J4’kiwr EBaba and J4lvltamuicd thc iI1ast it; JRaIzuri, 1936-3 7 -—,—
stitinl’Ic, \h’ Iuiiitl Is Vt(’1i1ICLl t li/i vit up. B(:ha
Jai Baba Folks,
not really sure what to say this month since it seems very few people read the inside cover page. It is not that this is a dev astating blow to my ego—not at all—but it makes me very sad that no one got infected from the April issue! “What?!” I can hear you all saying (those few ofyou that read this page.) Therein lies the problem. A number of people emailed me to say how much they enjoyed the April issue and after thanking them I asked if they had been infected. “Huh?” was in all cases, the response I got. You see when Kathy Hill and I were in Meherabad and visiting the Meher Eng lish School—of which we wrote volumi nously—we became so enthused about it and all the things that could be done for it, that we wanted to infect you all with our enthusiasm. All that was needed was about $7000 to pave the new basketball court and the huge playground that right now is sim ply dirt and sharp stones. We had assured Stella, the Principal, quite erroneously as it now turns out, that it would be a piece of cake to raise the $7000. Heck, that’s only $5 from each of our readers! Oh well ‘Man proposes and God Disposes’ as the old saying goes. I tried. Maybe He will turn the key soon. I can see the shining eyes of the children as they run to play on the basket ball ‘court’—ever tried dribbling a ball over uneven dirt & rough stones....? If you would indeed like to contribute, Nancy Marx wrote us a very cogent letter (directly following) that is a must read for would be donors. Ifyou weren’t infected by the April issue, you may well have been very frustrated with the ‘continued on page xx’ that was scattered throughout the magazine. Please do not blame Charles Gibson (in case you checked to see just who the proofreader was!) Yes it was his first time on thejob, (normally he is an excellent singer/songwriter/guitar playing chiropractor recently returned from an 18 month stint at Meherabad treating the Mandali and pilgrims.) The problem was the new format we are using to lay out the magazine InDesign, but with the new upgrade, the bugs have been ironed out. Enjoy your read. Late Breaking News from Meher English School! Stella Manuel, the Principal for the school in Meherabad tells me they havejust received
e1ei I3lI)l (.alendar
$10 50for 1-9 calenJars, $8 50 for 10-20 call or email for larger quantity discounts Order your 2004 Meher Baba Ca1ehdarc’ëIebràtU”i1O years of Meher Baba’s Advent! It’s filled with beautiftil photos of Meher Baba and important quotes and dates. It features a larger date format, national holidays for many countries that Baba visited, cream lustro paper, 14 months, and much more!
7:Iie Love &reet i3ookstore
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California—Meherabode Dma Snow: 310-837-6419 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST Weekdays Fax Number: 310-839-BABA (2222) 1214 5. Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019 E-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net .
the results from the public examinations. She is happy to announce, “The school secured a 66.66% for the graduation students.The valedictorian is a girlwho attained a 72%. She had no private tutoring, was completely guided by us in school. The graduating class consisted of 10 girls and 10 boys. Nine of the girls and seven ofthe boys passed successfully. This was a good result. Now theywill move on to college. I will have to workveryhard this yearwith the presentbatch to bring in stillbetterresults next year. Hopefully Baba will permit this. The children in our school depend cornpletely on our teaching. They do not have any private coaching classes. This year the girls have done better than the boys which is very encouraging, because it shows they understand the importance and the seriousness ofeducation. Sincere thanks to the Love Street LampPost for your help!”
the 2Jbst: e will also feature stories of Moham med by pilgrims and residents in the October issue of the LoveStreet LampPost. Send them to Bababook@pacbell.net by August 8th.
for. ur apologies to Merwan Duman. In the Passings section last issue we ran a tribute to his late father, Dick Duman. I was not told that Dick had a son as well as a daughter, Mehera. Our apologies and condolences, Merwan.
Date adjustments and additional infor mation to Baba’s visits to England: Page 31, re: Paramount Film Studios listed on School Road, we are still trying to verify this address. Continued onpage 13
If puJaIion of/he
ulualar WCeler 7iaa Genler o/cSou/Jern CaJji’nia
... efco e m 7he Love .Street £ampJ2ost is dedicated with love to I4eher EBaba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to 7 .J1vatar J a sense of community among all 2/is lovers by providing a place for sharing 2/is remembrance. /1ll the members of the i3aba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. E our stories, photos, art work, podrij, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. Ve seek expressions of i3aba’s message of.Cove and 7rutlt.
Submissions, subscriptions, donations: ost 2 Love Street £amp Avatar iVieher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737
website: www.meherabode.org email: Bababook@pacbell.net Deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th
Love Street bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above)
COVER STORY: THE
Lord Meher exceipt Various contributors
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHEiBAD
Our Galin Meherabad Informationfor Pilgrims The Elephant andtheAnt dwakening” Your Trust Donation Dollars at Work Providing a Broader Range ofHealth Care
Judy Stephens AMBPPCT Bhau Kakhuri Various contributors Iudy Robertson Francis Bmbazon AT THE BELOVED’S FEET Manoj Sethi DELHI CENTER CELEBiTIoN Dot Lesnik TILE WLuL PROJECT AMBPPCT HEART TALK Najoo Kotwal BELOVED BABA. M “BIG DADDY” SEARCHING FOR A C0MMuNITYWITHIN... Gary Kleiner EruchJessawala WHY MEHER BABA OBSERVED SILENCE Meher Baba Journals MEHER BABA ON WAR Bhau Kalchuri THE WAR IN IRAQ Lord Meher exceipts MEHER BABA IN IRAQ Sky Wiseman A FuNNYTHING HAPPENED Kenneth Lux DESPERATE TIMES Meher Baba SILENCE DA,JuLY TO Haroidjamison How WE GOT OUR NEw CENTER Various contributors WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERAB0DE Ursula andDieter Lange MEHER BABS SAHAVAS IN FRANCE . .
310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax
email: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or wwwMeherBabaBooks.com
The Wayfarers excerpt 28
Mohammed Our Memories ofMohammed
4 5 8 10 11 12 14 15 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 42 46 48 50
departments EDITOR’S COLUMN
Susan Herr writesfor Francisco (Chico) Guimaraes Various contributors
editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden and Thomas Hart proofreading: Thomas Hart, Charles Gibson, Pris Haffenden research assistant: Barbara Roberts distribution: Pris Haffenden, Charles Gibson, and Dma Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. cover: Meher Baba in Rahuri with Mohammed, 1937, photo by Padri, courtesy of the MSI Collection, India.
The ,I.ove Street £amjF.ost is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. Al1 contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT India
WORLD WIDE MEETINGS
thank you Ve extend aur heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the .7I/leher 73aba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts ofall Love .Street L amf1?ost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication arepropertv ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphoz’os ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trus4 Ahmednagar India, and © Lawrence Reitei Unau thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.
QitT8fli 3i..... 4’h:1iLC1flb...L1..
Jai Meher Baba to you all! Mc Bhau came for his last talk 4 of the pilgrim season. Gokaran Shrivastava, who lives here and has met Baba, shared some of his times with Baba when Bhau requested him to do so. One interesting thing Bhau mentioned is that Baba told Gokaran to remember to tell the stones, trees and plants about Him. Baba told Gokaran someone may have told him (Gokaran) about Baba when he was in one of those states. Gokaran is a retired professor of Botany. 15 March. It was my day as Receptionist at the MPC.We close the pilgrim season for the summer on the 15th. All the pilgrims had to be out oftheir rooms by 10:00 a.m. so the housekeepers could begin stripping the rooms. Since I had closing day, there was a lot ofJai Baba’s to the departing pilgrims. Then I began doing the closing duties. I had help gathering all the table lamps from the rooms. Then we had to take all the brass hooks off the mosquito net frames. These brass hooks are for pilgrims who arrive to put their nametags on. When it comes time to change sheets the housekeepers need to know which beds to change. Most of the rooms are shared with other pilgrims. Next, the five bicycles we have for the pilgrim use were brought into one of the rooms to be locked up. Our computer went into the closet of the room with the lamps and bicycles. The Reading Room was locked as well as the music cabinet and game’s cabinet. The cupboard with hats for the pilgrim use was also locked. Monday, 17 March. We had our first ‘Meherabad Community Meeting,’ held in the Meher Pilgrim Center Dining Hall, to start at 10:00 a.m. All Trustees, Residents, and those living in the larger community were invited. About 100 attended. The pur pose of the meeting was a get-together of all concerned for the atmosphere, work, and changes at Meherabad, and what one should do while living here. There are many who feel we are in a transition phase as we are expanding in many ways. The new Meher Pilgrim Retreat is being built. More pilgrims are coming from more countries, there is an increase ofyoung people coming for longer periods of time, and people are moving into new homes and condos around Meherabad.
The meeting was called together by four Residents and a community member. They did an outstandingjob! They requested each person to come to the meeting in a spirit of harmony and cooperation. They had a sheet of suggested topics to assist the discussion ifone wanted it. Their format for the meeting was to allow each person two minutes to share whatever was most significant to them. The MPC Dining Hall had all the tables removed. Two rows of chairs were arranged in an oval shape. Charles Gibson was singing when I entered the hall. He was singing Mani’s song ‘Open up the door Lord’ when the last ofthe community members arrived. I felt Baba trulywas opening the door. Here we were, the community of Meherabad, meeting for the first time! Everyone was so respectful to each other. Many people spoke from the heart. It was a chance for us to get to know each other a little bit better. It was like one big family! We are one big family in our Beloved Baba! It was such a warm, caring, and respectful meeting. We all hope this will be the beginning of more community meetings. At 1:00 p.m. a catered lunch was served. Everyone helped bring the tables back into the Dining Hall. The tables were put in three long rows. Tea was available after lunch. Then Bhau gave a talk. We left the MPC with a feeling that something special had taken place. 2OMarch. Throughout this state ofMaharastra, the birth of the warrior Maharaja (King) Shivaji was celebrated. Baba said He was Maharaja Shivaji in one of His minor incarnations. Large pictures ofShivaji, made ofthousands offlowers were placed at major street crossings. Music was played at these
displays. One intersection, on the way to the Trust, has a permanent, giant statue of Shivaji on His warhorse, sword raised. ilApril. We are in the middle of summer. It gets from hot, to hotter, to hottest! May is the hottest month. It is over 100 degrees every day. The early mornings are the loveli est. From five until around eight o’clock the cool air is refreshing. Then the sun begins to be felt. By noon you do not want to be out unless you have to be. Ifyou do need to go out, you always wear a hat—under the hat is a scarf soaked in water. It is not uncom mon to see someone walking around with their shirt also soaked in water. In this heat everything dries quickly. So, one often stops to wet everything again. The heat is the only drawback to summer here at Meherabad. The peace and quiet is something cherished by everyone. We all have more time to relax and visit, we may still have projects, but the pace is slower. Today is Lord Ram’s birthday and it is a holiday here. There are firecrackers and other festivities to celebrate. 12 and 13 April. The Meher Hospital here at Meherabad has six cataract surgery camps each year. The surgery is free as well as the follow up care. This weekend was one of the cataract camps. The patients spend the night at the hospital. After their release, theywill return after a period oftime to have their final checkup. 25April. Update on the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. I went for a walk before morning Arti to see what progress had taken place since my last visit. The place is huge! When I look at it I feel a combination of excitement and intimidation. The idea of so many pilgrims coming to be with Baba; to be in one place to share in His love; to see His family growing—my heart feels joy! But then I realize the tremendous responsibility we, who will be running it, have to make sure, to the best ofour ability, that His lovers are comfortable. We have so much to learn on how to make such a large operation function smoothly. On the men’s side, the first-floor walls are done. The second-floor walls are almost finished. The office wing second-floor roof is complete and posts are everywhere holding up the beams as the cement dries. The holes for the dining room support posts are being dug.
1 May. I had to go into Ahmednagar for a few things this morning. As I’m riding my motor scooter on Station Road I see to my right something large passing on the other side ofthe street. I only have time for a quick glance but then with a shock I notice it is a huge elephant with a man sitting on the seat on top. They are just walking down the road! People were going about their business as this very large elephant strolls down the street. Needless to say, the roads of India are never dull!
Dnfonttatwrt for JLi1gnms
to Mehcrabad Jai Meher Baba!
J4/1eher 73aba J2laces eherabad: Meherabad is the site of Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb-Shrine. Meher Baba’s Tomb is open for darshan every day from 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Arti is performed at 7:00 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. SILENCE SHOULD BE OBSERVED IN AND AROUND THE TOMB. The Dhuni is lit on the 12th of every month at lower Meherabad at sunset. The Meher Pilgrim Centre and the other pilgrim accommodations are located at lower Meherabad. Pilgrims staying at Meherabad must be on the property by 10:00 p.m. Persons staying elsewhere must leave Meherabad by 10:00 p.m. All are requested not to travel alone at that late hour for safety reasons. Films of Meher Baba are shown Friday evenings at Meher Pilgrim Centre at 9:00 p.m. A guided walking tour of Meherabad is given once a week. Other talks and programs by announcement. Meherazad: Meherazad is Meher Baba’s home and the present residence of most of the mandali. Visitors are welcome on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the posted timings. Meherazad remains closed to visitors on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. All must leave Meherazad by the scheduled hours. A packed lunch is arranged for Meherabad pilgrims; others should bring their own. Seclusion Hill at Meherazad is particularly prone to erosion. Pilgrims should be mindftil of the plants there, which protect the soil and the stones that are part of the hill. Please do not take more than one small pebble away from the hill, ifprompted to do so. Meher Nazar: Meher Nazar Com pound in Ahmednagar is the site of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust Office and other facilities listed below. The mandali carry a
heavy workload at the Trust Office, so it is appreciated ifthey are not unduly disturbed during working hours, except for specific work pertaining to the Trust. The Pilgrim Registration Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Ahmednagar Meher Baba Centre holds meetings every Saturday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. These usually feature devotional music and singing. Meher Nazar Books is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Sunday closed. LA44wT
ilgrim Centre .Accommodation 2
Pilgrim Year: Baba lovers on pilgrimage to the abode ofBeloved Avatar Meher Baba are welcome from June 15 to March 15. Please note that during our summer months the following apply: from 16th March to 14th June the pilgrim facilities are closed; and from 1st March to 30thJune Meherazad is not open to pilgrims and the Mandali are not available. We therefore request Baba byers to make their pilgrimage between 15th June and 15th March. The Meher Pilgrim Centre is located at lower Meherabad and can house a total of 56 pilgrims with men and women accommodated separately. Three meals a day plus tea twice a day are provided, vegetarian food only. Pilgrims may request an initial reservation for up to one weelç their stay may be extended if space is available. Those who wish to extend their stay beyond their initial reservation may need to be accommodated in other lodging facilities at Meherabad when the Meher Pilgrim Centre becomes ftill. Children: Pilgrims coming from outside
India are asked not to bring children under age 7, following a directive once given by Baba. Only those age seven and older are accommodated at Meherabad. Indian resi dents may bring younger children, but those under two years are not accommodated in Meher Pilgrim Centre; they should make their reservations in the Dharmshaba or Hostels.
:2-1ow to J7J4ake !Reservations Write To: Pilgrim Reservations Avatar Meher BabaTrust Post Bag 31, King’s Road Ahmednagar, MS 414001 India Cable Address: Meherbaba, Ahmedna gar, Maharashtra, India Phone/Fax: (For Reservations Only): 91-241-2341821 (Note: chargesfor e-mail/fax mustbe borne by thepilgrim.) E-mail: email@example.com Please include fill mailing address and phone number with all correspondence. Please note that all replies are sent by regu bar post or e-mail. Reservations cannot be confirmed more than six weeks in advance, so please do not post letters more than two months in advance. However, to allow the Reservation Office time to respond, it is helpful if requests are received as close as possible to this six-week limit.
9?egistration and Clieck-Dn Non-Indians: The registration formalities at the Pilgrim Registration office in the Avatar Meher BabaTnist Compound inAhmednagar must be completed before proceeding to Meherabadfor Check-in. Please bring two smallsized photographs withyou.With a con&med reservation, registration facilities are available
every day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. only. For All Pilgrims: Check-in at Mehe rabad lodging facilities is available between the hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m. only Late Arrivals: Pilgrims arriving after the stated hours will have to make their own ac commodation arrangements for that night in Ahmednagar.
9eneral Dnformcition Clothing: It is requested that pilgrims dress in a modest way at all times while on pilgrimage. Ahmednagar is a conservative area and local people are not used to Westem or Indian big-cityways. This applies not only when at Meherabad and Meherazad, but also when in town. Please bring loose, non-revealing clothing. Short shorts, low necklines, tight-fitting or sheer garments are not appropriate. Long shorts are appropri ate only in certain settings (never at Meher Baba’s Tomb-Shrine.) Rainwear is necessary June through October. A light jacket or sweater is necessary throughout the pilgrim year, as early morning and evenings can be cool. From November through Februaryyou will need something heavier. Please be sure to bring a hat and flashlight. Townspeople: Unnecessary involvement with people such as rickshaw drivers, shopkeepers, tailors, hotel staff, or army people should be avoided as such contacts have caused numerous problems in the past. When followers of Meher Baba come to Ahmednagar they should not sell anything to anyone, or cash money with anyone in town, either on their own accord or when approached. Meher Baba pilgrims are on pilgrimage and therefore should avoid such transactions. Beggars and people shouting, “Jai Baba,” or asking your name should be ignored or they will continue to be a nui sance. Ahmednagar is a sensitive area due to the presence of the military. Pilgrims are asked not to photograph any military sites, equipment or building and not to enter any designated military areas. Safety: Women must not travel alone after sunset. Animals: Pilgrims must NOT feed or touch any stray animals at upper or lower Meherabad. Belongings: In addition tolockable closets in the Meher Pilgrim Centre, small lockers are available in the Registration Office for depositing valuables. Be careftil not to leave your belongings anywhere unattended (in rickshaws, unlocked hotel rooms, etc.). Even at Meherabad and Meherazad you should not leave your belongings lying about, but should
keep them in the areas provided. Transportation: The Avatar Meher Baba Tntst provides transport for pilgrims from Meherabad to Ahmednagar and to Meherazad. Schedules are posted at the Pilgrim Centre and in the Hostels. Auto-rickshaws ply according to fixedrates;fndouttheofficialrates to avoidbeing overcharged. Do not tip.
*mtDhrds Conduct Unmanied couples should honor MeherBaba’swishbynotsharingaroominahotel orelsewhereinAbmednagat Pilgrims (induding married couples) should not overtly express affèc tioninpublic(i.e.holdhands,kiss,embrace)as this is misconstrued by the townspeople and makes a very unfàvourable impression. Drugs: In deference to Meher Baba’s direc live not to take drugs except medicine prescribed by a medical practitionei the mandali expect all pilgrims to have totallygiven up drugs, induding hashish and marijuana. Please note that any pil grimwho is notfree ofthe usage ofsuch substances will notbe accommodated atMeherabad.
would have to consider them as suspect for SARS and isolate them and every person they had been in close contact with. This obviously would paralyze Meherabad! Since this is a new epidemic and chang ing rapidly, the list of seriously affected ar eas will certainly change over time. Please consult with the Pilgrim Reservation Office prior to finalizing the details ofyour trip for any changes in the SARS situation. In India itself the situation is still un clear rapidly changing, and we will keep the worldwide Baba community updated about what we feel is necessary for travel precau tions. Everything will unfold according to Beloved Baba’s plan, and let us offer Him our cooperative efforts to keep Meherabad, Meherazad and The Trust Office as safe as we can make them. In His love and service, Dr. Goher Irani
Iea1th L1pdatcs J ehangir Nursing Home, Poona 23 March, 2003
Ahmednagar, 6 May, 2003 Dear Beloved Baba’s Worldwide Family, As we endure the summer heat and watch the news ofwar and earthquakes and epidem ics we realize how fortunate we are to know the Avatar and to know that this is part ofHis cleansing work for humanity’s benefit. We have been following the SARS epi demic very closely. Because Baba lovers from all corners of the world gather at His feet here, we are concerned about the safety of pilgrims, Mandali and residents. We therefore request pilgrims from overseas not to travel via any of the areas seriously affected by SARS on their way here. As oftoday the affected areas are China, Hong Kong, Tai wan, Singapore, and Toronto. Anyone haying traveled through one of these areas on their way to Ahmednagar will not be given accommodation at Meherabad for ten days following their departure from the affected area. No one traveling through one of the seriously affected areas should stay in the private homes ofBaba lovers in the Ahmed nagar area for that 10-day period, nor visit Meherabad, Meherazad or the Trust office during that 10-day period. This is for the safety ofall other pilgrims and all at Meherabad and Meherazad. Please understand that were someone to develop a fever and a cough during the ten days after coming from an affected area, we
Yesterday at 12 noon Manujessawala derwent an operation to repair the fracture of her left hip. The surgery went smoothly and the surgeon is very happy with the results. Manu spent the night in intensive care and was transferred to her room this morning. She remains in good spirits. Manu was very touched by all the good wishes for her speedy recovery and sends her loving Jai Baba to all. Bal Natu continues to gain in strength and ( weight!) as each week passes. He does exercises and walks daily and the movement in his right arm is slowly returning. Balaji’s general health is improving and despite all he has gone through his spirits too are good. Meheru is due to see her cardiologist this week for her three-month postoperative checkup. This hallmarks complete healing of the surgery and the beginning of a more vigorous rehabilitation. By Baba’s grace her examinations will reveal a strong and healthy heart. She certainly is better than she has been in years. 13 April, 2003 Manu was discharged from Jehangir Nursing Home in Poona the morning of April 7th with a very optimistic report from her surgeon. She traveled directly to Meherabad where she will recuperate with her cousins, Sam and Roshan Kerawala, during the hot summer months.
Manu’s surgeons in Poona and her consulting surgeon in the U.S. agree that she will need to stay off the operated leg for 3 months because of the osteoporosis in her leg. However, she is able to stand with a walker and move around the house in a wheelchair. Manu also has a daily exercise program designed to maintain and build strength in all her limbs. She continues to be in good spirits and as always is completely resigned to Beloved Baba’s Will. Everyone else at Meherazad isjust barely coping with the summer heat. Balaji’s right arm seems to improve in strength daily and Meheru is able to increase her activities despite the intense heat. Au here at Meherazad join together to send their lovingJai Baba!! Praying for rain, In His Love, Shelley Marrich, Meherazad 11 June, 2003 Jai Baba dear Baba family, Yesterday morning, lothJune, Moham med Mast’s caretaker found that Moham med had had a stroke during the night. His left side is paralyzed. He is being treated in his room at Meherabad, and resident caregivers are with him around the clock. Although no one knows his exact age, this beloved mast of the Ancient One is definitely ancient himself, at least 95 years old. Although he is frail, he is no ordinary patient; only Baba knows what turn his condition may take. We will keep you informed of his progress.
p.m. and the Dhuni lit at 7:00 p.m., the twohour difference was because of the long lines at the Samadhi. While the pilgrims queue to have their turn to put the stick of sandalwood dipped in clarified butter into the fire, there is beautiful singing of ghazals and other devo tional songs.At each Dhuni, the poem Beloved Baba composed about the Dhuni is read out loud. Written by Baba mostly in Gujarati, the poem has been translated as follows into English by Padri, one ofthe Mandali:
Limitless is your glory, 0 ‘Dhuui! Only 2isbiis I/luuis can understand your qualities. )3ou 7 and .. put Ei3ehram the fire to sleep and you made the clouds weep. 77 ie clouds melted because ofyour flames and wetted my shirt and coat. )3ou are the Real slave of the Sadguru. JRemaiu always near 21im. Difficult it became for the famine to exist—it got frighitened. }Jou really are the true slave of your JI4aster. )3ou are ‘—lily fiery staff performing your ditties thiru J14y order of .A4ercy.
0 Dbiuni of J44eherabad, how can 3 express in words your qualities? July peu is utterly iiicapable!
)3 our flamiug mercy descends on all—that wondrous
mankind! quench your glowing flames )3ezdaii 2himself sent cooling rain. 7hus 21e bestowed on you the honor. 7;o keep on giving relief to the thousands—to keep on blessing the helpless—may you keep on bestowiug your grace on the ones who yearn to receive it. __4 O’Vali is a man of9od. )3oitr qualities are like a Wahi, dual. 7hose who merge in you become like you. lfrlarvelous is your glory, wonderful your nature!
gift to 10 r
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai, Dr. Anne Moreigne
The rj2ocrn of the Dhuni 12 July, 2002 oday is the Dhuni. As most ofyou may kno Beloved Baba said, on the 12th of each month the Dhuni must be lit here at Meherabad. The Dhuni is lit in an open fireplace on a stone platform near the main road. There are still a few hundred Baba Lovers staying from the Silence Day crowd. The majority will leave tomorrow; until then the lines at the Samadhi are quite long. On Dhuni day, the evening Arti is usually early, around an hour before the Dhuni is lit at sunset. Today the evening Arti was at 5:00
Capable you are ofmakiiig life blossom: capable you are, indeed, of uprooting the tree of life! Eou have both the power ofmakiiig thinys flourish and also die. ‘JBoth are your blessings. ott’ll cook ci hundred victuals for that one who tends you. EI3ut you’ll make that one suffer who annoys you. __/4 1Vali has queer conflicts: ci Wali has queer blemish. i’Vali has these dual qualities of either preserving ui destroying. 0 Dliuni of .JVleherabad! 2”Iagar would have been arid, without water. Observing the situation, you acted and relieved farmers’ warries. )uu hardened in tlieform offire: yuu melted in. the farm of water. )3ou gave warmth to the tierir ones and you made the world happy. Remain always surrendered to kha: pay homage always to your9itnt: brave are those who serve at the feet of the Sadguru.
— haus,’4 1 9 1 iakenin
TJe Elephara aiid g•h cA: ast night I could not sleep, as I was thinking about Amartithi. I am ap pointed Chief Organizer, but really speaking, I am a very Cheap Organizer. Though I am the Chairman ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, I am Chairman without a chair. Such thoughts were coming to me, and then I felt something, as if Beloved Baba were telling me the following: “To think ofbecoming an elephant is no good, because an elephant eats the branches of trees. Become an ant, and you will get sugar candy! “In the world, everyone wants to become an elephant. Greed for power, selfishness, jealousy, hatred, ambition, pride, different desires take the shape of an elephant. You want to become big, you want respect, you want people to praise you, go after you, etc. “You feel very happy. “But what do you achieve? “You achieve nothing. “Whatever you achieve is just binding you. But ifyou crush your desires, and become like an ant, you will get sugar candy. That means you will have Divine Love, which is pure, and you will become pure. You will be free from all desires, like an ant, who is free from pride. “Ifyou climb up into the mountains, the Himalayas, what will you see on the ground far below? You wilijust see everything tiny. Human beings are there, animals are there, birds are there, and insects are there. All these are on earth, but they are different in consciousness. But from that height, if you look downwards, you will just find everything tiny in consciousness. “When you achieve Divine Consciousness, you are at the height. For you, whatever you see in the world, it is just nothing. It has no value. And therefore, we must progress towards God and reach the height. But how will you reach it? All these desires fool you, and you remain on the ground. Your consciousness then re mains attached with the ground (world), and you remain attached to whatever you see on the ground (world). Because of the desires, you try to become big, full of pride, like an elephant.
