3rom tlic Editov O
readers have asked us if we edit the articles they send us, and if so, what exactly do we do. What kind of changes do we suggest—and why? What kind of changes do we insist on—and why? When do we stay out of the way? And the hardy perennial: do we edit articles to make them adhere to a particular point of view? I thought I’d try to provide a few answers. Before something appears in our pages, you can bet that questions have been asked, arguments have been clarified, cuts have been suggested—as have additions—and factual, typographical and grammatical errors have been caught. (We hope.) Our most important rule, however, is that nothing is published unless it has been ap proved by its author. Articles go to press only after the person under whose name the article appears has agreed to the editing. The best way to explain how we edit is to take a walk through the process. Say you send us an article and it’s accepted. You’ll be told that we’ll contact you once your article is scheduled for publication. That could be months away, the LampPost is after all, a quarterly magazine. When your article moves on-deck, Dma, Kathy or Becci will get to work. . Expletives will be deleted; some words will be capitalized, others lower cased. Remember that Baba’s pronouns are always capititalized. 0 See that the article fits our allotted space. . Fact-check the article. While it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the ar tide 15 accurate, we still check names, dates, places and quotations. All Baba quotes must
be attributed: from which book they came, what page, and who holds the copyright. . Remove double spaces between sentences (a habit from the age of the typewriter) and any formatting. To spare us the extra work, articles should be submitted as simple text or Word documents. . Ensure photographs will reproduce well. Photos should be scanned at 318 dpi, changed to black and white, and saved as a tif file. A good size for sending is 3 x 5. Ifthe photo has been taken with a digital camera, give us the highest resolution you can. Ifyou only have 72 dpi, keep it large (17 x 21) or whatever your camera gives you, and send as ajpeg. We also check assertions. But there is a crucial distinction between changing a writer’s argument and suggesting language that will help a writer make the point more effectively. We’re also concerned about readability. We try to approach articles as average readers who know nothing about the subject. They may ask if a point is clear, if a writer needs transitional language to bridge the gap between two seemingly separate points, if a leap oflogic has been made without sufficient explanation. The editor will then send the edited version of the article to the writer. Every change is a suggestion, not a demand. Ifa solution offered by an editor doesn’t work for a writer, the two work together to find an answer to the problem. We will not ask you to change your mind or your point of view; we’re going to help you make the best case you can. Editing is a human enterprise. Like writing, it is by nature subjec tive. Sometimes an editor will think a writer is saying something they aren’t. But our editing process gives both writer and editor plenty of time to sort out any misunderstandings before the article goes to press. The LampPost is a venue for people with a wide range of perspectives, experiences and talents. Some of the people who appear in this magazine have written a lot, others haven’t. If we published only people who needed no editing, we would wind up relying on only a very narrow range of professional writers,
and the magazine would be the worse for it. Andjust so you know, this article has been edited. Changes have been suggested—and gratefully accepted. Well, most of them. *With thanks to David Shipley ofthe New York Times Op-Ed page. ...One more thing; we do not publish only the articles with which we agree. You will notice we have run articles by well-known people who have widely differing opinions, but we feel it is our responsibility to allow both sides of an issue to be presented. The LampPost has, over the years, become a forum in the active Baba community for many differing viewpoints. This could be of interest in the future when, inevitably, other conflicts arise. In His love and service, Dma Snow Gibson
n o/I& oaIar 7l(eJer 3 IfpuJaIi
Cenler o/c5oulJern Gab/ornkz
Love cStreeriinnjl?osr ye/come.. Love 5treet £ampJ2ost is dedicated with love to .J1vatar J 1/teher 7 E13aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among all 2lis lovers by providing a place for sharing 2tis remembrance. .Jlll members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. SuBscRI PT IONS
features WOMEN IN THE NEW AGE
SELFLESS SERVICE AND THE NEW LIFE
MEHER MOUNT DRAWS CARETAKERS BACK
THE HOMECOMING OF DANNY MAGU IRE
BAD ACID, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND...
The magazine actually costs us $16-$20 per person per year domestic, and THE POET AND THE ARTIST $25-$30 for overseas. Subscription is by donation only. Donate whatever BABA’S WORDS AT PLAY feels right to you. SUBMISSIONS:
Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 900 19-3520 323-731-3737 website: www.meherabode.org
BOWING TO MEHER BABA
July issue: October issue:
November 1st February 1st May 1st August 1st
FRANK BLOISE KITTY DAVY
ERUCH’S WORDS ON BABA MEETINGS
EDITING UNDER BABA’S INSTRUCTIONS D. STEvENS/L. WEIcHBERGER
for the January issue:
THE PUMPKIN HOUSE ORPHANAGE
Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are HEART TALK all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message of Love RANO GAYLEY BABA’S ARTIST and Truth. Send to: MEHER BABA’S 1956 VISIT Love Street Lamposr
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD
MOVING THE PRO.
AN IMPORTANT LETTER FROM THE TRUST,
INAUGURATION OF THE MEHER PILGRIM RETREAT
LOVE STREET BOOKSTORE:
Dma Snow Gibson (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax
email Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.LoveStreetBookstore.com or www.MeherBabaBooks.com
HUMOR FOR HUMA
PoEMS TO THE BELOVED
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS
editor: assistant editors: design and layout: proofreaders: preflight: distribution: mailing list information:
Dma Snow Gibson Kathy Hill, Becci Robbins Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, Becci Robbins Kathy Hill, Becci Robbins
Tom Hart Pris Haffenden, Ray Madani Pris Haffenden 3616 1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions.
front cover: Noreen, Baba and Ruano, Nasik, 1936 © permission courtesy of MSI Collection
£oveStreetJ.ainpPosris published quarterly, inJanuary, April,July, and October. All contents © 2006 Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. All
quotations, photos, or books of Avatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India
llk.you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the J4leher J3aba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bringjoy and love to the hearts of all Love Street J2ost readers. 1 L amp All words, images andgraphics in thispubllcation areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeherBaba A vatar Meher Baba PerpetualFublic Charitable Trust, Ahmednagac India, and Lawrence Reiter Unau thorizedduplication isprohibitedby la w.
WItnt’s 2kppcnin 9 in J4khercibcd _7frioviug the Drene 2 1o!t,
ummer at Meherabad is a time when a variety of maintenance and infrastructure work is seen to, often bigjobs that can’t eas ily be done during the pilgrim season. As we might expect, this year is a particularly busy one as we make final preparations for the opening of Meher Pilgrim Retreat in June. Another big change that will affect pilgrim life is the moving of the Pilgrim Reservation Office (P.R.O.) from the Trust Compound in Ahmednagar to its new rooms at Meher Pilgrim Centre, lower Meherabad. Pilgrims who have to complete the police reporting paperwork prior to checking in for their stay at Meherabad will now do this at our “old” Pilgrim Centre rather than the office in town. Indian law requires police reporting for all visitors traveling on foreign passports. This is generally handled for tourists at hotel desks at the time of check-in. When Baba lovers from abroad started coming regularly to Ahmednagar after Baba dropped His body, Baba’s secretary Adi K. Irani took care of their police reporting formalities (which we often call “registration,” though that is somewhat of a misnomer since Foreign Registration in India is a different process, required of longterm visitors).
Adi also kept a book with a copy of each persons police form and their picture, as a reference for the Trust. The book filled up, and a second volume was started, then a third and a fourth. Adi and those who came to work with him and after him, without a gap, from 1972 to the present, have maintained these registration books. The number of volumes now totals 97. So, along with desks, tables, computers, files and a plethora ofoffice paraphernalia, these volumes have been transferred to the new location. They are the legacy ofthe P.R.O., connecting us in time to those early years. I remember making plans for my first visit to India in 1973. I consulted other Baba lovers on how to proceed. “You have to write to Adi K. Irani and let him know when you’re coming, I was told. Thus began the system of making advance reser vations for coming to Meherabad. In those days before the Pilgrim Centre was built, Adi made arrangements for us to stay in an Ahmednagar hotel or guesthouse. Adi also took care of many practicalities for the pilgrims coming from other coun tries. Adi sent our money to the bank to be exchanged into rupees. He sold stamps and sent our mail to the post office. He made bus and taxi reservations and contacted the airlines about our flights. On my first trip, I fell ilijust a day or two before I was scheduled to depart from India. As I lay feverish on my L. bed at the Dawlat Hotel, Adi saw that all L my travel arrangements were changed. This was Baba’s own secretary and he took [ care of us like a dear uncle. Eventually some early western resi l:dents assisted Adi: Jacko Caraco, Bobby Street, and Pat Sumner. Since Adi’s time quite a few others have helped in that office blessed, I know we all feel, for the op portunity to work in location and in ose connection with ._i and Eruch, with J and Bal Natu, ___j with Bhauji. So it is a momen tous step, a rather huge shift of heart, head, “
Ak/wi Baha.i bus! in a pzoininantplace
in the front office.
and hand, to move the P.R.O out ofAdi’s old office and into its new digs at M.P.C. We’re happy about it. It will have a fresh feel for us, imbued with the incomparable atmosphere of Meherabad. We look forward to becoming part of the life of lower Meherabad and the new functions, as they unfold, ofthe building we all hold dear, the M.P.C. We are bringing our furniture with us, our photos of Baba that have hung on those walls forever, and those volumes of registration books! Hopefully we also bring with us the spirit of service to Baba lovers that Adi exemplified so many years ago, that we may remember to do our very best, to
Irene hangingphotos in the front office.
Photos line the walls!
An Dmporkrnt Letter from the vutcir JII4eher ÂśBabi EJ1erpetua1 J2ublic Charitabk 7rust
March 16th 2006 To pilgrims with serious ilkiesses who plan to travel to India Dear Baba Pilgrims, Since Beloved Avatar Meher Baba dropped His body in 1969 to forever dwell in the hearts of His lovers, an ever-increasing number of Baba-lovers have been coming for pilgrimage to His final resting-place and home in India. As the number ofpilgrims to Meherabad keeps increasing, so too does the number of Baba byers who arrive at Meherabad with some serious medical problem. We are sending this circular to encourage all those with serious illnesses planning to travel to Meherabad for pilgrimage to understand the responsibilities that they are taking on as part of such ajoumey. Among illnesses that are considered serious are: cancer, heart disease, AIDS, emphysema and F other serious respiratory illness severe asthma unstable neurological disorders (such as MS), unstable diabetes, major psychiatric disorders (especially those managed by medication), handicaps such as paraplegia, etc. If a Baba lover is suffering from AIDS and has active infections, or the immune system is deeply affected, then a visit to India would place that person at great : risk. We are not prepared to manage medical [ conditions in unstable AIDS patients. Many people with serious medical condi tions have made a successful pilgrimage to the Beboved home without serious complications. However, it can be difficult or impossible for us to .
Irene Holt making reservations in the new computer room.
provide care at Meherabad if adequate prepara
give our all for the sake of those precious ones who come here to Baba with their hearts open for Him. See you soon, in the new PRO.! For reservations, please note that our address and email address remain the same, but our telephone number is changed. Contact: Pilgrim Reservations Avatar Meher Baba Trust Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Road, Post Bag 31 Ahmednagar, 414001 (MS) INDIA Pimco@ambppct.org ,
tions have not been made well in advance. Any Baba lover with a serious illness should consult with their doctor to make sure the condi
tion is stable enough for the trip to Meherabad and get their approval before undertaking a pilgrimage. When a visitor arrives with a serious illness that is unstable then it can place their life in
great danger and seriously compromises our ability to help. We need to be informed well in advance about pilgrims with serious or disabling illnesses (that are in a stable condition) before they make plans for their trip. When you write to the Pilgrim Reservations Office ofthe Trust to inquire about accommodations at Meherabad, please openly state in your letter (or e-mail) whatyour medical disorder is and the status of that illness. We will then be able to start planning how to help you. The Pilgrim Reservations Office may then forward your letter to the medical staffwho may get in touch with you and advise you further on how to minimize your discomfort in traveland dufing your stay. Your letter would be kept confidential
and discussed only with those individuals who directly need to assist you. Patients with serious psychiatric conditions should not discontinue their medication if they
are planning to come to India. The rigors of international travel can place a great strain on an individual psychiatric condition. Managing a nervous breakdown at Meherabad when a person
has discontinued or reduced their psychiatric medicines can be extremely distressing to that person and to other pilgrims. Staying on a stable dose of medication will help keep the condition
in balance. Ifyou are unsure about what precautions you need to take, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hesitate to get in touch with the Pilgrim Reservations Office or our medical staffdirectly. Women planning to arrive in India while they are pregnant should also inform us. Medicalfacilities and medical care atMeherabad are very limited and many ofthe medical facilities in Ahmednagar do not meet even the minimal
standards of reasonable care. The closest city where better care is provided is Pane. The hospi tabs in Pune are at an uncomfortable three hours
drive from Meherabad. Unfortunately, a fully equipped ambulance with adequately trained
personnelis not available. Despite the significant improvement in roads and vehicles over the years, the ride is still quite bumpy and in several recent emergencies the pilgrim has arrived in a critical condition at the hospital in Pune. Once in the hospital, the patiens food, drinkingwater, purchaseofbasic medicines, and special care are all provided by the patient attendants (family members or friends) Someone has to be with the patient during the day and someone sleeps in the same room at night. Making ar rangements for the transfer to Pune, for roundthe-clock attendants and for the hospitalization itself, puts a great strain on the pilgrim, their family, the Meherabad/Meherazad resident staff and the mandali. We are prompted to send out this important information to our Baba family by our concern for you in your love for the Beloved. We know that you will understand that our most sincere wish is to help as many as we can to come for pilgrimage to bow down at His feet in their deep love for Him. For that we need your co operation. AVATAR MEHER BABA KIJAI!!! Note: We are sending out this important announcement for Babas beloved family in your .
area: Please include the entire contents of this flier in your newsletters, without any alteration ofthe text, so that all in your area may be able to get this notice. And again please note, this is for pilgrims with serious or disabling illnesses, not
for those who are healthy.
3nauguflhtiQn Qf the ;4’khcr rLEiIjñm !RefrciI Wnrd ¶Parks
Photos by 2lomyar3. lfr1istry (2lomz), J4lelierabad, 3une 15, 2006
ate afternoon on une 14 the eve of the inauguration of the Meher Pilgrim Retreat and the opening of the ,
2006-07 Meherabad pilgrim season, nature decided to put on a show. It
afternoons that we get in Ahmednagar in mid-June, as the wet monsoon
Indian Ocean in the
push in against the accumulated heat mass of three previous months of blazing summer.
I had just driven up on my motorcycle to the MPR from Lower Meherabad. The of the inauguration. The next day, pilgrim wind was gusting, and rain started to pour season officially began, and by mid-morning down, even though the sun still shining the MPR was buzzing with excitement. At from behind made the edges of clouds and about noon the bus from the old Pilgrim flashing raindrops and landscape golden. But Centre arrived, and soon after the car from suddenly in the east, directly over Meherabad Meherazad. The building had been decked out Hill and the Samadhi, there appeared a truly spectacular rainbow—indeed, a double- beautifully, with rangoli (ornamental patterns rainbow, the lower one running in a strong in colored powder) at points on the stone unbroken arch with “posts” or “feet” at ground flooring, a glittering doorway toran at the points to the north and south, and a higher, dewy rainbow shimmer crowning the middle portion. Looking from the bridge between the men’s and women’s sections of the MPR out along the view corridor running east towards
the Samadhi, with the ethereal band of color curving overhead, the footpath leading under it, and the white spire of the tower on
Meherabad Hill along the horizon line, I was reminded of those ancient Indian epics where a heavenly darbar manifests in the sky and the celestials shower rose petals on the scene below. It was as if Baba was saying in my mind, “Remember that all these beautiful things that I create for you serve their true purpose if you use them as gateways to Me.”
Such was nature’s display on the eve
Following a welcoming introduction from Heather Nadel, Meheru garlanded Baba’s photograph and led us in arti and
prayers. There followed a short program that began with talks by Meheru and Meherwan. Meheru recalled that over the years with Baba His mandali had experienced every kind of condition, sometimes luxury, but more often His companionship was spiced with a measure
of hardship and discomfort. entrance, and small strings of flowers here “Never forget that you are Meher and there. The 400—500 of us who had come pilgrims, she said. “You have not come as for the occasion, from abroad as well as across guests to a five-star hotel. Remember that India, gathered in the foyer outside the door you have come in love to bow down and lay “
to the dining hall. your head at His lotus feet.” A chair was centered on a stone floor tile Meherwan too emphasized that pilgrims there, which had previously been part of the at the MPR should avail themselves of the flooring in Mani’s office at Meher Nazar and magnificent opportunity that Beloved Baba had been walked on many times by Baba. has provided and not waste their time in The chair held a photograph of Baba in gossip and other useless activities. [Full text Meherabad in the late 1930s, the same photo follows. -Ed] which Mehera and Mani had garlanded It was good to hear these reminders of the and dedicated to the Pilgrim Centre at fundamental seriousness of pilgrimage and lower Meherabad when it was inaugurated the greater spiritual endeavor that Baba has in June 1980. A gorgeous new larger-than- set before His lovers, reminders given by two life painting of Baba by Charles Mills hung who have indeed lived their lives at His feet above the doorway, which had been roped off and know whereof they speak. with a red ribbon and bow. Heather then read out a message from
Bhau, composed for the occasion. [Reprinted below —EdJHis words of inspiration served as yet another reminder that pilgrimage is a path of truth which works to lead us ever closer to Him and ever further from our false selves. Next Ted Judson, the building’s architect, paid his tribute to the huge team effort, involving perhaps hundreds of on-site workers and thousands of donors from around the world who, literally and figuratively, made the building rise. Dot Lesnik came to the microphone and related the lovely story of the creation of Welcome to My World, the wall of tiles crafted by hundreds of Baba lovers, a tribute to the oneness we all share in Him. The miraculous occurrence of the perfect fit of the exact number oftiles made has been recounted and was of course the punch-line of Dot’s talk. But the last word was Meherus as she commented that Baba had always said He was not too good with math and numbers, so He must have used His divine vision in getting those tiles counted!
Meheru cut the ribbon to a resounding Avatar Meher Baba ki jai, and we all filed into the dining room for punch and lunch, a marvelous spread that Alan Wagner had prepared, with a classic Meherabad blend of eastern and western cuisine. With this simple and sweet event the Meher Pilgrim Retreat began its active life, which one imagines will be long and fruitful. The MPR takes its place in a greater and expanding Meherabad that seems to be in a phase of transition. The building itself is a mark of this, a large, magnificent structure with its arches and courtyards and balconies and beautiful art displays set in a new topography on the back side of Meherabad Hill, with its wide open spaces and panoramic vistas. But in many other ways Meherabad is growing. The old passes and the new comes to birth, and always Baba remains as the eternal fountain of love divine. As a closing note: for several weeks some of us had been wondering exactly what the
final pilgrim tally at the MPR would be for the first night. The old Pilgrim Centre had a capacity of 56 (coincidentally, the number of God-realized souls in the spiritual hierarchy, according to God SpeaJd Naturally, some us had been hoping for a total of either 56 or 57—one more than the old building’s capacity—and for a brief shimmering moment, like the rainbow of the day before, these numbers seemed to be in prospect. But I suppose it’s too much to expect Baba to go on indulging the human mind’s proclivity for numerological coincidence. The final count came to 58. Of these, two-thirds were Indian and one-third from abroad. The MPR preregistration currently totals 125, again, two-thirds Indian, for the next big event, the commemoration of Meher Baba’s Silence on the July 10. —From Thvern Talk, June 2’2 2006 .
3rom the Chairman of the Board .
J3Iiait 2<cilchiiri eloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! My dearest dear ones of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, I feel very, very happy to welcome you into Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Today, in your presence, it is declared open by Beloved Avatar Meher Baba so that His lovers from all over the world may come here to witness His presence through your hearts. Though I am not here physically, as time and space are in the domain ofillusion, I feel happy to give this message as if I were indeed with you all. [Bhau was in the UnitedStates at this date. -EdJ It is a great fortune that we are all blessed to have you here. This retreat will be open for His lovers and dear ones for a long time so that they may come and remain free from the temptations of illusion and remain in His service during their stay. The greatest thing that the Beloved has given (and which He continues to give) is the blessing ofHis divine presence in our hearts. It makes us realize that, God alone exists and nothing exists besides Him. Whatever appears as existing, it exists in non-existence. We should realize this truth in order to love the Beloved and follow His wish. Day by day, we find the force of illusion increasing more and more. The world is forgetting God, who is the reality. We have come into creation to experience reality, and one day we will realize this, whether we want to, or we don’t want to. We appear as drops in the ccean. We don’t realize that everyone is not every one, but the ocean. We see only the drops, because minds are innumerable. Because of the mind, every drop becomes a drop and, until the mind is annihilated, the drop cannot experience that it is the ocean and has been the ocean all along. Whatever the drops are experiencing is nothing but the dream, so this life is a very long dream. In drop form, we pass through different kingdoms of consciousness—from gas to stone, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal. The last form is human being. The life of the drop is a very
long one. It is beyond imagination, but this life is nothing but the life of illusion, the dream life. Because the ocean is there in every drop, indivisible and one, without any division, you have to wake up from this dream. This is the duty of the Ancient One, who comes down age after age, in this age as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and, finally, as Meher Baba, in order to awaken humanity. There is no beginning and end to God. He is the Eternal One who comes down on Earth in order to awaken us. We are not drops, but the ocean. Therefore, how fortunate you are, how blessed, that you have recognized Him and are following Him. In order to wake up from this dream you come here. One day, the whole world will recognize Him, but you have already started going along the path that leads one to Him. Those who recognize Him at His universal manifestation will start following the truth at that time, but you will be somewhere on the path of the truth, because you are already following Him. The trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust and the residents working here to serve His cause have the responsibility to look after whatever need you have. Your duty is to follow the wish of the Beloved in order to please Him and mold your life according to His wish. Please know well that we are all His slaves. To become His proper slave, we have to work under the motto “Mastery in Servitude.” Therefore, be here as long as you can. Forget the world during this period. Just follow Him and please Him. We all are one in His Love. We should know how to please Him and how to grow closer and closer to Him and away and away from our own false selves. Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! In His Love and Service, Bhau
af41:ehev i4jriin R . .•
J4’teherctbctd, 2june IS, 2006
ear Baba lovers gathered
was a schoolgirl coming for
here today for the my holidays—with great opening of the new Meher excitement and a feeling Pilgrim Retreat, we welcome of joy and adventure as I ;. you one and all. As I look on boarded the train Yes what this magnificent structure and times these were with Baba 1 gaze on all the artwork and ‘/ We were a motley group of the love that has gone into easterners and westerners, this building, I say to myself, most of us used to comforts “This is how the Divine Host of home—yet this was our . honours His guests.” : choice—under any and all But looking back in time conditions, to be with our to our days with the Beloved, I Beloved. see the conditions in which we But for your part, you stayed with Him, sometimes have come on pilgrimage to in grand bungalows with Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. all the comforts, but mostly As pilgrims, never ever forget in cramped places where that you are Meher pilgrims, the rooms were packed with not come as guests to a fivepeople sleeping on the floor star hotel, demanding all the on their thin travel bedding, comforts. Only then will this often padded with clothing retreat fulfill the purpose for when the weather was cold, which it was built. each demarcating their own Ever be respectful to your space with their luggage. host, be friends with all, There might be arguments, and remember that you have but mostly people got on with come in love for Meher the each other. We had to live Lord to bow down and lay With the help ofJalDastooi Meheru cuts the ribbori under all conditions, often your head at His lotus feet. officially opening the MeherFilgrim Retreat. with water shortages, having In this action, give Him all just so much water allotted for our use, for as often as not there your worries and problems, and wholeheartedly remember, be with were no taps and water had to be brought in barrels by bullock cart Him, and enjoy His sahavas. from the nearest well. He never fails us and fills our cups to overflowing. Keep your Often there was no electricity. We’d use kerosene lanterns which hearts open to receive His divine prasad. were not in the best condition. If we were lucky, the flame would stay steady but often it would just puff out. Still, we continued to BELOVED AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! :•
I.: r: .
pack and carry these lanterns, and they saw many years of service.
But I look back on those days of my childhood—for I
Meheru andMeherwan garland Baba chair during opening ceremoniess.
‘jcey .i:iñm dieot ¶JPlwtos by 2lomyar
(‘Clockwise, from top left) Tedjudson, the architect ofthis magnificent building speaks at the dedication. Meherwanjessawala (Erucithyounger brother) speaks ofthe early days in Meherabacl Tedjudson andhis wife, Janet, lookjustillably happynow that more than a decade ofplanning has finally come to fruition. AdairAdams andAnn Edelman theckin the arrivingpilgrims in the newreception office. Meheru views the magnificent wall that was a collaborative effort byBaba lovers near and far
3. J4listry (2lomz)
(Clockwise, from top left)
The dinthgroom as seen from the balcony. The huge olipaintings, 181n alL thatBiana LeFagehas been working on for thepastfiveyears, make a stunning showftig Theystartfrom His childhooo chronologically working their way around the walls, featuring- -along with beautiful studies ofthe Beloved- -many ofthe importantpeople and events in His life. People came to look at the “14lcome to My World wall ofhandpainted (by Baba lovers throughout the world) tiles, andfound they couldn tear themselves away—so fascinating are all the paintings. “
Master ChefAlan Wagner escorts Meheru through the diningroom andinto hispride andjoy—agleamirig stainless steel ultra modern kitchen.
Women in the Rew c/Ije 3ilis 3redcrick Avatar’s Abodc, .Australia 1981 the cultural sense the West has been the leader in reason and sd ence, and the application of logic. That is probably why the role of women has to change in the West. Women’s role in the past has been sub-dominant. It has been impor tant but (we don’t have to belabor the point) has been considered as being on a much lower level. Women have been treated in a cer tam way in the male-dominated cultures of the West. That has, of course, roots in our Judeo-Christian background of God the Father: the male was always emphasized. The Bible portrays the role of women as submissive. Really, up until very recent times (and in different cul tures at a different rate of growth), the male has been the dominating figure—in the culture, in the arts, in the family structure where it all begins—”daddy knows best.” But that has to change. As Carl Jung explains: Wom an’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness and that of Lo gos as objective interest. We have not only physically both male and female characteristics (one is more dom inant than the other) in each form, but also in our psyche we have, as Jung says, our inward “soul image. A woman has within her the male image, the animus, and of course it’s the reverse for the male—he outwardly has a male body but within him he has his feminine side, his anima or soul. The way you function is governed by the question, “Who am I?” as Meher Baba said. That’s the whole game. The whole push of evolution is to find out who you really are. In each incarnation, whichever sex you take, you’re looking for who you are, and you’re always trying to find that hidden part of yourself. So if you’re a man, you’re trying really to find your inner feminine self, however, you may not see it that way directly. In the same way a woman
where you get a little bit of growth, and growth is painful. That’s the truth about everything—growing pains in physical growth and psy chological growth to find out who you are. The submissive, cliched female patterns of the past, which had their [ place, are going to change in the [ New Age. The men are very upset by this change in the women’s role i because it upsets who they are as i males, but they have to go through it with the women. Accept women as your equal. They and you must go through this change. You’re both going to be more open to your oth er inner self. Instead of repressing this inner image, you will bring it out and balance it, as it should be, in the final divine androgyne that Meher Baba is In Himself He s perfect balance, perfect male and female. You can see that sometimes in the femininity of Meher Baba, it’s as if He has both. Eventually we have to find that balance, and to achieve that means growth. The more a woman feels her freedom and assertiveness (in the right way—remember there is a big difference between assertiveness and aggression) and feels that she has space to be creative in all directions, then also, the man responds. He shares the gain that she makes, and she shares the gain that he makes when he develops his feminine side. His part is to open up, to be more communicative, for example to show more of his emotions, to recognize he has feelings, to learn to share feelings with the people close to him. Eventually you both become more intuitive, and that’s where you both have to head. .
tries to balance her inner and outer selves. You’re always trying to balance—it’s just the whole game of sanskaras, of opposites. When you’re pushed way over here, the pendulum automatically tries to get over there, and this is why you swing back and forth between male and female incarnations. In each incarnation you are trying to find you inner self which, at the time of that incarnation, is the opposite of you. This creates the drive for human love, for wholeness, for union. Why do you fall in love? You only fall in love because you’re trying to find and unite with that other opposite within you. In the final spiritual journey, you’re not trying to find it in someone else; you are trying to balance it within yourself as your real identity. In this New Age, woman’s search is being speeded up. Her search is not only to have the balance brought out by a personal relationship, but also in the deeper sense of her own individuality and identity, and this is
Civilization in Transition, v. 10, p. 123, C. Jung, Collected Works, N.Y. Pantheon *
Books 1964 From The A wakener Volume XX, Num ber Two, Copyright 1983 by the Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.
