Peanut Prasad J ames Cox
Ja: Baba folks
our Summer issue we have started something new, that we hope with your help, we can continue for a year or two. ..‘Travelling in His Footsteps”. We know many of you, when in a foreign country,like to visit the places Baba has been, but often times only have a vague idea as to exactly where He was. Well we hope to clear that up and make it a lot easier for you. Thanks to input from many of our readers, our staff was able to put together a pretty thorough accounting of Baba in Italy. Next issue we hope to be doing Switzer land. If any of you have detailed informa tion that may not be readily available in books, and would like to share it with us, we gould love to hear from you—not just on Switzerland, but any country He was in. As you will read in our Announcements e section, because ofage and failing health. the Mandali have had to cut back even further on the hours they are available to us. As Bhauji so poignantly tells us, ‘The Wineshop is closing”—make haste to get there before it is too late. Baba’s Samadhi will always be there for us, and His fragrance is still very strong—as He said it would be for 100 years after the dropping ofHis body, but how wonderful to be able to hear of His life from the people Baba chose as His cbsest ones. Remember that ifyou happen to be sick when you are at Meherabaci, you must not go out to Meherazad. In their present failing health, even a common cold could de velop into something far more serious. So many new people are coming to Baba, how wonderful for them to be abbe to share even the smallest time with the Mandali. Read Jay Schauer’s article Impressions of Meherazad—it will make old timers smile reminiscently and newcomers make plans to get there as soon as possible. Amartithi can’t come soon enough for me! (My next visit). .
ISorry we forgot to mention in the last issue that the back-coverphoto u!Babi an the bridge ••••was’ a composite image. not an onçinaiphoto.J
fter bowing down at Baba’s Samadhi, the pilgrim automatically goes to the person handing out prasad and either takes candy, peanuts or any special treat offered that day, and somepeopletake all. Didyou know thatthis daily prasad is not provided, nor paid for out ofTrust funds, but rather is purchased out ofspecific donations given by individuals for that purpose or that the prasad is brought by individuals as a gift for distribution? Soonafter Baba dropped his body and people started to come for Darshan, Mansari, who was living alone on the Hill, became concerned about being able to provide prasad, in accordance with Indian tradition and expectations, to the many who were starting to come, so she approached Mani and asked if the newly functionthg Trust could do something aboutthis, butMani, maybe because of the ritual aspect, declined rather strongly. Feeling bad, Mansaridecided shewould provide prasad herseif out of her own very meager funds, and she did. From that point, other people joined her and donations began to flow, and as anyone can testify who has been to the Samadhi, there has never been a shortage ofprasad since. Howevei some 15 or 20 years ago, a new consciousness began to arise in certain people about the potential ifi effects excessive sugar could cause, and certainly in India one can be exposed to what many consider “excessive sugar,” so the idea ofhaving an alternate prasad for people trying to limit their sugar intake, came into existence and the practice of offering peanuts at the Samdhi was born. This new option also caught on, albeit not to the extent of the sweet prasad, but nevertheless, there were still several individu als who regularly contributed peanuts to the Samadhi, out ofwhich the main ones, I suppose, were Sheila Fenster (Bhau Kabchurfs daughter), Rustom Falahati (famous for his raw food diet, which almost everyone here has tried) and myself In recent times, Sheila has moved to the States and Rustom has beenin aparticularlygen erous mood, bestowing kilos and kilos of Uncooked peanuts on us, which according to his naturopathic diet, he believes are better for you. Upon occasion, some well meaning persons have tried to roast this inventory, but Rustom always objects, so the peanut prasad stays raw. In fact, so many raw peanuts have accumulated that some persons have mischievously started feeding them to the ground squirrels, and now Babas prasad ,
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has many new four legged, furry devotees, but that is another story. I mention all of the above to you strictly for background information. This morning, as I sat outside the Samadhi after Arti, Sheila Fenstei freshly back from the States, came up to me and said she had some work with me. Curiously, I enquired as to what that might be. Mistakenly assuming I had provided the raw peanuts, she asked me if I knew the story ofthe opening ofthe Meher Nazar Baba Centei and I said that I did not. She proceeded to tell me that when she was about 9, and her younger brother Mehernath was about 7, they wanted to open a Center for Baba in what is now theTrust Compound, and they asked Baba if He would come for the openirigto which He readily agreed. At the opening ceremony, Baba came and cut the ribbon and congratulated them, telling them how happy He was, and then asked Mehernath how many members they had. Mehemath said, “None.”ThenBabaasked about Sheila, and wasn’t she a member, to which Mehemath indicated thatshewasn, thathe only let her in when there was work for her to do. Baba was amused and asked Sheila, “So what work do you do?” Sheila said, “I roast the peanuts for prasad.” And then Baba asked, “What do you do with them after roasting?” Sheila replied, “I give them to Mehernath.” And Baba again asked, “What does he do with them?” And Sheila again replied, “He eats them.” Baba laughed and told her that her roasted peanutswere realbydelicious, and that He wanted her to supply them to all of Meherazad, so she bought and roasted 2 kilosworth, then sent them out to Meherazad. The next time He saw her, Baba told her how good they were, and that He wanted her to supply them to His Samadhi. She was puzzled, as at that time there was no one who wentto the Samadhi, but Babatold her that in the future she would have the chance, and to make sure they arejustlike this,lightly salted and roasted nicely, because raw peanuts have some oil in them that is not good for the throat. I looked at her sitting on the step beside me, broke into one of those “whadya know, there *j* a God” smiles, and said, “Sheila, I thinkyou need to speak to Rustom.”
A publication of the A vatar Meher Baba Center of Southern Cailfornia
JCamj1Posr various contributors
L.A. Baba Center
Patrick D. Cook
Jonathan Bader and Staff
Hamirpur Tour With Bhau
Passings and Reunions
Theove.Street,EamEPosr is dedicated with love
Introduction to God Speaks, Mexico City
to A vatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lo vers by pro viding a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast ofLove.
This Supreme Privilege, the Harbs
Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Meher Baba’s message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text by email, on computer disks in any text format; or typewritten copy on white paper. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.
submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 or ; Bababook@pacbell.net
Remember Silence Day Baba’s Garden ofLove Meher Baba’s Universal Message, 1964 Fills Frederick Meets Baba Seeking Baba’s Fragrance in Italy
Three Babies Avatar Meher Baba in Italy Friendly As Well As Fiery In The “Right Place?”
Bob Dearborn and Tom Dexter
Moonball on Mehera’s Eve
Mr. Khodayar Toos
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From Our Man in Meherabad
Baba as the Ultimate Teacher
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credits: editor: design and layout: research assistant: digital preflight: distribution: cover
Dma Snow Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Barbara Roberts Betty Lowman, Tom Hart Chris Lyttle LordMeher Baba in Venice, 1933
)ul)liShC(I quarterly, in January, The £ov&StrcetJ.amLPosr s 1 April, July, and October. All contents © 2000 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern Calilornia. S
All quotations. photos. or books of Avatar Meher Baha, © AMBPPCT. India. Unauthorizetlduphi’atian isprohibxtedbj law
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiza tions that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission of their Board of Directors. All words, images, and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and photos of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter.
Jal Baba, We have an abundance of new books to tell you about this issue. Most of them are re viewed in a separate place, so we wiijust give them a brief mention plus the prices, should you be tempted to purchase. The first one is a book that left me breathless with the beauty ofit the first time I saw it. Meditationshi Colons a collection of paintings done in brilliant water colors by Sharon Muir. The way the book came about is a fine example of what can happen when the Beloved wants something accomplished. Harry, Sharon’s husband, tells this story: “It all began when Sharon decided to use some of the extra room in her suitcase for art supplies when we left for Meherabad last fall. Once there, she hurt her knee and was unable to walk up the hill. So out came the paints and offshe went to spend several hours at vanous spots around Meherabad where she felt particularly close to Baba. Painting was really a form of meditation for her. The project grew. The Mandali who saw them reallyliked them. Pilgrims and staffwanted to buy the paintings. Meheru even invited her to spend a quiet day painting at Meherazad. Then she caught the Hostel C bug and went to bed for a few days. Somewhere in that haze she remembers Nan Wicker coming in and asking if she could have her portfolio to show to someone. She came back iii an hour or so with the news that Balaji wanted to publish a book ofthe paintings and that he would have it ready for Baba birthday. This was in early February. It seems that Balaji (all around good guy, computer wiz and Baba slave) had to certify a press in Hyderabad as being Y2K compliant by the middle of March. He wanted to use this five color printing run to put the press to the test. Combining this with a lot of donated 4
labor, we hoped to produce a book at a price that even our friends could afford. With the paintings tucked under his ann he headed back to Hyderabad in mid February. All went well—for a while. Balaji hired a quality control person with an artist eye to oversee the color separations and the printing. To my eye she did a perfect job with the separations. Then came a test print and that was a disaster. The paintings just didn’t look right on that paper. Well, Baba showed Balaji the perfect paper. There was only one problem—the Art Museum ofAndraPradashhad reserved India entire stock of that paper. So the next morning, portfolio of paintings underhis arm, Balajiwas offto visit the museums directoi a devout Muslim. He loved the paintings and agreed to release enough of the paper for the run ifthey could stock the book in the museum. When it finally got to the print shop it went slower than expected. But by then the crew at the press had started asking who was this Meher Baba fellow. They too loved the paintings. At the end of the day the supervi sor went home. When he came in the next morning the crew wasjust finishing up. They had worked through the night!” Our black and white reproductions do not do the brilliant splashes of colorjustice. If you log on to www.muirarts.com you can get a slight idea of their beauty, but you really need to have the book to appreciate it in all its glory. This book would be good value if priced at $40, but the Muirs wanted it to go at cost so that everyone could afford to own it. Conse quently we are selling it for $25! It is 10 x 14, cloth bound with 3 1 wonderful flavors—er paintings! To help finance the printing, Sharon has been selling the originals for a mere $100 each, check them out on the web, but if you find the ones you want have already been sold, then do as I did. Very carefully razor out the page you want and then frame it. I have two such paintings hanging on my wall. The next book is History in the Making! Beloved Archives, Inc. has released a facsimile edition ofan extraordinary document of Ava tar Meher Baba’s own authorship. What is even more extraordinary is that this book, which is entitled In God Hancj comes to us in Avatar Meher Baba’s own handwriting! First half is a facsimile of Baba handwriting, and the second half gives the text of Baba writing, with translations from the Gujarati, etc. The book has introductions, notes, glos sary and explanations. For more about this amazing book, read the Review Section.
OfMen and Meher Baba, also reviewed elsewhere, is the fIrst book on Meher Baba written as a collaboration between an American and an Indian. The Indian, Amiya Kumar Hazra, is the authorofthe cultclassic Memoirs ofaZetetic and has enraptured audiences at the Pilgrim Cen terwithhisbeautifulstories of time spent in Baba presence and doing His work. The American, Keith Gtmri, contributed to the tone ofthe sec tions of the novel that ai set in America, and also helped delineate the characters of the scien tists and the ways in which they too are searching for God. MeherBabacafled AmlyaKuman Hazra His beloved son. In the period between 1957 and 1969, Beloved Baba sent over 150 letters and cables to Professor Hazra. Amiya was permitted to visit Baba even in the midst ofHis most severe seclusions, at times when even Adi K. Iraril de spaired ofobtainingBaba agreementto see Him for His darshan. The book is in the form of a novel describing the difficulties various charac ters experience as they come to believe that Meher Baba was who He said he was. The story intertwines this plot line (following the lives of the various characters) with Professor Hazra’s musings about the problems many scientists have in finding God. The book fictionalizes various real-life encounters with Baba’s compassion that took place in the lives oflndian Baba Lovers. Most of these stories have remained untold up till now because the participants wished to remain anonymous. The book maintains this anonymity by ascribing the incidents to the fictional characters. But they are all based on things that actually happened. The printing of the book is first quality. Its cover has a color reproduction of a painting of Baba done by Diana Le Page, and the frontispiece has a photograph of Baba taken at the Ganeshkhind Mali’s (gardener’s) sta tion in 1957. Paperback, 156 pages $10. The collaboration ofKeith and Prof. Hazra went so well, they are now re-working Mem oirs of a Zetetic, to be released later this year. Some ofyou may know Gary Mullins. He lives in the Atlanta area and met Meher Baba in 1962 at the East West Gathering. You may have seen his name in Murshida Duce book HowA Master Wrksas she told a brief incident ofhis meeting Baba. You might have also seen his story in the August 1999 issue of The Glow. Is a good one, it tells how a chance encounter with an elderlywoman who dropped a package on a street in San Francisco (Murshida Duce) led to him meeting the Avatar a yearlater. Now you can read this story and lots of others in Gary book DancingtheBeguine. He paints a
Amazon voted The Gift one of ten most significant books of 1999, and the only poetry book to receive that honor. Also, one of the best New Age magazines called Spirituality & Health, published by Trinity Church New York, with some strong Catholic leaning, voted The Gift one ofthe 10 most important books of 1999—in all categories; this was considered quite a feat. Besides all that, it is still the best selling poetry book in America! You can buy it in bookstores all across the country, but why would you—when you can buy it from Love Street? Paperback, 333 pages, $14. Danny tells us he has sold another book to Penguin that will be keeping him busy for the next several months. This one is titled: Love Poems from God Wendell Brustman, the man behind the Witness Series of interviews with the Mandali, has given us volume 5 and 6 of these most inti mateglimpses into thelives ofBabas closest ones. The fifth is of Eruch called Closer and Closer to hnand then in the time spent with Dr. Goher she tells us ToEathHisDuçp $45 each. In case you are not familiar with the first four, they are very fine quality hour long interviews with, Mehera, Mani, Irene Billo and Agnes Baron. Gabriella Tal just sent me her latest CD Graceful and Magnificent—one of her best so far! Really beau•1;rc tiful. As it I rived at press time we will re view it in our next issue. Vocals are by Gabriella, Mark Malachi and Karma Miller, with Mark on Piano, Synthe : sizei and Percus sion—Guitar: MichaelKovitz; Saxophone, Flute: Tim Smith; Violin: Dorothy Kitchen. Gabriella tells us: “This CD is a long time in coming. I wrote the song GracefulandMag nificent before Meher Baba’s Amartithi in 1993. I felt He had given me the song as I it with 15,000 people atop His hill at shared $14, 389 pages. Baba’s sister Mani was the most the Samadhi. Ladinsky Danny of third the The Gifz person to me in this lifetime. I could new important blaze to continues of Hafiz, renderings for her for a long time but a song write book not this people many how paths. It amazing her death, the song came after years 2 of finally, people to speak to seems has touched—it is dedicated to you. album Mani” this “Oh rd God’ to ‘Poems straighfforwa allreligions— for Mansari, beloved song is a also There in up bound rituals and rites with no religious Baba’s truest disciples, ofMeher one many, to published books of of thousands the it. Out century on the a half lived order, at His who field, Religions Eastern the last year in
portrait ofthe Meher Center as it existed in the mid 6O—a place quite different from the one many of us now know. Of course the beauty and magic of the Center were there then, but could you imagine being able to have a gin and tonic whileyouwatched the sun setting on Long Lake? You could then. There are many people here that you may know—wonderful stories oftimes with people like Murshida Duce, Margaret Craske, Kitty and Elizabeth and one brief time with Murshid Jim Mackie. Then there was that time with Meher Baba.That one knocked him for a loop and he’s still recovering today! Is been a roller coaster ride and Baba been there every inch of the way. Gary himself has this to say about his book: “This lifetime I’m dancing in a new direc tion—counterclockwise. My “turn” as the whirling dervishes say, has taken me down strange and bewildering paths. With my first spin, I survived the tension of growing up in a dysfunctional American family. I always felt unsettled and out-of-place. After several emo tionally difficult years in college, I abruptly quit. Within days, I was hitchhiking from Atlanta to San Francisco. For no apparent rea son, the morning after my arrival, I walked five miles to the top of Nob Hill. As an eld erly lady was about to cross the street, she dropped a package. I picked it up and we started a conversation. I had no idea this woman was the Murshida of a Sufi Order and one of the closest Western followers of Ava tar Meher Baba. My spiritual search was over, and yet, my unwinding dance hadjust begun. In India, a year later, I met Meher Baba, my spiritual master. Since then, mylife’s dance has never been the same. The stories which I’ve written recall many dance partners, especially heartrending romances, as well as my uncanny and bizarre experiences. Dancing the Beguine: A MemoirofUnwinclthgRomance, a down-toearth and breathtaking dance oflove, celebrates my unwinding, my romance with God. It offers a fresh, and sometimes painful, glimpse into the issues of practical mysticism, reincar nation, marriage, and spiritual development. Ultimately, Dancingis about a lifelong search for love and its eventual discovery.” Paperback,
Hill, never “crossing the train tracks” except to go to the doctor—while she kept watch over His tomb—and over us young pilgrims. A su preme example of devotion, she finally “got her visa” and recently went to Baba. There is some really beautiful words and music on this CD of Gabriellas. $15. Sheriar Press came up with a marvelous idea that wifi be of great assistance to all travelers intent on a full pilgrimage to Baba places in India. We can now sell you, for only $2.50, a beautifully printed very detailed map of Poona. 1 1 x 17, it folds to a neat, easy to carry 9 x 4 and has photos of 1 1 main placeswith abriefhistory ofwhy they are importantto Babaplus the directions on how to get there. It is called In RFoottteps and is a must for all Pilgrims. Thas all for now. See you, In the Bookstore. “
Video Reviewij A Witness Serws Video Eruch Jessawala
by Kristin Crawford, New York wo new videos of Eruch and Dr. Goher, taken from 1986 interviews by Wendell Brustman and Bill Haviland, havejust been released by Gateway Mediaworks as part of its Witness Series. Closer and Closer to Him transports us to Mandali Hall for nearly an hour of brilliant,
thcisive, humorous narration by Eruch. He recalls for us Baba discourse on how to begin seeing Him as He really is, describing the opening of the heart in remembrance. Speaking ofthe familiarity Baba allowed him, Eruch gives us a glimpse ofthe delicate balance that entailed for him. He relates one of his personal favorites, the story of the king who was aflame with passion for God, but guarded this precious secret, never indulging in any outward indication of it. The video also includes footage of the intermission for tea on the Meherazad verandah at the stroke of 3 PM, during which we are treated to Mani moving playfully among the pilgrims, Aloba giving his instructions, and a few moments of Arnavaz, Rario, and Pendu, to whom a happy birthday is sung. This video offers us Babas close companion fulfilling yet another role Baba has given him, that of the consummate storyteller, passing along the story ofthe Lord. Each One His Duty is a rare, hour-long interview with Dr. Goher, in which she re counts stories ofher life with Baba, beginning with the first time she met Him, at age 6, in Q uetta. Goher not only recalls but relives the feelings ofthose times, seemingly with no dis tance li-i the re-telling. What comes across so strongly in this video is not only Goher’s story, bt her heart. Her delight at the many amus ing incidents is contagious, while her pain is wrenching. As Baba’s personal physician, Goher has a unique perspective on His physi cal suffering and describes the specifics of some of His illnesses and treatments. She also gives a sense of the unique predicament of her role in attempting to lessen the physical suffering of the Avatar, who was bound to suffer. After Baba dropped the body, Goher was so dis heartened that with all ofthe advances of modem medicine, it had not been able to help Baba, that she wanted to be finished with practicing medicine, but gradually moved into opening the Meherazad clinic, which Goher tours for a few minutes with the film crew. This footage of Baba’s dear doctor is extraordinarily touching and intimate. ;i••
BookReviews “OfMen andMeher Baba” Lisa Brande, Vermont
VfMen and Meher Baba “by Professor Amiya Kumar Hazra, and co-authored by Keith Gunn, is a delight. There is a new genre afoot in the world of Baba books and here is the seminal example. The book reads like a good novel with a cast of characters
whose interactions we follow with anticipa tion, yet the story is based on real people who have had these actual experiences. It is not re vealed who these Baba lovers actually are, yet it colors the book as we read; not unlike seelog a good movie whose great story stands on its own, but is that much more fascinating because we know it to be based on real life. The story follows the central character of ohn Robertson, his transformation from J being intensely averse to anything spiritual (due to a childhood experience involving his father) to becoming a Baba lover. John, ailing with Parkinson disease, moves to a retirement community. He soon finds interesting cohorts among the residents: Dr. Fred Baptiste, a surly and agnostic physicist, and Dr. Phillip Osborne, an accomplished scholar and Baba lover. There is a parallel set of characters in the young personal assistants, former and present, of Mr. Robertson. John becomes a mentor for young Jimmy, a sweet innocent Vietnamese chap who tests and then falls for Baba in a hurry. However the older gentlemen in the story have a lot more intellectual exploring to do, before Baba cracks the shell of their hardened hearts. Scientific concepts and discussions abound between characters (Keith major contribu tion to the book) which are all true I’m told, and thus very edifying in their own right. Wonderfully, all the science adds an interesting balance of”head” to the flowery “heart” of this book. The English used in the dialogue is sometimes archaic (“Let us hurry up” for ex ample), and though hardly a soul speaks this way in real life, I actually found it charming. I won’t give the end of the book away, but I think readers will be propelled by the story to see exactly how Baba unfolds His love to this crew. There are some fantastical things that go on in these 156 pages, but her&s the “Truth is stranger real kicker: They say than fiction”, indeed it is. $10
The Swiftness ofCrows Glenn Barefoot, North Carolina
was so taken with Nancy Wall’s new vol
ume of poetry, The Swiftness of Crows
(Moon Pony Press, 1999) that I bought copies for all my close friends and family mem bers who have so often asked me, “Why do you keep going to India?” The first poem in section one hints at my answer:
Th teach me the secret ofbalance, Thpointmy way to the place Where such grace isgiven ...
This is a book which itself imparts grace
through powerful images of simple village life in India. It is also a testimony to the value of pilgrimage in “reaching solid ground,” as per the title of the second section describing The SwiftDess of Crows the struggle of NaucyWali : integrating the conflicting experiences of two continents as different as India and the US. What unites the two continents and one’s soul is made concrete in the book’s title im age “a flapping black cloud” of crows that swiftly descend upon the dead bullock in a natural process of cleaning and renewal. Nancy Wall is able to both evoke the poi gnancy of and transcend the heaviness of mortality in verse after verse ofkeen and profound observation. Read these poems aloud. Reflect upon them. Befriend them, and they will accom pany you to a richer inner life. .
