Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


17 to 31 August 2010

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

It has been almost one year since I wrote my last Meherabad Diary. After the attack on Heather & Erico on 26 August, while they were in the hospital in Pune, I got a call from my family in America that my sister found out she had a large tumor on her liver. Then, Erico went to Baba. The very next day, 7th September, my sister went into the hospital for tests and found out her tumor was cancer and it was serious. So, two weeks later I left for America to help my sister. I only returned to Meherabad for Amartithi and Baba's birthday, then back to America.

My sister's cancer is terminal. But, with this new medicine, Nexavar, her cancer has not only stabilized, her tumor has shrunk, and she is given more years to live. She also has never had any pain, she continues to drive, goes out to dinner at least once a week, she goes shopping, goes to her art painting club, and most Saturday nights plays cards and other games with her neighbors. So, with her so active, it allowed me to return to Meherabad for a few months. I call my sister daily, and if things stay the same, I hope to be here until after this coming Amartithi. However, if things should suddenly change I will leave immediately.

Because of jetlag and having been gone for such a long time, it will take time to get back into writing about the daily events here. For now I will select only certain days to write about.

Tuesday 17 August. I had a car waiting for me as I came out of the International Airport in Mumbai. We went straight to Pune where I had reservations at a hotel. After resting for a few hours I had breakfast, did a quick shop for food at Dorabji's, and then drove to Meherabad. I reached the Samadhi around 6:00 pm; what joy my heart felt, what great peace I felt as I entered the Samadhi and had darshan. What a wonderful feeling the atmosphere of Meherabad has, and how happy my heart was to be home again!

Wednesday 18 August. I woke at 1:00 am because of jetlag. So, I just took the opportunity to start going through my closet and drawers. You see, while taking care of my sister, I decided to try and lose some weight and get back into shape. I went on a five month exercise and diet routine. The result was losing almost twenty pounds! The result was also wearing a much smaller size in clothes. I had to buy all new clothes that I brought back with me to Meherabad. All my old clothes were too big for me. It actually took almost a week to go through my old things. I had to decide what I could have taken in and what to give away. Most of the clothes I had here I gave away to other residents. It was fun to get rid of stuff.

Thursday 19 August. This was the anniversary of Mani going to Baba. Meheru came for a special Arti at 10:00 am. There were many pilgrims here, so the Samadhi area was crowded. There is something so unique that is experienced during these special Women Mandali Artis. Though Meheru is the only woman mandali still with us, the unique relationship with Baba that the women mandali had is still very much felt even though only one now comes to the Samadhi.

Saturday 21 August. I went up the hill early for darshan at the Samadhi. Then I began to clean Beloved Baba's Cabin Room once again. Later, at 10:00 am I gave the Tour of Historic Meherabad. It was fun showing Padri's engine room. It is across from Glori Shah's tomb. The engine room is being restored to how it was when Baba was here in the early days.

We also had the fun of seeing the construction of the Memorial Tower. The site for the Memorial Tower was selected and dedicated by Beloved Baba Himself. He had a special ceremony at the site on 23 December 1944. He said a Memorial Tower would be built on the foundation of Masaji and Chanji's graves, which are at our farm across from the Dhuni.

Sunday 22 August. I went up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. After doing a workout I got ready for Meherazad. It was so soothing to the heart to go into Mandali Hall and take darshan at Beloved Baba's Chair. I next went into Baba's room and then Mehera's room. The peace of the place soothes the heart, body, and mind.

I sat on Mehera's porch by Meheru until the program began in Mandali Hall. There was singing by several singers before a Baba film was shown. What a treat this was for me! For so long I had not sat in Mandali Hall, nor seen a Baba movie. I was in heaven!

I went to lunch at the Yash & Joli with some Baba lovers from England. They were leaving soon and it was a chance to visit.

Monday 23 August. I took the English Baba lovers to see the construction of the Memorial Tower. To see the model and the absolute beauty that the Tower will be when finished is amazing! Ted Judson, who designed the Tower said "The Tower rises 56 feet high and ends with a glass prism designed to refract the sun's rays into colors of Baba's flag. It is clad in white marble to express purity."

Tuesday 24 August. I was up the hill early to take darshan and also clean Baba's Cabin Room. In the evening I began my schedule to do Samadhi duty at 6:00 pm. It is such a privilege to be able to give Prasad to the pilgrims who come to take His darshan. There is now almost a constant stream of pilgrims coming to the Samadhi.

Wednesday 25 August. Marge, my neighbor, and I went into Ahmedagar. She needed to go to BSNL (the phone company) to find out why her phone was not turned back on. The nice man fixed the problem, but said her request to restore her Internet service would take another day as the papers only just reached the correct department.

We then went to have lunch at the Yash & Joli. The food is good and seldom has someone gotten sick there. During monsoon one has to be very careful where they eat as bacteria can spread easily.

Saturday 28 August. I was up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. The Samadhi door is now opened at 5:45 am when the supervisor arrives who is in charge of cleaning before Arti. The night caretaker will open the Samadhi door. Now, only the caretaker, cleaning supervisor, and security people are allowed in the Samadhi to remove the flowers from the day before, as well as all the cloths that had been on the marble. After a temporary cloth is put at the lower end of the marble are we then allowed to began taking darshan.

The new procedure is important as there used to be people pushing to get into the Samadhi, this at times became a real problem. Now, with everyone having to wait in line the problem has gone away. With more and more people coming to the Samadhi, extra care needs to be put in place. This is what the new procedure has done.

After taking darshan, I cleaned Beloved Baba's Cabin Room, put flowers on the stretcher, Gadi and Samadhi threshold, before going down the hill to get ready for the Tour.

At 10:00 am I went to the MPC to meet those who wished to go on the Historical Tour of Meherabad. There was a large group from Mumbai. Jimmy Khan has began bring busloads and I think this was his fifth time.

Sunday 29 August. It has rained or drizzled almost every day since I returned and the roads are so muddy it is easy to slip and fall. So, I drove to the old Meher Pilgrim Center to park my car. From there I walked the rest of the way to the Samadhi. I took darshan and then I did a video workout in my room and before getting ready to go to Meherazad.

In Mandali Hall the DVD God Alone Exists was shown. What joy the heart feels during the movie, it is my favorite!

Later at Meherabad, I met with Joshi, the contractor of the Page house. With the solar panels soon to be put up, I showed him an area where changes were needed to hold the hot water tank.

Monday 30 August. After going up the hill for darshan, I went back to my room to do a workout with one of my videos. Then I went back up the hill at 8:00 am to began my rotation of archive cleaning at the Samadhi. My turn actually would start in the new month, but I was given this extra week to clean because I had been in the States for so long.

I had a 3:00 pm appointment with the Meher Pilgrim Retreat receptionists. I informed them I would be retiring from reception duty. I had been doing it for 20 years, and I felt it was time for the next generation to take over. My heart was no longer into working at the Meher Pilgrim Retreat. Instead, I want to get back into taking videos of those who met Baba. I want to spend more time at Meherazad, and I want to see what new avenues Baba will open for me.

Tuesday 31 August. I was up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. Then I cleaned Baba's Cabin Room before going down the hill to do a workout. I took the day slow and easy. Then at 6:00 pm I went up the hill for my Samadhi duty.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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