No. 4    Meherabode Gazette  December 2014

Winter Issue:  Surrenderance

Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

1214 S. Van Ness Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019

In This Issue
1. "Surrendering to My Will"
2. Surrenderance (Meherwan Jessawala)
3. Bhaustock
4. Music Corner
5. Surrendering (Charles Haynes)
6. "Only Very Few"
7. Meher Mount
8. What's Happening
9. AMBCSC Archives
10. Surrendering (Allan Cohen & Meher Baba)
11. Meher Baba Books
12. Happy Birthday, Mehera!
Contact Information
Jai Meher Baba!
and Welcome back to
Meherabode Gazette 
Winter Issue 
in which we reflect on some of the
lanes and byways of loving & serving Meher Baba
globally & locally
In Issue No. 1 (December 2013), the Meherabode Gazette focused on the recent passing of Bhau Kalchuri, who was Avatar Meher Baba's last living Mandali (close resident disciple). In Issue No. 2 (April 2014), we considered "The Springtide of Creation": the individual and global condition of being awash with divine grace that Meher Baba's work is, we feel, inevitably ushering into being.
Issue No. 3 (July 2014) opened with Meher Baba's observations on Hama Doost and Hama az Ust: Persian Sufi terms which Baba translates as "Everything is for the Beloved God" and "Everything is from God," in a discourse given by Him nearly 60 years ago.

This Winter Issue No. 4 takes Surrenderance as its theme, weaving together some of Meher Baba's utterances on this central spiritual topic along with writings from Meherwan Jessawala, Charles Haynes, and Allan Y. Cohen -- all of whom quote from or reflect on Meher Baba's statements (or in Charles' meditation, also reflect on Eruch's observations) about the importance of surrendering to the God-Man, or surrendering to the will of God, as a progressive inward process for the spiritual aspirant.

Issue No. 4 also features reports on happy events and places -- the annual summer Meher Children's Camp at Meher Haven in Mariposa (knwon as Bhaustock), the background and qualities of Meher Mount in Ojai, one notable recent development in the work of our Archives Committee at Meherabode, and updates from Meherabode and Meher Baba Books.

The striking photographic image of Meher Baba playing marbles with youngster Meherwan Jessawala might serve to remind us that for Meher Baba, love for God and surrenderance to his will are to be cultivated both seriously and playfully -- recollecting how all incidents, activities, and occurrences in his Illusory creation are part and parcel of the play of the imagination of the Beloved.

Gentle Reader, will you permit a poetic riff here?

  In this play of marbles who will win?
     your precision always astounds me!
  as the worlds & planets twirl & spin
     how your mercy  Meher  surrounds me!
  when the heart is completely tender
  will each part of the soul surrender?
[verse by David R. Israel]  
May you read and enjoy! And may we all join the great divine play now unfolding all around us.
 May we learn to love him more and more!
David Raphael Israel
Mahoo Ghorbani 
Cover Art:
"Autumn's Crown" (image above) � 2014 by Cherie Plumlee.
(This exquisite digital artwork is based on a photograph of Meher Baba.)

Meherabode Gazette is circulated via email to the "local" and "global" email lists maintained by the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. It is intended for wide and general circulation, and you are invited to forward it to your friends.


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1. "Surrendering to My Will" 

If you wish to live perpetually, then crave for the death of your deceptive self at the hands of complete surrender to Me. To completely surrender to My Will, your heart must be pure and your mind empty of all thoughts. All those who surrender themselves in love to Me will see, adore and realize the reality behind My form. Dust has no thought of its own -- whether it is trampled upon or applied to the forehead of a man, or remains suspended in air or water. It is all the same to it. I tell you, there is no truer and better example of complete surrender than becoming like dust.Spiritual advancement is a succession of one surrender after another, until the goal of the final surrender of the separate ego-life is achieved. The last surrender is the complete surrender, equivalent to the attainment of Truth.
Meher Baba
from Meher Baba Calling (1982)
2. Surrenderance

 Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!   Jai Baba!  Speaking on the subject of surrenderance, it will be apt for me to read out what Baba Himself has said about surrenderance before we talk about it. I will read out some extracts where He has spoken about surrenderance on various occasions, I will just read that out to you.
People generally have a very superficial understanding of what is actually meant by complete surrender of one's all, namely, one's possessions, body and mind to a Perfect Master. The complacent belief of a disciple that he has completely surrendered to a Master is due to ignorance and hypocrisy, because if the significance of the words were read literally and pondered over deeply, it would be seen that if one's possessions, body and mind, the very core of one's existence, were entirely submitted to the Master, there could be no room given for even a single thought of one's own.

