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JULY,

ÂŁov&Street Lamp1?ost

A/1ehcr i3aba in Cqjon. 3animr,j, 1933

2001


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From the Editor Dma Snow Jai Baba folks,

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t’s hard to believe we are halfway through 2001 already! Our Sahavases this year are not working out as we had planned: We have become very spoiled as each year we enjoy the company ofBaba’s night watchman the inimitable Bhau Kaichuri. We had made our travel plans for 2001, counting on being at one or more of the Gatherings to be held across the countrywhere Bhau was to be the special Guest of Honor. But Baba had other plans for him. Read about it on page 11. We fervently hope and pray that he will be well enough to stand the rigors of world travel in 2002. We had originally planned on making this July issue a special tribute to Eruch, Baba’s Main Man. We put out the call for stories personal stories ofinterchanges between yourselves and Eruch, but I guess we should have an—

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nounced it in these pages, as the Internet did not net us many responses. So again I announce it, send us your stories, tales of what Eruch means to you; ofthe many ways he can ‘cut to the chase’ and zero in on what is really bothering you; how he brought you to realize it was Meher Baba that was the basis of everything in your life. If you have any particularly great pho tos, send them too, but be sure to put your name and address sticker on the back. We would prefer to receive your stories by email, but failing this typewritten no handwrit ten stories, please! People have been very generous in their donations to the yearly ‘subscription’ to the LampPost, so we are planning on printing this next issue in color, thanks to the generosity and hard work ofour man in India Balaji!. Ifyou have a photo ofthe Mandali, Mehera bad, or Meherabad thatlooks particularly good and colorfid, please submit it. Are there any of our readers sharp eyed enough to notice that our lampost on the cover —

Decision-Making with Baba Naosherwan

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Eruch

Anzar: How can we bring Baba into our process of decisionmaking and what role would intuition play in it? Eruch: Ifyou have given yourself to Baba, all the decisions that you make will be His decisions. Once you are His, whatever decision you make, know that it is what He wants, for once you have determined to be His and act accordingly, ¶ you can rest assured that your decision will reflect His wish However, your determination to give yourlf to Him cannot F be just lip service you should feel that you are His and act suitably Furthermore, you must remain totally resigned to the results of any decision taken as indicated above, otherwise it will be tantamount to ycu alone having made the decision. --

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From The Ancient One, by Eruch Jessawala, Edited by ‘.T 1 4 I’ aosneiwan i-ijiar, ragc 1’-F, opyrignt I O: Naosherwan Anzar Published by Beloved Books ___-

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this month looks different? Congratulations to you ifyou noticed, sharp eyes indeed. We used to have a graphic ofthe old style gas lantern, but now we have the ‘real thing’! Our logo is actually a photo I took of one of the lamps that now line the path up to the Samadhi. How beautifhl they are, designed byJose Enrique from Argentina. And such an im provement over the neon bars that were there before. Thank you Jose we are all so appreciative. As a fundraiser twice a year the Los Angeles Center holds a Fly to India sweepstakes, (I was the luckywinner in 1986, hand chosen, as we all are, by Baba.) But being the new Millennium, we decided to give you all an extra shot at winning and held a third Sweepstakes. The winning ticket was drawn at our Dinner Auction and the Grand Prize went to Mary Lou Swartz from Hayward, Northern California. Congratulations Mary Lou Baba wants you there. Better hurry! The Board would like to thank all ofyou who so generously contribute to and help support Meherabode, the home ofthe Meher Baba Center of Southern California. —


Apublication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California

£ov&Street Lamp”l?ost

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welcome... The LoveStreet £ampJ ost is dedicated with love to 2 Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. Allthe members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfiast ofLove.

The Markers at Meherabad

Dma Snow

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Meherabad Development Plan

Ward Parks

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When That Time Comes.

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Bhau Kaichuri 10

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Bhau the Indefatigable

Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor

Around—the-World

are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message

ofLove and Truth.

Dma Snow 15 Sam, Margaret and Stephanie 16

Please submit your text on computer disks ifpossible (in any soft-

Wendy Haynes Connors Memories of East-West Gathering Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 19

ware format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

Meher Baba in the Far East

LampPost Staff 24

I Want, I Want, but What?!

Bal Natu 32

Happenings at Meherabode

Various contributors 34

submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue

Nan Umrigar and Friends

Don Stevens 37

An Unforgettable Musical Journey.

Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 or

Magical Moments with Baba.

Bababook@pacbell.net

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Mary Pratt 41

Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 42

deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: Julyissue: October issue:

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November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and 11pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax

email: Bababook@pacbell.net

credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Traci Auer and Cherri Nelson proofreader: Michael Franklin and Patricia Adams-Smith research assistant: Barbara Roberts printing: Ray Madani distribution: Pris Haffenden, HarryThomas and Dma Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 5. Centinela Ave. Los Angeles CA 90066-3 124 310-390-2779 Feel free to call with address corrections or questions. cover: Mcher Baba in Ceylon, 1933 ©AMBCPPT he ove treet .arnp ab1tshed quarterly in January, Aprsl,July and O? qd 4 All contents © 1996”i\vatMeher Baba Center of So?thern Californii AU quotations photos or books ofAvatar Meher Baba © AMBPPCT India lr I

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Editor’s Page

Dma Snow

The LoveStreet Bookstore

Dma Snow 20

Book and Music Reviews

Various contributors 20

Children’s Page

Various contributors 23

Humor for Huma Announcements

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credits

Jay Schauer 38 Various contributors 39

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We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pic tures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used bykind permission oftheir Board of Directors. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication isprohibited by law.

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Dma Snow

The Markers at Meherabad

upper and lower Meherabad, there 29 Historical B Plaques. We can but show a few here. The sites have been carefully researched and the stone structures built, not etween

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just for the pilgrim’s edification, but also to reinforce to the Indian Gov ernment that this is indeed a Spiritual place ofgreat import and historical significance. One of the first to be erected was the one marking the ‘Post Office’ which became quarters for Meher Baba and the women Mandali. It was originally built by the British army as a post office. and was the place in Meherabd that Baba first stayed in 1923. It was then used as quarters for the women Mandali from late 1924 to the end of1926, and from the end of’28 to early ‘29. In 1927 it was used as a girl’s school. Baba instructed the mandali to dismantle it in 1933 in re sponse to an order by the British Government. The stones were later used to build Baba’s Tomb-Shrine and other buildings on the Hill. Upon seeing this plaque Heather Nadel, (Western resident for 20 or more years) was moved to write the following piece:

And, most beautiful, of Mehera, a shy young girl of 16 taking Baba’s darshan for the very first time inside the Post Office, and later, when she and her mother were staying with the other women there, looking out the window and seeing Baba alone just outside, singing and dancing in the light of dawn. The Post Office plaque gives only simple facts and dates. How could anyone understand, let alone describe, the significance of this place, or of all this patch of land where Baba worked so intensely in the early days, rebuilding the universe? Still, in my mind, I write a series ofphantom plaques for the Post Office: ‘God Incarnate slept here’; ‘Lord Nataraja danced here’; ‘Radha first bowed down to Krishna here’; and my favorite, remembering Mehera’s glowing face as she would speak of those first, glorious days with Baba in the Post Office: ‘TRUE LOVE blossomed here!’

7:rue Love 73lossomed 2tere!

The Post Office Plaque ,

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Standing on the path that goes up Meherabad Hill, I’m looking at a plaque marking the site of the old Post Office. Recently the government recognized Meherabad as a Sacred Site and as a Centre ofPilgrimage. With the increased public interest this cre ates, it seemed a fitting time for the Trust to begin marking out the sacred sites of Meherabad: structures and places associated with Beloved Baba’s life and work. So on this open patch between the road and the railway tracks, there are several simple brick markers with plaques: for Hazrat Babajan School, Sai Darbar, Makan-e-Khas and the Post Office. I’ve seen the others, but the Post Office marker is alive for me, awakening images of stories the mandali have told: Of Baba, in 1923, the very beginning, His second night at Meherabad, sleeping in the abandoned Post Office with the men mandali— OfBaba a little later, young and vital, sitting on the Post Office verandah surrounded by the men, playing a drum with His long slender fingers, as young Mehera, young Khorshed and the other women looked on— OfMani, age 6, on vacation and thrilled to be with Baba at Meherabad, waking in the night on her little mat in a corner ofthe Post Office, lis tening to the watchmen call out to each other across the fields: “All’s well”—

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Meherabad Development Plan is Becoming a Reality By Ward Parks at Meherabad

Mehe;Pilgrim Retreat

ork is afoot at Meherabad in fulfillment ofthe objects given by Meher Baba Himself in the Trust Deed. The centerpiece ofthis development effort is the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Two years of design work have culminated in groundbreaking and the start of construction this year. In the meantime additions to the Meher English School and Meher Health Centre have been com pleted, and the Spiritual Academy meeting hail is finished and fhnc tioning. On another front, years ofresearch have resulted in a large placement of orders for furnishings and equipment for the newlyconstructed Archive Building. Not yet completed but well in progress is the construction of the expanded Pilgrim Education Site (that will accommodate 4000 Amartithi pilgrims) and a new infrastructure capable ofsupporting a quickly-developing Mehera bad Estate. All ofthis represents progress under the Development Plan, inaugurated two years ago. At the heart of the Development Plan is safeguarding the sanctity and divine atmo sphere of Meher Baba’s Samadhi. No new facilities will be constructed within a half-mile radius of Baba’s Tomb-Shrine, and Meher Babac Samadhi a perimeter road will demarcate the boundary of this protected zone. Instead of new building in this area, under the Development Plan the Hill is being planted with trees, both to add greenery and to give shade to pilgrims. To date 2600 tree seedlings ofmany species have been planted across a 25acre plot on the Hill’s southeast slope. In the early stage of growth these trees require each about 20 gallons ofwater per day during the summer months, which is provided through a system of drip irrigation. When the trees are full-grown, seven pedestrian view corridors (also included in the Development Plan) willlead through the forest to the Samadhi. The design of Meher Pilgrim Retreat results from a two-year effort on the part ofTed Judson, the Trust’s resident architect. It was Ted who, in the mid-1970s, designed the existing Pilgrim Cen tre, which accommodates 56. In designing the Retreat, a facility

for 200 pilgrims, Ted drew on the advice and experience of a team ofworkers who for two decades have been providing care for pil grims who come to Meherabad to bask in Meher Baba’s divine atmosphere there. Amid the hectic pace of a Meherabad work life at Meherabad, Ted was forced to retreat into “seclusion” several times to get the design work done! Meher Pilgrim Retreat is being built on a plateau about 0.6 of a mile west of the Samadhi; one of the seven view corridors (which will also, naturally, serve as a walkway) will run from the Retreat to the Samadhi. Divided into two sides, a men’s and a women’s, each with two floors, the main buildings of the Retreat will have sleeping quarters and four designated reading rooms; outside verandas and courtyards will provide further spaces where pilgrims can read and talk among themselves or enjoy the quiet of this rural and pastoral region in the Meherabad estate. Proper attention to the construction of infrastructure will hopefully assure an adequate water and dependable electricity supply. From the Retreat (situated on its hill top) one will be able to observe beautiful sunsets as well as sunrise over the Samadhi. Construction will take three to four years to complete assuming suffi cient availability offirnds.The estimated to cost is $1,023,000. With construction of the new 15,000 square foot Archives, Museum and Research Building completed a year ago, a major focus of the current archiving effort lies in the furnishing of this new facility, so as to properly house and preserve the priceless documents, films, photos and personal articles associated with Avatar Meher Baba and His Advent. The costs ofthe building were provided for before the current Development Plan had been formulated; but what the Development Plan does encompass is the cost of the furnishing, estimated at $422,750 ofwhich $159,000 will be spent this year. The key item in the fu r n i 5 h i n g process is the 5 to r age cabinets. Research and of building prototypes of cabinets and museum article has storage been under way for two years,

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and fortunately an Indian supplier has demonstrated the ability to meet the demanding specifications that the proper care of Meher Baba’s articles calls for.These archival cabinets will comprise a major part of the total cost of the building’s furnishing. In addition computers, office furniture, and cold storage facilities for film preservation will be required. Meanwhile, while the furnishing of the building moves ahead, workers in the archival project have spent the past three years in sorting and cataloging items to be rehoused in the Archives Building when it is ready. The work has entailed the development of systems for storing and tracking the archival material.

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gnims who will come to Meherbad in the future to share in its Divine Atmosphere. Over the past three years 250 Meher Baba Lovers have made contributions ranging from $5 to (in several cases) over $50,000. In total about one million dollars has been contributed to date. In the next three years almost two millions dollars will be needed to keep the construction program on schedule. Expanding the contribution participation from Meher Baba Lovers is urgently required for the Trust to meet its responsibilities. You can help by sending a tax-deductible contribution to Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, do Kanji Miyao, Treasurer, 1214 5. Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 with the request that your contribution be used for the Center’s grant program to the Trust Development Plan. For those who are interested in making a bequest in their will, or designating the Trust as the beneficiary ofan insurance policy, IRA, or charitable trust please contact Emory and Susan Ayers Email: EAyers88@aol.com or telephone 860-536-0303.

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Auditorium

Cultural Academy Meeting Hall ‘

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Three projects Meher English School Auditorium, the addition to the Meher Health Centre, and the Spinmal Cultural Academy Meeting Hall have been cornpleted under the Development Plan and are currently being frilly utilized. Each of these Meher Health Centre projects has added a new dimension to life and work at the Mehenabad Estate. The Meher English School is a lull ten-standard English-medium elernentany-cum high schoolwith a fiiil time teaching staffof2l and a student enrollment of about 380 students, mostly from the village of Arangaon and the nearby locality The Development Plan financed the completion of the school plant by adding an assembly hall, gymnasium, and chernis try and physics laboratories. Seeing the 380 smiling happy faces in the new assembly hail will touch one’s heart. The addition to the Mehen Health Center has helped in the provision ofrnedical cane to the 100per-day residents ofthe surrounding area who come for free treatment for such ailments as respiratory infections, bacterial and viral infec tions, parasitic infections, diarrhea, anemia, skin disease, wounds and injuries. Finally, the Spiritual Cultunal Academy Meeting Hall provides a place for meeting and study for the 50 spiritual trainees from India and abroad, who have given up their life in the world and reside frill-time on the Trust Estate, where they devote themselves to love for God through various avenues of service. The Development Plan includes an expansion of the Amantithi Site to accommodate an additional 4000 pilgrims for overnight ac commodations at Amantithi and others times ofmela. This expansion is expected to be completed next year. For non-sahavas-time pilgrim accommodation, after the Meher Pilgrim Retreat is completed, a new Dhanamshala wiU be constructed to house 300 pilgrims. In the meantime, during the next three years the existing Dhararnshala will be renovated. In summary, the Trust is in the process of meeting its nesponsibili ties for today and preparing for the ever-increasing number of pil —

The Karma That Truly Counts Meher Baba speaking, karma is of two kinds: that which binds and that road1y which helps toward Emancipation and SeW-realization. Good as well as bad karma binds aslong as it feeds the ego-mind through wrong understanding. But karma becomes a power for Emancipation when it springs from nightunderstanding andwears out the ego-mind. Right understanding in tbis respect is best imparted by the Perfect Masters, who know the soul in its true nature and destiny, alongwith the complications created by karrnic laws. The karma that truly counts comes into existence after a person has developed a sense of distinction between good and bad. During the first seven years ofchildhood, the impressions that are released for expression are very faint. They also entail a consciousness ofthe world conrespondinglyless responsive to the distinctions ofthe world. Therefore the actions ofchildren under seven years do not leave any strong or effective impressions on the ego-mind, and they do not play any important part in shaping their ftiture.True and effective karma, which molds the ego-mind and its fliture, begins after the individual devel ops a sense ofresponsibility This sense ofresponsibility is dependent upon a sense ofdistinction between good and bad, which usually dawns frilly after one has passed the first few years of childhood. Discourses by Meher Baba Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT 9


“When that Time Comes, Nobody Will Know What to Do and What Not to Do” ISince Bhau heartsurgery —see article on next page—he has been subjectedto enforcedres1 As those ofus who know him can testi5,, mactivity does notsit we//with this man!He has been taking wa/ks in the afternoon and dur ing these times ofso/itude it seems Baba has been speaking to him. As soon as Bhau returns home, he dictates these messages. The one Baba gave him on May 15th is extremeiy potent. Read on:]

Bhau Kaichuri

Tuesday, 15th May 2001

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his morning, I was going for walk. Generally, I keep quiet during my walk, and I don’t talk. When I keep quiet, the Beloved talks to me silently.This happened during my walk today. After my walk, I sit on the porch. Today, however, I sat there for a very short time and came back to my room to dictate the message I received from Baba. The phone rang, and I went to attend the phone. Then a visitor came for some urgent thing, and I was talking to her. Then another visitor came. Again, I had to talk. It is now 1:00 p.m., and I have started the dictation. But after a short time Sheela will come and will urge me, “Take lunch and then rest.” I don’t know whether I will be able to re member all that which Beloved Baba has pointed out. But I will try to remember as much as possible. It is as follows: When I started walking in the morning, the thought came into my mind that, “What chaos there is in the world. Everywhere restlessness is there, and I don’t know when peace will prevail.” A voice came from my heart. My mind stopped. “Peace? You are thinking of peace? How can peace prevail? See the world everywhere talk about peace goes on. Big conferences are held to talk about peace, and why has this talk started? Because offear. atom bombs, hydro gen bombs, missiles and poisonous war materiel have been made in such quantity that the whole world can be destroyed. Now fear is there. So talk about peace continues, yet still the preparation of war materiel is going on and on. No country has any confidence in any other countryThey talk in a friendlyway. But this is all an outward thing. Because evil forces are working everywhere with greater and —

Bhau with Baba Bear

greater power, destruction cannot be avoided. There is no honestThere is no love.There is no confidence in anyone. Everyone and every country is engulfed by evil forces. Until these evil forces are destroyed, there can be no peace. But where are these evil forces? Evil forces are in everyone. No one is free from these evil forces. “But spirituality is also there, and I am the highest authority ofspirimallt I am the Ancient One.Therefore, I am working and working infinitely to make humanity free from evil forces. “There are two types ofimpressions or sanskaras. One is natural, the other is unnatural. Natural impressions take one towards progress of consciousness, that is, towards the Reallty God. Unnatural impressions create evil forces, and take everyone away from Realityc Because of these unnatural impressions, humanity is under the grip ofevil forces. Seffishness, greed, corruption, exploitation, lust, anger, wants, jealousy, hypocrisy, slander, backbiting and all low desires are increasing to any extent. Instead of love, hatred is taking place. Human beings areworse thanviolentanimals.In this situation, no one has any idea what will happen. “If war takes place, and humanity is de stroyed, can that solve the problem?The prob lem cannot be solved. You just find more and more population. There is a shortage of food, shortage ofwater, changes in climatic condi

tions, different diseases and different calami ties. Population is increasing like anything because people from different planets are taking birth on this Earth. “So ifwar takes place, can there be any peace? No, not at all. Peace will come when people are free from unnatural im pressions. Their consciousness will then proceed towards God. All low desires will be wiped out. Then only can peace reign. So war is not the solution for bringing this change so that peace may reign. “I had toldyou about the Universal Arrow I released at the time ofdropping My body. Because it is touching heart after heart in the universe, all engrained, low desires are coming out. That is why there is chaos and confusion in the world.These low desires, which are the evil forces, are to be wiped out. If war takes place, and people die, still those who die will come back with those low desires. Again, there will be the same thing which we find now. “It is certain that three-quarters of the world will be destroyed. It is going to happen. It is a definite thing. But what about those low desires? If they are not wiped out, people will take birth with all low desires. “Now, try to understand properly. These low desires create noise. They are unnatural. They are created by unnatural impressions. Natural impressions create sound, which sound takes one towards the progress of consciousness towards God.This sound emanates from the Whim. When there is no impres sion, there remains the infinite Voice of God. “Why did I observe silence? Do you know? At the time of destruction of the world, My Silence will be broken. The noise ofthe world will be absorbed in the Ocean ofMy Silence, that is, My Infinite Voice. Because I will re lease the Spiritual Bomb, the Spiritual Bomb will be released from My Silence.That Bomb will make all noise absorbed in My Ocean of Silence. It will be done in silence, and therefore it will be sudden. When those who die come back, theywill have natural impressions with progressive consciousness. “If anyone dies, he is not free from unnatural impressions. But My Silence will make it possible, that it will absorb the noise in Mylnfinite Voice ofthe Silence.The world will see this fact. Then peace will reign. Until that time, there will be chaos, confusion,


restlessness all sorts ofdifficulties.The world will go on becoming more and more complicated.

