On our last visit to the Meher Spiritual Center, Aspen asked the staff if she could help as a volunteer to clean the cabins for the guests. They allowed her to join the cabin cleaning crew, and we saw very little of her, while she apparently tremendously enjoyed her newvolunteerjob. Speaking toJeff, Annie and Mina, afterwards, they all seem to be thrilled to have a new helper, and said she rapidly rose in the ranks from toilet cleaning 101 to 102, without any fuss. She has already pitched in and started carrying her share ofthe workload at Meher Mount. 75


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Lilly, Laitrent and .Aspen Weichberger After we moved to Meher Mount in May 2005, Dma asked me to write afew words about what it is like to be a caretakei I asked my wft, Lilly, and daughter, Aspen, 10, some questions, and share their answers here. Then I share my thoughts and a shortpoem written byAspen days after we got here.

aurent: So, Aspen, yesterday in the car you said something interesting about Meher Mount and the Myrtle Beach Baba Center. Can you remember what you said? Aspen: I think that Meher Mount is to see Baba through nature, and that the Myrtle Beach Center is to see Baba through others. Laurent: That is fascinating to me, can you elaborate? And Lilly, what do you think about what Aspen just said? Lilly: I think that there is definitely some truth to that. I think, ofcourse, at the Meher Spiritual Center you can experience Baba through nature as well, but here at Meher Mount there aren’t as many distractions, and the natural world seems to have fewer inhibitions towards coming and interacting with visitors. For example, the bobcat we saw this morning, the frog living in our fountain, and the baby deer grazing in our yard last night. Aspen: Here it is very quiet and peaceful, except for work weekends and gatherings, and parties, and it’s much easier to see nature. When we first moved to Meher Mount it was somewhat ofa culture shock, as I was born and reared in Manhattan. It took me a while to realize where we live, that Meher Baba actually visited here, and that we are many miles from civilization. There is something surreal about living where Baba stayed, something intangible. You feel His presence and see His presence reflected in the faces of those who come here to be with Baba, and you see the light of His fire lighting up their countenance. That said, being a caretaker is notlike sitting around the fire with Baba, sharing sto ries and listening to Discourses—far from it. It is more like living inside the bonfire. There are days when it is easy to remember and feel Baba, those blissful times when there is almost perfect stillness within and without. Other days we are so incrediblybusy it is easy

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to forget Baba while completely focused on some task at hand. One day, I was entering data into the computer about contributions from personal checks when Lillyyelled from outside that there was a rattlesnake. After it was taken care of I went back to entering data from the checks (my heart pounding just a little faster). I try to remember Baba as the One who is walking up the path from the parking lot to the main house. He is the One in all, and that for me is a fun way of remembering Him, looking for Him in each one who comes. Some people have been coming here for years, or decades, and they know Baba, and knew Agnes Baron, and many others. Some come because they heard about the Baba tree and want to see it, or sit under it, not asking about Baba himself. Some who come have another path, like following another master, or having another faith (such as the Chumash Native American woman who has come three times). Each one visits here for his or her own reasons, and that is between them and Baba. In the two months I have been a caretaker, I have only had one serious long conversation about Meher Baba with a visitor. Most people, even Baba lovers, are content to come and go and not discuss Baba. It is then I remember that it is through silent loving that many move closer to Him, so words are not needed. We have done a bit ofwork since we got here, including redoing the Buddha pond, as we now call it. Apparently, it is the only source ofopen water on this Meher Mount land ofover 170 acres, so many animals and other creatures come to the pond. Here we have seen a family of deer (including two babies), a bobcat, a red fox and a coyote. Lilly says we glimpsed a mountain lion, but it was dusk and we were leaving the center to go to town, so I am not sure. We have seen many types of birds, including hummingbirds galore, nesting hawks, a partridge family (I counted 12 before I stopped counting), turtle doves, frogs, snakes (including rattlesnakes, which I remove) and a gazillion different bugs (including spiders). The neighbor says she saw a bear, but we haven’t seen it yet. The amazing thing about the Meher Mount creatures is that they seem to be totally at home among human beings. For

