Francis Brabazon

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Francis Brabazon
Brabazon.jpg
Born 24 January 1907
London, England
Died 24 June 1984
Queensland, Australia
Occupation Poet
Website
francisbrabazon.net

Francis Brabazon (24 January 1907 – 24 June 1984) was an Australian poet and a member of Meher Baba's mandali.

Brabazon was born in London. His family moved to Australia when he was a boy. In the 1940s, Brabazon became interested in Eastern spirituality and soon became a student of the Australian Sufi leader Friedrich von Frankenberg.[1]

With the death of his Sufi teacher in 1950, Brabazon became the head of one part of the split Sufi Movement in Australia. He met Meher Baba on a trip to America in 1952 and later described Baba as "the very personification of truth and the very embodiment of beauty."[2] After returning to Australia he wrote to American Sufi leader Murshida Ivy O. Duce indicating "great depression". Duce replied she thought this was due to the "gradual understanding of what we have to do".[3] In preparation for a planned visit to Australia by Meher Baba, Francis and a party of helpers managed to complete "Beacon Hill house" near Sydney in time for Baba's arrival in August 1956. It was later renamed "Meher House".

Avatar's Abode[edit]

Main article: Avatar's Abode

The idea to establish a place dedicated to Meher Baba in Queensland grew out of a letter from Meher Baba’s sister and disciple, Mani Irani.[4] On 11 January 1958, she wrote to Bill Le Page and the Australian group of followers, indicating that Meher Baba wished to give his Sahavas in Australia at one place only, and that Baba would "like Queensland if the climate is good during June, and if the place is practical."[5] Previously over the years Bill Le Page and Francis Brabazon had discussed setting up a permanent centre north of Sydney and had explored New South Wales in Le Page's car several times, the longest trip was 350 miles north, during which they slept under the stars by night.[6] Now they looked to Queensland. In 1958 using money willed by the Australian Sufi leader Friedrich von Frankenberg Brabazon bought a pineapple farm on Kiels Mountain, Woombye, Queensland to host Meher Baba on his second visit in 1958. Meher Baba's telegramed approval of the site. While he was there, Meher Baba named the area Avatar's Abode and said it would become a place of world pilgrimage.[7]

India[edit]

Francis Brabazon lived in India for ten years with Meher Baba from 1959 to 1969.[8] In India Brabazon also caught up with visiting Australians. Once emphasizing the closeness of Francis and Bill Le Page, Baba turned to Le Page and remarked, "Yes, you love Francis very much, and he loves you very much."[9] While in India he was in close contact with those mandali who had been with Baba for many decades. People like Padri, the Englishman William Donkin M.D. and Mani Irani, Meher Baba's sister. Living there could be challenging, in part due to the language issue. One of Baba's disciples, C. D. Deshmukh, used to perform kirtans every day for Baba in one of the many Indian languages.[10] Brabazon used to get irritated, not understanding the title or lyrics. Once a funny incident occurred. Brabazon used to often ask his disciple Bhau Kalchuri "What is this tune called". Bhau just as often replied "I dont know". Brabazon kept asking, so Bhau started making up titles. Brabazon was satisfied for a while but then used to ask another disciple, Jim Mistry, for translations of the songs. Jim Mistry would make these up also to appease Francis. [11]

Baba once rebuked Brabazon in a group setting about his making fun of Donkin, saying, "Remember Francis, Don's a better man than you any day."[12] This rebuking theme continued with an unlikely topic, Jim Reeves. Brabazon had grunted in reply to the question Baba asked "Do you like it Francis?" in reference to the song "Welcome to My World" by Jim Reeves. Baba had just given high praise to Jim Reeves voice and lyrics by saying "Reeves voice touches my heart".[13] Despite this praise and Baba miming the entire Jim Reeves song, 'Welcome to my World', as he explained the lyric meanings to Brabazon, Brabazon remained unimpressed. Brabazon did not care for Reeves voice or lyrics and later many times openly made fun of Reeves.[14]

This constant criticism of something Baba held dear had upset Mani. She did not have a cordial relationship with Brabazon to start with and she now found Brabazons attitude disrespectful.[15] Mani believed Brabazon should have said 'yes' to Baba's question to him about the song "Do you like it Francis?" instead of grunting.[16] Brabazon continued making fun of Reeves even after Baba had died. Mani eventually openly rebuked Brabazon saying to him 'I put up with it while Baba was here but now no more'. This made Brabazon cease his anti Jim Reeve sentiments being expressed.[17] Soon after he left India for Australia.

