SACRED PLACES

Book Two


THE THATCHED HUT
MEHERABAD
CENTERS
PENN
A SPIRITUAL RETREAT WITHIN
A UNIVERSAL CENTER
TWELVE INDIAN CENTERS
THE ASPECTS OF MEHER BABA'S CENTERS
KASHMIR
THE LIGURIAN COAST
ASSISI
MONTE CECERI
ST. MARKS, VENICE
AVILA, SPAIN
THE COPTIC CHURCH IN CAIRO
THE PYRAMIDS NEAR CAIRO
FALLENFLUH, SWITZERLAND
KUTUB MINAR



ANASAGAR
EIFFEL TOWER
THE SAHASTRADAHARA
BENARES
MANDLA
ANKAI
CHICAGO
THE SPIRITUAL ABODE FOR ONE AND ALL
THE MEMORIAL TOWER
ANGIRAS RISHI HILL
GIRNAR
MOTICHUR
MEHERAZAD AND MEHERABAD
VALLEY OF THE SAINTS
A THOUSAND PLACES
PLACES CONNECTED WITH JESUS CHRIST
HAVE YOU SEEN MY HOUSE?






THE THATCHED HUT



Meher Baba lived from January 27 to May 22, 1922 in a thatched hut in a field surrounded by mango trees along Ferguson College Road, near the locality of Chatursinghji in Poona.

"... Adi and Gulmai were sitting in the hut with Meher Baba and talking about why he had chosen this site along Ferguson Road.

"Baba revealed that long ago, when the area was a jungle, a very great sadhu had inhabited this place, and the exact spot where his hut stood had been sanctified by that holy man."


Bhau Kalchuri, LM2 p348 (March? 1922)
For an account of Baba's stay in the hut, see LM2 p341-375

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MEHERABAD



In May 1923 Meher Baba visited an abandoned military camp near the village of Arangaon, about five miles from Ahmednagar (India). This camp, which he named Meherabad, became his main ashram or center. Baba said of Meherabad,

"Once I settle here, the atmosphere of this place will be greatly heightened spiritually and materially. I have a great mission to perform in my life for the benefit of humanity, the outcome of which will be observed in the near future."


13 April 1924, Meherabad, LM2 p608




"This place is the most important one. It is the best place to be for those on the spiritual Path. Despite visiting places for my work, it is always best to return here."


1 October 1926? Meherabad, LM3 p854




Baba had been staying in the Jhopdi (a small cabin) at Meherabad. He moved from there to the table-cabin near the dhuni, and told the Mandali,

"I will stay here for 1200 years."


9 March 1927, Meherabad, LM3 p917




"In the future, Meherabad will be like Jerusalem. For my spiritual work, it is the best possible place. It will always be the center of my work."


Meher Baba, 31 January 1930, LM4 p1266




"In 1938, while strolling on Meherabad Hill, Baba made a sweeping gesture and stated,

'The whole universe is mine, but this place is especially mine.'"


Bal Natu, The Samadhi: Star of Infinity, p.39




... This hill is very sacred. The major portion of my universal work was done here. I have selected this spot for my last resting place. When I drop the body, it shall rest here, in my tomb...

have fasted here for six months. I used to lie down here in the crypt, taking only water and coffee, not tea. I would take my bath also in the crypt. Those who have not seen the future tomb may now go and pay respects by bowing down. Those who have already seen it need not go.

After I drop my body, the physical remains will rest here, and this hill will become an important place of pilgrimage of the world. You all do not realise the importance of this day. After seventy years, this place will be a place of great privilege and pilgrimage. A big town will grow up here.

Baba, the living figure, has led you up this hill, his resting place. You can have no idea of the unique privilege you are having today...

While bowing down at the tomb, I want you all to remember two things:

a. To love me wholeheartedly. Love does not mean the outward expression. You should love in such a way that you forget yourself in me, the beloved. If you cannot love me, I will love you, and you will be my beloved.

b. To give happiness to others at the cost of your happiness or comfort.


26 February 1958, Meherabad
Aw 7:3 p29-31

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CENTERS



"Spiritual centers are to be opened, especially in America, Turkey, Russia, Persia and England, and the Devonshire retreat will be such a center."


Meher Baba, 12 September 1931, London
to Meredith Starr, LM4 p1410

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PENN



Baba visited the country home of Kim and Desmond Tolhurst in Hampstead, England in April 1932. Kitty Davy wrote,

"One delightful day was spent at Penn, Kim's country house. How Baba loved the magnificent grounds - both cultivated and wooded. We all joined in a proper game of football (soccer), with Baba's side always winning. We also ran races. At times Baba was quiet and thoughtful, as though the place brought memories to him. Perhaps he was making plans for the future.

