Introductions Francis Eruch Padri Adi Mani
Bill Le Page introduces the Australian group to Eruch on the Guruprasad veranda on the first day of the darshan program.
The recording appears to be incomplete – some names are missing.
Francis Brabazon recites four ghazals, later published in “In Dust I Sing”
Though fate a thousand times makes you a pawn in its game—do not give up:
Cling like a child to the skirt of your Beloved’s name.
Though the wave rises before you awful as a mountain—do not give up:
It’s but a ripple on the pond of the Knowledge-Bliss fountain.
Though fortune fair as a fickle goddess smiles on you—do not give up:
Behind the smile is the Ever-loving, the True.
Though earth be crushed under the hammers of the sun—do not give up:
When the wreck is swept away, before you will be the Beloved’s form.
Though your Beloved may look at you askance—do not give up:
One day will come the invitation to the dance.
Think of the men who went before, those who will come after—do not give up:
Earth, millions of times—our troubles a matter for huge laughter.
The end of every affair was in its beginning—do not give up:
The conclusion of your journey is in your singing.
Love loves not those whom love fattens, but makes destitute.
From the orchard’s winter ruin burgeons the summer fruit.
If you are desiring well-being it is not your time
For the twists and graces of inconsequential rhyme.
One cannot become one with the beloved (whomsoever)
Until one has severed oneself from selfness for ever.
The great lovers have always ardently pursued death:
First they surrendered their hearts, then their minds, then their breath.
Like the deer and the dog they followed the scent afar;
In the darkest night they gave birth to the brightest star.
Give up hope foolish heart, ‘there’s no death worse than expectancy’;
Love for love’s sake alone, and you have solved every mystery.
The path is a looped rope with both ends in the same place:
One end was God’s desire, the other is the Master’s grace.
You warned us that on this path was nothing but pain,
And we glibly assented, but now we complain.
We were assenting to what was our idea of pain—
Tangible enemies to be suffered for love’s gain.
Something heroic we had in mind—battle’s strain,
Great oaths and wild blood caught in a drunken refrain.
You told us to leave the matter in your hands—remain
Resigned to your will and whim. You made that quite plain.
What irks is the very ordinariness of that pain—
Not even our names on an honour-roll of the slain.
You told us that the only traffic in Lovers’ Lane
Was when the wind blew—and one had become a dust grain.
Beloved, another dawn sky bears draught’s red stain.
Forgive us if sometimes hot stone cries for cool rain..
To love is something other than what the word-mongers say.
Their words are cries of pigeons as the guns blaze away.
At one time it’s the bottle, the book, the girl and the grove,
Or an orchestral setting of palm trees and sandy cove.
Another time they favour forests of chimney-stacks—
But concrete is hard on knees, and harder on backs.
Or they project the swashbuckling hero in high adventures.
They don’t want forty years of being bound by indentures.
The cold fact is that the love game is absolutely no-go—
Whether with girl or God one is a donkey at a horse show.
Whatever, fight shy of all love pretenders. A thug
Is a safer companion—with him there’s no humbug.
To love is something other than what the poet-merchants say.
Their words are rotten fruit shamelessly top-dressed for display.
Eruch reads out the Australian Arti
O glorious, eternal Ancient One your face is a bright, transcendental sun - lighten this dark world and the tears I weep; my heart, Meher, I give to you to keep.
Creator, yet creationless you are - truth and Truth's Body, divine Avatar who, through compassion the three worlds maintains - destroy this ignorance that life sustains.
These five lights are the whirling spokes of breath of the world-wheel that bears me on to death unless you, who are infinitely kind, break the wheel's hub which is conditioned mind.
This incense is my love, these fruits my art which to please you I have shaped from my heart; accept them as you would a simple flower that has no use beyond its shining hour.
You are my Self. I sing to you in praise and beg your love to bear me through the days till you, the ever living Perfect One, illume my darkness with your shining sun.
