Monday, January 31, 2011

"Baba wept while listening to Robeson"

It shows what I miss for years and years when I just see stars and names I think I understand. Books I pretend to have read or think I've read and people I think I know. People I missed meeting , missed knowing because of my own fear and laziness.

There they have been.


All along.

And I had no idea.

Baba gave me this gift on the 42nd remembrance of when he dropped the body. Our little son carries a small framed picture of Baba and usually leaves it in front of the Happy Birthday poster or he chews on the corners and hides it with his stacking toys. He knows him better than I do.

Less yelling and less talking now.

For seven days following his passing away, people from all religions, creeds and castes, from the East and the West, entered Baba’s samadhi (tomb) for a final glimpse of his body before his coffin was sealed. And from April to June 1969, the Great, last darshan that he had promised took place in Poona and at the samadhi. Thousands, including many young westerners who had just heard about him, came to sing in devotion or sit in silence. Though it was the end of Meher Baba’s physical presence on earth, these darshans signified the continuation of humanity’s yearning for God.

THAT FIRST DAY, many people came to see Meher Baba. Among them were Maggie Barton, Kitty and Herbert's older sister Martha May Cluse, Horace Fleming and a Japanese jujitsu teacher named Koizumi. Baba met them all individually and then stopped seeing visitors, deciding to have a private meeting with Herbert, Meredith, Kitty, Margaret and a few others. During this occasion, Paul Robeson records were played.
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.4 p1410

2nd Oct. 1931
During this last night, Kitty, May, Delia, Margaret, Kim, Minta, Tod and Purdom stayed with Baba until one in the morning. They wept most of the time in Baba's presence. Baba looked so beautiful and they were so sorrowful at his departure. Addressing the mandali, their hearts sobbed, "You are taking our beloved Baba away! Don't be cruel! Don't take him with you. Let him stay here with us." After records of Paul Robeson's songs were played, Baba dismissed the group.
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.4 p1453

18th Dec. 1931
On December 18th 1931, Baba, Chanji and Agha Ali boarded the English ship S. S. Narkunda for their voyage to India. Baba had taken the Paul Robeson records back with him and would have them played in his cabin. On December 23rd, it was observed that Baba wept while listening to Robeson sing Feed My Sheep – thinking of the new lovers he had left behind and their grief at his departure.
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.4 p1510

May 1932, Baba would occasionally take walks on the deck outside for an hour in the morning and evening, and he played ping-pong with one of his companions. Every afternoon, he visited the movie theater on board. Otherwise, Baba remained in his cabin, either discussing future plans with the mandali, listening to Paul Robeson records, or having general or private meetings with Tod, Meredith and Margaret.
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.5 p1614

Mid May 1932
They had brought the gramophone and played Hawaiian and Spanish records and the songs of Paul Robeson. Baba gave them wine to drink and told them that when a Master distributed wine, it had special significance.

They had another picnic on August 11th in Portofino. For his gopis, the times in Santa Margherita were happy and enjoyable days in their Beloved's company. It was a very intimate time. Every day, Baba would sit on the rocks by the seashore as the group sun-bathed and talked. Once, while they were discussing books, Baba smiled and gestured, "Learn to read me, for when you understand me, you will understand everything!"
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.5 p1614

May 1937
Before leaving that afternoon, Baba called the Westerners into the living room and asked Tom Sharpley to play some phonograph records. After listening to a few, Baba indicated he would like to hear a certain song by Paul Robeson. Baba then instructed the group, "As you listen to the music, try to picture me hanging on the cross. Try to visualize it. Don't force it; just try to see it in your mind's eye."
Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.6 p2174

Numerous records were played on Baba's first day in London at Kitty Davy's family home on the 12th September 1931.
Paul Robeson songs played were ; "Steal Away, Steal Away to Jesus " , "Swing Low, Swing Chariot " , " My Lord, What a Morning", "Hear the Lambs A'Crying ".

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Blogger grace said...

Interesting post.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

I know! You'd think after years of having Baba in my life and being a Paul Robeson historian/activist. I'd have made a connection somewhere!

4:55 AM  
Blogger par.nordstrom said...

Beaut Baba post , Amanda ! No more words needed , really ... XX

P.S. Couldn´t help chucklin when I read abt Albie´s ´oral worship ´. Kids are so...basic ?

D.S. Melanie Safka : ´Meher Baba lives again ! ´ . ( from ´Candles in the Rain ´) .


5:51 AM  

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