Symbols of the world's religions



Judith Garbett

The next evening, Sunday, we all went to the Circus in Ahmednagar. A couple of the Western residents who were in charge of arrangements collected our names and money, made the bookings and bought the tickets beforehand for the best seats in the front rows. In the late afternoon we pilgrims boarded the bus at Meherabad, and each was given a large paper bag containing all sorts of goodies prepared by Alan Wagner and his kitchen staff for our snack evening meal to be eaten at the Circus. Curfew time for the Pilgrim Centre is 9:30 PM, so Mani gave special permission for all to return later at the end of the performance.

What a delightful feeling of anticipation there was as we drove into town, got down from the bus, threaded our way through the masses of people thronging the dusty area in front of the Circus, and entered the huge marquee. The large Ring was brightly lit, a brass band was playing loudly in a gallery above it, and strong smells assailed our noses as we were directed to our seats. Soon afterwards the mandali arrived. Mani and the women mandali sat in the centre of the front row. I was in the same row of the next block and could easily go and speak to them before the show started, or look across at them at times during the performance. The men mandali sat in various places nearby.

There was a good variety of acts, some very clever and daring, others not quite so attractive to me. There were of course plenty of animal acts with monkeys, dogs, small horses, lions and elephants, not to mention clowns, dare-devil bike riders, tightrope walkers and trapeze artists. It was all very enjoyable, and the whole audience was most appreciative.

After greeting Mani next day at the Trust Office, I mentioned the Circus of course, and how I had seen her a few times applauding or watching closely. I said I liked the elephants particularly, and felt they had saluted Mani, Goher and Meheru sitting in the front row. I thought their eyes were so expressive, and Mani agreed, saying that their eyes are the smallest part of them but reveal a lot, and they are very intelligent animals — she had always loved being close to them.

LIVES OF LOVE, Mani in 1991, Part 4
1998 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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