a’ a” 1; V
Editor’s Note by Dma Snow JaiBaba toyou all So glad to be back on track with the July issue arriving on your doorstep inJuly.
Silence Day—July 10th— the one day of the year when it takes more than a small effort to remember our Beloved, serve Him and obey Him. For many years I told myself “Well, we have the option offasting or being silent.” At least, thatwas whatl had heard. Butifyou read the talkthat Mani and Eruch gave in Mandali Hall, theyleave no doubt that taking the easy wayoutis not an option! NowI look forward to Silence Day, and am dissapointed on the 11th when I have to start talking again. Baba told us that talking is a waste ofspiritual energy It is alo one ofthe mostphysicailyexhaustirig things you can do. One day I would like to hear the story ofhowJack Small, a lawyer won a court case on Silence Day! Closing arguments on a note pad? Now that is obedience. May your reading inspire you, and goodluck on the 10th. My co-editor, David McNeelyis taking a break for this issue. Not that he is relaxing on the sands atWaikiki after thelasttwo beautiful issues, but he is over his head with handling the Sahavas and the thousand andonethings
that are attendanttoit.Tom Hartfrom Sausalito bravely stepped up to the plate to try his hand at design and layout. Tom works at Adobe, hencethegreatlookingphotos in this issue (they have top ofthe line scanners!) Manythanks to Tom, and the many 16 hour days he put in to create this magazine for you. We areintroducing a new departmentwith this issue. While at the Pilgrim Center last October I was lucky enough to have Nick Principe as a constant table companion. He regaled us all with the most hilariousjokes that had been told to Baba by various and sundry lovers. Baba loved to be entertained, by dancing, singing and storytelling. Manya time ahapless lover was put on the spot as Baba commanded them “Tell me ajoke!” Well Nick told us what may very well have been the first time such a thing happened and how the traditiongot started. See page2l for Humor for Huma. (The catchy title is courtesy of Kathy Wiederhold.) Solets keep up the good humor and submityour favoritejoke, butlet itbe one that you know you would have told Baba had you the opportunity Another new section we have is composed ofthe gems that issue from the mouths ofour young children.The first words that my 3 year old daughter ever read were from the poster of Baba she had seen since birth “You and I are not We but One.” But from what we are hearing from our readers, their children are spontaneously saying the deepest ofBaba-isms thatjustleave the parents open mouthed! Who knows, the young ones oftoday could very definitely have been physically in Baba’s
presence as late as the ‘50’s or ‘60’s. As Maul has told us, “Baba says once you have been with Him or any ofthe Avatars, you will al ways reincarnate rnto a familythat knows Him.” So send us your favorite stories from your own Baba babies. Even while preparing thejuly magazine, we are still dealingwith thelast issue. So many ofthem are being returned bythe post office as “moved”, or “unable to deliver as addressed.” Folks,this is addingto our financial burden tremendously! Sometimes the P0. throws your LampPost away,just sending us a xerox copy of the back page. I hate to think of Baba being thrown in the rubbish! Eitherwaythey charge us 50 cents.Then there is the $1.50 it costs to resend it first class, plus the original cost ofthe mailing. Out of a mailing list of around 800, when this happens with 30 or so addresses, it gets to be a very expensive proposition. Ifyou care enough to send in a donation for a year’s worth ofLampPosts, please remember to send us your change ofaddress before it happens. Many of the stories in this issue were submitted over a year ago, but were not printed to make room for Maul, Mansari and J ane Haynes stories. Tom and I are happy to be able to finallybring them to you, and thank you to all who contributed. We look forward to receiving much more from you all. Remem ber, this is your magazine, you keep it alive with stories to entertain each other, but pri manly Our Beloved. —
AvatarMeher Baba kiJai!
Photograph Credits Page
Photographer or Owner
Padri 40 Dma Snow Dick Duman 41 Meelan studio Panday studio 44 Panday studio Mehera 45 Donna Sanders Meelan studio 47 Tom Hart Bernard Bruford Back cover Diana LePage Reg Love Gallery ofthe Heart see page 38 Panday studio Cynthia Barrientos For more information see page 38 Wodin Dma Snow Patti Thorne Credit for photos in the previous issue on pages 27-28, 30, 32 goes to Bob Street rather than Dma Snow Beth Ganz. Credit for photo ofMansari on page 11 ofthe Winter-Spring issue goes to Roger Marc Brutus Siegel, dated, October, 1975, taken on Meherabad Hill, no doubt. Dma Snow
8 9 11 15 bottom left 15 two on right 16 17
21 22 25 36 36 bottom right 39
Photographer or Owner
A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
£ov c5treetJDamf1osb welcome The Love Street LampPost is dedièated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all activelysolicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love andTruth. Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.
submissIons, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019—3520 phone 213 731—3737
features: Mani Irani, EruchJessawala, and Adi K. IranI Silence Poem byLiz Gaskin Silence Baba’s Eric Sotibakke Silence Human, Silence Divine MeherBaba So Simple That It Has Been DifficuitTo Grasp Meher Baba Despair Mehera Irani OnlyBaba HasThe AuthorityTo DoThat Michael D. Ivey Meher CD-ROM Project Elizabeth Gies Anne How Meher Baba Slept The LA. Sahavas Sky Emerson Wiseman Meher Babas Heart in the West LizGaskin We Went to Avatar’s Abode MeherBaba The Unerring Guide of Love JerryEdwards Meherabad Gets Wired! Meher Baba Different Degrees oflntuitve Wisdom From an L.A. Times article Charles Haynes Georgann Erskirte Baba’s Christs Cradle MeherBaba Suffering of Real Alleviation Poem byDavid Raphaellsrael Meherabode Memory LarryPesta Letter from Larry Meher Baba Meher Baba’s Message for Youngsters
4 5 6
8 9 10 II
12 .15 16 20 24 24 25 38 40 40 434
special features: From the Mouths ofBaba Babes Humor for Hurna Shivaji,TheWarrior King Postings from the Internet Gallery ofthe Heart
Cynthia Barrientos NickPrincipe FrankBloise
17 21 22 26
A collection ofphotographs and greeting cardswhich are available for purchase
deadlines for submissions: Mar issue Apr Jun issue Jul Sep issue Oct Dec issue
: : : :
November 15th February 15th May 15th Aug 15th
Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310 837—6419 between 7:00 and l1:QOpm 310 839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax or e-mail Bababooks@aol.com
Love Street Lamp Post: editors design & layout distribution
: Dma Snow : Thomas Hart : Clea Sucoff and Harry Thomas
SundayBrunch with Craig Ruff How to Please Him
Pictorial Meher Baba
Archives &Museum Project: A Note from our Trust-Waili Ground-Breaking at Meherabad
Lynne Berry WardParks
interview: Carl W. Ernst answers questions about The Unveiling ofSecrets
departments: Editor’s Note Calendar ofEvents Center Report (A Letter from Meherabode) Step Inside the Love Street Bookstore
Mahoo GhorbanI Donna Sanders Dma Snow
.2 27 39 45
reviews: The Unveiling ofSecrets How Many Ljffimes
The 4 osb is published quarterly, trcetJ.’tiinjc2e J.ov 5 in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1997, Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations of Avatar Meher Baba or books, © AMBPPC’I India.
28 37 43
through the LoveStrcctBookstore.
credits: Backcover Baba Sile,aranoil paintingbyDiana LePage. images: from DC Comics &ksrilnto ThMysteiyon page42 Copyrigbt 1996J.M. DeMatteis. Ailotherwords, imagcs, and graphicsinthispthlicatianarepropertyofthcirrespectivecopyright holdersJinauthoñzed&plicationisprobibitedbylaw.
Eruch and Mani on Silence Thefollowing is an edited transcription rom f a recording ofMani Irani and Eruch Jessawala in MandaliHall, Meherazad, in the 197O. We have edited the transcription to re move ‘the gritfrom the spinach, as Mani requested. Ifwe have changedany ofthe origi nal meaning, we askyourforgiveness. —Ed. “
RUCH: In the last years, Baba expressly wished that we should, under all circumstances, observe si lence on tenth ofJuly. People who are not properly informed don’t know whether we should observe silence, whether we should observe fast, or whether we should ignore the silence day.To them all I say that Baba’s wish was that tenth July must be observed as the
day ofsilence by observing silence for twentyfour hours. It must begin at midnight ofthe ninth, and end midnight of the tenth, for twenty-four hours. It is best that we observe silence because it was His wish that we should observe silence. MANI: But even ifitwere not His wish, expressly expressed as His wish, it is a gift we can give without being asked. If as nothing but homage to His love for us, which is why He observed silence. I think there should be no questions in the minds ofanyone, “Should we observe silence or not?” That is an oppor tunity that we should not let pass by. ERUCH: That’s right. MANI: Everylover ofBaba, to my mind, must observe tenthJuly as a silence day. You salute your Beloved by giving a rose. You
would not call that a routine. You would not call that an ordinary thing. It is just an ex pression ofyour love, at least ofyour homage to the Lord who did that for our sake, not for His own sake... Ifthat little striving, that little effort, we cannot make on our own, and we must wait until he spells it out and says, “I want each of my lovers to observe silence,” then that is sad. We must give without being asked, although He has asked. He has ex pressed His wish. As Eruch says, on His last circular He gave no option, but that everybody observe silence. And that’s a very special day for every lover for whom Baba has done this. He has not done it for all, he has done it for each one. And ifwe cannot keep our lips shut for one day ofa year, then that’s bad.
What do we do for Meher Baba? ’ sSilenc B
Adi on Silence
Thefoiowing is an editedtranscrption of a recording ofAdi K Irani at the LA Sahavas in 197Z shall ask you a question: “What do we do for Meher Baba?” We accept him as Lord ofthe universe, as the Avatar ofthe age. Just to repeat these words, and there it is? In one year, once, can you not observe si lence for twenty-four hours? It gives us His remembrance all day long. It makes it pos sible to withdraw all our thoughts. Thoughts may go on, but because the activity is not there, and we are not able to express our thoughts, it gives a rest, and you feel yourselfso much composed, and the whole day passes offin the thought ofMeher Baba.
byLizGasn Baba is noisy. It islwho am silem
When Babaspoke, Hesaida lot. He was silentaboutallthatc not.
Shall we not do this once a year? There may always be difficulties. Everybody has children, everybodyhas a house. But supposing an accident takes place and one has to go to the hospital, giving up one’s house and children. What does one do? One has to do it, because nature makes one do it. Baba is so loving that he never compels you to do anything. So, shall I take advantage and not [keep silence]? I should do something for him. And I think, really, that once in every year everyone must do it. As an alternative, fast doesn’t compensate the act ofyour silence at all.
World-chatter is mute, silent ofGod
When billions ofmy impressions depart, IwillhearHis Word in my heart. Itc been singing there since time began, coveredup with my Big Bang.
A note from our Trust-walli
Ifyou’ve been thinking that sometime you’d like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a first-rate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba’s tomb-shrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries ofthe Trust whose living expenses are covered by dona tions from Baba-lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust’s charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. Now this new opportunity presents itself Love-donations are also need for the exciting new project that involves the preservation ofarticles used and touched by Baba the precious treasures that mean so much to all ofus. Contri butions for the archives project will have long-lasting value indeed! Ifthis type ofservice appeals to you, please make your check payable to “Friends ofMeher Baba Trust,” and send to: Lynne Berry —
267 Hanover Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Please note what portion ofyour donation is for the Trust, and/or for Archives. —Jai Baba!