Music Reviews “When Days Have No Nights” a new
by Mischa Rutenberg
by Hank Mindlin, California
-Ie who blends my tears with 21is 2 : 7:urns sorrow into sweetness _/4nd surrender into 13liss.
hen Days Have No Nights is a superb
new collection of songs to the Divine Beloved derived from the poetry ofRumi and exquisitely crafted by longtime Baba trouba dour Mischa Rutenberg. Mischa has done something remarkable with this album. First, he went back to the original Persian poetry of Rumi and created new translations with the help of Dr. Farhad Shafa. He was able to provide Mischa with fresh translations of Rumi’s poems informed by his knowledge of and love for Meher Baba as well as his rich understanding of Rumi and the traditions of Persian Sufism. Mischa turned the translations into new song lyrics that express many of the subtleties and deep emotions of Rumi’s poetry more fully and more directly than other versions which don’t have the “Baba perspective.” Most of the original poems were written by Rumi to his Master, Shams ofTabriz. They are love songs from a man on the threshold of God to his incarnate Beloved. They sing of
the joy of his presence, the agony of his absence, the anticipation ofhis coming, the longing for his return all the moods that lovers of the living Avatar know well. Once he had the poetry, Mischa gathered a stellar group of professional musicians, including Persian musicians to play exotic instruments like the santur (a kind of zither), the ney ( a Persian flute) and Middle Eastern stringed and percussion instruments. These are blended with acoustic and electric guitars, syn thesizers and keyboards, a terrific jazz-rock drummer, congas, tablas, saxophones, a trum pet, clarinet, and backup singers. The instru mentalists weave a tapestry of hypnotic sounds around Mischa’s melodies. Part new-age, part art-rock, part folk, part jazz, part blues, and all evoking the kind ofdevotional atmosphere one might find at Rumi’s tomb or Baba’s samadhi, the music is wonderfully recorded and surprisingly varied. One song is even in Spanish! And to add to this incredibly inven tive mix, on some songs Farhad recites the poems in the original Persian and Zuheir al Faqih reads them in English. The album was recorded in studios in Northern California and Washington, D.C. over many months, and it must have been a real labor oflove for Mischa and the many Baba-companions who collabo rated with him. The result is a very rich experience unlike any other CD.Though there are only 13 songs listed, there is a LOT ofmusic here! Each song has extended instrumental sections, and there are some amazing rhythm grooves combin ing the Middle Eastern and contemporary percussion. The album is nearly 80 minutes long, even so, it is available at a bargain price! Congratulations, Mischa, for a truly re markable new record that comes as close as one can imagine to giving us Rumi as Meher Baba knows him! $15 . . .
RaphaelRuddin Concert On a recent trip to Walnut Creek Raphael Rudd gave the Sufi’s a very warmly received concert. So much so that they decided to re lease a CD of the concert. He was playing pi ano and harp in his usual very rousing style! However as it was given to me at press time we could not get an official review. It will be in the October issue—but in the meantime— it has Dma’s seal of approval! $10
Mani kept the document among her papers. Some of those close to her were aware of it and had seen it, but no one thought to ask how it came to her or what she thought it Ward Parks, Meherabad was. As Baba’s physical lifetime recedes farther into the past and as the worth and sig Beloved Archives, Inc. has released a fac nificance of everything associated with Him simile edition of an extraordinary document looms more and more vividly before our of Avatar Meher Baba’s own authorship. awareness, it can be difficult to remember What is even more extraordinary is that this that, in the years that immediately followed book, which is entitled In GodHanci comes the dropping of His body, to those who lived to us in Avatar Meher Baba own handwrit with Him, every object, place and moment ing! The entire extant record of published in their lives and physical environment was literature offers no exact parallel to this book. His and surcharged with His memory. In the The Qu’ran, although dictated to the garden of His intimacy a document such as Prophet Muhammad (according to tradi this one is one more token and manifesta tion) by the archangel Gabriel, was written tion of His overflowing abundance. But as down not by Muhammad Himself but by that age passes, the mind and heart of hu his disciples. The Gospels were written de manity takes new interest in such things and cades after the death of Christ, (in Greek— to engage them in a new way. Bhau wants a language removed from the Semitic remembers an occasion in the Kaichuri environment where Jesus lived) and the when Ramjoo Abdulla in Meherazad 1960s Buddhist pitika postdates Buddha by cen who passed them Baba, to diaries His gave tunes. The Bhagavad Gita which purportIt is possible that for safekeeping. Mani to on edly records the words of Krishna to Arjuna were conpages holograph original these on the battlefield of Kurukshetra was com the contained that box same in the tamed posed in Sanskrit circa the first century A.D., with been associated had Ramjoo diaries. while Krishna Himself (according to Baba) Baba from the early 1920s, and it is in his lived two millennia before this. Rama and handwriting that we find the words on the Zoroaster belong to the era of prehistory, and cover page, “Explanations of Spirituality in. no record of their words can be counted as Baba’s own hand probably written in 1925.” reliable in the historical sense. are other marks and indications on There Even in Meher Babas own case, since that can be seen in the fac manuscript the He maintained silence from 1925 through and read about in the reproduction simile 1969 and for the most part did not write notes. No doubt the and book’s introduction during this period, the books attributed to of textual analysis will and shamuses sleuths Him had elements ofcontribution from oth to various puzzles themselves applying be ers. Dr. C.D. Deshmukh, for example, clearly n of the the reconstructio in mysteries and played a role in the composition of Meher to for decades manuscript of this history Baba’s Discoursesin its current written form, come. and Eruch had a hand in the transcription But for now, we have another extraordi of Meher Baba’s hand gestures that produced nary manifestation of our Beloved that shows the magnificent and epoch-making volume, of Him that was not in evidence bea side God Speaks. me, the hastily handwritten pages To fore. In God Hana however, is indubitably vividly to mind the picture of very bring and 100% His. Dating probably from 1925, Himself in His beautiful hu Baba Meher the original manuscript whose facsimile re this period in the 1920s. But during manity production comprises the heart and soul of exposition is God in His the of the subject this publication represents, literally, the very and reading the manuscript various aspects, words of the God-Man. Moreover, the subhas openedjust a chink again over over and ject of discourse is God Himself. In short, had never seen beI that of God of vision God-as-a-Man, the Avatar, the Author of be and whatever ex it may fore. Whatever creation, is writing about God. Nothing rise to, In God may give Him it of periences quite like this has appeared in print or inin the immortal place assured has an Hand deed, been published in any form in recorded of this Avataric Advent and will be legacy history. the seed-sowing of new fruits and blossoms Many people will wonder where this of love for God for many centuries to come. manuscript came from. Unfortunately, this Published by Naosherwan Anzar for Beloved inquiry has produced as many questions as Archives, Inc., printed by Sheriar Press. 120 answers. For certainty we know only that pages, hardcover with jacket, price: $25. 7
A Manuscript in God’s Own Handwriting
Passings and Reunions J ames Cox, Meherabad
B. VK Rao,
whom at Meherabad was known as Rao Kaka, passed away about 11:30 pm April 2nd at his home in Arangaon after suffering poor health for some time. Rao Kaka was probably the first Baba lover in the early 70s to take up residency on private property near Baba Samadhi and he was the first person to develop and sell private homes at Meherabad, what is now known as Meher Nazar or Rao Kaka’s Colony, behind Jal and Dolly house. He was one of the stalwarts of the Bombay Parel Center, although his fam ily originally came from Andhra. He is sur vived by his wife Laxmi and niece, Meherwani, both of whom are very active in the Mehera bad community. Rao Kakas heart was amongst the first touched by Baba in reference to privately tak ing up one of the objects laid down by Baba in His Trust Deed, the providing of accom modations for visiting pilgrims. His own house basically served and still serves as a private dharamshala, and he always had a number of pilgrims staying with him at Amartithi as well as at other crowded times. In the earlier years, many people would lament about the lack of facilities and opportunities for Baba’s lovers to stay on their own at Meherabad, but Rao Kaka was the first one to actually do something about it, starting the work at Mehera bad that will eventually become part of the “city” to which Baba referred on several occa sions. He is now with Baba.
Sushi/a The last surviving member of the original Meherabad cast passed away in her sleep last night, April 12th. We all used tojoke and tell her she couldn’t die because she already had, th birthday celebration referring to Baba’s 100 when, while listening tojack Small sing about a “little brown heifer smiling at me,” her heart had stopped. Jack quit sthging, and Shelly gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation while Dr. Ashu jumped up and started CPR pounding on Sushila’s heart. After a few moments Sushila revived, raising her hand with a weak “Baaaas” to get Ashu to stop beating on her. of course everyone was convinced that it was Jacks singing which had caused her to go into
cardiac arrest, but I guess we’ll never know for certain! That was on Baba’s birthday, and her first words after telling Ashu to stop, were to
ask why they hadn’t let her die in peace. Today is celebrated as the birthday of the avatar Ram, and now, six years later she got her wish.
Sushila, known as the sister (but actually a cousin) of Vishnu Master, one of Baba’s 8
Heather Nadel, Meherabad original Mandali, lived at Meherabad for well over half a century. Quiet and loving, but
keeping a verylow profile, many pilgrims never got to meet
her, although she was a
Meherabad stalwart, and there are lots of wonderful stories about her, from altercations with persons using her garden as a toilet to
one year inviting Ted, Alan and me over for lunch on Rakshabundan, the traditional holiday in India where brothers pledge
protection to their sisters, and sisters tie bright colored raki ornaments around their brothe?s wrist. However, perhaps one of the best stories was one I only heard today, and that took place
in 1977 or 1978. In the early years after Baba dropped his body, there was much more fire in Meherabad, and quite often we had unbal anced people present. At this particular time, one such fellow had flipped out and had been segregated in the dharamshala, just behind Sushila room which was on the back veran dab ofMandali Hall. That was alittle too close
for her, so during one of the following days she happened to complain to Erico about this,
to which he replied something to the effect of “Whais the big deal, aren’t we all alittle mad?” Perhaps this was the final straw in a simmer-
is morning, April 12th, Dhuni day and Rams Birthday, one ofBaba oldest by-
ers living at Meherabad, Sushila Deorukhkar, passed away in her sleep in her room at Meherabad. The old-timers will remember Sushila as Vishnu cousin, brought into Baba close contact from her school days by Vishnu. Later Baba-bovers will remember her as the gentle elderlywoman in a sari who lived in a mom near Meherabad Mandali Hall, just down the verandah from Mohammed the Mast. There is a touching aspect to Sushila passing: six years ago, she almost died of a heart
attack and was revived by CPR right in the middle of Baba 100th Birthday program at the Pilgrim Centre (the show went on, but it was a hard act to follow!!) So she lived for six
more years with us. Her passing away this time, much less dramatic and much more in character with her shy, unobtrusive self happened just in the way she would wish: in her small, sparse room at Meherabad as she was sleeping. She had been walkingjust the day before, collecting flowers to offer on Baba picture in the hall as she did every day. It was a passing to envy.
ing and stubborn dislike of the relatively new Western presence at Meherabad, but at any
Sushila never married, but in pursuance of her unfulfilled wish to become a doctor, she
rate, she packed her bags, paid her servant and left to stay with some friends in eastern Andhra
joined the Ahmednagar ayurvedic medical
Pradesh, near the Bay of Bengal. In a scenario
college in the late 1950s. At that time, Baba allowed her to stay at Meherabad, and she lived
almost out of the life of Hafiz, there was a big
here ever after along with Padri, Sidhu,
storm, hundreds of thousands died and much
Mansari, Jangle Master and family, and Gulu
of eastern Andhra was flooded by more than a 10 meter high tidal surge. However, her vil
andJalu, in the simplest fashion. She attended the Ahmednagar Baba Centre programs ev
lage was spared, though life was severely dis rupted. After some days ofbeing stranded, she returned to Meherabad, telling Erico that while she was there in the storm’s aftermath, she felt Baba show her that He wanted the Westerners in Meherabad, and that He wanted her there with them. So she came back. Although in her youth, she was very beauti ful, opinionated, stubborn and headstrong, from the time ofthe storm she became different in her attitude, not only opening her heart to the Western residents, and befriending many of us, but also becoming more tolerant
ery Saturday by Baba’s order, and she occa sionally was allowed to stay at Meherazad for
and flexible in general as she became older. A remarkable swim upstream against human nature, especially for someone in their 80s. We carried her body from Mandali Hall to the Amar Dham, herfuneral pyrelit about 11:30 am. I guess Ws the last burning which one goes through at Meherabad, and the door is now fi nally closed on that earlier chapter of giants.
a few days to help out when needed. For many years she also would come during the day to
Guruprasad, whenever He was in residence with the mandali there. Like Padri, Sushila carried that rich and simple fragrance of the past into the present era,
and continued to live the same style oflife after Baba dropped His body, going to the Samadhi every day, and then, as she grew too frail for that, taking special care ofMeherabad Mandali Hall. She was a feature ofthis bungalow, an old friend ofMo Mast and aloving and considerate neigh-
bor and “Baba-aunty” to those of us who lived around her. From a good Hindu family, she was
a marvelous cook, and we celebrated the Hindu holidays by eating special festival foods that she would lovingly makejust for the “kids”.
A few days before she died, someone re marked how very absorbed she seemed, as if the
was like a child, yet the depth of his auster ity was revealed after he died: it turned out
line in her between this world and the next were becoming finer—as ifshe would go to Baba soon. How fitting that again itwas on His Birthday (as
that the only things he owned were a few clothes, a few caps and two handfuls of odd notes and papers. Along with Sheriarji’s name, he also inherited a trace of Baba’s father’s detachment. Sheroo too lived a bit “in the world but not of it”, like a fakir.
Ram). Lying in state in the Hall in a simple
Maharastrian sari in front of Baba chair that she had decorated with flowers so often, she looked completely at peace and completely at home. Eruch, Meheru, Bal Natu and Aloha came from Meherazad to pay their respects to one of theirold companions inthelifewith the Beloved. Wewillmiss herand all she carriedwith her from
that time with Him. There have been three family goodbyes this millenium year: the first was to Babas nephew Sheroo, Sheriar Beheram Irani, son of Baba’s brother Beheram and his wife Perinmai, and brother to Gulnar and Rustom & Sohrab (the twins.) Visitors to Baba-House
in Poona will surely remember Sheroo at his “station”, his bed right by the door, where he would invariably sit, cigarette in hand, watching the world go by outside on the street. Sheroo was named Sheriar at birth as he was the first grandchild in the family, and Shireenmai wished him to be named after Sheriarji, Bab&s father. Like all the family,
Sheroo had a great amount of contact with Baba, especially in Guruprasad days when the family would visit Him daily during Baba
summer stay. Sheroo had a very childlike, al most mast-like nature, and Mani tells a wonderful story about her trying vainly to impress upon Sheroo the need for him to get a job. Baba caught her at it and scolded, “Nag, nag, nag. Why are you nagging him? Leave him alone. It not in his hand. I know his heart!” And the look oflove and appreciation on Babas face that accompanied His gestures made Mani feel the depth ofHis love and understanding for Sheroo. And made her feel also that Sheroo was something more thanjust childlike.
During one ofHis Guruprasad stays, Baba ordered Mani to teach Sheroo to sing Bhau long Hindi poem “TumhiTo Ho” (“You Alone
Exist”). She would meet Sheroo at a fixed time every day for their lesson, and periodically Baba would call Sheroo to sing to Him what he had learned. The mandali later joked that these sessions were a meditation on Baba for Sheroo and a meditation on patience for Mani. Sheroo’s lovely singing voice was enjoyed by Baba and, in later years, by Mehera, for whom he would sing each time the women mandali came to Poona. Sheroo was certainly extraordinary. Friend to every down-and-out he met in Poona, he had a loving and kind nature. He
Sheroo’s passing was as simple as he was:
he had been in poor health for several years and on March 1st, sitting in Baba-House in the morning with his mother Perinmai and a friend, he suddenly put his head down and was gone to Baba. It just so happened that Perinmai at that moment was reciting out loud the names of God. He was 64 years old. Dear Baba-House watchman, we’ll miss
was breathing his last. He was fully
conscious and told his wife that he was going to Avatar Meher Baba. He folded his hands and said Jai Baba 3 times and left his body in the saluting posture. Shri B. V. K. Rao was born in Orissa. His father worked as ‘Diwan’ under the Maharajah of the erstwhile State ofJeypore in Orissa. In his childhood he used to go to his school riding on an elephant. When his father died in the 1930s, he migrated to Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. He married Kanakalakshmi in 1939. His father-in-law, the late Shri Rentala Gangaraju was a spintually enlightened person. Two months af
ten marriage they moved to Mumbai. In the early ‘60s, he was staying in Panel
Village in Mumbai. He started a Baba Cen
In India they say that profound things happen in threes. A member of Baba’s wider
he and his wife Lakshmibai along with oth ers founded the Bombay Parel Baba centre. In the 1970s, he and Lakshmibai bought a house in the middle of Arangaon, a first for
tre in the name ofAvatan Meher Baba Panel Centre in his home after obtaining penmis sion from Baba Himself. He used to organise Baba programmes at different lo calities in Mumbai. During the summer time when Baba used to come and stay at Guruprasad in Pune, Mr. Rao and his wife used to go there on Sundays and have Danshan of Baba. They used to take many new people with them for Baba’s Darshan at theif
anyone from the outer Baba community, and
throughout the years that followed, opened their doors to Baba-lovers from all over India to come and stay. They not only gave
During one of the Birthday celebrations of Baba, Mr. Rao wanted to organise a procession through the streets of Mumbai, al though it was seemingly impossible. He therefore wrote to Baba about it. Baba re plied him that he should go ahead with organising the procession and He will be
family here to go to Him recently was B.V.K.
Rao, or RaoKaka, on April 2nd. Originally from Andhra, RaoKaka lived in Bombay for many years and, encouraged by Khorshed,
hospitality, but gave service also; despite his age, Raokaka often volunteered for duty at
Baba’s Samadhi, serving quietly and effi ciently. Laksmibai, and their niece Meher
Vani continue to serve Baba in many ways at Meherabad. A salute to these most fortunate three, who, as Eruch says, won the race to Him!
Such people in their last repose are really an advertisement for loving Him with all your heart to the end.
Avatar Meher Baba Parel Centre, Arangaon Village, April 10, 2000
ear brothers and sisters, I hereby in
form you that Shri B. V. K. Rao, Presi dent, Avatar Meher Baba Parel Centre, aged 83 years, has left his body and merged with Avatar Meher Baba on the night of 2nd
April, 2000 at 11. 16 p.m. due to partial heart attack. A unique thing had happened when he
with them. When the procession was started a dog came and joined the procession. It stayed throughout the procession. After Anti and after taking prasad it disappeared. Thus Baba had kept His word that He would be with them during the procession, in the form ofa dog. Mr. B. V. K. Rao worked tirelessly to spread the name of Avatar Meher Baba in
all possible ways. He served his Master till his last breath, dedicating his time, energy and resources and gained the Mastery in Servitude of Avatar Mehen Baba as well as His lovers and earned the grace of the Ava tar. He lived a simple life throughout. A rare and unique Baba-lover and a true
and a honest Baba worker who dedicated his entire life to the service of his Beloved Avatar Meher Baba and earned a perma nent place in the heart of the Avatar.
Yours sincerely, V. Sita Ramayya, Secre tary, Avatar Mehen Baba Panel Centre.
God Speaks in Mexico City By MineKo Mori, January 6-7, 2000
IAs we toidyou in ourJanuaryissue, Don Stevens was in LosAngeles topresenthis seminar on the book GodSpeaks. Thic was the 1/Vest Coaststop on his oundthe woridiecture serie havthgjustgiven onein MyrtieBeach—that beingprecededby the onein London. He tells us: “Mexico and Argentina were great experiments in my mind. I love the people there, and felt very strongly that I wanted to share the seminars with them, but was really unsure ofthe wisdom ofthis impulse. Both groups are very new and very few people in either group speak English and therefore have had almost no contact with Baba’s written works, let alone GodSpeaks. So, if I went ahead, would I be trying the impossible? To my utter astonishment, both groups reacted with the same deep concentration and fascination that had been characteristic of the much older and more experienced groups in London and the USA. This let me know in no uncertain terms that the Avatar knows exactly what He wants to do, so lees stop fussing around and having doubts!”!
onths before Don Stevens came to Mexico City to give an introductory GodSpeakssemiriar, RafaelVilafañe, our Baba group host, talked to us about Don (for those of us who were not familiar with him) and his seminar, and his work on the Spanish version of GodSpeaks. Rafael told us that Don would be in Mexico to talk to our group and cover parts of GodSpeaksand share his experiences with us, and strongly urged each one of us to attend the two meetings. Our group enthusi astically awaited Don arrival. Time went by quickly, it was already the beginning of a new year and the next thing we knew, Don was sitting in the meeting room. Next to him was Claude, his dear friend, who was always smiling and in a good mood! It was a cold night (for Mexico anyway), and the fireplace was going, providing a warm, cozy atmosphere for what was to be the first of two nights in Dons gracious company. All of us were pleasantly surprised upon first meeting Don his friendly nature, and his fervent pur pose ofworking with Baba words swept over us all, and we were ready to begin. -
Some of our group members speak English, and some have to struggle a bit with it, but that was no longer a problem, since Don began speaking in Spanish! We were all de lighted, and Don explained to us that he has been studying for the past few years to be able to communicate better with Spanish-speaking Baba lovers. If Don ever had a doubt about a word, someone would hastily translate, so it went along very smoothly. Don began by asking us, “What is reality?” After all kinds of responses from us, he put it quite simply: “God.” Then it seemed so obvious to us that of course, God is the only reality. That night and the next were dedicated to God Speaks, and what seemed to stand out were Don talks about: Love, obedience and surrender The importance of “working” with God Speaks—Babas words The three bricks of creation Sanskaras Atma/Paramatma Gods whim in wanting to consciously realize his divinity The infinite individualization of consciousness. We all listened in silence, trying our best to absorb everything. A question was put to Don about our evolution from stone/metal to plant to mammal. Don explained that it is not a coincidence that there is magnesium in chlo rophyll, found in the center ofplants, and also in our bone marrow—the very center of our physical structure. It was pure logic, and ev eryone was thrilled with this information. Don was concerned that many of us in the group who are new to Baba and His work, might find his seminar too much too soon, but to the contrary—judging from feed-back within the group, it was the perfect introduction to GodSpeaks and we didn’t want the last night to end! Don also shared some of his personal experiences with Baba, and told us about the first time he had met Baba, and a lot of other little stories that made us laugh and smile.
Another thing Don talked to us about was beingloving towards everyone (something that comes to him naturally—even to those who are difficult to love, since we should not judge a book by its cover. All in all, it was a very uplifting, positive experience for us, and as Don reminded us, we worked! We look forward to a return visit from Don, and also to GodSpeaks in Spanish (it should be in Mexico soon)—one of many instruments Baba has given to help us in our awakening. Don. next stop was Argentina whem he gave hissem/naratLa Flata Unfortunate/yhe has been
thsuthaperpetuaimodon thesepastfewyeai what with thesenthiarandthepubJis igoiMeherBaba Awakener of the Age, Ensenanzas de Meher Baba andlinally Dios Habla that there was no
timetogeta writeupabouttheArgentinastop. Howeverheemaiiedusaquicknoteaboutthelta/iansemi naix They wereheidin Fodresca, near I’nice. Don writes: “I have just returned from Italy where we had our sixth and final one ofthe planned God Speaks seminars. It was a wonderful time for me as I am very fond of the people I have gotten to know there. It was planned to be small, almost entirely for Silvana and Silvano Brunelli who are the heads of the group there, and several people whom I have come to know fairly well over the last several years. The oc casion was also the presentation of the just published Italian Discourses, translated over quite some years with great devotion by Valeria Violati, who was also on hand and did a lot of the translating.The hard bound book has been superbly produced by a printer who is part of the Italian group—Giorgio Mancini and his wife Simonetta. There were also several who came from Slovenia whom we have known for quite some time now. It was ajoy to see their eyes light up on many of the points that flow from Baba words. Elvira Basa was so enthused about the seminar, she and her husband came down, bringing their six month old baby with them!”
