Symbols of the world's religions



Judith Garbett

Late one afternoon in February 1989 I went up the Hill and into the Samadhi to greet Baba, staying for just a few minutes as there was no space to sit on the floor inside. Then I walked over to the women's graves and across to the pets'.

I thought about going to see Mansari, but she wasn't in her room, so I walked all round the compound after stopping a while beside Baba's gadi. It was always a happy occupation to walk in that area so filled with Baba's Presence and think about all the women who were there with Him.

Before long I started walking again in the direction of the Samadhi to be in good time for Arti, and met Mansari bringing lanterns for the 'tin shed' verandah. I walked across with her, and as we reached it she said something about the date, and I commented it was only a week to Baba's Birthday. 'The 95th' she said, and I mentioned having been there for the 90th which was a wonderful occasion.

While Mansari was hanging the lantern near the gadi I said I always loved being near it, and she told me how they all used to sit round Baba there. She said, 'He would tell stories, crack jokes, crack the ego!' and gave her characteristic little laugh at this.

When the lanterns were lit, Baba would say 'Here is My light, now we will have Arti.' They would stand around Him with the platter and sing — always the Gujarati Arti — then He would call each one to bow down to Him and He would hug them, that was all.

They would all walk together to the compound gate where they would wave Him goodbye as He walked to His cabin, went up the steps to the doorway, turned and waved to them again. It was a lovely word-picture she gave me.

Mansari said they performed Arti every day on the Hill, using the small tray with a wick in ghee and camphor which was lit and then waved during the singing. Khorshed's mother Soonamasi prepared the tray and lit it, and Gulmai waved it in front of Baba. They never had Arti in the mornings.

But on the Blue Bus tours they had to take the Arti tray in case Baba would ask for it, and Mansari recalled that He did so on various occasions but not regularly.


LIVES OF LOVE, Mansari, p. 7
1998 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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