Where Darshan Begins

Meher Baba’s sister, Mani, would tell us that Darshan at Beloved Baba’s Samadhi begins as we walk up the Hill, so preparing our minds to approach that moment when we step into the Samadhi to bow down at His feet. His Beloved Mehera showed us this when, after Baba dropped His body, she would come to Meherabad every other week to bow down to her Beloved at the Samadhi.

Coming from Meherazad, Mehera would not allow the blue DeSoto to drive all the way up the Hill, but had it stop on the Lower Meherabad side of the railway line. She would wear a sari with a headscarf — except in the hot summer months when she wore a blouse and long skirt — and carry an umbrella, as it was Baba’s order that not a beam of sunlight should touch her head. She also carried a leaf-wrapped garland to offer to Baba. She was not young at this time, and it is not easy to manage a sari, a scarf, an umbrella and a loosely wrapped garland on the windy and quite long walk up Baba’s path to the Samadhi.

Mehera carrying a basket of flowers up Meherabad Hill,
with Sheela Kalchuri and Meheru, November 1971.
(Photo courtesy MN Publications)

However for years, in all seasons, Baba had walked this path between the men mandali’s quarters at Lower Meherabad and the women mandali’s on Meherabad Hill, and knowing this, she insisted on doing it for many years. Mani only prevailed to change her mind by telling her that it was now difficult for her, Mani, to climb the Hill and to please allow them to drive up to the East Room (Mehera’s room) in the Meher Retreat compound, where they would briefly stop before walking across to the Samadhi to complete their journey.

—Janet Judson for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 8 January 2015

Mehera with flowers to offer to Baba. ~1980 (Photo by Win Coates)

Walking up to the Samadhi, 31 January 1982 (Photo courtesy Anne Elizabeth Giles)

Women mandali departing Meherabad Hill in Baba’s blue DeSoto at Amartithi, mid-1970s.
(Photo courtesy MN Publications)