Judy Stephens

Meherabad, 1952


16-31 Dec 2012

Jai Meher Baba to you all!

Sunday 16 December 2012. I slept late, as this was a long day for me. I then got ready and drove to Meherazad. After taking darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus, I went to the main house to help. I was needed in Baba's room, so that is where I stayed when pilgrims came to sit or take darshan. After the pilgrims went into Mandali Hall for the program, I sat on the verandah. But I would go back in Baba's room if a new pilgrim wanted to sit.

I stopped at Yash & Joli for lunch before going to the Trust. I went to rest in the Baba Center. After some time I heard talking. Some men had come in and didn't want to disturb me so they were quietly talking. I must have been asleep to not hear them come in. When I noticed them I sat up, but they told me to go ahead and rest. They were very sweet, but I decided to go and get ready for Bhauji's Chat a little early.

Bhauji was in a talkative mood when he came in. He was also in a very good mood. Bhauji told some stories. One was about Mohamed Mast. Bhauji said one day Mohamed told him "jao, jao!" (go, go!), saying it as if he did not want Bhau around. Bhauji said "Where should I go?" But, Mohamed just kept yelling at him, "jao, jao!" So, Bhau said he would go and jump in the well. As Bhau started walking toward the well, Mohamed became very repentant and begged Bhau to not jump in the well. Bhauji said after that Mohamed never again told him to "jao, jao".

Another time Bhau was talking about how he and Eruch would help Baba walk, one on each side of Baba. He said they were 'Baba's walking sticks'.

During the Chat, Bhauji interacts with Baba lovers on Skype. An Iranian couple in Iran were on the Chat, showing Bhau their two month old baby. The baby was crying. As soon as the baby was shown Bhauji the baby became quiet. When Joanne moved the computer away from facing Bhau and turned it to the room so we could all say hello to the couple, the baby started crying. Yet, as soon as the baby faced Bhauji again it was quite. We were all quite amazed.

Monday 17 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine before taking darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. After cleaning Baba's room I did a power walk to the MPR and back to my room.

Later, I went to Anand Trader, the store I bought the jacuzzi bathtub from. I told them the radio was never connected when it was installed. So we scheduled a day the man would come from Pune to do the work. Also we scheduled a day to install the shower stall that goes to a shower in another part of the room.

I then drove to the Page house to see the tile work that had to be redone. I was told Sunday Joshi had his workers doing the work and he actually stayed there and supervised them so they would do it properly.

We have a Baba lover who had been hospitalized and when he is stable enough he will fly back to his country. Meanwhile, one of our resident's put a request to the community to help with meals. So, my neighbor, Marge, and I called and set up a mealtime that we each would offer.

In the evening I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Tuesday 18 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and then cleaned Baba's Room. I walked back to my room and got ready for Meherazad.

My neighbor, Marge, had permission to go with me early to Meherazad. Marge had made the most beautiful pink shrine cover for Mehera's birthday. She wanted to first put it on Mehera's bed and leave it there until Thursday, when we would then pick it up. The cover will be put on Merhera's shrine for her birthday Saturday. I took a photo of the cover on Mehera's bed with my IPhone.

--photo of cover on Mehera's bed

There were a few large groups, so I helped by staying in Baba's room. It was a pleasant day with a soft breeze and only warm weather. Sitting in Baba's room listening to the sound of the breeze and feeling the softness of the air was truly delightful.

Marge and I stopped at the fruit stand on the way home. There is one fruit stand that has really good fruit and we often stop there. I then stopped at Anand Traders to write down what days the men were coming to the Page house to fix things. I was told on Monday but I forgot what was said.

It seems the man to fix the radio on the tub in the Master bath will come on Wednesday. The men to install the shower stall will come next Tuesday. I just looked at the calendar and that is Christmas day. The scheduled work will have to be on another day.

I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. There was a constant stream of pilgrims, so I was kept busy. Though last week there was more a river of pilgrims. The Samadhi is getting more and more busy as Baba's love spreads.

Wednesday 19 December. I slept late because I have not had much sleep lately. When I got up I did a DVD workout with weights. It felt good, especially as I had not done that type of workout but a few times since I returned from the States. My new desk was delivered and I had stuff all over my floor from the old desk. I have been little by little putting things away. At last I had room to workout.

There is a Quaker school a short way behind where I live. I usually hear the children playing during recess, or when they have some function. Always at Christmas time they have special programs. Yesterday, to my surprise and delight, I suddenly heard their speakers playing Gangnam Style, with periodically everyone in the audience loudly joining in with parts of the song. I love watching the video on YouTube and also watching videos of the Gangnam Style flash mob dancing from all parts of the world. There is something just plain fun about watching them or dancing to the music.

The man who was to fix the radio on the Jacuzzi would be at the Page house by 11:00 am I was told from a phone call. I drove to the house and met the man. Rama, from next door at the condos, came over to help oversee the work.

Then the electricity went out. It would not be back on until 1:30 PM, which is the scheduled time of the power share. We have solar batteries, but the Jacuzzi takes too much power for its use. The man said he had another job in the town nearby and would go there, and then come back at 1:30 PM.

I am happy to say the man fixed the radio and someone else was there to check the work. I was able to take a nap. That is, until 2:30 pm, when I got a phone call from Anand Traders (store I bought the tub from), I was told the radio man needed to be paid. All I thought was I would now have to get up and drive back up to the house. However, to my relief, the man at Anand Traders said he would pay the bill and I could come by and pay him later. I told him I would be by Thursday or Friday.

Thursday 20 December. Last night I woke at 2:00 AM, in need of another blanket. I had left the windows open and it was extra cold. I was glad I had an afghan blanket folded on my chair. I put it on top of the wool blanket and went back to sleep.

I woke at 4:30 am and made coffee while putting on warm clothes, including a wool hat and scarf. I walked up the hill and cleaned Mehera's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and then got the normal cover for Mehera's shrine out of the cabinet and put it on. The cover covers only the lower half of the marble. The part with her name engraved on the marble is on the upper half.

I then went for a power walk to the MPR and back, before going to my room to get ready for Meherazad. Marge and I drove. After parking, I took darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus. As I was walking to the back where the main house is, I heard a lot of talking. Over near the staff quarters there was a long table with about twelve pilgrims. They were bagging the peanuts, which will be part of the Prasad given out during the Christmas program in Mandali Hall. They had come early in the smaller bus, and they would stay after the pilgrims left so they could finish the job. I was needed more in the house and that is why I didn't join in the peanut bagging.

There was a full bus of pilgrims, maybe fifty. I was in Baba's room when Mahoo, from LA, brought two young men into the room. She was telling them about some of the things in the room. When the young men left to go up Seclusion Hill, Mahoo told me about the two young men.

One of the men was a 23 year old from Iran. He found out about Baba on FaceBook. Not knowing anyone, he came to Meherabad for Baba's darshan. The other young man had been riding his bicycle throughout India for about five months. He met a Baba lover in Mumbai who told him about Baba and that he should come to Meherabad to take Baba's darshan. Both men were deeply moved by Baba's love.

Marge and I stopped for lunch on the way home. I took a short nap before getting a phone call that some of the workers were at the Page house to put the bathtub back down and redo the tile where it was still needed. I wanted to watch the work to make sure it was done correctly, so I drove up there.

While I was there, the men arrived who were to install the glass shelf for each of the bathroom tub nitches. When they showed me how it would look I noticed the glass at one end was about half an inch short of reaching the side. They tried to tell me it was okay. But, I told them we only want the glass shelf that reaches from one end to the other. Finally, after they tried there best to have me see it their way, they accepted that we would not have it. They would have to cut glass to fit. After all, these were the same men who had measured the space in the first place.