The mind now belongs to the Master. It would be hypocritical even to move, even to breathe. Even to breathe would be hypocritical because the body has been surrendered. But this literal and impossible surrender is not required by the Master from His disciples. What is demanded of the disciple is his complete and absolute surrender to the will of the Master, however contrary it may be to the dictates of the disciple's temperament, however opposing to his natural inclinations or beliefs, however difficult to admit within the restricted precincts of his mind. Supposing I were to elevate you to an Emperor tomorrow, and the very next day bring you down to the level of a sweeper. You should accept the extremes with unswerving faith in My judgment. You must always strive with undisturbed equanimity to fit into any given role at any given time, concerned only with the carrying out of your Master's wishes. 
Baba playing marbles with Meherwan (Mansari looking on)
For a disciple, it suffices to obey. Your duty as a disciple is to obey as if you were not your own self, which is indeed literally true when you have completely dedicated yourself to the Master.  Never try to match your limited intellect or your reasoning against your Master's will. Spontaneous acceptance by you of anything the Master says or does, and your unquestioning obedience to Him will safely steer you through any so-called crises that you may have to face. I have emphasized in the past, I tell you now, and I shall age after age forevermore repeat that you shed your cloak of life and realize existence which is eternally yours, to realize this truth of unchangeable indivisible, all-pervading existence. The simplest way is to surrender to Me completely, so completely that you are not even conscious of your surrender, but conscious only to obey Me and to act as and when I order you. If you seek to live perpetually, then crave for the death of your deceptive self at the hands of complete surrender to Me. This yoga is the essence of all yogas in one. There is one thing greater than love, and that is obedience. But greater than love and obedience is surrender, completely surrendering everything, body, mind, soul, at the feet of the Master. There are volumes written on the subject, but no-one has surrendered to Me as I want. You surrender everything, but you have no control over your mind, which you cannot surrender, so no sooner do you surrender your mind, than this whole play vanishes. The difference between love, obedience and surrender is that love seeks the will of the Beloved, obedience performs the will of the Beloved and surrender resigns to the will of the Beloved. Love is a gift of God to man, obedience is the gift of the Perfect Master to man and surrender is the gift of man to the Perfect Master. Realisation is not child's play. For this one has to surrender all; body, mind and heart to the Perfect Master. Understanding has no meaning. Love has meaning. Obedience has more meaning. Holding onto My damaan has most meaning.
This is what Baba Himself has said on the subject of surrender. Now speaking on the subject of holding on to His damaan, you see, Baba has said that He is not the physical body that you see. It is just a cloak that He has to put on, in order that we could realise Him with our gross eyes, and feel His presence in front of us. So His body is like a cloak and the damaan is the lowest part of this cloak, the hem. Since the lowest parts of the body are the feet, so holding on to His damaan means to hold on to His feet with both our hands, simply surrendering ourselves to Him completely. It is not easy to do this. Holding on to His feet is no easy matter. You have to cling on to His feet as if you are clinging on to very life itself. This is not so easily possible. Baba Himself has shown us the way to hold on to His feet, and that is the repetition of His Name. Baba says that there is great power in His Name. Why, His Name is even more powerful than He Himself is. Even He repeats His own Name. He stresses on our repeating His Name as constantly as possible. In the beginning it is not easy to do this, but with a little persistence it will happen that repeating His Name will become ever more automatic. It will become very spontaneous. Whatever situations you are placed in -- you have to face the responsibilities and duties you are entrusted with in life -- you have to carry on with that, but at the same time concentrate on repeating His Name while attending to your daily duties. It is easy, it requires no extra effort. There is no cost involved. There is no literature that you have to read, scriptures to study. It's easy, just repeating His Name is sufficient to do everything that has to be done.Baba says that it is like a double-edged sword, this repetition of His Name. It protects you from all the allurements of the world and all the enchantments of illusion that you face daily. At the same time it destroys all the muck -- the vast store of impressions of lust, greed, anger and other passions that are within us all.   Baba tells us that if we make use of this weapon all will be well. 


Elaborating further on this repetition of His Name, Baba was holding a Sahavas for four weeks at Meherabad, in 1955. Baba was staying at Meherazad and every morning He would travel from Meherazad to Meherabad to give His Sahavas to the people gathered there. I was one of them. On the very first day of the Sahavas Programme Baba departed from Meherazad with Eruch driving. On the way, Baba picked up my uncle Meherjee Satha from Akbar Press, the Satha family home. It used to be on the way to Meherabad, opposite the old State Transport (ST) bus stand. Then the car with Baba, Meherjee Satha and the rest proceeded towards Meherabad. Suddenly a buffalo passing on the side of the road turned and stood in front of the car. Eruch braked urgently and the car came to an abrupt halt, narrowly missing a ditch on the side of the road. Baba turned around and asked everyone in the car, "Who took My Name?" Eruch said, "Baba, I was talking to you, there was no question of my taking Your Name." Kaka Baria was sitting at the back. He said, "Baba, I was minding your personal objects, so I didn't take Your Name, my concentration was on the objects I was looking after." Then Baba asked my uncle, who said, "Baba, I was sitting next to You in the same car, and felt no need of taking Your Name." Baba shook His head and said, "Remember, you must always take My Name whenever such a calamitous situation is faced by you." From this you can see the importance that Baba gave to His Name. 

[to be continued in Issue No. 5] 

Meherwan Jessawala  


Editor's Note:

Meherwan B. Jessawala, born in 1930, a younger brother of Meher Baba's Mandali member Eruch Jessawala, grew up in the ambit of Baba's loving care. Meherwan now lives at Meherazad. The above text is from a talk given by Meherwan, transcribed by Mehera Arjani who lovingly sent this to us for publication in this Gazette.
3. "Welcome to My World" (Bhaustock)
[Note: This article chronicles the experience of Meher Children's Camp (also known as Bhaustock) this past summer in Mariposa, California. As noted in an earlier Issue of the Meherabode Gazette, Mark Choi was a stalwart host of regular monthly Barbeque-and-Dhuni evenings at Meherabode in Los Angeles a few years back -- until he and his family migrated north to Mariposa (close to Yosemite National Park and Meherana) to establish Meher Haven [Facebook page here], a family-operated permaculture farm, garden and orchards. Each summer, the Choi family host Bhaustock (the word modeled on "Woodstock," suggesting a communal gathering with the late Bhau Kalchuri). Mark explains: "Bhaustock is a phenomenon that spontaneously emerged in the '80s and '90s as a post-Sahavas retreat with Bhauji in Mariposa." It continues now as an annual summer gathering of several Baba-families with their children, affording youngsters a heightened experience of both nature and spiritual community.]