Grave of Francis Brabzon on Avatar's Abode overlooking the ocean

Australia[edit]

Brabrazon had been expecting some momentous event when Baba dropped his body. He had written to Murshid Ivy O Duce expressing the idea that once Baba drops the body he would break his silence and the 'New Humanity' would begin.[18] However instead of the new humanity Brabazon returned to Australia residing at Avatar's Abode in a small cottage. After some years of living with Alzheimer's disease Brabazon died. His grave is on Avatar's Abode overlooking the ocean.

Publications[edit]

Books by Francis Brabazon[edit]

  • Early Poems, 1953, Sydney: Beacon Hill Publishing.
  • Proletarians Transition, 1953, Sydney: Beacon Hill Publishing
  • 7 Stars to Morning, 1956, Sydney: Morgan’s Bookshop
  • Cantos of Wandering, 1957, Sydney: Beacon Hill Publishing
  • Singing Threshold, 1958, Sydney: Beacon Hill Publishing
  • Stay With God: A statement in illusion on Reality, 1959, Sydney, Garuda Books. 1977, Bombay, Meher House Publication. 1990, Melbourne, New Humanity Books. (ISBN 0949191078)
  • Let Us the People Sing, 1962, Poona, India: Privately published
  • The East West Gathering, 1963, Sydney: Meher House Publications
  • The Word at World’s End, 1971, Berkeley: John F. Kennedy Press
  • In Dust I Sing, 1974, Berkeley: The Beguine Library
  • Four and Twenty Blackbirds, 1975, Myrtle Beach: Sheriar Press
  • The Wind of the Word, 1976, Sydney: Garuda Publications
  • The Silent Word: Being some chapters of the life of Avatar Meher Baba, 1978, Sydney: Meher Baba Foundation Australia
  • The Golden Book of Praise, 1982, California: The Awakener Press
  • The Beloved is All in All, 1988, New Jersey: Beloved Books

Pamphlets by Francis Brabazon[edit]

  • The Birth of the Nation, 1956, Sydney: Meher House
  • The Lord Is Our Brother, 25 February 1959, Address, Bombay Press Conference

Booklets by Francis Brabazon[edit]

  • Three Talks: Francis Brabazon, 1969, Sydney: Meher House
  • Journey With God, 1954, Sydney: Beacon Hill Publishing

Further reading[edit]

  • Ross Keating, Francis Brabazon – Poet of the Silent Word – a modern Hafiz, 2002, World Axis Press (biography)
  • John A. Grant, Practical Spirituality With Meher Baba, 1987, Merwin Publications
  • Bill Le Page, The Turning of the Key, 1993, Sheriar Press
  • Robert Rouse, The Water Carrier, 1998, Deesh Books

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stay With God, Francis Brabazon, New Humanity Books, Melbourne, 1990, p. 3
  2. ^ http://www.avatarsabode.com.au/fb.htm
  3. ^ How a Master Works, Ivy O Duce, 1975, Sufism Reoriented Inc, p 168,
  4. ^ Avatar’s Abode 1958 - 2008, Kerkhove Ray, ICP, 2008
  5. ^ Avatar’s Abode 1958 - 2008, Kerkhove Ray, ICP, 2008
  6. ^ The Turning of the Key: Meher Baba in Australia, Bill Le Page, Bill Meher Baba Foundation (1993)
  7. ^ Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, 1986, p. 8460
  8. ^ Stay With God, Francis Brabazon, New Humanity Books, Melbourne, 1990, p. 4
  9. ^ Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, 1986, p. 6497
  10. ^ Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, 1986, p. 5895
  11. ^ Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, 1986, p. 5896
  12. ^ Mehera-Meher David Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 393
  13. ^ Mehera-Meher David Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 439
  14. ^ Mehera-Meher David Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 439
  15. ^ Mehera-MeherDavid Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 439
  16. ^ Mehera-MeherDavid Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 439
  17. ^ Mehera-MeherDavid Fenster, Meher Nazar Publications, 2003, p. 439
  18. ^ How a Master Works, Ivy O Duce, 1975, Sufism Reoriented Inc, p 331 ,

External links[edit]