When the Word of My Love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that that is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear. — Meher Baba
Avatar Meher Baba — AN INTRODUCTORY BIOGRAPHY
CHILDHOOD – MEETING BABAJAN
Meher Baba was born Merwan Sheriar Irani on February 25th, 1894 to Irani parents, in a Jewish Hospital in Poona, India. He had a normal childhood and was educated at a Catholic school where He was a natural leader, loved and respected by his peers. He excelled in sports as well as poetry and music. His life changed abruptly at the age of 19 during His first year of college. One day as He was bicycling home, Hazrat Babajan, the Sufi Muslim saint who was one of the five Perfect Masters of the age, beckoned Him to come near her. She embraced Him and began to awaken Him to His destiny as Avatar. After seven months, with a kiss to His forehead Babajan unveiled Merwan’s true state of God-consciousness. For the next 9 months Merwan lost consciousness of the world.
MEETING PERFECT MASTERS – EARLY DISCIPLES
But eventually He was inwardly compelled to visit the other four perfect masters of the age including Sai Baba of Shirdi, who sent Merwan to the Hindu Sadguru, Upasni Maharaj. Over the next seven years, Upasni Maharaj fully integrated Merwan’s divine consciousness of infinite knowledge with complete worldly consciousness of creation which He would need to fulfill His unique responsibility as Avatar. By that time a number of disciples from diverse backgrounds began to gather around Merwan, referring to Him as “Meher Baba,” which means “Compassionate Father.” Meher Baba trained these early disciples over the coming years as He began to carry out His universal mission. Meher Baba and His close disciples maintained a lifestyle of purity and high moral standards.
MEHERABAD – MASTERY IN SERVITUDE
In May of 1923, Meher Baba established “Meherabad” in the rural district of Ahmednagar. Within two years Meherabad became a thriving colony whose residents followed a disciplined life, exemplary of Baba’s motto “Mastery in Servitude.” By Meher Baba’s direction, a hospital and dispensary, and schools were established providing a variety of free services to the needy local population, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.
HIS SILENCE – GOD SPEAKS
On July 10, 1925 Meher Baba began His great long silence, which He maintained for the rest of His life. This was not undertaken as a spiritual exercise but rather, a limitation He assumed in His Work for the benefit of humanity. For many years He communicated by pointing to the letters on an alphabet board. In 1954, He deepened His Silence by giving up the board, and communicating through His unique, eloquent hand gestures and expressions. However, in His Silence Meher Baba gave unparalleled explanations concerning the spiritual Truths of the universe and authored several books. God Speaks (1955) offers comprehensive explanations of the fabric of the universe and depicts the journey of individual souls through creation, evolution of consciousness, reincarnation, involution of consciousness, and realization. Discourses (late 1930s-40s) provides thorough, practical, and inspiring spiritual perspectives on life and existence.
WORLD TRAVELS – WORK WITH GOD-INTOXICATED
Beginning in 1931 Meher Baba began a series of world travels, contacting thousands and ‘laying cables’ for His spiritual work. Another important part of Meher Baba’s work through the years was to personally contact and serve hundreds of people lost in the inner spiritual world referred to as “masts.” These are advanced souls who have become spiritually intoxicated from deep inner awareness of God. Baba traveled many thousands of miles to remote places throughout the Indian subcontinent, working to advance the masts spiritually and to engage them in His great work to benefit humanity.
THE NEW LIFE
1949 Meher Baba went with a few companions on what He called ‘the New Life’ of complete renunciation, absolute helplessness, and sole reliance on God. By living this New Life, which included wandering and begging phases, Meher Baba became the ordinary seeker on behalf of all humanity, and along with His companions, re-established the clear path to God.
1950s – TWO AUTOMOBILE COLLISIONS – MASS DARHAN PROGRAMS
During the 1950s Meher Baba travelled three more times to the West and visited Centers in America and Australia that were established for Him there. In 1952 in America, and in 1956 near Satara, India, Meher Baba was injured in two serious automobile collisions. He explained that in each advent the Avatar takes on physical and spiritual suffering as part of the work He does for humanity.
During the mid-1950s Meher Baba travelled to different parts of India to give mass darshan programs to over a million people, sowing His love “deep in their hearts.” Through the 1960s Meher Baba continued to do His Universal Spiritual Work, often fasting in strict seclusion just as He had done since the early years of His life’s mission.
DROPPING HIS BODY
The purpose of Meher Baba’s life was to fulfill His Work of giving the great ‘spiritual push’ to the universe. In July of 1968 Meher Baba announced that He had completed His Work 100% to His satisfaction, but His health was shattered, and on 31st January 1969, Meher Baba dropped His physical form “to live eternally in the hearts of all who love Him.” In keeping with His directive, His body was brought to Meherabad and placed in His Tomb-Shrine. Today, Meher Baba’s Tomb is a site of world pilgrimage to many thousands who journey there to pay homage to the Avatar of the Age.