Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


16 to 30 September 2010

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

Thursday 16 September 2010. I walked up the hill early to take darshan at the Samadhi. It did not rain at night so the paths and roads were not so muddy. It is amazing how quickly the earth absorbs moisture.

Finally, murram (a hard rock type dirt) was put on the road where I live in 'outer Meherabad'. There was an area that was really difficult to walk by because of a wide dip; it was so full of water and mud, leaving only a narrow, one-foot space to pass by.

I went up the hill in the afternoon and sat in the Samadhi. When I came back down, I saw two of the workers who had arranged for me to video a 94 year-old Arangaon village man who was here when Baba was at Meherabad. This man had been hired by Padri to work in the 'engine room' with him. There is also an older Meherabad worker named Motiram, who worked here when Baba was in His body. Motiram lives on our farm across from the Dhuni. They said the schedule would be set for next Tuesday at 9:30 am. We will have as many sessions as they have stories to tell.

Friday 17 September. I walked up the hill for morning darshan at the Samadhi. Later, I drove to Ahmednagar to pick up a long dressing mirror I had designed for my room. I have now replaced all my metal cabinets (which had mirrors on the doors), with ones I specially designed out of teakwood. But, the teakwood doors have no mirrors on them. I also bought another metal trunk for the Page house.

I stopped for lunch at the Yash & Joli before driving home. I dropped off the mirror in my room and then took the trunk to the Page house. The painters were on a lunch break.

At 3:30 pm a huge storm seemed to open the sky and it poured rain; soon there were pools of water everywhere. There are two leaks in Anne and my staff quarter roof. One is in the shower and a very bad one in our kitchen. Until the roof leak is fixed, every time it rains in our kitchen we have to get towels to sponge up the water that pours down one corner.

Saturday 18 September. I was up the hill early to take darshan and clean Beloved Baba's Cabin Room. I then got ready to give the Historic Tour of Meherabad. I also found one of our Indian residents who agreed to translate for me, and we set the date for the videoing of Jagtop and Motiram for Tuesday.

Sunday 19 September. I went up the hill early for darshan. After a workout I got ready for Meherazad. On the way I picked up Fereshteh and Hooyar. They are a great help in our Music & Arts Center; they compose music, and help in the translations into Farsi of Baba books and many of our policies and notices.

Monday 20 September. I went up the hill for darshan and then did a workout in my room. At 8:00 am my neighbor, Marge, and I drove to the Samadhi to do a major archival cleaning. These are done every few months. There are special poles that attach to lambs wool dusters. These are used for the ceiling and the walls. We use lambs wool so we do not scratch the paintings. We usually have one of the tall resident men do the ceiling dusting. We of course cover Baba's marble with a cloth that will collect any dust falling. After we finished I did the weekly Samadhi archive cleaning, as it was my rotating month.

At 4:30 pm I went to Bhauji's talk at the MPC. When he finished and was preparing to leave he saw me talking to Bif. He wanted to know what it was about. I told him of the videoing on Tuesday of Motiram and 94-year-old Jagtop. Bhauji told me it is best I only video Baba lovers, as sometimes a 'hired worker' may make things up. He said in the future people would believe what was said. So, I told him I would cancel the videoing.

When I got home I called one of our workers and asked him to please go to the two men and tell them the videoing had been cancelled.

Tuesday 21 September. I went up the hill early for darshan and then to clean Mani's shrine and Beloved Baba's Cabin Room. After, I went down the hill I did a video workout in my room.

In the evening I went up the hill for my 6:00 pm Samadhi duty. There are almost always pilgrims streaming through, seldom is there a length of time when no one is there. The flow of pilgrims is increasing.

Wednesday 22 September. I did not go up the hill early because it rained so hard last night that I did not want to have to deal with all that mud! At 10:00 am I had an appointment at the Rahuri Cabin with two American Baba lovers. Winifred and Dave Kershaw had attended the 1969 Darshan given by Beloved Baba at Guruprasad, Pune. I was very happy to have a chance to capture their stories; for years I have been videoing those who attended the 1969 Darshan.

Their stories and experiences of Baba's love were so beautiful. Winifred was almost six months pregnant at the time, so it was the first time I had heard the unique experience of a pregnant woman at the Darshan.