Meher Children's Camp, a.k.a. Bhaustock 2014, took place in late July for five days.When asked to write an article about Bhaustock, I thought very seriously about what to write. I suppose I could list all the activities we had, like making Bhaustock shirts, jumping on the trampoline, going to the river, swimming at Ralph and Kebi Brown's pool, and playing with chicks and bunnies and other animals around the Haven. However, I feel that the spirit of Bhaustock can best be shared through what several of the kids have written about their Meher Haven experience.

-Khayla Choi

Bhaustock was the time of my life, and I feel closer to everyone. Amazing people and experience. This Bhaustock was unlike any of my other visits to the Haven, so much happened.  The canteen and new kids added to what already would've been special. I already feel like I've known them. I didn't realize how awesome it was until I came back, and I almost cried when I said goodbye. Watching people leave and saying goodbye had that strange bittersweet feeling. Other than that, we were able to laugh and have a good time just being ourselves.  We didn't worry and were happy. It was all unforgettable. We group-text every day now. The whole group is like another family.  Jai Baba,

-Matthew Park


Bhaustock is defined by two words that start with the same letter: fun and freedom. It's unlike any event the average human being attends because it's filled with not only a different energy than you'll ever experience, but you can  do whatever you want and nobody is there to tell you differently or stop you. Most children don't get to experience pure freedom very often, and that is part of the reason why Bhaustock is so special for the kids specifically. When you are surrounded by love, family, friends, laughter, and music on top of being free, something changes within you. You get to taste the sweet feeling of being infinite. Once, I was lying on the trampoline, staring up at the beautiful stars. The sky was unlimited. And so was I.

-Madison Choi


I often wonder what Meher Haven really is, and I must say I don't think there is an answer. But I feel I know it so well. This Bhaustock has been one of the most extraordinary five days of my life, and I've learned so much from it. I feel just pure joy and freedom that is unexplainable. I've never felt so close to others, and we've shared so many great memories. More happiness than you would ever think, to a level you thought wasn't possible. And it's so simple and grand. Never wanting to ever say goodbye at the end, and maybe even crying because of just love yet sadness 'cause it's all over. I believe it's not only in the place but in the heart. I love Meher Haven more than anything, and I can't 
imagine my life without it. Bhaustock 2014 was just the most amazing event ever and I am so thankful for every second of it.

-Khayla Choi

Meher Haven is something different, unlike anything I have ever experienced before. This place brought me so much joy for some reason, I still can't put my finger on it. I believe it may in fact be the people from Meher Haven, for they are a whole new type, the likes I have never seen elsewhere. Perhaps it's that I feel the presence of a spirit watching over me and my new friends to guide us to joy and happiness.
The Choi family is really something else. From the second I got at Meher Haven, I felt welcomed, which is saying something because I got there at 12:00 am. The first time I met Aaron, Michael, Joseph, Christina, and Khayla, I felt as if I have known them for years. Mark and Peni are two of the most welcoming parents I have ever met. ♦ Everyone at the Haven is unique. This is a one of a kind experience. You can not get a feeling like this any other way.
-Ryan Ebrahimzadeh 
 I had a good experience with Bhaustock this summer. Kids had fun there and was feeling so much joy while being there at Meher Haven. It was the highlight of my summer time. Nothing is more fun than being with kids of your age and exploring the world. Can't wait for the next summer and the new event.

-Soroush Shahriari


Khayla, Matthew, Madison,

 Ryan, Soroush

4. The Music Corner:
     "Your Infinite Love" by Mark Choi & Family

Mark Choi and his family lately produced a music-video drawing on photos from Bhaustock 2014 and featuring Eruch Jessawala's voice in Mark's song "Your Infinite Love." 

Your Infinite Love
Your Infinite Love

This YouTube clip is offered as the debut installment of a new, regular Meherabode Gazette series: The Music Corner.  

5. Surrendering to Meher Baba
Meher Baba says "Greater than love is obedience. Greater than obedience is surrender." I often wonder about the meaning of "surrender," an important term because for Baba, it is the highest form of love. It is difficult to know what it means, and whether or not one has surrendered.
Once, some years ago, I asked Eruch about it. A group of us were sitting in Mandali Hall, in front of Baba's chair. During a lull in the conversation, Eruch looked at me and asked, "What should we talk about?" I said the first thing that popped into my mind: "Surrender." Eruch said, "Yes, all right... do it." Taken aback, I said, "That's fine to say, but what does it mean?" Eruch replied, "You people think I just say these things, but I'm not just saying it. Do it... Do it!" I said, "Well, I am trying. But isn't surrender the ultimate goal?" He said, "No, no, just do it now. Right now." I could only say, "Oh, all right." Eruch added, "Then surrender again tomorrow...then the next day, surrender again. Why should we wait?" Then I began to grasp what was being said: surrender is something one does continuously, and each time one does it, it is a little bit more. One lets go a little bit more. I became alert as Baba had touched on a topic I was most interested in as a child. Then Baba picked up the hem of His sadra, held it in front of us and said: "Remember to hold on to My Damaan, because what will happen will make it easy for your grasp on Me to slip away. So you must practice holding on to My Damaan." He compared our situation to that of a child in a village crowd. Unless the child holds on to the mother's hand, it will get lost. Baba then took His other hand, and held His damaan tightly with both hands. He told us, "Don't hold on with one hand, but with both hands, so if, by chance, one hand should slip away, you will still be holding on." Remember, Baba told us, hold on with both hands. 

