In November 2020 and March 2021 the Board of Trustees appointed Amrit Dara Irani and Prasad Raju as trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust, the Avatar Meher Baba Trust (“Firstly”), the Meherazad Public Charitable Trust, and Meher Free Dispensary (Meherazad). The Circulars of the AMBPPCT issued regarding announcements of the Trustees are below:
I am happy to inform you that the Board of Trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C.Trust in a meeting held on 20th March 2021 has selected S.V.Meher Prasad Raju as a Trustee.
S.V.Meher Prasad Raju, known as Prasad Raju, belongs to Shahapuram near Kakinada in Andhra (South India). For the past few years, he has been staying in Meherabad and participating in the Trust’s activities. Previously, he had been elected as the Secretary of Avatar Meher Baba Andhra Centre and also as the President of Kakinada Center, which positions he still holds and wishes to relinquish shortly.
As Prasad Raju’s family history is unknown to many in the Baba-world, and particularly stories about his father, I am relating them below.
His father, Sri. S.V.Achuta Rama Raju, popularly known as Shahapuram Raja met Beloved Baba and had His Darshan in 1955 as one of the participants of Baba’s 1955 Sahavas at Meherabad from the Telugu – Andhra group. Before Sahavas, an incident took place which made a strong impression in his mind about Baba’s greatness and divinity. As a Baba lover, he was given an offer to contribute Rs. 500/- towards the printing charges of God Speaks. He wanted to donate the entire amount needed for the printing. But was hesitant as to how he should express his wish. After some time he sent Rs. 500 but it was not accepted because by that time the necessary amount was collected. Shri Raju felt very bad for having missed a great opportunity. But Baba consoled him by saying that he would get some more chances to do so in the future. It affected him so much that he never missed an opportunity to contribute for Baba`s cause thereafter. After Baba dropped his physical body, he substantially contributed for Amartithi functions every year even though he never spent liberally for his own comforts.
Prasad Raju’s father never missed a chance to meet Baba to have His Darshan. During Baba’s stay in Guruprasad, Poona, whenever His lovers were allowed to have His Darshan, Sri Raju used to go to Poona every week. Observing this, Baba once asked him: are you coming next week also? Raju replied, “Yes, Baba, I promise”. However, back home he fell from a bullock cart and fractured his leg. His doctor advised him not to travel to Poona. However, remembering his promise to Baba, Raju insisted ongoing, and the doctor, astonished at his determination, himself went along and was fortunate to have Baba’s Darshan.
Once Baba asked Sri Raju, “Why don’t you bring your wife for Darshan?” He bluntly replied that he would not. (This was because of the custom of “purdah”, privacy, that the ladies in their families observed). Baba told him that He liked his frankness, but later Raju realized his mistake. Even though his wife did not have Baba’s physical Darshan, she loved Baba wholeheartedly and served in His cause along with her husband.
Sri Raju knew only the Telugu language and did not properly understand English. Once he paid a person to go with him to translate Baba’s words. When they were in Baba’s presence, the man began a long interpretation with lots of irrelevant matter. Baba stopped him and told Raju that that person may deceive him but not Baba. Thereafter as instructed by Baba, Raju used to sit quietly looking only at Baba, which enabled him not only to understand what Baba said but also enjoy a blissful Sahavas in His presence.
When the book God Speaks was released, Baba asked him whether he had purchased the book. He told Baba that he hadn’t, because he could not read English. However, Baba asked him to buy it and keep the book under his pillow. Because of this, he had a number of experiences of Baba’s love, divinity, and Omniscience. True to his belief, he loved and served his Beloved until the very end.
Meher Prasad Raju is the youngest child of the family. When Baba was informed of his birth, He told Prasad Raju’s father that the boy was His Prasad and instructed him to name the child “Meher Prasad”. When he was five years old, Prasad Raju’s father was in Meherabad for Beloved Baba’s first Amartithi. However, back in their village in Andhra, a large quantity of rice was being cooked in a big vessel to be distributed there as Amartithi prasad. It so happened that Prasad Raju went too near the fire and boiling rice fell on his body. He suffered severe burns, so severe that doctors said that there was little hope of his survival. But by Baba’s grace, he not only survived the burns, but his skin became very clear afterward, with no trace of burn scars at all.
How fortunate Meher Prasad Raju is to be born and raised in a family blessed by Baba, and to have the chance from childhood to love and serve the God-Man.
In His Love,
Born in November 1949 to close Meher Baba disciples Shatrughan and Subdhara Kumar in Dehra Dun, India, Amrit was given her name by Mehera. She met Beloved Baba as a newborn during His New Life, and along with Baba’s women mandali and her mother, accompanied Baba to Hardwar for the Kumbh Mela at that time. She lived under Baba’s orders from childhood, and at His wish, on 23rd December 1968, she married Baba’s nephew, Dara Irani, in His presence at Meherazad. Their sons, Meherwan and Jamshed, are also Baba-lovers.
Amrit has lived in Ahmednagar and Meherabad since 1973 and is actively involved with Beloved Baba’s Samadhi and Baba’s pilgrims. She serves as a trustee in place of Jal Dastoor, who retired from the Board last year.
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!
== The Chairman and Board of Trustees