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Meher Baba
Full name Meher Baba
Born February 25, 1894
Pune, India
Died January 31, 1969 (aged 74)
Meherazad, India
Era 20th century
Region India
School Sufism, Vedanta, Mysticism
Main interests Religion, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Ethics
Signature

Meher Baba (Devanāgarī: मेहेर बाबा), (February 25, 1894 – January 31, 1969), born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age.

He led a normal childhood and showed no particular inclination toward spiritual matters. At the age of 19, however, a brief contact with the Muslim holy woman Hazrat Babajan triggered a seven-year process of spiritual transformation.[1][2] Over the next months he contacted four additional spiritual figures whom, along with Babajan, he called "the five Perfect Masters". He spent seven years in spiritual training with one of the masters, Upasni Maharaj, before beginning his public work.[3] The name Meher Baba means "Compassionate Father" and was given to him by his first followers.[4]

From July 10, 1925 to the end of his life, Meher Baba maintained silence, and communicated by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.[5][6][7][8] With his mandali ('circle' of disciples), he spent long periods in seclusion in which he often fasted. He would intersperse these periods with wide-ranging travels, public gatherings, and works of charity, including working with lepers, the poor, and the mentally ill.

In 1931, he made the first of many visits to the West, gathering many followers.[9] Throughout most of the 1940s he worked with an enigmatic category of person whom he said were advanced souls and for whom he used the term masts.[10] Starting in 1949, along with selected mandali, he traveled incognito about India in what he called "The New Life." On February 10, 1954, Meher Baba declared that he was the Avatar (an incarnation of God).[11]

After suffering as a passenger in two automobile accidents, one in the United States in 1952 and one in India in 1956, his capacity to walk became seriously limited.[12][13] In 1962, he invited his western followers to India for a mass darshan called The East-West Gathering.[14] Concerned by an increasing use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs,[15] in 1966 Meher Baba addressed their use and stated that they did not convey real benefits.[16] Despite deteriorating health, he continued his "universal work," which included fasting, seclusion, and meditation, until his death on January 31, 1969. His samadhi (tomb-shrine) in Meherabad, India has become a place of international pilgrimage.[17]

Contents

Early life

Meher Baba at 16 years old in 1910

Meher Baba was an Irani[18] born in Pune, India to a Zoroastrian family.[19] His given name was Merwan Sheriar Irani. He was the second son of Sheriar Mundegar Irani, a Persian Zoroastrian who had spent years wandering in search of spiritual experience before settling in Pune, and Sheriar's young wife, Shireen.[20]

His schoolmates nicknamed him "Electricity". As a boy he formed The Cosmopolitan Club dedicated to remaining informed in world affairs and giving money to charity — money often raised by the boys betting at the horse races.[21] He had an excellent singing voice and was a multi-instrumentalist and poet. Fluent in several languages, he was especially fond of Hafez's Persian poetry, but also of Shakespeare and Shelley.[22]

In his youth, he had no mystical inclinations or experiences, and was "[u]ntroubled as yet by a sense of his own destiny..."[23] He was more interested in sports, especially cricket, and was co-captain of his High School cricket team. Baba later explained that a veil is always placed on the Avatar until the time is right for him to begin his work.[24] At the age of 19, however, during his second year at Deccan College in Pune, he met a very old Muslim woman, a spiritual master named Hazrat Babajan, who kissed him on the forehead. The event affected him profoundly; he experienced visions and mystical feelings so powerful that he gave up his normal activities.[25] He began to beat his head against a stone to maintain, as he later put it, contact with the physical world. He also contacted other spiritual figures, who (along with Babajan) he later said were the five "Perfect Masters" of the age: Hazrat Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori.[26]

Upasni helped him, he later said, to integrate his mystical experiences with normal consciousness, thus enabling him to function in the world without diminishing his experience of God-realization.[27] In 1921, at the age of 27, after living for seven years with Upasni, Merwan started to attract a following of his own. His early followers gave him the name "Meher Baba," meaning Compassionate Father.[28]

In 1922, Meher Baba and his followers established "Manzil-e-Meem" (House of the Master) in Bombay. There Baba began his practice of demanding strict discipline and obedience from his disciples.[29] A year later, Baba and his mandali ("circle" of disciples) moved to an area a few miles outside Ahmednagar, which he called "Meherabad" (Meher flourishing).[30] This ashram would become the center for his work. In 1924, Meher Baba created a resident school at Meherabad, which he called the "Prem Ashram" (in several languages "prem" means "love"). The school was free and open to all castes and faiths. The school drew multi-denominational students from around India and Iran.[31]

From 1925 until 1954 Meher Baba communicated by pointing to letters on an alphabet board.

Silence

From July 10, 1925 until his death in 1969, Meher Baba was silent.[32][33] He communicated first by using an alphabet board, and later by unique hand gestures which were interpreted and spoken out by one of his mandali, usually by his disciple Eruch Jessawala.[5] Meher Baba said that his silence was not undertaken as a spiritual exercise but solely in connection with his universal work.

Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence.[34]

Meher Baba often spoke of the moment "that he would 'break' his silence by speaking the 'Word' in every heart, thereby giving a spiritual push forward to all living things."[35]

When I break My Silence, the impact of My Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it. It will help every individual to break himself free from his own bondage in his own way. I am the Divine Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself. The breaking of My Silence will help you to help yourself in knowing your real Self.[36]

Meher Baba said that the breaking of his silence would be a defining event in the spiritual evolution of the world.

When I speak that Word, I shall lay the foundation for that which is to take place during the next seven hundred years.[37]

On many occasions Meher Baba promised to break his silence with an audible word[38] before he died, often stating a specific time and place when this would occur.[39] His failure to fulfill these promises disappointed some of his followers, while others regarded these broken promises as a test of their faith.[40] Some followers speculate that "the Word" will yet be "spoken," or that Meher Baba did break his silence but in a spiritual rather than a physical way.[41]

According to all contemporary accounts, Meher Baba remained silent until his death, but more than thirty years later one close disciple recalled that Meher Baba had spoken to him a few hours before he died,[42] although this recollection contradicted his own earlier accounts.[43]

Each July 10, many of Baba's followers celebrate Silence Day to honor him.

