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37

 

Many hands joined to slide the white marble slab forward over the grave with the urn, and the mandali laid on it jalees (flower-nets) and garlands amidst calls of Baba's Jai. Each one in turn offered flowers. In the shade-speckled light, the soft marble gleamed through the white flower jalees, the small bouquets of asters, the colorful roses and the bright marigolds. Here and there, the black of the inscription could be seen. Mani stepped forward to give this "Tribute of Love to Elizabeth Patterson":

 

"Honouring a special occasion for a very special person, we stand here today on Meherabad Hill near to the Beloved's Samadhi, in front of a grave in which we have just placed the urn containing the ashes of Elizabeth, disciple of Meher Baba. These words in fact are the inscription on the marble of her grave, simple words chosen by her and approved by Baba many years ago, words that speak of the sweet simplicity of her love for Baba and the totality of her surrender to Him - a true disciple of the True Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba.

 

"As we stand looking to the west, it is easy to relive some of the innumerable moments of our early life with Baba, and I cannot help recalling how we watched the incredible sunsets that had a special fascination for Norina, Elizabeth's constant companion of early years. Today the circle seems completed, as the earthly remains of Princess Norina and Elizabeth Patterson lie close to each other. And standing here among the graves of disciples, I think of the words I've heard since childhood. 'In the midst of life we are in death'; but for us there is a difference! For the ones awakened to Beloved Baba, the words are, 'In the midst of death we are in life.'

 

"Love is Life, and today we stand before a life that shines for all times as a living message of Avatar Meher Baba, a life that reflects His Love from many hearts who have been privileged to be with Elizabeth, to receive of her love, wisdom and humility, the hallmark of a true disciple.

 

With us in spirit and thought today, stand Kitty and Jane, Elizabeth's most closest companions, and Elizabeth's dear family - Virginia, Harry and others - and Charles, John and Wendy who were very dear to her, as well as each one of the many who shared the good fortune to help her and serve Baba at the Meher Spiritual Center in all these years. Among the old-time companions who were specially close to dearest Elizabeth, is Margaret Craske. She, and every Baba lover at the Center and in the nearby community, as well as Elizabeth's close Baba-friends everywhere, are also with us in heart today.

 

"As the Center itself is like a beautiful pink rose that Elizabeth has offered to her Beloved with all her heart, so each fresh fragrant flower of the jalee and garland that Mehera has placed, on behalf of all, on dearest Elizabeth's grave, represents the love of each one whose heart is at Baba's feet, in special remembrance of His Elizabeth on this morning of 10th March, 1981 on Meherabad Hill.

 

"AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!!"

 

After a silence, the song "Take My Life and Let it be Consecrated Lord, to Thee", was sung, one of Baba's favorite hymns, one He had given to His early Western disciples to memorize:

 

 

"Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
 
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy Love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

 

(Poem continues on next page)

 

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