AVATAR MEHER BABA
Meher Baba says He is the same Ancient One known in the past as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed.
Meher Baba explained, “When God manifests on earth in the form of man and reveals His Divinity to mankind, He is recognized as the Avatar – the Messiah – the Prophet. Thus God becomes Man.
“The Avatar is always One and the Same, because God is always One and the Same, the Eternal, Indivisible, Infinite One…the Highest of the High.
“This Eternally One and the Same Avatar repeats His manifestation from time to time, in different cycles, adopting different human forms and different names, in different places, to reveal Truth in different garbs and different languages..."
The Avatar comes each time with the same basic message: "Nothing is real but God. Nothing matters but love for God."
The Avatar is God come again and again into the world as man. He suffers for all for the sake of love. And it is through His suffering that the world is released from its bondage of ignorance so that everyone and everything in creation eventually knows its true self as God.
“I tell you with Divine authority, that you and I are not we but one,” Meher Baba said.
MEHER BABA DID NOT COME TO ESTABLISH A NEW RELIGION
Meher Baba did not come to establish a new religion.
“I have not come to establish any cult, society or organization; nor even to establish a new religion. The religion that I shall give teaches the knowledge of the One behind the many. The book that I shall make people read is the book of the heart that holds the key to the mystery of life. I shall bring about a happy blending of the head and the heart. I shall revitalize all religions and cults, and bring them together like beads on one string.”
“I belong to no religion. Every religion belongs to Me. My personal religion is My being the Ancient Infinite One, and the religion I impart to all is love for God, which is the truth of all religions.”
MEHER BABA IS BORN IN PUNE, INDIA, IN 1894
Merwan Sheriar Irani, later called Meher Baba (meaning “Compassionate Father”) by His early disciples, was born in Pune (formerly Poona), India, on February 25, 1894.
He passed through a normal childhood, attending St. Vincent High School and later Deccan College, both in Pune.
His true identity was unveiled to Him through a kiss to the forehead by Hazrat Babajan, a very old Muslim woman and one of the five Perfect Masters of the age whose task it was to remove the veil concealing His Godhood.
Eventually, Meher Baba was drawn to the Hindu Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj. At their meeting, Maharaj threw a stone striking young Merwan at the same spot on His forehead where He had been kissed by Babajan.
"That was the beginnning of my present infinite suffering in illusion which I experience simultanously with my inifite bliss in reality," Meher Baba said.
During the next seven years, Merwan’s contact with Maharaj brought Him back down to normal consciousness of the world while He kept simultaneously His undiminished consciousness as God.
MEHER BABA HAS FOLLOWERS FROM ALL FAITHS
By 1921, Meher Baba started to gather His first close disciples (mandali). “None should hesitate to come to Me and embrace Me with love,” He said.
After several years of intense training of His disciples, Meher Baba established a community near Ahmednagar, India, called Meherabad, which became a permanent center of His activities.
To His disciples at Meherabad, who were of different castes and creeds, He gave a training of moral disciplines, love for God, spiritual understanding, and selfless service.
Meher Baba made no distinction between high and low castes and untouchables (the lowest caste in Hinduism), and all there mingled with common fellowship through His inspiration.
“I am equally approachable to one and all. Big and small, to saints who rise and sinners who fall, through all the various paths that give the Divine Call. I am approachable alike to Saint whom I adore and to sinner who I am for, and equally through Sufism, Vedantism, Christianity, or Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, and other ‘isms’ of any kind and also directly through no medium of ‘ism’ at all.”
MEHER BABA BEGINS KEEPING SILENCE
On July 10, 1925, Meher Baba began observing complete silence, which He maintained for the rest of His life, a period of more than 43 years.
His silence was not undertaken as any sort of spiritual exercise as He was perfection itself. Rather, it was a suffering He took upon Himself for the benefit of all creation.
His many spiritual discourses and messages were dictated by means of an alphabet board, which He discontinued using after 1954.
Thereafter, His communications were in gestures, unique and beautiful in their expressiveness.
WORK WITH GOD-INTOXICATED SOULS
An important part of Meher Baba’s work through the years was to personally contact and serve thousands of those known as masts – God-intoxicated souls who received a spiritual push from their contact with Meher Baba. For this work, He traveled extensively throughout all of India.
“Masts are those who become permanently unconscious in part or whole of their physical bodies, actions, and surroundings, due to their absorption in their intense love and longing for God.”
Meher Baba’s other vital outward work was the washing of lepers, washing the feet and bowing down to thousands of poor and distributing grain, cloth and money to the destitute. He said:
“I will bow down to the saints whom I adore, the ‘masts’ whom I worship, and the poor to whom I am wholeheartedly devoted. Nothing makes Me more happy than to bow down to God in all these forms. I like bowing down to people rather than being bowed down to. To serve and worship God all around me is most at My heart."
Meher Baba also held many large mass gatherings throughout India. There He gave increasingly of Himself to the thousands who came for His darshan (His blessing) and to receive prasad (a gift of love) from His own Hands. Said Meher Baba:
“I am the one so many seek and so few find. No amount of intellect can fathom Me. No amount of austerity can attain Me. Only when one loves Me and loses one’s self in Me am I found.”
MEHER BABA TRAVELS TO THE WEST, INCLUDING THE U.S.
Meher Baba traveled to the West many times – first in 1931, when he contacted the early Western disciples in England and America who later came to stay with him in India for varying lengths of time.
On His 1956 trip to the West, He visited Southern California for three days, including Meher Mount on August 2, 1956.
During His life, Meher Baba met with two serious automobile accidents. The first in 1952 was near Prague, Oklahoma, during an across-the-country drive from Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Meher Mount in Ojai, California.
The second was in 1956 in Satara, India. Meher Baba indicated that both accidents were necessary for His work.
MEHER BABA DROPS HIS PHYSICAL BODY IN 1969
After the last accident, Meher Baba placed Himself in ever stricter seclusion for His purpose and what He called His “universal work.” This intensive work, which He did inwardly, took a great toll on His health.
In September 1968, Meher Baba announced that He had completed His work 100% to His satisfaction.
But His health was shattered, and a few months later on January 31, 1969, He dropped His physical body having given His all out of the great love he had for the creation and of which, all His life, He was the perfect living example.
His Tomb Shrine (Samadhi) at Meherabad has become a place of pilgrimage for His many lovers from all parts of the world. Places where Meher Baba visited, such as Meher Mount, have also become places of pilgrimage for followers of Meher Baba.
“I have only one message to give,” said Meher Baba, “and I repeat it age after age to one and all: Love God.”
Avatar Meher Baba: www.avatarmeherbaba.org
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Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust: http://www.ambppct.org
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