Avatar's Abode

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Avatar's Abode
Baba's House Avatars Abode.jpg
Meher Baba's Room
Founded 1958
Type Proprietary Limited Company [1]
Location
Services Charity
Website avatarsabode.com.au

Avatar's Abode is a 99-acre (40 ha) spiritual retreat about 115 km north of Brisbane, Australia dedicated to Meher Baba. The site has a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean to the east and over valleys, farmlands to the north and south and looks toward rolling blue hills to the west.

Founding[edit]

In 1956 Ena Lemmon sent Baba a formal invitation to visit Australia, which he accepted.[2] The idea to establish a place dedicated to Meher Baba in Australia in a warmer climate grew out of a letter from Meher Baba’s sister and disciple, Mani Irani.[3] On the 11th of January 1958, she wrote to the Australian group of followers, indicating that Meher Baba wished to give his Sahavas, company, in Australia at one place only, and that Baba would "like Queensland if the climate is good during June, and if the place is practical."[4] In 1958 using money willed for the purpose by the Australian Sufi leader Baron Von Frankenburg Brabazon found and finalized the purchase of an eighty-two-acre pineapple farm on Kiels Mountain, Woombye, Queensland after receiving Meher Babas' approval by telegram. Meher Baba wrote on the telegram on the 2nd of February 1958 'Place secured by you excellently suitable'.[5][6] During 1958, with three paid workers from Queensland and with the help of several lovers from Sydney and Melbourne, Francis and Bill Le Page had worked feverishly (often in the rain) to have the Avatar's Abode site ready in time to welcome Baba.[7] While he was there in 1958 Meher Baba named the area Avatar's Abode and said it would become a place of world pilgrimage.[8] Avatars Abode is one of three main centres set up worldwide, the other being Meher Spiritual Center and the samadhi (tomb-shrine) in Meherabad, India.

Transition[edit]

Meher Baba's bedroom at Avatars Abode

Francis Brabazon lived in India for ten years with Meher Baba from 1959 to 1969 as a result he was released from the work associated with Australia.[9] In 1967 Baba told Francis Brabazon 'to transfer Avatar’s Abode to Bill Le Page who will, Baba said, when the time is ripe, form a trust of which he will be chairman and turn the place over to it'.[10]

Francis Brabazon being greeted by Meher Baba. Bill Le Page behind

Development[edit]

Meher Baba gave clear cut objectives to Bill Le Page for Avatars Abode's development, saying the objective will be to make Avatar’s Abode universally known, for it is to become one of the great places of pilgrimage in the world'.[11][12]

Baba wanted certain ones to wholeheartedly cooperate with Bill Le Page in the development of the place, "In so doing, they will be cooperating directly with Baba in his work in Australia." [13] Meher Baba was consulted about the legal structure and approved a proprietary limited company and chose the name Meher Holdings, he also approved the directors, Francis Brabazon and Bill Le Page.[14] Much community work was achieved over the following years.

In 1979 a local group from the Baba community started a public petition concerning various legal and personal matters despite the legal arrangements being approved by Baba. The petition divided the Australian Meher Baba community and became an acrimonious debate which spread to India.[15] After several years of stalemate in 1984 a new company was created to accommodate local concerns bought about by a divisive petition. Its legal name is Avatar's Abode Pty Ltd.[16] Additionally the legal entity Meher Baba Foundation Australia, a private charitable Trust established by Bill Le Page preceding Avatar's Abode PTY LTD, still functioned concurrently with the new arrangements after discussions with the mandali in India.[17]

Meher Baba's wish was that Avatar's Abode can never be sold, but must be kept as a place of pilgrimage, "a priceless treasure for generations to come." [18]

Status today[edit]

Avatar's Abode is a functioning undertaking that relies on donations and volunteers for upkeep. The site has bushland areas, forest walks and gardens, buildings used by Meher Baba, structures used for performances, dining and reception, and extensive archives.[19] In the Pilgrim Quarters there is accommodation for about a dozen pilgrims with share facilities.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Avatars Abode Pty. Ltd"
  2. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 5087
  3. ^ Kerkhove, 2008
  4. ^ "Mani S Irani, letter to Bill Le Page et al, 11 January 1958" Kerkhove, 2008 pp. 8-9
  5. ^ Le Page (1993) p. 104
  6. ^ Brabazon (1990) p. 3
  7. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 5458
  8. ^ Grant (1986) p. 26
  9. ^ Brabazon (1990) p. 4
  10. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 6497
  11. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 6499
  12. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 5460
  13. ^ Kalchuri, (1886), p. 6499
  14. ^ Le Page (1993) p. 258
  15. ^ Le Page (1993) p. 260
  16. ^ "Avatars Abode Pty. Ltd"
  17. ^ Le Page (1993) p. 260
  18. ^ Avatar's Abode Main Information Page
  19. ^ Kerkhove 2005 p.
  20. ^ "In the Pilgrim Quarters there is limited basic accommodation with share facilities. The bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen are shared and visitors provide and cook their own food." http://www.avatarsabode.com.au/visiting.htm

References[edit]

  • Brabazon Francis (1990). Stay With God. Australia: New Humanity Books. 
  • Grant John (1986). Practical spirituality with Meher Baba. Australia: Merwan Publications. ISBN 978-0-9590202-0-5. 
  • Kalchuri, Bhau (1986). Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba. Manifestation. 
  • Kerkhove Ray (2003). Soul Havens – The Story of Spiritual Centres on the Sunshine Coast. Australia: Kerkhove Ray. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-9802935-0-0. 
  • Kerkhove Ray (2003). Avatar’s Abode 1958 - 2008. Australia: Interactive Community Planning. 
  • Le Page, Bill (1993). The Turning of the Key: Meher Baba in Australia. Australia: Meher Baba Foundation. ISBN 0-913078-70-0. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°39′32″S 153°00′19″E / 26.65889°S 153.00528°E / -26.65889; 153.00528