His Early LIfe
Meher Baba was born in 1894 in Poona [Pune], India. He was named Merwan Sheriar Irani by His parents, who were of Persian origin.He was a bright happy child, educated at the English Catholic School and was attending college when He was drawn to Babajan, an aged female mystic and one of the five Perfect Masters. He visited her regularly until one day she kissed Him on the forehead, unveiling Him to His spiritual status. Babajan declared “This child of mine will create a great sensation in the world and do immense good to humanity”. After contact with the other four Perfect Masters and seven years later, His consciousness as God and Man was complete and His mission on Earth had begun.
His Work Begins
His first group of disciples accepted Him as their Master and gave Him the name Meher Baba which translates as Compassionate Father. They were Muslims, Hindus and Zoroastrians. In 1922 forty walked with Baba to Bombay [Mumbai] where they set up a very austere ashram under His guidance.
In 1923 they settled on a deserted site five miles outside Ahmednagar and commenced to build the Meherabad ashram. This was a period of intense activity; there was a school for local village children, a clinic, a mad ashram and a mast ashram for God intoxicated souls. A small group of women joined the ashram but lived separately from the men. Everyone was kept busy. At this time He often underwent long periods of fasting and silence. On 10th July 1925 He stopped speaking and kept silent for the rest of His life.
Throughout His life Meher Baba gave spiritual guidance to His followers. During His years of silence He dictated, via His close disciples, numerous messages. These have been published in journals, namely the Meher Baba Journal and the Awakener Magazine and in books. His major works are 'God Speaks, the Theme of Creation and Its Purpose' and the 'Discourses'. 'God Speaks' explains the evolution of consciousness with the parallel development of the physical world. It contains a unique explanation of the soul's journey through the seven planes. You could call the 'Discourses' a comprehensive guide book for the journey of the spiritual seeker / aspirant.
Meher Baba was always on the move. Initially Baba and the mandali covered thousands of miles of the Indian subcontinent. In spite of intolerable conditions, He gave immeasurable care and attention to the poor, the sick, the lepers and the mad.
Eventually His travels brought Him to the West, first setting foot on British soil in 1931. He went on to America and around the world, on a number of occasions during the 1930s and again in the 1950s. During the 30s He spent time with groups of followers in France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. He specifically visited Assisi and Avila. In 1956 and 1958 He visited Australia.
Although He continued to be based in India, Baba established His "Home in the West" at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. The Myrtle Beach Center still serves as a beautiful spiritual retreat for those who are drawn to Baba.
His Physical Suffering
It was whilst travelling in the USA that Baba had the first of two major car accidents. He had stated many years earlier that He would spill His blood on American soil. In 1952, true to His word, Baba was severely injured while crossing the USA by car. Four years later He had a second inexplicable car accident in India that broke His hip. This resulted in Baba suffering intense pain for the remaining years of His life.
His Final Years
Meher Baba's final years were spent mostly in seclusion, apart from a few mass gatherings at which He allowed the thousands who believed in Him and loved Him to come and receive His blessings.
He lived at Meherazad with His close disciples, women and men around him. Here He concentrated on His 'Universal Work'.
In 1968 He declared that this work was completed one hundred percent to His satisfaction. On 31st January 1969, He left His earthly body...
"...to live eternally in the hearts of those that Love Me." - Meher Baba
Meher Baba's Tomb Shrine at Meherabad has now become a place of international pilgrimage.