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3rom the Aloba boards the bus! more will we hear his shrill whistle hurrying us along “Time to board the bus!” Aloba himself was called by the Beloved to board the bus home. A picture comes to mind: that of Baba as the Host in His toddy shop. The crowd is thinning, a lot of empty tables stand around. I notice that a number of chairs have been tipped forward to lean against the tables. Looking closer I see that each tipped chair has a name on it Mehera, Mani, Eruch, Mansari, Adi, Behram and on and on into the distance. So many tipped chairs! Baba has a waiter’s cloth over His arm and is wiping a glass. He looks happy, and putting the glass down, with a loving smile on His face He tips yet another chair to the table. I see it has Aloba’s name upon it. The Wine shop is closing... But rejoice! It is not yet too late to spend time with the Beloved’s close ones. We few we happy band of brothers, surely under one million world wide, are so privileged to have known the Avatar while He still walked the earth amongst us, or at least found out about Him within the one hundred years following the dropping of His body, wherein He tells us His presence is so very powerful. Meher Baba told us “This body is only an overcoat I am wearing. It is not the Real Me.” As Bal Natu tells us, “That ‘Real Me’ ofthe Avatar’s presence is now manifesting itself in innumerable ways through the Samadhi. There the atmosphere is permeated with His Divine Presence, awakening hearts to His glorious love. To enter the Samadhi is to bathe in a clear pool ofpurity It not only cleanses the impurities of mind and heart, but perfumes one’s entire being with His illuminating presence. The Samadhi is where Meher Baba responds to His lovers’ longing for the Avatar’s physical company. That little room holds the key that unlocks any human heart that sincerely calls to Him the Eternal Beloved. There is one very happy lady in Monterey California who will very shortly be making the trip to that special room. Of all the hundreds of people who generously bought tickets in the Los Angeles Meher Baba Center’s annual Fly to India Sweepstakes, Baba saw fit to give
the winning ticket to Sue Meixelsperger. Congratulations Sue! She tells us this is the first time she has bought a ticket! I wonder how long Baba has been waiting for her... We hadjust about put the October issue ofyour LampPost together when Aloba got the call home. When I am gathering all the articles together I really don’t have a feel for how many pages it will make once Cherie or Tom have laid it out in its final format. So after I sent everything off to Tom, imagine my horror when he tells me we are at 88 pages! This is why your magazine is late this month. It has taken over two painstaking weeks, cutting, editing down, tightening up, and finally deferring to the J anuary issue, so many ofthe stories we had planned on using this month. We could almost have made an entire issue on Aloba we had so much material, mostly because there were so many people present for the Sufi Performances, a write up ofwhich you will also find here. What am amazing week that was! We will be continuing stories of Aloba in the January issue, so if you would like to submit something, the deadline is th Not much time! November 9 We found, as this year progressed, that th anniversary of so many 2002 was the 50 happenings in the life of the Avatar. We have tried to tell you about them all. Meher Baba’s car accident in Satara in December 1956 is another important article we wanted in this issue, especially following on from the report of the Oklahoma collision in the last issue. Fortuitously, Cherie, our staff member, was actually in Satara on the site ofthe accident and was collecting first hand reports from all concerned. Many thanks to Meheru and Dr. Goher for their help with this report. What I learned from reading these reports was that in the Oklahoma accident Baba suffered for America, but in the accident in Satara He took on the suffering of the whole world. It’s a very powerful story. One of the main articles I was looking forward to sharing with you was about the Meher English School. I only discovered it lastJanuar sittingjust a stones throw from the Pilgrim Center on Trust propertyc We plan on doing a series of articles showing you just where your Trust donations are used. The success of the Meher English School is a very heartwarming story
that we will be featuring in the January issue. As I will be in India for the 2003 Amartithi we will bring you, in the April issue, the latest developments on the fast growing new Pilgrim Center being built to the west of the Samadhi. Remember your tax-deductible donations before December st what better place than to give to the 31 Trust? For those of you who don’t have a computer and so can’t keep in touch that way, we bring you the latest on the travails of Bhauji, still the Indefatigable, but being forcibly held down by the doctors. But his spirit is not dampened one bit! We also feature our year-end gift giving suggestions in the Bookstore report. Please try to get your orders in before December 15t1 it helps preserve my sanity! Remember the LampPost is your magazine, and reflects your thoughts and feelings about the world of Meher Baba in which we live. We really appreciate all your submissions, but we get so many it is impossible to print them all. Also, we feel that time sensitive stories should take precedence; so many times we have to defer articles to the next issue a couple of times over! I think the January issue is just about at 56 pages already! Because postage is so high, going over 56 pages will create a rather large deficit in our budget, so we try to keep it below that. We are often asked what is the cost of a subscription. The answer to that is a donation. It actually costs us $15 per person per year, but if that is a financial squeeze for you, no worries, just let us know you value the magazine and would really like to receive it and we will make it happen for you. We can do this, owing to the generosity of the many who donate well over and above the $15. —
2 o//ie 1 puJ;cz/it
)iualar iJCeJ.er 1aa Cen/er o/ou/Jerrn Cah/oiwth
Love $&eerLimp’Posr fetes
efcome.. 2 11 7lte Love Street £ampTPost is dedicated with love to 1/lelter Ei3aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to 7 .Avcztar J ci sense of community among all 2lis lovers by providing a place for sharing 2 tis remembrance. /lll the members of the Ei3aba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. E our stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. seek expressions of Baba’s message of,Love and Truth.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHEiBAD
Meherabad YoungAdult Sahavas A Medical Update LoNDoN IN f’VIAY WITH BHAu
Health Update on Bhauji
Judy Stephens Heather Nadel T/hrious Contributors Richard Twner Lynwood Sawyer
4 5 6 9 10
THE AVATAR MEHER BABA HEARTLAND CENTER
A CELEBiTIoN OF MEHER BABA
WITH LOVE FROM MEHEizAD
BABs ACCIDENT IN SATAi, INDIA
Submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street £amf.Posr Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520
website: www.meherabode. org email: Bababook@pacbell.net Deadlines:
AL0BA RETURNS TO His BELoVED
SILENCE DAY SAHAVAs
ANNIVERsARY OF BABs VISIT TO AVATAR’s ABODE
Alison Spark SamL.Ervin
for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th
2 11 23
FRoM THE EDITOR LoVE STREET BooKsToRE PAssINGS
Clea SucoffMcNeely writesfor Maij Sucoff Shani rchick writesfor RaphaelRudd Jo-Anne Brfford writesfor Reg Paffle
website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or
50 53 55
Credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, and Thomas Hart proofreader: Michael Franklin
research assistant: Barbara Roberts distribution: Pris Haffenden, Han-v Thomas, and Dma Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066-3 124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Feel free to call with address corrections or questions. cover: Photo ofBaba with Aloba © Manifestation, Inc. back cover: Cartoon by Brian Narelle
The Love Sired £arnjiPosr’ is published quarterly, in January, April, July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India
Love Street bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9am to 4pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax
46T ANNIVERsARY CELEBTIoN AT MEHER MOUNT
thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrijiits to the JMelier Ei3aba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street Lamf.2ost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication arepropertv ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba ©Avatar Meher Baba Peipetual Public Charitable Trusi /]hmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter Unan thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.
Oiir9tti Dli Jllekei.ub ..
andy.. 5 teJJ.C.flS [Judy Stephens is now “Our Gal in Meherabad ‘judyhas been livingatMeherabad for well over a decade. Many ofyou will have met theperky blonde at the reception room in the PC as she checks you in, reads you the rules andshowsyou around. She also is steeped in the lore ofMeherabadfrom the very earliest days and weekly takes a group ofpilgrims on the guided tour. Afiw months ago Judy came up with the wondeiful idea ofwriting a weekly diaiy ofthe events happening at Meherabad. Sometimes non events too, but that is all we ‘homesick’pilgrims long to hear—whatgoes on after we have left. We will be publishing snippets from her diaries in each LampPost, but you don’t have to wait that long to read them. You can log on to www.meherbaba.com andfind her weekly updates there, along with a lot ofother fascinating information. Itc a great website. Following wegiveyou thefirst ofJudyc entries the week ofthe coming ofthe Sifs and the passing ofAloba.] —
19 Atigust 2002 ai Baba to all! I was writing my next weekly diary when our dear Aloba went to aba. It was during an unusually busy week, with over 200 Sufis coming here to give five performances ofplays they had created, both here in our Theatre at Meherabad, and two at Meherazad. The week was so filled with events, including the Dhuni on the 12th, that I simply did not have time or the energy to write anything. Now that the events are over it is difficult to know what to write first. I have decided to cover the whole week of activity with Aloba’s going to Baba as part ofit. For it was in the midst of all this activity that Aloba went to Baba. Here at Meherabad we were receiving many reservations for the week the Sufis would be here, the 11th to the 18th. Nearly two hundred people were expected for Hos tel D; the Meher Pilgrim Center would have an overflow; and therefore it was going to be necessary to open Hostel C on Friday the ninth. In Hostel C we began setting up beds, cabinets, curtains, and tables, as well as bringing the mattresses, pillows and linens from storage.
J uly and August are normally busy times with lots ofpilgrims from the West, and the many musicians who come also bring their guitars, violins, flutes, etc. So, the Meher Pilgrim Center is ffill of the lovely sounds of singing and the playing of instruments. So many talented Baba Lovers! The morning and evening Arti at Baba’s Samadhi has such a rich mixture of music from the East and West. In this atmosphere the Sufis came to perform. Most came in daily by bus from Aurangabad; a few stayed here at Mehe rabad. On the 12th the Dhuni was held, with hundreds attending. There is always singing, and the Sufis sang several beautiful songs before leaving. The next day, Tuesday, was a Meherazad day open for pilgrims. The Sufis gave one of their performances. A message was delivered to the pilgrims before they boarded the buses to return to Meherabad that Aloba’s surgery had been a success. It began to rain as the buses left Mehe razad. By the time the buses reached Meherabad, Aloba had passed. A notice from the Trust was read out to all the pilgrims at Meher Pilgrim Center that dear Aloba went to Beloved Baba at 1:15 pm. It is interesting that a few pilgrims were here from Iran: some were in the hospital in Pune during his surgery. So Aloba not only had Baba Lovers with him, but some from his own country as well. Aloba’s body was to be brought back to Meherazad and laid at the foot of Beloved Baba’s chair in Mandali Hall. The next morning, Wednesday, Aloba’s body
was brought to Baba’s Samadhi right after morning Arti. Hundreds of pilgrims were waiting there as the van brought his body. It was carried off the van on a stretcher and taken into the Samadhi. Arti was again performed. Then the body was placed back into the van and taken to Lower Meherabad, where it was laid in front ofBaba’s chair in Meherabad Hall. The Hall quickly filed with all wishing to say farewell to dear Aloba. Singing from both Eastern and Western Baba by ers made it a truly beautiful celebration of Aloba’s long life of love and service to his Beloved Baba. Some of the Mandali came and placed lovely garlands on Aboba. There was a basket of flowers next to the body for those who wished to take one to place around Aboba’s body. The burial was scheduled for 2:00 pm. Aloba’s bodywas placed in a simple wooden casket, left open, and carried to the open grave, next to Eruch’s. The casket was put on top of two wooden planks that were across the grave. It started to rain lightly and the casket lid was put on. In this rain the casket was lowered, and pilgrims lined up to take handftils of dirt and drop them into the grave—saying good-bye to a truly remarkable soul. The Sufis gave the rest of the amazing musicals during the week. At the theater, tea and a sweet were always served at 4:00 pm. The doors opened at 4:15 pm for the audience to enter. The Sufis left on Saturday the 17th. Meherabad is now back to its normal busy time. We closed Hostel C on the 18th, putting everything back in storage. Though we are still busy it seems quiet. What a remarkable week we just experienced! In Beloved Baba’s sweet love, Judy
A rl?rccious Opportimitj 7;-katIier 2’Iadel, .7frte1i.crabad
Almostfifty years ago, Beloved Baba told His sahavasees at Meherabad:
r ages and ages I have been with you, nearer to you than you feel yourself to be. Nowyou have the opportunity to be with Me for a week and also to come nearer and nearer to Me for all time.” Just last week, from 26 June to 3rd July 2002, taking up His eternal invitation to come nearer to Him, 62 participants from all over India and one each from America and Australia gathered for seven days at Meherabad for the second Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas.Joining them were 12 Indian volunteers, all of whom had attended the Sahavas last year and the ten young adult resident-volunteers who had worked their hearts out all year long planning and ar ranging for this event. It was unfortunate that almost all the westerners had to cancel due to the tensions in the region in June. “Although it was not the international mix we had planned and hoped for,” said one of the organizers, “we knew the Sahavas was following Baba’s own plan. And how sweet it was then to be able to accept everyone from India on the waiting list, including many second-timers who at first were not accepted due to lack of space.” Beloved Baba has said, “Gatherings and meetings in My name should be a channel for the expression ofMy love...” and to this end the scheduled activities included many avenues of love-expression: morning and evening Arti, creative workshops, service projects, discussion groups, and evening programs including a Celebration show for pilgrims and the community. In addition, there were precious opportunities to hear the Mandali, go on a visit to Meherazad, and watch Baba films and videos. A few lingering images from that mem orable week: The long, silent, reverent line of sa havasees at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi before evening Arti the first day, holding garlands they had made that afternoon to offer together to Baba; A tea-time talk with Meherwan, Manu, Sam and Roshan, sharing their unique Baba stories and memories of dear Eruch;
A sahavasee showing the blisters on his hands that he got from digging a planting trench during the service project at the Meher Health Centre in the village: “See my blisters! But I should really call them badges!” The intensity and focus ofthe discussion groups talking in Hindi and English about Baba and relationships, Baba in their daily lives, God Speaks, God’s humor, personal Baba stories, remembering Eruch... Meheru, after watching a very touching video of Mehera in Hostel C with the sa havasees, turning to the group and sponta neously talking of Mehera’s love for Baba, her heart-breaking griefwhen He dropped His body, and her ongoing obedience and constant remembrance of Him in the years of separation that followed; A small group gathered away from Hostel C under a tree during rest time, drumming, singing and dancing from sheer exuber ance; The sahavasees crowding around and gleefully singing “We Welcome You!” (writ ten byMadhusudan for the 1969 Great Dar shan) to Baba’s dear singers Madhusudan and Subhadra as they arrived at Hostel C from Poona; and the response of the audience to Madhusudan’s concert in Meherabad Hall that same night, as alljoined in singing the songs he sang for Baba at His sahavases in the very same hall in the 1950’s; “They are so innocent!” and other such tender comments heard after the sahavasees took the children ofMeher School on a tour of Baba’s special buildings at lower Mehe rabad, then up to the Samadhi for darshan, and back to the school for a treat of sweets and ice cream; Katie, after cracking everyone up with funny ashram stories, leading the group in singing the Seven Names of God, under the Tin Shed on the Hill at the very spot where first the Prem Ashram boys and later the women Mandali had sung it by Baba’s order; The creative chaos ofthe Art Bay: drawings and paintings of Baba in all stages, a half-formed mosaic for the Archive building, collages and poetry to Him on walls and tables, created in the art workshops and
free-time sessions; and the order and quiet of the Media Bay where people individu ally watched Baba and Mandali videos or listened to audio tapes; Bal Natu’s wonderful merriment and openness as he sat in the Meherabad Hall sharing endearing stories of his times with Baba, as well as a Hafiz ghazal, and some priceless advice given to the young ones “as a friend;” a volunteer, exhausted from late night talks and early morning meetings, silently asking Baba for strength to help her get up after a ten minute rest and prac tice a dance (based on God Speaks!) for the Celebration; The goose-bump-raising, heart-stirring finale ofthe Celebration when the sahavas ees, all holding hands, spontaneously wound their way up the aisles on both sides of the theatre, encircling the audience and singing their own, especially composed song, “Om Meher Baba. ..;“ Dr. Goher Arnavaz and the other women Mandali sitting on Mehera’s porch, greeting the sahavasees, gently touching their faces, asking their names, giving little words of encouragement along with Baba buttons, pouring out love and attention on each one who passed by during the group’s visit to Meherazad on the opening day; The pin drop silence during the closing program in the Hall as all watched Baba’s ex quisite beauty in the film Meher Babac Call, and to the accompaniment of soft singing afterwards, took darshan at His chair. And so much more all rolled into one week: welcoming and closing messages from Bhauji, sports (cricket, soccer, volleyball), great food, friendly and loving advice fromJal, friendships formed and friendships renewed, a ghost scare, a fabulous pottery session, the great success of the volunteer program (everyone was terrific—working so hard, caring so much—how could it ever have happened without you all?), a dis tinctly Indian sweetness and liveliness that permeated everything, a Baba puppet show and oh yes, those late night discussions in the sleeping bays that went on and on and ON, and as always, singing and singing and singing... One of the first mornings at the daily
volunteer meeting, a volunteer remarked with concern, “The people are divided up into groups. They aren’t mixing together. Oh dear, I thought to myself is it a North/ West/South divide? A language divide? Or a city/rural divide? None of the above. It turned out that the divide was between those who had been to last year’s Sahavas and those who hadn’t! On the third day, we heard that the distinction had melted away by some magical Avataric alchemy, and by the end there was a hostel full of exhausted, shiny-eyed Baba-lovers, several ofthem asking, “Couldn’t it go on longer?”! All this, of course, just forms the outer story. A hint of some inner stories can be gleaned from this sampling ofcomments havasees wrote in a book for the Mandali: “His Sahavas was a true and beautiful re alization of Beloved Baba’s eternal Love...” “I am very thankful to Baba for giving this wonderful opportunity of having Sa havas, with Him...I have realized that the most important thing that we need today is Love and caring, and that Baba can give us that. So let’s share it and spread it as much and far as we can...” “I liked it very much. I loved it! I cannot express what it has been in words. What did I do in my past births to earn the privilege of coming for this Sahavas?” Early on, I noticed a board in the Art Bay where, under Baba’s ‘Ancient One’ pic ture was posted a poem written by several different hands. In retrospect, it seems to say it all:
2toni can we describe in words Eonr beauty 0 Jllleher )3our face is tnttlt )3 our stance holds the ground and us too )3 our Saltavas is our opportunity...” _
Lin different 1tandturitin:j
11 serve )3ou, to love )3ou to and drown ourselves in )3ou so that we become a pearl in Eour ocean so that we can shine in )3our Love...” fin different handwriting:] “Eott have reached your hand to our Sahavas and we have held out a rose to )3u”
[The following information was given throughout the Baba world via the internet. Lynwood Sawyer was acting as Bhauc amanuensis.]
W1ten 3 Wcts Dn çJllunednagar 73Iiait 2<alcIiitri en I was in Ahmednagar I was going through the accumulated work, but the pain became unbearable, and from the 5th August, I have been in Jehangir Hospital, Pune. I have passed through two cancer sur genes, triple bypass heart surgery four eye surgeries, a stroke, one surgery on my wrist, one surgery for a fistula, one surgery for urinary troubles, an attack by four dogs, and now I am suffering from sciatica pain, which is giving me a lot of trouble. I took one injection in LA, and 10 days later in India, another was given. This was a cortisone injection, and it is given in the operating theatre with ff11 watch and care. An X-ray and computer were watched. The proper points were located, and the injection was given in those points. So I took two injections here in Pune, but when I took the first injection, the pain came back after three or four days. After ten days, another injection was given, and the whole pain is relieved. Yet when I stand, the pain comes back again. I’m ffilly confined in bed, and I have been asked to take lifelong complete rest. I can only sit for one hour out of every 24, and at the most walk for 10 minutes. So now my life is very much restricted, and I will attend to the emails and Trust work while in bed. Though the pain has subsided, the doc tors are still observing. Ifit remains subsided and does not come again, as has happened twice before, I might be discharged soon. Let us see what happens. I don’t know when I will be back to Ahmednagar. But anyway, I’m happy and cheerfiil, though my suffering has increased enormously. I know suffering, but when I have left it to Beloved Baba, I remain happy and cheerftii, though I suf fer and suffer. People cannot have any idea about this suffering, because they find me happy and cheerfttl. It is a great gift Beloved Baba has given me. Today, Tariq the physiotherapist, ex amined Bhau and found that although he is gaining strength, that even while flat on his back, Bhau is still working too hard, taxing his resources and delaying his recovery
Tariq insists that until he is frilly restored to health, Bhau strictly limit his phone calls to no longer than 10 minutes and deal only with the most urgent emails. Tariq cares very deeply for him and has become aware also of how deeply his dear ones all over the world care for Bhau. He lovingly requests you to continue showering Bhau with all your thoughts and prayers, but only email him with matters of the most utmost urgency.
i6 Aiigust Much keeps happening here in Pune, so please excuse the delay in posting this update. Bhauji is in less pain now after a sophisticated procedure, called a nerve block, was performed on Monday, August 12th. This numbed the nerve roots causing his sciatica. He was even totally pain free for two days! But now the pain is coming back, although not “hill force.” The specialist in pain treatment who gave the nerve block plans to repeat the procedure in a week or so, at a different level. A bone scan has been done and it cleared all doubts that a recurrence of cancer might be responsible for this stubborn pain. No sign of cancer anywhere! Thank you Baba! So the main program now is patience, physical therapy and rest. Bhauji is accepting this and is fill of praises for the nursing staff and the physical therapists. I think the entire hospital will know about Meher Baba before Bhau gets discharged! Bhauji used to speak with Aloba on the phone every afternoon and it was very sweet to hear them compare their respective predicaments andjoke about hospital food. During their last talk on Monday evening, Bhauji advised Aloba to repeat Baba’s name during the surgery, and it seems dear Aloba did exactly this, till the end. In His all pervading love, Dr. Anne [Following is an exceiptfrom one ofBhauc
emails to so many of his lovers the world over] 20th 4 ugust Tomorrow, the last injection will be given. This injection will relieve the pain immediately. So tomorrow after the injection, I will have no pain. But then observe, it happened twice before, after two previous injections, the pain came back. During my tour I had much pain.
But when I would see Beloved Baba’s dear ones, I would forget my pain. I attended all the programs. In London, it was amazing. They had programs in different places. I went there and attended programs. At that time, I would not feel any pain. It shows Beloved Baba has given this pain, but there is some purpose behind it. So unless that purpose is fulfilled, I have to suffer. I am attending to the Trust work from here. Yesterday, the accountant came, and I attended all the issues he has brought. Today, a clerk came about the Board meeting. I dictated the points for the agenda to him. I also attended to other work of the Trust, the correspondence, waterworks and other works pertaining to the Trust. It is amazing how I can attend to this while in the bed. I am not allowed to make movements and not to sit for more than one hour. Still, I can attend while lying down. But it appears the pain will subside permanently tomorrow, and Beloved Baba will allow me to go back to Ahmednagar. Your loving emails touched my heart, and I felt that the world has become Baba’s family. This is the reason why I am receiving emails from everywhere. You are all great ones that you remember Him, and you are with Him. I feel happy to bow down to the love you have for the Beloved. Though we are all in the Ocean, we cannot go to the depths to find the Pearl and bring it to the shore. But what a joy it is that while living at the shore, we are feeling the Ocean inside. I have no words to appreciate your love for the Beloved, which makes you all know that I am one of you, and you remember me. I simply feel touched. I have passed through two cancer surgeries, triple bypass heart surgery, four eye surgeries, a stroke, one surgery on my wrist, one surgery for a fistula, one surgery for urinary troubles, an attack by four dogs, and now I am suffering from sciatica pain, which is giving me a lot of trouble. I took one injection in LA, and 10 days later in India, another was given. This was a cortisone injection, and it is given in the operating theatre with fall watch and care. An X-ray and computer were watched. The proper points were located, and the injection was given in those points. So I took two injections here in Pune, but when I took the first injection, the pain came back after three or four days. After ten days, another injection was given, and the whole pain is relieved. Yet when I stand, the pain
comes back again. I’m fully confined in bed, and I have been asked to take lifelong complete rest. I can only sit for one hour out of every 24, and at the most walk for 10 minutes. So now my life is very much restricted, and I will attend to the emails and Trust work while in bed. Though the pain has subsided, the doctors are still observing. If it remains subsided and does not come again, as has happened twice before, I might be discharged soon. Let us see what happens.
7;-1as Rdurned to AIimednagctr from tospitalaba4 Saturday, 31st .J1ugust, 3rom Shivci (tynwood &ivyer) hau cannot express how touched he feels that Beloved Baba’s dear ones took care of him and showered their love and loving wishes upon him. Your love gave him strength, and at the same time, Baba gave him strength to bear his suffering. You are really great in that you can make him happy and cheerftul. This is the reason why he comes to you to meet you and see you. Though physically now you all are at a distance, he was feeling that you were here with him. Love engulfs the distance; anger creates distance. Bhau was also very touched by the loving prayers you offered to Meher Baba. In fact, they were so powerfiil, He had to listen to them and grant Bhau a discharge from the hospital! Today, on Krishna’s birthday, exactly a year and a day after Eruch came to the Trust Office to say farewell to Bhau, on the one-year anniversary that Eruchjoined Baba, Bhau was indeed discharged from Jehangir Hospital. The medical staff at Jehangir Hospital took all care of Bhau, and though he has been discharged, because they all love him, they will remain in contact with him. As Bhau says, “This was the best hospital I’ve ever visited. The doctors, staff nurses and ward boys were so loving; they treated me as if I belonged to their own families. The surgeons and doctors were so nice that they visited me not onlyonce, but twice, a day. The staffmembers, my cancer surgeon, too, were much drawn towards the Beloved. I didn’t talk about Baba, and still, because they felt something, they were drawn. Therefore, I am in love with the hospital, and the hospital
had become my home.” For those concerned as to whether Bhau’s doctors were investigating alterna tive therapies, Bhau wanted you all to know that he takes all sorts of medicines. He is not addicted only to allopathy, though al lopathic doctors are indeed present. He has also started Ayurvedic medicine for certain diseases, homeopathy for others. So please, don’t worry Whichever medicine is useftul, he takes it. People came again and again to see him. Even the hospital staff members were amazed to find him happy andjoyful. They knew he was passing through different com plications and realized how much pain he must be bearing. But when they would come to him, he would talk about other things. “It is not that I don’t feel the pain, but I do not show it. I doth try for this; it just happens. When dear ones come, I forget the pain. I just smile at everyone.” This is not a trick, but it is very natural. It just comes, because it is the help of the Beloved, Who is sustaining Bhau. In fact, this suffering is nothing but Baba’s blessing for Bhau, because He keeps him happy and cheerftil. Otherwise, Bhau would have expired long ago. While passing through one ofhis cancer surgeries, the anesthesia did not work. But the operation went on. Bhau could bear it, because he had the joy of seeing the Beloved. Today he returned to Ahmednagar lying fiat upon mattresses in the back of Sewanee. The Trust drivers took exceeding care not to jostle him. The ride from Pune to Ahmed nagar, usually reminiscent ofa sled ride down a washboard, was amazingly smooth, and Bhau managed to sleep most of the way. Even the weather partially cooperated. When he reached Ahmednagar, it was lovely and cool and overcast. But though there were many clouds overheard, the rain was not there. There should be rain. Now that he has returned to the Trust Compound, so many restrictions are now imposed upon him. As he says, “I will main confined to the bed for three months. Except for physiotherapy exercises, I will not be allowed to make any movements, and I have to obey. The pain is much less. Only when I walk, at that time, do I feel the pain, but it is not intense. If I make any big kind of movement, then, of course, my pain will increase.” Complete rest will be necessary for him, and he will be able sit in a special chair with a support cushion for at the most 45 minutes (though gradually this may increase). Then 7
he must lie down for 20 minutes. If Bhau gets the pain again, he might perhaps have to go back to the hospital for a complete checkup. His spinal cord is damaged, and the orthopedic surgeon, because it is so risks wants to avoid surgery If the point is missed, it may cause a paralytic attack. Bhau had also had bone cancer, but it was cured by one year of chemotherapy and 52 sittings of radiation. It is really Baba’s miracle. “Even though I have returned to Ahmed nagar I’m not allowed to go Meherabad or Meherazad,” Bhau laments. In two weeks, Tariq, the physiotherapist, will come from Pune to Ahmednagar to examine him. According to Bhau’s prog ress, Tariq will allow Bhau to increase his movements. If there is no progress, he will change the exercises. Ifhe finds Bhau fit, and provided the car ride is not very bumpy, he will allow Bhau to go to Meherabad twice a week and Meherazad once a week. Manyvisitors also come, and Bhau has no time for reading. A lot ofwork for the Trust has accumulated, plus other items on top of that. I don’t know how he will be able to attend to it all. Though the doctors have asked him not to make any movement, because of the urgency of certain important matters, Bhau must. Even while confined to the bed, he dictates letters, meets with Trustees, and deals with other work.
row BJtau: So many problems are there to sort out. I don’t know how I will be able to solve these problems, many of which are only of nuisance value. Because Beloved Baba said that we should become stone while retaining human consciousness, dealing with nuisance problems is still most helpful. Only then can you be unaffected by anything, good or Bad, so we have to learn that. That’s why, even when I was in the hospital, I had so many nuisance problems. Let us see how it goes, and how I deal with these problems. Anyway, it is Baba’s Wish, and I am happy and cheerfid to fol low it. I have to, in order to please Beloved Baba.
With all love and Jai Babas to you, In His Love and Service, Bhau Bhau was very touched by the loving prayers you all offered to Meher Baba. In fact, they were so powerftui, He had to listen to them and grant Bhau a discharge from
the hospital! Now that he has returned to the Trust Compound, so many restrictions are now imposed upon him. As he says, “I will remain confined to the bed for three months. Except for physiotherapy exercises, I will not be allowed to make any movements, and I have to obey. The pain is much less. Only when I walk, at that time, do I feel the pain, but it is not intense. If I make any big kind of movement, then, of course, my pain will increase.” Complete rest will be necessary for him, and he will be able sit in a special chair with a support cushion for at the most 45 minutes (though gradually this may increase). Then he must lie down for 20 minutes. If Bhau gets the pain again, he might perhaps have to go back to the hospital for a complete checkup. His spinal cord is damaged, and the orthopedic surgeon, because it is so risky wants to avoid surgery If the point is missed, it may cause a paralytic attack. Bhau had also had bone cancer but it was cured by one year of chemotherapy and 52 sittings of radiation. It is really Baba’s miracle. “Even though I have returned to Ahmednagar I’m not allowed to go Meherabad or Meherazad,” Bhau laments.
‘Abode” continuedfrornpage 47.
A most intimate time for Naosherwan was in May 1960 when all the volunteer workers had their time with Baba at the end of a long day of darshan. Naosherwan recalls that Baba called him inside to the jam-packed room and the only space to sit was at Baba’s feet. He sat with his back to His feet, and when Baba called for Arti Naosherwan started sobbing uncontrollably. He noticed that the tears on his hands were cold. Baba said it was OK to cry, and then Naosherwan realized that these were tears of love (not hot tears ofpassion). He said this was a personal turning point—he opened his heart and Baba lifted his burden of intellect. This was the most beautiful moment for him, his awakening. Thank you, Naosherwan, for sharing so much with us these last four days. I appre ciated your self-deprecating and quiet wit, your honest and your absolute dedication to living your life for Baba. And thanks must go also to all the people who worked so hard to make this Anniversary run so smoothly and seemingly effortlessly. Much quiet work was going on behind the scenes—in the kitchen, everywhere—and of course many months of careful planning and preparation. Finally, farewell time. We sang our way home with Sam and Lorraine in Baba’s square, Michael Le Page lowered the flag to a rousing “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!” and we departed (some, like myself lingering on till the very end). 1?ostscript
he spirit of the Anniversary lived on through the next days at Avatar’s Abode, particularly on the Tuesday when many attended a most beautiftil funeral for Reg Paffle. I heard that one Baba lover vis ited Baba’s Room after the funeral service, and when she emerged she said of Baba, “He’s still here!” And of course He is.
