1932 Visit to California
** Click on the under-lined names to visit the respective pages
The final leg of the journey between El Paso TX. and Los
Angeles,CA. was on the Southern Pacific Line train.
DAY ONE IN LOS ANGELES
IN BRIEF :
Meher Baba's train arrived at Alhambra Railway Station in Los Angeles at 8:30 am on Sunday 29th May 1932.
From there, Meher Baba and his entourage were driven in 2-3 cars to 3 different destination in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Baba told Quentin that night that he wasn't happy with the accommodation, especially Meredith insisting on sleeping on the floor in his room. After several days, Baba sent the Starrs' to Oceano north of Los Angeles on the coast . They decided to stay there for well over a year in that location.
At 1PM, Baba held a press conference for the news services.
7PM : A reception for leaders of local groups was held.
*** It is not know where the conference and reception were held. Interviews were held at the Jones
2400 North Gower Street Hollywood, CA.
Steve Cubine the current owner of this property kindly supplied the images above of his backyard where Meher Baba was photographed in his white suit and alphabet board.
Marc E. Jones b. 1st Oct. 1889 St.Louis, Missouri d. 3rd May 1980 ( 91 )
- he and his wife Pricilla had 2 children.
Read the letter at the end of this chapter from Josephine Ross to Meher Baba.
Marc wrote 48 stories mostly for films. The last one was for the film "Skin Deep" (1929), which Baba saw in Hong Kong on 1st July 1932, less than 4 weeks after Marc drove Baba and his men to the Los Angeles wharf on 4th June for them to travel to the Orient.
Meher Baba's entourage / companions
Reaching Los Angeles at 8:30 A.M. on Sunday, 29 May 1932, Baba went to stay at the home of Priscilla and Marc Edmund Jones, at 2400 North Gower Street in Hollywood. Jones, 43, was a former screenwriter and a noted astrologist, who founded the Sabian Assembly, a spiritual study group. He and his wife were sincere seekers. Jones had become friends with Malcolm Schloss when he taught astrology in New York City in the 1920s. Malcolm had invited Jones to meet Baba in Harmon the previous year, but Jones had been unable to make the trip and instead invited Baba to be his house-guest if Baba were ever in California. Baba accepted the invitation.
Prior to Baba's arrival, Jones wrote to Baba:
[We] gladly seek to serve you during your stay, not in serving a man of flesh and blood but in contributing to an inflow of peace and power in a world sadly torn for lack of a genuine activation.
... We hope that you will bring a blessing to our genuine efforts for the Great Ideal, and that we will be able to carry on with a spiritual power and a physical potency which would not have been possible but for your coming. And we hope that it may be our privilege to hallow your introduction to southern California, so that we may be of real and appreciable spiritual aid to you in the beautiful task and mission which we feel to be yours. We regard your coming as significant, and for it we are preparing with devotion and zealous anticipation.
When he arrived, Baba told them, "When illumination becomes clear, you won't find fault with anyone. The Time is near when America will have to accept spirituality."
Chanji, Quentin and Meredith stayed with Baba at the Joneses' home. Kaka, Adi Jr. and Beheram stayed at the nearby apartment of one of Joneses' students. Jean, Malcolm, Margaret Starr, and the others invited by Baba stayed at the Mission Hotel.
Baba remained in Hollywood for seven hectic days, each packed full of interviews and receptions. Norina and Elizabeth had driven all the way from New York to help in arranging Baba's schedule.
*** It's not known where Elizabeth & Norina stayed in LA.
*** The Mission Hotel (built 1917 ) was located at : 1750 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA.
The car that Elizabeth Patterson is sitting on the running board is possibly the car she drove.
- see below. 1929 Stutz Model M Four-Passenger Speedster by LeBaron.
B/W image courtesy of the EPCA.
Mission Hotel, Hollywood
The Mission Hotel in Hollywood no longer exists. It is now a parking lot.
The newspapers had anticipated his arrival, and at a press conference held at 1:00 P.M. 29th May on the day he arrived, Baba gave the following message:
So much has been said and written about the "Highest Consciousness" and God-realization that people are bewildered as to the right process and immediate possibility of attainment. The philosophical mind, wading laboriously through such literature, only ends up learning a few intellectual gymnastics. The highest state of consciousness is latent in all. The Son of God is in every man but requires to be manifested.