1930s

First contacts with the West

In the 1930s, Meher Baba began a period of extensive world travel, with several trips to Europe and the United States. It was during this period that he established contact with his first close group of Western disciples.[9] He traveled on a Persian passport, because he had given up writing as well as speaking, and would not sign the forms required by the British Government of India.[44]

On his first trip to England in 1931 he traveled on the Rajputana, the same ship that was carrying Mahatma Gandhi who was sailing to the second Round Table Conference in London. Meher Baba and Gandhi had three meetings onboard including one that lasted for three hours.[45] The British press emphasized these meetings[46] but an aide to Gandhi said, "You may say emphatically that Gandhi never asked Meher Baba for help or for spiritual or other advice."[47]

Meher Baba in 1925, the year he began his lifelong silence

On the journey he was interviewed on behalf of the Associated Press, which quoted him describing his trip as a "new crusade . . . to break down all religious barriers and destroy America's materialism and amalgamate all creeds into a common element of love".[48] His intention, according to the resulting article, was to convert thousands of Americans from sin. Describing Baba as "The Messiah," the article also claims he listed miracles he had performed, and said that a person who becomes one with the truth can accomplish anything, but that it is a weakness to perform miracles only to show spiritual power. However, another description of the interview states that when Baba was asked about the miracles attributed to him, he replied "The only miracle for the Perfect Man to perform is to make others perfect too. I want to make the Americans realize the infinite state which I myself enjoy."[49]

Baba was invited to the "Meherashram" retreat in Harmon, New York by Malcolm and Jean Schloss. The Time article on the visit states that Schloss referred to him in uppercase as "He, Him, His, Himself" and that Baba was described by his followers variously as the "God Man", "Messiah" or "Perfect Master".[50]

On May 20, 1932 Baba arrived in New York and provided the press with a 1,000-word written statement, which was described by devotee Quentin Tod as his Message to America. In the statement Baba proclaimed himself "one with the infinite source of everything," and declared his intention to break his silence: "When I speak, my original message will be delivered to the world and it will have to be accepted". When asked about the Indo-British political situation, he had no comment, but his followers explained that he had told Gandhi to abandon politics.[51]

Meher Baba at Paramount Film Studio, London, April 1932

In the West, Meher Baba met with a number of celebrities and artists, including Hollywood notables Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead, Boris Karloff, Tom Mix, Maurice Chevalier, Ernst Lubitsch and others.[52] On June 1, 1932 Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. held a reception for Baba at Pickfair where he delivered a message to Hollywood.[53][54] As a result, Meher Baba emerged as “one of the enthusiasms of the ‘30’s.” [55]

In 1934, after announcing that he would break his self-imposed silence in the Hollywood Bowl, Baba suddenly changed his plans and boarded the Empress of Canada and sailed to Hong Kong without explanation. The Associated Press reported that "Baba had decided to postpone the word-fast breaking until next February because 'conditions are not yet ripe'."[56] He returned to England in 1936,[57] but did not return to the United States again until the early 1950s.[58]

In the late 1930s, Meher Baba invited a group of western women to join him in India, where he arranged a series of trips throughout India that became known as the Blue Bus Tours. When they returned home, many newspapers treated their journey as an occasion for scandal.[59] Time Magazine's 1936 review of God is my Adventure describes the US's fascination with the "long-haired, silky-mustached Parsee named Shri Sadgaru [sic] Meher Baba" four years earlier.[60]

Discourses

During the course of early gatherings of his close circle and followers, Meher Baba gave discourses on various spiritual subjects. Between 1938 and 1943, at the request of Princess Norina Matchabelli, one of his earliest Western devotees, Meher Baba dictated a series of discourses on his alphabet board for her New York publication Meher Baba Journal.[61] These discourses, transcribed or worked up by close disciples from points given by Baba, address many aspects of the spiritual life, and provide practical and simple direction for the aspirant. During those years, at least one discourse appeared each month in the journal. Chakradhar Dharnidhar Deshmukh, a close disciple of Meher Baba, compiled and edited the discourses.

Between 1939 and 1954 in India, a five-volume compilation titled Discourses of Meher Baba received several printings. In 1967 Meher Baba personally supervised the editing and publication of a new three-volume version of the Discourses, known as the sixth edition.[62] The widely available seventh edition of the Discourses first published in 1987 (after Baba's death), contains numerous editorial changes not specifically authorized by Meher Baba.[63]

1940s

Work with 'masts'

Meher Baba with mast Shariat Khan in Bangalore

In the 1930s and 1940s, Meher Baba did extensive work with a category of people he termed masts: persons "intoxicated with God."[64] According to Meher Baba these individuals are essentially disabled by their enchanting experience of the higher spiritual planes. Although outwardly masts may appear irrational or even insane, Meher Baba said that their spiritual status was actually quite elevated, and that by meeting with them, he helped them to move forward spiritually while enlisting their aid in his spiritual work.[10] One of the best known of these masts, known as Mohammed Mast, lived at Meher Baba's encampment at Meherabad until his death in 2003.[65]

The New Life

In 1949 Meher Baba began an enigmatic period which he called "The New Life". Following a series of questions on their readiness to obey even the most difficult of his requests, Meher Baba selected twenty companions to join him in a life of complete "hopelessness, helplessness and aimlessness".[66]

He made provisions for those dependent on him, then he and his companions otherwise gave up all property and financial responsibilities. They then traveled about India incognito, without money, with no permanent lodging, begging for food, and carrying out Baba's instructions in accordance with a strict set of "conditions of the New Life". These included absolute acceptance of any circumstance, and consistent good cheer in the face of any difficulty. Companions who failed to comply were sent away.[67]

About the New Life Meher Baba wrote:

This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish all this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of God and in the reality of Manifestation, and yet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of Truth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. This New Life will live by itself eternally, even if there is no one to live it.[68]

After a period of seclusion and fasting Meher Baba ended the New Life in February 1952,[69] and once again began a round of public appearances throughout India and the West.[70]

1950s

Meher Baba leaving a darshan program, February 26, 1954, riding on the roof of a car so that attendees can see.[71]

Automobile accident in the U.S.A.