[Editorc note: Qantas andAir New Zea land are always eager to bring the tourists to Australia in their winter—June through August—and so cut the airfares in haf It is possible to get a round trzp ticketfrom Los Angeles to Sydneyfor $699! Queensland is the tropical State, so winter is verypleasant. Plan for nextAugust...]
:aJ: iitJj:jJj 4 Richard 7umer, Cng:Iand
the age of 76, and after two major cancer operations, two strokes and triple bypass surgery Bhau Kaichuri, one of Baba’s few remaining Mandali, once again made the long journey from India and arrived in London on Thursday, 2nd May, en route to the U.S.A. I caught my first glimpse of Bhau on Friday evening at the Meher Baba Association Centre in Hammersmith. Dressed in his ample anorak, woolly hat pulled over his ears, against the vagaries of an early May evening, he looked rather childlike. But when he sat down and began his talk, he became a lion, glowing with the pride in his Beloved Lord. As we have become accustomed to do, we sat and listened to Bhau for a few hours. Why? Why do we come and listen to Bhau talking and telling his stories? Why does Bhau travel this great distance at his age and with such infirmities? Previously, we have been entreated to gather as many people together preferably those who have not heard Baba’s name. But this time, Bhau had sent a message to say that he wished to come to worship the love of his Beloved’s lovers. So why all the talk? The mind can be tempted to interpret this talking as so much undirected rambling, oft repeated stories and incidental hypothesising. I believe, however on one level the talking is no more than a vehicle, a glorious satsang, where the mind becomes mesmerised and, for a short while, lover and Beloved are allowed to glance across the room and share in that communication that needs no words. On another level, with a little more concentration and discernment than our untrained attention has become accustomed to, we can become recipient ofmessages most appropriate and apposite to ourselves. I am reminded of that beautiful trick that Baba would play on his close ones. Captured on film, in New York, in the 1950s, one of the most graceful sights in all the world, Baba plucking grapes. Then He would toss these to His lovers, but with such skill that it would not be the intended recipient who caught it, but some unsuspecting member of the gathering, if
His net, and they are caught in the net. Then the real compassion begins as He starts twisting their necks. Now that He 5 L no longer in the body, He is Infinitely I. Active. AU He requires us to do is to “be true to the Trust I have reposed in you” (Birthday message 1967). And how can we be true to that trust? By following His Wish (lOthJuly 1958). th May, a public t: Saturday afternoon, 4 Kensington hadbeen planned at meeting I: Town Hall. Bhau gave a lovely talk, well received, recalling his first meetings and early days with Baba. Sunday was to be the centrepiece of Bhau’s few days in England, with a frill day’s meeting at Violet Needham Hall in Twickenham. The theme was Sahavas. Whatever other reasons we may have had for making our own journeys to be here, the one reason was to be in the presence of Baba’s love. Bhau’s words on the subject this day burned brightly, forged with His love and awaiting refinement in our hearts. “One moment. Half of a moment. Half of half of a moment. If you are in the company of the Master, millions of sins are wiped out.” This quote, given in Urdu, Bhau attributed to Baba on the subject of Sahavas. Bhau stressed the importance of Sahavas. Be in the company of the Master. J ust spend a quarter of a moment with Him. That’s enough. But if you are with Him, you should not be elsewhere. In 1962 at the East-West Gathering Baba said, “I open the gate ofMy Infinite Heart”. He is Infinitely Active, without Him being in His body. Accept Him or reject Him,praise Him or abuse Him, He is there for everyone. We cannot understand. We have to go beyond understanding. How fortunate, being in Sahavas without understanding. You are all in Sahavas. Forget explanations. Only the heart knows. It is what you feel. Your mind will interpret, let it. At the 1958 Sahavas, on the day of departure, one person would not go. Baba asked him why, and he replied “When I go back to my place I forget You. When I am here I remember You.” Baba said “Don’t worry I will remember you”. He is there. Thousands of times closer than our very ...
I I .
they were alert enough. J ust so is the message that falls in our lap if we allow ourselves to be awake to Baba’s everpresence. On that first evening with Bhau, those were the things that I heard. First and foremost, that Baba comes as Avatar, age after age, to do one thing—His Cleaning. All other things are attributed to Him and happen because He is with us, but He comes to do one thing for us, to free us from the impressions that bind us to this world of illusion. He alone is capable of this. We have to eat our own selves, and we are not capable of this. So we have to trust in what we are given because it is through this that the cleaning can take place. Through our daily lives, He will work on us. Let thoughts come, but don’t put them into action. Ifyou don’t get doubts, bad thoughts, He will create them. Bhau told this story ofthe birds, a story I had heard before, but this time the image was very strong. Baba wants to catch the birds in His net, so He spreads the grain for them to come. The grain brings the birds, but at first they are very reluctant. He is very patient, and lets them come and peck and fly off. After a while, they become bold and think, “This is so good, all this grain!” And then He drops
breath. He is our life. After lunch and a film we were treated to the words and wisdom of another of Baba’s apostles, Don Stevens. During this Avataric mission, Beloved Baba chose to work in silence. Often, words He has left to posterity have been entrusted to Don. What a privilege to be present on the occasion of this dynamo discussing his insights into Baba’s Knowledge and Power! The next time Bhau was up he responded to questions about obedience and prayers. He reiterated the importance and significance that Baba had placed on the saying of the three prayers. In the last phase of His Seclusion, Baba would come to Mandali Hall. For three hours, alone and in complete silence, He would work. After three hours, He would clap His hands and wash the feet of the Mandali. Then He would have the three prayers recited. Afterwards, He would bow down to each of the Mandali. Baba joined in the prayers, so that there would be benefit thereafter, even if they are said mechanically. Then the topic changed to Centres. In the last two years, Bhau had visited so many centers in India. He had not realised there were so many! Bhau told the story of Nariman Dadachanji, who refused to attend the Centre in Bombay. Other lovers lodged a complaint against him, that he, being an old Baba lover, does not attend the Centre! Baba instructed Nariman in front of others that he should go to the Centre. “Why do people go to the Centre? Because I am there, active and therefore it is necessary to go to the Centre,” Baba had said. When Baba asked Nariman to go to the Centre, he would go there regularly. He would not fail. He was a very old Baba lover, and he dedicated his whole life to Baba. And because Baba gave him this order Nariman would follow His order. This story touched a nerve in the room, and soon a heated discussion was in progress about the poor use of the Centre in London. As Sue pointed out, it is one of only three centres in the world that have been given, with love, for our use. The fact that people don’t get on was also raised. Bhau stated, “Without struggle, one cannot find defects in oneself It must not create bad feeling, if Love is there. You must not announce, ‘I have got this defect’, You must remain aloof to discover whether it is the truth or a lie. When people criticise
us, don’t think they are bad. You just mend yourself, and you will get more courage.” Bhau finished off the afternoon by responding to a request to tell us of his most lasting impression of his Beloved Baba. It was a poignant moment when he recounted the events of Baba’s accident in Satara. Although He was full ofblood, His tongue cut, He was shining, glorious, as if something had been achieved. He suffers for us. Infinitely. How can we lighten His burden?
2lea.Ith LIpdate cm 13hctuji t2 4 J:3i4 2:002. £y.nwQd.5awr am writing this in the upstairs bedroom of Marion and Alfred Saunder’s house in Twickenham, Middlesex (very near Meher Baba Oceanic, scene of so many Baba events and where so many people, including Marion and Alfred, came to Baba). Bhau is resting now—he has not been sleeping very well. During the last few days at Myrtle Beach, his rightieg and hip began to cause him a lot ofpain. He also fell in the bathroom, further aggravating his trauma. In Los Angeles, despite the intervention of various Baba healers and chiropractors, the pain continued to increase. Still Bhau soldiered on, attending all the programs. ( And according to every report, was on fire with love and humor). Eventually the pain in his hip and leg became so intractable that he underwent an MRI, which indicated that bone de generation was causing his spine to pinch a nerve. It was decided to give Bhau a cortisone injection at the base ofhis spine. This provided immediate relief.Then a few days later, he started experiencing side effects, espe cially, restlessness and racing thoughts and a sense of ftillness in the head. He has not been sleeping well, at the most an hour or two a night. Even worse, the pain returned. As we speak, Alfred is applying all his skills in reflexology to Bhau’s feet. (Although, as Marion says, “The feet never lie—except when you’ve had cortisone, which masks the symptoms”). Afterbeing instructed by the cardiologists in India to have thirty minutes of vigorous exercise a day, the orthopedic surgeon told
Bhau not to exercise so intensely, as walking and movement seems to aggravate the pain. Bhau now dutifully does his therapeutic ex ercises while lying in bed. As Bhau said in a recent email, “I have all types of headaches, heartaches and toothaches, and there is no ache which is not touching me. All the aches are very happy that I am giving them an opportunity to serve me so that I will be free from all binding impressions, which are many.” By Baba’s grace, Bhau’s blood sugar levels have been excellent. According to the doc tors in Los Angeles, his cancer, diabetes and heart condition are also under control. In spite ofhis pain andlackofsleep, Bhau has been in wonderful form during his talks, flowing and boisterous with all the energy and gestures (but minus the hellfire and brimstone) of a Southern preacher, regaling one and all with stories of his life with Baba, other’s lives with Baba and his unique spiritual insights. He mentioned that whenever he is giving a talk, he is transported, completely forgeting his body with all its associated ailments. Alas, when he finishes speaking, the pain returns with a vengeance. When Bhau returns to India, he is imme diately going to be confronted with a threemonth accumulation of paperwork and administrative matters related to the Trust ( construction ofthe new Pilgrim Centre, the perpetual taxation issues, and perhaps most importantly, the desperate water shortage caused by the drought afflicting southern India [even while northern India suffers from ravaging floods]). Unfortunately, he will have no time to deal with ordinary correspondence. He respecifully, and with much regret, asks that Baba lovers write or email him only with regard to matters of the utmost urgency or specific requests by him. He thanks you in advance for your kind understanding and wishes you to know that the absence ofcorrespondence does not mean an absence of heart connection.
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ai Baba Folks! The October issue is the one where we make suggestions for your Christmas/Hanukah gift giving. (Also birthdays—ifyou are unfortunate enough, like my son, to have been born at Christmas!). Remember ifyou will be sending your gift to a loved one in another State, make it easy on yourself and get us to do the work for you.
For two or three dollars extra (per package, depending on the size) we will do a very spe cial gift-wrapjob for you—appropriate paper with ribbons and bows. We also have a lovely selection of Holiday season Baba cards to go along with the gift, or for you to buy quantities of them to send in the mail. Cherie Plumlee, the very creative lady who has been doing the beautiful layout ofthe LampPost, has designed the three pic tured to the left, all in coloui Each card, with envelope, is $3. Cherie calls the card pictured below “Meher Baba’s Grace.” The thought came to her after reading the Hafiz poem about the Master’s Curl. A priceless treasure—a hair off the head ofthe GodMan.The heron wins this priceless treasure, but his Beloved must exact a ‘price’ and takes a wing feather as ‘payment’. But the heron wins on both counts, he gets the Beloved’s hair and also is ‘lightened’ by the Godman’s relieving him of a feather. Cherie
tells us “I gave this card to Aloba before he went into the hospital. He took it with him and had it put at the head of his bed. Each day he asked that flowers be put by the Baba in this card. I had been thinking ofAloba and Mohammed here in California while I made the cards to take to India and give to friends. Aloba’s ‘feather’ was his physical form, and I hope the hair he won was Realization. What will be the extraordinary best sellers of the year are the three videos that have just been released. In the early sixties my old friend Andy Muir pressed a movie camera on Don Stevens and insisted he start filming Baba for posterity Looking at these videos today, I am incredibly gratefid to Andy! Don tells us that at first he took shots of various occasions and locations around Guruprasad, Meherazad and Meherabad, and to the surprise of Mani and Mehera, Baba made
no objections to the ifiming. So then both women decided to take advantage of Baba’s humour and began to work on Him, asking Him next time Don came with his camera to give demonstrations of this and that. Their technique worked, but at the same time Baba had his own additional ideas. The result was that two ifims were shot in 1960 and 1962 that were halfscenarios planned by Mehera and Mani, and halfdirected byBaba. In the parts that Baba planned in detail, He asked Don specifically to go and visit various places in India and to film certain spots that He carefblly described. Several were in Satara and nearby Mahabaleshwar where Baba had stayed with the Mandali, and included the places where Baba did important work with a number of the masts who were brought in for Baba’s work. There were also particular houses Baba wanted to have photographed, since He said they would be demolished in the near future. Years later Eruch explained to Don that the places Baba sent Don to film were key spots on Baba’s travels which He had visited repeatedly, especially during His mast work. Then in 1969 when Baba dropped His body and orchestrated His own entombment, with Mehera, Maul and Eruch providing all the technical help, a third film was added to the small and vital family of Irani generated gems. The one major drawback for some years has been that there was no soundtrack giving either identification of important scenes, or consoling music to temper the poignancy of many of the shots the Irani triumvirate had planned. When Neale Lundgren came across this situation perhaps three years ago, he insisted that it was time for the matter to be corrected, so he got Don to sit down and record his memories of the occasions. In talking about these new videos, Don gives this caveat: “I want to make a very im portant point here—the films are unedited. I filmed what Baba and Mani told me to ifim, and when I got the films back from Kodak I simply spliced them together in the sequence in which they had told me to take them. I could not bear to cut off a single frame even i_f; in some cases, it had the Kodak perforations on the frame! Baba is a master in all things and He knew exactly what He wanted to do and that is why I have never retouched any of these films and I do not want anyone to start doing it at this late date.” Meher Baba At Home, .1960 and Meher Baba at Home, 1962 are both 40 minutes each. The LastDarshan is 90 minutes. If you are buying all three, the price is II
S30 each, $90 total. If you are buying them separately, The LastDarshan is $45, the other two $30 each.
propriate, yes, that the Avatar himself should provide a principal means of financing the translation of His own words into the prin cipal tongues ofHis birthplace?” We have four new books to tell you about, three of which are reviewed in that section. Our own Kendra Crossen Burroughs’ anno tation skUls have again been used previously in the BhagavadGita—and now in the Gospel ofShriRarnakrishna. Meher Baba, quoted in Glimpses of the God-Man, vol. 3, p. 248, says, “Ramakrishna was a rare type of Perfect Master.” I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out why! Paperback $16. The next is an absolutely delightfiil book that Barbara Scott of Chapel Hill has written about the experiences she & her cohorts had in the 60s coming to Baba. The content matter is great, fascinating, ffinny & enlight ening. But what makes it such a joy to read is the way Barbara strings words together! I love the way she writes her wonderftil use of language I find thrilling. It makes it hard to put the book down. Our wonderfully erudite Ms Kendra has written the review for us. Golden Thread—Meher Baba , Oiapel Hill, 1967 Paperback $12. For all you Danny Ladinsky fans out there—he has done it again! Following on the heels of The Gjft (hitting the #1 spot on the national best seller list of poetry for months on end), Penguin Putnam has released Love Poemsfrom God. This time out, Danny strays much farther than Hafiz, and renders his magic with love poems from many of the famous spiritualwriters and saints throughout the ages. Danny tells me that one ofthe most amazing aspects ofthe book is this: ‘After asking me which poet-saints I was going to use, Eruch gave me the title for this book (nearly three years ago, my last time in India). Three times within the book Baba’s name is used, and twice we quote Baba—at what I felt were very key, vital moments.” Paperback $15 The fourth new book is one that all you Francis Brabazon fans will definitely have to buy yourself or make loud hints to your loved ones! Ross Keating, an Australian who marriedjenny Le Page, who lives in the house that Francis built in Beacon Hill, and who knew him well, has written the definitive scholarly treatise on the man known as Baba’s Poet.The first paragraph of the introduction to Francis Brabazon—Poet ofthe Silent Worc4 starts out: In Australian literature there has been no figure that has been more committed to a quest for the universal meaning ofbeautv and its re lation to truth than Francis Brabazon. Indeed his life is a remarkable story of how a young, shy, farming boy living in a relatively isolated —
As you read in the July LampPost, plans are afoot to publish Baba’s words in the Indian languages. Don tells us the plan was spearheaded by the inimitable Balaji’s printing of the first Indian edition in English of God Speaks, the Discourses and In Godi Hand This awakened murmurs of how wonderfiil it would be to one day have Baba’s principal words translated for the tens of thousands of Indian Baba devotees who cannot read Eng— lish. This fell on Bhau’s sensitive ears, and despite his recent major heart surgery Bhau listened carefully to and approved a project to sponsor translation and publishing of Baba’s major works into Hindi, Marathi,Telegu and Gujerati. At that point Don proposed that the expected new release of the 1960s films be dedicated financiallyto the translation and publication project.Again Bhau approved and the stage was set. So all profits from the sale ofthese three videos will be used for Project Indian Print. Don says: “So now all we need to do is to convince each Baba devotee that he needs at least one set ofthese films in his home library and two or three others as Christmas presents for dose family and friends. Then no doubt Baba wUl be smiling with another well laid out and Mehera/Mani masterminded program bearing Avataric fruit of a delicious variety Ap
part of the Australian bush ends up staying in India for ten years as the poet-disciple of a person who declares himself to be God in human form, the Avatar ofthis age. It is a beautifully produced book, paperback, 330 pages, with an absolutely delightftil coloured photo of Francis on the cover and manyblack andwhites inside. (Pardon mybias showing, but Francis isthe onewho introduced me to Baba!) $25. Unfortunately the wondrous bookMehera Meher a Divine Romance, probably wont be readyfor Christmas buying.This was the book I toldyou about in thejanuary/April issue, and you also read long excerpts ofit in thejuly issue about the Oklahoma accident. Hopeftilly in the January 2003 issue I will be able to tell you it is ready for sale. I am ordering quite a few hundred for starters. I think it will be the hottest seller we have ever had! The 2003 Calendars will also be ready for your enthusiastic orders by November. Laura Goode-Killmasteiwho is designing this year’s calendar, could not give me the price on it yet; as of press time it has not gone to the printers. But I will be giving you the same special deal as last time buy 5 or more & you will get a dollar or more offthe individual price. I will try to hold the price to $10 as we did last year but the Center does have to make a little money—as that is one way we can afford to do all the things our Center does. In the musical department we have a number of new releases, the most popular of which is a very beautifid recording of a session with Hafiz, both spoken ghazals and with music andvocals.Hafiz, the Scent ofLight makes you feel you are there with Hafiz and his companions, listening to him recite his latest ode to God. The Hafiz is Ladinsky’s renderings, with Stevin McNamara reading the words and various musicians supplying the wonderfiul assortment of exotic instruments. It is such ajoy to listen to. Available as a tape, $l2andaCD$14. —
At the Los Angeles Sahavas Richard Pei kofIE guitarist extraordinaire, was very popular. His Monsoon Season sold out (but we now have new stock) and he has released two new ones: Indian Summer and Horizontal also in stock. All CDs are $15.You can hear snippets ofeach CD at wvwmuktimusic.corn. Thatprolific singer/songwriterWard Parks, permanent resident in the Trust Compound at Ahmednagar, tells me he has released a new CD for Christmas—MeherBaba, the Word of God. He says the cover of the CD relates to the title song, The Word of God. It is a long song (seven minutes) with a verse on each of the Avatars. The Prophet ofMedina celebrates Muhammad’s conquest ofMecca in 630 a.d. and his reoccupation ofthe Kaaba. The other 11 songs are regular Baba songs. I imagine it wi1l be S15 as are his others, ofwhich we do have a good supply. We said farewell to our dear friend Ra phael Rudd but the melody lingers on. We have four ways to remember him: BeyondLove an audiotape, S1O, that is quiet, beautiftil, and relaxing; Raphaelplays piano and harp on this one really beautiftil. Then there is Concert for the Sufis, a wonderfiul live concert given in Walnut Creek, a CD but also only $10. Two of his CDs are made with Pete Townshend, the first is Awakening, a double set for $25 of which we only have a few left, then it is out of production. The CD released on October 16t1 lastyear—Baba’s New Life —features the ‘lost concert’ with Pete. It was a private, invita tion only concert, given at the London Baba Center in 1978. Itfeatures Raphael’s solos, and Pete singing his own compositions that were commercially released but were really written to Baba. An absolutely great CD The Oceanic Concert—for only $12. Another featured guest at our Sahavas was the globe trotting singer and ceffistwhose fame is spreading far and wide the gentle man with the amazingvoice that can stun you with Tibetan throat singing (in which you can hear bell like tones cascading behind the main note he is holding.) Accompanied by his marvelous cello playing and utterly original compositions, this CD YourLj/è isNot Your Own by Bob Een is a must for the person who really appreciates getting deep into the listening experience. A NewYork critic once wrote that Bob Een does for the cello what Jimi Hendriks did for the guitar. All this for only $12. Ifyou have a teenager who is into Baba or whomyou would liketo be into Baba, I suggest you buy themAvatarMeherBabaDiJai. This is a new CD from Bob Fredericks, similar to, but better than, the Techno Baba he released a —
few years ago. It consists of synthesized dance music in between the very distinct voice clips ofthe Mandall saying things profound. That may sound a little strange but let me tell you, when itwas played in the food tent after hours at Amartithi, it wasn’t just the teenagers who turned into whirling dervishes on the dance floor! $12 Still one of our best sellers after a year or two is the latest from Jim Meyer—Ways to Attain the Supreme Reality. This is my all time favourite Baba recording! Baba gave the words to Malcolm Schioss in the 50’s, told him to make them into poetr and then 30 or so years later, Jim set them to music and what a triumph it is! For $18 you get not only more than an hour ofgreat music, but also the bookwith all the original words, and since the original book has been out ofprint for over 10 years, this is the only place you can read Ways To Attain the Supreme Reality—should you want to—attain it, that is. Ifyou are looking for contemplative music, you cain do better thanjudith Shotwell’s No Strings Attached. Beautiful voice, beautiful harp, beautiful songs. There are some days when I will play it continuously the entire day. A very eclectic choice of songs—some Artis, some Brabazon ghazals, all wonderful. $15 Three other CDs definitely worthy of being singled out—but due to lack of space I can’t wax too rhapsodical about them: Jamie Newell’s latest The Songs ofHafiz. Incredibly powerfid songs, $17. Lightning Roses and Fire—if you have a Persian friend buy them this CD. They’ll love you for it! All Haghayegh was one of the singers from Iran who performed at the Amartithi concerts and entertained us in the Dining Room every night. The daaft drumming is intoxicating and his singing rich with spiritual fervor. $14. GodSpeaks, theMusicalis the CD ofa Ml on Broadway quality musical show the Sufis produced. Brilliantly done, hilarious, it was also a featured performance at Meherabad for the Mandali. It comes with the book ofwords as well. $20 We have 60 different CDs! So many people, so much talent—I can only mention the best sellers so that ifyou donk already have them, you may want to consider circling them in this article &handing the magazine to your loved ones with”Surprise me! Anything I have circled I would be veryhappyto receive.” Billy Goodrum’i eponymous CD with songs he has wntten for many a film, plus some beautiftil Baba songs. $12. The 1999 Sahavas concert features a solo by each of the professional musicians the L.A. group has, $16. Mehera —
the Divine Rememberer songs sung by Raine Eastman-Gannett that she had either sung to Mehera, being Mehera’s favorites, or ones she had composed to Mehera, $14. The runaway best seller in the video department this past year is Meher Baba’c Grace. Ifyou havent already bought it—and hundreds did, you need to have it. As so many of you love watching 0’ Parvardigar this is also a series of clips from various films taken throughout Baba’s life. The quality of the films used and also the editing is excellent. The soundtrack has two beautiful numbers by Judith Shotwell and also Cindy Lowe. It runs for 13 minutes and is a very reasonable $20. For more videos, as well as everything else, go to our website wwlovestreetbookstore.com or wwwMeherBabaBooks.com or ask me to send you a catalog if you doth already have one—November 2001 edition. If you are looking for a book that will present beautifully as a gift, then let me sug gest a few ‘coffee table’ books, all hardbound and all, except for the first mentioned, in Ml color. First, the most spectacular, God in Human Form a photo book, similar to Love Personjfiea 200 pages of stunning photos of our Beloved. High quallty heavyweight glossy paper, $100. DreamingoftheBelovedis also an art book —paintings by Wodin—and tells us the im portant dreams Mani says Baba was sending her, accompanied by the whimsical illustrative interpretations of Wodin. A beautiftil book, $22 The Golden GooseKing is a Buddhist fable with beautiftil Mi-page illustrations and story byjudith Ernst. For children and also the not so young. $20 Poetiy ofRoses is just that. Gorgeous pho tos of roses, grown, cut, arranged and photographed by Carolyn Parker who also chose the poems, one on each page opposing the photos of the roses. She has made some wonderftd choices, from English, Persian and American poets. The book is dedicated to Baba. $20 Because ofLove is on sale at $20 originally $40, so this cannot be passed up. It is Rano Gayley’s story of life in the Ashram at Meherabad and elsewhere with Baba. It contains page afterpage ofher exquisite pencil portraits ofBaba and also great detail about the painting Baba made her do and refused to give any explanation of—The Ten Circles Chart (whi cli incidentally, we sell, 11x17 for only $10). Until the end of December only, we will be selling Mehera’s life story told in her own words, with photos from her private album, for $20. Having known Mehera, I can hear her sweetness and innocence shining through —
everyword. For those ofyou who never had the privilege ofmeeting her, itwill be a wonderfiil introduction. Normally this book, Mehem is $35. Buy it for Christmas for only $20. The Illuminated Rurni—translations by Coleman Barks, is a most unusual book, in that it has these great Rumi poems but they have on the opposing pages & indeed sometimes all around the words, not Persian miniatures as I would have expected, but most unusual artwork One Babaloverbought 6 ofthem she was so taken with the beauty ofit all. $30 Meditations in Color is (I’m running out of superlatives here!) a collection ofpaintings that Sharon Muir made around Meherabad and Meherazad a year or two ago. Each page, 30 ofthem, is a frameable work ofart (ifyou can bear to cut it out) with great vivid splashes of color—greens, blues, purples—fabulous!! A great reminder of the place we like to call Home! $25 In GodcHandacmally is! Recently discov ered pages ofBaba’s own handwriting telling details about the cosmos. It’s right over my head, but I love to just look at the beautiffilly produced book and see His writing flowing across the page. $30 Lastbut certainly notleast isAppointrnent. All the books I have mentioned here are pho tos or paintings, illustrations or graphics. AU could definitely be called ‘art books’. This one contains the story I first heard as a child from Francis Brabazon, who told us itwas fromTales ofthe Desert Masters, a centuries old Sufi tale. The ftill-page paintings are by Roger Essley, and the tale tells us (mostpoetically) that when our time is up it’s up! One Baba lover has ordered 60 ofthese books, signedby the artist! Oh, I forgot to mention, Roger painted Baba’s face as the Persian master. $15 You’ve read the article, now see the video ofMeherBaba andthe Chinese Horoscopewhich features a rich array of graphic charts (of the various cycles) and visual aids. Filmed with three video cameras, professionally edited with spots of music, you can own this two-hour presentation for $20. Videotaped on April 28th at Meherabode. All of this touches only briefly on all that the Love Street Bookstore has available for you. Call or email me ifyou need more infor mation or need suggestions for a gift or have any questions. 310 837 6419, 9-4 weekdays, or Bababook@pacbell.net. —
In His love and service, Dma ;
7he Creation of the J1vatnr J44eher EBaba 2z1eart1ctnd Center like CoiisLaiitiuo
Ø’!i 2002 has been just two months since the S0thAnniversary Sahavas of Meher Baba’s and the mandali’s car accident in Prague, Oklahoma. All Sahavas attendees had a chance to expe rience at some level the unfathomable significance of Beloved Baba pouring His blood on American soil giving all ofAmerica and the whole world a Spiritual push. Many thanks go to Ann and Chris Barker, and Lynn Wilhite, for deciding over a year ago that we should have a special commemoration of this event. During the Sahavas it was learned that the property on the south side ofthe accident site including a house and 10 acres was for sale. This stimulated a meeting during that weekend ofthose who felt particularly inspired by the idea ofbeginning to procure the land around the accident site for the benefit offuture generations. The owner ofthe north property—which is where Baba actually fell—is not interested in seffing in the near future, however, the gentleman who owns the south property actually saw the accident as a child, and is interested in selling now or soon. Those attending the Sahavas meeting unanimously felt we should move to purchase the south property since it is now available. Several there expressed feelings that a large accident site retreat might one day exist encompassing both sides of the street. It seemed that Baba quickly turned the key as a committee and Board of Directors were formed to help make the purchase of the land a reality Within three weeks we had mailed in papers to register as a non-profit corporation in the State of Oklahoma. Just this week we learned that the corporation, The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, was officially filed, and thus born, onjuly 10—Silence Day. To many ofus, this appeared to be a profound demonstration by our Beloved ofHis participation in and support ofthis project. While the work to be recognized as a not-for-profit, or 501-c-3, with the IRS remains to be done, yet we are established sufficiently that those who wish to contribute to this endeavor will be able to do so. We immediately received encouragement from Bhau Kalchuri, who said, “Yes, this must be done for the future ofBaba’s work.” We also received encouragement from Bal Natu, who told us he had passed the news on to Meheru Irani and Dr. Goher Irani, both ofwho were at the accident in 1952. Bal Natu also quoted from the Awakener, Vol. XX, Issue 2, p. 30: “Baba prophesied there would eventually be five centers in the U.S.” and that one ofthose would be “in the center of the United States.” Peter Rippa, who initiated the meeting at the Sahavas, has carried the torch on this project for manyyears, gathering detailed information about the accident site and the adjoining properties. We owe him many thanks for his focus and years of single-minded devotion. During the Gathering, Peter Rippa handed the torch to Carolyn Ball, who has worked several times before to set up non-profit corporations. Since then, Baba’s “love speed” has moved things along as a Board of Directors was formed, which also includes Carolyn, Peter, Dr. Robert Rubey, Michael and Zohra Constantino, Ed Flanagan, and Marshall Hay. A volunteer com mittee was also established, includingJoy (Dhyana) Carlson who has put together a database of those interested, and Erik Gomez, who is creating a website. The Board ofDirectors and volunteer committee have already been hard at work. Our first teleconference board meeting will be held in mid-July. Meetings are scheduled with the owner of the south property and negotiations are underway. The board will handle legal details, set goals and deadlines for various phases of the project. Here are the objectives to date:
_l. Purchase ofiheproperty south ofthe accident site which is now available. Meet with the owners ofiheproperty on the north side ofihe accidentsite (where Baba 2. was thrownfrom the car) andascertain whatkinds ofagreements mightbe madefor itspurchase in thefuture.
Establish the accident location as a State Historical Site, f 3. andplanfor an appropriatepermanent marker ossible, p 4. Prevail upon the highway department, during its scheduled wideningproject, to avoidpaving over the actualplace that Baba felL Possibly offer a smallportion ofthe southproperty as an alter— native. 5. Establish a legal means by which tax deductible financial donations can be made. Give consideration to the establishment ofaphysical C’enter 6. andplace ofpilgrimage, orfor Baba lovers to stay overnight in the future.