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he concept of Selfless Service in Meher Babas Holy Name deserves reflection by all of us in His family. I, myself have felt awkward about what I have to offer and the best way to approach a perceived need in one of my spiritual sisters’ or brothers’ life. Needs are so individual, but I believe it is a fair statement to make that we all need each other on some level. Helping our brothers and sisters can be as simple as a phone call or a remembrance offered in a card. Service to others can be a helping hand with emotional support and may be expressed by a loving smile or a gentle hug. Some of our family members may require financial support to get through a rough patch in their life. Still others may need us to physically help them with driving, shopping, a quick visit to the house-bound, sharing a meal or a cup of tea, or it can be the offer to take someone to a needed doctor’s appointment. How beautifully our Beloved Baba has made selfless service to humanity His watchword. We all are part of the humanity Meher Baba mentions. He gave us such a simple com mand, yet sometimes we allow our minds and our emotions to confuse and complicate basic caring and concern for each other. Many of us have visited India, or spent time with the Mandali members when they visited us here in the West. I would venture a guess that each of us has felt the beauty of “unconditional love” from one or more of them. It may have come in different forms, such as a hug, a cup of tea at Baba’s kitch en table with Mehera, an “aha moment” in Mandali Hall with Eruch, a tear shed in the Samadhi when the women came for dar shan, or a story told by Bhauji of life with Baba, that you knew Beloved Baba was haying told just for you. Maybe it was in one of the many Sahavas Programs with the mandali members here in the West, a conversation with Arnavaz about life with Baba, a visit on Mehera’s Porch, or 12
a walk up Seclusion Hill—or whatever it was—but we have all experienced this form of Love in our relationship with Meher Baba and His close ones. If each of us honored this gift by passing it on, and sharing it with someone else, just one person, we would be doing a service in His Name. This simple act of passing this gift from God on to another would increase our enjoyment of the origi nal experience, and it could be renewed in Baba’s Name, in the present tense. When Mehera told her stories of life with her Beloved Baba, hundreds and thousands of times, she relived the experience in the present tense and shared those inti mate moments with us. She bestowed on us His darshan by her words and deeds. What a great service MeL hera offered us in His Name! Meher Babas byers can also offer a r service to each other if we pass on the love, and inspiration, we have been blessed ‘ with, in His Name, to one other person! By : sharing our Love for the Avatar of the Age, I without hesitation, amongst each other, we experience service to our community! Both the giver and the receiver benefit with this simple act of kindness. We may not “love” each other, but we can aspire to behave in a “loving” manner. In the “Song of the New Life,” there is a line we might use as our guide in service in His name: In Paragraph V, the third line says, “Brotherliness, or fellow-feeling is the link that exists,” Meher Baba, (in this rather nerve wracking song) tells His companions in the New Life to embrace hopelessness, invite calamity and difficulties, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, to disengage from pride, anger, lust and greed. Baba further admonishes His compan ions to leave their minds, religions, expecta tions and thoughts behind, and let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy their very life. He also tells them, “Do NOT bet go the hand of Truth” and “rely only on —
God.” Meher Baba’s Song ofthe New Life is very clear about what we must turn our back on, but not once does He ask us to turn our back on each other. In fact, so simply and sweetly He enlightens us with this gracious command, “Brotherliness, or fellow-feeling is the link that exists. Being available to each other is our connection to God! It is one of the fingers on the hand of Truth Meher Baba talks about. Our encounters with Maya, the unfolding of our karmic links to this life, and the impressions we are bound by, need His divine intervention. We also know that without Meher Baba’s Love, the wick of our life would burn dangerously low, and we would be swallowed in the ensuing darkness. When we worship the God that resides in each of us, we are in His Holy Presence, because that is what our Lord Meher Baba has said to us. We know we are all of one Soul. Meher Baba stated we are of one Soul in a ghazal he wrote in the 1920’s, translated by Adi K. Irani. This ghazab can be found in a book written by Bhau Kaichuri, Lord Mehei the Biography of the A vatar ofthe Age Meher Baba, Volume One & Two 18941925, page 414. In this ghazal Meher Baba states, “Atma, the Soul, is one; varied are the bodies indeed like the many sons of one Father cherished. So when we reach out to each other, we are reaching out to ourselves, and ifwe believe we are all one Soul with the Lord, we reach out to God with this simple act of service. We must not be cavalier in this knowledge. Part of our attraction to Meher Baba is the fact that the smallest details of His Lov er’s lives NEVER escaped His notice. We have all heard stories about how He wanted to know if His dear ones slept well, ate well, were feeling well, their family was in good health, was their journey to Him pleasant, whether they were successful in their busi ness or job, how were they getting along in their studies, etc. He even asked people if they had a ‘good motion,’ meaning a bowel movement! Here is Infinite Knowledge, Power, and Bliss caring about the most mundane issues of the Gross Plane! I like to think He was being an example to all of us on how we should strive to care for each other. I have found so much comfort in my dark. .“
est hours when someone through their day withasked a simple question such out knowing Meher Baba Song ofthe NewLife as “How are you?” It might is God Incarnate! Knowonly have been a social nicety ing Meher Baba is the Listen to the silent words ofMeher Baba; and they really did not care Avatar of this Age brings The life ofailovers ofGodis in these words. at all how I was feeling! This meaning to the line in the You who are serious to follow the New Life question did not change the “Song of the New Life,” Will renounceyour ephemeral existence. circumstances of the situa paragraph IX, that starts, We have taken thislife in whith we relyonly upon GocI tion I was going through, but Even if your heart be cut Our will is strençhened by our oath. I somehow felt less alone in to bits, let there be a smile We merrilysing the song ofhopelessness; my travails, because for me, it on your lips.” A daunting We invite all calamities and difficulties. was Baba or Mehera wanting expectation God has for us to know how I was faring at as commanded by our BeWe neither wail over lost hopes, nor complain aboutpromises, that moment in my life. loved Meher Baba! Nor covet honoi, nor shun disgrace. I felt they were letting Paragraph X sums it Back-bitingis ended and we do not fear anyone, me know I was not forgotten all up by declaring “God This is the tenor ofour NewLife. and they were by my side. exists indeed and true are The person was the messen No confusion in the mindnow, neither are any ties left the Prophets.” It’s what ger from God, reminding me Pride, angei lust andgreedare sloughed off Adi K. Irani used to tell I was being taken care of, and No religion for any ofus, nor care forphysical or mental aims. us, about this conviction of thought of, by my Beloved The Sheikh and the Brahmin are now in the same boat. Meher Baba as Lord, that Meher Baba and Mehera. it is God Realization in Our Father, Meher Baba, There is for us all no small orgreat. disguise! Loving God, and is the embodiment of Com Neither disciple, master or Godhood exist. trying to live His word, is passion. Our struggles are Brotherliness is the link, an obligation to each other His struggles, and our vic And our common enjoyment ofsuffering. in His holy name. tories are His as well. When This world or the next, hell or heaven, we are no longer concerned with. Avatar Meher Baba has we have moments of sadness, Shaktic andsiddhis occultism andmirades, we are no longerplagued with. promised us that God is all He suffers with us. When we All false impressions ha ye beenpurgedfrom the minci merciful. It is also true that laugh, His smile is great. And Now we live in the activepresent. the spiritual path can be, at if we remember to surrender times, merciless. Each of us Dear ones, take seriously the words ofBaba: both our sadness and happi passes through times that Although now Jam on the same level with you, ness to Him, we increase the are tough and challeng Yet all orders from me, gooci bacL or extraordinary ties that bind us to Him. This ing, and there is no escape Thu shouldcarry outlinmediately, leaving the result to God helps us disengage from our from our links with maya, emotions bound in Maya. except through the grace Even ifthe heavens falL I also believe He is in a of our Master and Lord. Do notletgo ofthe hand of Truth; hurry to rid us of our SansWhat to do? How can we Let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy the garden ofyour life, karas, as this is the Cycle of serve Him by serving oth Thu beautifyit by contentment and self-sufficiency His Advents to end all previ ers? The New Life is upon Even thoughyourheart be cut to bit let a smile be on your lips. ous Cycles. It is sort of like us, and Baba will not only Here Idivulge toyou a truth: when we push the button to put us through a ‘New Hidden thyour emptyhands is treasure untolcL stop a fan. Even if the energy Life’ in His love, He will Thur beggarlylife is the envy ofkings. source is cut, the blades are make sure we complete the still spinning, moving ever journey renewed through God exists indeeo and true are the Prophets slower until they stop. It ap His nazar and invigorated Every cyde has an A vatai, and everymoment a wall. pears some of us, at times, from His companionship! For us, however it is onlyhopelessness and helplessness, have tougher struggles than But His promise to us is How else can Idescribe toyou what our New Life is? others as our fan blades begin that we do not have to do slowing. Some of us are enit alone. Meher Baba re trusted, by Meher Baba, with His children pel us on our spiritualjourney! Ah, the New minds us over and over we are never alone who may need special care or devotion in Life with Meher Baba! It is why we need to for a moment and we are truly His ‘dear this lifetime. exercise caution injudging others. We know ones’! What is selfless service in the name And it is also true that the one who ap the God Intoxicated, the masts, lived with of Meher Baba, Avatar of the Age? How pears to be served by another, may, in reality, seeming disregard to their earthly needs and can we embrace His wish for us, His lovers? be serving the one who appears to be giving some had the appearance of being ‘mad’ By ‘Fellow-feeling’, as stated in the Song of the the service. We learn that success in life can the same token, how many people living in New Life, would be a good place to start! be a devastation spiritually, and what may mansions might truly be ‘homeless’? appear to be absolute failure in life can proI do not know how the masses get “
Akhev A’kwa EDraws icvious Caictakcis EEiick frnm 2nji Saiii Ervin, Lvs , ngeles 4 ay Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold rains. at the foot of the mountain and seeing how returned onjune 6 as manager/caretakers In between, Ray and Elizabeth were earnestly the teachers and children were of Meher Mount after spending the last six responsible for building and maintaining working on education. The village children months in Kenya, East Africa. They had relationships with the local tribes and their were learning in three languages: English, previously served at Meher Mount from various chiefs. Ray was often called on to Kiswahili and their tribal language. We were April 2002 to May 2005. practice bush medicine for the local Samburu privileged to deliver a donation in Avatar “Meher Mount remains to us the most and to arbitrate disputes. Meher Baba’s name, arranged by Ray, for powerful and divinely blessed place in the Elizabeth managed the kitchen and solar lighting to light two more classrooms, world, they said. “The Avatar’s presence is maintained the lodge and its staff. Both so that 150 children did not have to cram into so powerfully framed within Meher Mount’s were responsible for greeting guests, guiding one room to do their homework at night (no nature and beauty. It is a very transformative, hilkes in the mountains, and conducting electricity in the village, either). healing place. Our further Another excursion led to the experience managing resources aid camp for a Turkana tribe within a politically sensitive that had relocated to an arid, and demanding ecological area desolate place that had some in Northern Kenya, making a water. The drought conditions limited budget work positively, and the suffering of the tribal and relating with visitors from people in the area, Samburu and various cultures and backgrounds Turkana, were so moving that can only serve us well on our Margaret and I spontaneously return to Meher Mount.” and inwardly asked Baba to During their year-long keep His nazar on them. There “sabbatical—in which they was no sign of rain, and this managed the Desert Rose, an was not the season. Then, after upscale, five-cabin eco-lodge we arrived in India, Elizabeth with a staff of 12 in a very emailed us to say rains had started on Baba’s birthday, very remote part of Kenya—they felt the continuous siren call heavy rains, and all the tribal of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba people as well as their herds were Meher very happy. and Mount. E]zabeth Arno]d and Rayjohnston, returningmanager/caretakers to MeherMountin Cailfornia, with Aiexandez pose OjaL The Desert Rose kept Ray and Elizabeth said all Desert Rose in Kenya. local Samburu warrior, at the a reminding them of Meher these activities made them even sure everyone Mount. The elevation of the lodge is at camel safaris, while making better prepared to come back as manager/ 6,500 feet on the slope ofthe 8,000-ft. Mt. had a safe, pleasant time. They were also caretakers at Meher Mount. Previously, Ray Nyiru, or what the local African Samburu charged with budget responsibilities, payroll had been a park superintendent in North tribes people call the Mountain of God. and accounting. Carolina. Elizabeth’s previous experience Managing the Desert Rose also required includes managing a resort hotel in Okracoke, It is about 150 miles southeast of Lake Turkana, where the final scenes in the movie a fair amount oflogistical planning, including NC. “The Constant Gardener” were filmed. making sure there were sufficient supplies, Come visit them and Meher Mount, and The Desert Rose itself is a work of art on from food to kerosene (as there is no hear more oftheir story and how their time in a mountainside overlooking a spectacular electricity), which had to be purchased Kenya constantly reminded them of Meher valley in Samburuland. in Nairobi, a two-day, four-wheel drive Mount and Meher Baba. Water continued to be a theme in their journey each way. No running down to the Contact Information: Meher Mount, lives; the Desert Rose had its share of water convenience store at the last minute! A recent 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road, Ojai, CA problems, as does Meher Mount. First there travel article called the Desert Rose “The 93023. Telephone: 805-640-0000. E-mail: email@example.com. was a shortage of water, in which a trickling most remote lodge in the world.” stream coming off the mountain was shared My wife, Margaret Magnus, and I visited with the local village in the valley below. Ray and Elizabeth at the Desert Rose on our Then there were elephant rains which way to India this past February to celebrate brought into the open-air lodge and cabins Baba’s birthday at Meherabad. One of our the wild animals and cobras escaping the excursions was visiting the Samburu school
Ihe 9 2kmecQmin oj ‘ ejf J’l4ciguire, Los /liige!es Editornote: On July 2005 Danny was knocked offhis bicycle by a drunk driver and has been in a coma ever since. Jeffsends out reports on the amazingresponse the family has received from thousands—literally-—of people around the worlo sending their love and theirprayers to thisyoung man whojust elebrated’ t bkthday Through his2P thelove ofhisparentsand a multitude of friends, they have been able to bringhim home and will continue his treatment there. He has come a long way in a year but still has a long way togo. Our thoughts andprayers are with him, always. J9h
May 12th, Lynn and I got up and drove to CareMeridian together, something we’ve rarely done since we nearly always brought two cars to “work” different shifts with Danny. As we neared the place, I remem bered the months of mornings when I made that drive, often using the opportunity to have a good cry and to pray that I would arrive to good news rather than a new crisis. It’s amaz ing how far Danny has come, considering that in the first few weeks it was not a question of whether he’d had a good night’s sleep but whether he had survived to fight another day. When we got to CareMeridian Friday morning, we were given free range in the storeroom and loaded our car full of all manner of supplies, including five cases of the nutritional supplement. They even let us keep the fan we’d been using since August. Our favorite therapist, Manjiri, asked if she could have a moment alone with Danny and presented him with a beautiful print of Ganesh, the God to whom Hindus pray to overcome obstacles. She spoke softly to him, got a bit choked up and promised she’d come visit Danny at home from time to time. At 1 1 am, it was time to say goodbye and the tears flowed freely. I tried to make a little thank-you address, to tell the staff ‘
I’d told Miguel and Maria about com paring Danny’s re covery to a dolphin who rises splendidly from the ocean, only to plunge back into darkness before sur facing again in an unexpected place. I hadn’t. It was one more of the “coincidences” that have lined our route since July. We drove away from CareMeridian and came home to find bunches of bal loons near our front door and two large signs: Welcome Home Danny” and “We Love You. We later learned that the signs were the work of Sheila and Bob Halcomb, parents of Danny’s close pal and “Fisticuffs” band mate, Kevin. The Halcombs also contributed to the dinner for eight that was brought over in the evening by Bruce,Jerry and Tommy Ostendorf. Today, our friends Sue Palmer and Mary Massey provided us with meals. And besides all the food, friends and family have brightened our house with flowers and cards. Such an outpouring of love and support! Danny did fine on the ride and has been relaxed and present since coming home, despite a few episodes of the ongoing abdominal discomfort. Whereas on our trips home at Christmas and Easter I was plagued with memories of the past and fears for the future, yesterdays homecoming felt good and right to all of us. I felt a sense of calm and peace like I used to know in the first few uncertain weeks in the hospital, a certainty that we are all being taken care of by the higher power that goes by many names. It’s like having a brief glimpse of the bliss that advanced souls are said to experi ence all the time. In my case, the bliss state doesn’t last long, especially when we came home and were inundated with the deliveries of a wheelchair ramp, a feeding pump, a shower wheelchair, a powered lift and sundry supplies. An advanced soul would have had “
Danny and Lynn that I could not imagine a more loving and caring group of people to take care of our son and that I felt sure that God had directed us to this place, but my words came out in fits and starts as I had to pause fre quently to wipe my eyes and clear my throat. We got lots of hugs, a bag of going-away presents and two cards, one for Danny and one for Lynn and me, signed by all the staff members. They all wished us luck, said how much they’d miss us and praised our love and devotion to Danny. We wheeled Danny outside to load him into a hired van. Danny’s roommate Miguel was waiting for us, along with two other spinal cord injury patients, Roberto and Gus. For those of you new to these updates, Miguel was a tree trimmer who fell and broke his back. He’s considered a “partial quadriple gic” in that he doesn’t have much dexterity in his fingers. Saying goodbye Friday, we both got choked up. I laughed that at least now he’d be able to watch television without the headphones that we’d gotten for him so he could enjoy the Spanish Jerry Springer at full volume, but he shook his head, letting me know that that was no consolation. The day before, Miguel’s wife Maria had given Danny a plush fleece blanket with a print of dolphins on it. Katie later asked if
no problem maintaining his poise when the new feeding pump turned out to make lots more noise than the one we’ve borrowed from CareMeridian (a different model) but I confess I got flustered. It’ll all work out but it struck me that the little annoyances are often harder to deal with than the big issues, likely because it’s easier to surrender the big issues, while the little annoyances require phone calls, car rides, negotiations and aggravations. Fortunately, Danny is oblivious to these annoyances and seems very happy to be home. At one point last night, when Andy and Tricia and Katie and Raina and Ten and Lynn and my friend Dick Thomas were all gathered at Danny’s bedside, he got a big smile on his face, clearly enjoying the love and camara derie of the family. Later Friday night, Misti arrived, as always, and sat with Danny while Lynn and I slept well, appreciative that we would no longer have to drive the 22 miles each way each day to CareMeridian. Saturday was spent getting organized and practicing the techniques required to take care of Danny, including turning him every few hours to change his linens and prevent bedsores. We hoisted him out of bed into his wheelchair and brought him down the ramp into our living room where we watched the Dodgers blow another late game lead. Then we went out to enjoy the sunshine and tour the neighborhood. By midnight Saturday, I was exhausted. It’s clear that we will not have a lot ofdown time and the day will come when we’ll accept the many gracious offers of help we’ve received from friends and neighbors. We may need to hire a caregiver to help out. But right now, rendering service to our son is an honor and a joy and seems much more meaningful to me currently than making movies or anything else we could be up to. On the subject of making movies, “Grid iron Gang” which we shot last summer, is due to be released on September 15th. The trailerjust got released and can be viewed at: http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/gridfron gang.html. The movie, which takes place at a juvenilejail, means a lot to me. Not only had I done some volunteer work at the jail back in the early 80’s, but being on the set every day from our mid-May start until Danny’s accident in July, I became very close to the cast and crew, a good many of whom have kept in touch and sent prayers and love to our family throughout our difficult months. And, on the material side, the income I earned by writing the script is what has allowed me to focus so completely on Danny’s recovery without having to despair about looking for work these past ten months. The movie has ,
tested well with audiences and is a film that all of us who worked on it can be proud of. Danny loved the script and had a great time when he came to visit the set a few weeks before the accident. It meant a lot to him, and to me, that the cast and crew went out of their way to be gracious to him. As for Lynn, she continues to inspire me with her strength, courage and unconditional love for our son. I got a mother’s day card for Lynn and signed it on Danny’s behalf, noting that his love for his mom has not been compromised by his injury in the least, as evidenced by how the EEG machine showed his brainwaves quickening at the sound of her voice last week. I also promised that next year he’d present her with a card himself, without my help. God willing. God willing. Inshallah. Danny faces huge challenges in the months to come, as do Lynn and I and the others on his team, but we’re all feeling quite “optimy stical” a word Lynn accidentally coined a few years back that describes perfectly our current state of mind. Now if we can just manage to give Danny his first shower. Keep your fingers crossed that the chair fits in our newly remodeled bathroom and that neither of his attendants drown in the drenching. ,
Three weeks kiter, 3une th Back in the very early morning of July 17th, when we were led to the scene of the accident to identify Danny’s bicycle (after he’d left in the ambulance for the hospital) Lynn fell to her knees in shock, sobbing, and was caught and comforted by Tony Presgraves, a Manhattan Beach police officer who helped her back to our car, consoling her en route. Later, Tony and another fine officer, Christian Eichenlaub, came to the hospital with flowers for Lynn, and spoke with us in the sympathetic tones of longtime friends rather than police officers investigating an accident. A few days ago, we were giving Danny a “roll” around the neighborhood when a police squad car pulled over and out stepped Tony. He gave us big hugs and bent to tell Danny how proud he was of him. Then he turned to us, a tear in his eye, and recounted how that night, when he and Christian had asked the doctors what Danny’s chances for survival were, they were told “None. We all agreed that we were in the presence of a miracle. The miracles continued this past week as Danny impressed his therapists again with his work ethic and stamina. Back in the early days, it was rare for him to be able to concentrate and work for more than 20 minutes. ,
Now his sessions are lasting two hours. And whereas he used to get stressed when his right arm was touched at all, he’s now leaning on it, putting his weight on the elbow and then, on command, working hard to push himself up toward a sitting position. Two of Danny’s musical mentors, Billy Goodrum and Michael Campagna, made visits to play piano and guitar respectively, and both commented on how much more alert he appeared and how carefully he listened. Michael has found that different chords and notes on the guitar elicit different expressions on a consistent basis. Pretty fascinating. It has been our experience that when we fully surrender a problem to God, the issue gets resolved, though rarely in the way that we expect. I confess that even after a thousand and one surrenderances, I often get frantic, fearing that maybe this is the time we’ll be let down and things will go awry, but it hasn’t happened yet. This is the long, hard process of attaining faith which, it seems to me, is far more important and valuable than making movies or gathering wealth or even procuring a baby-blue Cadillac. On Saturday, Maggie and Penny came with the EEG bioneurofeedback machine and, in their words, Danny put forth an “Olympian effort.” He really worked hard. His old sessions on the machine used to last three to four minutes and then he’d slump with exhaustion and sleep for an hour or two. Nowadays, he works for seven and a half minutes, rests only a short time and is ready to go again. We all sense an eagerness in him to do the work, as if he understands that he is actively healing his brain and is anxious to get on with it. His brainwaves indicate that the two hemispheres of the brain are not yet in bal ance, although they are getting closer and closer. His left side, where the brunt of the damage was done, is still lagging behind the right, but shows great improvements from past sessions. You may recall that the goal is to reduce the theta wave amplitude while increasing the theta frequency (the latter indicating the overall speed of his brain activity). A so-called “normal” brain (though I’m not sure I’ve met anyone in possession of one) has a theta amplitude of between 2 and 3 microvolts. Back in September, Danny’s measured between 11 and 12. By February, he was down to between 6 and 8. On Saturday, his left side was between five and seven while his right side was between four and five. Over the past Gontinuedonpage 16
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alentine’s Day 2006 has come and gone, taking with it the visual assault of red and pink merchandise and marking me as another year older. Being born on this veritable Hallmark holiday (no disrespect intended to the martyred St. Valentine, who couldn’t help what it’s become), I’ve had my fill of heart-shaped jewelry and questionable, waxy chocolates. I take issue with the notion that on one certain day we’re supposed to turn on the romance and prove our love. Even though the whole thing gives me a giant ‘tude every year, I’m not cynical about love itself—far from it, in fact. Being an uber-Aquarius, I am particularly interested in the pursuit of love in the universal sense of the word: divine love. The concept of divine love is present in all major world religions. In Hinduism it is exemplified in the relationship of Krishna and Radha, whose rapturous devotion, or “Bhakti,” is symbolic of the sours longing for union with God. Whether discussing the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Buddha’s compassion, the common thread is a path to higher love; a way to feel connected to that which is beautiful and infinite. Growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, I was fas cinated by the spiritual quests of Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Cat Stevens. I was as much a Who fan as anyone back then (still am) but wasn’t aware of Pete Townshend’s allegiance to Avatar Meher Baba until later on. Pete Townshend found solace in Baba after a bad LSD trip coming back from the Monterey Pop Festival. In his Rolling Stone article, “In Love with Meher Baba,” Townsh end remarked that acid had taken him apart but not put him back together again. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until I survived a harrowing acid trip in the early ‘80s that I felt the spiritual path had any personal relevance. I’d been reading “The Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley and had a new perspec tive on hallucinogens: one of intellectual and spiritual curiosity. I was more than ready to experience the psychedelic love of God when I came home one night to a kitchen full of people eating mushrooms. We all chowed down, having no idea the squishy, horrible
the matter of spirituality, and now it was time to live them. That’s so punk rock, I thought. What made Meher Baba my hero was his example of how to love and serve oth ers, as well as his singular commandment: “Don’t worry, be happy.” Overplayed pop aside, Meher Baba’s practical ap proach to spirituality impressed thousands from all walks of life, including another hero of mine, Mahatma Gandhi. The two met aboard the 5.5. Rajputana en route to England in 1931. Gandhi sought advice from Baba on spiritual, political and social problems. They discussed Gandhi’s mission of civil disobedience through nonvio lent means (through an interpreter, because of Bab&s vow of silence) and Baba encour aged him to use his influence to bring the Hindus and Muslims together. One of Baba’s missions was to bring all religions together like beads on one string.” In the years that followed, Meher Baba and Gandhi kept in touch, and met again in India. They shared a will to see the end of the caste system in India, as well as a deep appreciation of each other. Before Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, Baba warned him that his life was in grave danger, and urged the Mahatma tojoin him. When bullets rang out that fateful day, Gandhi’s last words were “Oh God! Oh God!” Baba later commented that “Gandhs whole political life of sacrifice and selfless service was for his love of God, whom he longed to see until the very end!” He added that Gandhi’s soul had a special destiny, and predicted that he would become a perfect spiritual master after three more lifetimes. The Gandhi connection struck a chord in me as a child of the ‘60s. One of my earliest memories involves being a 5-year-old girl visiting relatives in Newark, N.J., when the race riots broke out. It made me aware that separation between groups of people was not only wrong but potentially disastrous. The best part of my generation embraced the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and rock n roll activists like John Lennon as examples of the new humanity. What set Meher Baba apart from my other --“-::
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tasting things were laced with acid. I didn’t come down for three days. After getting over the atomic post-trip headache, I assessed the damage. The physi cal universe had come unglued, and I was adrift without the benefit ofgravity in a cha otic, fragmented mirage. Where was the unity of all things in that? Where was that groovy kind of love, dammit?! Turns out I wasn’t the only one who’d ever asked that eternal question. When you really start looking for answers, the universe tends to cooperate. I wasn’t exactly shopping for a guru, however, when I met up with a Baba lover (Meher Baba devotee) a few years later. It’s just that the more I heard about this silent master, the more I wanted to know. His life of selfless service to humanity was intriguing. Merwan Sheriar Irani was born in Pune (Poona), India in 1894, and dropped the body (passed on) in 1969. His early disciples gave him the name “Meher Baba, meaning “compassionate father. He worked with the lepers, the poor, and served hundreds of “masts” or god-intoxicated souls that are often dismissed as madmen. Baba observed silence for 44 years, giving the reason that people had been given enough words on “
peace-loving heroes was that I started to get the feeling he was following me around. Seriously, I felt like Baba was a puppy that wanted me to take him home. I went into Garage D’or one day to innocently browse the used CDs and what came on the stereo? “Begin the Beguine” sung by Frank Sinatra. (Baba’s favorite song. He had it played seven times at his memorial.) Now, I ask any of you who used to shop there, how likely was that? And these musical coincidences kept happening. Over the years there have been toomany to. count. (onWhat is ybuconcept of Goclior divin ity like? Nonexistent? Michaelangelos man in the clouds? The lost chord in a Neil Young song? How about a subatomic, unifying force, or some kind of mix between Buddha nature and quantum physics? I don’t think it matters how you perceive it, as long as you feel it as the truth in your heart. My take on it is more in the neighborhood ofsubatomic, which would make God very personal; personal enough to manifest fully in enlightened beingslike Buddha, Krishna and Meher Baba; personal enough to follow me around record shopping. Which leads me to my favorite musical “hello” from God, and the subject of Pilgrimage. Baba lovers from all over the world travel to Meherabad (countryside ashram/pilgrim center in India) to pay homage at Meher Baba’s Samadhi, or tomb-shrine. It’s an op portunity to step away from one’s egocentric day-to-day life, remember Baba’s life and what he stood for, strengthen the bond of divine love, and lighten the karmic load. I’d love to tell you that my time in India has always been a fluff cloud of devotional heights, my soul transformed into a lotus blossom floating towards nirvana. To be honest, it’s more like work than anything. In the end, however, India always cracks my heart wide open. Every trip I’ve made to Meherabad has been uniquely challenging, but the second time I went is the one I remember the most. In February 2001, I arrived in Mumbai (Bombay) in the middle of the night, scruffy, sleep-deprived and disoriented. My senses were on overload from the smells of burning sandalwood, manure and cheap gasoline, the fluorescent airport lights, and the onslaught of in-your-face porters, rickshaw and taxi drivers all vying for my business. Finally landing in my hotel room, I flipped on MTV Asia only to find “The Kids are Alright” blaring out at me! With my last ounce of energy I jumped up and down on the bed, singing along to “I Can’t Explain,” before collapsing into a blissed-out heap of travel-weary flesh. I probably give pilgrimage a bad name.