<alclutri, ..Ahmedna#jar 2 13hait . “Before Divine Consciousness, our consciousness is just like an ant’s consciousness. “How will you reach the height? Your body is bulky; full of desires. So how will you fly? When there is wind, the dust flies high, but the wind cannot make you fly. You remain on the ground (world.) In order to fly high, you have to make your ego like dust, so that the wind oflove can make you fly very high. Not only this, but the wind of love makes your ego become like dust. “You read books, and you read about renunciation. In order to achieve renuncia
tion, you leave the world, go to a mountain and meditate there. “But what will you achieve? “You will achieve nothing, because you cannot leave your mind when you go to the mountain. Your mind will go along with you. This means the world will go along with you. All desires and thoughts will be with you, so you remain attached with the world, even though you go to the mountain, ‘leaving everything of the world.’ “So this is not renunciation. “Renunciation is when you renounce your false self You can be anywhere and renounce your false self. In order to re nounce your false self you have to love God wholeheartedly. You should not love your own desires. That is renunciation. External renunciation has no value unless one loves God. When one loves God, the false self is gradually renounced automatically.” And I felt very happy to have this feeling in My heart. People do meditation, and it is not bad, but I remember one incident regarding
meditation, involving repetition of God’s name: Beloved Baba was to enter into seclusion for four and one-half months. At the time He had issued a circular, asking His lovers not to come to meet Him and not to corre spond with Him. The Hamirpur lovers came together and considered what they should do during the four and one-half month period. They discussed it and decided that they should meditate or repeat God’s name for four and one-half months, continuously, without a break. They formed twelve groups, and each group had to meditate or repeat God’s name for two hours per day. In this way, twenty-four hours were divided into twelve groups, and this chain was for four and one-half months. They also wrote a letter to Baba, saying that they were doing this because Baba would be in seclusion. When that letter was read out to Baba, Baba said, “Just see what my lovers are doing outside! You are with me, and you doiñ do this; you must also do it.” In fact, we had no time to do this, because all the time we were occupied with other work. Sometimes we would not have any breathing time. Then Baba designated hours for all the Mandall: one hour to Gustadji, one to Enich, one to Pendu, one to Nilu, one to Vishnu, one to Donkin, one to Aloba, six to Baidul, twelve to Kaikobad, and one hour to me. But my time was exactly at lunchtime. I would take Baba to His bungalow, and when I would come back to the main bungalo it would be my meditation time. I would close my eyes, sit on the bed, and start meditating. But I would meditate hardly one quarter of a minute when a thought would come to me, “Lunch must be ready.” Again, I would repeat God’s name, and another thought would come: the Mandali members must have started eating. Again, I would start meditating. But continuously thoughts would come, about correspondence, about different things. I would spend ten minutes meditating and fifteen minutes on other thoughts. I would feelvery much disap pointed. I would think the others might be doing verywell at meditating. But I could not do so, and so I would remain disappointed. Then one day, when I was doing this, the
thought came that I must tell Baba that I cannot do meditation. I must request Him to exempt me from it. And what did I find? Somebody knocked at my head. When I opened my eyes, what did I see? Beloved Baba was standing over me. He had come back from His bungalow alone. I looked at Him, and I said, “Baba, it is not possible for me to do this; I get so many thoughts.” “Who asked you to do this?” Baba said. I replied, “You asked me.” Baba said, “I asked you to repeat God’s name; I did not ask you to stop your mind! So your mind works. I did not say that you should stop your thoughts. I have asked you only to repeat God’s name, and you are doing it because it is My order. So why do you worry? Let the thoughts come and go. Just go on repeating God’s name.” Then Baba gave a nice simile. “When there are mosquitoes, what do you do? You fx mosquito netting around your bed, and you sleep within the mosquito net. But what do you hear? You hear the buzzing sound of the mosquitoes outside the net. They don’t come and bite you, but still you hear their buzzing sound. So also, when I asked you to repeat God’s name, you are doing so. Thoughts and desires are like mosquitoes, but when you are following My order by taking God’s name, you hear the buzzing sound of thoughts and desires. Because your remembrance fixes a net of love around your heart, mosquitoes, in the form of thoughts and desires, cannot bite you. You hear only their buzzing sound. Since you are following My order you receive the effect. “But ifanyone does this meditation on his or her own, not wholeheartedly, as a ritual and without love, then it has no effect. In order to get rid ofritual, love for God should be there in any deed you perform. “TheAvatar’s responsibility is Infinite, and He is responsible all the time for the whole Creation. When He drops His body, it does not happen that His responsibility is over. “How can that be? “Because I am the One who has created Creation, I have to shoulder responsibility for it, just like a king. A king has many ministers to help him with the work of different departments, but the king is always the king. He remains responsible for the country It is for him to select proper ministers. I have five Perfect Masters, and each one ofthem is Infi nite Power Infinite Knowledge, and Infinite Bliss. I do not have to talkwith them, so how do I do work through them? “No one can understand it.
“IfI am in America and a Perfect Master is in India, it is not necessary for Me to convey any message through an external medium. I just convey the message, and the Perfect Master receives it.” [ To subscribe to Bhau’s mes sages and Awakenings, please email Bhaullst@yahoo.com with Subscribe in the Subject Line. No need to put anything in the body ofthe email.]
3CCLLflJ 73hau 2<alcliuri I
December 30th , while ex pounding on the universe, Meher Baba revealed: The speed ofthe revolving ofthe universe is so tremendous that it is impossible to tell whether it is spinning in motion. Look how many people, creatures, and inanimate things there are in this world. Every person and thing has a pulse; everyone has thoughts—hundreds ofthoughts per minute. Ifall ofthese thoughts of the whole mass of humanity and all other living beings in the world were put together no one would be able to measure or think of them. The amount is so measureless. Such tremendous speed has no calculable speed. Itlooks as ifitis at a standstill.The pulse of the whole universe is so infinite; but this pulse I measure, I observe and I feel. Think ofwhat it must be. I knowwhat the President of the United States thinks or will think tomorrow. I know the same about the Prime Minister of England. It does not take me even a moment to know their thoughts. You wonder, “How is it possible?” I say it is possible because all this is so close to me. Suppose I pinch Vasant’s hand, cheek or belly. Does he feel it? He does because all these are parts ofhis body. If I pinch him simultaneously at several places, he would feel the pinches. In the same way, the universe has stuckto me; it is part and parcelofmybeing. I know and understand the thought of each and every living being and thing in the universe. How? Because I have clasped the universe to mybosom so tightly that I feel every heart— beat in creation. LordMeherBhau Kalchuri,Vo13,pp. 11321133 ©Manifestation, Inc.
)_ OiL ctinnot bargain for love. 21o
amount ofpenancc, meditation, puja, &. can give that gift ofi.ove Once the jift comes from 9od it burns up all the veils of $anskaras (impres sions). 7:0 love one soul is like addinj its life to your own. }jour life as it were is multiplied and you vicariously live in two centres. Dfyou kve the whole world, you vicariously live in the whole world. t: ove others as you would love yourself and all that is yours. 3artunate are they whose love is tested by misfortunes. Love demands that the lover sacrifices himself for the beloveL Df you have that love for JIle that St. 3rancis hadfor3esus, then not only will jou realize ..A4e, you will please .JI e. 4 The MastMohammed continuedfrompage 32
cradle to grave, Mohammed too appears to be sustained bythese simple dreams; they may seem puerile to us, but perhaps serve him in the same way that our ambitions do; they give him something to look forward to. Whatever maybe one’s intellectual estimate of this strange blend of child, man, and saint, Mohammed somehow commands on&s affec tion. In short, despite his impossible behavioui one loves him, and through the chinks in his distorted personality one discerns, now and again, a beauty of soul that makes the shortcomings ofhis character unimportant. In this way, ofcourse, he is much the same as any mast, for either by an irony of the love of God, or for some specific divine purpose, the spiritual state of these God-intoxicated souls is veiled from our eyes by the dense folds of a cloak of eccentncit The Wayfarers, William Donkin, pp 43-50, © 1948 A2VIBPPCT, Myrtle Beach, SC.
)our 7rust Dountirn Doflars At Work IIn our last issue we showedyou one place whereyour much needed and much appreciated dollars are at work—theMeherEnglish SchooL In this issue we are highlighting the work done at the various free clinics, the Avatar Meher Baba PerpetualPublic Charitable Trust spon sors.]
J4/jjjj: iO.UJflfliC Ward ¶1arks, JVleherabad Medicine in theAshram Days 21st March, 1925, during the phase of Meherabad’s first great flowering, Meher Baba opened the Meher Charitable Hos pital and Dispensary that provided free medical services to villagers of the surrounding region. Housed in the Mess Qtarters (the present-day Dharamshala), presided over by a trained doctor, and staffed by the mandali, the Meher Charitable Hospital received the inestimable blessing of the Avatar’s own personal touch in its day-to-day operations. For Meher Baba would Himself from time to time take direct part in patient health care, even changing soiled linens and giving occasional prescriptions. From this time onward through the rest of His physical lifetime, medical service, in one form or another constituted a regular part of the life of Meher Baba’s ashrams. As is described elsewhere in this issue, a remarkable number ofBaba’s close mandali were doctors. Most of them at one time or another worked in the various clinics created by Baba or under His orders; and they were regularly called into service at sahavases and gatherings. But of special significance was
the medical care, which Baba’s mandali doctors gave to Him personally, particularly from the time ofHis first automobile accident in Oklahoma in 1952, which marked the beginning in a long decline in His health. For the Avatar—God become Man—takes upon Himself the burden of all humanity’s suffering. In receiving the medi cal ministrations ofHis close ones, Baba was no doubt doing His own Avataric work on medical practice in the ages to come.
Meher Health Centre
Current Medical Facilities at Meherabad The Deed for the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, signed by Him on 6th April, 1959, and later supplemented by the incorporation of His further instructions, calls for the creation of “medical facilities” and the provision of “medical relief...to the afflicted.” When the Trust began to function shortly after Meher Baba dropped His physical form in 1969, Dr. Goher the Trust’s chief medical officer helped create new dispensaries providing free medical care to the poor villagers of the Ahmednagar district. The small clinic that she helped to open at Meherazad has since become the Meher Free DispensarTheMeherabad clinic of the same period has since that time lossomed into a small constellation L-: t medical facilities, including the Meher Health Centre, the Meher Hospital, and the Pilgrim Centre Dispensary
Pilgrim Centre Dispensary
Located in the historic site of the old Family Quarters at the north edge of Aran gaon Village, the Meher Health Centre is the primary Trust facility for the provision ofbasic outpatient health care for the local populace, mostly from Arangaon and nearby villages. Visited by about a hundred patients daily six days a week, the Centre treats a wide variety ofcommon afffictions, such as respi ratory infections, bacterial and viral infec tions, parasitic infections, acute and chronic diarrhea, anemia, skin disease, wounds and injuries, and gynecological comjilaints. Patients requiring in-hospital care are re ferred to medical facilities in Ahmednagar. In the Meher Health Centre as in all of its facilities, the Trust’s medical team integrates varied forms of treatment, particularly the allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic, and acupunctural.
Inside Meher Health Centre
TheMeherHospitalin OuterMeherabad has over the past fifteen years come to host a broadening range of services. Though it does not yet function as a fill-time hospital facility, Meher Hospital dispensary, open daily six days a week, provides medical care for the Meherabad work force (of almost
Pilgrim Cen tre, Dharam shala, and the Hostels.In fact, the confluence of diverse hu man streams at Meherabad, where a poor local popula tion mingles with visitors from all over the world, cre ates conditions conducive to epi
Meher Free Dispensary
200 paid workers), their families, and the general public. The Trust laboratories— one in the hospital and one in the Meher Health Centre—have become crucial adjunct services, performing 400-600 medical tests a month. The medical team also monitors the quality of Meherabad drinking water. In addition to these regular functions, the hospital serves as the venue for bimonthly Trust cataract programmes in which an ophthalmic surgeon performs ocular implants in the hospital’s operating theater for about 60 patients a year. In India, cataracts afffict a high proportion of
demics; and this demands special vigilance from the medical staff. Other Trust medical ser vices include the organization of medical centres for the Amartithi Gathering and a variety of education programmes (on such subjects as AIDS, famj ily planning, and cancer and leprosy detection). At present, the Trust medical team consists of four full-time doctors and a number ofothers who serve on a part-time or consultancy basis, three nurses, three laboratory technicians, and other ancillary personnel.
Meher Free Dispensary at Meherazad Though it constitutes a separate Legal entity and thus fttnctions independently of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, the Meher Free Dis pensary—Meherazad, created in the : early 1970s with Mani as its settlor and Goher as its medical director, in close cooperation with the Trust medical team and draws on the services of a number of the Trust’s spiritual trainees. A primary-care out-patient facility like the Meher Health Centre, the Dispensary gives free treatment three days a week to about a hundred patients a day, mostly from Pimpalgaon and nearby villages. .
Inside Meher Free Dispensary
the older population; untreated, cataracts culminate in virtual blindness. (Interestingly enough, it was Baba Himselfwho sponsored the first Meherabad cataract camp in the Meherabad hospital 1925.) Another regular Meher Hospital service is its dental clinic, which provides free dental care twice a week, particularly to children from the nearby Arangaon schools. A third venue for Trust medical care is the Pilgrim Centre Dispensary, which ev ery morning and evening offers treatment for Meherabad pilgrims staying at the
a.. 9 4Jj
by 3udy Robertson he Meher Health Center Annex, which was constructed as part of the Trust Development Plan, has been buzzing with activity recently. On February 9, 2003, itwas one ofthe sites for a nation-wide polio vaccination day. All over India on that day, children received oral polio vaccinations in order to help eradicate the disease. At Meher Health Center, 540 children from Arangaon village were vaccinated. The lobby
of the Annex was filled throughout the day with mothers bringing in small babies and toddlers to receive their life-saving drops of vaccine from the Public Health nurses, who work in conjunction with Meher Health Center to provide an on-going program of immunizations against childhood diseases. Later in the week, dozens ofolder men and women from nearby villages were stumbling into the Annexwith canes, orbeingled in bya relative, so that they could be examined by the eye specialistwho consults with patients there twice each week. Many of these villagers are practicallyblind due to cataracts, and theyhave come with the hope ofbeing selected to receive free cataract surgery sponsored byMeher Baba Trust. This visit to Meher Health Center can literally change their lives. In addition to the immunization programs and eye consultations, the Health Center Annex provides essential space for other regular and specialist consultations, and for education programs in breast-feeding and disease pre vention. The new storage facility in the Annex has allowed the Health Center to buy medi cines in bulk at wholesale rates, thus saving a significant amount in on-going purchases. So, in manyways, the Annex building is allowing Meher Health Center to extend its services and provide better and more efficient care. II
4• the Thelonger one is with Baba way an electric fan should be directed—each the more one realizes that the partywanting it.Just at the height ofit a man only solution to the condition of appeared with a gun and threatened to shoot the world is a New Humanity; them all. Baba himselfenacted the ‘tough guy a humanity oriented to a com with the gun’ perfectly. pletely different set of values Baba uses the film to show us the ‘unrealthan that which humanity has ity of the world.’ We go to see the films and now; a humanity oriented with tfwe enjoy it, we get so much absorbed into ‘new ears for music’, this new it that we imagine real men and women are music of ‘love God and each doing it. When it ends we recognize the un other as oneseJf’ an end to the reality of it—no actual existence, appearance piggish separateness of ‘mine only. Creation itself is only a ‘ifim’ with each and the world,’ and the beginindividual lifejust one ‘little ifim,’ all within a fling of the NEW WORLD. great film. Our littlejoys and sorrows, successes The trouble is the beginning and failures, our likes and dislikes, in short, all ofthis New Humanity cannot our personal pre-occupations with ourselves be effected until Baba breaks and others in relation to ourselves, seems so : His silence—which means real. Eventually the film must end and we pass : dropping His body. One canaway; and so on, until we awaken to the fact not imagine world a without that we are all ‘only acting’ in a little film. As Photo ofFrancis Brabazon taken by DavidMiotke in 1981 Baba, a Man-Baba Unit. the film unrolls we then realize ourselves as atAvatarc Abode, Australia Then again, when one sees the eternal Infinite existence. So long as we IFrom a letter written by Francis Brabazon daily what is one iota of His suffering, one identif,i ourselves with it, it continues to keep from Poona to his group ofBaba lovers in cannothelp butwish He would drop His body. unrolling along. Australia in 1959:] One reallyfeels like begging Him to finish His he other day, according to the Hindu suffering, and let the whole world, (including Whilc9od is pictying with us calendar, was Gunss Day, which occurs myself) go to hell or annihilate itself through once a year. Baba had all ofus pray collectively war. Then again—one sees that oneself is a we should be careful not to a! to God to help us hold onto Baba to the end. mere infant before the Ever-blissfiil, Ever-suf low 21is familiarity with us to Baba is not a Guru in the sense that He teaches feting God and He will do what He will when us. He had said, “I have come not to teach but He wills. But Baba tells us we can allay some become the cause of our to Awaken.” But He is our Guru in the sense ofHis suffering and even help Him with His ness in obedience to that He takes over the direction of our lives. work by trying not to do anything that might Thus he is at the same time our Personal Gum displease Him, and be obedient to His orders Baba is not only a ‘perfect mimic’ but His and AVATAR to the whole creation. and be happy. BE HAPPY. (Something like mimicry of others is perfect also. He often In the evening He sent for me to come to this: “Daddyhas alot ofworkto do. So do hapentertains us mimicking our peculiarities His room and among other things He said, pilywhatever littlejobs He gives us to do and of manner. What a loss to the world’s stage “Your stay with Me so far has been entirely when He calls us, come with smiling faces.”) that none of our great actors have become fruitful for Me, for you and your group.”That Baba takes time offHis work to play with Baba lovers! For that matter if any artist in ‘your group’ surprised me. us and often reminds us in the play that He is any form or any field could only realize that I had always felt since 1956 when you all God, and thatwhile God is playingwith us we the secret oftheir success is contained in His [the Australian group] met Him, that there should be careftil not to allow His familiarity physical person. I have treated this filly in was no longer any ‘group’ but that each one with us to become the cause of our slackness Stay with God. was under his ‘own steam.’ But, the point that in obedience to Him. We take turns entertaining, also when Baba makes me happy is that somehow my being Afewweeks ago, Baba tookus to see Charorders us to do so—command performance— with Baba has been ofbenefit to all, because I lie Chaplin’s film,”Limelight” and He enjoyed either to whistle a tune or make some other have always felt that the final fruit ofanything it. Afterwards He said,”How fortunate Charsort of noise, after which Baba singles out He does for an individual will be when all enlie is that I have seen his film and enjoyed it.” the very weakest performer and has them joy it. Even when I have seen Him giving the Since that time, most mornings we have seen perform singly. It may be making a speech blessings ofHis embrace to thousands, I have films. These consist of Eruch reading out in an unfamiliar tongue (Kaka’s lecture on not been able not to think about ‘the millions.’ selected pieces of newspaper articles—both New York in English was excellent) or we tell The answer, apparently, is that through the tragic and comic. Baba particularlyenjoyed one stories, etc. I am ordered sometimes to do a thousands He does touch the millions—and little article about two married partners travelpiece of mimicr other times rhymed verses this touch is a preparation for when He breaks ing in a railroad carriage when an argument on the different Mandali. These command His silence and manifests His ftill Divinity developed into a free-for-all fight aboutwhich performances are a wonderful idea of what
Baba means by obedience. We usually think of obedience as doing some job, or not doing as ordered. But He does mean to start immediately to do whatever He asks them to do—even bursting out with laughter or simulating tears. July 19th (1959) was the “Family Dar shan” for the Poona devotees—their final opportunity to see their Beloved during His period here. Baba gave them His whole day and many brought picnic lunches. On August 7th Baba will return to Pimpalgaon. The other day I was taken out to see if I required any dental work and to shop for necessary things, as I am to return with Baba. Baba wishes me to have no further correspondence until the end ofOctober unless it is absolutely essential, in connection with my book, Stay with God. May I add here that Baba consid ers this book second only to God Speaks, and that it will help greatly in understanding His book. So whatever any ofyou feel like doing in making it known to others, I may say will be regarded as Baba’s work. Baba sends all his love... [This letterwasfiaturedon theBelovedArchives site by Naosherwan Anzai You can access this excellent site at www.belovedarchives.org]
Errata continuedfrompage 2
Page 40,paragraph 3 re: KimTothurst [now Grajera] reads: though her outward connection with Baba appeared broken, she was indeed very dear to him. We found in The Ocean ofLove by Delia, the following: “I left once more for Panama in February 1949 and immediately started making the arrangements for Baba’s proposed visit. It was necessary to obtain visas and to find a suitable house where all could stay. All was going ahead swimminglywhen a cable came telling me plans were changed—not an usual occurrence with Baba—but this was a more dramatic change than ever before. The cable read: “Return England immedi ately starting New Life” [new Life started October 16th, 1949]. Further instructions, I was told, awaited me there. On mywaybackl met again many of the American group and Margaret, of course, but I also met up with Kim, who with Margaret’s encouragement had written to Baba asking Him to take her back and she was now holding Discourses sessions in her “. . .
you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we’ve been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven. Forest responds, “It sure is good to be here St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. Sure hope the test Page 41, Baba’s 6th visit. Baba stayed isn’t too hard; life was a big enough test as it with Delia’s brother Herbert at 61 Cornwas.” St. Peter goes on, “Yes, I know Forest, pagne Gardens in Hampstead. Delia had but the test is only three questions. two brothers, Jack and Herbert. First: What two days of the week begin Page 42, in Baba’s 9th visit to England, with the letter T? 1952. After Baba’s accident in Oklahoma, Second: How many seconds are there on June 4th, Weds, Baba and party leave in a year? Prague. June 7th, Sat, Baba reaches Myrtle Third: What is God’s first name?” Beach. July 8th, Charmian arrives in MB. Forest leaves to think the questions over. July 14th, Baba and men leave for New York He returns the next day and sees St. Peter City staying in Scarsdale. Darshan from the who waves him up and says, “Now that you 18th through the 20th at Murshida Duce’s have had a chance to think the questions apartment on West 67th Street. July 30th, over, tell me your answers.” leave New York arriving in Europe the 31st Forest says, “Well, the first one—which early in the a.rn. (According to Charmian’s two days in the week begin with the letter passport, she was on the same flight as ‘T?” Shucks, that one’s easy.That’d be Today Baba). So according to her husband Dunand Tomorrow.” can Knowles’ 1952 calendar the total time The Saint’s eyes open wide and he spent in Myrtle Beach comes to 5 weeks, 2 exclaims, “Forest, that’s not what I was days rather than 8 weeks. thinking, but you do have a point, and I I didn’t specify so I’ll give you credit guess Huma continuedfrompage 15 for that answer. How about the next one?” asks St. Peter. 7he Vater l?istol “How many seconds in a year?” “Twelve” When my three year old son opened said Forest. Astounded, St. Peter says, the birthday gift from his grandmother, “Twelve? Twelve!? Forest, how in Heaven’s he discovered a water pistol. He squealed name could you come up with twelve sec with delight and headed for the nearest onds in a year?” sink. I was not so pleased. I turned to Mom Forest says “Shucks, there’s gotta be and said, “I’m surprised at you—don’t you twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March remember how we used to drive you crazy 2nd...” with water guns?” Morn replied with a smile “Hold it,” interrupts St. Peter. “I see “I sure do!” you’re going with this, and I see your where Life After Death point, though that wasn’t quite what I had “Do you believe in life after death?” The in mind...but I’ll have to give you credit for boss asked one of his employees. “Yes sir,” that one, too. the new employee replied. “Well, then, that Let’s go on with the third and final ques makes everything just fine,” the boss went tion. Can you tell me God’s first name?” on. “After you left early yesterday to go to “Sure” Forest replied, “its Andy.” your grandmother’s fhneral, she stopped in “Andy?!” exclaimed an exasperated and to see you!” frustrated St. Peter. “Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my 9:orestum first two questions, butjust how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the ocs to 2leciven first name of God?” “Shucks, that was the easiest one of all,” he day finally arrived: Forest Gump dies Forest replied. “I learnt it from the song...” and goes to Heaven. “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter me, Andy tells me I am his own, himself However, the gates are closed and Forest approaches the Gatekeeper. St. Peter says, “Well, Forest, it’s certainly good to see
New York flat. After a short time she again lost touch with me but when she returned to England in 1969 she contacted me and we now keep in touch for Christmas and birthdays.” The Ocean ofLove by Delia DeLeon Sheriar Press, 1991, pp 166-167
..Avatctr A4eher EBaba’s
Celebrations at Deihi Centre .7i/Ianoj Scthi, 2’ew
vatar Meher Baba’s 1O9t1 Birthday was celebrated at Delhi Centre by Baba Lovers from various parts of India with usual resplendence and great enthusiasm, reserved for the Avatar of the Age. These divine celebrations commenced with a night long Jagran in the midnight of 24t Febru ary 2003. Beautifulbhajans on this occasion were sung by Smt. Kusum Mohkam Singh, Smt. RamaThakur Smt. Indira Sinha, Smt. Anita Bhasin, Smt. Dulari Devi, Smt. Anu pama Rao, Smt. Ella Talwar Smt. Urmila, Smt. Asha Sharma, Shri Vijay Kapil, Shri Surjit Maihi, Shri Prakash, Shri H.M. Shar ma, Shri Madan Bhasin, Shri Vicky Kapoor, Shri Prem Kaushik and Shri Sonu Sharma. Very informative talks on Baba were given by Smt. Angoori Gupta, Smt. Ram Pyari, Shri Birendra Kumar, Shri R.P. Rao, Prof B.N. Bhasin and Shri H.M. Sharma. At the appointed hour, i.e. 5:00 am the entire hall resounded with the chanting of Happy Birthday Wishes to Beloved Baba followed by prayer and distribution of Prasad. On 25th February, 2003, Avatar Meher Baba Delhi Centre wore a completely new and festive look with decorations on a grand scale, befitting the birthday ofthe Avatar. Dr. GSN Moorty the Chief Guest for the main function at the Delhi Centre, during his discourse reminded the Baba congregation about the coming of the “Kalki Avatar” and the ftiture ofthe civilization. He narrated how the book God Speaks came into being. He stressed that nobody can interfere with Baba’s Will and that we should be resigned to Baba’s Will. Ifthere was any suffering on this account, it should be taken as Baba’s desire, which was for our own good. He also told all Baba Lov ers that we should try and serve mankind with the thought that Baba is omnipresent in each and everything. Prof B.N. Bhasin in his lively talk recounted the contribution of Avatar Meher Baba and the five Sadgurus to mankind. Excellent talks were also given by Shri R.N. Maffiotra on Divine Will &Divine Wish, Shri Satish Kapil on his personal Baba experience, Sardar Mohkam Singh on Ego and Pryaschit Prathana. Bhajans were sung by Shri Anil, Smt. Nandini Mathur Smt. Sheela Judge, Smt. Kusum Mohkam Singh, Shri Vijay Kapil, Smt. Asha Sharma, Smt. Kumar, Smt. Shikha, Smt. Rama Thakur and Smt. Ella Thakur. ‘4
After this, a beautiful birthday cake decorated with 109 candles was cut by Dr. GSN Moorty amidstloud cheers and clapping by Baba Lovers. The hall once again reverberated with happy birthday wishes to Beloved Baba. Baba’s Parvardigar and Prayschit Prathnas were then recited. Baba’s Arti was followed up by Preeti Bhoj. It was very satisfying to note that the Birthday Celebrations drew a large crowd of Baba Lovers from all around India. Overall, the ftinction was a great success for the Baba Lovers and the organizers who took a lot of interest arranging for it.