The method of attaining this great consciousness must be very practical and adapted to the existing mental and material conditions of the world. The rituals and ceremonies instituted by the priest-ridden churches have made the process of attainment too dry; and that accounts for the lack of interest felt all over the world toward religious things in general. India, in spite of its high state of spirituality, at the present moment is very caste-ridden because of the enforcement by various cults of a plethora of rituals and ceremonies, which maintain the form but kill the spirit. Forms and ceremonies, instead of diminishing the ego, strengthen it. The stronger the ego, the more aggressive it becomes. In the anxiety to become conscious of a separate self through thinking thoughts such as "I am in the right ... I am the favored one ... I only have the right to live," one becomes destructive.
The furious race for armaments by the Christian world, evincing an utter disregard for the commandment of Jesus that if one cheek is smitten, the other should be offered, shows clearly what I mean by the ego. In the evolutionary ascent from the mineral, vegetable and animal life, the latent mind gradually expands and develops till full consciousness is reached in the human form. To create this very consciousness, the universe emanated from the Infinite Ocean of knowledge and bliss — namely, God the Absolute.
In the human form, however, [with the mind fully developed] a difficulty is confronted, to remove which prophets and Spiritual Masters have periodically visited this earthly plane. Besides full consciousness in the human form as a result of previous conditions of life, the ego, the I, is evolved.
The ego is composed of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires and creates the illusion of feeling finite, weak and unhappy. Henceforth, the soul can only progress through the general suppression of this finite ego and its transformation into the Divine Ego, the One Infinite Self, but retaining in full the consciousness of its human form.
When man realizes this state of divine consciousness, he finds himself in everyone and sees all phenomena as forms of his own Real Self.
The best and also the easiest process of overcoming the ego and attaining the divine consciousness is to develop love and render selfless service to humanity in whatever circumstances we are placed. All ethics and religious practices ultimately lead to this. The more we live for others and less for ourselves, the more the low desires are eliminated and this in turn reacts upon the ego, suppressing and transforming it proportionately.
The ego persists to the last. Not until all the six out of the seven principal states on the Path are traversed, culminating in one God-conscious state, is the ego completely eliminated to reappear on the seventh plane as the Divine I — the state of Christ Consciousness to which Jesus referred when he said, "I and my Father are one," and which corresponds to the state of living in the Infinite and finite at one and the same time.
The above is the normal procedure for one who works on his own initiative without having come across a living Master. With the help of a Perfect Master, the whole affair, however, is greatly simplified. Complete surrender to the living will of the Perfect One, an unflinching readiness to carry out his orders, rapidly achieves a result not possible even by rigidly practicing all the ethics of the world for 1,000 years.
The extraordinary results achieved by a Perfect Master are due to the fact that by being one with the Universal Mind, he is present in the mind of every human being and can therefore give just the particular help needed to awaken the highest consciousness latent in every individual. Perfection, however, in order to achieve the greatest result on the material plane, must possess a human touch and a keen sense of humor.
I eternally enjoy the Christ state of consciousness and when I speak, which I intend doing in the near future, I shall manifest my true self. Besides giving a spiritual push to the whole world, I shall lead all those who come to me towards Light and Truth. This, in short, is my mission to the world.
At 7:00 P.M. about 200 seekers were invited to meet Baba. Visitors were introduced individually in batches of 50. Baba looked resplendent in a white suit as he shook each one's hand.
Baba then went to his room, and the visitors were served tea and refreshments while Adi Jr. and Beheram entertained them with Indian music. This procedure was repeated four times for each of the batches.
Before going to bed the first night, Baba related to Quentin, "I am not happy here." Outwardly, Baba was restless and ill at ease. Adding to his discomfort, Meredith insisted that he be allowed to sleep in Baba's room. Baba allowed him to do this for two nights, although he did not like it.
Quentin Tod, being an accomplished actor, was influential in arranging many of Baba's contacts in Hollywood.
...........Baba was so busy during his brief Hollywood stay that the mandali with him rarely had more than four hours of sleep at night.
DAY 2 IN LOS ANGELES
30th MAY, 1932 - Monday
IN BRIEF :
9:30 AM : Private interviews until noon.
12 :00 NOON : Drive through surrounding country-side and Beverley Hills, met May Beatty.
2:00 PM : Reception for students of philosophy. and later, interview with the L.A. Times
EVENING : Visit to Dr. Farid's house.
*** Dr. Farid's surname is not given, identifying him is very difficult.
Click on the web address/link to view her web page.
On 30 May 1932, Baba took a drive to see the surrounding countryside and was particularly anxious to go to Beverly Hills to make contact with those prominent in the film industry. The first person he met was a friend of Quentin's named May Beatty, 52, a New Zealand actress who came to see him that evening.