Just think of all the people who embark on reverent, treacherous footjourneys to Mount Kailash in search ofthe abode ofLord Shiva, and here I was destroying a hotel mattress in the name of God. (Appropriate enough for a Who fan... ) But a pilgrimage of any sort is an intensely personal experience and relative to one’s own path. Ask anyone who has been to the Wailing Wall, or Varanasi on the Ganges River, or Strawberry Fields, for that matter. What really goes on is deeply internal, though often there are connections made that add meaning to these inner reflections. At dawn the hotel driver brought me to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Station) to catch the train to Pune, thereby avoiding the most dangerous part of the road trip to Meherabad. At the station I was mobbed by porters, to which I could only reply “Nay, nay, nay,” while my driver chewed them out. All but one scattered away. I pulled my rolling suitcase up the steep curb and managed to bend my fingernail back so hard I screamed. In the blink of an eye the lagging porter had my case on top of his head, and was leading me to the ticket window. We waited in line together, me clutching my wounded finger, the porter shaking his head in sympathy. He saw me onto the right car and I gave him some rupees and a handful of chocolates. When he took his wallet out I saw he had a picture of Sai Baba. (Sai Baba of Shirdi was one of Meher Baba’s masters, not the Sai Baba of House of Blues fame—the Afro-sporting levitating guy... ) I said “Oh! Sai Baba!” and pulled out a picture of Meher Baba. “Ah, Meher Baba,” he beamed, tilting his head from side to side the way Indians do, which in this case meant Very good.” He bowed to him by bringing the photo to his forehead. We exchanged smiles and said, “Namaste, a sanskrit word that roughly means “I bow to the divine in you. I wasn’t even out of Mumbai and I was being divinely loved on already. An expressway between Mumbai and Pune was under construction, but I was glad it wasn’t finished; otherwise I might not have enjoyed a stunning train ride through the rugged Western Ghats up to the Dec can Plateau. It was hot and dusty; a sharp contrast to the damp, cold day I’d just spent in Amsterdam on a long layover. I reflected on my visit to the Anne Frank house on the snowy Prinsengracht. It was a pilgrimage unto itself. The importance of that place seemed to lie in remembrance of lives ripped away unjustly and to serve as a way for visitors to express their grief. Out of this catharsis is often born a strengthening of one’s moral “
convictions, a renewed vigor to fight the good fight. I remembered feeling the same vibe at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis (where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated) a few years before. Remembrance is the key element of pil grimage, and the essence of the Bhakti path. Perhaps nothing can make me remember God more than Indian traffic. Once in Pune, I still had to make my way another 120 kilometers to Ahmednagar (the closest city to Meherabad) so I hired a cab. Outside of the larger cities there is no right and wrong side of the road, and the drivers love to play chicken with each other. It’s swim with the sharks or be eaten. The death-defying antics of these motorists put me in a continual state of prayer. By the time we reached Ahmednagar, I’d surrendered and become one with the chaotic swarm: the cars, buses, taxis,jeeps, rickshaws, tongas (horse-drawn two-wheeled carriages), motorcycles with several passengers, dogs, goats, sheep, pedestrians and cows roamed the streets as if they owned the joint, which they do. There were bullock carts piled high with woody green stalks of sugar cane, with drivers encouraging the beasts in low vocal trills, and my favorite: the goods-carrier trucks decoratively painted as if they were el ephants, all bearing the message “Horn Please O.K.” in English and Hindi. On the final leg of the journey, a 10-kilometer rickshaw ride outside of the city, it hit me: “I can’t believe I’m home again.” Meher Baba’s tomb-shrine is situated on top of a hill overlooking the recently refor ested countryside. This small, domed struc ture is adorned with the words “Mastery in Servitude,” symbols ofthe world religions and a colorful mural on the interior stone walls. A sign tacked to a tree outside reads “Silence.” It was my first stop after dropping my bags. According to Indian custom, I removed my shoes and avoided touching the threshold with my feet as I entered. Every day Meher Baba’s marble crypt is laden with fresh flower garlands of red roses, tuberose and marigolds, and the fragrance was so pure and heavenly it about knocked me over. The air was infused with an inde scribable sweetness, a tangible presence that seemed to say, “I’m glad you’ve come. It was quiet except for a variety of birds singing and squawking. I was so happy to be back, and thankful that the long trek around the globe was safely out of the way. Upon leaving the Samadhi I received prasad, a blessing from the master in the form of a sweet, given out by an attendant. ,
One of the high points of my stay was a spark everywhere (not that you have iü iuJ DannyMaguire continuedfrompage 18 Qawwali (Sufi music) concert held under the that far for it in India). It was at the orphanseveral months, his frequency has increased stars up on Meherabad Hill. This group sang age in Pune, in the faces of the children and until now it is at five point five, which is that themselves into a state of spiritual ecstasy and the tireless workers that care for them. It was of the “normal” brain. brought all of us with them. The coolest part in the Limka soda I drank at the cyber cafe We also noted that his numbers actually was that the audience was made up of Hin and the musical horns of the trucks and the improved in minutes four to six ofthe sevendus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs—you name Muslims pausing to perform the Salaah (the minute sessions, rather than deteriorating as a it, they were there. It was a moment that I Islamic prayer performed five times daily). result of fatigue. In minute seven, he gets tired returned to again and again later on that year Most of all it was in the eyes of the and slows down, yet we noted muscle activity, when the 9/1 1 tragedy struck. I knew what “Mandali” I visited at Meherazad, Baba’s which Penny and Maggie said was a sign that was possible when the walls of religion came residence on the other side of Ahmednagar. although he was mentally exhausted he was down, and simple focus on divine love perme These remaining close disciples of Meher trying to physically do the work nonetheless. ated the night air. It led me to the conclusion Baba greeted everyone with hugs, told anec As they said, he’s a warrior. that whatever your definition of divinity is, dotes of life with Baba and gave me sweets All this is very encouraging and means the and whoever or whatever embodies that for on my birthday. If you want to know about way is being paved for breakthroughs in the you, the main thing is how you put it into the psychedelic love of God go to India. future. The miracles await; the miracles are action in the world around you. Go to Shirdi to the tomb of Sai Baba, and happening each moment. The low point for me was coming down take in the multi-colored displays of kitschy As always, we’re grateful for the love and with a terrible cold. They say that illness merchandise—everything from T-shirts, support that so many people are regularly while on pilgrimage is actually a blessing, a pens and statues to sparkly metallic garlands sending our way. Many people have written soul cleansing of sorts. Me, I’m a big baby and pungent stacks of incense. Or just go to to tell us that our difficult time has made them when I’m sick, especially in India without the cereal aisle at your favorite grocery store appreciate their families and friends all the Puffs and Nyquil. Its hard to see the spiritual and take in the explosion of colors and overmore. I come to realize that, too often, little benefit of lying on an army cot with my si whelming smell of sugar. It’s all the same. I worries can undermine the time we spend nuses on fire and crawling out of my mosquito had to go around the world three times to with loved ones; little annoyances blind us net every other day for a bath consisting of figure that out. to the joys inherent in the moment. Take a one bucket of hot water. My subatomic God Even so, I would never dispute the great moment to step back from the concerns and theory was out the window and I was beg- value of undertaking a pilgrimage. A disciple annoyances and what remains is love, to be ging Him as if he were Santa Claus for my once asked Buddha, “What should I do after savored and carefully nourished. health back, and “P.S. Could you please keep you leave?” Buddha replied, “You should mark Much love to you all, the mosquitoes away? The little bastards are all the places I have visited so that in the making a meal out of me!!!” I was back to unfortunate times of the future, people will Jeff square one spiritually. be inspired to strive for Buddhahood.” In To send an email to Jeff: manonash@ What do you do when your soul falls off taking the Buddha’s advice, we can also more adelphia.net To send an email to a horse? Ifyou’re me, you go looking for that clearly see a great spiritual master as having Lynn: lynnswan@a delphia.net. For mailing divine spark again with a vengeance. You been a real person; one who mucked in with list issues (Mitchell Rose): DannyNews@ hop on the back of your friend’s motorcycle humanity for their benefit in this perfectly mac.com> and say “Get me out of here!” My friend Jon imperfect world. To view previous updates: http://p088. revved up his old Enfield and we were off. How do you come to believe that you are ezboard.com /fmeherabodefrm7 We flew through the village of Arangaon, an integral and important part of the whole weaving our way past bicycles, uniformed gorgeous mess? How do you cultivate any The Crossword is on page 21 Don’t school children, skeptical old men, and amount of love for life in a world gone mad? cheat, now! women wearing insanely chromatic saris Get involved socially or politically? Crank in the golden late afternoon sun. Kicking the tunes and let the metaphysical power of 1AV up a cloud of powdery grey Indian dust, we music lift your soul? To me, the greatest irony N tz: 5 ‘H conquered the rolling hills of Maharashtra. I of rock n roll is when it screams of alienation uE!qS ,uO got lost in the feel of fresh air whipping my and you close your eyes and let go and become ir face, in the sight of cascading bougainvillea one with the guitars, no longer separate, but EZH ‘6t .n1qg A!i 91 (tropical vines) in the most outrageous shades absolutely dissolved in the beautiful, aching wo of pink you can imagine, in the company of a distortion. And that’s life: a beautiful, aching 11qvI L1 t7I kindred spirit—a salty biker dude on fire with distortion of the truth. 1CEPUnS UAS .CI ci love for God and English motorcycles. uooss1s I To view the original in the Pulse magazine uowutwr 6 When I said, “Get me out of here, I and Lynn’s artwork on the cover, go to lfl0SAO rnuj L meant get me out ofmy SELF. Ifyou’ve read !WlflO g any eastern philosophy, or at least George pJnod 9 :1!u!JuI .S httn//niilcptr rnm/irtir1 nhn?cid=2U 1 tB[ Harrison’s autobiography, “I Me Mine,” you EWV E p4:cI know that the annihilation of the ego-self 10 i: P M is paramount in the spiritual game of findNMOQ ssoaDv ing true happiness and ultimate bliss. So I sIaMst4v fl1OMSSOI3 continued to “get lost” and found that divine .
. . .
7Iu ¶l?oet cind tiw Artist Jllichael J4/lathias, California Ott asked me to stand in front of his paintings of Baba and read to Baba the fragments from Lagoon Cabin Series. Baba’s energy was all around His paintings and all around the studio. Baba had asked Lyn to look into His face for almost three hours. Lyn told me, “Baba cupped my cheeks in His hands and drew my face close to His. No one had ever been allowed to look directly into Baba’s Eyes for that long a time.” Lyn told me, as I watched him paint the backdrop for the Christmas play with two assistants, “My fate as an artist is like Beethoven, I spend my life executing paintings that I will never see, just as Beethoven at the height of his career, never heard the Ninth Symphony in D Minor.” It seemed that Baba had charged Lyn up with a special energy to paint one painting after another of Baba’s face endlessly. Not only the paintings, but the entire studio reverberated with Baba’s Fiery Free Form. Lyn got special permission from the Center to allow me to stay there to expand Vision from The Bridge of Fire for four months. I was also cast as the devil with Robert
Cushman and Val for the Center’s Christmas play, so I worked half-time as the Poet and half-time as the Devil. When Bhau announced he was visiting America for the first time in the 1980s, Lyn called me on the telephone. “Bhau has agreed to hear you read your epic poem, The Advent of Avatar Meher Baba, in my studio. Fly down immediately! Baba’s orders!” When I arrived at Lyn’s House, Lyn whispered to me, “Bhau is to Baba what St. John was to Jesus. Bhau is the St. John of Baba’s Manifestation.” He then declared, “Bridge of Fire is a Poem for the Manifestation. You must read it for Baba—the entire epic— from beginning to end.” Bhau nodded and I began reading. Three full hours alone with Bhau, Lyn, and Baba. All the time I was facing Lyn’s paintings of Baba. It was like an unveiling. No, more like an initiation. I was only aware of Meher Presence. I swooned in His Light! “It’s sublime! All of it! Sublime!” Bhau exclaimed, then commanded, “NO TEARS! It must be delivered without tears!” And so I read for him.
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1 3. 5. 8. 10. 1 2. 15 17. 18. 19. 21 23. 24. 25. .
“Who Am I” first Who is Merog? Both finite and infinite included Baba’s spiritual mother Paramatma Hospital where Baba was born planes of consciousness WHIM of God Baba’s father Avatar of the Age Dissolution of the universe Baba’s mother Location of the Sarosh Motor works God in human form
I 1.1 Down
2. Baba said, “Always remain towards results.” 4 Name of soul 6. Plane of consciousness that is the threshold of the mental world 7. Subtle energy 9. God can be realized by transcending 1 1 In kingdom, consciousness is half animate, half inanimate 13. Day of the week that Meher Baba was born 14. Creation Point 16. Number of Perfect Masters on earth today 20. Babajan’s first name 22. All souls are .
© BabaDazes, 2006 © AMBPPCT India Answers on page 19
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Afl upd, 3une 20:06 Stelict J7P4anuel, 7P4eherabad
he children had holi I both white and black, with days from the Meher white socks. English School for almost We bought exercise two months, from the end books for all the chil of April and the whole dren, also stationary, pens month ofMay. The PH had and pencils, compass box, organized courses for the lunch box, bags, craft machildren where they learnt terial to be used in school, art, crafts and attended spe drawing books and colours cial English classes. There etc. We have hired a yeis an addition of five more hide for the children to go children in the PH. Two are to school in, as the regular from Pune, and the other school bus is too full with two from Arangaon. Now the other city children. we are a family with 20 This was done from the children! The new children first day of school for the are very deserving ones, who convenience and safety of need our special care and the children. love. Two are semi-orphans We have regular medi and the other two are total cal check ups for all the orphans. children at the PH. A Stella daughters, Fiona andMeiiza, are a huge help in the care ofthe children. School began on the file is maintained on the 13th ofJune. The children had to get all their things ready by then. children to record their health details. A doctor has been appointed We had to buy white and purple uniforms for the children above grade and paid to take care of this. five, and red and white uniforms for the little ones. The purple and We are preparing the children for the examination, which begins red uniforms are worn Monday through Friday. The white uniform on the 10th of July. is worn on Saturdays only. They all need two pairs of shoes each, The purchase of land and a new establishment that would be a permanent place for the children, is still our priority. Your prayers and generous assistance will surely help this dream to come true.
ii /i 2?oda J4/1istry 2I° 2-kr E13eloved Arnavtiz, J ’V1eheru, 2<atie, 3alu 7 rind all at Jlllehernzad
eloved Avatar Meher Baba gathered His dearest Roda Mistry into His embrace on July 8, 2006, in Meherazad. Rodi—as Baba would affectionately call her—passed away from a heart attack at 82 years of age. Crema tion was at Meherabad on July 9 at 10 AM. Roda’s great fortune was being born into a family destined for such closeness to beloved Baba that He considered their home His own. Her Uncle Chanji, Baba’s first secretary, brought the entire Dadachanji family to meet Baba for the first time at Meherabad when Roda was only 3 years old, and from that day on she was frequently in His company. Not only did Baba visit their home many times during the 1930s, but He also called her to stay in the ashram now and again. From early childhood until the end, Roda’s life was guided by Baba, and she lived solely to love and serve Him. In 1948, Roda married Jimmy Mistry, and later gave birth to their three sons: Meherwan, Falu and Sarosh. Roda’s devotion to and love for Meher Baba throughout her married life was the touchstone by which her family was nurtured and guided. In 1979, after their children were grown and settled, Roda and Jimmy moved to Meherabad to serve Him on the Trust estate. Jimmy was a trustee for Baba’s Trust and Roda fulfilled her wish to serve by tending Baba’s precious Samadhi. In 1996, after Jimmy passed away, Roda moved to Meherazad where her son, Falu, had been living and serving since 1978. And at Meherazad she continued to serve Him and to be a shining example oflove for God despite the many physical trials she cheerfully faced. We, your Meherazad family, honor you, dearest Roda, for a life lived in one-pointed faith and commitment to your Beloved. AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!!
Roda in our next issue ofthe magazine, soplease email us your stories of time spent with her. Deadline for submisions is Aug 15 We would love to havephoto too, sopleaseputyourreturn
address sticker on the back of them to make sure theylind their wayback toyou.
[ The news given through Tavern Talk of Roda Mistry’s passing away on 8th July in Meherazad elicited a heartwarming re sponse from Baba-lovers around the world. Falu Mistry, Roda and Jim’s son, on behalf of Roda’s sister Arnavaz, his brothers and all Meherazad family, sends this message in reply]: JJear EI3aba’s family, Your Meherazad family, Arnavaz, my brothers Meherwan and Sarosh, and I thank you for your touching words in remembrance of Baba’s “Rodi”. Roda and Jim lived so completely for Beloved Baba. Their focus on and love for Him, then, naturally mani fested in everything they did in the humdrum of daily living. Parents who so love and live for God truly bequeath an untold, great, good and lasting fortune for their children Rodi s love for her Beloved Baba was but the mirror of His Love for her; in His own I words to her, “You love Me : because I love you so.”
Ei3aba’s cjlbiding Love,
9od Spectks in &rbo-Croatian?!
We have heard there has been a Serbo Croatian translation of GodSpeaks for which the contact is Dusan Doblanovic, Prijateljeva 3, 61 104 Ljubjana, Slovenia. We are told he also runs quite a good bookstore but is hard to reach, so if you are planning a trip or want to buy some books for friends in the area, you might also try a Serb publisher who before the bombardment had done many works: Vladimir Madic, “Esotheria,” P. Fah. 199, 11070 Belgrade, Editorc note. We will be doing a tribute to Yugoslavia.
..;4kher Ei3aha Avatar of the .Age: the J 4ovie 4 Drwin Luck Ifyour center or group has afready requested or received a free video of this fabulous movie and ifyou know ofother groups or centers that would like to get it, please let us know right away, since there is only a limited number available that are being given as gifts. If you have not requested the video, read on to see how you can get it. We have received a special donation for sending a free gift of The Movie: MeherBaba A vatar ofthe Age to Baba groups and centers that do not already have this amazing film and would like to have it to show to all those that meet in His name. This very loving donation covers the cost of 30 videos of this 80-minute movie that has also shown in theaters. If your group, small or large, does not already have the VHS videotape of this movie and would like to receive this beautiful film experience of the beloved Avatar, you can do so at no charge. Simply request the movie be sent to you for your group. We will send it to the first 30 requests that we receive. Each Baba group that gets the video will also receive a note from the donor, who would also like to contact personally those who receive it. It is the wish of our benefactor that every center and group that gathers together should have a copy of this movie. In so doing the Meher Baba Archives, which is the largest repository of Meher Baba films and video in the world today, will also benefit from this donation by helping us make available to the world more films and videos of Meher Baba and His disciples that need to be restored, duplicated and distributed. Some of you may have received our recent fundraising circular that said that those who could donate $100 would receive a gift of the movie on video. Those who already have it and would also wish to be a benefactor and make a donation for other Baba centers that do not have it, may do so. You may also make a donation and get the movie for yourself, which helps support our work. You may request a free gift ofthe movie for your group or be a benefactor by sending an email to: OPFDl@yahoo.com. Please also include your name, mailing address, email address and phone number. Contact Irwin Luck, Project Director, Oceanpower Film Distributor, Inc. 1130 Waterway Lane, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572. ,
Phone: 843-491-4061 Website: www. avataroftheage.com Oceanpower Film Distributorlnc is the film and video distribution company for Meher Baba Archives, Inc. Both are not-for-profit corporations. Donations are tax-deductible. Both companies’ mission is for the preservation, restoration, duplication and distribution of the great quantity of Meher Baba Materials in the Archives.
Joe Burke flies Baba flag at the New OrleansJazz Festivalin May.
J3reaching the Levees ‘ ye
13urke, Iew Orleans
During the gathering of Baba lovers at the New Orleans Jazz Festival May 5—6, Baba’s beautiful seven-color flag sent to us from the Love Street Bookstore flew high and lovely over the grounds blending in, but standing out, with all the other flags and banners. As is now custom, people bring flags to the festival to keep track of their groups, make a statement, or just to celebrate the wind with colors. We did all those and then some, as we were breaching the levees of divine love with Baba’s songs and artis. When we camped out to listen to Paul Simon, women asked what the flag meant. I replied, “It’s the flag of the spiritual rainbow, with Meher Baba being at the end like the pot of gold!” Many thanks to all who contributed with time, energy and financial aid.
on Protecting 73ctba’s Words LA Circular from the .Jlvcttar J4leher EI3aba 7rust Dear Friends in Beloved Baba’s Worldwide Family, During the last few months there has taken place some significant unauthorized publica tion of literary works by Avatar Meher Baba. During His lifetime Meher Baba Himself made clear and detailed arrangements for the posterity ofthe copyrights for His books, mes sages, and other “writings. Those who publish His works in violation of copyright not only break the law but act in disregard of Beloved Baba’s own expressed wish. Since this matter concerns Meher Baba’s worldwide family generally, we would like to give here some of the key history relating to the provisions the Avatar made concerning His literary works. The crucial document is Meher Baba’s “Last Will and Testament,” executed by Him at Guruprasad on 17th June 1967. In His “Will,” copyright receives more attention than any other topic; three of the seven numbered clauses have to do with it. A decade earlier, on 4th February 1956, Meher Baba had granted to His secretary Adi K. Irani the management of most ofHis copyrights. Indeed, Baba explicitly gave Adi the prerogative to “use, control and exploit” Babas copyrights for his (Adis) own personal benefit for the remainder of his lifetime, on condition that these copyrights revert to Baba or His legal representatives after Adis death. In His “Will,” Baba confirmed these arrangements, further specifying that, on Adi’s demise, the copyrights should become property of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, which had been created eight years earlier and whose Deed Baba had signed on 6th April 1959. At the same time, Baba confirmed His prior gifting ofthe copyrights ofcertain major works to Sufism Reoriented in the United States. Baba asserts His ownership of His copyrights in unambiguous terms. Apart from named works that had previously been gifted away, Baba says, “I own copyrights in all my literary works, direct and indirect, published and unpublished The list includes: “Sayings, Poems, Messages, Articles, Discourses, Books, Charts, Maps, et cetera, as well as the copyrights already gifted to me and those that may be gifted to me in future by other writers who love me.” In view ofthe detail and specificity of these arrangements, Baba’s wishes concerning the future management of His literary works seem clear. Some sincere persons might reasonably enough assume that the words of the Avatar,
an imperishable gift from God to humanity, transcend all ownership. In a deeper philo sophical sense, no doubt this is true. From the same “ultimate” standpoint, no one can really “own” His Samadhi on Meherabad Hill, His Center in Myrtle Beach, and other parts of His Avataric legacy. Yet in this world of illusion and this realm of human affairs, the things one wishes to preserve have to be cared for, and the responsibility for this caretaking needs to be specifically assigned. Ever practical, Meher Baba did not neglect this reality in the case of His own words. Any question as to whether copyright—a branch ofhuman law—can rightfully be brought to bear on the literary works of the God-Man is put to rest by the arrangements that He Himselfmade. Those who would abide by the wishes of the Avatar as Divine Author should honor this. What really matters here, of course, is not the mere “ownership” of Baba’s words as such, but their protection and the manner of their presentation to the world. It would be quite possible for someone with an axe to grind to publish a rendering of the “Universal Prayer,” say, in which new lines with new names and designations of God have been added, or to publish a “version” of the Discourses in which an editor’s opinions on various topics have been quietly insinuated. Baba’s words need to be protected from people who have no respect for their integrity. But apart from this, the presentation of Baba’s books and messages calls for the profoundest reflection and heartfelt care. The publication of a book is much more than just a printing job. Every little detail needs to be lovingly attended to. No point is too small; no nuance can be neglected; no effort should be stinted. The words of the Avatar are the crown jewels in humanity’s literary heritage. The way that they are presented to the world should bespeak the deepest feeling and appreciation for this. In summation, then: the directives assigning the management ofMeher Babas literary works were laid down by no one other than Meher Baba Himself, and Baba’s Trust is trying to dis charge its share ofthis responsibility as faithfully as it can. Essentially the Trust is serving here as the curator of a treasure that belongs in truth to all humanity. We ask for your wholehearted cooperation in this effort. By remaining as one, Avatar Meher Baba’s worldwide family can continue to feed itself on and slowly mature into the magnificent inheritance that He has left for us all.
7;wo !:Reasons t be Sad
}4eherabode Audio Library
1 You’ve never been to Meherabad. 2. You don’t own a computer. But you can be cheered if you agreed with the former but disagreed with the lat ter. Why? Because Our Renaissance Man in Meher abad, Bob Fredericks, has done it again. Not content with painting beautiful portraits of Baba on tee shirts, framing hundreds of photographs of Baba for the Meher Pilgrim Retreat (at least one in every room!) filming, editing & producing that oh so sweet documentary about Baba as seen through the eyes of the students at Meher English School: When Merwan Grew Up, directing/filming/producing an excellent film that premiered at Amartithi to a packed house at the Meherabad theater (more about that later) and working on the excellent DVD produced by Peter Nordeen You Alone Exist by creatively weaving and editing a number of rare film clips of Baba in tandem to the rhythm of the musical prayer as sung by Jim Meyer, and doing the same (with brilliant results) for the documentary (also produced by Peter Nordeen) Godin Human Form, but now he has put together a lovely little film you can view on your own computer—free! Bob filmed the construction (briefly) of the MPR over the months, but concentrated on the artists and their amazing works of art—born out of their love for the Beloved. This is not a film such as you or I would have taken to show the folks back home, oh no, it is done in the true Fredericks’ style, interesting angles, music and editing. To view it, go to his website www.technobaba.com (which is a treat in itself) and click on Higher Ground. It will then ask you for a user name, enter: higherground, and the password is mpr. Enjoy!
The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California is now making talks by followers of Avatar Meher Baba available on the Internet. Most of the talks that will be used are from the Center’s archives and were recorded at Center meetings and Sahavas gatherings. Many ofthe talks will come from the Center’s mail order cassette library and have been available for almost twenty years. The main advantage to the new library is the talks will now be available to more people and a younger generation in a new easy to use format. The address of the Meherabode Audio Library is: http://www.meherabode.org/library/
Errata: In the April issue we told you that Bobbie Bernstein had a new CD out actually it is a reissue of the original tape she released many years ago— The OnlyReal Thingand is available from Sheriar Books. —
.A4eher 3ree Dispensnrj (A4eherazad) Opening Dak Change Please note that the new dispensary opening ceremony is delayed until Nov. 1, 2006.
The 2006 21ortheast9athering for JVkher Baba Come bask in Meher Baba’s love at scenic Camp Epworth in High Falls, NY, Aug. 4-6, 2006. Honored guests include Bhau Kalchuri, whojoined Baba’s mandali in 1953 and wrote numerous books by Baba’s order, including LordMeherand TheEverythingand the Nothing, long-time Meherazad resident Davana Brown, who for years helped care for Eruch; and the Divine MAGgees, whose latest album, Love Me Like the Roses was voted one of the top 100 albums of 2005 by listeners of radio station WNCW. Swimming, hiking, and canoeing are also offered at the camp. For more information, contact Don and Margaret Eucker at 973-239-0965 or Doug Stalker at 518-821-9979.
2ew Capks of3-D Dnzages of herBabaAvthLibkforaShort 7nw It is little known that back in 1958 and 1962, Baba follower Ned Foote had a 3-D camera in India and Myrtle Beach, where he took 3-D slides of Baba. Today, his images are more than rare. They are unique. While viewing these pictures, you feel you could reach out and touch Baba. For a limited time, you can order a set of 30 of these 3-D images at cost for your group or for yourself. Orders for these slides will be taken until Oct. 16, 2006, the anniversary of the start of Baba’s New Life. The cost for the 30 slides will be about $ 175, depending on the number of orders received. This will be the last chance to make slides directly from these originals. After Oct. 16, the originals will go into deep storage in the Meher Baba European Film Archives
and will not emerge again in our lifetimes. You will need a special viewer to look at these images. A single-slide viewer can range from $20 up to several hundred dollars, depending on the quality. Information on where to obtain viewers will be available to those expressing interest in the slides. One great way to view these images is with a rotary viewer that holds 15 slides. The best rotary viewer costs about $1,150. It is handmade in Holland and distributed in the U.S. by 3D Concepts. Though the cost is an investment, this rotary viewer has huge advantages. One’s experience is greatly increased by viewing one slide after another, uninterrupted. And the slides are not degraded since they are kept inside a closed drum, untouched by human hands. The viewer is also about 1 2” x 12” x 8” and is easy to transport. Sets of the slides are already going to the Trust Archives in India, the Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, and Sufism Reoriented in California. Recently, several Baba centers saw these images and liked them so much they gathered funds and purchased sets ofthe slides and rotary viewers to display these images. These centers include the Avatar Meher Baba centers of Southern California and Northern California, Meher Mount in Ojai, Meherana, Hawaii, and the new Heartland Center in Oklahoma. Additional slides went to Avatar’s Abode in Australia. The project to make these images available came about because Ned bought a Stereo Realist 3-D camera in the 1950s. Baba allowed Ned to see Him in India in 1958 on Baba’s birthday, and Ned took 3-D pictures at that celebration. Later that year, Baba came to Myrtle Beach, where Ned took more 3-D pictures of Baba. And finally, Ned went to the East-West Gathering in 1962, where he shot a few more. Ned then gave Murshida Ivy Duce copies of his slides, and after her passing they went to her daughter, Charmian. Recently, it was discovered that Wendy and Buz Connor in Myrtle Beach had the originals, Wendy having gotten them from her mother Jayne Haynes, who received them from Elizabeth Patterson. Wendy lent all her originals to this project. Mary Lloyd Dugan also lent several slides, as did Charmian Knowles. The project’s goal has been to copy these images in ways that would make them available for at least the next 700 years. Copies are going to deep storage. Out of this project arose the idea to offer the slides to Baba groups and individuals around the world before the originals are sealed away. This allows more of our Baba
companions to have the great enjoyment of seeing Baba in 3-D. And the more places these slides are kept, the greater chance the images will survive. All of the copying and technical work is being done by Repro Images in Vienna, Virginia, a lab that does work for National Geographic and the Smithsonian. They have given this project their most loving attention, and they will make the new 3-D slides directly from the originals. Ifyou are interested in these images, contact Steve Spraitzer before Oct 16 by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: 95 Island Court, Walnut Creek, CA 94595.
