Meher Baba's Home in the West
May Newsletter 2022
Meher Nazar Publications collection
"I suffer infinitely for humanity to relieve them of suffering,
it is for their sake that I specially come as Avatar."

Meher Baba
Lord Meher, Online Edition, p. 4934
Dear Meher Center Family and Friends,

In this offering we remember Meher Baba’s dreadful automobile accident in Prague, Oklahoma in 1952. Of the Avatar’s suffering, Eruch, close disciple and companion of Baba’s, once said this:

"He has taken the human form for our sake. He is infinite bliss and donning the human form is nothing but suffering. He lays aside His infinite bliss while He is in human form. He does not use it at all ... He uses infinite power and infinite knowledge. Power is kept in abeyance, infinite knowledge is there if He needs, and infinite bliss, He sheds that and keeps it there and dons upon Itself the realitythe human form and that is suffering. You may call it human form but it is really suffering.  
It is through suffering that He alleviates our suffering. His suffering is to alleviate our suffering. Alleviate our suffering means what? To reach the reality where no body is needed. Body is to be discarded … Body is there to give the experience of suffering. Suffering is there to get us close to Him. When we get close to Him, He takes upon our suffering and relieves us of our body. That’s how it is, simple. The formula is like that.”

A reminder that teas at the Center begin this Friday and Saturday. Also, weekday evening programs begin this week. Click here to check the weekly calendar for details.

In Baba’s love and service,

Buz Connor
For Meher Center board and staff
"I am open to whatever He is up to"
Michael Burleson is the son of Dr. Ned Burleson, the doctor in Prague, Oklahoma, who treated Baba after His automobile accident in 1952. Michael was a teenager when he saw Baba. Here, he recounts the history of Prague and his family, the setting into which Baba was brought after the accident, His impressions of the Mandali and how His family was eventually brought to Baba.

Video, 45:47
Meher Center Meeting Place, March 6, 2003
From the Meher Spiritual Center, Inc. Archives
The Doctor Who Treated God
By Preeti Hay
On May 20, at 2:30 p.m., Meher Baba drove in a car toward His inevitable destiny along with His carefully chosen followers: Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Elizabeth. He was traveling from Myrtle Beach to California. But God willed it otherwise. In a few days would be the historic event that He had predicted on May 24, 1932, when He asked Elizabeth to write down the date and keep it along with a wildflower He gave her. Like a Master playwright crafting a perfectly plotted story, Baba used players and events to help bring about the desired results. Thus, granting America what it had long sought: His blood on her soil. One such player was Dr. Ned Burleson of Prague, Oklahoma. 
Driving through the Bible Belt in Tennessee, on route to the site of His greatest suffering, Baba and the women saw billboards that said, “Jesus is coming.” Years later, in a letter to David Fenster, Mehera wrote, “It was so lovely to be in the car with Baba and see that sign.”[i] 
On May 24, 1952, at 10:15 a.m. Baba’s car met with the fated accident. Thrown out of the car violently, Baba landed in a muddy ditch. Blood flowed from His nose, which was broken; one arm and leg were fractured. At 11 a.m. an ambulance brought Christ to the door of a small clinic owned and run by Dr. Burleson and his wife Julia. Albeit, He was covered in copious amounts of blood mixed with American soil, grass and broken glass.
Elizabeth, who had been doubled over the steering wheel, was the first to be brought inside. But it took no time for the doctor to see that Mehera was the most gravely injured. “I did not expect Mehera to live. She had suffered the worst skull fracture I had ever seen—like an egg shell dropped on the floor,”[ii] said Dr. Burleson. It was nothing short of a miracle that Mehera survived the accident. Meher Baba later said that she bore fifty percent of His suffering in this accident.
While the dedicated doctor was busy working on Mehera, Dr. Goher Irani kept asking him to see Baba. He had no idea who Baba was but went to see Him because of the party’s persistence. From Baba’s appearance he gathered that the extent of injuries was perhaps not so bad. The doctor was wrong. “When I finally got around to attending to Baba, I was surprised to see an individual who was injured as badly as he was still smiling.”[iii]
After Dr. Burleson learned about Baba’s silence, his curiosity was struck with the question of how Baba could elicit such love and devotion from so many fine and educated people. He ascertained, “That quality cannot be forced. Such devotion can only be possible because he deserved it or earned it.”[iv]
Even though Dr. Burleson’s hospital was small, he made excellent arrangements for Baba and the party including calling in a brain specialist for Mehera. Baba had a way with the doctor, on whom He obviously had His nazar. He would call Dr. Burleson to address minor complaints, but when the doctor would come, each time he would find Baba to be smiling and happy despite His serious injuries. This would stay with the doctor for years to come because his connection with Baba was only starting.
As we know, no contact with Baba is meaningless. It was to be that Baba and the doctor would keep in touch. In a letter to Baba on June 3, 1952, Dr. Burleson wrote of the deep impression that Baba’s visit had made on him. “From you and your party we have seen a demonstration of most of the teachings of Christ. Many Americans preach these things, but we have never observed so close an application of them…Such devotion cannot be forced, it can only be obtained by love…”[v]
Baba’s sister Mani, who had minor injuries in the accident, spent intimate time with the Burleson family including the children. Every year thereafter, Dr. Burleson’s wife Julia sent Mani a Christmas card and kept up the contact with her. Before leaving, Baba had gifted the doctor a cigarette case. But that was not all; in 1955, when God Speaks was published, Baba did not forget His devoted doctor. He made sure to send him a signed copy of the book.
Baba had also thoughtfully sent a scarf for Julia Burleson. In a letter acknowledging that scarf, Julia wrote to Ivy Duce, “We feel that in meeting Baba and the rest of you too, we have made some very true friends. I do hope that we can see Baba next summer when he returns.”[vi]
The family’s connection with the Avatar did not end there. The talk above by Michael Burleson, Dr. Ned Burleson’s son, gives us an insight into the aftermath and integration of this Avataric contact. 

