Meher Baba (born Merwan Sheriar Irani; 25 February 1894 – 31 January 1969) was an Indian spiritual master who said he was the Avatar, God in human form.
Merwan Sheriar Irani was born in 1894 in Pune, India to Irani Zoroastrian parents. At the age of 19, he began a seven-year spiritual transformation. During this time he contacted five spiritual masters before beginning his own mission and gathering his own disciples in early 1922, at the age of 27.
From 10 July 1925 to the end of his life, Meher Baba maintained silence, communicating by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures. With his mandali (circle of disciples), he spent long periods in seclusion, during which time he often fasted. He also traveled widely, held public gatherings and engaged in works of charity with lepers, the poor and the mentally ill.
In 1931, Meher Baba made the first of many visits to the West, where he attracted followers. Throughout most of the 1940s, Meher Baba worked with a category of spiritual aspirants called masts, who he said are entranced or spellbound by internal spiritual experiences. Starting in 1949, along with selected mandali, he traveled incognito about India in an enigmatic and still largely unexplained period he called the "New Life".
After being injured as a passenger in two serious automobile accidents, one in the United States in 1952 and one in India in 1956, his ability to walk became severely limited. In 196 . . . more