instance, Lilly is responsible for keeping the garden area around the house, which includes several hummingbird feeders. Right after we got here, she had refilled a feeder and was reaching up to hang it on a hook when a hummingbird came and started drinking from it while she was still holding it in her hand. We both laughed. I tend to wake early, and sit with my coffee on the front porch as the sun rises. One morning, as I moved the coffee cup up from my lap to my lips, I saw a small spider spinning a web from the cup to my head—as I was drinking! I laughed and told him to go and find a better place to make his web. Lastly, after dinner as the sun set, I stayed at our outdoor table while Lilly and Aspen disappeared inside the house. I sat marveling at the beauty ofBaba’s creation and the peace ofMeher Mount, and a gorgeous red fox walked right up to where I sat. We just looked at each other from a distance of about 10 feet, and then he walked off down the side of the mountain. So, what is it like to be a caretaker at Meher Mount? One always knows it is a great blessing just to be here in such a role. It is demanding at times, and spiritually intoxicating at other times. It means relaxing into Baba, listening for Him throughout the day, in each new turn of events. It is a balancing of head (practical responsibili ties, including making a living) and heart (dedication to the Divine Beloved in one’s life and work, and sharing love with those who come). It is like being asked to pilot a majestic schooner out to sea from a mysti cal port, not knowing what experiences will come along the epic adventure but certain that the captain, Avatar Meher Baba, has set the course. Meher Mount It is so peaceful there with God The wonderful smell ofeucalyptus trees So manywild animals and our cats, Laven der and Monkey Birds come to dine with God Love radiates from every stone, tree, twig and earth. Baba is present everywhere always —

Aspen, May 2005


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anj J4ctrino-.Strong (J44a9nyan 5Iiakti) Dndicrnct 4 lI eherana means Meher Come. And truly Meher’s beautiful presence came to move Meherana forward into its next phase. Meherana began with the encouragement ofBhau Kaichuri, a member of Meher Baba’s men Mandali. Over the last 12 years Meherana has gradually developed through dedication, painstaking hard work, a whole lot ofprayer, and most of all Meher Baba’s Grace. And as only the Lord and Master Meher Baba can fathom and make pos sible, in spite of immense health obstacles, Bhau was able to be with us for the permanent instal lation ofBaba’s Seat in His newly completed cabin.

M

Ecstatic dancers moved along the path to exotic rhythms of tablas, ringing cymbols, and enthusiastic hand instruments. Baba’s Presence intensified with each footfall,

this seat He remains active. The installation of a chair used by Beloved Baba is very significant for Meherana. This chair in particular was used by Baba during a very important phase of His Avataric Advent. Beloved Baba took on great suffering and shed his blood as part of His Divine work. Dur ing His recovery He often used this chair. Of course, His seat is not limited to one or more chairs, yet can be embodied as well in our hearts, our homes, and everywhere we are present with Him.

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Much loving appreciation goes to Paul Williams who has been living at Meherana as its caretaker __/4 .Retreat Center for the the past 4 years. Paul is mov z1eart There was much singing and dancingfrorn thefrontgate to Baba Cabin to for Awakening ofthe 2 ing on to continue his successful This momentous event not only install Babac Chaii: Leading theprocession andpulling the cart are David new business and will fortunately Kershaw (hat) andJon Omerod continue to live in Mariposa and makes possible, but requires, that a part ofthe progression of remain Meherana become open full-time, with each utterance. His lovers wove along Paul will be missed. For infor Meherana. year-round as a universal center for spiritual the gravel road to the hand-hewn cabin retreats, please check individual mation on renewal. This means, as well, it is now open dedicated to the love and pleasure of Lord website, www.Meherana.org Meherana’s for individuals as a retreat center for the Meher. All accompanied the Beloved’s chair Generous support in the form of love, awakening of the heart. as it was ceremonially pulled in a cart to its energy, hard work, and contributions over Baba’s Chair was installed, at the 11th final seat. the 12 years have permitted the devel past annual Spring Sahavas, India style with a J3abds &at—the 5ignificctnce of brings us to this exciting point. that opment procession that began at Meherana’s gates. Babds Chair support is greatly appreci continued Your Jubilant men, women and children became inaugurated, Cabin officially Baba’s was Baba lii Jai. Avatar Meher ated. radiant in an atmosphere charged with of chair a Arti, with the installation during Meher Baba Paramanand, Satchidanand, Baba’s Love and with a feeling of oneness second his after Meher Baba by Avatar used Vidyanand. as a Baba family. car collision in December, 1956. Wet and Joyous Baba-lovers filled the air with glistening eyes marked the depth of Baba’s heart-drenched strains of “Satchidanand”. Presence. The intensity of the ceremony culminated in Bhau’s expla nation of the significance of Baba’s Chair. The Avatar, he said, does not leave a representa tive, but He does leave His Seat, which He alone oc cupies. Through Mike Comeford andl’vlik Hamilton carry the Chair The arrival ofBhau Kaichuri I

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L: Babac Cabin with His Chaii; now permanently installed I?: Our very specialguest, Bhau Kalchuri

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L: Ivlusical Guest Charles Gibson I?: Bhau and the children eiyoy a light moment

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R Nick Hawthorne and Bell were enthusiastic helpers whofiew outfrom the East Coast to assist Roz with the cooking.

