Many political and social dignitaries, poors, destitutes, masts, advance souls, spiritual agents, saints, religious leaders, close disciples/mandali and Baba lovers had opportunity to meet Avatar Meher Baba in person. Some of the saints and eminent men and women of society were contacted by Meher Baba through medium of His disciples.
According to Avatar Meher Baba Spirituality and politics does not go together. Meher Baba characterized politicians as poor souls who create enormous bad sanskaras for themselves by criticizing their opposition. Few political leaders and dignitaries tried to contact, but Meher Baba did not give darshan stating that their time has not come. It was the advanced souls, great saints, Masts (God intoxicated souls) recognized Meher Baba as Avatar, the God incarnate except few dignitaries. Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by Avatar Meher Baba.
It was only Mahatma Gandhi who made experiment of truth in politics. He advocated non- violence and used non-cooperation movement against British rule in India to oust them. Gandhi met Meher Baba at times and conversation took place directly and many times through Gandhi’s secretary Mahadev Desai and Baba’s disciple secretary Chanji. Meher Baba allowed Gandhiji to read few pages of His secret book on spirituality and later advised Gandhi not to impose non-violence on general public since it God ordained which Gandhiji could not understand it and later he was assassinated. Gandhi expressed his willingness to come to Avatar Meher Baba after getting independence for India but it could not happen as it was not destined. Gandhiji failed to convince Meher Baba to break His silence. However, influenced by Meher Baba’s Divine silence, Gandhi himself started keeping silence once a week. Meher Baba said Gandhi will attain liberation after three more births. A detailed account of meeting and their conversation direct and indirect through their secretaries is given in volume 1 at page 496.
Experiences on the path of spirituality gained by any individual hardly matters for other compared to his own experience of reading, listening or seeing. It is like finding a solution of a question by oneself. For a Baba lover such incidences of dignitaries, saints, and mandali/circle member/close disciples meeting Meher Baba may arouse a feeling of inspiration and contentment of having come to Avatar Meher Baba –The real source of truth, but most important is to follow Baba’s wish and remember Him constantly and wholeheartedly.
It is matter of great fortune to have seen or spoken to Meher Baba in person. It is also important to have even heard of His name. Even those who have not heard His name but are present in His Avataric period of 20th Century and onward are also spiritually benefitted to some extent. It is because the Avataric period is like spring season in which rain falls over all around on both fertile and infertile land. According to destiny, at appropriate time, one comes in direct or indirect contact of Sadguru or Avatar (Personified God). Many have seen Meher Baba in person or come to know about Him but are not drawn towards Him. This is like rain falling on barren land as such appropriate time has not come for them.
Baba said, “Those who had not seen Him in the physical form are blessed in a special way. They can love Him more forcefully, for what has not been seen, can be longed for with greater ardour.
To love Meher Baba without His being physically present is a true blessing because it is He who gives that love, and this blessing enables us to love Him more and more. He has fashioned His love in such a way that although He is not here, we can love Him more deeply and more forcefully when we think of Him, yearn for Him and long for Him.”
Few like Colonel M.S. Irani criticized publically Meher Baba for vanity of declaring Himself as Avatar and also in newspaper as destined by Baba. Baba commented, “It does not matter if people accept Me as Avatar or not. I am what I am. If I do not say that I am Avatar, it will amount to biggest hypocrisy for Me as if I say; you are a dog you will never accept it. Those who criticize Me are My real friend and really love Me more than any of My lover and in one way they are doing good publicity for Me.”
Meher Baba made contact with number of Masts (God-intoxicated souls) and helped them in progress of their spiritual journey. Five favorite Masts stayed with Baba and many advanced recognized Meher Baba as Avatar, and The Lord of universe. Detailed account of advance souls and masts with name & features and their reaction on meeting with Baba is available in book titled “Wayfarer” by William Donkin in chronological order. Initially, Meher Baba attracted the men and women disciples in His mandali and gave them strict training of discipline, obedience and spirituality before start of His universal work. He also gave educational and spiritual training to school boys in school and ashrams opened for the purpose. Meher Baba travelled 13 times abroad and contacted His ‘Spiritual Agents’ and many Lovers few of them came to India and stayed with Meher Baba as His mandali member. Many of foreigners had seen Meher Baba in public and private interviews and while moving places to places in foreign cities.
Volume-1 covers souls who remained with Meher Baba or had opportunity to see Him in person are grouped under (1) Sadgurus, (2) Favorite masts (3) Advance souls, (4, 5, 6 & 7) Mad and Masts, (8) Spiritual agents, (9) Ashram and school boys and (10) Saints & religious leaders (11) Dignitaries
In this Volume-2 Group 12 (Close disciples) Group-13 (Visitors in Darshan Programs) Group 14 (destitutes, lepers & poors) and Group 15 (Pets) are covered with description of close disciples and Pets.
Volume -3 & 4 shall cover Baba lovers from India (state wise), Pakistan and Iran with brief description of prominent Baba lovers and their interaction with Meher Baba.
Volume-5 shall cover-Foreign Baba Lovers.
In this compilation, efforts have been made to bring brief introduction of the Baba lovers / dignitaries, saints, religious leaders, close disciples and their interaction with Meher Baba available mostly in “Lord Meher”, web page and other books. Baba started His Avataric activities in 1922 and many souls would have seen Meher Baba during His mast tours, public darshan programs in India and abroad till dropping His body in 1969. It is not only difficult rather impossible to list the names of all individuals who had seen Meher Baba in person in public darshan programs and meeting but effort have been made to bring the names based on authentic record most from Lord Meher By Bhau Kalchuri , other books and personal interviews. Few introductions of prominent Baba lovers are also included who have not seen but had corresponded with Baba. There is every possibility that many names would have been left. There would be many persons who have seen or met Meher Baba in person but are out of His net as destined for them. Readers are requested to pin point any mistake in presentation of facts so that it can be taken care of in next edition.