Bhau the Indefatigable

When that time comes, nobody willknow what to do and what not to do. People willstarve. People will not have water to drink, andthey will not havepure air to breathe. Pollution will spread ev erywhere. People willfeel suffocated, suffiringfrom different diseases.

Dma Snow

That will be the time when My Silence will be broken. People will realize that only God exists. Beside God, everything which appears as existing is nothing but Illusion Maya. The Spiritual Bomb which I will release will ab sorb the noise in the Ocean ofMy Silence. Then there will be no talk about peace, but the world will experience peace. Peace will come into action. Not remain in words. That will be My Universal Manifestation. This message I got from the Beloved this morning, and I am dictating it now. I started at 1:00p.m., and I completed it at 2:00p.m., though there was the interruption due to the phone call. Anyway, whatever I could remember, I have given out. I cannot say that I remember the whole thing, but the impact of this message I feel within me. —

With all love and Jai Baba to you, In His Love and Service, Bhau Meherabad May 15, 2001 Ps. This is an addition to the message above: “This is the reason why I have been re peating and repeating to My lovers to hold on fast to My Daaman. I repeat again, hold fast to My Daaman, My dear ones, and know well, nothing happens in Realityc Ev erything happens in Illusion. Therefore, have firm faith in Me and love Me more and more. I am with you. I will never leave you. I will never leave anyone in the world, whether he is a saint, or he is a sinner. I am everyone, and I am everything. So I cannot leave anyone, because all are My children. Though there are a few innocent children, most ofthem are mischievous ones. But af ter all, they are My children. I am their real Father. I will not ignore anyone at any cost.”

Ifyou knowyourhistoryyou arefamiliar with Eric the Rec4 RoberttheBruce, Ethelredthe Un— ready, Alexander the Great and many other such named historical characters. However I think in the Centuries to come wheneverpeople speak of theAvatai the nameBhau theIndfatigable will spring to mind 1 For those ofyou who are not in touch with the day to day happenings in the Baba worlc4 except through thesepages, thefollowing information may come as a shock. Bhau Kalchuri has hadheartsurgery. l1’ who hadaccess to emails werekeptin touch almost daily by Lynwood Sawyer ofNew York who stayed in Meherabadto act as Bhauc amanuensis. Thefollowing isjust a very few— andsome edited—ofthe emails we received Thefirst emailfrom Dr. Anne Moreigne: ear friends in our world wide Baba family, Baba has been unfolding events very rapidly here in the Pune hospital with Bhau. Bhau’s coronary angiography on Tuesday morning showed “severe multivessel coronary artery disease.” Because of the number, type and location of the blockages, the specialists decided that trying to unblock the vessels with balloon and stent (angioplasty) was not appropriate. They recommended bypass surgery which has better long term results in diabetics. A specialist from another top hospital in Pune was consulted for his opinion and gave the same advice. We had been hoping Bhauji would never need surgery again after his two operations for colon cancer; we know there are various alternative treatments for coronary artery disease. But none seemed feasible or even indicated at such an advanced stage. Then we met the cardiac surgeon. Bhauji instantly felt he was the right person. The surgeon said Bhau is a very good candidate, he said he was “99% confident of a good result, the last 1% we have to leave in the hands of God.” Bhauji liked that statement. So Bhau was scheduled for more pre operative tests and the surgery planned for Monday. To our surprise, Bhau kept protesting that “the operation should be earher, on Friday.” Well on Wednesday afternoon a patient cancelled his surgery and his slot was offered to Bhau! Bhauji will have quadruple bypass surgery on Friday 6th April at 2 pm. He is visibly totally happy and relaxed about it, because he feels his sur gery is what Baba wants for him.

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Many ofyou have been reminding us in your messages that Beloved Baba is in charge, and this is becoming clear even to my short sighted eyes. At every step Baba had placed the right person in the right place. This cardiac facility is excellent, their results and statistics compare with the best places in the West. And our Lord in His mercy does not even give us time to worry, we have been too busy making all the necessary arrangements since this rescheduling. Bhauji knows all your prayers will be with him at the time ofsurgery and during the next two days that he will spend in the intensive care unit. He often says how touched he feels to be the recipient ofall this love. Bhauji dic tated to me this conclusion: He is very happy and cheerfid, knowing filly well that it is Beloved Baba’s wish. During this week praise of Beloved Baba in different forms are going on everywhere in India and around the world as most religions have a special holiday this week. At this special time, let our thoughts be fo cused on Him, the All Compassionate One, who holds His Bhauji and the rest ofthe world in His hands. On the eve ofhis surgery, Bhauji asked that this message be sent out to all his dear ones: Beloved Baba would always say, “Births and deaths are illusory phenomena.” Though I would accept what He would say, in fact, I had no experience. But how great is the Compassionate One, that now I realize this fact. I’m becoming more and more strong. Death does not scare me, but it is giving me more strength. I feel closer and closer to Beloved Baba’s wish. I have received so many emails and so many phone calls from all the dear ones from every corner ofthe world, and I feel not only touched, but their wishes and their prayers give me more strength, and bring me still closer to the Beloved. What can I express through words? I now long to be united in His love with one and all so that I may enjoy His glory more and more and more. The DivineSun, eternally silent, but our darkness of ignorance keeps it hidden. Tomorrow (April 6, 2001), I will pass through quadruple bypass surgery, and I will plunge into this surgery to enjoy the pleasure of the Beloved. He has given 11


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unimaginably more than I deserve. He is making me free from all the rubbish I’m loaded with. What a nectar He is making me drink, which makes my faith in Him stronger and stronger. He is the only one worthy of worship. Bhau, N. M. Wadia Institute of Cardiol ogy Poona, Maharashtra, India April 5, 2001. As we all held him in our hearts and minds andaskedBaba to keep His nazarfirmly on His most active Mandali membei we then received this happy updatefrom Di Anne: Bhauc Succesfiul Surgery By Beloved Baba’s grace Bhau’s bypass sur gery in the Pune hospital yesterday, 6th April, went smoothly, lasting two hours and 45 minutes. The surgeons performed a triple bypass, and were able to do it with the beautifhilynamed “beating heart technique,”which means without stopping the heart. The cardiologist and the anesthesi ologist havejust examined Bhau and they say that his recovery is progressing normally. He will remain in the ICU for two days. Only 45 minutes ago we were waying to him through the windowofthe ICU of the Pune hospital and he was waving back to us! We will keep Baba-lovers informed ofhis progress. Bhau will be discharged from the hospital on Monday. He will again be going to Aurora Towers for a week. But he is still under restriction. After one week medical tests are there, and then only can he decide about his movements for the trip. The staffis very good, very bying, and they’ve all become friends. Bhau’s plans are not fixed, and the doctors will only be able to decide next week. Nowadays he makes friendships with all the doctors and nurses, and he’s bargaining with them about the trip. Bhau thinks he be will strong enough to visit the West, and it is the doctor’s courtesy to allow him. But today, one doctor said, “I know what you are going to ask, but for the present, keep quiet. You are still not out of the cage.” And when Bhau asked the chief surgeon when he could make his trip, the chief sur geon replied, “We’ll think about it afterwards. Not now. How long will you be my guest?” “As long as you want, but you must come to conclusion for bargaining,” Bhau replied. On the l3thApril we received thefoiowing: Bhau is still under restriction not to exert or dictate. He mentioned that “Now another phase has begun, and another phase is bargaining with the doctors. They come and examine me

twice a day. Ifthey say I am progressing very well, then immediatelyl ask them, ‘When will I be able to make my trip to the West?” Last night the cardiologist said, “Don’t ask this question now. You’ll be released on Monday, but don’t move about here and there. After a week, come to the hospital, and I will give you the tests and decide. Af ter then we can give you a definite answer.” Another doctor said “Up to the end of July, you should not fly. Ifyou insist, I then say that you just go to one place. Don’t go

on moving, and don’t go talking.” “He will not talk, but I will give talk,” Sheela said. See how Bhau is waiting, but he is waiting very anxiously to see all dear ones. He goes on bargaining with the doctors every day. Today (Saturday, April 14) the vascular surgeon said, “I see the problem isn’t getting you recovered. The problem is keeping you tied down.” Andjust before lunch the entire operat ing team came to see Bhau—chief surgeon, vascular surgeon, the third surgeon (whose precise duties I don’t quite know), and the anesthesiobogists. The chiefsurgeon said, “I see you’re progressing quite well.” “When can we start bargaining?”Bhau asked. “Come to my office,” the chief surgeon replied. Addressing everyone else in the room, Bhau indicated the chief surgeon and told the others “You’re a very good doctor.”

“I see you’re bargaining already,” the chief surgeon replied. th, 2 Fastforward to May j with Bhau recov ering very nicely. He dictated thefollowing: Bhauc Dhuni Day 4wakening’May 12, Meherabad “Burn the Distance in the Fire ofLove”

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eloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Today [12th May], the morning was very pleasant. As soon as I woke up, I re membered that I had to attend the Dhuni that evening. I went for a walk around Sheela’s house, and I forgot all thoughts of the Dhuni. I walked about 25 minutes today. I felt Baba was speaking in my heart. Though it was in si lence, I could understand it. He said to me, “Do you know why I lighted the Dhuni in 1925? It was not just for the rain. The villagers came. They wanted rain. I asked them to go back, and I will see what God can do. They left. I lit the Dhuni along with my Mandali members at 11:00 at night.Just after that, it started raining. “After one year, in order to celebrate the anniversary of the Dhuni, again it rained. I was in Toka. Again villagers came to me for rain. I lit the Dhuni, and it rained. Afterwards, because I started traveling all over India and the West, the Dhuni was not lit. Then, in December 1941, when I was in strict Seclusion, working onlywith the Masts, the prepa ration for war was going on fttriously. th On 12 December, 1941, I informed the Mandali that I would light the Dhuni. As I was in Seclusion, I never wanted anyone to see Me. So I was brought down the hill in an enclosure of bed sheets. There was an enclosure all around the Dhuni on the same spot where I lit the Dhuni in 1925. I was there, along with the Mandali. I said to them, ‘I have made all preparations for the war.Just like you have put the fuel here, and it now requires only to strike the match stick and to light the fire. So also My prepara tion is complete. It requires only to strike the match stick.’ “Then I said to the Mandali, ‘Pleader, you will get God Realization.’ The other Mandali members looked at Me, amazed. I said to them, ‘All of my Mandali will get God Realization.’ “Dhuni was lighted, and I announced, ‘My seat will be here for 1,200 years.’ “Again,just after one month, in memory ofUpasni Maharaj, I lit the Dhuni on 12th


J anuary 1942. A grand feast was

arranged for the villagers that day, and I announced that the Dhuni is to be lit every month on the 12th. Since then, it has. I also took part in the Dhuni in 1954, when the Declara tion Meeting was there. Also in 1955, dur ing the Sahavas period, and again in 1958. “But what is the secret ofthe Dhuni? You don’t understand. It is not any ritual or cer emony. It is the medium of My Universal Work. “Bhau, today you are going to offer the greeting cards, emalls, letters, and phone voices to the Dhuni, with a prayer that I should light the Fire ofLove in the hearts ofMy dear ones. I am happy you are doing this. I am in everyone, but do you find Me in everyone? Even though I am thousands of times closer than the breath ofeveryone, and am the very life of everyone, do you find Me? “You don’t find me. You find distance. Your own self creates this distance, which self contains ego, anger, lust, temptations, wants, jealousy, backbiting and all sorts of low desires. You find distance from Me because of all these desires, wants and temp tations created by the self. I am not away from anyone, and I cannot remain away. Even ifyou try to drive Me out, I cannot go away from anyone, because only I exist. Whatever you find existing is nothing but the creation ofthe self, and the selfmust go in order to find Me. There should not be any distance. Therefore, you have to burn the distance in the Fire ofLove.That is why this Dhuni is lighted. When you offer this distance out of love, you will find that the distance goes on minimizing gradually and gradually. “You are taking all these greeting cards, emails, letters and phone voices to Me where the Dhuni will be lit. Know well you are bringing My dear ones near Me, and for a moment they forget the distance, because you are forgetting the distance. I am very, very happy that you are doing so. I feel touched with your action. I am the Doer, and you are offering their love and wish to Me, and you have no idea how happy I will be. All My dear ones will be here with Me, and though you are offering the flowers and the sticks for them, I know their love is doing this for Me. They are indeed blessed.” When the voice stopped, I looked at my watch. I started at 7:55 a.m. and it was 8:20 am. It was the longest walk today after my surgery, and I was not feeling tired. I was feeling fresh. I came to the porch, and I was sitting

there. I asked Max to read the LampPost, and he was reading. Then Freeman came. So I asked Max to go for breakfast, and Freeman was reading the LampPost. I thought, that Baba was telling me about the Dhuni fire, and here is the LampPost. May He light the lamp of love in your hearts, 0 Beloved Baba’s dear ones!

Bhaucfirst 4wakening’ ofMay 14th Meherabad: YourHelplessness WillMake You Laugh and Few Actors Can Follow The Directorc Instructions eloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! This morning [May 14th], I took a walk for 20 minutes. Then I was sitting on the porch, where I had my breakfast. The morning was very fresh. A breeze was there, and I was very happywith the morning walk around Sheela’s house. Then I went to my room. Freeman brought the emails, and I dictated replies. Then Sheela asked me to take a bath. Freeman and Max were making arrangements to change my colostomy. I was lying in bed, and all of a sudden, a thought came in my mind, “Oh Baba, how helpless I have become! I depend upon others for everything. Day by day, this dependence goes on increasing.” A voice came in my heart, as if Baba Himselfwere speaking, “Helpless? You have not yet become completely helpless. When you become completely helpless, you will not feel sorry. You will not feel sad. On the contrary, your helplessness will make you laugh. That is helplessness. You have no idea what you gain through your helplessness. You get inner strength. Physicallyyou are ruined, but internally you are strong. Still you have to become more and more strong. The time has come for that. “You are My trusted one. My Mandali members are My trusted ones. I can trust them, because if anything happens, their faith in Me will not shake. They have rocklike faith in Me, and therefore I rely on them. They are My asset. They are the medium of My Universal Work. I torture them to any extent, but their love remains just the same. On the contrary, theylove Me more and more. I am their strength, and I am the only One on Whom they rely. Such persons now I will have after 700 years, when I come back. No one can replace them. “Then there is another category who love Me. But their love and faith are not as strong as My Mandali members, whom I use for

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My Universal Work. They also are real byers. The category ofthese lovers is separate. “For example, Perfect Master Ramdas had a disciple named Kalyan, who was not in his circle. The circle members were dif ferent, but Kalyan loved Ramdas very much. “One day, Swami Ramdas came to his mandali. Kalyan was there. Ramdas had a bandage on his leg, and he said, “I have got a terrible wound on my leg. The pain is unbearable. The pus is there in the wound, and the only way to relieve me from the pain is to suck the pus.” No circle member came forward, so Kalyan started sucking the pus. But the swelling was actually a mango which Swami Ramdas had tied within the bandage. “The difference between the circle mem bers and lovers is that circle members are used for Universal Work, while lovers are not. But such lovers are rare. “There is another category. They are in the first stage of love, called “Emotion.” They appear as if they love Me more and more, and there is no equal to them. So they exhibit show. For that purpose they will go to any extent. They may act as if they love Me more than My circle members, but they do not hesitate to torture them. “Then there are other categories who do not know Me. They remain busy with their own religions as they become orthodox. They remain very, very rigid. If they come to know about Me, they abuse Me and criti cize Me. “The other category is atheist. They have nothing to do with God. They don’t care for God. They don’t believe in the existence of God. Yet the responsibility of all these people I have taken on. I am responsible for everyone. I am the director, producer and actor of the film of Creation. Therefore I have to play these three roles for everyone and everything. “Everyone is an actor in Creation, and he or she acts according to his or her im pressions or sanskaras. These sanskaras are the bindings, so he or she remains bound by these sanskaras. As I am responsible for all this, it is My duty to release them. So I have to play the robe of director, producer and actor in everyone. “But there are a few actors who can fol low the instruction of the director. So the director relies upon them. He gives them any instruction without any hesitation, so that they may act to help others. I take upon the burden oftheir sanskaras by giving them vidyanic sanskaras. These vidyanic sanskaras 13

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can wipe out their binding sanskaras. Then I use these few actors for My Universal Work. They are My trusted ones. “The real lovers who do not expect anything from Me, remain dedicated to Me, and surrender to Me, they are also My trusted ones. But for others I have to work, and work and work, and suffer and suffer and suffer to make them the best actors so that they may not remain bound by their acting, but to remain bound with My pleasure. I suffer infinitely for them. I have to act very, very carefully with them, because they have a lot ofburden from their own sanskaras. “The emotional ones exhibit their emo tion, but then they do not hesitate to tor ture My lovers and circle members in order to show their love. I have to put up with all of them because they are My children. So My circle members not only are tortured by those who criticize and abuse Me, but they are also tortured by the emotional ones. Still I have to put up with them, because they are My children. “Therefore Bhau, I tell you, you are passing through different things because you are tortured. Don’t worry, you are My trusted one. I know how you have established the Trust. How after I dropped My body, in order to fulfill My instructions, you wrote many books, working continuously day and night. Then you took up the Trust work. I know how difficult it was to establish the Trust under the law, but you did it. How did you do it? Because I did it Myself through you. You are My medium, and now you are spending all your energy for the development of the Trust. “You are also careftul, like My other Mandali Members, who never have any distinc tion of race, religion, caste, creed, sex or na tionallt You realize that I am in them, and I only exist. Because you work for Me, in order to serve My cause, you keep all these distinc tions away and never think ofduality You al ways think about Unity, because you, like all My Mandall Members, are My trusted ones. “So do not lose heart and go on serving Me in a way which you think is under My Wish. I am with you, and I will never fail you. You may be proved a complete failure by the world. But I tell you, you are winning in My love. I trust you. What more do you want?” This happened here, when Freeman and Max were changing my colostomy. Then I was taking a bath.Just after mybath, I started dic tating, first to Freeman and then to Max. One thing Beloved Baba also told Me through His silent voice in my heart, “How much care I take for you. Have you any idea?

