Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to My World

As corny as it may seem to some today, one of Baba's favorite songs was "Welcome to My World" by Jim Reeves. Baba used to pantamime the words to the song as it played on the wind-up record player.

But Meher Baba's favorite song by Jim Reeves was "There's a Heartache Following Me."

I recently heard something amazing from Jay Schauer. "Mani told me that during MB's stays at Guruprasad when he would go from the men's to the women's side of the building he would have Eruch walk behind him carrying a phonograph playing 'A heartache following me.' When I looked skeptical, she gave me hell and insisted."

Sometimes knowing a person's favorite song can tell you a lot about that person. What does this song tell you about Meher Baba? Welcome to his world.


  1. I always assumed that Baba learned of Jim Reeves through his contact with his Western lovers. However, I read a book that made me think that Jim Reeves must have had a following in India, for some reason (I have never had a chance to ask Indian friends about this). The book is Aghora by Robert Svoboda (an American known for his work in Ayurveda) and it tells about a teacher of Tantra, a householder in Mumbai, whose instruction Robert received. Robert manages to reproduce this man's words almost verbatim, and it is an extremely fascinating book. I was quite surprised to read that the teacher (Aghori Vimalananda) singles out Jim Reeves for mention, saying that he was an incarnated gandharva! A gandharva is a kind of celestial musician.

  2. Copied from Wikipedia:

    Reeves had a large fan following in both India and Sri Lanka since the 1960s, and is likely the all-time most popular English language singer in Sri Lanka. His Christmas carols are especially popular, and music stores continue to carry his CDs or audio cassettes. Two of his songs, "There's a Heartache Following Me" and "Welcome to My World," were favorites of Indian guru Meher Baba, leading Baba follower Pete Townshend of The Who to record his own version of "Heartache" on his first major solo album Who Came First in 1972.

    Robert Svoboda, in his trilogy on aghora and the Aghori Vimalananda, mentions that Vimalananda, considered Reeves a gandharva, i.e. in Indian tradition, a heavenly musician, who had taken birth on Earth. He had Svoboda play Reeves' "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at his cremation.

  3. I could of course never say why Meher Baba
    especially liked something, but Meher Baba said that even saints fail to gage his humanness and that He was man amongst men.
    To me it seems that he was Poona raised, Indian Man amongst men.
    Jim Reeves was well liked in the India of Meher Baba, back in the 70's and 80's you would often hear Jim Reeves on English morning shows on the radio in India. Baba also said that Jim Reeves' voice touched Him as did Begum Aktar's, it also seems to me that their voices have some special quality.
    I find it charming that Baba liked Jim Reeves.
    Glenn Magrini

  4. Pete Townshend did a rendition of "There's a Heartachhe Following Me" on his first major-label solo album "Who Came First." The following, written about it, I copied from YouTube.

    "...Pete's short-title rendition of 'There's a Heartache Following Me,' an American country song written by Ray Robert Baker that was a huge UK hit for Jim Reeves shortly after his death in 1964, was a different sort of tribute. Baba had named the song, along with Cole Porter's 'Begin the Beguine,' as a personal favorite. 'Baba said that Jim Reeves' voice was full of spiritual power and love,' noted Townshend. 'I listened to him sing this song and had to agree.' As David Silver quipped in a rave review of Who Came First in Rolling Stone, 'Even an avatar gets the cowboy blues sometimes.'"