Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Original Avatar from Pune

Hazarat Babajan Pune India

What shall I say of the Hazarat Baba Jan shrine and the
atmosphere, the magic of it all ? The Char Bawdi area
where I grew up, 2 minutes away from my home, the same
place where Avatar Meher Baba decided to become a
disciple of the lady who set him on his life's great journey ?
Gift of Love: Sayings and Messages of Avatar Meher Baba

My thanks to Jitendra, a Flickr friend who recently shared
this pic/gift (Click the link) when I spoke of a yearning to see
this special shrine one more time. The place where I stood and
stared, danced with whirling, piercing, bleeding, entranced
dervishes who flogged themselves so forcefully that the scene
took root in my brain and I just had to go home and try to flog
myself with a belt. True story. Ouch ! I gave up within a few

On Ash Wednesdays and throughout Lent I would stop by and
smear ash on my forehead from a bowl that rested at the entrance.
The thick pungent aroma of Incense was overwhelming and blinding
but the ash was all-important to me back then, for it served as
physical 'proof' for my Christian family to see and approve that yes,
I had been to Church (which I hadn't). I saw no wrongdoing
in my trickery since I believed that the ashes were holy anyway
as witness the number of devotees from different faiths who
stopped by at all hours to pay respect. I respected that.
Such is the power of Baba Jan. Read and appreciate what this
all means to people around the world : 
but don't take my word for it. How about a Celeb's devotion ?
No less than Pete Townshend of The Who 
Meher Baba M4Meher Baba M4
came for inspiration to my city, Pune en route to neighboring 
Meherabada colony near Ahmednagar, where the Meher
Baba Ashram is located. 


  1. Hiten Vasa10:08 AM

    Kudos . . . . brought back sweet memories of Poona and its traditions. The Moharrum processions and distribution of Sharbat at Sharbatwala Chowk. I used to watch all these safely from my balcony . . . .

  2. You lived in Sharbatwala chowk ?? Man we were neighbors so to speak ! See great Pune collections uploaded by Jitendra on Flickr

    and thanks a million for reading and commenting buddy !

  3. The charbawadi area is still full of activity.

  4. yes, as I discovered a few weeks ago when my niece sent me some closeups of the Matam