AVATAR MEHER BABA
Merwan Sheriar Irani, who became known around the world as Meher Baba, was born to Persian parents of Zoroastrian faith on February 25, 1894, in Poona, India. Before Merwan’s birth, His father Sheriar had wandered throughout the East, especially India, seeking God, until he was told in a vision that he would finally find God in his son.
Merwan Irani had a normal and active childhood. He attended a Jesuit Catholic high school in Poona and later attended Deccan College. While He was in college He was drawn to Hazrat Babajan, an ancient Mohammedan woman, one of the five Perfect Masters whose responsibility was to precipitate the descent of God in human form at the beginning of each Avataric Age. At the destined moment in 1913, She gave Him God-realization and awakened Him to His divine purpose as the Avatar of the Age.
While His mother worried about Merwan’s completing college and getting a job, Merwan remained absorbed in God-consciousness, and was drawn to the other four Perfect Masters, who helped Him to regain “normal” consciousness while remaining one with God.
In 1921, at the age of 25, Merwan Irani began His spiritual work and public life as He drew together His first disciples. It was one of these early mandali, (members of His circle) who gave Him the name Meher Baba, meaning “Compassionate Father.”
The early disciples were from all religions and all walks of life. To the caste-conscious society of India at the time, this mixing was innovative and challenging. Yet it became one of the milestones in Meher Baba’s training, where the focus was on the love for God, moral discipline, spiritual understanding, selfless service, and, at the same time, natural and honest behaviour. He explained. Life with Meher Baba was thus not one of rules and rituals, but of sincerity and dedication. Along with much hard work and much discipline, there was also time for games, relaxation, and great joy in the company of the Master.
In 1923, Meher Baba established a colony near the city of Ahmednagar and named it Meherabad. His work during this period included a free school, a free hospital, and shelters for the poor. From time to time He would initiate new programs or close down others, did not apparently seem rational. He would explain to His close disciples that it was impossible for them to fathom the magnitude of His work; but at the same time He often demonstrated to them how He would utilize some of the works going on in their community or in their travels as small working models that would greatly impact His universal work for the world.
On July 10, 1925, Meher Baba began observing silence, and did so for the remaining 44 years of His life. Many of His many discourses and messages were initially dictated by the use of an alphabet board, but eventually He communicated through a set of unique hand gestures that the mandali translated for Him, but which many reported as understandable even if they had never seen Him before. It was not uncommon for people to report being touched by Him in some very profound and personal way while in His presence or even from a distance.
Meher Baba travelled to the West thirteen times, and six times to the United States. In Love Personified, the photographic account of Meher Baba’s life, one can see a profound record of how He made everyone who hosted Him feel at home in His presence as He travelled, sowing seeds of love in hearts throughout the world. In 1952, 1956, and again during His last visit to the United States, in 1958, He and His mandali stayed at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. He called this His home in the West, and said, “I never leave.” It was during His visit to USA in 1952 that He had the first severe automobile accident and another in India after four years in 1956. He explained that these two accidents, one shattering the left side of His body, the other the right side, were a modern-day equivalent of Christ’s crucifixion, and that this gross exchange in His own body would result in the East and West finally being united and bring "benefit to the whole world."
Meher Baba also travelled throughout India. In the early years He moved about incognito; in later years He gave many public darshan as He travelled. At these darshan programs, many thousands of people would come to see Him. Films taken at those programs attest to the deep, personal experience that people had even though they might be in His immediate presence for only a moment or two. Meher Baba’s work also included washing lepers, distributing food and clothing, and washing the feet of the poor.
One of the most important aspects of Meher Baba’s work through the years was His contact and work with thousands of spiritually advanced, “God-intoxicated” individuals known in India as masts. For the mandali who travelled with Him, it was a constant confirmation of Meher Baba’s divinity that the masts often recognized Him as God.
Meher Baba’s last years were primarily spent in seclusion in Meherazad as He gradually withdrew from physical contact and expanded His work within the heart of His lovers around the world. He has said that He is the “Ancient One,” the Avatar of the Age and He has come “Not to give, but to take away” the bindings of humankind’s “conditioned mind,” and to help humanity realize its true self which is God.
Before Meher Baba dropped His physical body on January 31 1969, He explained that this was not the end, but the beginning of the major part of His work.
AVATAR OF THE CYCLE
Meher Baba said that Avatar descends on the earth after a cycle of 700 to 1400 years and brought down by five living Perfect Masters of that time to redeem the spirituality and lessen the suffering of the humanity as a whole. Avatar’s personality is one and the same who appears at different times in different names and acts and teaches according to the prevailing circumstance and level of understanding at that time. Avatar at did not advocate any religion or set to be formed in His name except general code of practice for spiritual benefit of the humanity. But it was on part of followers who formed a group and separated it as religion in the name of the Avatar. The essence of teachings of Avatars, at different time in different name though appears different but if interpreted in real sense are one and the same as explained by Avatar Meher Baba, the Avatar of present cycle. Meher Baba claimed to be one and the same in spiritual hierarchy of Avatar as named below.
- Zoroaster – (Parsee religion)
- Abhram- (Judaism religion)
- Ram- (Hindu religion)
- Krishna- (Hindu religion)
- Gautama Buddha- (Buddh religion)
- Jesus Christ- (Christian religion)
- Mohammad- (Mohammdan religion
- Meher Baba- (No religion)
Meher Baba said, “I Belong to No religion, all religion belongs to Me” I will bring beads of all religions in one string”
HIERARCHY OF MEHER BABA AND SADGURUS
Following is the spiritual hierchcy of Sadgurus and Meher Baba
I-------------- I-------------- I---------------I-----------------I
Hazrat Upasni Sai Tajuddin, Narayan
Babajan Maharaj Baba Baba Maharaj
Jajari Zar Baksh
Nizamuddin Aulia of Delhi
Baba Faridi Gangesakkar
Kutubuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki (Afghanistan)
Mouddin Khwaja Sahib Christi (Ajmer)