Friday 21 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan when the Samadhi doors opened. Then Zahra, Coo Coo, and I changed the covers in Baba's Room. Tomorrow is Mehera's birthday and we wanted everything fresh.

I then went for a power walk before going back to my room. I wanted to stop and see Bhauji for a few minutes, but it seems here everything takes so much time to do. I had to first stop at the MPC to collect the donations for Mehera's birthday garland. Both the Welcome & Information Center and the Pilgrim Reservation Office were donation sites for the Meherabad residents.

By the time I started for town it was 11:30 AM. I found there were so many trucks that I simply turned around. Sometimes I just find the traffic more than I wish to handle. I stopped at Anand Traders and paid the Rs 750 to the man who covered for me on Wednesday. We also rescheduled the shower installation day to Monday instead of Tuesday, as that is Christmas. We have a special program at Meherazad in the morning and in the afternoon we have a musical program in our theater.

Saturday 22 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. But, as I reached the top of the hill I realized I left all the clean cloths and garland money back in my room. I asked Coo Coo to please clean Mani's shrine so I could run home and get the things I forgot.

I jogged to my car which was parked by the Jhopdi, since I had to clean the Jhopdi before giving the Tour of Meherabad. I drove to my room and got the things, and then drove to the railroad tracks and parked. I hurried up the hill and reached the Samadhi just before the doors opened. When the doors opened I took darshan and went to clean Baba's Room.

When I finished and I went to get the Meherabad resident garlands I ordered from the flowerwala. He had them on the Saha Mandap. I had ordered two large ones, one for Baba and one for Mehera. I had also ordered three smaller ones, for Mani, Baba's Room, and the Gadi.

When the garlands were being laid on Baba's tomb, right after cleaning, and before the pilgrims began taking darshan again, some of we residents went into the Samadhi and laid Baba's garland. We then went to Mehera's shrine. When the special garland for her shrine was put on we then put on top of it the garland from the Meherabad residents. We did the same thing for Mani. Baba's Room and His Gadi we did after Arti and the singing.

All the songs were ones Mehera wrote or one's she loved. It was a very lovely morning Arti, singing the songs in honor of Mehera's pure love for Baba.

After Arti I walked to my car and drove it back to the Jhopdi. After cleaning the Jhopdi and Table House I went home to get ready for the Tour.

I got to the MPC at 10:00 am. There wasn't anyone waiting for the Tour of Historical Meherabad. I always wait fifteen minutes. I was waiting in the Welcome & Information Center room when I was asked if I would show about eight pilgrims part of the Tour? There was a video showing of Mehera in the Media Room, but it was packed with about 35 pilgrims. There was not even standing room. These pilgrims wanted to see the video so Caren said she would show it again in one hour, after the one being shown. So, I would show about one hour of the Tour.

I took them on the regular part up to the Jhopdi. From there I would take them directly to the Memorial Tower. Another time they could see the other part of the Tour, they could even go on their own as there is now a small Tour pamphlet.

I feel the Memorial Tower is very important to see. Baba Himself dedicated it in December 1944. It has just taken this long to have it designed and built. It is still not finished. I am told it will be two more years. I think there is something special about being a witness to the creation of what will be in the future 'a marvel'. And, that is where we finished the Tour. We walked back to the MPC just in time for the next viewing of Mehera's video.

In the afternoon at 4:00 pm, tea and cake were served on the verandah of Hostel-A, our theater. At 4:30 pm a wonderful concert and skit were put on for Mehera's birthday. It was so well done and everyone enjoyed it very much.

Sunday 23 December. I slept because this was my long day. After breakfast I drove to Meherazad to help out. Near the staff quarters once again there was a long table with around twelve pilgrims helping make the Prasad bags to be given out at Christmas in Mandali Hall. I went to the main house and helped prepare Mehera's room by opening the windows after removing the covers.

When the bus came there were a fair number of pilgrims, but not that many. I helped in Baba's room most of the time. When the program started in Mandali Hall I remained in Baba's room for the pilgrims who wanted to sit in there.