Baba was interviewed later that same day by the Los Angeles Times and was asked, "What do you hope to accomplish in the United States?"
Baba answered, "A general awakening which will affect the whole of mankind and will eliminate depression and dissatisfaction existing in the world today."
DAY 3 IN LOS ANGELES
31st MAY, 1932 - Tuesday
IN BRIEF :
9:30 to 10:30 AM : Private interviews
11:00 AM : Visit to Paramount Studios
2:00 PM : Visit to 20th Century-Fox & Universal Film Studios
3:30 PM : Reception for local ministers & religious heads, also private interviews.
8:30 PM : Public reception at the Knickerbocker Hotel.
The next day, Baba visited Paramount Studios. On one lot, The Devil and the Deep was being filmed. Quentin had known the American actress Tallulah Bankhead and the actor Charles Laughton in London when they worked in the theater, and he introduced them to Baba. They in turn introduced Baba to another actor, Gary Cooper. Baba stayed to watch a couple of scenes being filmed and afterward was photographed with Tallulah. The visit lasted almost two hours. According to a newspaper account (which may not be accurate), Baba spelled on the board to Tallulah, that one of the reasons he had come was that, in Hollywood, there was an "equal balance between the spiritual and material forces."
After lunch, Baba and a few others went to Fox and Universal Studios with the Indian-born actor Lal Chand Mehra, a friend of the Joneses'. At Universal, where Baba stayed for half an hour, he met the cowboy-actor Tom Mix (who was photographed with Baba) and an Indian-born director named Ezra Mir. Quentin returned to Paramount Studios to pick up Tallulah Bankhead, 30, who had an interview with Baba at 5:30 P.M. She had a long talk with Baba and said she was on her way to see the actress Greta Garbo and would tell her of him.
That night at 8:30 P.M., a large reception of 1,000 people took place at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood. Many from Los Angeles and the surrounding area came to the love-gathering. There were so many people that the hall had to be cleared of all furniture. Men, women and children stood in line, waiting to meet Baba. In a theatrical setting, Baba was seated on an elevated seat with the four Eastern mandali on one side and six Westerners on the other, forming a semicircle. Behind Baba, like two angels, two harpists played softly.
Visitors were admitted one at a time through a side door of the hall. Each was introduced to Baba, receiving a handshake and his radiant smile. Passing in a circle through another side door, they were then led outside to the lounge where refreshments were served.
** Also met Lalchand Mira
Knickerbocker Hotel, Los Angeles
The section in this page for the hotel in well into the page
Check-out Lal's web page
In the dazzling lights of the hall, Baba looked divinely beautiful in his white robe and with his hair falling to his shoulders — a figure that captivated the hearts of all.
Baba's instructions were that visitors were not to ask questions and should leave after a handshake with him. But there were many who were so enthralled, who felt so intoxicated, they would not leave. Their words of wonder echoed throughout the room:
"If Christ were alive today, he would look like him."
"What a divine glow on his face!"
"He does not seem to belong to this world."
"Can any man be so beautiful!"
"He is the living Christ!"
"How marvelous is his divine attraction."
"I feel like looking at him forever!"
"My eyes are dazzled by his beauty."
"I just cannot leave."
"For the first time in my life, I have seen divinity!"
"What a sweet face!
"How holy is his divine purity!"
"Nothing can be said about him. My tongue is stuck."
"How electrifying was his touch! I felt a shock pass through me."
"My God! I was senseless."
"What is happening to my heart?"
"Oh, how wonderful is his form."
"What brilliance! What beauty! What a smile!"
"I am amazed!"
It took two hours for Baba to shake each person's hand. The following message was then read out:
Since arriving in America, I have been asked many times what solution I have brought for the social problems now confronting you — what did I have to offer that would solve the problems of unemployment, prohibition and crime that would eliminate the strife between individuals and nations, and pour a healing balm of peace upon a troubled world?
The answer has been so simple that it has been difficult to grasp.
The root of all our difficulties, individual and social, is self-interest. It is [self-interest], for example, which causes corruptible politicians to accept bribes and betray the interests of those whom they have been elected to serve; which causes bootleggers for their own profit to break a law designed, whether wisely or not, to help the nation as a whole; which causes people to connive for their own pleasure in the breaking of that law, thus causing disrespect for law in general and increasing crime tremendously; which causes the exploitation of the great masses of humanity by individuals or groups of individuals seeking personal gain; [it is self-interest] which impedes the progress of civilization by shelving inventions which would contribute to the welfare of humanity at large, simply because their use would mean the scrapping of present inferior equipment; which, when people are starving, causes the wanton destruction of large quantities of food, simply in order to maintain the market prices; which causes the hoarding of large sums of gold when the welfare of the world demands its circulation.