Silence Human, Silence Divine by Eric Solibakke
hen in 1925 the Beloved announced His intention to become silent, He said “I must keep silence for some excessive spiritual work that will result when Babajan drops her body in the near future.” He painted a glum picture: “There will be religious hostilities, riots, wars and natural disasters” that shed the blood of millions.”Rivers ofblood will flow,” He said. “I will dip my kerchiefin that river ofblood and tie it around myhead! Not until the world 2 cries out for God will I give up my When a listener protested that the world would be deprived ofHis wisdom teachings, He replied with a sublime declaration of His divine mission: “I have come not to teach, but to awaken!” 2 Q the morning ofJuly 10th, His world-sustaining silence began; it had been postponed a month, Mehera tells us, because Gulmai fell off a ladder. She was spraying a nest of lice-infested sparrows in the roofofthe Post Office where the women stayed. Fortunately she was not badly hurt, but the Beloved waited an additional 26 days before entering silence. Little did anyone imagine it would continue throughout the remainder ofthe advent, nearly 44 years. First He wrote messages, using slate and chalk and then on Jan 1, 1927, He dropped writing, saying’All this depends on Babajan.” 4 Watching Him spell words by pointing to letters in newspapers, Vishnu devised the alphabet board which served as the Beloved’s medium for more than 25 years. In 1954 He put that aside too, communicating from then on by means of gestures of His own
creation and the spontaneous embodiment ofHis meanings. In every advent the Avatar charges certain symbols with His infinite power, knowledge and bliss, Christ’s sacrificial Cross, Buddha’s meditative Wheel of Law. Meher Baba’s symbolmaywell be His human and divine Silence which resonates with the mystery ofHis profound identity. “Only in internal Silence is Baba found in profound inner Silence,” He said, referring to Himself “as I really am” in the mdivisible Oneness ofGod in the Beyond and Beyond-Beyond states. —
extent ofgood His silence is doing, itis possible to observe something of it. Attending the Beloved’s discourse in Australia in 1956,John A. Grant later wrote, “Baba’s communications were more eloquent because He did not speak, than had He spoken. Because as well as hearing the message spoken by one of his mandali, the listener could also see Baba’s marvelous hand and facial gestures, which slowed down the message. Because the message was given slowly and visually as well as orally, one had the opportunity of absorbing it more deeply.” 8 His discourse did not come into the world as mere sound; it came fully embodied, fully grounded, fully enacted in His physical form He became it! And even more so after He discarded the alphabet board. Mehera reminds us poignantly how much His silence increased His suffering and contributed to His sense of helplessness. “Baba’s nature was happy and cheerful. He loved to talk and to laugh and to sing, but after silence Baba could not say anything Baba had a fine sense of humor but if He wanted to be funny or to tease someone He would have to point to theletters on the board. And by the time He had finished saying it, halfthe fun was lost Baba loved to laugh, but even that sound He denied Himself and held In 1941 when Upasni Maharaj told Him to give up his silence, saying “Now it is bringing too much suffering,” Baba said, “No, I have come to suffe; and My work is most important. I must finish 9 k. In His last message on the alphabet —
‘My outwardsilence is no spiritual exercise’ He told us, ‘7t has been undertaken and maintainedsolelyfor the goodofothers.” -
Aspirants often practice silence as a spintual discipline, but the Avatar’s silence is of another sort. “My outward silence is no spintual exercise,” He told us, “It has been undertaken and maintained solely for the good of 6 Its purpose maypenhaps be implied in the Beloved’s enigmatic words: “Things that are real are given and received in silence.” While it’s impossible for us to grasp the
(K3 board, the Beloved comforted our fears of losing contact with Him by assuring us that, “Severance of external relations does not mean the termination ofintemal connections. It was only for establishing the internal connections that the external contacts have been maintained till now. The time has now come for being bound in the chain ofinternal connections. Hence external contact is no longer necessary It is possible to establish the internal link by obeying Baba’s orders. I give you all My blessings for strengthening these internal links.” 10 His silence reduces our outer distractions and draws our attention inward toward that place in ourselves where His voice can be heard. “I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul the voice ofinspiration, of is My voice intuition, ofguidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak.” There withiove Hisvoice guides us in the direction of our own experience ofReal silence. At the same time He challenges us to connect with His silence, He wears out our minds with denials and assertions, with promises to break His silence and apparent failures to do so. “Although I appear to be silent, I speak through you all. I am ever silent and everlastingly speaking, but the time has arrived when soon I will break this apparent silence, and then those who love 6 me will see my Real Self.” The theme ofbreaking His silence is a never- ending saga from the earliest days onward. Sometimes charming, sometimes incompre hensible andmysteiious, sometimes hilariously grandiose, but always His notification of intention to break His silence is clearly a labor of love on behalf of His lovers and those who would love Him. As a child Mani elicited a promise from her God-brother that He wouldn’t break His silence unless she were present. Imagine how shocked she was to hear that He had sent out a circular announcing He was going to speak at a time when she was in school in Poona. She immediately penned a letter reminding Him ofHis promise, concluding, “So, eitherYou allowme to come andbewithYou when You breakYour Silence, orYou postpone the breaking ofYour Silence.” She added a PS, “I can come right now.” 12 He postponed. Ramjoo tells how once in the early years Baba arranged to break His silence in the —
presence ofseveral mandali members. They when He announced that. And there are even those who exhort the Beloved not to break hiked strenuously for several days to reach a His silence but rather to break our noise so we very remote location where Baba arranged may hear His silence. them in a circle with their backs toward Him In anycaseforailtime onJanuary3l, 1969, some 50 feet away. When He clapped, they He anchored His human and divine silence in were to turn and He would speak. He His Samadhi on Meherabad Hill after a lifetime clapped, they turned but nobody heard Him ofreassuring us all that anyone anywhere in the utter a sound. Questioned, He replied with worldwho establishes a genuine heart connection a question ofHis own, “Do you not know I withHimmayreceivethegreatest ofGod’s gifts: am always speaking?” 13 “Through endless time God’s greatest gift is Then there was the famous promise to 17 continuouslygiven in break His silence at the Hollywood Bowl! During His visit to the USA in 1932, Baba distributed powerful spiritual discourses and messages which stoked the fires of interest inthe impendingbreaking ofHis silencein Callfornia. The idea ofdoing it in the Hollywood Bowl was in the air. It was at a luncheon date with Marie Dressler— shewas atthe height of popularity, co-starring in Charlie Chaplin’s films; she had received the Academy Award the year before. In a lighthearted mood, she told Baba she would like to take Him out in the woods and dance with Him, Key to quotes and sources: “And even ifyou want to speak a few words Baba anyone.” to me, I promise not to tell spelled out, “Before breaking my silence, it is essential for me to proceed to China. On LordMeher, Vol. Two, p. 731 1 my return, I wilibreak my silence onjuly 13 at LordMeber, Vol. Two, p. 732 2 the Hollywood Bowl.” 14 Immediately the arrangements started. Mehera, p. 84 3 QuentinTodd organized newspaper coverage 4 Letc Go To Meberabad, p. 80 and aworldwide radio link. Fashionable ladies began preparing their God-Realization LoveAlone Prevails, p. 166 5 dresses on the basis of Quentin’s assurance that theywould realize Godwhen Baba spoke. The Silent Master, p. 7 6 Years later in a video Delia DeLeon would MeherBaba Calling, p. 40 7 refer to her God-Realization dress, made for 15 the occasion. Kitty Davy had one also. At 8 Practical Spirituality, p 26 eleven o’clockthat night Baba and His group, Mehera, p. 235 9 including Quentin, sailed for Hawaii on the 55 Monterey. Two days after arrival in Ho10 Practical Spirituality, p. 216 nolulu, Baba sent Quentin back to California to alert everyone that He had 11 LoveAlone Prevails, p. 179 changed His mind and there would be no show 12 God-Brother, p. 126 in the Bowl.The Associated Press carried the story on July 13, 1932, under the headline 13 The God-Man, p. 413 6 “Silent Hindu Defers Radio alk.’ 14 LordMeher, Vol. V p. 1661 So this is the Eternal Beloved’s conundrum which delights some and dismays others; each 15 LoveAlone Prevails, p. 94 lover must resolve it in the intimacy ofhis and her romance with the Divine. Again and 16 LordMebei 1W. V p 1661-1668 again over the years, the Beloved heralded 17 The God-Man, p. 346 His intention to break His silence, so often in fact and so sincerely that eventually we must begin to wonder what He meant —
So Simple That It Has Been Difficult To Grasp by
ince arnvingrnAmerica, I have been asked many times what solution have I brought for the social problems now confronting you — what did I have to offer thatwould solve the problems ofunemployment, prohibition, crime, that would eliminate the strife between individuals and nations, and pour a healing balm of peace upon a troubled world. The answer has been so simple that it has been difficult to grasp. The root ofall our difficulties, individual and social, is self-interest. It is this, for example, which causes corruptible politicians to accept bribes and betray the interests ofthose whom they have been elected to serve; which causes bootleggers to break, for their own profit. alaw designed, whether wisely or not, to help the nation as awhole; which causes people to connive, for their own pleasure, at the breaking of that law thus causing disrespect for law in general, and increasing crime tremendously; which causes the exploitation ofthe great masses of humanityby individuals or groups ofindividuals seekingpersonalgain;whichimpedes the progress of civilization by shelving inventions which would contribute to the welfare of humanity at large, simply because their use would mean the scrapping ofpresent inferior equipment; which, when people are starving, causes the wanton destruction oflarge quantities of food, simply in order to maintain market prices; which causes the hoarding of large sums of gold, when the welfare of the world demands its circulation.... But the elimination of self-interest, even granting a sincere desire on the part ofthe individual to accomplish it, is not so easy, and is never completely achieved except by the aid ofa Perfect Master. For self-interest springs from a false idea of the true nature ofthe Self, and the idea must be eradicated, and the Truth expe
rienced, before the elimination of selfinterest is possible. I intend, when I speak, to reveal the One Supreme SeWwhichis in all.This accomplished, the idea ofthe Selfas a limited, separate entity will disappear, and with it will vanish self—interest.... THE GOD-MAN, C. B. Purdom, pp. 104-105 Copyright 1971 Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.
Despair Nobody is utterly lost and nobody need despair. The knowledge that all have the same beginning and the same end, with life on earth a happy interlude,will go a long way in makingthe Brotherhood ofMan a reality on earth. Meher Baba
— 1937 Meher Baba Calling
only Baba Has The AuthorityTo Do That by Mehera Irani
hen Baba dropped His body, Mastan did not know at first what had happened.Then, one dayl sawhim come into the dining room, which he had never before done without first being called. He looked at Baba’s chair, and saw that Baba was not there. And very slowly he walked around and out ofthe dining room, and then lay down in the passageway with a very deep sigh. A few days later Mastan came to Baba’s bedroom alone, which, again, he never did without being called. As I watched he stopped by the foot ofBaba’s bed, and then very slowly walked in a complete circle around Baba’s bed. And then slowly left the room. He knew then what had happened, and he gradually gave up eating. After that I had to hand feed Mastan his mutton, but unless I put it right down his throat he would spit it out. So Mastan got thinner and thinner. It was now the end ofMarch 1969, and it was time for us to leave for Poona for the 1969 Darshan at Guruprasad. Mastan was left at Meherazad in the charge of a servant who loved him. Before I got in the car to leave I went up to Mastan and patted his head. “Baba,” I asked, “You will make it easy for him”, and taking Baba’s Name I said goodbye to Mastan. That was the last time I saw him; in the middle ofApril Mastan died. He had been quite hearty before Baba dropped His body, but he missed Baba’s love, and he gave up his life. That is how faithftil to Baba Mastan was. Baba had told us, “I will see that next birth Mastan takes a human form, and not just as an ordinary human being. He will be a very good soul who loves God.” So by Baba’s grace Mastan will skip all the in-between lives and will take birth as a God-loving person. Only Baba has the authority to do that. And that shows Baba’s Love for Mastan. MEHERA, pp. 237-238, Copyright 1989, AMBPPCT
Meher Baba CD-ROM Project ,1’
by Michael D. Ivey
he 300+ people who subscribe to the Meher Baba Listserv on the Internet, lovinglymaintainedbyJoe Stewart of Erie Community College, are referred to in various ways such as Listees, Listservants orjust plain subscribers.The common factors between all of us, ofcourse, are an abidinglove for Meher Baba and an interest in communicating with other Baba Lovers (BL’s). The “Meher Baba CD Project” (I’ll use the term ‘Project’ since it has, as yet, no formal name) is a rare example ofspontaneous human combustion. It was a fire that broke out on the Mther Baba Listserv, beginning in February ‘97. The Project was the outcome of daily conversations in which one of us would say something like, “Baba said something to this effect, but I don’t remember exactly what the quote is or where I read it.” Statements like this were (and are) a regular occurrence among any grouping ofBL’s. It is, ofcourse, now possible to put ALL the literature associated with Meher Baba on one single CD which can be “searched” in a split-second forwords, quotes, text fragments and subjects. While responding to someone’s message aboutnotbeing able to find a certain quotation, I was bemoaning the fact that, in order to create a searchable compilation of all the Baba literature, it would take a person with a scanner and a LOT offree time or a veritable army of typists to input such a large body oftext. My next thought was, “Wait a minute, there are 300 ofus on this Listserv. We ARE an army of typists! Maybe WE could be the army oftypists that this project needs.” So, basi cally, I threw that thought out into the elec tronic pond which is the Listserv and waited to see what happened. What happened was that people started affirming the ideas that (1) this is something that needs to be done and (2) that division oflabor among many BL’s is the only way to do it. And, the most impor tant reaction was that people started vol
unteering to be part ofsuch an effort. One thing led to another. Nosh Anzar immediately said that he would donate the digital text(s) ofthree ofthe books and back issues of Glow to which he holds copyright. Cynthia Shepard, a professional textbook editor, said that she would organize the compilation of works, proofreading and indexing of text. Deepak Ramanthan, a graduate student at Syracuse Universit offered his expertise with search engines.Joe Stewart, facedwith consistent and escalating communication about the project, created a separate, Project Listserv. There were many other small contributions, not theleast ofwhichbeingthose of each individual volunteer who has offered their own time and energyto the daunting task ofinputting some 80+ books by and about Meher Baba. At the time of writing, there are 47 volunteers working at their own pace in varying capacities. Now that two months have passed, the Project has been given the “go-ahead” by the AMBPPCT’s copyright committee, Ann Conlon on behalfofMeher Spiritual Center andlraDieffichonbehaifofSufism Reoriented. Ward Parks, who represents the Trust’s copyright committee, had the followingto say about the prospective Meher Baba CD:
“We feel, as you do, that advancing digi tal technologywillprovide a major avenue for the spreading of Beloved Baba’s name and message, which will eventually reach every nook and cranny ofthe world. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support your effort. At the same time, it is superlatively important to the Trust that the workbe done well. This CD-ROM publication, ifit eventuates, will represent (to the best ofmy knowledge) the first compilation ofbooks and messages by and about Avatar Meher Baba published through the computer media. He should be presented to the world in a way that honors and benefits Who He is. For what might originally have been intended as a data resource for people who al readyknowBabawill over time most probably
become a major channel bywhich newcom ers find out about Him. The work should, therefore, “speak” to the greater humanity as it is turrnng to Him. Undoubtedly, the task is a large and challenging one. But ifyou and your associ ates are willing to take it on with all it entails, the Trust supports your effort. It is indeed a great opportunity for all concerned.” Any description of the Project to date would be incomplete without mention ofthe people who have worked for years with this or similar concepts and “planted the seed” for the eventualinspiration ofthis current effort. Those that come to mind are Lawrence Reiter, who talked about putting the text of Lord Meher on CD two or three years ago, Keith Gunn, who has been inputting text for some years with the faith that the way would eventually be cleared for such a project, and Gary Cook, who has carried the torch for a Meher Baba Encyclopedia on the Listserv for a good while. I’m sure there are others ofwhom I am not aware, so please forgive any omissions. Inasmuch as the project is a long-term undertaking, it is still only in its infancy. There is room for everyone who would like to contribute to the effort along the lines of text input (typing or scanning), proofreading, publishing and/or computer expertise. Ifyouwould like tojoin the effort to help create the Meher Baba CD, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at: (817) 834-2184 (eves. and weekends).
: . ,
How Meher Baba Slept
I bought this photo from Meelan’s Studio in Pune, believing it to be a rare photo of the Avatar asleep. People have since told me it is actually Shireen Baba’s mother! Dma —
t night Meher Baba would always have one ofthe men mandali keep watch while he slept. The night watchman would sit right outside Baba’s room, making sure that no one disturbed Baba’s rest. Baba always gave the night watchman three orders not to move, not to make any noise, and to keep awake the whole night. Once, one of the mandali named Bhau was keeping watch for Baba. Baba told him, “I’m tired today and not feelingwell. So please don’t make any noise. Don’t move, and keep awake.” Baba repeated the orders five or six times. Then he directed Bhau to close the windows, close the door, and go sit outside on the porch. Bhau didn’t find it hard to stay awake or keep very quiet. But he did find it hard to sit like a statue for such a long time. Mosquitos kept buzzing around his face and biting him. —
But Baba’s order meant that he couldn’t even lift his hand to brush them away. Usually, every fifteen minutes or so, Baba would clap his hands for Bhau to come see him. That would give Bhau a chance to move and stretch. But this particular night Baba didn’t clap for fifteen minutes. Halfan hour went by. Then another hour. Two hours. Still Baba didth clap. All the time, the mosquitos were biting and Bhau was becoming very stiff. Finally after two and a half hours, Baba started snoring “This is my chance,” Bhau thought. “At least I can change the way I’m sitting in this chair.” Slowly Bhau started to lift his leg off the ground. Without making a sound, he moved it ever so slightly. At that moment, Baba clapped. Bhau went inside to Baba’s room. “Why did you move?” Baba asked him. At first Bhau was so startled that he didn’t
5treetJ3unfjosb 4 £ove
say a word. He thought to himself, “How did Baba know that I moved? The door and the windows were closed. I did not make any noise, and obviously Baba was sleeping.” Baba knew what Bhau was thinking and said to him, “When I sleep, I can see the whole world. Can I not see you, who are so near to me?” This was how Bhau learned that Baba’s sleep was not like yours or mine. Even when Baba was asleep and snoring, he always knew what was going on around him. MERWAN, pp. 65-67 Copyright 1980 Anne Elizabeth Giles
The L.A. Sahavas Meher Baba’s Heart in the West by Sky Emerson Wiseman
has been nearly twenty years since I encountered Allan Cohen’s book The Mastery ofConsciousness in a Coronado, California bookstore. When I saw Baba’s photo and read His words in that bookl knew I had reached the culmination of a spiritual search that had commenced when I was a small child. At that time I was serving as gunnery officer aboard a United States N ãvy m an of-war. Fortunately, Beloved Baba’s infinite love and compassion reaches out to all, and plucks His lovers from some seemingly unlikely places. In the first two years ofmy companionship with Baba I only had contact with a few of His lovers. Although these experiences were quite wonderful, I had no great interest in seeking out larger Baba groups. Actually, it was more than ‘no interest’ that was keeping me somewhat isolated. I was concerned that I would not be comfortable with groups of Babalovers and that my honeymoon with Baba would somehow come to an abrupt halt in any sort ofgroup atmosphere. My deepest fear was that the Baba community would be just like many ofthe religious groups that I had been exposed to earlier my life. I had felt Baba’s Avatarhood intellectually and He had touched my heart deeply during those first two years, but I really had no idea what that meant in terms of His real work with human beings. I knew nothing of the Divine Wine that invariably flows when His lovers, a veritable cross section of humanity, come together for His Sahavas an intimate sharing oflove between the Beloved and His lovers. I knew nothing ofthe electric atmosphere -
and intensity of a full scale gathering of Meher Baba’s dear ones. Needless to say, I was not at all prepared for my first encounter with the love feast and spiritual dynamite of the Southern California Silence Day Sahavas! Not to say that these annual gatherings in the San Bernardino Mountains don’t provide opportunities for quiet contemplation and solitude, but emotional intensity, lively music, andjoyful camaraderie seem to me to be the recurring themes of this wonderful event. Just as the Hamipur District oflndia is often called ‘Meher Baba’s Heart’, because of the quality oflove that flows from His lovers in that region, I have come to thinkofthe L.A.
