MEHERABAD DIARY #167
4 to 18 August 2017
Jai Meher Baba to you all!
My last Meherabad Diary was in January 2013. After years of taking a break, I have been feeling strongly the need to share the many changes that are happening here in Meherabad. Our life is changing so fast that it is almost hard to keep up, and I am concerned the Baba Lover community in the future may not know of these daily changes unless they are recorded. I hope you find them interesting, as I sure do.
Friday, 4 August. I like to get up early, so at 5:00 am I walked up Meherabad Hill and to the MPR. On my return, on the ‘short-cut’ way from the MPR to the Samadhi were large piles of muram, (a clod-type dirt). Some of it had already been spread, while other areas still had the piles. After all the muram is spread, it will have to be flattened, as it is very uneven to walk on.
What I want to find out is how the Trust was able to cross that one field area that belongs to a farmer. Before we first opened the MPR (Meher Pilgrim Retreat) in 2006, the Trust had made an ‘official’ path that went around the farmer’s field that was in the middle, between the MPR and the Samadhi, because of trouble. Now, this wide path is being made through the farmer’s field. It is a more direct path and will be interesting to find out why, after all these years; finally, the path is allowed to be made.
Tuesday, 8 August 2017. This morning I went for a walk at 5:00 am up the hill. There are now a lot of men and women walking around that time on the hill. It is nice to see how the importance of exercise is spreading to villages as well. Most of the women wear their saris while walking.
I like to take my walk behind the Samadhi to the MPR and back, which is almost 2 ½ miles round-trip from my room in the doctors staff quarters. This morning, when I started walking back from the MPR I was walking on the ‘short-cut’ and found all that muram (clumpy dirt) had been flatten on top. It still needs to be flattened more, but it was done. So, now I am think, ‘how was the Trust able to do this?’
I found out the answer to my question! I go to Meherazad every Tuesday and Thursday to help out during the pilgrim time there. Today, I picked up two residents who were also working there. I told them about the flatten muram, and how it is all the way from the MPR to near the Samadhi. Joseph told me the Trust now owns that piece of land that is in the middle of the path. The farmer, after all these many years, had finally sold it to the Trust. I don’t know the whole story on how it came about, and what the exchange of land, or cost had been, but I sure am going to find out!
I am very happy about the Trust finally getting that piece of land, because Ted Judson wants to make a viewing corridor that you can see from the MPR to the Samadhi without anything to interfere with the view.
Today, at Meherazad I helped out by being in Baba’s room. There is a large group of Chinese Baba Lovers here; many are new. When this Chinese man of about 50 was in the room, all of a sudden he broke down sobbing. He fell to his knees and just sobbed. It was very humbling to witness a heart so overcome with Baba’s love.
Wednesday 9 August. I went up the hill at 5:00 am to do cleaning. On Wednesday I also clean Mehera’s shrine as well as Mani’s and Baba’s Cabin Room. So, I have to keep a certain pace to have it all done by the time my Samadhi Prasad duty starts at 6:30 to 8:00 am. I usually have Mehera and Mani’s shrines finished by the time the Samadhi doors open at 5:45 am. Then I go clean Baba’s Cabin Room. I like doing everything on the same days so I have the other days free.
I called Ramesh, one of our Trustees, and asked him if it is correct that the Trust has finally acquired that piece of land between the MPR and the Samadhi. Yes, he said, they had exchanged another piece of land for the one we wanted. After all these years, it is so nice to know at last it belongs to the Trust!
In the afternoon we had a really good rain. Now all the leaves and trees are washed, and the air smells fresh.
There are a couple of stories I want to share that happened before I began this diary. When I returned from the States, where I go visit my family during the hot Indian summer, I started my work here after about a week to adjust from jetlag. It was one of my first days on Samadhi Prasad duty.
It was very crowded for morning arti as we were nearing Silence Day time. There is a portable ramp that is kept folded, and it can be put over the Samadhi threshold so a person in a wheelchair can go into the Samadhi to take darshan. At this time, we had a pilgrim here who was in a wheelchair. A helper brought the ramp and was holding it for a bit while waiting for the other pilgrims inside to come out of the Samadhi. When he put the ramp in place, out of nowhere there was a snake, a Krait! All of a sudden this Krait was up against the wall and part of it tried to climb the Samadhi. This all happened in a matter of maybe one minutes or less. The Karate then fell and slowly slithered away from the wall. It was right next to me, so I moved away quickly. By now someone had brought something and killed it.
In all my years here, never have I seen a snake in front of the Samadhi door, in a very crowded portico. What amazed others and me is ‘where did it come from’? The only thing we could think of was it was hidden under the portable ramp—which of course meant the person holding it could have been bitten. I don’t know how many of you know how poisonous a krait is. It’s venom is more poisonous that a cobra. What also amazed us was the krait did not try to strike anyone. It was moving slowly, almost waiting to be killed.
You know, Baba said the soul in a snake form has to continue to reincarnate as a snake until a human finally kills it. This snake was very fortunate. Not only was it killed by a human, at Arti time, but also it had actually touched the Samadhi wall just before being killed! It is like it had Baba’s darshan before dying!
The other new information is about the Dhond Road that runs through Meherabad, right in front of the Dhuni. The government of India has decided to make it a four-lane highway. That means trees will have to be removed. What is most concerning, what about the Dhuni and the original well that is by the Saint’s tomb? What about those four neem trees that Baba sat under—the one by the Saint’s tomb that he first sat under when he came to Meherabad for the first time? What about the neem tree next to the Dhuni that he had the Table House under as He wrote His book?
There are two other neem trees right across the street of those two, what about them?