In the 1950s Meher Baba established two centers outside of India: Meher Spiritual Center, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Avatar's Abode, near Brisbane, Australia. He inaugurated the Meher Spiritual Center in the United States in April, 1952. On May 24, 1952, en route from the Meher Spiritual Center to Meher Mount in Ojai, California, the car in which Meher Baba was a passenger was struck head-on near Prague, Oklahoma. He and his companions were thrown from the vehicle and suffered many injuries. Meher Baba's leg was severely broken and he had facial injuries. The injured were treated in Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina after which they returned to Myrtle Beach to recuperate.[12].

Declaration of Avatarhood

Meher Baba began dictating his major book about the purpose of creation, God Speaks, in Dehradun, August 1953.[72] In it he explained the difference between the Avatar and the Sadgurus.[73] In September 1953, at Dehradun, Meher Baba declared that he was "The Highest of the High."[74] On February 10, 1954 in Meherastana U.P., India, Meher Baba publicly and explicitly declared his Avatarhood for the first time, spelling out on his alphabet board "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai."[11]

In September of that year, Meher Baba gave a "men-only" sahavas at Meherabad which later became known as the "Three Incredible Weeks."[75] During this time Baba issued a declaration, "Meher Baba's Call," wherein he affirmed his Avatarhood "irrespective of the doubts and convictions" of others.[76] At the end of this sahavas Meher Baba gave the completed manuscript of his book God Speaks to two attending American Sufis, Lud Dimpfl and Don E. Stevens, for editing and publication in America.[77] The book was published by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. On September 30, 1954 Meher Baba gave his "Final Declaration" message, in which he spelled out various enigmatic predictions.[78]

In October 1954, Meher Baba discarded his alphabet board and began using a unique set of hand gestures to communicate.[79]

Automobile accident in India

On December 2, 1956, outside Satara, India, the car in which Meher Baba was being driven went out of control and a second serious automobile accident occurred. Meher Baba suffered a fractured pelvis and other severe injuries. Dr. Nilu, a close mandali, was killed.[13] This collision seriously incapacitated Meher Baba. Despite his physicians' predictions to the contrary, after great effort Baba managed to walk again, but from that point was in constant pain and was severely limited in his ability to move. In fact, during his trip to the West in 1958 he often needed to be carried from venue to venue.[80] Baba indicated that his automobile accidents and the suffering that attended them were, like his silence, purposeful and brought about by his will.[81]

Final visits to the West

In 1956, during his fifth visit to the US, Baba stayed at New York's Hotel Delmonico before traveling to the Meher Center at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In July he traveled to Washington, D.C. and received friends and disciples at the home of Mrs. James Terry (Ivy) Duce[82] wife of the vice-president of the Arabian American Oil Co.[83] He then traveled to Meher Mount at Ojai, California, before continuing on to Australia. His final visit to the US and Australia was made in 1958.[84]

1960s

Seclusion and East-West Gathering

Meher Baba returned to India and began more periods of fasting, meditation, and seclusion. Meher Baba said that although the work was draining and exhausting, it was done on behalf of the spiritual welfare of all humanity.[85][86]

In 1962, Meher Baba gave one of his last public functions, a series of meetings he called The East-West Gathering. At these meetings, in which his western followers were invited to meet his Indian disciples, Baba gave darshan to many thousands of people, despite the physical strain this caused.[87]

Addressing the drug culture

Meher Baba poster in scene from the 1970 film Woodstock.

In the mid-1960s Meher Baba became concerned with the increasing drug culture in the West and began a correspondence with several Western academics including Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert in which he strongly discouraged the use of all hallucinogenic drugs for spiritual purposes.[88] In 1966 Meher Baba's responses to questions on drugs were published in a pamphlet titled God in a Pill? Meher Baba stated that drug use was spiritually damaging and that if enlightenment were possible through drugs then "God is not worthy of being God."[89] Meher Baba instructed some of his young Western disciples to spread this message; in doing so, they increased awareness of Meher Baba's teachings among the young during this period. In an interview with Frederick Chapman, a Harvard graduate and Fulbright scholar who met Baba during a year of study in India, Baba stated that LSD is "harmful physically, mentally and spiritually", and warned that "the continued use of LSD leads to madness or death."[90]

On this basis, an anti-drug campaign was initiated by Baba lovers in the USA, Europe and Australia. Although the campaign was largely unsuccessful,[91] it created a wave of new followers, and some of Baba’s views found their way into academic debate on the merits and dangers of hallucinogens.[92]

Final seclusion and death

From the East-West Gathering onward, Meher Baba's health steadily deteriorated. Despite the physical toll it took on his body, Meher Baba continued to undertake long periods in seclusion, fasting and meditating.[93]

Meher Baba in 1968

In late July 1968, Meher Baba completed a particularly taxing period of seclusion and emerged saying that his work was "completed 100% to my satisfaction."[94] By this point he was using a wheelchair. Within a few months his condition worsened and he was bed-ridden. His body was wracked by intense muscular spasms that had no clear origin. Despite the care of several doctors, the spasms grew progressively worse.[95]

On January 31, 1969, Meher Baba died,[96] conveying by his last gestures, "Do not forget that I am God."[95] In time his devotees called this day Amartithi (deathless day). Meher Baba's body was laid out for public viewing at his samadhi (tomb-shrine) at Meherabad. Covered with roses, and cooled by ice, his body was kept available to the public for one week before its final burial.[97] Before his passing, Meher Baba had made extensive preparations for a public darshan program to be held in Pune, India. His mandali decided to proceed with the arrangements despite the physical absence of the host. Several thousand attended this "Last Darshan," including many hundred people from the US, Europe, and Australia.[98][99]

Metaphysics

Source: Baba, Meher, Dodd Mead, God Speaks, The Theme of Creation and Its Purpose[100]

Meher Baba's metaphysical views are most notably described in God Speaks. His cosmology incorporates concepts and terms from Vedanta, Sufism, and Christianity.[101][102] Meher Baba upheld the concept of nonduality, the view that diverse creation, or duality, is an illusion and that the goal of life is conscious realization of the absolute Oneness of God inherent in all animate and inanimate beings and things. Meher Baba compares God's original state to an infinite, shoreless ocean which has only unconscious divinity — unaware of itself because there is nothing but itself. From this state, God had the "whim" to know Himself,[103] and asked "Who am I?"[104] In response to this question, creation came into existence. In this analogy, what was previously a still, shoreless Ocean now stirred,[105] forming innumerable "drops" of itself or souls. Meher Baba often remarked "You will find all the answers to your questions in God Speaks. Study the book thoroughly and absorb it." [106].