I often remember the words ofthe immortalHafiz ‘ffor one slight momentyou have thefortune to drown yoursefin the ocean ofLove, do not hesitate. That moment does not come ftequently. As soon as the Master says Drown’ do not hesitate.”
Sahavas as ‘Meher Baba’s Heart in the West.’ His lotus feet never walked the mountains of Southern CalifomiabutHe did make his mark in Hollywood! A deep heart quality radiates from His lovers there in Los Angeles, and that atmosphere permeates His Sahavas gathering at Pilgrim Pines. I attended myfirst L.A. Sahavas in 1980, following myintroduction to the Los Angeles
group. I found myselfin Los Angeles when my Navy ship received severe damage to its mdcstructible rubber sonar dome. The rupture of the sonar dome in heavy sea’s in the vicinity of San Nicolas Island off the Southern C alifornia coast was truly a bizarre occurrence but it brought my vessel into drydock in Long Beach Shipyard and prompted a two month stay in the Los Angeles Area. I had been appointed ship’s navigator by this time, and I remember bringing the vessel into port through an early morning fog. I had failed to drive my car to L.A. but Baba made sure I drove the ship. The time I spent with Filis Frederick, Adele Wolkin, Dana Field and so many others during my time in L.A. was a great blessing. Filis laughed when I first ar rived at her home for a Monday night meetingwith mytale ofthe unusual chain ofevents that had brought me to L.A. She smiled and said, ‘Oh, a million dollars damage to a ship means nothing to Baba if He can bring just one soul closer to Him.’ I conduded my stayin the City ofAngels feeling very much at home with Baba’s lovers, and particularly hooked on the loving energy ofHis Los Angeles followers. I had heard of the Sahavas and began makingplans to attend that next summer, and yet as the Sahavas weekend approached I was still a bit concerned about such a large gathering and didn’t really knowwhat to expect. I waited until the last minute but finally packed my bag and headed north from San Diego. After atwo hour drive I began climbing towards the town of Oak Glen, passing through apple orchards along the way. At last —
K3et I sawa smallsignhangingon atree—’MEHER BABA. As soon as I sawthat sign and set foot on the grounds ofPilgñm Pines all doubts faded into nothingness. As I strolled through the vibrant conifers and stately oaks I felt Baba’s loving embrace. All of my cares drifted somewhere up into the high canyon walls above Pilgrim Pines, the canyon that never fails to remind me of a grand cathedral magically sheltering the valley below. Sometime during that first Sahavas I felt deeply that Meher Baba was the very same Christ I had known as a child, and I sensed a
ents not to make me go to church, but to stay home and think about Jesus. Here at the Sahavas I encountered that Jesus ofmy childhood. Despite thejoy and clarity ofthose early days at Pilgrim Pines I had a difficult experience that first year when the special moment came for the traditional dhuni fire on the last Sahavas night. We all walked silently to the dhuni through the trees, with darkness beginning to envelope the camp. The dhuni was lit and it was a most magical moment. The crackle ofthe first flames and the fragrance
(x:x3 within to be His. I have since realized that the Treasure that awaits me each and every moment through an inner surrender to the Beloved is symbolicallyrepresented by tossing a small stickin the dhuni flame. Over the years I have had the good fortune to approach the Beloved’s dhuni on many occasions at the Sahavas. I have never forgotten that first missed opportunity that ‘chance that was wasted,’ so poignantly phrased in ‘Begin the Beguine.’ I often remember the words of the immortal Haflz, “Iffor one slight moment you have the fortune to drown yourselfin the ocean —
Sky and Shar appear wihn the wbte rL avepbctcqfthe 1996 LA Sahazias
very powerful connection with Baba as the Ancient One. It was the music ofthe Sahavas that evoked this connection. Years laterJane Haynes related to me that she spoke inwardly to Baba during one ofher first meetings with Him at the Meher Center, saying, ‘But it’s You!’ Baba had replied in her heart, ‘Yes Jane, it is I’. When Jane told me this storylrealizedthatl had averysimilar experience at my first L.A. Sahavas. I particularly enjoyed the singing at morning arti, and I remem her a powerful recognition that being there was an opportunity of incredible good fortune. I had often asked my par-
ofwood smoke, coupled with the radiant moon hanging over the valley below will be forever emblazoned in my mind’s eye. And yet when the opportunity came to approach the dhuni and bow to Beloved Baba’s sandals I let this rarechance slip awa)dhungbackinthe shadows, wanting so much to approach closer to Baba, but somehow afraid to partake ofthe Treasure that awaited. I continued towaitfor an impulse to go forward, but the moment passed. I had missed my chance. It was a very painful experience at the time. In retrospect I realized that Baba was simply drawing me closer, fanningthe flames oflove, igniting that longing
ofLove, do not hesitate. That moment does not come frequently. As soon as the Master says ‘Drown’ do not hesitate...” I didn’t have another chance to attend the Sahavas for three years, but was finally able to return in the summer of1993 after the death ofmy daughter, Ciera. Ciera’s lengthy struggle withleukemiabrought me even doser to Baba, and through that difficult period He taught me so much about His way ofworking. Through Ciera’s briefbut intense life Baba gave an exquisite discourse on the nature of love. I came to the 1983 Sahavas on fire with love for Baba, thankful for the gift of Ciera,
3t and deeply grateful for the opportunity to be amongst Hislovers once again. On dhuni night I was near the front ofthe line. I didnt miss another L.A. Sahavas for six years, fouryears coming from San Diego, and twice making the long trip from New Mexico after moving to the Four Corners area in 1987. Each year I counted the days before making that happyjourneyto be at His feet at Pilgrim Pines. So many wonderful guest speakers, musicians, and pilgrims touched my heart during these years. I couldn’t begin to name them all each one so special, and each playing a major role in my life with Beloved Baba. I also made a wonderful trip to Myrtle Beach and the long awaited trip to India during this period, but the spirit and energy ofBaba’s Sahavas in Southern California was the constant source of His grace that I anticipated. Departing the gathering at the end ofthe long weekend was often painful for me, but with the coming ofthe next Spring my excitement and anticipation would begin building once again. Upon myarrival at Pilgrim Pines memories always begin flowing as I walk those grounds anew, a reminder of the unfolding years with Baba. One year, I couldn’t wait untilJuly. My longing for the Sahavas atmosphere got the best ofme. It was a chilly February afternoon and I was working on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Beaumont, about 20 miles from Pilgrim Pines. I realized thatl could make a quick trip up to Oak Glen before returning to San Diego at the end ofthe day. I arrived at the deserted camp with the usual anticipation, a cold wind blowing down offthe summit of San Gorgonio Mountain. I am one who often seeks solitude in nature to reflect on Meher Baba and His beautiful creation. Such solitude is readily found in the mountains and deserts of the west, and it is an experience that nourishes me in the deepest ofways. But the Pilgrim Pines camp, home of the L.A. Sahavas, and ‘Meher Baba’s Heart in the West,’ is not that sort ofplace for me. On that wintry daythere was no toddy shop; no music ringingthrough the camp; no hearty’Jai Baba’s’ reverberating among the trees. That day I learned the importance of seeing Baba’s radiant beauty in the eyes of His lovers. I learned that Baba’s lovers are His Sahavas Pilgrim Pines without His lovers left me verylonelythataftemoon. Ileftabit disheartened but all the more eager to return for the real Sahavas in the heat of summer. —
In 1991, I moved up to Montana, a place where I had felt Beloved Baba guiding me before I had ever heard His name. It is here in Montana that mylife with Baba has taken on the character ofa deep mountain pool, and it seems that more and more He is holding an ongoing Sahavas in my heart. With my wife Shar, daughters Mandi and Katie, and our wonderful animals we are living our lives on the “Baba frontier” ofsorts, witness to the unfolding ofHis manifestation in the glorious Montana sk But Montana is a long way from Southern California and until the summer of 1996 I had not been able to make it back to the Sahavas for five long years. Despite several lovelyvisits to His Myrtle Beach Center I still felt the call ofthe Silence Day Sahavas. Shar and I made the two dayjourney to Pilgrim Pines from Billings, Montana last summer. This was Shar’s first Sahavas and spending the time with her made my own experience even more rewarding. It was my ‘best Sahavas ever,’ a statement I have truthfully made each year I have attended. As a late spring begins here in the high plains canyons ofMontana I filly expect to make the same statement again this year.The 1997 Sahavas is being billed as the best ever, a ‘reunion Sahavas’ highlighted by dear Bhau along with an incredible array of past guest speakers and musicians. With Julyfast approachingl’m beginning to develop a serious case of Sahavas fever! I was not at all surprised to receive an e-mail just as I began writing this article. A1lan Cohen is a confirmed guest for the 1997 Sahavas’. For me the Sahavas has always been marked by incredible synchronicit and I am never surprised by Baba’s Divine Game. It was Allan’s book that brought me into Baba’s orbit twenty years ago, and although I corresponded with himjust after readingThe Mastery of Consciousness I have never met him in person! Twentyyears with Baba and a reunion Sahavas! ‘Meher Baba’s Heart in the West’ is calling and I’ll soon be on my way!
The Unseen Playmate When children areplaying alone on the green, In comes theplaymate that never was seen. When children are happy andlonely andgood, The Friend ofthe Children comes out ofthe wood Nobody heard him, andnobody saw, His is apicture you never could draw, But hec sure to be present, abroad or at home, When children are happy andplaying alone. He lies in the laurels, he runs on the grass, He sings when you tinkle the musicalglass; Wheneryou are happy andcannot tell why, The Friend ofthe Children is sure to be by! He loves to be little, he hates to be big, ‘T is he that inhabits the caves thatyou dig; ‘Tis he when youplay withyour soldiers oftin That sides with the Frenchmen and never can win. ‘T is he, when at night yougo offtoyour bed, Bidsyou go to sleep and not troubleyour head; For wherever they’re lying, in cupboard orshe ‘T is he will take care ofyourplaythings himsef!
Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!
From A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES by Robert Louis Stevenson
We Went to Avatar’s Abode by Liz Gaskin Avatar’s Abode, 1971 It was warm, afternoon, about three. Francis askedwhat didlknow ofYour I said You were God. He offered tea. We drank tea. Then he asked wouldllike to see Your Room ? I saidyes. We went, leaving a benchperched on oil drums andpineapple boxes. We went into Your Room. Francis openedthe doors. It was beautiful in there. Soft, andpiiows of satin, pale blue andpink, ever so soft. Istoodon the spot. You hadbeen here, I was at Your Feet. Ifril in a heap and cried. You were here and You Are Here.
The Unerring Guide of Love by Meher Baba
he spiritual path is like climbing up to the mountain top through hills and dales and thorny woods and along steep and dangerous precipices. Ifthere is one thing which is most necessary for a safe and sure arrival at the top, it is love. All other qualities which are essential for the aspirants
ofthe Highest can and must come to them ifthey faithfully follow the whispers of the unerring guide oflove. Ifyoulose hold ofthe mantle ofthis guide, there is onlydespairin store foryou.The gateway to the highest state ofbeing One with God is firmly closed to all who do not have the
courage to lose their separate existence in the restless fire ofdivine love. LORD MEHER, Vol. Seven & Eight, Bhau Kaichuri, p. 2987, Copyright 1995 AMBPPCT
From the Mouths ofBaba Babes Compiled by Cynthia Barrientos
here are many times when simple wisdom comes to us from our children. They have insights to God/Meher Baba that we may miss at first glance. Perhaps their line to God is so direct because they have not yet been corrupted by Maya. Here is a collection of quotes that demonstrate how many ofour young people are so clearly and closely connected to Meher Baba.
and a very nice man gave me candy.” Years later, while watching a Baba video with me, Brett looked at Baba and said, “I know him. He’s the man that gave me candy.” At the time that Brett told me the dream I had felt Baba’s presence.Watching the video, however was a sweet confirmation. JaiBaba, Tern Zee
A Nice Dream
A Prayer Answered
In 1974 I had been reading about Baba for two years. My son Brett was five. I had not discussed Baba with Brett. One morning Brett woke and while still in bed called me and said, “Mommie I had a nice dream.” “What did you dream?” I asked. “I dreamed that I went far across the ocean
Late one night, as I lay crying myself to sleep, I prayed to God to please show me the way to Him. I was 9 years old. I had been made to go live with my father, step mother and a world of child abuse. I was forced to go to a strange church, the third one in my short lifetime. I loved God
with all my heart and didn’t understand why so many people had so many different ways oflooking at God. They all said they were right and the others were wrong. That night God answered myprayers. I felt a warmth come over me and I felt a pain in my chest that wasn’t unpleasant, but made me feel alive and filled me with the knowledge that this wasn’t all there was. That night I began my inward journey. It was nine years later, while going for a job interview as an AuPair, that I first saw the picture. It was a beautiful portrait of a man. He had long dark hair and moustache and a beautiful smile. I didn’t ask right away who the picture of the man was. I had my interview and fell in love with the people and the children. I got thejob immediately. The children were a 4 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. Afterworking there for about a week and seeing that smiling face each day, I
CynthiaBarriento•s andson, Lee.
couldn’t stand not knowing who He was any longer. I felt awkward asking the parents who the man was. Something inside me told me I should know this man. So, I asked the 4 year old girl. She told me in the sweetestvoice, that I can still hear today, “That’s Meher Baba, you know,Jesus, Krishna. .God.” That was it. All my questions and searching were over. I knew immediately that was who He was. There was no second guessing,I didn’tfeelthe needfor an explanation, it was pure and simple. I KNEW He was the ONE. And since I had asked God to show me the way to Him when I was only 9 years old, it seemed only appropriate that Baba would use the voice of a child to answer my prayer. Beloved Baba is always listening. . .
