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Meher Baba

Meher Baba was born Merwan Sheriar Irani, February 25, 1894 in Poona, Maharashtra, India, and died January 31st, 1969, in Pimplegaon, Maharashtra, India, a small town not far from Ahmednagar, where his samadhi (tomb-shrine) has become a place of pilgrimage. The samadhi itself is in the small village of "Meherabad."

His father Sheriar was born in Persia, and became a wandering Sufi dervish before settling in Poona and marrying a young woman named Shireen. Though Meherwan had mystical inclinations and experiences, he was more interested in sports (especially cricket). At the age of 19, he met a very old Muslim woman, a spiritual master named Hazrat Babajan, who kissed him on the forehead on a street in Poona. Shortly after this, he also had direct contact with four other Perfect Masters: (Tajudin Baba of Nagpur, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon, Sai Baba of Shirdi, and Upasni Maharaj of Sakori). After working for seven years with Sadguru Upasni Maharaj, Merwan started to attract a following of his own. It was the early followers who gave him the new name: "Meher Baba," or Compassionate Father. Meher Baba later explained that Hazrat Babajan was in fact a Qutub (Perfect Master) and that her kiss unveiled him spiritually, establishing him in a state of consciousness he termed God-Realization. He also explained how Sai Baba of Shirdi and Upasni Maharaj worked with him to integrate this experience with his normal worldy consciousness enabling him to function in the world without diminishing his experience of God-realization. This state of God-realization, according to Meher Baba is the continuous experience of Infinite Knowledge, Infinite Power and Infinite Bliss, and it is permanent.

His cosmology, which has echoes of Sufism and Vedanta, as well as Christian Mysticism is summarized in the 1954 book, GOD SPEAKS, much of which Meher Baba dictated using an English language alphabet board. He personally recommended the book to a number of his followers, saying it was the most important book for this age, but also dismissed purely intellectual learning about God as "Trying to see with your ears," and emphasized the importance of the simple remembrance of God, and loving one's fellow beings.

He did extensive work with a category of people he termed "masts," (short for "Mast-Allah" or intoxicated with God) These were individuals who were enchanted by spiritual experience of the higher planes, and though outwardly they appeared irrational or even insane, Baba claimed that their spiritual status was actually quite elevated. The best-known of these masts (and one of Baba's five favorites), was known as Mohammed Mast, survived Baba by 34 years, living at Baba's permanent encampment at Meherabad (near Ahmednagar) until his passing in 2003.

Meher Baba traveled several times around the world and continues, many years after his "dropping of the body", to have followers on all continents. He observed silence from July 10, 1925 until his death in 1969, communicating first by means of gestures, and later using the alphabet board; "Silence Day", July 10, is widely observed by his followers with the keeping of silence for 24 hours.

Many people around the world believe Meher Baba to have been the Avatar, a special soul who is literally the active aspect of God as God-Man (that is, the aspect which has relationship with the Creation which is a product of the mixing of God and Maya: Maya or "The Cosmic Illusion"). They believe, further, that this same soul previously incarnated (took birth) as Prophet Zoroaster, Prophet Mohammed, Lord Gautama the Buddha, Jesus Christ (the Annointed One) of Nazareth, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and other personalities in the ancient past who are revered as having the very highest spiritual status.

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