"We entered the magnificent house and prepared tea. The gardener made a lovely wood fire in the ballroom. We all sat down on the floor (the house was unfurnished, ready for letting) and ate radishes and potato chips (favorites of Baba's) and cakes. After tea we explored the house and played hide and seek up and down the many stairs and passages. Baba hid and we had to find him."


(LA p44)




Baba dictated, 'I intend to make this one of my centers in England. With me here, it will be heaven on earth.'

He visited Penn a second time, staying overnight.


(LM5 p1571, LA p47)

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A SPIRITUAL RETREAT WITHIN



Darwin Shaw wrote to Baba in 1935 about starting a retreat for him in the United States. Baba replied,

"Whether that retreat on earth is established or not, I do really appreciate the spirit of love and brotherhood that has been awakened, and consider it as a spiritual retreat already established within, which is much more substantial and real than any earthly home or structure.

"The true spirit is there, already awakened, and if it is fostered and kept up with warm feelings of love and brotherhood, it will eventually bear results that will be helpful in the development of spiritual understanding of life and things pertaining to life. And wherever such spirit of love and brotherhood exists, inner light and guidance invariably follow."


14 August 1935, Meherabad, LM6 p1969

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A UNIVERSAL CENTER



In 1938 Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson suggested that Baba found a universal center to spread his spiritual message. Baba told them,

"It is a good idea, indeed. But by attaching to it great significance, or giving it too much importance, it develops into a regular organisation or system, and I don't wish to limit myself or bind myself with any such thing.

"I create things on a firm foundation, and then pull them down. The more I make changes, the more changeless I am. Neither do I want an organisation, nor any society. That is what I am afraid of.

"If such centers are allowed to prosper, they form themselves into organisations or societies. And for that reason, I build structures and then demolish them. The more changes I make, the more unchangeable I become.

"My organisations are like the foam, which brings unwanted things up to the surface of the sea, letting the real substance lie beneath, submerged in the depths."


31 March 1938, Panchgani, OL
Another version: LM7 p2270




Norina Matchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson later, with Darwin Shaw and others, developed the property that became the Meher Spiritual Center in South Carolina.

"I build on sand or in the air, planning schemes, without at times a penny in my pocket, or without any definite arrangement for future maintainance, if started at all. And even when established, I break it up, or abandon it. Plans were layed for Meherabad, the school, ashram, hospital, the Nasik retreat - all were well planned, but all were broken up and pulled down the instant the purpose was served, as I alone know. But people cannot grasp it and misunderstand.

"That is how the Avatar's work is always misunderstood and misjudged by the world. The work of the Avatar always goes unappreciated in his lifetime. So it is with mine."


Meher Baba, 1 April 1938, Panchgani, LM7 p2273

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TWELVE INDIAN CENTERS



"I want to open twelve centers throughout India before I speak. Of these, six have already been established, at Meherabad, Nasik, Toka, Madras, Byramangala and Mandla. For the remaining six, different places around India are still to be selected. That was one of the objects of my last tour."


Meher Baba, 9 May 1940, Meherabad, LM7 p2556

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THE ASPECTS OF MEHER BABA'S CENTERS



1. The Spiritual Academy: This academy will prepare men and women who will authoritatively ask the world to be selfless and God-loving. They will use intellectual understanding as their medium for secular, social and international harmony.

2. The House of Advanced Souls: This section will prepare real mystics of the practical type. These mystics will inspire others to live a life in which there will be complete detachment side-by-side with intense creative action. They will also help all to feel divinity in every phase of life.

3. The Abode of the Saints: This section will consist of saints who will bestow true knowledge on souls who are ignorant. They will teach through the medium of experience that the only real existence is God, and all else is illusion.

4. The Mad (Mast) Institute: This department will be devoted to the care of such God-intoxicated souls as have lost their balance while cavorting the inner planes. These souls will be given a further spiritual push, or brought back to normality, according to the requirements of the universal plan behind the working of the universal ashram.

5. The Solitary Quarters for Meditation: Provision shall be made for those who will most benefit through meditation, with suitable quarters and such instructions as are necessary in particular cases.

6. The Resting Place for the Afflicted: This section will devote attention to the removal of suffering and ailment in all its forms. It is meant to be the training ground for a group of selfless workers who will learn how to render real and effective service. The experience gathered through this department will be capable of universal application.