Life is Just a Dream
This morning, myeightyear old son,Jake, called me into his room to tell me he had just written a song. It seems appropriate.
“Three Dreams and His Nazai or How I Brought a Baby to Bombay”
‘Lfè isjuse a dream, you cant deny it. A dream ofdeath andpain, you can’t deny it, itcjust a dream. These little dreams thatyou have at night are nothing compared to the dream you are having right now. Whenyouplayyou thinkyou areplaying, but actuallyyou are in dreamland. Never deny it, itcjust a dream.” harold Jamison
January, 1990 One night, we were at the Pilgaim Center as Bhaugavehisweekly talk Iwas inthe dininghall listening attentively when I suddenly heard a bloodcurdling scream it was Clara! I ran out to the women’s side. Clara not quite three had been in the years old at the time her mom was While mom. bathroom with her ofa can of had gotten hold in thejohn, Clara her eyes! into bug spray and shot thejuice an old Anne Someone ran for Doctor I scooped friend and the doc in charge while Clara up into my arms. I rocked her and swayed her, crooned her and bounced her. Always in tune with her feelings, I knew how to lead her quickly away from a feeling of trauma. Whatever else would happen, I knew the worst enemywould be the feeling offear, ofchaos. We gracefully rocked together to Baba. When Anne arrived, things had calmed down abit. Anne did some doctorthings, which helped a lot. Then she suggested flushing out Clara’s eyes. It wasnt absolutely necessary, but it might be a good idea, she said. Trusting to Baba and my intuition, I said “No”, rather than traumatize Clara more, and we rocked off away from the crowd which had gathered around her. Suddenly at the end of the verandah, rocking her gentlyin my arms in the beautiftd Meherabad stillness, listening closely, I hear Clara’s tinyvoice. “I love you”, she says sweetly. I am so deeplytouched, surprised, moved—you cannotimagine. Ilookdown ather and say”Ilove you too sweetheart.” At this, Clara cocks her head, looks me straight in the eye, and says pointedly, “I wasn’t talking toyou! I was talking to Baba!” Not surprisingly, that made me feel even better than when I thought she was talking to me! . . .
The Ancient One Longing for Baba’s Words
So, she is now reading Discourses. After that I’ll give her God Speaks! Why not!!? OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES EH? Even though the Discourses are not all Baba’s direct words, at least they are repre sentative ofHis teachings. She is loving them!
When my daughter was about 6 years old (19 years ago), I tookher to the Center at Myrtle Beach. She kept pleading with me to let her into the Lagoon Cabin, which I was very hesitant about because she was a real chatterbox. Finally, itwas empty and I agreed. I stayed outside. In a while she came out. I was standing about 15 feet from the door. She strode down the path, stopped in front of me, arms akimbo, looking very angry and said, “Mama, why didn’t you tell me Baba used to be Jesus?” Several months later this same child started talking about Krishna. I knew I hadn’t said anything to her about Krishna, and became curious. So, one day, I asked her who this Krishna person was that she was talking about. She looked at me and said, “Oh, he’s part ofBaba” in a tone that made it clear she was sure I was entirely ignorant not to know that.
My 13 year old daughter has been haying a very tough time as a result ofa move by our family to a new town last year (experi encing loss offriends and depression etc.) Recertly, she said she wanted to read more Baba books. She’s read the children’s stories in the past, about Baba and the animals etc. I said to her, “I’ll pick out one that has nice stories in it.” She immediately replied, “I’m not interested in stories ABOUT Baba. I want to read what Baba said Himself, His teachings!”
© Tony Paterniti, 1996
(K3et Three Moments with a Four Year Old 1) My son, Lee, and 1 were talking about Amartithi. When I told him we were get— ting together with folks tonight, he replied “Let’s get together and help Meher Baba get up so he can fly up into the sky! After He’s gone another Meher Baba will come. He will talk with His heart. Next time he’ll have a haircut. .We’ll call Him ‘Haircut Meher Baba!” I asked if that will be soon or in a long time... “A LONG LONG time!” .
“Oh, yeah. He sure does. .1 suppose I’m asking for help for me.” I said. He nodded and returned to play in the other room. .
3) One afternoon, Lee had done something unacceptable and was in a “time out”. As he sat in his special place, he looked over at his photo ofMeher Baba, at the foot ofhis bed. He then burst into song at full volume: the strength of God is the Power “Oh, the that rules world...” byWard Parks. He was letting me knowwho the REAL “Head” ofour house is... Cynthia Barrientos
2) One morning I received a disturbing phone call. After hanging up I started speaking aloud, to Meher Baba. My prayer went something such as this: “Please pay special attention to so and so...” Lee walked in the room and said, “Mama, what are you doing?” “Praying.” I replied. “WHY?” he continued. “Because there is someone I’m concerned about and I’d like Baba to watch over him.” I explained. “Doesn’t He do that all the time, ANY— WAY, Mama?” he respondedwith confidence.
God, Christ, and Love When my grandaughter was less than two and had very few words in her vocabulary she picked up a book from under newspapers piled high, brought it to me and said “Meher Baba.” I thought I was hearing things. Again she went through the news papers and brought out another Baba Book and said “Meher Baba.” When her father came to pick her up she pointed to pictures ofChrist, Buddha, and
Krishna and said “he is Baba, Baba, Baba.” I had pictures but never spoke much to them about Baba because ofrespect for their beliefwhich is very different from mine. Years later a second child I was holding lunged almost out of my arms at a picture of Baba. The older child was upset and said Mom and Dad won’t like that. This youngest child longs for me to read to her prayer books I have had from high school. She loves to talk about God, Christ, and Love. She has done that from the time she was 3 and is 9 now. They have had Baba dreams. When three, one told me she brought an arm full of Roses to Baba. I was in India at the time and was bringing lots of beautiful flowers to the tomb and Roses were my favorite. I feel Baba works in ways far beyond our understanding. I totally trust His love will awaken them to who He is some day. Marie Rhodes
See also, page 43 for L
Meher Baba Messagefir Youngsters.
The artist is Leela Dunn, who drew this picture ofBaba when she was 8 years old.
Meherabad Gets Wired! For the Digital Age many ofyou know, computers have been used successfully at Meherabad and Meherazad for a number ofyears. The AMB Trust office in Ahmednagar now also wants to computerize their offices since the work load has increased tremendously. Ofprime consideration is coordination ofall computers and software so that programs and information are easily interchangeable. Bhau Kaichuri, chairman of Al\/IBPPCT has asked me to coordinate this effort. After discussions with all involved at Meherabad, the Trust office, and then Meherazad, a plan was made. Contributions are need to make it work. The plan calls for the following:
A.Computers for the accounting office:Two IBM-compatible 486’s which should be linked with a LocalArea Network (LAN). Two terminals will also be required. USES: . Accounting/ledger programs: The day book and receipt books could be computerized so that donations could be totaled and summarized by account heads. The Amartithi donations and deposit registers could be made more efficient. The salaries/honoraria (which has been in operation at Meherabad for two years) could also be implemented at the trust office so that leave, amount earned, etc. for each employee could be found quickly. . Amartithi registration and Amartithi mailings. . Wordstar or Microsoft Word can be used as the word processor. A database can be created using a program such as FoxPro. . These computers will be programmed and operated by Indian personnel. Training will be made available for AMB Trust office personnel in Ahmednagar. B. Printer for these accounting programs: It should have a large carriage for printing the wide accounting ledger pages. C. Computers for Bhauji’s office: Two IBM-compatible laptops, Mac PowerBooks or portable computers with batter re-charger. D. Printers for Bhauji’s office:Two inkjet printers. E. Computer for Architect CAD-E program at Meherabad: This software has been obtained and requires a PowerMac to run it. F. Equipment to archive Trust records: Eric Nadel has a computer and scanner which he is starting to use for this purpose. He needs a large capacity hard disk (preferably 2 gigabytes) to use with this equipment. G. Computers for Meher Nazar children: Two PowerBookMac’s or IBM-compatible portables. We will need $10,000 in funding and/or equipment. It is more economical to buy the computers in India than to purchase them here and import them because ofthe high import duty Please make checks payable to AMBPPCT orJerry Edwards and indicate that they are for the Trust Computer Fund. Send checks to: Jerry Edwards 44 Birch Lane, Briarciffe Acres Myrtle Beach, SC 29572-5602 Ifyou prefer to send checks directly to India, you may do so but please let me know and tell me how much for budgeting purposes. The status ofthe find will be reported via listserv periodically. Anyone interested in finding out more about this, please contactJerry Edwards at the address above or by email: J erryCool@aol.com The Meher English School computer curriculum is up and operatingwith three IBM-compatible computers, an inkjet printer (purchased in India) and a teacher. Classes are well attended and students are enthusiastic. Plans are to add more computers. I will return to Meherabad near the end ofSeptember ‘97, Baba willing. More to followlater. In HIS service,
We thought this painting* by Wodin exemplified just how much Baba loved a good joke. Entitled Baba and the Dancing Bears, Wodin was inspired to paint it thusly after seeing a movie of the twins, Rustom & Sorab, dressed as chorus girls, high kicking it on stage. Baba was laughing so hard, He was holding His sides, and
tears were streaming down His face. *(On sale at the Bookstore, a coloredphotograph, aprox 12 x 10, $46.)
Humor for by
the summer of 1976 I had the great good fortune to be able to spend an aw fullot oftime withJallrani, Baba’s brother. Over the two months that I was in India, I was able to meet with him many times in Poona, andJal entertained tremendouslywith his very sweet disposition. His sense of hu mor was irrepressible. As I lookback on it now, I realize that he really lived at least from what I could see that part ofBaba’s admo nition to take life lightly and to take God seriously. I asked Jal at one point why the jokes? Jal relayed this story to me: —
It seems that in the days of Manzil-e Meem Babawas still talking at the time Hewould invariablyget the men up at strange —
hours in the middle ofthe night and take them out on some walking tour, either up to Lonavia, to ‘Nagar or to wherever Baba would have them go. Often times itwould be two or three o’clock in the morning, and Baba would get them up and hurrythem quicidywithoutwash ing or tea.Theywere to go and walkwith Baba on thesejourneys.Theywere ver very diffi cult, very difficult, and Baba stressed that everybodywas to keep the mood and to keep cheerful. On one ofthese walking tours, the men were particularly grumbling (especially Pendu) and having a very difficult time because there was no tea. Baba wouldn’t let them have tea. So Baba calledjal aside.Theywaiked over away from the rest ofthe men and Baba, in sort ofa tone ofa conspirator toldJal to say something to cheer everybody up because everybodywas in such a bad mood. As theyrejoined the group,Jal wondered how to do this. Then itjust sort ofspontane ously came to him. He said, “Baba” (or “Merwan” I guess, for at the time they were still perhaps calling Baba “Merwan”), I have a confession to make to you.” Now this was also an excuse to call the march to a also Baba had all the men stop. Baba said, “Yes, what is it?” AndJal said, “I have a confession to make to you, Baba. I’ve stolen something.” “My brother? My own brother? How
could you steal something?” “But Baba, it wasn’t completely my fault. It was your fault.” Baba said, “How could it be? Why are you blaming me for your stealing?” “Well Baba, You gave me an order and the onlyway that I could fulfill the order was ifl stole something. Ijust had to, so therefore You share the responsibility” Baba said, “Explain such a thing.” AndJal said, “Baba, you knowlast week, when I was ill and went to the doctor.” And Baba said, “Yes, yes, I remember.” “And You told me to always follow the instructions ofthe doctor.” “Yes, yes. So what does that have to do with stealing?” “Well yesterday, when we stopped for tea, I stole two spoons from the restaurant.” Baba said, “I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Why is this?” “Well Baba, when the doctor gave me medicine, he told me to take two spoons with breakfast.” So with that the men all had agoodkugh, and the spirits were lifted and the journey continued. Jal told us that from that point on, Babawouldwant him to telljokes and to dneer everybody up. That was one ofhis functions with Baba. This is, to the best ofmy recollection, an accurate retelling of the story as told by Jal Irani to me in the National Hotel in Poona in the summer of 1976. As an interesting little aside, sister Mani told me not too long ago, perhaps within the last two or three years, thatJal kept up a lifelong correspondence with the actor Boris Karloff. When Jal was with Baba in Hollywood in the first trip in the ‘30’s, Boris Karloff was one ofthe actors with whom Baba made contact. It seems that Boris Karloffwas particularly struckwithJal’s humor because Boris Karloffprided himselfon the factthat he could control himselfin such a way that no one could make him laugh. Jaiwas indeed able to make him laugh, and Boris Karloffkept that in such high regard that right through their lifetimes they kept up a correspondence.
Shivaji The Warrior King by Frank Bloise
In whatfar-offcountry, upon what obscure day Iknow not now, Seated in the gloom ofsome Mahratta mountain-wood 0 King Shivaji, brow like a hghtnzngflash Lzghtzng thy This thought descended, ‘7nto one virtuous rule, this divided broken, distracted India, Ishail bind.” —
uring 1921, a statue ofthe great soldier Shivaji was inaugurated in a main square ofPoona. One day, during a stroll through the dty Meher Baba explained that for certain spiritual work there occur in varying ce nturies two typ e s of Avataric incarnations major and minor. He then revealed his past minor incarnation as the great soldier ofthe Deccan: “In a past lifetime, I was Shivaji.UntilrecentlytheBñfishhaveleftnothing undonetodetractfi-om Shih±allYetthey have nowhad a statue unveiledbythe Prince of Wales lastyear in ShaniwarWada, Poona, when I am present in this form.” Glancing at the men present, He said, “You were aliwith me atthetime ofShivaji. Behramji was Afzal Khan, the Mughal general, who was killed by Shivaji. Sadashiv Patel was Taraji Malsoore, the man who gave his life for Shivaji.” —
In Maharashtra state, people have great reverence and love for Shivaji and these statements further consolidated the earlydisciples’ faith in Meher Baba’s greatness. After he revealed this, the men talked of it among themselves for days. Later in private, he explained to Adi K. Irani that he had been
Statue ofShivaji in Ahmednagar
Shivaji’s wife. (P.356, LORD MEHER The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Vol.11) Shivaji Bhosle was born in 1627 in the fort at Shivneri, 40 miles north of Pune. At the age ofl6 he took an oath at fortTorna to make the land free. Shivaji further expressed his supreme confidence that it was God’s will that this mission should succeed. This was the start of his lifelong struggle against Moghals and other Muslim powers. By 1647 Shivaji had captured two forts and had complete charge of Pune. There fol— lowed an uneasy truce between Shivaji and his Mussulman neighbors. During theyear 1649, while this thstrustl pause continued, Shivaji met the poet Tukaram and the Sadguru Ramdas. The local cults ofthe Mahratha country had been connected with the birth ofMarathi literature and the awakening ofa national consciousness. These cults were centered around Pandharpur where Krishna was worshipped. A succession ofSaints and poets, living and teaching there, had made the place holy. The new Marathi literature became a voice for an
awakened consciousness ofrace and religion. Tukaram, whose poems are still sung in every Maratha village, was the son ofa gro cer. As a child he was drawn towards a spiritual life. When he was still young his father died and he was left with the family shop to manage. He had neither a liking nor an ability for business. He was too shyto collect debts. Whenever he had any money he gave it away to charity. Eventually, penniless and starving, he took a pilgrim’s staff and wandered into the hills, composing the songs that have made him famous. One day a minstrel recited one of Tukaram’s poems to Shivaji, who was so moved by it that he sent a messenger begging Tukaram to come and make a homewith him, promising him wealth and comfort.Tukaram repliedwith a poem: ‘Prince, your torches, umbrellas ofstate and richly-caparisoned horses, your pomp and splendor andking ways are notfor me. I have fledfrom the world andyou would entice me back. Ah. Let me be alone, solitary, in silence. You promise me robes ofstate and a palace. These would be wasted on me. Forests and meadows are my dwellings. Moss-green rocks are my couch. The sky above me is my cloak.”