You got heart trouble. Immediately, Anne, Freeman, Max, and your Shiva came to help you. There were others also to help you. Next, Sheela and David came from America. They all have been helping you. So I do not neglect you. Though I am making you helpless, at the same time I provide help to you. “You just see. A wave has become very strong in My Ocean, and all My lovers have become one. Because oftheir love for Me, they have become your strength. I am really very, very happy that you are offering their love to Me at My Samadhi and at the Dhuni. I feel proud of you. Know well, I am extremely pleased with you, because you salute and bow down to thelove ofMylovers which they have for me. So no knowing frilly well that I am your strength, and your helplessness is such that it is giving you more and more strength, you be happy and cheerfril. “Again, I feel extremely happy to see that you offer flowers for my lovers in the Dhuni. I heard your prayer for them. I feel touched, and I feel happy.” Bhaui second 4wakening” ofMay 14th Eruch Is My Peter Bhau Is MyJohn Again, today [Monday, 14th May, 2001], something happened in the afternoon when I was taking rest. Because I could not sleep last night, I fell asleep for some time. I was very, very restless. But today I’m really very happy. Beloved Baba appeared in my dream, smiling. He asked me, “Do you remember what I said to you early in the night on 30th January, 1969? Did I not ask Goher to bring the photo ofJohn [the disciple of Jesus]? “When she brought that photo, I asked her to hang it on the wall. I said to you, ‘You are My John.’ “You were amazed. You did not say any word, because you could see how I was suf fering infinitely. That was the day when I had completed My Universal Work. I was at rest from 7:00 pm to 9:00 p.m., and you were very happy to see Me take rest.” “I asked you to sit on the night watchman’s chair for the first time after months, because always you would sit on My bed while giving Me massage. And then you saw yourself in the Trust Compound, and you felt amazed. .a typist, staff, scores of people were working under you. You also saw My body being taken from Meherazad to Meherabad, and you felt extremely terrified. You saw different things at Meherabad, including press reporters. You saw many people there. They would come weeping. But when they would see My body, .

they would feel as happy as ifl were alive. All this I [Bhau] saw in the vision as I sat in the chair in His room. “And then after 9:00 p.m., I started having spasm after spasm. At the time, I told you that you are myJohn. “I suffered and suffered. At 10:00 p.m., I told you, ‘Remember this: I am not this body.’ “Then again at 11:00 p.m., I told you, ‘Remember this: I am not this body.’ “And then again at 12:00 midnight, I told you that ‘I am not this body.’ “I suffered and suffered tremendously, spasm after spasm. I was feeling that my bones were breaking. At 4:00 am., I called all the Mandali. They were holding My body, because I would get spasm after spasm. “After months, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. the night of30thJanuary 1969 was the first time I took complete rest, because on that day I completed My universal work. “Still, I had to release that work. In order to release it, I was facing infinite diffi culties. Maya was opposing My work. It did not want Me to release it, because what was that work? It was that work, which would make the power ofMaya weak. That’s why Maya was resisting. 31st January, at 12:15 p.m.,was the daywhen I released that work. And then I was completely free. The work was released. “Before that, at about 10:00 am., when all the Mandall members were with Me, I pointed out the picture ofPeter [the disciple ofJesus], which was hanging in My room. I said, ‘Emch is my Peter.’ I pointed out My picture ofJohn and said that, ‘Bhau is myJohn.’ “There was complete silence for 10 mmutes. Again the spasms started. “So Bhau, don’t forget that you are My J ohn. When I was Jesus, I loved John very much. I trusted him so much that I gave My mother, Mary, to be under his care. Never forget that you are myJohn, and how much trust I have in you. “So do not lose heart. Serve Me till your last breath. I know that you will do so, in spite of the difficulties you are facing. Just be for Me. You are Mine. All the Mandali members are Mine. No one has any idea in the world what Gift My Mandali members have received from Me. Even my Mandali members do not know now. But they will know. Why have I selected them? Why have I kept them with Me to serve Me? No one can imagine. Only I know. They are all My jewels and pearls. They will always be with Me and one with Me. When the work which I had released manifests fully, then the world will realize the worth ofMy Man-


dali members. Then the world will remem ber Me, and shed tears to know how I suf fered for the world, and how My Mandali members served Me at that time. “Never think that I am consoling you, but this is the Truth I am telling you today. My Mehera is with Me. My Mani is with Me. My Kaka is with Me. My Baidul is with Me. My Naja is with Me. My Pendu is with Me. All the Mandali Members who have departed, they are with Me, and they are my joy. You all left-out Mandali Members are also My joy. You are still in the body because you have to fulfill certain duties towards the world, and then you will have your place in the Ocean ofMy Infinite Heart. When I woke up, I was very quiet and silent, and thinking how compassionate my Beloved is. He is always with me. was thinking this when Max opened the door of my room. I was quite awake, and dictated this to him. So as we go to press, no one is certain f or when Bhauji willcontinue on his world trayels. It is all in the hands ofthe Beloyed.

Garlic—Faced KittyDavy ith Baba there was frequent change, never routine for long. He wanted one to be fluid and adaptable, to accept the easy and the difficult, unattached to either, with equal poise and cheerffilness. Not only did Baba plan the work ofeach, but He also made one feel He was the worker too by His intense interest in a1l one did. For example, when He came up the hill from lower Meherabad, or before He left in the morning, He would come to the kitchen to inspect what we were cooking. Naja, one ofthe earliest ofthe Eastem group told ofa day when she was cooking for the 200 Prem Ashram boys and Baba came into the kitchen to inspect the rice. Baba found the rice not too well cooked, each grain not separate as it should be and He had new rice freshly cooked. As Naja explained to us, it was not that Baba was concerned that the boys should have perfectly cooked rice, but He wanted to bring home a lesson to all: that all work, whether done for Him directly or mdi rectly, from the cooking of a simple dish to the writing ofa book, must not be carelessly done. From the kitchen Baba would go to the garden where the plants were being watered or seeds sown, or go to the office room to discuss the Meher Baba Journal, and go to the sewing room to take an interest in what

was being made. Baba, through His example, showed that the life of the spirit is unified, though made up of so many particles; a widening ofinterest, not a cutting down. One felt Baba’s personal interest served a double purpose, for it also constituted a point of contact with the doer. It seemed that through such activityone came closer to Baba. He overlooked no one. No one knew when Baba would be just around the corner.This kept up a certain stimulating and tense feeling of expectancy, which one immediatelymissed when Baba was away.To one and all, Baba had a welcoming smile, a touch on the shoulder, an unspoken gesture signifying, “Are you happy? Are youwell?”Andin a strange way, one’s frown or negative mood would disappear. No one can realize how much we did have of Baba’s personal supervision, interest and care in the early years of training in Meherabad Ashram. Surely He was day by day giving us the example by which we were to remold our own lives: an example ofLove in daily action. We, too, must find time for apparent trifles—show the kindly interest, speak the helpful word, be ever ready to adapt to changing circumstances, our own and others—and not be so busy or preoccupied that we could not attend to our neighbor’s need; to put them offwith, “Oh, don’t bother me now. Really I have not the time and what’s more I don’t know. Find out from someone else.” And with a frustrated and annoyed look add, “So sorry, ask me another time.” All Baba asked from each was a happy face and work done cheerftully.To Baba, this cheerftilness was a goal most worth striving for, a goal ofparamount importance. Baba told us, “Ifyou don’t want to be old before you really ought to be old, be cheerful in thought, word, deed and appearance—most ofall in appearance. Maybe you are not happy inside—perhaps gas in your stomach! But you must look happy. I always find half ofyou garlic-faced. When you eat garlic it is a smell passed on to a1l; so when you appear garlic-faced, that too

is contagious. It is a divine art to always look cheerful. It is a divine quallty It helps others. When you are garlic-faced, it makes others unhappy.” Baba emphasized that no one must expect to get happiness from others, but be happy in oneself So we would try to be gay, not look moody or bored. And Baba, calling the group together, would tell us what a tiring day He had had with the Godmad or the men mandali, thus preparing us to feel sympa thetic. “I want to relax. I want to laugh,” He would begin. “You,” pointing to one of the group, “sing Me a song.” To another, “Tell Me a story, a funny joke.” If this brought no re sponse, “Tell Me something amusing about your school days; act something; dance.” There we sat, glued to our seats, frustrated, getting redder and hotter. Says one, “I have never sung.” Another, “I have never danced. I am no good at storytelling. I remember no jokes.” Baba goes on hammering, “What, you tell Me you love Me and want to please Me and when I ask, you say ‘no.’ What kind oflove is this?” Some ofthe group responded spontaneously. But to Rano and me these times were a trial beyond description. Sometimes on special occasions Baba wouldaskallofustodressupinfancydress, and this afforded much amusement and ex citement, for we made our own costumes out ofwhatever the Ashram possessed and were thus kept busy for days ahead. Baba would be ready at the given hour, and when we would all appear before Him, He would select the winner. On one occasion, Rano and I dressed as Laurel and Hardy. Another time I won with a home-made chicken cos tume—although I later had a bad reaction to the feathers and became quite ill! From LoveAlone Preyails, by Kitty Davy © 1981 by Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar India Published by Sheriar Press

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An Around the—Worid Piigrimage to the Beloved -

hen the Avatar Meher Baba Center By Sam Ervin, Margaret Magnus and of Southern California was inspired to offer an around-the-world sweepstakes to Stephanie Ervin, Los Angeles seven places visited by Meher Baba Meher azad, Meherabad, Avatar’s Abode (Kiel the entire familyloves traveling, being together Mountain Australia), Meher Mount (Ojai, and creating shared memories. California), Meher Spiritual Center (Myrtle Due to work and school schedules, the Beach, South Carolina), St. Francis’ Cave around-the-world trip could not be accom (Assisi, Italy), and the retreat at East plished in “one” trip. Instead, several individual Chaflacombe (near Combe Martin, England) trips were scheduled around school holidays. they put in place a wonderffil year for winMeher Baba had anticipated this win, for ner Sam Ervin, his wife Margaret Magnus, by the time the winner was announced, the and their daughter Stephanie Ervin. Ervin family already had plans to visit Aus When Margaret wrote the check and filled tralia. Stephanie, then a sophomore in high out the sweepstakes tickets, she wrote in the school, had always wanted to go name “Sam Aus tralia Ervin” besince she had 1 cause it was 4 done a report the shortest on the coun in the family. try in elemen It turned out tary school. In that Baba 1999, shehad knew what asked if she He was docould go with ing. Earthwatch ret would to study dol have deemed phins in Aus the trip im tralia near possible and Brisbane not accepted ( about one Avatarc Abode, Australia it. Stephanie hours drive did not have the resources to support the trip. from Avatar’s Abode).Thus, Baba had already Sam, on the other hand, accepted winning as planned the first leg ofthe pilgrimage. both a gift and a message from Meher Baba. Francis Brabazon wrote about Avatar’s Thus, Sam set the goal to visit all seven places Abode, a 99-acre property on the summit of within one year. lUel Mountain on Queensland’s Sunshine Winning also turned out to be a gift to the Coast: “Avatar’s Abode is a stopping place on rest of the family. Margaret likes to travel ex the road to the Beloved, for He stopped here tensively and is always balancing that with vis on the road to our hearts and took over the iting Beloved Baba’s Tomb Shrine. Stephanie lives of those who came and gave themselves likes adventure and s new places. And to Him.” Meher Baba visited

was sown by Baba and it grew under His direct guidance. The Beloved denies performing

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Francis Brabazon gravesite, Australia

Avatar’s Abode in 1958, and His house and room are preserved and available for all pilgrims. The Ervin family then spent the following Christmas (1999) in Myrtle Beach. Meher Baba called the Meher Spiritual Center His “Home in the West.” Kitty Davy in her book, LoveAlone Prevails, quotes Mani (Baba’s sister): “The Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach is the sweet fruit of Elizabeth Patterson’s love for Baba. The seed

The Boathouse, Meher Spiritual Centeer

miracles but the t Meher Spiritual Center is undeniably a miracle ofHis love.” In February 2000, Sam, who worried that the whole family would not get to India within his self-speci fled timeframe, went on his own. Bazc chair in the Barn Spring vacation 2000 was spent in Italy. According to the book LordMehei Baba wished to stay in seclusion for 24 hours somewhere in Italy and chose Assisi because it was the home ofSt. Francis, who was a God-Conscious Perfect Master. Af ter His seclusion, Baba told his followers, “A ::

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The Cave atAssisi


verge on these places, and so they become places of pilgrimage.”

The Ervinfamily impressions ofthe trip: Meher Baba used this pilgrimage opportunity to draw our hearts toward Him. Eruch says, “People do get drawn by His love, East Challacombe by His universal work which means to shower big meeting ofspiritual personages tookplace His love upon His creatures and creation, and here the likes ofwhich has never before been which helps eventually draw hearts towards held.” him.” Meher Baba gave our entire family a In May 2000, Sam and Stephanie along gift ofHis presence by providing us with the with Kacy Cook (a resident at Meherazad vis opportunity to visit places he sanctified with iting Southern California) went to Meher visits. His Mount. On Thursday, August 2, 1956, MeMeher Baba also drew her Baba visited the hilltop center called Mecloser to him through us her Mount, which had been established by the people we met in each Agnes Baron. “I love Meher Mount very much place. Sharing their stories, and feelhappy here,” Meher Baba gestured to the love of Meher Baba Agnes, according to accounts in Lord Meher. our and mutual focus on “Next to Myrtle Beach, I love this place best.” Him provided nourishIn the summer of 2000, the entire family went to East Challacombe on the way to ment on thejourney to the Meherazad and Meherabad. Meher Baba vis Avatar. So, while the ited East Challacombe in 1931 and 1932. At sightseeing, food and travel East Challacombe, “Baba candidly disclosed were fun, seeing Baba to his followers in England that he was the friends and meeting new ones created an opportu Avatai the Messiah, the Christ for whom the world had long been waiting. Although God nity to celebrate our com first appeared in physical form in the East, mon bond with the BeHe first revealed Himseifto be the Avatar in loved and some of our most cherished memories. the West.” (Lord Meher) The world-wide Meher Baba community Meher Baba’s visits to these places of pil is still small. Thus, meeting and sharing with grimage are chronicled in several books, inother lovers is cluding the sometimes rare m u 1 ti v olu m e and always a Lord Mehei treat. It’s clear “Places of pil that throughout grimage are sanc the world, He tified because of has connected us the Lord’s Pres all through His ence” Eruch Love. Jessawala, one of Thus, wher Meher Baba’s ever our family Mandali, is P went, Baba byquoted as saying r ers opened their in Bill Le Page’s I L1’: homes and book, The TurnSam, Meheru, Margaret and Stephanie hearts, helped us ing ofthe Key. find the special “Hearts do get drawn towards His places where He stayed, and which have His atmo places associated with Baba’s work, and shared sphere. So places like Avatar’s Abode, Mehera their Baba stories with us. In Australia, we connected with friends we bad, Meherazad, and Myrtle Beach, become had met previously in India. Bill and Diana the centre offocus ofhumanity, and naturally Le Page gave us a tour ofAvatar’s Abode, inpeople from all parts ofthe world wish to con-

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vited us to their home for lunch, and took us to the coast to have dinner at their favorite fish and chips shop. We also caught up with the Bowling family (Gusi, David, Morgan, Margaret, Owen, Lizzie) who celebrated Stephanie’s birthday with us. Later we joined them for a Baba meeting at their home. In Myrtle Beach, we ran into old friends, such as Will David who had just published his book, UniversalPrayei He signed a dozen copies for us to give to friends and family for Christmas presents. Kendra Crossen Burroughs and husband Jonathan had just moved from Meher Mount in Ojai back to Myrtle Beach and they had been delayed and missed their own farewell meeting at the Los Angeles Center so it was great to say “goodbye” in Myrtle Beach. Sam caught up withbong-time friend AndreaWinzimer and —

Vrranda at Meherazad

we had a chance to meet new friends, includ ing Charlie Mills who did a wonderifil Meher Baba painting commissioned by us. In Assisi, Valeria Violati showed us the cave where Meher Baba said He had the 1932 meetingwith the spiritual hierarchy— and then fixed a wonderfrd lunch for us. We sat outside at her farmhouse, with the rolling green hills and her white horses in the background, and shared our Baba stories. We also met Cans Arkin and his family. At Mehen Mount in Ojai, a place where we had been many times, it was great to take Kacy for the first time, and visit with Billy, Pamela and Anabelle Goodrum. In England, Frank and Lynne Kidston gave us directions otherwise we might never have made a few obscure turns to get to the retreat at East Challacombe. And the Leggs, Angela and David, who live in the restored dairy “bann.”They fed us the true British ‘High Tea’ with fresh baked scones, strawberry preserves, thick rich clotted cream, and copious cups of tea.While we ate, they shared their scrapbooks —

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ofvisits and clippings about Meher Baba. In East Challacombe, we had not realized that Bhau Kaichuri’s exhausting itinerary for the year 2000 would have taken him there the week before we arrived. Angela Legg recalled his visit fondly and mentioned he had called her his “angel.” We also had the impression that some ofthe local Baba people were still a bitfatigued form keeping up with Bhau’s chal lenging schedule. We wrapped up the year-long pilgrimage by going straight from East Challacombe to Meherazad and Meherabad, near Ahmedna gar India. There we offered this pilgrimage to the Eternal Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba. We celebrated the end ofthis particular journeywith our Baba family in India the Mandali, residents and fellow pilgrims. Visiting Meherabad and Meherazad is like coming home to Baba, His Samadhi. It did not feel like the end of the pilgrimage, perhaps because in a small way ourjourney sym bolized the pilgrimage we all must make, in our hearts, to Him. —

Mohammed and Gabe

Audio Tape Lending Library Do you ever find yourselfin a ‘dry spell’ spintually?Wouldyou rather have something inspin inig to listen to than negative news, weather and traffic reports during youn travels? Do you need an interesting theme foryoun Baba meetings?The audio library has many interesting and intellec tually stimulating discounses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into byinquiringminds.Whatunsuspect ing treasures to behold! Don’t waste your time on this tined old world any longer. Make youn choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. For catalog or info write to Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. She is ready to assist you.

Wendy Haynes Connor’s Memories of the East-West Gathering Kendra Crossen Burroughs Myrtle Beach, South Carolina uring the week of the anniversary of thing she had known. She remembered the the East-West Gathering, Wendy heat physically assaulting them as they Haynes Connor spoke with characteristic deplaned. Meherjee met them, and Baba charm and humor to a packed audience at had arranged for a team of tireless Indian Meher Center, recalling her attendance at volunteers to see to their every need the Gathering at age 11, along with her throughout the trip. (Those of us who atmother, Jane Barry Haynes, and brothers tended the 1969 Darshan had a similar ex Charles andJohn. Several other people who perience with the wonderful Bombay vol had been there too were in the audience, in- unteers, who were at the airport to greet us cluding Nancy Merwan from L.A. and on arrival in the wee hours of the morning Irwin Luck. About 150 Westerners attended and took us everywhere so that we did not the East-West Gathering, along with some have to worry about any of the details and 15,000 Indians, much more than the 3,000 couldjust focus on Baba.This kind of cour Easterners that had been expected. tesy was, and still is, a hallmark of Baba’s Wendy began by saying what a joy it is love for His lovers.) to share stories ofBaba. Elizabeth Patterson Wendy made some interesting comments used to say that Baba is the one subject that about how Baba appeared to her in 1962 never gets boring-which makes sense, since compared with 1958. In 1958 she had perthe subject is Infinite Love itself. ceived Baba as an American-Hejust seemed The Gathering took place at Guruprasad natural and familiar; in 1962 the sense of in Pune from November 1 to 4, 1962, though Baba as an Easterner struck her for the first there was one extra, private session on the time. She also noticed that Baba’s eyes morning of November 5 when Baba met darted constantly from one place to the with the Westerners. Wendy felt that Baba next-whereas in 1958 He would more ofgave the Westerners that extra time because ten look straight at you, and you would feel “we needed it.” He also allowed the West- His glance like a thunderclap. The only time erners to sit in the front of the audience, she recalled Him looking directly at them the women on one side and the men on the was when He held up the hem ofHis sadra other. (At one point He had the men and and told them very seriously to hold on to women switch sides, which may have had His daaman. Baba looked older and more some deep meaning.) Baba also met pri tired in 1962, yet He also looked radiant. vately with Wendy’s brother John on one He told them, “I look all right on the outday when He was not seeing anyone else- side, but inside I am like a volcano.” Perbecause it was John’s birthday. haps world events were weighing on Him, Wendy had first met Baba in Myrtle as this was during a dangerous time of conBeach in 1958. Shortly after Baba left the flict between India and China. U.S., the Haynes family, with Baba’s perWhen she first met Baba as a six-yearmission, moved to New York City for sev old,Wendywas drawn to Baba naturally and eral years so that Jane could study acting spontaneously, without really knowing who with Lee Strassburg. From their first meet- He was. But in 1962 she had begun to un ing with Baba the family received cables derstand that He was the Christ, and this from Baba (or from Mani and Mehera when made her a bit nervous and self-conscious. Baba was in seclusion). Baba always remem Yet when she first saw Baba at Guruprasad bered to send love to their pets too-Wendy’s (that magnificent palace, which the Indians cat, Puff, and Charles’ dog, Buff. Their lives inexplicably referred to as a “bungalow”), she revolved around Baba and the excitement forgot her nervousness and ran straight to ofgetting messages from Him. Baba would Him. Throughout the Gathering, she and send messages to Jane like, “Don’t worry, Charles were quite aggressive about getting don’t be nervous, don’t be afraid, I am with close to Baba (John, being older-I think he you.” was 13-was a bit more reserved). In Baba’s Wendy described her experience upon embrace time seemed to stop, though later arrival in India as like being on another Eruch would tell her it had only been sec planet. It was so totally different from any- onds.