But the elimination of self-interest, even granting a sincere desire on the part of the individual to accomplish it, is not so easy and is never completely achieved except by the aid of a Perfect Master. For self-interest springs from a false idea of the true nature of the Self, and this idea must be eradicated and the Truth experienced before that elimination of self-interest is possible.
I intend, when I speak, to reveal the one supreme Self which is in all. This accomplished, the idea of the Self as a limited, separate entity will disappear, and with it will vanish self-interest. Cooperation will replace competition; certainty will replace fear; generosity will replace greed. Exploitation will disappear.
It has been [repeatedly] asked why I have remained silent for seven years, communicating only by means of an alphabet board, and why I intend to break my silence shortly. And it might well be asked, in view of what has just been said, what relation my speaking will have to the transformation of human consciousness.
Humanity, as constituted at present, uses three vehicles for the expression of [thoughts], and experiences three states of consciousness. These three vehicles are: the mental body [the mind], in which thoughts arise as the result of impressions from past experiences. These thoughts may remain latent in the mental body as seeds, or they may be expressed.
If they are expressed, they take the first forms of desire, and first pass through the subtle or the desire body, which is composed of the five psychic senses. They may rest there, as in the case of dreams or unfulfilled desire, or they may be further expressed in action through the physical body, with five physical senses.
The three states of consciousness corresponding to the three vehicles mentioned are: unconsciousness (mental body) as in deep, dreamless sleep; sub-consciousness (subtle body) as in dreams or obscured, unformed and unfulfilled desires; waking consciousness (physical body) as in active daily life.
The process by which thought passes from the mental through the subtle into physical expression may be called the expression of human will.
In order that thought may be expressed effectively, all three of the vehicles used in its expression must be perfectly clear, and the interaction between them must be harmonious. The head and the heart must be united, intellect and feeling must be balanced, and material expression must be understood to be the fruit of spiritual realization.
The God-Man neither thinks nor desires. Through him, the Divine Will flows inevitably into perfect manifestation, passing directly from the spiritual body, which in the ordinary human being is undeveloped, into physical expression. For him, the superconscious state is the normal state of consciousness. From him, there continuously flows infinite love and wisdom, infinite joy and peace and power.
When he speaks, Truth is more powerfully manifested than when he uses either sight or touch to convey it. For that reason, Avatars usually observe a period of silence lasting several years, breaking it only when they wish to manifest the Truth to the entire universe. So, when I speak, I shall manifest the Divine Will, and worldwide transformation of consciousness will take place.
The large gathering was now asked to disperse, but no one budged, gazing at Meher Baba as if entranced. They were repeatedly requested to leave and began to exit with heavy hearts, slowly walking backward with their eyes fixed on Baba. These words were overheard: "Oh, when will we see such a face again?"
"A person has such an extraordinary experience only once in a lifetime!"
"Baba, darling, would you let us see you again?"
DAY 4 IN LOS ANGELES
1st JUNE, 1932 - Wednesday
IN BRIEF :
9:30 AM : Private interviews until noon.
2:00 PM : Visit to Metro Goldwyn Mayer Film Studios.
3:30 PM : Reception for local educators.
8:30 Pm : Private reception at Pickfair in Beverly Hills.
On Wednesday, 1 June 1932, Cath Gardner and Max and Lillian Wardall arrived.
Baba visited Metro Goldwyn Mayer Film Studios the same day and watched the actor Lewis Stone perform. Baba met Virginia Bruce and saw the sets of Mata Hari, in which Greta Garbo had just finished starring. They also met the Austrian-American director Josef Von Sternberg, 38, who was directing Marlene Dietrich in The Blonde Venus. Baba did not care much for Marlene ( who had a reputation for being extremely egotistical ) but he liked Von Sternberg, who was highly impressed by his meeting. ( After a few more films with Von Sternberg, Dietrich became the most famous film star in the world.)
Some of these actors and actresses met Baba later in the evening of 1 June, when Hollywood's leading, most glamorous couple — Douglas Fairbanks, 49, and Mary Pickford, 40 — invited Baba to Pickfair, their 22-room mansion at 1143 Summit Drive, for a reception with a few others from the film industry. Marc Jones drove Baba, Meredith, Margaret, Priscilla and Quentin to Beverly Hills at eight o'clock that night.