(:x:x3t When Shivaji heard this heleft his camp and wandered alone over the rolling hills of the Maratha plateau till he found Tukaram. He fell at his feet. He tore offhis clothes and put on the rags of an ascetic and sat humbly and in silence beside the poet. Neither spoke. And here Shivaji’s followers found their mas ter after a long and anxious search. They begged him to return to his camp. He would not listen to them. In despair they sent word to Shivaji’s mother asking her to help bring him to his senses. Jijabai came and upbraided her son. He had encouraged his followers to rebel against the Muhammadan and now he was abandoning them. There were many saints in Hindu India, but only one man with the destiny of Shivaji; the Hindu cause now needed heroes and armies rather than minstrels and hermits. SorrowfullyShivaji acknowledged thejustice ofher arguments and returned with his followers. He did not seeTukaram again, who died that same year. But for the rest of his life he remained in close contact with Ramdas, Tukaram’s saintly contemporary whom he also met in 1649. Ramdas acted on his inclination toward asceticism early in life. Heleft home to avoid an earlymarriage, and spent most ofhis youth vis iting, on foot, the shrines oflndia. He finally settled down in a temple ofRama, near Satara. He had a reputation for performing miracles, even as a child, and his temple home became a center ofpilgrimage. The message and mission ofRamdas can be summed up in the meaningful phrase ‘Maharashtra Dharma’. His work contained that mixture ofrealism and intuition which is so characteristic ofMaharashtra through the ages. In fact his Das-Bodha with Tukaram’s Gatha or Book ofSongs and theJnaneshwari can be looked upon as the ‘Triple Veda’ of Maharashtra down to this day. Their appeal is both to the head and heart.They are written in a form closer to rhythmical prose than verse. Buttheyare allembodiments ofSatyam-Sivam Sundaram ‘Truth, Purity Beaut’The truth mustbe experienced, andtheyhad experienced it andcouldindicateitforothersto experience. When Shivaji heard ofRamdas he wrote to him. Ramdas likeTukaram, answered him with a poem. But unlike Tukaram who sang the praises of obscurity, Ramdas acclaimed Shivaji as the new hero-king who would free the Hindus. With the poem he sent a present ofearth, pebbles and horse-dung. Shivaji was sittingwith his motherwhen this unusual gift —
arrived. Jijbai indignantly stared at Ramdas’ present and asked ifthis was a proper thing to send a gentleman. Shivaji, after a moments thought, responded, “It is a symbol and a prophesy. The earth means that I shall conquer all this land. The pebbles are the fortresses with which I shall hold it, and the horse-dung signifies my cavalry for which I shall become famous.” Shivaji keptin close contactwith Ramdas, seeking his advice on matters ofgovernment, administration and policy. At the height of his powers he visited Ramdas and, bowing before him, gave him a document which was a deed bestowing on the master all his kingdom. Ramdas said, “I acceptthe gift onbehalfofGod. Take backyour kingdom and rule in His name. Govern, notas anunfètteredautocrat buthumbly as the deputy ofheaven.” To mark his reverence for Ramdas’ cult, Shivaji requested that his followers greet each other with the salutation “Ram,” a practice which continues to this day. In spite of the crusade like character which Ramdas’ blessing gave to Shivaji’s long struggle, he became recognized for his lack of religious animosity or intolerance. Even his enemies remarked on his extreme respect for Mussulman priests, for mosques and for the Koran. The Muslim historian Khafi Khan, who cannot mention Shivaji in his chronicle without adding epithets of vulgar abuse, nevertheless acknowledges that Shivaji never entered a conquered town without taking measures to safeguard the mosques from damage; Whenever a Koran came into his possession he treated it with the same respect as ifit had been one ofthe sacred texts ofhis own faith. In 1657, Shivaji started his first campaign against the Adilshahi by plundering a large booty in Ahmednagar. Adilshahi sent Afzul Khan to destroy Shivaji. Afzul Khan knew that Shivaji’s army, which was much smaller than his own, wouldbe unable to fight him on open land. He tried alithetricks he could think ofto make him fight on the plains, but Shivaji would not be outmaneuvered. He convinced Khan that he was very much afraid of him and requested to meet him at a place near Vai ( 100 miles south ofPune) whichwas awooded, mountainous region, ideal for the success of his army. Khan still had plans to kill him in the meeting and Shivaji knew it. Ultimately itwas Khanwhowas killed, andhis unsuspecting army was completed vanquished by Shivaji. After
this, Shivaji continued to win battles and spread his reach to Panhala near Kolhapur. Meanwhile, Prince Aurangzcb, Viceroy ofthe Deccan during the reign ofShahJahan, was troubled by Shivaji’s rise to power. It was clear that local Muslim powers were unable to stop him. So he sent a huge army, led by Mirzaraje Jaisingh to defeat Shivaji (1666). J aising’s armywas much stronger than Shivaji’s and soon he lost most ofhis important forts. Realizing that he was fighting alosing battle, he signed a treaty with Mirza and agreed to serve Aurangzeb. Hewentto Deihiwith lVlirza to meet Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb humiliated Shivaji and put him under house arrest. It seemed likely that Shivaji would be killed by Aurangzeb. Under this threat, Shivaji hatched a clever plot to escape and disap peared to the south. After this Shivaji slowly regained his lost tertitory By 1673, he had control over most of western Maharashtra and made Raigad (150 miles southwest ofPune) his capital. He was enthroned as a sovereign king in 1673. By 1680, the year ofShivaji’s death, almost all of the Deccan belonged to his kingdom. Hehad developed an efficient administration and a powerful army. He also encouraged a spirit of independence among ihe Marathas that enabled them to withstand attempts to conquer them for 150 years. The secret of Shivaji’s success was in motivating the people to sacrifice for the establishment of a free Hindu State and not for the sake of an individual king or chieftain. He transformed the idea ofpersonal loyaltyto some particular chieftain into one of loyalty to the entire nation and its liberty. Shivaji’s achievements against all odds are legendary and he holds a place of the highest honor in Maratha history. Indira Gandhi said: “I think Shivaji ranks’s among the greatest men of the world. Since we were a slave country, our great men have been somewhat played down in world history. Had the same person been born in a European country, he would have been praised to the skies and known everywhere. It would have been said that he had illumined the world.”
That was lftforHis nextAdvent!
Different Degrees oflntuitive Wisdom by Meher Baba he fret and fury of immediate responses to the changing situations of earthly life is replaced in life after death by a more leisurely mood, freed from the urgency ofimmediately needed actions. All the experiences ofthe earthly career are now available for reflection in a form more vivid than is possible through memory in earthly life. The shots of earthly life have all been taken on the cinematic film of the mind, and it is now time to study the origi nal earthly life through the magnified projections ofthe filmed record on the screen of subjectivized consciousness. Thus the hell state and the heaven state become instrumental in the assimilation of experiences acquired in the earthly phase; and the individualized soul can start its next incarnation in a physical body with all the athantages of digested experience. The les sons learned by the soul through such stocktaking and reflection are confirmed in the mentalbody by the power oftheir magnified suffering or happiness. They become, for the next incarnation, an integralpart ofthe intui tive makeup ofactive consciousness, without in any way involving detailed revival of the individual events ofthe previous incarnation. The truths absorbed by the mind in the life after death become in the next incarnation a part ofinborn wisdom. Developed intuition is consolidated and compressed understanding, distilled through a multitude of diverse experiences gathered in previous lives. Different souls start with different de grees ofintuitive wisdom as their initial capi tal for the experiments and adventures of their earthly careers.This intuition may seem to have been the product ofpast experiences, thus adding to the equipment ofthe psyche; but it is more truly an unfoldment of what was aireadylatent in the individualized soul. From this deeper point ofview, the experi ences of earthly life as well as the reflec tive and consolidating processes they are subjected to in life after death are merely instrumental in graduallyreleasing to the sir-
face the intuitive wisdom already latent in the soul from the verybeginning of creation. As is true ofthe earthly career and its experi ences, the states ofhell and heaven in the life after death are also integral parts ofand mcidents in that journey of the individualized soul, which is ultimately meant to reach the Source ofall things. DISCOURSES, pp. 311-312 Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT
Charles Haynes Speaks to Schools in L.A. (Excerptfrom an article in the L.A. Times Dec., 1996)
a recent workshop for 50 public school teachers in Los Angeles, Charles Haynes told ofapublic school dass turned to chaos by a fhiger-pointing, angiy exchange on who was going to hell. Finally, he said, the exasperated teacher threw up her hands and said, “You’re al/right,” halting the debate.The storyillustrates the flammability ofreligious topics, which has tempted many an educator to avoid all religious discussions
and activities in the classroom. But the Los Angeles Unified School District has turned to Charles Haynes to train educators to deal with religious expression. Charles’ California project is called the 3Rs, for “rights, responsibilities and respect” relating to religious matters. He has designed guidelines to help educators deal with such issues as religious clubs, schoolprayer and proselytizing. Charles said many conservative Christian leaders have endorsed ground rules for even-handed religious expression in “Finding Common Ground,” a guidebook he edited. The book reflects consensus among Jewish, civil libertarian, evangelical and teacher association leaders. Charles Haynes is “probably the guy who can bring peace back to the public schools. I’ve been in meeting after meeting with Charles. Whenever he’s there, youjust always agree with him,” said Christian organizer Robert Simonds oflrvine, California, whose Citizens for Excellence in Education has fought battles over religious issues and urged conservative Christians to run for school board seats. “Charles Haynes is probably one ofthe greatest leaders we have in the country to bridge the gap” between liberals and conservatives.
Baba’s Christ’s Cradle by Georgann Erskine August 1990, I went home to ‘Nagar after an 18 year absence. I took my daughter, Nami, for her firstvisit to India. We accompanied Raine Eastman and her daughter, Freinietta, on the trip. It was a journey graced by Baba in every way. While enjoying our stay at the Pilgrim Center, the beautiful Christ’s Cradle bloomed one night. Being a ‘driven’ gardener myself I was intrigued bya succulentthatwould onlybloom for one day ofthe year and only during the night! The fragrance, as well as the glorious physical beauty ofthe bloom, was to me a bit ofAvataric magic. Present on that night were Patti Thorne and Noreen Graham, as well as Nami, Raine and Freinietta. At the end of August, when we reluctantly left India to return to America, I decided to ‘allow’ a few leaves from the Christ’s Cradle to travel along with me in my suitcase. Upon arrival at U.S. Customs, the customs agent took one look at me and my daughter and informed us that we looked as though we had enjoyed ourjourney and to go ahead and go right through the custom line.Thankyou, Baba! Byjune ofthis year, almost six years since ourvisit to India, my Christ Cradle had grown somewhat in size, but had never had a single bloom. On the night ofJune 29, 1996, Noreen Graham had come down to L.A. and was visiting Patti Thorne, who lived about 5 minutes from my house in Topanga. It was a beautiful night and we decided to go to dinner at a local restaurant in Topanga that we all enjoyed. Upon returning to my house at about 10:00 that night, we went up the stairs to my porch and were astonished to see seven giant, glorious flowers blooming on the Christ’s Cradle! They were spectacular and we spent a long timejust adoring the blooms and being amazed at their incredible size. Suddenly, we all realized that the last time this plant had bloomed had been six years before at the Pilgrim Center and all three
ofus had been there together. On July 27 of this year approximately one month later, Suejamison came down to visit me for the firsttime at myTopanga home. Sue and I have been friends since I met her in India in 1972. We spent time together in Australia and also in Northern California. Finally, I convinced her to come to L.A. to visit me in Topanga. I had told Sue of the Christ Cradle’s blooms and was sorry that she couldth have seen them.The Saturday night ofthe weekend she was visiting, we returned home and went out onto my porch. There it was one, lone, gorgeous Baba bloom on the Christ’s Cradle —just for her! It is now August 18, 1996, a Sunday night. I havejust learned ofMani’s passing. Last night when I returned home at 11:00
p.m., I was amazed to seejust one sweet, lone, perfect bloom on the Christ’s Cradle. It was as fragrant as ever, with a pure-white cradle and star gloriously embellishing the center of the bloom. How sweet a remembrance for the mostperfect ofour cherished Baba flowers our Mani-ji. —
In His Love with Many Kisses for Sweet Mani, Gcorgcann Erskine, Topanga, California
Postings from the Internet Rita Gordon tells us ofan occasion early in her relationship with Baba:
I remember at the time I was feeling very unworthy and didn’t want to call myself a disciple ofBaba (in case He didn’t want me!!) and so wrote to Eruch asking him something along the lines of”How do I know that Baba has accepted me as His own?” Here is part ofEruch’s response: ‘DearRita, it isHisgrandgame that Ifind inyourletter: You wish to know whetherBeloved LordAvatar Meher Baba accepts you as His own (disciple/lover); little do we realise that it is He whoprompts us to loveHim andto serve Him; it isHe in His own inimitable way who draws us to Him, and it is He who urges us tofind out whetherHe accepts us. Isn’tthisDivine humour Ofcourse, dearRita, jfHe were not to have acceptedyou, why wouldyou visit His home in MyrtleBeach andinIndia Why wouldyou want to think fHim alot...why wouldyou wantto read aboutHim alot, andwhy wouldyou wantto tiyto liveyour lfè toplease Him Allthis and much more below the suface of this, points to BelovedBaba being not only your mastei but your Beloved Lord who is drawing you closer and closer to Him to become His. The on& way to know whetherHe has acceptedyou as His, and whetheryou are His, is tofall back on His assurance: ‘) Whenyou become Mine, you willknow thatlamALREADYyours.” So, dearRita, allow Him to drawyou closer andcloser to Him in His own compassionate way. Feel not unworthy to declare yoursefto be His disczple orlover He alone isperJèctandworthy of our offirings. But, we have nothing to offirHim other than our own imperfrctions. It is His compassion andlovefir us that makes usgive up our impeèctions one by one. Anc4 He accepts our ffbrts as our offiring to Him. Ons3i through our imperfections can we strive to reach perfiction. Dear Rita, it is best to lay aside the ques— tion ofwhether Baba has acceptedyou as His own. Just try to remember Him and love Him the wayyou can remember and love Him. It is said that our Lord is so very compassionate that He accepts our hypocriticalprayers.