Meher Baba, LA p695




The following centers were founded by or for Meher Baba (and there are probably others):

1.   Manzil-i-Meem, Bombay
2.   Meherabad, near Arangaon, Maharashtra, India*
3.   Toka, India
4.   Madras, India
5.   near Coombe Martin, Devonshire, England
6.   Harmon Retreat, Harmon-on-Hudson, New York
7.   Nasik, India
8.   Cannes, France
9.   Byramangala, Bangalore, India
10.  Mandla, India
11.  Meherazad, near Pimplegaon, Maharashtra, India*
12.  Meher Spiritual Center, near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina*
13.  Sufism Reoriented, San Francisco
14.  Meher Mount, near Ojai, California*
15.  Avatar's Abode, in eastern Australia*

*The centers with asterisks are still functioning. Sufism Reoriented is now in Walnut Creek, California, and Washington, D.C.

Meherana, a retreat for followers of Meher Baba, was founded recently near Mariposa, California. The center at Byramangala, near Bangalore, is being re-established.

"Baba predicted one of his five centers in the West would be in a great city."


Filis Frederick, Aw 22:1 p58




"Usually a temporary scaffolding is set up around a big building which is under construction, and when the building is completed, the scaffolding is removed.

"Often my external activities and commitments are only the external expression of the internal work I am doing.

"In either case, my external activities and commitments may be continued indefinitely, or I may end them promptly at the end of the inner work, depending upon the prevailing circumstances."


Meher Baba, LH p254
For more about centers, see Av p249-251 and LM7 p2272-2276.

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KASHMIR



"There is one secret about Jesus which the Christians do not know. When Jesus was crucified, he did not die. He entered the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. On the third day, he again became conscious of his body, and he traveled secretly in disguise eastward (with some apostles) to India. This was called Jesus' resurrection. After reaching India, he traveled farther east to Rangoon, in Burma, where he remained for some time. He then went north to Kashmir, where he settled. When his work was finished on earth, he dropped his body and entered Nirvikalpa Samadhi permanently."


23 August 1925, Meherabad, LM3 p752




"This place is splendid. Here blows the breeze of the Path."


Meher Baba, 29 July 1929,
on a bridge over a river
(the Jhelum?) surrounded by
mountains and valleys,
en route from Kohala to Uri,
on the way to Srinagar, Kashmir
LM4 p1185. Map: LM4 p1200




"In Kashmir there is a balance between the powers of God and maya, and that is the way it should be."


Meher Baba, 31 July 1929
Srinagar, Kashmir, LM4 p1186
"The place where I have chosen to remain in seclusion is connected with Jesus Christ. His body is buried in a cave near here."


7 August 1929, Harvan, Kashmir, LM4 p1193




On April 20, 1933, Baba took a group of his followers to Harvan village in two buses and a car. Dressed in disguise so as not to be recognised by the villagers, Baba showed them where he stayed in seclusion and fasted in 1929. Pointing to a hill, Baba said,

"There is the place where two of Christ's apostles, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, buried his body. They had accompanied him from Palestine."


LM5 p1770




"An indescribable peace hung about Harvan. One felt like speaking only in whispers. Why had Baba made a point of taking us to this spot?

"It was here, on the slope of the mountain, that he had once been in seclusion and on fast for several months. The very same mountain where, Baba told us, Christ's body was buried.

"'Although there is a tradition that he was buried at Harvan,' Elizabeth recorded in her journal, 'no one knows the exact spot except Baba. The body was brought there by two of Christ's disciples, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, after crucifixion. Christ appeared to these disciples, after death, in his fourth or heavenly body.'"


Kitty Davy, April 1933, LA p98-99




"That is where Jesus' body is buried."


Meher Baba, September? 1944,
to his women disciples
in the hills near Harvan, KashmirLM8 p2974




"Sometimes Baba took us sightseeing. At one place he pointed to some mountains in the distance.

"'Can you see the middle of that mountain?' he asked us. 'Jesus' body is buried there.'

"Nobody goes up there, it is a difficult climb, but once Baba was in seclusion near Jesus' tomb for a few hours. The Mandali waited for him down the mountain, and Baba was alone there."


Mehera Irani, M p166
(August or September 1944,
near Harvan, Kashmir)

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THE LIGURIAN COAST



Meher Baba visited and stayed in Santa Margherita and Portofino on Italy's Ligurian coast. He said there was a place on that coast connected with great spiritual work -- one of four such places in Europe -- but apparently did not tell where.


(LA p112)




Baba stayed at Villa Fiorenza, between the towns of Santa Margherita and Paraggi, Italy from July 30th to August 17th, 1932.

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ASSISI



From Villa Fiorenza, Baba sent Herbert Davy to Assisi to find a cave associated with Francis of Assisi in which Baba could stay in seclusion. The cave Herbert chose was on the slopes of Mount Subasio, near the Carceri Hermitage, outside the walled town of Assisi.