[i] Glow International, Spring 2022, p.16
[ii] Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. Eleven, p.3840 
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. Eleven, p.3841
[v] Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. Eleven, p.3854
[vi] Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. Eleven, p.3855
Caring for Meher Center: Tending our Relationship with the Racepath Community
In 1966, Meher Baba ran His finger across a photo of a group of children, pausing to bless each one. They were kids from the underserved, primarily Black Racepath neighborhood near Myrtle Beach, and they were members of “Happy Club.” That year, Jane Haynes, her daughter Wendy, and Elizabeth Patterson had founded Happy Club as a chance for youth from the Racepath community to spend time on Baba’s center, playing and learning and eating copious amounts of peanut butter and jelly. Baba said that Happy Club made Him “very happy.” 

Happy Club was just the start of a long and loving relationship between the Center and the Racepath community. For decades, Jane Haynes, Elizabeth Patterson, and those who they inspired not only helped with Happy Club, but provided support for Racepath community members in need. They even founded a non-profit, Phoenix Renaissance, to help with the work. 

Today, the relationship continues. Through Phoenix Renaissance, the Center supports a camp for kids from the neighborhood, five days a week, all summer long, which this year served over thirty children. The camp includes “field trips” to the Center that hearken back to Happy Club days—kids walk in the woods, swim in the ocean, play at the playground, visit the library, have a picnic lunch and watermelon.

The holiday season is another time of fellowship between the Racepath community and the Center. Talented cooks from Racepath craft the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals we have enjoyed for many years on Center, and folks from the Center are honored to be invited to the delectable Thanksgiving dinner held in Racepath. The Center also provides gift cards to families at Thanksgiving and Christmas so they can purchase their own holiday meals at home. Last year, the Center celebrated Christmas by helping Phoenix Renaissance buy bikes for Racepath kids who didn’t have them, and helping kids buy Christmas gifts for their family members. 

Other connections happen throughout the year. The Center supports Phoenix Renaissance with fundraising efforts and keeping their Community Center open (helping with utilities, building repairs, insurance, etc.). Baba community volunteers also help with repairs for the Community Center and nearby homes. Finally, the Center provides monthly financial support for more than thirty-five Racepath community members who are elderly, infirmed, or single parents, helping to provide for basic needs such as utilities, rent, and medical expenses.

