Meher Baba, 1894 - 1969

Meher Baba while fasting
With an early group of followers At Manzil-e-Meem With members of the Prem Ashram In 1925, the first year of His Silence
 
   

Meher Baba, center, with some of His early disciples at Manzil-e-Meem
 
During these seven years, a number of those who came into Merwan’s contact—Hindus, Muslims and Zoroastrians alike—began to feel drawn to him and take him as their Master. It was these early followers and disciples who first began to refer to Merwan as "Meher Baba."
In 1922, with a large group of dedicated followers, Meher Baba left Poona for Bombay. There he established a unique ashram named "Manzil-e-Meem," the "House of the Master," where these early disciples were initiated into a period of strict discipline and rigorous training. Baba himself was engrossed day and night in his own intense spiritual activity, taking on terrific suffering and strenuous fasts.
Within a year, Baba shifted his ashram to a desolate rural area near Ahmednagar, about 120 miles west of Bombay, in the heart of the Deccan plateau. Here, he created "Meherabad," which would serve as the center for his work for the next quarter of a century.
Meher Baba set an ever more strenuous pace for himself and those who followed him. Together with his disciples, he labored intensively to build shelters and make the arid land habitable. In 192.., he established the Prem Ashram, a multi-denominational school that drew students from around India and Iran. Periodically, he set out on walking tours and train journeys, covering enormous distances throughout the surrounding Maharashtra State, across western India to Karachi and Quetta (which would later become part of Pakistan), and eventually to Persia. On these trips, Baba would often direct his men to gather the poor and lepers of a locality, whom he would bathe, feed and clothe with his own hands.
In 1925, while staying at Meherabad, Meher Baba took a vow of silence that would last until the end of his physical life.
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All quotes by Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, used with permission.