16 to 30 September 2017.


Jai Meher Baba to you all!


Saturday 16 September.  I went up the hill by 5:00 am to clean Mani’s shrine.  It has been raining so much that I had to first sponge off the shrine of all the rainwater before cleaning it.  All the stones around the graves are soaked, so not wearing soaks is a must.


I then took darshan in the Samadhi when the doors opened.  However, first when the doors open all the garlands are removed from the day before.  Then the many layers of covers are folded and put aside.  Finally, the final cover that is on the marble itself is folded and put to one side.  That final cover is the permanent cover that is strong like canvas.  Then a temporary cloth is laid for the pilgrims to take darshan until 6:00 am when the cleaning begins.  This is when I take my darshan before continuing to clean in Baba’s Cabin Room.


After cleaning, I took a walk to the MPR and then back to my room.  On the way to the MPR, I met Jesse Massa, who lives in the cottage behind the Samadhi.  He takes care of all the trees and plants on Meherabad Hill.  We were talking about the months of rain we have had.  He told me all the wells are full now from so much rain. 





Kitty Muir, who lives in Lower Meherabad, sent the photo of the weather.  As you can see at 8:30 pm it was 80 degrees F, and our rain up to this point since June was 26.78 inches.




Sunday 17 September.  I went up the hill to walk to the MPR and back to my room.  It is hard walking on a lot of the dirt roads because of so many muddy puddles.  I try to walk at the edge of the dirt roads, just where the grass meets it (weeds really if they are allowed to grow).  It is not easy to find dry areas, or more to the point, not easy to find non-muddy places to put my feet.


All along the front of Lower Meherabad, near the road, are planted new trees.  Chicken wire is put around the young trees to help keep the animals from eating them.




On Sunday afternoon, twice a month, we go live on YouTube with our Worldwide Meher Baba Family Meeting.  We usually go from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  We have been having these meetings at Zahar’s house for the past four years.  Zahra’s house is only about five minutes down the hill from the Samadhi, so it is a perfect place to have them. 


Now that we are on YouTube, we changed are timing and the number of Sunday’s per month.  We used to do the live webcast every Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.  When we switched to YouTube we decided to change things so it would work better for us.  We either have a guest who has been with Meher Baba when He was still in the body, or we have people share their Baba Stories. 


This Sunday’s guest was Dr. Digamber Gadekar, whose father was one of Meher Baba’s early mandali, and is buried in Lower Meherabad.  We don’t know what went wrong, but we could not get the webcam to work with our YouTube.  We just could not get them to connect (days later Zahra was able to get the webcam on her computer to work.  Within a week together we got mine to also work.  Of course the solution was a simple one that we just had wrong).


Even though we were unable to go live at the time on YouTube, we always video our guest with a video camera.  So, when we get these tapes on a pin-drive we will upload them to our YouTube site.  It is really wonderful now how anyone can see the live webcast videos on YouTube, and be able to watch whenever it is convenient.






Dr. Gadekar is a soft-spoken, kind man.  The photo on the right is of his father with Meher Baba.


Monday 18 September.  I was planning to leave for Pune by 6:00 am.  However, since I didn’t have time to pack the day before, I had to do most of it in the morning.  I left a little after 6:30. 


I was happy to drive my new car to Pune for the first time.  It is a used Honda made in 2011, but it is new to me.  My old car was manual.  Meaning every window had to be rolled up by hand.  Every door had to be locked by hand.  I had to lean over and roll down the window to adjust the side-view mirrors.  I did have a radio and AC, though the CD player didn’t work.  The worst part of my old car was I sometimes locked myself out!  You had to push the button down and hold the handle to lock it.  Yes, I could lock it with the key, but it was easer to just push the button down.  Oh, and my trunk had a separate lock, so I had to have a separate key.  It was when I locked myself out up at the Samadhi last summer before leaving for the States that I said ‘that is it!’  I decided right then and there when I returned from the States I would buy a newer car—one with buttons to have the window go up and down; one that had a ‘lock and unlock’ button on the key; and, one that I could charge my IPhone.  Those were my requirements.


My new ‘used car’ I bought in early July had all my requirements.  So, I feel I’m living in luxury.  There is a button for everything!  And the trunk opens up whenever the car is unlocked; I don’t need to use a key.  My car drives so smooth and it is so quiet.  The drive to Pune was enjoyable.




Zahra went to Pune later in the day, catching a ride with someone on their way to Mumbai.  We met up later at Dorabji’s, a store many residents shop at because it has International food and is pretty modern.  Zahra saw one of the Meherabad residents shopping, though I did not.  Dorabji’s is about a ten-minute walk


We stayed overnight at The Lotus, a hotel in the Koregaon area, another place many residents stay.  They give Baba Lovers a discount.    


Tuesday 19 September.  Zahra and I walked to Starbucks, which is about 1 ½ miles away.  On the way we stopped at Inlux Hospital to pick up a medical report for one of the Meherabad residents.  This is one of the hospitals Bhauji used to go to.  We took a rickshaw back to the hotel because we had a lot to do.