bui e 4 liiies for &ay at Avata.r cAleh€r :2aba Ccntrc, ‘Dcliii
be notified about such late returns at night. No cooking of any kind is permitted inside the room/dormitory 3. Use of electrical appliances such as heaters/blowers is prohibited. 4. Alcoholic beverages/hard drinks etc. and non-veg food is not allowed inside the Centre’s premises. 5. Gambling or any unsocial activities in the Centre’s premises is prohibited. 6. Baba Lovers shall inform the caretaker and hand over charge of rooms and bedrolls etc. before their departure from the Centre. Jai Baba and wishing you a very happy stay at Avatar Meher Baba Delhi Centre. Yours truly, Manoj Sethi, Secretary Avatar Meher Baba Centre Delhi (Regd.). Tel: 26219722, 26219753 Mobile: 98101 23853 Delhi information continued: E-mail: secretary@ambdelhicentre. corn Website: www.MeherBabaTheAvatar. corn
3a1 and r.Do1ij Dnstur 7)isit Dc1hi Centre
aba Lovers desirous ofstaying at Avatar Meher Baba Centre during their visit to Delhi can avail of the facility against a nominal donation of Rs. 25/- per head per day for dormitory and Rs. 50/- per head per day for fhrnished rooms (with bed and mattresses). During winter season only, bed sheets and blankets will be provided by the Centre. The required donation shall be paid by each Baba Lover to the caretaker in advance for the proposed period of stay which shall not exceed seven days. The period of stay shall not be extended beyond 7 days ex cept in exceptional circumstances with spe cific permission of the President/Secretary Delhi Centre. Centre does not take respon sibility for safe custody of valuables/costly belongings of Baba Lovers. As such, Baba Lovers are requested to take care of their own belongings themselves. The above facility shall be subject to the following mandatory rules/provisions: 1. Baba Lovers from Centres wishing to stay at Avatar Meher Baba Centre, Delhi, shall seekprior permission inwriting from the President/5ecretary Delhi Centre, for stay, for a period not exceeding seven days. Theywould also be required to carry their identity cards and carry a letter from President/Secretary of their respective Centres. 2. All Baba Lovers residing in Centre’s dormitory and rooms are required to return to their respective rooms by l0pm every day. It is essential that the Gatekeeper on duty
A/ktnoj &thi, Delhi hri Jal Dastur, popularly known as Jal Bhai, and Smt. Dolly Dastur were very kind indeed to all the Baba Lovers in Delhi by gracing all ofus with their company while on their way back from Dehradun to Nagar 27th March. After attending the Goldenju bilee Celebrations of Avatar Meher Baba’s First Public Darshan in Dehradun,Jal Bhai and Smt. Dolly Dastur came to Delhi and visited the Avatar Meher Baba Delhi Cen tre. Baba’s Satsang was organized which included chanting the sacred name of the Beloved and singing Bhajans followed by Baba’s Arti. Jal Bhai and Smt. Dolly Dastur then visited the sewing schoolwhich is being run on the Centre’s premises and distributed Prasad to all the pupils ofthe school. Then Jal Bhai enchanted all the Baba Lovers pres ent with a heart touching portrayal of his wonderful experiences with the Avatar of the Age. Those moments made everybody nostalgic with the thought of the Beloved. Sh. Waryam Singh presented a copy of the book Panch Pyare to Jal Bhai. Leaving the Baba Lovers of Delhi some moving memories to cherish, Jal Bhai and Smt. Dolly Dastur departed for ‘Nagar.
“We1come 7:0 A4y Wor1J’ 7ik Wcti1 JLroject 3or The }vkhcr Eiigrim Retrcat at A’kkerabad
beautiful new pilgrim facility is under construction at Meherabad, called Meher Pilgrim Retreat. “Welcome To MyWorld” is a very special project conceived so that Baba people everywhere can participate in the artistic decoration of this building. The building plan includes a large wall on one side of a lovely courtyard that faces the dining room verandah. The idea is for Baba’s world-wide family to help turn this ordinary exterior wall into a thing ofbeauty by hand-painting 6” ceramic tiles. The tiles will be incorporated into the wall in a random, abstract design amongst other interesting brick elements of the wall itself From a distance it will be a cheerful and colorftil work of art; and up close, a unique pictorial story for Baba of His amazing world! The subject matter ofthe tiles will be each person’s own personal expression ofthe theme “Welcome To MyWorid”; illustrating what is most meaningful or beautiful to us in our lives; where we live or what we do; our family, friends, pets or hobbies; whatever makes us happy and is dear to us in our part of His world! In addition to the USA, plans for tile-making are currently underway in India, Australia, Mexico and England. Tiles from around the world will be permanently installed in the MPR wall around June 2004, and every effort will be made to include each tile in the wall. You can participate in this project by ordering a “Tile Kit” for your Baba group, family or friends today! One Tile Kit contains ev erything you need to make 20 tiles, including the tiles, underglazes, brushes, and complete information about how to paint the tiles and what to do with your finished tiles. This is not a ftmndraising project. The price of a Tile Kit is $75, which just covers the costs of materials. For more information about the project, or to order a Tile Kit, please contact Dot Lesnik at: 843.272.6868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was Palm Sunday and, because ofa sore throat, five-year-old J ohnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family re turned home, they were carrying several palm branches. The boy asked what they were for. “People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by”. “Wouldn’t you know it”, the boy fumed, “The one Sunday I don’t go, He shows up!”
Children’s Sermon One Easter Sunday morning as the minister was preaching the children’s sermon, he reached into his bag of props and pulled out an egg. He pointed at the egg and asked the children, “What’s in here?” “I know!” A little boy exclaimed. “Pantyhose!”
A little boy in church for the &st time watched as the ushers passed around the offering plates. When they came near his pew, the boy said loudly, “You doiñ have to pay for me Daddy. I’m under five.”
The Sunday School teacher asked, “NowJohnny, tell me, do you say prayers before eating?” “No Sir,” he replied. “We don’t have to. My mom is a good cook!”
Support a 3ctmily The prospective father-in-law asked, “Young man, can you support a family?” The surprised groom-to-be replied, “Well, no. I was just planning to support your daughter. The rest of you will have to fend for yourselves.”
Little Johnny asked his grandma how old she was. Grandma answered, “39 and holding.” Johnny thought for a moment, and then said, “and how old would you be ifyou let go?”
Climb the Wctlls “Oh, I sure am happy to see you,” the little boy said to his grandmother on his mother’s side. “Now maybe Daddy will do the trick he has been promising us.” The grandmother was curious. “What trick is that?” She asked. “I heard him tell Mommy that he would climb the walls ifyou came to visit”, the little boy answered.
ing 7he J71/Iood 2 My husband bought me a mood ring the other day. When I’m in a good mood it turns green. When I’m in a bad mood, it leaves continued onpage 13 a red mark on his forehead. Is
:J9 When the 2’1ight is !uiet ‘V1ien the night is quiet and the oniy sound is the snoring of the dogs content and sleeping in their beds and 3 say Ufrleher i3aba 11 under my breath &ars twinkle in my head behind rny eyelids and fireworks go off between my ears Wbien 3 whisperUVlehier Ei3aba” in the dark of the night a cloud bursts in my heart and dandelions grow in my belly. CWhen in the ebony sky beneath my makeshift tent ofblankets and casually 3 mention !A1eher J3aba 11 to no one in particular
last night at two am 2 1e asked me for music an offering a piece of me inexplicably i understsod a program that befuddled mc only days before i spent all day immersed in an electronic instrumental zlis9race 2 version of . movement one is finished and i am truly grateful for this gift hut this poem is not about me when my family got home from work then the real testing began aba. says we shouldn’t remove ourselves from the world so i sat quietly at the dinner table while conversation swirled around me after all day it wasn’t as hard as i thought it would be to keep my promise
but this poem is not about me
I/ly toes tickle 7 _ and a smile escapes my lips that no one can see except my I3eloved Lord.
it’s almost over and i don’t want to go back to the land of chit chat EBaba i will try to hear our voice in the mundane world tomorrow and the next day as your elegance beauty and most of all Silence give mc the strength to belicue i am )ours now and that my life will never be the same
but this poem is not about me
Elegance, Beauty, and Silence only two and a half hours left until the end of my first Silence Day i didn’t know what to expect now i’m sad it’s almost over i3aba test€d me from minute one as the all-star game went extra innings it was tough not to cheer not to boo not to be my normal self but this poem is not about mc i almost felt bad sleeping through seven hours of Silence Day like i was wasting precious time that should be spent contemplating honoring and dedicating myself to the One who has shown me Love ill. the end i slept so that today i might be awake as 2 1e intended but this poem is not about me
fj 7 rhichael ‘3ire” 2?aven 3uly io, 2002 1
Oh A4die Campasskm Ds )3aur21ame Whieii 3 cried to Eou: help me help me,
)oii answered from deep within: 3 am here. ¶Do,i’t worry. iJe happy in my Love. 3 will help you. Do your best. 3 will put everything you need right in front of you.
Eou answered my heart before words came to mind: you are mine, forever. }oice, irrevocably 3 ivept at hearing )3our singular 7 claiming me.
all Eou want is for me to hold on, -lold on ts )3our daaman.
3sn’t it time yet for )3ou to come to us on Eour white horse? Dsn’t it time yet for Eou t speak Eour wordless Word?
olt Drma, are you forgetting how 2 ie cushioned the soles ofyour feet, Jtelping you walk up the stony hill on the palms of
.2-us hands? 0 ii Baba, in the fullness of Eour silent Love, 3 plant my feet
Like a child on my athter’s, learning the first steps to L ove’s waltz. rothiers and Sisters of the world, whether we feel 0h 73 .2-1 im or not, 21e walks with us. :J-Iow could 2 1c not? Drma Sheppard
Dndia 3udia, you come to me in dreams 2’Iot Dndia as you are now, But as you were when my Beloved walked E our streets. We are together, 0r 3 am watching from some secret place, °‘Vathing 2lim whose grace defies imitation, :2-us fluid gestures forming the words that let me know 3 am never hidden from 2lim. Even in my corner from which 3 see . lim pass, 2 .2lis eyes twinkle toward me _/4 nd as quickly pass to someone, something else: othing hides from 2 t 2\ lis sight, ..All is dear.
on your streets now 3 find, too, /ill is dear, dear to me because Dt was to 2lim, 3earjust for being a part of 2 7 1im.
Dndia, 3 dream ofyour streets now Witbi heartache and longing 7;o walk there once again
E13ut now, Ei3aba, my ears ring from )3our bottomless
When . 1e returns. 2
Silence, 1Vhile the world is crashing in on itself
eart Talk presents an ongoing series of wonderftil letters from Baba to some ofHis lovers. Ramjoo (Abdul Karim Abdulla) was one of the first mandali, having joined Baba in Poona in 1921. He was in the Manzil-eMeem ashram and remained in close proxim— ity to Baba for the next seven years, through the early Meherabad days and up until the Toka Ashram. Under Baba’s direction Ramjoo kept a diary of those early years, as well as authoring “Sobs and Throbs,” an account of the Meher Ashram days at Meherabad. He was one of the original trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust until he passed awayin 1967. In those early years, before Baba stopped writing, He would sometimes write to Ramjoo in His own handwriting. The second se ries of Heart Talk letters will present some of those, beginning with this one, which is undated,but noted by Ramjoo as having been received on December 23, 1923. This series will be posted weekly on Tavern Talk. —Archives, Museum and Research Com mittee ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Trust.
Dear Ramjoo, You must have by now, through Bailey, come to know of my trip to Poona & also the occurrences there during my presence, which you should please make dear Doctor aware of; and as you have every claim to know of the change of my programme, system & movement, read the following &inform it to Doctor alone &both ofyou keep the matter a dead secret. From the 1st December till yesterday I continually observed 34 hours fast & from yesterday I have increased it to 40 hours. Thus every 40 hours I’ll remain without food &wa ter and in the remaining 8 hours I’ll take faral (i.e. liquid & fruit not grain) Thus in every 48 hours, 40 hours complete fast & 8 hours eating &drinking; &this will continue till the 31st ofJanuary by the help of the Almighty & from the 1st of February I’ll begin eating regularly. x x x read addition II After leaving Poona I came to ...(know it byyourself inquire ofnone &inform none), and on the 31st of this month I’ll leave for Bombay. Thus during the whole month of J anuary I’ll stay at Bombay, in a room Va-
jis Dar O,es. ¶&lovcd Btha tmd 2
jifdar will rent for the three of us. (Inform none please) On the _th you, Doctor & the rest of the Mandali will be called to join me at Bombay. Have no anxiety about any matter. Don’t try to reply me. By the 5th you will receive your monthly claim at your Lonavla address. God bless you & Doctor Merwan Let Doctor read this letter. x x x addition: Most probably this will be my system till the 31st January; but if my health fails, (I growing weaker day by day) I’ll give up this fast system from the 1st January & keep on liquid throughout (any time ofthe day) in the month ofJanuary & begin eating regularly from February 1st.
Please inform Doctor that for certain reasons for a month or two I don’t desire singing here & so he should not send Abdul Rehman till I write. Also let Abdul Rehman be informed regarding the same by you. Am glad you are all well. Don’t be overanxious about the business. I am grinding daily & regularly. Love to self & Doctor Merwan
I hope you have received my yesterday’s letter sent C/O Doctor. Now listen. You should be present at Lonavla Station on the 31st noon at 5.30. We three will be going to Bombay by the Madras fast passenger! You & Doctor alone should be present on the station. And you or should inform none, not even And with you bring one bottle ftill of fresh made cocoa in pure milk! Doctor knows how to prepare it! After seeing me at the station you will then have to remain at Lonavala for 20 days more! I have grown very weak physically. Whilst writing this my hands were shak Merwan ing. ---
Last night was the most terrible one for me and this morningl amleft a physicalwreck, so I am going to break the fast system and stay onliquid onlytiil the 31st ofJanuary! You may note down in your diary ifyou like, the system I followed this month I am going to follow the Merwan next month! July 1925 Dear Ramjoo Received your letter. I hope you have received my former letter, freeing you from the settlement made in my presence as regards the Jamat affairs & asking you to let matters be as they have arrived to by themselves.
Jhansi 5th April 1944 Baba’s Gift to Donkin on his Birthday today. Whether you come to one of the 4 places I mentioned or you are sent to MECCA MEDINA—MOROCCO---MOOLTAN in short, whatever hapMURREE pens to you, I bless your Faith in Me and your Love for Me to remain stronger than ever.
In the Moonlight J ust you and me When everything is bright J ust you and me In darkness or in light Just you and me In wrong or in right J ust you and me When devil is in flight Just you and me When God is in sight J ust you and me When Truth is all Might J ust you and me When difficulties are slight J ust you and me In corners all tight J ust you and me You being in my inner Circle, everything for you is being decided by the Divine Will and accordingly, these 3 days’ stay with me will adjust things for you, in view of your BABA fttture work for me. Heart Thik, ©2003, AMBPPCT
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2’Jajoo 2 <otwal, Diidia was eleven years old when my whole family came to live with Meher Baba at Bangalore in 1940. My sister, HUla, was seven at the time. Baba promised my mother Nergiz, that from then on, He would take care of all our needs, and so it was. He not only sent me and my sister to one of the finest schools in Hyderabad for our education, but whenever we returned during our vacation, Baba was always most loving with us. As my father Savak Kotwal, stayed with the men mandali, I did not see him that much after we came to Baba. And Baba’s love was so all-encompassing that I began to refer to Him as my “Big Daddy.” I did not love my father less, but it was only natural that I would look to Baba, secure in the knowledge that His loving concern would always be there for me. One day, during one of my vacations, I happened to mention to Baba that I called Him my “Big Daddy” and Baba looked surprised, as though I had said something wrong. Then, looking very serious, He conveyed to me, “I am your God first, and then your “Big Daddy.” Thereafter, although I continued to think of Baba as my “Big Daddy,” I always remembered that He was also and foremost my God. Years passed by, and in July 1954 my family and I, (except for my father who stayed with Baba), moved back to Bombay. Yet Baba’s love and concern for me remained unchanged. I will give just a few examples of Baba’s sweet loving care. In November 1962, my mother and I were very excited to be able to attend the East-West Gathering in Poona. Although we left our hotel well before the scheduled time for the darshan program, by the time we reached Guru Prasad, we found that many others had already arrived. The first six or seven rows of chirs were completely occupied. Disappointedly, my mother and I sat in the next row and then waited anxiously for Beloved Baba to appear on the dais. Before long, amidst cheers of”Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai,” Baba, looking divinely radiant, entered and took His seat. The fresh pink roses in the garland that was delightfully dangling around His neck
could not compete with the glow emanating from Baba’s complexion and beautiful face. Our hearts were filled withjoy and our eyes overflowed with tears as we beheld Him, our Lord and Father in one. After the first rapturous moments, I began to feel a little upset that we were so far from the dais. I grumbled to my mother that it was very sad that we hadn’t been able to get a seat in one of the front rows because, although we could see Baba sitting on the elevated dais, there was no way He could see us amidst that huge crowd of five thousand. My mother chided me, saying, “Baba is God; He knows everyone’s heart and He sees us all.” This answer did not satisfy me, however and I continued to be disgruntled at having to sit so far from Baba, at least twenty-five feet away. As I sat there, I saw Beloved Baba take a thin, multi-colored thread garland. He gracefullywound it around His long shapely fingers and made it into a ball. Then He suddenly looked at us and before I could think about what was happening, He tossed the garland and it fell like a shot right into my lap. How Baba could manage to toss such a light object so far, and with such accuracy I still do not understand, but at the time this aspect didn’t even occur to me. I was too stunned at what had happened to think about it much. Then Baba waved endearingly at us, as if to say, “I know what you are feeling.” Such was Baba’s solicitude for an insig nificant person like me who often failed to understand His Godhood! That garland remains, even to this day, my most precious possession, a reminder ofBaba’s omniscient divinity and His loving compassion. This reminds me of a similar incident which occurred six years later. In the late ‘60s, Baba was in seclusion most ofthe time, but on December 22-23, 1968, Baba made a rare exception and consented to have a small gathering ofHis dear ones at Meherazad to celebrate Mehera’s birthday, as well as Dara and Amrit’s wedding. At that time, my mother Nergiz was in England with my sister and, in her place, Baba invited me to attend this gathering. I felt blessed and extremely fortunate to have
this chance. I say this because Baba Himself conveyed to us while we were there, “You do not know how fortunate you all are to be here today, and to have Me seated before you like this.” Little did any ofus then realize that this would be the last time we would ever see Baba in His human form as in just under forty days, He laid aside His physical body. Beloved Baba sat on a chair on the porch ofHis house and we sat in the garden, feasting our eyes on Him. At one point in the program, Baba allowed the women to have His darshan. We were instructed not to touch Baba, but as we ified before Him, we were allowed to place a garland at His feet ifwe so wished. Afterwards, the men were given their chance. As their darshan line moved along slowly, I noted that when it was Jimmy Mistry’s turn, Baba held out His hand to him and Jimmy kissed it. Seeing this, I began thinking how fortu nate Jimmy was and how unworthy I must be that Baba did not offer me an opportunity to touch His divine form. When the darshan was over, Baba announced that He wanted to be entertained and asked, “Who will sing for me?” I im mediately put my hand up and Baba called me up to the porch to sing. I stood before Baba, closed my eyes and sang the song, “The one who is sitting before me now is my very God.” On finishing, I opened my eyes and was overjoyed to see that my Beloved God and “Big Daddy” was holding out His hand for me to kiss! I was greatly elated. I took His holy hand, kissed it very gently and pressed to my eyes and with heartfelt gratitude said, “Thank You, Baba.” With these words, I left the porch. This was my last meeting with my God and “Big Daddy.” Yet it seems to me to capture the essence ofmy relationship with Him. Baba always knew my innermost de sires and His love sweetly fliffilled them. Tnily He is and will always remain, both my God and my “Big Daddy.” When He Thkes Over, Compiled by Bal Natu, 1988 © Bal Natu, AMBPPCT
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9cirij 2<leiner, J4lelierabctd eherabad is a place where I have lived for the past 25 years. I exist in it and it exists in me. This interwoven relationship between myself and my community is what I would like to discuss and examine. For me, there is no doubt that there is a change taking place at Meherabad. One era is making way for another. The age of the mandali spoon-feeding us with Baba lore is basically over. This new Meherabad, and what it evolves into, is ofmuch interest and concern to many ofus who have a loving relationship with the place—and what it represents. In these past three decades, with the mandali running the Show and the Trust that Baba set up, most Baba lovers have felt secure, trusting that everything was just as Baba would have wanted it to be. Now that the Mandali’s Watch is virtu ally over we may have to invest more of an active care in the Baba Centers that we are a part of. Without a doubt the first center that needs the most centering is our Self! I think that for many people the second pri oritized center would be Baba’s epicenter: Meherabad. And, perhaps, an allegiance to one’s local Baba Group would comprise a third degree of centering. The work that we do on ourselves and the work that Baba does in us is our Private Dance with the Beloved. I would love to elaborate on that subject, but I will save that for another time. But what I would like to examine right now is how we relate to exter nil centers as tools for personal centering. In the first 30 or so years after Meher Baba’s passing, I have scarcely heard the idea of utilizing Community as a medium for personal growth. I, an early bird at the pond ofour Lord, felt (or was lead to believe) that my connection to Him was all that I needed to traverse the path to my Self. Perhaps after Eruch passed away and after I got married, I came to see that Com munity is a good way for me to get more in touch with HIM within myself Working with my community making a team effort to go through a personal and collective grind of “garbage compacting” is a choice that I never made. Previously, I conceived that Baba was so Imminent and available to me; it seemed like my personal “hot line” was abuzz with
activity Perhaps I also assumed that Eruch and Mani could solve not only all of my problems, but also all ofthe world’s problems as well. Now, here I am, on hold on my hot line and no Eruch and Mani to turn to or project onto. The Buddha (who was then what THE BABA is now) said that one can take Ref uge in the Buddha, (the living Incarnation of Perfection), one can take Refuge in the Dharma, (the teachings ofthe Perfect One) or one can take Reftige in the Sangha, (a community held together or centered around the Perfect One. A community that keeps one on track towards one’s own journey to one’s own Oneness). It seems that the time has come for me to sing the song ofthe Sangha and to dance the dance ofthe Dharma.The Buddha that was accessible to his disciple Anand andThe Baba that was available to Eruch, is out of my reach. His disciples lovedThe MAN and The MAN loved them back. I, in turn, having no personal recorded memory dedicated to Baba (the MAN), have basically stolen footage from Eruch’s Movie and tried to pass offmy internal projections as some form ofTruth. Even Eruch had a different relationship with Baba when Baba was alive and after Baba dropped His Body. And ifEruch has another birth, he will be in a similar boat that we are in today. A physical story is only available in the physical world. We, who have missed the boat ofcontacting Him physicallyin this life, can only hope to meet Him the next time He comes around. In this waiting room of life, we try out our plans and strategies that help us to survive and that help us to inch forward to our heart’s longing. It is no secret that Meher Baba as Meher Baba is not alive in this world right now. But Meher Baba, the Oneness behind manyness, is hidden within everything and within ev eryone. He is the Way and the Goal. As the Way, He is every thing. As the Goal, He is EVERYTHING. There are nearly 2 billion Christians in the world right now. Probably many ofthem feel that they will be with the Christ when He returns to Earth.TheTruth ofthe matter is that very few people actually get to spend time with the ONE and ONLY one. My point is that ifwe cannot be with the ONE
we love, let’s love the one’s we’re with! So, let us now come back to our earth, and my home, Meherabad. It will no doubt remain a viable place ofPilgrimage for those who want to pay homage to the Man and the Home ofMeher Baba. The fact that His Tomb is there and much history connected to Him occurred there will help it to maintam its draw abiit Pilgrims and Pilgrimages are co-de pendent. Pilgrimages need pilgrims and pilgrims need pilgrimages. For pilgrims coming and staying at Meherabad the Trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust make the rules for the 300-acre estate that is the pilgrimage site. But just as no one can legislate one’s internal connection to Baba, no one person or authority will be able to shape or control the community or Sangha that develops around Meherabad. There will be many factions. Some will preach religion while others will promote individuality I am pro choice. I would love to be a part of a com munity where people’s individual choices to reach their own truth are respected. My personal definition for religion is CROWD CONTROL. The priestly caste and their acolytes and pundits are just the ushers in the game of Self. Unfortunately, historically they have perverted the percep tion that The Game cannot be played without them. I would love to see the freedom of choice remain in our personal and collective lives. Much work is needed to retain those freedoms. It always helps me when I remember my truth, which has been inspired by Baba. I remind myselfthat I am the Game, I am the ball and I am the score and the scoreboard. I play by myself against myself to win My Self! I am also my own referee, so I do not need anyone else to be a line judge in my Game. But here is what I do need. I need inspira tion from other players, so that I can go out and play my Game on a higherlevel! I need a MichaelJordan or a Saint Francis to animate and rejuvenate me to once again soar to my destiny and legacy. I need the intervention of the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Sangha to come to the neighborhood of my fearftil self I need its like-mindedness to help to bring me to same heartedness. I
need all the help that I can get to show me that the Dharma (teachings ofthe One and Only) are the same as The One and Only and the same as the one and lonely me! As long as I can band together with a community that serves my individual needs collectively, I will be okay. But if I abdicate my own throne and start believing that some individual or group knows what is best for me, more than I do for myself, well then I will be in big trouble. I need my friends to keep me out of trouble. Friends don’tlet friends deny their own truth within themselves! We all come to God individually, not as a herd. But the herd can make our individual choices more heard to our selves. At its best, the herd can make us more alert and confi dent to do what we have to do individually to reach our own summit. I do not want to lean on community merely to douse my deep loneliness, but I would like to use to propel me to internal heights that were unreachable on my own. I know that preaching the gospel ofunity in the midst of diversity is a lot easier than living it. But all that I am doing is reminding myself that while traveling on this road back to Baba, my soul mates make the trip more enjoyable and more endurable for me and for Baba. I am saying that I need others, just like Meher Baba needs me. I need to share my love with others just as Meher Baba needs to share His love with me. I am part ofa one in a million group that accepts Meher Baba as the embodiment of Truth. How silly is it ofme to compete with my Sangha to see whether I can run faster or jump higher than someone else in the group. What a wasted resource it would be, if I do not get help from my Sangha about how to run faster and jump higher to Him (my own Self). I wish the best ofluck to all of my fel low travelers who are traversing this path, alongside myself Maywe pull each other up when we are down, may we give each other hope at times ofdespair and maywe provide the warm fire oflove for each other during this dark night of our separation! Community is just an extension of our cry: COME UNITY! Come together. Right now. Over Me. Maybe that’s Baba’s song. Maybe that’s the dance that He wants us to learn! As Eruch once said, “To be with Him, one has to learn the art ofdancing to His tune.” Let the Game that has never ended, once again begin!
