Meher Baba
Baba's Life

Sunday 20th May 2018


Don Stevens’s remarkable long life, entirely dedicated to his Master and Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, is to be celebrated at the Meher Baba Centre in London.


All are welcome - more details to follow.


To be involved with planning this celebration and/or helping on the day, please contact Jane: or 07484808207


An archive exhibition will accompany this celebration, so if you have any photos of Don (with friends too!) that can be lent or copied, please get in touch.


Although many knew Don Stevens, for those less familiar with his name and life here is a very brief introduction…...Born in Nevada, USA in 1919, Don first met Meher Baba in New York, 1952. Thereafter Baba would refer to Don as ‘my spiritual son’, close mandali (disciple) and that he had he had an ‘almost perfect balance of head and heart’.


Soon after this initial meeting Baba requested Sufism Reoriented and specifically Murshida Ivy O Duce and Don Stevens to edit and publish ‘God Speaks’. Don was next asked by Baba to re-edit The Discourses for Western seekers and then ‘Listen Humanity’, containing new discourses and Don’s experience at the Four Languages Sahavas, Meherabad, 1955.


This then led to Baba’s request for Don to oversee translations and publication of God Speaks and Discourses for European readers. This was then extended to international translations, including Indian languages.


Don also wrote and collaborated with others to produce many more Baba related publications.

An open invitation was given by Meher Baba for Don to visit him in India, if a day's journey away. So Don’s frequent travelling due to his professional work in the international oil business, particularly in the East, enabled ongoing close contact with his master.


Working with small focused groups was a key element for Don. Originally in the USA at the request of Ivy Duce, to help the young and spiritually curious knocking at her door and interested in discovering more about Meher Baba.


When Don relocated to Europe in the late 60’s he continued to lead many groups in London and France, although his work for Meher Baba still remained international, facilitating globally located groups, seminars and workshops.


He lived in the flat above the Meher Baba Centre for many years; this was then given by him to The Meher Baba Association and now houses the new archive facilities and beautiful quiet room with Baba’s pink jacket.


Towards the end of his life Don instigated the ‘Beads On One String Project’ and Foundation. He passed away in London in 27th April, 2011, many projects and groups initiated by him and inspired by Meher Baba continue to this day, connecting people all over the world.





Sahavas in San Gemini, Umbria - Italy


Saturday 21st April to Saturday 28th April 2018
Valeria Violati - an Italian born longtime resident in Assisi, whose many visits to Meherabad began in February 1982 – is opening PALAZZO SANTITERZI, her family home in San Gemini, for the purpose of hosting this first public SAHAVAS.


Organised together with her son Michele Grandjacquet and Nicholas Principe from United States.


It will be an informal Italian gathering for Baba lovers.


San Gemini is in central Umbria, the very central region of Italy. It is an ancient medieval village, midway between Assisi and Rome.

Contacts for more info:


Nicholas Principe -


Valeria Violati -





Invitation to The Avatar's Abode Anniversary


5th - 11th June 2018


Anyone wishing to attend, or know about, the Australian Avatar’s Abode 60th Anniversary should go to the website where all the information, programme and Invitation with booking form will be found.


There is a pre-anniversary tour being organised, details of this can be also be found on the website.





2nd June 2017


The Meher Baba Association has been aware for a few weeks that there is a serious situation developing in regards to the entrance road to Meherazad, which has always been a tranquil, private, tree-lined lane leading to Meher Baba's home.


We are forwarding a letter received from the AMBPPCT, so that you get the full information.


To download the letter > click here


Please help in any way you can.




9th July 2016 at the London Meher Baba Centre


"If God exists and we are unaware of it, then we are living without knowing the most fundamental truth in the Universe". (Awake Magazine, March 2015, Page 4)


Those present on Saturday at our Centre, and on the ensuing two - three days were blessed to recognise ‘the one fundamental truth in the Universe’ that they were in God's presence, albeit by proxy through Dara and Amrit with their endearing stories and experiences of life with Baba!


lt felt as if the day was filled with Beloved Baba’s presence, with music, poetry, singing, dancing all flowing and enveloping Baba’s Centre at 228 Hammersmith Grove, and who can deny the peace and quietude that enveloped us when we retreated or took refuge in the quiet calmness of Baba’s ‘Pink Coat Room’ on the ground floor! The stories that Dara and Amrit shared with the many gathered in the basement seemed at times stories they were sharing of their close friend, and Baba indeed was a Friend to His lovers and to those who sought Him. Both Dara and Amrit took turns in narrating episodes from their life together, with one taking over from the other, helping each other, coaxing a thought out from their collective memories of their life with Baba.