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Jl/1arLI J’l4arino-&rong, Dndianct Roving Reporter Mary Marino-Strong Asks: What stands outforyou at this Sahavas And/or; What didyou think of the procession carrying Beloved Meher Babas chair? Or; A question ofyour choice. ROBERT DREYFUSS: The feeling of Baba’s Love, that’s what I come for. PAMELA GOODRUM: The parade—fantastic! Ecstatic! Jacko as a Maharastrian stick dancer! Drums leading to [Baba’s] cabin! The wave of love washed over me. I looked around, everybody was in tears. Arti was so sweet, sweet love. Yeah! That’s what stands out for me. Almost tangible the sweetness, as a gentle breeze. Everybody looked so happy—so much love and happiness and so sweet. MIKE DOLAN: I’m happy Baba’s chair is here in Northern CA (instead of for example, Myrtle Beach); it’s something Baba used— It has His influence. I can really feel His Presence around it. PAUL WILLIAMS: The love that all bring; it’s absorbed into the land . . . [went to lead a tour.] DALE DRAEGER: The procession/installation of Baba’s chair was very moving. It seemed joyous, with a feeling almost of wild abandon in terms of Baba’s Presence. As if Baba were physically there. Arti this morning was so moving. His Presence is very very strong. There were a lot of people in tears. I found this the most harmonious of all CA Sahavases [that I have attended]. Between each other we are starting to recognize ourselves in God. In other words, we are meeting ourselves in each other—and not blaming our lacks on each other anymore. It seems like we are finding oneness with each other, even though we each have our own personal things to deal with. BRIAN DOLAN: I like Meherana. It’s fun. RAVI ALLURI: It gave us the oppor tunity to pull Baba’s chair. There are busy streets in Andhra; thousands of people divide into 2 lengths, men on one side and women on the other side. Women come out and break open coconuts as an offering, people get out and dance; the whole village

knows what’s happening. It gives us a special feeling when we enter Baba’s room [Cabin] because we know He used that chair, espe cially now that He’s not physically present. It creates a special atmosphere. LARRY THRASHER: Very beautiful way to do it [procession] . . . it was just like Arangaon village—we should make it an annual event.

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gatherings at other places didn’t have any. CLINT SNYDER: The beauty of the place and people. Being outdoors, it’s signifi candy different here; it’s a special place. The procession reminded me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans in that it isjoyous with people in the streets. CATHY BROADLEY: To be with Bhau. How fortunate we are that Baba sends His Manda]i to us so that we es pecially feel His Presence to be in their company for Sahavas. DAWN DOLAN: It’s wonderflil to have so many in attendance, to be together in such a loving way. Seeing Baba’s cabin complete is so inspiring; the tent cabin too, its being up shows something tangible, moving forward to the next phase. It is such a blessing to have Bhau once again. How fortunate we are to have dear Adele in attendance, wonderful music, loved the personal tour of the property, Roz doing her magic in the kitchen with wonderful helpers, the fabulous childcare workers. Here our most basic needs, our most important needs, are met. JOHN SKIFF: I came to see Bhau; I love being around Bhau. It feels like it actually is a Sahavas, Baba’s presence is palpable. WALKER HORNE, age 18: This is a great place to have it; looks kind oflike what I think oflndialookinglike (mybrother was there.) It keys me into a little more Baba than I am in every day life. The scenery and hills remind me of Seclusion Hill. WINIFRED KERSHAW: As Bhau has to overcome more pain and trouble to get here, Baba’s Love flows through him more abundantly. I think it is different this year. It is not business as usual, which was wonderful. The obstacles he had to overcome! ANONYMOUS: It was work, work, & work. I’ve been here for 8 days. The wild flowers are beautiful. Really, it’s the ‘kick’ that I will get when I leave here that I come for. MICHAEL ROSS: Bhau’s really radiant. Baba’s room, His chair are really charged. I really felt Baba’s Presence. I enjoyed working with the crew here. I was really present to how much energy he [Bhau] puts out for us.