Bowing to A1cher EBabi 2joliii L.A. 8rant, ...../1ustrctlict
here are certain cultural differences between different peoples and we do not al ways understand why certain things are done in certain countries. It is very useful to have the opportunity to ask why certain things are done and to have the reasons explained to us. One person once asked Eruch about bowing down to Baba. Eruch explained: “It was of course a privilege that sometimes Meher Baba permitted humanity to bow down to Him. It was a great dispensation a rare type of dispensation when He permitted humanity to bow down to His feet. What we mean by bowing down to His feet is that He being the Highest ofthe High and we being the lowest of the low the most weak we cannot offer Him anything, except to offer our weaknesses to Him. And people, although they don’t realize what they do, yet it is innate in every human being to express his weakness before the Highest ofthe High. It behooves one to express one’s weaknesses, one’s shortcomings, before the Highest of the High. It is a mark ofgreat humbleness in the presence of the Highest of the High. “The physical manifestation of this is nothing but bowing down to Him in great reverence and homage, because He being the Highest of the High, condescended to descend onto the lowest of the low platform of this earth. Reality descending into illusion, mingling with man in illusion. He comes down to our level, descends to the lowest level, so that we who are on this level may have the benefit of Reality manifesting in human form and knowing fully well, inadvertently not advertently, inadvertently something —
happens within us, in our heart, because He touches our heart. Reality touches the heart. Heart testifies to His being in our midst and our automatic reaction to this is that we just humble ourselves before the Highest of the High, the Greatest of the Great, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. We being His slaves. We being His puppets. So bowing down is nothing but a manifestation of our homage to the Highest of the High. “His feet are considered to be most sacred to us, we cannot dare to approach His head or the other parts of His anatomy. His body is something very sacred, very holy. We are just a particle, a dust particle in comparison to His body and it is but natural for the dust to settle on His feet. This is where the dust can approach the Highest of the High. That is how inwardly, innately man bows down when he comes to know of it. Not in the literal sense of knowing, but it is inborn in every man who is coming closer and closer towards Reality to express his feelings thus by bowing down to His personality when He is in our midst. ‘Now that He is not in the body, how can we continue to do this?’ he was asked. Eruch replied: “Well then what we must do is to take recourse to the things that were associated with His body:just like His seat;just like the tomb where His physical remains are resting. So we go there and bow down to that. Even that is very helpful. Even that is a blessing that He allows His physical remains to stay on the earth. We approach His cloak and kiss it. We
approach these very sandals that He wore, that His physical form had association with. We fondle the hair of His, that we have col lected from the combings. We get thrilled to have the touch of the coat that He wore, the robe, the sadra as we call it. These are sacred relics. This very thing gives us an idea as to how very sacred and how most sublime to have Him in His physical frame. Ifthese relics are so sacred to us, how much more sacred is His being amongst us. But this can only enter into the heads and hearts of that section of humanity which has come closer to Reality. Not all the world will ever realize this all at once, but it is a gradual progression as cross-section after cross-sec tion of humanity progresses towards Reality, incarnation after incarnation, one begins to learn this, one has a little clue to this, an inkling to this. Practical Spirituality, pp. 195- 196 Copyright 1985, John A. Grant
sorehead to )3our 3ect J ust now, I pressed my forehead to Your Feet
So gently, so tenderly, so lovingly. And Your Feet responded by holding my head, So gently, so tenderly, so lovingly. I was asking for Your Forgiveness For braying intolerably like a self-righteous ass, For one reason or another and yet another. Thus propagating something I hate the most Noise! Self-asserting and self-orbiting noise! . .
. . .
Beloved, you forgave me instantly And “the I-me” noise stopped Switched itself off and vanished without a trace. —
Only the Blossoming Silence of Nothingness existed, Like a bottomless, shoreless and wave-less ocean. And with my Heart’s eyes I could see The beautifully bright Zero and Blank And behind it, you, my Beloved... Majestically Gorgeous Wondrous You Perfectly Living Real Nothingness...
“Beloved, if only,” I whispered to you, “I was always this perfectly absent, I would fulfill every Wish and Want of yours In such a way that it would please you!” “You go “Yes
I come! You constantly remind me...
come, my Beloved and keep coming! Never stop coming, my Darling! Because then, it will be impossible For me to stay and not go!”
Oct. 2003, Mirek, England
2b*tnQT fQT 2Ium 4 A
young Nun who worked for a local home health care agency was out making her rounds when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, there was a gas station just one block away. She walked to the station to borrow a can with enough gas to start the car and drive to the station for a fill up. The attendant regretfully told her that the only gas can he owned had just been loaned out, but if she would care to wait he was sure it would be back shortly. Since the nun was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car. After looking through her car for something to carry to the station to fill with gas, she spotted a bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, she carried it to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried it back to her car. As she was pouring the gas into the tank of her car, two men watched her from across the street. One of them “Be thou hungry, Mother Teresa?” asked turned to the other and said: “I know that the Lord turned water into wine, but if that God. “I could eat, Mother Teresa replied. car starts, I’m going to church every Sunday So God opened a can of tuna and reached for the rest of my life!” for a chunk of rye bread and they began to share it. While eating this humble meal, Mother Teresa looked down into Hell and saw the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, A rabbi, priest, and a minister are out fish- lobsters, pheasants, and pastries. Curious, but ing in a boat on a big lake when the priest deeply trusting, she remained quiet. The next realizes that he has to go to the bathroom. day God again invited her to join him for a Not wanting to disturb the fishing of the meal. Again, it was tuna and rye bread. Once others in the boat by having them take him again, Mother Teresa could see the denizens to shore, he gets out of the boat and walks of Hell enjoying lamb, turkey, venison, and across the water to do his business and then delicious desserts. Still she said nothing. The returns to the boat. following day, mealtime arrived and another A little while later the minister has to go can of tuna was opened. She couldn’t contain also and he does the same. He walks across herself any longer. Meekly, she asked, “God, the water, does his business and returns across I am grateful to be in heaven with you as a the water to the boat. reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But Finally the rabbi feels the urge to go to here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a the bathroom too, so he climbs out of the piece of rye bread and in the Other Place boat. But instead ofwalking across the water, they eat like emperors and kings! I just don’t he falls into the water and starts to wildly understand splash around. The priest and the minister God sighed. “Let’s be honest, Teresa,” he finally drag the rabbi back into the boat and said, “...for just two people, it doesn’t pay to the priest turns to the minister and says, cook.” “Maybe we should have told him where the rocks were.” A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed Mother Teresa died and went to heaven. obvious that someone was at home, but no God greeted her at the Pearly Gates. answer came to his repeated knocks at the “
Walking on Water
Therefore, he took out a card and “Revelation 3:20” on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card h,j been returned. Added to it was this ryptic message, “Genesis 3:10.” Reaching for his Bible to check out ED citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Genesis 3:10 reads, “I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked. r.
A parish priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his arrival in that parish. A leading local politician, who was a member ofthe congregation, was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed in traffic, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited. “You will understand,” he said, “the seal of the confessional can never be broken, however I got my first impressions of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I came here 25 years ago I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer! Further, he told me he had embezzled money from his place of business and had an affair with his boss’s wife. I was appalled! But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of understanding and loving people.” Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his talk. “I’ll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived in this parish,” said the politi cian. “In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him in confession.”
The &ctrch Everymorning when I wake up, I wonder when 11/really wake up. It:c beenyears now, andstiil no sign ofreally dying and being born.
Love is a rare bird thatlam willing to lodge and feed
I willabide by its undiped wings
Andlike apilgrim in the desert Ikeepplodding on, lookingfor the onlynon-mirage there is, the city cailedLove.
Ofali the billions upon billions ofdrops carried by the current ofLong Lake, only a precious few catch the rays ofthe Sun and are transformed into Jewels on the Path to the Ocean. Heed the Masterc CalL and dive! Dive headfirstinto the Sea ofReality! I’ve heardyou lose ailsense! Judging from the drops Iknow, Ilsay we are offto aprettygood start!
and dance along
as it sings.
So, come, Love-birch and stay. I will work foryou!
21olding On Learninghow to turn it around to turn the corner on my dark street andsee Thur smiling face so full ofLove for me alone.
I willslave foryou! I willplay with you!
Dailyyou teach me in all those little ways Give in more give up more, Letitgo, let it slide What do Ireallystand to lose?
Thur magnificent flight is my soulc Real Dream, where Isoar withyou!
When I wake unnoticed millennia willha vepassed and One of us will be God-Realized
Istruggle to hold on to bits andpieces Ithink are so important, Andfindmyhands so filled with stuff There is no room for Thur Daaman. Afterl’vepushed Thu completelyaway Mynext question will be: Why did Thu leave me? Do Ialways have to do it alone? Thu willbegin again, the Tedious helping me Unpack the bags andgroceries, Sacks andbaggage Thu know Are so unnecessary andfindfor me once more, Thatth ofThurgarmentchem andl7lbe lost No more.
Andhow do Iknow this city exicts? In answer, mymind takes me back to a small room, long ago, and the broadsmile ofa friend ashe toldme God is Love, and Who God is. Andas he spoke, and then stopped speaking his smile went on and on, and the room filled with a Presence, and time andspace collapsed completelyinto Love, into which we both disappearecL yet remained And the Sun rose in its Glory, andbathedme with its Light, andfedme with its Honey andBlessedme with its Sight, andin the folds within my “robe” for a moment Iknew Truth, as told ofsince the ancient days: and]”! found eternalyouth. And my friends, when heft that room Isang a different song and searched a different search fornothingl”!known before couldsatisfy me, once time and space hadgiven way to Love like the thinnest membrane parting to reveal the vastest universe inside, andlsaw that whatl”!known hadnever been very reaL but onlystood to mark time, as we wind our way to that Love uniting all
2knrt 7cdk 41
Letters EBctween J3e1oved EBak and 2lis EDern Ones
Heart Talk (an ongoing series ofletters to and from Baba from the The first letter is from Baba to Nonny and is signed byBaba. Baba A vatar Meher Baba Trust Archives), moves into the 1930s and begins gave manyofthe early western lovers specialnames during thisperioc/ in a new series ofletters from Baba to Nonny Gayley andher daughter and Delia DeLeon words ‘oplease us. “His name for Nonny was ‘Kemali.” dose woman mandah Rano Gayley Following a tr4 to Cannes with Meherabad Baba, they returned to Meherabad to a very different life from their Ahmednagar, Sept. 30  former one on Park A venue, New Thrh and travels in Europe. My dearest Kemali, Rano recallec/ I .1 had no I have your loving letters. It idea that exceptfor two brieftrips is good the way you feel. It is to the 1/1/st in 1952 and 1976 I L the way of Love. Even the “I” would be spending the rest of my that is expressed belongs to the life in India. “From 1952 on, she Beloved, and hence so lovingly was the only 1/Vestern woman that welcome. The thrill that you feel Baba kept with Him in India. at the thought of Love indicates Nonny died during the gradual growth ofLove, and with Blue Bus tours in Bangalore on it, its consciousness. It will grow Oct. l 1939. Again in Rano. on, much more, my dearest, till it words, Wonny relationshiv is eventually merged in its Own with Baba was different from Self that is Infinite. Meanwhile, the relationsh4s the rest ofus had the ecstatic experiences that you with Him. Baba wouldneedle us, have are the steps to reach the pick holes in us, butnever once did goal, which will be yours through He do that withNonny. Whatever the grace that you will have from was Baba wish was her wish so me Baba never found fault with hei Your desire for “service” in Somehow, Nonny had no need for my Cause, and the opportunities the tests and trials. that will come to you will, if Rano. duties during her life readily responded to, lead you to with Baba were multifarious— the attainment of the Highest she was His artist, executing that you aspire. I will give you whateverBaba calledfoi the othe opportunities, for I know you between”ofthe secludedlife ofthe long for these and will certainly Meher Baba seated between Norma Matchabelli andRano Gayley Standing Eastern women mandali and the grasp them whole-heartedly, behindare KittyDavy Nonny Gayleyandlilizabeth Patterson. world on many ofBaba travels in when offered. So, don’t you worry, Indki, and in lateryears Mani companion in the Trust Office and a dearest. Just wait, till the “time” comes, with all love you have for trustee ofA vatar Meher Baba Trust until her death at Meherazad on your Beloved Baba who is ever at your heart and at whose heart your Dec. 5 1986 at the age of84. name exists. Reflecting on this life, Rano saici ‘in the ashram, doing for Baba The “Eagle” and other birds are all mine. They soar to different meant the 1’ no longer mattered Daily life was not our own; it was heights according to the capability of each having different Baba. For those in the ashram, there was onlythis,obeyBaba implicitly, experiences, all eventually to be merged in the Infinite. and be cheerful I am awaiting cable from New York to start, and as already told The letters we are posting are from the 1930s, before Nonny and to you, we shall go together to America. RanojoinedBaba in India. About these letters Rano commented 4ll of All my love us (dose early 1/Vestern lovers) receivedpersonal letters from Baba during MS Irani certain periods and /theseJ are typical ofthose Baba wrote aspart of the ‘cpiritual courtship, heaping praise upon what deep down we knew Ifyou ha ye a computeryou are able to have these wonderful letters were our undeserving heads. But we cherished them and responded to sent directly toyou. They come as a regular email- -onceyou ha ye signed the love in them and theyserved theirpurpose, drawing us doser to Him up—and then they give you the address where you can see the actual in love.” letter Baba wrote in His own handwriting (or one ofthe Mandali) By the 1930s Baba had stopped hand-writing letters and would At the bottom of each Heart Thlk email you will see: The oriqinal is indicate what He wanted to convey to a mandali member—often posted at <http.//wwwambppct.org/museum/ranonny/ranonnyl5pdf Chanji—who would type (or hand-write) the letter Baba was still Heart Thik, Letter 156 l5June 2006. Copyright 2006 A vatar Meher signing letters at this time, ano except for two roup letters “and two Baba PerpetualPublic Charitable Trust, Ahmednagaz MS. India. All messages these letters are siqned by Him. Ri’htsReserved Go to <http://avatarmeherbaba.org/mailman/iistinfo/ The quotes from Rano are taken from her book Because of Love. ta vern-talk> to sign on to receive them. (Copyright J983AMBPPCT). ‘:
I?arn tja9e!, :Baba s Coiiipiled by 3rank Ei31oise, 2slew Jersey
ano Gayley was born Madeleine Estelle Gayley in New York City in 1902, and was raised there. She was an artist who had worked for some years designing fabrics in New York. Her mother, Estelle Gayley, known as Nonny, was the widow ofa promi nent New York attorney. Rano and Nonny first heard of Meher Baba in 1933 on a trip to Paris. They and their close friend Ruano Bogislav were walking down the Rue Cambon when by chance they ran into Quentin Tod, a friend of Ruano’s. He was very eager to share his experience of meeting Meher Baba in India. Quentin met later with Rano, Nonny and Ruano at their apartment, showed them pictures of Baba, and spoke enthusiastically about Him. Rano had mixed feelings about accepting a master. “At that time, in the spring of 1933, Meher Baba was not yet known as the Avatar but as a Perfect Master, and although I did not know what a master was, I was interested in Meher Baba’s picture. Beyond that I refused to commit myse1f for I had too often been disappointed in other people’s enthusiasms and I would have to see for myself if Meher Baba was all Quentin said He was. “a Shortly after the meeting with Quentin, Rano and Nonny returned to their home in New York. They soon received a letter
from Ruano saying she had met Baba in Por tofino, Italy, and had inexplicably spent the next 10 days weeping. Ruano also said she had told Baba about Rano and Nonny and He said they should come to Europe to meet Him in the autumn. Rano and Nonny planned to sail to France because Ruano had told them she thought Baba might be in Paris. The day before they were to leave, they received a cable that Baba would be in London instead. The ship they booked passage on coincidently cancelled its French landing and was to stop in Southhampton. Through another set of “coincidences” they were able to contact Ruano and were given an appointment to meet Meher Baba at Hygeia House, the hotel where Baba was staying, at 4 o’clock on Oct. 18, 1933. “At 4 PM Nonny and Rano promptly entered Hygeia House to meet the Eternal Beloved. They were greeted by Ruano, who told them with sympathy that Baba was very tired and would not be able to see them now. They were dumbstruck. Crestfallen, they were taken to meet Norma, Elizabeth and the Kimco group. While they were talking about Baba, He sent a message: ‘Since you have come from such a long distance, I will see you. But you must not ask anything or talk to me. You should leave after seeing me.’ “Baba sent first for Nonny. While Rano nervously waited outside, her mind began working fast. The door slowly opened and Nonny stepped out—her eyes filled with tears. Rano was taken aback, for up to then she considered any person who gave way to their emotions as ‘silly and sentimental,’ and could not understand what had happened to her mother. “Meher Baba then called Rano inside. She
once described this first meeting: ‘I had spent several restless hours becom ing rather nervous at the thought of meeting someone I knew so little about, and yet that, in some strange way, I seemed drawn to. The moment came. I stepped into the room and everything around me faded. All I saw was one whose beauty of expression defied description and who looked at me with such gentleness and kindness that it imprinted itself indelibly on my memory. I knew then that, were I never to see Meher Baba again, I had received something that would remain with me for always. ‘I had never seen anyone so beautiful in my life. I felt that Baba was the embodiment of everything. He had that love and compassion which is indescribable. ‘To this day, I do not know who else was in the room. There were only hazy figures, but clearly in their midst was Meher Baba with the most beautiful expression I had ever seen. Sweetness, love—everything that was beautiful—was there in His face. I stood, staring at Him until someone finally removed me from the room.’ Rano was engaged outside with her mother and Ruano, discussing their individual meetings, when Vivienne Gieson came danc ing into the room in her airy way. Draped around the door, she sang out in dramatic fashion, ‘R-u-a-n-o! BABA wants you.’ “Ruano hurriedly scampered from the room, leaving Rano and Nonny to look at each other. They did not care for Vivienne’s theatrical behavior and Rano wondered to herself: ‘What have we gotten into?’ She had never seen Ruano heed anyone’s beck and call, and the whole scene struck her as somewhat strange. When Ruano returned, she happily informed them, ‘Baba wishes that you both stay in Hygeia House with all of us, starting tomorrow. They returned to their hotel and both thought ofnothing but Baba throughout one of the longest nights of their lives. They went the next day to Hygeia House and began “
staying near Baba. Their fates were sealed. “Baba was very loving to Nonny, but for His own reason He kept Rano at a distance. Although Baba was outwardly keeping her away, she was inwardly being drawn to Him. On various occasions, Baba would go to a movie with all except Rano, or He would have her travel sepa rately if she did accompany them, allowing her only to see Him from a distance. Rano was destined to belong to Baba and join His circle. Others would keep their distance from Baba at such treatment, but the Beloved Master is coquettish with only those whom He knows have an inner connection with Him and whom He wants to keep near Him. Nonny and Rano Gayley were meant to play a role in His circle. b When the day came for Baba to leave, He embraced each in turn, and when my turn came Ruano in her ef fusiveness said, ‘Baba, kiss Rano. I was most embarrassed, but Baba looked at me, gave me a beautiful smile and put out His cheek for me to kiss. That made me very happy, and the embarrassment disappeared. “Baba left London for India and, being at loose ends until the following February, Ruano, Nonny and I decided to winter in Morocco. We could then catch a boat at Tangiers in February, go through the Mediterranean and the Suez and be in India for Baba’s 40th birthday. There was such a charm about Morocco, we had a delightful winter in the sun, looking forward to being with Baba again. I spent much of my time painting. “Ruano and Nonny wrote occasionally to Baba, but He hadn’t told me to write, so I didn’t. In His letters to Nonny, Baba would often ask, ‘How is your dear daughter?’ I was irked at the ‘dear daughter’ term, little knowing that it was Baba’s way of making me think of Him, and therefore drawing me closer. “Baba’s first letter to Nonny, dated Dec. 16, 1933, reads:
you to start for India until I cable you. That does not mean you should abandon your preparations, for rest assured, I will call you, if not at the time I told you, a month or two later, probably earlier. All my love to you and dear Rano, MS. Irani”
I am near you all the time, and you are ever in my heart. I had told you in London to come to India with Ruano and Rano in February, but you should not do so unless I cable you. I may call you in February or later. You should wait till you receive my instructions by cable. Give my love to your darling daughter. All my love, M.S. Iranic “A week later another letter arrived, warning us again that there might be some delay in our trip to India:
December 22, 1933 My dearest Nonny, You write that one must earn and deserve happiness to enjoy it. In the ordinary course of life, it is so, but once a Perfect Master’s grace falls on one, Divine Bliss is imparted without the recipient necessarily earning it—the only way to deserve it lies in surrender and obedience. You have grown very dear to me, Nonny, and one day I will make you realize the goal, the greatness and perfection ofwhich you can My dear Nonny, never imagine. Your sweet letter from Paris has made me You must have received my last letter. Due very happy. My thoughts are always with you. to a slight change in my plans, I do not want
Eventually Rano, who took it upon herself to ac company Ruano to Marseille, met Baba again in the spring of 1934. “Ruano and I spent the night in Marseilles, and the next morning took the hotel bus to the docks where we saw Chanji, Baba’s secretary, on deck beckoning to us. We went on board and down to Baba’s cabin. I suddenly realized I might be in for it, but in those days Baba was still very lenient with people He was drawing to him. Neverthe less, I pushed Ruano ahead of me and Baba embraced her first. — When I went to embrace Him, I whispered in His ear, ‘I’m not supposed to be here. He smiled, embraced me and all was well. Because I was usually so reticent, Baba did sometimes let me get away with a bold move.e Rano and Ruano traveled by train with Baba to Paris. Departing Paris for London on June 26, Baba instructed Rano, Nonny and Ruano to remain behind. After spending some time in England, Baba traveled to Switzerland, where Rano, Nonny and Ruano joined Him in July. “Meher Baba would go for daily walks with His close ones, but they were usually left behind since His pace was always so fast. On one occasion, Rano Gayley had the urge to catch up to Baba as He scaled a hill. Baba turned and held His hand out to Rano. When she reached Him, suddenly she felt weightless and, as if floating, together they went hand-in-hand up the hill. That beautiful experience ascending alone with Baba sealed her fate with the Avatar. “It was there, Rano remembered, ‘that I really began to realize that I was in contact with the Avatar. A slow process of breaking up started to take place in my being. I would wait for everybody to go to sleep and then sit ‘
outside at night alone, looking at the lake in the beautiful moonlight. I was churned inside out, upside down. I would think: ‘What’s happening to me? This is terrible. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep!’ Now I understood what Ruano meant when she said she wept for 10 days after meeting Him.’ “Meher Baba had often emphasized to the Americans and Europeans, ‘I want only love from my Western lovers. The Eastern lovers revere me, bow down to me and worship me, but I want only love from you. “i On July 16 Baba departed Zurich for Marseilles by train. Rano, among others, had the good fortune to accompany Him. “In Marseilles, Rano was given the oppor tunity to comb Baba’s hair. She was smoking 1 5 cigarettes per day then, but through Baba’s influence she gradually withdrew to just two a day. By giving her and Nonny chances to serve Him in small ways, Baba made them feel like they belonged with Him and thus they grew closer to Him. “g Baba sent Rano, Ruano, and Nonny back to Paris and sailed for India. They were still there when Baba cabled in the fall of 1934 that He was planning a trip to America that winter and that they shouldjoin him. On Dec. 5, they sailed with Him on the 5.5. Majestic from Cherbourg to New York. Rano and Nonny remained in the United States from 1934 to 1936. They received regular correspondence from Baba. Injanuary 1935, Rano got this letter: At sea January 17th. 1935 Empress of Canada” My dearest Rano, Since writing to you last we have had a quiet trip from Vancouver to Hono lulu. Parting from such dear ones as you all is sad indeed, but as it is for the work, it must be taken sweetly and cheerfully. And even if you do feel separation, you feel and know that I am a! ways with you, and shall ever dwell in your loving heart, even from the heights of the Himalayas. I know, dearest, how deep and intense is your love for me, and you know how I love you. So there is no need to say more but to convey to you all my love and everything it “
means to you, dearest. Remember all I told you. MS Iranih On March 10, 1935, she received this letter from Baba: For dear Rano Meherabad Ahmednagar, March 10. 1935 My darling Rano, I received all your loving messages of love, and your very sweet and loving letters. The depths of the feeling conveyed therein, and which I know you do feel every moment, are clear indications how closer you have come to me, in love. The last contact, of being in close company with me all the way from Paris tillthe moment ofmy departure from Hollywood has helped much to develop those latent features and faculties that needed such a contact for their expression. The individual soul that is part of the Infinite and Universal, possesses so much of the most marvelous of the Divine that need a spark to awaken and manifest, and once they do awaken, it overwhelms the individual with the richest, and most invaluable treasures they disclose of the Divine within. One who is Divine, ignites those la tent faculties of the Divine in others with a spark of love that he gives, and those who are deeply connected with the Di-
vine One are the luckiest ones to witness and feel this wonderful awakening of the innermost fountain of the human soul! What you have been feeling already is so splendid, yet there is still much to experience, and so marvelous too! And you will realise all, dearest. Love alone is the key-note, and you have that. With my love and help, all will reveal itself in time, and you will realise ev erything, and will then be able to help others, much more than you could do now, through art, expressing that love Meanwhile, go on with that beautiful work of art, that is one of the noblest and finest means ofbringing out the Divine Within, arid with my help that will always be forthcoming, you will work wonders, dearest. Remember, Rano darling, all I have told you, and never feel depressed or de spondent And don’t forget that I AM ALWAYS WITH YOU, wherever I am, wherever you are. Be writing, as usual, and I too will be communicating and in touch with you always wherever I am. Feeling now as you do for your friends and relations, is what is called “living in the world, but not of it,” and is a very good sign of rising above the ties and connections of things mundane. It is a rare gift of love, and would be envied by many an advanced soul on the Path of Spirituality and Truth. But Love includes everything, helping and teaching things that are otherwise so hard even to grasp intellectually, much less to understand. And you will see, and feel and learn many things still. Give my love to all the dear ones of the group. All my love everlasting MS Irani’
And on July 10 this letter from Mount Abu:
Rano andKanute, NasiJt February 1937
For dear Merano Merano darling, I have all your loving letters—beautiful expres sions of a heart that is so loving and lovable. I know how you feel—growing in love and devotion every day, and getting closer ev ery moment, and getting closer every moment to the only beloved of your heart— your darling Baba. The aversion to meeting friends and mixing in society
etc. is the sign ofthe breaking ofthe bonds of “Maya” and things ofthe mundane, and mdicate a growth of a deeper understanding of the real meaning and significance of life spiritual as contrasted with the false worldly life amidst the glitter and glamour that is all illusionary. Years ofyoga practices and penances wouldn’t do this that this Love Divine (for your beloved Baba) could do. Never worry, dearest, about repetitions of the same things in your letters to me. Love never tires of repetitions—rather repetitions make words of Love all the more sweeter. What is there for those who love but only to say “I love you” over and over again till the very end of life, and it includes everything that more than satisfies both the lover and the beloved. So, dear Merano, go on repeating the same loving tune in all your letters. I love noth ing more than Love and its expressions, even if repeated millions of times. Painting—This must be continued. I want you to, for it keeps you thinking always of your beloved, and is one of the noblest expres sions of Love. With the depth of feeling and love you have for me, you will bring out something that will be “marvelous, being the expression of Love Divine. And dearest, don’t ever think of any other work but mine—whatever it be—of helping dear Nonny in her work for the picture in any way you can or of “painting” the picture, thinking of me and inspired by the love you have for me. For I want you to be always connected with and thinking of my work—in one capacity or another—and to keep yourself”free” from any binding of other outside work—to be able to join & be with me whenever I am at your end in the West and always at my disposal for any of my work I would like you to do. My dear ones should be exclusively mine, and bound to none. Do you understand, dearest? Never mind the “smoking. I know you don’t do it “intentionally” disregarding my wish. It is only a force of habit that keeps you on to your work, and will gradually diminish
and disappear. And finally, dear Merano, there is only one thing I want to tell you—your letters so vividly convey the depth of your feeling and love for me, which I alone know and appreciate, and it makes me so happy to see you growing deeper in love and getting closer to me, in love, every moment. Dear Nonny writes so lovingly of you, and she is so happy to see the great Love you
“That long-awaited call to India came in a letter late in the summer of 1936. Baba said He was establishing a western ashram in Nasik and was inviting 1 5 of His devotees to join Him there for a period of five years. From America, he called Ruano, Nonny and me, Elizabeth Patterson, Princess Norma Matchabelli, Countess Nadine Tolstoy, Garrett Fort, and Malcolm and Jean Adriel Schloss. From Eng land, He called Kitty Davy, Margaret Craske, Delia De Leon, Will and Mary Backett, and Tom Sharpley.’ That first week, Baba took us to Nasik to see the ashram where we were to spend an unknown amount of time, and we were entranced. Baba had provided every Western convenience on the 24 acres. A main house consisted of a large double room and bath for Elizabeth and Norma, two small rooms and a shared bath for Nonny and me, and a large sitting room and dining room where the entire group could gather. Another long building, called Sarzat, fronted by a verandah, contamed 1 2 rooms, every two rooms having a bathroom with hot and cold water shower, wash basin and western toilet. Each room had a night table; dressing table, cupboard and a bed with a mosquito curtain. Sarzat had a flat roof where we could walk in the evenings, and it was surrounded by a lovely garden. “Baba was ofcourse very pleased to show us His surprise, and we moved into the ashram a week or so after our arrival in India. After the English group hadjoined us, Baba called us together and said, ‘I’ve given you for now all the luxuries; this is the luxury ashram. Later, one by one, I’m going to take all these things away from you. And in some respects He did, at least for some ofus. Still “
are to see your Beloved, being separated for more than a year. That is why I am com ing and also bringing good news of some surprise for you dearest gopies. All my love, M.S.Iranik
have developed within—for your beloved Baba—and also for those who are dear and near to Him at heart. I am so happy to read dear Nonny refer to it in glowing terms of love and admiration that she feels and finds in you. Give my love to all the dear ones of the
group. All my love MS Irani In March 1936 she received another letter from Baba which concluded with this paragraph: I know how anxious all you dearest ones
later He made each of us put a hand in His “rn and promise to stay for five At the Nasik ashram, the Westerners were given daily duties and took turns fasting or keeping silence. Many times Baba gave dis courses; at other times they played games with Baba orjust sat and talked to Him. “Rano Gayley was painting under Baba’s direction, and He was also very particular about overseeing her work. He would give her many points and figures to be incorporated into what was to become the Ten Circles painting, and she would make sketches and show them to Baba for his approval. Once during this period, Rano had a wonderful experience.” “It was at Nasik that I first realized that Baba was more thanjust the flesh and blood being that I could see. One night—it must have been toward morning—I was awakened by a blinding light, and in the light was Babas face. My heart was beating very fast and ev erything was twirling, radiating pinwheels of light. With the light and the vision, there was such a feeling of ecstasy that I was no longer myself but wasjust absorbed into Baba. Then the light and vision went and slowly, slowly, my heartbeat went back to normal. I tried to recapture the moment, but it was gone. “The next day, I was alone with Baba and He turned to me, ‘What were you dreaming last night?’ “I tried to hedge, to make out I didn’t know
what Baba was talking about because I didn’t want to verbalize what I’d seen and felt. But Baba gradually brought it out of me. I said, ‘Yes, Baba, it’s something I’ll never forget.’ “Baba tried to get me to tell the others, but Ijust mumbled about it, and they didn’t really understand. I wanted to keep it to myself.”o “Rano smoked Lucky Strike and Ches terfield cigarettes when she came to Nasik, but she was careful never to smoke in Baba’s presence. One day, Baba came along just as she was finishing a cigarette. She quickly put it out and said, ‘Baba, this was my last cigarette. Baba looked pleased and gave her an embrace. Rano surprised herselfwhen she made this remark, since Baba had not asked her to quit. “The next day, Garrett Fort offered Rano some Chesterfields. Rano moaned, ‘I’ve given my word to Baba to quit smoking. What kind of disciple would I be if I couldn’t do this much? Why couldn’t you have come along a day earlier?’ Rano never missed smoking except when she was painting or taking a break to reflect on her work. In June of 1937 Baba decided to take another trip to France. On July 31 Baba and a group of Eastern and Western disciples boarded the Strathanavar and sailed for Marseilles. From Marseilles they traveled by train to Cannes. “For some months, Rano had been working in secret under Baba’s direction on a large ‘
painting. It was later called The Ten Circles. Baba had instructed Rano to bring all her painting materials to Cannes to continue with the work on the painting which had been taken off its stretcher, rolled and packed, and brought from India. One day, when she was painting a section of it, Baba came and made some criticism of her work. Rano in a huffsaid, ‘Ifyou like Anita’s [Anita de Carol drawing so much, why don’t you ask her to do this work?’ “Baba did not like her remark, repri manding her, ‘You are useless! You have no sense! Your duty is to fulfill my orders!’ Baba was teaching Rano to accept what He wished with a buttoned lip. At times Baba would tease her, saying, ‘Why aren’t you as good as your mother? Nonny is so good, why can’t you be like her?’ All this teasing was for the purpose of loosening the ego. “q
In Cannes “Rano was staying in Baba’s villa on the third floor, as were Norma and Elizabeth. Baba’s room was at the end of the corridor. Although Rano did not realize it at the time, Baba began training her at Cannes for her permanent stay with Him in India.