If you would like to help, each phase of this project will require different expertise and talents, needed at this time are a guild web master and ftmd raising expertise, please contact Carolyn Ball at email@example.com. Ifyou would like to be put on our mailing list, which is still in the creation phase, contactJoy Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no current mailings being planned, but we know one day it will be very active. Be sure to give your e-mail address as well as snail-mail version. Donations are urgently needed and the transfer ofproperty to the Heartland Center is imminent so we may close on the property in a timely fashion. Please make checks payable to “The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center.” The process ofbecoming tax-exempt may take a few months. While there is no guarantee that we will be ac cepted, we expect that it will go through quite easily since there are other similar Meher Baba non-profits. In such case, all donations will be tax-deductible retroactive to the date of incorporation, July 10, 2002. You may send your donations to:
purchase price of S65,000 in the months to come, plus construction and other costs. We feel so thrilled that Baba is allowing us to participate in this way with His work, and hope that you willjoin us. If you possibly can, please help with the financing of this special place by sending your donation to Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center,
c/o Dr. Robert Rubey, 271 Bayview Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC 27464.
..“With Love” continuedfivrnpage 36:
Jay Bott the other narrator could not have imagined his pilgrimage from USA to India for the first time would result in him becoming an accomplished actor! He had come with his daughter Elizabeth. Both of them were just getting to know Baba and what better way than to know Him through Mani’s brilliantly crafted letters! Jay had his share ofproblerns when his mic wouldn’t work at the rehearsals Jay improvised his ‘act’ and he did a goodjob, despite never having acted before in his life! Alan Wagnerjuggled rehearsals between his kitchen, yoga classes, and trips to the Samadhi for Arti. He brought out the true essence of .
the letters by switching the spotlights on Meherazad and Myrtle Beach. He also designed the simple set which Katherine Cox executed. Her beautiful artwork spoke volumes about the time and effort she had put
in to create the right atmosphere. Memories caught up with a few Baba lovers who had shared some beautiful moments with Mani during her lifetime. One Baba lover said, ‘I read Mani’s Letters ten years back and now I am going to the reading room to read them all again!’ An Australian Baba lover wanted to share the spirit ofthe play and suggested this should be given to Ava tar’s Abode for performances. Many such reviews made the cast and crew of the play very happy. The play was presented ‘With Love’ hoping it fosters a beautiful relationship with all in the Baba community.
The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, Inc. c/o Robert Rubey, Treasurer 271 Bayview Drive
Mt. Pleasant, SC 27464 Or e-mail him at email@example.com Ifyou are planning a visit to the accident site please remember that the properties on either side are still personal homes, so please have the utmost respect for the residents. Building good relations with them is important in our current negotiations phase, not to mention a principle of Baba’s way of love. Please do not mention or discuss current plans or purchase negotiations. Visit briefly and tread lightly, respecting private properties and staying on public areas only. With Baba’s Grace and if it is His will, one day we will be able to spend long periods oftime sharing in pilgrimage at the place ofone of His greatest sacrifices. Ifyou would like to help spread the word about the Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center please let me know how I can make knowledge of this project available to Baba lovers everywhere. You can contact me, Mike Constantino, as the board secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org. Late Breaking News at the AJVIBHC!! The Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center is in the final phase of negotiations to purchase the property adjacent to Beloved Baba’s sacred accident site. By Baba’s grace, the arrangement we have is an option to purchase, which allows us time to raise the money for that purchase and to organize our construction crew (fondly referred to as the “Habitat for a New Humanity crew”) to fix up the house there. In order to be able to purchase the property we will need to raise the
Nivedita Sharma, authoi; next to Alan Wagnei; directoi; surrounded by actors Jay Boit andDana Feriy, and the technical crew.
and Dana take theirjbnal bows. Set artwork by Katherine
cA (j 2
2-1is comfort lay in 2 lis suffering, which 21e every second continuously took upon timselffor 2 tis divine work. not again! 0 Dndia, did you also need the ../lvatctr’s blood? ge was grief stricken. Dt wailed: 11 4 Our .., __/4nierica needed 21is blood and 2/c shed it in 1952. 2’Jow, 21e has shed it for you four years later!” —Cord JI4eIter, 7Jol. i-i6 _7I/klter JlVleherwan 3essawala Lord . . .
eher Baba’s second accident occurred in 1956 across from the grounds of a bungalow in Udtara on which a Cricket game had been played by Baba and a group ofmen two and one-half years earlier. Baba once said that His entire present advent and all it’s occurrences and events were planned out in His previous advent as Mohammed. As always in the present advent the details of the next advent are planned out. Baba had said He had very important work to do by playing a cricket match. During that time He was doing intense spiritual work and as playing the game was part of His Universal Spiritual work it was supposed to be a very serious affair. He dictated the names of those that would be in the game. Men from Bombay, Pune and Ahmednagarwere sentletters advising them to meet at Satara in June, 1954.Thirteen miles from Satara on the Poona highway in the village ofUdtara was a Dak Bungalow with a large mango grove with open spaces between the trees. From the compound ofthe Dak Bungalow we could see the Poona-Satara Highway. Baba was shown the site and He approved of it. People were sent to level the ground which took many days to do and Baba inspected it several times. He called for everyone to come for the game one day in advance. Several places nearby housed overnight the 24 people selected by Baba to play early in the morning the next day. The morning the match was scheduled Baba was driven by Eruch in Meherjee’s new car to the Dak Bungalow. AU gathered around Baba. He said that everyone must play with great sincerity and in an effort to win the game. Baba would be on both sides (although He was feeling very weak physically due to a severe attack of piles, He took part and even had to take the help of a runner to run between wickets when He batted.) Nariman and Sarosh had been designated the captains by Baba. A coin was tossed and Saroslfs team batted ftrst. Because the players on Sarosh’s team were young, runs were piled up quickly. When all of the players got out, Nariman’s team came up to bat. There was a washout as all his players were getting out cheaply and Baba began to bat for Nariman’s team. He piled up lots ofruns quickly. Sarosh’s team tried hard to put Him out but it was impossible—He was too good. When initially it was Sarosh’s turn to bat, Baba kept the wickets and gathered the bail when it was missed by the batsmen and then hit the stumps forcing out some of the players. Just as the score was balanced, He stopped the game after 5 hours ofplaying (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. with only a short break for tea). AU assembled in the Dak Bungalow and Baba gave each player substantial servings of dry snack food brought from Bombay. The next day people could hardly move due to stiffmuscles as they hadn’t had that kind of activity or the exertions required for playing such a game in a long time. Baba asked various ones how they were feeling over a period of a the next few days. The day after the match they were sent home, and the monsoon broke. Baba’s timing was perfect.
In November 1955, Baba had foretold that two ofHis very close lovers would die within the year. At the beginning ofJuly in Meherazad before going to England and America He had issued a circular stating: a great so-called tragedy is facing me and my lovers,’ and my humiliation and tragedy, although necessary, are but passing phases which are bound to have a glorious end.” During August in San Francisco, He had remarked to the Americans: “No one knows what is going to happen before February 15th.” Several days before the accident, Baba had even joked with the Mandali, “We may all die in a few days.” Turing to Nilu he remarked, “Don’t worry about anything. Keep thinking of me constantly. I am the Only One that exists, the only One that matters.” “. . .
“. . .
3rom the amily,Cetters (excerpt) .Satara Dndia, th Wecernber, 1956 Dear Family, The first impact on the minds of Baba lovers as they read the following news must naturally be in recollection ofBaba’s recent words given in “the Circular Message from Baba, in His seclusion” circulated injuly 1956 to all concerned in the USA referring to the personal tragedy that was to occur again. To those at Grafton Baba said, as recently as three days before the accident, that the month or so before the termination of His Seclusion on 15th Feb 1957 would hold greater and more concentrated suffering for Himself in which a number ofHis close ones would also share. On reading it someone asked Baba why these things should be and why could He not avert it. Baba’s reply was: “What the divine will has decreed must and will happen, and if I am the Divine Personification you believe me to be then the last thing I would do is to avert or avoid it.” To the query in our minds as to why should Baba personally go through such suffering, comes the answer in His previous words, “People suffer for their Karma, a few suffer for others, Perfect Masters suffer for the universe.” Baba further clarified: “Ordinary man suffers for himself, Perfect Master suffers for Humanity whereas the Avatar suffers for one and all beings and things.” . . .
i3ill ,Le ¶. age 2
J ust days before the accident, Baba had Eruch drive from Satara to Indore and return ajourney ofl000 to 1100 miles. When they reached Indore Eruch spread the map on the roadside in front of the car and Baba looked at various parts oflndia and then said “Let us return to Satara”. The journey took from the early hours that about 24 hours. day to the early hours the following morning Baba would induce conversation between the Mandali during the drive and have Eruch keep up a fast pace exhorting him to drive faster and faster. On their return Eruch spoke to Baba and said “Now, Baba it is too much. I should not drive. My eyesight is go—
ing, my reflexes are not good. It is as though I am driving down a dark tunnel and I see nothing. Baba said “It is nothing, I am with you just do as I say.” —
J4lehenvan On 1st December 1956, Baba told the men Mandali in Rosewood cottage in Satara that the next day He wanted to go to Poona for a day’s outing. He instructed Eruch, Pendu, Nilu and Meherjee to be ready early morning. The first three were told to remain on fast from midnight, not even to drink water until midnight of the 2nd and that Baba Himself would do likewise. They hadn’t eaten or drunk anything all day. The Mandali had been told not to tell the women they weren’t eating and to take the food anyway when the women would give them the sack lunch.
as it was slipping around, and he felt like Baba had control ofit. Sud denly they went into a ditch on the left. He fought to get the car out of the ditch and at that time they think that he hit the culvert and mowed right through it and then the car went into the ditch again and turned around. The right side of the car was smashed and the left side was unscratched. Eruch passed out as the steering wheel jammed into his chest and broke all of his ribs. Baba had His legs up on the dashboard causing hip injury. Vishnu and was the least hurt andgot a bruise on his knee. He had been sitting on the left rear side. He got out of the car and rushed to Baba. When he opened the car door he didn’t see Baba but saw a great flood oflight and felt as ifhe saw Lord Krishna there in all His glory as if He had vanquished the foe in the
Lord A/k1ier .Baba left Satara in Nariman’s 1952 blue Chevrolet for Poona on Sunday morning, December 2nd, accompanied by Eruch, Pendu, Meherjee and Nilu. On the way, Baba changed places with Nilu, moving from the front to the back seat. When they arrived in Poona, their car was stopped due to a parade. The Prime Minister of China, Chou En-lai was in town that day with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India to attend some political ftmction. Nilu was anxious to get out of the car and watch them pass, but Baba did not like the idea. Nilu persisted, and finally Baba gave in and allowed him. Nilu went and stood on the road as the car with Chou En-lai and Nehru passed, and then returned to Baba’s car. . .
.7I4ehenvan Then they drove to an obscure corner ofNehru Cricket Stadium where a cricket match was in progress and Baba watched the match. After some time Gadekar and K.K. Ramakrishnan (who had also come to see the cricket match), seeing Baba’s car tried to find Baba in the crowd and eventually came to where Baba was sitting. Baba was in seclusion and had told all not to see Him. He got very upset and told them to leave immediately after exchanging a few words. His mood was spoiled and after a short while Baba left for the return journey to Satara. At the cricket grounds, Vishnu who was in Poona earlierjoined Baba and took Meherjee’s place who then returned to his home in Poona.
Sohrcth Drcini In 1956 on the morning ofthe day ofBeloved Baba’s second ac cident he stopped at Poona to visit the home ofHis parents. Whenever He came for a visit Baba would play marbles with us, Rustom and Sohrab, His two nephews. On this occasion we gathered in a room that is nowJal’s bedroom and were quickly enjoying a lively game of marbles.When it came Baba’s turn to shoot He picked thelarge marble used to strike the smaller ones and shot it at the smaller marbles with such force that two or three ofthem broke. Everyone thought that this was very unusual and significant as Baba had never played with such force before. Later that evening after Baba had set out on His way to Satara, the family received the news of His accident.
Lord ..A4eher On the way (back to Satara), Baba instructed Eruch to drive the car slowly, since He wanted to reach Satara in the evening and there was plentyoftime remaining. Baba had taken a seat in the backwith Vishnu and Pendu. At 5:05 p.m., fifteen miles outside ofSatara Babahad the car stopped and switched places with Nilu and sat in the front seat. Baba’s fingers were working continuously, indicating his serious mood.
A’Iehea After a time approaching Satara, it felt to Eruch like they were going through a long dark tunnel and that the road suddenly felt as ilit was jelly like. He felt like he didn’t have any control over the car
battle ofMahabharat as ifa great victory had been won by Baba. Then he saw Baba groaning slightly and He pointed to His right hip indicating that it was hurting Him badly. His face was badly hurt and bleeding and His tongue was cut. Eruch regained consciousness and got up. He found Nilu lying motionless on the ground and sensed that he was dead. —
Jl4elieni December 2nd Baba had gone to Poona in the morning for a cricket match and was to return the same day. We decided to have an early supper so as to be with Baba when He came. At the table that evening we somehow found ourselves talking about Nilu, about what a fine doctor he was and how he had helped so many people. On the morning ofthe accident when they were leaving for Poona, the car with all the men Mandali stopped on the road near our house to pick up Baba. I recall this last sight of Nilu, what a jolly mood he was in, waving good-bye to all ofus and smiling. He had a childlike quality and was very happy that Baba was taking him along to see the cricket match, whereas he usually would be left behind. In the periodjust prior to the accident, Baba seemed to be giving Nilu a lot of special attention, even taking him to the West in ‘56. Nilu used to do the night dut but as there was no place for him to rest during the day, he developed insomnia. In Satara, too, Baba gave him night duty for quite a while. Baba had been on a mast trip not long before the accident, and an episode took place then which really made an impression on Nilu, who was amongst the party They had been driving for many hours. Eruch was at the wheel, and the car was going at great speed at Baba’s urging. Out of sheer fatigue from lack of sleep, Eruch must have nodded off and lost control ofthe car, and it skidded and nearlywent offthe road. At the last minute Baba just leaned His body weight away from the side and toward Eruch, and the car miraculously righted itself Nilu . . .
did not feel she should leave Baba’s side at such a time and sent Mani to the Mandali’s house on the bicycle to call Dr. Donkin. We were all stunned, but somehow we managed to think and do the right things. Baba asked for some water to wash His face, and He indicated by pointing to His hip that something was wrong there. After examining Baba, Don realized that the leg was fractured, and so he gave a little traction as first aid. He felt that Baba should be taken to the hospital in Satara as soon as possible. Baba had injuries to His tongue that needed immediate suturing before swelling occurred. Baba’s bloodstained clothes were changed. Goher contacted the civil surgeon who lived on the same road near the Mandali’s house, and he went to the hospital and made the appropriate arrangements. Mehera and all ofus were so stunned, we could hardly talk or we’d just start weeping.
L7tkIter I LordMeanwhile at Rosewood, Bhau sent for the civil surgeon, where Baba car hit the tree in the ditch. An eyewitnessplaced it here and told us that the tree had since died.
now I truly believe Baba to be God 100%.” said, “It was a miracle It was as though Baba had postponed the accident to another time. Kaikobad had told Baba He should not go that day as it was not auspicious to be travelling during amas, the day of no moon. But Baba went anyway and had a very enjoyable time. On the way back to Satara, just before reaching Udtara, the accident took place. It was still daylight, evening time, when it happened. As Eruch described it, he was driving, but the car suddenly seemed to go out ofcontrol, and the steering wheelwouldn’t respond. The car went offthe road, hit the culvert and veered to the other side, smashing into a mango tree. —
Eruch stopped a passing car and helped Vishnu get Baba into the car which then took them to Grafton. Another truck was following and Eruch waved it to a halt. He helped them get Pendu who was unconscious and Nilu’s body onto the truck and then Eruch passed out. The truck driver picked up Eruch and had him laid along with Pendu and Nilu. When Eruch woke up he was in the hospital. Pendu had a fractured hip, fractured leg, and a severe brain concussion and was also there in an adjacent room. At Grafton Mani saidlater thatwhen the car arrived she saw Baba being assisted out by Vishnu and another person who seemed angelic to her. She and the women rushed out to receive Baba.
J4leheru When the car pulled in, something seemed different, and we im mediately knew something was wrong. Usually the car would halt at the gate, Baba would walk to the house, and then the Mandali would drive off Mehera would be the first to greet Him on the verandah with a welcome embrace, then we would come out to greet Baba with welcoming smiles. This time Baba had arrived in a stranger’s car. The car drove right in, and Vishnu called out to Goher in a muffled voice. She rushed out, and seeing Baba motionless in the car, she called out in a scared tone. We all rushed out. We were shocked to see Baba slumped in the car, but we had to control our emotions, for we saw that Baba was in need ofhelp. Somehow we kept our heads and brought Baba an armchair. Mehera, Mani and all ofus managed to help Him out ofthe car and seat Him in the chair. Mehera, Mani, Goher, Naja, Rano and I, along with our two servants from Arangaon, Rakma and Sev all helped in carrying Baba to His bedroom where we seated Him on the bed. .Baba seemed badly injured, and His clothes were stained with blood. Baba gestured to say that He thought Nilu had died. Goher . .
Dr. Abadin. Badly injured, Nilu had been placed on Bhau’s bed and was bleeding. After some time, upon examination, the doctor pronounced Nilu dead. Nilu had not regained consciousness. The doctor advised that Eruch and Pendu be shifted to the Civil Hospital, and Bhau and Aloba took them there by an ambulance, where both were treated. Bhau had been ordered to rest, and when Baba saw him, his first words were: “Why did you break my order?” (Baba had ordered him to take complete rest and not to move out ofbed.) Bhau had immediately sent telegrams to Adi, Meherjee and Nariman: “Serious accident, all injured removed to hospital Satara. Car lying near Udtara village ten miles from Satara. Bhau” Meherjee arrived in Satara at midnight. From Ahmednagar Sarosh and Kaka Baria left for Satara at once and Adi Sr. arrived from Bombay the next morning. Baba was also taken by an ambulance to the small and primitive lo cal hospital to have His tongue stitched. He was laid on the table in the operating room. Dr. Goher had come, and she and Bhau stood quietly near Baba. he gestured to Goher, “Ifthey give me an anaesthesia, see that I do not utter any sound. Be by my side all the time.” Despite his obvious pain and discomfort, Baba showed a happy expression, and the civil surgeon was taken abackwhen Baba lovingly passed his hand over Bhau’s face. Not a word came from Baba’s mouth, despite the serious wounds and excruciating pain. Even in that injured condition, Baba wore a smile as He expressed His love toward others by being friendly with the doctor as if nothing serious had happened. It was a wonderful experience for the civil surgeon and other doctors present and the heart of the former was awakened to His love. After his tongue and other cuts under His chin were stitched, Goher took Baba back to Grafton in an ambulance. It was 2:00 a.m. before Baba got to lie down in bed.
l4eheru 7 J (That night) Police cars kept coming to Grafton with questions, but we really didn’t know anything yet. We directed them to the men Mandali’s bungalow, for information. The next daywe found out that Nilu had died instantly, and that Eruch and Pendu had also been injured. Pendu’s pelvis was fractured in three places. Later, Ramjoo would come once a week from Satara to report to Baba in Poona on Pendu’s and Eruch’s progress. They went through a horrible time in the hospital, which Pendu said was like being in prison, or a dungeon. He was just miserable there. Yet Baba said at the time, “Pendu will walk, but I will not walk” And Baba never did walk again the way He had before, with that free, graceftil stride. He had constant pain, and, in the later years, the ‘60s, Baba used to say, “Christ suffered once on the cross, but My suffering is constant.”
Baba’s tongue was very badly cut, and His chin and His eyelid, too. And His beautiful right shoulder was badly bruised. Dr. Donkin came over from the men’s quarters to examine Baba and he found that Baba could not stand. He took Baba to the Civil Hospital in Satara, and an x-ray taken there showed that Baba’s right hip was fractured. The doctor at the Civil Hospital put Baba in a plaster cast, not only around His leg, but also around His stomach. Baba was already suffering so much and, with this cast on, He was very, very uncomfortable.
Everyone who survived the ‘56 accident was badly affected. Pendu was never the same again, and Eruch was vey depressed for a long time, feeling responsible for Baba’s and everyone’s suffering and Nilu’s death. Eruch never drove a car again after the accident, even though he had a valid license; he never wanted that responsibility again. Vishnu was the one least hurt. Just after the accident, when Baba was still sitting in the car, Vishnu saw Baba assume His universal form, with an expression ofimmense ssatisfaction on His face, satisfaction that He had accomplished what He had set out to do. This was the same form Lord Krishna had revealed to Arjuna on the battlefield to make him take up arms and fight. I think that Vishnu’s heart was affected by this experience and the trauma ofthe accident. His health deteriorated from that time on, and he was no longer able to do the bazaar work or some ofhis other duties. But Vishnu was given night duty to do for Baba. “Please do not take the night duty away from me,” he had said when he was not well. This he continued to do until the end. In 1962 Vishnu had two heart attacks in Guruprasad and breathed his last there in Baba’s presence.
rout Life Circular 2”Io. 32 issued 6 Deceniber, 1956 .As all concerned will be anxious to know the details of Baba’s injuries, I cannot do better than give the following extracts from a hurried report by Dr. Donkin, giving us a general idea of their extent and location: 1) Minor abrasion and subcutaneous contusions of forehead, nose and cheeks all healing well. 2) A tear ofthe upper and lower surface ofthe tongue, sutured a few hours after the accident cuts under the chin, sutured at the same time. Wounds are clean, normal after injury swelling already subsiding, and the pain diminishing daily thus allowing the intake of fluids and liquid food with less discomfort. The functions of the mouth and tongue are affected only temporarily and expected very soon to be perfectly normal. 3) Surgical attention is now concentrated on the treatment of the hip injury. The top end of the thigh bone (the femoral head) fits into the cup-shaped depression in the pelvis, known as the acetabulam. The upper rim of the acetabulam has been fractured, the broken chip ofbone being slightly displaced. Although this is very painful, there is no fracture of the parts of the upper end of the thigh bone (the femoral neck) so often sustained in motor crashes. “A plaster cast or some type ofimmobilization is essential, and the complete healing of the fracture will take the usual length of time. Every effort will continue to be made to give freedom from pain and to restore the hip to ultimate normality. For those ofus who can grasp even a mite ofthe significance of these words comes the assurance not only ofHis greatness that He manifests through “littleness”, but ofthe “littleness” He assumes in His greatness and most of all of His eternal love for us all whom He knows and experiences as His divided selves in ignorance. Baba’s silence is rarely felt in his abstention from vocal speech which He has observed these last 31 years, but the deep silence in His suffering is a profoundly felt experience. The morning after the accident, in the midst of tremendous pain He was undergoing from His injuries, Baba said something that revealed a fresh glimpse ofthe depth ofHis compassion. He said (with gestures of course), purely from the point of man’s suffering and irrespective of political or world situations. “The Hungarians suffered much in their recent struggle. Many were lying wounded and helpless on the roads, away from their loved ones and from care or relief from pain; at least I am lying on a bed, with the care of good doctors and the love ofall my lovers present and absent.” A few days before He said, “Nobody suffers in vain, for true freedom is spiritual freedom and suffering is a ladder towards it. Man unknowingly suffers for God and God knowingly suffers for man.” We cannot need a better explanation ofwhy the Avatar allows suffering to His human body that He assumes from time to time for our Truthblinded sakes. He loves us as He ought to be loved by us our only question is, are we worthy ofit? And may our only prayer be that we too may love Him as He ought to be loved.
. . .
£ifr Circular fNo. 33 issued on 21 Decembei, 1956 It was a week after the accident in Satara, and only after the pains became too severe and other complications set in, that Baba agreed .to go to Poona where better medical facilities are available. Here the plaster cast (that Baba had around pelvis and entire rightleg) was removed and His leg put in traction, with weights attached to stretch the muscles. As far as the fracture is concerned, it is progressing satisfactorily; but the pain varies in intensity, becoming excntciating at the least movement on His part. When the pain in the hip is relieved, some other form of physical pain or suffering arises; just as though our Baba were clearly telling us that He has to suffer in this wayjust no and we cannot take away, or even share, what He has taken on. .Light on the inner facts has been thrown now and again by Baba’s personal remarks at unexpected moments. The other day He traced with His finger a little circle on the spot ofthe fracture and then mak ing a wide circle in the air, gestured to say: “The suffering ofthe whole universe is concentrated on this little spot. This is a tangible expression of the universal suffering I bear.” In spite of Baba’s physical agony, He says, “I am happy; it is as I wanted it.” One can well understand this, for how often have we witnessed Baba neglect and sacrifice His physical health and comforts for His work. At another time He said, “It is as ifthe mental suffering ofthe universe wants to crush Me. But the Infinite Bliss I experience and the Love I have for all sustains Me; and the love of all My lovers supports Me in the burden I carry The week ahead will be the climax ofMy suffering; but it is necessary and must be, and this critical period too will be tided over with the love of all who love Me.” Baba’s special message for aillovers is: “In this apparent helplessness I declare again that everything except God is illusion; and that the only way to be united with this Self of all selves is love, sacrifice, and unre served and honest resignation to the Beloved’sWill. I am the Selfofall. I am the Ultimate Goal. So love Me with all your honesty and being. After My seclusion is over (on 15th Feb. 1957) I will be free from this helplessness. I will give My Sahavas, Darshan and My blessings to all. “On the 15th ofFeb., I will fastfor24 hours alongwith all Mylovers; and regardless ofthe restrictions imposed on My physical activities due to the injuries, I will feed and bow down to 700 poor people on that day. Mylove to you all.” Adi K. Irani, Disciple and Secretary Avatar Meher Baba. . .
J44ehenvan Nariman helped me secure the Sassoon Hospital Ambulance and we both drove to Satara for the purpose of transferring Eruch
and Pendu to the hospital in Pune. On the way we saw the accident site and noticed that it was directly across from the Dak Bungalow grounds where we had played cricket two and one-halfyears earlier. Baba asked us whywe were there to pick them up as He hadn’t given any order for us to come. There must have been some mistake. After seeing Baba, Nariman and I went to the hospital where the doctor told us it would be most dangerous to shift Eruch and Pendu to Poona right then as they would not survive such a trip. Nariman and I then went back to Poona. Baba told me to look for a small house for Him when he returned. I found a small house, Silver Oaks (3 Salisbury Park Road) near Meherjee’s and got it fttrnished. VIeitent 7 .
It was decided that we should go to Poona as soon as possible to get the proper treatment for Baba’s leg, since the hip joint was frac tured. In Poona Baba spent one night in a private nursing home run by an orthopaedic surgeon named Dr. Bansod, while we stayed with Eruch’s family at Bindra House. The following day we spent cleaning and preparing Silver Oaks for Baba to come, deciding on which room would be best for Him, as a separate bathroom was required, and a separate entrance for the men Mandali to come and go freely when Baba called them. 3rom the 3amily Letters, .2oona, Dndia, 25 December, 1956 Dear Family, Baba’s love to you all! On our way to Poona from Satara (in the car following Baba’s it was incredible ambulance), we passed the spot of the accident to visualize such a bad accident at such a place! It is as ifBaba meant us to clearly understand it was all for His work and reasons, for there seemed to be no outward excuse whatever for this accident. The road was good, the ‘ditch’ not more than a foot deep ofsloping ground, the stone culverts were verylow the car had been in good order, the driver was our experienced and cautious Eruch, the speed under 40 miles per hour the road was clear with no obstruction ofany kind (pedestrians, animals, hens or other such constant life on Indian roads); there was no puncture or skidding and it happened, as Vishnu and Eruch said, in the twinkling of an eye. Eruch later said that the driving wheel seemed suddenly and inexplicably to stop coordinating and the car swerved straight towards the culvert and that is all he remembers till they came to. —
Lord A/Ieiter From Sunday, December 16th, Baba began feeling and looking weaker in health. His physical pains had risen with renewed intensity Because Baba’s leg was in traction the sandbag weights would drag Him gradually toward the foot ofthe bed, and when He was shifted up the bed again, He had terrible pains. There were abrasions on His back, because ofthe previous cast and bedsores, but it was impossible to treat them, as the pain in His leg became excruciating whenever He was moved. Also, because He was always on his back, He had pain in his coccyx. It was exactly 4:00 p.m. on December 16th, while the women were with Him, that this incident occurred. Baba was lying down, comparatively peaceftil and not in pain, when suddenly the women saw tears pour from His eyes and roll down His cheeks. This weeping was preceded by a lot offinger moving. After almost a minute of weeping, Baba had His eyes wiped and gestured to them to forget it. He explained, “The tears were not for the suffering of my body, but for the suffering ofthe world.” This suffering for the world was yet to come, the women thought. Seeing Baba weep was an unusual occurrence... The severe bouts of pain continued, and on December 17th Baba had suffered fever. Two days later on December 19th Donkin brought an orthopedic surgeon from the military hospital named Dr.
Samarendra Chandra Chatterjee, who began treating Baba. Chatterjee was 38 years old and a colonel in the army. Baba liked Dr. Chatterjee very much. Chatterjee had more x-rays taken. and had the traction removed putting Baba’s leg in a Thomas’ splint for two days. On the evening of the 22nd, this splint was removed. On December 21st, 1956, the saint Gadge Mahara] died in Amraoti. And, as hinted by Baba, six days later, on the 27th of De cember the mast All Shah passed away in Meherabad at 4:45 p.m. Two ofBaba’s favorites had passed on. . .
J4leitent We all stayed at Silver Oaks for about a month. Donkin, who was an orthopaedist, found quarters nearby to be available whenever Baba needed him. Goher would be there with Baba all the time, and my sister Naggu who had newly become a doctor came in case she could be of help. Donkin procured a hospital bed equipped with all the necessaryfittings. Once I recall Baba very patientlywaiting for him to come, though he took a long time. Don finally arrived about an hour late looking hot and tired. It turned out he had been busy stretching the new rope for the bed so that it would not sag. He adjusted all the ropes and pulleys on the bed for Baba to use when He needed to sit up or move in bed. Don also was there to assist Baba in doing the proper exercises to strengthen His arms and good leg for later when He would be permitted to bear weight on the hurt leg. We soon came to realize that Baba would not be able to travel as before for it was too painful. He was now bound to one place, whereas in the past, once His Seclusion Work was done in a particular place He liked to move on to somewhere else and have a complete change of atmosphere. All the travels He did on mast trips came to an end. In so many different ways Baba’s whole life was affected by the ac cident. From then on we spent nine months in Meherazad and three months in Poona, but His work in Seclusion went on. And in spite of His condition, Baba did go again to the US and Australia in ‘58 to give Darshan. For us, too, everything was so different. To see Baba, who had always been so energetic, so active, so vital, helpless on the bed, de pending on Mehera and all of us (especially Mehera, who would be so attentive to any little thing or assistance that He needed) was such a change.