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Baba’s first questions were always about of Ben Hayman’s, asking the Meher Baba people’s health. Wendy showed how He Listserv to tell him about Baba.) would gesture in a simple way that she could Quite naturally, it was the more humorous easily understand: How is your health? Did and light-hearted events that attracted you sleep? Did you eat well? Later she felt Wendy’s attention at age 11; she didn’t that Baba was saying: do your best to keep derstand the discourses (but she added, “I well; we should take care ofourselves so that wasn’t the only one!”)-but she did recall Baba He can work on us, because illness can be saying, “It’s not your love for me that brought very distracting. When you’ve done your you to me-it’s My love for you that brought part to keep well, then if you do get sick, you to me.” Wendy herself had trouble staythat’s His will. ing awake on one occasion when qawwali singAnother question Baba often asked, usu ers were performing, as the music was very ally all of a sudden, was “What are you strange to her and it was also very hot (up to thinking?” What ajoy when you could hon 110 degrees). She happened to be sitting right estly say, “Of you, Baba!” With this ques byBaba’s chair, and He awakened herby nudg tion Baba was reminding us that thinking ing her with His elbow. of Him is the number one priority. There At one point Baba remarked on the heat was one day when the women mandali, as a and said casually, “It may rain”-then a surprise, dressed Wendy in a beautiful yel minute later it absolutely poured, causing low sari with a blue blouse. She came out to the pandal (awning) to break and everyone show the others, and Baba admired it. Then to get soaked. Baba sent the Western women a little while later Baba suddenly asked her, inside, where the women mandali looked for “Who do you love more, Mommy or Baba?” dry clothes for them to change into. They At that momentWendy happened to be try- ended up looking like quite a motley crew. ing to get her mother’s eye and wondering Elizabeth, who was large (Wendy showed whether her mother liked her in the sari, so Baba’s gesture signifring a chunky person), she began to answer Baba, “Mo—,” and then had a hard time finding something that caught herselfand said, “You, Baba!” would fit, until Rano dug out Elizabeth’s When Baba first came out onto the plat own bathrobe, which she had left in India form, Wendy described how thousands of after her stay in the Nasik ashram in the people roared, “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!” 1930s. Elizabeth was delighted, and it fit notjust three times but over and over again. perfectly. (Wendy pulled the silk robe out Baba raised His hands straight up and joined ofher bag and showed it to us.) When she His palms together over His head in a sa came out in her robe, Baba introduced her lute to His lovers. An unforgettable image, to the ocher-garbed yogi sitting next to Him evenjust hearing about it second hand. (Yogi Bharati), a fifth-plane saint. Baba told On the first day ofthe Gathering, Wendy him that Elizabeth was “the head of My recalled Baba asking Leonard Willoughby, center in America,” and Elizabeth later re a black Baba-lover from New York, to sing marked, “I’m sure he thought that was my the Negro spiritual “He’s Got the Whole presidential robe!” World in His Hands” just as he had done One ofBaba’s discourses was on the four for Baba in Myrtle Beach. Wendy said journeys to Infinite God. It was difficult to Lenny’s voice wasn’t really that good, but it follow but afterward Baba said that this dis didn’t matter, he belted out the song with course would be useful for posterity and that enthusiasm, and he was struck when Baba Baba’s lovers, those who receive His grace, held out His palm and commented on the have nothing to do with these journeys. world being like a tiny speck in His hand. “Where you go on the journey is not im ( I wonder what ever happened to Lenny. portant ifyou hold on to My daaman.” After Baba dropped the body, he became a Wendy vividly described the image of Hare Krishna and really felt Baba wanted seven women, each in a different-colored him to chant the name ofKrishna. He made sari, like Baba’s flag, performing Arti at dusk, a striking figure, tall and graying, in his yel waving trays with flaming camphor before low Hare Krishna garb.) a majestic-looking Baba and singing the A recurring theme throughout the Gath Hindi arti that goes, “Meher mana arati ering was Baba’s teasing Ben Hayman from sweekaaro I offer my mind to Thee; ac Texas, “Are you awake, Ben?” Ben had narco cept it, 0 Meher, as my arti”. lepsy and would frequently nod ofl but when A message that stayed with Wendy over Baba asked ifhe was awake, he’d always snap the years was when Baba told her, “Be cheerup and sayyes. (Some years ago-does anyone ftil in My love” It took her years to underremember?-we heard briefly from a nephew stand the importance to Baba of cheerffil —

ness. Wendy feels it means we must not al low ourselves to be dragged under by all the things that Baba brings up in us. It’s an inner acceptance ofHis will. Wendy’s last glimpse ofBaba at the end ofthe Gathering was when Baba was in the car and she was struggling to break through the crowd to get near Him and catch sight of Him. Tears began rolling down her cheeks, as she sensed (like many others) that this would be the last time she would ever see Baba. Finally she did get near the driver’s side ofthe car and Baba gestured to her, not to cry, that He was with her. What did that mean? Certainly over the years she has not always felt He was with her. But later she understood the deeper significance that He has given us His precious form to focus on, so that we don’t have to focus on ourselves and can put Him first.

A Note froOi •if.ii Trust-walL.

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k1 ng that some time 9 thi I you’d like to make a love-donation to the ... .

iTrust, today maybe the perfect time. TheAvatarMeherBabaTrustruns athst-Ai rate school, provides medical care for vifiag ers and maintains Babas tombshrine and Trust ro erties. Theare also beneficiaries of the trust whose liiii expenses are coyered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of theseworthyprojectswere specified byBaba Himself m the Trust Deed Miny of the .:[‘ru$: 5 charitable projects and outieach projects are carried outbyEastern andWestem volunteers. 4 Some projects, however, require the assistance ofpaid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard ofliving, the cost ofmate dais and labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project; preservation of the precious articles used and touched by Baba that mean so much to all ofus. If this appeals to you, please make your payable to Frinds of Meher Baba rust, and send it to: Lynne Berry; 267 Hanover Drive, Costa iVIesa, CA 92626 V .

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his is the month that Lawrence ( Hermes) Reiter can heave a huge sigh ofrelief! The project he started way back in 1985 (it must seem like lifetimes to him!) is finally complete. In ‘85 Hermes and Bhau Kalchuri sat down to work out the details of bringing to print the mighty Lord Meher biography that Bhau had written, origi nally in Hindi, from 1971 to 1973. From 1973 to 1974 Feram Workingboxwala assisted Bhau with the English translation. Then it fell to Bhau’s son-in-law David Fenster to touch up the English (!) and com pile a veritable mountain ofpapers. This job alone took five years! Then Hermes started on the editing of it and the placement of many hundreds ofwonderful photos. Twenty volumes in all—with costs esca lating way beyond their original calculations —have finally been published. We are now stocking volumes 19/20. Up to volume five, Hermes was printing them separately, but found with rising prices, it was more economi cal to bind two together. So starting with six, they have always been in twos. So much had been written about the period 1937-1941 that volume seven had to be broken up into two parts, so we have 6/7 part one and 7 (part two) and 8. The call for the first two volumes was so great that Hermes had those reprinted as a double set, and he tells me in the future three and four will be similarly handled. Volume three is sold out but we do have some of four and fiveleft ifyouwish to start—or fill in your collection. The double volumes are $80 each and the singles, $45. As I was placing the new books on the shelfat the Bookstore I noticed what I felt was a very nice touch: on the back cover ofthis finalvolume is Baba’s signature— M S Irani— in gold, right across the cover. So beautifril and so very fitting! Hermes was pretty familiar with Baba’s life even before he started editing and publishing the biography,because in 1975 he started trayeling the world seeking out photos ofthe Ava tar. He bought up as many negatives as he could. These negatives that he so diligently collected were carefully preserved and stored. He then set up his darkroom and started printing thousands ofwonderftil never before seen photos and made them available for sale. Hermes tells me he will probably go back to printing these photos—after a well-deserved rest. Thank you Hermes! Danny Ladinsky’s three books on his ren derings ofHafiz into today’s English continue 20

to place in the Best Sellers list around the world. The last to be published, The Gjft, topped the best seffing lists ofpoetrybooks for 1999. Now we hear that in Ireland I Heard God Laughing is number 12 on the list. What is so wonderful about this is that no one can seri ously read IHeard GodLaughing and not ask who is Meher Baba, for it talks so directly of Baba, God Speaks and the Discourses. Danny’s next book, to be released by Penguin, will be titled Love Poemsfor God. It has in the lineup 12 ofthe heaviest hitters around, both East and West, which includes four women: Rabia, Mira, St. Teresa and St. Catherine. To add to his good fortune, Penguin are buying the original book ofHafiz’ poems that he self published—The Subject Tonight Is Love. When he is not at home asking Baba for more inspiration on the translations of fur ther Hafiz, Danny gives readings ofhis works around the country. At the continued urging ofhis fans, Danny has released a recording of one of these readings. See the review section for Kendra’s take on The Giving. Talking of Kendra, that sounds a very interesting edition ofthe Bhagavad Gita she has worked on. I bought the particular version we usually sell because the Vedanta Society told me it was the best. But I think from now on I will be stocking the one you can read about in the review section, with annotations and ex planations by our own Kendra Crossen Burroughs. Paperback $16 Wendell Brustman is doing wonderful work for us all in his ongoing work with The Witness Series. The latest release are four video talks with Lud Dimpfl, each of which gives you a very up close and personal view ofwhat it was like being under the Avatar’s thumb. Each video runs about an hour. $40

Here’s an exciting piece ofnews. Many of you have been treated to Katie Irani’s cooking when she was in the States. I re member one time in Los Angeles she even gave cooking classes! Well the recipe book she has been promising to write for years is becoming a reality It has lots ofher reci pes (it’s about 300 pages), paperback, spi ral binding (very helpful in a cookbook), printed in Pune, with a Baba cover (a painting by Wodin) a number of Baba Katie stories, and a few ofHis special fa vorite foods. As soon as it comes off the press—be assured the Love Street Bookstore will be stocking it. All proceeds go to the Trust—of course! Watch these pages or check our new website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com. As a child, I was sure that fairies existed, but I never actually saw any. Well in Jim Peterson’s book The SecretLjfè ofKids the chil dren definitely see them, and a whole lot of other things too. A fascinating read for those with children or who work with children. You often hear of quite psychic children who lose the ability as they get older. Usually it’s the parents and other adults who quash that abilityby ridiculing it. How fortunate are our children to be able to see Baba—to have Him as a playmate! Let’s encourage them. Paperback, $16 Dma Snow

The Giving: Poems ofHafiz, Rumi, Mira, Kabir andSt.John ofthe Cross DanielLadinsky and Kathleen Barker by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs

I used to joke to friends that my idea of hell is being trapped in a room while someone is reading their poems. Well, now I have


to modify that statement, because you can lock me in a room with Daniel Ladinsky and Kathy Barker anytime. Danny, as many ofyou know, is the author ofthree volumes ofrenderings ofHafiz. Kathy is his partner in life and in performance, and I have al ways found their poetry recitals at Meher Center to be utterly charming. The next best thing to hearing them in person is to put on this CD, dim the lights, and use their soft words as a cushion for your head (to borrow a phrase from one ofthe poems). This recording is an informal, unedited presentation, not a polished commercial product but certainly not a shabby homemade one either. The recitations are accompanied by Kathy’s light-as-a-feather playing ofdulcimer and guitar and punctuated with Danny’s joyous laughter and asides ranging from the personal (“Doesn’t Kathy sound cute?”) to the explanatory (“Ofcourse, Hafiz never used the word spitballs”). A couple ofminuscule flubs do not detract from the recording; for me they add to its immediacy and good humor, a feeling of being right there having flin at a live performance piece. At one point there is even an allusion to sales figures, which made me chuckle, but I hasten to add that the suc cess of Danny’s work is a welcome thing, not only because a talented person deserves rec ognition, but also because his contribution is important. In the debate, sometimes angry, over the value ofpoetic “renderings” and “ver sions” versus “translations” by native speakers or Ph.D.s, we may fall to notice that a unique English-language art form is emerging— ghazal-inspired devotional poetry that sings into our own ears and speaks to our own ex perience and culture, awakening feelings and understandings that we never felt or understood before. Artists such as the poet Thomas Rain Crowe and Raine Eastman Gannett ( singing Francis Brabazon’s ghazals, among other wonderful things) are also making their mark in this new territory. And at the same time, other talented people, such as Shahriar Shahriari, help us to appreciate what Hafiz means and sounds like to the Persian culture. It’s all one big wild party, and I say the more people who collapse drunk at it, the better.

But back to those two drunken beauties, Danny and Kathy. I enjoy their highly origi nal style of reciting, a leisurely, rhythmic intonation that transports you into a sacred space, an altered consciousness, a place where the normal world doesn’t make a bit of sense. You have entered a crazy garden where a guy who calls himselfHafiz cavorts with Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, and Saint John of the Cross, of all people. It is a place of romance, mystery, seductiveness, humor, surprise, and a touch ofmelancholy. Danny and Kathy take turns reciting the same poem, or sometimes she will repeat the line he just delivered, or maybe he will say it twice just because he likes it so much, or maybe she or he will do a poem alone. Together or individually, they do well in the contest of madness. I like the very intimate quality of this CD. Hafiz’s poems themselves are known for their uncanny tendency to speak directly to the reader’s concerns. Something rather bizarre like that occurred when I listened to the poems. I had written down the first two sentences of this review and then settled down to play the CD. Somewhere in the midst of it, I was stunned to hear Hafiz Danny intone: “May I speak to you like we are close and locked away together?” Weird! 60 minutes. Recordedpri’vately at Windy Hill, Sc, 2001. 12

the Sufi ghazals in an eclectic blend ofworld and folk melodies which effectively make the classic beauty of Hafiz’s lyrics available to the modern, English speaking listener. In particular, his feel for American blues music evokes the ambiance of the traditional Sufi tavern, adding a sense of mystery to the classic Persian themes oflover and beloved, the wine ofDivine intoxication, and the tortuous path of love. James is an ac complished blues singer who has performed with many ofthe all-time great blues artists including John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and original Kan sas City blues shouter ‘Big’ Joe Turner. J ames’ treatment of the poetry of Hafiz brings a solid barroom feel to the Sufi tav em ofHafiz. $16.95

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Book Reviews

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The SecretLfe ofKids Jim Peterson

The Songs ofHafiz James R. Newell This is another gernfrom one of our favorite musicians. The following is from his press release:

Recording artist James R. Newell has skillfully adapted the lyric poetry of 14th century Persian Sufi Poet Hafiz of Shiraz to American folk music idioms. The result is the powerful new CD entitled The Songs ofHafiz.James has set the classic images of

I was delighted when Dma told me she’d like to carry my book, The Secret Lift ofKids, in the Love Street Bookstore. Although cer tainly it’s not a ‘Baba book,’ it is based on my understanding of Meher Baba’s teachings. It also features interesting anecdotes from many Baba lovers, including Charmian and Mary Knowles, Sonja Lawson, Pauli Warren and Leatrice Johnston’s daughter, Sheri—and my own son, Blake. There are even a couple ofBaba stories! One should not be worried about the word ‘psychic’ in the subtitle. The book is about the growth processes ofchildren, and it discusses how more children than you might think have occasional glimpses and experiences of the 21


inner planes. All through the book, however, I put ‘psychic experiences’ into the wide, spiritual perspective we know from Baba’s teachings, and do everything I can to dis courage the use and expansion ofsuch fac ulties. The other half dozen books on this subject all encourage parents to have chil dren develop these sensory abilities. One reason I had for writing The Secret Life of Kids was to help get Meher Baba’s perspec tive on this topic out into the world. Perhaps I might give some background about how this book came into being. Tmmediately after attending the Great Darshan in Pune in 1969, I got a summer job as a camp counselor. The camp for underprivi leged children was near Philadelphia, so lo cal east coast Baba lovers often came over to visit. Bob Brown was a regular, and he wrote songs about our camp and sang to the children while they were in their bunks. I was workingwith six to nine year old boys and T had set up my bed area (a corner of an army-style bunkhouse) with a dresser, a chair and several Baba photos. During my one hour offl would always sit in the chair and silently repeat Baba’s name—my ‘mantra.’ One day the kids came back early from swimming and two boys, Drew and Eric, immediately ran over to my chair and whispered to each other, “Do you see what I see?” “Yeah,” Drew said, There are colors coming out ofJim’s stomach!” The two boys then started describing rainbow col ors emanating from my stomach, chest and head. Later I discovered the boys could not only see the colors in the aura, but they also saw nature spirits in the woods—fairies and elves. We would frequently go on fairy hunts behind the bunkhouse and see how close we could get to the fairies. One morning Drew told me that at night he saw white light coming out of the pic ture of “that man” on the wall. The light went all the way across the 15 foot wide bunkhouse and disappeared through the opposite wall. T asked Drew which picture ofMeher Baba was emanating the light and he pointed to the tiny 5X7 picture of Baba playing a drum that was mounted over the head ofmy bed. ft was interesting that Drew did not point to the two huge poster photos ofBaba T also had up on the wall. No, it was the small photo that was given to me at Darshan by Jal-Bhai and was blessed by Meher Baba. After three summers at camp and more children with paranormal experiences, I began my teaching career in a second grade public school classroom in Walnut Creek, CA. “

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There T found several more kids who saw my aura and related phenomena. My professors at U.C. Berkeley, where T was working on my master’s degree, suggested I expand my interviews ofthese kids and present the data as my master’s degree thesis. Over the years T kept collecting more and more data about these odd, but not so un common, childhood glimpses into the inner planes. T developed theories ofhow these experiences fit in with normal patterns of childhood growth, and most importantly, why these psychic experiences stop as the children mature. Finally, in 1985 the editor of Quest Books asked me to write up my material as a book. Since Quest is a theosophical publisher, they were not happy with some of my Meher Baba vocabulary. In discussions of metaphysics, for example, T had to use the term “kama-manas” when I referred to the subtle body. They also cut a few references to Meher Baba. But T think any Baba lover, particularly one who has children or who works with children, will enjoy The Secret Ljfè ofKids. These kinds ofchildhood experiences may even have a connection to the coming New Humanity My own son, Blake, for instance, had the following experience while visiting the Pune Baba center. This is quoted from the “Research in the 90’s” chapter of this second edition of my book: “In 1996 while on a pilgrimage to Tndia, we stopped at the Pune Center. K.K. Ramakrishnan showed us the room where Baba would rest before or after darshan programs. Blake bowed down to Baba’s pillow there and almostjumped back. He said, “Dad, do you know what T just felt? Tt felt like bolts oflightning were flashing through my brain! Tt was so strong.” T think these sorts of experiences may help children to grow up taking the reality ofthe spiritual world for granted. And that gives them a nice head start on the Path we older folks hold so dear.

The Annotated Bhagavad Gita Translated by Shri Purohit Swami Annotated by Kendra Crossen Burroughs “In the Bhagavad ! Gita, those who long to know how to fight wisely for the future will find a handbook of spiritual warrior-hood and divine realization that will constantly inspire and ennoble them. .The message of ‘

.

the Gita is one ofperfect spiritual balance.” -from the foreword by Andrew Harvey. “This simple, beautiful translation by Shri Purohit Swami and the wonderful annotations by Kendra Crossen Burroughs make this site the very best Gita for firsttime readers as well as any who want to ab sorb its extraordinary message: taste the divine wars herein, and you might never thirst again.” -Ken Wilbur, author ofA Theory of Everything

What doyou think will happen ?“ Ghazal 838 ifyou can’t go to sleep my dear soul for tonight what do you think will happen ifyou pass your night and merge it with dawn

for the sake of heart what do you think will happen ifthe entire world is covered with the blossoms

you have labored to plant what do you think will happen if the elixir of life that has been hidden in the dark fills the desert and towns what do you think will happen ifbecause of your generosity and love

a few humans find their lives what do you think will happen ifyou pour an entire jar filled with joyous wine

on the head ofthose already drunk what do you think will happen

go my friend bestow your love

even on your enemies ifyou touch their hearts what do you think will happen Translation by Nader Khalili Rumi, Fountain ofFire, Burning Gate Press, 1992


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Children’s Corner

T

he kindergarten teacher was showing her class an encyclopedia page pictur— ing several national flags. She pointed to the American flag and asked, “What flag is this?” A little girl called out, “That’s the flag of our country. “Very good,” the teacher said. “And what is the name of our coun try?” “Tis of thee,” the girl said confidently.

A little girlwas diligently pounding away on her father’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story. “What’s it about?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t read.”

After putting her children to bed, a mother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was that?”

Two little boys were visiting their grandfather, and he took them to a restaurant for lunch. They couldn’t make up their minds about what they wanted to eat. Finally the grandfather grinned at the server and said, “Just bring them bread and water.” One of the little boys looked up and quavered, “Can I have ketchup on it?”

A new neighbor asked the little girl next door ifshe had any brothers and sisters. She replied, “No, I’m the lonely child.”

A mother was telling her little girl what her own childhood was like: “We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods.” The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to knowyou sooner!”

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo while I asked, “No, how are we alike?” “You’re both old,” he replied.

I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fhn for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, “Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourselfi”

A 10 old, under the tutelage ofher grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then one day she floored her grandmother by asking, “Which Virgin was the mother ofJesus: the Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?”

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, “Thou shall not take the covers off thy neighbor’s wife.”

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew, oc casionally walking around to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl, who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl casually replied, “I’m drawing God.”The teacher paused and said,”But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

A first grader was sitting in class as the teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs. She came to the part ofthe story where the first pig was trying to acquire building materials for his home. She said And so the pig went up to the man with

a wheelbarrow frill of straw and said ‘Pardon me sir, but might I have some of that straw to build my house with?’ Then the teacher asked the class, “And what do you think that man said?” My friend’s son raised his hand and said “I know! I know!, he said ‘Holy smokes! A talking pig!”