Herbert wrote,

"... Baba said that he had a great spiritual work to perform. A special cave, connected if possible with Saint Francis, was to be found at Assisi. There he would fast undisturbed for 24 hours...

"My instructions were to meditate in the selected place for four hours each day, to fast partially, and on the day preceding Baba's arrival to meditate for eight hours."


(PM p181)




Baba arrived in Assisi August 5th or 6th. They reached the cave at 7.30 pm, and Baba stayed in seclusion there till 5.30 pm the next day. When he had completed his seclusion work, Baba called Herbert, Kaka, Chanji and Quentin Todd into the cave and told them:

"Spiritually, a big meeting of spiritual personages took place here, the likes of which has never before been held. It is due to the greatest upheaval that is coming for the world. It will be the greatest upheaval of all times... And the changes all over will cause an upheaval in the world which has never before been experienced, as the greatest spiritual revolution of all times takes place."


(LM5 p1691)




A little later, Baba told them "In the cave, I was in a meeting with all the Perfect Masters and saints.


(LM5 p1693)




Back in Assisi, Herbert took them around the town to see the palces associated with Francis. Baba pointed out a stone outside the house of Francis' disciple Bernardo. He 'said,'

"This is the spot where Saint Francis sat and meditated on me, Christ, weeping throughout the whole night with love for Christ."


(LM5 p1693)




For Herbert Davy's account of this trip to Assisi, see PM p180-189, GM p107-112, and LA p78-80. Also see LM5 p1688-1693.

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MONTE CECERI



Later, near Florence, Baba searched for and found a spot where, he said, unknown to legend and history, Jesus had appeared to Francis beside a spring. It was a hill near Fiesole called Monte Ceceri, overlooking Florence. The spring had apparently been displaced when the top of the hill had been quarried away.


(PM p188-189, LM5 p1694)

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ST. MARKS, VENICE



Baba and some of his followers visited St. Mark's Square at 11:30 am August 18, 1932. Outside the church, Baba explained the church's architecture and its spiritual significance. He had them count and write down the number of pillars, domes and arches, which came out to exactly 120. Baba said,

"This church is one of the four great spiritual centers of Europe. The whole structure corresponds to the Avatar's twelve disciples of the inner circle and 108 disciples of the outer circles. I was here as Jesus with two of my apostles one month before my crucifixion, and sat on the exact spot where St. Mark's was later built."

Baba went into the church with the men, but the church rules barred the women from entering.


18 August 1932, Venice, Italy, LM5 p1699

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AVILA, SPAIN



Meher Baba visited Avila October 23rd and 24th, 1933. Avila was the birthplace of St. Teresa, who Baba said was a genuine saint.

"... At 6 pm we reached Avila. This was to be our last meal for 24 hours. Baba had a very special work to do here, and during our fast we were not to touch him, though we went together for a walk over the hills with him.

"Shortly before noon the next day, we crossed the square and entered the cathedral. Tall grey walls, straight columns of stone supported a high, vaulted roof decorated with gold. The side aisles were like dark tunnels owing to the absence of windows. The nave was arched by a stone rib supporting on high a superb crucifix which was illuminated by shafts of light descending from clerestory windows.

"Together with Baba we saw the many treasures of the cathedral. We were very exalted. The spiritual atmosphere was not unlike that of Saint Mark's at Venice, or at Assisi. As we left, Baba directed that four silver coins should be given to the sacristan.

"We then walked through the city, to visit the shrine of Saint Teresa, built on the side of her former home. The city is small and soon we were outside the crenelated walls. The terrace on which we stood commanded the plain and exposed the hills to our view.

"Baba pointed to a hill behind the town and said we should walk there. Climbing up a dusty donkey track, we looked back at Avila. The brilliant sun shone on its encircling walls, while many bastions threw dark shadows. Steep cobbled streets led up to the cathedral-crowned summit.

"Long ago, before the cathedral was built, Baba had been there, and we were now looking for a place on the hill where he used to sit quietly, rest and meditate.

"The soil was dry and sandy. At last we came to a small plain that lay between two rocky summits and strangely-shaped boulders. Running from left to right was a long valley six miles wide, few trees and no buildings intruded on the brown plain, behind rose a line of blue downs which to the right extended into a range of mountains (the Sierra Gredos). Their snow-topped peaks must have been fifteen or twenty miles away. The foreground was a sandy, rock-strewn moor, our feet crushed thyme, basil, and herbs whose names were unknown to us. This was the memorable place.

"Nature and the snow-clad mountains were surely the same. Time seemed to roll away, it was wonderful to be with Baba there. As a remembrance we picked some of the fragrant herbs. On our return, we broke the fast and enjoyed a feast of fruits, tea and wine.

