I was in India on pilgrimage from 5 Feb to 12 March this year, and a prominent feature of that was Bhau Kalchuri threatening to die on the Ides of March (i.e., the 15th of March). I believe that it was already the 16th in India when the news came out that Bhau had been hacked, but it was still that very Ides in Hawaii when I got that news. So what happened to Bhau on the Ides of March was not his death, or perhaps not yet his death. What happened to him was an example of what the Sufis call fana, meaning an annihilation, but Bhau has become so psychologically dependent on the Web that I think he seriously could die from not going online.
I explained the traditional significance of the Ides of March to Bhau in the midst of a furious email exchange, in which Bhau was just being omnidirectionally abusive towards me. It was clear from the faces of the people around him, on the two occasions when I visited him early in my pilgrimage, that Bhau wasn’t picking on me in this case; this was part of him simply being universally abusive.
The way Bhau has been compensating for this abusiveness, after he’s alienated everyone around him, has been to go online and then bask in the adulation of people who really do not have a clue of what he’s been up to. I think that the ethical limit of this kind of mass manipulation on the part of the Chairman of AMBPPCT has been reached. He’s simply not being the effective Chairman of anything; he’s become a media manipulator, and I think the time has come, for everyone around him, to talk straight to him about this. I did it by email, and he finally backed off of me. But one individual won’t make a difference in his tone, we simply need to gang up on him about this, or he’ll just continue to get worse.
((Editing on 17 Nov 14 – It’s clear to me in retrospect that when I wrote this I didn’t understand Bhau because of my lack of experience with him, and because I didn’t understand the depths of the well-meaning hypocrisy he was being faced with throughout AMBPPT’s administrative structure and the Meher Baba Community in its totality.
Because Meher Baba said “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” a couple of times to a few dozen people at a Darshan program towards the end of His life, and because posters and cards which contained no information but Meher Baba’s Name, His picture, and those four words were distributed throughout the American counter-culture in the late 1960’s, from ground zero of the hippie movement, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and because that message appears to give God’s permission to do whatever you want and blame the results on Him, the Meher Baba Community became a culture characterized by four obligatory behaviors, namely and wit,
1. Happy talk in all contexts about all subjects, forever and ever, Amen, obey, or be shunned, and
2. The repetition of anecdotes, aphorisms, and insights originated by others, as the total content of your open and owned communication, obey, or be shunned. In particular, the concept of your own personal truth will not only get you shunned but also systematically backbitten, forever and ever, Amen, and
3. Back-biting is not a violation of “Don’t Worry, be Happy,” to the contrary, backbiting is who we are and what we do, it’s how we keep his Community pure, and
4. We can do and say anything we want, please, as long as it remains secret, and this includes what would be considered financial and ethical corruption if it became known to the Community at large or the public. Purity doesn’t come into it if it’s our secret, that kind of consideration is simply the subjectivity of back-bitten outsiders, and it has nothing to do with Meher Baba.
Meher Baba’s Mandali (intimate disciples), to whom every single stroke of this entire hypocritical chemistry has been falsely attributed, had this whole level of ordinary human bullshit beaten out of them, first order of business, as soon as they came into contact with their Master. Please don’t believe me about this. Read Lord Meher. And yes, read all ten volumes, because only then will you discover the depth of the hypocrisy which Bhau dealt with, which I currently deal with, and which every sincere lover of God on this planet will be dealing with in the renegade Meher Baba Community for the foreseeable future.
Bhau was the last of Meher Baba’s Mandali, and what he was looking at in Meher Baba’s Community was the systematic obliteration, by blind fools, of even the memory of what Meher Baba was actually like in person. Bhau’s way of dealing with all of that well-meaning albeit blind hypocrisy was that of a Mahasiddha: a direct frontal assault, in every moment and every interaction, all day every day for years on end. What I cited above about his “abusiveness” was simply a minor example of that whole process.
All of that enlightened activity by Bhau didn’t get rid of the total culture of hypocrisy, but it did create a few people who understood what he was doing as a necessity, or no one would know what Meher Baba’s life actually was, or what He actually intended by His life and work. It is that minority of people, of whom I am one, who now give authenticity and reality to that renegade community. Meher Baba said, “The only thing that God does not forgive is hypocrisy.” Do not image, renegade “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” hypocrites, that hundreds, thousands, or even millions of you will finally overcome God’s Will, or the Manifestation of His Avatar. -vshr))
Jai Jai Meher,