joined Baba at the home of a disciple, Baba referred to it. Delia said her roommate insisted on an open window, blowing a draft over her bed.
"Why don't you fight her?" He queried. "Baba, I thought we had to give in to others." “If you don't stand up for yourself, you make Me stand up for you!" He replied. In other words, for Delia, it was necessary to learn to be more assertive.*
Delia also attended the '62 East-West Gathering, and, as for most of us, this was her farewell glimpse of the Master. Since then she has continued being a strong "cotter's pin" in London, holding the English group together there. In the '60's, as everywhere the world over, a nouveau vague of young people washed over the Baba scene. In London, this included some English rock stars, notably Peter Townshend. He became close to Delia and helped her group by donating his studio for meetings and later, Oceanic, a renovated boathouse on the Thames.
When Delia first sent a news clipping of the Who to Baba, He put His thumb very strongly on Peter's picture.** As a devotee of Baba Peter brought many young people to Baba. He put "Producer — Avatar Meher Baba" on some of his record albums. His rock opera, Tommy is based rather obscurely on Baba's teachings (the Pinball Wizard is Upasni Maharaj!). Pete made a fine film of Delia, and also O Parvardigar, in which he sings the Master's Prayer. Thus Delia's quiet work for Baba netted many new hearts for Him. But I myself remember her best for that soul-quickening moment when she introduced me to my Beloved.
P.S. In the Thirties, as He predicted, Baba contacted many Westerners in His Circle, of whom Delia was one. As always, He would praise them highly one moment and the next call them "second-hand furniture." He told them that everyone in His Circle was veiled and that no one either knew where they were on the Spiritual Planes, nor where anyone else is. It was Delia who said "But Baba, then we don't have any of the fun — just the miseries of ordinary people!!" Amen!!
What did these eight women all have in common? They were cultured, charming, good-looking, too! Intelligent, talented, strong-willed, intuitive, courageous, and had a good sense of humor. Sociologically they were white, Western, upper-class women who had some financial freedom to follow a spiritual life, and were not over-burdened with domestic duties. But these are all external criteria. Inwardly, they had a strong drive towards God. All had searched for enlightenment before meeting Baba. All had deep connections with Him; they recognized Him almost immediately, and surrendered their lives to Him unconditionally. But it is their love for the Godman, Meher Baba. that is the keynote to their character. Also — at moments, through their eyes, you could see Baba looking at you!!
Of course, there are other Western women who have served Baba's cause well. There is Kim (Tolhurst) Grajera, the striking Titian-haired beauty with the lovely voice, for whom Kimco was named; Baba visited her mansion, Penn in England, for a day; and in her home on Riverside Drive in New York our Monday Night group used to meet. There is Anita (de Caro) Vieillard, who met Baba as a young art student in New York, and together with her husband Roger, "holds the fort" in Paris. There is Rano Gayley, the Westerner who never left India, who still considers it her home, and of whose artistic talents Baba made such interesting use. And: Mary Backett, Baba's archangel, who, with her husband Will, helped Delia in the early London years. Hedi Mertens, in whose home Baba stayed many times in Switzerland. Irene Billo, another Swiss, perhaps the youngest Westerner of all to share the ashram life in India. Agnes Baron, "Baba's watchdog," at Meher Mount, Ojai, California, who has done such good work for Baba among young people on drugs. Mother Kyle, the Theosophy leader, who gave it up for Baba and met Him at 95 years of age. "I'm so old," she told Baba, who replied, "So am I, I am the Ancient One." Jean Shaw, who, with Darwin Shaw, has worked for Baba since the Thirties. (They were caretakers at the Center for a year.) Ruano Bogislav, who had the unique privilege of meeting Baba's top "direct agent " — an American Indian — in Albuquerque, N.M. Ella Winterfeldt — a pillar of love and support to the New York
*see Delia’s book, ‘The Ocean of Love’ p.162, and **p.200 for the whole story-jk