Meher Baba's Home in the West

October Newsletter 2022

Meher Nazar Publications collection

"I tolerate everything. So, you must do the same. Be tolerant with everyone and when you feel like rising up in a fury and having an argument with your adversary, say: ‘I am here for Baba, and Baba wants above all else—harmony'...You will feel excited, jealous, proud at times—all of these qualities are there. What I say is: Give in, in spite of them!

"It is easier to go through fire than to give in. It is a more difficult task than creating the creation, to turn a selfish person into an unselfish one. To turn stubbornness into flexibility...”

Meher Baba 

Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 1774

Dear Meher Center Family and Friends,

Much love from Meher Center. 

Included in this issue is an article by Preeti Hay celebrating the birth of Eruch Jessawala, intimate disciple of Meher Baba during the last decades of His physical presence. In looking over our diaries, I wanted to share something Eruch said to my wife Wendy and me when we were in India in the fall of 1983:

“Eruch related a story that took place in Mandali Hall, where Baba said to those present: ‘To love Me is to love all. To love all is not to love Me. But to love Me in all is to love Me. But how to love Me in all? Always be mindful of the goodness in others. For I am infinite goodness. So, look for the goodness in others.’ Then He added, ‘Leave the crap to Me. Forget the crap. Just look for the good. Don’t see the worst, that is not Me.’”

A final reminder of the Young Adult Sahavas, a special event coming up on the weekend of November 10th-13th. The Young Adult Sahavas is a gathering open to young adults between the ages of 18-43. It will focus on celebrating Meher Baba's presence in our lives. Please click here for more information.

In Baba’s love and service, 


Buz Connor

For Meher Center board and staff

"His infinite, personal love"

In this inspiring and humorous talk, Jane Haynes shares her life with Baba. She begins with the striking spiritual experience and pull to Myrtle Beach that led her to the Center. Then she recalls her first glimpse of Baba in 1958, her process of recognizing Him as Christ, and the many moments when she felt Him pour out His love.  

Video, 1:04:58

Courtesy of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

Remembering Eruch

by Preeti Hay

At the Center, October brings with it a nip in the airturning leaves adorn cabin rooftops and paths are showered with more gifts from nature to make the forest floor lusher yet. In India, October brings a month-long return of summer, a welcome respite after torrential months of monsoons. October also brings the remembrance of Meher Baba’s New Life when He set off on an inimitable path that continues to strike us with awe and inspiration. 


For me, October holds a tender spot as being the month of Eruch’s birthday. It always sparks the memory of Eruch in Mandali Halllistening to pilgrims, giving deep thought to all their questions, big or smalltalking from the depth of true experience. Eruch personified simplicity and sincerity as he spoke about His beloved. He also personified true honesty when he simply said, “I don’t know.” And in all his humility he displayed clues as to why the God Man chose him to be His right hand man. 


As a child in Mandali Hall, to me it appeared that Eruch had been talking about Baba since eternity. Only as an adult did I learn that was not true. How then did Eruch begin speaking for Baba? The story is closely related to the New life and Meher Baba’s first visit to Meher Center.


Eruch was a very strong young man during the New Life. Before that, he had assisted Baba in hard tasks such as working with masts, lepers and the poor. But according to Eruch nothing was more exhausting than the New Life. “…Strength is finite, and Baba will push you to the very limits of your endurance. So it was that each morning when I got up, I would tell myself, one more day, just make it through the day.” While Baba had said that they would never return, somehow the group found themselves back in Meherazad. On January 31, 1952, Baba dug a dhuni behind Eruch’s cabin and declared that He had completed His work one hundred percent to His satisfaction. “I heard that with great relief, like a horse that has finally reached the stable and at last can have some sort of rest and relaxation,” said Eruch. But Eruch might have underestimated his Master. There was no rest for the weary. Baba immediately started a new phase of His work that included going to the West to visit the Center that Elizabeth Patterson and Norina Matchabelli had found and painstakingly developed for His arrival.


Of course, Eruch was asked to accompany Baba to the West, but he felt that he was in no physical condition to go due to the “constant stress and strain.” How could he take care of Baba? And if he could not, then he would be a burden on Baba. Eruch said, “Please Baba, do not do this. I know I will only be a drag on You.” When Eruch begged Baba to release him from the order to go to America, Baba gestured, “If you don’t obey me, what’s the point of living with me?”


That night, Eruch was on the brink of leaving Baba. He started collecting his belongings only to realize that everything he had, tangible and intangible, belonged to Baba, including his own body! Just as he was left with the conundrum of the impossibility of leaving his body behind with Baba, he received a message from Baba to see Him the next morning.


The next day, Baba had a Circular ready that He handed Eruch to read out. It read, “I am sending Eruch with specific instructions all over India and Pakistan for seven months to prepare men and the ground for my work of the Fiery Free Life, which begins from November 15.” As Eruch read this, he thought that this verdict was worse than if he had to go to America! “This was much more strenuous, would be much more exhausting…but then I deserved it.”


Pendu was to accompany Eruch to spread Baba’s message of love. This would involve public speaking. Eruch wondered what he could say about Baba. “Since coming to Baba, I had swept Baba’s floor, I had made his bed, in short I had been Baba’s valet; I was not cut out for public speaking.” It had been Baba’s grace that Eruch had only discovered the night before that nothing belonged to him, not even himself. In that case, he had no choice but to be Baba’s instrument.


