Thursday, July 11, 2013

From rags to riches

I originally wrote a theory of mine that perhaps these two images of Baba, seemingly taken on the same day in 1922, were re-enactments of earlier periods in Baba's life.

However, since then I have gotten new information from India about the true history of the taking of these two pictures. It will be coming out in the new online edition of Lord Meher.

Here's the updated Lord Meher text for that incident, with more background:

Meher Baba had not bathed during his entire six-month stay at Upasni Maharaj's ashram in Sakori, and his clothes had become ragged and full of lice. Reaching Bombay by train, he went to Munshiji's house on Charni Road. Munshi was now an important official in the Bombay Backbay Reclamation Scheme. He was very happy to see Baba, but was shocked by his condition. He pleaded with Baba to bathe, and Baba consented to do so with Munshiji's help. Before bathing, Baba agreed to be photographed, and Munshiji sent Sayyed Saheb in his car to bring a friend of Munshiji's who was a photographer. After Baba had bathed, either that day or a few days later, a second photograph was taken of Baba in a suit and tie.

Baily was present and commented to Baba that it would have been better not to have taken the first photo, before his bath, in a torn sadra and dirty clothes. Baba smiled and stated:
A time will come when my photograph will be taken every day, in great numbers, in different poses. Photos of me will be sold everywhere. They will appear in newspapers of different languages of the world, in books and magazines, at residences, businesses, religious places, government and private offices. Wherever your eyes look, my photos will be seen on lockets tied around necks, on coat buttons, on rings showing my face, small and big enlargements of my photos will adorn the walls, life-size oil paintings of me, also. Over and above that, my image will be seen on the cinema screen - sitting, standing, sleeping - in all postures; smaller than the smallest channa dana [pea size] and bigger than life-size. There will be no end to my photos.
The packet of photographs arrived taken during Baba's Bombay visit. He opened the packet and showed them to Gulmai, asking which she liked, which he gave her.

Pea size cinema screens, inconceivable in 1922

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