Elizabeth Patterson referred to Happy Club as “the acorn that bore the mighty oak”: a small gesture that ended up creating a deep and lasting connection. Meher Center's five-decade relationship with the Racepath Community has been about family, about serving those in need, about friendship and mutual respect, about the blessing of working together. From Happy Club to Phoenix Renaissance, Inc., it has been a legacy of love, for each other and for God.
A Divine Explanation
by Jamie Leonard
On May 14, 1943, 125 men gathered in Meherabad to spend five days with Baba and hear His explanation of the “Divine Theme.” Not uncommonly, Baba had shifted the dates of the meeting in the month leading up to it. But, as Bhau Kalchuri put it, “out of the instability surrounding Meher Baba's activities came inner stability, as due to his constant change of plans, the mind was focused more and more on him, and less and less on the binding entanglements of the material world." Each of the 125 stalwart lovers had arrived at the newly appointed time, prepared to hear about the most cosmic of universal truths.  

As was often the case around Baba, the gathering started with the give-and-take of a beloved group of friends and family: chatting, making jokes, telling funny stories, singing ghazals. Also, as usual, Baba didn’t let the men forget the one thing that really mattered. He told them that they should be ready on May 17 for a three-hour explanation of the Divine Theme: “I will make it so clear and easy that you will feel that you have got God in your grip. You will feel as if He is in your hands by intellectual conviction.”

While Baba had illuminated elements of the Divine Theme since He began His work in the early 1920’s, He made it clear that this particular explanation was important. He had had two charts drawn up by Rano Gayley for the gathering (Rano was thrilled to work on them, especially since it meant Baba came by more frequently to check her work and answer questions). “Much of this has already been told to you by me in bits and pieces,” Baba said to the men, “but now it has all been collected, and I will tell you the whole story.”

Baba also told the men that they would be asked to keep their minds fixed on the theme for six hours on May 18, the day following the explanation. His language echoed the tribulations the world was facing in World War II. “Whether you win or the thoughts win, this is not the point at issue,” Baba said. “It is no concern of yours. You have just to put up a fight, sincerely and continuously. And my key will turn in such a way that you will really get various thoughts! It is because I want you to fight the battle and win … The more formidable a foe, the more spirited the fight, and the more creditable the victory and result. So continue with the fight of mental reaction without fear.”

Baba also described how important this “battle” was. “This program of work has a great spiritual importance and significance … because the Avatar of the Age himself wants you to participate in his work for the world. And this is now the culmination of the work he has been doing for you.”

The morning of May 17, at 7:30 sharp, surrounded by His lovers, Baba began His explanation with the Ultimate. “Today, let us begin by saying that only God exists. If there is something beyond God, that too is God, and so every one of you is within God." 

Then He continued with the Divine Theme. It encapsulated the journey of the soul from the very beginning, when it first appears like a bubble or a drop, an assumed individuality, in the vast ocean of God. Then up through the different physical states, from gasses to stones to metals to plants to worms to fish to birds to animals to humans. And then, after the soul has gathered both the capacity for consciousness and, paradoxically, the inability to be fully conscious of itself due to all the impressions (sanskaras) in which the journey left it ensnared … then, the process of involution begins. Slowly, slowly, slowly, through thousands of lifetimes, the soul tires of its ceaseless blind desires and starts to seek God, to unwind its binding impressions, to ascend the planes of consciousness—from gross to subtle to mental. And finally, finally, to unite with Him.

Baba’s explanation to the men on that warm May evening was unique in more than its promised completeness. It was unique because of its context, its intimacy: Dr. Ghani laughing at Gadekar for the look of rapt attention on his face. Baba making a joke about how if He didn’t give them a good description of the “shaking” of the soul during the evolutionary process, they would all “shake” their fists at Him. Baba illustrating a point about the soul’s journey by tapping His leg six times, then giving it a pinch.

Perhaps the sacredness of these three hours, of Baba among His lovers describing in His own words the entire divine game that He Himself created and oversees, is captured in His last statement that morning. After describing the process by which the drop realizes itself as one with the Ocean, Baba finished:

“Some call the Ocean of Paramatma Allah, some call Him Ishwar, some Ahuramazda, some God.

I call Him Meher Baba.”

Divine Theme (with Charts): Evolution, Reincarnation, Realisation, by Meher Baba, Copyright 2010 AMBPPCT
Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 2331-2352