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RICHARD LEACH (new caretaker): I’m really looking forward to people com ing and taking the love and charge that’s in Baba’s cabin and throughout. KALLE HORNE: I like the loca tion—we’re [mom, dad and 3 siblings] from Athens, GA; it’s very different. CHUCK HORNE: The first thing that really struck me was how many people just came up and started talking, seven or eight in the last few hours. It doesn’t happen ev erywhere that I go. REBECCA HORNE: I’ve been a nurse at youth Sahavas; at that age, it’s intense. This is family, open feeling; so blissful and peaceful. I’m feeling Baba’s presence more here instead of having one activity after another directing my actions. KEBI BOOSE: What stands out as really important to me is the dedication of Baba’s cabin. It was phenomenal, magical; I was really moved. There was a definite feeling of Baba’s Presence here—His blessing—a sense of companionship and community STEVE ESSLEY: Baba blessed Bhau’s possiblylast visit with a very special, historic event, the hundred-year wild flower bloom. I’m impressed with the youth energy. Recent

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Don C. Stevens and Laurent Weichberger August 9, 2003, Meherazad, India This is a transcript of an interview conducted by Don E. Stevens and Laurent Wèichberger ofMeherwan Jessawala (Eruch Iessawalac brother) at Meherazad, India on th Saturday 9 August, 2003. Herein we use when we either do not understand what is said, or there is noise, or apause, or someone suddenly interrupts the current speakei: We use curly braces [like] this to describe something going on in the room, or a problem, or issues about the environment, or what we remember about what was being said We use square brackets [like thisJfor what we think some word(s) might be, but are not quite sure because it is hard to hearprecisely what was said on the tape. Laurent askedMeherwan, that same day oftle interview, fhe could use the material he recordedfor an article. Meherwan basically saidLaurent could do whatever he wants with the material. Thank you Meherwan. When we mention “The Book” we refer to that book which Meher Baba wrote by His own hand in the 1920s at Meherabad, India and which is also sometimes called, “The Missing Book.” Thefollowing is aforewordfor this article written by Don Stevens on January 19, 2005: There are several characteristics of Baba which are central to His handling ofmaterial He hadgiven outforpublic consumption and which must underlie judgments passed on documents that are certain to be found from time to time: 1- Baba was not in the slightestforgezful of what He hadgiven out, norforgeiful ofwhat He had done with each work and where He hadplaced it. 2- Baba knew even long in advance what He intended to do with each work He had given out. 3- When I asked him at Murshida Ducec request jfhe wouldentrust us with editing and publishing The Book, he hadEruch bring it out ofa chest in Eruchc bungalow at Meherazad where we were sitting at the time and show the wrappedpackage to me. He indicated that this was the work in question, and he said that this was not the timefor its editing and p ziblication. “Perhaps sometime in thefuture,” were his exact words. 4— It is unthinkable to me that both Mani “. . . ,,

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and then Eruch would allow a work to sitfor years without attention whichfrom their own knowledge might conceivably be The Book. Eruchc long hesitation about doing anything with the documentfoundamongManipapers is sure evidence to me that he knew there was nopossibility that it couldbe the missing Book, nor even likely to be anything that Baba had forgotten about and which should be brought forth.

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Now for the transcript itse1f PART ONE: [The beginning of the interview with Meherwan Jessawala covered certain aspects of the editing of the Discourses that resulted in its Seventh Edition. We start the transcript now where the subject shifts to the finding and editing of the work that is being published by Sheriar Foundation as Infinite Intelligence.) Don E. Stevens (DES): Now you are busy, I understand, you and Ward Parks... Meherwan Jessawala (MJ): Yeah. DES: And somebody else I think from somewhere up north in India, working on the editing of that manuscript that was found, I think after Mani passed on. [ Note: This is not correct, the manuscript was found in 1969, shortly after Baba passed away, as we will hear soon from Meherwan) MJ: Now. the final editing has been done, it will be titled Infinite Intelligence. I have given the whole history ofhow these. this work fell into our hands. DES: Would you give it again? MJ: I’ll give you. And it’s there. It’s all there now, we have made it absolutely transparent, the whole book, and the thing was that after Baba dropped His body, and . .