"Baba was so happy at Avila. There are in Europe, he explained, as in other countries, holy places, particularly connected with great spiritual working. The four centres are Saint Mark's at Venice, a place on the Ligurian coast in Italy, Assisi and Avila. We had now visited them all. They were holy ground from which sprang the saints - we naturally thought of Saint Francis, Saint Teresa, and her confessor Saint John of the Cross. One of us was ordered to return to Avila in ten days and to visit this particular place every day for seven days."


PM p215-216
Also see LA p111-112




"In Europe, as on other continents, there are holy places connected to great spiritual work.

"The four centers of Europe are Saint Mark's in Venice, a place on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, Assisi and Avila.

"I have now visited and revisited them all. From their holy grounds have sprung many saints."


Meher Baba, 24? October 1933
Avila, Spain, LM5 p1834

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THE COPTIC CHURCH IN CAIRO



On August 24, 1932, in Cairo, Egypt, Baba told Kaka and Chanji,

"The Coptic Church contains a cave where Mary and Joseph stayed after fleeing Herod. The reason why I came to Egypt is to visit this church."

They visited the Coptic Church the next day. Baba's face was radiant with joy as he walked through the church. He said, "This is my dear old place," and explained that Jesus had come and stayed there with his apostles. Baba climbed down into the small, dark room of the cave. The church warden did not want to open it, but Baba insisted and he finally agreed. They were told that the church had been erected over the cave 930 years after Christ.


LM5 p1705

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THE PYRAMIDS NEAR CAIRO



Meher Baba visited the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt in August 1932, and again in December 1932 - January 1933.

Baba sent a postcard to Norina Matchabelli during the second visit. On the postcard was a photograph of a stepped pyramid. Printed beneath the photograph, in English cursive, are the words: "No. 24 Pyramid of Sahara Cairo."

The message (apparently in Quentin Tod's handwriting) read:


Cairo Dec. 25th Xmas day
This is where we spent part of
Xmas day, and also it is the
spot where in past ages you +
I + a few of the Circle
passed special days together.
All my love


M. S. Irani

(The signature was in Baba's own handwriting.
He had given up writing, except for his signature, in the 1920s.)


NG p. 14-15

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FALLENFLUH, SWITZERLAND



Baba went into seclusion in Fallenfluh, Switzerland in July, 1934 for a meeting of the Spiritual Hierarchy.

"While thus working I leave my physical body, which would be dead to all feelings of touch, and I would not feel it even if the body were hammered or cut up. But I draw a boundary all around, of a radius of fifty yards, so that none can come in. Anyone trying to cross the boundary line would drop dead instantaneously. That's why I told Kaka to keep watch at a distance of one hundred yards.

"When I work like this, meetings are held where spirits, my Agents, attend in numbers, unseen by the common eye, but sometimes visible and audible."


Meher Baba, 12 July 1934, Fallenfluh,
Switzerland, Aw 16:2 p9




When I work like this, a meeting of large numbers of my Agents is held, but you cannot see them with your Gross eyes. Sometimes, though, you can hear a rumble like boot steps.


12 July 1934, Fallenfluh, Switzerland, LM6 p1901

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KUTUB MINAR



Meher Baba explained that the Kutub Minar, a tower outside of Delhi, has importance, not only in the material world, but also in the Subtle world.


(Tr p101-102)




Baba visited the Kutub Minar February 2, 1939. He and those traveling with him climbed part of the way up the tower. Mansari, one of the women Mandali, thinking Baba had gone all the way to the top, walked up by herself


(LM7 p2377)




Baba was photographed in front of the tower


(LM7 p2378)




Baba also visited the Kutub Minar on November 22, 1943.


(LM8 p2929)




The Kutub Minar is over 238 feet high, 47 feet in diameter at the bottom, and 9 feet in diameter at the top, and was built, it is believed, before 1368. It is not known whether the tower was built by Hindus or Muslims. The tower was repaired by the colonial English beginning in 1828. At the time Baba visited, it was the tallest man-made structure in India.


For more on the Kutub Minar (the physical only) see 'The Seven Cities of Delhi' by Gordon Hearn (1928).

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ANASAGAR



'You all will adore the lake of Ajmer, called Anasagar. It was made by a Mogul king. It is not natural, but has a charm and spiritual atmosphere that you won't find anywhere else.'


Meher Baba, LA p265-266

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EIFFEL TOWER



When Baba was in Paris in September 1937, he went several times to the top of the Eiffel Tower. On one occasion, he explained later, he met there with other spiritual Masters and with his Agents, in a meeting on the inner planes like those that had taken place at Assisi, Italy and Fallenfluh, Switzerland.