Baba’s direction was for Eruch to simply tell people what he had seen and observed in Baba’s company. One last time, Eruch voiced his hesitation. “But Baba, I am not a public speaker. I have never done anything like this.” To this, Baba replied, “What makes you think that you will be speaking? Before you begin to speak, stand there and remember Me. Say, ‘Baba, You want me to speak, so speak,’ and then just open your mouth and don’t worry about it.”


In April of 1952, despite His health challenges, Baba kept His promise to Elizabeth and Norina by arriving in the West. Eruch in turn kept his promise to Baba and traveled to 34 cities in India and one in Pakistan. He spread Baba’s message and followed other instructions including meeting masts and saints. Years later, so many hungry pilgrims witnessed the extension of his continuing promise as he spoke simply as a close observer of the Avatar’s life. And now, years and generations later, still we remember him, our hearts still touched by his example, knowing fully well that Eruch’s discipleship to his extraordinary Master was no ordinary ordeal. 



That’s How It Was, by Eruch Jessawalla, pp.387-392

Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 3036

Glimpses of the God-Man, Vol. 3, by Bal Natu, pp. 100-107

Caring for Meher Center:

Meher Baba's Life and Message

This month saw two presentations on Center that were met with hearty responses. Ward Parks presented on Meher Baba’s new book, Creation and Its Causes, for a three-day weekend. In addition, to commemorate the New Life, Jamie Newell did a presentation called Reflections on Meher Baba’s New Life. While Ward has been presenting at the Center for some years now, Jamie’s presentation marked the first of many presentations that the Center is hoping to host. 

The charter for Meher Center written in 1959 says that the Center is “devoted and dedicated to the name and spiritual purposes of Meher Baba, and to the dissemination of his teachings, without supplanting professed religious convictions or beliefs, but for the enhancement and strengthening of the spiritual life.”

In keeping with the Charter and its Vision, Values and Mission, the Center has recently formed ‘The Life and Message Team.’ The purpose of this team is to plan and make available an expanded variety of programs structured to offer well-developed, in-depth and informative presentations on various aspects of Meher Baba’s life and message. The presentations currently under consideration include introductory materials, thematic representations of Baba’s life, periods of importance in His life, and focused exploration of His words. The intent of these presentations is to supplement the current programming on Center and add another avenue for guests to learn more about Meher Baba and connect with His latest advent.

Behind the Beauty

by Jamie Leonard

Meher Center’s whispering trees and and sun-grazed lakes have always felt sacred to me. But while many people look to nature for an experience of God, I don’t know of many times when Baba explicitly associated nature with spirituality. In fact, in 1937, He once chastised a Western lover for ending a pilgrimage early due to less-than-scenic surroundings: “God is not to be found only in peaceful atmospheres and among stones [mountains]. If He is to be found at all, He can be found in every atom of dust and dirt of cities and towns.[I] At the East-West Gathering in 1962, He said, “If you want peace of mind…you can go for pleasant long walks in nature…But here is not the place to come for it, for if you come to me, remember that the spiritual path is full of hardships and sufferings.”[ii]

So why does nature on the Center still feel so special? I think it’s Baba’s presence permeating the beautiful outer forms. Even from the very beginning, when a group of Baba’s lovers first entered the virgin land to start planning the Center’s development, they felt Him with them. They roamed through the swamps and between the long-needle pines, calling His name.[iii]

Over the next eight years before Baba’s first visit, He gave His exquisite, exacting attention to the nature on Center. He requested that Darwin Shaw conduct a “Land Use Survey”[iv] and send Him a report detailing each section of the property. Before He ever set foot there, His eyes roved over descriptions of the sweet gum trees, the swampy ponds, the sand dunes, the cedar groves.

Baba finally visited in 1952, then again in 1956 and 1958. Of course, there is story after story about first meetings with Him in the Lagoon Cabin and discourses ringing through the Barn. But there were also the moments outside: Baba stopping to point out the glorious view over the trees to the Ocean; Baba hiking to Gator Lake, to the Beach, through the woods to His house; Baba giving a discourse or stealing someone’s hat to put on His own head, chatting and laughing and admonishing in the sunlight of those endless afternoons.

On a tour of the Center,[v] Darwin Shaw and his daughter Leatrice pointed out significant spots from Baba’s three trips. Many of them were trees. “We would notice that Baba liked to sit under trees and lean against them, have people gather around Him,” said Darwin. “Wherever we went with Baba, whether Brookgreen Gardens, Muir Woods [and Meher Mount] in California, and here too I recall Him sitting under trees…so this is one of those spots, made sacred by His presence,” said Darwin, gesturing to one of those luckiest of trees.

As part of the dedication of the Center in 1956, Baba stood outside the Barn with nearly 200 people gathered around Him. They could fit easily at that time; the area was open and sandy, the few oaks draped in Spanish moss. “Once again we had special time outdoors with Him,”[vi] recalled Leatrice about the ceremony, during which Baba planted a sapling, a holly tree.

Like everything in this fleeting mortal world, the holly tree died some years later. As I took from Baba’s words back in 1937, it doesn’t make sense to cling to the outer forms of nature as spiritual ends in themselves. But the Center is still magical, mystical, radiant. And it’s not solely the sunlight dappling the old oaks, the magnolias at full blossom on a birdsong-decked afternoon. The true beauty of nature at the Center is and always has been the touch of God. 

[i] Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 1805

[ii] Lord Meher, Online Edition, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 4897

[iii] As Only God Can Love, by Darwin Shaw, p. 54

[iv] As Only God Can Love, by Darwin Shaw, p. 69

[v] “Meher Center Tour with Darwin Shaw and Daughters Leatrice and Renae,” video,

[vi] ibid.