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the Mandali had gone to Guruprasad for the Great Darshan that was to follow, and when they returned from all that and were settled in Meherazad, they had some time with them, Eruch was rummaging in the backside go-down where its now become a grain go-down [note: a “go-down” is an Indian term for a storage out-building) DES: Uh-huh. MJ: It was used for Baba’s literature and all those things were stored there in cupboards and trunks. DES: You say in Pune? MJ: In Meherazad. DES: In Meherazad? MJ: That’s correct. In the backside building... LW: [to Don) Do you understand the context here? DES: Yes, right. MJ: This is in 1969. DES: Yes, right. MJ: Sometime in the... DES:Just after the... MJ: Darshan. DES: Darshan, right. MJ: So, he saw this pile of things. [loud noise) went through personally, and Bal Natu had come in the meantime. His usual vacation. So Eruch tells Bal, “Help me. See if there is anything which is very important in all this, and if you find some certain such things bring it to me.” There were a lot ofthings like stacks of magazines and other things... DES: Things mixed up... MJ: So Bal was going through all this, and in that he happened to come across a bag which I recollect was in a bag, in a leather bag, and he opened the thing and just saw the thing, it was a handwritten manuscript, very neatlywritten. There was no beginning, no authorship, just somebody had done it in a very neat handwriting. Laurent Weichberger (LW): Not Meher Baba’s handwriting? MJ: No, no, definitely not. So, that was there. And he found this to be very important. DES : Um-hmm. MJ : So he collected all that and brought it over to Eruch. So Eruch said, “Airight,” . .

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and he just cursorily glanced through it and then kept it because pilgrims had started coming and he was very busy. In the meantime, I came over, because every year, on Baba’s birthday, I used to come here for a month. Baba had asked me to do that. So I kept up that practice. So it was, I think it was 1970, January or something that I would come. So I had come then. Or it may be 1971, I don’t recollect. When I came one day Eruch he says, “Come in.” So he took me into his cabin and said, “Meherwan, have a look at this. These are things that we have found. Just have a look. Do you think it is that book that those people are beating our heads about?” Because... DES: Um-hmm. LW: The Missing Book. MJ: The Missing Book. Because there was a [hue-and-cry] that, “What has happened?” and that, “the Mandali are sitting there and they don’t want to bring this out,” and there was quite a lot of hubbub going on. LW: Are you saying then that in 1971... MJ : Probably in 1970 or 71... LW: But at that date, Eruch did NOT know where that missing book was? MJ: No. LW: Hmm. MJ: Nobody knows. DES: May, well. I must put quickly in here so you know... MJ: Yes? DES: .exactly where I came into the picture, with Eruch, on this. I think it was the day after I arrived, in other words two days after Baba dropped the body. I arrived the first day after, and we had a little bit of quiet time, there were not too many people from the West. The people from India hadn’t formed a line yet, so it was quiet, and I suddenly thought—Good heavens, now certainly it’s time for The Book to be brought out and edited and put into print. So I said this to Eruch, and he said, “Good Lord, Don, you’re right. It is the time.” And he said, “The book is in a safe deposit box in Bombay. And Elizabeth Patterson has the key to it.” And then he said, “You’ll be going back to America. As soon as you arrive will you telephone to Elizabeth Patterson and say, ‘Elizabeth, will you arrange for the key to be brought over because we must get it out of the safe deposit box, in the bank, in Bombay.” I telephoned Elizabeth Patterson as soon as I got there, I knew Elizabeth well, and Elizabeth said, “Don, it is not like that, I had the key, but Baba sent a message to me to give to the key to and she said, “I cannot remember who it was, but .

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I gave the person designated by Baba the key, and they went to the safe deposit box and we closed out the box, so I don’t know where the book is.” And when I told this to Eruch, immediately, Eruch says, “Good Lord, now we’ve lost the book.” This is the story, straight from Eruch. MJ: [inaudible on tape] DES: Okay, you tell the sequel now, we are putting the story together. MJ: What happened is, that Eruch then... when this happened, that was in the Central Bank of India locker. They were able to locate the particulars of the locker... DES: Yes. MJ: And fortunately one ofthe Baba-lovers was a big officer in the bank. DES: Um-hmm. MJ: So, it was first trying to be located what happened to the locker. And he gave information that on such-and-such a day, our. whatever, that locker was operated, and the contents were removed, and the locker was closed and handed back to the bank. DES : And he did not know who the person was who came? MJ: I think they knew, because the name gets registered there. And it was Ramjoo. LW: Abdulla? MJ: Ramjoo Abdulla. MJ: So... DES: Then what happened to Ramjoo?! MJ: I will tell you that. So what happened is that Baba was in Bombay, and Baba was staying in Nariman’s house I think it was. I don’t know which year it was, sometime in the 60s I think, and Baba had come to Bombay for Nariman’s birthday so-called celebration... DES: Um-hmm. MJ: He went to Bombay usually to contact Masts. So Baba was on one of those visits to Bombay, and whenever he went there he stayed in Nariman’s house. So this is what Perviz Talati tells me. DES: Um-hmm. MJ: Perviz, by the way, is here so you can get the story directly from her, because she told us this. DES: Yeah, we will try to do that. MJ: Do you know Perviz Talati? DES: I’ve met her. MJ: She says that one day Ramjoo Abdulla came along. Whenever Ramjoo came to Bombay, he would go and stay in their house in Bombay, he was very close to the family. From the time of Perviz’s father [Nawal] in the days in Nasik, they were . .