I went to Yash & Joli for lunch before going to the Trust. At the Trust I took a nap in the Baba Center. I must have fallen asleep because when I looked at my watch it was 3:15 PM. Bhauji sometimes comes into his Chat room at 3:45 PM.

I quickly went into Upasni Maharaj room to change. I then went to Asha to have her fix the sari a little better. I still need help sometimes. When I got to the Chat room it was already almost full. I went into the back room to put on my jewelry. I barely finished in time when Bhau came in.

Bhauji was in an excellent mood. He had on his suit. He was very talkative and enjoyed very much the interacting with Baba lovers around the world.

---photos of Bhau

We always have fun. We sing, dance, and have a chance to also say hello to the Baba lovers who Skype Bhauji's Chat. To us it is like a party, especially when Bhauji is in an excellent mood.

Bhau hates to stop the Chat. But, at 8:30 pm Bhauji is reminded the pilgrims at Meherabad have a curfew at 10:00 AM, plus, some have dinner after leaving. I got home close to 9:30 pm.

Monday 24 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and then cleaned Baba's Room. When I finished I put the headset on my IPod and went for a power walk to the MPR and back to my room.

In the afternoon, I had Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. It was very crowded as many pilgrims wanted to be here for the Christmas program at Meherazad. We sang Christmas Carols after Arti prayers until 7:45 PM.

There was a Christmas Eve party at Scott's condo. Every year he invites everyone to share in the celebration. Cocktails were served in the garden. On the rooftop were the tables filled with all kinds of food. On another table were lots of different cookies. There was also a large basket full of bags of cookies to take home. It was so much fun visiting with everyone.

Tuesday 25 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. There were a lot of pilgrims by the time the Samadhi doors opened. I took darshan and went to clean Baba's Room. I then went down the hill and got ready for Meherazad.

Marge and I drove. After I parked, we took darshan in Mandali Hall. It was already set up for Santa Claus to give the bags of Prasad after the pilgrims took darshan. Everything had lights and decorations. It was so very lovely.

----photos of decorations

On Mehera's porch the choir stood and sang Christmas carols. The house was kept closed because of the large crowds. Baba's room of course was opened. The long line of pilgrims would come from one side, take darshan in the room, then come out and go the other way around to Mandali Hall, where another line would be going inside to take darshan and get the bag of Prasad. I helped with Baba's room.

There were at least five buses and many cars. Hundreds of pilgrims came for the special celebration. After taking darshan the pilgrims were encouraged to board the buses and return to Meherabad.

Marge and her family rode with me back to Meherabad. I was so tired. I only wanted to take a nap. However, on the way I got a call from Anand Traders. They said the shower installer men had a technical question they needed to ask me. I had to drive up to the Page house after I dropped Marge off.

I had no time for lunch, so I ate the peanuts from the bag of Prasad. I tried to call the Pages, but they were not answering their cell phone. I knew they were having lunch at the MPR. I got in my car to drive to the MPR. Just then I saw their car coming down the road. I was very happy to see them. They felt bad that I had so much trouble. They had actually forgotten the cell phone in the house. John said he could handle the problem so I could leave. I was so exhausted, but only had time to rest for 20 minutes before going back up the hill for Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Those hundreds of pilgrims who went to Meherazad were now at the Samadhi taking darshan. I was so busy the whole two hours. After Arti I walked to my car by the railroad tracks. By the time I got home I wanted to collapse! I was so glad to get into bed.

Wednesday 26 December. I slept late. I still could feel the exhaustion inside me. I realized I had been pushing myself too much. I think I am going to cut back on one of my three days at Meherazad. It isn't just going there, it is getting there and dealing with the traffic coming home. It is taking so much time that I am once again not having time to learn things. And I am always trying to catch up with my writing or the other projects I am doing. I really love going to Meherazad, but I am going to have to cut back one day, for a while at least. However, if there is a special function, or they have appointments, and need the house covered, I'll go.