The mandali followed in another car, with Norina and Elizabeth.
Marlene Dietrich " Blonde Venus "
Celebrities Meher Baba met on this day.
PICKFAIR, BEVERLY HILLS, CA.
1143 Summit Drive
When they left India, each of the men mandali had been allowed to bring only two flimsy dress suits and one pair of shoes, which they had to wear continually. Baba would often change his attire, and for the reception at Pickfair, Baba wore a stylish Palm Beach suit. In contrast, the mandali looked like paupers. Apart from their poorly tailored suits, the sole of one of Adi Jr.'s shoes had come apart and was flapping up and down when he walked. Baba, however, refused to let him purchase a new pair, so Adi tied a string around his shoe to hold the heel in place. Crowds of celebrities dressed in formal attire mingled throughout Pickfair mansion while Adi sat huddled in a corner, embarrassed, trying to hide his worn-out shoe with the string tied around it.
Among those invited to the reception were Cecil B. DeMille, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Charles Farrell, Lottie Pickford ( Mary's sister ), and a woman who wrote Mary Pickford's screenplays. Countess Dentice di Frasso was also present. Baba stayed at the reception for two and a half hours. Mary Pickford greeted Baba at the door of the mansion and led him to the spacious hall.
Age marveled at the scene: "As the darkness of night is dispelled by dawn's rising sun, so also was this glittering mansion illumined by Baba's presence. Whatever light was shining from the crystal chandeliers was not light but darkness. Even the sun's brilliant light is darkness compared to the true Light of the Awakener!"
As Jean later wrote: "Amidst the tinsel stars [ Baba ] shone like a resplendent planet ... "
Mary had Baba sit on a sofa and she herself sat on the carpet by his feet. The others, too, sat down on the carpet around Baba, and the wine of love began speaking to all hearts. Douglas Fairbanks joined his wife near Baba, who conveyed to him:
The whole universe, whose structure I have created, is my cinema. But just as an audience becomes absorbed in witnessing a drama on the screen and engages their emotions and sways their feelings by its influence, causing them to forget that it is not real — in the same way, the spectators of the world are charmed by this worldly film show, forgetting themselves and taking it to be real!
So I have come to tell them that this worldly cinema in which they are absorbed is not real.
I have come to turn their focus toward Reality. Only God is real, and everything else is a mere motion picture!
Mary Pickford was spiritually inclined and listened intently to Baba's words. Baba sat with her and others in the motion picture industry for about 40 minutes before dinner. Baba emphasized the impact of films and their value in turning people toward spiritual goals.
I was particularly glad to come to California because of the opportunity which it afforded to contact those who made or appeared in motion pictures, and I am delighted that this gathering could be arranged tonight.
I do not need to tell you who are engaged in the production and distribution of motion pictures what a power you hold in your hands, nor do I doubt that you are fully alive to the responsibilities which the wielding of that power involves. He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them in any direction he chooses, and there is no more powerful an instrument for stimulating their imagination than motion pictures.
People go to the theater to be entertained. If the play is strong, they come away transformed. They surrender their hearts and minds to the author, producer, director and stars, and follow the example which they see portrayed before their eyes more than they themselves realize.
Both the press and the radio influence thought, but both lack the power of visible example, which is the greatest stimulant to action, and which the motion picture offers better now than any other medium.
We find ourselves today in the midst of a worldwide depression which affects everyone, rich and poor alike, and from which all are groping blindly for deliverance. The film companies, the picture theaters and the stars have also suffered from it. If they could help to end the depression, I am sure they would be glad to. How could the motion pictures help in this respect?
First, it must be understood that the depression is not an accident, nor is it purely the result of overproduction and inflation. Those, although the immediate causes, are merely the instruments which were used to bring the depression about. The depression itself was caused by those entrusted with the evolution of humanity. Man has to be stripped of his material possessions in order that he may realize through actual experience that his true base is spiritual and not material.
Then will he be ready to receive the Truth which I have come to bring.
This Truth consists of the knowledge that man, instead of being a limited, separate individual completely bound by the illusion of time, space and customs, is eternal in his nature and infinite in his resources. The world illusion is a dream of his imagining, a play enacted in the theater of his consciousness — a comedy in which he is at once the author, producer, director and star. But his absorption in the role, which he has chosen to enact, has made him forgetful of his true self, and he stumbles now as a creature through the path he has created.
[Man] must be awakened to his true nature. He must see that all material expression depends upon and flows from a spiritual being. Then he will be steadfast and serene under all circumstances. There will be no further need then for the depression and it will disappear.