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very old friends, and Ramjoo, whenever he went to Bombay, would stay at Dma Talati’s (she was the wife of Nawal). DES: Um-hmm. MJ: Anyway, so. she said that one of these occasions, Ramjoo came along to Bombay, and Ramjoo stayed in their house, as usual. Then one day he went out from there, and he returned with a big sort ofbundle. And he put it under his pillow. DES: Baba had Eruch show me that several years before when we were in Eruch’s shack, and Eruch went to a big wooden box and took it out. It wasn’t a big bundle it was a rather small one, tied with string, so... [Don shows with his hands the size of the bundle that Baba showed himj maybe so long... MJ: Yeah, yeah. So why didn’t you grab it andjust run away with it! DES & LW: [loud laughterj DES: Baba said, “The time is not now, perhaps in the future.” That was the end of the story. I saw the bundle. MJ: Oh, you did! DES: Yes! MJ: We were not even allowed to look at . .

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DES: Well that was the size of that bundle and it’s important. MJ: Alright, well you are better know of it. anyway, so Ramjoo got this thing out and. He brought this bundle, and he had kept it under his pillow. It was evening time, and Perviz’s mother [Dma] and Perviz herself came, and they were talking with Ramjoo. Then it was time to retire. So they said, “Ramjoo, why do you keep that bundle there under your pillow? It should be very uncomfortable. Why not put it on...” and he says, “No, no, it is better left here. I don’t mind it, just leave it there.” That’s all he said to them. So they didn’t pursue the matter. Next day a car came along, this is what she says, it was Nariman’s car. And he. Ramjoo got in the car to go to see Baba. Baba was there, you follow? DES: Yes. Um-hmmm. MJ: For Nariman... [inaudible on tape) DES: But all of this is before, though, it was taken out of the locked safe deposit box... LW: No. DES: .in Bombay. LW: No Don... MJ: Just listen! DES: Yes, but you said Baba... he was there to visit Baba... Oh you mean to visit Baba’s grave, or what? LW: No, no, no... 8i . .

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MJ: No, no, this was when Baba was visiting Nariman’s house... DES:Yes. MJ: Baba was at Nariman’s place. And he had sent for Ramjoo. DES: Yeah, but I’ve got to get one thing straight. I thought you were telling me that the banker’s records said that it was Ramjoo Abdulla that took the package under Baba’s instructions, out of the bank. MJ: That’s what we presume. DES:Yes. MJ: Because what follows I will tell you... DES: Go ahead. MJ: So this is what happened, Perviz tells me that, that night Ramjoo slept with that package under his pillow... DES: under his pillow, next day goes in the car... MJ: Next day, he takes that bundle along, Baba has sent a car for him, he goes and visits Baba. And, after he had met Baba he comes back and there is no bundle in his hand. DES: Hmmm. MJ: But in. during that. later on, on that day, he tells Perviz and Dma Talati, “Do you know what that package was?” They said, “No.” [then Ramjoo replies “Well it was The Book,” that’s what he said. DES: And he had delivered that to Baba... MJ: And this is what happened, he said, “I have delivered it to Baba.” [inaudible further comment from Meherwanj LW: What year was that? MJ: [Meherwan sort of inaudible, thenj I don’t remember... LW: What year did Ramjoo pass away? MJ: He passed away in ‘66... LW: Okay, so Don. DES: Umm? LW: Do you understand this? DES: Yep. LW : This is confusing... DES: Yeah, no I’ve got it straight now... MJ: This is while Baba was there... DES: So Elizabeth Patterson herselfin ‘69 did not even know that. [loud background noise) .she did know, she did know, but I thought the implication was that it had been picked up and taken away... MJ: Yes. DES: very shortly before Baba dropped the body. so this was considerably before that the book disappeared... MJ: Yes. DES: And the last anyone knows it went to Baba’s hands. MJ: It went to Baba’s hands, and when 82 . .