The story of how Dara and Amrit’s marriage came about is a rather interesting one. When Dara returned to India from London in December 1964 for the first time, after he had gone to the UK ten years previously, Baba told Dara that He had selected a wife for him; that was it, nothing further was said on the matter. Dara returned to London in March 1965 to work in an engineering firm in Richmond, hearing nothing further from Baba, until out of the blue a cable arrived in September-October 1967 asking him if he was ready to get married. Dara cabled back that he would do whatever Baba wished at any time Baba wanted him to. Large studio scale photos of Dara were taken in London and were delivered to Baba personally by Dara's father Adi lrani Jnr, who went to India to discuss what Baba had in mind about the marriage plans for Dara.


In the meantime, one fine day in early 1968, a large thick envelope addressed to Amrit, landed at Amrit's family home in Dehra Dun, at the foothills of the Himalayas, where her family had a farm. In this envelope were the photographs and a question posed by Baba: would Amrit consider marrying this man called Dara lrani? She was asked by Baba to consult with her family and then cable her reply to Him. Amrit looked at the photographs of this handsome man and not knowing what made her do it, she cabled back to Baba her acceptance of the marriage, without first consulting her family as Baba had asked her to do!


Amrit knew of Meher Baba through her father Shatrugan Kumar’s allegiance to Him, but other than being a religious Hindu family, they were unaware of who Meher Baba really was — God Himself, the Avatar of the age. Baba then asked Shatrugan to bring Amrit to Ahmednagar to discuss the wedding plans, and they embarked on the very long train journey from Dehra Dun to Ahmednagar. As the train neared its destination, Amrit began to feel incredibly nervous with the thought that she would be meeting ‘God’ Himself for the very first time.


Amrit recollected being ushered into Baba’s bedroom at Meherazad, standing at a distance looking at this old man sitting on His bed, bent over looking tired; but when Baba looked up at her, she began to weep, looking at His radiant face with those wonderful eyes raised to greet her. Baba held open His arms, and she rushed up and fell into His embrace weeping! Oh, how wonderful and happy Amrit must have felt to be embraced by God Himself! Lucky Amrit! She was then put in the care of the women Mandali who tried their best to make her feel at home and relaxed in their company, knowing she had never before ventured away from her own home.


During conversations about the wedding, Baba asked Amrit what colour sari she would like for her wedding and looked doubtful when she said red, as that was the traditional colour Hindu brides wore at their wedding. However, Baba indicated with His hands that white is worn by Parsi & Iranian brides and in the Western world they always wear white. He wanted to blend them, and asked her to get a pink sari to bring them together. Arnavaz Dadachanji was asked to take Amrit shopping in Bombay for her wedding, where they bought a lovely pink sari.


The next visit to Ahmednagar from Dehra Dun for Amrit's entire family and relatives was for the engagement and wedding which took place in December 1968. Dara and Amrit briefly met each other for the first time on their engagement day at Meherazad in Baba’s presence. Later when they were asked by Arnavaz to sit together to get acquainted, they were both at a loss as to how to communicate with each other! Dara with limited knowledge of Hindi and Amrit with a limited grasp of the English language could not converse easily, till Arnavaz intervened and took on the role of being the go-between for the couple! The wedding took place on 22nd December 1968, the day of Mehera’s birthday, with a lot of jollity and happiness with Beloved Baba overseeing their marriage vows and spreading His benevolence on the entire gathering.


Another interesting story was then narrated by Amrit. The men Mandali were sitting with Baba to discuss the wedding preparations and the conversation turned to the refreshments to be served at the wedding. Baba saw in the distance Sarosh and Villoo having an animated conversation, in fact it looked like a heated argument was taking place between the two! Baba enquired what they were arguing about, and Villoo said that serving orange squash would be a cheaper alternative than serving any other cold drink, especially Coca Cola. Sarosh piped up saying that a wedding celebration could not serve orange squash to the guests, as this was not a school picnic for children! He insisted that Coca Cola would have to be served as that was suitable for the occasion. Baba looked on amused by their to-ing and fro—ing and finally suggested a simple solution. Why not serve both orange squash and Coca Cola, that way both the warring parties could be happy? Both Sarosh and Villoo had to reluctantly accept the perfect logic of Baba’s solution, although their mutterings continued as to what if the guests preferred the Cola to the squash, and no one touched the squash! Baba responded by saying that of course the Cola would be drunk first, but then the guests would have to finish the squash!


There were other stories and episodes from their life together, some comical, some endearing but all told to regale us, and regale us they did! I personally felt I was living my life vicariously with Baba through the stories that Dara and Amrit narrated.