At night, Baba would often send Kaka to Rano’s room to wake her up. Kaka would
knock on her door and, when Rano would come out and ask what the matter was, Kaka would reply, ‘Baba wants you. So Rano would accompany him to Baba’s room where ‘
Baba would simply spell out to her, ‘I want
Standing. Irene Billo, Margaret Craske, Rano Gayley Seated Elizabeth Patterson, Norma Matchabeii, Nadine Thistoy, KittyDa Thken in Mtherabadin 1937 (from Lord Meher Vol 7).
you to remind me about ordering soda water tomorrow. That’s all. Now go and rest.’ “Returning to her room, Rano wondered why on earth Baba would call her in the middle of the night for such a petty thing as ordering soda water. Again after a short time, there was a knock on the door and Rano would be called to Baba. Baba would spell out, ‘Don’t forget to remind me about the soda water. Now go and sleep; you look tired. Rano could not understand why, for such a mundane matter, she was disturbed again from her slumbers. Yet, throughout the night, the seemingly insignificant subject of soda water kept being raised, and Baba did not allow either Rano or Himself to sleep. Years later, Rano realized that one must be ever alert and ready to comply with any of the Master’s wishes at any moment in order to carry out His orders and fulfill his appar ently whimsical pleasures. Also, she was being trained to share in the nightwatch duty. “Another night, Kaka again knocked on Rano’s door and, when she came out, he told her, ‘Smoke is coming from somewhere and Baba wishes you to go and find out what is burning. Rano went downstairs to the kitchen and, with Irene’s help, found the stove had not been properly banked. Baba also went to the kitchen with Kaka and then returned to His room after the smoke was extinguished. “Rano retired for the night but was soon awakened a am byKaka’s knock on the door. ‘
When she opened it, Kaka said, ‘Baba wants you to have another look through the house to make sure everything is all right and safe.’ Rano did accordingly and sent word through Kaka that everything was fine. “Soon after, Kaka again knocked on Rano door with the same message. This went on the whole night and Rano learned to do as Baba ordered, without any question ofwhy or wherefore, thus ignoring her mental reactions and letting her wish to obey and please Bab&s wish remain foremost. “r “When I sailed back to India with Meher Baba in November 1937 I had no idea that except for two briefvisits to the West in 1952 and 1970, I would be spending the rest of my life in India. My only thought when He asked me to come was that I wanted to love and serve Him as best I could. “In the fall [19381 Baba decided to go on tour—what was to become known as the Blue Bus tours—and take all the women with Him. This meant Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Masi, Valu, Mansari, Gulamasi, Gaimai and her daughters Meheru and Manu, Norma, Elizabeth, Nonny, Nadine Tolstoy, Hedi Mertens, Irene Billo, Helen Dahm (who painted the murals on the walls of Baba’s tomb) myself and, from Hyderabad, Katie Irani. There were 22 in all, although the Blue 4”t Bus was meant to hold 1 Throughout the Blue Bus tours, I continued to have to deal with my stubborn streak, and Baba continued to provoke it. In S
Ceylon, we had a special treat of cut up pieces of coconut sprinkled with sugar. Just as I was taking my first piece of coconut, Baba, who obviously had nothing to do at the moment, said, ‘That’s not good for your throat.’ “But Baba, I love coconut. I’ve eaten a lot of coconut and nothing ever happened to my throat.’ It went on and on and I refused to give in. In the end, I had to; I knew Baba wasn’t going to let up until I did. “I said, ‘Yes, Baba, you’re quite right, it’s not good for my throat. “So whenever I eat coconut now, I remember that it’s not good for my throat. Life in India was not always easy for Rano. Over the years she had a number of health problems. In 1946 on another ofBaba’s tours, she became quite ill. “We had been in Dehra Dun a little over a month when Baba took a few of us to Katrain in Kulu Valley. From the women’s side there were Mani, myself Meheru and Rano; and from the men I think only Dr. Donkin, Kaka Baria, who did the cooking, and Baidul. As we were always quite separate from the men mandali, I never quite knew who was with Baba from the men’s side. “On the journey to Kulu, Rano became very ill. One of the places at which we broke our trip was Mandi, where we stopped at a dak bungalow. Rano had completely lost her appetite, and Baba, who was usually very kind and loving when we were sick, told her to eat a huge plate of curry and rice. Poor Rano felt ir;iw ia awful She was al in tears but she most , obeyed Babaand ate .1 the food, and then immediately left the room and was sick. “When we reached Katrain, Dr. Donkin told her she had infectious hep atitis so she could not stay with us. Nearby there was a cowshed with two little rooms over it, so Rano stayed there and had a beautiful view of Kulu Valley while she was recu perating. Rano then re membered that as she, Margaret and Kitty were on the bus passing through Delhi on their way to “
Dehra Dun, each of them had ordered a sugar cane juice. A fellow passenger on the bus had warned Rano not to drink hers, but she had not listened to him. Sugar cane juice is a well-known source for hepatitis, and that must have been where she had picked up the infection. “Rano recovered very quickly, and Donkin told her that it was the lightest case of hepatitis he had seen. At that time there was no special treatment for hepatitis, and many people died from it. Baba then reminded Rano of the meal He had made her eat in Mandi, and told her that, because she had obeyed Him and eaten it, her illness had been lightened.” In the period of The New Life, starting in 1949, only four women were chosen to accompany Baba as New Life companions; they were Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Dr. Goher Irani. Baba gave Kitty Davy and Rano a choice. They could go back to their respective countries or remain in India, although, as Baba put it, they would never see His face again. Rano and Kitty decided to stay in India and eventually found employment as teachers in Queen Mary High School in Bombay. At the conclusion ofThe New Life in 1952, Rano got a reprieve from the “purgatory” of separation from Baba and joined him in Meherazad. Rano was among the group who accompanied Baba on His trip to the United States in 1952. After Baba’s stay in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Baba set off on a motor tour, in two cars, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to California. Elizabeth Patterson was driving the first car in which Baba rode. An accident occurred in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, on Route 62, 600 feet from the East County Road, near the town of Meeker, Oklahoma, about 10 miles west of Prague. In her autobiography, Rano wrote: We passed near the town of Prague, Oklahoma, and I noticed a sign, ‘Hospital this way.’ I said, ‘What a delightful place to have a hospital.’ Some distance beyond Prague, there was a gradual rise in the road and then quite a hill. When we had almost reached the top of the hill, Sarosh said, ‘There seems to have been an accident.’ We saw two cars and people lined up along the road. “Sarosh said, ‘It’s Elizabeth’s car.’ “It can’t be,’ I said. “Itis!’ “
“I said, ‘Oh, my God,’ and rushed out of the car before Sarosh brought it to a full stop. All I could think of was, ‘Where is Baba?’ I ran to the car to find Elizabeth pinned behind the steering wheel, both arms broken and, as it turned out, some ribs as well. She kept saying over and over, ‘Take care of the gentleman.’ “Then I saw that someone had lifted Baba up on the side ofthe embankment along with Mehera. Baba pointed out that He had a broken arm and leg and His nose was bleeding profusely. Mehera appeared to be badly hurt with a head injury and Meheru was also hurt. All three had been thrown from the car. Mani, who had been leaning back with her eyes closed, was unhurt. “An ambulance, the town’s only one, ar rived along with a hearse because there were so many injured. Goher and I accompanied Baba and Elizabeth in the ambulance to the small Prague Hospital run by Dr. Ned Burleson. Naturally I wanted Dr. Burleson to look first at Baba. But he said it was ‘the lady’ (Mehera) who had the concussion and a
bad cut on her forehead, and needed attention first. As it turned out, Mehera had a severe skull fracture. I stayed with Baba—He was conscious all the time—until Mehera had been tended to and Dr. Burleson returned. He set Baba’s leg and arm and treated the cuts on His nose and mouth. “We practically took over the little hospi tal. Sarosh telegraphed the other men mandali who had gone on to Meher Mount, and they returned immediately. Baba sent for Marga
ret Craske and Ivy Duce and her daughter, Charmian. Sarosh felt so bad, even though we kept assuring him it was not his fault. But he felt the other mandali would say to him, ‘How could you let this happen to Baba?’ “The first night, Goher, Sarosh and I stayed with Baba, and after the men mandali arrived the next day, Baba divided up the watch. Dr. Nilu and I had watch duty from 7 p.m. to 7 am. We were not allowed to so much as nod, and we kept an eye on each
other to make sure we didn’t fall asleep. I was filling myselfwith so many pills to stay awake
He looked so fragile then that I was almost afraid to touch Him, so I touched Him very lightly. But when He embraced me, it was the strong embrace of the old days. It was the last embrace I had from
(Endnotes) a b c d e f g h I
that at the end of 10 days I was feeling very shaky. Because I took the pills, I couldn’t sleep when I got offduty at 7 a.m. and I was averaging about an hour of sleep each day. “I wept all the first night. At the scene of the accident I didn’t have time to react emotionally—everything was in disarray and my duty was to see to Baba. But that night, with Baba in a hospital bed, His leg in a cast, His arm in a sling, His nose and mouth badly injured, the immensity of it hit me. I cried and cried, but tried not to let Baba hear me. In the morning, Baba looked at me and laughed, ‘Why are you going through all this? Everything will be all right.’ I felt so embarrassed to have given way to my feelings that I leaned down and
hid my face against Baba’s cheek.”w It would take many, many, more words to begin to touch on the life of service of Rano Gayley. Like each ofMeher Baba’s mandali, she was unique and uniquely His. I think it is fitting to close with Rano’s last intimate moment with her Beloved. “A week or so before He dropped His
body on Jan. 31, 1969, I took to Baba a watercolor of the Mastery in Servitude emblem I had done for his brother, Adi Jr., in England. I thought that Adi would be happy if Baba touched the emblem. Baba did touch it and pointed out each religious symbol and made a circle of His thumb and forefinger, His sign of pleasure. Then He gestured, ‘Come and embrace me.’
j k 1 m H 0
p q r S
v w x
Because of Love, p. 1 Lord Meher, pp. 1827-1829 Because of Love, p. 4 Ibid, p. 4 Ibid, p. 5 Lord Meher, p. 1895 Ibid, pp. 1909-1910 HeartTalk, Letter 152, 4 May 2006 Heart Talk, Letter 154, 18 May 2006 Heart Talk, Letter 157, 8 June 2006 Because of Love, p.12 Ibid,p.13 Ibid,p.24 Lord Meher, p. 2084 Ibid p. 16 Lord Meher, p. 2084 Ibid,p.2206 Ibid, pp. 2209-22 10 Because of Love, p. 25 Ibid,p.29 Ibid,p.37 Mehera,pp. 176-177 Ibid, p. 55 Ibid,p.61
:Rabds i3irthdci )I’kssay I know how much this silence meant to each of you who so Itist before we went to press this letter came in. k feel it has great sinificance to all who call themselves Baba lovers so we are adding it at eagerly await for even a word from your Beloved Baba! I knew and the end ofthe article Frankput togetherfor us. —The Editors know how each heart felt in anxious awaiting for a personal note
from Baba. [16 Februaryl 1936 Mysore MY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE My beloved selves— I received your letters during these months of silence. But my dear Chanji was all the time on the move on a very important work of mine—a very big project that has much to do with my dearest “gopies” and devotees at the other end—these letters could not be replied to as usual.
But, dearest mine, if you only know how “silence speaks more than words, you would welcome such a silence a hundred times more than spoken or written words. For it is during such periods of prolonged “silence” that hearts united in Love such as yours for your Beloved are drawn closer, the inner communion held more frequent, and it was during this “silence” that I felt the heart-throbs stronger and deeper, longing for the Love that is to be ultimately yours. And when I say, my dearest, that it was for a very important project connected with you, my dear ones, at the other end that I “
was busy all the while, contemplating, planning, and fixing things, you beloveds will surely not mind whatever anxiety this silence had caused you, but would rather welcome same since it has been instrumental in bringing you closer to me, more than anything else, and also in helping me to work for a project that has, as I said above, much to do with my dearest ones across the continent. For I know you who love me so understand to some extent how I have to work for the welfare of the world and spiritual uplift of humanity. The long-contemplated “move” has been effected, as you will perceive from the name of the place MYSORE where I have recently come over from where I send this letter. And as in my other important work, absolute privacy has been observed throughout this “move” from Meherabad, so that none except about a dozen of the “mandali” who accompany me here, know where I am—I mean the actual spot. All the others know only that I am somewhere in the South (of India) For this, I have reasons. And I alone know what it means to work in silence and in privacy, being at the same time in connection with thousands, who, every moment, watch my movements and want to see me, whose eyes are ever eager to mark my movements and know my activities. Those who work with me in my “moves” and see things, can have an idea. Others can hardly imagine how immensely troublesome a task it is to move in privacy in parts of a country where, at every step, there are chances of coming across of one or the other of thousands of devotees and others to whom the name of “Baba” is so well-known and dear, and how harder the task becomes when a word of whisper from one to the other discloses my whereabouts and spreads the news that are meant to be kept strictly “private. But I have my own ways, and I manage things anyhow. And in this working, I naturally expect those who accompany me or partake in the work, to abide by my instructions or orders, and undergo certain discipline, even with inconvenience or hardships. And while those who are with me suffer thus, for my work, those who are left behind in their respective places to do their —
own duties as allotted to them, both in India and abroad, suffer in anxious awaiting for the news from the Beloved, at times for days, at times for months! Thus all suffer—all who love Baba and want him, each in his or her way, and be instrumental, through suffering, in helping my work. Is that too much to expect from those to whom life should have no meaning but what their Beloved Baba gives to it—to share in his suffering and be utilized in his Cause and in his work! Problems each individual has—petty problems of the world that have nothing but a passing influence or significance. But the greatest of all the problems— the solution of this “struggle of existence”, this riddle of life—the problem of “self-realization” which includes all the petty problems of the world and humanity put together, remains un-solved for ages, until a “Master” takes up that mission and helps the suffering humanity, struggling in the meshes of “Maya” to be out of it. Your dear “Master, as you all know, has taken it on himself to solve it for you all, and expects you as his dear adherents and beloveds to “follow him” wherever he leads you, stepping over all the obstacles that come in the way, disregarding all the difficulties and vicissitudes of life this life of the earth that is but a passing phase in the great march towards Eternity! Baba clears the way for you, dearest, and walks in front. Won’t you, beloveds, follow! And whilst you thus follow him on this Path of Life, Light and Love, won’t you keep your faces smiling and feel happy and cheerful as I want you to be! You know how I love you and want you all to be always happy and cheerful! For you are moving with me in an onward march towards the Life, where I know, Eternal Peace and ineffable Bliss awaits you! I will write to you individually, sooner. Meanwhile, with all my Love as ever, always with you, MS. Irani “
Whnt’s in ci 24arn? David 3enstcr
he name Poona is derived from the Sanskrit word poorna, meaning complete, and with Meher Baba also there at this time, Poona was now complete with both the King of Beauty and His beloved in residence. Mehera entered the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in the preparatory section just after her sixth birthday on 14 Jan., 1913. The school was not coeducational; the boys’ and girls’ classes were separate. Mehera was registered as Mary Irani, and it was by this name that she was known, by both her classmates and her teachers, for the entire seven years she spent at the school. (Piroja was al ways called by her given name, until she met Meher Baba and became Freiny.) Mehera did not mind being called Mary; in fact, she welcomed it. When she was six or seven, she remembered asking her mother, “Why did you give me such a plain name? Mehera sounds so simple. Other girls have
such lovely names.• School, is situated directly across the street What name would you have chosen, if from St. Vincent’s High School, where Baba you’d had your choice?” Daulat had asked. had studied earlier for three years. Mehera had never considered this, but The Persian name Mehera is the femi she replied, “If I’d had nine form of Meher, which my choice, I might have has many meanings. It can liked to be called Nargis,” mean the sun, love, friendwhich had a nice ring ship, compassion, or a pact. It to it, she thought. “Or also the name of an angel maybe a multisyllable Mihr), and the name of the name, such as Katayun 3th day and seventh month or Triti,” she added. (Ka of the Zoroastrian calendar tayun and Triti were two ( analogous to a Western cou of the three daughters pie naming their child May). of Zoroaster. Only years later would Mehera re Mehera-Mehei alize that her name was A Divine Romance, perfect—so close to her Vol. I, p. 16, beloved Meher.) by David Fenster, © 2003 The school, now called St. Anne’s High David Fenster “
hIehi Enbds i956 7)isit to th West he great visit began when, in the midst of His seclusion, Baba with Eruch, Adi Sr., Dr. Nilu and Meherjee left Satara, India, on July 16,1956, for Europe. After going to Zurich, Paris and London, they arrived in New York and went directly to the Hotel Delmonico where they stayed for four days. Elizabeth, by Baba’s request, met them in New York and, with over fifty devotees accompanying the party, they arrived in Myrtle Beach the morning ofJuly 24th for a six-day visit. At the Briarcliffe gate by the Center to meet Baba were Frank Eaton, myself and several others. Baba beckoned me into the car and the four long years’ absence seemed to completely disappear. He looked radiant and full of vitality. Throughout the six days, Baba met fre quently with us individually and in small groups in the Lagoon Cabin in the mornings and afternoons. Large gatherings with Baba usually took place in the Barn, at which time many discourses and talks on various subjects were given by Him.
or untouchables would follow Me. But here, Elizabeth has built a very comfortable house for Me. She has made everything possible just through her love for Me. Tomorrow is Elizabeth’s birthday. I am just in time to celebrate her birthday. Tomorrow I will have to embrace her seven times! None ofyou must give any gifts however. Ofall the places in the world, I feel most comfortable in this house; even though the climate is hot and humid, I like this place.” Baba then stood on the porch like a gra cious host and all were invited to see everything inside the house. On Elizabeth’s birthday, the following day, Baba gave her seven embraces thus fulfilling His promise to her. Amongst the planned activities was the dedication ceremony of the Center, with NBC-TV cameramen coming from New York to film the proceedings. It was also “Open Day” for all those in the area to come for Baba’s darshan, and this had been printed in the local newspapers. At the Barn, Marga ret Craske was cautioned by Baba to tell each one, “I have a message for you from Baba. You are not to ask questions and there will be no private interviews today. Just accept Baba’s love and darshan. Jeanne Shaw added that each should eat the prasad Baba would give them. The Myrtle Beach Sun, the Myrtle Beach News and the Charleston News and Courier all interviewed and photographed Baba and later printed excellent accounts of “Open Day.” While waiting for the TV crew, which was unavoidably detained, Baba talked to all at the Barn seated informally around Him in a circle. He said: “I want you all to listen very carefully to what I say. It appears so simple, yet it is so very important for My lovers. To love Me is to lose yourself in Me, and to find Me as your own Self is to leave all your pleasures and pains to Me. What does this mean?” “
One of our first gatherings with Baba was when He invited the entire group of eighty to visit with Him at His house. Whilst sitting under the large oak trees at the edge of the bluff in the garden by the house, He remarked: “I want you all to know that I have stayed in many, many places. In India, when I went on mast trips to different places, I have stayed sometimes in palaces, sometimes in dhar mashalas or special rest-houses, sometimes in temples or huts and sometimes under trees or on station platforms, where the sweepers
Someone answered, Very simple just leave everything to Baba!” “Everything!” Baba emphasized. “And remain happy! Leave your pleasures to Me— leave your pains to Me and then you remain free! But it is a great thing, a difficult thing. Say you have three children and all three of them die at one stroke. Naturally, what can you say? You must not only say, but feet ‘I leave all this to Baba. It is His wish, it is His pleasure.’ “Kabir said a nice thing. This morning when I was strolling here, I asked Eruch to write it down.” Eruch and then Adi repeated the verse in Hindi. Then Eruch said: “Kabir was a Perfect Master. All over India people revere Him and love Him. He said this to His own Master. I will give you the English translation; Baba translated it this morning: ‘Nothing that I have belongs to me. All that I have belongs to You. What will I lose if I surrender to You What belongs to You?” Baba then continued, “That is what I want to tell My lovers: Your pains and your leave them all to Me.” pleasures A rain began, which turned into hail, and Baba left His chair and began to walk about restlessly. He stopped on the verandah and His fingers vibrated as He “worked.” He then continued His talk by stating: I come down to your level to such an extent that I mix with you all.... I appear to you to be gay, cheerful, playful. [But] you have no idea of My Divinity, of My all-pervading state. I have the greatest sense of humor, like Krishna. The sense of humor should not mislead you or make you forget who I really am. Don’t mix Me up as one of you! It is possible only for the saints and those on the higher path, the real saints of higher consciousness, to know Me a little. Ifyou had just a glimpse of Me, you would lose your body consciousness completely. “I am like a child, playful, free and also like an old man. I am soft as butter and hard as steel simultaneously. Only those who love Me sincerely, with all their hearts, can know Me a little. Mind can never know Me, mind can never touch Me, I am beyond that, beyond mind.” This reminded me of Baba’s statement the day before: “I’ll walk with you, I’ll talk with you, I’ll play with you but I want you to remember I am the Highest of the High.” —
The dedication ceremony began around 8:30 a.m. outside the Barn. Whilst the TV crew and others were filming, Baba, with Elizabeth nearby, spread His hands in blessing and planted a small holly tree. Don Ste vens then read a message from Baba. Later on this same day, the party went by bus to nearby Brookgreen Gardens. I accom panied Baba and the mandali in a car driven by Fred Winterfeldt. Baba walked through the lovely sculptured garden at a rapid pace, with the rest of us doing our best to keep up. In a more secluded area, He sat under a tree with us round Him and talked about Buddha, who had also sat under a tree, and of how He attained God-realization. After returning to the Center, Baba said He was very happy that afternoon with us at the garden. During this week, Baba scheduled an evening meeting in the Barn to discuss the topic of groups, and to settle some misunderstandings between the Sufi group and the New York group (known as the “Monday night” group because meetings were held on that night) Baba arrived early, surprising those already waiting. Filis Frederick recalls some special moments that took place: “Some ofus... were lucky to sit beside Him quietly as dusk shifted through the tall pines outside. Baba’s face in the half-light glowed with that ethereal, divine beauty that remains forever etched on ones heart. Every line, every shadow, every movement, seem to proclaim and flame His divinity. He gestured to us silently, ‘Even the rishis and munis, meditat ing for years in the Himalayas, longing for My darshan, do not have the chance you are having to be with Me. And here you are all getting it! So do not think of anything else but Baba!” The others from town had not yet arrived and Baba decided to postpone the discussion on groups until the next morning. An impor tant meditation meeting was then held in the Barn. Baba told all to be alert and put all our heart into the meditation meeting at which He wanted to give us a special outpouring of His Love. As everyone removed their shoes and got settled, Baba, deep in thought, walked outdoors back and forth around all four sides of the Barn. A strange, unnatural silence fell on everything even the crickets seemed to hush. When all were settled, Baba came inside and the meeting began. As one remarked, “Baba looked so beautiful, so far away, one was quite conscious ofsome tremendous spiritual force at work. There was an atmosphere of that peace that ‘passeth all understanding.” I do not know what took place at this special .
meeting, for by Baba’s order no notes were to be taken and I was to “stand guard” outside after everyone else had gone into the Barn. “After the meditation was over,” Filis related, “we and our flashlights trailed Baba through the pitch-dark woods. Once Baba stopped and stood close by a very tall pine, gripping it with His hands, while we waited quietly in the road. In the dim circle of light, His face looked drawn and full of suffering as if He had expended a terrific amount of energy. Then, He strode on again with such a swift pace that we all had to run to keep up with Him, even the mandali.” The morning after this meeting, following an early breakfast, Baba and the group went to the beach. He had promised to bring Mehera seven shells and everyone scattered to find the “perfect” shell. Each brought his or her choices to Baba who accepted some and rejected others, giving them back. Most, of course, kept the shells handled by Baba as “prasad.” Upon returning, all gathered with Baba for the discussion, postponed from the previous evening, on groups and how to work together harmoniously for Him. Quoting Baba: “Last evening I told John Bass and others that in India there are many groups. Each has a group head and all work for the love of Me. All love Me. The group heads are respon sible for the work the group does. In India, in the different groups, there are different castes, different religions, those of different economic status. There are Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus... but all love Baba. All want to work for Me and spread My message of Love and Truth. Muslims work in their own localities to bring Muslims; Parsis and Christians do the same thing. Here I have been hearing for a long time about the two groups [Sufi group and New York group] in the U.S. but there has been some misunderstanding. What is the difficulty?” After an explanation by those involved, Baba continued: “I want you all to bear in mind one thing. I now emphasize one point which I empha sized in India also, when I called all together at the Andhra meeting. I said that for Me, there is no need for centers, for different places, nor different groups with different heads or names. My center is the heart of every lover. Every lover with a heart that loves Baba is a center. The second point I would like to emphasize is that whoever wants to work spreading My message of Love and Truth absolutely needs a central office and groups of workers who can function from that central office. There is always a need ,
for a group to have a center. You can have many such centers. Myrtle Beach is such a center—and it stretches for many miles! “But there should be cooperation, har mony, and the group heads should not try to win over other members from one office or another. Why? What for? When all work for Baba? There should be harmony, cooperation.” After further discussion, Baba ended by saying “I would like you all to belong to certain groups. Why? Because you can cooperate and tell others about Me and share your thoughts. You learn much more than when you remain by yourself. When you listen, exchange thoughts, prayers, My presence is there. Where there are five collected together, Parameshwar is there, I am there. Ifyou are talking ofMe, havinglove for Me, then there I am... is it all clear?” Whilst speaking ofgroups and group meetings, I always recall Baba’s words to Elizabeth in a letter dated February 15, 1934, in which, apropos of group gatherings, He said: I am glad about your meeting every month... for meditation. It is not so much the thing in itself [meditation] that matters as the purpose, i.e. to collect all of our group, talk oflove, spirituality, etc., and feel in harmony. And if’meditation’ is one ofthe items on the programme that helps the original purpose of bringing people nearer to Me—it is good. “The bi-monthly gatheringsatteas too serve theirpurposesplendidlyin bringing peoplewho desire to come nearer to Me. My love to afi who arrange and attend these for love.” I also recall that in a letter to Dr. Donkin Baba said, “I would prefer to make a hundred people love God to converting millions to Babaism. Arrange meetings only ifthey will be work done for God and notjust to make Baba well-known.” LoveAlonePrevailspp. 462-470 t 1981 Meher Spiritual Center, Inc. “
E::nyer’s Goof mij•
Welcome to the Love Street Bookstore. We have an excess of stock on the fol lowing items. Some were bought to help out the authors or the publishers, others I inherited when I took over the Bookstore 16 years ago, and others, I just plain misjudged the taste of our readers. Help us out take advantage of us. Please! Song ofSongs. This is a beautifully il lustrated (full color paintings by the author Judith Ernst) fascinating and eye opening, telling ofthe one book in the Old Testament where women reign supreme. I was stunned by this book and cannot say enough good things about it. Originally sold at $22, I am pricing this hardbound book atjust $8 in the hope that many of you will decide to buy it and see what I have been raving about for the past few years. One critic —
ofSongs has been described as a theology of human sexuality. Through its lush tone and beautiful sensuous images, The Song of Songs points to a majesty beyond the earthly pleasures it describes. The sensual becomes implicitly spiritual: longing for ones lover hints at spiritual longing.
at Arti by the Samadhi. CD & tape, both $5. Beautiful Souls in Ugly Cages. At Baba’s brother Jal’s request, Lyn and Phyllis Ott compiled this little booklet about Baba’s work with the lepers.
