I AM CALLED MEHER BABA
Ceylon (Sri Lanka), January 29, 1933
I am a Persian, born in Poona on February 25, 1894. My father was a spiritually minded man and from boyhood until he was a grown man spent his life wandering in the jungle in search of spiritual experience. At the age of 35 he was told that he should resume a normal existence. This he did. He married and had six children. I am the second son. I was brought up as a Zoroastrian, the religion of my ancestors.
While I was attending college in Poona at the age of 17 I met an ancient woman named Hazrat Babajan, as a result of which I entered a state of super-consciousness in which I remained for nine months, entirely oblivious to earthly life.
In 1921 my return to normal consciousness was brought about by Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. I spent the first two years after that experience in writing an account of what happened.
This book, which has not hitherto been seen by any one, will be published shortly.
I am a bachelor and I have never engaged in any trade or occupation, for I was at college when the experience came to me.
Sex does not enter into my scheme of things. The ashrams which I have founded in Devonshire, New York, Nasik, Ahmednagar and Madras, are open to all, but men and women are kept strictly apart.
Yes, I know Mahatma Gandhi. I love him and I know he loves me. We have had long discussions on spiritual matters. I met him first on board the P. and O. Rajputana on the Mahatma's trip to the Round Table Conference. He used to visit me daily in my cabin and our discussions were continued in London.
One day I received an urgent message from Mahatma Gandhi saying, "I must see you," followed by a visit during which I had to explain certain spiritual matters to him. The London pressmen came to hear of this and, as I expected, they made a mess of the whole thing. The next day in blazing letters I was described as Gandhi's guru and master.
Look at his passive resistance movement. From the spiritual point of view it is wonderful because it embraces sincerity, truth and non-violence. Please don't ask me its value as a political weapon. I have nothing to do with politics and I cannot tell you.
As for untouchability I may tell you that I love the untouchables. They are very close to my heart. Recently I summoned Dr. Ambedkar and advised him too. I consider the orthodox Hindu attitude childish and foolish, but there I leave it as I condemn no one and hate no one.
My religion? I belong to no religion and yet to every religion. Love is my principal agent. The Infinite One can be attained only through love and sincerity. I do not believe in dogmas and ceremonies. God can be realized in every phase of life art, science, nature and beauty. That is my religion.
I have been silent for eight years. It is not a vow but it has been undertaken for spiritual reasons. Shortly my mission of preaching will begin. My reason for starting it in America is that America, being most deeply engrossed in material things and suffering most in consequence, is the soil on which a new spiritual re-birth will first take place.
America requires only the guiding hand of a master to redirect its material powers to the heights of spirituality.
Your Ceylon is a most beautiful country. I shall visit you again. I will be leaving for India shortly and then I shall return here on my way to America via China and Honolulu.
Will I found an ashram here? Perhaps.
THE BEST OF GLOW, pp. 148-150, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
1980 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust