A PLACE OF FUTURE WORLD PILGRIMAGE -MEHERABAD
During First World War, Meherabad served as a military camp. After the conclusion of the war in 1918, Kaikushroo Irani, a Zoroastrian businessman bought the property in auction. It is about 10 kilometers from Ahmednagar city in Maharashtra State in India.
Gilori shah, a local saint in Ahmednagar used to visit house of Kaikhusuru Irani (Khansaheb) and his wife Gaimai who were devoted to saint. Gilori shah requested Khansaheb to for a small piece of land in Arangaon. On 20th February, 1923, Gilori Shah, accompanied by some of his devotees, went to Arangaon. There he selected a small plot of land, and told Khansaheb, "Prepare my tomb here. In a short time, this place will turn into a garden of pilgrimage. A great one will come here, and this land will one day belong to the people of the world! Only then will you understand why I want to be buried here." Baba also instructed Khansaheb to construct tomb.”
On 4th May 1923, Avatar Meher Baba put His Holy Feet at Meherabad (Arangaon) for the first time and rested under a need tree near saint Hazrat Shah’s Tomb.
Meherabad was the centre of all major activities viz establishing of school, shelter houses, dispensary, mast ashram, meetings with mandali, writing of secret book sitting inside table house. He got constructed His tomb many years in advance where His body rests and now is called Samadhi.
Meherabad is the place of future world pilgrimage where Baba carried His activities during present Advent of His Avatar-hood. Meherabad means the Land of Mercy, Kindness and Prosperity. Meherabad literally means, Meher established or Meher flourishing.
On many occasions Meher Baba made following cryptic remarks on this place
On October 1st, 1926, Meher Baba said to men mandali about Meherabad,
“This place is the most important one. It is the best place to be for those on the spiritual path. Despite visiting places for My work, it is always best to return here.”
On July 4th, 1927, Meher Baba revealed.
“There will be spiritual explosion here in Meherabad which most of Rishis (sages) already know will happen.”
On July 12th, 1927, Meher Baba disclosed about His universal work at Meherabad
“My work at Meherabad is like digging numerous canals and placing as many people possible on the bank, so that when the spiritual flood is let loose, they may be benefited by having the Divine flow within their reach.”
On January 31 st, 1930, Meher Baba said
“In the future, Meherabad will be like Jerusalem. For My spiritual work it is the best place. It will always be a centre of My Work”
In late 1930, Meher Baba told Mehera and other eastern and western women disciples
“Enjoy the quiet that you experience now. In the future there will be a sea of people here. So you are with Me, make the most of this opportunity. It will never come again.”
In the early 1940, Meher Baba told men mandali
“The time will come when this whole vast expanse will be filled with people. Now, when you go out and try to tell people in the world about Meher Baba, you will find that most of them have not even heard of Me. But in the future, you will have to search hard to find a person who has not heard of Me.
In 1954, Meher Baba led His lovers to Meherabad hill and pointing to His tomb He stated:
“This is My last resting place. In 1927-28, I had stayed here continuously. You will find a trench-like pit where I remained day and night in seclusion. I never left this place even for calls of nature or a bath and conveyed that after a period of sixty years Meherabad would be the centre of world pilgrimage.”
On November 16th, 1955, Meher Baba said to His lovers
“Sixty years after I drop My body you will find what wonderful changes takes place in the world and how many people will take My name. There will be thousands who will sacrifice their very life in My name. But how fortunate you are that I am in your midst that you are sitting before Me and I am telling you to take My name when about to pass away.”
Meher Baba has said that during His seclusions He worked for the spiritual upliftment of all souls of the creation. The labour of His supreme love has infused these places of His seclusion with great love and spiritual power. In fact, the whole of Meherabad has become through His presence, surcharged with divine love.
“Now the spiritual Ganges is flowing at Meherabad. If you are not destined to drink it, at least wash your face and feet with it.
During February 1958, Sahawas Meher Baba said:
“After I drop My body the physical remains will rest here and this will become an important place of pilgrimage for the whole world. You all do not realise the importance of this day. After 70 years this place will be a place of great privilege and pilgrimage. A big town will grow up here. How fortunate you are that you are hearing about the importance of this place in physical presence of Him to whose Samadhi (Tomb), will flock one day, from all over the world, all lovers of God, philosophers and worshippers to pay their homage,”
Spiritual intensity of Meherabad
There is a spiritual intensity at Meherabad. The body of Avatar Meher Baba which is resting in the tomb at Meherabad is the body that housed Reality and anything that is in direct contact with Reality is normally sanctified. So the effect of that body is that everything for miles around is sanctified. Of course Baba also lived at Meherazad and by staying there He created another special atmosphere-the atmosphere of home where one could relax from concentration of the spiritual outlook that exercises pilgrims at Meherabad. What you experience is the reflection of His presence in the atmosphere of this place-and this is true of any place He has been – and when we are gone, His presence will continue to be felt. Baba has assured us for that for a little more than one hundred years, that same atmosphere will prevail.
In an interesting episode, Meher Baba explained why it is necessary to visit His Samadhi at Meherabad to get His scent till one is sure to lose it.
One day after Meher Baba had emerged from a long period of seclusion, we were sitting in Mandali hall with some of His close lovers whom he had permitted to visit Him, and Baba asked them whether they remembered Him during the time they were away from Him.
In unison, All those present said they loved Him and remembered Him. “And how do you do that? Asked Baba.
One of them said that all the lovers gathered and performed His arti; another said they sang bhajans and third said they repeated His name. Yet another mentioned that his group not only remembered Baba but created a Baba atmosphere as well.
“How did you do that?” said Baba.
“Baba,” he replied, “We heard of a saint in our town and we visited him often. You have told us not to go saints and yogis but you have also said that you are in them. So I went with my family to visit this saint and I saw You in him.”
“If you saw Me in him,” said Baba “where was the need for you to come here today? You wanted a Baba atmosphere and you felt it in the presence of that person. There was no need therefore for you to come here.”
When the man had no reply, Baba commented, “I am also in the prostitute, in the vagabond and in a thief. Why do you not visit them? You will find Me there.”
Then as tears of remorse began to trickle down from man’s face, Baba continued. “What you say and you felt is right. I am in everything, but I am not that. That saint is a saint while I am the God-man. What do the police do to track down the criminals? They use dogs which will smell out the criminal first bringing the dogs to the site of the crime. Similarly, your coming there is like a preparation to catch the stealer of your hearts. I steal the hearts of mankind and if you want to track Me down, you must come to the site where I have spent much time.
“Sometimes the dogs loose the scent and the police bring them again to the site. Likewise, you must come again and again till you are certain that you have My scent and are not likely to lose it. When you have saturated that scent in yourself, then there will be no need for you to come here.” (Ancient One-p-125© Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust)
Eruch, close disciple of Baba compared visiting Samadhi is like sitting near a camp fire.
A humorous episode related to tomb
Mani told a funny story about the double meaning of the word dome.
After the domed roof of the samadhi was completed, the structure began to be known as "the Dome." Shortly after its construction Shirinmai came on a visit to Meherabad. Eruch's mother enthusiastically asked her, "Mother, have you seen Baba's Dome?"
It so happens that in Persian "dome" means "bottom," and Shirin wittily replied, "Thank you, but I've seen quite enough of Merwan's dome when He was little!"
(Lives of love, Judith Garbett, Mani, Pt. 3, p. 1, Copyright 1998 Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust)