Wednesday, October 07, 2009

On How Flora Purim Became a Baha'i: I challenged Dizzy again & he recited the prayer perfectly

How Flora became Baha'i... gw

Tom: Through your close friendship with Dizzy Gillespie, who was a devotee of the Bahá'í faith, you came to adopt that faith. How has Bahá'í influence you?

Flora: Bahá'í was a young religion when I met Dizzy. Dizzy used to carry his praying book, which was different than everyone else's.  All the pages were embossed in gold and his name was written on the front in gold. I used to sit next to him in first class, so once I asked him, "You are always reading this book. What is so good about it." He said, "This book is my Bible and I know every single prayer by memory."  I challenged him and he said, "OK, I’ll give you the book and you can open it to any page and ask me." I took the book, opened it to one page, and by chance it was the Prayer of the Traveler. He said, "Which one out of the five?" I chose, thinking it would be difficult for him. He recited the prayer fluently. I thought  to myself "He’s lucky, the Prayer of the Traveler is one he must read most often." I opened up another page, I challenged him again, and he recited the prayer perfectly. He read that book for 30 years every day. He read to remind himself that men should help other men, that a universal language should be created so that people could communicate and that women should be treated equal to men.

I told Dizzy, "I want to be a Bahá'í." He said, "You can’t be a Bahá'í yet." I asked him why. He said, "Before you decide you want to be a Bahá'í you have to read a couple of books to see if you agree with it." I was given several books to read, loved them and said, "I still want to be a Bahá'í." So we were leaving Australia and the family that was receiving all the Bahá'í in the town ran to the airport and gave me the book of prayers, just like Dizzy's book. Inside of the book was an Australian ten-dollar bill. I said, "Wait, I think you forgot the money." The lady who gave me the book said, "No we, didn't forget. You always keep this note inside of the book because this is to bring you more money and it could save you in a difficult situation." I kept it and never spent that money.

Photo: Uploaded on October 26, 2007 by Daniel Shen on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Posted via web from bahaimusic's posterous

No comments: