Symbols of the world's religions



Mani S. Irani

Baba called Louis [van Gasteren] to Meherazad at 9 o'clock on 19th morning to see Him for five minutes, and also to look over the filming site for next day's program. Starting very early from Poona with his crew and accompanied by Jal, he arrived on time and was taken in to see Baba. Baba gave him forty minutes instead of five, and some very beautiful explanations in that time — and by that time he had really begun to love Baba.

One could say that he came for his own film and stayed for Baba's film; for he later confessed that his intention had been to film a few hundred feet, but now he was determined to take in as much as he could for the world to know of Baba through his film. As Eruch later remarked, Louis met the mandali as a filmmaker and parted as a brother. Jan and Peter, the two boys who accompanied him as cameraman and sound man, were equally in love with Baba at first sight, and became as members of the family during their two visits.

The Meherazad family found Louis a most unassuming and congenial person, sincere and earnest, painstaking in his work, and not just a filmmaker but a real artist. However, all these qualities would appear as ciphers were it not for the unit of his newborn love for Baba that makes them add up to a fine figure. Louis put consideration for Baba's comfort and wishes before his convenience of filming, every time. At one point when some alteration had to be made to suit Baba, Louis assured Him with a spacious gesture of his arms, "We will adjust it, Baba, it will be no problem, don't worry." With a marked twinkle Baba said to those present, "My only worry is that I cannot worry!"

From his talks with Eruch and Francis, Louis got a much better understanding of Baba's role in his film, and Francis's powerful explanation of why Baba cannot be compared to any other personality no matter how great he might be in the world, impressed him deeply and cleared up a lot of things in his mind.

Admiring their efficiency at the filming which took place on 20th September at Meherazad, Baba said, "Louis and his men know their job." That became clear to all who watched them work with their beautiful camera and latest accessory equipment. The film is to be in colour and equipped with sound. They filmed Beloved Baba washing the feet of the lepers — seven lepers, He finally decided.

They filmed Baba in the garden against the luscious bougainvillea vines, and Baba discoursing under the shade of the two babul trees which stand in the field with the Seclusion Hill in the background. They filmed the Meherazad scene, including a sunset from top of Seclusion Hill. And they visited Meherabad and filmed that place of Baba's also....

I must put down Beloved Baba's remarks on Louis van Gasteren's visit and the film he came to make. On the morning after Louis' departure Baba said to the mandali:

I felt happy with Louis van Gasteren not only because he is an artist but because he has a good heart. He was impressed very much by My Love, as were his two assistants. Louis is a genius in his art. Because of this, and because of his love for Me, I cooperated 100 percent and he made the most of this opportunity.

Referring to the filming done under the babul, Baba said:

To Me it was like again giving a Sermon on the Mount. In the two days that Louis spent here and at Meherabad, I could see that he came to understand a bit about Me, and he expressed his love for Me by speech and action. I know that he will try his best to have the film shown all over the world. He worked at it with all his heart, and I cooperated with all My heart. So this must bear good results.


LETTERS OF LOVE FOR MEHER BABA THE ANCIENT ONE, pp. 433-435, ed. Jane Barry Haynes
1997 © EliNor Publications


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