Born in a Royal Muslim family at Baluchistan between 1790 and 1800, she was known as “Gul Rukh” as a child. The name means “Face like a rose”. This name was most befitting for Babajan, as she was most pretty as a child. It was much later when Babajan was more than hundred years old that she came to Pune and settled down under a neem tree, near Dastoor road, where Merwan was staying.
Merwan who later became Meher Baba, regularly used to pass by the neem tree, under which he always saw Babajan sitting. One day in the month of May, year 1913, the old Lady called Merwan to come closer, and Merwan stopped the bicycle and went near to Her. Merwan was just 19 years old.
Babajan looked in to the eyes of Her beloved son, and Merwan stood speechless, absorbed in the divine ocean of love flowing from the eyes of the Divine Person Babajan. Merwan instantly knew that Babajan was no ordinary soul, but was the Ocean of Love and Grace. Tears started rolling our of the eyes of Babajan who embraced Merwan calling him “My Beloved Son”. Babajan knew the destiny of Merwan, the Avatar of the Age. Speechlessly, Merwan had come to understand that a transformation had taken place in his normal consciousness.
[Hazrat Babajan’s Tomb / Dargah is in Camp Area of Pune, Hazrat Babajaan Square [Chowk], Near ST Vincent High School, Near Shivagi Market, Meher Dastur Road, Camp – Pune Pin Code -414001]
Merwan became a regular visitor to the neem tree, and both Babajan and Merwan, often sat together in silence for hours. There was no need of words. The inner joy of the Self makes one speechless. Merwan’s consciousness was on the brim of the Ocean, preparing to be merged with the infinite Treasure, of Sat, Chit and Anand. In January 1914 that which was destined to happen did happen. One evening when Merwan was sitting near Babajan, in Silence, and as he was about to depart to return home, Babajan held his face in Her hand and kissed him on the forehead.
Instantaneously Merwan lost all consciousness of “Duality” and became One with God. His “self” merged into the real infinite and indivisible “Self” of consciousness. The purpose of Merwan’s life on earth was revealed. Merwan was awakened to the Reality of Oneness of God. Babajan often said, referring to Meher Baba, that one day “my beloved son (“Mera Pyara Bachha”) will shake the world”. The veil of ignorance on his Divine Person was removed.
Merwan was in a God-absorbed state for a very long time. His mother tried many Doctors and Hakims, but Merwan was not their candidate. Finally a little consciousness returned apparently spontaneously, and Merwan had the whim to visit the Perfect Masters of the age, including Sadguru Sai Baba and Sadguru Upasni Maharaj. Upasni Maharaj on seeing Merwan threw a stone that hit Merwan exactly at the spot where Babajan had kissed Him. Merwan started bleeding. The effect of this stone was to gradually bring Merwan’s consciousness to encompass the normal human level, while retaining His superconsciousness.
Merwan was now Meher Baba. He switched his residence frequently, until finally establishing residence on a quiet hill now called Meherabad, nearly 5 kms from Ahmednagar Town to establish His Ashram. Meher Baba explained the entire theory of creation in His most famous book “God Speaks”. In this book He reveled the secrets of the evolution of creation and the evolution and involution of Consciousness. He explained the journey from energy, to matter and from matter to the development of the various forms. He further explained that after attaining the Human form, with the grace of the Guru, consciousness starts journeying inwardly and gains spiritual heights, and ultimately attains the Realization of Self.
The spiritual journey according to Him is divided into seven stages of involution (inner evolution) perceived by the aspirant as planes of consciousness. The lower planes are full of sights and the radiance of God, while the seventh or the highest plane is of God Realization, where one becomes one with God. Such realized Souls provide immense spiritual benefit to those associated with them, as they are Perfect.
Meher Baba explained the philosophy of creation, and provided a method for translating between the terminology adopted by the three principal sources for information on consciousness and spirituality. These three schools are the Sufic, Vedantic and Mystic schools.
Meher Baba de-emphasized the importance of miracles and miracle workers. He warned His disciples that these were merely illusions within the grand illusion that is apparent existence. He clearly emphasized that the real miracle is the realization of the Self, and all other worldly miracles were just so much eye wash.
After leaving Pune, Meher Baba met Babajan in the flesh again only once. For years the two of them played out a complex game of non-meeting in which each would visit the other’s seat while the other was absent. As the apparent culmination of this game, one day Babajan came by car to Meherabad while Baba was in residence there. The two did not touch; Baba stood on the uphill side of the Ahmednagar-Dhond railway track, while Babajan stood in the downhill side. Then she left, and soon after dropped her body on Wednesday the 21st of September 1931 at Pune.
Meher Baba’s reverence for Babajan was continuous – he hailed her as the Emperor. Out of respect, He named His first school the “Hazrat Babajan School” upon its founding at Ahmednagar in 1925.
Meher Baba later toured the entire world, went to many countries and traveled across India, but always remembered Babajan and referred to the State of Infinite Bliss that He received with the one kiss on the forehead from the Graceful Sadguru.
Hazrat Babajan’s “Samadhi” is still in Pune under the same old neem tree, where Merwan and Babajan sat in Silence with tears flowing from the eyes of the Hazrat and Merwan. Babajan is still remembered by the people of Pune and worshipped. Meher Baba’s “Samadhi” is in Ahmednagar district on the Pune-Dhond Highway, and is open for Darshan from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. every day.
Gul Rukh became Hazrat Babajan and Merwan become Meher Baba. The beloved son of Babajan, observed Silence for long 44 years. His work encompasses service to lepers and God-intoxicated (but apparently mad) souls called “masts”. He summoned humanity to awaken to the real Truth that all religions teach, leaving aside rites and ceremonies, which, he explained, never free a soul from bondage.
A translated version of Rumi’s poem into English which we remember tells the secret of the divine kiss:
“I would love to kiss you,
The price of kissing is your Life.
Now my loving is running toward my life shouting.
What a bargain, let’s buy it.
– Rumi –
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