Merwan Sheriar Irani, known
as Meher Baba, was born in Poona, India, on February 25, 1894,
of Persian parents. His father, Sheriar Irani, was of Zoroastrian
faith and a true seeker of God. Merwan went to a Christian
high school in Poona and later attended Deccan College. In
1913 while still in college, Merwan experienced a momentous
event . . . a meeting with Hazrat Babajan, an ancient Mohammedan
woman and one of the five Perfect Masters of the Age. Babajan
gave him God-Realization and made him aware of his high spiritual
Eventually, he was drawn to seek out another perfect master,
Upasni Maharaj, a Hindu who lived in Sakori. During the next
seven years, Maharaj gave Merwan gnosis or divine
knowledge. Thus, Merwan attained spiritual perfection. His
spiritual mission began in 1921 when he drew together his
first close disciples. It was these early disciples who gave
him the name Meher Baba, which means Compassionate Father.
After years of intensive training of his disciples, Meher
Baba established a colony near Ahmednagar that is called Meherabad.
Here, the Masters work embraced a free school where
spiritual training was stressed, a free hospital and dispensary,
and shelters for the poor. No distinction was made between
the high castes and the untouchables; all mingled in common
fellowship through the inspiration of the Master. To his disciples
at Meherabad, who were of different castes and creeds, he
gave a training of moral discipline, love for God, spiritual
understanding and selfless service.
Meher Baba told his disciples that from July 10, 1925 he
would observe Silence. He maintained this Silence until the
end of his life, January 31, 1969. His many spiritual discourses
and messages were dictated by means of an alphabet board.
Much later the Master discontinued the use of the board and
reduced all communication to hand gestures unique in expressiveness
and understandable to many.
Meher Baba traveled to America six times, first in 1931,
when he contacted his early Western disciples. His last visit
to America was in 1958 when he and his disciples stayed at
the Center established for his work at Myrtle Beach, South
In India as many as one hundred thousand people have come
in one day to seek his Darshan, or blessing; from all over
the world there are those who journeyed to spend a few days,
even a single day, in his presence.
An important part of Meher Babas work through the years
was to contact and personally serve hundreds of those known
in India as masts. These are advanced pilgrims
on the spiritual path who have become spiritually intoxicated
from direct awareness of God. For this work he traveled many
thousands of miles to remote places throughout India and Ceylon.
Other vital work was the washing of the lepers, the washing
of the feet of thousands of poor, and the distribution of
grain and cloth to the destitute.
Meher Baba asserts that he is the same Ancient One, come
again to redeem humanity from the bondage of ignorance and
to guide individuals to realize their true Self which is God.
Meher Baba is acknowledged by his many followers all over
the world as the Avatar of the Age.
For more information about Avatar Meher Baba, see:
Avatar Meher Baba Trust
Meher Baba Information