To this day, I keep that image before me. What does it have to do with surrender? It occurred to me as a child (sometimes children have the best notions) that if you are holding on with both hands, you have no hands free to hold on to anything else! To hold on to Him with both hands, then, means that we have to begin to let go of all else. How can we hold on to what we want, if we are holding on to Him with both hands? ♦ My favorite image for surrender comes from the East-West Gathering in 1962. During the darshan, Baba gave an image that has stuck with me all these years. I was thirteen at the time, and sitting on the couch and I was concentrating on inching my way closer to His knee. Baba was conveying something about the breaking of His silence. He said that the time would come when it might seem natural to leave Him, to let Him slip from our grasp. He said: "So I am telling you now that you must hold on to Me. That is the most important hold on to Me." The job of the Beloved is to get the lover to let go [of all else]. We cannot do it alone. We will not do it. If it were completely up to us to let go, and to hold on only to Him, we would not do it. The ego is not about to surrender the illusory clinging that is its old, old habit. The ego is not going to voluntarily let go...we cannot outsmart it. That is His job. Ours is to remember Him constantly with love. So, whatever happens, we must hold on to Him...trusting always, as we see that which is false stripped from our grasp, that Baba is doing His work of ego-elimination. As Baba has said, "To stick to Me means to keep Me pleased at the cost of your own comforts and pleasures. It means to remain resigned to My will, whether you keep good health or bad, whether you make money or lose it, whether you gain name and fame or become the laughing stock of others." I feel that Baba is telling us that if we hold on with both hands (the beginning and end of surrender), it is then His task to help us let go of the world. He (Meher Baba within each of us -- our Real Self) works constantly to help us to let go of everything false, and to cling only to what is Real.Holding on to Him and being resigned to His will is not easy. Fortunately, it is a gift that Baba gives us gradually in our life with Him. Everything He does in us conspires to help us to be wholly resigned to His will in all things. Resigned to His will...that is the true meaning of "surrender."

Charles Haynes

Editor's Note:

Charles Haynes first met Meher Baba during the Sahavas held at Meher Spiritual Center in 1958 when Charles was a young boy. In November 1962, he attended the East-West Gathering in Poona, India; and in April, 1969, he participated in the Great Darshan. He is the author of Meher Baba, The Awakener (1989, 1993), and co-author of Norina's Gift (1997). In his professional life, Charles is senior scholar at Freedom Forum First Amendment Center in Washington, DC, where he addresses religious freedom in American public life.
6. "Only Very Few Really Attempt to Surrender to Me"
[from a discourse by Meher Baba]

This is my song: 


For the rich, I am the richest;
For the poor, I am the poorest;
For the literate, I am the most literate;
For the illiterate, I am the most illiterate.

Thus I am one of you, one with you
And one in you, and we are all one.

To have my real darshan is to find me. 
The way to find me is to find your abode in me. 
And the only one and sure way to find your abode in me
Is to love me. 

To love me as I love you, you must receive my grace.
Only my grace can bestow the gift of divine love.
To receive my grace you must obey me whole-heartedly
With a firm foundation of unshakeable faith in me.  


And you can only obey me spontaneously as I want 

When you completely surrender yourselves to me
So that my wish becomes your law
And my love sustains your being.  


Age after age, many aspire for such a surrender
But only very few
Really attempt to surrender to me
Completely as I want.  


He who succeeds ultimately
Not only finds me
But becomes me
And realizes the aim of life.  


The final way to realize God is to love Him and to lose oneself in Him through intense longing for union with Him. To love God wholeheartedly is to lose oneself eventually in the Beloved and enter the eternal life of God. 


Like a tree, such love has branches -- branches of wholehearted devotion, perfect selfless service, self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-renunciation, self-annihilation, and truth. In this love are embodied all the yogas known to saint and seeker. The highest aspect of this love, which surpasses love itself, is that of complete surrender to the will of the Beloved. This means complete obedience to His wishes regardless of the cost . . .   


Meher Baba
From "Love and God", a discourse by Meher Baba published in Listen Humanity (1957,1985), pp. 189-190, copyright (1982) Avatar Meher Baba Trust
 'Sunrise" - Digital Artist:  Cherie Plumlee
7. Meher Mount is a Gateway to the Divine 
Sunset at Meher Mount - photo by Wayne Myers

Avatar Meher Baba has provided us with a gateway to our higher self through His presence. The people and places He has touched can help us feel His presence and bring us closer to Him. Meher Mount is one of those chosen places. It is a gateway that can lead toward the Divine in us all. Meher Mount is a 172-acre universal spiritual center dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba in Ojai, California. Visitors come to Meher Mount for pilgrimage, for celebrating Divine Love and Oneness, for loving God through nature, and for service.

♦ Avatar Meher Baba blessed Meher Mount with His presence when He visited on August 2, 1956. Upon His arrival, Meher Baba gestured and said, "I love Meher Mount very much and feel happy here."  With His visit, Meher Baba left an invisible fountain of spiritual energy that touches all who come to Meher Mount.

