Samadhi of Meher Baba
Meher Baba's samadhi is the samadhi and tomb of Meher Baba located in Meherabad, India and is a place of pilgrimage for his followers. Located about six miles (10 km) south of Ahmednagar, the samadhi structure itself was completed in August 1938, more than 30 years before Baba's death in January 1969.
History of the samadhi
In June 1927 a cabin of bamboo matting and tin was built for Meher Baba on Meherabad Hill. It had a door and window on the east side. In July of the same year, a pit four feet wide and six feet deep was dug in it, lined with stone and masonry and covered by wooden planks. It was referred to as the Khadda – the Ditch or Pit-Room, by the mandali. Later the tin was replaced by mud-mortared stones and more windows were added. From August 16 Baba started using this crypt-cabin mostly for staying in seclusion. In December, five temporary rooms (meditation cells) were built next to the building for some of his mandali. In May 1934 a severe hail storm tore away the tin roof and it had to be repaired. In 1938 Baba ordered a dome to be built over it, at which time everyone came to know that this was to be the site of Meher Baba's future tomb.
The old stone walls were torn down and replaced by black stones which came from the original Post Office building on the estate. The Post Office had to be demolished the year before, after an order of the British government, because of its close proximity to the railway tracks. In the first part of August, 1938, the completed dome had four concrete models - a Christian cross, a Hindu temple, a Muslim mosque, and a Zoroastrian fire - fitted onto the corners of the roof. Shortly after, Swiss artist Helen Dahm painted colorful murals on the inside walls of the tomb, completing them in November 1938. The sign over the entrance bears Baba's motto, "Mastery in Servitude".
On January 31, 1969 at 12:15 in the afternoon after having his favorite poet Hafiz's couplets recited, Meher Baba died. His body was brought to the samadhi at Upper Meherabad by an ambulance from Meherazad and was interred on February 7, 1969. The ambulance had been sent by Dr. Brieseman from Booth Hospital. Afterwards, the ambulance itself died; it went out of commission and had to be replaced. The trip it made to Meherabad was its last. The stretcher which carried Baba's body is still preserved in his tin seclusion cabin on the hill. During those seven days, in compliance with Meher Baba's wish, Cole Porter's song "Begin the Beguine" was played repeatedly on a record player. During this time people came from all over India and a few from the west to take darshan and to see his physical form for one last time. During these seven days Mecca was flooded and closed for this exact period of Meher Baba's darshan after he dropped his physical form. All India Radio mistakenly announced Baba's passing as 10:00 P.M. on the 31st (his actual time of death was 12:15 P.M.). The next day, announcements were made on the radio several times during the day and BBC also broadcast the news. True to Meher Baba's words, in death he gave darshan in a reclining position during the summer of 1969 in what became known as The Last Darshan.
Today the samadhi is a place of pilgrimage for the followers of Meher Baba from around the world, drawing its largest crowds at Amartithi celebration, the date commemorating Baba's death.
Pilgrims at the Samadhi and surrounding buildings
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