Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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5009GURUPRASAD GARDEN, 19631963

Baba then related an incident from his own youth:

Play cricket for the sake of playing the game. Don't think of victory or defeat, but, like a real sportsman, give pleasure to the spectators. If you play with all your heart to make the spectators happy, it is a great work done by you. But if you play with the thought of not getting out, you will make the spectators unhappy and you will have wasted their money. Do not make things boring for the spectators. After all, they come with the hope of seeing some bright and good cricket. I give my blessings so that you may play the game for itself.

Once when I was a student at St. Vincent's High School, we had a match with New High School. I was a good wicket-keeper as well as a good batsman. In that match, I was the opening batsman. I came back from the field not out while my whole team was out, but I had scored only 33 runs. When I came back to the pavilion, all the boys and spectators jeered and hooted at me. I did play steadily, but the spectators were unhappy.  So play the game in such a way that the spectators feel happy.

A few bhajans were sung, followed by arti, after which the cricket players departed. Lovers and devotees again filled the hall and heard Deshpande sing until 4:30 P.M. Those who had not embraced Baba that day came to him for a parting embrace after the program was over.

The next day, the Times of India printed an article on their sports page with the headline: "Go In For Bright Cricket, Says Meher Baba." The Indian Express also carried a story of the unique event, and one newspaper reported: "Meher Baba has a big following of cricketers, prominent among whom are India's captain Nari Contractor, Polly Umrigar, Khandu Rangnekar and others."

On Monday morning, 27 May 1963, Baba performed the Zoroastrian navjot ceremony of Beheram and Banoo Dadachanji's nine-year-old daughter, Armaity. He first asked the girl to pray aloud (in Gujarati): "Ahuramazda, Holy Zoroaster, Avatar Meher Baba! May I always have good thoughts, speak good words and do good deeds."

As she recited the invocation, Baba explained the significance of the prayer and then kissed her.

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