They were, as Baba called them, Beautiful Through theLightofitAlL Wayne Galler. Souls in Ugly Cages. $2
says: Despite all the maleness of so much of the Scriptures, the biblical book that screams the unity of God with humankind is built around the image of a woman. In this book the strong woman, not the warnor man, is the central figure. The Song
Due to popular demand, Wayne has re
corded many of the songs he used to sing:
Beautiful Souls in Ugly cages
.. *. $L Crred w
Memories of Meher Baba An interview with Virginia Rudd, Raphael’s mother, in which she tells us, with her wry sense of humor, of her experiences with Meher Baba. An hour-long video for only $6. It is also a fun video to share with newcomers to Baba, showing them just what it was like to be around the Avatar.
L.P.s Do you still have a record player to spin those old vinyls? If so, we have plenty of the very early ones from the ‘70s. Only $3 each! Brand new—or at least never played! In HisLovewith vocals by all the popu lar singers: Bob Brown, Jim Meyer, Buz Connor, Cathy Haas (Riley), Debbie Peterson (Nordeen) Carl Nelson and Jeff Mylet. Ten ofyour all time favorites for only $3! Then we have David Miotke’s tour de force —the double album of TheEast West Gath ering, words by Francis Brabazon and music and vocals by David, $3. You’re Here at Last with all songs written, composed and sung by Bob Brown. A vatar’c Abode Anniversary of 1975 with all lyrics by Francis Brabazon and sung by a host of well known Aussies including Raine Rein (Eastman-Gannett), Sue Fowler (Jamison) Pat Sumner, and led by Sam Saunders. Calendars. We have a very few of the 2006 Baba calendars and the Hafiz ones.
tower on the hill, and painted using vivid splashes of color. I have an original of hers on my office wall. Its very beautiful, as are all the paintings in the book. If you can bear to cut them out frame your favorites. The book originally sold for $25, costing us $20 each, but we have excess stock so are letting them go for only $ 15! Notecards. Fine portraits of Baba by —
pay the $6 to find out why Ken called Him Avatar of the tortoise! Meditations in Color This is an excellent quality ‘coffee table’ book of watercolor paintings by Sharon Muir, artist in
Meherdokht Khosravi, beautiful printed cards with envelopes. 5 x 6 1/2, four in all, 50 each. TheBelovedisAiinAlL Published posthumously, these ghazals were written in the
Shoi Nnwn Muir
The Beloved is All in All
residence at Meherabad. Sharon took her papers and paints all over Meherazad, the pilgrim center, the Samadhi, the water
Both are perfect for cutting out the pictures and framing. $6 Go Retro! Get a smiley face mug for only $3! Or a set of four for only $9. Opposite the familiar yellow smiley face are those famous words: Don’t worry, be happy in My love and I will help you.” Avatar Meher Baba. Meher Baba, A vatar of the Thrtoise. Originally sold at $20, now only $6. An interesting book by Kenneth Lux, and rather good for beginners. You’ll have to 43
‘60s and read out to Baba by Francis. $6 Burning Illusion. Here are the poems of someone who has been to hell and has come back, spent some time doing purgatory and has now, thanks to the love of Meher Baba, placed his feet firmly L tL___ [. on this earth. These are Pd brave poems: original, .. searching, sometimes demanding, literate, loving, longing, but above all, unforgettably human. $6 Divine Child None other than Mehera wrote the foreword L in 1988: “This is a book of ghazals that I feel will appeal to all who love poetry. Each composition flows like a lyrical poem and will be doubly prized by Meher Baba lovers, for the ghazals are filled with words that come from the heart—in love and praise of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, and could only have been inspired by His love.” $6 A vatar Meher Baba a Final Declaration. In September 1954 Meher Baba momen tously announced that 3/4 of the world would be destroyed. Due to the panic this
Avatar Metier Babe’s Final Declaration
September 30, i954
hau Kakhud .....
instilled in His lovers, He followed it up with His clarification. In a talk given at the Sufism Reoriented Center in Walnut Creek June 2005, Bhau Kalchuri fully explains Baba’s entire Declaration. This hour-long DVD is now only $12. Mans Search for Certainty. In God Speaks the Baba defines forgetfulness as when mind remains aware of external stimuli, but refuses to react to them. Not only is non-reaction to adverse circumstances es sential, but also non-reaction to favorable and pleasurable circumstances. Before one arrives at this stage one will need openhearted help and real nourishment on the “ . .
way. This is exactly what Man’c Search for Certainty will provide for those aspirants whose minds are ready to be weaned from their cravings, including those who want quick results. 173 pages, cloth, $8.
Stickers. Beautiful, vibrant colors, 8”x2”, 5O each.
At 7he 73ookstore!
!! !Reviews Conquer Yjourself /1
SIiaron Wiseman, 7}irginict his compilation is the second recorded volume of songs featuring lyrics all drawn from published quotes attributed to Avatar Meher Baba. The quotes have few, if any, changes either to the words or sen tence structure. The use of repetition along with the naturally occurring rhythms and rhymes within these prose statements allow them to take form as songs. Ron Greenstein. It seems to me that Beloved Baba “said” the quotes with the full knowledge that someone as talented as Ron Greenstein would eventually come along and put them to music. When Ron told me he was com ing out with the second volume of Baba Says.. I thought to myself, “You can’t top the first.”
ther.” It is the quote with which Beloved Baba opened the East-West Gathering in November 1962 in Poona, India, and it brought me to tears: You have come from great distances Not for some convention or conference But to enjoy My company And feel afresh My love in your hearts. It is a coming together of children of East and West In the House of their Father. All religions of the world Proclaim that there is but One God, The Father of all in creation. I am that Father.” Ron’s inspiration for creating these songs from quotes began a few days after Eruch Jessawala’s passing Aug. 31, 2001. Attuned to the poetic image of Beloved Baba’s words, Ron set out to put them to music. I look forward to several more vol umes of Baba Says. in the coming years! $14. “
east West9ithering:. t CrJJ
EAST WEST GATHERING ‘
Pam had asked a number of Australians to record the book. We may be able to tell you it is available come October. For the moment, however, we have The East West Gathering to slake your thirst for listening in the car during those long commutes, or simply relaxing in the easy chair, with eyes closed, listening to Francis’ words, spoken in a lovely soft English accent, telling you about his time with the Beloved. $15.
Dina Snow 9ibson his wonderful book, which Baba asked Francis Brabazon to write documenting the East West Gathering held in Pune in 1962, is available in the Bookstore. However, in response to many requests for books on tape I have received over the years, we are now going to be stocking more spoken books. They will be on CDs and soon—MP3s. Pam Topley, an English woman who lives in India, has been very busy recording books on her computer. A few years back she produced a mammoth undertaking—the entire Discourses on disc. Pam had gathered many people together (one at a time!) in front of her microphone to record a section of the book. It took up 18 discs. Not any more. Now that MP3s are easily available, she is re-releasing it in the new format. I will let you know as soon as it is available. Pam was recording in her house in Meherabad, and it was disrupted very frequently by power outages. She has since moved back to Pune, where electricity is not so erratic. When I was at Amartithi, she asked me to record a section of Stay With Goat the book Baba said is second in importance to GodSpeaks. As is only proper,
Well, he proved me wrong. This new CD is brilliant and inspired, and—as impressed as I was with the first volume, which fea tures the purity of Ron’s voice and acous tical guitar in unmatched simplicity—this new compilation celebrates not only Ron’s dynamic spirit, musical prowess and care for the preservation of the Beloved’s words, but the musical excellence and remarkable contribution of Baba musicians David Miotke (keyboards and vocals), Gay Dunn ( cello and vocals) and Greg Dunn (guitar and vocals). The mix is outstanding, the harmonies and vocals are exquisite, and each song quote is unique and catchy. My favorite song on Volume 2 is “Fa
!24ew CDs by &mon &cce Dinci Snow 9ibson
ctually, Simon released these two as tapes quite a few years ago. I raved over them and many of you bought them; so in case your tapes are worn out, you can now get them again as CDs. Simon wrote the following descriptions, but let me give you my two cents. If you do body work, your patients will love listening to these two tapes, whether they are Baba lovers or not. If you are into meditation, these two form a perfect backdrop. But if, like me, you do neither of these two things, and can usually be found in a high state of stress with way too many things to do in way too short a time, these CDs will help lower the stress levels—thereby letting you live longer. Not too many CDs can do that for you now can they?! You can’t help but slow down, breeeeath and get lost in the beautiful music. I can’t say enough good things about these two CDs. I have been nagging Simon for years (literally!) to put them on a CD. Now, thank goodness, he has done it. Lucky you!
The ,4ncknt One
the full-length warm-up. The whole CD is one hour long. $15.
7;Iie Life of 7I4eher EBaba
J”teIier Ba1rn nud A1e 11 3im J4iigdoll LAn .Autobiography b The bookjust in as we were going to press, no time for a review, but these notes are from the back cover: I n the early 1960s, an adolescent male was watching TV in the middle of the day. Simon says: “Sun andMoonwas recorded using many different instruments, particularly European (guitar and cello) and Indian (sitar, santoor and tanpura) as well as some from Latin America and some with a Japanese influence. “The pieces include Baba’s “Gujerati Arti” and “I Will Fly to You,” a poem written by Mehera to Baba one Valentine’s Day, which I have put to music. Amongst the other pieces there is some Gregorian chant, a flamenco dance piece and one played almost entirely on bottles.” The whole CD is over one hour long. $15. “Echoes of the Infinite is just my voice (largely without words) and a classical guitar,” Simon says. “During the early ‘90s I used to go to Norway a lot to play music. While I was there I heard about a mausoleum with an amazing echo. It was rarely open, but I managed to persuade the old man who held the keys to let me record in there one evening. What you hear was recorded with just one stereo mike. For those who heard the cassette, I have included the full version of ‘Jai Baba’ as an extra track at the end. Initially this wasn’t intended to be a piece; just a warm-up. But I liked it so much I chose the beginning of it to open the album. The final track is now
his is the fourth documentary on the Avatar of the Age, yet none of them seems redundant. Each has its own flavor and adds yet more to our knowledge of the Beloved. Michael Le Page has produced this one, coming in atjust under an hour, perfect for showing on television—and of course your friends who tentatively ask you, “Who IS that man you have all over your house?” It includes much live footage of Baba and is accompanied by the excellent guitar playing of Tuck Andress. $20. The D VD generated this response from Murshida Connor: June 8, 2006 Dearest Michael, Thank you for the complimentary copy of The Ancient One. I had the opportunity this morning to review this excellent DVD. I was impressed with the straightforward, clear and comprehensive way in which the significant events of Beloved Baba’s advent
What he saw rocked him to his foundations. A man in a classroom setting was talking about the “Silent Messiah,” Meher Baba. Thus began one soul’s incredible journey. MeherBaba andMepresents a refreshingly different perspective on the lover/Beloved “play.” By turns poignant, irreverent, earthy and zany; the book clearly conveys the joy and wonder in having the God-man as one’s intimate friend and confidant. And then from his wife, Tricia Migdoll: Over the years I have read most ofJim’s poetry and stories, but once this book was published, I thought I had better read it—seeing as I am his wife! So I picked it up, started reading, and couldn’t put it down until the final page! I found it a delightful read, with a glimpse into the heart of a wonderful soul—Baba’s Jim. Paperback 172 pages, $12.
are described. Not only was I impressed with these most helpful qualities of the narration, I also thought the illustrative pictures were sensitively chosen. It seems an especially ideal film to show to those just coming to learn of Meher Baba who want a simple way to understand the scope of His work. For those already with Baba, it is a wonderful review.
I look forward to showing your film at our Sufi Center this spring at Baba’s
birthday. Sending warm regards and thanks for this excellent film. In Meher Baba’s Love, Murshida
The iReaJ 7resurc
Baba’s mandali may appear to an outsider on an intellectual level as sheer madness, however the last story in the book will awaken the reader’s heart to the fact that there was something much more meaningful going on at a deeper level. Paperback 116 pages, $8.
Rustom 3alahctti ustom, a professional marine engineer, quit his job for the opportunity to Live and work with Avatar Meher Baba’s mandali, which he did for nearly 1 1 years, Crom 1989 to 2000.
THE REALTREASURE Life Of A Res;dent With
Avatar Meher Babas Mandali
E&tde .A’k Wekorne
The Launching ¶:Party Laura 2togan, J4’tjrtle J3each he party was held on the 112th birthday of Beloved Meher Baba at the Sheriar Gate residence and studio of Phyllis OttToltz. The house was filled wall-to-wall with people who had responded to an open invitation to celebrate Baba’s birthday, a party hosted by Phyllis and Barbara Scott with the assistance of many friends. Those who have visited the Ott home over the past 40 years and received food and drink, viewed beautiful works of art, enjoyed stimulating conversation and Baba lore aplenty, will fondly remember the hospitality and warmth of the household. Both Phyllis and Barbara worked hard to produce a wonderful gift for Baba. They had co-authored Love Bade Me WeJcom a book about Phyllis’ life.
Phyllis traveled alone to India to meet Meher Baba in 1964 and then, by Baba’s request, accompanied her husband, Lyn, in 1965. These meetings are recounted in the book in meticulous detail, along with very interesting philosophical and personal discoveries as a result of meeting Baba. It is common for Baba events to include glitches of an unusual nature. This time, the frontspiece of the initial copies sent to Phyllis had characterized the work as “fiction” in the boxed notation usually seen in novels. The publisher was immediately notified and the books returned so that they could be corrected. Phyllis turned 80 on April 5. It is truly startling to see her still producing art, hosting guests and keeping up the Sheriar Gatehouse. She recently said she believed consciousness evolved through one’s work in the world. The influence ofMeher Baba in this work equation is the diminishing, or even the elimination, of the claims of the ego. In a recent conversation, Phyllis quoted from a Kabir poem, translated by Rabindranath Tagore: So long as man clamors for the land the mine His works are naught. When all love ofthe Iandmine is deao Then the work ofthe Lordis done. For workhas no other aim than thegetting of Knowledge. When that comes, the work isput away
When he was asked what he learned or got, by working with the mandali, he would quote what they had told him and reply, “Work is only an excuse that Baba uses to work upon your ego. That is the real work.” This book brings out stories of how the rnandali would impart spiritual lessons to resident workers, through day-to-day work and ordinary situations. There are some very amusing stories, and some that make yourjaw drop! “But how could the mandali do/say that?” you would ask yourself. But if you get the idea after reading this book that life was hard trying to obey all the conflicting instructions from the various mandali, imagine how very much harder it would have been living with the Avatar! The interaction between residents and
with hergrandson l)
at the launchingpartyin Myrtle Beach.
And work she has. After raising four children and aiding Lyn with his failing eyesight, at this point in her life she finally has the chance to offer and expand her own considerable artistic talents. For a number of years, I’ve felt that, unlike drama, dance and music, the visual arts haven’t provided as much equal opportunity for women artists. A visit to any major art museum would underscore this statement. But times are changing. With her impressive body of art work, her stellar academic background, and her courage to state her convictions, Phyllis has been a wonderful role model for many aspiring women working in the creative arts and working for Baba. Barbara Scott, who is a published author, redesigned the written memoirs ofPhyllis and sold it to her publisher, Behier Publications. This book documented her early avantgarde life in America. It showed a woman determined to overcome superficiality and to be an authentically creative artist. Eventually, she was driven on a spiritual search, often asking people, “Do you know anything about God?” It seems inevitable she would actually meet God in human form
and find her life irretrievably changed. She did indeed find out something about God and also found an inexhaustible of source inspiration for her art. In addition, she had come to terms with being a woman. Her book is dedicated to Mehera, Baba’s HeidiMcGovern stands beside one ofPhyJlisportraits ofBaba. closest woman companion. Phyllis met her nine times in India. After a gala her own and very singular way, has done just birthday party for Mehera on Dec. 21, 1980, that. So this birthday celebration for Meher Phyllis asked Mehera if she would be her Baba was an opportunity for people to come mother. The answer was a resounding “yes, and share that divine love at the Sheriar and Phyllis was then asked to give her love Gatehouse. to everyone in Myrtle Beach. I believe Phyllis Silverman Ott-Toltz, in “
:PIanning ci Iñp to 3ndia? 7;ips front tite trcivelin’ ..Jlussies —.Raine and Dina
you are going to India, consider taking the following items: Mosquito spray containing Deet. Water holder with squirt top (handy to drink from or squirt yourself) and shoulder strap for it. Flashlight with extra batteries. also same for your camera. More rolls of film than you think you could possibly use, and extra batteries. Or ifyou’re using a digital cameras, an extra memory card. Hats are a must! Also scarves and/or shawls (or buy same from Meher Tailors in ‘Nagar!) Pillow—if you’re fussy about softness, bring your own. Bath towel and face cloths. Toilet paper rolls (available there but scratchy). Clothespins, with small amount of Woolite (from Dollar Tree) works in cold water. Hand and body lotion for dry, dry skin— legs, hands and face, with sun block SPF 30. ‘Purell,’ a waterless, disinfectant hand washing gel. Wash hands frequently. Bathroom travel pack with hook at top that unfolds and holds everything together for travel to the bathroom. This should also indude a small first aid kit containing at least band-aids, disinfectant spray, sterile gauze, adhesive tape, and antibiotic ointment such as ‘Neosporin.’ Homeopathic suggestions: ginger for travel sickness, melatonin to help with time zone changes, aloe vera gel for bites and burns, ‘Traumeel’ for the temporary relief of sprains, bruises (from rick—
shaw riding!) and sports injuries (from playing volleyball with ‘the Kleiner’!). ‘Airborne,’ tablets that make a fizzy drink packed with multi vitamins! Take before entering the plane, and anywhere there are crowds, as well as the vitamins and supplements you normally take. Air filter mask, heavy duty, to cover nose and mouth (for rickshaw and bus travel) Most important for those with allergies, sen sitive and/or inflamed respiratory systems, but very helpful for ev eryone. Bottle opener. Hair dryer that has dual voltage (1 10/240) with Indian adaptor plug (two round prongs). Box of zip-type sandwich size plastic bags (wet face cloths, sticky raisins, leftovers for snacks in taxis etc.). Coffee, powdered milk, teabags, chocolate powder etc. if you want more than chai. (Hot water provided there.) Snacks you can’t live without, nuts, raisins and other dried fruits, trail mix etc. Sharpie or clothing marker for laundry that you might not be able to re-identify. A health tip: When entering the bathroom in airports, hotels and restaurants, pull off a paper towel because all germs, and particularly viruses, can stay alive for hours on metal. Flush with the paper in your hand, turn faucets on and off and open the exit door with it. Have a happy, healthy pilgrimage! .
Editing 1Inder EBiibds Direct 3nstrucIions E. &evcits and Laurent 0 ’VeicIiberger frkheraba,d, 3ebruary 24, 2006 7 J
Laurent(LW): I am here with Don Stevens, here on tape, and it’s about a quarter to eight [ in the evening] Where are we, Don? Don (DES): We are in Cristina Arguel las’ lovely condominium flat up above the little village ofArangaon, not far from Baba’s Samadhi. LW: Question number one: We have been around a number of situations together discussing Baba’s words. We did the seminar together on Meher Baba’s Word and His Three Bridges and you have told the story any number of times about your work with Baba on GodSpeaks. You said that it was very clear to you from everything you worked on that Baba dictated the first eight chapters of God Speaksto Eruch, and then other things happened from that point. Do you want to clarify what that means from your point of view, and how the God Speaks .
the first eight chapters of God Speaks. It was extremely clear, because Baba insisted that it be extremely clear, that Baba would start the ball rolling by giving Eruch certain key points, not in detail, which was certainly a part of my understanding, but key points
that related to material that Baba wanted to key word remained unclear to Eruch, Baba have included in the chapter that was being would go through the elaborate procedure of having Eruch rapidly say the alphabet and worked out between them. clap His hand at a particular
letter, thus laboriously building up the key word that had to be elucidated and properly interpolated into the manu script. This was of course a
very tedious procedure but fortunately the original did not have to follow that meth od.
So this was what Baba did for the first eight chapters with Eruch. Then my understanding, from vanous conversations with Er-
uch and Baba, was that for chapters nine and 10, Baba
book came out?
DES: Yes. I think that the principal confusion that still exists concerns what is di-
rectly from Baba, where and how did Eruch get involved, how did Dr. Ghani enter the picture, and collaterally, where and how Ivy Duce, Mani and Don Stevens participated.
What were their relative contributions? LW: Right there is a relatively compli cated set of issues in that statement: a lot of
gave to Eruch an indica tion of subject matter that Meher Baba with Don Stevens. Baba wanted Eruch to cover. Those key points were not given in de When I say “subject matter,” I mean to imply tail because Eruch already knew from a va that what He gave to Eruch was apparently riety of past conversations with Baba, and much more brief than what He had given also through previous messages given out by to Eruch for the chapters which Eruch had him, Baba’s detailed thinking on these key previously elaborated and which Baba had points. So, Baba did not give out a chapter personally corrected. Thus, on these two chapters He mdiword by word; nothing like that; only the key points were given to Eruch. Then, after cated to Eruch only the subject matter. I am
people, a lot of issues. DES: I am afraid that it is a very corn- Baba had indicated that that was all for the plicated situation, and it has become more day, Eruch would then go back to his quar complicated through different people giving ters and, sometime in the latter part of the varying versions from their own memories, day or night, would write up in considerably which in many cases I have found to be very greater detail the key points which Baba had faulty. So I would simply like now to say given him. The next day Eruch would carry things that I know to be true, historical, and back to Baba the elaborated version which accurate, because of my own direct involve- he had put together overnight. Baba was very anxious that I know, and ment, at Baba’s request, in the editing and that I pass on the correct story to others, publication aspects.
Firstly, lets talk about the first eight that Baba would then go over Eruch’s elab chapters, then chapters nine and ten, and orated version word by word. If there was
then what was to be called The Supplement, Baba had Eruch explain to me in de tail, not once buttwice, exactly how He and Eruch handled the material between them. This was first of all, and most importantly,
dictation of the key points of GodSpeaks, He gave up using the alphabet board. So, when the detailed editing was started that was to be given to Ivy and myself this was done first of all through gestures. When, however, Baba would find in a special situation that a
a word that was faulty, Baba would correct it. In that period the corrections were being
given on the alphabet board, so it was fairly easy to get the correct word. Shortly after Baba had completed the
certain, at some point or another, Baba went
over what Eruch had written in those two chapters, but I had no indication at any time that He went over it word by word as He had done in the eight original chapters. This then was the manner in which Baba
gave out the material for the first 10 chaptens. Now we get to the Supplement, which is a thorny subject because it has tended to become very confused. Anything else before we take it up? LW: Yes. Can you say anything about use of material written from Mani to Ivy Duce about Baba? DES: Yes. Of course, Mani and Ivy were in frequent communication from the time Baba had sent the manuscript via Lud
Dimpfl to New York to be placed in the hands of Ivy Duce. When we say “manu script, perhaps it is more accurate to say He sent two manuscripts. LW: Let’s be as accurate as possible about all of this, because it is going to be in the future that people will really care what you are saying about all of this. DES: Well it is certainly absolutely clear that as soon as Ivy Duce received a package from Meher Baba entrusted to Lud Dimpfl, along with a message to her, she telephoned me and in the telephone conversation her very first point was that there were actually two documents involved. The first of these was 10 chapters of a book that was given by Baba through Eruch. The second, to her surprise, was the collection of notes that Ghani had taken from Baba, but had not written up in the manner Baba had expected. Ghani had apparently written about his own personal interest, which was almost exclusively related to Sufi mysticism. This had been what Baba explained to us when we saw him in Scarsdale on that Sunday of 1952 in August, that this had not been what Baba had intended, but was actually all about Ghani’s own ideas on Sufism. Baba had then said to us that he would have to get back to India and give to Eruch the material that he had originally intended to be in his book. After this material had arrived through
Lud, correspondence began at once between Ivy Duce and Mani, Mani conveying messages to Baba, and then conveying any messages from Baba back to Ivy Duce. This became the important link. Now in the original break-down of re
sponsibilities between Ivy and myself, she said that Baba had given her the right to choose to include in whatever book resulted, some of the Ghani material, all of the Ghani material, or none of it, if that was
passed between Baba and Eruch, because the tion. logic is quite straightforward, but the Ghani There was also on one occasion a much material is more complex in nature because longer, very fascinating series of comments of the manner in which it is written, and be- Baba made on another matter which was
cause I aii the head of the Order and more not especially pertinent to any thing that I familiar with Sufi mysticism than you, I feel had under my charge for the first 10 chapthat I should edit that part.” ters, but it seemed to relate more logically So I then said that I would be very to some of the material in the Ghani manu happy to try and edit the first part, and Ivy script. I suggested that it be included in the
and Mani entered into considerable writing Supplement instead of the body of the 10 chapters, and that it be clearly identified by
quotation marks that “this is Baba.” So, throughout that material there were quotations marks placed at the beginning of each paragraph so that everyone would know that the entire body of that material
came directly from Baba. Aside from these
points, which are clearly indicated, Mani did not have any further involvement in the writing or editing of GodSpeaks. Is that clear? LW: But we have a letter from Mani, which you will have to figure out, in which she said that she and others edited the Supplement material of God Speaks. DES: Well, I cannot say that I was in
the loop between Mani and Murshida, but certainly I was being carefully advised. I
would get back into Murshida’s geographi
cal territory on occasional weekends during the period which we were given by Baba to do the editing. I was on an eight-week
field assignment for our company on the east coast and I was traveling on trains and staying in hotels for almost the entire pe
MeherBaba and Ghani
nod, but I would on occasion get by Mur back and forth. Anything that I wanted to shida Duce’s home and check with her, and ask about the first 10 chapters I passed on at those times we would exchange what we to Murshida to include in her letters, and she passed on directly to Mani any ques tions she had with the Ghani material. In this manner some of the things that I felt that needed elucidation—and there were not many—in the first 10 chapters, I passed on to Murshida, and she would pass on back what Baba had to say. Of course she would pass on her own questions on the Ghani
were doing, what was going on, and wheth er there were any puzzling points or not. I would be astonished if, during the close
It’s very important to understand that in their exchanges, there were several instances concerning the material I was assigned to cover, when Baba had written back giv ing an answer and I had said to Ivy, “This is extremely important and I think the best way to use it is to make it a footnote in the original chapters that I am working on.” She also felt that this was an intelligent way to handle it. There were not many of these, but they are clearly marked in the original edi
letter. And if anything else came up that had any bearing on GodSpeaks, most of the time I got a carbon copy. In some instances, even when apparently a subject was not of any interest to me, again, Murshida Duce would always tell me of any significant things going on. So, for Mani to be instrumental in doing any significant editing or rewriting of the Supplement astonishes me. LW: Well, you do have a copy of the letter that says she and other Mandali do edit-
collaboration that we maintained, there had been important work Mani had carried out in editing even material in the Supplement, without my having been informed in some
her final decision. She immediately said to manner of it. In exchanging letters, mostly me that she had just skimmed through the things that had to do with the first 10 chapmanuscript and was fascinated by the mate- material, which later became labeled as The ters, ifMani was writing to Murshida Duce rial Ghani has written up, and being a Sufi, Supplement. she would first of all give me a copy of the she recognized that there was some extraor dinarily valuable material to the Sufis in it. She continued that she would like to include all of it if I was in agreement. I said it was clear that Baba had given her the right to make that decision, and that since she had now come to the conclusion that it was valuable material and she would like to preserve and protect it, I certainly would back her up in this decision. She said, “Don, would you be able to then take the material
g on the Supplement. DES: Well, I do have a copy f that letter, and quite frankly just doesn’t fit into the maner in which we were conductig this. So all I can conclude that, if she was doing some diting, it was a pretty small mount, and for certain, abso itely none in the first 10 chap-
should also be understood as
the taking on of karma if that is what it is.” Is that a Don ques i tion or an Ivy question? DES: That is not a Don :
question; this is typical Ivy Duce
interest and usage of words. LW: Okay, but this is a case now of Ivy Duce asking a ques -
tion on the side of the fence that Don is working on. So she is going across that hermetic seal.