Recently, (in March) we had a wonderful community meeting at Meherabad. It brought together the residents of Mehe rabad, the trustees of the Trust and foreign and Indian Baba Lovers who have chosen to live in the community surrounding Mehe rabad. Much love and hope was expressed. In traveling around the US during the last few months, my wife Mehera and I have had a number ofopportunities to discuss this concept ofcommunitywith Baba groups and individuals. It seems to be a topic that others are working and struggling with. Ijust hope that we help each other in this work and this struggle. If anyone has information, ques tions or material pertaining to this topic please feel free to share it with us at: email@example.com
3rorn the 7rnin __/t1miya 2 <umar 21a2ra eaders who had gone through the pre vious chapter might well be curious to know what other orders Meher Baba had given me and what was their fate in my incapable hands. Of all the orders a very important order to me was not to touch any woman with lustful motives; the only exception to the rule was to be my wife. As I was a bachelor, the order was almost like a double-lock system. It made me so wary that I had to see that I was not coming in physical touch of any woman that might provoke lust in me. In buses, in trains, in College, at homes of friends and relatives, in cinema halls, ev erywhere, I had to see to it that I did not let go the hold of the reins of this tremendous discipline Baba had imposed on me. A very interesting situation arose dur ing one of my train journeys from Bhopal to Jabalpur. I was seated on a nearly empty train bench in the carriage and was reading a novel when the train halted at a station and a bridal party entered the carriage, nearly filling it. One of the girls, aged about eighteen, well-dressed, wearing a nosegay and silver anklets as some Indian newlyweds wear, came up and sat on the seat just in front of me. But that would hardly have mattered. She raised her feet and placed them on mine, perhaps to relax!
The book nearlyfell from my hand at this strange situation. I withdrew my feet imme diately and placed them at a different angle to prevent flirther touching. But the lady, as ifpossessed by the devil himself shuffled her feet and again touched mine with them and kept them almost pressed on mine. I forgot the novel and alarm seized me. Whatwas she doing? Whywas she doing it? Did she want me to be thrown out ofthe carriage window by her hefty male relatives? But why? We had never met. We had neither the common love nor the common enmity tojustify such an act. I looked around uncomfortably at her relatives. Yes, they had noticed the activities ofthe lady and clearly frowned at her and at me. Did they suspect us of any former clandestine friendship? My God, what would be the outcome of all this? As always, I racked my brain to consider all possible ways out of this fix, and only then considered asking for Meher Baba’s help. I slowly tried to disen gage my feet from hers, and started taking Baba’s name and called out to Him to save me from the awfiil situation. Nothing seemed to happen. The moment I removed my feet from under her feet, she rose and deliberately sat by my side as if to challenge and infuriate those accompanying her. Till today, I don’t know why she was doing all that. Was it possible that they were forcibly taking her away? Indeed, they looked like a rude bunch—tall, gaunt, and fierce. But how was I concerned, and what could I do to save her against such a band even if my fears were true. But no—I was not to be concerned about her so much as about Baba’s orders—and the soft, delicate feet adorned with silver anklets was to be dreaded as the hood of a cobra. But now she was by my side, almost leaning on my shoulders. The eyes of her relatives became visibly angry But, thanks to Meher Baba, the train reached another station and haltedwith ajerk.The stentorian voice of the eldest of the male companions of the lady rang out, “Let us get out of this carriage and get into a more spacious one.” He ordered and, one after another all the members including that lady left the carriage. The carriage became as nearly empty as before. I breathed a sigh of relief as the train started. I blessed myseiffor the gentle riddance of the lady and her companions. I thanked Baba for two things, because He had saved me twice in this affair—firstly, -
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j 1eiwr 13aba Observed 5i1ence 1 W1i Erucli 3cssaivci1a e would often question Meher Baba about His long silence, asking Him when He intended to break it and one day in 1954 in answer, He just dropped His alphabet board and said, “From now on I will not use the board.” We thought this was a hint that He might be about to break His silence but the days passed without incident except that He then started to communicate by using finger gestures. All He would say, referring to His silence, was, “What a binding it is” but it was a binding with a purpose for our sake. However, one lasting benefit which developed out of this, came one day when He asked us this question: “Why do people shout at one another when they are angry?” We said, “They shout because they are angry and they want to express their anger,” and Baba responded, “Yes, they can express their anger that way, but even if someone is seated at their side they will shout at that person. Could they not speak softly?” We volunteered different explanations, saying different things which came to mind at the time, but our answers did not satisfy Baba. So He gave us the answer. “When a person is angry with another person,” He aid, “that person is far removed from “his heart” and distance is created between them. That’s why the physical reaction is to shout, and the greater the distance, the greater is the shouting. Love disappears and one goes on shouting at the other who in turn barks back at him. Then he barks and so it goes on and on.” But Baba did not stop there, as He doubtlessly wanted us to see the same thing from a different angle. So He continued, “Now take the other case of two people in love. When two individuals are in love with each other how do they speak?” “They speak softly,” we answered. “Yes,” Baba agreed, “they do speak softly and the greater the love between them, the softer is their tone of speech. And when they are still further in love, no words are needed and they just look at each other, and eventually there is not even the need to look no need at all.” Well, that is the reason why Meher Baba observed silence. There was no need for an exchange ofwords. It was very good to hear that, to be reminded that He was so very
close to us; as He has said, “I am closer to you than your very breath.” Whether the world accepted His closeness or not was immaterial to Him for whom there was no need to speak, and it was so true that whenever people came in contact with Him, although there was an exchange of signs or words through interpretations, Meher Baba always spoke directly to “the hearts” of people. There is no doubt at all about that, He simply reached deep into “their hearts”. TheAncient One Eruch Jessawala pp. 101-102 ©1985 Naosherwan Anzar
2kIp 2’4cedcd for Lord Jlfrkher Online 2<eith 9unn, J’.IortIiern California Dear Baba Lovers, II ofus who worked on the LordMeher Online have been gratified that many Baba lovers have found the project to have been useful to them. However, speaking for myself I am not as pleased as I would like to be at the quality of the work—that is, the work I did. Lord Meher Online, particularly the higher numbered volumes is, in the words ofone close friend, “filled with typos.” They are my typos, not the Author’s and not the Original Editor’s. I got pretty bleary-eyed while working on the text, and was the last person to look at each page before it was uploaded. Normally, my approach to such problems is to moan, groan, and start over, running through the pages looking for all the mis-
takes. “This time,” I thought, “why not try to involve others instead of behaving like the Lone Ranger?” So, I’m writing an open letter to ask Baba groups and Babalovers iftheywould like to help. Would it be possible for a Baba group to adopt a volume ofLM Online, and check it for typos against LM in print? What if London did one, Myrtle Beach did one, Boston did one, Sydney did one, LA did one and so forth? Maybe Sydney and Melbourne would compete—It’s the season for Aussie Rules, after all. But there are at least 20 groups in the English-speaking Baba world, and who knows, maybe the Italians would take on a volume and perhaps the French or even the Argentineans? I’m not deliberately ignoring Indian Baba groups, though in general Lord Meher is not widely owned in India, due to cost. Still, if any want to help that would be wonderful and fitting. Of course, there are some Baba byers whose skills are such that they could complete a volume in a few days, as mdividuals. I’d happily act as a marshalling point— assigning volume numbers and so forth, and Tom Brustman and I will upload the changes. One final word on ground rules: in bringing out the online edition, we did not arbitrarily change the Author or the Editor’s words. We made substantive changes only when we felt meaning was impaired or we had some new information that was concurred to by (or had originated in) Meherazad/Meherabad. So, ifyou think a phrase is infelicitous, please don’t offer such changes. Obvious spelling, punctua tion (Chicago Manual ofStyle is our preference) and my dumb errors are what we are mostly after. Jai Baba to you all, Keith Gunn “Throw Temptation.. “continuedfrompg2O
from the woman who appeared to be trying to get closer to me, and secondly from the situation itself which appears as though it might have ended in trouble, misery, humili ation and danger. But the situation had been averted only because I sincerely wanted it to be averted and sincerely prayed to Baba to help me get out of it. Excerpt from Memoirs ofa Zetetic, Amiya Kumar Hazra, ©1987/2001 Avatar Meher Baba Navsari Centre.
A1eI:er jOTt [Published in the Meher Baba Journals March, 1942.] kinds of forces are operative in the present war: ( 1) The forces which make for love, jus tice, harmony and the well-being ofmankind taken as a whole and (2) The forces which in alliance with nar row racial or national loyalties work towards the selfish exploitation of others. This war is bringing a vast amount of suffering and destruction to millions ofpeople. But all this will not be in vain. Out ofthis chaos there will emerge a new world of freedom and happi ness and understanding. â€œWar can at best be only a means to an end; it can never be an end in itself It is therefore imperatively necessary for the war lords to search their own hearts and to make sure that the ends for which they are fighting are a reflection ofthe plan which is tolead humanity to a spiritual brotherhood, cemented by an inviolable sense of the unity of all human beings, irrespective of the distinctions based on class, color, nationa1it race, religion or creed. War effort will be justified or stand condemned not by the results which it produces, but by the ends bywhich it is inspired. The world has to face this war and go through its ordeal offire, even at the cost ofirreparable damage and unredeemable suffering; it is a necessary evil. Even in itself war is not an unmixed evil since it calls forth and releases, under the stress of imminent danger, much ac tion which disregards the limited self and is inspired by the impersonal spirit ofwelcom ing sacrifice and suffering for the safety and prosperity of fellow-beings. It is better that such unseffish action be released under the stimulus of danger than that it should not be released at all. It is better that men should forget their petty selves under the pressure of a collective calamity than that they should be permanently encased in the ignoble pursuit of personal safety and in the ruthless attempt to perpetuate separative existence and interests. War effort generates and fosters many quali ties ofspiritual importance; it is therefore not altogetherwithout spiritual significance, even when it is considered in itself And when war effort is forced upon a nation or a people for the sake ofhigher values and impersonal considerations ofwell-being, it becomes not only spiritually defensible but inevitable. People ought to face the incidents of war
with courage and equanimity in the faith that no sacrifice or suffering is too much when the call of duty is clear and imperative. In the event of a direct and aggressive attack the clear duty of all is to resist it, even by direct participation in war, if there is no other al ternative. But in offering such resistance they shall make sure that they are prompted solely by the sense ofduty and that theyhave no hatred or bitterness towards the aggressor, who is acting under spiritual ignorance. Further, they shall not be callous to the physical or mental suffering infficted by air raids or by warfare on land or sea. On the contrary, they shall render to the wounded and desolate vic tims ofwar every possible service, according to their individual ability and aptitude. As a rule, spiritual aspirants are indifferent to purely material well-being. They are prone to be indifferent to war as well as war-effort on the grounds that most wars are actuated by purely material considerations. But it is a mistake to divorce spiritual from material considerations; material considerations do have a spiritual aspect and importance. Even spiritual aspirants, who are wrapped up in the super-sensible realities ofinner life, can ill afford to ignore war, particularlywhen they are directly involved in it. Spiritual aspirants take their stand upon the reality and the eter nity of the infinite soul; it should therefore be easy for them to stake everything for the sake ofa duty which springs from the claims
ofthe spirit. When truly understood, all confficts and wars are seen to be a part ofthe Divine game; they are thus a result ofthe Divine will which finds expression in the world of manifesta tion through the help ofMaya or the cosmic powerwhich creates and sustains the illusory world ofdua1it The purpose served by Maya in the Divine game is twofold: (1) it can be instrumental in entrapping the soul in the mazes ofillusion and (2) it can also be instru mental in freeing the soul from the clutches of spiritual ignorance and bondage. Maya should not be ignored; it must be handled with detachment and understanding. Wars are the working ofMaya; they are spiritually disastrous or otherwise, according to whether they are inspired by attachment or detachment from the creations of Maya. From the spiritual point ofview ofthe last and only truth, all souls are, in their essence, fundamentally one. War cannot create any real cleavage or division between the people who are fighting with each other.The people ofthe warring countries seem to be different from each other merely by virtue of having different bodies and minds; but from the point of view of their souls, all differences are not only secondary but false.The spiritual unity of all souls remains inviolable in spite of all wars; and from the point of view of ultimate reabty it remains true that no soul is really at war with any other soul. There is a war in different ideologies, and this war of ideologies extends to and involves not only the minds but also the bodies of the people. However the undivided and indivisible soul remains one in its unimpeachable and inte gral unity The spiritually advanced persons are alive to this truth ofthe unity of all souls; and the role which they play in the game of God is necessarily determined by the spiritual un derstanding which they have. They perform their dutyin cooperation with the Divine will; and, being in tune with the infinite truth, they are, in playing their part, not only free from all thoughts of seffish gain, but also from the reactionary feelings of hate or malice or revenge. The soul remains untouched and un scathed by the loss and destruction of material things and possessions, and death is only a gateway to further life. Those who would play their part in the Divine game shall remain unmoved by any bereavements
or losses; they shall also impart to others the spirit of cheerfiui resignation to the Divine wiil. The understood sufferings of war will embitter many souls; they need to be helped in the restoration ofunassailable faith and the imperishable sweetness oflife. Those who are initiated into the eternal values of inner life shall bear the burden of dispelling unwar ranted gloom and depression and cheering up those who are in anguish. In the hour of trial let the thought of ev eryone be not for the limited self but for oth ers-not for the claims ofthe ego-life, but for the claims ofthe Divine Selfwhich is equally in all. It is a mistake to ignore human suffering as merely a part of the illusory universe. Not by ignoring human suffering, but by handling it with creative love, is the gateway opened for life eternal; and not through calbus indifference, but through active and selfless service, is secured the attainment of that transcendental and illimitable truth which is at the heart of the illusory universe. The last but not the least duty of those who would stand by reason and love is to see war, as well as war-effort, in the right perspective, as being only the means for the goal of peace and understanding. It is not possible to justify war apart from the end that is sought through it. War does not stand justified merely by the spiritual qualities it generates and fosters; these qualities can also be developed in times ofpeace. It is time that humanity is imbued with the spontaneous spirit oflove and service, needing no stimulus of danger for the release of impersonal and unselfish action. Though it seems difficult, humanity has to emerge out of this dreadftul war with un impaired spiritual integrity; with hearts free from the poison of malice or revenge; with minds disburdened of the blows given or received; with souls unscathed by suffering and fUled with the spirit of unconditional surrenderance to the Divine wUl which shall ensoul and inspire post-war humanity In spite ofits attendant evils, this war shall play its part in My mission ofhelping humanity to fIiJfllI the Divine plan on earth and to inherit the coming era of truth and love, of peace and universal brotherhood, of spiritual understanding and unbounded creativity Treasuresfrom the Meher Baba Journals ©1980 Meher Spiritual Center.
[The following are extracts of messages dic tated by Bhau in March and April, 2003.] he war between Iraq and America and Great Britain is going on fill force. It is creating confusion all over the world. But this isjust the play of Illusion. There are people who blame George Bush. Others blame Saddam Hussein.What people think intellectually, they express. But as this is just the game of Illusion, nobody should be blamed, because no one knows what is in Reality When the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, I said, “This is just the beginning.”This beginning is now taking shape in the form ofgreater devastation. This beginningwill take along time, and will bring many changes about in the world, one after another. People will feel confttsed. Tragedies will go on progressing, until the time people will look towards God. They will become so helpless and hopeless that their faces will automatically turn towards God, and they will turn their backs on Illusion. Then the Real Manifestation of Avatar Meher Baba will take place, and people will establish brotherhood. There will be love between people and countries. That wiil be the end of the beginning. When a beginning has started, it must reach the end. But the end is very, very far away. All these events are going on according to Beloved Baba’s Wish, and there will be more and more tragedy in the world. No one should feel scared about the current situation. Instead, you should become fearless in His love. If a mountain is to fall upon you, you should not feel fear. You should remain fearless, knowing full well that this body might go any day. Nobody can prevent it. And therefore, why feel fear? You should remain brave and strong within, and then fear cannot touch you. Still, because of fear, a truce may happen for the time being. But fear itselfis the outcome of Illusion. And thus this truce
cannot last long. Unless the end is reached, any truce cannot endure. I therefore request the Baba world to focus their attention on Beloved Baba, the Avatar of the Age, the Highest of the High, the Reality People should not think about right and wrong—whether America is right and Saddam Hussein (Iraq) is wrong, or whether Iraq is right and America and Great Britain are wrong. This is thejust play of Illusion. Why should we think about right and wrong? Why should we feel justified in creating so many explanations? People may also ask the intellectual question, “Why is war justified?” But this question is also within Illusion. Reality is Reality It is beyond right and wrong, and therefore, we should think that all that is happening is under the Divine Plan, and nobody understands the Divine Plan. For the present, Illusion is playing its role to the highest degree, creating difficulties, suffering and confusion. But when anything goes to an extreme, it must change to the opposite direction. The Beloved is playing His own role to rectify the situation, and the current turmoil can onlybe rectified by following the Divine Wish. All the garbage that has been collected by everyone must come out, and war is one ofthe ways that it comes out. The world will suffer and suffer. A time will come when people will find neither water to drink nor food to eat. When Illusion reaches the highest and most extreme degree, Reality will manifest. All the scientists will come to the conclusion that there is some power beyond them. They will bow down to that power, and everyone will look toward God, not toward the workL There will be peace, because people will feel so confttsed that their intellect cannot give them answers. That wiil be the time for His Universal Manifestation, when the world will recognize Him, and awareness of God will touch every heart. Until then, such happenings as the war in Iraq will take place. Butultimately, the world will feelthe Rays ofHis Divine Sun touching their hearts. And then peace will be established. May Beloved Baba help the world and all ofus, so thatwe may follow His Divine Wish and not be affected by the play of Illusion. 4t2 s
ij;t. 3 flh.Iij
Excerpts from the Lord lJ/1eher 73iogrctphy [November, 1923]
he men informed their families of their safe arrival and accordingly told them to write them at the Halt Ho address. But the very next day, Baba said, “I have now decided we will immediately go to Basra, where we will pass the interim period before going to Persia. By then the snowfall in Persia and Baghdad will have stopped.” Baba’s statement was a shock to the mandali, but since leaving Manzil-e-Meem they had become accustomed to wandering from place to place and kept quiet. A telegram was sent to Vajifdar requesting money and their passports. Bailey inquired about the next passenger ship leaving for Basra and was to inform the landlord about their change of plans. Thus peaceftil Halt Ho turned into a noisy den of activity as they prepared to leave for Iraq. However, Bailey brought news that Basra was in the grip of an icy cold wave and fill ofmalaria-carrying mosquitoes. He also reported that he had been unable to contact either the Persian Consulate about their passports and visas, or the owner of the bungalow. So plans for the Basra trip were canceled, and it was decided to continue their stay in Halt Ho for a while longer. Volume [August, 1928]
he Master was in a splendid mood that night after arti. At eight-thirty he revealed to the mandali that a Pir in Africa on the sixth plane hadjust given up his body, and at that moment Baba felt a shock. He also disclosed that there was an advanced soul between the fifth and sixth planes in Baghdad, who acknowledged he was Meher Baba’s disciple. Then he mentioned that there was one Wall in Egypt also with Ml powers, but Baba was unknown to him even though he was on the fifth plane. Volume3p.1076 in Baghdad, Iraq, on the evening of Sunday, October 25th, 1936, Baba rriving and the mandali checked into a hotel. The next day they took a tour of Baghdad. On October 27th, Baba visited the shrine of Hazrat Abdul QdirJalani—a Qutub of his time. Baba remained in the Muslim tomb for some time, but made no comment on his work. 24
News was given to them at the Baghdad train station that there was of a breach on the railway line at the crossing ofthe Turkish border with no definite information as to when the line would be repaired and ready for travel. This report was, at first, vexing because Baba had planned to proceed to England from Iraq by train. Soon after, Baba began feeling quite ill; his eyes became swollen and he had severe pain in his molar teeth. In spite of his failing health, later that same day, Baba arranged for a large amount ofcooked food to be purchased and fed one hundred of the city’s beggars and crippled, serving all the food with his own hands. At one point, he remarked in a cryptic tone, “By my coming here, the link with Rahuri is snapped, and to reestablish this link, I am feeding these poor beggars.” Before starting theirjourney, Baba had expressed his desire to feed and, if possible, bathe a number of poor and crippled persons in Baghdad. No due to being detained by the breach in the railwayline, he was able to do his work with the destitute and crippled. By the end ofthe day, Baba’s health condition became so serious that he conveyed that he thought about canceling his planned visit to England and to send for Kitty Davy from London to specify to her all the instructions for his lovers there. Telegrams were exchanged with the Western group, but Baba then dismissed that idea and de cided to proceed to London, although his stay was to be drastically curtailed to only three days. Babaleft Baghdad by the Taurus Express train on October 28th, at nine that evening. From Kirkuk he went to Mosul by taxi and then on to Telkotcheck by train. While traveling, Chanji would read aloud the manuscript of the book, The Perfect Mas ter recently completed by Charles Purdom. They also discussed the most pressing issues and set up Baba’s schedule in London. Volume 4 p. 1 204
J11/Ieherabctd and .2<arbala eanwhile, strong winds and violent dust storms were raging in Meherabad, blowing off the tin sheet roofs on many of the structures there. Pendu wrote Baba about it, and Baba sent him
the following reply, in Gujarati, dictated to Savak Kotwal on: April 20, 1942 4 Chander Road, Dehra Dun Dear brother Pendu, As instructed by Baba, I write to tell you that the whirlwinds have been a constant feature in Meherabad for years together and they will continue to remain so, because Meherabad is Karbala. Even if the whole mandali are crushed and perish underneath the flying tin sheets, they will realize God. Then Baba too will be free from the bother oflooking after all, and you all will be free of your bindings. But Baba adds that it is not in his luck! (Karbala was the famous battleground in Iraq (681 A. D.), where Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Husain (Au’s son), and Muhammad’s great grandsons, Au Akbar and Au Asghar (Husain’s sons) and other Shi’ahs were killed and where Husain was buried.) Volume 8 p. 2792
seclusion at ..7VIehercizctd Monday, July 14th, 1958, Meher Baba’s complete and total seclusion began. That same day the king oflraq (Faisal II) was assassinated, as the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown by an army coup. A new socialist government was installed under General Abdul Karim Kassem. The fol lowing day, United States marines landed in Lebanon, and British troops soon fol lowed into Jordan. Volume 16 p. 2 549 [Aug. or Sept., 19637 One day, reminiscing about Babajan, Baba revealed: In a previous incarnation, Babajan was the Muslim Saint Rabia ofBasra [Iraq]. Volume 18 p. 6217
[June 14, 1963]
aba ended with this tale about Piran-e-Pir Dastagir: This is a story about the knowledge and power of the Qutub. There was once a Muslim Perfect Master named Piran-e-Pir Dastagir in Baghdad. He was a Qutub and Continuedon Page27
)::J. j 7 3ti:ii;g; J :r
Sky Wiseman, WasIi.ington DC
ftinny thing happened on Thanksgiving ay as I returned from Meherabad to Washington, D.C., via Paris. I had a fourhour layover in Paris, so I had a bite to eat and then did a bit of shopping. I went to the gate area about an hour before boarding, cleared security and sat down to listen to the new Ward Parks CD that I had acquired from him just before departing from the Pilgrim Center. As I sat in the gate area a good-sized crowd was standing near the gate entrance awaiting the boarding call. As I listened to my CD I noticed a man staring at me from a distance ofabout 3 meters. He would look away for some time and then stare intently again and again for 20 or 30 seconds at a time. Then he talked to his wife. Then he paced back and forth, turned around, put on his glasses, and again turned back in my direction. It was as if he was trying to look right through me. At this point I had a funny feeling he was looking at the picture ofBeloved Baba I was wearing around my neck. It’s the 1925 photo ofBaba with long hair and a mustache, with a bandana around his head. I had had an experience in New York City immediately after the destruction of the World Trade Towers where one ofmy colleagues thought my photo of Baba was a photo of Osama Bin Laden. I had an inkling that this man in Paris might be thinking the same thing! But there was really nothing to do about it so I just flowed along. The man became really nervous and was pacing all around. Finally, he went up and talked to some of the airline officials. Sev eral ofthese officials then walked passed me and seemed to glance over at me from close range. Another 30 minutes passed and I was finally boarding the plane. When I reached the place where they take your boarding pass I was quickly whisked away by two
uniformed persons to the area where they do random checks of bags. I was taken to the far end. As one person began checking my bag, two other men came up. The one in charge said, “Sir, what is concerning us is what you have around your neck.” I told them it was a 1925 photo ofAvatar Meher Baba, my spiritual master, and that I was on my way home from a pilgrimage to His Tomb in India. The man grabbed my Baba necklace, brought it close to his face, and examined it for some time. He then called over his associates to examine the photo. Finally, the man said, “Well, He strongly resembles Osama Bin Laden and al ready many ofthe passengers and the crew are nervous and frightened.” I assured him that it was indeed Meher Baba and not Osama Bin Laden. Then he checked my passport, which is a diplomatic passport, and shouted, “Sir, you are in the diplomatic corps of the United States Government?” When I said yes, instead of being reassured he seemed to become more agitated and ran and got someone else. They questioned me for some time about what is my position, where have I been, what countries have I been in for the pastyear, etc., etc. I showed them my business card and they asked to keep it. I told them all about Meherabad and why I had been there, and more aboutwho Meher Baba is. As they inspected the contents of my backpack they became interested in another photo and asked, “Who is this?” I said, “That is also a photo ofMeher Baba, but he is much older than in the other picture.” I showed them several more photos ofBaba at various ages, showed them Baba books, CDs, prasad from the Samadhi (thought ofoffering them some but didn’t want to push my luck)...I really had fttn with them. They searched my pack in great detail...every little thing. Looked at my digital photos ofMeherabad and Mehe razad, turned on my computer—it took about half an hour altogether for them to inspect me. While doing this check they took my passport away, went out of the gate area, and didnt return for a reallylong time.The search was complete, everyone except me had been on the plane for a quite a while, and finally they returned with my passport. They apologized for the inconvenience. Finally as I was ready to get on the plane they said, “One more thing Sir. We must
insist that you hide the photo, because you must admit it bears such a strong resem blance to Mr. Bin Laden that the passen gers cannot help but panic when they see it around your neck.” I said, “No problem, I’lljust put it inside my shirt.” I thanked them for their diligence and got onboard. The flight attendants were all looking at me kind of fttnny, as if they were thinking, “Here comes the guy with the Osama Bin Laden necklace. I guess they didn’t find anything dangerous on him, so we’ll have to watch him closely.” It turned out that I was sitting in an exit row next to a man in a business suit. We struck up a conversation during the flight. He was from Iran, born in Shiraz, and quoted Hafiz quite often during our conversation! He had had some difficulty with security also. They had said, “You are an Australian ciiizen born in Iran by the name of Mamoud?” He said, “And what is wrong with that?” They said, “And you’re travelling to Washington, D.C?” He replied, “And what is wrong with that?” They gave him a thorough search and let him onboard. Towards the end of the flight I told him about Meher Baba and showed him the necklace. I told him what had happened to me at security. We had a hearty laugh. A little later in the conversation he told me he was a pilot. I said, “You didn’t tell them that did you?!” He said, “Oh my God, I hadn’t even thought of that!” We laughed hysteri cally as we thought of the Middle Eastern pilot and the guy with the “Osama Bin Laden” necklace sitting next to each other in the exit row worrying the crew the entire trip. At one point Mamoud chuckled and said, “They thought your necklace ofMeher Baba was Osama Bin Laden. Ha ha ha ha! And they probably thought you had killed a U.S. diplomat and stolen his passport. Ha ha ha ha!” He was dying laughing, hardly able to get the words out he was laughing so hard. We exchanged info and plan to get together for lunch soon, as he is in the process of relocating to D.C. as a member ofthe Associated Press. Beloved Baba must have had a good time that day. I must admit I enjoyed it myself All in a day in the life ofa Babalover...anything to spread His message of Love and Truth. 25
.:Di..SpeTfl.1C believe that we live in desperate times that are getting ever more desperate. Someho knowing there’s an answer allows me to accept the extent of our desperateness. I also believe that’s the way the human mind works. Ifa situation is truly desperate and no avenue of hope can be seen, the mind tends to deny the ftill extent of ominous things in order to preserve some measure of hope. It is so psychologically disastrous to be without hope that the mind recoils against it. Therefore, we should not lightly and callously condemn those who do not accept our state of crisis as being in abject denial. Denial has the important ftinction ofpre serving hope, although, ultimately, that cannot be its justification. To be without hope is disastrous because hope is actually part of reality; to lose hope is to lose reality Reality is not just the “hard stuff”—the materialworld—but includes the human being. Hope is essential to the human being. Hope is not to be confttsed with wishftilness. Wishfulness can obscure reality whereas hope opens us up to it. Had I not had hope, I do not believe that I would have recognized just how desperate these times are. That’s where Meher Baba comes in. Baba physically came into this world in 1894 and left in 1969—a life of seventyfour years. For the last forty-four of those years, from 1925 on, He was silent—no words or sounds escaped His lips. All of His communications—and He commu nicated extensively—were by means other than speech and, amazingly, by means other than writing. It should be understood that Meher Baba’s silence was not because He had little or nothing to say. Baba’s words, expressed silently, are among the most profound and comprehensive that we have, as you will be able tojudge for yourselffrom quotes that I have used throughout this book. One reason for Meher Baba’s silence, He said, was that “You have asked for and been given enough words—it is now time to live them.” Who is the ** in this statement? It is all off us. Then who is He? That is the subject of this book—and that is why I talk about hope. This book began when I returned to Maine in August 1997 from a visit to the tomb of Meher Baba in India. Among the
<enneth Lux, ,7J1airte 2 messages waiting for me was one from Connie Leavitt. I had not yet met Connie, but we had spoken once or twice on the phone. She and her husband own a book produc tion studio on the coast of Maine and she told me that she was going to launch Seven Coin Press and was interested in publishing books with a spiritual or philosophical focus. From our previous conversations, Connie knew that I had a spiritual orientation and had written in the field of alternative eco nomics, although spirituality is not explicit in that work. When we first met, we discussed a book that I was then writing—a critique of the modern mindset and its resulting damage to both the environment and society. It sounded interesting to her, and so I sent her a copy ofmy previously published book, Adam Smith’s Mistake. After reviewing *Adam Smith’s Mistake, she returned it with the comment that, with all due respect, it was not the type of book that appealed to her—it was too academic and intellectual. Rather, her objective was to publish visionary, inspirational, and positive lifeexperience books that would reach out to a general readership. Well, I am not really an academic in that I do not teach at a college or university. Even though I do think that for society to change, a broader group than academia needs to be reached, the ability to do this kind of reaching was probably beyond me. I thought that Connie and I most likely did not have the basis for doing a book together. We wished each other well and said that we might meet in the future to discuss our interests in spirituality. So, I was a little surprised to find a phone message from her on my return from India. In my everyday work as a psychologist, I advertise my approach as “Karma Sensitive Psychotherapy.” It seems that she had seen my ad and wanted to know more about my method of therapy. In any event, when I returned her call, she was interested to hear that I had just returned from India, one ofseveral trips since my first one in 1969. She had never heard of Meher Baba and when she asked about him, I stumbled around a bit and
came up with a vague answer such as the commonly used “spiritual teacher.” Despite what I felt was the blandness of my answer Connie still wanted to know more, and she seemed intent about it. I might have brought in the term Avatar at that point, because I had just come back from India and Meher Baba’s tomb and may have had the special energy that such a visit usually brings. Perhaps some ofthis came through to her. Finally she asked, “Did you ever think about writing a book about Meher Baba?” When I replied, “No,” she said, “Do you think it’s something you could do?” I said that it was something I could think about for the fttture, but for now I needed to finish my new book on the problem of the environment, and I left it at that. When I woke up the next morning, surprisingly, my head was ftsll of thoughts on writing a book about Meher Baba. I somehow knew what such a book would be. I would use my life as a lover ofBaba to present an account ofHim. My story would tell how I came to grips with Baba and who He is or is supposed to be. My encounter with Baba would, out of necessity, have to be individual, but I am also aware of the paradox that through the individual, we can reach the universal. As Charles Purdom, a lover ofBaba who had numerous contacts with, and wrote a biography about, Meher Baba, put it: [MeherBabac] work is with the hu man soul in general and equally with p articular souls, for increase in consciousness is increase in particularness. It is a paradox that the morefully the soul knows its4fand the more meaning itgives to the ‘l “the more completely it knows itse(fto be one with, notseparated from, andhavingidenticalinterests with all other souls. 1 My story is the story of someone who never met Meher Baba physically, which will be the case for almost all readers ofthis book. If Baba is who He is supposed to be, then the physical meeting is not necessary. Indeed, the major work of such a one is something that only begins to unfold or become apparent after His physical death. It is by that continuity and eventual increase of His influence that history knows that such a one was real.