Wednesday 20 September.  I walked up the muddy path to the Samadhi, where I cleaned both Mehera and Mani’s shrines.  After taking darshan, I prepared everything for my Prasad duty that would start at 6:30 AM.  Then I went to clean Baba’s Cabin Room.


In the afternoon, it rained so hard that Kitty looked at her measure and it showed it rained one inch per hour!  It continued to rain heavy for at least four hours!  I took a couple of photos of my back and front yard as it flooded from the rain.  The rain continued all night long.  Residents who have lived in Meherabad for around forty years said they had not seen rain like that before, or at least for most of the time they lived here.





Thursday 21 September.  I had both cleaning and Prasad duty to do.  Since everything was so muddy and hard to walk anywhere because of all the mud and puddles, I decided to drive up the hill.


Everything was soaked up the hill, the shrines, the stones, the whole area around the Samadhi.  After cleaning Mani’s shrine and Baba’s Cabin Room, I was ready for Prasad duty.  It was so humid and sticky.  You could feel your clothes sticking to you.




In Lower Meherabad, the ditches in front of the Hostels were so flooded the water overflowed onto the dirt road.




When I got down the hill from morning duty, I got ready for Meherazad.  When I got there I helped get everything ready for the pilgrims.  There are two little sparrows that hang around the verandah of the house, trying to get inside to make a nest.  They are so persistent that the screen door has to be kept shut when the pilgrims are not there.  It is cute to see them in action, but it is not cute for those at Meherazad who have to shoo them away.




On the verandah of the small cottage where Mani used to write her Family Letters, there are now sawhorses holding up the signs that are being painted.  These signs are in English and Hindi.  They are for a school that will open when it is ready.  It is in the fenced area, on the left side of the Meherazad entrance approach road.  The signs were being painted by two pilgrims from Argentina; one of who may soon become a resident.










It wasn’t busy at Meherazad, so I went home early, but first stopping for lunch.  Later, around 8:00 PM it once again started to rain.


Friday 22 September.  I woke early to go for my walk to the MPR and back.  When I was on the back dirt road behind the Samadhi, I wasn’t paying too much attention in front of me because I have gotten in the habit of listening to Podcasts while walking.  Fortunately for me I was looking down because it is very muddy from all the rain.


Well, again it happened!  I noticed the back half of a Krait moving into the tall grass.  I tried to get my phone out from the purse I keep it in when I walk so I could take a picture.  All I could manage to get was the very tip of the end.  When I looked at the photo there wasn’t enough to tell it from a dark spot.  This is twice in the past couple of weeks that I have almost stepped on a krait on the muddy dirt roads of Meherabad.


Saturday 23 September.  I went up the hill early to clean Mani’s shrine, take darshan in the Samadhi, and then clean Baba’s Cabin Room before going for my walk.  When I got back to my room I thought I would relax and do some reading.


Suddenly I realized it was 9:00 AM and the Tour of Lower Meherabad was at 10:00.  Though I have stopped giving it anymore, I still clean the Jhopdi and Table House every week so it will look clean for the Tour.  Normally, I clean them on Friday, when I have more time.  Sometimes, when I’m busy, I will do it Saturday morning when I come back down the hill from cleaning.  I had forgotten I didn’t clean them yet, and now the Tour was in one hour.


So much for ‘resting’.  I put the cleaning things in my car and drove to the Jhopdi.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to clean, so I was done in plenty of time.


Near the Meher Pilgrim Center in Lower Meherabad, there were two big buses full of pilgrims from Mumbai, about 100 of them.  Jimmy Khan, a Baba Lover, now brings busloads of pilgrims from Mumbai who are followers of Zoroaster.  Most are Parsis’, who had fled Iran around 1400 years ago because of Islam’s force conversion.  They were so against Baba in the early years of Baba’s Avataric mission.  It is really beautiful, because now they really come by the busloads, and fall in love with Baba.


Robin is one of our part-time residents.  She lives in the USA most of the year, and comes to Meherabad for a number of months each year to volunteer.  She and her husband have been building a two-story house near the Samadhi for the past several years.  Though the house is not totally complete, it was complete enough to move in, which she did the other day.


In the afternoon at 4:00 PM, Robin had a house-warming tea for women only.  It was a lovely gathering, with Baba’s photo being garlanded and His Arti said.  Then we had snacks and tea.





Sunday 24 September.  I woke up early and went for my walk to the MPR and back.  Again we had rain.  In fact, when Robin and I were driving to Meherazad the rain was coming down so hard, some of the roads were flooded, and it was difficult to drive.  I pulled over when my phone rang.  It was from Shelley saying Meherazad was closed because of the heavy rain, and Jal had already cancelled the buses.  We were already on the way because we go early to help.  We just turned around and headed back Meherabad.


Monday 25 September.  I woke early, and after putting my two German Shepherds outside, I walked up the hill.  I had made my bed about four feet off the floor so my two big dogs can sleep underneath.  I live in one room only, so one must make the best of what space they have.  I share a kitchen, small bathing room and small toilet room.