Padri talks about Lower Meherabad
Where you are now sitting is Lower Meherabad. It is called Lower Meherabad, it is now the Trust property, and this building was built in 1949. Baba first came here with the mandali in 1923 when we occupied an old building here which you will see now, where Mohammad is residing which was built during the First World War during 1916. From 1916 to 1949 we occupied the building. Then later on this building was built. This is almost a replica of the old building except that this hall is 50 feet by 25 instead of 40 by 20. Otherwise it is a same replica. And during the meeting times, Baba used to sit here and give audience to the groups. Western group, Eastern group, Northern group, Southern group, and this was here where He used to meet these groups to talk about the Centres, their difficulties and whatnot.
And, before this building was built, when Baba used to reside in Upper Meherabad, the cabin that you saw where the stretcher is kept, His audience hall was this cabin where we shall see now. It is with the four signs of the religions. And during the meeting times also, there was one small room there where He also used to give audience to a group of people. But the whole group, say now you are here, so you got the whole bunch and you just sit here. Eruch and Francis would sit on His side and would read His hands or read the board.
And the mandali also lived here, in the next room. There is kitchen here, bathroom, everything. There is a dispensary here, there is a dispensary for Don also, Don used to give the allopathic side, I used to be the homeopathic side, the women were attended by Donkin and Nilu, Nilu who is dead now, one of the old pictures is there.
And this is where we lived for a number of years, then Baba went to Meherazad, Meherazad was literally established in 1943. Then Baba left from 43 to 69, and in-between He paid a visit here whenever He felt like paying a visit, or whenever these villagers and people here roundabout clamour for His darshan. And this is where He gave darshan.
Adi K. Irani sings a ghazal in Urdu and gives English Translation
(only part of the ghazal is reproduced here)
I do not want to see anything of the world at all; Jaam-e Jam is a thing in which you see a reflection of the whole universe. I do not want that. I am not a seeker after something in which the entire image of the world or universe is reflected. I do not enjoy that at all, I am not interested in it. I have come to seek the heart of the Beloved, I want the Beloved, and I want that sight by which I can see the Reality of the Beloved. I want to have the sight by which I can reach, I can see and reach the house of the Beloved, the heart of the Beloved.
Talk by Adi K. Irani
In suffering is found the joy of life and in joy of suffering is found the bliss of existence. If after Meher Baba dropped His body we feel that our lives are meaningless, such as meaning should not be there, because it would mean that the meaning of our lives given to us by Baba during His lifetime have no meaning. Therefore, our feeling of emptiness and hollow after Baba dropped His body should be groundless and illogical. With body, Baba was the life of Meher Baba Himself, and existence as the Avatar in all. Without body, His existence as Meher Baba in Himself and life as the Avatar in all. Avatar Meher Baba has not gone; He ever is and will ever be. He has only changed His position from an individual life and a universal existence to an infinite existence and a universal life.
In His present status, He should be more in your hearts and feelings separated as we are from the vision of His body which He has dropped. He should therefore be closer to us than ever. In His closeness to us lies our great opportunity of making Him our own through love for Him and His unseen presence in our lives.
Baba said, "Believe that I am the Ancient One, do not doubt for a moment. There is no possibility of my being anyone else. I am not this body that you see; it is only a coat I put on when I visit you. I have infinite consciousness.” Grieve not for the lamp that burned with life’s bright colour’s splendour has gone, because the light that lighted the lamp is ever aflame, everywhere in its effulgence.
Seek we Meher Baba as light in our hearts and He will never fail to cheer and brighten up the dark recesses of doubt and despair. Avatar Meher Baba, during His lifetime, drafted our doubts and laid a siege to the passions and perversities of our desires. If the desires are not completely gone, the wind from their sails was removed even in that God-Realization was proclaimed and placated to create a thirst for desirelessness.
To a person who once asked, "Where is God?"
Baba replied, "He is beyond hopes."
This hope means for anything and everything, including God-Realization. We loved Him so, Baba during His lifetime. He awakened us to keep a firm hold on His daaman. In fact, it was He who had held us to His daaman and I always wondered why He tried to get us to be aware that His daaman should not slip out of our hand. It was His way to keep us alert and active. It was His way to prepare us for the grave event of dropping His body. It is our turn to hold on to His daaman now and forever. It was easier to hold on to His daaman when He was in body, because He held us to His daaman. By repeatedly reminding us, He made it easier for us to hold on to His daaman when He is not in body. It was to His divine presence we got attached when He was in body; it is to the presence of His divinity we should become firmly attached after He has dropped His body.