Jl4ehera One evening when we were with Baba in His room He told us, “Now go to bed early tonight so you can have a good rest and feel refreshed in the morning.” Baba Himselfwas feeling restless, but He did not mention it to us then. We got ready for bed and were in bed by about 9 o’clock, but around midnight Goher came to our room. “Wake up, Baba wants us,” she told us. I quickly got out of bed, combed my hair put on something presentable, and went to Baba’s room where we stood around His bed. Baba said that He had forgotten to give us a prayer that He wanted us to say. Then He told us that He could not sleep, and that He was feeling restless and agitated both in mind and body. Baba knew now that He would not be able to walk as He had in the past. He loved to walk very quickly here and there, seeing to His work, but He had now given this up for our sakes, and facing this was a great suffering for Baba. Baba told us that it was a help to Him to have me and the others there with Him while He was passing through this. He was so restless thatfinally Goher and Naggu decided to give Him an injection. I remember Naggu swabbing Baba’s arm with alcoholand holding His hand, while Goher gave the injection. We girls then stood by Baba’s bed and said a prayer for Him to have a restful night. From then on, for some time, Baba continued to have us awakened
each night at midnight to be with Him for a while. For a number ofdays now Baba had been lying on His back, and I had not been able to brush or comb His hair. I always braided Baba’s hair and tied the braid with a tiny ribbon. As Baba had fine, curly hair, the short hairs on His head would make lovely curls. I loved to see these little curls, but this part ofHis hairwas nowvery knotted. At last, after many days of lying fiat, Baba was propped up on some pillows. “Do My Hair,” He told me. So I undid His braid, but I could not undo the knots in His fine hair quickly. I tried and tried until Baba, Who was feeling impatient because ::: he was tired ofbeing in bed, asked, “What are you doing?” I explained to Him, “I can’t get the knots out, Baba. It has to be done every day if the knots are to come out quicl4 The only thing to do is to cut part ofYour hair, ifYou’ll let me,” Baba agreed. So that day I cut Baba’s hair; I cut the curls that had become matted. .
eheru During that month in traction in Poona, Baba was very restless with pain at night and couldn’t sleep. Meherjee andJal, Baba’s brothei shared night dur at that time. Meherjee’s home was within walking distance, whereas Jal would come cycling from his house. After his duty Jal would sleep in a tiny, little area in the back of Silver Oaks near the kitchen, and Nariman would come on the weekends to take over his dur so thatJal could have proper rest at home. In the daime we would be with Baba if He wanted us there. We realized it was a difficult time for Baba and He wanted us to share in it. I remember one time that Baba had us all gathered around Him in His bedroom. Baba asked us to stand round His bed and look at Him, and you could feel it was a veiy special time with some ver special significance. He let us see the pain in His face, not just the physical pain. I think He was seeingwhatwas to happen in the fliture, and tears rolled down His face. He said to look at Him but I could only look at His form. I could not look at His face, but I knew what was happening. Just a silent act like that showed the depth of His suffering, which He did not show to the world but He gave us the privilege of sharing. ,i: oid JI/kher Donkin frced up a special kind ofcot for Baba, to which Baba was moved on December 23rd. The bed was built to enable Baba to lift up his body by clutching two hanging straps, which gave Him a little exercise. It was much more comfortable for Him. From the morning of December 24th, His leg pain diminished considerably, although He still had the other usual pains and discomforts and occasional low fever. He also was able to sit up for a few minutes at a time, and bend his injured leg slowly. Goher as well as Meheru’s sister Naggu, were in constant attendance on Him. Adi and Donkin came at 9 a.m. onjanuary 5th 1957, and delivered the crutches and folding wheelchair Baba had used after His first accident. He gave Adi instructions for three programs for the poor that He wished to be held in Febmar Eventually, in January 1957, Sidhu was called from Meherabad to remain near Pendu at night. Both of Pendu’s legs were in plaster . . .
casts, and for several days he was unconscious. He had also received a head injury and was in terrible pain. Eruch was courageously bearing his suffering, and day and night would remain reclined on a back rest, as he could not lie down because ofhis broken ribs. Yet, within a month, he was out ofthe hospital and with Baba in Poona. .Meanwhile, Dr. Chatterjee continued to treat Baba’s fracture, which was healing well. Apart from His steadily improving condition, Baba was anxious to get out of bed as early as possible and resume His activities as usual. On January 7th, he re marked, “I have to get well soon, for there : is a great amount of active work to be done in the near fliture.” The men (Mandali) who were patients S in the Satara hospital were also recovering. )nJanuary 7th, Eruch was discharged from the hospital and brought to Rosewood. Although Pendu was still incapacitated, his condition was improving slowly. A lengthy police inquiry was held about : the accident. Eruch’s driver’s license was temporarily suspended, and statements were taken from all, including Baba. The case dragged on for months because the authorities could find no apparent cause for the accident. Finy, thejudge pronounced, “It was an act of God.” More x-rays of Baba’s pelvis were taken onjanuary l9th,which showed the bone was healing properly. The next day at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Chatterjee came and said that Baba could sit up for a few minutes in the wheelchair Donkin had brought. So, for the first time since the accident more than six weeks earlier, Baba was lifted from His bed and sat in the wheelchair, and was pushed in it around the house, smiling brightly... Baba was having recurring pains, but as Goher told him, this was bound to happen from increased movement as the torn and unused muscles were put to use. So He still experienced pain, but not as intense as before. On the evening ofJanuary 23rd, the pain was terrible and He commented, “the accident has been a blessing for the universe and a curse for Baba!” But the next morning, the pain was practically nil, and he was able to sit in the wheelchair for over two hours. :
3rorn the 3amily Letters, 2oona, Dndia 9th 3ebntary, 1957 Dearest Family, As I went to Baba’s room this morning and saw Him sitting up, with the first faint rays of the sun stealing in over His bed, I felt like echoing the words ofa letter to Baba from someone in Scotland: “Th the royalHighness, King ofKings, allHonor and Glory, Isalute.” On the 3rd ofFebruaryPendu was able to be broughtby ambulance to Poona for a few hours check up at the good military hospital here, and stopped for awhile at Silver Oaks. .A glance was enough to show how much Pendu has gone through, and he broke down when he saw the familiar faces of some of the Mandali from Bombay and Poona. Baba came out in wheelchair to greet him, and talked lovingly to him,joked with him and told him how theyboth would be walking togethei gave him the strength and courage as only our Beloved can do; and Pendu said, “You, Baba suffer in supreme silence”, Pendu looked a changed man as he left, wearing a happy smile; and even when he was back in the ambulance kept lifting himself up to greet Baba . .
once more with joined hands. Eruch spends several hours with Baba, and is the rock of strength and patience as always... The others of the Mandali are at Satara packing to leave for Pimpalgaon in a day or two. In Ahmednagar preparations are going ahead to collect the 700 poor people whom Baba will bless with His prasad of food and love. .With Baba’s Love to you each and all dear ones ofHis family. Lovingly, Mani .
LAleltera The doctor came each day to check on Baba’s progress. One day he told Baba, “You shouldn’t stay in this small bedroom all day. Go out on the verandah and enjoy the trees, and go for an outing in the car every da 3 It’s a good distraction from the pain ofYour hip.” Baba liked the idea, and He began to go out for three-quarters of an hour for a drive with a few of the men Mandali. When Baba left we rushed about His room, dusting everything, washing the floor changing His sheets, and so on, so that when Baba returned everything was fresh and clean for Him. After His drive Baba would lie down on His bed to rest, and He let us press His feet for awhile. As we did this He would ask us to tell Him about our childhood. He took such a real interest in all the little details of these days in our lives... This accident was very serious. Just how serious and how much Baba was to suffer from it we did not then know. Gradually, with physiotherapy and exercises, Baba’s health improved enough for us to be able to return to Meherazad for Baba’s birthday in 1957.
.JI4eheru When the time of the traction was over, we came back to Meherazad. Rano and Naja had packed up and transferred the entire Satara household by making trips back and forth to Poona and then Meherazad. They then stayed in Satara and completed the packing in one week, with the help ofSe and had all the luggage taken by truck to Meherazad, stopping briefly to see us in Poona on the way. We too soon followed. Rano and Naja had, with Kaka’s help, emptied our room, i.e., the room where Naja, Goher and I stayed. Baba’s bed was then set up there, in the room which is now His bedroom. Previously He had used the room upstairs, but when we got to Meherazad Baba couldn’t do any walking yet as it was still too soon after the accident. Naja and I shifted to the nearby cottage across from the house, and Goher moved into the passageway ofthe living room outside the door to Baba’s room to be within close call. That summer after the accident it was very hot. Since Baba was now leading such a sedentary life, we realized the heat was becoming unbearable for Him. With persuasion He agreed to return to Poona for a month, as it was cooler there than in Meherazad. We stayed in Dadi Kerawalla’s cottage at Ganeshkind Experimental Gardens where he had a high executive post, and the men Mandali stayed in the cottage next door belonging to one of his colleagues who had kindly offered the use of it. Every morning Don would take Baba to a quiet, unfrequented road in the gardens where he could practice weight bearing, and He began learning to walk again. In later years we shifted to Guruprasad for as much as three 22
at a time to get away from the Ahmednagar heat during the summer. This change was beneficial for Baba. In Guruprasad over the years He gave many Darshan programmes in the big central hail whenever He so wished until the summer of 1967. The auto accident happened shortly after Baba had completed His work in SeLn in Satara. When we left Satara for Poona, we never returned again, although Baba did visit the site of the accident in 1958 on Good Friday. We were then staying for a month in Mahableshwar : ;t before Baba went to the West on His last trip. Baba said, “I suffer as no man suffers.” We always felt that the suffering, fasts and bindings He took on Himself were for the sake of His work in helping all .
Thankyou Meheru for your description ofthe Mandali’s life with Baba after His accident at Satara. Thank you Meherwan, for your work on your transcript as well. Thank you Bal Natu for pulling together miscellaneous information and giving us copies ofthe Life Circulars sent to East and West lovers during this time. Other references: Mehera, Beloved Books, © 1989 AMBPPCT; and LordMeher, Vols 15 & 16 © Manifestation Inc., 1999.
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sIeely, Jfriinnesota 2 c 4 I Clea 5ucoff 7 arjorie Jean Fairman was born on December 30, 1933, the eighth of nine children. When Marj was three, she became very ill with a respiratory infection. She survived, but lost most of her right lung. Because it collapsed, her spine never formed properly and she developed severe scoliosis. Perhaps because ofthis experience, she hated to be confined and loved physical projects. Her family moved frequently as they followed her father’s various appointments as Principal and Superintendent of Schools in the rural communities around Michigan. When she was in high school she went to live with her brother in Ann Arbor Michigan. She was looking for a better school and she found it. After a semester, she moved in with a friend’s family. She was very independent very early. Marj went on to get a degree in English at the University of Michigan. She began graduate work in social work, but did not complete it. She met Ed while working as a counselor at a camp which he visited to give a demonstration in forestry. Ed saw her off in the distance and said to himself “I am going to marry her.” Theirs was stormy courtship which ended, nonetheless, at the alter. At the time they married, Marj was teaching high school in Maryland, and Ed was working for the Forest Service. After finishing his Ph.D. in plant physiology, Ed got a position at the University of Minnesota, and they moved here in the winter of 1960-1961. Emily was born the following August. Clea and Jessica were born 26 months later, so Marj had three kids under three, and almost three kids under two. Mom raised us without any family or long-time friends around for support. Ed was on tenure track and less than the perfectly helpftil spouse. She would tell stories about how in the winter she would get such cabin-fever she would put us all in the stroller and push us through the snow at the zoo. She was really careful not to treat J essica and Clea as twins, but when she needed a few strokes, she would dress us up
and take us to K-Mart and let all the people coo at us and tell her how cute we were. In 1973 we bought a summer cottage on White Bear Lake. She taught us how to sail, and we (especially Clea and Jessica) crewed for her. Sailing is such an escape. You have to be intimately in touch with the wind and the water. You become sensitive to the slightest change, noticing, for example, that when the sun comes out from behind a cloud, the wind will shift slightly and increase in velocitv You sense how to adjust your weight in the boat by feeling the intensity of the wind on your face, reading the pattern ofwaves or whitecaps. And then
there are the sounds of sailing (including your swearing crew). When we would get back to the dock it would take forever for mom to put the boat away. Jessica’s husband Arne, the efficient, came along and rigged up special straps to make fastening the boat to the lift simple. She simply added more ropes and knots. Years went by before we finally figured out she was delaying her return from beauty and mastery and weightlessness and total connection with the elements. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Marj began to learn touch healing. She began with Reiki, an established method that is still widely used and taught today. Then she became involved in Koflitu, a method which she eventually taught in France and Spain, where Emily was living at the time. It was during this period that she also purchased a Kirlian camera. One would
place one’s finger in the camera, press it down on polaroid film, and have a picture taken of it. What came out was a round circle of different colors your aura. And the different colors and flares indicated tendencies of your personality, areas of disturbance in your aura, health problems, etc. Once again, Mom was a pioneer in the face of many disbelieving people. Now, we understand, this kind of photography is used in research. Mail learned about Meher Baba in the early 80’s from her friend Carol Kelly, who now works at Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. Carol wanted her to go to Meherabad with her one summer in the early 80s, but she refused, saying she wanted to sail and be at the cottage. But Baba had other plans. One day she found herself literally paralyzed, unable to move her arms and legs. That same day, Clea called from college, about 50 miles away. Clea had strep throat and final exams were the following week. Could Mom come down and give her a touch healing treatment? Marj made a deal with Baba: IfHe let her be able to drive so she could go drive to Clea’s dorm room, she would go to India. Marj regained movement and went to Meherabad that summer. Starting then, she asked Baba for His help, and thanked Him when she got it. Mom asked Baba for everything. She asked Him to help her when the lawnmower wouldn’t start. She loved big cars, and a special thrill was when Baba (and Jane Haynes) let her drive her Lincoln Continental with M BABA license plate past His home in Myrtle Beach. Marj was a founder of the Meher Baba Center of the Twin Cities. She has linked our local group to other U.S. groups, as well as Europe and India. She was the Baba contact for dozens of people, and traveled with many of them to Meherabad on her seven trips to India. For her daughters she was the bright light bulb we depended on to illuminate Baba’s Love. But with her passing, we now feel like Baba has connected the electrical wires from Him directly to our hearts. In July of this year, Marj was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer. She died on September 5th. -
[Due to an editorialoversighi we omitted Shanic tribute to Raphael in ourPassings section last issue. Our apologies to her and we run it here.J
3ctrewell to JJI4eher EBabti’s .Songbird .Siiani 7}erchick, Los c./lngeles aba’s dear songbird has flown home. On at 8:54am, the Mischievous One t April ls enfolded our dear brother into His arms. His passing sealed the chapter on a protracted critical state where for over a month Raphael was medically unconscious (com pletely sedated) while his friends and other dear ones visited his bedside. On April 14t1 at the Los Angeles Center, however, we cele brated our dear brother’s life. The program consisted oftributes by close friends and from those who were touched by his music. Our Los Angeles Center was honored by the presence of several people from the Sufi community in Walnut Creek. Raphael had a special connection with their group as he played a joyous concert for them on Meher Baba’s birthday.This exquisite event was recorded and the performance was placed on a CD entitled Raphael Ruddi Concertfor Meher Babai Sufis.
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that he played so skillfully. And how can we ever forget his delicate songs dedicated to Mehera titled Longingfor the Beloved and Liberation, and the one for Mani titled Corning Home. At two years old, Raphael first met Meher Baba in Myrtle Beach where Baba held Raphael’s hands. His mother Virginia, told her son that Meher Baba said ofRaphael, “I have searched the whole hierarchy for this special soul. When he grows up, he will be one of the greatest.” I met my dear friend Raphael, first through listening to his music and then in person when he moved to Los Angeles. Songs like Beyond Passion and Hootenanny at the Thrnb will remain etched in my heart forever. Many heartfelt talks of life with Meher Baba warmed our souls. Through our sweet friendship came one of the greatest gifts of all: laughter. The joy oflaughing, many times over what, I doift even know, brought tears ofjoy and hours of firn to both ofour lives. Raphael’s great sense ofhumor and sensitive way of supporting his friends will remain a fond memory Dear Raphael, we love you, we miss you, you will live in our hearts always. Jai Meher Baba dear brother and friend. You are now with your Beloved.
him he should have gone without hesitating, withoutlookingleft orright. Reg tookthis lesson to heart for the rest ofhis life. “Be like the horse with its blinkers —look directly ahead.” During the 1960s, Reg came to work at Avatar’s Abode during his holidays. Baba asked Reg to give up his job as Personnel Manager at the HotelAustralla. In 1969, he lived at Avatar’s Abode for awhile,butwentbackto Sydney soon after Francis’s return to Australia. Even though he had achieved such ahigh position in hiswork, he stillretainedhislove ofthe simplelife. He learned joinery and did much of the work on his own house. He built most of the ftuniture that was used by Baba in Baba’s House. In 1978, he had reached retirement age, and moved permanently to Avatars Abode. At first he lived in a caravan, but he was a happy man. He could now work flail-time in Baba’s service; he had a horse that he loved. But all this was cut short when he had a massive heart attack fol lowedbyastroke.The doctors said thathe would never walk or speak again. The damage was such that theydid not consider that any rehabilitation programme would be worthwhile. Those of us who knewReg knewbetter. Regwas determined to lead a useful life for Baba, and many in the commumty around him were prepared to help. He lived that useftil, loving, determined life for Baba for another twenty years.
There always seemed to be some task that was an essential focus for Reg life, something that he absolutely had to do. Ray Kerkhove remembers how he was always ready to tackle “one more hurdle” so that he could be “useftil for Baba”, and “not be a burden.” For years he rose at dawn to feed the horses. He would call loudly andjoyouslyto them from the top ofthe hill and wake us all. He spent many hours each week on his rider mower cutting the extensive lawns of Avatar’s Abode.We all thoughtthat he would be heartbroken without these tasks, but as each task became too difficult, he found another. He would use a hand mower with one hand. Gradually he had to cutbackon his physicalwork,buthe then spent more and more hours watching his beloved Baba videos. During those years he became a much-loved resident ofAvatar’s Abode. We ailloved to hear his enthusiastic “Jai Baba! Lovelyto see you dear!” and see his wonderftil smile. When his health deterioratedto the extent that he needed to be in a nursinghome,his spiritneverfaltered. Staffand residents at the nursing home were the recipients ofhis hearty”Jai Babas!” He remained totallyfo cussed on Baba. The Baba videos filled most of his waking moments. He passed peacefully on to Baba while watching one ofthese videos.
3 o-Anne i3ntford, ...Avatar’s ..Abode egwas born in London in 1913 and joined p with the merchant navy at a very early age. In 1938 Reg’s ixaveisbroughthimtoAustralia. He obtained work in the country and discovered a way oflife that he loved. This was during the Great Depression, and Reg became involved in the stmggle for socialjustice. A friend described him as “a great horseman, a good bushman, and a loyal friend.” She recalls the “thu times rac ing horses at top speed, mustering cattle, telling bush stories.” Duringthelate 1940s, Regbecame part ofthe Sufigroupledbythe Baronvon Frankenburg, and met Francis Brabazon. This was how he heard ofhis Beloved Meher Baba, and became a much loved member ofthe Australian Babafan-iil He metBaba at Beacon Hill in 1956, and atAvatar’s Abode in 1958. Ross KeatingrecountedhowReg had told him about how he had been one of the four men who were asked to carry Baba’s chair from the Meeting Hall at Avatars Abode. The four were asked to wait for Emch’s signal. When the signalcame, Regbrieflyglancedbehindto see if the others were following. Baba later chided —
In the distinction ofBaba’s timing, witness how Raphael’s CD, that was recorded with Pete Townsend in the late 70’s, was produced by Rhino Records and released on Meher th The Oceanic Baba’s New Lfè, October 16 Concerts received international critical acclaim and is one of the jewels in the musical legacy of Raphael Rudd’s artistic life. At the memorial, Raphael’s dear friend, Jim McGee, honored Raphaelby creating and showing a beautiftil video that featured music, film footage and still photographs ofhim. Fortunately, for those gathered at the memorial, Raphael’s dear friend, Joseph Schneider, who had sat at Raphael’s side in order to learn a few of his songs, played several piano pieces, one ofwhich was titled Homage. How wonderfid it was for all of us to be treated to Raphael’s final concert at our Cen ter honoring Meher Baba’s lO8t1 birthday. Raphael performed for his Beloved on the Center’s piano, basking all ofus in the sweet sounds ofhis playing. What a stroke of grace that Raphael played for Baba and for us just two days before the entry into his final passage following his car accident. Oh the memories! Raphael delighted the Meher Baba community on so many occasions with his beautiftil playing. We will not forget his passionate rendition of the Gujarati Arti
LAI essa4:Je 3rom JlVleherctzad 1:l5pm on 13th August 2002, Au Akbar Shapurzaman, Baba’s Aloba, went to his Beloved Lord and Master. Shortly after coming out of surgery in hospital in Pune, Aloba expired in Intensive Care of pulmonary embolus. Aloba, devoted to Baba since boyhood days in the Prem Ashram, served and adored Baba until the very end. Aloba’s body will be brought back to Meherazad to be placed in Mandali Hall in front of Baba’s chair where Baba’s close ones will gather together and pay their respects. Aloba’s body will be taken from Meherazad to Meherabad at 7 a.m. on August 14th, where he will pay his last respects at Baba’s Samadhi and then to rest in Mandali Hail in the Main Bungalow at lower Meherabad where all who wish can pay their last respects to Aloba. By 2 p.m. all those gathered there will proceed together to the burial ground for the interment. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai Meherazad Family
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ii Akbar Shapurzaman completed his whistle stop tour on the Earthly plane on August 13, 2002 at 1:15 pm in a hospital in Pune, India. Nicknamed ‘Electricity’ ‘General’ and ‘Snake killer’ by Meher Baba, he was otherwise known as Aloba. His journey began from a small sleepy village called Yezd, miles away from the capital Teheran, in Persia. The little man from Iran continues to serve Meher Baba as ordained in His divine plan, now from a different plane! After Baba dropped His body, Aloba became the watch guard at Meherazad. All visiting pilgrims are aware of the shrill whistle that he blew to tell pilgrims ‘Time to board the bus’ every visitor’s day at 12.30 pm. Aloba continued executing his duties as per Baba’s orders till he went to the hospital. In the past year he was aware that he would soon no longer be around, and he hinted to various people about it. Aloba lead the Iranian group that came during Amarthithi, 2002 to the graves of the men mandali and told them, ‘No matter what, I shall be buried next to Eruch’. Last May he wrote to a pilgrim from Delhi who always sent food and letters, ‘Now this is my last letter. Please tell everyone that I expect no replies, and don’t send anything for me to eat.’ When Aloba’s frail 86-year old hip broke and he had to be hospitalized, he went to Pune reluctantly. Ryan, one of the Westerners looking after him said, “He was tired and kept talking to himself But when it was all over he looked so radiant and liberated! His face did not look at all tired.” Another resident, Meherdokht, a fellow Iranian says, “The nurses in the hospital wondered where the energy came from. Aloba was asking for things and was still his energetic self! One day he spoke to Bhauji on the phone who was in another hospital ‘What are they giving you to eat? Here they don’t give me anything that I like’! It was quite a task to keep him down on his bed.’ He also requested of Meherdokht, “Please ask my niece if she can come here (to India).” Aloba lost contact with his father when his sister got married in Iran, and he never returned to the land of his birth. But he loved the country and before departing for Baba, he said “Iran will burn.” An Iranian in tears at his burial interpreted it as “yes Iran will burn with Baba’s Love, I think this is what Alobaji meant.” As Aloba was being lowered six feet down next to Eruch as he predicted, one felt he would wake up and whistle once again and say, ‘Time to go, board the bus’. As the rain showers came down (Baba’s blessings) the crowds ran to the shed and the Pilgrim Centre. Some of us still stood, waiting for the shrill whistle. After a long period of silence a loud whistle didjolt us off memories ofAloba. it was the train rushing across the Lower Meherabad railway tracks. Was it the train or was it Aloba? Maybe he was whistling us away saying, ‘go backbefore you catch a cold!’The whistle has now gone silent but memories will still linger on. .about this little man from Iran who came to India and left an indelible mark on our hearts.
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hose who have never been to Meher Baba’s tomb shrine in India may not be familiar with the name Aloba. Many of you may only remember Aloba as the Meherazad time keeper; the man who blew the whistle and rang the familiar bell reminding pilgrims when it was ‘time to board the bus!’ For some of us though, he was among the sweetest and the most loyal of friends. So what can I say about Aloba’s life? I know he had a sister in Iran who he visited in the early 70’s. Many ofus have heard the story of how he was arrested in Iran at his sister’s home for telling everyone, including the police that ‘Baba is God!’ In Iran, as in much of the Middle East, declaring a man to be God is a serious crime. Somehow he ended up showing a Baba film to some 35 local policemen; then mi raculously, Iran’s secret police phoned the station and asked them to release Aloba. Please allow me to digress for thosewho knowlittle to nothing about the land ofAloba’s birth. Historically called Persia, Iran is a large Middle Eastern country i bordered by Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf For many centuries and in dif ferent time periods Iran ruled and influenced much of the i. world. Persians consider themselves culturally and historically distinct from the Arab peoples surrounding them. For those who are asking, the word ‘Iran’ :!: comes from the Old Iranian word ‘aryanam,’ meaning ‘of the Aryans.’ Humorously though, the word ‘Persian’ is not even Persian; it comes from the ancient Greekword for this part ofthe world, ‘pers.’ Furthermore, this is the culture from which English has borrowed words like caravan, check-mate, bazaar, pajama, khaki, and kiosk, to name a few. The Persian language is so old it was originally written in cuneiform script
( angular impressions on clay tablets) when most of the world had no written language at all. Later the language was written in the Sasanian alphabet, and eventually in Arabic script. Arabs brought Islam and replaced the ancient Zoroastrian religion.
