JUNE 1932 – MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BABA’S STATUS
ADI JR. had many stories of his travels with Baba. The following story by Adi describes the mistaken impression of the Hollywood movie stars who became acquainted with Meher Baba. At the reception at the Pickfair, Adi Jr. was staying aloof seated at a table, keeping his worn-out shoe concealed. Tallulah Bankhead came up and sat near him. Adi warned her not to touch him. She explained that she just wanted to talk. During their chat, the actor Gary Cooper came by and Tallulah introduced Adi to the famous actor. Adi, who was feeling self-conscious, simply said how much he admired Mr. Cooper’s movies. Other stars came by, and Tallulah also introduced them to Adi who politely, but shyly, shook their hands.
When it was announced that Baba wanted to leave, Tallulah asked Adi 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 further warned, “But do not touch her and do not let her touch you.” Adi assured him that nothing ill-intentioned would happen.
Adi went to Tallulah’s home, the following afternoon. 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 showed 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 returned to the Jones residence, he was feeling quite disturbed about his meeting with Tallulah Bankhead, 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 Baba was a yogi or swami of a high class, who possessed occult powers and could influence people’s minds. That is why Tallulah made such an inquiry. The Hollywood actors and actresses were famous people whose lives were well publicized, and since Baba had attained much notoriety in the newspapers they had welcomed him as an equally famous person. However, their understanding of true spirituality, or what Meher Baba’s Avatarhood really meant, lacked any depth.
Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 5, pp. 1661 – 1662.
The Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India are the copyright holders of all of Meher Baba’s messages, discourses and photographs, unless otherwise stated.