9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000


Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed


Buzz & Ginger Glasky


Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director


Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

Playing Cards with Meher Baba

Kendra Crossen Burroughs

Jimmy Khan - who is gave a talk at Meher Mount on Saturday, August 8, 2015 - earlier visited with his wife, Firuza Khan, in 2007.  

The following is an excerpt of a 2007 talk Jimmy gave at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, SC, as reported in Kendra's Notebook by Kendra Crossen Burroughs.   

By the way, Kendra and her husband, Jonathan Burroughs, were Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount from June 1997 to November 1999.  

By Kendra Crossen Burroughs

AVATAR MEHER BABA playing marbles with His disciples and followers.

AVATAR MEHER BABA playing marbles with His disciples and followers.

At Guruprasad [in Pune, India], Meher Baba used to enjoy playing a card game called La Risque, an occasion of much merriment. He liked a lively and amusing atmosphere around Him, so this was the perfect pastime. It eased the burden of Meher Baba's universal work and allowed the players' minds to focus on Him in a natural manner. 

The Loser Rejoices 

The losers, who had to humble themselves by rubbing their noses on the carpet before Baba, were really the winners, causing Meher Baba once to quote an Urdu verse meaning, "It is a game in which the winner feels ashamed and the loser rejoices."

If Meher Baba received very low cards, Jimmy would have to shuffle and deal again. Meher Baba had to have "nice cards." He would ask who had the joker, the ace, jack, or king, and they would openly discuss it. He might even peek at the other team's hands.  

If the opposing team had the high card, He'd tell them, "Give it to me," and all of a sudden the game was over before the cards had barely been dealt. Yes, Baba as the Divine Sportsman would cheat, but others were expected to play fair.


The losing team had to rub their nose on the carpet while the winning team cheered. (Baba never rubbed his nose on the ground.) 

Once a guy refused to rub his nose, and the Twins (Baba's nephews Rustom and Sohrab) forced him, while Baba silently shook with laughter. There were spiritual overtones to this gesture of humiliation in the presence of the God-Man, suggesting that one was rubbing away one's sanskaras [past impressions]. It was therefore regarded as a privilege by the men.

AVATAR MEHER BABA playing cricket - one of His favorite games.

AVATAR MEHER BABA playing cricket - one of His favorite games.

God Playing Cards? Unthinkable 

If Indians who were not Baba-lovers were to witness these games, they would disapprove, as cards are associated with gambling in the East and frowned upon. Card playing would especially be considered inappropriate activity in an ashram. What, God playing cards? Unthinkable.

In fact, sometimes while playing cards, if a conventional-minded religious person arrived to see Baba, He would gesture to the mandali, "Quick, sit on the cards!" so that the visitor would not be shocked.

This was not hypocrisy on Baba's part but rather, out of His divine courtesy, meeting their expectation of how God was expected to behave. As soon as the visitor was gone, out would come the cards again.

As Jimmy Khan described it, while playing La Risque one's mind was focused on the cards, lost to the world and all worries. With your energies focused on the cards and the desire to win, Baba would use those energies to work on you.

Meher Baba Imparted His Love Most Naturally 

Jimmy said that the conviction that Meher Baba was the Avatar of the Age was not of concern to him. Just being in Meher Baba's company was all they ever wanted.

Through such stories of experiences in Baba's presence, one sees how Meher Baba lived and imparted His love most naturally among people as one of them, and one with them; however, He would frequently remind them: Never forget that I am God.