I hope anyone who did attend the 1969 Darshan would get in touch with me when they come to Meherabad so we could video their stories. Sometimes those who attended feel they don't know what to say. I always tell them not to be concerned as I have lots of questions I usually ask. And, if they want, I can give them ideas ahead of time on what kind of things might be helpful.

Thursday 23 September. I drove to the MPC and parked my car. I walked the rest of the way up the hill for darshan at the Samadhi. It had once again rained so hard during the night. During the days it has been very muggy, humid, and one feels very sticky. Then the clouds begin to gather and it starts to pour. I don't think we have a water problem any more.

I went BSNL in Ahmednagar (our internet server and local phone company). My phone and Internet service was cut off since Tuesday evening, claiming I did not pay my phone bill. Yet only today did I get the phone bill, and the phone bill was not due until 29 September.

The woman handling the problem told me it was a mistake. She showed me on her computer how she immediately reconnected my Internet and phone service. However, when I got home only my phone was working. So, it looks like I will have to return to BSNL on Friday and again have the woman find out why my Internet is still off.

Before going home I stopped at the Trust Office and went into Mehernath Kalchuri's office. My good friend Tony Griss was also sitting in there. They are leaving for Nagpur for two days on Saturday. They invited me, but it was too soon for me to make plans.

However, Mehernath and Tony told me they are going to Hamipur in November. I immediately said "I want to go too!" This is where Beloved Baba declared His Avatarhood, and for many years I have wanted to go when Hamipur has their big celebration on that anniversary. But, always I was busy with the MPC and then the MPR when we moved up the hill. I never had the time to go. Now, with my being retired from the MPR I have free time!!!!!

Mehernath told me to call Debjani as she was making the train reservations. This I also did immediately. On the way home I stopped at Tony's for lunch. Joyti was there and she is such a good cook. I mentioned the trip to Hamipur, and she too will see if she is able to go.

Around 7:00 pm a big storm with lightning and thunder once again gave Meherabad a heavy downpour! This is a very good monsoon and all our wells must be getting full!

Friday 24 September. I went up the hill for early darshan. Later, Joyti and I went into Ahmednagar to the bank. We stopped at Bharat gas, the Indian gas cylinder company, to have my book stamped, and then we went back to Tony's for lunch. Before going home I went to the Page house to check on things.

After a nice nap, I picked flowers and put them in the refrigerator for the next morning. Then I went to Bhauji's talk at the MPC. He was telling the Kumar story, it is a very long story and he will continue it on Monday.

While Bhau was talking, another storm hit Meherabad with lightning, thunder and a downpour. I had my car and gave Fereshteh and Hooyar a ride home. Hooyar left his motorcycle at the MPC, so after he got his rain poncho I dropped him back at the MPC.

Saturday 25 September. I drove to the MPC and walked the rest of the way up the hill. After taking darshan at the Samadhi I cleaned Baba's Cabin Room, then put flowers on the Gadi and Samadhi threshold.

When I got back to my room I called America to see how my sister was doing. I found out she had become confused from being dehydrated and her caregiver was taking more care to make sure it does not happen again.

There were two pilgrims waiting at the MPC for the Meherabad Historic Tour. Now that the Memorial Tower is under construction that part of the Tour takes much more time than before and I have not yet been able to pace myself. So, on the Upper Meherabad half of the Tour I had to cut some stories short.

For the past week or so we have had the Military Cadets at Meherabad. For the past few years they have come to train and do a service project at Meherabad. They stay in tents and Hostel-C. There are about 700 cadets and officers. The exact number I will have to check on.

Scout instruction near Hostel-C.

Sunday 26 September. When I got up I studied some Hindi before going up the hill for darshan. It rained so hard last night I thought the roads would for sure be muddy. But, this earth seems to absorb it. Yes, there was mud, but not so bad. Still, I drove to the MPC to park my car and then walked up the hill from there.

It is so peaceful and quiet in the early morning hours. To me it is heaven! That is why I get up so early. After taking darshan I went to my room and did a DVD workout.