(LM6 p2220)

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THE SAHASTRADAHARA



Baba visited the Sahastradahara, part of the Narmada River near Mandla, a place where people go on pilgrimage. Putting his feet in the water, he said, "The Avatar sanctifies the waters of any river when he puts his feet in it."


(28 December 1938, LM7 p2353)

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BENARES



About Benares and the Ganges River:

"Every Avatar has come to this city and touched his feet in this river's waters."


Meher Baba, 15 January 1939, Benares
to his women disciples, LM7 p2368

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MANDLA



"Mandla was inhabited in ancient times by great saints, yogis, ascetics, recluses, and tapasvis did great penances here. Its earth is soaked in spirituality."


Meher Baba, 28 December 1938,
Mandla, LM7 p2352-2353
tapasvis = ascetics, penitants




Near Mandla is Sahastradhara, a part of the Narmada River and a place of pilgrimage. Baba visited Sahastradhara on December 28, 1938 and put his feet in the water. He commented,

"The Avatar sanctifies the waters of any river when he puts his feet in it."


(LM7 p2353)




Baba had a small building built in Mandla, an exact replica of his tomb on Meherabad Hill. He said,

"Mandla is my spiritual home of ages ago. I am having this small structure built because of my link with it from the past."

The building was still standing in 1995.


(March 1940? Bangalore? LM7 p2535)

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ANKAI



Baba said that the mountain Ankai was surcharged with spirituality. The mountain, where the Rishi Agasatya Muni did severe penance, and Upasani Maharaj stayed in seclusion, is ten miles from Manmad.


(LM7 p2595)

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CHICAGO



Baba said that Chicago was a spiritually important city.


(1940? LM8 p2954)

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THE SPIRITUAL ABODE FOR ONE AND ALL



"Am happy to find in all your letters about Myrtle Beach everything that I personally and spiritually approve and sanction. All my lovers should cooperate to make Myrtle Beach the spiritual abode for one and all."


Meher Baba, 13 July 1944,
cable to Norina Matchabelli, LM8 p2954




"I will tell you why you feel happy here. Those who are connected with me ought to feel happy here for two reasons.

"Ages ago, this was a place where Baba visited, moved about and stayed, and the combination of the lake, ocean and the woods gives it a unique atmosphere."


Meher Baba, April 1952,
Meher Center on the Lakes
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, GG3 p49

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THE MEMORIAL TOWER



In December 1944 Baba laid the foundation for a memorial tower at lower Meherabad. He explained,

"You are today witnessing a solemn occasion of supreme importance. While the world is feverishly occupied with the vanishing things of the moment, there always are those who gain a true perspective of life through the grace of the Master. These lucky few are ever willing to make their whole life an ever-renewed and ceaseless dedication to the universal and ageless truth of the imperishable and undivided life divine.

"The spiritual grandeur of those who set aside all thoughts of the self, and make their life an offering to the divine and imperative cause of the Master, is in itself ineffable. But while it surpasses all description, it is something much more than an ornament of crowning glory for those souls themselves. A visible memorial such as a tower, which symbolises their life of unfailing loyalty and love, can itself become a medium for inspiring the generations to come.

"The memorial tower of my departed devotees - which is being erected on this spot - will be a reservoir of inspiration and power for posterity. Their memory is not being perpetuated for their sake; they had absolutely no desire for fame or name. But their memory is being perpetuated because it will be an example for those who are living, as well as for those who are to come. A life of sacrifice based on love is never lost. It is not only beautiful and fruitful in itself, but also in the creative inspiration which it leaves behind itself.

"The foundation of this tower is being laid on the tomb of my loved Masaji, with the bedding of one of my loved disciples, F. H. Dadachanji, whose selfless service to my cause was wholehearted in its devotion, and singular in its attainments. There are also others, such as Buasaheb, Munshiji, Sampath Aiyangar, and so forth, who served my cause with unimpeachable integrity of character before dropping their physical body. For each one of them, a separate flower is placed in the foundation of the tower; and the names of all of them will be inscribed on the Tower of Glory which will be erected on this foundation.

"The symbolic representation of these departed souls through flowers dispenses with the separative burial or cremation ceremonies which are prevalent in different societies. The placing of all these flowers in the same foundation is intended to emphasise the truth that, though the bodies of these devotees were different, they were all parts of one eternal and indivisible soul. The memorial tower has completely dispensed with the physical bodies of departed souls; for the physical body is only the illusory shadow of the soul. Those devotees whose names are likely to be inscribed on this tower after their demise, will have free choice in respect of disposal of their bodies after their demise. Their bodies may be buried or cremated, or disposed of at the Tower of Silence according to the rites of their respective religions, or according to any desire expressed by them during their lifetime; and they shall be represented on this memorial tower only by their names.