Baba’s mother’s mother was born. In 1916, in Yazd, Mohammed Hussein Shapurzaman’s wife gave birth to a son. They named their son Au Akbar, later named Aloba by Meher Baba. Now Au Akbar as his name would suggest, was raised Muslim. In 1923 at the age of seven, Ali Akbar traveled with his uncle to India where for four years he worked along with his L uncle’s son in three different Irani restaurants. At that time they read about the opening of the Hazrat Babajan School and t Meher Ashram in the Calcutta newspaper, ‘Hablul Mateen.’ Hablul Mateen was a Persian newspaper printed in India, which enjoyed a wide circu :• lation throughout the Persian Gulf region. This new school : was to provide a free spiritual and academic education for students who were accepted As it happened, Aloba and I his cousin were both accepted to the school. The boys began their education at either a basic or intermediate level. Aloba was in the basic class, the A1phabet Class.’ This primary class fo cused on learning to read and write both Persian and Eng lish. At this time K. G. Dastur was the school principal and Baidul taught Aloba’s Alphabet Class.’ Baba affectionately gave little Mi Akbar the nickname ‘Majnun, which means one who is mad specifically in the context of love One of Meher .;.:: Baba’s disciples, Ramjoo, recalls Aloba in the supplement to his book, Ramjooc Diaries (which follows the heroic adventures of a different Meher Ashram student also named Mi): The intensity of his love towards the Master is unique. None can come to the level of his highly active love, which always keeps him on the stir. He is seldom seen in one place or sitting calmly. When he first joined the Meher Ashram, he used to feel quite disinterested in discussions about love
A thousand years ago many Zoroastrian Iranians fled persecution and arrived on the West Coast of India. In the Gurjarat region of India these Persian people came to be called Parsi. Of course, our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba was born into just such an Indian Zoroastrian family. Now let’s get down to details. Almost exactly in the center of Iran is the city of Yazd, the city from which Meher Baba’s father was born as well as the city where
and spirituality. He would not only show open disinclination for divinity, but used to fight shy of all such subjects, and would remain as aloofas possible from meditation and concentration. But all the same, at the first exit ofAli, the hero, Au Akbar became all of a sudden surcharged with the divine grace of the Master. He began to roll and reel in the dust, quite literally, as a fish just out of water, till he would come into the Master’s contact, whom he would try to enfold in his little arms as furiously as a moth tries to devour the lamp. The moment the Master shows an inclination to receive him, iUi Akbar literally takes a bound towards the Master, and begins to embrace or kiss the person ofthe Master a number of times, but invariablyhe would bite and scratch him all over the body. It is always an effort for the Master to free himselffrom Au Akbar’s hugging caresses, once he allows this intense lover to clasp him. The violent throbs of his heart are too thrilling to allow Mi Akbar to meditate. He never meditates, and has never meditated.’ From here on Aloba tells his own story best. Life at Meher Ashram was superb. It was very nice, very good, from every angle. There were about 150 boys, students, of various religious nationalities. There were Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Christians, like that. Our food at Meher Ashram was very simple but very delicious, always vege tarian. Our school learning at Baba’s school was like a miracle, because, in the duration of Meher Ashram time, every boy did the work of three to four years in just one year. The school was called the Hazarat Babajan School, named after Hazarat Babajan, and where the boys stayed was called the Meher Ashram, named after Meher Baba. We were very happy at Meher Ashram, and no one wanted to go. We had time for play, we had time for study; for everything we had a fixed time. One hour was kept for play in the evening, five to six. Unfortunately, what happened was this: one time a Muslim from Bombay came to Meherabad in connection with his son. He saw the boys standing in line facing the sun with folded hands and praying. Our prayer was just the names of God and nothing else—”Hari, Paramatma, Allah, Ahuramazda, God, Yezdan, Hu.” Now see, the sight of this made the man furious. He thought with his bad feeling that Meher Baba is changing the religion of the boys from Islam to Hinduism or Zoroastrianism by making them worship the sun. That man went to Bombay and
spread rumors against Meher Baba. He spread the news that Meher Baba, by opening this Meher Ashram and paying all the expenditures from His own pocket, wanted to change Muslim religious beliefto Hindu religious belief. So now the other parents or guardians of the boys—about 18 of them from Bombay—became fttrious and angry. This reaction came about, and they came and took their boys out of the school. They did not give the real reason why they were removing their boys. Instead, some said, “I want to go to Iran.” Others said, “There is no one to help me in my shop business.” Others said, I want to take my boy from Meher Ashram to Bombay with me.” Like that, each made excuses. 2 A curious thing happened, on the day on which my uncle came to Meherabad to take me away with his son, he came at four o’clock in the evening. That same morning, Baba while sitting at the tomb saw me from a distance and through gestures, through ‘ishareh,’ called me to him. I rushed to Baba. Then Baba with his two hands gestured me to bring my books to him. I read Baba’s gesture and ran to my room and brought the two books—Persian and English. Baba just took the Persian book, opened it and told me to read. I read that one page and then put the book down and took the English book, which was McMillani Primary Readerl. The lesson related to railway trains. I read this lesson to Baba and Baba asked me to shut the book and go. Now this gesture has two meanings. One meaning was close your book and go for your studies. But to me the inner meaning which Baba alone knew was that this is the termination ofyour studies here. That evening I was taken away forcibly from the School by my uncle. 3 Seven years later Aloba was working in a Bombay restaurant. By chance one day, Baidul, his former teacher from the Babajan School, came into this restaurant. Although Aloba did not speak to him, some connec tion occurred. After Baba’s school in Meherabad closed, I went back to Bombay. It was in 1934 that I engaged myselfas a cashier in an Irani shop there. What could be my age at that time? I was born in 1916; so I must have been 18. At that time, suddenly spiritual feelings and Meher Baba revived in my mind. The inchnation was too much. I bought Hafiz, the Masnavi, Shams-i-Tabriz; I started reading, and one night the pull was so intense that I left Bombay without telling anyone and came to Meherabad to see Meher Baba. At Meherabad I came to know that Meher “
Baba was not there but in Nasik. So I went to Nasik to see Meher Baba. I was traveling by bus day and night, with no proper food and no proper sheep, like that. When I arrived in Nasik, I went to Sarosh Motor Works. This belonged to Adi’s brother Rustom. A bus, which had been brought in for repair was standing there. I inquired about Meher Baba, and they said, “He will come back in two hours.” So I went inside bus and slept, since I had no sleep for a journey of three days and nights. After some time I heard voices outside the bus and knew that Meher Baba had come. They were telling Baba, “Someone has come and wants to see you. 11 I saw five persons standing in a group and one of them was Meher Baba, but un fortunately I could not recognize him. The reason was that when I left Meher Ashram Meher Baba was physically thin with a long moustache and he wore a long black woolen coat with chappals torn to pieces. One of them asked, “Who are you?” I said, “I was in Meher Baba’s Ashram and my name is Au Akbar, and I have come to see Meher Baba.” The important thing was that Meher Baba had no alphabet board in his hand. He had a long beard and was wearing a hat. The five persons were Dr. Abduh Ghani, Rustomji, Vishnumaster Ramjoo, and Meher Baba himself After I expressed my desire to see Meher Baba one ofthem said, ‘A1right keep seated here.” After five minutes they came out. This time Meher Baba had taken off his hat and also had the English alphabet board in his hands. I just dropped myself at his feet on the ground. Someone lifted me up. I could not stand on my feet. I fell down the third time. Then Baba told me, “If you have come to stay with me you have to be awake, notlike this, be calm and quiet, listen to me.” Baba said, “Now go back to Bombay, stay there for a month and then come to me.” At the same time Baba told Vishnumaster to take me to the hotel—Circus Cinema res taurant—and he gave me food consisting of mutton. I ate there because I was hungry. In Baba’s car Vishnumaster took me to the railway station, purchased a ticket for me with Baba’s money and I came to Bombay. After I returned to Bombay, I thought I would have to stay there for one month. I just stayed at a friend’s shop, counting days, thinking ofreturning to Meher Baba after a month. But after two to three weeks I received a letter in which it was stated that I should not come to Baba now. I purchased the shop in partnership with another Irani boy and started mybusiness. I think, after six or eight months, Baba called me. I went and saw 27
Meher Baba. Baba asked me, “What are you doing?” I said, “Baba, I am doing business.” Baba said, “Do business, be in Bombay, but come to see me once every month, that too on the first of every month.” Baba told me to come to see him at Rahuri, Meherabad, or Nasik and before my departure from Bombay he would inform me where to go. I would take the night train from Bombay, reach Rahuri the next morning at about 9 or 10. I would go to Baba and after some hours with Baba I would take the evening train which would bring me back to Bombay the next day. I would not ask any questions ofBaba. Baba would ask me, “How is your health?” I would say, “fine” and so on. But one day Baba asked me what my income was. “My income is Rs. 30 and that ofmy partner is also Rs. 30, we get Rs. 60 a month from the shop. Of course, this was in the years 1936-37 when the purchasing power of the rupee was very strong. One day Baba said that our income would increase. Thereafter, it kept on increasing every month and the same shop gave us Rs. 1,300 per month. I did not know from where the customers would flock to the shop. I had to change all the utensils, had to bring more chairs and tables. I also bought a soda-making machine and started supplying aerated water.” Aloba eventually joined Meher Baba permanently in the month of June, seven months before the New Life began officially on January 1, 1950. By October 1949, New Life preparation had begun. Before this period though, Meher Baba had planned to go into seclusion. An old Shivaji fort near Satara, know as Ajinkya Tara, was considered for this purpose. Remarking about it, Baba commented: ‘The area was Shivaji’s playground. His men were so good, so devoted, they were ready to lay down their lives at his feet at his slightest nod. You too should become like that.’ Padri quipped, ‘We are not the type. We would have been fit only to rub and tend his horses!’ ‘That is not true,’ replied Baba. ‘I know what you are. Everyone of you will sacrifice your life for me. In this Avataric age, I have a mandali unlike any other in any previous advent. You are all so lucky’ There was an addition to the mandali ranks in June of 1949: the former student from the Meher Ashram School, JUi Akbar (later nicknamed Aloba) from Bombay came to stay permanently with them.’ 28
Only two of the men mandali were former Meher Ashram students. One of the boys, Murli Kale, joined the mandali as soon as the school closed. The other was JUi Akbar Shapurzaman (Aloba). Only sixteen men and four women were originally permitted to accompany Meher Baba on the New Life. Aloba and Murli were among these sixteen men. About this time Meher Baba gave two of the Muslim men Hindu-sounding names due to the violence following the partition of India. For Ali Akbar the new name, Aloba, stuck. Over the years and with great attention to the details he felt were most important, he kept his own unique notes, lists, and files. Now those who know Aloba, recall how passionately he shared his many dreams, intuitions, and predictions. The following is an example of Aloba’s fiery conviction responding to several questions regarding Baba’s Samadhi, His Silence, and His Manifestation. Meher Baba had declared in December 1945, ‘I am going to retire in my crypt under the dome on the hill at Meherabad from 1st January 1946 for spiritual relaxationfor an Indçfinite period,’ Baba left his physical body on January 31, 1969. By saying ‘to relax in the tomb,’ Baba clearly means to come back soon (and not after 700 years at his next Advent). I am fully confident that Beloved Baba will physically come back soon and at the right time. In May 1943 Baba declared, “The tree of My Divine Manifestation is to be planted at Mashad ( Iran), whence it will grow and spread, ultimately covering the whole world. In one of his messages Meher Baba has declared, “I will break my silence when the East and the West both are aflame from the fires of war.” In another message Meher Baba said, “I will break my silence and speak to the world when the world has become humbled and is ready to hear. There is a great belief in the whole of the Islamic world, and the Muslims firmly believe that the expected Hazrat-e-Saheb e-Zamaan or Imam Mehdi will manifest or reappear (Zohoor) throughout the world. In the same way, the Zoroastrians expect the arrival or manifestation of the expected Shah Bahram-Varjavand. The Christians expect the Second Advent of Christ. The Hindus expect the coming ofKalaki Avatar. They do not realize that all these divine personalities are one, and Meher Baba is all of them. The world’s heated events show that someone who is capable of stopping
them, i.e. a Divine Personality, is going to appear soon to save humanity and stop the total world-destruction. Meher Baba will appear in the midst of great suffering of humanity and great world destruction. The moment he breaks his silence, war will stop and the tides of destruction will recede. Peace will come. Joy will come. This world will be reconstructed with good hearts, permanent peace, and brotherly and sympathetic feeling among mankind. I remember once in Guruprasad Pune), Meher Baba in the presence of ( His Mandali and a few others, said, “I will manifest physically in one thousand places at a time all over the world.” Avatar Meher Baba in his first discourse “Avatar,” which appeared in Volume 1 No. 1 ofMeher Baba Journal, dated November 1938, clearly indicated the moment when He would break his silence. In this, his first discourse Beloved Baba declared to the world all the important points regarding his worldwide manifestation and breaking of his silence.” This was Aloba. A life lived with passion, courage, and conviction. A man whose heart I trust and whose company I miss.
(Endnotes) 1 Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher, vol. 9 &1O, pp. 3341-3342. 2
Ramjoo Abdulla, condensed from Ramjooc Diaries 1922-1929, pp. 530-531. Ward Parks, Meberana Messenger, issue 2000, “Reminiscences of a Meher Ashram School Boy: An Interview with Aloba.” 3
Condensed from Naosherwan Anzar’s interview with Aloba in The Glow, August 1976, pp. 16-18, entitled “I lived with God.” 5
Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher, vol. 9 &1O, pp. 3341-3342.
L,Alobtl’s Work is 3inished a n 2eterson Caitfornia
ack in the 1970’s and ‘80’s I remember most fondly Aloba’s forceful voice calling, “COME FOR TEA.” Later the message changed to “BOARD THE BUS!” accompanied by his shrill whistle. It made no difference if Eruch was at the most critical part of his story, Aloba was Baba’s timekeeper: if it was 12:30, then we boarded the bus when we heard the whistle. Of course there were also his remarkable dreams. Every time one came to India, Aloba would have a fascinating new dream saga to relate about how the apocalypse was coming and how Meher Baba’s universal manifestation was immanent. But now that dear voice is silent, as the great and much loved Aloha has gone to his f. Beloved on Tuesday, August 13t1. I was in India at the time •: of his passing and so was able to attend the funeral. Following are my memories, observations and feelings about this historic event. One lover ofBaba who was staying at the pilgrim center was a close friend of Aloba. When he heard the news of dear Aloha’s passing, he immediatelybecame very sad and began grieving. Suddenly he had the strong impression of Aloba’s presence and Aloha was laughing and singing and dancin g, so happy to be free of that gross form. This image immediately turned the Baba lover’s grief into joy—joy for Aloba’s release! Dear Mokum Singh from New Delhi told me how
anxious Aloba was to be through with his old body Last summer ( 2001), Aloba told Mokum that he was absolutely ready to go to Baba. He said he was no longer counting the days, but he was “counting the hours.” So Aloha’s death was not a sad event—at least not for him! Powerfttl and heartfelt events of the next
and Dr. Goher had said their goodbyes to Aloba at Meherazad. I rushed through lunch at the Pilgrim Center and when I arrived back at the hail, Murshida Conner was sitting not far from Aloba’s body. The hail was packed and the presence ofBaha seemed to elevate the music to a loved-filled, ecstatic pitch. People continued to file by and touch their heads to Aloha’s feet and sometimes stroke his cheek with ;--t love. I especially remember Katie’s good-bye to Aloba. She was so filled with love, placing flowers at various spots on his body after having kissed the flowers. She then stroked his face 1ovingl) She reminded me just then of Mehera. When two 0’ clock came Jal immed iately went into action. 1. The white coffin was brought next to the body and Jal’s ap pointed helpers lifted it into the coffin amid shouts of “Avatar Meher Baba, là Jai!” Aloba then led his last procession as the body was carried (without the lid of the coffin) to the men’s cemetery The multitude of people, especially Easterners, kept up the continual chant of”Av atar Meher Baba, kiJai.” So many Easterners were able to experience this celebration of one of God’s own workers since they had arrived during the previous two days from all parts oflndia to attend the weeklong series of Sufi musical programs. There were hundreds in attendance, some from as far away as Hamirpur. The women mandali and Murshida gathered around the gravesite while Jal’s workers put the lid on the coffin and lowered it into the grave. As the body went into its snug resting place in Mother Earth—right next to Eruch’s grave, a light rain started. Everyone knew that Baba was showering his dear ones with rain-prasad in celebration of the mighty love that Aloha had for Him. The Parvardigar Prayer was recited and then everyone got to throw a handful of earth on the coffin. I think this final ceremony was speeded along a bit since everyone by this time was getting quite soaked from the rain. One ofthe amazing things about India to me is how casually and simply the Indians
I I F
day, Wednesday, August 14, seemed to flash by in rapid succession. And any sadness was cushioned by Baba’s strong presence. Farhad Shafa had kept vigil by the body all ofTuesday night at Meherazad. Aloha’s body arrived up on Meherabad Hill at about 8:05 in the morning, and was placed in the tomb for about ten minutes. The body was then taken to Mandali hail in lower Mehe rabad, where Jal Dastur positioned the body with the head slightly elevated and pointing toward Beloved Baba’s chair. Flowers were strewn all over, and only Aloba’s sweet, “sleeping” head was visible. The Aloha celebration began in the late morn:ing when Meheru and Katie and Bal arrived from Easterners and Wester ners sang I an piaye I tiful Baba music while people filed by, taking their last look and saying a fond farewell. Anarvaz ..‘
handle death. Within one hour of the news ofAlobaji’s death, the grave was already be— ing dug: no ffissing and no sentimentality Of course people will miss Aloba—especially since so few ofthe dear Mandali are still with us, but nobody seemed to be depressed or grieving in the American sense. People were simply filled with Baba’s love and happiness, with hill and complete knowledge that death is simply a birth into a new llfe, much more than it’s a sad end to an old life. Jal Dastur told me that he had presided over ten funerals of Baba’s dear ones since his arrival to stay at Meherabad permanently. Aloba’s death was another landmark event in the story of the Avatar ofthe Age’s work on earth. I felt very privileged to have shared it. j\$.
Alobaigrave is now beside Ernehi
7he flood gates to your 2lome
ett &c44 L 2
have opened wide.
7oday the Town Crier is returniug to his seat iii the heaveus.
E ou gather your Court
mid by each departure from this earthly life a star is placed upon )3our crania.
t -n Ii 4cALk
This is a littlepoem thatAloba wrotefor Francis Brabazon regarding Alobacpaying a visit to AvatariAbode. It was written sometime before Francis’death in the mid 1980i
We shall see a briylituess iii the sky toiiiylit 11 seuse 7he earth mu a suddcu chauyc. 7lic cit/laster has called aiw of . lis ama. 2
) . 4 j: 2cza. L/4bralLim;zadeii, Caiiftmiia did not shed tears when I heard Beloved Baba’s Chai Maker and Hafiz Reciter passed away. But now, sitting here and membering him, I can’t help tears welling up in my eyes. I miss him and cherish the times I spent in his animated and enthusi astic company. I first met dear Aloba during my first visit to Meherazad in 1979. He loved receiving visitors from Iran, our homeland he had left at the age ofseven. He truly was Baba’s link to His Iranian lovers and made them feel at home. He kept sending out letters and circulars to them long after they’d left India, sharing tidbits of news and almost always predicting when his Beloved would break His Silence! The Iranian Baba lovers, and all ofus who recall his roaring chant of “Drink Tea, Become Free!” while he served Chai at Meherazad, will miss him dearly. I spent an incredible month with him during his only visit to America in May of 1988. I was wandering in the spiritual desert during the months leading to his visit. I just wanted to pack my rucksack and take off first for Australia and later for China. For months I read up about these lands and in my imagination hopped on trains traversing them north to south and east to west. But always when I wanted to make plans to start myjourney, the thought would creep in that I would miss Aloba’s visit if I left. I had no idea about his visit’s schedule since I was not in touch with him or other Baba lovers. I thought he would be coming sometime in summer. Then one day in May a strong urge came up that I should visit Myrtle Beach before I made any further plans. I had not been there for about five years and a trip made sense. In two days I was ready to leave and got into my car for the 900-mile journey. A few blocks away from my home I thought I better go back and pick up a few Hafiz tapes to listen to during the long drive. I went back home, left the engine running, dashed in and picked up the tapes. As I was exiting the back door the phone rang. In my haste I did not want to answer it but something inside pushed me to pick up the phone. It was my soulbrother Mehdi Ghaffari whom I had met in Meherazad in 1979 and had not heard from for seven years. He told me he hadjust returned from Myrtle Beach and
Aloba had asked him to call me as soon as he got home and tell me to go there im mediately! I told him I didn’t know Aloba was already in America. I also laughed and told him that I was on my way, that my car was running outside, and that I would have missed his call had I not turned around to pick up some tapes! I knew then beyond a shadow of a doubt that Beloved Baba was orchestrating the whole thing and my trip was His call. Events during that incredible month proved this calling. I became Aloba’s virtual shadow from the moment I arrived in Myrtle Beach. He wanted me to be present everywhere he went. When Baba lovers invited him to their homes for dinner he would say “I will bring along my friend Reza”. At dinner he would take a few morsels and would roar laughing Enough bones for the dog!”. Then he would urge me in Farsi bezan ghadeshL” eat well!! In such gatherings he would recite the Persian Arti written by him. Sometimes he would ask me to sing the Arti. I seldom finished singing the Arti without choking and tears. I mirrored his pure love and devotion to the Beloved of all. Baba’s constant presence and guidance saved me from a few potential embarrassments. One evening Aloba was scheduled to talk in Dilruba library I took a few hours off and went to visit Irwin Luck. Half an hour before Aloba’s talk I left Irwin and de cided to go see another dear friend instead of attending the talk. I justified that since I was always with Aloba it was permissible. Waiting at the traffic light with my turn signal flashing right towards my friend’s house, the thought occurred to me “what if Aloba calls for you in the middle of his talk?” I immediately changed the turn signal to turn left towards Meher Center. When I arrived Dilruba was packed and he had started his talk. I stood in the back of the room. Some ten minutes into his talk Aloba looked searchingly into the audience and asked loudly” Where is this Reza Irani?!”. Feeling embarrassed I stated my presence from the back of the room. He asked me to go sit next to him on the floor. As I sat down he said Someone please bring him a cushion to sit on. He is a big man and must be comfortable!”. I blushed from being the center of attention. Internally, however, I “
was thanking Baba for having sung in my inner ears to attend the talk instead of going to visit my friend. At the end of that magical mystery month I went to take my leave from dear J ane Hayes; the late Meher Center Director. She told me that Baba’s love and compas sion for His dear Aloba had brought me to be his companion from his homeland and help him feel at home. I felt it was really one of the greatest gifts from Baba to this humble beggar! The frosting on the cake came during Aloba’s three-day visit to my home in New Hampshire. That story has to wait for another edition due to space limitation now. I will remember and cherish dear Aloha’s child-like simplicity enthusiasm, animated humor, and his constant and unadulterated love and devotion to his Friend and only love. Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!
Shun tlwse masters wiw are hk multicoloured e1ectn sigis whidt flash on and aff bT4JILkfliflØ tiw darL sty ofyour worU for a monierrtk, and Ieavrng you tn darkness 3 am the Sun whwh s lnd&ii bj the shadow ofyaurself Cease thinknj thatoit ate your shadoit’ anyon nnll fi4 the Sun winch 3 am is jow own Rca1dy A11 Lliat fngktens and eanfuses jou rnd grtps you with &spaw s yrntr own shadow When the Stn ofjove manifests n its gk, 9 and all faces are turned towards that !Radiaiuç all shakws will Imve dsapieared..-even the menwnj of them wdl hatN vanished .A post lo stand erect and must have its bntt-eud sunk well Wo t&BrowuL 44 kverrneds to luwe the base £tkewzse ;; of1,is faith embedded m Mj Divirntj if he would remun steadfast in his love. —3feher Ba1a
.A Cekbration of J4/kItcr EBaba in Drarna and 5ong uguSt, 2002 4 rJL?rescuted at Jlliclwmbad and J l4elicrazad by Sufsm Rcorieiitc4 in. — 7
7he Dnvitcition the spring of200l,J. Alan Wagner, Director ofArts at Meherabad, contacted Murshid James MacKie of Sufism Reoriented in America to invite the Sufis to participate in a new performing arts program at the Music and Arts Theater in Lower Meherabad. Alan explained that he hoped that Meher Baba cen ters from all over the world would come to Meherabad to present original programs of music, drama and dance in celebration of Meher Baba each month at the Master’s home. Since Sufism Reoriented has long been associated with large scale performing arts celebrations for Meher Baba in America, Alan hoped that the Sufis could come that fall as one ofthe first groups in a world Meher Baba drama festival. Murshid MacKie was happy to receive Alan’s invitation and began to explore ways in which some ofthe musical programs the Sufis had produced in America might be transported to India. It soon became clear that it could be not be arranged for 2001, but Murshid MacKie was hopeful that it might be possible the following year. In the late spring of200l, Murshid MacKie passed away. His successor, Murshida Carol Weyland Conner, following Murshid MacKie’s wish, began to draw up plans to send a troupe of performers and a technical staff to India to present a fully-staged musical program sometime in the summer of2002. As Murshida Conner considered the scale ofthe project, she noted that it would be possible for the group to perhaps present an entire week of performances. Alan happily accepted. Murshida Conner selected seven different programs to pres ent a broad spectrum of Sufi celebrations of Meher Baba, from comic illustrations ofGod Speaks presented in a Broadway style musical to dramatic vignettes of the Master’s life; from tranquil devotional music for meditation to lively rap and jazz; a choral concert, poetry, and classical dance. Alan scheduled this minifestival for the week ofAugust 11-17, 2002.
.}19olden 3ubi1ee )3ectr n accepting this invitation, Murshida Conner noted that the timing ofthis celebration seemed very appropriate, since 2002 marked the goldenjubilee (50th anniversary) ofmany significant events in Meher Baba’s life and work, especially work associated with America: February 1952 the completion of Baba’s Manonash phase which culminated the work ofHis New Life, and the subsequent beginning of Baba’s “Free Life”, the blending of Old Life and New Life in one. April-May 1952 Baba’s first visit to the Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A., during which He officially opened the Center as His “home in the West” and developed ambitious blueprints for its functions as His “Universal Spiritual Center.” April-November 1952 Baba’s creation of Sufism Reoriented in America and the formulation ofits Charter ofGuidance, written in America and India and signed by Baba in India November 14, 1952, formally establishing a new spiritual lineage and school in America emanating from Meher Baba and dedicated to His principles. May 24, 1952 Baba’s long-predicted automobile accident
in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S.A in which He and His closest com panions shed their blood on American soil. November 8, 1952 Baba first participates in the Prayer of Repentance as part of His “Fiery Life” meeting at Meherabad. November-December 1952 Baba inaugurates His first public “mass darshan” tours, where He is hailed as King of Kings by thousands, first in the Hamirpur district, then in Delhi, then in Andhra state (in January 1953). Meher Baba’s American Sufis recognized the rare privilege of celebrating these profound events with programs at the Master’s home in Meherabad and eagerly gathered their resources to make the programs as full and vibrant as possible. A total of200 Sufis from both the east and west coasts ofAmerica made the journey, including about 60 performers (singers, dancers, actors, musi cians), 25 technical staff (sound, lighting, videography, makeup, costumes, stage crew) and another 15 who helped with other support services (trip logistics). —
__/4 70fl of Cquipment ome of the shows had been designed with sophisticated lighting and visual effects, including rear-screen projections of photographs and backgrounds. The sound crew needed to be able to control individual microphones for up to eleven solo performers. The Sufis wished to duplicate these effects at Mehe rabad to share with the audiences in India a fully-polished, fullyprofessional set ofproductions. Alan Wagner and his associates including technical director Harry Muir consulted with the Sufis’ technical director Victor Seckeler via telephone and email about what facilities and equipment were available at the theater so the Sufi production team could determine what might be rented in India and what would have to be brought from America. Alan arranged to have stage pieces built in India according to specifications provided from Walnut Creek. John and Helen Meyer of Meyer Sound in Berkeley, California, consulted on other technical issues. They recommended a rental company in Bangalore for sound, lighting and video projection equipment. However, there were still things that could not be supplied lo cally and also a need to bring backup units in case the rental equipment failed. In the end, the troupe brought 31 crates of cargo to India, including musical instruments, sound and lighting equipment, props and costumes. The total weight of this cargo was over 1,900 pounds, nearly a ton!
L.A Customs 7ctngle etting this equipment into India through customs turned into a grand “Meher Baba saga” in which some of Baba’s Indian lovers came to the loving aid of His American Sufis to clear a path through a maze of bureaucratic red-tape. It looked as if the shipment necessary for the productions would not be allowed into India at all, or at least, not in time for the shows. The situation was saved through the extraordinary efforts of a group ofBaba’s Indian lovers. Balaji ofHyderabad led this effort, which included furnishing a bank guarantee to satisfy the customs officials. Mr. Krishnaya, a customs official based in Vishakapat nam, arranged to have the bank guarantee reduced to a level that could be met by the Hyderabad Baba-lovers and organized all
the paperwork to conform to the exacting customs requirements. Then Mr. Krishnaya traveled for more than 24 hours across India from Vishakapatnam to the shipment’s port-of-entry, Mumbai. There hejoined Balaji, Mumbai lovers, including Kishore Mistry (Secretary ofthe Bombay Meher Baba Center), and Raj Kilnaya, a Maharashtrian police commissioner, to meet the Sufi advance group from America who had come to take the equipment on to Meherabad. Mr. Krishnaya spent a full daywalking the 31 crates through customs in Mumbai. Through the great efforts of these dedicated Baba-lovers, the shipment was released to enable the shows to go on in Baba’s honor. Without the loving intervention and cooperation of these devoted Baba-workers from all parts of India, this equipment would not have been allowed into the country in time for the programs. Right from the start, Baba had an East-West effort in mind for this festival!
Ei2reparcttions in Dndici
wo other advance teams went directly to Meherabad, including Sufi technical director Victor Seckeler, lighting spe cialist Anton Allen, sound and electrical specialist Fred Brunswig, lighting and stage technicians Jerry Salazar and Mark Davis, and program director Diane Snow. After a very long week of work, the theater was made ready for the programs. This could not have been accomplished without the unfailing “24-7” collaboration of the Meherabad technical staff and their many assistants. Harry Muir, Steve Myro, Catherine Cox and Rakhi (Rocky) Shrivas tara, Ted Judson, Margaret McPherson, Peter Booth, Roxanne J essia as well as other Meherabadians and Meherazadians, like J al Dastur, Shreeder, Gary Kleiner, KooKoo, Meredith Klein, Kacy Cook, Flint Medvick, Adair Adams and many others who helped in dozens of ways to ready the theater and assist and host the American Sufi group and the hundreds of others who came to each show. The festival was a true “East-West gathering” that could never have happened without the exuberant spirit of teamwork and cooperation that seemed to overwhelm even the most impossible problem. The Meherabad programs were held in the late afternoon, usually at 4:30, following an informal gathering for tea on the verandah of the Music and Arts Center served by Alan Wagner and his staff to everyone who gathered. Each day during this week-long celebration, the theater was filled to the rafters with lovers from all over India, as well as pilgrims from America, Australia, Iran, Mexico, France and elsewhere. They were joined by Eastern and Western residents ofMeherabad and Meherazad and, most happily, by those among the mandali who were able to attend: Bal Natu came to many programs, and Meheru, Katie and Arnavaz were also able to come to a few. Below we have included descriptions of the seven different programs as they appeared on a flyer which was circulated to Baba groups in India. Also, Nivedita Sharma tells us ofher experience as one ofthe audience, and a staffmember ofthe LampPost adds a few comments. Nivedita Sharma: The American Sufis came, performed and conquered (the hearts of all Baba lovers) in India. Led by the dimunitive, ever smiling Murshida Carol Weyland Conner the group slipped in silently on a cloudy Sunday afternoon at Lower Meherabad. In six huge buses, a three-hour bumpy ride from Aurangabad to Arangaon, the Sufis were ready to perform despite the long journey, which they would be making for the next seven days. Some Indian Baba lovers took a full week’s leave not to miss a single performance from Sunday to Saturday!
7:he JLrograms Program 1, Sunday, August 11 “God Speaks— the Musical!” (song, dance and comedy) “A light-hearted look at Meher Baba’s great book!” From the Whim to the Spiritual Hierarchy, themes of God Speaks are gently spoofed in this fast-paced show written by the composer of the American Arti, Henry Mindlin (who is also one of the performers). A troupe of more than 20 singers, actors and dancers use the rhythms of Western swing, jazz, pop and even rap to explore the humorous aspects of evolution, reincarnation and involution, all in the spirit of God’s Divine Comedy. Staff: It was wonderful to hear waves ofapplause from a standing-room-only crowd. Apparently, many people who live in India have seen Broadway shows and MTV. Later, we received reports that younger audience members were seen tapping toes, clapping and snapping their fingers, especially to “The God Speaks Rap.” I had thought that ifanything was going to be edgy for an Eastern group, it might be a song that refers to the Avatar as “my main man Meher,” but the audience roared with laughter. Nivedita: The opening performance, God Speaks—the Musical, attracted nearly 500 Baba lovers to the brick and stone theatre developed at Hostel A. The show began with a thank you note by the Murshida to the Baba lovers who had helped in getting the tons ofequipments and other paraphernalia smoothly in the country. ‘God Speaks’ the Musical began with a bang, nothing short of a grand Broadway show! The applause went all the way and the 20 singers and dancers were encouraged to give their most spirited performance. At dinnertime in Hostel D and Pilgrim Centre was talk about appreciation of the memorable opening act. Everyone wondered what gave the Sufis so much energy and vigor to perform to a packed audience? Was it the inspiration from the Murshida. ? or was it Alan Wagner’s chai and delicious cakes before each performance. ? Or was it Meher Baba behind them all the way? . .
Program 2, Monday, August 12 “The Music ofMeher Baba’s Name” (devotional singing and group meditation with projected images ofMeher Baba) A ladies’ ensemble leads the gathering in singing Meher Baba’s Name to familiar tunes for 30 minutes, with gentle synthe sizer and guitar accompaniment. Then the lights dim and on the projection screen a 15-minute video montage ofphotographs of Meher Baba is shown, as the ladies sing the Beloved’s praise. Nivedita: By the next day two buses full ofBaba lovers from Pune decided to come every day to see the rest of the perfor mances as the word spread. The theatre was packed as more people came to attend the shows. There was no sign ofany fatigue as smiling faces lit up the stage singing for group meditation.
Program 3, Tuesday, August 13 “Meher Baba’s Sufi Minstrel: Mischa Rutenberg” (music) Troubadour Mischa Rutenberg has traveled the world singing his original songs oflove to the Divine Beloved. His songs all celebrate -the joy ofknowing Avatar Meher Baba. Mischa is joined by five musical companions for a program of his original compositions, many written at Meherabad. (This program was presented at Meherazad.) Nivedita: Nearly four buses packed with pilgrims shook the mandali’s silent private quarters. Meher Baba’s Sufi Minstrel
— I I
was to sing original love songs to the Divine Beloved. Five other musicians accompanied Mischa. Ten songs were performed to the delight of the Mandali members. By afternoon when the Sufis and pilgrims had returned to Meherabad, sad news started to filter. Aloba had dropped his body and had gone to Baba. The atmosphere became rather somber for a while.
Program 4, Wednesday, August 14 “Ever Closer” a Choral Concert (music) The Sufi Concert Choir of 35 singers perform an hour of original songs in praise of the Avatar, opening with a dramatic choral setting of the Master’s Prayer (0 Parvardigar), arranged by David Hogan and orchestrated by Robert Tomaro. Many dif ferent kinds of Western choral music are presented, including the sparkling counterpoint of”Meher Baba’s Sunlight”, a soaring prayer to Meher Baba as the “Lord ofFire” featuring Antoinette Davis, the hymn “Meher, My Lord”, and the American Arti. Nivedita: As they say ‘The Show Must Go On’. As the theatre doors closed once more, ‘Ever Closer’ started with a choir of 35 singers. They performed for an hour some of the most beautiful songs in praise of the ‘Avatar Of The Age’. It also included the hymn ‘Meher My Lord’ a favorite of Mehera’s from the 1969 darshan and the American arti. but not before dedicating the program to Aloba.
Nivedita: Traveling every day for six hours back and forth kept the chiropractor busy. But the strain did not show in the artists who put in their best, day after day in Meher Baba’s love. On Friday ‘Merwan’s Toddy Shop’ was staged. This explored a phase of Baba’s early life, which few are acquainted with. Rich striking costumes, lovely voices to match with the compositions were greeted with applause.
