|On Sacred Ground|
|Giving Birth to The Birthless One—Past, Present and Eternally|
In the hours before dawn a winter sky blankets the world in darkness. A young woman is in labor. She was not surprised when the first pains came, heralding the imminent birth, because she had already dreamt the night before of the child—a son whose birth would cause a river of humanity to pay homage before Him.
When she told her husband Sheriar about her dream, he sighed, “Oh Shireen, you have no idea who is to be born to us, you have no idea.”
And in the darkness before dawn, at exactly 5:00 a.m. the world was given light. That same Ancient One known throughout the ages by so many different names was born into the arms of the world.
|Sassoon Hospital in Poona, where the Avatar of the age was born.
(Photo by Raja Deen Dayal in 1894. Print courtesy of Beloved Archives Image Collection.)
Eruch once said that one of his earliest recollections of Meher Baba was when, as a little boy, he had witnessed Baba's birthday being celebrated in Meherabad, sometime in the 1920s.
"There was a little awning and under it Baba was being bathed in the early hours of the morning. Water was poured over His body and then the men dried Him. That was His birthday. Adi's brother Rustom picked Baba up like a child and carried Him to His seat. I was wondering what is the meaning of this? All the people around me said, 'Oh look, He has just been born,' and my little mind registered, 'So he can't walk because he has just been born' and I believed it." "
|Baba’s birthday celebration in Meherabad 1926. This may be the birthday celebration
that Eruch attended as a child. (Photo courtesy of MN Publications)
Meherazad, 25th February 2016
So, how do we commemorate Baba's Birthday at Meherazad now that He is no longer physically present? Baba set the guideline during His lifetime.
The men residents enter Mandali Hall and stand before His chair, just as the men mandali used to do when He was physically present. The women residents gather in His room just as the women mandali had done before them. As the minutes silently slip by, moving towards that magic hour of His birth, all are lost in thoughts of their Beloved.
And when the clock strikes 5:00 a.m., the air resounds with His Name. The men in Mandali Hall, the women in His room, all hearts united in that moment glorifying the One who is Love Personified.
Seven times "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!" is carried to every nook and corner of Meherazad.
Seven times, as He had instructed the mandali to do during His lifetime, the air resonates with His Name.
Seven times as the clock strikes five, we give praise to the Advent of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba.
Seven times we bow our heads in gratitude for heeding His Call, "Come all unto Me."
Seven times we remember the grace He has bestowed upon the world by coming as the Perfect Man amongst men to make His Love more tangible.
Seven times our lips form the name of the One who alone exists.
Seven times the sound of His Name breaks out of our hearts hailing His victory.
How do we celebrate His birthday at Meherazad? As Eruch remarked, "It is not so much a celebration as a day of great joy. For on this day, we can make a fresh resolve to truly give birth to Him in our hearts."
—Davana Brown for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 25 February 2016
|Mandali Hall decorated for Baba's birthday in the 1960s. Although "Sal Mubarak"
means "Happy New Year," it is also used as a greeting for birthdays.
(Photo courtesy of the MSI Collection)
|Baba's chair in Mandali Hall on the early morning of His birthday, 2012.|
|Baba's bedroom in the early morning of His birthday, 2015|