Symbols of the world's religions



Bal Natu

In a rural area of Maharashtra state, six miles south of the city of Ahmednagar, lies a place called Meherabad, surrounded by a broad expanse of farmland. Here, on a low hill rising above the level countryside, stands a small domed structure with a golden finial. This is the Samadhi, the Tomb-Shrine, of Avatar Meher Baba. It is not a grand work of architecture, but is a simple structure made of rough-hewn stone. But within, the Samadhi holds unfathomable divine majesty and spiritual splendor.

At the bottom of the hill begins a winding path lined with the neem and banyan trees that once shaded Meher Baba's way as He walked up the slope with His swift and graceful strides. Today, as then, a pilgrim following this path may hear the sounds of birds and of farmers plowing their fields, and may even be accompanied by an occasional butterfly flitting by.

Near the Samadhi are a number of improvised buildings used by Meher Baba during various phases of His universal spiritual work. Like the Samadhi, they are a testament to the divine simplicity through which infinite love and compassion have manifested in this Advent of the God-Man. Those coming to Meherabad for the first time might wonder about the graves on either side of the Samadhi. It was Meher Baba's express wish that a select few of His intimate women disciples and His parents be buried there. Also close by, in a grove of banyan trees, six smaller graves containing the remains of some of Baba's pets attest to His love for animals.

The Samadhi is open every day from six in the morning to eight at night. In the morning and evening the prayers given by Meher Baba are recited, and songs glorifying divine love are sung by those gathered there in His remembrance. Especially at such times, the atmosphere is charged with the Avatar's heart-stirring presence.

In silence the call from the Samadhi ever rings,
"Come all unto Me!"
There, the Ancient One waits impatiently until
His call is responded to.
The hearts of those who enter there
are kindled by His love,
and a new life awakens in them.

A visit to the Samadhi is the beginning of the heart's journey through the manifold phases of life — both exhilarating and challenging — continuously sustained by the Avatar's grace. It is a journey to His Universal Heart, the fount of boundless compassion and unconditional love.

Meherabad is most easily reached by car or bus, and is located approximately halfway between Pune and Aurangabad on the Mumbai (Bombay) — Aurangabad Road. For pilgrims traveling from abroad, Mumbai is usually the most convenient point of disembarkation. From Mumbai the visitor may travel to Ahmednagar by bus, train, or car via Pune, where Meher Baba was born.

THE SAMADHI * STAR OF INFINITY, pp. 119-120, Bal Natu
1997 © Sheriar Foundation


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