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the com mandment to “honor thy father and thy mother,” she asked “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, “Thou shall not kill.”

One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands ofwhite hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, “Why are some ofyour hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.” The little girl thought about this revela tion for a while and then said, “So, Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?” Submitted byAlexandra Cons

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ince my daughter Rabia (now seven) was quite young, we have had the tradition of my singing her one of Baba’s artis as a final goodnight. When she got old enough, I began to allow her to choose which one she wanted to hear: Bujawe, Adi Sachetena (the Hindi arti) or the Australian. Her fa vorite choice has varied over the years and, for a time she added The Seven Names of God to the selection. Today, as Rabia sat on my lap, moaning with a fever of 103.8, she said, “Mommy, I have ajoke for you. Which arti did the little ghost ask her mother to sing?” The answer, in case you haven’t guessed, is BOO-Jave.

“. .

23

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June 9, 1932 stayed at the Moana Hotel Visited the Royal Hawaiian Hotel next to the Moana and enjoyed a perfor mance in the coconut grove there Drove outside city to the pineapple groves Went to the Empire Cinema June 10th— drove through Honolulu to the Huimalu Hotel. Visited a large fish aquarium. Went to the theatre in the evening. ;:: June 11th drove to La Pietra villa on a hill near Diamond Head. Left Honolulu enroute to China from Honolulu harbor. January, 1935 Baba mailedletters from Honolulu to His lovers. No other information available regarding this trip. —

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Yokohama

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June l9th,1932 crowded streets

the Empress ofJapan docked in Yokohama Harbor. Went on a tour ofthe city and walked through the

Kobe June 20th, 1932

China

landed and strolled throughout the city

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Shanghai

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June 22, 1932 tea at the Palace Hotel which overlooked the Huangpu River. Baba asked to be taken to the slums of Shanghai and He walked the area on foot for three hours. June 23rd Baba visited the restaurant ofMr. Chung. That evening all saw a movie at the Cathay Movie Theater then boarded the train for Nanking June 28th, 1932 arrived at the train station and left that afternoon for Bombay —

Nanking

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June 24th, 1932 arrived at the train station. Stayed at Herbert’s house two miles from the station. Went to the Great Wall in Nanking and walked along a nearby lake for quite a distance. Drove up the Purple Mountain to Sun Yat-Sen’s memorial. Later walked in the poor sections of town. June 26th visited a temple of Confucius.Visited the National cinema. —

Hong Kong July 1, 1932 arrived at Hong Kong Harbor. Visited the home ofRustom E. Desai. Toured the city Went to the Queen Theater to see a film. Returned to their ship. February 2, 1935 visited homes of Rustom E. Desai and Mr. S. Pestonji in Kowloon. Left the next day. —

Singapore July 6th, 1932 drove around the city in a taxi, saw a film at the Capital Cinema. Had dinner at the Madras Cafe. Spent the next day in Singapore, leaving for Colombo on July 8th. February 7th, 1935—docked in Singapore harbor. Visited local Chinese dentist. No other information available. —

J4lalctysia July 9, 1932—Visited the Buddha and Snake Temples in Penang.

Ceylon (&iJ.anka)

.

Colombo July 13, 1932 disembarked at the harbor, sent a telegram then drove around Columbo in a taxi. January 15, 1933 stayed at the Villa Valencia on a hill between the towns ofBandarawela and Dyatalawa. January 19 visited a Buddhist Temple in Bandarawela. January 27th returned to Columbo remaining in seclusion there until January 30th, then left for India. February 13, 1935—Ship docked at 2:00 p.m. leaving at 8:00 p.m. No information that Baba disembarked. —

Thlaimannar (Mannar) 1yangoda -

November 3, 1940

traveled by train from the ferry at Talaimannar to Veyangoda, by car to Hickgalla Estate.

Kandy November 16, 1940 arrived at Primrose Hill Estate on Hololuwa Road. November 21— went to nearby Botanical Gardens. November 24 went to Dambulla and Anuradhapura. December 5th left for Calicut, India. —

*Dr Meredith Moon has a list ofallkno’wn Baba lovers in Hawaii. P0 Box 1269, Makawao, H196768 Phone 808-573-1188

Fax: 808-573-1189 email drmoon@maui.net.

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Honolulu, Hawaii, 1932

D

Baba and the Mandali went for another drive in the afternoon of the 10th through Honolulu to the Huimalu Hotel and later to view a large fish aquarium. In the evening, they went to the theater and saw the play, “A Church Mouse.” Baba with Chanji and Todd arrived at Mrs. Walter Dillinham’s villa, La Pietra, on a hill near the area called Diamond Head on the 11th ofJune at 7:45 a.m. where theybreakfasted. At 9:00 they took Carl Phillips to his ship and Todd had to travel back with him to Los Angeles. Carl appeared sad at leaving Baba, but it was later learned that he did speak out against Baba when he returned, just as He had predicted. Soon after, Baba, Kaka, Chanji, Beheram and Adi Jr. boarded the Empress ofJapan enroute to China. Nearly all the staff on board wereJapanese. As the ship left Honolulu harbor, ajazz band played as native Hawaiian women sang and danced, waved handkerchiefs and threw flowers. In His cabin, Baba asked that Kimco’s letters be read many times. As He listened to their words oflove, tears came to His eyes.

uring his visit to Hollywood, Meher Baba’s disciples found a suitable boy to travel with Him to the East. Baba claimed that this boy would “link the West with the East.” Out of many youngsters that were brought before and interviewed by Baba, Carl Phillips was chosen. However, as his passport did not arrive in time, he could only travel with Baba as far as Honolulu, an American territory. Qientin Todd would take care of Carl, and travel with Japan, 1932 Baba and the Mandali. n Sunday, June 19th, the boat landed at 6:00 a.m. in Baba left California Yokohama. Baba got offthe ship with the Mandali and they June 4th, 1932, at refreshed themselves, then went on a tour of the city had a snack 1 1 :00 p.m. on the walked through the crowded streets. At noon they returned to and maiden voyage of the ship and the set sail at 2:00. Monterey. destination was Kobe, Japan where they landed at Their next Carl Phillips stayed onJune 20th. Once again Baba and the Mandali got off 800 a.m. •in Baba’s cabin, Todd strolled throughout the cityTheyreturned to the ship the and ship was in a cabin alone Baba in China, 1932 sailed two hours later. p.m. at 1:00 and across from Baba, and Chanji, Kaka, Adi Jr. and Beheram had another cabin nearby. Carl proved a nuisance as he was very mischievous and Baba decided to send him back home as soon as they landed in Hawaii. The young boy proved a handful for Quentin as he had to serve him night and day. Such was the case with whatever “ideal boy” was cared for by the Mandali. Many people came to see Baba on the ship and He met them all. They arrived in Honolulu on June 9th at 8:00 a.m. and stayed at the Moana Hotel for two days. Rustom met them at the dock, having rived from China to be with Baba. Rustom was then sent to Australia and New Zealand that same day to forge further links with the West. A number of years later manyAustralians came into Meher Baba’s fold, perhaps due to Rustom’s travels there. After resting at the hotel, Baba and the group went to a coconut grove in the gardens ofthe Royal Hawaiian Hotel next to the Moana and enjoyed a performance of Hawaiian dancers and singers. ASter the entertainment they drove outside the city to pineapple groves where they drank large amounts ofpineapple juice. Back at the hotel Baba instructed Quentin, “Carl Meher Baba traveling with His Mandali in China, June 1932. Phillips’ behavior is getting worse. I am sending him Gustadji, Beheram, Meher Baba, Charji, Adiji:, Kaka Baria, Pendu and back to Los Angeles on Saturday. He will return and speak against us!” That evening after Rustom left for Australia aboard the China, 1932 Monterey, Baba and the Mandali had dinner. They then went to a }\t 2:30 p.m. on June 22nd they arrived in Shanghai, China. movie at the Empire Cinema. There theywere met by Herbert Davy and Baba’s brother Jal.

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26

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Baba was dressed in a stylish suit and Panama hat. They were then driven a few miles to the Palace Hotel which overlooked the Huangpu River. There they had tea and Baba indicated to Herbert that He wanted to go out and mix with the Chinese. He wanted to be taken “to a place where there were thick crowds.” Herbert took Baba to a few places but they were not crowded enough to suit Baba’s purpose. Baba then was taken to the slums of Shanghai in a hand-pulled ricksha but the narrowness ofthe lanes prevented it from entering and Baba walked the area on foot for three hours. “He strode rapidly up and down the squalid alleyways, causing the humble dwellers to stare at Him with fascination as He passed by.” on the evening ofJune 23rd Baba and the Mandali went to eat at the restaurant of Mr. Chung at his invi tation. Baba had a ftm time as they all tried to eat with chopsticks for the first time. After dinner they saw “Beast ofthe City” at the Cathay Movie Theater. At 11:00 p.m. they drove to the train station and boarded the train for Nanking. Baba in China, 1932 Baba, Herbert and Kaka traveled in first class, and Beheram,Jal, AdiJr. and Chanji were in second class. They reached Nanking the next morning at 7:00. Pendu and Gustadji were waiting at the station for Baba. They all went to stay at Herbert’s house two miles from the station. Pendu, Gustadji and Jal had been staying in China for three months according to Baba’s order. They had been expecting Baba to call them back to America to join Him. After refreshments, Herbert took Baba to see the Great Wall in Nanking. Baba walked along a nearby lake for quite a distance. Nanking, a pleasant city reminded Baba and the Mandali of Pune. Baba was driven up the Purple Mountain in the afternoon to see Sun Yat-Sen’s memorial. The roads were rough but Baba enjoyed the surroundings. Many Chinese students and older men and women came to meet Baba in Nanking, and Baba again walked through the dirty lanes of the poor sections where the peasants gazed at Him in wonder. Baba visited the National cinema on Sunday, June 26th, and drove through the swarming lanes of the city and visited a temple of Confucius. Baba entrained for Shanghai at 11:00 that evening,

arriving at 8:00 a.m., and left for Bombay at 4:00 p.m. on the S. S. Kaiser-i-Hind on June 28th. On July 1st at 7:00 a.m. Baba landed in Hong Kong and was met by a Parsi named Rustom E. Desai. Desai and his wife had prepared Indian dishes for Baba and the Mandali in their home. Afterwards they all went to see the city. At the Qieen Theater that evening they saw the film “Skin Deep” after which Baba and the Mandali returned to their ship.

Singapore

T

hey arrived in Singapore at 7:00 a.m. on July 6th and drove around the city in a taxi. At the Capital cinema they saw the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde then had dinner at the Madras Cafe returning to the ship at 11:00 p.m. The Madras Coffee House is a still-popular, much-frequented Indian restaurant in the ‘Little India’ district of Singapore quite close to the Capitol Theatre Baba visited. They ate at the Madras Coffee House. There is a Hindu temple just opposite, which Baba must have noticed. The Capitol Theatre Baba visited in Singapore is a well-known spot, with an Art Deco facade. They spent the next day in Singapore as well leaving for Co lombo in Sri Lanka on July 8th. -

Penang, 1932

In

Penang on July 9th, Baba got off the ship and visited two shrines the Buddha and Snake temples. The Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple seems to be the temple Baba visited in Penang. It was begun in 1845, donated to the Thai community ofPenang by Queen Victoria through the East India Company, so it has interesting connections with Buddhism, the British Raj and India. It is ofThai design, elaborately decorated with scenes ofBuddha’s life and contains manyurns ofashes ofdeceased Buddhists. Its exterior has been reworked and therefore is not as Baba would have seen it, but the interior and Pagoda are much as they were in His time. Intriguingly, in July 1958 a month after Baba flew over Penang back to India (concluding His last trip outside India) a huge Reclining Buddha figure was dedicated, to mark the 25th Century of Buddha’s Birth. The Snake Temple Baba visited is unique and famous. It was begun in 1873. A miracleworking monk from China lived in the vicin ity. He had brought over the image of Chor Soo Kong (a Chinese deity) and successfully healed many people (and became famous) by using this “healing” statue. Mr. David Brown, one of those miraculously healed by the monk, donated the land for the temple. Upon the temple’s completion, snakes mysteriously ap peared and made the Puoto by Sean Reeves —

Buddhist Temple, Penang

27

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place their refuge, their numbers increasing on holy days especially Chor Soo Kong’s birthday. Now the spot is a bit of a place of pilgrimage, espe cially for Malaysia’s Chinese community —

Colombo, Ceylon, 1932 aba and the Mandali arrived in Colombo, the capital of Ceylon July 13th at 8:00 a.m.. There they disembarked and sent a tele gram to Adi K. Irani and Naoroji Dadachanji in Mumbai. They then drove around Colombo in a taxi. After two days at sea, Baba and the Mandali landed in India in Bombai, July 15th.

B

Ceylon, 1933

O

nJanuary 2nd, Baba left for Port Said, at 4:00 p.m. on the S. S. Baloeran bound for Ceylon.

Baba asked Todd ifhe had noticed anything unusual about a Dutch girl who was traveling with her family aboard the ship. Todd observed that she walked with a limp. Baba explained, “Many, many years ago in India, she was a yogi. She was then in a male form. While attempting to attain a highest state of consciousness through fasting and meditation he had a stroke and died. In every incarnation since, he or she has limped. In order to free her from this afffiction, it will be necessary for me to win her affection.” Baba proceeded to gradually draw the girl toward him. She spent more and more time with him each day, playing pingpong and draughts. By the end ofthe voyage, a marked improvement in her health was noted.

Meher Baba in Ceylon, 1933

As they approached Ceylon, Baba indicated that He wanted to rest there for a month in solitude and after return to India. Baba, Kaka and Todd arrived in Colombo the 12th and stayed three days at the White Horse Hotel. Baba traveled to the interior of Ceylon onjanuary 15th, and stayed at the Villa Valencia on a hill between the towns of Bandarawela and Diyatalawa. It was beautiful, and a roaring torrential river ran through a deep ravine behind Baba’s bungalow After Baba settled in, He told Kaka to find a spot where He could sit in seclusion for 24 hours, as He had done in Assisi. Todd and Kaka found a Buddhist temple at the end ofa narrow lane in Bandarawela on the 19th. It looked suitable per Baba’s request so they showed it to Him. A priestwould not allow them

entry to the temple, but they descended a few steps and came upon an open courtyard. A door ofan adjoining house opened and an old man, who looked at least a hundred years old, came out. He seemed to recognize Baba immediately and he started talking to Him through hand signs. Baba gestured back to him, “I want a room where I can be in seclusion without being disturbed for twenty-four hours.” The old man understood and asked the Buddhist priest to open the temple and make a room in it available to Him. Baba, however, changed his mind. Later Baba remarked, “That old man was on the fourth plane. I will push him to the fifth plane when I leave Ceylon.” Baba’s wish to sit in seclu sion was seemingly only a pretext for contacting this advanced soul. Meanwhile onJanuary 19th, Adi K. Irani came to Ceylon and returned to India after spending two days with Baba. OnJanuary26th, Baba met a reporterfrom the Ceylon Observerin Bandarawela. The reporter questioned Him aboutMahatma Gandhi and India, religion, the reason for His silence, and why He had visited America. Baba replied: “Look at Gandhi’s passive resistance movement. From the spiritual point ofview it is wonderful because it embraces sincerity truth and nonviolence. Don’t ask me its value as a politi cal weapon. I have nothing to do with politics As for the Untouchabiiityissue, hove the Untouchables.They are close to my heart. Recently, I summoned their leader Dr. Ambedkar and advised him what to do. I consider the orthodox Hindu attitude foolish, but there I leave it as I condemn no one and hate no one. My religion? I belong to no religion and yet to every religion. Love is my principal agent. The Infinite One can be attained only through love and sincerity I do not believe in dogmas and art, ceremonies. God can be realized in every phase of life science, nature and beauty That is my religion. I have been silent for eight years. It is not a vow but it has been undertaken for spiritual reasons. Shortly, my mission of preaching will begin. My reason for starting in America is that America, being the most deeply engrossed in material things and suffering the most in consequence, is the soil on which a new spiritual rebirth will first take place. America requires only the guiding hand of a Master to redirect its material powers to the heights of spiritua1ity Your Ceylon is a most beautiful country. I shall visit it again.” ...

By January 27th, Baba, Kaka and Todd returned to Colombo. Baba fasted and remained in seclusion there on January 29th and the next day left for India.

Hawaii, 1935

B

aba, accompanied by Chanji, Kaka,Jal, Adi Sr. and Chummy, left for Hawaii and the Orient on the steamer Empress of Canada at 10:00 & a.m. on January 12th. Chummy was a tan cocker spaniel puppy found in a _$ kennelin Hollywood by Rano ‘L \.... and acquired by Baba to take Baba with Chummy back to India. Chummy was kept in the animal quarters, but Baba visited him every morning and afternoon.

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That winter was the coldest in 36 years and Baba’s health contin ued to deterioriate. He exercised in the gym but could not take His walks on deck. His health continued to decline as He became very weak. He arose every few minutes during the night to spit out blood and saliva collecting in His mouth due to pyorrhea and bleeding gums. This also prevented Him from eating or sleeping much. Baba’s health continued to deteriorate as he became weaker and weaker. He also had persistent chest pains and heart cramps. During the voyage He ex plained to the men Mandali that He must reach India as soon as pos sible as His condition might develop into paralysis. Baba mailed letters from Honolulu, Hawaii, to His lovers in America on January 17th. After they left Honolulu, Baba told Chanji that “There is one soul I want to contact on this ship.”The next daywhen Chanji was down in the laundry room ironing Baba’s pants, he met a woman named Margaret Scott. She talked to Chanji about her life and how she had contemplated suicide. Chanji talked to her for a few minutes each evening and hearing about Baba she became eager to meet Him in person to seek His blessing. Baba saw her on deck when He disembarked in Shanghai and she had a few precious moments with Baba, who consoled her and blessed her by making the sign ofthe cross on her forehead. Rustom met with Baba in Shanghai onjanuary 31st; he hadjust arrived from India.

Hong Kong on February 2nd Baba arrived in Hong Kong where two Parses, Rustom E. Desai and Mr. S. Pestonji, welcomed Him. They took Baba and the Mandali to their homes in Kowloon where Baba breakfasted. He met the families of both men, then boarded the Fushimi Maru scheduled to leave the next day. Baba’s health was still unstable.

Singapore On February 7th, when the ship docked in Singapore, Baba’s pain became so severe, He decided to have a local Chinese dentist remove one loose and aching tooth. From that day, He stopped eating much solid food and drank only bottled milk that the Mandali purchased in Singapore and Penang and had to be kept refrigerated. Baba drank the milk three times a day with digestive biscuits. On February 13th at 2:00 p.m. the ship reached Columbo and left at 8:00 p.m. for India.