Evolution and Involution

According to Baba, each soul pursues conscious divinity by evolving: that is, experiencing form in seven "kingdoms" — stone/metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal, and human. The soul gathers sanskaras (impressions) in each form; these impressions lead to further evolution expressed by taking new, more complex forms. With each new form, increasing consciousness is gained, until the soul experiences and discards forms from all the evolutionary kingdoms. The final form of the soul's evolution is the human form. Only in the human form can the soul experience its own divinity, by entering into involution, through which it gradually eliminates all impressions which cause the appearance of separateness from God.[107]

Reincarnation and God-realization

Baba asserts that in the human form, the soul becomes subject to reincarnation, the "involuntary process of association and disassociation of consciousness".[108] The purpose of reincarnation is to provide the opportunity for liberation from illusion. The soul reincarnates innumerable times in all conditions of life encompassing the whole range of human experience (e.g. man/woman, rich/poor, powerful/weak, etc.).[109] Through the experience of opposites, sanskaras gradually grow fainter and scarcer.[110] Meher Baba describes the process of God-realization this way:

From out of the depth of unbroken Infinfity arose the Question, "Who am I?" And to that Question there is the answer, "I am God!"[111]

Meher Baba described heaven and hell as transitory and illusory states between incarnations:[112]

The states of heaven and hell are nothing but states of intensive experiences of the consciousness of the soul, experiencing either of the predominant counterparts of the opposite impressions while the soul is dissociated from the gross human body or form.[113]

Perfect Masters and the Avatar

Meher Baba says that at all times on Earth there are fifty-six incarnate God-realized souls, and that of these souls there are always five who constitute the five Perfect Masters of their era.[114] When one of the five perfect masters dies, Baba says, another God-realized soul among the fifty-six immediately replaces him or her by taking up that office.[115]

The Avatar, according to Meher Baba, is a special Perfect Master, the first soul to achieve God-realization. This soul, the original Perfect Master, or the "Ancient One", never ceases to incarnate. Baba says that this particular soul personifies the state of God which in Hinduism is named Vishnu and in Sufism is named Parvardigar, i.e. the sustainer or preserver state of God. According to Meher Baba the Avatar appears on Earth every 700-1400 years, and is 'brought down' into human form by the five perfect masters of the time to aid in the process of moving creation in its never ending journey toward Godhood. Baba said that in other ages this role was fulfilled by Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and lastly by Muhammad.[116]

Meher Baba describes the Avatar as "a gauge against which man can measure what he is and what he may become. He trues the standard of human values by interpreting them in terms of divinely human life."[117]

Most of Meher Baba's followers accept his claim of avatarhood[101] and he is said to be "revered by millions around the world as the Avatar of the age and a God realized being."[90]

Legacy

1966 Don't worry, be happy card

Meher Baba's travels and teachings left a legacy of followers and devotees worldwide. Although he sometimes participated in large public gatherings, he discouraged his followers from proselytizing or evangelizing on his behalf. Rather he stated, "Let your life itself be my message of love and truth to others."[118]

There is no central organization surrounding Meher Baba and no coordinated interaction between groups or even any requirement to be part of groups. Accordingly there is no reliable method for counting his devotees. Indeed "the group is so small that it has escaped the notice of religious studies experts."[119] There are no rites, rituals or duties required of his followers (who commonly call themselves "Baba lovers"). However, many devotees observe a few common practices on an informal basis.[120] These include keeping pictures and other souvenirs; regular times of personal meditation and remembrance, and refraining from practices Baba disliked, especially the use of psychedelic drugs including marijuana.[121]

Gatherings of Baba followers are highly informal and social in nature. Special effort will be made to gather together on Amartithi, the anniversary of Meher Baba's death, and on his birthday. Most Baba followers keep silent each July 10 (Silence Day), observing the request Meher Baba often made of his followers during his lifetime.[122]

Three prayers written by Meher Baba, "O Parvardigar", the "Prayer of Repentance" and the "Beloved God Prayer",[123][124] are recited morning and evening at his samadhi in India, and are often recited at gatherings. At Meherabad, his followers maintain Meher Baba's practice of lighting a dhuni fire in a fire-ring on the 12th of each month. After dhuni prayers, participants throw sandalwood twigs dipped in ghee into the flame as physical representations of fears and desires they wish to relinquish.

Although Meher Baba had initially begun gaining public attention in the West as early as 1932 as the result of contacts with some celebrities of the time (such as Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead, Boris Karloff and others), and the rather disillusioned account of Paul Brunton (A Search in Secret India, 1934), he achieved additional attention over three decades later through the work of Pete Townshend of The Who.[125] Parts of the rock-opera Tommy (May 1969) were inspired by Townshend's study of Meher Baba, to whom the album was dedicated.[126] The Who's 1971 song Baba O'Riley was named in part after Meher Baba and on his first solo album, Who Came First, Townshend recorded the Jim Reeves song, "There's A Heartache Following Me", saying that it was Meher Baba's favorite song.