Summer Calendar of Events A vatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California SEPTEME.EF
JULY July 2, Sunday GonefishinYNo program this week due to Sahavas at Pilgrim Pines. July 5, Wednesday 7-10:00 Bbauc Farewell Talk Bhau’s visit sadly comes to an end. joyously. 7-8:00 reception 8-1O:OOpm talk . .
July 9, Sunday 2- 700 Post-Sahavas, Fost—Bbau, Pre-Silence Day, Put-The-Center-Back Together Party! After the sweet chaos of the last few weeks, we need to reorganize our Center. 2-4:00 work (in a fun way)
4-6:00 vidoes of Baba 6-7:00 worker dinner (provided by Center)
A ugust 6, Sunday 11 -1.00 Pancake Breakfast
September 3, Sunday 4- 6J10 Videos of the Great Laborer
Maple merriment! Everyone’s high carbo hydrate favorite is back. Slightly fattening, completely free. Debra, Mia, Lynn, Wendy, Rob, Radha, and Fritz will be flippin’ at the griddle. (Center closes at 3:00.)
On this Labor Day weekend, images of He who labors eternal. Hosted by filmwalla Charlie Morton who works hard, too.
A ugust 13, Sunday 4-6:00 Love Alone Prevails A special meeting on Baba’s dearest Kitty Davy, who spent two decades in Baba’s com pany and for many years co-directed the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. Hosted by Lois Jones.
A ugust 20, Sunday 4-6:00 Memories ofMani
The Center will be open for observing si lence, meditation, and communion.
We remember our dear friend, Baba’s sister and her glorious life oflove and service. Ten Adams, Billy Goodrum, Tamara Mark, and others who were present at her passing will participate. Hosted by Mahoo Ghorbani.
July 16, Sunday 12-5:00 Picnic at Meherabode
A ugust 27 Sunday 4-6:00 Discussion: Mystical Language
With Bastille Day behind us, we celebrate an afternoon of fun in the sun. There’ll be an outdoor stage for song and poetry. You bring your picnic basket; we provide the lem onade and the ants. (Center closes at 5:00.)
Talking about “Baba-talk.” Love, existence, breath, mind, word, God. There are ancient secrets in these words and Hillary Kapan will moderate an off-beat but fascinating discussion.
July 10, Monday 10pm -9:00 Silence Day
July 23, Sunday 4-6:00 Bill and Peggy Stevens are our special guests today. Long time Baba lovers, Bill is the author of “Souls on Fire” and “Footprints in the Sand.”
July 30, Sunday 4-6:00 The Good Ol’Basic Baba Meeting A day for everyone long timers and first timers. Films of Baba, readings, Baba sto ries, Mandali memories, personal sharing, music. and cookies. A great day to invite your friends who’ve said, “Maybe I’ll come to a meeting sometime.” Hosted by Radha Delamarter and Charlie Morton. —
September 10, Sunday 4-6:00 Gutta Day The old favorite. Share fun, friendship and food in the intimate company of your Baba buddies. These spirited happenings are hosted as always by the inimitable Fred Stankus and Gigi Dniessen.
September 17 Sunday 4-6:00 The Wayfaring ofSam and Margaret Ervin Sam was the lucky winner of our Aroundr the-World Sweepstakes. He and Margaret will share their many experiences from the Baba Centers and places of significance the’y visited.
September 24, Sunday 4-6:00 Arts Festival The annual A.M.B.C. of S.C. festival of creation. Artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, poets. to participate call Richard Stermer at 310-367-6521. . .
All events unless otherwise noted are held at the Centei 1214 S. VAN NESS AVE.
Ios ANGELES, CA 90019 (323)731-3737
Meetings are free andopen to the public. Have ideas forfutureprograms? ContactNancyMerwan at (323) 650-5481.
Farsi Meetings IIeld on Sundays from 2-3:30: July 16, 30; Aug 13, 27; Sept 10, 24. All meetings are dedicated to discussion of Meher Baba. Coordinated by Mahmoud Ajang. On Sunday JziectiIw da s, the Center is open fivin 3- 7pm. i-lrd is held in Babai ivom in the Dome at 3.30.
Teens/Kids The Teen Room and Children’s Room are open during meeting times.
11 —Avatar Meher Baba Loveless life is most unlovely; only a life of love is worth living.
This Supreme Privilege Joseph and Karl Harb by Dick Duman, Colorado
Dick Duman with Kari andJoseph Harb
31, 1969, my wife Julie and I had company in our little apartment QnJanuary in Lafayette, California. Robbie Basho had come for lunch and to rehearse. It was al ways a rare and treasured opportunity whenever Robbie picked up a guitar. The phone rang; it was Bernie Schwartz. He told me he had just heard that Meher Baba had “temporarily dropped his body.” Without telling Julie or Robbie, I im mediately called Murshida Duce. “Yes, it’s true, my dear, He’s gone. she said with a great sigh. Then I told them. We looked at each other, dumbstruck. What to do? We all knew exactly what to do. Julie bundled our infant up and we drove west to Orinda, to the Harb’s house—”Baba’s Manzil. We hadn’t called, but Joseph was waiting for us in his driveway. He was smiling broadly, cheerfully. He was relaxed, warm and wel coming. “Haven’t you heard?” I asked him. “of course I have, Darling!” Joseph re plied, “Adi Jr. called—so did Meherjee; Baba’s body was all used up, like a squeezed lemon. So what? He was notjust the body! Now we have to get busy—you go to the “
grocery, here’s a list, we’re going to have a full house today!” And so we did. There was no better place in the world to be that day for any of us. And Robbie played as beauti fully that afternoon as he did three months later, in April, at the Great Darshan. J oseph and Kari Harb were aboard the Sufi charter flight to the Great Darshan at Guruprasad in Poona in April of 1969. For most of Baba’s devotees on that pilgrimage, it was a first opportunity to see and experi ence everything they would discover there. But for the Harbs it was a rare opportunity to return, if only for one glorious summer, to the life they had lived with Baba as resi dents in Poona from 1959 until 1961, at Baba’s express invitation. It was the Mandali who, in 1969, re quested that Joseph and Karl remain for the whole summer, as the ideal liaison for all the westerners. Eruch, then Mani and Adi K. asked them to stay, but they needed little convincing. It was just what they’d hoped for. J oseph Hamad Harb was born on Feb ruary 14, Valentin&s Day, 1894, In the Leba
nese Druze village, Ayn Zhalteh. The Druze are Moslems but their beliefs are less orthodox and more Mystic. Their population historically centered on Jebel Hauran in Syria. Though tiny in population, this com munity has a disproportionately large num ber of Baba devotees. Joseph often said they were somewhat like the Sikhs, though totally unrelated, in that they were fearless in combat because they understood reincarna tion. He was familiar with great Druze heroes like Sultan Pasha Atrash, and Emirs Djumblat and Arislan. And Joseph was a war hero himself, having served in WWI where he took shrapnel and was perma nently disabled. Baba paired him with the J ewish chiropractor, Ben Hayman, and called them his “Ben-Jo” in the ‘50s and ‘60s. On one occasion Ben and Joseph assisted Baba in washing the poor and giving prasad of money. Before Joseph’s life with Meher Baba, he was a close friend with the very highly esteemed and then popular Sikh “meta physical lecturer,” Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind. Dr. Thind, Manly Palmer Hall and Joseph regularly succeeded one another on a lec ture circuit up and down the US West Coast which included, in San Francisco, Fritzie Armstrong’s Metaphysical Town Hall & Bookshop. It was there that Joseph encountered the books of Hazrat Inayat Khan. “This man is speaking to me!” he exclaimed. And shortly thereafter The Discourses in five volumes, edited by Chakradhar Deshmukh, found their way to Fritzie’s shop—she held them to give Joseph “right of first refusal” and he snapped them up instantly. Then Murshida Duce appeared in the Bay Area. Joseph was eager to meet Inayat Khan’s representative. Fritzie arranged a meeting, and Murshida offered to initiate Joseph, but he demurred. He had, he explained, had his fill of organi zations and doctrines. “All I want now is to meet the Perfect Master” he told her frankly. “Mr. Harb” said Murshida, “Youjoin the Sufis and I’ll introduce you to the Perfect Master. “Mrs. Duce” Joseph immediately responded, “You’ve got yourself a deal!” And “
so she had. Karl was one of Joseph’s stu dents. They then met Meher Baba in NYC in 1952. In the 50s and 60s, astrology was an active and prominent feature of Bay Area Sufi life. Murshida Duce had studied it with Mrs. Ahlstrand, and Joseph had made his own independent study. And so, during his first meeting with Baba, Joseph brought up the fact that Baba was Pisces Sun/Aquarius Moon while Joseph was Aquarius Sun/Pi sces Moon. “Yes” Baba responded, putting his index fingertips together, “We have been going like this for ages!” J oseph was among the 10 Western men whom Baba invited to Meherabad to take part in The Three Incredible eks in Sep tember from the 1 ith to the 30th, 1954. He says: I cannot and shall not ever forget the first time He embraced me within His bying arms. It was a most unforgettable feeling—so comforting, so peaceful, so delightful, and my gratitude for this supreme privilege was of such indescribable feeling that the tears welledup and overflowed with joy and happiness. Divine consciousness is ever flowing through Him but with such delightful sim plicity that it would not overwhelm a child, and yet it is beyond the deepest mind to fathom it. A living Avatar is Self-realized from un conscious divinity to conscious divinity; functioning in all planes of existence, with all the directness and accuracy in full har mony of divine law and love; manifesting a dynamic force in all his activities, having the power of eternal Truth. He is a complete blending of God and man states. This is Baba, the Highest of the High.” During a visit to Godavari Mai at Upasni Maharaj’s Sakori ashram, Joseph was photographed with Baba and Godavari, but he proved to be one of Baba’s splendid pho tographers himself. He wasjustifiably proud of his work during the 1962 East-West Gathering, but his favorite, and the Mandali’s favorite, is the one he made at Myrtle Beach, which Don Stevens has used on the cover of his new biography Meher “
Baba A wakener ofthe Age. The Harbs were invited by Baba to re locate to Poona in the 60s, where they built a house, designed by Mr. Bhode, who also did construction work on Upasni Maharaj’s Sakori ashram, and this house was later oc cupied by Meherjee and his family. Joseph had taken his car to India and the Harbs were called by Baba very frequently to
Meherazad. Joseph became very close friends with Meherjee, and Kari’s pal and confidante was Mani, with whom she shared a naughty sense of humor. They became friends with Shantadevi, Maharani of Baroda, whose Poona bungalow was Guruprasad. Baba got the Harbs involved with the project in Poona of founding and constructing Ramakrishnan’s Poona Baba Center, for which Baba toldJoseph to break the ground. It was symbolic, Baba said, of East-West cooperation. At the Center’s Opening Cer emony, Baba designated Joseph as the keynote speaker. Both of the Harbs had serious health problems in India, including a gall bladder operation for which Baba fixed the time of the operation. A nurse expressed surprise: “What an ungodly hour. No, you’re wrong Lady, it’s a very godly hour” responded Joseph, as he slipped under the anesthetic. Astonishingly, Baba visited Joseph in the hospital with Meherjee, and Baba told Joseph: “You forgot to take my name at your last moment. I brought you back from the brink!” Then Baba remarked, “You have nine lives, Joseph. We’ve used up five or six of them, Baba,” replied Joseph, “how should we spend up the rest of them?” Shortly thereafter Baba told them they had resolved 2000 years worth ofkarma dur ing their stay in Poona, but they would have to return to the US. Kari had been just as sick, and told stories of giving up, refusing to eat, preferring to die. But Baba sent Aloba. He told her wonderful stories, and when herjaw dropped open, spooned in Jelbo or broth. In this way, Karl said, Baba used Aloba to save her life. I met Joseph and Kari in July, 1966, and they became my best friends until (and beyond) their deaths in the 70s. We rarely missed a Sunday with them at “Baba’s Manzil” and often drove with them into San Francisco on Fridays for the Sufi meetings. It was my supreme privilege to keep their company for so long. Kari was reticent about her background, except when it came to her life with Baba and with Joseph. She was genuinely seif-ef facing; in such an unostentatious way that she was often teased for being a “typical mysterious Scorpio. She generally agreed with Joseph on most matters and kept quiet, letting Joseph radiate his considerable light, however she was not a bit shy to speak out eloquently when she had another view of the matter. But Kari definitely preferred to “
stay in the background. Kari and I shared a deep admiration for Don Stevens, which persisted until her death in the 70s, and most probably beyond. There are too many sto ries to tell, too many appreciations to make in this brief account, but I would be remiss if I neglected to tell this strange and enig matic story. We met the Harbs on July 8, 1966, the day Murshida Duce gave my wife Julie the gift of a very special ring. The fol lowing day we were invited to spend with the Harbs, viewing slides and movies Joseph had made of Baba and eating up the very last of the quince preserves he had brought back from his home village in Lebanon. Julie was at that time pregnant with Mehera, who would be born the day before Joseph’s birthday the following year. Murshida gave her a ring with a Baba photo and a cabochon of plastic over it, made of pot metal. Baba had blessed it personally. Julie was deeply impressed with this gift and the ring became her prized possession. I took it to a fine goldsmith and had him reset the photo and plastic cabochon in 14Karat white gold, with sapphires and emer aids. She wore it constantly. Then sometime later she came to me to share some bad news. The ring was missing; she had turned our little place upside down and shook it force— fully, but no ring rolled out. She was very reluctant to tell Murshida, or anybody else. But she had virtually given up the prospect of seeing it ever again. What to do? In those days my motto was when in doubt, ask Joseph and Kari. So, off we went to Orinda. Julie told her story tearfully. Karl, never subservient but always preferring to be in the background, said nothing, but smiled knowingly, and nodded to Joseph. Joseph listened thoughtfully to Julie’s ac count. He was quiet for some time. Then he asked Julie “By the way, have you looked under your pillow?” She told Joseph she had changed the bedding totally several times since she first noticed the ring was lost. “Oh. I see. said Joseph, who was again silent for a time. “Still, you really should go home and look for it under your pillow” and there the subject ended. When we got home, the first thing Julie did, of course, was to go directly to the bedroom and thrust her hand under the pillow. When she brought her hand back out, the blessed Baba ring Murshida had given her was there, right in her hand. “
Will You Break Your Silence? lence Will
You break Your si during this trip to the
West, Baba? On April 25 1952, during Meher Baba’s first visit to the Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach, He was asked this question. He gave the following answer: God has been everlastingly working in silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those who experience His Infinite Silence. If My silence cannot speak, of what avail would be speeches made by the tongue? The very moment when He thinks My speaking would be heard universally, God will make Me break My silence.” From LordMeher frblume 11/12, Bhau Kaichuri, Copyright Manifestation Inc. and AMBPPCT.
it was I who did most of the talking at the conference. Shankaracharya could not hold a word before me.” Baba smiled and dictated, “Yes, they are great talkers. They talk and talk. The clergyman became irritated, “I am telling you it was I who was giving the greatest talks there. I talked the whole time. Nobody dared to speak a word before me.” Baba again smiled and repeated, “Yes, they all are great talkers. they talk and talk and talk.” The clergyman became extremely ir ritated and spoke out saying, “Why don’t you talk? Why are you using that alphabet board?” Baba’s mood changed and he beA came serious, dictating, “Because I speak through you all! That is why I do I not talk!” The poor man felt confused and inquired, “What do you mean by this? I do not understand you.” And Baba seriously dictated, “You do not understand because you go to Rome. I know because I am always at home.” The five minutes were up and the clergyman left in dismay since there was noth ing else he could say. Meher Baba used the word “Rome” to describe clinging to religious ceremony, ritual and dogma. Those who cling to re ligion feel content to chew the bone, but do not try to taste the marrow within the bone. For them God is only in external religion. Their conviction of this is so fixed that they cannot see beyond the dry bones of rituals, ceremonies and dogmas. Meher Baba used the word home” for the eternal abode of God—the heart. When one reaches this abode, it is after the self has been burned up in the fire of divine love. Only then is the heart pure enough for God to live there. From A vatar ofthe Age Manifestingby Bhau Kaichuri Copyright 1985 Lawrence Reiter . .
“Why I Do Not Talk” Bhau Kaichuri
eligion is a prison made with bars of rituals and ceremonies, and these prison bars have to be broken to face the Reality of God. Man has to become more mindful of God, and internally remem ber his Reality to transcend external reli gion. In 1937, Meher Baba was staying at Nasik, India, with both his Western and Eastern mandali disciples. At that time, there was a large religious conference of all faiths; leaders of each religion attended this conference. After the conference was over, one Christian clergyman approached Malcolm Schloss. Malcolm conversed with him about spiritual subjects and the clergyman expressed his wish to see Meher Baba for himself. Malcolm promised to see what he could arrange.
Malcolm approached Baba and re quested him to allow the clergyman to see him, but Baba said, “Why do you want me to see him? Just tell him about me and my message and then let him go.” The clergyman was not satisfied with this and Malcolm appealed again to Baba, urging him to see the man. Baba consented, but to see him only for five mmutes. Malcolm brought the clergyman to Baba, and Baba dictated, “I am happy to meet you. You are a good soul.” The clergyman was happy with Baba’s words and Baba inquired, How was the conference?” The clergyman replied, “It was very successful.” Baba then dictated, “Shankaracharya (the head of the Hindu religion) is a good man. The Maulvis (the head priests of Islam) are good men. But they all talk and talk and talk.” The clergyman immediately interjected, “It was not Shank-aracharya, but “
“Baba’s Garden of Love” Auction Fund-raiser May 6, 2000 —
he major fund-raising event of the year for Meherabode was, as usual, a great success! The afternoon got off to a great start with something that was new to most people present a Maypole dance. Everyone had a marvelous time the Dinner was scrumptious, the Silent Auction had loads of wonderful treasures to be picked up at a great price, and the after-dinner Live Auction was a most exciting event! The committee—Cookie Reindeau, Rosie Choi, Mahoo Ghorbani, Karma Page and Linda Zavala worked for 4 months to put this event together. Their love and hard work showed! We thank the many people who so lovingly donated their Baba treasures to be auctioned. Also donated was the delicious dinner and desert. The main item of the evening drew some spirited bidding! It was a copy of Francis Brabazon’s Stay With God signed not only by the author but by Baba Himself. It finally went for
$ 1 1 ,000. We thank Don Stevens for the donation of this book who requested that the funds be directed to our Renovation Project. Another $11,800 raised goes to the Operating Costs. The beautiful solid gold Mastery in Servitude necklace donated by Dick Duman fetched a very nice $1,200 which he requested be put in the Love Street LampPost fund. The imaginative decorations the committee created for us will stay really beautifying our Center. Thank you to all involved! -
Who says auctioning can be beautiful? v Ward and RaphaelRuddstrike aparticularly artisticpose. .