I drove to Meherazad with my neighbor, Marge, and Fereshteh and her grown son, Hooyar. Fereshteh and Hooyar show the Baba films in Mandali Hall on Sundays while Peter Booth is out of station (that is how the locals say 'not around' or 'out of the country').

Abbas, a resident from Iran, and Winifred Kershaw, each sang a song before the Baba film was shown. To sit in Mandali Hall and watch Beloved Baba on film is such a gift! How fortunate we are to live in an age where we can actually see God on film!

We drove directly back to Meherabad to have lunch in the Savages' Kitchen. The new kitchen committee members are trying to bring the community back together. Over the years we had all gone our separate ways, no longer sitting together for meals in the Savages' Kitchen. Now, the committee had redone things and once a month, on the last Sunday of the month, they have a very special lunch, inviting the whole community. Many residents, Indian and Western, sit down once again and 'break bread'! The lunch consisted of a Parsi-style meal, Dunsak Daal with Kachumbar, and it only cost Rs 50.

Monday 27 September. I'm afraid this is as far as I got on my Meherabad Diaries as there was an emergency with my sister and I flew to America. My sister, Louise's liver and kidneys started to 'shut down'. Her oncologist had said once the liver starts to go it goes fast. She was fine for so long, even given another year or two to live. That is why I returned to India for what I thought would be a few months. It seems her 'confusion' from what everyone thought was dehydration turns out to have been the beginning of a 'shut down'.


I arrived in Las Vegas (where my sister lived) on the 7th October. She had been put in a Hospice care facility until I got there. Her son was with her but he was not able to take care of her by himself. Hospice set up a bed for her in her living room, and we brought her home in the afternoon.

In the week she was home before she died she never really reconnected with life. She never open her eyes again, she stopped eating and drinking, or communicating.

Once in a while she would say something that showed us she was aware, but it was seldom.

My sister had been afraid of death, even though she believed in reincarnation. She had not wanted to talk about death or anything relating to it. But, now that it was obvious she was leaving soon, I felt it was important she know something about the 'other side'. I don't know how much she heard, but for several days I told her how beautiful the other side was. I told her how our dad and grandma would be they're waiting for her. I told her she would feel such joy and happiness, and she would be so free. My sister wasn't a Baba lover, so I only said 'God'. I told her how she would be with God, on how much she was loved.

It was Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday 13th morning when my sister called my name. She said, "Judy!" I answered, "I'm coming Louise." Again she said "Judy!" As I reached her she said, "Judy, you're fading!" That was the last thing she said to me.

My nephew, Eric, and I would take turns sleeping in the room with her. It was my turn on Wednesday night the 13th. I decided to put on my sister some of the sacred Dhuni Ash I had that Beloved Baba had touched. I first put some on my hands and gently caressed her face and head and heart with it. Then, I put some 'sacred cologne' that Baba had used on my hands and again gently caressed my sister's face, head, and heart.

Before I fell asleep next to my sister on the sofa, my sister had been mumbling for about one and a half hours. I think she was 'talking' to those on the other side. I woke around 3:30 am and felt emptiness from my sister's bed. I immediately got up and put my finger under her nose—no breath. I put my hand on her stomach—no movement. My sister had gone to Baba in her sleep.

I said the 'Master's Prayers' over my sister's body while Eric called Hospice and made the arrangements that needed to be made. Before the paramedics arrived I got the scarf I brought from India and put it on my sister's head. That scarf I had put on the Samadhi before leaving for America. I told the funeral home to make sure my sister had that with her when they did the cremation.

Since then, I have been spending some time with my family, and am scheduled to fly home on the 27th November. So, God willing, I will be home in Meherabad by the 29th November. This past year has been a journey of such a deep level of the heart, one that I did not know the depth of, starting with Heather and Erico getting attacked, then my sister discovering she had terminal cancer. It will take time to realize the knowledge this pain has brought, and it will take time to recover from the grief. How fortunate we have Beloved Meher Baba to hold our hand and give us so much love and support. He shows us He is always with us, that this is His universe, and what happens is His will.

I am so grateful that one year my sister came to visit me in Meherabad. I am so grateful she had darshan in the Samadhi. She didn't need to be a Baba lover because Baba Himself loves her!

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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