DES: Oh, it was not a hermetic seal that she couldn’t break, but the responsibility and
knowledge of the final placing me surprising that lust could result in something that could push the individual to the stone stage. LW: Murder for lust, notjust lust? I had
was hermetically sealed. In oth er words, Don Stevens was responsible for
the first 1 0 chapters and she was responsible
just read the quote recently where Baba ex
for the Supplement and at no time did I feel she or Don Stevens transgressed the other person’s original agreed to and accepted di-
plains about it. It’s in a quote about death
rect responsibility. It was an amazingly care-
and He says souls that have commited mur
fully defined and carried out responsibility respectively by each one.
der for lust
“ . . .
after death go downwards,
into the region of animal spirits, to await a suitable gross form for earth life.” Not that they go back to stone state. [From A vatar byjean Adriel, p. 106 © 1947, The Beguine Library].
DES: So, in other words, whoever had
passed on to me this little jewel of informa Is murder for lust, because the whole manu tion had misquoted and so I had wanted to straighten that out and obviously Baba saw cript leaves this exception out?” DES: Almost certainly that was my ques that it was not correct. I don’t remember ion, because I had heard, let’s say, something what the answer was, but certainly it was LbOUt the tragic situations in which the drop not included. That was almost certainly oul would degrade from the human stage Don Stevens satisfying his own curiosity. LW: Okay, so that was an example of .0 the stone stage and I thought that I had ead or heard somewhere, perhaps passed something you would have passed on to Ivy )n by mouth, that in addition to misuse of Duce to ask Baba? DES: Typical. I didn’t want to be in a )sychic powers [Note: Don means here the nisuse of the occult powers of the fourth position of acting unilaterally independent )lane, sometimes also called Divine Pow- because I did not think that would be cor
rs, which Meher Baba has distinguished rect for my position in assisting Ivy Duce. rom lower psychic powers in His book God S’peaksl that murder for lust also caused such tlegradation. I could not remember where I iad heard that and I could not give any inlication of that source, but nevertheless I Nanted to sort it out because it seemed to
give a person a distasteful feeling of deliberate falsehood if the
purpose in doing so were not understood. The Avatar’s illness
LW: You mentioned that ou would pass questions to Ivy )uce to be forwarded to Baba. DES: Yes, but as far as, let’s ay, philosophical questions, iey were almost non-existent. LW: Well can I give you an xample of one and have you ll me what you think? DES:Yes. LW: This is a letter we have I your files dated November 5, 1954, Thanksgiving Day, nd it’s the letter where she ataches two pages of questions; a ist of questions on GodSpeaks is the first set f questions, last section of book, and then [uestions on Dr. Ghani’s manuscript. So it oks like she broke it into three parts, the od Speaks questions being the first eight hapters, the last section being Eruch’s two hapters, and the Ghani section being what vould later become the Supplement. I would like to read you one of the ques ions, then I would like you to tell me if it S a question you thought up or Ivy Duce hought up or what it is. The last list of ques ions on GodSpeakspoint number six. It says, age 65: “Should we not also list the second xception to consciousness never being lost,
Speaks page number 155, last paragraph. “Why does a Sadguru act as if he were ill? What purpose is fulfilled? This would
She was the senior editor and trusted by Meher Baba, so things that were to go directly to Baba had to go through her. LW: Can I read you another question
LW: Okay, and it is fair to say that you did not ask Baba any question through Ivy or otherwise about the Ghani manuscript which later became the Supplement?
DES: About the Ghani manuscript? LW: Did you ask Baba any questions about points in the Ghani manuscript?
DES: No, but there is one thing that came up when I came across that border at Ivy’s request. We were halfway through the time period Baba gave us to do the edit-
ing and every once in a while on a weekend getting to see Ivy, I do remember her saying—because I was surprised when she asked—she said, “Don, until now I have had wonderful and very interesting experiences working on the Ghani material, but here now I have run into a section, not a long one, but a substantial section, that I cannot see the logic of Ghani. I do not know what he is driving at and what it is he is trying to
conclude from it. She said, “Don, do you “
mind taking it with you on your next week’s field trip and see if you can get any sense and see what you think? This is question to this chapter, and tell me when you come number 12 of a list of questions on God back?” And I said I would be glad to and so
I took it with me. you could have seen the look on Baba’s face way you have put all your points there and I carefully read it, and read it twice I when he talked to us in Scarsdale, you could given your side of the whole story to the think, on trains running hither and yon, have seen that something was about to be Baba world. because that was about my best time to try tossed out into something which would go In regards to my comments about what and concentrate. I think I have a reasonably to the dump. So I did use the word ashcan, I have to say about these things, I am not bright mind but I simply could not get any but it certainly was not indicative of my own certain that, as far as I am concerned, I was sense to it, it was impossible for me to get to opinion ofwhat Ghani had done, but simply no way involved in what went on behind the the meaning. it was so far from what Baba had expected, scenes in editing and the work that Baba When I saw Ivy Duce on the following weekend, she immediately asked me how I had made out, and I said it was just like you Ivy, it was impossible for me to understand
that Baba was ready to abandon it totally, was doing. It was a total revelation to us beand I used a colorful word which I will prob cause the first time I heard about God Speaks ably be sorry for using the rest of my life. But was when we attended Baba’s 1 955 Four it was expressive of Baba’s complete disgust Language Sahavas, and I was there in the
what Ghani was saying in that section.
of what had happened. LW: Okay, and then, moving on to some usage of that word—” impossible”—because of the other points we wanted to cover here, I have mentioned it in public talks, and so can we get off God Speaks, which we have people on occasion have even said that Dons covered points one to seven? Can we get to opinion of the Supplement was that it was number eight, which is about Listen, Hu “impossible,” with no further elaboration. manitj’? LW: That’s not what you said. [After listening to the previous portion DES: No it wasn’t! I had simply said to of this interchange between Don and Lau Ivy that this section is as impossible for me rent, Meherwan Jessawala entered into the to understand as it was for you. The actual conversation with his own reflections and
first language group and that was the first occasion when I heard about the book God
Now, incidentally, it is interesting that my
fact was, and she knew it well, was that in my
initial scanning of the Ghani material, I had thought that Ghani had done a rather re markably interesting job laying these things
out. As a matter of fact, when Baba wrote to us saying that we would have to write up a Preface and an Introduction, Ivy said, “Well
Speaks. Because Baba asked us that one of
the things to remember was that we should try to possess a copy of God Speaks and not
only own it, but read it from cover to cover, and if we couldn’t possess it, to at least bor row and read it, and not fail to read it, even if we did not understand it. So my association with GodSpeaksis only from there and I am really in no position to reactions to the subject of Baba words.j offer any other comments to the authenticDES: This was our idea of the healthiest ity ofwhat Don has said or what others have and least controversial way to try to straight- said about it. In each one’s own honesty, en out some of these points. I would like to integrity and transparency, that I leave it to record your simple comment, that what you them to give it out to the Baba world. For have heard seems to be a lucid and clear trans me, I am in no position to offer any further parent description of what went on. That is comments about it. what you have indicated up until now. DES: I could ask one question and I LW: Before we do that, Don, I think we think it a very simple one. Is there anything
Don, you are better at words than I am, so will you draft these?” So I started on the Preface, and when I should say who we are and where we are, be- in the history that I have shared with you wrote it up I gave two paragraphs of very fa cause somebody listening to it might have that contradicts anything that you have heard vorable comments on what Ghani had writ- no idea. Can you tell me your name? from people that you regard as responsible? ten, on what we had, at the time, decided to DES: Don E. Stevens. Do you find any contradiction in things that call the Supplement. So Ivy sent it off imme LW (To Meherwan): And what is your you have been listening to with things stored diately to Mani to read to Baba, and when I name? from conversations at other times? got back the next time, there was a rather MJ: Meherwan Jessawala. curt reply from Mani saying the Baba was LW: Meherwan, where are we right not at all happy with the draft of the Pref now? ace and that he did not want for a variety of MJ: We are under the tin shed near Bareasons Ghani’s name to be even mentioned ba’s Divan just next to Baba’s Samadhi here in the Preface, and that I should draft a new in Meherabad. version not even mentioning his name. LW: Did you just listen to some tape This was quite a blow to me, but cer that Don wanted you to hear? tainly indicative that Baba had remained ex MJ Yes I have just listened to it very tremely annoyed with Ghani for not having carefully and very attentively. done what Baba had told him to, and which LW: Don, did you want to ask Meh Baba had assumed he was doing. That was erwan some questions? how I discussed and used the term impos DES: Yes. Meherwan, as we were dis- 1, sible” in relation to Ghani. cussing informally, you made a statement “
The other thing that came up several that was dear to my heart and I would sim times in discussion and review here and there, was that some commentator on the Supplement had said that Baba was ready to throw it in the ashcan, garbage can, or trashcan. Well, quite frankly, that is quite close to
ply like you to repeat it about the clarity and apparent transparency...
MJ: So, I feel that all you have said about
your association with the preparation of the book God Speaks, and that I heard it very the sort of language Don Stevens uses. Every carefully and attentively and it sounds very
once in awhile I use colorful language and if lucid and transparent, and I appreciate the
which we were together. But it is cer tainly what I had said, about the manner in which Ivy edited, and then went from Ivy’s editing directly to the publisher, is a very accurate description of what went on. So I cannot comment either in rela tion to any of the other mandali being involved in it. It is just that neither Ivy, Mani, nor Eruch at the time ever made any comment to me about substantial participation by other mandali in either the 10 chapters or the Supplement. So, there are a few differences in stories, but
tween Don and Laurent giving the detailed history of how Meher Baba involved Don
in the narration and editing of the papers that were to become Listen, Humanity In addition, Don then described the further history of how Baba prodded him over 5everal months into a position in which Don took on the further assignment from Baba of reediting the Deshmukh version of the
Discourses.] The dialog continues:
LW: Can you clarify the difference be-
tween Part Two [of Listen, Humanitj’l which was from Baba and Part One which also I have just given my accurate account of came from Baba, but they seem to have I what went on at the time. come from different source material. Is that MJ: Just to go ahead from Bhau, I correct? DES: Yes, well actually, at the end of would also hear several times from Er-
Mani MJ: I have heard Bhauji, one of Baba’s anda1i, that he was also very much involved preparation of both God Speaks and that ie manuscript that Eruch would write by and was given to Bhau and he would get it yped by a typist, and he would dictate those iaterials that Eruch had written and that hau said that he had to give chapters of bese books and that he also had to prepare uring discussion about GodSpeaks, and that e was very much involved in this. In regards to the Supplement, that Baba ad to rework the whole material that was iven to Ghani and that the whole Supplerient that was given out in GodSpeaksis re lly actually Baba’s own contribution for that vhole section, and that Ghani had merely aken down whatever Baba had given to him rid that whatever Ghani had included was iot accurate and was not carrying the meanng of what Baba had given out. So he had to redo the whole thing all wer again, and that the Supplement is re lly from Baba. That is what Bhau used to ell us. So, again I say, I have no comments 0 offer, because I was not there. So you ask ne if I have heard anything and I heard this, Lnd this is just what I have to say. DES: In fact I have also heard the part LbOut the working up of the transcription md typing it out of what Baba had given to ruch, and worked over carefully. To get the rianuscript ready and shipped to Ivy, Bhau iad gone to the length of reading from the )riginal to the typist so that the typist could :ype very quickly. I have heard that from at least three or bur people who were around at that point. 3ut that was the only thing that came up ;ubsequent to the actual working period in
uch, when he was being asked questions the first week of the Four Language Sahavas about chapters nine and 10, whether it was groups I was leaving and packing my bags directly from Baba or whether it was Eruch on the hill, when word came to me that Baba wanted to see me. Baba was sitting under a who wrote it. Eruch just laughed and said, “What can tree, and at the side of His chair was a little I say? I just wanted to be on record that I worktable with a stack of papers on top of it. was just the pen that was writing, and it Baba first asks me how I enjoyed the week’s was Baba that actually wrote those chapters sahavas. Of course that was obvious, and He through this hand. I just wanted to say that asked me a couple of other polite questions, I am not the author of chapters nine and 10 which I answered. Then He looked over at the little pile of nor did I write it on my own, it was Baba papers and said, “Here Baba has a collection that was writing through my hand.” DES: I am awfully glad that you re of addresses He had given out in the same
counted that directly from Eruch to you. manner He had Eruch describe to you twice. I also raised the question and Eruch com These were given out on special occasions mented similarly. “The hand was mine, the to groups of Baba devotees that He had not seen for some time and wanted to give spe voice was God’s.” cial attention to. You might like to put those like Something right. that’s Yes, MJ:
that. You put it very nicely. So that’s what together in logical fashion and make a small comments I have heard, and apart from that book of something like the Discourses with it also seems very clear to me. I hope that the which you are already familiar.” Baba world will take their own view about
So that was the little pile of paper that
this and hear out both sides of the matter, later became Listen, Humanity, FartJiThose and I hope that everybody has done justice were discourses directly from Baba given first to the Baba world by being transparent and of all to the mandali who then embellished by having Baba as the prime object, without it and wrote it out and then Baba carefully, word by word, corrected it. That was what wishing themselves into the picture. Baba was drilling into my mind, exactly the listen to time to have DES: Would you procedure which he used with Eruch for the the rest of the tape? eight chapters [of God Speaks] He dictated MJ: Sure. points to. That was one point, and I said key brother, Eruch’s LW: Because you are do my best. I would Eruch re did you hear anything else from Then we went on and He said, “Well, it comments garding GodSpeaks besides those me, Don, that you have been here to occurs on Chapters nine and 10? week of the Four Language Sa for first the anything, MJ: At present I cannot recall Baba has had two sec actually and havas, in mentioned it’s just that because Don had verbatim what Baba down taking retaries it 10 that the tapes about chapters nine and for the next three continue will and has said, said was came back to me, what Eruch had here for a week been have you Now things, weeks. other remarkable. I may have heard
but I cannot recall right now.
and absorbed the atmosphere and experi
I After these comments, Meherwan then ence, would it be interesting for you if Baba listened to the remainder of the dialog be- had a transcript made of the words taken 53
down by these two secretaries, and sent them to you and you put a picture frame around what you have experienced here and make a story about it?” But the words would be Baba’s direct words, and it fascinated me and I said “Yes!”, that would be a very excit ing and challenging assignment and that I would welcome doing it. LW: So that was all Babas idea?
I have just been enjoying the glory of your was Ivy’s contribution. presence in Creation. When I heard myself LW: Didn’t she sign the Introduction or “
say that I said, “My golly, Don, that’s not bad
at all.” And I looked at Baba and He was smiling and beaming and nodding His head.
Preface to it? DES: Well, yeah, and please excuse me for this because I promised Baba I would tell the truth. This is a straight question and I have to respond because it makes sense. As she said, “Don, now you remember when the second edition of God Speaks was still long
He changed the subject for one or two mmutes, and then, suddenly, He looks back at me and says, What are you doing about my words?” And I knew I was sunk. DES: That was all Baba’s idea. Two-part After a bit of melodrama, after several in the future, in the Preface and Introduc idea. The first little stack of papers was Part months, He finally got my nose into a new tion to the first edition of God Speaks we II, and the longer first section was Baba’s project. I said it was a long time since I had both signed the Preface, but the Introduc idea, with Don’s embellishment giving at- read the Discourses, and I should really go tion was that terribly personal story of the mosphere and a little poetry you might say back and read them again. Then again after three circles of perfection you made behind to it. But then Baba said, “Don, I value your a little melodrama, eventually I said, “Baba, Baba’s back, and when you gave that to me I opinion, and you should feel free, and Baba there is a group for which we are doing an said, ‘Don, I love this, but you know it is so would like you to describe your own per- experimental introductory course on mysti terribly personal that I cannot sign it with sonal reactions to what was going on and to cism in San Francisco, with a lot of hippies you, so you are just going to have to sign it Baba himself.” So I welcomed that, it was a involved. Of course, I give your philosophy by yourself, which is all right, because you tough assignment and that became Part III, of creation, and some others of your works wrote the whole thing.” and it was a big challenge to me and to my a very high place in there. The things they She went on, “You remember then when amazement many people liked it very much have taken to naturally though are your Dis God Speaks came out, I could not even sign and said to me, Don, that was a very honest courses.” the Introduction, so wouldn’t it be sort of and helpful portrayal.” Then I said, “Baba, I think these Dis fair if I signed the Introduction to the Dis LW: Tremendously helpful. Okay. And courses are going to be The Bible for the New courses?” I said, “Ivy, please accept it as my in terms of some other material going be- Humanity. Baba was very pleased with gift, I would love to do that.” yond God Speaks and Listen, Humanity, I that, and He said, “Well, what should we LW: And she wrote part of that Introknow that you worked with Baba on the do about that?” I said, “Well, actually Dr. duction? Sixth Edition of the Discourses, and I am in- Deshmukh is a wonderful English scholar DES: No, none at all, not one word. terested to know, because I read Bhau Kal and a wonderful gentleman and I am very And as I said, of the two suggestions for that churi in a recent article in The Love Street fond of him, but his English sentence struc body of work, I thought one was quite odd, LampPost, where he says that the sixth edi ture is typically Indian and not American or to be honest, and the other one I thought tion was mostly “edited by Ivy Duce.” How English, and so every once in awhile I have was quite right, so I accepted that one. true is that? to transpose a sentence around so that I am LW: Do you remember those sugges DES: I don’t know where Bhau got that sure what I was understanding, is really what tions? idea, because it is a longish story that I will he was saying you said.” I told Him, “This DES: Things like that I try to forget as try to condense to fit into one or two pag takes a little time, but it would be very easy soon as I can. es. When I had finished the work on God for one of your erudite English or American LW: The last question: The Song of the Speaksand even started working on the edits followers to do a bit of changing of sentence New Life is a very special piece of Baba’s to be made for Baba’s planned Second Edi structure.” words; He was obviously deeply involved in tion of GodSpeaks I was rapidly getting into So right there, for the first time, because The Song ofthe New Life. Do you know any shape some key things to submit to Baba. He did it later, Baba pointed His finger at more about that? Then also, this second book, coming from me and Eruch translated, Don, you do DES: I had been working with a group of the little stack of papers at the end of the That was direct from Baba, and He had young people in London for some time who first week of the four language group saha spent months getting me around to that par- got fascinated by the New Life in general, vas. That took quite a few months to put ticular one, and then saying—Don it’s your especially in trying to see the logic of what together, and then was again printed and baby—[not Baba’s words but Don’s colorful Baba was driving at in The Song ofthe New published by Dodd, Mead. I was just about language] so you go ahead and do it. And I Life. So, when we were starting to prepare a ready to enjoy some leisure time for the first spent a long time on it. little book from what I call the original dis time in several years, and I was looking forLW: Was Ivy Duce mid-wife to the course study group in London, we were all ward to a vacation. But as soon as I got to baby? contributing to it and a question came up at India, after a few nice pleasantries and hugs, DES: No, actually, she realized that in that time of printing/reprinting of some way Baba said, “Don what are you doing about a sense Baba had snubbed her on this one of using The Song ofthe NewLife. Baba’s words these days?” And right there, and said delicately, “Don, it is obvious Baba Anyway, it came into focus, and in that I saw my pipe dream of vacation going up wants you to do this one and I am staying there is the statement in the Purdom biog in smoke and I said to myself “My gosh, I out of it, but if you don’t mind, after you get raphy of Baba, The God-Man, “Let not your wonder how can I get back to any possibility done, would you let me read through your garden be destroyed,” and it didn’t make any of having that vacation?” Then I heard, as version?” At the end she read it through and sense, and on the other hand, ifyou said, “Let if it came from another source, the follow- had two suggestions to make. One of these your garden be destroyed, it sounded almost ing words coming from my mouth. “Baba, I accepted, and one I disagreed with, so that un-Christian and blasphemous. I was almost “
rn on this, and finally was leaning very riuch towards the blasphemous version. LW: Let it be destroyed? DES:Yes. LW: In fact, if you read the version that ays, “let not, and then it says, “You beauify it once more with your contentment. It [oes not make sense. DES: In Purdom’s version it didn’t make ny sense at all. And I felt as a whole, excuse ne for quoting Don Stevens now, but I felt 5 a whole that The Song ofthe NewLifewas he most magnificent revolutionary spiritual locument I have ever read. I love every dt of it. So I was all for revolution right n the middle of it, “Let it be destroyed,” ecause you can make an even better garden. Jobody knew much of anything about this, 0 somebody said, “Why don’t you go to Adi ;r. because we remember that Baba had hese things sent to Adi, so he might have “
LW: Anything you would like to discuss further? I think we discussed all our points. DES: No, I just wish of course that the days of
misinterpreting and misre membering the facts sur rounding the editing and publishing of Beloved Baba wonderful words, and the complexity and confu sion, could be limited so we
could get back to the simple stories ofwhat actually hap-
pened in each case. LW: Well, we are going to try and publish some of your clarification and maybe that will help.
omething that could shed some light on the on God Speaks, Meherwan Jessawala then listened to the rest of the dialog above be)uzzle LW: Adi Sr. means Adi K. Irani, who tween Don and Laurent. The following interchange among the three of them then vas Baba’s secretary. DES: That is right. So I went to Adi took place.] ...
nd he said “Yes, Don, it is a good thing you
_L.L::: MeherBaba dictates to Gliani. revision, and Baba said it would come later.
DES: It is not Deshmukh’s language, or
let’s say, his English language, because he had a surprising vocabulary and used it well, but it was sentence structure. He would interpo DES: You havejust listened to the rest of late backwards and in a different style than
sked me, because, yes, I remember the situ- the recording. Do you have anything further what we do. That was my trouble. I loved LtiOfl very clearly and I still have the original to say about what you have heard in these re Deshmukh, he was a wonderful gentleman. HOofs for the printing before it was sent out cordings about Listen, Humanity, Discourses That was the only thing I had to criticize, it was his sentence structure. 0 the devotees around the world. It is very and Song ofthe NewLife? MJ: There is no doubt about Dr. Mi: As I have said, I find it very interestnteresting because in the original composi ion of The Song ofthe New Life, Baba gave ing and very lucid, and I was there during Deshmukh’s brilliance and love for Baba. He cey notes to Ghani and asked him to write the 1955 sahavas. So what you wrote there tried to put forth in the Discourses in a very hem up in a more complete form, just as in Listen, Humanity was very beautiful and beautiful way for Baba what Baba had given 3aba had done to Eruch in the work for God the whole Baba world appreciates the effort out to him. Apart from a little difficulty with his English, it was a beautiful thing. you have put in there. S’peaks. DES: Uh-huh, he was “Mr. Discourse,” And of course Baba’s messages, they are Then, after Ghani had written up the 1aborated song based on the points that priceless in the second part, and it sounds and we owe him a great debt for what he did 3aba had given him, Baba went over the very good to me what you have mentioned for Baba’s Discourses. Meherwan, I am ter Tianuscript very carefully with Ghani, cor here. And The New Life Song, the part that ribly grateful to you for your patience in sitecting everything himself, and then said to you mention about the destruction of the ting and listening to what we are trying to hani, now send this to Adi Sr. and ask to garden, is very right, because we also had the do here, and we very much appreciate your iim have this version printed up, but only original writing in the Hindi script, which comments. MJ: Thank you, Don, for giving me the rint two or three proof copies and send was the original thing. The English translation was a subsequent opportunity to listen to all this and I am :hem to me and not to the people, because I ivant to look them over carefully and correct thing, and in the original it was like that: Let happy to have said whatever I have said here. :hem myself a second time. This is the only the garden ofyour life be destroyed, and you And I repeat, that whatever I could com locument that I know of that Baba Himself get to the gritty business of reestablishing it ment on, I heard and I commented on what I :orrected word by word, not once, but twice. once again. That was the original. Yes, and could. In other respects I really have no voice \nd that says to me that this was a terribly I am in agreement with what you have said or authority to say anything because I was not at all involved in those works. So I want and it is very nice. [mportant document to Baba. DES: Anything on the Discourses that to be very frank and transparent about that LW: Maybe one of the most important Baba had gotten me involved in, despite the and whatever little I have, I shared. DES: We are also very appreciative of DES: Well, it certainly said to me that it vacation that I had wanted? MJ: About that I really have no idea, so Bhau’s attitude and cooperation on this behad high priority with Baba. LW: It also showed his love for Ghani. I hardly have any comments about that. But cause when I said I thought that we would DES: Yes, also for Ghani. It was a great I used to hear that Dr. Deshmukh’s language have to do some work on confusions in the trust to put that document in Ghani’s hands. was a little antiquated, and needed a little historical record, he wrote back a wonderful “
no misunder standing between them because it is important for the Baba world that you work in harmony and have no misunder standings. DES: I completely agree with that and the manner in which Laurent Wichberger andDon Stevens. we have set email and said, “What you are doing is very up this effort to clarify any historical connecessary and a very high priority, and I will fusions. It is done totally with the intent of do my very best in giving my cooperation doing it in a gentlemanly fashion and doing through our activities here. He has done just what you say: to have a united, harmoni that very kindly and willingly. ous front. Baba’s words are so important that MJ: That is very nice. I wish that any we must give that to His works. misunderstanding between you and Bhau MJ: So again, my last statement would does get cleared up because it gives me great be to work with Baba without the least im pain to see that Bhau, one of Baba’s man- portance to self. If we pay all importance to dali, should feel upset with such a close lover Baba and His work, then Baba takes over of Baba like Don and the two should have and takes charge and the work succeeds. But “
£&tteis t tlic
the least thought of your self in the work brings an obstruction in the work. So let us all work with Baba with one intention, to keep Him foremost in our minds and heart and to work for Him wholeheartedly, honestly, and sincerely. And then Baba just takes over, and we leave the world to Him. DES: I have to say just one thing, because one of the most important things that ever happened to me in my life certainly was my close working under Baba’s thumb on His words. At one point, we had discussed the manner in which Baba gave out His words for His devotees as a major resource of spintual energy for the future. When He had gotten done having Eruch explain this to me—Baba had spent a lot of time—then He pointed His finger at me and said, “Don, it is your responsibility to explain to my devotees what Baba has explained to you today.” And I have done my best. That is a direct charge from Baba.
iebutta1 to Don &cvens
Duncan 7 <nowles, Walnut Creek, California have just read the interview with Don Stevens on editing under Baba. I feel angry and disappointed at Don’s positions and statements which subtly but steadily marginalize and denigrate his former teacher, Munshida Ivy Duce, and her role in editing Meher Babas works. I was privileged to be Murshida Duce’s son-in-law, having been married to her daughter Charmian for 33 years. As they are no longer here to respond, I would like to comment on Don’s assertions. To do that I will draw on contemporaneous accounts as much as possible rather than relying on memories from 50 years ago. In researching this, it became clear to me that I also disagree with Don on his views about the varying importance of different sections of GodSpeaks. I will address that as well. In what follows, the italics on certain words are mine where I call those words to the reader’s attention. For a more comprehensive account of the editing of God Speaks and Baba’s word-forword review ofit in draft form, I recommend
a reading ofthe excellent article “The Story of Yes, Don may have worked primarily on the GodSpeaks” by Ira Deitnick appearing in the first ten chapters. But at everyjuncture, there August 2005 edition of Glow InternationaL are indications of long hours and days spent with Murshida and Don working together Did Don Stevens alone edit the in a collaborative way. What comes to light chapters of God Speaks? is teamwork, sharing, and, at the time, a total Don says that Murshida Duce divided up disregard for the sharp boundaries that Don editing responsibilities and spent her time on now claims existed. the Supplement material that “fascinated” her, To begin, Ira Deitnick draws on Murshida’s material Don implies carries less of Baba’s files when he writes in the Glow, “Don and spiritual energy. As a result he says he was the Murshida kept up a furious correspondence sole editor of what he hints to be the more about the manuscripts.” In her autobiography important parts of GodSpeaks—chapters one Howa Master Work Murshida Duce wrote: through eight, to which Don believes Baba “Undoubtedly Don Stevens and I could did attach His spiritual energy, and also nine write a large manuscript on this task and and ten. Don speaks of himself in the third our experiences together working on God person: “Don Stevens was responsible for the Speaks. He spent every weekend that he first ten chapters and she was responsible for could with me because Baba wanted the the Supplement.” book published by May. We were a strange Is it true that Murshida Duce had next to combination because I was trained in earlier no role in editing the material Don worked on methods of classical English, while Don had in GodSpeaks? I do not believe that is true, become accustomed to the modern practices and I am greatly surprised at Don’s claims. of omitting as much punctuation as possible. I . .
Contemporaneous accounts say otherwise. became so distressed over this that I discussed
he matter with Ambassador har1es Malik from Lebanon, vho was a professor at Har ard and Beirut Universities Since Don Dr many years. ad much admiration for the amous Dr. Malik, he yielded ne some commas when I got 00 distressed, and I tried to be qually as magnanimous by not
because she “was fascinated by the material Ghani had written up, and being a Sufi she recognized that there was some extraordinarily valuable material to the
esisting too hard the omitting f many such commas.”
egotistically pursued the material for her own narrow
Murshida wrote more about
and selfish interests. And
vorking collaboratively with
)on in an article in Glow In-
because she was so absorbed in that, she had no role in
editing the earlier chapters.
“We began trying to work wer sentences that were whole )aragraphs long. Meher Baba
I believe Don knows better than that.
. . .