Hindi words are in italics. Names are listed /written alphabetical order according to surname except where it is not available. An Index is also provided in beginning of each group for selective reading. Vocabulary, list of references, “Universal Prayer” and “Repentance Prayer” are given in the last.
“Fortunate souls” by Shri Birendra Kumar is indeed a commendable and deeply spiritual contribution that makes us aware of the uniquely mystic process of spiritual bounding between Avatar of the Age and His lovers. Souls who were deeply internally connected with the Avatar could hear His call of Love and moved towards Him. They were indeed most fortunate souls. We too are fortunate being in the Avataric Period of Avatar Meher Baba.
Shri Birendra Kumar observes: “It is a matter of great fortune to have seen or spoken to Meher in person. It is also important to have even heard His name. Even those who have not heard his name but are present in His Avataric Period of 20 th century and onward are also spiritually benefitted to some extent. It is because the Avataric Period is like spring season in which rain falls over all around on both fertile and infertile land.” In the words of Meher Baba.
“Avataric periods are like the spring-tide of creation. They bring a new release of power, a new awakening of consciousness, a new experience of life—not merely for a few, but for all. Qualities of energy and awareness, which had been used and enjoyed by only a few advanced souls, are made available for all humanity. Life, as a whole, is stepped up to a higher level of consciousness, is geared to a new rate of energy. The transition from sensation to reason was one such step; the transition from reason to intuition will be another. (Discourses vol.III page 13 & 14)”
There was some confusion regarding the Avatar’s circle, Avataric period and Avataric cycle. All this emerged out of the book – Civilization and Chaos – written by Irene Conybeare, a Baba lover. It was not clear, whether the Avataric period and Avataric cycle are the same or different from one another. The unfoldment of life and consciousness for the whole Avataric Cycle (700 or 1400 years), which had been mapped out in the creative world before the Avatar took form, is endorsed and fixed in the formative and material worlds during the Avatars life on earth. When the Avatar takes an incarnation, He has before Him a clear cut mission that proceeds according to a plan; and this plan is always carefully adjusted to the flow of time. Avataric Period was explained by Baba through a letter written by Mani, one of the women mandali or circle and Baba’s sister. The letter stated:
“All the fourteen members of the Avatar’s Inner Circle realize God by the grace of the Avatar during the Avataric period, which is of one hundred years’ duration after the Manifestation of the Avatar on the earth. The Avataric period has nothing to do with the cycle. Please have that clear. The 100 years after the Manifestation of the Avatar is the period encompassing the direct living and personal radiation of the Avatar (Samadhi, Star of Infinity, The Tomb-Shrine of Meher Baba by Bal Natu).
For His lovers Avatar Meher Baba gave the clarion call:
“Age after age, amidst the clamour of disruptions, wars, fear and chaos, rings the Avatar’s Call ‘Come all unto Me!’ Although, because of the veil of illusion, this call of the Ancient One may appear as a voice in the wilderness, its echo and re-echo nevertheless pervade through time and space, to rouse at first a few and eventually millions, from their deep slumber of ignorance. And in the midst of illusion, as the voice behind all voices, it awakens humanity to bear witness to the manifestation of God amidst mankind. The time is come. I repeat the call, and bid all to come unto Me,” (‘Meher Baba’s Call’, a message given by Meher Baba in India in 1954).
This Call “Come all unto Me!” will keep on reverberating throughout the Avataric Period of this century. In this Avataric Period of Beloved Baba individuals have important but relatively limited roles to play. For the coming 100 years there is no place for any person coming in between Beloved Baba and His lovers. Spiritual institutions built on the solid foundation of Beloved Baba’s message of Love and Truth and free from personal glorification will now be the real spiritual power houses releasing enormous quantum of life transforming energy in the world. The direct, living and personal radiation of the Avatar makes possible the direct contact and sustained inner communion with
Him. An exclusive personal relationship that can be built between a Meher Baba lover and Meher Baba is the spiritual highlight of His Avataric Period.
In His ‘Universal Message’ that He delivered on 10th July 1958, Beloved Baba says: “I have come not to teach but to awaken. Understand, therefore, that I lay down no precepts.” Meher Baba puts His lovers on the path of inner awakening and guides him or her on the path. He communicates through dreams, meditative visions and unprecedented and inexplicable spiritual happenings around.
Shri Birendra Kumar, author of ‘Fortunate souls are among those souls who are chosen by Beloved Baba to spread the message of His Love and Truth. Baba put him on the path of inner awakening. Birendra Kumar came to know about Meher Baba through his father who had the good fortune of having Baba’s darshan in Poona in 1964. In 1967 when Birendra was passing through a period of mental worries, Meher Baba appeared in his dream and said, “Come to Me, I will help you.” This reminds about Meher Baba’s famous message: “Don’t worry, be happy in My love, I will help you,” (Showers of Grace by Bal Natu). In 1970, Birendra Kumar suddenly recollected this dream and got the intuition and inspiration to read Baba’s literature and spread the message of His Love and Truth. “Fortunate souls” by Shri Birendra Kumar is an inspired work that covers the lives of multitudes of people – Sadgurus or Perfect Masters, spiritually advanced souls, mandali or His circle members, saints, dignitaries, destitute - who came in the contact of Avatar Meher Baba and explores the impact of that contact on their lives.
Prof. J.S.Rathore, Meherabad