I asked, of course. It is not fully settled yet. However, it seems only two things can be saved. Of course the most important is the Dhuni. Next in importance is the well. So, it looks like the trees will have to go.
Now, I had some new thoughts about that four-lane road. There are times we have thousands of pilgrims here. How are they to cross that four-lane road? Amartithi we have that crowd for three days! During Silence Day we have 1,500 pilgrims. Many times on Indian holidays we have hundreds! How can they go back and forth across a four-lane highway?
So, I asked one of the Trustees. Part of that road may go under ground so there would be a walking area across the highway. I haven’t really talked much about it; so more details will have to wait.
Thursday 10 August. I went up the hill early to clean Mani’s shrine and Baba’s Cabin Room. It is still a full moon, so it is very beautiful walking at that time of morning.
One of our part-time residents, Robin, has returned from the States. So, on the way to Meherazad I stopped to pick her up. When we got to the Approach Road of Meherazad, I pointed out the two signs at the entrance, one pointing to Vambori and something about Meherazad on it, and the other sign stating the road was private. Both had been spray painted to cover any Meherazad information, except for public information that was left untouched.
Robin and I help out at the house. A couple of Mumbai women asked if I saw the white horse running by the Samadhi during Arti? What white horse I asked? I was on duty giving out Prasad, so I was busy. They said a white horse ran right by the Samadhi, and its owner was running behind trying to catch it! They said the white horse must have wanted Baba’s darshan!
Friday 11 August. I went up the hill early for a walk, and to take darshan at the Samadhi. Then I walked out to the to the MPR. On my return, all along the newly placed muram of the shortcut path, there were survey markers with a stick and white powder.
The survey markers are obviously for the viewing corridor that will be from the MPR to the Samadhi. Now, I don’t know if the straight line will be for lights or something else. I will have to ask.
Saturday 12 August. This morning I was up the hill by 5:00 am to clean Mani’s shrine. When the Samadhi doors opened at 5:45 am, I took darshan and then went to clean Baba’s Cabin Room, which I finished by 6:30 am.
There were a lot of pilgrims at the Samadhi. Not only is it Dhuni day, it is also a four-day holiday because Indian’s Independence Day is on Tuesday, 15th. So, we will have hundreds of pilgrims here.
After cleaning, I took a walk to the MPR on the short-cut path (that is now totally owned by the Trust). I was going to hopefully meet a pilgrim that is leaving after Dhuni and he wanted to give me something for Meherazad.
The pilgrim and I met part of the way on the path and he gave me the package. I continued walking to the MPR and then returned to my room in lower Meherabad. Later, on my way to the Trustees Office, I saw Ted Judson and Steve Myhro by our supply store, which we all call ‘the store’. I asked about the survey markers and how quickly things seemed to be moving along since the Trust acquired that piece of land. Ted said, yes, they want to make the ‘viewing corridor’ as soon as possible so Baba lovers could see the Samadhi from a distance away.
I asked about the survey markers. Ted said they are to measure out from the middle, with 15 feet on each side, or a totally of 30 feet wide. He said the survey markers are 50 feet from each other and will be the spacing of the light poles just outside the viewing corridor.
The Dhuni is lit at sundown, and Arti is one hour before. So, the Dhuni started close to 6:30 pm. There were hundreds of pilgrims attending, a larger crowd than normal because it is a four-day holiday. On Tuesday, 15 August, is Indian’s Independence Day.
Sunday 13 August. I did my normal walk at 5:00 am to the MPR and back to my room. I always stop at the Samadhi to take darshan. There were so many pilgrims standing in line! Meherazad is going to be very busy. Normally, I only help out on Sunday’s when they are very busy. So, today is one of those days.
I stopped to pick up Robin on the way, as she too helps out at Meherazad. I like to get to Meherazad early enough to take darshan in Mandali Hall and the Blue Bus before going to the main house to began helping. One of my favorite places is in the Blue Bus. It is so blissful in there when I put my head on the bed. The metal hospital bed is the one that Baba dropped His body on. The bed was put in Baba’s room for Him to use just days before he dropped His body.
When Robin and I got to the house we were able to help open up by removing the extra cloths that are kept on all the windows when no pilgrims are there. They do this because light helps age things. By keeping the rooms darkened, it helps to preserve them. So, each pilgrim day all these extra cloths are removed and put in the cupboards. When the pilgrims leave, they are all put back up. We now live in a time where everything that is Baba’s must be preserved the best possible way.
Tuesday 15 August. I walked up the hill to the MPR, and on the way home stopped to take darshan at the Samadhi and the Gadi.
At 9:30 am I picked up Sandy across from the MPC and then Robin on the way to Meherazad. Because it is India’s Independence Day, we were very busy. After the pilgrims left, Sandy decided to stay behind to help out. Ashima, who was once my roommate in the Doctors Quarters before she got married, was at Meherazad. Her family are old-time Baba Lovers. I offered to give her a ride so we could have time to visit.
Wednesday 16 August. I went up the hill early to clean Mehera and Mani’s shrines. When the Samadhi opened at 5:45 am I took darshan and then went to clean Baba’s Cabin Room. Because I have to be ready for Samadhi Prasad duty at 6:30 am, I don’t have time to have pilgrims help me clean.
When a young boy of about 12 years old asked to help clean Baba’s Cabin Room I had to say no. But, I asked him if he would like to put flowers in the room when I finished. He was so sweet; he got the biggest grin and said yes. I showed him what to do and then left him to do it. When he was through he brought the empty basket back to me. It was cute to see how happy he was.
Friday 18 August. I went to Pune for the day. When I returned to Meherabad I was told it had rained very hard for a good half-hour. So, everyone was happy the earth finally got some great rain. It then continued to rain on and off all day and into the night.
In Beloved Baba’s sweet love,