Ofcourse, His lovers know it outside the judgment of history and that is precisely how they become His lovers. That process must always be a personal one. To talk about the spiritual and universal and to connect both with reality is to allude to things that the modern world in its skep ticism does not believe exists. To overcome such skepticism is one ofthe purposes of the appearance ofMeher Baba. In this book, I will describe, as accurately and as honestly as I can, how this process worked and works with me. The reader can evaluate and judge for him- or herself One of the reasons for this book is to give the reader an initial basis for doing so. I have used the word lover several times. Meher Baba is supposed to be a spiritual authority One who believes in an authority and adheres to that authority is seen as a follower ofthat person. Why don’t I just say that I am a follower ofMeher Baba? What is this business about being a lover of? Meher Baba, himself, referred to His followers as His lovers. It was a term that Baba used first. Why did Baba do this? He was referring to Divine Love. He said that those who were being drawn to Him were beginning to practice the highest spiritual art that is possible—that of divine love. This implies at least two things. One is that there is such a thing as the divine and that love is closely connected to it, and two, that Meher Baba, for some reason, is a worthy or appropriate figure to be associated with such a love. Both ofthese claims, as far as I am concerned, are outrageous within the context ofthe modern world. His claims and statements run against the whole tenor of modern mindset. The modern mindset, besides its skepti cism, is particularly concerned with personal gain. That follows, of course, from its materialism, which is both philosophical and commercial. To talk about divine love, which is, ofcourse, not sexual love and not the love of acquisition, is to talk about something that was left far behind in our past. I am personally uncomfortable with the term lover of Meher Baba. It seems pre sumptuous of me to call myself a lover of Baba, which is to say, someone capable of that kind oflove, pure love. In fact, it would be just as presumptuous ofme to claim that I felt that toward anyone, Meher Baba or no. After all, pure, four letters that it is, is still a very big word. Baba knows all this,just as Baba knows everything. By referring to His followers as His byers, Meher Baba is in effect telling us that, as
short ofthe mark as we are, indeed, as seffish and possessive as we are, through contact with Him, in fact by the mere knowledge of His name, we are taking a step toward the path ofpure love. We start with where we are, as always. Our love can be as impure as love gets: pos sessive, selfish, lustful, you name it, but by contact with Meher Baba, in any form, even in name, that love begins the process of its purification. In fact, the modern world is such that this concept ofpure and purification will be looked upon askance. So, the other issue that the modem worldbooks upon with suspicion, authority isjoined with the concept of purity We can say that Baba’s authority among other things, is the authority ofpurity, and, in fact, the authority of pure love. That is a vastly different association than the one we usually have with the idea of authority. The question then arises, ifMeher Baba is this, how come almost no one knows about Him? Well, one answer would be that this world is just not very interested in purity or pure love. As Baba lets us kno and we are beginning to realize from our direct observations, this world will need to wake up to the ne cessity ofthese qualities ifit is to get out of its current ominous condition. Meher Baba says that it is for this “awakening” that He has come, and that in time, this awakening will become clear. It’s a question of timing. “I have come not to teach, but to awaken,” He has said, and that is another way of understanding His silence. So I asked myself that morning as I thought about my conversation with Conme, is it Meher Baba’s timing that this has come about and that I now write such a book? I could only know by trying to go ahead with it. Perhaps the problem of the environment cannot wait, but a book by me on what the modern world is doing to the environment could. A book about Meher Baba, the Avatar would be a more direct answer and source of hope than any analysis and recommen dations that I could put forth as a social scientist. I wrote a couple ofchapters and then I met with Connie. I decided to bring avideo ofMe her Baba so that she could see who Baba is as a living, breathing, and moving aboutbeing and she could see howMeher Baba communicated in and through His silence. Photographs and film are central to conveying a sense of Meher Baba. After
Connie watched the video, she told me that something inside ofher “jumped.” She was not sure why or what that meant. It was a good sign. I hope, for the readers of this book, that something inside ofthemjumps.We all need something inside ofus tojump. It is this inside—so vast—that has been closed off by the science and skepticism of the modern world, until it is nearly nonexistent. I, like many ofyou, personally know this. Therefore, I write about howlife changed for me and the meaning ofit and my understanding ofthis change. This is not, however, a story about me; it is a story about Meher Baba told through my experience. My story allows you to connect with who Meher Baba is through your own story and leads you right up to this point. Fjlis Frederick, editor, TheAwakener:AJournal 1 Devoted to Meher Baba, vol. 22, no. 1 P. 34. Meher Baba, Avatar ofthe Tortoise
© 2001 Kenneth Lux Baba in Iraq continuedfrom pg 24
loved a boy very much. The boy loved his father very much. At the age of seven years, the boy’s father died and the boyjoined the Qutub. One day, twelve years later, the Qutub Dastagir was in an exceptionally pleasant mood and told the boy that he would grant whatever he desired.The foolish boy, instead ofasking for God-Realization, requested his father be risen back from the dead. Dastagir repeated the same question three times, but the foolish boy asked only for his father. The Qutub granted his wish, and the boy found his father alive andlovingly embraced him. Now see the power and knowledge of the Qutub. In order to make the boy’s father alive, who died twelve years before, he had to make innumerable alterations in an instant, because his father must have been connected with so many relatives and friends, who in turn were connected with many others. In short, to make a seemingly small alteration, the Perfect Master has to make innumerable alterations in the world. Volume 18 p. 6502 LordMeher, Bhau Khalchuri, © Lawrence Reiter and A]VIBPPCT ,J
I Ike ;4’Iast
ohammed Mast, one of Avatar Meher Baba’s five favorite masts, left his physical form onjune 17, 2003 at 5:22 p.m. He passed away in his room at Meherabad from complications due to a stroke. He was at least 95 years old. This charming and volatile God-intoxicated soul had a unique place in Baba’s Advent: a fifth-plane mast who was also an almost continuous member of Baba’s ashram from 1936. In later years, sitting on his chair on the Meherabad verandah absorbed in God, Mohammed gave gen erations of Baba-pilgrims the matchless chance to meet one of the Avatar’s most “beloved children.” His radiant, warm, uplifting presence will be deeply missed, and with his passing a special chapter of Meherabad history comes to a close. He will be buried on June 18th at 11 a.m. at lower Meherabad in the spot designated by Meher Baba. AVATAR MEHER BABA kijAl! Dr. Goher and Mandali
[Excerptfrom “The Wayfarer?’ by William Donkin.]
ike a problem child, who needs the counsel ofa psychiatrist to steer him to the highway of normal development, Mohammed was a problem mast, entangled in the brambles of the spiritual path; and it was Baba who came to his rescue. Mohammed is a mast of exceptional characteristics, and as such, we must turn to Baba if we are to understand something of his spiritual background. Baba has explained that the case of Mohammed is different from that of other masts. Saints, walis, pilgrims initiate, Mohammed on the veranda ofoldMandali Hall, 1995 Photo byjeanne Kassof advanced, or adept, in fact those on the spiritual path who are not masts, may progress from one plane to Thus, Mohammed was and is a mast in all essential particulars, with another and may also pass through a state between one plane and this remarkable exception ofhis having got between one plane and the next. Thus, such souls may be on, or between, any plane from another. This, ofcourse, is a broad generalization, and Baba, in this one to seven. Now a mast normally progresses only on the planes, context, quotes the lines of Hafiz: and never passes through the state ofbeing between one plane and “In the Path there are thousands ofsubtleties more fine than the another, until, having reached the sixth plane, he may enter a state hair ofthe head.” between the sixth plane and the seventh before becoming merged in As a result ofBaba’s contact, Mohammed never entered the fourth God (as in the case ofPaflukollah Baba ofKilakkarai, Nanga Baba plane, butjumped to a state between the fourth plane and the fifth, ofJasgiran, and Master Nemraji of Rohri. and then entered the fifth plane. He is now, Baba explains, on the Mohammed, however, by an extraordinary set of circumstances, fifth plane, and will not progress further in this life. These are the was an exception, and when brought to Rahuri in 1936 he was not bare bones ofMohammed’s spiritual history, and we will now turn only a mast, but was also between the third plane and the fourth. to his outer life with Baba. Normally, as already explained, only saints, advanced pilgrims and In the first place, no mast has had such prolonged contact with so forth, pass through this stage of being between the third plane Baba, for it is now eleven years since Mohammed was brought to the and the fourth, and in this condition they become dazed. This stage Rahuri Ashram in August, 1936, and no mast, despite the hundreds represents a kind of muqam-e-hairat of this section of the path. whom Baba has contacted, has proved quite so exacting. For some 28
spiritual reasons of his own, Baba insists that the slightest whim of a mast should be ftilfilled, and of all the masts Mohammed seems to have exhibited the most bizarre and capricious vagaries that put the patience of those charged with his care to the greatest possible test. Mohammed is by birth a Hindu, a potter by caste, born in Ratnagiri. and his real name is said to be Tukharam Chawan. He seems to have had a wife and two children in Ratnagiri, and when he became a mast, he left his home and hisjob as a potter and went to Bombay. It was in Bombay that he came to be called Mohammed, by Muslims who held him in respect, and this name has stuck to him ever since. He probably spent several years wandering about Bombay, and those who specialized in gambling on the day-to-day fluctuations of cotton prices used to hang around Moham med, hoping that he would give them tips from time to time. In this way, anyone who is peculiar, and especially one who is thought to be spirituallyadvanced, is pestered by petty speculators, wh interpret the merest gesture or fortuitous remark as a tip that may win a fortune. Mohammed was much vexed by such people, and now that his consciousness is better attuned to the things of this world, Photo by Padri Mohammed with Baba andBaidul in Rahuri, 1938 he sometimes talks ofhis early Bombay days, and ofhow these cotton figure gamblers would ply him with tea and morning, when Baba used to call him for a bath, it would generally take three men one hour to beguile him to the bathroom. food. Perhaps the most familiar attitude of Mohammed, even today, Pleader was the first to discover Mohammed in Bombay, and he brought him to the Rahuri Ashram in August 1936. Baba’s when his behaviour compared with that of the early years is as dif routine there was the usual one of shaving, bathing, feeding, and ferent as chalk from cheese, is one of bending down or squatting sitting with the inmates, and Mohammed was treated in the same and gazing at the ground, and picking at something there with his manner but at once was given conspicuous priority. Mohammed fingers. He often does this for hours at a stretch, and at such times, took fill advantage ofBaba’s instructions that the inmates should be ifasked what he is doing, he replies, “Deesh (drishta) pahato.” This given all they asked for, and his daily intake at that time consisted means, roughly, “I am looking at something I want.” He always refers to Baba as “Dada”, and in the early years, when of twelve bananas, four pounds of boiled beetroot, four ounces of pistachio, two large plates of rice and dal, six raw onions, twelve looking for “deesh” he used to grumble, “Dada has made me such, chapattis, twelve fill plates of cooked vegetables, six cups of tea in what can I do?” At other times he would explain that he was not seeing the “deesh” of his own volition, but that the divine force behind him the morning, and six cups in the afternoon! He used to sit most ofthe day near the door ofthe ashram, and made him do it. As a result of this perpetual picking at the ground, would roundly abuse and spit on anyone who came near him. At Mohammed’s fingers and thumbs have a rough and horny skin, and his night, he would repeatedly call Baidul to bring another blanket nails are worn almost to the quick, and are thick and broken. Those familiar with the history ofBaba’s life will recall that in the for him, although he obviously had no physical need of any more coverings. This grotesque behaviour went on throughout the Rahuri summer of 1937, he went for several months to Cannes with a large phase, and continued unabated when the ashram moved to Mehe group ofeastern and western disciples. Shortly after Baba arrived in rabad the following April. He then began to dig holes in the ground Cannes, he cabled instructions for Mohammed to be brought there. with his hands, and would frequently order Baidul to pull down the The reader may by now have gathered how tiresome Mohammed ashram, and when he was told that this could not be done, would could be, and he will thus be able to visualize how difficult it must burst into tears. At four in the morning, when the ashram staff have been to steer him successMly through the routine ofgetting his was struggling with the lighting of fires to make tea, Mohammed passport. This meant a personal appearance before an august official, would shout impatiently for someone to help him at the toilet. He and those carrying out this work were in an agony of suspense lest would stand from six in the morning until eight o’clock cleaning their wayward Mohammed should suddenly abuse and spit on the his teeth, would call petulantly for a ftill bucket ofwater with which official. All, however, went well, the formalities were completed, to clean his mouth, and when this was brought would have it sent and Mohammed was prepared for the voyage, and was told that he away, only to shout for it again after a few minutes. Later in the was going to France to see his “Dada.” 29
on the appointed day Mohammed, booted and spurred for the occasion, was led by Baidul up the slope of the ship’s gangplank, and was taken at once to his cabin. Some rumour of his queerness reached the ears of the ship’s surgeon, who arrived at the cabin, and demanded that Mohammed should be accommodated in the ship’s hospital. Adi, who was in charge of the party managed to convince the surgeon that he would answer for Mohammed’s behaviour and he was finally allowed to stay in his cabin. Baidul, whose job was to care for Mohammed, now found himself tied to him for 24 hours of the day, When Mohammed’s meal was brought to the cabin, he would not only reftise to eat it, but with totalitarian arrogance he would order it to be sent away at once. Then about half an hour later when Baidul’s food was brought in, Mohammed would insist on eating this, and poor Baidul would be left hungry. When Mohammed was taken on deck, he would make himself conspicuous by bending down and picking at “deesh”, would collect old matches and cigarette ends that littered the deck, and when Baidul attempted to drag him away, Mohammed would break into a torrent of vituperation... .As soon as Mohammed arrived in Cannes, Baba began his usual daily routine ofbathing and feeding him. He was lodged in a room over the garage, and one small room was adapted to make a bathroom after the Indian style. The chief difficulty of these baths was to get Mohammed clothed thereafter, for he would stand naked, trying to make up his mind to allow his vest to be put on. He seemed like an over-cautious child on the edge of a swimming bath, hesitating to plunge into the cold and uninviting water. He would tell Baba to put his vest on, and when it was held over him, and was about to be drawn over his head, he would suddenly shoutlike a frightened child, “No, no,” and push it away. Eventually, to the relief of . .
all, he would have the vest on, and would then suddenly demand to have it removed again. This sort of thing went on every day, and it would often take one hour to dress Mohammed in the simplest clothes. These examples of his conduct are not exaggerated, and they illustrate the importance Baba attaches to doing everything that a mast asks; their foibles must be gratified, and their slightest wish must not be gainsaid. After returning to India in November 1937, until the autumn of 1940, Mohammed’s history is closely linked with that of Baba, for during these years he was with Baba almost everywhere he went. I now find it impossible to do justice to the gradual transition from this early phase [of behaviour] to his present cooperative and friendly attitude, both to other people, and to the world in general. The external aspect of this transition has been like the spectrum, where one colour blends imperceptibly into the next, without any precise lines of demarcation. Until October 1940, Mohammed nestled close under Baba’s wing, and from that time forth it seemed as if the work of attending to his spiritual nurture was more or less complete, for at the end of October Mohammed was sent to Bombay, where he stayed for some months with Au Akbar. From Bombay, he was later sent down the coast to Ratnagiri, his old home, but in January 1942 was brought back again to Meherabad, and is now a permanent resident there. From an indifferent observer’s point ofview, the mitigating feature of Mohammed’s early years was his love for Baba, or “Dada” as he . .
Baba andBaidul bathing Mohammed, Bangalore, 1939-40
Photo by Padri
Photo by Padri
Baba with Masts in Bangalore, 1939-40
used to call him. However contumacious and difficult he may have been towards everyone else, he seemed really to adore Baba, and to long for his daily visits. Every day when Baba came, it was as if a brilliant flame were kindled in the depths of Mohammed’s being, that for a momentlit up the dark and tangled ways, and slowly these fleeting moments ofinner radiance have grown more and more sustained, so that Mohammed today is, for the most part, a harmonious and agreeable inmate of the ashram. He now radiates something unusual and charming, he has a perspicacity that misses little ofwhat goes on in the ashram, and he adopts a kind of avuncular interest in everyone’s welfare. In his odd way, he tries to express his recognition of Baba’s spiritual greatness, and the following are some ofhis statements about Baba, whom, as I have already explained, he always refers to as “Dada:” “Dada is God.” “Dada is Master.” “Everything depends on Dada’s wilL” “Because Dada is there the world is there.” “Dada is the Master of Mercy.” Even today, despite this great change in character, Mohammed still has the clumsiest control of his body. When he walks, he leans forward, arms dangling at his sides, and stumbles along with his toes turned slightly inwards, and looks as if he might topple over any moment, like a child learning to walk. ...His voice has somehow caught the habit of a
defective gramophone record, for he repeats almost every phrase several times over. This repetition is particularly manifest when he says something rather clever, and as ifpleased with his smartness, he recites one phrase ten or twelve times in a loud, sing-song tone. He also gets puzzled by difficult consonants, and rounds offthe sharp corners of tricky words, rather as a child does... His mood nowadays is usually good, but like many ofus who are not at our brightest in the morning, Mohammed has a scowl on his face for the first hour or two after ris ing. Ifyou talk to him then, he either takes no notice or tells you to shut up, but with nothing like the force and wealth of epithet of his early years. He has a habit, at times, of draping his blanket over himself, and standing for two or three hours at a stretch, his body bent forward to a right angle or more. Sometimes, with the blanket thrown over himselfin the same way, he squats on his heels and bends his body forward, so that his elbows rest on the ground, and his head nestles, one supposes, between his elbows. (A supposition, because he is under the blanket.) It is the oddest sight to see this queer shape draped in a brown homespun blanket, a motionless figure that suggests an eccentric article of furniture, rather than a concealed and static human form. At such times, if Mohammed is asked Photo by Padri what he is doing, he either abuses the inquisitive questioner, or explains that it is his habit to stand or squat in this way, and he ends the matter by exclaiming, “You wouldn’t understand.” When engrossed in “deesh,” Mohammed takes little notice of
BabafeedingMoharnrned, Bangalore, 1939-40
Photo by Padri
what goes on around him, but he now spends the greater part ofthe day standing or sitting on the back verandah at Meherabad, whence he keeps an eye on all who come and go. If a baby buffalo escapes from its pen, he shouts to a farm hand to have it caught; if something is left in the open when a shower ofrain comes pelting down, he calls someone to bring it under shelter. Those who pass to and fro about their business he orders about in a friendly and cheerftslway, and when the gong for meals is sounded, he tells laggards to go for their food. He knows all the men in the ashram, all the regular farm hands and servants, and all the animals by their names, and he takes a vivid and critical interest in everything that goes on. Despite this capacity for acute observa tion, he still lacks a sense ofjudgment. As an example of this, we may cite the following. He remembers quite well his visit to France in 1937, and for the past two or three years he has got it into his head that he must go to France again. Whenever Baba comes, he begs him to take him to France. As a result ofvarious discussions with Baba and Pendu, Mohammed has now come to believe that a sum of7l lakhs ofrupees has been put aside for his expenses, and that a specially chartered ship is being made ready for the voy age. At the time of writing (September, 1947), Mohammed’s plans are to leave for :: France in “Dissimla”—which is his way of pronouncing the word December. He is rather worried as to whether he will get rice there, for he has been told how the economy ofEurope has been upset by the war, and when “Dissimla” comes he will be given some other reason why it will not be possible for him to go to France just yet. About a year ago he was avidly keen to be off and every day made anxious inquiries about the progress of negotiations for passports and tickets. No however this passion for foreign travel seems to be gently waning, and perhaps by the end of the year he will not greatly care if he is told that his voyage is again postponed. A few years ago, he had an idea that he wanted to marry a fat wife, and have children, but this early ambi tion has now been supplanted by his desire to revisit the fair land of France. This deception may sound pathetic and unfair, but if Mohammed is told squarely that such and such a thing is impossible, he becomes morose and miserable, and sometimes bursts into tears. Like the vain hopes that encourage a man along the road from
Excerpts from Lord J44eIier rom early September , correspon dence had been exchanged with certain men mandali in India about bringing Mast Mohammed from Meherabad to Cannes. Adi Sr. and Baidul had been cabled to bring him, and his imminent arrival gave Baba’s Western lovers the impression that he would definitely be staying in Cannes for a considerable length of time. Baba Himself placed great importance on the mast’s ar rival and remarked, “If Mohammed does not come, I will send everyone back and return to India.” Baba’s plans were never fixed. As soon as His work was complete, He would leave the place on one pretext or another. Baba had originally gone to Cannes with plans to stay a fill year, but on October 7th, Baba shocked the group by announcing that He would be leaving Cannes to return to India within three weeks. No one expected Him to leave so soon, and Mast Mohammed had not yet even arrived, though he was already on the way by ship.