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Baba must have taken it from Ramjoo there may not be anybody else present. And then what Baba did with the book... DES: Nobody knows, there it disappears... Okay so all ofthis is three years earlier than I thought it was... LW: At least, because Ramjoo passed away in ‘66 and it was probably even before that. DES: Yeah. MJ: So, it might be connected to [inaudible]. then Baba must have kept it, or brought it here, we don’t know, there was no lead after that as far as we know. DES: I may have seen it in Eruch’s shack after it was removed from the bank in Bombay. So I may have been one ofthe last persons... MJ: Did you not confirm with Eruch again? DES: No, no... MJ: Why didn’t you!? DES: No, no, I simply said to Eruch, Elizabeth says that. well it is very confusing... MJ: [laughingj Yeah that’s what Baba did, he brought in a whole cloud of confusion amongst everybody and in that The Book has gone off... LW: See, Baba is the Master Spy... MJ: Yeah... LW: He knows how to hide the most perfect secret. MJ: Yeah, well, by confusing people... [loud laughing among them allj DES: There are some, what do they say “faux pistes” in French, false trails on this one... The mystery deepens! Stay tunedforpart two, next issue.

aLse JVliistcrs

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a query from the United States, on the subject ofMaster—disciple relationship, one ofMeher Baba’s Mandali once wrote: .all kinds of saints and masters with groups and followings spring up like mushrooms in every age, and more so at every Advent. And, like the mushrooms, there are the edible kind and the poisonous ones, which we as children ignorant in such matters cannot differentiate. And thus the beloved Father warns us from approaching all variety offungus which could lead us into tempta tion ofpicking the wrong kind and perhaps eating it with disastrous results. Besides all °

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this, ‘mushrooms’ (even the edible kind) are not on the menu personally planned for the health ofour spiritual progress by our Guide and God.” The Ancient One can and does take birth from time to time as the Avatar in different Avataric ages, to give a spiritual push to all His Creation in general and to suffering humanity in particular. Perfect Masters, and even the Perfect Ones (who are simply God-realised) do not take form again. When the soul has gone through the whole lengthyprocess ofillusion to become self-conscious, when the sole pur pose of illusion is for man to become God, and when that purpose is fulfilled and the goal is reached, why and how should there be a ‘coming back’ into a form in illusion? When a Perfect Master does not reincarnate, and there are those who believe in such an absurd claim, how can an Avatar be expected to reincarnate as a Perfect Master! Meher Baba called such claimants as ‘wolves’ who preyed on his unwary ‘lambs,’ his lovers. Baba has emphasised that as long as they have conviction in his Avatarhood, they should not fall into allegiance with any other spiritual master or masters, nor seek their advice and follow instructions, even occasionally. As early as 1922 Meher Baba prepared his disciples to a life of devotion. That life culminated in the New Life when even the thought of renunciation had to be renounced. Meher Baba gave the gift of conviction to those who came to accept him as God in human form. He told them “Do not leave me at any cost.” Meher Baba has repeatedly given us the definite understanding that we should not approach or contact any saint, genuine or otherwise, and he has helped us to remember that we should ‘stick to Baba’s daaman till the very end,’ for of that Tree with the ever attractive branches, leaves and blossoms, He is the root that sustains all. The Glow November 1975 issue ©1975 Naosherwan Anzar

Df LIQIL dncc for mc, you do as much good as oni who mediates on. me. Some like work, some like play, but when you do it for inc then it is all the same. This is 7Jnndanta and Christian philosophy in a nutshell. 5o vcnj easy and yct so difftcult Thj to forget yoursclfand do all for ¶Baha. Let it be Baba all the time. Jl’kher Babo .%.

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..WIDE MEHER BABA M ..IE IETINGS

T

he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. If your local data is not included please send it to me and should things change from the published details, please let me knowthat before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma

TRI-STATE AREA

Meher Baba House, Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org www.MeherBabaHouse.org Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 pm. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360. E-mail: fbloise@earthlink.net

DOMESTIC ARIZONA

TEXAS

Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 7320 N. Vmllage Ave., Tucson, AZ 85704 e-mail: ihs222@theriver.com

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

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

WASHINGToN,

Call for information regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259 e-mail: Benleet@earthlink.net The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito, CA 94530-2931 wwwMeherBabaMeherBaba.org (SACRAMENTO)

Meetings first Friday of the month at 7 p.m. Marilyn Buehler 916-925-4451 e-mail: premsay@sbcglobal.net www.premsay.com/MeherBaba SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (LoS ANGELES)

Meetings are Sundays, 11 am-i pm, held in our center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 (Just East ofehe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.,) The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at www.Meherabode. org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public.