I sent a text message to Meherazad telling them I would not be there on Thursday. I was too tired and needed to relax.

Thursday 27 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera's shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened I took darshan and walked back to my room. I decided to skip the power walk.

Later, I drove to the Trust and parked my car. Coo Coo and I took a rickshaw into the bazaar. I bought a new HD TV and blue ray DVD player at the same place my neighbor, Marge, bought the one she has. The man at the shop is so nice.

Rajshree (Coo Coo) and I stopped at a vegetarian restaurant called Sweet Home. We ordered masala dosas. I don't eat them often and I so much enjoyed it. I want to stop there more often and order one. The dosas are like real flat, very large pancakes. Inside are potatoes with very tasty spices. It is served with two different bowls of some sauce that you dip the dosa in. Actually, they are also fun to eat!

When I got home I took a nice nap, it was lovely. Later, I did a DVD workout with weights.

Friday 28 December. I went up the hill early to take darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened. It has been so very cold again. I wear warm clothes and a jacket with scarf, hat, and gloves. I walked very fast to warm up. It was a pleasant walk because there is a full moon, which makes being up the hill with Baba romantic.

After taking darshan, I went for a power walk to the MPR and back to my room. Later in the morning John Page came over to connect the Apple TV box I bought when I was in the States. I now have the HD TV that was needed to make it work.

While the Apple TV was being updated on the HD TV, John showed me how to put music and photos on the IPhone. He also showed me how to make a folder on a pin drive.

My car has a CD player that is always having the CD's get stuck inside the player and not work. Many times I have had the player removed from the car and fixed, only to have it happen again a short while later. Parog (the car mechanic) said he could install a pin-drive device in the car cigarette lighter place. He said the device would also allow me to charge my cell phone. So, knowing how to put music on a pin-drive to use in my car will be very useful.

I tried to print something but was having trouble with it working. John said my printer was a piece of junk. He asked if it was the same piece of junk I had last year? Yes, I told him. I had trouble with it then too. Now my computer says it isn't connected to the printer when in fact it is. I've had the printer at least 10 years.

So, I have decided I am going to buy a new 3-in-one printer that is a printer-copier-scanner.

Saturday 29 December. On Saturday mornings I drive my car and park it near the Jhopdi since I clean it when I come down the hill from cleaning up there. Today, I was running late so I drove to the railroad tracks and parked. I quickly walked up the hill and cleaned Mani's shrine, finishing just as the Samadhi doors were being opened. I took darshan and then went to clean Baba's Room.

It was very cold again in the morning, but it was also very beautiful with the full moon out. The weather has definitely changed to winter. For us weather in the 50's and 60's is winter. If the weather is lower than that it feels like the North Pole to us.

When I finished cleaning I walked to my car and drove to the Jhopdi. I did a quick clean of the Jhopdi, but later realized I forgot to brush the top of the Table House. I went to my room to get ready to give the Tour of Historic Meherabad. While having breakfast, Parog, the mechanic, came by to take my car. He is going to install that device in the cigarette lighter so I can play music with a pin drive.

I rode my scooter to the MPC to see if anyone was waiting for the Tour. Yes, there were about eight people. It was fun sharing the History of Baba's life here. When we got to the Jhopdi other people came by to take darshan inside. During the Tour is one of the few times the Jhopdi is opened for people to go inside. Usually it is locked.

We finished the Tour at the Memorial Tower. It always amazes people at the beauty of the design and all are fascinated that Baba wanted this built. It truly is an expression of such love and care worthy of Him, and the fulfillment of His wish.

When I got back to the MPC I couldn't find the keys to my scooter. I wondered how I could have lost them. I went through all my things. Then I though maybe I left them at the Memorial Tower site. As I was walking back to it I remember taking off my jacket and putting it on the table near the model of the Tower. I also remembered I put the scooter keys in the pocket of the jacket.

