England played a special role in Meher Baba's work. He visited this country on nine occasions between 1931 and 1956.
Meher Baba's first visit to England was in Autumn 1931. One of His fellow travellers on the boat from India was Mahatma Ghandi, with whom He spent many hours during the three-week voyage..
On this visit, Meher Baba made contact with a number of individuals who became lifelong Baba lovers, forming the core of His devotees in this country. This group included Delia de Leon, Will and Mary Backett, Charles Purdom, Kitty Davy and Margaret Craske.
Meher Baba made a profound impact on each of them. Their meetings took place in London and in East Challacombe, Devon, where Meredith Starr had established a spiritual retreat.
22nd April 1932, on the beach at Combe Martin, Baba gave this message:
Baba is like the sun ... anyone whose heart is pure can receive the rays. Make the heart pure by
thinking of the Master, and then loving Him.
Baba is like the sea, which receives weak or strong, diseased or healthy, dotard, sinner or saint.
Baba is like an Infinite Ocean and, in order to realise Him, the ego must be annihilated altogether.
Margaret Craske describes her first meeting with Baba:
"…I went into the room and was completely won over by the love which seemed to permeate His whole personality."
Quentin Todd, another member of this early group, described an early interview with Meher Baba:
"We sat for several minutes in silence and I was aware of a great feeling of love and peace emanating from Him; also a curious feeling of recognition came to me, as if I had found a long-lost friend."
Although Meher Baba had begun His silence in 1925, this was never a barrier to communication with Him.
Delia de Leon wrote of her early impressions:
"I never felt Baba didn't speak. I was never conscious of that because
He was always speaking to your soul, to your heart."
Meher Baba's subsequent visits followed a similar pattern. They were opportunities
for existing Baba lovers to see Meher Baba in person and to experience the love
that radiated from Him. And there were times when those who were curious to meet Him
could do so, often with the result that they found themselves irresistibly drawn to Him.
Over the years the UK Baba Group, now a registered charity, has had a number of offices and premises in London and elsewhere in England. It has always played a special role in Meher Baba's work and He is its perpetual President...
...but the real 'Baba Centre' is the heart of each of His lovers.
>click here for a short history of the UK Baba Group