Program 7, Saturday, August 17
Program 5, Thursday, August 15 “Francis Brabazon: Images ofLove” (a concert ofpoetry and song) Meher Baba treasured the poetry ofFrancis Brabazon, whom He called His Hafiz. In this program, four readers and four singers present many ofFrancis’ “poems oflove and complaint” ofthe lover for the Divine Beloved, paired with original songs on the same themes. These are presented in the style ofa traditional Persian “poetry concert” in which poems and songs amplify and illuminate each other. (This program was performed in Mandali Hall at Meherazad.) Nivedita: Another rush to Meherazad as “Images ofLove” was scheduled for the Mandali. Murshida Conner began the morning with a message from Bhau Kalchuri still in the hospital in Pune. The audience was attentive inside Mandali Hall with listeners at the windows, doors and beyond. At the end, Meheru said, “Today we all have to walk out on our own. Aloba isn’t there to whistle us out.” And everyone filed out of the Hall.
Program 6, Friday, August 16 “Merwan’s Toddy Shop” (a Musical Comedy/Drama) Songs and vignettes tell the fascinating story ofMeher Baba’s earliest years as a spiritual figure, when He first began to cast His net ofDivine Love around those destined to follow Him. Baba, still known as Merwan, worked in a lowly toddy shop in Pune from 1918-21. Gradually the toddy shop became a “Tavern of Love” a meeting place for people of all castes and creeds who found themselves intoxicated not by toddy but by Meher Baba’s divine wine! Staff: As well as the characters known to us, like Dr. Ghani, the program introduces composite characters like a laundress who meets Baba when she takes her washing to the river near Manzil-e Meem. A quartet narrates and emphasizes the action, Greek chorus style. Terry Hogan, Mary Shepard, Michael Hassen and Hank Mindlin brilliantly sang in the quarter, whose droll observations interweave with the main characters soliloquys and solo songs.
“Meher Baba’s Life in Song, Part One: For the Sake of Love” A cast of nearly 50 singers, actors and dancers present songs and scenes ofMeher Baba’s childhood, His unveiling by Hazrat Babajan, and His work with His first circle of disciples in the Manzil-e-Meem ashram in Bombay. Since Baba did not begin His Silence until 1925, the actor portraying Meher Baba (Patrick Birge) speaks and even sings! The scenes include a tender lullaby to the newborn Avatar, a lovely dance of Merwan’s awakening and unfolding to divinity (danced by Farrin Liedstrand), a lyrical duet between Baba and His spiritual mother, Gulmai, hilarious ‘teaching songs’ with the men of the Manzil, and a moving se quence of songs about the deeper aspects of Baba’s inner work and His suffering for His close ones. This program is made up of selections from a cycle ofseven musical dramas ofMeher Baba’s life created between 1971 and 1981 by Murshida Ivy 0. Duce and her American Sufis. The devotional force ofthe program was greatly aided by large, beautiful images ofMeher Baba projected on the screen behind the actors. Slide after slide ofBaba’s image as a child and a young man were projected, conveying Baba’s beauty and His presence. The last number is a rousing anthem to the new age ushered in by the Avatar’s advent. The choral song involves the show’s full cast ofmore than 50 people.The cast streamed onstage, sang three lines, and then the accompanying music lurched to a halt and died. Theywere without sound and all but a fewlights! Maya’s last curve ball. But the cast did not miss not a beat, taking up the rhythm by clapping and even singing the necessary musical breaks. It was a powerful rendering of “New Beginning.” Sung a capella, it was perhaps even more moving. Nivedita: The Grand Finale was “Merwan and Manzil e-Meem” but first, Homai and Ramakrishnan from the Pune Center took a moment for a little gift giving ceremony to Mur shida. Then, a cast of 50 artists presented songs and scenes of Meher Baba’s childhood, and His unveiling by Hazrat Babajan. Patrick Birge a Sufi actor played the part ofMeher Baba before He became silent. The audience was awestruck and many were moved to tears as he appeared onstage. The last of the applause was the loudest and longest. The Sufis left quietly as they came... for their next performance at the Meher Baba Delhi Center, but the magic was left behind.
n August 13, during Mischa Rutenberg’s musical program at Meherazad, the mandali received word ofAloba’s passing. It seemed to them especially appropriate that Aloba should join Meher Baba while the Master’s praises were being sung. The following day, in the early afternoon ofAugust 14, Aloba’s body was interred next to Eruch’s at Lower Meherabad. Then everyone gathered at the Music and Arts Center for the sched uled program, a concert by the Sufi chorus. Murshida Conner
dedicated this program to Aloba. The lyrics to one song seemed especially poignant and appropriate: Ever closer, ever nearer, Ever deeper, ever clearer, E our love speaking silently Enfolds me iii its vibrant flow; Eudlessly Eou adore the universe. Ever greater, ever longer, Ever brighter, ever stronger, minds and hearts ) our love fillsusourin waves of light; Enfolding Endlessly )3ou adore the uiiiverse. I4eIier i3aba, 7 __;71/l clier 73aba, J JI1eher Ei3aba. ,.Jl4elter EBaba, E our love weaves us all as one q’t’)itli shining strands of living light; Endlessly Eou adore the universe. J4lehcr 73aba, JZI4eher 73aba,
.A4eher J3aba. cjll4cher i3aba, )_ our lovefloods all boundaries Ei3etween Creation and its Lord; Endlessly )3ou adore the universe.
JI.tyderabad cz: Dcihi fter this very full week in Meherabad, Murshida Conner and a small group accepted an invitation from Balaji and the Hyderabad Baba group to present a program in Hyderabad. Murshida Conner was especially happy to accept this invitation because Balaji and his group had been so helpful to the Sufis in so many ways. Their beautiful center, the main center for the state ofAndhra, was the site ofanother warm and full exchange of love between Eastern and Western lovers of the Avatar. This memorable Sufi performance tour which began at Meherabad concluded in Delhi, where the Sufis had been invited by Kusum and Mohkam Singh to give a program at the Delhi Center. They enthusiastically welcomed the Sufis to their regular meeting on Sunday, August 25th. The Delhi Center was filled to capacity with Eastern and Western lovers sharing their love, creativity and devotion to the Avatar. Eastern bhajans mixed with Western ballads in a musical love song that still echoes in the hearts of all who were there. A Meditation Prayer by Khaled AI-Faqih describes beautifully the feelings East and West shared during our united Celebra tion ofMeher Baba in Meherabad, Meherazad, Hyderabad, and Delhi.
With Love from c.,Ifrklicrnzctd .stcqf
irnost every one who came to i\leherabad in August was mesmer ized with the Sufi Extravaganza presented for one whole week. Alan Wagner, the Director of the Performing Arts & Culture must have been one happy man! He has always been instrumental in bringing some fine performances for Baba lovers. A request from Nivedita Sharma, to do a play in September materialized after the performanc es held last month. The play- ‘With Love From Meherazad,’ produced by Mehera Productions, Mumbai and directed by Alan himself, met with a warm response once again. The play was performed on Septem ber 7th for all Baba lovers who could make it during the weekend. Manija Irani wrote 82 family letters from Meherazad between 1956 and 1969. The letters described Meher Baba activities to the Western branch ofHis family. Each letter reveals the intimacy with which Mani wrote under the watchful eyes ofher God-Brother. The news describ ing the life and times at Meherazad traveled from the East to the West ship and later airmail. Baba’s loved ones eagerly awaited each letter.
Baba lovers longed to get cables asking them to attend the next Darshan They were willing to travel more than ten thousand miles just to be in the company of their Beloved. These 82 letters cover the last years ofMeher Baba’s life with His Mandali and His lovers. The play condensed 25 letters to present some of the most memorable letters written on behalfofthe Beloved Avatar to His Western lovers. Why it chosen to put the spotlight on the Western branch ofMeher Baba’s family is very obvious. The distance, space and longing were much more in their case. The Easterners were luckier to be much closer by Baba’s Divine Grace. They had the rare privilege to come physi cally close to His Damaan whenever they chose to, unlike the Westerners. program.
The play commences with a letter from Mani written on December 5th, 1956 to ‘ELINORKIT’ (Elizabeth, Norma, and Kitty) from the beautiful gardens ofMeherazad. and it culminates with the dropping ofthe physical body of Meher .
Baba.The cast consisted of just who symbolically represented Meherazad and the Myrtle Beach Center. Dana Dana Ferry as Mani composing thefarnily Ferry narrated Mani’s letters from Meherazad and Jay Bott letters at her vpewritei: narrated the letters received by the Western family. When two
Dana agreed to do the play she
: did not realize how much time she would have to squeeze in
between her daily work in MeHierazad and rehearsals for the
0 5uardiaii of our infant Light Come!Let us adore Eou! ‘—U plifting sweetiiess, Compassionate height,
7rinity of 7ruth, J3liss and J4/tight
Central J?ole of our lives hold us tight, _J4 bsorb us in jour Self, our love requite. 0 let us adore Eou!
falling tresses form the 2’Iight Of 2liddcn 3oy and Dnfinite Delight. ) our brow is the 3ather of Sun and Sight.
l4eher, 7 L
But coming from a theat
neal background she did a good job, making the audience laugh, becoming happy and sad as the contents ofthe letters were being narrated. The accompany-
ing Indian music, sounds of the and birds chirping of Mehe ambience an created who zt Jay Lt as the My razad in the fifties. receives Manii ‘Family Letters. typewriter,
See “With Love” continued on page 15...
28th Jinnucil Silence Day &thnvcts i2 iies, CctiifQrIiia. 2JisIi 3-6, 2002
i,tliia 73airicutos, Scattic 1 Ci “Why did I start these Sahavas programs cloth, and a garden of flowers surrounding I started them so My lovers would obtain a beautiful image of Baba that caught the relieffrorn their worldly affairs and spend eye and heart of each person who entered time with Me. When they do so, even though I the hail. have cb-oppedMyphysicalbody, Iremain busy When assigned our cabin, we trudged and active in them. Therefore, these Sahavas to the top of the steep dusty hill, and then p rograms are very, ve;y important. People are found ours, the last cabin at the very hotterribly busy in this sophisticatedage. They are torn of the hill. We were lucky enough to so involved in the world they have no time to get one of the few family cabins, where the think about God. But these Sahavas programs two sides are divided, women on one side, give them an opportunity to remain awayfrom men on the other. That way families with the world and be with Me.” children can stay together. Another reminder —Meher Baba ofMeherabad is that men and woman sleep separately. :; the Company of9od The cooler evening air was a welcome my nine-year-old son and I began our change for the hours of setting up the “larg “pilgrimage” to this Silence Day est and best stocke Meher d Baba Bookstore” Sahavas, signs of Meher Baba’s nazaar or in the world! Dma Snow has this feat down protective glance were evident from the to an amazing system where countless boxes moment I stepped out of my shoes at the ofbooks,jewelry cards, photos, mugs, videos, airport security station. As a pilgrim in India, tapes/CDs, clothin g and more, are trans I have fond memories ofremoving my shoes formed into a colorfu l inviting space for beand waiting barefoot to enter the Samadhi ingwith our Belove d.The following day there to be with Baba. That Tuesday afternoon in was incense burnin g, pictures of Baba and Seattle, I found myselfgrinning at the guard fine Indian tapestr ies decorating the wails, when asked to remove my shoes before en- music filling the air and people wandering in tering the gate. This brief, barefoot moment and out, selecti treasur ng es to fill their brown brought a glimpse ofrealization that we were shopping bags. The corner was stacked with already in the company of God, Sahavas. these bags, marked with the shopper’s name, How to find that left hand turn on the so browsing could continue throughout the winding road into Pilgrim Pines? Another Sahavas. Conve rsations blossomed as people touch of Meherabad was the simple yellow shared favorit reading e s, a range of musical sign outlined in red with black bold lettering: choices and which videos have actual footage “AVATAR MEHER BABA SAHAVAS ofHim. Alovelywoma n, new to Baba, set her WAY UP.” selection of8-1O books in front ofDina and Arriving a day early provided us with the smiled, “I’ve read God Speaks and I’m ready opportunity to see the Sahavas unfold. Betty to dive a little deeper .” This hub of activity and Dave Lowman arrived first, to begin the was one ofman places y over the four days, to work ofcreating a colorftul, playful space for enjoy His compa ny. young children’s art, stories, songs and prepIn the Main Hail, all were required to meet aration for their annual stage performance. for the orientation. Lois Jones presented the Chris Pearson and Charlie Morton schedule and all the important safety tips chugged away for hours of setup in the from no bare feet (tell that to those security Main Hall for the incredible sound system folks at the airport !) to drinking two glasses that would serve “Talk, TalkTalkers,” poets, ofwater before juice to stay hydrated at this theatrical folk and musicians in the days to 5500 foot altitud e. In India we watch for come. Fred arrived with the rented truck, snakes and thieves . At Pilgrim Pines we fIled with the entire Meher Baba Book- watch for wild animal s. We even received store, goodies for the Toddy Shop and two instructions on what to do ifwe find ourselves refrigerators. Lynn Maguire, Ten Adams face to face with a bear. Did you know that and Georgene Tarbox lovingly decorated the you are not to make eye contact with these stage with sweeping pink and blue drapes of furry creatures?
Before handing the microphone over to Jeff Maguire, Lois read from Meher Baba’s Call: “Age after age, when the wick of Righ teousness burns low, the Avatar comes yet once again to rekindle the torch ofLove and Truth. Age after age, amidst the clamor of disruptions, wars, fear and chaos, rings the Avatar’s call: “COME ALL UNTO ME.” Jeff Maguire, aka Bobby Manonash, brought the veryjoy and laughter that Baba wishes for us in his welcome comments. He noted that there would be a remedial workshop on how to clear the tables in the dining hail in the form of a video by Aloha to teach us about following orders exactly and immediately. “Time to depart! Board the bus!” he shouts from the porch at Meherazad when it’s time for pilgrims to leave. Between shouts he blasts the whistle that hangs from a string around his neck. “Time to clear the plates!” Next, Jeff welcomes Bhau, who missed last year’s Sahavas and makes mention of his “so many attempts to die with no luck”. Since Bhau frequents the west and appears to be in fine health, the government insists that he hold a 10 year visa. So, we will be with Bhauji for at least ten more years so he can talk and talk and talk. Among the many highlights ofthe orien tation was the eye-opening reminder that the first cup ofchai is free at the Toddy Shop. This is a lively gathering place through the day and well into the night for snacks, music and good company. Fred Stankus, Toddy Shop manager extaordinaire, brought fresh samosas from an Indian restaurant for an authentic balance to the chocolate chip cookies-and- S napple sorts of snacks. In Bhau’s “Awakenings: Sahavas Humor Part II”,June 2001, he reminds us of Baba’s wish for those attending Sahavas: “In order to be with Me they should sing, they should talk, they should dance, they should see My films, and they should have different workshops. They should have a toddy shop as they do during the L.A. Sahavas. They should remember what I was doing when I was working in the toddy shop. They should play games. They should ar range different activities pertaining to My
life and work. This is the practical way of remembrance and to be with Me.”
events of the evening to come. First he announced the “Boxing Match” between Bhau and Pete Townsend. Bhau actually made this trip in order to win the $1,000,000 prize from this match. Pete was in L.A. on a concert tour and agreed to face Bhau for this challenge. Pete’s helicopter would land in a local field later in the evening and we would be able to this fierce duel. private
Bhau” ghazal, we had our first introduction to Julia Margaret Burleson. Her father was the doctor who cared for Baba after the car accident in Prague, Oklahoma. Folks who had attended the recent Oklahoma Saha vas,joined her on stage for the performance ofthe “chicken dance”. Prague was having their annual “Kolache Festival” and this dance is an integral part of that gathering. How perfect for our Beloved Baba, the
Come ‘4ll ttnto A4e hat evening we gathered in the Main Hall for our first of the next ten years of “Talk, Talk, Talk...” Bhau spoke of the longing that pilgrims experience with the metaphor of searching for water to quench our spiritual thirst. “Baba, He is creating that thirst.” Bhau points out that shallow ponds may appear smooth, attractive and effortless to reach, though our thirst cannot be quenched with this dirty water. Ultimately we have to come to the “Oceanized Ocean” of His Love. “It is He who is bringing you into His contact. Even though Baba has dropped His body, He is very active. All we experience in our daily lives is His Divine will.” Bhau then made reference to the events on September 11. “God alone exists. If you want to experience light, you must experience darkness. Illusion will grow to the extreme. That’s why all this is going on.” As Bhau closed he reminded us to be prompt for his next talk, “I have so many things to say!” With warm laughter and palms together we joined him:
7;Iie Ei3obby 71/Ianonash Show obby only appears when Bhau is present for the Silence Day Sahavas. Last year Bhau was sick. Last year Bobby Manonash was sick and did not appear. Introducing Bobby is the one and only Ed McMaya [Fred Stankus]. The crowd, pleased to have both Bobby and Bhauji, quickly rose into peals of laughter as Bobby presented the
Bobby sat at his table to proceed with the show. As Ed was marketing a new product, “God in a Pill”, Bobby’s cell phone rang, “Hello. Yes? Good! Great! We look forward it!” He shared with us that all was on schedule and Pete was on his way. After Rob Thornburn read an “Oh,
“Mischievous Chicken”, who chose this small town as the center in America to shed His blood. Dressed in identical outfits ofpink shirts and black pants, Ten Adams and Lynn Maguire (yes, twins) brought musical light into our hearts with a beautiful duet. This pause
from laughter was brief as Bobby headed into the standup/sit—down survey of“What devout Baba Lover’s are like”. This lively exercise was designed to givejulia Margaret some direction as she begins this new life as a Baba Lover. Even though she met Him at the age of ten, it wasn’t until the recent Oklahoma Sahavas her conscious life with Baba began. The playful vey included questions such as, “If you do Baba prayers daily, stand up. If you left food on your plate in the Meherabad dining hail, sit down.” Just before the sched— uled boxing match, Bobby brought Bhau on stage for a musical warm up. For those ofyou who have an appreciation for Indian music, the rhythm, beat and overall feel is very different from the west— em 4/4 time most of us are familiar with. Bhau was raised with an ear for Indian music, so his contribution of playing the claves (wooden sticks) was fascinating. Whatever tempo his inner musician heard was certainly dif ferent from the beat of the Blue Danube, led by Chris and Pris Haffenden on Oboe and Guitar. Oh Bhau! .
The applause was interrupted by Danny Maguire, who hurried through the crowd, approached the stage and whispered to Bobby. “Pete is unable to keep his engagement? There is a malfunction of the helicopter?” Ah, what to do...Bhau comes all this way for this match. Ed McMaya
steps forward and proceeds to remove his jacket, unbutton his dress shirt and show off his burly physique in a white tank top. The crowd cheers as Bobby confirms with Bhau that he is willing to meet Ed, a full head and shoulders taller than himself. Bhau is fitted with bright red boxing gloves. He begins to bounce back and forth to warm up. He punches the air a few times and keeps his eyes fixed on Ed who shadow boxes at the opposite end ofthe stage. They slowly move to the center ofthe stage. Bhau swings and Ed ducks. Bhau punches and Ed dodges the glove. Bhau looks way off to his right, over the heads of the crowd and points his red leather glove to the back of the room. Ed turns to see what Bhau is looking at and Bhau decks him with a single firm blow to the head. Ed falls to the floor with a thump and the crowd is ecstatic. Bhau crossed his fists and is announced, “The Winner!” by Bobby. He is awarded the check for $1,000,000.
Dndependence Dciy /lrti
arly on Meherabad mornings, pilgrims gather at Baba’s Samadhi for prayers and arti. Early risers at this Sahavas create this similar time for prayers, song and po etry reading for Baba. Ron Greenstein sang, “Obey the Master” which brought me to an awareness of my dependence upon God. Baba said, “To obey me 100% is greater than loving me.” True freedom is spiritual freedom. We hold fast to Baba’s daaman to become independent from Maya for our spiritual independence day!
Jl4agical ..7l4eher J’VIeals
hree times each day, this Silence day Sahavas is VERY noisy! Gathered in the dining hall are over 250 people, hun— gry and happy to be visiting with those around them. The noise level is such that a conversation requires a loud voice with accompanying hand gestures and facial expressions. In this sea ofjabber, I noticed a voice-free exchange between Hughie, our highly skilled magician and two young boys. The boys’ eyes were fixed on the spoon that Hughie seemed to be bending effortlessly in half. Then a coin appeared from behind one boy’s ear, which Hughie promptly tucked under his long gray beard. Poof! The coin appeared behind the ear of the other boy. The times I had the pleasure of being near Hughie, I realized that the moment a child looked his way, he would begin some delightful illusion that instantly captured the attention ofthose around him.
1/Iade 7ctngible: 7 :2-/is Love J Excerpts from a talk about Entcli by Davana i3ro,vn lements of this Sahavas bring to me whiffs of Meherazad. Hearing of Da vana’s 1ife with Eruch was like a warm afternoon in Mandali Hall. When Davana spoke of Eruch, I felt the warmth and love that emanated from Eruch in Mandaii Hall. Davana beamed as she gazed out at our faces, took a long breath and began describing howbeing graced to live andwork side by side with Baba’s mandali, and especially Eruch, has given her wonderftil “snapshots” of what Baba is like when He comes as the Perfect man; glimpses of His humanity His ways, His humor and His compassion. Davana continued, “To see through their lives how that infinite shoreless Ocean oflove, as Mani once described it, becomes a shore so that we can approach Him. Or as Eruch would so often say “He comes as Man amongst men to make His love more tangible.” So, I hope today that perhaps I can share some glimpses of what that has been like for me and how Baba’s love has been made more tangible.” Then Davana told us that one afternoon, a few weeks before she flew to the U.S. to attend the Los Angeles Sahavas, she was sitting in her room at Meherazad pondering what she should share during her talks at the Sahavas. She happened to be going through some ofthe little reminder notebooks that she had kept during her years with Eruch. These notebooks were not diaries but reminders to help remember all the little things that she was supposed to remind Eruch of during their day-to-day life. But in between all the reminders, Davana explained, she would jot down stories that Eruch would tell or something he had said that she felt was meaningftil or would be ofhelp to her in striving to dedicate her life to Baba. That day she came across a very special reminder from 1996. It was in the afternoon and Eruch was resting in his room. He had requested Davana to read to him while he rested, from a booklet called Sahavas In the Company ofGod Although Eruch had appeared to be dozing, when Davana finished reading the booklet, Eruch suddenly asked her for it and proceeded to take a pen and mark six pages of the bookletwith a checkmark. Then, Davana recalled, Eruch turned to her and said, “This is what I want from you when the time comes. I want you to share this and read it out to others. And what I want from you is to be surrendered to Baba. Whatever happens in the ftiture, whether you feel sad or unhappy,
what He wants, not what you want. That is how you must be, surrendered to Him.” Baba’s words were about living His Mes sage ofLove andTruth, rather than preaching it. Davana then said that she felt that what Eruch was asking of her, he was asking of all of us, and that is to be surrendered wholeheartedly to our beloved Lord Avatar Meher Baba. How did Davana get to be with Eruch? Her words were simple: “All Baba’s Grace.” Many stories were shared that afternoon, too many to recount in this article as Davana took us through the years she spent helping Eruch. She shared how every act of Eruch’s was a remembrance ofBaba and how to live for Him. With a glisten oflove in her eyes, she closed by sharing with us memories from Eruch’s last years. “As the years sped by and Eruch’s health declined, he accepted it all so graciously and shared with me how this, too, was Baba’s grace because it brought home to him all the more how compassionate His Lord is.” “One evening as I was walking with Eruch to the sink where he washed his face and hands, he stopped for a moment and turned to me.” “See,” he said. “I thought I had served Baba. I was so strong, I could carry Baba on my shoulders; I am Eruch. But look at me now. Baba is letting me know that it was His compassion that allowed us to feel so great that we were doing for Him.” “Look how it is. Baba let us feel we were helping Him; pouring the water handing Him the soap, holding the napkin (hand towel) for Him to dry His hands and face, and yet how inconvenient it was for Him, but he gave us the opportunity” “Even that feeling ofpride that I was with Him, I served Him, I massaged His body, gave Him company—all that, He has taken away from me—nuffified it all, the service I thought I had rendered to Him. How do you take it away? Nuffifj it?Through compassion He has made me sick and low and incapaci tated, and then He has brought all ofyou to sing to me, massage me and care for me and give me company. Now I know that all the strength I thought I had, it was from Him and Him alone.” Even though the lunch bell had rung and we were told of the importance of being on time for meals, we stayed seated to hear Beloved Baba’s message given out to His lovers during the 1955 Sahavas and nowbrought to the ears ofthe Sahavasees ofthe Los Angeles 2002 Sahavas. For a brief moment I realized how many
you must want
times the Mandali were asked to do two things at the same time and they had to de cide which one would please Baba the most. This time it was easy. No doubt, hearing Baba’s words from the 1955 Sahavas came first that day!
&havas in tltc Company of1ad erever I go, people flock about me by the hundreds md thousands Thatkmd oflove is notwhatl want Whether people worship or vdifr me, I remain what I am Whether the whole world believes m God or denies Him, God always remams God I look forward to the love, which enables the individual to obey me, so that he may find me, and eventually become me ‘Therefore I do not want crowds to merely be attracted to me I want really sincere souls I do not necessanlv wait for them to come to me I often go to them I can, md do, do my own work You can and should share it too It is easy to collect crowds, and it is easy for crowds to collect My greatness cannot be establishedin the crowds andthrough the crowds, but even a few with love can make the masses feel my greatness and keep the greatness etabhshed in their hearts One single person who really loves me can move the whole world There is no one here, induding myself who can so love me Ifall ofyou became my t for all ofyou to work in for me “Myworkforyou does not consist in your going araundbeating abigdrum forme Love needs no propaganda You need love ynurseif in order to propagate love among others To spread mylove among the people, you have to make them understand me as you understand me For that you have to bring them to love me as you love me, and that means you have to cause then-i to feel my love as you feel it The bestwavis to show others byyour own example how much ynu love me “The world is too ftill of preachers and teachers Never forget that I have not come to teach, and I need no preachers “In the intimate spirit of the Sahavas I I must be free and frank with you and tell you whatever I feel like saying Why shout to others ‘Baba says God is the only reality swaall else is illusion’,whenyou yourselfcan not help whispenng to me about your own iflusions There are doubtless many among you here who are sincere and pamstaking m your efforts to explain my message to one and all, that they should ignore illusion and awakesi to realitv “
‘Yet these sinèere workers donot hesitate to bring to my attention their own tales of illusory woes ad worries, such as, ‘Baba, .1 am short of money’, ‘My wife is not in good health’, :7 am about to. lose my job’, There is trouble in my busines&, and so on. “Would it be truthfbl for one of these to tell others,. ‘Eaba says, ‘Do not worry about illusory things. God knows. every thing and God does everything?’Whypreach anllwhat you yourselfcannot put into practice? If you do not find yourself free of falsehood, eiwy slander,backbitingand hatred, and ifyou find in yourselflack oflove and consideration for others, then instead of telling. others, ‘Baba says this’ and ‘Baba says tha?, you had best keep qniet and not show your face to those whom you would like to win over to me. ‘Suppose one ofmyfollowers is speaking before a gathering and is tying to tell them that Baba is reality and all else is illusion. Suppose thatjust then a telegram is given to him, which tells ofabns accident inwhich all his family has been killed. K in spite of the tragedy and pain ofwhat has happened, he continues to speak with greater conviction, then he has achieved real authority to speak about me and my teachings. “You win the right to tell others what you first accept in letter and spirit for yourself Show outwardly only what you have won inwardly. “There is no doubt, for example, that I am the Avata; the Ancient One, but how do you know that I am He? You say so mainly because I say so I say so based on my own living experience ofbeingThat. But foryou it isjust a beliefuntll you become me. Suppose yourbeliefiswrong? What I want to impress upon you is this: never give a twist to what you feeldeep down in your own hearts. Ifyou feel I am the Avatar, say open1’Baba is the Avatar’.Ifyoufeellam afraud,do not hesitate to say,’Baba is afraud’.I remain unaffected by praise or abuse. Ifyou speakwhat you feel to be tate, you have the force of truth to make others accept truth, : “Honest differences between workers labouring in a common cause are signs ofthe vitality of’the work But a spirit ofdiscipline is also essential mall creative activities oflife. How can people workjOindy without disci pline, and on. the other hand, where would their scope forseifconfrol and discipline be if there were no differences between workers? “Youreyes, ears,nose and mouth ai placed in different positions to serve vasying purposes. They ahoappear different in size and shape, and yet all are equally yours. Besides serving specific direct PP0s, allyourorgans .
O3hcut and Evening Concerts
hau spoke of the many times Baba would pose the question, “What are you thinking?” Hesitant to reveal the nature of whatever thought was present, the usual
are alsO complementary to each othe; and in this respectequallyvaluäble toyou.There is no question ofone organ competingwith another. for supremacy of position or service to the body. Each serves in its individual capacity : and all harmonize in the smooth flinctioning ofthe whole body. “Differences between workers who toil in the cause.oflove and truth can either ac centuäte or mutilate them for other persons and for the workers as well. Therefore differences mustbe properlyharmorilzed and fairly adjusted with the aid of discipline, which is more to be lived sincérclywithin.oneselfthan enforced upon others. But neither differences nor discipline should ever be raised above love and truth. They should be sacrificed rather than be allowed to mar or cloud the main object A body without a soul is best buried, burned or disposed off as quickly as possible. No one would like to die to save ones eyes or ears.. “Your love for me should have free cxpression in the mode or form best suited to you. It should shine through you to others, awakening their hearts to receive this divine gift. Gatherings and meetings in my name should.be a channel for the expression of my love, and to give them any other importance is to misunderstand my cause. “Organizations may be necessary for carrying out work ofa routine nature, but WI am the Avatar I need no.such things for my own work. Although I would not be worth loving ifl were not aware ofsomeone’s unapressed love for me, why should anyone who wishes to express it be compelled to do so through some office or organization? “My office shouldbe the heart ofeveryone wholoves me. The heart ofeach should be my shrine, and.mylover, the priest ofthat temple oflove. Such. a temple comes first, and the priest afterwards. A cart placed before the horse can serve no purpose. Love, and the heartwhich haslove, are ofgreater importance than questions of the position or prestige of those who choose to take up my work ‘A hea 7 railway train with two engines pulling it in the same direction is quickly moved.up a.steepgrade. But a few cars pulled bytwoengines straining in opposite directions cannot make progress even on level ground. : “Forgetthe past and make the most ofthe present Keep your own hearts dean. Learn. to love each other first before you tell oth ers about my love for one and all. Give love, receive love, gatherlove; everything else is dis solved eventually in the truth ofdivine love. “Letyour own life oflove for Baba be the message Baba’s Love for one and allY
Rob Thornbztrn accompanied Bob and Rick
reply was, “Nothing, Baba.” Baba would insist upon hearing the individual’s personal thoughts, often in the company of others. Bhau pointed out that this firm, yet playftil exchange was an opportunity to remind His lovers that it is very difficult, ifnot impossible to control one’s thoughts. What we can do
Debbie Nordeen, “Choir Mistress.”
until each unique “impression” is completely worn out, is to not act on the thought. With Baba’s grace, these impressions will be wiped out more quickly and thoroughly, than if we attempt to trek the spiritual path alone. The incredible experience of Bob Een’s
The last fire minutes of his talk, Bhau went into a detailed description ofthe three kinds of death; natural, accidental and suicidal. Bottom-line...go for the natural! We were reminded that saying Baba’s name to those who have not heard it would begin the internal work that He does on each and every one of us. Meher I tells us, “I have come to sow the seed of ove in your hearts.” .