fling lighted cigarettes at them and spend much of his time hunched over collecting litter off the deck of the ship. Shocked, if not scared, the other passengers complained to the captain about him. Adi and Baidul were much harassed and embarrassed on account of his behavior. Finally, the only way Adi could keep control of Mohammed was to threaten that the police would come ifhe did not act properly. Responding like a child, Mohammed acted afraid ofthe idea of the police coming after him. At other times, Mohammed wouldlock himselfin the cabin and Adi would threaten to call the police if he did not come out. Again, Mohammed would comply. Norma and Elizabeth met Adi, Baidul and Mohammed at Marseilles and drove them directly to Cannes, reaching there at five o’clock on October 8th. Mohammed’s living accommodation was a room over the garage ofthe men mandali’s villa. From Oc tober 9th, Baba began sitting with him alone from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and again from 4: 00 pm to 8:00 pm each day. He would bathe Mohammed, bring his food from : 74asts havtjone nud bëanise ofod, the kitchen, feed him and do the “inner work” with him. As soon as Mohammed and bccausc ,ioiliirig can saiiate ti:iiLast hiiLod, arrived, Baba stopped most visitors com ing to Cannes to see Him for interviews it was vcry painful to gd J4lokaiinizedto 3rancc. and spent the remaining weeks absorbed in His work with the mast. Biit it ti;as i3aba’s wish and because 21e knows Baidul was on call night and day to serve Mohammed and the slightest oversuch iiiasts are riiad for tlicir EBe1ovcd : sight brought Baba’s stern rebuke. Once, .2k itiade tlic scciiiinqly impossible possibic. witnessing Baba’s harsh treatment toward Baidul, the Westerners were taken aback at Baba’s severity toward one ofHis closest In the first place, to get a person like Modisciples. Baba explained, “My work is uphammed a passport was in itself amazing, permost. Mohammed represents Germany, since it could not be procured without his so you can imagine the significance of his signature. How would the authorities issue coming here to France and the importance a passport to a man whom ordinary people ofmyworkwith him at this point in time.” would consider mad? But Baba gave Adi Baba later commented that Germany was Sr. and Sarosh an idea, and they succeeded experiencing “mass psychosis” under Adolf in getting the mast a passport on the basis Hitler’s leadership, and when Meher Baba that he was a mental patient and was going was in France at this time, Hitler was com to France for treatment. The day they de ing into full military power, as was his ally parted, Mohammed’s mood was extremely Benito Mussolini in Italy. foul. But Adi and Baidul managed to board One visitor whom Baba did permit to the Strathaird with the resistant mast and stay in Cannes was Mercedes D’Acosta from sailed from Bombay for France on Septem Hollywood, who arrived on October 21st. ber 25th, 1937. One afternoon, Baba went for a drive with Mast Mohammed proved a terrible her and He decided to take Mohammed nuisance on the ship. He would abuse or along. They drove in a convertible, and just Continuedonpage 9 curse the other passengers to their face, as the chauffeur slowed down for the traffic .
in Nice, Mohammed began shouting at the top of his lungs. A policeman stopped the car and looked at Baba, asking what the trouble was. Baba put his hand to his mouth to indicate that he did not speak. Mohammed started shouting louder and then began to sing as loud as he could. At this point, Mercedes took it upon herself to explain the situation to the policeman, saying, “These gentlemen are from India. This gentleman has taken a vow of silence and the other is a mentally il_i Hindu undergoing treatment here, but he is harmless.” The policeman was wonderstruck; coming across such odd persons was too much for him. Shrugging his shoulders, he waved his hand and told them to be on their way. Vol. 2 ,pp. 6 2 6 -28 After leaving Marseilles, Baba had begun giving baths to Mast Mohammed in his cabin’s bathroom. This was no simple or easy task. It would take hours to bathe the mast. It usually took one hourjust to take off his sandals, for every time Baba would try Mohammed would kick his feet. Protesting the entire time, Mohammed would allow his sandals to be taken offhis feet only very, veryhesitatingly. Likewise, while undressing him and again putting his clothes back on after the bath, and again making him put it was a battle all the way! on his sandals Although Baba’s health was suffering, he nevertheless would pamper Mohammed’s whims and moods for hours on end. vol. 6, p. 2236 After his return from France, Baba was occupied in His mast and mad work in lower Meherabad. On Sunday, December 19th , Dhake came to see Baba at Meherabad. Baba came down the Hill and, after discussing certain matters with Pendu and Dhake, He got up and walked hurriedly to the Mast Ashram. Masaji handed him a broom. Baba rolled up His sleeves and pants and went directly to the inmates’ toilets. He removed the pot from inside, carried it a distance, emptied it in a pit, scoured it with a broom and poured disinfectant in it. Baba then put the pot back, saw that the toilet area was sanitary, and left for the bathing room, where Mast Mohammed was being coaxed into taking a bath. This time Mohammed only relented after he was promised another voyage to Europe in one month. vol. 7, p. 2243 —
On Sunday, September 25th, 1938,
[the play] Raja Gopichand was enacted
and lovers from Bombay, Poona, Nasik and Ahmednagar came for the unique perfor mance. The women mandali from Upper Meherabad also attended. None had ever seen anything quite like this in their lives. The masts and mad played their parts so well, the audience was amazed how good theywere as actors. Some thought they were professionals. The “God-Mad Ashram Spe cial Program” was in seven parts. It was a marvelous event in this Avataric advent, never to be seen again. How could masts be made to act when they are uncon scious of their physical bodies? How could mad persons be controlled to participate in a play? Yet, both groups did so to near perfec tion as ifprofessionals. It was an unequaled spectacle, never repeated at Meherabad the result of nothing but the Master’s leela! His own divine play! Two days after the play, on September 27th, eighteen of the thirty-six inmates were sent away to their respective towns or villages. Although this left eighteen in the mast and mad ashram, Mast Mohammed was the main occupant at this time and he received most ofthe attention. Mohammed would take hours in everything he did to eat, bathe, dress; every physical fhnction was tortuous for those who cared for him and all the caretakers had been ordered to com ply with his every whim or wish. Baba explained that the play and the departure of the inmates was connected with world conditions. War in Europe was inevitable. The day Baba sent away the first inmates, he remarked to the women, “AU Europe is preparing for it. It means war. Russia, France and England against Ger many, Italy and others.” [Gary Kleiner responded —
to our query about whetherMohammed was actually in theplay or not. EricNadel, who spent quite a long time caringfor Mohammed reports that he personally toldEric that he (Mohammed) hadbeen in the play and he didplay apart, although which one it was is unknown.]
Vol.7p 2324 Mast Mohammed had been brought to Jabalpur in the middle ofDecember . Baba bathed and fed him daily. He would also sit in seclusion with Mohammed for His work, and no one was allowed to be near. Eruch was the mast’s personal atten dant as Baba had sent Pleader to Bombay. Mohammed would want a certain vegetable, and Eruch would bring it from the market. Once, when Mohammed wanted peas, Gai mai cooked some other vegetable because peas were not available. Butwhen Baba took lunch to him to feed him, Mohammed cried
out, “Where are my peas? Why didn’t Gai mai prepare them? Call her here!” On Baba’s orders, Eruch brought Gai mai, and Baba gestured to Mohammed, “She did not cook peas for you today, so I am going to punish her.” He raised his hand as if to strike her. But Mohammed shouted, “No, no! Don’t beat her; forgive her. Today, I will eat something else.” The problem was solved and Mohammed was happy, thanks to Baba’s ruse. Vol. 7, p. 2366 Baba also began visiting the majzoob Chacha at his seat every night for the rest of his stay in Ajmer [February, 1939]. He would go at 3:30 A.M. to avoid the crowds and contact Chacha in privacy. Baba did something unusual in Ajmer which he had never done before. He kept Lakhan Shah, who two masts with him was on the sixth plane, and Qbrinstanwala, nicknamed “Socrates” by Baba, who was on in His own room in the the fifth plane bungalow. Mast Mohammed was staying in a separate room in the same house. When Mohammed was brought to meet the new masts he would say, “Do this Dada wants you to do it.” Vol. 7, p. 2387 —
[September 20, 1940] The day before yesterday, Mohammed wept and said: “Dada, I never expected you to lie to me! You told me mywife is coming, and where is she?” And here he wept, not because his wife did not come, but because I lied to him! Then we arranged for an old woman to come with a child in her arms and a bandage over her eyes, and we taught her to say to him, “I will come when I am well, as now you can see I’m ill.” She was taken to Mohammed, and on seeing her, he said, “Oh, you have grown old,” and she played her part well. So Mohammed is happy, because I kept my word. He advised her to put surma (medicine) in her eyes, and then forgot about her completely. There and then he bent down to gather stones. Now he is satisfied I did not lie to him. He is just like a child. Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the Path. Vo172616 [In Meherabad on October 17th, 1940] .Baba remarked about Mast Mohammed, “Great news today! Mohammed said, ‘I don’t want mywife. She is always sick. There is always something wrong with her. Give me a peacock instead! I am your peacock; . .
where’s mine?’ And then he starts uttering the sound ofa peacock!” Vol. 7, p. 2625 24th January 1939...Mast Mohammed had been in Bombay more than a year and Aloba was not having an easy time with him there. Mohammed first began by throwing his plate, spoon and glass out of the first floorwindow ofthe rooms Aloba had rented, hitting pedestrians below. This problem was solved by putting a screen over the window. Next headache for Aloba, Mohammed would occupy the sole toilet ofthe building for four to five hours every morning, and abuse the tenants who would come to use it before leaving for their jobs. Aloba then made a private potty for Mohammed in his room, teffing him the common toilet was out of order and being repaired. After a few weeks, Mohammed began repeatedly saying, “I want to go to Ratnagiri my home.”Aloba ignored him at first, but kept being pestered by this request. Aloba finally wrote to Baba, who wrote back: “Send Mohammed to Ratnagiri.” It was the middle ofthe war and very difficult to obtain steamship tickets, but after a few failed attempts, Aloba succeeded and pur chased two tickets from Bombay. on the morning they were to depart, Mohammed began weeping, crying out, “I doiñ want to go to Ratnagiri! I doiñ want to go!’-’ Baba had instructed Aloba to find a man from Ratnagiri to take Mohammed on the ship. Aloba did this. Mohammed left, al though he was weeping when he departed. After six months passed, Baba wrote Aloba, informing him to bring Mohammed for a day. Aloba cut out a picture ofthe mast from the book The Perfect Master and gave it to a man who then found Mohammed and brought him back to Bombay. Mohammed was taken to Baba for a day on January 9th. Baba worked with him for a few hours, and gave him a bath and a new kafni. Mohammed told Baba, “I want to go back to Ratnagiri.” Although Aloba was by now completely fed up with handling the mast, Baba ordered him to take Mohammed back to Bombay. Aloba had no choice but to comply. On the train returning, Mohammed also gave a lot of trouble, and by the time they anived in Bombay, Aloba was on the verge of tears. Vol. 8, p. 2754 —
Much to Aloba’s relief Mast Moham med was brought back to Meherabad from Bombay to stay permanently near Baba on January 13th, 1942.
Vol. 8, p. 2757 Baba wished to go into seclusion for His work for fifteen days, and a bungalow two miles from Prospect Lodge was rented. It was called Glen Vie and Baba moved there on October 5th, with Kaka, Baidul, Gustadji and Adi Sr. In the men mandali’s house were Eruch, Krishna, Masaji, Nilu, Venkoba Rao and Vishnu. Baba began fasting on Monday, the 5th of October , taking only water that day. From October 6th, He began fasting on tea and dal taken twice a day. On October 8th, according to Baba’s instructions, Sidhu brought Mast Mohammed to Lonavla from Meherabad. Baba also wanted Uderman Mastan in Lonavla, and Baidul was also sent that day to Kathgodam to bring the mast. He arrived back on the 12th, and Baba began working with these two masts and seeing no one else. Baba’s schedule during His seclusion was as follows: 6 a.m.—Baba would come out of His room; 7 a.m.—Bath; 8 a.m.—Tea. 8:30 11:30 a.m.—Work in seclusion in His room with the two masts, Mohammed and Uderman Mastan. Noon 4 p.m.—Rest. 4 5 p.m.—Again work in seclusion with the two masts. 5 p.m.—Meet with Vishnu. Vol. 8, p. 2816 -
The next day,January25th , Baba left Meherabad for Khuldabad via Aurang abad with Baidul, Gustadji and the Mast Mohammed. Adi Sr. drove the group in his car. To make advance preparations, Kaka and Chhagan had preceded them. Reaching Khuldabad, Baba began His work with Mohammed in seclusion, which lasted seven days. During this period, the high mast Mai Bap was also brought to Baba’s bungalow for seclusion work. Vol. 8, p. 2844 [November 9, 1955]As Baba was walking behind the main bungalo Mast Moham med suddenly emerged from the Rahuri Cabin, where he had been kept for part ofthe sahavas, and grabbed Baba’s hand. He would not let go, and led “Dada” into his room. Kumar and Vishnu were standing outside and witnessed a spectacular occurrence. Moham med was grasping Baba’s left wrist with his right hand. Both were facing the door of the cabin as Baba explained to Mohammed that
he was in a hurry and had to leave. After a few moments, Mohammed began swinging Baba’s arm back and forth, and then said, “Acha, jao, jao.” (“Okay, go. Go.”) Kumar and Vishnu both saw the hair on the back of Baba’s head gradually rise and form into a tuft or crown with a halo over and around it. The cluster ofhair grew bril liant and turned into rays. Kumar thought perhaps he was imagining it, but later Vish nu asked him, “Did you see anything when Baba and Mast Mohammed were together?” Kumar said he had and described it. Vishnu confirmed that he, too, had seen the same thing and gave a huge sigh. “Atlast,” he said, “after thirty years of being with him, Baba has finally given me darshan and that, too, perhaps by the grace of Mohammed!” Vol. 8, p. 4707 —
[January 30, 1969] At one point, Baba began moving his fingers to give Bhau a line for a ghazal, but he was overtaken by a ter rible spasm. Bhau pleaded with him, “Baba, do not dictate anything now. You are in too much pain.” And Baba stopped. Padri was called to stay in Meherazad for seven days, and he arrived that evening on his motorcycle. After Padri had left Meherabad, Mast Mohammed asked Sidhu where Padri had gone. Sidhu told him that he had been called to Meherazad to assist the mandali, as Baba was not well. Hearing this, Mast Mohammed, who would mostly mutter unintelligibly, clearly said, “Padri will come back tomorrow.” Sidhu said, “No, Baba has called him for seven days.” Mast Mohammed then said, “Tomor row Dada (Baba) is coming here and is going to join Gustadji.” (Gustadji had died in 1958.) Vol. 20 p. 6710 When Mast Mohammed was informed that Baba had dropped His body, he said in Marathi in cryptic fashion,
“7Jada has gone, -I
uut win come vaci.
Vol. 20 p. 6722 After sunrise there was a tremendous rush of people to Meherabad, as newspa pers in Poona, Ahmednagar and other areas publicized that February 7th  would be the final day of darshan and Baba’s body would be interred at 12:15 p.m., exactly continued onpage 37
Jjfl 7 ..:C11iO11S don’t know if you knew that I once had an experience with Mohammed that I have not generally shared with others. I once told the story at the Center but not again since then. Here goes. In 1991, almost 40 years after meeting Meher Baba in NYC I decided it was time to go to India. My life was clearly going through radical changes and I thought it was now time to go to Baba’s tomb and see what he wanted me to do with the rest of my life. My marriage was over and my children grown and gone and my fttture life had all the possibilities of an empty pit. In late August of that year I took off for India alone with the intention ofthrowing myselfat Baba’s feet. It was an amaz ing trip and traveling alone made it even madder and more disorienting. Time slowed or moved faster without rhyme or reason. I was moving through a dream and even now I’m un sure of how I got there. At any point in the trip I felt I would get lost in the bowels oflndia and never be seen again. There were magical scenes of almost surreal events that I remember like outtakes from a grade B movie. But somehow I got to the Pilgrim Center and collapsed at the gateway into Heather’s arms. (As I remember, but perhaps not literally.) I was given a wonderfid room by myself, just off the entrance. Now that I think about it, it seemed far too luxurious for cipher but there I was. I promptly fell asleep and slept until the next morning and went out for breakfast. As I sat there eating alone and wondering what was going to happen and what to do next, I noticed a man looking at me from outside the dining room. I would look up and he would look away and move on, and he did this several times. Before I left the room to see what was going on and how to get to Baba’s tomb he came in and introduced himself as Erico and asked if I would like to join him in bathing Mohammed on the following Monday. Not knowing what else to say I agreed, but I had no idea what this meant or who Mohammed was and what was required, but I agreed and Erico said he would come and get me on Monday morning at 8:00 AM. This was on Friday and I had the next three days to play the mind games that accompany uncertainty I spent the weekend getting acclimated to life at the Pilgrim Center meeting the other pilgrims and occasionally asking more about this Mohammed fellow. The stories were, to say the least, unsettling, and for me very frightening. I found out from someone that Erico was leaving for the US shortly. This just added to my growing fears so that I began to dread this unusual promise I had made. I was a total tenderfoot, shy and not even willing to let anyone know that I had met Meher Baba years before. I wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible and somehow I had gotten into this “promise” that I was not prepared for at any level. By that Monday morning I was totally convinced that I was drawn to India to live the rest of my life as a caretaker of a mast who ever that was. I couldn’t even go to the tomb that morning; I just hid in my room trembling with uncertainty until 8 Am when Erico came for me. We went to get the four buckets ofwater that would constitute Mohammed’s bath. One hot and two cold 5 gallon stainless steel
Mohammed drawing in his room, 1999
Photo by Bif Soper
buckets drawn at the kitchen and taken slowly without spilling to Mohammed’s place on the porch. I wanted to do this right and in some ways it was a relief to finally have my life in better hands than mine. Erico introduced me to Mohammed and I sat in a chair waiting for Mohammed to agree. He looked at me and agreed that I could help with his bath. Erico said he would carry the water to the bath and I would accompanyMohammed to the bath through the meeting room to the bath at the end ofthe building. Mohammed took my hand in an iron grip and with his back bent and his fingers on the ground, (looking for “deesh”) he led me slowly, bent in two from the porch to the bath. It took close to twenty minutes to walk that short distance and by the time I got there I thought my back was broken. It was the longest twenty minutes ofmylife. I watched Mohammed clear a path through the dirt with scrupulous dedication for twenty minutes while holding my hand 4 inches above the ground. In the bath, Mohammed had his shirt taken off and he sat on a short stool and with Erico leading the way we began to rinse, soap up and rinse again. It was natural and simple and as I began to wash his head I put my hands across his eyes to shield them from the soapywater. And then suddenly from out ofnowhere I got the urge to sing the Cole Porter Song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” replacing ‘smoke’ with ‘soap’. Oddly enough between Erico and myself we 35
knew most of the lyrics and we sang with deep emotion and gusto the odd lyrics ofthe song perfectly spiritual in the recognition of a great love. Mohammed loved it, probably as much as I did. I was ecstatic and perfectly involved in this song ofunrequited love. so laughing friends decry tears I cannot hide, I of course replied soap gets in your eyes. It was thrilling, so natural and frill of love. Mohammed told Erico to give me a bar of his soap (which I still have) and his shirt, which I keep with Baba’s sadra in my bedroom. I don’t have the slightest idea why or how any of this happened and I can’t presume to read anything into it more than what I have told you—just what happened. Although it was a spectacular mo ment in my life I have never spoken to Erico about the event, nor has he ever attempted to talk with me again about the event. I am glad that I was not to be his replacement—I couldn’t do his job. I guess for him it was just another day in the life, but for me it was extraordinary. I never talk about it these days, but now that Mohammed has gone to Baba I feel I should say something to someone, to tell this little bit of a story about love songs and masts, fears and misgivings and the uncertainty oflife itself But singing love songs to a 5t1 plane master in the bath has its moments. —
“. . .
iayes, .AustralLa !:thy 2
he following incident occurred on my pilgrimage to Baba’s Samadhi in India in 1986: On the 24th ofFebruar the day before Meher Baba’s birthday. Marge Liboiron asked Wendell Brustman and myselfto come to a room at the front ofthe main lower Meherabad building and collect decorations to be taken to upper Meherabad for Baba’s Samadhi. We walked along the track behind the building to cut through Baba’s Meeting hall. We said “Jai Baba” to Mohammed the mast as we briskly walked through the hail. Mohammed started talking and gestured for me to come to him. On approaching him we discovered he had had an accident with his toilet, the smell was strong and he had yellow stains down the front of his dress and on some paper he had in his hand. He pressed the paper into my hand, talking as he did. I thought he wanted me to throw it into the refuse can, but twice when I gestured that I would do this he let me know that this was not what he wanted and pushing my hand away he took the paper and put it in the right hand pocket of my jeans. When we went outside Wendell forcefully said, “Throw it away, it has his excreta all over it and it stinks.” I replied, “I can’t, he is Baba’s mast and he didn’t want me to throw it away.” Marge gave us the decorations to take up the hill. Fortunately they were long lengths of material which were folded across the top of my outstretched arms and I didn’t have to touch them. Wendell held them in place and we trekked up the hill and then they were taken from me by other workers. Myleft hand indeed smelt, so I washed my hands and forgetting about the incident proceeded to put up the decorations for Baba’s Birthday. On a few occasions during the morning I began to slide my hand into my pocket to get a handkerchief which was under the paper, instantly remembering I would rush off and wash my hands. The next time that I remembered the paper in my pocket was
much later in the afternoon when about six of us were enjoying watching some ofWendell’s witness series videos in our room. A foul smell engulfed me and I thought, “These poor fellows, most of them have no idea what is causing this smell.” As I wondered what to do the thought came to me that today was my bath day and as I had a good supply of trousers I could put the jeans aside till I worked out what to do with them. After I had undressed in the bath cubicle I thought I would smell the outside the pocket to see just how much the bad odour was permeating through the pocket. I stood in disbelief when I inhaled a sweet perftsme. And I’m sure my mouth literally hung open as I opened my pocket to see about twenty pieces of prasad and a few pieces of chocolate sitting on top of a piece of clean paper. Wendell and Bill McCoy (my room mates) were astonished when I showed them the prasad and they examined the inside of the pocket to find it unstained and sweet smelling (It maintained the fragrance for about a week). I felt that Baba had played a huge joke on me. Then my mind started to try to pull apart what had happened. Perhaps Moham med had pulled a switch and given me the prasad in the first place or he had just created an illusion in our minds. I felt embarrassed and tried to convince Wendell that perhaps we didn’t see what had happened but he insisted that he saw exactly what took place. Later it came to my mind that the chocolate would have melted in a short time with my body heat, let alone in the hot sun in which we worked a good part ofthe morning. Eric Nadel confirmed that Mohammed was in the condition that we saw him that morning. I stopped fighting and accepted what had happened. Daily, I enjoyed the prasad over the rest of my pilgrimage. The next time I was sitting in Baba’s Samadhi it dawned on me that it wasn’tjust ajoke. The prasad was from Baba Himselfand it was indeed a blessing that my Lord had given me. The jeans—I didn’t ever wear again, they became covered with mould hanging in my dressing room and I eventually threw them out. An after thought—perhaps the following addition to the story has something to do with what happened: At Sydney airport, on my way to that Pilgrimage in 1986 I had bought a large box ofchocolates with macadamia centers thinking that Baba’s Mehera would like them. I didn’t take them to Mehe razad straight away. The smell of chocolate permeated my locker and my chocoholic brain started thinking “she doesiñ even know I have brought them.” Anyho I resisted temptation and gave the chocolates to Mehera and she and the other women mandali enjoyed them. 7 O :e,
twas myfirst trip to India, 1985-’86 and during those first weeks I would occasionally pass by where Mohammed Mast was staying and sometimes say hello or offer him a treat that I heard he liked—chocolate or bar soap is what comes to mind, but who knows WI am remembering the details correctly! Anyway, one ofthese times Mohammed offered me a large bunch ofgreen grapes. Naturally I accepted, quite delighted at the privilege ofreceiving such a special gift (grapes=wine) from such an incredibly special person, one so close to Baba. Now this being my first visit, there’d been a certain amount of emphasis on things that a pilgrim “should” do, and one of them was not eating ANY fruit without first sending it to the kitchen where Alan would do his magic and make it “safe” for foreigners to
consume. I’d received these grapes from Mohammed shortly before the bus was scheduled to leave the Pilgrim Center to take us all to Meherazad for a visit with the Mandali, and running through my mind was the injunction of “wash the fruit”. .but at the same time that that thought appeared, another more powerftil one arose and said “what, are you kidding? This is a gift from Baba, via one of his dear ones, and you are going to wash them?! Where is your trust and faith?” Every person I asked about whether or not I should wash them, even with their knowing from whom they came, said it was wise to wash them before eating. Still, my inner being said “no way”, and so I didn’t. I took them with me on the bus ride to Meherazad and once there, I sat in Mehera’s rose garden, savoring each grape one by one, delighting in my gift and decision...and, of course, never having the slightest ill effect from it. .