"The tower will be in memory of men belonging to different religions, and will, in fact, represent the fundamental unity of all the great world religions. All the great world religions have, in their own way, revealed the same one truth, which I bring anew. This unity of all religions will be clearly emphasised by placing on the tower the emblems of all the important religions of the world. The tower shall thus be a silent proclamation of the unity of all religions. The unshakeable peace of the life in eternity and the unfading glory of conscious divinity shall crown the souls which are represented by this memorial tower. They are all eternally mine. I bless them all."


Meher Baba, 23 December 1944,
Meherabad, LM8 p2999-3001




Bhau Kalchuri wrote:

"Then, according to Baba's wish, Adi read out the names of all the departed ones which Baba had listed a few days before. Sitting, Baba placed one rose after another in the foundation as each name was called... While this was occurring, Baba's face radiated bliss..."


(LM8 p3001)

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ANGIRAS RISHI HILL



Baba said of Angiras Rishi Hill:

"The atmosphere of this place of penance, and the austerities of the ancient rishis who lived here, can be favorably utilised for my work."


8 November 1945, Angiras Rishi Hill* LM9 p3081



*Angiras Rishi Hill is in Tapovan Forest near Ratawa Village. The village of Sihawa is five miles away, and the area is about 100 miles south of Raipur. Baba stayed there in seclusion from October 31 to November 13, 1945. The rishis (sages) reputed to have lived in the area in ancient times were Angiras Rishi, Shringi Rishi, Muchkunda Rishi, and Kunmag Rishi.

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GIRNAR



"On Sunday November 7, Baba went to the top of one of the mountains in Girnar. There Baba sat for two hours in seclusion in a cave named after King Bharthari - a saintly king of olden times. The ancient hills of Girnar contain some of the oldest caves in India, which date back to the time of King Ashok. Coming out, Baba revealed to the Mandali,

'Every Avatar born in India has at least once visited Girnar during his lifetime.'"


LM9 p 3308 (1948)

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MOTICHUR



Baba commented, after visiting the Kumbha Mela,

"In the past, such holy places as we visited today were once permeated with spirituality. But anyone going on a pilgrimage to them these days will find a complete absence of any so-called spiritual atmosphere."


18 March 1950, near Motichur, LM10 p3572

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MEHERAZAD AND MEHERABAD



Meher Baba first stayed at Meherazad in April 1944. It is roughly fifteen miles from Meherabad, near the village of Pimplegaon. Baba lived much of the last twenty years of his life there.


For a brief history of Meherazad by Mehera Irani, see M p158-161.




Baba said in November 1955,

"You who are here for my sahavas are indeed fortunate that I am with you at these various spots at Meherabad and Meherazad, where I have done many of my internal and external works.

"Sixty years from now, they will become world centers, to which thousands will make pilgrimages, vying with each other to sacrifice their very lives in my name."


LH p262

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VALLEY OF THE SAINTS



"... We visited what is called the Valley of the Saints with Meher Baba. One of the most well-known Perfect Masters of India, a Muslim, is buried there. Millions of people go there for his darshan. His tomb is a source of spirituality for Muslims in India.

"Also, Sai Baba was connected with this Perfect Master. We do not know the origin of Sai Baba, from where he came. Baba once gave a hint that he came from there. So the spirituality of Sai Baba apparently emanates from that source as well.

"... This Perfect Master's tomb, where millions of people go, has a big hill behind it. The tomb of another Perfect Master is there at the top of that hill. When Meher Baba once took a few of us Mandali there. He made us keep awake the whole night. He did not allow us to sleep, so we had to keep moving. The atmosphere was calm and cool. All the time we were feeling very, very sleepy. Baba went around the tomb and inside.

"At three o'clock in the morning he asked, 'Do you know why I came here? 'Why, Baba?' we asked.

"He replied that this tomb was very, very old. People would come to bow down and throw away their impressions. But the tomb, its power having faded away, was not in a position to give a proper response to those pilgrims, holding their impressions.

"So he explained that he came to put in order these impressions, so that the response people would get would be very strong, and as beneficial as possible.

"Oh, I was astounded to hear this. I had never heard this before from Meher Baba. He had gone to put in order the impressions hovering around the tomb of this old Perfect Master, so that a response could be given in a very perfect manner to the pilgrims who would come and bow their heads and put their sanskaras on the tomb of that Perfect Master."


