Mehera Jehangir Irani was born 6th January 1907 and died on 20th May 1989.
Mehera was Meher Baba's closest disciple. Baba described Mehera as the purest soul in the Universe and declared that Mehera loved Him as He ought to be loved. He called her His Radha and said:
"She is my very breath without which I cannot live".
Accounts of Mehera's life with Meher Baba are exhaustively and beautifully documented in the three volume chronicle 'Mehera-Meher: A Divine Romance', written by David Fenster, based on tape-recordings that he had made of Mehera at Meherazad.
Readers wishing to dip into a briefer biography can refer to 'Mehera', edited by Janet Judson, assisted by Shelley Marrich and published by Beloved Books. Quotes in the following text are taken from this volume.
Mehera met Meher Baba for the first time on 15th October 1922, at the age of 14, in the Sakori ashram of Upasni Maharaj during a visit with her mother, but did not come to stay with Baba permanently at Meherabad until 1924. She had determined that she did not want to marry, but was drawn to the life of the nuns she had seen at Upasni Maharaj's ashram. Unique among Meher Baba's women mandali, Mehera was sequestered by Baba from any contact with men and while travelling was carefully protected by Baba's other women mandali, primarily Baba's sister Mani.
It was in her early years with Beloved Baba, whilst living a cloistered life with other women disciples in the East Wing of the old water tower on Meherabad Hill, that Baba explained to Mehera the special significance of her role as 'His Radha' in this Avataric age. All the women disciples came to know that Mehera would be especially responsible for Beloved Baba's care and attending to His personal needs, such as His clothing and food, and she naturally commanded the love and respect from them that He Himself gave to her. When Baba was absent from Meherabad, Mehera still kept her focus and attention always on Him, spending time making small 'treasures' of remembrance of Him or repairing His clothes. In later years she tended His garden at Meherazad to keep it always beautiful for whenever He returned.
In the late thirties, emerging from a very reclusive life, Mehera accompanied Baba on His travels known as the Blue Bus Tours. Though she was still closely protected, she now saw many people and new places. She travelled to France in 1937 encountering Baba's close Western women disciples, many of whom also spent time in India. In this way Baba prepared Mehera to accompany Him, as one of four women (the others being Mani, Meheru and Dr. Goher) during the New Life period from 1949-1952. The companions travelled first on foot and then later in the New Life Caravan, which remains at Meherazad. The New Life was regarded as one of the most challenging times for Baba's close disciples, with the many hardships of hunger, climate, and physical privations, but Mehera said of that time: "There were discomforts and difficulties, but Baba was with us. We were going through it for Baba, and with Baba - and that was all we wanted".
In 1952 Mehera accompanied Meher Baba to the USA where both they and other disciples were involved in a serious automobile accident near Prague, Oklahoma. Despite Baba's own severe physical injuries, it was for Mehera's wellbeing he showed immediate concern, instructing the first ambulance to take her to the hospital before Him. She remarked: "Even though Baba was in very great pain and in need of help Himself, He thought of another at that time. How beautiful He was with His love to think of another person at such a time when He Himself needed help."
Mehera accompanied Baba on more travels and lengthy stays in Deheru Dun, Mahabaleshwar and Satara during the fifties. However, Baba experienced another severe car accident in Satara in1956, and though He later travelled to the West again, this time Mehera did not. By 1957 they had relocated permanently to Meherazad. Though Baba continued to conduct Sahavas programmes through the later years, the last 12 years of His life involved tremendous physical suffering caused by His injuries. It was perhaps the most intimate time for Mehera who cared for Him so tenderly day by day, trying to ease His pain and anticipate His needs.
On 31st January 1968 Mehera was instructed by Meher Baba to greet some of the men mandali from the porch at Meherazad. She simply folded her hands to them out of respect to their love for Baba and saluted them with "Jai Baba!" Those who were with Baba realised when He left His physical form the following year, that He had been preparing Mehera for the years ahead without Him. Baba's last message to Mehera, carried by Mani, was "Mehera, be brave". Though Mehera was overcome with profound grief at the loss of her Beloved Baba, she obeyed His wishes, and despite her sorrow personally greeted the many lovers who came for His scheduled Sahavas programme in May of that year.
Those who were fortunate to spend time in Mehera's presence on the porch at Meherazad, were struck by her extraordinary beauty and unique presence, and by her sustained one-pointed focus on Meher Baba. She loved recounting Baba stories, often giggling with joy over particularly happy memories. Mehera took delight in the simple things in life and over time seemed able to transcend her loss through sharing her love for Baba with His lovers, for His sake. Baba's sister Mani expresses most perfectly what it was to encounter Mehera at that time:
"The absolutely clear mirror of Mehera's pure, immaculate heart, that Baba took great pains to keep unclouded by the dust of the world, reflects Baba's image; the image of the Divine Beloved, as none other can."
Although Mehera was born in January, since1968 her birthday continues to be celebrated on December 22, as it was in 1968 in accordance with the Zoroastrian calendar, that being the last year it was celebrated in Meher Baba's physical presence.
In accordance with Meher Baba’s directive, Mehera’s final resting place is by His right side, adjacent to his Samadhi at Meherabad.
Mehera's message for Meher Baba's lovers was as follows:
"Always hold on to Baba's daaman and love Him, that is the one real thing you can do in this life. Baba may seem to try to snatch His daaman from your hands, so be sure not to let go, be sure to hold on tightly. Be true to His love for you."