Dear Lovers of Beloved Baba, Beloved Baba has given us all a precious gift – His Trust Deed. It is His legacy to His lovers now and in the future. It gives us all a way to serve Him, and what better legacy is there than this? In order that you may have a better understanding of Beloved Baba’s Trust Deed, we are going to present a series of articles about the objects of the Trust, which Baba prioritized. We will present them one by one as He gave them. This series of articles is called: Trust Objects and Purposes. We know you will find it interesting to see the progress which has taken place since the work of fulfilling Beloved Baba’s wishes began in 1969. The articles will be written by Baba Lovers who serve here now and have for decades dedicated their lives to fulfilling His wishes. The following is Part One of the opening article, in which I will give you some background of how Meherabad, Meherazad and Meher Nazar Trust Compound came to be Trust property.
Brief History of Trust Property
I am not going to tell the story of the establishment of Meherabad, Meherazad or Meher Nazar; you can easily find the details in Lord Meher and Let’s Go to Meherabad. I will simply tell you how land at Arangaon became Meherabad, how land at Pimpalgaon became Meherazad and how a compound in Ahmednagar became Meher Nazar.
In April 1923 Baba and the Mandali left Manzil-e-meem in Bombay and traveled to Ahmednagar. When they arrived, Baba stayed at Gulmai K. Irani’s residence in Khushru Quarters. Much later, it was renamed by Adi K. Irani as “Meher Nazar.” This property would come to be used as Baba’s office during his lifetime and after he dropped his physical form, it became the office of Avatar Meher Baba Trust.
On the morning of May 4th, 1923, Baba, followed by the mandali, walked from Khushru Quarters to Arangaon. Gulmai’s husband, Khansaheb, had already bought property there, thinking it might prove useful in the future. One day the saint, Gilori Shah, accompanied by some of his devotees, came to this property in Arangaon. There he selected two meters of land, and told them, “Prepare my tomb here.” His followers could not understand why he selected such an out of the way spot. He told them, “In a short time, this place will turn into a garden of pilgrimage. A great one will come here, and this land will one day belong to the people of the world! Only then will you understand why I am buried here.”
The twenty-six acres Khansaheb bought had been a British military post. The few buildings left by the military remained unattended for a long time and became dilapidated. In 1924, Khansaheb transferred the land he bought to Meher Baba. Baba renamed it “Meherabad” – “Abad” meaning a prosperous settlement, or a flourishing colony. The place that a worldly army abandoned became inhabited by a new army whose mission was not to fight against a foreign enemy but against the false self that lies within.
In 1927, Baba twice visited some acreage near Pimpalgaon Lake. About Pimpalgaon Baba remarked, “This place is really good, and the climate is good.” Eventually, this land became available through an auction which was held on 11 November 1940. Again, Khansaheb played an important role. He was a member of the Ahmednagar Municipality Executive Committee, and he intervened to make certain that Sarosh and Pendu won the bid. In 1944 Baba moved to Pimpalgaon which He later named Meherazad.
But, when Beloved Baba went on New Life, He disposed of all the land that was in His name. Since He was selling it off, His own mandali stepped forward to purchase it in case He ever wanted the land again. Meherjee A. Karkaria purchased Lower Meherabad, Sarosh K. Irani purchased Upper Meherabad, and Nariman Dadachanji purchased Meherazad. Baba only kept a very small piece of land in His name; about this, Baba said: “Nothing is to remain as my property and in my name except the piece of land on Meherabad Hill where the Tomb for my bodily remains has already been built by me – and you all should always remember that when I leave my body, it has to be buried here.”
When Baba returned from the New Life, He remained at Meherazad as if He was a guest because He no longer owned the land there. And when He went to Meherabad, He came as a guest because He no longer owned the land there. We mandali, too, were like guests.
After the New Life, Sarosh gave the land of Upper Meherabad back to Baba, and that land was in Baba’s name at the time of the execution of the Trust Deed along with the land of the Samadhi. On 6 April 1959, the Trust Deed, which outlined the purposes and objectives of the Trust, was registered at Meherabad. Baba was driven to Meherabad from Poona on this day to approve the Trust Deed, which He signed on Meherabd Hill, under the tin shed opposite the kitchen where the Gaadi is now located. Then, in 1968 Meherjee gifted Lower Meherabad to the Trust, and in 1999 Meherazad was gifted by Arnavaz Dadachanji to the Trust. Meher Nazar was gifted to the Trust in 1977 by Adi K. Irani. This is how the sacred lands of Meherabad, Meherazad, and Meher Nazar came to the Trust.
In the next installment of Trust Objects and Purposes, I will give Part Two of the opening article with an outline of the Trust’s Master Plan.
In His Service,