Now, how can the motion pictures help man attain this realization? The character of the film need not be changed. Love, romance and adventure are themselves fundamental. They should be portrayed as thrillingly, as entertainingly, and as inspiringly as possible. The wider the appeal the better.
What needs to be changed is the emphasis, or stress. For example, courage is a great virtue but it may, if misapplied, become a vice. So it is with love, the mainspring of our lives, which may lead to the heights of Realization or to the depths of despair. No better example can be given of the two polarities of love and their effects than that of Mary Magdalene before and after meeting Jesus.
Between these two extremes are many kinds of love, all of which are good, but some of which are better than others. I use the terms "good" and "better" simply to designate the degrees of liberation which they lead to or confer. Even the love which expresses itself through physical desire is good to the extent that it frees one from the thralldom of personal likes and dislikes, and makes one want to serve the beloved above all other things.
Every human relationship is based on love in one form or another, and endures or dissolves as that love is eternal or temporal in character. Marriage, for example, is happy or unhappy, exalting or degrading, lasting or fleeting according to the love which inspires and sustains it.
Marriages based on sexual attraction alone cannot endure; they lead inevitably to divorce or worse. Marriages, on the other hand, which are based on a mutual desire to serve and inspire, grow continually in richness and in beauty, and are a benediction to all who know of them.
To lead men and women to the heights of Realization, we must help them to overcome fear and greed, anger and passion. These are the result of looking upon the self as a limited, separate, physical entity, having a definite physical beginning and definite physical end, with interests apart from the rest of life, and needing preservation and protection.
The self, in fact, is a limitless, indivisible, spiritual essence — eternal in its nature and infinite in its resources. The greatest romance possible in life is to discover this eternal Reality in the midst of infinite change. Once a person has experienced this, one sees oneself in everything that lives. One recognizes all of life as his life, everybody's interests as his own. The fear of death, the desire for self-preservation, the urge to accumulate substance, the conflict of interests, the anger of thwarted desires are gone. One is no longer bound by the habits of the past, no longer swayed by the hopes of the future. One lives in and enjoys each present moment to the fullest. There is no better medium to portray [this] than motion pictures.
Plays which inspire those who see them to greater understanding, truer feelings, better lives need not necessarily have anything to do with so-called religion. Creed, ritual, dogma, the conventional ideas of heaven and hell, and sin are perversions of the Truth, and confuse and bewilder, rather than clarify and inspire. Real spirituality is best portrayed in stories of pure love, of selfless service, of Truth realized and applied to the most humble circumstances of our daily lives, raying out into manifold expressions, through home and business, school and college, studio and laboratory —evoking everywhere the heights of joy, the purest love, the greatest power — producing everywhere a constant symphony of bliss.
This is the highest practicality. To portray such circumstances on the screen will make people realize that the spiritual life is something to be lived, not talked about, and that it, and it alone, will produce the peace and love and harmony which we seek to establish as the constant of our lives.
After dinner, Baba got up to leave three times, but Mary Pickford would not allow him to go. Finally, when he stood up, all surrounded him. Dictating from his alphabet board, he continued to converse with them while standing. After a few minutes, his roving glance fell on a young lady standing isolated at the far end of the room with her back to him. Baba beckoned for her and when his summons was relayed, she turned her face toward him but remained where she was. She was called again. Slowly coming forward, she stopped at a distance. Norina told her, "Come and shake hands with Baba, child." The young lady remained reserved, and Elizabeth said to her, "Why are you afraid, dear? Come nearer and meet Baba."
She asked, "How can I touch him?"
"Why not?" Norina said. "All can meet Baba!"
This brought tears to her eyes, and she asked pitiably, "But I am a sinner! How can I touch a holy being like him?"
Baba then went to her, and passed his hand over her head and shoulders. She started weeping, and Baba gestured to her, "I am the purest of the pure. I can purify the worst sinner. You have understood your mistakes and acknowledged them faithfully in the presence of others, and so you are forgiven. This penance from the depths of your heart is adequate, and you are now cleansed. Now, don't fear in the least and don't repeat your past mistakes. I give you my blessings!" The girl continued to sob, and Baba lovingly embraced her. The tears which Baba's love had drawn from her heart wiped out all her sins.
Those who witnessed this were deeply moved; their hearts overflowed and their eyes also teared. Before departing, Baba again embraced all the guests and putting his hand on the girl's head, consoled her, "You have received forgiveness for everything! Forget the past and don't worry at all." The girl pressed her eyes to Baba's hand and kissed it.