I can’t tell you how much it put my mind at ease when I received Eruch’s letter. I found so hard to believe that I could be among the “few”!! Here’s another experience I had along this line; the dear sweet man who worked with me and told me about Meher Baba in 1980 was fired shortly after our conversation that led to the revealing ofBaba to me. I was devastated when he was let go, but he said it was all right his work here had been done, now he knew why Baba had sent him to thatjob, to get me! I don’t ever re member being so awestruck or so filled with humility in my life to think that the Dear Lord personally loved me. —
Jai Baba to all, Any contact with a fellow Baba Lover is very rare in the small desert communities aroundwhere I live and shop and ply my trade ofsignpainting, butT got areal surprise just this last November, after treating myseifto a dinner at the local Sizzlers in Yucca Valley,just a few miles from where I live. Slippedin through the crack of my car window, and yet placed perfectly onto the driver’s side seat, was a crumpled plastic bag, and a short handwritten note. The note said: “I saw your Meher Baba bumber sticker. I’m also a follower (I live in Toyko). I thought you would like to have some prasad. Jai Baba!” I was extremely touched to have this little gift, several prasad candies, from Baba. Does anybody know of a Baba Lover in Tokyo?? Someone who might have been in Oth? Yucca Valley, California, on November 2
In His love always,
Sam the Storyteller Perhaps some ofyou have heard Sam Kerawala tell Sufi parables and stories after Arti. He usually tells one at every arti that he attends, and he hardly ever repeats them, no small feat in itself. His stories have become quite popular and when he starts speaking in his soft voice, people walk over to the Samadhi platform to listen. A couple ofnights ago he told this story ofan Arab that had said his prayers 5 times a day regularly, had a good business and comfortable life, but didn’t feel that he was getting anywhere spiritually. So he went to a Master, and asked about his situation. The Master, byway ofexplanation, told him to get a cat and a dog and to feed them, and then report backwhat he noticed. So the man obediently aquired both animals and began to feed and observe them. After some time, he returned to the Master and was asked what he had observed. He said that the animals come, eat, and go away. The Master told him to continue, and report back after some time. Again he came back after the specified period, and reported to the Master that the cat is onlyto be seen at feeding times, but the dog is around most ofthe time. After the obligatorythird time, the Master tells him that what he has failed to notice is that the dog thinks that he is being fed because the man is God, and is feeding him out of His compassion, while the cat feels that it is being fed because it is God, and that the human is serving the cat because he recognizes that fact. The Master said that the Arab had been like the cat, and now needed to become like the dog. It was a well appreciated story. The next morning I was driving to Pune with Sam, and in the course ofour conversation, I happened to ask him where that story had come from, as I had never heard it before. Sam thought a moment, and said, “To be quite frank, Ijust made it up.Therewas ajoke about the cat and dog at the bottom of one of the articles in a Reader’s Digest that I had read, and I adapted it. You kno everyone expects me to tell a different story every time, and where do I get all ofthose?” Jai Baba,
Jay Mohier J oshua Tree, California
J ames Cox
Calendar ofEvents Farsi Meetings
All events, unless otherwise noted, are held at the Center: 1214 S. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, Ca (213)731-3737
Saturday Evening Discussions These meetings begin at 6pm Discussions in Farsi, about Mchcr Baba. All arc welcome! July 12th, 26th August 9th, 23rd September 6th, 20th
Meetings are free andopen to the public. Ifyou have ideas or requestsfor future programs, please contact Mahoo Ghorbani at (714)725-9552
Saturday Meetings Lord Meher Readings Saturdays at 4pm Drop in to drink the nectar of Meher Babs Divine Love. Reading and discussion of Lord Meher, the biography by Bhau Kalehuri. Coordinated byFred Stankus,
Grand Opening ofMeherabode
Meher Baba in Agnesc World at Meher Mount
Official Grand Opening ofMeherabode with Bhau Kaichuri officiating. July 5th
No Meeting Center closed due to Sahavas at Pilgrim Pines. July 12
Music and Poetry Nzht We are celebrating a night ofMusic and Poetry with Beloved Baba. Featuring outstanding artists BillyGoodrum, George Gerdes, Debby Ash and more. July 19
Youth Art Festival Come and support our children and their creative expression dedicated to Baba. Dance, verse, play, and drawing July26
Rabaism ‘? Is itinevitable that followingBabawill become a religion? Or are we there now? What can we do to keep fresh the spontaneous prayer ofthe heart?An open discussionledbyMitchell Rose.
September September 6
Come and hearofAgnes’s relatIonshipwithMeher Baba at Meher Mount as told in Mandali Hall. Hosted by Gigi Driessen.
A personal favorite, tonight we will celebrate friendship and camraderie in the iove of God. Hosted with abundance by Fred Stankus and Gigi Dricssen.
Free Trip to India
The Power ofMeher Babac Message to the World
Filmmaker Mitchell Rose is showing an hour and a halfvideo travelogue ofNorthern India and the life ofthe wayward pilgrim in Ahmednagar with some terrific Mandali gems. (Repeat) August 16
ManäJoy in Beloved Baba Jam us for a celebration ofjoyful memories of Baba’s sister, our SweetMani. Please bring stories and letters to share. Coordinated byDina Snow.
Open discussion of how Meher Baba’s messages have affected your life. Bring a special quote that is important to you.
The Latest Happenings in India Recent returnees from India will share their journey to the Beloved’s Home.
September 27 August23
Continuous Prayer An evening ofMantras,Japa, and prayers ofyour choice. Bring your favorite prayer to share. Coordinated byLinda Zavala.
My Memories ofMeher Baba Murshida Duce’s daughter, Charmian Duce Knowles spent time with Meher Baba in India, America, and Europe and has many lovely stories to share.
Film Night Press Meher Baba’s Image to your heart. God in human form on film. HostedbyCharlie Morton
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Ground-Breaking at Meherabad I
the first ofMay, 1997, after almost three years ofintensive planning and preparation, ground was broken for the new Archives and Museum conservation Building on Meherabad Hill. This Conservation Building is the cen terpiece in a vast effort initiated by Mani to preserve for posterity Avatar Meher Baba’s personal articles such as sadras, sandals, hair, etc. as well as the documentary records ofHis Advent. After intensive research and planning into museum conservation methods and building designs, a year ago at this time the Trust’s Archives and museum Committee shared its goals and vision with Beloved Baba’s worldwide family. The response has indeed been heartening and stands as a mea sure of the support of Baba’s eastern and western lovers for this preservation work. And while anticipated budgetary requirements are still far from being met, nonetheless, earlier this year the Trust made the decision to go ahead with the ground-breaking and the first stages ofthe construction. The summer season in India falls in the months between March andJune springtime in the West. By the beginning ofMay in semi-arid Ahmednagar, sweltering summertime heat is climbing towards its zenith. Day after day a stark, blazing tropical sun, almost dead overhead at noontime, bakes parched brown earth which has not been rained upon since the closing ofthe monsoon more than six months earlier. To avoid the high temperatures and sun glare of the mid-day in this uncomfortable season, therefore, the groundbreaking was scheduled for mid-morning. th, On April 30 the eve of the event, a colorful pandal was erected on the building site. Since the construction has been planned for an undeveloped and somewhat inacces sible spot in the Upper Meherabad estate, a temporary dirt road had to be improvised. Outlines ofthe building itselfwere marked out with white lines of lime chalk running down the slope ofthe hill. By evening ofthe th 30 fl the necessary preparations seemed to —
be in order. But evidentlyMother Nature had plans ofher own.That night the Ahmednagar district was struckby an exceptionally violent and altogether unseasonable storm. Torren tial rainfalls completelywashed awaythe lime chalk and transformed the new road into a muddy mire: and gale force winds blew down the tent. So it was that, by early morning of the designated day, the Meherabad workers were faced with the prospect ofhaving to do all their preparations over again from scratch. To top it all, May first is a state holiday in Maharashtra, and Meherabad employees were on leave. Nonetheless, the Meherabad resident staffand such other workers as could be found pitched in and were able, for the second time, to prepare the site by groundbreaking time in the late morning. By then the storm had cleared, and we all felt Baba’s hand in tempering the weather to make the event both pleasant and joyful. Ground-breaking in Hindu-culture is known as “bhoomi pujan,” or “worship ofthe earth.” Although this often crystallizes into a mere set ceremony performed without awareness of inner meanings, in fact the idea underlying “bhoomi pujan” is a deep one. Through this pujan, prospective builders are seeking from the earth permission to break her grounds and raise an edifice that will weigh upon her for decades and even centu ries to come. In its true essence, this pujan is a prayer to God growing out ofthe apprecia tion of the inter-relatedness of all things and the Divinity that inheres within the natural world. A simplified, Baba-style version ofthis pujan, then, was planned as the day’s fea tured event. It was preceded by a women’s arti, which will be familiar to those pilgrims who have participated in these devotional occasions with Mehera, Maul, and the other women mandali over the last quarter-cen tury since Beloved Baba dropped His physical form. The arti was fragrant with many memories and, at the same time, charged with the Divine Beloved’s ever-living presence. After the prayers and songs, the gather-
by Ward Parks
ing moved to the new building site, which is located on the northeast edge ofMeherabad Hill, perhaps a hundred meters on the far side ofthe Meherabad tower opposite from the Tomb. While the main part ofthe building itself will, when completed, nestle into the hillside, its upper entrance, where the groundbreaking was to transpire, is at a location which commands a splendid, panoramic view of the rural landscape, with Lower Meherabad across the railways tracks to one’s right and the outlines ofAhmednagar, hazy in the summer heat, far off to the left and north. After the fifty or so participants had gathered under the tent, Baba’s photo was garlanded with a shout of “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!” Meheru and then Bhau cracked coconuts (symbolizing the offering of one’s mind to the Master), sprinkled colored powder and sugar on tile flowers and the earth before the photo, and broke ground with a pick. One by one, all others in attendance followed suit, digging up a small garden-sized plot of land. The simple event was then brought to a close with light refreshments of cold drinks and biscuits. By noon, the day’s main activities had been concluded or so we thought. But once again, Nature was of another mind. Two or three hours after ground-breaking had been completed, the city of Ahmednagar was raked with the most fero cious hail storm in recent memory; and although Meherabad and Meherazad were spared, the Trust Compound provided an es pecially spectacular view of nature’s elements most mightily aroused. For about forty five minutes, to a thunderous accompanying din on the corrugated tin roofs of some of the neighboring buildings around the periphery ofMeher Nazar, a fusillade ofhallstones, many the size ofacorns and some a good bit larger, careened and bounded like white pinballs off the clay roofing tiles, tore offthe brilliant redorange summer blossoms ofgolmor and the leaves of the neem and papaya and mango trees, and gathered, a wreckage ofgreen and —
continued on page 38.
3t . .
‘Groznd-Breaking’ contJfrompage 36.
orange amid a halfinch ofhail-snow, on the Compound graveled walkways. Outside the Trust’s reception office ankle-deep ice wa ter covered with a floe ofhail-slush numbed the feet ofanyone foolish enough to yenture outside; on the stone pavement in front of Bhau’s office the hail fall-off from the roof gathered by the wall in a drift a foot deep. In the midst ofthe Indian summer season when the mercury regularly climbs above the century mark, all ofthis made for a bizarre sight indeed! In fact, the extremes ofwind and weather over this 48 hour span tore offmanybranches and even uprooted huge trees around Ahmednagar, which still can be seen lying here and there in the fields and along the roadsides. Beloved Baba used to observe from time to time that rain at the outset ofa new venture or enterprise is an auspicious sign. And indeed, unexpected and unseasonable storms often intruded at key stages of His work. One is reminded in this connection of the rain showers that inaugurated the New Life when Baba and His companions set out from Meherabad on the morning of October 16tF, 1949. Rainfall soaked sahavasees during the “Three Incredible Weeks” sahavas in 1954 when Baba gave his “Final Declaration,” and again at a gath ering in Satara later that year when Baba, employing His hand gestures publicly for the first time, gave his “Final Clarification,” and still again at the great confluence of His lovers in Poona in the East-West Gathering of 1962. It is almost as if, through adverse weather, Maya was offering resistance to the Avatar’s work and in this way giving it greater force, like the resisting bowstring which, when released. dispatches the arrow all the more speedily towards its target. Seen against this background, then, and ifwe can indeed take meteorological dis turbances as an indicator of the heaven’s blessings, ground-breaking for the new Conservation Building was attended by blessings galore! It was a noteworthy and memorable occasion, dedicated to the One whose memory is forever kept alive in the hearts ofHis lovers.
Real Alleviation of Suffering by Meher Baba The quest for happiness is irretrievably enmeshed in the problem ofthe illusion ofthe world offormwithwhich the individual selfhas become identified through the body. If this illusion can be shattered, the shackles which bind happiness are automatically shattered as well. But how to shatter the illusion? An individual who mistakenly believes that he is a coward may live a lifetime of misery during which all his actions are shaped by this incorrect belief. But ifsome event in his life challenges him so deeply that he unthinkingly strides forth with great cour age, then the illusion will suddenly vanish and he will see himselfas a different being. Often it takes real crisis to bring out a sure knowledge ofthe real inner self, and it is always a creative knowledge. Even as the individual can be wrong in his convictions regarding his own nature, so he is often quite wrong about the nature of the world around him. In reality it is aworid of illusion that separates him from his true birthright offreedom and happiness in oneness with the One. Actually, no individualis entirely devoid ofsome real happiness in some form, for God as an endless and fathomless ocean ofbliss is also within every person, and no one is entirely cut offfrom Him. Pleasure sought in illusion inevitably results in endless perpetuation ofthat very same false life of the ego, which leaves the individual exposed to intense suffering. The whole play of illusion and the suffering it engenders functions by the divinely established law ofkarma (cause and effect). Therefore suffering must be accepted withgrace andfortitude. Itmustbe remembered that one’s own actions are the cause of much ofone’s suffering, and therefore wise action
CratLery of the 1-feart Credfts All the photos listed here are for sale through the Love Street Bookstore. #1 #2 #3
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can minimize it. But real alleviation of
suffering requires spiritual enlightenment, and for that man must turn to the Perfect
Masters and the God-man (Avatar). LISTEN, 1-IUMANITY, ed. Don E. Stevcns, pp. 152-153 Copyright 1982 AMBPPCT
Sunday Brunch with Craig Ruff his Maywe were happy to have Craig as a guest in our new home. He was on a trip around the U.S. telling us about his litest bookfn Has T; tist (Craig’s two previouos books, available at the Boookstore are Timt’e/ iiaçrIWusie and 77e Moment Within.)