Blue skies and green meadows signal winter at Meher Mount. This is a view looking toward Baba's Tree with the Pacific Ocean in far background. (Wayne Myers photo)

Meher Baba's Touchstones

♦ A touch point for many visitors and the symbol of Meher Baba's visit is Baba's Tree, the Coast Live Oak on the brow of the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is for many, a means of remembering Him. ♦ Others find inspiration, solace and rejuvenation spending time under Baba's Tree. One visitor, knowing nothing about Meher Baba, referred to it as "that cathedral tree." ♦ Visitors also spend time near the fireplace that was part of the guest house where Meher Baba greeted visitors in 1956. This building and all others on the property were destroyed in the New Life Fire on October 14, 1985. The chimney is

Avatar Meher Baba touring Meher Mount
(August 2, 1956)

the only remaining artifact of Meher Baba's time.


A Pilgrimage Destination

♦ Meher Mount is a pilgrimage destination for followers of Avatar Meher Baba from all over the world. During His visit, Meher Baba told His followers, "You are so lucky to be with me so closely..." ♦ At the same time, Meher Mount attracts visitors who may know nothing of Meher Baba, but come because they have heard that Meher Mount is a spiritual place. Some visitors want to know more about Him, but most just seem to fall in love with the "feeling" of His place. ♦ For many, their visit to Meher Mount is the first time they hear Avatar Meher Baba's name. They appear to be drawn by His unseen hand to come closer into His orbit. It seems that Meher Baba uses Meher Mount to draw all of us closer to Him.

The Founding of Meher Mount 

♦ Meher Mount was founded in response to instructions from Avatar Meher Baba requesting that a retreat center be established one-to-two hours outside a major city. ♦ A serendipitous pull of destiny led founders Jean Adriel, author of Avatar, ♦ Alexander Markey, and Agnes Baron to the heights of Sulphur Mountain. As they motored through the Upper Ojai Valley, a curious stand of

Baba's Tree, a source of inspiration for many who visit Meher Mount. One visitor called it "that cathedral tree." (Wayne Myers photo.)
oak trees atop the mountain ridge caught the eye of Agnes Baron. ♦ She insisted they find their way up there. At the gate, Agnes jumped the fence to explore the area that would become Meher Mount. Escrow closed on the property on August 9, 1946. ♦ The group lived there for several years, conducting retreats and other spiritual activities, and receiving many visitors. Gradually all the permanent residents except Agnes moved away. Agnes Baron remained as caretaker of Meher Mount until her death in July 1994. ♦ At Meher Mount, Agnes faced one difficulty after another in managing and holding onto the property. ♦ At one point she wrote to Meher Baba describing a troublesome situation, stating, "If you want me to take care of Meher Mount, I will keep it for you through hell, fire and damnation!" Meher Baba replied that she should keep it for Him by all means, and He sent His love. ♦ Meher Baba first planned to visit Meher Mount in June 1952 for a 10-day stay. But during the cross-country drive from Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Meher Mount, Meher Baba was in an automobile accident near Prague, Oklahoma. ♦ When news of Meher Baba's accident reached Meher Mount, five of His men mandali (close disciples) already had arrived. The five - Adi K. Irani (Meher Baba's secretary), Meherjee Karkaria, Dr. Nilu, Dr. William Donkin and Gustadji Hansotia - spent the night and then drove to Prague to be with Meher Baba.
Avatar Meher Baba at Meher Mount on August 2, 1956, with co-founder Agnes Baron. During His visit, Meher Baba said, "I love Meher Mount very much and feel happy here." (Archive photo.)

Meher Baba Visits in 1956

♦ On August 2, 1956, Meher Baba spent the day at Meher Mount driving from Hollywood where He was staying. When all had arrived, Meher Baba called everyone into the guest house on the property, since burned down in the 1985 fire. ♦ He asked the group how they liked Meher Mount. One said, "It has a spiritual atmosphere."  Another said, "It compares to Meherabad Hill [in India where Meher Baba's Tomb Shrine is located]." A third commented on the lovely fragrance. Filis Frederick, who wrote the account of Meher Baba's trip in her publication The Awakener, said, "It reminds me of the hills of Assisi [in Italy where St. Francis lived]." ♦ Jeanne Shaw, a follower of Meher Baba, agreed, "It has instant appeal." Meher Baba nodded and added, "This land is very old, I have been here before." He never explained what He meant by that statement. Later Meher Baba remarked, "I will come here again."

Open to Visitors

♦ Meher Mount is open from Noon to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays to welcome visitors. All are welcome. Bring a picnic lunch, walk in the footsteps of the Avatar, and spend time enjoying the serene setting and beautiful landscape.

Margaret Magnus

Editor's Note:

Margaret Magnus is Communications Director for Meher Mount, and first visited Meher Mount in 1978. She has a B.A. in journalism from New York University and was a former owner/publisher of the magazine, website and e-newsletters for Workforce Management.
8. What's Happening at Meherabode Lately

He [Baba] wants His lovers and workers who are spreading His message of Love to others, to share His love among themselves and to uphold the spirit of harmony and understanding in His name.


Meher Baba   

(July 1968, via Adi K. Irani)    


Dear Companion-Friends in Meher Baba:


Amidst beginnings of the winter season, with chilling weather even in So. California, I send warm greetings, a hearty Jai Baba and grateful thoughts to all of you, wishing you well in His Love.  While this Gazette issue was being prepared, a vigorous storm rolled into Southern California and brought torrential rain, mudslides etc. In the severely drought-stricken State, the rainfall provided some relief. So it was a blessing by Baba and we thank Him for that. ♦ The life of Meherabode, the Beloved's Center, has been moving along with many changes in recent months. Baba has definitely sped it up while having His hand in the mix, fine-tuning and rebuilding His Meherabode in Los Angeles. This summer many fresh energies appeared in Meherabode's life and an abundance of energy is flowing at the Center.