3a:iC. th arrived in India, for myvery first time, on the 11 ofJanuary, ‘03, and was immediately awestruck. Little did I know that a week later I would be knocked into the next world, be peed on by a Mast, and feel totally blessed at the same time. When I first arrived at Meherabad, I felt like I had returned home. I am sure many folks say that, but the ease of me being there was nothinglike I had experienced-ever! Being the good little newbie I signed up for “the tour” withJudy. I almost did not go but something told me it was important. What the heck, I trundled off As we came around the side ofMandali Hall, I suddenly felt a surge of energy. A hot flash perhaps? Not quite. I felt as though I was slammed against the wall by a frosty blue whitejet stream that blew through my chest. It had the force of a fire hose or better. I literally could not catch my breath and started to sob uncontrollably. I was truly gasping for air! Thinking I would fall down, I held on to my dear friend Katie, and tried not to make a spectacle of myself I looked toward the veranda of Mandali Hall, and saw a stooped being shrouded in a cobalt blue shawl, sitting in a chair. I began to tremble and thought I was going to throw-up. I asked Katie, who or what is that? I felt like the source of my panic was emanating from that chair. OK, now I am in India and I am going to lose my mind. Great! She told me that it was the mast, Mohammed. He was the mast that was cared for by Baba. I felt frightened, yet drawn to him in a strange way. As I walked by this bent figure, I could not see his face. I gave him a very wide berth and noticed the sign above his head to not approach him. No problem. Even though I was sobbing and feeling like I was going to pass out the whole time, I could not take my heart off him. Later that day, on the front porch ofMeherabad, Erico—who I had not met yet—said to me: “Hey are you the nurse?” “Yes.” “Do you want to give Mohammed his meds this afternoon?” ‘Are you kidding?” I replied in a somewhat shaky voice. I was dumbstruck by his question. I figured he lived here and knew about the Western women thing. “Only ifyou want to,” he said, and seemed about to dismiss me. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, I’d be honored.” “Well it may not happen; he can be a little feisty! Be there at 4:30 sharp.” That was it. Oh, Baba, what am I going to do now? I am committed. I thought
I might die, yet I was so excited and terrified all at the same time. I spent the rest of the day changing my clothes a hundred times and waited, not so patiently, for 4:30. I could barely sit still. I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong. At 4:30, I went over to the veranda ofMandali Hall and there he was, sitting alone in a hospital gown. Kumal, his attendant was there and quietly signaled me to sit behind him and wait. I sat behind him for quite sometime and I know he knew I was there. He kept trying to turn to see who was watching his back. Kumal, or Emlie as Mohammed called her, kept reassuring him that I was OK and that I was a nurse. Slowly I slid around to face him. I was struck by the intensity and beauty ofhis face. His rheumy eyes were blue and hazy. He did look a little madJangr but I smiled at him with all of my heart. I was handed a big cup of milk, and it took him a minute or two to take a sip. He did not seem too sure of me and kept looking back and forth between me and Kumal. Once he took his first sip, I knew we’d be OK. I never took my eyes off him, nor did he me. After a time his stare seemed more intense, and he started saying something like, “Da, da doom” [which meant thunder according to Kumal] over and over again, all the while looking deep into my eyes with increasing intensity When I said it back to him, with the same intensity he raised his eyebrows and a grumble of a giggle boiled up from deep inside his belly, and ofcourse I started to cr From that point on, our visit took on an ease and he finished the entire cup ofmilk without a fight, and took his pills! Time seemed to stand stilt I then had the added privilege of taking him for his afternoon walk up and down the veranda and through Mandali Hail. He was bent at the waist, and as light as a feather. What was astounding was the strength ofhis grip on my hand. I’m not sure who was holding who up, I felt pretty light myself He seemed to float as he walked, slowly and grumbling all the way. I never thought he’d let go of my hand and I did not care. I felt ofgreat service and very blessed. This moment could have gone on and on. Suddenly he stopped short, and then picked up his pace with certain urgency. At the door of Mandali Hall, he stopped again a felt this warm sensation on my leg and foot. He was urinating and I on my foot!! How great is that!! Being peed on by a mast. gallons it Not sure fazed him, but I was delighted. It was through Baba’s grace that I had this opportunity be with Mohammed. Thank you, Baba. I had the addedjoy ofputting him to bed and tucking him in. I kissed him on the forehead, thanked him and told him I would see him again. When I got the call that Mohammed had dropped his body, I felt an incredible ache where the jet stream blew through me, on ofJanuary, 2003, at Meherabad. the So long Mohammed, See you soon. Excerptsfrom LordMeher continziedfroinpage 34
seven days after He dropped his body. Mast Mohammed was led up to the Tomb by Padri and Sidhu from lower Meherabad. Mohammed stood at the threshold of the Tomb, but would not step inside even when urged to do so. He kept repeating in Marathi, “Pahile, pahile!” meaning “Seen, seen!” and then “Bus, bus!” meaning “Enough, enough!” and he was kept calm and escorted back to his room. Later, referring to the Tomb, not there.” Mohammed would utter, “Dada is not there. Vol. 20 p. 6735 .
i t 9 h
. . f EflLiCl...
Catherine 2iley, 2’Iorth Carolina what about Eruch having to hear the same questions over and over again? So I finally said, “Eruch, how can you do it? You sit there in Mandali Hall year after year, sharing and giving and answering the same questions year after : year after year? How do you do it?!” He waited just a tiny minute and then answered, : lovingly, “Whatever Baba has F given me, that I do. I am like a : strawbiown about in His wind. Wherever He blows my little piece of straw, that is where I go, that is what I do.” I knew that this was so. no ego of his own left! A monumental man. .Baba called him His ‘Peter’ and he had this very presence. I will never forget that day alone with Eruch on Seclusion Hill, feeling his total surrender to his Lord and Master. What an inspiration for me and for us all!!!!! Another fond memory was of the day that I was on the porch outside Mandali Hall, trying to wind up a child’s toy that was a bird with a rubber band below. When you wound up the rubber band and threw it into the air, the little bird would fly up into the air for a moment before crashing to the ground. I was trying and trying to make this birdie fly higher and higher without realizing that Eruch must have been watching my efforts. All at once he came along and asked what I was doing and I replied that I was trying to get the little birdie to re ally soar. He grabbed me lovingly and said, “Wonderful! Always remain that way! Remain a child at heart. You don’t have to marry and have children. Just become the child that you would have created! Remain a child at heart!” I’ll never forget the love and excitement in his voice! Another very meaningful interchange with Eruch was a simple statement that he threw my way during a trip to India after I’d helped make a Baba album in Nashville. This record, ‘The Ancient One’, had been very successful. I was singing a lot at the Center and many people who came to the Center would know of me from the record ‘
ne of my
fondest memories of Eruch was the day that he asked if I wanted O to go up Seclusion
Hill. Eruch was often asked to do this and a group would all trek up together. He’d talk of Baba’s seclusion work there and the suffering Baba would go through during these times. As we pre pared to go, I realized that I was the only one present. .and I asked, “Isn’t anyone else going?” You see, I loved Eruch but I was also in awe of him, because he was so monumental to me and so incredible! Sometimes I felt very shy around him and awkward. I felt also that he might throw me another ‘dig’, his habit ofpointing out a fault or trait that needed looking at...always true and necessary, but sometimes painful! He turned to me and very lovingly and with a teasing air asked, “Don’t you like my com pany?” I was so amazed that he’d take time to go up Seclusion Hill alone with me! We walked up together and sat very quietly on top, where the wind was blowing fiercely. As we sat there siIentlytogether thinking ofBaba, I finally had to pose the question that I’d wondered about for years. Over the years, I’d been in Mandali Hall and Eruch would sit there patiently talking about Baba and sharing and sharing and sharing and sharing...often people would ask him the dumbest questions. .so embar rassingly stupid.. .and he never lost control nor stopped giving and loving and sharing. It was almost unbearable for me. and .
and be very happy to hear me sing. I was riding Baba’s Wave of recognition and admiration that He had created. Of course I thought that this was Baba’s gift but was also due to my talents and marvelous-ness. As I came over to greet Eruch, he gave me his usual loving embrace and then asked about the album, saying, “Baba is carrying you on top of His head!” I knew imme diately that Baba was the singer and the song and that I had nothing to do with it in a very real way, so I wasn’t to get puffed up about it all! And I really took it in on a deeper level too, as I’d already learned that whatever Eruch said had layers of more profound meaning. As the years rolled by it became more and more evident that it had been Baba doing all this of course, and yet the unspoken opposite of this statement, that Baba could also crush me under His Feet, was the powerftil reality that I knew could be equally true. This statement, and that unspoken possible opposite experience reverberated so deeply within, that when Baba threw me an experience of that op posite and I felt crushed beneath His feet, I was able to see it as such, and see it as a balancing and not a crueltc The same day that Eruch talked to me about ‘The Ancient One’ album and Baba carrying me on top of His head, he also asked me a question. Eruch looked at me seriously and asked, “How do you think you should sing for Baba?!” I said I didn’t know and asked him to tell me...and Eruch replied immediately, “Cut off your head and use your throat!” I will never forget that! After this time, I always tried, before singing, to stop thinking of’me’ and to ask Baba to take the ‘me’ out of the song and to put Him there. That inspired practice began after hearing Eruch’s wise words! Once when I was singing in Mandali Hall, I took out my Baba music book and was about to sing, when Eruch said, “Why do you all need words to these songs? You should memorize these songs!” He proceeded to tell me that when he was young, he had a beautiftul voice and he learned hundreds ofsongs by heart. They were the devotional songs ofthe saints and sages oflndia, about the life ofKrishna and Ram, etc. He was so good at singing all these songs, that he was
hired by the movie theatres to come sing the appropriate song during the showing of devotional films. When Krishna lifted the mountain, young Eruch would be there singing about Gopal lifting the mountain, when the Gopis all danced with Krishna, he would know that song and sing it...and all these by heart! So ofcourse, his sweet casti gation encouraged me to try and memorize my songs, so that I could sing them at any time with or without the lyrics before me. Eruch also added that one day, he had a frog in his throat and was never able to sing again as before! Baba just took his voice away. I was always very aware of what Eruch had gone through, especially when I had bouts of laryngitis, and was keenly aware that it was all up to Baba whether I could sing or not!!!! A1I His gift...to sing or not to sing. So I think I took singing a bit less for granted after that, and was thankful more often to Baba for the gift of being able to sing for/to Him! On my last trip to India, when Eruch greeted me outside Mandali Hall, he saw my earrings in the shape of colorful turtles (I loved turtles and had done lots of sea turtle preservation work while living in Myrtle Beach). He looked at me and said, “I don’t like those earrings. Turtles are always afraid. Who would want to have turtle earrings! Who wants to be afraid all the time!” It was said partially in jest but I always felt there was some other meaning there for me. And I knew that I did have a lot offear inside ofme...fear ofwhat others thought of me...would I do the right thing or say the right thing...whatever the ‘right thing’ should be. And I knew that this was definitely something Baba wanted me to work on! So I was thankful to the earrings for having brought up that comment in Eruch. Shortly after that they broke. Their usefulness was over. I also remember how I was sometimes torn between staying with Eruch in the Hall or going to Mehera. I would always jump up and go to Mehera right away, but sometimes Eruch would be finishing a story and I never heard the ending. Often, as soon as the call came that Mehera had come out, Eruch would stop lovingly and tell us girls that it was time to go to Mehera. He made it easy to disconnect from him and go to her. He put Mehera first of course. That I always appreciated!
/4 2cw Re1igion? _/4vitiasli 2<. 2<opulivar, CIi.aiidrcipur, Dudia
religion is in the offing. A religion of Avatar Meher Baba’s lovers. The process has began, perhaps has been in practice since His first follower in the 1920s, when He was declared Parvardigar by none other than Kutub-E-Irshad Sai Baba HimseW Almost each and every Baba lover may raise objection to this statement because Meher Baba Himself said that He had come not to establish any new religion nor to teach anything new but to awaken. I too fully agree with this statement, but Baba Himself once referred to a statement of Sufi Perfect Master Hafiz *What our Master says is always right, we some times fail to understand Him properly (sic). Same is applicable for Baba also. When He kept silence for 44 years, He Himself said that He speaks through His lovers. Moreover He titled His most famous book God Speaks. He did not title it as God Says, God Proclaims, God Reveals, God Explains or God Declares. So as this very word Speaks is in the title, God Speaks has special significance. By our gross eyes He never seemed to be speaking but in reality He spoke volumes. Again when He says He has come not to teach but to awaken, actually He taught humanity many things practically by demonstrating (practicing) Himself or by conversation through either alphabet board and later on by His way of expressing himself through gestures and signs by finger movements. To awaken humanity from ignorance of illusion, He actually taught many things either through discussions, answering queries or questions or by explaining. He also taught many things by dictating books like God Speaks, Listen Humanity, Everything and the Nothing and a few others. So what I mean to say is that even though He said that He did not come to teach, He taught many things. Likewise He said He did not come to establish a new religion, yet a new religion being adopted by many Baba lovers. I personally know some Baba lovers who were performing orthodox religious practices of their respective religion before they came into contact with Baba. Now they have replaced the idols and photos of their ancestor’s God and Goddess with
of a new era or new
photos of Baba. Is not this the beginning religion by Baba lovers? Baba also said that a day will come when Meherabad would be the Mecca of the world. People from all around the world would come there and would feel themselves blessed just by touching their heads to the soil of Meherabad Hill. I do not know what exactly will be its name, but for our convenience, I would like to call it Meher Religion or Meherian. Same things might have happened in Buddha, Christ and Mohammed. Their followers have gradually increased in numbers to be known as Buddhists, Christians and Muslims respectively. I foresee this happening in the case of Baba lovers. They have unknowingly adopted this new religion. To my mind, have a need to practice this religion, because old and orthodox practices of all religions have become outdated, useless and impracticable in this modern age of science and sophisticated technology. Muslims are deadly against Hindus and Christians. Christian missionaries proclaim that only their religion is superior and start conversion of innocent people in their religion. Hatred amongst Muslims and Hindus has touched its zenith. Majority of wealthy people have become satiated by wealth and material comfort. But Baba teaches us religion of love and humanity He teaches us to love each and everyone irrespective of caste, creed, colour and religion, discarded all old orthodox practices of all religion and give message of Love God and Be God. I think, a day is not far away when almost everybody or the entire world will switch this new religion knowing it be the easiest, most practical and most simple religion to adopt for spiritual progress and to achieve the ultimate goal of God realization in this modern age of a fast and busy life. Perhaps this too is the wish Baba, who knows? Only Baba and Baba alone knows. *The exact quote is: About what you hear from the Master, never say it because my dear, the fault lies in your own understand him.
is wrong 39
being God and omnipotent, allowed Himself to be helpless, humiliated and crucified. He knew it all, because He had planned it all, long ago, and He did it for all. But to have the right result, He had to experience the helplessness and the suffering. Do not think that because He was allpowerfttl, He did not suffer the humiliation and the crucifixion, or it would not then have had the desired effect. Some people think that because I am one with God, My body is not affected by anything. At times, so as not to hurt their feelings, I have to behave as though I do not feel cold or the sun. Someone came and sat by me when full of cold, and thought Baba is God, this cannot affect Him.” But I am on the human level, and must behave as on the human level. So when I she had cold and fever, I also saw that she would not like it if I turned away, so I held My breath. The first time I was in London, it was drizzling and cold, and everyone was wearing warm clothes, and they wanted Me to be filmed in these thin clothes, thinking it did not matter to Me. So I had to feel cheerful and I afterwards sent for a warm coat. All the Mandali know that when Meherabad full swing with asylums, hospitals, etc., I was very thin; and when I discarded the old coat ofMine, I used to go about su pervising and being cheerfttlwith everyone, and being everywhere, and used to keep fit. Even now I feel fit, but I think I shall catch cold from you all. Three Incredible Weeks Charles Purdom and Malcolm Schloss, pp. 89-90 ©1979 AMBPPCT
rt1i A4eurnnfJ of the 5udrn 3ivanji 3ams1iedji J4’lodi, Dudia ome comments about the sadra, the long white garment that Baba often wore—from a website at www.avesta.org: The sacred shirt is called sudre or sudrah sadra]. The word is variously derived. An[ quetil Du Perron says that the word sudre Avestan ‘setehr paesehenghge’ which means ‘useful clothing’. Dastur Edalji D. Sanjana also derives the word similarly and says further that the word Sudre means an advantageous path. Some derive the word from Avestan ‘vastra’ meaning ‘clothing’, and say that the word ‘sadreh’ formed by dropping the first letter v. The
late Mr. K. E. Kanga said that the word was the same as Arabic sdrh i.e. “anything which (the body).” The sacred shirt is symbolic in its struc ture. It is made of white cambric. White color is symbolic of innocence and purity and, as such, is the symbol ofthe Mazdayas nian or Zoroastrian religion (Yasht 10. 126). It must be made up of two cloth together on the sides, so that one seam maybe on the right hand side, and the other on the left hand side, thus dividing the shirt into two the front part and the back These two parts—the front and the back—are said to be symbolic of the past and the future, both related to each other through the present. The front part must remind a Zoroastrian of his duty to persons and institutions of the past ages. We owe a duty towards those who have gone before us—to our ancestors, our forefathers, our departed dear ones, all who have preceded us. We also owe a duty to our superiors, who have been in the front before us. The second or the back part of the shirt must remind us ofour duty to the future—to our children, to future generations. It must also remind us of our duty to our inferiors who are still to rise to our position. In short, these two the shirt—the front and the back—are said to indicate and to say to it were: “Look straight in the front, bearing in mind that it the past that has come up to the present and will lead to the future.” The most important part of the shirt is the Giriban (lit. that which preserves the knot) which signifies loyalty to or faith in the religion. The Giriban is also called the kisseh-i kerfeh i.e. the purse or the bag of righteousness. It is put up, in the form of a bag or a purse a little below the portion of the shirt which covers the part of the body below the throat. It indicates symbolically that a man has to be industrious and has not only to fill his bag or purse with money but has to fill it up with righteousness. Thus the sudre is symbolic of purity of life and action of righteousness. or
7;Iie real possibilities of the 2ew 2lumanity are hidden to those who look oniy cit the surface of the world situation, but they exist and
only need the spark of spintual understanding to come into full play and effect.
with his conception of good as contrasted with his idea of evil. What results from identification with narrow groups or limited ideals is not a real merging of the separative selfbut only a semblance of it. A real merging of the limited self in the ocean of universal life involves complete surrender of separative existence in all its forms. The large mass ofhumanity is caught up in the clutches of separative and assertive tendencies. For one who is overpowered by the spectacle of these fetters of humanity, there is bound to be nothing but unrelieved despair about its future. One must look deeper into the realities of the day if one is to get a correct perspective on the present distress of humanity.
derives its being and
S strength from identifying itselfwith one
of the opposites and contrasting itself with the others. An individual may seek to protect his separate existence through identification with one ideology rather than another or
The forces of lust, hate, and greed produce incalculable suffering and chaos. However, the one redeeming feature about human nature is that even in the midst of disruptive there invariably exists some form of love. Even wars require cooperative func tioning, but the scope of this cooperative functioning is artificially restricted by identification with a limited group or ideal. Wars often are carried on by a form oflove, though it love that has not been understood properly. In order that love should come into its own, it be untrammeled and unlim ited. Love does exist in all phases of human life; but it islatent or is limited and poisoned by personal ambition, racial pride, narrow loyalties and rivalries, and attachment to sex, nationality, sect, caste, or religion. Ifthere is to be a resurrection ofhumani the heart ofman will have to be unlocked ty, that a new love is born into it—a love that knows no corruption and is entirely free from individual or collective greed. Discourses Meher Baba ©AMBPPCT forces
3:Tau.cisco.. (Chko) c/41a9 17, 1955 A4arth i: 2003 -
.Susan 2lerr, ¶&nnsylvania is never easy to accept a relatively young person dropping his body without warning. In Chico’s case, it is wrenching to say good-bye to my closest and dearest tie and to say hello to a colossal pain-in-myheart! Chico came to Baba in Portugal (his birthplace) when he was just 17 years old. Linda and John Anunziato introduced him to the Avatar. Chico was so blown away with love and so hungry to hear more that he flew to London when he learned that Murshida Duce would be visiting there. In London, at the age of 20, he met the Murshida and also became ensconced in Delia DeLeon’s Meher Baba group. It was at a meeting of Delia’s that I met him and that began our twenty-eight year saga. After staying in London a few months, we moved to Paris where an old boss of mine gave Chico some menial work while Anita and Roger Veillard took him under their wing and began to mentor him in art and in the perfection of his French, a language he hadlearned in childhood along with Ger man and English. Chico had a particular charm that not only affected Anita and Roger, but it tended to the Mandali as well. Mehera spent a day with him telling him the story of the Mahabarata. Mani spoke French with him on many long walks through Meherazad. Eruch listened patiently to his wild schemes and in 1979, I threw a birthday party for him in Myrtle Beach thatAdi and entourage gladly attended! From Paris, we moved to the French Alps, because the Duke and Duchess of Bedford had hired him to be a translator for their grandchildren. (While the Duchess was at it, she also hired me to ghostwrite a cookbook she was compiling.) After a few months of fun in the Alps with royalty, we went back to the common folk in Paris. About that time, Portugal became embroiled in a civil war about which his father advised him to stay away. Since I needed to go home, we decided Chico should get a visa to come to America with me, because his visa to France was also
about to run out and he could become a man without a country. He went to the U.S. embassy and ob tamed a visa with no trouble at all. I was amazed, because he had no job in Europe and no source of income except that which his father managed to smuggle to him from a Swiss bank account (it was illegal at that time of civil war to take currency out of Portugal). My intuition proved right. The visa he got was a fluke. We found that out when we were having difficulty getting it together to travel to the States during the dates on his visa so we decided to get an extension. We went back to the embassy where the same man who had given him the visa looked at it and him, scratched his head, then said, “I don’t see how you could have gotten this visa to the U.S.! I must have been dreaming when I filled it out.” I took that as a message from Baba. We snatched the visa we had and ran. Somehow, through Baba’s grace, we got Chico to L.A. on a plane without me, but with my teen-aged son, and they landed just a few minutes before the visa expired. Typical Baba! From L.A., he went to Berkeley and stayed with Billy Ward, a friend of mine willing to put Chico (a complete stranger) up (incidentally, Billy heard from Chico shortly before he died). After a few weeks of his meeting Baba people andbecoming Americanized, I finally
returned to L.A. where he joined me and became a member of the L.A. group, and another great fan of Fiis Frederick’s. Chico, throughout his sojourn in L.A. around five years), stayed close to Fiis and, ( even after we had moved to New York, he visited her (with me) shortly before her death. One of her last comments to him was, “Try not to drink too much.” For those ofus who knew Filis, we know she did not give advice idly. Chico’s drinking developed into a serious problem and for the last ten years of his life, he was manic-de pressive. His symptoms grew incrementally worse with each bout and though he had lengthy periods of sanity that always had me hoping he would finally recover, he always slipped back, triggered by drinking, then drugging, and eventually the disease killed him. Chico died in Portugal, but he was an American citizen as well as a Portuguese national. He was very proud to be an Amencan and he missed America greatly. A few months before his death, I sent him a pin of the American flag that was encrusted with tiny pieces of colored glass. His sister said that he wore it all the time and because he loved it so much, she buried it with him. Though he was deeply troubled at the end, Baba was never far from his lips and the only comfort I have been able to grasp from his passing is to think ofhim in Baba’s arms safe from the despair that drove him so destructively. Jai Baba!
We must lose ourselves in order to find ourseives thus 1 loss itself is gain We must die to seifto live in od thus, death means life We must became corn void inside to be cornpletely possessed by9od thus, complete ernVtiness absolute fu1tncss A
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hrough endless time God’s greatest gift is continuously given in silence. But when mankind becomes completely deaf to the thunder of His silence, God incarnates as man. The Unlimited assumes the lim ited, to shake Maya-drugged humanity to a consciousness ofits true destiny and to give a spiritual push to the world by His physical presence on earth. He uses the body for His uni versal work, to be discarded in final sacrifice as soon as it has served its purpose. God has come again and again in various forms, has spoken again and again in different words and different languages the same one Truth—but how many are there that live up to it? Instead of making Truth the vital breath of his life, man compromises by making over and over again a mechanical religion of it—as a handy staff to lean on in times of adversity, as a soothing balm for his conscience or as a tradition to be followed in the footsteps of the past. Man’s inability to live God’s words makes them a mockery How many Christians follow Christ’s teaching to “turn the other cheek” or “to love thy neighbor as thyself”? How many Muslims follow Mohammed’s precept to “hold God above everything else”? How many Hindus “bear the torch of righteousness at all costs”? How many Buddhists live the “life of pure compassion” expounded by Buddha? How many Zoroastrians “think truly, speak truly, act truly”? God’s Truth cannot be ignored; and thus by mankind’s ignorance and weakness a tremendous adverse reaction is produced—and the world finds itself in a cauldron of suffering through wars, hate, conflicting ideologies and nature’s rebellion in the form offloods, famines, earthquakes, and other disasters. Ultimately when the apex is reached, God manifests in human form to guide mankind to the destruction of its self-created evil, that it may be reestablished in the Divine Truth. 42
imparted through utterances or writings are just idle talk when not acted upon or lived up to. I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice...the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. To those who are receptive to this voice, I speak. My outward silence is no spiritual exercise. It has been undertaken and maintained solely for the good of others I will break my silence and manifest when on the one hand, science reaches its highest level, and on the other hand, [. anti-God elements rise to their peak. Accordingly, my spiritual manifestation will also be of the highest what will happen when I break My silence is what has never happened before. ...
My silence and the imminent breaking of my silence is to save mankind from the monumental forces of ignorance, and to fttlfil the divine plan of universal unity. The breaking of my silence will reveal to man the universal brotherhood of man. My silence had to be. The breaking of my silence has to be—soon. Ifyou were to ask Me why I do not speak, I would say I am not silent, and that I speak more eloquently through gestures and the alphabet board. If you were to ask me why I do not talk, I would say, mostly for three reasons. Firstly, I feel that through you all I am talking eternally Secondly, to relieve the boredom of talking incessantly through your forms, I keep silence in my personal physical form. And thirdly, because all talk in itself is idle talk. Lectures, messages, statements, discourses of any kind, spiritual or otherwise,
Remain completely resigned to My Will and do not let any circumstance or situation shake your grip from My Daaman. I shall not come out of My sedusion until I break My Silence, The divine moment from My giving the Word is not far off I want you to make Me your Constant Companion. Think of Me more than you think ofyour own self God has been everlastingly working in silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those who experience His infinite silence. If My silence cannot speak, of what avail would be speeches made by the tongue? The very moment when He thinks My speaking should be heard universally, God will make Me break My silence. V
The moment I break My silence and utter the Original word, the first and last miracle of Baba in this life will be performed. When I perform that miracle, I won’t raise the dead but I will make those who live for the world dead to the world and live
in God. I won’t give sight to the blind but will make people blind to the illusion and make them see God as Realitc V
Remember that although I do not perform miracles I will give anything to whosoever asks from the bottom of his heart. But this I tell you, too—that the one who asks for My love will be the chosen one. When I speak that Word, I shall lay the foundation for that which is to take place during the next 700 years. The evolution of consciousness will have reached such an apex that materialistic tendencies will be automatically transmuted into spiritual longing, and the feeling of equality in unversal brotherhood will prevail. This means that opulence and poverty literacy and illiteracy, jealousy and hatred, which are in evidence today in their full measure will then be dissolved through the feeling of oneness of all men. Prosperity and happiness will then be at their zenith. I have come to remind all people that they should live on earth as the children of One Father until My Grace awakens them to the realization that they are all One without a second and that all divisions, conffict and hatred are but a shadow-play of their own ignorance. Although all are My children they ignore the simplicity and beauty of this Truth by indulging in hatreds, confficts and wars that divide them in enmity instead of living as one family in their Father’s house. Even amongst you who love Me and accept Me for what I Am there is sometimes a lack of understanding of one another’s hearts. Patiently I have suffered these things in Silence for all My children. It is time that they become aware of the presence of their Father in their midst and of their responsibility towards Him and themselves. I shall break My silence, and with My Word of words, arouse My children to realize in their lives the indivisible Existance which is GOD. Throughout the years I have been giving many messages and discourses. Today I simply want to tell you who are gathered here in My Love to shut the ears of your minds and open the ears of your hearts to hear My Word when I utter it. Do not seek my Blessing, which is always with you, but long for the day when My Grace will descend on all who love Me. Most blessed are they who do not even long for My Grace but simply seek to do My Will.
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My silence and the breaking ofMy silence at the appointed time will make silent those who talk ofeverything but God.