Ceylon, 1940

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very day during the last week of October Baba saw the women and discussed the journey they would go on in November. He teased them and told them, “When we go down south, keep smiling and look like ripe tomatoes; otherwise I will send you back to Meherabad. You will have the ffin ofyour life in Ceylon. Wait and see.” On November 1, 1940, Baba and companyboarded the BombayMadras Express at the Ahmednagar railway station at 2:00 p.m. With Him was the mast Chatti Baba, Baidul, Dr. Donkin, Gustadji, Krishna, Dr. Nilu, Venkoba Rao, Vishnu, and the women 33 in all plus some ofthe children. They traveled second class for the first time. Tukaram drove the Blue Bus loaded with all the luggage and a few ofthe women. Baba was still in seclusion and did not say good-bye to the Mandali left behind in Meherabad. They arrived in Dhanushkodi on Sunday, November 3, at 5:00 p.m. where they boarded a boat and were ferried to Talaimannar at 7:30 p.m. They went by train to Veyangoda from there, and —

arrived at 5:15 a.m the next day. Traveling was especially diffi cult because Baba did not want His name disclosed and as a result, He and the women had to be present during the customs and medical examinations at the border crossings at Dhanush kodi and Talaimannar while entering Ceylon. This was against His wish. After they arrived in Veyangoda they traveled by cars to the bunga lo Hickgalla Estate, which Rustomji Ratanshah had placed at Baba’s disposal. Rustomji and his family had come to the town to receive Baba. With Kaka’s and Chanji’s help, they did everything to see to Baba’s and the group’s comfort. November 7th after breakfast Baba looked somewhat disappointed. He called everyone and asked, “Why are you staying with me?” Rano replied, “To love you.” Elizabeth answered, “Because I love you, I don’t know why, but I do.” Baba smiled and spelled out from the alphabet board: But what a way of loving! Yes you do love me; otherwise, why should you leave all your families, homes, comforts, et cetera to be with me. This year of my working is very important. You all are so lucky to be with me now. The universe is now in such chaos. That is why I gave the list of orders to my disciples. If not, the reaction would have been such that even the closest of my lovers would have left me. But why do you always want to do what you want? You must do what Iwant! You must either do only what you want, or only what I want! But what is this in-between thing to please both yourselves and me? That’s impossible. Ifyou love me, you must be happy in my happiness. But I try to make it easier for you too, for I also let you do what you want. IfI ask you to do only what I want, you would not staywith me for a minute! I tell you not to fight, not to criticize, but you do what you want. Therefore, try your best to obey these orders during this important period ofmy work. For nine months, you all must stay with me during my important work. —

It had been raining constantly since their arrival in Ceylon and all, including Baba, felt depressed. One night, Norma had a bad dream. The next morning, she was irritated and in a bad mood. Baba looked at her sharply, critically remarking, “She is upset because of a dream. What a fool! A dream may be good or bad, but in it sanskaras are spent. In the awake state when sanskaras are spent, new ones are accumulated. But when they are spent in a dream, new ones are not created.” On November 8th, Baba asked Norma, “Which would you rather be, my hat or my sandals?” Norma said, “Your sandals.” “Why?” “Because the sandals are your companions over good roads and bad. They pass through dirt, rain and mud and are always with you.” Baba nodded in agreement, spelling out, “This is the reason why people in India worship the chappals (sandals) of the Master and not His hat.” The Ratanshah family were devoted to Baba, however, for His own reasons, Baba did not want to stay at their home in Ceylon when He arrived there. Baba indicated He needed a house on the seashore or on a hill with a lake or a stream nearby for His “special work” and the search for another bungalow began. Even Kaka, who 29


was busy looking for masts in Ceylon, helped Chanji and Vishnu search for the bungalow for Baba. Baba went into the town, Kandy, with Elizabeth, Rano and Kitty to choose a bungalow from the four selected by the men. They returned in the evening having found all unsuitable. The search continued. Baba expressed His wish to return to Bandarawela where He had stayed injanuary, 1933. He liked the Viceroy House there, but the owner’s mother had died unexpectedly, and Norma was unable to contact the man who rented the place. After breakfast on November 11th Norma asked Baba, “Why should everything apparently go wrong when you wish to work in Ceylon? The weather is awful, we cannot find a place to stay, the press interview you gave was not successful. And now some of the local Christians and Buddhists are stirring up things against you.” Baba explained: I have come here for work, and only work matters to me. What is praise or insult to me? Opposition is a help, not a hindrance in my work. The sun shines daily, shedding light on all. It is not concerned with whether people praise it or speak ill of it. It sheds light equally on those who praise it and those who curse it. But when the clouds appear, the sun is hidden.Then people long for its light and warmth. When the clouds disperse and the sun shines with flu splendor, only then do people know its true value. Were it not for the clouds, people would not appreciate the sun. In this way, opposition is like the clouds to appreciate the value ofthe sun’s light, clouds are neces sary... This reporter who recently interviewed me, poor man, has a limited conception and is more interested in my throat not being impaired by not speaking than the value of Truth. Chimpi (Chanji) said it was all a bad sign. I said, on the contrary, it is a good sign! Now it is definite. I will stay here for my work, for opposition helps the work. —

That day, later in the afternoon, Baba decided to move to a house in Kandy. He remarked, “In Ceylon everything hopeful is hopeless, and everything hopeless is hopeful! At least in this new bungalow there are no ghosts!” Some ofthe women looked relieved and Baba explained ghosts. While in Ceylon, Meher Baba was giving Chatti Baba a bath each day, but on Monday, November 11th, Chatti Baba gave Baba a bath! When Baba went to him, Chatti Baba picked up a pail of water and poured it over Baba. The mast was so happy he took another full pail and asked Baba, “Shall I pour more?” Baba nodded, and Chatti Baba was laughing and laughing while Baba allowed him to pour 10 to 12 more buckets over him. “I knew it made him very happy,” Baba later informed the Mandali. Although it was rainy, chilly weather at the time in Ceylon and Baba was highly susceptible to catching colds, He allowed the mast to indulge himselfin this manner. Baba was busy with mast work and would sometimes leave Co lombo to contact different masts. There is no significant detailed information available of the masts whom Baba contacted but His trip to Ceylon was primarily to contact these sweet beings. It is significant that He traveled with such a large group of both men and women during wartime. Although the women could not move about freely, each had their duties assigned by Baba. 30

People began arriving at the bungalow for Meher Baba’s Dars han as news of Him residing near Colombo spread. Newspaper reporters appeared wanting interviews. But Baba did not allow Darshan, because He was in seclusion. He had declared publicly that His seclusion would last from August 1940 to August 1941. Baba went to see a new bungalow in Kandy with Kitty, Rano, Donkin, Vishu, Baidul and Chanji on November 13th, and He approved ofit. On November 16th at 8:30 a.m., Baba and the group left Veyangoda for Kandy in two buses, a car and one luggage truck. After a two hour drive they arrived at Primrose Hill Estate on Hololuwa Road and found the bungalow and surrounds very beautiful. Baba stayed up the hill with the men Mandali and Chatti Baba. The women stayed at the foot of the hill. There were many lizards in Kandy. Because there was a danger they would urinate or defecate in the food, and their urine and excreta are extremely poisonous, Katie would brush them off the wall, and Baidul’s daughter, Dowla, would kill them. On Sunday, November 17th, Dowla reported to Baba that she had killed seven lizards in only 15 minutes. Baba was not happy... Baba instructed them, “Don’t kill lizards. Any animal that directly injures should be killed, but not lizards. Catch them and throw them outside. They eat flies and are useful.” He added in a teasing manner, “Ifyou kill them, you will be a lizard in your next birth!” On Sunday, November 21st, four carloads ofpeople came to see Baba but Norma talked to them as He wished to remain in seclu sion. At 10:00 a.m. He went with the women in Elizabeth’s car to the Botanical Gardens. November 22nd Baba stayed with the men Mandali the entire dayfasting on water and honey. The next day the Blue Bus that had been sent from Meherabad arrived in Kandy in the af ternoon. On the 24th Baba took the women to several places connected with Buddha. Leaving at 7:30 a.m., they reached Dambulla three hours later. At Anuradhapura they saw a sapling from the original Bodhi tree in India under which the Buddha attained God-Realization. On November 29th, when Baba left Chatti Baba’s hut, the mast got so excited he smashed the panes ofglass in the door with his fists! When the boy came to clear away the glass, Chatti Baba said, Baba in Ceylon, 1940 “No, leave it as it is!” Baba returned to see him, and the mast was quite happy. Baba said that Chatti Baba’s outburstwas related to England being heavily bombed by the Germans at that time.


Chatti Baba’s strange behavior in Ceylon was also re lated to events which would occur nearly 50 years into the fb ture in Ceylon. Whenever moving into a new bungalo Baba always selected rooms for each ofthe Mandali and for Himself. In Kandy, Chatti Baba’s room was a few doors down from Baba’s. One night at midnight the mast began Meher Baba giving Chatti Baba a bath. yelling and screaming. He picked up the metal bath buckets and chairs and threw them across the room. He then tore up his bed sheets. Baba spelled out, “After many years there will be a civil war in Ceylon. I have done this work through Chatti Baba. I have brought him to Ceylon for that pur— pose. In the late 1980’s, as Baba foretold, civilwar did break out between the Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese dominated government in northern Ceylon. Thousands were massacred. Rustomji Ratanshah, his wife and daughter-in-law came to see Baba in Kandy on December 2nd. Baba met them in the men’s quarters Chatti Baba the Mast and then took the two women to meet the women Mandali. As He brought them in, a love song was playing on the radio entitled, “What do You Know ofLove?” Baba repeated the refrain and asked the women: . . “

What do you know oflove?This love on the radio is Broadway love, but what do you know ofreal love?

Here is a story of an example of that love. There was a great saint named Zikaria. He would always do what pleased God. Once in a dream, God ordered him to sit under a cer tam tree. When he awakened, he went and sat there and never moved for five years, in spite of tears and pleading from his family and friends. Hearing about this, the king of the place sent his men, ordering Zikaria to come to him, but the saint would not budge. The king then ordered his men to saw him in half if he did not obey, and Zikaria let himself be sawed without moving! This is an instance ofgreat, real love, obeying God’s order in a dream. And here you have God in person, who asks you to do such little things, and you cannot do it. Although Baba had rented the Primrose Hill bungalow for a period of three months, Baba left for Calicut on December 5th after finishing his mast work in Kandy. They drove in the Blue Bus and cars to Mannar and from there to Dhanushkodi, except the

men Mandali who traveled by train. Traveling by boat to India, they reached Ramnad by train on December 6th at 3:00 p.m. where they stayed in a dak bungalow. The following is an excerpt from Kitty Davey’s book “Love Alone Prevails” regarding the groups’ stay in Ceylon: In the fall of 1940 the group went again on tour. Before leaving, Margaret wrote to Delia: “We have all been vaccinated ready for our departure for Ceylon on 1st November. A gang of 40 of us are moving there for several months but write here, no address there at present. Two months all our letters take. I always feel that I don’t know which letter I am answering, and in any case, you will probably have forgotten what you wrote four months before, so where are we?.. “Everyone is very thin and very exhausted with the fast, and I think, in spite ofaiways packing and unpacking, will be glad to be off. On the 18th we have two meals a day. One at 6 a.m. and one at 6 p.m. I think it will be better. I think the regime has been healthy but it has been exhausting as well. Baba comes every other day at the moment to give instruc tions about the journey.” At Ceylon we had a nice bungalow two miles from Co lombo. Then we moved to Kandy up in the hills. This was a tea-growing district and all around us on the slopes grew small bushes offine tea leaves. Here, as Margaret had mentioned, we were on a partial fast bread and butter with breakfast and no more food till evening. I remember a crisis, for I as housekeeper had ordered special whole wheat bread. This turned out to be about three times as expensive as the other kind and the baker had much difficulty in supplying so large an amount. Baba heard of this indirectly and was much annoyed that I had not first consulted Him about it. I was so slow in learning that all details, even of the household, had to go to Baba for His sanction. We all got even thinner at Kandy and all were making tucks in their skirts. Baba was the same as ever, very loving and beautiful but stricter than at Nasik, still always fill of fun and mischief in His dealings with us. Notes from my diary give further details: “Baba comes to see us quite a lot here. He arrives about 2 p.m. and stays until 7 o’clock. Ofcourse we don’t see Him all that time but He is in the house and sits with us for quite a time. Baba never wears His hair loose now, only in a plait. Baba is always giving us fresh definitions oflove. The other day it was ‘self control and spontaneous happiness for the Beloved.’ Another time He said ‘It is the same God playing different parts at one and the same time! He plays the part of the Universal God who is beyond everything that is conscious. He plays the part ofbeing falsely conscious of being this body. He plays the part ofthe Creator. He plays the part ofbeing Himselfconsciously in creation. Kabir has sung, ‘One God is the Avatar; One God is the Soul ofevery being; One God creates all; and One God is Everything.” .

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The information about the Madras Cafe and the Capitol Theater in Singapore and the Temples Baba visited in Panang was kindly provided by Ray Kerkhove, Australia. Other information in this feature was gathered from volumes 5, 6, 7 and 8 ofLordMeher by Bhau Kaichuri.

31


I Want, I Want...But What?! [Ba/gave us this topub/ishfrom what may yet become thefourth in his verypopu/ar series ofConversations with theAwakener —perhaps to be called F/owing Conversations.]

T

he evening sky was gathering clouds, and I wondered ifit was going to storm. I was feeling unwell, tense, and depressed. Gazing out the window at the darkening sky I wondered if my inner turmoil was a reflec— tion of the unsettled weather, or if the im pending storm was mirroring my mood. The wind picked up, and raindrops began to pelt the roof I closed my eyes and sank deeper into grim reflections. Then suddenly to my astonishment, I heard the sound offamillarfootsteps. I opened my eyes just as You came through the door. You hung Your raincoat on a hook and turned to me as I rose to greetYou.Without awordYou came into the room and sat on the sofa. Looking very re laxed, You closed Your eyes as I had just done. Were You joking with me, or just showing me thatYou knew the state I was in? I had rarely seenYou with eyes closed, with such a perfectly restftil expression. You exuded an exquisite elegance in that silent repose, and a feeling ofenchantment came over me. I had the feeling that You were pervading everywhere, knowing everything. I did not wish to break the spell of that moment, so I did not express my greeting. However, after a short time You slowly opened Your eyes, as though You hadjust come down from Your Abode of Infinity Then with a twinkle in Your eye You asked, “Why are you looking so grumpy and sullen? I’m in the mood to give you anything you want. I gaped, “Seriously?” I asked. “of course,” You smiled. “Don’t you believe Me?” “Yes! Certainly!” But I was too stunned by Your arrival, and by the novelty of the situa tion, to know what to say. I tried to search within myself to think ofwhat it was that I wanted the most. “Hundreds of wants come to mind,” I confessed. “I can grant all ofyour wants,” You assured me. “But are you certain that the friffihiment ofyour wants will really make you happy?” I had to think about that. “I’m not sure,” I finally concluded. The fact was, I recognized that my chronic health problems and mental restlessness could not account for the unhappiness I felt at the core of my heart. As I tried to come up with an answer, instead I came up with a question. 32

Bal Natu

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Meherabad

“How is it that happiness seems so elusive most of the time?” You replied, “Happiness remains elusive unless and until you are willing to love life as it is in and around you, without reservations and without exercising special rights over people and surroundings. This requires a simple heart and trust in Me. AndYou added, “Would you like to hear a story?” “Yes, very much.” “All right, listen: Long ago there was a simple farmer who loved God and had deep trust in His wish. He had a pet horse, auburn colored, with a white star on his forehead. His name, not surprisingly, was Star. One morning, when the farmer went to the stable, he found that Star was missing. He searched for him high and lo but in the end returned to the empty stable and started to sing.” “Started to sing? I don’t understand!” “Wait,wait,listentowhathappened next.The refrain ofthe song was, ‘God is great He knows best.’ And it so happened that a friend of the farmer was passing by just then, and hearing a joyous song coming from the stable, came and asked, ‘Why are you so happy today? ‘My horse has been stolen,’ came the answer. ‘So you’re cel ebrating the theft? the friend asked incredulously. ‘In a way’ the farmer replied with perfect com posure. ‘Because if I’d been on the horse, I too would have been stolen! “Shortly after this, another ofthe farmer’s friends appeared, leading Star into the stable. ‘I was working in the field,’ he explained, ‘when I saw a man come riding by on your horse Star. I asked him a few questions and he was evasive, so I realized he’d stolen him. We had a tussle and the rascal ran off Anyway, here’s your horse back.” “The old farmer ran his fingers lovingly through Star’s mane, kissed him on the forehead and patted him. Star whinnied and moved his head up and down happily. And then the farmer began to sing once more, ‘God is great, He knows best.” “The first friend could not help but remark at this. ‘You are singing the same song. Are you happier now?’ Not exactly. But now the oats and the grass won’t go to waste.” “Then all three began to laugh, but each one, perhaps, for a different reason.” You shot me a playfril, expectant glance. “So that’s the story. Did you get the meaning of it?”

“Well, maybe not entirely,” I said. “But the old man’s s attitude was really marvelous. He had such trust in God.” “Right,”You agreed.”He accepted life as God’s wish, no matter what happened to him. This is detachment from wants. Have you everwatched the topmost part ofa tall, leafy tree moving joyfrilly side to side with the slightest breeze?” “Many times,” I answered readily. And then I added, “In one ofYour earlier visits You had already shared the simile with me ofthe leaves dancing without resistance.” Not showing the slightest expression of admonishment, You said, “Yes, but you have forgotten the message that the leaves sing through their rustling.You remember only the words, but have failed to integrate their meaning into your life.” Without rebuking or chiding me, You poignantly helped me to see my folly. I felt humbled and chastened. You smiled with Your infinite kindness. “Simply quoting sublime words is like offering someone a scentless flower made of plas tic. But ifthe words have become alive in your own life, releasing their significance, then they have meaning. Your memory of the movements of the leaves does not wake you to ex press their heart-moving music--the song of resignation to My wish.” I murmured that I was sorry and would have said more, but You gestured that I was not to worry. “Remember,” You concluded, “any assertion of ‘I want this or that blocks the natural flow oflife’s energy expressing My wish. Now tell Me, do you want to respond wholeheartedly to My wish or yours? You gazedlovinglyatmewithYour sparkling eyes, as ifYou were requesting something ofme. I was so moved by the intimacy ofthatlook that tears began to flow from the comers ofmy eyes, and I felt a rapture come over me, as though a wave had electrified the room. “I want to respond to Your wish the best I can,” I said earnestly. I felt so blessed that I could not look upon the radiance ofYour face any more, and reverently closed my eyes. A moment later I heard the sound of the door closing. I opened my eyes and saw that Your raincoat was gone. But to my delight a pleasant breeze flowed through the room. Outside the sky was clear and translucent, and the stars twinkled joyously. Upon seeing this clarity I immediately realized that the stormi ness, just like my mood, was a passing phe nomenon. That indeed, behind my every mood or want, this tranquil clarity exists--the


tranquil clarity ofYour presence. I was jubi lant, as I no longer had aspirations for the liiifiliment of my personal seffish wants. I only desired to feel Your presence more and more in my life. As naturally as the birds sing to welcome the morn, As intimately as the dew-drenched buds smile at the sky, So, let my heart beat in unison, longingfir Yourpresence, With the simple innocence ofa babe newly born!

Going to India? Pilgrim Reservations To make reservations at the Meher Pu grim Centre Meherabad by email, please notify us no more than 6 weeks in advance at: pimco@ambppct.org. Please send your reservation requests no more than six weeks in advance. It may take a few days for us to reply to you by email. Please include your snail mail address. Pilgrims will be asked to reimburse us for any expense connected with receiving/sending these emails, once theyreach Ahmednagar. This email address is for Pilgrim Reservations Office work only. To make reservations by post: Pilgrim Reservation Office Avatar Meher Baba Trust Post Bag 31 Kings Road Ahmednagar, MS 414001 INDIA (91)-241-341821 phone and fax -

January 11, 2001 Dear Friends, Recently a pilgrim had to bear through a very serious medical emergency here at Meherabad and did it with poise and went through all the difficulties without cornplaint. This person’s behavior brought to mind a letter that Eruch wrote regarding pilgrimage. I share it here so that it may help others to bear some of the difficulties encountered on trips to Meherabad and for those who may not be familiar with it. In Beloved Baba’s Service, Dr. Gus Degreef

Pilgrimage. It is not a vacation spot, resort or retreat. It behooves each pilgrim blessed to cross His Threshold, to accept all conditions oftheir pilgrimage as the prasad given to them by their Beloved Lord. To have one’s pilgrimage accepted by the Lord is no easy task, for it means more than to merely bow down at His Samadhi. We must accept wholeheartedly any and all trials and tribulations that may beset us during our pilgrimage, knowing full well, that these very difficulties when happily accepted without reservation or expectation mark His acceptance of our pilgrimage. Doubly blessed is the pilgrim who, in spite of all hardships, remains cheerftilly resigned to the conditions of his pilgrimage. And yet, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, in His Infinite Compassion and Benevo lence, has made our pilgrimage so comfortable and easy that we have forgotten all that He Himself as Man amongst men, suffered throughout His Ministry to awaken His love in our hearts. Dear brothers and sisters, we have been blessed to receive His gift oflove, now it is time for us to return that love by dissolving all expectations, reservations and desires in total gratitude and resignation to His Will. With warm regards in Love and Service of our Beloved Lord Avatar Meher Baba. Yours lovingly, Eruch

Heres a check listforyou. First the obvious things: Flashlight (torch) small and large extra batteries. Hair dryer (ifyou simply have to have one) that is 240 volts make sure you have an adapter that will fit the Indian sockets. Insect repellant (Avon has some great non stinky moisturizing lotion). Hat a must, Sunscreen a must, Toilet paper (available in ‘Nager but scratchy) —likewise bath towel and face cloth. Rubber thongs, no bare feet germs and worms! Plenty ofifim for your camera (minimum film--Kodak 100 available at “Laser Photo” downtown ‘Nager) extra batteries. Modest clothes no shorts for women, long ones for men. Teen girls please note, no bare midriffs, low cut blouses or tight tank tops. Loose pants no tight clothing of any kind. Remember you are here to commune with God not drive the local guys crazy! Some not so obvious ones: Liquid soap for the few things you may wish to hand wash (mostly cold water washing). Clothes pins (pegs) or plastic coated wire clothes hangers come in handy for —

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Regarding Pilgrimage Eruch Jessawala, 1994

W

e His lovers, must not forget why we come to Meherabad in the first place. Meherabad is a place of Holy

hanging a few special items for drying or in closets also lightweight for packing. Alcohol wipes and/or alcohol gel or other antibacterial hand gel to clean hands without water. Alcohol wipes also excellent for cleaning silverware in questionable hotels or restaurants on the way to Meherabad. Soft pillow or neck roll. Nail brush and manicure kit. Calculator (for those Bazaar forays) Aloe Vera Gel or Tea Tree oilloint ment is great for insect bites, sunburn, and other itches. Also email address list for use at the Cyber Cafe in Nager ifyou’re into it. —

Eating Outside the Pilgrim Center Even at some ofthe best restaurants in four and five star hotels, unless the food is zapped with ultraviolet rays you shouldn’t eat any uncooked fruits or vegetables. Fruits such as bananas and oranges are fine as you can peel thern.You should drink only boiled or bottled water.