Tuesday 26 September.  I went up the hill to take darshan at the Samadhi and walk to the MPR before returning to my room.  By the time I was returning to my room, as I passed the Samadhi there were so many pilgrims.  At the Hostels alone there were 145 from some villages up North.  You could tell a number of them had not seen Westerners before.  


There were several residents riding in my car to help out at Meherazad.  Bevan, Sandy, Zahra, and Robin fit nicely since I now have a larger car.  We got there in time to help remove the covers over the windows, open the windows, turn on the lights and make everything ready.


When the rush of pilgrims came to take darshan in Baba’s room and walked through the house, most went into Mandali Hall for the musical program they put on.  So, there were almost none later on the verandah except a young couple and we residents.


The young couple had a sweet ‘coming to Baba’ story.  The young man said he found Baba on the Internet.  Since he was so mental in his thinking he had many questions; Baba seemed to answer those questions.  So, he decided he wanted to go to Meherabad.  His new wife had no interest and would not come.  He became a Baba lover and came more than once.  He is a thoughtful, soft-spoken, serious man, who doesn’t smile much.  His new bride was troubled that he seldom smiled and showed no romantic expressions.  The husband, I think, said he was a computer programmer, or something along those lines.  He would try to talk his wife into coming with him.  But, she continued to express absolutely no interest.  This went on for some time.


Finally, his wife was desperate enough to agree to go to Meherabad—under one condition; he must smile more and become more romantic if she went!  And it was with this in her mind she went.  They parked in Lower Meherabad and walked up the hill.  No sooner did she cross the railroad tracks then she felt some overpowering energy. 


When the wife went into the Samadhi to take darshan, as she was bowing down, she burst into tears!  She could not control the tears.  She sat there sobbing and sobbing.  I think she said this went on for close to half an hour.  Her heart was completely flooded with Baba’s love.  As she finally was able to go out of the Samadhi her heart was His.  She felt such love and acceptance.


Wednesday 27 September.  This was a busy morning for me.  I was up the hill by 5:00 AM to clean.   I was surprised to see already there were maybe ten pilgrims sitting on the Saha Madap.  Pilgrims are normally not allowed to sit in the portico until 5:30 AM.


This was my morning to clean Mehera and Mani’s shrines.  I have them done by the time the Samadhi doors opened at 5:45 AM.  I got everything ready for my Prasad duty that starts at 6:30, than I went to clean Baba’s Cabin Room.


I thought most of the 265 pilgrims would arrive later in the day, but it looked like many were already here because as I started giving out Prasad the line kept getting longer and longer.  Someone told me the Andhra House had 75 pilgrims.  Baba Lovers from Andhra Pradesh built the Andhra House.  It is down the hill, about a ten-minute walk from the Samadhi.


I was planning to do my Archive cleaning of the Samadhi right after Arti was over.  When I saw all those pilgrims I wondered, how it would be possible?  But, to my amazement, as soon as Arti was over all those pilgrims left for breakfast!  There were only a handful of pilgrims during the time I cleaned the Samadhi.


Robin called me later in the afternoon to tell me Shelley wanted us early at Meherazad because Jal was sending the buses there starting at 10:00 AM.  Robin and I decided to leave at 9:00 AM so we could get there by 9:40.


Thursday28.  I was up the hill by 5:00 AM to clean Mani’s shrine and prepare for Prasad duty at 6:30 AM.  When I was finished cleaning Baba’s Room, I went to the Samadhi for Prasad duty.  It was so busy!  With around 265 pilgrims, I had others help me give Prasad.  On special holidays, or birthdays, pilgrims bring special Prasad.  This day there were several different kinds of Prasad. 265 pilgrims.


Friday 29 September.  There was a huge rainstorm with thunder and lightening!  Then we had such a downpour.  We have been having so many downpours.


I realized I never included photos of the installment of the marble dedication at the Memorial Tower that took place on 6 September.  This dedication was given by Baba in 1944.  His complete words are engraved in marble for the people of the future.   I have found the building of this Memorial Tower so deeply moving, that during the years I was giving the Tour of Lover Meherabad I would end it at the Tower.   So, I will take this opportunity to show the installment.












Now, I will show the Dedication.  I hope you can read it, for it is very beautiful.  I ask you to forgive the photos in such strange positions.  I’m trying to learn how to adjust them, and I guess it will take time.








Saturday 30 September.  I went up the hill to clean Mani’s shrine, take darshan at the Samadhi, and then clean Baba’s Cabin Room.  When I was all through, I walked to the MPR and back to my room.  There is no end to the mud; thought the rain didn’t come until late afternoon. 


This was a special day to Hindu’s.  It is Dessara.  This is the day to offer homage to all tools you use to earn a living, or that is helpful to you.  So, all the Meherabad workers wash all their tools before putting special colored rangolis around all door entrances.  The tools are garlanded and marigolds are put everywhere.  They will also break a coconut for good luck.  Oh, they will also give out a special dessert.


It is a very sweet holiday.  The Indian people put a lot of respect in so many areas.


In Beloved Baba’s sweet love,


Judy Stephens