One of the most exciting bits of news is about the formation of the Youth Discourses group.  It had to happen in Baba's timing, as we tried to attract younger lovers of God in the past and it simply did not happen. But now it's happening! They meet once a week, read and discuss a new Discourse, drawn chronologically from Meher Baba's collected Discourses.

They approach Baba's Discourses as a source of perfect guidance for navigating today's complex world. Each week after the group discussion, a report is posted to the Youth Discourses Facebook page. We're delighted to host this fresh, energetic group of "old souls in young bodies" at Meherabode.


♦ We enjoyed a love feast gathering at the three-day annual "Silence Day" Sahavas held at Meherabode in early July. The theme this year was "Make Me your Constant Companion", our guest speaker was Mehera Arjani, who met Meher Baba frequently in her childhood; and our guest musician was Adrienne Shamszad, a young, gifted singer-songwriter from the Bay Area. We feel Baba chooses His own guests and arranges everything. How we were able to invite, fly in, and host Mehera from the sacred region of Meherazad, only Baba knows. Mehera shared many tales from her life with Baba since her childhood. She also shared about the importance of repeating Meher Baba's name in our daily lives, and emphasized the view that the only way to surrender to Baba wholeheartedly is to constantly repeat His name. Adrienne Shamszad delighted us with many songs celebrating Beloved Baba and His creation. Everyone had such a great time. A more detailed report on this Sahavas will be shared in the next Gazette issue early next year.

 Another notable Meherabode event was the Brainstorming Town Hall Community Meeting, held in September. This get-together was intended, in part, as a forum for sharing ideas and discussing ways we might develop and improve the life of our Center as a vibrant Baba community.  The meeting went so well and many members enthusiastically shared their suggestions for the Center with helpful feedback on how the Board of directors might improve the its efforts. We plan to hold a sequel Town Hall community meeting next year.

♦ Meher Baba's "New Life", as a special phase of Baba's spiritual work, was explored in two weekly programs by Ed Flanagan, who dipped into the treasury of experiences, ideas, and stories comprising Baba's New Life. ♦ We then had a full month of reading, exploring, and discussing the main concepts in Meher Baba's book God Speaks in October. It started with the Annual All-Day Out-Loud God Speaks Read-a-Thon!, where the whole book (excluding the Supplement) was read (in 30 minute segments) by many participants, all day. ♦ Ward Parks, the scholar of Meher Baba literature, treated us to a 4-day/ 2-weekend God Speaks Immersion Seminar. Ward covered many aspects of God Speaks, and noted that God Speaks will surely serve as a major foundation in future centuries whenever human beings try to fathom their place in the cosmos and their relation to the Supreme Reality. The power of Baba's words and a little grasp of His cosmology proved so powerful and intoxicating to some of the participants. Ward shared how this book is a huge revelation by the Avatar of the age about the spiritual mechanics of Creation, called by Meher Baba The Divine Theme. In a future Gazette issue, we will include highlights from an interview with Ward, covering some details of his exposition.

 Meherabode is felt by many to be among the loveliest of Centers devoted to Meher Baba in the United States. It is a secluded one-acre sanctuary in a residential area a bit south of Hollywood, nestled among mansions from the
The Dome
1920's with the elegance and style of that period. There is a serene atmosphere and palpable presence of Baba's sweetness amid the lovely gardens, along the walking paths, and within the cozy meditation chapel called the Dome. Meherabode's large Meeting Hall is the perfect setting for talks; and Meher Baba Books (our bookstore) is nearby (located just through the glass doors). Meherabode also features a little Tea House with a small kitchen for intimate chats with friends, and a large outdoor area for al fresco dining where you can enjoy the generally lovely Southern California climate. 

 I cordially invite you to a virtual tour of Meherabode. Enjoy your visit.
Meherabode Tour (YouTube slide show)

♦ As we move through this happy holiday season, I hope you are feeling the Baba connection with Meherabode and visit us more in coming years. We have regular programs designed to greet His lovers on Sundays, where He keeps His love for each one of us to experience, by His grace. Looking forward to greet you and embrace you in His Love. Meanwhile keep happy, be content in life, surrender to His will, and remain cheerful. ♦ Oh and before I forget, as Baba says: Don't worry, Be Happy!