Concepts of Meher Baba's philosophy, often including characters resembling Meher Baba, have frequently appeared in the work of comic book writer J.M. DeMatteis. In the 1980s Meher Baba played a small but pivotal role in the comic book Dr. Fate during a period when DeMatteis was at the helm. In subsequent issues, Meher Baba appears in various roles as a silent, unnamed guide and observer during the story arc's most spiritual sequences. Characters and concepts inspired by Meher Baba also appear in other works by DeMatteis, including Seekers Into The Mystery, The Last One and Batman: Absolution. In addition, DeMatteis has released a CD of music inspired by Meher Baba, titled How Many Lifetimes?[127]

Bobby McFerrin's 1988 Grammy Award winning song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was inspired by a popular quote of Baba's seen in numerous Baba posters and inspiration cards.[128]

Notes

  1. ^ Hopkinson, Tom & Dorothy:"Much Silence", Meher Baba Foundation Australia, 1974, p.24
  2. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 20
  3. ^ Haynes (1989) pp.38-39
  4. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 40
  5. ^ a b Purdom (1964) p. 52
  6. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 2
  7. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.738 "Meher Baba had observed silence three times before, but the silence of July 10th, 1925, was to last until the end. He never uttered another word the rest of his life."
  8. ^ Baba (2007) p. 3
  9. ^ a b Kalchuri (1986) pp. 1405ff
  10. ^ a b Donkin (2001)
  11. ^ a b Kalchuri (1986) p. 4283
  12. ^ a b Kalchuri (1986) p.3834-3840
  13. ^ a b Kalchuri (1986) p. 5130
  14. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5942ff
  15. ^ Brecher, Edward M; et al. (1972). "How LSD was popularized". Consumer Reports/Drug Library. http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/CU50.html. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  16. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6399ff
  17. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 62
  18. ^ In an Indian context, an Irani is a member of one of two groups of Zoroastrians of that subcontinent, the other being the Parsis. They are called "Iranis" by other Indians because they spoke an Iranian language. "Those who left Iran soon after the advent of Islam to escape persecution, reached the shores of Gujarat 1,373 years ago. Their descendants are the Parsis. While the Zoroastrians who migrated to India from Iran relatively recently — 19th century onwards — are called Irani Zoroastrians." (quote from Padmaja Shastri,TNN, What sets Zoroastrian Iranis apart, The Times of India, March 21, 2004, retrieved 11 July 2008).
  19. ^ Sutcliffe (2002); p. 38.
  20. ^ "I am called Meher Baba, but that is not my real name. I will tell you my family name but please don't disclose it as I travel under that name and I wish to remain incognito. I am a Persian, born in Poona on February 25, 1894. My father was a spiritually minded man and from boyhood until he was a grown man spent his life wandering in the jungle in search of spiritual experience. At the age of 35 he was told that he should resume a normal existence. This he did. He married and had six children. I am the second son. I was brought up as a Zoroastrian, the religion of my ancestors." http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/erics/ceylon.html
  21. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 186-188
  22. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 190-192
  23. ^ Hopkinson, Tom & Dorothy:Much Silence, Meher Baba Foundation Australia, 1974, p.24
  24. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 36
  25. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 198-201
  26. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 944
  27. ^ Listen Humanity, ed. D. E. Stevens, 1982. pp. 247-250
  28. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 328-330ff
  29. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.380ff
  30. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 501
  31. ^ Abdulla, Ramjoo: "Ramjoo's Diaries, 1922-1929: A Personal Account of Meher Baba's Early Work", Sufism Reoriented, 1979
  32. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 2
  33. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.738
  34. ^ Meher Baba: "Meher Baba's Universal Message", World's Fair Pamphlet, 1964
  35. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 66
  36. ^ Ullman, Robert; Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman (2001) (in English). Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages. RedWheel / Weiser. ISBN 1573245070. page 125.
  37. ^ Haynes (1989) p.67
  38. ^ Khauchuri (1989), p. 4586
  39. ^ See for example: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]
  40. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.1668
  41. ^ Haynes (1989) p.67
  42. ^ "Baba actually spoke two words to Bhau [Kalchuri]: 'Yad rakh [remember this]!' and then gestured, 'I am not this body!'...'Although Baba's voice was feeble,' Bhau recalled, 'the sound was audible and clear, and its intensity and impact very, very forceful. It conveyed so great an impression, that my mind itself neither registered nor questioned the fact that Baba was speaking." Kalchuri, Bhau (2005). Lord Meher. Volume 8 (Second (India) ed.). Meher Mownavani Publications. pp. 4765. 
  43. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6710
  44. ^ Kalchuri (1986), 1249
  45. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 95.
  46. ^ See articles from the Daily Herald, April 4, 1932 (quoted in Kalchuri (1986), p.1573) and from Sunday Express (April 1932) quoted in Purdom (1964), p.99)
  47. ^ Landau, Rom: "God Is My Adventure", Faber & Faber, London, 1936. p. 111.
  48. ^ Mills, James A. (AP), Indian Spiritual Leader to Tour the Nation, Jefferson City Post Tribune, March 25, 1932. p.5
  49. ^ Kalchuri(1986), p.1541
  50. ^ "God on the Hudson". Time Magazine. 1932-05-02. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,753275-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  51. ^ Indian Mystic in New York, Associated Press, May 20, 1932, The Lowell Sun
  52. ^ Landau, Rom: "God Is My Adventure", Faber & Faber, London, 1936. p. 108 Available as a Google book
  53. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 103-105
  54. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 1654
  55. ^ Ellwood 1973 p.281
  56. ^ Associated Press, July 13, 1932 , as cited Kalchuri (1986), p.1670
  57. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 2040ff
  58. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 1661-1668
  59. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 2338-2421
  60. ^ "Men, Masters & Messiahs". Time Magazine. 1936-04-20. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,848514-4,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  61. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 2337
  62. ^ 1967 Edition of Discourses online
  63. ^ Discourses, by Meher Baba, Sheriar Press, 1987
  64. ^ Donkin (2001) p. v ff
  65. ^ A Tribute to Mohammed Mast
  66. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 3481
  67. ^ Purdom (1964) pp. 163-176
  68. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 187
  69. ^ Purdom, (1964), p.194
  70. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 3762
  71. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.4328
  72. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4208
  73. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4789
  74. ^ Meher Baba: "Highest of the High", Pamphlet, September 1954
  75. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4451
  76. ^ Meher Baba: "Meher Baba's Call", Pamphlet, September 12, 1954
  77. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4551
  78. ^ AMBT
  79. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4457,4464
  80. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5450
  81. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5241
  82. ^ Filis Fredrick, THE AWAKENER, Vol. XX, No. 2, pp. 38-39 "Heroines of the Path, Part 7C". http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/erics/heroines7c.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  83. ^ Man hasn't spoken in 31 years, Big Spring Daily Herald, June 30, 1957 Note: this article identifies the visit as Meher Baba's 10th US visit, and places the planned date as July 1957, not 1956 as generally accepted.
  84. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5457
  85. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5596
  86. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 60
  87. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6000
  88. ^ Kalchuri (1986) pp. 6412ff
  89. ^ God in a Pill? Meher Baba on L.S.D. and The High Roads, Sufism Reoriented, Inc. 1966
  90. ^ a b Spiritual Leader Warning on LSDUPI, July 27, 1967
  91. ^ Bruce Hoffman, 'Something on an Inner Level,' Glow International Feb 1990, p.17
  92. ^ Albert Moraczewski, 'Psychadelic Agents and Mysticism,' Psychosomantics Vol. 12:2 (1971), 95-96
  93. ^ Haynes (1989) p. 61
  94. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6641
  95. ^ a b Kalchuri (1986) p. 6713
  96. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6650-6714
  97. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6735
  98. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6739
  99. ^ James Ivory, The Talk of the Town, “Jai Baba!,” The New Yorker, June 21, 1969, p. 28
  100. ^ Baba (1955)
  101. ^ a b New Religious Movements in the United States and Canada: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography. Contributors: Diane Choquette - compiler. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1985. Page Number: 12.
  102. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 418
  103. ^ Baba (1955), p. 182
  104. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 415
  105. ^ Kalchuri (1982) pp.5ff
  106. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 6233
  107. ^ Purdom(1964) p.418
  108. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 421.
  109. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 422
  110. ^ Baba (1955); p. 107
  111. ^ Purdom (1964) p. 415
  112. ^ Kalchuri(1986) p. 1076
  113. ^ Baba (1955) p.34
  114. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p.944
  115. ^ Adriel, Jean. Avatar: The Life Story of the Perfect Master, Meher Baba (1947), p.49 , J. F. Rowny press
  116. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4216
  117. ^ Meher Baba: "Discourses", Sufism Reoriented, 6th ed., 1967. Vol III, p. 15
  118. ^ Luck, Irwin: "The Silent Master Meher Baba", 1967.p. 17
  119. ^ Sufis plan new faith center in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Times, July 4, 2008
  120. ^ Cohen(1977) pp. 152-154
  121. ^ Eastern Mysticism and the Resocialization of Drug Users: The Meher Baba Cult, Thomas Robbins, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Autumn, 1969), pp. 308-317
  122. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 5476, 4933, 5609,6465,2294,3179,3864 etc.
  123. ^ Kalchuri (1986) p. 4209, 5633
  124. ^ Purdom(1964) p. 238
  125. ^ Rolling Stone, No. 71 (November 26, 1970)
  126. ^ "Tommy", The Who, Gatefold cover acknowledgements, May 23, 1969
  127. ^ http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org/matteis.html
  128. ^ Bruce Fessier, USA Weekend Magazine, October 21-23, 1988