The Glorious Maypole
Meher Baba’s Universal Message New York World’s Fair—1964
in January, 1963, while I was visit-
Kitty Davy, Myrtle Beach
Early ing Jane Barry in her New York home,
she spoke to me of a thought that had sud denly come to her: to have Meher Baba’s plctures and literature in some way visibly represented at the World Fair that was to open in New York. Earlier she had been reading in the Awak ener magazine the account of how two of Baba followers in India had secured a booth at the New Delhi Fair. Why nothave Meher Baba represented at the New York World’s Fair?! Various religions would be represented— so must be the ‘leader’ of them all. Thus began the dream which many months later became a reality. That day, lis tening to the idea, I felt aglow with that im pulsiveness that one feels the moment there is work to do for Baba. I broached the matter to SarOsh Irani in Ahmednagar. After three weeks the reply came through Baba disciplesecretary, Adi K. Irani, that the project of representing His Cause in the Western section of the World’s Fair appealed to all at Meher azad and was approved by Baba. This was sufficient—Baba permission to start working on the project.Jane began by contacting the vice-president and other officials of the Fair, alwayswiththeemphasison MeherBaba and His Message ofLove and Truth. Progress was reported to AdI Sr. who re plied to Jane on February 19 1963: “Baba wants you to know He is very pleased with your efforts to secure some little space for Him in the New York World Fair. If you do not succeed in getting one, Baba does not want you to feel disappointed, for you already have a corner in His heart. Baba sends His Love to you and to His dear Trio.” The response to this cable was indeed heartwarming. Love gifts came from all parts ofthe country from those who loved Baba ac companied by loving wishes. Almost one year before the Fair was to open the location of the space was settled. After several Pavilions were considered, the final choice fell on the Pavil ion ofAmerican Interiors. Why? For one rea son: Mr. Elton the owner and builder of the Pavilion, wanted us there. He wrote: “I am very interested in the kind ofexhibit you propose.” Jane had always felt that the right spot would be indicated by Baba. Eventually, Mr. Elton
TELL IVY I AM HAPPY OVER SUF ISM REORIENTED COOPERATION BABA. On March 7 Jane received a further cable from Baba saying: YOUR LETTER OF 25TH FEBRU ARY TO ADI WITH ALL ENCLO SURES MADE ME HAPPY STOP I WOULD WANT THOSE LOVERS IN AMERICA WHO CAN AFFORD TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE COST OF THIS PROJECT TO DO SO AND THUS SPREAD MY DIVINE MESSAGE OF LOVE AND TRUTH THROUGH THE WORLDS FAIR STOP YOU SHOULD CIRCULATE THIS CABLE TO THE AMERICAN LOVERS CONCERNED—MEHER BABA. The main purpose of Baba “corner” was to spread Baba’s Message of Love and Truth; this was carried out by giving “Meher Baba’s Universal Message” free to visitors and haying them see the enlarged photographs showing His life and work as well as the books by and about Meher Baba. The central picture was the unanimous choice ofthe Mandali with Baba. It was made from a color slide taken byJoseph Harb at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The negative of Baba’s figure was as small as one’s thumbnail; it seemed an —
gave an additional fifty square feet of space to the one hundred square feet purchased; he also contributed to the unique design for Baba corner which was executed by the eminent American designer Paul McCobb. “Baba wants you NOT to form any com mittee for the project....He wants you to do your best with the help of Ned and Dorothea Foote and Don Stevens,leaving the result entirely in His hands, knowing full well that He will get things done as He wants.” Joulia Nicolaou in Florida received a cable in which Baba asked her to come up from Florida to help in any way. All were told to take the work as important in Baba Cause. To Jane, with her unbounded zeal for Baba work, the project now became aroundthe-clock work: for one finds in work for Baba that the creative spirit never sleeps—suggesting, advising, improving along the way. Before signing up for any space in one of the Pavifions, there had to be some banking and ac counting arrangement. Ivy Duce, president of Sufism Reoriented, with the concurrence of the board ofdirectors, adopted the project. Baba was informed and a cable dated March 13 was re ceived with this message:
impossible task to enlarge this to the needed
three-by-four-foot portrait. But Jane had a cable from India that said: TRY. She showed the cable to the young Scotsman who was to make the elargement: he tried and was himself astonished at the result. It was very beautiful! To keep accurate records of books at the Fair good assistance was needed. Marion Florsheim was named treasurer for the project and Enid Corfe accepted full-time responsi bility for records of book sales and orders. There remained the creation of the folder of “Meher Baba Universal Message” to be done which Baba wished to be given free to all visi tors to the corner. This was worked on at Myrtle Beach; selections were chosen and sent to India. Changes were made, the biographi cal sketch rewritten, and most important, a special Message was given by Baba: WHEN MIND SOARS IN PURSUIT OF THE THINGS CONCEIVED IN SPACE, IT
The True Teacher by Francis Brabazon; PURSUES EMPTINESS; BUT WHEN cards bearing Sahavas sayings; The Seven MAN DIVES DEEP WITHIN HIMSELF FULLNESS ES THE Realities; printed folders bearing the quoEXPERIENC HE tation, To penetrate the essence” from OF EXISTENCE—MEHER BABA Baba’s discourse on Divine Love. and a few The picture chosen by Baba for the folder India. One from booklets on Love. All of these had been pre sent was which the one was in printed were sented with love and through the gift of folders million of a quarter Warren Healy’s own printing. Charleston, South Carolina. Ultimately Baba Baba said from the beginning: “I will do cabled: was message my work in my own way at the Fair.” FOLDER PERFECT BABA HAPPY A dear couple among Baba’s workers, SENDS LOVE. inside the edifice, and Ella Winterfeldt, were wondering Fred by piece piece so, And of the they would answer most questions. out Then how existence. just into came and out, read that delightful story Eliza— recently and to Jane Having cable beautiful a blue came Awakener, they jokingly all: The to in circulated Kaka be of York, to beth in New be good for them to sit LOV might MY it OF thought LOVE THE IS BLESSED think of Baba when and HAS eyes THAT closed with AMERICA ERS IN asking questions people YORK by NEW approached THE ADORNED never be able to would they BABAS felt they MEHER which WITH FAIR WORLDS this re received they this, I SEND STOP Relating answer. L MESSAGE UNIVERSA you when smiled “Baba MY ALL Mani: TO from LOVE ply OF MY BLESSING is Love His says Baba Kaka. WHO about WORKERS quoted LOVERS AND about all nervous at be WILL don’t so AND WHO you, with MADE IT POSSIBLE questions you might be asked. Your love for STAFF THE SPACE FOR DURATION ER BABA. Him will speak for itselfand answer all ques OF THE FAIR—MEH delayed Pavilion was tions. So, dears, with His Name on your lips of The opening the loving 1964. Baba 8, and His Love in your hearts all will be fine.” from April 22 to May of a instead ajoy Many workers at the booth have told the weeks cable made the trying the building! story: the great attraction some visitors same trial, for all was chaos at Babas picture (the large colored writing am “I towards wrote: felt On May 2, Elizabeth would suddenly stop dead as tile They an acoustical on picture). sitting this on the third floor pause before asking who He and Message passed, Universal they box opposite Meher Baba hearing His Name, would eight, after six or even and about was al space...Sever other pavilions, A few might spellbound. unusually been has remain are not fInished; the weather to sufficient folder, “One 7: the May on refuse wet and cold for weeks And that of memory ex the Norirns like them was day before opening; one feels unique person. His name could pression, A cow looking in front ofa mountain!’ be clearly seen under the portrait, How will we ever be ready!’ were pictures on a beautiful bronze plaque On May 8, at 4 am. the last portrait bearing the words MEHER placed...the special lighting for Babas cabinet table BABA. was installed and focused; the Visitors came from many secured with its treasures; the bookcases the at parts of the world: Guatemala, sealed—and at 9 a.m. Baba “corner” UNI Finland, Czechoslovakia, World’s Fair, called MEHER BABA’S Mexico, Trinidad, Japan, EnVERSAL MESSAGE, was opened. Spain, France, gland, Meanwhile a loving message had come Zanzibar, osa, Majorca,Form from Mani and the close ones at Meherazad Alaska, Canada, Greece, India, about the design for the interior of Baba’s “cor Pakistan, etc. One can truly say ner” : “We are in love with it! We have no sug that from Baba’s “corner, His gestions for any alterations.” Message has gone all over the Among the first passers-by was a Lutheran world! pasto?s wife who came and sat in the booth, How great was the signifi read the folder carefully, and said she liked cance of the little corner devoted many parts of it. She bought God to Man and to Meher Baba the Avatar, who Man to God and came back several times, . is the pivot around which everybringing with her others ofher denomination thing in Creation revolves! She felt something of Baba Love. Baba has said: “As the Cen Besides Meher Baba Universal Message, ter, each movement of mine is to be given free, were The New Humanity; “
unlimited in its action and reaction, expres sion and result.” Being the Creator of every-
thing, everything on every plane is equidistant from Him. Thus we felt that the Meher Baba booth, situated in an inconspicuous corner amidst the
grandeur of the World Faii was the focal point from which radiated God’s Universal Messsage and Love. It is important to catch the eye of the passer-by at the right moment.Joulia told me that she had not felt sure at first whether or not to hand out the Message. Then came the inner answer: “Hand it out!” We should not be shy or mind a rebuff; after all, we were not
the ones to know who is or who is not ready! We must let all hear Baba Name aloud for the impact it makes; hence better to offer the Message with a smile, than sit back and let people take it only if they felt like doing so. This account, by one who was there for ten weeks, gives but a glimpse of Baba’s “cor ner” and of some of the people whom it touched. To sum up, I can do no better than quote from Manes letter (written on the opening of the New York World’s Fair, April 22,
1964): “As one small candle may light a thori sand, may their love light the hearts of those who visit this little corner at the World’s Fair; the corner that holds the eternal message of Love and Truth from the Ancient One.”
Announcements Welcome to His World! Ryan Mathew Mendoza, 9lbs 2 oz, 21, May 28th 7:49 a.m. born to Terry (Dinas daughter) and Michael. Ryan joins his 22 month old sister Nicole and allare doing wonderfully. Dma is very happy he wasn’t born a week earlier when she was working on this issue (and so is the staff)! .
From The Trust r Office Pilgrim
Reservations (for making reser vations at the Meher Pilgrim Centre. Mehera bad) may be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please sendyour reservationrequestsno more than sixweeks in advance.Itmaytake a few days for a reply to be sent to you by email. Please inckideyoursnail mail address. Pilgrims will be asked to reimburse for any expense coimected with receiving/sending these emails, once they reach Ahmednagar. - A Reminder:This emailaddress is for P11grim Reservations Office work only. Please send other messages to the appropriate addresses. Once you reach Ahmednagar, there are now a number ofcommercial “cyber cafes” where you can send and receive personal email and access the internet. Pilgrim Reservation Office Avatar Meher Baba Trust Post Bag 31 Kings Road Ahmednagar, MS 414001 INDIA (91)-24I-341821 phone & fax -
Meherazad Schedule Change Meherazad Mandali wish to inform Bes lovers around the world of a 1 loved Baba schedule change this Pilgrim Season at Meherazad. Because ofour increasing age and decreasing physical capacity, we find it neces sary to keep Meherazad closed to visitors on Saturdays startingJuly 1st, 2000. During the season you are welcome to visit Meherazad according to the following schedule: Depart Arrive Sunday 10:45 a.m. 12:30 p.m. CLOSED Monday 11:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m. Tuesday CLOSED Wednesday --
11:00 am 1:30 p.m. CLOSED — CLOSED
We ask that you abide by this schedule (especially those travelling in their own yehides) arriving no earlier and departing no later than the timings listed above.
An Update on The Meher Baba CDROM We’re getting close to going into produc tion ofthe first version ofthe CD. which was thejointproject ofmany people on the Meher Baba Listserv starting about three years ago. It involved volunteers either typing (keying in) or scanning every page of the following books a mighty task! The first version ofthe CD is (today) envisioned to contain the following books: 1. God Speaks 2. The Discourses 3. The Everything and the Nothing 4. Beams from Meher Baba 5. Life at Its Best 6. Listen, Humanity 7. The Intro to The Wayfarers 8. The Path of Love 9. Meher Baba, The Awakener 10. The NarrowLane 1 1. Sparks of The Truth 12. The God-Man The CD will sell for a very reasonable price ($25-30 hopefully) with all proceeds being donated to the AMBPPC Trust. It wiibe cross-platform for both IBM and MAC computers. It will allow text-based searches of the entire list of included books and it will allow the user to choose specific books to search. Current projection is that it will be available somewhere around the Fall. -
Audio Tape Lending Library Do you ever find yourself in a dry spell’ spiritually? Are you bored listening to the same old negative news. weather and traffic reports on your way to work? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings? Well, the audio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba.
We have over 150 titlesjust waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsus pecting treasures to behold! Don’t waste your time on this tired old world. any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. Lynne Berry official tape walli) is ready to assist you. For catalog or info write to: AMBC Lending Audio Library do Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626?6 173 .
A Note From Our Trustwalli by Lynne Berry If you’ve been thinking that some time you’d like to make a love donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a firstrate school, provides medical care for viilagers and maintains Bab&s Tombshrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the Trust whose living expenses are coyered by donations from Baba lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust charitable and outreacli projects are seen to by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assis tance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost of materi als and labor is on the rise also. Love?donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so mucli to all of us. If this appeals to you. please make your check payable to Friends of Metier Baba Trust, and send it to: Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6 173 -
Spiritual Workers The only reason I call upon every mdividual to work for N’Ie is to make each one share the Divine Cause. So if you are prepared to share My Uni versal Work, the work must be done one hundred per cent honestly, and that work is to spread My Message of Love... Spliftual I Ii1’Jo’rs are necessarilyconfivnted
r Ith 1fl7flT obstacles.’ but obctackc are meant to be oi ri’con]o. E vii ifinsupomble, dovur best, I
irrespective ofasults and consequences.
May 10, 1952: Fills Frederick Meets Baba hirteen years ago, on March 19, 1987, Fiis Frederick passed peacefully to Baba, beginning what she called her “grand adven ture.” Of her, Meher Baba once said, “Fills is wonderful. Here is an account of Fills’ first meeting ofBaba at the Meher Center, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 10, 1952. Fills writes: “As we got closer and closer to the Center, it was like coming closer and closer to the cen ter ofthe universe. It was like being on a space-
ones. I love you because you love Me so much.’ After 15 minutes, Baba called in Filis’ “twin”, Adele Wolkin, age 34, “She has eyes
like Babajan,” He remarked, “very large, greyblue eyes.” He spelled out to them both: “I have heard so much about you both. I feel so happy that at last I have seen you. Are you not
nervous?” “No,” they said.
light-years, finally coming to the end of your journey. I felt like that. Fred slowed down the car just as we drove past the gate of Meher Center, and a breeze of love came out of it and enveloped me. “At the hotel, Elizabeth phoned confirming that we were to come at nine o’clock the
ill.’ “As soon as I said it, I felt, ‘No! He looks beautiful.’ Eyes like black diamonds looked lovingly into mine. I felt my heart overflow with His love. He seemed so familiar, so inti
mate, so close. ‘I heard about you from Norma, Elizabeth, Donkfri and Margaret,’ Baba stated,
‘and I heard you from within. When I see such souls who love Me, I feel happy and strong. People like Fills are intimate
you love Me?”
“Yes.” “Do you know where that love is coming from? When you love Baba, Gods love means everything.”
Fills later recollected, “At that moment, I felt the circulation of love from His heart to our hearts, back to His, so strongly, never again could I say, ‘I love God.’ That love is His gift.
ship, and after traveling eighteen million
next morning. ‘Baba is waiting for you,’ she said. I almost dropped the phone. It seemed incredible to me. He’s waiting for me? I had written to Kitty and found out Babaliked blue, so I was making a blue dress to see Baba in.” Darwin Shaw drove Filis, Adele and John Bass to the Center on the morning of May 10th. They had been waiting nine long years for this moment. Fills described that first meeting: “It was 9:30 AM. when Delia, standing on the steps of the Lagoon Cabin, said, ‘Meher Baba, this is Fills Frederick.’ How would Baba look? I did not know. I thought of Jesus, but at my first glimpse of Baba the thought flashed in my head, He looks Egyptian! The long eyebrows, dark almond eyes, the golden skin. He embraced me, and my heart beat fast: ‘He is mine, He is mine. He gestured to a chair beside Him. Baba asked through Adi, ‘How do I look?’ I said to Adi (because someone had misinformed me we could not speak directly to Baba in the New Life), ‘He looks
greatest of the great. But it has to be in all honesty, in all truth. So, let us love, love, love; all else is illusion. So, Adele and Filis, what more can you do if you really love Me? Do
To say it is mine would be like a drop of dew saying ‘I am the sun’ when it sparkles.” The next morning, May 11th, Baba al
lowed a few of His lovers private interviews in the Lagoon Cabin. He even sent Adi outside, who was reading the alphabet board. Filis
recalled her interview at 9:45 A.M. as follows: “I was alone with God! And I felt veiy shy, but happy. I was overcome by His beauty.
He spelled slowly on the board, “Any ques— tions?” and I shook my head. But of course, a deep question welled up within my heart: Why all that suffering? Why did I go through all that I did?
“Baba silently answered me. He took my hand. It was like holding a child’s hand, or a rose; the flesh was pure, almost transparent. I
“I am overjoyed. Are you happy?” “Very happy.” “No more happy than I am in seeing you. When you know Me, you will love Me like a
could feel His blood going through me—like a blood transfusion—and I felt His suffering. “He took my wrist in His hand, and I felt
a mystical sense of sharing His suffering, He
little child. I am a child—grown up. I love humor, I love to tease and work hard here, and at various places, while talking to you now. And
sharing mine. It was a wordless answer.
when you love me with pure, simple love, there
to the end.’
should be no barrier. Love, pure and simple,
“And Baba nodded in reply, ‘I’ll be with you to the very end. He called Adi back in the room with a clap. Then He spelled
then all doubts will vanish until the mind gets
tempted to doubt. Even if love is there, the
“Then I silently said to Him, ‘Baba, I al ways wanted you for my Master—all the way
mind goes on working. But love does not bother; it loses its all in the Beloved. Do you love Baba honestly?” “Yes, Baba!” they replied. “What can I do for you?” asked Adele. “What more can you do for the Beloved?
out on the board, ‘One who asks for noth
I want love, nothing else. Love me, and let God love us. That is what I want. When you
Because I love Me.” From LORDMEHEI Volume 11/12 Copyright Manifestation and AMBPPCT
love Baba, God will love you, and Gods bying means everything. So, Baba is very happy.
ing, gets everything. Again He spoke of love for God as the only thing that is real, and ended by saying, ‘Your love for Me is so genuine, real and pure that I am deeply ‘
touched. Do you know why you love Me?
One who is the humblest ofthe humble is the 19
Seeking Baba’s Fragrance in Italy Patrick D. Cook, Minnesota
October of 1998, my wife Sandy Schwanz and I made a “pilgrimage” fsorts, to some ofthe sites that Meher Baba and His disciples visited in Italy [n the 1930’s. Ever since first reading thout St. Francis in the Baba literature, [ have been enamoured with this sweet Lover of His. And, of course, Jean Adriel’s account of the stay with Baba Dn the coast of Italy as recorded in her book The A vatai has to rank amongst the top Avataric romantic adventures of all time. Our trip included Venice and the trip to St. Mark’s, Rome and the Vatican, the now famous St. Francis Cave that Baba stayed in as recorded in the God Man, Mount La Verna where St. Francis was given the gift of God Realization and the magnificent coastal visit to Santa Margherita, Portofino and San Fruttuoso. Our reference material included the excellent article in the May 1974 issue ofthe Glow by David Carter, notes taken by Jonathan Ba6er during his visit updated in 1981 and ideas and clues offered by Susan Lutgendorf and Jane Brown. Our visit to Assisi was wonderful. We ended up staying there 5 days and cutting down our time in Rome. It was a good deci sion.The atmosphere in Assisi is charged with the associations of Baba and this favorite lover of His. It was typical of me to visit the church where St. Francis was buried and be moved to tears at the alter, only to find out that his re mains were down another level. Oh well, at least I had the right neighborhood.
restaurants with good reputations or staying in villages rather than cities. Otherwise you get lots of pizza and bread with no salt and very few
! vegetables. There is a retreat center on the
mountain where St. Francis is said to have gone into seclusion as his Beloved was calling him to their union.The sight where this occurred is memorialized in the tradition of the stone where Baba banged his head in His house in Poona. It is said that when Jesus was hung on the cross, this mountain heaved with grief and huge stones tumbled on one another and formed the caves that St. Francis lay in as he approached the ‘Cave, AssisL Photo andBaba button (circledright). threshold of His Beloved. Our adventure to find the cave where Baba But, the most romantic ofthe “sacred” spots met with His spiritual hierarchy and mapped was Portofino. This beautiful port city isjust a couple miles from Santa Margherita on the out our destiny for the next several hundred years was fairly simple. We had phoned an artWest Coast of Italy. We stayed in a very nice pension in Santa Margherita and walked to ist couple who are Baba lovers and although they couldn’t visit with us, they told us that Portofino. As you are heading out oftown toward Portofino you pass right by the Villa the cave was fairly easy to fInd and that there were maps of the location at the start of the Fiorenza where Baba stayed for a couple of path and that the cave in question was #3. We weeks with the Western Women Mandali. Margaret Craske talks about giving Baba would know it by a framed picture of St. Francis and a Baba button stuck in the wall of the cave. We took a cab to the Hermitage and found our way to the path. There was a map, but it wasn’t very good. We just started hiking in what we thought was the right direc tion and eventuallywe found the right
one. We spent an hour or so in the cave. Just the thought of Baba in the cave was enough to make it a special
trip. The mountain terrain was easy to navigate and the views were thrilling. After so many years of imagin ing this location, I was incredulous to actually be there and be able to sit where Baba had sat. The next day we rented a car and drove to Mt. La Verna where it is said that St. Francis was given the gift of
the stigmata, which was symbolic of St. Francis attaining union with His Beloved Christ.The area is iii the hilly country of Umbria with lots of small villages. Ifwe were to return we would
spend a few days in one of these villages. In fact, as we didn’t find the food very interesting in most of Italy, Pat in the Mt. La rna Cave
I would suggest either going to
ture but I decided to approach him and try to we were looking explain why we were up there snooping for and asked hIm around. Of course, he spoke no English and I if he knew where spoke no Italian and for the first time my little we could find the hip pocket dictionary came in handy. There Villa Altachiara. was only one problem, Meher Baba name He didn’t speak wasrt in there! So I looked up the word “priest” English but he and pointed to it and he motioned for us to what knew exactly go ahead and look around. I headed immedi I was talking about ately for the entrance to the house, as it was so and pointed right beautiful. As I approached, I could see a large at the buildthg to collection of beautiful vases in the room in“f: which Sandy had side the door. I think I would have actually guessed it might tried to go in had my wife not called me to my be, and indicated senses. We then went over to the cliff side just that it was the past a helicopter landing, of all things. We Villa Altachiara. could not imagine that this was where Baba bene, the sea. “Molta from Villa Aitachiara and the small group had scampered down to molta bene” he ocean, it was so high up and so steep. The the beauvery means believe I which exclaimed, of back in the dancing lessons in the garden from there was breathtaking. The sea view tiful. from notes our that forgot this house. We merged with the horizon and was dotted with Okay, now we knew where it was from the Jonathan Bader talked about being able to look a few sail boats cutting the waves and heading opposite side and from out to sea, now to figat the gardens by a road that led past the back into the sun. The waves sparkled like dia ure out where it was from the land. We conyard. monds. As we breathed the fresh J onathan notes say, “As you leave sea air and absorbed the sun on Santa Margherita going toward that peninsula peak, we were very Portofino on the road that follows moved to have had the opportu the ocean, you will come to a buildnity to walk where Baba had is It a Est. ing called Covo Nord walked, to imagine the lovely re small promontory on which a night treat that the women had shared club or restaurant has been conwith their very handsome Beloved structed. At that point you go on this Italian Riviera. Phrases f through an arched gate. The road Begin the Beguine kept us com begins to turn to the right and pany as we strolled around the Baba’s house is approximately a gardens and pools and enjoyed the quarter mile past Covo Nord Est.” exhilaration of this romantic inwe After arriving at Portofino, terlude. Finally our reverie was whereabouts for the asked around brought to a climax as the gar ofthe Villa Altachiara. No luck. No Villa Aitachiara from the air Portofino Harbor to the right. dener approached and gestured one seemed to know what we were “Okay, that enough, out with you now”. tinued to ask around but to no avail. Finally, talking about. We had some notes that said We descended the path and stopped half we headed toward the bus stop and I saw a the gate was next to a tobacco shop or a tourcigarette a have been way down to say Baba prayers and to express tourist shop that could ist shop. We couldn’t remember which, but next gate was a there enough, sure shop and our appreciation for this special opportunity, we couldn’t find such a place. We hiked around of name the said have it may I think it to and the highlight of our Italian pilgrimage. the hills of the area and were swept away by The the gate. on the Villa Fi seascape. the of the beauty and romance gate was open and so we nally, we decided to take the boat ride to San ventured in. Frutuosso that we had read about. Baba also The hill was full of culti took the women to the monastery/convent. vated foliage and the path The ride was majestic; clouds were building was easy to follow. After over the land, but it was sunny and warm out about two-thirds ofthe way at sea. The water of this little bay is blue and up, we encountered another clear. After climbing around the monastery a small gate about two feet to return to short while, we boarded the boat high. We stepped over it and the at looking were I and Portofino. Sandy continued on. We could see cliffline along the peninsula and tried to guess the house emerging and where the Villa was and she pointed at a soon we were at the top on prominent structure high up on the cliff and the lawn of the house. I was said she would bet that was it. There was a tall as thrilled as a kid at his first palm-type tree with an unusual clump toward circus. Then we saw the gar the top. I overheard an elderly Italian man in I figured this was dener. on things the back of the boat pointing out ok© 1998 end of our adven the about him what explain to to try to land so I decided The front view ofthe beautiful Villa Altachiara. ,
Three Babies Ruano Bogislav
trange as it may seem, it was re ally through allowing myself to )e at the Ritz bar in Paris that I evenually met Shri Meher Baba. A dear friend ofmine whom I had ot seen for a long time, Quentin Tod, vas returning to England from India ‘ia Paris (1933). He had something )f great importance to tell me. He ned to get in touch with me but vithout success, forgetting that I was )nly known by my stage name in aris. He was walking down the Av nue de LOpera when he suddenly hanged his mind and decided to take he Boulevard des Capucines. It was ust at this time, having left the Ritz, hat I started down the Rue Cambon Lnd, at the comer of the Boulevard les Capucines, we met. We met because I was meant to tear what he had to tell me, and he )rornised to come to dinner that fight. Nonny Gayley and her daugh er Rano were living with me at this ime, so during dinner and the wening we were told all about Shri Vleher Baba, the Perfect Master. My lear Master, Abdul Baha, had died. [‘his was the third time I had heard Lbout Shri Meher Baba. Quentin left L small photograph with me and )romised he would do what he could 0 arrange a meeting if Shri Meher 3aba came again to Europe. Time passed and I heard nothing nore, but I received a letter from a voman who had previously sublet my apartnent, asking if she might have it for the nonth ofJuly. I stopped with a friend whilst rying to decide what I had better do during his month, when a letter came from uentin telling me that Baba had arrived Lnd was in Portofino, Italy, and that I was to ome quickly. It all became very clear why ny apartment had been rented, for it gave ne the wherewithal to go quickly, otherwise would have had to borrow. I arrived in Portofino July 8th, 1933 and vas met by Quentin and Margaret Craske vho had found a room for me in the village. shall always be deeply grateful to Quentin hr he did not forget his promise, which had nade him indirectly responsible for my great
Baba with Ruano in America during 1934 happiness. Baba was in Rome but was returning to Portofino that night. Next morning,July 9th, Q uentin came to fetch me. The house where Baba was staying was on a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean and surrounded by a beautiful park. The moment we entered the gate I began to cry and it became worse as we climbed the hill. I was thoroughly ashamed of this behavior, especially as I looked a sight and could not stop crying. By the time we reached the house, I was in a dreadful state. Quentin brought me a glass of water, but nothing helped and then the door opened and Baba stood there—I cannot remember what I did, I know that I looked and looked. It probably was only for
a moment, but it seemed to me as if I had been looking for ages, and then I put my hands over my face and cried more than ever. I shall never forget the kind and gentle way in which Baba led me to a sofa and made me sit beside Him and patted my hand. Through my sobs I tried to tell Him how sorry I was that I could not stop crying. He spelled out on His board to Quentin, “Tell her it is just as it should be.” I had a great fear that He might send me away, so I asked if I was to be sent away, but my Beloved Baba shook His head, “No.” I was then told to come to the garden every morning from ten to twelve and ev ery afternoon from four to six. I carried out these instructions to the minute, aided by the church bells. For ten days I cried. I neither knew whether I ate or whether I slept, I only thought of the moment when I could return to the garden. Sometimes I did not see Baba. One time He led me to the wall and pointing to the sea far below, said on His board, “I am like the sea, drown yourself in Me and you will live forever.” After Italy I saw Baba every time He came to Europe and I was so happy when He made use of my apartment in Paris to see those that wished to see Him there. When my daughter went in to see Baba I said, “Baba, dear, this is my baby.” My daughter immediately said, “Baba, she is much more of a baby than I am,” and then Baba said on His board, “Baba also means baby, so we are three babies.” He is always ready with such adorable things to say, and makes one feel so happy and at ease. People meeting Baba for the first time always wonder what they ought to say and how they ought to act. This is all useless, for the minute one comes into the presence of Baba, the answer to what one should do or say is all there. Everything is there. From When He Takes Over Compiled by Bal Natu, Copyright 1988 AMBPPCT Ahmedna gar, MS. India for quotation from Meher Baba, Copyright 1988 Bal Natu, Published by Meher Nazar Books, Ahmednagar ,
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his article is the product of the accumulated efforts of Jonathan Bader, David Carter, Ray Kerkhove and our LoveStreet staff. Ray Kerkhove has been gathering information about Baba’sjourneys around the world for years, a truly ambitious endeavor. His studies give us information and insight into not only Baba’s travels but historical information he has accumulated about the areas Baba visited that we think you historians might find interesting. Unfortunately, because our space is limited, we wont be able to print :: all the information he has given us. Both Ray and Jonathan have noted a few inconsistencies regarding Baba arrival/departure dates, ports of entry, incidents with his companions, etc. in various literature they have studied. All of our contributors have been as careful as possible regarding dates and places, however they do not mean this to be an absolute comprehensive geographical study of Baba movements in Italy, as there are still some missing links. However, ifyou are planning to vacation in Italy, and you take this LampPost along using it as a guide during your travels, we feel you will be able to enjoy a large percentage of all the places Baba has been. An informal bibliography is on page 3 1 for your perusal ,
Below you’ll find several maps which you may want to use to find your way to Villa Fiorenzi, St. Francis’ cave in Assisi, Fiesole District where St. Francis had a vision of Jesus beside a spring, and the St. Margherita/Portofino area. On the following page we have outlined the major areas that Baba often visited or passed through during His travels in Italy. The pages following cover the basic chronology of Baba’s journeys, and more detail of where He stayed and with whom; short excursions to surrounding areas, personal anecdotes of His Western lovers, and some information He passed on to them during their adventures together.