}esctli Esfctndictr 7 rshid Namiranian translated for this ion. For each ques tion that someone in ie audience would pose and every story that Esfandiar would tell, the message was simple and pure, “Love Baba” He prefers to speak only of the inner journey and ignores questions about the world. Farshid relayed: “I have no interest in that.Whateverwe do in the world IS Baba. Keep that in the back ofyour mind. Whatever powers we have, use them to love Baba. Use it until all you feel is love for Baba and you are no more. Only Baba. :
Bob Een andRick Peikoff
concert is beyond words. The best I can offer is for you to checkout the Love Street Bookstore for a CD of his, order it, then sit back and prepare to be taken into a very special place that Baba has created for us as we hang out in this world ofillusion. Debbie Nordeen, brilliant choirmaster that she is, organized and brought out the verybest ofalarge group ofsingers. Her arrangement ofBhau’s prayer to Baba—written at the Lord’s behes—”You Alone Exist” was breathtaking!
of her leap, she would spread her legs and arms as a huge grin spread from ear to ear. The crowd cheered and filled the hail with sounds of enjoyment that matched those heard in a circus tent. Her next feat was to make big, wide sweeping swings from side to side, again exaggerated by her daddy’s long arms. Again the audience roared and applauded for tiny Aria. The finale was a sticky play by Danny Maguire and Josh Lee, entitled, “How to stick close to Meher Baba”. Danny proceeds to duct tape Josh to the floor at the foot of the large photo of Baba in the center of the stage. A final swatch tojosh’s mouth stops the sounds of struggle. As Betty gathers all the children and young adults for a group song, Danny notes in passing, “Don’t mind the body on the floor.” While the young voices fill the air with a melody for our Beloved, Josh sticks close to Baba!
2/is Love JI/Iade 7ctngible: 1/Ieherct 7 Excerpts from a talk about J b 73avana. Ei3rown he fragrance ofMeherazad gardens now filled the room as Davana shared with us stories from her years with beloved Baba’s Mehera. Davana appeared in a pink Punjabi, bringing the feeling of India into the room. On the wooden stand next to her Mehera’s
Children’s 7alent Show
his lovely afternoon gathering began with plays created from animal stories in Mehera’s book, Baba Loved Us Tho. The stage became a parade of brief : playful moments with Sheeba the horse, Pegu the Siamese cat, bunmes and two bulls chas ing Baba’s black Scottie, Cracker. The finale came when the little myna bird repeated the greeting : he’s heard over and over, “Baba Darling!”A young man, dressed as Baba, beams with delight upon :e Day Sahavas Choir hearing the words. Following the plays i3hau in the JJI/lorning musicians, playing poets and were ten gifted any times Bhau has spoken ofthe fact for Baba. The assortment ofpiano, mando that three quarters ofthe worldwill be lin, guitar, voice solos and a short play was destroyed. Three quarters ofthe impressions enhanced by a spectacular visual show called, wiil be wiped out. Even though I have heard “Funny Jumps by Aria”. Picture a three year versions of this talk many times, this time I old in a bubble gum pink dress, leaping 10 heard, “Think about His Love rather than feet into the air with the assistance ofher tall the extinction ofthree quarters ofthe world!” daddy. Each time she would reach the peak
photo and a perfect white rose were paired. Davana said that Baba called Mehera His very breath and that it is Mehera alone who loves Him as He should be loved. And with a twinkle in her eye, she re
vealed, “I have often thought that in this incarnation, I am glad that I am female because ofMehera. Mehera was like a magnet for most ofus girls. She was so accessible in a certain sense that you couldn’t help but want to be around her; in another sense, there was a silent beauty and stillness that surrounded her that also gave way to a quiet awe and the feeling that Mehera stood apart from all in her love and life for Baba. We learned from the women Mandali that to please Mehera would mean pleasing Baba because that is what Baba had told them.” “So today I would like to share with you how Baba gave me the opportunity to witness through Mehera how the Beloved should be loved.” Davana then went on to share her first meeting with Mehera. She said, “I met Mehera in 1971 and in those days there were very few pilgrims. We sat together on the verandah, Mehera showing me photograph after photograph of Baba. Her love and feelings were so infectious that as I sat shyly beside Mehera I could not help but ooh and ahh over each photo as she showed them to me.” “I will never forget this first introduction to Mehera because when she saw that I was enthralled with one of the photos she was showing me, she instantly said, “Here, this is for you. Baba wants you to have it” But a few minutes later, Mehera showed me another photo and as she saw my liking for this one too, she lovingly said, “Then it is yours.” Her generositywas so spontaneous. Butwhen she brought out a third photograph, she suddenly told me with a giggle, “I am not going to give this one to you as you like them all and I will have none left!” “So in those few moments I felt the first hint oflonging to live in India and be with His dearest Mehera and Mandali.” “Mehera showed me around the garden and told me how she wanted to make Meherazad beautiflil for Baba, but how difficult it was to grow flowers there because of the hard rocky soil. Once Mehera asked Baba why He didiñ have His home in a place more conducive to gardening. But Baba smiled at Mehera and told her that the garden was all the more beautiftil because of the efforts which she put into making it so.” ‘knd suddenly as we stood there together, Mehera started to cr It was only two years since beloved Baba had dropped His body and you could feel her pain and longing for Baba and also how brave she was.” “At that time, at my first meeting with Mehera, I didn’t know that one was sup-
posed to stop Mehera from crying, try to make her laugh and move her away from her grief. Instead, as I stood there before her I felt so incapable of giving her anything—of having anything to offer. That first glimpse ofher love for Baba, her griefat His no lon ger being physically present with her, was so overwhelming to me that the tears started to fall from my eyes, too.” “Mehera looked so deeply into my eyes that I was transfixed by her gaze. I could only feel the tip of that unimaginable love—that real love that is beyond seffishness. I felt as if I was looking into the ocean’s depth—many fathoms deep—a depth way beyond my own. But she, Queen ofHearts that she was, took me by the hand and smiled and said how happy it made her to know that I loved Baba so much. Here I was having just come to Baba—having nothing to give or offer or share and here she was the beloved of the Beloved and she is making me feel accepted and loved. What can I say? The bait of love is unfailing. You cannot walk away from it. You cannot turn your face from it. I was hooked.” Davana shared with us many stories, and for those ofus who have had that opportunity to have tea with Mehera or perhapsjust enjoy her company on the verandah as she regaled us with her own stories oflife with Baba, it was almost like being at Meherazad once again. But this time, we were able to glimpse another facet, as Davana said that she felt that whatever work one was blessed to do, it was an opportunity for Him to work on us. “Whatever I thought I knew how to do, I learned quickly that I didn know how to do it at all, and I am speaking ofthe most mun dane chores of living. It could be anything from peeling an apple, pouring a cup oftea or holding up an umbrella. And, in finding out how much I didn’t know, hopefully the pride in me could be deflated that little bit more. Because, when you are doing it for Baba, it is worlds apart from doing it in the world.” The years with Mehera drew to a close in May of 1989. It was summer the pilgrim season was over and many of the residents were away on their summer holidays. Davana spoke quietly of those last weeks with Mehera and how Baba gave the women residents who had been called to help with Mehera at the time—Dolly Dastur, Janet Judson and Heather Nadel, as well as herself the opportunity not only to help with Mehera, but to witness the supreme care and love that the women Mandali gave to Mehera in every way possible. “It was,” she recalled, “a dance of love. And as a witness, it was a lesson in
total oneness and focus.” “But the point I want to share most with you,” Davana said, “was how Mehera ac cepted all the limitations that Baba placed upon her, sometimes with amusement, sometimes with frustration, but she always bore it all with grace and a profound sweetness that emanated from the depths of her being. Her patience was overwhelming the personification of patience for love’s sake; sweetly and humbly accepting and giving way and giving up all her individual ways to her beloved Baba’s wish.” In closing, Davana shared a last precious memory: “It was the last night that Mehera satwith us in the sitting room ofBaba’s house. J anet and Heather asked Mehera ifshe would like to watch me dance. Mehera was sitting on a straight-backed chair near the door in the passageway. She seemed to like the idea and so I stood up and danced to the music the girls put on the tape recorder. That night I danced like I had never danced before. And when the music stopped I came over to where Mehera was sitting and she kissed me and I kissed her.” “The music the girls had chosen to play was ‘Like a Silent Sea is Meher’. Little did we all know that Mehera, too, would soon become silent to the outside world as she slipped into her Beloved Baba’s Silent Sea. But the impact ofher love and her life, lived only for Him, has truly made His love most tangible!” Davana closed with “Jai Baba!” as people rose and moved toward the stage for embraces and sweet exchanges in His love. With Lee resting in my lap during this closing, I attempted to fathom the depth of love thatMehera had for Baba. Knowing how profound this love is that I have for my son, I can only imagine what loving God, up close, must be like. I thank Davana for bringing us a glimpse of this love through her stories of life with Eruch and Mehera. -
Dhuni n the Main Hall, we watched the film, “0 Parvardigar”, then formed a silent line to walk down the hill to the Dhuni site. The clear night presented a sea of stars as we moved into the dusk. Guides were stationed at each turn with flashlights. To the west, little wisps of clouds painted the horizon. Two boys who had been in disagreement earlier that day, found themselves seated side by side, facing the dhuni. I found myself seated next to a young woman that I had “hushed” during the group photo session. I felt unsettled about that exchange. Baba has
want!” i as you Julia Margaret was 10 .
years old when she met Baba in the Prague hos pital. The way she put it, “I lived a storybooklife. Once upon a time. we lived in a small town, there were 4 of us kids, Daddywas a doctor and our house was just behind the hospital. One day India dropped in out of the sky!”Julia Margaret remem bers hearing the ambulance sirens, running through the garden and stationing herself in her regular spot on the rock wail. She noted a man brought in from the ambulance, then a woman being carried in. That evening at the dinner table, she learned that : the people were from India and they called the man, “Baba”. She mimicked, “Baba this and Baba that!” She most enjoyed these days where Mani would playwith her sister and her. Mani kept in touch with the family through letters. Another glimpse of this time with Mani was the fascination her sister and she held as theywatched Mani drink a Coke. Mani held the bottle away from her lips and poured the brown carbonation into her mouth. The girls tried this and stickyliquid spilled all over. For those who have not traveled to Meherazad, Mani was one of the Mandali who taught pilgrims how to drinkfrom the common cups at the waterjug. Never touch your lips to the cup, as others will be using this same one! As we understand a child’s mind, most ofher recollections are visual memories. She remembers Sarosh offering a silver cigarette case, which remained on the coffee table over the years. One day, some time later, a package arrived from Bombay, India. When they opened it, the family was surprised and intrigued to find a leopard skin, legs, tail and all! “What are we going to do with that!” her mother exclaimed. “How about, I hang it over my door!”Julia Margaret piped in. “I don’t think so...” her mother responded quickly. Her Mother decided to have things made out of it. There was a hand muff an ascot, a belt and a hat. Julia Margaret recalls being upset that itwas being cut up and wishing it could remain as Baba sent it. In time many people have been able to enjoy this gift . .
Davana Brown, Margaret Burleson-Brigham & B/au enjoying thefestivities
a way of bringing people back together at appropriate moments. A Persian song, then prayers, broke the silence. Two lines formed for people to make their way down the cloth path to the blazing flames. Each one selected a stick or two, and then offered them to Baba through the fire. Two hours later I lay in my bunk and enjoyed hearing a chorus of deep tones, singing for Baba in the night. fir—i
uring our final morning arti, Baba winked at me. When I turned 45, I decided to learn how to play piano along with my son. My piano teacher loves when I play, “Day-O: Banana Boat Song” and encourages me to play for others when the opportunity arises. The thought crossed my mind toward the end ofthis arti, “Is ‘Day-O’ a song that would be appropriate to play?” I recalled the many ways people offer gifts of song and poetry to Baba. I realized that the gesture of the gift is the spiritual element, not so much the content of the selection. Deep in thought over this, my heart began to pound as I pictured myselfwalking up on stage, sitting at the baby grand piano and offering this piece to Baba. I was willing to do this for Baba and believed I could let go of the “stage fright” that was setting in. My ponderings were interrupted by a woman seated a row behind me. She asked if anyone knew the Jamaican Farewell, popular in her home country Hughie and Ron started in
with some chords as she opened hervoice and heart to Baba with this medley: Mathilda, Coconut Woman and yes. ..Day-O: Banana Boat Song. I believe Baba made it clear to me that this was a perfect gift for the moment, even offering a group to sing with. This song ended our arti. I approached the woman from J amaica and shared with her my experience of Baba’s wink.With people still milling around the Main Hall, I went to the baby grand and played for Baba. “Daylight come and me wanna go home!”
Julia Jl4argciret EBurleson-E13righam: C1raue”
CWOflS ofL7frkIier EBaba in 4 I 11 7 LI 7 ‘ atie Irani, Meher Baba’s cook for many years, recently had her Meherazad reci pes published in a cookbook. The next edi tion of Katie’s Kitchen will include a savory dish, actually being prepared by Meher Baba Himself! He is slowly andlovingly simmering a pot called Julia Margaret. Just recently, the pot started to bubble over... Leatrice Johnson introduced Julia Margaret. The two had recently met at the Oklahoma Sahavas in May. For a ftill review ofthe Oklahoma Sahavas, check out the July 2002 issue of this Love Street Lamp Post. Though she was slated for 30 minutes, we had the pleasure oflistening to her for close to an hour. Laughter followed when someone chimed in, “Bhau says you can have as long
from Baba. Part of it is with the Sufi group in California. Leopard Prasad! As I listened to her describe her “Daddy” I found qualities in him that reminded me of Baba. She spoke of him as a “quiet man”, a man of few words. He only used words when they were called for. He controlled his temper. He was a father first and a doctor second. He would say to his family, “You are the most important things in my life.” He described his work as, “Taking care of sick folks”. He was very generous as she recalls the day she returned home and discovered he had given away their beds to a family who hadlost everything in a fire. She was grateftil that the entire familywas there for her father’s peaceftil passing. How did these Baba people affect her life? She delighted in the regularletters from Mani andwomen in Myrtle Beach.Throughout the ‘60s, Baba lovers would appear at their door, usually from California. Ifthe front doorbell rang, they knew it was one of those Baba people: their friends and neighbors knocked at the back. As she grew into adulthood, she moved from Oklahoma to New Mexico. She reflects on these years as herselfbeing a “sim mering pot ofsoup”. All the events in her life would come together in Baba’s perfect time and place. In 1991, she realized she was on a spiritual journey. This was a time in her life when she was completely broke and called for help through prayer. Julia Margaret miraculously found herself with $800. Following this event, she had a dream. She was by a bus that had stopped at the Grand Canyon. She realized the bus was leaving, so she jumped and grabbed hold of the back of it. The bus bumped along with her holding tightly. She experienced a pain in her chest and didn’t think she could hold on any longer. She figured out it was a school bus and suddenly she was inside the bus holding on to the metal bar that holds the seat cushion in place.There was no bottom to this bus! She shouted to an East Indian man who was sitting in the seat next to her, “Tell Baba to stop the bus!” With closed eyes, he shakes his head, no, She realizes that all the passengers think that Jesus is driving the bus. Again she asked, and he shook his head, no. Finally she desperately yells “Tell Baba it’s Margaret. He knows me. I can’t hold on much longer.” He finally taps the person in front of him and then each person taps the next person. Finally the Christians in the front tap the driver. He turned around and it was Baba, Julia Margaret exclaims. He was glowing in a pearlescent pink light, like the inside of a seashell. But Baba had no smile
on His face. He pointed to her and said, “Pull yourselfup by yourself!” Just over 10 years later, she received a letter inviting her to the Oklahoma Sahavas. She agreed under the condition that she would have her own car, so as to remain independent. “IfI don’t like any ofthem, I’m coming home” she thought to herself We joined her with lovinglaughter. Leatrice had told her “This was no accident in Oklahoma. Baba set your family up big time!” While at the Oklahoma Gathering last May, she closed her eyes to sleep and there was Baba right above her head looking down at her with a big grin. Then she admitted, “I was smiling from ear to ear and tears were running down my cheeks!” She shared her observation that current religions have lost their fire and everything has become exter nalized. She explained, “Baba has brought God inside for me”. Leatrice mentioned that it was wonderftil to watch the pot boil over, in reference to Julia Margaret’s metaphor for coming to Baba. As her time drew to a close, a voice from the audience spoke up, “Tell us about meeting Baba!” Shejumped a bit and said with laughter, “Oh, I almost forgot to talk about meeting Baba!” She went on to recall the day Baba sent for her sister and her. Her mother announced, “Baba wants to see you girls at 2pm. Take a bath and put on a clean dress.” A tomboy at the time,Julia Margaret rolled her eyes and sighed. But she complied, and with freshly braided hair, the two went to meet Baba. Adi was interpreting, though she remembers only the visual delights. She recalled saying to herself “Ah, so this is Baba!” then she described the moments, “Baba turned His head and smiled. His eyes were piercing. There was depth in His eyes. He had us come over to the bed. He had an alphabet board, though I don’t remember words. He called us over to be next to Him. He touched my right hand. The whole time I was thinking, ‘Why won’t He talk to us?’ That’s all I remember of that day. When Baba and Mehera were well enough to return to Myrtle Beach, I recall being very aware that “India left today!” Margaret ended her talk with the ques tion that has crossed her mind many times, “Why us? Why did India come to Prague?” She had always yearned for the Love ofJe sus. In the Book ofJohn, she compared her experiences to the writings that describe how lives are different after people met J esus. “I feel Baba’s Love through all of you!”
Rcmaiiiiiiq iii tltc Comjrniiy ofjod As Lee and I cleared our cabin, packed the car and bid farewell to old and new friends, I recalled the desire I had, when leaving India, to remain with Baba. How can I maintain this sensation of love and comfortable connection with others, in the world? Reminders of Mehera’s garden, Mandali Hall, arti, the Pilgrim Center, Katie’s kitchen and the hot dusty days brought on that familiar tug to return to His home. Someday...
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n 1992, manyBaba Lovers were taken in by the psychic predictions ofsome guy named Scallion, Scaffiwag or somesuch. He had pur portedilypredicted the Northridge earthquake, and was now proclaiming that California was gorng to tumble into the sea and L.A. wouldbe a blank spot on the map come June of’92. Now Bhauji happened to be visiting us that
J une, and when asked about the impending disaster, he explained that there is no death except the one real death when one dies in the Beloved. “Even if California falls into the ocean, you cannot die,” he said, “So eat ice cream and die in L.A.” And so eating ice cream came to be a metaphor for “Don’tWorry Be Happy.” But with his diabetes and heart problems, Bhau has been forbidden to eat ice cream for the past several years, until this visit when we discovered sugarfree, fat-free ice cream (made by Dreyers) and this delighted him! Every night and sometimes atlunch too, he would enjoy this new found delight. Before Bhau left he said “I really love L.A. Everyone is very open-hearted and everything is very free, including fat-free, sugar-free ice cream!”
rflte 44 cJlnniversarj of Avatnr J4’khcr EBnba’s
7}isit to Avatar’s Abodc .4lisoti ‘park, Quccusland
‘[n staying hereforfour days and naming
this space in the universeAvatarcAbode, Meher Baba, the EternalAncient One, has chaiged it with a timeless quality that seems to become even more potent during this Anniversary time.” —from Introductory Talk by Ross Keating th 3riday 7
2002 5 I drove along the approach road to vatar’s Abode I drank in the honeysweet scent of the glorious yellow wattle, usually in peak bloom to welcome all at Anniversary time. The first cars had arrived and mine skidded slightly in the mud as I found a place to park. The hard work of preparation was over—the performance shed was set up with stage, chairs and decorations; the food tent, children’s art tent, games areas were in place (David Hobson had arrived early this morning to lay out the volleyball court and was pleasantly surprised to find it already done by one of the tireless workers of the last weeks—much careful planning and hard work made this year’s Anniversary run so smoothly). People were registering and collecting their programs in the Reception Centre, and exchanging big Baba hugs as joyful reunions and new meetings took place. At 11.30 a.m. we all gathered in a circle in Baba’s Square and Bill Le Page invited special guest Naosherwan Anzar to raise Baba’s flag. As the flag slowly climbed the pole, three cries of “Avatar Meher Baba là J ai!” rang out and Bill exhorted us to “raise the flag in our hearts each day” Geoff Gunther read out Bhauji’s “Salutations to you, oh Avatar’s Abode”, and so began the Anniversary ofBaba’s visit here in 1958. It was a gentle start to the Anniver sar In the afternoon a large group of us gathered round Naosherwan Anzar and Mahrukh Nalavala at the Meeting Hall for afternoon tea and Naosherwan treated us to some stories of his very early childhood when Baba visited his family home in Dehra Dun. Naosherwan’s first book of poetry was called “In the Lap of Love” because he had the good fortune to be carried around in Baba’s arms when he was a tiny .
baby. Imagine! In the evening, after some ghazals by Robert Welsh and introductory talk by Ross Keating, Naosherwan shared with us more stories of his family’s times with Baba during Baba’s mast hunting and New Life years. Also an amusing account of how Naosherwan the publisher came by much of his archival material, and a glimpse of the work at Beloved Archives of preparing for publication some ofBaba’s early discourses, His Tn Thlks, a manuscript on Infinite Intelligence, and a further mysterious early manuscript. Saturday 8! 3nne oday Avatar’s Abode was buzzing—with talks, discussions, games, art activities and displays, entertainment, films, video project—all these activities to entertain and please the Beloved. And today arrived more sahavasees. I suddenly noticed that Baba’s lovers now include a whole new generation—there are babies and young children everywhere! These are the children of the children of the wave of young people who flocked to Baba after He dropped His body, in the early seventies. And these young souls (old souls, surely) are not new to Baba—they enter Baba’s room as if visiting a dearly loved Friend; and spend hours in Mehera Moroney’s art tent (HeART Space) painting pictures of Baba on Jim Frisino’s mural and produc ing beautiful love offerings concocted from beads, feathers, and coloured paper. This was the second year of Kris Hines’ Angels andMortals game (Angels do nice things for their assigned Mortals, all in secrecy), and I was asked several times by a whispering youngster to be an Angel’s messenger and carry an exquisite piece of Baba artwork to an unsuspecting Mortal. With great enthusiasm Meherose Borthwick and Stuart Rigg convened Baba Meltdown—games and icebreakers in the Shed—fm was had by all; Gusi Carpenter facilitated a thought-provoking group dis cussion entitled MeherBaba:His Humanness, Our Human Service for people who work in the “helping professions”; Diana Le Page welcomed lovers to Meher Studio, (her
beautiftil home and art studio) all morning, showing the paintings that will one day decorate the Dining Hall in the new Pil grim Center currently being built just west ofthe Samadhi. I took part in Jap—continuous repeti tion ofBaba’s name—happening in the small room next to Baba’s Room from morning Arti to evening Arti today and Sunday. We kept it going in fifteen-minute blocks—with a beautiful picture of Baba to gaze at while repeating His Name quietly but audibly—a peaceful and uplifting experience. I was on Baba House duty this afternoon and witnessed happy and peaceful faces as people emerged from the room—Diana Le Page looked ecstatic, and she told me that repeating Baba’s name brings you closer, “it cements that invisible contact, makes the crooked path straight”. I joined Bill’s discussion group outside the Meeting Ha]1—RememberingEruch and Meher Babai Growing Manftstation. Over
the next hour the circle ofchairs widened as more people joined in with their memories of Baba’s Eruch, of whom Bill said, you always had that feeling that behind Eruch was Baba”. Steve Hem told ofEruch’s reply to a young Westerner in the sixties/seventies era when “free love” was in vogue and not lifelong commitment to one’s partner. The young man was bewailing the fact that “well, when the tree oflove withers and dies, what can one do?” Eruch acknowledged the un fortunate state described by the man, but after a little consideration said simply, “Water it!” Naosherwan invited all young people to Youthc Lfewave—an afternoon of stories and entertainment. No longer in my youth, I didn’t attend, but Kendra Isaacs-Young told me that they had a great time with Naosherwan and that many important issues faced by teenagers were raised—apparently Naosherwan was impressed by the depth and seriousness of some of the questions. There was music by Kris Martin; and Chicken Soup! an amusing rendition of The Mischievous Chicken penned byElischa Issacs-Young, with hilarious performances I am told by Francis and Jalal Thompson, and Tony Foley. “
After a heart-filled Arti in Baba’s Room, and a delicious Parsi dinner (which special guest Mahrukh helped to prepare), all settled into the Shed for an evening ofifim (TheHu— man Face ofGod), and a Balinese style shadow puppet rendering of some of the Bhagavad Gita (puppets beautifully rendered by John Hunt and Michael Bevitt, and voices byJohn Isaacs-Young and Geoff Gunther).
Sunday 9 3une
his morning, after Arti, an Indian breakfast of rava, Parsi scrambled eggs and chai, and poetry, Jeanette Isaacs-Young facilitated Housekeepers for the Heart—an open discussion on the important project of preserving Baba’s House and all that it contains. By all accounts, this turned out to be a most lively discussion. It was perfect winter weather at Avatar’s Abode this morning (about 68 Farenheight) —clear blue skies, crisp clean dry air, and the birds singing their hearts out. During Naosherwan’s morning talk and readings of Baba’s unpublished songs and words I was suddenly aware of a singing in my heart too—I could feel Baba’s presence here today so clearly—His sweetness that Naosherwan has been talking about seeping through my defenses. Naosherwan played us the rough cut ofthe soon—to-be-released CD ofBaba’s ghazals Belovedsings ofLove (set to music by Jai Uttal), and I felt the beauty and power of Baba’s words read in Hindustani wash over me. Naosherwan opened his afternoon talk by saying that the relationship of the fol lower to the Master eventually transfers to discipleship. Then nothing else matters. All eventuates in God-realisation. The question “when did you come to Meher Baba” is more “when did Baba come to you?” Some form of divine desperateness starts us searching and then Baba appears to us. We are ready to surrender, and he is ready to fil our empty vessels with love. Then He gives us the gift of conviction, which Naosherwan says we must nurture, not through strange rituals, but in an inevitable and natural way (remembering His name, thinking of Him, putting Him first). And the gift we can give Baba is our love, by holding firmly on to His daaman. A panel (Bill Le Page, Ross Keating and Lorraine Brown) began by giving their personal responses to Naosherwan’s words and then the audiencejoined in an insightful discussion ofsome mighty topics, including the difficulty of giving one’s vices to Baba as well as the nice things, repeating Baba’s name and sharing Baba’s name, and what it
was like being in Baba’s presence. The children had their own special time this morning exploring Baba’s House with J oanna Bruford—”Children are not often given this time to themselves”, says Joanna. Lorraine Brown told them a stor and then they had fun playing a circle Baba story game withJoanna, bears and dolls. Later in the day, the children were also treated to an impromptu puppet show, Hands on, Hands up, by puppet maestros J ohn and Michael. I was one of the many adults who snuck in to the show and enjoyed it hugely—and also appreciated being shown how to make puppets out of an old sock, or a few sticks and a bit of cloth. This show coincided with All the World Loves a Lover, so I missed the Sunday af ternoon concert of musical love offerings to Baba —The Wineshop Singers, Kris Hines singing with Sam Saunders, Lorraine Brown singing, Philippa Howell playing flute and Jennifer Thompson singing and playing guitar. The day before the start of the Anniversary, Reg Paffle, “Baba’s man”, died peacefully while watching Baba videos. What can one say about dear Reg—he was a tireless worker on Avatar’s Abode (and helped with the preparations for Baba’s visit in 1958), dedicating his whole life to Baba. This afternoon a memorial was held for this wonderful man, with many people, includ ing his daughter Helen, getting up to share some most moving stories and tributes. This was also the first Anniversary that Diana Snow has missed since she and Reg helped build the Abode back in 1958. Diana gth passed on to Baba August 1 last year. The evening program began with a swing with music from Sam Saunders’ band Gen tes du Choro, and was followed by some beautiful singing by youngsters Roshana Moroney, Jaya, Radha and Rani Foley, and encouraged by Kris Hines. They sang the delightful “Baba is my best friend”, which has been beautifully polished since I last heard them sing it, and Roshana gave us a wonderful solo. A Box ofDreams, a play written and choreographed by John Isaacs-Young, and based on the skit Wine andBloodby Francis Brabazon, was a most sophisticated produc tion. Visually stunning (and I can still see the beautiful angels’ wings which were lovingly fashioned byjim Frisino), with effective use of lights and slides, the play was delivered with much panache by Sam Saunders, Elischa and Kendra Isaacs-Young, Angela Pemberthy, Jaya Foley, Richard Thompson,
J im Frisino and Bernard Bruford. Naosherwan entertained us with more stories, and also shared with us a very solemn moment: at one meeting Baba was holding Naosherwan’s hand in His when Goher came in with something for Baba to give to him—it was a medallion with Baba’s image on it. Baba asked Naosherwan, “Do you take me to be God in human form?” “Yes, Baba”. “I want you to tell the world that I am God in human form.” Naosherwan felt that with these words, and the medallion, Baba was giving him a mandate. “Then He asked me ifl knew anyjokes”, said Naosherwan. We then moved to the next item in the program—a huge long joke—Yvan Duerinckx giving what I feel was his best comedy performance to date. Billed as Guest Speaker on Suffiring, Yvan took on the persona of an outlandishly dressed Frenchman speculating on what life would be like for us Baba lovers if God descended in human form in France! With deadpan delivery and perfect timing this character had the audience in stitches, and it was on this lighthearted note that the evening program concluded with some more musical delights from the Wineshop Singers.
J4/londay 10(11 jitne I felt I’d settled into a new rhythm —Sahavas rhythm—and I eagerly made KielMountain tojoin friends for breakfast. Grania Kelly, who with Richard Thompson had been videoing the whole four days for a special project,Anniversaries Today andThmorrow, shared with me some videoed moments. She said that in her personal interviews with Sahavasees most people gave meeting up with friends as a key reason for attending the Anniversary. On reflection, I realise that as Baba is in each one of us, then we are meeting Baba over and over in different guises as we connect with all Baba family members. And this Anniversary had a very significant program item—that of spending time with other Baba lovers, over a delicious meal, a cup ofcoffee (from the cof fee shop which raises money for the Youth Sahavas), or just sitting in the sun. I did just that today, and accompanying the delight ofthe company offriends was a certain poignancy, that today is the last day of this wonderful gathering, until next year. I felt this poignancy as Naosherwan gave his last talk—a most heart-filled question and answer session—and this morning the depth Baba and Naosherwan’s family really struck home. See “Abode” continued onpage 8...