Sufis in it” and “she would like to include all of it.” The subtle implication
here is that Murshida Duce
In truth, Murshida Duce looked on Ghani’s manu
iad not indicated punctuation n his dictation but the words
instri in l iaba conversing with Murshida IvyL a Sufi order under Hisguidance that wouldiast 700years, until He comes again.
lowed so beautifully that I was Lt a loss to decide what could be excised. But effects. Don wrote: “I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed othing could be cut out, and we would go ver and over trying to find some way to stop the two weeks we spent working on God L sentence and start another without losing Speaks.I liked the sense of team work that went into it. ny of the flavor.” To me, this letter clearly indicates that Don now appears to minimize their workng together, citing only “occasional” contact. Don and Murshida Duce did not work enIe says, “I would get back into Murshida’s tirely independently on separate sections of . .“
script with dismay. In her autobiography, she wrote:
“When Lud had delivered to us Baba’s manuscript, he also brought me a folio of a great many disjointed and disorganized pa-
pers with instructions from Baba that I was to choose from them anything that I thought of worth, to act as a supplement for His book.” Ira Deitrick’s article in the August 2005
Glowis taken from primary sources—Mur
eographical territory on occasional week- the book. And since Don has said that he had shida Duce’s journals of that day and letters mds I would on occasion get by Murshida next to nothing to do with the Supplement, to and from Mani and Baba about the book Duce’s home and check with her, and at those the subject matter oftheir work together had project. Ira writes: “Murshida felt that since Baba had asked :imes we would exchange what we were do- to be the early chapters of the book. Taken together, these accounts don’t her to include any part of it that she found .ng, what was going on, and whether there support the claim that Don solely edited valuable, she should look at it carefully. She here any puzzling points or not.” . . .
However, Murshida wrote about it in very chapters one through ten and Murshida
iifferent terms that indicate extensive work Duce had the most minimal involvement. ogether. She described in her autobiography Don may indeed have done the larger part 1ow Don, because of working with her on of the work on that section, but overall it GodSpeaks, was entering into our family life appears to have been a collaborative working o closely for a few months. She notes that relationship. 4th 1 Meher Baba himselfsaid about Murshida Don came east to spend Dfl November two weeks at her home “to complete ourjoint Duce and Don Stevens working together on work on GodSpeaks.” Murshida wrote in her GodSpeaks “I had them in mind from the beginning.” journal that year: Murshida’s role as the senior editor and “For two weeks we labored night and day over Baba’s long, involved sentences, trying publisher of GodSpeakswent beyond her work to make them shorter, worrying about what with Don and he was not centrally involved in somebody might misconstrue a hundred years all of it. She even proposed the dedication that appears in the book and suggested the picture from now, etc.” ofBaba that graces the cover. Her role and work In her autobiography Murshida added: “
“After working night and day we got up were enormous, but I feel Don’s comments from our table at noon on the last day of minimize that. Don vacation, greatly relieved that we had What was Murshida Duce managed to prepare the main manuscript for Baba’s role in editing the and publishing.”
Don Stevens may not recall writing a let-
Supplement to God Speaks?
Don’s comments portray Murshida Duce ter to Murshida Duce in 1954 from the Jung Hotel in New Orleans, but this letter is in her as having created the Supplement primarily
too was distressed by the material. In a letter to Don dated October 19, 1954, Murshida wrote, “I am appalled that after all the frus trating time-takingjob ofdictating with His fingers so much to Ghani, the latter came up
with this. The worst of it is that there are so . .
many questions for
Baba to answer.”
Murshida Duce did not take on the material because she was “fascinated” by
it, as Don implies. Instead, she felt keenly the responsibility to carry out her charge from Baba. Time may have changed Don’s memory, but he certainly knew her views in October of 1954. Though Baba told Murshida she could choose from the content He sent her, she knew she had to do her best on it. Then He would make the final decision. The section called “the Supplement” was the result. It seems clear now that Baba wanted this material included as He personally reviewed
and edited every word of it. In her August 1954 letter to Murshida Duce, Mani said, “Baba will have it read out
to Him, and will return the final to you for printing.” On January 6, 1955, Mani wrote to Murshida: “The Supplement will be sent sepa rately in 2-3 days. That too will be read out to Baba.” And conclusively, three days later Mani wrote to Murshida: “I am returning herewith, according to Baba’s wishes, up till page 269 of the Supplement, which has been seen to meticulously by Baba personally, while Eruch read it out (with Ramjoo interjecting his points in question regarding it) Baba and all who heard it are very much pleased with your work, dear Ivy, and all corrections as made by Baba have been put down in red ink.” Soon another letter from Mani fol lowed about the Supplement: “Returning herewith the remaining half of the Supplement (entire). The delay in returning has been unavoidable as will be noted from the corrections and addi tions Baba has made.” Mani reported on the highly detailed
Supplement, edited by Murshida Duce, is of suspect importance.
Chapters One through Eight For chapters one through eight, Don says the process was that Baba would give
Eruch “certain key points, not in detail,” and Eruch would go away and “write
up in considerably greater detail the key points Baba had given him. .Baba would then go over Eruch’s elaborated version word by word. If there was a faulty word, Baba would correct Thus chapters one through eight pass Don’s screen of coming directly from Baba and being reviewed by Baba. .
Chapters Nine and Ten Don implies that chapters nine and ten do not have the same spiritual purity and power as chapters one through eight when he says, “I am certain, at some point
or another, Baba went over what Eruch had written in those two chapters, but I had no indication at any time that He went over it word by word as He had done
in the eight original chapters.” In other words, these two chapters may not have Baba’s “atomic spiritual bombs” attached to them because Baba gave that content
editing Baba had done on the Supple-
ment. She concluded: “Baba worked four to five hours at it
to Eruch in a “much more brief manner
daily, listening, correcting, adding. I am only writing this for I know it will inter-
and Don has seen no evidence that Baba “personally corrected” them. However, back in 1955, Don wrote
est you and Don to know how, in spite of His self imposed handicaps, Baba has
minutely attended to this book that you Murshida Iyy Duce andMeher Baba at the Delmonico Ho- a blanket statement in The A wakener both are working on wholeheartedly.”
Did Don Stevens alone edit the Discourses? Don asserts that he was the sole editor of the Discourses and that Murshida Duce asked only to see it when it was done. He says, “At the end, she read it through and had two suggestions to make. One of these I accepted, and one I disagreed with, so that
was Ivy’s contribution.” Murshida Duce’s personal journal—written at the time—tells a different story. It
says: Don and I have also worked many, many “
hours on editing the original five volume set
of Baba’s Discourses which were done by Dr. Deshmukh. We have changed as little as possible, but Baba himself made certain changes, and we are now struggling with J apanese printers as we hope to make them
cheaper so more can buy them.” In light ofthe above, Don’s assertion that Murshida wished her name on the introduc tion takes on a different tone. In any case,
IViagazinethat seems to cover the entire God Speaksjust completed: my experience with Murshida D uce was that “The principal body of the work was dic she was never about taking credit herself. She tated by Baba through His alphabet board. was always about giving it to others. Corrections, and even lengthy additions to In sum, I feel that in his interview Don the final version, were made by Meher Baba Stevens appears to minimize and denigrate after He had given up His alphabet board in Murshida Duce’s role in preparing God October, 1954.” Speaksand the Discoursesand place himself In 1997, Don himself wrote about what at the center of what he considers the most Baba had told him personally: important parts ofthat work. I do not believe “Baba wanted it established and absolutely the historical record supports that. crystal clear that the idea that He just gave
telin New York soon after His arrival from India in 1956
Was Baba’s role less in different parts of God Speaks?
out things through secretaries and then they were passed on to us was a totally fallacious viewpoint of how Baba’s direct words were given out. It was the principal part of God Speaks up to the supplement that was given out that way.” A key phrase here is “the principal part of GodSpeaksup to the supplement. was given out that way.” “Up to the supplement” means chapters one through ten. Apparently
In recent years, Don has sought to make the case that there are three separate parts of GodSpeaksand that they need to be looked at differently as to their spiritual importance, primarily because of Baba’s differing role in writing or reviewing them. The three are 1) chapters one through 8, 2) chapters nine and ten, and 3) the Supplement. The reader is left nine years ago Don did not make the same to conclude that the important ones are those distinction between chapters one through he claims to have edited solely, while the eight and chapters nine and ten. . .
Baba said the material was directly from Him. Back in 1997 in the MeherBabaAssocia Jn Newsletter Don detailed an even more
acting description of Baba’s dictation and ne even more supportive of Baba’s assertion at all this material came from Him: “He [Baba] had Eruch explain exactly ow it was done. During the day Baba would lye to Eruch material. Eruch would take ipid notes. Eruch by the way. had what e call a photographic memory; in other rords something would register exactly and :ay there. Eruch most of the night would t up in his room and write up his notes. le would come back next morning and read ut what he had written to Baba, and Baba anted to emphasize [to Donj how directly, arefully word for word all this material was irectly from Baba Himself.” In August 1954, Baba’s sister Mani wrote structions to Murshida (Ivy) Duce about diting the manuscripts that would become :;od Speaks. Regarding the material that iould become chapters one through ten, /Iani wrote: “The file (marked No. 1) contains notes nd articles dictated personally by Baba, taken own and worked on by Eruch.” Apparently Baba dictated more than ist “points” to Eruch. Mani wrote that He [ictated “notes and articles.” As Murshida )uce was an editor and the publisher of God peaks, in 1969 Eruch told her about his own ifficulties in working on his part of preparing he manuscript: “His [Baba’s] dictations were in different inguages. He used words in English but interacted them with different languages—words rom Marathi, Gujarati, Persian, etc. While rying to decipher the whole thing, we had 0 concentrate on His gestures or the sense 4e wanted to convey and we had to put them )roperly into English words. But then at that ime, naturally, when He dictated this, I used 0 jOt down his dictations verbatim, in differnt languages—that is, a line had different anguages in it. Later on I would just sit aside vhen Baba was doing some other work and ranslate all the words into English. Someimes I wouldn’t be following His fingers on he board or the gestures with His fingers, and 4e would repeat and repeat and repeat.” . .
Though he may never have seen it, on January 5, 1955, Mani wrote to Murshida Duce: Baba is having it [ the manuscript from Murshida and Donj read out to Him daily, in parts, by Eruch.” Mani wrote again the next day: This afternoon when Baba came from the Mandali’s, He handed me a number of points as regards the manuscript, which were written by Eruch ac cording to Baba’s wishes for the matter and which I am typing word for word. “As you must know, dear Ivy, in spite of fast and working, the entire manuscript— word by word—has been read out to Baba, who has ordered numerous MeherBaba visitsMurshida IvyDuce home in corrections or additions wherever necessary. Also they have been know that all the words in it were His. Lord A4’her(page 6289) describes Don’s exchange examined by Him.” Contemporaneous documents show that with Baba in a 1964 meeting: [Don:1 “Well, I hear so many people say Baba did indeed thoroughly edit all parts of the book manuscript including chapters nine that words, ifanything, obscure Truth, and the mind finally cannot grasp Truth. Even some and ten and the Supplement. of the people who love you most dearly say Do parts of God Speaks carry more that even Baba’s words can well be left aside “
spiritual energy than others?
Finally, Don appears to have an underlying theme that he has asserted elsewhere—that certain sections of God Speaks are of greater importance in terms of the spiritual energy they carry. Is that true? I don’t believe so. To show why, I turn to Don’s own meeting with Baba in which Baba explained how He worked with Eruch on God Speaks. Don’s telling ofthis story describes the mechanics of the process as it was told to him, but he leaves out the key point ofwhy Baba was telling him how it had been prepared. This point is critical. From my reading of the transcript, it appears to me that Baba wanted Don to understand that 1) all Baba’s words, regardless ofhow they Did Meher Baba personally review have been arrived at, do come from Him, and md edit all the material in chapters 2) all words that come with Baba’s imprimatur reasonable one through ten of God Speaks? hold His spiritual power. It seemsreason Baba to conclude that one paramount Don says he has no indication that Baba talked with Don about the process He used in ‘eviewed chapters nine and ten word for word. working on God Speaks is to have the world . .
in the pursuit of God-Realization.”
People say that about Baba’s own words?” he [Baba] almost exploded, he was so angry. “
Don nodded mutely, “Yes.” Quite upset, Baba continued his gesticula
tions rapidly as Eruch spoke them to Don. “
You must understand that whenever Baba gives out words for his lovers to use
and read, he attaches a spiritual energy to them—something like an atomic spiritual bomb! This is especially true in God Speaks.
Then, when one reads those words, even if he does not understand even one word of what he reads, a part of the spiritual energy will be absorbed by that person. And this energy will be very important for that person in his spiritual progress.”
I read this to mean that Baba is affirming for Don that all the words in God Speaks do have His spiritual power in them. And a key phrase is Baba’s statement, “whenever Baba gives out words for his lovers to use
must understand that whenever E1Jctba gives out words for his lovers to use and read, he attctches a spiritual energy to them—something like an atomic spiritual bomb! 7his is especially true in 9od Speaks. 7hen, when one reads those words, even if he does not understand even one word of what he reads, a part of the spiritual energy will be absorbed by that person. .And this energy will be very impor tant for that person in his spiritual “Eou
Jlleher i3aba and read, he attaches a spiritual energy to them. Baba did not say that He attaches His spiritual energy only when He creates words or writes them Himself. Quite precisely He said when He “gives out words. I take this to mean it matters little whether Baba dictated the words or He gave someone the subject matter to draft and He later reviewed and edited it. Ultimately, if Baba gave it out, if He put his stamp on it, it has His spiritual power behind it. In the case of God Speaks, Meher Baba went through every word in preparing and editing it, including the Supplement. Then He put His name on the book as the author. Then He personally signed 498 copies. Then .
He told countless people to read the entire God Speaks cover to cover, some again and again. He did not tell people to readjust part of it. To me, this says the entirety of God Speaks was a case of Meher Baba “giving out words, and every part of it carries Baba’s spiritual energy—His atomic spiritual bombs. How could it be less? Meher Baba never treated any part of God Speaks as having precedence over any other part. Don Stevens is the only one to say this. An analogy comes to mind from Mur shida Duce’s first meeting with Meher Baba in 1948. She had not been well and in her book How a Master Works, she relates the “
._/1 7;Iiank )3ou from Jtennann Loew nd nJanuary 2 2006 my wifejeanette had a fatal accident. As the news spread in the Baba community people started praying for both of us and the e-mails and cards expressing support for Jeanette and me poured in. I received over two hundred e-mails and close to one hundred cards from all over the US and the world. These messages expressed so much love and support for both of us that it was truly amazing. Even people who had never met either of us sent their loving condolences. My friends and family commented on the amazing community of people of which I am a part. My heartfelt thanks go out to all ofyou who wrote and prayed. Your love and support truly made a huge difference and helped me to face this very difficult challenge in my life. Beloved Baba really is alive in the hearts of His Lovers and with every loving message that I received I felt like it was He Himself sending me His loving and compassionate support. I thank you with all my heart.
Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! Hermann Loew
following: [Baba:] “I want you to take sulfur every day for three months.” I said, “Yes, Baba, I’m sure I need the sulfur.” Baba gave me a look which in any purely mortal face would have registered disgust, but in his was simply a resignation toward our ignorance, and affirmed, It is not the sulfur that will help you—It is my will in the sulfur!” In the case of God Speaks, it is not the origin of the words that gives them spiritual power. It is Baba’s will in the words. “
.And 7his from J44icke 2<ctrger
was so viscerally shocked to read of the quite sudden and violent deaths (both caused by automobiles) of two of Beloved’s lovers (Jeanette Loew and Gabrielle Gibson), that I experienced a momentary crisis of faith: how could our Beloved allow such things to happen to any of His lovers? So great was this shock that I suddenly found the concept of surrender totally alien to me. And yet, hadn’t I written a poem titled “The Big Surrender?* The one who so glibly and proudly wrote of surrender now found himself totally incapable of it! Then I re-read my own words: “If you choose Love, God takes off His glove, And may hold you so tight that it hurts. That’s when you grab tight with all of your might Like a child to its dear mother’s skirts. And then I was okay. How indeed remarkable are His ways. “
April 2006 issue
Entch’s Wwds on Etiba c2’ktins ing Him. Although Baba did not lay down any specific format for His lovers to observe when meeting in His Love, leaving them free to determine the types of meetings which best suit them, He has indicated the best ways to remember Him and cultivate love for Him:
Eruch Jessawala wrote the following response to a letter from Phil Normand sking questions about how to revitalize be Denver Centerllaba meetings, how the 9ntent should be directed and whether we bould actively solicitpeople to come to the rieetings. r
Mani shared your letter with near ne and requested me to reply to your otter with regard to the conduct of Meher Baba Denver Center. So I iow take this opportunity to express ny views on the most touchy subject )f Baba meetings at a Baba Center. I have read with great interest all hat you have written in regard to rour Baba meetings in Denver with dl the variety ofopinions and feelings Lbout them and the inevitable confu ion about which would be the best ourse for the meetings to take. You may be surprised Phil, to hear that Jenver has no monopoly on confusion about 3aba meetings! More and more, from all over he United States and in many places around he world, we hear about lovers discussing the ature of their meetings, looking for ways to ‘evivify the spirit of “tired meetings” and to nake the meetings as satisfying and fulfill.ng as possible to as many as possible. “Baba Tieetings” can and do take so many different ;hapes, depending upon the preferences and nterests ofthe people involved and the nature Jf any special purposes of the meetings, that [5, whether they are intended primarily for the public or for Baba’s lovers, and so on. In any case, and always in the final analysis, meetings Df Baba’s lovers should always—really must always—conform to only one standard: that they be held and conducted in such a way that they are “befitting the Avatar.” The question, however, inevitably arises as to what, when it comes to Baba meetings, is really “befitting the Avatar.” This question arose more than once even when Beloved Baba was here in the physical body, and He has given us various indications about the kinds of meetings which would please Him and which best serve the purpose of His byers coming together in His Name. In the first place, of course, any Baba meeting” of Baba’s lovers ought to be for Baba and about- Baba, with Meher Baba first and foremost as the essential emphasis of the meetings. Indeed, our Beloved Avatar
Immersing oneself in Him by recalling His Divine Life and the events in it, the phases of His Work and stories and anecdotes which iilustrate His Love, His Compassion, and His Ways of working with His lovers; .
Diving deep into His words by reading and remembering His books and discourses and messages wher ever they appear; .
Recalling His Presence by telling stories of meetings with Baba and how different ones have come to know of and love Baba; .
is in everything and includes everything, but for ourselves to when we meet for Him grow closer to Him and to bong for Him and we to learn to love Him more and more must focus on Him, the present God-Man, The Master of all Masters, the “Only One” in reality. It is only natural that reference to His previous Avataric Incarnations will come up, along with stories of the Perfect Masters whom Baba has identified, in meetings about Beloved Baba, but the central focus of Baba meetings should be on Baba, not upon the old highways of the various religions, the esoteric diversions of the many mystical, spiritual, psychic or occult by-ways, the saints (which are Baba’s “children”) or the teachers, yogis, and gurus of every description who are more in need of the Avatar’s Grace themselves than they are able to help anyone else on the Path. So many such topics may be suitable subjects for study groups or discussion meetings of another sort, but not the “guest of honor” at a Baba meeting. Our Beloved Meher Baba loved for His lovers to meet together in His Name and encouraged them to do so. And what should His lovers do when they meet together? As Beloved Baba urged each one of His lovers to “remember Me” and “love Me, so when His lovers meet together, this should be their primary purpose: to remember Him and to love Him, more and more and more and ever more. So Baba meetings should concentrate upon Baba, and upon remembering and by—
Remembering and loving His Beloved Form by viewing films of Baba and sharing photographs, drawings, paintings and other artwork of Him;
Celebrating His Advent through songs and music devoted to Baba, as well as through dance, drama, poetry and any and all forms of artistic expres sion which focus on and are devoted to Baba and which could be expected to be pleasing to our Beloved with the whole purpose being to entertain Him, holding His Presence to be a reality in our midst;
In short, sharing His Love and Com pany in so many ways, so as to say, “recharge the batteries” of the lovers who meet together in His Name and Remembrance.
Whether in your meetings you do all of these activities, or some of them, or one of them, or some at one time and some others at another time is not important. This depends upon the people who meet together—what they feel they would like to do and what they can do. Each should be given the scope to feel that he or she has a share in the meeting, and the opportunity to remember and entertain the Beloved in one’s own way.
be best to make sure everyone is informed, in so far as possible, and that everyone has suffi cient notice so that if they want to attend, they can make plans to do so. Then all could dis cuss these mat;‘ ters and decide i what meetings best suit those : who want to have meetings. Whether there are many or only one or two present at this meeting or any of your meetings, you should not be discouraged nor concerned about numbers at all. Let the meetings be flexible and accommodat
One idea might be to call a meeting of all the Baba lovers with whom you are in contact in your area, a special meeting for the purpose of discussing what kinds of Baba meetings all would like to have. It would
ing to the interests of each and all within the scope of a Baba meeting “befitting the Avatar—and then, having done your best, be resigned to Baba’s Will in relation to how many want to participate and so forth. Simply remain as open as possible to accepting each and all, and allowing for different forms of expression within the context of the guidelines Baba has given for meetings of His lovers. Please forgive such a lengthy reply to your letter, but as we have recently been discussing this subject with so many, I thought that I would share as much of our talks as possible with you, just as if you were here with us. We all wish you great success in carrying on your Baba meetings in Denver in the spirit that would please our Beloved Lord Meher Baba. Surely in response to your longing and eagerness to remember and love and entertain Him, He will bless your efforts and grace your meetings with His Presence! Jai Baba! Yours lovingly, Eruch
rtlie £ittle-S2<nown &ory of c.Meker E2abds 2iollyr ‘iree _/4lex 2lainilton, Jill assachusetts his photograph was taken in August, 1980, when a sign was installed to commemorate the planting of a holly tree by Meher Baba on May 20, 1952, to dedicate the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. This holly tree, with its original ring of stones, is located at the northwest entrance to the Barn and is still healthy and alive. It should not be confused with the tree planted at the Open Day Ceremony in 1956, which did not survive. In the summer of 1980, Kitty Davy remembered that Baba had planted a holly tree near the Barn on the last day of His first visit to the Center. She recalled Elizabeth had also witnessed the event, and that stones were placed in a circle around it. Upon the tree’s rediscovery in 1980, they requested that a sign be installed, to include the date of the planting, May 20, 1952 (four days before the accident in Oklahoma). The sign shown in the photo remained until it was destroyed by a falling branch during a hurricane (probably Hugo, in September 1989), and has never been replaced. Only two other instances have been found when the Avatar planted trees during His time on earth. On March 2, 1930, He planted a peepul tree to inaugurate Meher Ashram,
planted by the God-Man’s own hands. According to Mani, “On Indian calendars, 20th May was a red letter day declaring a national holiday in honour of Buddha Purnima, the day of Lord Buddha’s birth, also said to be the day of His enlightenment and of His passing away” (Glow, Aug. 1989, p. 13). It is the date of both Mehera’s (May 20, 1989) and Naja’s (May 20, 1982) going to Baba, the only two women identified to be in Baba’s First Circle ofFourteen (LordMeher, p. 6697, footnote). Most “coincidentally,” twenty years prior to the tree planting to the day on May 20, 1932, Baba met Elizabeth Patterson’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simeon B. Chapin, in New York City (Lord Meher, p. 1624). Four days later, Baba gave Elizabeth the prophetic wildflower at Harmon. Isn’t it peculiar that this sacred tree would have been forgotten and ignored for 28 years (1952—1980), acknowl edged for 10 years (1980—1990), and overlooked for the past 1 5 years, known only to a select few. Please share this Madras (Glow, Aug. 2004, p. 14), and on information with other Baba-lovers, so that April 13, 1930, He planted a mango tree on the story will not be lost forever, and His tree the grounds of Kolhapur High School (Lord will receive the Love that it deserves. Mehei p. 1305), making the Center’s holly tree the only living tree in the Western World —
Wor!dwide Aieher Bnba Jkkctings TRI-STATE AREA Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, 2 12-9711050. President: Ira M. Gross, 480 12th St. Apt. 8, Brooklyn, NY 1 1215. Inquiries: meherbabahouse@ crisp.net, www.MeherBabaHouse.org Philadelphia and surroundingtri-state area ofNew York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 PM. Frank Bloise, 856696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360, email@example.com.
ie followkig I information about the various Baba ups around the country and a few from overseas. If ir local data is not thciudedpiease send it to me and uidthingsthangefrom thepublisheddetails, please let know that before the nextissue deadlhe. —Diha ?
DOMESTIC ARIZONA icson—Irma Sheppard, 520-321-1566, 20 N. Village Ave., 85704, firstname.lastname@example.org. agstaff—AMB Lovers ofN. Az., 928-774-8305, 05 S. Lance Rd., 86001, email@example.com.
TExAS Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-5602631, 3101 Skyline Drive, 75965, rockbl@yahoo. com.
CALl FORN IA )sAngeles—Meetings are Sundays, 1 1 AM to 1 PM, Id in our center “Meherabode,” 323-731-3737, 1214 uth Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 Just Road, Warren, Maine 94864, firstname.lastname@example.org St ofthe intersection ofArlington andl2th Street. The iatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has Ken Lux, 207-594-6391 P0 Box 108, Rockland, own web site at www.Meherabode.org to bring the Maine 04841, email@example.com. :al news, programs, activities and announcements MAssAcH USETTS the Baba community and the public. Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center Lfl Francisco Bay Area—Call for information Michael Siegell 617-864-3997. garding meeting times and related information: MIssIssI PPI 0-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259, Benleet@ tar Meher Baba Sahavas Center ackson—Ava J rthlink.net. The Northern California Avatar Meher Peter Rippa, 3404 Casa Granda Circle Jackson, iba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St. El Cerrito MS 39209, 601-355-8959, film and information 530-2931 www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org. presentation upon request; weekly prayer/Arti; icramento—Meetings first Friday of the month monthly Dhuni, firstname.lastname@example.org. 7 PM. Marilyn Buehler, 916-925-4451, premsay@ MoNTANA cglobal.net. www.premsay.com/MeherBaba. Missoiila—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949; 336 Connell, COLORADO 59801. enver_Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 PM at Emigrant—Anne Haug, 406-333-4582; 24 Liberty rious homes in the Denver-Metro area. The contact Ln., 59027. ‘rson for Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, NEw HAMPsHIRE id Arizona is Barbara A. Roberts, 303-238-4649; 8, email@example.com. Liz Miller 603-749-366 175 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 .net. babara@fone ear Denver), NEw MEXICO ,
FLORIDA ampa—Jane Paladino, 813-962-8629. learwater—Tom Decker, MD, 727-536-9282.
HAWAII laul—Meredith Moon, Phone: 808-573-1188 or 8-572-6556, Fax: 808-573-1189; 1940 Olinda oad (or P0 Box 1 269 for mail) Makawao, Maui, [A 96768, firstname.lastname@example.org. lolokai—Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham”, 808-567D74 or 808-567-6383, Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: D8-567-6363; 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 6729 (mail: P0. Box 177, Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757), email@example.com. LOUISIANA ew Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center for mnthly meeting and film program please contact: )e Burke 601-278-6245 for the date, time, location nd directions, firstname.lastname@example.org. MAI NE pruce Head/Rockland—We meet once a month on ie third Sunday and take turns hosting the gatherings t 1 PM starting with potluck, then meeting. Noreen )‘Brien, 207-273-3173; Heartwood Cottage, 101 Hart
Pamela Butler-Stone, 310-946-0236, Friday and Saturday Meetings www.lifeimages.com/ MeherBaba. ,
WASHINGToN, STATE Seattle—Meher Baba Group Meetings: Fridays at 8 pm. Also gatherings for special events (Amartithi/ Baba’s Birthday). Location rotates each week in homes. Mail do Cynthia Barrientos, P0 Box 16081, Seattle,WA 98116. 206-713-9905, cybar7@ comcast.net.
I NTERNATIONAL ENGLAND London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, www.meherbaba.co.uk.
Ma.rseille: C. Dallemagne, Le Sylvereal Al des Pins, 13009 Marseille. Ph: 4 91 39 02, Marc Molinari. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Callas 83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Ph: 4 94 41 39 02. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 7 Alee des Santa Fe—Robert Reser and Edle Andersen host Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon. Ph 2 97 46 13 19. meetings on the last Thursday of the month at 7 Connerre: Andre Grimard, Champ Brule Duneau, PM in their home, 505-983-6621; 1921 Fort Union 72160 Connerre. Ph: 2 43 89 01 94. Drive, 87505, email@example.com. Paris: Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris. Ph: 1 44 59 30 06. NEVADA LasVegas —Dick and Carol Mannis, 702-326-1701. ISRAEL Meetings at 5 PM, followed by potluck dinner, 10809 Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 Garden Mist Dr, 89135, firstname.lastname@example.org. 46 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Israel 93513, myb@ netvision.net.il. NORTH CAROLINA Asheville—Winnie Barrett, 828-274-7 1 54 78 MEXICO Ballantree Dr, 28803, email@example.com. Mexico City—Rafael Villafane, We have meetings Peter and Debbie Nordeen—5 Fern Street, 28803, about every month at 7 ii—no particular meeting firstname.lastname@example.org. day—people on the list are contacted prior to any Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 or meeting. Email addresses are preferred. I am also found 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, 27408, bikewalla@ in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so email me ifyou will gbronline.com. beinthoseareas,PhfromUS:Oll 52 555 295-0512. Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh—Carol Verner, Cell from US: 01 1 52 555 502-7225. Email is best as 919-933-3550; 120 Taylor St., Chapel Hill, NC I travel a lot, email@example.com. 27514, firstname.lastname@example.org. Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area—Jeff and Cindy Lowe, We will have a meeting any time there is a request OKLAHOMA for one. Please contact us if you’re going to be in the Prague—Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, for Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area. Phone from US: 011 52 755 retreat and visiting Baba’s accident site. 1319 Barta 544 6303, email@example.com. Ave., 74864, 405-567-4774. firstname.lastname@example.org www.heartland.meherbaba.org. .
The greatest need ofhumanity today is Love Love divine which is pure and selfless, witith awakens man to the proper sense and understanding ofhis real duty in hfe, to find true happiness at giving, not receiving 1 in sewing and not in being sewed, and in willingly participating in the suffering ofothers more than in their happiness. .A’ty mission in life is to kindle that divine spark ofiove in all.” }./kher Baba —
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