Yours truly,

Mahoo Ghorbani 
AMBCSC President

9. AMBCSC Archives:  Update on Beloved Baba's
      Sadra Case at Meherabode


♦ On behalf of AMBCSC Archives, I am delighted to announce that the Dome Sadra case, which holds Beloved Baba's garment, has been completely refurbished and beautified.  The Sadra itself was a gift to our Center by Jack Small, who received it from the hands of Mehera, who told him it had been worn by Beloved Baba. The Sadra rests in the Sadra case in "Mehera's room" in the Dome. ♦ It had lately been discovered that atmospheric moisture in the Dome was entering the case and causing damage to the interior of the case compartment, placing the Sadra at risk.  Meherabode member Ken Pellman spearheaded the refurbishment project and donated funds to cover all materials and labor, so there was no cost to Archives or to the AMBCSC. Ken worked closely with local wood craftsman and artist Harold Greene, whom he has known and worked with for over 20 years. Harold specializes in the design, handcrafting and preservation of fine wood furniture and pieces of art.
♦ Some details about the Sadra case and project:
  1. The Sadra case is made of Honduran Mahogany. (The wood was refinished using a matte polyurethane finish of the same color to retain an appearance and color as close to the original as possible.)
  2. The lower compartment in the case contains a board covered with archival cloth and the Sadra rests on this surface. The original wood was made of a particle board that contained formaldehyde. This has been replaced with a product called medite which is a neutral material made into very dense particle board. The material that covers the medite board surface is a charcoal-colored muslin cloth, made of the highest archival quality, the same material used in museums throughout the country. Additional pH neutral plywood and coatings were used in the interior of the case.
  3. To monitor and absorb moisture, two moisture meters are being used (externally and internally) as well as a gel material which will absorb moisture within the cabinet.
  4. A new lock was installed to secure the case and protect the Sadra.

The goal in this project has been to achieve the highest archive standard possible. Ken and Harold have tried to keep the design simple and to retain the original appearance of the case. The Sadra will now be protected and can be monitored by members of the Archive Committee. The box prior to being refurbished was much more exposed to conditions inside the building. This is a progressive step but ultimately a possible HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) could further protect the Sadra, Baba's Chair, and other treasures within the Dome.

The Sadra Case, containing a sadra (loose cotton shirt) worn by Meher Baba, is installed in "Mehera's Room" in the Dome (a small prayer/meditation structure on the grounds of Meherabode in Los Angeles). In these photos, a small bronze statue of Mehera is glimpsed in the foreground at the right side.

We are grateful to have been a part of this great undertaking and invite everyone to visit the Dome and behold Beloved Baba's Sadra in its beautiful new case.


To share your impressions and ideas or to participate in or contribute to a future Archive project, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Sonya Valentine
Archives Chairperson
10. Surrendering to Meher Baba 
Another dimension of the Avataric path involves surrender. In one sense surrender is the culmination of loving and obeying the Master:
♦ Love is a gift from God to man, obedience is a gift from master to man, and surrender is a gift from man to master. The one who loves, desires to do the will of the beloved, and seeks union with the beloved. Obedience performs the will of the beloved and seeks the pleasure of the beloved. Surrender resigns to the will of the beloved and seeks nothing.[33]
♦ The easiest and safest way to lose one's finite ego is by completely surrendering to the Perfect Master.... Such complete surrenderance to the Perfect Master is, in itself, Freedom.[34]
♦ A unique surrender to the Master occurs when

the lover surrenders completely to Christ, to the Avatar, to the God-Man. He lives, not for himself, but for the Master. This is the highest type of lover.[35]


♦ The notion of surrender may be disturbing to seekers who value their independence. However, when an aspirant realizes that true liberation is "surrenderance of the false and the inheritance of the Truth," surrender becomes consistent with independence and real freedom of choice.


To be a disciple of a Perfect One never involves the surrender of the right to think and feel and act by oneself. It does not mean ceasing to be true to the inner voice of the Highest Self within. On the contrary, discipleship of a Perfect One facilitates the pursuit of that Higher Self.[36]


♦ Understandably, Meher Baba invited his lovers to try to surrender to him:


If you seek to live perpetually, then crave for the death of your "deceptive self" at the hands of "Complete Surrender" to me. This Yoga is the Essence of all yogas in one. . . . To realize this Truth of Unchangeable, indivisible, All-pervading Existence, the simplest way is to surrender to Me completely; so completely that you are not even conscious of your surrender....[37]


Completely surrender yourselves to me so that my wish becomes your law and my love sustains your being.... He who succeeds, ultimately not only finds me, but becomes me and realises the aim of life.[38]


♦ To his lovers, Baba suggested ways of practicing surrender:

I want you all to listen very carefully to what I say. It appears so simple, yet it is so very important for My lovers. To love Me is to lose yourself in Me and to find Me as your own Self is to leave all your pleasures and pains to Me. (39) Be resigned completely to my Will and my Will will be yours. (40) If you do wrong, think Baba is doing wrong. If you get a pain, think it is Baba having a pain. If you do all this sincerely, you will know something and forget yourself and do all for Baba.[41]


♦ There are three interrelated elements in the aspirant's attempted surrender to Meher Baba. The first includes a resignation to everything as Baba's will. Such resignation does not imply passivity or apathy -- Baba usually encouraged enthusiastic energy in worldly duties. It means being able to leave the results of one's best efforts to Baba, trying not to get ego-involved in success or failure. It also includes trust in Baba, a confidence that all ev:ents, positive or negative, can be helpful for spiritual growth


I want you to remain undisturbed and unshaken by the force of life's currents, for whatever the circumstances, they too will be of my own creation. If you endure your lot with patience and contentment, accepting it as His will, you are loving God.[42]


♦ A second facet of the process of surrender involves making Baba the nucleus of one's activities, creating a "provisional ego" -- adopting the attitude of doing things for Baba, not for oneself. The objective is not to enhance the ego, but to give it up:


Seek me not to extricate you from your predicaments, but find me to surrender yourself wholeheartedly to my Will.... Do not ask me to bless you with a good job, but desire to serve me more diligently and honestly without expectation of reward. Never beg of me to save your life or the lives of your dear ones, but beg of me to accept you and permit you to lay down your life for me. Never expect me to cure you of your bodily afflictions, but beseech me to cure you of your ignorance.[43]


A third aspect involves realizing the near impossibility of total and complete surrender to Baba while aspiring to surrender, starting to build the creative habit of resignation, fostering internal dependence on Baba as one's real Self. Surrendering to the Avatar has always been a private, internal process. It need not be affected by Meher Baba's physical passing.