WAsHINGToN, STATE

MAINE

Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1 p.m. with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, work: 207-594-0909 home: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends. P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 E-mail: publisher@sevencoinpress.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-354-7005 P0 Box 42, Rockland, ME O4841ompoint@yahoo.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-594-6391 P.O. Box 108, Rockland, ME 04841 e-mail: kenlux@aol.com MA5sACH USETTS

Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge) Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle e-mail: lpgp@verizon.net MONTANA

COLORADO

Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact p ersonfor Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona). BarbaraA. Roberts, Phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court,Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 ( near Denver) e-mail: babara€fone.net FLORIDA (TAMPA BAY)

Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker M.D., Clearwater, FL 727-536-9282

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

Meredith Moon, Phone: 808-573-1i88 or 808-5726556 Fax: 808-573-1i89 e-mail: mm@dreamcircle. org 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 (M0LAi-cAI)

Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham” Phone: 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383 Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363 e-mail: salapa@aloha.net 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729 mail: P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757

Seattle Meher Baba Group Meetings: Fridays at 8 pm. Also gatherings for special events (Amartithi/ Baba’s Birthday). Location rotates each week in homes. Mail c/o Cynthia Barrientos P0 Box 16081, Seattle, WA 98116 Ph 206-713-9905 E mail: cybar7@comcast.net

I NTERNATIONAL ENGLAND

Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08 FRANCE

Marseille: C. Dallemagne, Le SylverealAl. des Pins,

13009 Marseille. Ph: 4 91 39 02, Marc Molinari Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Callas

83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Ph: 4 94 41 39 02 St.Nazaire: Christine &PhillipeJoucla, 7 Alee des Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon. Ph 2 97 46 13 19 Connerre: Andre Grimard, Champ Brule Duneau, 72160 Connerre. Ph: 2 43 89 01 94 Paris: Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris. Ph: 1 44 59 30 06

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668 e-mail: mceliz2001@yahoo.com NEW MEXICO

Robert Reser and Edle Andersen. Meetings are held the last Thursday ofthe month at 7:00pm in our home 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone 505-983-6621 robertreser@yahoo.com NEVADA

HAwAII (MAUI)

D.C.

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

(SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA)

Dick & Carol Mannis 10809 Garden Mist Dr, Las Vegas NV 89135 Phone: 702-326-1701 email: rkmannis@aol.com Meetings at 5:00 pm, followed by potluck dinner NORTH CAROLINA

Winnie Barrett, 10 Sunny Ridge Dr, Asheville, NC 28804 e-mail: winklebai@mac.com 828-645-9252 Sheldon Herman, phone: 336-288-8090 or 336235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408, e-mail: bikewalla@gbronline.com Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Asheville, NC 28803 e-mail: nordeens@msn.com

ISRAEL

Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Israel 93513 e-mail: mybllnetvision.net.il MEXICO

Rafael Villafane Phone from US: Oil 52 555 295-0512 Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225 E-mail is best as I travel alot raal@royerlabs.com We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 p.m. No particular meeting day, people on the list are contacted prior to any meeting, e-mail addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so e-mail me ifyou will be in those areas. Jeff& Cindy Lowe Phone from US: Oil 52 755 544 6303 Email: cindearaba@yahoo.com We will have a meeting any time there is a request for one. Please contact us ifyou’re going to be in the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area.

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Avatar Meher..a C; A 1. J ! I A R

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How to order your Calendar:

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Love Street Bookstore Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California Dma Snow Gibson: 310-837-6419 from 9 am-4 pm Weekdays Fax: 310-839-BABA (2222) 1214 S. Van Ness Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019 email: BabaBook@pacbell.net www.LoveStreetBookstore.com

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June

2006 Avatar Meher Baba Calendar The 2006 Avatar Meher Baba Calendar is filled with auspicious dates associated with the freshest Advent of the Ancient One in human form: Meher Baba. It also includes lots of gorgeous photos of Meher Baba and loads of beautiful and inspiring messages by Him.

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

Address Service Requested

PRICES (each) 1-9 $11OO 10-19 = $9.50 20-39 = $825 4060 = $7.75 61+ ask Dma

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

PAID LOS ANGELES, CA

PERMIT #3 1394

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