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It is not through words that I give what I have to give. In the silence ofyour perfect surrender My love, which is always silent, can flow to you—to be yours always to keep and to share with those who seek me. When the Word of My love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, youwill know that it is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear. V
The word that I shall speak will go to the world as from God, not as from a philosopher; it will go straight to its heart. With the dawn of the realization of the unity of all life, hatred and dissension will come to an end. There will be unfaltering love and unfailing understanding and men shall be united in an inviolable brother hood based on the realized Oneness of God. Drown all sound in My Silence, if you would hear MyWord of words. My outward silence is no spiritual exercise. It has been undertaken and maintained solely for the good of others. Ages and ages ago I did perform one great miracle and the whole of this illusion of Creation came from Me. I will perform another such miracle this time when I break My silence. That will be the first and the last miracle in my present incarnation. Expect no other miracle from Me. V
Of my own I shall not break my silence; universal crisis will make me do so. When the crisis reaches its absolute culmination, it will make me utter the Word at that moment. Circumstances are converging and fast gathering momentum towards precipitating the right moment, which will come completely unawares—at any time, any hour any day. The moment is not far away. As I am the pivot ofthe universe, the full pressure of the universal upheaval will bear on Me, and correspondingly My suffering will be so infinitely overwhelming, that the word will escape from out of the silence.
nJuly of 1975, I made my first pilgrimage to Meherabad and Meherazad, India. The experience there of Meher Baba’s love and family deepened and broadened my life with Him. One event that I still don’t fathom today occurred on Silence Day, July 10, the Fiftieth anniversary of Baba’s Silence. We were, of course, all on silence and I had bicycled out to the Samadhi for the day from Ahmednagar. Sitting within the Tomb with one or two others, suddenly someone was at the door beckoning us to come out, but by the time I could grasp their meaning, one of the women Mandali gestured to remain sitting were I was, to the right of the marble. Before I knew what was happening, Mehera entered, and in one motion fell upon the stone full length. Her movement seemed to contain the totality of surrender; all was thrown upon the marble marker of The Beloved. To describe what I experienced, the thunderous, intimate, yet overwhelming reverberation—it was as if the tomb had been hit by lightning, and at the same time an earthquake had struck. It truly seemed external, and yet so profoundly within, that I did not speak of it for many years to anyone. As to the significance, I can only ask, was it a glimpse of the union of heaven and earth, the lover and the Beloved, the breaking of the Silence within?
When I break My silence the world will come to know Whom the world is waiting for.
2..• to.tict••to 9ar!I 2<leiner, J71/Ielierctbad lot of people ask me how I prefer to travel to Meherabad after I arrive in Mumbai. I tell people that the most im— portant considerations for me are safety and how quickly and comfortably I can get to Meherabad. I use and recommend a courteous car owner by the name of Pathan, who speaks very good English. He has his own fleet of cars and has been helping Baba lovers out for over a decade. He is a Baba lover himself, and one day he hopes to open an orphanage in the Meherabad area. But most importantly, he is an extremely safe and care£l driver! The other feature that I love about Pathan is that he always carries his cell phone with him. If there is any problem, day or in the middle of the night, I know that I can call him. He brings me to Meherabad early, and he brings me back to Mumbai with as little time as possible wasted from my stayin Meherabad. I feel like I add a day to my pil grimage by using Pathan. Pathan has taken my friends and me on tours to the Ellora and Ajanta caves, to the Baba places in Poona, to Shirdi and Sakori and other Baba related places in the general area. He can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is: www.meherbabatouxs.com. You can call him directly from the US on his cell phone at: 011-91-98-230-67022. Happy travels to Baba’s home. Be safe and sound. Make the best use of your time there—call Pathan!
started in 2000 after the dedication by Bhau. Stan left us to join Baba on Nov. 29, 2001. The Meher Library is complete except for putting the books away and placing the bookcases appropriately. Baba’s Room and the Meeting Room are also complete except for putting things in order. The exterior is all that is left to paint. The large 5’x7’ painting of Baba done by Phil Hocking is hanging on the wall. It was a gift to Meher Dham from Murshida Conner and the Sufis at Stan’s fttneral ceremony. We are delighted to have it. It depicts Baba’s 1930’s Hawaii trip. As soon as we are photo ready, you will get some pictures for the LampPost. As you probably can tell, I am very excited and enthused about this huge project Stan started and Baba has now put in my care. Thank God for Baba, and also all the Baba lovers who have contributed and donated time to His new Center on Molokai. We have accommodations for a few, but don’t quite have the “house rules” or rates together just yet, but coming soon. Mahalo! We are (will be) working on a website and you will know about that too. A hui hou (until we meet again), Shirley Alapa Phone: 808 567 6363 Message: 808 567 6074 Reservations: 808 567 6383 (message also) Fax: 808 567 6363 Email: email@example.com P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757 USA Ifyou would like to come visit us please call 808 567 6074 or email us.
2’Ieale £undgren, 4 9eorgia y new CD of original compositions based on the poetry of the spiritual masters of the world with the music ensemble, Cypress, is now available, after three years ofjoyful work in the studio. Cypress is a world fusion music ensemble dedicated to the composition and performance of the sacred poetry as well as songs of spiritual aspiration with transformational themes. These compositions were inspired after a pilgrimage to India in 1999. The Cypress ensemble has appeared with Coleman Barks (Rumi) and Daniel Ladinsky(Haflz) in concert. One of my songs has been featured in
lanning on visiting Hawaii? If so, be sure to include a visit to the island of Molokai. The late Stan Alapa created a beautiful Center for Meher Baba there and his wife Shirley is carrying it on. In an email Shirley tells us: “Aloha! It will be ftin ftin fttn to meet new Baba lovers, and possibly greet them at the Molokai Airport for their visit. It seems as though it has taken so long to get this far, it is about a year now. The project
Billboard Magazine and recorded by the Carnegie Hall alumnus,Jane Olivor. Pouring Light is uplifting and highly rhythmic. You may go to http://wwwneale1undgren.com/ works/works_cypressbuy.html where you can purchase or hear free samples of Pouring Light and other of my available music re cordings that are nowbeing offered in audio CD format or call 404-636-5188. To go to my front page click http: //www.nealelundgren.com where you will see a menu bar to guide you to other information regarding my present work in the related fields of spirimality psychology and music. [NealeLundgren has recordedwith Co/urnbitt, Capito/, Epic, and Metromedia Records in his youth, inc/uding Manchi/d 1 (Capito/ Records, 1 972,). He has studied c/assica/guitar with E/ias Barreiro, student ofthe renowned Andres Segovia (Tulane University). As a Benedictine rnonk, heperforrned in the rnon asteryc schola, particzpated in a “collegiurn mu— sicum”whichpeiforrneda never-before recorded 14th century “hocket’for network television. He composed and recorded a collection of original songs entitled Time ofthe Harvest: Songs for Three Voices, (Liturgical Press, 1982) and in 1992 a collection oforiginalsongs which docu mented his tenure as spiritual directorfor an addictions treatment center entitled Breaking Open (1992). Neale holds an interdisciiilinary doctorate in religion, psychology and literature from Emory University (Atlanta). In 2000, after a pilgrimage to India, Neale began his collaborative effort with Cypress, composing original music to the sacredpoetry ofthe spin— tualmasters. PouningLightby Cypressfratures the work ofthree outstanding musicians: Eric Peterson on udu (clay drum,) and tar (frame drum), Neale Lundgren on vocals and guitar, and Sheila Gambill on tar and vocals, presenting a musical showcasefon Daniel Ladinskyc translations ofthe classicpoetry ofHafiz and Rumiplus afew original songs. The melodies, allwnitten byNeale, are beautfully understated and supple, allowing the beauty ofthe words to come through. The ecstatic Sufi poets have becomeperennialfavonites and one ofthe inspi rations andsources ofenergyfor the renaissance ofpoetry in our time. The use ofsimple acoustic instrumentsfits the words well, and in addi tion to those mentionedalready, you will notice sweet, preciselyplacedaugmentationfrom guest artistsplayingfiute and violin.]
Bnba and the cSculptor 7l/j aricrnne J rincipe, 2’Iortli Carolina 3 vatar Meher Baba first entered my awareness the summer of 1976 when a friend suggested a tour ofthe Myrtle Beach Center. Never was I so struck by any other place in my life. The feeling was one of walking through air liquid with love, peace and joy. The guide showed us the Origi nal Kitchen (in use then) and the Lagoon Cabin from the lakeside door inviting and radiating peace. Then on to Dilruba to meet Elizabeth and Kitty the former regal and reserved in an upholstered chair, the latter standing, slightly protective and bright-eyed, on Elizabeth’s left. What a blessed beginning to my life with Baba.
Amnesia descended and the next twenty years were spent rattling around in the world, doing what Baba wished without realizing His ways. I satisfied a lifelong desire to be an artist when inner visions and ye led me to begin sculpting, finding no satisfaction or talent in twodimensional expressions. I chose marble because that’s what I saw in my mind’s eye, it felt right and Baba sent me a mentorwho taught me massive amounts on the subject. Two of those ten years were spent working in bronze art casting foundries in the west, jobs I fell into. I used to think, “Why am I learning all this, I’m a marble sculptor?” I was soon to learn why. Gratefully, my exile was lifted in 1996 when I rediscovered the Center and Baba. I was so relieved to be “home” again that I stay there many times a year. My first pilgrimage to Baba’s Samadhi was the summer of2000. “
Itwasjust before that incrediblejourney that images of Baba began popping up in my mind’s eye that I longed to sculpt. But how would this be possible in marble? Then the reason for the bronze foundry years became crystal clear: I’ll switch to clay! After my return from India, forever changed (thankfully!), I experimented with inexpensive potter’s clay. Two hours of concentrated work produced a figure satisfying enough to let me know sculpting skills are not limited to marble. AU things, I remem bered, were possible with Baba. Squeezed between the hours not spent at my flill time job at a local health food store, I began the long experimental process offinding the right clay, mould-maker, and casting materials. I decided to deviate from
the traditional hot bronze technique because I knew the costs, and settled on a do-ityourselfprocess called cold cast bronze. This involves combining equal portions of two part polyurethane resins with pure powdered bronze. This is the mixture I brush and/or pour into the moulds that solidifies into the highly detailed durable sculptures you see. The clay originals take anywhere from three days to three weeks (actual working time) to create. The casting and finishing processes can take between six hours to three days to complete. Each mould will produce until the silicone rubber wears out, generally about forty castings. Of course, my favorite step is the actual sculpting, my personal communion time with Baba using eyes, hands and heart. Imagine havingyour own image of Baba, Mehera or the Samadhi to hold, touch and
Baba on the Gadi
turn in the light to catch every detail of eyes, hair, buttons and moustache! My wish is that these sculptures please Baba and that you feel the joy and wonder I’ve felt in their creation. Please visit my website where all the sculptures can be seen in detail: http://www.sculpmrenow.com Ifyou would like to own one of these sculptures for yourself please email me: principesculpture€Pyaho o.com. Five percent of all profit is donated once yearly to the AIvIBP PCT in India.
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2tarold 3amison, 13erkelcy, JIlleher i3aba Center of2siorthern California year ago, on Febru site. But first, it had to ary 23, 2002, Ed undergo major remodelMunnich got up at the ing. The main room of annual Baba birthday about a thousand square party of the Meher Baba feet consisted of three Center ofNorthern Callseparate cubicles. A false fornia and announced to ceiling ofless than 8 feet the group that the Board concealed an actual 20had been unable to recruit foot ceiling. There was a enough members to serve large communal shower on the next year’s board of room thatwas full of dry directors. “We may have rot and mildew. Upstairs to disband ifmore ofyou there was another showcannot participate,” Ed er, an old sink, three or said in a stern voice. Some four different floorings of the longtime members and lots of disreputable were determined that the fixtures. There were at group would not perish least three stridently simply from lack of pardifferent color schemes, ticipation They believed none ofthem particularthat a permanent center ly well done. In addition was needed to inspire to the shoddy condition participation from the of the physical struc “The Crew” —John Richards, Brian Drygas, Ron Greensz’ein, Northern California Baba ture, there was an odor Haroidjarnison, Doug Ross, and Fred White community that pervaded the entire The idea of a permanent center for the mine and my wife’s who has lived in our place. Years of massage oil, sweat, mildew Northern California group had been around house for 5 or 6 years and knew about Baba, and other smells engulfed the visitor. a long time. Different apartments, halls had meet Bhau and maybe Meheru also. The In keeping with the principle of democ and storefronts had been considered by the tumblers of the lock were definitely failing racy, committees carefully guided the work. group, but all plans had been nipped in the in place. Meetings were held on a weekly basis to bud because of various fiscal and logistical The next couple of days were a whirlmake decisions about each phase of the limitations. wind of activity getting members of the project. The initial phase of construction Then in June while driving home after a group down to look at the site and because consisted of gutting the interior. The most Baba event that Bhau spoke at, I noticed a Bhau was still in town having him come by difficult partwas removing the carpet, which “For Rent” sign where I had never seen one for a look at the center. Bhau came along had been glued to the floor with some spacebefore. The landlord’s number was there so with alarge group to see what we had found. age material that resisted all attempts to I called him on my cell phone and he said he He liked it very much and the owner John remove it. During the gutting there were, would be right there. Literally before I had Bear and his wife Marina came by to meet fortunately, only a few accidents. The most the time to circle the block there he was. We Bhau. We had told John and Marina that notable being Ron Greenstein’s breaking went inside and after a minute of pleasant- one of Meher Baba’s close disciples was his arm. After the gutting was finished, ries he asked what kind ofbusiness I had in coming to look at the site and in prepara new electrical outlets were installed. The mind. Well I said it is just a little non-profit, tion for the visit John had made Baba’s flag electricians discovered that the electricity “Oh that’s nice” he says “and what do you with all the right colors, had downloaded a had been run through a tap to the neighbor’s do?” “Well its sort of spiritual”, “that’s nice, picture of Baba, brought nice fresh flowers electrical system and that the phone line was do you meditate?” “no not really, we just sort and had put up a welcome sign. Doubt was also tapped into one ofthe neighbor’s lines. of get together.” “Well what exactly is it?” receding rapidly at this point as to whether It was also discovered that the previous oc “Well we follow a spiritual master.” “That’s this was the right place! Soon after Bhau cupants had run ventilation to the inside of nice, just what is the name ofyour master?” had given his nod of approval, the board the walls rather than to the outside. Pergo “Meher Baba.” “That’s wonderful! I was just met and we agreed to begin the process of faux wood flooring was installed on the thinking about Meher Baba last night”. I seeing if there was support from our cornmain floor and wall-to-wall carpeting was could see the key beginning to turn. munity. It was almost unanimous. Bhau laid upstairs. Some 80 pounds of spackle After a little more conversation about gave his enthusiastic approval, and with that was applied to the walls for texturing. Peter Meher Baba, his contractor showed up to encouragement, the group made a commitRavazza volunteered to undertake the paint begin work on some repairs that needed to ment to go forward with the project. Harold job, with the help of Dan Stone and Kathy be done. Lo and behold it was a friend of and the core committee saw potential in the Wiederhold. Using his own unique touch 46 •
Haroidjamison cuts the ribbon
and technique he created a palate of colors. The final result is a wonderftil and light interplay of soft tones, perfectly accentuating the intended mood of the center. Playthily painted on one of the walls is a translucent image of Baba’s face. Approximately 50 different people helped with the different phases of the construction, and design. In addition to those who did the physical work, there has been an equal number of Baba Lovers who have contributed money. Eventually we will need $1,500 per month for the rent and have received pledges that cover about two thirds of this.
he center looked beautifhlly festive for its dedication on the annual celebration of Baba’s birthday. A delightfttl and whimsical window dressing, created by Lisa Greenstein and PamJohnson, turned the storefront window into a three-dimensional birthday card for Baba. Bridget Robinson cre ated a stunning gold colophon, Meher Baba’s Mastery in Servi tude emblem, which adorns the glass front door. Baba’s birthday was celebrated on Feb 23. Hon ored guests were Bea Dimpfl and Herman Alvarado, who spent time with Baba in the 1950s and early 60s. We were also treated to a lovely harp concert byjudith Shotwell and enjoyed our local talent including David Miotke, Ron Greenstein, Raine Eastman Gannett, Karen Sterkin, Gay Dunn and Cindy Lowe. Betty Lowman and Annie Stovall coordinated children’s activities, including crafts, balloons and garland mak ing. Vern Stovall and the Drygas’s created a beautiful stage, and Fred and Janet White held forth in the kitchen. A short ceremony was held and the group awarded the Golden Hammer award to John Richards and Roger Larsen and the Golden Paint Brush Award to Peter Ravazza and Kathy Wiederhold
for work above and beyond the call of duty Then, after a short introduction on the history of the group by Robert Dreyftiss, the Meher Baba Center ofNorthern California was dedicated and sealed with a recitation of the three prayers and a loud chorus of AvatarMeher Baba ki Jai!
oit have heard mitch oftliis world, yet what have you seen of this world? Wliat is its form and substance? What is Simurgi, and what is J4’lonitt ai?* Wliat is 2lades and what is 2leaven and 1lell? ‘i’Vliat is that unseen world, a dai 1 of which equals a year of this? Come and hear the meaning: oit are asleep and your vision is a dream; all you E are seeing is a mirage. When you wake up on the morn ofthe last day you will know all this to be fancy’s illusion; When you have ceased to see double, 2leaven and Carth will become transformed; when the 2eal ,5itn unveils 21is 3ace to you, the moon, the stars, and 7}enus will disappear; if a ray shines on the hard rock like wool of many colors, it drops to pieces.
*The Simurgh, a fabulous bird like the phoenix, dwells on Mount Qf the emerald-peaked mountain at the center and end of the world... From The Secnt Rose Garden by Mahmu Shabi stan rendered from the Persian by Florence Le derer; edited and Introduced by David Fideler.
© 2002 by Phanes Press, Incorporated.
[ Meher Baba’s pen name was Huma, another fabulous bird like the phoenix...] [Mahrnud Shabistari was a Sufi saint who stressed the One Light that exists at the heart of all religions. The Secret Rose Garden was written 1317.]
Alexandra and Rabia eons cut the cake with Herman Alvarado
The Airniw1 3und !Rnising TDinner-..Auction, A’1ny i th 7
his is always an exciting night for our members, wherein artists, artisans, doctors, entertainers, computer experts and oh so many other wonderful talented people donate their time and their expertise, and we, the lucky members, get to bid on these treasures and services. When the evening was finished we had raised just over $6,000. Our meeting room was tranfórmed into a beautful restaurant, with gorgeousfioral displays, oystal and candles on every table.
Suhas Ginde joined our usual Auctioneer Fred Stankus to help out with the live auction. .
A delicious Indian dinner was catered by afine Los Angeles restaurant and donated to us by Dr. Khorshed Pasricha. Rosie Choi, one ofthe Auction committee people seen in thefood line with her beautiful granddaughters Madison and Lauren.
Nancy Merwan and Charles Gibson among those deciding on how many ofthe silent auction items they could bid on.
When the Still Yet More Chamber Players struck up The Stars and Stripes Forever, itproved too much for Virginia Small—visitingfrom India-to stay seated! She leapt up andstarteda conga line, followed by fellow octogenarian Adele Wolkin, spring chickens Cathy Broadley and Gigi Driessen.
A1e1ter J3abds &thctvcts in 7rojcs, frnncc nLjrsiila mid rDictcr ,.Caiigc, 4 9crmaiiy
he gathering of Baba lovers in France began on Ascension Day, 29 May and lasted until Sunday noon, 1 June. It was the second gathering which we had attended. The previous one was with Bhau in a little village near Paris 2 years ago and this one took place in Troyes, a most romantic town with a me— dieval city centre, 160 km southeast ofParis, a 6 hour drive from our home in Germany. The amount of labour of love which the French Baba group had invested into these gatherings each time made us experience Baba in a deep and lively way. Francoise and Daniel Lemetais who had done most of the organi— zational work wrote in the program on behalf of the French Baba group: “You are in the Champagne area, and champagne is used here to celebrate any fam— ily occasion! And this is a true family reunion!” The word ‘family reunion’ really characterizes the spirit of the gathering. Around 60 Baba by— ers from France, England, Max and Gisela Haefliger from Switzerland as well as we and another family from Germany attended the meeting. Don Stevens was present and most of the contributions were presentations by members ofhis study groups in France and England on various subjects like ‘The provi sionab ego’, ‘The ego and sanskaras’, ‘Living Meher Baba in everyday life’, ‘The marriage ofthe head and the heart’ and other subjects. This may give a false impression ofa happening feeding the intellect only and of a tense atmosphere of seriousness. Actually this did not happen because everyone’s contribution and grappling with an understanding ofBaba’s words was stirring the atmosphere in various ways. So the fire was always kept burning. Francoise and Daniel had rented a lovely gathering place which used to be a Steiner
school and had formerly been attended by their children It was at a secluded place outside the city and we were able to have picnics in the garden for bunch or go to a nearby restaurant where meals had been arranged. Drinks, coffee, cakes and cookies were each day offered by the French Baba group and it was a real feast for the head and the heart. Lol Benbow and Sally Gardener as well as Kevin Docherty provided songs and music and Marion and Alfred Saunders had come with a big choice ofvideos and books for sale. Most ofus were accomodated in a very friendly fam fly run hotel dating back to the 12th century near the old city centre where even after 11pm the French people dined happily in the pedes trian zones lining the old streets. So Baba provided us with a special atmo sphere which infused us with a lot of energy and cheerfiuiness. on the last day Don gave a talk and ve finished singing English and French songs including ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ and even a line in German (He’s got the whole world in his hands) as one of the French Baba lovers had us contribute something in German. The remaining champagne was offered before we departed and even though we said goodbye, the feeling of the group, their warmth, humour and lively love stayed with us for a few days afterwards.
Thp: Meher Baba in Europe, 1934. Above kft: Sally Gardener andLol Benbow. Above right: a group discussion. Bottom: Laurent Weichbergei; Don Stevens, Francoise Lematais and :..:
Photos by Ursula and Dieter Lange
‘7he way of my work is the way of effacement, which is the wcty of strength, not of weakness, and through it you become mature in my —Avata.r JIlleher 73aba so
Wr I d w i d c
A4e1wr Babn JVketings
he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. If your local data is not included please send to me and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma
A!ontana Andy Shott, phone: 406-549-5949 336 Connell, Missoula, MT 59801
2’Iew )3ork Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org http://www.MeherBabaHouse.org
Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 3562 East Third Street, Tucson, AZ 85716 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Laurent Weichberger, cell: 928-600-1820 7 East Aspen Avenue, #11, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 e-mail: ArizonaBaba@yadrakh.org
Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 e-mail: email@example.com Sheldon Herman, phone: 336 288 8090 or 336235-2730 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2”Iorthern California EJ3erkeley Call for information re meeting times and places: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259 e-mail: Benleet@earthlink.net
Sacramento Meetings occasional Sunday mornings at various homes. Discourse meeting first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. Marilyn Buehler 916-925-4451; e-mail: email@example.com; www.premsay.com! MeherBaba .
Meetings every Sunday at 4pm held in our Center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737 1214 South Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019 Uust East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center ofLos Angeles now has its own web site at wwwMeherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public.
Colorado Meetings Sunday evenings at 7pm at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact p ersonfor Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.) Barbara A. Roberts, phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 ( suburb of Denver) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ay 3 florida 7ampa i Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker, M.D., Clearwater, FL, 727-5369282
2lawaii Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 e-mail: drmoon@upcountrnet or email@example.com 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA
JllaineI2’4ew 2tampshire Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1pm with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, home: 207-594-0909, work: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-594-2280 P0 Box 42, Rockland, ME 04841 email@example.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-786-4300 P0 Box 1096 , Auburn, ME 04211 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668 E-mail: email@example.com LAY!assss
Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge). Michael Siegell Phone: 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I4exico 2’Iew 7 Robert Reser and Edle Andersen Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in our home 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone: 505-9836621 email@example.com
Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Asheville, NC 28803 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
7exas Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75965 e-mail: email@example.com
7ri-&ate ./1rea Philadelphia, PA and surrounding tn-state area. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WasIiington, ‘D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone: 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeimages.com/MeherBaba
Dntemcttional Dsrael Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road Jerusalem, Israel 93513 e-mail: email@example.com
LAlexico Rafael Villafane; phone, dialed from US: 01152555295-0512 Cell, dialed from US: 01152555502-7225 E-mail is best as I travel alot: firstname.lastname@example.org We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7pm. No particular day, people on the list are contacted prior to the meeting, e-mail addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so e-mail me ifyou will be in those areas.
j:: ear Love Street LampPost, I was very happy to see Kathy HilTh article, “It’s time to help the Trust,” encourag mg us all to support the Trust’s Development Plan. The article, however, may give readers the wrong impression when it urges them to select an item from theTrust’s “Wish List” and make a gift for that particular item. IfI send a check to the L.A. Center with a note, “To be used by the Trust for a Water Storage Tank,” I create a problem for the L.A. Center. The IRS requires U.S. charities that solicit gifts in support of their grants to foreign charities to retain “discretion and control” over those gifts. IfI require the L.A. Center to redistribute mygiftto theTrust, then the L.A. Center cannot accept my gift unless I first release my restriction on the use ofmy gift. The same is tnae WI require the L.A. Center to use my gift to make a grant to the Trust. This is not something donors want to hear, nor is it something organizations want to have to tell them, but it’s essential for tax purposes. If it is ignored, then the organizations will not be operating their Development Plan grant programs in accordance with the law and their donors will not be able to claim income tax deductions for their gifts. While not all donors care whether they receive an income tax
deduction, some do, and sometimes having a gift quaJifr for a deduction encourages a donor to make a larger gift. Given the size of the Development Plan budget, it is important that the U.S. Baba Organizations operate in a manner that ensures the availability of an income tax deduction for their donors. Even Wa donor decides to forego a deduc tion and make his or her gift directly to the Trust, to be used for a particular Wish List item, this can create difficulties for the Trust. The Development Plan is along-term, multiproject, multimillion-dollar development plan. Each year, the Trustees of Avatar Meher Baba P.PC.T. meet, along with the Trust’s accountant, architect, and persons with vati ous infrastructure responsibilities, to create a budget for the year and for the next 3 to 5 years. They review the status of the projects, estimated costs to complete, time frames, when fttnds will be needed, how much is available for the currentyear, what future grant amounts the Trust can reasonably hope to receive, as well as the availability of contractors, construction workers, masons, water, cabinet builders, etc. The Trustees then determine which projects should be given priority and which projects should be delayed in order to ensure that fttnds needed to complete projects already under way will be available. If I make a gift that can onlybe used for aWater Storage Tank and the Trustees were planning to defer that project until certain land could be acquired
AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520
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or pipelines and roads built, then the Trust would have to hold my gift and account for it separately until it was ready to undertake that project. It would also need to communi cate with me periodically to explain why my projectwas being delayed. Otherwise, I might think that the Trust didnt really need my gift and decide not to make any more gifts until my Tank was built. Or, to avoid the risk of a misunderstanding, the Trustees might decide to build a Tank now even though it would mean using finds from another project that was already underway and thatwill have to be slowed down as a result ofhaving its finding reallocated to myTank project. So, ifI am inspired by the Trust’s need for aWater Storage Tank, the best thing I can do is send my check to the L.A. Center with a note stating, “This giftis inspiredbytheTrusts need for a Water Storage Tank. Please consider using it to help make Development Plan grants to theTrust.”This will make mywishes known without creating tax problems for the L.A. Center or administration and project management problems for the Trust. Thankyou again for all the great articles on theTrust and its activities. It is an exciting time for the Trust and all ofBaba’s Family around the world. I hope all your readers are inspired to participate in theTrust’s Development Plan in whatever way Beloved Meher Baba makes possible! —Nancy Marx, Connecticut
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