Adi K. Irani, JT p90-91
(The tomb may have been that of Zarzari Zarbaksh)

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A THOUSAND PLACES



Eruch Jessawala once asked Baba why he gave so little time to each person who came for his darshan. Baba replied,

"Just a glimpse of me is enough for a lifetime. There will come a time when I will not be at one place, but I will appear to them in a thousand places and in a thousand forms. I will give them darshan in their own homes. But for the present, even a glimpse of me is enough."


Mu p329




"On the Path, there is no value to places of pilgrimage -- the Kaaba or anywhere else. Spiritual advancement is possible only if the heart is clean."


Meher Baba
(translated from Hindi)
Meher Sarod 156

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PLACES CONNECTED WITH JESUS CHRIST



(Some of this material is repeated from earlier in this note)

"There is one secret about Jesus which the Christians do not know. When Jesus was crucified, he did not die. He entered the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. On the third day, he again became conscious of his body, and he traveled secretly in disguise eastward (with some apostles) to India. This was called Jesus' resurrection. After reaching India, he traveled farther east to Rangoon, in Burma, where he remained for some time. He then went north to Kashmir, where he settled. When his work was finished on earth, he dropped his body and entered Nirvikalpa Samadhi permanently."


23 August 1925, Meherabad, LM3 p752




"The place where I have chosen to remain in seclusion is connected with Jesus Christ. His body is buried in a cave near here."


7 August 1929, Harvan, Kashmir, LM4 p1193




Baba and some of his followers visited St. Mark's Square at 11:30 am. Outside the church, Baba explained the church's architecture and its spiritual significance. He had them count and write down the number of pillars, domes and arches, which came out to exactly 120. Baba said,

"This church is one of the four great spiritual centers of Europe. The whole structure corresponds to the Avatar's twelve disciples of the inner circle and 108 disciples of the outer circles. I was here as Jesus with two of my apostles one month before my crucifixion, and sat on the exact spot where St. Mark's was later built."

Baba went into the church with the men, but the church rules barred the women from entering.


18 August 1932, Venice, Italy, LM5 p1699




On August 24, 1932, in Cairo, Egypt, Baba told Kaka and Chanji,

"The Coptic Church contains a cave where Mary and Joseph stayed after fleeing Herod. The reason why I came to Egypt is to visit this church."

They visited the Coptic Church the next day. Baba's face was radiant with joy as he walked through the church. He said, "This is my dear old place," and explained that Jesus had come and stayed there with his apostles. Baba climbed down into the small, dark room of the cave. The church warden did not want to open it, but Baba insisted and he finally agreed. They were told that the church had been erected over the cave 930 years after Christ.


LM5 p1705




On April 20, 1933, Baba took a group of his followers to Harvan village in two buses and a car. Dressed in disguise so as not to be recognised by the villagers, Baba showed them where he stayed in seclusion and fasted in 1929. Pointing to a hill, Baba said,

"There is the place where two of Christ's apostles, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, buried his body. They had accompanied him from Palestine."


LM5 p1770




"An indescribable peace hung about Harvan. One felt like speaking only in whispers. Why had Baba made a point of taking us to this spot? It was here, on the slope of the mountain, that he had once been in seclusion and on fast for several months. The very same mountain where, Baba told us, Christ's body was buried. 'Although there is a tradition that he was buried at Harvan,' Elizabeth recorded in her journal, 'no one knows the exact spot except Baba. The body was brought there by two of Christ's disciples, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, after crucifixion. Christ appeared to these disciples, after death, in his fourth or heavenly body.'"


Kitty Davy, April 1933, LA p98-99




"That is where Jesus' body is buried."


Meher Baba, September? 1944,
to his women disciples
in the hills near Harvan, Kashmir
LM8 p2974




"Sometimes Baba took us sightseeing. At one place he pointed to some mountains in the distance.

"'Can you see the middle of that mountain?' he asked us. 'Jesus' body is buried there.'

"Nobody goes up there, it is a difficult climb, but once Baba was in seclusion near Jesus' tomb for a few hours. The Mandali waited for him down the mountain, and Baba was alone there."


Mehera Irani, M p166
(August or September 1944,
near Harvan, Kashmir)

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HAVE YOU SEEN MY HOUSE?



On December 24, 1929, Baba explained about the spiritual Path and different places on the higher planes to Sohrab Variava. Variava asked Baba,

"For one like you, Baba, where is your home?"

Baba replied,

"Have you seen my house? Who can see it? Who is that lucky? The air alone of that place would make you go mad. You would tear off your clothes, throw them away, and become stark, raving mad, only from feeling its air. The house itself is far, far off."


Nasik, LM4 p1261


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Index - Book Two



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