New Millennium Celebrations at Meherabad
This New Year , which marked the start of a New Millennium was a special occasion at Meherabad also and was celebrated with a difference.
About 200 Baba lovers had converged from various parts of India and the world to spend the New Year Eve at Meherabad. The desire in every heart was to enter into the New Millennium praying at Beloved Baba's Tomb. This would normally not be possible as the Tomb is closed for Darshan between 8.00 PM and 6 A.M.
However Baba lovers were overjoyed to learn that the Tomb would be open for Darshan on 31st December 1999 from 8 PM to 12.30 AM to permit pilgrims to enter the New Millennium Praying at the Beloveds feet.
A programme was organized on the day and I recall and chronologically summarize the events of the New Years Eve :
Aarti and Prayers at The Samadhi as Usual
9.00 - 10.45 PM
A get together of all Baba Lovers on the Meherabad campus at the Pilgrim Centre. The Pilgrim Centre Dining Hall was beautifully decorated and the two hours were spent in joyous dancing and singing.
All pilgrims converged outside the Pilgrim Centre and formed a procession holding candles in their hands. It was a sight to behold as almost 200 people holding candles in their hands , started walking up the hill to towards the tomb singing Baba's Name and illuminating the dark cold night at Meherabad with the Beloveds light . In many ways the light symbolized a prayer from the lovers to make the New Millennium a bright one for humanity.
The procession reached the Samadhi and Drashan started . Simultaneously , the eastern and western lovers started singing devotional songs. A programme had been chalked earlier and the sequence of songs had been decided in advance . Photocopies of the lyrics of all songs were distributed to pilgrims present such that all can join in the singing. The atmosphere was filled with beautiful music and great joy.
At the stroke of midnight , the New Year and the New Millennium was welcomed by Saying 'Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai" 7 Times and Baba's prayers and Aaratis.
Upon completion of the Aartis , people greeted each other and then around 12.30 , all started descending the Hill and reached the Pilgrim Centre where a delicious midnight supper prepared by Alan awaited them. The supper was enjoyed by all and the celebrations came to a close at around 1.30 PM .
It was a momentous occasion that will remain alive in the hearts of all present for as long as they live . I never missed my camera so much which I forgot to pack. I am sure some other Baba lovers will share the photographs of the New Year celebrations at Meherabad on the net soon.