♦ Taken together, the trinity of love, obedience, and surrender forms a basic unity on the path of the God-Man:


One who loves, is the lover of the beloved. One who obeys is the beloved of the beloved. One who surrenders all -- body, mind and all else -- has no existence other than that of the beloved, who alone exists in him. Therefore greater than love is obedience, and greater than obedience is surrender. And yet, as words, all three can be summed up in one phrase - love-divine.[44]

Allan Y. Cohen

The Mastery of Consciousness, pp. 94-96, Meher Baba, ed. Allan Y. Cohen

1977 � Ira G. Deitrick
Meher Baba quotations 1977 � Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust
(33)  The Awakener Magazine, vol. 4, no. 3 (1957), p.17.
(34)  Quoted in Charles Purdom, The God-Man, p. 344.
(35)  Quoted ibid., p. 356.
(36)  Quoted in Mani Irani, Family Letters, no. 53, p. 3.
(37)  The Awakener Magazine, vol. 2, no. 3, (1955), p. 81.
(38)  Quoted in Mani Irani, Family Letters, no. 52, p. 2.
(39)  Quoted in Charles Purdom, The God-Man, p. 392.
(40)  Quoted ibid., p. 260.
(41)  Listen, Humanity, p. 224.
(42)  Ibid.
(43)  Divya Vani, vol. 1, no. 8, (1966), p. 42.
(44)  Listen, Humanity, p. 227.

Editor's Note:

Allan Y. Cohen, who received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Harvard University, initially contacted Meher Baba in the mid-1960s. Allan has given many hundreds of talks on university campuses and elsewhere throughout the United States. His professional research has included a focus on substance abuse prevention. A popular speaker at gatherings of Baba-lovers, Allan makes his home in Washington, DC.
11. Meher Baba Books Update

am equally approachable to one and all,
big and small. 
To saints who rise and to sinners who fall,

Through all the various paths that give

the Divine Call.

I am approachable alike to saint whom I adore
And to sinner whom I am for,
And equally through Sufism, Vedantism, Christianity,
Or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, and other "isms"

Of any kind and also directly through no medium of "isms" at all! 


Avatar Meher Baba (1952)

(Lord Meher, revised online, p. 3110)

Greetings from the City of Angels (Los Angeles):

Wishing you and your dear ones well in Beloved Baba's serene presence and the warmth of His love. It feels as if the urge of spreading Baba's message of Love and Truth is getting stronger and stronger. No doubt, Baba Himself is behind it all. As Eruch said '"His Love, which is for all alike, should spread and envelop all without discrimination and the Prasad of His Love can only be achieved by exemplary lives of love and humility led by His lovers." So His work is our opportunity. May we cherish the moments of this time and  live the life of love, humility, and sincerity. 


 It is our pleasure to offer books, literature, images, and other means and media that reflect on Baba's life in this advent.  Our bookstore offers a wide array of books by and about Meher Baba for Baba-lovers and the general public, including Meher Baba's primary works as well as diverse books published in America, India, and other parts of the globe. Also on offer are materials in other media -- CDs, DVDs, photographs, cards, buttons, lockets, and other specialized objects. The first Meher Baba Centers in Southern California were bookstores, which opened spontaneously in several cities (Pasadena, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach) in the late 1960s and early 1970s; these were followed by the Love Street Bookstore for several decades.  Meher Baba Books is the successor to all those ventures. Its physical location is a charming space adjacent to our Meeting Hall at Meherabode in the heart of Los Angeles. The recent phase has seen a fresh wave of newcomers to our Bookstore, in tandem with our regular Sunday programs and also coordinated with the new initiative of periodic concerts held at Meherabode. Meanwhile, our online bookstore draws customers from around the globe, including Iran, Iraq, India, Norway, Austria, Canada, Australia, England, Egypt, Turkey and more.  Seekers from East, West, North and South of the US contact us, inquiring about Meher Baba books and other Baba-related items.


Most recently Baba has inspired us to reflect on His majestic and powerful words by way of sending a mini-circular offering a selection of His words for collective reflection. This weekly circular, a newborn, is just 7 weeks old! -- and already it is blinking its eyes, making sounds, moving its limbs, and breathing the breath of life.  In case you have not yet seen it, you can browse through these past blasts of Weekly Reflections from Meher Baba Books:


No. 1 / No. 2 / No. 3 / No. 4 / No. 5 / No. 6


In His Love and Service,

Mahoo Ghorbani, Bookstore-walli 
12. Happy Birthday, Mehera!
(traditionally celebrated on December 22)
Artist:  Charlie Mills

As we go to (virtual) press with this Winter issue, the sun has just crossed the nadir point of its annual sojourn with Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year) and begins the path of return. We salute dear Mehera, the Beloved's Beloved on the occasion of her birthday, recognizing her unique role in the silent, divine drama of the Avatar of this age. Jai Baba!
A Heartfelt Acknowledgement 
Thanks to all contributors. Our deep gratitute to the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, to the greater Los Angeles Meher Baba community, and to Baba-lovers and God-seekers near and far throughout the world, who we hope might find things worthwhile to read, contemplate, and enjoy herein. May all beings be happy!

Happy holidays to all, and soon -- Happy New Year!

In Beloved Baba's love,
The Editors
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