Meherwan Jessawala (1930-2016) - by Sara McNeill


In his eloquent foreword to the major work, 'Infinite Intelligence', published in 2005, Meherwan writes,


" To those fortunate few privileged to spend their lives in close association with Him, Meher Baba simultaneously personified unlimited Knowledge — the hallmark of divinity — and profound ignorance, which characterizes the state of the ordinary human steeped in illusion. The role of the Avatar is to unfold divine knowledge through the limitation and frailty of human ignorance in a most natural way. This very simplicity and naturalness that He exhibits in His life makes the Avatar universally approachable and acceptable to humankind itself, beset with frailties and weaknesses."


As one of those ‘fortunate few privileged to spend their lives in close association with Him’ Meherwan's departure to return to The Beloved must leave an emptiness at Meherazad felt by all who knew him. His quiet presence around that place made sacred by Baba and his close ones, camouflaged the weight of the role he shouldered after Eruch left the scene.


Meherwan's close association with Meher Baba began when he was six, shortly before the family left everything they owned to spend the rest of their lives with the Avatar. So Meherwan himself had early experience of Meher Baba’s approachability and he recounts a touchingly simple childhood memory of that time which brings his devotion, even then, into sharp focus:


"I had first met Baba in 1937 at a public darshan in Nagpur held at our house, where Baba frequently visited. My first recollection of Baba was of my going into the garden and making Him a tiny garland; then, being shy and embarrassed when I entered the full hall, pocketing it. But Baba, who was seated at one end of the room, ordered me to be brought to Him and asked me what I had in my pocket. The garland just fit over His head, then He embraced me. I could feel the love in His embrace. Nothing could be more loving than that. I felt I was drowning in that embrace." (Epilogue, Donkin's Diaries.)


The family’s departure from Nagpur took them to Lower Meherabad, Panchgani, Bangalore and then Ahmednagar. Merwan remembered the Blue Bus travels and also schools he attended in Bangalore and Dehra Dun. It was not until 1942 that Baba arranged for the family to have a settled home, Bindra House in Poona. It was there Meherwan grew up, perfectly placed to act as messenger, fixer, go-between, scout or whatever Baba needed, whenever it was needed. But in the late 1950s, after Baba’s second automobile accident, there was a time when Meher Baba was brought to Poona from Satara to be nearer the specialist facilities needed for His care and Meherwan found himself playing a very different role.


”One day Donkin came to Bindra House to find me, saying he was going to construct a special bed for Baba and I was to help him. He went to the flea market in Poona, where he found what looked like a piece of junk — an old hospital bed, lying dismantled amongst the scrap metal. Don brought the bed to Bindra House and told me to assist him in re-constructing it. Of course he knew how to do it because he'd worked in an orthopaedic hospital. It was a wonderful bed, with removable parts which slotted together, really beautiful. My job was to scrape off the old paint before we repainted it and made the whole thing good.


Then Donkin designed a special mattress for Baba. He would make me lie down on the bed and while I was lying there in the full sun, Don would go into a reverie about the design. It was a perfect mattress, in four separate pieces so Baba never had to get up: one piece from the head to the top of Baba’s hip, another from the hip to the feet, and in the middle two sliding pillows. I got some good cotton and my aunt stitched the four-piece mattress at home, all by Don's instructions. So we got the whole bed ready and it looked very beautiful when it was all painted and finished ...and Baba at last felt comfortable as he rested on it." (Epilogue, Donkin's Diaries.)


When Guruprasad became an annual centre for Baba’s work, the activities Meherwan was involved in increased enormously. He was often so busy there was no time to be present at Baba’s large darshan events. He was one of the ‘back room boys.’ When I eventually made the journey to India myself in the late 1980s Baba had dropped his body and the time of transition was well underway. In 1993, on my second visit, in fact on the day before I was due to leave, I received a message to be at Meherazad at 08:00 AM the following morning. A rickshaw got me there on time and Davana met me, bearing three large floppy sun hats. She took me straight to Eruch who smilingly told me to choose a hat saying, "My brother is taking you up Seclusion Hill.” I didn't even know Eruch had a brother! Meherwan appeared and, suitably hatted I was led away across the field towards the hill. I had complained the previous day about not wanting to leave because I hadn't been up Seclusion Hill! Every little thing they attended to, these loving Mandali, and Meherwan was a most patient and courteous guide. Halfway up the steep ascent, at a I— bend in the narrow pathway, he paused and said, ”This is where Meher Baba used to stop and indicate the view, and he would say, ‘The only reason to look back is to see how far you've come."


In recent years at Meherazad, while working on a history of his family's decades of close association with Avatar Meher Baba, Meherwan must have been looking back at a vast panorama of incredible events. The much- anticipated publication of his book The Jessawala Chronicles will be a wonderful opportunity for us all to share that view.


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