|You Can Hardly Imagine It Today|
It is the late 1920s and the 1930s. Avatar Meher Baba’s travel and mission to the Western world has begun and He visits far and wide, to Europe and America and beyond. His Western lovers meet Him for the first time and fall madly in love. He enchants them for a few days or weeks and departs, promising to see them again soon. Their hearts are crushed as He sails away, but He has left them a lifeline, encouraging them to write to Him often, sharing their daily lives and all they feel for Him.
It is the great age of letter writing. The romance continues by post in an amazing and wonderful array of letters, postcards, telegrams and more. Expressions of love. Travelogues. Tomes of complaint. Cries of anguish. Arrangements and plans. Poems and artistic expressions. The daily minutia and the deepest emotions of their love for Him. He encourages it all and they write and write and write. And sometimes He writes back!
Baba’s secretary, Framroze Dadachanji (Chanji) and others of His mandali carefully kept this accumulation of thousands and thousands of pieces of correspondence and other records of His life and work. Years later Baba instructed His second secretary, Adi K. Irani, “Do you keep all the office records in steel trunks or cupboards? As a precaution against insects and fire, you must do this. The importance and significance of these records is such that you can hardly imagine it today.” (Lord Meher Online, p.4475) Baba’s instructions were meticulously followed and the collection of hundreds of jam-packed files from Avatar Meher Baba’s lifetime was passed into the care of His Trust and then its Archives some years later.
Four years ago the Trust Archives launched a special web offering where many of these early letters and other documents could be digitally seen. This presentation grew and grew and continues to grow. Now there are more than 5000 documents, comprising nearly 20,000 scans available for all to read and share. Today the Trust’s Archives is happy to announce that an upgrade to this web interface has been installed, allowing expanded ways to view and access this treasure trove of His precious papers.
For Beloved Baba’s Birthday a new section called Featured Galleries is now initiated, commencing with a collection of over 100 letters and telegrams written to Baba to wish Him Happy Birthday. Click here to go directly to this gallery
There is much more to come and the number of available digitised documents will continue to increase, and the ways they can be accessed will also expand. But this initial offering from the documentary evidence of this age’s Greatest Story Ever Told is available for all to explore right now.
Click here to begin your exploration.
The Archives is also launching a new feature on the Trust website, beginning to share searchable, digital copies from the many thousands of printed publications released in His lifetime and beyond. This will be announced here on Tavern Talk shortly, but for a sneak peak click here.