Divine and divinity are the two aspects of Avatar Meher Baba, when one is manifest, the other is unmanifest. When in body, Meher Baba as the Divine was manifest, and as Divinity was unmanifest. Without body, Meher Baba as the Divine is unmanifest and as Divinity is manifest. So, Meher Baba has not gone, He has turned His Divine face away from us to give us the experience of His Divinity.
As a father of whose presence we delight every type of everything, He has awakened us to the consciousness of His Divinity on which we have to rely every time for everything. Divine and the Divinity are as close to each other as pure water and the colours it assumes of the attributes that are His Divinity. When water gets coloured, the water does not cease to exist.
So if Baba is gone from our seeming existence, He has come more forward light, which is full of colours. After the chequered colours of our sanskaras, or impressions we work to purify ourselves to become conscious of our pure existence which is nothing but the existence of the Avatar as Meher. He is ever with us and in us.
Seek we Baba as Avatar Meher Baba in our hearts, and he is ever there to guide us, to protect us and to purify us from the ever-changing lights of illusion and to enlighten us with the ever-unchanging knowledge and bliss of existence. Jai Meher Baba, ever the Avatar.
Mani talks about her mother’s visits to Upasni Maharaj
Baba used to go to Upasni Maharaj, she was very upset about it naturally and she had so many aspirations for her son. She always considered Baba her first born even though Jamshed was the first child. But she was very young then and when Jamshed was born, when he would be brought to her, mother would turn her face this way, and when the child was brought this side, she would turn her head the other way. So my aunt, my mother’s older sister, adopted the child, took care of the child, Jamshed, brought him up. He always called her "mother," and mother always said that Merwan was her first born, she loved him very much, she was going to send him to the west for education, she had so many aspirations for him. So when all this happened it upset her very much, it pained her very much, she was not going to take it lying down, with Upasni Maharaj taking away her son as it were.
So she used to go to Upasni Maharaj and they had a good tiff over it you see, and she would tell Maharaj "But the world is full of murderers, and they have many sons, why couldn’t you find another boy for your work, to keep him with you? Why did you have to choose my son out of all the sons on earth? Why don’t you go and get yourself another one?"
And Baba was there, Merwan, he was still Merwan there, and Maharaj says, "I told him to go, he doesn’t go. See here, Merwan you go home with her, she has a nice girl for you to marry, you go along with her and do business and cheat and lie and do all those things they do out there and go, go have a fine time." And he told mother, "While you’re about it, find me a wife also, find a girl for me too. One for Merwan, one for me; I am your son too."
And mother said, "Rubbish, you are no son." But she always had great respect for him. They were always wrangling over Merwan and of course Merwan at that time would do whatever Maharaj told him, but after that Baba didn’t. But once when she was going on the train, she would not leave it like that. Upasni Maharaj would pacify her, they would fight then they would embrace, and all would be well and there would be promises and tears, but after a while when she found that Merwan was still keeping with him and going on there she would go back.
Once when she was going on the train, it was traditional to take a flower garland, after all he was a perfect master and she accepted him as a spiritual personality, she would take this garland, but in her mind she knew she was going to have to fight with him when she got back. So as the train was nearing the station where Upasni Maharaj was stationed, she opened the garland from the basket and held it in her hand. Before that her mind was saying all sorts of things about the old man, but when she got down there, she bowed down and put the garland around Upasni Maharaj. Maharaj said, "Fine, fine, wonderful garland of shoes."
And she said, "Shoes? These are flowers."
And he said, "How much did you abuse me while you had those flowers in your hand?"
And mother had to laugh and admit it; therefore she had great respect for Maharaj knowing that he knew.