In their films, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks had depicted scenes of deep human love, but witnessing this sight of pure divine love from Meher Baba
was a rare experience indeed. Their hearts were full. "The world receives such a chance only after a lapse of ages," said Age. "How lucky are those who, knowing the
Beloved, hold fast to his feet!"
According to Adi Jr., when it was announced that Baba wanted to leave, Tallulah Bankhead asked Adi Jr. if it was possible for him to come to her house the next day for lunch, for she had something to talk about with him. Adi said that he thought it would be possible, but that he'd have to ask Baba. When he approached Baba, Baba replied, "Fine." Then in a stern tone, he warned, "But do not touch her and do not let her touch you." Adi assured him that nothing ill-intentioned would happen.
DAY 5 IN LOS ANGELES
2nd JUNE, 1932 - Thursday
IN BRIEF :
9:30 AM to Noon : Private interviews
Noon ( 12:00 PM ) : Went to Paramount Studios
2:00 to 4:00 PM : Private interviews
4:00 PM : Driven to Santa Monica & tea at Ernst Lubitsch house
Early evening : Dinner at Tallulah Bankhead's house
8:00 PM : Visit to Grauman's Chinese Theatre
**Meredith & Margaret Starr are sent to Oceano, California. Norina Matchabelli & Elizabeth Patterson drive up to visit them. Whether they drove them there is not known but it's very plausible.
The community they stayed in was called Moy Mell. The Starr's stayed for approx. a year and a half.
In the next chapter "Honolulu" of this USA visit, there's an account where Meher Baba instructs Quentin Tod to finance the
Starrs' return to England.
Meher Baba visited this community at Oceano in the winter, around Christmas time 1934.
Adi Jr. went to Tallulah's home the following afternoon ( probably with another of the mandali ). When he met her, he immediately blurted out, "I am happy to be here, but please do not touch me." She blushed, saying she would not embarrass him. During their lunch, Adi asked what was it that she wanted to talk to him about. Tallulah said that she was in love with a certain man, but that he did not love her, nor had he shown her any affection. She wanted Adi to persuade his brother (Baba) to cast a "love-spell" on the man, and thereby he would fall in love with her and be hers. Adi was taken aback and assured her that Baba did not do such things and that she was greatly mistaken about the kind of spiritual things Baba taught. Tallulah, nevertheless, insisted that Adi ask his brother if he would cast such a spell. Adi said he would, but explained again that he doubted if Baba would do such a thing.
After Adi Jr. returned to the Joneses' residence, he was feeling quite disturbed about his meeting with Tallulah, but did not say anything until he met with Baba. When he did, Baba sternly inquired, "Did you touch her?" Adi pleaded innocent and then explained why she invited him over and what she wanted Baba to do — cast a love-spell on a certain man, so he would fall in love with her. Baba showed his obvious disgust, "Hollywood!"
The general impression among many of the movie stars was that Meher Baba was a yogi or swami of a high class, who possessed occult powers and could influence people's minds. That is why Tallulah Bankhead made such an inquiry. The Hollywood actors and actresses were famous personalities whose lives were well publicized, and since Baba had attained much notoriety in the newspapers during this visit, they welcomed him as an equally famous personality.
Santa Monica, California
On Thursday, 2 June 1932, Baba went to Paramount Studios again and met Maurice Chevalier, 43, who was making Love Me Tonight with Jeanette MacDonald, Tallulah Bankhead was there and ran to Baba, hugging and kissing him. Chevalier shook hands with Baba and said what a pleasure and honor it was to meet him. When informed that Baba had been on silence for the past seven years, Chevalier commented, "I don't have that kind of will power."
Later that afternoon, Mary Pickford came to see Baba for a private interview at 3:30 and meditated in Baba's presence for five minutes. Baba, Meredith, Chanji and Quentin were driven later to Santa Monica by director and producer Ernst Lubitsch, a "very fine and sincere man," and had tea with him at his house. ( Rom Landau had written letters of introduction for Quentin to Lubitsch and Von Sternberg.)
**Ernst Lubitsch also had a home in Beverley Hills
Lived at Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica - no image
***This is probably the vehicle that Ernst drove Meher Baba & Quentin Tod to his house in Santa Monica for tea. The exact location of
Lubitsch's home is not known.
In the evening Baba went with Quentin to Tallulah Bankhead's residence for dinner, and also to meet Greta Garbo, 26. However, Garbo telephoned at the last minute to say she was not well enough to come. Baba was openly disappointed at not meeting her, as he had said that Garbo was the "most spiritual" of the Hollywood stars and had been a yogi in a previous lifetime.