References

  • Abdulla, Ramjoo (1979). Ramjoo's Diaries, 1922-1929: A Personal Account of Meher Baba's Early Work. Sufism Reoriented. 
  • Baba, Meher (1995). Discourses. Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Sheriar Foundation. ISBN 1-880619-09-1. 
  • Baba, Meher (2007). Discourses (rev 6th edtion). Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Sheriar Foundation. pp. 904. 
  • Baba, Meher (1966). God in a Pill? Meher Baba on L.S.D. and The High Roads. Sufism Reoriented, Inc. 
  • Baba, Meher (1997). God Speaks. Walnut Creek, California: Sufism Reoriented. ISBN 0-915828-02-2. 
  • Baba, Meher (1989). Silent Master. Spartacus Educational Publishers. ISBN 0-948867-25-6. 
  • Choquette, Diane (1985). New religious movements in the United States and Canada: a critical assessment and annotated bibliography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-23772-7. 
  • Cohen, Allan Y. (1977). The Mastery of Consciousness: An Introduction and Guide to Practical Mysticism and Methods of Spiritual Development. San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-090371-6. 
  • Donkin, William (2001). The Wayfarers: Meher Baba with the God-Intoxicated. Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Sheriar Foundation. ISBN 1-880619-24-5. 
  • Ellwood, Robert S. (1973). Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America. New York: Prentice-Hall. pp. 334. ISBN 013615641X. 
  • Haynes, Charles C. (1993). Meher Baba, the Awakener. Avatar Foundation, Inc. ISBN 0-9624472-1-8. 
  • Kalchuri, Bhau (1982). The Nothing and the Everything. Manifestation. ISBN 0-932947-02-6. 
  • Kalchuri, Bhau (1986). Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba. Manifestation. 
  • Landau, Rom (1972). God is my adventure; a book on modern mystics, masters, and teachers. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press. ISBN 0-8369-2848-2. 
  • Purdom, Charles B (1964). The God-Man: The Life, Journeys & Work of Meher Baba with an Interpretation of His Silence & Spiritual Teaching. London: George Allen & Unwin. 
  • Sutcliffe, Steven J. (2002). Children of the New Age: A History of Alternative Spirituality. London: Routledge. 

External links

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Biography and teachings

Media online


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I tell you all, with my Divine Authority, that you and I are not “WE,” but “ONE.”

Meher Baba (25 February 189431 January 1969) was an Indian mystic who publicly declared in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age. Although he maintained silence for most of his life, his teachings spread worldwide, notably through his extensive travels and publications.

