CLASSICAL INDIAN DANCER UDAY SHANKAR MEETS BABA AT SEA

Cyrus Daily Messages

That same day, September 28th, (1933) the celebrated Indian dancer Uday Shankar (1) came to see Baba. He had found out about Baba through the Swiss sculptor and art historian Alice Boner, who was defraying the expenses of Shankar’s visit to the West. It was during Alice Boner’s trip to India with Shankar in 1930 that she heard of Meher Baba. While in Europe, Norina Matchabelli, Elizabeth Patterson and Quentin Tod had also met Uday Shankar and had spoken to him of their Master.

Uday Shankar bowed reverently to Baba, who praised him and expressed appreciation for his mastering of the ancient Hindu art of dance. He told Baba, “I want to introduce and spread Indian classical dance to the West, but some organizations in India criticize me. They want money from me for their institutions, organizations and societies, but I have no money to give them.”

Baba spelled out on his board, “Every good work has to face opposition, and the reaction of the opposition offered always helps the work. You need not worry; continue conscientiously with your work, with double the zeal in the right direction.”

Shankar then said, “Baba, I would like to give a dance performance for you one day.”

Baba replied, “I would be delighted to watch you.”

Shankar was extremely happy to have Baba’s darshan, but Baba cautioned him before they parted, “Do not inform anyone on the ship about me, as I do not wish to meet anybody. See me before disembarking in Brindisi.”

(1)  Uday Shankar was the older brother of the famous sitarist Ravi Shankar. Uday Shankar was thirty-three years old when he met Baba. At his zenith, his dance ability was compared in greatness with the Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, though it was classical Indian dance and not classical ballet.

Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 7, pp. 1813 – 1814.