Mani talks about Baba visiting her in the hospital
So when we were in Mysore that was in 1936 and for a time Baba and some of the mandali and some of the women, we were very few then, the Westerners had not joined us yet, and I had an ear operation, a mastoid operation, I was very ill then and had to be rushed to the hospital. There Baba used to come every day to the hospital, twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon He would come to see me. They would peel some fruits and put in my mouth when I had just begun to eat things like that. But the real thing is, what I really want to say I mean, is the nurses, it was a hospital run only by women. It was a missionary hospital, Western missionaries, I think they were English or Irish, I’m not sure, I think they were English, beautiful people. They had started this hospital and all the staff were women, including compounder and doctors and all the nurses were women so that only an old gardener wasn’t.
So all these little nurses the moment Baba came, after two or three days we realized that whenever Baba came they always had some excuse to come in and out of my room, in and out of my room. Naja was there with me, Naja was looking after me, she was there day and night, she was put in charge, she was in the ward with me and she thought it was very odd. We didn’t see these nurses at all at any other time. But when the time would come that Baba would be there, one nurse would come in to talk with the other nurse and it turned out that they all wanted to come in to see Baba. But you see we did say Baba then, we talked about Baba but not Meher Baba or who Baba was. And then they would say, "What, Baba has not come today?"
And we'd say, "No, He's not coming in the afternoons anymore, He's only coming once a day in the mornings."
So I'd say, "Why do you ask?"
And they'd say, "Oh we like so much when Baba is here. You know, the silent one."
So we just didn't bring up the subject because we didn't want to continue.
(New speaker - Naja)
They would ask, "Why doesn’t He speak?"
Yes, I said, "He is very shy."
And, "Why doesn’t He speak?" they would ask Naja and Naja would say....
(New speaker - Naja)
And one patient, she was very beautiful, and her bed was near the window, and when Baba would pass by she would say, "Please tell me who He is."
And I would say, "Brother of my patient."
And she would say, "He looks so nice and so kind, his eyes are so nice, but why doesn’t he speak?"
And I would say, "He is very shy."
She said, "I like him very much because whenever he comes I feel nice."
I said, "Yes, but how can I tell you?"
Yes, but it was not just an attraction without knowing. There was one nurse, the moment that Baba would sit by my bed on the chair, she would go and bring all the newborn babes one by one of that day without saying anything or without asking anything so Baba wouldn’t have to say anything. She would just put the child on Baba's lap, Baba would smile at it, take its little hands or do something, smile at it, pet it, caress it and she would carry it away. It was with pointedness she would put it down and pick up another one and bring. One day I remember there were about 20 newborns and Baba looked so.... and when she took one away Baba said to me, "Are there anymore?"
And I said, "Baba I don’t know if there are anymore." But every newborn she would come and place on Baba's lap, so that even though we never let on who Baba was anything, we have seen and to us it has been, because we could see both sides you see, here and there, it has been very touching.
Mani talks about the New Life
So by nine o’clock we would be very hungry, pretty hungry for lunchtime as it were. We would walk mile after mile and then Baba would talk to Eruch and say, "We're hungry now. Let’s go and ask for something." This would be bakri, the Indian bread made on the hands from millet so he would go detour just to some _____, Baba would not be there, He would still be on the road, and Eruch would go and go to some hut and ask for alms. And these villagers, if someone was there making bread on that skillet, we have an iron skillet on which that is cooked, and she would say, "Please wait, please wait, it will be ready right now." And she would give it piping hot, put that cordas that is vegetable, hot vegetable or chutney on it and, and give it. Or sometimes she’d say, "Please just wait, I haven't flour in the house but I will get it from my neighbour." And she would rush to her neighbours, get the flour, quickly make the bread that would be about 15-20 minutes, and give it like that. And it made me think how blessed are they really these poor and so-called uneducated who gave it without knowing, without thinking and it is a very old traditional custom among the Hindu race that whenever a Sadhu or a spiritual aspirant or somebody like that comes to your house, never deny him, for you never know who will one day come to your door. It may be Ram in exile.
How often we have seen in these times that the people who ask for alms are often scoundrels probably or people just making a profession of it, but some are sincere no doubt, some real. But without exception they have to know so that the time when the Avatar came to their door they gave it with such love. Baba would enjoy. He would give each of us little pieces with His hand, never has anything tasted more delicious. Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was sitting with Baba, maybe it was that we were hungry, maybe it was all the love that was put in by these poor women who gave it.