‘ñi tiIon.’ Chamber Phtyei:c” Chris and Pris lJce/jiiicloi. gavc’ as sonar beaati/itl & novel an ongetiiezts o/tbe classics on abeL oar? gaila:
[:NN The ladies’ table infrenit ofihe Milbanfi mansion, clockwisefivm ccntet Teny
Laces, Mahoo Chorbani, Racie Choi, Olea SucofJ Donna Sanders, 4yr. old Jinjelica Dearborn, Connie Crawford, and Ginger Jlzsghes.
rr’a Dine,, David, and Glees.
Center Report by Donna Sanders
A Letter from Meherabode
pring at the new center brought on a fever ofplanting, pruning and clearing the gardens. Roses now greet us when we come through the gates reminding us of Mehera’s Garden. At the risk ofsounding like a societypage, I feelmoved to teilyou about some ofthe manypeople who have contributed their love, energy and time since we moved in. ‘—
forgive me if I’ve missed anyone. I saw Shireen Lorkalantari singlehandedly defeat a scourge of iceplant that filled two dumpsters. Thanks y
As Peter Ravazza and I yl Stone start in on the Baba room in the the cobweb Peter appears to be painting is the rçflection ofthe sun through the round center window in the top ofthe Dome.
to her, and the removal of two palm trees that had literally grown into and buckled the foundation, the “1 ,erac Rose ping are, from i front entrance ofthe BookJohn I rathew Echeveste, Pat Grjffin, Lynne store is ready for repairs and Maguire, Fred Stankus, and Dma Snow. new landscaping. I saw the following grounds keepers hard Dear Harry Thomas, in atwork/play: Marko Swearingen, Karma Page, addition to his enormous task ofhandling center mailings, stops by every day that his job permits to sort mail, wa ter the plants, feed the fish, and answer phone messages. Mo h a m m e d Azaderad re vealed that he is not only a psychologist, but a handyman, so he’s begun work on the many fix-its. Soon after we moved in, Marc Brutus used his skills to replace all ofour locks. I counted 27 doors inside and out! Mia andfriends show the adults how it done. We are truly grateful that Peter Ravazza and Daryl Dma Snow, Lynn and Danny Maguire, Stone drove from the S.F. Bay to contribute Ginger Hughes, Adele Wolken, Nazrin Ajang, paint, labor and professional expertise to Effie Omidivar,Trish Shannon,TracyBleahu, repaint the dome room and the meeting hail Pat Griffin and her boys, Mary Kay Shubattheir artistry and good humor made it all a Hage, DebbieAsh, andMia Campagna. Please pleasure. In a dinner at Peter’s favorite L.A. £
4 J,o 5 treetj.4m1J?o ve sb
Daryl takes a quick break before tackling the meeting hail.
restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory, Adele and I got to know Daryl and heard his fascinating story ofcoming to Baba. Thanks to all ofyou sweethearts who donated for the new area rugs in the dome rooms. They are lovely. Nancy Merwan requests calls at 213-650-5481 with ideas about decorating the center, furniture styles,
(O3 t etc., before you purchase or donate. Nancy has spent hours choosing paint colors and working toward overall interior design concepts withher decorating committee: Diane LaFleur, Lynn, Dma, Nazrin, Adele, Mehernoush Lorkalantari, andTamara Mark. Tamara also choreographed a cleanup day, leadingthe cleaners dancing through the work in a style that I know pleases Baba.The rest of the cast for that daywere: Billy Goodrum, Lois J ones, Lynn, Nancy, Mitchell Rose, Rosalie Dunphy, Jim Whitson, and others who were inspired bythe fun. But, why should we have all the fun? By the time you read this, Mehernoush, the Volunteer Coordinator, will have had her first meeting to orient a core group ofvolunteers who will keep the center open, safe and functioning. I hope you were there. If not, please contact Mehemoush to tell her howyou can help at 818-368-3800, after 6p.m. or at her voice mail: 213-881-4085. Also, by the time you read this, we wifi have had a town hail meeting to discuss the conditional use and occupancy permits. We’ve hiredjim Bonar from the architectural firm, Cavaedium, (which means place oflight) to
get our application through the process. Theyhaveworkedwith other nonprofit groups and built AIDS hospices. He drew a floor plan that will meet the city’s requirements for toilets, seismic retrofitting, exits, structural support, etc. David McNeely is the liaison to Cavaedium from the use permit committee. He says that Jim’s professional expertise and ability to negotiate through the maze of city offices, has already saved us money. More on this in a later issue. Look for a family movie called “Buddy,” with Renee Russo and a herd ofanimals, that waslmed attheMilbankEstate before we moved in.You might see our lawn with its beautiftilwall, the meeting hall and storage buildings. In our first month, we were able to rent our outdoor areas forparking andfeeding the crew for two yet another commercials little gift from Beloved Baba. It seems very fitting that the movie industry in Hollywood, about which Baba had so much to say, will be helping us pay offour mortgage!
Meherabode Memory Meherabode evening isfalling city ofangels canopy ofstars Meherabode darknessfaint-calling can you catch birdsong co-mingling with cars? Meherabode buildings
fiowers in garden humans in chairs Meherabode dwelling &yard Mehera &ManiPrabhu &prayers
David Raphael Israel
Donna Sanders, FixedAssets Director
Mia gives Debra a ‘hand’ or two with the planting.
Letter from Larry Remember those “applause-o-meters” on the old “QueenforA Day” television show? We14 I have my own built-in “Godcpresence-o-meter” that I’ve been carrying aroundfâr years. It conveniently built right into my psyche. Wè14 Ihappenedto drop by the newL.A. CenterlastFriday afternoon. Guess what????? It registered aperfect 10!
Babac presencefloods the new L.A. Center! What a wonderfuiplace! What a wondeifulfind!
AVATARMEHER BABAKJJAI! Istillcan’t believe it!
[hp: Film company vans lined up infront ofMeherabodec gate. Middle: “Rick Brainin Catering”provides lunch repast. Bottom: Theflim crew gratfully partakes...
t ( x 3
eviewers rre-ouoiication I
Comment on .
The Unveiling of Secrets
.;‘ pf .
4 ‘Ruzbihan is back! One ofthe great Sufi mysticsfrom the centuryjust before Rumi, almost unknownfor hundreds ofyears, comes among us again in thispowerfiil and necessary book. I am grateful to ear/Ernst, who leads us through these spiritual diaries.” —
Coleman Barks, translator ofThe Essential Rumi
“This is thefirst work ofRuzbihan Baqli, one of the colossalfigures ofSufism, to be translated into English. Rendered into a language that is at once elegant and accessible, this beautful classic ofspiritualautobiography should appeal not only to scholars oflslamic thought, but a/so to anyone seriously concernedwith the life ofthe spirit.” Sewed Hossein Nasr University Professor oflslaniic Studies, The George Washington University —
“The Unveiling ofSecretsput me in what Ruzbihan might call ‘i station” ofpure awe. This book explodes co ntemporary notions of autobiography. It overwhelms doubt without argument, overwhelms with the integrity of its own telling, and immerses the willing reader, the sincere one, in the central mystery andjoy oflfe. It brings, in this translation, an iltibasoan investiture of dignity and mercy and grace to the English language itse(f This book takes us where we cannot go and lets us stand there listening as it reads itse(f Open it, and watch a man love Godas God/oves man.” —Davidjames Duncan, author ofThe RiverWhyjhe Brothers K, and RiverTeeth
“This book opens before us a world offragrant roses, visions ofincredible boldness, described by one of the greatest visionaries in the realm ofmystica/ love in Islam, Ruzbihan. The reader is transported by this congenialtranslation into the sphere ofAbsolute Beauty, and overwhelming Divine Love. May many readers enjoy this work which seems sofarfrom the image of Islam current inthe West!” —Dr. Annemarie Schimmel, Professor oflndo-Muslim Culture, HarvardUniversity and author ofMystical Dimensions ofislam
“The Unveiling ofSecrets” is a 156 page paperback selling for $15.95.
The Unveiling of Secrets Diary ofa Sufi Master An Interview with Carl W. Ernst The Unveiling ofSecrets is an unusual title. What does it mean?
A. Ruzbihan gave this title to his diary. “Unveiling” is a term used by Sufis to refer to the mystical experience in which God tears awaythe veil that separates ordinaryhuman consciousness from the divine reaiity Unveiling often takes the form ofvisions inwhich God, the angels, andthe Sufi saints appearinvisible forms. “Secret” is the innermost consciousness that is hidden within the soul; that secret forms part ofthe divine realitywhich is unveiled. From his childhood to his death at the age ofeighty-one, Ruzbihan’s life was filled with a continual stream ofvisions and ecstasies. QHowwas Ruzbihan viewed in his own time? A. As a youth, Ruzbihan (1128-1209) briefly sold vegetables in his hometown of Pasa in southern Persia; his surname, Baqli, “the grocer,” distinguishes him from several other people named Ruzbihan. At the age offifteen, however he threw his goods and cash box into the street, and ran away into the desert to seek God. He joined the Sufis shortly afterward. Sometime in his late thirties he arrived in the city ofShiraz, and for manyyears he preached weekly in the great mosque ofthe city. He attracted many disciples among the people, particularly the artisan classes, and he was greatly respected by the Turkish princes who ruled the region. His tomb became an internationally known place of pilgrimage visited by travelers from as far away as North Africa. Qlfhewas sorespected duringhis lifetime, and
for several centuries after his death, howwas it that his workfinallybecame more orless forgotten? A. Ruzbihan’s descendants and followers revered him greatly, but they were not on the same spiritual or literary level, and they were satisfied with being caretakers ofhis tomb. In addition, a major religious revolution tookplace in Persia about 1500 when Shi’i Islam became the state religion; at that time, many Sufi tombs were destroyed and thousands of Sufi dervishes were killed. So it is not totally surprising that, by 1900, his tomb had become a ruin. More importantly, his writings on mysticism in Arabic and Persian were sophisticated and daring in expression; the average student of Sufism could not understand them. Nevertheless, a select handftil ofSufis in India, CentralAsia, Persia, the Balkans, and North Africa treasured his writings. The manuscripts have been re discovered in the past few decades by schol ars in Europe, Iran,Turkey, and India. These works are only now beginning to be translated into Western languages.
Q How is Ruzbihan connected to more well-known Sufi figures, such as Rumi and Hafiz? A. Rumi (d. 1273)was a childwhen Ruzbihan died in 1209, and does not seem to have been in direct contactwith his teaching, but the two Sufis shared much in terms of their mystical approach to love and beauty The great Persian poet HafIz(d. 1391)was also a native ofShiraz, and evidence indicates that he may have been initiated inthe order founded byRuzbihan.The distinctive Persian approach to nature as the manifestation ofdivine beauty forms a strong
link between the visions ofRuzbihan and the poems of Hafiz. Ruzbihan is also one of the most important commentators on the early Sufi martyr Hallaj (executed in 922), famous for saying “I am the Truth.” Ruzbihan’s visions of the celestial garden make it clear that this is not a mere figure of speech, but a visionary experience as well.The figure ofthe beautiful and cruel beloved so common in Sufi poetry is matched by Ruzbihan’s visions ofangels with long hair like women, who bear the weapons of Turkish soldiers. These poetic images are therefore closely linked to the mystical experience ofascension to the divine presence, which is the fundamental theme of The Unveiling ofSecrets.
Q How does The Unveiling of Secrets compare to other mystical texts from other traditions, and how does Ruzbihan compare to other mystical writers? A. In terms of sheer power of expression and passionate intensity, it is hard to think of another mystic who comes close to Ruzbihan. He uses a highly developed vocabulary of mystical experience in a poetic style that recreates the intimate mood ofhis encounters with God, Among Christian mystics, he re sembles Augustine (another powerful preacher) in the way that he uses scripture in unexpected and startling spiritualinterpretations. Like Hildegard ofBingen orJulian ofNorwich, he describes detailed visionary encounters with God and with the divine qualities ofnature. QWouldyou characterize Ruzbihan’s writing as Islamic? A. Ruzbihan is the author ofa major Sufi
commentary on the Qur’an, and his writings are saturated with the vocabulary oflslamic theology andlaw. He was intensely devoted to the ProphetMuhammad, who appears in many ofthe most important “unveilings” that he describes. While this kind of intensive mysticism is not popular with fundamentalist Muslims, it represents what has been one of the major aspects ofthe Islamic tradition for over a thousand years. QHowis the imageryin Sufi poetryrelated to The Unveiling ofSecrets? A. Ruzbihan’s “unveilings” are expressed in powerfullyvisual imagery, inwhich falcons fly up to the garden ofparadise, God scatters roses over his lovers, and solitary pilgrims cross infinite deserts and swim through turbulent oceans. When a poem by Rumi says, “May this garden bloom until the resurrection!”, Ruzbihan’s visions ofthe celestial garden make it clear that this is not a mere figure ofspeech, but a visionary experience as well. The figure ofthe beautiful and cruel beloved so common in Sufi poetry is matched by Ruzbihan’s visions ofangels with long hair like women, who bear the weapons of Turkish soldiers. These poetic images are therefore closely linked to the mystical experience of ascension to the divine presence, which is the fundamental theme ofThe Unveiling of Secrets. QModern notions oflslam in theWest do not really correspond with the rising popularity of Sufism. Could you comment on that? A. The news media focus almost exclusively on sensational political versions of Islam, such as the Iranian revolution. Islamic fundamentalists are, however, a small though vocal minority among Muslims. Even today, probably at least half of the world’s one billion Muslims have a Sufi orientation. ManyAmericans and Europeans have been drawn to the ecstatic and lyrical tone of Sufi poetry, which also has a strongly universalist tone. Although today Iran is branded a “pariah” nation by the U.S. State Department, Iran’s favorite poet, Rumi, has become the best-selling poet in America.
Q Are there other works of Ruzbihan’s waiting to be translated?
A. Of the more than forty works by Ruzbihan in Arabic and Persian, less than half are preserved. The most important of these include the Commentary on Ecstatic Sayings, which explains the significance oftwo hundred mystical expressions of the early Sufis. The Explanation of Veils and Coverings discusses the 70,000 veils oflight that separate God from humanity. Ruzbihan has described 1001 spiritual stations in a large Arabic work called The Spirits’ Font. Prof. Alan Godlas of the University of Georgia will soon publish excerpts from Ruzbihan’s massive Qur’an commentary, under the title Brides of the Qur’an. Portions ofRuzbihan’s other writings, such as The Jasmine of the Lovers (on mystical love), and Errors ofthe Wayfarers ( a work on mysticism for beginners), will bepublishedbyme in aforthcoming anthology ofSufitexts.