Tallulah Bankhead's home :
1712 N Stanley Street, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
That night Baba took everyone to Grauman's Chinese Theater where he had been invited by the manager Sidney Grauman. Baba enjoyed the variety acts that preceded the film, especially the performance of the comedian Will Mahoney. Greta Garbo's latest film Grand Hotel was playing and Baba praised her performance.
Grauman Chinese Theatre
DAY 6 IN LOS ANGELES
3rd JUNE, 1932 - Friday
IN BRIEF :
Daytime : Private
Night-time : Drive through Los Angeles city
Baba granted private interviews on the 3rd. One of those who met Baba several times during this trip was Gavin Arthur, 31. Arthur shared a deep interest in astrology with Marc Jones. He had established a utopian community of "free-thinkers" on some sand dunes near the ocean. He and a few other "dunites" were brought by Roderick White of Santa Barbara, a noted violinist who knew Malcolm and Jean from New York. Arthur invited Baba to visit the community and Baba agreed, but due to lack of time was unable to go.
The Distant Past
DAY 7 IN LOS ANGELES
4th JUNE, 1932 - Saturday
IN BRIEF :
Daytime : Lunch with Marie Dressler.
Night-time : Leave Hollywood, driven to Los Angeles Harbour and boards S.S. Monterey.
Click on the button below this to view Marie's web page
On June 4th, Baba had lunch with Marie Dressler at her home at 801 Alpine Drive. Marie was a famous actress who had co-starred in many of Charlie Chaplin's movies, and had won the Academy Award the previous year for best actress and was nominated again for it in 1932. Marie had a keen wit and humor, and Baba thoroughly enjoyed her company; they were soon sharing stories and joking like old friends. In the middle of lunch, she said, "Baba, if you permit me, I would like to take you out to the woods and dance with you. And even if you want to speak a few words to me, I promise not to tell anyone!"
Baba revealed, spelling on his board, "Before breaking my silence, it is essential for me to proceed to China. On my return, I will break my silence on July 13th at the Hollywood Bowl."
Marie said, "When you break your silence, I will be at your side."
Meher Baba years later said :
I remember Marie Dressler especially; she took to me like a mother to her son, and invited me for dinner at her home. She fondly caressed my face saying: "My child, my child ..."
LOS ANGELES HARBOUR
In the evening of June 4th, Marc Jones drove Baba and three of the mandali to the ship harbor, while Tod and Adi Jr. followed in Celeste W. Domola's car. Celeste was a cousin of the Joneses and had become very close and helpful to Baba during his stay. Marc's sister, Helen, was also of great help in keeping up with Baba's busy schedule. A large group followed to see Baba off. Baba boarded the Monterey, which was on its maiden voyage, and set out for Honolulu at eleven o'clock that night.
Baba shared his cabin with Carl Phillips. Tod had a cabin alone across from Baba's, and Chanji, Kaka, Adi Jr. and Beheram had another one nearby. The voyage, however, was not pleasant. Carl Phillips immediately got seasick and proved a veritable nuisance. The boy was disobedient and self-indulgent. Tod had to chase him from one end of the ship to the other, from the gym to the swimming pool, to get him to come to Baba when called. Carl's one thought seemed to be to enjoy himself as much as he could on this free holiday away from his parents. Baba was getting fed up with the boy's mischievousness and decided to send him back home at the first opportunity – as soon as they landed in Hawaii. Although Carl Phillips had been brought for Baba's work, Quentin Tod had to serve him night and day! It was always the case with whatever "ideal boy" was cared for by the mandali.
Many on the ship came to see Baba and he surprisingly met them all. After four days at sea, they arrived in Honolulu on June 9th at eight in the morning and stayed at the Moana Hotel for two days. Rustom, whom Baba had called from China, met them at the dock.
After a private meeting with Rustom, Baba decided to send him on to Australia and New Zealand that same day ( SS Monterey ). This was to forge further links with the West, the result of which was made evident after a number of years when so many Australians came into Meher Baba's fold. Rustom, however, was not allowed to land in Sydney ***due to the strict immigration laws.
Click on the button below this to check the web page on the S.S. Monterey
The above video is courtesy of Technobaba, which was made by Robert Fredericks .
1932 Games of the X Olympiad - Summer Olympics
Meher Baba had departed from Los Angeles on the 4th June 1932, some 7 weeks before the Olympic Games had started.
Opening ceremonyJuly 30
& Closing ceremony