News Flash! Pune-Mumbai-Pune bus service For those of you interested in alterna tive travel arrangements from the Mumbai airport to Pune, MAA Travels and Tours operates a Sahar Airport-Pune-Sahar Aiport A/C bus service for a one way fare of Rs. 450 per seat. It drops you anywhere in Pune and the departures from Sahar Airport are at Midnight, 2.30 am and 6 am. ( This means you don’t have to spend an agonizing four hours sitting bolt upright at the Leila Hotel when all you want to do is sleep on their comfy couches!). You can buy the ticketsjust as you come out ofcustoms. They have a booth near the prepaid taxi booth. For information on how to go from Pune to Mumbai, the Pune contact is MAATrav els and Tours Pvt. Ltd., Mittal Court, 3rd. Fl., Rasta Peth, Opp. Sai Service, Pune 411011. Ph. 612 4877, 611 9043/53, Fax: 020613-7518, Email: rnaatravels@yahoo.com. They also have a website at www. maatravels.com The SuperExpress train leaves about 5 a.m. from VT Station in South Mumbai, but the bus is much more convenient and you probably won’t get a seat on the train. You can also ask the bus to drop you at a hotel in Pune for breakfast or go straight to the Nagar taxi stand at Shivaji Nagar Bus Station. This could be less expensive than booking a Trust Office taxi for a single person, and you may arrive in Nagar sooner. 33

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Happenings at Meherabode Pratap Ahir’s Story Pratap has been travelling around the United States with one ofhis sons, Swaroop, speaking, playing and singing at many ofthe Baba Centers. fl’ were lucky enough to have a return engagement. Asyou can read in thefol lowing bio he wrotefor us, he hadspent much time with the Beloved, so it is really wonderful to hear him tell ofthese times. Also to hear him sing/And Swaroopplays a mean tabla, so the harmonium, tabla and voices were a real treat for us. Even better that he has made a so we can continue listening to him after he has returned to India—Ed I was born and brought up in Pune in a family with a spiritual background. I had my education at Pune. My upbringing had aroused in me a sincere desire to lead a life dedicated to God and a life that is based on moral values. I lost my parents when I was very young. This had a deep psychological impact on me. It also affected me financially. I had to struggle a lot for stability in life. The events that unfolded in mylife since my childhood prove that it was an unconscious struggle for ultimate stability in Beloved’s arms. During this period, I came in contact with one Mr. L.B. Thade at Pune who was instrumental in getting me admittance to a Government run hostel. Mr. Thade had had Baba’s darshan. My association with him led me to the thing that has mattered most in my life ever since then. I was drawn into

Beloved Meher Baba’s fold. I started participating in Baba related activities that were gaining momentum in Pune. 16th October 1950 turned out to be the biggest day in my life. I met Meher Baba at Mahabaleshwar in India. He had stepped back for a few hours into His ‘old life’ from the ‘New Life’ that He was leading with some of His disciples. My love for Baba was given real impetus that day. Thereafter it only grew and so did my urge to be near Him as much as possible. The Pune group that was in its formative stage under the watchful eyes and loving encouragement of Dr. Ghani was really fortunate. It was given and I grabbed many opportunities to sit at Baba’s feet. I was an active member of this group. It was important that I came in Baba’s fold but a more significant thing for me was Baba entering the shell of my personal life and touching the lives of me, my wife and my children with His abundant love. I have been married for over 38 years now. My wife has also been following Meher Baba since her younger days. I have four children and I am glad that all of them are strongly connected with Meher Baba. Baba has been generous with them in granting them talent in the performing arts like singing, accompaniment on musical instru ments, drama and dancing. I am glad that Baba has also ensured that they are able to

use this talent for His work. On this trip, my youngest son, Swaroop has traveled with me to give me accompaniment on Tabla— the Indian rhythm instrument. I live in Mumbai now and I am actively associated with governing the Baba Cen ters at Pune and Mumbai. I have also been offering my services in translating English literature on Baba in the vernacular language. In the true sense of the word, 1 am not an orator or speaker. I am not a ‘qualified’ singer but I have chosen these media to share all that I could, from my heart that Baba has filled with His love. [Note also that Pratap Ahir’s early encounters with Baba are covered in Lord Meher, October and December 1950.]

Ifyou make Me your real Father, all differ— ences and contentions between you and all p ersonalproblems in connection with your lives willbecome dis— solvedin the Ocean of My Love... Pratap (r.) & his son Swaroop (taken at the Auction) 34


of

the 21cart”

5ilent &: J.ive Auction—April 28, 2001

The tireless Auction committee

Choosing the winner of the Sweepstakes

Luscious Indian cuisine enjoyed by all

Elegant place settings, beautiful decorations Musicfor the “silent” auction 35


Gift Food Bags for the Homeless ne of our Sunday meetings was devoted to those less fortunate—the homeless living on Los Angeles’ Skid O Row. We made sandwiches and added other goodies, creating gift food bags, and finally adding one of our favorite Baba cards before packaging them for delivery

\

At the other enc4 Shani Vèrchick, Golrzaz and Shawdi Manozichehrpour bag the goodies

Morgan Rowling,frorn Brisbane, Australia helped us with the packaging...he had traveled thefarthest of anyone to take his date to theprom: 8,000 miles! Stephanie Ervin of Long Beach CA was his date.

the Provider ofthefeast


Nan Umrigar and Friends O

the afternoon of September 22nd in the Pune Turf Club, where so many Westerners had stayed during the East-West Gathering, Nan Umrigar gathered over 250 ofher friends, nowbecoming for the most part, devotees of the Avatar, to share their stories and express their devotion to Meher Baba. I had first met Nan at the Sun ‘n Sand some years before, when she had just written the account ofthe death and the incred ible story of her refinding her younger son Karl, who had met with a fatal horse acci dent in his late teens. Nan had her two close friends and literary associates, Amie and Freny, with her, and I was returning from Ahmednagar after introducing Magestic Foundation’s Book Committee to the Publications Committee of the Trust. Nan wanted an independent evaluation of the now almost completed book before ventur ing to publish it. I read it with keen interest some days later. I found it deeply touching, as well as clearly being a favored account designed to show the way to the Avatar’s doorstep for perhaps a goodly number of those chosen by the Avatar himself to be devoted directly to him. Shortly thereafter the book was published as Sounds OfSilence and enjoyed at once a considerable success both in India and beyond. In the course of the following months, Nan was literally besieged by persons who had suffered similar bereavements. Nan fulfilled the considerable demands on her time and energies this entailed, and soon started arranging transportation by the busloads to Ahmednagar and the sites of the Beloved’s home. Now, only a fewyears later, as Gary Kleiner pointed out in his address delivered that Tuesday night in September, Nan has physically brought to Meherabad and the Tomb of the Avatar more persons than any other one else except probably for Eruch, the hero oflove for the One. I would not be able to vouch for the accuracy of the statistics but as Gary fills a key spot in the operation of the Pilgrim Centre, I am indined to trust his summation. All this however, is simply the external side of Nan’s unique and endless devotion to Meher Baba. Although she now has concerns at home with the serious illness of her husband, who took a turn for the worse on the very evening ofNan’s annual gala of love for the Beloved, Nan fulfills totally the

by Don Stevens, France unflinching duties of a key intermediary in His work and organizes with Leila Captain and several ofher close Pune associates, an evening in constant praise and devotion to Baba’s love and ministry. Here is a beautiful instance of the balance between the head and the heart of which Baba speaks so decisively in his Discourse on Love. Nan knows how to organize. She also knows how to appear before a group and be master of ceremonies in a manner that is outstandingly human. Her simplicity and good will reach to one’s inner being. During the course of three hours that evening in Pune, a succession of intelligent and articulate individuals recounted deeply sincere and touching stories of their own experiences in facing disastrously upsetting crises in life. Often, as in Nan’s case, this involved the loss ofa beloved child, and the manner that Baba reached through to them and gave them their own personal experi ence of the truly living reality of the continuation of that supposedly lost loved one. As is always true in the finding of the path to Baba, no two stories were even similar in their major happenings, but the end was al ways identical: the indescribable relief to have unquestioning evidence ofthe contin ued being and well-being of the loved one thought to be lost. And inevitably, the ac companying flood of love and reassurance that they knew instinctively came from Baba direct to their hearts. Gary Kleiner, with his great gift of finding clear and vivid words, talked for some minutes on the complete assurance of meaning which his twenty years in Meherabad has given him, regardless of vibes not sensed and independent of any direct physical touch from the Master. Gary’s at times almost iconoclastic manner, contrasted but totally complimented the general tenor ofother accounts being given that warm evening of early fall in the presence of the beloved Avatar. Leila Captain, who assisted Nan in chairing the occasion, beamed through her rimless glasses, and Arnie Rabadi added her incisive suggestions and realism which is so characteristic ofher nature. We caught sight ofSuraiya and Mas Masters, who had given a superb buffet supper the evening before,

as well as several stalwarts from Ahmednagar. Don added his classic account ofhis first meeting with Baba in New York in August 1952, and Baba’s uncanny recognition ofDon’s three signs ofthe circle ofPerfection made to Baba. Read all about it in the introduction to God Speaks or in Don’s new biography of Baba written for the Spanish publisher ofDios Habla. Nan, as do so many people, we salute and love you for your complete love for and de votion to the Beloved who is our Beloved Meher Baba as well. Bless you and your wonderful co-workers for the opportunity to be with you and share in the feast of the heart and mind you provide.

The Power of His ‘ Name .

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by Bhau Kaichuri and Meher Baba

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he group arrived in Bangalore on I\’Iarch 4th, and .\rcflt on to I\/Iysore the next da’c On ]\‘Iarch 6th, the group’s conversation topic turned to wild ani— mals, for there were tigers, lions and bears roaming the jungles surrounding fVlvsore. l\’Ieher Baba advised: “Ifyou ever come across any such say— age animals, or if you find yourselves in a perilous situation, cry out my name loudly I will then save )ro1 Even if you die, you should know that I have saved you, because my protection is real protection. I always protect iiy lover. There is a difference betveen remem bering my name and actually saying it out loud. In the eventuality of your body be— ing overcome vith fear in the presence of any wild animal or other creature (such as a snake, at such moments of danger you should loudly cry out rnxr name, so loud that the sound of my name fitils on the creature’s ears which will immediately make it as meek as a lamb! But before inanimate objects, during any serious mishap or accident such as a car crash or train wreck you will be saved by remembering me with full faith from the bottom ofyour heart. From Lord J’Ieher T2/11fl7L’ II’ 1929—1932, © 1973 Bhau Kaichuri —

37


2lumor for :iium

At the Meher Center meetings ev ery weekend you will find me, And you’ll find I never fail to lock the Center gate behind me. I never call up Kitty on her “pleasedon’t-make-a-phone-call” day, And I can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay.

All: And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay. And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by Marshall Hay. And he can quote verbatim the announcements made by MarshallMarshall Hay.

Edmund:

‘My bliss and my infinite sense ofhumor sustain me in my suffering. The amus ing incidents that arise at the expense ofnone lighten my burden.” —

Meher Baba

[Recently I came across this little ditty that Jay Schauer ofCalfornia wrotefor a skitfor Kittyc birthday about l2years ago. Itc sung to the tune of 7 am the very model ofa modern major general’ a songfrom Gilbert and Suiivanc Pirates ofPenzance. Whatfun it would be to see this performed at one of the Gatherings!]

Edmund: I am the very essence of a modern Baba Lover, I love my fellow creatures like a sis ter or a brother, I know the center pathways and I hike them with impunity, I never say “off-center” when I mean “nearby community”, 38

I’ve got a Lyn Ott painting and the latest Baba video, I’ve got a little Baba picture stuck on my car radio, I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother, And I am the very essence of the Modern Baba Lover.

All: He loves his fellow Creatures like a sister or a brother, And he is the very essence of a Modem Baba Lover.

Edmund: I keep my body pure and My biotics are all macro I keep away from meat and drugs and liquor and tobacco. I’m sure in some past life I must have been a holy brahmin For I never, never, never would let go ofBaba’s Damaan. I’m chaste and I am careful, I do nothing for the hell of it, I go to wild parties but always stay a celibate, And when I date a girl you may be sure I do not fondle her— I’d rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gondola.

All: He’d rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gondola. He’d rather be out sailing in the

Meher Center gondola. He’d rather be out sailing in the Meher Center gon-do-gon-do-la.

Edmund: For I’ve been on walking tour of Nasik and Rahuri And know by heart the latest ghazal book by Bhau Kalchuri. I love my fellow creatures like a sister or a brother And I am the very essence of the Modern Baba Lover.

All: He loves his fellow Creatures like a sister or a brother And he is the very essence ofa Modem Baba Lover.

Edmund: I know the names of all of Baba’s monkeys, dogs, and horses. I’ve got the first editions of God Speaks and the Discourses. I’m at the peak of fitness, I’m a dancer and a jogger. I know the cheapest fare from Myrtle Beach to Ahmednagar. I’m always on the waiting list for Center Reservations. My mail is jammed by Baba lovers writing for donations. I never worry, for the world is just illusion to me. My less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni.

All: His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni. His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhuni. His less than perfect attributes have burned up in the Dhu-u-u-ni.

Edmund: The truth is that I live a life that’s saintly and courageous, And I never pass beyond the Center’s seventeen-mile radius. I love my fellow creatures like a sis ter or a brother And I am the very essence of the modern Baba lover.


Announcements Songwriters “lam the song, its words and its melody andlam the Singer!” Meher Baba —

Meher Baba’s poet Bhau Kalchuri has given inspiration to many ofyou with his poems, songs, ghazals and other writings. A collection of songs with words by Bhau composed by Baba-lovers from around the world will be published by Ann and Scott O’Neil (who also published Sun Rays). If you have set Bhau’s words to music and would like to have these songs or ghazals included in the songbook, please contact J anice Rieman atjriemann@webster.edu, or 129 E. Lockwood Ave., Apt. 2A, St. Louis, MO 63119. -

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of our dear friends from the Center here in LA surprised us re— cently by announcing their engagement! Glenn Russ and Payam Arjang tell their story below. All four parents are long time members of our Center too. “Our coming together has truly been a Baba blessing. As we look back, it is so amazingly clear how Baba had arranged every detail. There are so many events beautiftilly orchestrated by Baba that we could spend hours sharing them with you all. Although we had known each other for manyyears, Baba did not wish for our paths to cross until this past December when we were separately drawn to go to Meherabad for Amartithi. We should note that Aloba had a significant role in all ofthis as well (‘a long story to be shared at another time!). Miracles definitely had to take place for us to take time off from work and make last minute arrangements (our passports and tickets were federal expressed to us only 2 or 3 days before our departure). Needless to say, Baba ignited a beautiful romance and about six months later, on May 12th 2001, atop the mountains at Ojai near Baba’s tree, I gave her an engagement ring and we com mitted to being spiritual partners for life and took a stand for our love for God and our shared walkwith Meher Baba. He truly does watch over every single one ofus. How fortunate we are to know Him. Avatar Meher Baba KiJai! Glenn and Payam —

Baba’s Flag On May the 11th, Baba’s Flag, a Mobile, was unfurled in a Public Exhibition of Mobile art in Asheville, North Carolina. Marvin and Michelle Shafer, two Chicago Baba Lover Artists are the creators of the Mobile, made from anodized aluminum, over 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide. It can be viewed at http://www.technobaba.com/ g3art.html.

all of the books at once. Art work for the CD itself has been completed and the artwork for the jewel box is in progress. The content ofthe first version CD is as follows: 1. God Speaks, 2. The Discourses, 3. The Everything and the Nothing, 4. Beams from Meher Baba on the Spiritual Path, 5. Lift at Its Best, 6. Listen Humanity, 7. The first 2 chapters of The Wayfarers, 8. The Path of Love, 9. MeherBaba theAwakener(Haynes), 10. Sparks (booklet), 11. Sparks ofthe Truth, 12. The God-Man (Purdom). There is also a section entitled Major Messages ofAvatar Meher Baba. Three of the books will be in Adobe PDF format which will require the Adobe Reader software. This software will be included on the CD. It is anticipated that we will have a ter of the CD by the end ofJune, 2001. Then, barring any significant problems from the reviews of the Trust, Sheriar Founda tion and Sufism Reoriented, copies of the CD will be printed and distributed for sale at the main outlets for Baba-related litera ture. The CD may be available as soon as August, 2001, at a prospective sale price of $30. Stay tuned. Michael Ivey —

Avatar Meher Baba Searchable CD Update

“Love courses through everything, No, Love *is* everything. How can you say ‘There is no love’ when nothing but Love exists

The fabled and long-awaited Avatar Meher Baba Searchable CD is slowly but surely grinding toward being available to interested Baba-lovers and scholars of the teachings ofMeher Baba. As many of you know, this project was begun by members ofthe Baba Listserv on the Internet some four years ago and has been carried out al most exclusively through the efforts ofvol unteer Baba-lovers. Currently, the 11 books and one booklet which comprise the first edition have been completed and cast into a presenta tion software package called Authorware which allows for a common text format and the ability to search either a single book or

4ll thatyou see has appeared because ofLove. All shinesfrom Love, Allpulses with Love, Allflowsfrom Love— No, once again all *s* Love!

‘1—us Light rose, Ifound it in my own heart— It is now my Light you see shining!” —Araqi From The Inner Treasure An Introduction to the World’s Sacred and Mystical Writings ©1999 byjonathan Star,

J eremy P. Tarcher/Putnam 39


How Baba Sleeps by Bhau Kaichuri [Ed We are ailfamiliar with thefact that Bhau Kaichuri was Babac nzht watchmanfor manyyears, andwe have readcontinuously how Baba would insist on complete silence when He slept, but did He actually sleep Here,from the LordMeherbiography, is an excellent explanation./

5th 1932, in Lugano, Switzerland when Baba was 38: “Whenever the Master was in his room resting, any noise whatsoever was forbidden. From the very beginning when Meher Baba established himself as a Perfect Master and gathered disciples, a watchman would always be at Baba’s side at night to see that there was not the slightest disturbance. His uncle Masji had this duty in India at first, and thereafter Chhagan was the night watchman. During Baba’s many journeys, any of the mandali would be appointed as night watchman, and this duty was now being done by Kaka Baria. Some of Baba’s Western followers were wondering whether or not the Mas ter slept at all at night. On May 5th, Baba suddenly called all ofthem into his room. He appeared to be in a dazed condition and stated: “I do not sleep, but I rest on a certain point. This point is between the sixth and seventh Lord Meher Vol. 5, Bhau Kaichuri planes, and at times it is very difficult to come ©AMBPPCT down from that eternal state. While resting on this point, there should not be the slightest noise, as it would be harmftil. In Meherabad once, I had to suffer badly due to some distur bance. My eyes were fill of tears and I was Meher Baba rolling on the ground, overcome by so much aba then touched on the various stages anguish. of development: “From the Nirvikaip Samadhi state—”I A person has to pass through three stages Am God” state—I have to undergo great an— guish coming down to normal human con- before Realization evolution, reincarnation sciousness.To attain Sahaj Samadhi—the In- and advancement on the path. From stone to finite Consciousness of everything, God animal to human form is evolution; this is the Consciousness plus all of the creation’s con- first stage. With the human form, evolution sciousness—in itselfis infinite anguish. There ends and the cycle of rebirth begins; this is is no desire to come down at all, but it is nec- the second stage.The third stage is involution through the spiritual planes. essary to come down for universal dutyc In Africa there is a fill swing of evolution, “My mind is connected with every mind. Through my universal mind, I undergo infi as all types of animals, plants and metals are nite suffering, and due to the infinite bliss, I found there. In Europe and America, reinam at infinite rest. The meaning of undergo- carnation is intensified with numerous people ing suffering is to work for the salvation of taking birth after birth entangled together. In mankind and to come down for that duty— Asia there is spiritual progress and advancefrom Nirvikaip Samadhi to normal conscious- ment on the path. That is why saints and Masters are found in the East, particularly ness. My descent is for this purpose. but eternity on from India. “This play is going the effect ofmyinfinite suffering is minimized From LordMeher frlumeIT 1929-1932 ©1973 Bhau Kaichuri by the infinite bliss in the background; though,

/Jay

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in spite of this infinite bliss, I have to suffer infinitely. I am above and beyond both.” Continuing, Baba narrated details of the experience he had when he was five years old and saw before him circles within circles of shining light and various brilliant colors. He was dazed and fainted at the time. He concluded: “I have the actual experience of it all today, and feel the universe and creation ema nating and projecting out of me. I feel all today that which I had a mere sight of then. Creation involves only to re-evolve again. It is a never-ending game! “I have explained it all in detail in my book. Even scientists will be astonished to learn the secrets I have explained there. For these will not be vague talks but facts that are substanti ated and supported by scientific arguments. It will be the future Bible, not in the literal sense, but a book ofunderstanding for people of all religions.” In reference to that missing book, Baba had taken his book with him to the West in 1931 and allowed Mahatma Gandhi to read a few pages ofit. Before returning to India that year, Baba left the book with someone in America where it remained for the next five years.