Now then, sit back and relax with your lattes, espressos, favorite vo, some good Italian background music and enjoy the LoveStreet LampPoss trip to Italy with Baba.
:; : :
(‘Jenovct) (a major port of Italy and one of Baba’s primary arrival and departure points while visiting 9theenoa Continent) Milano Terminus Hotel: October 25, 1931 Hotel Astonia Belgrano: June 23-24, 1933 Hotel Savoy Majestic, briefly for a meeting December 16, 1932 Railway Station: August 17, 1932, disembarked “Victoria”June 23, 1933, embarked S.S. Roma October 27, 1931 for New York City.
Santa lfrkrgherita Villa Fiorenza, 22 Via R. Rossetti (in 1930’s 18 Via Milite Ignoto), is situated on the oceanfront between S. Margherita and Paraggi. July 30 August 17, 1932 -
JLortofino Villa Altachiara, June 28- Aug 17, 1932.
J4lilan (J4lilano) Milan Railway Station departure and arrival point: October, 1931, March (April?) 6, 1932, and August 17, 1932 Albergo Imperiale Hotel, October 15 25, 1931. Hotel Diana, overnight stay December 2, 1932. Enid Corfe’s home near Albergo Imperiale Hotel Certosa Cathedral and monastery, October 15, 1931. -
(3irenze) Stopped to refresh themselves at a hotel, brief drive in city also to Duomo (Cathedral and Square), August, 1932, coffee in the square.
L/4ssisi St. Francis’ cave at Carceri Hermitage on Mt. Subasio 4 km from town Windsor Savoia Hotel address: Viale Marconi, 1 Home of Bernard of Quintavalle, on via Bernard da Quintavalle
.Rome (Roma) Hotel Elyseo (Elysee?) July 6 (7?) 1933. Vatican City Museum and Galleries, July 7 (8?), 1933. St. Peter’s Basilica, July 6 (7?), 1933. ,
slaples (2slapoli) 2 Harbor, 2 hour stopover in 1931, Baba stayed on board but interviewed several people.
}enice ( 7 }enizia) 7 Railway Station, March (April?) 6, 1932 and again December 2, 1932. Venice Pier, disembarked from Conte Rosso March (April?) 4, 1932, the Conte I’frde December 2 in transit to England. Hotel Saturnia-Internazionale, April 4, 1932 and August 17 (18?), 1932. address: Calle Larga XXII Marco 2398, San Marco 30124. phone: 041-5208377, fax: 04 1-5207131. St. Mark’s Square, visited many times during His stays here. Florian Cafe, Baba sat at this famous cafe on various evenings.
Dtalian /1ltis Lake Como, viewed in a trip out of Milan, October, 1931. Lake Maggiore, boat trip to Borromoen islands at southern end, meal at Baveno on the lake in 1952.
Europe, as on other continents, there are holy places connected to jreat spiritual work. 7iie four centres of Europe are Saint J44ark’s in 7ienice, a place on the Ligurian Coast ofDtaly, .Assisi, and /lvila. 3 have now visited and — JlIleIier 73aba 11 revisited them all. 3rom their holy grounds have sprung manj saints.
Babafiict visft toltaly Octobei 1931 —
Milan, Genoa Meher Baba traveled to Europe and America for the first time in the fall of 1931 arriving in Marseilles by boat on September 1 ith and nd continuing the next day to England. He left England on October 2 for Istanbul, where he stayed for 9 days before departing by train for Milan.
TheA vatar oftheAge arrivedfti lialyfor the&ct time on October ]5h at 530p.m. at the Milan Train Station. Enid Corfe was supposed to meet them at the station, but wasnt there so Baba went to her house. LordMeher reports that Enid had made reservations for Baba for 9 days at the Albergo Imperiale on the th 10 floor. (Initial efforts to find the hotel haven’t been successful, and there is some chance the hotel name is wrong. ) Baba visited the Certosa Cathedral the following day, led a group on a visit to the Italian Alps th• Baba visited Enid’s house on the 18th and to Lake Como on the 20 th• on several occasions, including tea on October 25 The Certosa Cathedral holds relics ofRoman martyrs and the great thelogian St. Ambrose (339-397). St. Augustine ofHippo (354-430), one of Babas “four favorite Western saints” met St. Ambrose (his mas ter) here and was converted to Christianity. ,
eleven to thirteen of His Eastern and Western disciples. The Villa (Via R. Rosetti #22) sits right on the ocean on the coastal road connecting Santa Margherita and Paraggi, a quarter mile past Point Pedale. The Villa has a second floor balcony where Baba used to stand, a tower in the rear right corner, and terraced walkways in the backyard. (Jonathan showed photos of the building and lands to Kitty Davey in 1982 and she confirmed it was the Villa. See Pat Cook’s article p. 20 for a photo of the Villa and p. 24 for a small map.) Baba arrived in St. Margherita from Genoa on July and walked from the station to the Villa. It was here that t and Mandali lovers Western enjoyed an ii Herbert, Baba and Quentin Thdd and relaxing period with Beloved Baba, swimming, sight seeing, going to theatres, picnics, playing games, and other activities. During His stay at the Villa He visited the local theatre, Lina’s café (called Cafe Excelsior in 1970) Portofino, and had a lavish meal in Rapallo. The group often visited ,
Galto Pedale, a promontory between Cervara and Ste. Margherita
Geoa, Naples Baba left for Genoa later that day by train where He stayed at the Milano Terminus Hotel for two days. Baba departed Genoa Harbor at 10 p.m. on October 27th via the Roma for His first visit to America. Baba’s boat stopped briefly iii Naples before continuing to New York. ( Genoa had been a Roman port and in medieval times a Jewish center. Both St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-15 10), renowned for her hospital work and her mystical treatise on Purgatory, and St. Paul of the Cross (1694- 1 775), founder of the Passionists lived here.)
where there are private beaches and cliffs. He also sat on the rocks by the ocean below the Villa. The Italian people came to know of Baba and would come to the house to sit quietly in his presence. Herbert recalled These Italian days “
with Baba were very, warm very, happy . . .
sun, a blue sea... green hills and shaded walks through vine-
Babasecond visit -ApriL 1932 Venice, Milan Following Baba’s first visit to the West He returned briefly to InHis second visit to Italy began April 4t when he arrived in Venice dia. on the ConteRossoaccompanied by six disciples, including his brothers Behram and Acli. They stayed at the Hotel International (Hotel Saturnia-Internazionale) which was the only place Baba stayed in Venice. He went sight-seeing, and enjoyed gondola rides. He departed for th traveling via Milan. While in Dover, England by train on April 6 around the city before His train de quick tour Milan, Baba made a parted at 4 p.m.
yards and forests.
Pictures ofwalking in Galilee and of lake side talks with Jesus came into our minds. In the morning we all trooped down to the rocks, bathed, dived, splashed or basked in the sun, Baba in our midst. He would wade in the water and twice allowed us to row Him in a sailing boat. to San Fruttuoso. Baba’s room led out onto a private balcony. When we swam before breakfast, we could see His white-clad figure watching us Baba on the cliffs reading correspondence
. . .
. . .
from the balcony.
Baba. third visit -July-Augusi 1932
On the terrace we would act charades or get up
entertainments. Under the name of “Thomas” Baba would take dancing
Thus, in innumerable ways, Baba entered lessons with Margaret. into our lives as playmate, friend, child and father.” On one occasion in the walled garden behind the Villa Baba asked Margaret Craske to give him dancing lessons. She writes: “I then took His hand and showed Him a simple 1-2-3 hop step. No obstacles. He .
Santa Margherita Baba’s first extended stay in Italy was during the summer of 1932. Quentin Todd, one of Baba English disciples, had arranged for Baba to stay for 3 weeks in Santa Margherita at the Villa Fiorenza with 26
took it at once and then, hand in hand, we flew round the garden path. Arid I really mean flew. He could move as no one else has ever moved withjoy, freedom, rhythm. And I knew without intellectualizing it, that dancing was, is and always will be a part of God. Such were these wonderful days with Baba. —
(The Capodimonte Peninsula has been sacred since prehistoric times as attested by cave art in the vicinity. In Roman times it was a center for worship of Mithra, one of the many Zoroastrian gods. A Mithran incineration bowl can be seen at the Basilica Nostra wherein also lies the relics of the Roman martyr Margherita (d. 257 AD) after whom the town was named. The city was converted to Christianity by two saints-St. Nazario and St. Cels. The Portofino area was home and final resting place to a considerable number of Christian hermits and martyrs.) La Spezia, Pisa, Sestri Levant, Viareggio and Siena Several days after arriving at the Villa, Baba announced that he had a most important seclusion work to carry out in Assisi. He sent Herbert Davey (Kitt/s brother) ahead on August 1st to locate and prepare a cave in Assisi connected with St. Francis that would be suitable for a 24 hour seclusion. th• Baba left by car for Assisi five days later on August 6 They passed through La Spezia and then Vieregglo where they had a bite to eat by the roadside in the Pineta Forest adjacent to the town. In Pisa they stopped at the Nettion (Nation) Hotel and drove past the Leaning Tower. The party ate lunch in Sienna near the heart of town before continuing. (Siena is associated with St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). Camporeggi Hill was where Catherine had her first vision ofJesus and later did much ofher devotions in St. Dominic’s church. It was also the home to St. Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) who popularized the chanting of Chriss name.)
The May 1974 Glow published sections of Herbers diary describing Baba seclusion, portions of which are excerpted below: “We motored part of the way up the hill to save time. I then led the party down a hidden path to the cave, which we reached at 7:30 p.m. Baba would rest in the cave during the entire fast, and none was to go near him or to look. .Ifhe required anything to drink it was to be put just outside the entrance Chanji and I shivered and sat at a little distance from the cave. Baba and St. Francis ‘Cave Strange thoughts and questions— how little we really understood the nature of Baba’s work. (The next afternoon) “At 4:30 p.m., we returned carrying food with us. Baba came out, as his work was accomplished sooner than he ex pected. At 6:30 p.m. we had a very happy meal seated around a wooden plank on the ground like children at a picnic “Baba, though content with his work accomplished, was in great pain; we had to support him during our descent from the mountain, one on either side of Baba we would run down together down th steep path. It seemed as if the jolting and physical exercise helped to bring him down to earth. He looked like someone dazed, suffering from a severe headache.” th, Following the end ofHis seclusion on August 7 Baba went to the Windsor Savoia Hotel, in Assisi where He bathed, prior to the group’s return to Santa Margherita. Baba pointed to a stone outside the former home of Bernard of Quintavalle (on via Bernard da Quintavalle), St. Francis’ first disciple, where he said Francis had wept the entire night out of love for Jesus. .
. . . .
. . .
The J/J7flit[C flt A ft. Subaslo
Assisi Baba reached Assisi in the early evening and continued on to the Carceri Hermitage 4.5 km. outside of town on the flanks of Mount Subasio. It was here that Herbert had prepared a cave on the slopes below the hermitage in accordance with Baba’s instruction. Baba mdicated His seclusion work here was of immense importance, saying af terwards that He had met with “all the Saints and Masters from the 6t th and 7 planes, and had mapped out the spiritual destiny of the world for the next two thousand years”.
St. Francis ‘Basilica
Herbert took Baba around Assisi showing him the main places associated with Francis’ life, including the Basciica. Baba had given 27
instructions that during His seclusion Kaka and Quentin should go to Catholic mass at the crypt at 7 a.m. and kiss Francis’ tomb. Herbers and Quentins diaries provide a detailed account of the seclusion, portions ofwhich appear th LordMehei The God-Man, and Love Alone Prevails. :
Directions to the Cave
“From the Piazza Matteotti, take the road behind it called the Via Eremo Delle Carceri through the Porta Cappuccini. Follow the road up the hill about 4 4.5 km. Parking isjust to the left of a little tourist! novelty stand. A parking ticket will be issued by a policeman for one or two hours. Follow the tour path through the hermitage until you come out the other side. A statue of St. Francis lying prone is on the left and you will see a wooden fence on your right. Where the fence ends a path of rough stone steps descends -
to the right. Take that path. It passes the Grotto of Brother Leon and twists and turns on a winding descending path. On your right you’ll pass big cave with an altar Grotto Del Br. Bernardo a smaller cave and past it a rectangular brick building. Here the path turns rather sharply to the left. Continue on and you’ll come to a cave that is crouched under a natural stone wall. The cave has a roughly made wooden gate on the front of it and the left side is ,
small spring among some rocks in a wooded area inside the wall. It may be the same one Baba sought. Fiesole was home to Fra Angelico (1384-1453) the Dominican monk renowned as the greatest medieval muralist. He painted scenes of St. Francis’ life. —
Portofino Vetta Baba arrived back in Ste. Margherita from Assisi on August 8t1. Over the ensuing days Baba’s dear ones enjoyed a number of outings
made of piled stones. There is a little stone plaque inside that is
with Him. LoveAlonePrevailsgives Herbert Davey’s account of a trip
marked 1860 Grotta Del. B. An Spello. There is also a wooden framed picture of St. Francis on the wall of the cave. As you leave and walk back along the path, instead of turning left up the path continue along until you find another cave. We wondared whether it may have been the cave in which Baba asked Kitty’s
to Portofino Vetta: “We climbed up the steep road to Portofino Vetta, festooned with flowers picked from the roadside, and garlanded with vine leaves; laughing, singing, and joking. Peasants looked at us in surprise but not dis
near Borganto, where St. Francis had a vision ofJesus beside a spring. The site, just outside Florence, is known as Monte Ceceri. There are three hills in this area, and Borganto occupies the saddle of one. Led by Baba, the group climbed over Mt. Ceceri and enjoyed the view of Florence and the surrounding country. Baba was positive it was the spot, but they could not find the spring. He then gave instructions that Herbert should return in 2 weeks and search until he found it. While in Borganto, Baba and the men had tea at the Villa Alpine which Baba inspected and approved for Herberts return visit. When Herbert later returned to the site after much hunting (and trespassing) he found a spring behind a high rock wall on the crest of the hill. When Jonathan visited Mt. Ceceri in 1979 he found a high rock wall surrounding the crest of the hill and after a time discovered a
brother Herbert to stand watch. .
Janet Files, Myrtle Beach, March, 2000
I felt a curious feeling as if time and space were of no approval account and we were taking part in some more significant ascent than a trip to Portofino Vetta. When we had climbed two-thirds of the way up, Baba suddenly expressed a wish to eat. Quentin said it would be .
. . .
. . .
Florence Following the seclusion in Assisi, Baba’s party reached Florence on th in the early morning where they stopped at a hotel to wash August 8 and eat. They visited the Duomo and had coffee in the Square. Baba said He wanted to find a spot outside Florence, near Borgarito, where St. Francis had a vision of Jesus beside a spring. The site is known as Monte Ceceri. (Florence was the heart of Europe’s Renaissance, home to Da Vinci, Michel angelo, the Medici, Machiavelli, and others. Mugello Friary on Florence outskirts was the base of St. Bonaventura (1221-1274), St. Francis’ biographer and one of the greatest medieval theologians.) Borganto (Fiesole
Photo C. Plumlee©1
The Duomo in Florence 28
District) In Florence Baba suddenly said He wanted to find a spot
better to wait. Baba did not insist, but His mood was spoiled. By expe rience we learn that what seem sudden whims are outward symbols of Baba inner working. On the top of the mountain we sat. laughed, feasted, slept and played. Despite the incident it was a very happy day.” . .
. . .
Directions to Portofino Vetta “Dike the train from Santa Margherita to Camogli. Hanging about in Camogli is a great way to spend an hour, and its almost certainly in Beloved Baba’s footsteps, given Herbert Davies’ account. Arriv ing in the morning, one can provision oneself for the coming hike in the little food stores along the main street. Taking water on the trip is highly advised. : Little coastsicle towns like Camogli appear to have been built on many levels: of relevance are the town’s street level train stop and a lower level that is at or close to water level. Go down to the water level, and walk back until you see stairs leading up, marked with the an emblem of an Italy—wide hiking club that red double dot marks good routes. Now you have a steady uphill walk on stairs. This walk leads you ever upward to San Rocco, a beautiful church maybe 800 ver tical feet from your starting point. For the faint of heart, there is a paved road to San Rocco. We saw cars there, and mothers with babies in strollers at the church and one would hazard a guess that a taxi could be found would be able to convey one to San Rocco, which would reduce the difficulty of the hike. There is some reason to believe that Baba’s party may have started from San Rocco. Going upwards toward Portoimno Vetta, one has a lovely climb ,
along a mostly stone path. There is a picnic bench up near the top and a statue of a saint. On the peak there is a hotel that seems not to have opened and a telecom transmit/receive facility. From the top, one can descend into Portofino itself. The path is clearly marked and altogether picturesque, or walk down to San Fruttuosb. The entire circuit for folks of middle fitness took from about 10 a.m. in Camogli to about 4 p.m. arrival in Portofino.’ Keith and Jan Gunn, California, October 1999 San Fruttuoso and Portofino They spent all ofthe next day boating near San Fruttuoso, where a statue of Jesus is submerged under the water. They brought lunch and tea and picnicked together. Baba said He had been here before as an ‘unknown master’ in an in-between (veiled) incarnation when there were only huts in the area. They rowed Baba several times in a boat and sailed with Him on several occasions. They had a picnic in Portofino th, on August 1 1 near where Baba would stay the following year. One day, Baba wanted to walk to a distant beach. Once there, Herbert told Baba that it was a private beach and didn’t want Him to trespass. Herbert did not accompany the others as they scrambled over the wall to the beach. As they walked along the beach, an old man with long hair and a beard came from the other direction. He was leading a young boy by the hand and greeted Kaka by folding his hands in “Namaste” fashion. The old man walked back and forth looking at Baba frequently. Baba told them later that he was an agent and when Herbert rejoined the group Baba severely chastised him for missing the old man. Herbert was to have seen him in order to identify one of Baba agents in Warsaw with whom he was identical in appearance. Missing him in fact caused Herbert considerable difficulty later on in Warsaw. Venice They took a train to Venice on August 17t by way of Genoa, and Milan (where they werejoined by Enid Corfe) and arrived on August th• 18 They stayed again at the Hotel Satumia-Internazionale. The group visited the Lido, a beach resort, and listened to a concert in St. Marks square. Baba cryptically remarked that he had been there 620 years ago (1312 AD) but offered no other details. They visited the Florian Cafe and Quadri, and took a ride in a gondola as well. One evening in St. Mark’s square, they sat at a cafe and Baba seemed very sad. He said, “I am eternally crucified.” He got up and made ev eryone walk around St. Mark’s Cathedral. Baba explained that it was one of the spiritual capitals of Europe and that the entire structure with dome and pillars was an exact plan of the Avatar’s inner and outer Circle. He said the 122 pillars of the church corresponded to the 122 disciples in the Avatar’s circles. He said that injesus’ time He had been there one month before the crucifixion and had sat in the exact spot where St. Marks was later built. Baba entered the church with the men disciples and also posed for photographs beneath the center flag pole in front of the church. He departed Vemce forAlexandria Egypt via th• the Ausonz August 20 .