Meher Baba’s Message for
How to Please Him hen
you feel this urge to express yourselfon paper never check it. As you tryto put these thoughts down they will become clearer and give you a deep understanding. Much that is within is often in such a chaotic state that to separate one idea from another is not easy. I know you better than you know yourself and I will teach you in My own way all the things concerningyour Real Self Seek and strive to know Me your Beloved and bit by bit you will know your Real Self,for am I notyour real se/? Realize Me and you will know God. No other pursuit is worthwhile when you have met the Beloved. Everything then centers around Him. You see all beauty through Him be it expressed through poetry, art, or music, or through life itself All workwhether ofyour hands or academic is done for Him and your only attachment is your Beloved. All service then becomes selfless whether done for friend, family, or stranger. All are one and toward this “One” the motive too is one to please Him, whom toplease is to know. There is no other knowing. Feeling is not knowing. To please Me is to do, but doing what? That which your Beloved commands you.This is My way, My path. “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” My way with you all is the shortest way to Union which I long for infinitely more than you can ever long. Although the game is ofMy own making, still I must suffer to enjoy the game of realizing Myselfconsciously in all creation. —
rememberverywellwhen, notlong ago, I was just like one ofyou. You little ones are especially dear to me. Children are innocent and free from vain egotism. Chil dren have no low desires. When, after becoming free ofall childishness, a man really becomes childlike, he realizes God. Whether you like it or not, you must soon grow up and cease being childish. More and more you must enjoy letting your teachers teach you and your elders lead you while you are growing into men and women. Unless you are willing to learn and ready to obey, they cannot help you as theywould like to do. The whole oflife is like playing the game ofhide and seek, in which you must find your real self I give you myblessings, thatyou may succeed in this realization that life is all-time play. God alone is real, all else is false, and so you must tryto love God who is within us all. To gain this love you should try to be honest in your thoughts, words, and actions.
THE OCEAN OF LOVE, Delia DeLeon, pp. 136-137, Copyright 1991, AMBPPCT
Excerpt from: LISTEN HUMANITY, edited by Don E. Stevens. Dodd, Mead & Company, publishers.
2. vtR 001
tracked intensity ofthe title cut, “How Many Lifetimes?” is a powerful, and deeply personal, musical statement. The CD, which includes a 12 page booklet with lyrics, personnel, and Baba photos, sells for $15.95.
3. BABA R.IIN (3:111
5. low Mo>
6. TosE ToE (4:351
,7. Y0UrRE .‘
8. ‘Suouoii tSRurl .
Two thumbs up!?
Dr. Fate was a DC Comic 1 did back in the late eighties/early nineties. It featured BABA (and his Tomb) and other Avataric stuff and itwas NOT for eight year olds, by any stretch. (I’d say teenagers and up.) Another recent BABA-influ enced series I wrote & created was a New Age comic book called SEEKERS INTO THE MYSTERY; it also featured Lord Meher (as a character called The Magician) as well as a guy named Charlie Limbo (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mohammed the Mast). These comics are for ADULTS. These are NOT kids comic books by any stretch. They deal with adult issues very directly. (When I say adult, I don’t mean X-Rated, I just mean comics written for adults. You wouldt* have an eight year old read JMDM a NOVEL written for adults, right?)
John Marc DeMatteis is one ofthe bestknown and most respected writers in the comicbookworld,withworkrangingfrom clas sic Marvel and DC super-heroes like Spi der-Man, Batman, The Silver Surfer and Doctor Fate (DeMatteis’s run on this title featured the first known comic book appearance of a certain Pune born Avatar). .to the creation ofchallenging adult graphic novels like “Moonshado” “Brooklyn Dreams,” and the nakedly Baba-influenced “Seekers Into The Mystery.” DeMatteis has also written for film and television he is currently at work on a feature film for producer/director .
Chris Columbus but he is known to many in the Baba Community as a singer, songwriter, and musician. “How Many Lifetimes?” is DeMatteis’s first CD of B aba-inspired material; a wide array ofsongs ranging from gentle acoustic ballads to raw rock ‘n’ roll and Beatlesque production num bers, all ofthem reflecting the ups, downs, constant challenges, and ineffable re wards of life with Meher Baba. From the raw pain of “Free” to the gently haunting “Margaret” (dedicated to Margaret Craske) and the towering, multi—
E2osb 1 £ovcStreetJ3tm
Love Street Bookstore ‘
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by Dma Snow Baba Folks! By the ton ofSahavas registration slips that have been pouring in, it would seem that a great many ofyou will be here at our Sahavas. That’s wonderful, because quite apart from the fact that it is really fun to fi nally meet face to face the people I have been sending mail orders to, or e-mailing on the Baba ListServ, this is going to be a wonderful Sahavas! The guests, most ofwhom have met Baba, the musicians all time favorites Pilgrim Pines, what more can I say? If you read Sky Wiseman’s piece on the L.A. Sahavas, you will see what I mean. But the great thing about being here, in what the Mandali have said is the largest collection ofBaba-phenalia and Meher-abilia in the world, is that you can actually see and walk around and touch and listen to the items that I can only otherwise write about. And believe me, the CD that Marc De Matteis has produced has to be heard to be truly appreciated. Actually,just to look at, its pretty terrific too great cover which is actually a booklet with photos of Baba, the musicians and all the wonderful words ofthe songs. To read these words, you can tell this is a man that has been through some pretty serious hell, but with Baba’s help has come through into the sunshine. It makes for
powerful reading. But the sound that issues forth when you put it on w your CD player!! What’s that? You don’t own a CD player? Go buy one, because Marc /k did not cut any tapes! ; Mycopy of”HowMany while Clea wraps each package with lots of TLC Lifetimes?” has been on continuous play for the past 2 weeks, and no, The CD opens with the gentle Sanctification: I’m not getting tired of it. I guess it’s like b eing in love, the more you get to know a perUp in the Heavens son, the more things you find to love (And no, The angels are singing I’mnotin love with anyone but Baba, but The devas are dancing I do remember!). It is on a level ofexcellence From star to star with any commercially produced CD you BABAandMEHER/1 would buy in the stores. Marc has poured his Coming together very heart and soul into these songs, some sweet After so manyyears apart and gentle, like the tribute to Margaret Craske; another to his wife Diane; somejubilant, like Eye to eye “Free” “. . . Seen the valleys ofhell, Seen Breath to breath the walking dead, Heard the voice ofthe devil Heart to heart talking right inside myhead, But nowl’m free, Meher Baba made me free.” —Then there’s BABA hoveyou the heart wrenching “How Many Lifetimes.” MEHERA blove you What a powerful song! “Baba Rain,” “Take And my soulc sofilled withjoy because Youe One the Name,” and “Time for Love” make me dance around the room with the sheerjoy of The Sanctification ofLove has now begun the music and words! .
It closes with Fortunate Slave (with thanks to Hafiz) and segues straight into the heart felt Beloved God prayer. Marc gives thanks to the Beatles for ‘the musical education’, and I can definitely hear chords, progressions and vocal that are reminiscent ofthe later, more sophisticated Beatle music. When the second number Every Day starts up I am put in mind ofThe Who doing Quadrophenia! My favorite line from that song is: “Your DivineWine soaks through my mind Leaves no trace on the breath!” Yes, you can hear the great musicians who have left their influence on Marc, but on this CD it is Marc Dc Matteis alone who composed all the words and music (ex cept, ofcourse, forThe Beloved Prayer). He also has a back up of at least eight other tal ented and professional musicians. It’s been a long time since the incomparablejim Meyer released his tour de force Relentless Love. This tape has stood as my all time favorite Baba album, but geejim, I’m afraid Marc has just edged you out....butl’llbe back.The multitalented (seebox onpage 44)Marc De Matteis’s CD sells for How Many Lifetimes? $15.95. —
We also have the exciting news of a bookjust hot offthe press. And it is with even greater pleasure that I can tell you it is written by one ofour own: Professor Carl Ernst late of Los Angeles and now living in Chapel Hill NC. Not only does the Love Street Bookstore carry this wonderful new book, but it is commercially carried across the country. (But of course you wont go to your nearest Brentano’s and buy it, now will you?!) The title ofthis book is “Ruzbihan Diary Baqli —The Unveiling ofSecrets ofa Sufi Master.” $15.95 Since I have not had a chance to get beyond the dynamite cover, I shall give space to the words ofsome very distinguished reviewers, not the least of whom is Coleman Barks himself... See page 41. Writing and artistic talent certainly run in the Ernst family. His wife Judy is the illustrator and writer ofthe book we mentioned in our last issue The Golden Goose King. Their daughter Sophie, now grown up, wrote the lovely little story of her Tea Party with Mansari, also in the last issue. I am hoping that by the time you read —
this we will have available a poster that I have been asked for for years: The Ten Circles of the Avatar, (known colloquially as The Wedding Cake!). This is the magnificent painting hanging in the museum in the old water tower at Upper Meherabad. It was painted by Rano Gayleyunder the microscopic scrutiny of Meher Baba. When she would ask questions as to “Why am I painting this particular piece?,” He would simply answer “Don’t ask questions,just do as I say.” I’m not sure ifit will be in the form of a photograph or a printed piece, but when I get the negative I will see which will give us the best quality at the most reasonable price. Hermes had once made it available in the early ‘80’s, but it has not been seen since. If I can get it done in time it will be available at the Sahavas, and then I shall run the photo and related story in the October issue. Ifyou are at all interested in art, we sell two excellentbooks bypremier Baba artists Rano Gayley and Lynn Ott. Both are hard bound, roughly eight and a half by eleven inches, with copious amounts ofcolored re productions, and the stories relating to each painting, and also their own personal stories oflife with Baba. Rano, ofcourse, lived in the Ashram at Meherazad and traveled with Baba for many years. Her book, Because of In Quest of the Love is $35 and Lynn’s is $30. One recipient of Face of God Rano’s book so loved the pencil portraits and colored paintings, that she bought a second copy specifically so she could cut out many of the pictures and have them framed. They are both high quality art books. —
I still get requests for that amazing work The Lord Meher Biographies written by Bhau Kalchuri and as an incredible labor oflove, published by Hermes. Due to the extremely high cost of producing them, Hermes was using an 800 # and a place called Bookcrafters from which you could order the books. But that has changed. You now have two new ways of starting your collection, fillingin the gaps, or adding the latest volume. You can either order them through the Love Street Bookstore or write, with check endosed, to Manifestation, P.O. Box 2024, Asheville NC 28802. Ifyou have any questions and intend ordering them through Hermes, you may fax him at 704 251 2274. For all you folks who started collecting the editions late, and missed out on Vol. I, you —
will be happy to hear Hermes has had it reprinted. Vol. I and II are now combined (but not abbreviated) in one volume. The cost for this one, including shipping, is $82. Volumes III, IV, and V are $45 each. Volume VI and and part 2 of combined part 1 of VII VII, combined with VIII, and Volume IX and combined, are also $82 each. If you buy them through the Bookstore they will be slightlyless as we will figure the shipping based on your complete order. The books are, of course, all hard bound, printed on high qual ity gloss paper and contain many never before seen photos of Baba and His Mandali. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is the definitive reference work for the life ofour Lord. These are books that will be in your family for generations to come. Who knows maybe in the year 3000 theywill be the KingJames version ofthe Bible oftoday! —
Margo Watson and Cherie Plumlee have joined Carolyn Parker as the three ladies who are creatingverybeautiful Baba greeting cards for sale to you all. There is a great amount of time consurningworkin creating eachindividual card,just in the matting and placement ofthe photo on the card, as well as the truly inspired work that goes into thinking up new ways to glorify our Lord and present him in a beautiful setting. Before putting their cards on the market, each ofthe ladies has shown their creations to the Mandali, to make sure they are not infringing on anyone’s copyright, and that the women Mandali love the way they have presented Baba. As I have shown in manyprevious issues, Carolyn takes a black and white photo, arranges roses or rose petals around His face, and also Mehera’s, and then in color, photographs the resulting arrangement. Margo Watson is a scenic photographer who scans her own photos into Adobe Photoshop ( on her computer), scans a photo of Baba, and then carefully and skillfully merges the two. Thus we have Baba with His leg resting on the rails ofa fence that sure looks like the countryside around Meherana, or dressed as Mohammed against dryrolling hills. (How about the sand dunes ofthe Sahara?) One ofmyfavorites is Baba gracefully reclining on a hilisde amidst a profusion ofbriffiant orange California poppies! To see it, you could not believe that it is not an actual photo ofBaba so seated. Cherie Plumlee’s specialty is coloring a black and white photo in Photoshop and
ex:x3t inventing an attractive background, such as the rising sun behind Seclusion Hill for the photo ofMani with Cracker. These cards are either $3 or $3.50 each, depending on how many ofthe colored foil mattes are on the card. Each is done on top quality card stock, with matching envelope and enclosed in a cello bag. As I said, a lot ofwork goes into the creation ofthese, and while it certainly is a labor oflove, it’s nice to monetarily support our Baba artists. The oil painting by Diana LePage featured on our back page is hanging in the Baba meeting hail at Avatar’s Abode in Australia, and is an amazing seven by eight foot creation. We have reproductions for sale. $ 16. Ifyou are familiar with and attracted to Diana’s work, we have at least 60 of her different paintings represented as photos on cards. She visited our Center last year and gave a fascinating story of her growth as an artist and her gradual involvment with Meher Baba and now has an enormous output of Baba paintings. Her cards are all $3 each. Ifyou haven’t bought your copy of the tape Song ofHuma vol2, now is your chance. —
We have just received another shipment in of this beautiful piece ofwork. A few years ago Elaine Coxwent to India with the very top of the line recording equipment, and recorded the women Mandali, including Mani, singing the ghazals that Baba had written in the 1920’s and had published in various newspapers under the pen name of Huma. They were sung acapella, and when Elaine brought the recordings back to the US, she set about&idingtheverybestandmost appropriate musicians to create the background music that greatly enhanced the songs. Elaine gives a beautiful reading 6f each ghazal in English before we hear the sorg. The question has oft been asked as to why Baba chose the pen name ofHuma. It is generally accepted to be a mythological bird rather like the phoenix. Our professor of Persian studies Dr. Carl Ernst, gives us a more detailed explanation: According to Firdawsi’s Book ofKings (Shah Nama), it is the bird that confers royalty; the person on whom its shadow falls becomes king. It is also non-violent, subsisting on bones only. It is still, despite its royal associations, the official bird ofthe Iranian national airline. (Interesting!) —
Anyway, mythology aside, it is a very beautiful tape, a lovely companion piece to Vol. 1 which is long out ofprint, and is available for $12. Slowly but surely we are moving ever closer to having a new Catalogue printed, the one we are sending out now has so many deletions from out ofprint books, and is missing so many ofthe wonderftil new items we have added to our line in the past two years, that it will be wonderful to have a completely up to date one for you. But that too will quicklygrow old as more ofthese great Baba books run out their printed days, but joyfully, new ones are added. When we have an ‘electronic’ catalogue on the World Wide Web, we can alter it as any change occurs. The WWW is open to any one around the world with a Web Browser, so The Love Street Bookstore will be an eyecatching name for our Beloved to catch more in His very own world wide web! ‘Til next time,Jai Baba to you all, and I look forward to filling your orders. (It’s truly!) what I live for! —
Babac Silence an oil painting by Diana LePage
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