Contents

General

  • Don't worry, be happy.
    • Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, pp. 2724, 5770, 5970, 6742. The famous Bobby McFerrin song was based on this phrase often used in correspondence by Meher Baba.
  • To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God.
  • Whether men soar to outer space or dive to the bottom of the deepest ocean they will find themselves as they are, unchanged, because they will not have forgotten themselves nor remembered to exercise the charity of forgiveness.
  • To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity and beauty—this is the sole game which has intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments in themselves can have no lasting importance.
  • Live more and more in the Present, which is ever beautiful and stretches away beyond the limits of the past and the future.
  • These false answers — such as, I am stone, I am bird, I am animal, I am man, I am woman, I am great, I am small — are, in turn, received, tested and discarded until the Question arrives at the right and Final Answer, I AM GOD.
  • It is better to deny God, than to defy God.
    • The Silent Master, by Irwin Luck, p. 15

Avatarhood

  • I am the Avatar of this Age!
    • Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Manifestation, Inc. 1986, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 6018
  • There are always 56 God-realised souls. Now, out of these 56, five are sent out into the world. But in every Avataric period these five become one, thus demonstrating the cycle when the Avatar appears in form. Therefore, the Avatar exists in the heart of these five as one.
    • 28 September 1938, Meherabad, LM7 p2324
  • Of the 56 God-realised souls on earth, the five Perfect Masters are the most important. And the one who is the highest of all is the Avatar, myself. I come every 700 to 1400 years, and it is undoubtably a very rare and lucky thing for each of you to have the opportunity of loving me individually, since even the Sadgurus long to touch the Avatar physically. When the world is in the grip of pain, misery, suffering and chaos, I manifest myself. Spirituality then reaches its pinnacle, and materialism is at its lowest level. Then again, with the passing of time, spirituality diminishes and materialism increases. From the beginning of time this game has been going on, and it will go on for an eternity.
    • 3 June 1927, Meherabad, LM3 p944
  • I am the last Avatar in this present cycle of twenty-four, and therefore the greatest and most powerful. I have the attributes of five. I am as pure as Zoroaster, as truthful as Ram, as mischievous as Krishna, as gentle as Jesus, and as fiery as Muhammad.
    • To his women Mandali, December 1942, Meherabad, GO p72
  • Being the Avatar, I have come to awaken mankind, and would like the entire world to come to me. Real saints are dearest and nearest to my heart. Perfect Ones and lovers of God adorn the world, and will ever do so. The physical presence of the Perfect Masters throughout eternity is not necessarily confined to any particular or special part of the globe. My salutations to all - the past, present and future Perfect Masters, real saints - known and unknown - lovers of God, and to all other beings, in all of whom I reside, whether consciously felt by them or not.
    • 20 July 1957, India, LC p77
  • You know that you are a human being, and I know that I am the Avatar. It is my whole life!
    • To Paul Brunton in 1930, Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, Manifestation, Inc. 1986, by Bhau Kalchuri, p. 1349
  • Irrespective of doubts and convictions, and for the Infinite Love I bear for one and all, I continue to come as the Avatar, to be judged time and again by humanity in its ignorance, in order to help man distinguish the Real from the false.
    • The God-Man: The life, journeys and work of Meher Baba with an interpretation of his silence and spiritual teaching, C.B. Purdom, 1964 p. 171
  • For example, you are a man. Is it necessary for you to tell others that you are a man? No. But if you are living among donkeys, you would vehemently declare that you are a man. In the same way, I am God, but I have not to speak of it, because it is quite natural. Yet sometimes, I have to declare it.
    • Lord Meher, by Bhau Kalchuri, Volume 16, p. 5729
  • Know you all that if I am the Highest of the High my role demands that I strip you of your possessions and wants, consume all your desires and make you desireless rather than satisfy your desires. Sadhus, saints, yogis and walis can give you what you want; but I take away your wants and free you from attachments and liberate you from the bondage of ignorance. I am the one to take, not the one to give, what you want as you want.
  • The Avatar appears in different forms, under different names, at different times, in different parts of the world. As his appearance always coincides with the spiritual birth of man, so the period immediately preceding his manifestation is always one in which humanity suffers from the pangs of the approaching birth.
    • 1938, India, MJ 1:1 p4-7

God-realization

  • The easiest and shortest way to God-realization is through the contact of a Sadguru, which means keeping the company or sahavas of such a Master, obeying him and serving him. This remedy is like a special express train which carries you straight to your destination.
    • 31 May 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p806
  • True knowledge is that knowledge which makes man after self-realization or union with God assert that his real Self is in everything and everybody.
    • Meher Baba Journal, June 1941:480
  • All illusion comes and goes, but the soul remains unchanged. What is meant by God-realization is to actually experience this important thing - that the soul is eternal.
    • December 1936, Nasik, LA p157
  • The happiness of God-realization is self-sustained, eternally fresh and unfailing, boundless and indescribable. And it is for this happiness that the world has sprung into existence.
    • 1955, GS p139
  • God is eternally free. To realize God is to attain liberation from the bondage of illusion.
    • 1954, Andhra, MD p8
  • It is never presumptuous for anyone to hope for realization. It is the goal of creation and the birthright of humanity. Blessed are they who are prepared to assert that right in this very life.
    • 1936, India, to Garrett Fort, Tr p194, also A p26
  • There is no greater romance in life than this adventure in realization.
    • 1 June 1932,Beverly Hills, California, Me p100-101

Silence

  • Man’s inability to live God’s words makes the Avatar’s teaching a mockery. Instead of practicing the compassion he taught, man has waged wars in his name. Instead of living the humility, purity, and truth of his words, man has given way to hatred, greed, and violence. Because man has been deaf to the principles and precepts laid down by God in the past, in this present Avataric form, I observe silence.
  • I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is My voice — the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak.

Drugs

  • If God can be found through the medium of any drug, God is not worthy of being God.
  • Tell those who indulge in these drugs (LSD, marijuana, and other types) that it is harmful physically, mentally and spiritually, and that they should stop the taking of these drugs. Your duty is to tell them, regardless of whether they accept what you say, or if they ridicule or humiliate you, to boldly and bravely face these things.
    • To Robert Dreyfuss in 1964. Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. p. 6403
  • You are to bring my message to those ensnared in the drug-net of illusion that they should abstain, that the drugs will bring more harm than good. I send my love to them.
    • To Robert Dreyfuss in 1964. Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. p. 6403

Miscellaneous

  • Happiest is he who expects no happiness from others. Love delights and glorifies in giving, not receiving. So learn to love and give, and not to expect anything from others.
    • Meher 7:2457
  • One of the most difficult things to learn is to render service without bossing, without making a fuss about it, and without any consciousness of high and low. In the world of spirituality, humility counts at least as much as utility.
    • Discourses (1987), p. 364
  • Remember that the first step in spirituality is not to speak ill of others. All human beings have weaknesses and faults. Yet they are all God in their being. Until they become Realized, they have their imperfections. Therefore, before trying to find faults in others and speaking ill of them, try to find your own weaknesses and correct those.
    • Meher 7:2506
  • To gulp down anger is the most courageous act one can perform. One who does it becomes humble.
    • Meher 5:1857

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Topic:Meher Baba article)

From Wikiversity

Meher Baba

Welcome to the Center for the Study of Meher Baba, part of the School of Theology and the Division of Religious Studies.