BaIiafourth visit December1932 -
Venice, Milan, Genoa Baba arrived in Venice on the Conte 1/rde on December 2, 1932 accompanied by his brothers Jal and AdiJr., Vishnu Deorukhar and Kaka Baria. He was met by Elizabeth, Norma, Nadine, and Quentin. th, They headed toward London, arriving in Milan on December 4 where Enid Corfe and another disciple joined them. They stayed overnight at the Hotel Diana leaving at 5 p.m. the next day for Lon don. Having spent a brief time in London and then Zurich, Baba came back to Italy, traveling to Genoa, which He reached on De th cember 16 at 9:15 p.m. He stayed the night at the Savoy Majestic th• Hotel, then boarded the Esperia for Egypt on December 17
Baba’cfifth visit -Juljc August1933 Portofino Baba arrived in Genoa on June 23 via the Victoria for His longest stay in Italy. While there He stayed in Genoa at the Astoria Belgrano for 2 days before traveling on to Portofino where the Villa Altachiara th• had been rented for one month beginning June 28 (The narratives studied do not say where He stayed during the several days between leaving Genoa and arriving in Portofino). The Villa Altachiara is several kilometers from the Villa Fiorenza where Baba stayed the year before. It is located high on a hill overlooking both Portofino harbor and the ocean on the opposite side. (See photos and directions in Pat Cook’s articlep. 20) and can be approached by means of a long, steep, gated drive near the end of the harbor. Be-V cause of the number of people in Baba group, some had to stay in the village (none of the accounts Jonathan has read indicate where) Those present included Chanji, Kaka, Adi, Pendu, Dada Abdulla, Norina Anita, Kitty, Elizabeth, Minta, Tina, Vivienne, Herbert, Otto Haas Heije, Heidi Mertens, Anna Katarmna, Enid Corfe, Victor and Alice Trau-Fisher, Quentin, Delia, Mabel, and others. While there was an enjoyable atmosphere with Baba, as in the previous year Baba also gave everyone work and responsibilities to attend to. It was here that the booklet “Questions and Answers” was prepared. LordMehei Vol. 6 describes some poignant moments with Baba: “During Baba’s stay in Portofino, the cool moonlight lit up the night and the stars shone in all their brilliance. One evening, it was abso lutely quiet around the villa, as if a message of peace and joy on earth was being conveyed to humanity. The lovers and Mandali gath ered around Baba who appeared ex ceedingly beauti ful, wearing a royal blue jacket. The silent atmo sphere immobi lized them like an intoxicant. “The moon shone on Baba’s face, the scent of jasmine hung around them, and the songs of cicadas were heard in the background. “It was one of the .
most timely, most beautiful moments with Baba, remembered Delia DeLeon. “We just sat there and never said a word. They could see Babas smiling countenance and flowing hair as if aglow with light.” One day, one of the group experienced the presence of a ghost standing before him. Another said her hair had been pulled as she slept and yet another had heard noises. Baba confirmed that there was a ghost in the Villa that had been trying to get free for five hundred years. Baba, in his compassion, freed him. “
Baba left Altachiara for a visit to Rome, where He arrived by train th Baba group of ten stayed at the Hotel Elysee. He was on July 7 driven around the Seven Hills ofRome, and went into St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican where He stood beneath the center dome and turning to face all four directions He made a sign in the aii then walked
quickly out the West door without allowing time for anyone to view the exquisite art.
table. Minta and Norma sat near Him. They ordered sweet rolls, cake, and lemon ices. Baba later explained that while they were there a middleaged, blond haired man whom He referred to as “Christiano” drove by in a red Fiat sports car convertible. Baba explained that Christiano was a very rare direct agent for all of Europe, a fourth plane saint, who lived with his wife in Rome, but that she knew nothing of his spiritual sta ,
tus. Baba had explained that as part of His work He had to physically
contact all the direct agents. The following is an excerpt from Herbert’s diary in Love Alone Frevails “He told us that among the thousands of spiritual agents in the world there are four who are concerned with the destinies of continents and races. Under them are many subordinates on the first through fourth planes; some are conscious and some are unconscious of their spiritual functions. They carry out the tasks allotted to them, . .
and it is only those on the lowest planes who directly affect the visible
universe.” Leaving the cafe, the group walked to a movie theatre and saw the film “White Shadows”. The next day they drove around the city, including the Lateran, several fountains of Rome, the Vatican Museum and galleries. Baba sat down in the Sistine Chapel, commenting that
“Today, this place has been really blessed”. The group left Rome by th and arrived back in Portofmo that night. train on July 8 (The center of the Roman Empire, Rome was home to the great philosophers Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cicero and the mystic Plotinus. St Peter lived and was martyred here as was St. Paul. Popes and various saints lived or studied in the city: Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory, Cyril and Benedict. St. Ignatius was buried at the Gesu church. St. Peter’s is the center of Catholic Christianity, and has been a major place of p11grimage for at least 1 500 years. St. Peter’s remains were interred directly under the High Alter the Papal Seat, as was only recently discovered in 1980. Many Christian saints and mystics visited St. Peters among whom were three were St. Francis, St. Dominic and St. Ignatius of Loyola.) -
St. Peter.i Basilica Baba later went to Capitoline Hill, the Forum, and went into the Colosseum for a few minutes. He also asked to be driven around Mussolinis office twice. Baba gave several interviews at His hotel and
then went to a famous café, the Aragno al Corso, and sat at a sidewalk
th th anniversary of Baba silence) an incident oc (the 8 On July 10 curred in which Baba and four disciples were climbing on the cliffs below Altachiara and encountered great difficulty making their way back up, having become stuck and unable to move ahead or to retreat. Eventually, Baba was able to extricate them. Afterwards, Baba was very happy that everyone had behaved so well and showed much faith in Him. Kitty writes, “To celebrate this event, He called us all into the library, retold the story, and gave each a sip of Italian wine with His an extraordinary event, as at this period Baba forbade own hands His close disciples to take any intoxicants. Baba’s explanation was ‘When I give anything, you should not hesitate to take. I give or not give for special reasons.’ The Italian servants who were present, and knew the danger, wept with joy. Baba was very pleased and said that He had done great work through this adventure. The energies set loose, the feelings aroused and the courage displayed were used by Him for His spiritual work. Thus happily ended the day.” The group visited the Lighthouse with Baba at Pte. Portofino, and Baba stood in the top parapet of Ii Castello. Around this time Baba related a story about a minor advent in Portofino when there were only huts in the area. Baba had come to the very spot where Altachiara now stands. An incident occurred there when Baba had sat near to a couple who came regularly to the cliffs. The man not wanting to be disturbed had struck Baba, but Baba did nothing. Later, one ofHis disciples, outraged over the blow, confronted the man, but was himself thrown over the cliff by the man and woman. —
— Babaseventh visit Octobei 1933 -
Lake Maggiore Baba returned to Europe in August 1952, following His automobile accident in Prague, Oklahoma the previous May. Although He had recuperated some, He was still in pain. He left July 3 1st for th London, then on August 6 headed to Switzerland for two weeks where He stayed with the Mertens in Zurich. Ray’s notes say that during this time Baba took a boat trip on Lake Maggiore, the southem end of which is in Italy (the northern end in Switzerland). Baba took a boat trip to Borromoen Islands at the southern end, and had a meal at Baveno on the lake. This appears to be Baba’s last visit to Italy.
InfbrmalBibliography LordMeher Vols. 4 and 5, by Bhau Kalchuri, © Lawrence Reiter and AMBPPCT LoveAlonePrevaiis by Kitty Davey, © 1981 by Meher Spiritual Cen ter, Inc. The GodMan, by Charles Purdom, © 1971 by Meher Spiritual Cen ter, Inc. TheDanceofLoveby Margaret Craske, © 1980, by Sheriar Press TheA wakenerVol. XIV: 1 (1971) 19-31 Kitty Davey, Babas First World Tour, 1932 Fendu, InHisCompany, and Brian O’Neil, Portofino Revisited 1970, Glow International May 1984, 5-8, 8-0, 20. Adi K. Irani, Diary ofa Disciple, Glow International February 1993, 5 Chanji, Meher Baba Part IV (Early Years 1894-1942), Glow Interna tional February 1980, 12-22 Delia De Leon, Italian Days 1932 1933, Meher Baba Association (newsletter) May 1984: 5 D. F. Stevens, Grand Reunion Itneraire, Sleuthing Portofino and Assisi, in Neti Neti No. 46 (August 1985), 2-8 Veronica Fabre and Valeria Violati, A Historical Perspective: Santa Margherita, Portofino, San Fruttuoso, Glow International 1986(?), 2 1-23. ,
Incredibly he wasn’t injured. This disciple and one other returned and subsequently got into a fight with the man, who was badly injured. Baba said the recent incident at the cliff had reminded Him of it. th Baba left Portofino for Genoa on July 24 and departed Italy for India on the Victoria. Facing the southern side of Altachiara is della Cervara Convento, which is associated with St. Catherine of Siena.
Babasixth visit Octobei 1933 —
Brindisi, Venice and Milan
We would like to thank Lawrence Reiter for all the photos of Baba in Italy scanned from LordMehei Keith Gunn for his directions to Portofino Vetta and the map of the peninsula; Janet Files and David Carter for their directions to Baba’s cave in Assisi; The Glow and David Carter for his map of the same; Jonathan Badei for the provision of maps of Assisi, Borganto, and the grounds of the Villa Fiorenza and Bernard Bruford for important communiques via his computer.
LordMeherstates Baba returned to Italy on October 1933 via the M VConte frdefrom India.The boat stopped for two hours in Brindisi th on October 5 then continued on to Venice where Baba disembarked th 6 on October The party stayed at the Hotel Saturnia Internazionale. th On October 7 Baba quietly circumambulated Saint Marks Square. Because their passports had been left at the hotel Baba departure was delayed, so He took a gondola ride through the canals saying that He had more work he could do in Venice. They departed by train for Paris that night, traveling through Milan. They were greeted at the Milan Station at 1 1 :30 p.m. by three Europeans hopthg to see Baba before He continued on to France and England. (LoveAlonePrevailssays this visit occurred in June 1934, but the dates given by LordMeher have greater detail, and are generally more consistent with other published accounts. At this time, however, there is some uncertainty.)
Friendly As Well As Fiery Bal Natu, Meherazad
our last visit was most marvelous!” I blurted out before You took Your seat. Casting an endearing glance at me, You quipped, “And you did not like our earlier meetings?” A bit startled, I replied, “I didn’t mean that. After all, I am an impatient person. But from Your remark, should I assume that You want me to remove comparison from my speech?” “From your mind, yes, You answered. “Does comparison impede our relationship?” Comparison entails valuing one thing over another.” “What’s wrong with that?” “In your sojourn to Me, the infinite One, you have to cross many hurdles, and one of them is comparison.” “So You don’t want me to judge anyone or anything?” “That would be best...
Giora Pinkas photo 1999
Unti1you respect the intrinsic thqnity ofeach being and thing, you won ff be able to appreciate My indivisible beauty and presence. “Then should I stop conversing with oth ers, especially You? It is very difficult to ex press one’s thoughts without making comparisons.” “Don’t be hasty in your judgements. When dealing with the world you have to discriminate. But don’t let your evaluations entail condemnation. I do not expect you to observe silence. Feel free to converse with Me, and, as necessary, with others.” “On any subject?” “Yes, any. But today, before you switch topics, I want to ask you if you ever share with others the dialogues we have had earhr.” Only very rarely.” “And why is that?” “I don’t like to teach or advise others. When I try to do that, I feel nervous sometimes, other times even frightened.” Don’t try to teach others. However, sharing with others, in a friendly manner, ways of living to feel My presence, is not “
tience. The mind gives in gradually. A noble intention awakens noble intentions in oth ers.” If others jeer at me, or ridicule me, should I stop?” “Accept your failures, but do not brood over what others say. Such incidents serve as a gauge to test your trust in Me. These conversations are My gift to you, so don’t be cowardly about sharing them with others. The process of sharing gives opportunities to clear in-roads, within you, to Me, and to enable My love to flow into your veins.” “Sometimes words almost come to my lips, but at the last moment, fear besets me.” “This is the result of the burden of memories. In every encounter, you must begin afresh. A life of love does not consist of simply singing songs and playing music, or of offering prayers and giving sermons. To live with Me, the Indivisible One, you have to die in Me. Are you afraid of death?” “Not of death, because I don’t know what it is! But I must confess, any thought of physical or mental suffering gives me a fright. I came to You for Real Life, and You talk of dying! Are You trying to feel my pulse?” “I don’t try for anything; I know. Don’t fear pain, for I always give a little less than one can endure. Do you believe this?” “It is hard to admit, yet hard to deny. I think it is all in Your hands!” With a fond smile, You said, “But you cannot run away from the part you have to play in life.” “Let honesty of heart and trust in You blossom in my life. Will You bless me?” “Asking creates a distance. When you offer yourself to My will, you know that you have already received what you seek. Wait and see.” Then, as though to tease me, with a merry twinkle in Your eyes, You concluded our conversation: “Was this, too, a marvelous visit?” I smiled and answered, Don’t tempt me However, I may comment withcompare! to that this meeting was very comparing, out as challenging, and well as reassuring, fiery!” well as friendly as And we both laughed. From Conversations Wth The A wakener, by Bal Natu, Pages 42 46, Copyright 1991 Sheriar Foundation, Published by Sheriar Foundation.
giving advice.” “Could You enlighten me about this a little more?” Don’t go after enlightenment. you !aughed. And You continued, “I don’t expect you to babble indiscriminately. Listen to oth ers intently, and then, ifyou feel like sharing with them what you have gathered from Me, don’t hesitate.” “Regardless of their reactions?” “Better that you watch your own mind! “
“The actions and reactions of others don matter as much as your own reactions to them.” “This kind of response and awareness will take me a long time to acquire!” “I will show you the way; I will help you.” “That will be wonderful!” “When you speak with others, inwardly relate yourselfto Me residing in their hearts. Initially, it will be difficult for you to remem ber to do this, but if you are sincere, it will become a delight for you. The responses of other persons will remind you of My direc tive. Don’t have doubts about this, or feel dejected, if your mind continues for some time with its old pranks. Have a little pa-
In The “Right Place?” Cynthia Barrientos, Washington
recent Meher Baba Listserve posts, a number of us have been pondering current work and life situations. “Am I in the ‘right place’ and doing the ‘right thing’?” we ask ourselves. Does being in this “right place” mean that we are supposed to feel comfortable? When I attempt to figure out if I need to stay put or seek a different ca reer or living situation, everything seems to get really complicated. When I feel this resistance or uncertainty as I consider any activity, I refer to Baba’s words for direction. I keep a copy of His words on ‘Work’ next to my home cornputer, one at my office and one in my organizer. The more I remember to turn to Baba, the more often I get out of the way and the answers come. When the solution goes beyond my exclusive com fort, I know it’s right. When I can see beyond my personal agenda and where Baba has work for me to do, I can embrace wherever I am. I may feel cornfortable or I may not. It doesn’t seem to matter. So, here I am, seated at the cornputer, writing this article. I am fidgeting, glancing at the clock, getting up, sitting down, drinking water, thinking too much and worrying about how this will be received. I’ve read through the “Suggested Publishing Guidelines for the LSLP” and am concerned that I might not do this “right”. Am I interpreting Baba’s words or simply sharing my experience? Will sharing these ways I integrate Baba into my modern life bug anyone? Have I focused enough on what is beyond illusion and not within it? J eepers creepers. now you have a peek at what my brain looks like when it starts off on its own. I pause, laugh out loud and once again read these timely words: WORK—Meher Baba Do whatever needs to be done, but do it as a spiritual being, as one who knows he is divine by nature and Unlimited with the whole of life in essence. Do it as if you are doing it for Me or for God. Do it with equal consideration for .
the interests of all concerned, for God is equally in each. Do it with utmost concentration, yet with utter detachment for the results of action. Leave the fruit of action to Me or to God. Do it as if it were the most important thing in the universe, yet let it be destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculed without concern, or let it be praised without elation. Leave the response to Me or to God. Do it, in short, as if you were not doing it at all, but as if I or God were doing it through you. Practical Spirituality, John Grant; Copyright 1985 John Grant & AMBPPCT So, with utter detachment for the re sults of action, here is how this works for me: when I let these words in, dur ing a hectic day, I do experience a shift in perspective and sometimes even in attitude. I do whatever is in front of me and say Baba’s name. During encoun ters with others, I occasionally cut and paste Baba’s face onto their bodies in my mind. This playful trick is particu larly helpful when there is disharmony. I say to myself, “Oh, it’s you, Baba!” and the tension often subsides. Am I in the “right” place for work and living today? Feels right to me, and even if it didn’t, I believe it’s still the right place, so I can experience a full range of emotions. I understand that I get to feel a zillion ways with a zillion people in a zillion places, so I may as well sit still, do my cut and paste trick, seek His grace and know that it is all right. In closing, here is a quote that ap peared in the Meher Baba 2000 calen dar, just as I was about to make a huge change in my living situation. I was so delighted when Baba answered my plea for guidance in writing! I understood immediately that today I am in exactly the “right place” in all facets of my life and that it could all change again tomorrow. “Above all else, be content with your lot, rich or poor, happy or miserable. Understand that God has designed it for your own good, and be resigned to
His will. Remember the present in the frame of the past and the future. You eternally were and always will be. You have innumerable forms as man or woman, beautiful and ugly, strong and weak, healthy and sickly, powerful and helpless, and now you are here again in another form. Until you gain spiritual freedom you will be invested with many such forms, so why seek temporary re lief now which will only result in fu ture bindings later? Do not ask God for money, fame, power, health or children, but seek His grace and it will lead you to eternal bliss.” Not We But One Meher Baba. .and would you believe that when I had this writing all done and ready to email to Dma, my computer got one of those scary bomb errors and froze up? At first I panicked, gritted my teeth and THEN remembered Baba’s words... “Do it as if it were the most important thing in the universe, yet let it be destroyed, or ignored, or ridiculed with-fl out concern, or let it be praised without elation.” Oh my, oh my, oh maya! . .
Truth Consciousness Avatar Meher Baba
piritual life is not a matter of quantities, but of (an) inherent quality of living. Spiritual Infinity includes in its scope all the phases of life it comprehends acts which are great as well as those that are small. Thus a smile or a look stands on the same level as offering one’s own life for a cause, when the smile or the look springs from truth-consciousness. There are no graduations in spiritual importance when all life is lived in the shadow of eternity. If life were to consist only in big things, and if all the little things were to be omitted from its scope, it would not only be not infinite, but would be extremely impoverished. The infinite Truth which is latent in everything can reveal itself only when life is accepted in its totality. -
An Experience in a Cave Overlooking Tiger Valley by Elizabeth Patterson
all earnestness I asked Baba if I might spend a night in the cave; and He promised me, yes, but that He would set the time. Weeks later, I reminded Him and He only smiled: “Do you wish to go now, or wait until it is the right time?” Atlast one day, the sixth ofMay 1938, He told me that I should go to the cave and re main for exactly twelve hours. Baba and the lady disciples accom panied me to the cave on this spiritual adven ture; and at 6 p.m. ex actly Baba locked me in, giving me the key inside. The last thing that I remembered, before everyone left me shut in alone for the night, was Baba hand extended through the iron bars, resting upon my head as if in blessing. The moment after they had all disap peared around the bend of the path there was profound stillness. Fleeting thoughts passed through my mind, but these I controlled, as Baba had instructed me that I should concentrate throughout the night and not sleep, unless I could not keep my eyes open any longer. According to Baba instruc tions, I lit a lantern exactly at ten minutes before seven and then lay down. Once I heard heavy thuds, like steps, ap proaching on the path and I waited anxiously for someone to appear; but the sound, although close, passed away and probably was a cow or a buffalo which had been grazing on the mountainside. Four stars in the shape of a kite, which resembled the Southern Cross, stood out in the sky more vividly than the rest. I remember looking at my watch to find it was not far from midnight. Determined to remain awake, I continued to think of Meher Baba. Unexpectedly a shock, like electricity, passed through my body from head to foot; I felt it particularly along the spine. It contin ued in waves of varying currents and became so strong two or three times that it seemed to 34
lift me—as would a rush of wind. Soon I felt myself swinging into space, the bedding unevenly swaying beneath me. I felt that if only I could remain on it, as on a ‘magic carpet,’ I would be carried safely; but it rocked so much that I then re membered to call out Baba Name and im mediately the “troubled waters” were stilled. Coming out of a kind of daze, I found my arms folded across me, as they cross the arms of the dead, and they were so numb that it took a while before I I could move them. Whatever the state was which I passed through, I was consciously unconscious dur ing it. A seeming sense of time passed when I was aroused by the cheery sound of voices, which I recognized to be those of my friends. They apparently were inside the cavern and called to me that it was five o’clock and that they had been sent to summon me. I remem bered Baba telling me not to leave the cave until 6:00 a.m. sharp, and this seemed conflicting. As I was wondering what to do, the thought came to me that I had better do what Baba Himself had told me. At that moment Baba glimmeringly appeared in the entrance and light flooded the cave with unusual brightness. He smilingly answered my mental inquiry by saying: “Do as I said; leave only at six.” Some hours later, opening my eyes and looking at my watch, I found it was nearing six o’clock and I rose to leave the cave. I felt fresh and invigorated—daylight was faintly penetrating the cave. After returning home to the bungalow I asked Baba: “Was it symbolic?” Baba answered ‘Yes. In the future you will know in detail its full meaning.”
To loMfoiw1it I can give you is not 1oviig me at all. To saifrne anytflthg in My cause to ga; something for yourself is like a 4 bId msccificmg his eyes for he Divine Beloved 4 sight I ah Iworthy of being loved because I am’ Love. He who loves Me because of this will be b. with unlimited F sight and 4e as I am”
Give Up Your Stagnant Expectations Meher Baba, through Princess Norma Matchabelli
From Treasures from the Meher Baba Journals, and Edited by Jane Barry Haynes, Copyright Meher Spiritual Center, and AMBPPCT
Give up your stagnant expectations. Give up your hunt for sensational experi ence. Those who dare to do the deep-sea-fishing shall get the matchless pearl of Truth. They shall be blessed with the knowingseeing-feeling of the supreme God-head. You can not know me without knowing yourself. You can not know yourself without knowing me.
I am your very Self. You can not cling to the false and have the Truth. You will have your choice. On the one side is endless strife and sor row. On the other side is abiding peace and joy. In the mazes of my creation those who hear are few. Those who understand are fewer. And those, who conquer themselves, are fewer still. From Norina Gift, A/Iessages From MeherBaba Received Through Princess Norma Matchabeii, Copyright 1997 by EliNor Publications, Inc.
The Pilgrim J esse Massa, Florida
Poetryl age k
Oh Pilgrim, the primrose path That leads to Lovers Lane, Begins the first time your heart calls out Beloved Baba’s name. From the very first spark of yearning for Pure Love Beloved Baba is aware But if you are faint hearted and weak, dear Pilgrim, you had better beware. In the very beginning of course Everything is fine Baba gives you Love and Bliss It’s honeymoon time. You sing Baba’s name and think “Ah, my troubles are past” But I’m sorry to say dear Pilgrim, This time doesn’t last.
Betrayer! Player with hearts! As soon as You seduced me, You disappeared!
The priceless treasure Can be had simply by seeking Only life’s pleasure?
When you are totally in love with Baba From your head to your toe And have firmly resolved that You will never let go, When you’ve decided to stick to Baba Through thick and through thin This is the time, poor pilgrim, Your troubles begin.
Beloved Baba has come Not to fulfill our desires But to give us pure love And extinguish hells fires. So when suffering comes as it must, oh pilgrim, Please do not complain But joyously sing Meher Baba’s Holy name.
The big lie The Ego, That has flourished for millions of years Does not want to give up Its falsehood and fears. “Excuse me, says the ego, “what about I, me and mine? Sorry, can’t give up that This just isn’t the time.”
Beloved Baba is so good, compassionate, and kind He always has only Our best interest in mind So when suffering comes as it must Just remember this; The price is not cheap For Infinite Bliss.