I was quite relived to find my jacket just where I left it. I walked back to the MPC and rode my scooter back to my room. While I was having lunch, Parog came back with my car. He showed me how the new cigarette lighter piece has attached to it something that will allow me to use the pin-drive for music.

He also showed me how to charge my cell phone. There is also a cord that I can attach that would work on an IPod!!! I ran into my room and brought out an old IPod I had from my daughter. Yes! It worked. You just put the cord in where you would normally put the headset to listen to the music. And the thing that allowed a Pin-drive would also allow me to charge my IPhone. Now, I was thinking 'oh happy day!' How wonderful technology is; it sure makes life fun.

Sunday 30 December. I sleep late on Sundays because it is a long day for me. I got ready for Meherazad and drove there. I went to the main house after first taking darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus; which is such a wonderful place to be, the heart feels so happy.

I was able to help open Mehera and Baba's rooms, by taking down the covers over the windows. Some windows are opened, and others have only the curtains pulled aside. When the pilgrims arrived I went to help in Baba's room. When the bell rang for the program to start in Mandali Hall, I stayed in Baba's room so we could keep it open for pilgrims to sit in if they wished.

Only after the bell rang for the pilgrims to depart did I leave Baba's room. I then drove to Yash & Joli for lunch. From there I went to the Trust and put on my sari, with Asha's help. I decided to put my sari on before taking rest, since the last few times I was not fully ready when Bhauji came into the Chat room.

Bhauji was again in a good mood. He was very much enjoying the Chat. The room was full of 'Chatters' as those on Skype call the people sitting in Bhau's room during the Chat. Actually, the name may also be for anyone watching as well. I think it is a cute name, Chatters.

By the time I got home it was after 9:30 pm. I went straight to bed.

---show photos

Monday 31 December. I went up the hill early to clean Mani's shrine. After taking darshan when the Samadhi doors opened I went to clean Baba's Room. I put the IPod on when I finished and went for a power-walk to the MPR and back to my room.

The weather has changed again. It is warm at night and hot during the day. I have put aside the two blankets I had been using. I spent most of the day working in my room. Then in the afternoon, after a short rest, I went up the hill for Samadhi duty from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

It was crowded at the Samadhi. Many pilgrims are here to celebrate bringing in the New Year at midnight at the Samadhi. Many also attend the dance party held in the MPR dining hall right after evening dinner. Because of the large number of pilgrims, the line to take darshan was moved to the East side of the Samadhi door, where it uses to be for years and years.

When it was getting close to Arti time, the line was four deep. Pilgrims are allowed to sit inside until 6:30 pm. But with so many pilgrims in line for darshan we had the pilgrims come out early. Right after Arti I drove to the MPR to dance.

At the MPR all the tables were moved aside, leaving the large open area for dancing.

Up on the balcony a DJ plays different music to dance to. We have many young adults who come to have fun for New Year's Eve, yet not drink alcohol so they can go to the Samadhi afterwards to bring in the New Year. It is a great, safe way to celebrate.

When I went into the Dining Room, I found the music was different this year. It was hard to dance to. In the middle of the song the beat would change, and change into something else that didn't have a dance beat. This went on for over an hour, so I left early and went back to the Samadhi.

All the seats were already taken under the portico of the Samadhi, but I found one seat at the end of a bench. I was happy and told myself it was a good thing I left the MPR early or I wouldn't have found a seat.

Five minutes before midnight Ted Judson started us singing the chant of Meher Dhun. It is the same one we do just before Silence during Amartithi. It is one of my favorite; I love to sing it and feel the beauty of all the voices so full of love for Baba.

At midnight we stopped singing and yelled 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai' seven times before saying Arti. Then more singing continued until 12:30 am. At which time all pilgrims must leave the Samadhi. There were buses waiting for the pilgrims who needed a ride back to the Hostels or MPR.

In Beloved Baba's sweet love, Judy

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