Center Description

The Wikiversity Center for the Study of Meher Baba is a content development project where participants create, organize and develop Wikiversity content about Meher Baba.

Learning Resources at Wikiversity

External Learning Resources

Fortunately there is a large body of source material by and about Meher Baba freely available on the internet. Many of Baba's major books can be searched on line or downloaded free in PDF format for research purposes. You are encouraged to make yourself familiar with what is freely available. Note that these materials are copyrighted by the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. They are exclusively for research and educational purposes, and not for republication or resale.

Also, free online courses based on teachings of Meher Baba are available at Meher Spiritual University taught by Professor J.S. Rathore. Plans for this educational resource include course assignments and online quizzes.

  • The Trust Online Library
    • The Trust Online Library has books by and about Meher Baba available to download as PDF files
  • God Speaks available to download free - Part 1
  • God Speaks available to download free - Part 2
    • A direct download in two parts of Meher Baba's most significant book, God Speaks, in which he spells out his theme of creation and its purpose.
  • Lord Meher
    • This 6,742 page fully searchable biography of Meher Baba was written by Bhau Kalchuri shortly after Baba's death in 1969 and was published in a 20 volume set in 1986. It is based on journals kept by Meher Baba's followers from as early as 1922, as well as hundreds of hours of recorded interviews.
  • Discourses by Meher Baba
    • The 1967 6th edition of Meher Baba's Discourses. While some of these discourses were dictated verbatim by Meher Baba, others were worked up from points given by Baba to his close disciple Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, an Indian professor of philosophy. The discourses originally appeared in Meher Baba Journal from 1938 to 1943 and were later gathered as books, receiving numerous editions and revisions.
  • Awakener Magazine Archive
    • Awakener Magazine was a magazine exclusively on Meher Baba that was published by Filis Frederick of California from 1953-1986. All 67 issues are now available online and are searchable.
  • Selected Writings of Meher Baba
    • Selected Writings is a valuable resource of short discourses given by Baba. Many are taken from Baba's books The Everything and the Nothing, Life At Its Best, and Beams on the Spiritual Panorama from Meher Baba.
  • Messages of Meher Baba
    • Messages given out by Meher Baba over the course of his life, often in the form of circulars or pamphlets.
  • Life Eternal
    • Best Meher Baba anthology on the Web, organized by subject.
  • Glossary of Meher Baba's terminology
    • An essential resource for studying the works of Meher Baba, this glossary defines terms as Meher Baba used them.
  • Meher Spiritual University
    • Free Online Courses based on teachings of Meher Baba

Simple English

Meher Baba (February 25, 1894 - January 31, 1969) was a spiritual teacher who lived in India. Baba's real birth name was Merwan Irani and his parents' names were Sheriar and Shireen Irani. His family lived in India, but they were of Persian descent. Today Persia is called Iran. They were not Hindus or Muslims like most Indians at that time, but were of the Zoroastrian religion.

Baba had a normal childhood and liked poetry and sports, especially cricket. When Baba was thirteen years old he started a boy's club with his best school friends called The Cosmopolitan Club. The boys in the club kept up on the news, practiced public speaking at their clubhouse, and raised money to give to the poor. As Baba got older he worked for his father in his father's tavern where he served a cheap kind of wine called toddy made from the sap of palm trees.

Baba lived in Pune, India where he graduated from St. Vincent's High School and attended Deccan College. In 1913, when Baba was nineteen, he was coming home from college riding a bicycle. A very old Muslim woman named Hazrat Babajan, who was sitting under a Neem tree, called for him to come over to her and she kissed him on the forehead. He then went home. Baba later said that he became so dazed after this kiss that he could barely find his way home, and that when Babajan kissed him, he realized God within himself. He was so dazed that he had to stay in bed for several weeks. A year later, Baba met a Hindu holy man named Upasni Maharaj. Baba went to live with Upasni in the village of Sakori. He learned from Upasni and obeyed Upasni's orders.

Baba stayed with Upasni for seven years, until he was twenty seven years old. Then Upasni told some of his followers that from then on Baba would be their spiritual guide. Baba eventually took these new followers to Ahmednagar, to a place now called Meherabad. There he gave lessons in spirituality, worked with the poor, and started a free boarding school. Gradually other people started to follow Meher Baba.


For most of his life Baba did not speak. He started his silence in 1925. He communicated by pointing to letters painted on an "alphabet board" at first, and later used his own form of sign language. He kept silent until his death in 1969. Some people called him "The Silent Master" and there is a book by that title.

Meher Baba traveled around the world many times. He visited many countries. He spent several months in England, Australia and the United States. Many thousands of people came to see him. Some of them became his followers.

In 1954, when Baba was sixty years old, he said to others that he was the Avatar. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, the word "Avatar" means one who has come down from God. Baba said that the Avatar is born on Earth every 700-1400 years, and comes to help others find God. Meher Baba said that in the past the Avatar had been on Earth as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad.

Meher Baba's most famous quote is "Don't Worry, Be Happy," partly because it appeared in a popular song by Bobby McFerrin. Others know of him because of the song "Baba O'Reilly" written by Pete Townshend who is a follower of his and named the song partly after Baba.

He wrote two important books. In Discourses, Meher Baba wrote about how to live a good life, how to meditate, and how to love God. In God Speaks, Meher Baba wrote about how the soul seeks God over many lifetimes. He said, "Real happiness lies in making others happy." He showed his followers that the best path is to love God at all times by loving your fellow man.

He also said he had not come to start a new religion -- that it was better to truly follow one's own religion. Because of this, he has followers who are Zoroastrians, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sufis, Buddhists, and Sikhs. There are also atheists and agnostics who do not necessarily believe in God, but who are attracted purely to his simple philosophy of leading an honest and loving life.

References

  • Bhau Kalchuri: "Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba", Manifestation, Inc. 1986.

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