Desires of all kinds, For all kinds of things, For money and comfort, And gold wedding rings, Cravings for fame, High position and power The mind never stops Not even one hour.
The world is illusion It’s here then it’s past. There is nothing in life That is destined to last. So in loving surrender In all that we do Hold fast to Baba’s damaan For he is God holding you.
Beloved Baba gives us
J ust what we need To overcome hatred Lust, anger, and greed For this body and mind Must be smashed into dust I’m sorry to say, dear pilgrim That this is a must. Beloved Baba wants us to be happy With whatever life brings Enjoyment or suffering Both of these things Can you imagine that God Realization
You smiled and cast a nonchalant glance. I followed. Now I see That this path has led to not just a maze, but to the Executioner’s chamber.
The Executioner Max Reif, California Oh, MEHER, what have I gotten myself into? I’ve wandered into a place where I can’t feel You holding my hand. I feel lost in the lanes of the vast maze of Your World. Are You playing Hide-and-Seek? I’m a child in a wilderness. You are my only reference point. This isn’t fair!
Don’t think I’m being impertinent! This is my heart speaking! It speaks with the authority of a heart. What sort of madness is this? You came to me as my Saviour and You turn out to be my Executioner! Max says, I trust Him Even while He kills me. Perhaps He will hack away The part that feels the pain, And I will finally see Who He really is!
on The ThrecholdofLove Ed Flannagan, Massachusetts Why do you keep me waiting so long? I’ve been standing on these steps seems like ages now. ...
I know you’re inside and that this door was made for opening. Why else would you build it with such infinite detail and agony. Perhaps you’re waiting for the other guests to arrive
to throw it open and invite
everyone in together. So, I’ve always been known to come early to a party even uninvited and then be the last to leave, —
But tonite with engraved invitation in hand I’m starting to wonder. The curtain of the age like evening is descending and my waiting heart has formed into a teardrop shape. With the sun already set, moonshadows are gathering and beyond your hill dark clouds forming. Don’t want to get caught in that deluge. If you don’t come soon I just might pop the cork on this bottle and get drunk right here on your doorstep. Then they’ll find me in the morning wrapped around that lovestreet lampost.
Pilgrimage Eruch Jessawala
ruch was asked by a young Baba lover, “Why make a pilgrimage to Baba’s tomb? Isn’t Baba everywhere? Can’t we bow down to Him in our hearts?” Eruch replied: “Yes that’s very good, why can’t you bow down to Him in your hearts, where it’s His real abode? He re sides in our hearts. But have you permitted Him to reside in your hearts? He says that He feels very shy of strangers that are in your hearts, and we don’t find Him there as tangible as we would want to. We are barren so to say. We don’t have Him— we don’t feel Him in our hearts, and therefore we look hither and thither for His physical presence. Not having His physical presence then we go to the places that His physical pres ence was associated with. That’s at Meherabad.. .Meherazad.. at the tomb. .at Myrtle Beach Centre in America. or at Avatar’s Abode in Australia, where His physical presence was—where He trod upon the earth. You know what happens when a person presumes that he knows how to swim across the ocean. He knows swimming, he is an expert at swimming. But the ocean is so vast that even the expert swimmer .
who dares to cross a channel gets tired sometimes, and when he is totally ex hausted it is said that he even looks for a straw that floats on the ocean to cling to it. That is how we cling to the relics and remnants of the Great One, who time and again descends on earth. He in His great compassion came to us, it behoves us to go to Him even though He has dropped His body. And where can we go to Him except to the places that are associated with His physical presence. That is why it is very important to pay visits to places where He has been or He made His abode, or He stayed, or where there was a certain universal or spiritual work done by Him. It is good to say that He resides in our hearts for those who have the actual ex perience of it, then there is no need for that one to go anywhere. But when you are weak and when one knows that one cannot find Him in his heart, then he looks elsewhere. .he has to go somewhere. he goes on wandering. He goes on kissing the very dust where He trod. These are the little steps, towards His abode in one’s heart where He actually re sides. But without doing these pilgrim.
ages you wont reach the heart, where He is. These are the essential beginnings, these are the steps that will lead you to His abode in your heart. Later on there is no need, but to begin with it is essential. Without them, it won’t be possible for you. Thejourneying towards Him is necessary, whether it be inward or outward.” Would you say particularly journeying to Meher Baba’s tomb?” He was asked. Eruch replied: “Of course, that is the most dynamic spot of His Advent, His tomb, definitely. Why I say that it is es sential for every person who is in search of Truth to pay a visit to the tomb of the God-Man, is because the God-Man in His recent Advent, Avatar Meher Baba Himself, has given us a guide line, when in His physical presence He led His close ones right up the hill to where His tomb is situated. It was built thirty years before He dropped His physical body and He had selected that spot. He said that after He dropped His body His remains would remain and rest there. He led His close ones right to the threshold of the tomb and made each one bow down to it saying, let it be the place of pilgrimage for the whole world. What greater assurance can we have than this—His own words? He wanted us to pay a visit to His place—His resting place. In 1954 He said that after 5eventy years this place will become the place of world pilgrimage where people from all over the world will congregate to pay their homage to His body which rests there.” From Practical Spintuality with MeherBaba, by John A. Grant, Pages 196-197, Copyright 1985 John A. Grant, Published by Merwan Publications, NSW, Aus tralia “
Paintingofthe Samacihi by Sharon Mufr
Hamirpur Tour With Bhau
th th rom March 13 to March 25 Bhau Kaichuri went “on tour,” invited by van— ous Baba centres in Northern India. I was part of the group that travelled with him. How can I tell you about this trip? It was no ordinary journey. Fifteen days from Nagar to Jhansi, Oral, Nauranga, Mehersthan, Hamirpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Dehra Dun, and Delhi. Three overnight train journeys, many hours every day in a car on bumpy roads, it was exhausting. But how can I com—
plain when Baba Himself went to all these
places, and many more, in 1952 and 1954, when the roads were worse and He often had to go by bullock cart? Numerous mci-
dents kept reminding me of the Blue Bus tours or of the tribulations of the Mandali when they were travelling with Baba. The
scale was much smaller, and still it was all I could take! Bhauji had not been back in these areas since Baba had sent him to Hamirpur in 1955. During that trip, Bhau says he did not sleep for 15 days and had to be woken up
Anne Moreigne, Meherabad 16 April 2000 amazing to feel lost in the heart of rural India and to be stopped at a crossroad by people who have been waiting for hours in the hope
visited one of the houses where Baba and
of seeing Bhau. They literally flag down his car with rainbow Baba flags; they have placed a picture of Baba on a platform or on a chair, under a tree or in a bus stop shelter; they
the Mandali had stayed. Bhau was quite animated, gesturing and the mast was kept here!” Suddenly forty some years ago seemed like yesterday. Dehra Dun is where Bhau joined Baba, in 1953, where his training began. It is good for my stubborn mind to hear again and again all these stories of love and service; love of the Avatar for His creation; love of those who followed and
have tea and sweets or fruits to offer; they have songs, sometimes a band.
In Tikar, on the way to Ichora, we were greeted by a three-musician band, with a bicycle carrying the sound system and the
humiliations of which we have only a very faint idea. And also to witness the love-inaction of those who are now doing their very best to arrange these programs, to make us comfortable. At one stop an Indian lady,
utes?” My Western Virgo mind kept being
older than me, gave me one look and said:
baffled, befuddled and bewildered when faced with these repeated exuberant outpour-
ings of love.
Tired ofbody, confused ofmind, I often
Bombay. Forty five years later, Bhau was still setting a hectic pace, to the dismay of his accompanying doctor who watched helplessly as rest periods and sleep time
felt I was jetlagged. Bhau had more energy
to thrive on the special brew of enthusiasm— in the original sense of the word, “Filled with God,” that pervaded the groups we visited. Everywhere Bhau was greeted by a wild welcome, sometimes on a huge scale. In Oral they had a procession with a band, dancers, hundreds of school children, 12 horses and one elephant! Bhau pointed
out that the last time he had been in Orai, only two families knew about Baba. The seeds have grown. Everyone was eager for an embrace, eager to hear stories, to ask questions, to sing. In some places they sang
all night long. Bhau had written and sent in advance a poem for each centre we visited during this tour; these verses were already
put to music and were sung at the beginning of the programs. As we were driving on and on through a countryside of mustard and chickpea fields
I often asked “Why did Baba go all this way?” “For His lovers, Bhau would answer. “How did the people in these faraway hamlets hear about Him?” He replied “Through the tireless work of early followers like Babadas and later Keshav Nigam and Pukar. It is so “
“ . . .
loudspeaker. Everyone seems so delighted to see Bhau and all of us travelling along. I had tears in my eyes at most of these unsched uled stops, wondering “What does all this mean? Meher Baba is not here, why are they so happy to see Bhau for just a few mm-
after his train reached the terminus in
became shorter each day. But Bhau seemed
We heard so many Baba stories, old ones
that take a new flavor when told in Hindi in the place where they happened, new ones I had never heard before. In Dehra Dun we
than me. He talked several times a day, I dare not count the total number ofhours, in places as different as a farm courtyard with the buf faloes munching in the background or a wedding hall with marble walls and red carpets.
Or in large temples dedicated to Baba, like Meherdham in Nauranga or Meherpuni in
Hammrpur. Or on top of a hillock, in Meherasthan, where Baba declared in Feb ruary 1954 that He was the Avatar. I espe cially remember that place; there is a hut that was built for Baba on top ofthis hill. In front of it is a flat area where about a hundred
people were sitting on the ground listening to Bhau while night fell. Soon there was only this square of light from a few neon tubes. There is no electricity in this village, but a generator had been hired for the occasion. The fragrance of tulsi (holy basil) filled the air. Outside this group of people listening to stories about the Avatar one could make out the silhouettes of large trees, and beyond
them, only the night. One had a sense of being on top of the world there, a very spe cial place indeed. “Baba, what am I doing here, what does it mean?”—my mind kept asking questions that got no answers but could not push away the sense of awe, of wonderment, that was often present during this trip.
served Him, despite hardships and
You must be tired. I was. She started “
massaging my feet. I felt I was receiving pure love!
Hamirpur district Ram during his exile roamed in this country side; Dehra Dun, between the Himalayas and the Ganges; beautiful River Bethwa in which Baba washed His feet; green Meher Mafi that was Baba’s base for
His work at the Kumbhmela in Haridwar. We were in holy country, in the footsteps of
more than one Avatar. In Meherasthan an elderly villager delivered a simple and sin-
cere speech, thanking Bhau for having come again after 45 years. His joy and gratitude were so genuine that I felt all the difficulties
of the trip had been wQrthwhile. Obviously these gatherings around Bhau bring a very strong sense of Baba’s presence to all those who come together to remember Him. And sharing in the fragrance of our Master’s love
is a priceless experience. —
Eruch Jessawala, Meherazad
ruch was asked what Baba said about praying and prayers. He tells us Baba said: “All the time pray to Me—it is good to pray. But the prayer that reaches Me is not a long list ofyour wants. That will never reach Me. Just My Name—even if it be just My Name it will reach Me. But then mans heart is such that when it pours out—it pours out with many words, those words help you to glorify Me. And even if there is a long, long list of all the glories that you attribute to Me, that will reach Me. But when you crave for something, want something, and you ask Me as your prayer—that prayer does not reach Me. But if you ask Me and don’t expect an answer, then that prayer reaches Me.” Baba said that one day He would give us a prayer that would be the best prayer for us tc pray. Then one day He gave us this prayer, it is called the Master’s Prayer, it is also known as the Universal Prayer. You will find in this prayer there is noth ing but hailing Him, glorifying Him. He also gave us the Prayer of Repentance. So these two prayers were given by Him. At the time there happened an incident which made me feel very happy that it occurred, because through it happening we ob tamed an assurance from Him . for those who recite the prayers now. He gave that prayer, it was first taken down and then translated into the various languages. Then we found to our surprise that when we recited the prayer that He had given us to recite to the Lord, He Himself would participate as if He was one of us. Participate in the real sense, mind you. We may not be participating properly because our minds may be somewhere else at the time, even though we were physically present. But to us it appeared that He was fully participating—that was the feeling we had. He would stand for the prayer, then everybody else would stand. He would be all attention, calm and within Himself as the 38 ‘‘
prayer was being recited. This is the way that it was done; I had to recite the prayer. I tried my best to learn the prayer by heart, by reading over and over what I wanted to recite. On many occasions and for several years I tried my best to learn the prayer by heart. I did learn it. Then one
softly slap His cheeks with the palm of his hand—I repent, I repent, I repent—It means whatever is in the prayer, He repents. I still don’t know the prayer by heart. Then one day He told us to say, amen, at the end of the Repentance Prayer. Then as the years passed by, He would very frequently ask us to read out the prayers. Not every day, sometimes it would be every day for a month, sometimes it would be every day for a week, then there would be a gap of four or five days and then another week—something like that. Whenever He wished that the prayers be said, they were said. He would tell us to wash our hands and be prepared for the prayers. He would also have His hands and face washed before the prayers. Now as the years passed by and as He grew weaker and weaker—I don’t know whether you have heard that during the last seclusion time He would thump His thigh with His fist all the time while He was cbseted alone in His room. He had to do it, He said, to keep the link of Reality with illusion, otherwise He would give up His ghost —He would pass away. So in order to keep that link He would thump His thigh with His fist— that is the understanding He gave us. I don’t know what it all means. But then what happened was that He lost all the elasticity in His thighs and they became like wooden blocks, really, literally. I have felt my own thighs when I was a good athlete, they were very tight, but there was also elasticity there. But His thighs had no elasticity. So it became very difficult for Him to stand, He had to balance His body on His legs and two people used to hold Him up. But still He would participate in the prayers by standing up even although He had to be supported. Again time passed by and He contin ued participating like that. Then one day He told me to make it quicker. “Read the prayer ,
day I emboldened myself to recite it before Him. I recited the first line and then I cornpletely forgot the rest—I was so immersed in glorifying Him. Baba told me to go and get the book and read it from the book ev ery time. I still have the same prayer book that Baba used to handle and I read from each time. He would stand up and then we all would stand for the prayers. I would recite the prayers. The Master’s Prayer would be read first and then after a halt of a minute or so He would signal to read out the Repentance Prayer—this is the sign for repentance. So I would read it out and He would all the time
quickly, I can’t stand for long.” So I used to read out the prayer faster. After all it was reading for me. What was it to pray to Him in His presence—it was reading for me. So I read out faster. Next day He said, faster still, can you not read faster? I said, Yes I can; so I read faster, faster and faster. Four or five days passed, and the speed went on increasing to a fantastic degree. One day as I read the prayers, my own words started echoing in my mind as I read nonstop, no commas, no periods, no pauses. The echoing of my words reminded me of a train rushing through a railway station nonstop. When this thought came to me, I burst into laughter in the midst of the prayer in front of all, during this solemn occasion. Baba was there. He didn’t say anything. Then I controlled myself with great difficulty and continued reading the prayer. When all the prayers were finished, af ter some little time Baba looked at me and said, “What made you laugh?” I replied, “The fantastic speed with which You wanted me to recite the prayer. The very thought of it was so ridiculous, it wasjust a reaction, I don’t know why, but all of a sudden the speed with which I was reading, reminded me of a train rushing through a station platform at great speed without stopping.” He said, “You are a mad man, you don’t realize the import of it. You know how dif ficult it is for Me to stand up or to do anything standing, but still I participate in that prayer. It is not the waS’ you recite the prayer that is of any importance. The importance is that I am physically participating in the prayer, so that when posterity will repeat it and recite it, posterity will benefit by it— whosoever recites it will be benefited. My participating in it now, will help any mdividual who recites it later on.” From PracticalSpirftual/ty WithMeherBaba, by John A. Grant, Copyright 1985 John A. Grant, Published by Merwan Publications, NSW, Australia Alyseif
A monk said to Nasrudin: ‘7am so detached that meyer think of myseh’ only ofothers.” Nasrudin answered ‘lam so objective that Ican look at myself as ifl *were*another person, so Ican afford to think ofmyself” From The Subtleties ofthe Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, The Octagon Press, London, 1983.
Jesus, The Only One? Eruch Jessawala, Meherazad
a born-again Christian who wanted to have my reaction to Jesus’ statement in the Bible that all who did not believe in Him were condemned, I answered that Meher Baba was the same Ancient One who comes again and again in our midst, and therefore one must not differentiate between Jesus and Meher Baba. Baba, like Jesus, said that He and the Fa ther were One, and He is not only the Father, but the Mother, the Son, the Friend, the Redeemer, the Saviour and the Compassionate One. What Jesus as the Ancient One stated is so true. For our sake He takes birth, suf fers and gets persecuted, and for not rec ognizing Him when He is in our midst, we stand condemned. But we are not condemned forever since He is the Compas sionate One, and if we did not falter or fail, how would He exercise His Compas sion for us? “Time and again,” Meher Baba told us, I come to arouse and awaken humanity. I came as Zoroaster, Abraham, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed and now I have come as Meher Baba. When I am here, I come for all but I am for the few who recognize Me and are made to recognize Me by My Grace. It is my Grace that makes people recognize Me as I am.” Whenever He comes we miss Him because despite His repeated assertions, we do not recognize Him. He does not come in the same form or with the same physi cal features but as the same Truth, for He is Truth and Truth’s body. Once Meher Baba gave us a simile to illustrate this. He told us about a family that during the last war faced a shortage of the well-known Quaker Oats for their only child. They strongly believed in its energizing quality and so on the day when the mother discovered that her cupboard was empty of this cereal, she rushed to the store in great anxiety and saw to her relief that there was still one tin of oats available. She hastened to grab the cereal but the shopkeeper confronted her and stopped her in the act. Fearing that she might lose the cereal to another, the woman in a torrent of words begged to be allowed to have it even double the usual price, citing the urgent need of her child. “
When the shopkeeper managed to get a word in, he explained that he was stopping her only because the tin on the shelf had come from an old stock and having received a new shipment, he wanted to offer her fresh cereal instead. Baba then asked us, “Is there a mother in the world who would reject the new stock of cereal and take the old one?” And then He added,
“Time and again I come. Lam the same Ancient One. I am that fresh stock of Quaker Oats!” The question then arises: Is it the pur pose of creation that the Father should condemn forever those who failed the Son in His one and only advent? Of course not! The purpose is for the Lord to exercise His Compassion which He does by for-. giving them for their weaknesses and shortcomings, and Meher Baba has assured us that He will be born again after 700 years. What is written in the Bible is the Truth but there are deeper meanings behind that Truth and to understand those meanings one must yearn for the Lord J esus, and by our loving Meher Baba we can have a deeper understanding of Jesus who got Himself crucified on the cross. To love Meher Baba does not signify that one is no longer a Christian; it only means one can be a true Christian and thereby realize the Truth. Meher Baba is the Infinite Ocean and everyone is wel come to quench his thirst from the Ocean of His Love and nothing else matters. As someone once said,
“The sea remains the sea whatever the drop may think.” From The Ancient One, by Eruch Jessawala, Pages 212-213, Copyright 1985 Naosherwan Anzar, Published by Beloved Books
Children’s Page Where Is God?
How did you know, his mother asked? “Daddy picked looked up and them underneath, he replied. “I think it’s printed on the bottom.” “
He was just a little boy, on a week’s first day. He was wandering home from Sunday School, and dawdling on the way.
He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he found a caterpillar. He found a fluffy milkweed pod, and blew out all the “filler”.
Another three-year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. “Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet. He looked up at her, puzzled, and said, “Don’t kid me, Mom. I KNOW they’re my feet.”
A bird’s nest in a tree overhead, so wisely placed on high, Was just another wonder that caught his eager eye?
A neighbor watched his zigzag course, and hailed him from the lawn, Asked him where he’d been that day and what was going oI.
************ * On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, “If anyone has to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers. A little voice from the back of the room asked, “How will that help?”
“I’ve been to Bible School,” he said and turned a piece of sod. He picked up a wiggly worm replying, “I’ve learned a lot of God.”
A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. What are you doing, his mother asked? The box says you can’t eat them if the seal is broken,” the boy explained. “I’m looking for the seal.”
“Mmm very fine way, the neighbor said, “for a boy to spend his time.” “If you’ll tell me where God is, I’ll give you a brand new dime.” “
Q uick as a flash the answer came! Nor were his accents faint.
‘[ J 7 giveyou a dollar Mistei ifyou can tell me where God am “
Kids will be Kids:
four-year-old girl was learning to say the Lord’s Prayer. She was recit ing it all by herselfwithout help from her mother. She finished, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some e mail. AMEN,” A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.
A father was at the beach with his chil dren when his four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a sea gull lay dead in the sand. “Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked. “He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied. The boy thought a mo ment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?”
Humor for Huma
j A Child’s Faith
little girl walked daily to and from schooL Though the weather one morn— ing was questionable hd clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the day progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl was worried that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of the thunder, lightning would cut through the sky like a flaming sword. Being concerned, the mother got into her car and drove along the route to her child school. Soon she saw her daughter walking along, but at each flash oflightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. One followed another, each with thelittle girl stopping, looking at the streak oflight and smiling. Finally, the mother called her over to the car and asked, “What are you doing?” The child answered, “God keeps taking pictures of me.”
The Loch Ness Monster An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat at least a hundred feet into the air. The monster then opened its mouth while waiting below to swallow man and boat. As the man sailed head over heels and started to fall towards the open jaws of the ferocious beast he cried out, “Oh, my God! Help me!”
Suddenly, the scene froze in place. As the atheist hung in midair, a booming voice came out ofthe clouds and said, “I thoughtyou didnt believe in Me!” “God, come on, give me a break!” the man pleaded, “Just seconds ago I didn’t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!” “Well,” said God, “now that you are a believer you must understand that I won’t work miracles to snatch you from certain death in the jaws of the monster, but I can change hearts. What would you have me do?” The atheist thinks for a minute and then says, “God, please have the Loch Ness Mon ster believe in You also.” God replies, “So be it.’, The scene starts in motion again with the atheist falling towards the ravenous jaws of the ferocious beast. Then the Loch Ness Mon ster folds his claws together and says, “Lord, bless this food You have so graciously provided
His Holiness The Pope finishes a tour ofthe East Coast and is taking a limousine to the airport. Haying never driven a limo, he asks the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. The chauffeur agrees and climbs into the back, and the Pope takes the wheel. His Holiness proceeds onto the highway and starts accelerating. He gets to about 90 mph, and suddenly he sees the blue lights ofthe state patrol in his mirror. He pulls over and the trooper comes to his window. The trooper, seeing who it is, says, “Just a moment, please. I need to call in.” The trooper calls in and asks for the chief. He tells the chief that hes got a really impor tant person pulled over and asks how to handle it. “Its not our local Senator again, is it?” asks the chief. “No, sir!” says the trooper. “This guy more important.” “Is it the governor?” asks the chief. “No Sir! He even more important than the President!” says the trooper. “Well, who the heck is it?” screams the chief. “I don’t know, sir,” says the trooper, “but h&s got the Pope as his chauffeur.”
The Lord’s Army A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” My friend replied, “I’m already in the army of the Lord, Pastor.” The Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?” And with a totally straight face, he whis pered back, “I’m in the Secret Service.”