Stages of Development

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IIhave often wondered, in my ignorance why Baba wouldsay to washyourse(f,’ ‘toperformyour ablutions’before sayingprayers. This ftom Rumiprovides a very enlightening answer to my query.] -

True Ablutions As revealed by Jellaludin Rumi and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen hen you are performing your ablu tions, it is not merely washing your hands and feet. That is not the real point, the purpose ofwashing washing eyes, ears each ofthese parts ofyour body is that it gives you time, bit by bit, part by part, to move your awareness away from the world and toward God. Time to stay within your heart, I am now going to establish a connection with God. I am going to turn toward God. I am going to hand over my responsibilities, my love, to God. The blessed Prophet, may God’s peace be upon him, said; “While doing your ablutions, you must be aware only of your love for God. Make your heart steadfast in that state.” This determination must become strong through the process of your ablutions. By the time you have finished, you must have the intent and the aim ofseeing God. Noth ing else. It doesn’t matter, then, whether your eyes are opened or ifyour eyes are closed. God is all you will see whether they are opened or closed. This is the point when you can really call prayer surrender. The day you succeed in these ablutions, your prayer becomes fruitful! Then it is ftil filled. Then it is what we can call True Prayer. If you can make this state steadfast in yourself then not one second ofyour prayer will be wasted. Then your prayer will be The Prayer of completeness. When you have that prayer, when such a prayer is made, every part ofit is a contract with God. Then your eyes won’t draw you away. Your ears won’t draw you away. Only He will be drawing you, and you will be drawing Him. This is the connec tion you will have. This is the true prayer. From The Illuminated Prayer, by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Page 66, © 2000 by Coleman Barks and Michael Green, Published by The Ballantine Publishing Group —


An Unforgettable Musical Journey with the Beloved I

th the early hours of May 20 the usual chorus of dawn birds coaxed our dear Baba friends and family in India to waketh frilness, on this day heralding the 12 anni versary of Mehera’s joining her Beloved Baba to be forever together. I think the Lovers there must have noticed an unusual beauty in the birdsong on that morning. If they had listened closely they would surely have heard a haunting descant, the echo of a sweet voice carried across oceans and planes, that wafted from a sparkling shore-cliffin New England. th It was the evening of May 19 there, and Mehera’s most precious songbird, Raine EastmanGannett, had raised her clear, pure love melodies in concert, thoroughly delighting a most fortu nate gathering of 37 New England Baba-lovers, their families and friends, and a small collection ofunsuspecting local neighbors at Dolliver’s Neck in Gloucester, Massachu setts. Boston-area Baba lovers had been inspired to invite her for a concert on this spe cial date. Set on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, the beautiful Gloucester residence of Annie and Mac Bell was the perfect venue for such a love-fest of song and stories. Although their place has the appearance of an estate, it is one so tendered with their loving care and the nurturance ofMeher Baba’s bying presence that visitors universally experi ence it to be a warm and welcoming “home”, just as Annie herselfwould describe it. Even so, there is something astonishingly beautiffil about the landscape, an indescribable perfec

Mary Pratt, Boston Meher Baba Information Center

Mehera with Raine, Meherazad, 1978

tion, its divine origins only thinly veiled. It is so stunning that it inspired in Raine a new song about glittering waves, sparkling cliffs, ancient green trees and ocean loving birds, the reflections and shadows ofthe Divine Beloved in the Cliffs of Gloucester. In concert, in recordings, or even in casual conversations, Raine is like a dear long-time friend who has come at last for a visit, presenting her songs and stories as the gifts she would bring to share and to catch up. Naturally friendly, genuine, outgoing, earthy sweet and candidlygood-humored, she talked between songs about the close relationship that had grown between her and Mehera over many years of India visits. From their first meeting her eyes were magnetically drawn to gaze constantly at “The Divine Rememberer”, as Mehera is described in one song. It is not possible to hear her sing “Mehera I Miss You” or “I Hear Your Footfall” without weeping. And as Francis Brabazon’s “chai walla” and musical interpreter for ten years, she had many stories to

tell about life with Francis in Australia. Her musical settings of Francis’ poems, personally fine-tuned by the poet himself, uniquely express the power, immediacy and humor of his work. Raine’s explorations into spiritual music do not stop in India and Australia. She has also accessed the African-American spiritual traditions. It is impos— sible to describe in words her a Capella renditions of the Leadbelly traditional tune, “Four Day Week” and the gos pel standard, “0 What a Child”. Her strong, authentic rhythms, grown from years ofgospel choir singing, irresistibly prompted the audience to clap and sway in time. Just as irresistibly were smiles evoked by the unique Aussie edge she lends to these tunes. Regardless ofform or genre, Raine reaches deeply into the hearts and souls ofher listeners. As one Baba-lover remarked, Raine’s voice carries us to what Francis described as the “pearl” deep within, and for those few mmutes of song we can hold that pearl in our hearts and in some way “remember and Understand”. Perhaps Mehera’s essence issues from a deep reservoir inside Raine, accu mulated from so manyyears ofmutual gaz rng into one another’s eyes. Perhaps this could explain a listener’s response to the song/chant, “Gazing”. The mesmerizing melody transports each one to times and places where Baba was most strongly felt in his or her life. Or perhaps it is the earthy clarity ofFrancis’ poetic vision absorbed into her being that projects out to us through her voice evoking a hint of as Francis re cites, “The infinitely beautifhl one. .when the pouring of wine begins, [and] we are lost to all but Love. Whatever the rea sons may be the experience of Raine Eastman-Gannett in concert, as Baba groups such as Boston and also recently Portland, Oregon are beginning to discover, is a sweet and unforgettable journey with the Beloved. .

. . “

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Magical Moments with Baba Highlights of a Talk by Franey and Shirêen Irani at Meher Center Franey’s Talk

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December 30, 2000, we were treated to a talkby Franeylrani and her daugh ter, Shireen Bonner, at Meher Center. Each told her storyin turn, and it was interesting to notice some parallel experiences shared by mother and daughter. But first, some familybackground. Franey’s father was the brother ofSarosh K. Irani, one ofBaba’s close ones. The brothers were cous ins ofMeher Baba’s secretary Adi K. Irani (re ferred to as Adi Sr., to distinguish him from Baba’s youngest brother, Adi S. Irani, who is called Adi.Jr.).The three families lived in the compound that is now the Avatar Meher Baba Trust office. Baba frequentlyvisited, to see Adi Sr.’s mother, Gulmai, who He said was His “spiritual mother.” It was Franey’s grandmother who first took Gulmai (her sister-inlaw) to meet Upasni Maharaj, which led to Gulmai’s meeting Baba. Franey married Baba’s brother Adijr., and Shireen is their daughter. Adi Jr. also had a son, Dara, whose mother (Adi’s firstwife) had died and who was largely raised by Sarosh and his wife, Villoo. Well, enough of trying to get the kinship systems straight! Let’s just say that when the Avatar comes, He seems to conveniently place many ofHis close lovers into related families. Franey told the story of a life lived completelyin the loving nazar ofMeher Baba. She began by teffing us about growing up in the family compound, which at that time was known as Khushru Quarters. She felt that she had been with Baba from the beginning of life, because ofthe circumstances ofher birth: Her mother, who had suffered a previous miscarriage, was worried about the pregnancy, and so Sarosh offered to ask Baba about it. Baba conveyed the reassurance that she would have a girl and the baby would be fine. As a toddler Franey recalled seeing Baba visit the compound. In awe she watched Him float by in His white sadra, His feet never touching the ground, and she thought to herself that He must be a magician. When, at the age ofil or 12, she was going to be formally introduced to Baba for the first time, she was nervous and eager to be at her best. Wanting to be pretty for Him, she spent a tortured nightwith her hair in metal curlers. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and her hair fizzed up. She tried wetting it down, but 42

by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs

nothing helped. It looked awftil and she felt terribly self-conscious. So when she first met Baba, she was shy and preoccupied. She feared Baba would say something about her hair, but thankfrdly He didn’t—yet one ofthe Western women touched her hair and commented on it, much to her dismay. By the time Freny was 13, she was quite tall for her age, and her mother complained about it to Baba, saying she couldn’t keep buying Franey new clothes. So Baba put his hand on Franey’s head. Franey said, “Electricitywent down me, and I knew I wouldn’t grow after that.” Now let’s skip some years to the wedding of Franey and Adi, which took place at Khushru Quarters in 1947. The evening before, they got the message that Baba wanted her and Adi to see Him in the morning. He saw Franey first, alone, and helped her relax by playing childlike games with her such as asking her if she could rub her tummy and pat her head at the same time. He held her hand and told her not to be nervous. Then AdA was called in, and Babajoined their hands. He said never to worry and that He would always be with her. Franey felt that the meeting with Baba that morning was her real wedding; the ceremonythat followed wasjust a ritual. The couple didn’t have a honeymoon, but when Babawas going to America in 1952 with some of the mandali, He suggested that Adi and Franey go to England and then meet up with them in Europe. This didn’t work out as planned, because ofBaba’s accident. They re ceived a cable to return home immediately, and they were able to accomplish this directive despite the fact that the shipping companies were all booked and they were assured they would never get a berth. But they did—first class at that. They had a chance to have a couple of days in Paris beforehand, so they did have a honeymoon after all. Later on, Franeybegan to feeltired ofliving in India and wanted to see the world. The possibility arose of going to America under the sponsorship ofDon Stevens, but Baba said no, go to England. Franey was happy at this, as she had liked England on their visit there. But in August 1955, a week before they were to leave, they received a cable from Baba telling them to cancel everything and to stayin India. They forfeited the money spent on tickets,

their ffirniture was in storage, they had to find a place to stay—nonetheless they willingly obeyed Baba. Finally, in December, He told them they could go in February. It turned out that London had undergone its worst winter in years, so apparently Baba had wanted to spare them that. They moved in time to celebrate Baba’s birthday at a meeting in London. Franey found it hard to find work in Lon don. She was trained as a beautician but was told that without experience they could not hire her. When she notified Baba ofher diffi culties, He said that ifshe found nothing by a certain time, they could leave London. He also asked her if she wanted a child, and she re plied, “IfYou want me to have one, Baba.” He said, “We’ll see.” At that time Freny and Adi were staying with Minta (Delia DeLeon’s sister), who sug gested that Franey should cut her long hair and wear Western clothes instead of a sari when job hunting. This she did, and at her next interview, the long queue of applicants made her feel discouraged, yet miraculously she was given the job. But not long after starting work, Franey started feeling ill. Adi took her to the doctor and they discovered she was pregnant. When informed, Baba told Mani she would have a girl. “And I had this wonderful daughter,” Freny said, gesturing toward Shireen.

Shireen’s Talk Shireen’s first contact with Baba was when she was brought to India as an infant. She grew up in London seeing photos of her uncle all over the house. When she reached the age of seven, her grandfather—Franey’s father, who was a devout Zoroastrian—wanted her to have the traditional navjote, the Zoroastrian coun terpart to the confirmation ceremony. Baba gave permission, since it would make the grandfather happy. And so they were to go to India for the ceremony—and to see Baba, of course. To prepare Shireen, her father sat her down and explained to her that her uncle was God. This seemed quite natural, and she ac cepted it. He said that just as Christians believe in Christ, we believe in Baba, and He is Christ come again. In India, Shireen was terriblyexcited about meeting Baba. She was all dressed up in a


pretty frock, and Baba’s big American car was sent to pick them up. She brought presents for Baba that she had made herself and her favorite toys to show Him.When they arrived at Meherazad, Shireen recalls the warm greetings, the hugs, and the women mandali dressed up in saris. They proceeded to Mandali Hall, where Babawas waiting for them. AdiJr. had carefully instructed Shireen on how to behave: she was not tojump on Baba or ask questions. She should garland Him, salute Him with her joined palms, and step away to let the next person approach. As a well-brought-up English child, Shireen tried hard to be obedient. But the moment she saw Babawith His beaming face and outstretched arms, she forgot ev erything (“I think I threw the garland aside!”) and ran into His embrace. Shireen had prepared a number of ques tions for her visit to Baba, some of them re markably “metaphysical.” She was convinced that Baba was a magician who knew everything and could answer anything. Mani de scribes some ofShireen’s questions in her Fam ily Letter of 29 January 1965. For example, “Baba, I know we are born again and again, but You are God, so how is it that You get born?” And Baba replied, “Once in a while God takes birth because of His love for His creation. I am born in human form so that you may see Me as you are, and ifyou are fortunate to know Me and love Me, then someday you will see Me as I really am.” And then there was the famous question about why God created bad things like snakes and scorpions. But since these questions are documented, let me recount some that Shireen told which aren’t in Mani’s letter. One question was planned in collaboration with one of Shireen’s friends back home in London, to whom she had confided about the trip to see her uncle who was God. Their ques tion was: “Which is higher in the sky—the sun, moon, stars, or clouds?” Baba answered, “I am the Highest of the High.” Shireen was quite worried about witches and asked Baba whether they were real. He took a moment to think and then said, yes, they were real. This unexpected answer was disturbing to Shireen until Baba explained that witches were just bad people, not supernatu ral beings, and that satisfied her. She also asked Baba why she could see a halo on Him in His photos but not in person. He replied that when she loved Him as He should be loved, she would see the halo. Later Shireen told Mehera and Mani that she wanted a magic wand, and when they asked what she would do with it, she said, “I would see Baba with His halo.”

The familyspent three months in India and it was an intimate time with Baba, with all the attention and affection a child could want. Babawanted Shireen to make friends with His beloved pet Mastan, and even though she was frightened of the large dog, she eventually petted, hugged, and fed him at Baba’s urging. She enjoyed sitting with Baba in his pretty pink bedroom, showing Him her toys and playing games. She would ride Goher’s bicycle in the garden, and one day she found what she thought was a “secret” path that went to the side door to Baba’s bedroom. Baba was resting, but she peeked in the window and saw Him lying on His bed. He saw her too and beckoned her in with a loving twinkle. At meals Shireen would eatwith Baba and the women, and Mani let her take her own seat at Baba’s left (Mehera was seated to His right). Shireenloved eatingwith Baba, though she did not care for the Indian dishes, as she’d been brought up on Western food. She was struggling with how to deal with her serving of rice and dal, torn between her good manners and hating the food. Baba asked her whether she liked the food, and to be polite she said yes. He then caught her offguard and popped a large amount of rice and dal into her mouth. Though Shireen was very startled by this, it turned out to taste good, and after that she had no trouble eating rice and dal. On another occasion she was served a special treat, some tinned fruit salad that someone had sent. The best part of the fruit salad was the cherries, and Baba had Katy give Shireen several ofthem. Baba asked whether she’d enjoyed the cherries, and Shireen said yes, so Baba gestured for Katy to give her more. Katy said she wasn’t sure there were any more, since each tin only had a few But sure enough, she found a few more. Again Baba asked Shireen if she wanted some more, and this was repeated several times, and each time Katy miraculously discovered a few more in the bowl. Shireen told us that she’d been hoping Baba would do something magical, and apparently this was His playftil way ofgranting that wish. In later years Shireen asked Mani about it, and Mani humorously agreed that it was “a never-ending production of cherries.” To prepare for her navjote, Shireen was made to memorize prayers, which was diffi cult for her. By “coincidence,” Baba at that same time asked that Shireen learn the Master’s Prayer, and the date by which he wanted her to learn it was the morning of her navjote. She succeeded in learning Baba’s prayer, and after she recited it for Him, He gave her a sadra and kusti, so that this was what she regarded as her real confirmation,

not the formal navjote ceremony—a grand affair at which she got all the Zoroastrian prayers wrong in front of the many distin guished guests. After the familyreturned to England, they continued to be in close contact with Baba through letters and telegrams, and He was involved in every detail oftheir lives. When Shireen was about eight or nine, she wished to cut her hair, which was down to about her knees. Since Baba had liked Shireen’s long hair Franey said they would have to ask His permission. Shireen wanted short hair, to look more like an English girl. But Baba said no at that time, so she could not cut it. (Mani in later years remarked that maybe people would be better off sometimes if they didn’t ask Baba for permission, because often they were not prepared to have Him deny their re quest.) Shireen saw Baba one more time when the family went to India in 1968 for Dara and Amrit’s wedding. This trip was ofcourse very different. Baba was frail and ill, and it was a brief stay. At age 1 1 Shireen was much more self-conscious. She was asked to perform for Mehera, who loved ballet. Shireen had been studying only since age eight and was not very accomplished. Although she wanted to please Baba and Mehera, she felt awkward and un gainly. Since Baba was not well, she was asked to dance in His bedroom, where there wasn’t much room. To top it off the cassette she had brought to accompany her tarantella didn’t work. But no matter—Baba said that Mehera would clap to keep time! So Shireen thudded about in her gypsy costume and somehow got through it, and Baba applauded warmly at the end. She was happy when she later got a chance to treat Baba to some entertainment of her own choosing—by telling jokes taken from a popular Irish comedian on television, Dave Allen, whose humor was aimed at the Church as well as the drinking habits of the Irish. Baba laughed at the jokes and wanted to hear them several times. After this marvelous talk, it struck me that there had been several parallels in the stories told bymother and daughter. Both Franey and Shireen had a strong sense of Baba as an allknowing magician. Franey felt that her real marriage was performed by Baba, while Shireen felt that He conducted her real navjote. Both Franey and Shireen had experi ences offeeling awkward and clumsy in Baba’s presence. And finally, we might say that each woman at a young age had a “bad hair day” with the Beloved! ,

43

1


/1di’s ¶Prayer

J44eherctbctd

Illumine my mind to show Your Purpose that Your Love is truly Manifest in each tin plate;

(All These Things) AU these things that You have had built brought me here, at the right time A1I the seeming chaos that You have Willed indelibly persevere, to rid my mind of preconception geographical direction societal imperfection as children skip school in ‘Nagar’s bazaar and as some truly slave to gain Your Nazar;

And as each fine arch connects the other and where each stone seems exquis ite and sublime You have proffered the True Love of pilgrimage so one can pass by shariat this time; So all these loving winding paths and all these mornings where air hangs with dew and all the Vibrancy in each moment is Sweet Nectar for those who’ve come to fall in Love with You...

And all these shadows in cloistered corridors and all these heart-centered, wrought iron gates

Call yourself a lover ofAvatar Meher Baba, but you must be willing for love ofBaba to suffer labors and sorrows, vexations and anxieties and lack of necessities, sickness, injuries, reproof disgrace, humiliations, shame, correction and contempt. “Jai Baba” will then be yours.

by Bridget Robinson, California

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALJFORNIA

1214 SOUTH VAN NE5S AVENUE

LOS ANGELES, CA 9OO19352O

Address Service Requested

IIIIIIIIaIIIIt’IaIIIIlIaIIIIIltaIIIlI’I..’I.IIIuIIIIIaHhtI,I

i\i1 ifiAL j-ri

44

by Adi K. Irani, Baba’s longtime disciple and secretary

N 0 N PROFIT uS.. POSTAGE

PAID

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PERMIT #31394

Love Street Lamp Post 3rd Qtr 2001  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES: Rare Print Literature Publication

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