,foday myway up
C }4,unj.. i11. ::Jj.j 1 Los c/hzgeles Sam ,E. Cwin injuries from the collision. Dr. Donkin took live oak Agnes had named “Baba’s Tree.” a plane, and the others drove to Oklahoma She recalled Baba saying, as He was leav immediately. ing, that Agnes’ dog, Kali, who had been Agnes Baron, who lived at Meher following Baba around, would be a human ... .. .. .. from 1946 until her death at age 87 Mount contact to the life due next her in : onjuly 3, 1994, was remembered by several with Baba. people in the group. Baba directed Agnes, Along with Adele’s memories, : Ed Flanagan read the accounts of also known as Agni, after the Hindu goddess offire, to take care ofMeher Mount for Baba’s visit to Meher Mount as described by Bhau Kaichuri in Him. The group watched the video, “Agnes I Lord Meher, Volume Thirteen Baron, The Beloved’s Watchdog,” in which Agnes describes meeting Meher Baba and and Fourteen and by Ivy 0. Duce committing to hold Meher Mount for Him in How a Master Works. In the “through hellfire and damnation.” Her fire, discussion of the readings, it was and her fiery love for Baba, were evident in noted Meher Mount was Baba’s the video and the stories of several people intended destination fifty years ago when He left Myrtle Beach who knew her. At one point, after a confrontation with someone, she said to Baba, for the cross country car trip and “I don’t love everybody—what am I going suffered the tremendous collision near Prague Oklahoma Five of to do about it?” Baba looked at her, and Adi L__ ‘..............‘...‘.......... interjected, “Agnes you love everybody you the Mandali, Adi, Meherjee, During Baba’s visit to Meher Mount Donkin, Gustadji and Nilu, had arrived just don’t like everyone!” Later, Baba said to her, “I like you the way you are. I like Particzants walk along the trail that Meher Baba took to at Meher Mount to help Agnes spirit!” your arrival. Baba’s for prepare Baron the tree under which he sat 46 years earlier In the book by Jean Adriel, Avatai she They were having tea after their says of Meher Mount: “In anticipation of on August 2 1956, He said, “I love Meher long journey when word came of Baba’s Mount very much and feel happy here. This land is very old, I have been here before.” Baba was seen walking the land with His disciples in the video, “Scenes from Meher Baba’s Tour in the United States, 1956,” produced by Sufism Reoriented. Adele Wolkin was one of those disciples who visited with Meher Baba, and she shared her remem brances. She stressed how playful and relaxed Baba was at Meher Mount compared to His outlook in Los Angeles in the pre vious days. She recounted intimate and humorous incidents as well as de scribing Baba’s tour of the property guided by Agnes Sam Ervinpoints out theplace where Baba sat under what is now Baron and His sitting alone called “Babac Tree”during His visit to MeherMount in 1956 for a while under the great
Saturday, August 3rd, more than 40 people gathered at Meher Mount in Ojai, California to celebrate the 46th anniversary ofAvatar Meher Baba’s visit.
His coming again to America, a : Center has been established for Him at Myrtle Beach in South ! Carolina, and on the West coast, in the upper Ojai Valley, a beautiful place, Meher Mount, awaits Him.” Agnes along with Jean Adriel and several other followers iden tified the property that came to be known as Meher Mount in 1946. They purchased it and moved there the same year. Gradually, the others left, and by 1952, onlyAgnes lived atMeher Mount full time. At the Baba Tree, the group said Baba’s three prayers after Dr. Mahmoud Ajang sang the Persian Arti and Sam Ervin, master of ceremonies and mem ber of the Meher Mount Board of Directors, read the poem he had written specifically for the occasion.
A!eher 73ctba, the Zree, and the 2tawk WitIt far seeing eycs the hawk slides up the wind 7•V improve her view of 7 tlictod I 4an -J 0 nce agaili treading this earth, this mountain. sIo. 3loatinq, fluid, with matchless grace, 7readiiig? 2 Eet strong and gliding strides 7•oward the green canopy of the qreat live oak ./lgnes named “EBaba’s 7ree’ 0 ii strong wings, the lwwk beats closer, glides, rises above the tree Like an eyebrow of9od in surprise, _/45 the i3eloved One of the universe enters alone the emerald tent. Silence! Except the sweet sighing of the wind playing among the leaves 7•o turn their green and silver facets to reflect the sunbeam jewels. 1anging impossibly still, on high, the hawk, 0utside the tree the breathless expectant lovers, _/4nd for an eternal moment the universe __,4wait u1is gesture, marking the completion of what work? CWhat seeds by 2 lim were planted in this ancient land, under this long waiting oak? e know iiot. ) et surely as generations of hawks feather the air ,__/4bove J4lelier J4/lount and EJ3aba’s 7ree 2Je has poured out 2 Iis all-knowing love and compassion here, LA makes eternally accessible that sacred moment. .Sam ,L. Cwin—jitly 28, 2002
Some oftheparticzpants watched videos ofBabai visit to Meher Mount in 1956 and an interview video ofAgnes Baron, Babai “Watchdog” The day ended with music and singing led byBilly Goodrum accompanied by Sartoush on the drums. Bing Heckman, Secretary/treasurer of the Meher Mount Board of Directors, introduced the caretakers, Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold, who have been lovingly tending Meher Mount since April, 2002. Bing also reiterated the mission of Meher Mount: “Our mission is to preserve and enhance Meher Mount as a universal center open to all for inspiration, education, recre ation, ecology and humanitarian service. We seek to protect the natural environment, to foster respect for human dignity and diversity and to awaken awareness of the oneness of all creation.” The plan is to have an annual celebration ofMeher Baba’s visit to Meher Mount. Next year, it will be held on Saturday, August 2, 2003. Be sure to mark your Baba calendars! Meher Mount welcomes groups and individuals. Please contact Ray Johnston or Elizabeth Arnold at: Meher Mount 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road Ojai, California 93023 805-640-0000 email: email@example.com website: www.bigfoot.comJMeherMount
our Danny Does it Again! anny will be the first to admit that its all thanks to Baba! The incredible attention his books are garnering, that is. Fol lowing three years after the release of his last book The Gjft, that displaced Rumi as the top seffing poet in America, PenguinPutnam has published Love Poemsfrom God Amazon.com has this to say about it: In this transcendent collection, Daniel Ladinsk—best known for his gifted and best-seffing translations ofthe great Sufi poet Hafiz—brings together the timeless work of twelve of the world’s finest spiritual writers, six from the East and six from theWest. Once again Ladinsky reveals his talent for creating inspiring, profound, and playftil versions of classic poems for a modern audience. Rumi’s joyous, ecstatic love poems; St. Francis’s loving observations of nature through the eyes of Catholicism; Kabir’s wild, freeing humor that synthesizes Hindu, Muslim, and Christian beliefs; St. Teresa’s sensual verse; and the mys tical, healingwords ofHafiz—these and other spiritual writers considered to be “conduits of the divine” make up this rich and luminous collection of”love poems from God.” Danny tells me that one ofthe most amaz ing aspects of the book is this: “After asking me which poet-saints I was going to use, Eruch gave me the title for this book (nearly three years ago, my last time in India). Three times within the book Baba’s name is used, and twice we quote Baba—at what I felt were very key, vital moments.” Paperback, $15
Selections from the 9ospei of Sri 9?amctkrishnt: ..JInnotated &: Explained ntroducing the teachings of the great Indian mystic with facing-page commentary thatbrings the text to life foryou.This book is part ofthe same series as the Bhagavad Gita book with annotations by Kendra Crossen Burroughs. Originally recorded in Bengali by M, a disciple of the Master. Translation by Swami Nikhilananda.
The Profound Teachings of a Great Mystic Come to Life More than a century after the death ofRa makrishna, one of India’s greatest exemplars
of God-consciousness and mystical union, his message of harmony and tolerance still inspires millions ofpeople, both in the East and around the world. Through this “Gospel,” or spiritual life and teachings, Ramakrishna became known to the world as a saint, as a divine incarnation, and a “supremely realized self” The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna faithfrtlly records a se ries of conversations with this extraordinary mystical person•: ality who left no written works of his own.This eyewitness account— rst recorded in amakrishna’s na ye language, Ben:ali, near the turn of the twentieth century—shares his enlightening rables, profound spiritual knowl edge, and fascinating accounts of his visions and realizations of the truth of all religions. Now you can read the Gospel of Sri Ra makrishna with no background knowledge required. This edition offers choice selections from the original text, and insightftul yet un obtrusive commentary that highlights the most important teachings and parables for the reader with little background in Hinduism, Vedanta philosophy, or Indian religious customs. You will explore: , How to see God and how to live in the world , The dynamics of spiritual awakening , The spiritual power ofthe Divine Fem mine , Prayer and meditation Paperback, $16 :
9olden 7hread: Jfrlelier 73aba—Cltapel 21i11—1967 by i3arbara Scott Revieiv by 2<endra Crosseii i3urroiigIis, J44yrtle EBeadi e are beginning to see the publica tion of spiritual memoirs by people who never met Meher Baba in the flesh but who received His call inwardly. The first was Kenneth Lux’s bookMeherBaba:Avatarofthe Tortoise, which combines an introduction to
Meher Baba with a personal narrative of His impact on Ken’s life. Now Barbara Scott has written the story ofhow an entire community came to Baba in the wake of a spiritual tidal wave known variously as “the Rick Chapman Talk” and “the Chapel Hill Darshan.” The year was 1967, the place a North Carolina college town called Chapel Hill— the “Greenwich Village of the South”—and it was a pivotal moment in Baby Boomer history, when the old-guard Meher Baba movement populated by “cute little old ladies” was about to be invaded by beatnik/hippies, druggies, dropouts, artists, freaks, iconoclasts, and other mad young mystics. Momentum began to build the night of a terrible rock concert by a band called the Godz, during whose intermission a straightlooking Rick Chapman appeared before a giant projected photo of Meher Baba and declared, “You think you’re high, but you’re not high. Hei high.” The so-called Rick Chapman Talk (at which Henry Kashouty also spoke) was delivered the next day, on Sunday afternoon, May 14, attended by some fiftypeople, median age 23. A goodly number ofripe fruits were to drop into Baba’s lap as a result of this legendary event, startlingly re ferred to as a “darshan” by Baba Himselfin a telegram received after the fact. The recipients ofthis incredible grace felt, as Art Lester put it, “like we had always known Baba, but were just remembering it.” What Barbara calls the “Chapel HillJ Meher Baba coffision” was no accident. The Avatar undoubtedly “laid cables” when His car passed through the town on the way to the hospital in Durham in 1952. Kitty Davy thus wrote in Love Alone Prevails: “It is perhaps significant that the first ofa large number of young people in the U.S. to be drawn to Baba were from Chapel Hill.” These new Baba lovers were among the first to start going to the Center in Myrtle Beach, where Kitty and Elizabeth became their “mother hens” and Lyn and Phyllis Ottproved uniquely qualified as mentors to a bohemian crowd. The young people renounced their acid trips, put up a “sincere and comical” struggle to achieve cellbacy, thrilled to discussions ofspiritual planes and the destruction of three-quarters of the world (“great stuff,” said John Gunn), and went to bed at night confident that Baba was mysteriously “working on them” in their sleep. Eventually, as they (and their counterparts elsewhere in America) learned more about Baba’s ways, they would realize that life was . . .
not going to continue in unbroken blissftii Heaven-sent. The genuine Love and accep transcendence. They must bravely face the tance oflife on Meher’s terms comes through challenges ahead ofthem: “Having based our his words. It is surrender, the ultimate laying identities and self-esteem on the ‘cool’ drug down ofyour life at His feet. subculture,” Barbara writes, “we now had to My favorite songs are those that have build a new image that would please ourselves, Baba singing to you in the first person. I please Kitty and Elizabeth, the Otts, our fam have noticed a few musicians have done this. iies, and of course—Meher Baba.” These are my favorite songs. With Roger’s In an engaging literary style that betrays kind voice, I believe it comes off powerfully not a little erudition, Barbara deftly sketches well on this CD. Here are the words to my in the characters and thickens the plot with favorite song. I hear Baba talking to me, and direct quotes from them, ranging from the consider it “my” song. Interestingly nowlook one-liners ofWinnie Barrett to the wisdoms ing at the back of the CD, Roger calls this ofHarry Muir, a conscientious objector writ- “The Treasure Of God” and in parentheses, ing from his prison cell. We are transported “(Roger’s Song)”. Imagine the beautiful back to a more innocent era at Meher Center, companiment of a 12 string guitar as you when Phyllis Ott could do a Tarot reading, read the words ..(An excerpt) a volunteer worker opening a window might stand on a chair Baba had sat in, and re w 7reasure of5od 7 treatants would sit and “rap” all night long ?otier’s Song) 2 ( on one another’s cabin porches—alI of these things now disallowed. Ironically, as Barbara TIus isn’t a puzzic observes, it was these very young people, 77is is a game with their anti-rules-and-regulations stance, That you can take ligittig who forced the rules into being by their free0r iiot. spirited behavior. You can take Baba-lovers out of the subculture—but can you take the Eour Diviiie Beloved subculture out of them? A4cher 13aba am 3 The poet Muriel Rukeyser once wrote Dt4l you ecausc you forgoL 73 that “the world is made up of stories, not of atoms.” There are worlds and worlds of Don make me ivander stories hidden between the lines ofthis book. Off looking for you The book is complete as it is, yet one wants 2/old J4/le more—wants Barbara Scott & Co. to be there LA iid ver let go to take a few questions from the audience. No doubt when members of our generation, as /Iiid 3 ivill share with you the new “little old ladies” ofthe Meher Baba The treasure ofod movement, hobble to the stage at some future __,4 the secrets sahavas, fturtherjuicy details will be revealed of Oflettiug it show. what happened when Baba issued His call to His children ofthe West in the late 1960s. The very first time I heard Roger sing, Paperback, 125 pages $10 we were in the library at Meher Centre, and J ane Brown was the featured musician. Roger was asked to play a couple of songs. He had a 12 string. It was his first time at Meher Shar M iseman, 7 1 )irginia Centre, after having been a Baba Lover for over here are a lot ofBaba CD’s out there, and 30 years. Roger’s connection with Baba had been I love all ofthem, but Roger Robinson’s new CD, Cherish the Present, leaves me established before Baba dropped His body. Being new to Baba, Roger did not underbreathless. Roger not only brings Baba to us in the stand that he could follow Baba directly, and present, but through this CD, I feel Baba is searched for a living master. For this reason, brought to us in the Beyond. You can sense he did not go to India for the last Darshan in 1969. Back in the 70’s, Baba brought Roger the introspection and the experience of the musician. You will hear the Silence. It tugs full-circle, and Roger’s head rests on the Beloved’s Feet for all time. For some time on your heart-strings. Listening to this CD, I feel that Roger is now Roger has longed to make a pilgrimsinging from a glimpse of Union. All of the age to India. Unfortunately, 30 years later, songs are deeply heart-felt. They are truly Roger’s failing health will not allow him to bow at the Beloved’s feet at His Samadhi in
Meherabad. My feeling is that he has bowed with the production ofthis CD. The second time that I heard Roger sing, was my trip to Myrtle Beach in February Roger sang a new song, “Isn’t It Wonderful That I Never Leave” in Baba’s Bedroom on His birthday. That was one of the most powerful experiences Baba has ever given me. This song will be on Roger’s next CD. I have never heard anyone sing, play or speak in
Cherish the LLresent
Baba’s bedroom. This was perfect, because it was Baba speaking, through Roger with the most profound words, absolutely perfect for His Room, for His Birthday. Roger is a true artist and a virtuoso musician, and yet, he has somehow managed to diminish his presence in the music ofthis CD to where only Baba is felt. The listener becomes immersed in the dream ofthe Beloved, and one forgets that one is even listening to a musical performance at all. The listener is left with pure moments of intimacy with Baba. Roger’s CD is a courageous performance for Baba. It is a CD of Surrender. It will light up your life. Play this, when you wake up, and you will walk with Baba throughout the day. Play this, when you drive your car to work, and you will know that all that matters is Him. Play this, as you fall asleep, and you will have sweet dreams of Meher. Play this, when your day is going badly, and all will fall away, layer by layer, at the Master’s Feet.
Stronghold )3ou Can 7rust 14)L’i1dj
1istraiiL1 4 i3oriii wick, Sydiicji ...
Francis Brabazon’s life and simplyyet vividly presents us with a chronological record of :2oet oftite Silent Word a 7/Iodern 21aflz the poet’s life and times. “Being a highly self disciplined person, Brabazon’s day followed by 2?oss 2<eating an ordered pattern: he rose each morning at six, poured a cold bucket of water over his head to wake himself up, stretched his muscles for the strenuous work ahead, ate a breakfast ofporridge, toast and tea prepared on an open fire and set to work” (Francis’s stone cutting days at Beacon Hill early 1950’s.) Tantalising personal glimpses are given: we see him climbing the ladder in Hall’s Bookshop, going unerringly to the top shelf and six volume set of “The Poet Saints of Maharashtra”, searching for spiritual answers (circa 1940). In another instance we see him receiving spiritual training from the Sufi Sheikh Momin (Baron von Franken berg), “some of our liveliest sessions were with him sitting on the wood box drying his dinner things as I washed them up.” A most exotic slice ofAustralian social history in the early 1940’s! Or again, we learn of his love for Sparkle Lukas just prior to his meeting Meher Baba in 1952: “something melted in mybreast and a light became in it and spread any standard, Francis Brabazon led right through me.” A picture emerges of an an unusual and intriguing life, from intrepid, down-to-earth man rigorously fo cussed upon his spiritual and artistic destiny his early days ploughing with horses on a but not without human weaknesses plus a remote Victorian farm, painting and piano playing his way through the Bohemian art dash of”Irish charm and whimsy, and a sense of fun and humour”. world ofthe 1930’s, presiding austerely over The book’s subtitle “Poet of the Silent Sufi meetings as a Sheikh, frequenting the art galleries and theatres of New York, all Word a modern Hafiz” is intrinsically culminating in the ten years spent with meaningful and not just an easy leap onto the current interest in Sufi poetry “The SiMeher Baba in India. And there was much more in between and thereafter. During lentWord” is ofcourse, an allusion to Meher this colourful progression he thought Baba and during Francis’ stay in India in the deeply, worked hard and studied widely ‘60’s, Meher Baba often referred to Francis and assiduously to develop his own clearly as His “modern Hafiz.” Throughout the book, Hafiz appears articulated ideas about art. He left behind a and re-appears, giving resonance and depth varied, innovative and largely undiscovered to the structure and content. At one point, (by the literaryworld) body ofwritten work. the life of Hafiz is documented and linked A11 ofwhich adds up to a rich treasure trove for the biographer/critic who can mine it loosely with that of Francis through simi larities ofexperience and their common use with integrity Which raises the question: with the recent upsurge in Western interest of the ghazal. Finally, Francis’ training by in the work of Hafiz, Rumi and other Sufi Meher Baba in understanding Hafiz’ ghazals and Baba’s goading and inspiring of Francis poets, could this book be a timely conduit to create a new English form based on the to at last bring Francis Brabazon’s writing to Persian ghazal is dealt with in detail and the serious attention ofa wider audience? Certainly, Ross Keating has done his best conveys a definite impression of artistic excitement and discoverc to ensure this. He has carefully researched
3rancis i3rabctzon. —
The subtitle also signals that the book will deal significantly with Francis’ poetry. Stmcmrall’ Francis’ development as a poet is linked in with his life story This makes for a very readable and interesting analysis ofhis work. The text is generously peppered with Francis Brabazon’s poems or quotes from them and the progression is precisely charted. Ross provides a running critical assessment of the poems which is insightful, appreciative and straight forward. He is not afraid to evaluate. At the same time, Francis is placed within the context ofAustralian and indeed world literature from the explicit Hafiz connec tion to Judith Wright’s and Annemarie Shimmel’s comments upon “Stay with God.” Mainstream literary successes (eg. In1959 the BBC included his dramatic poem “Death Of A City” in a broadcast of Australia poetry) and biting literary criti cisms (Evan Jones in Mearijin 1957 belit tlingly described him as an “eccentric” poet) are also recorded. Ross Keating knew Francis Brabazon personally and obviously he has a deep respect and love for him and for his best work. This empathy for both the man and his poetry comes across clearly, but the book is neither sentimental nor one sided. A sense ofFrancis Brabazon’s truly creative spirit comes through and as with the man, to come into contact with his ideas and po etry is to experience a “radiating” out: doors in the mind open, there is an invitation to think more deeply, to get down to some “hard yakka” on the real issues. Without wishing to whitewash or canonize Francis Brabazon he still has the ability, through his work, to inspire and teach, and this book facilitates thatliving relevance with diligence and grace.
ISo many singers andsong writers are mak ing their own CDs now that the Love Street Bookstore can stock them all. However we are ever eager to promote new artists and bring to your attention music andart wefeel may interest you. Ifyou wish to purchase this CD, you may contact the artist directly.] Ed Legum sent us his opinion of a CD that Brian Darnell just made:
ou hear songs of wine and weakness, dreams and surrender, gardens and redemption. Brian takes you back to Mehe rabad, to Mandali Hall to hear Eruch, to the Samadhi, and to the arms ofMeher Baba. Have you heard these songs somewhere before, or have you heard them for a thousand years? It strikes you—this is roots music for Baba Lovers. Your experience is primitive and you like it, because it’s perfectly suited to the tone and character of the singer and his songs. There’s something about Brian’s voice that sounds familiar to you. You wonder: is this what Bob Dylan might have sounded like if he had been born a Baba Lover in LA (Lower Alabama)? You play it for three days straight and somehow itjust seems to get better every time you hear it. To experience Ghamela Yoga send Brian an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. CDs are $10 and come packaged in a clear jewel box. _,7I/Iiisjc
Personal Collection of Poems, Prose, Short Stories and Reflections by Kate Brown. Available at www.katebrown.com.
Ken Neunzig tells us about a video you may be interested in:
3ntits of the 2leai’t
his video from the 2002 North East Gathering begins withJim Meyer singing The Parvardigar prayer behind opening scenes of some of the 200 plus participants, and the guests, Bhau, Esfandiar andJim Mistry Following three or four songs from Jim Meyer’s wonderftii concert, the talent show acts offer something for every taste, from classical to comedy. A well edited glimpse of the gathering for those who where there, and those who weren’t. Some of the highlights include the premiere performance ofthe Divine Maggies, and perhaps the only available recording of Tony Paterniti’s touching song
on Baba’s close ones who have come to Him, “Mehera, Mani and Eruch.” Although film cannot really capture the power and beauty of the events it serves as a record, a reminder, and a way to share a very special time together in His love. If you would like to own this video you can call Angela Chen, the lady who put it all together at Divine Wine Studios email@example.com or (914) 779-2892 The price is $ 15 plus $2 postage.
design us something like this with all Baba quotes?! http://220.127.116.11/TWGnet.swf and Chris Ott tell us that The Lyn
Jesh Otte Gallery is back on line with an all new Painting Exchange. Go to: htrp://comp.uark.edu/cotr/index1.htm
This just ;Jn from a )ery ¶1roud &zpa: 7
is with overwhelmingjoy and a tremen dous sense ofgratitude that I announce the guitarist Richard Peikoff birth of our son. cclai musica Baby Soroush was born at 10:52 p.m. on med guest l at our Sahavas) gives ( us his website that has samples of his music, July 14, 2002. He is a happy and alert baby, writings ,and photos. : www.muktimusic.com. weighing 8lbs 3ozs and 21” long His beautiftil instrumental CDs are available If you wish to see his picture, please through the Love Street Bookstore. visit www.shahriari.cornlsoroush. May he be among those who renew the world. udi Schoeck of Myrtle Beach sent us the —Shahriar and Mahoo Shahriari following snippets that you may find interesting: Stephanie SheppardandBillHill wed In the May newsletter of London’s Meher Baba Association, Rosiejackson reported there’s a retreat cottage available for rent near East Challacombe, the place Meher Baba visited in 1931 and 1932. Apparently, it’s the nearest property to the farmhouse where Baba stayed. It is available through the National Trust. It’s got a lobby, lounge with wood burning stove, kitchen, and upstairs there are 2 double bedrooms and a bath. Rosie says it’s somewhat damp, so summer’s probablybest time to rent it. Ifyou have Internet access, inquire to www .nationaltrustcottages.co.uk or phone 08704 584411 for brochures and 08704 584422 for booking. Meher Baba Association’s URL is www.meherbaba.co.uk.
n article in The Sun-News of Myrtle each (August 2nd) was talking of a couple ofkoala bears that reside at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. They were originally from Queensland, Australia. It felt perfect, knowing that Queensland is the home of Avatar’s Abode, to read in the course of the article that Queensland is a sister-state of South Carolina! (wherein lies Baba’s other home in the West.) Sammy Patel ofMumbai sent us the fol lowing URL for your viewing pleasure, with the comment “This is Beautiftil!” How right he is! Now wou1dnt it be nice if some of our creative Baba lovers could
Wedding EBells and Congratulations
tephanie Sheppard (daughter of Irma Sheppard and Karl Moeller) and Bill Hill of Seattle, WA, were married in a lovely cer emony at the country home of Bill’s brother near Roanoke, VA on June 29.
fter a nine year courtship (nothing like really making sure!). Steve Sanders and TraceyBleahu tied, not the knot, but the bo as Steve so romantically told me. Tracey was attended byfive stunning bridesmaids, all her nieces. I was fascinated by the wedding service which was, in a nod to her origins and all the family gathered, a Romanian Orthodox C?
ceremony.Theywere married here in L.A. on rd Steve’s mother Donna, who lives August 3 on the property adjoining Meherana came to town for the long awaited occasion! Liet ci Domai,i 2slczme
for your i3aba Community ashville.org?
about MeherBabaN Most folks think that to register a domain it would cost them about $35.00 per year but that’s not true. With my new business—www.DomainAvatar.com—you can register or transfer your existing domain name for $9.95 per year or less—that’s really cheap and it uses the same central registry as the high-priced registrars. This is domain registration only—not hosting. Hosting is also available. My name is Christina Arasmo. Starting with the Meher Baba Calendar in1988, I’ve been trying to work into my life more and more Baba work (it’s joyful!). Every year, except one ‘cause I was broke, I put all the proceeds from the calendar back into other Baba projects or events for the Tampa Bay Baba Group and others. Since passing the Calendar project to Laura Goode after I had my daughter, Vve been focused on web design. This skill has proven useful since I’ve been donating my services for various Baba web design projects, such as co-developing the MeherCenter.org site (I did the html por lion). There are many other projects coming up and more I’d like to do if I have the re sources. I’m hoping through this registration business to supplement my design income so I can continue to do this type ofBaba work. He’ll see.
(i:UtC 2amirk ./4r$enault
he name of Meher Baba has been familiar to me for many years. I have heard my sister Beth Principe and her hus band Nick speak ofHim with love since the mid-seventies. It was only at the sudden death ofour dear son Robert in early 1986, when I was plunged into grief conftision and longing, that I began to look for verification and meaning in my life. My trip to India was planned on a sud den whim one evening in the summer of 1987 while I was visiting Beth and Nick in Chapel Hill. A little over a year later I found myself climbing the hill at Meherabad and being greeted by Mansari as an old friend, and welcomed as a member ofthe family by Mehera, Mani and Eruch. All this powerful love, and yet I pulled back; wary skeptical and too proud to give in to my longings. One morning while sitting in Mandali Hall, Rhoda Dubash told the beautiful story of the death of her son and Baba’s love and uplifting presence during that sad time. I spoke to her about my confusion and with perfect faith and with the love ofBaba shining from her she said, “Go to Baba, go to His Tomb. Take Robert’s picture with you. Lay it on the Tomb and just sit with Baba.”
Early the next morning, after Arti, I went alone to the Tomb, laid Robert’s pic ture in among the fragrant flowers and sat quietl) Soon I began to speak to Baba in my mind. “Ifyou are who you say you are, I come to you as a mother aching with loss. I so need some little sign to know that Robert is, not was, that he is safe, that he is loved, wherever he is.” I prayed and let my head touch the Tomb, and I thought ofa simple sign, a butterfly, a white butterfly, the symbol of immortality and surely not too hard for Baba to handle? I even gave Baba an “out” Wit was needed; this isn’t the time ofthe year for butterflies...but Baba, let me see a white butterfly as I step from Your Tomb.” I walked into the bright sunshine, slipped on my shoes, then bent to pick up a wrapper left from prasad—and at that very moment, a big, beautifiuiwhite butterfly danced by my hand. As I walked slowly down the hill it flitted in the sunshine, in the flowers and bushes beside me, all the way down, and only left me as I reached the railroad tracks. This message oflove and tenderness from Baba, so clear and so immediate, left me with peace and the sure knowledge that Robert is His, loved by Him always, as we all are. The Glow © 1989 Beloved Archives
‘Mehera andBaba in the Garden”painting by Diane Cobb.
Wor1dwidc A4:eker Buba .A4etings
he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. Having received many requests for just such inftrrnation, I thought it would be helpftil to include it in every issue. Ifyour local data is not included please send it to me and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma
Domestic LArizon Contact: Dennis O’Keefe 1925 East Linda Vista Drive Flagstaff, AZ 86004-1742 Phone: 928-556-9276 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Irma Sheppard 3562 East Third Street Tucson, AZ 85716 Phone: 520-321-1566 email: email@example.com or Laurent Weichberger 7 East Aspen Avenue, #11 Flagstaff, AZ 86001 Cell: 928-600-1820 email: ArizonaBaba@yadrakh.org
2slorthern California, Ei3erkeley Write for information about meeting times and places. 2131 University Avenue, Room 235 Berkeley, CA 94704-1029 Phone: 510-845 4339 (office phone number) or call Ben Leet 510-351 8259 email: Benleet@earthlink.net
.SoutIiem Cctlifornict, Los .Angeles
Meetings every Sunday at 4pm held in our Center “Meherabode.” 1214 South Van Ness Ave Los Angeles, CA 90019 Phone: 323-731-3737 (Just East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center ofLos Angeles now has its own web site at www.Meherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public.
Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 pm at various homes in the Denver-Ivletro area. (Also the contact person for Colomdo, Utah, New Mexico, T’f/ioming, andArizona.)
Barbara A. Roberts 3475 Moore Court Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 ( suburb of Denver) Phone: 303-238-4649 email: babara€Pfone.net
3loridci Tampa Bay website: www.MeherBabaTampaBay.org
-.: 2 lanrnii iVieredith Moon, Ph.D. Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 1940 Olinda Road P0 Box 1269 (mail) Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA
J4/Ictine Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1pm with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt P0 Box 125 Spruce Head, ME 04859 Phone: 207-594-0909 Work: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Noreen O’Brien P0 Box 42 Rockland, ME 04841 Phone: 207-594-2280 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ken Lux P0 Box 1096 Auburn, ME 04211 Phone: 207-786-4300 email: email@example.com
AIa.sshiiss Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge). Michael Siegel 1 Phone: 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jl4ontctnct Andy Shott 336 Connell Missoula, MT 59801 Phone: 406-549-5949
http://www.MeherBabaHouse.org or phone our info line 212-971-1050 for weekly updates. Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield Road West Bronxville, NY 10708 email: info@MeherBabaHouse.org
21oiih Carolina Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive Asheville, NC 28805 email: email@example.com or Sheldon Herman 2405 Kery Drive Greensboro, NC 27408 Phone: 336-288-8090 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street Asheville, NC 28803 email: email@example.com
7exas Chris &Anne Barker 3101 Skyline Drive Nacogdoches, TX 75965 Phone: 936-560-2631 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
7ri-$tate ../!rea Philadelphia PA and surrounding tn-state area. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4pm. Frank Bloise 431 West Garden Road Vineland, NJ 08360 Phone: 856-696-4374 email: email@example.com
Dnterrtcttional Dsrael Michal Sivan 46 Hebron Road J erusalem, Israel 93513 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone/Fax: 02671-5835
A1exico Rafael Villafane Home, dialed from US: 01152555295-0512 Cell, dialed from US: 01152555502-7225 Email is best as I travel alot: email@example.com we have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 pm. No particular day, people on the list are contacted prior to the meeting, email ad— dresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so email me ifyou will be in those areas.
21cw )3ork For information on meetings, contact our website:
xJt AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520
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PAID LOS ANGELES, CA
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PERMIT #3 I 394