A Burning Question Mark Palmer S. Carolina [With apologies to Bal Natu.1 In my usual sour mood I was eating breakfast, having just popped 2 slices of whole wheat bread in the toaster, when You appeared, looking over my shoulder. I was awestruck and spellbound and a little abashed as well as most amazed! You seemed to be fascinated with the toaster. “Can this be of interest to one such as You?, I inquired. “Why not?,” You replied. “Do I not toast those who come to Me? And what would you get if you took the ‘t’ from toaster and added ‘Zor’?” Meekly, I had to agree with You. “But why do You burn Your lovers?,” I asked humbly. You gave me a fiery look that was beyond time and space, yet was whimsical and kindly. “Am I not the sun? And doesn’t the sun emit intense heat, because that is its nature? It is up to you to protect yourself as best you can from being burnt—by using the best sunbiock. Of course, you might enjoy the process of getting burnt to a crisp, You said with a hint of amusement. The profundity of Your words almost caused me to drop my body right there and then! When I opened my eyes You were gone! Were You really here or was I dreaming? The smoke from the burnt toast caught my attention. “
I am very fond of Bal Natu’s Conversations series, and here share one of my own peculiar experiences Mark Palmer -
The Southeast Gathering by Bob Dearborn and Tom Dexter, Florida
he Southeast Gathering cel ebrated its Twentieth Anniversary at the Retreat Village at Camp Mikell in Taccoa, Georgia on April 13th through the 16th. Mehera Irani sent these words to the first Gathering. When they were read out by Mimi Hodgin at this Gathering, they were just as relevant today: “To the Southeast Gathering of Babas lovers. Jai Baba to you all gathered here today. It makes us very happy to know that so many have come together in Beloved Meher Baba’s love. Let it always be Baba love that brings His family together as brothers and sisters to work together in His love.Try to be the perfect channels for Beloved Baba’s workwithout the thought, ‘I am doing this for Baba and I am doing that for Him,’ but with the realiza tion that how fortunate we all are that Beloved Baba gives us the op portunity to serve Him. Often I feel that Beloved Baba allows certain situations to arise to see how we would react and be able to face them. The way of dealing with them being as important to Him as the result itself. ‘Do your best and leave the rest to Me,’ Baba says. And when we turn to Him for help, Beloved Baba never fails us. His way may not be the way we expect, but He knows what is fit and best for us. How blest is this world where the Avatar has dwelt and more so the ones who know andlove Him and wish to obey and serve Him. In His physical form Beloved Baba impressed on us the importance of holding fast to His daaman, not for a specific time but to the very end. And know that His daaman is here for each and all to hold on to. Love and follow Beloved Baba, and Him alone, wholeheart edly. Try to make Him happy by your obedi ence and love, for He is the one infinitely worthy of being loved. He has loved us and for our sakes has gone through much. Beloved Baba is surely present among you today. For your love has brought Him here today. Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai, Mehera.” The Gatherings guests included Esfandiar Vasili, Adele Wolkin, and Sheila Kalchuri Fenster. The musical guests were Mark Trichka and Lisa Brande. The Camp was shrouded in fog and a misty rain the first few days. Spring was indeed magnificent with its bright greens, flowering Dogwood, freshening breezes and a 42
thundering Springtime rainstorm. Remem bering the message from GodCallingfor April first: “Spring brings its message ofHope. that Nature arises from her time of decay and darkness to a new-life. But Nature obeys My Laws. It is by her obedience that the .
quickening of New Life is succeeded by the beauty of Risen Power.” Sunday, our final day there, everything was bright, beautiful and clear.
The guests all shared wonderful stories and their thoughts about Beloved Baba. Esfandiar Visali, speaking through an interpreter said, “It is my duty to relay what I have. Love is better seen as an inner strength or power. It is the only power that can take a man from where he is, to the Goal. Looking at Esfandiars face, there always arose the feeling this man is truly happy. He is a happy man! The bright glint in the eye and the gentle smile on the face were always there reflecting the inner radiance (exemplifying the Reality that is in each of us, that we too can reflect). Esfandiar told the story ofafter thirty years longing, he saw Baba in Meherabad in 1963. After a wonderful time with Baba, he was told “It is time to go.” Baba said, “Always remem ber Me and know that I am happy with you.” Esfandiar thought, “It would be better if He were pleased with me.” Baba then said, as if reading his heart, “Know that I am pleased with you.” When Esfandiar came to Baba in the Prem Ashram he had an extreme longing for God. He lost interest in eating and Baba came to him and hand fed him. Esfandiar 11kened the experience to a plant in the Gobi desert. The rain cloud appeared out of nowhere and rained just on him. He also related that he pulled a string out of the back of Baba “
Kamali coat. He chewed on it and swallowed it and said, “It was like swallowing a ball of purelight.”Someone in the audience asked the rather impertinent question; “What plane are you on?” Esfandiar laughed and said, “I don’t know, you tell me.” When asked to sum-up at the Gathering’s end he conveyed: “This much I know—Baba’s teaching is love, and it is not through words. This much I can say.” Adele Wolkin’s presence added the beautiful touch ofa practical life, lived in the West, directed by Baba, with His guidance and wisdom. Her emphasis at the end was to reiterate Baba reassur ance to us: “I love you regardless.” Then Adele added, “and regardless, He loves you.” Adele also said at the conclusion ofthe Gathering that she didn’t have much to say, but that Baba words said it all: “Things that i are real, are given and received in silence.” Musical guests included Mark Trichka and Lisa Brande with Keith and John Gunn sitting in. Their infectious, happy music with a bluegrass flavor had everyone singing along. Mark wrote a song based on the fol lowing words from Meher Baba: Before going to bed say: ‘Baba I entrust all that I thought, did or spoke, good and bad to you.’ When you get up say; ‘Baba, I now begin entrusting all thoughts, words and deeds to you.’ Say this just twice each day for five minutes but with all your heart in it. Do that and make Me responsible for all you do and think. Then you are free. But you must do it honestly. This much will be more than suffi cient to maintain the contact with Me. The talent shows, both children’s and adult, were remarkable in how much talent there is in our community. Elizabeth O’Neill performed an incredible classical piece on the cello to a standing ovation. Ex Los Angelino Jack Small, had a wonderful workshop on How to Please Baba. If you could do anything you want, what would you do? That heart desire to do something you really want comes from Baba. By doing what He wants. What does He want? He wants us to BE HAPPY! So, to please Him be happy. Be cheerful in deed, word and appearance, especially appearance it helps others. Jack helped to end the Gathering with a rousing performance ofDon l/ThrryBeHappy. Everyone was singing along and clapping and some were dancing in the isles. Many worked hard throughout the year, in the background, including our Chairman Lois Jones who helped with the child programs. All in all it was a wonderful Gathering.
Moon Ball on Mehera’s Eve Ward Parks, Meherabad
ehera, as I have always understood her, is the Moon to Baba’s Sun. She is the perfect mirror to that perfect Brightness, love’s stainless receptacle for Love’s boundless Plenitude. It is a pleasing coincidence, then, that her birthday on December 22nd of 1999, the last Mehera’s Eve of the millennium, coincided with the biggest and brightest full moon in more than a cen tury. What better way to honor her than through a lively game of Moon Ball—that is, volleyball under the light of the full moon? Some might dispute volleyball’s claim to the status of “high devotional activity.” During the vigorous twenty-year run that volleyball has enjoyed since the opening of the Pilgrim Centre in 1980, the vol leyball court may have seemed to many observers more like a war zone than a gar den. But then again, with a Women’s Arti in the morning, songs and flowers had al ready adorned the daylight hours. Christmas wasjust around the corner, the festive spirit was running high, and the younger pilgrim contingency in particular wanted something novel and exciting. How often do we get a moon like this, after all? The groundswell movement was irresistible; and so, for better or for worse, at nine p.m. the gates of the Pilgrim Centre disgorged into the chilly evening fifteen or twenty enthusiastic sportsmen and sportswomen, all fired up and ready to go. By the special rules governing this particular match, spiking was prohibited, and shots (to be legal) had to achieve a cer tam loft and arch. In the brilliant moonlight the players, the net and court, the trees and buildings and surrounding coun tryside all stood forth with an eerie clar ity. The white orb of the volleyball, like a little sister to the moon in the sky, would soar up high in the serves. But in the de ceptive half-light, it was hard tojudge dis tances, and more than one player wound up getting beaned by the very ball with which he had intended to score a point.
At this juncture my team was poised on the verge of a historic comeback wherein we would have swept the next three games and won the match by the best offive. Unfortunately, at just that mo ment, Babin rang the ten o’clock bell, calling hostilities to a halt. Tired but exuber ant, twenty pilgrims and restdents headed for their beds, which seemed particularly cosy on this chilly December night. As I walked back to my quarters in Outer Meherabad, Mehera’s moon, serene and Photo by Tom Brustrnan brilliant, was still shining J okes and wisecracks abounded, insults overhead. As no doubt she will still be were traded back and forth between sides; doing at the turn of the next millennium shrieks and cries filled the night air. One a thousand years from now, when another of our more boisterously expressive playmotley gang of His lovers come out un ers would from time to time charge off der another full moon for another round into the shadows under the trees in pur of the same, eternal game. suit of an escaping shot with a defiant “I’ve got it!” More often than not he would get it; but sometimes he wouldn’t, and then we would hear from the darkness an agonized, prolonged wail, like the bellow of a samurai who just lost his first battle In an interview with Eruch, and is deciding whether or not to commit Naosherwan Anzar asks him: han kari. How can we bring Baba into our proLike all the great contests of legend cess of decision-making? and song, the 1999 Mehera’s Eve Moon Eruch: If you have given yourself to Match was fraught with the high drama Baba, all the decisions that you make will of great swings of momentum and tidal be His decisions. Once you are His, whatebbs and flows. In the first game, after a ever decision you make, know that it is hard-fought first few points, our team what He wants, for once you have deterstreaked off to a nine-to-two lead and mined to be His and act accordingly, you seemed ready to snatch the fruit of victory. can rest assured that your decision will But the opposition steadily clawed its way reflect His wish. However, your determi back, tying the game up at fifteen, and nation to give yourself to Him cannot be winning four serves later. In the second just lip service—you should feel that you game again we sprinted out to an early are His and act suitably. Furthermore, you lead, and again they came back. The score must remain totally resigned to the results was tied at thirteen; the opposition won of any decision taken as indicated above, the next point; and then again, Lady Luck otherwise it will be tantamount to you smiling on their efforts, a shot of theirs alone having made the decision. dropped between two of our players who failed to see it until it hit the ground. From TheAncient One, by Eruch Jessawalla, Fifteen-thirteen, another victory to the Edited by Naosherwan Anzar, Copyright 1985. opposition!
Let Baba Make Your Decisions!
Meherazad Impressions Jay Schauer, California
eturning earlier in the year, these are my pencil sketches of the Mandali these days: Overall impressions: hugs are now al most completely stopped. Very sad, but necessary, I fear. Particularly sad for first-time visitors. We still stand in line to greet them when we arrive, but even a handshake (or an arm-punch from Eruch) is an exception. For those who have had the chest-breaking hugs of the past this is a real change and more than a bit sad. The Mandali are getting old and their health is frail. Arnavaz: very beautiful and gentle as al ways, but looking a little frail. Still full of loving greetings and helpful concern. Bal Natu: still very nimble, but getting a bit slower these days, it seems. Focusing more and more on his books, less on conversations. He makes a point of sitting on the porch during lunches and talking to the pilgrims. He is as thin as a stalk of grass andjust as fragile. Aloba: utterly unchanged. Hearty in his gieetings. Loves to talk in Farsi, and there are plenty of Farsi-speaking pilgrims for him to converse with. Still the Sergeant, still ringing the bell and blowing the whistle. Goher: her hands are softer than ever.
She looked very tired when I saw her. Like a soft breeze; not much more substantial than a breeze. Walking only with much assistance from Shelley. Katie: strong and hearty and full of life. Still doing the cooking for all. Very robust, but having some difficulty walking because of foot problems, I believe. Meheru: healthiest and youngest looking of the Mandali these days, and really coming into her own, in my humble opin ion. Porch time with Meheru was full of conversation and memories of Baba, talk of pilgrims and people left behind. Chatting with Meheru was Just Like Old Times in Meherazad. Eruch: not looking his very best, sadly. The Myesthenia Gravis is really taking a toll. A bad cold could be very serious for him. He’s speaking a lot about dying (in general), and it appears that this is somewhat on his mind. And at Meherabad: the path up the hill to the Samadhi now is lit with warm incan descent bulbs in green pole lamps, like co lonial street lamps. The effect of this gentle light is entirely pleasing, not quite so nervewracking as Minoo’s harsh florescent lights, but not at all Minoo’s aesthetic of function-
Meher Baba Mandali, 1998 44
first. Clearly, Westerners have been at work. Places around Meherabad are now identi fled with large brick markers. The identifi cation is (a) on paper, with the ink fading rapidly and (b) in English. This no longer seems to be an obvious choice of language. This time at the PC I was in the minority several times over. I was male, for one thing, and females were most definitely in the majority. While I sawed wood in a pri vate room, females, it seemed, were sleeping 3 to a bed in Hostel C. Slight exaggeration here! Also, I spoke English. Sometimes English speakers have been outnumbered by Hindi speakers; this time they were also outnumbered by Spanish speakers: from Spain, Mexico, Argentina—Spanish was spoken by dozens of people. It was surprising, to say the least, to hear Bhau’s talks being translated into Spanish on the fly, or to hear the American Arti being belted out in Spanish (something of an im provement, it seemed to me.) There were more than a dozen pilgrims from Argentina, all of them making their first trip to Meherabad. They were delightful people to say the least. They had all found out about Baba in the past year or so, and their hearts were on fire. I knew their “spin tual godfather” (one of the ways he was described) from 10-15 years ago in North Carolina, Eduardo Nunez. These Argentinians had come to Baba through many different paths, but their love for Baba and Baba’s places was extraordinary to witness. On one particularly memorable evening, the entire group put on a performance: they showed us folk dances, folk music, tangos, and fed everybody yerba mate. No one seemed to know how caffienated the stuff was, even the All Organic Baba lovers were sucking down cups of the stuff and bouncing off the walls. Then, roaringly caffienated, we all got up and danced. The times they are a’ changin.’
From Our Man in Meherabad J ames Cox
May 16th uddenly the water situation at Mehera bad has become serious, some three weeks before the monsoon is expected to arrive. While not all the wells surrounding Meherabad seem to be as dramatically affected, the wells which the Trust relies upon for its water have dropped severe1yir productivityas the limitedwater table, such that it is, plummets. This is especially distressing news in that one of the major Trust wells has a smaillake behind and above it, but for some reason is not recovering after pumping. As a result, Meherabad is on an intense water conservation regimen, and all of the drinking water supply, including to the Samadhi, is shut off between 6 pm and 6 am. There are dire predictions ofnot being able to open the Pilgrim Center if there is no rain, but then again if there is no rain after these last 8 months of seasonal drought, the coun try cannot survive. This type ofgloomy pre-monsoon picture
of Speaking Sweetly
Love wants to iracli out andmanhand/o us. Break all O1ll teacup talk of God ; Ifvii had the courage and c/give the Beloved His choice, some inhts, He ii’ouldjust diag’ou around the morn Byivurhaiz; Ripiiq fivrnivurgri all those tops in the
That biiizgvii I1OJ
Lo’i -e soinerinws gets turd of’speaking s14eetlv And waiits to i’io to c/nrc/c ill/your erroneous notions oltiuth That inake;’ou fight 1Tithiiiivurse/f dear one ‘-1nd wit/i others Causiizg the i i ‘orid to Oii too nianj’ floe dais. ..
God ants to manhandle us. Lock us his/dc ofa tiny ivoni L1 ‘it/i fEf1fl1elf Aridpmcticc His dropkick. The Beloved sometimes T iants Th do us a great f voi -low upside (101 n And shake all the nonsense out. But ihen we hear He is in such a jlavful drunken mood• Alosteveryone Iknow Quickivpacks their bags andh4rhtails it :• OutoftoTl’n. .
occurs almost every year, and sure enough, when the time is right, we get rain. Such was the case yesterday afternoon at Meherabad when we had our first real shower of the new season, half an inch. The Arti crowd at the Samadhi continues to steadily increase over past years, with many Indians taking advantage oftheir annual holi days to visit. One such group, coming from Bombay in the night by car, was smacked by a truck 3 days ago about 20 km south of Nagar. The driver, Aspi Elavia, saw the truck overtaking another vehicle in front of him and moved over as far as he could, then stopped, but the truck kept on coming and demolished his car. Fortunately the police were on the scene immediately and forced the truck, which was hardly damaged, to take all ofAspi’s party to the Civil Hospital in Nagar, bouncing them along with broken bones and all. One of the passengers was not severely injured and she gave Jars phone number to some helpful motorists, but they called with the wrong name of those injured, so Jal didn’t know who it was un : til he arrived at the emer gency room. Not a pretty sight, and when dealing with accident victims in India, one of the first things you want to do is to transfer them out of the Civil Hos pital, where they are required to be taken by law, to a better private facility. That is what we did, and the two who remain hospitalized are an incredible advertisement for air bags, which unfortu nately are not available in most Indian cars. And while I am on the subject ofroads, I wanted to give all ofyou the good news
that the fIrst sector of the new Bombay-Pune expressway has opened. So now for Rs. 25, you can pretend you are on a super highway, which except for the occasional water buffalo, it actually is. I think by the end ofthe year, the whole road should be open, and it will be an incredible relief for those who wish to travel to or from Bombay by car. Much of the construction work at Mehera bad has been curtailed now due to thewater shortage, but the Archive Building gets closer and closer to completion. Some waterproofing of the Samadhi walls is also being undertaken in order to stem the damage to the murals inside caused by leakage. And of course those of us who live here are also constantly undergoing our own inner and outer renovation /construction phases, drought or not, as Baba performs His myriad works ofspringcleaning.Thiscansometimes feel more like a car wreck of our very own at the side ofHis path.
The Gift, translations by Daniel Ladinsky © 1999
The Door to Babai House. FaintingbySharon Muir 45
Baba as the Ultimate Teacher Mr. Khodayar Toos, Prem Ashram
name is Khodayar, son ofToos. I’m an Iranian who, in the Iranian year 1306, when I was nine went to India along with 12 or 13 other boys from Yezd to Meher Baba’s school. There we studied for one year eight and months. From when I first saw Baba I told myself that he was not like the rest of human beings. All his manner and gestures, everything he did, were such that I had seen never before in the world. He was 0 b s e r v i n g silence, but he would speak With gestures in such a way that even the new-corners could understand. Even while observing silence, Baba would come and play games with us. He was so kind to us, and his love and his kindness had affected us so much, that when after one year and eight months our parents came to take us away, we did not want to leave. When our parents came and said they wanted us back, he sent us back to our own houses at his own expense. Indeed, during this one year and eight months our entire expenses as well as the trips to and from Iran were paid by Baba. Books and clothes and teachers and everything, he took care oL without taking even a single coin from our parents or having any expectations from them. Before we left, Baba made all of us from Iran line up. He told each one of us individually: “Don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t tell lies. He kissed our faces, each one of us, and then sent us away. When I returned to Iran I could not study any more because I could not find a school that could satisfy me after being in Baba’s school. Everywhere else I went was just a place of mischief but Baba’s school was where angels were. At Baba’s school at 5 o’clock in the “
morning the first call to prayer was sung and they would wake up all the children. There were 160 to 170 ofus there from all over the world, from all different religions. Although we were all from different religions and
It was a very educational place. Baba gave us so much education during the one year
and eight months. In thatperiodlstudied equal to four years of English school and six years of Per-sian school. I doi* under-stand how Baba did it, but he the had to :• power push all this our into heads. Every three months we would ; take a new j; examination and Butthe A important thing and the most interesting thing during ; this period was, aside from Baba’s we were lessons the spiritual kindness, in things spiritual taught were taught. We Hafiz’s I open if would that such a manner book, I felt that I understood all I read there. One of the discourses that I remember hearing from Baba in this period was concerning the evolution of forms, about how a man dies from inanimate and becomes animate and then dies from animal and becomes man. He explained this to us using a doll. He gathered its limbs all together and .
different classes, there was not the slightest enmity between us—we were all so kind and friendly to each other that we all felt like brothers of each other living, sleeping and studying in the same place. So in the morning they would wake us up at time of morning prayers. They gave us powder to wash our teeth with, then we would wash our hands and faces and go to breakfast. For breakfast they would bake a bread so fresh and so delicious that I have never tasted anything like it anywhere. They would serve it with tea and milk. Then we would go to school. We were in school till noon. In the afternoon we would go play, and every other day we would have a bath and our clothes washed by the clothes washer. Among the 160 or 170 people, not a curse word was heard.
‘Baba’c school was where angels were.
bent them inside and also bent the head inside and he explained that this was the state of inanimate. This is the stone form which is the dwelling place of the soul in the beginning. And then gradually he opened the limbs and the head and he stretched the legs up towards the sky and explained that this is what happened in the plant form. So this doll which was all together with all its limbs inside, now had opened the leg which was pointing up. He said that this was the plant and that it was getting nourishment through the head from the ground. Then he brought down the leg and made the doll stand on four legs. By gestures he pointed out that this is the state of animal. He explained that when the plant becomes animal the four limbs extend out and he stands on four legs. Then he made the doll stand on its feet. He said that now this is human form, while even from the beginning it was the human form but that it was all involved into itself while in the plant form he extended the leg, in animal
form it put down the leg and stood on four legs, and in human form the same human stood up on two legs and became human. He explained all of this very beautifully to us by the use of this doll. And he did all of this while in silence and this was very enjoyable for us.
Many other times he told us stories with his gestures; many of them were really very funny. I remember another time the teachers asked us, “Do you know what is higher than these clouds?” We said no, but of course we were children then. How were we to know what was higher than the clouds? Baba explained that a mother’s love is higher than that. This is another thing that has impressed me very much, it has remained in my memory. In all my life, in whatever trouble I was caught, I would ask help from Baba and re ceive it. I was never left helpless anywhere. What Baba would always ask from me was that I should constantly keep him in mind. When I was 13 or 14 I went to Bombay to work there. One day I saw Baba with two others, one ofwhom was one ofmy teachers from school. When they saw me, they ges tured to me to approach. I approached. The only thing Baba said was that I should think of him constantly. I would think of him and this has been a great help for my external and internal life. In short, with this life of mine and with the very little knowledge that I have, the only thing that I have been able to readily gather from Baba is this one thing, that we should try to find God within ourselves. I have been able to understand a little bit that God is indeed within ourselves, and that all of man’s activities originate from His will —
The Universe is the game of Everything and Nothing, and in the infinite nothing of this nothingness we remain entrapped. This play of Everything and Nothing is the First Soul’s Leela as He is so mischievous that He only loves to play, and none know how He plays His game until Who He Is has been realized. The limitation of imagination (the prison of creation) is the play of the Beloved Child Who became our Beloved Father and Who keeps playing to gradually give God-Realization to every one. Though we suffer in this prison of body, energy, and mind continuously, none could bear it unless He came back again and again; and He does, because the Mischievous One is filled with love and pity. And He gives a little love and pity to every one of His little brothers and sisters so we can bear being without Him when He is not in form. In order to experience Everything all of Nothing must be experienced, and that is why He has kept this play of Everything and Nothing. The Eivrytliingaiid tile iVothing, by Bhau Kaichuri.
Manifestation. Inc., © 1981, Lawrence Reiter
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