Symbols of the world's religions



Judith Garbett

This celebration of Mehera's birthday was held on Sunday 21st December [1980] to enable more people to come to the occasion at Meherabad. For many years it has always been celebrated on 22nd December, as this was the date chosen by Baba in 1968 because it was her birthday that year according to the Zoroastrian calendar. (On our calendar Mehera's actual birth date was 7th January.)

For such a special day everyone dressed up in their nicest clothes so I put on a new sari and just after 10:00 AM went up the Hill, took darshan, then moved about talking with many already there, including Don Stevens and some of the men mandali. The 'tin shed' verandah looked very colorful with all the decorations many pilgrims had helped to put up the day before.

The De Soto arrived at last about 11:15 with Mehera, Mani, Naja and Arnavaz. Goher, Meheru, Katie, Rano and Khorshed came in another car. Many waited near the East Room to greet Mehera, and she walked quickly to the Samadhi with several of us around her. As usual, a number of women were already gathered there, and one had to be in the right spot and move quickly to follow the mandali inside (it was still permissible at that time for pilgrims to do this.)

It was so beautiful to be in the Samadhi with Mehera on her special day. Many garlands and flowers were offered to Baba, with some of us close enough to hold part of a flower-net as it was lowered over the Marble. Mehera called different ones to place roses on Baba's photograph.

When Arti was over, Mehera, Mani and the other mandali bowed down and placed roses at Baba's feet, then moved over to Baba's Cabin. In turn everyone else took darshan, and went across to the 'tin shed' verandah.

I was just in time to see Mehera cut the heart-shaped, flower-decorated birthday cake. She looked truly regal in her beautiful sari of emerald-green satin. Mani and the others, also looking lovely in their colorful saris, were gathered near Mehera, and the atmosphere, already enriched by Baba's loving Presence, was filled with the love and joyous greetings of all there for His beloved.

In a few minutes many were standing in the line to say 'Happy Birthday!' to Mehera and put into her hands their small gifts which she accepted lovingly with smiles and embraces, handing each packet to one or other of the resident helpers to collect and keep for her to open later at Meherazad.

Soon lunch was served, after which several people took photos of Mehera, Mani and the others. Then everyone moved down to the open-air Theatre near the Samadhi to see the play 'Majnun and Laila', specially written and produced for the occasion. The side-drops, the centre-top painting of Baba in Persian dress riding a white horse, and the colorful costumes were all excellent. The acting was first-class, and Mehera in particular, as well as everyone there, enjoyed the performance very much.

All the men and women mandali left by 4:00 PM. It had been a most happy day, and the weather was just right too, warm but not hot, and not windy. Later on quite a few clouds came up, and as I walked up the Hill again before Arti I thought how lovely the different soft greys were, and how delicate were the patterns they wove in the evening sky. It seemed a gentle and fitting end for a wonderful occasion filled with Baba's love for His beloved Mehera.

LIVES OF LOVE, Mehera Part 1, pp. 7-8
1998 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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